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Letters to Pamela - Coore Family

My dear Pamela,

It was very nice of you to write to me. Two days ago you were a name, now you ‘palpitate with actuality’ if I may employ a phrase your grandfather, my uncle George, used to use! When your father and mother were here two of you were with them but which two I hardly know.

About Scruton. We have no ghost here. Harry Topham, Barby’s father, did once see a white lady kneeling by his bedside in the watches of the night. There is another house Leaces Hall now sold where I believe there is a ghost, a maid who was murdered there and has been seen doing up the grates!

Yes there is no doubt about the descent from Mary Queen of Scots, The more ancient records are taken from a larger work “The Plantagenet Roll” which gives the descendant of Edward III who can be traced. There is a very large number of these. Many people have descents through many lines. I believe the Duke of Westminster has 22. We have a great many also. I am afraid they are very voluminous to copy out.

The acreage of Scruton is 1300. We have sold parts to reduce mortgages. I think at its best it boasted 1800 acres. When we came here there were 1645 ac left.

The house has 26 rooms all told! and there are large outbuildings, stables and so forth and a walled kitchen garden! it is what would be tactfully described as ‘one of the lesser county houses’. Some of the great houses are quite enormous, 400 rooms! Thorpe where the Milbanks lived is very big though nothing like that.


Charles II was married to Catherine of Braganza, daughter of the King of Portugal. He left no legitimate children, but his unlawful progeny were the founders of four or five existing English Dukedoms, as Richmond and Gordon, St. Albans and others

I think I went into the pedigree pretty fully to Monica so you will know a good deal about it if you have seen the letter. Do tell me anything you would especially like to know. This will I think be new to you.

This is something to ponder over! I have moved you on two generations from Father who compiled the table.

The Coores trace back about two hundred years to an Alderman of Liverpool, perhaps not quite the most illustrious line in our descents!

The last Henry George may be called our Duke. All the brothers married but none of them left any children, but besides the three brothers there were four daughters of whom the 3rd Augusta Henrietta married Mark Milbank and was my great grandmother and your great great grandmother.

Now Miss Pamela Knox I think you will see exactly where we all come in. When the first Duke died in 1891 all his honours became extinct except the Barony of Barnard, The Duke left his great castle and estate of Raby (a Vane inheritance) to whoever could prove his title to the Barony of Barnard. The man who did was rather vaguely described as the Duke’s kinsman. There was as a matter of fact some doubt about the validity of the marriage of an ancestor of the man who is now Lord Barnard. However this was established to the satisfaction of a Law Court and he inherited the title and estate. One third of the Ducal possessions passed to the descendant of the elder sister of our great or great great grandmother; one third to the grandson of Lady Augusta and Mark Milbank and Raby and the title to Lord Barnard.

Scruton Hall

Descent of Miss Pamela Knox
22nd from Edward III through his second son
21st “ “ “ “ “ third “
21st “ “ “ “ “ fourth “
20th “ “ “ “ “ fifth “
26th “ Edward I through Princess Joan
23rd “ “ “ “ “ Elizabeth
23rd “ “ “ “ Prince Thomas
23rd “ “ “ “ Prince Edward
25th Henry III
28th Henry II
24th Philip VIII of France
26th Louis VIII “ “
29th David I of Scotland
27th Llewellyn, Prince of Wales
24th Ferdinand VIII of Bastile
27th Alphonso VIII of Spain.

The Vanes of Raby were a very old family and no doubt there are many who could claim descent from the first two Lord Barnards, but apparently none who could claim descent from the third, so all his honours lapsed with the death of the last Duke.

It was strange that none of the last three Dukes had any children. The first Duke of the second creation had quite a large family and he was rising in the world about the time the first Knox was setting foot in Australia.

Do you remember your Knox grandparents or were they dead before your day?

Sydney I believe was originally Port Philip though who Philip was this writer knows not.

