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Chapter 7 - 1714 to 1900

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The family history of the Ardens for the next four generations from XXI Henry Arden (1723-1782) through XXIV Rev. Albert H. Arden (1841-1897), is in the miniscule, that of the Landed Gentry of England, during the long reign of the House of Hanover from George I through Victoria (1714-1901).

We start with "Longcroft", the family seat in Staffordshire which was enlarged and developed much as it is today by XXII Rev. John Arden (1752-1803). There in each generation, a large family was raised, with a life perhaps along the lines of that described by Jane Austin in her great novels.

"Longcroft", however, could only descend to the first son and so the younger sons, usually after being educated at Rugby or Repton, and possibly Cambridge, followed the tradition of the Landed Gentry by entering the Church, Army, or Navy. These careers brought them away from England, for the first time in this history, to the far-flung reaches of the British Empire - naval battles off the coast of America, garrisons in the West Indies, the Napoleonic Wars, the glamor of the Bengal lancers, the gold rush days in Australia. We shall try to pick up the story of as many of these second sons as possible. Vignettes of their lives, in a spotty manner, are the story of the growth of the British Empire.

The British Empire. Of course by the time the history in this chapter opens with the accession of George 1 in 1714, the foundations of the Empire had long since been laid.

Elizabeth (1558-1603) had been more interested in commerce than colonization, and James I (1603-1625) and Charles I (1625-1649) had been too



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caught up in domestic problems to push overseas expansion. Nevertheless, during this Stuart period settlements were started in the New World.

The principal settlement was that of Puritans in New England. Between 1620 and 1640 some 25,000 emigrants, primarily from Suffolk, Essex, and Herts, carved a new life from the New England wilderness. Their motivation for emigration was primarily a religious one - a dissatisfaction with the

Elizabethan compromise between the Roman and Reformation views, fired by the persecution of William Laud, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury (1573-1645).

Emigration also flowed, however, to more attractive climates in Virginia, where the Virginia Company made the first settlement at Jamestown in 1607, to Bermuda (1609), and to various West Indian Isles, such as Barbados. (1624), discussed in the previous chapter and to Jamaica, which was annexed by force of arms by Cromwell, the first imperalist-minded ruler of Britain. The predominant class of emigrant in these colonies were Anglicans with Royalist sympathies (during the Commonwealth) and economic adventurers.


These were the principal areas of colonization at the turn of the 18th Century. In that century, of course, the American Colonies would break away as the result of a confrontation of two reasonable requests - the British insistance that the Americans help pay, through taxes, for the cost of keeping a standing army to protect the frontiers of the colonies, and the American demand that with the taxation come the right of political representation. This loss to the Empire, however, was balanced by its expansion in the East. In 1700 there were scarcely 1500 employees, and their dependents, of the East Indian Company in



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scattered factories in India. By 1800 British dominion stretched over vast reaches of that continent.


XXI. Henry Arden (1730-1782) m. Alethea Cotton (1723-1783) Longcroft, Staffordshire Henry Arden was only 4 years old when his father died. He was brought up by his stepmother until, upon attaining his majority, he succeeded to "Longcroft".

His 52 years at Longcroft were, apparently, the uneventful ones of a country gentleman. Yoxall Parish was still sparsely populated. In 1747, for example, when there was a highly contested election in the area for MP, it is recorded that there were only 31 freeholders voting, including Henry Arden. As already noted above, in the 10-year period between 1745 and 1754 there were only 266 baptisms recorded at the Parish Church - less than 26 a year. And, as a bit of incidental information, there were only a few persons on the relief rolls! The net expenses to the poor reported by the Parish to Parliament in 1776 were only -L153 5sh!

And so we can envision Henry Arden leading the life of a prominent 18th century country squire - hunting in nearby Needwood forest which was not to be enclosed until the beginning of the next century. There would be, perhaps, an occasional visit to the market town of neighboring Lichfield which, in 1750, was the largest town in Staffordshire, but only had a population of 4,842. There, too, might be trips over roads still infested with brigands, to London, still the only real city of England.

George II (1727-1760) was the reigning monarch in St. James Palace where court life was notoriously coarse and immoral. Gambling was the



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favorite diversion of all classes. Drinking had reached- staggering proportions. By the middle of the century, it was estimated that the English public were consuming 11 million gallons of gin a year - a volume only reduced with the successful introduction of tea later in the century. But counterbalancing these factors, which bred the lawlessness of the Whitefriars district of London, and impossible prison conditions, was the stimulating political and literary discussions in thousands of coffee houses.

But let us return from London to Yoxall, and to its little Parish Church where the master of "Longcroft" was no doubt a faithful attendant. A memorial on the Yoxall Parish Church wall tells us about Henry's family:

"To the memory of Henry Arden of Longcroft, Esq. who died June 22, 1782, aged 52, and of Alethea 1/, his wife, eldest daughter of Robert Cotton, esq. of the city of Worcester, by whom he had 7 children: Anne, John, Henry, Alethea, Catherina, Robert, Humphrey, and Samuel. She died July 1, 1783, aged 60."

The Arden and Cotton arms are set out below.

