From this period onwards, King George III suffered periods of mental instability, as well as blindness, and was kept locked away in his private apartments at Windsor Castle.

England at war with France.

George III’s son, also named George (later to become George IV, King of England), married Caroline of Brunswick as part of a deal to get Parliament to pay off his mounting debts. It was a loveless match and 25 years later, he refused to allow her to be present at his Coronation.

She was the only legal and legitimate heiress when her father died in 1816

Doctor of Divinity
of the ancient Lancashire and Cheshire family of Starky
He was the Rector of St Mary's Church, Charlinch, Somerset.
They were married
on 9th August 1797 at St James, Piccadilly, London

Married (secondly):
of Croydon, Surrey.

(Son and heir 1799 - 1843)
ELIZABETH (1799 - 1834)
GEORGE WILLIAM (1801 - 1816)
MARIA BARBARA (1802 - 1825)
JANE (born 1805)
SAMUEL (1806 - 1869)
AUGUSTA (born 1808 – living 1881)
COVENTRY (1809 - 1871)
SOMMERVILLE (born 1812)
JULIA (1813 - 1879)

Helen Allingham (1848-1926), Children On A Path Outside A Thatched Cottage, West Horsley (date not known), watercolour from a Private collection.

Maria Barbara Bayntun Rolt was born in 1780, at Spye Park House, in the county of Wiltshire. Three years later her parents separated in 1883 and she was subsequently brought up by her father, Andrew Bayntun Rolt.

In 1788, at the age of just 8, her grandfather, Sir Edward Bayntun Rolt, named Maria Barbara first in the entail of the Bayntun estate.

At that time, her father was remarried, but his second marriage produced no children and Maria Barbara was Andrew's only legitimate daughter. Sir Andrew nevertheless fathered a further 19 children with two further girlfriends in later years.

Then in July 1797, at the age of 17, Maria Barbara and the 27 year old Reverend John Starky eloped and were married on the 9th August in St. James, Piccadilly, London, much to the surprise of her family. The Starky family came to Wiltshire from Cheshire, when the Reverend Samuel Starky became Rector of Everleigh, a parish on the hills in East Wiltshire. Samuel's son, John, was also involved in the church.

Starky was the Rector of the Church of St. Mary at Charlinch, Somerset from 1808 until his death in 1834 but was often absent because of his poor health. His third son, Samuel, was also a patron and he replaced his father as Rector at Charlinch from 1834 to 1846. Samuel had a curate at the time, called Rev. Henry James Prince (1811-1899), a somewhat silver tongued preacher, as his assistant. Prince became notorious for his unorthodox teaching and behaviour and had his licence revoked in 1842

Starky spent a lot of time away from Charlinch and while this happened, Prince had gathered a very large, and controversial, following called Agapemonities. Eventually Starky became interested also and he and Prince left the Church of England some time around 1842 and started a few congregations down south, mainly settling in a large house and 200 acres of land at Spaxton, Somerset, in a building known as the Abode of Love.

This building was surrounded by a 12 foot high wall and guarded inside by ferocious bloodhounds. Prince claimed that the Holy Ghost had taken up residence in his body, thus proclaiming the imminent second coming of Christ.

Most of Prince's followers were elderly spinsters, and most of those were rich. Those who were not rich, were young and pretty. The commune closed down in the early part of the 20th century. Many of the Agapemonities are buried in the front lawn and most likely Samuel Starky also lies there. Prince was married to Julia Starky, the youngest of Maria Barbara's children.

Maria Barbara's grandfather, Sir Edward Bayntun Rolt, no doubt would have preferred his estate to be passed onto a male heir which would not involve a name change but at the time of his decision Maria Barbara was the only legal and legitimate heir. So when Sir Andrew died in 1816 she became heiress to a considerable estate and the title Lord of the Manor of Bromham was passed onto Maria's eldest son, John Edward Andrew Bayntun Starky.

When her husband, the Rev. John Starky, died on the 23rd October 1834 at the age of 64, Maria Barbara moved into Battle Housethe Dower House – but only for a very short time, before re-marrying again

Her son, John Edward Andrew and his wife Charlotte, then moved into the family mansion at Spye Park. Prior to this, they had been living in a small house in the park about a mile from the main house.

She married, secondly, John Lowe, by licence at St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury, London in 1834. The copy of the register entry only gives the year 1834 but it does say – Maria Barbara Starky w. (the ‘w’ meaning widow). This indicates that she took her second husband within a period of no more than two months, or indeed quite possibly, within a matter of weeks.

After this marriage the couple lived in Croydon Surrey, however is not known how many of her children were unmarried and living at Spye Park House at the time of their father's death. Apart from John Edward, there were possibly six others alive at this time, the youngest, Julia, being 21 years of age.

She was mentioned however in 1859, as the widow of the late John Edward Andrew Bayntun Starky, residing at Battle House, Bromham, in "A History Military and Municipal of the Ancient Borough of The Devizes".

Maria Barbara lived to be 90 years of age and outlived eight of her 10 children - the remaining two both died in their 60's. But she must have been saddened when her grandson, John Bayntun Starky, the last Lord of the Manor of Bromham, lost the Bayntun estates in 1863 when he met with financial difficulty and was forced to sell the manor, including Spye Park House and other Bayntun properties that had been in the family for generations. She died on the 26th day of April 1870.

After her death an Account of the Succession of Personal Property was lodged by her grandson, the Rev. Andrew Beauchamp Starky, of Rowde Vicarage, Devizes, in the county of Wiltshire, derived from her predecessor under a certain Indenture dated the 17th day of April 1833, that a moiety of a sum of £16,000 charged and appointed in favour of the younger children of her son John Edward Andrew Bayntun Starky (since deceased).

On the 29th day of September 1870, the above mentioned Andrew Beauchamp Starky received his share of £8,000, plus interest at the rate of 5%. On the 3rd day of October in the same year, a similar lodgment was made by his sister, Constance Bayntun Starky for her share in Maria Barbara's inheritance and she duly received a similar sum of money.

Maria Barbara was referred to as 'Maria Barbara Lowe' in the above documents.

She died on the 26th of April 1870 and was buried in Croydon, Surrey.

Pictured left is a plaque in memory of her son, Coventry who died a year after his mother.

Maria Barbara was succeeded by her eldest son
John Edward Andrew Bayntun Starky

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