Have you ever wondered about the two ladies whose names appear on the memorial stone of Stratton’s old Village Hall? Well this will give you some idea of who they were and the circles in which they moved.

The inscription reads: To the Honour and Glory of God and in affectionate Memory of The Honble. JANE FRANCES ASHLEY This INSTITUTE was erected by her loving DAUGHTER Emily Frances de Satgé

Jane Frances Ashley nee Pattison was the daughter of Robert Pattison, a banker, and Jane Pattison of Wrackleford, and the wife of The Hon. Anthony Henry Ashley-Cooper, third son of Cropley Ashley, 6th Earl of Shaftesbury, and Lady Anne Spencer, daughter of George, 4th Duke of Marlborough.

Jane Frances Pattison was born in Dorchester on 29th April 1817 and baptized in Holy Trinity Church, Dorchester. At that time her parents were living at Stratton Manor, High West Street, Dorchester.

Between 1817 and 1835 the Pattison family moved to Wrackleford House and on 2nd October 1835 at the age of seventeen Jane Frances Pattison married 28-year-old Anthony Henry Ashley-Cooper in St Mary’s Church, Stratton.

The ‘John Bull’ publication of Sunday 11th October 1835 reported that “On Friday week were united, at Stratton Church, Dorsetshire, by the Rev. Robert Albion Cox, the Hon. Anthony Henry Ashley-Cooper, third son of the Rt. Hon. The Earl of Shaftesbury, and one of the Representatives for Dorchester, to Jane Frances, only daughter of Robert Pattison, Esq., of Wrackleford House, near Dorchester. The retired little village of Stratton and its neighbourhood presented, on this occasion, an appearance of long unwonted gaiety. Groups of spectators thronged the roads and the avenues to the Church, many a gay flag from Church spire and from lofty tree fluttered in the wind, and the merry peal from the bells echoed along the vale. The bridal party arrived at the Church in six carriages – that containing the bridegroom drawn by four greys. The lovely bride was attired in a style of rich but chaste elegance, and was given away at the altar by the Earl of Shaftesbury. After the ceremony, the party retired to Wrackleford House, where a sumptuous breakfast was partaken of by a numerous company of friends, amongst whom were the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Hon. John Ashley-Cooper, Mr. and Mrs. Pattison, Colonel Stickland, Miss Stickland, Mr., Mrs. and the Misses Cree, the Rev. R. A. Cox, Mr. George Cox, Mr. and Mrs. Cox, &c, &c. The bride and bridegroom immediately afterwards set off for Wimborne St Giles’s, the noble seat of the Earl of Shaftesbury, to pass the honey moon. On their progress through the villages, and at Dorchester and Blandford, they were welcomed with peals from the Church bells. Amidst the festivity so natural to such an event, it is pleasing to record that the poorer neighbours of Wrackleford House were not forgotten : for them a fatted ox was slain, and everything that kindness could suggest to promote their merriment and comfort was attended to; and the heart-born benediction of many a villager followed the youthful and amiable bride on her departure from the paternal roof for a participation in the duties and care of a more extended sphere, and, we trust, a still more happy lot.”

The Hon. Anthony Henry Ashley-Cooper, known as Henry Ashley, was born on 5th May 1807 at Wimborne St Giles, Dorset, seat of the Earl of Shaftsbury.

All male members of the Ashley-Cooper family have ‘Anthony’ as their first given name. Anthony Henry had nine siblings: Caroline Mary; Harriet Anne, Charlotte Barbara; Anthony (Lord Ashley); Anthony William; Frederica; Anthony John; Anthony Francis; and Anthony Lionel.

In 1817 Henry attended Eton College. In February 1825 two of his younger brothers, John and Francis, were also pupils there. Francis became involved in a dispute with another boy, Charles Alexander Wood, over the use of a particular seat at two o’clock prayers and to settle the matter a bare-knuckle boxing match was arranged. Francis took a blow to the temple in round eleven and the fight appeared to be over. This was very disappointing for the spectators. But Henry took a bottle of brandy that had been used to rub into the fighters knuckles between rounds and poured the liquor into his brother’s mouth. Francis soon wanted to continue the bout. There was more to the fight than a matter of schoolboy honour. Ashley-Cooper's father, the Earl, and Wood's father, a Colonel and Member of Parliament for Brecknock, Wales, were political rivals. By the sixtieth round both contestants were near exhaustion. Charles Wood swung at Francis, who after a few seconds fell backwards to the ground. Wood’s knee struck him on the head as he fell. Francis lay motionless. The fight was over. Further brandy could not revive him and his two older brothers, Henry and John, carried him to his lodgings. On the way they met house maid Dorothy Large, who suggested sending for a Doctor. Henry assured her that Francis would be alright. The attendance of a Doctor would mean admitting that his brother was drunk. Some four hours later it was decided that a doctor should be called after all. Francis had stopped breathing.

When news of the death reached the world, there was an outcry in the press. There was criticism of Henry Ashley-Cooper and his friend Alexander Wellesley Leith, the dead boy's Second, for providing the brandy.

Charles Wood's father visited Eton to apologize on his son's behalf, and Lord Shaftesbury sent his secretary to remove his remaining sons from the College. Charles Wood and Alexander Leith were taken before a court of a charge of manslaughter. Both pleaded Not Guilty. Lord Shaftesbury refused to prosecute and encouraged any prosecution witness not to appear. Wood and Leith returned to Eton.

At the Coroners Court the jury viewed the body and listened to several accounts of the fight. A surgeon gave evidence of a ruptured blood vessel and blood running loose in the brain. A college pupil recalled that Francis had been dosed with half a pint of brandy to which the Coroner advised that such quantity would be enough to kill the boy.

