Local Topics‎ > ‎

The White House

The White House 19 September 2015

Map of Basingstoke 1816


The White House Winchester Road Basingstoke, which has been a branch of Pizza Express for over thirty years, is one of the oldest buildings in the area. It was occupied for at least 150 years by a families and individuals who have represented a cross section of Basingstoke’s Social History. There have been connections with prominent Hampshire land owners, agricultural entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, Empire builders, engineers, sportsmen and aristocracy. There have been financial and human losses and family tragedies. At times there have been large families filling the house and at other times people on their own. I have been researching the social history of this house for some time. It is an ongoing project which is far from complete.

The 1816 map shows but does not name The White House. It was well placed on the junction of The Harrow Way and Winchester Road. As the map shows it was almost isolated, a mile out of Basingstoke on the road to Winchester with just The Stag and Hounds Public House as a near neighbour.

I begin my story with evidence from the 1841 Census and the LAVINGTON brothers: Francis Hockley LAVINGTON who was baptised at Chilcomb on 26th September 1786 and his younger brother, Harry LAVINGTON who was baptised in the same church on 10th August 1788. The 1841 census records that they had two servants looking after them at The White House: Elizabeth PLANK who was born in Chilcomb in 1799 and Ann BUTLER who was born about 1816. Both brothers were recorded on the census as having independent means. In fact they were from a wealthy, well-connected farming family.

Their grandfather, Francis LAVINGTON married Sophia HOCKLEY in Twyford Parish Church on 21st April 1755. This marriage united two wealthy farming families: The Hockley family had been farming in the Twyford area for nearly two hundred years. The Lavingtons owned and leased several hundred acres in the neighbouring parish of Chilcomb. Francis and Sophia had two daughters and one son: Anna Maria LAVINGTON born 1756, Sarah Sophia LAVINGTON, born 1757 and Richard Hockley LAVINGTON born 1758. There were no more children as Sophia died aged 33 in 1763.

Anna Maria married William MOTH on 20th May 1776 and went to live in Chilton Candover. She had several children and lived until she was 75.

Sarah Sophia married Harry EASTON on 15th July 1776 and stayed in Chilcomb. Unfortunately she died childless less than two years later at the age of 21.

Richard Hockley Lavington also made a good marriage on New Year’s Day 1783 with Henrietta EYLES: She was related to the deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire and may have been Richard’s cousin. They had three sons and a daughter: Richard Hockley Lavington (the younger), Francis, Harry and Mary. Mary LAVINGTON died aged 24 and was buried at Chilcomb on 18th September 1820.

There is further evidence that the Lavington family were well-connected in Hampshire Society of the early nineteenth century. Richard and Francis Lavington of Twyford are included in the Games Duty List published by The Hampshire Chronicle in September 1819. This confirmed that they, along with Lord Palmerston and Lord Titchborne, had paid the £3 13s.6d. annual duty to enable them to shoot game on their estates.

In 1803 Richard Lavington (senior) arranged a very good deal with a wealthy neighbour which further advanced the family’s fortunes. The neighbour, George Hoar, had returned from India where he was paymaster to the British Army and retired to Twyford Manor. He set about improving the estate and employed Humphrey Repton to redesign the park. The ancient watermill on The Itchen spoilt the view so he made financial arrangements with Richard Lavington to have a new mill built on the other side of the river. There was land available for Richard Hockley to build a very large barn beside the mill. This has since been converted into four large houses. Hockley Mill features on the website of The Hampshire Mill Society and is open for visits on certain days.

There are over eighty documents in The Hampshire Record Office relating to the land dealings of the Lavingtons.  On the last day of 1816 the details of Richard Lavington’s will were published in a land release document:

His widow, Henrietta received an annuity of £200. His eldest son, Richard inherited the estate. His sons, Francis and Harry received £3000 each. His daughter, Mary received £2000.The document gives Harry’s address as Burkham Farm Bentworth. There is also evidence that he leased Southwood Farm and possibly Breach Farm from The Kempshott Park Estate1

A  document of September 1829 records Harry living at Southwood Farm Wootton St Lawrence. In March 1828 the 500 acre farm, house and barns at Twyford, property of the late R H Lavington were sold for £21,000.

