The Reids Of Ewell Grove

Crest of the Reid Family
Crest of the Reid Family
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

This is not exactly a tale of riches to rags, but in the relatively short period that there were Reid baronets of Ewell Grove, the family fortunes evaporated to the extent that the widow of the fourth and last baron ended up in a bankruptcy court. The Reids did not produce many male heirs, with the result that the title became extinct within the space of eighty years.

Sir Thomas Reid, 1st baronet

The first baronet was Thomas Reid, born in 1762, son of James Reid and Helen Davidson of Dumfries and grandson of John Reid of Kirkmahoe, Dumfries. He had two known siblings - Joseph (born 1772 Dumfries) and Agnes (c.1774). Thomas was the principal partner in the mercantile house of Reid, Irving & Co, which had its offices at Broad Street, City of London. He was also a director and sometime chairman of the East India Company and a director of the Imperial Insurance Office. In September 1823 he was created 1st Baronet Reid of Ewell Grove, Surrey and Graystone Park, Dumfries. His wife was Elizabeth Goodfelllow of Newbury, Berkshire, whom he married on 21 February 1791. They had four children, who were John Rae (born on 2 December 1791 and christened in 1792 at St Stephen, Coleman Street, City of London), Helen (born 13 October 1794, christened 1794 at St Stephen's), Harriet (christened in 1799 at St Botolph, Bishopsgate) and George (born 17 October 1800 and christened 1801 at St Botolph's). Sir Thomas died on 29 February 1824. A few months previously he had ruptured a small blood vessel in his head after a violent bout of coughing and seemed to have recovered, but it is thought that this led to his death. He was buried in the family vault at St Mary, Ewell. He left a life interest in Ewell Grove to his wife, who died on 26 January 1829.

Agnes Reid

We should interrupt the baronets here to talk about Sir Thomas's sister, Agnes, since she too lived in Epsom for a time. On 12 December 1811 at St Mary, Lambeth she married Edward Archbold, a widower with three children (Sarah Jane, died 1818, aged 16; Elizabeth Ann, married James Milligan; Edward Cook, died 1867). Edward himself died in 1837. He, Sarah Jane and Edward Cook are all buried in St Martin's Churchyard (details on the Monumental Inscriptions page). Elizabeth Ann Milligan died in Moffat, Dumfries on 12 August 1869, although her residence was given as Old Woodend, Grassendale, near Liverpool. Agnes died at Clifton, Bristol in 1844.

Edward Archbold of the Bengal Lancers c.1781 age about 17.
Edward Archbold of the Bengal Lancers c.1781 age about 17.
Image courtesy of Christina Young © 2012

As far as I can discover, Edward and Agnes had only the one child, who was Harriet, born on 26 June 1814 and christened at St Martin's. On 22 June 1841 she married John Reid at Ewell (and, before you ask, I have as yet been unable to discover if he belonged to the family we are concerned with here). Mr Reid was a civil engineer who lived variously in Dulwich, Hastings and Lower Tooting. His father, David, was originally from Ross-shire and had been a Lieutenant in the Bengal Army. However, after he killed his cousin in a duel he was obliged to leave the service and took up residence in Fermoy, County Cork, which was the birthplace of John Reid in 1812. John and Harriet had three children, who were Agnes Jane (1842-67, unmarried), Lucy Alice (1843-56) and Harrie Archbold (1846-1903).

In the 1851 census all three children were living in Hastings with a governess and were described as Wards of Chancery. The reason for this was that they had been orphaned. Harriet had died in St Leonard's On Sea in 1846 and John died in March 1847.

In 1861 Harrie was living with an uncle, George Reid (born c.1810 Ireland), in Broadwater, Worthing; in 1864 he joined the 16th Lancers as a cornet, later transferring to the 7th Hussars, and was briefly that regiment's commanding officer until he retired through ill health in 1895.

Sir John Rae Reid, 2nd baronet

John Rae then succeeded to the baronetcy and, even if he had not, I daresay that he would have been awarded one of his own. He was educated at Eton and became a director of the Bank of England in 1820 and ultimately Governor. He was also the Member of Parliament for Dover from 1830-31 and 1832-47, at which point the family business failed, with debts of £1.5 million, which was mainly due to unwise investments in Mauritius. Reid, Irving & Co owned ships, one of which was named 'Sir John Rae Reid': this was an immigrant vessel, used to transport 'coolies' from India to work in plantations elsewhere. Conditions on board such ships were not good and in 1837 the 'Sir John Rae Reid' ran aground, with the loss of 13 'coolies'.

