At the time our sad family of Henry and Teresa MOORE fled their appalling condition in London, a family they were to become related to were enduring quite dissimilar difficulties a few miles away in rural Feltham. But this was quite a different family - educated, involved in commerce, the civil service and the military.

The 1851 census records Marianne's birth in Hamburg circa 1803. Who was she and why was an English family living in Hamburg while the Napoleonic Wars raged around them and why did her obituary record her as being a niece of the Capel's of Feltham, ignoring mention of her parents?


Marianne married Jospeh PAPPRILL, tailor at St Andrew's, Holborn in 1827. In 1856 they emigrated to New Zealand on the "Phillip Laing" to rejoin their children who had settled in Canterbury. The 1851 census records them residing at Lansdowne Place, St Pancras. They had moved from Red Lion Square, Holborn. It was an interesting address. Rossetti, the painter and poet lodged there in 1851 and the artists Morris and Burn-Jones had studios there.


But to Hamburg -

Hamburg had a sizeable British population involved in trade, fishing and diplomacy. Assuming Marianne had been christened there, the register of the Church of the English Court was searched but the family was not mentioned. A search of Lutheran church registers revealed the christening at St Petri in 1806 of Jane Elizabeth HARBRIDGE, daughter of Thomas HARBRIDGE, English teacher born Worcester and Elizabeth nee CAPEL born London. They were residing at 117 Klein Reichenstrasse. This child died 8 days later and was buried in the sand dunes on the Elbe - the cheapest form of burial. It was a sickly child, I am sure as no other Harbridge children were christened in Hamburg. The child's god-parent was Elizabett ZATCHLER. The Zatchler's also lived at 117 Klein Reichenstrasse, where Johann was a tea merchant originally from Hirsberg and his wife Elizabett from Schonberg, both with German parentage. Clearly they were unrelated to HARBRIDGE or CAPEL and the Harbridge's used St Petri as it was close and the Zatchler's "parish" church.

The HARBRIDGE's may have travelled to Hamburg in 1802 or 1803. It was a time of turmoil in Europe, but in March 1802 there was a pause in the Napoleonic War - the Peace of Amiens. It was short-lived and in May 1803 war resumed, resulting in Hamburg and Northern Germany being incorporated into the Territory of France and the imposition of a blockade of Hamburg and other Baltic ports by 1806. Rumbold, the British Consul was abducted to France and released only after great difficulty.

The fate of Thomas and Elizabeth is unknown. If they managed to return to England it was probably to London where Marianne and her sisters emerge living with relatives. The plight of British residents in Hamburg at this period is poorly documented. Some were imprisoned, others made their escape via Altona, then part of Denmark and thence to England by packet-boat. All British goods stored in the warehouses were dragged out and burned. It became a dangerous place to be. Even the intrepid "Times" reporter, Crabbe-Robinson had to make a dash for it across Denmark and had survived in Hamburg disguised as a German.


The detailed christening entry in the St Petri register was the "gateway" document. Searches made of Worcester parish records and Wills revealed that Thomas HARBRIDGE was born in 1775, the son of a a glover who had moved into the city from Feckenham, who in turn was the son of a needlemaker. Thomas had been left money to enable him to undertake "a suitable calling". Not a lot, just 8 pounds, but it was used well apparently as he became a teacher in London and married Elizabeth CAPEL at St Mary Lambeth in 1800.

Now the search turned to Feltham, then a rural village in Middlesex. Kelly's 1845 Directory had a Mrs CAPEL listed and a co-descendant had a note that his grandfather had corresponded with the executor of the estate of an aunt Emma HARBRIDGE of Feltham in 1874. Her will was found. Administration had been granted to Charles GROVES, insurance agent of Liverpool "the uncle and one of the next-of-kin".

The Will of Amelia CAPEL of Feltham was written in 1841 and was more revealing. Her main beneficiary was to be Edward GROVES Esq, Captain, half-pay, Honourable East India Company of 61 Welbeck Street, London, half brother of my late husband Henry CAPEL". An annuity was to be paid to Emma Amelia HARBRIDGE "now called HARRINGTON, my late husband's niece now living with me". So, the CAPEL's and GROVES were half-siblings. As Amelia was "a widow without children or parent" administration was granted to her brother Richard HUNT, Lieutenant Colonel of Militia. (For those unfamiliar with the term - "half-pay" simply means he had retired on a pension equal to half his salary).

But it was not plain sailing. The will became subjected to an Inquisition of Lunacy in the Chancery Court and the outcome was Richard HUNT acquiring her property and he moved in soon after. Further, Amelia had requested that she be buried with her husband in the CAPEL family vault in Feltham Church. But the churchwardens were unhappy. The vault had never been fully paid for and the Capel's, the church and the bricklayer had been in litgation for several years. Consequently the churchwardens and the vicar won and poor Amelia was interred in the churchyard instead, eighteen days after she died.

