Henry Pyne

Henry Pyne

b: 2 JAN 1809
d: 9 FEB 1885
5 Endsleigh Gardens
and at Hillgrove, Woodchester, Gloucs.
1881 Census:

New Town, Longbury, Uckfield, Sussex
Henry Pyne Mar 72 Born Martock, Somerset
Harriet Pyne Mar 62 Born St Pancras, Middlesex
Arthur Pascoe Grenfell 12 Born Rugby, Warwick
Adriana Chaplin 8 Born Stowupland, Suffolk
Sylvia Baines 5 Born St Marylebone, Middlesex
Ralph Henvey 5 Born Clifton, Gloucestershire
Anne Huneyman Unm 50 Crowcombe, Somerset
Jane Whitehouse Unm 49 Chichester, Sussex


From 'The James, Pyne, Dixon Family Book' - the Reminiscences of Edith Elizabeth Chaplin (nee Pyne), 1913:

"Henry Pyne, eldest son and second child of John Pyne and Hannah Rawlins, was born at Martock, Somerset, on 2nd January 1809. He was hardly seven years old when his mother died but he was devoted to her memory and talked of her to me up to the last years of his life. He once told me how, after her death, he cried himself to sleep every night when he went to bed. When he was eight years old, he went to the Bluecoat School. His presentation to the school was given to him by Mrs. John Rawlins, the wife of a distant cousin, John (Fawsitt Herbert) Rawlins, of Stogursey (Stoke Courcy) in Somerset. (Mrs. Rawlins had been educated by her grandmother, Lady Juliana Penn, at Pennsylvania Castle in Hampshire. Lady Juliana, née Fermor, had married Thomas, son of William Penn the Quaker, founder of the State of Pennsylvania, by his second marriage.)

Mrs. John Rawlins was consistently kind to the little waif, Henry, pitched suddenly into the stream of London at the age of eight years old. At one time she had a house very near the one we later had in Kent Terrace, Regent's Park. At that time (about 1820) Regent's Park was not laid out; it was a countrified house where my father frequently visited her on his whole holidays and from which she would send him back to Christ's Hospital (then in the City) in the Marylebone coach, which went back in the evenings in time for him to be in before closing time. To be late on your return seems to have been the most heinous of offences; a boy was always flogged for it and if he stayed out for a night he was expelled from the school. Mrs.John Rawlins put the crowning touch to her kindness by allowing a weekly pocket money to her protégé; first threepence and then sixpence a week, I think. I recollect his telling me that at first he always bought eatables with the sum, a very proper way of eking out the scanty and monotonous diet. Ordinary sweets were unobtainable luxuries in his childhood, when the coarsest brown sugar was 9d a lb. and he used to buy a quarter of a pound of raw sugar to satisfy the craving for sweet food.

Another item of expenditure in which he and his mates indulged in season was that for green gooseberries, which they ate with the pea-soup supplied as their entire dinner on one day every week; another day they had plum pudding of a sort, on Sundays there was roast beef, on another day rice pudding, on another roast mutton. The same round began again with no variety, week after week. Breakfast and supper were equally frugal. Butter was only allowed on Sundays and there seems to have been very inadequate supervision over the meals. My Father remembered they not infrequently gambled away their suppers to one another and he had cried with hunger on the morning after such a loss, before any fresh food was obtainable. The one piece of supervision he remembered was that they had to show their hands to the steward when they came to table, who caned them if they were dirty. In contrast to the scanty food they had a liberal supply of beer, but it was so bad that they left it and took water by preference, throwing about and wasting the beer. My Father recollected when he was a monitor, drawing out the spigot of a cask and letting the whole of the contents run away. When he was about twelve years old, he developed a taste for books and saved his money to buy them, an interest he maintained all through his active life.
(After my Father's death, I wrote a collection of the stories he used to tell us of his school days, and embodied them in a story called The Golden Pavement, published by Shaw of Paternoster Row, but now out of print.)

The boys left Christ's Hospital when they were fourteen years old, unless they belonged to the small number of Grecians, among whom my Father was not. His father, therefore, sent him to Sherborne, then just a little country grammar school quite unknown to fame. A new headmaster had just been appointed, a.certain Dr. Lyons, a first-rate schoolmaster who quickly raised the school to a high level of efficiency. My Father always spoke of Dr. Lyons with affection; he was one of his first four boarders; the next term opened with eight boarders and the next with sixteen and so on. Dr. Lyons thought so well of my father that he tried to persuade my grandfather to send him on to Cambridge, where he thought his mathematical talents would ensure his success. This my grandfather refused to do - it may have been from a dread of 'Godless learning'. With a strange inconsistency he articled him to a Mr. Gough, a solicitor in Hereford, quite against my father's inclination, for he always hated that profession. Moreover, though my Father averred Mr. Gough had very good points about him and was an honest man, he was also a definitely irreligious one. My Father served out his articles with Mr. Gough and in the early 'twenties, he left Hereford for Gibraltar. He went out to join his father, who by that time had worked up a good business as a solicitor, combining it with the profession of barrister. But an agitation had been set on foot to deprive the lawyers of Gibraltar of his special privilege and it was actually carried out at the very moment when my father joined his father there. The change operated disastrously on my father's expectation of employment; I gather that the relations between son and father at Gibraltar were not too happy and the disappointment of not getting the work he was led to expect may have had something to do with this. However, he remained in the place some time, enjoying the fresh scenes and the people he met with and the friends he made. He mastered the Spanish language and was sometimes mistaken for a Spaniard, with his dark hair and dark moustache-the latter a quite inadmissible adornment for a civilian professional man in those days.

