|Henry came back from Canada when
hostilities with France ceased and moved into a rented property Hayden Hall in
Norfolk with his new bride in 1816. He started negotiating to buy Branches Park
near Cowlinge in Suffolk in 1817 but did not complete the purchase until 1820. It had around
1,000 acres. In 1828 the property was offered for sale as "one of the
finest estates in England; mansion in 200 acres of park, gardens and grounds
laid out by Capability Brown; 13 farms; 2,178 acres".
The net annual income generated was quoted as £3,712 (£191,000 today). The meadowland produced 2½ tons of hay to the
acre, the arable 6 quarters of wheat and 9
quarters of oats to the acre. The sale must have fallen through. In October
1828 Henry and a Mr Partidge were involved in a lawsuit over non-payment of debt
in connection with the sale of an estate. In his will
dawn up in 1840 still refers to "my
capital mansion house and estate called Branches Park in the county of Suffolk
with the garden, pleasure ground, offices and buildings".
The earliest reference to Branches Park is 1746 as a "manor or reputed manor". The plan
below (of 1790?) shows a simple square building. By the time
Henry bought it, two wings had been added. The property was originally referred to as "Branches"; Henry bought it as "Branches park". The auction of 1828 refers to "The Hall, Branches park". The auction particulars include "the green man public house" and "ample cottages". The whole estate realised £105,000 (£5.4m today).
When Henry died and the contents were sold off in 1843, they included Rosewood loo, Brussels carpets, splendid chandeliers, Italian bronzes, marquetry tables, French clocks, noble pier glasses, elegant mahohgany furniture and paintings by Moucheren, Ponsale, Old Frank, Bergham, Wonermans, Van Balen, Der Werf, Cooper RA., Williams etc.
In 1965 the fixtures and fittings were auctioned and the house demolished. It has been replaced by a brick house of no architectural merit. The park and estate are in a pitiable, neglected state. Only the surviving coach house gives an idea of past elegance.
In the 1960's