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Hugh Mill Bunbury & the Guyana Connection

This rather hazy portrait is believed to be of the
original Hugh Mill Bunbury, founder of the Devonshire sugar plantation in Guyana.  Although related and also from Carlow, my family are from a different branch. (Photo courtesy of Peter Bunbury)

Hugh Mill Bunbury (1766-1838)


The Guyana plantation owner Hugh Mill Bunbury was the third and arguably the most eccentric of the six sons born to Thomas Bunbury of Cranavonane and his wife Mary Mill. Born on 11 February 1766, he was baptised at Saint Paul’s, Exeter, Devon, on 15 April 1766. He appears to have moved to the West Indies as a young man, possibly with one of his brothers. In 1799, just two years after the island’s conquest by Britain, he founded the substantial Devonshire Castle estates in what was then British Guyana, a part of the world that is today prone to flood whenever an iceberg melts. The children of his first wife provide troublesome – his daughter Lydia was disinherited for marrying the French Romantic poet Count Alfred de Vigny; his son Henry was written out of the records, possibly for his erratic behaviour as a young man in Scotland.

His second marriage to Alicia Lille produced four sons, the most prominent of whom was Charles Thomas Bunbury, commander of the Rifle Brigade and husband of Lady Harriot Dundas. Hugh’s grandson Hamilton Bunbury converted to Catholicism and became one of Pope Pius XI’s Privy Chamberlains, as well as heir to the Bunbury family seat of Cranavonane. Another grandson was the much-decorated businessman, Evelyn James Bunbury. Perhaps most interestingly, the Guyana branch also yielded a family that spread throughout the West Indies, including Trinidad and Jamaica, and north to Canada, while several of them crossed to England as part of the Windrush Generation where they continue to win honours to the present day.


The Marriage to Lydia Cox


On 16 August 1791, the year of his father’s death, Hugh was married in a Church of England ceremony on the West Indies island of St Vincent to 16-year-old Lydia Prisea Cox, the eldest of seven children.[1] Lydia and her twin sister Margaret were baptized on 20 August 1775 in the island’s St George’s Anglican Cathedral in Kingstown.

Herbert Palmer Cox, Lydia’s father, was born in London in 1748 but left England for St Vincent on assignment with the British Army sometime between 1770 and 1774. [2] On 6 August 1774, Herbert Cox was married in St Vincent to Jane Alexander, daughter of the Hon. Harry Alexander of Antigua and his wife, Lydia Martin. Herbert became a prominent individual on St Vincent and is listed as a member of a “Friendly Club” in 1785. He held several ranks in both the British Army and the St Vincent Island Militia from at least 1789 until his death aged 75 on 8 April 1824. In addition to his military and governmental duties, Herbert owned slaves and at least one sugar plantation.


Lydia Cox’s Siblings


Margaret Cox, Lydia’s younger twin, was married on 29 August 1796 to former army surgeon Dr Alexander Melville, with whom she had ten children.

Their younger sister Anne Elizabeth Cox was married in 1809 to James Grant, a kinsman of Sir Alexander Grant.

Lydia’s younger brother Francis James Cox lived on the nearby island of St Lucia and died on 1 July 1824 aged 39.

Lydia’s youngest brother Douglas Leith Cox was married in 1821 to Magdalen Sutherland with whom he had several children, born in St Vincent, Scotland, Canada and Hampshire in England.

Another brother Philip Greathead Cox did not survive childhood.


The Move to Guyana


Detail from ‘Slaves Cutting the Sugar Cane’, Antigua, 1823.

In 1796, the British captured the former Dutch colony of Demerara which then became British Guiana, now Guyana. Hugh, Lydia and their baby daughter Lydia Jane Bunbury moved there soon afterwards. [3]

The following year, Hugh Bunbury purchased some bushland on the Arabian coast, outside  Essquibo in Demerara, which he cultivated into what would become the Devonshire and Devonshire Castle estates, specialising in coffee, cotton and sugar. The Bunbury’s would retain ownership of the estate until 1875.

In 1800, Lydia gave birth to a son, Hugh Mill Bunbury, whose birth may have resulted in Lydia’s premature death. An article in The Times of London on the probate of Hugh M Bunbury states that Lydia died in Demerara and was buried in St Vincent on 1 September 1800.

Demerara was returned to the Dutch in 1802 but recaptured a decade later. Hugh and Lydia returned to England sometime after 1812.


Edward Bunbury of Evergreen & the Possible Trinidad Connection

One of the earliest surviving Anglican baptisms for the parish of St George on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent is recorded as Edward Bunbury, a “natural son of Hugh Mill Bunbury by Rebecca a free mulatto”, who was born in 1798. [3a] Rebecca is thought to have been either of Ghanian Ashanti or a Nigerian Yourba descent. One wonders if her family encountered Richard Brew along the way.

Hugh does not seem to have formally acknowledged Edward as his own. That said, perhaps he helped Edward along the way because the boy later became the operator / owner of a Bunbury sugar plantations at Sparta. On 16 June 1838, the British Guiana Royal Gazette noted:

“Edward Bunbury of Pln Evergreen, Essequibo, was appointed a JP by acting Governor, HE Col Thomas Bunbury”.

This was his kinsman, Colonel Thomas K H Bunbury, who, having served as Lieutenant Governor of St Lucia from 1837-1838, went to Guyana in 1838 where he was  recorded as Administering the Government. There is an unsubstantiated story that he fathered a daughter by Mary Seacole.

Edward died on 9 September 1850. [4]

Edward’s older son John Bunbury (1818- July 1850) died aged thirty-two.

Edward’s second son Robert Bunbury (1823-1876) was the ‘R. Bunbury’ later listed as owner of the Evergreen plantation in Guyana. Robert, who died on 4/1/1876, was the father of .Theophilus Bunbury (b.1874). Theophilus married Amy Maud Yearwood with whom he had twin daughters Doris Olga Bunbury (b.1900, mother of the author and dance master Islwyn Poole, b.1930) and Carmen Bunbury, as well as a son Gavin Bunbury. 

According to ‘Who is Who in British Guiana’ (1945-48), Gavin Bunbury was born in Georgetown on 19 January 1909 and educated at St. Thomas Scot’s School, Georgetown. In his early career he was a prospector attached to the Geological Survey, and ‘travelled extensively in the interior of the Colony.’ He was also a ‘Diamond Buyer’ for Messers. Triefus.  Gavin, described by the family as a ‘white Bunbury’ later became general manager of the sugar factory at Plantation Diamond, East Bank, Demerara, where he lived on the estate compound with his wife Ruth Arthy (who he married on 8 January 1940) and four sons. As well as tennis and bridge, Gavin enjoyed literature, gardening, and cabinet-making. His eldest son Richard, born in 1941, migrated to Derby to train as an engineer.

A Walter Bunbury and his family are believed to be direct descendants of Gavin.

Gavin had a cousin by name of Henry Bunbury, a war hero, who survived the First World War (1914 -1918), made it back to British Guiana and received the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He returned to Guyana to live with Gavin in the estate compound at Plantation Diamond in the late 1940s or early 1950s. This may be the same Henry Bunbury of Guyana who had at least three sons, two of whom were Albert and Hector, and a daughter. The three brothers were in a band together and all played instruments; they may have played for the British Guiana Militia Band. The known information of his sons is:

1. Hector Bunbury was born in British Guiana in 1905. At the age of eighteen, he left Guyana to study in Barbados and never returned. He moved to Trinidad where his brothers and sister sometimes visited him. By his wife Sybil, he had 10 children including:
i. Charles Bunbury, Hector’s second son, who was born circa 1939.
ii. Duncan Bunbury, father of Laura Bunbury (who communicated with me in 2016) and Lisa Bunbury.
iii. Cheryl
iv. Joy
v. Heather Bunbury, the youngest of the ten, who settled in Atlanta, Georgia.
As of 2005, there were Trinidadian Bunburys in the UK, USA (Miami) and Canada. A female member of the Trinidad Bunbury’s worked in banking in Barbados with her husband; she visited Guyana on a number of occasions and reconnected with Hectors line

2. Albert Bunbury was a violinist who played in orchestras in the UK. His daughter Veronica Maynard (also known as Daphne) married a bank manager for Barclay’s Bank. There was an Albert Bunbury who left British Guiana 1955 for the UK, had a daughter named Gem and eventually settled in Kingston, Jamaica.

Alex Bunbury, son of a Henry Bunbury, left Guyana and became a prominent soccer player and member of the national men’s squad in Canada. (Some Guayana Bunburys moved to Montreal, Canada.) Alex’s children are Kylie Bunbury, Teal Bunbury (who plays currently in the MSL, the biggest league in N. America) and Logan Bunbury.


The Marriage to Alicia Lillie


This is believed to be Alicia Bunbury (née Lillie), second wife of Hugh Mill Bunbury, with their four daughters. (Photo courtesy Peter Bunbury).

In March 1822, seven years after Napoleon’s fall at Waterloo, Hugh Mill Bunbury took as his second wife Alicia Lillie, daughter of Philip Lillie whose address is given in Burke’s as Drumdoe Castle, County Roscommon. Drumdoe is located on the south-eastern shore of Lough Arrow but I know of no castle.

At the time of his marriage, he settled the whole of his property on his new wife and any children they might have, except for a sum of £30,000 which was to go towards his two children by his first marriage, namely Hugh and Lydia.

According to the website of The Guyana/British Guyana Genealogical Society, Mrs Bunbury, presumably Alicia, owned a sugar plantation at Devonshire Castle. Alicia was also listed as owner of a planation at Devonshire ‘Cnstio’, perhaps castle, which was managed by H. Bunbury. A report from 1817 indicates there were 318 enslaved people on the estate at the time, 210 male, 108 female. I wonder how such places fared with Jack Gladstone and the Demerara rebellion of 1823. The violent suppression of that rebellion prompted the outrage that led to the abolition of slavery a decade later.

The published ‘Recollections‘ of Hugh’s illegitimate nephew Major Thomas Bunbury include some references to the Devonshire plantation – and to the compensation his uncle received for the loss of slaves following the abolition of slavery. Hugh had offered to purchase his nephew a Majority in the army, but this was declined.

Alicia bore him a further four sons [Peter (Philippe), Henry, Charles and Francis] and four daughters [Delphine, Elizabeth, Anna and a.n. other]. All of these children are looked at again below except (until further information arises) the fourth son Francis Hamilton Bunbury, who was born in 1839 and died unmarried in Munich aged 19 in 1858.

