The Priory originally called the Manor House


The historical meaning of “Manor” is a landed estate. The Manor of Cosgrove therefore means the whole estate that covered the Cosgrove area, including the village. Manors were given, granted, sold, leased and annexed to and from sovereigns, lords, other estates and private owners from medieval times.

Francis, Lord Dacre, sold the manor (i.e. the estate) in 1653 to Gervase Andrews of London, who almost at once sold the manor house and farm only to Christopher Rigby of London and the manor estate itself in 1654 to William, 2nd Lord Maynard.

The house (still called The Manor House) and farm continued to be owned by the Rigby family for three generations, although the house itself was rebuilt at some point before 1719. In 1750 the original Christopher Rigby’s grandson, also Christopher Rigby, managed to buy the rest of the estate.

 In 1764 Rigby sold the whole of his Cosgrove estate, including the Manor House to John Biggin of London. In the documentation at the time, the property is called "The Priory". In 1788 John died, leaving his Cosgrove property to his second son George, his heir by survivorship, whose story you can read in Cosgrove Characters.

In 1803, George died childless and the Cosgrove estate passed to his nephew, George Mansel, whose father had married George Biggin’s sister, Mary Anne. The Mansel family also owned Cosgrove Hall and eventually the Manor House, the Priory, became the secondary house of the family and began to be leased to wealthy tenants.

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The Northampton Mercury

FURNITURE AND EFFECTS, COSGROVE,
Northamptonshire.
To be SOLD by AUCTION, By JOHN DAY,
On Thursday the 9th Day of February, 1804, removed
for Convenience of Sale to a House near the Church-Yard, in COSGROVE aforesaid,

THE following EFFECTS of the late GEORGE Biggin, Esq; deceased ; comprising Four – post Bedsteads Dimity,  Morine,  and other Furnitures ; Goose and other Feather-Beds; Counterpanes, Quilts, and Blankets ; Mahogany Tables, Chairs, Bureau, Writing-Cases, Knife and Spoon Cases, dumb Waiter, and two large Mahogany Corner Cupboards; fine-toned Harpsichord, by Kirkman; Time-Piece; Sofa and Easy Chairs; Pier and Swing Glasses; Turkey and Persian Carpets; Wardrobe; Model of a Man of War; subdry Volumes of Books;  Number of sweet Iron-bound Beer Pipes and other Casks ; stout Kitchen Grate, and Kitchen – furniture.  Also two Hovels of Wheat, two complete Winnowing Machines, and a new Two-drill Plough: 60 Ewe Sheep, 49 Tegs, and one capital Tup; with various other Effects. The Sale will begin exactly at Ten o’Clock with the sheep, corn, &c. and the Furniture immediately after: the Whole to be sold in one day if possible.

Two sisters, Mary and Anne Lowndes, who had connections with a priory in another part of England leased the house and for many years it was thought that they gave The Priory its name - we now know the name was already in use. They came from the Whaddon Hall, Winslow area. Mary has a memorial in the church, where she was buried in the Nave following her death on 3rd June 1812. As yet we do not know where Anne was buried, having died in 1817.

The sisters also had a niece, also called Anne Lowndes, who occupied the Priory and who died on 28th December 1852 and a great niece, Maria Selby Lowndes who died on 19th January 1856. Both these ladies are buried in the Nave of Cosgrove Church, marked by wall memorials.

Some texts imply that two of these wall memorials refer to a pair of sisters, but subsequent research into their friend Ann Gavey's letters has proved otherwise.

Northampton Mercury March 8th 1817

COSGROVE PRIORY near STONY STRATFORD, Buckinghamshire

Household Furniture, Library of Books, Linen, Chariot, Dairy Effects &c, &c.

To be SOLD by AUCTION

By JOHN DAY & SON

On Wednesday the 19th of March 1817, and two following Days, on the Premises of the late Mrs ANN LOWNDES at COSGROVE PRIORY aforesaid:

The Furniture comprises full-size four post Bedsteads, with mahogany feet Pillars and dimity, cotton and other Furnitures; fine large goose down and other feather Beds, Mattresses and cotton Counterpanes, Quilts and Blankets, mahogany, oak and other dressing Drawers, night Tables, basin Stands, floor and bedside Carpets, large pier, chimney and swing Glasses, two capital mahogany Wardrobes, with Furniture, Bedding &c. complete; several valuable India and other Cabinets; capital India six-leaf folding Screen, excellent month Clock in inlaid case, and two valuable eight day repeating table Clocks, Set of mahogany dining Tables, with circular Ends; Pembroke, card and other Tables; parlour and chamber Chairs, three Sofas, with Covers; a capital chamber Horse, for Invalids, in mahogany Frame, in complete Repair; medicine Chest, liquor Ditto, Harpsichord, dumb Waiter, large Quantity of Glass and Earthenware, upwards of 10 Pair of Sheets, pillow Cases, table Cloths, Napkins &c.; Sharp’s patent stove Grate, with other Grates, Fenders and fire Irons; kitchen Furniture, as Grate, with Boiler, smoke Jack, patent Oven, and kitchen Furniture in general; 100 gallon brewing Copper, washing Ditto, double Cooler, mash Vat and Tubs, beer Pipes, hogshead and half hogshead beer Casks &c, &c.

Also a Library, consisting of upwards of 600 Volumes of Books, the greatest Part in excellent Preservation, amongst which are Chaucer’s Works, with the Siege of Thebes, Life of Chaucer, and Table explaining old and obscure Words, Folin 1617; Brown Willis’s Antiquities of Buckingham, Hundred and Deanry; Banks’s Geography, Pope’s Odyssey and Iliad, Dryden’s Virgil, Life and Reign of Henry the Eighth by Lord Herbert; Travels into Divers Parts of Africa and Asia; Chamber’s Cyclopaedia, Life of Prince James, Dodderidge’s Family Expositor, Baskett’s Bible; History of Russia, to the Death of the Empress Catherine, with a Number of other scarce and valuable Books, Paintings, Prints &c, &c.

Likewise a neat Chariot with Harness, one coach Horse, five useful dairy Cows, Part of a Rick of Hay, stout six-inch Cart, horse Harness, Quantity of Manure, cucumber Frames and Lights, iron garden Roll, stone Ditto, temporary summer House, a very great Number of garden Pots and Evergreens, garden Tools in general, upwards of 20 Dozen of Glass Bottles, and numerous other Articles, which will be expressed in Catalogues, to be had five Days before Sale, at the Inns in the Neighbourhood, and of the Auctioneers, in Stony Stratford.

N.B.: The Chariot, Cows, Hay, garden Articles, dairy and brewing Vessels, Casks &c. will be sold the first Day; the Books, Linen, Glass and part of the Furniture on the second Day; and the remainder of the Furniture on the Friday.

Catalogues of the Books to be had separately from those of the Furniture &c.


Northampton Mercury - Saturday 05 August 1820

COSGROVE,

(In the Centre of the Duke of Grafton's Hunt).

To be LETT,

And entered upon immediately

A HOUSE consisting of three Rooms on the ground Floor, with Kitchen, back Kitchen, and Offices, four bed Rooms, three Attics, and Servants' Room over the back Kitchen; Stable, coach House, kitchen Garden &c &c with or without 18 Acres of pasture Land. There are fire Grates in most of the Rooms, two kitchen Ranges, and other Fixtures.

For Particulars, apply Mr. ABEL, Northampton; or J. C. MANSEL, Esq. Cosgrove, by Letter, Post paid.


The Priory next saw a great change of tenant in General Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch - a national hero second only to Wellington. When peace was signed in 1814, he retired into private life at the age of 67. He was, however, still very active and, being fond of hunting in England, took a house in nearby Salcey Forest. He then rented The Priory for ten years, entertaining many distinguished guests. He departed from The Priory when he had to give up hunting at the age of 77, around 1824, not through any bodily weakness but on account of cataracts on both eyes.
Read Lord Lynedoch's story in Cosgrove Characters.

Northampton Mercury 10th May 1828

FARMING STOCK &C

COSGROVE PRIORY

To be SOLD BY AUCTION

By Mr Durham

On the premises of Lord Lynedoch, at Cosgrove Priory, near Stony Stratford, on Wednesday the 14th Day of May 1828.

Consisting of five Horses, three cows, hay-making and chaff-cutting Machines, Rolls, Ploughs, Harrows, narrow-wheel Wagon, Carts, and farming Implements in general.

Also a capital single horse Chaise and Harness, brewing Utensils, garden Roll, turn-over garden Seats, gardening Utensils, hand Glasses, Cucumber Frames and lights, sea-kale Pots, and many other Articles which will be set forth in Catalogues, to be had at the Inns in the Neighbourhood; of Mr Walker, on the Premises; and of Mr Durham, Surveyor &c. old Stratford.