When he returned to England with not only a moustache but radical opinions in politics and presented himself to his uncle, the Rev. Henry Rawlins, Rector of Bishop's Hull, near Taunton, that worthy old cleric looked upon him as a lost soul, though I believe he still continued to enjoy his society. My Father and his uncle had one of those odd likings for each other you may sometimes find between relatives who do not appear to have an idea in common. The stinginess, worldliness and love of money which characterised the uncle would have shocked and alienated the nephew in ordinary cases, but my father never seemed to take them seriously, looking on them more as comic stories than real indications of character or matters of fact.*

(*Probably there was some streak of the congeniality that not unfrequently accompanies kindred blood between the two relatives, which made his uncle's failings less alien to my Father than were his own father's virtues. One example of the differing views of father and son was seen when my father and Mother were engaged. Grandpapa Pyne was rather bewildered by his son's choice, thinking that Aunt Mary-Ann, who was considered a beauty by many people, would have been a more natural match for his son than was her lively and witty sister Harriet, who could not compete with her in good looks. E.E.C.)

The Rector himself was not without brains and took a liking to his brother clergyman at Combe-Florey, Sydney Smith, later rewarded for his services in wit and wisdom by becoming Dean of St. Paul's. Both being Liberals in politics, the only two in that part of Somerset, they rather gravitated together. They once met at some archidiaconal meeting in their neighbourhood, perhaps a visitation. The Archdeacon, a Mr. Spooner by name, was not a man of strong intellect, but no doubt was listened to with due decorum. Walking back from the church, my great-uncle enquired of Sydney Smith what he thought of the sermon they had just heard. 'Spoon-meat, Mr. Rawlins, spoon-meat', was the reply - reported to my Father by old Rawlins.

On returning from his unlucky opening at Gibraltar, my Father soon decided to complete his law studies for the profession of barrister. I don't know whether at this time he was eating his dinners at Gray's Inn, but he was working in the chambers of a barrister of repute, and lodging in London. There had just been a Commission on the Poor Law and the Commissioners were getting out a Report for a plan of reform to be introduced by the newly reformed Parliament, when they were disconcerted by the sudden illness of their Secretary. To replace him was an urgent necessity, and application was made to the barrister with whom my Father was then reading, who recommended Mr. Pyne. He entered at once upon his duty, mastered the unfinished work of his predecessor, and prepared to make the necessary Report with only a day to spare. To get the work done in time for the sitting of Parliament for which it was required, he worked all through a whole day, continued through the next night, and on through the following day, thirty-six hours at a stretch, with fresh relays of clerks to supply the needed assistance. The Report was got out up to time, and presently, the Poor Law Commission having done its work, my Father was appointed to the new Tithe Commission. Here he prepared Tables to assist in the commutation of tithes, which were originally called 'Pyne's Tables'. They required an annual revision, work which my Father did at home, and I can remember as a child, my Mother telling me one evening to play quietly and not make a noise as my Father was occupied in revising these papers. I do not know the date when my Father gave up this revision, but I think he told me it was when he was appointed Assistant Tithe Commissioner and he gave it over to some junior in the office, a man with a family to educate and a struggle to make both ends meet.

It was in the early days after his joining the Tithe Commission that my Father met my Mother - a case of love at first sight. He described the occasion in a letter to one of his sisters. It was in November 1837, shortly after Queen Victoria's accession, when she paid her first state visit to the City of London, at a banquet in the Guildhall, and there were great rejoicings, the streets being illuminated in her honour. Among the spectators was a Mrs. Burchett, accompanied by her daughters and attended by young Mr. Pyne, and with them among other friends was Miss Harriet James, youngest daughter of Thomas James, barrister-at-law and a bencher of Gray's Inn. 'I cut out Master William [his younger brother] that time' wrote my father, 'as I walked along with two of the handsomest women in London
on my arm.' At some turn of the evening's amusement it was proposed by my father that his friends should refresh themselves in his bachelor's rooms, as they happened to be near by. (In later years he pointed out these old lodgings to me, situated in Carburton Street, a corner house still occupied as an oil and colour shop, sometimes called an Italian warehouse). It was a very unpretentious place and as simple inside as out, not even rising to the possession of a pair of snuffers - a very necessary appliance when candles (generally tallow at that) were the only illuminants. I recollect my Mother's telling me of this early visit to her future husband's bachelor chambers, saying how clever she thought it of him that when the candle wanted snuffing, he snuffed the long tallow candle with a piece of paper.

My parents' acquaintance seems to have prospered, and my Father was introduced to the hospitable household at 21 Burton Crescent where there was always plenty going on, and Grandpapa James's social charm, Grandmama's wit and Uncle Tom's brilliant talk must have made an attractive household. The engagement of our parents followed in due course but it was rather an agitating time for them, as on both sides their friends thought they were throwing themselves away. This aspect was bluntly put before my Father by one of his chiefs on the Tithe Commission, a Mr. Jones, a well-known political economist of those days. He had taken a great interest in his clever, hard-working junior and seems to have been much disappointed at his throwing himself away on a penniless girl. 'You might have married anyone!' he exclaimed, considering that Father should have waited a bit, when he could have secured a rich wife or not hampered himself with the cares of a wife and family. No doubt Mr. Jones was right, had worldly success been his object in life, but, as my Father used to gay of political economists, 'They don't understand human nature.'

My Father had a talent for friendship seen all through his life and due to the great confidence he inspired. I can often remember people coming to consult him or asking for advice about their affairs. I don't think he enjoyed this, as he was not of a managing disposition or at all anxious to interfere in other people's concerns. But he had the generous disposition which likes to give, whether advice or special information or the loan of his books, even at the risk of not having them returned, which he accepted as he did the other risks of life. I cannot remember ever being taught by him 'to play for safety'. Not but what he took good care of us. I still remember as a tiny child being on the terrace at Somerset House where his office was, to see the last of the old Lord Mayor's processions on the Thames. My Father at that time had a large room to himself in Somerset House opening onto a broad terrace with a balustrade protecting it from the river which flowed immediately below. To let me see the show better, my father lifted me onto the balustrade, where I sat with his arm round me. At a still earlier age, when we used the large front hall at Crescent Place as a frequent playroom, I can recall how we would run up to him when he came home from his office, asking him to give us a pick-a-back and he would let us ride on his shoulders the length of the hall and the long dining room which opened out of it.

