Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Charles Thorp of Motueka, NZ : Parents & Siblings.

Charles Thorp (1820-1905)

Parents & Siblings

Genealogy of Rev Thomas Thorp 
and his family with Frances Topp nee Lee.


Charles Thorp was the seventh of eleven children

Thomas, William, Robert, John, Frances, Mary, Charles, Anna, Louisa, Harry and Frederic.

His mother was Frances Topp Lee  (b. Burton Overy, Leicestershire, on 15 August 1790– died last qtr 1856 at Burton Overy. Note there is a discrepancy in the exact date of her death- St  Andrew's Church records give it as 21 November 1856, probate records as 30 December 1856). She was the daughter of the Rev. William Southworth Lee, Rector of Burton Overy, Leicestershire, from 1786–1801, and his first wife, Frances nee Dyott (known as “Hannah”), who  married at St Mary’s, Leicester, on 3 April 1786. Her second name was a nod to the Rev. Samuel Topp, an earlier Rector of Burton Overy and family friend. There is an unconfirmed suggestion that the younger Frances may not have been the only child born of this marriage but that she had an older brother, Peter Southworth Lee, who emigrated as a young man to New York. 

Frances Topp Lee married the Rev. Thomas Thorp, who served as Rector of Burton Overy from 1811–46. Their sons Robert (d. 1851) and Frederic (d. 1916) followed him in turn as Rectors of Burton Overy, Through their mother Frances Topp Thorp nee Lee, they were the last in a long family line of rectors of Burton Overy dating back to the 16th century.

HIs father was Rev. Thomas Thorp (born 14 September 1786 at  Sheepshead (now Shepshed), Leicestershire, died 26 July 1846 at Burton Overy). Interestingly, given a long association on his father’s side with the Church of England and his own later choice of occupation, his birth was registered in Baptist records. However, Sheepshead had a strong Baptist presence from the mid-17th century and the Bentleys were known to be followers. Thomas attended Charterhouse School and then graduated from Emmanuel College, University of Cmbridge, with an M.A.  He was inducted into the Rectory of Burton Overy on 19 August 1811.

Thomas was the only son of Thomas Thorp Snr (b. 3 February 1754-d.15 January 1840) and his first wife, Mary Bentley, both from Sheepshead (now Shepshed) Leicestershire. They had married at Holborn St Andrew, Middlesex, on 19 November 1782. Thomas Snr, who had 3 brothers, John, Josiah and Robert, established a bank at nearby Loughborough – "Twigg’s Corrected List of the Country Banks of England & Wales”, published in 1830, lists Thorp & Co, principals Thomas Thorp & William Middleton, operating a bank at Loughborough, Leicestershire, underwritten by London bankers Barnett & Co. (who would later became absorbed in Lloyds Bank. Thomas Thorp Snr  lived at “Burleigh Hall" at Overseal -  now in Derbyshire but then in Leicestershire. He remarried to a widowed cousin,Mary Wilkes nee Flavel, but they had no chldren. ThomasThorp died at home and and was buried after his death at Netherseal, priobably at the St Peter's Churchyard. 

The ongoing Thorp family association with the Gresley baronets of Drakelowe came about because the Gresleys were neighbours - they held land at both Overeal and  Netherseal.

Clergymen ran in the Thorp family as well – Charles’ Thorp’s paternal gt-gt-grandfather, the Rev. Thomas Thorp, was the incumbent at St Luke’s Church, Gaddesby, Leicestershire, about 1626.

Thomas Thorp Jnr  (Charles’ father) was one of two children – he had an older sister, Mary Thorp (ca 1783-1869), who married on 29 August 1811 (as his second wife) the Rev. William Gresley, Rector of Netherseal just 2 days after her brother’s wedding.  Rev William Gresley was already father by his first wife of one daughter and a son, who became the Rev. Sir William Nigel Gresley, 9th Baronet Gresley of Drakelowe. After their marriage, the Rev William Gresley and Mary nee Thorp had six children together and lived at Netheseal, Leicestershire, but Mary returned to her father’s home at Overseal following her husband’s death in 1829. Mary herself died in 1869.