An extract from that 1832 will reads as follows:

“In the Goods of Hugh Mills [sic] Bunbury Esq deced … APPEARED PERSONALLY       Alicia Bunbury of West Hill Wandsworth in the County of Surry Widow the executrix named in the last Will and Testament of Hugh Mills Bunbury formerly of Devonshire Castle in the United Colonies of Demerara and Esequibo in the West Indies afterwards of Lodge Road Regents Park in the County of Middlesex but late of West Hill Wandsworth aforesaid Esq deced which Will bears date the twenty third day of January in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty two”

In later life, Hugh took up residence at West Hill in Wandsworth, Surrey, where he still had an address at the time of his death in London on 2 November 1838. This is now the Royal Neuro Hospital.

Devonshire Castle with Pond and Carriage in Front of House. Courtesy of Anthony Bunbury.

In his will, which had three Codicils, he stated:

‘I, HUGH MILLS BUNBURY  … of Devonshire Castle in the United Colonies of Demerara and Essequibo but now residing at Lodge Road Regents Park in the County of Middlesex Esq do make publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament     I desire that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses may be paid as soon as conveniently may be after my decease I give devise and bequeath unto between and among Delphine Bunbury Philippe Bunbury Elizabeth Bunbury Anna Bunbury and Henry Bunbury my five children by my present wife Alicia Bunbury one equal moiety or half part of all those my two plantations and estates called Devonshire Castle Plantation and Devonshire Plantation…….”

Alicia survived him until 13 October 1863 when she died at her London residence, 7 Prince’s Square in Bayswater. [5] In a codicil to her will dated 2 July 1858, she remarked:

‘Since writing my will I sold to my son Henry Hugh Bunbury all my West Indies Estates. I now leave him two thousand £2000 pounds of the twelve thousand with which it is mortgaged to him instead of all other monies left him by my Will…..’

The British Guiana Directory with Diary and Almanac for the year 1860 lists Mrs Bunbury as ‘Proprietor of Sugar Estates’ at Hampton Court and Devonshire Castle.

The Devonshire estate was also the base of a major uprising in 1872. The Bunbury’s seem to have sold it in 1875 to Colonial Company Limited, who also acquired Hampton Court, but this requires more research. The family of the above-named Robert Bunbury (1823-1876) continued to live at Devonshire Castle after the sale. It is not known who the principal benefactor from the same was but it may have been Charles Thomas Bunbury (1836-1917) of the Rifle Brigade who is thought to have arrived in Guiana in 1881.


Bunbury v Bunbury


In April 1839, just months after Hugh Mill Bunbury’s death, a case was heard at the Roll’s Court in Westminster concerning his children by his first marriage to Lydia Cox (ie: Henry Mill Bunbury and Lydia de Vigny, with her husband Count de Vigny also mentioned) and the seven infant children of his second marriage to Alicia Lillie. The main question was whether the Court in Demerara (governed by the laws of Holland) or the Court of Chancery in Great Britain were the proper jurisdiction for the trial of the suit.

It transpired that upon his marriage to Lydia Cox in August 1791, Hugh had ‘made a settlement of certain slaves with their future issue, and increases, for himself for life, and afterwards for his wife for life, and afterwards for the issue of their marriage on attaining 21 or marrying‘. As the Devonshire estates did not exist at the time of this marriage settlement, the case was to decide whether the children of his second marriage had any rights to the estate. The details of the case themselves are too complex to note here but the link is footnoted below. The Emancipation Act did not come into effect in Demerara (aka Guyana) until 1840. [6]


Lydia, Countess de Vigny


Lydia, Comtesse de Vigny, was born a Bunbury.

Hugh and Lydia Bunbury’s only daughter Lydia Jane Bunbury achieved a degree of literary fame in 1825 when she was married in Pau to the French dramatist and Romantic poet, Count Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863), then a Captain in the Red Mousquetaires of Louis XVIII. De Vigny was born in 1797 in the Touraine region of France to aristocratic parents who, once wealthy, had lost their fortune during the French Revolution. The family moved to Paris where de Vigny was raised among other families nostalgic for the ancien régime of pre-Revolutionary France. In 1814, he followed family tradition and joined the Royal Guard, in which he served for thirteen years. While serving in the military he had several poems published, all noted for their stoical despair and pessimism.

Towards the end of his time as a musketeer, he met and married Lydia Bunbury. After they were married, Lydia revealed that she had lied about her date of birth. She had told him she was born in 1799 – rather than 1796 – because she did not want Vigny to know she was older. [7]

Lydia, poor thing, became a chronic invalid shortly afterwards. She also never learned to speak French fluently. Being a Romantic poet, de Vigny inevitably became involved with several other women, including the great Romantic actress Marie Dorval. De Vigny was also said to have been disappointed when Hugh’s second marriage to Alice Lillie deprived the couple of an anticipated inheritance, as evidenced by the court case of 1839, see below.

When an English theatre troupe visited Paris in 1827 with a Shakespearean production, de Vigny became interested in the stage. In 1831, he presented his first original play, La Maréchale d’Ancre, a historical drama recounting the events leading up to the reign of King Louis XIII.

The story runs that Hugh disapproved of de Vigny. Indeed, according to French gossip, Hugh was ‘so conspicuous an example of insular eccentricity that he never could remember his son-in-law’s name or anything about him, except that he was a poet‘. At any rate, Hugh disinherited Lydia and her brother Hugh on 25 February 1832, revoking the terms of the 1822 settlement. I’m not sure why. Was it on account of the marriage? However, I think he then made Hugh and Lydia the principal beneficiaries of the compensation given to Demerara slave owners following abolition, as per the case here.

In 1833, Lydia, Comtresse de Vigny, was caught up in a family scandal when her first cousin Henry Mill Bunbury married another first cousin, Mary Bunbury, much to the dismay of her uncle Colonel Hamilton Bunbury. For more, see Bunbury of Cranavonane.

De Vigny was sufficiently capable of shaking off all this financial stress to produce a drama entitled Chatterton in 1835. Based on the life of Thomas Chatterton, it is considered one of the best of the French romantic dramas. It made de Vigny famous and for a while, he was seen as Victor Hugo’s literary rival.

Disillusioned by politics, failed love affairs, and his lack of recognition as a writer, de Vigny withdrew from Parisian society after 1840. In 1845, following several unsuccessful attempts, he was elected to the prestigious literary society, Académie française. Three years later, he retreated to the family home at Charente, for which the French critic Charles Augustin Sainte-beuve coined the phrase ‘tour d’ivoire‘ or ‘ivory tower‘. There, he lived quietly until his death from stomach cancer in 1863, a few months after Lydia herself had passed away after a long illness. De Vigny is interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris, France. They left no children. [8]




The Mystery of Hugh Mill Bunbury (1800-1861/1866)


Burke’s states that Hugh Mill Bunbury was born in 1800 and died in Canada in either 1861 or 1866. [9]  Hugh was born in Guyana, after his father’s first marriage in St Vincent to Lydia Cox. There is something mysterious about this man who, like his sister, was disinherited by their father. The notion that he was a ladies’ man is suggested by the fact that he was married at least four times.


Marriage Possibility: Miss Chiles


Wolfe Tone – his brother-in-law Edward Witherington married Hugh Mills Bunbury’s daughter.

One of the earliest references to him concerns some marriage banns, dated 11-25 August 1822, between a Hugh Mill / Mills Bunbury of Thavies Inn, Holborn, London, and Mary Ann Eugenia Lauretta Chiles of Marylebone. She may well have been of Maltese origin. The dates for the marriage banns are odd because they were read on three dates in August 1822. Normally the third and final reading of the banns occurs during the marriage ceremony. It appears that the marriage was called off at the third reading. When Hugh married Maria James the following year, the register described him as a bachelor.

In 1825, twenty-two-year-old Ann Eugenia Chiles of Marylebone married sixty-seven-year-old Colonel Edward Witherington, 9th Dragoons, a brother of Wolfe Tone‘s wife Matilda Witherington (1769-1849). Edward and Mathilde’s father William Witherington was a woollen draper and wine merchant on Grafton Street; their mother was a housekeeper.

Edward and Anne Eugenia Witherington’s oldest son was the rather mysteriously named Edward Bunbury Witherington (1827-1841) who died in Croydon, Surrey, shortly before his 14th birthday in April-May 1841. Presumably the boy was named ‘Bunbury’ for his grandfather.  did the boy get the name Bunbury if the marriage did not proceed? Maybe she was already pregnant with HMB2’s child when she married Colonel Witherington? [10]

According to Thomas Reynolds, ‘Miss Childe’ [sic] was a natural daughter of ‘Colonel Bunbury of the Buffs,’ meaning Hugh’s uncle, Colonel Hamilton Welch Bunbury. (Further details on the Cranavonane page.) So could Mary Ann have been another natural daughter of Colonel Bunbury? Mary Ann Eugenia Laura Witherington married Benjamin Henry Benjamin in Paris sometime between 1849-1854. [11]

Reverting to Hugh’s potential marriage to Miss Chiles, if one read Miles as Mills, I suspect this ties in with the case of MacKenzie v Bunbury, reported in The Times in February 1830.

‘Mr. Hugh Miles Bunbury [defendant) … is a gentleman of property … having a son of an untoward disposition, sent him to a small school in a remote part of Scotland where, however, he soon formed an attachment to a young lady which induced his master to take measures to be relieved of his charge’.

Through the medium of his friend, Mr Ross, Hugh then put his son into the office of a Mr MacKenzie, plaintiff, ‘a writer to the signet at Edinburgh‘. ‘One of the earliest uses‘ which the pragmatic boy ‘made of the plaintiff’s law books was to seek out and copy a contract of marriage according to the Scotch law, and which he immediately entered to with the young lady above-mentioned‘. By the time friends of both parties discovered the marriage, ‘the young gentleman‘ was seeing ‘another lady whom he liked better‘.