Another incident is connected with the earliest strike I can remember; we were going to dinner with our grandmother on Christmas Day but a night of severe toothache left me with a swollen face. Not to deprive me of the treat, however, it was decided I might go safely in a cab, but when evening came all the cabs were out on strike and not one was obtainable. To spare me the disappointment, my Father said I could have a shawl put over my head, and he would carry me round to my grandmother's himself, which he accordingly did.

My Father had great courage and a belief in human nature, refusing to be alarmed by scares for the future. When Stanley Jevons called attention to the exhaustion of our coal supply, he said that when that time arrived we should probably have discovered some other form of fuel - a sort of prediction of the arrival of oil. Another time when 'over-population' was the bugbear, I recollect his saying that we owed our colonies to that very cause. He always had a high sense of the value of our colonies and I think it must have been in the later fifties that he purchased some of the early Australian books, e.g. a book with large views illustrating scenes in the colonies; he once remarked that some day the Australians would be in a position to form libraries (he was thinking of public libraries) and that they would desire to purchase these early books.

When we were living in Crescent Place he had plenty of storage for his books, but I suppose later removals cramped him for room, and he must have got rid of the bulk of them, for there was a very restricted number when he finally reached Hillgrove [in Gloucestershire], where he died. According to his oral instructions to Mother, these remaining books were sent after his death to a secondhand bookseller (Bumstead?), when they rcalised £1,000. The country valuer who valued the contents of Hillgrove for probate had no idea of the value of books and had greatly undervalued them. Among the books left by my Father at his death was a bookcase full of presentation copies from various men whose work he had encouraged or sympathised with or in some way helped. One or two were from the spelling reformer, Dr. Furnival, one from William Carew Hazlett; these I saw in his library at Hillgrove. But when I returned after his death, I was disappointed to find that these interesting volumes had been dispersed, and much regretted that I had not earlier interfered to prevent this if possible. My extreme grief at my Father's loss quite stupefied me for a while; I never even thought of getting mourning for my children till my sister Constance, who was living at Hillgrove, called my attention to the subject and helped to procure it. (Our Father was great friends with her husband, Athel, as indeed he was with all his sons-in-law.)

I remember often hearing about books and their writers from him; some writers he met at the British Museum. He had a great appreciation of Panizzi, the chief librarian of his day, under whose auspices the great new Library in Bloomsbury was erected. He and Panizzi were by way of being friends in their own subject, though their families (if Panizzi had a family) were nor acquainted. But I remember my Father taking me to see the New Museum Reading Room just after it was opened.

My Father was always most generous in lending his books. He was once applied to for an old prayer book in some case before the Privy Council, to determine the old practice in ritual when the question of 'vestments' was being discussed in the late 'sixties. He also lent many copies of the rare English books which were reprinted by the late Mr. Arber. Mr. Arber found it a great convenience to borrow a volume to take home to work upon in his own house (for example, an old copy of Bacon), a great blessing for a man who mainly depended on the library at the British Museum, which only provided volumes to be consulted on the spot. I think Professor Henry Morley also encouraged Mr. Arber over his reprints, and he used to call my Father and Professor Morley his literary godfathers. Several of the Arber reprints passed into my possession after my Father's death; they were largely presentation copies, and at least one of them was dedicated to him. These reprints, now become rather scarce, have been given by me to Ursula Gregory, the only one of his great-grandchildren who has shown any interest in her Pyne ancestors.

THE DUEL

In August 1876 I was staying at Kent Terrace with my Father, my mother being on a visit to one of my sisters. One morning at breakfast when he usually read the newspaper, his eye was caught by a notice of the death of a Mademoiselle Dejazet, a noted French actress of bygone days whose name was unknown to my generation. He was very much interested in the paragraph, and presently he said: 'I was once nearly concerned in a duel about Mademoiselle Dejazet'.

I was all ears as you can imagine and then, as one remembers a bygone event when circumstances recall it, the past seemed to come back to him, and he related the incident. It occurred when he was on his journey back from Gibraltar through Spain and France. After crossing the frontier he was travelling between the Pyrenees and Paris - I forget the name of the town where he had halted, it was a long way from Paris, but a good many travellers passed through it on their way to Paris, as it was a stage in the long journey to the capital. (This was before the days of railroads).

While having a meal with other travellers, my Father noticed a gentleman gazing somewhat fixedly at him, and when the meal was over this stranger approached him and civilly asked him if he were not an Englishman. On hearing that he was, 'the Captain', as he proved to be, expressed his pleasure at meeting a fellow countryman, hoping he might help him out of a difficulty. He then explained that he had become involved in a dispute with a Frenchman in regard to Mademoiselle Dejazet, which had resulted in a challenge. The Frenchman, being in his own country, had secured a second, but he, as a foreigner, had no-one to see him through. Would my Father act for him? As a fellow countryman in distress in foreign parts, my Father felt he had no alternative, and must grant his request. In due course he received the Frenchman's second, who proved a reasonable man and agreed with my Father that it would be best if possible to reconcile the antagonists. This they succeeded in doing; honour was satisfied, the four men implicated went on their several ways and never seem to have seen each other again. The incident passed out of my Father's mind, till revived by the death of Mademoiselle Dejazet. In the same manner, the birth of my son Henry, about a week later, put the story out of my head, and nothing occurred for many years to bring it back to my memory.


