Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Purssells 1870 – 1890

“It is indisputable that while you cannot possibly be genteel and bake, you may be as genteel as never was and brew.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, 1861.

As we’ve already seen the decade between 1861 and 1871 seemed to have been  pivotal for the family. Some have definitely succeeded,  others don’t seem to do well; and by the start of the 1870’s there appears to be almost a gulf between the two remaining branches of the family, possibly exacerbated by a split in religions, but more likely by a combination of class, status, and money.

St Anne Limehouse

St Anne Limehouse

As far as we can tell, the whole family were born and christened as members of the Church of England.  Roger and Charlotte were christened, and married at St Anne, Limehouse, in the late C18th, and all the children were christened there.  All seem to have had C of E christenings.  But at some point, there were some conversions to Rome, at least on the part of Charlotte, Frances Jane [Mother St. George], and Alfred. It’s not entirely clear why, or when.

Mother St. George is the easiest to pin down, she was professed a nun, at the age of twenty one, in 1848, the year of revolutions, and, coincidentally, the year the Communist Manifesto was published in London. So, we at least have a date as to when Mother St George was a recognized Catholic.

At the moment, this has to be speculation, but it is logical to assume that Charlotte was the first to convert, probably after the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, and almost certainly as an adult convert. Charlotte was the eldest of the brothers and sisters; sixteen years older than Mother St. George, and twenty years older than Alfred.  Charlotte and Frances were the only two girls, and it’s reasonable to assume that given the amount of instruction, and the sacraments Mother St. George (Frances) would have had to received prior to her profession that she followed her sister, and they were both Catholic by, perhaps, 1844.

Alfred was the youngest of his brothers and sisters; much closer in age to Mother St. George than anyone else. He was at least eight years younger than his nearest brother John Roger, and sixteen years younger than Joe, the eldest. Quite when he converted is rather more difficult.  Alfred married Laura Rose Coles in the spring of 1857 at St George the Martyr, in Southwark, in an apparently  C of E marriage. He was twenty six, and she was two years younger. Laura Rose was born in Blackheath on 19th March 1833, and apparently christened into the Church of England. Alfred then married Ellen Ware in 1865 in Exeter. That marriage also seems to have been Anglican. But by 1871, his eldest daughter,Laura Mary, is being educated by the nuns in Norwood at her aunt’s convent. So it’s a reasonable bet that Alfred had become a Catholic by then.

By 1871,  Alfred had re-married, and had five more children. Mother St George is in the convent in Norwood. Charlotte Purssell Jnr had been dead almost two years,William is dead, and  James, and his family, had been in New York for almost fourteen years, and well established on Broadway.  John Roger Purssell is presumed to be in Australia, and Joe has been in Australia for at least ten years, and possibly as many as nineteen years; and finally, their mother Charlotte Purssell Senior is living in Mile End, at 350 Mile End Road, aged eighty-one, with Mary Isaacs, a sixteen year old servant girl; and her daughter-in-law, Eliza (nee Newman), William’s widow, is living at 2 Satin Road, Lambeth, also with a servant.

So the split is almost complete, possibly it is more of a drift than a split, but there are now only two of Roger and Charlotte’s families remaining in London. Alfred’s living in Finsbury Square, on the northern edge of the City, and John Roger’s in Mile End Old Town in the East End. The remaining households are Eliza Purssell, William’s widow, who is living at 2 Satin Road, in Lambeth with a nineteen year old servant Louisa Cox, and eighty-one year old Charlotte herself, who is living in Mile End Road with her servant Mary Issacs.

John Roger has emigrated to Australia sometime in the 1860’s, most probably after 1866 when his daughter Eliza was born. His wife Eliza (nee Davies) calls herself a widow, in the 1871 census, when she was living at 19 Lincoln Street, Mile End with their five youngest children. She describes herself as a house-owner, though doesn’t give herself a profession, or occupation. The usual descriptions of the well off are “living on own means” or “fundholder”, or possibly “annuitant” so while she may have had some money, but that’s by no means certain. Given JR’s rather checkered history with money, he may have left her with some, he may not. He’d gone bankrupt in 1854, and his restaurant business had failed in 1861 when he had re-invented himself as a photographer. He later re-imagines himself as a builder.

 It’s not quite clear whether John Roger re-marries in Australia, but he wouldn’t be unusual in doing so. His older brother Joe had emigrated in the 1850’s and remarried, quite possibly bigamously. It seems to be quite common, so much so that Australian law seems to have permitted a second marriage if husband and wife had lived apart for seven years. Certainly, there were bigamous Australian marriages in the O’Bryen, and Elworthy families as well.

In terms of status, in 1871, Eliza is to all intents abandoned, so it’s not surprising she calls herself a “widow”, and slightly defensively as a “house owner”. At least the eldest three of her children have already died; John Junior aged two and a half in 1852, Alfred aged nine in 1860, and thirteen year old Edward in 1865. There is no trace of Albert after 1861, so it seems reasonable to assume he is dead by 1871, though he would be seventeen by then, so he could feasibly have left home. But she is living with five children, aged between five and thirteen, and no servants in the East End, quite a step down from ten years earlier when she had two. In 1871,Francis, and Charles are living with their mother, along with Arthur,Augustus, and Eliza.  

All of John Roger and Eliza’s adult sons appear to have gone to Australia. Francis emigrated on the Illawarra, arriving in New South Wales on the 6th Aug 1883.  Charles George seems to have emigrated some time after 1881, and died in Australia. Arthur, also, appears to have emigrated; and Augustus appears to have emigrated, married, and died in Australia as well.

John Roger Purssell returns to London by the end of the century. Crucially, JR’s youngest, and only, daughter remained in London; and it’s with her, and her family, that he lives with on his return. So at least one of the children knew their father was still alive.

