The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Find the Lady!

Progress Report 

Progress Made in 2004

I published details of the project on the web hoping to : Find the Lady!

Progress Made in 2005

1891 Census for Hampshire

I purchased the Hampshire index to the 1891 Census published by the Hampshire Genealogical Society. With the 1881 Census I was able to print off the entries for the whole of Lymington and print off full details from the CD-ROM. The 1891 index gives areas by code. By using the codes, I was able to print off names of interest and I consulted the Census itself to find out where they lived.

I was able to identify some more names in the Calling Book, i.e. Archer Burton and Hockings.

West Galway Family History Society

The Victorian lady visited Galway in Jan-June 1985 and met approx 50 people. I e-mailed the West Galway Historical Society to ask if they can identify some of the people and places mentioned, some of which are difficult to read.

New Milton Advertiser

I asked that a letter about the Calling Book appear in the local paper.


The opportunity was taken to take a photograph of Newlands Manor where the West (later Cornwallis West) family lived.

A note on the family was added later.

The Rookes of Lymington

I received an e-mail from Canada, with some very interesting information, from a descendant of Elizabeth Home (1810-1894). She married Leonard Charles Rooke (1797-1852), youngest son of Sir Giles Rooke and Harriet Sophia Burrard (two very important surnames in Lymington history).

Elizabeth and Leonard Rooke lived at Formosa House in Lymington and we know that our Victorian lady met the Rookes of Formosa and other members of the family including Mrs W Rooke and Mrs Rook (Woodside).

I added some photographs of Woodside Gardens:

Photographs of the Lymington area including Newlands Manor and Woodside Gardens

For the 10 Rooke entries, see Name Index:

Find the Lady! - Name Index

Progress Made in 2006

Identification of More Names in the Calling Book

The last six months of 2005 were devoted to furthering the research into the Calling Book. As a result, there was a sharp increase in the number of potential matches between:

1991 Census

I searched the 1991 Census records held on microfiche by the libraries in New Milton and Lymington, and found 24 more matches with names in the Calling Book.

Society of Genealogists

I visited the Society of Genealogists and cleared up 4 queries in the Galway list of names.

Interim Report

I published an Interim Report in paper format and sought the help of local historians. When I had their feedback, I published an initial report which I lodged with Lymington and New Milton Libraries.

The Extraordinary (Cornwallis) West Family

I added a brief summary of some of the events regarding Milford's most famous family, the Extraordinary (Cornwallis) West Family.

Donation of Calling Book

At long last I was able to donate the Calling Book and Interim Report to the St Barbe Museum in Lymington:

Donation of the Calling Book

I also lodged a copy of the Interim Report with the Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library, which is situated on the First Floor of the New Forest Museum in Lyndhurst.

Publicising Interim Report

My letter to the Editor of our local paper the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times (the A & T) was duly published.

Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds

The Victorian lady recorded a visit to 8 (?) Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds in her Calling Book.

I found an entry in a local Yorkshire directory (Whites Directory of Leeds 1872), for Sion Hill, Thirsk:

List of West Riding Magistrates

Hon George Edwin Lascelles
Sion Hill, Thirsk

I am taking it that Sion Place, Sion Hill, Leeds was named after Sion Hill, Thirsk.

Progress Made in 2007

Lymington Web-Site: Lymington Memories

I was very pleased to learn that the subject of the Lymington Lady's Calling Book is mentioned in a Lymington web-site:


It was very interesting to see in the BBC's delightful adoption of Elizabeth Gaskell's: Cranford, that there was a local etiquette to be adopted when "calling" on friends and acquaintances in the village:

Miss Deborah Jenkins gave the following guidance when Mary Smith came to live with the Misses Deborah and Matilda (Matty) Jenkins:

- shortly after Mary Smith's arrival she would not receive calls but people would send their compliments

- calls to be made during a set time nominated on specified days when a person was: "at home" (12 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the Jenkins would put on their best lace caps!)

- calls should be no more than 15 minutes

- it was impolite to look at the clock to see if the call should be ended!

