Grid Ref. SJ 843 728
Dates: 6 May 2001, 15 Feb 2003, 13 April 2013 &13 June 2020


Capesthorne Hall, 13 June 2020


Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire spacer Chapel
Capesthorne Hall   Chapel Interior
Hall over ice   Bridge
Capesthorne over icy lake, 15 February 2003   Bridge over the ice


The house was originally of seven bays, and built for John Ward by Francis Smith in 1732/3. The house was remodelled for Edward Davies Davenport by Edward Blore 1839-42 but in 1861 the centre block was destroyed by fire. The hall was restored by Anthony Salvin with later work by him in 1879. (Note from de Figueiredo & Treuhertz)

The Davenport Family

The Davenport family developed branches at Davenport, Calveley, Wheltrough, Woodford, Capesthorne and Bramall.

The Davenports of Davenport in Astbury, which was the original seat, traced its origins to Ormus de Davenport, alive at the time of the Norman Conquest. He received the manor of Davenport from the Venables of Kinderton, the original Norman feudal Lords. Ormus had a son Richard who in 1166 became the chief forester of the forests of Leek and Macclesfield. At a later date the family acquired the hereditary role of Magistrate Sergeants of the Forest of Macclesfield with local legal powers to prosecute and punish criminals. This led to the felon's head becoming part of the family arms as shown below. The photograph is a detail on a building in Marton.

The Davenports of Davenport became extinct in the male line when John Davenport died in 1677. However, a John Davenport who lived in the reign of Elizabeth I had eleven younger sons, some of whom were probably ancestors of Davenport families in other parts of the country. In 1677, Davenport passed with the marriage of Elizabeth, the co-heiress of John Davenport, to Robert Davies of Manley. His heiress took Davenport to Sir Matthew Deane who left no issue. Elizabeth's sister, Anne, married John Davenport of Woodford but had no issue.

The Davenports of Calveley, who became extinct in the male line in 1771, were descended from Arthur, a younger son of Sir Ralph Davenport of Davenport who, in the reign of Edward III, married the Calveley heiress. (See below)

The Davenports of Weltrough descended from Thomas, a younger son of Sir Thomas Davenport of Davenport, who lived in the reign of Edward III. Sir Thomas gave this son an estate in Lower Withington called Tunsted, afterwards Wheltrough. John and Jenkin were the younger sons of Thomas Davenport of Wheltrough. John, the second son, married the Bramall heiress. Jenkin, the third son, had the manor of Woodford and his eldest son gave rise to the Davenports of Henbury who became extinct in the male line in the 17th century. Jenkin's third son, Nicholas was the ancestor of Davies Davenport of Capesthorne as described below. The Davenports of Woodford were connected by marriage with several Cheshire families including the Maseys of Timperley, the Ardernes of Stockport, the Savages of Rocksavage and the Venables of Kinderton.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries the principal figures giving rise to the Davenports of Capesthorne are shown below.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1879
Old Cheshire Families and Their Seats, by Lionel M. Angus-Butterworth, 1932
Magna Britannia, D. and S. Lysons, 1810

*History of Cheshire by J. H. Hanshall, Chester, 1823 (Macclesfield Library) gives her name as Mary the eldest daughter of John Ward whereas Cheshire Country Houses by de Figueiredo & Treuhertz gives it as Penelope. A search of the International Genealogical Index found the marriage record with the correct date at Kensington, London, showing that the name was Penelope.

Lichfield plaque spacer Davenport arms
Plaque in Lichfield Cathedral   Davenport Arms on a building in Marton

The inscription on the plaque above reads:

The Statue of Richard 1st on the West Front and This Tablet are placed in memory of Colonel William Bromley Davenport QORY, MP, DL, ADC to the Queen By the Officers, NC Officers and Yeomen of the QORY As a token of the sincere affection & esteem with which he was regarded as Colonel Commanding the regiment Born 20 Aug 1822. Died at Lichfield 15 June 1884. My Times are in Thy Hand


Davenport of Calveley

Hugh de Calveley, was Lord of Calveley in the reign of King John. Hugh's great great granddaughter, Katherine, was the daughter and heiress of Robert de Calveley. She married, sometime prior to 1369, Arthur de Davenport the 6th son of John Davenport of Davenport, Knight, by Margery the daughter of Sir W. Brereton, Knight. In this way Calveley came into this branch of the Davenport family. There is an article on the two families in Cheshire Sheaf, 3rd series, 15, 1920, 15-16.

The generations of interest to the situation in the late 18th century are shown below showing the two heiresses, Bridget, who married John Bromley of Baginton and Phoebe who married Davies Davenport. William Davenport Bromley died without issue in 1810 and subsequently the Calveley and Baginton estates went to the descendants of Bridget's sister Phoebe. With the demise of the line from Phoebe's first two sons, all the estates were united in William Bromley Davenport of Capesthorne, Calveley and Baginton.

The gravestone shown below is in the North aisle of the church of Bunbury which lies near Calveley. It reads: HERE LYETH THE BODY OF MRS SARAH DAVENPORT THE WIFE OF GEORGE DAVENPORT OF CALVELY ESQR WHO DYED JANUARY 29 1695. In the same church you can see an effigy of Sir Hugh de Calveley who lived 1315-1394.




Stuart Raymond in Cheshire: A Genealogical Bibliography, Vol. 2, gives the following additional references to Davenport genealogy.

A History of the Davenport family in England and America from 1086 to 1850 by Benedict Amzi, published in New York by S. W. Benedict in 1851 which covers mainly the American branch from the 16th century.
The Early History of the Davenports of Davenport, ed. by T. P. Highet, Chetham Society, 3rd series, 9, 1960.
The Tudor Davenports of Cheshire, by Margaret Silke in North West Catholic History, 1972-3, pp. 52-95.

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