The marriage was duly annulled at a cost of £30. In the meantime, Mr MacKenzie had tired of his charge whom he found to be ‘anything but an agreeable appendage to his family‘. He sent him to a friend in London who then dispatched him to other friends in Hampshire. It transpired that poor MacKenzie had to foot all these bills himself, including the £30 annulment and £60 travel expenses, which is why he had been obliged to take Hugh to court. Hugh, then living in France, wrote a letter to assure him of payment but no money followed. Hugh was ordered to pay up, but cut the travelling expenses from £60 to £25. [12]


Marriage No. 1: Maria James


Hugh and Maria James were married on 16 December 1823, in Newington, Surrey. Their only child Amelia Ann Bunbury was born shortly afterwards. Maria Bunbury died in the summer of 1828 and was buried in Middlewich, Cheshire, on 8 August 1828. [13] I will move onto his other wives shortly but first a little court action …


Report from Times Online Archive: Wednesday 5 January 1825:

Insolvent Debtors Court, Tuesday, Jan. 4. 1825, Hugh Mills Bunbury late of Cambridge University was opposed by Messrs Pollock and Heath for a great number of creditors, principally trades people. The insolvent, who is a fashionable looking young man, not yet 24 years of age, stated in the course of his examination by Mr. Pollock that he went to Cambridge about the 26th of April last, accompanied by Mr. Platt, who is Bachelor of Corpus Christi College, as his tutor. He took his wife down there also, with a young lady named Harris. On his arrival he engaged lodgings at two guineas a week, in the suburbs of the town. He had previously lived for eighteen months at Walworth, and was in the habit of attending Mr. Hartley’s office, in New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, for the purpose of qualifying himself by legal study to enter Lincoln’s Inn. He remained at Cambridge only until the 1st of September, when he again returned to Walworth, and through the medium of an advertisement in The Times newspaper, obtained a situation on trial at the British Annuity office.

He was arrested on two actions and gave bail. The persecution of his creditors prevented him from retaining his situation or returning to the University and taking his degree of bachelor of arts. He had engaged himself in the conveyancing department of the British Annuity office, with the intention of applying his salary to the payment of the demands against him.

He is not the son or the nephew of Sir Charles Bunbury; nor had he ever said he was. His father was never Commissary General of the Ionian Islands, nor did he say he was; but he had been Commissary General of the Leeward Islands. He is 23 years of age, and has been married 18 months. Shortly before he went to Cambridge, his income was reduced to 120l a year; but his father’s agent gave him a sum of £120 when he was going to college. In 1812 he received £600 from his father; in 1813, £800. He had no specific allowance. Up to 1822 he might have spent £40,000 but in the middle of 1823 his income was cut down to £10 per month. He was proceeding, but …

The Chief Commissioner recommended him to answer the questions put to him, and not boast of the enormous sums of money he had squandered …
The Insolvent continued. He had Miss Harris on a visit with him because his wife was in delicate health. He had met her at the house of Mr. Pilme, a sculptor. Whilst he was at Cambridge, two poor men were drowned; and he raised 31 by subscription for their widows, all of which he paid over, except l5s, part of his own donation, to gentlemen named Martin and Campbell, members of the University. At one time there was a concert at Cambridge. Madame Catalani, Miss Stephens and other eminent performers were there. He gave a breakfast and dinner on that occasion. Signor Placci, Signor Spagnioletti, Mr. Sapio, Mr. Vaughan, and others attended his entertainment. The dinner was provided by Mrs. Dickinson the cook of St. Catherine’s Hall. Mr. Rutledge supplied the cheese and dessert, consisting of pineapples, melons, etc.. Mr. Newton supplied part of the wines, and Mr. Haughton the remainder.

The entertainment was given, not at his college rooms, but at his lodgings. He did not know the amount of the bills. He expected an increased allowance from his father when he went to Cambridge. He did not borrow any money while there, except £3 from Mr. Bramah when he was coming up to town. He entered a debt of £26 in his schedule, as due from Mr. Corrie. It was the caution money he was obliged to lodge with him on entering the college. He was not aware it had been forfeited. He was obliged to dispose of part of the clothes he had had of Mr. Creek, and also two rings and a watch, to bring his wife up to town. His books, and a few articles of plate, were seized for three weeks’ rent at Walworth.

He contracted a debt with Mr. Ridgely for china and glass; he returned the glass. He also contracted a debt with Mr. Thrower for silk dresses &c. He gave some of them to his wife, and made Miss Harris a present of some: the remainder he pledged. He had not accounted for the duplicates in his schedule, because he had given them up to his, to whom he was indebted. The £120 he had received from his father’s agent had been expended in travelling, and in paying his College expenses. He never had a horse of his own, but he had hired a horse and gig: and he occasionally drove a second horse tandem. He was never charged for the extra horse. He had never been a member of either of the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh. When he went to Cambridge, he owed £70 to tailors, &c.; during his stay there he increased his debts to upwards of £500. The following affidavits were then put in and read :-

A. Campbell, Esq., of Jesus College, Cambridge, swore, that the insolvent entered a Fellow Commoner of St. Catherine’s Hall and stated himself to have been an officer in the 16th Lancers, but had sold out about two years for the purpose of entering the Church; that he was allowed £900 a year by his father, who was brother to Sir Charles Bunbury; that his mother was a rich heiress; that when he reached 25 years of age, he would become entitled to considerable property, and that it was his intention to keep a couple of hunters, besides horses for driving. In consequence of these representations, the deponent and other members of the University introduced him to several of their friends.

Wm. Ford, A. B., stated, amongst other things, that the insolvent represented that he had taken the degree of A.B. at Edinburgh.

Mr. Creek, tailor, &c., swore that he had been induced by the insolvent’s representations respecting his family, fortune &c to give him credit for £40 worth of clothes. On one occasion the insolvent said to him, “I wear the gown usually worn by noblemen, and I shall require to have such a gown made.”
Mrs. Dickinson, cook of St. Catherine’s Hall, stated that she was induced by similar representations to give him credit for cooking and pastry to the amount of £29.

Mr. Corrie, of Cambridge, swore that the insolvent’s name was struck out of the College board and nothing was due to him.

Mr. Rutledge stated that he had given the insolvent credit for 18l worth of cheese and fruit.

When the above affidavits were read ,the insolvent was examined in explanation at great length by Mr. Cooke, and stated that he went to Cambridge at the instance of Mr. Platt, and of Mr. Ross, the barrister, of Lincoln’s Inn, who is his relation. He did not know the difference when he entered between a fellow commoner and a pensioner. His father’s name is the same as his own. When in town he resides at No. 4, Burlington Street; he is a West Indian planter, having estates In Demerara. He is now travelling, abroad. He had received a promise that his income should be doubled. When he contracted the debts complained of, he gave a reference to his uncle, Thomas Bunbury – to another uncle in Berkshire – to Mr. Holmes of the Treasury – to Dr. Wright, and to Mr. Ross.

The Chief Commissioner here directed Mr. Bramah’s affidavit to be read. It stated that the insolvent represented that he had been an officer in the 16th Lancers-that he was to receive £30,000 on the death of his mother – that he was the nephew of Sir C. Bunbury – that he was promised a valuable living by Lord Grey, but that the Bishop of Salisbury had refused him ordination until he should have attended a course of divinity lectures, &c.
Insolvent’s examination renewed – He endeavoured to effect an arrangement with his creditors, to whom he offered to pay 5s. in the pound, and 2l a month out of his 10l and still more if he obtained a salary; but they refused to accept it, and he was obliged to surrender in discharge of his bail.

Mr. Pollock addressed the Court on behalf of the opposing creditors, Mr. Cooke, on the other side, complained of the introduction of the affidavits of persons who were not creditors, for the purposes of blackening this young man’s character, and protracting his imprisonment. He had obtained no credit by whatever vain representations be might have made to his fellow-students in their rooms; but his doors were beset by rapacious trades people, anxious to force their goods upon him, because he had the appearance of a gentleman; and he was now forced by these very individuals to endure this day’s ordeal for the paltry sum of a couple of hundred pounds. If he had been guilty of errors, they were the errors of a youth reared in extravagance. He was now but 23 years of age and he trusted that some indulgence would be extended towards him by the Court.

The Court observed, that this schedule must be amended, by the insertion of the duplicates, &c.; and when the necessary alterations were made, and the notices all served, they would state what the period would be for which they would remand this insolvent. It certainly would not be an inconsiderable one. They had often had occasion to remark upon the facility with which tradesmen gave credit to young men who were sent to the seats of learning, who were therefore not entitled to much protection from this Court. The present case, however, was of a very different description; for here the insolvent was not a raw inexperienced boy, but one who had led a long career of extravagance, and even boasted of having squandered £40,000. It was to be hoped that this day’s exposure would operate with a beneficial effect upon his mind; if not, nothing that he could say could add to it. When the alterations were completed, the insolvent would be brought up to receive the judgment of the court.

Morning Post – Thursday 13 January 1825

On the Insolvent Debtors’ Court (Cambridge), on Tuesday, Mr. Hugh Mills Bunbury, late of Catherine Hall, Cambridge, was op- posed for contracting extravagant debts by false representations. The Insolvent denied that he had ever represented him- self as the son or nephew of Sir Charles Bunbury; had never said his father was Commissary-general of the Ionian Islands, or Commissary of the Leeward Islands. His age is twenty- three, and he had been married eighteen months before he went to Cambridge. In 1812 he had £600 a year, and in 1813, £800 a year at his disposal; at present his income amounted only to £120 a year. During his stay at Cambridge he gave a Concert, and engaged Placci, Camporese, Sapio, and other eminent vocalists. Mr. Newton, one of the opposing creditors, sup- plied wine. The bill for pastry amounted to 18/. 7s. 9d.; there were ices, pines, melons &c. To oppose the Insolvent’s statement, affidavits were put in which averred that the Insolvent had declared that he was possessed of £900 a year from his father, who was brother to Sir Charles Bunbury; that he had been an Officer in the 16th Lancers, but sold out to pre- pare himself for theological pursuits; and that Lord Grey had a living of £2,000 a year in his gift in Berkshire, which was intended for him, when he was properly qualified. The Insolvent was remanded for judgment on a future day, the notices on the creditors not having been regularly served.


Marriage No. 2: Anne Gresty


Following Maria’s death in the summer of 1828, Hugh wasted little time finding a new wife. On 6 October 1828, he married Anne Gresty (sometimes written as Greisty) in Middlewich, Cheshire. Anne died in July 1839 in Uxbridge, Middlesex, following the delivery of her sixth child for Hugh.

