Johnson / Bryans Families

Tracing the ancestry of Pamela Murdoch Bryans and Maurice Alan Johnson


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The Visitation of Warwickshire3 indicates that Mary died in childbirth in December 1617.

[1] Stirnet: 
Gourney, Mary (I1752)

BRUCE, ANDREW ALEXANDER (Apr. 15, 1866-Dec. 6, 1934), professor of law, jurist, author, was born in Nunda Drug, Madras Presidency, India, the son of Edward Bruce and Anne Young (McMaster) Bruce. He is said to have been descended from Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland. According to custom, he was sent home to England for his schooling and attended Holmesdale House, Sussex, 1874-79, and Bath College, Bath, 1879-81. In 1881 his father died, and the boy was to have joined one of his uncles, living abroad ; but by some one's misunderstanding he found himself, deserted and alone, at the age of fifteen, on a steamer bound for the United States. Landed in New York, an orphan and a penniless immigrant, he began a career that was a remarkable example of character conquering circumstance. Seeking fortune in the West, he reached Minnesota, where he worked as a farm hand while attending high school and preparing for college. He was graduated both in arts and in law at the University of Wisconsin (A.B., 1890, LL.B., 1892), with a Phi Beta Kappa and football record. Following his graduation he was successively secretary to the justices of the Wisconsin supreme court (1892-94) ; chief clerk of the law department of the Wisconsin Central Railway Company in Chicago (1892) ; and attorney to the Illinois State Board of Factory In-  
Brice, Andrew Alexander (I1016)
3  Martin, Sara (I1743)
4 "Married 3 times" per Cambridge alumni profile Bryans, Rev. Francis (I0714)
5 "Of Coldoch, Perth" Burn, John (I0817)
6 "of Old Castle" English, Arabella (I1143)
7 "Of Twiggs and Chalmerston, Stirling" Burn, James (I0823)
8 "Of Westerton" Callander, Janet (I0820)
9 "Of Westerton, Stirling and Preston Hall, Midlothian" Burn-Callander, William (I0824)
10 1808 Thomas Bell moved to Newcastle to enter the service of Messrs. Losh and Co., merchants, who were then branching out into the manufacture of both alkali and iron.

Subsequently he became a member of the firm, which became known as Losh, Wilson and Bell, of the Walker Ironworks, Tyneside. 
Bell, Thomas (I0366)
11 1939 Register Bryans, Maj. Henry Murdoch (I0173)
12 21 in 1801, per marriage application Sutherland, Jemima Foster (I0371)
13 Career
Not entirely clear if he was a Sheriff of London, or an Alderman, or both. Both Wikipedia1 and TRHG4 list him as a sheriff, in 1590 (and a son, perhaps, as sheriff in 1634). The possible son is also mentioned at British History Online2 as an Alderman of Bishopsgate Ward in August 1634 (as well as a sheriff). The same source3 also lists Richard Gurney (senior) as a Sheriff in 1590.

Richard likely died in March 1597; TRHG4 states that he was buried at St Michael's in Crooked Lane on the 21st of March 1596, but is probably using the Julian calendar (given that his will is dated October 1596). There is a burial record for Richard Gourney on Ancestry that is incorrectly keyed in as 20 May 1596 but is actually 20 March 1596 (Julian, or 20 March 1597 Gregorian)

[4] The Record of the House of Gournay, Part II, page 498, available at Google Books 
Gourney, Richard (I1753)
14 Early Life
"A scion of one of the most respectable families in the West of Scotland" (A True Narrative, p xxx sic), my research seems to indicate that Patrick was the son of John Adair of Genoch in Galloway (but many others place him as the son of William Adair of Corghie/Ayr - however when I tried to map the various relationships, the connection to John makes more sense for me). Most sources agree that he was born around 1625, presumably in Genoch.

From boyhood he took an interest in ecclesiastical affairs; and, on the 23rd of July 1637 — when the famous Janet Geddes threw the stool at the head of the Dean of Edinburgh as he was proceeding to introduce the Service Book, and when the promoters of the Liturgy were balked by a mob of women — Patrick Adair was in the Scottish metropolis, and a witness of the uproar.

From Patronymica Brittanica1:ADAIR. A branch of the great Anglo-Hibernian family of Fitz-Gerald settled at Adare, a village in co. Limerick, and thus acquired the local surname. In the XV century Robert Fitz-Gerald de Adair, in consequence of family feuds, removed to Galloway, in Scotland, and dropping his patronymical designation, wrote himself "Adair" a name which has since ramified largely on both sides of the Irish Channel. In temp. Chas. I., the senior branch transferred themselves from Galloway to co. Antrim, where they resided for some generations, until on the acquisition of English estates they again settled in Britain. The migrations of the family may thus be stated:

  1. England before the Conquest
  2. Ireland
  3. Scotland
  4. Scotland cum Ireland
  5. Ireland
  6. Ireland cum England
  7. England cum Ireland

From: Patrick Adair of Cairncastle:The Adairs of the North of Ireland, of whom the eminent Presbyterian minister above named [i.e. Patrick Adair] was one, and whose present head had been ennobled under the title of Lord Waveney, are commonly said to be of Scotch extraction. And they certainly did come from Scotland to Ireland in the seventeenth century. But it is equally certain, although not so well known, that, like most ‘Scots’ (so called), they had previously gone from Ireland to Scotland. Their family name originally was not Adair, but Fitzgerald, and their founder was a young man called Robert Fitzgerald, a son of the Earl of Desmond. This Robert Fitzgerald lived in the latter part of the fourteenth century, and was the owner of the lands of Adare, in the South of Ireland. Having, in a family feud, killed a person of distinction, he was obliged to leave his native country.

He took refuge in Galloway, in Scotland, where he assumed the name of Adare, or Adair, from his forfeited Milesian patrimony, and obtaining for himself, by means which were not uncommon in those days, a Scotch estate in place of the Irish one he had lost, he founded a family, which, for some time, was known as the Adairs of Portree, afterwards of Kinhilt, and, most recently (on their return to Ireland), as the Adairs of Ballymena, in this country, where they have been for many generations respected and beloved.

Patrick entered divinity classes at Glasgow College in 1644 and when licensed, he went to Ireland as a preacher; and on the 7th of May 1646 he was ordained to the pastoral charge of the parish of Cairncastle, near Lame, in the County of Antrim. In 1674 he moved from Cairncastle to Belfast — where he officiated about twenty years.

Wrote A True Narrative of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland3 which was published post mortem. The version I have has an introduction and notes from WD Killen who I think is a Brice cousin and was published in Belfast in 1866. There's a little more info (and a podcast about it) here.

A True Narrative of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland: The Rev. Dr. James Kirkpatrick, the author of Presbyterian Loyalty, was the son of a Presbyterian minister well acquainted with [Patrick Adair] and [had] himself [moved to the] congregation over which Mr. Adair presided in Belfast about twelve years after [the latter's] decease. He is, therefore, competent to bear testimony to the character of his distinguished predecessor. His attestation is remarkable. " Mr. Adair," says he, " was a man of great natural parts and wisdom, eminent piety and exemplary holiness, great ministerial gravity and authority, endowed with savoury and most edifying gifts for his sacred function, wherein he was laborious, painful, and faithful ; was a constant, curious, and accurate observer of all public occurrences ; and, with all these rare qualities, he had not only the blood and descent, but the spirit and just decorum of a gentleman."

Family Life
Married his first cousin Jean, the second daughter of Sir Robert Adair of Ballymena (the latter being one of the most influential landed proprietors in the country). Secondly he married Margaret Cunningham. Lastly he married a widow, Elizabeth Anderson (née Martin). From the combined marriages, he had at least five children but it's not known who was the mother of each, except for William who was born to Margaret:

  1. William, also a priest, ordained in Ballyeaston in 1681, who transcribed much of Patrick's "A True Narrative..." and died 1698
  2. Archibald (may have moved to US)
  3. Alexander (may have moved to US)
  4. Patrick Adair jnr of Carrickfergus (1670-1717), our direct ancestor
  5. Helen (may also have moved to US)
  6. Possibly, James Adair of Belfast (see here)
    - Who had son Patrick Adair who d. 1764 in Old Jewry, London

There are whole dynasties of Adairs in America, some of whom are genetic cousins of ours - it's possible that many of these are descendends of Archibald, Alexander or Helen.

Patrick died in 1694 and his will was proved in Belfast on the 6th July 1695.

From Patrick Adair of Cairncastle: His will was dated 26 January 1693, but probate was not taken out until 6 July 1695, more than a year after his death. ‘In his will’ says Classon Porter, ‘Mr Adair mentions a sum of four hundred pounds belonging to him which was in the hands of Lord Donegall, and the interest of which he leaves to his wife as a jointure.’ This was his third wife, Elizabeth Anderson, a widow whom he married while he was minister at Belfast. Her maiden name was Martin. He had four sons: William, Archibald, Alexander and Patrick, and a daughter, Helen. Gordon says that Patrick junior was a minister at Carrickfergus and that he died in June 1717. William, his eldest son by Margaret Cunningham, was an executor of his father’s will, and his third son Alexander, a witness to it.
By which wife Patrick Adair had his second, third and fourth sons, and his only daughter, we do not know. Possibly they were all born at Cairncastle, for Adair was fifty years of age when he relinquished his charge there. He was buried in Belfast in accordance with the terms of his will; but (says Porter) ‘we have not heard of any monument of any kind having been erected to this faithful pastor, this brave sufferer for what he believed to be the truth, this able negotiator, this honest man.’. No likeness of Patrick Adair has survived – if indeed any was ever drawn or painted.

1. Patronymica Brittanica, A Dictionary of the Family Names of the United Kingdom, Mark Anthony Lower, London 1860
3. A True Narrative of the Presbyterian Church in the North of Ireland, Patrick Adair, edited by WD Killen, Belfast 1866

Adair, Patrick (I1347)
15 Early Life
Family Life
Bryce, Edward (I0950)
16 Early life
Agnes was born on the 19th of October 1866 in West Hampstead to Harry Curtis and Louisa Margaret Kelso (nee Bruce); she was their third child of eight. She was baptised at St Paul's Church1 in Kilburn Square on the 5th of December that same year. Agnes's middle name, Lockhart, may have come from her great-great uncle, James Lockhart, who married Mary Emilia Nisbet.

In the 1871 census, when Agnes was four, she is listed with her parents at 28 Priory Road in St John Hampstead. However, by the 1881 census when she should have been 14, she is not listed with her parents, so may have been at boarding school. In fact, Agnes disappears from both the 1881 and 1891 censuses and only reappears in 1901, after she has been married (and widowed).

Family life
Agnes married at the age of 28, on the 16th of July 1894 in India, to Hugh McPherson Mitchell. It's not clear why they married in India as Agnes' family seems to have been London-based: Agnes' father (Harry) had been born in India but was a solicitor in London and Agnes and all her siblings were born in in the UK.
Agnes and Hugh had three children whilst they were in India:

  1. Fanny Curtis, our great-grandmother, born in 1895 in India and who married Henry Murdoch Bryans
  2. Hugh Norman Bullen, born 1896 but who died as an infant
  3. Geoffrey Hugh, born 1898 in India and colonel in the Army who married Elizabeth Crawford and later, Nina North and settled in Kenya

Agnes' husband Hugh died of pneumonia on the 18th of March 1901 in Lanouli, Bombay. Agnes very quickly brought her children home and is recorded in her parent's house in Wimbledon in the 1901 census. At some point soon thereafter she moved the family to their own house, 2 Thornton Hill in Wimbledon. In the 1939 register she is recorded staying with her brother Walter Selwyn at Hale Farm House in Ringwood, Hampshire (presumably to get out of London during the bombings). At some point she moved to Crow Cottage in Ringwood, perhaps to be near her brother and sister-in-law and stayed here until she died.

Agnes died on the 13th June 1955 at the Park House Nursing Home in Winchester; she was 88.

Agnes' will was dated the 16th of June 1951 and in it she makes a few bequests:

  • To Nina Mitchell, her daughter-in-law and wife of her son Geoffrey Hugh, a diamond crescent brooch
  • To Fanny Curtis Bryans (nèe Mitchell), her daughter, a number of rings and a portrait of the Empress Eugenie (this may have come through Hugh, her husband, as his parents appeared to have known the Empress - see family archive)
  • To Pamela Anne Murdoch Johnson (nèe Bryans), her grand-daughter, a pearl and diamond ring

Agnes also made monetary bequests to Pamela, her son-in-law Henry Murdoch Bryans and to her grand-sons Hugh William, Anthony and Simon Mitchell (all sons of her son Geoffrey Hugh Mitchell). The witnesses to her will were Helen A Nisbet (probably Helen Agnes Nisbet, née Macfarlane, the wife of her Agnes' brother Francis) and Amy Macfarlane, probably her niece.

[1] This church has since been demolished 
Nisbet, Agnes Lockhart (I0212)
17 Early Life
Alan was born on the 15th of April 1846 at the family home, Potternewton Hall, in Leeds, the third son of Darnton Lupton and his second wife, Anna Jane Busk. [Army education?]

Alan followed his father and grandfather into trade, becoming a Leeds cloth merchant (in the 1881 census he is listed as a "woolen cloth merchant" but by the 1891 census he is "retired Leeds merchant", perhaps as a result of the mysterious railway accident mentioned below).
Mr Lupton...was the third son of the late Darnton Lupton, the head of a highly successful cloth firm in Leeds, which Mr Lupton joined after being educated for the Army. Endowed with great shrewdness and boundless activity, he made a fresh success of the business, from the continuance of which he was ultimately incapacitated by a railway accident. He regained health and strength from outdoor life, to which he was passionately devoted, becoming a fearless rider to hounds, an enthusiastic four-in-hand driver, and a bit of a farmer. To within a few weeks of his death he had thrown extraordinary energy into the development of a large estate in Skye belonging to his son-in-law, Mr William [sic] Johnson, no on active service.

In recent years Mr Lupton had concentrated his business energy on the affairs of this firm (HR Baines and Company), in which he had interited a financial interest, and he joined the Board in 1907, becoming Chairman in 1917. He gave unremitting attention to the business of the firm, and in the midst of it never ceased to show an intensely human interest in everybody connected with the house. He was deeply interested in the War, doing his bit in the way of looking after remounts, which is only son - Mr Alan Cecil Lupton, now in Mesopotamia - and others had been buying in the United States for the Government. Mr Lupton was tall, spare and exceedingly handsome, and displayed all the characteristics of the typical Yorkshireman.

Family Life
Alan married Emma Buckton, daughter of the engineer George Buckton, on the 8th of October 1872 in Leeds. They had three children:

  1. Alan Cecil, born c. 1874, later a major in the army, who married Mary Emma Burrell
  2. Alice Hilda, born 1876 and who married Walter Lyulph Johnson.
  3. William Walter, born in 1880 and who died young

When Alan's daughter Hilda married, Alan gifted the Strathaird Estate in Skye to the couple.

Alan died on the 23rd of February 1918 in Ripon. His obituary in The Bystander2 reads:
In many widely different places the death of Mr Alan Lupton will be felt as a personal loss. On the Bench at Ripon and in the West Riding, in the Coaching Club and the Four-in-Hand Club, and in the hunting field - in all these he will be sorely missed. A man of distinguished charm of manner, urbane, witty, and delightful in his conversation, and kindly in all his thoughts and actions, Mr Lupton was a man who made many friends and never an enemy....Driving his perfectly-matched teams in the Park, or riding hard to hounds in his beloved Yorkshire, Mr Lupton was an English country gentleman of the very best type. And in the country were Peel's "View-Halloa" would awaken the dead he was laid to rest last week in a little village churchyard some miles from Ripon - buried there by his own wish, so that he might "still hear the hounds coming by in the morning."

[1] Obituary in The Graphic, 2nd March 1918, page 260. NB The Graphic was owned by HR Baines, the company that Alan became the Chairman of.
[2] Obituary in The Bystander, 6th March 1918, page 490. Like The Graphic, The Bystander was owned by HR Baines.  
Lupton, Alan (I0217)
18 Early Life
Archibald was born around 1747.

Archibald died on the 25th of September 1774, aged 27. From The Scots Magazine, Volume 36 (1774) page 503:
Archibald Murdoch, Esq; younger of Gartincaber, Mr Maclean of Coll, Mr Fither from England and Mr Malcolm Macdonald [dr?]over in Mull, with five attendants, unfortunately drowned in crossing a ferry in the Isle of Mull. Mr Murdoch had gone to Mull on a visit to Mr Maclean of Lochbuy; and having dined in a friend's house, the melancholy accident happened in their return. The barge overset within a gunshot of the lands of Ulva and Mull. Mr Maclean of Lochbuy, and three young men in the barge, having got hold of the mast, continued dashing in the waves for three quarters of an hour, and were saved by the ferry-boat of Ulva, which reached them just as they were ready to sink.

According to O_BurnMurdochScrapbook_02 (probably written by Annie Jessie Burn-Murdoch):
[There is a] mourning ring at Gartincaber: sea weed on green stone and edged round with small garnets. Inscription inside: "Arch. Murdoch obit Sept. 1774 aged 27"

He died unmarried.
Murdoch, Archibald (I0836)
19 Early Life
Archibald was the fourth and youngest son of Edward Brice and Jane Adair, of Kilroot, Northern Ireland. Archibald was born on the 10th of November 1769, most likely at Kilroot House in Kilroot, which was the family home.

At the age of 18, Archibald was signed up by his father for a five-year clerkship (in preparation to becoming a lawyer) with Oliver Farrer of Bedford Square and James Farrer of Chancery Lane. This life clearly didn't appeal to him as, four and a half years later he was admitted to Pembroke College in Cambridge. He swapped colleges a few times, transferring to Clare (or perhaps Clare Hall, there are records for both). In the interim, he was ordained Deacon in December 1793, aged 24. Finally ending up at Emmanuel, Archibald graduated on the 10th of June 1795 and was ordained Priest 18 days later, apparently at Winsor Castle chapel, which seems quite grand. The same year, Archibald was appointed Rector of South Elmham St James in Suffolk, a position which he held for the rest of his life.

It is worth pointing out that Archibald's grandfather William Adair owned the Flixton estate in Bungay - a few miles from South Elmham. Almost certainly this was no coincidence - perhaps William (or rather his heir, Alexander Adair 1743-1834, given that William died in 1783) pulled some strings.

Family Life
Archibald married Martha Porter, daughter of William and Mary (nee Haultain) on the 11th of March 1800 at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London when he was 30. Evidently this union was very much not approved by Martha's father, who in his will indicated that he would disinherit her if she married Archibald (this is revealed in a court case taken by Martha and Archibald against the executors of the will; one of whom was Francis Haultain, her uncle). It's possible that Martha was Catholic, as her parents married in St Peter & St Paul in Mitcham, which is a Catholic church. Archibald, being Anglican, may therefore not have been approved of and the marriage forbidden.

Also of note is that the marriage didn't happen in the traditional way, with banns being read out over 3 weeks. Instead they submitted a Marriage Bond, which was a way to get married when the parties were of different religions1. Archibald's witness in the Bond was "John Doe", clearly a made-up person.

Archbald and Martha had three children:

  1. Courtenay Boyle, our 4x great grandfather, born 7th November 1800
  2. Maria Isabella, born 13th Jan 1802 (died aged 2)
  3. William Adair, born 3rd July 1803

Archibald obtained a Royal grant to change his name from Brice to Bruce on 1st October 1825, something his cousin Edward (b. 1753) had also done 14 years earlier. Thus the descent from the "noble house of Burce, of Airth in Scotland" was re-established.

Legal Disputes
As mentioned above, Archibald helped his wife Martha in a claim against the executors of her father's will, including Francis Haultain (her uncle). In turn, Francis counter-sued (see here.

Archibald died in 1828 in Cheltenham (was he visiting someone?) aged 59, and was buried at Walcot St Swithin near Bath in Somerset. Both his father and mother were buried at the same church.

[1] See
Brice, Rev. Archibald Adair (I0668)
20 Early Life
Arthur was born on the 14th of March 1852, the third son (of 12 children!) of Rev. William Bryans and Sophia Anna Lonsdale. Arthur was born in Harley Street (home to his maternal Lonsdale grandparents), whereas all his siblings were born in Tarvin, or Ash Parva, where their parents lived at the time. He was baptised at Trinity Church in St Marylebone on the 21st of April 1752.

Unlike all his brothers, it appears that Arthur did not go to Oxford (or Cambridge, for that matter). Perhaps his parents had decided that he wasn't the academic type; maybe he exhibited a more entrepreneurial bent. In any case, Arthur attended Haileybury College from 1866 (aged 14) to 1868 (aged 16). Haileybury had been formed in 1858 out of the existing buildings which comprised the East India College (the training establishment for administrators of the East India Company). So there was definitely some element of East India trading / tea etc inculcated into Arthur even at this young age. At least one of his brothers (Herbert) also went to Haileybury - the latter's epitaph is worth a quick read.

After school, Arthur joined his cousin PR Buchanan1 in managing the Chargola tea estate in Sylhet, Assam (now part of Bangladesh) between 1869 and 1877 (so he would have gone out to Assam aged only 17). The following is extracted from a letter his mother Sophia wrote to his elder brother Edward Lonsdale¥:

Arty [Arthur] & Patrick Buchanan appeared on Monday. He [Patrick] is a very stout, strong-looking fellow with a broad head and neck and a loud voice. His look & manner struck us at first as very unpolished but he improves upon acquaintance and one can see he is a Gentleman underneath the toughness. He seems particularly straightforward and candid and evidently he has good natural abilities & lots of resolution. Arty likes him & he seems to like A. He has had several youngsters offered him so I supposed we ought to consider A lucky but often when he talks of the tigers, snakes, heat, fevers & agues I begin to wish we had never heard of Cachar [a tea valley in India]. A is in good spirits tho’ at times I fancy he looks a little nervous & anxious. We expect he is to sail on the 8th April.

Arthur’s mother was rather of the old fashioned way of thinking that “business life” was not such a high one as being a doctor or clergy man, but I think she saw clearly how business could be high too and not merely money grubbing. It seems to me that the backbone of a nation is greatly its business integrity.

The following is taken from a newspaper article§ about Arthur, recalling his early dates in Sylhet:Sylhet was then a very different place to get at and live in from what it is now. It took me 3 weeks to get there from Calcutta, and the Chargola Valley, where I went to, was a very isolated part of the world.There was a stockade manned by police just south of me, as a protection against Lushais, who did actually make a raid while I was there. They raided the neighbouring Hailykandy Valley at the same time and, I think, killed a Mr. and Mrs. Winchester and carried off her daughter. A retaliatory expedition was the consequence.

Wild elephants roamed the district to the south and I remember a kheddah being made there for their capture. There were practically no roads and communications were kept open by boat in the rains. For many months I never saw a white face and never spoke a word of English.

Arthur subsequently became an East India merchant and partner at PR Buchanan & Co, 45 Leadenhall St, EC, London. In 1877 PR Buchanan set up a business in London (PR Buchanan & Co.) and Arthur may well have been a partner at that point (he almost certainly became a partner by 1922). By 1878, supervising tea estates was their main business and the backbone of that business was Chargola. Chargola Tea Co2 was floated in May 1877 and developed into the Chargola Tea Association3 in 1891, which comprised Chargola, Singlacherra, Maguracherra, Hingajea. In 1878 there were reported to be 4,800 acres under cultivation.

Of course, as regards his first launching into tea life in India at the early age of 17, I had no say in that choice & he very little either, but I have seen his early letters to his mother from India & could see how strongly informed he was from that early age with the idea that he should make money so as not to be a burden to them! I suppose the very Spartan bringing up of the 6 sons at Tarvin informed that, but also & above this his mother always informed her sons with a very strong sense of duty almost to the faulty point of making unpleasant things seem duty! I think she got that from her steady Yorkshire father – Bishop Lonsdale. Well! Be that as it may, it is perhaps specially strong in your father & has pulled him through some very difficult & puzzling times in business.

To go back to when he actually went into London business. We had returned from India the spring of 1877. I had been very ill but we intended going out again. We took a shooting [lodge in] Balinakill Perthshire & were a young & very merry party there when Mr Buchanan wrote telling Arthur he was making an agency business in London in connection with tea, especially for “Chargola” which was at that time your father’s property & “would he consider his going into partnership etc etc” & “would Nan consider it too?”. Well, we considered it in a very light & airy fashion & PR B wrote again to me upon what a serious step it was etc etc & had we considered very carefully etc etc etc?!! But the upshot was, we settled down in London & later on at Foots Cray & I don’t think either of us have seriously regretted the step. At one time in our lives your father got rather tired of office life & seriously contemplated farming & made many enquiries about it but always felt glad afterwards that he did not do so. The only terribly difficult & anxious time his firm went through was in 1902/3 when first PR Buchanan & Co. nearly went bankrupt. I have been told privately by a good London Banker and a lawyer that the firm would have gone smash but for your father’s “name & character for honesty & reliability”. I have always been proud of that – though we went through a few years of great anxiety and disappointment in those who father had trusted well, on looking back over all these years.

Arthur was chairman of the Indian Tea Association in 1901-1902 and became president in 1930. He was also a member of the committee of the South Indian Association and the Ceylon Association. He retired in 1933.

Aside. One of Annie Jessie's cousins was William Fitzjames Urmston (1859-1883), son of her aunt Marion who married William Brabazon Urmston. William Fitzjames died in Chargola, so it seems plausible that he was actually working with or for Arthur on the tea estates.

Family Life
Arthur married Annie Jessie Burn-Murdoch on the 15th September 1875 in Edinburgh, when he was 24 and she was just 19. The wedding was officiated by William, Arthur's father.

Arthur and Annie had six children:

  1. Dorothy, born in 1879 and married Robert Alexander John Berry in 1902
  2. Amy Lonsdale, born in 1881 and married Lionel Mowbray Hewlett in 1910
  3. Helen Maud, born in 1883 and married John "Jack" Talbot in 1906
  4. Nora Margaret, born in 1885 and married Francis Cecil Lodge in 1913
  5. Henry Murdoch, our great-grandfather, born in 1892 and married Fanny Curtis Mitchell in 1916
  6. William Buchanan, born in 1893 and married Mildred Isobel Eleanor Ramsbotham in 1917, and later, Constance Holt


  • 1881/1891: Foots Cray Cottage, Foots Cray, Kent
  • c1900: Woollet Hall (now Loring Hall) in North Cray, Kent
  • 1911: The Manor House, Woodmansterne, Surrey
  • 1922: Number 8, Talbot Square, Hyde Park, London (City residence)
  • 1922-1944: Holmwood Cottage, Surrey (Country residence)

Annie Jessie died in December 1929, leaving Arthur a widower for 15 years.

Arthur died on the 1st of March 1944, aged 92, at home in Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood in Surrey. He was buried three days later at St Mary Magdalene Church in South Holmwood.

[1] PR Buchanan & Co. was established by Patrick Robertson Buchanan, who was married to Harriette Bryans. In turn, Hariette Bryans was Arthur's cousin, so effectively PR Buchanan was Arthur's cousin-in-law and just six years older than him.
More info on PR Buchanan:
[2] Chargola Tea Association
[3] Arthur's brother Herbert William Bryans was listed as a Director of the Chargola Tea Association
† Letter from Annie Jessie Bryans (née Burn-Murdoch) to her son Henry, 18th November 1918; L_1918_11_Bryans_Bryans_1.pdf
§ N_Unknown_ABryans_Profile
¥ L_1869_03_Bryans_Bryans_1
Bryans, Arthur (I0375)
21 Early Life
Born 24th of December 1870, to John Burn-Murdoch and Dorothea (née Monck-Mason), their ninth child. Like his brother Alfred, Catesby attended Loretto School from April 1884 to July 1889.

Catesby was a tea planter in Ceylon and India and later a rubber planter in the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. He served in the South African War (1900-1902) and was awarded the medal with 4 clasps. Later, he served in the First World War 1914-1919, firstly as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Lovat's Scouts, later as a Major (from December 1915).

Family life
Catesby married Agnes Julia Johnson. They had no children.

Catesby died on the 22nd of March 1927 in Leicestershire.

From: O_Unknown_Bios_Burn-Murdoch 
Burn-Murdoch, Maj. Catesby (I1336)
22 Early Life
Born 7th of July 1868, to John Burn-Murdoch and Dorothea (née Monck-Mason), their eighth child. Alfred attended Loretto School from April 1884 to July 1887 (aged 16-18) and was a prizewinner in the Interscholastic Games.

Alfred went to the Royal Indian Engineering College in Cooper's Hill (Surrey) in 1888. From there he was appointed to the Indian Woods and Forests Department, which he joined in 1891. He served in Burmah from 1891 to 1901. He was then appointed Conservator of Forests for the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States in 1901.

Alfred died on the 5th March 1914 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from a stroke, aged only 46.

Burn-Murdoch, Alfred Maule (I1335)
23 Early Life
Born ~1720/1721 (per Burke's), mostly likely in County Antrim, to Lieutenant Colonel Edward Brice and Jane Dobbs, who had married in 1718.

So far, Edward's career is a mystery.

Family Life

Married first Rose Stewart in 1752 (when Edward was aged ~30) with whom he had his heir Edward Brice (b. ~1753). Presumably Rose subsequently died in the next few years as he then remarried, to Jane Smith Adair, only daughter of William Adair of Pall Mall and Flixton House, Suffolk. The latter marriage was conducted in Belfast on the 4th December 1758 (Edward was about 37; Jane ~21).

The Adairs were, like the Brice family, from County Antrim and would certainly have been well acquainted with each other. Jane was the daughter of William, who had moved to England but had been born in Kirkmaiden in Scotland; her grandfather was the Reverend Patrick Adair from Carrickfergus, just round the corner from Kilroot (the seat of the Brices).

With Jane, Edward had the following children:

  1. William Adair Brice (b. 1762? unconfirmed from Ancestry) who was First Lieutenant of HMS Agammemnon and died off Martinique on 12 April 1782 with no children
  2. A daughter, Maria Jane (b. ~1763), who married (in ~1788) the Right Hon Sir John Anstruther, Bart.
  3. Arthur (b ~1768, d. 16th Mar 1801 aged 33), Lieut-Col in Coldstream Guards and killed in Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercrombie [2]. No children.
  4. Archibald Adair (b. 1769; d. 1828), our 5x great-grandfather, who moved to Bath and worked in Suffolk as a vicar
  5. Robert (b. 1771, d. 1812) who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and lived much of his life in India and spawned quite a few generations of India-based Brices/Bruces
  6. Margaret, unmarried and younger than Maria Jane
  7. John and James (mentioned in Edward's will): maybe they remained in Ireland but there's little other information on them

At some point, no later than 1787 but after 1771, Edward moved to England; in 1787, Edward's son Archibald Adair signed up for a clerkship in Lincoln's Inn and Edward's address is given as Berner's St in London. Edward's son Robert was born in 1771 in Dublin.

Was an executor on the will of William Adair (his father-in-law):

Edward died on the 8th of May in Bath; his will was proved 21st May 1808 in London [3]

Brice, Edward (I0872)
24 Early Life
Charles was born on the 25th of October 1836 in Pembroke in Wales, the eldest of five children. His father, Hugh, being in the Royal Marines was perhaps stationed at the dockyards there. His mother, Constance Bullen, was the grand-daughter of John Bullen, the Surgeon-General of the British naval force. Things therefore seemed set for Charles to follow a well-worn family path into the navy, and this he did, joining the Royal Navy School.

Aged 16, Charles left school and entered the Royal Marines as an officer (2nd lieutenant1) in 1852. He saw service in the Baltic campaigns in 1854-56, aged 18. His career progressed with a serious of ever more illustrious appointments overseas, particularly in the Caribbean and then later Africa and then even later in the Far East:

Family life
In 1862, around the time of his promotion to Captain, Charles married Fanny Oakley, the daughter of William McPherson Rice, a famous shipwright and therefore probably well known to Charles by reputation, if indeed the Rices were not actually family friends of the Mitchells through their shared naval connections. Charles and Fanny's only son, Hugh McPherson (middle name coming from his paternal grandfather William McPherson Rice) was born on the 24th of May 1863 in Chelsea.

Through Fanny Curtis Mitchell (the grand-daughter of Charles & Fanny) and her daughter Pamela (our grandmother) an enormous amount of letters and notes from Fanny and Charles' times in Belize and Natal have been preserved and I am slowly working on indexing and transcribing them. The following are some extracts which I will add to through time as I work my way through the material.

To come:
- Privations of tropical life

To come:
- Zulu wars, Iswandlana
- Lord Chelmsford, Sir Bartle Frere
- Sidney Thompson, their nephew
- Fanny's illness

In 1889, four years after the death of Fanny (from ovarian cancer), Charles re-married to Eliza Welldon, who was actually Fanny's first cousin (seems a bit weird to modern minds to marry the cousin of your dead wife, but hey ho). They had no children.

Charles died on the 7th of December 1899 in Singapore (or as it was then, the Straits Settlements). The cause of death was noted as "paralysis" though it seems from family letters that he actually had a stroke or series of strokes. He was buried in St Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore. Sadly, Charles's only son Hugh died just two years later, in India.

[1] The Royal Marines, although part of the Navy, use the same rank structure as the Army, hence the entry point for an officer was 2nd Lieutenant, rather than Warrant Officer or Midshipman as it would be in the Navy.
Mitchell, Sir Charles Bullen Hugh GCMG (I0220)
25 Early Life
Christina was born on the 14th of January 1787 and baptised on the 3rd of February that same year.

Family Life
Christina married William Gordon Mack on the 5th of October 1807 in Glasgow. See his entry for more details on the family.

Christina died in 1858, at 23 Stafford Street in Edinburgh. 
Kelly, Christina (I0556)
26 Early Life
Darnton was born on the 20th of July 1806 in Leeds, the eldest son and second child of William Lupton and Ann Darnton. He was baptised on the 7th of November that year; the Lupton family were non-Conformists and Darnton and his siblings were all baptised at the Chapel, an Arian Independent (i.e. not Anglican) church. Darnton's unusual first name was clearly taken from his mother's surname.

Darnton followed his family into merchantry and general commerce. He was a director of the Bank of Leeds and in 1844, aged 38, Darnton became mayor of Leeds. At the Paris Exhibition of 1855 he was created a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, by Napoleon III. He was also a magistrate (J.P).

Family Life
Darnton married twice: firstly his cousin Sarah Darnton Luccock, daughter of his father's business partner John Luccock, by whom he had one child, Kate (later Baroness von Schunck) in 1832. However, Sarah Luccock died soon after in 1834, and four years later Darnton remarried Anna Jane Busk, the daughter of a British merchant out of St Petersburg and grand-daughter of Sir Wadsworth Busk, one-time Attorney General for the Isle of Man. Their wedding, on the 1st of May 1838, was held in Bradford Cathedral. With Anna, Darnton had five children:

  1. Darnton, his namesake, born 1842
  2. William Walter, born 1844
  3. Alan, born 1846 and who married Emma Buckton
  4. Sydney, born 1850
  5. Percival, born 1853 but who died aged 4
  6. Bertram Neville, born 1858 but who died aged 10

Darnton died on the 11th of December 18732, aged 67. His will was executed on the 23rd of January the following year by his sons William Walter and Sydney.


  • 1840s: Potternewton Hall3,5 Darnton and Anna lived there for a time; his son Alan was born there and most likely the other children too. However, by 1860 Darnton's brother Francis had bought the Freehold.
  • 1855: Darnton leased4 the Harehills House and Estate, naming the dower house "Bleak House". The Harehills, on Harehill Lane, is given as his place of residence in the 1861 and and 1871 censuses. After his death in 1874 the estate was sold but Anna, Darnton's widow, was allowed to say there until her death in 1888.
  • In the 1860s1, Arthur Lupton (Darnton's younger brother, b. 1809, owner of Newton Hall) gave to his brothers Darnton and Francis some land on the estate so they could build homes for their heirs. The two brothers appointed an architect to design a residential development in the southern part of the estate. Ultimately, Darnton died before the designs were executed. However, the Newton Hall Estate still exists and the entrance can be seen here.

Newton and Potternewton Halls were demolished by the Second World War and replaced with a large housing estate.

[2] Details of family graves
Lupton, Darnton (I0323)
27 Early Life
Edward was born around 1659, most likely to Robert Brice (of Castle Chichester), making him the grandson of Edward Bryce. Alternatively, he may have been the son of Edward Brice, Robert's brother. I am going with Robert as the father, based on the info in [1].

Edward was a Belfast merchant and shipowner, most likely helped with capital from his father Robert, who was a wealthy man in his own right. Edward fled Belfast during the Jacobite wars and went to Scotland to raise a company - in 1693 he matriculated his arms at the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh (proving descent from the Bruce family of Airth, though many modern commentators dispute this lineage). He eventually returned to Belfast and was elected Burgess in 1697 and sovereign in 1707 but he declined to qualify himself.

He was MP for Dungannon 1703-1713. In 1715 he is described [2] as a Captain of "Upton's Horse", perhaps a Cavalry Brigade out of Castle Upton (see Family life).

Edward acquired the Kilroot estate from his nephew Randal, son of his brother (also Randal), which is how it entered into this side of the family's estates.

Family life
Edward married first Dorothy Upton, some time before 1690. They had a daughter, Dorothy, born around 1690 who married Henry Maxwell in 1713

Secondly, Edward married Jane Dobbs in 1718 and they had:

  1. Mary Elizabeth, who died aged 2 in 1726
  2. Edward, born some time between 1720 and 1725. Edward is our 6th great-grandfather.

    Edward died on the 11th August 1742, aged 83. He was buried at Templecorran, County Antrim.

    [1] Belfast Merchant Families in the Seventeenth Century, Jean Agnew
    [2] Burke's Landed Gentry 
Brice, Lieut. Col. Edward (I0897)
28 Early Life
Edward was born in ~1720/1721 (per Burke's), mostly likely in County Antrim, to Lieutenant Colonel Edward Brice and Jane Dobbs, who had married in 1718.

Legal issues
There are various records of legal disputes between Edward and various relatives and other people. For instance, an entry in the London Courier & Evening Gazette (7th June 1831) notes:
Pursuant to a Decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in a cause "Brice against Shepherd," the Creditors of JANE BRICE, late of the city of Bath, Widow, deceased (who died on the 5th day of February 1825) are, by their Solicitors, on or before the 23d day of June, 1831, to come in and prove their Debts before James William Farrer, Esq., one of the Masters of the said Court, at his Chambers in Southampton-buildings, Chancery-lane, London; or, in default thereof, they will be peremptorily excluded the benefit of the said Decree. Hall and Brownley, New Boswell-court, Plaintiff's Solicitors.

At the National Archive, there are a series of documents relating to these cases, including this one which notes Edward (probably Edward junior, his first and only son by Rose Stewart) as a plantiff and the defendants to include:

  • Sir Samuel Shepherd
  • Sir Coutts Trotter
  • Archibald Adair Brice (his son)
  • Dame Maria Isabella Anstruther (his daughter, who married John Anstruther Bart.)
  • Arthur Haultaine [sic], the husband of his grand-daughter Maria Isabella Anstruther Brice (daughter of his son Robert)
  • Charles Harrington Graeme, the husband of his grand-daughter Sarah Jane Anstruther Brice (other daughter of Robert)

It is probably relevant that his wife Jane, in her will, left legacies to Samuel Shepherd, Coutts Trotter, Archibald Adair and others. My suspicion is that Edward junior sued the various trustees of Jane's estate because he felt that his inheritance from his father had bypassed him and gone to his wife Jane and she in turn had passed these assets on to her children to his exclusion.

Family Life
Edward married first Rose Stewart in 1752 (when Edward was aged ~30) with whom he had his heir Edward Brice (b. ~1753). Presumably Rose subsequently died in the next few years as he then remarried, to Jane Smith Adair, only daughter of William Adair of Pall Mall and Flixton House, Suffolk. The latter marriage was conducted in Belfast on the 4th December 1758 (Edward was about 37; Jane ~21).

The Adairs were, like the Brice family, from County Antrim and would certainly have been well acquainted with each other. Jane was the daughter of William, who had moved to England but had been born in Kirkmaiden in Scotland; her grandfather was the Reverend Patrick Adair from Carrickfergus, just round the corner from Kilroot (the seat of the Brices).

With Jane, Edward had the following children:

  1. William Adair Brice (b. 1762? unconfirmed from Ancestry) who was First Lieutenant of HMS Agammemnon and died off Martinique on 12th April 1782 with no children1
  2. Maria Jane (b. ~1763), who married (in ~1788) the Right Hon Sir John Anstruther, Bart.
  3. Arthur (b ~1768, d. 16th Mar 1801 aged 33), Lieut-Col. in Coldstream Guards and killed whilst on service in Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercrombie2. No children.
  4. Archibald Adair (b. 1769; d. 1828), our 5x great-grandfather, who moved to Bath and worked in Suffolk as a vicar
  5. Robert (b. 1771, d. 1812) who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and lived much of his life in India and spawned quite a few generations of India-based Brices/Bruces
  6. Margaret, unmarried and younger than Maria Jane
  7. John and James (mentioned in Edward's will): maybe they remained in Ireland; there's little other information on them

At some point, no later than 1787 but after 1771 (when Edward's son Robert was born in Dublin), Edward moved to England. In 1787, Edward's son Archibald Adair signed up for a clerkship in Lincoln's Inn and Edward's address is given as Berner's St in London.

Edward was an executor on the will of William Adair (his father-in-law)3.

Edward died on the 8th of May 1808 in Bath; his will was proved on the 21st May 1808 in London4.

Brice, Edward (I0811)
29 Early Life
Emma was born on the 28th of July 1849 in Potternewton, Leeds, to George and Elizabeth (née Marriott).

Family Life
Emma married Alan Lupton on the 8th of October 1872 in Leeds and they had three children:

  1. Alan Cecil, born c. 1874, later a major in the army, who married Mary Emma Burrell
  2. Alice Hilda, born 1876 and who married Walter Lyulph Johnson.
  3. William Walter, born in 1880 and who died young

Emma died on the 20th of July 1938 at The Priory in Roehampton.

The 'Buckton' Surname
The Oxford Dictionary of Family names1 describes the surname thus: English locative name probably from Buckton in East Riding Yorkshire (rather than Herefordshire or Northumberland) or possibly from Buckden in West Riding Yorkshire.

[1] The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, publ. 2016 by OUP 
Buckton, Emma (I0216)
30 Early Life
Fanny ("Fay") was born on the 27th of March 1895 in Khandwa, Bengal (now Madhya Pradesh), India, to Hugh McPherson Mitchell and Agnes Lockhart (nee Nisbet). At the time, her father was working as a civil engineer on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway. Her younger brothers Hugh and Geoffrey were born in 1896 and 1898 respectively (though Hugh died as an infant and Geoffrey became subsequently known as Hugh, his middle name).

In 1901, on the 18th of March, Fay's father died of pneumonia in Lanouli, Bombay, and Agnes moved the family very rapidly back to England; Fay was only six at the time. By the 1901 census which was taken on the 31st of March (just 13 days later) the family is listed as resident in Wimbledon, at 43 Church Road (this would have been Fay's grandparents' house). The census lists 8 people and 6 servants in the property. So it must have been either a very large house (unlikely, given that it appears to be a fairly standard terraced house) or a temporary squeeze to accommodate the new widow and her family until they got settled somewhere else.

By 1911, Fay, aged 16, was living at 2 Thornton Hill, Wimbledon, with her mother and two servants. Her younger brothers may have been at boarding school as they are not listed at this address. She was still living here in 1916 when she married.

Family Life
Fay married Henry "Hal" Murdoch Bryans on the 13th of August 1916, at her local church Wimbledon St Mary's. Fay was 21 and Hal was 24. Their only daughter, Pamela Anne Murdoch was born a year later, on the 16th of November 1917. They apparently had no more children, though why this was the case is not clear.

Fay and Hal loved to travel. They would often go to Kenya to visit Fay's brother and other records show them going on a three month journey, leaving Southampton for Sri Lanka in December 1955 and returning from Australia in March 1956.

For lots more on Fay and Hal, see Hal's own entry.

2nd World War
In the 1939 Register, Fay and Henry are listed as resident at the Queensberry Hotel, in Amesbury, Wiltshire. Perhaps this was a temporary posting, as part of her and Henry's mobilisation? She is listed as a member of the Women's Voluntary Service.


  • 1901: 43 Church Road, Wimbledon. Home of her grandparents Harry Curtis Nisbet and Louisa Margaret (nee Bruce). It looks like this building was knocked down and rebuilt, as the modern building looks way too small to house the 8 people and 6 servants described in the 1901 census.
  • 1911: 2 Thornton Hill, Wimbledon. This is the house at the very top of the road, just at the junction with Thornton Road.
  • 1938: Little Manor, Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire. Guppa has photos of this house, and it is listed as Fay and Hal's address in the wedding announcements for their daughter Pam.
  • ?: Lithend, Bishop's Waltham
  • Up to 1975: In 1975, at the time of drafting his first will, Hal and Fay lived at "Martins", Chilbolton, Stockbridge in Hampshire. This looks like it would have been a property on Martins Lane in Chilbolton; the exact house is not given.
  • From 1975 until her death: Flat 1, 92 St Cross Road (Stockholm Court), Winchester. This would be where I (Charlie) have the vaguest of vague memories of visiting them (I would have been aged between 3 and 6).

Fay died on the 3rd of March 1982, in Winchester, three years before her husband.

From Aunt Helen:
Hal and Fay were a devoted couple, uncommonly for that time, I should imagine. I think Pam’s upbringing was very sheltered and protected, and she absolutely adored her father, who was pretty well stone deaf, thanks to being a gunner in WW1. Fay had been a “Beauty” when she was young, petite, vivacious and extrovert she also had an extraordinary talent for colour and decoration, and the ability to see the value of things like antiques. Fay was, admittedly, bossy and very much liked getting her own way (Lala said spoilt by her husband). I think that they were quite a quiet family, interested in gentle pursuits, certainly not loud, boisterous and keen on blood sports like the Johnson brothers. Though Hal was an avid fisherman and spent most of the summer pursuing fish in one river or another.

The Mitchell surname
Patronymica Brittanica1 has the following on the origin of the Mitchell surname:
The Anglo-Saxon mycel, great, or mickle, would be a tolerably satisfactory etymon, and this may in some instances be the origin of the surname; but I think in most cases it is derived from Michael, a very popular baptismal name in many countries, through its French form, Michel. This view is confirmed by the existence of the surname Mitchelson.

[1] Patronymica Brittanica, A Dictionary of the Family Names of the United Kingdom, by Mark Antony Lower, Publ. London 1860
Mitchell, Fanny Curtis (I0174)
31 Early Life
Francis was born around 1727; the great Irish Famine (which killed hundreds of thousands) hit in 1740 when Francis would have been 13.

Francis was the owner of a pub in Moy, The Draper & Three Tuns and possibly also a linen draper (e.g. see P_Unknown_BryansLonsdaleBolland) though that could be a confusion with his son Richard.

Some family records1 state that Francis married Anne Cross of Darton in County Armagh. Others2 give her name as Grace. Grace seems to be more likely as Burke's Landed Gentry3 notes that Grace Cross (of the Cross of Dartan family) married a Francis Bryant [sic]. The same sources notes that Grace had a sister, Anne, hence possibly the confusion. They apparently only had once child, Richard, born in 1773 (Francis would have been 46 by then, which is very late for a first son; perhaps the others all died).

Francis died on the 4th of January 1830 in Moy, at the grand old age of 103.

[1] e.g. F_Unknown_Bryans_RichardBryans_1
[2] e.g. P_Unknown_BryansLonsdaleBolland
[3] A Genealogical and Heraldic History - 6th Edition (Burke, 1879, Vol 1), page 400 
Bryans, Francis (I0734)
32 Early Life
Harry or Henry1 was born on the 11th of November 1794 in Futtehgurh, Farrukhabad in India, the second child and first son of Harry Nisbet and Anne Harriet (nee Curtis-Hayward).

Harry was a solicitor, most likely based in London.

Family Life
Harry married Louisa Margaret Kelso Bruce, only daughter of the Rev. Courtenay Boyle Brice [sic] and Margaret Augusta (nee Kelso) on the 20th of April 1858 at Chippenham in Wiltshire. See her profile for more details on their children.

In December 1889, Harry got himself into (very minor) trouble with the law2:
An Unmuzzled Dog. - Mr Harry Curtis Nisbet, of the Manor House, Sidcup Park, was summoned before the Bromley Magistrates on Monday, and fined 10s. and the costs 10s., for allowing a dog belonging to him to be at large without having a muzzle on.

Harry died on the 18th of July 1807 at his home, the Old House, Wimbledon. His will was unremarkable, naming his wife Louisa as Executor, along with his son Harry Bruce and business partner Samuel John Daw. He gave £500 to Louisa, along with his wines and other consumable stores and provisions.

[1] There is some equivocation on first name. His baptism certificate (British India Office of Births & Baptisms) has him down as Henry (in contrast to his father Harry). He's also referred to as Henry in the 1851 census, but by the time of his marriage in 1858 he is going by Harry.
[2] Bexley Heath and Bexley Observer, 28 December 1889
Nisbet, Harry Curtis (I0214)
33 Early Life
Harry was born on the 11th of November 1794 on the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands, the youngest son of Walter and Anne (née Parry). His father Walter had also been born on Nevis and was the manager of the Nevis estates of the Stapleton family.

"Came to England with my mother and her other children after my father’s death in 1799 [sic - note that his father actually died in 1797]. Went to Scotland in the fall of that year to reside in Clydesdale, Lanarkshire, with my aunt, my father’s sister, the wife of James Lockhart Esq, who had a good estate & residence, called Cambusnethan. Lived with my mother at Dalserf House, in that neighbourhood, until the summer of 1803, removing then to Edinburgh where we remained until August 1805, when we went to England, I being then 12 years old.

Entered the Military College at Great Marlow, Bucks, March 1808 and remained there until the close of 1809, when the East India Company’s College for Engineer & Artillery Cadets was established at Addiscombe, Croydon. Went to India to join the Engineers in June 1811 and reached Calcutta in November of the same year.
Quitted my military life, and entered the Bengal Civil Service, at the close of 1814. Spent a year at College there, learning the languages, Persian & Hindustani. Received a gold medal for my advance in those languages."

Harry commenced Civil duties in 1815, as Assistant to William Malcolm Fleming, Judge of the district of Firhoot, a worthy Scotsman "with whom I acquired most friendly relations". He remained in India for nine years before deciding to return to England in 1824, aged 30.
We had a pleasant and rather sociable voyage, in the “Marchioness of Ely”, commanded by Captain Charles Mangles, a thorough gentleman, with whom I formed an intimate & lasting acquaintance.
From London, where I lingered too long (as I ought to have gone more promptly) to Bath to see my two sisters residing there. The journey I effected in a new gig, and with a horse, both costing me over £100...I shortly set out for Scotland to see my relations there, where I remained in Edinburgh with my cousins, Major & Mrs Robertson, and in Lanarkshire at Cambusnathan, with my first cousin Robert Lockhart, until the month of May 1826.

Harry then commenced a rather comprehensive tour of Europe: "Leaving Scotland, in prosecution of a foreign tour, I hired a French servant named Antoine and went to Paris, in May 1826. After a month’s stay in Paris, I went to Lyons from thence to Geneva. Whilst there, I made a tour to Chamonix and the Mer de Glace; up the difficult ascent of the Gemi to Handesteg, where I slept, and then to Interlachen, a place well know to tourists; where there are beautiful walnut trees and a fine waterfall on the face of the opposite mountain and the pleasant girls entertain you with songs."
He carried on down into Italy as far as Rome and Naples before returning up and crossing into Austria via the Tyrol, then Germany and finally back to England via Dover in June 1827.

Family Life
Harry married Anne Harriet Curtis-Hayward on the 19th of February 1828 in Quedgeley, Gloucestershire; he was 33 and she was 24. Harry describes their introduction thus: "I repaired to Cheltenham and attained an introduction to Quedgeley, the residence of the Hayward family, and there, after a more intimate acquaintance, my happy fate was sealed on the 19th February 1828, by marriage to Miss Anne Curtis Hayward, one who was possessed of every quality to attract affections and esteem – a union which remained close and unbroken for over forty one years.

She went with me to India, carrying out what she said (though very happy in her own family) she would “go with me to the end of the world” which she thoroughly accomplished, and in twelve years travelled land and sea, making six voyages across the ocean. "
Indeed, the married couple returned to India very shortly after the wedding and subsequently had had eight children born across India, South Africa and England:

  1. Anne, born 1828 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency
  2. Harry Curtis, born 1830 in Futtehgurh, North-Western Provinces, India and who married Louisa Margaret Kelso Bruce
  3. Emelia, born 1831
  4. Walter, born 1835
  5. Mary Ellen, born 1837
  6. Robert Parry, born 1839
  7. Harriet Elizabeth, born 1843 in Newland, Gloucestershire
  8. Josiah, born 1844

Harry died on the 11th of December 1890, aged 96, at Barton Regis in Bristol.
1. Much of the historical detail is drawn from Harry's memoirs (Harry Nisbet Memoirs) in the family archive 
Nisbet, Harry (I0415)
34 Early Life
Henry ("Hal") was born in Foots Cray Cottage in Foots Cray, Kent on the 29th January 1892 to Arthur Bryans and Annie Jessie Burn-Murdoch. He was one of 6 children, having four elder sisters and a younger brother. It's possible that he went to Sandhurst as there's a record for a Henry Bryans who entered in 1910 and obtained his commission in 1911.

Henry joined the Royal Horse Artillery1 as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1911.

At any rate, my prayer for my sons has always been “oh make thy service their delight” & I feel that whatever way you serve will have that sense “au fond”. At one time when you were tiny I thought it might be by the direct service of a clergyman, but that can only be from special vocation, or so it seems to one. Then, when my brother Jack so clearly foresaw a great German War it seemed to me that to serve in it as an officer & leader of men would be best so I was glad when you chose that service. Now you have come to a turning point & you with Fay’s help will have to consider what course is best to follow. You know & can judge far better than I what an Army life is & may be in future. It by no means follows that because many men will be flocking out of the Army that that is the time to leave it†.

By 1916, when he married, he was a Captain and by the birth of his daughter Pam he was a Major. He probably remained in the army for his working life - in the 1939 Register he is listed as an officer in the 4th Field Artillery Regiment. His medal card indicates that he was:

According to Helen, he was completely deaf due to his career as a gunner. It is not clear when Henry left the army, but certainly by 1955 (when he was 63) it is likely that he was retired as records show him and Fanny travelling to Sri Lanka on the SS Oranje, leaving Southampton in December 1955. They returned on the good ship Arcardia, in March 1956.

Family Life
The Bryans and the Nisbets were family friends as a letter¥ dated 1909 from Fanny "Fay" Curtis Mitchell to her mother describes her visit to stay with the Bryans family at Woodmansterne:

I was met at the station by an aunt of the Bryanses & Wil. When we got to the house they were just beginning tea; I was introduced to the two girls. They are awfully jolly. I think I like Margaret [Nora Margaret] best although Amy’s [Amy Lonsdale] awfully nice. Poor Margaret has to prepare 8 Sunday School lessons this morning. If you see Ethel please give my love to her. There is no room for illustrations. I had an enormous breakfast.
Mr “what’s his name” [Lionel Mowbray Hewlett] who Amie is engaged to is staying here. They seem to be very fond of each other. I like the boys awfully. Wil is smaller than me and Hal is bigger.
In the evening we played “Thank You” and “Sharrards” [sic] (they do act well) then we danced. I tried to teach them the twostep which they are very keen on. Please bring the “Wistler [sic] and his dog” with you, we haven’t any music that you can dance the two-step to. Margaret offered to sleep in the dressing room if I was nervous but of course scotched that idea. They have a most splendiferous garden. This morning at breakfast we saw lots of tom-tits, two female pheasants & a squirrel and some pigeons. It seems about 50 people are coming to the dance on Tuesday.

In May 1915, Henry wrote to his mother Annie about getting married to Fay§:

Fay & I have been discussing it in our letters and we both really want to get married soon most awfully much. We love each other so much as it is that it makes it awfully hard to wait & I don't really think there is anything to wait for. We can't possibly wait 'til the end of the war if it's not going to be finished by this autumn which certainly seems impossible.

At any rate, I said I would write to you and father to ask what you think of it. I think we should have quite enough to get on very well & if necessary I would certainly chuck up soldiering if I thought we could not afford it. I am now earning a good lot of course, about £275 besides allowances & if I went back to field artillery subalterns pay after the war which of course is possible I should get about a hundred pounds less but I don’t think this is likely. Father allows me at present £100 a year & I wonder if after the war he would if necessary increase it a little. Fay would I believe have about £100 a year of her own so that I think we should manage all right.

Would you and father talk it over and let me know what you think about it as soon as you can. Fay says Mrs Mitchell would consent [...], and they are giving up their Wimbledon house [2 Thornton Hill] this year at any rate & I believe Mrs M is going to live at the New House [12 Lancaster Road, Wimbledon] with granny Nisbet [Louisa Margaret Kelso Nisbet née Bruce].

Leaves are especially hard to fix up ahead in the summer but I think that I might manage to get leave about the very beginning of July or last day of June as I daresay the Major would me go a bit early for so important a purpose. I do love her so that it makes it awfully difficult waiting back here when we have such a lot of time to think of things.

On the 8th of August 1916 Hal sent a telegramϞ to Fay:


The leave was obviously approved as Henry married Fay on Sunday the 13th of August 1916 at Wimbledon St Mary's, most likely the Nisbet's family church (Fanny's mother was Agnes Lockhart Nisbet, Fanny's father Hugh McPherson Mitchell died of pneumonia when Fay was only six). The wedding was arranged at the last minute as Hal was on active service in the First World War and was only able to travel back almost without notice.

Their only daughter, Pamela Anne Murdoch, was born a year later in 1917.

Hal and Fanny used to spend their winters in Kenya with Hugh and Nina Mitchell, Fay’s brother and sister-in-law (much to their daughter's frustration, apparently).


  • In his earliest years, Henry probably lived in Foots Cray Cottage, in Foots Cray
  • By 1900 (when Henry was 8) the family had moved to Woollet Hall (since renamed to Loring Hall)
  • After they married in 1916 Hal and Fay moved to Lithend in Bishop's Waltham.
  • In July 1925 he and Fay moved to the Little Manor, Ashton Lane in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire
  • The 1939 Register (aged 47) shows him at the Queensberry Hotel, perhaps a temporary lodging as people mobilised for war
  • Before 1975, at the time of drafting his first will, Henry lived at "Martins", Chilbolton, Stockbridge in Hampshire. This looks like it would have been a property on Martins Lane in Chilbolton; the exact house is not given. He mentions bequeathing to Lala: "My Freehold land at Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire adjoining my former residence "Lithend".
  • From 1975 until his death: the first codicil to the will (dated in 1975 at the same time as the main will) shows his address as Flat 1, 92 St Cross Road (Stockholm Court), Winchester.

Fanny died in 1982, leaving Hal a widower until his death three years later.

Henry died on the 3rd of May 1985, at his home in Winchester (Flat 1, 92 St Cross Road). His probate record indicates an estate of £197,725, equal to roughly £500,000 in 2017 money, which is quite a considerable sum. He was cremated.

The Bryans Surname
Bryans is most likely a patronymic, derived from "Bryan's [son]". There seems to be a lot of overlap with Bryant (in some old correspondence, Hal is referred to as Bryant, and in details of his ancestor Francis' marriage to Grace Cross in Burkes', Francis is also referred to as a Bryant). In 1881, the Bryans surname was strongly concentrated in Lancashire and Cheshire (see Richard Bryans and Anne Pillar and their descendents) with other pockets of concentration in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.3

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names4 has this to say on the surname: Norman, Breton, English: relationship name from the Celtic personal name Brian. Breton bearers of this name were among the Normans who invaded England in 1066. They went on to settle in Ireland in the 12th century, where the name mingled with the native Irish form Briain. The latter had also been borrowed, as Brján, by the Vikings, who introduced it independently into north-western England before the Norman Conquest. This work has the main UK locations as Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Cheshire and Lanarkshire, with high frequencies in Fermanagh in Ireland.

[1] The Royal Horse Artillery became the Royal Field Artillery, which is how it appears on Lala's birth certificate.
[2] Part of 3rd Division of the British Expeditionary Force. The 3rd Division served on the Western Front in France and Belgium for four years, from 1914 to 1918. During this time, it was nicknamed "The Iron Division".
[3] See Forebears
[4] The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, published 2016 by OUP
† Letter from Fay Curtis Bryans to her son Henry, 18th November 1918; L_1918_11_Bryans_Bryans_1
¥ Letter from Fay Curtis Mitchell to her mother Agnes, 10th January 1909; L_1909_01_Mitchell_Mitchell_1
§ Letter from Henry to his mother Fay, 31st May 1916; L_1916_05_Bryans_Bryans_1
Ϟ Telegram from Henry to Fay, 8th August 1916; T_1916_08_Bryans_Mitchell_1 
Bryans, Maj. Henry Murdoch (I0173)
35 Early Life
Henry was born to Sir Robert Lee and his first wife Joanna Sutton1,3.

Herny was Alderman of London in 16142.

Family Life
Henry married twice; firstly, to Mary Gourney, on the 17th of October 1597, at St Michael in Crooked Lane, London. In the Visitation of Warwickshire1 it is stated that Mary died in childbirth in 1617 - see her entry for discussion of this. With Mary he had many children, possibly up to 11.

Secondly Henry married Thomasine Allotte, the widow of William Quarles. It seems unlikely that they had any children.

There is a findagrave record ( which gives his death as 21 Jan 1620; however, we know that probate was given 14 Feb 1619. So it's likely that the probate date is in the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calender he died early Jan 1620, was buried on the 21 Jan 1620 and received probate on the 14 Feb 1620.

FMP has a Boyd's London Burial record for Sir Henry Lee, at St Lawrence Pountney in 1619. It's seems that this is probably not the right person, given that the family is strongly associated with St Andrew Undershaft.

Henry's will mentions the following people:

  • Dame Thamazine [sic], his (second) wife
  • Eldest daughter Dame Mary Martyn and her husband Sir William Martyn
  • Eldest son and heir, John
  • Son Thomas
  • Daughter Elizabeth
  • Daughter Martha
  • Grand-daughters Mary and Anne Martyn, by his daughter Mary and Sir William Martyn
  • His brother Sir Robert Lee

His will is dated Nov 1619, but his burial is listed as occuring in January 1619; this is a Gregorian/Julian mix-up and I have corrected the dates accordingly to make them consistent.

Ye Footnotes
[1] The Visitation of Warwickshire, 1682-1683, pages 70-71:

Lee, Sir Henry (I1749)
36 Early Life
Hugh McPherson1 Mitchell was born on the 24th of May 1863 in Chelsea, the only child of Charles and Fanny (nee Rice). He attended Loretto School between October 1876 and March 1881.

Hugh had a (sadly short) career as a civil engineer: he was an Assistant on the surveys of the Orange Free State Branch Railway, and, from 1883 to 1886, an Assistant on the construction of the Ladysmith Extension of the Natal Government Railways. He was then employed on the inspection of bridge-superstructure and other railway materials for India and Natal, and partly on the supervision of the London and Southwark Subway Company's works at London Bridge. Early in 1888 he was appointed an Assistant Engineer in the service of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, where he remained until his premature death in 1901.

Family Life
Hugh married Agnes Lockhart Nisbet on the 16th July 1894; he was 31 and she was 28. They married in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh and had three children:

  1. Fanny Curtis, born in 1895 in India and who married Henry Murdoch Bryans
  2. Hugh Norman Bullen, born 1896 but who died as an infant
  3. Geoffrey Hugh, born 1898 in India and colonel in the Army who married Elizabeth Crawford and later, Nina North and settled in Kenya

It's not clear why they married in India as Agnes' family seems to have been London-based: Agnes' father (Harry) had been born in India but was a solicitor in London and Agnes and all her siblings were born in in the UK.

Hugh died of pneumonia on the 18th of March 1901 in Lanouli, Bombay, leaving his widow Agnes to survive him for 54 years.

[1] McPherson was the middle name of Fanny's father. 
Mitchell, Hugh McPherson (I0222)
37 Early Life
Hugh was born in c. 1758, in New Cumnock, to Hugh Mitchell and Sarah McIlwraith1.

Hugh was a Captain in the Royal Marines, starting a family tradition that continued over at least another two generations.

Family Life
Hugh married Grizel Logan on the 12th of September 1785 in New Cumnock, East Ayrshire. Hugh was about 31 at the time.

They had three children:

  1. Hugh, 1787-1860, Lt-Col Royal Marines
  2. Margaret, 1788-?
  3. Elizabeth, 1790-?

Hugh was immortalized, slightly opaquely, in a poem by Robert Burns entitled "The Kirk's Alarm", one verse of which reads:
'Jamie Goose! Jamie Goose! ye hae made but toom roose,
In hunting the wicked Lieutenant;
But the Doctor's your mark, for the Lord's haly ark,
he has cooper'd an ca'd a wrang pin in't.
Jamie Goose! he has cooper'd an ca'd a wrang pin in 't'.

Hugh is the "wicked Lieutenant" referred to here: Jamie Goose is the reverend James Young of New Cumnock, who had a bit of a feud with Hugh and refused to baptised his children.

Hugh died on the 8th of July 1814 in East Stonehouse, Devon.

1 Personal correspondence with sue2727 (Ancestry / Sue Merrifield): "I have a most wonderful 'scrap book' made by my g grandmother Janet Gibson (born Gemmell 1815-1900) dated 1884. It is huge and has scraps of material stitched into it from all manner of sources, some annotated. Janet's first pair of dancing shoes when she was four, for example. On the very last page--'Wedding lace (Point de Paris) Sarah McIllwraith Mrs Mitchell of Dornal m. 1775 My great grandmother.' Sarah McIllwraith=>Hugh Mitchell=>Margaret Mitchell=>Janet Gemmell=>Robert G Gibson=>Berta J Gibson=> my father=> Sue" 
Mitchell, Capt. R.M. Hugh (I1025)
38 Early Life
Hugh was born in March 1787 in Ayrshire, to Hugh and Grizel (sometimes Grace) Logan. Hugh may be the source of the argument documented by Robert Burns in Jamie Goose (see entry for Hugh senior for more details); one possibility is that he was born out of wedlock (i.e his parents Hugh and Grizel hadn't yet married). A private note to me from an Ancestry user states that this Hugh was the 7th Hugh Mitchell in succession!

Hugh followed his father into the Royal Marines, being commissioned Second Lieutenant on the 9th July, 1803. He made First Lieutenant on the 15th August 1805, Captain on the 31st July 1826; Major on the 23rd November 1841; Lieutenant Colonel on the 10th July, 1844 and Colonel on the 26th February, 1851.

Hugh served on board H.M.S. l'lmpetueux from May 1804 to June 1805, H.M.S. Topaze from August 1805 to March 1807; H.M.S. Antonia, Comus, Hotspur, and Iris from October 1807 to December 1814; H.M.S. Queen Charlotte from September 1820 to July 1823; H.M.S. Romney from May 1825 to November 1826; H.M.S. Revenge from February 1827 to October 1830; H.M.S. Implacable from August 1841 to January 1842 and H.M.S. Caledonia from 4th November 1843 to 3rd July 1844.

Hugh was at the blockading of Brest; employed on the Madeira Station when that island was taken possession of in January 1808 ; on the coast of Portugal during the occupation of that country by the French; blockading St. Übes; on frequent service in boats, preventing supplies being thrown into the Tagus; captured, when in command of a small boat, under a heavy fire of musketry, and brought out a coasting vessel from under the fort of Cezimbra, and assisted in destroying a French battery in that vicinity. Present during a considerable part of the siege of Cadiz, and the active operations carried on by the Allied Forces; in the expedition to Barossa; landed with the Marines of the Squadron at Jariffa; was at the blockading of Havre, 1811; in a boat attack on an enemy's convoy, and succeeded, under a very heavy fire from the batteries, in capturing one vessel, running two on shore, and forcing the remainder of the convoy to seek shelter in Caen river. In 1812, employed with Sir Home Popham's Squadron, in conjunction with a Spanish guerilla force, under the command of El Pastor, in the attack on and capture of Leynitor and its French Garrison. Served with the Battalion in Syria, from October, 1840, to April, 1841. Colonel Mitchell's service afloat extended over 18 years, and he held the command of the Royal Marines stationed at Pembroke Dock from May 27, 1849, to February 25 1851.2

Family Life
Hugh married Constance Bullen in Pembroke on the 4 January 1836. They had five children:

  1. Charles Bullen Hugh, born in 1836 in Pembroke and who married Fanny Rice and then Eliza Welldon
  2. Hugh Logan, born 1839 and who moved to Australia
  3. Constance Grace, born 1840 and who married William Boswell Ranken and started an Australian offshoot of the family
  4. Ellen Margaret, born 1842 and who married Justus Thompson; their son Sydney went to live in South Africa with Charles Bullen Hugh
  5. Laura Elizabeth Mary, born 1845 and who married Francis McCausland


  • 1841: Hugh is listed (along with Constance his wife, Charles, Hugh Logan and Constance his daughter) as residing in Durnford Street, in Stonehouse, Plymouth. This is right near the Naval Yards and Docks.
  • 1851: Hugh, Constance (wife & daughter), Ellen and Laura are listed at Woolwich, probably being at the Woolwich Division of the Royal Marines

Hugh died suddenly, of pleuro-pneumonia on the 22nd May 1851, whilst at the Woolwich Barracks of the Royal Marines. For some reason his death wasn't registered until the 20th of September that year. From the Kentish Gazette (27th May 1851): Death of Colonel Mitchell, Royal Marines. Colonel Hugh Mitchell, Secord Colonel Commandant of the Woolwich Division of Royal Marines, died at five o'clock a.m today, at his residence in the Royal Marine Barracks, after a very short illness. The gallant officer entered as Second Lieutenant in the Royal Marines on July 9, 1803.

[2] Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser - Saturday 31 May 1851
Mitchell, Lt. Col. R.M. Hugh (I0316)
39 Early Life
Hugh was born on the 25th of December 1796 in Alston, Cumbria, to Quakers Thomas Pattinson (a shopkeeper) and Margaret Lee. Hugh went to Tirrel school near Penrith, a large town 20 miles to the southwest of Alston.

Hugh earned fame as a chemist, inventing a process to economically extract silver ore with low concentrations. The following is taken from the Wikipedia1 entry on Hugh:
He began his working life by helping his father in his shop in Alston. In around 1825 he worked for Anthony Clapham, a soap maker in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Later in 1825 he became assay master (a tester of the purity of gold or silver coins) to the Greenwich Hospital Commissioners, back at Alston. In continuing experiments in metallurgy, he discovered the basis of his method of separating silver from lead in 1829, but had too little money to go any further. In 1831 he became works manager at Thomas Wentworth Beaumont's lead works. The greater income allowed him to continue his experiments on silver refining until he had a workable process.

Pattinson patented his process for enriching silver bearing lead in 1833. It exploited the fact that in molten lead containing traces of silver the first metal to solidify out of the melt is lead, leaving the remaining liquid richer in silver. Pattinson's equipment consisted basically of nothing more complex than a row of about 8–9 iron pots, which were heated from below. Some lead, naturally containing a small percentage of silver, was loaded into the central pot and melted. This was then allowed to cool. As the lead solidified, it was skimmed off and moved to the next pot in one direction, and the remaining metal which was now richer in silver was then transferred to the next pot in the opposite direction. The process was repeated from one pot to the next, the lead accumulating in the pot at one end and metal enriched in silver in the pot at the other. The level of enrichment possible is limited by the lead-silver eutectic and typically the process stopped around 600 to 700 ounces per ton (approx 2%), so further separation is carried out by cupellation.

The patent process, known as pattinsonisation, earned Pattinson £16,000 in royalties. The earlier process of "cupellation" had required at least 8 ounces (250 grams) of silver per ton of lead to be economic. Cupellation involved removing the lead from a silver-rich alloy by oxidising the lead to litharge, leaving the silver behind. Pattinson's process was economic with as little as 2 to 3 ounces (about 75 grams) of silver per ton.

Family Life
Aged just 18, Hugh married Phoebe Walton, a local girl from Alston, on their common birthday (the 25th of December) in 1815. Hugh and Phoebe knew each other from childhood, and were both students of a Dame Turnbull when he joked and said she must marry him when the time came.

On Christmas Day, Phoebe, attended by a numerous party, rode on her gallant steed from the Nest to Alston through the snow, dressed very gaily in a Leghorn bonnet, white veil, and handsome riding habit, and in the parish church of Alston took Hugh Lee Pattinson as her husband for better or for worse. The bridal party were entertained at Mrs Pattinson’s, and it may be added that chocolate was served up at breakfast as a great treat. The bride and bridegroom having both been born on Christmas Day 1796, completed their nineteen years on their marriage-day2.

As Hugh was a Quaker and Phoebe was not, he evidently had to convert to the Anglican tradition as a condition of marriage: his baptism was therefore conducted by the Rev. Benjamin Jackson a couple of days earlier on the 23rd of December in Alston at the Angel Inn. Following the christening, Hugh adoped the middle name Lee in honour of his mother.

Hugh and Phoebe had eight children; only 4 survived to have children of their own:

  1. Thomas Walton, born 1817 but who died in 1820
  2. Eleanor Ellen, born 1819, who married Robert Bowman, a botanist
  3. Margaret Elizabeth, born 1820 and who married the ironmaster and later baronet, Isaac Lowthian Bell
  4. Thomas Hugh, born 1822 but who died aged 2
  5. Hugh Lee jnr, born 1824 (but baptised in 1829) who married Isabella Shield
  6. Mary, born 1827, who married Robert Stirling Newall
  7. Thomas, born 1837 and died in Brazil aged 19 in 1856
  8. Walter, born 1841 but who died (at school) in 1847, aged 5

Hugh died at Scot's House in Durham on the 11th of November 1858. A memorial in Holy Trinity chuch, Washington in Durham reads:
To the memory of Hugh Lee, Phoebe and Walter Pattinson whose remains are deposited in the adjoining vault Hugh Lee Pattinson was born at Alston Cumberland 25 Decr 1796 died at Scots House Durham 11 Novr 1858 Phoebe his wife was born at Alston 25 Decr 1796 and died at Newcastle upon Tyne 6 April 1861 Walter their youngest child was born at Bensham Grove Gateshead 13 May 1841 and died at school in Newcastle 6 March 1847.

A note5 on Hugh's funeral reads as follows:

The funeral of this eminent gentleman took place at the village of Washington on Saturday.
[Principal guests included]
HUGH LEE PATTINSON, Esq., son of deceased,
ISAAC LOWTHIAN BELL, Esq., Washington and
ROBERT BOWMAN, Esq., Jesmond, sons-in-law
W. WATSON PATTINSON, Felling New House, nephew
R.S. NEWALL, Esq., Fern Dean, Gateshead,
J. HYLTON, Esq., R. READMAYNE, Esq, Felling
THOMAS BELL, Esq., Usworth House,
J. WILSON, Esq., of Newcastle,
W. SWAN, Esq., Washington
Many other gentlemen and 500 workmen attended. The neat little church was crowded to excess. Mr. Pattinson is deposited in a vault at the east
end, at the head of which stands a monumental stone, recording the deaths of WALTER, his beloved child, who died March 6th, 1847, aged six years; and also THOMAS, who died at Para, in Brazil, July 17th, 1856, aged nineteen. The coffin (the outer of oak and the inner of lead) was covered with black cloth, ornamented with brass.

In his will, Hugh named his son Hugh Lee Pattinson, nephew William Walter Pattinson and friend James Foster as executors. He gave the bulk of his estate to his son and left his wife Phoebe with an annual stipend of £600/year (this was a very large sum, worth about £35,000/year now). His three daughters Ellen, Margaret and Mary were left sums in trust (c. £10,000 each, worth a massive £590,000 now).

[2] From a profile of Hugh Lee Pattinson available at; see also
[5] Gateshead Observer, November 1858
Pattinson, Hugh Lee FRS (I0581)
40 Early Life
Isaac was born on the 15th of February 1816 in Newcastle, the eldest son of Thomas and Catherine (nee Lowthian)

Isaac attended the Academy run by John Bruce in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, then went to Edinburgh University and subsequently to the Sorbonne.

In 1835, Isaac joined the Walker Ironworks where he studied the the operation of the blast furnaces and rolling mills. A desire to master thoroughly the technology of any manufacturing process was to be one of the hallmarks of Bell's career.

In 1844 Lowthian Bell and his brothers Thomas Bell and John Bell formed a new company, Bell Brothers, to operate the Wylam ironworks. These works, based at Port Clarence on the Tees, began pig-iron production with three blast furnaces in 1854 and became one of the leading plants in the north-east iron industry. The firm's output had reached 200,000 tons by 1878 and the firm employed about 6,000 men.

In 1850 he started his own chemical factory at Washington in Gateshead, established a process for the manufacture of an oxychloride of lead, and operated the new French Deville patent, used in the manufacture of aluminium. Bell expanded these chemical interests in the mid-1860s, when he developed with his brother John a large salt working near the ironworks.

He was twice Lord Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Member of Parliament for North Durham from February to June 1874, and for Hartlepool from 1875 to 1880. In 1895 he was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, 'in recognition of the services he has rendered to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, by his metallurgical researches and the resulting development of the iron and steel industries'.

Family Life
Isaac married Margaret Elizabeth on the 20th of July 1842 in Newcastle. In the subsequent years they had give children:

  1. Thomas Hugh, born 1844, Isaac's heir
  2. Margaret Florence, born 1847, our 2x great grandmother
  3. Mary Katherine, born c. 1849, who married Edward Lyulph Stanley, 4th Baron Stanley of Alderley
  4. Ada Phoebe, born c. 1851
  5. Charles Lowthian, born 1855, who married Helen Porter

Lowthian Bell died at his home, Rounton Grange, Rounton, Northallerton on the 20th of December 1904.

In 1854 he built Washington Hall, now called Dame Margaret's Hall. He then bought the Rounton Estate in 1866 and decided to rebuilt a new house - Rounton Hall - in 1871.

By the 1920s Rounton Hall became too expensive to live in so the Bell family moved to Mount Grace Manor. Rounton Hall has since been demolished.

Text adapted from 
Bell, Sir Isaac Lowthian (1st Baronet) (I0320)
41 Early Life
James was born on the 16th of September 1730, most likely in Charlemont, County Tyrone, to James and Mary (nee Greer).

James Pillar was a Quaker, like his father before him. He was also a member of the Society of United Irishmen, a radical organisation emerging in 18th century Ireland initially seeking Parliamentary reform but evolving into a revolutionary republican group inspired by the American Revolution and allied with Revolutionary France. It launched the Irish Rebellion of 1798 with the objective of ending British monarchical rule over Ireland and founding a sovereign, independent Irish republic.

James' membership of this organisation certaintly got him into trouble, as we shall see. The following is extracted from an article in the Dublin Post dated the 29th of April 1797.

James was arrested on the 24th of December 1796 and charged with High Treason; he was imprisoned in Charlemont Castle and paid 2s 8.5d per day subsistence. He and three other prisoners remained there for eight weeks under confinement. At the end of eight weeks they were permitted to walk in the front of their room for an hour a day, and were allowed to install a piece of wood in the window, which had until that point been open to the elements.

Notwithstanding their greater liberties at this point, "the utmost strictness was still preserved to keep them from having any correspondence with their friends without. Their loaves were dissected - their butter was cut and pierced - and even a bottle of milk could not escape the research of their vigilant Keepers". Throughout this time they were not apprised of the charges against them, other to be reassured that the charges were not capital, but "as the times were dangerous, Government had thought proper to keep them confined".

James was eventually released after 15 weeks upon paying a bond of 300 pounds. His bond read:

"James Pillar, of Moy, in the parish of Clonficle [sic], and county of Tyrone, acknowledges himself indebted to our Sovereign Lord the King in the sum of 200l. Peter PIllar, of Moy, and said county, acknowledges to be indebted to our Sovereign Lord the King in the sum of 100l.

The condition of the above obligation is such, that if the above named James Pillar (now a prisoner in Charlemont Fort) absent himself from the province of Ulster during the war now subsitting between France, and the King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, then the above to be void and of no effect - otherwise to remain in full force and virtue in law excepting said James Pillar is admitted to return and remain in the said province of Ulster, by Brigadier General Knox, or other of the King's Officers that may be duly authorised by Government to do so.

James Pillar"

James married Arabella English on the 1st of June 1766. They had twelve children, though not all survived. Many emigrated to America and are the ancestors of a whole raft of cousins alive today. Amongst others, their children included:

  1. Anne, born c. 1779, our 4x great grandmother
  2. Arabella
  3. James English, born 1788
  4. Elizabeth

James died on the 26th of September 1806, aged 76.

Pillar, James (I1142)
42 Early Life
Jane was born on the 20th of December 1737 and baptised on the 24th at St James' in Westminster, London. Her parents were William Adair and Jane (possibly née Smith) - any evidence of marriage between William Adair and Jane's mother is elusive, for the time being. Jane was, however, named in her father's will, which would suggest that she was legitimate.

Family Life
Jane married Edward Brice (his second marriage) on the 4th of December 1758 in Belfast, Ireland. See his entry for more details on their family.

Jane died on the 5th of February 1825 and was buried at St Swithins Walcott in Bath on the 12th. In her will, Jane set up trusts for her daughter Maria Isabella (Lady Anstruther), her son Archibald Adair and her grandchildren (through Robert Brice, by then already deceased) Edward, Maria and Sarah. She also made a gift of £50 to Charlotte Ogilvie, of South Street, Grosvenor Square, London. The Executors of her will were Sir Samuel Shepherd, Sir Coutts Trotter and her son Archibald. Note that all these executors, and others, were named in various legal suits (see the entry for Edward Brice for more).

Jane's will has a couple of interesting codicils:
[2nd Codicil dated 19th July 1821]
My dear Archibald as I may not be alive when the decision of my son John Raders [sic] affairs are settled I have ever found you attentive to my comfort and peace of mind. I therefore as an acknowledgement leave everything for your own comfort which I might be entitled to under such decision for your private comfort while you will consider for your own use. I ever pray you may be under the protection of the [?] and wise disposer of all events.

This mysterious son (John Rider, probably) might be this person.

[8th Codicil dated 28th August 1824]
I Jane Brice of the City of Bath widow do make this codicil to be taken as part of my last will. I have received a letter from Mrs Robert Brice stating that my granddaughter Maria Isabella Brice is married to Captain Arthur Haultain2 of the Madras Army. Now I think that such should not have been promoted by Mrs Robert Brice without her first consulting the near relations of my granddaughter especially as she was so young and has been residing in England for several years under the protection of such relations. It is my intention therefore that any share or proportion of money that I have bequeathed to her in my will or in any codicil shall not take effect and I hereby leave the same to my Executors in trust during the joint lives of Captain Arthur Haultain and my granddaughter. 28th August 1824 [Maria married Arthur Haultain on the 15 March 1824]

Because of the large number of codicils (and possibly also relating to the law suits mentioned above), apparently there was some doubt whether Jane was acting of sound and independent mind when adding them, so the end of the probate records has the following remarks:
Appeared personally the Reverend Archibald Brice Clerk one of the Executors named in the first Codicil to the last will and testament with eight codicils of Jane Brice late of the city of Bath, widow, deceased, Charlotte Ogilvie of South Street Grosvenor Square in the county of Middlesex widow and Marian Anstruther of Conduit Street in the same county spinster and made oath as follows:

And first the said Charlotte Ogilvie and Marian Anstruther made oath that they knew and were well acquainted with the said deceased and with her manner and character of handwriting and subscription having often seen her write and subscribe her name. And having now carefully viewed and inspected the paper writings hereto annexed purporting to be and contain the last will and testament and eight codicils of the said deceased the first of the said codicils beginning thus: “Revoking the Codicil I made in London” ending thus “And I leave the sum of £1000 the power of which I have under the Mr Adair’s Will to my son Archibald Brice” and thus subscribed “Jane Brice”, the second of the said codicils beginning thus “My dear Archibald as I may not be alive” and ending thus “I ever pray you may be under the protection of the most and wise disposer of all events July 19 1821” and thus subscribed “Jane Brice”. [Goes on to mention the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th codicils] the deponents say they do verily and in their conscience believe all the said subscriptions to the said codicils and the whole body series and contents of the said second codicil to be of the proper handwriting of the said deceased. And the said Archibald Brice for himself said that he wrote and prepared the aforesaid fifth codicil to the Will of the said deceased and he further said that the words “Mrs Morris ten guineas” appearing interlined therein were inserted by the deponent by direction of the deceased previous to the execution of the said Codicil by her and that the said Codicil was made prior to 13th January 1823 the date of the codicil to the said will by which such legacy is revoked.

The 'Adair' Surname
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names1 has the following: Scottish, N. Irish relationship name from the personal name Adair, also spelled Edyear, a form of 'Edgar'. Main locations are SW Scotland, and Ulster in Ireland, mainly counties Down and Antrim.

[1] See
[2] Note that the marriage of Haultains and Brices described here is seen elsewhere in this same family tree: Jane's son Archibald Adair Brice married Martha Porter, whose mother was Mary Haultain. Mary Haultain, in turn, was Arthur Haultain's aunt. 
Adair, Jane Smith (I0814)
43 Early Life
Jemima was born in about 1778 - no records of her birth or baptism have been found, so this date is based on her age given in later censuses (where she also stated her place of birth as Ireland). She was apparently the youngest daughter in the family1. Some Ancestry pedigrees state that Jemima was an illegitimate daughter of Captain James Sutherland ("CJS"), last Earl Duffus, but I disagree:

  • At Jemima's marriage in 1801, her father is described as "late" but CJS was still alive in 1801 (he died in 1827)
  • Assuming it is the right record, her sister Janette's baptism states she was the daughter of Capt. John Sutherland of the 11th Regiment & Mrs Mary Elizabeth.
  • CJS, in his will, recognises many illegitimate children, but makes no mention of Jemima

Family Life
Aged about 23, Jemima married Captain Richard Bullen on the 8th of October 1801 in Newport on the Isle of Wight (which is also where her sister Janette got married). They had seven children:

  1. Emma Francis, born 1802 and who married her cousin Aretas Sutherland Young (son of Emma's aunt Janette) in 1828
  2. Charlotte Laura, born 1804 and who married James Smith in 1828
  3. Charles John, born 1806
  4. Jemima Cecilia, born 1808
  5. Richard Edward, born 1809 and who married Susannah Paine in 1839
  6. George Shipley, born 1811 and who died as an infant in 1812
  7. Constance, born 1814 and who married Lt. Col. Hugh Mitchell in 1836

Jemima died, aged 84, on the 17th of May 1862, in Lewisham. She was most likely living with her daughter Contance who was also widowed (from 1851).

[1] According to her marriage announcement - "youngest daughter of the late captain Sutherland", which means that her father must have been dead by 1801, which excludes the possibily that her father was James Sutherland, the last Earl Duffus (as many people have assumed, viz Ancestry and other places) as the latter died in 1827.
[2] Janette's marriage to Robert Young.
[3] There is a baptismal record for a Jennet Sarah Sutherland in 1774 in Devon; her parents are given as Captain John of the 11th Regiment and Mary Elizabeth; the transcription and image are on FindMyPast. The 11th Regiment could be the 11th Regiment of Foot, later the Devonshire Regiment.  
Sutherland, Jemima Foster (I0371)
44 Early life
Jessie was born in 1830, to William Gordon and his wife Christina (née Kelly). For some reason, there appear to be no records of birth or baptism for Jessie, unlike for her siblings. Jessie grew up in Glasgow, in Blythewood House, the home of her parents. She moved to Edinburgh with her mother following the death of her father in 18351.

Family life
See the entry for William Murdoch Burn-Murdoch.

Two of Jessie's sisters married into the Henderson family: Elizabeth married Thomas Henderson and Christina married Eagle Henderson. The latter was to be a formative part of the upbringing of his nephew Alexander (Thomas's eldest son) as Thomas died when Alexander was ten.

Jessie died on the 9th of May 1891 at 18 Merchiston Park in Edinburgh, aged 61.

The Mack Family
My records go back to a William Mack (of Airdrie) who married Jean Gillies. He would have been Jessie's grand-father. The Mack family appears to have had at least one, possibly more, connections to Canada (Montreal in particular). A search for William Gordon Mack (Jessie's father) reveals a person of that name having been a lawyer in Canada, but this cannot have been Jessie's father who was a solicitor in Glasgow. The Canadian may have been a cousin of Jessie's father (a son of one of William Gordon's younger brothers). We know that Alexander Henderson (a son-in-law of Elizabeth Mack and the father of Polly Scott1) emigrated to Montreal. We also know that Robert Mack, one of William Gordon's brothers, emigrated to Ontario in Canada around 1827.

William Murdoch Burn-Murdoch's will also mentions that he held $2800 Canadian in trust based on a grant from a monsieur Etienne Dubois in favour of his (William B-Murdoch's) brother-in-law James Mack and Jessie Cecilia herself.

The Polly Scott correspondence also notes that William Gordon Mack and one or more of his brothers fell out over some money matter, possibly the sale of a property (which subsequently yielded huge quantities of iron) to the Baird family.

[1] Polly Scott was born Mary Robertson Henderson, the grand-daughter of Elizabeth Mack, Jessie's eldest sister. See L_1923_03_Scott_Burn-Murdoch_01 for a letter from her to William Gordon Burn-Murdoch where she talks about the Macks and Kellys
Mack, Jessie Cecilia (I0387)
45 Early Life
John Lonsdale was born on the 17th of January 1788 at Newmillerdam near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, the eldest child of Rev. John Lonsdale (vicar of Darfield and perpetual curate of Chapelthorpe) and Elizabeth Steer.

John's schooling was at Eton; his daughter Sophia Anna Lonsdale writes this1 about his early life:
Of all the agreeable communicative old people I have known, none have cared as little to talk of their early life as my dear Father. The present and the future seemed to interest him much more. I have heard him speak very rarely of Newmillerdam where his father was Vicar, and only rarely of Eton; tho’ his love of the great school was sort of minor patriotism; and not many minutes before his death he was asking me what Clem [Sophia's son] was reading there, and when I said “Greek Play” he said “We did not read “Greek Play” in that form when I was at Eton”. I remember his saying that he had seen Lord Nelson with Lady Hamilton visit Eton. I asked him whether rejoicing at the victory of Trafalgar or sorrow at Nelson’s death was the uppermost feeling in England. He said he thought mourning was uppermost. He said when he was a boy in Yorkshire everyone made bread at home, so that till he came to Eton he wondered what was meant by a Baker in the Bible.

My Lonsdale grandfather [i.e. John's father] was well off, so I do not know why he sent his promising son as a Colleger and not an Oppidan to Eton. He was an early scholar, and I have heard that when his mother made him read to one of the parishioners at three years old, the remark made was, after hearing him read the whole of the 139th Psalm, “How much better he reads than his father”.

From Eton he got “Kings”, i.e. went as a scholar to King’s Cambridge [in 1806] where at that time the Kingsmen did not go into the schools with the other men for their degrees.

She then goes on to say:
His father died while he was at Cambridge and he came in for rather a good fortune, partly I think from Sunk Island2. His ancestor on his mother’s side had had a gift or lease of this from Charles 2nd renewable on lives. One of my ancestors Lovelace Gylby lost the King’s letter with the gift in a drunken bout. Ultimately the Crown would not renew on favourable terms, so it was allowed to lapse sixty or seventy years ago.

Lonsdale was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1811, but was ordained in the Church of England in October 1815. In the next month he married, and was shortly afterwards appointed chaplain to Archbishop Charles Manners-Sutton and assistant preacher at the Temple Church. Sophia Lonsdale recalls1:
My father [John Lonsdale] began clerical work I believe as Chaplain to Archbishop Manners Sutton, and afterwards to Archbishop Howley. My mother [Sophia Bolland] a young wife then, paid, I fancy, rather shy visits to Lambeth Palace where the many daughters [of Charles Manners Sutton] were brought up in the strict old-fashioned style. They never spoke of their father without adding “Dear Sir.”. “Yes Dear Sir” “No Dear Sir”. A married one came back to visit her parents. My mother found her with a bad cold. She said “My dear father was so very kind as to ask me to walk with him and of course I could not tell I had only thin shoes”. My father generally had to stop to dine at Lambeth and used to pass through a sort of open passage and see the Miss Manners Sutton making the salad every evening.

In 1822, the archbishop gave him the rectory of Mersham in Kent, which he left in 1827 for a prebendal stall at Lincoln Cathedral. With further preferment, Lonsdale passed in 1828 to the precentorship of the diocese of Lichfield, later exchanged for a prebend at St Paul's Cathedral. In the same year he became rector of St George's, Bloomsbury, where he remained until 1834. In 1836 he was chosen preacher of Lincoln's Inn, and obtained the rectory of Southfleet, near Gravesend.

In 1839, Lonsdale was elected Principal of King's College, London: the post on its creation had been offered to him. The college prospered under his administration, and the hospital was chiefly founded by him. In 1840 he was elected Provost of Eton, but declined the appointment in favour of Francis Hodgson, who had been nominated by the Crown, but refused by the Fellows on the ground of insufficient academic qualification. In 1842 he was made archdeacon of Middlesex, and in October 1843 was raised to the see of Lichfield, and consecrated on 3 December. He was unwilling to accept the offer, but on consulting the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London found it had been made on the recommendation of them both. His episcopate was mostly uneventful except as regards church extension, on a large scale. There was controversy attending the establishment of Lichfield Theological College, which was settled by him. His sympathies were High Church; but he protested against the removal of F. D. Maurice from his professorship, and condemned the existing law on marriage with a deceased wife's sister, though he did not vote for its repeal

Family Life
John married Sophia Bolland at Holy Trinity in Clapham, London, on the 25th of November 1815. The Bollands were probably family acquaintances of the Lonsdales as they both originated from Masham in North Yorkshire. They had five children:

  1. James Gylby, born 1816
  2. Lucy Maria, born c. 1820
  3. John Gylby, born c. 1821
  4. Fanny Catherine, born 1823 and who married Edmund Beckett (later 1st Baron Grimthorpe)
  5. Sophia Anna, born 1825 and who married William Bryans

Sophia Lonsdale recalls1: When my father came to London he used to call at the Bolland’s house in Clapham Rise. The Lonsdales at one time lived near Masham (their tombs are in Masham Church) so knew the Bollands, but were I imagine in a higher position than the Bollands, who could hardly have been considered gentlefolk, as my great grandfather [John Bolland] kept a shop in the quiet Market Place of quiet little Masham.. Sophia's snootiness is probably misplaced here, at least partly, as the Lonsdale line seems to originate at the end of the 17th century with a John Lonsdale of Masham who was a grocer3

Lonsdale died suddenly at his home in Eccleshall Castle on the 19th October 1867 of the rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain, aged 79. The North Whales Chronicle4 reported the proving of his will as follows (boldings are mine):
Will of the Late Biship of Lichfield
The will of the late Dr Lonsdale has been proved in the District Registry of the Court of Probate at Lichfield by the Rev. James Gylby Lonsdale and the Rev. John Gylby Lonsdale, sons and executors of the deceased. The personalty was sworn under £90,000. The whole of the real estate of the deceased is bequeated to his son James. The sum of £18,333 6s 8d and all other moneys invested in Government stocks and other securities are to be divided equally between his two sons and his three daughters, Lucy Maria Lonsdale, Fanny Catherine Denison, and Sophia Anna Bryans. Legacies of £8,000 are left to his two sons, and two legacies of £500 and £10,000 respectively are left to Miss Lonsdale, and legacies of £2,000 are left to Mrs Denison and Mrs Bryans respectively. The residuary of the personal estate is to be divided equally between the deceased's sons and daughters. The silver plate presented to the deceased when he left St. George's Bloomsbury, and King's College, London, is bequeathed to his son James. The will is dated the 17th of March, 1864.

Through the Lonsdale family it is possibly to trace right back to Norman Britain and arrive to at least one of the Magna Carta Barons (Hugh Bygod). This route passes through the Steer, Bankes, Lyster and Calverley families before reaching Joan Bygot who was born c. 1370.

Lucy Lonsdale (1820-1915, one of John Lonsdale's daughters) wrote of a different route through the Gylby family, in the following3:
The lost pedigree began in the reign of Edward the 3rd [i.e. in the 1330s]. It professed to trace the descent of my Father John Lonsdale (Bishop of Lichfield) through his mother, Elizabeth Lonsdale, born Steer.

In the course of the pedigree the names Fitzwilliam, Clarell and Gylby appear, and the arms of these three families with Lonsdale, appear as Quarterings on the coat of arms and seal. I do not know at what date Fitzwilliam and Clarell came in. Fitzwilliam is the Ld. F.W. family. The first Clarell came over with William the Conqueror and had estates given him by the Conqueror in Yorkshire. I believe the family of Clarell is extinct. My grandmother Elizabeth Steer inherited Sunk Island (or part of it) through her mother, whose maiden name I do not know [it was Fretwell], from the Gylbys. A Colonel (or Sir) Anthony Gylby held the Castle of Kingston upon Hull for the Royalists during the Civil War; after the Restoration Charles the 2nd gave him the property of Sunk Island under a very long lease, and wrote him an autograph letter with the gift. This letter was much prized by the Gylbys. But at a merry (drunken) party of friends, a certain Lovelace Gylby showed it, and it was stolen from him and never heard of again. My great grandmother, Mrs Steer, had an only child, my grandmother , who therefore was the heiress of the Sunk Island property. Her father married again and had several sons and daughters, whom she [my grandmother, Elizabeth Steer] looked down upon, I suppose because their mother had no particular pedigree. When my Father and Mother used to stay at Wakefield with his mother, my mother used to go and see them, and my Grandmother used to say “I can’t think, my dear, why you go to see my brothers and sisters, but you may ‘give them my compliments’”.

The advantageous lease of Sunk Island came to an end about 1800 I believe. My grandfather, Rev. John Lonsdale, acting for his wife, came to London and with difficulty got the lease renewed for a few years. It came to an end, and the property ceased to belong to our family, I should think somewhere between 1820 and 1830. I remember hearing the loss of Sunk Island talked about when I was very young. I thought it had sunk in to the sea.

My grandmother used to talk about the Gylbys etc. to my mother, her daughter-in-law, and my mother repeated to me what she remembered.

I have written this for any of my relations who may care to read it, as I have several times been asked about our connection with the Gylbys. Of course, being only hearsay it may be somewhat incorrect.

Lucy Lonsdale [aged 78]

April 1898

Sunk Island
A great summary of the involvement of the Gylby family at Sunk Island is available at the site. In brief, the island came into the Gylby family through Anthony Gylby, Lieutenant of Hull Fort. It passed down through the sons until eventually reaching Lovelace Gylby, as mentioned in Lucy Lonsdale's note above. He is described on this site as having temporarily lost the lease in a card game. Lovelace's widow Margaret died in 1790 and bequeathed the island in the form of shares to "a bewildering number of relatives", with the main beneficiary being John Lonsdale, the father of the John Lonsdale of this profile.

[1] F_Unknown_SophiaLonsdale_Reminiscences, Family Archive
[2] This is outside Hull.
[3] The History and Antiquities of Masham, John Fisher, publ 1865, page 306
[4] Nother Wales Chronicle, Saturday 28th December 1867, page 5, last column near bottom 
Lonsdale, Right Rev. John (I0413)
46 Early Life
John was born around 1715 (inferred from his age at death). We do not currently know who his parents were.

John was a shopkeeper in Masham, North Yorkshire. His business included both grocery and drapery.

Family Life
John married Margaret Procter on the 15th of July 1740 at Thornton Steward, a few miles to the northeast of Masham. They had at least six children:

  1. John, born 1742 and who moved to London, became a hops merchant and MP and married Elizabeth Gipps
  2. James, born c. 1746, who moved to London and was the father of Sir William Bolland
  3. Henry, born c. 1750, who married the widow Mrs Fielder but left no issue
  4. Joseph, born 1759, who married Miss dyne in 1823, just four years before he died and who left no issue
  5. Roger, born 1761, who lived and worked in Masham as a grocer and left no issue
  6. A daughter, further details unknown, but who lived all her life in Masham and died unmarried

John died in 1776 in Masham, aged 61. At the west end of the Masham Church yard is the vault belonging to the Bollands, with the following inscription1:
Near this spot rest the mortal remains of John Bolland, of Masham, gent; also of Margaret his wife, and of six of their children. He was for many years a respected inhabitant of the town of Masham, and having survived his wife eight years he died a.d. 1776, aged sixty-one.

A footnote to this entry reads as follows:
The Bolland family originally came from out of Craven, and were not by any means blessed with an over-abundance of wealth when they first planted themselves in this parish. By plodding industry, however, combined with a frugal course of living such as is seldom to be met with in these days, they not only soon acquired for themselves competent fortunes, but established themselves as persons of the first position in the place. John Bolland, here mentioned, followed the business of a shopkeeper—embracing, as was common at that time, both the grocery and the drapery businesses. He left several children, viz.—
I. John, who ultimately became an extensive and opulent merchant in London, and had a seat in the House of Commons. He married and had a son [note this is an error: William was John's nephew, not his son], William, who became a distinguished lawyer, and had an extensive and lucrative practice at the Old Bailey in London. He was raised to the Judicial Bench as one of the Barons of the Court of Exchequer in 1829, when he was knighted; and also a daughter, Sophia, who became the wife of the Right Rev. John Lonsdale, D.D., Lord Bishop of Lichfield, as mentioned ante, p. 307.
II. Henry, who on the 10th Deer., 1803, was married at Masham church, to Mrs. Fielder (a daughter of the late Thomas Martindale, Esq., of Masham) who died without issue on the 28th June, 1805, aged 34 years. He survived her many years, and resided at Haregill Lodge. He took a very prominent part in all parish matters, and also held a commission as an officer in the old Mashamshire Volunteers.
He died without issue.
III. Roger, who lived many years in Masham after he retired from business as a grocer, &c, and died there unmarried.
IV. Joseph, of whom I speak presently.
V. Miss Bolland, who resided at Masham, and lived to a great age, but died there unmarried

For the note on Joseph Bolland, see his profile.

[1] John Fisher: The History and Antiquities of Masham and Mashamshire; publ 1865; page 407 
Bolland, John (I1530)
47 Early Life
John was born on the 17th of June 1852 in Edinburgh, the eldest son of William Murdoch Burn-Murdoch and his wife Jessie Cecelia (nee Mack).

Educated at the Edinburgh Academy, at Nice for a year, and afterwards in London, Burn-Murdoch entered the royal engineers from Woolwich on 2 May 1872. He served in the Afghan war of 1878-80, and was present in the engagement of Charasiab on 6 Oct. 1879 and in the operations round Kabul in December 1879, including the storming of the Asmai Heights, when he was severely wounded while employed in blowing up one of the Afghan forts (Hanna, Second Afghan War, iii. 250). He was mentioned in despatches, 4 May 1880, and received the medal with two clasps.

Burn-Murdoch took part in the Egyptian war of 1882 with the contingent from India under Major-general Sir Herbert Taylor Macpherson. The engineers were commanded by Sir James Browne known as 'Buster Browne' (1839–1896), and Burn-Murdoch and Sir William Gustavus Nicholson were the two field engineers. Reaching Bombay with his companions on 6 Aug., Burn-Murdoch aided Browne in preparing all the requisite material, and arrived at Suez, where they repaired the roads, local canals, and railways. From Ismailia they reached Kassassin on 11 Sept., and were present at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir on the 13th. Immediately afterwards Burn-Murdoch, with the Indian force, pushed on for some thirty miles to Zagazig, and took a foremost part in seizing the railway there, and General Browne sent a captured train back under Burn-Murdoch to help in the 72nd regiment, six miles off. The brilliant seizure of Zagazig, in which Burn-Murdoch did useful service, deprived the rebels of command of the railway and facilitated the capture of Cairo. He was mentioned in despatches and received the medal with clasp, fifth class of the Medjidieh, and Khedive's star. Burn-Murdoch was promoted captain on 2 May 1884, major on 6 Aug. 1891, and lieut.-colonel on 1 March 1900. Meanwhile he served in India on the state railways, and in 1893 became officer commanding engineer of state railways and subsequently was chief engineer of the Southern Mahratta railways. He retired on an Indian pension on 28 May 1900.

Family Life
John married Maud Forster (the widow of William Forster) in August 1889. They had no children, though his wife had by her former husband three sons and a daughter.

John died at Bridge of Leith Cottage, Doune, Perthshire, on 30 Jan. 1909, and was buried in Old Kilmadoch burial ground.

In the family archive L_1882_10_Burn-Murdoch_Various_1 contains a series of letters about (and from) John regarding his actions in the Egyptian War. 
Burn-Murdoch, Lt. Col. John (I0392)
48 Early Life
John was born on the 28th of August 1793 to John Burn and Marion (née Higgins).

John was a lawyer; in later life he became a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Perthshire.

Family Life
John married Anne Maule Murdoch, heiress of William Murdoch of Gartincaber (Stirling), on the 18th of March 1820, at Gartincaber itself. A condition of the marriage (and John's subsequent possession of Gartincaber) was that John would adopt the Murdoch name and so he and Anne formed the tree top of the Burn-Murdoch family. In addition to Gartincaber, John also held the Coldoch estate through the Burn family.

Anne and John had nine children:

  1. John, born 1821, who married Dorothea Monck-Mason and succeeded to Gartincaber. This line includes the present-day Crum Ewings and the Bruces (who so far appear to be unrelated to our Brice/Bryce line)
  2. William Murdoch, our 3x great grandfather, born 1822 and who married Jessie Cecilia Mack. Also in this line are the present-day New Zealand Burn-Murdochs of Rotorua and the Cambridge / Suffolk Burn-Murdochs.
  3. Rev. John Alexander Higgins, born 1824 and who succeeded to Higgins Neuck; he married Elizabeth Clerk-Rattray; the descendent line changed surname to Burn-Clerk-Rattray and some emigrated to Nice (France) and Florence
  4. Sarah Beatrice Campbell, born 1825 and who died unmarried
  5. Marion Higgins, born 1827, who married William Brabazon Urmston
  6. Rev. Canon James McGibbon, born 1828, who succeeded to Easter Greenyards near Dunblane; he married Maria Hannah Carr
  7. Archibald James, born 1830 and who died in 1835 as a child
  8. Margaret Higgins, born 1831 and who married John Berry (and whose son went on to marry Dorothy Bryans)
  9. Archibald Murdoch, born 1836, who married Mary Harriet Burn-Callander and had, amongst others, Hector Burn-Murdoch; this line includes the present-day Cowans

John died on the 21st of August 1862, just short of his 69th birthday. His widow Anne survived him for another nine years.  
Burn, John (I0401)
49 Early Life
Louisa was born on the 28th of March 1936 in St Cross, Suffolk, to the Rev. Courtenay Boyle Brice and Margaret August (née Kelso). Louisa was their second child, but Edward (the first born) died just a few weeks after he was born in 1834, making her the eldest. She had a younger brother, Alexander William Courtenay Bruce, born in 1845.

Louisa spent her childhood at the Rectory in St Cross, South Elmham, where her father Courtenay was the Rector.

Family Life
Louisa married Harry Curtis Nisbet, a solicitor five years her senior on the 20th of April 1858 at the Box parish church (probably St Thomas') in Wiltshire; she would have been 22 and Harry exactly 28 (his birthday was on the 20th of April).

Louisa and Harry had eight children:

  1. Margaret Henrietta, born 1862, probably unmarried
  2. Harry Bruce, born 1864, married Amabel Trevilla Carey by whom he had two children, then later Irene Gertrude Howard. Our Thomson and Maltby third cousins link to us through Harry
  3. Agnes Lockhart, born 1866, who married Hugh McPherson Mitchell
  4. Francis Courtenay, born 1869
  5. Catherine Emelia, born 1871
  6. Hugh Adair, born 1873
  7. Alice Maud, born 1876, married James Lachlan Evans and had three children and via whom we are related to the Courtenay-Evans'
  8. Walter Selwyn, born 1882, probably unmarried

Her husband Harry died in 1907.


  • Birth-1858: St Cross Rectory, South Elmham, Suffolk
  • 1858-c1871: Sheen Lane, Mortlake, Surrey
  • c1871-c1881: 28 Priory Road, St John Hampstead, London
  • c1881-c1901: Foots Cray, Kent
  • c1901-c1907: 43 Church Road, Wimbledon, Surrey
  • c1907-1924: The New House, 12 Lancaster Road, Wimbledon, Surrey

Louisa died on the 12th of November 1924 in Kingston. Her will named her children Agnes and Francis as executors; she was principally concerned with looking after Margaret Henrietta, presumbably because she was a spinster and had no means of support.
Bruce, Louisa Margaret Kelso (I0215)
50 Early Life
Louisa was probably born in January 1818 - her baptism was on the 25th of January of that year (though some records give the 20th instead. Her parents were Joseph Stephens and Susannah (née Beaumont).

Family Life
Louisa married first Walter Rankin Johnson, a vicar in the Buckinghamshire town of West Wycombe, on the 2nd of December 1840, at her home town of Dilwyn, Herefordshire. She would have been 22 at the time, whereas Walter was 53, making this quite an unconventional marriage.

With Walter she had two children:

  1. Walter Johnson, born 1842, who married Margaret Florence Bell
  2. Isabelle Anne Johnson, born 1843, who did not marry

Louisa's husband Walter died in 1844, just a year after the birth of Isabelle and only four years after their marriage. Louisa subsequently remarried a few years later (1849), to Phillip Smith Coxe and with him had three children:

  1. Fanny, born 1850
  2. Mary, born c. 1852
  3. Phillip, born c. 1855

Louisa died on the 18th of August 1885, aged 67.

In her will, Louisa makes no gifts to her children Walter and Isabella Johnson (children from her first marriage to Walter Rankin). This evidently caused some guilt, or perhaps raised an enquiry from those children, as she added the following as a codicil to her will1:
I declare that I have not excluded my dear children Walter and Isabella from my Will or Codicil from any want of affection on my part but because I consider they are already provided for.

[1] Stephens, Louisa (Will) 
Stephens, Louisa (I0357)

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