Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

Random Quote
Random Date




Colvin of Monkhams Hall

Isabella Katherine McClintock Bunbury - the brown mouse

image title

The christening of Patrick Colvin
in 1926 was attended by the 2nd
Lord Rathdonnell (left), Hester and
her daughter Susan, Jack Colvin,
Isabella Colvin (holding baby Pat),
an unknown Colvin and
Forrester Colvin. It took place
at Woldringfold.

Isabella Katherine McClintock Bunbury was the eldest daughter of Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, 2nd Baron Rathdonnell , of Lisnavagh, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, by his marriage to Katherine Anne Bruen of Oak Park, Co. Carlow.

Isabella was born on 29th December 1874 and named for her late aunt, Bella Bunbury, who had died young just a few years earlier. She was raised between her fathers' two mansions at Lisnavagh and Drumcar, Co. Louth. As a youngster she greatly enjoyed art, painting under the pseudnym of 'Brown Mouse'. (A sister used the name 'White Mouse' but I'm not sure if this was Pauline or Mamie). We have a folio of her work at Lisnavagh from 1892 and there are many fine works therein.

On 26th July 1894, the 20-year-old married Lt. Col. Forrester Farnell Colvin, CBE, OBE, MC, DL, a scion of the Colvin family of Monkhams Hall from Epping Forest in south west Essex. Her sisters Mamie and Pauline married Hal Bramwell and Fred Dalgety. Her brother William was killed in the Anglo-Boer War, on account of which her younger brother Tim Bunbury succeeded her father - in 1929 - as 3rd Baron Rathdonnell. Tim was my fathers' grandfather.

From the little I have discovered about her to date, Isabella appears to have been a kindly and humorous woman, regularly in attendance at weddings and hospital balls, like her mother before her. She died aged 88 on 30th March 1963.



In November 1914, Second Lieutenant Jack Colvin, my grandfather’s first cousin, arrived on the Western Front with his Irish charger, Hopit. Amazingly both Jack and Hopit were to survive the next four gruelling years of war on the Western Front. Their story is told in the 2017 book ‘Jack and Hopit’ by Jack’s granddaughter Serena Merton.

Jack’s mother Isabella McClintock Bunbury was the oldest of three daughters born to Tom Bunbury, 2nd Baron Rathdonnell, a prominent County Carlow landowner who served as president of the Royal Dublin Society from 1913 through until his death in 1929. Isabella’s childhood was spent between the family estates at Lisnavagh, County Carlow, and Drumcar, County Louth.

In the summer of 1894, twenty-year-old Isabella was married in the parish church of Drumcar to Forrester Farnell Colvin, a young officer in the 9th Royal Lancers. Jack, their first child, was born just over a year later.

The 9th Lancers had achieved considerable respect over the years, not least during the Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-1880. Forrester Colvin served in Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts alongside Isabella’s brother Billy Bunbury during the Anglo-Boer War. Much sadness ensued when a Boer marksman shot Billy in the back of the knee on 17 February 1900, a day after they broke the Boer siege of Kimberley. Billy, twenty yeas old, died in the hot African sun that same evening.

Much of Jack Colvin’s childhood had been spent in Ireland, primarily between Drumcar and Lisnavagh, not least with his father so frequently away on war business. In 1910, Jack’s younger brother George contacted measles and died of heart failure at the age of 13.

Jack was 11-years-old when his future mount Hopit, a bay colt, was foaled at Scarrough House near Dundrum, County Tipperary in 1906. The stud belonged to John J Maxwell.

Hopit’s dam was an unnamed but well-bred mare while Popoff, Hopit’s sire, stood at the Coolmore Stud near Fethard. Popoff’s career nearly came to an end when he injured himself jumping a gate as a two-year-old and fetched up as an unwanted raffle prize. However, Mr Maxwell stepped in and saved the young stallion, whose subsequent offspring included Shanballymore, winner of the 1911 Irish Derby.

Having spent his formative year grazing on the lush pastures of Tipperary, Hopit went to England where he joined the stables of John Upton of Ingmire Hall, Westmoreland. In October 1912, Colonel Forrester Colvin bought the six-year-old gelding at Tattersalls for £162. 15 and Hopit duly made his way to the paddocks of Shermanbury Grange, the Colvin family home in West Sussex.

Meanwhile, the drums of war were beginning to beat across the seas in Europe. All of the horses and ponies at Shermanbury were commandeered by the government’s Remount Department shortly after the war broke out. Hopit was one of approximately 591,000 horses (along with 213,000 mules, 47,000 camels and 11,000 oxen) called into service between 1914 and 1917.

Colonel Colvin, who commanded two reserve regiments of cavalry at this time, was paid £70 for Hopit but the horse remained with the family and in November 1914, he landed in France as a charger of 19-year-old Jack Colvin. Educated at Eton, Jack had secured a cadetship at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in 1913. By August 1914, he was a second lieutenant in the 9th Lancers, commanding his own troop with Private G Tustin on hand to look after both him and his horse.

As they shipped out from Southampton to Boulogne, Hopit may have been tied up with a sling for the voyage, or perhaps he was one of those horses who was noted to have walked placidly up the ramp and onto the boat.

By Christmas 1914, Jack and Hopit were dealing with intense wet and cold, knee-deep mud of Meteren, where the men were now trained in infantry warfare – digging trenches, practicing dismounted attacks, sniping, bombing - with occasional breaks for football, point-to-points and even the occasional pheasant shoot. In fact, things went one better when Hubert Hartigan, one of Jack’s fellow officers, returned from leave to Ireland with a pack of Harriers. Hubert went on to co-found the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association and was the leading trainer in Ireland from 1946 to 1948, saddling 13 Irish classic winners.

In 1915 the 9th Lancers were plunged into the nightmare of Ypres where they had to contend with deadly clouds of poisonous gas as well as the relentless shelling and rifle fire. Their confidence was greatly shaken when the regimental hero, Frances Grenfell, winner of the first gazetted Victoria Cross of the war, was killed in a gas attack on 24 May 1915. Jack was sent with a small group of men to retrieve Grenfell’s body. He was promoted to lieutenant the following day.

They subsequently served at the Somme where, as Jack later recalled, the mud of the trenches was ‘so deep and liquid that if horses stepped off the planks, they disappeared.’ Somehow Hopit survived, living off the thatched straw used to roof the soldiers’ billets. The horse also outfoxed an outbreak of sarcoptic mange in January 1917 for which he and all other horses were clipped short. The cold was so intense that petrol was used to clean the cuts and wound on the horse’s legs; water simply froze over the wounds.

By the spring of 1917 Jack and Hopit were in action in the blizzard-wracked fields of Arras but a welcome reward came that summer when they finally secured hold of some good grazing grounds. The horses were soon in sufficiently fine condition to participate in a rudimentary horse show. They rounded out the year contending with the horror of Passchendaele before Jack went to the Cavalry Corps Equitation School to learn the ‘Art of Command’, as well as organisation, reconnaissance, intelligence, tactics and other aspects of war.

With the collapse of the Russian army on the Eastern Front, forty-two German divisions were suddenly freed up to attack British and French lines along the Western Front. Jack was badly shot in the buttock in fighting near Carpeza Copse in March 1918 and sent to recuperate in a hospital in the seaside hamlet of Wimereux. He rejoined his regiment in August shortly after they took part in a successful cavalry charge at German machine gun posts at Amiens.

The 9th Lancers were on the road to Mons when news arrived of the Armistice at 11am on 11 November. They subsequently crossed the border from Belgium into Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. Jack was made ADC to General Sir Herbert Plumer in Cologne, where he remained until 30 April 1919. All of a sudden, Hopit and Jack’s other horses Paleface, Black Beauty and Cliptail, found themselves grazing in mud-free fields and sleeping in comfortable stables.

Meanwhile, Forrester Colvin, Jack’s father, was among those entrusted with the fate of the horses now gathered in Cologne who had served King and Country over the previous four years. He had to decide whether they should be repatriated, continue with their regiments or be sold to French and Belgium farmers and, unfortunately, butchers.

Jack repurchased Hopit from the army for £30, and he also took Paleface home with him; the fate of his other horses is unknown. Jack and Hopit enjoyed some post-war point-to-pointing, hacking and hunting while in 1922, Jack’s friend Captain Eric Smith, rode Hopit in the Crawley and Horsham point-to-point.

