Category Archives: Bedfordshire, UK

Tearle Family history in Bedfordshire.

19Mar/15

A Victorian Mésalliance, or, Goings On at the Manor, Toddington

By Barbara Tearle

‘Reproduced from Bedfordshire Family History Society Journal, vol. 17, no. 2 June 2009, pp.15-19, by kind permission of the Society’s editor.’

In the early 1800s two men moved to Toddington.  John Cooper was at the top of the village’s social scale and William Tearle was at the bottom.  This is the story of how their descendants’ lives converged.

Toddington

Toddington during the 19th century was a small country town with a population of 1143 in 1801, rising to 2800 in mid-century and declining to 2000 by 1900.  Shepherd’s 1818 picture of carters unloading in Toddington (in Joyce Godber’s History of Bedfordshire) shows a substantial stone church and two farmhouses with wooden frames and brick infill, and a contemporary account talks of brick-built Georgian houses round the Green where five roads converge.  

There were shops, craftsmen, and chapels for several denominations in addition to the parish church and schools. The weekly market was revived for some years during the century.  The Holyhead road, now the A5, ran a few miles to the west of the town and in 1868 the railway was built through the east of the parish and the nearest station was Harlington, but Toddington did not have its own station.

The overall impression is of a small town which was just not appropriately situated or sufficiently prosperous to take advantage of the conditions for industrial expansion such as occurred at Luton.

  

The Coopers

John COOPER arrived in 1806 when he bought Toddington Manor from a descendant of the Wentworth family.  His daughter and heiress Elizabeth married her second cousin William Dodge Cooper HEAP, who changed has surname to COOPER in 1819 as a condition of inheriting his father-in-law’s property, which he did in 1824 – William Dodge COOPER COOPER, which is cumbersome but easy to find in records amidst all the other Coopers..

In addition to Toddington, he had property in Chester and Essex and a house in Highgate (redeveloped as flats after World War II where, coincidentally, I  grew up during the 1950s).  He was a Justice of the Peace for Bedfordshire and Middlesex, Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, and High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1829.  

William and Elizabeth had two sons and five daughters.  The two sons married modestly.  The elder, William COOPER COOPER (b 1810), inherited in 1860 and his descendants remained in the manor until early in the 20th century.  The second son, James Lindsay COOPER COOPER (b 1821) became a clergyman, was presented to the living of Toddington in 1846 by his brother who was the patron of the living.  He resigned in 1862 on inheriting property.

Of William and Elizabeth’s five daughters, the marriages of two (Elizabeth and Lucy, the youngest) were advantageously upwardly-mobile and are well documented.

Elizabeth married Alexandre Charles Joseph VAN DER BURCH on 27 May 1828 at Hornsey, which is not far from the family’s town house in Highgate.  He was the eldest surviving son of Count van der Burch of Ecaussines, which is about 25 miles from Brussels and 15 miles from Waterloo.  The Count was a soldier and politician and the son was a diplomat or courtier, being secretary of the Dutch legation in Denmark and chamberlain to the first two Kings of the Netherlands after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815.  In 1830 the southern part of the Netherlands broke away to form the Kingdom of the Belgians, with fighting round the area where the van der Burchs lived.  Elizabeth and Alexandre had several children.  They probably lived in Belgium and certainly visited their COOPER COOPER relations in Toddington.

William and Elizabeth’s youngest daughter Lucy COOPER COOPER married Henry ROBINSON Esq. of Knapton Grove, Norfolk, at Toddington in 1842.  In 1840 he had been appointed Standard Bearer of the Queen’s Bodyguard of Gentlemen-at-Arms.  In 1845 he became their Lieutenant Commanding and was knighted.  Later he became Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk.

William and Elizabeth’s daughters, Jane and Caroline never married.  Jane (1805-1856) was deaf and dumb, an affliction which also affected her brother William’s son.  Caroline (1813-1901) lived in Toddington all her life, and did the typical maiden aunt thing of mentioning all her nieces and nephews in her will.  More of Amelia (1810-1880) later.

This COOPER COOPER’s life style could almost be the stereotypical background for a Jane Austen novel.

The Tearles

Maybe a decade after John COOPER bought Toddington Manor, William TEARLE arrived, probably having been hired to work on a farm.

William TEARLE had been born in Stanbridge in 1797, the eldest of a family of 12, from one of several large TEARLE families in the village in the late 18th century.  All were labourers by then, although earlier TEARLEs had been yeoman farmers and the family had lived in Stanbridge since the 15th century.  Arriving from Stanbridge with a population in 1801 of 262 to most of whom he was related to Toddington with nearly five times that number and whom he did not know must have been a shock.