By contrast, a couple of miles away on the other side of the City, Alfred is living at 49 Finsbury Square, with Ellen, who he has been married to for almost six years. They’ve had five children in the six years they’ve been married, in addition to Alfred’s daughter Laura; starting with Lucy who was born in the autumn of 1865, the year they got married, followed by Alfred Junior, Frank, Charlotte, and Agnes, none of them more than twenty one months apart, and in the case of the youngest two girls nor more than fifteen months apart. Gertrude, following the same pattern as her youngest sisters, was born fifteen months later in the summer of 1872.

Alfred is now describing himself as a “wine merchant etc employing 65 heads”, rather than a “confectioner”, which is what he called himself ten years earlier. The business is still expanding, he has increased the workforce by 30% in ten years, on top of a 25% increase in the 1850’s. But he is now clearly wanting to cement his place further as a Victorian gent. He was a subscriber to the International Exhibition of 1862 – held ten years later than the Great Exhibition- He subscribed £ 100 [ the modern day equivalent of £ 130,000].  But to quote from “Great Expectations” published ten years earlier, in a remark about Miss Havisham’s father ” Her father…. was a brewer. I don’t know why it should be a crack thing to be a brewer; but it is indisputable that while you cannot possibly be genteel and bake, you may be as genteel as never was and brew. You see it every day.”  I think we can safely assume that gentility, and the wine trade are fine, but baking definitely not. So Alfred is re-inventing himself.

By this point in the century, 1871, the family has transformed itself. In two lifespans- from Roger [1783 – 1861] to the death of Alfred [1831 – 1897] his youngest son,in 1897, and over the course of the nineteenth century, at least one part of the family has done very well for itself. At least in terms of social status, I think it is fair to imagine that Alfred has come to think of himself as “genteel” in the Dickensian sense.

Roger can first be traced in the 1851 census, living in a shared house in Mile End. His neighbours can only really be described as working class, though to use a Booth definition, probably  Higher class labour”. Roger himself is, in that acutely British way of looking at class, not genteel, but he does seem to be wealthy.

So back to Alfred, thirty nine years old, the father of six, soon to be seven, children, and living in some splendour in Finsbury Square. In addition to his wife and children, the household contains five servants, a ratio of family to servants that he maintains for the next thirty years. I think it is safe to say this is a prosperous upper middle class Victorian household, and would regard itself as such. There is no attempt to emulate the upper classes with a butler, or footmen, just a mixture of housemaids, nurses, and a cook.

Alfred Purssell has moved a long way in ten years. In 1861 he was a twenty-nine year old widower staying with his eldest brother in Brighton with a two year old daughter. He and Laura, then lived in Blackheath, and continued to do so after Alfred’s second marriage to Ellen Ware in 1865, up to at least 1868 because Lucy, Alfred Joseph, and Frank were born there. Charlotte, Agnes, and Gertrude were all born in Finsbury Square.  

In 1871 Laura Mary Purssell (aged 12) was at school  at the Virgo Fidelis convent in Norwood where Mother St George was, she is shown as Frances Jane Purssell aged 42 on the census return, and listed with the rest of the nuns as “attending on the children”.  Gertrude Purssell, the youngest daughter was born a year later in the summer of 1872. Her mother Ellen was 37, and within a year Ellen was dead. Alfred was forty one years old, a widower twice over, and a father of seven.

In the next snap shot in 1881, Alfred has moved house again. The family are now in Clapham, at 371 Clapham Road; though on the 3rd of April, most of the children are away at school. Lucy, Charlotte, and Agnes are boarding in Folkestone at the Convent of the Faithful Virgin. It’s a daughter house of the convent in Norwood with ” a Community of Nuns, Boarding school, and Orphanage with 17 orphans, and 13 boarders.”  Mother St George is the Lady Superior, and as well as her nieces boarding there, they are being visited by Laura Purssell on the night of the census.

Both the boys are also away at school. Frank is definitely at Downside, and it’s not entirely clear where Alfred Joseph is. Given that there is only a year’s difference between the boys, it would be logical to assume he was there too, but he doesn’t appear on the census return.

At home in Clapham, are Alfred and Gertrude who is eight years old.  He’s employing Annabella Norris as a housekeeper, along with a cook, two housemaids, and a children’s maid. Annabella’s position is a slightly hybrid one, similar in status to a governess. She is firmly not categorised as a servant, and was previously, and subsequently a schoolmistress.  In 1851, the Norris family were living in Stroat House, in Tidenham, Gloucestershire on the edge of the Forest of Dean, where Thomas Norris described himself as a farmer of 46 acres employing two labourers. Annabella’s mother called herself a “landed proprietor”  in 1861 when she and her daughters were living in a cottage in the village, and Annabella was teaching in the house with four boarding pupils. By 1871, she was running a school at 1 Powis Square, in Brighton with her sister Ellen and thirteen boarding pupils. After her stint with the Purssells, she moved to Bristol and resumed life as a schoolmistress, living at 10 Belmont Road in Montpellier, with her sister Margaret. She died in 1909 leaving the modern day equivalent of £ 264,700.

Of the remaining family,  William’s widow Eliza is living in Romford; John Roger’s abandoned wife, another Eliza is nowhere to be found but seems to have died in Dartford five years later. James and his family have been established in New York for nearly twenty years, and his five youngest children were all born in New York City, and Charlotte Purssell still seems to be alive, dying five years later in the winter of 1886 in Romford at the age of ninety-six.

