The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Find the Lady!

A Local History Project
- To discover the name of the Victorian Lady who lived in the Lymington area 1883-1893 and kept a Calling Book

Final Report


Part A

1. Introduction
2. Research Undertaken

Part B

3. Introduction to the Victorian Etiquette of Calling
4. Lymington Area through the Ages
5. Lady’s Use of the Calling Book
6. Who did she meet?
7. But who was she?
8. And where did she live?

Part C

9. Interim Conclusions
10. Near Misses
11. Found the Lady!
12. Lymington Area in the late 19th Century


1. Names Index
2. Bibliography
3. Potential Matches
4. People Contacted
5. The Shrubb Family of Boldre
6. Use of Calling Cards

Part A

1. Introduction

Approximately 25 years ago my mother bought a small leather Calling Book on Lymington Market. When she gave the book to me, she could not tell me why she bought it, though she thought that it was valuable!

Outside Cover of Calling Book

When I first studied the book, I found that a Victorian lady started to use it in 1883 and there were references to Lymington and the St Barbe Family and visits to York, Galway and Leeds. As most of the entries were in pencil and in danger of deteriorating, I thought that I would list the entries and donate the book and list to the St Barbe Museum in Lymington.

When I started listing the names, I expected it to be a short simple project but I soon found that it was difficult to read some of the names. I started digging into local history to get some clues.

Gradually it emerged that this lady met the cream of society in the Lymington area during the years 1883-1893 (See Note below), so I decided that I would try to: Find the Lady! The result has been an absorbing hobby during which I have learnt a lot about the local history of the Lymington area.

In February 2006, I donated the Calling Book to the St Barbe Museum with a copy of an interim report; copies of the report were also deposited with 4 local libraries.

After a number of breaks to carry out family history research, I followed up the few leads remaining and to my surprise, I did: Find the Lady! The following report summarises the approach that I adopted, the results of my research and the final breakthrough.


The Lady stopped recording the years in question and 1893 is assumed to be the last year the Calling Book was used.

2. Research Undertaken

At the outset, I listed what entries I could. Some of the writing was difficult to read including the Lady's use of ticks and ditto marks.

Appendix 1 Names Index

The entries in the Calling Book may be summarised as follows:

- Lymington area – 204 entries
- York – 6 entries
- Galway – 57 entries
- 8 Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds – 6 entries

As well as the word “ Lymington”, the Lady listed places where she may have stayed or lived:

6 Highfield
Efford Cottage
Hoopers Hill
8 Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds

She also listed a number of the homes of friends and acquaintances including Woodside and Formosa in Lymington.

1881 Census

The first big stride forward was looking at the 1881 Census for the Lymington area, though the transcription was not 100% reliable. I already had the 1881 Census for the whole country on CD-ROM and printed out the brief entries of each person in Lymington. I also looked at entries in the surrounding area, including Milford (now Milford on Sea), Milton (now New Milton), Boldre, Sway, Hordle and Brockenhurst. If I found an entry of interest I printed off fuller details.


I bought a number of books and booklets and borrowed others from Lymington Library (see attached Bibliography Appendix 2).

Appendix 2 Bibliography

Local Newspaper Articles

From time to time, our local paper, the (New Milton) Advertiser and (Lymington) Times (the A & T), includes articles, in which local people in the past are mentioned, which I extracted.

Visits to Places of Interest

What really brought the information to life was being able to visit some of the places mentioned in the Calling Book and research material. This included joining in on some very enjoyable guided walks around Lymington and Milford on Sea.

As I worked through the research material, I was able to identify people in the Lymington area, that the Victorian lady may or may not have met, and realised their importance.

Similarly properties that the Victorian lady may or may not have visited were identified.

1891 Census

I listed all the names that I was looking for and then printed off as many sheets as possible from the Names Index published by the Hampshire Genealogical Society. For some names like Harris and Roberts, it would have required printing off too many sheets.