The two younger Lavington brothers and their housekeeper, Elizabeth Plank, probably moved into The White House in the late 1830s. Their older brother died in Twyford in 1832.  Francis died, aged 63 in the last quarter of 1849. He had lost an eye and ‘the other was very bad.The record of his burial at Twyford gives his address as ‘Breach Basingstoke’. This is probably referring to Breach Farm where he may have lived with Harry twenty years before. The censuses of 1851 and 1861 record that just Harry and Elizabeth were living there. In 1851 Harry is described as ‘Landholder and Annuitant’ and in 1861 as ‘Fundholder retired’.

On 2nd January 1855 The White House suffered vandalism. Superintendant William Franklin of the Borough Police noted in his diary:

                  Mr Lavington’s Window shot at by some person and six squares of glass broken.2

On 11 November 1865 The Hampshire Chronicle published the following notice in its ‘Deaths column’:

                Died; On Tuesday[ 2 November 1865] Mrs Elizabeth Plank age 66 for 25 years valued and respected housekeeper of Harry Lavington, The White House Basingstoke.

Elizabeth left a will. A copy of it is in The Hampshire Record Office. . Her estate was valued at less than £200 which she left to two nieces: Maria Green and Elaine Eaton.  She signed it with ‘her mark’ and it was witnessed by Harry Lavington and by George Bristow, a farrier.

Just over three years later on 6th December 1865 Harry Lavington died. On 30thJanuary 1869 The Hampshire Chronicle published a notice asking anyone who had a claim on the estate of Harry Lavington to come forward. Administration of Harry Lavington’s estate, valued at under £600 was granted on 6thApril 1869 to Joseph Goldfinch his ‘cousin German’ and one of his next of kin of West Brompton Middlesex. On 17 June 1869 The Hampshire Chronicle published an announcement on its front page advertising the sale of the entire contents of The White House.

The Jacksons and the Hibberds

In the 1871 census The White house was occupied by Norfolk Barstow JACKSON, a solicitor, his wife Elizabeth, their young daughter Amy and a fifteen year old maid, Susan Clements. Norfolk Jackson, a solicitor, was different from the most of the population of Victorian England in that he did not stay in any place for long.

He was born in Beverley Yorkshire in late 1838 or early January 1839. He was baptised in the parish church of St Mary and St Nicholas on 15th January 1839. In 1864 he married Marian or Mary Ann FLETCHER in Walsall. From Basingstoke Norfolk Jackson moved to Ormskirk, Lancashire and then retired to Scarborough where he died on 27th November 1908 aged 69.

At the time of the 1881 census The White House was unoccupied. However, for the next two decades or more it was the base for the family firm of agricultural contractors Hibberd and Sons. Thomas HIBBERD the founder of the firm was born in Basingstoke about 1826. I could not find any records for his baptism nor in the 1841 census. His mother was Hannah POTTINGER who was born in Holt, Hook in about 1768. She married William HIBBERD in Upton Grey on the 17th October 1801

On 23rd January 1847 Thomas Hibberd married Sarah Ann WALDREN, a milliner who was seven years older. Their first son, Henry HIBBERD, was born some five months later and was baptised at St Michael’s Basingstoke on 11th July 1847. In 1850 their daughter, Ann (Annie) Harriett HIBBERD was born. The 1851 census records the family living in Church Street. Thomas’s occupation is given as ‘rail labourer’. Tom HIBBERD was born three years later and baptised on 25th June 1854. There was a gap of five years before their last son, Joshua HIBBERD, was born in 1859.

In 1861 the family were still living in Church Street. Thomas is now self-employed as a blacksmith as the railway lines through Basingstoke were now complete.

The 1871 census records some changes to the family: Thomas is now an agricultural machinist but still in Church Street. Henry has moved a little distance away to Silk Mill Terrace. In early 1870 he married Fanny Maria CULVERWELL, the widow of Thomas CULVERWELL who was the landlord of The Railway Arms which stood on the corner of Brook Street and Station Hill.  The census records his step children aged from two to eight and the couple’s first child Jane Hibberd aged 5 months.

On 18 September 1872 The Hampshire Advertiser reported in its ‘local liquidation cases’ column  that the first meeting of creditors of Thomas Hibberd ,blacksmith, was to be held at the offices of Mr R H Bayley, solicitor of Basingstoke. However, there were no further reports of Thomas’ financial problems so one presumes that the difficulties were resolved.

