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Robert Thornewill 1843-1914

Robert was born on 30 October 1843 in Burton-on-Trent, the second son of Robert Thornewill and Martha Hammond Wright of Eyam, Derbyshire.

Robert's father died when Robert was only 15. His father had been running a successful engineering works, and with his death his wife, Robert's mother, took over the running of the Works - most unusual for a woman in that era.

At the end of 1873 Robert was married in Kensington to Catherine Aurora Page

They had a son,

Robert Surtees   born February 1875 

Alas !  Catherine died soon after the birth.  After her death, Robert employed a nurse to look after the baby.  She was very devout, and this had such an influence on the boy that he entered the Church and took Holy Orders. 

Robert was married again, on 2 August 1883 in Durham Cathedral to Ella Hamilton, and they had two daughters:-

Kathleen Hamilton, born in July 1884

She was born in her parents' house, The Abbey (a private house !), in Burton-on-Trent.

Kathleen was usually known as Katty, but her nephew couldn't manage the word "Aunty", so called her "Ardy", a name used for her by both her nephews and by their children.

Kathleen married Bertram (Edward) Sargeaunt, who rose to become Government Secretary to the Isle of Man.  He retired in 1936(?) but was recalled during the War, and was also Treasurer.  As part of his duties he was in charge of all internment camps on the island.

They had a daughter Fenela, who married and had a daughter.

(Ella) Violet, born 8 July 1885

She also was born in The Abbey, Burton-on-Trent.

On 25 April 1906 she married Gerard (Arden) Clay in Stretton, Burton-on-Trent. 

They had two sons, Gervas, who married and had a daughter and three sons; and Ralph, who married and had a daughter and two sons.

Violet died on 22 December 1980 in the home of her son, Ford Lodge, Wiveliscombe, Somerset 

[More to follow]

Robert died on 22 November 1914 in Stretton, Burton-on-Trent.




Catherine Aurora Page, Robert's first wife, has her own WebSite - click on her name.


Eliza Arabella Sarah Hamilton, Robert's second wife, was always known as Ella.  She was born 27 February 1858 in the Vicarage, Berwick-on-Tweed, where her father was the Vicar.  He was the Rev. George Hans Hamilton, born 21 January 1823 in Tullylish, co. Down.  He later became the Venerable Archdeacon of Durham and Lindisfarne, and Vicar fo Eglingham.  He died 23 September 1905 in The College, Durham

Ella's mother was Arabella Sarah "Bella" Best, 25 December 1823 – 13 January 1868

Ella died in The Infirmary, Burton-on-Trent on 23 Fenruary 1919, four days before her 60th birthday.


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