Armed with the sheets in ring binders I made visits to two libraries that held the local census records in microfiche format. I went through every entry on the appropriate fiche as best I could, bearing in mind the varying quality of handwriting. In Lymington the fiche reader had a print facility.

I looked for people of substance, e.g. those with a named property and servants and people living on their own means. Many people were in the military or clergy or had retired from these professions.

New Milton (0900) – Milton and Milford

I found 19 relevant entries including 10 potential new matches with the Calling Book and 13 other entries of interest. Perhaps the most important pieces of new information were the occupants in Hoopers Hill and Efford Cottage.

Lymington (0898/0899)

I found 37 relevant entries including 14 potential new matches with the Calling Book and 18 other entries of interest. One of the most interesting finds was the number of matches with the occupants of Highfield, Lymington.

A list of potential matches with the Calling Book are listed in Appendix 3

Appendix 3 Potential Matches

In 1881 and 1891 some inhabitants were away from their properties at the time of the Censuses.

Irish Records held by the Society of Genealogists

The availability of Irish genealogical records like Census records is limited. In September 2005, I visited the Society of Genealogists to look at their Galway records and my findings were:

1. There were 14 important families or “tribes” in the Galway area including Blake.
2. A name that I was reading as Lynch Asky may have been Lynch Athy, both important names in Galway (Galway Roots 1993)
3. The Persse family lived at Glenand(e) which on first reading could have been the family‘s double-barrelled name (Galway Roots 1998).
4. The death of John Lopdell at Raheen Park (residence of his son Captain Lopdell), which settled the spelling of the family name. (Galway Roots 1998)
5. A marriage and christening for a family named Jesson, which could have been Jenson (Vital Records Index).

People Contacted

I contacted a number of people asking them for help and to promote the Project. A summary of this activity is given in Appendix 4.

Appendix 4 People Contacted

Local Historian, Jude James, was kind enough to identify a number of additional matches and made available his own extensive research material for me to work through.


I published the results of my research in my web-site and received a number of interesting and useful enquiries.

A descendant of Marcia Shrubb (parents John Shrubb and Sibella Fluder) came across my web-site and provided an extract from an 1873 diary and some interesting articles, including Marcia’s lavish wedding in Boldre.

Appendix 5 The Shrubb Family of Boldre

Part B

3. Introduction to the Victorian Etiquette of Calling

From information extracted from the internet, I found that the practice of Calling, particularly amongst Victorian ladies, was an integral part of social life. Calling was a highly ritualised activity and books on etiquette were full of suggestions on, e.g. how to make calls and leave a calling card.


- A stranger arriving in a city, could send cards to friends on whom they wished to call
- For a first call, it was wise to simply leave a card without enquiring whether or not the mistress was at home (see Notes below). She would take the next step.
- In the case of neighbours, a newcomer waited until she received cards from neighbours. It was then good manners to call on those neighbours who left cards.
- When attending a reception, cards should be left in the hall, to help the hostess remember who had called (see Notes below).
- After a function, to which one had been invited, a call should be made after the event whether one had accepted or not.


1. Calls would normally have been made on "At Home" days, and times were engraved on some visiting cards.
2. Invitations would be made to the lady of the household whom, it was understood, kept the diary.

It is no wonder that some ladies purchased a Calling Book to make sure that some elements of the etiquette were observed.

The etiquette of Calling was well known to Jane Austen and was also instrumental in the romance of Randolph Churchill and Jennie Jerome. Fuller details have been summarised in Appendix 6.

Appendix 6 Use of Calling Cards

4. Lymington Area through the Ages

To understand why a Victorian lady would need a Calling Book, we need to establish how important the Lymington area was.

There is an excellent range of books and booklets about the Lymington area in local libraries and shops, in which they describe how wealth was created from enterprises like plantations abroad and the local production of salt.

At the end of the 19th Century there were still large estates in the Lymington area owned by influential people.