See Collections for a history of Staffordshire,”Gresleys of Drakelowe” pgs 122 & 152

How did Rev Thomas Thorp and Frances Topp Lee meet?

Frances' mother Frances (Hannah) Lee nee Dyott died at the early age of 34 in 1792, two years after her daughter's birth, and her husband, Rev. William S. Lee, remarried. He then put a locum in as Rector of Burton Overy and moved with his daughter Frances and second wife to Netherseal, where he had a second family - William Lee (1802-?), John Lee (1803-1885) & Katherine Hannah Southworth Pomfret nee Lee (1809-1831) - Frances' half-siblings. It's possible that his second wife, named only Anna, was his first wife's sister Anne (see Burke's Landed Gentry: Richard Dyott Esq. of Freeford,1723-1787).  It was not illegal at this time (as it was later) to marry a sister-in-law, but it was certainly frowned upon by the Church, and this could perhaps account for Rev Lee's abrupt move. Netherseal was close to the home at Overseal of Thomas Thorp Snr, owner of a bank at Loughborough and father of Rev. Thomas Thorp Jnr, who would later marry the Rev Lee's daughter Frances. It's likely that both families attended the Anglican parish church of St Peters's at Netherseal. This is no doubt how the connection between the two was made.

The Rev. Thomas Thorp and Frances Topp Lee married at the village of Ravenstone, Leicestershire, on 27 August 1811.

Note that Rev Thomas Thorp was inducted in the Rectory of Burton Overy just 8 days earlier- the rectorship came with his bride in the nature of a dowry. Her father Rev. William Southworth Lee held the advowson at this time and nominated his new son-in-law to the incumbency of Burton Overy.

 The children of Rev Thomas Thorp and Frances nee Lee were born and grew up at the Burton Overy Rectory (still extant), which is described as standing immediately west of the churchyard, and a fine early-18th-century brick house of two stories and attics. Both east and west fronts have recessed central bays which contain the doorways and which are flanked by slightly projecting wings with hipped roofs and dormers. The east front has been altered by additions of the early 19th century and later. Internally there is a good contemporary oak staircase.

Fox-hunting was a popular sport for the county gentry, with a number of Hunts in the vicinity. The Thorp sons were all keen ”riders to hounds”. This probably accounts for Charles Thorp’s notable horsemanship, as displayed during the First Nelson Anniversary steeplechase in Feb 1843 up Church Hill and down again. Note that his older brother, Rev. Robert Thorp, died as the result of a hunting accident.


Thomas b. 1812 (died young)

William Thorp, R.N. (b. 1813 at Burton Overy and baptized at St Andrew’s Church on 30 August 1813). Became a Captain in the Royal Navy, entering service as a midshipman in 1826 at the age of 13. Commisioned a lieutenant in 1838 - details of service as a lieutenant here. Recorded as a Commander in the Royal Navy in 1861, while visiting his uncle John Lee (his mother's half-brother), a doctor of medicine, formerly a medical officer serving in India with the H.E.I.C.  By 1881 William has retired with the rank Captain in the Royal Navy and is living on his own 20 acre property right next door to the Rectory at Burton Overy, where his brother Rev. Frederic Thorp was the resident rector. The advowson for the rectorate of the parish of Burton Overy went to William (the oldest son)  upon his father’s death, and he granted the rectorship in turn toto his brothers Robert (& Frederic (see below). William never married. He died in1890 and was buried at the St Andrew’s Churchyard, Burton Overy. See Find A Grave record for his photo. 

Rev. Robert Thorp b. 1814 at Burton Overy and baptized at St Andrew’s Church on 5 September 1814.Attended Rugby School and graduated M.A. from Emmanurl College, University of Cambridge. Qualified as a barrister in at the Inns of Court in London before becoming a clergyman. Served as Rector of Burton Overy from 1846 -1851. Married Ellen Wayman at Melton, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, on 12 September 1843. – 4 children including the Rev. Robert John Thorp of “The Croft”, Armthorpe, Yorkshire, executor of his parents’ wills.

Died 1 February 1851 as the result of a hunting accident 10 days earlier. Burial at St Andrew’s Church, Burton Overy, along with his wife.

