Ragdale parish church
Church window bearing Shirley
coat of arms
Ragdale Hall- now a luxury
Email from T.N in June 2013
Hi Ken, I work at Ragdale Hall as a night porter but also give
evening talks to guests on the History of Ragdale as a family
house. The section on Ragdale seems to note only one hall when
there is (or was) two. The Old Hall built 1558-1600 next to Ragdale
Church on the edge of the village, as a hunting lodge/hawking
lodge and the New Hall built as you say on one section of your
site by the 7th Earl Ferrers around 1787-1799.
Strangely we have only one engraving of the New Hall dated 1799
but have not been able to find a photo in its Georgian style(
up to 1908) As part of my talk I mention the illegitimate daughter
of the 7th Earl - Elizabeth Rose Shirley who married by special
licence in 1804 at the London home of the Earl, one Colonel Hilton
Joliffe MP. She died only four years later and I can not find
the cause. In 1802 Hylton Jolliffe had formed the civil engineering
company Jolliffe and Banks which under his brothers later control
built lots of bridges in
London for John Rennie including the London Bridge that was rebuilt
in Lake Havisu City USA. When Ragdale New Hall was let to tenants
after the 7th Earls death Hylton Jolliffe came to live there
in 1831 to hunt with the Quorn Hunt in his
retirement. In a recent local council Conservation area appraisal
for Ratcliffe on the Wreake(about 3 mile South of Ragdale) it
stated that the 7th Earl built Ratciffe Hall in 1812, but it
does not say why and who for? When Caroline Shirleys daughter
sold Ragdale - Ratcliffe was sold seperately in 1908. Before
then John Dove Harris MP lived there married to Emma Shirley.
New - More on Elizabeth Rose Shirley Joliffe:
Email from P.C. March 2016 - there is a memorial plaque to her
in St. Katharine's Church, Merstham, Surrey, worded as follows:
Elizabeth Rose the wife of Hylton Jolliffe Esq. Lord of this
Manor & Representative in Parliament for the Borough of Petersfield.
She died in the 25th year of her age on the 25th January 1809
at the house of her father, the Earl Ferrers. The Jolliffes,
incidentally, were Lords of the Manors of Chipstead, Merstham
and Kingswood, in Surrey.
Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire
Part of the Shirley possessions obtained through marriage.
John Shirley 1535 d. 1570 lived at Rakedale, now known as Ragdale
estate, Leicestershire. He married Jane Lovett. Their son, George
Shirley moved the family seat to Astwell.
"Ragdale Hall was originally a medieval hunting lodge
and falconry. The house's Victorian owners added the castle-style
turrets, which were fashionable at the time. Later, the hall
spent a few years as a nightclub and restaurant before becoming
a health hydro in 1973, after it was bought by the owners of
a slimming magazine. This is the place to head for peace, quiet
and total relaxation in a beautiful setting - the perfect antidote
to stressful urban living."
Ragdale Ancient Abstracts
1400 De Banco Roll - Hugh Shyrley, chivaler v Walter the parson's
man of Rakedale in a plea of breaking his free warren at Rekedale
and taking thence hares, rabbits, pheasants and partridges.
1440 Inquisition Post Mortem Beatrice who was the wife of
Hugh Shirley, taken at Leicester on Thursday before the Nativity
of St John the Baptist 18 Henry VI. Before Thomas Palmer the
escheator and on the oath of John Chaumbleyn of Hathern, Henry
atte Halle of Overton, John Nauntell of Hathern, Robert Bernevile
of Threngeston, John Kendale of Twycrosse, John Herdewyn of Newebold,
William Smyth of Barrow, William Somervyle of Cossington, John
Souche of Belton, William Bygge of Rothley, Thomas Bygge of Rothley,
John Draper of Thurmaston adn John Smyth and Thomas Ireland both
of Cotes, jurors who say that Beatrice held no lands of the King
in chief in Co Leices. on the day she died, but they say that
a certain Ralph Basset of Drayton knt was seised of the manors
of Rakedale, Willughes, Radeclyve etc in his demense as of fee,
and granted them to Sir Walter Skyrlow bishop of Durham and others
as trustees who granted them to Beatrice from Easter 7 Hen IV
(1406) for a term of 8 years at a yearly rent of L20 the reversion
of them to Ralph Shirley, knt and his male heirs for ever. After
the expiriation of the aforesaid eight years the said Ralph Shirley
entered on the afresaid manors and still remains in peaceful
possession of them. The manors were not held of the King but
of whom they are held the jurors are unaware. Beatrice died on
Wednesday before St George the martyr 18 Hen VI. Ralph Shirley
is her next heir and aged 40 years and more.