Grand Houses and Families

In his book: “Country House History”, Blake Pinnell lists 9 notable country houses in the Lymington area in which equally grand families lived. The owners of these properties during 1883-1893 were as follows:

- Newlands Manor - Theresa West (born Whitby)
- Walhampton Park - David & Susan Fullerton (1881). Property sold 1883 (see Note 1 )
- Pennington House - Bought by Colonel John Sheddon (who lived in the Elms - later Elmers Court)
for his daughter Adelaide who married Major General Pringle Taylor who died in 1884.
- Grove House - Adeline & Margaret Harding - see Note 2
- Pylewell Park - William Whitaker - see Note 3
- Newtown Park - Jules & Louise Duplessis
- Arnewood Court - Andrew Peterson – see Note 4
- St Austins - Owned by the Pultenay family - rented by Lewis & Alice Sheddon (1881)
- Brokenhurst Park - John Morant

Some of these family names (i.e. except Pringle Taylor, Duplessis, Peterson and Morant) are listed in the Calling Book.


1. Some of the properties remained in one family's ownership for generations.
Walhampton was the home of the Burrard Family for many years but the 6th Baronet went bankrupt in 1889 following its sale in 1883.
2. Other properties changed hands more often and/or were rented out;
Grove House is a prime example.
3. In 1852 Joseph Weld (from the famous yachting family) sold the Pylewell estate to George Montagu Warren Peacocke, Barrister.
(George Peacocke’s cousin Warren William Richard Peacocke bought Efford Park.
Warren’s daughter Louise by his first wife married Jules Duplessis of Newtown Park.
Warren’s second wife was Georgina West eldest daughter of Frederick & Theresa West of Newlands Manor.)

It was later acquired by William Ingham Whitaker and inherited by his son and grandson both named William.
William Ingham Whitaker married twice and his second wife was the daughter of Admiral Sartorius.
The Admiral’s widow Lady Sartorius later lived at East Grove in Lymington.

Though unable to find William Ingham Whitaker in the 1881 Census, I may have traced two of his sons William and Albert living elsewhere.

4. At Arnewood Court, Andrew Petersen built a concrete tower known to this day as Sway Tower.

Other Important Owners

A number of other important names feature in the ownership and/or occupants of these properties:

Newlands Manor
Admiral Cornwallis
Pennington House
(Ropewalk) Grove House
Pylewell Park
St Austin's

Marriages among the Important Families

In his book, Blake Pinnell mentions a number of marriages between important local families (also see Notes 1 and 2):

Shedden (Colonel John) and Lewis (Sophia)
Shedden (Adelaide) and Taylor (Major J C S Pringle) in 1827
Sutherland (Sibella) and Neufville (Jacob) in 1793
Neufville (Ann) and St Barbe (Samuel)
West (Frederick) and Whitby (Theresa John Cornwallis) in 1827
Burrard (Sir Harry) and Neale (Grace)
Burrard (Rev George,3rd Baronet) and Bingham (Emma) in 1810s
Knapton (Robert) and Burrard (Mary) in 1688
Shrubb J P C (see Note 3) and Peel (Alice) in 1886
Peacocke (Louise) and Duplessis (Jules)
Peacocke (Warren) and Georgina West (eldest daughter of Frederick & Theresa)

Adopted Names:

Some men adopted names after marriage:
- Downing (George Alexander) to Fullerton
- Fawcett (John) to Pultenay in 1813
- Burrard (Sir Harry, 2nd Baronet) to Burrard Neale in 1760s

Other changes of name were identified:

- Taylor (Major J C S Pringle) to Pringle Taylor
- West (William Cornwallis) to Cornwallis West in 1886


1. Some of these surnames (Shedden, St Barbe, West, Knapton, Shrubb, Peacocke, Fullerton) are listed in the Calling Book.
2. There were other marriages mentioned in other local books:
- Crozier (Frances) and Burrard (Harriet daughter of Sir George)
- Morant (John) and Somerset (Henrietta) in 1855 (see Note)
- Rooke (William) and Burrard (Marianne sister of Sir Harry)
- Rooke (Giles) and Burrard (Harriet sister of Sir Harry)
3. Grandfather Rev Charles Shrubb Vicar of Boldre until 1875 (56 years).
Father John Lane Shrubb was a Verderer in 1878. Brother Rev Henry Shrubb.