In May 1920 Jack left Hopit in England when he was posted to Ireland to take on the IRA during the War of Independence. The 9th Lancers were based at Strokestown House, County Roscommon, where they built a gymnasium in a loft of one of the wings, above the vaulted stables. In the early hours of 23 March 1921, Jack was ordered to lead a Crossley tender patrol out from Strokestown. However, a last minute change of plan meant Captain Roger Greenville Peek was put in charge instead. The patrol was ambushed by the IRA at Scramoge; Peek and five other men were killed, while Jack was greatly traumatised by his close escape.

Six months later, the 9th Lancers were sent to Egypt where Jack remained until 1925. When Hopit died on 7 January 1927, the horse was laid to rest beneath an elaborate granite gravestone in Shermanbury Wood, amid the rolling downs of West Sussex.

Jack continued his military career through the Second World War, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, and served as a member of Her Majesty’s Bodyguard at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Hopit’s portrait hung over his desk until he died in 1980. He was buried in Cowfold Churchyard, not far from the grave of the Tipperary horse that he had ridden for four long years of war

‘Jack and Hopit – An officer of the 9th Lancers in the Great War and his War Horse’ by Serena Merton (Helion & Company, 2017).


image title

Above: From an album kept by Major Henry Stanley McClintock, courtesy of Andrew McClintock.

The Colvins of Monkhams Hall, Waltham Abbey

Lt. Col. Forrester Farnell Colvin's family came from Monkhams Hall, a manor house located off Crooked Mile Road, on a slight hill overlooking the market town of Waltham Abbey. A local legend claims that Boudacia's rebellion against the Romans ended in the neighbourhood when she poisoned herself with hemlock gathered on the banks of Cobbinsbrook.* Ian Easton, a Waltham Abbey guide told me that, as Monkhams (also called 'Munghams' and 'Minghams') was the biggest house in the town, the Colvins were accorded 'the same esteem as the Lord of the Manor'. The first reference to a Colvin in the area is a Parish Map of Waltham Holy Cross from 1825 which shows that much of Mingham's Hill is owned by J.S. [probably James Sharp] Colvin.

[* I initially spelled this as "Cobbins Brook" and received an amusing email in April 2012 objecting to these ‘increasingly common’ linguistic errors. ‘I note it particularly in the re-spelling of place-names in Suffolk where I now live,’ wrote my correspondent, ‘as "Felixstoweferry" (one emphasis), which has recently become "Felixstowe Ferry" (two emphases, contrary to tradition). The phenomenon suggests 1) an insensitivity by academic non-linguists to pronunciation and its orthographical representation, and 2) the imposition of middle-class mispronunciation upon local traditional pronunciation, an interesting anthropological oddity.’]

From Normandy to Scotland

The first record I have found of a Colvin came via an email in which the author pleaded with me to bear in mind that 'none of this has been verified by myself and [I] should treat it with caution'. As such, if anyone has any further thoughts on the following, let me know and I will amend accordingly. The name Colville apparently derives from two brothers, Gilbert and William de Collville, who came from the small village of Colleville in Normandy. They were said to have been commanders in William the Conqueror's army when he invaded England. The English barons of Colville descend from Gilbert. William, the other brother, held lands in Yorkshire and from him descend the Lords of Colville of Scotland. They are listed in the Falaise Rolls (ca 1171) and the Domesday Book in 1086. Phillip de Colville was granted land in Ayrshire by Malcolm IV about 1160. There is record in 1630 of a William Colvin , burger of Glasgow, stating that he had a brother who was Laird of Cleish in Kinross-shire.

The names Colleville, Calvin, Colville, Colvil and Colvin are frequently used for the same persons, probably due to clerks and scribes spelling phonetically, rather than by any intent of the owners of the names.

Adam Colvin of Durham (d. 1698)

According to my source, the line goes back to Adam Colvin of Bolam and Gainford in Darlington, County Durham, England. He appears to descend from the Colvins of Ochiltree, Scotland, a little north of the Firth of Forth in Clackmananshire and Kinross-shire. In April 2008, I was advised of a small journal belonging to Forrester Colvin, dated March 26,1927, with the following note: 'Capt.Adam Colvin. - I am anxious to obtain information of Captain Adam Colvin or Colvill of Bolam, Parish of Gainford, Co. Durham, in 1651.He was Senior Lieutenant Major Thomas Conier's (Conyer's ?) Regt. of Dragoons, Durham'. The note also states that Adam was 'twice mentioned in list of 'all Loyall and Indigent Officers Military' as they were certified in the Star Chamber before 1663'. By his first wife Anne, Adam had two sons Edward (see below) and John (see below). In about 1671, Adam was married a second time to a woman called Margery. Margery died in 1680 and Adam in 1698. He was buried at All Saints in Newcastle on 18th May 1698 with the surname of 'Colvil'.

Edward Colvil & the Tankerville Connection

By his first wife Anne, Adam Colvin had several children. Among these was Edward Colvin or Colvil, a butcher, grazier and import merchant living at the White House, High Heworth, near Gateshead. The White House, or Old Hall, occupied 'the high road betwixt the vales of the Wear and Tyne, commanding a very varied and extensive prospect over the estuary of both rivers, with the parishes of Tynemouth and Hylton in the distance' Itwas one of the oldest habitations in Heworth, appearing in the Durham Priory Household Book of 1530. During the English Civil War, it was the seat of the staunchly Catholic Jennison family. The house was owned by John Stafford after Edward's death in 1750. (a)

By his second wife Sarah, Edward had a daughter, Camilla Colvin who married Charles Bennett, Lord Ossulston, son and heir of the Earl of Tankerville. Ossulston fell in love with her when they danced together at an assize ball in Newcastle, Edward Colvin's status being considered suitably stylish to allow a butcher's daughter attend such a prestigious function. There is a rather lovely story about their subsequent romance, and Edward's efforts to thwart it, which sees the young loves sailing for Rotterdam. See Appendix A at end of this page for 'The Belle of Newcastle & the Tankerville Heir'. At any rate, their marriage took place at Jarrow in 1721, at which Camilla's surname was recorded as Colville. Charles became 2nd Earl of Tankerville in 1722 and succeeded to Chillingham Castle in Northumberland. He held several offices in the courts of George II and Frederick, Prince of Wales. In 1740, he was Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland. He was taken ill on a journey from Aldborough-hatch in Essex on 14th March 1753 and died the same night. Camilla, who was a lady-in-waiting to the Queen Caroline, consort of George II. She died on 8th October 1775. By some accounts she was 105 years old when she died. However, as she was baptised on 9th March 1697, it seems more likely that she was a more reasonable 78. Her two sons both, in turn, succeeded to the Earldom. (b)

Camilla's sister Susanna Colville also enjoyed a colourful life. Mike Amore kindly sent me this tale. 'In 1713, she married Lionel Allen, an eminent merchant in Rotterdam and it was to his house in Rotterdam that Camilla was sent in the hope that Lord Ossulston's interest would fade. Jane Allen, daughter of Susan and Lionel, married William Davidson, another merchant in Rotterdam. They had a daughter, Susannah Jane Davidson, who died in Paris in 1767, aged 20. Her portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and there is a monument to her memory in Westminster Abbey. William Davidson's sister Mary married twice. Her first husband was Thomas Eliot and their son was a famous doctor, Sir John Eliot, Bart, MD. Mary's second husband was Thomas Randall, whom she married in 1742. Their son Thomas changed his name to Davidson and inherited a fortune, " with directions to take the name and arms of Davidson". He became the Rev Dr Thomas Davidson and by his first wife had a son Henry Davidson, born 1811. Henry married Henrietta Swinton in 1848 and their son Randall Thomas Davidson was Archbishop of Canterbury (1903-1928). Randall married Edith Murdoch Tait, daughter of Archibald Cambell Tait, also an Archbishop of Canterbury. Archibald's wife was Catherine Spooner, daughter of William Spooner and Anna Maria O'Brien (born Dromoland Castle, Co Clare). William's parents were Isaac Spooner and Barbara Gough, and his sister was Barbara Ann Spooner, who married William Wilberforce, the slavery abolishionist. (Barbara Gough was descended from King Edward 3rd, mainly through female ancestors.) Quite an interesting set of connections.' Indeed!

(a) From 1820, The White House became the property of Richard Carnaby Forster. One of its last residents, Mr. Thomas Claque, spoke of finding a priest's hole in the house. He left about 1938, after which the house was abandoned and became derelict and beyond saving by 1960.
(b) From 'A Topographical History of Surrey' by Edward Wedlake Brayley.