In 1881 the family of Thomas Hibberd have moved to bigger premises in Flaxfield, Basingstoke next to The Pear Tree.   The census records that both sons, Tom and Joshua, were living with their parents and were traction engine drivers. Also included in the household were four grand-daughters and a boarder, William Bone.

Henry had moved away from Basingstoke at this time and was living near Yeovil. He had a new career on the railway as a carriage inspector.

Sarah Hibberd died in 1886 aged 67. Thomas married Emma YARLOTT in 1889. She was just six years older than her stepdaughter, Annie.

Tom Hibberd married Ellen MYLAND in 1876. In ten years she produced six daughters for Tom. She died a few weeks after giving birth to her sixth daughter, Alice Rose HIBBERD; in the spring of 1886.She was just 32.

The 1891 census records The White House occupied by 13 souls. Thomas Hibberd and his son, Tom, were now running a successful agricultural contracting service for the local farms. Annie Hibberd was unmarried, living at home and working as a dressmaker. Tom had married Annie Maria BOLT in 1887:  she was born in Otterton, Devon in 1855. In 1881 she was a cook in a doctor’s household in Clifton, Bristol. Jessie HIBBERD, Tom and Annie Maria’s first daughter was born in the second quarter of 1888. So there were seven girls with ages ranging from 13 to 3 living at The White House. Also recorded on the 1891 census as working as the outdoor or yard servant was Charles CULVERWELL, age 24. He was Thomas Hibberd’s step-grandson. He died age 30 in 1897.

This section of the 1896 Ordnance Survey map shows The White House and its large plot. The pencil marks made by a later planner show what might have happened if the road plans were realised.

There are invoices in The Willis Museum, Basingstoke from Hibberd & Sons, ‘Traction Engine Proprietors’ to Lord Bolton for threshing on his farms at South Ham and Buckskin.

The first dated April 13th 1893 is for work the previous summer. It shows that 41 sacks of Rye were threshed on 12th August 1892 at South Ham Farm and that on 26th and 27th August wheat was threshed at Buckskin Farm at the cost of 11d. per sack. The invoice was addressed to Mr Raynbird. There were five relevant Raynbirds recorded in Basingstoke in the 1891 census who were involved in agricultural services, one of whom may have acted as an agent for Lord Bolton.

The second invoice shows that the Hibberds’ charge for threshing has almost halved to 6d. per sack: The invoice is presented more quickly in November 1894 and shows that the Hibberds threshed 254 sacks of oats at Buckskin Farm on 19th and 20th September for a total of  £6. 7s.which would be about £700 in today’s value.

It is not surprising that Thomas’ third son, Joshua HIBBERD, and his family were not living at The White House. The 1891 census records that they were living at 18 Solby’s Road Basingstoke. However, Joshua’s occupation was ‘threshing machinist’ so the inference is that he was still involved in the family business. He married Alice Maria ASHBY in 1887. She was born in Stokesby, Norfolk in 1865. In the 1881 census she was living with her aunt at Ivy Cottage, The Green Sherfield-on-Loddon and working as a dressmaker. Joshua and Alice Hibberd’s daughter, Florence Mildred HIBBERD was born in 1889 and their first son, Herbert Joshua HIBBERD a year later, Alfred William HIBBERD, their third child was born in 1893. Unfortunately, Joshua died at the age of forty on 9th May 1899. Joshua’s death was caused by an accident while working with steam traction engines. On the morning of Monday 8thMay 1899 he was working with two men, George Harrison from Worting and George Port from Popham and a boy, Edward Hellmuth from Lower Brook Street, on The Kempshott Park estate. Two traction engines had been set up on the undulating downland with a steel cable between them to which was attached a scarifier.