Lady Henrietta Louisa Priscilla Somerest was the daughter of Henry the 7th Duke of Beaufort

Lymington in 1881 and 1891

A walk through Lymington starting at Highfield brings up a number of names of people who appear in the Calling Book:

1881 Census



St Thomas Street

Walking from Highfield towards the High Street is St Thomas Street which had the following occupants in 1881:

1 St Thomas Street(Monmouth House) (Chinery)
30 St Thomas Street (Robert Noake, Widower, Retired Major)
43 St Thomas Street (Mrs Augusta St Barbe )
1 St Helen's Place (Lindesay Sheddon, wife Sophy, JP for Hampshire)

Church Lane

Opposite St Thomas' Church is Church Lane in which a number of important families lived:

Church Lane (Hamilton Earle, wife Catherine )
(Ropewalk) Grove House (Misses Adeline Harding and Margaret Harding)

1881 and 1891

High Street

The centre of Lymington has Georgian houses and narrow Burgage plots and is a delightful place to walk round. In his remarkable book: “Lymington High Street: Then and Now”, Robert Coles has collated photographs and information about each building in the High Street including a list of occupants over the years.

The Victorian lady may have met the following:

38 High Street (Solicitors) (Rawlins - 1891)
39 High Street (Price - 1881)
48 High Street (Misses Noake - 1881-1891)
(Bellevue House)
52 High Street (Hill (Dr) - 1881-1891)
(Grosvenor House)
54 High Street (Spike - 1891)
(Holme Mead)
66/7 High Street (Bank) (St Barbe (Caroline) - 1881)
68 High Street (Bank) (St Barbe & Daniell - 1891)
74 High Street (Orlebar - 1891)

Lymington Area Today

In the past, some wealthy individuals or families owned a number of properties in the Lymington area, e.g. there was an extensive list of properties in Milford, owned by William Talbot Agar in 1906, listed in an article in one of Milford on Sea Historical Record Society’s ’s Occasional Magazines in 2004. In other cases, the financial burden of maintaining estates became too great and some were split up, e.g. Barton Court and Newlands.

Some of the old properties have inevitably been demolished including:

- Milford Lodge (destroyed by fire in 1973)
- Grove House, Lymington - see Note 1
- Holme Mead – see Note 2
- Woodside, Lymington - see Note 3


Many properties exist to this day, albeit some much modified, including:

- Chewton Glen, Milton - see Note 4
- Efford Cottage, Milford - see Note 5
- Milford House, Milford – see Note 6
- Monmouth House, Lymington - see Note 7
- Newlands Manor, Milford – see Note 6
- Sway Tower, Sway
- Walhampton House, Boldre - see Note 8


1. The last owner was Dennis Wheatley the author.
2. Now the Post Office in Lymington
3. Though the old house was demolished, the extensive and very pleasant gardens were bequeathed to the people of Lymington.
4. Now a five star hotel, which is privately-owned, on the New Milton (Hampshire)/Highcliffe on Sea (Dorset) boundary.
5. Now a guest house in Everton.
6. Now split into separate units
7. Now a rest home.
8. Now a private school.

5. The Lady's Use of the Calling Book

The instruction at the front of the Calling Book is as follows:


After receiving or making a call, insert the name of friend in the "From or On" column,
and fill in the date in the column headed “Received" if the call is received, or in the
column headed "Made" if the call is made,which in either case leaves the column on the
opposite side of the page free for the insertion of the date when the call is returned.
A glance at the dates will show whose turn it is to call.


In general terms, the idea of the Calling Book was to note down the names of people who visited you or you met, so that you could plan to return their calls.

This lady appeared to find the book useful in particular instances:


- Recording the names of people she met on visits, i.e. York, Galway and Leeds.
- Where appropriate, adding when people were "at home" for return visits.
- Drawing up lists of people she needed to visit or invite.