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Captain Lord Petre, Funeral at Thorndon 1915

chapel ThorndonPark

The mortuary chapel, Thorndon Hall

The funeral of Captain Lord Petre took place at Thorndon Hall, Essex, on Saturday, where the body had arrived that morning from France. The service took place in the private mortuary chapel. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, on which lay Lord Petre’s coronet, sword, his Coldstream bearskin, and wreaths of white flowers from his wife, mother, and sisters. A party of non-commissioned officers of the Coldstream Guards, under Lieut. Elwes, were present and acted as bearers. At the entrance to the chapel a large detachment of the Irish Guards were lined up, under the command of Lieut.-Col. the Earl of Kerry. The little chapel was filled with members of the family and outside were grouped the large gathering of tenantry, servants, and friends. The service was a Low Mass of Requiem, celebrated by the Rev. Father C. Kuypers, chaplain to Lord Petre, in presence of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, who gave the absolutions. The music was rendered by some members of the Westminster Cathedral choir. At the conclusion of the Mass, the buglers of the Irish Guards sounded the “Last Post.” The tenantry and friends then entered the chapel and passed in front of the coffin, white flowers being placed round the mass of wreaths by children of the Thorndon Hall School. The coffin was then lowered into the vault. The chief mourners were :—Lady Petre, widow ; Julia Lady Petre, the Hon. Barbara Petre and the Hon. Clare Petre, mother and sisters ; the Hon. John and Lady Margaret Boscawen, father-in-law and mother-in-law ; the Hon. Mary Petre and the Hon. Teresa Petre, cousins ; Lieut.-Col. Oswald Turville Petre, Mr. Lawrence Petre, Mr. Loraine Petre, Lieut. Bernard Petre, Lieut. Jack Petre, and the Rev. Ralph Trafford, cousins ; Mr. and Mrs. Sebastian Petre ; Major and Lady Henry Forbes ; Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. F. Stapleton Bretherton ; Mrs. Van Cutsen ; Mrs. R. Feilding and Miss Bretherton. Among others present were : Canon Norris, Brentwood ; the Rev. R. Grant, chaplain at Ingatestone Hall.

REQUIEM AT WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL.

Whilst the funeral was taking place at Thorndon a Requiem was celebrated at Westminster Cathedral by Mgr. Howlett. Several of the Cathedral clergy were present in the sanctuary. At the termination of the Mass, at which the music was rendered by the Cathedral choir under the direction of Dr. Terry, the buglers of the Brigade of Guards sounded “The Last Post.” Among those assisting at the Mass were : Audrey Lady Petre, aunt, the Hon. Mrs. Albert Petre, Miss Petre, Mrs. Henry Petre, Lieut. the Earl of Lisburne (representing Major-General Sir Francis Lloyd, commanding the London District), Lady Mary Howard, Colonel Drummond Hay (Coldstream Guards), the Hon. Walter Maxwell, the Hon. J. Maxwell-Scott, Countess de Montholon, Sir Henry Howard, Count and Countess de Torre Diaz, and many others.—R.I.P.

The above text was found on p. 12, 16th October 1915 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

The Funeral of Mary Theresa, 13th Lady Petre in 1895

The funeral of the Right Hon. Mary Theresa Lady Petre, widow of William Bernard, 12th Baron Petre, and mother of William Joseph, the 13th Baron Petre, and of Bernard Henry Philip, the 14th and present Baron, whose death we recorded last week, took place on Saturday last in the Mortuary Chapel at Thorndon Park.

Lady Petre was 72 years of age, and was the eldest daughter of the Hon. Charles Thomas Clifford, of Irnharn Hall, Lincolnshire, son of Charles, the 6th Lord Clifford. She was married on September 26, 1843, and lost her husband in the July of 1884. She had been suffering for some time past from repeated attacks of bronchitis. She leaves three sons—the present Lord Petre, the Hon. Philip Benedict Joseph Petre, and the Hon. Joseph Lucius Henry Petre ; and eight daughters—the Countess of Granard ; the Hon. Mrs. Isabella Mary Bretherton, of Fareham ; the Hon. Margaret Mary Petre, a nun ; the Hon. Catherine Mary Lucy Petre, the Hon. Theresa Mary Louisa Petre, a nun ; the Hon. Mary Winifrede Petre, a Sister of Charity ; the Hon. Eleanor Mary Southwell Trafford, of Wroxham Hall; and the Hon. Monica Mary Butler Bowdon, of Lancaster. Nearly all of these were able to be present during Lady Petre’s last illness. Her ladyship, who was conscious to the last, received all the rites of Holy Church.

Although it is some years since the neighbourhood of Thorndon was deprived of the Petre family, by reason of the disastrous fire which broke up their home there, the memory of Lady Petre, as well as that of her noble lord and children, lives fresh and is cherished by both rich and poor. The various charities which were instituted during the residence of her ladyship and her late husband have been maintained by the late (13th) Baron and the present Lord Petre. Nor was her ladyship’s charity confined to the country. In London she instituted, among other things, a creche, or day nursery, for poor little children, in imitation of the same institution in Paris. She took a lively interest in all Catholic philanthropic work and her loss will be severely felt.

From the time of her decease until the coffin was removed from Belmont, Bournemouth, the residence of her ladyship, the body was laid in state in the drawing-room, and masses for the dead were said by the Rev. Father Cooney, of Bournemouth. The remains were removed from Belmont at -5.30 on Friday evening, and were conveyed in a hearse by the 6.40 p.m. train from East Bournemouth to Waterloo station. At Waterloo the hearse was taken from the train, and the remainder of the journey to Thorndon was accomplished by road. The coffin was accompanied from Bournemouth by the Hon. Philip and the Hon. Joseph Petre. Thorndon Hall was reached soon after two o’clock on Saturday morning, and the coffin was placed in the mortuary chapel, a short service being held. Mortuary candles were lighted round the coffin, and during the remainder of the night it was watched by members of the congregation and the nuns at Thorndon.

