CARLILE, Ponsbourne, Hatfield, circa 1900

January 2002

 Alison McLachlan (AlsMcLalchlan @t (nee Carlile) of Australia asked. Could you please tell me if you have any information on the Carlile Family. I am a descendant of James Carlile of Ponsbourne Manor and am trying to find anything about the family. The only reference that I can find is a wedding venue. Is this the old Manor? I have emailed them but they did not reply.

James William Carlile was listed as a private resident of Ponsbourne Park, Hatfield in the 1882 Kelly's Directory. He was also a Justice of the Peace (magistrate) in the Hertfordshire Division courts. A check of the 1881 census CD showed that the (unidentified) family who lived at Ponsbourne Park were absent on census day but that there a goodly bevy of named servants in the house and adjoining properties. I understand the property is now a hotel.

The 1850 Post Office Directory shows a Wynn Ellis, M.P., was the occupier of Ponsbourn [sic] Park then, so presumably the Carlile family took up occupancy at a later date.

The obvious place to look next is the Victoria County History of Hertfordshire and I have reproduced the entry under The Manor of Ponsbourne, Hatfield together with part of Cussans' description for the 19th century. It would seen that James William Carlile, of Huddersfield, brought Ponsbourne Park in 1875, demolished the old house and built a new one. He was still living there when the VCH was written (published 1912) and at the same time Ponsbourne Manor House was the residence of Colonel Sir E. Hildred Carlile, M.P. for Mid-Herts. (As he was an M.P. you should be able to find out a lot more about him by reference to Who Was Who, which is likely to be available in the biggest libraries and specialist genealogical libraries in Australia.)

As the Carlile family was there in 1901 the obvious thing to do is for you to look at the 1901 census which is now online (once the initial stampede has subsided - as at present the server is grossly overloaded). This should give you a lot of information about the family and their servants - particularly if you download the adjacent pages which will identify gardeners, coachmen, etc, living in the adjacent cottages and stables. If you do this, please post details back to this site and I may be able to give you some ideas as to where to look next. (You may also be able to find members of the Carlile family in the 1881 census CD as well - I suspect every Australian family history society has access to a copy.)

Brenda Carlile Whiteman (bb_works @t writes: James William Carlile born. 5 Oct 1823, Meltham, near Huddersfield; christened 19 Oct 1823, St Thomas Square, Independant, Hackney, London; married. Mary Whiteman, 2 Jul 1850, Barony, Scotland - I have rather a lot on his family if anyone is interested.

Alison McLachlan  (AlsMcLalchlan @t also wrote:.Thank you for the info you sent me - it was fantastic. I actually made a mistake [corrected above]. It's funny that I should get your email today as I also got one from a Brenda Carlile in Australia who is descended from a James William Carlile - have yet to find out if it is the same one. I certainly will let you know of anything else I find out.

Looks like you are cousins to me!!!

Brenda Carlile Whiteman  (bb_works @t commented: I am not actually a descendant of James William Carlile, but of Mary Whiteman's (his wife) brother Walter Woodhams Whiteman. That makes me a cousin to James Carlile's children. It was just that the Carlile name has been passed down through my family, and I had to know why.

November 2005

Ken Thurley (kenthurley @t of Poole, Dorset is researching the descendants of Robert Carlile who was born at Loop Ballymacounghey, which was just outside of Belfast, Northern Ireland and asked if there was any connection with the Carlile family at Ponsbourne Manor.

A quick google search produces a web page at which includes extensive information on the Carlile family linked to Ponsbourne - and Ireland - of which the following extract relating to James William Carlile is only a small part.