The terrain was rough: a blade of the scarifier broke. Joshua and a boy crawled under the scarifier to replace it. The accepted practice was that the driver of the traction engine pulling the rope would wait to hear a whistle from the other engine as a signal to continue. This was necessary on the down as the engines were out of sight of each other. According to the report in The Hants and Berks Gazette of 13th May 1899 the driver of the top engine, George Harrison, heard a whistle and engaged the pulley to pull the cable. Unfortunately, the whistle was not the ‘all clear’ signal but came from a railway locomotive on The Basingstoke to Alton Light Railway down in the valley. The scarifier started to move with Joshua and Edward still under it. Edward, managed to roll away, but Joshua was fatally injured, a tine had pierced his lung. He was extracted from the machinery and taken to Basingstoke Cottage Hospital. He died the next day of heart failure. Recording a verdict of accidental death, the Basingstoke coroner, Spencer Clarke, commented that the systems employed were lax: ‘Drivers depended more on their experience than upon any rules’. Tom Hibberd who attended the inquest as a witness assured the coroner that he had already instructed the firm’s drivers to always disconnect the cable from the engines before any adjustments were made.

Joshua Hibberd was buried in the non-conformist section of The Holy Ghost Cemetery on 13th May 1899. The report of his funeral and of a subsequent memorial service give an insight into his life: He was a prominent member of The United Reform Church and was conductor of The Temperance Choir. His funeral was attended by several notable local figures including Sir Richard Rycroft of Kempshott Park.

On census night in 1901 the family were still in Solby’s Road without Florence who was in hospital. Alice was making ends meet by renting a room to Arthur Masters, a jeweller. Ten years later Alice was established at 41 Church Street in her sweet shop. Florence was living at home and working in a draper’s shop, Alfred was a tailor’s apprentice. Herbert was also a draper’s assistant but working and boarding in Reading. Sadly Alfred Hibberd died at the age of 20 in 1913.

 41 Church Street was demolished during Basingstoke’s Town Centre Development but it was remembered by Mary Felgate when she was interviewed for the Basingstoke Talking History Project. Her memories were collated by Barbara Applin in the book Going down Church Street to the Felgate Bookshop.

The windows of Mrs Hibberd’s sweetshop were full of sweets. We loved Mrs Hibberd, she was a dear. She wore a striped blouse with a high bone collar, and her hair drawn up. She stood behind the counter so you couldn’t see the rest of her.  When I was very small mother would take me in for sweets, in my pushchair and Mrs Hibberd would give me a farthing bar of chocolate. It was rather a harsh taste because it was very strong, but I loved it. Later I often used to go in there for sweets, and I particularly remember tiny bars of chocolate with the name printed along the top, “ Five Boys Chocolate”, with the five faces changing from sorrow to smiles3.

Alice died in 1932. Herbert continued in the drapery trade. He married Ivy MASKELL in Paddington on 7th June 1919. They had one son and three daughters. In 1957 Herbert was granted probate of his daughter, Beryl’s estate; he was then a garage proprietor in St Albans.

In the 1901 census The White House was recorded as two households: Thomas Hibberd aged 74 but still working as an agricultural engineer, Emma aged 58 and Annie with no recorded occupation aged 51.There was also Tom and Annie Hibberd’s family: the three oldest daughters had left home, Jessie had married Rowland WINSER a watchmaker and was living in East Grinstead with their baby daughter, Jessie Ellen WINSER, Ethel and Edith HIBBERD were working as drapers’ assistants in Sherriff and Ward’s emporium in Winchester and living above the shop. At The White House there were four of Tom and Annie’s children: Bessie, 13, Archibald, 9, Mabel, 7, and Harold, 4.

Thomas died in 1905 aged 79 and his daughter, Annie, later that year aged 55. Emma lived to be 90. She died in Christchurch in 1924.

It seems that the Hibberds’ agricultural business died with Thomas. However, many of his descendants became part of the commercial life of Basingstoke, and further afield, for the greater part of the twentieth century.

The 1911 census records Tom Hibberd and his family living at 14 New Road Basingstoke. He is working as a commercial traveller for an engineering company.

Jessie and Rowland Winser moved to Southampton and Rowland worked as a steward on Trans Atlantic liners. He drowned when The Titanic sank on 15 April 1912, leaving five children, the youngest, Jack, was just two years old.

Edith HIBBERD, Jessie’s older sister married James Alfred LAW in 1902. He was also a ship’s steward. The 1911 census records them living with their five children in Portswood, Southampton. Jessie and her two youngest children were staying with them on census night.

