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The Grantham Halse Faithfull Payson Ley connection

Pencil drawing by Mrs. F.R. Faithfull
Water End School circa 1850. Pencil drawing by Mrs. F.R. Faithfull
Note: The author of this article, Mark Grantham, is a direct descendant of Valentine Grantham and Elizabeth Halse. Valentine’s daughter Mary Grantham is the subject of chapter 24 of Dorothy Colville’s book, ‘North Mymms Parish and People’, reproduced in full on this site, which tells the full story of ‘The Pretty American’.

My sister Liliane Grantham researched our ancestry over a 25-year period and in 1999 wrote the document "Les Grantham de Deschambault".

It was written in French, to correspond with our French upbringing in Quebec. I translated it to English in 2000. What follows is an abbreviated version of the document "The Grantham’s of Deschambault". The segment pertaining to their life in Canada is not included.

I also wish to acknowledge Tony Bate of Auckland, New Zealand, for filling in some blanks and directing me to the Brookmans Park Newsletter.

Valentine Henry Grantham (1763-1829) (Generation 1)

The Reverend Valentine Grantham, Doctor in Divinity, married Elizabeth Halse, daughter of Nicholas Halse and Mary Billing of Oxford, in Oxford in 1785.

They had three sons and two daughters. Valentine was the Parish priest of St-Haybald, Scawby, in co. Lincolnshire, from 1798 until his death in 1829. He performed all divinity services in St-Haybald.

Inside St-Haybald Church hangs commemorative marble plates of Francis and William, his twin grandsons. The career of Francis is described further down.

William died at sea following a lengthy illness aboard the SS Renown, traveling from Rio de Janiero to Liverpool on December 1,1842.

Henry Grantham (1793-1871) (Generation 2)

Henry Grantham, our ggggrandfather and son of Valentine Henry, was a gentleman farmer and lived in Sturton in the parish of Scawby. He married twice and had many children with his first wife Elizabeth Winter, including our gggrandfather Francis Grantham.

Many died during childbirth. Emma Ley, his second wife, was the daughter of Dr Hugh Ley and Elizabeth Halse, (same name and cousin of Elizabeth Halse, the wife of Henry’s father Valentine).

According to his will, the family lived very comfortably and Henry fully enjoyed his duties as a gentleman farmer. He was also a collector of rare coins, fossils, minerals and books, etc. One of his passions was sheep breeding which entitled him to a few trophies, such as the silver ewer granted at the Barton Fat Stock Show Society exhibition of 1864.

Mary Carter Grantham (Generation 2, sister of Henry)

Until recently very little was known about Mary Carter Grantham, the daughter of Valentine Henry Grantham. Mary was given the middle name Carter as a result of three separate bequests in the will of Robert Carter Thelwall to Valentine Grantham, Mary's father.

She married Reverend Francis Joseph Faithfull in Scawby on 1 December 1813. Two children, James and Cecilia Faithfull were born from that relationship. James married Frances Ruth Payson, daughter of John Larkin Payson.

This couple is the subject of a previous article in the Brookmans Park Newsletter’s History section written by Dorothy Colville, in Chapter 24 entitled "The Pretty American".

Cecilia Faithfull married twice. She was first married to Richard Davis. Her second husband was Francis Storr, Vicar of Brenchley, Kent.

Francis Grantham (1820-1851) (Generation 3)

Born in Scawby, Lincolnshire on October 18, 1820, Francis, our gggrandfather and son of Henry, joined His Majesty’s service on April 26, 1839 as an ensign in the 98th Foot Regiment.

On April 16, 1841, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and served in Northern Ireland from June to November. Following a few weeks leave in England, he boarded a ship to China with his regiment.

He served during the expedition to Yang-tze-Kiang and took part in the capture of Ching-Kiang-Foo and the disembarkation at Nanking, which earned him the First China war 1840-42 medal.

He married Elizabeth Ellen Cox at Kirk Braden, Isle of Man, on the July 24, 1844, but the young couple barely had time for each other since we can trace Francis shortly after in Hong-Kong and Chusan.

He was promoted Captain on July 10, 1846, boarded a ship to Bengal with his regiment and came back to England for a few months. It appears that it is during that visit that he saw Thomas Henry, his newborn son, for the first time.