- calls should be returned within 3 days

Progress Made in 2008

The Shrubb Family of Boldre

A descendant of Ida Marcia Augusta Shrubb (Marcia), searching the web about the influential Shrubb Family of Boldre, came across my web-site.

He set out some detailed and very interesting information about the Shrubb Family. This included the extraordinary 1899 wedding of Marcia Shrubb, to which the cream of local society was invited plus Daisy, Princess of Pless formerly Mary Cornwallis West:

The Shrubb Family in Boldre

Annie Fluder

He also gave me more information on Annie Fluder who is a good candidate to be the Lady who kept the Calling Book.

Annie Fluder

1873 Diary of Sybilla (Fluder) Shrubb

My correspondent usefully transcribed the 1873 diary kept by Sybella Shrubb and it presented a fascinating picture of life of a Victorian lady including the birth of her daughter Marcia on 11 March 1873 (Sundays were entered separately in the Diary):

Page from Diary - March 1873

Page from Diary - Sundays 1873

Introduction to Diary

Introduction to Diary

Transcript of Diary

Transcript of Diary

Names Index

Names Index

Arthur Edward Fluder

The husband of a descendant of Arthur Fluder advised me that Arthur was the sister of Sybilla Fluder who married John Shrubb.

Mary (Fitzpatrick) Cornwallis West

I was very pleased that a Fitzpatrick descendant had found my web site and pointed out a typing error!

Important Marriages and Name Changes

Correspondents advised me of other important marriages in the Symonds and Shrubb families so I have updated the "people" section of my research:

Important Marriages and Name Changes

The Castle/Sheepshanks Family

A correspondent made contact having seen the diary mentioned above in which Miss Castle and Mrs Sheepshanks are mentioned.

He was descended from the Castles and Sheepshanks. The Victorian lady who kept the Calling Book met a Mrs Castle and the lady herself could have been a Sheepshank.

Found the Lady! 2009

In December 2008 I identified Mary Florence Sophia (Fawcett) Murray as the best prospective candidate to be the Victorian Lady, who kept the Calling Book, so far. I have proved to my satisfaction that this is the Victorian lady who kept the Calling Book!!

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

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)

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 fills out 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 (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)


Mary Murray meets all of the criteria to be the Victorian lady!!!

Progress 2010

Visit of the Victorian Lady to Galway in 1885

Two cousins contacted me. They are descendants of some of the families mentioned in the Calling Book, namely Jesson, Nelson Palmer, Palmer and Stephens.

They provided some information about the families which I have added to a summary about the Galway entries:

Entries in the Victorian Calling Book - Stay in Galway 1885

Progress 2011

Efford Cottage, Everton

I have proved that the Victorian lady who kept a Calling book in 1883-1893 was Mary (Fawcett) Murray:

Find the Lady! - Final Report

For a time she lived at Efford Cottage, Everton described as the dower house to Efford House.

A correspondent contacted me to say that he lived at Efford Bower (no relative!) which may have been the dower house and he was investigating the house's history.

Captain John Whitby

Captain Whitby sailed under Nelson and Cornwallis and his wife helped Admiral Cornwallis develop Newlands Manor in Milford (now Milford on Sea). Mary (Fawcett) Murray appears to have met his daughter Mrs West.

I was contacted by a descendant of Captain Whitby. He was her 5 x Great Grandfather and I was able to put her in touch with someone who has undertaken a great deal of research into the Whitby family.

Jesson, Palmer, Nelson Palmer and Stephens Families

Mary (Fawcett) Murray accompanied Major Murray when his regiment was in Galway.

One of the entries in the Calling Book was for Nelson Palmer and I was contacted by the 2 x Great Grand-daughter of Thomas Palmer who was a cousin of Nelson Palmer.

I was able to put her in touch with two people who gave me the information on the Jesson, Palmer, Nelson Palmer and Stephens families.

