Matthew Skinner

Matthew Skinner

b: 1 APR 1624
d: 1698
From the account of Robert Skinner DD, Bishop of Bristol, then Oxford, then Worcester, by Allan Maclean Skinner QC:

'His eldest son, Matthew, was born October 22nd, 1689; and in 1704, aged 14, was admitted a Scholar of St. Peter's College, Westminster; was in 1709 elected a Student of Christ Church College, Oxford; and on June 20th, of the same year, was entered as a Student at Lincoln's-Inn, William Melmoth, grandfather of John Skynner, Sub-Dean of York, being his surety. On coming of age, he acquired the family property at Welton, and on April 21st, 1716, was called to the Bar, and joined the Oxford Circuit.

His mother, Anne, died at 6 a.m., June 24th, 1718, and was buried the Thursday night following, within the rails of the Chancel of St. Mary's Church, Bath. In the year following, September 8th, 1719, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Whitfield, Esq., of Watford Place, Herts. He took a residence in Watling Street, London, having been admitted, by purchase, from Simon Urling, Esq., Common Pleader of the City of London, the title given to each of the four Counsel, to whom, till lately, was given the exclusive privilege of practice in the Lord Mayor’s Court. He surrendered this office, July 4th, 1722, to Thomas Gazzard, who was afterwards Judge of the Sherriff's Court, and Common Serjeant. He then removed to the City of Oxford, where he continued in full practice for seventeen years, and constantly travelled the Oxford Circuit.

On May 30th, 1721, he was elected Recorder of Oxford, and in Easter Term, 1724, was, with eleven others, made Serjeant-at-Law, giving gold rings, with the motto "bonus felixque." At the general election in 1728, he unsuccessfully contested the borough of Andover, and in the same year, he published notes of cases argued in the King’s Bench from the 33 Car. iid., to 9th William III, made by his learned father, Robert, and now quoted as " Skinner's Reports."

He was made a King's Serjeant on June 11th, 1730, and afterwards, bv letters patent, dated May 12th, 1734, "The King's Serjeant," during pleasure then, and till 1811 the highest rank at the Bar. He was, the same year, elected M.P. for the City of Oxford.

He was Treasurer of Serjeant's-lnn, and appears to have provided, in 1737, the official mace, still used by that Society, his name being engraved on it.

He resigned his seat for Oxford in 1738, succeeding, by the appointment of his friend Sir Robert Walpole, as Chief Justice of Chester, John Verney, Esq., made Master of the Rolls; and it appears, by different letters patent, enrolled in 1739, he was made Chief Justice of Chester and Flint, and also of Denbigh and Montgomery, at the several salaries of £500, £200, and £30 a year. In these offices he was in 1740, associated with the Honourable John Talbot, as his puisne judge, ancestor of the Honourable John Chetwynd Talbot, Q.C., who by his death in 1852, made vacant the office of' Recorder of Windsor, since then held by Allan Maclean Skinner, Q.C., on the recommendation of the Right Honourable Spencer H. Walpole. He conducted for the Crown, as Prime Serjeant, on July 28th, 1746, the prosecution of Lord Kilmarnock for high treason, taking precedence, by virtue of his patents, of the Attorney General; though it would seem, that he somewhat tediously delivered his speech, (preserved in the State trials), if his manner justified the joke of Horace Walpole, who thus amusingly alludes to the recollection of Lord Cowper's eloquence, on sentencing Lord Derwentwater and others to death, in February, 1716. "After the second Scotch rebellion, Lord Hardwicke presided at the trials of the rebel Lords. Somebody said to Sir Charles Wyndham, 'Oh, you don't think Lord Hardwicke's speech good, because you heard Lord Cowper's.' 'No,' he replied, 'but I do think it tolerable, because I heard Serjeant Skinner's."'

On October 21st, 1749, he died at Oxford, Premier King's Serjeant, Chief Judge of Chester, and Recorder of Oxford. He was buried in Christ Church Cathedral, and on a slab, placed on a pillar after his wife's death, by their only surviving child Matthew, is found this epitaph to their memory:-

H. S. E.
Matthaeus Skinner, Armiger
Civitatis Oxon Recordator,
Cestriae Justiciarius Capitalis
Serenissimi Regis Georgii 2di,
Serviens ad legem Primarius
Qui hujusce sedis olim alumnus
Hic, inter socios,
Ossa sua recondi voluit
Obiit Oct. XXI. mo., A.D. MDCCXLIX., no.
AEtatis LX mo.
Sub eodem marmore
Prope Conjugis Reliquias
Repositae sunt
Etiam Elizabethae Skinner
Filiae Tliomae Whitfield
De Watford in agro Herfordiensi, arm.
Obiit XXII mo. Dec., A.D. MDCCLX mo.
AEtatis LX mo.

