We’ve lived in the Marches area for almost 20 years and Ludlow in Shropshire is only 25 miles away. Yet Peter, your research coordinator, only recently discovered that Castle Lodge, a medieval part timber-framed building in the heart of Ludlow, had been occupied in the early 19th century by Dr. Charles Badham (1778–1845), later to become Professor of Physics at Glasgow University. His son Charles, who eventually became Professor of Classics at Sydney University, was born at Ludlow on 18 July 1813.1
Castle Lodge: the visit
We’d been to Ludlow on numerous occasions over the years and had admired Castle Lodge without knowing that an illustrious Badham had lived there. It stands in a prominent corner position on Castle Square, quite close to Ludlow Castle. In the summer of 2015 we decided to visit to the house. It is, in theory, open to the public but it was almost impossible to find out about the visiting hours – nothing on the internet and even the local Tourist Information Centre didn’t seem to know! However, some on-the-spot detective work carried out by a friend who lives in Ludlow revealed that it was in fact open daily.
East Front Castle Lodge
We arrived at the house on our chosen day, read the note on the front door requesting visitors to knock, but weren’t completely surprised that it turned out to be quite hard to get over the threshold! Although we could hear signs of human activity within, it was impossible to get anyone to respond to our knocks. We went away somewhat dispirited, but after a reviving cup of coffee decided to give it another go, this time bashing more loudly and persistently. Eventually the door was opened by what turned out to be the current owner who apparently bought the property in 1992. He told us that he had done much to restore and enhance the character of the house but is struggling financially to maintain it. Having paid the entrance fee we were allowed to wander around at our leisure and to take photos too; and goodness, what a magnificent gem of a building it is with its detailed plasterwork, stained glass and oak panelling.
The entrance opens straight into a large, fine oak panelled room with Tudor fireplace, which was probably original to the house, and therefore likely to have been known and used by Charles Badham and his family. Along with some fine antique pieces sit some rather anachronistic 20th-century furniture, including some white settees, as can be seen in the photo below.
Probably Original Fireplace
The large room beyond that has a magnificent plasterwork ceiling but this is a copy of a ceiling at Birtsmorton Court, near Malvern, Worcestershire (see photo of dining room below).
A plaster ceiling from Moreton Paddox House in Warwickshire is now fitted to one of the first floor rooms. Also, a new staircase was put in which came from a house near Oswestry (Shropshire), and some of the oak panelling was replaced with original panelling from a house near Leominster (Herefordshire). All this was done in the late 1950s or early 1960s, so it was hard to imagine what the interior would have been like in Charles Badham’s time. Almost certainly, the plaster frieze work up the stairs to the top floor, in the attic rooms, and the Georgian fireplace at that level would probably have been there then. Maybe the rooms at this level would have been children’s or servants’ bedrooms and most probably the nursery.
Castle Lodge Top Floor
Attic Castle Lodge
History and occupants
There has been a building on this site from at least 1270 and many owners and tenants have come and gone, ranging from skilled trades people through to members of the landowning gentry. It was once the home of the young Catherine of Aragon when she was married to Prince Arthur. After his death she married the new heir, his younger brother Henry VIII in 1509. We know that Walter Badam, one of Henry’s Grooms of the Chamber was granted the toll or yearly custom of the town of Knighton in 1509 (see Badham Delvings, p.174) and since Knighton is only about 17 miles from Ludlow it’s therefore quite likely that Walter was a visitor to the Castle if not the Lodge.2 The ghost of a young girl seen by some haunting the attic rooms and nursery is said to be that of Catherine.
Thomas Sackford of Suffolk who was in the service of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord President of the Council of the Marches of Wales took a lease in 1571. He eventually became steward of the household at Ludlow Castle. It was Sackford who in 1587 built the basic structure of the house we see today.
Sackford was followed by Robert Berry from Devon who was MP for Ludlow seven times between 1584 and 1614. He extended the house and added the timber-framed upper storey. An inventory made after Berry’s death in 1658 and probably relating to Castle Lodge identifies a parlour and “Dyninge” room downstairs and above the parlour a main bedroom with “a bedstead with valance Curtain and roddes”, and a looking glass, which would have been a luxury at that time. Other items included “maps and pictures”, a “Sunne Dyall” and “Geomtrical Instruments” in the closet, as well as books worth £15 and “Ringes Jewells and some Forraigne Coyne”.3 Berry’s grandson, also Robert Berry, lived at Castle Lodge with his wife, Dame Katherine Howard, the widow of the fifth son of the Earl of Suffolk. In 1672 the hearth tax listed 12 hearths, making it one of the largest houses in Ludlow. At the time Charles and Margaret Badham and family were living there the whole building had a rendered finish which was removed in 1895 revealing the timber structure we see today. The view from an upper storey window shows the closeness to the Castle entrance, no doubt reassuring if there was trouble in the March.