William duly married Catherine FOSSEY who came from a prolific family of Toddington labourers.  Or to be more accurate, Sarah, daughter of William and Catherine TEARLE was baptised on 2 January 1824, followed by their marriage on 29 January.  William and Catherine had two more children, Moses in 1827 and John in 1831.  

In 1841 William and Catherine TEARLE with Sarah, Moses and John were living at Lodge Farm where the whole family were shown as agricultural labourers.  The farmer was William Martin and it looks as if the TEARLE family were living in as they are on the same entry in the census as William Martin and his family.  Possibly they were in a tied cottage on the farm. The next household listed on the schedule was that of William Dodge COOPER COOPER and his family at Park House, Toddington Manor.

Sarah had a son Joseph in 1844 and married several years later.  She was a straw platter, laundress and took in lodgers.  Her husband was an ag lab and her son Joseph was a straw platter, then an ag lab and later an innkeeper. Most of their descendants remained in Toddington well into the 20th century.  I am descended from Sarah – or not, depending on how one interprets a birth/baptism//marriage sequence in the 1860s.  John was also an ag lab, then later a general labourer living in Acton, London.  Most of his family moved away from Toddington.

The Coopers and Tearles unite

At this point, let’s revert to the COOPER COOPER family and Amelia in particular.  The official sources (Burke’s Landed Gentry) say nothing about a marriage or family for her.  However on 10 March 1847, when she was 35, she had a son, Aubrey.  No record of her marriage nor of the child’s birth or baptism has yet been found, unless he is amongst the unnamed male births for the March or June 1847 quarters.   Aubrey’s date of birth comes from family papers now at BLARS.  In the 1851 census he is aged 4 and born in Paddington;  in all later documentation his place of birth is given as Toddington.  I am inclined to think that Paddington was a mistake for Toddington made by the census enumerator, but it is worth bearing in mind.  A Paddington place of birth would have provided anonymity for Amelia if this was an illegitimate birth to the daughter of the Lord of the Manor.

Then in August 1848 36-year-old Amelia married 21-year-old Moses TEARL in London.  The marriage was preceded by a generous marriage settlement providing for Amelia and Moses, but tying up the money so that Moses could not dispose of it.  In fact Amelia became responsible for their trust funds.  Moses was given an annual income for life if Amelia predeceased him and he did not remarry (a neat reversal of the usual provision).

Moses and Amelia moved to Speldhurst in Kent.  Their children were born in Worthing. As they were not living there, possibly Amelia went there for superior natal care.  Later they moved to Portsmouth where their address was Melbourne House, which was in a comfortably middle class area.  But it was rented out to a major in the Marine Artillery and they lived in a more modest area.  Moses worked as a commission or estate agent and the Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle contains several advertisements he placed for house and shops to let.   He entered into local society, at least to the extent of becoming a freemason.

Moses and Amelia had four children all registered under the surname CECILL:  Dodge Cooper born 1850;  Elizabeth Dodge Cooper born 1851; Egerton Dodge Cooper born 1853; and Amelia Dodge Cooper born 1854.  They also appear in census returns as CECILL or CECIL.  The next generation were also registered under the surname CECILL, beginning with Aubrey’s son in 1872.  On his marriage certificate, Aubrey called himself Aubrey Cooper CECIL, formerly Aubrey Cooper TEARL.   Moses went beyond merely adopting the surname CECILL.  In many official documents and directories he calls himself Henry T. CECILL or Henry Moses T. CECILL.  It would have been difficult to trace this family’s change of name had it not been for the fact that Amelia made her will under the surname TEARL.

Amelia died in 1880, and Moses lived on until 1907, not marrying again and thus benefiting from the annual income under his marriage settlement.  At his death he was living at Clarence Road, Richmond.

Amelia may have disgraced herself and her family with an illegitimate birth and a socially unacceptable marriage, but her family did not cast her off.  In addition to the marriage settlement, Moses, Amelia and the children maintained contact with the COOPER COOPER family in Toddington.  They were involved in family business transactions and the children received bequests from their grandfather’s and maiden aunt’s wills.  On one official document, Aubrey gave his last place of residence as The Manor, Toddington.

The boys began their education at Eagle House Academy in Portsmouth.  Whatever their later education was (and I have not yet traced it), it was sufficient to proceed to middle class careers.  They were also all cricketers, playing for the East Hants club and Hampshire during the 1870s.

