The Gentry is a history of England told through its families. This website contains family trees, a few maps and many images illustrating some of the background to the twelve families who carry the story of England in the book.

Read a sample chapter about Sir John Oglander, the 17th-century squire of Nunwell in the Isle of Wight, his life and family, his dreams and ambitions and the tragedies that struck him....

Hugh Robert Hughes' Marriage

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The Tenantry's greeting The return to Kinmel

In August 1853, less than a year after coming into his inheritance, HRH married Florentia Liddell, the daughter of the vastly coal-rich Lord Ravensworth, and brought her back to Kinmel for what was, in effect, a coronation. Thousands ‘of people, comprising large numbers of the élite of the county’, came to welcome them at the house, before proceeding ‘to the refreshment booths erected in the park’. The newly married couple received gilded tributes from the 306 farm tenants of the estate and their families, a medieval-level gathering of what would have been called ‘the affinity’. In addition to the effusion shown in this picture, another set of tenants gave him this:

To Hugh Robert Hughes Esquire.

 Sir,

We your Tenantry residing on the Kinmel Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Estates beg leave with sentiments of profound respect most cordially to welcome you and your amiable and accomplished Bride to Wales, and to offer you our warmest congratulations on your arrival at Kinmel the Hall of your Ancestors to take up for the first time your residence among us. We beg to assure you that we hail the event with feelings of not ordinary satisfaction and pleasure attended as it is with the most auspicious hopes arising from your high and benevolent character and it is our earnest prayer that the Almighty may be pleased to spare you and yours through a long course of years in the full enjoyment of the choicest blessings of this life and of all the honours connected with your high and influential position in Society.[1]

 See The Gentry, p 321-2



[1] Tribute from ‘your numerous Tenantry, Your People and Your Country’, 30 August 1853, Kinmel Estate