Markhams at Stuffynwood/news1898.jpg

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This news item is from the Mansfield & North Nottinghamshire Advertiser dated 24th June 1898. Arthur Markham moved into Stuffynwood Hall with his second wife Lucy Bertram Markham, nee Cunningham, in September 1898. Arthur began work at his brother's Broad Oak Engineering Company, Staveley, as a mechanical engineer after, what his sister Violet wrote, "a few false starts". Both he and Charles were apprenticed in all aspects of colliery work by their father in preparation for expansion of the Staveley Company. Incidentally, when Charles snr died in 1888 he left both his sons £250,000 each. (2007 £33million*) At the time of moving into Stuffynwood Hall, Arthur was 32, Charles just 18 months older. There was a third brother just 15 months younger than Arthur whom was also required by his father's tough regime to be trained at the coal face but sadly he died in 1888 of pneumonia aged just 20. Charles snr died 4 months after his son of diabetic kidney disease, the shock no doubt contributing to his failing health.

The current MP for Mansfield, liberal, John Carvell Williams had a longterm illness, announcing he would not fight the 1900 General Election. This was an excellent opportunity for the Markham family, holding strong political views, particularly Violet, who was passionate for improving education and healthcare for the working class. The Mansfield Divisional Council were heavily influenced by the opinions of the ever-increasing coal-miners whom were influenced by their employers, so the campaign against the conservative candidate, Colonel Eyre was to all intents & purposes a foregone conclusion. The leasing of Stuffynwood Hall by Charles for his younger brother Arthur, was it would seem, not just to provide him with a marital home closeby to the family business but was a base close to Mansfield where he could conduct his parliamentary business. However, after iniating bitter legal battles with the Bishop of Southwell & the Duke of Portland he left Stuffynwood Hall around 1906, contesting the lease using coal-mining subsidence issues. His wife was very much the socialite preferring the high society life of London where they had bought a house at 58, Portland Place, Westminster. He made this the family home from where he conducted all his parliamentary, colliery business and social affairs. Before the advent of war in 1913 they had moved the family home out of London to the relative peaceful surroundings of Beachborough House in Kent. In 1911, Arthur was made Sir Arthur Markham, Baronet of Arusha, East Africa but he had also received some very bad news from his doctor that he had developed angina and needed to avoid stress. His house at Beechborough, however, was seconded by the war-office to be used as a military hospital, subsequently, they were able to lease the very grand Newstead Abbey with its secluded ornamental gardens in Mansfield from where Arthur was able to coordinate coal supplies to the armament factories.

*ABN Amro/LBS calculate that the average inflation rate during the 20th century was 4.1%/annum, which equates to £1 in 1900 having the same purchasing power as £55 in 2000.