John Clarke Chaplin

John Clarke Chaplin

b: 25 AUG 1806
d: 2 JUN 1856
1841 Census:
HO 107/1151/ Bk3 or Bk 4
[Hagley Cottage], Hagley Road, King's Norton, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire:
(Hagley Road to Grindelstone Lane and Chad Lane]

John Chaplin 34 Solicitor Not born in same county
Matilda Chaplin 28 do
Julia Chaplin 4 Born in same county
Louisa Chaplin 3 do
Holroyd Chaplin 1 do
Lucy Job 35 do
Mary Simmons 35 Not born in same county
Fanny Knowles 22 Born in same county

1851 Census:
Source: HO107/1469 - Regn district Kensington, sub regn Brompton Folio 6 page 7
26 Brompton Square

John C Chaplin Head Mar 44 Solicitor Born Norfolk, Watlington
Matilda Chaplin Wife Mar 37 Born Middlesex, Chelsea
Julia Chaplin Dau 14 Scholar Born Warwick, Edgebaston
Matilda Chaplin Dau 4 Born France, Honfleur
Agnes Ayrton Niece 16 Born London, Marylebone

From 'The Chaplin and Skinner Families' December 1902 page 8, with quotations from Matilda Adriana Ayrton's memoirs written in 1899:

>> JOHN CLARKE CHAPLIN, mentioned above [see Rev Edward Chaplin - Notes] was born on the 25th August, 1806. He is the member of the Rev. Edward Chaplin's large family with which this history is chiefly concerned, and a good description of him has been left by his widow, Mrs. Adriana Chaplin, in her 'Memoir' already referred to. She says:

"My friends at school were three sisters, named Chaplin, and this Christmas (1828) they invited me to spend a few days with them. Their father was one of the clergy at Gray's Inn, and also chaplain to St. Martin's Burial Ground, Camden Town, which was then considered out of London.
My brother Frederick escorted me there, and was kindly invited to dinner. I was glad of this, as, except my schoolfellows, they were all grown-up strangers. Before dinner was over, I felt quite at home, for Mr. Chaplin and his sons, aged 22 and 32, were very friendly. Mrs Chaplin was an invalid, but not confined to her room. I remember she took me up to bed, and I chattered to her about France, which seemed to amuse her. I think she must have told the other members of the family I had amused her. The son Edward did not sleep at home as the house was too small, but John came home to dinner and to sleep. At breakfast, which was at 8 o'clock, he used to talk to me till his father came in when we were obliged to be very quiet, as he read his papers; but we whispered and giggled very sotto voce. I only stayed a few days, but those few days determined my future life. At home I had been accustomed to play and talk with my brothers as one of them, to be chaffed by them; but John Chaplin treated me quite differently. Tried to please me, brought me a flower, a print, or some trifle, said when I left that he should call and see me, and I looked forward to seeing him. However, at the end of the holidays I returned to school at 28 Brompton Square, then just built, but not finished.

Mr. Chaplin (Rev. Edward Chaplin) and his sister who married a clever barrister by the name of Holroyd, were the only children who lived to grow up. Their mother was the daughter of one Von Stocken, Librarian to the King of Saxony or Prussia, and I was told he was learned. This couple (Mr. and Mrs. Amos Chaplin) died when Mr C. was at Cambridge, where he went on a scholarship from school. He was intended for the bar, but while at Cambridge fell in love with a Miss Theodoric, who was very pretty (Mabel resembles her), and went into the Church that he might sooner marry her. She was the only child*, except a sister by a former wife. On the death of Mr. Theodoric there was some quarrel about the division of property, and I knew nothing of that branch. The other daughter was a Mrs. Vale. When anything was said or done that was thought mean or unamiable it was said to be "just like Mrs. Vale." Thus I remember the name.
By his marriage Mr. Chaplin had a very large family; there were seven boys living at one time, and four girls. When I first knew them there were only three girls (Louisa, Ann and Sarah) and two grown-up sons; the eldest, Edward, was ten years older than John, my husband, an amiable man, but was less beloved by his family than his brother. He was more selfish and less generous to his sisters. For a young man he (Edward Amos Chaplin) had a fine income as a solicitor; his brother had been articled to him, and worked very hard in his office.

* See however, pedigree A; also page 3. Mrs. Chaplin and Mrs. Vale were both daughters of Dr. Thomas Theodorick by his second marriage with Miss Margaret Clarke. He had several other children by his first marriage with Miss Margaret Hingham
I suppose my husband was clever in business, as he was offered a good partnership without payment by a wealthy old Birmingham lawyer, but he did not know that I thought a very small income sufficed for those who married for love and had no views of a grand match. "

Mrs M. A. Chaplin described how the attachment between herself and John Chaplin proceeded. Speaking of the year 1829, she says:

"I remember John Chaplin taking his youngest sister Sarah, me, and my brother Edward to Vauxhall Gardens. I had often heard them spoken of as charming, though then on the wane and not much frequented, but I longed to see them. I think it was rather an expensive affair with carriage hire, as there was then no other means of getting there.
The Gardens, with their strings of coloured lamps, small al fresco stage, peepshows, rope dancing, small fireworks would be all very tawdry and poor now that we have a Crystal Palace, &c, &c. Though I did not find it so fairylike as I expected, I enjoyed myself. There were alcoves with a glimmer of light in each, for supping in off meagre little sandwiches and ginger pop which we had. From this time I had a sentiment, which neither I nor anyone else suspected, though I heard afterwards that his mother had said he would one day marry 'that little dark girl.'"

