Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Gaddesden House at Little Gaddesden: various views


Gaddesden House: one of the bedrooms today

Medieval Window

Exterior showing topiary

In the garden, the Allens, recent owners of the 
Gaddesden House

Monday, September 21, 2020

John O'Gaddesden House at Little Gaddesden


Little Gaddesden parish is bordered on three sides by the county of Buckingham. The northern part of the parish lies on a high spur of the Chilterns about 646 feet above the ordnance datum. There is a considerable slope to the south, and on the east the land dips to the valley of the Gade. The Leighton Buzzard and Hemel Hempstead high road strikes across the parish, and forms a sharp dividing line. To the east the county is agricultural, while the pasture and woods of Ashridge Park cover the whole of the western portion. Ashridge House, the seat of Earl Brownlow, stands in the middle of the park, and the village extends along one edge near the high road, which is bordered on either side by a broad green shaded by large trees.

Following the high road north from Hemel Hempstead may be seen near the beginning of the village Robin Hood House, a large old house of timber and stucco. It was once the Robin Hood village publichouse, but has been greatly added to, and is now the residence of Mr. Alexander Murray-Smith. Beyond this is a red-brick house, the residence of Miss Noyes.

Further again is Marian Lodge, built by Lady Marian Alford some thirty years ago. It is now tenanted by Mrs. Denison, under whose care soft cloth is woven, some of which is sent yearly to the queen. In another house lives the Hon. Alfred Lyttelton. The smaller houses and cottages are all well built, and each stands in a good garden. They are mostly of red brick with red tiles, and in the old ones is a good deal of timber. That known as John of Gaddesden's house (he was physician to Edward III, and a doctor of great note) is an interesting mediaeval building of timber and plaster, of two stories, the upper projecting beyond the lower. The body of the house stands north and south, with a fine brick chimney-stack at the north end, its upper story being a hall of two bays with an open timber roof of fifteenth-century style, now used as a reading room. The house has been a good deal repaired, and there is some eighteenth-century panelling in one of the ground-floor rooms. At the north end is a block running east and west, with no old detail of interest.

The parish, which was inclosed in 1846, covers an area of over 2,451 acres, of which (in 1905) 499 acres were arable land, 358 acres permanent pasture, and 86 acres woodland. It includes the hamlet of Ringshall, and since 1885 that of Hudnall, which was formerly a detached portion of the parish of Edlesborough in Buckinghamshire. The soil is clay with flint, and the subsoil chalk. At Hudnall, on the eastern border of the parish, there is a small common.

A windmill is mentioned in 1284 and again in 1305, of which there now seems to be no survival. 

Note: there is no evidence that John of Gaddesden ever lived in this house though there may have been a much earlier structure on the site which could have been his residence.

                                  The Solar Drawing Room - John o Gaddesden House

Acknowledgements: Victoria County History

Saturday, September 19, 2020

John of Gaddesden's 'Rosa Medicinae' 1313 on display in Exeter Cathedral


From the library…

The Rose of Medicine

John of Gaddesden was one of the greatest medieval English physicians. He is even mentioned by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales. His most famous book was the Rosa Medicinae (Rose of Medicine), a wonderfully detailed look at diseases and medicine, written in 1313.
The Library’s copy will be on display at Exeter Cathedral for one day only on 22 September, from 11am to 2pm. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

St John's River, Sydney Turner and the Lady Wood


St John's River: Eastern Gate from Wharf

The Lady Wood

This vessel was built at Greenwich in 1882, the brain-child of Natal pioneer, Sydney Turner. At first a great success, the coastal trade as far as Mozambique which Turner initially built up, dwindled and he eventually considered selling her. Later her name was changed to Neves Ferreira. 
After she had her name changed she was given iron plates - armoured for the 1894/95 war in South Mozambique. 

Acknowledgements: R Gens                                                 


                                                                  Sidney Turner


Portrait of a Pioneer, The Letters of Sydney Turner from South Africa 1864-1901, ed. Daphne Child, Macmillan SA, Johannesburg 1980. The original letters are held in the Local History Museum, Durban, Natal.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Caithness, Charles Chance: a second family


Possibly Charles's first wife, Mary

                                                                                                                                                                                     Charles Chance Caithness      

Charles Chance Caithness remarried after the death of his first wife, Mary. The second wife was Annie Pipard.  Below, he is 70+ seen with his second family. His sons were born 1893, 1894 & 1895. His youngest died in 1901, but the other two look about 10 years old. Charles Chance Caithness died in 1906. This photo was taken about 1900. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Caithness, Charles Chance and family residence


Residence of Charles Chance Caithness and family at Balmain, Sydney. The family were here by 1866 at which time Charles was with P&O (from 1861). By 1876 they had moved to Williamstown.

An 1874 edition of the Illustrated London News, reports the loss of P&O's mail steam ship, Rangoon, just out of Galle Harbour, Ceylon. Apparently Charles was on board at the time, and the experience may have provided an incentive to return to dry land.

Acknowledgement: Peter Hay, Don Gaff

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Charles Caithness, ship's baker

Charles Caithness was a ship's baker who settled in Australia and started up his own bakery and pastrycook business. Charles was a brother of Mary Ann Caithness who married Captain William Bell, Port Captain of Natal.

The Queenscliff bakers shop photo above is probably 1904 to 1906, just before Charles's death in 1906. Charles and his 2nd wife in door, their two sons at right, others are employees.

Somewhat luckier than his eldest brother, James jnr, Charles only experienced one shipwreck, the Rangoon in 1871. The Himalaya, March 1865, brought his family out to Sydney. Chas appears to have been on the Pt. de Galle, Ceylon to Sydney run from 1862 to 1871, (*info from Don Gaff). 

There is no information on whether he ever went back to UK to visit/organise the family to emigrate. An infant son died in 1865. The shipping information for the Himalaya only lists Mary and the three girls. In theory there would not have been enough time between March and November 1865 to make a new baby, but the infant may have been premature, hence did not survive. 

Acknowledgement: Peter Hay, descendant of Charles Caithness.