Robert Hibbert of Chalfont Park and Birtles Hall

12th Oct 1750 - 15th Feb 1835

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

Robert Hibbert was the third son of Robert Hibbert (1717-1784) and Abigail Hibbert née Scholey. Born in Manchester, Robert was sent to join his uncle Thomas’ (1710-1780) merchant house in Kingston, Jamaica in 1771, following the death of his elder brother John (1748-1770). Robert’s brother Thomas (1744-1819) had been living on the island since 1766. The Hibbert merchant house was involved with both slave factorage and the supply of credit. Robert kept a diary throughout his time in Jamaica, covering the period 1770-1802. When Robert’s uncle Thomas died his vast estate was divided between Robert, his elder brother Thomas and their cousin Thomas (1761-1807).

Robert married Letitia Nembhard, the daughter of John Nembhard M.D. in 1785. The union between the Hibberts and the Nembhards was confirmed by the marriage of Robert’s cousin, also Robert (1769-1849), to Elizabeth Nembhard in 1792. The Nembhards owned a 300 acre estate in St. Mary’s parish called Konigsberg. Robert and Letitia had six surviving children. Robert purchased property in Jamaica including Albion located fifteen miles east of Kingston in what was St. David and Great Valley. Robert served as a Justice of the Peace for Kingston, St. George’s and St. Mary’s in 1783.

Robert Hibbert purchased Birtles Hall in Cheshire, twenty-four miles west of Macclesfield in 1791. The original house was demolished and a new one built for the Hibberts. Birtles remains a grade II listed property although its interior has now been transformed into six luxury apartments. English Heritage have described some of the key features of the property which include a Welsh slate roof, carved classical panels between each pair of windows, an Ionic porch and a balustraded parapet with the Hibbert coat of arms. Robert’s diary contain many references to the improving works on the land and house.

In 1798 he purchased Pains Hill in Surrey. The house had previously been owned by Charles Hamilton, the youngest son of the Earl of Abercorn and the great uncle of William Beckford. The land comprised of 230 acres. Hamilton had landscaped the garden and the features included ‘a 14-acre lake fed from the river by a large waterwheel, a Grotto, the Chinese Bridge, a ruined Abbey, Robert Adam’s Temple of Bacchus (1761), the Mausoleum, the castellated Tower, the Turkish Tent, and a vineyard.’ The temple of Bacchus ‘formerly contained a celebrated antique colossal statue of Bacchus of great merit, which is said to have cost £3,000. It was afterwards purchased by Mr. Beckford, and removed to Fonthill.’ Robert only kept the house for four years before selling it on to William Moffat M.P. a London banker and East India Company stockholder. Robert had previously offered the estate to his cousin Robert Junior (1769-1849) for the sum of £27,000, giving a rough estimate of what Moffat would have been likely to have paid. On Robert’s death in 1835 he left the staggering sum of £250,000 in personalty. Birtles Hall was left to Robert’s eldest son Thomas (1788-1879).

Sources

Katie Donington, 'The Benevolent Merchant? George Hibbert (1757-1837) and the Representation of West Indian Mercantile Identity' (PhD thesis, University College London, 2013).


Further Information

Absentee?
Transatlantic
Spouse
Letitia Hamilton Nembhard
Children
Thomas, John Nembhard; Robert the younger (d. 1830)
Wealth at death
£250

Associated Claims (2)

£7,262 16S 6D
Deceased claimant successful (Owner-in-fee)
£8,291 7S 0D
Deceased claimant successful (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (7)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1780 [SY] - → Tenant-in-common
1780 [SY] - → Tenant-in-common
1791 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1815 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1839 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Previous owner
1795 [EA] - 1811 [LA] → Owner
1775 [EA] - → Attorney

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Birtles Hall [Built] 
description →
Birtles Hall, Cheshire, rebuilt by Robert Hibbert after he purchased the estate in 1791. Described as 'a modern mansion' in 1810. The house is extant, although subdivided: an apartment there was...

Relationships (15)

Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Husband → Wife
First Cousins
Brother-in-laws
Brother-in-laws
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law
Brothers
Uncle → Nephew
Father → Son
Father → Son
Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Brother-in-laws
Son-in-law → Mother-in-law
Brother-in-laws

Addresses (2)

Birtles Hall, Cheshire, North-west England, England
Chalfont House, Chalfont Saint Peter, Buckinghamshire, Central England, England