6. Who did she meet?

In this project I attempted to match the names in the Calling Book with actual people from available local records, e.g. the 1881 and 1891 Censuses.

In Appendix 3, I have listed the people where I identified a potential match to the Calling Book and those that I did not.

7. But who was she?

Judging by the people she met, she appeared to have been a middle-aged lady living in Lymington between the years 1883-1893. From her visits, she may have had links with York and Ireland. Some of the people in the 1881 and 1891 Censuses had such links:

York – Hancock – 1881 Census

Ireland – Ellis, Fenton, Goff, Maturin, Russell, Shedden – 1881 Census
Fluder, McGildowny, Stewart – 1891 Census

Perhaps the first (if not only) assumption that could be made was that anyone listed in the Calling Book could not also be the Lady!

Local People not mentioned in Calling Book

During the Project I identified names that did not appear in the Calling Book and were likely to have mixed in this society. As such they were candidates to be the Victorian lady who kept the Calling Book:

1881 Census

Banks (Arnewood House, Hordle)
Cooper (Highfield, Lymington)
Cooper (Kivernell House, Milford)
De Jersey (Highfield, Lymington)
Dent (1881 Buckland, Lymington, 1891 Barton Court)
Drummond (Riversdale House, Boldre)
Duplessis (Newtown Park, Boldre)
Fawcett (Wainsford House, Everton, Milford)
Hancock (Forest Lodge, Hordle)
Lenon (Highfield, Lymington)
Inman (South Hayes, Lymington)
Morant (Brockenhurst Park)
Northcote (The Elms, Boldre)
Peterson (The Towers, Hordle)
Rendall (Highfield, Lymington)
Smith (Highfield, Lymington)
Stephenson (St Luke’s Church, Sway)
Stevens (The Hollies, Sway)

1891 Census

Burton (Shirley Holmes House, Sway)
Churchill (Everton Grange)
Crawford (Highfield, Lymington)
Bowden Smith (Brockenhurst Lodge)
Entwistle (Wolhayes, Milton)
Fluder (65 High Street, Lymington
Girdlestone (Woodend, Lymington)
Heseltine (Walhampton House, Boldre)
Hudson (Heathfield, Brockenhurst)
Jeffrey (Claywood House, Sway)
Kenyon (Ivy Bank, Milford)
Lovell (Hinchelsea, Brockenhurst)
Masons (Tweed, Boldre)
Munro (Lady Cross Lodge, Boldre)
Murray (Efford Cottage, Everton)
Peel (Rope Hill, Boldre)
Pember (Vicars Hill House, Boldre)
Russell (Yeatton House, Hordle)
Taylor (Highfield, Lymington)

8. And where did she live?

I thought that it would be interesting to know not only who the Victorian lady was but where she lived.

Grand Houses

Returning to Blake Pinnell’s book describing 9 important country houses in the Lymington area, the following table gives the occupants of these country houses and whether it appears there is a potential match with names that appear in the Calling Book:

Country House - Occupants

Arnewood Court, Sway - Petersen (1881)
Brokenhurst Park, Brockenhurst - (Morant 1881)
Grove House, Lymington - Harding (Match), Harding (Match)
Newlands Manor, Milford - West - 1881 (Match), Peacocke - 1891 (Match)
Newtown Park, Boldre - Duplessis (1881,1891)
Pennington House, Lymington - Fullerton 1891 (Match)
Pylewell Park, Boldre
St Austins, Boldre - Shedden 1881 (Match)
Walhampton Park, Boldre - Fullerton 1881 (Match), Heseltine (1891)

Places mentioned in the Calling Book

The following places where the Victorian lady visited and/or her friends and acquaintances lived, are mentioned in the Calling Book:

Lymington area

Efford Cottage
Hoopers Hill

From entries in the Calling Book (1883 (2) and 1884), it appears that the lady may have lived in Lymington itself. In theory she may have lived in Highfield (1884), Efford Cottage (1886) and Hoopers Hill (1892?).