Anne Bunbury died in July 1839, probably due to complications while giving birth to a daughter Ann in June. Her death was reported by the Windsor and Eton Express as follows:

‘On Monday last, died, at West Drayton, Mrs. Ann Bunbury, wife of Hugh Mills Bunbury, Esq., of Nantwich, in Cheshire, which place the body was removed on Friday morning, under the superintendence of Mr. Goodman, Undertaker, of Uxbridge. The above lady had been confined a few days previous, and her death was accelerated in consequence of the violent storm of thunder and lightning on Sunday night, leaving six young children deplore her loss.’ [14]

Hugh and Ann Bunbury’s six children were:

1) Lydia Ann Bunbury was born in 1830. In 1849 she was living in Otanabee Township, Peterborough, Ontario with her father. Later in the same year she was married in Coburg, Northumberland, Ontario.

2) Hugh Mills Bunbury jr, the eldest son, was born at Nantwich, Cheshire, on 25 March 1832. He appears to have married Louisa Jane Ruttan on 12 May 1858 in Canada. They had children – Anna born c.1858 (who married George Anderson on 2 September 1884) and Hugh (born c. 1860).

HMB jr. may also have fathered Charles Frederick Bunbury either with Louisa or someone else prior to their marriage. Charles Frederick Bunbury, son of Hugh, mother unknown, was born in Cobourg, southern Ontario, Canada, in 1851. By 1861 he was living with Hugh Mills Bunbury II in Victoria. The 1871 Canada Census records a 21-year-old dry goods merchant by name of Charles F Bunbury who had married a Charlotte V. Bunbury and was living at 262 Yonge, Toronto, with daughter Mary, aged 1. [15] He may be a different person to the Charles on the 1877 marriage record as the latter was indicated as a bachelor. Charlotte’s maiden name is thought to have been Lampert. Their son Charles Frederick Bunbury Junior was born in Toronto on 8 July 1874 and was still alive to apply for Social Security in May 1939.
Charlotte may have died because Charles Frederick Bunbury, son of Hugh, was married to Mary R. Hutchinson on 23 Octoover 1877 in an Episcopalian ceremony. [16] In 1881, Charles was recorded as a salesman, boarding at Toronto’s American Hotel. [17] In 1882, Charles F Bunbury of Kyle & Bunbury was based at the Albion Hotel in Montreal. [18] He was clocked as an insurance agent in the Ontario Trade Directory of 1885, above the following in bold writing: Bunbury & Owen Agents Provident Mutual Association of Canada.
It is thought that the 13-year-old Charlotte Augusta Bunbury of Toronto who succumbed to typhoid fever on 4 January 1886 was his daughter. In 1889, Charles was described as a ‘traveler’ when he took rooms at 28 Front. [19] Three years later, he was manager of the Home Life Assurance of Canada, with rooms at 54 Church. [20] By the time of the 1901 census, Charles F. Bunbury was in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, where he was recorded as a widower. On 23 June 1911 he was married again at the Anglican Cathedral (Holy Trinity Church) in Quebec to Dame Ellen [Eleanor] Thompson of Newcastle, England, widow of the late Thomas Graham, spirits merchant. The ceremony was conducted by Walter Shirley Gibson Bunbury (a great-uncle of Gill Miller). The witnesses were Eleanor’s two Newcastle-born nieces Isabella Carr, 27, and Elizabeth S Walker, 22, elementary school teacher. Did the families know each other, or was it just a co-incidence that Walter Bunbury married this couple? It is unclear why the bride and her two nieces took themselves over to Canada for the wedding rather than marrying in the bride’s home town. On 30 October 1911 Charles and Eleanor arrived in Glasgow, from Montreal, on the Donaldson Line ship ‘Cassandra’ as second-class passengers, listed as Tourists.
By 1920, Charles was describing himself as a ‘manufacturing agent‘. Eleanor was living at 35 Beach Avenue, Whitley Bay, Northumberland, when she died on 14 June 1926, aged 57. Charles died in September 1930, aged 81.

HMB jr. then married Adda or Adde Cole (Adelaide Cole, who was born in 1847) and died in 1902 aged 68. [21] They lived in the Durham East/Port Hope area of Ontario and their son Henry Mills Bunbury III was born circa 1869-1872. Henry Mills Bunbury III was married in Picton, Ontario, on 25 March 1891, to Edna Stacia Stortts.

3) Henry Thomas Bunbury, Hugh and Ann’s second son, was born in 1834. He married Jane Mona Daintry on 5 September 1867 in Hamilton, Canada. She was born 18 Nov 1844. Henry died in Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario on 14 February 1913 aged 78 years. [22] Their daughter Mona Bunbury married Judge Thomson of Hamilton.

4) Maria Louisa Bunbury, Hugh and Ann’s second daughter, was born in the village of Wybunbury, Cheshire, on 10 June 1836. On 5 August 1857 she married James Gallon (b. 1832 Moray, Scotland) in Colborne Township, Ontario. She died in Montreal, Quebec, on 8 February 1903. Maria and James Gallon had eleven children. [23]

5) Alfred Bunbury, Hugh and Ann’s third son, was born in 1838. It seems unlikely he survived given that Hugh and his fourth wife Anna also called their son Alfred in 1854.

6) Ann Gresty Bunbury, Hugh and Ann’s youngest child, was born at West Drayton, Middlesex, on 28 June 1839 and baptised on 8 July. Her mother died three days later.


Marriage No. 3: Jane Johnson


On 6 November 1839, four months after the death of his second wife, 39-year-old Hugh Mills Bunbury was married thirdly, in Nantwich, Cheshire, to 25-year-old Jane Johnson. [24] Their son Herbert Augustus Johnson Bunbury was christened on 25 October 1840 in Calais and St. Omer, France. Sadly, the baby died the next day and was buried in Calais on 28 October.

It was previously thought that, like Anne, Jane died shortly after the birth of the baby as there was no further record of her. However, in September 2015, Gill Miller advised of an important update which she had found via a case that came before the Consistory Court of Exeter on 11 February 1852 called Jane Bunbury v. Hugh Mills Bunbury, concerning ‘divorce by reason of cruelty and adultery’. [25]

As Gill puts it:

‘The date of the court case highlighted the fact Jane Bunbury/Johnson was still alive in 1852. I searched again for Jane Bunbury and found whom I think is her in 1851 Census in Sussex, aged 35 and a visitor but no other information given for her. I am sure I have her in 1861 again in Sussex, a 43-year-old lodger, fund holder, born Cheshire and described as married, so no divorce can have been finalised. I then found her death in Hove, Sussex on 3rd September 1874 and sent for her certificate which described her as Jane Bunbury, female, aged 54, widow of Hugh Mills Bunbury, West Indian Proprietor HMB2 appears to have died in Canada in 1866 so maybe Jane had maintained contact with him, had information about him passed onto her or the informant at her death just assumed she was a widow.

A child, Alfred William Bunbury, was born to ? and HMB2 in 1853 so possibly the product of the adultery mentioned in the court case of 1852 although I don’t for one minute believe he was adulterous with only one female. HMB2 married Anna M. Lowrie in Canada on 22nd October 1858 and, from all I have said here, it would appear this was a bigamous marriage.’

Jane Bunbury died on 3 September 1874 at Osborne Villas, Cliftonville, Brighton. Her death notice in the Berkshire Chronicle described her as the ‘widow of Hugh Mills Bunbury.’ [26]

On the 1841 census, three of Hugh’s children – 11-year-old Lydia, 5-year-old Maria and 3-year-old *** were registered as living in High Street, Bromley, Kent. However, two-year-old Ann was staying with the Wilkinson family at Willaston, Nantwich, Cheshire.

On 10 November 1845, 45-year-old Hugh boarded the Toronto ship and set sail across the Atlantic from London to New York with his three sons and four daughters. Amelia was by then 22 while Lydia, the eldest child of his second marriage, was 15. Hugh’s third wife Jane does not appear to have sailed with the family.

The Bunburys settled in Canada. A report from 16 June 1847 gives the following: “Hugh Mills Bunbury was a visitor at the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of the Loyal Orange Association of British North America in Cobourg, Canada West“.


Marriage No. 4: Anna Lowrie


On 22 October 1858, 58-year-old Hugh was married fourthly to 20-year-old Anna M. Lowrie in Ontario, Canada. This marriage may have been bigamous as his wife Jane appears to have lived until 1874 and he never divorced her. It seems Hugh and Anna had already been together for some time as their son Alfred William Bunbury was born in 1854. This name suggests that Hugh’s older son Alfred (by Ann Gresty) died young.

In the 1861 Census, Hugh Mill Bunbury was living in Verulam Township, Ontario, with his wife Anna (née Lowrie) and his sons Charles H. Bunbury, aged 12, (born 1849) and Edward J Bunbury, aged 11 (born 1850). Both boys were born in Upper Canada. Who was Charles and Edward’s mum!!?

The 1861 Canada Census also lists a 7-year-old Edward Bunbury living with Maria Louisa Gallon (née Bunbury) in the neighbouring Peterborough Township in Ontario. So this boy was born in about 1854 – the same year listed above for Alfred William Bunbury, son of Hugh and Anna. Or is he the one and the same person?

Hugh and Anna’s son Alfred William Bunbury was born in 1854 [???] and married in Bristol in November 1882 to 24-year-old school mistress Emily J. Perrin, daughter of Martha Perrin. At the time of the 1891 Census, 37-year-old Alfred worked as a Wholesale & Retail Stationer and lived at 6 Seymour Road, St Philip & St Jacob Out, Bristol. [27]  Alfred died in Bristol, aged 69 in September 1922. [28] Emily died in Bristol in April 1928, aged 70. [29] They had three children – Norah Lillian Bunbury (Dec 1883 – Aug 1897 who died in Bristol aged just 14), Hugh Mill Bunbury (21 Sep 1889 – Apr 1972, who died in Evesham, aged 83) and Cecil Edward Bunbury (May-Nov 1899, who died in Bristol aged six months). Alfred’s son Hugh married Daisy Leonore Webb (d. 1981) in Bristol in 1919. Their daughter Clare Leonore Bunbury was born in Bristol on 5 August 1921. In May 1947 she was married in Heywood to John D. Wheeler, with whom he had two daughters Sarah Wheeler (born 1948) and Jane Wheeler (born 1951). Clare died in March 2004 in Sutton, aged 82.


