|Trumpington Local History Group
Trumpington Hall and the
|Copyright © Trumpington Local History Group, 2017. Updated 4 February 2017.
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|Antony said that the Pemberton family had lived in Trumpington Hall for over 300 years. The
long family history had resulted in 17 deed boxes of documents and correspondence (which
have been archived) and a series of family portraits.
The Pemberton family originated in Pemberton, Lancashire.
The direct line can be traced to Robert Pemberton who was born in St Albans in 1523. He
married Catherine Stokes in 1549 and they had 11 children, only two of whom reached the age
of 21. The only surviving son, Roger, was born in 1554 and married Elizabeth More in 1579.
Elizabeth lived to the age of 85 in 1645. Roger went to St John's College, Cambridge,
matriculating in 1572. He inherited the estate in St Albans from Lewis Pemberton who had
himself inherited it from his uncle Sir Goddard Pemberton, who was the High Sheriff of
Hertfordshire in 1616. Roger followed as High Sheriff in 1620. He died in 1627 and the family
name is remembered in St Albans through almshouses which were endowed by Roger
Pemberton and are still in active use.
Roger and Elizabeth Pemberton had three sons who founded branches of the family, John in
Bedfordshire, Robert in Peterborough and Ralph in Cambridgeshire. Ralph was born in 1588
and there is little surviving information about him other than that he was Mayor of St Albans in
1627 and 1638 and died in 1644.
Ralph Pemberton's eldest son, Francis, was born in 1625 and became the most distinguished
member of the family. He was an undergraduate at Emmanuel College and Peterhouse, entered
the Middle Temple in 1645 and was called to the Bar in 1654. At a low point in his life he was
held in Fleet Prison, London, for debt, where he was regarded as the most notable prisoner. He
was knighted in 1675 and appointed Chief Justice and a Privy Councillor in 1682. He was a
lawyer in the trial of the Seven Bishops which indirectly led to the downfall of King James II.
Francis Pemberton married Anne Whichcote, daughter of Sir Jeremy Whichcote, in 1667. The
oldest document in the family archive dates from 1328, concerning the conveyance of land in
Milton belonging to the Witchcotes family.
Sir Francis Pemberton purchased Trumpington Hall and 1000 acres for 1000 guineas in gold
payable in two instalments on 1 and 8 April 1675 (the receipt is in the family archives). Sir
Francis never lived in Trumpington as the estate was subject to a life interest of the widow of
the vendor, Thomas Pitcher [Thomas Pytcher].
The eldest son of Sir Francis and Anne Pemberton, Francis, was born in 1675. He was
educated at Eton and became an undergraduate at King's College in 1693. He had a career as a
lawyer, being called to the Bar in 1705. Francis built the present Trumpington Hall,
incorporating an Elizabethan manor house and earlier remains. There is a Pitcher crest on some
oak panelling in the house and the same crest on a memorial in the Church dated 1603. Little
remains of Francis's correspondence. He died and was buried in Trumpington in 1762.
Francis Pemberton's third son, Jeremy, was born in 1714, and has left more evidence. He went
up to Emmanuel College in 1732 and became a Fellow of the College in 1736. He married Anne
Baron in 1739. She was from a long-established Welsh family with an estate in Carmarthenshire
which had descended from John Landre (Muddlescombe Estate). The Baron family were
involved in the coal trade and the development of Burry Port as a new port to export high-grade
coal. The cost of this project led to the Trumpington and Welsh estates needing to be heavily
mortgaged. The family connection with the Welsh estates did not end until 1946, when the final
areas were sold to the new Coal Board.
The eldest son of Rev. Jeremy and Anne Pemberton was also Jeremy, born in 1741. He was
educated at Pembroke College and Lincoln's Inn and went on to become the Chief Justice of
Nova Scotia. He returned from Canada to live in Trumpington and was appointed Commissary
to Cambridge University. He died unmarried in 1788 and was buried in the Church.
The second son of Rev. Jeremy and Anne Pemberton was Francis, born in 1742. He went to
India to work for the East India Company. Between 1771 and his death in 1794, he wrote 199
letters to his father which provide extensive information about his work, life and the historic
events he witnessed. He married Mary Price in 1777 and they seem to have had a stormy
relationship. He remained in India with the aim of building up the family's depleted fortune.
After some years of problems, he hoped things were improving in 1787 when he thought of
purchasing the Anstey estate and owning all of Trumpington. Despite this, he remained in India
and was the Customs Master and Mayor of Bombay.
The tenth and youngest child of Rev. Jeremy and Anne Pemberton was Christopher, born in
1765. He was an undergraduate at Caius College and became a physician at St George's
Hospital and Physician to King George IV.