Ethel HIBBERD married Ernest BADHAM in 1903. Their son, Ernest BADHAM was born a year later in Rugby where they ran a fruiterer’s shop at 35 Rugby High Street. In the 1911 census Ethel’s sister, Lillian HIBBERD was working with them. Lillian married John WALLACE In Basingstoke in 1913 but I have not been able to find any more records for them.

Daisy HIBBERD, the fifth daughter, was also working as a draper’s assistant in 1901 when she was living at The White House. In the 1911 census she was one of 44 shop assistants living at 16 Winchester Street Basingstoke. (This is now Basingstoke Service Centre.) On 25th July 1914 she married William SLATER at Holy Trinity Kilburn. I have not been able to find any further records for them except that I think Daisy died in Marlborough in 1955.

Alice HIBBERD, the sixth daughter of Tom’s first marriage, married Edwin Percy WATSON in Basingstoke in 1906. In 1911 they were living at 33 Goat Lane Basingstoke where Edwin was working from home as a motor engineer. The Electoral Registers of the 1920s records their address as 7 Winchester Road. There was a Watson’s Garage in Lower Wote Street until the 1960s4.Eric Stokes wrote that Watsons ran a bus company, the Basingstoke Charabanc and Motor Company which ran services to Basing daily and to Odiham ‘every fine Sunday’. He also wrote that during the steady increase in private motoring in the twenties and thirties in Basingstoke; ‘Webbers and Watsons were the two main agents for a wide range of makes....’5 Watsons were the main agents for Vauxhall in Basingstoke. I could not find any records of children born to Edwin and Alice Watson. Alice died in Southwark in 1972. 

Bessie HIBBERD, the eldest of Tom and Annie’s children, was working as a shop assistant in a Basingstoke drapers’ shop in 1911: in the first months of the First World War she married Herbert GIFFORD. He was a champion cyclist from Ely who came to Basingstoke in 1911 to work at Julian’s ironmongers in Church Street. In 1928 he started his own garage in Winchester Road. In 1933 he moved to the corner of New Street and Winchester Street where he established a large shop which sold a great variety of products from household goods to bicycles. ‘Gifford’s Corner’ was a prominent landmark in Basingstoke for nearly fifty years. Kelly’s Directory for Basingstoke in 1937 contained an advertisement for H J Gifford stating that the firm was a ‘general ironmongers, sold radio sets and undertook electrical installations’.  The Giffords had three children: Pauline, and a son, Peter, both born in Whitchurch. The couples’ youngest child, David was born in Basingstoke in 1934. Bessie died in 1935. Herbert Gifford became a borough councillor in the 1940s and served as mayor in 1950-51.In 1944 he married Millicent WEEDY who was about twelve years his junior. He died in 1968 aged 74.His widow, Millicent, married another prominent Basingstoke businessman Clifton Walter WEBBER in 1978.

In the 1911 census both Tom and  Annie’s sons, Archibald HIBBERD, age 19 and, Harold HIBBERD, age  14, were employed as motor mechanics. It easy to assume that they could have been working for their uncle, though I have no evidence of this. Archibald married Georgina MUMFORD in 1915.In 1919 they were on the Electoral register at 4 Potters Lane Basingstoke, just a short walk to Lower Wote Street. From 1931 they lived in Bridge Street Overton. They had a daughter, Gladys HIBBERD who was born in 1915 and a son another Tom HIBBERD born in 1920.Archibald died in 1948.Harold also settled in Overton. He married Rose AYRES in 1928. They had three sons: yet another Thomas HIBBERD, born in 1929, Peter HIBBERD, born in 1932 and another Harold HIBBERD, born in 1937.

Tom Hibberd died, age 72, in Whitchurch in 1927. Annie Hibberd died in Poole in 1938.

William Montgomery Tod

The 1911 census gives us a lot of information about The White House:

There are 11 rooms occupied by William M Tod and his family. Mr Tod was 46, a journalist born In Kirkcaldy Fife. 

Mrs Matilda Tod has been married to William for 8 years and has had two children, therefore, William Tod must have been married before and his daughters are Matilda’s step daughters. None of the family was born locally: William is a Scot, Matilda is from Bridport. Mary was born in Floore Northants, Margaret and William Jnr were born in Cambridge and the youngest, John, was born in Teddington. The family also have a teenage lodger, Irene Dennis, from Birchington.

