Nathaniel Jefferys (1788-1873) was born in Hanover Square, London in c.1788. By 1828 he was living in Southampton, the local street directory of that year describing him as ‘gentleman’ i.e. a man of independent means. The 1834 directory has him living at Marine Place in the village of Hill. In 1836 he was married in Millbrook parish church to Catherine Bligh, widow of George Bligh of Blighmont House, a large country house in the vicinity of modern-day Foundry Lane. It was at this time that he began to assemble his Hollybrook House estate from land that, prior to enclosure in 1830, had been parts of Shirley Common and Shirley Warren. He acquired parcels of land from various sources, eventually creating a 54-acres estate to the north of Winchester Road, between modern-day Lordswood and Malvern Roads. The estate was subsequently increased through further purchases and leases. Hollybrook House itself was built in 1836 and is presumably named after the nearby stream.
Jefferys may have over-extended himself in developing the estate because in 1837-38 it was leased to tenants, while Jefferys and his wife moved into Blighmont House. The couple lived at Blighmont until 1842, after which they returned to Hollybrook. Jefferys died in 1873 and was buried at St James Church in Shirley (he donated the land on which the church was built in 1836). A memorial tablet dedicated to Nathaniel Jefferys can still be seen in the church.
More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p102-104. (HS/h)
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