John Calland's ancestors? 1635-1750

When researching this family I collected many odd newspaper reports, on-line hits and census entries about each of them. To keep the main story short, and make it easy for family historians to pick at the data, I now simply summarise the biography of each of the surviving children. Their children were born after 1837, but not always in the UK so I give their details as well, plus the scandal which I reconstructed from the census returns!

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Sarah CALLAND 1768 - 1841

Sarah's story is told in the Samuel and Sarah Hawkins chapter.

John CALLAND 1763 - 1800

The Rev'd John Calland settled happily into his new rectory. As well as being Rector of Bentworth, he had also been appointed a prebendary of Chichester, and chaplain to the Right Honourable Lord le Despencer. His sister Sarah came to stay in 1799 and her son Bradford Denne was born there. He even knew Jane Austen, who persuaded him to dance. Between 1775 and 1801, Jane - herself a clergyman's daughter - lived at Steventon Rectory, Hampshire, about 20 miles west of Bentworth, just the other side of the M3. Her letter of December 1798 suggests that she had known John Calland for a long time, and the implication in Penelope Hughes-Hallet's book is that he might have been Jane's model for Mr Darcy. Jane knew a great deal about clergymen, young and old, and not a great deal about any others.

"In the 1780s and 1790s, when dancing at public assemblies was popular in small country towns, clergymen both young and not so young, married and unmarried, were in demand as dancing partners. Clergymen arriving at a local dance hall, where ladies were frequently obliged to sit against the wall for lack of partners, were not expected to stand and watch. When the Rev. John Calland, rector of Bentworth, stood with his hat in his hand at a Manydown ball in December 1798, Jane Austen and her friend Catherine Bigg 'teased him into it at last' - Jane reporting delightedly to [her sister] Cassandra that he became thereafter 'altogether rather the genius and flirt of the evening' [Collins] and 'I was very glad to see him again after so long a separation' [Hughes-Hallett].

Unfortunately, the Rev John Calland fell from his horse. The Daily Advertiser of 15th September 1800 published the following notice:

DIED - On Thursday last, at the Parsonage House of Alton, in Hampshire, the Revd John Calland, eldest son of Mr Calland, of Sloane-street. He was seized with a nervous fever, which for three days rendered him delirious owing to a fall from his horse. His family lament him, and very numerous and respectable circle of friends join in the melancholy remembrance.

He was 38 years old. His parents later arranged for a marble memorial to be installed in Bentworth church. But Madras John did not change his will.

George CALLAND ~1772 - 1820

Life Guards

I am not sure how long George stayed in the army. In a 1791 London directory there is one mention of a Captain Calland living at George Street, Manchester Square, and a curious comment on the Regimental website that officers were required to take lodgings away from the barracks, to keep the noise down. Manchester Square is the other side of Hyde Park, but it was probably him. The Life Guards regiments were at Waterloo in 1815, but the Caledonian Mercury of Thursday 17th Apr 1806 reported a Gazette notice that Brevet Major George Calland, from 2nd Lifeguards, was to be Captain of a company, 98th Regiment of Foot. From 1807, the 98th (Prince of Wales) Regiment of Foot served in Bermuda and New Brunswick, and in Canada. A brevet appointment normally means promotion in the field, but I have been unable to discover where the 2nd Regiment might have been fighting in the early 1800s - the first mention I can find is 1812 and the Peninsula war. George seems to have managed to attend all the various company meetings after his father's death, and in 1808 wrote to Charles from Plymouth Dock (being posted overseas?).

The next mention of him is almost the final one. In Littleham parish church near Exeter is a memorial to a Major Calland dated 1820. British History Online says that many of these memorials were for people who died whilst resident in Exmouth for their heath. Was it George? Well, probably, since he and Ann SCOBLE had a son called George, born in Exmouth in 1820, and SCOBLE descendents are active in researching the Calland family. But had George been injured on active service? I know no more.

Augustus CALLAND ~1773 - ?

