Our House - JCCBP HAWKINS and family

The reason for searching out this family is that the HAWKINS children inherited an estate called The Field in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and I wanted to know how. The results of my research are surprisingly varied so I have split up the story into chapters. The links on the left help you navigate around this page, or return to the separate home pages for Families, and The Field Estate.

JCCBPH's parents have their own chapter, which includes the reason for his odd baptismal name, and lists his many siblings. My sources for this chapter are many and include the censuses, the Gale 19thC newspaper website and odd hits from Google Books, as well as real books on our own shelves. Much of the detail here was not included on the Rivenhall website (www but no longer available) which concentrated more on the older generations of Hawkinses, so I have included it as new material for Hawkins family historians, and because they all seemed a bit odd.

The family at Compton Beauchamp

Pembroke Quad

John Cunningham Calland Bennett Popkin HAWKINS was a Fellow of Pembroke according to his great-nephew, having attended there as Founders's Kin. He married his wife Elizabeth GREGORY, by licence and with the consent of her guardian, Henry Wightwick, at Pembroke College chapel in St Aldates, Oxford, in November 1815. They had thirteen children before Elizabeth died in 1851, all born at JCCBPH's first parish at Compton Beauchamp.

The spacing of the children illustrates the remorselessness of childbearing in the early part of the 19th century and remarkably all their children survived to adulthood - although the gaps around Francis suggest there may have been at least one miscarriage. The children were:

  1. Elizabeth Gregory 1817-1884, who never married and died at Ramsgate
  2. Harriet Catherine 1818-1897, who never married and died at Ramsgate
  3. Isabella Eliza1820-1901 who married her father's curate John BARTON but died at Ramsgate
  4. John Gregory 1821-1853 who died of typhus fever [reported The Times on 28 Feb 1853] aged 33, chaplain at the British Embassy in Vienna
  5. Sarah Charlotte 1823-1899, who never married and died at Ramsgate
  6. Richard Berens Bradford 1824-1894 who married and made a successful career as a solicitor
  7. Louisa Elizabeth 1826-1896, who never married and died at Ramsgate
  8. Caroline 1828-1878, who never married and died at Ramsgate
  9. Emily Calland 1830-1897, who never married and died at Ramsgate
  10. Croft Augustus Charles 1831-1884, who joined the East India Company, married the sister of Richard's wife, retired on half pay and died on the Isle of Man
  11. Francis Goodlake 1834-1897, who clerked a bit for Richard and was a great worry to his father, but who never married and died at Ramsgate
  12. Arthur 1837-1897, who went to British Columbia, and eventually died there
  13. Fanny 1839-1895, who never married and died at Ramsgate

The various Christian names mostly have links back into the families, and now might be a good time to pin them down. It seems that JCCBPH used the names of all his siblings and his mother Sarah nee CALLAND, but not of his father Samuel, which is very strange. An unfortunate investment had resulted in Samuel and Sarah moving to live in France when JCCBPH was still a boy, and Samuel had had to find 30,000 to repay his debts. He did, but only just. Perhaps JCCBPH resented the loss of his future inheritance and the change in his own circumstances - he had been born in Pall Mall and lived near indulgent Calland grandparents, and life as a young man must have seemed safe and settled. Whatever the reason, there was no son called Samuel.

Maybe if you see a photograph of JCCBPH, you will form your own idea of the sort of father he might have been. It is difficult to estimate ages in these old photographs but I would guess that he is at least 60 here; his knuckles look arthritic and he is supporting himself on the chair. If he was sixty then the year was 1853 and his wife Elizabeth had been dead for two years.

JCCBP Hawkins

In 1851 a much cheaper photographic process had been invented which meant that prints could repeatedly be made for one shilling, rather than having to pay one guinea for a one-off daguerrotype. I suspect this would have appealed to JCCBPH.

He may have told his children some of the Calland stories about India, and the rich and carefree lives that his parents lived in Pall Mall before the bank collapse, and his own childhood in London and the beautiful house in Finchley, but he may not have wanted to remember it. He does look to be such an unhappy man.

An aside: when reading about the East India Company for the Calland story I was surprised by the statement that many portrait and landscape artists travelled from England to India during the 1700s and 1800s, where there was a steady demand for miniature portraits, and landscapes, to send home to families who would never be seen again. Many artists made a living doing just this. How much easier it is now for families to keep in touch across continents; our daughter-in-law takes small movies of our little granddaughters on her digital camera and emails them overseas to her own parents.

Ramsbury Church

JCCBPH's long-term parish was to be at Ramsbury in Wiltshire, where he was vicar from 1840 until his death in 1871. The boys went to school from there, and the daughters grew up to adulthood, and spinsterhood.

