Frances Gwynnefold Hunter (nee Browne)
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Frances Gwynnefold Hunter was a widow who was tenant at Quenington Court with four adult daughters from 1931 to 1934. She was born Frances Browne in 1856 in Alnwick in Yorkshire, her father Alexander a retired army officer and magistrate. She married William Slingsby Hunter, a man of independent means, once described as director of companies, once incongruously as a coalfitter merchant. He also was born in the north of England and they lived there until William died. He was of high enough social status to appear as resident in many Kelly directories, and to be a member to the Junior Carlton Club, a gentleman's club, in London. Frances herself was of a wealthy family, both as a daughter and wife, and was used to being served by a large contingent of servants both before and after her marriage.
Quenington Court was for her one in a succession of stately houses, and by no means the largest. Before Quenington Court they had lived at High Leazes, Hexham (1881), Over Duisdale Hall, York (1891), The Manor, Aldwark, near York (1901) and Gilling Castle, York (1911). It was at the last of these that William died in 1923. The Manor is now a golf and spa hotel "with 53 luxurious rooms, set in 120 acres". Gilling Castle is now a Grade 1 listed building with 14th century origins, set in approximately 200 acres. After her husband's death Frances and four adult daughters moved south and were living in North Cerney House near Cirencester in at least 1925-1928. They were in Quenington Court from 1931 to 1934. From here they moved to Glanhenwye, near Glasbury, Herefordshire (now Powys). When Frances died in 1946 she was living in Abercynrig House in Brecon, another historic manor-house set in its own grounds with views of the Brecon Beacons. In the table below the lines marked Directory show William's residence, assumed to be that also of Frances.
It is likely that, as in her other residences, Frances will have employed a large number of servants to look after her and her four adult daughters at Quenington Court (there were 18 in York in 1911). However, the main source, the electoral register, at this time is not specific enough to show these and in any case those under 21 would not qualify for listing. She had a chauffeur, living in the Court cottage, idenfied from correspondence, see below.
Like other occupants of Quenington Court the Hunters were wealthy. At his death in 1923 William had left an estate of £340,410, equivalent to about £19.5m in 2017; Frances in 1946 £7634 (=£304,000).
There was an interesting sequel to her departure from The Court. Mrs Hunter employed a chauffeur, a Mr Hobbs, who lived with his wife in the cottage at The Court. When she left he gave notice of termination of employment but remained in the cottage. One result of this was that the next tenant, Ralph Moore-Stevens, was unwilling to proceed without vacant possession. It was necesary to evict Mr Hobbs an Mrs Hunter agreed to meet the cost. She was duly apologetic, stating, perhaps rather naively, that no-one had advised her of the need to ensure that the cottage would be empty. The chauffeur must have been the William J Hobbs who was listed in Quenington in 1931-1934, then 1936-1939, on the last date a storekeeper living at 10 Council Cottages in Quenington. He was still there in 1946.