The lives of Henry Atcherley, his wives, and their families (Part 1)

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I love the fact that even after spending many hundreds of hours researching the Atcherley family, its members can still surprise me. One such surprise, a bombshell in fact, came when I looked at the expanded collection of London Workhouse records at Ancestry this week. In one of the Porters Admission and Discharge Registers for Christ Church Workhouse, Southwark, was Henry Atcherley, who had died in the workhouse on 15 March 1900. Listed in the column headed “Address of Relations or Friends” was a niece, Mrs Tilley, who I recognised. Beneath this entry was the bombshell, someone I certainly did not recognise: a son of Henry Atcherley, named William Lockyer!

This discovery has sparked a few days of intensive research into Henry Atcherley and his complicated family life. Although some gaps in my knowledge remain, I now know much more about Henry and those who were, if only temporarily, close to him. In this article I will look at the early part of Henry’s life, and the first of his two families.

Henry Atcherley was born on 23 April 1824 at Walworth in the parish of Newington, Surrey. However he was not baptised until 1 January 1832. The baptism register of Newington St Mary shows that Henry originally had two forenames – William Henry – the first of which he dropped. The register also shows that Henry’s older brother George Atcherley (born on 9 August 1819) was baptised with him. The entries for the two boys recorded their parents’ names as James and Sarah Atcherley, their family’s abode as Missionary Place, Walworth, and the “Quality, Trade, or Profession” of their father as “Gent”. James was certainly a Gentleman, but he was also a retired Captain of the Royal Marines (see An Atcherley at Trafalgar). And although Sarah, the mother of George and Henry, was given the surname Atcherley she was not in fact married to James. Her real surname, which she chose not to use, was Perkins.

Within three years of the baptisms of George and Henry, Captain James Atcherley was dead. This left Sarah to complete the upbringing of his youngest sons. The trio did not remain at Missionary Place. By 1841 Sarah, George and Henry were living nearby at Clandon Street in Walworth. The family name was not written accurately or clearly on the enumerator’s schedule – my reading of it is “Alcherty”. One result of this is that now, over a century and half later, transcriptions of the surname on the major genealogy websites include Alberty and Alchesty. I found these ‘missing’ Atcherleys by searching for Henry (no surname), born 1824 (+/- 2 years) in the St Mary Newington Registration District.

The 1841 census is the last record in which I have found Henry’s older brother George. He was then aged 21 and he was working as a labourer, his fate is unknown. It is also the last census on which another brother, John Atcherley (born 26 October 1817), appeared. He was enumerated at Greenwich, Kent, on the Dreadnought Hospital Ship for Seamen. Though he was 23 years old his age was (like George’s) rounded down to 20 on the census schedule. He was an Able Seaman, but the letter ‘P’ written beside that designation showed that he was a patient.

The Dreadnought, hospital ship for seamen, at Greenwich (Wellcome Library, London)

The Dreadnought, a former Royal Navy man-of-war run by the Seamen’s Hospital Society. The census showed that on the night of 6/7 June 1841, in addition to John and his fellow patients, the ship was occupied by two surgeons, three medical surgical pupils, a nurse/barber, five nurses, naval crew with families, and a female servant. When John Atcherley died aboard the hospital ship on 16 October 1841, he passed away on a vessel which had fought with his father’s at Trafalgar. John was buried at Walworth St Peter on 23 October 1841, the place where James Atcherley of the Royal Marines had been laid to rest some seven years earlier.

There was another son of Captain James Atcherley and Sarah Perkins, who was named after his father. Sadly, all I know about James Atcherley junior is that he was born on 26 October 1815 and that he survived long enough to be baptised, along with his younger brother John and one of his two older sisters, Eleanora, at Newington St Mary on 2 January 1818. (I shall write about the daughters of James and Sarah in due course.)