Six days later, Eton Headmaster Dr. John Keate conducted the funeral service in the school chapel. Anthony Francis Ashley-Cooper’s body was interred in a vault under the organ loft.

Later in 1825 Henry Ashley-Cooper enlisted in the 85th Foot at the rank of Ensign. According to his eldest brother’s journal dated 26th April 1826, Henry bore ‘a good character at Malta’. He was promoted to Lieutenant later that year. In 1827 Lord Ashley sought and received advice from the Duke of Wellington, the Commander-in-Chief as to how his brother could advance his career.

On 17th & 18th May 1830 Henry made his first class debut for the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord’s against a Middlesex XI. He played in five first class matches between 1830 and 1833 making a total of forty-six runs. Later he became President of the MCC at the age of twenty-seven.

Henry was promoted to the rank of army Captain in 1831. In the autumn of that year Lord Ashley resigned as Member of Parliament for Dorchester in order to contest the Dorset by-election. Henry, temporarily in poor health, was put up to replace him on the basis of his family’s local connections and his known hostility to what was to become the Reform Act of 1832. The reformers put forward the Waterloo veteran George Lionel Dawson Damer, a younger son of of the 1st Earl of Portarlington, whose brother was the incumbent Sheriff of Dorset. Whilst George Damer was making his way from Ireland, his agents were obstructed in submitting his nomination by the Dorchester Corporation who refused him the necessary prerequisite of being first elected to the Common Council. On 11th October 1831 Henry Ashley-Cooper was elected to Parliament unopposed. He was made a Freeman of Dorchester on the same day. He took his seat in the House of Commons as Tory Member for Dorchester on 7th December 1831 and voted against the second and third readings of the Reform Bill. He voted on only five other occasions. At the general election of 1832, Henry was again returned unopposed for Dorchester, and boasted that “few Members were more constant in their attendance in the House of Commons than myself.” Regarding the Reform Act, he declared that “so far as an individual not qualified to take a part in a debate to oppose it, I did. I opposed it uniformly and determinedly, not only from my conviction of its dangerous tendency, but because I knew that the feeling and opinions of my constituents were as strong upon that question as my own.”

Henry continued to represent Dorchester as Member of Parliament until 1847, throughout the events involving the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Henry and Jane Frances had two daughters; Margaret Jane Ashley-Cooper, born on 7th March 1837 and baptized at St Mary’s, Stratton on 21st March 1837, and Emily Frances Ashley-Cooper, born on 23rd November 1838 and baptized at St Mary’s, Stratton on 29th November 1838.

In 1851 Margaret Jane and Emily Frances lived with their parents at the family home Clewer Lodge, New Windsor, Berkshire. After their father died in 1858, they moved with their mother to 12 Upper Grosvenor Street, Westminster where six servants were employed. They were still living there in 1871.

By 1881 Margaret Jane was living alone in Sunningdale, Berkshire, attended by her six servants.  Emily Frances and her mother had moved to High West Street, Dorchester. Two 2nd Lieutenants in the Dorset Militia, John Polletfen and Eustace Williams lodged with them.

Emily Frances married Henri Antoine de Satgé of Malvern Wells, Worcestershire, in Dorchester on 20th August 1885 when she was forty-seven. Their marriage certificate describes Henri’s father, Ernest de Satgé as a Peer of France.

On the night of the 1891 census Jane Frances Ashley and both her daughters were at Stratton House, High West Street, Dorchester attended by eight servants. Emily Frances’ husband Henri de Satgé and his 16 year old son by a previous marriage, Henry Valentine Bache de Satgé, were at Hartfield, their family home in Malvern Wells. Henry was described as a ‘Student for Army’.

Jane Frances Ashley died in 1893 aged 76. She was buried at St Mary’s, Stratton on 30th November 1893.


Five years later in Stratton, a plot of land was purchased by the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Finance for the purpose of providing a Church of England Sunday School and a Parish Institute Reading Room and Library. Emily Frances de Satgé financed the project in memory of her mother Jane Frances Ashley.

The 1901 census shows sixty-two year old Emily Frances de Satgé and her husband, resident in Melville Road, Falmouth, Cornwall.

Henri de Satgé died on 12th January 1907 aged 65 at Worcester House, Tenby, Pembrokeshire. His estate was valued at £11,617 11s. 9d.

Margaret Jane Ashley did not marry. Probate records show that at the time of her death on 27th February 1913 she lived at Rowan House, Dorchester and that her estate was valued at £30,995 4s. 10d.

Emily Frances died in Worcestershire on 8th August 1916 aged 77, leaving £44,697 13s. 8d. She was buried at St Mary’s, Stratton on 14th August 1916.  The Rev. W. G. Barclay officiated.


And what of Jane Frances’ parents after she married? Robert Pattison continued to live at Wrackleford House with his wife, Jane, until his death in 1845. He was buried at Stratton on 11th August that year. Jane stayed on at Wrackleford House. The 1851 census shows her as head of the house employing a Butler, Lady’s maid, Coachman, Cook, House Maid and Kitchen Maid. By 1871, Jane, aged 86 years and blind, still retained six servants. She died aged 91 years on 11th April 1875 at Wrackleford House and was buried at Stratton on 20th April 1875.

  Of course, there’s far more to the lives and times of The Hon. Jane Frances Ashley and Emily Frances de Satgé than can be told here. There are all those years that Jane Frances Ashley spent as the wife of a Member of Parliament, and sister-in-law of the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Henri de Satgé adventures in Queensland where in 1861 he set up sheep stations in the Peak Downs, and Emily Frances de Satgé’s step-son, Henry Valentine Bache de Satgé who in 1897 married Lorna Mary Smith, daughter of the Governor of Western Australia. Henry became a Gentleman Usher to the Royal Household and was later knighted for his service. The list of stories goes on and on.