Her husband's Will was still being administered as late as 1897, with the payment of annuities to a kinsman, the Rev. Lancelot BATHURST. He was one of the Gouldhurst, Kent lot, who lost their estate over a gambling debt involving a snail race with a son of King George 3rd.

Now, why did Emma HARBRIDGE, who never married, begin calling herself HARRINGTON? I cannot answer that and have not discovered the name in earlier generations. She was Emma HARRINGTON, an unmarried annuitant born Germany circa 1806/7 in the 1851 Census and again in 1871. She died in 1874. Her estate was administered in the name HARBRIDGE but she was buried and her death registered as HARRINGTON. Perhaps her mother had remarried to a Harrington, but I found no record and rather doubt that to be the answer as she adopted the name late in life. Perhaps it was to satisfy an annuity from someone undiscovered.

As Marianne's uncle in the half blood was in the East India Company service those archives were searched, revealing that Edward GROVES was a son of Thomas GROVES, Inspector General of Excise, Port of London and Elizabeth (CAPEL). Edward was born in 1795 and with his siblings, all christened on the same day at Lambeth in 1802. Their parents married at St George's, Hanover Square in 1799 some five yers after their first child was born. Strange? Well, not really; it was Georgian morality, but he may not have got away with it in Victorian times, not in his position - an important Civil Servant on a salary of 950 pounds. St George's Hanover was notorious for "incognito" marriages.


"Gentleman's Magazine" recorded the death of Thomas GROVES in 1827. His Will was probated in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on account of some estate in Ireland and has this gem - "to Maria HARBRIDGE, grandddaughter of my late dear wife who is now living with me". He left her an annuity but she was unable to benefit from it as the death duties register records her demise - "died unmarried about five months after the testator". Now all of the children of Thomas Harbridge were accounted for and the only one to marry and have children was my 4th great grandmother, MARIANNE.


Having set out merely to discover who Marianne was and why the family was living in Hamburg, the first objective was achieved largely because of her connections to families who left detailed wills. Why was an English teacher (or teacher of English) in Hamburg? I have some thoughts on this but it will never be proven. He lived down by the canal used by fishing and packet-boats, well away from the British community. It was a perfect position to observe the comings and goings of persons of interest to the British Government, especially the Irish "rebels", who, having failed in their uprising in 1798, were thick on the ground in Hamburg, in league with Napoleon and exporting arms to Ireland. The British Consul received reports almost daily from a variety of agents now known to us only by numbers and codes. Harbridge through his wife's connections, may have been expected to purchase a commission but serving in Hamburg under the cover of teaching, probably satisfied them and after his death, annuities were granted to his unmarried daughters by them.


Joseph William PAPPRILL, son of Joseph PAPPRILL and Marianne (HARBRIDGE) married Sarah MOORE, daughter of Henry and Teresa. At that point these two quite dissimilar families merged, as they were want to do in the Colonies. The Papprill's were a fascinating family of artists, lawyers and an inventor. I may write something of them in the future.

Of the children of Thomas and Elizabeth GROVES, Mary married Theodore WALSH, Lieutenant 6th Regiment of Foot, at Fenchurch, London. Their child Theodore Heathorn Nicholas WALSH became an artist of no merit (in my opinion, athough his work commands a good price today). Another child, Charles Brymer WALSH  emigrated to New South Wales, became a grazier and has descendants there.

Edward GROVES went on to marry Olivia HALLIDAY CROOK of Kempshott Park, Hampshire; lived with his mother-in-law at Welbeck Street and died in obscurity in 1857 leaving no will. His daughter Eva married Captain Henry  BEVILLE, 5th Dragoon Guards and their son was General Sir George BEVILLE, knighted on account of his activities in India and its frontier.

John GROVES was a merchant, Abchurch Lane, London but went bankrupt and was last heard of in Paris where he no doubt fled to escape  the debtors' prison.

Of old Henry CAPEL, the first to move into Feltham from St Martin in the Fields, he left an incredibly extensive will in 1802. But it could not be realised and his executor had to seek bankruptcy.

Of the CAPEL house which once held the family and several servants at Feltham, it may now be Capel Manor, a cat and dog boardery.

The Church is still there, with the Capel vault. But the service is probably different from that of 1848 when parishioners petitioned that "the more primitive custom of chanting the Psalms be used henceforth".

Back in Feckenham, where every second man seemed to be a needlemaker when Thomas HARBRIDGE was born, there are none now, unless they work in the factories at Redditch. Thomas got a lucky break with the small legacy enabling some education. Two of his kinsmen did not, but they did get a passage to Australia for theft and had descendants.