John Colvin & the Virginia Connection

Adam's son, John Colvin became a Freeman of Newcastle in 1670. Thus we may assume he was born from Adam's first wife Anne. John himself also married twice. His first wife Isabel Greene died young, possibly in childbirth, and was buried in All Saints, Newcastle, on 7th March 1672. On 8th September 1674, John was back at All Saints when he married secondly Catherine Stott. At least two of their sons, John Colvill and Thomas Colville', later traveled to the British Colony of Virginia, settling in Fairfax County. Indeed, George Washington was a close colleague and executor to the will of Colonel John Colvin. In this will, dated 1755, John explained that he was "late of Newcastle-on-Tyne" in England. Colonel Colville called some of his land in Virginia "Cleesh", presumably named for the lairdship of Cleish in Scotland held by his Ochiltree kinsmen. In his will he also bequeathed part of his considerable Virginia estate to the Earl of Tankerville, a son of his first cousin Camilla (nee Colvin).

In his will of 1755, Colonel John Colvin referred to his mother, then alive in England, as Catherine Colvin.

George Colvin (1671 - 1706)

By his first marriage to Isabel Greene, John Colvin of Newcastle had a son George Colvin, baptized in All Saints on 12th October 1671. Like his father, George subsequently became a Freeman of Newcastle. George's wife Martha was either the widow or sister of John Storey. George and Martha had several sons before George's death, aged 35. He was buried in All Saints on 15th December 1706.

John Colvin of Hatherick's Mill (1693 - 1775)

One of their sons was John Colvill of Hatherick's Mill, Newcastle. This John was baptized on 26th January 1693 and died in 1775. John's wife was Anne.

William Colvin & Elizabeth Sharp

John and Anne Colvin's son William married, as his second wife, Elizabeth Sharp, and was thus forbear of the Colvins of Monkhams Grange.

Robert Colvin the inkmaker (1765 - 1825)

By his second marriage to Elizabeth Sharp, William Colvin was father to Robert Sharp Colvin (1765-1825). Born in 1765, Robert Sharp Colvin is also described as Robert Colville of Coleman Street, London, gent. (ACC/1399/19a-d). In about 1807, Robert went into partnership with Beale Blackwell (1752-1818), son of Beale and Hannah Blackwell. Beale was a Clerkenwell ink-maker described as 'the first maker of ink of any note in this country; he established considerable works for the supply of the trade, and for a long time kept all competitors at a distance'. This ink was probably an oily, varnish-like ink made of soot, turpentine, and walnut oil, created specifically for the printing press. Blackwell appears to have established the business in about 1787. (a) On 11th April 1801, Beale was admitted to two acres of land called Little Childermead at Upshire. Upon his death in 1818, Beale Blackwell left his property, both freehold and copyhold, to Robert, including the Upshire properties of Greens (or Southend Farm) and other 'lands round about'. After Blackwell's death circa 1818, 'the manufactory (sic)' of Blackwell & Colvin was 'carried on by Mr Colvil [sic]'. (b) Beale Blackwell's widow Sarah passed away on Sunday 14th June 1818 at Charles Street, Northampton Square. (c)

Robert married Susannah Dyson of Cheshunt who must have been a daughter or sister of Richard Dyson, owner of the Booths Hill estate on which Mungham's was situated. On 11th May 1818, Robert was officially admitted to his brother's Upshire property. In 1822, he acquired the nearby Wood Green Farm. Robert passed away seven years later and his only son, 17 year old Beale Blackwell Colvin, was duly admitted into the copyhold ownership of the land. Beale's mother, Susannah, was listed as a guardian alongside James Dyson of Cheshunt and James Farnell of King Street, Clerkenwell. It should be noted that from 1838 to 1860, the business was known as Blackwell & Farnell.


a) Extract from 'Typographia: an Historical Sketch of the Origin and Progress of the Art of Printing' by Thomas Curson Hansard,1825, page 715 .In August 2008, Michael Amor informed me that 'The London Book Trades,1775-1800: a checklist of members' refers to Beale Blackwell, a printers ink maker of King Street and Goswell Street. In another listing for King Street, Goswell Street, there are Beale Blackwell (1805H-1806P), Blackwell & Colvin (1807P-1811H), Blackwell Colvin & Co (1825P-1829P), Blackwell and Co (1830P-1837P), Blackwell & Farnell (1838P-1860P) and Beale Blackwell (1785P-1797L). ( Does anyone know what P,H,etc stands for?) Speculating on these, one suspects that Beale Blackwell established himself as a high quality ink-maker, entering a parnership with Robert Colvin in about 1807. In 1838, 13 years after Robert's death, he found a new partner in Farnell. In 1825, Mr Beale Blackwell was described as 'the first maker of ink of any note in this country; he established considerable works for the supply of the trade, and for a long time kept all competitors at a distance ... The manufactory (sic) established by Mr Blackwell is now carried on by Mr Colvil [sic], who was in partnership with him for some years'.
b) BLACKWELL, Beale, printers' ink maker, King Street, Goswell Street 1785P-1860P+ (no. 16 1785P-1797L; no. 11 1805H-1811H; no. 14 1825P-1860P+. Trading: as Beale Blackwell 1785P-1806P; as Blackwell and Colvin 1807P-1825P; as Blackwell, M. Colvin and Co. 1826P-1829P; as Blackwell and Co. 1830P-1837P; as Blackwell and Farnell 1838P-1860P+. A Beale Blackwell ink maker died 1767 and there are entries for the family in the St. James Clerkenwel1 parish registers (Harleian Soc.). Made gift of bank stock which would make annually £100 for 20 journeyman printers July 1817, first distribution Oct. 1821. Musgrave; Timperley 865. Firm survived in 1973 as Blackwell and Co. (Printing Inks) Ltd. in Stratford.
c) The Times, Thursday, Jun 18, 1818; pg. 3; Issue 10386; col F.

image title

Isabella Colvin (nee
McClintock Bunbury)
and her grandson,
Patrick Colvin, 1926.

image title

Emma and Beale Colvin with their youngest son
Forrester Farnell Colvin circa 1860.

Beale Colvin (1809 - 1864) & the Brittens of Kenswick & Shermanbury

Beale Blackwell Colvin of Pishiobury, Herts, was born in 1809 and named for his father's ink-making business partner. There is a memorial to him in Waltham Abbey church. He succeeded to his fathers lands at Monkhams Hall, Essex, when he was 17. In the National Archives (ref ACC/1399/029, 27 Dec 1827) Beale Colvin is described as a gentleman of King Street, St. James, Clerkenwell and 'son and heir of Robert Colvin, deceased'. His widowed mother Susanna Colvin was living with him as was James Farnell, gent. These three were all et al, executors of the will of Robert Colvin. In about 1828 he acquired Upshire Hall, then a working farm, from the heirs of the late John Osborne, who died in 1827.

On 26th July 1853, he was married in Marylebone Church, London, to Emma Elizabeth Mary Britten, daughter of Daniel Britten, JP, of Harewood-Square and Kenswick Manor, Worcester. Emma was born in Regents Park, London, in about 1834. There must have been some commotion about the marriage date for just a year earlier, in 1852, Emma had married Richard Bernolva of Monkhouse, Essex. (Monkhouse could be a spelling mistake).

Emma, who died in 1916, was the middle child with two brothers, Forrester and Richard. Captain Forrester Britten was born in 1838, served with the artillery, married Annie MacWhinney and died of heart failure aged 65 on 13 May 1903 at his home, Shermanbury Grange, in Sussex. The Shermanbury estate was later home to Forrester Colvin for six years. The estate was originally named 'Perriers', apparently after a family living in the parish in 1428. It and belonged to the family of Wood or Awood in the 17th century. By 1840, a building on the site of the later Shermanbury Grange belonged to John Borrer, who in 1843, is noted for 'a large house, lately built on Perriers farm'. In 1867 Mrs. Hoper lived at Shermanbury Grange, which had a small park in 1875. The estate belonged to Richard Hoper in 1874. Forrester Britten seems to have aquired the property in 1887, the date when the surviving house is also said to have been built. The purchase of Wymarks and other farms in 1890 and of Oatlands, Morley, and Green Tree farms in 1897 had enlarged the estate by some 380 acres. His widow, Annie Britten, was still in residence by 1910 when the Grange came with 511 acres. from 1930 until his death in 1936, The Grange was occupied by Lieut.-Col. Forrester F. Colvin. In 1938, it came to R. G. Heaton, who had a considerable estate. After the Second World War the house was used by the county council as a girls' home.

