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Abdy family, baronets, of Albyns

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Date: 1175-2000

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Abdy family lived at Abdy in Wath-upon-Dearne (Yorks). In the later 16th century they became London merchants and the sons of Roger Abdy (d. 1595) moved into the professions and began the transition to gentry status and land ownership. Edmund Abdy (1561-1626) acquired the manor of Belgar in Kent and his son, Sir Christopher Abdy (1600-79) added to this property at Streatham (Surrey) and Uxbridge (Middx) which he bequeathed to his cousin, Sir Thomas Abdy. Edmund’s younger brother, Anthony Abdy (1579-1640), a clothworker and East India merchant, bought Felix Hall, Kelvedon (Essex) and other property in Essex and Middlesex which he bequeathed among his sons, three of whom became baronets. Sir Thomas Abdy (1612-86), the eldest son, inherited Felix Hall; Sir Robert Abdy (1616-70) first rented and later bought Albyns at Stapleford Abbots (Essex) and adjacent manors; and Sir John Abdy (1617-62) inherited the manor of Moores at Salcot (Essex), but dying without issue, bequeathed this too to his brother Robert.

From the mid 17th century there were thus two branches of the family, settled respectively at Felix Hall and Albyns. On the death without issue of Sir John Abdy of Albyns in 1759, however, his baronetcy became extinct and the Albyns estate passed first to his aunt, Jane Crank (d. c1765), then to his kinsman Sir Anthony Thomas Abdy (d. 1775), who briefly united the estates of both branches of the family.

Sir Anthony Abdy of Felix Hall (1655-1704), married the grand-daughter and eventual heiress of Sir Anthony Thomas of Chobham (Surrey), a match which in the 1720s brought his son, Sir Anthony Thomas Abdy (1688-1733) both Chobham Place and the Horselydown estate at Rotherhithe on the south bank of the Thames. Sir A.T. Abdy bequeathed his Essex estates to his two daughters, and the Chobham and Rotherhithe properties to his younger brother and heir, Sir William Abdy (1689-1750). Felix Hall passed to Charlotte Abdy (1723-1802), wife of John Williams Onslow of Tendring Hall (Essex). They partially rebuilt the house but got into debt, and both Felix Hall and Tendring Hall were sold by Act of Parliament in 1761.

Sir William Abdy (d. 1750) and his son, Sir Anthony Thomas Abdy (d. 1775) developed the Horselydown estate, which became a major source of the family’s wealth by the later 18th century. Sir Anthony Thomas (d. 1775) inherited a life interest in the estates of the Albyns branch of the family (see above), and he also inherited Twickenham Park (Middx) under the will of Diana, Countess of Mountrath (d. 1766). At his death, the Albyns estate passed to his nephew, Thomas Abdy Rutherforth (1755-98); his other property passed to his younger brother, Sir William Abdy (c1732-1803), whose son and heir, Sir William Abdy (c1779-1868) sold the Chobham Place estate in 1809. He died without legitimate issue and the baronetcy of Felix Hall became extinct.

The Rev. Thomas Abdy Rutherforth (1755-98) took the name Abdy on inheriting the Albyns estate in 1775, and bequeathed the property to his son, John Rutherforth Abdy, who married the eldest daughter of James Hatch of Clayberry Hall (Essex) and sometimes used the name Hatch-Abdy. Hatch-Abdy had no children, and at his death the Albyns estate passed to his nephew, Thomas Neville Abdy (1810-77) who was MP for Lyme Regis, 1847-52 and was created a baronet in 1850. The manor of Theydon Garnons was sold to T.C. Chisenhale-Marsh in 1858, but at the death of his kinsman, Sir William Abdy, in 1868, Sir Thomas inherited the Horselydown property in London, which was now a highly profitable area of warehouses and industry on the south side of the River Thames. After his death, the estate passed to his eldest son, Sir William Neville Abdy (1844-1910), who died childless, and then in quick succession to Sir Anthony Sykes Abdy (1848-1921) and Sir Henry Beadon Abdy (1853-1921). Sir Henry’s eldest surviving son and heir was Sir Robert Henry Edward Abdy (1896-1976), who sold the Albyns estate in 1926. Sir Robert bought Newton Ferrers (Cornw) in 1936 which was sold by his son, Sir Valentine Abdy (1937-2012) in the 1990s.

  • Albyns, Essex
  • Chobham, Surrey
  • Southwark, Surrey
Sources of authority: Burke's Peerage and Baronetage 2003 and staff research
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/F85503 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F3094 )
Number Description Held by Reference Further information
c1175-1926: title deeds, estate papers, legal and family papers
Essex Record Office
NRA 5464
15th-20th cent: title deeds and estate papers
Essex Record Office
NRA 7412 Druces
1739-49: Albyns brewing accounts
Wellcome Library
17th-20th cent: deeds of Southwark and Chobham estates
London Metropolitan Archives: City of London
1565-1864: Chobham estate deeds
Surrey History Centre