His daughter Elizabeth Frances was born on July 12, 1847. Francis left England for Calcutta in December 1847 and until November of the following year, served at Dinapore, Meerut, Ambala, Lahore, and Sutley and took part in the Second Sikh War.

He was awarded the Punjab Campaign of 1848-49 medal. His military records do not indicate any other visit to his family but we could assume that he returned at least one more time.

In December 1849, he accompanied the regiment to Peshawar in India’s Northeast (now part of Pakistan) where he served until his death on March 15, 1851. Francis died a few days after being attacked by a gang of "fanatic Pathans" while on an outing in the company of a young lady.

She managed to escape but their horses were taken and he himself was left on the ground so grievously wounded that he died shortly after. Fearing that the young lady might identify them, the assailants tried to abduct her. A sentry was placed at her residence.

The political situation was such that the military authorities decided to abandon the investigation. Francis is buried in Peshawar in the British military cemetery Sadar Bazaar, grave number 938. He left his young wife, Elizabeth Ellen, and two young children, Thomas Henry, 5 years old and Elizabeth Frances, 4 years old, all living on the Isle of Man under the roof of their maternal grandfather, Lieutenant-colonel (retired) Thomas Cox.

Thomas Cox (1779-1851)

Thomas Cox, was born in Whitchurch, co. Dorset, on November 9, 1779, and baptized on March 7, 1782. He enrolled as an ensign with the Chidcock, Whitchurch and Wotton Volunteers in June 1798 and was admitted to the ranks of the 14th Madras Native Infantry in May 1803.

In 1819, he entered the ranks of the Madras Native Infantry where he served until his retirement in 1838, having reached the rank of Lieutenant colonel.

Thomas Cox married Elizabeth Anderson, in Alleppey, Travancore (in southwest India) on the 23rd of August 1822. She was the daughter of W. Anderson, Esquire, and of---- (mother unknown).

They had one daughter, Elizabeth Ellen (wife of Francis) and three sons who served with the army in India. The oldest son, Thomas Bernard Cox died in battle at Singapore, on February 16, 1843, at the young age of 19.

A commemorative plate was erected in the Fort Canning cemetery in his honor. The military record of his second son, Major John Anderson Cox shows that he was born on October 8, 1828 at Travancore and made his career in the Royal College of Surgeons starting in 1850.

He served as surgeon in India and Burma and retired in London, where he died on January 6, 1907. Thomas Cox retired on the Isle of Man in north west England where he lived with his family until his death on November 23, 1851. Only a few months separate the death of Thomas Cox and Francis, his son-in-law, who had predeceased him on March 15, 1851.

The census of 1851 shows his residence as Westham House, Douglas, Isle of Man with his wife Elizabeth, daughter Elizabeth Ellen, two grandchildren: Thomas Henry and Elizabeth Frances, and three maids.

His will indicates that he lived very comfortably. He left a sum of approximately 12,000 pounds sterling, a significant sum in those days. It appears that Thomas Henry remained on the island for a while longer. His grandmother died there on April 28, 1866.

A splendid oil portrait of Lieutenant-colonel Thomas Cox in military uniform, by an unknown artist, was brought to Canada when his grandson Thomas Henry immigrated to Canada. It is now the property of the Musée du Québec, Québec City, Canada.

Elizabeth (Anderson) Cox (1801-1866)

Our knowledge on the origin of Thomas Henry’s maternal grandmother is limited to her country of birth, India, daughter of W. Anderson, Esquire. Her father was not a member of the military, which makes research more difficult.

Historians have for a long time ignored the contribution of women in society, preferring the male point of view and achievements, but this is also partly due to a lack of documentation regarding women.

Fortunately, in our ancestry, some women left their trace and such is the case, among others, of Elizabeth Anderson Cox. According to her will, Elizabeth lived the remaining years of her life in a boarding home, in Douglas, Isle of Man.

When she died fifteen years after the death of her husband, she left a sum of 3077 pounds sterling and 17 shillings. It was divided between her two living sons, her daughter Elizabeth Ellen (widow of Francis), her three grandchildren Thomas Henry, Elizabeth Frances and one other named William Robert Cox.

