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Story of a well connected
By Michael Blow
This had a simple beginning, I wondered why Joseph Tetley was in Framlingham for the 1881 census, all the rest followed, quite naturally.
Samuel and Martha Tetley’s sons, Joseph and Edward were born in Bradford in 1811 and 1815 respectively. They began by "peddling" salt from the back of a pack horse on the Yorkshire moors in the Bradford and Huddersfield area, in time adding tea to their stock, and by 1836 they had formed "Tetley Brothers". They moved south to 25 Cullum Street near Mincing Lane, London, then the centre of the world tea trade. Using profits from Yorkshire and returns from investments in the railways they became tea merchants. By 1861 the brothers were living in 6 and 7 Church Hill, Lewisham. The partnership dissolved, Joseph and his new partners traded as "Joseph Tetley & Co. Ltd.".
Joseph and his wife Jane were visiting, their daughter and son in law, in Framlingham at the time of the 1881 census; Jane had been here for the 1871 census and died in Framlingham in 1889 age 69. Joseph was living in Framlingham at Broadwater House in 1891, where he remained until his death. This was reported in Lambert’s Family Almanack 1901, as having occurred on the 27th December 1899, "Joseph Tetley esq., of Broadwater, reaching the great age of 88, and his great benevolence to the poor and needy, and support of the institutions of the town, make him a greatly missed unit."
Joseph’s son, Joseph Tetley Junior continued in the tea business until his death in 1936.
Joseph’s daughter Sarah Jane married Dr George Jones a General Practitioner in Framlingham.
Dr George Jones’s father was Reverend William Taylor Jones and his father was William Jones.
William Jones married Ann Taylor in 1812, at St George’s, Westminster. Their son, the Rev. William Taylor Jones was born on the 9th March 1814 and christened in Saint Mary’s, St Marylebone Road, London. Their daughter Ann Alice Jones was born 1817 in Lewisham.
By 1832, the Rev. William Taylor Jones may have been employed in a day and boarding school in Bridge End, Saffron Walden run by Luke Taylor. Luke died in 1834, leaving legacies to his sister Mary Ann Taylor, who was living at the school and his father also a Luke Taylor, a hairdresser, from Botesdale, Suffolk. The Rev. William Taylor Jones perhaps inherited both the school and Luke’s sister as; he married Mary Ann Taylor later the same year. Their new school, The Grove, Saffron Walden was advertised locally both in 1839 and 1848. Mary Ann was older than her husband and died relatively young; her date of birth as stated on her marriage certificate was nine years younger than that on her birth certificate! They were both free and easy with their ages on official documents, as on their marriage certificate in 1834, William stated his age as 28 yet seven years later for the 1841 census claimed his age to be 30, neither age confirmed by his birth certificate. Mary Ann’s age on their wedding certificate claimed to be 21 and yet seven years later for the 1841 census her age is entered as 40!
Dr. George Jones and his elder brother, William Taylor Jones, named after his father, were born in Saffron Walden in1838 and 1837. In 1857 Rev. William Taylor Jones founded and was headmaster of Sydenham College, Lewisham. His qualifications include: graduating from Queens College, Cambridge, BA 1849; MA 1853; deacon 1849 by Bishop of Lichfield; priest 1850 by Bishop of Rochester; Vice-President and Examiner of College of Preceptors; former Chaplain of Romford Union 1840-58; and morning preacher at St Edwards Romford 1857.
Philip George Jones, Dr George Jones's eldest child was being educated at Sydenham College age 9 in 1881. Alongside pupils from Jerusalem Palestine, Kandy Ceylon, Sydney Australia, Ceylon East Indies, British Honduras, Calcutta East Indies, Cobran Guatemala, - only four of the fourteen pupils were British! After being educated at his grandfathers school Philip George Jones emigrated to New Zealand age 18. It is said that Philip did not get on with his family and ended up estranged from them, although financial dependant on a remittance sent regularly from England. He named his son Philip George Tetley-Jones and there are still Tetley-Jones’s in New Zealand today.
