The following extracts from various publications give an insight into the history of Gautby and the Vyner family.

For more information about Gautby and the Vyner Family see 'Lost  Lincolnshire Country Houses Vol 4 ' by Terence Leach and Robert Pacey which has a complete chapter dedicated to Gautby Hall.

The Vyner Family Tree can be seen here: vyner-family-tree

Extract from: The History of the County of Lincoln

Gautby, distant about seven miles north-westward from Horncastle, has, for a series of years, been the residence of the Vyners. The mansion, which is situated in a well-wooded park, possesses no claims to architectural beauty. In the park is an equestrian statue of king Charles II, which was placed in Stock's market, in the city of London, in the year 1675, the gift of Sir Robert Vyner, at that time lord mayor. Prostrate under the royal horseman, and trampled on by his warlike steed, a figure is seen in Turkish drapery, which puzzled
enquiring connoisseurs; they asked, and asked with reason, on what grounds of propriety or truth, our English king, whose warfare seldom extended beyond women and wine, could be graced with the trophy of a Turkish captive. Time, which unveils other mysteries, soon produced an explanation of this unappropriate accompaniament ; the zeal of the loyal citizen was greater than his discernment ; the statue which he purchased at a considerable expense, and erected in honour of a king of England, had been originally made to represent John Sobieski, king of Poland, who is mentioned as the saviour of Europe, at the seige of Vienna, and to whose statue a subdued Mussulman was a proper companion. After the demolition of Stock's market for the erection of the mansion house, this statue was given to a descendant of the worthy baronet, who placed it in his park at Gautby. The benefice is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £6 3s 4d. Patron, the king. The church, a small edifice, dedicated to All Saints. In 1821, Gautby contained 21 houses, and 118 inhabitants.

The following song was circulated and sung through the streets, when the statue was taken down in 1778!
The last dying Speech and Confession of the Horse at Stock's Market,
Ye whimsical people of London fair town,
Who one day put up what you next day pull down ;
Full sixty-one years have I stood in this place,
And never till now met with any disgrace.
What affront to crown'd heads could you offer more bare,
Than to pull down a king to make room for a may'r,
The great Sobieski on horse with long tail
I first represented, when set up to sale ;
A Turk as you see was plac'd under my feet,
To prove o'er the sultan my conquest complete.
Next, when against monarchy all were combin'd,
I for your protector, Old Noll, was design'd.
When the king was restor'd, you then in a trice,
Call'd me Charley the Second, and by way of devUe,
Said the old wisker'd Turk had Oliver's face


A brief history of the Vyner family and how they came to Gautby  (From a leaflet in All Saints Church Gautby)

Although the church with its monuments gives the impression of the Vyners as an old aristocratic land owning family, this was not in fact the case. They made their money from what we would now call the 'financial sector'. As bankers and goldsmiths around the time of the civil wars in the 17th century they were in a good position to prosper.

Thomas Vyner snr (monument on the north of the chancel) became a London,goldsmith. Whilst still a young man he and his nephew Robert Vyner set up a bank and goldsmiths shop opposite the Bank of England. When Charles 1st needed money to pay for the civil war it was to Thomas Vyner that he turned for help to sell some of the Crown Jewels. No doubt a commission (or bonus!) was involved. Thomas became a baronet and also Lord Mayor of London. It was in this capacity that he was influential in the execution of Charles.

Thomas and Robert Vyner then became very friendly with Oliver Cromwell instead, and assisted him in the sale of more Crown Jewels. In due course when the monarchy was restored Charles 11 needed Jewels for his Coronation. Sure enough the Vyners were there to help, lending some jewels and having other regalia made.

Robert always lived near London but acquired the Tupholme Abbey estates (which included Gautby) just after the civil war probably as a result of an unpaid mortgage. Although generally astute in financial wheeling and dealing, Robert was declared bankrupt when Charles II was unable to repay the debt that he owed. The original I.O.U for £416,724 13s 1d dated 1677 may be seen at Newby Hall in Yorkshire.

The Tupholme estates evaded the creditors. Through some dubious practices after Robert's death at Windsor castle in 1688, they remained within the family passing to a nephew.

The son of this nephew, also called Robert was the first of the family to live at Tupholme and in due course at Gautby. It is to this Robert Vyner that we owe the church that you see today.