Augustus was the youngest, and I can find very little about him, except that he took part in the business meetings concerning the Forest Estate. He married a Mary Amelia and they lived in Goring, Sussex. I think she was a widow in 1809 when she was a god-mother for one of the children, but Augustus' will was not proved until 1812. Charles Calland kept a watchful eye on Mary Amelia, because she had inherited Augustus' share of the Forest Estate, and Charles did not want it to leave the family. She re-married in 1822.

Charles CALLAND ~1770 - 1837

Charles outlived all his brothers and became the driving force of the Forest Estate. After being admitted to Lincoln's Inn he worked for Samuel's legal practice in Pall Mall. In 1794 he was involved in the run-up to a Scottish court case where his father John was trying to reclaim a loan from his brother-in-law Charles Campbell. I have reported the Scottish case in John's main story, and I suspect that Charles might have been one of 'the parties in London who signed the agreement without the presence of any person acquainted with the law of Scotland'. Because I found the following newspaper report of R v Campbell in the Morning Post of the 9th August 1794:

Charles attacked

The whole article occupies one and a half newspaper columns and the cutting is big enough to need its own link here. One interesting point is that nowhere is the defendant's first name given, so I have just had to assume that it was Donald. The second is that although he was found guilty, I cannot find on-line any further mention of his sentence, even though the trial was heard before Lord Chief Justice Kenyon and a special jury. By the 13th August his Lordship was off on circuit, at Maidstone. I can find no mention on the Old Bailey's website or anywhere else, but Donald was alive and well and in court with John Calland in 1796. If you know what happened, please email me!

The next newspaper report was in 1801 and it concerned a Colonel CALLAND. Had Charles given himself a promotion when talking to the reporter? It seems that a Captain Murray had gone across to Hamburgh with his seconds, Major Blair and Colonel Calland, to fight a duel with Sir Samuel Hannay, following a fight some time ago at Steven's in Bond Street. They got back two days later but Sir Samuel was reported to be quitting Lord Cathcart's regiment 'in consequence of this unfortunate affray'. Apparently he then went to Australia (what a wonderful thing is the internet). I can find no mention of a Colonel Calland anywhere. Was it Charles in high spirits again?

In 1807, the Calland papers catalogue suddenly includes business letters addressed to Captain Charles Calland at Bristol. The explanation is simple - in August of that year he married Miss Catharine FORBES, daughter of the late Thomas Forbes Esq of Clifton. When I was researching John Calland's early life I came across a Thomas Forbes out in India at the same time as John. I have no idea if it was the same man, but it is yet another tempting assumption since I do know that the Clifton Thomas' son also served with the East India Company. Charles military title was because he was now a Captain in the Royal Glamorgan Militia [London Gazette Jan 1804]. I do not know where Charles and Catherine settled; over the next few years his business letters (and the occasional hare) were addressed to him in Devon, and later at Shoreham. In later newspaper reports - usually concerning the marriage of his various children - Charles is usually referred to as 'of Upper Forest, Glamorgan', or similar, even though he had a home in London. At his son Frederick's wedding the Ipswich Journal said Charles had been Deputy-Lieutenant and Magistrate.

In 1818 Charles applied to the Court of King's Bench to be re-admitted as an attorney, having not practised for fifteen years. Then I found this odd advertisement in The Times of 4th May:

"Apply to Charles Calland, Esq., Worthing (or Wm Farquar, Esq, Doctors'-commons; or Thomas Ramsay Esq St Mary's-hill): Sea-bathing with Classical instruction, in a beautiful and healthy village in Sussex: Parents and Guardians having children to place out, whose constitutions require the aid of sea air and bathing, with particular attention to health and comfort, will find the above ESTABLISHMENT for YOUNG GENTLEMEN fully to answer their most sanguine wishes."