The remains of her ladyship were enclosed in an elm shell lined with white satin, a second elm case, a lead coffin, and an outer coffin of mahogany, covered with crimson velvet. On the lid was a full length brass cross with steps, the base bearing the following inscription : “Mary Teresa, Lady Petre, widow of William Bernard, 12th Lord Petre, Baron of Writhe, born 1st Septr., 1823, died 31st Decr., 7895. R.I.P.”    A small brass plate at the head bore a similar inscription. The brass medieval handles had a coronet over each. At each corner were brass clasps. The coffin was covered by a black pall, with a white cross, white fleur-de-lys on black border, and the family escutcheon at the head. The Norwich express, leaving London at to o’clock, was stopped at Brentwood on Saturday morning for the convenience of the mourners. Most of the mourners arrived by this train, and were driven over to Thorndon Hall. The funeral service took place in the Mortuary Chapel, which had been enlarged by the erection of a marquee at the entrance. This work was carried out by Messrs. H. and T. C. Godfrey, of Chelmsford. The marquee and the passage leading to it were hung ,with black and white drapery. There was a large attendance of the tenantry and those employed on the estate at the service, which was of a most solemn character. The musical portion was arranged by the Rev. C. J. Moncrieff Smyth, of Warley, and was rendered by the following members of the London Priest Choir : The Revv. G. B. Cox, H. Cafferata, E. Pennington, C. Turner, G. Curtis, J. Butler, E. Smith, and J. Heditch. Requiem Mass was sung by the Right Rev. Mgr. Crook, chaplain at Thorndon Hall. The Rev. Edmund Meyer, of lngatestone Hall, was deacon, and the Rev. Dean T. F. Norris, of Brentwood, was sub-deacon. The master of ceremonies was the Rev. W. H. Cologan, of Lilystone Hall, Stock. After the Requiem, Mass Cardinal Vaughan, who was assisted by the Vicar General .(Canon Barry), gave the Absolution. The coffin was then deposited in its last resting-place between those, of her ladyship’s husband and son.

The family mourners were as follows : Lord Petre, the Hon. Philip Benedict Joseph and Mrs. Petre, the Hoh. Joseph Lucius Henry Petre, the Countess of Granard, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Stapleton Bretherton, Mr. E. and the Hon. Mrs. Trafford, Colonel and the Hon. Mrs. Butler Bowden, the Hon. Catherine Mary Lucy Petre, Winifred Lady Howard’ of Glossop, Miss Blanche Petre, the Rev. Augustus Petre, the Rev. John Petre, the Hon. Frederick Petre, Mr. Sebastian H. Petre, the Count de Torre Diaz, and Mr. Philip W. Colley. Among the congregation in the chapel were Colonel Maguire, Colonel Wood, J.P. Captain Digby Neave, J.P., Colonel Disney, Mr. R. J. VValmesley, the Rev. C. Earle (rector of Ingatestone), the Rev. H. J. Tilley (Romford), Mr. J. F. Lescher, J.P., Messrs. F. J. Coverdale (agent), F. Coverdale, C. Gray, and J. Gallagher, from the Thorndon Estate office, Ingatestone ; Mr. E. J. Fooks, solicitor to Lord Peter ; Mr. Philip Witham, solicitor to Lady Petre ; and Mr. W. Walker, steward. There were also present a large number of the tenants of the estate, besides cottagers and workpeople. , Telegrams and letters regretting inability to be present at the funeral were received froth his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, K.G., the Earl of Denbigh, Lord Clifford, Lord Herries, Mr. Edward Petre, the Hon. Mrs. Charles Petre, the Hon. Albert Petre, and the Rev. H. D. Heatley, rector of Ingrave. In accordance with that old Catholic custom at funerals of members of the family, 72 loaves of bread and 72 shillings were afterwards distributed to poor widows of the neighbourhood. We are indebted for much of our report to the columns of The Essex Herald..

The above text was found on p.27, 11th January 1896 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

Sandars- Molyneux-Seel 1937

Mr. George Edward Sandars, M.B.E. whose marriage to Miss Vera Margaret Molyneux-Seel took place on September 8th at St. Peter’s, Ludlow, is the eldest son of the Rev. George Russell Sandars, Rector of Davenham and Honorary Canon of Chester, and so is a third cousin both of Mr. J. W. E. G. Sandars, of Gate Burton Hall, whose wife is a daughter of Lady Winefride Elwes, and of Mrs. H. A. Burke whose marriage to Mr. Patrick H. A. Burke, Grenadier Guards, took place a couple of months ago. Mr. Sandars, who was at New College shortly after the War, is in the Sudan Political Service and received the M.B.E. in 1933.

The Sandars family was originally seated at Charlwood in Surrey, where the church contains several of their monuments, and the present line descends from an uncle of the famous Dr. Nicholas Sander, or Saunders, the Catholic controversialist and historian, who, on the defection of Queen Elizabeth, resigned his preferments, “ob fidem conservandam,” and went to Rome where he was ordained by Thomas Goldwell, Bishop of St. Asaph, the last survivor of the ancient hierarchy. Dr. Sander has been described as “the most noted defender of the Roman Catholic cause in his time,” and his manuscript treatise on the Holy Eucharist so impressed the Prince-Bishop of Ermland that he took him as one of his theologians to the Council of Trent. He afterwards settled in Louvain, where he became Regius Professor of theology and plunged into controversy including “a Confutation of such false Doctrine as M. Jewel hath uttered,” and about the same time he received a commission to publish in England the papal sentence that under no circumstance could attendance at the Anglican service be tolerated. About twelve years later, in 1579, he went to Ireland as Nuncio, when he showed extraordinary activity in the Earl of Desmond ‘s insurrection, a risk of his life which the leading English exiles, who knew his worth, grievously deplored. Their fears were justified, for after about eighteen months he died, probably of want and cold.

Dr. Sander was the author of the first great history of the English Reformation, a work which was vigorously attacked but which later research has largely justified. An instance of this is’ his account of the matrimonial troubles of John Ponet, Bishop of Winchester, wherein the error of his critics was confirmed on the publication in 1847 of the Diary of Henry Machyn in which there appears the entry : “The xxvij day of July (1551) was the nuw bisshope of W . . . was devorsyd from the bucher (butcher’s) wyff with shame enog (h).” Bishop Ponet, incidentally, appears to have had interesting ideas on the royal supremacy, for he seems to have been responsible, at any rate in part, for the theory “that to give license to sin was sin ; nevertheless, they thought the king might suffer or wink at it for a time”—” it ” being the question of the Princess Mary attending Mass.