His wife Elizabeth (whom he called Betty) had been an only daughter but the HAWKINS family was legion, and to my delight spent a lot of time writing to each other.

Many letters are at present in the care of the Revd David Nash in Cornwall, who has been very generous in sending me copies and agreeing to my quoting from them here. His biographies of JCCBPH and all his siblings are also on the website of the parish of Rivenhall where JCCBP's younger brother Bradford was vicar. Bradford married in April 1828, and later that summer his wife Sarah [aka Polly] wrote to her new sister-in-law Eliza who was then out in India:

"My last was written to you from Compton where we remained for a month after our marriage; a fortnight of that time was enhanced by the presence of your Father, Isabella, & Croft. I was much pleased at having so early an opportunity of being introduced to my new Papa & sister - (YOU know Croft's face was not entirely new to me) and a very merry time we passed during their visit."

The letter went on to say they spent a month at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, looking for a living for Bradford. She then writes:

"John [JCCBPH] brought little Elizabeth & Bell [Isabella] to Ryde before Croft left. They crossed from Southampton in a sailing boat and poor John was quite an object when he reached us - so seasick! unluckily, instead of getting better it became very much worse the next day, and he was obliged to be at Compton on the Sunday which he was just able to accomplish, tho' evidently not without some pain and trouble. ... The children enjoyed themselves very well and were out of doors the greater part of the day; the only time we could depend upon their punctuality was 5 o'clock, when the strawberries were expected to appear before them. ... You have probably heard of another niece having made her appearance at Compton [Sarah Charlotte]. I had almost forgotten to tell you of my being one of its godmothers. She looks rather small, but they all are.'

My speculation about Elizabeth having later had a miscarriage were supported by a note by her brother-in-law Bradford, where he writes, in his 1836 diary for February:

Monday 15th In consequence of the unfavourable accounts of the health of brother John's wife, I set out for Compton, but did not get today beyond Tidmarsh [the home of his own in-laws], where I dined and slept. Brother-in-law Robert gave me a couple of sides of bacon. Expenses 1 - 4s.

Tuesday 16th Went to Wallingford by the Oxford coach and walked to Harwell where I lunched with the good old people. Went on to Compton by the coach: Elizabeth considerably better, but not up. Expenses 8/-

The timing of this ill health might explain the almost-four-year gap between the births of Francis and Arthur - Elizabeth's pregnancies had until now seemed almost continuous. I checked the gaps between the birth of each child - 16m, 19m, 17m, 23m .... pregnant pretty much all the time, then. Except for another three-year gap between Sarah (May 1823) and Louisa (Sept 1826) which could suggest an earlier miscarriage. In February 1836 when Bradford came to visit, Elizabeth was 38 years old. She had been married at the age of 18 and had eleven living children, with two more still to come.

The lack of money

John wrote to his brother Bradford in 1828, after a visit to their uncle Charles CALLAND in Glamorgan. Charles was now the only surviving son of John Calland of Madras and must have been making a brief visit to Wales, since his normal address was just off Park Lane in London. He had inherited one fifth of the family estates in Wales - farming and productive coal-mines - and seemed determined to acquire the rest. The full story of the Calland family is in a separate chapter. Charles had already accumulated the two fifths bequeathed to his brothers John and George; brother Augustus's fifth was still in the hands of his widow but Charles had his eye on it, and now Charles was badgering John to let go of 'his' fifth.

I thought at first that this must be the fifth bequeathed to his mother Sarah, still living in France, but there is some brief mention in the Robert Hawkins notes [on the Rivenhall website] which suggests that John might have inherited the fifth bequeathed to Charles' brother George Calland, who had died in 1820. RH's notes say 'the Forest Estate at Swansea went to him [George] and then to my cousin John'. RH was Bradford's son, so his cousin would have been JCCBP's son John, in Vienna, but this seems less likely and I think RH was using the word 'cousin' to mean 'close relative' as people often did in those days. George's will is at the National Archives but I have not got a copy. However, this letter to Brad does suggest that JCCBP had something to trade.

John writes [I have punctuated it and split into paragraphs, to make it easier to read]:

Monday Nov 24 1828; Postm FARRINGDON

Dear Brad - Thanks for yours of the 21st. I found all here pretty well & am glad to reach home, even at the expense of the Swansea squire's wrath [his uncle, the hot-tempered Col. Charles Calland] - which was bubling at a great rate and one time he vowed he had already written to you about my duty but when I assured him that would make no difference, I should write also to announce my return, he acknowledged he had not, but strongly recommended my staying another week.

