37. Boulding/Backler (2): Samuel Boulding (c.1750-1929), his two wives and four (supposed) children

In which we look in a little more detail at the (supposed) children of Samuel Boulding and his soon-to-be wife Mary Shepherd.

Four children baptised – whose were they?  And marriage to Mary Shepherd:           As noted in my previous post, Samuel Boulding had moved to the new development at Upper Craven Place, opposite Kensington Gardens, in about 1815.    Some mysteries ensue:

  • I have found no mention of Elizabeth [nee Leach] Boulding after the record of her marriage with Samuel Boulding on 6 March 1796.  I have searched Marylebone and Westminster records for evidence of burial, but found nothing.
  • Four children were christened at  St James’ Paddington, parents being ‘Samuel and Mary Boulding’.  They were:
    • 8 September 1816: Maria Boulding and Jane Boulding 
    • 9 September 1821: Charlotte Boulding
    • 17 August 1823 (born 24 June 1823): James Boulding
  • But – oops! – we find the following post-hoc marriage on 24 July 1824: again at St Clement Danes, Samuel Boulding is a widower of St James Paddington (with a very shaky signature), Mary Shepherd, a spinster, of ‘this’ parish.  Witnesses M Boyle and Wm Boyle.

Samuel Boulding was buried on 29 July 1829 at St Mary’s Paddington Green, said in the burial register to be age 79.

Was he the father of the four children, christened as children of Samuel and Mary Boulding?  Was Mary Shepherd, whom he married after the births of the four children, their mother, or was their mother another Mary?  How can we know?

If, indeed, Samuel Boulding was 79 when he died, he would have been about 74 when he married Mary Shepherd, and in his late 60’s and early 70s when the four children, shown as his on the diagram above,  were born and baptised.

‘Strangers in blood’: Death duty registers.
Samuel Boulding’s Will, written in 1827 with a codicil in 1828, made provision for his wife – furniture etc, an annual allowance, wine, linen etc – and then charged his executors with the disposal of his properties in Beaumont Street, Sloane Square, and adjacent to his dwelling in Upper Craven Place (formerly Black Lion Lane), and overseeing the administration of funds to the four above-listed children, all minors at the time of his death.  Provision was made for the advance of up to £300 to son James, prior to his reaching the age of 21 (which would happen in 1844, a significant date).  In his Codicil, Samuel noted that if his wife were to re-marry, or to co-habit with another man, the residence in Upper Craven Place should pass to the four children.

Two events gave official recognition to the illegitimacy of the four children.  The first was at the time of the death of Jane Boulding in 1838 (see below).  The second is an annotation in the pages of the death duties register, which can be seen at The National Archives.  This register was begun at the time of death.  It summarised the provisions of the Will, and noted when various transactions were made in accordance with the Will’s provisions.  As late as July 3, 1898, the following note appears:

It has since the pay[men]t of the 1st duty, been discovered that the whole of the legatees & Res. Legatees were Strangers in blood to the tes[ta]tor & the difference of duty is now paid. [different pen and handwriting:] 3 July 1898.  [initials]

The Register page is littered with notes about considerable sums paid – many thousands of £s.  Where did Samuel get the funds for such wealth?

Jane Boulding: death of a ‘bastard’, intestate, 15 February 1838
Jane Boulding’s death certificate shows her death at age 27 [sic], Spinster, of Abscess on the Lungs.  Her address was 7 Winchester Row, and the death was reported by Philip Briggs, ‘father in law’ – the information which subsequently led to discovering the re-marriage of the widowed Mary [Shepherd] Boulding, although I have not conclusively identified her death.  (Apparently the term ‘father in law’ was sometimes used at the time to refer to ‘step-father’.)

Jane had died Intestate, and the document TS 17/59 at The National Archives reported the Administration of her effects: ‘Whereas Jane Boulding late of No. 7 Winchester Row, New Road, Paddington, in the County of Middlesex, spinster, a Bastard … died Intestate…

The Administration, sworn on 23 December 1841, showed estate under £1,500.  Jane did not appear to have profited much from her father’s fortune.