One of the most interesting places named in the Calling Book is the short row of houses in Highfield, Lymington. The occupants at the time of the censuses were as follows (an asterisk denotes ladies that our lady possibly met):

*Fanny Rogers, 1 Highfield (1891)
*Mary Chinery, 2 Highfield (1891)
*Henrietta Daniell, 3 Highfield (1891) (see Note 1)
*Marian Rooke (1881)
*Henrietta Price, 4 Highfield (1891)

Other Names


De Jersey


Smith, 5 Highfield
Taylor, 6 Highfield
Crawford, 7 Highfield
Randall (?), 8 Highfield (see Note 2)


1. In July 2005, there was a TV documentary about Mary Seacole from Jamaica who was highly regarded for her nursing services to the troops in the Crimea. On her return to the UK, the Seacole Fund was established with Royal patrons. The Chairman of the Fund was Henry Daniell late Coldstream Guards, who might be related to Henry Daniell of Highfield, Lymington (whom our Victorian lady appears to have met).

2. Dr Rendall had a surgery at 74 High Street, Lymington in 1881.

Efford Cottage

One of the most interesting entries in the Calling Book was a gathering at Efford Cottage in 1886. Efford Cottage was described in
an A & T article as:

"Originally a wattle and daub yeoman's cottage believed to have been built in the 1500s on the site of the present dining room
- folklore has it that the cottage was used as a small chapel by monks travelling between Christchurch Priory and Beaulieu Abbey.
Efford Cottage was later extensively rebuilt as the dower house to the privately-owned Efford House mansion."

I identified the name of the head of the household in the 1891 and 1901 Censuses as Murray (not in Calling Book).

Hoopers Hill

There is a small number of properties only at Hoopers Hill: Ashley Clinton, Hoopers Hill House and some smaller properties including lodges.

I understand that Hoopers Hill House is of historical interest as the owner told me that a local historian asked him if they could see round the house when the new owner bought it.

I identified the name of the head of the household in 1891 was Blunt (named in the Calling Book).

Part C

9. Interim Conclusions

Gaps in the Calling Book

During the years 1883-1893, the Victorian lady moved around a fair amount. Her use of the Calling Book was spasmodic and there were gaps as the following table shows:

Lymington (March/April) - 13 entries
York 1883 (May) - 6 entries
(June/August) - 20 entries
June) - 16 entries (Mostly crossed out)
(Sept) - 27 entries
Galway (Jan-June) - 57 entries
Efford Cottage - 5 entries
(Jan/Feb) - 13 entries
(Jan) - 11 entries

8 Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds - 6 entries
9 entries
June - 7 entries
August/Sept - 32 entries
March - 3 entries
May 1892? - Feb 1893? - 48 entries

Total Lymington Area - 204 (69 Other)

Names from the Lymington Area

The Lady made and received a number of calls on and from the same people.

The number of names in the Calling Book from the Lymington area may be summarised as:

Names possibly matched with the 1891 and/or 1891 Censuses - 64
Names possibly matched with other research material - 22
Not matched as yet - 32
Difficult to read - 10
Total - 128

From the places listed in the Calling Book, it appeared likely that the Victorian lady lived in the Lymington area. The gaps in the use of the Calling Book suggested that she was frequently away and was perhaps the wife of a clergyman or military man. She did meet an extraordinary number of clergymen and their wives.

One of the difficulties throughout the Project was working with handwritten records and other people’s attempted transcriptions, particularly the 1881 Census. In most case the Victorian lady was correct in her spelling of people’s names but then she would have had the advantage of working from other people’s calling cards.

At this stage I had not made any progress in researching the Victorian Lady’s visits to York and 8 Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds with limited progress on Galway. I had continued to make good progress in the Lymington area and found 42 potential matches with names in the 1881 Census and another 22 in the 1891 Census - half of the names in the Lymington area in the Calling Book.

