Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, in 1871

A new house, fresh blood and more stories. The first three households were reasonably different from each other. This one adds a new dimension: gasp, the man is in trade.

1871 census: 4 Charles Street. Source:
  • Class:  RG10; Piece:  102; Folio:  75; Page: 32; GSU roll:  838762.

  • Present at 4 Charles Street on census night in 1871

    George Drew, Head, Married, 62. Master Grocer employing 2 men and 2 boys. Born Wimbledon, Surrey.
    Mary A Drew, Wife, Married, 53. (No occupation given). Born Westminster, Middlesex.
    George W. Drew, Son, Unmarried, 20. (No occupation given). Born Westminster, Middlesex.
    Emma M. Drew, Daughter, Unmarried, 18.  (No occupation given). Born Westminster, Middlesex.
    Ellen R. Drew, Daughter, Unmarried, 16. Scholar. Born Westminster, Middlesex.
    Charles B. Drew, Son, Unmarried, 14. Scholar. Born Westminster, Middlesex.
    Jane Wadie, Sister, Widow, 57. Annuitant. Born Wimbledon, Surrey.
    Sarah Riddle, Servant, Unmarried, 19. General Servant. (Place of birth not shown).
    G.R.C. Harris (male), Lodger, Unmarried, 20. Undergraduate. Born St Anns, Trinidad.

    A picture of the house today, from Google Maps Street View.
    Link for those who can't see the picture.

    View Larger Map

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Comparing Thomas March, Henry Fleming and George Lambert, all of Charles Street in 1871

    It might be interesting to look at a few key bits of information about the principal residents of the first three houses on Charles Street, just for the halibut as they say down at the docks.

    No. 1: Thomas Charles March, civil servant, age 52

    Born: July 4, 1819, Marylebone

    Married: March 23, 1867.

    Spouse: Sarah Cooper, later called Arabella, b. 1839, Basingstoke

    Children: Arabella (Daughter of Arabella, apparently adopted by Thomas), b. 1857, Chelsea; Thomas, b. 1868, St. George's [Hanover Square?], died at age 8; Reginald George March, b. 1874.

    Died: 1898, age 79 approx.

    Occupation: In the Royal Household his whole life, mainly in the Lord Chamberlain's officer; Paymaster; finally Secretary of Board of the Green Cloth. A high-ranking civil servant handling the finances of the Royal Household.

    Highest honour: CB, Companion of the Order of the Bath

    Value of estate: 1898, £15,387/0/8. The website Measuring says this is worth £1.280 million in 2008 using the retail price index, or £7.04 million in 2008 using average earnings.

    Parents: Thomas March, Esq. and Mary Ann Gonne, both British subjects born in Portugal to wine merchants. Gonne is an Irish surname. Mary Ann was distantly related to Maud Gonne of a later generation. There was intra-family litigation between Thomas and Mary Ann's brothers after Mary Ann's father died and Thomas went bankrupt, involving Mary Ann's marriage settlement. The case was reported in the bankruptcy law books.

    Siblings: At least three sisters and two brothers. The family appears to have been wealthy and to have retained or improved their social standing.

    Other notes: In 1852, Thomas represented the Royal Household in escorting the body of the Duke of Wellington to Westminster for his state funeral.

    Queen Victoria Number: 1

    Dracula Number: 2

    Left Charles Street around 1872.

    No. 2: Henry Fleming, civil servant, age about 69

    Born: about 1812, apparently in Birmingham. His exact age was something of a mystery to his social circle.

    Married: Never.

    Died: 1876, age about 74

    Occupation: Lifelong civil servant, mainly as Permanent Secretary to the Poor Law Board where it appears he was not particularly effective. He was more successful socially. Known as "The Flea", his role from at least the 1840s was literally to spread gossip strategically in political and intellectual circles. He knew Prime Ministers Palmerston, Gladstone and Disraeli, and was described a few times in the letters of Thomas Carlyle. He introduced the painter George Frederic Watts to the much younger beauty, Virginia Pattle, at a party given by Lady Holland. It goes on and on.

    Highest honour: Nothing official I'm afraid.

