Sudlow/Backler: family of Mary Backler (c. 1791-1860) and John James Joseph Sudlow (1788-1858)

In which we discover more distant cousins than I had bargained for among the descendants of Mary, the elder of the two surviving daughters of Sotherton Backler and Hannah Osborne.  I know little about Mary herself, and for many years I had mis-read her married surname as ‘Ludlow’ rather than ‘Sudlow’, first reading what I thought was ‘Ludlow’ on the gravestone of Sotherton and Hannah Backler at Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, some years ago, where their grand daughter Mary is also listed. 

Mary Backler was baptised on 13 April 1791, daughter of Sotherton and Hannah Backler.  Her mother died in 1803, when Mary was aged 12.  On 16 October 1813, Mary married John James Joseph Sudlow at St Pancras Old Church.  (Witnesses M G Sarjant and Mary’s oldest half sibling, Sarah Ann Backler) J J J Sudlow had been born in 1788, and christened in 1793 at St Clement Danes in London.

An influential and very useful in-law: It seems this was to prove a fortuitous marriage, not only, apparently, for Mary, but also for their very many children and for various of Mary’s siblings.  J J J Sudlow was a solicitor of the firm of Battye, Fisher & Sudlow, Chancery Lane.  Among many other references to this firm to be found online, we see them involved in the distribution of the estate of Captain William Bligh, in papers at the New South Wales State Library (A 462, ref number 440057):

SCOPE AND CONTENT
Legal documents that pertain to the administration and sale of the estate amassed by William Bligh in New South Wales that include Copenhagen, Camperdown, Mount Betham, Simpson’s Farm, and daughters and heirs] and Charles Hallett and Felix Slade regarding the trusteeship of lands in New South Wales with enclosures of certifications of marriage. Cover sheet states “Mrs Elizabeth Bligh and Others, to Charles Hallett, Esq. and Another / Copy conveyance … / Battye, Fisher and Sudlow“. 

29 July 1839; “An Act for vesting the undivided sixth share of Ann Campbell Bligh, Spinster, a Lunatic, as one of the six Daughters and Coheiresses of William Bligh … upon Trust for Sale” [printed]. 
30 Nov. 1839; Consent to sale of lands and hereditaments in New South Wales under Trust for Sale, with declaration of witness John E. Walters dated 7 Jan. 1840. Printed by Battye, Fisher, & Sudlow. 

24 Jan. 1840; Charles Hallett and Felix Slade to Mess. Donaldson and Others, copy of power of Attorney to sell lands in New South Wales, with declaration of witness John James Joseph Sudlow dated 18 February [with alteration to March] 1840. Printed by Battye, Fisher & Sudlow. [2 copies] Tyler’s Farm. 
22 June 1838; Indenture between Elizabeth, Mary, Harriet Maria, and Jane Bligh [William Bligh’s 

In previous blogposts I have referred to the involvement of J J J Sudlow and his firm in the business dealings of Mary’s Backler relations, for instance during the trauma of young Joseph Backler’s conviction for fraud and subsequent transportation to Australia, and that of Samuel Backler’s bankruptcy.  Having a lawyer in the family was clearly important.  We will see below that most of Mary and J J J’s sons went into the law, while he and his children made use of the services of Mary’s youngest brother, the Rev Sotherton Backler, for several christenings and one marriage.

Success, betrayal, tragedy, migration:  Herewith a summary of the very many children of this marriage:

  1.  John James Joseph Sudlow (1814-1884).  A solicitor, like his father. Married in Kingston, Surrey to Harriett Cooke of Sydenham, Kent in 1841.  No known children
  2. A tragic marriage:  Alfred Sudlow (1816-1860). Variously, a solicitor’s clerk, legal stationer, ne’er do well…  Married on 8 December 1842 at St Mary’s Church Reading, to Jessie Ann Lawrie (1818-1897).           Following their marriage, Alfred and Jessie Ann had three children, two of whom survived as below.  However, in April, 1858, at the time of her father-in-law’s death,  Jessie Ann Sudlow filed a petition for divorce, stating that from the mid 1840s, her husband Alfred had disappeared for days at a time, physically assaulted her, and, when she had fled to her sister in Ireland, sold off their furniture.  By 1850 he had moved to central London from their south London residence, and had taken up with Sophia Wyman, aka Pedders, with whom he is shown as man and wife in the 1851 Census.  The petition includes a highly apologetic (how genuine?) letter from him to her, written in June 1851 just before his departure to seek a new life in Australia.  The divorce petition was withdrawn when Jessie Ann was informed that Alfred had died in Australia in 1860.  Jessie married to James Leverton Wylie in 1860, with whom she lived at Camilla Lacey, near Dorking in Surrey. She died in 1897.  [Her divorce petition can be found on Ancestry, or at The National Archives: J77/49/S12.] Her husband was Chairman of the directors of the London stock exchange for 17 years, according to her son’s obituary in Indiana in 1915.   As an aside, Camilla Lacey had been the residence of the famed novelist Fanny Burney early in the 19th century.  Many of her original manuscripts were housed in the property which burned to the ground in 1919, then the home of J L Wylie’s nephew, Frederick Leverton Harris.
    • Arthur Frank Sudlow (1843-1895 – Windsor, Melbourne, Australia, apparently following in his father’s footsteps, having been declared insolvent in 1894 after long periods of illness). No known children or spouse.
    • Charles Alfred Sudlow (1846-1915 – Kosciusko, Indiana USA).  A significant career in Life Insurance and property.  Married first to Harriett M Vanderlord in Vinton OH in 1868, but she died in 1871. Second marriage  also in Vinton OH was to Nancy Keturah Hyson (1853-1928).  There are several records of his travel to and from England before the end of the 19th century.  His obituary in the Indianapolis Times on 20 December 1915 was fulsome in its praise.
      • Jessie B Sudlow (1873-1898) Married to Henry Wright Buttolph (1870-1942).
        • Jessie Beatrice Buttolph (1896-1993) married to Walker White (1889-1973).  They had six children: Bettie, Walker J, Nancy, John Henry, Holbrook and Mary Louise (all now deceased).  Possible descendants.
      • Mabel Marian Sudlow (1875-1947 – Fort Wayne IN) married to Thomas E Potter Jr (1875-1934 – Fort Wayne IN)
        • Marian Phyllis Potter (1897- ) married to Walter Barnes Watters Merrill in  a society wedding in Fort Wayne IN in 1919.  They divorced in 1933, and I cannot find out anything more about her.
      • Arthur Livingston Sudlow (1877 in Ohio – 1925).   Married to Adeline Reiss. 
        • Winthrop Arthur Sudlow (1910-1993). Married to Anna Charlotte Rex in 1931.  One child possibly living
      • William Burton Sudlow (1887-1945 in Texas). Customs Inspector.  Married first to Margaret Stephenson, Married second to Pearl(i)e Mims.
        • Charles Alfred Sudlow (1912 –  ) (mother Margaret Stephenson, who married second to Thomas B Carlile, one son Robert Carlile, 1922-2004) I cannot find any more information about Charles Alfred Sudlow.
  3. Mary Sudlow (1818-1819).  Died aged 5 months 16 days and is buried at Hannah and Sotherton Backler (her grandparents) stone in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground.
  4. Lucy Theresa Sudlow (1848-1933). Married 25 August 1842 to Joseph Humphry Grant, a solicitor.  They had many children, as follows:
    • Edward Sudlow Grant (1843-1924), variously articled clerk, clerk to a parliamentary agent and government clerk, lived at various London addresses with his parents, and siblings, then as a single lodger, in successive censusses to 1911.  He died in Fulham in 1924.
    • Herbert Grant (1845-1868) was a scholar living with his parents in the 1861 census, and died in 1868 in Wandsworth.
    • Ernest Grant (1847-1871) also lived with his parents, but died soon after his older brother, in 1871, in Wandsworth.
    • Lucy Theresa Grant (1848-1933), lived with her parents in successive censuses until 1881, when she appears to have moved to Hampshire, appearing at the same address in successive censuses as a ‘visitor’.  She died in Sussex in 1933.
    • Arthur Grant (1851-1883) was a solicitor’s clerk, appearing in successive censuses with his parents until 1871, after which the next available record is of his death in 1883, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    • Joseph Grant (1852 – ) was another solicitor’s clerk, living at various addresses in London, Kent and Surrey until 1911.  I cannot find a record of his death.
    • Frederick Grant (1853- )  A chartered accountant, married to Charlotte Primmer in 1882 in St Pancras Parish Church.  They appeared in successive censuses in the London area until 1911.  Then I cannot find further records.
