Christopher John Leyland
Christopher John Leyland (1849–1926), naval officer and silviculturist
1846 Born Christopher John Naylor at Wallasey, son of John Naylor, a partner in the family's Liverpool bank, Leyland and Bullins, and his wife, Georgiana.
His parents had been given Leighton Hall near Welshpool as a wedding present, where they moved soon after Christopher's birth.
c.1859 Entered the navy as a cadet on the training ship Britannia at Dartmouth
1872 He retired from the navy as a sub-lieutenant.
1874 he married Everhilda Elizabeth Creyke of Rawcliffe Hall, Yorkshire: they had two daughters. Their home was at Trelystan, close to Leighton Hall.
He was nominally a partner at Leyland and Bullins bank from 1879 until 1901, and a Montgomeryshire JP. His chief interest was in forestry and extending the Leighton plantations.
1889 Inherited the Leighton and Brynllywarch estates on his father's death
1891 On the death of his uncle Thomas Leyland (formerly Naylor), he also inherited the Haggerston Castle estate at Beal in Northumberland: to do so he changed his name from Naylor to Leyland.
1892 married for the second time to Helen Dora Cayley.
1892 His son and heir, Christopher Digby Leyland, was born on Christmas eve 1892, followed by two more sons and three daughters.
Soon after its founding in 1894 Leyland became a director of the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Co and shared in the financing of Charles Parsons's experimental turbine-powered vessel Turbinia. Leyland became deeply involved with Turbinia's development, acting as captain of her throughout her speed trials, when she eventually attained speeds of well over 30 knots, considerably outpacing any ship in the navy.
1897 He captained Turbinia on her audacious appearance at the Queen's diamond jubilee fleet review at Spithead. Also took the ship on two eventful trips to Paris for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, and a triumphant demonstration for the French navy.
1892-7 Haggerston Castle was remodelled and enlarged by R. N. Shaw. A Parsons turbine was utilized for heating and lighting; and a tower of a similar design to one at Leighton Hall was built for holding tanks of spring water for the estate water supply. The tower also housed Leyland's observatory, where he pursued his interest in astronomy.
1911 After a disastrous fire at the mansion, Leyland had it rebuilt in even more dramatic style by James B. Dunn
1926 Died at Beal, Northumberland
Sources of Information
- Biography of Christopher John Leyland, ODNB