Flintham is a village in Nottinghamshire within a few miles of Newark, opposite RAF Syerston on the A46. It has a population of circa 650 and a school, village hall, church and cricket pavilion. It has one pub, the Boot and Shoe Inn on Main Street. It also has a community shop run by volunteers called Flintham Community Shop, and a museum of rural life. The Ham class minesweeper HMS Flintham was named after the village.
Flintham "is a pleasant and well-built village, 6½ miles south-west by south of Newark, including within its parish 637 inhabitants and 2,110 acres (8.5 km2) of rich loamy land, at a rateable value of £3,324, which was enclosed about the year 1780, when 172 acres (0.70 km2) were allotted to the vicar, and about 300 acres (1.2 km2) to Trinity College, in lieu of tithes, exclusive of 165 acres (0.67 km2) which had previously belonged to the said college. The greater part of the parish belongs to Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard Esq., but Francis Fryer Esq., Richard Hall Esq. and John Clark Esq. have also estates here. The Duke of Newcastle is lord of the manor, which he holds in fee of the King's Duchy of Lancaster, together with several others in this neighbourhood. His Grace has no land here except 6 acres (2.4 ha) allotted to him at the enclosure. Flintham Hall, which has been successively the seat of the Husseys, Hackers, Woodhouses, Disneys, Fytches and Thorotons, is now the residence of Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard Esq. It is a handsome modern edifice, erected on the site of the ancient mansion. It owes many of its present beauties to the late Col. Hildyard."
Col. Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard, Coldstream Guards, was Justice of the Peace, High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and MP for Newark-on-Trent. As a Colonel in the Coldstream Guards, Thoroton Hildyard served with British forces in the American War of Independence. Col. Thoroton Hildyard was also a friend of longstanding and advisor to John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland, to whom he was related. His eldest son Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard (1821–1888) also lived at Flintham Hall and was educated at Eton and Oxford. In 1846 he entered political life as the Conservative Member of Parliament for the southern division of Notthinghamshire.
It was a toughly contested election. Hildyard was supported, according to the University of Nottingham, by the 4th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne "in spite of the fact that Newcastle's son, the Earl of Lincoln, was his opponent. Lincoln attacked Hildyard's youth and inexperience, but the 'young squire' still defeated him by a majority of almost 700. Hildyard held South Nottinghamshire from 1846 until 1852. He was re-elected in 1866. He then continued to represent the South Nottinghamshire constituency until his retirement in 1885."
The name of the Hildyard family of Flintham was initially Thoroton. Col. Hildyard, father of MP Hildyard, was formerly called Thomas Blackborne Thoroton, but changed his name to Hildyard in 1815 on marrying a Hildyard heiress, the niece of Sir Robert d'Arcy Hildyard, 4th and last Baronet who died without issue, leaving his estate to his niece. Col. Thoroton Hildyard was descended from Mary (Levett) Blackborne, who was the daughter of Sir Richard Levett, Lord Mayor of London and the widow of merchant Abraham Blackborne, and her second husband Robert Thoroton of Screveton Hall, Nottinghamshire. (Robert Thoroton and his wife Mary became parties to a contentious lawsuit with the Blackborne family heirs—Thoroton vs. Blackborne—over an enormous estate left by William Hewer, longtime friend of diarist and Secretary of the Admiralty Samuel Pepys.)
Myles Thoroton Hildyard
In 2005 the family's best-known representative, Myles Thoroton Hildyard, landowner and historian, died at Flintham. Hildyard, a Cambridge-educated landowner and historian, won the Military Cross for his daring escape from a prisoner of war camp following the Battle of Crete. He also became well known for his work at Flintham Hall, a Grade I-listed home, which The Independent noted in its obituary of Hildyard, has been described as "perhaps the most gloriously romantic Victorian house in England." Myles Hildyard had worked extensively during his tenure to restore the landscape park and woodland which enclose the Hall and the Conservatory, as well as the Hall's walled garden.