Maria Boulding (c. 1816 – 1897) married widower and father of three children, Daniel Newton Crouch (a Lawyer, born in Scotland) on 17 September 1840, at St Mary’s Church, Marylebone.  Her address was given as 7 Winchester Row, showing she was living with her mother and step father Philip Briggs.  The couple had three children, with no known surviving issue:

  • Maria Charlotte Crouch (1842-1905)
  • Henry Newton Crouch (1843-1868) married in 1867 to Clara Isabella Meymott, one un-named child born and died in 1867.  Clara re-married after Henry’s death a year later.
  • Mary Christina Crouch (c. 1847-1937)

Charlotte Boulding (c. 1816 – ?1916) married widower Thomas Cole (a carriage and portable clock maker) on 23 October 1841, at the Parish Chapel, St Pancras.  Thomas Cole died in 1864. The couple had three children (two others appear in censuses, but they are the children of Thomas Cole’s previous marriage):

  • Arthur Boulding Cole (1844-1926), watch and clockmaker.  He married (1) Elizabeth Emma Wilson in 1868.  They had six children and quite a few grandchildren.  His second marriage to Elizabeth Sarah Rideout produced two more children. The name Arthur Boulding Cole was to have on ongoing role in my family, as in America some years later, his first cousin once removed would be named Arthur Boulding Spence.
  • Catherine Mary Cole (1847 – ?)
  • Florence Eva Cole (1857-1929), according the the 1911 Census, an accountant and secretary, living in Putney.

Not ‘Backler’ Cousins!:  These folk are all my cousins, but as this is a ‘Backler’ blog, I will leave their histories here.  In my next post, I will explore the fate of the errant James Boulding’s deserted wife – Susannah Mary (nee Backler) Boulding.

 

 

36. Boulding origins – using the Middlesex Deeds Register

A bit of a technical sideline: In which we take a quick look at some research I did some years ago using the Middlesex Deeds Register.  It really didn’t help me locate any more information about Samuel Boulding’s origins, but I include it here…because it is there!

Middlesex Deeds Register: Could the Middlesex deeds register at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) help me find out any more about Samuel Boulding’s origins? ?The registers exist for 1709-1938, while the memorials from 1838-1890 were destroyed in 1940.  The documents copied into the registers are abstracts from the originals, including the date of the transaction, the names of the parties, and a description of the property. After the middle of the 19th century, plans might be included, and from 1892 there are separate volumes of plan tracings.  There are indexes from 1709-1919 – the key caveat to all this is that they are in alpha-chronological order in annual volumes, under the surname of the vendor or first party. From 1920-1938 there is an alphabetised card index to the names of the vendors or first parties.

I give this detail about the indexes, because the challenge in using these records is knowing, first, an approximate date of the transaction, and second, the name of the vendor.  Then one has to consult binders at the LMA to check dates and coverage of the microfilm indexes, from which one extracts a reference which helps one find either a microfilm or an original register.  It’s pretty complicated.

The Register wouldn’t have been any help at all if I hadn’t had some other information to help me get started. This was found in a search of The Times on ‘Boulding’, which produced on 20 September 1797 a leasehold estate auction by the Executors of Mr John Spinks deceased. Lot 3 was ‘a neat leasehold house situate on the south side of the said street [Devonshire] and the corner of Beaumont Street, let on lease to Mr. Boulding, at a low rent of £55’.  Particulars were to be obtained at the Rainbow Coffee House in Pall Mall.

Without this information, I would have got nowhere in my search of the Middlesex Deeds Register – I needed the name of ‘Spinks’ to find the entry in the register.  With it, I found a whole series of leases and documents, including John Spinks’ Will (he was a carpenter) and documents showing that the original lease to Spink(s) in 1790 had been from the Duke of Portland, all this area being part of the Cavendish Estate.  What I didn’t find was any evidence of the lease to Samuel Boulding. I did find evidence of his predecessor in the property, a Louis Mange, perfumer, toyman and turner.  Boulding was also said to be a perfumer and toyman in directories of the time.

Yet I know from Sun Fire Insurance records and his will that Samuel Boulding held the property at 12 Beaumont Street on long lease, perhaps living there until sometime in around 1815 he moved to new premises in Upper Craven Place, Bayswater.

And so we move to 1844 and another auction.  It is not clear why this date was chosen – could it be that it was when James Boulding attained the age of 21?  This time it was the executors of Mr. Samuel Boulding, and was for the lease of 12 Beaumont Street, unexpired lease of 44 years (when had it started??); and the lease of 70 years on two properties in Craven Place, Bayswater, where Samuel lived when he died in 1829. This time I used the names of the executors as the vendors, and came up with documents for both properties – tracing the history of the various leases on 12 Beaumont Street, and identifying the beginnings of the Craven Estate through land transfers in about 1813.  Much much more work would be needed to track down the finer detail of both these properties. The language in the registers is opaque, complex, and there are mortgages and re-mortgages; mention of Samuel himself is sparse.