Rev. William Taylor Jones’s second wife, Canadian, Julia Caroline Henrietta Montgomery, was able to trace her family back to early 18th century America and the Rev. Joseph Green of Salem Village, Essex, Massachusetts, famous for witch burning. His son Richard Green Sr. happened to be a merchant in Boston before the American War of Independence. Living thereafter in Halifax, Newfoundland and becoming a prominent Government official, who was not altogether precise with his bookkeeping.
A letter, written by Rev William Taylor Jones on 29th May 1875 in the Sydenham, Forest Hill & Penge Gazette, a "Plea for a People's Recreation Ground". It regretted that "all available land in our neighbourhood is being taken for building purposes" and young people "meet and loiter about the roads, congregate at every street corner, becoming a moral pest and a nuisance". Furthermore, the poor had nothing but "the streets, the music hall, the penny gaff or the public house for their evening's resort". This appeal eventually lead to the "Great and Good" of Lewisham raising enough money to purchase one of the first public parks in England. Thomas Coleman Dibdin, well known artist in his day, and local resident, donated "six delightful sketches" of the site of the park, for sale at £5 each, to raise money. There is a memorial to the Rev William Taylor Jones in Mayow Park in Sydenham.
William’s niece Mary E Dibdin worked at the school, his sister, Ann Alice Jones was married to Thomas Coleman Dibdin, grandson of Charles Dibdin, composer of Sea shanties including "Tom Bowling". Thomas Coleman Dibdin was born in Bletchworth, Surrey on October 22nd 1810. After working as a General Post Office clerk, he took up painting professionally. He travelled widely throughout Europe. His paintings were displayed on many occasions at the Royal Academy annual exhibition. Dibdin invented the process of Chromo-lithography. He died in Sydenham on December 26th 1893.
Their daughter Eve Mary Dibdin born in 1840 went on to marry William Heseltine one of whose children, John William Dibdin Heseltine, was to be educated in Margate by the son of the Rev. William Taylor Jones.
Another of Thomas Coleman’s children Robert Lowes Dibdin, was a scholar age 8 in 1851 attending the Rev.William Taylor Jones’s school in North Street, Romford. By 1875 he was an experienced gold buyer in Queensland, Australia and married to Emma Horler. He paid a weekly visit to Crocodile to make purchases, and buy gold in the town. At first he bought gold for himself, but subsequently he purchased it for the Bank of New South Wales. He was never attacked on the road either going or coming, though he was well known to be travelling with either gold or cash. Mr. Dibdin never kept a record of the quantity of gold he purchased, but he estimates it at 50,000 oz.
A third child, William Joseph Dibdin was in 1896 chairman of the Sutton Urban Council. He was an industrial chemist, inventor of the bacteriological system for treating sewage. The system almost universally applied in sewage farms all over the world.
Rev. William Taylor Jones’s, son, also called William Taylor Jones and also educated like his father at Cambridge, opened a school, in Margate, Kent. He called it Herne House, initially situated in Arthur Road, and then transferring to The Eastern Esplanade. In 1881, his 36 year old cousin, Ellen J Taylor, from Botesdale, Suffolk, was being employed as a Housekeeper. Amongst the 31 pupils, was John William Dibdin Heseltine age 8, John’s father, William was living with his family in Anson Road, Islington, describing himself as a Tea Merchant. By the time of the 1891 census, John age 18, stated occupation, "Agent to Tea Dealer", living in St John Wood, London, was visiting Dr. George Jones and his family in Framlingham. At this time John was responsible for his mother and five younger siblings, coming after William Heseltine & Son Ltd, according to Board of Trade records, was dissolved in 1889, and further financial troubles led to the suicide of his father in 1890. John later went on to marry Marie Berthe Lefauvre, daughter of a French shipowner from Grimouville, Normandy, whose family had moved to Swansea. They were the grandparents of Lord Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, a well known Tory cabinet minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government, known also as "Tarzan". Lord Heseltine knew his Grandfather well, who was always protective of the memory of his mother, Eve Mary Dibdin. Lord Heseltine is still a voting member of the House of Lords, and runs his own publishing house. The peak enrolment for Herne House was 64 in 1891; it was later run by the second Rev. William Taylor Jones’s son, Henry George T. Jones.