An insight into the wealth of the Vyner Family

Extract from:  The wealth of the English landed gentry, 1870–1935* by Mark Rothery

........ Other aspects of the multifarious nature of gentry finances, and of the inertial force of gentry wealth in the face of successive challenges in modern society, is reflected in the Vyner family, also of Lincolnshire. The two Vyner brothers in this list, Henry Frederick Vyner (d. 1883) and his younger sibling Robert Charles de Grey Vyner (d. 1915) are an interesting case study in the accumulation, transference and continuity of gentry wealth. The Vyner dynasty began with a small estate, purchased in the early sixteenth century, at Ashelworth, in Gloucestershire. The family then acquired wealth and land through a succession of marriages into other landed families and several London merchants. Two younger sons rose to particular prominence in London society during the seventeenth century. Sir Thomas Vyner (1588–1665) became the Lord Mayor of London (1653) and was knighted by Oliver Cromwell, in 1654, later receiving the title of Baronet, in 1661. His cousin, Sir Robert Vyner (1631–1688) was also a Lord Mayor of London (1675) and a baronet (1666). Sir Robert’s estates came to rest with the descendents of a nephew, his own son having predeceased him, and they settled at first Gautby in Lincolnshire and then at Newby Hall in Yorkshire after they acquired that estate by marriage.26 By the nineteenth century the family had accumulated extensive lands, measured at over 30,000 acres which were located in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Bedfordshire, Cheshire,  Gloucestershire and Surrey. The main estates were centred on Newby Hall and Gautby Hall but the family also owned estates in Kingston upon Thames, in Surrey and in Cannes, France, both of which undoubtedly grew substantially in value during this period.27 Both Vyner brothers were extensively involved in racing and R.C.Vyner at least owned a stud farm at Fairfield, in Yorkshire.28 Although gambling was a high risk venture that led to the ruin of many profligate landowners and was generally a ruinous venture for many of those involved, there does not seem to be signs of the same kind of ruinous gambling habits amongst the Vyners associated with other famous patricians of the Turf, such as Henry Chaplin.29 Like Sir Richard Vincent Sutton, the wealth of both H.F.Vyner and R.C.Vyner were inherited personal fortunes. Robert Vyner (1782–1872) died leaving just under £300,000 according to the probate calendar so he fell just short of entry into the top-ten super-rich gentry. He left about £60,000 to relatives, including £30,000 to the younger of his two nephews, R.C.Vyner, who ultimately inherited the family estates. The bulk of the estates went to the elder nephew, H.F.Vyner, who died childless.30 The wealth inherited from Robert Vyner must have formed the basis of H.F.Vyner’s large probated fortune of £312,396 when he died in 1883 (probate 1885). As well as the inheritance of a part of Robert Vyner’s fortune, in 1872, Robert Charles also inherited the bulk of his elder brother’s (H.F.Vyner’s) personal wealth. Thus, the unequal partible inheritance of unsettled fortunes practised by the Vyner family allowed a concentration of personal as well as real property in the male head of the estate and household.

History Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire 1842

GAUTBY, a small well-built village, on a hold acclivity above a small rivulet, 7 miles W.N.W. of Horncastle, has in its parish 99 inhabitants, and 1421 acres, of which 180 acres belong to the Winn family, and the remainder to Robert Vyner, Esq., the lord of the manor, who resides at Gautby Hall, a large and handsome brick mansion, which is pleasantly situated in a well-wooded park, and has long been the residence of the Vyners, one of whom, Sir Robert, was lord mayor of London in 1675, and erected in Stock's Market, in that city, an equestrian statue in honor of Charles 11. On the demolition of the aforesaid market, in 1738, this statue. was removed to Gautby Park, where it now remains. It represents a monarch on a warlike steed trampling upon a Turk, and was designed as a statue of Sobieski, king of Poland, some years before it was purchased and improperly set up as a statue of Charles II. The Church (All Saints) is a small fabric, which was rebuilt about 80 years ago. The rectory, valued in K.R. at £6. 3s. 4d., is in the gift of the Crown, and incumbency of the Rev. John Fendall. About 600 acres are subject only to a yearly modus of £1. 13s. 4d., and the tithes of the rest of the parish have been commuted for a yearly rent-charge of £90. Directory :-Robert Vyner, Esq., Gautby Hall; John Chas. Fieldsend, surgeon; Keighley Kirk, parish clerk; and James Addlesee, Rd. Bell, John Clay, Thos. Sibsey, John Smith and Wm. Smith, farmers.


History Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire 1892

GAUTBY is a small well-built village, on a bold acclivity, above a small rivulet, 7 miles W.N.W. of Horncastle, 5 1/2 from Bardney, and 7 1/2 from Wragby station, on the Great Northern railway, between Boston and Lincoln, in the Parts of Lindsey, Horncastle union, county court district, petty sessional division and rural deanery and Gartree wapentake. Its rateable value is o741. In 1891 it had 92 inhabitants, and 1433 acres, belonging mostly to Robert Chas. de Grey Vyner, Esq., the lord of the manor. Gautby Hall, now pulled down, was long the residence of the Vyners, one of whom, Sir Robert, was Lord Mayor of London in 1675, and erected in Stock's Market, in that city, an equestrian statue in honour of Charles II. On the demolition of the aforesaid market, in 1738, this statue was removed to Gautby Park, where it now remains. It represents a monarch, on a warlike steed, trampling upon a Turk; a representation not quite in harmony with the character of that monarch, who drank wine and played at whist, while the Dutch were burning the shipping of the Thames. The figure was originally designed as a statue of Sobieski, Ring of Poland. The CHURCH (All Saints), which was rebuilt about the year 1756, is a neat brick structure, comprising nave, chancel and tower, crowned with a small wooden spire. In the chancel rare two monuments to the Vyner family. On a slab in the chancel where he is buried, is recorded the cruel murder of Frederick G. Vyner, Esq., by brigands in Greece, in the year 1870. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £6 3s. 4d., and now at £213 per annum, is in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Charles 6. Wynne, M.A., who has a commodious residence. About 600 acres are subject only to a yearly rent-charge of £1 13s. 4d., and the tithes of the rest of the parish have been commuted for a yearly rent-charge of £90. A SCHOOL BOARD for the united district of Minting and Gautby was formed in 1876. Mr. John Andrew is clerk. LETTERS arrive about 8.15, and are dispatched at 2.30 p.m., via Lincoln. Bardney is the nearest Money Order Office, and for those marked * the nearest Telegraph Office, but for the others Baumber is the nearest Telegraph Office. Those marked I should be addressed Minting, Horncastle. The note * refers to Telegrams. Blanchard W. farmer I Tebbutt John Robert, farmer, Wynne Rev Charles J. M.A. rector, Butler Mr James Gautby house The Rectory, and rector of * Calcraft Neville Lucas, land Todd Jesse, woodman and farmer Waddingworth agent for R. C. de Grey


Extract from: "THE KING'S ENGLAND - LINCOLNSHIRE" by Arthur Mee

GAUTBY:      The Rectory and the tiny brick church with tower and slender spire, neighbours in a leafy setting, here making a pleasing picture.


The church is in Georgian style, and so are the pulpit, the horsebox pew and the fluted wooden pillars by the chancel arch. But there are monuments going back to Stuart days (some of them brought from a London church which has vanished) and a medieval font with carved quatrefoils.

One of the monuments is to the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Vyner. Set up by his son in 1672, it shows him in his robes, holding his chain of office, his hair curling under a skull cap. He had the dis­tinction of being a friend of Charled I, being knighted by Cromwell; and being made a Baronet after the Restoration. On a monument of 1673, cherubs guard another Sir Thomas, who reclines on his elbow wearing flowing robes, an SS colar and a wig.

An inscription commemorates Sir Robert Vyner, banker to Charles II, who spent £30,000 to replace the Court jewels which had been sold or pledged during the Civil War, and advanced great sums during the Plague, and for the wages of the Army and Navy. He also was a Lord Mayor of London.

In the chancel is a floorstone in memory of Frederick Grantham Vyner, who was captured by Greek brigands near Marathon in 1870. The Greek Government, having promised to send a ransom, sent soldiers instead, whereupon Vyner and three of his companions were murdered. They left diaries showing how manfully they had sustained one another in captivity. The beautiful chalice of the church was given by Frederick Vyner's mother.