The marriage was not without a good deal of opposition, especially on the part of Mrs. M. A Chaplin's grandfather, Colonel Edward Nugent, as she mentions in her 'Memoirs' -

"My grandfather's one idea was that I should, in a worldly sense, 'marry well.' He was very fond of me and I of him, so after my mother's death (Mrs. Juliana Caroline Rebecca Aurton, who died on 10th March 1833) when I asserted my determination to marry John Chaplin, my grandfather firmly opposed me; though he did not interfere with my intimacy with the family, he would not allow him (John Chaplin) to visit me. John Chaplin would not stand this insult, and finally I was obliged to leave my grandfather's and board with a lady, Edward Chaplin advancing any money I wanted till I was 21. My grandfather was passionate and would not be thwarted; in other respects he was good and generous. I was very much grieved at this quarrel. Friends did all they could to repair the breach, but in vain; for a girl to resist him was an unpardonable offence."

It was on the 6th April, 1835, that John Clarke Chaplin and Matilda Adriana Ayrton were eventually married at the parish church of Marylebone. Colonel Nugent died the following March.

In 1829 John Clarke Chaplin was admitted as a solicitor, and until 1832 was connected with his brother's firm of Norton & Chaplin of 3 Grays Inn Square. He then proceeded to Birmingham, where he went into partnership with Mr. William Spurrier, and rapidly acquired a leading position amongst Birmingham solicitors. His health, however, broke down in 1850 when he was forty-three years of age, and soon after Mr. and Mrs. Chaplin and their family of six children moved to Tonbridge, Kent, so that their sons might be educated at Tonbridge School.

Mr. John Clarke Chaplin died on the 2nd June, 1856, when only forty-nine years old, and was buried at Hildenborough near Tonbridge, on the 7th of the same month.. His widow, Matilda Adriana Chaplin, lived to the age of eighty-five, dying on the 26th January, 1899, at 98 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, where she had lived for many years. She was buried on the 31st of the same month in her husband's grave at Hildenborough.

The following are the descendants of Mrs. Matilda Adriana Chaplin, of whom two daughters and one granddaughter died before her:-

Children Grandchildren Great-grandchilren

(1) Julia Margaret Nugent

(2) Louisa Sarah Skinner (1) John Allan Cleveland (1) Hilary Francis Cleveland
Skinner Skinner
(2) John Adrian Dudley Skinner

(2) Caroline Louisa Marianne (1) William Venning Bickford
Bickford Smith Smith
(2) John Allan Bickford Smith
(3) Aubrey Louis Bickford Smith

(3) Clifton Wyndham Hilary
Skinner, R.F.A.

(3) Holroyd Chaplin (1) Nugent Chaplin
(2) Irene Kate Pearce (1) Effie Irene Pearce
(2) Edward Holroyd Pearce
(3) Matilda Effie Chaplin
(4) Phyllis Cowell
(5) Theodoric Chaplin
(6) Daphne Chaplin

(4) Rev. Ayrton Chaplin (1) Ursula Chaplin, M.D.
(2) Audrey Gregory (1) Ursula Joan Gregory
(2) Christopher John Gregory
(3) Henry Ayrton Chaplin,
L.R.C.P. & S.

(5) Colonel Allan Chaplin (1) Rev. Wyndham Allan
Chaplin, Mus. Bac.
(2) Mabel Florance Ida Chaplin
(3) Maud Dorothea Fanny

(6) Matilda Chaplin Ayrton, (1) Edith Chaplin Ayrton

Ot the above, two daughters have died, viz.-
- Mrs Matilda Chaplin Ayrton, on 19th July, 1883;
- Mrs Lousia Sarah Skinner, on 9th July, 1897;

and two grandchildren, viz.-
- Matilda Effie Chaplin (in infancy), on 20th December, 1874.
- Maud Dorothea Fanny Chaplin, on 6th November, 1899.

I do not propose to give any detailed account of persons still living, and therefore the only child of Mrs. Matilda Adriana Chaplin of whom some account can now be given is Mrs. Matilda Chaplin Ayrton, the youngest daughter of Mrs. Matilda Adriana Chaplin. <<


It should be noted that there were three marriages between his family and the family of Allan Maclean Skinner:
John Edwin Hilary Skinner married Louisa Sarah Chaplin on 30 April 1864
Holroyd Chaplin married Euphemia Isabella Skinner on 20 December 1871
Allan Chaplin married Maud Elizabeth Skinner on 20 December 1871
Thus the children of these marriages have the same four grandparents and eight grandparents.

[ From the 'The Chaplin and Skinner Families' it appears that of John Chaplin's twelve siblings - the '1800' generation - eight died when still children. In his father's family, the '1770' generation, it was even worse - six died early out of eight. But in the case of his own children - the '1840' generation - all survived].

From PCC wills at FRC:

CHAPLIN, John Clarke Esq Kent June 1856 453. Film PROB11 - 2234

Alan Ray-Jones writes:

The copy in my posession reads as follows: This is the last will and testament of me John Clarke Chaplin of the Elms Tunbridge in the County of Kent Gentleman. I devise & bequeath all the real & personal estate to which I shall be beneficially entitled at the time of my decease unto my beloved wife Matilda Adriana absolutely but in the fullest trust & confidence in her affectionate regard for myself & our dear children that she will employ it for the best advantages in the maintenance of herself & the education support & advancement of our children.
I also devise & bequeath as far as I lawfully can all estates vested in me upon trust or by way of mortgage to my said wife subject to the equities affecting the same respectively. I also appoint my said wife sole guardian of the persons & estates of our dear children & sole executrix hereof hereby revoking all other testamentary writings.
In witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand this 30th day of November in the year of our Lord 1853 signed by the same list as his last will & testament in the presence of us present at the same time who at his request in his presence & in the presence of each other put our names as witnesses, signed: Charles Ellis - Joseph Snelling - John Clarke Chaplin.