Charles II had also a daughter by Barbara Villiers from whom we are descended in a wholly distinct line but this is as much pedigree as you will want to digest at one time. You will now know all that is known to

Your Loving Cousin,

Letter retyped by: Jane Knox
Pamela refers to Pamela Knox O’Connor granddaughter of George Milbank Coore
Alban Coore b. 21 May 1872 d. 1950 He was son of Rev. Thomas Coore

With Thanks To Nancy McLaughlin!!!

Coore Family: Gale Family:


Conyers DARCY (4° B. Conyers of Hornby / B. Darcy of Knaith)Conyers DARCY
(4th B. Conyers of Hornby / B. Darcy of Knaith)
Died: 3 Mar 1653
Father: Thomas DARCY
Mother: Elizabeth CONYERS
Married: Dorothy BELLASIS (b. ABT 1572, Newborough, Yorkshire - d. 11 May 1653)
(dau. of Henry Belassis (Sir) and Ursula Fairfax)
1. Barbara DARCY (m. Matthew Hutton)
2. Ursula DARCY (m. Christopher Woodville)
3. Conyers DARCY (1° E. Holderness)
4. Elizabeth DARCY (m. Sir Henry Stapleton)
5. James DARCY (Hon.) (m. Isabel Woodville)

Son and heir of Thomas Darcy of Hornby Castle, by Elizabeth, 2nd daughter and coheir of John, Lord Conyers, became in Jul 1635, on the death of his cousin, John, Lord Darcy, his heir male, as also heir male of his great-grandfather, Thomas, Lord Darcy (attainted 1538); and being maternally, through the Conyers family, a coheir of John, Lord Darcy, sum. by writ in 1331/2, set out these facts in a petition to the King in the Parliament which first met at Westminster, 3 Nov 1640, wherein he asked that the King might "be pleased to declare, restore, and confirm, to him the said Sir Conyers Darcy and the Heirs Male of his body, the stile, title and dignity of Lord Darcy". Two Patents which issued on 10 and 12 Aug 1641 respectively, are held to have determined the abeyance of the ancient Barony of Darcy [and by inference that of Conyers] in his favour, whereby he became Baron Darcy (of Knaith) [1344] and Baron Conyers [1509], both baronies being held in fee. Conyers Darcy, son and heir of Thomas Darcy, co. York (jure uxoris), Lieut. of the Tower of London, died 6 Nov 1605), by his 1st wife, Elizabeth (d. 6 Jun 1572), 2nd daughter and coheir of John Conyers, Lord Conyers, last abovenamed, was born in York, and bap. at St. Michael le Belfry, 27 Aug 1570; admitted Fellow Commoner Caius Coll.

Cambridge, 10 Dec 1588, and then said to be aged 17. He was knighted 23 Jul 1603, and resided at Hornby Castle, co. York, the inheritance of his maternal ancestors. In the Parl. which first met at Westminster 3 Nov 1640, he petitioned the King for the restoration to him of the dignity of Baron Darcy. On 2 Aug 1641 a Royal Warrant directed the preparation of two bills to restore to him the ancient liberties, places, and states of John, Lord Darcy, and of John, Lord Conyers, and accordingly two signed bills issued on 10 Aug and 12 Aug 1641 respectively, the former stating that Conyers Darcy Knight is to be Lord Darcy, and the latter that Conyers Darcy Knight, Lord Darcy, is to be Lord Conyers, with in both cases Declaration and Confirmation of the said dignities to him and the heirs male of his body. He was summoned to Parl. 28 Oct 1641, taking his seat 20 Jan 1641/2, as "Lord Darcy and Conyers" under "his Patent of Restitution and creation and his Writ of summons," when he was placed next below Lord Dacre On 13 Jul 1644, by the extinction of the issue of the other coheirs, he became the representative of his maternal grandfather, and consequently, according to modern doctrine, became de jure Lord Conyers [1509]. Previous to the determination of the abeyance of the Barony of Darcy in 1903, the Committee for Privileges decided that the effect of the signed bills referred to above was to terminate the abeyance of the ancient Barony of Darcy [and by inference that of Conyers]. It is held therefore that he became Baron Darcy (of Knayth) [1344] and Baron Conyers [1509], both baronies being held in fee. He married (lic. 1594) Dorothy, daughter of Sir Henry Bellasis, 1st Bart., of Newborough, co. York, by Ursula, daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, co. York. She was buried 11 May 1653, at Hornby. He died, and was buried there 6 Mar 1653/4, aged 83to Bios Page to Family Pageto Peerage Page to Home Page