Northampton Mercury 7th June 1828

TO FOX HUNTERS

COSGROVE PRIORY

Late the Residence of the Right Hon. Lord LYNEDOCH

To Be LET

And entered upon immediately

The House consists of five best bed Rooms and good Attics, good Offices, two small drawing Rooms, dining Room and Gentleman’s Room; Stabling and Boxes for 20 Horses, with all the Appurtenances requisite for Hunting Stables; Coach Houses, Head Groom House, &c, &c, all new; Paddock and Sheds, for breeding or lame Hunters; Farmyards and Hovels, with 70 ACRES of Meadow and Pasture Land, and about 10 ACRES of ARABLE.

The House is now furnished, and the Furniture may be taken at a Valuation, if required. Any part of the Land, not less than about 23 Acres, may be Let with the House.

For Particulars, inquire of RICHARD KITELEE, Castlethorpe, Esquire; J C Mansel, of Cosgrove, Esquire; or Mr Smithson, at the Mercury Printing Office, Parade, Northampton.

A Lease will be granted if required.

Cosgrove, near Stony Stratford.


In 1819 John Hassell published "A Tour of the Grand Junction Canal" in which he describes passing the road which "leads to the villa of Major Mansell, the Priory and Castle Thorpe."

No sooner had Lord Lynedoch left The Priory than another distinguished man arrived: Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom, who had been with Nelson at Trafalgar. He had been living at Little Linford Hall, and came to Cosgrove to be near his only daughter, Maria Margaret, the wife of the Rector, the Revd. Henry Longueville Mansell.

Lady Moorsom died at Linford before the move and was brought to Cosgrove for burial. Sir Robert died in 1835. Mrs Mansell placed so many Moorsom memorials in the local church that a guide book once said that Cosgrove was for a long time the home of the well known Moorsom family, and subsequently of the celebrated Mansells. The truth is that the Mansells had been local residents for over 300 years while Sir Robert Moorsom was there for only eight.
Read Sir Robert Moorsom's story in Cosgrove Characters


Northampton Mercury - Saturday 27 June 1835

TO BE LET,

And entered upon or before the 11th of October next,

COSGROVE PRIORY; late the residence of the Right Hon. Lord Lyndoche. and since Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom, K.C.B. deceased. The house consists of five best bed rooms, two dressing rooms, dining room, and gentleman's dressing room, and attics -, excellent stables, boxes, and coach house and saddle house complete with every requisite for fox-hunters or a family. All fixtures included in the rent. Good kitchen and flower Gardens, with a hare-wire fence; Gardener's Cottage and Blacksmith's Shop; and 23 Acres of excellent Pasture Land.
For further particulars, apply (post paid), to CHARLES MARKHAM Esq. Northampton; or to J. C. MANSEL, Esq. Cosgrove.


Northampton Mercury - Saturday 11 July 1835

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION

BY WM. DAY

On Wednesday, 15th July, 1835, at Ten o'clock,

PART of the HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, about Tons of prime Old HAY (in two Lots) Garden Lights, and Effects, on the Premises, The Priory, COSGROVE, Northamptonshire.

Catalogues are prepared, and may be had at the Barley Mow, Cosgrove and of the Auctioneer, Stony Stratford, Bucks.


Cosgrove Estate Schedule 1843 Miss Yardley - The Priory £65

90 Homestead & Garden & grounds   4 0 20
91 The Lawn   14 1 15
92     4 0 38
93       3 6
94 Rickyard & Spinney     1 39
   
Total
23 3 38

1844 Miss Yardley £65
1845 Miss Yardley £65
1846 William Clarke late Miss Yardley £20.0.0

Cosgrove Priory 1846

Notes.
Bottom Pantry Wants washing and painting
House Keeper’s room Ceiling wants white washing
Kitchen wants painting
Servant Hall Paper wants repair. This was done 3yrs since by … 13
Drain bad
Passage in all want … paper & painting
All in want white washing & practically papering
Outhouse wants cleaning & washing

Stable ceiling all through & sta..ing
One standing wanted in stable
Plaster walls etc
Coach House White wash
Granary plaster etc

An agent's drawings of various rooms in the Priory 1846, along with inventories for 1846, 1856, 1863 & date unknown

1848 November 2nd audit Miss Selby Lowndes 1 quarter £37.10.0
1849 Miss Selby Lowndes £75

1848 Agreement with Miss Lowndes to let the Priory, furnished, for £150 per annum

1856 November 6th rent to Michaelmas F. Thursby esq. Oct 7th £82.0.0


Leicester Journal - Friday 10 October 1862

Northamptonshire

TO BE LET, furnished,

COSGROVE PRIORY, near Stoney Stratford, consisting of Entrance Hall, Dining, Drawing, and Breakfast Rooms, four best Bed Rooms, with Dressing Room and excellent Attics, Butler's Pantry, Housekeeper's Room, and every domestic requisite. Coach Houses and Stabling for 12 horses, with Groom's House adjoining. There are excellent Gardens, and Land may be had if required.

For particulars and cards view, apply to Messrs. FISHER and Son, Land Agents, Market Harborough.


Northampton Mercury - Saturday 07 March 1863

COSGROVE PRIORY, near Stony Stratford, Bucks.

Mr. DURHAM

Has been honoured with instructions from Francis Thursby, Esq. (who is leaving),

TO SELL BY AUCTION,

On Thursday, the 19th day of March, 1863, and the following days, if necessary, on the Premises, a great portion of the Modern and Genteel HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, FARMING STOCK,

COMPRISING Pure-bred Alderney and Short-horn Cows and Calves, Pigs, Implements, Hay, &c., &c., Seven first rate Hunters, regularly hunted with several packs of hounds; capital Pony, Carriages, Harness, Double and Single Barrel Guns, &c., &c., a great number of Greenhouse Plants, a quantity of well-seasoned Elm Boarding, Two Splendid Monkeys, " Isaac and Rachel."

All of which will be shown forth in Catalogues, to be had at the Inns in the Neighbourhood, and at the Office of Mr. Durham, seven days prior to the Sale.


Northampton Mercury - Saturday 07 November 1863

GENTEEL HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, HAY, &c.

COSGROVE PRIORY, near Stony Stratford.

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION,

By Mr. DURHAM,

On TUESDAY, 17th NOVEMBER, 1863, at COSGROVE PRIORY, by direction of JOHN CHRISTOPHER MANSEL Esq.
ABOUT 200 lots of excellent kitchen, parlour, dining and drawing-room furniture; chamber ditto, capital feather and other beds, hair mattresses, four-post and other bedsteads, dressing tables and glasses, &c, &c,; the whole which will be set forth in catalogues, in due time, to be had at the Inns in Stony Stratford, and of the Auctioneer.

Also about 20 Tons of prime Upland HAY to go off unless previously disposed of by private contract.


Naseby March 26th 1863

Sir

In accordance with instructions I have been to Cosgrove and made a careful examination of the Furniture at the Priory there late in the occupation of Mr Thursby: and have compared it with the enclosed Inventory.

I shall perhaps make myself best understood if I conform with the order of the inventory in question, and state what came under my observation in each room.

First on the list is the

Drawing room The chimney glass damaged by having a portion of the foot moulding cut off.
The Cane bottom of a chair out of repair.
A mahogany sofa, and a hearth rug missing.

Anti room A chair damaged by having a part of its back broken.

Dining room Missing a cellaret

Study The oil cloth missing

Entrance Missing a mahogany side slab, and one mat.

Pantry Four knife trays and one knife box missing

Wash house Missing a tub a skid a bench and a rack

Laundry A Clothes horse and a coal pan missing

Best bedroom Missing the hangings belonging to the bedstead and one sponge dish. The handle off the large water jug and one sponge dish broken.

Middle bedroom Missing carpet and rug water bottle and night shade

Note: Frederick Thursby last pays rent May 7th 1863 £80.0.0


Some time after 1863
Cosgrove Priory

Servants Hall
Key to door
Bricks in front of fire place

Pantry
Floor repairing
Lock

Kitchen
2 Squares of glass

Housekeeper’s Room
Grate sides
Keys to cupboard
Skirting repairing

Entrance Lobby
Locks & Bolts to Front door out of repair
Weather Glass broken
Lead paper

Entrance Hall
Plaster to wall
Holes in wall
Mahogany Slab scratched & injured

Butler’s Pantry
Sink Cover out of repair
Door to Cupboard & Cupboard Keys
Plaster to Wall

Dining Room
Grate out of order
Paper

Anti Room
Grate out of order
Paper

Drawing Room
Chimney Glass broken frame
Window fastening
Work Table

Study
Paint to door
Cupboard doors out of order

1st Dressing Room
Hole in paper

Best Room
2 Windows Blinds & Lines

Nursery
Lock to door

Top Attic No. 2
Window Lines
Paper

Attic No. 3
Paper

Attics No. 4 & 5
Paper

Brewhouse
Making good where Boiler stood etc
boiler & Copper lids out of repair

Coal House
Ceiling out of repair
Wall making good
Sill to Window

Shoe House
Window 26 panes
Plaster to Wall

Laundry
Window made by Mr Thursby out of repair
Window 1 Square
Stove

Cold Stable
Ceiling
Plaster
Standing Racks
Window Broken

Dairy
floor bricks loose

Stables
Standings & boards above Mangers
Mangers
Plaster to Walls
Floors, Paving, Ceiling etc.