Dr George Jones and his wife Sara Jane Tetley resided in a house on the corner of Fore Street and Castle Street between 1871 and 1891. Producing six children, Philip George Jones, Florence Alice Muriel Jones, Ella Mary Jones, Edith Jane Jones, William Tetley-Jones and Winifred Gwynnet Jones, who died at less than one year of age, and all living together there with their three servants. George having two spells in Scotland obtaining medical qualifications from Glasgow and Edinburgh University. Also being an active member of the Suffolk Forresters militia. It is said George died of a heart attack while playing bowls at the Framlingham castle club in 1891 age 53.
Edith Jane Jones remained unmarried and was buried in Framlingham in 1897 age 21.
It can come as no surprise that Florence Alice Muriel Jones, daughter of the local G.P. married into one of the other local medical families. Marrying into the Jeaffreson’s dynasty, who claims descent from Samuel Jeaffreson, who from his will in 1590 had owned land in Pettistree. Dr. George Cordy Jeaffreson and Florence married on August 29th, 1900 at St. Mark's, Marylebone, London, George and Florence had only one child, George Tetley Jeaffreson born March 27th 1906 in London. Dr. George Cordy Jeaffreson born June 19th 1868 in Framlingham was the eldest of six children born to Dr. George Edwards Jeaffreson [1825- 1911] and Helen Anne Cavell. Dr. George Edwards Jeaffreson was the first Parish Council Chairman for Framlingham, and the first Framlingham District representative on the East Suffolk County Council. He was a Justice of the Peace from 1896, a Trustee of Thomas Mill's Charity, and Governor of the Hitcham School, surgeon to the "Loyal Star of the East" Lodge of Oddfellows, and surgeon in the old D (Framlingham) Company of Volunteers. He also provided a public water supply and shelter near his residence, which still acts as a memorial to members of his family.
Dr. George Edwards Jeaffreson’s parents were Dr. William Jeaffreson [1790 – 1865] and his wife Caroline Edwards. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1812, after studying at Guy’s and St. Thomas's Hospitals. She "was not more remarkable for the beauty of her noble countenance than for her intellectual refinement." Dr. William Jeaffreson was in 1844 made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, a remarkable honour for a country doctor.
An uncle of Dr. George Cordy Jeaffreson, John Cordy Jeaffreson [1831-1901] was a man of letters, lawyer and personal friend of the writer Thomas Hardy.
Dr. George Cordy Jeaffreson earned a living as a general practitioner in St. Pancras, London. He was, the physician called in by police to the murder of a set of baby triplets that were intentionally drowned by their mother.
One of his brothers, Edward William Jeaffreson, was interred in Germany for the duration of the Great War, and from 1916 in a prisoner of war camp at Ruhleben racecourse by Spandau, near Berlin. Edward is listed in Barrack 5, Loft B, as being a teacher prior to internment and was one of 5500 British civilians, merchant seamen, and other foreigners with British connections at the camp. He set off back to England on January 2nd 1918.