We have one interesting item about Henry's wife, Alethea. Shaw, writing in 1798, has described in considerable detail a "museum" in the home of a Mr. Green in Lichfield, in Staffordshire, some 7 miles from Yoxall. Among the items was a "curious alter piece, in oil colours, painted upon oak boards, five feet nine inches by three feet, containing ten panels ... on which are represented 10 pieces of sacred history." Shaw reports that "this antique painting hath been for many years in the possession of the ancient family of Arden and was presented to the museum by the later Mrs. Arden, relict of Henry Arden, of Longcroft ... "  2/


1/ Alethea Cotton was born 31 October 1722 at Longdon, Staffs. She & henry were married at St. Mary's, Lichfield/ 

2/   This is probably the altar piece presently [1968] in the Church of Hamstall Ridware - G.C.R.C



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Alethea's father, Robert Cotton, lived in Worcester, close by to Staffordshire. His father, John Cotton married Alethea Hill, the daughter of Richard Hill, Brace's Bridge, Worcester. It is believed that this Cotton family of Worcester, however, had its roots in the Cotton family of Hamstall Ridware, a village near Yoxall in Staffordshire. The progenitor of the Cotton family was one Simon de Cotton of Chester, whose son William lived in 15 Edw. II (1322). His great, great, great grandson, also named William, has dates in 50 Edw. III (1377), 3 Rich. II (1380) and 2 Hen. IV (1401), and married Agnes, the daughter and heiress of Walter de Ridware. Their son John was the first Cotton to live at Ridware.

John's son Richard was killed at St. Albans during the War of the Roses, and and his father-in-law, Richard Venables, was killed at Blore-Heath (1459), one of the most significant battles of that War which was fought in Staffordshire. But let us return now to two of the sons of Henry and Alethea Arden whose lives touched the American Revolution.

Samuel Arden. Samuel Arden was born in 1760. As a second son, he left Longcroft at an early age to become a midshipman in the Royal Navy. In May of 1781, at the age of 21, we find him on patrol in the North Atlantic as a Lieutenant and second in command of HM brig Atalanta, a ship of 16 gunswith 125 men. This was the closing year of the American Revolution, to end but a few months later at Yorktown.

In Clowes, The Royal Navy - A History (1899), Vol. VI, p. 66, there is the following exciting picture of a naval battle in which the Atalanta was engaged and in which Lt. Samuel Arden emerged a hero:



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"On May 27th the British brigs Atalanta, 16 (guns) Cmdr. Sarnpor Edwards, and Trepassez 14 (guns) Cmdr. James Smyth, saw and chased a strange vessel in the North Atlantic. As they closed with her, however, ascertaining that she was of great size, they hauled their wind, and made off, chased in turn. The stranger came up with them on the 28th around noon, when they discovered that she was the American

frigate Alliance, 36 (guns), Captain John Barry. The wind had fallen to a dead calm; the brigs had no chance of escape; they therefore turned, and with sweeps headed for the enemy. 1/ The Trepassez, endeavoring to take up a favorable position on the Alliance's quarter, unfortunately overshot the mark and came up on her broadside. Then the Atalanta gallantly stood in to the rescue between the American and the British brig, but the Trepassez was so shattered that she could not get away. The American captain, early in the action,was stuck by a grape shot in the shoulder; Cmdr. Smyth of the Trepassez was killed. Lieutenants in each ship took up the command. The Alliance, with a freshening freeze, was able to use her heavy battery to the greatest advantage. 3 1/2 hours after the first shot, the Trespassez struck 2/ with a loss of seventeen. The Atalanta had been in action 1 hour longer than her consort. She still held out, but in the end stuck with a loss of 23. On board her Lt. Samuel Arden lost an arm but with heroic courage, as soon as the amputation had been performed, he returned to his quarters. All the ship was badly cut up in masts and rigging. If evidence given at the court martial can be believed, the Alliance carried 28 12's and 8 9's.


      Tons   Guns   Pounds  Men Killed   Wounded   Total

Alliance      36      04       300         6              26           32

Trepasser  342     14         28        80          6      11           17

Atalanta     16      32        125         6             18           23 


                       4 1/2 - 5 hours


The Trepasser was sent to Halifax as a cartel. The Atalanta was shortly afterwards retaken off to Boston by the Assurance, Charleston, and Amphritrite. Considering the immense


1/            "Sweeps" were longboats manned by rowing sailors which literally pulled a ship during a dead calm.

2/            Surrendered.



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disproportion between the two sides, the British must be held to have got off very lightly."

Samuel Arden was promoted for his gallantry in action and was posted as a Captain in the Royal Navy in 1783. In 1806 he retired.

Henry Arden.     Henry Arden, another son of Henry and Alethea Arden,

was Henry, Jr. who was born in 1752. We have only the terse notation that he "died in the West Indies."

It is possible that Henry was in the Army and a member of the FirstStaffordshire Regiment. This Regiment fought at the Battle of Bunker's Hill during the American Revolution (June 17, 1775) losing 150 of its 400, men, when Lord Howe led 3, 000 British regulars in three lines up the slope of Breed's Hill outside of Boston in the face of the entrenched colonials. The Regiment was later in the successful capture of Brooklyn, N. Y. , from the American forces. Then after being stationed for a while in New York and in Nova Scotia, the Regiment served at the capture of Martinique and Guadeloupe from the French in 1794. It was, perhaps, here that Henry died. 1/

XXI. Rev. John Arden (1752-1803) m. Margaret Elizabeth Hamar (1754-1842) Longcroft, Staffordshire

The Rev. John Arden is an interesting figure in this family history for three reasons.

First, he made sure that the name of Arden would never die out! He fathered 17 children - 12 sons and 5 daughters! His descendants live today in Australia, Canada, the United States, as well as in England.


1/  Henry Arden died 22 June 1782 and his wife Alethe 4 July 1783, both at Longcroft.  G.C.R.C.



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Second, he was the first authenticated scholar of the Arden family. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1774 when he was 22 years old.

What is perhaps even more remarkable, however, he returned to Cambridge 14 years later, after his marriage and after the birth of several of his children, to receive a MA in 1784!

Thirdly, he was not content to be just a "gentleman" living on his estate, as a first son usually did. He entered the church. Although he was the master of "Longcroft", to which he succeeded at 30, following his father's death, he continued to be a practicing priest of the Church of England. For many years he was the rector of the Parish Church at Kings Bromley, just a few miles from Yoxall and his seat at "Longcroft". We have already become introduced to the Parish Church of Kings Bromley, dedicated to All Saints, in the history of the family of John's paternal grandmother, the Newtons, (p.220 above) who owned the manor at Kings Bromley.

