Henry Pocock and His Family


Henry Pocock was born in 1840 at Sowley House in Beaulieu, Hampshire. He was the third of nine children of Henry Pocock and Leonora Cheyney. Charles Pocock, the grandfather of Henry Pocock senior, came to Beaulieu in the 1790s to become a part-lessee of the iron works that existed at Sowley on the Beaulieu estate. These were set up at the beginning of the 17th century but became uneconomic and ceased after the Napoleonic Wars. Leonora, the wife of Henry Pocock senior was the daughter of Thomas Cheyney, the land agent to Lord Montague. After Thomas Cheyney's death, Henry Pocock senior became the land agent until his death in 1859. Henry Pocock, the son, moved to London where he became involved in the distillery business. In 1881 he is described as "Collector Distillery (Wines)" and was living in Islington with his first wife Phillipa Mais and two of their three children. Although she was born in London they were married in Amesbury, Wiltshire and, in 1898, she died at Zurich, Switzerland.

This was the same year that Henry bought Stratton Chase. The previous year, 1897, he had become a director of Booths Distillers Ltd when it was incorporated. He is said to have donated property to the company in exchange for shares. Hearsay within the family is that Henry lost a large sum of money at some time on a round-the-world yacht race. This could account for his need for a mortgage some four years after acquiring Stratton Chase. Also this situation and his single status until he remarried in 1905, could also be a source of the myth in Chalfont St Giles that the owner of Stratton Chase (never named) was fond of "fast women and slow horses".

Henry's second wife was Emily Rippon whom he married when he was 65. He died on the 31st October 1921 at Chalfont St Giles and is buried in the churchyard.

He does not seem to have been very active in villag affairs although he must have been a member of the Flower Show Committee as the only probable picture of him is in a group photograph of the committee.

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