He was altogether in high spirits, aye, as great a boy as say in Swansea which place is in some respects very pleasant - the bay is beautiful and the country above it for five miles is studied with villas - which I believe, I may say are all belonging to genteel & sensible people - not entirely in one set - but the best society consisting of from twelve to twenty families living in elegance, & being very friendly and agreeable - Each house has a different view and position & without any uniformity of style with the neighbouring chateaus. This advantage arises from two causes - from the variation of scenery - & the situation of some rocks called the Mumbles, behind which there is a capital roadsted for shipping & the last between us and America. The town itself is subject to disadvantages which commerce has entailed upon it, the principal of which is the copper smoke - in some winds not annoying, but at times almost suffocating. To this horror the road to the Mumbles is not subject, & therefore all the houses on the bay are free. To the copper-smelting the owners in the neighbourhood are indebted for all their prosperity.

The lands are full of coal, and the smelters are at the expense of working it, & pay the owners of the mines so much a wey, which is ten tons. The Duke of Beaufort has ten shillings a wey & drawing eight thousand a year from his possessions thereabouts - one house or firm I was told paid him weyage for two hundred weys a month. My uncle wants me to sell him my fifth of the coal at a 1/- a wey - that he may be sole proprietor; this calculation of his mineral property at 5/- a wey to be made as for ever - so that let who would work his coal, & pay what he might, 1/- a wey was to be my allowance for ever. The Duke receiving ten shillings, I could not understand on what the calculation was made - five & twenty years hence it might be worth double or if my fifth should produce 1/6 instead of 1/- I should suffer a great loss. There are three or four companies of smelters on our lands, but till the expiration of our leases (16 years hence) they are bound to use the Duke's coal so that we can only count on the value of the works which will fall in to us. They are chiefly of brick & mortar with timber an embellishment - costing each company three or four thousand pounds to erect. I have seen a good deal but done nothing - Charles now plainly understands, that to obtain future advantages, he must make present sacrifices - In short he must sink income now to encrease (sic) his childrens fortunes - so nothing is done; the estate is an important one, and there are 500 acres of coal - 200 of which will be wanted before many years is passed. Altother I am glad I went, but am puzzled how to act - that is, how to secure my advantages to my family (if any are to be derived) with my present income.

I reached Pierce's [an uncle] by five o'clock on Thursday; he has a snug unostentatious place with a good garden & command of land, & a very pretty view - The neighbouring scenery is quite grand. Lord de Clifford's park [at Frampton on Severn?] is distant about 3 minutes walk & affords many charming prospects on a large scale, embracing the Avon, the Severn, the Welsh coast & the Glostershire hills - Harriett [Pierce] is quite well & I scruple not to tell you is the best of the family, but perhaps I am too partial. You & Polly [Sarah] were much asked after - how she will scold when she sees this letter! for John to write such a pack of rubbish about that out-of-the-way Welch town - What is it to us? - Well, what else could I write about? As to Bath & Bristol, I was only there in the dark, & saw no one, but a draper to whom Betty [his wife Elizabeth] sent me with a load of commissions. I am glad the Brasenose affair was so easily settled. How is Polly's appetite? [Bradford's wife Sarah] And how did she like her friend Mrs Phillips? Charles means to call on you on his way back but when, I know not. He expressed great regard & said he would not take advantage of me for the world. Love to Polly, ever yous affecty J. H.

JCCBPH must have decided he did not need to sell, and in 1837 the irrascible uncle Charles died, so the pressure was off. And JCCBPH had a different way of raising money. I describe the Field Estate sale elsewhere but briefly: his mother-in-law Elizabeth started to mortgage her inheritance. By 1835 he and Elizabeth were signing the first of many mortgages on her property in Oxfordshire and Stroud. This probably explains the certified copy of his 1815 marriage certificate which was produced for him in Oxford in July 1835 - like today, you have to prove who you are! They borrowed 2,000, then 600, then 700 over the years up to Elizabeth's death in 1860, and though they would have the income from the estate I do not know how much it was. The mortgages were not repaid during either of their lifetimes.

The move to Ramsbury

As far as I can tell, JCCBPH and family moved to Ramsbury about 1836, where JCCBPH was at first priest in charge under the Rector Robert Wintle. On the 8th April 1839 the Hampshire Telegraph reported the death of the Rev Dr Meyrick, Vicar of Ramsbury, Wilts and Rector of Winchfield, Southampton. JCCBPH was made Vicar of Ramsbury in 1840. His father Samuel had died in 1839, in France. Sarah stayed on there and died in 1842. I have no family letters after that date although the censuses continue to provide useful information. In order to find out how they might have passed their time, I refer to another vicarage of the same period:

