R Spearman of Eachwick Hall listed in P O Directory 1879 on your site.
Just discovered a WW1 Memorial to Officers who served with their later dates of death, in York Minster! My cousin a Captain is listed there, 1 of 26 officers. His stepfather was John Spearman, with associations to Eachwick Hall and Jersey.
John Spearman married in 1908 when my cousin was sent to school in Jersey where the Spearmans also had property.
I read your history of the Hall & wondered if there is a link between John Spearman and the Hall. If there is, you might be interested to have a copy of the write up I am doing.
I read that the Hall gardens were opened and wondered if the owners would know any details.
Thank you Angela
"Ralph Spearman of Eachwick acted the part of a great antiquary, so much so that he was erroneously believed to have been the prototype of Sir Walter Scott's ' Jonathan Oldbuck.' It is doubtful, however, whether his learning was even so sound as that of the Laird of Monkbarns.  His vanity led him to endeavour to trace his descent and name from the ' lords of Aspramont, a castle and county on the confines of Lorraine and Bar.' His new hall at Eachwick was built entirely for show : being three stories high, with gingerbread battlements, and of great length, though only one room thick. At the time of the window-tax this led to its being rated at a very large sum. Seen from a distance, it quite deceives a stranger by its palatial appearance. Mr. Spearman was so far successful that the neighbourhood still believe that Eachwick belonged to his family for generations. A letter accidentally preserved in the church books at Heddon is a capital illustration of his combined pedantry, liberality, and pride:
“Mr. Spearman sends enclosed five Shillings, being the Assessed Value of the Movement of the Winnowing part of a Threshing Machine, found by the Coroner and Inquest, a Deodand forfeit to him on the death of Mary Lawson, as Lord of the Manour of Eachwick Hall Lands, by Grant from James first, King of Great Brittain, in the year of our Lord 1610, and requires the Vicar and Church-Wardens of the Parish of Heddon on the Wall to distribute it to the Poor at Discretion.
Eachwick Hall. Friday, March 27th, 1813."
Heddon-on-the-Wall: The Church and Parish by Cadwallader J. Bates M.A. Archaeologia aeliana v11 p240-294 (1886). His paper is available online here.
Spearman Family © Angela Raby 2012
However the entail stated that, upon the death of John Hunter Spearman, the Manor of Eachwick pass to Robert Reay Spearman named by Ralph ‘my Godson and Adopted son’ .No mention is made that Robert is John Hunter’s son. In fact the penultimate group of beneficiaries is named as ‘the eight Heirs of said John Hunter’: by implication Robert and brother John, although listed with John Hunter’s family of ten, are ‘not of his body’.
The ancient rules of entail dictated that the person inheriting must be an ‘heir of the body’ - to preserve the bloodline. This suggests that Robert Reay Spearman was the illegitimate son of Ralph: probably his mother was Ann Hunter née Reay. It would seem that John Hunter was allowed to inherit initially because his son Robert might not be twenty one at the time of Ralph’s demise: a condition of the entail.
Unfortunately Robert had no heirs and the entail moved inexorably on to search out three distant Spearman kinsmen. Ralph was related to these three families by a common ancestor born circa 1519—about six generations earlier. [Both fact and fiction weave many plots around the iniquities of entail.]
Contemporary writers, unaware of the purpose of the entail, had favoured the Manor being returned to the Bell family since Ralph’s father had inherited through his marriage. There was surprise locally that, following the death of Robert, the Estate did not pass immediately to Richard Spearman his younger brother, farmer, landowner and family man of Eachwick.
While researching a John Spearman who married my widowed Great Aunt Mary née Kinsman, it was found that his father, Major Henry Charles Spearman was, ‘Lord of the Manor of Thornley County Durham and Lord of the Manor of Eachwick, Northumberland and Grenville, Jersey’. His grandfather Charles, named as a beneficiary under Ralph’s Will, provided the connection between these two Spearman families. John’s elder son, Lieutenant Colonel Leo Spearman is mentioned in the preface of the book, The Northern Spearmans (1984).
Eachwick Hall and estate, came to George Spearman by marriage to his second wife, Elizabeth Bell and passed to Ralph the only child of this union. In 1818 at the age of sixty Ralph the antiquarian drew up his Last Will & Testament to ensure the estate was passed down the generations despite being unmarried.
James Losh, an eminent Newcastle lawyer drew up Ralph’s Will according to the rules of entail. By choosing to entail the estate a landowner stipulated that only ‘heirs of his body’, his bloodline, would inherit in perpetuity. To the antiquarian the prospect of ‘his adopted son’ Robert Reay Hunter carrying on his line through subsequent heirs must have been appealing. So appealing in fact that James Losh overlooked advising his client that Robert might not marry and have sons.
Ralph Spearman was a bachelor who named Robert a putative son of ‘his friend John Hunter’ to inherit Eachwick. By so doing Ralph announced that this child was an heir of his body and as such could inherit under the entail. Since Robert did not bear the name Spearman he instructed John Hunter to change his surname. Due to the fact that Robert might be underage at his death, Ralph passed the estate first to John Hunter stipulating for his life time only. Had James Losh advised against an entail, and named John then the estate would have passed down through the family of ten children and still be in hands of a former
Eachwick [Hunter] Spearman.
Fifty three years after Ralph’s death, Robert Reay Spearman died a bachelor and the Manor of Eachwick was lost to the local Spearman family in preference for a retired Major living in Jersey, Channel Islands.
Major Henry Charles Spearman inherited at Eachwick from Ralph Spearman when Robert Reay Spearman died without heir. John a son of Henry, married Mary Kinsman, the Great Aunt of the writer. Mary had previously been married to Great Uncle Henri and had two sons by him, Oscar and Eric Gustavus. John and Mary had two sons, Leo and Robert. Leo Spearman born 1904 is mentioned in the book, The Northern Spearmans, by Charles Richard Spearman. The author, in the preface acknowledges his debt to Lt Col Leo Spearman.
Leo Spearman and his half brothers attended Victoria College, Jersey. They all had careers in the military: Eric Gustavus is remembered in the Chapel of West Yorkshire Regiment at York Minster on the 1914-1918 War Memorial.
More can be seen in Old photos of Eachwick Hall on the Blog.
Henry Charles Spearman
from Mark Galvin 28 August 2013
Here he is, the only known photograph of my great-great-great grandfather!
Captain Henry Charles Spearman (retired as Major) Lord of the Manor Thornley (Co Durham) 66th Berkshire Regiment. Born Nov 18 1835 (Baden Germany) – Died before 1914 at Battersea. The photo was taken in 1867 which makes him 32 years old.
Esq. of Thornley Hall, co. Durham and Eastwick Hall Northumberland from 1876 (on the death of Robert Reay Spearman), under the will of his kinsman Ralph Spearman , Esq. of Eachwick, an eminent local antiquary who died in 1823.
He married Angelique Caroline d’Hauteville in St Omer France in 1859 (aged 24 years). His children were Henry b1860, Charles b1862 (Cannanore, India), Lawrence b1863 (Bangalore, India) (emigrated to Wellington NZ); and Caroline Angelique b1864 (Bangalore, India buried in Rotorua NZ), Alexander b1870.
Military career progression, Rank Ensign (2nd Lieutenant) 24 Aug 1854; Lieutenant 13 Feb 1855; Captain 24 March 1863. (p243 The New Army List Colonel H.G. Hart)
Colburn’s United Service Magazine and Naval and Military Journal Vol 20 p138- 66th Foot – Lieutenant Henry Charles Spearman to be Captain, by purchase, vice Archibold H. Dunbar, who retires (1863).
He retired to Jersey Channel Islands.