As for Henry Atcherley, he was 17 at the time of the 1841 census (his age was rounded down to 15 by the enumerator), and he was employed as an engineer. He would spend most of his remaining years fitting, driving or otherwise working with steam engines. On 13 August 1850 Henry was ‘ticketed’ as a merchant seaman (Register Ticket 478,836, Capacity Engineer). Although his entry in the register of merchant seamen stated that Henry first went to sea (as an engineer) in 1850, it showed no reported voyages from 1845 to 1854. The register did however record a few facts about Henry’s appearance. He was 5 foot 7¼ inches in height and he had a fresh complexion, brown hair, blue eyes, and no distinguishing marks.

The census of 1851 found Henry, an engine fitter, at 16 Brandon Street in Walworth with his mother. Sarah declared her surname to be Atcherley, and her marital status as Widow. Henry on the other hand stated that he was unmarried. Although this was true, the same census included, elsewhere in the same parish, a woman who had, like Henry’s mother, taken the Atcherley surname without having actually married. The ‘husband’ of the woman in question was Henry, although he seems to have been an ‘absent father’ at that time.

Arabella Atcheby (as her name was written), a dress maker aged 25, was living at London Street, Newington, with her daughters Arabella, 5, and Ellen, 3. All were born at Newington. Although Arabella stated that she was married, I have found no record of such an event. The birth certificate for her first daughter (see extract below) shows that she was Arabella Dackombe, and her age and birthplace indicate that her parents were Daniel Dackombe and Mary Ann (nee Rook). She was born 11 May 1826 at Newington and baptised 14 June 1829 at Walworth St Peter.

Extract from GRO birth certificate for Arabella Atcherley (click to view at Flickr)

The baptism register of Walworth St Peter shows that Arabella’s daughter Arabella Maria Atcherley was born 19 May 1845 and baptised on 7 September 1845, when the family’s abode was at Lambeth. The register for St Mary Newington meanwhile shows that Ellen Sarah Atcherley was born 5 October 1847 and baptised on 19 May 1850, when the family was living in Guildford Street. In both cases the girls’ parents were named as Henry and Arabella Atcherley, and their father’s trade recorded as Engineer.

Between the arrivals of these two girls another daughter had been born – and had also died. As with her sisters, Mary Ann Atcherley’s birth was registered (so too was her death), but she was not baptised. She was interred, aged just 6 weeks, on 20 November 1846 at Walworth St Peter (pictured below), the burial register showing that her family’s home was in Eltham Street. Another daughter by the name of Mary Anne was to follow. It appears that Henry’s spouse Arabella (perhaps, at that point, his ex-spouse) was pregnant when the 1851 census was taken, and that Mary Anne Atcherley was born later the same year. I have, unfortunately, found no record of her birth being registered, nor of a baptism taking place.

Walworth St Peter

Ten years on, Arabella was still a dressmaker living at Newington (at 5 Frederick Street), now with three girls, and she gave her status as ‘wife’. But by this time her family’s surname had been corrupted further, to Atchley. It was to remain that way, with all three daughters using it when they married.

Banns of marriage between Arabella Maria Atchley and John George Hilder were read at Christ Church in Southwark in April 1870 (the register giving Arabella’s surname as Hatchley). Although these banns were not followed by a wedding at that time, the couple appeared on the 1871 census as John G and Arabella M Hilder, a married couple. Banns were read again, at the same church, in December 1873 (this time John was said to be a Widower rather than a Bachelor), but once again there were no nuptials. John and Arabella finally tied the knot, at Emmanuel in Camberwell, on 26 December 1875. John’s death was registered at St Saviour Southwark about three years later in the first quarter 1878, but I have not found any further records for Arabella.

Ellen Sarah Atchley married with her first cousin Aquila Dackombe at Newington Trinity on 29 March 1869 (Aquila later acted as a witness when John Hilder finally ‘made an honest woman’ of Arabella Maria Atchley in 1875). Aquila and Ellen lived at Flint Street, Walworth, where they had seven children before Ellen died in 1881. More information about this family can be found on the Dackombe Family History and Genealogy website.

