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The Chichester Family

Each page of the account book details how the 'remains' of the money from the rents, that is, minus the money paid out in bills owing for work of various kinds around the estate, was distributed. Each of the following received a quarter share during their life-time.

  1. J.C.Nagle

  2. Lady Chichester

  3. Lady Constable

  4. Miss Chichester

1. J.C.Nagle

This was Joseph Chichester Nagle, or rather Joseph Chichester, 1792-1880. He had taken his grandmother's name of Nagle on inheriting her estates in Ireland, but unlike the Constable family (below) the name was not passed on to his descendants who remained as Chichester.

Joseph was the eldest son of Charles Chichester who was himself second son of John Chichester of Arlington by his second wife, Mary MacDonald.

Charles (1770-1837) married Honoria ffrench of Rahasane in Ireland. He was the only remaining member of the Chichester family who remained a Catholic, the rest of them having conformed to the Established Church.

Honoria's aunt (or great-aunt?) also called Honoria, and known as 'Nano Nagle', founded the order of Presentation nuns and a group of them are known to have visited Calverleigh. Honoria Nagle's uncles or great-uncles, Joseph Nagle (c1724-1813) and David Nagle (c1719-1800) lived at Calverleigh, though, like the rest of the family this did not mean they remained there all the time as they had other estates especially in Ireland and many of both families had a house in London. David Nagle is commemorated by a large plaque in Calverleigh church. (The exact genealogy of the Nagle family remains to be clarified)

Charles died at Calverleigh Court in 1837. When he was very ill his daughter Eliza thought a rabbit pie, his favourite, might tempt him to eat. She wrote to her married sister, Marianne, Lady Constable at Burton Constable on 17 Jan 1837 to tell her about the death of their father that day. "I have been down to dinner as usual but the first thing I saw was a rabbit - it had been shot on purpose for him by my desire by Jackson."

After the death of Charles Chichester the income from Templeton was divided between his four children.  Joseph always received his part first and then wages of 24 were deducted (perhaps George's, the account book doesn't say) and also bank commission. After that the remains were divided between the other three, young Charles till his death in 1847, his share being then passed to his wife Marianne, and Eliza. Lady Chichester's share was paid into Cox & Co Bank, London and the other two into Coutts & Co. Bank London. Full details of this can be seen in the copies of the account book. From the entries it appears that the actual cash was paid into the bank at Exeter and the accounts were dealt with by "Sanders". This Sanders can be identified with Edward A.Sanders, aged 68 in 1881, Banker and Magistrate living then at Stoke House, Exeter Heaviltree.

Joseph Chichester married Henrietta Caroline Fellowes.Henrietta's surname was originally Wallop and her father, Newton Fellowes, was brother to John Charles Wallop, the third Earl of Portsmouth. (Another title wasBaron Wallop of Farleigh Wallop, another of their family estates in Hampshire).Newton inherited his estates in Devon from his maternal uncle, Henry ArthurFellowes of Eggesford.White's Directory of Devonshire of 1850 states that theHon. Newton Fellowes was then lord of the manor of Witheridge and 'owner of agreat part of the parish'. His main residence was at Eggesford though he moved to a new house at Wembworthy when Eggesford was demolished (or burnt down.Details of this not known at present). (See Genuki Witheridge and Eggesford on links page)

An interesting note here is that John, 3rd Earl, had the title of Lord Lymington before he became Earl, the title taken from one of the Wallop estates in Hampshire, that at Lymington. Their main residence was at Hurstbourne Park. In 1773, at the age of six, he was sent to Jane Austen's father at Steventon Rectory, Hampshire, for his early education! Unfortunately John had a rather disastrous career. Two marriages failed and Henrietta's father succeeded as 4th Earl of Portsmouth about 1850 or so when John was declared insane. John's only son, Henry Wallop, had died unmarried in 1847.

Joseph Chichester inherited Calverleigh Court. He had a large family and his descendants remained at Calverleigh till the last of the eldest line sold it in 1930.

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2. Lady Chichester

This is where the family tree begins to get complicated! Catholic landowners like the rest of the 'gentry' wished to make 'suitable' matches for their sons and daughters. Unfortunately for the Catholics their numbers were decreasing while they remained subject to draconian laws about inheriting property and paying fines for non-attendance at church among other difficulties. Consequently these families are very inter-connected. Mary Barbara Constable was actually a cousin of Sir Charles Chichester whom she married in 1826. To add to the confusion her brother Thomas married Charles' sister - brother and sister marrying sister and brother who were also cousins!

The use of the name 'Mary' before the 'given' name often confuses family trees. It was a very common Catholic practice at this time, tacked on to the 'proper' name for most girls in such families and it is always essential to add the second if known, the 'Barbara' being the identifier in this case.

The confusion doesn't end there. The Constables were really Cliffords, children of a younger son of the Cliffords of Ugbrooke and cousins of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. The boys, Charles Chichester, Thomas Constable and a future Lord Clifford were all contemporaries at Stonyhurst College, the Jesuit school in Lancashire, in the early years of the century. There was also a P.Nagle there too who must have been a cousin. Most of the boys there were in fact related to each other, sometimes several times over through their extended and well-recorded families.

Stonyhurst was a very small school at the time, a dozen or so boys and a few teachers having made a dramatic escape . from Liege in Belgium in 1793 when the French revolution reached them. They took refuge in a house belonging to members of the Weld family of Dorset. The school was founded in France at the end of the 16th century when Catholic schools were forbidden in England and even going to one abroad was dangerous. Chichester sons had been sent there and the family had been involved in the school since the beginning. A few, like the Cliffords too, became Jesuits themselves.

