Stonehouse History Group

Welcome to the web site for Stonehouse History Group

- promoting  interest in the History of Stonehouse & the locality.

Standish House - The Potter Family

In 1853 Standish House was leased from Lord Sherbourne to Mr Richard Potter Director of Price & Co. of Gloucester, Timber Merchants. Richard Potter was chairman of the Great Western Railway Co. and Director of the Hudson Bay Co. In 1864 he became President of the grand trunk railway of Canada and a Commissioner of the Dutch Rherish Railway, Chairman of the Thames and Severn Canal Company and also had many collier interests.

He lived at Standish House with his wife Lawrencina and their nine daughters. Richard Potter made a great deal of money selling wooden huts to the English and French governments for use in the Crimea War. Three of their daughters and their son were born there. Daughters Beatrice and Rose spent much of their childhood at Standish.

Martha Beatrice was born in 1858 and later described her early years at Standish House in her book “My Apprenticeship“...”it was in all its domestic arrangements typical of the mid-Victorian capitalist.”

The family lived at Standish House until her mothers death in 1882, at this time she became interested in reform and began to do social work in London. On the 1st January 1892, the same year her father Richard died at Box House Minchinhampton she married Sidney Webb who later became Lord Passfield.

The King Family

On 24th June 1884 Standish House was leased by the Right Honourable Edward Lenox, 4th Baron of Sherborne to Mrs Annie Poole King of Kensington House Brislington in Somerset, a widow of impeccable reputation, who wanted to move away from the Bristol city life to the countryside. She moved in with her family of five children, coachman, cook, housekeeper, and gardener. The lease was originally for twenty one years, and the rent was one hundred and fifty pounds a year. The family were all keen equestrians and were members of the Berkeley Hunt. At Standish, there was stabling for up to thirty horses and endless opportunities to enjoy life in the countryside.

Her daughter Mary King was thirty one years old, Mary loved the house and gardens. There were great glass houses where they grew grapes. There was a mushroom house with beds heated by hot water pipes and watercress beds around the spring which fed the pond. There was also an underground ice store below the dam where ice collected off the pond during the winter could be kept until summer. They lived in Standish House until 1897 when Annie decided it was time to economise and move to a slightly smaller place.

The out break of the Boer War in South Africa had a detrimental effect on the rand which in turn affected the income from their shipping concerns. So the family and their staff moved to Newark Park, Ozleworth near Wooton-under Edge.

To be continued........

The History of Standish House Stonehouse Glos