Two Henry's, a Walter III and a John Jones: Money and loss
The latter part of the 17th and early part of the 18th century saw a series of Chastleton owners who died young, made some structural improvements to the building and in one case ended up in jail.
Henry Jones III
Henry Jones III inherited Chastleton from his father in 1687. However both he and his wife, Sarah Smith, died within a year of inheriting the house and subsequently very little is known about them.
As a result, their son Walter Jones III inherited at the age of 14 in 1688. Walter's grandmother Sarah Eyans, wife of Arthur the Cavalier, was still alive and living in the house. It is presumed that she raised Walter and looked after the house in his youth.
Walter Jones III
After reaching adulthood, Walter carried out some significant improvements to the house, including major construction work to the external walls of the White Parlour and Fettiplace Room.
Walter married Anne Whitmore in 1697; she brought a dowry of £2500 and the financial support of her brother, Sir William Whitmore, who took on some of the mortgages on the house.
Despite this, when Walter died in 1704, Anne wa
s left with four young children and an estate deep in debt.
John Jones was not even six year old when he inherited Chastleton in 1705, and so the house remained under the control of his mother, Anne Whitmore, for many years.
John had a typical education at Eton, Oxford and Lincoln's Inn, before returning to Chastleton for the quiet life of a gentleman. The estate was solvent at this point, thanks to the careful management by his mother, but was in debt again by the time John died in 1738.
The will of John Jones stipulated that should the Jones line die out, that the house should pass to descendants of his mother, the Whitmore's, as it did nearly 100 years later.
Henry Jones IV
Henry was married to Elizabeth Hancock, and much of their time appears to have been spent entertaining and hosting their family and friends.
As a younger son, Henry Jones had been expected to to earn his own income and so took a job in the Law.
However this did not stop the estate from continuing into debt and in 1755 Henry was imprisioned in Oxford Gaol for debt of £6000 (over £500,000 today).
A bailiff was appointed to live in the house and the Jones family moved out to lodgings in Stratford for a few years.
Chastleton was left under the care of Henry's brother-in-law who unsuccessfully attempted to reto ut the house.
The family moved back to Chastleton in 1760 and Henry died the following year.