From: David Arathoon <>

Are you aware of Pricilla Anne Hoste (my relative to the Needham family), who had a child by
the 2nd Earl?.  She seemed to be the true love of his life?   Further details on his son Charles'
descendants are below.

Sincerely, David

Francis Jack "Black Jack" Needham 2nd Earl of Kilmorey
 b. 12 Dec 1787
 d. 20 Jun 1880, Isleworth, Middlesex
& Pricilla Anne Hoste
 b. 1827
 d. 21 Oct 1854
|    Charles Needham
|      b. 19 Jul 1844, Twickenham, England
|      d. 25 Feb 1934, Tylehurst, Sussex, England
|    & Baroness Henrietta Amelie van Tuyll van Serooskerken
|      b. 14 Nov 1853, Baden-Baden
|      d. 27 Apr 1936, Tylehurst, Sussex, England
|    |    Violet Needham
|    |      b. 5 Jun 1876, Mayfair, London, England
|    |      d. 8 Jun 1967

The Hon. Francis Jack Needham, Viscount Newry and Morne, 2nd Earl of Kilmorey (1787-1880)
The future 2nd Earl was his father's eldest son and was educated at Eton, 1800-04. In 1814 he married Jane, daughter of George Gun-Cuninghame of Mount Kennedy, Co. Wicklow, by whom he had three sons and one daughter, from whom he separated in 1835 and who died in July 1867. Later in the same year he married Martha, daughter of John Foster of Lenham, Kent. He was an ensign in the 2nd garrison battalion in Ireland, 1813-1814, and in 1813 also became Captain Commandant of the Newry Yeoman Infantry. He succeeded to his father's seat for Newry in March 1819, following the latter's succession to the peerage, and was for the most part a silent supporter of government until he ceased to be an M.P. in 1826. Between 1822 and his father's death in 1832, he was styled Viscount Newry and Morne, and in 1828-1829 he was Sheriff of Co. Down.

He travelled extensively on the Continent, particularly in Italy, where he spent much time in Rome. When resident in the British Isles, he seems to have spent little time at Mourne Park or Shavington, but to have resided near London. In 1834, in reply to an electioneering letter from Lord Downshire (PRONI, D/671/C/12/547) he justified his absenteeism from Ireland as follows: '... With respect to the Irish property which you call mine, it was my father's pleasure ... to devise by his will that the interests of the Irish estate should be greatly divided, and to ... [give] it no real owner ... . I am but an agent for the trustees, who act with much delicacy and allow me to manage as I please. The application of the rents, however, must for some years go to other purposes than the good of the country from which they rise, and I cannot therefore afford to make sacrifices for political purposes. Under these circumstances, you will be aware how I am situated with the borough of Newry, which cost my father about 3,000 a year. ...' In a subsequent letter of 1836 (D/671/C/12/587) he complains '... that I have not the smallest interest in Ireland, my trustees having unceremoniously turned me out of my house and property in that country.'

This action may have been resorted to in retaliation for his separation from his first wife (D/2638/A/13). His swiftly contracted second marriage in 1867 was also deeply unpopular with the rest of his family, as were the debts which he accumulated (with the complicity, it must be said, of his grandson, the future 3rd Earl, who joined him in 1873 in barring the entail of the Shropshire estate and thus made possible its sale in 1885). His private life had always been far from exemplary, as is suggested by the scantily clad statue he had made of himself in Rome by the Scottish sculptor, Lawrence Macdonald, and which is still to be seen in the garden at Mourne Park: in particular, he lived openly for at least a decade with his young ward, Priscilla Hoste (daughter of the celebrated Capt. Sir William Hoste, R.N.), by whom he had an illegitimate son, Charles Needham, in 1844. For all these reasons, it may be conjectured that the nickname 'the Wicked Earl' by which he is now known in the family is not of recent coinage.

In 1879, he precipitated a public and damaging controversy (D/2638/E/1) over the running of his Cheshire estate. In September of that year, the local and national papers were full of '... A notice which has been served by Lord Kilmorey on his tenantry in Cheshire to the effect that it is his intention, in order to test how far the letting value of his property there has been affected by the depression of the agricultural interest, to bring it into the market to see what it will fetch ...' '... Lord Kilmorey has always enjoyed a reputation for being an excellent landlord, though the credit should perhaps begiven to Mr [Owen] Grant, the agent [whose wife was a first cousin of Lord Kilmorey], for the cordial understanding which subsisted between his Lordship and the tenantry down to the present time. His Lordship is non-resident, and could not, therefore, be intimately acquainted with this condition of the tenantry, nor be aware possibly that in giving them notice he was casting adrift families which had occupied the same farms and homesteads for generations. Some of the older tenants cherish the hope that his Lordship's intention is merely to equalise the rental, others, regarding his Lordship's great age (ninety-three), believe it to be an act of eccentricity which it was never seriously contemplated would be executed in its entirety. ...'

