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Thomas Hanbury, Commander, Royal Navy

Thomas Hanbury, Commander, Royal Navy

Male 1722 - 1778  (56 years)

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  • Photos
    Reference to Hanbury and the sloop Hazard in 1757
    Reference to Hanbury and the sloop Hazard in 1757
    Naval and Military Memoirs from the year 1727...

    From will of his brother Capel Hanbury, a legacy to Thomas' daughter Bridget.
    From will of his brother Capel Hanbury, a legacy to Thomas' daughter Bridget.

    Arch Cambrensis IX 3rd Series 1863 London
    Plantagenet roll of the Blood Royal. Despite the enormously pretentious title a fairly good source that make Capt Thomas married and with unknown progeny.
    Plantagenet roll of the Blood Royal. Despite the enormously pretentious title a fairly good source that make Capt Thomas married and with unknown progeny.
    from 'London Clandestine Marriages', Aug 1744. I transcribe this as:

Thoms Hanbury Gent on Board the Heltham Man of War at Portsmouth and Catherine Garden living in Chancery Lane...
    from "London Clandestine Marriages", Aug 1744. I transcribe this as: Thoms Hanbury Gent on Board the Heltham Man of War at Portsmouth and Catherine Garden living in Chancery Lane...

  • Name Thomas Hanbury 
    Suffix Commander, Royal Navy 
    Born 04 Nov 1722  Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 13 Dec 1778  Ile de Re, France (off the coast by La Rochelle) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • From Lon Chron 1779
    Person ID I6175  drabold
    Last Modified 25 Apr 2016 

    Father John Hanbury, Major, of Pontypool,   b. 1664,   d. 1734  (Age 70 years) 
    Mother Bridget Ayscough,   b. Abt 1672, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1741, Pontypool Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years) 
    Married 06 Jul 1703  Chelsea Hospital, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    England&Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970
    England&Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970
    Family ID F396  Group Sheet

    • married with small children in 1748. From London Post.
     1. Anne Hanbury,   b. Abt 1750
     2. Bridget Hanbury
    +3. Thomas Hanbury,   b. Abt 1745, Monmouthshire ? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Apr 1819, Wolvesnewton, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years)
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2016 
    Family ID F2281  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Catherine Garden,   b. Abt 1722,   d. Feb 1745, Sinking of the Pembroke Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 23 years) 
    Last Modified 25 Apr 2016 
    Family ID F3740  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 04 Nov 1722 - Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • By multiple family accounts, there is some relation, probably through Harris to ACUFF. I have searched high and low for any link whatever and have come up with nothing, until this maybe glimmer of a link. The proposed ancestor, Capt. Thomas Hanbury (1722-1778) mother was an Ayscough. Acuff is a known variant of Ayscough.

      Acuff/Ayscough is a rare name and it seems like a significant coincidence that this branch of the family remembers an Acuff link.

      1) I recently had a strong DNA match with a fellow Hanbury descendant (from the same Thomas H (b 1745) who first appears in Llansoy where he is married to Mary Hetherton in 1772). It is probable that our shared DNA is from this connection. The interesting feature is that a well known Canadian entomologist (William Robin Thomson, FRS), also descended from these Hanburys worked on the Hanbury ancestry in the 1930s. In a series of letters he discussed the ancestry. frankly he did not solve it and concluded with a vague assumption that "we" descend (through various unknown placeholders) from

      John of Usk,

      younger son of:
      Philip Hanbury of Panteg

      (brother of the John Hanbury of Purshall Green

      who was root of the Pontypool Hanburys).

      The reasoning was that, based on Locke, there were random Hanburys about appearing in the Panteg registers and we might be linked to them.

      2) All we really can document about our ancestor Thomas Hanbury is:
      a) He married Mary Hetherton in Llansoy in 1772, both were of the parish, the witnesses were Richard Rosser and William Henry (or perhaps Penry, the guy signs with a weird ornate style).
      b) Thomas is buried in Wolvesnewton in 1819.
      c) Their first child, Richard, is born in Llansoy, subsequent kids recorded in Wolvesnewton.
      d) Mary Hetherton's death appears to be unrecorded. Hetherton is a name unknown in Monmouthshire.
      e) Their children (Richard, Mary, Clement, Thomas, Elizabeth, Anne) are listed here:


      The kids seem to be "working class", with the possible exception of Mary, who married Moses George, who was "Independent" in the 1841 census. I think they were mostly all Agricultural Laborers, so in no way recipients of Hanbury of Pontypool wealth.