Miss Vera Margaret Molyneux-Seel is a daughter of Major Edward Honore Molyneux-Seel, D.S.O.’ the second son of the late Edmund Richard Thomas Molyneux-Seel of Huyton Hey, a Chamberlain to Pope Pius IX, who married a daughter of the Duque de Losada y Lousada. Through his mother, Agnes, daughter of Sir Richard Bedingfeld, fifth Baronet, of Oxburgh, Mr. E. R. T. Molyneux-Seel was descended from three of the beatified English Martyrs, BB. Margaret of Salisbury and Philip and William Howard. His father, Thomas Molyneux-Seel, J.P. & D.L., of Huyton Hey, who built the church of St. Agnes at Huyton, took the name and arms of Molyneux-Seel in 1815, on inheriting the estates of his maternal ancestors. The Huyton property had been inherited by a younger branch of Molyneux of Sefton from the Harringtons, an ancient Catholic family descended from a brother of the Sir William Harrington who fought at Agincourt, and these predecessors are also commemorated in the names of Major Molyneux-Seel’s brother, the late Edmund Harrington Molyneux-Seel of Huyton, the father of Mrs. Carr-Saunders, and of his uncle, Henry Harrington Molyneux-Seel, Richmond Herald, who died in 1882.

The letters P. & 0. must be familiar to many who cannot give off-hand the full name of the great Company which they represent, and the name Brodie Willcox, which has once more come to the fore owing to the celebration of the P. & 0. centenary, probably means little except to Catholics and to those interested in the history of that famous shipping company. To Catholics, certainly, the name has an interest beyond its connection with shipping, for Brodie McGhie Willcox, M.P., was the maternal grandfather of that great Catholic of the last generation, Brodie Manuel de Zulueta y Willcox, third Conde de Torre Diaz. The Conde de Torre Diaz— the title dates from 1846, when it was granted to his grandfather by Isabella II of Spain—was a ” gentilhombre de Camera” to the King of Spain and held the Grand Crosses of Isabel la Catolica and San Gregorio, and in England, where he was also closely associated with the business interests of his family, he was Chairman of the Catholic Seamen’s Home and Institute, the forerunner of the present Chaplaincy to the Port of London, and Vice-President of the Superior Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The third Conde de Torre Diaz ‘s father, whom he succeeded in 1882, was Chamberlain to the King of Spain and a member of the Spanish Senate until the Revolution of 1868, and two of his nephews have suffered similarly from a later revolution, for Don Pedro de Zulueta was an attaché at the Spanish Embassy in London until the proclamation of the Republic caused him to resign, and the Marques de Merry del Val, the eldest son of his sister Josephine, was Spanish Ambassador in London from 1913 until the Revolution.

Page 26, 18th September 1937

The children of Sir Joshua Walmsley

The eldest daughter Elizabeth (b 1817) married Charles Binns (b 1815), a member of a prominent Quaker family, in 1839. Charles was the son of Jonathan Binns, a Liverpool-born land agent and surveyor living in Lancaster. Charles became manager of a coal and iron mine in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, which had been established by George Stephenson (and of which Sir Joshua Walmsley was a director), producing coal for transportation by his own railway. Elizabeth had four children (all girls) but then seems to have died in the early 1850s. Charles died in 1887. Emily Rachel Binns, Elizabeth and Charles’s youngest daughter married Samuel Rickman, and is the mother of Reginald Binns Rickman.  Emily Rickman and Adah Russell are first cousins.

Little is known about Sir Joshua’s eldest son Joshua (1819-1872). He joined the Army and attained the rank of captain. He lived in southern Africa for many years and served as a border agent in Natal on the Zulu frontier. His account of his travels formed the basis of a book (novel) by his younger brother Hugh Mulleneux, The Ruined Cities of Zulu Land. He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 12th December 1882

The next son Hugh Mulleneux ( 1822-1882) also had an exotic career. He too joined the Army, including time with the 25th Bengal Native Infantry, and then volunteered to join the Bashi Bazouks, an unsavoury formation of irregulars in the service of the Ottoman Empire. In due course he rose to the Ottoman rank of colonel. On his eventual return to England in about the mid 1850s he penned a succession of volumes, including several describing his own extensive travels on military service, a biography of his late father and also some adventure novels. He married Angelina Skey (b 1826) in 1870 and took up residence near his father in Hampshire. He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 14th December 1872, having died at “Chantilly, Zulu Frontier, in South Africa” on 20th April the same year.

James Mulleneux (b 1826), by contrast, became a civil engineer. In the 1850s he was lodging and working in Derbyshire. His Egstow address suggests he was involved with coal mining. He died on December 6th,1867 aged 41 and was buried on December 12th with his sisters at St Mary’s, Edge Hill. He died in Torquay. James was unmarried, and his addresses for probate were given as 101 Westbourne Terrace, and also Wolverton Park, Hampshire, both his father’s houses, and “latterly of Torquay, Devon”. Probate was granted to his father’s executors because Sir Josh was the “Universal Legatee”. It wasn’t granted until 1874, about three years after Sir J’s death in 1871. James left £2,000.

Emily (b 1830) became the second wife of William Ballantyne Hodgson (b 1815), a noted teacher, newspaper proprietor and academic. Hodgson was employed at the new Mechanics’ Institution (later Liverpool Institute) when Sir Joshua was mayor (and Emily but a child) and went on to become its Principal. He married Emily in 1863 and they mostly lived in London till Hodgson was appointed the first Professor of Political Economy in Edinburgh University in 1871. After he died in 1880, Emily stayed on in Edinburgh with their two children (one son and one daughter).

The youngest daughter Adah (b 1839) married a Welsh banker, William Williams, in 1866. They went to live in Merionethshire and had at least two daughters. Adah possibly died as early as 1876. Their daughter Adah Adeline Walmsley Williams (1867–1959) married Charles Russell in 1889. Gwendoline  Walmsley Williams married Denis Kane in 1897,

information from http://www.researchers.plus.com

In 1861, Sir Joshua and Adeline, whose occupation was given as “Lady” were living in some style at Wolverton Park, outside Kingsclere in Hampshire with James, and his sisters Emily, and Adah. The whole household comprised of the family, plus Maria Butts (60) who was the cook, three housemaids, one of whom was thirty five, the other two were twenty-four. There were also three male servants, and what was so surprising is how young they were. Richard Pratt, the butler was only twenty-four, there was a sixteen year-old house boy, and Charlie Jacob, the groom was twenty.

