Edward, Ellen and Elias Hemery
Edward was born on 24 April 1823, and baptised four days later. He became Colonel in the Royal Engineers, Colonel in the Madras Engineers, and died unmarried. In 1877 he is recorded as living in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He fought in the Indian Mutiny and Evelyn Wilder had his campaign medal. He is described as ‘irascible but very kind’ He left the Wilders money and was very kind to them and Caroline Lindon. She was so fond of him that she would have named her son Edward after him, if her husband Edward had allowed it. Edward Hemery died at Cheltenham on 31 December1910.
Ellen Mary Hemery
Ellen was baptised in St Helier, Jersey on 15 April 1825 and married the Rev Thomas Angell Lindon in 1852. He was born in Plymouth around 1822. Her sister Ann did not want her to leave home, but the Rowan Beckett letter records that ‘In Lindon she met someone even more difficult and determined than she was herself, and he removed Ellen from her grasp’. She was the youngest of the family, and Helena Lindon had a picture of her looking very pretty with her hair in ringlets. There was also a picture of Thomas Angel in clerical dress. He was described as being tall and well built, and very dark with thick bushy side-whiskers.
He was ‘not an easy man’. Ellen died in her 50s, but looked much older as she had lost all her front teeth. It is said that Thomas Angel was left a fortune by his father and another by his uncle, and went through them both in a few years. He apparently went into the Church to retrieve his reputation, and looked to marry a girl with some money to hopefully support him in the style to which he was accustomed.
Certainly the couple borrowed money from her mother Ann, as recorded in her will – ‘Various sums given to Ellen Mary at various times for furniture and other purposes I give to her for ever, in consideration of which I do not wish her to claim any furniture, linen or books from Colomberie House’.
Thomas met Ellen while visiting Jersey and they were married in 1855. By 1861 they had had five children. Helena (Dee) and Kate (Kitty) were born afterwards. Ann and Julia wrote to Ellen when they heard Kitty was expected, taking her to task for ‘unbridled childbearing’ but later they regretted writing so, as Kitty had become such a support to them. Rowan Beckett and her mother wanted to say that they should have written to Thomas Angel but they thought Kitty would have found their remark rather coarse.
Helena was asked to talk about her childhood and with a horrid gusto described meal times at the Lindons – how her father used to thrust food down her throat on the end of a fork, and drag her across the dining room floor by her feet. Kitty was listening and ‘her little face looked very sad and puckered’.
She said when her sister had left the room ‘I wish she would not recall those things. You will think we had a dreadful childhood, and indeed we did not. We had many very happy times. And we all of us loved our dear mother’ So while not denying her sister’s stories she gave a more balanced image.
Thomas Angel’s sermons always followed the same pattern. He set out his text and made different points, starting ‘Firstly…’ eventually reaching ‘Fifthly…’ or even ‘Sixthly…’ ending with ‘Lastly…’ the seven children in the pew below then knew there was only 10 or 15 minutes to go.
Ellen had had for some years a personal maid named Foot. After her death Thomas was going through her things and Foot was helping him. Helena looked through the crack of the door, went downstairs and announced ‘Father is sitting with Foot on his knee’. Foot moved into a cottage in the village soon afterwards, and Thomas visited her every week with a large bunch of flowers he picked from the garden.
He intended to marry her, the family was outraged and the parish scandalised. The living was in the gift of the Dowager Marchioness of Waterford and she sent for him and told him she could no longer support him, and he had to resign. Helena and Kate were removed to Colomberie.
Thomas Angel did marry Foot and was ostracized by the family. He wanted to see his grandchildren, but Caroline would not stay herself, but she sent Dick and Gladys. She remembers Thomas as a very old man with a silver beard and a rug over his knees.
It appears they lived in Winford, Somerset, returning to Jersey around 1855, before remaining in Halliwell in Lancashire from 1856 to at least 1867, as their other children were born there. In 1873 he was minister of St Paul's Church in Jersey, officiating at a wedding on 25 June 1873. He was vicar of St Mark's Church Highcliffe, Dorset from 1879 to 1887, the family living at Highcliffe Parsonage. She died on 2 March 1886, and is buried at Highcliffe. Thomas Angel lived until 2 December 1902, and is buried in the same grave.
In St Mark's Church there is a stained glass window to commemorate Ellen Mary, showing Ruth from the Old Testament, with a brass plaque below, stating that her husband, children, brothers and sisters all contributed.
They had the following 7 children :
Julia Mary Lindon born 1855 in St Helier. She was the eldest, and became a sort of unpaid curate. Finding her extremely useful from very early on he decided she should stay at home and help him. Apparently she was never allowed out except on parish business, and was forbidden to go to parties, supposedly for fear of meeting unsuitable people.