    Value of estate: Less than £3,000. In 2008 terms, either £210,000, or £1.560 million, depending on the computation method used.

    Parents: Irish army officer Captain Valentine Fleming of Tuam, County Galway, and Catherine Emma Gowan, whose father was a notorious anti-Catholic, Hunter Gowan. One of Catherine's half-brothers, Ogle Gowan, started the Orange Lodge in Canada.

    Siblings: Sir Valentine Fleming, a lawyer (as was Henry, though he didn't practice), Chief Justice of Tasmania; James Fleming, also a lawyer, and Chancellor of the Palatinate of Durham. James's eldest son, Frances Fleming, was Governor of Antigua, and of Hong Kong, among other postings, including service in Africa. Henry also had a sister, Emma, of whom I have seen very little.

    Other notes: The brothers Fleming attempted unsuccessfully to prove themselves the lawful descendants of the Barons of Slane. No castle for you!

    Henry's nickname was "The Flea". Someone should write a thesis about his role in mid-nineteenth century communication.

    He died at home in 1876, at No. 2 Charles Street.

    Queen Victoria Number: 2

    Dracula Number: 3

    No. 3: George Thomas Lambert, later, Sir George Lambert, civil servant, age 34

    Born: 1837, Ireland

    Married: Never

    Died: 1918, age 81

    Occupation: Private secretary to the Admiralty

    Highest honour: Companion of the Order of the Bath (1897), Knight Bachelor (1903)

    Value of estate: £22,946/9/8. Value in 2008: £833,000 or £4.1 million, again, depending on the computation method used.

    Parents: Henry Lambert of Carnagh, Ireland, and Catherine Talbot, both of prominent Irish families.

    Siblings: Many.

    Other notes: Prominent Catholic.

    Queen Victoria Number: 1

    Dracula Number: 3

    Frankenstein Number: 3

    Winners and Losers?


    81 Lambert
    79 March
    74 Fleming

    Money at the end:

    £7.04 million March
    £4.1 million Lambert
    Less than £1.560 million Fleming


    Of the three men, only Thomas March had children. His adopted daughter, Arabella, was unmarried. His second son, Reginald, died in 1918, leaving (at least) a daughter, Marjorie (b. 1911, the rest, unknown), and a son, Thomas (1915-1999). There may be March descendants living today.

    March 1, the others zero.

    Highest honours:

    Lambert CB and Knighthood
    March CB
    Fleming Nada

    Best remembered:

    March and Lambert tied, far behind

    The Score:

    11 March
    9 Lambert
    6 Fleming

    Who had the most fun?

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    One last little thing about Sir George Lambert, CB, KB: Andrew Carnegie may have hosted him

    I looked online at all the free sources I could reasonably check without devoting my life to the pursuit of easy-to-get information about Sir George T. Lambert.

    He was a bachelor who ended his days at 7 Park Place, St James's. The current building, now a top-end boutique hotel, restaurant and gentleman's club, at No. 7 and 8 Park Place, was built in 1891-92. It was planned to have 44 "sets of residential chambers, with their attendant service rooms." (From British History Online) Well, all right then.

    It's beautiful in the pictures from the current website of the St James's Hotel and Club.

    Let's assume this was a pretty posh set of rooms.

    There have been several Sir George Lamberts, and without digging deeper, I can't be positive who's who.

    The name (with the Sir) appears as a Member of Parliament, an Admiral, and a governor or high official in Australia and in India. Without the Sir: also as a criminal and an ordinary guy.

    The George of interest to me was a devoted Catholic, wrote papers about matters such as whether teachers' education was sufficient, was the Director of Estates and Finances for Greenwich Hospital (1885 - 1901), and a Governor of Christ's Hospital.

    He may have visited the United States in 1911 (one George T. Lambert travelled first class on the Campania to New York, arriving June 14, 1911). Earlier, in 1908, Andrew Carnegie extended hospitality to a Sir George Lambert. The same? I shrug in the Gallic manner.