The House that 'Black Jack' Built

Derrick Mercer recounts the bizarre history of the Kilmorey Mausoleum, one of Richmond's lesser-known architectural delights.

On most days one of the most interesting historic buildings in Richmond-upon-Thames can only be seen from the top deck of a double-decker bus. The Kilmorey Mausoleum hides behind a high brick wall along St Margaret's Road, Twickenham, and is only accessible on one day a year when, along with other historic and architecturally interesting buildings, it opens its doors for the Open House weekend.

For the last two years at the Open House weekend around 450 people have visited the Mausoleum which was built in 1854 to an Egyptian-style design by the Victorian architect H.E. Kendall. The Mausoleum has a grade2 listing, yet the story behind its existence is for many people as fascinating as the structure itself.

The Mausoleum takes its name from its creator the second Earl of Kilmorey. This was Francis Jack Needham, who succeeded his father to the Earldom in 1832. He was also known as "Black Jack", although whether this was due to his complexion or his controversial morality it cannot be said for certain.

He built the Mausoleum as a shrine to his mistress, Priscilla Hoste, whom he had first encountered when he became a guardian to the children of Captain William Hoste after the Captain died.

Unfortunately, he took his guardianship to excess and in the early 1840s he eloped with Priscilla. Despite a search in Europe, the couple were not found.

However, in time they returned to the Twickenham area with which Black Jack had long had connections. On 19 July 1844 their son Charles was born and the relationship seemed set to prosper. But in 1851 Priscilla became ill and it was known that she had a terminal disease of the heart. Kilmorey began to make plans for his beloved's burial. This was not straightforward.

He wrote to the Directors of Brompton Cemetery Company regarding a plot for the Mausoleum and his application had to be approved by the Home Secretary. Approval was granted - and cost the Earl some £1,030 16s 9d on top of the £30,000 cost of the Mausoleum itself. It was designed to fit a circular plot at Brompton which measured 1,963 square feet.

The Egyptian design is believed to have been derived from a plate in a celebrated French book. The Description de l'Egypte, the first volume of which had been published in 1809. The shape of the building relates to the shrines at the heart of Egyptian temples - the place where a treasured image of a god was installed. It was ready for Priscilla when she died in October 1854.

Her coffin was inscribed with the words "the beloved of Francis Jack, Earl of Kilmorey" and inside the Mausoleum the Earl installed a marble relief carved in Rome by the sculptor Lawrence MacDonald showing Priscilla lying on her death bed with the Earl at her feet and her son Charles by her side. However, it was by no means an undisturbed place of rest.

In 1862 Kilmorey moved to Wimbledon Park and he moved the Mausoleum, too. It cost £700, but six years later he moved again - back to Twickenham and into Gordon House (now part of Brunei University's Twickenham site) and again the Mausoleum was moved. This was its last move and it still stands today on that site, quite close to Gordon House.

During his years here the Earl retained his eccentricities. It is said that he built a tunnel to the Mausoleum and, dressed in white and laid in his coffin, he would get his servants to push the coffin through the tunnel on a trolley in order to practise before the day finally came of his death - in 1880.

The Mausoleum was left to his illegitimate son Charles but he sold it in 1895 for just £10,000. Eventually the property passed to Hounslow Borough Council, on condition of public access, although it was some time before anyone entered this secret cemetery. In 1994, boundary changes saw the Mausoleum pass into the care of neighbouring Richmond Council.

Richmond Council has made some effort to care for both the Mausoleum itself and the grounds in which it stands. The garden in which it stands is officially designated as a wildlife area and maintenance work is undertaken with help from the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. It is always spruced up for the annual opening at Open House Weekend, in September.

However, the site is still under-used and underappreciated and it has therefore attracted the interest of a local charity, the Environment Trust for Richmond-upon-Thames. This was founded in the 1980s and acts as a group to champion the interests of noteworthy local buildings, including if appropriate, their restoration and adaptation for use by the community.

However, the Environment Trust for Richmond-upon-Thames has no such ambitions for the Kilmorey Mausoleum. Although the building needs some modest repair work, instead the Trust hopes to concentrate upon the grounds. Can these be made more attractive and could this work help the site to be open to the public on more than just the current one weekend in the year?

Initial exploration of the site by the Trust has been encouraged by Richmond Council and together they hope to produce a plan to enhance the area in ways that are both attractive yet also realistic. It is hoped that a group involving local residents will be a means of ensuring that the garden can be maintained with suitable regularity, without the residents coming to view the area as an extension to their private gardens.

Derrick Mercer Project Leader for the Kilmorey Mausoleum, Environment Trust for Richmond-upon-Thames