The Reverend Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh
The Life and Times of Arthur Henry AustenThis page continues to be revised from time to time as people are kind enough to send us information. We are very grateful.....
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT ARTHUR HENRY AUSTEN-LEIGH » I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.
IN PARTICULAR, WE ARE STILL DESPERATE (2016) TO OBTAIN MORE PHOTOGRAPHs OF HIM!
Rev Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh, Rector of Winterbourne 1875-1890 has always been something of an enigma in this Gloucestershire village, for he documented much of the life of Winterbourne but left little information about himself.
During his fifteen-year ministry here, he was certainly a "mover and shaker": within four years (1879) the school was enlarged, he and his relations providing almost half the total cost. He provided and opened a lending library in Watleys End; founded the Cottage Allotments in Beacon Lane; extended the Rectory and built St.Michael's Rooms.
This history draws together information from many sources and will be revised from time-to-time during on-going research.
We acknowledge the generous help of:
Deirdre Le Faye
Sue Ashley, Windsor Local History Group
Canon Dr Edward Bailey, Rector of Winterbourne
Joanna Bailey, Winterbourne Parish Records
John Bosher, Vancouver BC
Ray Bulmer, Frenchay Museum Archives
Tony Chew, Head of History, Clayesmore School, Dorset
Roger Cullingham, Royal Windsor Forum
Pauline and Patrick Currie, Suffolk
Peter Delaney, Wargrave Local History Society
Mrs S M Farley, Hampshire Record Office
Penelope Hatfield, Eton College Archives
Eleanor Hoare, Eton College Archives
Denise Hope, Meran, Italy
Gabriel Lyneham, Lambeth Palace Library
Kelly McDonald, Vermont USA
Mark Priddey, Oxford Record Office
Michael Riordan, St John's Oxford College Archives
Kirsten T Saxton, Professor of English at Mills College, Oakland CA
Christine Seabridge, Rolls-Royce Technical Library
Jonathan Russell, Liverpool Ramblers Football Club Historian
Mark Smith, Maidenhead Football Club Historian
The British Library
The English Cricket Board
Wargrave Branch, Royal British Legion
Sussex County Cricket Club
Dr CHB Elliot
History of Winterbourne
The Book of Wargrave
Rosemary Gray, Sue Griffiths
Clayesmore Roll of Honour 1914-1918
Alumni Oxoniensis: the members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886
Alumni Cantabrigiensis: a biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge
J A Venn
Register of Admissions to King's College Cambridge, 1797-1925
St John's College Biographical Register, 1775-1875
Mrs V Sillery (1987)
Forty Years of SPY
The Oxford Ten-Year Book
Crockford's Clerical Directory
Winterbourne Parish Registers
Dictionary of National Biography
A potted Family HistoryOur Rector was born Arthur Henry Austen (Leigh was added a year later!), a great-nephew of Jane Austen, and his family history really begins in the 1700s.
Rev Thomas Leigh married Jane Walker. They had three children:
James Leigh, Jane Leigh and Cassandra Leigh.
» View the family tree
» View the family timeline
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James Leigh when age 21 was bequeathed the estate of his great-uncle Thomas Perrot so changed his name to Leigh Perrot. James Leigh Perrot married Jane Cholmeley but there were no children. He died in 1817.
Cassandra Leigh married Rev George Austen (Rector of Steventon).
They had eight children, including Jane Austen and James Austen.
Rev James Austen married Mary Lloyd and had two children:
Caroline Austen born 1805 (author of "My Aunt Jane Austen") and James Edward Austen born 1798 (author of "A Memoir of Jane Austen")
All of this is well-documented in the "Book of Wargrave" and by Deirdre Le Faye in "A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family 1600-2000".
Jane's nephew James Edward Austen married Emma Smith on 16 December 1828 when he was 30 years old.
They lived at Tring Park, and James Edward Austen was curate of the local church. Their first children were born at Tring: Cholmeley, born 26 September 1829, Emma Cassandra born 24 May 1831, and Charles Edward on 30 June 1832.
The family then moved from Tring park to Speen in Berkshire.
Spencer was born at Speen on 17 February 1834.
Their fourth son was Arthur Henry Austen born 28 February 1836 also at Speen.
Here's a copy of his Baptismal certificate, which shows that he wasn't born Austen-Leigh. He came into the world as plain Arthur Henry Austen!
Reverend Henry Majendie, who signed the copy, was a great friend to James Edward Austen.
EMMA's 1836 DIARY.
Kelly McDonald of Vermont, USA, a Jane Austen researcher, is carrying out some fascinating research on the life of Emma Smith and her contemporaries (her #firstname.lastname@example.org is well worth visiting!).
I am grateful to her for forwarding these transcriptions from Emma's 1836 diary
and you'll also find her "The Mystery of the Mutilated Diaries" an interesting read!
As early as 7 March, Emma writes
She comments the next day that
March 7: In the afternoon Baby taken ill Mr Best came...
The problems are attributed to 'bowels' - Kelly fears that was a common 'diagnosis' in this period.
March 8: he did not cry freely like himself
Baby is reported to be
Mrs Bond is a woman who comes to many of Emma's births, and stays to nurse her; Englefield has charge of the baby and seems a new hire about this time -
March 9: better or rather well again
but the entry next day is most alarming:
March 25: This week the baby has smiled
Ointment and lotion is applied to his eyes on the 29th and by April 1st she writes
March 26: Baby had an eruption on his face which Mr Best says is the white Gum. His eyes have been bad ever since he was born but at 3 weeks old they become worse / The weather has been much colder Mr Best came He was put in a warm Bath & Mrs Bond & he slept with me Ed's throat better
The next entry is interesting:
April 1: his eyes are a great deal better His face cooler & himself better April 4: Baby was quite recovered
Arthur Currie was Emma's brother-in-law (married Charlotte Smith); Henry Majendie was a fellow Reverend and great friend to James Edward Austen; Maria was Emma's youngest sister.
April 6: Rain. Baby was christened at Speen Church by the names of Arthur Henry - Arthur Currie, Mr. Majendie & Maria (for whom I stood proxy) being Sponsors -- Mrs Bond held the child
Things were still the same the next day:
April 22: Baby has a convulsive cough & stoppage of breath that was frightful to see
There are notations over the next few days of Baby and cough, Baby and bowels
April 23: He went into a warm bath at night April 25: Baby almost suffocated...cough by Phlegm I gave him 3 grs of Ipecac: which seemed to irritate the bowels ... April 28: Baby had a quiet night- the cough very troublesome but less in fits. no medicine [yesterday: 1 gr of Dovers powders 2 of Rhubarb & in the night & evening before a little gruel with brandy in it]...
Now take a look at "The Mystery of the Mutilated Diaries" if you haven't already done so!
May 1: baby better (but husband's throat worse) May 8: baby going on very well this week but he is pulled down & pale no longer a fine child May 11: ... The wind changed to the West & summer began Baby went out for the first time since his illness May 16: The Baby had a rash on him so that we doubted about going to London Mr Best came May 17: The Baby was so well that in spite of his rash Mr Best thought we might travel.
Mamma made copious notes about family life. Arthur Henry Austen appears among over 51 names in a list of "Mamma's Grandchildren".
Elder brother Cholmeley Austen, (Amy)Emma Austen, Charles Edward Austen, Spencer Austen, Mary Augusta Austen-Leigh and Edward Compton Austen-Leigh are amongst the other grandchildren listed here.
When Jane Leigh Perrot died in 1836, James Edward Austen inherited the Leigh-Perrot estates, including the family home "Scarlets". He took the name Leigh at the last request of Aunt Leigh Perrot, preferring Austen-Leigh to Leigh-Austen. The family moved to "Scarlets" in 1837 when Arthur Henry was only one year old, and this is when he became known as Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh.