Aubrey was listed as a surgeon on board ship at Peterhead, Aberdeen in 1871, although I have not yet found any trace of qualifications, but by 1881 he was living on private means in Chiswick – not as grand as it sounds as he and his family were boarding with a policeman and his family.  During the 1890s he emigrated with his wife and two sons to Brisbane where he was a government agent accompanying Pacific Island workers returning to their homes.  He was involved in a Brisbane botanical society, donating specimens collected on his South Sea voyages.

Dodge obtained a commission as ensign in the 47th Foot by purchase in June 1870, but sold it in October 1871.  His regiment was stationed in Dublin, and it may be there that he married as his eldest child Frederick W (who eventually emigrated to Australia where he was a farmer) was born in Dublin about the time Dodge resigned his commission. Despite the short time in the army, he continued to proclaim himself a retired officer in the 1881 and 1891 censuses.  By 1901 he was living on his own means in South Bersted, a hamlet not far from Bognor.

Elizabeth gave her occupation in 1891 as a Professor of Music, presumably a music teacher.  By 1901 she was living on her own means in a house in Willesden with several other single, independent women.

Egerton was a civil servant, becoming an abstrator in the Science Division of the Science and Art Department.  He was living in Brentford and maybe he actually worked at nearby Kew.

Amelia married James Marley, a Scot twenty years her senior.  In 1901 they were living, with their children, in Horsham, Surrey.  

What next?

The family certainly kept in touch with their COOPER COOPER relations but did they have any contact with their TEARLE cousins or did Moses and his whole family put his past behind him?  That is something that may never be discovered and, similarly, the real story behind Moses and Amelia’s mésalliance and Aubrey’s parentage may also never be discovered.  However, much more about their lives and those of their children and grandchildren can be pieced together.

Barbara Tearle

Sources:

Burke’s Landed Gentry 1853 and 1875

Certificates and census returns

Cooper Cooper papers at BLARS

London Gazette

Newspapers

19Mar/15

The Scottish Prince

There is a sad post-script to the story of The Scottish Prince.  This was the ship that little Aubrey Bruce Cooper Cecil was born on, 10 Sept 1878

The SCOTTISH PRINCE, launched in Aberdeen in 1878, was a 64 metre steel masted iron barque of 950 tons. She came to grief early on the morning of the 3rd Feb 1887 with a cargo of iron, beer, whiskey and other goods whilst bound for Brisbane. She now lies in 10 meters of water almost 2 kilometres south of the Gold Coast Seaway, and approximately 800 metres from the beach. Today it serves as a popular dive site.

 Photo of Scottish Prince from Picture Queensland


Photo of Scottish Prince from Picture Queensland

19Mar/15

William Major Tearle 1899, Toddington, UK (2/Beds Regt)

Tearle, W M
Private, 2nd Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

National Roll of the Great War” says:

Tearle William Major National Roll

Barbara has written to me about this chap and he is William Major Tearle 1899 of Toddington, son of Major Tearle 1874 of Toddington and Elizabeth Ann nee Turvey. Major is the son of Joseph 1843 of Toddington and Lois nee Major. Joseph is the son of Sarah Tearle who married John Garner and were hosts to niece Martha for very many years. Sarah was the dau of William 1796 of Stanbridge and Catherine nee Fossey. William is a son of Richard 1773 of Stanbridge and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth and Richard is a son of John 1741 and Martha nee Archer. 

I have an interest in the Toddington Tearles because my ggg-grandmother was Mary Garner 1805 of Toddington. She married Thomas Tearle 1807 of Stanbridge and their first child James 1827 was born in Toddington. James is the father of Levi Tearle 1850 of Stanbridge, blacksmith of Wing, my g-grandfather. Thomas took Mary back to Stanbridge and the rest of the family was born there. However, since Mary was a Toddington Garner, then she would be related to other Toddington Garner families.

 

19Mar/15

William Marlow Tearle 1892, Toddington, UK (MGC)

Tearle, W
Private, Machine Gun Corps

Tearle Willie (William Marlow) MGC National Roll

J Tearle and W Tearle of Toddington are brothers of course, since they are from the same address. The first man, J Tearle, is John Tearle 1896 Toddington and W Tearle is his elder brother William Marlow Tearle (Willie Tearle) 1892 of Toddington. These are the boys of Joseph Marlow Tearle 1865 Sundon and Emily nee Evans. Joseph is the son of John Marlow and Sarah Tearle 1846 of Tebworth, with a history of name changes for her children between Marlow, Tearle/Marlow and Marlow/Tearle. She is the daughter of Joseph 1798 of Stanbridge and Maria nee Millings. Joseph is the son of William 1769 of Stanbridge and Sarah nee Clarke, and William is a son of Joseph 1737 of Stanbridge and Phoebe nee Capp.