NOTES ON HENRY PYNE by Harriet Henvey (nee Pyne), his fifth daughter. (whom E.E.C. calls 'the Harry V of our youth')

Papa died in February 1895 (N.B. 1885) and during the 58 years I had him, I can remember no single cross or unkind word. He was very fond of music and it was one of the delights of my girlhood to practise up a sonata to play to him on Sunday afternoons, he and Mama sitting comfortably in armchairs. It was also a joy to walk with him to school, and a protection against vulgar little street boys. One of his sayings was 'Poor and content is rich, and rich indeed'. He liked Solomon's 'Give me neither poverty nor riches...' and Mother told me his favourite text was 'Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ'. How ready he was to go to help in any crisis, e.g. in the ghost episode at Rattlesden!

It was a great blessing in my married life that father and Frederick were so fond of each other. They understood each other, as upright officials. They used to reel off poetry, Byron and Shakespeare, to each other by the yard. But Aunt Anne (of whom I have tender and grateful memories) and he did not understand each other, and it was only his sense of duty that made him admit her in his dreadful illness ('I promise she shall not stay more than two or three minutes'). I always thought Aunt King was his favourite sister, but I think he justly had a high sense of Aunt Elizabeth's wits. How kind he was in sparing mother to help her girls and grandchildren! I remember in some crisis his taking his grandson, Bernard Grenfell, to Brighton, looking after him entirely. He came back quite battered and said Bernard had incessantly asked two questions, 'Why!' and Why not?'. When Katherine was a crying wee baby, he would take her in his strong arms and walk up and down the drawing room at 18 Kent Terrace, and call her 'the blue- eyed maid of Heaven'; and he used to like to see Isabel and Kitty, a pretty little pair in pink and white, when he came back from the office.

He was very good at the office in an unobtrusive way. Once at a crisis, Mama asked me to fetch him, and I can see him in his big beautiful room, 3 St.James's Square, and I felt how much the messengers respected him. On the eve of my wedding, 3rd February 1866, he took me a long walk from Hastings to St. Leonards and explained that I was going out into the wicked world, but that I was to stick to my principles, and how often afterwards did his wise words inspire and comfort me (15th June 1926 H.H.)"


From Ann Gregory's copy of the Chaplin and Skinner book:
"In a Report of Commission on Registration of Title in Land Sales (published 1859) Appendix, Part E p.324 is a paper by E N Ayrton. Pages 343 to 352 of same Parliamentary Report are by Henry Pyne".
Biography
5 Endsleigh Gardens
and at Hillgrove, Woodchester, Gloucs. 1881 Census:

New Town, Longbury, Uckfield, Sussex
Henry Pyne Mar 72 Born Martock, Somerset
Harriet Pyne Mar 62 Born St Pancras, Middlesex
Arthur Pascoe Grenfell 12 Born Rugby, Warwick
Adriana Chaplin 8 Born Stowupland, Suffolk
Sylvia Baines 5 Born St Marylebone, Middlesex
Ralph Henvey 5 Born Clifton, Gloucestershire
Anne Huneyman Unm 50 Crowcombe, Somerset
Jane Whitehouse Unm 49 Chichester, Sussex


From 'The James, Pyne, Dixon Family Book' - the Reminiscences of Edith Elizabeth Chaplin (nee Pyne), 1913:

"Henry Pyne, eldest son and second child of John Pyne and Hannah Rawlins, was born at Martock, Somerset, on 2nd January 1809. He was hardly seven years old when his mother died but he was devoted to her memory and talked of her to me up to the last years of his life. He once told me how, after her death, he cried himself to sleep every night when he went to bed. When he was eight years old, he went to the Bluecoat School. His presentation to the school was given to him by Mrs. John Rawlins, the wife of a distant cousin, John (Fawsitt Herbert) Rawlins, of Stogursey (Stoke Courcy) in Somerset. (Mrs. Rawlins had been educated by her grandmother, Lady Juliana Penn, at Pennsylvania Castle in Hampshire. Lady Juliana, née Fermor, had married Thomas, son of William Penn the Quaker, founder of the State of Pennsylvania, by his second marriage.)

Mrs. John Rawlins was consistently kind to the little waif, Henry, pitched suddenly into the stream of London at the age of eight years old. At one time she had a house very near the one we later had in Kent Terrace, Regent's Park. At that time (about 1820) Regent's Park was not laid out; it was a countrified house where my father frequently visited her on his whole holidays and from which she would send him back to Christ's Hospital (then in the City) in the Marylebone coach, which went back in the evenings in time for him to be in before closing time. To be late on your return seems to have been the most heinous of offences; a boy was always flogged for it and if he stayed out for a night he was expelled from the school. Mrs.John Rawlins put the crowning touch to her kindness by allowing a weekly pocket money to her protégé; first threepence and then sixpence a week, I think. I recollect his telling me that at first he always bought eatables with the sum, a very proper way of eking out the scanty and monotonous diet. Ordinary sweets were unobtainable luxuries in his childhood, when the coarsest brown sugar was 9d a lb. and he used to buy a quarter of a pound of raw sugar to satisfy the craving for sweet food.

Another item of expenditure in which he and his mates indulged in season was that for green gooseberries, which they ate with the pea-soup supplied as their entire dinner on one day every week; another day they had plum pudding of a sort, on Sundays there was roast beef, on another day rice pudding, on another roast mutton. The same round began again with no variety, week after week. Breakfast and supper were equally frugal. Butter was only allowed on Sundays and there seems to have been very inadequate supervision over the meals. My Father remembered they not infrequently gambled away their suppers to one another and he had cried with hunger on the morning after such a loss, before any fresh food was obtainable. The one piece of supervision he remembered was that they had to show their hands to the steward when they came to table, who caned them if they were dirty. In contrast to the scanty food they had a liberal supply of beer, but it was so bad that they left it and took water by preference, throwing about and wasting the beer. My Father recollected when he was a monitor, drawing out the spigot of a cask and letting the whole of the contents run away. When he was about twelve years old, he developed a taste for books and saved his money to buy them, an interest he maintained all through his active life.
(After my Father's death, I wrote a collection of the stories he used to tell us of his school days, and embodied them in a story called The Golden Pavement, published by Shaw of Paternoster Row, but now out of print.)