On a stone over the tomb is written, “Hic jacent Matthaeus Skinner, arm. et Elizabetha, uxor ejus, 1761."

His second brother Richard, born May 31, 1693, died July 26, 1746, and was buried August 3, at Low Leyton, Essex. His third brother Samuel, born January 13, 1696, was in the service of the East India Company, and slain by Augria, the pirate, in 1731.

His three eldest sons died young, and were buried in the Chapel of Merton College; where, by the following Epitaphs which be wrote to their memory, he showed not only their promise, but his own enjoyment of the strongly-marked, and hereditary, characteristic of the race-" family affection,"- a quality so strongly exhibited by his surviving child, Matthew.

Robertus Skinner.
Filius Mathaei Skinner
Servientis ad legem
et hujusce civitatis
Obiit quarto Aprilis A.D. 1728
Anno aetatis septimo
Qui spe, quam,annis, provectior,
Optimae indolis indicia,
tanquam tenerae plantuloe folia,
Ubertim edlidit,
Nonnullos etiam tulit propagines
quin brevi decerptus
id suis solum reliquit
Quam dulcis foret maturior messis
Tales cum fuerint primitiae.
HIC etiam cum fratris cineribus suos miscet
Georgius filius alter Mathaei Skinner
Qui obiit primo die Novembris A.D. 1728
Anne aetatis secundo.
HIC juxta fratrum cincres deponit suos
Thomas Skinner
Mathaei Skinner unius servientium
Domini Regis ad Legem,
Et Comitatus Palatini Castriae
Capitalis Justiciarii
Mira in parentes pietate, in amicos amore,
In omnes benevolentia insignitus,
Qui puer apud Westmonasterienses
Sub optimo magistro liberaliter institutus,
In collegium divi Johannis Baptistae
se transtulit,
Ubi scientiam umltiplicem feliciter consecutus,
Annum vicessimum vix expleverat,
Cum suis luctuose graviter omnibus
Febris vi consumptus est,
Octobris die 28 Anne Domini 1743
Quicumque hunc lapidem intueris
Ne quod breves huic labores credas irritos,
Nee cedas idcirco tuis,
Finem studiorum optimum sibi
Proponentibus, vita non eripitur,
Sed mors donatur praemium.

His sixth son and only surviving child Matthew, born at Oxford, March 8, 1729, was admitted at Lincoln's Inn, November 28,1747, called to the Bar Michaelmas Term, 1753. Being of ample means he lived quietly at his residence on Richmond Green, the old Palace, where Queen Elizabeth died. His life, entirely domestic, was passed in the enjoyment of kindly sympathies, most fully expressed in the blank pages of his bible; but among the copious entries upon family matters, his recorded regret for the death of his first born child, is very affecting:-

“On Sunday morning, 7 o'clock, Sept. 11th, 1774, died my dear daughter Elizabeth Skinner, of a fever, aged 12, and was buried on Saturday, Sept. 17, in the vault of her great Aunt Mrs. Catherine James, in the parish Church of Ewell, in Surrey. God's will be done. She was truly a most amiable child, beloved by all, of a sweet mild disposition, obedient, strictly true, piously good and charitable, patient and submissive under many severe illnesses, and in the last, an example worthy of the highest admiration. 0, may my last end be like hers. No fretfulness, thankful for every thing, submitting with astonishing fortitude to every operation that was thought necessary, and, when severe pain would let her, ever putting up pious ejaculations. An Angel upon earth. Take her for all in all, I never shall see her like again.

He that ever lost an Angel, pity me!

“Sept.11th, 1784. Ten years this day, since my dear daughter Elizabeth died, whose dear memory is still and ever will be deeply engrafted in my heart. My loss, her gain! for ever blessed.

“Sept. 11, 1794. Twenty years this ever to be lamented day, since my dearly beloved daughter Elizabeth departed this life, to my heartfelt grief; her dear memory will be always cherished in my breast to the hour of my death.

“Sept. 11, 1804. Thirty years this day, ever to be lamented, since my dearly beloved Elizabeth died, whose loss I shall ever regret. ‘She being made perfect in a short time, (12 years) fulfilled a long time, for her soul pleased the Lord, therefore hasted He to take her away from among the wicked."-Wisdom of Solomon, c. 14, v13, 14.
The just die young and are happy. God’s will is always best, my dear child is infinitely more happy and safe, than she would have been in this world.

Coelitus data, Coelitus recepta.

Heaven gave her (Octr. 7, 1762). Heaven took her again (Sept. 11, 1774).

Fecit ad astra Viam.
She is ascended into Heaven.

He died June 14th, 1814, aged 84 years, three months before the completion of the 10th year since his last, record of regret. Would his sympathies have been,as strong to urge him to renew his lamentations in his 85th year. He married May 11, 1761, Anne, daughter of Hatch Moody, Esq., of Carpenters, Herts. She died before him, June 19, 1798.

