The Phipps Family & Leighton House, Wiltshire

Below is an extract from a collection of genealogical and heraldic family histories. Prominent in the discussion is Leighton House in Westbury.

The present house was built about 1800 by Thomas Henry Hele Phipps, who lived from 1777 to 1841. This is described in the British Listed Buildings website as a ‘small country house” which was extensively altered around 1888 to 1890 by Sir Frank Wills.

That source refers to the building as located in Leighton Park and mentions an earlier house which might date as far back as the 16th century but which Phipps inherited in 1792. The Phipps family had leased the property since the early 17th century and had been purchased from the Earl of Abingdon in 1791.

(The Earl of Abingdon? As an aside, Venango County Pennsylvania: Her Pioneers and People (Chicago: J.H. Beers, 1919, pp. 584-585) discusses the Joseph Phipps, born 1640, who came from Reading, Berkshire to Pennsylvania. That source says that “Abingdon, a beautiful suburb of Philadelphia, was so named by Joseph Phipps after a favorite country seat near Oxford, England.”

Oxford is in Warwickshire, but Warwickshire borders Wiltshire. Could there be a connection? The Earl of Abingdon is a title created in 1682, and the family appears to have had both Oxfordshire and Berkshire connections. The one who sold the property would have been Montagu Bertie, the 5th Earl of Abingdon (1784-1854). As Lord Abingdon, he was Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire between 1826 and 1854 and High Steward of Abingdon.)

Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Vol. 2, 6th ed., London: Harrison, 1879.

Some abbreviations for the excerpts below:

  • arg. = argent, i.e. silver or white
  • b. = born
  • d. = died
  • D.L. = Deputy Lieutenant
  • d.s.p. = died without issue (died sine prole)
  • Esq. = gentleman, in rank just below a knight
  • J.P. = Justice of the Peace
  • K.H. = (apparently Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order, also called the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, an honor which was conferred by the British crown, but not since 1837)
  • m. = married
  • M.P. = Member of Parliament
  • s. = succeeded
  • sa. = sable, i.e. black
  • s.p. = without offspring (Latin sine prole)
  • Ven. = Venerable

[p. 1273:]


PHIPPS, RICHARD LECKONBY HOTHERSALL, Esq. of Leighton House, b. 1842; m. 1871, Julia, dau. of the late Henry Alcock, Esq. of Aireville, co. [?]ork, and has issue,

I. JOHN LEWIS, b. 1872.

Mr. Phipps, who was educated at Harrow, and Ch. Ch. Oxford, was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple 1869, and is a Magistrate for Wilts.

Lineage. – The PHIPPS family has for a very long period been settled in Wilts.

HENRY PHIPPS, temp. HENRY VIII., was possessed of lands at Westbury and Charlford. He d. “stroken in yeares,” and by his will, dated 1598, left his property to

NICHOLAS PHIPPS, living 1568, who had estates in the parish of Westbury, and was Lord of the Manor of Leigh. He left three sons, I. NICHOLAS, ancestor of the family of PHIPPS of Heywood House, Wilts, extinct in the male line; II. THOMAS, of whom we treat; and III. Paul. The 2nd son,

THOMAS PHIPPS, was father of THOMAS PHIPPS, whose son, PAUL PHIPPS, added greatly to the patrimonial estates of his family in the parish of Westbury. He left two sons, I. John, J.P., whose sons d. s. p.; and II. THOMAS. The 2nd son,

THOMAS PHIPPS, Esq. of Leighton House, Wilts, J.P., High Sheriff 1734, and M.P. for Westbury; m. 21 March, 1765, Christian, only dau. of Thomas Warner, Esq. of Warminster and Sutton Magna, Wilts; and dying 1747, was s. by his son,

THOMAS PHIPPS, Esq. of Leighton House, J.P., Receiver-General for Wilts during 57 years, and High Sheriff 1774. He m. Jane, dau. and co-heir of Henry Hele, Esq. of Sarum, M.D., and had issue, a dau., Maria, m. Bryan Edwards, Esq., M.P. for Southampton, author of the History of Jamaica; and a son,

THOMAS HELE PHIPPS, Esq. of Leighton House, m. 1774, Penelope, dau. of Lewis Clutterbuck, Esq. of Widcombe House, near Bath, and by her (who m. 2ndly, Gilbert Trowe Beckett Turner, Esq. of Penleigh House, Wilts, High Sheriff 1807) had issue,

  • THOMAS HENRY HELE, his heir.
  • charles Lewis, of Dilton Court, Wilts, Lieut.-Col. Wiltshire Yeomanry Cavalry, b. 1782, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff, 1839; m. 7 March, 1808, Sophia, dau. and co-heir of Sir John Hales, Bart. of Hale Place, Kent; and d. 9 Aug. 1862.
  • Paul, Lieut.-Col. in the army, K.H., served throughout the Peninsula, and was at Waterloo, b. 18 Jan. 1789; m. Mrs. Kingston, widow of Benjamin Kingston, Esq. of Walton Hall, and eldest dau. of John Saunders, of Downes, Hants; and dying 22 Nov. 1858, left (with one dau., Jacintha Penelope, m. 14 June, 1859) her cousin, Thomas H. H. Leckonby Phipps, Esq. of Leighton House, a son, Capt. Phipps, who distinguished himself in the Crimea, and under Havelock at the capture of Lucknow.