The Daughters of Hugh & Alicia Bunbury


Hugh and Alicia’s eldest daughter (Alicia Mary) Delphine Bunbury was born in Nice in 1823, lived with her mother at 7 Prince’s Square and died at Stroud in Gloucester as a 76-year-old spinster in March 1899.

The second daughter, Elizabeth (Catherine) Bunbury (1827-1916) was married at Reinach in Switzerland on 6 November 1854 to Count Constantine Jasienski of Indorow and Narewka in Volbynia.  [30] The Count died at Zitomir in Poland in March 1916. They had no children.

The third daughter, Anne (Maria) Bunbury (1829-1906) became a Carmelite nun. The Times of 16 October 1829 mentions the birth of a daughter born ‘to the lady of H.M. Bunbury’ in Versailles five days earlier. This may have been Anne and also supports the notion that Hugh lived in France at the time of MacKenzie v Bunbury.

The fourth and youngest sister Alicia Belinda Bunbury (1833-1885) married Count Alexander Jasienski, presumably a brother of Constantine, and left issue a son of whom no further details are yet known.


Captain Philip Bunbury & Hamilton Bunbury of Cranavonane


Captain Philip Mill Bunbury, 7th Dragoon Guards
(Image courtesy of Peter Bunbury)

Hugh and Alicia Bunbury’s eldest son Philip Peter Mill Bunbury (aka Philippe) was born on 23 March 1824. He began his military career at the age of sixteen when he was commissioned as a Cornet in the 7th Dragoon Guards on 16 April 1840. Within nine years he had risen through the ranks to become a captain.

In his diary for 10 November 1856, writing from Demerara, John Thomas Hynes, the Vicar Apostolic of British Guiana, wrote:

“Called on Capt. Bunbury, arrived by Packet. He met Mons’r. Talbot at Cardinal Wiseman’s immediately after his return from Demerara.”

On 12 January 1865 he married Georgina MacEvoy, third daughter of Peter MacEvoy of Wimbledon, Surrey, and Great Cumberland Place in London WI. The marriage took place in the Catholic chapel on Spanish Place and there is a suggestion of a Catholic conversion at this point. Georgina died in Croydon on 30 May 1885, aged 58. Philip, who was living at Westhill Wandsworth at the time of his marriage, died at West Hampnet on 28 July 1894, aged 70.

Philip and Georgina Bunbury’s son, Major Hamilton Joseph Bunbury, was twenty years old when he succeeded to the family seat of Cranavonane in County Carlow, Ireland, on the death of his cousin Henry Mill Bunbury in 1886. Born on 14 February 1866, Hamilton was educated at Downside and served as a Captain in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. He was later a Major in the 4th Battalion HLI. He became a Knight of the Sovereign Order of Malta and, in 1923, served as Privy Chamberlain of the Sword and Cape to His Holiness Pope Pius XI. He died unmarried at Ballygate Cottage, Beccles, Suffolk, on 13 May 1949 and was buried in the local Catholic Church.

Philip and Georgina’s only daughter, Mary Alicia Bunbury, also took to the Catholic cloth, becoming a Nun of the Order of the Good Shepherds. She died aged 86 on 12 March 1953.


Henry Hugh Bunbury (1831-1870) & British Guiana


Hugh and Alicia Bunbury’s second son Henry Hugh Bunbury was born at Regent Park, London in 1831. He spent some time in British Guiana, where his family were involved in the colonial administration, as well as the sugar industry. He was probably managing his mother estates at Hampton Court and Devonshire Castle. On 29 September 1849, for instance, while in London, he made a visit to Bishop John Thomas Hynes (1799-1869), Vicar Apostolic of British Guiana (1843-1858) who noted in his diary: ‘A visit from young Mr. Bunbury, who is going out to Demerara.’ Hynes was in 1850 Georgetown by 20 October 1850 when he noted: ‘Young Mr. Henry Bunbury dined with us today.’ And, again, on 25 April 1855, writing from Georgetown, Hynes remarked:  “A Visit from Mr Henry Bunbury of Devonshire Castle Essequibo. His mother, he tells me, is staying in Rome.”

In 1857, Henry Hugh Bunbury had a son, Hugh Mills Bunbury who died in British Guiana on 24 August 1875, aged 18. The name of the boys’ mother is not yet known.

Henry Hugh Bunbury returned to London to obtain outright ownership of all the West Indies Plantations in 1861. It would appear he had decided to settle in British Guiana as opposed to the UK. However, he died in Holborn, London, aged 39, on 27 July 1870. He was buried at St George the Martyr in London.



George Bunbury & Mary Burnett


Hugh Henry Bunbury, who was in charge of Devonshire Castle during the 1850s, is believed to have been the father of a natural, dark-skinned son George Bunbury, born in 1854. [An alternative theory postulates that George was the son of another George, a son of Hugh Mill Bunbury, seemingly born in 1810.]

Greg Bunbury, 2022

George Bunbury worked as a gold-miner and farmer in Guyana. He may also have served in the merchant navy. His wife Mary Burnett (sometimes named as Maria), a light skinned lady, was a daughter of William Wallis Burnett, a goldsmith, and his wife Jane of Eagle Hall Road in St Michael’s Parish, Barbados. Baptised in St Michael’s on 10 July 1850, she grew up in British Guiana with her four sisters and two brothers. George and Mary later lived on Alboys Street at Alboys Town, opposite what was the Capital Cinema. Maria died in 1934. [Mary / Maria also had a brother William, who died in Barbados on 14 September 1856, aged four months]. George and Maria were the parents of:

  1. Norman Theophilus Bunbury (1884-1959), known as Pupa.
  2. Andrew Charles Bunbury, born c. 1889, married Ida Ellison (born 1898, South Carolina) in 1921 in New York, and had 3 children (including Mabel Clara Bunbury). He then partnered Maudeline Chichester from Guyana with whom he had 2 daughters, one of whom was Athelka Chichester.
  3. Benjamin Bunbury, father of Ulric Bunbury; Heffo Bunbury; Lulu (Aunt) Griffithand Stella Bunbury.
  4. George Bunbury
  5. Florence Bunbury? I think she was their daughter – she was mother of Ivan Seelig, born 1913.


Norman Theophilus Bunbury (1884-1959)


Norman Theophilus Bunbury was born in Georgetown on 24 May 1884 and educated at St. Ninian’s Scot’s School. Having worked as assistant foreman at Sprostons Foundry, as well as the Demerara Foundry, he had become Chief Brass and Iron Founder at the Diamond Plantation by the time ‘Who is Who in British Guiana 1945-48’ was published. His cousin Gavin Bunbury, mentioned above, was its manager. More intriguingly, Norman was also recorded as a Parlour Magician who used the stage name of Professor Normandy. He used to visit some cousins known as the Bunbury Musicians; some played for the British Guiana (B.G.) Militia Band and they may have been connected to the Trinidad musicians mentioned above. Norman was very strict with his girls; they had to have their music lessons at home.

On 7 February 1909, Norman married Ethel Caroline Small (1899-1967), daughter of John Small and Anna Maria Thorpe, with whom he lived at the Diamond, East Bank, Demerara. They would go on to have eleven children, including six sons and four daughters. Norman enjoyed horse racing and dancing, as well as fishing and reading. He died of diabetes on 26 September 1959. Norman and Ethel’s children were:

  1. Stanley Lawson Bunbury (1908-1989), a coloured Guyanese, lived adjacent to the Diamond Plantation compound in East Bank, Demerara (which his cousin Gavin Bunbury ran) with his wife Alvena (née Singh) and their family. His son Preston Bunbury married Alice (Berley) Gloria (née Alleyne) and was father to Troyton (Troy) Bronick Theophilus Bunbury. Troy Bunbury, who married Shevonne, is the former site manager at the St Michael’s Church of England Primary School in Highgate; he received a BEM in the 2023 New Years Honours. (See here). See also letter at foot of page. Stanley and Alvena’s son Purcill ‘Percy’ Bunbury married Luceta and is father to Rachel Bunbury, a solicitor from Richmond Hill, Ontario, who recently moved her law practice to Toronto. Rachel and her husband Jeffrey Kasza had a daughter in 2021.
  2. Lyndon Masdammer Bunbury (1912-2002), the third child, who died just short of his 91st He was father of Sydney Bunbury of Guyana although, in correspondence with me, Anthony said there was more than one Sydney Bunburyliving in Guyana today.
  3. Charles Andrew Bunbury (1922-2000) was married in Demerara c. 1948 to Uling Lam and had six boys and six girls; six were born in British Guiana and six were born after they moved to London. [i] Like his father before him, Charles died of diabetes, passing away at St John of Hackney, London, on 31 July 2000. The six boys were
      1. David
      2. Anthony Godfrey Bunbury of London, who I am in touch with, born 1957, married Patricia Edwards.
      3. Charles / Arnold,
      4. Rudolph
      5. Sydney
      6. A son who died young.

The six girls were:

      1. Monica who, with Karl Milton, had a daughter, Yazmin Bunbury-Milton.
      2. Joyceline
      3. Pamela
      4. Sybil
      5. Rose (has another name)
      6. Juliette

4. Lancelot Bunbury, known as Lance, who worked in a sugar factory in Demerara. He passed away in 2004, having lived in his grandfather’s house in Diamond just outside Georgetown. He was father to at least 9 children by at least 4 different women, including lovely Denise Bunbury-Westford, who I met in New York in 2012. Denise, who grew up in Demerara, chuckled as she told me her teenage years were full of children rocking up to say that they were her half-sisters and half-brothers. Denise emigrated to New York in 1989 because she wanted a better life’ she married Lindsley, who drives a bus in Queen’s, and wrote a kids book called ‘Willy the Whale,’ which she gave me for the girls. One of Lance’s ladies was Lucille, grandmother to Ryan Chan.

5. Henry Theophilus Bunbury – postmaster.

6. Muriel Bunbury (1908-1991) married Charles Chichester (1901-1968) in 1937.

7. Dylis

8. Carmen [Clareen?] Gravsandy

9. Rosa

10. Rudolph

11. Ethelyn, 99 years old as of January 2023 and living in Toronto.

By Clementina Lancaster (1880-1971) of Guyana, Norman had another son Edward Joseph-Nathaniel Neblett (1902-1975)

One of Norman’s grandsons was Greg Bunbury – am not yet sure who his father was – who has a deep interest in family history. He recorded a very insightful podcast interview on ‘That’s My Name’  in 2022. He discussed the complexities of being descended from a plantation owner and an enslaved woman, to the extent that he frequently thinks about changing his name. As his description on the podcast states:

‘Greg Bunbury is a Graphic Designer, Creative Consultant and Diversity & Inclusion consultant. His mission is to change the world by design, enabling purpose-driven businesses and organisations to connect with diverse communities, through creativity & inclusion. Greg is also the founder of Black Outdoor Art, a project that uses outdoor advertising space as a platform for creative Black expression, and hosts the Design For The People podcast, spotlighting creatives working towards positive social change.’


