Old Bostock Hall 1650-1797

Sir William Acton’s possession of the manor was short-lived. He bought the manor in April 1650 and was dead by January 1651; having no sons the baronetcy became extinct on his death.

Following Acton’s death his estates passed to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Sir Thomas Whitmore of Apley, Shropshire, knight and baronet. As Lady Whitmore, Elizabeth occurs in a grant of a lease of Old Bostock Hall.

Sir Thomas Whitmore’s rental for the year 1733 describes the manor as:

‘Bostock is a Manor with nine cottages with Inclosures on the Waste and about 20 Acres of Common Land Statute Measure and very good land.’

His tenants are listed as: Mr Tomkinson, Ralph Evans, John Chatterton, Mr Barrow, Mr Percival, Martha Darlington and Ralph Darlington.

The Whitmore family remained in possession of the manor for just over a century after which, in October 1765, Sir Thomas sold the manor, including lands leased to a Thomas Higginson, to William Tomkinson for the sum of £6000.

William Tomkinson was the second son of Thomas Tomkinson of Knightley, Staffordshire, and was born about 1652: he died in 1718 and is buried at Davenham. William had two sons by his first wife Thomas and William (born in 1703), and by a second wife, Mary, a son named James (born 1710) and two daughters. His will and its inventory, proved in February 1718 survive. He left all his inherited lands, whether in Cheshire, Staffordshire or elsewhere to his eldest son Thomas Whitmore

William’s sons, the brothers Thomas and William, both resided at Bostock House. Each of them had sons who died without children, however James, the younger brother, became a successful lawyer based in Nantwich and became wealthy enough to purchase Dorfold Hall in 1754 from the Wilbraham family where he settled and employed Samuel Wyatt to make alterations to the seventeenth century manor house.

James’ eldest son James (born in 1739) became rector of Davenham church, his second son, Henry, inherited Dorfold, whilst the third son Edward succeeded to Bostock House as heir to his cousin William, son of Thomas.

In 1775, Edward commissioned the design and building of the Bostock Hall we see today.

It was designed by Samual Wyatt, elder brother of the more famous James Wyatt. The fields surrounding the house were taken out of agricultural use to create a landscaped park with trees and the ‘canal, now a long curved lake. The original manor, Bostock House, which was on a site adjacent to the current estate, was pulled down in 1803.

In 1798 Edward assumed his mother’s maiden name of Wettenhall on inheriting property at Hankelow from her family and moved there.

In May 1798, the trustees of Edward Tomkinson sold the manor and other lands to the executors of James France, esquire, of Liverpool for £44,600 for the benefit of his nephew Thomas Hayhurst. The household contents were sold separately for £1400. At the time the old moated hall with 184 acres of land in Bostock and Wharton was occupied by John Bennett, senior.