Mary Anne Atchley wed Thomas Gussin, a brewer, at Newington on 3 August 1873 and resided with him in Lambeth until she passed away in 1891. Her husband survived her by a mere two years, his death being registered in 1893.

Arabella, Ellen and Mary Atchley all named their father as Henry Atchley, an engineer, when their marriage register entries were completed. Whether there was any contact between Henry and his daughters around this time however is debateable, although it can’t be ruled out as Henry continued to live in or near to Walworth. (As we will see, at one point he resided in Flint Street during the period when his daughter Ellen and her husband Aquila Dackombe had their home there.)

I have yet to find the mother of Henry’s daughters, Arabella Atchley, on the 1871 census. By 1881 however she was lodging in the household of Alfred T Buckingham and his family, at 19 Nursery Row, Newington. Now aged 53, she was still earning her living as a dressmaker. And it seems she had finally accepted that her relationship with Henry was over, as she described herself as a widow. She did so again two decades later when enumerated (as Bella Atchley) for the 1901 census at 26 Pitman Street, Camberwell. By that time Arabella was living with relatives, the Deacon family (she was recorded as an aunt), and was supported by Parish Relief. She had also lost her sight – the Infirmities column of the census schedule showed that she was blind. It is the last census on which I have found her.

The last census on which Henry’s mother Sarah appeared was that of 1861. Living at 59 Brandon Street, and still referring to herself as the widowed Sarah Atcherley, she was 59 and supporting herself by working as a needlewoman. Her death, towards the end of that year, was registered at Newington under her real name, Sarah Perkins. Her son Henry Atcherley was not recorded on that year’s census however – or so I thought. It turns out that, like his mother, he was not averse to changing his surname. Furthermore, it appears that he also took a leaf out of his father’s book – by abandoning his first spouse and children, and starting a second family with another woman.

Picture credits. The Dreadnought, hospital ship for seamen, at Greenwich: Image © Copyright Wellcome Library, London (image 30311i), adapted and used under a Creative Commons licence. Extract from GRO birth certificate for Arabella Atcherley: Image posted in compliance with General Register Office copyright guidance.Walworth St Peter: Image © Copyright Charles Thompson, taken from Geograph, adapted, used and made available for re-use under a Creative Commons licence.