Courtesy "The Book of Wargrave"
It seems that Spencer Austen may have been renamed Spencer Leigh in January 1837 when he was 3 years old.
The rest of the children were born at "Scarlets":
Mary Augusta was the first Austen-Leigh, born on 2 February 1838 and Edward Compton was the first male Austen-Leigh, born 1 May 1839; Augustus was born 17 July 1840; George Raymond 20 December 1841 but he died at "Scarlets" on 4 July 1842 and was buried at Knowl Hill. William, the youngest of the ten children was born on 11 May 1843.
EducationJames Edward taught all the boys Latin and Greek daily for half-hour before breakfast and two hours after. Emma taught them mathematics, and they had a tutor for other subjects.
Arthur Henry went to Cheltenham in 1849 at 13, where he won a maths prize. He was in the Cricket XI and Captain of the Football team.
The Bishop offered James Edward the Parish of Bray, one of the richest livings in the Diocese, and the family moved to Bray at the end of 1853.
Oxford College DaysArthur Henry matriculated at Balliol College Oxford on 30 May 1855 and in 1857 was one of ten scholars from Oxford and Cambridge awarded a Craven Scholarship (endowed in 1649 by the will of John, Baron Craven of Ryton - an annual stipend of £75 for up to fourteen years for deserving poor University students). His entries in the Oxford Ten-Year Book are as follows:
From the class lists:
University Scholarships. 1857 Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh; Balliol.] ]Fellow of St.John's
Term Mich.1858 In Literis Humanioribus CLASSIS II Leigh, Arthur H.A.Balliol. Fellow of St.John's
Term Mich.1859 In Jurisprudentia et Hist.Mod CLASSIS I Leigh, Arthur H.A.St.John's
He was in the college rowing eight.
Austen-Leigh Arthur H. Balliol Craven Scholar 1857
Arthur Henry played First-Class cricket for "The Gentlemen of England" in 1857 and "The Gentlemen of Berkshire" 1860-1872. He came from a famous cricketing family - all the Austen boys were notable scholars and won cricketing blues. His father, James Edward, often took the family to take part in matches such as Maidenhead v. eleven Leighs. James Edward was unable to play himself due to bad eyesight.
Here are reports of two matches played: Maidenhead v Balliol College, reported in the Reading Mercury 8 June 1861 (with Cholmeley, Edward Compton and Arthur Henry) and Maidenhead v "The Cardinals" (Oxford) reported 18 June 1864 (with Cholmeley, William, Edward Compton, Arthur Henry and Charles).
A match played on 8th July 1871 at the Maidenhead ground against the Civil Service was reported in the Maidenhead Advertiser, but we don't have a copy. The team that day included Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh, William Austen-Leigh, Augustus Austen-Leigh, Edward Compton Austen-Leigh and Charles Edward Austen-Leigh - once again, together as a family just like old times!
Here are the career statistics for Arthur Henry and his older brother Spencer (later Chairman of Sussex County Cricket Club)
Arthur Leigh He played for "The Gentlemen of England" in 1857. His record is given as: Arthur Henry Austen Leigh Born: 28 February 1836, Speen, Berkshire Died: 29 July 1917, Reading, Berkshire Major Teams: Gentlemen of England. Known As: Arthur Leigh Career Statistics: FIRST-CLASS (1857 - 1857) M I NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St Batting & Fielding 1 1 0 34 34 34.00 0 0 0 0 O M R W Ave BBI 5 10 SR Econ Bowling - - - - - - - - - - Spencer Leigh Spencer Austen Leigh Born: 17 February 1834, Speen, Newbury, Berkshire Died: 9 December 1913, Frog-Firle, Alfriston, Sussex Major Teams; Sussex. Known As: Spencer Leigh Also Known As: changed name from Spencer Austen in January 1837 Batting Style: Right Hand Bat Career Statistics: FIRST-CLASS (1857 - 1866) M I NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St Batting & Fielding 13 21 2 209 42 11.00 0 0 4 0 R W Ave BBI 5 10 Bowling 14 1 14.00 1-9 0 0
It is reported that a man travelled from Bristol to see Spencer in action as he had a reputation for making centuries.
Arthur Henry was awarded his BA (2Hons Lit Hum, 1st Law) in 1859 and became a Fellow of St John's College.
The 1861 census shows that Arthur Henry, now aged 25, was living at 1 Frogfirle just south of Alfriston in East Sussex with an aunt, Caroline Austen, aged 55, and brothers Charles (28), Spencer (27) and Edward Compton (21). They had five servants, including a groom and his wife.
His brother Cholmeley married Melesina Mary Chenevix Trench on 7 January 1864 in Westminster Abbey.
Arthur Henry became a deacon 18 December 1864 and a priest in 21 December at Church of Christ, Marylebone.
Arthur Henry's College Testimonial
courtesy Oxford Record Office
which translates roughly as:
Revessedo admodum in Christo Patri Samueli Diocesis Nomine in Episcopo Cum Arturus Henricus Austen-Leigh A.B. Collegii divi Joannis Baptista Socius diaco- natus ordinem ambiens, literas nostras testi- monales de vita sua laudabili morumque probitate concedi sibi petient, nos ex personali nostra scientia testamur praedictum Arturum Henricum Austen-Leigh, quamdiu apud nos commoratus est pie sobrie et honeste vitam suam instituisse: quod vero ad religionem spec- tat, quantum scimus aut conjiciendo assequi possumus, cum nihil unquam scripsisse, docuisse vel tenuissi nisi quod Ecclesia Angli- cana approbat ac tuetur. In cujus rei testimonium sigillum quo in hac parte uti consuevimus affiscimus et manus nostras masentibus apposuimus Coll D Jo.Bapt xxxxxxx Novembris die 15o 1864 P Wyntor, Praes Edwardus Palin S.T.B Henricus L Mansel S.T.B Jacobus B Gray, A.M. Art:Deo: F A Powys S.T.B: Art:Deo:
To the very Reverend Father in Christ, Samuel, in the Episcopal name of the Diocese: Since Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh, B A, Fellow of the College of John the Baptist, is seeking deaconal orders, and they want our testimonial letters concerning his praiseworthy life and the honesty of his manners to be handed on, we, from our personal knowledge, testify that the aforementioned Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh, for as long as he stayed with us, conducted his life conscientiously, soberly and honestly; in his attitude to religion, to the extent that we can know and understand through taking counsel, he never wrote anything, taught anything or held any view, except what the Church of England approves and upholds. As we are accustomed as our proof in this matter, we make our mark and put our signatures to the aforementioned testimony in this place. Coll D Jo.Bapt xxxxxxx Novembris die 15o 1864 P Wyntor, Praes Edwardus Palin S.T.B Henricus L Mansel S.T.B Jacobus B Gray, A.M. Art:Deo: F A Powys S.T.B: Art:Deo:
He was awarded his MA in 1866, and became a curate 28 June 1867 at Bray (his father's parish). The 1871 census showed Arthur Henry living at his father's vicarage in Bray with brothers Edward Compton and William.
Arthur Henry, Maidenhead Football Club and the first FA CupJonathan Russell is writing a book on the origins of football in the 19th century in association with the National Football Museum. One aspect has been to look at the twelve clubs who played in the very first FA Cup in 1871, including Maidenhead.
The role of the public schools was significant not only in forming the rules of association football but in the early development of the amateur game prior to professionalism being accepted from 1885. Many amateur clubs especially in the South were founded by ex public schoolboys as was Maidenhead FC. It is the only club to have entered the FA Cup every year including 2014, bar one, and is the oldest club, formed in 1870, to have played all its home matches on the same ground.
