The Fletcher Vane Family
After Henry Fletcher’s death, there was a family dispute over his will and the house eventually passed to his nephew Henry Vane, who was the son of his sister Catherine and her husband Lyonel Vane of Long Newton.
The Vane family were allegedly knighted on the battlefield of Poitiers by the Black Prince in 1346, and became a leading gentry family in Kent. Sir Henry Vane the Elder (1569-1654) rose to be a principal Secretary of State to King Charles I and acquired a very considerable amount of land in County Durham, including Raby Castle. His eldest son was the radical politician Sir Henry Vane the Younger, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 and a leading parliamentarian during the Civil Wars and Commonwealth. Despite having played no part in the execution of Charles I, Sir Henry Vane was executed at Tower Hill in 1662 under the orders of Charles II having been deemed ‘too dangerous to let live.’
The next Henry to inherit Hutton was Sir Henry Vane the Younger’s brother’s grandson. He used the surname Fletcher and was a great planter of trees (over 50,000). He created the Walled Garden, the Middle Pond, and (in 1745) the Cupid Room. He never married and was succeeded by his younger brother Walter, who had been a successful merchant in London and Rotterdam. Next came Sir Lyonel, who was created a baronet in 1786 just a few days before he died. Sir Lyonel’s eldest son Frederick was a colourful and difficult character who was elected MP for Carlisle after a notoriously corrupt campaign and employed John Peel, the celebrated Cumbrian huntsman, at Hutton.
Sir Frederick’s eldest son, Francis, restored, extended and renovated the house with his wife, Diana Olivia Beauclerk, despite considerable ill health. He died young in Frankfurt on the Maine, Germany, in 1840. Their young son Sir Henry inherited aged 12. In 1870 he married Margaret Gladstone, a cousin of the former Liberal Prime Minister. She was interested in the Arts and Crafts movement and is responsible for much of the character of the House we see today. They had no children, and he died in 1909 and she in 1916.