In 1796 John made extensive revisions to "Longcroft". He modernized the house and filled in the moat which had been there at least since the days of XV Simon Arden (1500-1600), and probably considerably longer. It is also apparent 2/ that he owned other properties in Staffordshire.


1 /          A listing of the graduates of Cambridge shows a "Henry Ardern" who graduated in 1662, and a John and William Arden who graduated in 1733 and 1755, respectively. I have been unable to connect these graduates, however, with any of the persons in this history.

2/            One item suggests that the good divine was "taken" by a shrewd real estate speculator! It seems that in 1785 a Samuel Crompton purchased from John an estate in Hanbury, a village north of Needwood Forest, for £7000. A few years later, in 1792, Mr. Crompton sold the estate "in parcels" for around £22,000!



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In May of 1775, when John was 23, he married Margaret Elizabeth Hamar, the only child of Rear Adm. Joseph Hamar, an Admiral of the White, who was the "sole representative of the Hamar and Limebruner families", ancient families of Brunswick.

Shaw and other Arden genealogists state that Hamar accompanied George I when he came over from Hanover in 1714 to ascend the British throne.

George 1, the great grandson of James I (1603-1625), was the Parliamentary choice for king after Queen Anne's death over the Stuart Pretenders, the sons of James II (1685-1701). A coarse man, who never spoke any English, George acted, as Churchill puts it, as if he "was conferring a favour upon his new subjects" by becoming their king. Upon being notified of Anne's death, he left Herrenbaufer, near Hanover on September 11, 1714, arrived at the Hague on the 16th, landed at Greenwich on the 18th, and on the 20th made his Royal entry into the City of London arriving at St. James around 7 in the evening. He brought with him, at first, a suite of around 150 persons, but others soon joined him from Hanover. Hamar was apparently in this group of retainers, and, like many others who came over with George, soon achieved a prominent position in English society.

Margaret Hamar Arden was a dominant figure in the Arden family for many years. Her husband, John, died in 1803, leaving her a life estate in "Longcroft". For 39 years, until her own death at 88 in 1842, Longcroft remained the focal point for all of her 17 children. Records show that her daughers and daughers-in-law all returned to Longcroft to give birth to their own children.



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Now let us leave the Rev. John Arden and turn our attention to his large family whose lives embrace much of the history of England during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Daughters. Surely Mrs. Barrett of Jane Austin's Pride & Prejudice would have observed: "What excellent connections the Rev. Arden and his wife arranged for their daughters!" Mary married George Franklyn, the MP for Poole, whose descendants own "Longcroft" today. (See Appendix B), Anne Diana married the Very Rev. Francis Close, Dean of Carlisle. Emma married Walter Fell, a Barrister-at-Law.

Sons. The emphasis upon education which the Rev. John Arden had given to his own life, was reflected in the excellent education which he gave to his sons. Four of them were at Rugby - the two oldest boys, John and Francis Edward in 1789, Henry in 1792, and Thomas in 1809. Rugby, located in neighbouring Warwickshire, is one of the oldest public schools in England, founded in 1567. These Arden boys attended the school before it was rebuilt in 1809 from designs by Hakewill.

As we shall note shortly, two of these Arden boys died during the Napoleonic Wars but the remaining two, Francis Edward and XXIII Thomas, followed their father's footsteps to Cambridge.

A special word might be said here about Francis Edward Arden (17771855) since the "direct" line of the Arden ancestry descends through him. Francis Edward was the second son of Rev. John Arden and Margaret. As already noted, he attended Rugby, and later Cambridge, from which he graduated in 1799. Like his father, he entered the Church and was the Rector



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of Gresham in Norfolk for many years. In 1842, when he was 65 years old, he succeeded to "Longcroft" upon the death of his mother - his older brother John having died many years before during the Napoleonic Wars, and John's only son of the same name having died in India in 1824. He lived at Longcroft until his death at 78, some 13 years later. Longcroft then descended to two of his sons, successively, and from thence to a grandson who sold it late in the 19th century to a collateral member of the family. The descendants of the Rev. Francis Edward are set forth in Appendix B. According to Burke's Landed Gentry (1952 edition) the present head of the Arden family is William Reginald Guy Arden. 1/ His nephews presently live in Juneau, Alberta, Canada.

Napoleonic Wars. Three of the sons of the Rev. John Arden reached manhood in the closing years of the Napoleonic Wars when England stood, at times alone, against the egomania of Napoleon. "I desired the empire of the world", Napoleon wrote while at St. Helena, "and who in my situation would not? The world invited me to govern it; sovereigns and subjects vied with each other in bending before my sceptre. " But England did not, and for twenty years struggled with a major war effort confronted, as Churchill put it, with "forces more crippled, perhaps, than at any time before by lack of equipment, leaders, and men. "

In terms of direct participation in the Napoleonic Wars, we know most about Henry Arden, who was a Lt. of the 61st Foot. He was killed at Toulouse on April 10, 1814. Ironically, this was the final battle of the War except for Waterloo - after Napoleon's return from Elba.


1/  He has four daughters, but no sons.  G.C.R.C.



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Toulouse was the end of the road for the long advance made by the Duke of Wellington begun in Portugal in May, 1813. Wellington went first to Madrid where he hustled King Joseph Bonaparte off the throne upon which Napoleon had placed him, then marched through the north of Spain where he routed Marshall Jourdan at Victoria on June 21. News of this victory heartened the forces of Russia, Prussia, Austria, Saxony, and Bavaria which were advancing on France from the east against the raw-recruits which Napoleon had raised to replace the Grand Army left on the Russian snows during the retreat from Moscow the preceding year.