      I can find no trace of Thomas Hanbury or Mary Hetherton before their marriage.

      3) There is a recurring theme that interests me. In the letters from Thomson he recalls that as a child he understood that his family sought financial help from the rich Hanburys (Hanbury-Williams I believe) based on their cousinship. They were refused. Two other descendants of "our" Hanburys have similar stories. One recalls as late as the 1960s, there was discussion of money from the well off Hanburys. There is a persistent familial echo of a connection. The relevance of this is that I think it argues against John of Usk descent, because by the time my Hanburys were looking for money (say 1850?), they would already be something like 5th cousins -- John of Usk was very remote.

      This is why I am exploring the Captain as a possible ancestor...

      4) Capt Thomas Hanbury was a troubled soul. Hanbury-Tenison writes about him, based on letters from Capt Thomas' brothers Charles (HW) and George. They were tired of him asking to help him get promoted in the Navy, wanting money etc. They noted that he was married, but nobody ever named the wife or any kids (or at least Hanbury-Tenison did not report it). When I dug about in the National Archives, I found many hits on Capt Thomas, mostly mundane stuff about his ship needing a mast and so on, but consider these:

      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C9229701 (in big trouble with Navy)
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C10255895 (hints of financial misconduct)
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C10504192 (some suit when he was a child involving Han family)

      I note that Charles Hanbury-Williams, his brother, and a very important figure in the late 1700's, does not mention him in his Will.

      The Will of his father, Maj John, states that Thomas inherited 2 forges and 150 acres at Rodmore, Gloucestershire. This is immediately adjacent to St Briavels, where we know James George and Sarah Anne lived in 1851 and 1861. Mary Hanbury seems to have retired to Newland, Forest of Dean as a widow.

      There is a remarkable variety of reports on the family of Capt Thomas Hanbury.

      I came across this [Trans of Shropshire Arch and Natural Hist Soc, 1881, Vol 4 p 313]:


      which says: "Thomas [the Capt], who left a daughter Anne and six other children, who died without issue"....

      Locke says he left "female issue"

      Burke said he "left issue"

      Scouring the records I can find no birth records for any of these kids. If the Captain really had 7 children it is fairly certain that some were sons and its hard to believe that 0/7 had any subsequent issue.

      Note: I just found an interesting 1748 story in a London paper (see image) that Capt Thomas was married with a child (reported as part of the incident of the sinking of the ship the Serpent, in the West Indies, which he was commanding). That he was married with at least one kid in 1748 is significant to the link to "our" Th. Hanbury, b. 1745.

      See also:

      I turned up a reference at the Nat. Library of Wales, mentioning a Th. Hanbury and election expenses for some office he ran for in the county (1774).

      This proposed filiation would be a plausible basis for point (3) above. The Captain's descendants might well feel that their posh close cousins "owed them something". A remote descent from the middle 1600's would not explain this, in my opinion.

      A fly in the ointment is this (from Locke Vol 1 p 161):

      "Thomas Hanbury, the youngest of Major Hanbury?s surviving sons, was born in 1722. Under his father?s will he inherited for himself and his heirs all his father?s messuages, lands, and tenements in the city of Gloucester and in or near Rathmere, alias Rodmore, in the county of Gloucester, with all ironworks, tools, and implements belonging to the same. Further, his father bequeathed him a legacy of 2000 to be paid him at the age of twenty-one, and the reversion of a similar legacy and his father?s property in Talgarth in the county of Brecon, in the case of the death of his brother George before the age of twenty-one.?

      In 1765 Thomas Hanbury was one of those party to an indenture by which Capel Hanbury intended to convey to Osgood Hanbury certain lands in Monmouthshire in return for 6000 trust money. On Capel Hanbury?s death the terms of the indenture were disclaimed by Osgood, Hanbury."
      Thomas Hanbury died in 1778 without male issue."

      I speculate that Locke writes this based on the fact that Capel left a daughter of Thomas named Bridget an annuity.