Two children survived him.

Matthew, born Dec. 19, 1764; baptized at Richmond, Jan. 15,1765; admitted at St. Peter's College, Westminster, 1779; elected Student of Christ Church, Oxford, 1783; May 18, 1788, ordained Deacon; December 18, 1791, Priest, by the Bishop of Oxford; 24 February, 1792, Chaplain to Horace Walpole, Earl of Oxford; M.A. 1792 and F.A.S.; was appointed June 25, 1801, Chaplain to the Right Honorable George, Earl of Onslow, and in 1803, Rector of Woodsnorton, and of Swanton Novers, Norfolk.

He preached the sermon at the visitation at Walsingham, May 3, 1804; was appointed Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich, 1805 and June 21, 1813, preached the visitation sermon in the Cathedral of Norwich; he died June 23, 1825, and was buried at Woodsnorton.

His sister Mary Anne, born at Richmond, April 6, 1770, was baptized May 11, her cousin John Skynner, of Lincoln's Inn (afterwards Lord Chief Baron), being a sponsor. She married Alexander Longmore, L L B, Vicar of Great Baddow and of Rainham, Essex. Their eldest son Matthew, born 1794; died 1810; and their second son William Alexander, Lieutenant, Royal Navy, having served, in 1809, in La Niemen frigate 44 guns, in 1812, in the Hannibal, 84 guns, and endured imprisonment from July 26th, 1813, till May 15th, 1814, died January 11th, 1823, and was buried at Castletown, Beerhaven, Ireland.

Owing to the death of his elder brothers without issue, the line of descent is continued by their third son George Longmore, M.R C.S., and his children. He was born, May 25, 1797, and married Dec 27, 1821, Eliza Beckford, daughter of G. Reynolds, Esq. for many years one of the masters of Christ's Hospital, London. Her sister Jane was married to the celebrated wit and poet, Thomas Hood, and her brother, John Hamilton Reynolds, was likewise an author of some note. Their children, viz.

1st. - Eliza Skinner, married John, son of the late John Bentley, Esq., Secretary to the.Bank of England, and has six children.
2nd.- George Moody, died unmarried, April 19, 1855.
3rd.- William Alexander Longmore, architect, born Nov. 7, 1825, christened at Watford, his sponsors being his uncle, T. Hood, and Mrs. Hood. He married at St. Saviour's, Southwark June 28, 1856, *Emma, eldest daughter of the late Thomas Syrett, Esq., of London (buried at St. Clement's, Eastcheap, London), and has seven children, viz.-

1st.- William Syrett Longmore, born Aug. 28, 1857.
2nd.- Reginald Hood, May 31, 1859.
3rd.- Laura Caroline, Oct. 3, 1860.
4th.- Herbert Alexander, Mar.7, 1864.
5th.- Felix Rainsford, Sept. 24, 1866.
6th.- Rosa Skynner, April 1, 1868.
7th -Emma Alexandra, Feb. 15, 1870.

*She died on the 22nd of February, 1870, aged 35, one week after confinement with a 7th child, deeply lamented by her husband and children, and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.

The above George Longmore has also two younger daughters living, Mary Ann Sophia, and Dora Caroline.

The 4th son of the Rev A Longmore, Samuel James, assumed by the direction of his Uncle Matthew's will, the surname and arms of Skinner only, under Royal Licence, dated Oct. 19, 1825. Born 1798; married in 1827, Charlotte Sophia, eldest daughter of Jacob Elton, of the Grove, Dedham, Essex, and died without issue, June 10, 1866, and was buried by the side of his parents at Great Baddow. He held the rank of Major in the Royal Artillery, was a J.P. and Deputy-Lieutenant for the County of Essex. His younger brother, Philip Longmore, of Hertford Castle, who married Sabine, second daughter of the same Jacob Elton, has had fourteen children, of whom ten grew -up.

1st.-The Rev. Philip Alexander Longmore, M.A,, of Emanuel College, Cambridge,
Incumbent of Hermitage, Berks. Married Mary Lewis, daughter of the Rev. John Blissard, Vicar of Hampstead Norreys, Berks, no children.
2nd.-William James Longmore (deceased), late of Bengal Civil Service, left one son.
3rd., - Captain Charles Matthew Longmore, of the Bengal Staff Corps. Married Ada, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Stockwell, Rector of Wylye, Wilts, has one child.
4th.- Matthew Skinner Longmore, of Hertford, Solicitor. Married Annie, also
daughter of the Rev. S. Stockwell, and has three children
5th.- Mary Annie Sophia, married George Schyler Cardew, M.D., Deputy-Inspector General at Lucknow, has seven children.
6th.- Charlotte Susan, married J. C. Mello, Esq., of Weybridge,
7th- Emmeline Jane, deceased, married. Rev. William Longmore; after his death,
E.Isaac Espinasse, oldest son of the Judge of County Courts, but left no children.
8th., - Ellen Margaret, married to John Marchant, Esq., has two children.
9th & l0th, - Sabine and Jessie Elizabeth.

