The Family


I was brought up with great awareness of the significance of the Wright Family.  The origins go back to an Italian Camplyone who changed his name to Wright sometime in the 16Centruy.  The family was then in Suffolk and in the next century travelled to Nottinghamshire here a Captain Wright is mentioned in Lucy Hutchinson’s diaries as raising a troop for Parliament in the 1640s.   The family prospered in Nottinghamshire and Ichabod Wright who died about 1780 was a banker in Nottingham.   His granddaughter visited him in his last years and found him, a p pious and devout mean, praying for his descendants that they would keep the Faith – the protestant faith, of course.   His son John joined with Benjamin Outram and William Jessop in founding the Butterley Company in 1790.  The company at first drove canals locally, but later went into iron founding and iron manufacture from the Company base at Butterley outside Ripley in Derbyshire.   They purchased an estate on which they built a canal, a village Ironville and workers cottages.   The company prospered during he Napoleonic wars, but with the depression it was only the Wright Bank which supplied the financial backing which kept the business going until better time came in the late 1820s. It was just outside the Butterley works that the Pentrich Revolution took place in 1819, but Jeremiah Brandeth did not get any support from the workers at the Butterley works.  By the 1830s the Company was prospering with the development of the railways, and many would come to visit the works and admire the production.    The business was run at this time by Francis Wright, son of John.  He built himself a house at Osmaston near Ashbourne and had a large family. His eldest son John changed his name of Osmaston and consequently his family has disappeared from the family tree.  They did not have any managerial connection with the Butterley Company.  His son FitzHerbert was given a new house called The Hayes at Swanwick (now a notable Anglican retreat centre).  Another son Henry was made vicar of the Church in Ironville.  Francis was determined to ensure that none of the vicars round the Butterley estate would be tainted with the Oxford movement and would be stout protestants so he built Churches which contained an annotated copy of the 39 Articles to ensure the performance of the vicar was suitable.   Henry was a devout and worthy clergyman and became Secretary of the Church Missionary society. In his London house he would invite young clerics to stay with him and there he encouraged their spiritual life with prayers and Biblical readings. He was drowned in a tragic boat accident on Lake Coniston in 188…  Two of his daughters remained in North London, Hampstead and worshipped for many years at St. John’s Downshire Hill.   This Church has recently been restored as a Wright family living in London.   Of Henry’s daughters two went to India,  One of them had an illegitimate daughter who in 1971 tried to get in touch with her family when as an old lady she put her appeal in a Derbyshire newspaper. The story came out and one aspect which was exceptional – she had become a Catholic and knew about the Catholic connections for the family.  Henry’s eldest Son Leslie became managing director of the Butterley Company in 1920 and continued his Grandfathers hostility of Catholics by not having one in his house and keeping them off the Butterley board.  Henry’s second son, Fitzherbert is the great grandfather of Sarah Ferguson, who married the Duke of York in 198…His third Son Alfred met an Irish Cellist and became a Catholic to marry her,  Sarah  Hughes.  They had seven Children.  Fred (father of Richard, grandfather of Charles and John) Denis (father of 3 daughters) Montagu ( my Father) Mary (mother of Simon Bradley(O.51), grandmother of  David, Mark (E 80), mother of Elizabeth, grandmother of  Nicholas Williams (A74); Terence (OSB. housemaster St. Aidan’s, procurator died 1957), Victoria (Carmelite died 1985) and Bernard died without issue 1953).  My Father and his brother were brought up at Butterley Grange, a largish farmhouse near Butterley Hall where the Leslie Wrights lived.  There was a chapel in the house and Sarah had close contact with the Bishop of Nottingham.  The five boys went to school at Ampleforth from 1900-20).   Alfred and Sarah separated in the 1930s and he lived in London and latterly at St Maws in Cornwall where he died in 1941 age 72.    Sarah died in 1933, she and Alfred are buried in the Monk’s Wood at Ampleforth and a chapel, the Holy Family chapel perpetuates their memory in the crypt of the Abbey Church.   Terence and Fred are buried in the monks cemetery and Montagu and Marjorie are buried in the Ampleforth village cemetery. They died within an hour of each other in 1968