I have learned nothing new from the Middlesex deeds register about Samuel Boulding’s origins (although further searching might yield more information), but I have put flesh on the histories of the properties he owned and lived in.  There are houses in Beaumont Street which would have been contemporary (although now number 12 is within the site of the King Edward VII Hospital); and Craven Place, shown on the map adjacent to Blackman Lane (now Queensway), is now underneath Queensway tube station!  The location opposite Kensington Gardens was surely highly desirable then, as it is now.

 

35. Boulding/Backler (1): Introducing James Boulding (1823 – ?1892) and his (supposed) father Samuel Boulding (c. 1750 – 1829)

In which we introduce my 2x great grandfather James Boulding (1823 – ?1892) and his (supposed) father and my (supposed) 3x g. grandfather Samuel Boulding (c. 1750 – 1829).  With the exception of the ancestry of my great grandfather William Spence, whom we will meet in due course and whose origins in Northern Ireland are difficult to trace, the Bouldings form the smallest fraction of my genealogical records.  Indeed, there are only 8 people with the surname Boulding out of the 1,000+ names in my Family Historian database.  One died in infancy and one as a young adult; one (see below) disappeared aged 25 or so, and the origins of the most senior one (Samuel) remain unknown.  Still, there is plenty to explore, including possible scandal and illegitimacy, and the detonation of a family myth as to the end of the said James Boulding.

 

As described in previous posts, Susannah Mary Backler (1817 – 1883), daughter of Samuel Backler (1784 – 1870) and Mary (nee Pellatt) Backler (1789-1857) married James Boulding, gentleman, on 31 July 1844, at St Mary’s Church, Islington, London, pictured here.

Witnesses were Susannah’s father, Samuel Backler, her sisters – Esther Maria Backler, and Mary Pellatt [nee Backler] – and Mary’s husband and cousin Henry Pellatt.  I do not know who Wm F [?] Young was.  Given the preponderance of Backlers and Pellatts, he was perhaps a supporter of James Boulding.

So far, so good.  The couple were both said to live at 9 Cross Street, now part of a conservation area in Islington.

My great grandmother, Susannah Mary Backler (1845 – 1910), was born 9 months later on 18 May 1845, her father now designated as a stationer, and they having moved to the end of Cross Street, to 140 Upper Street, Islington.

A tragic death.
By 1846, the family were at Pleasant Row in Islington, where Lucilla Charlotte Boulding (1846 – 1848) was born.  I have not found any precedent for the name Lucilla, whereas there was a paternal aunt Charlotte Boulding.  The third child, Apsley Samuel Boulding (1848 – 1925) was born at Dorset Street, near Fleet Street on the same day as the death of little Lucilla Charlotte, of scarlet fever.  Apsley was baptised on the 8th of March 1848 at St Mary’s Islington.  His interesting (and very searchable)  name derives from that of his maternal great grandfather (Apsley Pellatt) and both his maternal and paternal grandfathers (Samuel Backler and Samuel Boulding).

Disappearance of James.
For whatever reason, the registrations of the birth of Apsley Samuel and the death of Lucilla Charlotte are the last we will see of their father James Boulding.  [However – stop press and much excitement – he MAY now be found some 42 years later in NSW, Australia, as I describe below.]  In a later post I will describe the varied fortunes of his wife, Susannah [nee Backler] and her three ill-fated children by her second marriage.  Here, though, we will tease out what can be discovered about James’s said-to-be father, Samuel Boulding.

Samuel Boulding, of St Clement-Danes parish and Marylebone.  The earliest sighting of Samuel Boulding is in Sun Fire Insurance records in 1794.  Properties were insured at 41 and 42 Sloane Square, and his address was given as 10 Great Portland Street, Cavendish Square.  Later he appears as a Perfumer, resident at 12 Beaumont Street, Marylebone.  These were the leasehold properties he bequeathed in his Will in 1829 to his executors John Blake Kirby and Edward Bridger, to hold in trust for his four (spoiler: subsequently-discovered-to-be-illegitimate) children.

In the meantime, what else do I know about Samuel and his two wives?  Precious little!

I do not know where he was born (calculated from his burial record to have been in about 1750), nor anything about him preceding his first marriage to Elisabeth Leach in 1796 at St Clement Danes Church.  Both were of that parish, and witnesses were Thos. Jarrett and S[?] Curtis  (I am none the wiser about who they were).  The surname Boulding is not often found, with clusters in the Sheffield area and Kent.  However, the custodian of the Boulding one-name study has not found an origin for ‘our’ Samuel.  Nor have I found anything about Elisabeth Leach, other than her marriage to Samuel, as above.  I have found no death or burial record for her, although Samuel married again in 1823, after the birth of the four children whose baptisms were registered with him as father, and ‘Mary’ as mother.

Marriage to Mary Shepherd
On 24 July 1824, Samuel Boulding, widower, was married to Mary Shepherd, spinster at St James’s Paddington. This marriage took place after the baptism of the following, all to ‘Samuel Boulding (Gentleman) and Mary, of Paddington’:

  • Maria – she and Jane were christened on 8 September 1816.  No birth date given
  • Jane – see above
  • Charlotte – christened 9 September 1821.  No birth date given
  • James – born June 24 1823, christened 17 August 1823.

More detail about James’s three siblings is in the next post.

Samuel Boulding was buried on 29 July 1829 at St Mary, Paddington Green – a most elegant church, but where the churchyard no longer has stones standing.  His burial record says he was aged 79.  Hmmm…a very mature father!

Points to ponder:

  • Was Mary Shepherd the mother of the 4 children, or could their mother have been another Mary?
  • Was Samuel really a widower when he married Mary?  I have never found a burial record for Elizabeth (nee Leach) Boulding.
  • Was Samuel really 79 when he died?  His signature on his marriage certificate with Mary looks suitably wobbly…(if that isn’t too ageist).
  • Was Samuel really the father of the four children?  How did the couple get away with those four baptisms, when they weren’t married?

Stop Press: Did the long-missing James Boulding end his days in the Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute in Liverpool, NSW Australia?  Our family lore had it that James had died in a Boer war battle in South Africa.  Could this have been a fabrication to mask the shame of his apparent desertion of his family?  Or a story invented to allow his wife to declare herself a widow and re-marry, seven years after his disappearance?

I have discovered records on Ancestry of the above Asylum, showing in 1884 the admission of James Boulding, stationer, born London 1823.  Subsequent records of the asylum show him as a ‘labourer’, arriving in Australia on the ‘Lancaster’, dates variously shown as 1850, 1857 and 1851.  I can find no ships list of the Lancaster.  I have not seen his full death record, but I have ascertained that, unusually for Australia, no parents’ names are recorded.  The death record of James Boulding on 15 June 1892 at the Asylum says ‘no known relatives’.

Further research is needed, but I feel all the signs indicate that this, at last, is ‘our’ James Boulding.  A sad and apparently lonely end.

 

 

 

 

 

34. Sotherton, Suffolk – the origins of a name?

In which – after a break for a wonderfully long, hot, summer – we visit the tiny hamlet of Sotherton in Suffolk – surely the place for whom our many Sotherton Backlers were named?

The easy part of tracing ‘our’ Backlers descended from Rev Samuel Backler, of Ashwell, Hertforshire, has been the naming of successive offspring as ‘Sotherton’.  As far as I can see, there have been only two other folk with that forename – Sotherton Nathaniel Micklethwait, born in 1824 in Norfolk; and Sotherton Wadham, born in 1881, and shown in the 1881 census as living at Sotherton Farm, Sotherton. There seem also to have been a few with ‘Sotherton’ as their middle name.  And, Sotherton occasionally appears as a surname, for instance the 1674 Hearth Tax returns for Henry Sotherton in Lackford in Suffolk.  A Nicholas Sotherton was Mayor of Norwich in 1539.  What were the origins of his surname?

Sotherton church 6On a chilly, rather gloomy early evening this past May, I was fortunate to be taken to visit the tiny, historic place of Sotherton, near to our holiday destination of Southwold in Suffolk.  We missed the turning off the main road. Backtracking up a narrow lane, passing a few old houses, we came upon St Andrews Church, more or less in the middle of nowhere, with just a house alongside and fields as far as one could see.  The church was locked, and it was too late to seek out the key.  So our view was of the mid-19th century exterior, constructed with materials from an earlier version.  This rather nice website describes it well: http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/sotherton.htm

Sotherton itself is a ‘dispersed’ village with a current population of about 70, and never with more than about 180 inhabitants. It appeared in the Domesday Book, and is home to Sotherton Hall, the late 16th/early 17th century farmhouse in which Sotherton Wadham (see above) lived.

There is something moving about being in or near the place of one’s ancestors from hundreds of years ago.  Rural Suffolk may be one of the less-changed parts of the country, and there is no doubt that Backlers lived in or near to this place.  Of course, I have not yet linked ‘our’ Backlers to those of earlier generations, but given the very few early examples of the surname – and almost all of them from East Anglia – I remain convinced that the links are there.  Seeing this lovely church in a beautiful setting was a real treat.Sotherton church 4

Sotherton church 3

 

33. Burton/Backler: the family of Jane Ozella Backler (c.1795-1830) and Daniel Burton (1790-1876)

In which we take a final look at the offspring of Sotherton Backler and Hannah Osborne, reviewing the family and descendants of their seventh child and youngest daughter, Jane Ozella Backler.  We find folk who stayed ‘local’ to their English roots; a famous acting family; and scandal, divorce and flight to Canada. There are quite a few unfinished stories in this post, with several folks’ destinies proving untraceable 

Jane Ozella Backler was christened on 17 February 1795 at St Ann Blackfriars, near to Apothecaries’ Hall, where her father Sotherton Backler was soon to become Clerk to the Society of Apothecaries. Children in previous generations of this family had also been given the name of Ozella – I am not sure why. Two siblings had died before her birth: Thomas (1786-1786) and Elizabeth (1789-1791).  I have never found any further information about brother Benjamin, christened in 1793.  Her three surviving half siblings were about 15 years old when Jane Ozella was born, and she had four surviving older full siblings.  Her birth was to be followed by that of Thomas Osborne Backler (1796-1796), whose name perhaps indicates the name of Hannah Osborne’s father (not confirmed), and Sotherton Backler (1798-1875), whose life as a vicar in Northamptonshire we have reviewed in a previous post.  Jane Ozella’s mother Hannah Osborne would die when she was about 8 years old, leaving her most likely in the care of her older siblings while their father became Clerk to the Apothecaries.

Marriage to Daniel Burton:  Jane Ozella Backler married Daniel Burton at St Clement Danes Church on 9 October 1827.  He was a widower, of that parish, while she was of the parish of St Mary Islington, where in a previous post we have seen her sister Mary [nee Backler] Sudlow lived at about that time.  Possibly Jane Ozella was living with the Sudlows?  Witnesses were Mary Ann Burton and a Burton whose name I can’t read, and Sam’l Backler (Jane Ozella’s older brother and my 3x G Grandfather, reviewed in many previous posts).  Daniel Burton  was a Publisher, born in 1790 in Hounsditch, and previously married and widowed.

Jane Ozella’s early death:  Daniel’s marriage with Jane Ozella was to be sadly short-lived, as she would die in 1830, perhaps in childbirth.  Jane Ozella Burton was buried on 20 November 1830 at Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, where her parents had been interred before her.

On 7 December 1835, the twice-widowed Daniel Burton would marry again, to Juliana Maria Willats (1785-1869).  I can identify no children from this marriage. He died in 1876.

 

Descendants of Jane Ozella Backler and Daniel Burton (see chart above)(please note: there is one missing person from this chart, a sibling at bottom right to John Q Mayes.  This person may still be living – I have found no trace after the mid 1950s):
Jane Ozella Backler and Daniel Burton  had one child: Sarah Ann Burton, born 1 September 1828 and baptised at Fetter Lane Independent Chapel on 10 October 1828, the family being of the parish of St Andrews Holborn.  Sarah Ann Burton, or Sarah Ann Mayes as she would become, obligingly appears in every English census from 1851 to 1911. Frustratingly, I cannot locate her in the 1841 census, when her father appears with his new wife, but not with his daughter who would have appeared as aged 12 in that census.

Sarah Ann Burton marriage to John Mayes, 1853:  By 1851, Sarah Ann Burton  is to be found in Olney, Buckinghamshire as a teacher in a Ladies’ Seminary, said to have been born in Holloway, London.  It is here that two years later we find a record of a marriage registration with John Mayes (JUN quarter Newport Pagnell, 3a 564).  This short-lived marriage was to produce two children, before John Mayes died in 1857 – at least I deduce that fact from the two deaths of ‘John Mayes’ registered in that year, one in Newport Pagnell Union in Sep quarter (03A 319, age 42) and one in Bedford in Dec quarter of 1857 (03B 21, age 61).  Could these be father and son?  Hard to tell, since we don’t know how old John Mayes was when he married Sarah Ann, although I think it may be safe to assume that he was the 36 year old John Mayes, Tailor, living on High Street, Olney, Bucks, in the 1851 census, born in Olney, and therefore about 42 by the year of the deaths noted above in 1857.

1861 and 1871: The widowed Sarah Ann Mayes was living in Bedford by the time of the 1861 Census, where she appears as a schoolmistress. widow, with her two young children.  In 1871 she is living at 13 Western Street in Bedford, as the Proprietor of a Ladies’ School.  As well as a number of pupils in residence, we find her 80 year old father Daniel Burton, a retired publisher.  In 1871, daughter Mary Ann Mayes is found as a pupil in Hanwell, Middx, but I cannot find John Burton Mayes in this census.

1881 – 1916: Still on Western Street in 1881, Sarah Ann has been joined by her daughter Mary Ann, also a teacher,  where they are to be found in 1891, along with Sarah Ann’s 10-year old grand daughter Alice Ella Burton Mayes,  a pupil about whom scandal will unfold further down this page!  By 1901, 72 year old Sarah is living on her own in smaller premises on Bower Street, now a Teacher of Needlework.  Mary Ann is to be found as a servant in Hampstead.  In 1911, Sarah Ann was living on her own in Almshouses at 31 Dame Alice Street in Bedford, where she presumably lived until her death in 1916.  She was not entirely on her own – her widowed daughter-in-law Rachel Richardson had also moved to Bedford by this time.

Descendants of Sarah Ann Burton and John Mayes:

[yes, 2 before 1, since there is little to report] Mary Ann Mayes (1856 – ?), whose birth was registered in 1856 in Newport Pagnell.  I have summarised her history alongside that of her mother, above, and after the 1901 Census, I cannot find anything more, having searched for marriage, death, migration, etc.  And so we can move swiftly on to the scion of the rest of the Burton/Backler/Mayes descendants:

1  John Burton Mayes (1854 – 1909):  (birth registration: 1854 JUN qtr Newport P. 3a 453) married Rachel Richardson (?1858 – ?) in 1879 in Lambeth.  In the 1881 Census in Stockwell, with their daughter Alice E B Mayes, he was a commercial traveller.  In 1891 in Wandsworth he was a stationer, as he was in 1901 in Kingston.  However, he was to die in 1909, leaving about £500, and his wife would move to Bedford, near her mother-in-law.  I cannot trace her after the 1911 Census.  The couple had two children:

1.1 Alice Ella Burton Mayes (1880 – ?) was born in 1880, and apparently lived with her parents until her marriage in 1903 to John Sibley Richardson (1872 – ?) (who was not, as far as I can see, related to her mother Rachel Richardson).   John Sibley Richardson variously cites his birth country as Staffordshire and Warwickshire, probably because his birthplace, Harborne, is a village, a parish, and a sub-district in the district of Kings-Norton and county of Stafford. The village stands near the boundaries with Worcestershire, Warwickshire, and Birmingham borough, 3 miles SW of Birmingham.  Such places often find themselves designated in different counties, depending on border configurations.

Scandal and divorce: And here our story takes on a hint of scandal.  In the 1911 Census, we find  at 43 Braemar Avenue, Wood Green, North London, the couple Alice and John (he is an Automatic Slot Machine Dealer), and their 5 year old son Denis Richardson (1905 – ?).   I had thought I had lost touch with them after that until, in preparing this post, I came across his divorce petition against her, which can be seen on Ancestry.  In brief, Alice apparently left John S Richardson in autumn 1911 to take up residence in Notting Hill Gate and elsewhere with Charles Grange Lowther (1879 – ?), an artist born in Hull in 1879, who had won scholarships for his art studies.  In 1912, John S Richardson petitioned for divorce from Alice, which was finalised in 2013, with him apparently taking custody of the young Denis.  Meanwhile, Charles G Lowther’s wife also petitioned for divorce in 1912, citing the relationship between Alice and Charles.  

I had thought there that the trail ran cold, BUT, there is recorded on 13 October 1912, the arrival into Montreal, Quebec, of Chas G Lowther, artist, 33, and his ‘wife’ Alice E Lowther…from that point on, I can find no trace.

Nor can I find a certain ending for John S Richardson.

1.1.1 Denis Richardson (1905 – )
Oh my. 
I have just rescued myself from a near-amateur error.  I had recorded ‘our’ Denis Richardson as the one who died by torpedo in the Atlantic in 1942, but NO!  More detailed checking of registered births and mothers’ surnames on the GRO website reveals that the torpedoed Denis’ birth was registered in 1906 to a different mother’s surname. His birthdate is given on his 2nd Mates’ certificate, confirming that he is indeed not ‘ours’.  ‘Our’ Denis’ birth was registered in 1905, and he disappears like his father after the 1911 Census and the subsequent divorce.  End of story for the moment!

1.2 Frank Burton Mayes (aka Frank MILRAY) (1888 – 1936) Born 24 April 1888 in Camberwell.  Frank married first Elsie Georgina Thomas (?1889 – ?) on 8 August 1909 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.  Elsie’s mother Ethel had been widowed by the time of the 1891 Census, when Elsie was 2 years old.  In 1911, Elsie and Frank lived at the desirable address of 15 Chaucer Mansions, Queen’s Club Gardens, West Kensington.  Both were aged 22, she born in Worcestershire, Longden, and Frank in London, Denmark Hill.  He designated himself as an actor.

And there Elsie’s trail runs cold!

1.2.1  Our next sighting of Frank Burton Mayes is the registration of his presumed son, John Quinton MAYES (1921 – 2012).  Not one birth registration, but five!  Herewith what I have found, courtesy of the FreeBMD website: freebmd.org.uk:

DEC qtr 1921: An entry with annotation at the bottom of the registration page, linked to an asterisk in the right alphabetical place under Mayes: Mayes, John Q. Mother’s surname McPherson.  Wandsworth 5D.  See M/60

FreeBMD explains this unusual entry as follows (but all is not straightforward as the subsequent entries will reveal): ‘Normally GRO Index page numbers are numeric, optionally followed by a letter. As this page number (‘see M/60’) does not follow this format it is possible that it is a Late Entry. Late Entries mean that the registration of the event was delayed, e.g. parents did not attend the Register Office to record a birth but the birth was registered much later when the child was about to begin work, or an Inquest after a death prevented the immediate issuing of a death certificate. A Late Entry attempts to show a searcher where to look for the actual GRO reference. Unfortunately the format of such Late Entries is not standardised, but the usual pattern is a letter showing the Quarter of the Registration [March (M), June (J), September (S) or December (D)] followed by the last two digits of the year, thus giving the quarter and year when the Registration was entered into the GRO records. A reference that reads ‘see J/75′ would therefore indicate that the GRO registration and reference is probably to be found in the June Quarter of either 1875 or 1975 (depending on context).’

MAR qtr 1922: McPherson John Q.  Mother’s surname McPherson. Wandsworth 1d 1097.  Annotated at the bottom of the page: See S/24 [ie, September quarter 1924]

Mar qtr 1922: Mayes John Q.  Mother’s surname McPherson.  Wandsworth 1d 1097.  Annotated at bottom of page: Mayes, John Q. Mother surname McPherson. Wandsworth 1D. See Sept ’24.

Sep qtr 1924: McPherson John Q. AND Mayes John Q.  Both names appear in the printed lists, both have  mother surname as McPherson and are now referred to as Wandsworth 1d 1009.

Mar qtr 1960: Mayes John Q. Mother surname McPherson. Wandsworth 5D 1116.

Phew! Since I can’t find out what happened to Elsie Georgina Thomas Mayes, I can only surmise that she and Frank Burton Mayes aka Milray separated, or that she died.  Frank Burton Mayes married (2) to the actress Esther Dorothea Constance Stuart McPherson  in the June quarter of 1924, in Kings Norton, some three years after the first registered but much amended registered appearance of John Quinton Mayes.  Without ordering all the various certificates, it is difficult to unpiece the story, but it seems little John was first registered in his mother’s surname, and then had it amended to that of his father – at least we assume that John Burton Mayes aka Milray was little John Quinton Mayes’ father!

In terms of biographical detail, I can’t do better than show just one cutting from The Stage (22 September 1927), of which there are many similar ones; and then show the following pieces about the artist and actor Frank Burton Mayes aka Milray.  The first one is copied from the e-bay website offering for sale an attractive wood block engraving:

Frank Milray; 1888-1936, (born Mayes) actor and printmaker, as an actor he toured with the the Alexander Marsh Company 1922-24 and Julia Nielson Fred Terry Company all over the country, painting and sketching as he toured. He married Esther McPherson (1897-1965) they had a son; John Mayes (1921-2012), John acted with the well-known Shakespearean actor-manager Donald Wolfit. In 1928 Frank retired to ‘The Willows’ Pavenham, Bedfordshire.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Limited-edition-wood-block-engraving-pencil-signed-Frank-Milray-Mayes-1920s-/292380702781

And another piece:

About this Item: The Willows Presse, Pavenham, Bedfordshire, 1924. No Binding. Condition: Fine. Limited Edition. Six original linocuts of Pavenham, handprinted by the Bedfordshire actor and artist Frank Mayes, working under the pseudonym Milray, at his home, Willow Cottage, using the imprint, ‘The Willows Presse’. Each shows a street view of the village, and are hand-printed on beige paper. The prints are numbered 1 – 6, First Series, and all but one are signed in pencil, and dated 1929. Print sizes vary, but are approx. 15 x 10cm, 13 x 16cm, 13.5 x 11.5cm, 14.5 x 12cm, 12.5 x 17.5, 14 x 13cm. Each print has been recently remounted on cream card, with the original backing card retained (each bears a printed slip with an impression of the artist’s house, and the wording “Handprynted by Milray at the Willows Presse, Pavenham, Bedfordshire” Underneath is a small panel with the wording “Pavenham Village 1st Series” and the handwritten number (1 to 6). Frank Mayes used the name Milray as an actor from the early 1920s and when signing his work as an artist. When he was not engaged as an actor on tour throughout the UK he lived in Pavenham, from 1923-1931, after which he and his family moved to the neighbouring village of Stevington until his death in 1936. The original portfolio which contained these prints is present, although in very poor condition. It bears the same imprint as the prints, but at the bottom is hand-written, “6 Mounted Proofs”, suggesting that these were the very first printing of each linocut. The prints themselves are in fine condition, and are most attractively done. Signed by Illustrator. Seller Inventory # 005912.
https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/pavenham/

