The Great Plague killed more than 700,000 people in London alone. The symptoms of this disease were fever, black lumps and terrible pain. Also this time England was at war with Holland.
Six months after the Great Plague, The Great Fire of London started accidentally and raged for four days. It began in a small bakery shop in Pudding Lane and engulfed much of the city, destroying more than 13,000 houses.
The Secret Treaty of Dover between England and France.
Charles II died on 16th February at Whitehall, London, without any legitimate children and his brother, James II succeeded him. James was the third son of Charles I and was crowned King of England on 23rd April at Westminster Abbey, Middlesex
Henry Bayntun was born at Spye Park House, Bromham in the county of Wiltshire and was baptised on 17th November 1664. He inherited the Manor of Bromham after the death of his father Sir Edward Bayntun in 1679 when he was 15 years old and was brought up, with his brother and sister, under the guardianship of George Johnson.
His mother, Stuarta Thynne, nor any of her relations were forbidden to intermeddle with her children's education or estate by the terms of her husband's will dated some nine years before his death.
On 12th June 1674, a marriage contract was made between Henry Bayntun (then aged 10) and Lady Sophia, the daughter of Thomas Osborne, the Earl of Danby, Lord High Treasurer of England, with the consent of the parents on both sides. Later that month in a letter to Bridget Osborne, the Countess of Danby, Henry's father wrote of his son's good fortune to draw the hand of her pretty daughter, the Lady Sophia, for his valentine.
In 1678, Henry left England with his tutor, Dr. Brunnel and travelled abroad. A Licence to Henry Bayntun and Dr. Brunnel was granted at Whitehall to travel beyond the sea for three years. However while he was overseas, his father died and Henry returned in 1679 and subsequently the marriage contract to Lady Sophia never took effect.
Henry Bayntun maintained the family tradition of firm protestantism and also that of representing Wiltshire boroughs (Calne and Chippenham) in parliament but time had changed and he was a sound Tory in contrast to his father and grandfather. He owned a very considerable estate and was made a Justice of the Peace while still in his teens and became acquainted at the Court of Charles II and was a Member of Parliament for Chippenham shortly before he became of age, 1685-1687 and a Member for Calne 1689-1690.
He served in Parliament with his uncle, Nicholas Bayntun and after six successive generations of his family in politics, he was the last of the direct line of Bayntun family to sit in Parliament. He was also Free Burgess of Devizes 1682-1684 and from May 1689 until his death.
Thomas Dingley was in the Wiltshire area making sketches of the various great houses and on May 1st 1684 he made one of Spye Park House.
The last Sir Edward Hungerford of Farleigh Castle, best known as "Hungerford the Waster," was one of the least worthy members of the court of Charles II, and spent most of his time entertaining. He gave £500 for a wig to which he had taken a particular affection to and is said to have gambled away in succession, 28 manors. He is also said to have paid £30,000 across the green cloth and was eventually forced to sell most of the Hungerford lands, having wasted £80,000 capital and £14,000 a year.
of these Hungerford lands came under the hammer they were bought up
by Henry Bayntun of Spye Park this was known as "The
Great Sale" and by 1691 he had purchased the following
from Sir Edward:
THE MANOR OF FARLEIGH HUNGERFORD
THE MANOR OF ILFORD
Until his death on the 11th July 1680, John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester and a prominent figure at the Court of Charles II, was a frequent visitor to the Bayntun mansion at Spye Park. John Wilmot was a member of the House of Lords at the age of just 20, the King's Gentleman of the Bedchamber and one of the best-known of the libertine set linked with the Restoration Court.
He had distinguished himself of Oxford and wrote many poems, satirical verse, plays and criticisms on everything around him, thereby making many enemies. He was renowned for his drunkenness and extravagant frolics, engaging in notorious affairs with both court women and common prostitutes before he eventually died from a syphilis related illness aged only 33.
Henry became acquainted with Wilmot's daughter and on the 21st July 1685 he married the Right Honourable Lady Ann Wilmot, of St. Martins in the Fields, Middlesex, a noted beauty and heir of her father. This marriage took place at Adderbury, Co. Oxon and as both her parents were dead at the time, she was at the disposing of the Countess Dowager of Rochester, her grandmother and guardian, who consented to the marriage.
This marriage was probably due to Henry's uncle, Nicholas Bayntun, who was John Wilmot's neighbour at Woodstock and Anne would have visited Spye Park House on occasion as a child with her father which most likely led to their initial friendship and eventual courtship. Anne was a great lover of coins and such antiquities.
In a settlement,
dated a week before their wedding, Lady Anne Wilmot, who was aged
18 years at the time, agreed to levy a fine and settle her lands
on Henry, and the issue of the marriage, her lands being valued
at £21,000. Henry, at the time aged 21 years, confirmed the
article by an endorsement and afterwards a settlement was made by
Henry, which was approved by her grandmother, the Countess of Rochester.
