“Twentieth of Twenty-one”: Edward Lear and his Siblings (2)

[Part 1] [Part 3]

Ann Lear (Edward’s favourite sister) by Unknown artist. Watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1830s. Given by Francis Adeney Allen, 1915. NPG 1759a.

A second group of family documents is located at the National Art Library in London, “Papers of Ellen Newsom (Née Lear) and her family, 1795-1884,” (Manuscript MSL/1985/3) which includes several items relating to the family, among them four different lists of the Lear siblings, all agreeing on the fact that there were seventeen rather than twenty-one. The first document (item 36) is a list written in black ink with marriage and death dates added at a later date in {red ink} and still later annotations in {{black ink}}, apparently written at different times; it reads:

Photograph of a much-older Ann. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

Jeremiah Lear. born 6th May 1767 [should be 1757]
Ann. Clarke Skerrett. (his Wife.) born 5th of August. 1769. was married at Wansted Church. Essex. 24 Aug.t 1788 & had Issue as [illegible]
Ann       born    17 Jany            1791
Sarah    ――    11 May           1792    {died 26 Sept. 1792}
Sarah    ――    28 Augt          1793    {Died 12 Sept. 1793}
Sarah    ――    21 Dec.r          1794    {Married to [C. Street] 25 Jany 1822}
Mary     ――    1 May             1796    {Married R. Boswell 13 Dec. 1821}
Henry   ――    26 June           1797    {Died 9 July 1797}
Henry               25 Aug.t         1798
Eleanor 29 Nov.r         1799    {Married Wm. Newsom 16 Dec. 1823}
Jane       ――    10 June           1801    {Died 5 Feb.ry 1822}
Harriott.           13 Sept.er        1802
Cordelia           21 Nov.r         1803    {{Died 2 April 1834}}
Frederick         1 Mar.ch          1805
Florance [sic]  3 June             1806    {{died 21 March 1838}}
Charles             30 Nov.er        1808
Catherine―     17 Octo.r        1810    {Died 11 mar. 1811}
Edward            13 May           1812
Catherine         24 Nov.r         1813    {{Died 24 January 1837}}

The verso contains dates for Sarah Street’s two sons.

Sarah Street, née Lear. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

MS L. 3/37-1985 is Florence Lear’s death certificate confirming the date given above; Florence, a “spinster,” died of “consumption.”

Item 38 contains a dateless family tree starting with “Alice Brignall of Durham” which simply confirms the order and names of Jeremiah and Ann’s children; “Catherine” is here spelt “Catharine.” Item 39, entitled “Family Tree of Brignall Esq.re of Durham” is very similar to the one bound with the Ann letters, and states:

Ann Clarke (Skerritt)
married
Jeremiah Lear
of Holloway Middlesex Esqr.
and had 17 Children [Notice that here no “said to be 21” appears.]
of whom

Then only the children who got married are listed with their issue.

Eleanor “Ellen” Newsom, née Lear.

The back of the picture above, with a note by Lillie Bowen identifying the person as Ellen rather than Ann

Item 40 is a list in formal handwriting, presumably a fair copy summarizing the data in the other documents; here is a full transcript:

Jeremiah Lear Born May 6th 1757
Ann Clarke Skerrett Born Augt 5th 1769
The above were married at Wansted Church in Essex August 24th 1788.
Had children as follows ―

Ann ― born Janry 17 ― 1791. Registered at Haberdashers Hall, Meeting House and at the Library Red Cross Street.

Sarah ― born May 11 ― 1792 Registered as above. Died Sept 26th 1792.

Sarah born August 28th Registered as above, 1793. Died Sept 12th 1793.

Sarah born Decr 21st 1794. Baptized and Regis. by the Revd J. Brooksbank. Married to Chas Street of Arundel, June 25th 1822. Died at Dunedin. New Scotland Decr 10th 1873.

Mary born May 1st 1796. Regisd and Baptized by th eRevd J. Brooksbank. Married to Richd Shuters Boswell, Decr 13th 1821. Died at Sea ― on her passage from N. Zealand April 25th 1861.

Henry, born June 26th 1797 Died July 9th 1797. Buried at Pentonville.

Henry Born Augt 25th 1798 Registered and Baptised by the Revd J. Brooksbank Haberdasher’s Meeting House, and and Library Red Cross Street.

Eleanor Born Novr 29th 1799. Regisd and Baptised by the Revd J. Brooksbank. Married to Willm Newsom Decr 16th 1823.

Jane, Born June 16th 1801 Registered and Baptised by Revd J. Brooksbank. Died Febry 5th 1822. Buried at Westham Church.

Harriet [Or “Harriot,” the e/o having been corrected, but I can’t decide which way.] Born Sepr 13. 1802. Registered and Baptised as above. Died at Perth. Scotland. Augt 1859.

Cordelia ― born Novr 21. 1803. Registered and Baptised by Revd J. Brooksbank. Died April 2nd 1834. Buried at Milton, Gravesend.

Frederick ― Born March 1st 1805. Registered and Baptised as above. Married May 17th 1830 to Rosa Smith of Stepney.

Florence. Born June 3rd 1806. Registered and Baptised by Revd J. Brooksbank, and at the Library Red Cross Street.

Charles Born Novr 30th 1808 Registered and Baptised as above.

Catherine born Novr Octr 17. 1810. Died March 11th 1811. Buried at Pentonville.

Edward. Born May 13th 1812. Baptised and Registered by the Revd J. Brooksbank.

Catherine Born Novr 24th 1813 Regisd and Baptised as above. Died 1837. Florence died ^[March] 1838 ― Both were buried at Milton, Gravesend.

Jeremiah Lear died Augt 30th 1833.
Ann Clarke Lear died               1844 and was buried at Dover. The former was buried at Gravesend.
Ann Lear died March 11th 1861. Buried at Highgate Cemetery.

Mary Boswell (née Lear), by Unknown artist. Watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1830s. Given by Francis Adeney Allen, 1915. NPG 1759b.

Again, seventeen children are listed, most with exact dates of birth, marriage and death; this was clearly written out after Sarah’s death in 1873, but does not include the deaths of Edward or Eleanor (“Ellen,” probably the one who compiled the list) and the two “American” brothers. However, item 41 preserves a note on Henry’s fate dated 18 October 1877:

Henry Lear, died March 31st, 1877 in the 79th year of his life. Leaving one daughter & 2 sons

Ann Clarke Titus.
George Edward Lear.
Washington Usher Lear.

Mr John Titus and family living at

170 Union Avenue
Brooklyn ED
New York
America

This is as far as documents in the family take us, but further information can be obtained from documentation in institutional archives, which will be presented in part 3.

An older Mary. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

[Part 1] [Part 3]

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3 Responses to “Twentieth of Twenty-one”: Edward Lear and his Siblings (2)

  1. Pingback: “Twentieth of Twenty-one”: Edward Lear and his Siblings (3) | A Blog of Bosh

  2. Pingback: “Twentieth of Twenty-one”: Edward Lear and his Siblings (1) | A Blog of Bosh

  3. Pingback: And What About Charles? | A Blog of Bosh

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