MAYSONS AND DORLINGS REVISITED

Victorian Studio Photos
Victorian Studio Photos


We already have comprehensive articles about this large family group on our website, meticulously researched and written up by Janet Painter. The Dorlings were a prominent Epsom family, and Henry Dorling's second wife, Elizabeth Mayson (née Jerrom or Jerram or some other version thereof - the spelling varied in records but we will use Jerrom), was the mother of Mrs Isabella Beeton, who needs no introduction. Also, we have Mrs Lucy Welby Andrews of local stationery/bookselling and Post Office fame, who was a Dorling.

So, why am I revisiting this family group now? The answer is that we have some relevant photos in the Cuthbert Hopkins portfolio and, rather than try to paste them somehow into several existing articles, I thought it would be best to go through the family tree in one place, to draw all the threads together.

The Dorlings were in Epsom first, so we shall start with them. This is William Dorling, a printer, who was originally from Ipswich, but then moved to Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. Mrs Dorling was Lucy Welby and she died in 1832, aged 56.

William Dorling
William Dorling
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

William survived until 1858 and, funnily enough, in the 1841 census he was enumerated in Epsom High Street next door to one John Hopkins, tailor, whose little lad Cuthbert was just three at the time (one day we shall do a proper Hopkins article for this website, but ironically we don't have a photo of any of them - if anyone does, please contact the webmaster).

Here's a table of William and Lucy's children, all born in Bexhill.

NameInformation
HenryBorn 1806. The Epsom printer.
Lucy WelbyBorn 1808. Mrs Andrews.
WilliamBorn 1810.
Died 1840, buried St Martin's (Grave 257)
JaneBorn 1812.
Married 1836 at St Martin's to John Thomas Helms of Westminster (died 1879 Australia).
Died 1891 Ightham, Kent.
Mary AnnBorn 1814; died 1816 Bexhill.
EdwardBorn 1816.
Married Elizabeth Logan Stoddard (died 1880) and then Henrietta Ann King (died 1898).
Variously a merchant, steamboat proprietor and hotel keeper.
Said to have died in about 1906 (no records found).

Mrs Lucy Welby Andrews (née Dorling)
Mrs Lucy Welby Andrews (née Dorling)
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Henry Dorling's first wife was Emily Clarke (married 1834 St Martin's), but she lasted only until 1840 and is interred in the churchyard (Grave 257 again). Their children were as follows.

NameInformation
Henry MaysonBorn 1835.
JaneBorn 1837.
Married George White.
Edward JonathanBorn 1838.
MaryBorn 1840.

Henry Mayson Dorling was married twice, firstly in 1860 to Anne Fielder (died 1909, buried Epsom Cemetery) and then on 29 September 1919 to tailoress Blanche Maude Flear, who was 50 years his junior. Henry died on 12 November of that year. Someone who has a family tree online says that the will was made on the day of the wedding (in Brighton, where there is a flat-racing course and Henry was Clerk of the Course) and witnessed by the officiating clergy. We don't know the story of this - had he been in a relationship with Blanche and then married her because he knew he was dying perhaps? Blanche remarried in 1920.

Henry Mayson Dorling
Henry Mayson Dorling
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

I have not quite worked out what Edward Jonathan Dorling's actual occupation was or whether he had more than one. In 1862, the year he married Maria Earle, he was described as manager of a newspaper and he certainly had an abode in London on and off: on the other hand, he kept popping up in Sherborne, Dorset as the owner of a very substantial drapery business (36 staff in 1881, including tailors and dressmakers). At one time he was certainly something to do with 'The Sporting Life' newspaper, unsurprisingly for a member of a printing and racing family. He died in 1892, leaving everything to Maria, who died herself in 1899.

One of the children of Edward Jonathan and Maria was the Reverend Edward Earle Dorling, who ultimately lived at 72 Alexandra Road, Epsom.

Edward Earle Dorling
Edward Earle Dorling
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

72 Alexandra Road
72 Alexandra Road
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

In 1864 Mary Dorling married Dr Edmund Willett of Kentish Town; she died in 1885, then living at Tufnell Park, North London.

The Maysons before Epsom

Elizabeth Jerrom was a minor (i.e. under 21 at that time) when she married Benjamin Mayson in 1835. The marriage followed a similar unfortunate trajectory to that of Henry Dorling, since it ended abruptly in premature death and four young children were left behind.

You will see from the linked articles at the beginning of this piece that Henry was a friend of Benjamin and Henry married Elizabeth Mayson after the deaths of their respective spouses, thus amalgamating the two sets of children.

These are the Mayson children.