Saddle Room
Stove
Pegs

Blacksmith’s Shop
Windows

Gardener’s Cottage & Garden
Window Shutters broken
Paper
Fence round back was paled Mr. M gave rough materials for the repairs which were sold at sale
Tile coping to Garden Wall
Road out of repair

Road will cost £4 7s. 6d to surface


Note: C. G. Boulton first pays rent May 5th 1864 £80.0.0

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 27 August 1870

COSGROVE PRIORY, near Stony Stratford.

DURHAM and SON

Have been honoured with instructions from C. G. Boulton, Esq., who is leaving Cosgrove,

TO SELL BY AUCTION,

On THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH, 1870,

A PART OF THE FARMING STOCK
AND HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE.

THE former comprises a half Alderney cow, barren ditto, two sturks, one steer, in-pig sow, nine store pigs, three prime fat ditto, and a quantity of poultry; also iron pigtroughs, hay rakes and drags, sheep trough, sheep hurdles, cow troughs and ties, turnip cutter, cow crib, 18-round ladder, five hen coops, two wheelbarrows, tubs, two 300-gallon galvanized iron TANKS, nearly new; carpenter's bench, two apiaries, each containing three of Neighbour's hives, two large cucumber-frames and lights, three hand-glasses, a quantity of hard wood and faggots, several thousand flower pots, dozen kale pots, &c, &c.; also, about 10 tons of prime old HAY.

The FURNITURE comprises handsome mahogany sideboard, dining-room, easy, hall, bedchamber, and American chairs; mahogany occasional and other tables, several pier glasses, pair of cabinets, Canterbury, mahogany bookstands and shelves, bureau, with side wings and sandal-wood fittings : hall bench, cupboards, cases of birds and insects, bedsteads, washing stands, toilette tables, fenders and fire irons, small mahogany wardrobe, carpeting, cocoa matting, about 250 volumes of well-bound books, a photographic portrait camera, by Ross, with all the appliances for photography; and many other articles.

Sale to Commence punctually at Ten o'clock. Catalogues are being printed, and may be had of the Auctioneers, Stony Stratford, and at the principal Inns in the neighbourhood. Persons applying for Catalogues by post, must send a stamp for postage.


rthampton Mercury - Saturday 11 March 1871

TO B E LET,

On Lease or Yearly Tenancy,

"The PRIORY" COSGROVE, near Stony Stratford,

IT contains Drawing, Dining, and Breakfast Rooms, Study, and 10 Bed-rooms; with Stabling for 10 horses, Coach house, &c.
 For particulars, apply to W. J. Peirce, Auctioneer and Estate Agent, Derngate, Northampton.


Northampton Mercury - Saturday 1 November 1879

HORSE REPOSITORY, NORTHAMPTON

The property of MISS MACKINNOW, COSGROVE PRIORY.
Lot 17. Cigarette, Bay mare aged well up to 12 stone; good fencer, well known with the Duke of Grafton’s Hounds, and sold for no fault.


By 1886 John Christopher Mansel and his wife were living across the road from the Hall in a smaller house called the "Cottage" where Mrs Mansel had extensive "Pleasure Gardens". The letters below show that at this time they were preparing to sell the Priory to Mr Thorold.

Cosgrove Hall

Stony Stratford

24 May

Dear Mr Markham

I shall be very glad to see you and hope that you will at any rate dine and sleep here and stay as long as you can. I am thoroughly ashamed of our Lord Lieutenant. I think he quite deserved the rebuke he is said to have received a few days ago, which you no doubt have heard of.

Very truly

K M Mansel


Cosgrove

Nov 11th 1886

Dear Mr Markham

In your letter received this mor’g you say : “that I assume you know that Mr Mills is quite willing to covey the Priory property without incurring any part of the purchase money.” The letter I received from Mr Thorold in July last gave me to understand quite the contrary and I am in utter ignorance of anything that has taken place since; I saw both Mr Thorold and Mr Fisher last week but they did not either of them enter into the business with me.

I consider it very desirable that the Mill should be sold with the Priory. In fact I should think no-one would buy the Priory without the Mill.

Before this matter is settled I must see you, either here or Northampton.

Yours very truly

J C Mansel

H P Markham Esq


3 Grosvenor Gardens

27th Nov 1886

Cosgrove Priory

Dear Sir

I have yours of Saturday. If Mrs Mansel approves I shall be quite ready to carry out your suggestions about disposal of purchase money from Mr Atkinson.

Shall I find your disengaged at 12.45 pm on Tuesday or Wednesday next if I come to talk the thing over with you. I want to get away again by the 1.40 pm train from Northampton so as to have the afternoon at Cosgrove before returning to London.

Yours very truly

A Grant Thorold

H P Markham Esquire

Northampton


Market Harborough

March 25 1887

Dear Sir

Cosgrove

The following are an indication of the occupation of Mr Mansel which I consider to be included in Mr Grant Thorold’s offer.                                                           

A  
R
P
110 Captain’s Close
0
3
32
136 House, Garden, Yard and Pleasure Gardens
0
3
15
112 Cottage, Garden, Farm yard and Buildings
 0
37
2   0   4

I will see you tomorrow as letter

Yours faithfully

H W R Fisher

H P Markham


Diocesan Registry Peterborough

8th June 1887

Dear Sir

Cosgrove Estate

Mr H P Gates has placed in my hands your letter to him of the 6th inst & draft contract to peruse.

I presume the property  mentioned is not entailed but that Mr Grant Thorold has the whole fee simple therein subject to the mortgage.

Is not the [said] Contract in its present form void for want of certainty, it being one for the purchase of the legal estate in land at some future indefinite period and the purchase money being payable at an indefinite time.

In the draft it is stated that “in as much as difficulties might occur in obtaining a Conveyance”.

Have Mr Mills Trustees been communicated with at all in reference to them releasing the legal Estate or have they objected to do so until the mortgage or the whole estate is paid off or what are the difficulties apprehended?

The quantity of the land is not stated. From what date is it proposed that the purchaser should take possession under the Contract? And will the amount of interest be equivalent to the present rent payable?

Yours truly

H W Gates

H P Markham Esq


Market Harborough

June 27th 1887

Dear Sir

Cosgrove

I understand the arrangements to be per

A  
R
P
110 Captain’s Close
0
3
32
136 House, Garden, Yard and Pleasure Gardens
0
3
15
112 Cottage, Garden, Farm yard and Buildings
0
0
37
138 pr of Orchard
0
1
2

Price £1000

Interest at same rate as paid to J C Mansel Esq

I conclude that Mr M declines to pay more on account of 138 and..

Yours faithfully

H W R Fisher

H P Markham

Northampton


22nd August 1887 BY INDENTURE of this date made between the said A. W. T. G. Thorold of the 1st part and the said C. W. Holbeck R. H. Murray J. B. A. Acland of the 2nd part the said J. C. Mansel of the 3rd part Jno. Wm. Smith of the 4th part Jno. Jepson Atkinson of the 5th part & Henry Jas. Wilkinson and Francis Wm. Bailey of the sixth part in conson of the sum of £4,150 to the sd J. C. & A. W. T. G. Thorold paid by the said J. J. Atkinson the said C. W. Holbeck R. H. Murray J. B. A. Acland J. G. Hoare and J. C. Mansel as Mtgees & the said A. W. T. G. Thorold as Beneficial Owner conveyed & confirmed in the 1st Schedule thrto & delineated in the plan thron & Nod. 90, 91, 92, 93, & 94, Together with a right of access to and from a well or spring in field No. 3 on the said plan

To HOLD the same unto the said J. J. Atkinson & his heirs freed from the said Mortgage debt of £4,800 secured by Indre of the 14th April 1849 & the said Mortgage debt of £9,000 secured by the hereinbefore absted Mem. of the 8th Octr. 1881 and all intt for the same

TO THE USE & subject to the powers of the Will of the late Jas. Atkinson decd. DECLARATION that the ad J. J. Atkinson his heirs or assns should have the option (subject as thrin contd) on giving notice in writing to the said A. W. T. G. Thorold his heirs and assns or to his or their solrs at any time within 10 years from the date throf to purchase the hereits comp in the 2nd Schedule thrto & Nod. 35, 36, & 37 on the said plan for £2,000 upon the terms in the said Indre mentd.