Emma Colvin and Forrester Britten's brother, Richard Britten was born in 1843, entered the Royal Navy in February 1857 and saw service in the China War of 1858. Promoted Sub Lieutenant in Feb 1863, he rose to become a full Lieutenant in June 1865 and Flag captain to the Duke of Edinburgh. He married Blanche Cecile Colville in 1890. He retired from active service on 10th August 1892 and was subsequently promoted to rear-admiral on retired list. He died at Kenswick in Feb 1910, leaving two sons, Forester and Charles, and a daughter, Violet.

Another, much younger brother, Cecil Hodgson Colvin, was born on 30 April 1858 and is dealt with later in this story.

Beale and Emma were the parents of Evelyn Colvin who married William Farnell Watson, see below.

Footnote: The information on Shermanbury came from 'Shermanbury: Manors and other estates', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3: Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) including Crawley New Town (1987), pp. 192-195.

image title

Isabella Colvin (nee McClintock
Bunbury) was the eldest daughter
of the 2nd Baron Rathdonnell.

image title

Above: The Colvin brothers at the time of the South African War. Forrester, the yoiungest, married Isabella Bunbury. Their photos appeared in The Sphere on 9 June
1900 alongside an article entitled 'Another Group of Kinsmen in Khaki at the Front' that reads: "It would be difficult indeed to exhaust this subject, which has
already been dealt with in these pages under the title of "Brothers in Battle." A notable case of kinship is that of the three brothers Colvin. Colonel R. Beale Colvin,
who commands the Roughriders in the Imperial Yeomanry, has been assisting at the headquarters of the Yeomanry as D.A.A.G. all the winter. He married Lady Gwen
Colin Rous, fifth daughter of the late Earl of Stradbroke. His brother, Captain Cecil Colvin, 4th Battalion Essex Regiment, who has seen service in Egypt, is going with
him in command of a company of the Roughriders. He is married to a daughter of Colonel Craigie Halkett of Cramond, whose nephew, Lieutenant C. P. M. Craigie
Halkett of the Highland Light Infantry, was killed at Paardeberg. Still another brother, Major Forrester Farnell Colvin, 9th Lancers, has been serving with Lord
Methuen, and is now with Lord Roberts. He is married to the Hon. Isobel McClintock Bunbury, eldest daughter of Lord Rathdonnell, who lost his son and heir, of the
Scots Greys, near Kimberley.'

Brigadier-General Sir Richard Beale Colvin (1856-1936)

Richard Beale Colvin, the eldest son of Beale and Emma Colvin, was born on August 4th 1856. His father died when he was eight and Richard was registered as owner of Monkhams Hall in 1878 when he was 22. Four years later, he was appointed a JP. A great traveler during his 20s and 30s, by 1889 Captain Colvin had raised an Essex Troop of the Loyal Suffolk Hussars and was preparing to settle down at Monkhams. He served as High Sheriff of Essex from 1891 to 1892 and was Master of the Essex Hounds, and afterwards the Essex and Suffolk. On 26th June 1895, he married Lady Gwendoline Rous (died 1952), the youngest sister of Lord Stradbroke. They had a daughter, Audrey Mary Maud Colvin, born 5th October 1896, and some years later, a son, Richard Beale Rous Colvin, born 15th March 1900. By 1898 he was 'Richard Beale Colvin B.A., D.L., J.P'. Following a series of disasters for the British army in South Africa in the Black Week of 1901, Richard took command of the Essex Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa, which had been raised as mounted infantry to deal with the highly mobile Boer Commandos. These volunteers, skilled horsemen and keen marksmen, were part of the new wave of soldiers, the XXth Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry, known as the "Rough Riders". There is a memorial in the west end of Waltham Abbey's Lady Chapel, erected by Richard, to the memory of the 30 men of his battalion who did not return from the Boer campaign alive. He was awarded a Commander of Bath in 1906, the same year he served as a member of the Grand Jury that indicted the Buckham brothers for murder (September 1906).

image title

Isabella Colvin's father,
Tom Bunbury, 2nd
Baron Rathdonnell

On 14th June 1917, Colonel Beale Colvin C.B., T.D., D.L., J.P, was successfully returned as Conservative MP for Epping that same year. He remained MP until 1923 when the seat was filled by Sir Charles Ernest Leonard Lyle, later Baron Lyle of Westbourne. In October 1924, this same seat was won by Winston Churchill who held it until the end of World War Two. In 1928, he succeeded the 1st Baron Lambourne as Lord-Lieutenant of Essex and retained the post until his death in 1936. In 1929, The Builder noted that 'Brother' Richard Beale, Provincial Grand Master of Essex, was Chairman of the 141st Anniversary Festival of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. 'Over $350,000 was subscribed for the work of this enterprise'. Richard's 'province outranked all others in contributions; the sum subscribed being over $150,000. The London Masons were not far behind with contributions of $125,000. Two lodges contributed over $5,000 each, while two others brought in over $2,500. One of these last two has only thirty members'. (1)

In 1930 Richard Colvin became the first commoner to be Lord Lieutenant of Essex. By 1933, he was a Brigadier-General. In 1934, he published 'The Lieutenants And Keepers Of The Rolls Of The County Of Essex'. He died on January 17th 1936 and was buried at Waltham Abbey. The Church had already benefited from Richard's generosity in at least two tangible aspects. The first was the Boer War memorial already mentioned. The second was a memorial stained glass window in the Lady Chapel, showing the nativity scene, which includes Bob, Richard's trusty old English sheepdog. The manor house of Monkhams Hall was later converted into six separate apartments. In December 2007, I made contact with the Wrights who have lived in Monkhams since 1981 and own two of these apartments as well as an annexe.

1. The Builder Magazine, July 1929 - Volume XV - Number 7.

The Essex Imperial Yeomanry

In 1901, Colonel Colvin took command of the Essex Imperial Yeomanry, the squadrons of which had been raised earlier in the year in Colchester, Braintree, Epping and Southend. The success of the yeomanry cavalry regiments during the Boer War, 1899-1902, led to the forming of more units throughout Britain and the Essex Yeomanry had the backing of the Earl of Warwick, Lord-Lieutenant of Essex. The Yeomanry came first in order of precedence of Essex volunteer units and competition was keen to join the regiment. In 1909 King Edward VII presented a guidon, a swallow-tailed cavalry standard, to the Essex Yeomanry at a ceremony at Windsor Castle. A popular feature of Essex agricultural shows before World War I was a musical ride performed by sixteen troopers of D Squadron, resplendent in green uniforms with red facings, brass dragoon helmets with scarlet plumes, and carrying lances with fluttering red and white pennons. When World War I broke out in August 1914 the Essex Yeomanry was mobilized and embarked from France in November to join the 8th Cavalry Brigade of the 3rd Cavalry Division. Needless to say, casualties in the yeomanry were horrific.


image title

'I certify that the Banns of Marriage between Forrester Farnell Colvin,
Bachelor, of the Parish of Shermansbury,
in the county of Sussex, England,
& Isabella Katherine McClintock Bunbury, Spinster of this Parish, were
published the three Sundays June 24th, July 1st & 8th, and no
impediment was allowed

Rev. Francis George Le Poer McClintock,
Rector of Drumcar,
July 9th 1894.




LT. Col. Forrester Colvin, CBE, OBE, MC, DL, LT.

image title

Sir Harry Scobell,
commander of the
Fighting Scouts with
whom both Forrester
Colvin and Billy Bunbury
served in the Boer War.

Isabella Bunbury's husband Forrester Farnell Colvin was the third and youngest son of Beale Blackwell Colvin of Pishiobury, Herts (and later of Monkhams Hall, Essex), by his wife, Emma Elizabeth Mary Britten. Forrester served with the 9th Lancers in the Boer War. While his two brothers rode with the Rough Riders, he appears to have served with a group called Kitchener's Fighting Scouts, a type of British Commando unit who, by dint of camouflage and ambush tactics, made a great name for themselves during the South African War, capturing some of the most elite bands of Boer fighters in the Cape Colony. (1) His brother-in-law, Billy Bunbury, aka The Hon. William McClintock Bunbury, served in the same outfit. Billy was shot in the leg during a Boer ambush on February 17th 1900. His thigh was shattered and he died of shock that night. The whole tragic horror occurred less than 24 hours after the Redcoats, Billy included, had finally freed the key British stronghold of Kimberley from a long and protracted Boer siege. His commanding officer, Colonel (later Sir) Harry Scobell, personally orchestrated his funeral and the young soldier was laid to rest in Kimberley. (2) At Lisnavagh, I have read a letter which Billy Bunbury wrote to Forester Colvin between Jan 12th - 19th 1900. It was written in pencil on a thin scrap of light blue writing paper. The words are fading fast and I would greatly welcome a writing expert to capture every last word soon.

image title

Forrester Colvin,
a dapper gent,
at his grandsons'
christening in 1926.

image title

Above: Forrester Colvin in the uniform of
the 9th Lancers.