There is a memorial in Framlingham graveyard to "Francis Muriel Jane, Infant Daughter of, J.G. and E.M. Garnett". James Gardner Garnett was born in Bowness, near Windermere, Westmorland in about 1867, fourth of six children to William Garnett and Frances Townson. His paternal grandparents were Edward Garnett and Anne Gardener. His great-grandparents William Garnett and Agnes Townson, owned and operated a mill house at Milbeck, near Bowness on Lake Windermere. Joseph Garnett of Fieldhead, near Hawkshead in Lancashire is thought to be the father of William Garnett. James Gardner Garnett qualified at Cambridge College, St. Catherine’s 1844; B.A.1887; M.A.1891. In 1891 age 24 he was teaching Mathematics in Framlingham College as an assistant master. Becoming Senior Mathematical Master and teaching there for seventeen years. In 1903, he followed Mr Pretty as Captain of the Cadet Corps. He became a great institution at the School, and was, a capable golfer. In 1896 set up a record for the old Framlingham links; 35 for nine holes, 80 for eighteen. He had a yellow Irish terrier named Tinker, who frequently accompanied him into School and would sit apart while the abstruse problems of cos and sin and tan were under investigation. Mr Garnett's remark one morning: "That dog Tinker knows more about it than you do!" became something of a by-word. He left in 1907 to become Head of Arnold House School, Chester.
Ella Mary Jones, daughter of Dr. George Jones was being educated at an all girl school in Croydon, Surrey, in 1881 age 8, living back in Framlingham in 1891. In 1895 she married Thomas Bishop, in Croydon. Ella Mary married again in 1902 to James Gardner Garnett at East Grinstead, Surrey. Their first child, Frances Muriel Jane Garnett was born in 1904 in Hoxne, Suffolk and died later the same year. Two more daughters followed, Nancy Whitaker Garnett, born in 1906 in Hoxne, and Ella Mary G. Garnett born in 1910 in Chester.
James’s teaching career ended in Chester, in 1910, the Arnold House School founded in 1884, closing due to falling roles, together with the opening of free Local Authority schools under the 1902 Education Act. In the South Transept of Chester Cathedral, is the Arnold House School memorial window, unveiled by the Bishop of Chester, "To the Glory of God and in Honour and Remembrance of the boys of the school who gave their lives for King and Country, this window was placed here by their schoolfellows and friends. A.D. 1921."
In 1911 James and Ella crossed from Southampton to New York on the passenger ship "St. Paul", James’s occupation being given as Tea Merchant. The following year they sailed from the port of Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1926 James and Ella crossed from Furness to Vancouver, British Columbia with their two daughters. Both James G. Garnett and his daughter Nancy W. Garnett appear in the 1930 edition of Wrigley's B.C. Directory for the city of North Vancouver, British Columbia. As living at St. Mary's near E. Rockland in North Vancouver. James listed as "retired" and no occupation is given for Nancy. In 1931, James and Ella travelled by ship from Liverpool to Halifax, later the same year they arrive in San Pedro, California on the ship "Pacific Pioneer". A Tetley-Jones in New Zealand tells me that his grandfather, the youngest son of Philip George Tetley-Jones, meet his aunt and uncle, James and Ella Garnett, in New Zealand after the Great War and were so taken with him that they offered to adopt the child and take him back to England to be brought up, the offer was refused. James Gardner Garnett died in 1951 at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London. The total residual value of his estate was set at £1,516-2s-11d.
Ella Mary Garnett died at age 81 in 1954, at Wycombe, Leicestershire.
In 1930, the younger daughter, Ella Mary G. Garnett, married Sir Robert Edwin McAlpine. The marriage was registered during the fourth quarter of 1930 in Chelsea, London. In 1932 Ella, age 21, and Robert, age 25 sailed from London to Madeira, Spain and from Southampton to New York in 1948. Ella Mary G. McAlpine passed away in February 1987 in Westminster, London, and Robert in 1990.
The elder daughter Nancy Whitaker Garnett married Robert Knee Hooper in 1937 in South East Surrey. He died in 1987 at Bracknell in Berkshire.
The McAlpine baronetcy was created in 1918, for Robert McAlpine, an entrepreneur, known as "Concrete Bob". Born in Newarthill (North Lanarkshire), he left school at the age of 10 to work in a coal mine, but soon became an apprentice bricklayer. He went on to built up a large building and civil engineering firm, which built roads, public buildings and other works, including the original Wembley Stadium. The company constructed the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane in London. When their client was unable to pay, the company took possession of the completed building and operated it themselves.
Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet (1847-1934)
Sir Robert McAlpine, 2nd Baronet (1868-1934)
Sir Alfred Robert McAlpine, 3rd Baronet (1907-1968)
Sir Thomas George Bishop McAlpine, 4th Baronet (1901-1983)
Sir Robert Edwin McAlpine, 5th Baronet (1907-1990), created Baron McAlpine of Moffat in 1980 (Life Peerage).
Sir William Hepburn McAlpine, 6th Baronet (b. 1936)
Ella Mary G. Garnett and her husband Sir Robert Edwin McAlpine, 5th Baronet, created Baron McAlpine of Moffat in 1980, had three children:
Hon. Patricia Garnett McAlpine, she married Hon. Robin Sandbach Borwick, son of Sir Robert Geoffrey Borwick, 3rd Baron Borwick and Margaret Elizabeth Sandbach, on 2nd December 1950.
Sir William Hepburn McAlpine, 6th Baronet, born 1936 at the Dorchester Hotel. He married Jill Benton Jones, daughter of Sir Peter Fawcett Benton Jones, 3rd Bt. and Nancy Pickering, on 5 October 1959. Businessman and former director of the construction company, Sir Robert McAlpine. He is a railway enthusiast, and at one time owned LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman. He maintains a private railway museum and had a British Rail diesel locomotive, Sir William McAlpine, named in his honour. He is chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust and patron of the Clan MacAlpine Society
Hon. Robert Alistair McAlpine, raised to the peerage as Baron McAlpine of West Green, in 1984. A prominent Conservative peer, close in his views to Margaret Thatcher he held posts in the Conservative Party as amongst others things, Treasurer 1975-90 and Deputy Chairman 1979-83. In 1996, he defected to James Goldsmith's Referendum Movement and in 1997 becoming its leader following Goldsmith's death.
Hon. Robert Alistair McAlpine is a voting member of the House of Lords.
At the time of the 1891 census in Framlingham, staying with Dr. George Jones were, his daughter, Ella Mary Jones, grandmother of Baron and Lord McAlpine and John William Dibdin Heseltine, his second cousin and grandfather of Lord Heseltine.
William Tetley-Jones, son of Dr. George Jones, born 1878, entered his grandfather’s business, being, by the time he was 23 a "tea taster" in Hartfield, Sussex. At Medway in 1911 he married Grizeal Mary Ironside. Their son, the fabulously named, Tetley Ironside Tetley-Jones was born in 1912 and his sister Sarah G.G. Tetley-Jones in 1916.
Through a distribution agreement with Wright & Graham in 1888, Tetley's Teas became a major trade name in America. In 1913 Wright & Graham became Tetley Tea Incorporated.
William and Grizeal, and later, Tetley and Sarah, frequently crossed the Atlantic from Southampton to New York, by passenger liner.
Grizeal Mary Ironside was the daughter of William Ironside of Athling, Surgeon-Major in the Indian Army and his wife, Emma Maria daughter of William H. Richards of Stapleton House, Martock, Somerset. These Ironsides trace their ancestors to John Ironside (b. 1636) at Rothie in the parish of Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, also claiming through Edward (the Confessor) half brother of Edmund Ironside the last seven Saxon Kings back to Egbert (the Great) 802-839!!
Grizeal Mary’s younger brother, William Edmund Ironside became the 1st Baron Ironside.
Starting as a second lieutenant, Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery in1899 he was three times lightly wounded, and met Churchill, in the Boer War. Proficient in Cape Dutch, he undertook intelligence work in South-West Africa, a clandestine undertaking that lent support to the view that he was the inspiration for John Buchan's character, Richard Hannay in "The 39 Steps".