      • Joseph Ernest Grant (1883 – ) emigrated to Boston MA in about 1912, married in 1915 to Alice Louise Giles [aka Louise Alice].  In US censuses he appears as a janitor in Boston, a shipper in Revere, and his WWII draft registration shows him living on Mystic Valley Parkway, Arlington MA.  No known children.
      • Charlotte Gertrude Grant (1887 – 1976 ) was living with her parents as a Lady Clerk in a store, in 1911.  There is a record of her travelling to USA in 1933 with her mother.
      • Frederick Grant (1889 – ) Not much known.  Appeared in the 1901 census with his parents.
      • Edward Sudlow Grant (1890 – ). Emigrated to USA in about 1911, in 1920 married to Heddy Liwendahl (1895-1974) in Brookline MA.  In 1930 he was a butler for a private family, and by 1940 he was a post office clerk.  He and Heddy had twoi children
        • Edward Grant (1922-2000). He married twice, and there are surviving children living in the New England area.
        • [living]
  5. Algernon Sudlow (1826-1903).  Married to Rebecca Eizabeth Alderson in December 1857.  His uncle Sotherton Backler conducted this ceremony.  Algernon was a general Practitioner, following in the footsteps of his apothecary ancestors, as a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries.  He was also a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He and his wife appeared in censuses from 1861-1901 in Castle Combe and Bradford on Avon, Somerset.   He died in 1903 and she died in 1904. No known descendants.
  6. Gertrude Sudlow (1828-1919).  Christened at St Mary’s Islington, on 1 January 1829 by her uncle Rev Sotherton Backler.  Gertrude was the longest lived of her siblings.  Following the deaths of her parents in 1857 and 1860, she took up residence in Shedfield, Hampshire where she lived with her sisters Margaret and Beatrice until their deaths in 1889 and 1891 respectively.  The 1911 census shows her living on her own means in the 10-room ‘Cottage’ in Shedfield.
  7. Margaret Sudlow (1831-1889).  Little known about her other than that she was christened in Islington and lived with sister Gertrude until her death.
  8. Agnes Sudlow (1833-1917)  Born on 12 February 1833, Agnes was also christened at St Mary’s Islington by her uncle Rev Sotherton Backler.  On 19 June 1860, just three months after her mother died, Agnes married John Carter in Shedfield, Hampshire, where we have already noted that her three sisters took up residence.  The 1861 Census shows John Carter, aged 38, a farmer of some 476 acres, employing 18 men and 3 boys.  They were to be found with their daughter at Privett Lodge, Alverstoke until his death in 1904, when he left more than £35,000.  Agnes left some £24,000 in her will in 1917.
    • Agnes Mary Carter (1863-1928), lived her entire life at Privett Lodge. Her probate record shows that she left some £7500.
  9. Jessy Sudlow (1835-1855)  was christened in Sunbury-on-Thames, and died 20 years later in Weybridge, Surrey.
  10. Beatrice Sudlow (1838-1891) was born in Islington, and christened in January 1839 at Lambeth St Mary by her uncle Rev Sotherton Backler.  Living in the 1861 Census with her sisters Margaret and Gertrude, Jessy married that April to Captain John Charles Boucher, of the 3rd Dragoon Guards.  The marriage write-up is worth summarising here!              Hampshire Advertiser 20 April 1861: marriage with John Charles Boucher: Captain John Charles Boucher, 3rd Dragoon Guards, Tuesday 16 April at Shedfield Church. The ‘youthful bride’ was attended by 8 bridesmaids; The bridal party was conveyed to the church in 8 carriages, each drawn by a pair of grey horses. The bridegroom, in uniform, accompanied by his brother as best man, led the cortege in a carriage drawn by four horses. There was a ‘sumptuous dejeuner’ provided by the bridegroom’s mother at her home; the ‘gallant captain’ returned home from India ‘last year’ after serving with his regiment in suppressing the Indian mutiny.        Alas, Beatrice would die in 1891, and her husband was to re-marry. 

And here endeth the list of Backler/Sudlow descendants!  A close relative has suggested I am pursuing a fruitless endeavour, tracking down folk any of whose descendants today are something like 5th cousins.  BUT these are all descendants of The Backlers of Ashwell Herts, which is the topic of this blog, so I will persist!

I remain fascinated by the links (or not) between the various offspring of Sotherton Backler and his wives Fran (Harris) and Hannah (Osborne).  The Rev Sotherton Backler clearly stayed in touch with the family of his older sister Mary, which has never seemed to be the case for my direct ancestors, Samuel Backler and his wife Mary Pellatt.  It could be that the bankruptcy in 1831 forced them out of the orbit of their more socially successful siblings.

There is one more sibling to go – the rather shortlived Jane Ozella Backler and her husband Daniel Burton.  Then we can move on to Bouldings!

3 comments

  1. Hi Barbara,

    The Sudlows certainly spread themselves around the world. Another great piece of research. Loved John James Joseph and the full name being repeated for his son. No doubting who they were, but maybe it caused confusion with the mail!

  2. Good day — I am so glad that I found your webpage. I am one of the two living children of Edward Grant: (Edward Grant (1922-2000). He married twice, and there are surviving children living in the New England area.

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