Arthur Alyoissus Bunbury (1868-1912) & Family: Leslie, Pip, Coral & Averill


Henry Hugh Bunbury was also the father to Arthur Alyoissus Bunbury (1868-1912) who was only two years old when Henry Hugh died. Arthur worked as a Lands and Mines Officer. He married Mary Ann Conner, or O’Conner, daughter of John Conner, and died at Georgetown, Guiana, in 1912.

Arthur and Mary Ann Bunbury had two sons, Leslie Hamilton Bunbury and Philip Arthur Bunbury, known as Pip, as well as two daughters, Coraline Bunbury (called Coral) and Averill.

Leslie Hamilton Bunbury (1903-1967) who, according to ‘Who is Who in British Guiana’ (1945-48), was born in Georgetown on 17 August 1903 and educated at St. Stanislaus College, Georgetown. He worked as a Canvasser for Barbados Mutual Life Insurance Company before becoming an insurance agent with the Manufacturers’ Life Insurance Company Ltd. On 16 January 1932, he married Doreen McKay Learmond, with whom he had two sons. In 1945-1948, he lived at 330 Church and East Streets, Georgetown. As well as tennis and bridge, he enjoyed fishing and was a member of the Corinthian Football Club. In 1971, during the diaspora that followed Guyanan independence, Leslie’s widow Doreen left ‘old BG as they used to call it’ with her only son David Bunbury (1933-2006) who, born in Georgetown, finished his PH.D. at Notre Dame in the States and became a chemistry teacher at a small Catholic university in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. In the summer of 2007, I was contacted by David’s son Dan Bunbury, whose mother hailed from Colorado. Dan and his three siblings were born and raised in Antigonish. Dan was born in 1962, has a Ph.D. in Canadian History and works in health research.

Pip Bunbury started his career as a Surveyor’s Assistant and was appointed a 5th Class Clerk with the British Guiana Lands and Mines Department in 1921. [31] He rose through the rank and was a 4th Class Clerk by 1927, then a Sub-Warden and finally a Warden. [32] In a letter dated 30 May 1930 published in the 1930 Annual Report of the Lands and Mines Department, the General of the department in Georgetown says:

‘It is with regret that I have to record the death of Mr. P. A. Bunbury  Warden of Nos 3 & 4 Mining Districts (Mazaruni & Cuyuni) on the 14th of November while on his way down to Georgetown on recuperative leave.’

There is no mention of his illness, but family lore holds that it was yellow fever or malaria. (Family lore also suggested Pip was a postmaster general and acting magistrate in the Cayuni River region of Essequibo, Guyana, but this is at odds with the Colonial Office records.) Vincent Roth, a government surveyor and former Warden of Mazaruni, was appointed in his place. Mr Roth wrote a memoir of his time in office, ‘A Life in Guyana: The Later Years, 1923-1935’ (Peepal Tree, 2003) in which he describes how it was ‘Pip Bunbury’, then Sub-Warden of Bartica, who informed him of his initial appointment as Warden of Mazaruni, date unknown, on page 26. He also refers to the ‘very sad death of Pip Bunbury’ on page 38. (Vincent Roth also refers to a Gavin Bunbury.)

By his wife Elizabeth Alicock (who lived in Bartica), Pip had two sons Clarence De Weaver (who moved to the US or Canada in the 1970s and did not go by Bunbury but is thought to have used a name from his mother’s family) and Irvin Bunbury (who was born in Guyana on 25 May 1926.) Elizabeth was married secondly to Harold Smith with whom she eventually moved to Sheriff Street in Georgetown. Irvin died in 2003 and was father to Karen Bunbury who was born in Guyana, South America in 1967, and who has been living in Canada since 1982.

Coral Bunbury married but had no children.

Averill Bunbury had three children:

    1. Dorothy, living in Saskatchewan, 2021;
    2. Denise, born 1935, died August 2020, who married Roy (died 2019).
    3. Johnny, died c. 2018 in Barbados.

Who was Nathan Bunbury, referenced in The Official Gazette of British Guiana, Volume 33 (1911), p. 125.

In 2004, my friend Vicky was working in Guyana from where she sent me a photocopy of the Georgetown Telephone Book, listing  24 Bunbury’s and a good few Bumbury’s (separated by the Bumper to Bumper Car Service!). She also sent me an article from the Guyana Stabroek newspaper dated Sunday 19 October 2003 relating to a Roger Bunbury who was wanted for double homicide so I kind of hoped he was not too closely related.

See: Anthony Godfrey Bunbury, ‘The Bunbury Family History – Guyanese Branch,’ 2 January 2005

Lt Col. Charles Thomas Bunbury (1836-1917) & Lady Harriot Dundas


It is thought that this portrait is of Lt. Col. Charles Thomas Bunbury, commander of the Rifle Brigade, third son of Hugh and Alicia Bunbury. (Photo courtesy of Peter Bunbury).

Hugh and Alicia Bunbury’s third son, Charles Thomas Bunbury, was born in Wandsworth on 3 March of 1836. He joined the army in June 1855, serving as a lieutenant with the Rifle Brigade (the Prince Consort’s Own). He later commanded the Rifle Brigade, retiring in 1881 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. On Christmas Eve 1881, a ship called the SS Benefactor reached Guiana from Liverpool with a Mr Thomas Bunbury on board.

On 7 April 1875 he was married in Nice to Lady Harriot Emily Dundas, a descendent of Lawrence Dundas, a wealthy Scottish businessman and Member of Parliament. Her father, the Hon. J. Charles Dundas, MP, younger son of the 1st Earl of Zetland, lived in Yorkshire. Of their nine children, three died within three weeks during the whooping cough epidemic of 1886.

Lady Harriot’s brother Lawrence Dundas of Aske Hall, Richmond, Yorkshire, was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1889 until 1892, in which year he was created 1st Marquess of Zetland. According to her obituary in The Times, Lady Harriot’s,

early years were spent in Yorkshire, first at Oran and then at Middleton Lodge. A lover of horses, she was fond of hunting and driving. Second only to her love of horses was her fondness for music and painting. There are some still living who will remember the three sisters at Middleton Lodge, Lady Charlotte at the big organ, and Lady Harriot and Lady Alice each at a grand piano flanking the organ, giving musical evenings to their guests. Winter visits to the Riviera afforded opportunities for developing her taste for music and paintings. She often described the family progress by special saloon from Calais to Marseilles, where the railway then ended, and the rest of the journey to Nice by post-chaise. In the first chaise went her father, herself and the elder boys, followed by her mother and the other children, and in the third chaise the servants and luggage. Each chaise was drawn by four horses managed by one postilion only, riding one of the wheelers with long reins to the leaders. That arrangement struck her as extremely dangerous as they usually progressed at a smart canter, but she never remembered any accident preventing their safe arrival at their villa in Nice‘.

One of Lady Harriot Bunbury’s aunts married Earl Fitzwilliam‘s agent and brother-in-law,Robert Chaloner, MP, a member of the wealthy alum mining family from Guisborough in Yorkshire. [33] Robert would become heavily embroiled in the controversial exodus of the Fitzwilliam tenantry to Canada that still has historians puzzling over whether Earl Fitzwilliam was the Oskar Schindler of the Irish Famine. [34]

After her marriage, she lived the life of an officer’s wife, going with her husband to Ireland, Woolwich, Aldershot and finally to the Rifle Depot at Winchester where they lived at Cotswold House. The Bunburys remained in Winchester after Thomas’s retirement, until his death aged 81 on 9 October 1917, six months after their son Wilfred was killed in action. All four sons were in France when Wilfred was killed. Lady Harriot was on the committee of the Rifleman’s Aid Society and the Soldiers & Sailors Wives & Families Association.

Thomas and Lady Harriot had six children who survived childhood – four military minded sons, Charles, Wilfred, Bertram and Evelyn, and two daughters, Mary and Cecilia, all of whom are profiled below. Lady Harriot died at Ovington Gardens in London at the age of 90 on 11 December 1939. [1]


Charles Hamilton de St Pierre Bunbury (1877-1956)


Thomas and Lady Harriot Bunbury’s eldest son Charles Hamilton de St Pierre Bunbury was born on 23 September 1877 and educated at Prior Park and RMC Sandhurst. He served in the Boer War after which, on 22 November 1905, he married Dorothy Hughes, daughter of Herbert Hughes, C.B., C.M.G., of Ashdell Grove, Sheffield. He died on 9 May 1956, leaving three daughters.

The eldest daughter Sylvia Dorothy Mary Bunbury was born in 1909 and married in 1939 to Group Captain Charles Broughton, C.B.E., R.A.F., son of Charles Broughton of Timaru, New Zealand, with whom she had two daughters Jennifer (b. July 1940) and Vivien (b. Jan 1947).

The middle daughter Pamela Constance Bunbury, born 1913, was married in May 1938 to Roy Denzil Lindo, elder son of Percy Lindo of Royston, Kingston, Jamaica. The Lindo’s are of Jewish descent and were one of the 21 most influential families in Jamaica in the 20th century, having made their fortune in sugar and Appleton rum. Roy’s sister Blanche Lindo married Major Joe Blackwell (aka Middletown Joseph Blackwell, of the Crosse and Blackwell Foods Company) and were parents to Chris Blackwell of Island Records; Joe went on to marry the late Meike Blackwell, for whom my daughter Jemima Meike McClintock Bunbury is named. Pamela and Roy had a son David (Roy Anthony) Lindo (b. 1948) and three daughters, Sandra (Vivienne) (b. 1938), Anne Caroline (b. 1945) and Josephine Bronwen Mary (b. 1952). Pamela eventually settled in Perth, Western Australia. In 2005, Sandra was in the West Indies, David in Jamaica, and Anne and Josephine in Australia.