[1] Index to Porters Admission and Discharge Register, Feb 1887 – Nov 1902, Christ Church Workhouse, Southwark (London Metropolitan Archives item ref SOBG/100/53). Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1659-1930.
[2] Newington St Mary, Surrey, baptism register covering 1832. Entries for George and William Henry Atcherley. Copies viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906. Indexed at FamilySearch, Batch C05563-2, Film 307700, 307701, 307702, 307703 (George, Henry).
[3] The National Archives, Kew, item ref PROB 11/1858/315: Will of James Atcherley, retired Captain of the Royal Marines of Walworth, Surrey. Proved 3 Mar 1836. “…I give and bequeath to my dear and constant friend and companion Sarah Perkins …”. Copy viewed at Ancestry – England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858. Indexed at TNA Discovery catalogue.
[4] War Office (1834), The Army List, for December, 1834. Page 82. Copy viewed at Hathi Trust Digital Library.
[5] The National Archives, Kew, item ref ADM 45/4/919 shows: James Atcherley, Captain Royal Marines (retired), who died: 30 October 1834. Notes on executor’s application for money owed by the Royal Navy. Indexed at TNA Discovery catalogue.
[6] 1841 census of England and Wales. Piece 1064, book 5, folio 43, page 34.
[7] 1841 census of England and Wales. Piece 489, book 19, folio 30, page 2.
[8] Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital. At: AIM25 (website, accessed 13 Apr 2015).
[9] The Dreadnought Seamen’s hospital. At: Port Cities London (Royal Museums Greenwich website, accessed 13 Apr 2015).
[10] Death of John Atcherly registered at Greenwich, December quarter 1841; volume 5, page 154.
[11] Date and place of death of John Atcherley from Barbara Lang. Information presumed to have been taken from death certificate.
[12] Walworth St Peter, Surrey, burial register covering 1841. Entry no. 896, John Atcherly. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980.
[13] Newington St Mary, Surrey, baptism register covering 1818. Entries 1013 to 1015, Eleanora, James and John Atcherley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906. Indexed at FamilySearch, Batch C05563-1, Film 307696, 307697, 307698, 307699 (Eleanora, James, John).
[14] The National Archives, Kew, item ref Series BT 113, piece 240, page 106 (Register of Merchant Seamen).
[15] 1851 census of England and Wales. Piece 1568, folio 390, page 17.
[16] 1851 census of England and Wales. Piece 1567, folio 340, page 53.
[17] Birth of Arabella Atcherley registered at Newington, June quarter 1845; volume IV (4), page 370.
[18] Walworth St Peter, Surrey, baptism register covering 1829. Entry for Arabella Dackombe. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906. Indexed at FamilySearch, Batch C05586-1, Film 307704, 307705.
[19] Walworth St Peter, Surrey, baptism register covering 1845. Entry 1325, Arabella Maria Atcherley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906.
[20] Walworth St Peter, Surrey, baptism register covering 1850. Entry 612, Ellen Sarah Atcherley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906.
[21] Birth of Ellen Atcherley registered at Newington, December quarter 1847; volume 4, page 353.
[22] Birth of Mary Ann Atcherley registered at Newington, December quarter 1846; volume 4, page 403.
[23] Death of Mary Ann Atcherley registered at Newington, December quarter 1846; volume 4, page 291.
[24] Walworth St Peter, Surrey, burial register covering 1846. Entry no. 339, Mary Ann Atcherley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980.
[25] 1861 census of England and Wales. Piece 344, folio 108, page 22.
[26] Southwark Christ Church, Surrey, banns register covering 1870. Entry for John George Hilder and Arabella Maria Hatchley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921.
[27] 1871 census of England and Wales. Piece 613, folio 71, page 62. 10 Salisbury Row, Walworth, Newington, Surrey. Head: John G Hilder, married, 34, hop [packer?], born Burwash, Sussex. Wife: Arabella M Hilder, married, 26, born Newington, Surrey.
[28] Southwark Christ Church, Surrey, banns register covering 1873. Entry for John George Hilder and Arabella Maria Atchley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921.
[29] Camberwell Emmanuel, Surrey, marriage register covering 1875. Entry for John George Hilder and Arabella Maria Atchley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921. Marriage registered at Camberwell, December quarter 1875; volume 1d, page 1137.
[30] Death of John George Hilder registered at St Saviour Southwark, March quarter 1878; volume 1d, page 77; age given as 41.
[31] Newington Trinity, Surrey, marriage register covering 1869. Entry for Aquilla Dackombe and Ellen Sarah Atchley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921. Marriage registered at Newington, March quarter 1869; volume 1d, page 241.
[32] 1871 census of England and Wales. Piece 619, folio 128, page 45. 2 Flint Street, Walworth, Newington, Surrey. Head: Aquila Dackombe, 23, undertaker, born Newington. Wife: Ellen Dackombe, 24, born Newington. Son: Aquila Dackombe, 1, born Newington.
[33] 1881 census of England and Wales. Piece 549, folio 12, page 17. 3 Flint Street, Walworth, Newington, Surrey. Head: Aquila Dackombe, 33, undertaker, born Newington. Wife: Ellen S Dackombe, 33, born Walworth. Son: Aquila Dackombe, 11, born Newington. Dau: Ellen Dackombe, 9, born Newington. Dau: Caroline M Dackombe, 8, born Newington. Dau: Fanny M Dackombe, 4, born Newington. Son: John T Dackombe, 2, born Newington. Dau: Emily A Dackombe, 10 months, born Newington.
[34] Death of Ellen Sarah Dackombe registered at St Saviour Southwark, December quarter 1881; volume 1d, page 82; age given as 34.
[35] Dackombe/Kefford Chart 0400. At: Dackombe Family History and Genealogy (website, accessed 13 Apr 2015).
[36] Walworth St Peter, Surrey, marriage register covering 1852. Entry for Thomas Gussin and Mary Ann Atchley. Copy viewed at Ancestry – London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921. Marriage registered at St Saviour Southwark, September quarter 1873; volume 1d, page 209.
[37] 1881 census of England and Wales. Piece 617, folio 95, page 60. 1 Alders Cottages, Lambeth, Surrey. Head: Thomas Gussin, 29, [? brewer], born Brixton. Wife: Mary A Gussin, 29, born Lambeth. Plus 3 lodgers (Jabeth Chorley, a general labourer; and 2 Metropolitan Police Constables).
[38] 1891 census of England and Wales. Piece 414, folio 44, page 20. 1 Alders Cottages, Lambeth, London. Head: Thomas Gussin, 39, bricklayer’s labourer, born Stockwell. Wife: Mary Gussin, 39, born Walworth. Plus a lodger (Jabeth Chorley, a carman).
[39] Death of Mary Ann A Gussin registered at Lambeth, December quarter 1891; volume 1d, page 331; age given as 39.
[40] Death of Thomas Gugsin registered at Lambeth, September quarter 1893; volume 1d, page 323; age given as 41. Note: Surname printed as Gugsin, almost certainly transcribed incorrectly from the original register entry.
[41] 1881 census of England and Wales. Piece 550, folio 38, page 24. 19 Nursery Row, Newington, Surrey.
[42] 1901 census of England and Wales. Piece 515, folio 43, page 26.
[43] 1861 census of England and Wales. Piece 337, folio 165, page 9.
[44] Death of Sarah Perkins registered at Newington, December quarter 1861; volume 1d, page 180.