He was mentioned in dispatches six times in WW1, appointed temporary colonel of the 4th Canadian division, which he trained and commanded through the Vimy and Passchendaele battles. In 1918 commanded the Archangel expedition against the Bolsheviks. At the 1921 colonial conference in Cairo, where he met T. E. Lawrence (whom he sized up as a charlatan with a wonderful pen), Gertrude Bell, and other notables, it was decided that Ironside was to run Persia (in co-operation with the RAF). Flying back to Persia, his aeroplane crashed near Basra, and he was invalided home.
During German manoeuvres in 1937, he had a five-minute talk with Hitler, convincing himself that war would come in 1940. The Baron was also convinced that the Duchess of Windsor continued to entertain fascist friends, even after the outbreak of War. Churchill agreed he should be commander-in-chief, home forces in 1940 and he was promoted to field marshal.
A report in "The Times" October 1st 1959 of his funeral in Westminster Abbey, states that his coffin was borne from Millbank, with full military honours on a gun-carriage to the Abbey including a nineteen gun salute. In attendance were representatives of the Queen and the Duke of Gloucester, many high ranking officers from all the services, 21 foreign military attaches and the American Ambassador John Hay Whitney, together with family, including his sister Grizeal, nephew Tetley Ironside Tetley-Jones and his wife Mary, Tetley’s son Michael and Tetley’s sister Sara who was now Mrs Benwell.
In the Great War William Tetley-Jones served his country, age 37, as a Second Lieutenant, then Captain in the Royal Field Artillery. William continued in the tea business and on the death of Joseph Tetley junior in 1936 he took control of the company. Unexpectedly, less than one year later he died in Jamaica.
In 1936 age 23, recently qualified from Cambridge, Tetley Ironside Tetley-Jones, travelled to America leaving from Southampton and disembarking from the S.S. Bremen in New York on the 18th January for both "business and pleasure".
Tetley married Kathleen Beryl Le S. Herring in Colchester in 1937; they had a son, Michael. Kathleen was the daughter of Henry W. Herring and Kathleen M. Huleatt who married in 1913 at St George Hanover Square, London. There was a second daughter called Rosemary J. Le S. Herring, born in 1917 at Conway, Wales. Tetley’s sister Sarah G. G. Tetley-Jones married David I. Marshall in 1937 at Halstead.
On inheriting control of Tetley’s he needed to find something to turn around the company’s fortunes.
In 1939 he travelled to America with his wife on "The Britannic" departing Southampton and arriving in New York on the 13th August 1939. Kathleen Beryl Tetley-Jones died in Essex in 2001.
Realised that profits were being made in their American subsidiary from the expanding sale of teabags, he returned with the idea of introducing the tea bag to Britain, something that would take until 1953 to accomplish.
Tetley’s second wife Mary Elizabeth Seebirt was born in Indiana in 1913. Eldest daughter of Eli Fowler Seebirt, who died age 76 in 1955, former mayor of South Bend and widely-known attorney, died unexpectedly while vacationing in Genoa, Italy. Mary was at this time Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Bradford, 5 Eaton Sq., London.
Her father a Republican in politics, he was mayor from 1922 to 1926 and city attorney from 1913 to 1917. As mayor he initiated action to elevate the Grand Trunk Western Railway and the New York Central System tracks through the city and guide the city through many of its growing pains of the early '20's.
Edith Elizabeth Gunn, Eli Fowler Seebirt’s wife, was a former professional vocalist.
Tetley Ironside Tetley-Jones’s decision, in the face of much opposition from his board, introduced the tea bag to Britain. Even though sales started slowly now the vast majority of tea in this country is sold in Bags. He died in Salisbury in 1990.
Members of the Jones family in New Zealand and their English cousins met in the 1990’s and toured Framlingham. Seeing the houses and places their ancestors knew, and compared, records and stories, which the different branches of the family had kept.
Many thanks for all who have helped compile this, hopefully interesting, article, especially Doug Garnett for his help with the Garnett connections.