As can be seen in the Names Index in Appendix1, usually the Victorian lady met couples or other ladies.

Of the 273 name entries, the majority of the entries relate to stays in the Lymington area:

1883/4 76 entries 1886/8 38 entries 1891/3 90 entries (Total 204) plus a visit to Galway in 1885 (57 entries).

For approx 100 of the Lymington area entries, there was just a single meeting (e.g. at Efford Cottage in 1886), which the Victorian lady may have attended or hosted. For most of the other Lymington area entries, there would have been a call received (approx 100 in all) and a call made (approx 100 in all).

Where the Victorian lady might have been living

In some parts of the Calling Book the Lady gives the town where she was living, e.g. Lymington. In others she gives a place where she may have been living or staying:

Highfield (1884) Efford Cottage (1886) Hoopers Hill (1892?)

We know that people used to rent accommodation for short periods but it was not clear whether the lady was living in Highfield or Efford Cottage as no dates of the calls are given whereas Hoopers Hill was a possibility with calls received on different days including Mrs Clinton and Mrs Blunt who lived in the vicinity.

10. Near Misses

6 Highfield

At the top of page 7 of the Calling Book, the Victorian lady wrote the word: “Highfield”, possible “6 Highfield”. This seemed an exciting clue. Unfortunately, in 1881 the property appeared to have been left in the hands of the servants. In 1891, the occupant was Adelaide Taylor, the widow of Major Pringle Taylor who died at Pennington House in 1884. His widow was the daughter of Colonel John Shedden who left his Pennington Estate to her. She died in 1891 and could not therefore be the Lady!


After I promoted my project, I hoped that someone might come up with a diary for part of the period 1883-1893, or possibly even another Calling Book!

The curator at the Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library in Lyndhurst brought my attention to a fascinating transcription of a diary kept by Maria (Stevenson) Hibbert when living at Foxlease, now a centre for the Girl Guide Movement.

Unfortunately no further clues were forthcoming but my research has been summarised:

Marie (Stevenson) Hibbert

The Lascelles of Sion Hill and Lyndhurst

For a time I thought that Constance Lascelles might have been the Lady. Her name did not appear in the Calling Book and the Lascelles owned the property Sion Hill in Yorkshire.

The name Lascelles did appear in Maria Hibbert’s diary but the link to Sion Hill proved to be far more humble!

11. Found the Lady!

Mary Florence Sophia (Fawcett) Murray

In December 2008 I identified a strong candidate to be the Victorian Lady, who kept the Calling Book. I then went on to prove to my satisfaction that she was the Victorian lady who kept the Calling Book!!

Criteria to be the Victorian Lady who kept the Calling Book

For the prospective candidate to be the Victorian lady:

- her name would not appear in the Calling Book (of course!)
- she would come from a well-connected family
- she would be the wife of a clergyman or military man who moved around the UK
- she would have lived in Lymington in 1883
- she would possibly have lived at Efford Cottage 1886 and Hoopers Hill 1893(?)
- she would possibly have links to York (1883) and Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds (1888?)
- she would possibly have links to Galway (1885)

Entries in the Calling Book

In the Victorian Calling Book are the following entries:

Efford Cottage, Lymington 1886

Mrs Blackwait

Hoopers Hill 1893(?)

Blunt (living at Hoopers Hill 1891)
Langworthy etc

Visit to Hampshire Record Office, Winchester

On Saturday 29 November 2008, I obtained three extra pieces of information from Hampshire Record Office which were the key to solving this puzzle:

1. per Kelly’s Directory of Hampshire 1885

Efford Cottage - Murray Henry S.

per Record Office Database

2. Efford Cottage

A. Appointment of a trustee to a marriage settlement (1897)
(i) Henry Fawcett late of Lymington now of Albert Bridge Road, Middx, gent and Mary Beatrice his wife
(ii) Henry Stuart Murray of Efford Cottage, Milford, esq

B. Deed poll by Warren Thomas Peacocke of Efford Cottage, Lymington (3 Dec 1906)

3. Hoopers Hill

Release of trusts of marriage settlement (1922)
(i) Henry Fawcett of 3 Wilbury Villas, Hove, Sussex, gent
(ii) Henry Stuart Murray of Hoopers Hill, Milton, major retired

Search in FreeBMD

I subsequently found out that Henry Stuart Murray married Mary Florence S Fawcett in Lymington in 1883 (the year of the first entries in the Calling Book).

