Emmotts and Green-Emmotts
"Gentility is naught but ancient riches”
William Cecil, Lord Burleigh
The Emmotts were certainly new money. They first appeared at Emmott Hall, near Colne, Lancashire early in the
16th century. The line of succession is complicated and reference can be made to Appendix D. It is not made
easier by changes of name on various occasions.
Burke’s Landed Gentry (1965) says that Christopher Emmott (1694-1745) "acquired a large fortune in London”.
What it does not say is that he made it in the dreaded trade’! Moreover the acquisition of the shares in the
Layton estate by Christopher was complicated. However, before this took place there was an interesting altercation
concerning Layton Hall and its contents, which no doubt still included the two portraits and the embroidered
jacket previously referred to.
Thomas had died intestate and the devolution of the estate was governed by Henry’s will of 1702. Under this
it passed to the nephews, Thomas Kirke, Thomas Robinson, William Smith and Francis Foxcroft and in 1718 Kirke’s
son, Layton Kirke, sold his share to Sir Walter Calverley of Esholt Hall (1671-1749, 1st Bart.).1
Henry’s will had also declared that the contents of the house should remain there "the use of them to go
along with the said house”. Smith disputed this (even today it is not easy to tie up chattels) and obtained
a Grant of Letters of Administration of the goods of Thomas, though as a joint heir he left them in the house
for some years. When ultimately Smith removed them, perhaps in the early 1720s, John Cuttle, John Preston,
William Horn and Samuel Hemmingway, who had purchased Sir Walter’s share, claimed the goods.
Smith then placed his nephew, also called Smith, in part of the hall. Sir Walter in reply:
"placed an indigent man with his wife and eight children to reside there, with the view to disturb his nephew
and to spoil the furniture of the ancient manor house”, and that "they actually possessed themselves of a great
part of the house, lay in the best beds and used the furniture and household goods at their will and pleasure,
that the said family was so extremely sluttish and nasty, and several of the children lame and diseased, that
before Smith could remove the furniture it was completely spoiled. Especially the beds which were filled with
nastiness and vermin and not fit to be used”.
This problem family so disgusted Smith’s nephew that he was obliged to quit the part which he occupied and
managed to get the contents away with him. Sir Walter commenced proceedings at the West Riding Quarter Sessions.
Smith arrived without notice with his henchmen, assaulted and beat the wife of Barber, the caretaker
(the "indigent man”) and locked her in a room. Sir Walter then sent his servant, Exley, to investigate.
He too was beaten.
Sir Walter proceeded with the case at the Quarter Sessions. He alleged that Smith had failed to keep the
house in repair, "that the furniture was more spoiled in two years than in many years before and that he had
allowed his dogs and horses to go into the gardens and walks which destroyed the fine greens and wall trees
and flowers growing there”. Smith and his associates were convicted.
This was not the end of the matter. Somehow Smith and Thomas Robinson were able to bring the matter before
the Lord Chancellor in the Court of Chancery but the report of that case is incomplete and the final result is
In 1743 a complicated exchange transaction took place. Sir Walter transferred his two shares to Emmott and
paid him £4,000 (say £70,000 today). Emmott then acquired Robinson’s and Smith’s shares and the Rawdon estate
was reunited. The net effect was that Sir Walter’s Esholt estate was greatly increased and Emmott’s estate in
Rawdon was consolidated into a block stretching from the River Aire and Red Beck, to Well Lane and Cliffe Lane,
over Larkfield Road and Canada Road to what is now the Yeadon Fountain crossroads and back down Bayton Lane.
It also included some land to the North East of Bayton Lane. Such a compact area would be advantageous from
a management point of view.
However Christopher Emmott did not live long to enjoy it, dying in 1745. The estate passed to his nephew
Richard (né Wainhouse) of Halifax. He assumed the name of Emmott and died in 1760, being succeeded by his son,
another Richard. From then onwards there appears to have been more development of the estate: Carr Lane, New
York Lane, Layton Lane, earlier called Hall Lane and Knott Lane were laid out towards the end of the 18th
century and they bounded the park area around Layton Hall.
The second Richard died unmarried in 1819. His niece Ellen or Eleanor married a man with the surname
Oswald and is often referred to as Mrs Oswald Emmott. Her sister Susannah married George Green of Harley
Street3 London and assumed the name of Green-Emmott. Under the will of the younger Richard only the
Yorkshire estates devolved on Eleanor, and on her death, on Susannah’s son, Alfred Edward Green-Emmott
(born 1819 and henceforth referred to as the Major General).4
A valuation made in 1814 by William Hepworth and Nicholas Brown for Poor Law Rate by order of the West
Riding Quarter Sessions gives the estate as about 520 acres, comprising 32 farms or small holdings, the
largest about 72 acres and only 12 of them over 20 acres. There were some 26 cottages let separately but
only two at a rent of more than £1.0.0. p.a. plus two mills, Low Mill at £101.0.0. p.a. and Park Mill at
£90.0.0. p.a. All told a rent roll of about £700.0.0 p.a. (say £35,000 today). In the 1838 Tithe Valuation
there is a total of 115 tenants as against 60 in 1814, indicating the degree of development in the previous
25 years. There was also land in Horsforth to the East of Scotland Lane and North of Brownberrie Lane and at
The Major General served in the Bombay Staff Corps of the Indian Army. His brother had died in the
disastrous Afghan War of 1838-42. His army career does not seem to have been particularly memorable but
it is likely that he was involved in the Indian Mutiny campaign of 1857/8. He succeeded to the estate in
1870, which may have coincided with his retirement from the army. He had married Charlotte Augusta
Nayland in 1848 and they had one son and three daughters.