The boys left Christ's Hospital when they were fourteen years old, unless they belonged to the small number of Grecians, among whom my Father was not. His father, therefore, sent him to Sherborne, then just a little country grammar school quite unknown to fame. A new headmaster had just been appointed, a.certain Dr. Lyons, a first-rate schoolmaster who quickly raised the school to a high level of efficiency. My Father always spoke of Dr. Lyons with affection; he was one of his first four boarders; the next term opened with eight boarders and the next with sixteen and so on. Dr. Lyons thought so well of my father that he tried to persuade my grandfather to send him on to Cambridge, where he thought his mathematical talents would ensure his success. This my grandfather refused to do - it may have been from a dread of 'Godless learning'. With a strange inconsistency he articled him to a Mr. Gough, a solicitor in Hereford, quite against my father's inclination, for he always hated that profession. Moreover, though my Father averred Mr. Gough had very good points about him and was an honest man, he was also a definitely irreligious one. My Father served out his articles with Mr. Gough and in the early 'twenties, he left Hereford for Gibraltar. He went out to join his father, who by that time had worked up a good business as a solicitor, combining it with the profession of barrister. But an agitation had been set on foot to deprive the lawyers of Gibraltar of his special privilege and it was actually carried out at the very moment when my father joined his father there. The change operated disastrously on my father's expectation of employment; I gather that the relations between son and father at Gibraltar were not too happy and the disappointment of not getting the work he was led to expect may have had something to do with this. However, he remained in the place some time, enjoying the fresh scenes and the people he met with and the friends he made. He mastered the Spanish language and was sometimes mistaken for a Spaniard, with his dark hair and dark moustache-the latter a quite inadmissible adornment for a civilian professional man in those days.

When he returned to England with not only a moustache but radical opinions in politics and presented himself to his uncle, the Rev. Henry Rawlins, Rector of Bishop's Hull, near Taunton, that worthy old cleric looked upon him as a lost soul, though I believe he still continued to enjoy his society. My Father and his uncle had one of those odd likings for each other you may sometimes find between relatives who do not appear to have an idea in common. The stinginess, worldliness and love of money which characterised the uncle would have shocked and alienated the nephew in ordinary cases, but my father never seemed to take them seriously, looking on them more as comic stories than real indications of character or matters of fact.*

(*Probably there was some streak of the congeniality that not unfrequently accompanies kindred blood between the two relatives, which made his uncle's failings less alien to my Father than were his own father's virtues. One example of the differing views of father and son was seen when my father and Mother were engaged. Grandpapa Pyne was rather bewildered by his son's choice, thinking that Aunt Mary-Ann, who was considered a beauty by many people, would have been a more natural match for his son than was her lively and witty sister Harriet, who could not compete with her in good looks. E.E.C.)

The Rector himself was not without brains and took a liking to his brother clergyman at Combe-Florey, Sydney Smith, later rewarded for his services in wit and wisdom by becoming Dean of St. Paul's. Both being Liberals in politics, the only two in that part of Somerset, they rather gravitated together. They once met at some archidiaconal meeting in their neighbourhood, perhaps a visitation. The Archdeacon, a Mr. Spooner by name, was not a man of strong intellect, but no doubt was listened to with due decorum. Walking back from the church, my great-uncle enquired of Sydney Smith what he thought of the sermon they had just heard. 'Spoon-meat, Mr. Rawlins, spoon-meat', was the reply - reported to my Father by old Rawlins.

On returning from his unlucky opening at Gibraltar, my Father soon decided to complete his law studies for the profession of barrister. I don't know whether at this time he was eating his dinners at Gray's Inn, but he was working in the chambers of a barrister of repute, and lodging in London. There had just been a Commission on the Poor Law and the Commissioners were getting out a Report for a plan of reform to be introduced by the newly reformed Parliament, when they were disconcerted by the sudden illness of their Secretary. To replace him was an urgent necessity, and application was made to the barrister with whom my Father was then reading, who recommended Mr. Pyne. He entered at once upon his duty, mastered the unfinished work of his predecessor, and prepared to make the necessary Report with only a day to spare. To get the work done in time for the sitting of Parliament for which it was required, he worked all through a whole day, continued through the next night, and on through the following day, thirty-six hours at a stretch, with fresh relays of clerks to supply the needed assistance. The Report was got out up to time, and presently, the Poor Law Commission having done its work, my Father was appointed to the new Tithe Commission. Here he prepared Tables to assist in the commutation of tithes, which were originally called 'Pyne's Tables'. They required an annual revision, work which my Father did at home, and I can remember as a child, my Mother telling me one evening to play quietly and not make a noise as my Father was occupied in revising these papers. I do not know the date when my Father gave up this revision, but I think he told me it was when he was appointed Assistant Tithe Commissioner and he gave it over to some junior in the office, a man with a family to educate and a struggle to make both ends meet.