1467 Inquisition Post Mortem of Ralph Shirley esquire. Taken
at Loughborough Co Leic. on 12 June 1467. Before Baldwin Porter
the escheator and on the oath of William Parker of Loughborowe
John Ballarde of the same Robert Payte of the same John Stone
of Pakynton, Thomas Spede of Worthington, Henry Hay of Overton,
John Harry of Worthington, Hugh Johnson of Segrave, Thomas Boydell
of Bredo, Robert Parker of Bredon, Thomas Bertvyle of Tonge and
Thomas Dawe of Tonge juroros who say that Ralph Shirley esq was
seised in his demense as of fee of the manors of Rakedale and
Willowes etc held of Eleanor, who was the wife of Humphrey Stafford,
knt. The manors of Rakedale and Willowes are worth L10. Ralph
Shirley died on St Stephen's Day last past. John is his son and
heir and aged 50 years and more.
1572 Lay Subsidy Ragdall
Jane Shyrley, widow - in lands L12; tax 32s.
Family Lineage of the Shirleys of Ettington and Ragdale
John Shirley born 1535 son of
Shirley of Ettington and Staunton Harold; He died 1570. Buried
in Breedon on the Hill. He lived at Rakedale, now known as Ragdale
married Jane Lovett 1558. This marriage brought several manors
to the Shirleys: Astwell in the county of Northampton, South
Newington (Newton), in the county of Oxford, Dorington in the
county of Gloucester, and St. Botolph's Bridge in the county
5. (ii) Ralph Shirley b 1562 Rome, Italy. d.s.p. He
was intended for the church (Priest) but died before taking orders.
He was of Stretton, Staffordshire in 36 Elizabeth when brother
George granted him an annuity. (He was a pilgrim at the English
College at Rome in 9 Nov 1582).
5. (iii) John Shirley d.s.p. Entered Trinity College,
Oxford 1582. In 1590 he was of the Inner Temple and in 1602 was
living Grays Inn. He died in the wars in Flanders of a shot in
the knee received in the service of the King of Spain.
5. (iv) Thomas Shirley d.s.p. Entered Oxford in 1587.
In 1602 he was of Grays Inn. He released his interest in Brailesford,
Warwick Co (?) to his brother George upon the settling of Shirley
upon him for a term of years]
5. (i) George Shirley born 1559. Eldest son
of John Shirley of Ettington. He died 1622 Astwell, Northampton
Co. Buried at Breedon on the Hill.
He studied at Hart Hall (Later known as Hartford College),
in the University of Oxford in 1573. "By the advantage of
the most famous and learned tutors, he acquired a knowledge not
common of the Greek and Latin tongues, of philosophy, of history,
of politics, and other liberal sciences. After he had finished
his studies, he presented his service at Court, and undertook
the voyage of Holland in 1585 with Robert Earl of Leicester,
ever putting himself in those places most eminent for danger
"He entered Gloucester Hall in 1587 and was of Grays
Inn in 1602. In 1603 he served as sheriff of Northamptonshire
at the time, in company with many gallant men who conducted James
the First through that county to his coronation. In 1611, he
was created a Baronet. [Note: A William Bell came to London from
Worcester to study law. He shared chamber and bed with George
Shirley. Bell became a Roman Priest and was executed in 1643].
"George Shirleys arms were taken away for 4 years as
he was suspected as being a Catholic, although he outwardly conformed
to the church of England. (If a Papist refused to come to church
on Sunday, they were liable to a penalty of 20 pounds for every
lunar month during which they absented themselves). He appears
to have died a Catholic. "His piety was so remarkable in
his large and bountiful alms, that he merited the glorious title
of father and nourisher of the poor, relieving during the great
dearth, 500 a day at his gates"
Married 1) Frances Berkeley 1587, daughter of Henry Lord Berkeley
by Catherine, daughter of Henry Earl of Surrey.
(From this marriage, see the Shirley
family of Ettington and Astwell, Northants)
Married 2) Dorothy Wroughton (no children by George).