Sir Joshua Walmsley 1794–1871

 After the death of his father, Hugh Walmsley, wrote a rather hagiographic biography of  Sir
Joshua Walmsley which was published in 1879. [The Life of Sir Joshua Walmsley, by his Son
Hugh Mulleneux Walmsley. Chapman and Hall, 193, Piccadilly 1879]. It’s a surprisingly good read,
large sections of it are from Sir Josh’s note and diaries, and it’s certainly massively better than
at least one of Uncle Hugh’s other books  “The Ruined Cities of Zululand”.  I will be posting
extracts in a series called the “Life of Sir Josh”
Joshua_Walmsley

Sir Joshua Walmsley (1794–1871)

Joshua Walmsley (1794–1871) was an English businessman and Liberal Party politician.The son of John Walmsley, an architect, builder and marble mason, he was born in Liverpool on 29 September 1794, and educated at Knowsley, Lancashire, and Eden Hall, Westmorland. After his father’s death in 1807, he became a teacher, and book-keeper at  Eden Hall school; and following an argument in Westmorland he returned to Liverpool in 1811, and started teaching at Mr. Knowles’s school. He apprenticed himself to a corn merchant in 1814, and at the end of his apprenticeship went into the grain business himself.

He was an early advocate of the repeal of the duty on corn, and worked with Richard Cobden, John Bright, and others in the Anti-Corn Law League. In 1826 he took the presidency of the Liverpool Mechanics’ Institution. At about the same time Josh got to know George Stephenson, in whose railway schemes he was interested, and with whom he joined in purchasing the Snibstone estate, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where rich seams of coal were found.  Along with Stephenson, he was amongst others one of the founding directors of the Clay Cross Company in 1837. He was elected a member of the Liverpool city council in 1835, and worked to improve the police, sanitation and education of the city. He was appointed Mayor in November 1838, and knighted on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s marriage.

He, and Lord Palmerston, unsuccessfully contested Liverpool standing as Liberals in June 1841. He retired to Ranton Abbey, Staffordshire, in 1843, and at the general election of 1847 was elected M.P. for Leicester, but was unseated on petition. He started the National Reform Association about this time, and was its president and chief organiser for many years. In 1849 he was returned as M.P. for Bolton in Lancashire, but in 1852 exchanged that seat for Leicester, where his efforts on behalf of the framework knitters made him popular with the workers but not their employers. He lost his seat in 1857, largely due to organised opposition from the employers, and he practically retired from public life, although he retained the presidency of the National Sunday League from 1856 to 1869.

In 1861, Sir Joshua and Adeline, whose occupation was given as “Lady” were living in some style at Wolverton Park, outside Kingsclere in Hampshire with their youngest son James, and his sisters Emily, and Adah. The whole household comprised of the family, plus Maria Butts (60) who was the cook, three housemaids, one of whom was thirty five, the other two were twenty-four. There were also three male servants, and what was so surprising is how young they were. Richard Pratt, the butler was only twenty-four, there was a sixteen year-old house boy, and Charlie Jacob, the groom was twenty.

He died on 17 November 1871 at Hume Towers, his house at Bournemouth, leaving issue, of whom H. M. Walmsley wrote The Life of Sir Joshua Walmsley (London 1879). He was interred at All Saints Church, Edge Hill, Liverpool. His wife, whom he married in 1815, née Adeline Mulleneux, survived him by two years.

From Wikipedia

The eldest daughter Elizabeth (b 1817) married Charles Binns (b 1815), a member of a prominent Quaker family, in 1839. Charles was the son of Jonathan Binns, a Liverpool-born land agent and surveyor living in Lancaster. Charles became manager of a coal and iron mine in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, which had been established by George Stephenson (and of which Sir Joshua Walmsley was a director), producing coal for transportation by his own railway. Elizabeth had four children (all girls) but then seems to have died in the early 1850s. Charles died in 1887. Emily Rachel Binns, Elizabeth and Charles’s youngest daughter married Samuel Rickman, and is the mother of Reginald Binns Rickman.  Emily Rickman and Adah Russell are first cousins.

Little is known about Sir Joshua’s eldest son Joshua (1819-1872). He joined the Army and attained the rank of captain. He lived in southern Africa for many years and served as a border agent in Natal on the Zulu frontier. His account of his travels formed the basis of a book (novel) by his younger brother Hugh Mulleneux, The Ruined Cities of Zulu Land. He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 14th December 1872, having died at “Chantilly, Zulu Frontier, in South Africa” on 20th April the same year.

The next son Hugh Mulleneux ( 1822-1882) also had an exotic career. He too joined the Army, including time with the 25th Bengal Native Infantry, and then volunteered to join the Bashi Bazouks, an unsavoury formation of irregulars in the service of the Ottoman Empire. In due course he rose to the Ottoman rank of colonel. On his eventual return to England in about the mid 1850s he penned a succession of volumes, including several describing his own extensive travels on military service, a biography of his late father and also some adventure novels. He married Angelina Skey (b 1826) in 1870 and took up residence near his father in Hampshire.He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 12th December 1882

James Mulleneux (b 1826), by contrast, became a civil engineer. In the 1850s he was lodging and working in Derbyshire. His Egstow address suggests he was involved with coal mining. He died on December 6th,1867 aged 41 and was buried on December 12th with his sisters at St Mary’s, Edge Hill. He died in Torquay. James was unmarried, and his addresses for probate were given as 101 Westbourne Terrace, and also Wolverton Park, Hampshire, both his father’s houses, and “latterly of Torquay, Devon”. Probate was granted to his father’s executors because Sir Josh was the “Universal Legatee”. It wasn’t granted until 1874, about three years after Sir J’s death in 1871. James left £2,000.