It was in the early days after his joining the Tithe Commission that my Father met my Mother - a case of love at first sight. He described the occasion in a letter to one of his sisters. It was in November 1837, shortly after Queen Victoria's accession, when she paid her first state visit to the City of London, at a banquet in the Guildhall, and there were great rejoicings, the streets being illuminated in her honour. Among the spectators was a Mrs. Burchett, accompanied by her daughters and attended by young Mr. Pyne, and with them among other friends was Miss Harriet James, youngest daughter of Thomas James, barrister-at-law and a bencher of Gray's Inn. 'I cut out Master William [his younger brother] that time' wrote my father, 'as I walked along with two of the handsomest women in London
on my arm.' At some turn of the evening's amusement it was proposed by my father that his friends should refresh themselves in his bachelor's rooms, as they happened to be near by. (In later years he pointed out these old lodgings to me, situated in Carburton Street, a corner house still occupied as an oil and colour shop, sometimes called an Italian warehouse). It was a very unpretentious place and as simple inside as out, not even rising to the possession of a pair of snuffers - a very necessary appliance when candles (generally tallow at that) were the only illuminants. I recollect my Mother's telling me of this early visit to her future husband's bachelor chambers, saying how clever she thought it of him that when the candle wanted snuffing, he snuffed the long tallow candle with a piece of paper.

My parents' acquaintance seems to have prospered, and my Father was introduced to the hospitable household at 21 Burton Crescent where there was always plenty going on, and Grandpapa James's social charm, Grandmama's wit and Uncle Tom's brilliant talk must have made an attractive household. The engagement of our parents followed in due course but it was rather an agitating time for them, as on both sides their friends thought they were throwing themselves away. This aspect was bluntly put before my Father by one of his chiefs on the Tithe Commission, a Mr. Jones, a well-known political economist of those days. He had taken a great interest in his clever, hard-working junior and seems to have been much disappointed at his throwing himself away on a penniless girl. 'You might have married anyone!' he exclaimed, considering that Father should have waited a bit, when he could have secured a rich wife or not hampered himself with the cares of a wife and family. No doubt Mr. Jones was right, had worldly success been his object in life, but, as my Father used to gay of political economists, 'They don't understand human nature.'

My Father had a talent for friendship seen all through his life and due to the great confidence he inspired. I can often remember people coming to consult him or asking for advice about their affairs. I don't think he enjoyed this, as he was not of a managing disposition or at all anxious to interfere in other people's concerns. But he had the generous disposition which likes to give, whether advice or special information or the loan of his books, even at the risk of not having them returned, which he accepted as he did the other risks of life. I cannot remember ever being taught by him 'to play for safety'. Not but what he took good care of us. I still remember as a tiny child being on the terrace at Somerset House where his office was, to see the last of the old Lord Mayor's processions on the Thames. My Father at that time had a large room to himself in Somerset House opening onto a broad terrace with a balustrade protecting it from the river which flowed immediately below. To let me see the show better, my father lifted me onto the balustrade, where I sat with his arm round me. At a still earlier age, when we used the large front hall at Crescent Place as a frequent playroom, I can recall how we would run up to him when he came home from his office, asking him to give us a pick-a-back and he would let us ride on his shoulders the length of the hall and the long dining room which opened out of it.

Another incident is connected with the earliest strike I can remember; we were going to dinner with our grandmother on Christmas Day but a night of severe toothache left me with a swollen face. Not to deprive me of the treat, however, it was decided I might go safely in a cab, but when evening came all the cabs were out on strike and not one was obtainable. To spare me the disappointment, my Father said I could have a shawl put over my head, and he would carry me round to my grandmother's himself, which he accordingly did.

My Father had great courage and a belief in human nature, refusing to be alarmed by scares for the future. When Stanley Jevons called attention to the exhaustion of our coal supply, he said that when that time arrived we should probably have discovered some other form of fuel - a sort of prediction of the arrival of oil. Another time when 'over-population' was the bugbear, I recollect his saying that we owed our colonies to that very cause. He always had a high sense of the value of our colonies and I think it must have been in the later fifties that he purchased some of the early Australian books, e.g. a book with large views illustrating scenes in the colonies; he once remarked that some day the Australians would be in a position to form libraries (he was thinking of public libraries) and that they would desire to purchase these early books.

When we were living in Crescent Place he had plenty of storage for his books, but I suppose later removals cramped him for room, and he must have got rid of the bulk of them, for there was a very restricted number when he finally reached Hillgrove [in Gloucestershire], where he died. According to his oral instructions to Mother, these remaining books were sent after his death to a secondhand bookseller (Bumstead?), when they rcalised £1,000. The country valuer who valued the contents of Hillgrove for probate had no idea of the value of books and had greatly undervalued them. Among the books left by my Father at his death was a bookcase full of presentation copies from various men whose work he had encouraged or sympathised with or in some way helped. One or two were from the spelling reformer, Dr. Furnival, one from William Carew Hazlett; these I saw in his library at Hillgrove. But when I returned after his death, I was disappointed to find that these interesting volumes had been dispersed, and much regretted that I had not earlier interfered to prevent this if possible. My extreme grief at my Father's loss quite stupefied me for a while; I never even thought of getting mourning for my children till my sister Constance, who was living at Hillgrove, called my attention to the subject and helped to procure it. (Our Father was great friends with her husband, Athel, as indeed he was with all his sons-in-law.)

I remember often hearing about books and their writers from him; some writers he met at the British Museum. He had a great appreciation of Panizzi, the chief librarian of his day, under whose auspices the great new Library in Bloomsbury was erected. He and Panizzi were by way of being friends in their own subject, though their families (if Panizzi had a family) were nor acquainted. But I remember my Father taking me to see the New Museum Reading Room just after it was opened.

My Father was always most generous in lending his books. He was once applied to for an old prayer book in some case before the Privy Council, to determine the old practice in ritual when the question of 'vestments' was being discussed in the late 'sixties. He also lent many copies of the rare English books which were reprinted by the late Mr. Arber. Mr. Arber found it a great convenience to borrow a volume to take home to work upon in his own house (for example, an old copy of Bacon), a great blessing for a man who mainly depended on the library at the British Museum, which only provided volumes to be consulted on the spot. I think Professor Henry Morley also encouraged Mr. Arber over his reprints, and he used to call my Father and Professor Morley his literary godfathers. Several of the Arber reprints passed into my possession after my Father's death; they were largely presentation copies, and at least one of them was dedicated to him. These reprints, now become rather scarce, have been given by me to Ursula Gregory, the only one of his great-grandchildren who has shown any interest in her Pyne ancestors.

