The above family photos are the property of the Dalwood Restoration Association and I am grateful to Hugh Wyndham for permission to use the images in these pages.
John Edward Andrew Starky was born on 6th March 1799, at Spye Park House, in the County of Wiltshire and was baptised at the Anglican Church of St. Swithin on The Paragon in the Walcot area of Bath, England, on the 6th March 1800. He was educated at Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1818).
When his grandfather, Sir Andrew Bayntun Rolt, died In 1816, his mother, Maria Barbara, inherited the Bayntun estate, but as was customary in those days, John Edward Andrew succeeded him as Lord of the Manor of Bromham. He included the Bayntun name as part of his surname and was known thereafter as John Edward Andrew Bayntun Starky. He inherited the Spye Park Estate from his father when he died in 1834.
He was greatly respected by his friends and was ever ready if they were in distress. However late in 1824 he had a disagreement with his neighbour, Charles Lewis Phipps a highly respected Magistrate who lived at Wans House, Bromham. The pair had been quarreling for some time, one accusing the other of allowing his gamekeeper to poach his game. Things got even worse when Starky asked another magistrate for a search warrant, which was granted and put into execution and this really annoyed Phipps, claiming it tarnished his reputation as a magistrate and both had been bound over to keep the peace to the sum of £500.
But the anger between these two continued and as duelling had been outlawed a few years previously, the pair decided to travel to France to fight a duel. They set off for Southampton, intending to sail across the channel, however upon reaching the New Forest, they decided to fight there, with Starky agreeing to pay the fine should they be caught. On the morning of the 22nd February 1825 they stood facing each other in the forest. The first shot hit nothing but Starky's hat, missing his head by just one inch, but the second bullet hit Phipps in the right leg and he was unable to stand up. Both men reloaded their pistols and seeing that Phipps was unable to get back on his feet, Starky asked him if he were satisfied, to which he replied "Yes". At that point, both men decided that enough was enough and Phipps apologised to Starky, saying that he regretted the language he had made use of a few days previous and they shook hands. Some time later a report of the duel was written in the Devizes Gazette, although the names of the men were not revealed.
On the 17th April 1833 John Edward Andrew married Charlotte Wyndham, the fifth daughter of William Wyndham and Laetitia Popham, of Dinton House, Wiltshire. This stately house was built between 1814 and 1817 and is how owned by the National Trust. Charlotte was aged 27 at the time, seven years younger than her husband. She is said to have described the rest of her husband's family as wasteful and said her husband was an angel surrounded by devils. In a letter to her brother in Australia she is said to have wrote: "I believe him to be a worthy and well disposed young man and would be very clever if he took the slightest pains with himself".
At this time they were living in a small house in the Park about a mile from the Spye Park mansion, which was occupied by his mother and father. However a year after their marriage in 1834 his father died and John Edward Andrew and Charlotte moved into Spye Park House and his mother, Maria Barbara moved to Battle House the Dower House. Charlotte, in another of her letters, described Spye Park as: "One of the prettiest places in the world, or in all events it has more natural beauty than most. The views are so varied and the grounds so picturesque. The park is very large and one could wander about for hours admiring and exploring".
John Edward Andrew and Charlotte had four children – their second child unfortunately died in infancy on the 2nd December 1835 and was buried in the family crypt at Bromham, where he is commemorated by a ledger stone in the Bayntun Chapel.
In 1841 things were not so rosy - John Edward had put on a lot of weight and by 1842 he was far from well and suffered terribly from gout. He went to Wiesbaden for a cure but at that stage he was afraid of drinking water or even bathing. After a long illness he died on the 12th January 1843, two months short of his 44th birthday. He was buried in the family vault, beneath the Bayntun Chapel, in the Church of St. Nicholas in Bromham and his will was proved on the 18th February 1843. There is a stone in his memory on the floor in the south side of the chapel with the following inscription:
Underneath lie the remains of John Edward Andrew Starky of Spye Park, Wilts, Esq., eldest son of the Revd. John Starky DD. Born 6th March 1799, died 12th January 1843, aged 43 years and 10 months. He married on the 17th April 1833, Charlotte, the fifth daughter of William Wyndham Esq., of Dinton, in this county by whom he had four children of whom three survived him two sons and one daughter..
Charlotte's sister, Ella Wyndham, wrote to her family from Spye Park at the time of John Edward's death. In the letter she said he was a great loss to poor Charlotte, his own family and his immediate neighbourhood, where there is a large and not very moral population, for he looked after them narrowly without being over-officious and was ever ready if they were in distress, which caused him to be greatly respected.
After her husband's death, Charlotte discovered there were many difficulties with regard to his property. She continued to live at Spye Park for a number of years, taking great interest in improving and restoring it for the sake of her children. During this time she and her lawyer managed to sort out the problems and by the time her son reached the age of 21, his estate was entirely free of encumbrances apart from various jointures payable to elderly relatives.
time around 1869, Charlotte's only daughter, Constance (aged 30 at
the time), married William Wilmott a widower with four children
much to the displeasure of her mother. She had met him through
her brother, Andrew.
Kelly's Directory of Wiltshire 1880 lists a Mrs. Starky living at Battle House at the time of its publication, This was most likely Charlotte Wyndham.
When John Edward Bayntun Starky died he was succeeded by his eldest son and heir John Bayntun Starky