Until the 19th century Catholics were not allowed to become officers so they often went abroad and joined the Austrian. army but once restrictions were lifted in England many rose rapidly into the upper ranks. Sir Charles Chichester had a very distinguished career. He had many postings abroad in Europe and the Americas and took part in many major battles being wounded twice. He was knighted in 1840 and in 1842 was for a time Acting Governor in Trinidad. He died in 1847 in Toronto, Canada, after a short illness and the income from Templeton passed to his wife.

Lady Mary Barbara (Constable) Chichester outlived her husband by many years, dying on Dec 14th 1876.

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3. Lady Constable

Lady Mary Anne (Chichester) Constable is the second example of the confusion outlined above. She was a daughter of Charles Chichester senior and married her cousin, (brother of Lady Chichester, no.2 above). Her 'proper' name was Anne, not Mary! She received income from the Templeton estates in her own right of course, being a Chichester.

The father of Sir Thomas Constable, the 2nd baronet,was also Sir Thomas Constable, the first of the line, or, to give him his full title, Sir Thomas Aston Clifford Constable. . This elder Thomas had lived many years in Paris. He was very involved with the French emigres from the Revolution and entertained the future Louis XVIII, who was in exile in England twice at his house in Bath. In 1814 he was knighted in 1814 at Louis' request. He was a botanist and topographer. With his brother Arthur he published a history of the Tixall (Staffordshire) estates in 1817. In 1821 he succeeded to the estates of Tixall and also Burton Constable in the East Riding of Yorkshire near Hull through a distant cousin, Cuthbert Tunstall. Cuthbert Tunstall had long been called Cuthbert Constable since he inherited the estates himself from a cousin. Now that Thomas Clifford took the name of Constable as his only name, becoming Thomas Constable. He died in 1823 and his son inherited the various estates. Burton Constable then became the main residence of this 'Constable' family.

Once again the name change was due to the inheritance. In fact it was usually a condition of the inheritance. Beware the history which claims that someone is descended from a very long family line - it has been said in this case with reference to the Constable family. Others claim on the contrary that the male line in any family dies out after about five generations!

Burton Constable, where Lady Constable now took up residence, is an Elizabethan house with 18th century state rooms. With 4 acres of lawns and gardens, 200 acres of parkland and 22 acres of lakes laid out by Capability Brown it was very much on a grander scale than Calverleigh Court.

Thomas and Mary Anne only had one child, Frederick Augustus Talbot Clifford Constable (known as Talbot) who was the third and last baronet. He was known more briefly as 'Lord Clifford Constable'. When Talbot died in 1895 Walter George Raleigh Chichester, grandson of Sir Charles Chichester and Lady Mary Barbara, and son of Talbot's cousin, inherited the Burton Constable and other estates through his mother - the 'Constable' line, not his father's line of Chichesters. He then assumed the name of Constable by royal licence and became known as Chichester-Constable.

Lady Mary Barbara and Lady Mary Anne, cousins and sisters-in-law, frequently travelled on the continent together, often on very long tours, with many of their children and other companions. Burke's Landed Gentry does not list the child that was born to Lady Mary Barbara in the Pyrenees - Sebastian - for he unfortunately died at Cork, Ireland, on the way home and was buried there. Presumably they were on their way to stay at one of the Irish estates. (There was also a pageboy listed at Calverleigh Court in 1851 who came from there.) Lady Mary Anne also seems to have travelled everywhere with her husband. One of her sons has left a diary of his visits to South America and to the West Indies.

The letters and diaries of these people are preserved at the Record Office in the centre of Beverley, Yorkshire.

A long report entitled 'Hunting', with the sub-heading 'Sir Clifford Constable', appeared in 'The Field, the Country Gentleman's Newspaper' on Mar.1st 1862.

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4. Miss Chichester

Burke rarely gives birth dates for daughters, or any other information if they did not marry. Not much is known therefore about Eliza Chichester, or in a variation of the practice mentioned above, Eliza Mary Chichester. It was common for the eldest - and only the eldest - of unmarried daughters to be called 'Miss' as if it was a title. People were addressed very formally at that time and her first name would not have been used by anyone outside the family.

Eliza remained at home, at first managing the household for her father. After his death she was often away with her sister and sister-in-law. She also travelled to Yorkshire via Tixall which must have been a convenient place to break a long and uncomfortable journey. One of her letters described the discomforts of bad weather in some detail as she was obliged to ride 'outside' (perched on the seats on top of the coach) for part of the journey. In 1851 Emma Jackson accompanied her to Burton Constable as lady's maid. It seems to have been quite a large house party. In those days people tended to stay for weeks on a visit rather than days!

A note which must be in Lady Constable's handwriting (quite different from George Jackson's) on the bills page of the account book for 4 Nov 1857 says, "Having received a Letter from my Sister this morning with regard to the 3 shares in the L.C.Bank I have decided to buy my Sisters half Share." L.C.Bank would almost certainly be the 'London Coutts Bank'. Perhaps Eliza was very ill and was anxious to sort out her affairs or else it was written at a later date than the page it was on. In either case the book might have been left open on the table for George to see when collecting the rents. The change in the shares took effect on May 2nd 1860 when Lady Constable received two, Miss Chichester (Eliza) not being included from then on. The date of Eliza's death is still not known.

Many of the letters (at Beverley Record Office) remain to be read. Since many of them were written from Devon they may yet turn out to be of local interest.

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