(of Downside, Epsom)
Victorian Studio Photos
Victorian Studio Photos

Mr James Young
Mr James Young
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

The Youngs lived at Downside, Epsom for a few years in the 1860s. They were in Epsom for the 1861 census, although Mr James Young was away temporarily, and he appeared in the 1862 Kelly's Directory but had gone by the 1867 edition (Kelly's was not an annual publication). I would imagine that he picked Epsom as a pleasant spot for himself and his newish wife to live whilst conducting his business in London (St Helen's Place, Bishopsgate, I believe), as many people of that era did, owing to the convenience of the railway.

We do not know much about Mr Young, other than that he was born in 1823 on the Isle of Wight, the son of Scottish parents, John (c.1767-1841/2) and Jane (c.1788-1862), and that he was a West India merchant and landowner. The family seat was in Westridge, on the outskirts of Ryde, and the family vault is in St Helen's Churchyard. I do know that James had many siblings, including at least seven sisters, and I will list those I have found (there may be one or two more), should anyone wish to pursue the family tree.

Helen9.4.1809-14.12.1881 (Ryde)Lt. Henry Anson Nutt, 7th Madras Light Cavalry (died 1834 Bangalore) and Capt. Oliver St. John, 31st Madras Native Infantry (died 1844)
Jane Rebecca14.10.1810-13.10.1899 (Venice)Frederick Smith Dodsworth
Emma Janet3.9.1812-29.11.1864 (St Helen's, Isle of Wight)John Alexander Callander
Agnes Mary16.6.1814-1.1.1886 (Genoa)Thomas Murdoch Leacock
Elizabeth Susan3.10.1816-21.1.1892 (Pau)Charles John Henry Mundy (later Massingberd-Mundy)
Isabella Deborah23.5.1818-13.3.1904 (Paris)Edward Cotterill Scholefield (died 1859 Paris) and Alfred Marie Maxence, Comte de Damas d'Hautefort.
Peter Alexander (Captain, 3rd Bengal Native Infantry)21.1.1820-15.11.1857 (Calcutta; buried Fort William)Elizabeth Wilson
Margaret Anne4.11.1821-2.3.1884 (Paris)Nathaniel Goldsmid (barrister)
Walter Buchanan (barrister)10.1.1827-15.3.1900 (Jersey)Georgina Matilda Keppel Barrett-Lennard
Note: Most of the children were christened at Swallow Street Scotch Church, Westminster (Presbyterian).

A couple of things become apparent from the above - that the siblings were fairly upmarket (the family was quite big in Isle of Wight society) and that there is Scottishness going on, which may or may not explain how James Young came to marry a Scottish aristocrat. However, the lady in question had another marriage to undertake first.

The bare record says that Alicia Diana Erskine married Somerville Hay on 6 June 1843 at Mertoun, Berwickshire. To give the bride her full title, she was Lady Alicia Diana Erskine (born 1822, variously in Edinburgh or Paris, but probably the latter), daughter of the Earl of Buchan. The groom was the Honourable the Reverend Somerville Hay (born 1817), one of the many children of William Hay, the 17th Earl of Erroll. Somerville became the Vicar of Netherbury with Beaminster in Dorset. However, he did not prove to be in the best of health and removed himself to Brighton for recuperation, but died there on 25 September 1853, leaving Alicia heavily pregnant. Their son, also Somerville, was born in Edinburgh on 19 November of that same year.

I don't know the precise connection between the Youngs and the Erskines (it may well have been familial - Emma Janet Young/Callander gave her son the middle name of Erskine back in 1839 - or perhaps a business relationship), but in any event James Young married Alicia Hay on 5 January 1858 at Ammondell House, Linlithgow, which was the country estate of the Earls of Buchan.

In the 1861 census, Mrs Young was resident at Downside with Somerville Hay Junior and a new son, John Henry Young (registered thus, but christened John Harry Erskine Young), born 1859 Isle of Wight. James was at his mother's house in Westridge: she died the following year. Then, on 2 April 1863, a daughter named Alicia Jane Erroll Young was born in Epsom and christened at St Martin's on 25 May.

Supposedly Master John Henry Young
Supposedly Master John Henry Young
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

The family's return to live on the Isle of Wight was probably occasioned by the death of Mrs Young Senior and by 1871 they were ensconced at Westridge House, but all was not to end happily ever after. James died at Ryde on 16 February 1877, aged 53, leaving Alicia a widow once more.

In the 1881 census both Alicias were in a lodging house in Marylebone; Somerville (of 'no occupation') was lodging in Arreton, Hampshire and I am not sure where John Henry was at that point. In fact, I have never found him for sure ever again, given his alternative first names. Somerville Hay Junior married Fanny Maud Davis in 1891 and died in Windsor in 1944, his wife having predeceased him.

Alicia Senior (or the Right Honourable Lady Alicia Diana Young of Tunbridge Wells, as the probate record had it) died on 31 October 1891.

In 1898 Alicia Junior married Hamilton Gordon, a Scottish glass manufacturer, who appears to be descended from the Erskines, so probably a cousin. He died in 1934 in Tunbridge Wells, followed by Alicia on 28 October 1941: she was then living at Mayfield, Sussex.

Linda Jackson 2018