North Bank. Zoutpans Drift. O.F.S.
Dear Forester,
I suppose the telegraph I got yesterday was from you, at least it was signed Colvin. We're here for some time & the country round is (culping?) with Boers - we marched in here Saturday week ago & have done two raids into the country and captured about 100 cattle and a few necessaries like chairs & saucepans for our own use- on Thursday we had a bit of a fight about 10 miles into the country but lost no men or horses. They nearly finished my mare off as a bullet hit the ground just between my mare's feet. We had just an ideal force ourselves about 48 2RHA Guns & a few Mountain Infantry. About 10 Boers have been seen so must close today & they think they're going to attack us as the river is so flooded it takes hours to get anything across. I hope you had a good time at Cape Town. We hear no news here, awfully out of the world. Sending this (with / into) a R by (our) vet who came out this morning and told me the little news there is - Don't expect you'll be able to read this. Only (burting?) I've got. Give Johnnie my love.
Yours ever,
W. McClintock Bunbury

Forrester Colvin subsequently co-wrote (with E. Gordon), "Diary of the 9th Lancers" which chronicles the war. I have not yet seen this book. He had an address at both Old Woldringfold and Shermanbury Grange, Henfield, Horsham, Sussex. He was a great polo player, well known at Hurlingham.

'Major and Brevet Lieut Col Colvin, 9th Lancers, has been appointed to the command of the Scots Greys. Col Colvin rendered distinguished service in Africa during the late war, and was given his Brevet rank in recognition of his services. He was well known in Meath and Louth when he was quartered at Dundalk, and married Lord Rathdonnell's eldest daughter.’ Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal - Saturday 13 June 1903, p. 4.

Forester and Isabella had three sons, John Forrester (Jack), Felix Beale and George Denys (who died of measles while at Eton), and a daughter, Dame Mary Katherine Rosamund Colvin. There are photos of little Jack and George playing at both Lisnavagh and Drumcar when they were boys.

On July 26th 1919, the Colvin's celebrated their Silver Wedding anniversary. Isabella's parents marked the occasion with the presentation of a beautiful silver cup, inscribed 'Forrester Farnell and Isabella Katherine Colvin from Rathdonnell and K A Rathdonnell 1894 - July 26 - 1919'.

Forrester died on 16th February 1936 and was buried at Cowfold. Colvins, Dalgetys, Bramwells, Arbuthnots, Brittens, Bruens, Godmans and Watsons dominated the congregation but curiously no Rathdonnells.

1. The SA Field Force Casualty List for Kitchener's Fighting Scouts gives 12 killed between January and June 1901, 12 killed between July and December 1901, and, amazingly, 12 killed from January to June 1902! They seem to have seen action all over the place and very few of them died of disease.
2. Major-General Sir Henry Jenner Scobell (1859-1912). Born in England, he entered the Army in 1879 and rose to be a major-general. During the South African War he served in both the Cape Colony and the Transvaal, capturing amongst others the Boer Commandant Lotter who was subsequently executed in circumstances that aroused much criticism. From 1909 he commanded the British garrison in South Africa.

image title

Jack Colvin at the
christening of his
son Patrick in 1926.

Jack Colvin & the Godmans of Woldringfold Manor

Forrester and Isabella's eldest son, Lt. Col. John Forrester Colvin, aka Jack Colvin, MC, 9th Lancers, was born in 1895. When the war broke out in 1914, he took his charger Hopit to France. He had bought the horse at Tattersalls on 30th Oct 1912 for the large sum of £162.15.0 from a John Upton Esq. And in a story that echoes that of the 'War Horse' story and that of the Eustace's horse Lisnavagh, Jack brought Hopit home in 1919 and continued to hunt and point-to-point him. When Hopit died in 1927, he buried him beneath a large gravestone on which with all their battles were etched. [1] [see above]

On Tuesday 19th October 1920, Jack was married at St Peters, Cowfold, to Hester Godman, the youngest of two daughters of Lt. Col. Charles Bulkeley Godman (son of Joseph Godman, of Park Hatch, Surrey) by his wife, Adelaide Mary Philippa Foley, herself a daughter of Admiral Fitzgerald Algernon Charles Foley and granddaughter of the 3rd Baron Foley of Kidderminster. In 1880, Lt.-Col. Godman purchased the manor of Woldringfold near Shermanbury in Sussex from Richard Ramsden. He built a large new stone house, designed by Ewan Christian, in a commanding position 300 yards south of Old Woldringfold; the new Woldringfold was rebuilt and modernized in 1960 and was up for sale again in 2007. In 1939, two years before his death, the Colonel transferred it to his daughter Hester Colvin. The property was subsequently transferred in 1959 to Jack and Hester' son, Patrick, who owned 257 ha. [2]

Hester's sister Olive was married in 1916 to Sir Geoffrey Francis Archer.

On Sep 19, 1945 The Times announced that Lt Col John Forester Colvin, late 9th Lancers, and Lt Col Kenneth Edward Previte, late Royal Marines, had been admitted as Gentleman of the Corps of His Majesty's Bodyguard.


[1] Hopit's sire was Popoff and the dam's sire was Noble Chieftan. Popoff was standing at Coolmore Stud, Co. Tipperary, in 1904 but by 1910 was at Scarrough House Stud, also in Co. Tipperary. Popoff sired 2 thoroughbred colts in 1906, one died and the other was Popoff's Pride but sadly Hopit's dam was not thoroughbred as there seem to be no records for her.

The man listed as the contact for nominations with Popoff was John J Maxwell. Popoff's nomination cost 7 guineas. It has been suggested that John Upton was the well-known "gentleman rider" turned breeder-trainer John Upton Esq. of Cokethorpe Park, Oxon. John Upton was actually born John Cotterell-Dormer but in 1906, the year Hopit was foaled, he changed his name to allow him to inheirit Ingmire Hall, Westmoreland. His daughter Florence Anne Petronel Upton married John Pelham, 7th Earl of Yarborough. However, Serena Merton reasons that the 7 guineas nomination makes it 'very unlikely that an English breeder (ie Upton) would have gone to the expense of sending a mare out to Ireland for a stallion of little note.'

[2] From: 'Cowfold: Manors and other estates', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6, Part 3: Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) including Crawley New Town (1987), pp. 177-82.

image title

Hester Colvin
and her four
year old
Susan, 1926.

Patrick Forrester John Colvin (1926 - 2002)

Jack and Hester Colvin had a son, Patrick (Forrester John) Colvin and a daughter, Susan. Pat Colvin was born on 12th June 1926. Educated at Eton College, he followed family tradition to serve as a Lieutenant in the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers. He was married in 1950 to the late Elizabeth (Ann), younger daughter of Dr. Philip Marshall, MRCS, LRCP, of Wisborough Green, Sussex. This great-grandson of the 2nd Lord Rathdonnell died aged 75, at his home on 26 April 2002. He was buried at St Peter's Church, Cowfold, on Friday 3rd May. Pat and Elizabeth Colvin adopted two children, Renira and Shane, who now live near Woldringfold in Sussex. The house itself was empty in July 2007 and about to be sold. Shane was then living on the avenue with his wife Katie and two sons, Archie and Hubert. Renira has two children from her second marriage, Edward and Phoebe.

image title

The 2nd Baron Rathdonnell
and his great-grandson,
Patrick Cox, taken in 1926.

Susan Colvin and Brigadier Cox (b. 1922)

Patrick's sister Susan Colvin was born in 1922 and married in 1955 to the late Brigadier Charles (Francis) Cox, OBE, of 24 Kensington Gate, London. The Brigadier passed away in 1998, leaving a son and two daughters. Susan now lives on one of the former Godman farms close to the home of her son, Christopher Cox.

Christopher Cox was born in 1957 and married Annie (Charlotte Ann McEwan); they have three children, Laura, Edwina and Jamie.

Camilla (Rosemary) Cox, the elder daughter, was born in 1958 and lives in Dorset with her husband James Borradaile and their daughter Lara.

The younger daughter Serena Mary Cox was born in 1962, and given the name 'Mary' for her great-aunt, Dame Mary Colvin. She married Simon Merton and has three children, Rosie, Flora and Charlie. Simon's father Robin Merton was a son of Air Chief Marshal Sir Walter Merton, whose second wife Peggy Wilson was Dermot Daly’s aunt. Serena is the author of ‘Jack and Hopit, Comrades in Arms: An Officer of the 9th Lancers in the Great War and his War’ (Helion and Company, 2017)

image title

I am unsure who this Colvin
is. He was pictured at the
christening of Patrick Colvin
in 1926.