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Bride and Joy: Celebrating an Atcherley marriage

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The day on which “Minnie” Caroline Frances Amherst Stacey became a member of the Atcherley family was a very special occasion – and not just for Caroline and her new husband. In the Shropshire, Denbighshire and Flintshire villages where David Francis Atcherley was ‘squire’ there were feasts and festivities arranged for many of the local inhabitants. Saturday 10 February 1866 was a day which would long be remembered by landlord and labourer alike.

Although the marriage of Caroline and David took place at St. George’s church, Hanover Square, in London (pictured above), the ceremony was performed by the Reverend George Egerton, rector of the groom’s home parish of Middle. The bride, who was described as “beautiful and accomplished”, wore a diamond necklace, earrings and brooch and “was attired in a white satin dress trimmed with a rich deep flounce of Bruxelles point lace, the head dress being a veil of the same material, fastened by a wreath of orange blossoms.”

Caroline was attended to by ten bridesmaids: Miss Atcherley (possibly David’s youngest sister, Anne Eleanor), Miss Willoughby, Miss Daniel-Tyssen, Miss M. Daniel-Tyssen, Miss Amy Tyssen, Miss Rose Tyssen, Miss Tyssen Amhurst, Miss Stacey, Miss Walker and Miss Lawrence. Five of the bridesmaids wore “white tarlatan dresses trimmed with ruches of pink satin ribbon, the other five with blue satin ribbon, and bonnets of white tulle trimmed with narcissus and forget-me-not.” As the bride’s father had died some 13 years before, Caroline was given away by her first cousin, Mr William Amhurst Tyssen Amhurst, the High Sheriff of Norfolk (pictured above; he was born William Amhurst Daniel-Tyssen and in 1877 changed his surname for the second time, to Tyssen-Amherst). The best man was Sir Edward Hamilton, Baronet.

After the ceremony “the bridal cortege drove to the Palace Hotel, Buckingham Gate, where a magnificent breakfast was laid out in the noble dining room. The viands, dessert, and wines, were of the most recherché description”. Grace was said by the Reverend Egerton, “and the usual loyal, patriotic, and complimentary toasts were duly honoured.” William Tyssen Amhurst then proposed long life, health and prosperity to the bride and groom, who later departed for their honeymoon.