Carlile, James William, the younger son of Carlile, William, of London, was born in London on 5 September, He was privately educated, and adopted a commercial career. After some years in London, he became, in 1843. a 'Partner in the firm of James Carlile. Sons & Co.. Paisley, who carried on business as manufacturers of thread. He remained with them until. 1853, when he was invited to join the firm of Jonas Brook & Brothers, thread manufacturers, of Meltham Mills near Huddersfield, with whom his father had been connected for forty years. He remained in active. partnership with Messrs. Brook. until 1875. During this time their works were largely extended, owing to the successful carrying out of an important patent. He was much interested in the Volunteers. and while living near Huddersfield, was for six years an officer in the Huddersfield Battalion. from which he retired in 1873, being then Major. He has also been interested in many religious and philanthropic societies, such as the Bible Society, the Church Missionary Society, the Church Army '(of which he is a Vice-President). Ridley Hall. Cambridge, and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. and the Colonial - and Continental Church Society, of which last he has -.recently been elected a Vice-President. In 1891 he founded and endowed the Carlile Institute at Meltham, and it was enlarged in 1903. The object of this Institute is to provide a place of rest for the factory hands. They have the advantage of two billiard tables, a library and hall for lectures of a scientific -or literary nature and concerts. The various rooms are decorated, with pithy mottoes selected by the Founder, and the hall is decorated with oil pictures, kit-kat size, of the Prime Ministers during the life of the Founder. Mr. J. W. Carlile has collected many good pictures, among them a Holbein (portrait of Duke of Somerset). Leighton Colin Hunter, and Marcus Stone (2). In 1886 his portrait and that of his (first) wife were painted by W. W. Ouless, R.A. These latter pictures and many others are now. at Gayhurst (Carlile. William Walter) In 1906 he presented his The Last Load," by John Linnell, 11. senior (1792- 1882). Canvass 2 ft. 1 1 in. by 4 ft 9 in, to the Tate Gallery. where it is now. hanging in Gallery. 111. NO. 2060. In 1882-3 he served the office of High Sheriff for Herts. He is now D.L. and J.P, for that county, and J.P. for Bucks. In politics he is a Conservative, and be is a member of the junior Carlton Club. In 1867 he purchased the Temple Grafton estate near Stratford-on- Avon, and rebuilt the church, adding schools and cottages. He presented this estate to his elder daughter, who has the gift of the living (Gregg, Alice Woodhams). In 1875 he purchased the Ponsbourne Park estate near Hertford, and' lived there until 1906, when he sold the estate to his nephew (Carlile. Edward Hildred). In 1882. he purchased the Gayhurst estate. Bucks, and presented it to his son, who has the gift, of the living (Carlile, William Walter). Mr. J. W. Carlile now resides at a -house called Ponsbourne Manor. which he built some Years ago on the estate. intending it to be a dower house. He was married on 1 July. 1850 by, the, Rev. Dr, Smith, of the Free Scotch Church. to 'Mary Woodhams Whiteman (born in Glasgow), daughter of Walter Woodhams Whiteman, of Glen-Garr, Argyllshire, by his wife Agnes Smilie Hart, of Co. Renfrew. This Mrs. J. W. Carlile died on 16 July, 1892 at Ashendene, Ponsbourne, and was, buried in Bayford Churchyard, Herts. There were three children of the marriage, all of whom survive; ,see Carlile, William Walter; Gregg, Alice Woodhams, and Orme-Webb, Agnes 'Mary. He married secondly on 4 December, 1895. at Little Berkhampstead Church Herts, Elizabeth Walker, widow of Joseph Crossley, of Halifax. She was born in Carlisle In 1831, and died on 14 July 1903. at Ponsbourne Park, and was buried in Bayford Churchyard. Since giving up business, he has entered with great interest into archaeological studies, beginning with the estate of Temple Grafton, Warwickshire. He secured the able assistance of Mr. W. F. Noble. of the Record Office, to search the manuscripts, who found a large amount of interesting matter, giving almost a consecutive history of the two Grafton’s. Mr. J. W. Carlile has also collected the history of Ponsbourne Park and the manor of Newgate Street, Herts. He possesses a picture of the two houses, which were pulled down by Mr. Sullivan about 1761 His researches were published in 1908 under the title Archaeological Studies on the Two Manors of Ponsbourne and Newgate Street in the Parish of Bishop's Hatfield, Co. Herts. He supplied Thomas Wright with the history of Gayhurst for' his interesting work The Town of Cowper (London, Sampson Low & Co., 1886). He also wrote in blank verse Everard Digby and the gunpowder Plot In April. 1907, he printed for private circulation an autobiography' entitled Notes of a Journal. His armorial bearings, obtained from the Lyon King, of Arms (Scotland), are as follows:-Or, a cross flory gules, charged with it crescent of the field, on it chief of the second. a saltire of Crest, on a wreath the first. 'Mantling, gules doubled argent. Crest on a wreath of the liveries, two dragons heads addorsee, vert. Motto, "Humilitate" He is now (1908) the oldest of the Paisley Carliles.

There is a web page for Ponsbourne

If you can add to the information given above tell me.


Page updated November 2005