Myles Hildyard was also an historian and writer, and for 40 years served as President of The Thoroton Society, the leading Nottinghamshire history organisation named in honour of Dr. Robert Thoroton, author of the first history of the county, The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire, published in 1677, and the brother of Hildyard's ancestor Thomas Thoroton. Myles Hildyard himself wrote detailed histories of the Thoroton and Hildyard families, as well as a history of Flintham village. In 1975 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. But Hildyard's greatest literary accomplishment were the wartime letters and the diary he wrote during the Second World War, when he served as Captain in Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers). Hildyard was captured by the Germans during their airborne invasion, but he eventually escaped from the prisoner-of-war camp where he was being held. His letters home as well as the diary he kept during his escape were collected into a book published by Bloomsbury in 2005 entitled It is Bliss Here: Letters Home, 1939–1945. For his wartime exploits, Capt. Hildyard was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Hildyard also served as Deputy Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace for Nottinghamshire. He was Lord of the Manor of Flintham and of Screveton, and patron of the living of Flintham. Hildyard was a barrister of Lincoln's Inn but chose not to practice law.
Aside from his efforts as writer, historian and architectural restorer, Myles Hildyard became known in the community for his good fellowship. "Flintham was, for the years Myles Hildyard was its guardian," noted The Independent in its recent obituary, "a most remarkable place to visit. Not just because of the beauty and richness of its physical surroundings, but also because he himself was so remarkable a person. 'He was, in a way,' writes Antony Beevor, 'the local equivalent of Nancy Mitford's Lord Merlin.' At Flintham he encouraged and received a stream of visitors young and old, who brought lively conversation, stimulation and enjoyment to a house which, when his father inherited, had been a rather forbidding and lifeless place."
Myles Hildyard never married, and his two brothers predeceased him. He was the eldest son of Judge Gerard Moresby Thoroton Hildyard, QC of Flintham Hall and his wife, the former Sybil Hamilton Hoare of Stourton, Wiltshire, and the grandson of General Sir Henry John Thoroton Hildyard, who was active in the Second Boer War. The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, the county's foremost historical organisation, of which Myles Hildyard was longserving president, recently staged its first Myles Thoroton Annual Lecture Series, for which Thoroton had left a bequest in his will. Myles Hildyard was buried 24 August 2005, at St. Augustine's Church in Flintham, where many of his ancestors lay.
Flintham Hall is a grade I listed country house which stands in the Flintham estate on the western edge of Flintham village. It was built in 1798 on the site of an earlier house bought from the Disney family in 1789. It was extended in 1820–30 by the architect Lewis Wyatt for Col. T. Thoroton and again remodelled between 1853 and 1859 by George Thomas Hine for Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard. It is built in two and three storeys, 11 bays wide and 3 bays deep with an attached glassed Victorian conservatory. The conservatory, influenced by London's Crystal Palace, is the finest of its type left in England.
The Thoroton Hildyard family continues to reside at the Hall. Flintham Hall, now the home of Myles's nephew Sir Robert Hildyard and his wife Lucy, was recently the chief location for filming "Easy Virtue," a movie based on the Noël Coward play. It was also used in the filming of the movie starring Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth, directed by Anand Tucker, And When Did You Last See Your Father?.
Plough Boy's play
Flintham is one of the twenty or so places in Nottinghamshire where Maurice Barley found evidence that the traditional English folk play, called the Plough Boy's Play, was performed. The play only consisted of 151 lines of text and involves seven characters. It was last performed in 1925 in Flintham.
Flintham Football Club
Football club founded in 1969, currently playing in Newark Alliance Division 3.
- "The Flintham Museum Collection". Flintham-museum.org.uk. 16 October 2013.
- FLINTHAM, Flintham: St Augustine of Canterbury Church – Nottinghamshire | Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham
- The Disneys who formerly held Flintham were related to the Hildyard family of Yorkshire.
- White's Directory of Nottinghamshire 1853
- The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: Mortimer-Percy Volume, Marquis of Ruvigny and Raineval, Republished by Heritage Books, 2001, ISBN 0-7884-1872-6, ISBN 978-0-7884-1872-3
- Some Account of the Military, Political and Social Life of the Right Hon. John Manners, Marquis of Granby, Walter Evelyn Manners, Macmilland and Co. Limited, London, 1899
- Some Account of the Military, Political and Social Life of the Right Hon. John Manners, Marquis of Granby, Walter Evelyn Manners, Macmillan and Co. Limited, London, 1899
- A close advisor to Lord Manners for many years was Levett Blackborne of Lincoln's Inn, a London barrister who was stepbrother to Col. Thoroton Hildyard. "But the central figure in the Granby-Rutland family group," according to the Florida Historical Quarterly, "was Thomas Thoroton who had married an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Rutland and served him as his principal agent. Although Thoroton received no order in council for land in East Florida, he was a member of the East Florida Society and also of the Nova Scotia Society of London as well. Thoroton was the link between the East Florida and Nova Scotia speculators, particularly after Richard Oswald and James Grant decided to give up their Nova Scotia interests and concentrate on Florida. Apparently Thomas Thoroton and Levett Blackborne often acted in concert in business matters.
- Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, Thomas Curson Hansard, Great Britain Parliament, Vol. XCV, G. Woodfall and Son, London, 1848
- Thomas Blackborne Thoroton-Hildyard (1821–1888; M.P.), The University of Nottingham, nottingham.ac.uk
- The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, thorotonsociety.org.uk
- The second son of Thomas Hildyard, formerly Thomas Thoroton, took holy orders and became a rector. In 1816 the Rev. Levett Thoroton married in London the daughter of Sir Alexander Cray Grant, 8th Baronet of Dalvey, Elgin, Scotland, and MP. Rev. Levett Thoroton subsequently became a rector in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where his family owned land.
- Thoroton vs. Blackborne et al., 1731, William Kelynge's Reports in Chancery, Great Britain Court of Chancery, 1764
- "Thoroton, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Most of the Levett family portraits and other heirlooms went to Mary Levett's older sister, who married Edward Hulse, physician to the Royal family. The Hulse family resides at Breamore House in Hampshire.
- Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, Thoroton Society, published by the Society, 1953
- "Thoroton, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- William Kelynge's Reports in Chancery, In the 4th and 5th Years of George II (1730–1732), Great Britain Court of Chancery, Peter King, Robert Raymond, Great Britain Court of King's Bench, Philip Yorke Hardwicke, William Kelynge, Published by Stevens and Haynes, London, 1873
- Myles Hildyard: Soldier and aesthete who devoted his life in peacetime to improving his splendid house with gardens and woodlands, Obituary, The Times of London, 31 August 2005
- The Independent, 14 September 2005
- Hildyard's niece, Marianna Hildyard, is the wife of British Labour politician Charles Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, whose title derives from his wife's family's name.
- Commemorative Tree planted at Flintham Hall, The Thoroton Society, thorotonsociety.org.uk
- Dr. Robert Thoroton, Nottinghamshire History, nottshistory.org.uk
- It is Bliss Here, published by Bloomsbury in England, is ISBN 0-7475-7802-8.
- SALON – The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter, sal.org.uk
- Historian and writer Antony Beever wrote the introduction to the Hildyard book published by Bloomsbury
- Myles Hildyard, 'Lord Merlin' of Flintham and author of a vivid account of the Second World War, Obituary, The Independent, 14 September 2005
- Obituary, The Times of London, 31 August 2005
- The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, thorotonsociety.org.uk
- Flintham Hall, Rushcliffe Borough Council, rushcliffe.gov.uk
- "Flintham Hall and Adjoining Terrace Wall, Flintham". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Flintham Hall in the 1920s, Nottinghamshire History, nottshistory.org.uk
- Before their purchase of Flintham Hall, the Thorotons owned Screveton Hall, another family property, located in Screveton, less than two miles south of Flintham. Screveton Hall has since been demolished.
- Newark Advertiser, newarkadvertiser.co.uk
- Notts Archive ref. DDH 86/1
- Maurice Willmore Barley, (1909–1991), archaeologist and local historian
- M. W. Barley, 'Plough Plays in the East Midlands' Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Vol. 7:2 (1953),pp.93–4;PLOUGH BOY'S PLAY: Flintham, Notts. (M.W.Barley Collection, 1948)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flintham.|
- "Papers of the Thoroton and Hildyard families of Screveton and Flintham, Nottinghamshire; 1478–2005", University of Nottingham
- Hilyard Family of Flintham Hall, 17th–19th Century, National Register of Archives, nationalarchives.gov.uk
- Flintham Hall today, Flickr.com