And so the elder branch of the Bishop's descendants in the male line comes to an end in 200 years, and the property passes, through an heiress, into the family of Longmore; and it may be worthy of remark, as a curious coincidence, that the families of Skinner and Elton, both of Ledbury, should find two brothers, John and Edward Skynner, about 1620, marrying two sisters, Joyce and Constance, daughters of Ambrose Elton, of the Hazells, and two centuries after, Major Skinner and his brother, marrying, in Essex, two sisters of the same family.

But, in the male line, there are still many descendants of the Bishop, who may still perpetuate his name, by doing good service to the State.'
  • 1 APR 1624 - Birth - ; St Bett's, London, England
  • 1698 - Death -
  • 4 JUN 1640 - Fact -
  • 30 JUN 1648 - Fact -
  • 1660 - Fact -
  • 1662 - Fact -
  • 6 AUG 1681 - Fact -
Edmonde Skinner
ABT 1554 - 19 MAY 1628
Robert Skinner , DD
10 FEB 1590 - 14 JUN 1670
Bridget Ratleiffe
- 17 JAN 1629
Matthew Skinner
1 APR 1624 - 1698
Elizabeth Bangor
12 DEC 1603 - 25 JUN 1644
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Robert Skinner , DD
Birth10 FEB 1590Northampton, on a Wednesday, and baptized 12 February 1590 [NB The entry in the Dictionary of National Biography is unce
Death14 JUN 1670
Marriageto Elizabeth Bangor
FatherEdmonde Skinner
MotherBridget Ratleiffe
PARENT (F) Elizabeth Bangor
Birth12 DEC 1603Oxford
Death25 JUN 1644 Oxford, after her 18th confinement
Marriageto Robert Skinner , DD
FatherBernard Bangor
MMatthew Skinner
Birth1 APR 1624St Bett's, London, England
Marriageto Frances Sympson
MSamuel Skinner
Birth10 JUL 1633Launton, Oxfordshire, England
Marriageto ?
Marriage1681to ?
MRobert Skinner
Birth6 MAR 1625
DeathMAY 1681
Marriageto Prudence Thomas
Marriageto Eleanor Cowcher
MWilliam Skinner
Death26 AUG 1695
Marriageto Anne Turton
Marriageto ? Littleton
FMary Skinner
FMargaret Skinner
FAnne Skinner
FElizabeth Skinner
MThomas Skinner
Marriageto ? Savage
MHumphrey Skinner
Birth4 JUN 1640(Date of christening, at St Augustine The Less, Bristol, Gloucester, England)
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Matthew Skinner
Birth1 APR 1624St Bett's, London, England
Marriageto Frances Sympson
FatherRobert Skinner , DD
MotherElizabeth Bangor
PARENT (F) Frances Sympson
Marriageto Matthew Skinner
FatherJohn Sympson , DD
MRobert Skinner
Birth28 MAY 1655
Death20 MAR 1697
Marriageto Anne Buckby
MMatthew Skinner
FCatherine Skinner
FFrances Skinner
FMary Skinner
FAnne Skinner
FJane Skinner
[S6627] 'A Few Memorials of the Right Rev. Robert Skinner, D.D., Bishop of Worcester, 1663.....'
Descendancy Chart
Matthew Skinner b: 1 APR 1624 d: 1698
Robert Skinner b: 28 MAY 1655 d: 20 MAR 1697
Anne Buckby d: 24 JUN 1718
Matthew Skinner b: 22 OCT 1689 d: 21 OCT 1749
Matthew Skinner b: 8 MAR 1729 d: 14 JUN 1814
Anne Moody d: 19 JUN 1798
Matthew Skinner , Rev b: 19 DEC 1764 d: 23 JUN 1825
Mary Anne Skinner b: 6 APR 1770
Matthew Longmore b: 1794 d: 1810
William Alexander Longmore d: 11 JAN 1823
Samuel James Skinner , RA b: 1798 d: 10 JUN 1866
George Longmore b: 25 MAY 1797
George Moody Longmore d: 19 APR 1855
Emma Syrett d: 22 FEB 1870
William Syrett Longmore b: 28 AUG 1857
Reginald Hood Longmore b: 31 MAY 1859
Laura Caroline Longmore b: 3 OCT 1860
Felix Rainsford Longmore b: 24 SEP 1866
Rosa Skynner Longmore b: 1 APR 1868
Emma Alexandra Longmore b: 15 FEB 1870
Richard Skinner b: 31 MAY 1693 d: 26 JUL 1746
Samuel Skinner b: 13 JAN 1696 d: 1731
Mary Skinner d: 1768