John Thorp b. Burton Overy 1816, baptized  at St Andrew’s Church on  3 June 1816.
He attended Rugby School then joined the British Army as an Ensign with the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot and served in India as paymaster for the company. Married Ann-Dorothea Wathington at Colaba, Bombay, on 19 November 1845. She was the eldest daughter of the late Thomas Wathington of New Parks, Leicestershire.  Retired to England by 1861 census
Died in Southampton 1890

Frances Topp Thorp b. Burton Overy 1817, baptized at St Andrew’s Church 14 July 1817.  No record found of any marriage. The Census of 1851 shows her living at age 33 with her widowed mother Francs Topp Thorp nee Lee at Ilfracombe, Devon, but have not yet found a confirmed date of death. Her mother died in 1856 – where did the younger Frances go then? Possible 1863 death recorded in Leicestershire.

Mary Thorp , b. 1819 at Burton Overy, baptized at St Andrew’s Church on  9 January 1819.

Mary married 1) on 31 July 1840 at St Andrew’s, Church, Burton Overy, by her father the Rev Thomas Thorp to Francis Russell Kendall, known as Russell (1819-1847), son of Peter Kendall Esq. of Walthamstow, Essex and “Gifford’s  Hall” Suffolk, England. (Mary & Russell were 5th cousins via the Dyott family connection). They had 2 daughters and one son, Clarence Peter Trevelyan, who served as an officer with the Life Guards, and married Catherine, daughter of Lord Brabazon. Mary’s husband died in Venice 9 Feb 1847. Oldest daughter Gweliian was born in 1841 at Genova, Italy. Possibly Russell Kendall had removed with his family to Italy for the sake of his health, which is noted as being very poor at the time of his death.

Marriage recorded  “Chelmsford Chronicle” Essex, 4 Sept 1840.

Mary married 2) on Sept. 19 1848 at Ilfracombe, Devon, to Major Francis Gresley (1807-1880) an officer in the employ of the East India Coy (retired to England in 1844). 4th son of Richard Gresley - 8 children born of this marriage mostly at “Gifford’s Hall”, Suffolk, which Mary inherited after her first husband’s death. Although living in London by then, Mary died at Flax Bourton, Somerset, on 10 Aug 1894, possibly while visiting her daughter Caroline ”Queenie” Edwards nee Gresley, but is thought to have been buried in London.

Note: Mary’s aunt, also Mary Thorp, had married in 1811 as his second wife to the widowed Rev.William Gresley (1760-1829) father of the 9th Baronet Gresley of Drakelowe. .

Charles, b. 26 July 1820 at Burton Overy, Leicestershire, England, and baptized at St Andrew's Church the following day, 27 July 1820. Died 20 March 1905 at his home, "Burton Farm", Motueka, Tasman District, New Zealand.

See: Charles Thorp of Burton Overy, England, and Motueka, New Zealand.

Anna, b. 1824 at Ilfracombe, Devon, England and baptized there 31 October 1824  m  Anglican clergyman the Rev. James Gavin Young , b. West Bengal, India & 2nd son of Capt.. Peter Young, H.E.I.C.  Rev. J. Young was a descendant of James Young, Merchant Burgess of Aberdeen, Scotland, and a number of members of this family served with the armies of the Honourable East India Company. Marriage at Ilfracombe, Devon, 9 January 1849.  Had 7 children- I son (Harry Gavin Young), 6 daughters. Died  Hursley, Hampshire, England, in January 1900.

See “A Short Memoir of James Young, Merchant Burgess of Aberdeen, Scotland. pg 33.

Louisa b ca 1825- 6 ? Possible twin? The Census of England 1841 shows Louisa staying at Netherseal with her aunt Mary Gresley nee Thorp - the only record of her existence found to date.

Harry (b. 1826 at Ilfracombe, Devon, and baptized there 14 February 1826.) Attended Rugby School ca 1828 then Oxford University. Was living in Liverpool  - his last will and testament gives his occupation as a merchant (of what commodity is unknown). Was in Victoria, Australia, at the time of the Victorian goldrushes, and married at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne on 1 June 1853 to Mary Anne Catherine Lane, known as Catherine  (1831-1866), daughter of John Lane Esq. of “Lane’s Park”, Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland.