    [Andrew Carnegie to Samuel Harden Church, November 18, 1908]

    This letter comes from the Carnegie Mellon University: Andrew Carnegie Online Archives.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    How Lord Byron described Clare Clairmont

    I am lifting this straight from Wikipedia.

    There is no credit given for this letter specifically, unfortunately, so I can't tell you which volume of Byron's letters might contain it. I've checked a few online without success.

    ****Update: The source is Byron, Child of Passion, Fool of Fame by Benita Eisler. (Random House of Canada, 2000)

    [Byron] referred to [Clare] also in the following manner, in a letter to Douglas Kinnaird (20 January 1817):

    "[Claire Clairmont] You know--& I believe saw once that odd-headed girl—who introduced herself to me shortly before I left England—but you do not know—that I found her with Shelley and her sister at Geneva—I never loved her nor pretended to love her—but a man is a man--& if a girl of eighteen comes prancing to you at all hours of the night—there is but one way—the suite of all this is that she was with child--& returned to England to assist in peopling that desolate island...This comes of "putting it about" (as Jackson calls it) & be dammed to it—and thus people come into the world."

    6 Degrees of Dracula: George Lambert and Frankenstein

    When this exploration of Charles Street, Berkeley Square started, I was trying to figure out the degrees of separation from Queen Victoria and from Bram Stoker (proxy for Dracula) for each of the residents.

    To continue, then, with George T. Lambert, later Sir George, of 3 Charles Street in 1871.

    George Lambert and Queen Victoria

    Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901.

    George Lambert was knighted in 1903 (but I haven't checked this very carefully. I'm prepared to accept it was 1902 or 1903). Since the Queen was already gone, we can't say they met on this auspicious occasion.

    However, that was not Lambert's first honour. In 1897 (another date I'm taking on faith), he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath. Bingo! Queen Victoria number of 1, though not while he was living on Charles Street.

    Given his long service in the top offices of the Admiralty, it's possible but by no means guaranteed that Lambert met the Queen before 1897. She was notably reclusive for many years.

    George Lambert, Dracula and Frankenstein

    Now if you have been following along, you can close your eyes for a second, or perhaps you'd like to recite these by now somewhat shopworn facts with me.

    George Lambert had six sisters. One was Julianna Margaret Lambert.

    In about 1860, Julianna Margaret married Edward Gerald More O'Farrell. One of their children was John More O'Ferrall. In 1901, John married Cesira Polenghi, who had been born in Italy.

    Cesira, it appears, lived for a long time (at least she was in the same place in the 1891 and 1901 censuses, so I am hypothesizing she was there in the intervening years as well) in Kensington, London, with her uncle, Major John Taaffe. Exactly how he was related to her, I don't know. I've guessed that the Major's sister married Cesira's father, but this is only a guess.

    The Major was born in about 1820 (from the censuses of 1891 and 1901). By 1860 he was a Captain of Dragoons in Piedmont, Italy. By 1891, he had retired to London. The Major's father was also called John Taaffe.

    This John Taaffe is the one who sent guinea pigs to Mary Shelley when he was hanging out with the Shelleys, Lord Byron, and a few other literary types in Pisa, Italy, in the 1820s. That he was a part of this social group seems well-documented, though perhaps opinions vary as to exactly who liked him and who found him a bit of a bore. He distinguished himself in other ways, but the guinea pigs are rather hard to forget.

    Born in 1787, Taaffe senior died in Italy on September 28, 1852.

    The leaps in the Dracula and Frankenstein directions (for they take a common path to begin with) are:

    George Lambert
    1. Major John Taaffe.
    I am making a reasonable assumption that both George and the Major would have been guests at the wedding of the Major's niece Cesira and Lambert's nephew John, or at related social events.
    2. John Taaffe senior (Major's father).
    3. Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, associates of John Taaffe senior in Italy in the 1820s.
    Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Thus, George has a Frankenstein number of 3. But what about Dracula?

    I must admit to a big gap in vampire knowledge here. I thought Bram Stoker's Dracula was a literary descendant of Le Fanu's Carmilla (1872). That luscious lady, however, is not the only vampire in English literature to predate the Count.

    This story will be well-known to English Lit majors. Not being one, I had to learn it recently.