One share was distributed to the people "that were close to her during the last six years". The letters that accompanied the estate documents also showed that in March 1867, Thomas Henry Grantham, his sister Elizabeth Frances and their mother lived at 19 Caprern Terrace, Plymouth in co. Devon. Elizabeth Frances inherited her share when she turned 21 years old, such were the laws at the time. She was not yet married.

Thomas Henry Grantham (1846-1936) (Generation 4)

Thomas Henry Grantham, our ggrandfather, was born on February 22, 1846, at Douglas, Isle of Man, and was baptized on March 22 in the small Anglican Church of Onchan.

He was the oldest child of Francis Grantham and Elizabeth Ellen Cox. After his father’s death, in 1851, he lived on the Isle of Man with his mother, where he received proper schooling for a young boy, probably with a tutor.

In 1867, he can be traced to Plymouth and then Sidmouth, co. Devon. We have no further details on his sister Elizabeth Frances.

Catherine ‘Kate’ Buttemer (1847-1919)

Catherine"Kate" Buttemer, our ggrandmother and wife of Thomas Henry Grantham, was born July 15, 1847 in Surrey, England, from English parents. Three brothers preceded her.

Cherished and raised in comfort, she seems to have had an easy and sheltered youth. Tutors taught Kate the basics of the English language, mathematics and history in addition to German and music.

She traveled often with her family to the Lake District area for their holidays, always accompanied by a tutor.

It is not known how Tom Henry and Kate met, but since the two families lived in Sidmouth, co. Devon, which was then just a village by the seaside attracting families who enjoyed good quality of life, the introductions were easily accomplished by the offering of a personal greeting card.

Tom Henry and Kate were married in St. Nicholas church in Sidmouth, on July 8, 1869, in the presence of their respective families. In 1870, they lived on Sadler Street, in the heart of Wells and their rear window faced the Wells Cathedral and the Cathedral Green, an excellent view that could easily inspire a future minister of the Church.

However, they were members of the St. Cuthbert parish where our grandfather was baptized. He was accepted in the College of Theology of Wells in January 1871 and was ordained curate by the Reverend Henry Philcott, Lord Bishop of Worcester on December 21, 1873.

He officiated in the Holy Trinity Church of Great Malvern during his entire ministry except for a few months preceding his conversion to Catholicism, in the fall of 1875. His annual salary was 80 pounds sterling, payable quarterly. The diocese paid the expenses for his Glebe House residence.

The children were born at a fairly steady pace. According to the Sidmouth Journal and Directory, we can follow the many moves of the family with the arrival of the children since each birth was announced.

The four boys, including our grandfather Thomas Edgar were born either in Malvern, co. Worcester, or Wells, co. Somerset, between 1870 and 1874 while Tom Henry was studying or after he was ordained Anglican minister.

The girls, except for Norah who was born in Canada, were born in Littlehampton, Sussex (Catherine); Plymouth, Devon (Gertrude); Tunbridge Wells, Kent (Monica) and Bromley, Kent (Winnifred). None of the girls married. On January 8, 1875, he was sent to Slinfold Church, in Horsham, co. Sussex.

The last certificate carrying his signature as minister of that Church is dated April 3, 1875. On October 9, 1875, we find the following note in the Malvern Advertiser:

Secession to the Church of Rome "Some interest, not to say excitement, has been caused in this neighborhood by the announcement that the Rev. T.H. Grantham and his wife have joined the Church of Rome".

To appreciate what attracted our ancestors to convert to the Catholic religion, one must refer to the Oxford Movement.

This Movement took root around 1845 among the intellectual elite in Oxford under the influence of John Newman, eminent member of the Anglican Church and professor of theology at Oxford.

His influence was such that a wave of new converts followed, including many nobles and government representatives, but also many ministers from the Anglican Church. Tom and Kate immigrated to Canada in 1884, eventually settling in Deschambault, Quebec.

Our grandfather, Thomas Edgar, married three times and gave life to 18 children, 13 of them surviving to adulthood. Most of the descendants of Thomas Edgar live in the Quebec City area and use French as their first language.

For further comments or questions, please e-mail

December 3, 2002

Related information
Great great grandchildren meet online - December 3, 2002
Light shed on romantic family history - July 6, 2000
‘The Pretty American’ - from Dorothy Colville's book

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