"On July 6th 1846 the Rev Archer Clive and Mrs Clive of the Rectory, Solihull, gave a small evening concert, of local talent, to entertain some guests. It was not a success. Mrs Clive (1801-73) a straightforward woman who wrote indifferent poetry and successful novels, does not deceive herself on this point ... 'The wretched Iringhams and Edwards brought their young children, to do them good as they said, not thinking of the harm to us ... Archer, who had sung a cachucha half a dozen times extremely well, set off on the wrong note and kept steadily wrong all the way.' " [Burton]

This delightful story gives some idea of the recreation of another rectory couple very much the same age as our Hawkinses. The example of Victoria and her musical Albert made such evenings very fashionable, even if the talent available locally did not really warrant them. There may not be space in a drawing room for a full orchestra but there was always room for a piano, and voices were free. Thousands of songs were written for soloists and sheet music was published plentifully and cheaply, so everyone could learn a new ballad for a special event. Their words were even published in the newspapers - Jackson's Oxford Journal 5 Feb 1842 published all eight verses of a song by J Bruton, the first of which went:

"Come buy a song, come buy a song/ You're welcome while I've any/ Come by a song, come buy a song/ Here's twenty for a penny/ I've got lots, and take your choice/ They'll make you feel in clover/ And as mine is a singing voice/ I mean to tell 'm over."

... which gives you a good idea of the quality, and the quantity. I came across that by chance whilst I was searching for 'Ramsbury' on the Gale newspaper website. It is a sign of the times - and of growing literacy levels - that newspapers were the only way in which a bankruptcy could be notified to creditors, and newspapers all over the country would copy the lists from the London Gazette. So the bankruptcy of Ramsbury corn-merchant Richard Hazel at the start of 1840 was notified to the citizens of Leeds, Derbyshire, Manchester, Hull, Oxford, Liverpool .... then repeatedly in the same newspapers as the bankruptcy hearing progressed. There would be an advertisement every time a dividend was due - saying when and where - until finally the bankrupt was discharged and got his certificate. After that, it was too late for anyone who was owed money.

There were two Wiltshire newspapers and although they are not themselves included in the British Library newspapers online, the exortation that "other papers please copy" meant that some local news got a wider audience. It was usually bad news, of course, just like today, but there were the usual sad stories of a child dying after her clothes caught fire, the solicitor's young son falling from his pony and dying within minutes, another young girl dying after she and her pony both fell into the river from the footbridge, a bad fire at Elmsdown farm, a labourer secretly spreading some dripping on a slice of bread for his breakfast, denying it when asked, then being told by his employer she was relieved because it contained arsenic to kill rats. He died - that got widely reported. And so did the finding of 2lb 8oz of silver coin under a hazel bush in Lover's Copse - that quickly attracted "people with spades, forks and axes". A ten-minute hailstorm in October 1869 broke 163 panes of glass in one house in the village, and 141 in another. [And that was all the news from Ramsbury from 1840-1875. At least Francis Goodlake HAWKINS did not do anything dramatic enough to reach the national press.]

Then Elizabeth Hawkins died, on 1st February 1851 (there is an online photograph of her memorial in Ramsbury church) and her death was reported in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 8 February: "February 1, in her 54th year, after a painful and lingering illness, Elizabeth, the wife of the Rev. John Hawkins, Vicar of Ramsbury, Wilts." The 1851 census shows the family at the Vicarage at Ramsbury: John, Head, a 57-year-old widower, vicar of Ramsbury and Magistrate; children - Elizabeth Gregory 30, Harriet Catherine 29, Isabella Eliza 27, Sarah Charlotte 25, Louisa Elizabeth 24, Caroline 22, Emily 20, Fanny 11, with servants Anne Charlotte Clements, Hannah Luggett, Sarah May, and John Brown (footman). Each of the daughters is simply identified as 'clergyman's dau'. No sons are at home: John Gregory was Chaplain at the British Embassy in Vienna, where he died two years later [his death was reported in The Gentleman's Magazine of Feb 17 1853]. Richard was absent; aged 27 he could have been anywhere - by 1855 he was terminating his first legal partnership in Highworth, Wiltshire. Croft Augustus had just left Southampton for India, Francis had left Marlborough the previous Christmas but was not at the vicarage on census night, and Arthur was still in Marlborough at school.

There are many published diaries and accounts of the daily lives of parsons, including John's own essay about the Rev Woodwarde but JCCBPH was now also a magistrate, which could have occupied much of his time. As a JP he would have been involved not only in judging criminal and civil cases but also in the new Poor Law, and with responsibility for inspecting the workhouse, appointing constables and maintaining the highways. The Handy Book of Parish Law - a commendably slim volume - (2s 6d, and no doubt a claimable expense) would have been on his desk because it explains clearly the way in which all parish work should be carried out - political and ecclesiastical - and who may do what, and when, and how, and how to collect church rates and keep accounts. Our own copy - a third edition - was published in 1865, and has been marked in the margin to highlight who could vote in the parish vestry, so somebody found it useful in the past.

