The Vyner Family and Gautby
The story of a wealthy banker's 'Escape to the country'
It was Sir Thomas Vyner and his nephew Sir Robert Vyner(1631-1688), shown in the family portrait above, who laid the foundations for the Vyner financial empire.
Both were wealthy bankers and goldsmiths, indeed it was Sir Robert Vyner, Lord Mayor of London and First Baronet who designed, commissioned and financed most of the crown jewels which were used at the coronation of King Charles II and are used to this day.
Sir Robert Vyner owned estates in Lincolnshire, but his main home was Swakeley's House in Ickenham on the outskirts of London, a grand Grade I Jacobean house with extensive grounds and a lake. (To give an idea of the grandeur of Swakeley's House, it was advertised for sale in 2015 for £45 million, in spite of the fact that it needed £10 million worth of repairs!)
When Sir Robert Vyner died, Swakeleys House and Sir Robert's Lincolnshire estates passed to his nephew Thomas Vyner as Sir Robert Vyner's son had pre-deceased him. In turn Swakeleys House and the Lincolnshire estates were passed on to Thomas' son Robert Vyner (1687-1777) MP for Lincolnshire.
In 1750 Robert Vyner sold Swakeley's House. Around that time he commissioned Matthew Brettingham, one of the country's leading architects to build of Gautby Hall on the site of the the old Manor House in Gautby. The house was of grand proportions, with a stable block and coach house which were copied from the design of Buckingham Palace Mews! At the same time Robert Vyner financed the re-building of All Saints Church in Gautby.
In 1756 the Vyner family moved into the newly completed Gautby Hall. An 'escape to the country' on a very grand scale!
On Robert Vyner's death, Gautby Hall passed to Robert Vyner's son also named Robert (1717-1799), who was also MP for Lincolnshire and in turn on his death, Gautby Hall passed to his son, again called Robert (1762- 1810), another MP for Lincolnshire!
Robet Vyner's son Henry Vyner inherited Gautby Hall, but as a result of his marriage, he was to move to even grander surroundings: Lord Grantham’s younger daughter Mary married Henry Vyner of Gautby in Lincolnshire, and Newby Hall was given to Lady Mary soon after her marriage. ( These are the real Lord Grantham and Lady Mary, not the fictional ones from 'Downton Abbey'! And incidentally it was Henry Vyner's younger sister Theodosia who married the real Matthew Crawley.)
Over the generations Gautby Hall became unused and fell into a state of disrepair, as a result it was demolished in 1870. In 1917 Mary Evelyn Compton-Vyner sold the Gautby estate.