While Hertford House is now indelibly associated with the Seymour-Conway family and their collections, it was in fact only acquired by the family in 1794, when the 2nd Marquess of Hertford bought the lease and made it his home from 1797.
However, neither the 3rd nor the 4th Marquesses lived at Manchester House, as it was then called. The 3rd Marquess lived at Dorchester House on Park Lane and also built himself a splendid villa, St Dunstan’s Villa, in Regent’s Park. On his infrequent visits to London the 4th Marquess generally lived at 13 Berkeley Square. Apart from their Irish estates, the family owned two important English estates in the 19th century.
The family seat remains to this day Ragley Hall, near Alcester in Warwickshire, while the Seymour-Conways also owned Sudbourne Hall in Suffolk (demolished circa 1951). Sudbourne was used by the family principally for shooting and Sir Richard Wallace hosted many grand shooting parties there during the 1870s. Among many local benefactions he restored Sudbourne Church and gave a recreation ground to Orford, where three important paintings by Decaen depicting Wallace’s shooting parties hang in the Town Hall.
Sir Richard Wallace was also President of Ipswich Museum from 1875 until his death and gave important geological and natural history collections to the Museum.