Monthly Archives: December 2012

Charles and Robert Beaumont

The brothers Revs. Charles (1710—1758) and Robert (1724—1792) Beaumont came from one strand of the large and complicated Beaumont family in Suffolk. Their father Robert (1683—1737) was educated at Queen’s College Cambridge, and became Rector of Witnesham in 1708 and later Vicar of Henley and Vicar of St. Lawrence in Ipswich. The extended family included several other members of the clergy, including Charles Beaumont, DD (1660—1726), Fellow of Peterhouse College who left land and money to his cousin the elder Robert and thence to his godson, Charles.

Of the brothers, I know less about Robert. He would still have been only about thirteen when his father died. He did go on to Cambridge and was ordained in 1746, being appointed Rector of Helmingham and vicar of Framsden in 1760, posts which he retained for the rest of his life. His subscription to Kirby’s Historical Account is the only subscription of his I know.

Charles, the eldest son, has left more of a record. He went to Peterhouse, gaining his BA in 1731 and MA in 1734, was ordained in 1735 and succeeded his father as Rector of Witnesham in 1736.

Charles continued his father’s practice of giving sermons in support of the Charity Schools, the Grey-Coat boys and Blue-Coat girls of Ipswich, and seems to have resided, at least some of the time, in Ipswich. Witnesham is only about four miles from Ipswich, so this hardly counts as not living in the living.

It is presumably Charles, rather than Robert, who provides the link with Kirby. Witnesham Hall was owned by the Meadows family (and had been it its hands for several centuries) and Joshua Kirby’s brother William, a lawyer by training, married Lucy Meadows and lived at Witnesham Hall administering the family property. Charles subscribed to both the Historical Account and the first edition of the Method of Perspective.

Charles married Elizabeth Vesey and they had three children, although the first died young. The middle daughter, Elizabeth, married Philip Broke and their son, Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke, was captain of HMS Shannon when she captured the USS Chesapeake in the War of 1812.

The Ipswich Journal

Ipswich gained its local newspaper, The Ipswich Journal, in 1720, founded by John Bagnall who had recently moved from London to Ipswich. In common with most other provincial newspapers, the news was mostly digested from London sources, with very little local information. Gradually, notices of local events appeared, and then the crucial ingredient for a successful newspaper, and the source that makes old papers interesting to a modern audience, advertising. In the first few issues, the only advertisement was for Bagnall himself and his printing office.

By 1721, Bagnall was including ads from other, paying, customers, such as this one from March 1721 for William Craighton.

Along with the newspaper, Bagnall printed and published a few local books, including John Kirby’s Suffolk Traveller in 1735. Bagnall continued publishing the paper for almost twenty years, until his business was taken over by William Craighton in 1739. Craighton restored the original title of the newspaper (Bagnall had re-titled it the Ipswich Gazette) and got a new type-face for it. The format and content remained much the same. Craighton published several books, the industry having picked up pace since the 1720s and 1730s. Among his publications were Kirby’s Historical Account, and the first edition of the Method of Perspective. Craighton died in 1761, and the newspaper and printing business continued under his sister, Elizabeth Craighton, and nephew, William Jackson. Jackson bought out Elizabeth Craighton’s interest in 1769, but in the 1770s he ran into financial difficulties, joined the East India Company, enlisted with Clive in India and was never heard of again.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Craighton had restarted the newspaper with the help of another nephew, Stephen Jackson, and a different printer. Under various proprietors the Ipswich Journal continued until 1902, when it closed citing lack of advertisers and competition from more recent daily newspapers and monthly magazines.

The local newspaper may not have been used much for local news, but it was seen as a valuable medium for advertising, especially for books. Kirby had numerous advertisements in the paper, and we shall meet some of them. To whet your appetite, here is a rather charming ad from 1740 for Kirby’s Scole prints.

Watson, S.F. Some materials for a history of printing and publishing in Ipswich, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natural History, 24, 3 (1946/1948), 182-227.

Wiles, R.M. Freshest Advices. Early Provincial Newspapers in England, Ohio State University Press, 1965.

