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Bromley-Davenport, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Walter Henry

Category: Business and political leaders

Vintage photo of Lieutenant-Colonel and Mrs Walter
Bromley-Davenport

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Walter Henry Bromley-Davenport TD DL, Kt. (15 September 1903 – 26 December 1989) was a British Conservative Party politician and one of the four sons of Walter Arthur Bromley-Davenport (28 September 1863 – 5 November 1942) of Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire.

He joined the Grenadier Guards in 1922.  At the outbreak of World War II he raised and commanded the 5th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. 

He was Conservative Member of Parliament for Knutsford from 1945 until 1970, and was a Conservative junior Whip from 1948-51.

He lost his junior Whip position “after kicking the Belgium ambassador down a flight of steps. He mistook the ambassador for a colleague who he thought had left the Commons before the 10 o'clock vote” [Wikipedia].

Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire

Science and the Spook – George Owen and Victor Sims

Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport was first elected as M.P for Knutsford in 1945, but his family have been linked with Parliament since the reign of Queen Anne when John Ward, the last male ancestor belonging to the Wards of Capesthorne, was Member for Newton Borough in Lancashire.

John was a descendant of John le Warde, who acquired the manor when he married Sara, daughter of Ranulf de Capesthorne in 1386. Little is known of the de Capesthornes except the derivation of their name from the "Vill of Copestor" mentioned in the Domesday Book.

 
 

John's grandfather suffered hardship under the Common wealth on account of Royalist sympathies.

But by 1722 things were tranquil enough for John to commission John Wood, an architect later celebrated for his work at Bath, to design a house with a central block three storeys high with projecting wings and with low walls enclosing the expansive Entrance Courtyard, together with a Chapel to the south of the house.

The structure of the wings in "Queen Anne" style remains unaltered as does that of the Chapel which was first consecrated on 4 September 1722. On the anniversary each year the family hold a memorial service there commemorative of their ancestors.

 Beneath the Chapel is a family vault. Its first occupant was John Ward's only son who died in 1726.

On the succession in 1867 of a cousin, William Bromley- Davenport, to the estate, the family resumed its traditional Tory allegiance, represented today by Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport. Joining the Grenadier Guards in 1922, his athletic build and prowess made him Welter-weight Boxing Champion of the British Army in 1926. At the outset of the late war he raised and commanded the Fifth Battalion of The Cheshire Regiment, becoming Lieutenant Colonel in 1939.

 Despite the depredations of the tax man and estate duties, Sir Walter inherited the remarkable collection of art treasures put together by his forbears. Since 1955 he and his family have lived happily at Capesthorne, but by admitting visitors they have shared with the public their enjoyment of it.

 

As regular visitors (usually by ticket only, we hasten to say) to England's stately homes, we can offer the opinion that Capesthorne represents "a best buy" in relation to the modest entrance fee.

This results not only from the variety of paintings, prints and objects of virtue, but from the orderly and tasteful way in which they are set out, which owes much, we are sure, to the knowledge and insight of Lady Lenette, Sir Walter's graceful American-born wife, the historian of Capesthorne.

The oldest thing at Capesthorne is a granite Egyptian bust of about 1300 B.C. In the last century William's wife Augusta, a Campbell of Islay, was told by some guests that a temporary series of minor misfortunes she was experiencing were due to the evil genius of this object. It was therefore buried in a game covert, but is now restored to a place of honour in the Library.

and Capesthorne was haunted.

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