Though the jointure was near £1,900 per annum the lands upon
the issue male did not hold out to be £1,500 per annum and
the greater part of that too in reversion.
A bundle of deeds, first dated 1689, held in the Somerset Records Office confirms this and mentions Henry Bayntun, with his address listed as Farleigh Castle, in relation to a piece of land and a cottage in Monkley Lane, Rode Common which he sold to Robert Cox, clothier, of Westbury, Wiltshire.
The Manor of Enmore was held by a long line of Malet descendants from as far back as 1166. Following the death of Anne Wilmot's mother, Elizabeth Malet in 1682, the manor was held in trust until 1691 before being passed onto Lady Anne, when she was 24 years of age. She died in 1703, but the manor remained in the Bayntun family until 1751 when Sir Edward Bayntun Rolt broke up the estate and sold the manor to John Perceval, the Earl of Egmont.
Prior to his death, Henry Bayntun sold the famous Coaching Inn called Beckhampton House, previously known to locals as 'Catharine Wheel', which was formerly part of Brinsden or Brundsen Farm, Avebury. It was purchased by William Norris (then of the Middle Temple) some time in 1691 and the property was mortgaged at that time by Robert Bayntun of Avebury.
In purchasing Sir Edward Hungerford's estate and Farley Castle, Henry had become greatly indebted and had mortgaged some of the estates so purchased, and also his own Manors of Bremhill and Bromham, for £42,000 and being indebted to the petitioners £22,000 by bonds, judgments, etc., devised the Hungerford estates to Sir Edmond Warneford and Walter Grubbe in his will dated June 1691, to be sold for payment of his debts and left the said Manors of Bremhill and Bromham to his son and heir, John Bayntun, subject to the payment of his debts and legacies.
The rents and profits of the said manors at the time of Henry's death were not sufficient to pay the interest of the said mortgage money, by £1,000 per annum. The Hungerford lands, when sold, would be sufficient to discharge the debts with a surplus for his son, which otherwise would be swallowed up and the creditors unsatisfied.
Henry Bayntun died suddenly on the 11th July 1691 and was buried the same day at Bromham. He was just 26 years of age and his children, Anne (aged 2) and her brother John (aged 3) were placed under the guardianship of Mr. Walter Grubbe Esq. of Eastwell House, Potterne, M.P. for Devizes. Following the death of their mother in 1703, Mr. Grubbe, as guardian of these friendless children, took them under his charge and they were brought up at Eastwell, where the accounts for their clothing and education are still preserved. Eastwell House, the long time home of the Hunt-Grubbe family is early 16th century, but was almost completely rebuilt in 1772.
The Grubbe family were one of the largest land owners in the district and are descended from a Danish family, the first of whom to settle in England was Thomas Le Grubbe who had a chateau at Dover in 1306. A Robert Grubbe lived at Devizes where he died in 1499 and a Henry Grubbe was Mayor of Devizes in 1568 and a Member for Parliament for Devizes in 1577.
After Bayntun's death, a Bill was brought by the creditors of Henry against his widow, his infant son and heir and trustees, to have the lands sold for payment of debts, complaining it was obstructed by Lady Anne setting up so many pretended claims by the marriage agreements, etc. She disclosed the articles and the settlements made and the deficiency thereof in point of value. Despite his debts Henry had settled his widow with a £3,000 jointure and bequeath £4,000 to his sister Lucy.
A petition for a Private Bill to secure a portion for his daughter and establish a trust for his only son, a minor, was presented on the 10th December 1692, and despite a petition against it from his widow and young son, it duly passed. Farleigh Castle and other properties were devised to his executors, Walter Grubbe and Sir Edmond Warneford. These properties were eventually sold to repay interest on loans running to £1,000 per annum.
The Countess of Rochester, on behalf of her great-grandson John, the heir of Henry Bayntun, filed a cross-bill to have the defect in value supplied, which was dismissed without costs.
Henry Bayntun's will also specified that should his son die without a male heir then his remaining estate was to descend to his daughter Anne, on the condition that she married a Bayntun 'kindred of the fourth degree' or that her husband assume the Bayntun name.
In the years 1700-1702, Henry's widow sold most of the Hungerford estates, including the manoral lands of Farleigh to Joseph Houlton. Farleigh Castle and park was sold separately to Hector Cooper of Trowbridge and sadly from that time onwards, this fine historical building went into decay.
Langenham Mill and some land about it was sold to John George alias Edwards of Worton in the parish of Potterne and the Manor of Rode was also sold at this time.
Anne Wilmot remarried the Hon. Francis Greville, the Earl of Warwick but she too died suddenly in 1703, aged 36 years.
When Henry Bayntun died he was succeeded by his eldest son and heir John Bayntun