From this small piece of evidence we are beginning to see that William Tod lead a varied an interesting life.


Extract from the 1911 census.

If we look at the rudimentary evidence recorded in censuses we can begin to explore his life.

William Montgomery Tod was born on 10th November 1864 in the port of Dysart, to the north of Kirkcaldy in the Kingdom of Fife. He was the second son of John Tod, a Ship’s Master and Ann Houeson Neil.

Even in his early years William’s family moved around. In 1871 they were living in the hamlet of Buccleuch in the Scottish borders.

At sixteen William was living in Islington and working as a commercial clerk.

His father, John Tod, does not appear on any more censuses. His death is reported from New Zealand in 1885.

When he was 21 William Tod married Rhoda Sarah Phipps in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire. She was about four years his senior and the daughter of a local plumber.

Sarah gave birth to four daughters in the first five years of her marriage to William. On 11th January 1891 William enrolled on a degree course in agriculture at Downing College Cambridge

The 1891 census records the family complete with two servants and a shepherd living in High Street Floore, near Northampton. William is described as a farmer.

On 6th February 1893 William’s first son, Henry Wilkie Tod is born in Floore. In 1895 a second son, William, is born in Floore but sadly his death was recorded in Chesterton, Cambridge a few weeks later. William Tod graduated from Cambridge later that year with a BA degree this was converted into an MA in 1899.

Rhoda Tod died shortly after giving birth to a daughter, Margaret Ann, on 23 May 1897.

On 28th August 1902 William married Matilda Daisy Dunham, ten years his junior, the daughter of a Croydon ironmonger.

There were two sons born to this marriage: William Dunham Tod born in Cherry Hinton Cambridge on 14 July 1903 and John Fraser Tod born in Teddington on 5 January 1906.

William’s book Farming was published by Dent in 1903 with a cheaper addition four years later. It was illustrated by Lucy Kemp-Welch a prominent artist of the time.

                                                                 An illustration by Lucy Kemp-Welch in William Tod’s Farming. (Photograph by Nancy Whitby)

According to the records of Alumni of Cambridge University William Tod is a lecturer in agriculture at the University of North Wales in Bangor at this time.

On 6th September 1910 The Portsmouth Evening News reported that William Tod of The White House Basingstoke had been appointed Secretary of the Hampshire Branch of The National Farmers’ Union. That summer Georgina Rosslyn Tod is born at The White House.

There is a gap of several years in the records. I do not know what part the Tod family played in The First World War. The Electoral Roll for Basingstoke for 1920 records four adults living at The White House: William and Matilda Tod and Frederick and Mabel Taylor. Fred Taylor was born in Gillingham Kent in 1867. The 1911 census records his occupation as a naval pensioner, engine fitter. I assume that Fred Taylor moved to Basingstoke to find work after the work at Chatham Naval dockyard decreased after 1918. The Taylors had two daughters who would have been in their late teens in 1920.

The Tod family moved from The White House in 1920 to Steeple on The Purbeck Hills, Dorset. In 1924 they were recorded on the electoral register at Puncknole near Burton Bradstock.

In 1926, aged 62, William Montgomery Todd entered Salisbury Theological College and was ordained priest in 1927. He served as curate, priest in charge and rector in several parishes in Dorset for the next 20 years. He died at Westhill House Wyke Regis on 28th April 1946 and was buried in the churchyard on 1st May. His will was proved for probate on 3rd September 1946. His effects amounted to £1532 15s. 11d.

His family mainly settled near him in Dorset but later moved to Wales in Pembrokeshire and Pontypool.

His granddaughter, Nancy Whitby, remembers him with affection but was not so fond of her grandmother, Matilda, whom she described as ‘a strict school ma’am, probably because I was so naughty’. She also told me that one day her father was being nosy in a derelict house over the road from his, he found a shelf of books and there was William Tod’s book.

                                                        Nancy Whitby’s photograph of William Tod’s book that was found by her father in a derelict house

                                            Revd William Montgomery Tod MA, 1864-1946: Clerk, farmer, undergraduate, lecturer, journalist and priest

The Twenties

According to Basingstoke’s Electoral Roll for 1921-23 the Taylor Family were still living at The White House after The Tod Family had moved to Dorset.