When Rev. Jeremy Pemberton died in 1800, the estate passed to his 21 year old grandson,
F.C.J. [Francis Charles James] Pemberton, son of Francis and Mary, who was born in India in
1778 and sent back to England in 1781. He was at Eton from 1788 to 1796, then at Emmanuel
College, following his great-great grandfather who had been there 150 years before. The estate
in Trumpington and Wales was managed at this time by F.C.J. Pemberton's second cousin,
Christopher Pemberton, a Cambridge lawyer who lived at Trumpington Hall and then at Bourne
Hall. F.C.J. Pemberton moved to the estate about 1810 and made extensive alterations to the
Hall, including internal changes and the development of the garden. He improved the
accommodation on the top floor and replaced the mansard roof with the present pitched roof.
In 1836-48 there was a law suit with the miller at Grantchester Mill who protested about
navigation rights on the River Cam.
F.C.J. Pemberton was Colonel of the Cambridge Militia. He died in France in 1849 and his
body was returned to Trumpington the next year. His coffin was lined with leather, presumably
to survive the sea journey back to England. His widow died in 1869 and their coffins were the
only ones to be placed in the north chapel of the Church.
Colonel Pemberton left a complicated will and family trusts, with the estate passing to his only
child, Frances, who had been born in 1818. She had married Captain William Huntley Campbell
in 1836, at the age of 18. Captain Campbell died in 1844, leaving Frances a widow with three
young children, Francis, Robert and Patience. She married her first cousin Henry Hodgson in
1855 and had a son, Arthur, in 1857 when she was 39 years old.
Captain Campbell's father was Commodore Robert Campbell, who was involved in action on
HMS Tremendous off Naples when Napoleon escaped from Elba in 1815.
When her mother died in 1869, Frances took the name Pemberton, as required by her father's
will. Although she did not enjoy Trumpington, she left a number of diaries which have entries
about the village.
When Frances died in 1899, the estate should have passed to her eldest son according to the
instructions in her father's will, but her two sons from her first marriage had already died.
The eldest son was Francis Pemberton Campbell, born 1837. He was commissioned in the 79th
Highlanders in 1854 and served as a Lieutenant in the Crimea War in 1855, possibly in
Balaclava. During the Indian Mutiny, he took part in the Relief of Lucknow in 1857. He joined
the 14th Hussars in 1863 and became Colonel in 1875. He was appointed the Deputy
Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire in 1875 and died in Bangalore in 1876.
His brother, Robert Campbell Pemberton, died in 1879.
The estate passed to Frances Pemberton's daughter from her first marriage, Patience, born
1844. She had married Dr Thomas Percy Hudson in 1870. Like her mother, Patience and her
husband took the name Pemberton when she inherited the estate and moved to Trumpington in
1900. Patience left many letters including two from the Duke and Duchess of York.
Her husband, Thomas Percy Hudson, was born in 1832. He was an undergraduate at Trinity
College and a Fellow of the college from 1856 until his marriage to Patience in 1870. He was
appointed Canon of York Minster in 1879. He was a gifted musician who founded the
Hovingham Music Festival which took place each year from 1887 to 1906, with performances
by world class musicians such as the violinist Joseph Joachim. When living at Trumpington Hall,
he rejected the post of Master of Magdalene College on the grounds that the Hall was more
comfortable. Canon and Mrs Pemberton made important contributions to Trumpington,
including giving the land for the Village Hall which opened in 1908. He took part in the vote to
admit women to Cambridge University in 1920, being wheeled to the Senate House in a bath
chair. Canon Pemberton died in 1921 and Patience Pemberton in 1929.
The only son of Canon and Patience Pemberton was Francis Pemberton, born 1885. He was
educated at Ludgrove and Malvern College and was an undergraduate at Trinity College. He
was a keen sportsman, including hunting and cricket. He joined the 2nd Life Guards cavalry
regiment in 1907 and married Winifred Worsley from Hovingham in 1912. They had no
children before he was killed in action in October 1914, at a time when he was heavily in debt.
The eldest daughter of Canon and Patience Pemberton was Viola. As a young woman, she
travelled extensively on the continent and spoke fluent German. She spent much of her life
caring for her elderly parents. When Francis was killed in the War, the family doctor, William
Wingate, comforted her parents. He was a widower whose wife had died in childbirth. Viola
married William Wingate in 1915.
When Patience Pemberton died in 1929, the estate passed to Viola and she and William
Wingate took the Pemberton name.
During World War II, Trumpington Hall was used as a hospital for officers who had had
motorcycle accidents, with Viola as the Commandant.
When William Pemberton died in 1943, Viola stayed on in part of the Hall. Antony Pemberton
said that he remembered his grandmother, Viola, as a formidable lady. She was a founder
member of the Women's Institute and County President, travelling abroad, including to WI
gatherings in the 1950s and 1960s.
William and Viola Pemberton's son, Francis, persuaded Viola to move to a flat on the top floor
of the Hall in 1960, with her maid, Annie, who worked for the family for 79 years. Viola
Pemberton died in 1972, aged 92.
|Poster for the Local History Group talk, 9 October 2008.