Effie Ray-Jones said that they had a donkey at Tonbridge, and that every morning the donkey would come down some steps to the Dining Room to say good morning to her great-grandfather in his wheelchair. [Letter to Acton addressed to 15 Park Street, Grosvenor Square, London]

Birmingham 10th August, 1837

My dear Acton

We fully expect the pleasure of your company in the course of the long Vacation as well as that of Edward’s directly the Galways have been and left us. I on that will write to you or Edward. I repeat we were obliged to postpone the pleasure of seeing Edward. I enclose you a prospectus of the intended Musical Festival so that at all events you and Edward may arrange to be with us on that festive occasion. We have asked several Friends therefore if all come we can have a merry meeting and when Mat hears who I have asked she says she does not know where she shall find Bed Rooms. I reply we must manage as they do at a pick nick - between Beds -- Sofas and Chairs.

I doubt not we shall be able to make most satisfactory accommodation for all. Mat and the Baby are quite well, the Baby is growing quite a great Child. She promises to be a most lively and amusing Child -- nothing appears to escape her notice and she is so very good-tempered that she has become a general favourite. I was pleased Yesterday on my return Home to find a letter from your Grandmother, give my best love and believe me

Yours affectionately
J C Chaplin

[Letter to Acton in Bombay via Falmouth, postmarked Birmingham, Feb 26, 1842, written both ways across the paper.]

Hagley Cottage, Edgbaston, 25th February 1842. 10 o’Clk

My dear Acton

I have not written to you before, as I have concluded I could send you no news as Edward and Matilda so often write to you. This more particularly applies to the former as the latter is rather an irregular correspondent - however now that Edward is away I shall take up the agreeable task of corresponding with you, and when I hear from you my old Friend(?) Jack’s address I shall trouble him with a letter also.

I am rather tired tonight as I was up and stirring early this Morning to get Agnes off to Mrs Penn’s. I took her to Mr Spurrier and he took charge of her. They started off by the 7 o’clock (?) Train for London. (?) was to have her at 8(?) o'clock in UBP(?) then Dudley Cater or his wife was to care for her a -- take charge of her for a Day or two and then consign her to Mrs Penn's care. Agnes is a very agreeable and good tempered Child and our Children are very fond [turn to inside page, top of double page spread] of her. W. S. is gone to London upon Parham Business. When he returns, which will be shortly, I shall go up up on the same business, but I fear I shall have to be in the Country for the coming Spring Assizes. Law has been very (?) in England for the last six or 12 months the London Agents sadly complain.

We are most concerned we have had no tidings of Fred or Edward since we received letters from them dated Cairo 23rd September last -- then they contemplated going to Constantinople and shortly returning. Dardis has written to the Consul at Cairo, I to the Consul at Constantinople to inquire about them, but at present neither of us have had any answer. I dare say that last they will turn up somewhere all well and right, yet it certainly is very strange, none of their friends have heard from them and again Edward is such a very punctual correspondent. We hope for the best. I shall indeed be delighted to find [opposite page] our fears have been unnecessary.

My Father has had a very severe attack of Gout and indeed is still confined to his House. I have heard today from Louisa Wickham, she is mending. She has been a great Invalid -- an additional Dr from Exeter to attend her. I expect Ann will be married in the Summer. I wish you could see our children. The Boy is growing fast and I hope he will be a good Lawyer. But perhaps he will hate it. I am very sorry to hear you do not find the Law so profitable as it was in your Father's time. I fully expected you would soon be able to return with a large fortune. I often think of the inconveniences you must be under having none(?) good Clerks or Law Stationers to. Here we are very well off. I have nearly all the writing in our Office done by Law Stationers, it saves so much trouble. Burke is our (?) Agent and a very clever Man he is. You remember him do you not?

I hope shortly to begin gardening again before Breakfast. I am very fond of the [address side, other way up!] Gardens altho’ they are but small. I keep (?) not this living pretty? Mat is so taken up with her Education Schemes that she has little or no time for anything else. We shall be anxious to hear about John and we wish him good luck if he joins the Army in the disturbed parts of India. When is it likely he will get a (?) promotion – it appears very slow even in India. I am very sorry Edward has not stuck to the Law, and (?) to the Bar. I think it is such a great pity he should lose standing. I am satisfied he might do remarkably well at the Bar. We expect [back to first page, crosswise] the pleasure of Dardis’s company for a few days in the Spring on his way to Ireland. He was looking very well the last time was in Town which is not very long since I was in London last Year no less than I was here. The talk amongst the Men is now nothing but about the Corn Law (?) which is one many more talk about than understand. We have made up our minds not to leave the Cottage We have made up our minds not to leave the Cottage at present. Therefore hope to continue on the Residence for at least seven more years. I hope in executing Mat’s Commission in procuring her a writing Desk to make as present of to Mrs (?) - you will select something in accordance with your usual good taste and you must not be particular as to two or three Pounds as we wish to make her a handsome present.

I am amused every month by reading the India Newspapers you send for Edward – whatever row there appears to have been between your Chief Justice the Bar and the (?) – calculated in my Opinion to lower the (?) of all [page missing? Go to address page, same way up as the address] their Children on Mr Penn’s Acct. I fear Mrs Penn is rather Poor, which I am sure you will agree with me is rather an objection as poor School Masters and Mistresses like poor Doctors and Lawyers think they can never make enough out of the few they have to deal with - however now Mrs Penn may have more Pupils.

With kindest love to you and Jack in which Matilda (?) and (?) we shall shortly hear of the Travellers.