Wellington did not stop at Victoria. By the Spring of 1814 he was on French soil. There he detached Marshall Beresford and two divisions to Bordeaux in order to raise a revolt against Napoleon in Loyalist quarters. Marshall Soult of France, an old antagonist of Wellington during the Peninsula War, sought to take advantage of this weakened state of Wellington's army. Urged on by Napoleon, Soult attacked and was defeated at Tarbes. He then fell back on April 10, 1814, to Toulouse where was fought the final battle of the war. It was here that Henry Arden fell. Immediately after the battle the news arrived of the abdication of Napoleon which had taken place on April 3, 7 days before the battle.

We do not know as much about the participation of the other two Arden men in the Napoleonic Wars as we do about Henry.

John, the eldest son of the Rev. John Arden was a Major in the Third_ K.O. (King's Own) Dragoons. He died, however, on August 2, 1809, when he was but 33 years old, in Wellingborough, Northants, the home of his wife.



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Hence, he was not able to join his regiment which sailed for the Peninsula War a few days later.

George, a third son, was a Lt. in the Royal Navy. We have only but the terse notation that he "died at sea in the West Indies. " There were so many occasions that the Royal Navy was in the West Indies during the two decades Britain was locked in its struggle with France, however, including the period in 1805 when Nelson was there in pursuit of Villeneuve and the French fleet, that it is not possible to speculate as to the circumstances of George Arden's death.

India. The scene now shifts from the Napoleonic War to India. Here we find still another son of the Rev. John Arden, Samuel (d. 1822), who was a Major in the 27th Bengal Regiment of the East India Company. Samuel married Jane Franklyn, a daughter of the Mayor of Bristol in 1812. He and his wife returned to India where they both died about 10 years later.

This 10-year period was roughly coterminous with a dramatic era in British Indian history. It was then that Hastings, Governor of the East India Company territories from 1813 to 1823, finally established British control in India. Hastings' problem concerned the directors of the East India Company in London who were interested in profits, not territory or wars. The chaotic conditions in India caused by the dissolution of the unified Mongul Empire early in the 18th century, however, required a peace imposed by war if trade was to survive. Clive, a junior clerk in the East India Company, had discovered that fact in the middle of the 18th century, when he prevented the French from backing local princes who almost succeeded in thrusting the British from



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India. So did Hastings and, earlier, Wellesley, who held the governor's post from 1798 to 1807. Each of these men had expanded the Company's territories from isolated factory locations to a vast area of India.

It remained for Hastings to complete the job in 1814-1816. He defeated the Gurkhas who had led plundering raids into British territory from their homes in Nepal. He then  defeated the Pindau robber bands in 1818, using a force of 20, 000 men and 300 guns - the largest force assembled by the British up to that date. Finally, he broke the power of the Maratha States in the final Maratha  War (1817-1819) and brought Rajput and other states within the pole of British protection.

It is reasonable to assume that Major Samuel Arden of the 27th Bengal Regiment participated in some, or all, of these events, during the decade of Hastings' governorship which led to British control of India.

Australia. Although Samuel Arden only had 10 years of marriage and life in India before his death, he fathered three sons and two daughters.

One son, Samuel, followed in his father's footsteps and became an officer in the 1/ East India Company. The remaining two sons, however, emigrated to Australia. Alfred (1820-1892) settled at Claude Lorraine, Tahara, Victoria, where he married Margaret, the daughter of James Fulton, J. P. They had 7 children. 2/


1 /  One of Samuel's sisters, Anne also married and remained in India. Her husband was  Gilbert Maitland, staff surgeon, H. M. , India Military Service.

2/   He named one of his twin sons Hamar Shakespeare!



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George, the other son, as we shall see presently, led a life that would have been a bit of a shock to his grandfather XXII Rev. John Arden, and no doubt was a considerable shock to his Uncle, the XXIII Rev. Edward

Thomas Arden and cousin XXII Rev. Albert H. Arden!

George's life is set out in full in the Australian National Encyclopedia - the only Arden named therein. Australia had been claimed from England by Captain James Cook in 1770. In 1779, 9 years later, Joseph Banks, who had seen Australia with Cook, suggested the establishment of a colony to a committee of the House of Commons for the transportation of convicts, now that America had been lost for such a purpose by the Revolution. The Pitt government bought the idea and, scarcely 17 years after Cook's discovery, Capt. Arthur Philip, R.N. , set sail on May 13, 1787, with the first fleet for settlement in the area to become Sydney.

For a generation, the colony was basically a penal settlement. By 1835, however, the population had increased considerably by programs of assisted migration and the colony was well established.

In that year a number of flock owners from Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) settled on the shores of Port Philip in Victoria within the boundaries of the present city of Melbourne. In 1836 Capt. Lansdale was sent to Melbourne

by the government of New South Wales to act as resident magistrate in Port Philip. In 1838 the area showed a population of 3,511 of whom 3,080 were males and 431 females.



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In that year George Arden arrived in Port Philip. He apparently had been well educated for he entered into partnership with one Thomas Strode, a printer, and on the 27th of October, 1838, the firm published the first number of the Port Philip Gazette.

That George Arden was quite a maverick in his journalistic endeavors, is seen from the following quotation from his biography in the National Encyclopedia: "Arden edited this journal and was in constant trouble over libel actions. In May 1839 he was fined £50 and sentenced to 24 hours' imprisonment for libelling Judge J.W. Willis (q. v.). In October 1841 he was again charged with libelling the same judge, and he presented the extraordinary defense that there was no limit to the freedom of the newspaper Press. He was again before the court in February 1842 on a charge of writing an article tending to bring the administration of justice into contempt, and was fined L300 and sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment. In May the remainder of his sentence was remitted.