The First Schedule before referred to
No. on Plan
Description
Quantitiy
a.
r.
p.
90
The Capital messe or Mansion House called The Priory with the Coachouse stables & other outbuildings garden & pleasure grounds thrto belonging or occupied therewith
4
0
20
91
The Lawn 14 1 15
92
The Home Close
4
0
38
93
The Little Meadow
3
6
94
Rickyard and Spinney
1
39
A
23
3
38

The Second Schedule before reffered to
35
Sancey Leys
10
2
22
36
Sancey Leys
10
0
20
37
The Slipe
1
1
3
A
22
0
5

22nd August 1887 BY INDENTURE of this date made between A. W. T. G. Thorold of the 1st part and the said C. W. Holbeck R. H. Murray J. B. A. Acland of the 2nd part the said J. C. Mansel of the 3rd part & the said J. J. Atkinson of the 4th part in conson of the sum of £1,390 to the said A. W. T. G. Thorold paid by the said J. J. Atkinson the said C. W. Holbeck R. H. Murray J. B. A. Acland & H. G. Hoare & J. C. Mansel as Mtgees & the said A. W. T. G. Thorold as beneficial owner conveyed to the said J. J. Atkinson all the hereits described in the 1st Schedule thrto & delineated in the plan thron & Nod. 85, 86, 87, & 88

TO HOLD the same unto & to the use of J. J. Atkinson freed from the Mtge debts thron

The First Schedule before referred to
No. on Plan
Description
Quantity
a.
r.
p.
85
The Mill Top Meadow containing
4
1
30
86
The Mill Holme
4
3
2
87
The Bottom Meadow
1
2
11
88
The Homestead including the messuage or dwellinghouse & water mill commonly called Cosgrove Mill with the buildings & appurtenances thereto belonging and all Landlord's fixtures therein
2
3
A
11
1
3

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 13 April 1889

TO BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS.

BUILDERS desirous of Contracting for ADDITIONS and ALTERATIONS to Stables, etc., at the Priory, Cosgrove, for J. J. Atkinson, Esq., please send in their names to the Architect, Chas. Dorman, 51, Abington street, Northampton.
Mr. Atkinson does not bind himself to accept the lowest or any Tender.



This window depicts the Atkinson family
Left to right: St Leger, Mary, York.

The Atkinson children are featured in the stained glass windows on the Priory staircase and in Cosgrove Church. One of them, St Ledger, joined the army and was killed in action on 13th May 1915, a Captain of the 1st Royal Dragoons. The Atkinsons were highly regarded in Cosgrove and some “living memories” are to be found in the stories of Dennis Tompkins and his sister Cynthia Smith.

At some point the Atkinson family renovated the Priory in the Tudor Style, taking out Georgian windows and replacing them with stone mullions.

Cosgrove Priory passed from J. J. Atkinson to his son Philip Atkinson, who died in 1972, leaving the Priory to Sir Hereward Wake Bt. of Courteenhall, although Atkinson's widow Grace continued to live at the house until her death. Sir Hereward sold the estate in 1979 to David Moore, who renovated the mansion before selling the main house in 1981 and moving to a new home he had created in the former stables.


Up in the attics of the Priory, the Atkinson children had their nursery. The sloping walls are covered in magnificent decoupage images of idyllic Victorian families. It is covered in heavy shellac, but is so evocative of the era that those who have seen the walls always remember them.

Wolverton Express 20th October 1916

Held in the beautiful grounds of Cosgrove Priory, the seat of Mr and Mrs J Jepson Atkinson, the former popular County Councillor for Passenham Division of South Northants, and enjoyable and remunerative Red Cross Day was held. There was a very large attendance. Amongst those present were seen the Dowager Lady Temple, Miss Bayliss, Mrs Lucas, Miss Pouncefort Duncombe, Mr and Mrs Honston and Mrs H Honston (the latter was helping Miss Atkinson with her sweet stall), Mrs and Miss Guinness, Mrs Borrett, Miss V Maguire, Miss Capell, a large party from Towcester, including Mr and Mrs Linthwaite, Mrs Knight, Mrs Browning, Mrs Bywater (who kindly assisted with the arrangements), Miss Linnell and Mr Polman.

There was a good show of vegetables in the tent. The prizes of tobacco given by Mrs Atkinson were mostly returned by the winners as gifts to wounded soldiers. The exhibits were sent to the Northampton General Hospital. The prize winners were Messrs Seymour, Swain and Childs. Among other attractions were four excellent half hour entertainments, two given by the “Pom Poms”, a charming concert party from Wolverton. The other two concerts were of a varied character, showing a great deal of local talent. Mrs Grant-Thorold and Miss Capell performed a scene from “Northanger Abbey”, which was very well done. Mrs Atkinson gave a beautiful rendering of “Who is Sylvia” (Shubert) on the harp, accompanied by Miss Gune Atkinson, who also sang. Mr Garratt opened the concert with pianoforte solos, and also accompanied. Sapper J O’Connor, who has a fine baritone voice, sang; and Lance-Corpl Jackson, cheered everyone with his funny humorous sketches.

Tea was provided by the Committee – Mrs Buttram, Mrs Jelley, Mrs Penson and Mrs Seymour. Much amusement was caused by the draw for a Leghorn hen, given and raffled for by Mrs Guinness and won by Mrs Atkinson. The proceeds amounted to £17 7s 3d.


Wolverton Express 13th August 1920

A pretty fete was held in the grounds of Cosgrove Priory on Saturday by members of the Mothers’ Union. Mr and Mrs Atkinson lent the grounds, and Mrs Atkinson, as President of the Union, took a great interest in the effort, which was successful. Its object was to collect funds, to purchase material for the Mothers’ Work Class, which is held during the winter months. The Cosgrove Excelsior Band played selections and dance music during the evening. The stalls and other shows included needlework, Mesdames Whiting, Dickens and Buckell; fruit and vegetables, Mesdames Lovesey and Abel; bowls, Miss Atkinson; golf, Miss W. Atkinson; skittles, Mr Lovesey; Aunt Sally and Hoopla, Mr Green; Mrs Butcher (secretary), and Mrs Whiting (treasurer). About £30 was realised.


Wolverton Express 6th June 1924

COSGROVE.

A GARDEN FETE in aid of the Cosgrove Mothers’ Union was held in the grounds of Cosgrove Priory, the residence of Mrs Atkinson, the president. Mrs Atkinson, together with the Misses Atkinson, Captain P. Y. Atkinson and Mrs Fergusson, of Cosgrove Hall, were moving spirits in the proceedings, which included an enjoyable sports programme for the village inhabitants. A decorated bicycle competition was won by Miss Bessie Noble. A Handicap (boys 13 – 17) was won by W. Luck, and an egg and spoon race for adults by Miss Hurst. Assisting in the arrangements of the fete were the members of the committee of the Mothers’ Union.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 19 December 1924

MR. J.J.  ATKINSON

IMPRESSIVE FUNERAL AT COSGROVE.

We regret to announce the death of Mr. John J. Atkinson, Cosgrove Priory, which took place early on Friday morning, after a lengthy illness.

Mr. Atkinson, who was over 80 years of age, had resided in the county for at least forty years. He took an active interest in the Unionist cause for the Daventry Division, and represented the Passenham Division on the County Council for many years prior to 1922, when he did not seek re-election. In his own parish he was deeply interested in church life, and was churchwarden at St. Peter's Church for many years, an office he held at the time of his death. Mr. Atkinson, who was an engineer and a barrister, had travelled extensively, and many were the stories he told of the Far East. He leaves a widow, a son and two daughters to mourn their loss

It will be recalled that his elder son, Captain St. Ledger Atkinson, who commanded the 6th Signalling Troop of the Cavalry Brigade the 6th Division, was killed in France early in 1915. At the memorial service held at Cosgrove Church, the late Mr. Atkinson read the lesson, and at the close paid a touching tribute to his son. “There is not a real man here,” he said, who will not wish for such an end as this, and who does not thank God with me for having given me such son."

THE FUNERAL.

The funeral of the late Mr. J. Jepson Atkinson, The Priory, Cosgrove, look place on Tuesday afternoon, in dull December weather. The small Church of St. Peter and St. Paul held a crowded congregation of public mourners, among whom were many well-known residents of the district. The service was conducted the Rev. J. Stockton (curate-in-charge), assisted by the Rev. A. G. St. John Mildmay (Wolverton Holy Trinity) and the Rev. F. Nelson Ward (Wicken). The interment was in the cemetery adjoining the churchyard. The coffin of polished Oak, with Gothic mounts, was lowered into a bricked grave lined with evergreens, white chrysanthemums, narcissi, white statice, and laurustinus. The grave was lined by Mr. T. A. Lord, of Cosgrove Hall, who for a long period was a gardener to Mr. Atkinson. The coffin bore upon its breastplate: J. Jepson Atkinson, died December 12th, 1924, aged 80 years,''

Children from the village school were present under the charge of Miss Keveren.

Hymns sung during the service were “Come unto Me, ye weary," and " O God, our help in ages past." The organist was Mr. M. H. Eves. The family mourners were: Mr. Philip Atkinson (son). Miss Atkinson and Miss G. Atkinson (daughters), Capt. J. Foster, Miss Foster. Major A. W. Foster. Mrs. Gaulburn, Mrs. Wilkinson, Mr. 11. Wilkinson, Mr. Trevor Ward, and Major Arbuthnot.

