Monday 26 February 2018

The Beaumont Family Tree - some errors

A Family Tree was printed in about 1873.

I can say that it was about then because it says nothing about things later than that.

It has been widely followed, so that information from it now appears in Burke's Peerage and in certain online resources such as Darryl Lundy's "peerage" website.

There are some errors in the 1873 Family Tree, and these have thus become "hallowed" by repetition!

The Family Tree must have been compiled based on information from the various heads of family at the time. One of those being George Beaumont 1796-1882. This note picks up some errors for which I fear he is either responsible - or which he didn't spot.

From the 1873 Family Tree, about George (partly cut off
in crease!), his father, and his brother.

Error no. 1 - His father's military role

Of George's father, the 1873 Family Tree says "Capt., 84th Regt."

This has been widely copied. It is entirely wrong.

Richard had the rank of Captain but not in the 84th Regiment. Richard's brother Thomas however was the Chaplain to the 84th Regiment.

This archive contains a document appointing Thomas as the chaplain (Box 18/304). The document was rather crudely altered by someone so as to make "T.Beaumont, clerk" look like "R.Beaumont, gent." and to alter "Chaplain" to "Captain."

Extract from altered appointment of T[homas] Beaumont, clerk, as
chaplain to 84th Regiment, 1793 (Box 18/304)
See how the "l" in Chaplain has been crossed to make it a "t" and the "Ch" has been blotted out with a large "C."  Presumably it was George who did this but can anyone say why?

This document is dated 2 November 1793. A published list of the Officers of the 84th Regiment of Foot shortly after this shows four Captains, none of whom are called Beaumont, but T.... Beaumont, clerk, as the Chaplain (London Gazette, issue 13627, page 180). Rev. Thomas Beaumont knew the Colonel of the 84th, George Bernard. This is to be considered in a later piece,

Error no. 2 - George's father's middle name

The 1873 Family Tree states "Richard Henry Beaumont, of Aston, co. Warwick." This also has been widely copied, and is equally wrong insofar as it gives him a middle name. No earlier sources of information have come to light giving Richard any middle name. Someone seems to have invented this and I can only think that the error arose because Richard was one of several brothers, of whom the fourth was Richard and the fifth was called Henry.

George had apparently given his own son Richard the middle name Henry, but that is hardly the point!

If George supplied information to the compilers of the Family Tree, he might have been confused by various documents which list the brothers in order:- Thomas George William Richard Henry Walter Abel....  The Family Tree not only states "Richard Henry" but also gets the order wrong.

So I will resume the sequence of births of all the siblings, noting "FT1" for the order of the sons given in the 1873 Family Tree:-

Thomas (1754-) (FT1)
Frances (1756-)
George (1757-) (FT2)
William (?1758-) (died no later than 1796) [not in the FT]
Richard (1761-) (FT3)
Henry (1762-) (died in early 1785) (FT5)
Charlotte (1765-
Walter (1767-) (FT4 and FT6) [yes, Walter is in the FT twice]
Abel (1772-) (FT7)

Possible Error No. 3 - George's mother

The 1873 Family Tree shows Richard's wife, the mother of George himself and of his brother Henry, as "Ann, daughter of William Walford, of Penn Bank, co. Stafford.. mar. 1795." This has been widely copied.

Ann was indeed the name of a daughter of William Walford, christened at Penn in 1772. She married Richard Beaumont and survived him as his widow for many years. George of course knew and visited her!

But it is not possible for us to say whether she was George and Henry's mother (or indeed whether George knew if she was his mother), for George and Henry were born many years before she married their father, which was not until 1817. (8 February 2019: see comment below)

The date of 1795 given for the marriage in the Family Tree is conveniently the year before George's birth, and tells us I believe very clearly that that the compilers did not know of Richard having any other wife at the time George and Henry were born (Richard had a first wife who died some time before they were born, a marriage which the 1873 Family Tree omits entirely) (also he had a child in 1815, apparently by a wife called Ann, this child died the same year).

Parish Register entry for marriage of Richard Beaumont to Ann Walford, 15 July 1817
at either Aston parish church or the chapel of St James the Less, Ashted.
He is "widower" and she is "spinster." They are both "of this parish" and
the marriage was by Licence (rather than by Banns).

Error no. 4 - George's address

The 1873 Family Tree shows George as "of Bridgeford Hall, Notts." He lived at Bridgford Hill. This is still wrong in lots of published places, eg sometimes "Bridford Hill."

This note made 26 February 2018.
Comment 8 February 2019: I have now done a longer piece on RB of Birmingham, and that touches on  the first three of the errors noted here. In regard to No.3, it looks to me more likely than not, that Ann Beaumont (nee Walford) was the actual mother of George and Henry. They are expressly described as "my sons" in her Will, for what that is worth.

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