Hoopers Hill, Miton 1911

A correspondent sent me 2 valuable items:

1. A copy of the 1911 Census entry for Hoopers Hill

Hoopers Hill, Angel Lane, Milton near Ashley Clinton

Henry Stuart Murray (49) Retired Major H M Army born Edinburgh
Mary Florence Sophia Murray (48) born Lymington, Hampshire
Ruby Claudia Stuart Murray (19) born Lymington, Hampshire
Geoffrey Howard Reynolds (24) Visotor/Estate Pupil born Brockenhurst, Hampshire
plus servants

History of Solicitors Moore & Blatch and Bellevue House, Lymington

2. Pages from a local history publication including Solicitors Moore & Blatch and Bellevue House.

There are 6 names mentioned in the publication that appear in the Calling Book:

Moore& Blatch, Lymington

St Barbe
Rawlins (1880)
Vores (1891)
Daniel (after 1878)

Bellevue House, Lymington

Misses Noakes (from 1871)

Edition of Heir Hunters broadcast on BBC2 1.12.2011

Chris and I were watching a TV programme (a repeat, of course!) Heir Hunters on BBC2 on 1 December 2011, when we were surprised by the inclusion of a recent addition to the estate of Frederick West of Ruthin Castle (father of Frederick Richard West who married Theresa Whitby).

The programme plotted the fascinating history of the Cornwallis West Family:

The Extraordinary Cornwallis West Family

I sent a summary of the content of the programme to two ancestors of William Cornwallis West and Mary Fitzpatrick (Patsy).

Fuller description of the programme

Heir Hunters BBC2 1 December 2011

Progress 2012

I was advised of the launch of a new publication by the Milford-on-Sea Historical Society:

- Mrs Whitby's Locket by Barry Jolly.

The book tells the story of Captain John Whitby who married Mary Ann Theresa Symonds, the daughter of Captain John Symonds.

Captain Whitby served under Admiral Sir William Cornwallis and also Admiral Nelson. Mrs Whitby supervised the rebuilding of (and later inherited) Newlands at Milford for Cornwallis.

The Whitby's daughter Theresa married Frederick West thus providing the foundation for the famous Cornwallis-West family.

The Extraordinary Cornwallis-West Family

Annie Fluder

A descendant of Hay and Bess Morant made contact and sent a photo of Annie Fluder:


Annie married Charles Fluder and became the stepmother of Sybilla Fluder who married John Shrubb of Boldre Grange. Sybilla's sister was Elizabeth (Bess) Fluder who married Hay Morant of Ringwood Manor.

The Shrubb Family

Annie Fluder

Isabel Dickinson

A correspondent advised me that Teresa (Whitby) West had an interest in the arts and knew the poet Walter Savage Landor. As a result she was introduced to and befriended actress Isabel Dickinson:

Isabel Dickinson and Teresa (Whitby) West

The St Barbe Family

Travelling to London, I spotted the following information in the waiting room at Brockenhurst Station:

Route& Branch Railways of the New Forest
- Lymington Branch Line ( from Brockenhurst to Lymington and the Isle of Wight ferry) - Beginnings

In 1856 a group of wealthy residents decided to form their own company and get permission from Parliament for a new scheme. Among those involved was George Foster St Barbe of the Lymington Bank, Alfred Mew the brewer, George Inman the ship builder, Edward Hines the magistrate and William Squire a shopowner from the Isle of Wight.

The scheme obtained Royal Ascent in 1856 and commenced in 1858.

Admiral Sartorius

The lady who kept the Victorian Calling Book - Mary (Fawcett) Murray met Admiral Sartorius' widow who lived at East Grove in Lymington.

Progress 2013


Progress 2014


Progress 2015

Visit to Eccleston near Ruthin

On a recent holiday in Chester, we went to the nearby village of Eccleston adjacent to Eaton Hall, the ancestral home of the Grosvenor Family.

Hugh (k/a Bendor, one of the Family's racehorses!) Grosvenor became the 2nd Duke of Westminster in 1899 on the death of his grandfather.

Hugh married a childhood friend from Ruthin (see below), Constance (k/a Shelagh) Cornwallis West, and she bore him a son and heir Edward in 1904  but the child died in 1909 after an appendix operation.