The Calling Book may have been a wedding present or part of the information given to an officer's wife.

The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire

In December 2008, I was advised that:

- In 1858 the 4th West York Militia (the Leeds Regiment) was raised in Leeds.
- In 1881 the 2nd West York Light Infantry and the 4th West York Militia became the 3rd and 4th Militia Battalions, the Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment.
- Further information might be found in the archive research facility in the museum web-site:

By feeding in Galway to their archives, I was astonished to find 2 photos taken in 1885:

1. The 1st Bn The Prince of Wales's Own (the West Yorkshire Regiment) taken at Renmore Barracks, Galway on 24 May 1885, the Queen's Birthday
- on which Henry Stuart Murray may appear
2. Regimental Family Outing Galway 1885
- on which Henry & Mary Murray may appear

Chronology of Events

This information filled out my knowledge of the chronology of the events in Henry & Mary (Fawcett) Murray's lives:

1862 (2nd Quarter) Mary Fawcett born (parents Henry & Mary Fawcett)
1881 Mary (age 18), Parents and Family living at Wainsford House, Milford (Everton) per Census
1883 Married (First Quarter) in Lymington
1883 In York (April-May)- Entry in Calling Book
1885 In Galway (Jan-June) - Entry in Calling Book
1885 Living at Efford Cottage (per Kelly’s)
1886 Meeting at Efford Cottage - Entry in Calling Book
1888(?) In Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds - Entry in Calling Book
1891 Henry Murray, Captain, 4th West Yorkshire Regiment - Living at Efford Cottage (per Census)
1893(?) Meeting at Hoopers Hill – Entry in Calling Book
1897 Living at Efford Cottage (per marriage settlement)
1901 Major, 4th West Yorkshire Regiment - Living at Efford Cottage (per Census)
1906 Warren Thomas Peacocke living at/owner of Efford Cottage
1922 Living at Hoopers Hill (per marriage settlement)

Final Conclusion

Mary Murray met all of the criteria listed above and must be the Victorian lady!!!

12. Lymington Area in the late 19th Century

In the late 1800s within the compact area of Lymington and its surrounding villages there were a number of ladies of standing who met socially. Some of the ladies lived in grand country houses; others lived in the delightful Georgian houses in the centre of Lymington or within a carriage's drive of places like Boldre and what was then known as Milford and Milton.

Our Victorian lady mixed in the cream of this society. A good example of this is the following sequence in the attached Names Index (Appendix 1):

- Weld (owners of Pylewell 1802-1849)
- West (Lady of the Manor, Newlands, Milford)
- Whitaker (owners of Pylewell since 1874)


These days it is hard to imagine the need for the formality of keeping a Calling Book but calling was an important and enjoyable pastime in Victorian times and it was important to follow correct etiquette.

Of course, certain elements in the practice of calling continue to this day, e.g. the custom of obtaining and presenting calling cards (mostly for business it is true) and keeping records like visitor books. Also we tend to send cards to welcome people to their new home, and invite people back for lunch or dinner to “return the compliment”.

It is interesting to think of and try to visualise a lady in our area receiving an invitation from or initiating a call on a friend or acquaintance known to be "at home", getting into her carriage and being driven to a smart Victorian house and meeting the wives or widows of important men in the Lymington area (e.g. doctors, bankers, retired military men, clergy, lawyers); some of them important ladies in their own right.

And then the reward and recognition of some of these important ladies in local society visiting her.

Colin Bower
Barton on Sea
31 October 2009

Find the Lady! Progress over the years

Pictures of the Calling Book

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