I am My dear Acton
Yours affectionately
J C Chaplin

[Top of inside pages]

Saturday morning 26th February

It is quite a wintry morning, the ground covered with snow and quite a hard frost. The children are stirring and I am requested to leave off writing to have my breakfast, therefore I must finish this letter at the office, but I fear I shall have but little time to spend there as Mr S. has taken one Clerk to London and I have another making preparations to leave today. He has been in the office 12 years and in his way was a useful Clerk but he became ambitious and wanted me to Article him. Spurrier agreed to do so but I positively refused as I do not approve of articling (?) Clerks when there are so many Gentlemens’ Sons paying large Premiums for their Articles. I have one Articled Clerk. I have another coming on Monday should he remain with me. I (or rather the firm) will have had 1200 guineas for Premiums with Articled Clerks since I have been in Partnership with Mr Spurrier, which is very well considering he will not take any.

Edgbaston is a good deal altered since you were here but I do not think improved, it is so much more built over. There is now quite a Town of Villas beyond our Cottage, however, in the summer we appear as secluded as ever.

I would offer to attend to any Commissions you may wish executed in England, but as you have already such a good representation in your Brothers - Edward when at Home and in Dudley Cater when Edward is absent - and they are at headquarters it would be almost useless, however if you or John wish me to do anything I hope you will not hesitate to write. I hope Mrs Penn will get more Pupils now that Mr Penn is dead. His death must be quite a happy release considering his complete imbec(?). Many people would have objected sending….. [remainder missing – there was probably another sheet]

Write soon, let it be a long letter.

[Short letter to Acton, no address on it]

Birmingham 14th October 1842

Dear Acton

I have not heard again in answer to my application for a Print of a Charity Charter therefore I conclude Mr (?) Parkes (the Solicitor to the Charity Commission) has not yet returned from the Continent. I will write to him again shortly unless I hear.

All well at the cottage. We expect a Stranger every day. I hope not two. Frederick and Agnes are with us. I have sent this note by my Cousin Thomas Holroyd, who is on his way to Calcutta to (?) now to make another fortune. If you can show him any attention during his sojourn at Bombay you will oblige.

Yours affectionately
J. C. Chaplin

Frederick has given him a letter of introduction to Jack at Aden

Birmingham?, 26 September 1845

My dear Skinner,

I have this moment received your letter for Mrs Chaplin. Knowing your handwriting and being anxious to hear of you also I have opened your letter. I am delighted to hear so good report of you and the party at Honfleur, and also that we shall have the prospect of seeing you at the Cottage.

I am (?) in Railways therefore I have not time now to write more. All well at the Cottage and home. The house is not let and until it is I will not take another as I cannot afford two houses at once. With kind regards
Yours, believe me

Sincerely yours

J. C. Chaplin

You will be concerned to hear Matilda has lost a brother. I send you the announcement from a recent newspaper as I feel persuaded you have not seen it -- this is no reason why you shall not come and see us, indeed on the contrary, as I wish her thoughts to be diverted and her spirits cheered under this unexpected affliction. [attached to this is the notice of the death of John Hyde Ayrton at Warree, India on 7 July 1845]

[Carefully written letter to Holroyd, ten years old at the time]

Trafalgar House, Great Malvern, Worcestershire

My dear Holroyd,

Mama received your letter this morning -- she is going home today, but hopes to return on Monday with Louy and then I shall hear how Floy is but I may tell you she was quite well when I left Home. Mama is gone this morning in search for primroses and cowslips for the shrubbery garden. Johnny is here and he amuses himself by bathing in cold water and running about the hills. I am glad you like drawing. Goodbye from your dear papa and with our united best love

J. C. Chaplin

[Letter to Acton, adressed to A S Ayrton Esqre, Bombay, E Indies (via Southampton) and postmarked 10 August 1847]

10 Montpellier Crescent, Brighton

9 August 1847

My dear Acton

Concluding you hear all the news from Frederick, I do not trouble you with letters at the same time. I cannot resist the pleasure of writing you a line to announce my progress towards recovery and how now I think I may confidently hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again and introducing you to our Children -- a pleasure I certainly dared not expect or even think of, about two months ago.

Frederick has told you of my illness, therefore I will only add that he Edward and Matilda were all greatly averse to the doctors keeping me stewed up in London, and acting under the pressing advice of the former I made a retreat from London on the first of June, threw off all business and even the thought of it. I have ever since been gaining strength, and the particular complaints (affection of the Kidneys) has become less and less and I trust is now being conquered. I think that next week I shall be able to return to Birmingham and resume my labours.

Matilda accompanied me in my travels. We first went to Reigate and then to the neighbourhood of Brighton, then to (?), but as I found the latter place not agree with me, we returned to the neighbourhood of Brighton and here we remained until the 13th inst when Mat and I (leaving all the children with the governess) went to Dieppe, then to (?), Treport, Abbeville, Amiens, Valenciennes, Brussels, Waterloo, Aix la Chapelle, Cologne, (?), Bonn, Kenningswinte (where we took steam up of the Rhine and stayed at Coblenz, (?) and Frankfurt, and then returned by Wiesbaden and Biebuck, and at the latter place we took steam again, coming down the Rhine to Rotterdam, halting at Andernach, Remagen, Cologne and Dusseldorf.

We reached Hurst again on the afternoon of the 29th ult and everybody (not accepting Dr Allen at Brighton, who had been attending me) pronounced me looking wonderfully better -- so much so that they would not have known I had been ill. And therefore after all "Ayrton and Co" were proved to be the best doctors. We remained at Hurst until the 6th inst when Mat took the family to Edgbaston, and I came here to continue for a short time longer the advantages of rest and sea breezes. And as I have said before, I yet hope to live to see you and tell you of this severe alarming illness, as a matter of history.