The advertisement was repeated in 1819, adding "Seminary with classics, French, total of twelve, has three vacancies". Was Charles running a private school? He does seem to have been a man with great energy, so I would not be surprised. In 1824 Charles advertised the sale of a lease on 83 Norton Street, Marylebone, with a sitting tenant, Mrs Pickar, a rental income of 99 5s per year, and with a 40-year lease remaining. Nothing can have happened because he was living in that house in 1830. But in 1828 he was living on The Mumbles - the lovely headland off Swansea. He had summoned his nephew the Rev John Hawkins from his vicarage at Compton Beauchamp to browbeat him about giving up his share of the coalmines and making it over to Charles. John wrote a rueful letter to his brother Bradford at Rivenhall, talking of 'facing the squire's wrath' and being hectored with figures and short-term promises.

In 1830, when Charles's son Augustus started school at Harrow, Charles was described as 'of Worthing'. In 1832 Charles paid surety for a Miss Isabella Campbell, travelling to Bengal. I think this was Donald's sister, so whatever had happened between Charles and Donald had not soured his relationship with the rest of the family. In 1835 Charles was a witness at his niece Eliza's third wedding at Rivenhall, and in 1837 he died.

Charles' Last Will and Testament

Charles Calland's will is one of those unsatisfactory ones which goes on for pages but says little. He does not ever name his wife or his daughters, but does say that his estate includes (under coverture) the settlements made on his wife by her father, her brother, and Mr Charles Bentley (who bequeathed her an interest on 7,000), as well as the expected coalfields and farms, and the Kittle Hill Estate in Glamorgan. As expected, he anticipates being able to control the remaining 40% of the Forrest Estate at Llansamlet currently in the hands of his sister Sarah, and sister-in-law Mary Amelia, the widow of Augustus, and stresses that the Forrest Estate is to remain in the family for future generations. He also reminds his executors that although his brother George left one-sixth of 10,000 to Ann Scoble (the mother of George's illegitimate son, in Exmouth) for her lifetime, it should then revert to Charles himself. There is also a promisory note for 1,022 from William Banbury Jones - there was a barrister at Harcourt Buildings, Temple, at the right time; might it have been him? Charles also confesses to an earlier mistake, which looks as though it has to be put right by his executors:

"the yield of 98 14s 8d pa paid on 948 7s 1d of East India Stock, left by brother George to sister Amelia but imprudently transferred by me partly to Bell & Grant of Angel Court and the remainder to myself [oops - had he paid Amelia back, I wonder? - and was the Grant of Bell & Grant, Angel Court, Throgmorton St, anything to do with executor Charles GRANT?]"

His witnesses include his nephew, the Revd JCCBP Hawkins; the executors and trustees were Charles GRANT - which is the name of his sister Sarah's' son-in-law and a name which is frequently present in the family papers - Henry PATRICK [no idea who he is], and Charles' three sons. I have a full transcript - please email me if you would like a copy.

Widow Catherine CALLAND and the Forbes Bentley connection

After Charles died his widow Catherine settled herself in a house in Hertford Street, Westminster. In each census from 1841 to 71 she was there, later with married daughters staying there too, or other visitors, plus a cook, two housemaids, and a footman. A middle initial P or full name Pearkes keeps cropping up in connection with Catherine - it is on the St Mary's parish register entry for the baptisms of Catherine and Louisa, and at her death, reported in the Monthly Record of BDMs on Google books, she is described as Catherine PEARKES. I have no idea why. If it were not for the coincidence of age and place she could be someone else entirely!

Catherine is also the reason for the 'Forbes' name given to sons in the family and, somehow, for the 'Bentley' name given to her grandson. Catherine's brother Thomas Forbes BENTLEY Esq, son of the late Thomas Forbes of Clifton, died in 1853. He was not married, he had been in the East India Company's Bengal Civil Service, and died aged 65 at home at Stanhope Terrace, Hyde Park Gardens - a huge house. When it was sold after his death The Times advertised it as:

" a capital family residence facing the Park and Kensington Gardens, with eight bed chambers, communicating drawing rooms, excellent dining room, library, bath room, entrance hall with stone staircase, water closets, &c and good domestic offices on the basement; also a double coach-house and a three-stall stable, with man's room and loft over. Held by lease under the Bishop of London, 75 years still unexpired, with ground rent of 20 pa. Viewing by ticket only."

