From the Archives

Sir Spencer Pocklington Maryon Maryon-Wilson at Roehampton Club

The ancient family of Wilson came originally from Yorkshire, where they can be traced as far back as 1252. In the reign of Edward I, the Baron Furnival bestowed on an ancestor of Sir Spencer, certain lands, in fee, ‘for his services war.’ Those lands were in that part or district Yorkshire called Hallamshire in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, and the place was then and remains to this day called Broomhead.

The estates remained in the Wilson family until late in the 18th century. One the most prominent members of the family was State Secretary to Queen Elizabeth for four years. The history of his life was portrayed shortly after his death in 1580 in the Book of State Worthies and Sir William Wilson was the first baronet and was a devoted adherent to Charles 1.

His seat was at Compton Place, Eastbourne where he also became Lord of the Manor. The seat was subsequently taken by the Duke of Devonshire. He nearly lost his life when the troopers from Cromwell paid him a visit at Compton Place. He eventually died in 1685. Throughout the extensive line from the thirteenth century to the time when Sir Spencer joined Roehampton Club, the Wilsons have been distinguished in the Navy, the Army, and the Church.


The name of Maryon came into the family about the middle of the eighteenth century on the marriage of Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson with the grand-niece and heir of the Rev. John Maryon. By this union, the manor and estate of Charlton was inherited by the Wilson family. It may also be interesting to state that Jane, daughter of the aforementioned Sir Thomas Pocklington, became the wife of the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, who was assassinated in the House of Commons in 1812 by Bellingham.

It was the death of Sir Spencer Maryon-Wilson the tenth baronet in January 1898 that enabled Sir Spencer Pocklington Maryon Maryon-Wilson to succeed to the title as the eleventh baronet taking possession of the extensive estates at Charlton-next-Woolwich, Searles, Fletching in Sussex and Great Canfield in Essex.

Sir Spencer Pocklington was elected to the Club in February 1902. He was one of the earliest Members to join Roehampton Club with backing from Sir Humphrey de Trafford (landowner and racehorse breeder) and ED Miller as respective proposers and seconders. These individuals also attended the formation of the Club itself in November 1901 at a meeting at 12c George Street, Hanover Square in London W1.

The recruitment of Sir Spencer Pocklington was very much in keeping with the intention of attracting initial Members of the Club within the senior ranks of the armed forces and the aristocracy.

Sir Spencer was proud of his ancestry although he turned out to be the last baronet in his lineage. He did however leave his mark at the Club with the longest name of any member at the Club before or since. He also appeared in the newspapers in an unflattering report of his wish to be greeted in a certain way. Regarding his surname, he assumed the additional name and arms of Maryon by Royal Charter in 1899 although he does not use the Maryon Arms.

In 1909, however, the newspapers covered a report of a letter sent by Sir Spencer to one of his tenants in which he suggests that “There is a strong feeling among Baronets that the expression ‘Dear Sir’ being constantly used in commencing a letter nowadays to their servants is not only incongruous but discourteous when applied to Members of this Ancient and Hereditary Degree. I will therefore ask you in future to kindly accord me my title and commence your letters to me ‘Sir Baronet’ instead of ‘Dear Sir!’.

Steve Riedlinger, Club Archivist