Among those present were: Lord and Lady Penrhyn, Lord Hillingdon, Captain the Hon. & Mrs. E. A. FitzRoy, Sir Thomas Fermor Hesketh, Admiral Purefoy (Shalston). Colonel Wood (Syresham), Colonel R. H. Loombe (Grafton Regis), Colonel Hill (London). Major Williams (Blakeslev) Rev. W. J. Harkness (Hanslope). Mr. W. W. Carlile (Gayhurst), Mr. T. D. Kellie MacCallum (Chief Constable of Northamptonshire), Miss Balfour and Miss Wells (Cosgrove), Mr. A. R. Elmes. Mr. 6. Hamilton, Mr. J. D. Lees (Whittlebury Lodge). Colonel Douglas Pennant (Sholebrooke Lodge), Mr. Bywaters (Castlethorpe), Rev. Jacob Thompson (Grafton Regis). Mr. S. P. Starsmore, C.C.. Mr. O. Harris (Deanshanger). Mr. W. W. Dickens (Stonv Stratford), Rev. Stanham, Rev. and Mrs. A. P. Symons (Potterspury). Captain Loftus (Brackley), Colonel Clinch (Blisworth House), Miss Maguire, Dr. D. W. A. Bull, J.P. (Stony Stratford), Mrs. Richard Agar, Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Ferguson (Cosgrove Hall), Dr. Ryan, Major Ryan. Rev. W. W. Colley. R.D. Mrs. Colley (Blisworth). Mr. C. R. Whiting (Churchwarden), Mr. N. Montgomery and Mr. Canvin (Deanshanger Conservative Association), Major Sir Everard Dunoombe, Bart. (Great Brickhill). Major Pollexfen (Old Stratford), Mr and Mrs R Kingsley Johnson (Cosgrove), Mrs Grant Thorold, Mrs Cooper, Messrs A. F. Jelley, W. Clarke and E. Gee (Cosgrove Parish Council).

Amongst the wreaths were tributes from the Deanshanger Conservative Association and the schoolchildren of Cosgrove.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 20 March 1925

WILL OF MR. J. J. ATKINSON. THANKS EVERYONE FOR “A VERY HAPPY LIFE.”

Mr. J. J. Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory who died recently, age 80, left unsettled property of the gross value of £7,318 7s. 10d. Probate has been granted to Mrs. Atkinson, the sole executrix, to whom after bequests of £500 to his daughters, he left his property for life with remainder to the children.

In his will, Mr. Atkinson says:— “I give my soul to God and body to the earth —or better still the sea—or better still to my University; but all as my wife shall appoint, and I thank her for forty years’ joy of living. I won’t say a thing to thank my son for what he did for us. Everything that I have is settled upon him. Thanking everyone concerned for very happy life.”


Northampton Mercury - Friday 16 March 1928

NOT IN PROPER HOLDER. Mary Atkinson, The Priory, Cosgrove, and Dr. William Ward Darley, West Haddon, were summoned for failing to properly attach Road Fund licences to motor cars.

Mrs. Atkinson was fined 10s.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 07 June 1929

COMIC DOG SHOW.
 ATTRACTIVE FEATURE OF FETE AT COSGROVE.

An attractive fete was held Saturday in the charming surroundings of the Cosgrove Priory, lent by Mrs. Atkinson. The proceeds were behalf the Parish Church funds. Captain Philip Atkinson, who presided at the opening ceremony, pointed out that for the past twenty years the church roof had been patched and patched until it could go no longer. The cost of repair would be about £350. Lady Hillingdon opened the fete, and a bouquet of golden yellow noses, named after her, was afterwards presented to her by little Miss Mary Whiting.

Among those  present were the Rev. J. Stockton, the Rev. E. Ken worthy Browne (Paulerspury), Sir Walter Carlile, Bart., and Lady Carlile (Gayhurst), Lieut.-Col. R. H. F. Lombe (Grafton Regis), and Captain Gore Langton (Padbury). Lady Hillingdon was accompanied by her two daughters, the Hon. Ursula and the Hon. Penelope Mills, who brought large baskets of carnations grown at Wakefield Lawn. Mr. Ian Matheson, Oxford undergraduate, on a visit to Cosgrove Priory, gave selections with the bagpipes, and a little girl in Highland costume executed some pretty dancing. An amusing event of the afternoon was a comic dog show. There were small dogs with large barks, and large dogs with small barks. In the competition for the dog that wagged its tail quickest, the winner was easy first for it started wagging its tail furiously the moment it entered the ring and continued until it left. The dog race was also amusing, for some of the owners, who had to run with their dogs, either got entangled with the lead or fell over the dogs. Mr. Reg Whiting had charge of the show, assisted by Major V. D. S. Williams, of Greens Norton, and the judges were Mr. W. Pope, of Paulerspury (huntsman to the Grafton) and Mr. Leaf, Newport Pagnell.

The results were: Largest dog, . 1 Mrs. Harrison, Tringford (Irish Wolfhound); Miss V. Inning, Greens Norton. Fattest, 1 Mrs. Stevens (spaniel); 2 Mrs. Lombe, Grafton Regis (alsatian). Dog that wagged its tail the quickest, 1 Miss Gore Langton, Padbury (brown and white spaniel); 2 Miss Hope Brooke, Brackley. Best coat, 1 Mrs. Harrison; 2 Miss Hobson. Paulerspury. Queerest looking, 1 Mrs. Ryan, (Yorkshire terrier); 2 Mrs. A. U. Habgood, Old (bulldog). Dog with best looking owner, 1 Miss Gunning, Miss Fraser. Most sporting looking dog, 1 Miss. Ramsey. Miss Fraser. Dog race, 1 Miss Benson, Miss Hope Brooke.

Aquatic sports and dancing were amongst other attractions. Amongst the stalls and sideshows those in charge were: Sweet stall, Lady Wake and daughters; produce, Mrs. Winterbottom; Bunty pulls the String: Mrs. Gore Langton; ices. Miss. W. S. Parrott and Miss Maguire, assisted by Miss Balfour. Miss Wills, Miss Clare, and Mr. W. S. Parrott; tobacco stall and hidden treasure, Rev. J. Stockton; cocoanuts, Major V. D. S. Williams.

Various other sideshows were under the charge of the following members of the Cosgrove Football Club: Messrs. C. E. King, T. Cummings, E. Hillyer, E. Gascoyne, I. Dunkley, W. Luck, S. Eglesfield, E. Eglesfield, E. Kingston, A. Tompkins, F. Johnson, R. E. Johnson, G. Noble. R, Brown, A. Meakins, and C. Knight Members of the G.F.S. looked after a bran pie. Miss Mary Atkinson assisted by Miss Gune Atkinson, superintended the general arrangements.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 31 January 1930

MRS. J. J. ATKINSON.

Death of Well-known Lady at
Cosgrove.

The death is reported of Mrs. J. J. Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory, who passed away on Wednesday, at the age of 85. She was the widow of Mr. J. J. Atkinson, for many years a member of the Northamptonshire County Council. Mrs. Atkinson had lived at Cosgrove Priory for forty years, and was interested in many movements in the district, where she was held in high esteem. A son, Captain Atkinson of the Royal Dragoons, gave his life in the war. The other members of the family are Mr. P. Y. Atkinson, Miss M. Atkinson, and Miss G. Atkinson. The funeral will take place at Cosgrove on Tuesday.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 07 February 1930

MANY MOURNERS

At Funeral of Mrs. Isabella
Atkinson.

The Church of Peter and Paul, Cosgrove, held a crowded congregation on Tuesday at midday, when the funeral took place of Mrs. Isabella Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory, an esteemed member of an old county family, who died on Wednesday at the age of 80. The coffin was conveyed on a hand-bier, drawn by the following members of the outdoor staff at the Priory; Messrs. A. Eglesfield, J. Ellis, J. T. Holson, T. Bushel, F. Lavington, and A. Valentine. As the congregation was assembling the organist, Mr. C. Compton, played “Rest in the Lord” and other music. The service, which was choral, included the hymns, “Praise to the Holiest in the height” and “Come unto Me, ye weary”, whilst Psalm 90 was sung. The service was conducted by the Rev. J. Stockton (curate-in-charge), who was assisted by the Rev. E. Kenworthy Browne. M.A., rector of Paulerspury and Rural Dean of Preston II.

The interment took place in the churchyard in a grave beautifully lined by Mr. T A. Lord and Mr. Lambert, with white tulips, statics, Christmas roses, Brompton stocks, and mimosa, with a background of ferns and ivy leaves. Upon the coffin rested two wreaths, one from Philip, May, and Gune, and the other from the men and maid servants. The grave was by the side of that where Mrs. Atkinson's husband, the late Mr. J. J. Atkinson, J.P., C.C., who died in 1924, is buried.

