SCOTT, Ardeley Bury, Herts

May, 2003




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Sue Wrigley (wrigley @t of  Cambridge, New Zealand, writes: My father, James Douglas Ardeley Scott, was born at Ardeley Bury, Ardeley, in 1893. I am interested in tracing relatives. His mother's name was Alice Wright. His father and grandfather were born or lived at Ardeley Bury. My father was married previously and had a daughter - I would love to trace her family. He then married my mother and had 3 more children. I wonder who is now living at Ardeley Bury. I visit England occasionally and would love to see my father's birth place

As you will know from the instructions, I don't do general searches for relatives, but I will provide you with some information on the house and occupiers - and suggestions as to where you could find more information.

First a check at some maps and Post Office/Kelly's trade directories  

1676 Map: Yardley Bury marked on Sellar's map [Yardley is a variant spelling of Ardeley]

1695 Map: Ardley Bury marked on Oliver's map. Sir Henry Chauncy listed as occupant.

1766 Map: Yardley Hall marked on Dury & Andrew's map 

1851 Directory: Ardeley Bury in the possession of Lady Murray and rented by Captain Conway

1866 Directory: "The mansion of Ardeley Bury belongs to P. Longmore, Esq., and was formerly the residence of Sir Henry Chauncy, Knt., the historian of Hertfordshire, whose family leased the property from the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's [London] for about 200 years. It is now the residence of C J Bastard, Esq."

circa 1880 Ordnance Survey Map; Have a look for it on old-maps.

1881 census: The Scott family may already be there, with their servants, - but if not it should give you some information on the previous household.

1882 Directory: James J. Scott

1890 Directory: Captain James Thomas Scott

1901 Census: Your 8 year old James Scott is listed - but you will need to download the full census entry to see the rest of the household - and it may well be worth downloading adjacent pages - as there may be nearby cottages accommodating gardeners, a coachman and stable boys, etc. The information given on the census will be useful in your search to extend the family tree.

1912 Directory: "The demesne and lordship were granted by King Athelstan to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, by whom also the great tithes were appropriated in 1290, by King Edward I. The mansion with the demesne and great tithes, commuted at 550 yearly, were sold by the Dean and Chapter about the year 1815 to Commissary General Murray (a Waterloo veteran), whose successor bequeathed them to the late P. Longmore esq. and they were next sold by his trustees to J J Scott esq, father of the late Lt-Col James Thomas Scott J. P.  and are now held by the Scott Trustees; the mansion of Ardeley Bury, standing in a park of 100 acres, is a fine structure of brick in the Castellated style, principally built in 1820, but there still remains a small portion of the old Elizabethan house, erected about 1581; and surrounded by a moat; there are also the remains of an ancient tower on the east side of the house; it was formerly the residence of Sir Henry Chauncey kt. the historian of Hertfordshire, who died in April. 1719; it is occupied by Col. Hans Charles M Woods, late R.A."

1937 Directory: The Bury was occupied by John Howard Carter, esq.. J.P.

Modern Maps: The house is still marked, standing on its own, to the west of the village - see multimap.

Often it is possible to find information about the current use of a major house, sometimes with pictures, on google but at a first glance there appears to be nothing of significance. However a closer look showed a relevant obituary on the web site of the  Winchmore Hill Cricket Club - Obituaries. Tony Bath (1920-1998). "In 1975 Anthony and his wife Jennifer moved to Cromer, in the Hertfordshire parish of Ardeley, where he took a keen interest in village life and was parish clerk for three years. During his spare time he wrote a book on the history of Ardeleybury." A check of the Hertfordshire County Council library catalogue gives it the title "Ardeley Bury - The Story of a Great House" I could find no further details (it is not listed in the British Library OPAC and a quick search did not come up with a second hand copy). It may be no more than a booklet and I have no idea whether it is virtually unobtainable - or whether (for instance) Tony's widow is still alive and has a box of unsold copies in the garage.

When you come to England next you should definitely arrange to see a copy of Tony Bath's book (presumably at HALS - but check first) and you will undoubtedly find further information about the house and its occupants in Cussans, the Victoria County History, and probably other books. From the online census information - possibly augmented with relevant birth and marriage certificates, you should have enough information to start to trace Alice Wright's side of the family. A family such as the Scotts will almost certainly made wills, which can be useful documents in sorting out family relationships.

See The Historical Antiques of Hertfordshire for further information on Sir Henry Chauncy

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