    • Excerpts about Thomas Hanbury from Richard Hanbury Tenison, The Hanburys of Monmouthshire

      p 69 He inherited under his father's Will all the latter's property in Gloucester City together with 2000GBP and 150 acres with two forges at Rodmore, Gloucs. [DD NOTE: this is right by St Briavels, where the Georges lived when not in Llanishen]

      p 70-71: 'In 1753 he (Thomas) was in some sort of financial trouble, writing from Milford Haven to Charles (his brother) 'Mr Hughes of Haverford told me he had ye pleasure to see you in London and had mentioned my misfortune to you and that you according to your usual goodness to me promised to speak to Mr Capel H. I should be glad if you would tho I doubt success. This Mr Hughes has got a man to mortgage on it if Mr Hanbury would consent'


      Around 1760 the Captain was in further trouble. As Capel wrote to his brother George 'By the enclosed you'll see how poor Tommy stands: believe me, George, there are bad things formerly but worse have been done within these two years. All his papers that are here [this would imply Pontypool, probably, where Capel lived] will be ransacked, you may depend on it. I dare not write all my mind but will meet up with you on the road if I hear of yr coming up by next week. I think tis necessary. His Dept at the Marine Office is now to balance 14064L to 4d' Unfortunately the enclosure to Capel's letter, which might have clarified the matter is missing. In a later reference to the business, Capel wrote 'yr letter about Tommy does not surprise me for he had actually sent an acct by his wife who I am sure he forced to write it that we were plotting to ruin him'. This is the only reference in any of the correspondence to Tommy having a wife and there is no way of knowing what she was called or in which port he had found her. Relations between Tommy and his brothers continued to deteriorate and in 1761 Capel refereed to a Mr Able who 'this minute has brought one pretty strange demand from Capt Hanbury' Att least 434 sterling 'it will not be honoured for his conduct to me will stick in my gizard'.

      Thomas' ship was in a Norwegian port in April 1762 when Capel made arrangements to remit 100 GBP to him ands there is a brief reference in one of Charlotte Hanbury Williams letters to her uncle the Captain having grown so fat htat she hardly recognized him. He died in 1778.

      p 122
      [Letter from Capel to Charles in 1752]

      ? the Captain is just come here from his sloop at Milford Haven. He deals still in the marvelous and when he leaves it, it must be miraculous?.

      It's really quite interesting to notice how the literature slowly eliminates Thomas Hanbury's family.

      The sources that I know, More or less in chronological order and what they state:

      London Post Nov 1748: Capt Hanbury wrecked his ship in the West Indies and his wife and child were saved.

      Will of Capel Hanbury (1765) left annuity to Bridget daughter of Thomas.

      Debretts Peerage, 1838 Thomas "left issue"

      Burkes Peerage, Gentry etc ca. 1838 "left issue"

      Arch Cambrensis 1863 "left issue"

      Shrops. Arch and Nat Histoty 1881 "left Anne and 6 other children who died without issue"

      Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal (1902) symbols implying that he left issue.

      Audrey Locke (1912) "left female issue"

      Burkes peerage online "died unmarried" (!)

      Conspiracy theory:

      First, it is 100% certain that TH was married and had children. There is a reference to his wife in the letters between his brothers, and there is the Lon Post article that explicitly discusses his wife and child and their narrow escape from his ship sinking in the West Indies. And his brother Capel mentions Thomas' d. in his Will (though not his brother Thomas!).

      Second, as time goes on the family evaporates until we get to the supposedly authoritative current view that he "died unmarried"!

      The most specific claim is the Shrops piece from 1881 that he had 7 kids, one named Anne. It does say "who died without issue". I must say that if there were 7 kids, all dying without issue is most unlikely. Further, if there were 7 kids, the chances that all were daughters is less than 1%.

      I conjecture, but may be wrong, that Locke said that he left "female issue" because of the reference to Bridget in Capel's Will, which I am certain that she read.

      we also know from multiple family recollections that "our" Hanburys appealed to the rich Hanbur's for support and were rejected. Its not impossible that the posh Hanburys wanted to cut this link in the literature, and esp. through the Locke book which they commissioned.

    • From National Archives, a description of the Rodmore property and its history -- this is what John Hanbury, Esq left the Captain.