Also living there were Frederick and Mary BURGE who had been living at 25 Alexandra Road in the 1911 Census and were on The Electoral Roll there in 1920.

It is likely that both families were tenants at The White House and the house was arranged to accommodate two households. Fred Burge was a motor engineer who was born in Hereford in 1868.

The Electoral Rolls of 1925 to 1930/1 show that Maud Minnie HADOW lived at The White House. Some years there are others living with her who may have been servants or lodgers.

Maud RANKING was born in Bellary Madras India on 27 September 1870 to the wife of a British Army officer. She married Arthur De Sallis HADOW in Bangalore on 8 August 1882. I have found records of a daughter and two sons: Marjorie born in Burma in 1884, died in 1923 and Gerald born in 1895 and killed in action in France on 15 June 1915 and Phillip born in 1903 who became a commander in the Royal Navy and died on HMS Furious on 25 November 1942 taking part in Operation Torch, the allies assault on North Africa.

Colonel Arthur Hadow of The Tenth Battalion of The Yorkshire Hussars was killed in action at Loos 27 September 1915 (Maud’s 45th birthday)

The Portsmouth Evening News recorded the engagement of her son Sub-Lt Phillip Henry Hadow to Sylvia Rosetta HARVEY on 5 January 1925 and gave Maud’s address as The White House. The couple were married at Holy Trinity Brompton on 9 February 1925.

In the 1929 Electoral Roll James Arthur and Daphne Hilda JERVOIS are recorded at The White House. They married in Shanghai in 1927. Daphne’s maiden name was Hadow. I have not been able to find a firm connection with Maud though I am fairly sure she was her daughter. Her address was recorded as The White House when she sailed from Liverpool to Singapore on 6 November 1926. In the 1939 Registration she and Maud Hadow were living at Rewlands, Harestock Road Winchester and she was the executrix of Maud’s will. I have found records of two children of James and Daphne: a son, James W JERVOIS born 1928 in Kensington and a daughter, Daphne J JERVOIS born 1930 in Winchester .It is likely that Maud’s grandson, James was living at The White House as a baby.

In researching Maud Hadow’s family I discovered that her husband’s family were very well connected: Maud’s father-in-law, Patrick Douglas HADOW, (1811-1876) was a rich and well connected barrister and business man. He became chairman of the P&O shipping line. He married Emma Diana Harriot NISBET (1822-1892) in 1845. She bore him eight sons and one daughter.Their eight sons all went to Harrow where they were known as ‘The Harrow Hadows.’ They all lived full, interesting and privileged but often short lives.

The Harrow Hadows

Their first born in 1846 was Douglas Robert HADOW. Douglas at age 19 took part in the first ascent of The Matterhorn on 14 July 1865.He was the youngest and most inexperienced member of the team .He proved his capability by climbing Mont Blanc a few days before but this had exhausted him. On the descent from the summit of The Matterhorn he was very unsteady and his boots were worn .The guide, Michel Croz tried to help him but Douglas could not hold on and they both plunged to their deaths. His climbing equipment and his very flimsy looking boots are on display in the mountaineering museum in Zermat.

                                                                                    Douglas Hadow and Michel Croz died on the Matterhorn 14th July 1865.

Walter Henry HADOW (1849-1898) married The Honourable Lady Constance Blanche Louisa Hay-DRUMMOND, daughter of 12th Earl of Kinnoul. The 1891 census records the family of five living in Gloucester Place Edinburgh with eight servants. Walter was secretary of The Primrose League an influential political movement established to promote Conservatism.

Reginald Campbell HADOW (1851-1919) was commissioned into the Indian Army aged 19 .He married Annie POTT in Delhi in1876. Their four sons became army officers and Empire builders, their daughter, Beatrix, remained single and died in Eastbourne aged 28. Reginald became a colonel in 1900 and retired to Eastbourne in 1902.

Alexander Astell HADOW (1853-1894) remained a bachelor. He was a member of the London Stock Exchange and travelled widely. He died in Neunahr in Prussia aged 40.

Patrick Francis HADOW (1855-1946) Frank ran a coffee plantation in Ceylon. During his holidays he liked to return to England to play sports. He batted for The MCC. In 1878 he won the men’s singles final at Wimbledon against Spencer Gore. He returned to Ceylon and did not play tennis again. He preferred to shoot Big Game in Africa.