and, separately:

"the EFFECTS in the residence, which comprise a suite of rosewood furniture in figured crimson satin, curtains en suite, handsome chimney-glasses, polished steel fender and fire-irons, Brussels carpet, rugs, French clocks and ornamental items in drawing room, excellent mahogany tables, chairs, sideboard, chiffonier, bookcase, Turkey carpets, and curtains in dining room and library; mahogany and iron four-post, tent and French bedsteads, superior bedding, &c; 300 vols of books, bed and table linen, glass, china, dinner and dessert services, plated goods, and a variety of effects: a small cellar of very choice wines, including Port (1831), Sherry, Madeira, Claret, and other French and Rhenish wines."

He also owned 'a desirable freehold residence with gardens, pleasure grounds, and paddocks, at Woodford, Essex, and an adjoining cottage with garden, both occupied by lease-holders' which was sold after his death. It looks as if he was another one who did well out of the East India Company, or the mysterious Bentley did - I never did track him down. I tried to find Thomas Forbes Bentley in the English censuses, without success. But I did manage to find his house in 1851 [Paddington St John Dist 2 HO 107/1647 p43 folio 54b], occupied by the Macleods, another East India Company family.

In 1854 John Forbes Calland (son of Charles and Catherine) wrote to Queen Victoria, asking for permission for his son George to change his name to George Forbes BENTLEY. The London Gazette published the following notice, which explains why:

"Whitehall, April 24 1854. The Queen has been pleased to give and grant unto John Forbes Calland, of Glyncollen, in the county of Glamorgan, Gentleman, on behalf of George Calland, his only surviving son, an infant of the age of four years and upwards, Her royal licence and authority that he, the said George Calland, may (in compliance with a clause contained in the last will and testament of Thomas Forbes-Bentley, of Stanhope-terrace, Victoria-gate, in the county of Middlesex, Esq., deceased) henceforth assume the surnames of Forbes and Bentley, instead of his present surname, and that he may bear the arms of Forbes and Bentley quarterly with his own family arms of Calland, and that the said surname and arms may in like manner be borne and used by his issue: such arms being first duly exemplified according to the laws of arms and recorded in the Heralds' Office, otherwise the said license and permission to be void and of none effect. And also to command that the said royal concession and declaration be registered in Her Majesty's College of Arms."

I went rushing off to track George down. The Times archive online, for 1871, contains a Mr Forbes Bentley who owned a racehorse called Favori, which won the West Moulsey Plate of 50 sovereigns in 1871, and another one called Victoire which raced at Goodwood the same year, and another three more called Epworth, Ptarmigan and Runnymead, racing at Brighton, and one called Sophie racing at Liverpool. If it is the same man then it looks as though his uncle Thomas left him more than a new surname. I found one reference, in the Cambridge University Alumni register, which was clearly him - born 12 Feb 1850, son of J Forbes Calland of Weston-super-Mare, school at Harrow, Caius college Cambridge 1868, no profession, of Bay Tree Cottage, Beckley, Sussex, died 10 May 1912. I could not find him in the 1901 or 1911 census indices. Nor could I find any marriage, although The Times for 1919 reported the marriage of Captain Rupert Forbes-Bentley, DSC, RAF, of Masslands, Beckley, Sussex. I shall stop there.

[two years later]... or so I thought. In December 2011 I received an email from a philatalist who had been writing an article based on an envelope addressed to Capt Rupert Forbes-Bentley, in Malta, in 1928. He knew no more about the family but did find and send to me this Australian postal history website, which contains a number of envelope covers to and from Capt Forbes-Bentley, some wartime and biographical details, and a photograph! Thank you.