    In 1816, a group of friends and not-so-close friends were together in a house in Switzerland, apparently cooped up by the rainy weather of that year.

    In addition to the Shelleys (not yet married then) and Lord Byron, there was Byron's personal physician, named John William Polidori, and Mary's step-sister Claire Clairmont.

    To dispel the ennui, they set themselves a competition to write a Gothic story similar to one they'd been reading aloud to each other.

    The products of this stay were:

    1. the beginning of Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein;
    2. a fragment of a story by Byron, discarded and picked up by Polidori as the germ of his own story;
    3. The Vampyre, by Polidori, credited by some as the first modern vampire story in English literature;
    4. Allegra, the illegitimate child of Claire and Lord Byron. (Byron didn't like Claire, even while he was assisting in the creation of Allegra. But it was a long, wet, summer without much else to do, and as Byron wrote to his half-sister, Claire threw herself at him and eventually he weakened.) At least one account I've read says that Claire was already pregnant by Byron, thanks to a short liaison in England, before she went to Switzerland, and her trip to Switzerland with Mary and Percy was with the design of tracking Byron down. He had that effect upon some women.

    Tragedy ensues over the next few years. The Vampyre causes a rift between Polidori and Byron, perhaps contributing to the doctor's sad end in suicide in London, 1821.  Allegra dies on April 20, 1822 at the age of five at convent school, placed there by Byron against Claire's wishes; Percy Shelley drowns, July 8, 1822.

    Taaffe arrived in Pisa on November 1, 1821, the same day as Byron. Taaffe had been living in Italy since 1815.

    As an aside, not everyone in Byron's circle was thrilled with Taaffe. Here's a link to p.361 of Lord Byron's Life in Italy by Byron's mistress at that time, Teresa Guiccioli.

    It's tempting to say that Taaffe and Polidori knew each other, but I have no evidence of that. I can say that Taaffe knew Byron and Byron was the originator of Polidori's story, and also a model for its main character: Byron is the vampire.

    George Lambert gets a Dracula number of 3: George -> Major Taaffe -> Taaffe senior -> Byron the vampire.

    And who knows, it may later transpire that George and Bram were drinking buddies.

    Any questions?

    (You can find all three of these as public domain books if you look on the Web.)

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    John Taaffe, Mary Shelley, the guinea pigs and Lord Byron

    The long and winding road of Charles Street in 1871 certainly has provided a few surprises, out on the genealogical limbs.

    From Sir George Lambert of No. 3, I have wound my way to John Taaffe, a distant relative of Lambert's admittedly, but an interesting individual to dwell on for a moment longer.

    John Taaffe (approximately 1787 to 1852) was born into an Irish family with a long pedigree. They were Catholics who by various marriages and alliances seem to have become closely connected with other prominent Catholic families, notably in Italy and Austria, and probably also in France.

    In his later years, Taaffe wrote a history of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, in which order he held a prominent office. But, this was not his first foray. He was a writer all his life, and that is where the most interesting stories come from: his association with other writers, especially Byron and the Shelleys in Italy.

    You can see on the Web pictures of a letter from Lord Byron to Taaffe, and of Taaffe's handwritten annotations in one of Shelley's books.

    Letter from Lord Byron to John Taaffe. This came up for auction in October 2010 and again in April 2011. This description of the letter, from International Autograph Auctions, suggests a price range of 1,000 to 1,200
    pounds and dates the letter as ca. 1822.

    In Pictures and Conversations, the blog of "Rare Finds from Special Collections at The Claremont Colleges", there are pictures of Shelley's book Adonais, 1822 Pisa edition, heavily annotated in Taaffe's handwriting. In the front, Taaffe has written that the poem (meaning the book containing the poem) was given to him by its "lamented Author".

    From A bibliography of Shelley's letters: published and unpublished, by Seymour de Ricci (Ayer Publishing, 1969; extracts only viewed online, actual book not seen)

    From "In the wind's eye": 1821-1822, one of several volumes of Byron's letters, by Leslie Alexis Marchand (Harvard University Press, 1979; extracts only viewed online, actual book not seen)

    And finally, to elaborate on Ms. Shelley's opinion of and dealings with Mr. Taaffe, here is a good story.