Extracts from: "VILLAGE LIFE IN LINCOLNSHIRE" VOL.II by Herbert Green (circa 1904)

Gautby Hall was long the residence of the Vyners, one of whom, Sir Robert, was Lord Mayor of London in 1675. He erected in Stocks Market, in that city, an equestrian statue of King Charles II that, on demolition of the market in 1738, was removed to Gautby Park.

Today not even the foundations of the Hall are visible. Its component parts are scattered over a considerable area. Parts of the materials. were used for the making or repairing of a road, and the workmen; to whom we have referred; could remember seeing half a million bricks worked up into farm buildings. The dilapidated Hall had become endangered by big trees rocking against it and this was, partly at least, the cause of its being eventually razed to the ground. Thousands of rabbits had also burrowed under the structure. A number of other people, however, can well remember the Hall because it was pulled down not more than, at the most, probably 30 years ago. It is believed that it stood for something like 136 years.

The handsome six stall stable, the pride of all those concerned in its management, is used as such no more. The four coach houses are transformed into farm buildings, the saddle house is metamorphosed into a cottage. Even the courtyard is unrecognisable now, having been converted into a garden.

We have found no reference to Gautby in the Doomsday Book, but it appears in the 16th Century as belonging to the Moigue and Thompson families. It passed, with

the Manor of Tupholme, into the possession of the Vyners in the 17th Century, and Sir Robert Vyner, citizen and goldsmith of London, who died in 1688, apparently divised it to his nephew, Thomas Vyner, from whom the present owner descends.




Gautby Hall, in this parish, formerly the seat of Henry Clare Vyner Esquire, Lord of the Manor, is now pulled down and the Moat House is occupied by him during the shooting season.


Extract from: "THE BUILDINGS OF ENGLAND - LINCOLNSHIRE" By Nicolaus Pevsner & John Harris (1964)

Gautby Great Park: Few places have such an air of deserted splendour. The Vyner's house, probably by Matthew Brettingham, has gone. The Park has returned to arable. There are brick stables and the kitchen garden, and still the remains of the lake. On an island here stood for many years the equestrian statue of Charles II by Jasper Latham. It is now at Newby in the West Riding of Yorkshire.


Extracts from: "CROMWELL - OUR CHIEF OF MEN"

By Atonia Fraser (1973)


It was in April, 1654 that Oliver and his family first moved into Whitehall, a portion of which was to be redecorated " ... according to the instructions of Her

Highness, the Lady Cromwell." ........................................ .


Certainly, whatever the quality of Lady Cromwell's instructions, the orders of the Council of State showed unprecedented business on this subject. In February, two services of plate were ordered to be retained for the use of the Protectoral couple; the Lord Mayor, Sir Thomas Vyner, was to hand over the two bespoken services to two members of the Council, and having been “ …exactly weighed … " the problem of their maintenance and accounting was to be further considered .


Despite this, figures quoted by Dr. Ashley show that there was a vast gap between revenue and expenditure throughout the Protectorate, with the revenue always beneath the two million mark, and the expenditure always in excess of it. As a result, the gap was nearly always over a million pounds. In 1657, it has risen to one and a half million pounds, and in 1658, the year of his (Cromwell's) death, was still one million five hundred thousand. These figures show why not only sources of immediate cash like farming out the Customs & Excise were attractive, but also how recourse had to be made to other forms of concealed borrowing - debentures for soldiers’ wages for example, and "Public Faith" bonds. Even so, other loans were necessary; personal ones perhaps from Noell or his fellow merchant, Vyner, and hopefully loans from the City. It has been plausibly suggested that some of Cromwell's warmth for men like these - and for that matter the Jews - may have been rooted in his financial troubles and the icy reactions of the City.


