Petre family; 1766-1822; Lord Petre

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Petre family; 1766-1822; Lord Petre

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In Norfolk, from 1766 to 1822. The Petres rose to national significance under the Tudors, and over the course of the next two centuries, established large country estates in and around Ingatestone, Essex, Axminster, Devon and around Thetford in Norfolk. Related by marriage to the Howards, the Lords Petre inherited many of the latter's south Norfolk and Thetford estates, to which, in the later eighteenth century, they added many adjoining estates by purchase, thereby becoming one of Norfolk's leading Roman Catholic families. The Petre's Norfolk home at Buckenham Parva incorporated a private chapel, to which, no doubt, many of the family's retainers resorted, especially so since the ancient parish church there had long been disused and its remains incorporated into the Hall's pleasure gardens.

Despite the family's adherence to Roman Catholicism, the tenth baron, Robert Edward Petre (1763-1809) nursed political ambitions via his patronage over the then notoriously rotten borough of Thetford in the first few years of the nineteenth century. Ultimately, however, he was out-manouvred in Thetford by his local rival, the Duke of Grafton at Euston Hall, just across the Suffolk border, and his influence eclipsed. Subsequently, Petre seems to have lost interest in his Norfolk estates, and after his death in 1809, his son, the eleventh baron, William Henry Francis, continued the process of disengagement from Norfolk.. Eventually, in 1816, and after obtaining a common recovery so as to bar the entail on the manor, Petre sold the Manor of Ickburgh, and also the Langford, Stanford and Thetford estates. Finally, in 1821/2, the remainder of his Norfolk properties (over 11,000 acres in all) were sold to the financier, Alexander Baring, later Lord Ashburton, for £142,000, thereby effectively ending Petre's interests in this county.


Ingatestone, Essex; Buckenham Parva, Norfolk

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Created on: 28/07/2010 by Drott




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