But one decision that JCCBPH made as a magistrate hit the national press. On 13th October 1856 The Morning Chronicle copied a letter which had been published in the Wiltshire County Mirror, which in summary complained about a recent justice meeting at Ramsbury. Two cases were mentioned: the first, where the drunken attacker of a young mother was fined 5s, and the second, where a shepherd seen by a gamekeeper taking a small fish from a water meadow was fined 2 10s - or a period of imprisonment if he could not pay the fine. Which he couldn't.

"Surely", the writer thundered, "we have good reason to ask for stipendiary magistrates ... who but our country justices and game-preserving aristocracy would hesitate to respond, 'We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord'?".

The local Editor went on to point out that the shepherd's sentence was subsequently reversed by the Home Secretary, and that the business hitherto transacted at the sessions at Ramsbury is for the future to be removed to Marlborough.

Ramsbury JP cutting

"Great credit is due to Mr W B Rowland, of Ramsbury, for his disinterested conduct in the matter. He has given his professional aid gratuitously to try an appeal against the extraordinary decision of the Ramsbury justices, the Rev. John Hawkins and Mr Henry Richard Seymour."

The Wiltshire Independent separately reported the Home Secretary's decision, and the much feted return of the shepherd from his prison cell in Devizes.

This might seem rather a harsh judgement of JCCBPH. Only twelve years before the Wiltshire Quarter Sessions had sentenced a Ramsbury man to seven years' transportation for stealing a quart of milk, and this level of punishment was common. But more and more people were thinking it should not be so common, and attitudes were changing.

Also in 1851 was published the first national census of church attendance. Shockingly, half the population did not attend a Sunday service, but much of that half was in the new towns; village attendance was much more traditional and regular. [Phillips]. The industrial cities were expanding at a huge rate, and the Church was always trying to catch up. In 1844 the Leeds Mercury had reported the need to create thirty new parishes in Leeds, to enable local residents to have the same ratio of vicar to parishioner as had been provided previously.

I hope that JCCBPH had a loyal congregation. British History Online has a story about his wife's grandfather, the Revd Thomas Gregory of Hordley, vicar of Yarnton for twenty years until 1780, who gave the entire income of the living to his curate John Cox of St. Mary Hall. The curate performed services regularly but attendances were poor; the Revd Gregory blamed his parishioners' "thoughtlessness and inattention", deriving, he surmised, from their "very mean condition". Geoffrey Best [see bibliography] writes clearly about the state of the Church in the 1850s and makes the now well-understood point that despite the huge growth of the non-conformist movement, and the significant minorities of catholics, "there is too much reason for thinking that Victorians' motives for church-going were less than purely religious. Respectability prompted it, when religion didn't." A respectable man - rich or poor - was a good man, and a pillar of society. And that kept the pews filled.

When the funeral of Sir Francis and Lady Burdett took place at Ramsbury in 1844, the local newspaper reported that "The service was read in a most impressive manner by the Rev J Hawkins". JCCBPH had had a shock exactly a week before - he was all ready to bury Lady Burdett in the family vault when news arrived that Sir Francis had died that very day in London. Sir Francis' body was brought by hearse and horse from London, stopping at Reading and then Hungerford. When the cavalcade left Hungerford it was accompanied by thirty of the baronet's tenants on horseback, attired in deep mourning. Lady Burdett's coffin was brought out of the vestry-room, where it had had to wait for a week, Holy Cross church was "clothed in drapery" and attendance at the service had to be by invitation only, so numerous were the mourners. All of this was reported as far as Aberdeen, Bangor and Edinburgh. A later letter to The Examiner complained that although the absentee landlord baronets [the Burdetts] had for fifty years taken an income of 8,000 a year out of Ramsbury, they never spent a penny there in charity, except for once when he was standing to represent the county and gave 50. A later editorial reproached the heir - also a member of the Coutts family - for planning to build a church in Westminster when the "condition of the labourers of Ramsbury is about the most miserable estate in England." Although such extreme differences between landowner and labourer were not new, they were now remorselessly being brought into public view by newspapers, and the labourers were beginning to realise that they might have a choice. In a small country town like Ramsbury, with its Lord of the Manor, and the regular hunting meets at the Hall, JCCBPH would have been in the middle and pulled pitilessly each way. Not an easy time for a clerk in holy orders.

