Monday, September 18, 2006

Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall, 'a sumptuous confection of local red brick and Ketton limestone, Dutch gables and turrets', was built between 1619 and 1626 by Sir Henry Hobart, a successful lawyer who invested in property (like other Norfolk men such as Sir Thomas Coke of Holkham and John Heydon of Baconsthorpe). His descendants, Earls of Buckinghamshire in the 18th century had 'Auctor pretiosa facit' as their family motto, the same as the Lubbocks. I wonder if this was a coincidence? The second Earl had only daughters, one of whom married the 6th Marquess of Lothian, so that Blickling came into the Kerr family. The 11th Marquess left the house and contents to the National Trust, which only left his descendants with a house in Scotland and Melbourne Hall. I lived in Melbourne in the 50s, and have fond memories of Marie Kerr, also of Howard and his wife Christina, who was Maurice's godmother.

Another daughter of the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire married William Assheton Harbord, 2nd Lord Suffield, whose father was patron of one of the livings to which the Rev Henry Willis was appointed. He was thefather of Richard Lubbock (willis), who emigrated to Augusta, GA, in 1791. Most of the American Lubbocks are descended from him.

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