"A Brief Record of the Reed, Heurtley and Wenman families,
from the beginning of the xviii century."
This was handwritten and dated 30 December 1935,
at Auckland, New Zealand.
I have added paragraph breaks where I think they belong; I've left Uncle Frank's spelling, capitalization and punctuation unchanged, including the lack of possessive apostrophes; I've added full stops (periods) at the end of abbreviated words, since the holographic style at the time was to superscript the last letter of the word without adding a full stop; I've kept Uncle Frank's underlining (which you won't see unless your browser supports style sheets).
In the "Memoir published in 1896," the parenthetical comments and question marks are those of Uncle Frank.
The Heurtley or Heurteleu Family In a Memoir published in 1896 after the death of Charles Abel Heurtley D.D., Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity ChristChurch Oxford also Canon of Oxford and of Durham who is included on my Genealogical Tree and referred to in the Supplement to the History of National Biography, the following family history is contained, which may be relied upon except as regards the du Crux connection and the escape of Captain Heurtley from Inverness Castle. The former of these statements being based only on the fact that the Huguenot Charles Abel had on his arrival in England about 1700 a passport in the name of du Crux. I cannot ascertain any other evidence. The Heurtleys have none. As regards the alleged escape of Capt. Abel from the castle of Inverness he may have been made prisoner after the battles of Prestonpass in Falkirk which the Pretender won and probably he was one of the English officers who broke his parole, referred to in Langs History of Scotland. The Memoir states as follows: "The family name was originally Heurteleu. The earliest member of which authentic record is traceable was M. Heurteleu Seigneur du Crux (= Lord) described in 1613 as Controlleur de la Maison du Monsieur le Prince (Reign of Louis 13th). His grandson Charles Abel Heurteleu who lived near Rennes, Brittany emigrated from France owing to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and came over to England at the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th century. He settled in London residing in Red Lion Square W.C. and supported himself by teaching French and Mathematics. This emigrants second son was (Captain) Charles Abel born Sept 9th 1707 and baptised in the French Protestant Church Baron Street Soho London. He entered the English Army in which he held a captains commission, fought against the Young Pretender (Chas. Edward Stewart) (1745-6) was taken prisoner and confined (?) in the Castle of Inverness from which he and another contrived to escape (? while on parole)." I will now continue the narrative from my own investigations: Captain Abel Heurtley 1707 -1756 was twice married, firstly in 1737 at Barnsley Church (Yorks) to Dinah Stone of Barlborough Hall near Chesterfield who died 1742, leaving one son Charles Abel 1740 -1806 who became a banker at Sunderland, Durham, where (at Bishop Wearmouth) he is buried. His only son was that great divine Charles Abel Heurtley D.D. before mentioned. In 1747 Captain Heurtley married Margaret Wenman his second wife after an elopement with her, they were my great great grandparents; their grand daughter Eliza Heurtley married Anthony Reed my grandfather. After this second marriage Captain Heurtley changed his name from the French "Heurteleu", to the Anglicized "Heurtley", a Frenchman was then no persona grata in England. Margaret Wenman (m 1747 d 1757) was the only surviving child of William Wenman and his wife Ellen and was their prospective heiress, William Wenman Esquire being an influential and wealthy landowner, the owner of considerable freehold estates at Edwinstowe, Mansfield Woodhouse and Harley, also copyhold estates at Durham and Laneham all in Nottinghamshire. So incensed was he at his daughters elopement and marriage that he promptly made another will dated March 1748 leaving his estates and property to others, securing to his widow only a life interest therefrom, obviously to prevent her from leaving such estates to his daughter of her children. A synopsis of this Will I have added in the Appendices. He refers to his "unkind daughter Margaret who without our knowledge or approbation unwisely allied herself in marriage with one Mr Abel Heartley" also writing "I will not give anything to the man who has robbed me of my daughter." To provide against her "wanting bread" he left £1200 (the equivalent of 5 times our present British currency) the interest from which to be regularly paid to Margaret, and after her decease (9 years later) to be placed in Chancery for the use of her children if any (she had 3). William Wenman died in 1750 two years after making his Will. His widow Ellen née Farr whom he had married in 1711 and who survived him 15 years (i.e. until 1765) being kindly disposed towards her daughter and grandchildren, evidently adopted them and provided for them in her Will dated 1757, immediately after Margarets death, Captain Abel Heurtley her husband having predeceased her by one year. Thus their married life was less than 10 years. The widow Wenman bequeathed "the proceeds of the immediate sale of all her goods and personal estate to trustees to invest the same in securities and apply the interest therefrom towards education bringing up and putting into business, or providing other employment for all and every of the children of my late daughter Margaret the wife of Abel Hartley deceased." Their decease occurred between 1755 the year of the birth of their youngest child and 1757, the year of Mrs Wenmans Will. I have no knowledge of the place of their marriage, residence or burial, but probably Margaret went occasionally to live with her mother at Edwinstowe in 1750 after Williams death, later when she died in 1757 her orphaned children went their permanently to reside until the widows death in 1765, when Edwinstowe passed by Williams Will to the Duke of Portland. Captain Abel Heurtley made no Will, he evidently had nothing to leave; his first wife Dinah owned landed estates which he evidently went through - All the evidence goes to show that he was an impecunious