The Decline of the Staffordshire Squire

Home | Littletons 2 | The Littletons of Teddesley Hall | Always on my Mind | Almshouses | Tanyard Wedding | Jubilee, 1935 | Snow | CONTENTS | Reading Room | Penkridge Church Clock | 1901 | Books | Pub Landlords | Sydney Barnes | Four Crosses | Acton | Levedale | Wyre Cottage | Fox Holes | Ivy House | Yacht | Lord Byron | Christ's Church | Bedlam | Dialect | Wolverhampton | Sandon Hall | Beer-ometer | Bednall | Walk | Hope | Lady Lichfield | Vicars | Buckingham Palace | Directories | Staffordshire Squires | Streets | Estate Workers | US Army | MPs | Stafford By-election | Mystery

Lord Hatherton's Journal, 19th March, 1844

Lord Hatherton is on a train, going to Malvern, to join Lady Hatherton.

In the train I was joined by Francis and Richard Fitzherbert of Swinnerton - men I have known all my life and whose society I own I like - as I do that of all their order. They lounge life away comfortably in the houses of foxhunting squires and attend races and steeple chases - going to London perhaps for three weeks at the time of Epsom and Ascot races - not troubling their heads much about politics, albeit liberals, but leaving the affairs of government to wiser heads.

These men are becoming rare in the county. I imagine they abounded 50 years ago - the great days of the squirearchy and helped very much to keep together the frame of society which was then more provincial. Nearly all the men I have known of this sort have been a good sort of men. And if they were idlers in the world they were at least of a better description than the frivolous blockheads who now throng to London and fashionable towns at what is called the Season.

I remember when I was about 18 that there were in Staffordshire about 20 gentlemen of this sort whom I well knew - 3 Fitzherberts, 4 Giffards, 5 Crockets, 2 Molineux, Mott, Port of Ilam - all excellent fellows and several minor stars of the same sort.

Railroads now carry people away from home and have relieved the inhabitants of the county from the necessity of cultivating the resources of mere neighbourhood. The squires have consequently lost their local influence and importance and many of them by the long depreciation of property since the peace, their estates. The mass of the middle orders have undoubtedly gained.