The Boughey Family

Who was Sir Thomas Boughey?

Sir Thomas Boughey was the locally landowner of the site now occupied by the school. An extract of his family tree is available here. He lived at Aqualate Hall (shown left) at Forton, Staffordshire. The Boughey family had been connected with the Newcastle and Audley area for at least the last two hundred years. The local trade directory describes the area in 1851 a few years before the school was opened.

Audley, is an irregular built village, seated on a commanding eminence, in the Union and 5 miles NW of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Its parish contains 4474 inhabitants, and about 8100 acres of land, divided into seven townships, Audley, Bignall-End, Eardley-End, Halmer-End, Knowl-End, Park-End & Talk-o’-th’-Hill. In the parish are several extensive coal mines, which give employment to a great number of the inhabitants. For the conveyance of the coal, Sir Nigel Gresley’s canal was cut from the mines in Apedale to Newcastle and has since been extended to the Potteries. Sir Thomas FF Boughey of Aqualate Hall, is lord of the manor, and owner of a great part of the soil.

  • Bignall-End township has a number of scattered houses and cottages, one mile E of Audley, and several collieries.
  • Eardley-End township commences one mile N of Audley, and extends to the borders of Cheshire.
  • Halmer-End township, or liberty, comprises a number of scattered houses, and the village of Alsager’s Bank, two miles S by E of Audley.
  • Knowl-End township, one mile SW of Audley, has a number of straggling houses, and the hamlet of Shaley-Brook.
  • Park-End is a small township, half a mile W of Audley.
  • Talk-on-the-Hill, or as it is vulgarly called, Talk-o’-th’-Hill, is a large village 5 miles N by W of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It is the head of a township and chapelry.”

(History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)

The Boughey Baronetcy, of Newcastle-under-Lyme was created in 1798 for Thomas Fletcher who lived in Betley at Betley Court, He had been High Sheriff in 1783 and 1789 and later Deputy Lieutenant of the county. His wife was Elizabeth Fenton, granddaughter of George Boughey, of Audley, whose will provided for his great-grandson (Fletcher’s son John) to inherit the Audley estate. To Comply with his great-grandfather’s will the second Baronet assumed the surname of Boughey in 1805. He later acquired an estate at Forton, Staffordshire where he rebuilt Aqualate Hall. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas, the third Baronet.

Sir Thomas Fletcher Fenton Boughey the 3rd Baronet. was born on 22 January 1809 at Betley Court. He married Louisa Paulina Giffard, daughter of Thomas Giffard, of Chillington on 27 December 1832.1 He died on 6 October 1880 at age 71 at Aqualate Mere, Staffordshire, England.

Although he had a large family including eight sons none of them provided a male heir. and the baronetcy passed to a more distant relative after five of his eight sons had succeeded him in the title. Sir Thomas Boughey was a significant landowner in the Audley area relying on it for much of his income.

David Dyble, in his history of the Boughey connections with the Audley area gives some idea of the scale.

The Bougheys had owned the Audley estate since 1790, when the 3rd Baronet’s grandfather, Sir Thomas Fletcher of Betley Court, had purchased the land and titles from Hugo Meynell. Their territory stretched from the bottom of Halmer End to Diglake, sharing borders with Heathcote’s Apedale-Podmore estate and Wedgwood’s Bignall End estate. It contained nearly a dozen farms and well over a hundred dwellings, a total of 182 rateable properties. In the Return of Landowners for 1873, the Boughey’s combined Aqualate and Audley estates totalled 10,505 acres, yielding gross annual rents of £15,849. In addition the royalties from mining would be much more than this.

Quoted from Acumen Books “Sir Thomas Boughey Comes of Age”

The Boughey family in Victorian times lived at Aqualate Hall ,near Forton.The 1851 Trade Directory for Forton describes Hall.

Aqualate Hall, the delightful seat of Sir Thomas F.F. Boughey, Bart, is a magnificent Gothic mansion, situated 2 miles S.E. of Forton, and the same distance, east of Newport, being near the borders of Shropshire, and on the south-side of Aqualate-meer, a beautiful and extensive lake, more than a mile in length, and half a mile in breadth, and abounding in pike, and other fish of very large dimensions, pike having been caught in it, weighing 36 lbs., And carp, as heavy as 15 lbs. Wild geese, ducks, and other aquatic birds resort to thise water in great numbers. The hall was first erected by Sir Thomas Skrymsher, who died in 1633. From his family, it passed in marriage to the Baldwyns, one of whom sold it to the late Sir John Fenton Boughey, who was created a baronet in 1798, and new-modelled, rebuilt, and considerably enlarged the old mansion before he made it his residence. The extensive park and pleasure grounds around it, presenting a pleasing variety of rural scenery, and are adorned with thriving plantations, and some of the finest oaks in the county.

The family were a considerable influence in the village and local community. In the 1868 Trade Directory the village is descibes as follows.

Forton is a village and parish, 13 miles west from Stafford, and one mile and a half north-east from Newport station, in Shropshire, and 145 1/2 from London (it is generally called Forton and Meer), in the western division of the county, hundred of Cuttlestone, Newport union and county court district, rural deanery of Eccleshall, archdeaconry of Stafford and diocese of Lichfield, and includes the hamlets of Meertown, Sutton, and Warton.

The church of All Saints is an ancient stone edifice, with a tower containing 6 bells; it contains chance, nave and north aisle, with sittings for about 300; there is a handsome marble monument to the Skrymsher family. The register dates from the year 1552. The living is a rectory, annual value £474, with residence, in the gift of Sir T. Fenton Fletcher-Boughey, Bart., and held by the Rev. George Boughey, M.A., of Christ Church, Oxford.
The benefactions left to the poor of the parish are the dividends arising from about £1,200 in the funds, and £21 a year arising from rent of land, which is distributed on St. Thomas’s Day. There is a small annuity for the education of poor boys and girls.
Aqualate, a noble Gothic mansion, the seat of Sir T.F. Fletcher-Boughey, Bart., D.L., is situated about 2 miles south-east from Forton, and 2 miles east from Newport, on the borders of Shropshire. Aqualate Mere, adjoining the park on the north side, is a fine expanse of water, more than a mile in length, from which Meertown derives its name. Sir T.F. Fletcher-Boughey, Bart., is lord of the manor and principal landowner