Reverend Henry Raymond Smythies

I do love finding photographs of couples, and always place them together, facing one another if possible. Here are two more people from the ‘Barnstaple Album’, both helpfully inscribed with names on the reverse of their carte-de-visite (see below).

Henry Smythies   Fanny Heigham

We start with their marriage this time; Henry Raymond Smythies and Fanny Heigham married in 1872 in the registration district of Stow, Suffolk. On the 1881 census they can be found boarding in Brighton on the south coast of England, where they remained for the duration of their marriage, until Henry’s death in July 1888 (aged 73). Fanny continued to live in Brighton for a further 31 years and never remarried. According to her probate record she died in Bath, Somerset, on 18th Feb 1919 although she was still a resident of Brighton at the time.

Henry Raymond Smythies was born c1815 in Stanground, Huntingdonshire. He had long career in the Church as outlined by numerous announcements in the newspapers of the day. Having graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts in 1837, he was ordained as a Deacon at Ely Cathedral in December 1838. Exactly one year later he was ordained as a Priest at the same Cathedral. And in May 1840 he obtained his Master of Arts, also from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. It was obviously a busy time of life for Henry and culminated in his first marriage, to Emily Roberts in 1842:

Lincolnshire Chronicle - 5 Aug 1842 copy
First marriage; Lincolnshire Chronicle – 5 Aug 1842

Emily was the youngest daughter of Reverend Robert Roberts, Rector of Barnwell and Wadenhoe, Northamptonshire. Henry and Emily moved home several times, dictated by Henry’s career within the Church, and lived in Herringswell (Suffolk), then Easthope (Shropshire) before moving back to Suffolk and the village of Sproughton. It is here that Emily, age 54, passed away on 27th February 1871, leaving Henry widowed after nearly 30 years of marriage.

Henry went on to find a new life partner in Fanny Heigham:

Cambridge Chronicle and Journal - 10 Aug 1872
Second marriage; Cambridge Chronicle and Journal – 10 Aug 1872

I’d like to think that Henry’s subsequent move to Brighton (via Chippenham, Cambridge and Southacre, Norfolk) was deliberate on the part of Henry and his second wife. Having spent his life moving from place to place, perhaps Henry yearned to be ‘by the seaside’. It does appear to have been something of a retirement, since I can find no record of a further Church appointment for this period of his life.

My next post will delve into the life of Fanny Smythies nee Heigham, and her family home of Hunston Hall.

Henry Smythies   Fanny Smythies

Newspaper clippings are from The British Newspaper Archive  © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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