The youngest daughter Virginia Jean Bunbury was born in 1919 and settled in Washington DC.

Charles and Dorothy also had two sons, Neil and Nigel, who died in infancy in October 1923 and December 1925 respectively.


Captain Wilfred Joseph Bunbury (1882-1917)


Captain Wilfred Bunbury was killed on the Western Front.

Thomas and Lady Harriot Bunbury’s second son Wilfred Joseph Bunbury was born on 21 February 1882. He was educated at Beaumont and St George’s College, Weybridge, where he matriculated at the London University Examination; he was afterwards at Ushaw College, Durham. Before the war he was in the firm of Wise, Speke & Co, Stockbrokers, Newcastle on Tyne. Wilfred was a well-known member of the St George’s Hockey Club, for whom he played frequently; he also played for Northumberland County several times, his place being centre half-back. He was likewise a very keen cricketer and a playing member of the Northumberland County Club, the Yorkshire Gentlemen and the Borderers. He belonged to the Portland Park Tennis Club, at Newcastle, where he played most days during the season when he was residing there. [35]

On 4 August 1914, he joined the 4th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, volunteering for foreign service and was promoted Lieutenant on 27 December of the same year. He proceeded overseas to France with his Battalion on 20 April 1915 and was wounded at the Second battle of Ypres on 24 May 1915. After some months of hospital treatment, he was able to re-join and attended a course of physical training and bayonet exercise at Aldershot. He was appointed Physical Training Officer first to his battalion, then to his Brigade, and subsequently to a Command Depot in Ireland. During the time he was Physical Training Officer he arranged a series of successful sports at Redcar in the summer of 1916, when he was complimented by the General. In September 1916, he was appointed to Ballyvonare Camp, Buttevant, County Cork, where he started games for the men, such as cross country runs, and boxing matches, all of which were greatly appreciated by the convalescent soldiers in his charge. He held this appointment until he got orders to return to France.

He left England on 8 March 1917 and was attached to the 6th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers when killed in action on 15 April, 1917, leading his men to attack an enemy post. His Colonel wrote:

‘He was leading an attack in a conspicuously gallant manner and was the first man into the enemy trench when he was hit in the face and died painlessly. We recovered his body and buried it at night. His death was a great grief to me as we were great friends when he was in my Company, where he always earned our admiration for the thorough way in which he carried out any work entrusted to him’.

He was buried at Wancourt British Cemetery S.M 72.

On 24 September 1908, Wilfred married Dorothy Beresford, second daughter of Major Arthur John Preston, B.A., J.P. (late of the 33rd Duke of Wellington Regiment) of Swainston, Kilmessan, County Meath. His widow only survived him until 30 October 1918. She left a baby son, Wilfred, born posthumous to his father’s death, and two small daughters. The eldest daughter Dorothy Barbara Mary Bunbury was born in 1909, married Arthur Wilson and settled in Hove, Sussex. The younger daughter Margaret Joan Beresford Bunbury, born in 1911, became a nun of the Order of the Sacred Heart.

Madeleine Bunbury with her work, Baron de Lis (2015).

Wilfred and Dorothy’s son, (Wilfred Joseph) Michael de St. Pierre Bunbury, was born posthumously on 3rd September 1917 and educated at Ampleforth and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He served as T/Lieut with the Royal Navy during World War Two, after which he became the Irish agent for the luxury Bristol car dealershipThom’s Directory 1949 lists W.J. Bunbury as proprietor of a Motor Garage in Santry, under a section with the rather fab heading of ‘Nobility, Gentry, Merchants & Traders.’ It is not certain where the Santry garage was, but Brendan McCoy suggests it was on the old Airport Road, close to where the Omni Centre and industrial units are today. (2019)

Mike Bunbury – as he was known – had an address at 10 Merrion House, Lower Fitzwilliam St, Dublin. It is thought that he financed his car operations through Bowmaker (Ireland) Ltd, an ‘industrial bank’ based at 115 St. Stephens Green W (the corner building beside the Unitarian Church) in Dublin. This was affiliated with Bowmaker in the UK, which, founded in 1926, is now part of Lloyds Banking Group. In the early 50’s Bowmaker (Ireland) Ltd were advertising car financing in Motoring Life. [36]

My step-grandfather Major H. C. Massy was among those to purchase a Bristol. In June 1952, Mike Bunbury married the late Deirdre Mulcahy, daughter of Dr Daniel Mulcahy of Perth, West Australia, and Mrs Hamish Mitchell of Dublin, and sister of the late John Mulcahy (1932-2018), founder of The Phoenix magazine. I spent a very enjoyable evening in Deirdre Bunbury’s company in Ranelagh, Dublin, in about 2004. She lived at Rosary Gardens, London SW7, and died on 3 November 2009.

After their marriage, Mike and Deirdre moved to South Africa, settling at 39 Paul Roos Street, Unitas Park, Vereeniging. They had two sons, Patrick John de St Pierre Bunbury (b. 1956) and Dr Michael (Charles) Bunbury (married to clothes designer Lotty Bunbury and father to two sons, Frederick and Fabian, and two daughters, Jemima Bunbury and the artist Madeleine Bunbury). As the solitary GP on the island of Mustique, Dr Michael Bunbury attended Princess Margaret after her stroke and her traumatic bathtub foot scalding as depicted in ‘The Crown’ (Season 6) episode called “Ritz”, in which she was fabulously and movingly portrayed by Lesley Manville.

Mike and Deirdre also had two daughters Charlotte Bunbury (1953-2015) and the late Harriot Bunbury (who was married to Richard James Jessel from 1982 to 1997).


Bertram John Bunbury


Thomas and Lady Harriot Bunbury’s third son Bertram John Bunbury was born in March 1887 and served as a lieutenant with the Rifle Brigade in the Great War. On 8 July 1915 he was married in Kensington to Nira Hardcastle, daughter of Frank Hardcastle, DL, JP, of Bolton, Lancs. Nina was born in Bolton on 24 March 1892.

Bertram and Nira Bunbury had three daughters.

The eldest (Marie) Justine (Antoinette) Bunbury was born in Banbury on 13 June1916 and married at Worthing, Sussex, on 26 April 1941 to John Mair, son of Colonel John Allen Freeman Mair, MC, of Saltair, old Bosham, Sussex. They had three sons, John Christian Mair (b. 1942), Antony Stefan Rumley Mair (b. 1946) and Simon James Justin Mair (b. 1954). Antony Mair is a poet and founder of the Hastings Stanza, see here.

The middle sister (Mary Teresa) Lynette Bunbury was born in Banbury on 21 September 1917, is thought to have never married and died in Chichester in February 2006 aged 89.

The youngest sister Nira (Mary Gabrielle) Bunbury was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, on 21 January 1923, and had a natural daughter, Cheryl.

All three sisters were educated at St. Mary’s, Ascot. [37]


Evelyn James Bunbury


Second Lieutenant Evelyn James Bunbury

Thomas and Lady Harriot Bunbury’s youngest surviving son was the much-decorated businessman, Evelyn James Bunbury, CBE (1952), MC (1918), Knight of the Sovereign Order of Malta, JP for Surrey. He served variously as Director of the Excess Insurance Company & Mercantile Bank of India, Chairman of Oriental Telephone & Electric Company, Chairman of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, Chairman of the National Mutual Life Association of Australasia (London Board) and President of the Imperial Bank of India and Director of the Bank of England.

Born on 31 October 1888, he was educated at The Oratory School, Queen’s College Oxford (BA, 1910) and Caen University. He served as a Captain with the Grenadier Guards during World War One from 1917 to 1919. On 11 October 1928 he was married at the Brompton Oratory to his cousin Marjorie North, eldest daughter of Lt Col Edward Bunbury North, CMG, DSO, DL, JP, of Summerdale, Holme, Westmoreland, althugh they also had an address at the Old Hall, Milnthorpe, Westmorland. (See Verstrume-Bunbury). As the Morecambe Guardian noted on Saturday 20 October 1928, “the bridegroom is a nephew of the Marquess and Marchioness of Zetland, and he had as his best man Sir Hew Hamilton -Dalrymple.” Sylvia Bunbury, daughter of Charles, was a bridesmaid.

Evelyn and Marjorie had a daughter, Gillian Mary Bunbury, born on 26 August 1929, educated at New Hall, Chelmsford.


Mrs Hew Wakeham Tompson


Thomas and Lady Harriot Bunbury’s eldest daughter Mary Beatrice Teresa Bunbury was born on 17 February 1879. On 20 December 1916 she married Lt Col Hew Wakeham Tompson, CMG, Royal Hampshire Regt, only son of Col. Henry Stewart Tompson of Alderminster Lodge, Bournemouth. He died on 26 July 1933. In 1958 she was living at Woodston in Winchester.


Mrs. Edward Charles Lentaigne


Thomas and Lady Harriot Bunbury’s second daughter Cecilia Mary Bunbury was born on 18 March 1891 and married on 30 April 1919 to Colonel Edward Charles Lentaigne of Tallaght, County Dublin, DSO, late 4th Gurkha Rifles. Edward was grandson and heir to the formidable Victorian character named Sir John Lentaigne, FRCSI, Inspector General of Prisons in Ireland from 1854-77.

Their wedding appeared in The Gentlewoman of Saturday 31 May 1919:

‘CAPTAIN E. C. LENTAIGNE, D.S.O. (of the 4th Gurkha Rifles), the eldest son of the late Sir John Lentaigne, and Miss Cecilia M. Bunbury the youngest daughter of Lady Harriot Bunbury (of “Cotswold House,” Winchester), were married just recently at the Oratory, Brompton. Major C. H. Bunbury gave away his sister, who was attended by Master Ian Selby-Nevill and Master Philip Morris, and Mr. Joseph Lentaigne was best man to his brother. The ceremony was performed by Father Crewse, the Superior of the Oratory, and a very large congregation witnessed the wedding, including :—Lady Harriot Bunbury, Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Bunbury, Miss Lentaigne, Mr. H. J. Bunbury, Lady Alice Dundas, Colonel and Mrs. Hew Tompson, Captain Dundas and Miss Dundas, the Hon. Mrs. William Dundas, Mr. Robert Dundas, Marie Lady de Freyne and the Hon. Lily and the Hon. Muriel French, Lady Hamilton Dalrymple, Captain the Hon. Hubert and Mrs. Preston, and Sir Henry and Lady Adamson.”

