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Repository Cheshire Record Office
Level Collection (Fonds)
Reference DSS
Title Shakerley family of Hulme and Somerford
Date 12th century-20th century
Description Major accumulation with deeds to properties in Somerford, Hulme, Congleton, Allostock, Rudheath, Lostock Gralam, Byley, Middlewich and Northwich, and in Lancashire and Denbighshire, 12th-18th centuries; manorial, estate, family and legal papers and maps 15th-19th centuries; early documents relating to the Grosvenors of Hulme, with whom the Shakerleys shared a common ancestry, including Henry IV's pardon to Sir Thomas Grosvenor for participation in Hotspur's rebellion; papers and correspondence of Sir Peter Shakerley (c. 1651 - 1729), MP for Chester, relating to parliamentary and constituency matters, the 1694 Lancashire plot and the 1715 Jacobite rebellion; papers and correspondence of Sir Geoffrey Shakerley MP (1618-96), George Shakerley (1682-1756), and of Somerford Oldfield concerning his wrongful imprisonment during the Commonwealth period, including a detailed diary, 1657-60; heraldic and genealogical notes and transcripts of William Vernon, antiquary (1585-1667); notes and transcripts of Sir Arthur Bryant based on the collection 20th century see DCB.
Archive of Mr Charles Shakerley deposited 2015 (accession 8711) consisting of 18 volumes containing title deeds, photographs, news cuttings, correspondence and "Family Tree Maker" program and files, covering c1673-2003, can be consulted with the aid of a spreadsheet index (G:\2. Collections Management\Description\Lists and indexing\DSS). Ask Duty Archivist for further details.
Administrative History The Shakerley family share an ancestor with the Grosvenors of Hulme; Ormerod suggests this is Robert de Shakerley, a possible son of Henry le Grosvenor. The family resided at Shakerley Hall, Lancashire and early deeds show grants of land to Adam and Henry Shakerley in Tyldesley, Shakerley and Worsley in Lancashire (c1216-1450). Adam had also granted the manor of Shakerley to the Abbot and Convent of Cockersand (1279-1286).

Around 1500, after Peter Shakerley's marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of John Legh of Booths, the family took up residence at Hulme in Allostock, Cheshire. Sir Geoffrey Shakerley (d.1696) lived part of his time at Gwersyllt in Denbighshire, as did his son George (d.1756). The estate at Somerford was purchased by Sir Peter Shakerley (George's half brother) in 1711, allegedly to prevent his half-brother's family from residing at Gwersyllt, and because he believed that Shakerley Hall was too small and homely a residence for a gentleman. A chapel was added in 1725 after a quarrel with the Rector of Astbury.

Sir Peter Shakerley (1655-1726) married Elizabeth Mainwaring of Peover in 1678. He held a Commission as a Captain of Gunmen for James II and succeeded his father as Governor of Chester Castle and MP for Chester 1688-1714. He was also High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1684. He took a prominent role in the debates which led to the reform of the English Law of treason during the reign of William III. For many years he was the guardian of his cousins the Bradshaighs of Haigh near Leigh, Lancashire, and also administered the estates of the last de Vere Countess of Oxford. Sir Peter died in 1726, having settled Somerford on his nephew Geoffrey (eldest son of George Shakerley of Gwersyllt) on the occasion of his marriage to Anne Hurleston.

After Geoffrey died in 1733, the estates went to his brother, Peter; he extended them by purchasing Congleton Manor from Sir John Rawdon in 1745. Peter divided his time between Congleton and Twickenham. He was blind for the last three years of his life and died at Twickenham in 1781. He left a daughter, Elizabeth Buckworth, whose husband very shortly outlived his father-in-law, dying in 1783. The estates were intended for Charles Watkin John, Elizabeth's eldest son and Sir Peter's grandson, who was still a child, and the house at Somerford remained empty for the next 16 years.

In 1788 Charles Watkin John assumed the name of Shakerley by Act of Parliament, in accordance to his grandfather's will. He was educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford and spent his youth at Park Place, the family home in Berkshire. He became High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1791 and lived at Brereton between 1790-1797 whilst extensions were built at Somerford by Lawrence Robinson of Middleton, Lancashire. The park land was laid out by Davenport and Webb shortly afterwards (early nineteenth century). Sir Charles married Dorothea Morland of Copplethwaite Hall, Westmorland in 1790. They had three sons: Charles Peter (1792-1857), Geoffrey Joseph (1800-1878) and George (20 Apr-13 May 1802) and two daughters, Frances Margaretta (1795-1860) and Dorothy Maria (26 May-10 Jun 1797).

Sir Charles' son Charles Peter inherited the estates after his death in 1834 and sold Shakerley and Tyldesley in 1836 to Mr Fletcher; the land had become very valuable due to its location on the South Lancashire coal field. Sir Charles married Laure Angelique Rosalbe, daughter of the Duc D'Avary 1819; the marriage ended in divorce in 1830. He married his second wife, Jessie Matilda Scott in 1831. They had two children: Charles Watkin (1833-1898) and Gertrude (1837-1912). They separated in 1840. Sir Charles became High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1837 and was created a Baronet by patent in 1838.

Charles Watkin Shakerley became the 2nd Baronet after his father's death in 1857, and married Harriet Ackers in 1858, daughter of George Holland Ackers of Moreton Hall, Cheshire. He was appointed High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1863. His son, Walter Geoffrey Shakerley, 3rd Baronet, was born in 1859 and married Hilda Mary Hodson. He had four daughters: Mabel Beatrice (b 1889), Marguerite Irene (b1893), Sylvia Mary (b 1900) and Moira Veronica (1901). During the First World War, Somerford was used as a hospital at Sir Walter's own expense. All his daughters married: Mabel to Oswald Napier in 1913; Irene to Walter Dunlop in 1923 and in 1924 Moira married Douglas Loram and Sylvia married Arthur Bryant. Sir Walter left Somerford in Sep 1925 for Cavendish Place, Bournemouth. Somerford Park was sold in 1925-1926 and demolished in 1927. The site is now mostly farm land.

This collection was purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Mr Charles Shakerley's collection originates from a visit by G C Shakerley (GCS) to his parents in 1976 at Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos. He was asked to clear out the attic as the farm was being sold ahead of retirement to Sevenhampton near Andoversford. GCS found a dispatch box of old photos and the diary of his Grandfather during the Boer War and the Siege of Ladysmith, then in Somaliland 1903-04 and in France 1914-15 when he was killed. In 1978, a further 5 trunks, probably deposited by his Great-grandfather in 1912 were discovered in Coutts Bank in London. and were left to GCS by his father in 1982.

Mrs Anne Argent of Congleton gave Shakerley memorabilia which forms part of the archive. It had come down to her from her grandmother who had been head needlewoman at Somerford Hall. There is also information about the "Shakerley Hunting Horn", hallmarked 1836, offered to GCS by Mr Roger Biggs whose father had worked for Sir Walter Shakerley at Somerford, who gave him the horn.

12 bundles of documents were placed on permanent loan with the Guildhall Library many years ago with a booklet containing a valuation of the London properties for insurance and dated 1793 by Joseph Patience. This estate was constructed mainly of wood and survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 - one of the few to have done so.

Mr Shakerley also donated two limited edition books on the Shakerley Family: "Shakerley of Shakerley, Hulme & Gwersylt" (green cover) covers the period 1200 to c1800; "Shakerley of Shakerley & Somerford" (red cover) covers c1800 to 1982.
Finding_Aids An index to DSS 8711 is available. Ask a member of staff for details.
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