Thomas Levett-Prinsep

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Croxall Hall, inherited by Thomas Levett-Prinsep from his uncle Thomas Prinsep

Thomas Levett-Prinsep ( – 1849), born Thomas Levett at Wychnor Park in Staffordshire, was a Derbyshire JP, member of the Tamworth Board of Guardians, landowner and cattle breeder in Derbyshire who took on the additional name of Prinsep upon inheriting his uncle's holding of Croxall Hall.[1]

Thomas Levett was born at Wychnor Park in Wychnor, Staffordshire, the third son of Theophilus Levett.[2] Thomas was educated at Eton College and in 1831 married Margaret, the daughter of Scottish merchant David Monro,[3] a seigneur, businessman and political figure in Lower Canada who, after building a fortune in the Canadian ironworks, left North America and moved to Bath, Somerset.

Shortly afterwards, in 1835, Levett inherited Croxall Hall in Derbyshire, located eight miles (13 km) southwest of Burton-on-Trent, and which the Curzon family held for 15 consecutive generations.[4] Mary Curzon, the heiress of the Curzon family and governess to the Royal Family, married Sir Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset.[5] John Prinsep Esq., India merchant and progenitor of the Anglo-Indian family of the same name, purchased the property from George Sackville, 4th Duke of Dorset, and became lord of the manor.[6] The Prinseps became well known for the cattle they bred at their Croxall estate, which at 1,450 acres (5.9 km2) was said to be the biggest family farm in Derbyshire at the time.[7]

Thomas Prinsep, High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1802, died without an heir, and so left Croxall Hall to his nephew, the son of Theophilus Levett[8] of Wychnor Hall, High Sheriff of Staffordshire, who had married in 1794 Frances Prinsep, daughter of John Prinsep of Croxall Hall, and sister of Thomas Prinsep.[9] Prinsep left his property to his nephew Levett on condition that he adopt the name and coat of arms of Prinsep in addition to Levett.[10]

Following the early death of his wife Margaret, the by-now Thomas Levett-Prinsep married in 1838 as his second wife Caroline Mary Templer.[11] She was the daughter of Rev. John James Templer of Newton Abbot in Devon, the Rector of Teigngrace and a member of the Templer family who owned Stover House and the 80,000-acre (320 km2) Stover Estate in Devon – later sold due to Templer family financial troubles to Edward St Maur, 11th Duke of Somerset.[12] Rev. Templer's other daughter Henrietta was married to Thomas Levett-Prinsep's elder brother Theophilus Levett, who had inherited the Levett family's Wychnor Park.[13]

By his first wife, Levett-Prinsep had a daughter Margaret Catherine Levett-Prinsep, born in 1837 in Bath. In 1860 she married her cousin Robert Thomas Kennedy Levett, son of John Levett and his wife, the former Sophia Eliza Kennedy, of Wychnor Park.[14] By his second wife, Caroline, Levett-Prinsep had an eldest son, also Thomas Levett-Prinsep, to whom he left the Croxall estate at his early death in 1849. The son Thomas Levett-Prinsep married Georgina Holdsworth, the granddaughter of Devonshire merchant and member of Parliament Arthur Howe Holdsworth, in 1868 at Stokenham, Devon.

Following his marriage in Devon, Thomas Levett-Prinsep returned to Croxall Hall, which he inherited from his father. He renovated the Hall, and built The Grange to control his farmland. He and his wife had three daughters and a son, Thomas. Ultimately, their daughter Katherine Mary married Lt. Col. Henry Edward Disbrow Wise, CBE. The couple moved to nearby Walton Hall, Walton-on-Trent.[15][16]

Eventually the Levett-Prinsep heirs sold Croxall Hall in 1920, and moved to the West Country, closer to family relations there. The Levett-Prinseps eventually inherited Widdicombe House in Kingsbridge, Devon, the home of Arthur Bastard Easterbrook Holdsworth, son of MP Arthur Howe Holdsworth.[17]

Croxall Hall is near to Catton Hall, once a property of the Anson family,[18] who later intermarried with the Levetts of nearby Milford Hall, distant relations of Thomas Levett-Prinsep.[19] The author John Dryden was said to have visited the Curzon family at Croxall Hall, and the land once known as Dryden's Walk was said to be named for the poet.

Thomas Levett-Prinsep, Esq., J.P., Croxall Hall, Staffordshire

Thomas Levett-Prinsep died suddenly while crossing Teignmouth Harbour.[20]

Catton Hall, one of two manors, along with Levett-Prinsep's Croxall Hall, within the parish of Croxall in Derbyshire


  1. ^ Mansions and Country Seats of Staffordshire and Warwickshire, Alfred Williams, Walter Henry Mallett, F. Brown, Lichfield, 1899
  2. ^ The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: the Isabel of Essex Volume, Containing the Descendants of Isabel (Plantagenet), Countess of Essex & Eu, Marquis of Ruvigny, Raineval Staff, Reissued by Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994, ISBN 0-8063-1434-6, ISBN 978-0-8063-1434-1
  3. ^ Three days later, in 1831, Monro's other daughter Helen married at Melcombe Regis, Dorset, Sir Edmund Filmer, Baronet.
  4. ^ The Old Halls, Manors and Families of Derbyshire, Vol. III, Joseph Tilley, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Company, London, 1902
  5. ^ History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire, Comprising Its History and Archaeology: a General View of Its Physical and Geological Features, with Separate Historical and Topographical Descriptions of Each Town, Parish, Manor, and Extra-parochial Liberty, T. Bulmer & Co., Printed for the Proprietors by T. Snape & Co., Preston, 1895
  6. ^ Croxall, Derbyshire, Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, London, May, 1891, pp 103-104
  7. ^ History, Gazetteer and Directory of Derbyshire, with the Town of Burton-upon-Trent, Samuel Bagshaw, printed by William Saxton, Sheffield, 1846
  8. ^ The Royal Families of England, Scotland and Wales, with Their Descendants, Vol. II, John Burke, John John Bernard Burke, E. Churton, London, 1851
  9. ^ Croxall, Magna Britannia, Vol. 5, Daniel and Samuel Lysons, 1917, Institute of Historical Research, British History Online
  10. ^ The Court Journal, Jan.-Dec. 1835, Printed by C. and W. Reynell, Printers (by Appointment) to Her Majesty, London, 1835
  11. ^ Saint James's Magazine, and Historic and Heraldic Register, Vol. I, Bernard Burke, Published by E. Churton, London, 1850
  12. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, Vol. I, John Burke, Sir Bernard Burke, published by Henry Colburn, London, 1847
  13. ^ Franks Bequest, Vol. II, British Museum Dept. of Prints and Drawings, Augustus Wollaston Franks, Edward Russel, James Gambier Howe, Printed by Order of the Trustees, Sold at the British Museum, 1904
  14. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review, Sylvanus Urban, Printed by John Henry and James Parker, London, 1860
  15. ^ Chapter Eight: A Lost Way of Life in the Parish,
  16. ^ Lords of the Manor, Chelveston, Northamptonshire
  17. ^ Visitation of England and Wales, Vol. 14, Joseph Jackson Howard, Frederick Arthur Crisp, Great Britain College of Arms, Privately Printed, 1906
  18. ^ The Neilson family, descendants of the Ansons and the Hortons, reside at Catton Hall today.
  19. ^ For the connection between the Anson and Levett families, see Frederick Anson.
  20. ^ The Eton School Lists, from 1791 to 1850, H.E.C. Stapylton, E.P. Williams, London, 1863


  • The Levetts of Staffordshire, Dyonese Levett Haszard, Milford, Staffordshire, privately printed
  • Victoria County History: A History of the County of Stafford, M.W. Greenslade, R.B. Pugh (editors)