19Mar/15

John Tearle 1895, Toddington, UK (7/Beds Regt)

Tearle, J
Lance Corporal
7
th Bedfordshire Regiment of “South View”, Princess Street, Toddington, Bedfordshire.

Tearle John L-Cpl National Roll

This is John Tearle 1896 of Toddington, son of Joseph Marlow Tearle 1865 and Emily nee Evans. Military serial number 16521, 7th Beds Regt. I am not sure why National Roll has him in the 6th Regiment, because his medals card (below) clearly says 7/Beds.R.

Here he is in the 1911 census:

1911 Joseph Marlow Tearle 1867 Tod Emily 42 May 22 William 18 John 16 Percy George 13 Joseph 11 Violet Emily 8 Frederick Hector 6 Victoria Daisy 1 in Toddington

His father, Joseph appears to be working a dairy herd on his own farm. His mother, Emily, and May, his elder sister are machinists for a hat manufacturer. It is not clear if the factory is in Toddington, or whether the women are working at home on machines they have been supplied with. The evidence above suggests that Emily has her own machine, and May walks to work. This is in the fading times of the straw hat business in Bedfordshire, but a large number of women, girls and boys were employed in the straw-plaiting and hat-making industries.

William is in a cement works and John would appear to be the runner who delivers telegrams for the Post Office.

The only other morsel of evidence I have for John’s entire life is his medals card:

John Tearle 16521 WW1 army medal rolls

You can see how early he started in the war, but National Roll tells us that he joined the 7th Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment, in September 1914. Was he one of those brave young men who really did think the war would be over by Christmas, and it was an adventure not to be missed? His effective date for war pension and service medals was 26 July 1915, the day his ship dropped him and others of his unit in France.

If you look carefully at the statements by National Roll, John was thrown into the very thick of the greatest battles of The Great War. He was at Arras, he was in the Somme, he was at Wipers. How on Earth did he survive? Someone took pity on his injuries and he was sent to England (and anywhere else in the then UK) to perform light duties for the army. It is impossible to imagine what was in his head every time he heard a loud noise, whenever he went to bed, what nightmares he endured even when he was awake. When you are 18-23, things that happen to you then, stay with you vividly and uneraseably for the rest of your life. It must have been a doctor or a senior officer who had some streak of humanity to see that John was no longer fit to be a soldier, who devised a way to get him to safety. Surely he had served his country with distinction, and he was good enough to have been promoted to lance corporal.

As far as I know, he never married. Little wonder, I think, if you look at his length of service, the battles he was engaged in and the number of times he was injured and returned to service. He fought through the entire First World War, and then at the end of hostilities he still had to wait another six months before he could go home.

His grandmother was Sarah Tearle, an unmarried mother of three when she married John Marlow of Toddington in 1868. Judging by the names she had given the first three children, all born in Sundon, Bedfordshire, they look like John Marlow’s children, and Joseph himself was the second one. Sarah married John Marlow in Toddington, in August 1868. Because of his name we follow John’s ancestry to Sarah’s parents who were Joseph 1797 and Sarah nee Millings, Joseph’s parents were William 1769 and Sarah nee Clark, and William’s parents were Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp.

19Mar/15

John Tearle 1831, Toddington, UK

John 1831 was home for the 1851 census, at which time he was recorded as being an Ag Lab, the same as his father, William 1796 of Stanbridge. His mother was Catherine nee Fossey. His grandparents were Richard 1773 of Stanbridge and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. His g-grandparents were, of course John 1741 and Martha nee Archer, so he is of the branch John 1741.

On 04 Oct 1855, John married Maria Major in Toddington. According to the marriage certificate, her father was William Major, a carpenter, and it looks like she had a sister Elizabeth, who signed as a witness. In the 1861 census, we find out that her mother was Sarah and she was a seamstress from Ampthill, Beds.

I cannot find any John born 1831 Toddington anywhere in England, but at home in Toddington, there is Maria and her family:

1871 = Maria nee Major 1829 Tod William Tearle 8 John 3 in Toddington

1861 = John 1831 Tod Maria 29 Sarah Major MIL 63 in Tod

Their first little boy, Moses, was born in 1858 died in 1859. Their next child was Elizabeth, born in 1861, who died in 1863. Since Catherine is not in the 1871 census, there is the chilling possibility that she did not make it, either.

Their last child was Martha born in 15 Jun 1871, after the census was taken. It looks very much as though she went to stay with her uncle and aunt, as we have seen above, after her mother died.

Maria died in 1876, in a place called Ham, New Brentford, near Ealing and not too far from the Borough. Barbara told me she died of breast cancer. So this now places John somewhere in London.

