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The Golden Falcon

The Winter Family plantations at Pillagoda

in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)





Introduction Chapter 17 - Golden

Chapter 1 - Falcon

Chapter 18 - Silk

Chapter 2 - Bow

Chapter 19 - After

Chapter 3 - Fleming

Chapter 20 - Noon

Chapter 4 - Wych

Chapter 21 - Sunset

Chapter 5 - Crecy


Chapter 6 - Fair


Chapter 7 - Redrose

Photo Album

Chapter 8 - Lydney

WINTER family Genealogy 

Chapter -Admiral


Chapter 10 - Plot


Chapter 11 - Cockade


Chapter 12 - India


Chapter 13 - Neptune


Chapter 14 - Whiterose


Chapter 15 - Cockade


Chapter 16 - Swallow



Authors Note

In loving memory of my great uncle Charles Henry Winter and all the "dear departed" without whom this book would never have been written.


My grateful thanks to my sister Mrs Anne Williams for her painstaking research into the various branches of the Winter family, to my cousin Adrian Channing who sent me a wealth of interesting information from his grandmother's trunk, Mr Brian Rendell, former headmaster of the White Cross School, Lydney who not only sent me a lot of research and some marvellous photographs of Huddington Court and the "Vanguard" but also put me in touch with many researchers, some of whom had worked with my great uncle Charles; to Mr John "P.J.M" Winter, Mr K. W. Rose-Wynter, Mr Peter Winter, Mr John Smart, the Hon. Gordon Winter of Newfoundland, Mr Lennard-Payne and Mrs Barbara Winter-Hodges.  My thanks to the Rotarian Genealogical Society & "Roots in England" for finding some of my relations, the Molesey library, East Molesey, Surrey which found nearly all the books I requested, the National Library of Wales, the Bibliotheque of Montpellier, the Records Offices of Worcester, Pembroke, Buckingham, Norfolk and London, the Public Records Office, the invaluable Mormon International Genealogical Index, the Society of Genealogists, the Huguenot Society, the churches at Holy Trinity, Clapham, Christchurch, Baddegama and others.


Wendy Winter Garcia





This book is in two parts each linked by the Rev. Charles Henry Winter who was firmly convinced of his descent from Sir William Winter, Surveyor of the Navy to Elizabeth I.  Rev. Winter had a seal ring with the Winter coat of arms which belonged to his grandfather George Winter, an Indian marine, "ship's husband" or supercargo in the East India Company and researched his family origins but never proved his descent from Sir William neither have any subsequent researchers.


The first part of this book is about Sir William Winter, his ancestors, descendants, families who claim descent from him, people who were connected in some way with his family and other families with the same surname.  Sir William and his descendants lived in a time of religious conflict and lost their lands because of their stubborn adherence to Catholicism and support for the Stuart kings.


The second is about Rev. Winter's family, the plantations they owned and lost through mistaken government policies and the early planters who braved the jungle in foreign lands - the real "empire builders" whose blood, sweat and tears helped to build the British Empire on which the sun was supposed never to set and which those who stayed at home so blithely gave away.


The early planters suffered great loneliness, which led some to take to drink or mental and physical breakdown, others died early of tropical diseases.  Under the terms of their contracts, they could not marry until they had served a certain period, those who took native mistresses or wives, who "went native", were usually looked down upon in the Far East by Europeans, Indians and the Chinese alike.  The situation was slightly better in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where a European "husband" was considered a good catch for any village girl for these relationships were considered marriages under Sinhalese law and custom just as hand-fasting in Scotland.  The matches were usually made by the girl's parents and if wealthy enough, she brought a dowry with her.  Women had rights in Ceylon under Sinhalese law - they could own land and if a marriage did not work out, they could leave their husbands, taking their children and their dowries with them and re-marry as often as they pleased.


There was no pool of European women, born and bred in the Far Eastern colonies, who planters could marry, those who came out East had a very difficult time.  They could not speak the language and were often completely cut off from European society, only meeting others of their kind in the few clubs, which existed.  The plantations were often very large (one was 20,000 acres in extent) and far from doctors, hospitals, the post office and schools.  There are pathetic reminders of planters' children who died of tropical disease in graveyards of abandoned chapels (some of which have been demolished) amongst the tea bushes.