    From Mary Shelley: romance and reality, by Emily W. Sunstein. (JHU Press, 1971; extracts only viewed online, actual book not seen)

     As comedically unwise as it may be to follow the romance of the guinea pigs, there is one more thing to deal with: the Dracula connection. That's for next time.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Irish roots going way back: Taaffe and More O'Ferrall

    A diagram might help here but for tonight it will have to be text.

    Sir George Thomas Lambert, of No. 3 Charles Street (in 1871) is our current subject.

    One of his sisters, Juliana Margaret married Edward Gerald More O'Ferrall, about 1860.
    The More O'Ferrall family were Irish landed gentry. One of the several notable members was Richard More O'Ferrall, at one time the Governor of Malta, and before that, Secretary to the Admiralty (1839 to 1841). Bear in mind that Sir George T. Lambert made his career in the civil service, as Principal Secretary to the Admiralty, serving some of the men who held the same position as the Right Hon. Richard, in later years, when the title was Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty.

    The eldest son of Juliana and Edward was John More O'Ferrall (b. ~1872), who married Cesira Polenghi (b. ~1872). Cesira was born in Italy. Her father's name was Signor David(e) Polenghi.

    Cesira had an uncle named Major John Taaffe (1820 - 1911). Cesira was living with the Major and his wife in the 1891 census and with the widowed Major in the 1901 census. She and John More O'Ferrall were married in 1901. This connected (perhaps not for the first time) two ancient Irish families, Taaffe and More O'Ferrall, and also demonstrated a recurring theme in the history both families: the connection with Catholic Europe.

    If you do a search of either family name, you may be overwhelmed, as I have been, with what you find. A hundred and twenty-two generations. A mythic king. A Prime Minister of Austria. Relatives of Pope Pius IX (who among other things decreed papal infallibility in the 19th century and promoted the doctrine of Immaculate Conception). It goes on and on.

    The Major's father was also called John Taaffe. He lived from about 1787 to 1862, and died in Italy. He had some interesting friends there. That's for next time.

    The Taaffe's Ancestral Castle Smarmore, is now a hotel.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Cesira Polenghi and the Taaffe family: 19th century connections between Italian and Irish families

    Sir George Thomas Lambert, C.B., K.B., lived at No. 3 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London in the 1871 census.

    He was a bachelor who died with a great deal of accumulated wealth.

    Two of his six sisters, Juliana Margaret and Frances (Fanny) were granted probate.

    Frances was at that time (1918) a spinster, and Juliana Margaret was the widow of Edward Gerald More O'Ferrall.

    The More O'Ferrall family provides several interesting side trips from the Charles Street primary narrative.

    John More O'Ferrall (1872 - )

    The son and (I assume) heir of Edward and Juliana Margaret, John married Cesira Polenghi, who was born in Italy but appears to have lived in Kensington for some time.

    1901: Cesira and John's marriage in Q3 (3rd quarter of the year)

    In the 1901 census, before the marriage, Cesira lived at 16 Gordon Place, Kensington. The household:

    John Taaffe, 82 years old, widower. "Major, late Louth Rifles". The census says born in Italy, Italian subject. I expect the born in Italy part is correct, but that Major Louth was a British subject.

    Cesira Polinghi [sic], 28 years old, niece, single. No occupation. Born in Italy, Italian subject. This is probably correct.

    Margaret Philips, 55 years old, widow. Housekeeper. Born in Ireland.

    • Class:  RG12; Piece:  20; Folio  84; Page  40; GSU roll:  6095130.

    Gordon Place is about halfway between Holland Park and Kensington Palace.

    It's the end house, a bright white one with the red door in this picture from Google Street View, as far as I can tell.

    View Larger Map

    Link to 16 Gordon Place on Google Street View (in case picture doesn't display above)

    In 1891, the family was at the same place and consisted of:

    John Taaffe, married, age 71. Late Major, Louth Rifles. Born in Italy, British subject.