We found him in Acton, with William, in the 1881 census

1881 = John 1831 Tod wid William 18 in Acton Mdx

There is an interesting little aside here, because also in Acton for the 1881 census was John’s nephew Egerton:

1881 = Egerton DC Cecil 1854 Worthing Elizabeth DC Cecil 29 sis Ada A Cecil 26 wife in Acton

I wonder if they met up?

I simply cannot find John Jnr (born 1867 in Toddington) anywhere.

There are stories of a William born 1863 living in Australia, and we are coming to the view that he may well be John and Maria’s boy. He is nowhere to be found in any other England census.

John 1867 Toddington turns up in the 1891 census as a machinist in Mile End Old Town. He has married an Annie from London and it’s interesting to speculate if he knows that George 1885 of Slapton is there, too.

1891 = John 1868 Tod Annie in Mile End Old Town Lon

His father, John 1831 Toddington simply is not in the 1891 census. And I can’t find either Annie or John 1868 Toddington in the 1901 census.

19Mar/15

Joseph Tearle, 1843, Toddington, UK

Joseph 1843 was born in Toddington to Sarah Tearle, the daughter of William 1796 of Stanbridge and Catherine nee Fossey. In 1856, a long time after Joseph was born, Sarah married John Garner, another of the Garners of Toddington. There is speculation that Joseph was John Garner’s son.

His early years can be traced in the 1851 and 1861 censuses, with his mother.

In 1871 Joseph has not moved far from Toddington, because he is in Parsonage End, married, with two children, William 4 and Moses 1. We now find out that Lois’ maiden name is Major and her mother is Phoebe Major “formerly Char Woman” and she is staying with them. Barbara tells me Joseph married Lois Major on 25 Nov 1866, in Toddington. William was rather grandly named William George Major Tearle and was born on 17 Apr 1866, in Toddington. Moses, named after his uncle, was born 06 Jun 1869 also in Toddington. I might add that both Phoebe and Lois, mother and daughter, are Toddington girls.

1871 = Joseph 1843 Tod Lois 28 William 4 Moses 1 Phoebe Major MIL 64 in Tod

The family is in New Inn, Toddington, which I understand is actually a pub. It seems to be on the corner of Friends Lane and Dunstable Rd. You can see that the family has grown with the addition of Minnie 1872, Major 1874 and Louisa 1880.

1881 = Joseph 1843 Tod Lois 38 William 14 Moses 11 Minnie 9 Major 6 Louisa 1 in Tod

Unfortunately, this is also the address at which Joseph died on 01 Apr 1886. By 1891, Lois is a widow, just 48yrs and Moses, even though he is only 21 yrs, is the “Inn Keeper (in charge)”while William, the elder brother, is a Brewer’s Assistant. Major is a butcher’s apprentice while Louisa, at 11yrs is still at school. That’s a change, isn’t it? We are used to seeing children, even this young, already at work. Lois (we’ll assume she is still running this) is also hiring a Brewer & Maltster. His name is Thomas R Green and he is lodging in the house. He is also probably the master to whom William is the assistant.

1891 = Lois 1843 Tod wid William G 24 Moses 21 Major 16 Louisa 11 in Tod

In the 1901 census we find out that they are indeed in the New Inn public house, Luton Rd, and it has been joined by the Angel public house right next door. Lois is the Publican (I thought she was running the show) Moses is the Brewer – s & . Groom, I think, and Louisa is the Barmaid. Excellent.

1901 = Lois 1843 Tod Moses 31 Louisa 21 in Tod

William died on 16 Sep 1895 in The Square, Toddington, and the 1901 census shows his widow, Annie nee Briden living in The Square, Toddington with son Hubert Major Tearle 1893 Tod. She is a dressmaker working from home “on own account” as the enumerator puts it.

1901 = Annie 1868 Tod Hubert Major 7 in Tod

Hubert went on to move to St Albans, marry Daisy Howard there on 27 Dec 1913 and become an employee of the Gas Board. He died on 09 Oct 1982 in Hadley Lawns, Barnet. 89yrs old.

Richard Tearle told me: “Hubert, of course, served in the Royal Artillery in WW1 and “… and once told us that he was recommended with four others for a medal, but there were only 4 medals awarded and he was the one who missed out.”

Major 1874 Tod wasn’t in Toddington on the night of the 1901 census, in fact I can’ t find him anywhere, but he had married Elizabeth Ann nee Turvey and she was there on the High Street, Toddington, with son William Major Tearle 1899 Tod. She does not give a profession or occupation.