These could include her own extended family, for once, while staying at Colomberie, Thomas found she had gone to a party at Plaisance. Hurrying there by carriage, he stormed into the house without a word of greeting, summoned Julia with a gesture and said ‘Separate yourself from these children of Belial!’ (Belial is a demonic being) She had to follow him meekly out.
Thomas couldn’t stop his sons going to parties, and they would look into the drawing room to say goodnight. Ellen would be sewing and Thomas would groan over his book but Julia, greatly daring, would always call out ‘Enjoy yourselves, boys!’
The great cause Thomas supported was the China Inland Mission. A whole series of events was organized at which the guest preacher was Rev Dr Herbert Hodges, who had been in China for some years and was shortly returning to become Dean of Shanghai. The events lasted ten days and Dr Hodges stayed with the Lindons.
By the end of his visit he had proposed to Julia and been accepted. Thomas could hardly claim he was an unsuitable suitor, being a missionary, and he found himself obliged to consent. Julia left for China a few months later in the care of a missionary couple, and was very happily married. They did not have any children.
During a cholera epidemic in Shanghai, Herbert and Julia stayed to look after the sick. Sadly Herbert caught cholera and died. Julia returned to England, and stayed three months with Aunt Julia at Colomberie. She continued her missionary activity by holding meetings in the dining room – Julia wished she didn’t as she thought the people’s boots made the room smell so! But as she knew the meetings were important to Julia she never made any difficulty about them.
Many people thought Julia Hodges was a cold stern woman, but she wasn’t. She was terribly shy and introverted, loving laughter and fun but unable to make it for herself. She hired an Austrian cook named Minna who became her companion. She loved giving fancy dress parties, which Julia enjoyed greatly.
The three younger brothers, James Hemery, Leonard and Clement all emigrated to Australia.
Clement Hemery Lindon, born 1853 in Winford Somerset, by 1901 living in London, at St. Bartholomew the Great. Clement Lindon was apparently bullied by Edward Byrom, making his childhood miserable.
[Editor's note: We have heard from Rowan Shann, a granddaughter of Edward Byrom, who suggests that the bullying was in the opposite direction. She tells us: "I can’t bear my grandfather, Edward Byrom Lindon, to be described as making Clement’s childhood miserable by bullying when it was Clement who made poor Edward’s childhood miserable. My grandmother always thought that was the reason Edward was sent to live with his aunts at Colomberie. He was described as ‘being delicate’, because being bullied would never have been considered as a valid reason in those days. Bullying was something children had to put up with. Clement Lindon was a horrid bully to little Edward Byrom, and made his early childhood very wretched. He was full of little cruelties and was always cunning enough never to be found out. I have a feeling that he didn’t come to any good when he grew up."]
James Hemery Lindon, born in Halliwell in 1856, was second master at St Peter’s in Adelaide, and died young (before 1897). He married Mary Mayne in 1886 and had four children, Lucy who died; Sir Leonard Charles Edward Lindon MD, MS, Lt Col Rhodes Scholar born 8 February 1896, died 28 August 1978, married Jean Monteith Marten in December 1921, they had three children, John, Marten and Jennifer, one of whom married a Dr R A Burston; John known as Jack who married Adelaide ?; Ellen Mary Lindon born 2.12.1887, known as Nell who married Sir Henry Simpson Newland Kt. CBE, DSO, MB, MS, LRCP, LRCS (Vice Pres) FRACS (Pres and founder) FACS, DSc born 24.11.1873 died 13.11.1969, eldest son of Simpson Newland CMG (Treas) and Jane Isabella Layton.
They had three children, Mary Hemery Newland, born 7 July 1912, married Rev Andrew Gosse Hay; Ursula Helena Newland born 8 May 1914, married 24 June 1939 to Thomas Patton Hamilton, born 23 May 1909 in Unley SA, Major 36th Sikh Regiment, their daughter Rosemary Hamilton, and Henry Ridgeway Simpson Newland, born 3 May 1911, married 23 March 1940 to Joan Carol Evelyn Wisdom, born 12.12.1915. They had two sons, Henry Simpson Newland MB, BS, born 17 June 1946, and John Ridgeway Newland born 25 January 1950, married Anne Gregory 26 November 1978.
Leonard Harford Lindon, born around 1858 in Halliwell, who married Anne ‘Annie’ Hudson or Hodson, who was a keen mountaineer, and became the second woman to climb Mount Cook in New Zealand. They had no children, which was a grief to them. Leonard was head of Geelong school for a time before going to be head of Hutchins in Tasmania. Caroline Edwardes stayed with them in Sydney before her marriage to Edward Byrom in 1888, and liked them both very much. She stayed with them again with her children while waiting to return to England in late 1891 or early 1892.