Thomas Coggeshall

Thomas Coggeshall (c. 1702—1768) seems to have led a pleasant life, but he left few traces during it. He did subscribe to Kirby’s Historical Account and Method of Perspective, as well as six copies Richard Canning’s book on Ipswich charities. He was a grandson of the Henry Coggeshall who invented a slide rule for lumber measurement and whose treatise on the use of the slide rule ran through many editions with varying titles. The third edition was The art of practical measuring easily perform’d, by a two foot rule, which slides to a foot….

Rev. Francis Haslewood reords Thomas Coggeshall’s monument in St. Matthew’s church thus:

Beyond whatever inheritance Coggeshall had from his father, he also inherited lands and money from his cousin John, and he died a wealthy man. The Gentlemen’s Magazine claimed he had left between £6000 and £7000, a not inconsiderable sum for the time. His will shows the interconnections between many of the local families. Coggeshall left the bulk of his estate to a cousin William, and to William’s daughter Martha, to another cousin William, and to some relatives on his mother’s side (his mother was a Cannell). As trustees for the property he appointed `Mr. John Hingestone son of my late worthy friend Mr. Mileson Hingestone and the Reverend Richard Canning son of my worthy friend the Reverend Mr. Canning of Ipswich’. He also made Rev. Canning an executor. The friendship presumably accounts for the six copies of Canning’s book that he subscribed for. Among many minor bequests to relations, he gave fifty pounds each to `Mr. Samuel Kilderbee of Framlingham and his two sons and daughter’ (Kilderbees and Coggeshalls were related by marriage a couple of generations earlier). To his `good friend’ Rev. John Clubb he gave four hundred pounds, to his `very intimate friend’ the elder Richard Canning he gave five hundred pounds. He also gave money to Elizabeth Craighton, widow of the publisher William Craighton, and to Craighton’s nephew Mr. Jackson (the widow and nephew had continued the publishing business including the Ipswich Journal after the death of William Craighton). He gave twenty pounds to Joshua Kirby and his brother William. Towards the end of the will is a long list of further friends to whom he gives 10 guineas each, including a `Mr. Gainsborough’ who is not specified further.

After a life with ‘plentiful Fortune favouring his natural love of ease’, he demonstrated in his will a great concern to pass on his fortune to friends, relatives, and charities.

St. Matthew’s Ipswich

The church of St. Matthew’s in Ipswich is the resting place of many Ipswich worthies, including a number of Kirby’s subscribers. Formerly, it had `the largest churchyard in Suffolk’, although this is now much reduced, and the church has been extended and remodeled since the 18th century.

The church contains a rare medieval font, described here.

In the 1870s and 1880, Rev. Francis Haslewood, then Rector of St. Matthew’s, occupied his leisure time in recording all the monuments of the parish and had the results privately published (price 7 shillings). Although probably never a best-seller it did garner 120 subscribers, and Google has now rescued it from obscurity.

The Kirby subscribers buried here include:

Christopher Barry, d. 1759;

Thomas Coggeshall, d. 1768;

Robert Milner, d. 1763;

John Preston, d. 1760;

Henry Skinner, d. 1749, and

Michael Thirkle, d. 1766, one of the Portmen and Bailiffs of Ipswich, and another important figure in the 1750s political turmoil.

Haslewood, Rev. Francis, (1884) The Monumental Inscriptions in the Parish of Saint Matthew.

Samuel Kilderbee (1725—1813)

Samuel Kilderbee was an Ipswich lawyer, now remembered chiefly for being a life-long friend of Thomas Gainsborough. He had a successful career as an attorney, in particular representing Nathaniel Acton in many legal transactions. In 1755, during the period of political turmoil in Ipswich, he was installed as Town Clerk, a position he retained until 1767. It is unclear if the Gainsboroughs had known the Kilderbees before Gainsborough’s move to Ipswich after his London training, but it is certainly possible. The Kilderbee family had been living for several generations in Framlingham, while Gainsborough was from Sudbury, on the other side of Ipswich.  Once they did meet, they became firm friends until the end, although, as with much of Gainsborough’s life, direct evidence is scanty. From Gainsborough’s letters, we know his family visited the Kilderbees from London in the 1770’s, and Gainsborough and Kilderbee made a tour of the Lake District in 1783. Gainsborough made Kilderbee `overseer’ of the execution of his will and Kilderbee visited Gainsborough on his death-bed, where he reported that Gainsborough, “regretted the dissolute life he had led, but added, `They must take me altogether, liberal, thoughtless, and dissipated.'” William Jackson said that Gainsborough’s letters to Kilderbee were `brilliant but eccentric, and too licentious to be published’, and indeed they never were.