1901 = Elizabeth A 1877 Tod William M 2 in Tod

Minnie 1872 Tod was in the 1901 census. She was listed as an “Officer” and S(ingle) and Head Attendant in the Dartford Asylum, in Kent.

1901 = Minnie 1872 Tod Head Attendant in Dartford Asylum Kent

19Mar/15

Sarah Tearle, 1823, Toddington, UK

In the 1841 census of Toddington, William 1796 and Catherine nee Fossey, along with Sarah, Moses and John are all bracketed as “Ag Lab” which simply means general workers of one sort or another, no matter how skilled the work might be. In 1843, Sarah had her own son, Joseph 1843 in Toddington, and he was baptised by her on 16 Apr 1843. In the 1851 Toddington census, the 8yr old Joseph is listed as “grandson” in William’s family of Catherine, Sarah, John and Joseph.

1851 = William 1797 Stbg Catherine 52 Sarah 26 John 18 Joseph gs 8 in Tod

Even at 8yrs, little Joseph is already a “Platter,” making Bedfordshire straw into little strips and then plaiting it into bundles to be made into hats.

Sarah married John Garner of Toddington on 03 Nov 1856 in Toddington and in the 1861 census they are living in Parsonage End, Toddington.

1861 = Joseph 1843 Tod w John and Sarah Garner in Tod

John and Joseph are classified as Ag Lab and Sarah is a laundress.

The 1871 census image is corrupt and won’t load, but in 1881 Joseph is out on his own (we’ll catch up with him shortly) and Sarah and John, still living in Parsonage End, have been joined by their 9yr old niece Martha. She is the daughter of Sarah’s brother, John 1831 Tod.

1881 = Martha 1872 Tod niece to John Garner 58 Sarah 56 in Tod

In 1891, same address, Martha and Sarah are both listed as laundress. Without rubber gloves, and with only Victorian soap to use (my mum used to make it herself, so I suppose they did, too) one can only imagine the state of their hands. This is not trivial.

1891 = Martha 1872 Tod niece to John Garner 71 in Tod

In 1901, now 78yrs old, Sarah is living in Station Road, on one side the blacksmith Harry Holman and on the other Ann Worthington, 74 of “own means.” On census night she records a visiting Washerwoman, Eliza Ann Smith 25. The enumerator notes that Sarah is “nearly blind” and there is no occupation recorded for her – not even parish relief.

19Mar/15

Moses Tearle, 1827, Toddington, UK

Barbara Tearle of Oxford has told us about Moses, who married the daughter of the Lord of the Manor of Toddington. I thought I’d have a look through the censuses to see if I could put together some of his story and with that lay the cornerstone of the rest of their family’s history. Here he is in 1841, living in Toddington with his father William 1796 of Stanbridge and his mother, Catherine nee Fossey. These are the only names I have for William and Catherine’s children, but Barbara has assured me that these are the only children whom William and Catherine had. You can see that Catherine had the last of her children at 49yrs. That’s pretty good going.

1841 = William 1791 Beds Catherine 60 Sarah 16 Moses 14 John 11 in Tod

By 1851 Moses had married Amelia Cooper Cooper, called himself Henry and moved to Speldhurst, Kent – with enough wealth to support four servants. I have called him Moses in the record, but in the census you have to find him under Henry Cecil, and sometimes with a double L. Goodness knows where they got the Cecill name from, but if I might be allowed to speculate, then perhaps from the Henry Cecil of Elizabethan court fame. Amelia’s father was William Dodge Cooper Cooper of Toddington Manor and Park House, Highgate, London.

1851 = Moses (Henry) 1825 Tod Amelia 35 Aubrey 4 Dodge 1 plus 4 servants in Speldhurst Kent

There does not appear to be any good reason why he should move to Speldhurst. Perhaps because of the Speldhurst spa, famous in Tunbridge Wells. His wife is from Highgate, Mdx and they must have spent some time in London because young Aubrey was born in Paddington while Dodge was born in Worthing, Sussex. Speldhurst is close to Sussex and in fact at one time the Speldhurst parish boundary ran along the Sussex border.

In the census he records himself as “No profession” so he may have gone to a spa either for its curative properties or because he knew the rich and famous went there and the family was trying to cultivate its contacts.

St Marys, Portsea, from their website

St Marys, Portsea, from their website

Barbara Tearle of Oxford has told us about Moses who married the daughter of the Lord of the Manor of Toddington. I thought I’d have a look through the censuses to see if I could put together some of his story and with that lay the cornerstone of the rest of their family’s history. Here he is in 1841, living in Toddington with his father William 1796 of Stanbridge and his mother, Catherine nee Fossey. These are the only names I have for William and Catherine’s children, but Barbara has assured me that these are the only children whom William and Catherine had. You can see that Catherine had the last of her children at 49yrs. That’s pretty good going.