Jonathan has kindly forwarded the first report we have, in which Arthur Henry appears as a centre-forward for Maidenhead in a fifteen-a-side match 24th December 1870 v Windsor Home Park
Arthur Henry's full playing career can be found in a book on the history of Maidenhead FC called ‘One for Sorrow, two for Joy’ by Mark Smith and Mark has kindly forwarded fixture grids for 1871/2, 1872/3 and 1873/4.
Maidenhead Club Records in the very early days of existence are incomplete but it is known for certain that Arthur Henry played in the following matches for Maidenhead (friendlies unless otherwise stated):
11th November 1871 v Marlow (FA Cup match)
18th November 1871 v Windsor Home Park
25th November 1871 v Uxbridge
2nd December 1871 v Mr Clay's Team
16th December 1871 v Crystal Palace (FA Cup match)
3rd February 1872 v Wycombe
2nd March 1872 v Crossman's Team
26th October 1872 v Great Marlow (FA Cup match)
26th October 1872 v Marlow (FA Cup match)
16th November 1872 v Windsor Home Park
23rd November 1872 v 1st Surrey Rifles (FA Cup match)
14th December 1872 v High Wycombe (return)
21st December 1872 v Windsor Home Park (FA Cup match)
19th March 1873 v Swifts
22nd November 1873 v High Wycombe (FA Cup match)
10th December 1873 v Royal Engineers (FA Cup match)
14th January 1874 v Henley (his only known goal)
7th February 1874 v Southall
Jonathan wrote the history of Liverpool Ramblers AFC and interestingly he states their first President was Sir Thomas Earle, who sent his eight sons to Eton into Mr Austen-Leigh's House - Edward Compton, Arthur Henry's younger brother!
A Nasty AccidentKelly McDonald sent this extract from the memoir of James Edward Austen-Leigh (written by daughter Mary Augusta), pp275/6:
"In the winter of 1870-71 he [James Edward Austen-Leigh] lost Arthur's assistance as curate for many weeks, through an accident that might easily have been even more serious than it was. His diary for December 22 says:
'Arthur went to a clerical meeting at Mr. Marriott's (at Eton), where he read a paper that he had prepared. Returning in the dark, he was overturned in the dog-cart near Clewer, and much shaken and bruised. He was attended by Mr. Burton of Windsor. A message came to us, and we sent Martin in the brougham, and got him home about nine. The cause of the accident was heaps of frozen road-scrapings, left very culpably in the road.'
When this was written, the writer had probably not heard of a second cause of danger; that Arthur, while lying unconscious in the road, narrowly escaped being run over by a carriage that was following him not far behind; but happily the coachman, although it was very dark, became aware that there was something before him and pulled up just in time. When carried into the inn at Clewer, Arthur came to himself sufficiently for a short interval to hear them saying around him, 'Mr. Austen-Leigh - of Eton,' and to say himself, 'No; of Bray,' on which the messenger was sent off and reached us at dinner, to which we had gone, feeling very uneasy at Arthur's non-appearance. He kept his bed for some days, as he had concussion of the brain. This left him exceedingly weak, and until Easter he could do no regular duty in the church, his place being at first supplied by Augustus, who was at home for the Christmas holidays."
'Martin' refers to Charles Martin, the Austen-Leigh family butler.
'Mr Marriott (at Eton)' refers to Rev Wharton Booth Marriott, who joined Eton as assistant-master in 1850. His house was The Hopgarden, on Common Lane, Eton College. He gave up his duties due to ill-health in 1860 although he and his wife Julia were allowed to continue living in The Hopgarden (which is still a boys' boarding house). He published and edited many theological and doctrinal works including discussions with the rather zealous Rev Thomas Thellusson Carter, Rector of St Andrews, Clewer, 1844-1880. Arthur Henry must have known them both very well!
Rev Marriott died 16 December 1871 after a short illness, a year after Arthur's accident.
Here's his obituary from the Windsor and Eton Express 23rd December 1871:
The RouteFor the record, here's the probable route taken by Arthur Henry on the night of the accident. I am grateful for the work of the Royal Windsor Forum team in detailing the roads, cart-tracks and byeways that existed between Eton and Bray in December 1870.
From Mr Marriott's house The Hopgarden in Common Lane, Eton College, Arthur Henry drove down the High Street, across the Windsor Bridge, up Thames Street (Thames Avenue is late Victorian), then right into Bier Lane (River Street), then left along the river bank before turning up the Goswell Road (any further along the riverbank path may not have been suitable for a horse-drawn cart), and arriving on the 'lower level' via The Goswells, under the GWR railway arches (Barry Avenue along the promenade is late Victorian, and the alternative Peascod Street coach route was probably too tough a climb for a pony).
The route was then along Clewer Lane (Oxford Road) (construction of Arthur Road, which by-passed the Oxford Road, did not commence until the following year) with a dog-leg right into Vansittart Road and left onto Surly Hall (Maidenhead) Road, past Clewer and onto Bray.
The nearest Inn to the accident was probably The Swan, Mill Lane, Clewer, which still stands today.
and here's the route plotted on a modern map
A dog-cart A brougham
The incident may have been reported in the 'Windsor and Eton Express' at the time. Unfortunately during a search in May 2015 the relevant 1870 edition was missing from the newspaper archives. There was however an account of the death of Rev W. B. Marriott at Eton College in the edition of 23rd December 1871.
So until the missing edition turns up, the identity of "Mr Burton of Windsor" and the inn at Clewer must remain a shadowy figure!
The Spa Town of MeranSo Arthur Henry was in a pretty bad way from December through until at least April 1871.
However, in September 1871, Arthur Henry and his brothers Edward Compton and William went to the famous spa town of Meran in the Tyrol (part of the Habsburg Empire). In view of Arthur Henry's probable state of health, it's very unlikely that they were all taking the Italian Grand Tour, with Meran being a convenient stop on the way home. It does seem likely however that Arthur Henry went to 'take the cure' or at least have a relaxing time!
Now in 1871, Edward Compton had just become an Assistant Master at Eton and in the census was living at Bray Vicarage. Later he lived in Penn House, Common Lane, Eton College (he became Lower Master in 1887). In the Meran Evangelical Cemetery is buried George Hodgson Wayte (1832-1881), and like Edward Compton and William was an Eton and King's College Cambridge man!
But there is another link in that George's brother William Wayte was Assistant Master at Eton 1853-1875, during ECA-L's time as Assistant Master. In fact, William Wayte and his wife Mary Lovett lived in Slough Road, Eton College, very close to Wharton Booth Marriott in The Hopgarden, Common Lane, Eton College ('Mr Marriott at Eton'). So the three Austen-Leigh brothers may have planned to meet up in Meran with the two Wayte brothers. The entries for September 1871 in the diary of his father James Edward or the diary of his mother Emma (Hampshire Record office 23M93/86/1/ and 23M93/87/1/1) may hold the answer.....
Postcard view of Meran in the Tyrol (part of the Habsburg Empire).
Postcard of Hotel Erzherzog Johann, where the Austen-Leigh brothers stayed.
Other English guests at Erzerzog Johann during September 1871
Mr Ch T Mitchell, lawyer
Mr Ch J Neal, of Kingsdon
Mr Walker Woodhouse
Mr W Jerdene Braikenridge
Mr William Slater, Notary
Mr Edward Henry Hamp, solicitor, Bedford
Mrs and Miss Hunt, Surrey
Mrs Peck, Miss Ada Drew, and Julius C Drew
Capt and Mrs Humphreys
During Sept 1871 the following clergymen were also in Meran:
Rev J H Dundass, staying at Hotel Hassfurther
Rev Temple and family, staying at Hotel Hassfurther
Rev Edward Seymour of Dublin, staying at the Hotel Erzherzog Johann.
