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Item of the month - February 2017

The Mills family album

In 1825 Charles Mills had married Emily Cox, daughter of Richard Cox of Hillingdon House. Both families were important bankers. By the 1850s he wanted a house near his brother in law and bought up several plots of land across Vine Lane from Hillingdon House. In the centre of this land was an old house which he demolished in 1855 to build Hillingdon Court.

Hillingdon Court was built in the latest Italianate style surrounded by formal gardens and a park, with a small farm to supply the house with fresh milk and eggs.

Charles Mills was made a baronet in 1868, before his death in 1872 at Hillingdon Court. He was succeeded by his son, Charles Henry (1830-1898) who was made the first Baron Hillingdon. On his death he left over £1.5 million. The third Lord Hillingdon was his son Charles William (1855-1819). His son, the Hon Charles Thomas was MP for Uxbridge from 1910. He was killed in France in 1915. The sixth, and last Lord Hillingdon, Sir Patrick Charles Mills, died in 1982 and the title is now extinct.

This album was used by the family from about 1854 to 1900. It has photographs of family members and friends, many not identified, and at least one servant. There are also the only images of the old house demolished to make way for Hillingdon Court. The album includes several random newspaper cuttings and other items which seem to have caught the interest of someone at the time.

In June 1981 the last Lord Hillingdon visited his old family home and donated the album to the Local Studies, Archives and Museum service. The album is quite fragile and is kept in our store. If you would like to see it please let us know and we will bring it out for you.

The Mills family outside Hillingdon court c1860:

Mills family c1860-600

Old Smith, the farm bailiff. James Smith was then aged about 80 years old:

Old Smith, farm bailiff-486

The old house demolished in 1855:

Old house demolished 1855-600

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 28 Feb 2017 at 11:23