Early on, Gainsborough painted portraits of Kilderbee (at least twice), his wife, and one of her brothers.

Later, he painted a portrait of the Kilderbee’s son, the Rev. Samuel Kilderbee.

The Kilderbee family had some interesting naming conventions. Samuel Kilderbee’s grandfather, Francis, had married one Elizabeth, the only daughter of a Suffolk apothecary called Samuel Dover. They named their sons Dover and Samuel. In due course, Elizabeth inherited from her father, and this enabled Francis, a successful draper in Framlingham, to buy some land for his elder son to inherit in his turn. Dover went on to Cambridge and success, but died without issue, and the prosperity passed to his younger brother Samuel, who had taken on the family draper business. Samuel married Alethea Sparrow (we will hear more about the Sparrows later), and they in turn had two sons, Samuel the lawyer, and his brother John, who continued the family business into another generation. Samuel’s wife Mary was the daughter of a landowner Daniel Wayth. They had one son, the Rev. Samuel Kilderbee above, who was renowned for his wit and amusing conversation, and for living beyond his, by now quite substantial, means. Fortunately, the Rev. Samuel married a widow who could contribute to the family coffers, Caroline Waddington, daughter of Samuel Horsey. Their only son, Spencer Horsey Kilderbee, married Lady Louisa Maria Judith Rous, daughter of an Earl, and went on to be an MP under the rather splendid name of Spencer Horsey de Horsey.

Dover Kilderbee and one of the Samuels were subscribers to the first edition of Kirby’s Method of Perspective, and (a) Samuel and John subscribed to the second edition of the Suffolk Traveller.

Sir Richard Lloyd

Sir Richard Lloyd (?1697-1761) was one of the Ipswich portmen who lost their posts in the 1755 coup. He had also recently lost the election to be M.P. However, one doesn’t need to feel too sorry for him. As a consolation, he was made Solicitor-General.

Lloyd had been Recorder of Ipswich since 1739, and had represented other constituencies around the country. After his failure at Ipswich, he became M.P. for Totnes. He was probably born in 1697 at Lichfield. His father was Talbot Lloyd, and his mother, Elizabeth Savage, was a natural daughter of his father’s commanding officer, the infamous General Lord Rivers. He went to Lichfield School and then on to Cambridge before training for the law in Middle Temple and being called to the bar in 1723. In the 1720s he married Elizabeth Field (or Feild), whose mother, Arabella Savage, had been another natural daughter of Lord Rivers. They had two sons and two daughters.

Lloyd was knighted in 1745 on the occasion of the loyal address after the Jacobite rising, and he was one of the prosecutors in Lord Lovat’s trial in 1746. Also in 1745, the 90-year old dowager countess of Winchelsea, widow of Heneage Finch, the 3rd Earl of Winchelsea, died, leaving Lloyd her entire estate `inexplicably’, says the DNB. This inheritance supported him in Parliament and enabled him to buy Hintlesham Hall, near Ipswich, in 1747.

Sir Richard Lloyd was also an early patron of Thomas Gainsborough in his Suffolk days. The earliest portrait Gainsborough did of members of the family is that of the eldest son, Richard Savage Lloyd and his mother, possibly as early as 1745 or 1746.

Around 1750, Gainsborough painted the elder sister, Cecil,

and also the two youngest children, Heneage and his sister Lucy:

Finally, sometime in the 1750s, although the date is uncertain, Gainsborough painted Sir Richard himself.

Sir Richard was an MP until 1759, resigning when he was appointed a judge. He was a supporter of Kirby’s, subscribing to both the Historical Account and the Method of Perspective, and knew the family well. The eldest brother of Kirby, John, born in 1715, had been trained as a lawyer, and was a junior partner to Lloyd. When John was appointed Under-Treasurer at the Middle Temple in 1748 (Lloyd was Treasurer), Lloyd wrote to him, that “the gentlemen that nominated you cannot and will not repent; for if honour, honesty, and stedfastness are required, they could not have pitched upon so proper a person as yourself, for I can answer that every one of those qualifications are thoroughly grafted in you”. Unfortunately, John Kirby died in 1750.