About 1870 the Major General assumed the name of Green-Emmott-Rawdon. This was after the death of
the 4th Marquis of Hastings in 1868 when there was no Rawdon left to object. Certainly he was in no
way a descendant of the original Rawdon family but no doubt wished to be Rawdon of that Ilk!
He seems to have been on bad terms with his son Edward Montague Ross Green-Emmott Rawdon, who also
was or had been in the army. The son lived at Brackley, Northants and was not in good health. He was
entitled to some rent out of the estate, no doubt under a family settlement. The rent was not paid
promptly and this led to acrimonious correspondence. About 1887 the Major General had plans drawn up
for developments to the estate. The son objected and threatened, or may even have issued, legal proceedings
and the plans were therefore dropped.
The Major General died in January 1890 at his house in Prince’s Square, Hyde Park, London. The body was
brought back to Rawdon for burial. Neither ‘The Times’ nor ‘The Yorkshire Post’ noticed his death but the
‘Airedale & Wharfedale Observer’ of 31st January 1890 said that "he was known to have been in a pitiable
state of health for some time”, and that apart from being President of Rawdon Conservative Club he had
taken little part in political matters but "hundreds of villagers turned out for the funeral to honour
one who had endeared himself to all by many acts of kindness and large hearted liberality”.
The son died without issue in Australia in 1895 and the estate passed to Walter Edgerton Green-Emmott6
of Emmott Hall, a grandson of Richard Emmott who died in 1819. Thus the Yorkshire and Lancashire estates
were reunited. The Major General’s widow died in 1899.
Walter had married Kathleen Louise Vereker a grandaughter of the 3rd Viscount Gort.7 He does not
seem to have lived at Layton Hall. They were the grandparents of Mrs Jean Mackellar, the present head
of the family. There are said to be only a few farms in Rawdon now left in the estate. Layton Hall
has certainly been let, either all or in part, for long periods during Emmott ownership.
As for the agents for the estate, it seems that in the 18th century they were the Houlden family
who may well have lived in part of the Hall. By the 1860s it was Jeremiah Stansfield Rawson followed
by Col. Charles Payne Barras, who seems to have been an energetic agent and made efforts to develop the
estate. He started a brick and tile works to utilise the abundant local clay. Where? Thomas Walker
(1836-1903) the father of Hargill Walker, a prominent local builder, followed. In this century the
agents were Claude Barton and later J.H. Pardoe and H.B. Pardoe.
1. One of Christopher Emmott’s sisters is said to have been related by marriage to Sir Walter
Calverley but I cannot trace this. The Calverley family (originally Scot, no doubt indicating their
origin) had settled in Calverley by the mid-12th century. Sir Walter though he had a good income,
was a big spender and had borrowed £3,000 (over £55,000 today) from Emmott on mortgage. It is noticeable
how many local families have marriage links with the Calverleys and, also through the Blacketts of
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, there descended from them G.M. Trevelyan, perhaps the greatest historian of the
20th century. It has been said that Sir Walter was the original of Addison's Sir Walter de Calverley.
2. See the Bradford Antiquary, Vol IV, p. 149. As well as being incomplete, the report is garbled.
It gives the judge as Lord Mansfield, instead of Lord Macclesfield.
3. Harley Street was built about 1780 and at this date was still a good residential area. It was not
taken over by the medical men until about the 1850s.
4. Between 1877 and 1974 there was a pub at Luddenden, Halifax called 'The General Rawdon’ (now The
Coach and Horses). The Major General was the ground landlord under a family trust.
5. Haworth Old Hall and land adjacent. The old hall is now a pub but there is still a Rawdon Road in
6. He had assumed the name of Green-Emmott in 1897 after the death of Edward Montague Ross
7. It was the 6th Viscount Gort who was the V.C. and G.O.C. of the B.E.F. in France in 1940.
8. My husband’s is descended from the Emmotts
His mother was
- Muriel Frederica Barwell, daughter of
- Frederic Walter Barwell, son of
- Frederica Emily Sophia Green-Emmott, daughter of
- Harriet Susannah Ross, daughter of
- Mary Susannah Emmott
Mary Susannah Emmott
I would like to know more about Mary Susannah and her husband,
Alexander Ross. If anyone has any information regarding the above.
Please forward on to
Susan de Schulthess
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada