Local History - Great Malvern Priory and its churchyard
The Churchyard (continued)
Near the tomb of water colour painter Edward Webb, who is mentioned on the previous page, is the headstone of Edward Nicholas and his wife Elizabeth. They were farmers of 114 acres at Barton Hall House near Suckley.
The inscription on their headstone reads:
Sacred to the memory of Edward Nicholas (late of Suckley) who departed this life March 28th 1855 aged 67 years
Also Elizabeth, relict of the above, who departed this life Nov 28th 1855 aged 77 years
Also of James Loftus McCann, grandson of the above who died Aug 24th 1855, aged 5 weeks
James Loftus McCann was the youngest child of their daughter Fanny Nicholas and stone-mason Daniel McCann.
Two other graves are a reminder of the high incidence of infant mortality one hundred years ago.
The inscription on her headstone reads:
Sacred to the memory of Florence Caroline Jenkinson who died March 24th 1850 aged 2 years and 4 months
For in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven
Florence was the daughter of Sir George Samuel Jenkinson 11th Baronet (1817-1892) who held the office of Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire, and Emily Sophia Lyster. Her grandfather was Bishop of St David's.
The inscription on her headstone reads:
In memory of Katherine Lucy, beloved child of Duncan Davidson of Tillychetly, Aberdeenshire, and of the Bombay Civil Service, who died 17th April 1852, aged 4 years
Suffer the little children to come unto me
She was the daughter of Duncan Davidson and Katherine Frances Gordon, born India on 4th July 1848.
Her father worked for the Honourable East India Company's Bombay Civil Service. Duncan Davidson died at London on 8th December 1880 and his son, Katherine's younger brother Henry Oliver Duncan Davidson, born Bombay, became a master at Harrow School 1878-1913.
We wondered how it was a father born in Aberdeenshire and working in India came to have a child buried in Great Malvern - if you can add to this story please let us know.
The inscription on his headstone reads:
Sacred to the memory of Charles Bayliss died 26th June 1844 aged 88 years
Why do we mourn departing friends, or shake at death’s alarms, tis but the voice that Jesus sends to call them to his arms.
The quotation is from a hymn by Isaac Watts.
We have been unable to trace his connection with Great Malvern.
The inscription on his headstone reads:
In memory of Henry John Maxwell Esq, third son of the late Rev Patrick Maxwell (of Almer rectory, Dorsetshire), born 29th May 1813, died 12th March 1856, aged 42 years
In the midst of life we are in death
His father was buried at Almer, 22nd December 1830, aged 59 years.
It is unclear why Henry John Maxwell is buried at Great Malvern, as he was born in Berkshire and seems to have spent his latter years residing in London clubs; possible he came to Malvern in poor health for the water cure.
One of his executors was his brother the Rev Charles Maxwell (1811 - 1889) who was Rector of Wyddial in Hertfordshire.
The simple inscription on his headstone reads:
Late 45th Regiment
February 7th 1859
It does not give his age
The National Probate Calendar records William was formerly of the town of Nottingham, but late of Malvern, a Captain on Half Pay of Her Majesty' 2nd Regiment of Foot. It seems likely he retired to the fashionable resort of Great Malvern in old age.
We think he was born at Nottingham in 1771 to James and Sarah Hardwick.
William's executors were his nephews Alfred and Frederick Wilson Hardwick; the latter a married man of Forthampton Cottage, Tewkesbury.
Frederick Wilson Hardwick (1804-1867) served as a soldier in India attaining the rank of Major in the Bengal Infantry. He married Mary Lois Storer at Leamington in 1860. She was the daughter of clergyman Rev John Storer and may have been distantly related to the Foley family. The marriage certificate describes the occupation of Frederick's late father Francis, William's brother, as Captain 62nd Regiment.
Francis Hardwick(1768-1844), William's brother, married Mary Shaw, born Dublin, at St Mary, Nottingham in 1817. They had two daughters of note - Mary Shaw Hardwick and Sarah Jane, who were William's nieces.
Mary Shaw Hardwick (1797-1891) married Francis James Warren died 1837 who was a Captain in HM 9th Lancers. Sadly their only son Lt Francis Hardwick Warren was killed in 1842 during the first Afghan war. He was aged only 22 years. His death is commemorated on a plaque in St Mary's church, Nottingham which reads:
The Retreat from Kabul in 1842 turned into a massacre and was one of the worst defeats suffered by the British Army.
William's niece Sarah Jane Hardwick (1808-1888) married well at St Mary, Nottingham in 1824. Her husband was George Lynch-Staunton who was born Galway, Ireland in 1798, and died at Cheltenham in 1882.
In 1863, the Edinburgh Gazette announced George's appointed to be Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Galway. The 1881 census records his occupation as a Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant, living at Oakhurst Cheltenham.
So though we know little of William himself we surmise he had good connections, served abroad on active service in the Army, did not marry, and lived to a good age.
A few yards to the west of the grave of Revd Edward Palmer, is a flat tombstone recording the deaths of Revd Kenrick Francis Saunders, his wife Kitty, their daughter Mary Kenrick and a grandson also named Kenrick Francis.
The inscription reads,
Revd Kenrick Francis Saunders was 'well connected'. He was born Westminster London in 1764, the son of Revd Erasmus Saunders, at that time vicar of St Martin in the Fields, and Mary Kenrick. His grandfather, another Erasmus, had been Canon of Brecon.
He went up to Merton College Oxford in 1783, MA 1789 and was for many years a vicar in Brighton, Sussex.
Kenrick married Kitty Gibbons in 1807. She was born Barbados, West Indies, about 1785, the grand-daughter of Sir John Gibbons 2nd Baronet, and Martha Kenrick. John Gibbons (1717-1776) sat as MP for Stockbridge and Wallingford. His father Sir William Gibbons had been Speaker of the House of Assembly, Barbados.
Kenrick and Kitty had two children, Mary who is buried in the churchyard of Great Malvern Priory and a son named Erasmus after his grandfather. Erasmus (junior) mus have inherited significant wealth as he is listed in the census as a land owner and magistrate.
Erasmus (junior) married Sophia Mary Harrison in Wales in 1839 and they bought an estate in Dorset. They had four children, Kenrick Francis (1840-1925), see more about below, Sophia Mary, Emily Augusta and Robert Erasmus (1852-1936).
Trade directories record Erasmus (junior) and later his son Lt Col Robert Erasmus Saunders as lord of the manor and the principal landowner in the village of Alton Pancras near Dorchester.
Robert Erasmus Saunders, Kenrick's grandson, married Edith Marion Graves, the daughter of Col James William Graves, 18th Royal Irish Regiment.
Their son Captain Arthur Courtenay Saunders, the great grandson of Revd Kenrick Francis Saunders, was born at Rownhams House, Southampton. Later of the Manor House, Alton Pancras in Dorset he was sadly the first villager to die in the Great War. He was killed at St Elios, France on the 14th March 1915. A full account of his short life can be found in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour.
It seems likely that the eldest son of Erasmus (junior), Kenrick Francis Saunders, born at Brighton in 1840, died at London in 1925, last named on the tombstone, did not inherit from his father Erasmus for reasons of mental instability. It is known that he was educated at Radley, Eton and went up to Trinity College Oxford in 1859, but he does not appear in the census after that. Sadly we have found in 1863 he was admitted to the Blacklands House mental asylum in Chelsea, and from there moved in 1890 to the Newlands House Private Mental Asylum, Tooting Bec Common, in the district of Wandsworth where he died in 1925.
(Blacklands House Chelsea is thought to have been built before 1700. Between 1702 and 1745 it was a boarding school for young ladies. In 1820 the house was leased by Sir Francis Shuckburgh 8th Baronet FRS (1789 - 1876) who married the sister of Sir George William Denys MP (1788 - 1857). About 1827 Blacklands House became an asylum for the insane. In 1890 the Cadogan Estate bought out the Blacklands lunatic asylum and gave one acre of Blacklands and Whitelands to the Guinness Trust for working-class housing.)
The connection of the Saunders's family with Great Malvern is currently an enigma. Perhaps the family either visited out of curiosity after the visit by Princess Victoria, brought their daughter for the water cure, or had relatives in the vicinity.
The inscription reads, as best we can make out:
Sacred to the memory of William Russell late of Pickham Grove (in this parish) who departed this life the 19th February 1857 aged 77 years.
Also of Ann, wife of the above who died Nov 11th 1843 aged 65 years.
The 1841 census recorded William and Ann at 'Pickham'.
The house known as Pickham Grove later became known as Peckham Grove and is now named Littlewood House. It is a substantial black and white cottage opposite the Three Horseshoes at Poolbrook (grade II listed). Pevsner thought it was one of the oldest houses in Poolbrook possibly built circa 1700. Earlier, Lady Apphia Lyttelton had lived there circa 1800-1821 before moving to newly built 'Peachfield House' next to St Andrew's church on the edge of Peachfield Common.
The 1851 census recorded William, by then a widower, born Treddington, Gloucestershire, living at Pickham Grove, Malvern Chase. He is described as a farmer of 18 acres. Now living with him are his brother John Russell, John's wife Priscilla and their two daughters Isabella Mary and Emily Jane Townshend Russell.
Priscilla died in 1852, William in 1857 and John in 1861.
In 1855 Emily married widowed ironmonger John Bell, the son of the Rector of Knightwick and Dodderham. Emily continued to live at Peckham Grove until her death in in 1915. John, Emily Jane Townshend Bell and her sister are buried in the churchyard of St Mary, Guarlford.
John had a son John William Bussey Bell (1843-1920) by his first wife Emma Bussey (1814-1852) who became vicar of Pyrton near Wallingford in Oxfordshire.
A later resident of Peckham Grove was Mary 'Polly' Hamilton Cartland nee Scobell (1877-1976), mother of the famous novelist Dame Barbara Cartland. She was the widow of Major James Bertram Falkner Cartland who was killed in the Great War on 27th May 1918. Polly lived at Peckham Grove with her two sons in the 1930s. Sadly both her sons were killed in May 1940 during the Second World War when Hitler's troops attacked Belgium.
Major John Ronald Cartland held the office of Member of Parliament for Birmingham, King's Norton Division, between 1935 and 1940. He gained the rank of Major in 53rd Anti Tank Regiment.
It is surprising how much history a headstone can reveal!
If you are or have been involved with a survey of the Priory churchyard we would be interested to hear from you.
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Last updated 22nd February 2015