Rev Edward Sanderson of London, staying at Erzherzog Johann.
Rev W Brookes, an English vicar from Hyeres in France, staying at Erzherzog Johann.
Mr John Haiman, priest.
Starting in 1871, Anglican services were held in certain hotels in Meran.
The Anglican Church in Meran, built and consecrated in 1891 but demolished after WWII.
Postcard view of the Winter Promenade.
Arthur Henry is mentioned in the Ecclesiastical Gazette 1871 p176.
Arthur Henry's BD was awarded the following year in 1872.
His father James Edward died 8 September 1874.
Nomination to Winterbourne1875 was Arthur Henry's final year as Fellow of St John's College, Oxford.
St John's College bought the advowson of Winterbourne in 1773. This gave them the right to appoint the Rector of the parish when there was a vacancy and it was normal in these circumstances to give preference to any Fellow of the College who wished to have the appointment.
This interesting snippet was found in the Victorian County Histories:
but as the source of this ancient article about the history of Winterbourne church has been discredited (transBGAS vol. 98 1980, 95-97) further advice was sought. The archivist at St John's College explained that when a college living became vacant it was offered to fellows of the college (who could marry once they left the college) in order of seniority. By the late nineteenth century reforms at Oxford meant that the fellows did not always take up the livings and so they were offered to former members of the college who were in Holy Orders.
St. John's College, Oxford, are Patrons who always present the oldest Batchelor to the Living.
His nomination by the College Fellows as Rector of Winterbourne was recorded in St John's College Register in scant detail.
In the minutes of a meeting of the Fellows on 14 October 1875, the College Register simply records that Austen-Leigh was nominated to the Rectory. He was present at the meeting and didn't talk on the subject, so presumably it was a ratification of an earlier decision - but he did propose (and it was agreed) that "The President & Bursar be requested every year to extend invitation to the Gaudy to a certain number of Masters of Arts, or persons of higher degree, who have not been on the foundation of the College."
Mr A Leigh nomind to Winterbourn Mr Austen Leigh was nominated to the Rectory of Winterbourn. (vacant by the death of Mr F Burges)
Arthur Henry and Frank Burges probably knew each other as their fellowships overlapped, so Arthur Henry may well have known about Winterbourne. However, he may not have wanted the post at Winterbourne in particular. It may be that he wished to resign his fellowship for a well-paid living (it is likely that the attached stipend made it impossible to continue as a Fellow of the College). The college owned many livings, and it may be that Winterbourne was sufficiently rich and became vacant at the right time for him. Kelly's Directory for 1870 valued the living as £845:
The living is a rectory, yearly value £845, with residence and 90 acres of glebe land, in the gift of St John's College, Oxford, and held by the Rev Frank Burges, BD, of St John's College, Oxford
The minutes also record a dispute between the College and Bristol Grammar School:
Trustees of the Bristol School. A correspondence between the President and the Charity Trustees of Bristol Grammar School, on the subject of the Examination for the Bristol Scholarship, having been read, Fr Adams moved, and it was agreed, "that the College shall "only acknowledge the receipt of the protests of the Trustees "and the Headmaster of Bristol School"
St John's College Oxford was founded by Sir Thomas White in 1555 and he decreed in the College Statutes that two fellowships were to be reserved for boys from Bristol Grammar School, who became fellows as soon as they matriculated at Oxford. This custom continued until 1881.
A newspaper cutting about Arthur Henry's nomination to Winterbourne was found amongst the papers of his mother, Emma, annotated in her hand "from 'The Guardian' October 20 1875":
Ecclesiastical Intelligence PREFERMENTS AND APPOINTMENTS. Rev. A. H. Austen-Leigh, B.D., Fellow of St John's College, Oxford; Rector of Winterbourne, Gloucestershire. Patrons, the President and Fellows of St John's.
Arthur Henry wrote this letter to his Aunt Caroline in May 1875 describing an unsuccessful attempt to trace some information about his grandmother's family (Lloyd). At the end he mentions what is probably a reference to his nomination to Winterbourne. The 'L Cures' were Mary and Charles Smith's younger daughter, Augusta, and her husband the Rev. Lawrence C.G. Cure (married 1857). Lawrence's sister Agnes married Augusta's brother, Charles Cunliffe Smith (1855).
18 Radnor Place
May 28. 1875
My dear Aunt Caroline
I have been staying for
a day or two with the L.Cures
in Essex, & on my way back I
thought I would stop at Epping
search the Registers & Monuments
myself to see if I could find
out anything more about
Mr Lloyd, or rather his wife.
My researches were not crowned
with much success, & all
memory of the family had long
"faded from the circle of the
hills"; so that not even the
old clerk of 80 years & upwards
retained any the tradition of an
incumbency that terminated
more than 100 yrs ago. The Church,
with its old red brick tower, & in
part with very old oak seats,
the red sounding board over
the pulpit, seemed all that
was old enough to have seen
the wigged divine of Queen
Anne's time; & if the latter
could have spoken all it had
overheard it could have
repeated the sermons of which
we have the bare catalogue.
The Registers however showed
that there were several sons.
the Baptisms of George, Stevenson,
John, & Nowes 1719 - sons John Lloyd
Vicar & Isabella his wife.
The Burials of
Charles, son of John Lloyd Vicar
of either George or John - I forget which
John Lloyd Vicar Oct 8. 1753
of Mary, widow of John Lloyd late Vicar
This looks like a second wife; but
I could not find the burial of
Isabella nor any marriage of
John Lloyd. There was no
monument, though I looked at
all both inside & outside of the church
There was also the burial of a
brother of the Vicars - and in
one place the signature of
Wm Lloyd. Curate.
Could Isabella Mrs Lloyd have been
a Miss Stephenson?
You have of course heard that
a house has been taken. I have
not been all over it, but I approve
of what I have seen, & I think
the situation a very good one.
yr Aff nephew
A. H. Austen Leigh
All the Austen-Leigh boys signed family letters formally, with initials and surname!
Marriage - and Arthur Henry's Future In-LawsMary Violet Hall-Say was born in Swaffham, Norfolk, the eldest daughter of Sir Richard Hall-Say and Ellen Hannah Evans. How Richard (of Swaffham) and Ellen (from Bray) first met is a mystery which we are currently trying to unravel.
They moved to Bray - the 1871 census records Mary Violet, aged 12, as living with her family at 'Water Oakley, Minden Road, Bray'.
This simple census entry belies the fact that Sir Richard ("possessor of an ample fortune") had a huge Victorian Gothic Mansion, "Oakley Court", built for him "regardless of cost" in 1859.
Leslie Ward (the artist 'SPY' of Vanity Fair) recounts in his autobiography 'Forty Years of SPY' that ”from Eton, I frequently had leave to visit some friends of my parents, the Evans of Boveney Court, a delightful old country house opposite Surly Hall. Miss Evans married a Mr. Hall-Say who built Oakley Court, and I was present when he laid the foundation stone.
Mr. Evans, who was a perfectly delightful old man, lent one of his meadows at Boveney (opposite Surly Hall) to the Eton boys for their Fourth of June celebrations."
Arthur Henry met Mary Violet while he was a curate in his father's parish in Bray, and they married. At the time of their marriage, Mary Violet was 17 and Arthur Henry 41.
The wedding took place at Bray Church in Berkshire on 26 April 1876 and was reported on Saturday in the Reading Mercury and a local paper. The best man was older brother Spencer, the youngest bridesmaid was Hilda Hall-Say, and the officiating clergy were his younger brother Augustus and the Vicar of Bray.
These newspaper cuttings were found in the diaries of Arthur Henry's mother, Emma.
