The Jenkins family of Beachley Lodge
In about 1790 Samuel Jenkins, a maltster, of Chepstow bought land at Beachley and from the Lewis family of St Pierre. Beachley is situated at the tip of the peninsula formed by the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Wye, the lodge sat on the cliff top above the Severn close to the New Passage ferry crossing and about three miles from Chepstow.
On 5th December 1801 Samuel’s son Richard married and the estate became his. Richard had married Mary Naish Castle who was born in Hatherleigh in Devon but her family had ties to Clifton and Frenchay. Robert Castle, her father was a Bristol merchant and city Sheriff, her mother Deborah Naish was from Beckington, Somerset. Richard and Mary had at least twelve children, eight sons and four daughters.
The eldest son of Richard Jenkins, Robert Castle Jenkins was baptised at St Mary’s Chepstow on 29th August 1803. By the 1820s Robert was serving with the army in Bengal where he met and married Anna Bassett Catherine Palmer, the daughter of John Palmer of Calcutta.
Robert Castle and Anne Jenkins had at least five children. The four eldest of the children were born in India and the family had a long association with the East India Company.
At the time of his marriage Robert was an officer, first in the in the 61st Native Infantry but by the time of Robert Urquhart’s birth in 1828 he had become a merchant making enough money to retire back to the family estate in Beachley when he was in his thirties, but possibly also because of the failure of Palmer & Co.
The family were certainly back in Beachley when the youngest son, Hinton Best, was born in 1833 and Robert Castle seems to remain there until his death as he frequently appears in directories and also in each of the censuses between 1841 and 1891. Robert died in 1892, Anne in 1885. Robert had served as a magistrate in both Lydney and Chepstow and was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Both are in the family tomb in Tidenham churchyard.
Richard Palmer Jenkins, their eldest son, was born in 1826 in Calcutta. He attended Haileybury in Hertfordshire a school for the children of east India Company employees.
became Commissioner of the Patna Bengal Civil Service and later served as a JP in Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire. For several years he rented Sedbury Park from the Marling family where in 1891 he lived with his wife Mary and nephew Robert (a son of Hinton’s). He married his wife Mary Campbell Allen in 1876 in Scotland.
Richard died on 1st October 1899 and is commemorated on one of the tablets in St John’s Church Beachley. This was probably the last memorial to be put into the church as it has the deaths of his father, his mother and finally Richard the last Jenkins to die in Beachley.
Richard was survived by his wife who remarried in the second quarter of 1901. With her new husband, John Matthew Curre a member of another prominent local family, she was the last occupant of Beachley Lodge.
Robert Urquhart Jenkins, the second son, was born in 1828 in Calcutta; he was a captain in the 2nd Bengal Cavalry and was killed by mutineers in Cawnpore on the 27th June 1857. A memorial to those who were killed in Cawnpore refers to Capt. R.U. and Mrs Jenkins so Robert had possibly married but I have found no record so far and his wife is not mentioned on the tablet in the church.
From the Times:
At Cawnpore, early in June, in his 29th yr, within the entrenched position of the British Garrison, from the effects of a wound received in a sortie, Capt R U Jenkins of the 2d Bg Cav, 2/s of R C Jenkins Esq, of Beachley,
The 2nd Bengal Light CavalryMemorial at All Souls Church, Cawnpore reads:
“To the glory of God and in memory of more than a thousand Christian people, who met their deaths hard by, between 6th June & 15th July 1857. These tablets are placed in this the Memorial Church. All Souls Cawnpore by the Government N.W.P. 2nd Light Cavalry – Major E. Vibart. Capt E.J. Seppings, Wife and Children. Capt R.U. & Mrs Jenkins. Lieut R.O. Quin. Lieut C.W. Quin. Lieut J.H. Harrison. Lieut W.J. Manderson. Lieut F.S.M Wren. Lieut M.G. Daniell. Lieut M. Balfour. Cornet W.A. Stirling. Surgn. W.R. & Mrs Boyes. Vety. Surgn. E.G. Chalwin & Wife. Ridg. Mr. D. Walsh, Wife & Children. Sergt. Major H. Cladwell. Qr. Mr. Sergt. F. & Mrs Tress. Cornet C. Mainwaring 6th L.C. Lieut A.J. Boulton, 7th L.C.”
Charles Vernon Jenkins, Robert Castle Jenkins’ third son was born in about 1830 in Bengal. In 1853 he married Catherine McAndrew in Bengal. He attained the rank of Major General in the army. Neither Charles nor Catherine appears on the memorials in Beachley church but Charles Vernon is buried in Tidenham St Mary churchyard where he is listed as having died at Tutshill in 1901. Where and when Catherine died is not known, but in 1867 he married his cousin Amy Henriette (the only surviving child of his Uncle Decimus Jenkis). as in 1891 Charles Vernon was living in a lodging house in Belgravia, listed as married but alone in the house apart from servants. By 1901 he had returned to the parish and was living in Bigstone Villas, Tutshill with one servant. He died in October that year.