THE DUEL

In August 1876 I was staying at Kent Terrace with my Father, my mother being on a visit to one of my sisters. One morning at breakfast when he usually read the newspaper, his eye was caught by a notice of the death of a Mademoiselle Dejazet, a noted French actress of bygone days whose name was unknown to my generation. He was very much interested in the paragraph, and presently he said: 'I was once nearly concerned in a duel about Mademoiselle Dejazet'.

I was all ears as you can imagine and then, as one remembers a bygone event when circumstances recall it, the past seemed to come back to him, and he related the incident. It occurred when he was on his journey back from Gibraltar through Spain and France. After crossing the frontier he was travelling between the Pyrenees and Paris - I forget the name of the town where he had halted, it was a long way from Paris, but a good many travellers passed through it on their way to Paris, as it was a stage in the long journey to the capital. (This was before the days of railroads).

While having a meal with other travellers, my Father noticed a gentleman gazing somewhat fixedly at him, and when the meal was over this stranger approached him and civilly asked him if he were not an Englishman. On hearing that he was, 'the Captain', as he proved to be, expressed his pleasure at meeting a fellow countryman, hoping he might help him out of a difficulty. He then explained that he had become involved in a dispute with a Frenchman in regard to Mademoiselle Dejazet, which had resulted in a challenge. The Frenchman, being in his own country, had secured a second, but he, as a foreigner, had no-one to see him through. Would my Father act for him? As a fellow countryman in distress in foreign parts, my Father felt he had no alternative, and must grant his request. In due course he received the Frenchman's second, who proved a reasonable man and agreed with my Father that it would be best if possible to reconcile the antagonists. This they succeeded in doing; honour was satisfied, the four men implicated went on their several ways and never seem to have seen each other again. The incident passed out of my Father's mind, till revived by the death of Mademoiselle Dejazet. In the same manner, the birth of my son Henry, about a week later, put the story out of my head, and nothing occurred for many years to bring it back to my memory.


NOTES ON HENRY PYNE by Harriet Henvey (nee Pyne), his fifth daughter. (whom E.E.C. calls 'the Harry V of our youth')

Papa died in February 1895 (N.B. 1885) and during the 58 years I had him, I can remember no single cross or unkind word. He was very fond of music and it was one of the delights of my girlhood to practise up a sonata to play to him on Sunday afternoons, he and Mama sitting comfortably in armchairs. It was also a joy to walk with him to school, and a protection against vulgar little street boys. One of his sayings was 'Poor and content is rich, and rich indeed'. He liked Solomon's 'Give me neither poverty nor riches...' and Mother told me his favourite text was 'Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ'. How ready he was to go to help in any crisis, e.g. in the ghost episode at Rattlesden!

It was a great blessing in my married life that father and Frederick were so fond of each other. They understood each other, as upright officials. They used to reel off poetry, Byron and Shakespeare, to each other by the yard. But Aunt Anne (of whom I have tender and grateful memories) and he did not understand each other, and it was only his sense of duty that made him admit her in his dreadful illness ('I promise she shall not stay more than two or three minutes'). I always thought Aunt King was his favourite sister, but I think he justly had a high sense of Aunt Elizabeth's wits. How kind he was in sparing mother to help her girls and grandchildren! I remember in some crisis his taking his grandson, Bernard Grenfell, to Brighton, looking after him entirely. He came back quite battered and said Bernard had incessantly asked two questions, 'Why!' and Why not?'. When Katherine was a crying wee baby, he would take her in his strong arms and walk up and down the drawing room at 18 Kent Terrace, and call her 'the blue- eyed maid of Heaven'; and he used to like to see Isabel and Kitty, a pretty little pair in pink and white, when he came back from the office.

He was very good at the office in an unobtrusive way. Once at a crisis, Mama asked me to fetch him, and I can see him in his big beautiful room, 3 St.James's Square, and I felt how much the messengers respected him. On the eve of my wedding, 3rd February 1866, he took me a long walk from Hastings to St. Leonards and explained that I was going out into the wicked world, but that I was to stick to my principles, and how often afterwards did his wise words inspire and comfort me (15th June 1926 H.H.)"


From Ann Gregory's copy of the Chaplin and Skinner book:
"In a Report of Commission on Registration of Title in Land Sales (published 1859) Appendix, Part E p.324 is a paper by E N Ayrton. Pages 343 to 352 of same Parliamentary Report are by Henry Pyne".
Facts
  • 2 JAN 1809 - Birth -
  • 9 FEB 1885 - Death - ; Woodchester, Gloucestershire
  • BET 1817 AND 1823 - Fact -
  • BET 1823 AND 1825 - Fact -
  • BET 1825 AND 1830 - Fact -
  • BET 1832 AND 1833 - Fact -
  • 1836 - Publications - ; Author of Pyne's Tables (on tithe)
  • 1838 - Fact -
  • 1841 - Fact -
Ancestors
   
John Pyne
1732 - 1810
 
 
John Pyne
1774 - 1853
  
  
  
Betty Webber
1736 - 1799
 
Henry Pyne
2 JAN 1809 - 9 FEB 1885
  
 
  
 
   
  
  
