Towneley-O'Hagan family, Barons O'Hagan
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The De La Legh, later Towneley, family of Hapton and Cliviger (Lancashire) inherited Towneley (Lancashire) in the 14th century. Gateford (Nottinghamshire) came with the marriage of Sir John Towneley (d. c1540) to Isabel, daughter and heir of Sir Charles Pilkington, but was subsequently sold. The marriage of Sir Richard Towneley (d. 1554) to Frances, daughter of Sir Christopher Wymbish, brought the Nocton (Lincolnshire) estate, sold to meet debts c1660. Standish (Lancashire) entered the family through the marriage of William Towneley (1714-41) to Cecilia, daughter and heir of Ralph Standish (d. 1755), but this estate passed to William Towneley’s youngest son Edward Towneley-Standish, who however also succeeded his eldest brother Charles Townley in the Towneley estates on the latter’s death without issue in 1805.
On the death of Edward Towneley-Standish in 1807 Standish passed to his nephew Thomas Strickland of Sizergh (Westmorland), but the Towneley estates were inherited by his uncle John Towneley (1731-1813). John Towneley had already inherited the Lancashire estate of Leighton, formerly owned by the Middleton family, on the death of his uncle George Towneley in 1786, and the Stella (County Durham) estates of the Widdrington family, Barons Widdrington, to whom he was related through his mother, on the death of Thomas Eyre of Hassop (Derbyshire) in 1792.
In 1835 John Towneley’s son Peregrine Edward Towneley (d. 1846) bought the manor of Slaidburn and the Bowland Forest estate of about twenty thousand acres in the West Riding of Yorkshire from the Duke of Buccleuch. Properties in Leicestershire (Bittesby), Herefordshire (Pembridge, Welsh Newton, etc) and elsewhere, however, acquired by John Towneley from the Talbot family in the mid-18th century, were sold c1837, and the Leighton estate was disposed of before 1875.
Following the deaths of Charles Towneley in 1876 and his brother John Towneley in 1878, both without male issue, the estates were divided among their daughters. The Towneley Hall estates, mainly in Lancashire but extending into the West Riding east of Burnley, were divided equally between the three daughters of Charles Towneley: Caroline, wife of Lord Norreys, later 7th Earl of Abingdon; Emily, wife of Lord Alexander Gordon-Lennox; and Alice, wife of Thomas O’Hagan, 1st Baron O’Hagan. Lady O’Hagan received Towneley Hall, which was sold to Burnley Corporation in 1901, the library manuscripts having been sold by auction in 1883. In 1921 the Gordon-Lennox portion of the Lancashire estates (Worsthorne, etc) was inherited by Lady Alice Reyntiens, daughter of the 7th Earl of Abingdon and grandmother of Sir Simon Towneley of Dyneley (Lancashire). The Bowland Forest and County Durham estates were left to the daughters of John Towneley, the longest survivor of whom died in 1928.
Estates in 1873: Charles Towneley: Yorks WR 23,153 acres, Lancs 14,086 acres, Co Durham 2,826 acres, total 40,065 acres worth £26,979 a year. In 1883 the daughters of Charles Towneley each held 4,695 acres in Lancs and 604 acres in Yorks WR, and the daughters of John Towneley jointly held 21,341 acres in Yorks WR and 2,826 acres in Co Durham.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Guide to Principal Estate and Family Collections L-W, 1999.|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F88701 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F10831 )|