Earlier, Arden had attacked J. P. Fawkner (q. v. ), accusing him of all manner of crimes, but while in jail he apologized for this article. Later in 1842 he was again fined for libel. In October 1841 he transferred his interest in the paper to his brother, but he continued to write for it and in February, 1843, he attacked his late partner (Strode), who had, apparently, sold out. Arden then got into difficulties and Strode purchased the paper. In October, 1844, Arden became insolvent.

Arden and Strode published the first pamphlet issued in Victoria. This was entitled  Articles and Rules for the  Regulation of the Melbourne Union Benefit Society; it appeared in May or June, 1839. Two copies are known to exist, one of which is in the National Library, Canberra, and the other in the Melbourne Public Library. Arden also wrote and published, in 1840, Recent Information Respecting Port Phillip and the Promising Province of  Australia Felix. This was the first book published in Victoria. In the same year he produced  A Lecture on the Mechanical Agency of the Press, in the dissemination of  General Knowledge, the text of an address he had delivered



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before the Mechanics Institution. In 1841 he published The Separation Question, or A Republication of the Various  Petitions and Memorandums prepared and adopted by the Inhabitants of Port Philip, relative to the Necessity of  erecting the territory of Australia Felix into a Separate  Government dependent on the Crown. All these works were notorious for their inaccuracies. What is thought to have been the first original poem written in Victoria a composition entitled "Melbourne" by "Conomensis", was published in the Port Phillip Gazette of 26th January 1839; it is believed to be been written by Arden.

Arden is thought to have moved to Sydney in 1843 and to have returned to Melbourne in 1846, at which time he did hack work for the Press. The now very rare magazine, Arden's Sydney Magazine of Politics and General Literature, illustrated by J. Skinner Prout, appeared in September and October 1843.               ..."

Then in June of 1848 it was reported that Arden intended to publish a paper at Geelong in Victoria where he had been doing newspaper work. This, too, was a failure. Our last glimpse of him is among the "diggers" in the Gold Rush of 1851. In that year E.H. Hargreaves, who had been in California during the fabulous gold rush in the 1840's returned to Australia and found gold near Bathhurst in New South Wales.. But it was near Ballarat and Bendigo in Victoria that gold was discovered in amazing richness (over a £1 million pounds in 1851 alone). It was in May of 1854, on Bakery Hill in Ballarat that Arden was found - some 16 years after he had arrived in Australia. An inquiry into his death produced a verdict that he "died from suffocation, the result of intemperance."

The  National Encyclopedia reports this comment of the Melbourne Argus: Arden possessed "considerable talents as a speaker and writer. Never were fair prospects so wantonly wrecked, and never was a powerful



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career brought to a more sorrowful and disastrous termination."

With this sad tale we leave the children and grandchildren of the Rev. John Arden except for his 12th child, Thomas, who is the link in the line of this family history.

XXIII. Rev. Edward Thomas Arden (1796-1861) m. Isabella Mary Cooper, Gloucester, Norfolk, Warwickshire and Staffordshire

Thomas was 7 years old when his father died. His mother sent him to Rugby, where some of his older brothers had gone, and where he was in attendance in 1809. He was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge on January 14, 1815, but in October he transferred to Queens College, where he studied for the ministry and from which he graduated in 1819.

We do not know the reason for transfer from Trinity to Queens, of course, but is is possible to make a reasonable assumption. The Evangelical party of the Church of England had gained a firm footing at Cambridge at the beginning of the 19th century. In the Autumn of 1811, for example, the British and Foreign Bible Society, with the avowed purpose of encouraging a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures, and of opening for membership to Christians of all denominations, had become established at Cambridge. But nowhere was the Evangelical party more powerful than at Queens College, where Issac Milner, President of Queens from 1788 to 1820 made his college its stronghold. It may be, therefore, that Thomas found the Evangelical wing of the Angelican church more to his liking and preferred his training at Queens.



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With Thomas, however, we leave, for a generation, the dramatic events of the growth of the British Empire and settle down to an uneventful story of an Anglican priest during the early 19th century. In 1820, the year that George IV (1820-1830) ascended the throne, he became a curate, and on Christmas Eve, was ordained priest.

Thomas' first church was a curacy at St. Johns' in Gloucester. Later from 1832-1842, he was the Rector of Bassingham, in Norfolk. In 1846, when he was 50 years old, he returned to his childhood parish church in Yoxall, where he became a curate. [His older brother, the Rev. Francis Arden, was then master of nearby Longcroft. ] His last parish was in Warwickshire.

On one of his many trips home from Norfolk to visit his mother at Longcroft, he met and married Isabelle,Mary Cooper, the daughter of the Rev. Edward Cooper, the Rector of the church at Hamstall-Ridware, two miles west of Yoxall.

Unfortunately, we know little about the Cooper family 1/. The Rev. Edward Cooper was called to the church at Hamstall-Ridware from another county, and without a "lead" as to that county, we cannot trace it any further. In any event, he was the rector of the church at Hamstall-Ridware for 34 years - from 1799 to 1833, the year of his death. The Register of Births in the Parish of Hamstall-Ridware show that he and his wife, Caroline Isabella, had three sons: Henry (b. 1802), Philip Arden (b. 1804), and Warren (b. 1805). The Arden name given to the second son suggests that the Arden family had somehow been benefactors of the Coopers.


1/  A great  deal is now known of the Coopers.  They were originally Goldsmiths and therefore became Bankers & were very wealthy, owning Phyllis Court & Henley Manor, Oxon.  G.C.R.C.



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We also have little information on the Rev. Edward Cooper. We do, however, have one charming note of a "walkabout" he conducted! It is tucked in between a listing of births, deaths, and marriages in the Parish Register Of Hamstall-Ridware which I found in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It reads as follows:

"June 16, 1806. Memorandum. On this day, Edward Cooper, the Rector and around 25 inhabitants of this Parish made a Procession around the boundaries, beginning at Gallows Green, going along the Yoxall Road to the extremity of Sutton's Farm, and then proceeding towards the Trent."

