Background and photographs of the Rawson family
Benjamin Rawson of Nidd Hall, Yorkshire, England became connected to the Trafford family of Herefordshire by the marriage of one of his daughters.
The history of Nidd Hall begins in Elizabethan or Stuart times, when a manor house existed where the large Hall currently stands. In 1824 the manor house was purchased by Benjamin Rawson, who was a wealthy Bradford wool merchant. He demolished the manor house in order to make way for the present stone mansion. Of the original manor, only the 14th century vaulted cellars remain.
After the death of Benjamin Rawson in 1844, the Hall became the property of his daughter, Elizabeth, along with his considerable fortune. She subsequently purchased the Michaelchurch Court Estate and the Manor of Ewyas Lacy in Herefordshire in 1863 for her nephew Charles Guy Trafford. When she died in 1899 the Yorkshire estate and the bulk of her money was inherited by her great nephew, Henry Edmund, 14th Viscount Mountgarret, The Michaelchurch Court Estate passed, with a substantial cash inheritance, to the Traffords for their and their descendents’ lives but under the oversight of trustees including Viscount Mountgarret. Michaelchurch Court and its estate were formally conveyed by the trustees in 1928 to the last direct male heir of the Michaelchurch Traffords [Richard Randolph William Rawson Trafford]. He died without issue in 1943 and the estate finally passed out of the Trafford line when it was sold in 1990.
Benjamin Rawson, a wealthy Bradford wool merchant, and his daughter Mary, in 1834
Miss Elizabeth Rawson, 1869.
Some sources suggest that Benjamin Rawson’s fortune came from the manufacture of Sulphuric acid and not from acting as a wool merchant.