Sir John had moved into Ewell Grove in 1829, on the death of his mother. His wife was Maria Louisa (married on 9 September 1840), born on 14 October 1810, daughter of Richard Eaton of Stetchworth House, Cambridgeshire. They had three children, all born in London but christened in Ewell, being John Rae Junior (born on 14 August 1841), Louisa Elizabeth Rae (1843) and Henry Valentine Rae (13 February 1845). Sir John Rae Reid died suddenly at Ewell Grove on 30 July 1867, quickly followed by Maria on 30 November 1869. One does not know if Maria was afflicted or affected, but there are reports that she would be carried about in a sedan chair.

Before moving on to the 3rd baronet, we must look at Sir Thomas's other children, Helen, Harriet and George.

Helen Reid

On 15 May 1813 Helen married the Reverend Benjamin Sandford (otherwise Benjamin Winston, having changed his name in accordance with the terms of an inheritance from his maternal grandfather, sometime Attorney-General of Dominica) of Farningham, Kent. They had two sons, Charles (born on 10 March 1814 in Lymington, Hampshire) and Thomas. Helen died at Sidmouth, Devon on 8 August 1817, aged 22, and Benjamin on 16 April 1866.

Charles Winston (born in 1814), was a successful barrister, but his main claim to fame was as an influential expert on stained glass. On 10 May 1864 he married Maria Lemprière (1823-1900, niece of Captain W C Lemprière), but died in October of that year in his chambers at Harcourt Buildings in the Temple, London. In 1878 Maria married James Poingdestre, who was a Clerk at the House of Commons.

Harriet Reid

Harriet married Captain William Charles Lemprière, whose family already have some biographies on this website (see Major-General Arthur Reid LEMPRIERE, J.P). Harriet died in 1886. The Lemprière children were as follows.

Name Born Married Died
Harriet 1821 Robert Hesketh 1860 Reigate
Elizabeth 1823 Cheam Joseph Reid* 1858
William Reid 26.7.1824   1857
Emma Helen c.1826 Ewell - 13.3.1916, Redhill/Reigate
Mary 5.5.1827 Ewell - 19.7.1854
Harry 1828/9 - Before 1834
George Reid 19.9.1829 Jane Hannah Morgan Anderson 1901 Scarborough, North Yorks
Fanny 23.9.1830 Ewell Henry Back 3.2.1923 Norfolk
Harry (Henry) Rae Reid 23.7.1834 Ewell Ella Louisa Locke 1911
Arthur Reid 22.8.1835 Annie Hawkshaw Gardner, Ellen Marion Hay, Agnes Henrietta Reid 10.4.1927
Isabella 1838 Ewell Walter George Hanbury 13.4.1922 Surrey
Percy Reid 13.11.1839 Ella Vizard 24.3.1880 Manchester
Emily 5.1841 Rev Henry Cromwell Johnston 1911
Herbert Reid 19.8.1842 Ewell Frances Martha Tunnard 1899
*This Joseph Reid was probably the nephew of Sir Thomas Reid.

George Reid

Whereas John Rae inherited Ewell Grove, the Reid property at Woodmansterne, Surrey was left to George. He married Sarah Isabella Holmes (born in Paddington in 1816) in 1832 at St Giles Without Cripplegate, London. George died on 22 July 1855 in Brighton and Sarah Isabella on 25 May 1891 in Paddington: both were buried at St Mary, Ewell. They had at least eleven children, as follows.

Name Born Married Died
George Rae 1838 - 1838
George Irving 1840 Eleanor Frances Day 22.6.1894 Tunbridge Wells
Isabella 1842 Henry Walker Kerrich-Walker 1899 Chester-le-Street
Sarah Elizabeth 1843 - 21.6.1918 Folkestone
Thomas William c.1845   24.9.1866 at sea
Harriet Ellen 1846 - 25.9.1908 Folkestone
Agnes Henrietta 1848 Arthur Reid Lemprière (his 3rd wife) 18.10.1916 Hampshire
Henry 1849    
Alfred Jolliffe 1851 - 28.5.1858 London
Fanny 1853 - 5.5.1908 Folkestone
Grace Louisa 1856 - 15.5.1904 Hounslow, Middx

George Irving Reid was a clerk to the War Office. His wife, Eleanor, died in 1931.

Isabella Kerrich-Walker had eight or nine children. The youngest son, William Burrell Walker, who was involved in the coal import trade, inherited the family 'seat' of Newker House at Chester-le-Street and died in 1938, aged 71.