Emily (b 1830) became the second wife of William Ballantyne Hodgson (b 1815), a noted teacher, newspaper proprietor and academic. Hodgson was employed at the new Mechanics’ Institution (later Liverpool Institute) when Sir Joshua was mayor (and Emily but a child) and went on to become its Principal. He married Emily in 1863 and they mostly lived in London till Hodgson was appointed the first Professor of Political Economy in Edinburgh University in 1871. After he died in 1880, Emily stayed on in Edinburgh with their two children (one son and one daughter).

The youngest daughter Adah (b 1839) married a Welsh banker, William Williams, in 1866. They went to live in Merionethshire and had at least two daughters. Adah possibly died as early as 1876. Their daughter Adah Adeline Walmsley Williams (1867–1959) married Charles Russell in 1889

information from http://www.researchers.plus.com

 

Mary I.E.Fetherstonhaugh/Blood (nee O’Bryen)1867-1947- another orphan

mrs-jordan

Dora Jordan

Mary Isabel O’Bryen is another splendid character. Pauline Roche was a definite ace, Mary Isabel, her first cousin is another. Not only is she another orphan, but very  entertainingly her great, great aunt was Mrs Jordan, the mistress of William IV.

Mary Isabel Emily O’Bryen was born in 1867, probably in February,  in Gibraltar, and died in 1947, in the Hall, West Farleigh, Kent  leaving  £15,769. Her executors were Henry Pollock (her son-in-law) and her step-son, Horace Blood. The Hall was her daughter Mary Corinne O’Bryen Margetts’ [nee Fetherstonhaugh] house.

Mary Isabel is Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen’s daughter, and was orphaned in 1872, at the age of five. She is a first cousin to Pauline Roche, Mgr HH O’B, Ernest O’Bryen, et al. She seems to be about seven months older than Rex O’Bryen, who was the youngest of the sixteen children of John Roche O’Bryen. She was also thirty years younger than her eldest cousins, Pauline Roche and Mgr Henry O’Bryen

Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen, (about 1816  -1872) is one of the seven children of Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Senior, and Mary Roche. He was the collector of revenue at Gibraltar. He had married Mary Hewson (1841- died before 1872) in Dublin in 1866. She would have been about 25, and he was about 50,  and Mary Isabel seems to be their only child. It is unclear whether Stephen and Mary died at the same time, but on Stephen’s death on 26th April 1872 in Gibraltar, Mary Isabel’s aunt Fanny became her guardian.

rock_of_gibraltar_1810

Rock of Gibraltar c.1810

“18 July 1874. Administration of the effects of  Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen late of Gibraltar in Spain late Collector of Her Majesty’s Revenue there who died on or about 26 April 1872 at same place granted 6 July 1874 at Dublin under the usual Limitations to Fanny Augusta Fetherstonhaugh [wife of Capt Henry Fetherstonhaugh] of Tullamore Kings County the guardian of Mary Isabella Emily O’Bryen a Minor the Daughter and only Next of Kin. Effects in England under £ 3000.”

Fanny is probably the most obvious, and logical choice as a guardian. She is twenty-three years old when Stephen dies, and Mary Isabel is orphaned, and has been married for just over three years. She has had two daughters, although Mildred died aged eight months in 1871. By 1875, Fanny and Henry have four children, two boys, and two girls.

  • Emily Cecilia Fetherstonhaugh 18 Jan 1870 – died 30 Jul 1938 in Belfast
  • Mildred Elizabeth Fetherstonhaugh 13 Apr 1871- died 5 Dec 1871 aged eight months
  • Laura Hardy Fetherstonhaugh 11 Sept 1872 – died 15 Jan 1938 Belfast
  • Henry Hewson Fetherstonhaugh 10 Jan 1874 – died 1939 London
  • Rupert John Fetherstonhaugh 9 July 1875 – died 20 July 1954 Ireland
  • and Mary Isabel O’Bryen became part of the household.

There was no obvious candidate to be a guardian amongst her O’Bryen uncles and aunts. Indeed, all but two of the seven were dead; Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Junior died eleven months after his brother Stephen in February 1873, leaving only Robert O’Bryen who was fifty eight.

The Hewsons were similarly complicated, there were four sons and five daughters. By 1873, Laura, Robert, and Mary herself were dead, John and Conrad were unmarried. Of the remainder, Dora was married to Richard O’Connor who was serving as the Chief Magistrate in Singapore, so not really a candidate. Cecilia was married to the splendidly named  Xaverius Blake Butler; she was, apparently, a secret drinker, and he had also taken to drink following the death of their three year old son in 1873, so that probably ruled them out. That left only two remaining Hewson uncles and aunts, Francis was recently married, and his wife Jane was expecting their first, and only, child, and then there was Fanny, the logical choice, as the only suitable one of Mary’s sisters, the unfortunate choice, in as far as, she died on the 5th November 1875.

tullamore-gaol

Tullamore Gaol

Henry Fetherstonhaugh (1826-1898) seems to have died in the summer of 1898 aged 72 in Tullamore, co.Offally.  He and Fanny Hewson had married on the 19th January 1869,  in Tullamore, when he was forty-three, and she was twenty. He had been a Captain in the Westmeath Rifles, and then served as the governor of Tullamore gaol, co.Offally, it appears right up to his death.

He and Fanny had four children who lived to adulthood, Emily, Laura, Henry Hewson, and Rupert. Mary Isabel Emily O’Bryen seems to have been part of Henry Fetherstonhaugh’s family, and household until she married  Alfred Joseph Fetherstonhaugh, who is a cousin on her mother’s side, in 1888. It was a relatively short-lived marriage, and Alf died on the 12th February 1894 in Biarritz, aged thirty-one.  They had a daughter Mary Corinne O’Bryen Fetherstonhaugh (1890-1973).who was born on the 21st Dec 1890 in Dublin, and died on the 29th November 1973 at Malling Place, West Malling, Kent.  She married Arthur Pearson Margetts in the summer of 1916 in Dublin.

