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1233112 Charles Leigh 1867-1950

Charles Leigh Clay was born on 24 February 1867 at The Mount, Chepstow, the younger son of Henry Clay and Mary née Boden, and educated at Winchester.  He matriculated on 16 October 1885 aged 19, upon going up to New College, Oxford, from where he obtained his M.A. 

He was dispatched by his father to Cardiff Docks to make money in shipping, which he duly did with the Claymore Line - shipping Welsh coal around the world to supply the Royal Navy.  The era of the steam warship powered exclusively by coal was relatively brief, lasting from 1871 until 1914.  It was Admiral Fisher and Winston Churchill who led the change to oil.  Curiously, both men are connected to the Clay Family.

He was married when he was 31, on 17 February 1897 in Clifton, Bristol, to Margaret Press, then aged 24.

Charles Leigh and Margaret had three sons and a daughter :-

(John Charles) "Johnny"                was born on 18 March 1898.

Bridget (Margaret)                          was born on 12 May 1901 in Bonvilston; married on 1 July 1926 to William Walter Brough Scott, Royal Dragoons, who was born on 27 October 1902, the son of Mason Thompson Scott (of Beauclere), but he  divorced her after 10 years, and they had no children.  Bridget lived latterly at Ampfield, and was Master of the New Forest Hunt.

Gerard Leigh ("Peter")                   was born on 8 September 1904.

(Henry Anthony) Patrick               was born on 18 March 1915.

Charles Leigh was a J.P. for Monmouthshire, and High Sheriff in 1926.  He lived at Wyndcliff Court, Chepstow and ran a shipping company[1], which expanded greatly during the First World War when it was pressed into service to carry Welsh coal world-wide to re-fuel the Navy.  He died on 25 January 1950 at the age of 83.


Margaret née Press

Margaret was born on 18 December 1873 in Clifton, Bristol, the elder daughter of John Latham Press (and his wife, Sarah Amelia nee Taylor), of Reymerston Hall, Norfolk and The Avenue, Clifton.  Margaret was the penultimate child, the sixth of seven (or fourth of five?) daughters (and possibly twin sons). The youngest daughter, Dorothy Press, married Charles Leigh's cousin Ernest Clay

Margaret died at the age of 78, two years after her husband, on 31 July 1952 at Wyndcliff, Chepstow, and was buried at St Arvans. 

[1]  Which one ?

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