MARRIAGE OF MISS HALL-SAY. Among the noteworthy events of the week has been the marriage of Miss Mary Violet eldest daughter of R. Hall-Say, Esq., to the Rev. Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh, son of the late vicar of Bray. The ceremony was performed on Wednesday last, at Bray church. Thither several hundreds of residents in and around Maidenhead made their way in the sunshine, and the village put on a festive aspect. The church had been tastefully decorated, and a pretty arch of evergreens had been erected at the entrance to the churchyard. It was inscribed on one side "May they be Happy" and on the other "God bless Them." The sacred edifice was crowded, and the marriage ceremony was followed with much intentness. The bridal party consisted of the bride, her father, the bridegroom and his best man (Mr. Spencer Austen-Leigh), and nine bridesmaids. On their reaching the church, the organist, Mr E Harding, played an appropriate selection. The bride was given away by her father. The service was choral, and there were present a large number of past and present members of the choir. The hymns were 356 and 357, from "Hymns Ancient and Modern," The officiating clergymen were the Rev. Augustus Austen-Leigh and the Rev. W. B Hole, Vicar of Bray. After the signing of the register in the vestry, the bridal party left the church, the organist playing the Wedding March." The bride was in a handsome dress of white satin, with wreath of orange blossoms and tulle veil; and the bridesmaids in ecru satine, trimmed alternately in blue and pink. The bridesmaids were the three sisters of the bride, Miss Langworthy and Miss Alice McNaught (her cousins), two nieces of the bridegroom, Miss K and Miss E Austen-Leigh, Miss Thomson, and Miss Haig. After the ceremony the bride and bridegroom were requested to pass on foot through the churchyard to their carriage, and the bride's train was held by two children, her younger bridesmaids, Miss Kathleen Austen-Leigh and Miss Hilda Hall-Say. They returned to St. Ives Place to breakfast where about 70 sat down. The bride and bridegroom received from a large circle of friends a great number of very valuable presents. Among them were some beautiful gifts of plate and Dresden china. They left about 2:30, amid showers of satin slippers, rice, and flowers for Twyford, en route for Oxford and the Lakes.
and of course, Mamma added the marriage to the list in her ledger!
BRAY CHURCH.-On Wednesday last, the Rev. Arthur H. Austen Leigh (son of the late Vicar of the parish) was married to the eldest daughter of Richard Hall-Saye, Esq., of St. Ive's-place, Maidenhead. As the bridal party entered the Church, Mr. Ernest Harding, the organist, played selections from Mendelssohn's Clari" &c. The service, which was choral, was con- ducted by the Rev. Augustus Arthur Leigh (brother of the bridegroom), assisted by the Vicar, the Rev. W. B. Hole. The bride was given away by her father. On the bridal party leaving the Church the organist played the "Wedding March." There was a choice display of flowers, and at the entrance of the churchyard a hand- some evergreen arch was erected. The bride was attired in a handsome dress of white satin, with a wreath of orange blossom and tulle veil. The bridesmaids, nine in number, wore ecru sateen, trimmed alternately in blue and pink. The party returned to St. Ive's Place to break- fast, where upwards of seventy guests sat down. The bride and bridegroom, who received a great number of valuable presents, left for Oxford, amid the congratula- tion of their friends, about three o'clock.
Life in WinterbourneSix months after the start of married life in Winterbourne, he wrote the following letter to his mother Emma on 24 October 1876. Sadly she died later that year. It describes rehearsals for one of their first public engagements in Winterbourne - the school concert - and telling of other events in the village.
It is difficult on the original to make out the word on line 3.
Oct 24. 1876
My dear Mamma
I hope you are comfort
-ably settled in again in London,
and that you found Wxxxxxxx
upon the whole a pleasant
residence. Perhaps it would
have been cold in this more
wintry weather. The first
cold has, as usual, brought
me a touch of rheumatism, but
not very bad. It suits Violet
who has been particularly brisk
& active the last few days.
She is much occupied with
practising for our school
entertainment on Monday
next; & this morning Mrs Richards
came to luncheon with two
friends to practise the duet
she is going to sing with Violet.
She & Maud had been practising
glees with the choir. Maud is to
take the solo in the Chough & Crow,
but the glee is a great deal too
ambitious & ought not have
They got through their songs at
Winterbourn Down the other night
very well, accompanying one another
Violet was very nervous, but both
she & Maud were much applauded.
Yesterday they went to Mrs
Callaghan's to hear a performance
of the Musical Society of the
neighbourhood, consisting of
several ladies and gentlemen. I only
came in for the last piece, something
by Leoly which was very pretty
nicely sung. At the end
we were elected members:
chiefly I believe because they
wanted gentlemens voices &
fancied I sang!
On Friday last Violet & I
heard the Messiah at Bristol.
I was more pleased with it
than I could have thought
possible. Titicus, Albani,
Isebelli & Patey were the
female singers - all capital
especially Isebelli: Cummings
Lloyd & Maybrick, the men
were hardly equal to them I
think. I do not think however
that Titicus is quite what she
was when I used to go to the
opera 14 years ago. I was much
struck with "For unto us" "These
Same Shepherds" "He shall feed his
flock" "Come unto me" "He
trusted in God" & the Hallelujah
I seem to write about nothing
but music, but the piano here
is never silent now. Maud is
always at it when she is not drawing
and when she is, Violet has a
One day last week we dined
at the Caves whom we had
not yet seen. One lady I sat
next began talking to me about
Willie & she turned out to be
Lady Eustace Cecil. She was
pleasant but far from pretty.
Her husband was there, and a
Lord & Lady Hatherton, also
Mr & Mrs Perry Watlington, I took
Mrs P. W. into dinner.
We saw some very fine Photos. after
dinner which Mr Cave had brought
back from Egypt.
Mr Say left us on Wednesday
in last week. I think he liked
his visit & admired the place.
We took him a drive one day
to Clifton, & I walked with him
other days. One evening Mrs
Burges and her brother came to
dinner, & behaved very well.
We played at the round games
with letters that Willie handed on
Miss Langworthy is coming here
on Friday & she & Maud will
go back together. One evening
we are going to take her to
dine at the Edwd Burges.
Maud not being ask will be left
at home. Tomorrow Violet & I
dine at the Fox's.
Violet has been making new
acquaintance with Mrs & the miss
Greenstreets & likes them. The
two miss Gs came here to luncheon
one day & they had a drive
with V & M. They seem ladylike
unaffected girls, & have been
well brought up: they
very hard & are I fear poor.
I have heard today that
Mr Hart is going to leave town
next week for his new living
Bentley nr Ipswich, & that
a testimonial has been being
got up for him. No man
ever more richly deserved one.
I am sorry for xxx sake
that he is going to leave town
A contract for the work at
the church has been accepted
though not yet signed.
It is intended to commence
at once, & the Church will
be closed probably during
the 3 winter months,
which considering its situation
is not a bad time.
The belfry is already
under repair. The beams
are found to have been in a
very unsafe condition.
I shall soon have a printed
appeal about the Church
out & will send you one.
We shall want from 7 to
800 pounds I reckon.
The contractor is a man
in the village.
Where is Charles?
We have had a lovely day
and I have been a foot
the whole of it. I am very
busy having the dead wood
cut out of the trees here.
Two men have been at it 3 days
only done half: & then there
will be another week nearly
at the apple trees.
yr affectionate son
A. H. Austen Leigh
All the Austen-Leigh boys even signed letters to their parents formally!
Here's the programme for that Winterbourn School Concert on Monday 30th October 1876, mentioned in the letter, where Arthur Henry did a reading and Violet sang a duet.
