Is there a connection between Lord H.H. Kitchener and Burley? Yes!
Reproduced above are copies of a hand written letter from Kitchener, addressed to my Great Grandfather, dated 1888. My Great Grandfather ended up as Admiral Eustace Rooke. He took command of many ships, and I have a few of his drawings here, and indeed one or two photographs. The Rooke family tree expands across the New Forest including George Rooke Furnell, who for a while was the owner of the Burley Manor. Other Rookes (sometimes spelt without the 'e') can be found within the history of Burley. Indeed parts of
Bisterne Close, were referred to as 'the Rookes'. The Burley Manor, did way back, take in all of Bisterne Close right through to Burley Street. Further back according the Records of Burley. All of which was then known as Bisterne Close, not Burley. The village centre, came a lot later.
The Rookes were also very influential within Lymington. Col. Henry D. Rooke owned Woodside, now known as Woodside Gardens and he gifted the property and land to the people of Woodside. Further back, two Rooke sisters married two Burrard sons. Burrard Neale has the monument overlooking Lymington Quay, in his honour.
Back then the main political parties were the Tory/Conservatives and
Whigs/Liberals, long before Labour even existed. The Burrards in particular were very much involved in politics and were MPs. And they were not all Conservatives, indeed, many supported the Whigs, later known as the Liberals.
My Grandmother, Lettice Rooke/Grant bought the property here in Bisterne
Close. My sister, Jennifer was married to her first husband Clive, at Burley Church
and my only marriage to Jane, also took place there.
It does seem strange that we having been here, one way or another, for
centuries, are still treated as outsiders!