The family mourners were: Captain P. Y. Atkinson (son). Miss Atkinson and Miss G. Atkinson (daughters), Miss Foster, Woodcote, Salop (sister). Mrs. Foster, Spratton Grange (sister-in-law), Mrs. Goulburn (niece). Miss Goulburn, Letchworth; Mrs. Trevor Wood, London; Mrs, Wilkinson (sister-in-law) and Mr. Wilkinson. Amongst those present in the church and at the graveside were: Dowager Lady Penrhyn, Right Hon. Lord Penrhyn, Lord and Lady Hillingdon. Lady Wake, the Hon. Mrs. E. A Fitzroy, Colonel F. Douglas-Pennant (Sholebrook Lodge), Admiral and Mrs. Purefoy, Lieut.-Colonel Wood, Major and Mrs. H. Grant Thorold, Major and Mrs. Francis Gore Langton (Little Tingewick), Miss Marjory Wood, Mr. and Mrs. W. Paterson, Miss MacFerran, Mrs. Hugh Major and Mrs. V. D. S. Williams, Major Arbuthnot, Mr. Morley, Lieut.-Colonel F. Penn (Whittlebury), Mr. H. T. F. Weston. J.P., C.C. (Yardley Gobion), Mr. C. H. Weston, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Dickens, Dr. and Mrs. A. H. Habgood, Dr. and Mrs. D. W. A. Bull, Captain T. G. du Buisson, Captain and Mrs. Marcus Pelham, Mrs. and Miss Markham (Castlethorpe). Mr. W. M. Stanymore (Wicken), Mr. J. E. Whiting, Mr. P. J. Whiting (Gayhurst). Mr. Donald Fraser, J.P. (Moulsoe) Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Guinness (Greens Norton), Colonel and Mrs. F. Bennett, Mr. J. D. Lees and Miss Lees (Whittlebury). Miss Wells (Cosgrove), Captain W. R. Uthwatt (Great Linford), Col. W. Trevor, Captain and Mrs. Bryan Holt (Potterspury), Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Mr. and Mrs. Winterbottom, Mrs. Wellesley Taylor. J.P. (Sherington). Mrs. Loombe (Grafton Regis).

Members of the household staff present were; Misses Webb, Hillyer, Snowdon, and Marlow. Mrs. Lavington, and Mr. A. Noble.

Representatives present from organisations with which Mrs. Atkinson was associated were: Mesdames Stockton, A. F. Jelley, Bushell, Swain, Beasley, Atkina, Noble, Eglesfield, Cummings, G. Brown, and A. Bates (Mothers’ Union), and Mr. P. Horne (Cosgrove Football Club), whilst Messrs J. Haldon and A. Andrews represented the Parish Council. The seating arrangements in the church were made by Mr W. S. Parrott (churchwarden), Messrs. W. Slaymaker. J. Higgins. W. W. Meakins, and C. R, Whiting. After the service a half-muffled peal of Grandsire Doubles (changes) was rung on the church bells by Messrs. A. Meakins (treble), J. Higgins, E. Hillyer, W. Crowder, and E. C. Lambert (conductor).

A magnificent collection of floral tributes included, in addition to tokens from members of the family, those from Lord Berners, Lady Sophie Scott; Sir Thomas and Lady Hesketh; Cosgrove Mothers Union; Cosgrove and Old Stratford Conservative Association; organist, choir, past and present Sunday School scholars of Cosgrove Church, teachers and school children, Cosgrove; the Dowager Lady Penrhyn ; Lord and Ladv Penrhyn; Mrs. Fitzroy and the Speaker; Sir Walter and Lady Carlile, officials and players of Cosgrove Football Club.


Wolverton Express 4th April, 1930

Cosgrove

Women Conservatives’ Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Cosgrove Women’s Conservative Association was held, by kind invitation of the Misses Atkinson, in the large hall of Cosgrove Priory on Tuesday afternoon.  There was an excellent attendance.  Miss Gune Atkinson presided, supported by Miss Atkinson (Hon Secretary), Miss Wells (Hon Treasurer), Mrs Corner (Hardingstone), and Captain G. Langdon (Divisional Agent).

In her report Miss Atkinson referred to the death of her mother, who was president of the association, and said that, with her sister and brother, she wished to express her gratitude for the lovely flowers sent by the Association. In conclusion she thanked the officers and committee for their support.

The Hon Treasurer’s statement showed that last year’s substantial balance had been increased.

It was decided to ask Miss Balfour to become President, Miss Gune Atkinson was elected chairman, and Miss Atkinson and Miss Wells were re-elected Hon Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Arrangements were made for attending the annual meeting of the Association at Towcester next Tuesday, for a sideshow at the summer fete at Whilton on 28 June, and for a visit of the touring cinema.

An address on the benefits of Safeguarding was given by Mrs Corner.  She pointed out that the present Government were proving a ghastly failure, for against their promises of more work and higher wages at the last election, unemployment had increased by 500,000, and it was the plain fact that they had made matters are 1000 times worse.  Every month they had been in office saw the figures on unemployment increased by 50,000, or 1000 a day.  Excuses were made for this, but a bad workman always blames someone else or his tools.  The only possible chance of prosperity was to realise that the policy of Mr. Baldwin of safeguarding industry and developing trade was the way out (applause).

In conclusion Mrs Corner paid a tribute to the late Mrs Atkinson as a good and generous lady.  They would all agree that they could not do better than follow the example in life she had set them.

Thanks to the speaker were expressed by Mrs. Whiting and Miss Wells.

The company were entertained to tea by the Misses Atkinson.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 31 October 1930

WEDDING OF MISS GRACE
PENN.
 A Quiet Ceremony at Helmdon.

A wedding of considerable interest took place at Helmdon Church on Monday, when Miss Grace Penn, of Falcutt House, was married to Captain Philip York Atkinson, of Cosgrove.

Brigadier Sir Hereward Wake. D.S.O., acted as best man, and the bride was given away by her brother. Lieut.-Colonel R. Penn, M.C. After the ceremony a reception was held at Falcutt House, at which the guests included Capt. and Mrs. G. Lees. Mrs. W. Penn, Mrs. E. Penn. Miss Olive Penn, Mrs. Young. Miss Nancy Penn, Lady Wake, Lady Penrhyn, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Lees, Miss Lees. Mrs. F. Penn, Miss M. and G. Atkinson, etc.

Captain and Mrs. Atkinson are spending the honeymoon at Overstrand Hall, Cromer, lent by Lord Hillingdon. They will live at Cosgrove.


Wolverton Express May 21st 1937

Members of Cosgrove Women's Institute planting Coronation tree.

Cosgrove’s Happy Celebrations

The Coronation celebration was prefaced on 4th May by the planting of a sycamore tree in the Priory Park, the residence of Captain and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, by the members of the Cosgrove Women’s Institute. Mrs. R. Whiting presented the tree and each member of the Institute deposited a spadeful of soil during the planting ceremony.

The cost of the celebrations in this village were met by voluntary contributions, and the £75 raised included £25 received from Mrs. G. H. Winterbottom, of Cosgrove Hall, which was the result of two successful concerts she organised on behalf of the fund.

In the morning the judging for the best decorated houses in the village took place by Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, Mrs. R. Whiting, Mrs. Heap, Miss Wells and Miss Balfour, whose awards were :

1. Mrs. Noble, Bridge Row, 2. Mrs. Brown, 3. Mrs. Eglesfield, 4. Mrs. H. Barby, 5. Mrs. F. Williams, 6. Mrs. Herbert, 7. Mrs. Gallop.

A service in the Parish Church was preceded by the parishioners assembling in the school grounds where the Union Jack was hoisted by Mr. F. Tustain.

The service was conducted by the Rev H. N. C. Hewson (Rector) and was well attended.

The afternoon’s proceedings opened with a fancy dress and cycle parade which was under the charge of Mr. J. Clarke, and the judges of the house decorations undertook the judging of the parade. Their awards were :

Cycles, girls under fourteen, 1. Miss Prisley, 2. Miss Evans; under sevens, 1. Miss Noble, 2. Miss Stewart, 3. Miss Castle; ladies, 1. Miss D. Eglesfield, 2. M. Brown; men, 1. J. Lambert, 2. P. Whiting. Fancy Dress, girls under fourteen, 1. Miss M. Brown, 2. Miss Stewart, 3. Miss B. Hillyer; boys under fourteen, 1. Master Holman, 2. Master Bob Gallop; ladies, 1. Mrs. J. Clarke, 2. Mrs. F. Barby; men. 1. Mr. Brown, 2. Mr. N. Goodridge.

Children’s sports were carried through during the afternoon in a field kindly lent by Captain P Y Atkinson, and these were under the direction of Mr G Hickford, who had the assistance of many male helpers.

Results: Flat Events, girls under eight, 1. M Castle, 2. B Tompkins, 3. M Stewart; skipping race, 1. M. Brown, 2. E. Prisley, 3. E. Evans; three legged race, 1. M. Brown and E. Evans, 2. E. Prisley and H. Brown; boys under eight, 1. R. Williams, 2. J. Gayton, 3. J. Hill; three legged race, 1. J. Herbert and E. Meakins, 2. G. Hill and R. Meakins; sack race, 1. Bill Castle, 2. D. Brown, 3. J. Gayton; obstacle race, 1. D. Brown, 2. E. Meakins, 3. R. King; novelty race, 1. B. Hillyer, 2. S. Gallop, 3. E. Clarke; children’s race, under eight, 1. J. Loughrey, 2. D. Hillyer, 3. R. Williams.

In an “endless chain” race for children under eight there were twenty nine starters and each one received a sixpence.