Ramsbury 1861

By 1861 the Ramsbury household had not changed much, although the previous servants had moved on. They now had Ann Lewis, who must have been a housekeeper, Mary Hawkins, a cook, and Elizabeth Ford, a maid. I did boggle at the cook's surname at first, then found that the Ramsbury district was peppered with Hawkinses, and Gregorys too, so I did not attempt to identify her.

Eldest daughter Elizabeth is gallivanting (she would probably call it shopping) in London and staying with a Calland great-aunt in Mayfair. Next daughter Isabella Eliza has married her father's curate, John BARTON, who then moved to be curate for JCCBP's brother Bradford, at Rivenhall in Essex. But the younger daughters are still all at home, although in this census JCCBPH has completed his return giving their initials only - what an odd thing to do - maybe he did not want the world to know his daughters? To me it is another sign that he was not a contented man. The enumerator must have had to ask their full names.

Arthur is at home, but with no occupation yet; Richard is still absent but in 1857 he was settled into a legal practice somewhere, because Francis had just passed his Solicitors' exams and was articled to R B B Hawkins and J T White, according to the Solicitors' Journal and Reporter of 1857. So maybe Richard and Francis were away on business on the night of the census; I certainly can't find them where they should have been. However, this time JCCBPH's niece Sarah C was visiting the vicarage. This was almost certainly Sarah Charlotte, Bradford's eldest daughter, and she had brought along her maid, Sarah Ann. Bradford was also a widower. His wife had died in childbirth in 1832 and his love for, and concern about, his four little children shines through his daily diaries - he sacked one governess for telling him not to interfere! Many of Bradford's diaries and other Hawkins biographies, transcribed by David Nash, are on the Rivenhall village website, and Bradford Denne Hawkins does seem to have had a much happier attitude to life than his brother.

In 1861, the Church of England published Hymns Ancient and Modern to support the practice of choral and hymn-singing which had become so popular over the past thirty years. Charles Wesley had written over 6,000 hymns and 32 of them were in that first edition. Apparently some Anglicans thought the better (subtler) tunes had been left out and deplored the inclusion of the simple, rumty-tum rhythms so favoured by the Methodists. Much later, Sir Arthur Sullivan wrote about fifty hymns, including 'Onward Christian Soldiers', the favourite of many churchgoers well into the following century [Phillips]. But High and Low Church were still at odds and the recent introduction of some church organs caused fierce opposition from some lower Anglican clergy. It would be interesting to know when an organ was installed at Holy Cross.

In 1865 we get a clue about JCCBPH's level of income. Crockford's entry that year about him says says:

"Ramsbury Vicarage, Hungerford, Wilts - Pemb Coll Ox BA 1814 MA 1823; Deac. 1817, Pr 1818. V of Ramsbury, Dio Salis 1840. (Patron Ld Chan; Tithe-Imp. 373 14s 8d, V 125; Glebe 66 acres; V's Inc 270 and Ho."

I did learn that the difference between a Rector and a Vicar is financial - a rector has the freehold and gets to keep all the tithe money; a Vicar is a tenant and the tithes of a Vicar are impropriated by his patron. John Calland - JCCBPH's maternal grandfather - had paid 7,000 for a living for his son John, in 1798, and was able to specify in his will what would happen to it in the future. JCCBPH was not in such a fortunate position. It looks as though his total occupational income was 270 pa including the produce from his glebe, plus the (free) vicarage, plus whatever annual income he was getting from the Forest estate. With eight daughters to support, no wonder his mother-in-law had been mortgaging her property for years. And no wonder in his will (to be made out in 1871) he thought 200 a year enough for each of his daughters. The increase in prosperity which had benefitted the rest of the early-Victorian middle class does not seem to have reached the clergy. I remembered Anthony Trollope's concern for clergymen with large families - Mr Quiverfull in The Warden had many children and very little income. (It is extremely tempting to read Trollope and think that life really was like that.) In real life, JCCBPH's current curate was also feeling the pinch - if indeed it was he who placed the following advertisement in The Timess on 23 December 1865:

"TUITION. - A married clergyman, MA of Oxford, residing in a healthy part of Wilts, who is educating the son of a clergyman, is anxious to obtain two more PUPILS, between the ages of eight and 14. Terms for boys under 10, 50 guineas per annum; over 10, 100 guineas per annum. For further particulars apply to Rev J S, Ramsbury, Hungerford."

The unmarried daughters

Although I have been able to find out something about JCCBPH's sons, I know very little about his daughters. The death certificate of Caroline, known as Carry, shows she died when she was 49 of a "... fibrous tumour of uterus of many years; paralysis of heart."

