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The Families of Upton House

The Estate at Upton is one of the oldest sites in Poole, containing a Roman Road and a pottery within it.

We know from records that in 1592, the farm at Upton was in the hands of the CURRY family, variously described as CAREY, CARY or CRAY.

Dorset historian Hutchings records that the Earl of Huntingdon owned the land and sold Upton farm and the Island, then known as Rookhey, to Edward ROGERS, who leased them in 1615 to Henry ALYE and Garwan MALLETT, and later to Thomas FRAMPTON and Thomas YOUNG.

In 1652 Haviland HEELY (later HILEY) and George PHILLIPS, who were Poole Merchants, purchased the farm and island. The Hileys were descended from a Rector of St. James who married into another former Poole family, the HAVILANDS and died in 1611. They were to remain owners for the next 150 years. In 1665 Peter HILEY entertained King Charles 2 at his High Street home and who later visited Brownsea Island.

We have traced back to Nicholas CAREY of Fish Street Poole and Upton Farm; one of his descendants Mary BEALE, the daughter of a former Mayor of Poole, was the first wife of William SPURRIER. The farm buildings occupied a site on a prominent knoll when William Spurrier bought them. He was Mayor of Poole four times. 1784, 1786, 1787, and 1802. He always dreamt of building a mansion.

The SPURRIER'S were engaged in the Newfoundland trade and operated in the southern peninsula of the Avalon at a place called Burin. Timothy SPURRIER was born in 1672 and founded the business. His son, another Timothy would serve as Mayor in was his grandson William who had married Mary.

Pride of the Spurrier fleet was a three masted barquentine named "Upton" built in Newfoundland in 1787. It foundered in 1796.

After Mary's death in 1782, William married his second wife. Ann JOLLIFFE, who came from another very successful Poole family.

Professor Keith MATTHEWS of Memorial University, St, Johns, Newfoundland, unearthed a story of greed and ambition. The full story is contained in a now out of print book published by the Poole Historical Trust entitled "Mansions and Merchants of Poole and Dorset”

Brian Galpin President, Friends of Upton Country Park

Read more about the Families of Upton House at our History pages

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© Iain Wanless