heiress hunting adventurer and soldier of fortune whom Wenman had reason to dislike as a son in law. The only relics of Captain Abel which were preserved in my time were the "du Crux" passport of his father the Huguenot previously referred to. A seal bearing a shield on which was an heraldic cross with crosslets, signifying two crusades, as crest, consisting of a martlet with crosslet in beak, and below the motto "Nil Admirari," whether he was entitled to bear such arms has never been ascertained. An oil painting supposed to represent him is now lost. He is shown in a scarlet, gold laced coat, with large wig - About 40, dark, perhaps handsome, but sinister, no smile or kindly expression, having eyes which stared at the beholder at any position. My aunt Anna owned this life sized portrait, I remember it. Abel and Margaret my great great grandparents children were William 1751 -1840; Catherine Dorothea 1753 -1840; and Richard 1755 - 1832; who were respectively 5, 3, & 1 years old when orphaned and adopted by Mrs Wenman and they lived with her at Edwinstowe until her death 8 years later. Subsequently her executors no doubt supervised them, until their attaining their majority. William my great grandfather became an artist and I have no knowledge of any other occupation, he married Anna Owtram of Rayton near Worksop, of an old and well known yeoman family long resident there and in the Chesterfield district, two members of the family being buried in Westminster Abbey viz - William Owtram D.D. (1626 -79) and Sir James Outram Bart (1803 - 63), the famous Lieut. General of the British Army in India. The earliest spelling of the name being the former. William and Anna resided at Worksop in their house situated near the Abbey Gateway (and which my father sold in 1880). They had 12 children, including my grandmother Eliza, who married Anthony Reed. I will later refer to these children. William socially held a respected position in the county, and gave his family very good educations, his daughters married well. He was a really good artist, but neglected his interests through pride and a natural dislike to exertion; so I have read in old family letters. Catherine Dorothea the only daughter of Abel and Margaret, married C.R. Dunn Esquire of Saltwell Hall, Gateshead on Tyne, a wealthy Roman Catholic. They had no family, they brought up the famous divine Charles Abel Heurtley D.D. (1806 - 95) whose father was Mrs Dunns half-brother also named Charles Abel. Richard, they youngest son of Abel and Margaret, became I was informed a cashier in the Bank of England, and eventually went to New York; he died abroad. The Family of William and Anna were as follows: 1: Richard who became a physician, he settled at the Cape, he married but had no issue therefrom, he became a leading man and resided a few miles from Capetown, where his tomb is. His widow married his solicitor. 2: Frances remained single. She kept a ladies school at Worksop, Notts, at which my aunts were pupils and later assisted. She was fair, passably good looking, and austere; she wrote during 1842 a letter to Dr Heurtley (which I have seen) very disparagingly of the "degenerate race," her sister Eliza (Reeds) family; altho' she Frances had an illegitimate son, Dr Haze. 3: Archibald was a surgeon and later captain RN, he died at Worksop from a wound received in action during the war with France. He married Miss Walters, they had two children, Richard Walter and Anna, both of whom married and had issue, but I understand there are now no living descendants of Archibald; so the Revd Chas Heurtley informed me. Thus the Reeds are the only living descendants of Abel and Margaret Heurtley; and of William Wenman. 4: Ellen, who married Dr Nunn of Worksop, they had no issue. 5: Anna joined her brother Richard at Capetown but died going unmarried. 6: William, who became an artist of distinction, whose landscapes are said to be the equal of those of Constable and Cox, seven are in the possession of the Revd Charles Heurtley MA of Oxford, three of which I gave him. Unfortunately he was eccentric, and it is recorded that he lived a nomadic life, when, wandering in pursuance of his art, sleeping in haystacks, and milking the nearest cow for his breakfast. For drinking the health of Buonaparte then at war with England, he was interned in prison, where he died of consumption at the age of 30 unmarried. His portrait shows him to have been handsome, dark and of melancholy countenance. 7: Catherine, who married Mr Pilkington of Nottingham. I have no information concerning her. 8: Charles Abel, who migrated to Ceylon and there died of yellow fever aged 18. 9: Sarah, who married in 1832 G. Frith M.D. of Worksop where they resided, their only child Harriet, married in 1852 John Boyd Kinnear of Kinnear Scotland, some time Gladstonian MP for Fife, she died without issue 1866. Prior to her marriage she was a well known Shakespearian actress (see Appendices). Her mother survived both Dr. Frith and her daughter, and in somewhat straitened circumstance died at my aunts house at Norton, Stockton on Tees about 1870. She was buried in the Reed family vault at Bishop Middleham. I remember my great aunt Frith. 10: Eliza my grandmother, the youngest daughter was three years old when her mother died, but her father William Heurtley [?] survived his wife 47 years. She married during 1819 in Co. Durham my grandfather Anthony Reed as before mentioned; whose acquaintance she probably made when visiting her aunt Mrs. Catherine Dorothea Dunn at Saltwell Hall Co. Durham. After the death at Stockton in 1861 of Anthony her husband, she resided with her daughters at Norton, until her death, 14 Nov 1868. I well remember her, altho' only 5 years old then. 11: Frank or Frances probably died in infancy. 12: Abel joined his brother Richard at Capetown died 1842 aged 40, unmarried. Of this large, well educated and socially esteemed family only Richard attained any degree of wealth, and of the daughters who married only Eliza (Reed) was left well provided for. It is remarkable that the only living descendants are our Reed family, the only remaining descendants of the Nottinghamshire county families of Wenman and Farr and of the Reeds of Co. Durham.
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