September 7, 1943

My dear Pamela

I am now answering yours of May 22! which came today after a very long journey. Meantime you have written to me by Airgraph and I answered you by air on Aug. 16. Your present letter goes back to your sister’s engagement to a man who has been to Scruton and Bedale and Raby, and I don’t know where. I can’t quite recall, which he was of the very many officers we have seen at different times, but it does make the world seem small! We have had no soldiers this year so far and we are the possessors of the only two evacuees left in Scruton! Mary and Jimmy McLaren from Sunderland have been with us 3 years. Scruton began with over 30 but they soon began to drift home from a barbarous place where you couldn’t get fish and chips or a banana or a cinema.

Well you want to know something about Scruton! There used to be a good series of photos before the war but now - It is a good sized house and we reckon 25 rooms all told. If you look at the photograph of the ground floor right to left the bow with 3 windows is the drawing room and the next window is a sort of anteroom to it. Then comes the dining room with two windows on each side of the door. This is a long room 33 ft. Then comes another door which is a passage and then in the left hand bow the kitchen and last of all the scullery. Above (first floor) again from the left the billiard room and library. A dressing room, 3 windows of a big bedroom, then two windows of a sitting room, a small dressing room and the last bedroom over the kitchen and the final room beyond.

Augusta Coore
On the other side the drawing rooms runs right across. This is rather a beautiful room - decorated in 1868 (and not since!). There is my office built out with nothing above the entrance hall. Housekeeper’s room (no housekeeper!) the servant’s hall (one maid!) and store room. Above this are five bed and dressing rooms and 2 bathrooms. On the second floor are a number of small bedrooms, maids and evacuees and their bathroom and above all a room right up in the roof with windows all round - the last addition to the house under the flat lead roof. There are extensive outbuildings. A laundry and coach house, a brew house and at one time there was stabling for I think 17 horses! but the horses having gone the stables and coachhouses became garages. Now the army has all and outside the house has put up tin huts in the grounds!

There is a big walled kitchen garden about two acres with glass houses where your market gardening cousins grow their tomatoes to help keep the pot boiling you know! There is a good terrace in the front of the house which was once very trim with flower beds and properly kept grass. I think I had better not say too much about it now!

We have two very interesting views taken from the air. I wish I could send you them but they are the only ones we have and the dangers of the voyage are rather prohibitive. I only hope the house may last till you are all over again. I don’t suppose the others remember very much about their first visit.

I hope you may have got the full account of the Clevelands. I came across this horrid couplet the other day –
‘Was ever Prince by two at once misled
False, foolish, old, ill natured and ill-bred’

The Prince in question being Charles II and one of the two Barbara Villiers our grandmother with many greats! And that was the verdict of a poet about Court at the time.

It is surprising to hear of frozen pipes in Australia and the mists hanging about a snow mountain. In England we know only too much of this sort of thing. Our rude forefathers had a way of putting water pipes in the most exposed places under the roof, perhaps because it was the easiest place to fit them in. Water is very bad to control. A sort of pinhole in a lead gutter will cause a hideous mess in the room below, whereas if you want water to run in a downfall pipe a collection of leaves finds no difficulty in blocking it effectually.

Poor Aunt Sta.

It sounds your letter took 3 months on the way but was lucky to get through at all. I don’t at all know if this will but one can but try.

I had the greatest admiration for Uncle George. You probably know he was 15 years younger than any other of his family and only 6 ½ years older than me.

I will write again shortly in case this is lost through enemy action! And do write again yourself. I like keeping up the links with kin across the seas as far as you may be. And these are dangerous days!

Your loving cousin,


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