Castle View Castle Lodge
The next occupant of Castle Lodge was Benjamin Karver, an aspiring young lawyer who came from a family of landowning squires from Upton in the parish of Little Hereford. Karver became a prominent Ludlow citizen, was on the Ludlow Corporation for 45 years, served as bailiff three times and eventually became senior alderman. After his death in 1737, his heirs retained the lease, but at least ten different families occupied Castle Lodge between 1740 and 1800. In addition to Dr. Charles and his family, one of these was Frederick Cornewall, later of Delbury Hall, Diddlebury, who married Mary Herbert of Oakly Park. One of their sons, Folliott Herbert Walker Cornewall, became in succession Bishop of Bristol, Bishop of Hereford and finally Bishop of Worcester. Bishop Cornewall’s house steward was Robert Badham, your research coordinator’s great-great-great grandfather. Dr. Charles and Robert were contemporaries which might suggest that Dr. Charles was influential in getting Robert the job. This might indicate a relationship between Charles and Robert but DNA evidence says there is no common male Badham ancestor. What we seem to have, therefore, is just coincidence.
Another early 19th-century resident was Dr. Joseph Babington (1768–1826), member of a distinguished medical family. At the time of Charles’ birth he was a physician and also had a fondness for botany. His son was a contemporary of Charles David, the oldest son of Charles and Margaret and also a naturalist. It seems probable the families knew each other and perhaps Dr. Bull mentioned below.
Badham connections and marriages
A further perhaps coincidental link with Dr. Charles Badham’s family occurs at Breinton. In the churchyard to the left of the west door there is a memorial to Charles Hassard Wilfred DODGSON,4 land surveyor, who died in 1941 and, most interestingly, lived at Breinton House, the former home of William Badham, the friend and cousin of exiled Catholic, Charles Booth.5 The oldest brother of the Charles that was born and baptised in Ludlow was Charles David Badham, doctor, naturalist and priest, author of A Treatise on the Esculent Funguses of England (1847). This son, known as David, was related by marriage to Charles Dodgson and this is a story of cousin marriages. The great-great grandfather of Breinton House occupant, Charles Hassard Wilfred DODGSON, was Charles DODGSON baptised in 1722, bishop first of Ossory and then of Roscommon. A daughter of the bishop, Elizabeth, married a Major Charles LUTWIDGE and they had a daughter, Frances. The bishop’s son Charles married Lucy HUME who was a sister of James Deacon HUME (see Delvings, pp.134-42). A son of Charles and Lucy was Charles DODGSON, who married his first cousin Frances LUTWIDGE mentioned above. Charles junior was born in Scotland and was an admirer of John Henry Newman later Cardinal Newman. The cardinal was also known to the Charles Badham born in Ludlow and provided Charles with a reference when he became Professor at Sydney (Delvings, p.147). Charles DODGSON’s brother, Hassard Hume DODGSON’s marriage to Caroline HUME makes the third first-cousin pair, as she was daughter of James Deacon HUME and a sister of Ann HUME who was married to the aforesaid David Badham of edible fungus fame. Three of Hassard and Caroline’s children, Charlotte, Amy and James are to be found in the 1851 household of David and Ann Badham at Bergholt where David was curate to the father-in-law of painter John Constable.
Those of you familiar with Lewis Carroll’s real names of Charles Lutwidge DODGSON will have guessed that he was a son of Frances and Charles DODGSON. One of his siblings was Wilfred L DODGSON who married Alice Donkin in York in 1871 and they were the parents of our Breinton land surveyor. Also buried in Breinton churchyard is another doctor with naturalist interests and he is Henry Graves Bull. Dr. Bull was a founding member of the Woolhope Society and was also the society curator. The British Mycological Society is said to have been founded in part as a result of the fostering of mycological interests by the Woolhope Society under Dr. Bull’s influence. Dr. Bull was certainly familiar with fellow mycologist David Badham’s work if not with his person.
All in all an interesting story of place, family links and coincidence.
Janine de Smet and Peter Badham
29 November 2015
1 Please note the details in this article have been culled from a variety of sources most of which have not been
checked against original records.
2 See also the first section, ‘The Families and Background’ in the article ‘Booth versus Badham: A family tale of exile,
affection, subterfuge and benevolence’ by Peter Badham (2015) on the B1NS website. Bishop Booth was adviser to
Prince Arthur, as well as a member of the Council of the Marches, which was based in Ludlow so he would also
have known Castle Lodge as part of Catherine of Aragon’s holdings (see Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
D. G. Newcombe, ‘Booth, Charles (d. 1535)’, first published 2004; online edition, May 2007).
3 To help clarify the relationships some surnames are capitalised.
4 Most of the information about Castle Lodge has been taken from www.discovershropshire.org.uk/html/search
/verb/GetRecord/theme:20080716115926 and http://shawweb.myzen.co.uk/stephen/castlelodge.htm.
5 See article ‘Booth versus Badham’.