Living in the Winterbourne Rectory
Queen Anne's Bounty was a fund established in 1704 to augment the incomes of the poorer clergy of the Church of England. The bounty was funded by the tax (annates) on the incomes of all Church of England clergy, which was paid to the Pope until the Reformation, and thereafter to the Crown. In 1890, the total amount distributed was £176,896.
The present rectory was built by Mr. Whitfield, rector, who borrowed the money for the purpose from Queen Anne's Bounty, and was completed in 1834, the year of his death. The main approach to it was from Church Lane. Mr. Austen-Leigh made some additions to the house. (Eliot 1936)
Life in Winterbourne through the pages of the Parish Records and the Parish Post
During his time in Winterbourne, Austen-Leigh founded the village allotments, extended the Rectory, extended the Primary School and built St.Michael's Rooms. We can learn more by looking through the pages of the parish magazine - the Parish Post.
Parish Post 1878, January. St Michael's, Winterbourne. NOTICE. This Magazine will be published every month in the parishes of Winterbourn, Winterbourn Down, Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath. The outside sheet will contain parish notices, one page given to each of the four parishes. The contents of the Magazine will supply much pleasant reading. The low price at which it is offered will put it within the reach of all, even of children. ADVERTISEMENTS will be admitted at a small cost. THE MAGAZINE May be had of Mr Rickards, Schoolmaster, and Mr Jones, Chemist, Price 1d a number, or 1s for the year.
Mary Dorothy was born 23 January 1878 in Winterbourne and baptised at Bray:
Parish Post 1878, MARCH. St Michael's, Winterbourne. Sold by Mr Rickards, Schoolmaster, and Mr Jones, Chemist. 1d a copy. 1/- for the whole year. Rector, AH AUSTEN LEIGH. BAPTISMS.-In the parish Church - Ellen Skidmore. At Bray - Mary Dorothy Austen Leigh.
The entire Austen-Leigh family were generous in their support of the people of Winterbourne. The list of donors above included brothers Charles and William, sister Mary Augusta and mother-in-law Mrs Hall-Say. Brothers Augustus and Edward Compton also donated to Winterbourne appeals.
Donations to the New Schoolroom - The Rev & Mrs A.H. Austen-Leigh, £100. Sir Greville Smyth, Brt, £25. W.G. Tanner, Esq, £25. C. Austen-Leigh, Esq, £5. Mrs Callaghan, £5. Mr S.W. Matthews, £5. J. Bush, Esq, £2.2s. W. Austen-Leigh, £2. Miss Crockford, £2. Dr E. Crossman, £2. Mrs Hall Say, £2. Mr E. Eden Jones, £2. Mr Jeffery Matthews, £2. Mr R. Howse, £1.1s. Mr M. Smith, £1.1s. Rev F.E. Warren, £1.1s. Miss M.A. Austen-Leigh, £1. Mr & Mrs C. Sargent, 10s. Mr P. Rodman, 5s. Diocesan Ass'n, £31.10s. National Society, £20. Collections, £20. Total £244.8s.2d.
Winterbourne Registers recorded the baptisms for Violet Winifred and Honor Caroline, and the planting of some trees:
12 Oct 1879 bap Violet Winifred bn 28 Aug Arthur Henry & Mary Violet Austen Leigh W'bourn Rectory, Rector, AH Austen Leigh
November 1880 Arthur H. Austen Leigh - Rector - planted some Junipers, Irish Yews & Cypress trees along the Churchyard wall on either side of the gate, and between the porch and the Manor Farm. The Holly hedge round the Furnace House having been planted the year before.
A few days after Honor Caroline was born there was a Day of Intercession for Foreign Missions.
8 May 1881 bap Honor Caroline bn 28 March 81 Arthur Henry & Mary Violet Austen Leigh W'bn Rectory Rector AH Austen Leigh
On Rogation Tuesday, May 24 1881, A.H.Austen Leigh, being Rector, and Samuel G Matthews & Walter Fisher being Church wardens, there was a special service in the Parish Church at 7 oclock in the evening, to pray for Gods blessing on the crops & the Parish, and also for the advancement of the Missionary work of the Church, that day having been recommended by the Bishops of Church to be observed as a day of Intercession for Foreign Missions
Living at the Rectory at the time of the 1881 census were:
Arthur H. AUSTIN LEIGH M 45 M Speen, Berkshire Head Rector Of Winterbourne Mary V. AUSTIN LEIGH M 22 F Swaffham, Norfolk Wife Mary D. AUSTIN LEIGH 3 F Winterbourn, Gloucester Daur Voilet W. AUSTIN LEIGH 1 F Winterbourn, Gloucester Daur Caroline AUSTIN LEIGH 1m F Winterbourn, Gloucester Daur Ellen H. HALLSAY M 44 F Haigh, Lancashire Mother In Law Gentlemans Wife
The following servants were listed as living at the Winterbourne Rectory in the 1881 census:
Interestingly, according to the earlier 1871 census Mary E Tugwood lived with her grandmother Elizabeth Stevens (retired laundress), mother Eliza Tugwood (laundress), and sister Eliza on the Boveney Court farm estate (tied cottages?). Perhaps grandfather and father had died and the family members were allowed by Edward Evans to continue living in the property and later Mary was recommended by the Evans family as nursery maid for baby Caroline (and Violet?) in Winterbourne.
Mary Ann PORTSMOUTH M 45 F East Meon, Hampshire Sevt Cook (Dom) Margarett JAMES U 21 F Maidstone,Kent,England Servant Nurse (Dom) Emily M. GRAVEST OR GRAVETT U 25 F Epsom, Surrey Servant Parlour Maid Louisa F. LANG U 20 F Bradford Abbass, Dorset Servant House Maid Mary E. TUGWOOD U 14 F Boveney, Buckingham Servant Nursery Maid William PORTSMOUTH M 40 M Salford, Surrey Servant Coachman (D) Hannah HORSMAN M 55 F Thornbury, Gloucester Servant Monthly Nurse
Was this the living quarters for some of the servants?
In 1882 a water surveyor wrote 'Some years ago it was proposed to supply a portion of Bristol with water from the Frampton Cotterell iron mines, which are in the Pennant, and the analysis made of the water showed it to be of good quality'. Subsequently a Frampton Cotterell iron mine was acquired by the West Gloucestershire Water Company. On 10 March 1884, Arthur Henry chaired a local meeting to consider a scheme by the new Waterworks Company: 'Sir,
I forward a resolution passed at a Meeting of the Inhabitants of Winterbourn held this day in the schoolroom for the purpose of considering the proposed scheme of the new Waterworks Company.
That this meeting requests the Rector to receive from Mr Doggett an undertaking of the part of the Company that those parts of the Parish of Winterbourn which lose water owing to the action of the Company shall be compensated on the same principle as that on which they have undertaken to compensate the Parish of Frampton Cotterell, & that subject to such an undertaking it is of opinion that the proposed scheme will be beneficial to the Parish.
A H Austen Leigh
Bristol Waterworks laid a ten-inch water main in Winterbourne High Street in 1890, although main drainage was not laid in the High Street until 1954 and in Green Lane/Swan Lane in 1964.
But in Arthur Henry's time at the rectory, this pump was their only source of fresh water!
Here are details from the baptismal register for James Edward, Lois Emma (she later wrote four novels) and Lionel Arthur:
23 July 1882 bap James Edward bn 11 June 82 Arthur Henry & Mary Violet Austen Leigh Winterbourn Rectory Rector AHA Leigh
12 Aug 1883 bap Lois Emma bn 10 July 83 Arthur Henry & Mary Violet Austen Leigh Winterbourn Rectory Rector AH Austen Leigh
1 Nov 1886 bap Lionel Arthur bn 22 Sep 86 Arthur Henry & Mary Violet Austen Leigh W'bourn Rectory Rector AH Austen Leigh
Arthur Henry and Mary Violet eventually had seven children.