As to John Quinton Mayes, I know little other than what is summarised above in the portraits of his father.  For posterity, he deposited family papers about himself, his father and mother, and other McPherson actors.  Wouldn’t it be a treat to see these documents about two Backler descendants! They are described as follows on the website of the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas, Austin: http://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/fasearch/findingAid.cfm?eadid=00340

The John Mayes Family Papers, circa 1879-1970s, document the lives and lengthy careers of three generations of British actors, writers, and artists. Among the primary family members were brothers Herbert Pearson (1866-1955, born McPherson) and Quinton McPherson (1871-1940); Quinton’s daughter Esther McPherson (1897-1965) and her husband Frank Milray (1888-1936, born Mayes); and the son of Esther and Frank, John Mayes (1921-2012). John Mayes, who acted with the well-known Shakespearean actor-manager Donald Wolfit, brought together his family’s papers with his own, including his research and notes about the family.

1.2.1  As noted with reference to the family tree above, there is another Mayes/McPherson child, but the person is perhaps still living – I cannot trace any sign after the mid 1950s.  I do know who it is…

And there we leave the last batch of descendants of the children of Sotherton Backler and his wives Fran Harris and Hannah Osborne – except, of course, for my direct line descended from Samuel Backler (1784 – 1870) and his daughter Susannah Mary Backler (1817 – 1883), to which we will turn in the next post.

32. 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!

31. Highgate Cemetery – last resting place for some Backler ancestors

In which we view the rather wooded (understatement!) last resting place of some Backler/Abelin ancestors, and reflect on how moving it is to be there, despite the absence of any visible marker.

I see from my photographs that it was way back in 2010 that I ventured to north London to visit Highgate Cemetery.  New online records had shown this to be the last resting place for Samuel Backler and his wife Mary [nee Pellatt].  What was once a major privately-owned cemetery, run by the London Cemetery Company, is now under the care of the charitable Friends of Highgate Cemetery, a similar arrangement to those of the other great municipal cemeteries such as Nunhead in south London, where other Backlers are interred.  Nowadays the focus of the Friends is not only on burials, which continue to take place in quite small numbers, but also on conservation of both its memorials and of nature in line with its overall purpose to ‘promote the public benefit’.

On writing to the Friends, I received a letter revealing that more folk than Samuel (1870) and Mary (1857) shared the gravesite: their daughter Susannah (1883) (whose marriages to James Boulding and Edwin Cross will feature in future posts); Esther Maria (1918) (wife of Magnus Christian Abelin); and their daughter-in-law Edith Ann (nee Foster) Abelin (1928).

I had high hopes as I arrived at the Cemetery for my appointment to be escorted to the gravesite.  Immediately, however, I was warned by my guide that there was nothing to see.  Up the hill we marched, past the famous sites of the Egyptian Avenue and the Terrace Catacombs, curving around to the right along a roughly paved path.  My guide had searched out the area previously, so knew when to turn right off the path, into a treacherous wooded and overgrown section, with monuments in different states of repair, and unstable ground.

We reached a spot where he had laid out sticks to mark the spot – and that was it!  I was very moved, albeit a bit disappointed. Despite the presence of monuments nearby, my guide had explored the area, probing with his stick, and had not found a memorial at our site.  There was surely once one there, but no longer.

This was an area in the early West Cemetery on high ground, which at the time of the earliest Backler burials would have had a view over London.  It was a fashionable and beautiful site, allowed to become run down during the 20th century.

A very special place: Highgate Cemetery is a Grade 1 listed site, and is a very special place not only for those whose ancestors and more recent relatives are interred there, but also for anyone interested in its historical importance for London.  I feel privileged to have ancestors for whom it was their last resting place, and have become a life member of the Friends in order to support their ongoing work.  I am sorry I now live so far away!

More about the Cemetery, its history and present day events can be found at: https://highgatecemetery.org/