Enough of myself, now I will write of others in whom you take an interest, and I will take them in order of age:

Frederick: I am very anxious he should follow the study of the law as I am so very confident he would distance most competitors at the Bar. He is one of the best men of Business I ever came near. His thorough knowledge of human nature and the world and his good-natured disposition eminently qualify him to succeed at the Bar. Indeed, I believe he has all the elements necessary to make a leading Man if made use of and fair opportunity (?) occurs.

Matilda: is very well in health, although grown very thin. She is devotedly attentive to the management of her children and their education, and when she brings to bear a little more order in her arrangements we shall all think her perfection.

Edward: is bent upon the law and I have no doubt will make an excellent and learned lawyer. He appears disposed to be a Conveyancer or Chamber (?). I have told him if that be his course he must make up his mind to a life of severe study and toil, without the prospect of professional honours, in the evening of life. He is a little too theoretical at present. And not quite so much worldly tact as might be very useful to him. However I think he has been more practical lately and by his intercourse with Frederick will eventually be successful at the Bar.

Now for the children:

Agnes: she is very clever, good tempered and handsome and if I am not greatly mistaken will be a "beauty". Everybody almost admires her and I can assure you I am very proud of her.

Julia: is very like Matilda in figure and something like poor John in face, very amiable and pleasing countenance, but not want you would call a pretty girl. Reserved, with drawing and amiable. Fond of reading and country amusements.

Louy: the very reverse of Julia -- bold, daring and untiringly energetic, certainly promises to be pretty if not handsome. Dark, with bright expressive eyes, very fond of reading.

Holroyd: considered very much like you and Matilda, reserved and very thoughtful and somewhat absent, a quiet and mild boy -- unambitious and not very robust, indeed mainly for his health on Thursday (fifth inst) we left him at boarding school here (Miss Miller’s Montpellier Road) preparatory to his going to the Reverend E Wickham’s at Hammersmith where there are 130 boys. Mr W. is Brother of my Brother-in-law Revd F. Wickham who is second master at Winchester. Holroyd is rather backward in reading etc but has a good deal of general Information about history etc. -- but as you know he must have the dry rudiments of learning drummed into him.

Ayrton: a fine bold uncompromising rascal, ready to fight, mimic or any fun save that of learning his books. Rather fair, strong and near-sighted. Matilda says he is like Edward when a Boy.

Allan: a healthy, fine, fair Child and what the women call a beauty. Matilda thinks him like my Sister, Sarah.

Charlotte: the dark brown Baby, an Epitome of its Mother.

Dr Hodgkin advised me if I did not get better to try what a Sea Voyage would do for me. I used to joke and tell Frederick I thought I should take a voyage to and from Bombay and look you up. However if a voyage should be necessary I doubt not it would end in a trip to Spain, Madeira or some such country.

Yesterday (Sunday) I fully expected Edward would have spent the day with me here, but he did not make his appearance. Dudley Cater came and after church we went by the Railway to Hassock’s Gate where we dined, and then walked on to Hurst (three miles) and took tea with Colonel Smee -- he is House Hunting, and if he does not mind he will be taken in, and done for -- he has about as little idea of Business as any Man I ever met with -- he wants determination and business knowledge. If Frederick and I had not helped him out of a scrape in reference to his present House he would have been totally taken in. He really is as unfit to deal in Business as a Child. How he may be able to govern a Regiment I know not. He, Mrs Smee and Mrs Johnson and the 4 children were all quite well. Another child is expected shortly. Therefore I expect they will soon outnumber us, we have no wish for more, especially since my alarming illness.

Captain Smee will be a great loss to the Smee Family -- he was such a useful and paternal Man amongst them all. I am now going to take a tepid Bath and afterwards walk by the Sea side. Therefore and as my space is limited -- I will only add my best love and believe me

Yours affectionately
J C Chaplin

[Letter addressed to Frederick Ayrton Esqr, Temple, London. But this address crossed out and over it written A S Ayrton Esqr, Bombay. Several postmarks, the legible one is Wakefield, October 23rd 1847]

Friday 3rd October, p.m.

Here we are still at sea in this rascally steamer tugging away against the wind and tides. We were to have been landed at Hull by this time yesterday. Talk of the glorious uncertainty of the law, it is nothing to these sea voyages. I yet hope we may be landed before the 6 Oct so as to get off to Sheffield by the last train -- and then we can easily journey Home tomorrow. General (?) desired to be particularly remembered to Colonel Hermann and and yourself, and requested I would add his expressions of thanks to you in having procured some maps for him which had supplied him with much new and valuable information etc..

Since I have started a scarf round my waist like a Turk for warming and supporting my stomach during my travelling fatigues. There can be no doubt it would have been better for one -- if I could have adopted your suggestion of spending the winter in Egypt. The cold weather is my great enemy. I have written to Hodgkin as to my present state of health and future management. Dr Holland came with us to Trieste from (?), he had been for a long vocation holiday (two months) to Alexandria, Cairo and (?). Why should not we have a family meeting -- one long vacation -- Acton comes to Cairo and you, I, Matilda and Edward meet him there? I am certain if I had money and time when at (?) I should have gone to Egypt, and then to Bombay, if only to have seen Acton and the country. Matilda writes with me in best love.

Believe me
Yours affectionately
J. C. Chaplin
[Letter from John Clarke Chaplin, Acton Ayrton’s brother in law.]

Wednesday morning 20th October.

My dear Ayrton

We arrived at the Piraeus early in the morning of the 20th September -- we soon made our way to Athens and found ourselves under the hospitable protection of the Findleys. We dined with them -- they showed us over the ruins etc. which delighted us - kindest inquiries after you and Mr F. has sent you a pamphlet relative to the overland journey to India which I will forward.