Mary’s husband Alf is her uncle (and presumed guardian) Henry Fetherstonhaugh (1826-1898)’s first cousin once removed.  Or to put it another way, Henry’s great grandfather,William Fetherstonhaugh (????-1770)  is Alf’s  great, great, grandfather. And to make things even more complicated, Henry’s elder sister Jane is Alf’s aunt, having married his father’s  eldest brother, another William Fetherstonhaugh (1828-1914) . So her uncle’s sister is her husband’s aunt.

Alfred Joseph Fetherstonhaugh was the son of Stephen Radcliffe Fetherstonhaugh (1830 – 1895)  and Jane Boyce who had eleven children.  Jane was the daughter of Joseph Boyce who was a Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1855, and a ship owner

william_iv_crop

William IV

Mary Isabel’s maternal grandfather Frank Hewson was the nephew of  Dorothy Bland, (1761-1816). known as the actress Mrs Jordan. She was the mistress of William, Duke of Clarence (later William IV), who she had five sons and five daughters with; she had previously had a daughter by Richard Daly (1758-1813), an Irish actor and theatrical manager. She was then the mistress of Sir Richard Ford (c.1759-1806), having three more children, two daughters and a son (who died at birth). She died unmarried at 1 Rue d’Angouleme, Saint-Cloud, Paris, 5 July 1816.

Mary Isabel’s second husband was Alexander Findlater Blood, who she married in 1897. They both had children from a previous marriage, he had three, she had one and they then had a daughter, Millicent Alix Blood, born 1898. She married Lt.-Col. Jack Gronow Davis in 1932, and they had three sons. He served in the Indian Army, and retired to Sussex. Both died in Kensington in the mid 1980’s

Alexander Findlater Blood was born in Dublin, on 25 July 1853, the son of John Lloyd Blood and Margaret Findlater. He was a barrister in Dublin, and came from a Dublin brewing family.  The Bloods were distantly related to Colonel Thomas Blood (1618 –1680) best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671.

Alexander’s first wife was Rachel Anne Park, the daughter of Lt.-Col. Archibald Park, who he married  on 28 September 1880; and the granddaughter of  Mungo Park (1771 – 1806) who was a Scottish explorer of West Africa. He was the first Westerner known to have travelled to the central portion of the Niger River.  His second wife was Mary Isabel O’Bryen, who he married on 23 April 1897, in Dublin. He died in Dublin, on 13 June 1933 aged 79.

trinity-college-dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Alexander Blood went to Trinity College, Dublin, and was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1877. He then practised as a barrister, and solicitor in New Zealand between 1878 and 1883. On his return to Ireland he was admitted to the Inner Bar in 1899. He was a member of the Senate of Dublin University, a practising Bencher of King’s Inns, Dublin and eventually a King’s Counsel (K.C.)

The Bloods lived in some style in Dublin in the early 1900’s. In 1901, they were at 7 Gardiners Row, in a thirteen room house, with a governess, nurse, cook parlourmaid, and a housemaid. 13 rooms. By 1911, they were in a larger house at 43 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin; this time with nineteen rooms, and a stable at the back. There were fewer staff, only a cook parlourmaid, and a housemaid, but the children were older so there was no longer a need for the governess, and nurse.

Alex had three children from his first marriage to Rachel Anne Park. Her father served in the 24th Bengal Native Infantry, and 29th Bengal Native Infantry, and his father was Mungo Park (1771 – 1806) the African explorer. Alex and Rachel’s children were

  • Dorothy Margaret Blood (1882-1973).  She was born in New Zealand, married Henry Brodhurst Pollock (1883-1952) They both lived at Castleknock Lodge, Castleknock, County Dublin; and are buried in St Brigid’s  Church of Ireland churchyard in Castleknock.
  • Horace Fitzgerald Blood (1885- unk). He was a doctor, and served as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First War. he seems to have lived in co. Wicklow, having had two sons in 1915, and 1917.
  • Brigadier Jeffrey Armstrong Blood (1893-1966) . he served in the Indian Army, and seems to have settled in London on his retirement. He married Mildred Mary O’Connor, in London, on the 12th  June 1926. Charles O’Connor was the last Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and one of the first judges of the Supreme Court of Ireland. 

In another of those curious twists about quite how close families were inter-linked,  Jeffrey Blood’s  sister-in-law  Evleen O’Connor, married Percy John Vincent MacDermot  (1875- 1955) the son of Rt. Hon. Hugh Hyacinth O’Rorke MacDermot.  Hugh MacDermot was a J.P. , and  Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) in co. Sligo, and was Solicitor-General [Ireland] in 1886, and then Attorney-General [Ireland] in 1892. He also became a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) that year.

Percy MacDermot, was a Captain in the West Indian Regiment. He lived and died at Drumdoe, co. Roscommon. Percy married twice, they married in 1927,  and his second wife was Amy Mary French. She was the daughter of Charles French and Constance Ellinor Chichester.  Constance Ellinor Chichester, was  Mary Esther Grehan (nee Chichester)’s sister. She is married to Stephen Grehan Junior, who is Ernest O’Bryen’s third cousin.

So Mary Isabel O’Bryen’s step-son’s second wife is the niece of her first cousin’s third cousin by marriage. Do keep up……God, these people make my head hurt at times.

Charles French, Amy’s father was the M.P for co. Roscommon between 1873 and 1880, and in a curious case of inheritance was passed over from inheriting his father’s title. Charles French,(1790-1868) was the 3rd Baron De Freyne, . His [Catholic] marriage to “Catherine Maree, a peasant girl (b. c. 1827; d. 13 Oct 1900)” in 1851 was held to be invalid under the laws of Ireland at the time – as a consequence his eldest son, Charles and his two immediately younger brothers were held to be illegitimate hence incapable of inheriting the title, which accordingly passed on their father’s death to the fourth son.”  [ all from cracroftspeerage.co.uk].  Charles and Catherine had a second [Church of Ireland] marriage in 1854, and the fourth son Arthur (1855-1913) inherited the title.