The Twickenham Museum
People : Landowners and Gentry

Sir Thomas Skipwith
Lincolnshire Baronet
d 1710

Property owner in Twickenham

Sir Thomas Skipwith, 2nd Baronet, of Metheringham, Lincolnshire lived in Twickenham intermittently between 1701 and 1709. When he died in June 1710 he was in possession of copyhold property and land of the Manor of Isleworth Syon and an adjacent freehold property. His son, Sir George Bridges Skipwith also lived in Twickenham for a short while, paying rates between 1713 and 1716 or 1717.

In 1701 Sir Thomas bought a copyhold property including a house and orchard known as the Osier Ground, of about 3/4 of an acre by the River Thames from Edward Wintour of London and in 1707 he bought a further small piece nearby from Mary Birkhead. Mary was probably a relative of Edward Birkhead whose house, later rebuilt as Richmond House she had sold to Francis Newport in 1682. Edward Wintour only paid rates for three years, from 1699. Thomas paid a similar amount, almost certainly moving into the property, with its stables noted in the transfer by Mary Birkhead.

Lord Denbigh's house. Detail from a view of Twickenham by Peter Tillemans in a private collection

In addition, Sir Thomas acquired adjacent freehold property. The record of his purchase is not available: it pre-dates the start of the Middlesex Deeds Register, however it can be deduced from the transfer by his son to Dr William Battie in 1741. This transfer describes land bordering the Thames whose house had recently been burnt down. All these properties made up the estate later known as

Lord Denbigh's, then Dr Battie's and finally Poulett Lodge.

Thomas attended Vestry meetings at St Mary's Church from time to time, the first being on 23 November 1702 when, as one of the quality, his signature headed the list of those present. Thomas made a will in August 1705 (PCC Prob 11/516 Sig 170). He bequeathed his house and contents to his wife Margaret apparently already possessed of them but living in another, new, house of her own in Stratton Street, Piccadilly. It is not entirely clear to which house Thomas is referring but in due course his son inherited the Twickenham property.

Further reading

Anthony Beckles Willson, Copt Hall Twickenham, unpublished MSS in Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Library, 1998

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