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123331 John Harden 1848-1923

Rev. John Harden Clay was born on 20 September 1848 in Stapenhill, Burton‑on‑Trent, the only son of Rev John Clay and Jessie nee Harden, and was educated at Repton before going up to Trinity College, Cambridge on 20 October 1866.  He matriculated at Michaelmas 1867; was a Scholar in 1870 and a Prizeman; and obtained his B.A. in 1871.  He went on to obtain a First Class Theological Tripos in 1872, and was given his M.A. in 1874.

He became Godfather to Gerard A Clay in 1871, when he was 23 and just getting his B.A.  He was said, perhaps unkindly, to have a slightly Chinese appearance, and was sometimes referred to as "Chang", probably not to his face.

He was ordained deacon at Canterbury in 1872 and Priest in 1873.  He was Curate at All Saints, Maidstone from 1872 to 1875;  Vicar of All Saints, Childs Hill in North West London, from 1875 to 1893;  Rector of St Michael's, Bristol from 1893 until he retired in 1918 at the age of 70 and moved to Miller Bridge, Ambleside, whence his mother's family came, and whither his clergyman father had also moved upon retirement.

He married aged 25, on 17 April 1873 in St Mark's, Hambledon Terrace, London, Alice Spencer Bagnold, aged 22.  They had three sons and nine daughters, all but one of whom outlived childhood, but few of whom married:-

Alice (Jessie)                                   was born on 2 February 1874, and was married aged 21 in 1895 to Rev. Herbert Edwin Hnshaw Coombes, Vicar of Houghton, Carlisle, aged 28, who was born in 1867, and died in 1934 at the age of 67.  She died on 16 March 1899 at the age of 25 (probably in childbirth) and was buried at Brathay Ambleside. They had a son John E.H. and three daughters, Gertrude, twins Agnes and Mabel. Her husband married again and had more children.

Frederic Harden ("Hardie")           was born on 29 October 1875

Helen (Rachel)                                was born on 12 June 1877, died unmarried on 26 January 1963 at the age of 85.

Rotha Mary                                     was born in Hendon on 17 August 1878, died unmarried on 1 March 1961 in Shirehampton at the age of 82; Hon M.A. Bristol. Authoress of "SAMUEL HIERONYMUS GRIMM of Burgdorf in Switzerland".

Muriel (Agnes)                               was born on 6 February 1881, died unmarried on 26 February 1927 at the age of 46.

Dorothy                                           was born on 16 September 1882, died unmarried on 30 July 1900 in Coates at the age of 17.

(John) Owen                                   was born on 16 April 1884

Juliet Evelyn                                                was born on 10 July 1886, was married aged 28 on 9 July 1914 in Brathay Ambleside to Rev. Maxwell Young, aged 31, who was born in 1883, and died in 1950 at the age of 67.  They had a daughter Jessica and three sons, Stephen, Michael and Roland.  She died in 1947 in Osmaston, Derbys at the age of 60.

Winifred Ruth                                         was born on 27 April 1888, died unmarried on 4 December 1947 at the age of 59.

Beryl (Margaret)                             was born on 16 July 1889, died unmarried on 28 April 1963 at the age of 73.

Arundel                                            was born on 2 February 1891

Noel Irene                                       was born on 24 December 1892, died unmarried on 2 February 1966 at the age of 73.

John Harden was Honorary Canon of Bristol from 1913 until his death, on 31 October 1923 in Miller Bridge, Ambleside at the age of 75.


Alice Spencer née Bagnold.

Alice was born on 22 July 1851 in London, the daughter of Maj. Gen. Michael Edward Bagnold, of the HEICS, and Eliza Larkins Walker. She died on 20 March 1925 in Miller Bridge, Ambleside at the age of 73.


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