Ancient Family from Chaddleworth
The Blandys are a very old Berkshire family. They were living at Woolley in Chaddleworth from at least the early 16th century. If they were French Huguenots from Blandy-les-Tours, just south-east of Paris, as family tradition suggests, they must have been very early refugees in England. John Blandy had a lease of Woolley Park from 1540 until 1610, although the eldest branch of the family who lived there seem to have died out or moved away by 1600.
Kintbury & Kingston Bagpuize Estates
Johnís younger grandson, Adam Blandy, moved to Inglewood House in Kintbury about 1592, after the death of his first wife. The present house (built some time later) is a retirement home with a public restaurant called Blandyís Bar & Bistro. Blandyís Hill is just south of Kintbury village, on the road to Inkpen. Adamís eldest son and namesake inherited Inglewood, his second son, John, settled in Letcombe Bassett and his youngest son, Edward, lived at Stratton St. Margaret (Wiltshire). However, Adam II never married, so the Inglewood and passed, in 1620, to Johnís son, another Adam Blandy, while the Letcombe lands went to the latterís brother, Edward (d.1654). Their younger brother, John, was ancestor of the Blandys of Zanesville in Ohio. Adam Blandy IIIís son, John, was Sheriff of Berkshire. His granddaughter, Elizabeth, inherited Kingston Bagpuize House from her other grandfather and immediately sold it to her father, John II. Bizarrely, her half-brother, John Blandy III, later inherited her old property at Kingston Bagpuize while she took on Inglewood instead. The heraldic flaming urns on top of Kingston Bagpuize House remember the Blandyís residence there. Upon the death of this third John Blandy in 1791, his estates passed to Adam Walker, the eight-year-old grandson of his maternal cousin, who then took the name Blandy. Of Adam Walker Blandyís younger sons, William lived at Tubney Warren but his large family moved over the county boundary to High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire). His brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Adam Blandy of Earley House was Chief Constable of Berkshire, but his two sons predeceased him. Upon inheriting more estates from the Jenkins family in 1856, Adam Walker Blandyís grandson, Colonel John Blandy sometime Sheriff of Berkshire, added their name too. His younger brother, Adam, was a well-known engineer who built docks in London and Liverpool as well as railways in the United States and Mexico. He lived at Marcham Park and had a large family, but none of his four sons married. The Blandy-Jenkins family sold up Kingston Bagpuize House in 1917 and settled permanently at the Jenkins home, Llanharan House, near Bridgend, in Glamorgan.
Edward Blandy (d.1654) of Letcombe Bassett was the founder of a number of important family lines. His eldest son, Adam, moved to Blandyís Farm in the adjoining village of Letcombe Regis, while his younger son, John, remained in Letcombe Bassett. Adamís eldest surviving son, William, lived in Letcombe Regis until 1731. His second son lived in West Challow. His youngest son, Adam, had a large family in Letcombe Regis and was followed there by his eldest son, Edward. His second son, Adam, was a naval officer for the East India Company. His third son, William, moved to Reading and founded the well-known branch of the family there. His youngest son Charles moved to Upper Lambourn in the west of the county. Charlesí sons moved further west still to Dawlish in Dorset & Market Lavington in Wiltshire. His grandsons sought their fortunes abroad. George Blandy was the ancestor of the Blandys of Bahia and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Thomas Blandy was the ancestor of the Blandys of Delaware in the Unites States. The eldest, John Davis Blandy, set up as a wine merchant in Madeira in 1811. His descendants, the Blandy family of Madeira, are famous on the island and still produce Blandyís Madeira Wine as well as having widespread interests in the newspaper, hotel, travel, shipping and property industries.
The Famous and Infamous
John Blandy of Letcombe Bassett had a number of sons. John, the eldest, settled at Oak Ash House, a large estate at Purley, just east of the old family home village of Chaddleworth. He built the Blandy Pew in Chaddleworth Church in 1706. His eldest son was Rector of St. Nicolasí, Newbury. The latterís eventual heiress was his sister, Jane Southby. Adam and William, the younger sons of John of Letcombe Bassett, both entered the Church and became co-authors of the ĎAncient Chronologyí. Adamís son ended up in Putney (Surrey). Their brother, Charles, had a large family in the City of London, and the youngest brother, Francis, was a solicitor and town-clerk in Henley (Oxfordshire). Poor Francis is well-known for having been murdered by her gullible only child, the infamous Mary Blandy.
As noted, William Blandy moved to Reading, and it was in that town that he
and his descendants founded a number of prominent businesses.
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