Felix Beale Colvin

On March 6th 1929, The Times announced the engagement of the 2nd Baron Rathdonnell's 24-year-old grandson Felix Beale Colvin to Constance Lerous. Her father, George Le Roux (or Lerous), MRCS, was a general practitioner who lived in a small village called Kokstad, East Griqualand in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa. The marriage took place in Kokstad two weeks later. I wonder did Felix get in trouble for courting in the land where his mothers' brother was slain in the Boer War?

He was later involved in the surrender of Crete where he met Evelyn Waugh, an encounter mentioned in Douglas Lane Patey's 2001 book, 'The Life of Evelyn Waugh: A Critical Biography'. In his diaries for May-June 1941, Waugh states that Felix suffered shell shock and lost his nerve during the German assault on Crete. Waugh would later use Colonel Colvin as the base the character of Major Fido Hound in 'Officers and Gentlemen' (1955), the second part of his 'Sword of Honour' trilogy. It was certainly not a pleasant comparison, as Major Hound is cast as a rather despicable creature, deserting his men in their moment of need.

Felix Beale Colvin died in Durban in September 1985. Twenty years later, in 2005, I came into email contact with a lady in Kent called Terrie Brown who previously lived in Kokstad where Constance was born and died. Like George Lerous, Terrie's husband Vernon was a GP and later tended to Felix who she described as 'a delightful, precise gentleman of great military bearing'. According to Terrie, Isabella Colvin gave Constance a gift of her own portrait. This would not be every daughter-in-law's dream present but Terrie says Constance was 'a great, proud old lady' and 'extremely fond' of Isabella. Felix and Constance's son John was a close friend of the Browns. He had a son John and a daughter Susan (now in Australia) by his first wife. He then married Anne (who died of cancer) and had another daughter, Audrey Anne (who married Tony Janse van Vuuren and settled in Pietermaritzburg) and a son, David, who died young, leaving a wife & child.

Four Faces of Dame Mary Colvin, granddaughter of the 2nd Baron Rathdonnell and Director of the Women's Royal Army Corps.

Brigadier Dame Mary Colvin (1907-1988)

The 2nd Baron's granddaughter - and John Forrester Colvin's sister - was described as described as 'a formidable figure and forceful personality who did not suffer fools gladly'. Brigadier Dame Mary Katherine Rosamund, Colvin DBE TD, was born at Morleys, a house on the Shermanbury Place estate, near The Grange, on 25 October 1907. She was commissioned into the British Army before the war broke out in 1939. She commanded a Central Ordnance Depot ATS Group at Weedon, Northamptonshire, in 1943 - 1944. (1) After the war, she held staff appointments in the military Government in Germany. She became Inspector of Recruiting (Women's Services) at the war Office in 1954. She was Deputy Director of the Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC), Headquarters Eastern Command. On March 1957, she was appointed to succeed Brigadier Dame Mary Railton as Director of the WRAC. (2) The WRAC Accommodation block in Hong Kong was named Colvin House in her honour. It was situated within Victoria Barracks which was alongside the Wanchai district on the harbour side of the island. That barracks were demolished in the late 70s / early 80s when the new build at HMS Tamar was completed. She was Lady-in-Waiting to the Princess Royal until she stepped down from the post in November 1964, when she became an Extra Lady in Waiting. In June 1960, for instance, she represented the Princess Royal at the funeral of Colonel Sybil Frances Nimmo. She was also president of the British Horse Society. She celebrated her 65th birthday in October 1972. Dame Mary Colvin died on 23 September 1988, having lived out her latter decades in Rutland. Many of her posessions passed to her great-niece and god-daughter, Serena Merton. See her Wikipedia page also.

1. The ATS was the forerunner of the British Women's Royal Army Corps.
2. The Women's Royal Army Corps was formed for basic training of women, followed by employment training as an apprentice (RCT, Royal Signals, etc.). Women were assigned to units, housed in self-contained accommodations and armed for self-defence. They were not employed in direct combat. The WRAC were disbanded in 1992. The contents of the WRAC Museum were handed over to the National Army Museum in London.

CECIL COLVIN, Ivan Colvin (1891 -1962) & the Rubber King

Lt.-Col. Cecil Hodgson Colvin (1858-1938) was the youngest son of Beale and Emma Colvin of Pishopsbury and thus a brother of Forrester Colvin. Educated at Cheam, he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) and invested as a Companion, Order of the Bath (C.B.). In 1888, he married Ida Craigie-Halkett, fourth daughter of John Craigie-Halkett of Cramond, Midlothian, Scotland. By 1891, they were living at 99 Gloster Place and Cecil was a Captain in the Essex Regiment. He was in the Essex militia when the Boer War broke out but exchanged to the Rogh Riders in order to accompany his brother, Colonel Beale Colvin. He served through the first Egyptian campaign, having temporarily attached to the regular army, and was awarded the Egyptian Medal and the Khedive's Bronze Star. He died in 1938 and was buried at Waltham Abbey where there is a plaque to his memory - see here.

Cecil and Ida had a son, Ivan, and a daughter, Daphne Joan Ida Colvin. Their son, Captain Ivan Beale Colvin, RN, of Kilmeston, Hampshire, was born 12 July 1891. On 15th December 1931, 40-year-old Ivan married Joyce "Joy" Frances Arbuthnot of the wealthy Madras banking dynasty. Her father, Keith Fraser Arbuthnot (1864 - 1914) was born in Madras, lived at Sumner Place, Billingshurst, Sussex (now Sothebys) and was known as "the Rubber King". Her mother was Mabel ("Vida") Constance Elizabeth Robertson (born India c.1877, died 13 December 1918), daughter of General David Robertson of 44th Ghurkhas. Captain Ivan Beale Colvin died on 12 October 1962 and his wife Joy in 1983.

Michael Keith Beale Colvin, MP (1932 - 2000)

Ivan and Joy's eldest son, Michael Keith Beale Colvin, was born on 27th September 1932, educated at Eton and served with the Grenadier Guards. On 15 September 1956, he married Hon. Nichola Cayzer, the 21 year old daughter of Sir William Nicholas Cayzer, Baron Cayzer and Elizabeth Catherine Williams. A son and two daughters duly followed. In 1979 he was elected Conservative MP for Bristol North West. From 1983 onwards he was the MP for Romsey and Waterside constituency in Hampshire, which later became the constituency of Romsey. In 1989 he sponsored a Private Member's Bill which became the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He held the seat in the 1997 general election. Three years later, both Michael and Nicola perished when their home at Tangley House, near Andover caught fire on 24th February 2000. Their son, James Michael Beale Cayzer-Colvin, aka Jamie Colvin, was born 1st April 1965 and is an investment banker, director of Rathbone Brothers and associate director of Caledonia Investments. He is married to Esther Anne Mary Tree and has children. Jamie Colvin's eldest sister, Amanda Colvin, was born on 12th June 1957, married Rupert Ponsonby and has a son, George, and two daughters, Emily and Eleanor. The younger sister Arabella (Nichola) Colvin was born on 11th April 1960, married James (Peter) Gaggero and has two sons.

Alistair John Cecil Colvin

Ivan and Joy's second son Alistair John Cecil Colvin was born on 16 November 1936 and educated at Eton. He married Katherine Hughes, mother of his son William (of www.egg.com) and daughter Emily, and they live on the Old Brompton Road in London SW5.

THE FARNELL-Watson connection

On 14 June 1875, Evelyn Emma Amelia Colvin, the daughter of Beale Blackwell Colvin and Emma Elizabeth Mary Britten of Pishobury and Monkhams, married the brewer William Farnell Watson (born ca 1854). The wedding took place at St George's Church, Hanover Square, London, with the Bishop of Melbourne officiating. [Essex Standard, 25 June 1875]

The connection between the Farnell and Colvin families evidently predates the marriage as per this notice from the Hertford Mercury and Reformer (12 November 1864) regarding the death of Evelyn’s father earlier in the autumn of 1864.