    Barbara Taaffe, his wife, married, age 45. Born in Ireland.

    Cesira Polenghi, his niece, singe, age 19. Born in Milan, Italy.

    There was one servant, Bridget d'Alton, single, age 45. Cook. Born in Ireland.

    Class:  RG12; Piece:  20; Folio  84; Page  40; GSU roll:  6095130.

     To unravel this, I started with Major John Taaffe.

    Irish Genealogical Sources: Louth Rifles, 1877-1908 No. 21

    Sir George Lambert: Value of his estate, and beginning of his sister Juliana Margaret's story

    Probate Index, Sir George Thomas Lambert, 15 March 1919.
    Estate valued at 22,946/9/8.
    Using the calculator on the website Measuring Worth, in today's money (2009 values), that amount would be worth 1,630,000 GBP based on the retail price index, or over 8 million GBP based on the average earnings method used on the website. (The methods are explained on the website.) My point is obvious: Sir George T. Lambert was a wealthy man at the time of his demise.
    Probate granted to two of his six sisters, Juliana Margaret (identified in index as Margaret Juliana) and Frances, referred to elsewhere as Fanny sometimes.

    The Law Times, January 20, 1881 John Lewis More O'Ferrall obituary. His estate passed to his only son, Edward More O'Farrell, who was married to Juliana Margaret Lambert, Sir George's sister, and one of the two executrices of his will.

    From: The county families of the United Kingdom; or, Royal manual of the titled and untitled aristocracy of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland .. (Volume ed.59, yr.1919), by Edward Walford, viewed as an e-book.

    This is about Juliana Margaret's son.

    O'FERRALL, John MORE., Esq., of Lisard,
    CO. Longford ; and of Balyna, co. Kildare.

    Eldest son of Edward Gerald More-O'Ferrall, Esq.,
    J.P. and D.L., of Lisard, and of Balyna, who d. 1914,
    by Juliana Margaret, 4th dau. of the late Henry
    Lambert, Esq., M.P., of Carnagh, co. Wexford;
    b. 1872 ;
    m. 1901 Cesira, 3rd dau. of Signor David Polenghi, of Italy, and has, with other issue, a son, Gerald, b. 1904.
    Mr. More-O'Ferrall was educated at Stonyhurst College;
    Balyna, Moyvalley E.S.O., co.Kildare;
    Lisard, Edgeworthstown, co. Longford:
    Kildare Street Club, Dublin ;
    S. St. George Yacht Club, Kingstown.

    A volume by Bernard Burke (A genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Great Britain and Ireland) indicates John had three sisters (at least), Mary, Maria, and Ellen.

    Because John More O'Ferrall, son of Juliana Margaret Lambert, married a woman with a unique name, Cesira Polenghi, I thought I would look for her in the census rather than searching a more common name (like "John", for example).

    What I found leads to more connections between Ireland and Italy, and an unexpected contrast in sentiments between Sir George's family and that of his neighbour, Henry Fleming.

    Burke's genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry,: Founded by the late Sir Bernard Burke

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Lambert of Carnagh: George Thomas Lambert was from the landed gentry of Ireland

    In 1871, the principal occupant and head of household at No. 3, Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London, was George T. Lambert.

    Later Sir George, this particular Lambert was the younger son of an Irish landowner.

    In 1851, George and Henry Lambert, brothers only a year apart, were at the College of St. Gregory [earlier I had erroneously written here "St. George's School"] in Downside, in the Parish of Midsomer Norton, in Somerset.

    I have pasted some images of documents below, but they're blurry, I'm afraid. So, don't strain your eyes trying to read the details. I'll tell you what you need to know and give you links to the originals.

    The page of the 1851 census return with them on it:

    Reference: Class:HO107; Piece:1939; Folio:420; Page:2; GSU roll:221098

    From this 1847 directory, we can see how Henry and George-Thomas Lambert ranked when it came to inheriting the family jewels. Henry, b. 1836 was the eldest son of Henry Lambert, Esq., of Carnagh, co. Wexford, b. 1786. George Thomas was born a year later, in 1837. By 1847, there were two boys and four girls. The directory doesn't give the girls' birthdates.

