Ref No301-F/2
DescriptionHarry Verelst (1734-1785) was descended from one of the Verelst brothers, Dutch painters who came to England in the late 17th century. Entering the service of the East India Company in 1749 he ended his career as governor of Bengal 1767-1769. He amassed a large fortune which enabled him to buy the Aston estate, but in 1785 was forced to move abroad to avoid his creditors [cf 2/1/2/2]. His widow and son leased the Hall, most famously to James Wedderburn Webster a friend of Byron, who stayed there briefly. The family's fortunes later recovered and they gradually built up the estate by purchases of neighbouring properties. They also benefitted from leasing rights to coal-mining under the estate.
Extent5 series
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