Hinton Best Jenkins the fourth son, was born at Beachley in 1842, he is listed on the 1851 census with his parents at Beachley. He was curate at Thenford in Northamptonshire in 1871 but in 1881 he was living in Yelvertoft, Northants where he was the Rector. Also listed are his wife Alice, one son and three daughters. By 1901 the family were living in Malvern Wells with the two youngest daughters Mary and Sybil.
Mary Castle Jenkins, the only daughter of Robert Castle and Anna Bassett Palmer Jenkins, was born in Calcutta on July 3rd 1827(India Office Records Reference: N/1/17 f.153) and died in 1922 (The Times, Monday, May 29, 1922; pg. 18; Issue 43043; col E).
In 1841 she may be the thirteen year old Mary Jenkins who was registered as a pupil in Camden Place, Bath at the academy for young ladies run by Miss Eliza Aldridge and her sister (1841 census & Bath Directory 1846). In 1849 she married Frederick Lumley Savile Rector of Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire (St George Hanover Square, Vol 1 Page 25).
In 1851 the Lumley family were living at the Rectory in Bilsthorpe with their eldest child Amy aged 4 months. Frederick was a member of the Earl of Scarborough’s family, his brother became John Savile who was created Baron Savile of Rufford in 1888. John died without issue and so Mary’s son John became the second Baron Savile in 1896. By 1861 Mary was a widow and living in Ordsall in Nottinghamshire, along with her daughters Amy and Minnie and her son John. Her brother Hinton was also listed in the household though he was at the time a student at Oxford. They had a French governess and Mary’s lady’s maid is Eliza Trayherne from Beachley.
By 1881 Mary and her daughters had moved to Devonshire Terrace in Paddington where Amy and Minnie were still unwed, again they had one servant from Beachley, Elizabeth Morgan. However by 1891 Amy had left the household and John had returned, he had no occupation but was “living on own means” as were his mother and sister Minnie. They were affluent enough to have five “live-in” servants including a French Lady’s Maid who had been with them for more than ten years. Amy had wed a Manager for the East India company named John Goodfellow, in 1901 Minnie and Amy (now widowed) were again living with their mother. Mary died in 1922.
A short article in th e Times dated May 29th 1922 says her death had broken ‘one of the last links with India of the long ago’.
THE YOUNGER CHILDREN OF RICHARD JENKINS Esq.
Deborah, Mary Anne and Arthur Jenkins siblings of Robert Castle are all buried in Tidenham churchyard, Deborah reached 23 but the other two died at fourteen and fifteen years.
Richard Jenkins, the second son of Richard Jenkins, Robert’s younger brother, was born in 1809 and in 1881 was living at Tutshill Lodge with his family. He died in 1893 at Tutshill and is in the family grave at Tidenham as is his wife Julia who died seven years earlier.
Susan Jenkins married William Standish Carr of Duxbury. She is not listed on the memorials in the church but she and her husband are named on the family grave at Tidenham. William assumed the surname Standish Standish on the death of his cousin when he inherited Duxbury Hall, Lancashire; he died in 1856, to be succeeded by his son William. William the younger died in his forties and was succeeded by his sisters. Susan died in 1873 in Stratford upon Avon.
Michael Hinton Jenkins is mentioned on the Beachley Church memorials:
“To the memory of Michael Hinton Jenkins esq. Third son of the late R Jenkins of Beachley Lodge who was drowned whilst bathing in the Ganges on 28th June 1835 aged 23. This testimony of the amiable qualities and mental endowments for which he was esteemed and beloved by all who knew him is sorrowfully raised up by maternal affection”
Frederick Jenkins born 1815 went to India where he also died young.
His memorial in the church reads:
To the memory of Lieut. Frederick (of H.M. 44th Regt of Foot) who died at Kurnaul in the East Indies on the 9th September 1840 aged 25 years. Entitled only to a subaltern’s party for his funeral obsequies his remains were followed to the grave by the Colonel and every officer and private soldier in the regiment.
Jenkins – Lieutenant Frederick 44th Foot died 9th September 1840, grave at Karnal.
“Sacred to the memory of Lieut Fredk Jenkins Her Ms 44th Regt who died on the 9th Sept 1840 aged 25 years. Deeply and sincerely regretted by his brother officers.”
Amelia Jenkins was born in 1819 and married Captain Francis Mountjoy Martin who was born in India in 1837. She does not appear on the church memorials.