Edward Byrom Lindon ‘Ped’, born 1861 in Halliwell. He was thought to be delicate as a child, spent quite a lot of time at Colomberie and attended Victoria College in Jersey. Later he studied geology and metallurgy in South Kensington, met his wife at the School of Art next door. Went to Brazil for some years, then as chief metallurgist for the Queensland Government, married Caroline Edwardes of Rhyd-y-Gors in Carmarthenshire in 1888 in St Thomas’ North Sydney.
He was a Fellow of the Geographical Society and a past master of the Freemason lodge.They lived at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. Edward Byrom’s job was to inspect mining claims, he travelled on horseback and was away from home for weeks at a time. He loved his wife but was very jealous of his children, and ignored them completely. He died in a mining accident at Gloucester New South Wales in 1891 when his daughter was only three months old.
They had two children, Richard ‘Dick’ Lindon, born around 1889 and Gladys Hemery Lindon born 1891 who married Walter Napier Thompson Beckett, MVO DSC (Capt RN) They had two children, David Napier Picton Beckett born 1October 1931, died 1 January 1932, and Rowan Beckett, born 21 February 1935, author of the wonderful letter about the Hemery family, married 6 July 1974 to Charles Macedon Shann, of Myall Springs Queensland, and they had a son Blaise Napier Stefan Macedon Shann, born 12 March 1976.
Helena Anne Lindon ‘Auntie Dee’ born 1866 in Halliwell, who married Edward Hamilton, described as ‘a charming man’ a wealthy rubber planter from Malaya in 1900 and had two children, Arthur and Philip. Edward died around 1938. Arthur Hamilton married Daphne Wace, and had two children, James and Sarah E Hamilton. Later he married another woman called Mary.
Philip Hamilton married Phyllis Waldock and had one daughter, Anne Hamilton. Helena is described at length in the Rowan Beckett letter, described as ‘very quick and witty, excellent company when she chose, quick in kindness and generosity yet all through her life overpowered by rages which were triggered in some way by jealousy. Her temperament made her very difficult to live with.’ Many people were frightened of her and disliked her.
At the moments of crisis and distress in Gladys Beckett’s life she was a tower of strength. Caroline always saw in Helena that same temperament that she had observed in members of the older generation of Hemerys.
When her husband died, Helena decided that her sister Kate should give up her house and live with her. It is not certain Kate thought that was for the best, but she agreed. They lived together until Kate died in her late 80s. Helena lived into her 90s. She was very bereaved when her sister died, Kate’s ‘small, quiet presence’ leaving an awful blank.
Gladys Kernaghan went to Helena after Minnie Bentley died. It was a very unhappy time for her, and she was rescued at the end of the war by her cousins Jack and Adelaide.
Kate Purcell Lindon ‘Kitty or Aunt Kitty’ born 1867 in Halliwell, who married Charles Linton, a Colonel in the Indian Army in April 1898. She met him in Jersey while at Colomberie. He was visiting friends after having retired. He died in 1928. In 1901 they are living at Hemingford Abbots, Huntingdonshire, with two servants. Later she lived with her sister Helena.
Helena and Kate Lindon moved to Colomberie when their father remarried, and Kate stayed there about 12 years, fitting in well with the ordered life there, and getting on well with her aunts Ann and Julia Hemery. It was less happy for Helena, as perhaps she was too similar to Ann in character to live under the same roof happily. It is believed the aunts arranged for her to travel abroad with a suitable friend of theirs, and that she met and married her husband abroad.
Rowen Shann's (nee Beckett) and her mother Gladys rented a house at Saltash which was bombed two weeks after her 6th birthday in 1941. Their own house was shattered the week her father died. They had nowhere to go and Auntie Dee offered them a gardeners cottage on her land at Letty Green in Hertfordshire. The two of them with a cook and a nanny were crammed in. Auntie Dee was not a comfortable neighbour and they didn't stay long.
Dee and Kitty were both high church, Dee really Anglo-Catholic. She was cross to find Rowan's mother reading her the children's version of the Pilgrim's Progress. Both aunts could not believe in the salvation of Jesus and eternal life, and knowing Gladys had a strong faith they both wanted to talk with her. Aunt Kitty liked to discuss it in a summer house or walking along the sea front. (They must have been on a visit) Having exhausted all approaches she said 'Look upon it as an adventure Aunt Kitty!' Aunt Kitty peered over her spectacles at her 'My dear, I am not adventurous!'
Aunt Dee had a different approach. She would summon Gladys to lunch at the Sesame Club. On the first floor was a line of drawing rooms. Dee was very deaf and Gladys had to shout the reasons for her faith in the promise of eternal life and resurrection. Rowan asked her once if Edith Sitwell was glowering at her from a corner. 'No' was the reply 'Dame Edith presides over a different drawing room.'
Elias Durell Hemery
Baptised 30 December 1827. Died young.