This weather was so very warm that we were determined to discard all fears about the Constantinople winds Hodgkin talked about. And on the morrow we continued our journey to the capital of the Sultans. And delighted we are we did so, as all the best and most novel part of the journey was from Athens to Constantinople. We landed at Smyrna on our way for half a day, which gave us a small idea of what we should see in the Turkish capital. We spent a week there & aided by a (?), and our own curiosity and industry saw everything, but I cannot possibly write you half we saw therefore I shall leave all until we meet. On the 30th ult we put to sea again and arrived at Trieste on the ninth inst. having touched at Smyrna, (?) and Corfu. At (?) we took in passengers from India. They were Captain Hall, Lieut. Nicol, Lieut McDonald (Indian Navy) and wife, Mrs Price and Mrs Hunt. I mention these names thinking you may know them, as they all came from Bombay.

We soon left Trieste for Vienna, where we arrived on the 12th inst -- from thence we proceeded to Prague and then to Litomerice and then up the Elbe to Dresden. The scenery upon the river was beautiful. Having taken a hurried outside view of Dresden we came to Magdeberg & having done the same there we came to Harburg and then crossed over to Hamburg where we spent yesterday, and left at night by steam for Hull, but having run aground shortly after starting in the river, this morning we were still there. We hope to be landed at Hull on Friday morning when I shall post this letter. I did not write to you before as I fully expected to have passed through London, and then to have seen you. The following reasons have induced us to take this route.

First. Because although the RW from Hanover to Hamm (thereby making a complete RW communication between Vienna and Ostend) was opened on the 15th inst yet the journey by Cologne would be fatiguing and much more expensive.

Second. Because it would be a means of giving me another sea voyage which already had proved so beneficial and

Third. Because the steamer to Hull is only £2 each (owing to (?)) and that to London £4 each

Fourth. Because the RW fare from Hull to Birmingham and the distance, would be less than from Dover to Birmingham.

Fifth. Because we had been obliged to abandon our intention of going to see Holroyd at Brighton en route to Birmingham

Received your welcome letter at Dresden, but owing to my having held the purse doing the excursions instead of Matilda I only made £10, which I accordingly drew, and the accompanying receipt will explain how I drew it and show that the Bankers have retained their commission. We saw General (?) at Constantinople. He was very polite and attentive, but he was on the following morning going a journey into the interior of the (?) for a month, therefore he could not possibly show us that attention I am sure he otherwise would. Therefore we feel much obliged to you and Colonel Hermann for the introduction, and if Colonel Hermann should visit Birmingham, we should be delighted to have the opportunity of showing him attention. I am very sorry to hear of the condition of the Syrian. If you think a sovereign would be of service to him, and he is worthy of it, pray give him one and charge it to me. Destitution in one's own country must be bad enough, but what it must be in a foreign land is too deplorable to dwell upon. I only wish I could afford to do more for him. (?) has certainly been a great protection and comfort to me on my journey, although the people stare at me when I wear it and especially [letter ends here]

The Will of John Clarke Esq Kent (June 1856 453. Film PROB11 – 2234)

Alan Ray-Jones writes:

The copy in my possession reads as follows: This is the last will and testament of me John Clarke Chaplin of the Elms Tunbridge in the County of Kent Gentleman. I devise & bequeath all the real & personal estate to which I shall be beneficially entitled at the time of my decease unto my beloved wife Matilda Adriana absolutely but in the fullest trust & confidence in her affectionate regard for myself & our dear children that she will employ it for the best advantages in the maintenance of herself & the education support & advancement of our children.
I also devise & bequeath as far as I lawfully can all estates vested in me upon trust or by way of mortgage to my said wife subject to the equities affecting the same respectively. I also appoint my said wife sole guardian of the persons & estates of our dear children & sole executrix hereof hereby revoking all other testamentary writings.
In witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand this 30th day of November in the year of our Lord 1853 signed by the same list as his last will & testament in the presence of us present at the same time who at his request in his presence & in the presence of each other put our names as witnesses, signed: Charles Ellis - Joseph Snelling - John Clarke Chaplin.
  • 25 AUG 1806 - Birth - ; Watlington, Norfolk about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, privately baptized 26th by his father and recd into church by Rev
  • 2 JUN 1856 - Death - ; Tonbridge, Kent, England
  • FROM 1851 TO 1856 - Residence - ; Tonbridge, Kent
  • ABT 1844 - Fact -
  • 1850 - Medical -
  • 1829 - Occupation - Solicitor
  • FROM 1832 TO 1850 - Occupation - Solicitor
  • FROM 1851 TO 1856 - Residence - ; Tonbridge, Kent
Amos Chaplin
ABT 1742 - 1792
Edward Chaplin , MA, Rev.
7 JUL 1771 - 14 NOV 1858
John Clarke Chaplin
25 AUG 1806 - 2 JUN 1856
Thomas Theodorick , Dr.
BEF 9 FEB 1739 - 1826
Margaret Clarke Theodorick
4 JAN 1771 - 29 NOV 1827
Margaret Clarke
- 18 FEB 1804
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Edward Chaplin , MA, Rev.
Birth7 JUL 1771Kentish Town, London
Death14 NOV 1858
Marriage10 SEP 1795to Margaret Clarke Theodorick at Edgefield in Norfolk, by Rev. Bransby Francis, Rector of Edgefield
FatherAmos Chaplin
MotherMaria.A. von Stocken
PARENT (F) Margaret Clarke Theodorick
Birth4 JAN 1771Holt
Death29 NOV 1827
Marriage10 SEP 1795to Edward Chaplin , MA, Rev. at Edgefield in Norfolk, by Rev. Bransby Francis, Rector of Edgefield
FatherThomas Theodorick , Dr.
MotherMargaret Clarke
MJohn Clarke Chaplin
Birth25 AUG 1806Watlington, Norfolk about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, privately baptized 26th by his father and recd into church by Rev
Death2 JUN 1856Tonbridge, Kent, England
Marriage6 APR 1835to Matilda Adriana Ayrton at Marylebone, London (New Church)
MEdward Amos Chaplin
Birth20 DEC 1796At 6 o'clock in the evening, privately baptised the same evening by his father, and publicly on 16 Aug 1797 by Rev Wm Ha
Death19 APR 1851
Marriage1829to Georgina Morland
FLouisa Margaret Chaplin
Birth3 APR 1810Between 6 & 7 o'clock in the morning, privately baptized 4 April and received into the church 17 August by Rev H Bell, s
Death24 JAN 1846
Marriageto Frederic Wickham , Rev
FAnn Chaplin
Birth21 MAY 1811At 1/4 after 2 o'clock in the morning, baptized 10 June and received in to the church 21 August 1811 by Rev H Bell, spon
Death21 APR 1880
MarriageJUL 1842to Samuel Hands Feild , Rev at St Martin's Church, Camden Town, London, UK
FSarah Chaplin
Birth13 SEP 1813Privately baptized by her father and received in to the church 7 July 1814 by Rev Archdeacon Pott(?)
Death20 SEP 1855
Marriageto James Mottram
MThomas Theodorick Chaplin
Birth19 DEC 1798At 1/2 after 4 in the morning, privately baptized the same day by his father and publickly on 1 April 1799 by Rev Thos B
Death10 MAR 1817
MGeorge Frederick Chaplin
Birth10 MAR 1800Between the hours of 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning, privately baptized by his father the same day and publickly by his
Death24 SEP 1821
MCharles Tower Chaplin
Birth26 AUG 1801At 1/4 after 8 o'clock in the evening, privately baptized the same evening by his father
Death8 SEP 1801Buried 11 September by Rev P Bell, Vicar of Stow, Norfolk
MHenry Chaplin
Birth23 MAR 1803At 4 o'clock in the afternoon, privately baptized by his father the same evening, and publickly on 20 July by Rev Willia
Death20 NOV 1822
FMary Anne Chaplin
Birth5 JUN 1804At 1/4 before 11 o'clock at noon, privately baptized the same day by her father, publickly baptized on 22 August by Rev
Death23 NOV 1808Buried Saturday, 26 November by Rev R Forby(?), Rector of Pincham
MCharles Chaplin
Birth2 JUL 1805Between 2 & 3 o'clock in the afternoon, privately baptized by his father on 3 July, and publickly by his father on 12 De
Death30 MAR 1810Buried 2 April 1810 by Rev H Bell, Vicar of Middleton
MWilliam Warmoll Chaplin
Birth4 FEB 1809Twin son. Privately baptized by Rev H Bell in the evening.
Death2 MAR 1809Buried 4 March 1809
FSarah Chaplin
Birth4 JUL 1812at 10 o'clock in morning, baptized 8th July
Death10 JUL 1812Buried 13 July 1812
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) John Clarke Chaplin
Birth25 AUG 1806Watlington, Norfolk about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, privately baptized 26th by his father and recd into church by Rev
Death2 JUN 1856 Tonbridge, Kent, England
