Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Tragedy of the Squire of Denham

I shall have to stop this photo delving with my morning cup of tea. I spot something which raises my curiosity, and end up spending an hour or two of my day investigating it! Yesterday it was the woodreeve of Petworth and Lizzie Enriquez, the other day the lovely folk at Margate ... today ... a positive heap of goodies ... opĂ©ra-bouffe singers from 1860s Belgium ... 

Jose Dupuis

Alfred Jolly

church and concert singers from America (no, vendor, they are not English!) ...

Alice Whitacre

Louise Palmer

and, then, this darling group from Eton. Mrs Way with sons Gerald and Roger ... 

and, hurrah! a date! April 1881. Of course, April 1881 was census month ... eeeeeeeeeasy! And, oh my, look what I've chosen! Six children ... eleven servants .. 

Denham Place was obviously some establishment! And father Benjamin Henry Walpole Way obviously the head honcho of the area ..  Oh, cripes!

This record is held by Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies ... 5 Denham Court Estate Doggetts Farm. ... Creator: Way family of Denham PlaceBuckinghamshire .

Oh, cripes! 

The website House and Heritage quotes: "As with many country houses, the twentieth-century was not kind to Denham Place. It remained with the Way family (descendants of Sir [recte: Major] Roger) until the 1920s, it was then bought by a Mr and Mrs Fothergill and then Lord and Lady Vansittart, who owned it until 1980. 

"At this point, it fell into the hands of a series of unsympathetic owners - firstly, the Allied Breweries Pension Fund, who leased it to The Sheraton Hotels Management Corporation as their HQ, before passing the lease to Rothmans International in 1988, before they bought it in 1991. By this point the house had been long stripped of its contents and during the corporate phase of its life, the interiors had been equally denuded and filled with cheap hotel furniture.
"When Rothmans was acquired by BAT Industries in 1999, the house was put up for sale for £6.5 million. It was then bought by trustees for the Jatania family (who specialised in purchasing and reviving unloved beauty brands) and who are reputedly worth £650 million. In 2002, they engaged contractors to begin a extensive and lavish restoration, reputedly costing £20 million."

Sir Roger ... that must be the baby above (b Denham Place 15 August 1878). But it was Gerald who caught my eye. Gerald Oscar Way (b Denham Place, 17 February 1875; d Holly Bush Lane 23 June 1938), educated at Haileybury College ... Major in the North Staffordshire Regiment ... served in France ... DSO ... Egypt ... a bachelor until 1925, when he wed Florence Maud Lilian Whitehurst ... Denham Place had been sold, so he was now living at The Pyghtle, Bulstrode Way, Gerrard's Cross ... in 1938 it, apparently, came time to downsize again. And Gerald found he could not take it ...

The English press doesn't seem to have reported the suicide much ... that wee piece came from a Scottish paper, this one from the colonies ...

I see Denham Place is Grade I listed, these days. And flats. Sic transit gloria Wayensis.

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