See: “Kilkenny Jounal, and Leinster Commercial and Literary Advertiser Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland”
11 Jun 1853

Harry Thorp ied 4 September, 1854 on board he Royal Mail steam ship “Tamar” during the return trip to England with his pregnant wife, “Leicester Chronicle”, 29 September 1854.
His widow Catherine gave birth to their son after arrival in England at the Rectory, Burton Overy, on 26 November 1854. Not clear if this child survived or not.
“Leicester Journal” 8 December 1854

Catherine Thorp nee Lane died 23 February 1866 in Mells County, Somerset, at the age of 35 – the executors of her will were her brothers-in-law, the Rev. Frederic Thorp and William Thorp, Captain in the Royal Navy, both of Burton Overy.
“Frome Times”, Somerset, England, 28 February, 1866.

Rev. Frederic Thorp, born Burton Overy, 1827, baptized there 24 June 1827. Attended Uppingham School Divinity Student at Cambridge University (Emmanuel College)- from 1846 awarded B.A. 1846, M.A.1854. Ordained deacon 1891, priest Curate of Morley, Derbyshire, 1852-

 Following his brother Robert’s death in 1851 Frederic became Rector of Burton Overy though a locum (Rev. Henry Corrance) held the incumbency on his behalf from 1851 until he completed his M.A. in 1854. Frederic (also written Frederick) served as Rector of Burton Overy until his death in 1916. A keen member of the local Hunt, Frederic was known as “the hunting parson” – the accidental death of his brother Robert while hunting doesn’t appear to have been a deterrent.

Married 4 August 1868 at Radway, Warwickshire, to Mary Edith Hildebrand (1847-1899) 3 children.

One of his sons, Charles Frederick Thorp (1869-1954) ,served as an officer in the Royal Navy and rose to the rank of Admiral.

Rev. Frederic Thorp died 8 December 1916 and was buried at St Andrew’s Church, Burton Overy, along with his wife.

See “Aspects of Burton Overy” below. This details the clerical dynasty of Thorps - father Thomas and sons Robert and Frederic - whose service as Rectors of Burton Overy , one after the other, is recognized by a set of stained glass windows installed in their honour at St Andrew’s Church, Burton Overy. In actual fact the family connection with the rectorship of Burton Overy lasted 334 years.They held the advowson - right to nominate the successors to the benefice of Burton Overy – and making judicious use of locums paid to fill in the odd gap, chose to keep the incumbency more or less continuously in their own hands right from the time when Frances Topp Thorp nee Lee's ancestor, Rev. William Burdett,  became Rector of  Burton Overy in 1582 until the death of Rev. Frederic Thorp in 1916.

The only real break came in 1649, following the end of the English Civil War, when Rev William Burdett's son, Rev. Theophilus Burdett, was deposed as rector of Burton Overy and Parliamentarian sequestrators put a Puritan preacher in his place. 

How Burton Overy felt about this outrage is reflected by a curt note in the parish registers  recording this unwelcome preacher as "Thomson - an intruder"! When King Charles II  became monarch in 1660, he restored Rev Theophilus Burdett to the benefice of Burton Overy and life carried on as  before.

 “Aspects of Burton Overy”.

Re locums- the "place holders"  Down the long line of Rectors of Burton Overy descended from William Burdett  here would occasionally be a gap when one family member who was the Rector died and his nominated successor was too young to take over the incumbency straight away. In these cases another clergyman would agree to serve as Rector on the understanding that he would retire when the next in line became old enough to assume the Rectorship himself. These men, usually clerical friends near retirement doing a favour, were i locums - the original phrase "locum tenens" translates as "place holder" The Rev. Samuel Topp, whose name was given to Charles’ mother Frances Topp Lee, was one of these obliging placeholders, filling in between her grandfather Rev John Lee and her father, Rev. William Southworth Lee.

Odds & ends

The Ilfracombe connection . A bit of a mystery - perhaps relatives there? The Thorps clearly visited Ilfracombe on a number of occasions  & son Harry & daughter Anna were both born there. Anna was married there, also Mary when she married for the second time. The widowed Frances Topp Thorp nee Lee retired there with her unmarried daughter Frances after her husband died in 1846.