 
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) John Pyne
Birth1774
Death1853 Somerton
Marriage1806to Hannah White Rawlins at Martock
FatherJohn Pyne
MotherBetty Webber
PARENT (F) Hannah White Rawlins
Birth1785
Death1817
Marriage1806to John Pyne at Martock
FatherHenry W. Rawlins , Rev
MotherElizabeth White
CHILDREN
MHenry Pyne
Birth2 JAN 1809
Death9 FEB 1885Woodchester, Gloucestershire
Marriage7 APR 1840to Harriet James at Old Church, St Pancras, London, England
FElizabeth Rawlins Pyne
Birth1807
Death1883
Marriageto John Barney
MWilliam Pyne
Birth1812
Death1880
FMary Pyne
Birth1813
Death1865
Marriageto Frederick King
FAnne Pyne
Birth1814
Death1890
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Henry Pyne
Birth2 JAN 1809
Death9 FEB 1885 Woodchester, Gloucestershire
Marriage7 APR 1840to Harriet James at Old Church, St Pancras, London, England
FatherJohn Pyne
MotherHannah White Rawlins
PARENT (F) Harriet James
Birth25 DEC 1819
Death13 MAR 1895 Eastbourne, buried at Woodchester, Gloucestershire
Marriage7 APR 1840to Henry Pyne at Old Church, St Pancras, London, England
FatherThomas James
MotherMary Ann Watkyns
CHILDREN
FEdith Elizabeth Pyne
Birth28 SEP 1845Porchester Place, London, Middlesex
Death1928
Marriage2 JAN 1868to Ayrton Chaplin , Rev
FMary Juliana Pyne
Birth17 FEB 1841
Death1927Little Baddow, Essex, buried Woodham Walter, Essex
FAlice Pyne
Birth21 OCT 1843
Death191718 Merton St. Oxford, buried St. Cross, Oxford
Marriage1869to John Granville Grenfell
FHelen Sophia Pyne
Birth27 MAY 1844
Death1931The Manor House, Stawell
Marriage1865to Edward Frederick Grenfell
Marriage1878to Allen Dowdeswell Graham
FHarriet Pyne
Birth22 AUG 1847Bloomsbury, London.
Death1929Warneford Hospital, Oxford - buried in Ealing Cemetery
MarriageFEB 1866to Frederick Henvey , I.C.S
FConstance Pyne
Birth2 APR 18515 Burton Crescent (Cartwright Gardens) Bloomsbury, London
Death19294 Ladbroke Square, London W11, buried at Kidlington, Oxfordshire
MarriageOCT 1874to Jervoise Athelstane Baines , K.C.S.I. K.C.S.I
Evidence
[S12758] Ann Gregory (Mendell)'s copy of 'A short account of the Families of Chaplin and Skinner........' with annotations by Ayrton Chaplin & others
[S32837] 'The Golden Pavement' by Edith Elizabeth Chaplin nee Pyne, 1887
Descendancy Chart
Henry Pyne b: 2 JAN 1809 d: 9 FEB 1885
Harriet James b: 25 DEC 1819 d: 13 MAR 1895
Edith Elizabeth Pyne b: 28 SEP 1845 d: 1928
Ayrton Chaplin , Rev b: 19 OCT 1842 d: 1930
Ursula (Ulla) Chaplin , M.D. b: 30 NOV 1869 d: 1937
Adriana (Audrey) Chaplin b: 26 APR 1872 d: 15 DEC 1945
Ursula Joan Gregory b: 29 JUL 1896 d: 17 JUL 1959
Christopher John (Kit) Gregory b: 11 JUL 1900 d: 1977
Marion Eastty Black b: 3 MAY 1902 d: AUG 1998
Elizabeth Gregory b: 22 OCT 1933 d: 1938
Henry Ayrton Chaplin , L.R.C.P. & S. b: 21 AUG 1876 d: 2 JUL 1905
Mary Juliana Pyne b: 17 FEB 1841 d: 1927
Alice Pyne b: 21 OCT 1843 d: 1917
John Granville Grenfell b: 1839 d: 1937
Bernard Pyne Grenfell b: 16 DEC 1869 d: 1925
Edward Lionel Grenfell b: 9 MAY 1873 d: 20 SEP 1874
Helen Sophia Pyne b: 27 MAY 1844 d: 1931
Edward Frederick Grenfell b: 1841 d: 29 DEC 1870
Arthur Pascoe Grenfell b: 24 APR 1868 d: 25 NOV 1932
Harold Granville Grenfell b: DEC 1869 d: 29 FEB 1948
Allen Dowdeswell Graham b: 1837 d: 10 JUL 1905
Irene Marguerite Graham b: AUG 1881 d: JUL 1897
George Roland Graham b: 17 APR 1884 d: 17 MAR 1905
Helen Muriel Graham b: JUN 1880 d: 1916
Harriet Pyne b: 22 AUG 1847 d: 1929
Frederick Henvey , I.C.S b: 1842 d: 1913
Margaret Henvey , O B E b: 1868 d: 1946
Mary Isobel (Molly) Ramsay b: 29 JAN 1894 d: 1970
Victor Wellesley Roche , Col b: 1889 d: 1970
William Henvey b: 21 JUN 1867 d: 11 JAN 1904
Mary Duffield d: 1897
Frederick Charles Henvey b: 7 AUG 1870 d: 10 DEC 1891
Isabel Henvey b: 19 AUG 1872 d: 1925
Katherine Mary Henvey b: 19 MAR 1873 d: 1960
Ralph Henvey , Col b: 3 JAN 1875 d: 1945
Constance Pyne b: 2 APR 1851 d: 1929
Jervoise Athelstane Baines , K.C.S.I. K.C.S.I b: 17 OCT 1847 d: 26 NOV 1925
Sylvia Baines b: 29 SEP 1875 d: 14 JUL 1941
Philip Edward Percival , ICS b: 11 NOV 1872 d: 1939
Alicia Constance Percival b: 13 MAY 1903
David Athelstane Percival b: 29 MAY 1906
Cuthbert Edward Baines b: 12 JUN 1879 d: 1959
Margaret Clemency Lane Poole b: 6 APR 1886 d: 1945
Elizabeth Eularia Baines b: 4 MAY 1914 d: 1970
Cyril Clarke d: 1975