One of uncle Bradford's diary entries mentions that Caroline and Harriet were visiting their grandfather in Tours in 1836. Even Isabella who married the Revd John Barton remains anonymous - during a fullsome and detailed newspaper report of her husband's death, packed with local names, she is simply tagged on in the last sentence: 'The deceased leaves a widow to mourn his loss'. One newspaper report of his death included the value of the [Rainhill, Liverpool] living in 1895 as 240 pa plus house, which is roughly in line with the income for our Ramsbury incumbent.

I really wanted to find out what these sisters did all day in their country vicarage. By the 1850s they probably realised that they would never marry and in true mid-Victorian fashion they never seem to be mentioned again! I used the on-line newspapers and my own reference books to find out what might have been happening on a daily basis, and put together a good idea of how they might have spent their time. If you would like to find out about their brief marriage settlements, the fashions of the day, and the news, how long it takes to hand-sew a silk dress, and how to use a finger bowl - then please click here. You can quickly get back to this main story.

The death of JCCBPH

The 1871 census showed the Vicar and his children at Back Lane, Ramsbury. Present were John (W) 77, vicar of Ramsbury, Harriett Cathne 52, Sarah Charlotte 47, Louisa Elizth 44, Caroline H 42, Emily C 41, Francis 37, Attorney, Fanny 31. Servants were Ann Lewis 38 (still there), Mary Birch 18 and Elizabeth Ford 15. No occupations were given apart from Francis, who was still unmarried and living back at home. This is the last year that the family would be living at the vicarage. Elizabeth is off visiting the Callands again, this time her aunt Catherine, living in Boreham Wood with her husband Henry Wilde, now retired from his practice at the bar.

On the 17th July 1871 JCCBPH made his will - a long and tedious document probably drafted by his solicitor son Richard. Francis might have offered but, as you will see, I don't think he had anything to do with drafting it. For sanity's sake I have summarised the will and its odd provisions although I have a full transcript if any family member is interested. JCCBPH died on the 24th November - his death certificate says it was from old age and exhaustion. Ann Lewis was present and it was she who notified the Registrar in Hungerford and signed with her X.

JCCBP's will [key points]

Executors: sons Richard Berens Bradford HAWKINS, Croft August Charles HAWKINS if in England [he was actually abroad when JCCBPH died], and son-in-law Rev John BARTON. The bequests were:

When the will was proved in February 1872, the total value of the estate was estimated to be under 5,000. Was this done to minimise death duties? JCCBPH clearly expected that his estate would be more than that - restricting his seven unmarried daughters to a maximum of 4,000 each from the capital suggests a much higher expectation. His own share [from George] of the huge Calland inheritance ought to have been secure, and there may have been more of it from Sarah, although I do not know where her will is, since she died in France. Poor John Cunningham Calland Bennett Popkin: I think that he was an unsatisfied man. His eldest son John had died abroad, Croft had gone to India and then chosen the Isle of Man rather than Wiltshire when he retired, Arthur had gone to the United States and stayed there. Richard had stayed in England but was hugely successful, with legal and social connections to the Churchills at Blenheim, a rich wife and only three daughters. Unfortunately Francis had stayed at home and Francis was clearly a problem: he could not hold down a job, he borrowed money, and was occasionally so ill that he needed restraint. Only one of the daughters had married and the other seven would have to leave the vicarage to make room for the new incumbent.

Why Ramsgate?

I wondered why the siblings moved from Ramsbury to Ramsgate - why Ramsgate? Then I checked the 1871 census and found the following family at 2a Denmark Villas, Vale Road, Ramsgate:

Callands at Ramsgate Ramsgate streetmap

2a Denmark Villas was a lodging house, and the landlords were a young couple called John and Harriet Foster; John was a Fly Proprietor, and Harriet was the lodging-house keeper. Knowing the Callands, this was probably a comfortable lodging house - they were the only tenants.

Augustus Percival CALLAND was the son of the irrepressible Charles and an active participant in the family businesses in Glamorgan. Well, from a distance. He attended board meetings but, unlike his brother John Forbes CALLAND, he never actually lived there. I do not know why he was in Ramsgate, but I do know that he married a Ramsgate lady later that year.

Anyway, there he was. And he was JCCBPH's cousin. News of the homeless (and probably helpless) sisters must have spread around the extended family because by 1873 the sisters and Francis were installed in a pleasant villa, just off the High Street, in the South Eastern Road. If the census enumerator was walking systematically along the route, then the two houses were here:

The 1881 census has the following entry:

Ramsgate 1881 census

I was astonished when I saw the name of their house. This was surely not a coincidence - did they re-name their new home? It did look like it. In the 1871 census the consecutive house names were: 1 High Street (Belmont School), then, turning down the left-hand side of South Eastern Road: Laburnum Villas, Woodbine Cottage, Lancefield Cottage, Shirburn Cottage, 1&2 Richmond Villa (unoccupied), Gordon Villa, then Ellington Terrace (four unoccupied - new build?) then the Baptist chapel's Minister at 1 Ellington Terrace at the corner of Ellington Road. All these houses are between the High Street and Ellington Road, as far as I could tell from the Ramsgate District 2 census description. I have never been to Ramsgate. I opened an on-line street map and found the roads all in the right places.