We shall now return to the Ewell Grove baronets.

Sir John Rae Reid, 3rd baronet


There is not much information about this John Rae Reid. He was an officer in the 16th Regiment of Foot from 1861 to 1871 and the only other fact I know about him is that he very much enjoyed pigeon shooting, as did his brother, Henry Valentine Rae. Newspapers of the era are liberally scattered with reports of them shooting in contests in Britain and on the continent and, unfortunately for pigeons (these were real pigeons, not the clay variety), they seem to have been very good at it, especially Henry. John seems to have lived mainly in London and never married, so that, when he died on 7 May 1885, the title passed to Henry.

We will pause for a moment to deal with John Rae and Henry's sister, Louisa Elizabeth Rae. In 1866 she married Spencer Croughton Wilde (born in 1844), landowner and solicitor: they lived at Cheam House, Cheam. Spencer died on 11 February 1895 and in 1897 Louisa married Jameson John Macan (died 1910), a notable doctor who was the son of a Dublin judge; she died in Brighton on 10 October 1899.

Memorial to the Reid family in St Mary, Ewell.
Memorial to the Reid family in St Mary, Ewell.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum.

Sir Henry Valentine Rae Reid, 4th and last baronet

Henry was a wine merchant, trading as Rayden & Reid of London in partnership with a John Alexander Moncrieff and lived in a leased house called Amerden Grove at Taplow, Buckinghamshire from the 1860s until his death. In 1895 he married Eulia Alberta Louisa Budd (born 1855 in London and known as Louisa), daughter of the late John Samuel Newson Budd, sometime of Madras. Lady Reid already had a son, named Herbert John Budd (father unknown).

Premises of Rayden & Reid at 7 St Martin's Place, London, 1904.
Premises of Rayden & Reid at 7 St Martin's Place, London, 1904.
Image courtesy of Sherry Reesman © 2012.

Amerden Grove c.1895.
Amerden Grove c.1895.
Image courtesy of Sherry Reesman © 2012.

Lady Reid in 1901
Lady Reid in 1901.
Image courtesy of Sherry Reesman © 2012.

Herbert John Budd
Herbert John Budd.
Image courtesy of Sherry Reesman © 2012.

Henry and Louisa had no children of their own and the baronetcy became extinct on the former's death in 1903.

Henry left to Louisa a two-thirds share of the profits from Rayden & Reid, which she subsequently exchanged for a life annuity of £200 a year. This may have been a sensible decision, since the remaining partner, Moncrieff, went bankrupt and then died in 1912, although the business itself appears to have continued. This level of income proved insufficient for Louisa and in 1905 she was made bankrupt. At her examination in court (she was living in Teignmouth, Devon by then) she explained that, owing to delays in settling Henry's estate, she had been forced to borrow from moneylenders at punitive rates of interest. However, she paid her creditors in full and was discharged from bankruptcy in 1909. She died of cardiac failure in Hassocks, Sussex on 25 April 1923 and seems to have left no estate.

One assumes that Henry was not the father of Herbert John, even though Louisa might have been in Taplow around the time of his birth, but it seems likely that Henry would have acknowledged him had Herbert been his. In 1881 the 25-year-old Louisa was in lodgings with two of her siblings in Prittlewell, Essex, calling herself 'Mrs Carrington'. There is no record of a marriage to such a person and it is assumed that this was a camouflage to cover Herbert's illegitimacy.

Herbert emigrated to the United States at the age of 18/19 and worked for a time in New York and Chicago before settling in Burlington, Wisconsin, where he worked as a supervisor at the Burlington Mills, which made fabric and horse blankets. He had three children and Sherry Reesman, who has very kindly supplied useful information and images, is his grand-daughter; she still lives in Burlington.

Ewell Grove

Ewell Grove stood on the north-east side of Cheam Road, Ewell, facing south-east, and was built by John Pollard of Ewell in around 1800. CS Willis, in 'A Short History of Ewell and Nonsuch', described it as originally square with three storeys and a basement. In about 1820 a single storey wing was added at the south-east end and another angular wing at the north-west. It was bounded on the south by the common fields and the grounds contained part of a chalk pit. It had very fine gardens and a heated vinery, plus stables and a farmery. Directly opposite was the Manor House occupied by the Lemprières.

During the First World War Ewell Grove was used as a home for wounded Belgian soldiers. The grounds were dug up for development in 1934 and the house itself was demolished in 1937.

Linda Jackson © February 2012


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