Egerton Bagot Byrd Levett-Scrivener

Captain Egerton Bagot Byrd Levett-Scrivener (1857-1954) was a Royal Navy Flag Lieutenant and aide to Vice Admiral George Willes in the Far East. He was later promoted to Captain, and following his retirement became Bursar of Keble College, Oxford University. Born Egerton Levett, he changed his name to Levett-Scrivener on an inheritance from his aunt of Scrivener family properties at Sibton Abbey, Suffolk, which he later managed. Levett was married to the daughter of English diplomat and ambassador Sir Harry Smith Parkes.

Egerton Levett was the son of Col. Richard Byrd Levett of Milford Hall, Staffordshire and his wife Elizabeth Mary (Mirehouse) Levett. Egerton Levett entered the service of the Royal Navy, where during a posting as aide to Admiral Willes in 1884, he met Mabel Desborough Parkes, the daughter of Ambassador Parkes, who was then serving as British ambassador to China and Korea. Levett and Miss Parkes were married in 1884, and in 1885 their son Evelyn Harry Byrd Levett was born, prompting Ambassador Parkes to write "one of his happiest letters... written in January 1885 to his daughter, Mrs. Levett, on the memorable occasion when he became a grandfather."

In 1889, Levett inherited the Sibton Abbey Manor from his aunt. The property, which was the only Cistercian abbey in East Anglia, had been in the Scrivener family since its purchase in the early seventeenth century by John Scrivener, son of an Ipswich barrister and bailiff grown rich in the wool trade. The Scrivener family later purchased 20,000 acres (81 km2) from the Duke of Norfolk to add to their Suffolk holdings. After inheriting Sibton Abbey, Egerton Levett changed his name to Levett-Scrivener in accordance with his aunt's wishes.

In 1890, six years after their marriage, Levett's wife Mabel was killed in a fall from her horse. A year later, in 1891, Levett married in Bristol his cousin Mary Millicent Mirehouse. (Levett's mother was a Mirehouse, and his brother Richard Byrd Levett ultimately also changed his name to Richard Walter Byrd Mirehouse on succeeding to Mirehouse family property at The Hall, Angle, Pembrokeshire, where by-then Richard W.B. Mirehouse served as High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire as well as Lieutenant Colonel of 4th Batt. North Staffs Regiment.)

Levett-Scrivener became an avid agriculturalist and farmer on the Sibton Abbey estate. He improved the farmland, and studied the manorial records of the Sibton properties, which were still in family hands, and shared them with historians. Levett-Scrivener tracked the produce grown on the farms, the cost of labor and the rentals accruing to the Scrivener owners. He also opened the Abbey periodically to county historians and antiquarians so they could investigate the ruins of the once-wealthy abbey, which had fallen during the Dissolution of the Monasteries to the Howard family.

The Levett-Scrivener family has longstanding ties to the Royal Navy. Egerton Levett-Scrivener's son Evelyn Harry Byrd, named in part for his grandfather Parkes, also joined the Royal Navy, where he rose to the rank of Commander. Among the ancestors of the family is another Royal Navy stalwart, Admiral William Bligh, captain of the ill-fated HMS Bounty during its mutiny.

Royal Navy Commander Egerton Levett-Scrivener died in 1954. He had two siblings, and the three were baptized at the Berkswich, Staffordshire, church where their father Levett-Scrivener worshipped as a child.

The Levett-Scriveners, and most of their Scrivener relatives, are buried at St. Peter's Church in Sibton, near Yoxford, Suffolk. Among the descendants of Egerton Levett-Scrivener is a branch of the Joly de Lotbiniere family of East Anglia. In 2005, the Levett-Scrivener family felt compelled to purchase the local village post office and shop facing closure in this quiet corner of rural England.