In April, 1883 Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh went on holiday, and left the Churchwardens' Accounts and other documents at Winterbourne Court (the old Manor House) for safe keeping. In the early hours of 2nd April 1883, a fire destroyed the building and many important details of church life went up in smoke (note in Parish Records). Where he went on holiday is not known, but we know that the following year, Arthur Henry spent five weeks away from Winterbourne
and the family went on holiday to Bournemouth.
Parish Magazine. 1884, JUNE. St Michael's, Winterbourne. The Rector will be away from home for 4. or 5 weeks after Trinity Sunday. During his absence the Rev WA Moberly will be resident at the Rectory.
Bournemouth is a resort town with a short history, and it did not have a newspaper until 1858. This was the Bournemouth Visitors' Directory which luckily for our researches consisted mainly of lists of visitors!
The entry on page three for Saturday July 26 1884 reads "Mrs Day.*Rev AH and Mrs Austen-Leigh and family, Miss Taylor" staying at the West Cliff Hotel, West Cliff Road, Bournemouth.
June Bisp's grandmother, Rose Bignell, née Skidmore, worked at Winterbourne Rectory as a nursery maid to the Rev. Austen-Leigh's children. When they went away, she went with them and always spoke of going to Eastbourne for holidays. This engraving of Cornfield Terrace found amongst family effects may well illustrate the actual place where the family used to stay in Eastbourne. 12 and 21 have been annotated on the picture.
Other dates from his diary.
A special service was held on Tuesday 21st June 1887 to mark the Queen's Jubilee:
from the Frenchay Big Book 1887
The Queen's Accession, June 1837. Her Majesty's Jubilee, 21st June, 1887. A Form of Thanksgiving & Prayer to Almighty God, upon the completion of fifty years of Her Majesty's Reign; to be used on Tuesday the 21st day of June next, and certain other days as herein appointed, in all churches and chapels in England and Wales, and in the Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. By Authority.
from the Frenchay Big Book 1888
Hambrook. The opening service and dedication of the New Sunday School and Service Room will take place on Wednesday evening, Dec 12th, at 8pm. The Sermon will be preached by Rev AH Austen-Leigh, Vicar of Winterbourne. The collection will be given to the Furnishing Fund, for the which about £ 10 is still required.
Special Services were held on Thursday evenings at 8pm at Frenchay Parish Church during Lent 1890. Arthur Henry was the preacher on March 6th, and interestingly, his successor, Rev ATS Goodrick was the preacher three weeks later... one of Arthur Henry's last offices, and probably ATS Goodrick's first!
from the Frenchay Big Book 1890
Frenchay. Lent, 1890. There will be Special Services at the Parish Church on Thursday evenings at 8pm. Preachers: Feb 27 Rev J Mackie, Rector of Fylton. Mar 6 Rev AH Austen-Leigh, Rector of Winterbourne. Mar 13 Rev FWF Bishop, Vicar of Winterbourne Down. Mar 20 Rev GH Jackson, Vicar of Tytherington. Mar 27 Rev ATS Goodrick, Fellow and Tutor of St John's College, Oxford. The offertories will be given to the Hospitals.
Rev C Pickels was the Organizing Secretary of the Church of England Temperance Society
WINTERBOURN PARISH MAGAZINE. APRIL 1890 My Dear Friends, Your kindness will give me an opportunity of saying good-bye to many of you in person, on Easter Tuesday; I hope also to say something of what is in my mind on the morning of Palm Sunday, and in St.Michael's Room on Easter Day, which will be my last Sunday here; but still I cannot write for the last time in our Parish Magazine, without assuring you that I leave Winterbourn with very many regrets. I have passed fourteen happy years amongst you; I have tried to do my duty as your Rector, and I have met with much help and kindness at your hands. For this accept my grateful thanks. I do not say that there have been no disappointments. I have failed in some things, where I hoped to have shown more power, and to have met with more success; and there are some who have deeply grieved me, by falling away from their early promise, and turning their backs upon my teaching and upon what I consider to be right and true. Still I feel that I have much to be thankful for, and I trust that I am thankful to God for whatever measure of success may have attended my ministry here, and for the atmosphere of kindly feeling and mutual respect which He has shed upon us. I hope that by midsummer, if not before, you will have another Rector, and that you will give him a friendly welcome, and show yourselves willing to work with him, ready to receive his teaching. Until then I am glad to think that the services at the Church and St. Michael's Room, will be carried on by one who is already known to you; and that the Sunday School, Clubs and Magazine will, thanks to voluntary help, not be allowed to drop. And now I wish you all good-bye. That God may bless all in this Parish is the prayer of Your faithful Friend, AUSTEN H. AUSTEN LEIGH. NOTICES - The Rev.C Pickels will have charge of the Parish from Friday, April 11th.
FRENCHAY PARISH MAGAZINE. JUNE, 1889. On Sunday, June 2nd, the Rev C Pickels (Organizing Secretary of the Church of England Temperance Society) will speak specially to the children belonging to the Band of Hope, at the afternoon Services in St. Michael's Room.
WINTERBOURN PARISH MAGAZINE. APRIL 1890 There will be a meeting in the School on Easter Tuesday Evening at 8 o'clock, when Mr. and Mrs. Austen Leigh have kindly promised to be present, in order that the Parishioners may take a farewell of them. Tickets for admission to Parishioners must be applied for at the School, on Easter Monday, at 11.30. No one will be admitted on Tuesday Evening without a Ticket, and no Tickets will be given at the door.
WINTERBOURN PARISH MAGAZINE. MAY 1890 The Meeting at the School on Easter Tuesday, to present a testimonial and say goodbye to the Rev. A.H.Austen-Leigh, was well attended. The Chair was taken by Mr Marsh, and the presentation, which consisted of an illuminated address and a hall clock, was made by Dr. Crossman. Mr P Turner also presented an inkstand and pair of candlesticks, on behalf of past and present members of the Choir. The Rev Dr Belcher and the Rev F W F Bishop made speeches, and the Rev A H Austen-Leigh thanked the Parishioners in his own name and that of Mrs Austen-Leigh, for the kindness which they had met with during the 14 years' Rectorship in the Parish: mentioning especially the obligation he was under to Mr P Turner - his organist, to the Choir, to his schoolmaster - Mr Day and to his volunteer Sunday School teachers.
Move to WargraveThe family left Winterbourne and Arthur Henry became Vicar of Wargrave 18 April 1890. The youngest son, Arthur Alexander was born in 1890. The 1891 census recorded the family living at The Vicarage, High Street, Wargrave, East Berkshire: Arthur Henry and Mary Violet, four daughters and three sons. There were seven servants: a 'lady help' (Alice Davison from Maidstone, Kent), nurse, cook, parlour maid, schoolroom maid, housemaid, and kitchen maid.
He returned to his old school, St Peter's College, Radley on Sunday 3 July 1892 (the Sunday after the Annual Commemoration Day) to preach a sermon on Psalm xvi.6, "A Goodly Heritage". The » sermon was later published as an eleven-page book by special request (also as "A Goodly Heritage"). It was published by Parker and Co. London in 1892 and a copy is on deposit in the British Museum.
Arthur Henry was one of the first Wargrave Parish Councillors, elected 28 November 1894.
Only three photographs of Arthur-Henry have been found during this research: the first are two featured in "The Book of Wargrave", and the third is featured in "The Illustrated Book of Wargrave" (2011). Our thanks to Peter Delaney and the Wargrave Local History Archive for these.