    After the death of their father, George Thomas Lambert's brother Henry inherited the estate.

    From the 1871 "genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry", we see Henry-Patrick Lambert, Esq. (formerly known to us as Henry, b. 1836), installed at Carnagh. This book tells us a little about Henry-Patrick's siblings as well.

    George-Thomas, b. 9 November 1837;
    Mary-Jane, married to P.-J.  Lynch, Esq., of Rose Park, Co. Dublin;
    Anne, married 1870 to Edwin-Windham, Earl of Dunraven and Mountearl, K.P.;
    Catherine, died unmarried, 7 March 1857;

    (left a bit out)

    An intervening directory from 1858 tells us that George Thomas's mother was Catherine, youngest daughter of William Talbot, Esq., of Castle Talbot in the same county (Wexford) and sister of the late Countess of Shrewsbury. She and Henry Lambert were married 11 June 1835.

    In 1858, the children listed are:

    Henry, b. 2 December 1836;
    George-Thomas, b. 9 November 1837;

    The family motto is Deus providebit, which I believe means "God will provide".

    Next, a look at Carnagh.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Sir George Thomas Lambert, CB, KB, 1838 - 1918, of No. 3 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London (1871)

    Not as colourful a character as Henry Fleming, but a solid contributor to society and a man of rather strongly-held opinions about education, and other things.

    George Lambert in 1851 was a school boy in Midsomer Norton. The school was St Gregory's, Downside. Downside is a hamlet in the parish of Midsomer Norton in Somerset. All sounds suspiciously close to Midsomer Murders, doesn't it?

    Midsomer Norton in "A Vision of Britain Through Time" website

    The 1851 census for the school shows pages and pages of boys. All "scholars". George and Henry Lambert, born 1837 and 1838 respectively, are on the same page, both born in Ireland, but the town is not specified.

    In the Downside Review, Volume 33 (1914), (the school magazine), we find a notice:

    Sir George T. Lambert, CB, second son of Henry Lambert, Esq., MP , of Carnagh; came to Downside September 27, 1849; successively private secretary to Lord Derby, Sir G. Trevelyan and Lord Brassey; Director of the Estates and Finances of Greenwich Hospital 1885-1901; a Governor of Christ's Hospital; C.B. 1897; Knighted 1903.

    There is no doubt that we are talking about the same person. Through the Naval List, for example, we can verify that Lambert was Lord Brassey's secretary in the Admiralty.

    Next time, Lambert of Carnagh.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    George Thomas Lambert: the brilliant genealogical detective work laid bare

    Last time: No. 3 Charles Street, Private Secretary to the Admiralty, and great genealogical sleuthing by me 

    Let's get to the brilliance as fast as I can.

    George Lambert wasn't very easy to trace using ordinary fishing techniques on the Web. He just wasn't a flamboyant guy, not that I could tell.

    In short, I traced him forward in the census, finding him in 1881 and 1901, but not yet in 1891. He had a long career at the Admiralty, and at some point became a trustee of Greenwich Hospital. I don't know whether that was a full-time job.

    I found the index entry for the grant of probate in 1918, to two ladies I guessed to be his sisters.

    I just kept putting his name into searches, trying different additional words. There was a George Lambert, age 13, born in Ireland, appearing at school in Midsomer Norton, in Somerset, in 1851. Could this be the right one?

    On the same list was another boy, Henry Lambert, 14, also born in Ireland. I wonder, were they perchance related?

    It was hard to figure out the name of the school but eventually the pieces came together. I tracked down a reference to George in an issue of the school magazine, many years later, mentioning him as a trustee of the Greenwich Hospital. Bingo. He was Sir George, Companion of the Order of the Bath by the time he died.

    He was unmarried.

    The one interesting thing I found about him was a reference, late in life, to his having sailed to America and back, and while in New York, having been a guest of Madame Hoity Toity.

    I realize the diehards among us want the details. They're coming.

    But don't you think this was impressive detective work?

    It gets easier, too, because there is enough history to this particular Lambert family that they appear in lists of peers.

    More to come.