NameInformation
Isabella Mary (Mrs Beeton)1836-65.
Elizabeth Ann (Bessie)Born 1838.
John1839-71.
EstherBorn 1841

We (I) have a problem straightaway because there are two 'Miss Mayson' photos in Cuthbert's collection, plus two wrappers. One unhelpfully says 'Miss Mayson' and the other has 'Miss E Mayson'. Both of the younger girls had the initial E, although Elizabeth Ann was more commonly known as Bessie. As is often the case, I cannot decide if these are two photos of the same girl or of different girls. For what it's worth, I think they are two different ones and that the first girl shown below is Bessie and that the second one is Esther.

Miss Mayson, Bessie or Esther
Miss Mayson, Bessie or Esther
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Miss Mayson, Esther or Bessie
Miss Mayson, Esther or Bessie
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

And here's Isabella for comparison purposes.

Isabella Mary Mayson (Mrs Beeton)
Isabella Mary Mayson (Mrs Beeton)
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

There is a watercolour painting of the four little Maysons, allegedly done by Henry Dorling, and you are welcome to see it, although it doesn't help us at all with sorting out the Bessie and Esther issue.

The Children of Benjamin and Elizabeth Mayson
The Children of Benjamin and Elizabeth Mayson
attributed to Henry Dorling watercolour, 1848
Image Source NPG 5473 (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

There isn't a great deal to say about Bessie and Esther. Neither of them married and they died in 1927 and 1931 respectively, then living in London. They are buried in Grave B21A at Epsom Cemetery.

Inscription to Elizabeth Ann (Bessie) Mayson
Inscription to Elizabeth Ann (Bessie) Mayson
on Grave B21A, photographed in November 2011
Image courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2019

Inscription to Esther Mayson
Inscription to Esther Mayson
on Grave B21A, photographed in November 2011
Image courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2019

The Combined Family

Eight children (so far) must have been mayhem and, apparently, they were. Enter Elizabeth's mother, Mrs Mary Jerrom, to preside over it all.

Mrs Mary Jerrom
Mrs Mary Jerrom
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Children continued to arrive and here is a list of the joint offspring, all christened at St Martin's.

NameInformation
Charlotte EmilyBorn 1843.
Married widower Charles Alexander McMahon (died 1904).
Died 1922.
HelenBorn 1844.
Died 1845 (5 months); buried St Martin's.
William George BentinckBorn 1846. Wine and spirit merchant.
Died 1880 New Orleans; buried Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans.
Alfred CurtisBorn 1847.
Presumed drowned in March 1862 in a boating accident.
LucyBorn 1848.
Married William Holmes Smiles (died 1904).
Died 1939 Belfast.
Mother of Sir Walter Dorling Smiles and great-great grandmother of Edward Michael 'Bear' Grylls.
FrancisBorn 1850.
Colonel, 96th Regiment of Foot.
Married Constance Elizabeth Holland (died 1932).
Father of Henry Taprell Dorling, naval captain and author, and Colonel Francis Holland Dorling of the Manchester Regiment.
Died 1944.
ElizaBorn 1851.
Married solicitor Charles Tanner Kingdon Roberts (died 1934).
Died 1931 Exeter district.
AliceBorn 1853.
Died 1869 Croydon; buried St Martin's (Grave 257)
Edith HarrietBorn 1854; unmarried.
Died 1907 St Leonards, Hastings; buried Epsom Cemetery (B1A) with parents.
WalterBorn 1855.
Stock jobber.
Married Bertha Morris (died 1928).
Died 1925.
AmyBorn 1858.
Married widower Colonel Richard Oliffe Richmond of the Army Pay Department (died 1907).
Died 1949.
LionelBorn 1860.
Career Army officer.
Married 1888 at Karachi Constance Price (died 1946).
Died 1925.
Horace NormanBorn 1862; mechanical engineer.
Married Mary Cecilia McManus (died 1899) and then Frances Burton/ Butler.
Died 1941 Leeds.

Alfred Curtis Dorling was a midshipman on the SS Dover Castle which was moored in Port Phillip, Melbourne at the relevant time. The following item appeared in various newspapers (e.g., The Monmouthshire Beacon of 26 July 1862), describing what had happened.