The first shows him with the family outside the Old Vicarage:
left to right: Lois Emma(b1883), Arthur Alexander(b1890), James Edward(b1882), Rev Arthur Henry, Mary Dorothy(b1878), Honor Caroline(b1881), Violet Winifred(b1879), Mrs Austen-Leigh, Lionel Arthur(b1886)
The second was taken at a tea party in the garden in the 1890s:
The third shows Arthur Henry, Mary Violet and two grandchildren:
He retired from the parish at age 75, in 1911.
His last entry in Crockford's Clerical Directory (1917) read:
AUSTEN - LEIGH, Arthur Henry, 2, Southcote-road, Reading.-Late Fell. of St. John's Coll. Ox. Craven Scho. 1857, B.A. (2nd cl. Lit. Hum. & 1st cl. Law, &c.) 1860, M.A. 1866, B.D. 1872. U 1864, p 1865 Ox. f C. of Ch. Ch. Maryle- bone, 1865-67; Bray, Berks, 1867-74 ; R. of Winter- bourn, Glos. 1875-90 ; V. of Wargrave 1890-1911.
Arthur Henry Austen-Leigh died at his home 2, Southcote Road, Reading, Berkshire on Sunday 29 July 1917, aged 81, and was buried on 2 August 1917 at St Mary Wargrave. His obituary appeared in "The Times", Tuesday 31 July on page 3:
REV. A. H. AUSTEN LEIGH. The death occurred at 2, Southcote-road, Reading, on Sunday, of the Rev. Arthur Henry Austen Leigh, B.D. He was educated at Oxford, where he won the Craven Scholarship in 1857, and took second class honours in Lit.Hum. and first class in Law, 1860, being subsequently elected a Fellow of St.John's College. He was rector of Winterbourn, Glos, from 1875-90, and afterwards until 1911 vicar of Wargrave. He was 81 years of age.
His death was reported in "The Clergy List" 1917.
Details of Probate are held by Berkshire Record Office as file D/ECD B1/288 1917 under
"The Revd. Arthur Henry Austen Leigh of Reading, clerk, (d.1917)"
The records were deposited in May 1981 (acc. 2893) by Collins Dryland and Thorowgood, solicitors, Reading.
Mary Violet died aged 78 in Eastbourne, December 1936, and was buried at St Mary Wargrave.
Mary Dorothy died in 1972, also at Eastbourne.
As for the rest of the family, in 1910 Lionel Arthur went to live in Victoria, British Columbia, until WWI, when he joined the Royal Field Artillery to fight in France as a Lieutenant with the British Expeditionary Force. He survived and returned to Victoria. He died age 74 on 26 October 1969, Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada.
Arthur Alexander was Captain 2nd/4th Battalion in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, was wounded in 1917 in France and killed in action during the closing months of WWI.
Memorial in Wargrave Church
from the Wargrave Roll of Honour; courtesy of Wargrave Branch of the Royal British Legion
AUSTEN-LEIGH, Arthur Alexander. Captain 2nd/4th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, killed in action in France 11th May 1918, aged 27. He was the youngest son of Rev. Henry Austen-Leigh, Vicar of Wargrave 1890-1911. He was in Canada when he volunteered in 1914 and was wounded in 1917 before being killed in the closing months of the war. He has no known grave but his name is commemorated on Panels 56 to 57 of the Pozieres Memorial, a village about 6 kilometres north-east of Albert.
He was at Charterhouse 1904 -1907. The Godalming, Charterhouse Roll of Honour gives the additional information that he originally joined the 8th Battalion and was later attached to the 53rd Trench Mortar battery.
Tony Chew, Archivist at Clayesmore School, Dorset, has researched Old Clayesmorians who died serving their country during the Great War, and kindly sent the following additional information:
"Arthur came to Clayesmore (which was then in the buildings that now house Pangbourne College) at the age of 17 from Charterhouse. Here is an article that I produced for the Old Clayesmorian magazine: 268 is his number in the register and Lex is Alexander Devine, Founder and first Headmaster of Clayesmore.
Another OC who is not on the Roll of Honour is Arthur Alexander Austen-Leigh (268). He was related to Jane Austen but Lex's notes in the Register says he has "no facility for writing". "Critical frame of mind. Sense of humour. Takes a long time to trust people" He too is on another school's Roll of Honour, that of Charterhouse: "Captain. Born 27th August 1890; 2nd son of the Rev. Arthur Henry and Mary Violet Austen-Leigh, of Wargrave, nr Reading. He was at Charterhouse [R] 1904 - 1907. He was commissioned into the Royal Berkshire Regiment, joined 8th Bn. and was later attached to 53rd Trench Mortar Battery. He was killed in action on 11th May 1918, aged 27." He is commemorated on one of the panels at the Pozieres Cemetary (Panel 56/57) outside Albert, where another OC, Edward Fairlie (53) is also commemorated.
Some of these details were also recorded in The Berkshire Archaelogical Journal.
In March 2014 Tony Chew contacted us again to report that he had recently come back from a school trip to Ypres and the Somme where they had a service attended, by the headmaster, staff, the Chaplain, some old Clayesmorians and 42 Year 10 students at St Georges Chapel, Ypres. They blessed a plaque to the 39 (it may be 40 now - Tony has found another OC not on the roll) who form the roll of honour. It was a nice service. By strange coincidence the OC he was in touch with lives in Wargrave. On their way into Albert they stopped at Pozieres and left a wreath to AAAL and another OC, Edward Fairlie.
Cholmeley died in 1899; Emma Cassandra died in 1902; Spencer died 9 December 1913 at Frog-Firle, Alfriston, Sussex; Edward Compton died 3 April 1916: William died 27 November 1921 at Roehampton: Mary Augusta died 1922 and Charles Edward died 1924.
In 1988 » Centenary Celebrations were held commemorating St Michael's Rooms. One of his grandsons, Henry Jenkyns, attended.
Two books signed by Rev Arthur Henry and his wife were discovered in a box in a loft in September 2007. Here's the email announcing this exciting discovery.
----- Original Message ----- From: Pat Currie Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:13 PM Subject: A.H. Austen Leigh Dear Mr Kite, We have a Holy Communion book signed "Eliza Maggie Ingram from A.H. Austen Leigh 1897" and a book entitled "The Narrow Way" "Maggie Ingram from Mrs Austen Leigh - In remembrance of March 7. 1897". Maggie Ingram was born in 1882. Her father James was a "coachman" in 1881, and the family lived at Backsideans, Wargrave. I believe James died somewhere between 1891 and 1895. At some time, the family moved to Reading, and I have just discovered that Sarah, widow of James, married Richard Harry Potter in 1895. Maggie Ingram became Mrs E.M. Fuller in 1914, living in West London, and was the mother-in-law of my husband's late aunt. Before her marriage, Maggie travelled extensively in Europe and the USA from 1911 to 1914, in the company of Mrs Emily Crane Chadbourne, and whilst in London they lived at 7, Park Lane. Mrs Chadbourne was a friend of Gertrude Stein, and a sitter for artists such as Augustus John. We have only discovered the above information in the last two weeks, when we discovered a box containing postcards and the books mentioned, and have been searching for a connection ever since, which led us to your excellent web-page of the Reverend A.H. Austen-Leigh. Any further information would be gratefully received! Do you think it is possible that the Ingrams may have been employed by the Austen-Leighs?
We have yet to venture into the loft at Hammersmith, and if I find anything else that sheds light on the mystery, I will let you know! In the meantime, I attach the signed pages from the Holy Communion - Simple Preparation and The Narrow Way books. Many thanks and kind regards, Pauline and Patrick Currie
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT ARTHUR HENRY AUSTEN-LEIGH OR CAN ADD ANYTHING TO THIS WEBPAGE
» I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!