Possible Yorkshire connection? Did they have relatives in Yorkshire? Note an earlier Thomas Thorp who married a Mary Bentley in 1777 in Yorkshire. 

Another Rev. Thomas Thorp born ca 1791 at Loughborough, Leicestershire, also attended Cambridge University. He served as Rector of Wilford, Nottinghamshire from 1819-1864. This Thomas Thorp was cousin to Rev.Thomas Thorp of Burton Overy, being a son of his uncle John Thorp of Loughboroough, Leics

The Dyott  connection

“Dyott“ was the maiden name of Charles Thorp’s maternal grandmother, Frances Lee nee Dyott, (known as Hannah), daughter of Richard Dyott Esq, of "Freeford Hall". it was given as a second name to Charles' daughter Mary Dyott Thorp and his granddaughter Helen Dyott Thorp, younger daughter of his son F. William Thorp. The Dyotts of Freeford Hall in Staffordshire were an old and distinguished family and the Thorps were no doubt proud of the connection with them.

Note that the Dyott and Gresley families were also linked by marriage to each other independently of the Thorps.

The name "Herrick" which also appears in the Thorp family -  see Charles Thorp's oldest son, who was named Charles Herrick Thorp. This name is also connected to the Dyotts. Herrick was the maiden name of Charles Thorp's maternal great-grandmother Katherine Dyott nee Herrick, wife of Richard Dyott Esq.

The one who followed his great-uncle Charles Thorp to Motueka, near Nelson, in New Zealand

Charles William Thorp  b. 1st qtr 1890 at Malton, Yorkshire - d.  4 April 1961 at Nelson, NZ, was the son of Rev. Robert John Thorp and Evelyn Willoughby, and grandson of Rev. Robert Thorp (see above). He emigrated to New Zealand in 1910 and settled in Motueka where his cousin Frederick William Thorp (son of early Motueka settler Charles Thorp from Burton Overy) still lived with his family.  Charles W. Thorp taught at the Motueka District High School, then at Wellington College, retrained as a lawyer, and became a well-known Motueka solicitor for many years. Clearly the English Thorps & the NZ Thorps kept in touch. C.W. Thorp married Ivy Mabel Coote  (b. 23/2/1892 at Feilding, Manawatu, NZ) at the Nelson Cathedral on 2 September 1916. He died in 1961 at Nelson Hospital and a plaque at Marsden Cemetery in Nelson marks the place where his ashes were deposited.

Personal Items: Marriage of Charles W. Thorp & Ivy Coote
“Nelson Evening Mail” 4 Sept 1916, pg 4

Burials at St Andrew’s Church, Burton Overy.

A number of Burdett, Southworth, Lee and Thorp family members, including Charles Thorp’s parents, were buried at St Andrew’s Church, Burton Overy. Charles’ brothers William, Robert & Frederic are buried there as well - Robert & Frederic with their respective wives.

See: Monumental Inscriptions, Church of St Andrew, Burton Overy, Leicestershire.

The inscription on the monumental slab in the floor of the Chancel of St Andrew’s Church, Burton Overy, Leicestershire where Rev. Thomas Thorp & his wife Frances Topp nee Lee were buried reads:
Hac Jacet THOMAS THORP M.A Rector Obit XXVi July MDCCCXLVI etat LIV (Here lies Thomas Thorp M.A. Rector, died 26 July 1846, aged 54) Note his age at death was in fact 60 years.
Here lieth also the body of FRANCES TOPP THORP widow of the above & daughter of the Revd WILLIAM SOUTHWORTH LEE by FRANCES his first wife, fourth daughter of the late RICHARD DYOTT Esqr of Freeford in the county of Stafford, born August XV MDCCXV died Nov XXI MDCCCLVI  (Born 15 August 1790, died 21 November 1856)
(Slate Slab  ID no K1) 

Note that probate records give Frances Topp Thorp's date of death as 30 December 1856.

Images of interest

Thorp family genealogy
Image from The Gresleys of Drakelowe, pg 52

Images of St Andrews’ Church, Burton Overy, here.Thorp

The Old Rectory at Burton Overy

A History of Burton Overy, Leicestershire.

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