1841 = William 1791 Beds Catherine 60 Sarah 16 Moses 14 John 11 in Tod

By 1851 Moses had married Amelia Cooper Cooper, called himself Henry and moved to Speldhurst, Kent – with enough wealth to support four servants. I have called him Moses in the record, but in the census you have to find him under Henry Cecil, and sometimes with a double L. Goodness knows where they got the Cecill name from, but if I might be allowed to speculate, then perhaps from the Henry Cecil of Elizabethan court fame. Amelia’s father was William Dodge Cooper Cooper of Toddington Manor and Park House, Highgate, London.

1851 = Moses (Henry) 1825 Tod Amelia 35 Aubrey 4 Dodge 1 plus 4 servants in Speldhurst Kent

There does not appear to be any good reason why he should move to Speldhurst. Perhaps because of the Speldhurst spa, famous in Tunbridge Wells. His wife is from Highgate, Mdx and they must have spent some time in London because young Aubrey was born in Paddington while Dodge was born in Worthing, Sussex. Speldhurst is close to Sussex and in fact at one time the Speldhurst parish boundary ran along the Sussex border.

In the census he records himself as “No profession” so he may have gone to a spa either for its curative properties or because he knew the rich and famous went there and the family was trying to cultivate its contacts.

Barbara points out that Amelia was 14 years older than Moses, so it is interesting to speculate about their relationship.

Amelia died 1880, and Barbara has given me the flavour of her will and marriage settlement:

“Abstracts from Beds County Record Office of Cooper Cooper family documents including the marriage settlement of Amelia and Moses.

The marriage settlement tied up funds so that Amelia and Moses could only use the income.  Amelia and others, but not Moses, had control of it.  It was most unusual in those days for women to be in control of property.  If Amelia died before Moses, he was to have an income for life unless he re-married.  She died in 1880 and he went on to 1908, so he got his money’s worth.

Although the Cooper Cooper family in Toddington remained in contact with Amelia and her children, they did not acknowledge her marriage in things like Burke’s Landed Gentry.  I have a copy of the 1853 entry and Amelia is firmly shown as not married.”

I found Amelia Jnr – and she had married very well, a wealthy Scottish chap who made money from Dividends – and she has stayed close to her dad:

1881 = Amelia 1855 Worthing p1 James Marley 45 Amelia A 4 James C 3 in Portsea

1881 = Amelia 1855 Worthing p2 Gesugo E Marley 11m and 2 servants in Portsea

1881 Egerton DC Cecil 1854 Worthing Elizabeth DC Cecil 29 sis Ada A Cecil 26 wife in Acton

Egerton has married and is living with his sister and his wife in Acton. He says he is a Clerk in S&A.D – South Kensington.

Barbara has added for me:

“S & AD is the Science and Art Department, possibly of the Science Museum as he says in South Kensington.  The London Gazette posted notices of civil service appointments down to very humble levels (eg postmen) for many years.   In July 1891 Egerton Dodge Cooper Cecil was an Abstrator in the Science division (but it does not say which ministry) and in July 1891 he was transferred or promoted to the Science and Art Department.

But these don’t account for him in 1881.  Maybe appointments were not notified to the London Gazette then.

In 1902 he became a second division clerk but it does not say in which department.  Possibly internal promotion.

Egerton also appears in a cricketing magazine as playing for Hampshire in 1875, in one match and not exactly covering himself with glory.   Maybe he was better in village cricket than at county level.

The site gives biographical. details:  born 4 July 1853 Worthing. Died 25 September 1928 Mortlake. 

Elizabeth may be an interesting character.  I have her birth certificate: Elizabeth Dodge Cooper Cecill born on 1 July 1851 at 3 Marine Terrace, Worthing.  Father:  Henry Moses Tearl Cecill, gentleman.  Mother: Amelia Cooper Tearl Cecill formerly Cooper.

I found Dodge in Sussex and he is a “Retired Officer of the 47th Regiment,” which is why I couldn’t find him in the 1871 census – he was in Dublin. He is married and has his own little Aubrey and Amelia. Young Frederick was born in Dublin, I suppose while his dad was on active duty, taking his family with him. Dodge’s widowed father Moses is at last calling himself Moses, after all these years of calling himself Henry. I wonder if the T in his name is Tearle?