The same stretch of road in the 1881 census contained the following houses: 1-2 Auckland Villas, Gordon Villa, 1&2 Richmond Villas, Hordley House, Shirburn, The Hawthorn, Lancefield Cottage, Woodbine Cottage, Myrtle Cottage, Laburnum Villas, 1-5 Ellington Terrace, then Cannon Road, which is two streets away. Hm. I thought the enumerator must have been walking in the other direction, until he suddenly leapt round two corners and started listing Cannon Road.

However, it is possible to compare the two lists. Gordon Villa now housed a widow with four daughters, two of whom were dressmakers (that would be handy); 1 Richmond Villas: another widow with four young children, 2 Richmond Villas: a retired publican, Shirburn Villa: a civil engineer, The Hawthorn: a retired draper. Lancefield, Woodbine, Myrtle, Laburnum, all had their occupants ..... there was no gap. Hordley House had popped up in the intervening ten years, between Richmond Villas and Shirburn.

I had not expected that. It looks as if a new house was built for the Hawkins sisters and more than 70 years after their GREGORY grandfather died and their mother and grandmother left Hordley House, Wootton-by-Woodstock, the siblings had moved from Ramsbury and imposed the old name on their new home - no doubt in memory of the inheritance that had paid for it all.

The 1891 census showed the surviving sisters still at Hordley House, South Eastern Road (between Shirburn Villa+The Cottage and Richmond Villas): Harriet C, Head, 72, Sarah, 67, Emily C, 61, Fanny, 51, all 'living on their means' plus Jane HAWKINS, sister-in-law - this was Richard's wife visiting from Woodstock; the missing sister Louisa had travelled in the opposite direction and was visiting her brother Richard. Their servants were Elizabeth CROSS 24, cook and Alice PLANK 19, domestic servant.

By 1901 all the Hordley House siblings had died. I can find no trace of any wills; I suspect they did not have much left to leave. In the census for South Eastern Road, Ramsgate, Hordley House was the home of their remaining sister Isabella E BARTON, widow, 87, living with companion Mary H BINNS, 41, nurse Mary BARROW, 50 and servant Alice A BASSON.

If any present family researchers have information about what these seven ladies, or Francis, did in Ramsgate, I would be very interested to hear from you.

I had no idea, when I found that Deed, where it would take me.


Post script: After I had finished writing this chapter I read Kate Summerscale's book about the 1860 murder at Road Hill House, Wiltshire. It is full of contemporary source material, excellent research, and is a really good read. The reason for the murder's notoriety, and the screaming headlines and intrusive journalism which went with it, was that the murderer was almost certainly one of the very middle-class and respectable household, and respectable families up and down the country were introduced to the horrible suspicions that their lives might be assaulted from within. Ms Summerscale writes a thoughtful and insightful paragraph:

Road Hill House

"English family life had changed since the beginning of the century. The house, once a workplace as well as a home, had become a self-contained, private, exclusively domestic space. Though the 1850s had been christened with a great glasshouse - the Crystal Palace of the Great Exhibition - the English home closed up and darkened over the decade, the cult of domesticity matched by a cult of privacy. The French scholar Hippolyte Taine, after a visit to England in 1858, wrote: 'Every Englishman imagines a "home", his own little universe, closed to the world.' Privacy had become the essential attribute of the middle-class Victorian family. They walled themselves in against strangers, the interiors of their homes almost invisible, except when opened by invitation to selected visitors for a staged show of family life - a dinner party, for instance, or a tea. Something had festered in Road Hill House, the emotional counterpart to the airborne infections that terrified the Victorians."

This really caught my attention. It exactly explained the sensation I had felt when researching and writing about the Hawkins family at the vicarage. I am sure there was occasional laughter, but the sense of tension was palpable - which is ridiculous, when I think about it, sitting at my desk in 2009. But in all the research I have done it has never happened before.

The links to the Gale newspaper library and British History Online are on my Introduction page, which you can find by clicking the button in this left-hand margin. I also raided our bookshelves for much of the contemporary information I have included in this story, and I mention some other books which are a good read:

As for useful websites, try these in addition to the ones I give on the main Introduction page:

If anyone has information which adds to, or corrects, what I have written in this essay, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Copyright © Marion Hearfield 2009