Confirmation of the marriage was received back at Baschurch in Shropshire by telegraph at one o’clock. Fog signals were then exploded at the village station to alert the residents of nearby Marton, in Middle parish. The church bells of Baschurch and Middle then “rung out merry peals, while, for the remainder of the day, hill and dale echoed with the sound of cannon firing.”

“In accordance with the expressed desire of the worthy squire”, arrangements had been made “for the participation of the humbler classes in the festivities incident to the occasion.” The Wrexham Advertiser reported:

Accordingly about two hundred men sat down to a substantial dinner on Saturday, laid out in the servants’ hall, which was tastefully decorated for the occasion by Messrs. Birch of Shrewsbury. Evergreens, flowers, mottoes, and devices, contributed to form a charming effect, hearty aspirations being breathed for the realisation of the principal motto—‘Long Life and Happiness to Mr and Mrs Atcherley.’ In connection with these decorations we must not omit mentioning a beautiful arch, bearing the significant word ‘Welcome,’ and tastefully embellished with flowers and evergreens.

The women of the parish were not excluded from the celebrations. On the Monday after the Atcherley marriage, the wives of the labourers of Middle and the surrounding area – nearly 1600 of them – were treated to tea in the servants’ hall. Then:

After tea they went to the grounds adjoining the hall, where races were run by the women for tea, tobacco for their husbands, &c., &c. In the meantime other sports were going on, such as football, &c., until dark, when all returned to the hall to engage themselves in the festive dance. The health of the squire and his beautiful bride were duly toasted; after which dancing was kept up until a late hour.

The festivities at Marton were echoed in other places with which the Atcherley family was connected. David Francis Atcherley owned land and mineral rights at Minera, Brymbo and Hope (situated to the west and northwest of Wrexham). The those places, the Atcherley nuptials were marked with the firing of cannons, the flying of flags and banners, and in some cases with the ringing of church bells, a bonfire, and fireworks.

There was food too, of course. At various places in Minera people “were regaled with bread and cheese and plenty of ewrw da” (probably cwrw da – good beer). Later in the day:

At half past three p.m., the children of the National School were regaled with a plentiful supply of tea and plum cake. The Hope drum and fife band and the Coedpoeth brass band were in attendance, who enlivened the evening by playing some choice and popular airs during the remainder of the day.

In the evening, David Francis Atcherley’s widowed mother Anne Margaret Atcherley (nee Topping), who at that time resided at Dee Side House in Chester, gave a “sumptuous dinner” at the Queen’s Head Inn, Coedpoeth (adjacent to Minera). After dinner had been eaten and the cloth removed, toasts were given, these being “interspersed by some capital songs”. The first toast was of course to The Queen.

After “other patriotic toasts, which were duly honoured and responded to” came those directed to the Atcherley family and those connected with them. “Long life and happiness to Mr and Mrs D. F. Atcherley,” was received with great cheering. Other toasts included “The health of Mrs Atcherley and Lady Hartland, of Dee Side House, Chester”, “The healths of Col. Atcherley, his wife, and child” (David’s brother, sister-in-law and nephew, then in Canada), and “Captain Atcherley” (David’s youngest brother, William). In all some 50 to 60 people – tenantry and friends – were involved in the proceedings.

At Brymbo “a number of good old English sports were started and carried on with great spirit” and in the afternoon “a number of gentlemen dined under the hospitable roof of Mr Edwards”. The feasting at Hope, meanwhile, took place  at the Red Lion Inn, where J. Sparrow, Esq. took the chair. Mr Sparrow’s main contribution to the evening was reported as follows:

In giving the toast of the evening, the Chairman said that he thought, from the little he had seen of Mr Atcherley since he came into possession of his property in that district, that he was a gentlemen desirous of doing his duty. Good landlords made good tenants. If a tenant had a good, liberal landlord, doing his duty in building, repairing, &c., the tenant would be more likely to do his duty in return. He hoped that the good feeling which had always existed between Mrs Atcherley and her tenants, would continue between them and Mr Atcherley. He had chosen a wife who would be an ornament to the society in which she was placed. He had great pleasure in giving ‘The healths of Mr and Mrs Atcherley.’ Might they live long and happy together, and never regret the step they had taken.

