At first glance, I mistook this lady for Queen Victoria. She is, however, the grandly named Henrietta Anne Theodosia Monson, born 1826 and baptised in Bedale, Yorkshire the same year. At the time of this portrait she would have been around 65 years old.
Henrietta was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Monson, and Aunt to the Monson siblings in my previous blog post.
On 2nd March 1848, she married Henry William de la Poer Beresford and adopted her husband’s family name of Peirse, to become Henrietta A T Beresford Peirse. While her early life and older age were spent at the The Grange in Bedale, she lived many of her adult years in the Peirse family home of Bedale Hall:
The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer (29 October 1921) records her passing, and describes ‘Mrs Beresford-Peirse’ as ‘affable and greatly benevolent’, commenting that ‘although her health had declined…. she preserved her faculties in a wonderful degree’. Her portrait presents her as a strong woman, so I’m not in the least surprised to learn that she lived to the late age of ninety-five.
While it’s fun to buy job-lots of victorian photographs on eBay, I can never be sure if they are connected to one another. So I was happy to discover that the man above, named as H J Monson, was the brother-in-law of Eric James Wright who featured in my previous post.
Henry John Monson was baptised in Kirby Underdale, Yorkshire, on 26th October 1862. In 1901 he married Theodosia Anne Emily Wright, the sister of Eric James Wright. The following account is taken from the St Jame’s Gazette (22 August 1901) in which the bride’s dress is described as ‘a gown of ivory satin flounced with chiffon and trimmed with Brussels lace‘:
A name that stands out is that of brother Mr. Gilbert J Monson since he is depicted on an accompanying cabinet card, although the inscription is faint and hard to read (‘Gilbert Monson, HJM’s youngest brother’?):
Born in 1876, Gilbert would have been twenty-five at the time of the wedding. In the above photograph he is still a young boy, smartly dressed but perhaps a little timid-looking.
The brothers had several other siblings, including Alice Edome Monson (born 1869), whose portrait I found on a third cabinet card:
This inscription is also difficult to decipher and my best guess is ‘Alice Monson – (passed on at Mentone – ??? with her). Any suggestions would be gratefully received!
Alice married Captain Cecil Maddock, as reported in the Luton Times and Advertiser (1 June 1906). Intriguingly, her dress was ‘a costume of ivory satin draped with old Brussels lace‘. Could this be the same dress worn by Theodosia Anne Emily Wright a few years beforehand?
Gilbert Monson is also mentioned, this time ‘giving’ his sister away:
I see a definite likeness between Gilbert and Alice and I’m happy that all three photographs are together, as I think they should be. There is one more cabinet card to explore from this family, which will be the subject of my next post.
Edited to add: The death of Alice Edome Maddock (nee Monson) is recorded in ‘Homeward Mail from India, China and the East, 30 May 1908’. It says:
MADDOCK – May 1, at Karwar, Alice Edome, wife of Capt. E.C.G. Maddock, India Medical Service.
This cabinet card of a smartly dressed young man is the first in a series that I recently acquired from eBay. On the reverse is written ‘Eric James Wright – born 1880’.
On the 1881 census and age just 5 months old, Eric can be found in Cambridge, England with his brother George Denman Larken Wright and sister Theodosia Anne Emily Wright. In 1891 he is a pupil at Aysgarth School, North Yorkshire and by 1901 a student of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
According to the Cambridge University Alumni records (Ancestry.com), Eric managed several mines during his adult life including the Concordia tin mines of Bolivia and the Chorolgne tin and bismuth mines in the Andes. He died in Bolivia in 1940, leaving his effects to sister Theodosia Anne Emily Monson (England & Wales, National Probate Calendar).
Which leads me neatly to the Monson family, the subject of my next post.