Francis Mountjoy Martin was an officer in the Lifeguards but he had a chequered career. The Gentleman’s Magazine of 1857 reports his promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel by purchase and by the time he retired on half pay in 1863 he was a colonel. A newspaper report one year earlier (The Times, Thursday, Mar 20, 1862; pg.7; Issue 24198; col F) perhaps indicates that this retirement may have been forced upon him. An investigation into why the 2nd Life Guards regiment, of which he was commanding officer at the time, was ‘going downhill’ said ‘there was something rotten in the corps of administration’ and put the blame on the shoulders of the commanding officer suggesting ‘his unfitness to command a regiment’.
Francis and Amelia appear to have had very little time together, however in 1841 a census entry (HO10/676/8) records a Captain and Mrs Martyn living at 5 Harley Place, their ages and circumstances (four servants, ages correct and neither born in Middlesex) make it likely that this is Amy and her husband. By 1851 Amelia was living in Mount Street, Mayfair with several servants including a footman, John Morgan, born in Beachley.
Amelia seems to have had only one child, a stillborn daughter in November 1840. Her husband, the illegitimate son of Charles Fuller Martyn was wealthy his father having made his money in India, Francis and his brother inherited the equivalent of £2.5million at the age of twenty one and another £5million at the age of thirty.
In 1841 Francis had taken a mistress ‘Harriet or Lizzy Howard’ who possibly bore him a son. Francis bestowed a fortune on her, however she found a new lover, Prince Louis Napoleon later Napoleon III. Francis and Lizzy’s son Martin (who had been baptised as the child of his maternal grandparents) was educated with the sons of Louis Napoleon.
In 1847 Amy was seriously injured in a railway accident at Southall, narrowly escaping death when a portion of a railway tyre from another train flew through the side of the compartment where she was sitting, hitting her on the hip.By 1848 she had recovered enough to present her niece (possibly Mary Castle) to the Queen at St James’ Palace.
In 1861 Amelia (Amy) was visiting Henry Savile along with another niece Amy Henrietta Jenkins, daughter of Decimus who had died four years previously
Henry Savile, was the second son of the eighth Earl of Scarborough and inherited the Rufford estate on the death of his father in 1856, he too was an officer in the lifeguards and was also the older brother of Frederick Savile Lumley who later married Amy’s niece Mary Castle Jenkins. Henry and his brothers and sister were all illegitimate and so the Scarborough title and Lumley estates passed to another Frederick Lumley. Henry received Rufford and other estates worth about £37,000 a year (equivalent to £2.2 million in 2005) on condition that he used the name Savile rather than Lumley. His brothers and sister received small inheritances of just a few hundred pounds a year.
The 1861 census entry (RG9/2473) is evidence of Henry’s wealth, there are sixteen servants living in plus a German governess for young Amy. The coachmen, grooms and gardeners lived in cottages on the estate.
In 1871 Amy Mountjoy Martin was again at the Abbey and as Henry and Amy married in 1874 (St George Hanover Square 4th Qtr Vol. 1a P 580) it would seem that theirs was a long relationship.
Amy died at Henry Savile’s estate in Rotherham in 1875 (Rotherham 4th Quarter Vol 9c p397). Henry spent time in Italy after Amy’s death, perhaps with her niece Amy Jenkins. He died on August 28th 1881 after a long illness. Henry was a keen racehorse owner and his death was widely reported in the sporting press.
Decimus Jenkins like his brothers spent time in India where he married Caroline Letitia Nesbit Shum. Caroline’s father was in the Bengal Civil service but had died at least ten years before their wedding as her mother had remarried in 1842. Decimus and Caroline had at least four children: Elizabeth Mary died August 1844 aged 4 months and Caroline Mary died August 1849 aged 13 months. When Elizabeth was born Decimus was described as an indigo planter and when his son was born as a merchant.
Their brother Frederick William born in 1845 survived to adulthood and was a naval cadet in Exmouth at the time of the 1861 census, but “was drowned at Weston-Super-Mare by the upsetting of his yacht” Died 3rd July 1867. Caroline Letitia Jenkins died at Mirzapore in July 1848 aged 30. Caroline and her two little girls were probably victims of the cholera epidemic in Calcutta.
Amy Henriette daughter of Decimus was born in 1846 and died in Florence in 1924 where she is buried in the English cemetery (Plot 2PPsSC VII 54s), she had never married. Also buried in the cemetery is Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Decimus remarried to Jane Helen Brown in 1853 but he himself died in 1857 at Mirzapore. Decimus, his first wife and three children are all commemorated in Beachley Church.
Samuel Rumsey Jenkins was born in 1826 and died in Calcutta on the 9th June 1845 aged 24 years.
William Jenkins the youngest of the children died on 24th January 1850 aged 26.