Hugh and Constance lived lavishly in Eaton Hall and Grosvenor House in London entertaining amongst others King Edward and other members of the European Royal Family.

The couple divorced in 1919 and the Duke of Westminster had 3 further wives.

In the booklet: "The Grosvenors of Eaton", that I bought in the village church, there are a number of interesting revelations:

1. Hugh Grosvenor was with the young Winston Churchill - to whom he would later become related - when they were ambushed in a train in South Africa. The two men became lifelong friends.

2. the delay in calling a surgeon to the child Edward caused family recriminations.

3. The Cornwallis West Family sought signifkicant financial aid from the Grosvenors which caused irritation.

4. the Duke of Westminster tired of the social round enjoyed by Constance and they became estranged.


The reason the future 2nd Duke of Westminster had a childhood friendship with Constance was that the Cornwallis Wests lived at nearby Ruthin.

In 1826 Frederick West, Constance's grandfather, built a new castle on the site of the old Ruthin Castle which was virtually flattened in the 17th Century during the Civil War.

In the early 20th Century Ruthin Castle was a fashionable venue for house parties including visits from Edward VII, who had taken a fancy to Constance's mother Patsy Cornwallis West!

Ruthin Castle is now a luxury hotel.


It is interesting to reflect on whether Hugh and Constance might have remained together had the child Edward lived, with the Cornwallis Wests becoming part of the Grosvenor Family Tree.

Progress 2016


Progress 2017

I have proved that it was Mary (Fawcett) Murray, wife of Major Henry Murray, who kept the Victorian Calling Book that my mother bought on Lymington Market.

Ruby Claudia Stuart Murray

A correspondent sent me a picture of both sides of a condolence envelope sent to Henry & Mary's daughter Ruby:

Ruby C.S. Murray
Hoopers Hill
New Milton S.O.

The envelope was stamped Cambridge 4 May 1908 and stamped on the back Brockenhurst R.S.O. postmark 5 May 1908. My correspondent explained that this was unusual and interesting.

Copies of the front and back of the envelope may be seen by clicking the link below:

Found the Lady again and once more!

He directed me to the website about GB Railway Sub-Offices and Postmarks:

GB Railway Sub-Offices (R.S.O.s)

It appears that until 1900 there were only a few Railway Sub-Offices (R.S.O.s) which used postmarks to identify their status. From 1901 a large number did, but the R.S.O. designation was abolished in 1905.

In 1901 Ruby Murray was aged 9 and lived with her parents at Efford Cottage, Everton per 1901 Census (the family also lived there at the time of the 1891 Census).

Major Murray's address was given as Hoopers Hill, Milton in the release of a marriage settlement trust in 1922. Use of the old name Milton is a little odd, because a Mrs Newhook opened a New Milton Sub Post Office opposite the station and the new name of New Milton was adopted in 1896/7.

Found the Lady again and once more!

One of the members of the Milford on Sea Historical Research Discussion Group found the graves of Henry & Mary Murray in the graveyard at All Saints Church, Milford on Sea.

This inspired me to review the dates that the Murrays were in Hoopers Hill including the 1911 Census. A fuller account may be found by clicking on tnhe following link:

Found the Lady again and once more!

Major Pringle Taylor

A correspondent sought further information about Major Pringle Taylor who lived at Pennington House. The house is not located in Lower Pennington Lane near the Oakhaven Hospice as I thought, but in Ridgeway Lane.

Visit to Galway

It was the Galway entries in the Calling Book in 1885 that provided the final piece of the jigsaw that proved that Mary Murray was the lady who kept the Calling Book.

There were a number of outstanding questions, so it was exciting to have the opportunity to visit Galway, though with mixed fortunes!

Visit to Galway August 2017

Progress 2018

The Rookes of Lymington

The Rookes were among a number of important families living in Lymington in the 19th Century.