Men’s races: slow bicycle, 1. M. Whiting, 2. G. Beasley; running backwards, 1. M. Whiting, 2. S. Welch; blindfold race, 1. A. Loughrey, 2. H. Smith; obstacle, 1. L. S. Welch, 2. H. Smith; 100 yards over forty, 1. Prisley, 2. Capt P.Y. Atkinson; mixed events, adults, three legged race, 1. H. Cummings and F. Ince, 2. Margaret Brown and E. Noble; wheelbarrow race, 1. Sheila _____ and H. Pay, 2. O. Eglesfield and C. Hill; 80 yards men over sixty, 1. Gascoyne, 2. W Castle.

In a tug of war married ladies beat single ladies.

Thread the needle race (single ladies), 1. F. Ince, 2. D. Eglesfield; egg and spoon race, 1. O. Eglesfield, 2. D. Eglesfield; novelty race, 1. F. ince, 2. J. Whittaker; Thread the needle race (married ladies), 1. Mrs. Harmston, 2. Mrs. Tompkins; egg and spoon, 1. Mrs. Noble, 2. Mrs. Tompkins; novelty race, 1. Mrs. Ealey, 2. Mrs. H Smith.

Sixty children of the village were entertained to tea at the Priory by Captain P Y and Mrs Atkinson, who also provided each child with a Coronation souvenir mug, which Captain Atkinson distributed. A very enjoyable time was spent by the young people.

Tea for adults was partaken in a large marquee and over two hundred sat down to well catered tables.

After tea the children each received a bag of sweets, a bar of chocolate and an orange, these gifts being purchased with surplus cash that had been allotted to the sports.

Dancing took place for a short while in the marquee, music being provided by Mr. F. Anstee, wireless and electrical engineer, of Church Street, Wolverton, but owing to the heavy rain this was brought to an early closure. A bonfire and firework display also had to be postponed through the same reason.

During the day beer and other refreshments was generously provided by Mr. R. Whiting and Mr. R. H. Winterbottom.

Miss Marlow was convenor for tea and was assisted by members of the Women’s Institute whilst the joint secretaries of the celebrations were Mr. J. Clarke and Mr. A. Noble.

The committee comprised Mr. C. R. Whiting (Chairman), Captain P. Y. Atkinson (Treasurer), Mesdames P. Y. Atkinson, R. Whiting, Heap, Misses Balfour, Wells, Marlow, Messrs G. Hickford, H. Ratcliffe, T. Eglesfield, E. Hillyer, A. Kightley, B. Stewart, H. Herbert, T. Payne, F. Hall, P. Swain, B. Brown and F. Tustain.


Wolverton Express 5th August, 1938

Garden Meeting at Cosgrove Priory - Nursing Association Effort

A successful evening garden meeting was held at Cosgrove Priory on Saturday at the kind invitation of Captain P Y and Mrs Atkinson, who are allowed the use of their grounds in support of the Nursing Association, which serves the villages of Cosgrove, Old Stratford, Deanshanger, and Wicken.  Ideal weather favoured the function which had the support of residence of the villages benefiting by the services of the nurse.

Stalls and amusements were staged and received excellent patronage, whilst a dance was enjoyed by many young people on a floodlit lawn to amplified music supplied by Mr. H H Lampitt, of Wolverton, who was also responsible for the lighting effects.

A whist drive was held in the early evening with Mr. R D Carslake, of Deanshanger as MC, the prizewinners being: ladies 1 Mrs. Kightley, Old Stratford, 2 Mrs. Williams, Cosgrove, lowest Mrs. G Brown, Cosgrove; gentlemen, 1Mr. R Dixon, Wicken, 2 Mrs. Ashley, lowest Mrs. W Starsmore, Wicken.  Mrs. PY Atkinson distributed the prizes.  Annual attraction for many visitors was the beetle drive, organized by Mrs. S Tee, Old Stratford, the winners being 1 Mrs E. Douglas Pennant, 2 Mrs. Barby, mystery Mrs. Mayhew.

In charge of the stalls and sideshows were Miss Marlowe and Miss Hillyer (lemonade); Mrs J. Clarke, Mrs. Prisley, Mrs. Gascoyne, and Mrs. Herbert, all of Cosgrove (produce); Mrs. J Cooper, W Starsmore and Miss M Cooper of Wicken (bowling for Sunday dinner); Mr. G Cooper, Wicken (rolling pennies); Mr. and Mrs. E. Johnson, Deanshanger (darts); Mrs Henson, Cosgrove (spinning wheel); Miss J. Higgins, Mrs. Johnson, and Mrs. Ruff, Cosgrove (silver mine); Miss J Eglesfield and Mr. C Kightley (tub and plates).  The gate was attended by Messrs. S. Williams, A Tack, A Kightley and F Hall.  Responsible for the organisation were the following officials: the Rev. H P Hoskin, Wicken (chairman), Mrs W N Montgomery and Mrs. R D Carslake, Deanshanger, (joint Secretaries), and members of the respective village committees, with Cosgrove members putting in the bulk of the work.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 30 June 1939

WON M.C.

Capt. P. Y. Atkinson, who lives at Cosgrove Priory, is a son of the late Mr. J. J. Atkinson, one of the original members of Northamptonshire County Council. Mr. Atkinson was elected to the County Council in 1934, and was a member of the old Potterspury R.D.C. from 1924 to 1926 and also sat on the Potterspury Board of Guardians. During the war Mr. Atkinson served with the 5th Dragoon Guards. He obtained Captain’s rank and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. He is a keen supporter of the Grafton Hunt.


Wolverton Express 7th July 1939

Cosgrove Resident Appointed Justice of Peace

Among the new magistrates appointed for Northamptonshire is Captain Phillip York Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory, and he will take his seat on the Towcester Divisional Bench.

Captain Atkinson is the son of the late Mr. J J Atkinson, one of the original members of the Northamptonshire County Council, and has himself taken a keen interest in public work in the county.  He was elected to the County Council in 1934 and was a member of the old Potterspury Rural District Council from 1924 to 1925 and also sat on the Potterspury Board of Guardians.

During the Great War Captain Atkinson served with the 5th Dragoon Guards and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.  He is a keen supporter of the Grafton Hunt.  He took the necessary oaths at Northamptonshire Quarter Sessions held at Northampton yesterday (Thursday).


Wolverton Express 5th July 1940

A Garden Party at Cosgrove

By the invitation of Mrs. Atkinson, a garden meeting was held by the Cosgrove Women’s Institute in the Priory Grounds on Tuesday afternoon.  Miss Lees spoke of the work of the Red Cross and St John Ambulance Brigade and during the afternoon funds were raised for Red Cross work.  The speaker was thanked by the President Mrs. Atkinson.  A gift stall was arranged and sideshows, which produced the splendid sum of £4 5s  9d.  The monthly competition was for vegetable headdress, which resulted in Mrs. Loughrey being first and Mrs. W. Clarke second.  A large number of members and friends were entertained to tea by Mrs. Atkinson, the hostess.


Wolverton Express 11th July 1947

Conservative Fete at Cosgrove – Opened by Divisional Chairman

Members of the Cosgrove and Old Stratford branch of the Daventry Conservative and Unionist Association held a garden fete in the lovely grounds of Cosgrove Priory (by kind permission of [Lt] Colonel and Mrs P Y Atkinson) on Saturday last.

Mrs T A Thornton (Divisional Chairman) opened the fete. Teas, refreshments, produce and jumble stalls, and sideshows were served by Mesdames Millward, Kightley, W Slaymaker, A Loughrey, H Dickens, Ratledge, Capel, S Inch, Jeffrey and C Brockway, Misses Vera Toombs, Shirley Holden, Rita Love and Jean Loughrey, Messrs C and P Millward.

A Whist drive was held in the evening, followed by dancing to amplified music. Arrangements for the fete were made by Hon Secretary Mrs Slaymaker and members of the Committee.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 24 March 1950

HOUSEMAID reqd. two in fam: wages and outings. Apply Mrs. Atkinson, Cosgrove Priory, Stony Stratford.


Wolverton Express 20th April 1972

Capt. P Y Atkinson

A memorial service for Captain [Philip York] Atkinson, a former High Sherriff of Northampton, was due to be held at Cosgrove Parish Church yesterday (Thursday). Capt. Atkinson, who was 85, died at his home, Cosgrove Priory and leaves a widow and a sister. His father, the late J. J. [Joseph Jepson] Atkinson, was a founder member of Northants County Council and Capt. Atkinson followed in his footsteps. He was High Sheriff in 1947.


Wolverton Express 20th April 1972

Former High Sheriff

THE funeral took place of a former High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Captain Peter Y. Atkinson, who died aged 85 at his home, Cosgrove Priory. Captain Atkinson, son of the late Mr. J. J. Atkinson, a founder member of Northamptonshire County Council, also served that authority. He was a member of Potterspury Rural Council and Board of Guardians, and was High Sheriff In 1917. In the First World War he served in the 5th Dragoons, and was awarded the MC for gallantry. A lover of wild life, Captain Atkinson was a keen supporter of the Grafton Hunt and of horse racing. He leaves a widow and a sister who lives at Paulerspury.