Their only son John Lentaigne was killed at El Alamein while serving with the Rifle Brigade on 25 July 1942.

Their daughter, Mollie Lock, née Lentaigne, lives in Zimbabwe turned 101 in May 2021. (See here.) She was an artist and worked for Archibald Mcindoe, the plastic surgeon, drawing his operations. If you google Mollie Lentaigne, you will find a short interview with her broadcast on ITV where she speaks about her life at the East Grinstead Hospital.

Also relevant to the Bunbury-Lentaigne archives is this marriage, recorded in The Sketch on Wednesday 15 October 1919:

‘Mr. Joseph I. N. Lentaigne, third son of the late Sir John Lentaigne, was married to Miss Helen Evelyn Vida Haslam, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Haslam. The five bridesmaids were Miss Lilian Haslam, Miss Lentaigne, Miss May Dixon, Miss Clara Murphy, and Miss Dorothy Norrie, and the train-bearer, Miss Pamela Bunbury.’

At the wedding, six-year-old Pamela experienced what the Daily Mail called ‘church-fright’.

Vida Lentaigne later moved to Termonfeckin, Co Louth, where she took in refugees at the start of World War Two. By chance, her home at Newtown House (now An Grianan) was formerly home to a branch of the McClintock family.




With immense thanks to the late Peter Bunbury, Janette McLeman Carnie (Association des amis d’Alfred de Vigny), Michael Bunbury, Veronica Bunbury, Gill Miller, Anthony Bunbury, Dan Bunbury, Ruth Bunbury, Denise Bunbury-Westford, Troy Bunbury, Mike Wells, Chris Jeppesen (Legacies of British Slave Ownership), Lotty Bunbury, Vicky O’Mearain (née Tindal), Richard Carruthers, Jacky Quarmby, Jack Mulcahy, Susann Anderson, Judith Gantley, Ryan Chan, Nicola Cassidy, Geoff Dowdle, Brendan McCoy and others.




[1] The Times, Friday, Dec 29, 1939; pg. 9; Issue 48499; col F

[1] Reports suggesting this marriage was in the UK are wrong.

[2] Herbert Palmer Cox was the son of John George Cox and Prisca Philpot. He was baptized on 29 September 1748 in St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. Herbert’s name is found in the St Vincent Militia Commanders lists as Ensign in 1789, serving under Lieutenant Colonel John Greathead. Is it this man who leant his name to Herbert’s son and Lydia’s brother, Paul Greathead Cox, who died in childhood?

[3] The younger Lydia Bunbury was apparently born in 1796 although there is no documentary proof of this yet.

[3a] The British National Library’s Endangered Archives (Reference Number: EAP1013/1/4), St Vincent, St George’s Baptisms 1765-1820, Page 29. The record has also been transcribed by FindMyPast. With thanks to Ruth Bunbury.

[4] This information came from Anthony Bunbury’s research.

[5] In the U.K. census of 1861, Alicia Bunbury, a widow, 65, is recorded as living at 7, Princes Square, Paddington, Bayswater, in the Borough of Marylebone, along with a niece Mary Dillon and a nephew Arthur Lillie, aged 30, a Lieutenant – Indian Retired List.

[6] The Times, Saturday, Apr 27, 1839; pg. 6; Issue 17027; col F and The Times, Saturday, May 25, 1839; pg. 6; Issue 17051;col A

[7] Lydia’s date of birth is discussed on p. 215 of Alfred de Vigny et les siens, PUF, 1989. (With thanks to Janette Mcleman Carnie).

[8] For further reading: Alfred de Vigny by Arnold Whitridge (1933); Alfred de Vigny by James Dolittle (1967); Vigny’s Cinq-Mars: Dialogue on Political Power by Virginia Boggs Gunn (1975); Alfred De Vigny Et La Comedie-Francaise by Fernande Bassan (1984); Vigny: Les Destinees by Keith Wren (1985); Paradigm and Parody: Images of Creativity in French Romanticism by Henry F. Majewski (1989); The Novels of Alfred De Vigny: A Study of Their Form and Composition by Elaine K. Shwimer (1991); The Poetic Enigma of Alfeed de Vigny – The Rosetta Stone of Esoteric Literature by Denise Bonhomme (2006)

[9] The 1866 death date is presumed to be sourced from the Cambridge University alumni record gives his death as 1861. However, the Deaths page in the Gallon family bible gives a death date for Hugh Mills Bunbury of 3 May 1861.

[10] In 1825, Col. Edward WITHERINGTON, 9th Lancers, of Dublin, a brother in law of Theobald Wolfe TONE, married Ann Eugenia CHILES, of St Marylebone, in the British Embassy, Paris. Miss CHILES was said to be of the Island of Malta in the newspaper announcement of their wedding. Their son Edward Bunbury WITHERINGTON died in 1841. A copy of his burial is posted on Ancestry and he is not given a 2nd name of Bunbury, which does not necessarily mean anything but you would expect see a full name. It says “Edward, son of Lieut.Col. Witherington of Her Majesty’s 9th Regiment of Dragoons, and Eugenia his wife, died April 8th 1841 aged 13 years and 11 months.”
Another of their children was Selina Mary Ann WITHERINGTON, baptised at Paris in 1828, who married John Henry Sheppard SADLER, at Ripon Cathedral in 1855. They were divorced a few years later when she absconded with a man named KELL. With thanks to Richard Carruthers of West Vancouver, British Columbia [2015].

If the Canada story is true, Hugh Mill Bunbury II’s lifespan of 1800 – 1866 is exact with his distant cousin Captain William McClintock Bunbury of Lisnavagh. However, the Deaths page in the Gallon family bible gives a death date for Hugh Mills Bunbury of 3 May 1861. The 1866 date is assumed to have been sourced from the Cambridge University alumni record but needs to be double-checked …

[11] With thanks to Nancy Overton, a descendant of Matilda Witherington.

[12] The Times, Wednesday, Feb 20, 1833; pg. 6; Issue 15093; col C

[13] England, Select Cheshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1598-1900).

[14] Windsor and Eton Express, Saturday 13 July 1839.

[15] Lovell’s Canadian Dominion Directory, 1871.

[16] ‘Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928’, record found by Andy Hill.

[17] Toronto Trade Directory 1881.

[18] Montreal Directory 1882. Andy Hill also found a Protest and Notification record in the Quebec Notarial Records dated 22 July 1882 in Montreal for Charles F Bunbury against a R. Legebvre, but he can’t read the handwriting very well.

[19] Toronto City Directory 1889.

[20] Toronto City Directory 1892.

[21] This information was provided by George and Annie’s great-granddaughter Susann Anderson who has copies of both the Bunbury-Cole marriage license and HMB’s death certificate from 1902.

[22] Source: [S247]

[23] Maria and James Gallon’s eleven children were:

  1. Henry James Gallon (19 Jul 1858 – 14 Aug 1859)
  2. Amy Rosaline Seymour Gallon (13 Jul 1859 – 9 Jul 1915)
  3. Margaret Eliza Grant Gallon (15 Apr 1861 – 16 Aug 1862)
  4. Mary Louisa Gallon (6 Jun 1862 – 18 Nov 1919)
  5. Gertrude Ann Gallon (29 Sep 1863 – 29 Mar 1940) who moved to Montreal after her marriage.
  6. William James Gallon (12 Jun 1865 – 1945)
  7. Hubert Mills Gallon (8 Mar 1867 – 29 Nov 1941)
  8. Francis Percival Gallon (2 Sep 1868 – 9 Jan 1915)
  9. George Alexander Gallon (6 Aug 1870 – 27 Aug 1871)
  10. Meta Anna Gwendoline Gallon (12 Apr 1873 – 24 Aug 1938)
  11. Charles Roderick Gallon (21 May 1874 – 5 Jan 1917)

These details are from the Marriages page in the Gallon family bible, courtesy of Andy Hill whose wife is Maria’s great-great-granddaughter.

[24] England & Wales Marriage Index for Q4 1839 “BUNBURY, Hugh Mills, Nantwich, Vol 19, page 165” and “JOHNSON, Jane, Nantwich, vol 19, page 165” and the Cheshire, England, Select Bishop’s Transcripts, 1537-1933.

[25] C78/2144, no. 9 [10] : University of Houston – WAALT.

[26] Berkshire Chronicle (Saturday 12 September 1874).

[27] Registration district Barton Regis.

[28] GRO cert: 6 a 129.

[29] GRO cert: 6 a 153.

[30] The Times, Friday, Nov 10, 1854; pg. 1; Issue 21895; col A

[31] The Official Gazette, 17th December 1921

[32] The Dominions Office and Colonial Office List, Volume 66, Waterlow & Sons, Limited, 1927, p. 244.) There is a description of his office on offer from page 9 of the Blue Book of British Guiana (1926) but I cannot access what it says.

[33] See: R B Turton, The Alum Farm.

[34] See Humewood Castle for more or ‘Black Diamonds’ by Catherine Bailey.

[35] St Georges Gazette – 31st May 1917.

[36] Thanks to Michael Bunbury, Geoff Dowdle & Brendan McCoy.

[37] With thanks to Veronica Bunbury.

earliest surviving Anglican baptisms for the parish of St George on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent.

Thought to be Anna Maria Bunbury.



Unpublished letter sent to the Daily Telegraph, January 2023, by Mike Wells

SIR – When Troyton Bunbury BEM is invited to the garden party to celebrate his medal, perhaps he’ll be able to show His Majesty where he installed Buckingham Palace’s payphones as the youngest member of a BT team many years ago. Raised in Guyana by strict grandparents, Troy joined his parents in London aged 11 and last year reached retiring age after 21 years as site manager at St Michael’s Primary in Highgate, where he was the friendly, beating heart of the London school through various changes of management.
The children loved Troy, our boys included, and no-one who knew him was surprised when his replacement announced the job couldn’t be done by one man and an extra had to be hired. Troy now supervises part-time a team of site managers at another school and they’re lucky to have him; without the Windrush Generation and their children’s work ethic our country would have been in a fine mess. May Troy’s well-deserved award celebrate them all.
Mike Wells

In 2012, I was delighted to meet up with Denise Westford-Bunbury, daughter of Lancelot Bunbury and a descendant of the Bunburys of Cranavonan, County Carlow, in New York. She sweetly gifted me a copy of her Jonah-inspired book “Willy the Whale.”