John Bellamy Bowles Luxford

The Luxford plaque in Salisbury Cathedral.
The Luxford plaque in Salisbury Cathedral.

John Luxford (1756 - 1813) married Caroline Wheeler (1772 - 1800) at St James, Piccadilly on 26 January 1790 and their first child, Caroline Elizabeth, came to be born in London, the following 31 December. Curiously, the second offspring, a son called John Bellamy Bowles Luxford, was delivered in Ewell, 14 November 1791, to be baptised in St Mary's on 23 February 1792, although the family are not known to have had any personal connections to the village.

There had, however, been a prosecution of the father, John Luxford, printer of the Morning Herald,
'for a paragraph [in the edition of 10 May 1790] tending to embroil us with our nearest neighbours, since it boldly asserted that in the armament resulting from the affair at Nootka Sound, the Ministers had in view not an open contest with Spain, but rather a treacherous attack on France'.
When this matter came to trial in 1791 the defendant pleaded Guilty, and was sentenced to a year's imprisonment in the King's Bench, and to stand once in the pillory at Charing Cross, also at the expiration of his imprisonment to find security for his good behaviour, himself £100 and two sureties in £50 each. It may be inferred that his pregnant wife had simply retreated from London society to seclude herself in the Surrey countryside and escape the scandal.

On her husband's release from incarceration, the family moved to Salisbury where John Luxford became a prominent citizen - proprietor, in partnership, of the Salisbury Journal and member of the banking firm, Brodie & Co.

Caroline became the mother of a further 5 daughters but died following the arrival of Emma in May 1800. John Luxford followed her to the grave on 26 January 1813. Their Memorials were erected in the Cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral -
Caroline, wife of John Luxford and her daughter Emma Luxford:

White marble tablet set into stone surround and surmounted by an urn.

Caroline, Wife of John Luxford died On the 1st November, 1800, aged 39.
Her remains are deposited on the opposite turf.
This tablet Is affectionately dedicated to the Remembrance of her Virtues
By him to whom they were best known.
John Luxford and his son John Bellamy Bowes Luxford:
White marble sarcophagus on grey slate.

John Luxford died 26 January1813, aged 56.
His warm and active benevolence, his nobleness of Soul, His firm and generous Friendship, His extraordinary Talents, and various acquirements, Will live in Remembrance as long as those who knew him remain;
His worth in every domestic Relation, And the tenderness and constancy of his paternal love and care,This stone cannot express;
Nor the Gratitude, Affliction, and Reverence with which it was erected by his afflicted Children.
John, junior, born if not bred, in Ewell had entered St Paul's school on 13 September 1802. In 1807 he became a cadet in the Bengal Army to be trained by arrangement between the Crown army and the East India Company at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. Having arrived in India on 16 November 1808, by 4 October 1810 he was serving as a Lieutenant Fireworker with 3 Troop, Bengal Horse Artillery.

During the 1814 Nepal war Lt. John B B Luxford became involved in the attacks on Fort Kalanga, the second of which is described as follows:-
"The force now retired to Deyrah, and awaited till the 24th November the arrival of siege guns from Delhi. On the 25th operations were recommenced; a battery for the 18-pounders was raised at about 300 yards, and by the 27th the wall was brought down. The enemy made a spirited sally on the battery, but were driven back by discharges of case shot. The assault was attempted, and failed, and a gun was run up by Lieutenant Luxford, who volunteered, and was shot in the attempt to clear the breach".
Lieutenant Luxford was the only officer killed on that occasion and in reporting it Colonel Mawbey remarked
"Lieutenant Luxford, of the horse artillery, is so severely wounded that I have no hopes of his recovery. This excellent officer had gone to the foot of the breach in command of an howitzer and 12-pounder gun, which I sent in hopes, with the assistance of shrapnel shells, of lessening the astonishing exertions made by the Goorkhas'."
Memorial at Meerut
'Sacred to the memory of Lieut. John B. B. Luxford of the Bengal Horse Artillery, who fell mortally wounded in the attack of Fort Kalanga on the 27th, and died on the 30th November 1814, aged 22 years. This cenotaph is erected by his brother officers in testimony of their affection and esteem'.

Brian Bouchard © September 2016



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