1881 = Dodge C Cecill 1850 Worthing Sophie J 30 Frederick W 10 Aubrey DC 8 Amelia TC 9m Moses T Cecill father 53 wid Tod in Sussex S Bersted

Barbara adds:

“The London Gazette is a great place for military (officer level) appointments and bursts Dodge’s pretensions of an army career.  It records that, as from 22 June 1870,  Dodge Cooper Cecill Cecill  Gent was an Ensign by purchase in the 47th Foot. Next year it records that Ensign Dodge Cooper Cecill Cecill “has been permitted to retire from the Service by sale of his commission.  Dated 7 October 1871.”  So he did not last long.”

Aubrey is also visible in the 1881 census – he is a boarder with a newish wife, Elizabeth nee Peadon and a 2yr old son

1881 = Aubrey C Cecil 1851 Tod Elizabeth 23 Aubrey BC Cecil 2 in Chiswick Mdx

He says he has “Private Income” and his son Aubrey was “Born at Sea.”

Barbara gives us this gem:

“To add to the information about Aubrey:

24 August 1878 Aubrey Cooper Cecil formerly Tearl married Elizabeth Peadon at All Saints Church, Southampton.

10 September 1878 birth of Aubrey Bruce Cooper Cecil on board ship, the “Scottish Prince”.  The certificate (which I don’t have: I think I saw it at Beds CRO) says that the last place of residence of the father, Aubrey Cooper Cecil, was Manor House, Toddington.

Don’t know where they were going, but they were back in England for him to play for Hants in 1876 and to be in the 1881 census.”

There is an interesting picture in the 1891 census. Moses is now head of the house, but lists his occupation as a solicitor’s clerk. I’m fascinated by that – I thought he didn’t have to work. Dodge and Sophia have sent their children off and there are just the three of them in the South Bersted house. And he’s calling himself Henry again.

1891 = Moses (Henry) T Cecil 1827 Tod Dodge C Cecil 41 son Sophie 40 DIL in Sussex S Bersted

Whether the enumerator got it wrong, or Egerton has changed his name a bit, he is at any rate in Wandsworth, London, in the 1891 census, and he has a 5yr old daughter, Louisa. He is in the Civil Service. I suppose, as government expanded, this became the new Ag Lab; although perhaps a little better paid and with slightly more status. Even today, Wandsworth is still largely occupied by the poor.

1891 = Egerton (Edward) 1854 Ada A 36 Louisa B 5 in Wandsworth Lon

By 1901, everyone in Moses’ house had retired: both Dodge, at only 51, and Moses at 74 are saying they are “living on own means.” The area must be fairly rural, because while they are living in Village Street, their neighbours on both sides are Ag Cattle and the neighbour two houses down is a farmer.

1901 = Dodge C Cecil 1850 Worthing Sophie 50 Moses (Henry) T Cecil 74 wid Tod in Sussex S Bersted

At last we find out that Ada’s middle name is Amelia and Louisa is now rather grandly called Harriet-Louisa Boyd Cecil, so perhaps that’s a clue to Ada’s maiden name. We find out that Egerton is in the Education Department and there is a visitor from the Admiralty staying with them. Speculating on how they would know someone from the Admiralty was interesting. And they have gone up in the world a bit, too, because Clarence Rd, Richmond is definitely better than Wandsworth.

Wendy Skelley of Auckland, New Zealand, has beautifully written and illustrated stories of Moses’ boys Aubrey and Egerton.

Barbara Tearle of Oxford has also written an excellent piece, which you can read here

18Mar/15
Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall headstone in Dunstable Cemetery.

Susanna Tearle, 1827, Dagnall, UK

This is the memorial to Susanna, born 28 May 1827, in Dagnall, Bucks, not far from Edlesborough. Her parents were Abel 1797 Edlesborough and Hannah nee Frost. Abel was the son of the famous Fanny Tearle who is the ancestor of several families in Australia. Fanny is very likely to be the daughter of Thomas 1737 Stanbridge and Susannah nee Attwell. Thus Susanna, then, is of the branch Thomas 1737.

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall, headstone in Dunstable Cemetery.

Here are the 19th Century census returns I have found for her: I’m afraid I can’t find her before 1861. The story of her brother Jabez is extensively told in John L Tearle’s groundbreaking book Tearle, A Bedfordshire Surname

1861 = Jabez 1837 Dagnall Susannah 30 housekeeper in Dunst

1871 = Susanna 1830 Dagnall serv for Benjamin Bennett in Dunst

1881 = Susanna 1827 Dagnall housekeeper in Dunst

I do wonder who erected this beautiful memorial to her.

I am still looking for the memorial to Thomas and Bethia. I have heard that their memorial is in the public cemetery, but I have not been able to find it