This was quite a "walkabout"! The parish of Hamstall-Ridware lies about a mile north of King's Bromley, near Needwood Forest, and about 2 miles west of Yoxall, The River Blithe runs through the enter of the parish boundary. The Rev. Cooper's church, dedicated to St. Michael, was an ancient old stone building, with a spire, and Norman work may be traced over the belfry arch and in the walls of the nave. It had a "Leper's Window".

We have one other reference to the Rev. Edward Cooper, written in the effusive early Victorian style by one Mary Howitt in a book entitled "Woodleighton, or a year in the Country" (1836). Describing an autumn day in the Forest of Needwood, she says:

"Even in this secluded district, which, beautiful as it is, is little known or spoken of amongst the generality of English people, how many literary recollections surround you, to say nothing of the quantity of taste and knowledge that resides in the best classes of society hereabout. We have today passed the homes of Thomas Gisborne and Edward Cooper, clergymen, who have done honour to their professions by their talents and the liberality of their sentiments."



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To which we might ask:
           What is the meaning of the phrase "liberality of their sentiments" ?

But to return to the Rev. Thomas Arden, the Rev. Edward Cooper's son-in-law. In 1846 we find him the curate of the Yoxall church and from 1850 to 1853 the Chaplain of Magdalen Asylum in Birmingham, Warwickshire. His last church, before his death in 1861 at age 65, was Walton-on-Trent in Derbyshire.

The Rev. Thomas Arden had two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Edward Thomas 1/, graduated from Cambridge in 1856, entered the church, and apparently was the rector of a church in Lichfield, Staffordshire. The biography of his second son, Albert Henry, follows below.  Rev. Thomas's elder daughter was Agnes Lucy, known as Aggie, was b.19 Aug 1838 in Yoxall.  On 6 July, 1869 she m. John Charles Clay 2/, whose family had been in Burton-on-Trent for 150 years.  They had started as brewersm but then moved into banking. Agnes d. on 17 Feb 1874, shortly after the birth of her fourth son.  Her husband came home from work to find her bleeding to geath, while the mid-wife lay drunk and unconscious on the floor.  Rev. Thomas's younger daughter Margaret (known as "Mardit") then moved in with the widower to look after the small boys, but tragedy struck again five years later when Mardit was killed in a riding accident.

XXIV. Rev. Albert Henry Arden (1841-1897) m. Margaret Alexander, Missionary in India.

With the Rev. Albert Henry Arden we reach the most prominent scholar of the Arden family whose books, first written in 1873, are today still to be found in the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. in their fourth edition (1937); reprinted as of 1955. With him, too, we return to the outreaches of the British Empire in India.

Albert was the second son of the Rev. Thomas Arden. In 1859 he graduated from Repton, the first of three generations of Ardens to attend that famous old public school, founded in 1557, and the site of the filming of "Good Bye, Mr. Chips". At the time that Thomas attended Repton, there were 107 students. Steuart Pears had just taken over the headmastership (often called the second founder of Repton) (1854-1874) of the school with his


1/  Edward Thomas married an Arden & her son died shortly after her.  One of her daughters married Dr. Armson of Yoxall.  G.C.R.C. 1968

Edward Thomas Arden m. Emma Fanny Arden in Halstead, Q3, 1871. She was b. Halstead, Q1, 1845. 

Noel Hill Arden was b. Q4, 1873 in Burton, and died there also in Q4, 1873.

Mabel Arden was b. in Q1, 1875 in Burton, and m. Albert Victor M. Mayral  in Lichfield in Q3, 1905. 

Ethel Margaret Arden was b. in Q1, 1877 in Burton, and m.  Frank Greasley Armson in Worksop, Q2, 1897.     

R.B.C.   2019

2/  More information on the CLAY family can be found here, a WebSite for Gerard Arden Clay, the second son of Charles John Clay and Agnes Lucy nee Arden.



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insistence that "the classics were the sole vehicle of a sound education". The student emerged, for his, annual fee of L75, with a working knowledge of Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Divinity and English!

From Repton, Albert went on to Christ's College, Cambridge, from which he graduated in 1863. Life at Cambridge, according to the chronicles of the time, was not an easy one! One contemporary report has the students assembling for dinner - served at 4 p. m. , although in October of 1862, the serving time was extended to 4:30 - with bonnets and shawls draped around them to keep warm in the dining area! And, of course, there was a bitter complaint over the bad food - a perennial student complaint of any generation!

Thomas stayed on at Cambridge after his graduation for 3 years of further study, earning his MA in 1866. In the meantime he was ordained a Deacon at Lichfield, in Staffordshire, in 1864.

Immediately after receiving his MA, Albert set out for India. He was ordained a priest in Madras, India, late in 1866, at the age of 25. For the next 7 years, he was a missionary  South India under the auspices of the Church Missionary Society.

The India to which Albert came in 1866 was still in the first decade of the new regime whereby the government of India had been transferred from the East India Company to the crown. This transfer, which took place on August 2, 1858, was the result of the revolt of the Bengal native army (Sepoys) the pre-ceeding year. This great Indian Mutiny had not reached down to Madras, but had spread all over Bengal, central India, along the Ganges, in Oudh, and Punjab. It had been put down by the central government at Calcutta, after considerable



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effort, and after many tragic and dramatic events, notably the famous Seige of Lucknow.

One of the changes which had been effected by the transfer of government in 1858 was the establishment of three universities in India, as "examinig bodies", passing upon the students of affiliated colleges. One of these universities was at Madras. Sometime around 1873, the Rev. Albert Arden was made a Fellow of the University of Madras. The background for the grant of this distinction is as follows.