Wolverton Express 25th August 1972

Former High Sheriff left £78,000

LIEUTENANT-COL. Philip Y. Atkinson, a former High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who died on April 12 at the age of 85, left over £78,000 in his will published today. Lt. Col. Atkinson left £78,317 gross £77,194 net, with duty of £9,105, and probate has been granted to Sir Hereward Wake and Lady Julia Wake, of Courteenhall. Lt. Col. Atkinson, who lived at The Priory, Cosgrove, served in the 5th Dragoons during the 1914-18 war, when he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. He was High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1967.


Wolverton Express 17th June 1977

by SALLY MURRER

A FRAIL 89-year-old widow was robbed of antique china and silver valued at £4,000 when her country mansion was ransacked by thieves in broad daylight. Mrs Grace Atkinson was away from her home, Cosgrove Priory, near Cosgrove, visiting her sister when the raid took place last Friday afternoon. Police believe that the robbery may be connected with a series of break-ins in the Thames Valley area. Mrs Atkinson is the wealthy widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Atkinson, a former High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. She is almost permanently bed-ridden with arthritis.

Sgt Roger Jennings, of Towcester CID, said that the thieves had driven all round the house over the lawns - leaving distinct tyre marks - presumably looking for the rear entrance. He said the thieves had forced open the very heavy wooden rear door and had then ransacked every room. "They have been selective about what they have taken," he added. Sgt Jennings is appealing for witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious.

Mrs Dorothy Tustain, aged 66, who has worked for Mrs Atkinson for 15 years, visits the Priory daily from her home in the village to keep an eye on things. She thought about taking her dog for a walk up to the grounds on Friday afternoon, but it was raining heavily and she decided to stay at her Cosgrove home, she said.

Mr Norman Goodridge, 68, who discovered the robbery and called the police, has also worked at the house for many years. He walked up to the house at about 6.30 p.m. on Friday - he is responsible for locking up and making sure that bed-room lights are switched on when no one is staying at the house. "I knew as soon as I stepped in the back door that something was up", he said. "The door had been forced open, and every drawer in the house was left hanging out", added Mr Goodridge. "The place looked like a bomb had hit it, especially the smoking and drawing rooms." Mrs Atkinson, who returned to her home on Friday evening, did not employ a housekeeper at the time of the break-in.

“Really she took it very well", said Mrs Tustain, who has been at the house with Mr Goodridge helping police draw up a list of stolen items. "She sat down and had a cup of coffee and then went back to her sister's home in Holcot, Northants," she added.


Cosgrove Priory and the lawn the thieves drove over to get to the rear entrance.

Among the items stolen were: a valuable Victorian bell-shaped clock which stands about 12 inches high, silver tureens, Wedgwood china bowls, with red and blue floral designs, 20 bronze miniature figures, all over 100 years old, 32 Staffordshire Pottery animal figures valued at £25 each, 100-year-old china figurines, a white china swan, £200 Italian cockerel-shaped tureen, a blue and white china swan on a china nest, and a white china bowl supported by two cherubs. Fortunately Mrs Atkinson had some of her most valuable items, including her engagement ring and her jewellery, with her.


Wolverton Express 4th January 1979

The Priory at Cosgrove is situated in its own rolling parkland, close to Milton Keynes. It is believed to date from at least Tudor times. The present house is Georgian in origin, but was substantially rebuilt at the end of the last century.

The prime feature of the house is the carved oak panelling in the reception hall, which is believed to date from the time of Henry VIII. The interior requires modernisation, but there is great scope for the creation of a spacious yet comfortable family home. Accommodation includes four reception rooms, seven principal bedrooms and three bathrooms. There are extensive out-buildings, including a stable cottage. The property amounts to about 24 acres. Offers were invited in the region of £80,000 for the property and a figure in excess of this was achieved. James Higgins acted for the purchaser, who has business interests in Milton Keynes.


Wolverton Express 26th November 1981

South Northants

M1 9 Miles. Main Station 4 miles.

A magnificent period country house, set in private well-timbered grounds. Entrance and reception halls, three reception rooms, billiards room, attractive kitchen, playroom, work room, master bedroom with shower. Five further bedrooms, bathroom. Self-contained flat. Central heating. Attractive gardens. In all 2½ acres. Further land available.


In 1982, The Cambridge Diet purchased the Priory as its UK headquarters. Because of a long, drawn out legal case over UK marketing rights, however, the building remained unused for five years before The Cambridge Diet lost the action and vacated the premises in 1987.

Pericom purchased the main building in 1987 as their UK headquarters and has subsequently purchased the remains of the complex and reintegrated it. The company began restoring The Priory to its former grandeur, making both internal and external improvements to complement the style of the building and enhance its flexibility as the administrative centre of the Group's international activities. In 2013 the house was again on the market and sold once again as a family home."


The Buildings

The Priory, which is not listed, is built of ironstone and limestone with a clay tiled roof. The house has beautiful reception rooms with a magnificent entrance hall, divided from the dining room by a Tudor rood screen, a large south west facing drawing room, sitting room and billiards room. There is a large kitchen and breakfast room also on the ground floor. 
The upper floors may originally have had seven to eight large bedrooms, several with period fireplaces remaining. The original school room on the second floor has decoupage wall decorations which may have been made by the children and their governesses.

To the north of the main house are The Stables, built of stone with brick detailing, which in the 1980s was converted to a separate detached house. Close by is The Old Dairy, which has in the past been used as a cottage. 

Adjoining The Stables is a large single garage. A boiler room is attached to the north side of The Priory. Adjacent is a store room. To the north of the The Stables is a former agricultural building, once used as stables with a loft over it. Further to the east is another timber framed stable building. 


Believed to be John Jepson Atkinson riding on a pennyfarthing he had built

A109
Sam
Bob
Nigger
Sally
Pip
1st CAVALRY BRIGADE
BY
BY
BY
BY
BY
1914-1919
Balscadden
Balscadden
White Magic
St. Eloi
Sprig of Orange
GRAFTON
18th APRIL 1922
11th APRIL 1923
23rd APRIL 1924
14th MAY 1925
3rd MAY 1926
1919-1921
The horse on the left is Cosgrove's own Warhorse, held by Mr Lavington, pictured outside Cosgrove Mill. This horse was called Grafton and saw military service all through the First World War. His number A109 was stamped on his hoof, and he served in the 1st Cavalry Brigade. Our assumption is that he was the mount of Philip York Atkinson. After 1919 they both returned to Cosgrove. The caption indicates that Grafton lived a further two years, during which, possibly, the photograph was taken.

Occupants of the Priory
Ref: Date Occupant
Indenture 1764 1764 John Biggin
Northampton Mercury newspaper 1817 Sale of contents Mrs. Ann Lownes - Died March 1st 1817 aged 81 years
Northampton Mercury newspaper
1828 Lord Lynedoch - August 1828 - To be Let late residence of the Right Hon. Lord Lynedoch
Sir Robert Moorsom died in 1835
Census 1841 Claria Yardley
Kelly's Directory 1847 John Christopher Mansell , esq.
Mansel documents 1848 Agreement June 24th with Miss Lowndes for letting the Priory at £150 per annum, furnished
Whellan History of Northamptonshire 1849 Lownds Miss Maria S. Priory formerly the Manor
Census 1851 Maria Lowndes
Kelly's Directory 1854 Miss Selby Lowndes died in January 1856
Mansel documents 1856 Lease - Francis Thursby of Claredon Square, Leamington Warwick. £160 per year for 25 years
Census 1861 Francis Thursby
Letter Mansel Collection 1863 Francis Thursby
Letter Mansel Collection 1865 C. G. Boulton Nov 19th - rent £3.3.0
Kelly’s Directory 1869 Charles G. Boulton esq. (1866 birth of a daughter July 31).
Northampton Mercury newspaper 1870 C. G. Boulton - Leaving August 1870
Census 1871 No occupant
Whellan & Co 1874 Thomas Booth esq.
Post Office Directory 1877 Col. Frederick Walter Carden
Census 1881 Algernon St Maur
Estate papers 1881 John Jepson Atkinson - Agreement 8th October 1881
Abstract of Title 1920 1887 John Jepson Atkinson purchased the Priory & Mill (see below)
Kelly's Directory 1890 John Jepson Atkinson
Census 1891 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly’s Directory 1894 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly's Directory 1898 John Jepson Atkinson
Census 1901 Isabella Atkinson
Kelly's Directory 1903 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly's Directory 1906 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly's Directory 1910 John Jepson Atkinson
Census 1911 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly’s Directory 1914 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly’s Directory 1920 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly’s Directory 1924 John Jepson Atkinson
Kelly's Directory 1928 Mrs. Isabella Atkinson
Kelly’s Directory 1931 Capt. P. Y. Atkinson
Kelly's Directory 1936 Mrs. Isabella Atkinson
Kelly's Directory 1940 Capt. P. Y. Atkinson