During the period circa 1883-1893, there were a number of meetings with the Rooke family listed in the Calling Book kept by Mary (Fawcett) Murray
including Mrs Leonard Rooke and the Rookes of Formosa

Previously, a descendant from Canada had told me that Leonard & Elizabeth Rooke lived at Formosa House (since destroyed) in Lymington.

Recently a correspondent from New Zealand advised me that he lived in a house, called Formosa, that was built by Leonard Home Rooke (who was educated in England - father Leonard Charles Rooke) in 1902.


Progress 2019

Admiral William Cornwallis

On 30 June 1883, Mary (Fawcett) Murray recorded in her Calling Book that she met with a Mrs West. In 1886 she listed Mrs West again when living at Efford Cottage.


Meeting at Efford Cottage


Mrs West had the rather unsual maiden names: Theresa John Cornwallis Whitby.

Theresa West's mother, Mary Anna Theresa (Symonds) Whitby, had inherited Newlands Manor from Admiral William Cornwallis.

The story of Mrs West's son William Cornwallis West and grandchildren make extraordinary reading:

The extraordinary Cornwallis Wests

On 22 March our local paper, the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times, had a leading article: "Nelson's forgotten hero saluted at last".

Admiral Cornwallis is notable for blockading the port of Brest until 1806 preventing Napoleon from invading Britain. There are memorials to Mrs West, Cornwallis and the Whitbys inside the church of All Saints in Milford on Sea:

Memorial to Theresa John Cornwallis West in All Saints Church
(born Theresa Whitby who married Frederic West)

Memorial to Cornwallis and the Whitbys in All Saints Church

The grave of Admiral Corwallis alongside John Whitby was only recently traced in the graveyard there.

There was a National Commemoration on 5 July to mark the 200th anniversary of Admiral Cornwallis' death.

Progress 2020

The Rooke Family

The surname Rooke appears a number of times in the Calling Book that was kept by Mary (Fawcett) Murray when she lived in Everton near Milford and Milton (now New Milton).

A correspondent advised me that he is connected to the Rooke and Burrard families.

His grandmother was Lettice Rooke who married Gregor Hugh Grant. Lettice's father was Vice Admiral Eustace Rooke.

In the 1851 Census, details of Eustace Rooke's father are given as: George Rooke, Vicar of Embleton in Northumberland , Age 54, born Lymington, Hants.

Progress 2021

My Probus Club came up with a monthly Newsletter during the Covid lockdown.

I submitted a summary of the project:

Find the Lady! Summary

Progress 2022

There was an interesting article in our local paper about the main New Milton to Lymington road (A337) and I tyoed up an extract:

History of A337

Particular reference was made to Hoopers Hill House, where Henry & Mary Murray lived circa 1922, and Ashley Clinton in Angel lane. It prompted me to buy a copy of the transciption copy of the 1921 Census entry:

1921 Census
Hoopers Hill, New Milton

Henry Stuart Murray, Head, Major H M Army Retired born 1861 (age 60 1 month) born Edinburgh, Scotland

May (should be Mary) Florence Sophia Murray, Wife born 1862 (age 59 years 2 months) born Milford on Sea, Hampshire

Violet Mabel Lovell, Cook born 1901 (age 20 years 3 months) born Hampshire,/p>

Gwendoline May Doyall (could be Boyall), House Parlourmaid born 1900 (age 20 years 7 months) born Downton, Hampshire

* * * *

Major H. Stuart Murray, Hoopers Hill, New Milton made the return. On looking at the original of the entry his wife Mary is stated as May. The surname of the House Parlourmaid has been badly written and could be Doyall or Boyall or what else.

Progress 2023

The Crozier/Burrard Family

In June, the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times reported on a visit to Lymington by descendants of the Crozier/Burrard Family:

The Croziers

Calling Book Contents

I took the opportunity to:

1. add a copy of each page of the Calling Book with a transcription underneath:

Calling Book Pages

2. add the page numbers to the Names Index:

Calling Book Names Index

It was a bigger job than it sounds!

It reminded me of how difficult it was to read the Lady's writing.

Colin Bower
12 October 2023

Find the Lady! Final Report

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