A SAD STORY

The following has been addressed to the editor of the Times:-
Sir, - I venture to ask you to insert these few lines in your columns, as I have no other means in my power of communicating the intelligence which they contain to the relations of those to whom it refers. It relates to a melancholy accident which occurred in Hobson's Bay, Melbourne, on the 16th March last. On that day the fifth mate, Mr Burrell, together with three midshipmen, named respectively Elliott, Voisin and Dorling, belonging to Messrs. Green's ship, the Dover Castle, then lying in Port Phillip harbour, went out in a hired boat for a sail in the bay. None of them ever returned. A few days later the remains of Mr. Elliott and Mr. Voisin, frightfully mangled, were found on the beach, some miles down the bay; the bodies of Mr. Burrell and Mr. Dorling were not recovered. The intelligence to which I refer is contained in a paragraph from the Melbourne Age, which I have just received in a letter from Victoria. It runs as follows:-
'A deeply interesting record of the melancholy fate of the four midshipmen of the Dover Castle, whose untimely death by drowning in Hobson's Bay has been previously reported, was picked up on Saturday last on the Brighton beach by a gentleman connected with the Registrar General's Office. The record was enclosed in a tightly corked bottle and consisted of the following words written in pencil on a small piece of paper: - "This morning, Sunday, we four midshipmen from the Dover Castle hired a boat at Sandridge and proceeded on a voyage down the Bay; off Brighton we sprung a leak and do not expect to be afloat five minutes. Anybody finding this will please reveal its contents. Good heavens, we are going down." '
It may not be out of place to add that I was personally acquainted with these poor fellows, having been a passenger in the Dover Castle on the voyage which she had recently completed at the time of the accident.

F. T. CONINGTON
11 South Square, Grays Inn, July 17.

There is perhaps a little mystery attached to Edith Harriet Dorling. In the 1901 census she was in Cambridgeshire as companion to a Miss Martha Clayton: it transpires that the latter was formerly the Head Attendant at Silver Birches in Church Street, Epsom, the private asylum (then run by Dr William C Daniel). Miss Clayton died in 1900 and Edith then apparently moved to St Leonards.

Horace Norman Dorling had an unfortunate experience with his first marriage, as this newspaper article tells (source: Yorkshire Evening Post of 20 July 1899).

THE DRUG HABIT
SUDDEN DEATH OF A LEEDS WOMAN


Mr J. C. Malcolm, the Leeds City Coroner, this afternoon held an inquest respecting the sudden death of Mary Cecilia Dorling, a married woman, 28 years of age, of 37 Harehills Lane, Leeds, which occurred on Tuesday night.

The husband of deceased, Horace Norman Dorling, a mechanical engineer, was called and stated his wife had been for some years addicted to the use of a narcotic drug. He had endeavoured by every means in his power to induce her to give it up and at least a dozen doctors in Leeds had unavailingly studied the case. On one occasion she was severely burned and on another received injuries which resulted in the loss of her arm, when under the influence of this drug. Last week the chemist from whom she habitually purchased it refused to supply her with any more.

Mr Charles Salkeld, surgeon, of Roundhay Road, who had attended deceased at intervals, said he had occasionally seen her intoxicated. There were no traces of alcohol when he saw her after death on Tuesday evening. The effect of taking the drug would be to weaken the heart's action and render her liable to sudden stoppage of its action. He attributed death to failure of the heart's action consequent on narcotic poisoning.

A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was returned.
Note: The 'narcotic drug' was in all likelihood an opium derivative; at that time it could be bought legally from a registered chemist.

Horace was in the papers again in 1904, when a lodging house keeper sued him for unpaid bills. It emerged that Horace had installed a woman in some lodgings, claiming that she was his wife: however, she was actually a Miss Kay, who had brought a breach of promise suit against him (this was settled out of court). Miss Kay had previously been Horace's live-in housekeeper. Horace did his utmost to wriggle out of paying the bills, but lost. He was used to courts, having been fined some years earlier for keeping both an unlicensed manservant and an unlicensed dog.

Walter Dorling moved home quite a bit (e.g. Horley, Dorking) but finished up at Eynsford, Bridge Road, Epsom. After his death Mrs Bertha Dorling moved to Weybridge.

Walter Dorling
Walter Dorling
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Colonel Lionel Dorling CB CMG DSO served in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and the Army Pay Department.

Colonel Lionel Dorling CB DSO.
Colonel Lionel Dorling CB DSO.
Image courtesy of © IWM (HU 121596)

Lionel is commemorated on a plaque inside St Martin's.

Since a good two-thirds of this article has been 'caused' by the presence of Amy Dorling in the Hopkins portfolio, it's only fitting that we should finish with her.

Amy Dorling
Amy Dorling
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Richard Oliffe Richmond was considerably older than Amy and had a son, Henry 'Harry' Spencer Hamilton (1878-1939). Richard and Amy had two sons together - Sylvester Oliffe (1885-1900) and Richard Lionel (1888-1909). Richard Lionel Richmond was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery and died on 27 March 1909: he had only passed out of the Royal Military Academy in the previous December and had been posted to Jullundur (now Jalandhar) in the Punjab. He died of dysentery 17 days after landing at Karachi. Amy died on 11 January 1949, then living in Lexden, Colchester.

Linda Jackson 2019