Until the Charter Act of 1833 only 33 years before Albert arrived in India, missionary activity was conducted under difficult circumstances. The East India Company had no desire to "stir up" difficulties which might affect its profits. In this it was supported by the British Parliament. Indeed, it was only after a 3 1/2 hour eloquent speech by Wilberforce before the House of Commons of Parliament even allowed (1815) the appointment of the first Anglican Bishop in India, a Dr. Middleton of Calcutta. Opponents of the appointment feared it might be offensive to the religious prejudices of the Indians!

Equally so with education. Neither the East India Company, nor the British Government, felt any obligation for the promotion of education. What was done was done by the missionaries, ever liable to banishment or deportation, in studying the vernacular in order to reach the people by their preaching and to translate the Bible.



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Accordingly, one of the great needs in India in the 19th century was to effect a medium of communication between the English speaking world and the more important of the 203 languages spoken in India. Of these, Telegu and Tamil were the dominant languages in the south of India, and the 4th and 1/ 6th most prevalent languages in all of India.  These were two of the languages of the Dravadian tribes which swept down from Central Asia in the 2/ dim reaches of history to settle in southern India.

Although there had been Tamil and Telegu to English language expositions dating back as far as the Portaguese Jesuit missionaries, there was not a really good grammar at the time Rev. Albert Arden arrived in Madras. It was to this task that he devoted himself, after, of course, first learning the languages himself. In 1873 he published his "A Progressive Grammar of the Telegu Language" which, as noted earlier, had its 4th edition in 1937 and was reprinted as recently as 1955. The reviews were highly complimentary. The Madras Mail  said: "Mr. Arden's Grammar" will "supersede its prececessors." The Right Rev. Bishop Cadwell said: "Arden's Grammar is, in my opinion, the Grammar for an Englishman working to learn Telegu." And Professor Sharp of Cambridge said: "Such a book would have saved me infinite toil in learning Telegu 17 years ago."


1/            It is estimated that today Telegu is spoken by more than 40 million persons on the eastern side of the Indian Peninsula from Bengal southwards, and inland to the heard of Decra. The area roughly covers the new state of Andra (1953), and the greater portion of the state of Hyderabad.

There is an extensive literature in Telegu and Tamil. Vishna Vardhana, who reigned in the 11th century, and Krishna Rayaler, who reigned at Vijayanaga in the beginning of the 16th century, were the most renowned patrons of Telegu literature. During periods of Moslem occupation, however, Telegu literature was suppressed and extensive libraries were destroyed.



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When one first approaches the grammar, it looks most formidable indeed! The alphabet has 30 letters, with 12 vowels and 18 consonants. The script is indescribable:

Arden in his preface to the Grammar said: "In Telegu the dialect used in ordinary conversation differs so much from that used in grammatically written books, that thousands of Indians who use the language as the only medium of conversation cannot read a grammatically written book, or understand it, when read to them!"

Following the publication of his grammar, the Rev. Albert Arden returned to England for 4 years. For a short time he was the Curate of All Saints, Newmarket, Cambridge (1874). Then he was Vicar of All Saints, Sudbury, with Ballington and Brandon, Suffolk (1874-1876). From 1876to 1878 he was Vicar of Newhall in Staffordshire, not too far from the Arden ancestral home of "Longcroft".

In 1878 he returned to India where he was the Madras Secretary of the Church Missionary Society. While there he published his "Telegu Reader, a Companion to Arden's Progressive Telega Grammar (1879). The "readings" are delightful. Each is a story, in an Indian setting, which ends up with a moral. Some of them are as follows: "We must not keep company with persons who have bad dispositions. " "When children have done wrong, their parents should be on the look out and check them immediately." "We must endeavor to requite our benefactors. " "Strength of mind is true strength, not strength



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of body. " "In regard to money, we must exercise great care." In his preface to the Reader, he warns that " 'Quality, not quantity', should be the motto of the student. "

In 1883, the Rev. Albert Arden returned to England, this time as the teacher of Tamil and Telegu at Cambridge University - a post he held for 8 years. At the same time he was the Church Missionary Society secretary for the counties of Hunts, Beds, and Herts, and between 1890 and 1894, for Worcester, Hereford, and South Wales.

In 1895, he returned to India, for the last time, and was at the Church Mission House in Madras until 1897. Late in 1897, he started back to England by ship. While sailing through the Red Sea he was asked to take the Sunday services aboard ship - the date being November 7, 1897. He chose, prophetically, as his text" "In the midst of life there is death. " In the middle of the sermon, he suddenly dropped dead.

Family. On January 12, 1867, shortly after the Rev. Albert Arden arrived at Madras on his first trip, he married Margaret Alexander, the daughter of J. W.. Alexander, Esq. Unfortunately, there is no "lead" which will allow us to trace the Alexander family. We do not even know whether Albert had met Margaret in England, and, through pre-arrangements, she had followed him to Madras to be married following his ordaination, or whether the Alexander family was then resident in Madras.

Daughters. Albert and Margaret had two daughters whose names have apparently slipped out of the family history. Family tradition has it, however,



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that the eldest of these daughters was a strong supporter of her father's work. She was with him on his final trip from Madras which ended tragically in the Red Sea.1/ It is also said that her father had intended, upon his return to England, to alter his will where, traditionally, sons received the bulk of the estate and daughters only a token bequest, in order to provide her substantial sums in order that she might continue his missionary work in India. His sudden death in the Red Sea, of course, arrested this intent.

Sons. Albert and Margaret had three sons.

Their second son, Albert Henry, graduated from Cambridge in 1890. Their third son, John Henry Morris, entered the Army. We will pause a moment with John for another vignette of the expansion of the British Empire in the 19th century, for John was at the historic battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898, when Lord Kitchner totally defeated the forces of the khalija and restored the Sudan to Anglo-Egyptian control.

