George Yeates and Caroline Boulger
George Henry Brettargh Yeates
George Henry Brettargh Yeates is recorded as being born in Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 1841. He was known as Harry to his family. I have been unable to trace his birth record either in the records for Hesse in Germany or indeed the English records.
There is circumstantial evidence from recent ancestral DNA tests to suggest that he might have been adopted as a child, and have been of Aegean Islands ethnicity, in particular the Island of Chios. What is indisputable is that he was brought up by John and Margaretta Yeates as their own child.
I use the phrase father and mother on this page in the ambiguous sense, as it includes both adoptive parents and biological parents. His “parents” were John Yeates and Margaretta Brettargh. Their story is told on a separate page.
Caroline “Beatrice” Boulger
Caroline Boulger, known as Beatrice, was born in Brompton, London in 1850. She was the granddaughter of Sir James Naesmyth of Posso. 3rd Baronet. Shared DNA matches with other Naesmyth offspring leave no doubt of the biological line from Sir James Naesmyth, through his grand daughter Beatrice, and her son Cyril Yeates to the current day.
Beatrice’s parents were John Boulger and Jemima Naesmyth. Their story is told on a separate page.
George “Harry” Yeates
Harry spent his early years living in Germany, first in Frankfurt am Main, in the Maintal district, then the family moved to Biebrich, near Wiesbaden. We know a lot about this period as his father kept a daily diary recording all manner of events and thoughts.
Both his parents died in 1847, when Harry was just six years old. He seems to have been brought up in Park Head, Levens. His elder brother John Yeates Yeates, who had served in the Royal Navy on board HMS Thunderer, an 84 gun 2nd rate ship of the line, seeing action in the eastern Mediterranean, became the head of the family.
There are many and detailed letters between John Yeates Yeates and his brothers and many references are made to “Aunt Lucy”, who was Miss Lucy Copland, but I can find no geneaological links to Aunt Lucy. I believe she might have been appointed as either a nanny or governess to look after Harry. There appears to have been genuine affection for “Aunt Lucy” and she is buried in the same grave as Beatrice and her second husband, in Kensal Green Cemetery, London. On Lucy’s death certificate, Beatrice records her relationship with Lucy as a niece, but she clearly wasn’t.
Beatrice appears to have spent her early years in London where her parents were living in Ecclestone Street. George Yeates, although he lived in Park Head, Levens, also had a house in London at West Dale House, Streatham. Beatrice’s mother Jemima lived in the same area and it is possible that they met as a result.
Crisps Marriage Licence Index
Beatrice was eighteen at the time of her marriage to Harry. As such she was regarded as a minor and required parental consent to marry. The document opposite shows Beatrice’s father John Boulger, granting consent for his daughter to marry George (Harry) Yeates at St Peter Church, Pimlico.
Harry and Beatrice were married on 17 October 1868 in St Peter Church, Pimlico, but they lived mainly in Park Head, Levens. By this time all of Harry’s siblings had died, and Harry inherited well from the estate of Anthony Yeates. As a result he records his occupation as “Gentleman”. In other words a Landed Proprietor or a man of independent means.
At this stage, Harry decides to bring together the armorial families of the Brettarghs, Aigburths, Yeates and other families and build a mansion behind Park Head, to be called Brettargh Holt to celebrate his status as a Gentleman.
He appointed a local Surveyor, Job Bintley, to design the house, although most of the letters to and from Bintley seem to have been from Beatrice. The letters provide an interesting insight into the considerations of the design. All of these letters have been donated to the Kendal Record Office and made available to the public.
The house was named “Brettargh Holt” after the ancestral seat of the Brettargh Family in Little Woolton, Liverpool, which was the original Brettargh Holt.
The period between their wedding and the completion of Brettargh Holt, seems to have been a busy time with all the considerations for the construction. Brettargh Holt was completed in 1873, and Beatrice gave birth to their first, and only child, on 10 July 1875, and he was christened Cyril Ernest Brettargh Yeates.
My heraldic knowledge is not good but the crest opposite appears on one of the Yeates books. On the shield the top left and bottom right are the Yeates Arms as I recognize the five bar gates.
The motto which reads Res non Verba, is I think Latin for “Action not Words”
The attached photograph was one of many taken when Brettargh Holt was first completed. I believe this to be taken from the south from where Park Head was located.
Brettargh Holt Interior
The photograph opposite shows the galleried staircase of Brettargh Holt, shortly after it was completed.
Brettargh Holt today
Brettargh Holt has had a varied history and was for many years a convent occupied by the Salesian Sisters, who built a chapel on the right hand side.
It has now been beautifully converted into a luxury hotel and wedding venue. It is now known as the Villa Levens, and it is nice to see the building being given a new life.
Villa Levens Hotel
This photograph is a contemporary photograph of the staircase of the hotel. The building has been most sensitively converted.
The photo opposite, shows the location of Park Head, where the Yeates family lived, marked by a purple arrow at the bottom of the picture.
Brettargh Holt, marked by a red arrow, is located at the top right of the photo.
Death of Harry Yeates
Harry Yeates died on 18 October 1875 at Brettargh Holt, just three months after the birth of his son Cyril. Harry is buried in the churchyard at Heversham alongside his parents and other Yeates relatives.
Beatrice put Brettargh Holt up for sale and returned to London with her son Cyril. Beatrice’s sister was married to Charles Webb from Wimborne, Dorset. Beatrice met and married Charles Webb’s brother, Major William Bridges Webb. They were married in Wimborne Minster on 13 September 1878.
Major William Bridges Webb
Beatrice and William had a further three children, two sons and a daughter. Cyril lived with his half siblings in Paddington, London. William was the Chairman of the Baltic Exchange.
William died on 25 August 1913 at the age of 64, and Beatrice died on the 12 November 1914. They are buried in the same grave in Kensal Rise Cemetery.
When Beatrice’s son Cyril died in 1950 he was cremated and his ashes were buried in the same grave.