Extract from: "CHARLES II - PORTRAIT OF AN AGE" By Tony Palmer (1979)

The commercial class grew rapidly in Charles' reign, as they became increasingly conscious of the prerogatives attached to wealth and civic status. And since the Government lacked adequate sources of credit, it was often forced to turn to those who could afford to finance, say,

a fleet and its provisions out of their own money. Many were Nonconformists; William Penn, the younger; Sir Robert Vyner (later Lord Mayor and Charles' banker) and Sir Joshua Child, a Governor of the East India Company whose personal fortune was reckoned to be £250,000,000. They became an estate of the realm. Regarded as socially inferior by the Tory ruling class, these entrepreneurs joined the Opposition and thus provided substantial backing for the new Country, or Whig Party. Charles, on the other hand, was delighted to accept their frequent offers of hospitality, reckoning  he could divert, if not suppress, their political ambitions.




The Heneage family owned nearly 11,000 acres around Hainton and in Grimsby, whilst the estates of Sir John Cholmeley, of 6,000 acres, and the Vyners' 14,500 acres with a country seat at Gautby completed the list of medium sized estates in Lindsey in the hands of influential county families. (This refers to the period around 1859).


Some purchasers from out of the county were content to visit their land infrequently, and to leave its management to local agents. London's influence was less obvious in the eighteenth century then it had been from about 1570 to 1670, but it was to produce, between 1700 and 1730, the Chaplin family in Blankney; the Reynardsons at Holywell; the Vyners at Gautby; the Batemens at Well and, between 1730 and 1770 Sir William Smith and Sir Jacob Wolff at Paxton

and from 1770 to 1880, J. J. Angerstein at Stainton le Wold.


The following two articles are taken from leaflets from All Saints Church Gautby





Built in around 1754/56 the current church stands on the site of an earlier and slightly smaller medieval church. The earlier church was falling into disrepair when Robert Vyner a widower aged 73 and his unmarried son. Robert aged 39 decided to build a grand country house and church to match.

Although. the house was demolished in 1874, the church you see today is much as it was when it. was built. What the motive was for these grand building projects can only be speculation; both father and son were MPs living in London and perhaps needed somewhere impressive for country house weekends. In any event they built a traditional style ancestral looking church and furnished it with ancient family monuments. Shortly afterwards both acquired wives.

The church has one bell chimed by a wooden lever. It is hung in a frame dating from when the church was built. It is inscribed 'I am called John' and dates from circa 1300.

The octagonal font in the Southwest corner was moved here from Laughton near Gainsborough.

The 2 decker Pulpit and Vicar's Pew were moved here from Skelton in Yorkshire.

The monuments at the chancel end are of Sir Thomas Vyner and his son also Thomas. Originally made for St Mary Woolnoth in London they were subsequently moved here. Many other members of the Vyner family have memorial stones or are interred in the vault under the chancel. Of particular interest is the memorial stone for Frederick who was killed by bandits in Greece in 1870.

The East window is a memorial to Robert Charles De Grey Vyner and his wife, it was made by the firm of William Morris & Co.

In 1911 the church was reorganised into the rather high church style of worship that you see today.



Stories Unlocked

The kidnapping and death of Frederick Vyner in 1870

Gautby, a small agricultural village, became the country estate of the Vyner family in around 1754. They were not old landed gentry but had made their money as

goldsmiths and bankers. They quickly built a grand house, Gautby Hall, demolished the old church and built the church you see today. They then intermarried with old established families higher up the social scale.

The last such marriage, Henry Vyner and Lady Mary De Grey, produced a son Frederick. Like many young men of his age Frederick was sent on the grand Tour of Europe with a party of about 10 like-minded people. Whilst in Greece they were kidnapped and held to ransom. Given the aristocratic nature of the party, Queen Victoria, the British Government and the Greek Government were all involved in the negotiations and the ransom money was raised. Unfortunately, during the siege and release by the Greek Army four of the captives, including Frederick then aged just 23, were killed.

The kidnappers were all captured and subsequently executed. Frederick's body, embalmed and contained in a large lead coffin enclosed inside a wooden coffin, was brought by boat to Southampton where it was received by The Mayor and Corporation. Frederick was then taken by train and finally carriage to the old family home Gautby Hall.

A memorial flagstone on the chancel floor of Gautby Church records his death and burial in the vault. The ransom money was returned to his mother who built a new church in Frederick's memory at her new home, Newby Hall near Harrogate.

Another Church in his memory was built nearby at Fountains Abbey. Five years later the grand house at Gautby was demolished and after just 150 years of social prosperity Gautby declined back into the small agricultural village that you see today.