Mary and Thomas Whitmore-Jones: A heavy burden

Mary Whitmore-Jones, sister of Willie

Mary Whitmore-Jones inherited Chastleton in 1874 at the age of 51, on the death of her brother Willie.

Mary Whitmore-Jones

Mary Whitmore-Jones, first female heir of Chastleton
Mary Whitmore-Jones, first female heir of Chastleton
Mary Whitmore-Jones, first female heir of Chastleton

'Came home. Tom and Joanie were here waiting for me. Began my new life. I hope to have grace given to me to do my duty in it' Diary entry by Mary Whitmore-Jones, 31 March 1875

Mary was an author, writing a book on Robert Catesby, the Gunpowder Plot and Chastleton's association with them, and inventor, associated with the card game, Paitence. 

Chastleton Patience board designed by Mary Whitmore-Jones
Chastleton Patience board designed by Mary Whitmore-Jones
Chastleton Patience board designed by Mary Whitmore-Jones

She was unmarried and did not have any children. WIthin a few years she passed the management of the estate to her nephew Thomas Whitmore Harris.

The house was leased out under the management of her nephew and Mary went to live at Chastleton Rectory as a boarder. In the 1901 census, Mary was recorded as living elsewhere in Chastleton village and died in 1915.

Thomas Whitmore-Jones

By the 1880s, Thomas Whitmore Harris had taken on full responsibility for Chastleton and changed his name to Thomas Whitmore-Jones.

He married Irene Dickins, his first cousin, who would continue to manage the property after her husband's death.

Irene Whitmore-Jones
Irene Whitmore-Jones
Irene Whitmore-Jones

Chastleton continued to be a financial burden on its owners and 1897 the couple moved out to a property in the village and leased the house out. 

During this time, Thomas carried out some repairs on the property particularly to the Long Gallery ceiling, which had been left untouched and unused for over 100 years.