1899 - 1902:
England was at war with the Boers in South Africa.
Queen Victoria died on 22nd January at Osborne House, the Isle of Wight at the age of 82. She had reigned for 64 years the longest reigning British monarch of an empire that covered, at the time, a quarter of the globe. Her eldest son, Edward VII, then in his 60th year, succeeded her. She was buried at Windsor in the Flagmore Royal Mausoleum.
Edward VII was crowned King of England on 9th August at Westminster Abbey Middlesex
John Bayntun Starky was born on the 1st February 1882 and took up residence in Brackenfield in 1927 after he inherited the estate upon the death of his father, a year earlier. At the same time, his mother moved to a residence in Christchurch. He was generally known throughout his life as Jack.
In 1930 there was a slump and the New Zealand Government cancelled all farmers mortgages. During his time Jack's father, George, lent a lot of money to other farmers who were starting up. As a result of the slump, all Jack was left with when his father died was one small farm and the family portraits, furniture and records.
Jack commissioned the architect, Heathcote Helmore, to design a concrete room on the property which was built at the rear of the family home. This was used to house the family's collection of letters, diaries, deeds, indentures, manoral records, wills, portraits, furniture, clocks, first edition books, paintings and collectables and this was completed later that year. Also included in this collection was a magnificent table and 12 matching chairs, upon which Queen Anne dined when she visited Whetham House in 1703.
In the years following her husband's death, Nancy would sit at the foot of this table every day, and record in a large journal the day to day running of Brackenfield.
This large room was often referred to by locals as The Family Museum but is now locked up and the adjoining farmhouse is presently leased to a tenant. This museum was open to the public during Jack's life and for some years after, during the 1950's.
At that time Nancy employed a farmhand, Bob Dixon, who also helped with the upkeep of the museum and the cleaning of the various books and collectables before modern day climate controlled equipment was installed to prevent mould, etc.
Bob recalls Nancy Bayntun Starky as a very kind lady who was extremely proud of her husband's family heritage and spent most of her time in the museum.
Jack Bayntun Starky died on the 16th July 1944 and Nancy died on the 18th September 1966.
There is a memorial stone erected in his memory in the Church of St. Nicholas in Bromham (pictured below).
John Bayntun Starky was succeeded by his only son and heir John Michael Bayntun Starky