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Richard Empson, Henry VII's notorious Treasurer, received licence to crenellate and impark Easton Neston in 1499, but forfeited his possessions when attaindered in 1510. In 1530 the manor was sold to Richard Fermor, a successful merchant of the Staple of Calais. It was his descendant Sir William Fermor (died 1711), MP for Northampton and a prominent politician, who rebuilt the house at Easton, advised by his first wife's kinsman Sir Christopher Wren. In the event work only began following his second marriage in 1682, to Catherine, daughter of the third Lord Poulett. Fermor was created Baron Lempster in 1692, and in the same year made a financially advantageous third marriage to Sophia, daughter of the Marquis of Carmarthen. This may have prompted the radical alterations to the house which followed, although another factor may have been a desire to house properly the major part of the great collection of antique sculpture known as the Arundel Marbles which Fermor bought in 1691. William's son Thomas (died 1753), created Earl of Pomfret in 1725, held office at Court and was Governor of Guernsey. He met William Kent in Rome in 1718 and later employed him at the house.

The family retained the house until 1857 when it passed on the death of the fifth Earl to his sister's son Thomas Hesketh, sixth Baronet, of Rufford in Lancashire, who made Easton his seat. In 1935 Sir Thomas Hesketh was created Baron Hesketh. Easton remains in private hands in 1998.

People associated with this site

Sculptor: William Croggon (died 1835)

Architect: Nicholas Hawksmoor (born 1661 died 25/03/1736)

Designer: Alexander McKenzie (born 1829 died 1893)

Builder: John Raffield (Known to have been active 1760 to 1823)

Architect: Sir Christopher Wren (born 20/10/1632 died 25/02/1723)