Postscript: In the autumn of 2009 I received a phone call from a man who lives ten minutes away, delightedly telling me that he had found this essay on the internet and that his wife (a Forbes-Bentley before their marriage) has a brooch made from a button from a footman's uniform in Thomas Forbes Bentley's household. Her niece, who would be visiting soon, has two more buttons and a velvet card case embroidered with a crest. Would I like to meet them? You bet.

The niece and her husband brought family photographs and original documents and wills - including the key will of Thomas Forbes Bentley - and the 1895 divorce settlement of the unhappy Charles Forbes Calland and Annie Isabella (see below). They have plans of the Forest Estate and marriage settlements and George Forbes Bentley's betting books, and much more about his son Rupert who was educated at home because there was no money left to send him to school. It seems that George Forbes Bentley had indeed inherited a huge fortune from his great-uncle Thomas, and had blown it all within a year. I shall leave the detail for them to tell, in due course, but I must thank them for their permission to take this photograph of George Forbes Bentley's crest, embroidered on his black velvet card case. The same crest is on the silver button. The Forbes Bentley crest is a combination of three family crests, which are described by the College of Arms like this:

family crest

'The Crest of BENTLEY viz: On a Wreath of the Colours In front of a Palm Tree proper a Talbot Argent the dexter forepaw resting on a mascle Gules. [a silver hunting dog in front of a palm tree, its right forepaw resting on a red lozenge (this last bit likely to be the variation needed to indicate another generation)]

'And upon the dexter side the Crest of FORBES: viz: On a Wreath of the Colours A dexter half of a cuirass fessways from the armhole a dexter arm embowed in armour proper garnished Or grasping a Dagger also proper pomel and hilt Gold [the right half of the top of a breastplate, with an armoured right arm held upright and holding a gold-hilted dagger].

'And on the Sinister side the Crest of CALLAND: viz: On a Wreath of the Colours, In Front of a saltire engrailed Or a Cubit arm erect vested per pale indented Or and Azure cuff Argent holding a billet fesswise also Azure [in front of a gold-edged St Andrew's cross, an upright forearm sleeved in gold and blue stripes with a silver cuff, holding a blue horizontal rectangular block] .'

Forbes and Bentley Arms

The separate Forbes-Bentley coat of arms, duly registered with the College of Arms as required in Thomas' will and authorised by Queen Victoria's licence of 1854, combines the arms of the three families and it is as gaudy as you might expect, with the muzzled bears of the ancient Forbes arms, black and silver stripes for the Bentleys (though black and gold is more usual), and gold and blue for the Callands. I had to do a quick wet-Saturday-afternoon self-teach in heraldry to translate the descriptions provided by the College of Arms (I found everything I needed to know at this recommended website). The most obscure part was that the position of the various components of a blazon are described from the shield-carrier's perspective, so when it says 'on the left-hand side' it actually means 'on the right-hand side as you look at it', which explains why the dexter and sinister seem to be the wrong way round in the crest. Well, obviously. One expert told me that the desire to have a coat of arms was so popular in the mid-Victorian years that there was an enterprising company called Macauley Mann, which was active throughout the 19th and early 20th century producing Arms on demand from kiosks at the main London railway stations. We suspect that George F-B might have popped a copy of his licence from the Queen into the shop on his way home. Nobody can find an early blazon for Calland so it looks as if George invented it himself - if symbolism is anything to go by then gold bars from across the sea are an obvious and grateful interpretation. It certainly fits the sheer exuberance of George at his best, and I think Madras John would have liked it too.

The children (and grandchildren) of Charles and Catherine

Postscript: In November 2009, at that serendipitous meeting with some Forbes-Bentleys, I learned that at least one more of the daughters also married into the GARDNER family and a lot of GARDNER information is in their possession. Photographs, coats-of-arms, family trees, are being collected and stored safely.


John Calland's friendship with Jane Austen is mentioned in Jane Austen and the Clergy by Irene Collins, published by The Hambleton Press in 1994 and My Dear Cassandra - letters to her sister selected and introduced by Penelope Hughes-Hallett, published by Collins and Brown, 1990.

Copyright © Marion Hearfield 2009