Notice is hereby given, that all CREDITORS and other persons having any Debt or Claim against or upon the Estate of BEALE BLACKWELL COLVIN, Pishobury, in the County of Hertford, Esquire, deceased, who died on the 19th day of September, 1864, and whose Will, with a Codicil thereto, was proved in Her Majesty's Court of Probate on the 4th day of November, 1864, by James Meyer, William Farnell Watson, and Frederick Ouvry, the Executors therein named, are required to send particulars of their Debts or Claims or before the 31st day of December, 1864, to Messrs. Farrer, Ouvry, and of No. 66, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, Solicitors to the said Executors. And Notice is hereby given, that after the said 31st day of December, 1864, the said Executors will proceed to distribute the assets of the said Beale BIACKWELL Colvin among the parties entitled thereto, having regard to the Claims of which the said Executors may then have had notice; and they will not be answerable or liable for the assets so distributed, or any part thereof, to any person of whose claim they shall not then have had any notice.
Dated this 7th day of November, 1864.
66, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London,
Solicitors for the Executors.

The Watsons had owned a Brewery in Heston and Isleworth, Middlesex, since at least 1800. William Farnell Watson's grandfather Joseph Watson of Battersea was married at Isleworth on 7 May 1825 to Amelia Farnell. [Oxford Journal, 14 May 1825, p. 4] Amelia was one of tweleve children born to William Farnell of Isleworth, who had died aged 73 on 3 October 1823. (Her mother's name was Margaret.) Amelia's brothers John and Charles Farnell succeeded to the family brewery. One of her father's closest friends - and executor to his will - was Robert Sharp Colvin of St James, Clerkenwell.

Joseph and Amelia Watson were the parents of William Farnell Watson (1827-1879). This account of the Farnell-Watson father and son was published in the Horsham, Petworth, Midhurst and Steyning Express on 3 January 1882.

Mr. William Farnell-Watson of Henfold, Surrey, is only son of the late William Farnell-Watson, Esq., of Henfold and of Redlees, Isleworth, by Eliza Marguerite, youngest daughter of John Power, Esq.. of Richmond, Surrey. The late Mr. Farnell Watson, who was a JP [Justice of the Peace] and D.L. [Deputy Lieutenant] for Surrey, for which county he was High Sheriff in 1877, was noted as a Master of Staghounds, owner of a few race horses, an excellent whip, for his coach was generally to be seen at the rails of the leading meetings. round London, and as owner of a select herd of Jerseys, with which he took more than one prize at the Dairy Show at the Agricultural Hall. The subject of our sketch was born in 1853, educated at Eton, and in 1875 married Evelyn, daughter of Beale Blackwell Esq., of Monham [or Monkhams? ed.] Hall, Essex. Always fond of hunting, and an excellent rider, he carried the horn during his father's lifetime and, in consequence of the lamented death of that gentleman in the spring of 1879, succeeded to the Mastership, and continues to show excellent sport, assisted by Joseph Thwaites and George Elliot, who for several years have assisted their young master, who understands the working of hounds thoroughly, goes well, riding uncommonly hard, and being always with his hounds. Mrs. Farnell-Watson on her two famous horses, Petworth and Patriot, goes as hard as her husband, and is so keen that she rarely leaves the field till the deer is taken. Both are uncommonly popular with all classes in the country, which contains a rare lot of sporting farmers, who are only too pleased when the staghounds meet on their farms - in fact, Mr. Farnell-Watson has so many invitations that he is frequently puzzled where to meet.
The late Mr. Farnell-Watson started a pack of harriers in 1861, and in 1870, after the death of Squire Heathcote, who hunted nearly the whole of Surrey and part of Sussex, took to stag-hunting. He hunted the hounds himself until 1874, when he resigned the horn to his son, who has hunted them ever since. He had a few race horses, amongst other Sidesman, Faerie, Masquer, Madcap, and Maid of the Valley, who were under the management of Mr. Legge, the well-known V.S. of Dorking, whose brother, Mr. John Legge, has in three successive years secured the five guinea cup for walking the best dog in Mr. Farnell-Watson's pack. He had also excellent shooting at Henfold, where he preserved the good old English custom of never selling a head of game, which he distributed amongst his friends ; was an excellent shot, as is his son, who inherits his father's love of shooting and hunting, but does not share his predilection for racing, and disposed of the horses in training on his accession to the property. The pack, we may add, does not advertise, being hunted without subscription three days a fortnight; and, in fact, Mr. Farnell-Watson pays the entire cost of everything, with the exception that Mr. Lucas, of Warnham, keeps the deer in his park. Hunting runs with this pack are the rule rather than the exception… The greatest pains have been taken by the late and present Master to secure a good pack, and, as those who follow them well know, success crowned these efforts.

William Farnell Watson married Eliza Margaret Power in 1852. He is said to have added 'Farnell' to the name because when he eventually took over the running of the Isleworth brewery from his uncles John and Charles (Henry, James & William) Farnell. (It seems extraordinary that none of Amelia Watson (nee Farnell)'s siblings had children?) Thomas Musgrave drew a portrait of William Farnell Watson at Henfield in 1854. He also had an address at Dorking in Surrey.

William and Evelyn had four sons: (1) Lt. Col. Harold Farnell Watson, (2) Forrester Colvin Watson, (3) Arthur Campbell Watson and (4) Evelyn Cyril Watson (married Dulcie Bush-Salmon, 4 children). William and Evelyn divorced and William was married secondly to Bessy Coles, his housekeeper, with whom he had thee daughters and a son, Roy, before his sudden death at the age of 44. It would appear that Evelyn also remarried, since she is described as the late Mrs Wren, OBE, in the announcement of her son Harold's death in 1941.

image title

Lieutenant Harold Farnell Watson
served with the Kimberley Mounted Corps
during the Boer War, for which he was
awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Harold was born in Isleworth, Middlesex, on 25th July 1876 and served in the Boer War as a young man. In his account of the Relief of Mafeking in May 1900, Major Pollock specifically mentions Lt. Watson as follows:

'The corps continued with Lord Methuen chiefly about Boshof during April, and frequently had skirmishing. At the end of that month they moved west to join Colonel Mahon's column, which was to start from Barkly West on 4th May for the relief of Mafeking. The work of Mahon's column has already been touched on under the Imperial Light Horse. In Major Pollock's account of the relief, he said: "Finally, just to give one more instance of the fine spirit that animated this gallant little force, it should be mentioned that Lieutenant Watson of the Kimberley Mounted Corps, who was on sick leave at Cape Town, heard of the march to Mafeking, hurried back to the front, and having ridden absolutely alone all the way from Barkly West, joined the column on Sunday, just in time for the fight (near Kraaipan), having covered 220 miles in five days. With such officers and men a commander may safely face pretty long odds". In that fight Captain Maxwell of the KMC and 4 men were wounded.'

In 1901, Harold married Georgina Barbara Allan at St Giles Registration District, London. There is no record of her death but, on 23 March 1938, he was married secondly to Marie Kostukevitch, a Polish lady known to the family as Molly. (2) She was born in about 1908 and there is reference to her sailing from the Port of London to Malta on 20th December 1935 where her UK address was given as 30 Brechin Place, London SW7. She may have been born in Poland. She also sailed from Brisbane to England, arriving 30 Apr 1936. Harold died on 18th April 1941 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, where he had gone to train horses. Probate was granted, inter alia, to his brother Lt Col. Forrester Colvin Watson. Molly later settled in Jersey. Some of this information was provided by Belinda Babbage, granddaughter of Harold Farnell Watson, who contatced me about this link in March 2008, but with whom I subsequently lost contact.

As for Forrester Colvin Watson, he was married in 1904 to Cecilia Grimston (1879-1960), second surviving daughter of Walter Edward Grimston (1844-1932) by his marriage (1872) to Emily Pryor (d. 1884), daughter of Arthur Pryor, of Hylands, Essex. (3) Walter's mother was Francis Horatio Morier while his father was the Rev. Hon. Edward Harbottle Grimston (1812-1881), son of the 1st Earl of Verulam. The website at http://www.william1.co.uk/t15.htm subsequently indicated that Lt.Col. Forrester Colvin Watson, O.B.E., M.C., died in 1951. It's thought he was a father or grandfather to Bella C.E. Willis, who contacted me in March 2007 from Zimbabwe, although sadly we have since lost contact with one another.