After 1948 (when Ceylon was given independence) Europeans were slowly prohibited from taking planting jobs and by 1959 the practice was stopped altogether.  Many Europeans left property to their Eurasian children who had to bear the brunt of hatred of the Sinhalese who had been instigated by left-wing politicians.  Many of them left after 1948 while the going was good, especially the Burghers or Dutch descendants who usually went to Australia which had a humiliating "White Australia" policy under which prospective immigrants had to prove 30% European descent.  Dutch Burgher families married amongst themselves so could prove this but other Eurasians, particularly of English descent, intermarried with the Sinhalese and Tamils so were prevented from entering this country.  Rev. Charles Winter's nephew Norman wanted to emigrate New Zealand (which did not have such a policy) but could not on grounds of health.


By 1959 the Marxist government in Ceylon only allowed 1 lakh (one hundred thousand) of rupees to be taken out of the country.  They stopped holidays abroad and prevented people sending out money to relatives, even as maintenance to wives and children or for education and training.  The Rev. Charles Winter's nephew Sydney (his brother Ally's son) had to choose between educating his son and running the property he had inherited.  His English wife returned to England with their son and got a job with the RAC and after she retired, lived on social security benefit as she had not paid enough contributions in Britain (or paid them so long ago) to get a pension.


Sydney was not allowed to send her any maintenance from Ceylon.  His brother Norman, in and out of work because of mental and physical illness, received invalidity benefit and died ashamed he was unable to look after his family.


A. W. "Ally" Winter died in the 1930s but his testamentary affairs were not settled until 1948 when Norman, Sydney and Rioty Winter borrowed money to buy out the shares of their English stepmother Mrs Shelagh Eyre and their half-brother A. A. Winter.


The highest priced Low Country tea grown at Pillagoda Valley Estate (A. W. Winter & Sons) was sold to the Middle East, especially Egypt, but this market was lost after the ill conceived and mismanaged Suez crisis and the subsequent Arab-Israeli war which blocked the Canal with sunken ships, dealt the coup de grace.


None of the heirs of the family property received any dividends because of a depression in the market and the monthly 3 lbs. of tea sent was also stopped in the 1970s.


The original debt increased with more borrowing because of heavy taxation, labour troubles and political harassment.  The business failed and the property was handed over to the Government.


Rev. Charles Winter's niece (his brother Daly's natural daughter) Sarah had been adopted by a Sinhalese family, renamed Edna, married a Sinhalese husband Mr Loragé who became Director of Education in Ceylon and was given an award by the Queen in recognition of his work but after he died in England (where they had emigrated), her pension was reduced considerably by the Ceylon government.


Such people are now prevented from entering Europe as they are considered "economic immigrants" - those discriminated against because of their enforced poverty.


This book is in memory of their struggles to survive.


VERY IMPORTANT: Crown copyright: Public Record Office.  PRO documents mentioned in this book may be copied and downloaded for personal and research use ONLY.  You must apply to the Public Record Office for permission for any other use.  PRO references are shown against each document mentioned.



The following are included in this MSS with the kind permission of the publishers and other copyright holders as follows:


Description of Estrildis in "Come Hither" by Walter de la Mare - the Literary Trustees of Walter de la Mare and the Society of Authors as their representative.


MS Rawlinson A.  139 regarding Sir Charles Winter - the Keeper, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford University.


Letters of William Blathwayt from Whitehall to Sir Robert Southwell dated 12th February and 6th July 1686, the copyright of which is vested in his lineal descendants who gave David J. H. Smith Esq., MA, ESA, County and Diocesan Archivist of the Gloucestershire County Council, Corporate Services Department, discretion to deal with requests for publication on their behalf.  The letters are incorporated in this MSS with the kind permission of the Wynter-Blathwayt family.


The Will of Thomas Wynter, barber of Evesham - courtesy of the Journal Series, Briar Close Business Park, Briar Close, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11


4JT.Indentures dated 1688 regarding property in Llanfihangel Tal-y-Llyn held by members of the Winter family, the Cardiff Library collection deeds series - The Glamorgan Record Office, The Glamorgan Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF1 3NE


Description of Sir William Winter's warehouse from "The Pageant of Tower Hill", Appendix II - "A Sorrow at Seething Lane" (Rev. P. B. Clayton) and the letters of Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke to Sir William Trumbull & Roberthon, the Hanoverian Secretary dated 9.1.177 ("England under Queen Anne - Blenheim" G. M. Trevelyan) - by kind permission of Pearson Education Ltd., Addison Wesley Longman, Edinburgh Gate, Harlow, Essex CM20 2JE.

     Last Updated on السبت, صفر 20, 1425 07:45:13 AM

Wendy Winter Garcia - winterwendy@hotmail.com

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