The British involvement in Egypt began, as was frequently the case in the expansion of the Empire, with the breakdown of local government (here the Turkish and native government) and the necessity of protecting the financial and personal interests of British residents in Egypt. This caused the landing of British troops under General Wolsely who defeated Ahmed Arabi at Tel-el-Kebir in September of 1882.


1/  He had travelled "for his health", but died aboard ship, on a Sunday.  he was preaching a sermon on the text "In the midst of Life we are in Death", and dropped downdead halfway through.



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As Trevelyn points out, a principal problem in restoring order in this cradle of ancient civilization, was the threat from the barbaric Sudanese tribes in the south, then organized under the Mandi and his successors as the center of slave-trading in the interior of Africa. In order to deal with this problem, it was first necessary to build up the military and financial resources of Egypt itself, and, temporarily, to withdraw the Egyptian garrisons in the Sudan. This job was assigned to General Charles Gordon, who, instead of effecting a successful evacuation, got himself cut off in Khartoum (opposite Omdurman). The failure of the Gladstone government to send a relief expedition in time to prevent his death, caused the defeat of Gladstone and his Liberal party at the next election.

In time, however, Lord Kitchner was able to conquer the Sudan with his British and Egyptian armies. The critical battle was at Omdurman, the seat of the despotic Khalija, Abdullah el Ta'aisha, a Baggara Arab. On September 1, 1898, Kitchner, with 26,000 men, successfully resisted an attack by the Khalija on his bivouac on the Nile 4 miles north of Omdurman. On September 2, he moved out and captured Omdurman itself with a loss of 500 men; as compared to 10,000 killed and 5, 000 captured of the enemy. It was in this battle that John Henry Morris Arden participated, along with another young officer, Winston Churchill, who was a member of the 21st Lancers gallantly charging 2,000 dervishes threatening Kitchner's right flank.

John continued his army career through World War I. Then, as a member of a Worcestershire regiment but secconded to the R.A.F., and with the rank of Lt. Col. he crossed



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to in France Egyptt . His premonition of death was correct, for in 1918 he died of wounds which he had received 1/. An obelisk stands to his memory in Stokeinterignhead, Devonshire. 

Edward Cooper Arden was the eldest son of Albert and Margaret. His biography commences the next chapter. However, it may not be unappropriate in this chapter on the Ardens during the period of the expansion of the British Empire, to recount one event from his life -- his participation in the Boer War (1899-1902) which might well be called the last imperialistic martial thrust of the British Empire in the 19th century.

The British colonists who came to South Africa after the maritime station of the Cape of Good Hope had been annexed by Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, soon came into conflict with the Boers. The Boers were the descendants of the Dutch who had lived in South Africa for many years. Their old-world, conservative, type of life was utterly incompatible with the dynamic expansionism of men like Cecil Rhodes.

The friction between the British and the Boers finally erupted into the Second Boer War (1899-1902). Before the war was ended, Lord Kitchner had been forced into a frustrating, protracted, guerilla-type warfare under the leadership of Paul Kruger, President of the South African Republic, and his generals, Botha and Smuts. 2/


1/  John died in Cairo on Monday, July 22, 1918, aged 44, he lies in plot 71 in the Alexandria (HADRA) War Memorial Cemetery.  He was attached to No. 3 Cadet Wing, R.A.F., and was on the Reserve of Officers, 2nd Bn. Worcestershire Regiment. D S O, Mentioned in Despatches.  Order of Osmanieh, 2nd Class. Son of the Rev. A. Henry Arden (Reader in Tamil and Telugu), University of Cambridge. Served in the South African and Sudan (1912) Campaigns.  His gravestone bears the inscription - "I WAS EVER A FIGHTER, SO ONE FIGHT MORE, THE BEST AND THE LAST". 

From "The Malvernian", November 1918

House and time at Malvern: No 3, 1888 - 1892.
Worcestershire Regt. (from Militia) 1897; Captain 1900; attached to Egyptian Army 1904; retired 1912; Osmanieh, 4th Class, 1913; South African War 1899—1902, Queens Medal with 3 Clasps, King’s Medal with 2 Clasps.
Great War, re-joined Worcestershire Regt. 1914; Brevet Major 1915; D.S.O.; Brevet Lieut-Colonel; severely wounded and attached Administrative Branch (Egypt) 1918.
No. 3 Cadet Wing Royal Air Force and Reserve of Officers, 2nd Bn. Worcestershire Regiment ,DSO, Mentioned in Despatches, Order of Osmanieh, 2nd Class.
'At the outbreak of the war he re-joined his old regiment and served with them all through the retreat from Mons. He was badly wounded in July 1915, and was awarded the D.S.O. for “conspicuous gallantry and ability" at the battle of Neuve Chapelle, March 12th, 1915 - 'When the Battalion on his right was driven from their trenches, he formed his company under a heavy fire to a flank, counter-attacked the German right with great determination, and thereby enabled the battalion to reoccupy their trenches.'  Later he commanded a battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, and was dangerously wounded in July 1916. After his recovery, he held a Staff appointment as Commandant of a R.F.C. Cadet wing. Having been asked to undertake an important work of military organization in the Near East, he went to Egypt, and died in hospital a few days after his arrival.
"Johnny" Arden had a genial and happy disposition, and was deservedly popular in the School.' 

2/          Trevelyn evaluates the Boer War thus: "The war put an end to the somewhat boastful type of Imperialism which dominated the last years of the Nineteenth Century, a spirit which, though it served its day popularize the idea of the British Empire, would have made trouble in the dangerous epoch now approaching. The serious character of the Boer War made men of all parties take a more sober and broad minded view of Imperial duties."



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With this vignette of the Boer War, we are thrust into the 20th century - and Chapter VIII.


< Chapter 6                                                    Chapter 8 >


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