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123311 Henry 1825-1921

Henry Clay, junior, the eldest child of Henry Clay and Elizabeth Leigh was born on 4 October 1825 in Burton‑on‑Trent, and baptised the following day[1].  He was sent to Rugby[2] on 4 October 1839 aged 13, and matriculated at Michaelmas 1844 after having been admitted as pensioner on 13 April 1844 at Trinity College, Cambridge, from where he obtained B.A. in 1848 and an M.A. in 1851.  He was admitted to the Inner Temple on 3 May 1848, but withdrew in 1857.


At the time of his marriage he was 38 and living at The Mount, Chepstow;  this was on 25 August 1863, when he was married in Brailsford by his uncle, Rev Canon Hastings Robinson DD[3], to Mary (Louisa) Boden, then aged 19.  An account of the occasion will be found in here.  Henry and Mary had two sons and a daughter :-

(Henry) Hastings                             born on 30 May 1864

Charles Leigh                                   born on 24 February 1867

Edith Louisa                                     born in Q1, 1869 at The Mount, Chepstow, she died unmarried on 1 September 1954 in Chepstow at the age of 85 and was buried at St Arvan.  She is only remembered for having destroyed the diaries of her grandmother, Elizabeth Leigh (see page 26).

Henry was a J.P., and Deputy Lieutenant of Monmouthshire.  He had his own Livery ‑ Drab, with a yellow waistcoat.  He was a Director of Bass & Co., and of the Burton Old Bank.

In the 1871 Census he is recorded as of Mount House, Thomas Street, Chepstow; Head of the houshold, married; aged 43; Occupier of 600 acres of Land employing 13 men, 5 boys & 1 woman. And he was a JP.  His wife was Mary Louisa Clay nee Boden (see below), aged 27, born in Derby.

Their children were Henry Hastings Clay, aged 6, Charles Leigh Clay, aged 5, and Edith Louisa Clay, aged 2; all born in Chepstow, Monmouthshire.

By 1881, he and his family had moved into "Piercefield Mansion", where his Liverpool-born 81-year-old mother, now a widow, was Head of the household, with her income derived from Dividends. Henry was now a widower,  aged 55, a J P and Farmer of 698 acres employing 18 Men & 5 Boys.  His two sons were at boarding school, but his 12 year-old daughter was with them.  

Henry died at Piercefield on 3 March 1921 at the age of 95, regarded as the Grand Old Man of Monmouthshire, where he had lived for 60 years, 47 of them at Piercefield, following his father's death there in 1874.


Mary née Boden

Mary Louisa was the second dau of Henry Boden (c.1808-1862) and Anne nee Smith (1808-1886), of Ednaston, Derbyshire.

Mary was born there in Q3, 1843.  She died 25 January 1872 at The Mount, Chepstow at the age of 28, possibly in childbirth - her children were eight, five and three (see above).


[1]  Where ?

[2]  He was the first to go to a school other than Repton.  Rugby was a hard place, even 100 years before "Tom Brown's Schooldays" appeared in 1857; his experience was such that he sent his son to Eton.

[3]  See bottom of this page.

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