      On Cone brook at the south-east corner of the parish a mill called Wood Mill, (fn. 481) later Rodmore mill, was recorded from 1349. In the 15th century it was owned by the Clearwell estate and was worked as a fulling mill in 1431 and 1478. (fn. 482) In 1628 it was a corn mill and belonged to the adjoining Rodmore estate. (fn. 483) An iron furnace was later built on land adjoining the mill, and Sir John Winter of Lydney was working it in 1635. (fn. 484) In 1646 two parliamentary officers Robert Kyrle, governor of Monmouth, and John Brayne of Littledean became partners to work the furnace with several other ironworks in the neighbourhood. (fn. 485) The furnace went out of use later in the century, but in 1689 the Rodmore estate included the corn mill and two iron forges. (fn. 486) The forges at Rodmore were occupied by John Hanbury in 1719 and remained in his family's possession in 1746, probably going out of use then. (fn. 487) The corn mill probably passed from the Rodmore estate in 1754 when members of the Ford family conveyed an unidentified mill to Samuel Stokes. (fn. 488) By 1774 it had been converted to make paper, and in 1789 it was let as a paper mill (fn. 489) to James Stevens, whose family bought the freehold in 1805 (fn. 490) and made paper there until 1842. (fn. 491) By 1863 Rodmore mill was a corn mill again. It became part of the Clanna estate in 1903, (fn. 492) and had ceased working by 1919 when it was let with a small farm. (fn. 493) The millhouse dates from the 17th century and is adjoined by a substantial stone mill building, which in 1991 was being converted to form part of the house.
    • It is interesting to see the dynamics of the brothers of Thomas. Three were famous:

      1. Capel, MP (d 1765)
      2. Sir Charles H-Williams (d 1759)
      3. George (d 1764)

      The brothers maintained a lively correspondence as noted above about Thomas. All three were extremely wealthy and though all of them predeceased brother Thomas, none of them mention Thomas in their Will (Capel does leave an annuity to Bridget, d. of Thomas, but nothing to Thomas).

      On the other hand, Sir Charles leaves the entire Coldbrook estate to George and not a shilling to Thomas. Capel was especially irritated with Thomas ca 1760, as referenced in a previous note.

      That Thomas was alienated from the family is clear from the Wills and the letters (quoted from Hanbury-Tenison).
    • Naval records from the National Archives

      This one is striking: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C9262583

      "Commissioner Brown to the Board. Reports the Pembroke is lying on her side in six fathoms of water in the Kithole. Two hundred men were aboard and the casualties were, the 1st Lieutenant, Surgeon, the Carpenter, several of the sailors;' wives, Mr Powlett the Chaplain of the Royal Sovereign and his wife and the 3rd Lieutenant's wife, Mrs Hanbury. The rest have been taken ashore by the ship's boats. Arrangements have been made to scuttle the ship so she can get upright." (dated 3 Feb 1745).

      This suggests that Hanbury lost a wife in early 1745. Careful however, subsequent look at London papers says that the Lft on the Pembroke was HENRY Hanbury, Esq. This is odd, I know of no such Henry. But perhaps then Catherine Garden was not the victim of this event.

      See also:

    • Not certain of salience but I include anyway. From the excellent Forest of Dean website, we find various Hanburys appearing.

      Jeremiah H, buried Newland 1794
      "The Lady" d. 21 Feb 1706, Preston by Ledbury
      Richard Hanbury (1814-1835) buried Newland
      Th. Hanbury bur 1722, Rector of Little Marcle, Herfs.

      Anne Hetherton of Lydney = James Winter (Forgeman) 15 Sep 1759. This marriage recorded in Vis of Glocs p 183, as "Etherton".

      Thomas Hetherton 1772-1831 buried Gloucester

      Note that in 1861 census James George lived in Lydney/St Briavels. Mary Hanbury d. of Thomas of Wolvesnewton and Mary Hetherton (mother of James) lived in retirement in Forest of Dean, was buried in Newland in 1857.

      Finally, we seem to have a Mary Etherton, bap 28 June 1747 in Llangattock Vibon Avel. Bastard, apparently.

      1) St Briavels and Lydney is at Rodmore, where Cmndr Th. Hanbury received his inheritance from his father Maj John.
      2) James George has links to both Llanishen and St Briavels. I don't understand the link. His mother lived with her daughter Mary Tovey in Forest of Dean.
      3) Etherton and Hetherton are probably indistinguishable.

  • Sources 
    1. [S489] England&Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2013;).