On Wednesday 18 April 1866, Mr and Mrs Atcherley returned home from their marriage tour. This, of course, was the subject of further public celebration. The newlyweds arrived by train at about 5 o’clock, and found that Baschurch Railway Station “had been gaily and profusely decorated with flags, banners, floral and evergreen arches, and other bridal favours”.

A great many of the couples’ tenantry and friends were in attendance, along with the school children of Baschurch and Middle. “To add to the general joy on the arrival at the station, the church bells rung out their merry music, and a brass band was also in attendance, which contributed its harmony to enhance the pleasure of the auspicious proceedings”. (The tower of Baschurch All Saints, from which the bells “rung out their merry music”, is pictured right.)

The private carriage in which the Atcherleys were taken home to Marton formed part of a procession, headed by the brass band which had played at the station. Following the band were the school children, with their flags and banners, and “the tenantry of the Marton Hall estate, mounted on horseback, riding two abreast”. Some of the latter rode “on either side of the carriage, acting as a guard of honour.”

After the arrival of the procession at Marton an address was given to the Atcherleys by the Reverend Egerton and the bride was presented with “a service of silver tea and coffee pot, sugar basin, and cream ewer, in rosewood case.” The assembled multitude was then “regaled with wine, ale, and sandwiches”.

A little over a year after the wedding of David and Caroline, Queen Victoria held a Court at Buckingham Palace. Among those who were presented to the Queen was “Mrs. Atcherley, on her marriage, by the Countess of Bradford”. By this time Caroline was well settled in her role as the wife of a landed gentleman. She had, for example, been one of the patrons of a bazaar held in aid of the Minera New Church (and had subscribed £5 towards the church fund).

Caroline had also performed at an amateur concert, held at Oswestry’s Victoria Rooms for the benefit of a local charity. Many more such performances were to follow. You may recall that on the occasion of her marriage, one gentleman has proclaimed that the new Mrs Atcherley “would be an ornament to the society in which she was placed.” She would prove to be a dazzling ornament indeed, and more besides. For Caroline Frances Amherst Atcherley possessed a “beautiful, silvery and highly cultivated voice”, one which she would use both for pleasure and for the benefit of many charitable causes.

Picture credits. St George’s church, Hanover Square: adapted from a public domain image from Wikimedia Commons. William Amhurst Tyssen Amhurst: adapted from a public domain image from Wikimedia Commons. Cannon: Adapted from an image on page 191 of A collection of ballads printed in London, taken from the British Library Flickr photostream; no known copyright restrictions. Baschurch All Saints: photo by the author.


[1] Marriage register of St George, Hanover Square, Middlesex, covering 1866. Entry for David Francis Atcherley and Caroline Frances Amherst Stacey. Copy viewed at Findmypast – Westminster Marriages. Marriage registered at St George Hanover Sq., March quarter 1866; volume 1a, page 429.
[2] The Wrexham Advertiser, issue 673, 17 Feb 1866, page 6. “Marriage of David Francis Atcherly, Esq., with Miss Minnie Caroline Frances Amhurst Stacey.”
[3] The Wrexham Advertiser, Saturday 28 Apr 1866, page 8. “Return of Mr and Mrs D. F. Atcherley, of Marton Hall, from their Marriage Tour.”
[4] Yorkshire Gazette, Saturday 30 March 1867, page 9. “The Queen’s Court.”
[5] Wrexham Advertiser, 3 Nov 1866, page 1. “A Bazaar”.
[6] Wrexham Advertiser, 9 Nov 1866, page 6. “Minera. New Parish Church.”
[7] Cheshire Observer, 12 Feb 1870, page 3. “St Aspah. … The Harmonic Society’s Concerts.”

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