Marriage6 APR 1835to Matilda Adriana Ayrton at Marylebone, London (New Church)
FatherEdward Chaplin , MA, Rev.
MotherMargaret Clarke Theodorick
PARENT (F) Matilda Adriana Ayrton
Birth1 JUN 1813Chelsea, London (baptised Richmond according to Andi Smith)
Death26 JAN 1899 98 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, London.
Marriage6 APR 1835to John Clarke Chaplin at Marylebone, London (New Church)
FatherFrederick Ayrton
MotherJuliana Caroline Rebecca Adriana Nugent
MHolroyd Chaplin
Birth17 MAR 1840Edgbaston, Warwickshire, England (1881 Census) on St Patrick's Day
Death23 DEC 191772 Edith Road, West Kensington, Middlesex
Marriage16 AUG 1870to Euphemia Isabella Skinner at Bickington or Newton Abbott? in South Devon, see Matilda Adriana Chaplin's diary for Tuesday 16 August 1870.
MAllan Chaplin , Col
Birth20 JUN 1844Christened St Peter, Brighton, Sussex on 18 Sept 1844 - IGI
Death19 AUG 1910
Marriage20 DEC 1871to Maud Elizabeth Skinner at Bridgend, Glamorgan
FLouisa Sarah Chaplin
Birth23 APR 1838Baptized St Thomas in Birmingham 1838 according to Andi Smith)
Death9 JUL 1897Allevard-Les-Bains, Isere, France
Marriage30 APR 1864to John Edwin Hilary Skinner at Christ Church, Marylebone, London
MAyrton Chaplin , Rev
Birth19 OCT 1842Edgbaston, Warwickshire, England (1881 Census)
Marriage2 JAN 1868to Edith Elizabeth Pyne
FMatilda Charlotte Chaplin , M.D.
Birth20 JUN 1846Honfleur, Normandy, France (Baptized Sprowston Norfolk in 1847 according to Andi Smith)
Death19 JUL 1883her residence, 68 Sloane Street, London
Marriage21 DEC 1871to William Edward Ayrton , F.R.S. at Saint Matthew, Bayswater, Kensington.
FJulia Margaret Nugent Chaplin
Birth23 JAN 1837Baptized St Thomas in Birmingham 1837 according to Andi Smith)
Marriage2 MAR 1886to James Edward Nugent
[S6243] Amos Chaplin Book of Common Prayer 1759, in year 2000
[S16279] 'Sketch of the Military Services of Lieutenant-General Skinner and his sons'
Descendancy Chart
John Clarke Chaplin b: 25 AUG 1806 d: 2 JUN 1856
Matilda Adriana Ayrton b: 1 JUN 1813 d: 26 JAN 1899
Holroyd Chaplin b: 17 MAR 1840 d: 23 DEC 1917
Euphemia Isabella Skinner b: 7 JUN 1847 d: 10 SEP 1939
Irene Kate Chaplin b: 1 MAR 1873 d: 22 JUN 1962
John William Ernest Pearce b: 4 APR 1864 d: 25 JAN 1951
Edward Holroyd Pearce , Lord b: 9 FEB 1901 d: 27 NOV 1990
Erica Priestman b: 1906 d: DEC 1985
Richard Bruce Holroyd Pearce b: 12 MAY 1930 d: 1987
James Edward Holroyd Pearce b: 18 MAR 1934 d: 11 JUN 1985
Phyllis Margaret Pearce b: 8 FEB 1910 d: 6 JUN 1973
Edward Douglas Eade b: 7 FEB 1911 d: 24 DEC 1984
John Allan Chaplin Pearce b: 21 OCT 1912 d: 15 SEP 2006
Helen Nugent Pearce b: 22 NOV 1917 d: 6 APR 1920
Effie Irene Pearce b: 18 AUG 1899 d: 26 JAN 1996
Raymond Ray-Jones b: 31 AUG 1886 d: 26 FEB 1942
Holroyd Anthony Ray-Jones b: 7 JUN 1941 d: 13 MAR 1972
Allan Nugent Chaplin b: 8 JUN 1871 d: 1917
Son Chaplin b: 29 NOV 1900 d: ABT 29 NOV 1900
Matilda Effie Chaplin b: 20 JUN 1874 d: 20 DEC 1874
Phyllis Chaplin b: 7 JUN 1879 d: 27 JUL 1924
Philip Herbert Cowell b: 1870 d: 1949
Theodoric Chaplin b: 14 FEB 1881 d: 29 OCT 1906
Daphne Grace Chaplin b: 6 SEP 1884 d: 16 FEB 1964
Daphne Grace Chaplin b: 6 SEP 1884 d: 16 FEB 1964
Cecil Arbuthnot Gould b: 1883 d: 1917
Allan Chaplin , Col b: 20 JUN 1844 d: 19 AUG 1910
Maud Elizabeth Skinner b: 25 OCT 1844 d: 24 JUN 1904
Wyndham Allan Chaplin , Mus. Bac. Oxon., Rev b: 12 NOV 1872 d: 29 AUG 1914
Evelyn Dorothea Williamson b: 1873 d: 1945
Mabel Florance Ida Chaplin b: 7 OCT 1875 d: 1970
Charles Nugent Hope-Wallace b: 3 FEB 1877 d: 15 OCT 1953
Philip Hope-Wallace b: NOV 1911 d: 1979
Nina Mary Hope-Wallace b: 14 DEC 1905 d: 1995
BART, Sir Edward O Hoare b: 29 APR 1898 d: 1969
Maud Dorothea Fanny Chaplin b: 23 JUL 1880 d: 6 NOV 1899
Louisa Sarah Chaplin b: 23 APR 1838 d: 9 JUL 1897
John Edwin Hilary Skinner b: 11 JAN 1839 d: 20 NOV 1894
John Allan Cleveland Skinner b: 19 SEP 1865 d: 8 SEP 1925
Hilary Francis Cleveland Skinner b: 10 OCT 1889 d: 25 JUL 1916
John Adrian Dudley Skinner b: 2 SEP 1891 d: 30 MAY 1965
Bruce Allan Maclean Skinner b: 29 AUG 1927 d: 2002
Caroline Louisa Marianne Skinner b: 22 FEB 1873 d: 20 JUN 1936
Roandeu Albert Henry Bickford-Smith b: 3 MAY 1859 d: 13 DEC 1916
William Nugent Venning Bickford-Smith b: 14 MAY 1892 d: 3 SEP 1975
Amy Evelyn Holme b: 6 SEP 1906 d: 21 JUL 1979
Leslie Evelyn Bickford-Smith b: 1928 d: 1990
Leonard James Jacob b: 1928 d: 1989
John Allan Bickford-Smith b: 23 APR 1895 d: 8 MAY 1970
Joan Angel Allsebrook Simon b: 8 AUG 1901 d: 13 APR 1991
Norman Kennedy d: 1926
Hilary John Bickford-Smith Cdr RN b: 8 FEB 1926 d: 25 MAY 1988
Aubrey Louis Bickford-Smith b: 4 FEB 1902 d: 9 JUL 1975
Roger Bickford-Smith b: 1939 d: 1997
Clifton Wyndham Hilary Skinner , R.F.A. b: 26 MAR 1880 d: 17 FEB 1908
Ayrton Chaplin , Rev b: 19 OCT 1842 d: 1930
Edith Elizabeth Pyne b: 28 SEP 1845 d: 1928
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
Matilda Charlotte Chaplin , M.D. b: 20 JUN 1846 d: 19 JUL 1883
William Edward Ayrton , F.R.S. b: 14 SEP 1847 d: 6 NOV 1908
Edith Chaplin Ayrton b: 1 OCT 1874 d: 5 MAY 1945
Israel Zangwill b: 21 JAN 1864 d: 1 AUG 1926
Margaret (Peggy) Zangwill b: 12 APR 1910
Oliver Louis Zangwill b: 29 OCT 1913 d: 12 OCT 1987
Joy Moult b: 1924 d: 2016
David Ayrton Zangwill b: FEB 1952 d: 1953
Ayrton Israel Zangwill b: 15 AUG 1906
James Edward Nugent b: 3 JAN 1833
Margaret Louisa Nugent d: JUL 1905
Philip O'Reilly d: 24 SEP 1912