Surrey ... is the home
of majestic trees. ... Who has not heard of the chestnuts
of Bargate, "their enormous trunks twisted and contorted
like so many struggling giants", of the cedars of Peperharow
Peperharow had a long association with the Brodrick family,
lasting until the death of the 9th Viscount Midleton in 1942.
It was requisitioned by the Canadians during the Second World
War but the house was subsequently sold. In more recent times
it became a highly regarded specialist centre for children
but was severely damaged by fire and the school never re-opened.
It has now been converted into private residences.
The house was built by Sir William Chambers, the architect
to George III who also designed Somerset House, and the grounds
were landscaped by "Capability"
The 5th Viscount had no heirs and the 6th only had daughters,
so the descent of the Midletons was not a direct line, and
not all of them had happy lives. George Brodrick, 5th Viscount
Midleton, was found dead in a small empty room in the house
on 1 November 1848 with his head resting on
a pillow. There was a small brazier next to the body, ostensibly
used to dry out the damp peeling paper in the room, and his
death was said to have been caused by the fumes of charcoal.
An inquest found that he had committed suicide. Apparently "the
whole neighbourhoods of Peperharow and Godalming [were] in
consternation. The unfortunate deceased ... had for some time
been rather eccentric in his manner, arising it was understood,
from family matters. He had latterly resided almost alone in
the superbly decorated mansion".
In 1851 several of his valuable collection
of Italian, Dutch and Flemish pictures and engravings were
sold by Christie and Manson of St. James' Square, London. They
included "Mars and Venus, a grand composition by Garofalo,
Rembrandt, by himself" and works by Rubens (The Queen
of Cyprus), Ostade, Terburg, Wouvermans [sic] (The March
of an Army), W. V. de Velde, Murillo (Head of the Virgin) and
Poussin, amongst others.
This would have been a major art sale.
Later Viscounts were prominent in public life. William Brodrick,
8th Viscount Midleton, who was born at Castle Rising in Norfolk
in 1830, was as a Peer of the Realm, Lord Lieutenant
of Surrey and Barrister at Law M.A. According
to Who Was Who he owned about 9,600 acres He
died on 18 Apr 1907 and his funeral on 23rd April at Peperharow
churchyard was attended by a large number of Surrey magistrates,
political organisations, his tenantry and employees. His coffin
carried by "aged retainers wearing white smocks" and
the Deputy Lieutenants and military representatives at the service
were in uniform.
The final member of the family to live at Peperharow was William
St John Fremantle Brodrick, the 9th Viscount Midleton. He served
as Secretary of State for War (1900-03) and for India (1903-05).
He owned 5,000 acres,
so somewhat less land than his father. He passed away at Peperharow
on 13 February 1942, aged 86,
and at the annual parish meeting a month later the clerk, W.
Debenham, paid tribute to him; he had given his services to both
the parish and the country for more than 60 years. He had been
chairman of the parish council for 35 years and it was recorded
how much he would be missed ... "by all classes who in the
past have benefited by his generous help".
During his tenure a black flint of the Pleistocene period was found
by a workman in the park, 100 yards south of the deer bridge.
Graphic", 9 September 1871.
 "Cambridge Independent Press",
11 November 1848 [widely reported]. Suicide of Lord Middleton.--Godalming,
Saturday. The "Staffordshire Advertiser", 11
November 1848 carried the story of the charcoal brazier. "Hampshire
Advertiser", 11 November 1848 - report of inquest.
Post", 16 and 21 July
Pictures and engravings of the late Lord Midleton. Not all the
items for sale could be read.
 1901 census, Peperharow Park.
 Who was Who states that he
contested East Surrey for the Conservatives in 1865; was MP
for Mid Surrey, 1868-70; served on Noxious Vapours Commission,
1875; Commission on Sale and Exchange of Livings, 1877; late
President National Protestant Church Union; President of Surrey
Archaeological Society; Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, 1896-1905.
Courier", 24 April 1907,
Funeral of Viscount Midleton.
 Also extracted from Who
was Who. He became and 1st Earl of Midleton in 1920.
Evening Post", 14 February
1942. Earl Midleton dead.
Advertiser", 21 March 1942.
 "The Times", 20
Oct, 1928. A Flint Of Pleistocene Period.