                                                                                                                                    Frank Hadow.

When he was asked why he stopped playing tennis he answered, ‘Sir it is a sissy’s game played with a soft ball’. He was nearly ninety-one when he died- the longest living of the Hadow brothers.

Cecil Macdonald HADOW (1856-1935) lived in Kashmir India .He married Margaret BRAINES there in April 1891.They had one son, Robert Henry HADOW born 1895.They both died within five weeks of each other in Alassio Italy: Margaret on 17 Dec 1934, Cecil on 29 January 1935.

The only daughter, Emma Bertha HADOW, (1861- 1884) did not marry and died aged 23 at Woodbury Hall Sandy Bedfordshire on 16 April 1884.

Edward Maitland HADOW (1863-1892) was youngest of the Harrow Hadows.  He did not marry. He died in Cannes aged 32.

The White House 1937-1985

About 80 years ago The White House changed from a family residence and was used as business premises. Kelly’s Directories have been my main source. I have also heard some personal stories.

From about 1937 until sometime in the Second World War it was run as a guest house by Major and Mrs Cook. On the night of 30th September 1939 when the National Registration was taken six or seven guests were staying at The White House. They included three female bank clerks in their twenties, a regional sales manager for a tyre company and a Doctor Lewis Laurent and his wife, Phyllis. There was also, Marjorie Hadley who was a ‘Pupil in Guest House Management and Cater[ing]. The record shows that the proprietor, Frank  Cook was a ‘retired civil engineer, ship and admiralty coaling contractor’.

After the war, the 1947 edition of Kelly’s Directory carries an advertisement promoting ‘The White House Restaurant and Club’. The proprietors are shown as Morgan & Coots & Co. and the telephone number was 229.

In 1952 it is still listed as a restaurant with H G Phipps and R F Norris as proprietors.

Three years later the proprietor is J F Boothby and it has reverted to a ‘restaurant and club’.

 Lifetime Kempshott resident, Owen Blissett told me of a rumour that was doing the rounds about seventy years ago:

The restaurant was popular with the well-heeled section of Basingstoke’s population as it was reputed not to comply strictly with licensing laws: rumours about alcohol being served ‘after hours’ were common.  One-night Hampshire Police raided it to catch the offenders. When they arrived, they found no one breaking the law. Had someone whispered something?  

From the late 1950s to the mid-sixties The White House was an antiques shop, specialising in English period furniture. The proprietor was Squadron Leader George W Phillips who advertised in Kelly’s Directory that he sold ‘English Period Furniture’.

The 1960 edition of Kelly’s lists ‘Phillips Geo W.’ as a private resident with no advertisement. In the late sixties George Philips was trading in antiques from premises in Hackwood Road.

From about 1965 it became a restaurant again. I have heard from those who remembered it that it was ‘very posh’ with prices out of the reach of many.

 My friend, John Yelland, who was orphaned during the war and lived with Kenneth Reed and his family in Pack Lane as a teenager told me the following story from about the mid-fifties:We had an au pair. One night she was getting ready to go on a date. A chap was taking her to The White House for dinner. I answered the door to him and was surprised to see my RE teacher in evening dress standing there. I don’t know who was more embarrassed he or me.

 Another Kempshott resident told me that her wedding reception was held at The White House restaurant in 1977.

Geoff Palmer;  November2015 (Revised April 2018)

Notes: Thanks to Jan Church and Bob Applin for additional material. I would also like to thank Di Miles (née Edwards) one of Tom Hibberd’s great-grandchildren for her help.

1)      Ken Smallbone: History of The Manor of Manydown Vol. 1 p. 34

2)      Quoted by Bob Clarke: Drunkards, Thieves and Rioters and the Basingstoke Borough Police 1836-1889

             3)      Mary Felgate and Barbara Applin: Going down Church Street to the Felgate Bookshop Basingstoke Archaeological and Historical Society and Fisher                             Miller Publishing, Basingstoke 1998. p.74.

4)      Robert Brown: Basingstoke Past and Present Ensign Publications 1988 p.68

5)      Eric Stokes: The Making of Basingstoke  Basingstoke Archaeological and Historical Society, Basingstoke  2008 pp 136-7