Marrying into money

George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758), inherits the Dunham estate with debts of £50,000. He plants hundreds of trees across the park as a timber resource, but finally manages to clear his debts by marrying Mary Oldbury (d. 1740) in 1702. The daughter of an East India Company merchant, Mary came with a sizeable dowry of £24,000 – about £2.5 million in today’s money.

George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington and his daughter Lady Mary Booth


The Booths and the Greys unite

Mary Booth (1704-72), the sole heir of the 2nd Earl and his wife, marries Harry Grey (1715-68), bringing the Dunham estate into the Earldom of Stamford. Mary and Harry divide their time between Enville Hall, one of the Stamford estates, and Dunham. Appointed director of the Dunham estate in her father’s will, Mary was integral to the management and shaping of it, co-negotiating, for example, the building of the Bridgewater Canal.

The only woman to ever inherit Dunham Massey...


The deer park enclosed

The final bricks are put in place to complete a three-mile-long wall enclosing the deer park, keeping intruders out and animals in.

1750 Painting of the enclosed deer park at Dunham Massey