Mr. Phipps d. 10 Sept. 1790, and was s. by his son,

THOMAS HENRY HELE PHIPPS, Esq. of Leighton House, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff 1804, and Chairman of the Wilts Quarter Sessions at Warminister, b. 30 Nov. 1777; m. 1799, Mary, only dau. and heir of William Leckonby, Esq. of Great Eccleston and Hothersall Hall, co. Lancaster, and by her (who d. 22 May, 1835) had issue,

  • THOMAS HENRY HELE, of Leighton House.
  • John Lewis, late of Leighton House.
  • Richard Leckonby, Col. in the army, of Charlton House, Somerset, b. 1804; d. 21 Oct. 1876.
  • Edward James, Rector of Stainfield, Suffolk, m. 27 Aug. 1844, Susanna, dau. of the Ven. Archdeacon Butson.
  • Arthur Constantine, of Whitstone House, Somerset, b. 1809; d. 1867.
  • CHARLES PAUL, now of Dilton Court.
  • Emma.
  • Mary Jacintha.

Mr. Phipps d. 8 Aug. 1841, and was s. by his son,

THOMAS HENRY HELE PHIPPS, Esq. of Leighton House, Wilts, and Butleigh Court, Somerset, b. 15 March, 1800; m. 1827, Hester, only dau. of William Hall, Esq. of Barton, co. Oxford, and dying 4 April, 1847, left issue. His eldest son and heir,

THOMAS HENRY LECKONBY HELE PHIPPS, Esq. of Leighton House, Wilts, m. 14 June, 1859, his cousin, Jacintha Penelope, only dau. of Lieut.-Col. Paul Phipps, K.H., and dying s. p. was s. by his uncle,

JOHN LEWIS PHIPPS, Esq. of Leighton House, Wilts, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff 1864; m. 11 Sept. 1834, Mary Anne Barney, ward of Lawrence Heyworth, Esq. of Yew Tree, near Liverpool, and d. 1871, leaving a son,


Arms – Sa., a trefoil slipped between eight martlets arg. Crest – A lion’s jamb erect sa., holding a trefoil slipped arg.
Seat – Leighton House, Westbury, Wilts.

[new section:]


PHIPPS, CHARLES PAUL, Esq. of Chalcot and Dilton Court, Wilts, D.L., High Sheriff 1875, M.P. for Westbury 1869-74, b. 26 Sept. 1815; m. 21

[p. 1274:]

March, 1844, Emma Mary, dau. of M. Benson, Esq. of Liverpool, and grand-dau. of M. Benson, Esq. of Lutwyche Hall, Salop, and has issue,

  • I. CHARLES NICHOLAS PAUL, b. 4 Nov. 1845; m. 13 Oct. 1874, Clare Emily, 3rd dau. of Sir Frederick Hervey Bathurst, Bart. of Clarendon Park, Wilts, and has issue, Evelyn Cecilia, and another dau.
  • II. William Wilton, b. 15 Feb. 1847; m. 9 Nov. 1876, Jessie, dau. of William Butler Duncan, Esq. of New York, and has issue, Margaret.
  • III. Thomas Hele, b. 10 Aug. 1848, Capt. 7th Hussars.
  • IV. Frederick Hothersall, b. 11 Feb. 1856.
  • I. Etheldreda.
  • II. Susan Jacintha.

Mr. Phipps is youngest son of Thomas Henry Hele Phipps, Esq. of Leighton House, Wilts (who d. 8 Aug. 1841), by Mary his wife, dau. and co-heiress of William Leckonby, Esq. of Great Eccleston, and Hothersall Hall, co. Lancaster.

For LINEAGE, see PHIPPS of Leighton House.

Arms – Sa., a trefoil slipped between eight mullets arg. Crest – A lion’s jamb couped erect sa., holding a mullet slipped arg.
Seat – Chalcot, Westbury, Wilts.


One thought on “The Phipps Family & Leighton House, Wiltshire

  1. Abingdon(England) was originally the county town of Berkshire but was transferred to Oxfordshire I believe in the nineteen seventies with a fair slice of North Berkshires White Horse Vale. Sometime earlier the Berkshire County seat was moved to Reading. Berkshire prior to that bordered with Oxfordshire(wherein lies Oxford), Buckinghamshire, ?Middlesex, Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire (NOT Warwickshire which lies to the north of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire

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