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Williamstrip, Gloucestershire: alterations and additions for Michael Hicks Beach, 1790-1791 (16)

1790
Michael Hicks Beach (1760-1830) was MP for Cirencester 1794-1818, but 'not known to have spoken in the House and was almost certainly an infrequent attender, but when present his voting behaviour was unpredictable'. (D. R. Fisher, 'The History of Parliament' at www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume1790-1820) He married an heiress Henrietta Maria Beach in 1777, and added her name to his on the death of his father-in-law in 1790. She inherited Netheravon, Wiltshire on which Soane also worked (q.v.). Hicks Beach bought Williamstrip Park in the late 1780s. The manor of Williamstrip had previously been bought by the Powle family between 1610 and 1618 and when Catherine Powle married Henry Ireton soon after 1700, it was transformed into the classical house engraved by Kip in 1708. Soane's alterations of 1790-1 were added to by an unknow architect in 1834 when, for example, a west portico was added. More drastic alterations and enlargment were made by David Brandon (1813-1897) in 1865.

Literature. P. Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, p. 182; D. Verey and A. Brooks, Gloucestershire 1: the Cotswolds, 3rd ed., 1999, pp. 725-6; D. R. Fisher, op. cit.; British Listed Buildings On Line at www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk

Jill Lever, May 2012
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