(1) Probate granted 3 Feb 1824 for the will of William Farnell of Isleworth, esq, made 1 Dec 1817, with codicils 29 Sep 1819 and 6 Oct 1822. Bequests to Margaret Farnell (widow), sons John and Charles (to get brewery plant) and children James, Henry, Margaret, William Thomas, and Amelia. Executors widow Margaret, son John and friends Robert Sharp Colvin of St James, Clerkenwell, gent, and Jonathan Passingham of Heston, esq. It is assumed that James is the James Farnell who is one of the executors of Robert Sharp Colvin's will.
(2) Kosciukiewicz, Maria (known as Marie Kostukevitch); Poland ; No Occupation; Coombe Grange, Ascot. 2 May 1934" (The London Gazette, 5 June, 1934, page 3578). Marie Watson, born ca 1908, resident in Southern Rhodesia, sailed 1st class on the 'Warwick Castle' from Durban to Southampton, arriving there 23 Apr 1949. Her proposed address in England was 30 Brechin Place, London, SW1; this is the same address that Marie Kostukevitch gave when she sailed to England in 1936.
(2) Cecilia's elder sister Susan Edith Grimston (1876 - 1968) was married in 1899 to Lt.Col. Arthur Faulconer Poulton, C.V.O., C.B.E. (d.1935). Her younger sister Mary Noel Grimston (1880 - 1937) was married in 1905 to Capt. Henry Hamilton Gepp (d. 1945), son of Rev. Henry John Gepp. Her youngest sister, Eleanor Vera Grimston (1883 - 1937) was married in 1908 to Lt.Col. Arthur Mervyn Toulmin, R.M., (1881 - 1960), son of Rev. Frederick Bransby Toulmin.

With thanks to Serena Merton, Bella Willis, Belinda Babbage, Ian Easton, Paul V Colvin, Sir Humphry Wakefield, Helena Hastings Press, Christopher and Lindy Wright, Michael Amor, Tom Baugher, Stephen Potter, Charlie Watson, Alexander Waugh, Audrey Janse van Vuuren, Tim Macy and Terrie Brown.

Appendix A - The Belle of Newcastle & the Tankerville Heir

From p. 16, Local Collections; Or, Records of Remarkable Events, Connected with the Borough of Gateshead, William Douglas (Oxford University, 1854)

Although he was a butcher, Edward Colvin's style of life was such that the attendance of his daughter Camilla at the assize balls in Newcastle was considered socially acceptable, 'though these were then fully as exclusive as they are at present'.

'Gifted by nature with an elegant person, and with some advantages of education, Camilla was a young lady eminently qualified to grace those assemblages. It is not therefore surprising, that at one of them she had the good fortune to attract the attention of a young nobleman, Lord Ossulston, the eldest son of the Earl of Tankerville. It occasioned no small flutter in the room, when this gentleman, after the proper formalities, requested of Miss Colville the honour of being allowed to walk a minuet with her. She blushingly consented, and rarely had the ball-room of Newcastle exhibited a more striking display of graceful movement than what was displayed while this stately dance was in the course of being performed. Lord Ossulston was charmed beyond all measure by the beauty of his partner, and, as he handed her to her carriage, or whatever other conveyance her father's fortune allowed of, he inly vowed that the first should not be the last night of their acquaintance.

The next day beheld the heir of the house of Tankerville, at an hour which now would be considered preposterously early, calling at the White House to pay his respects to its fair tenant. Next day, and the next again, he renewed his visits; and, in short, his attention became so conspicuous, that the young lady's father, from being simply flattered by the notice of a person of rank, began to fear that feelings might arise between the parties which would only lead to disappointment.

Perhaps he had even graver fears, which anyone acquainted with the maxims of the gentlemen of that age will not deem to have been at all unreasonable. It was only in the immediately ensuing age, that Richardson drew the character of Sir Hargrave Pollexfen. He therefore made some efforts to keep Lord Ossulston out of the company of his daughter, but with no great success.

Denied admittance to the house, the young noble still could beset her when she went abroad, seat himself near her at church, and get insinuated into any little social party where she was expected. Mr. Colville at length saw it to be necessary to take very decided measures, and he resolved to place the young lady for some time in a new and distant home. A relation of his had been long settled as a merchant in Holland. In the hands of that gentleman he thought she would be quite safe from Lord Ossulston's addresses. He had also, very opportunely, a friend who conducted a vessel of his own regularly between South Shields and the ports of Holland and the north of France. By means of this friend it was comparatively an easy matter to get the young lady conveyed to her new home. It may here be remarked, that the ship owners, who in those days navigated their own vessels from South Shields, were a highly respectable class of men, generally possessing good education and manners, and living, when at home, in a style of considerable dignity.

Amongst the descendants of more than one of them, might be found members of both homes of parliament. They took the name of Captain, and had, we believe, some solid grounds for doing so; as trading beyond certain latitudes and longitudes specified by Queen Elizabeth, gave masters of merchant vessels a modified permission to assume that title. Captain Aubane readily entered into the views of his friend Colville, and undertook to convey the young lady in safety to her relative in Rotterdam. She was, accordingly, conducted in the most private manner to South Shields, and put on board his vessel. How she felt on the occasion, has not been remembered by tradition ; but if, as is likely, she regarded her lover with affection, and deemed the Voyage a compulsory exile, the authority of parents in those days were too awful and inflexible to admit of her making anything like effectual remonstrance.

The voyage passed in safety : Camilla was consigned to her father's Dutch friend; and Captain Aubane returned with the pleasing intelligence that all was safe. If Mr. Colville, however, believed that Lord Ossulston had been "thrown out," he was mistaken ; for, before many weeks had elapsed, his Lordship made his appearance in Rotterdam, and became as troublesome to the family who had charge of his mistress, as he had formerly been to her father. The Linden Walks lent their shade to certain meetings of the lovers, and, when such meetings were denied, his Lordship made signals of affection from the street, which Camilla could furtively read in the friendly mirror projecting from the parlour window. The Dutch friend now became more distressingly alarmed than ever the father had been, in as far as a responsibility for interests of another is more harassing than responsibility for interests of one's own. He therefore resolved to get quit as soon as possible of his fair but perilous charge. Captain Aubane, ere long, returned to
Rotterdam for another cargo, and, when he was about to sail, Camilla was once more put on board his vessel.

Behold the Belle of Newcastle again at sea. But now it was with very different feelings that she crossed the German Ocean; and for this change there was no doubt good cause. The Dutch coast had for a day been lost in the blue distance: sea and sky were the boundaries of the sailors' sight ; and honest Aubane was congratulating himself on the prospect of soon committing Miss Colville in safety to her father's keeping, when, descending into the cabin, how was he astonished to behold, kneeling at her feet, that very Lord Ossulston who was the cause of all his apprehensions, and whom he supposed to have been left lamenting on the quay of Rotterdam! He soon learned that the lover had contrived, by the connivance of a sailor, and, doubtless, with the concurrence of his mistress, to secrete himself on board the vessel a little while before it sailed. It was too late to think of returning to the Dutch harbour to put Lord Ossulsston ashore; but in allowing him to proceed on the voyage, Aubane resolved to make him as little the better of his contrivance as possible. Exerting the authority which his position gave him, he commanded the young lord to withdraw from the cabin, and not to appear there again, unless in his company, and by his express permission. He also stipulated that, while he was himself on deck upon duty, Lord Ossulston, to make sure of obedience to the rules, should remain beside him, at whatever time of day or night, and under whatever circumstances of weather. The lover found himself compelled to submit to all these restrictions; but the privilege of seeing his mistress once a-day, even in the presence of a third party, served in no small degree to reconcile him to their strictness.

In the course of the voyage, which was not a short one, the heir of Tankerville made a more favourable impression on the mind of Aubane than he had done on the less enlightened and more jealous nature of the young lady's father. Aubane became convinced that, however frivolous or otherwise objectionable might have been the feelings with which he at first regarded Camilla, he was now inspired by an honourable affection. He was also induced to believe the young man when he protested, in the most earnest manner, that the future happiness of his life depended on his obtaining the hand of Miss Colville. The South Shields ship-owner did not, indeed, like the idea of encouraging a young nobleman in an object which must be regarded with dislike by his father and other relations; but on this point also his scruples were at length overcome, doubtless by persuasives strictly honourable.

The consequence was, that on arriving at South Shields, he allowed Lord Ossulston to become an inmate of his house, in company with Camilla, until the consent of her father was obtained, and the necessary preparations were made for their marriage. With respect to the feelings of the lover's family, tradition is silent ; we may well believe that they were not favourable, for the union of the pair is known to have taken place at Jarrow Church, the ancient seat of the venerable Bede ; a place of worship which, from some local prepossession, has been for ages the resort of young couples seeking to enter the bonds of wedlock without the consent of parents. Alter the ceremony, the pair took up their residence with the lady's father at Gateshead, where they resided for some years. At length the death of his father made Lord Ossulston Earl of Tankerville, the second of the title; and Camilla Colville, as Countess, became entitled to the chief seat in the splendid halls.