THE BULLERS

OF DOWN HALL AND WOODCOTE GREEN HOUSE
The Buller coat of arms.
The Buller coat of arms.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

James Hornby Buller

James Hornby Buller was one of the descendants of the huge Buller dynasty of Devon and Cornwall (which included General Sir Redvers Buller), but more immediately his parents were the Reverend Richard Buller (1804-83), Rector of Lanreath, Cornwall (near Looe), and Elizabeth Hornby (1802-75) - married 1830.

Lanreath village and church.
Lanreath village and church.
Image © Roger Geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

St Marnarchs church, Lanreath.
St Marnarch's church, Lanreath.
Image © Adrian Platt and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

James was the eldest child, born on 22 July 1831 at Lanreath. The other children, all born at Lanreath, were as shown below.

Rhoda Harriot Caroline 1832-1925. Married Francis Howell JP, landowner.
(Sir) Alexander Buller Admiral RN. Born 1834, died 1903 of heart failure whilst out hunting. Married Emily Mary Tritton (died 1921), daughter of Henry Tritton of Ewell House.
Emmeline 1837-1911. Married Frank Bradshaw JP, landowner.
Jane Eliza 1839-1914. Married Chapell William Hodge, banker.
Henry Montagu Colonel, Indian Army. Born 1840, died 1892 Simla, then commanding the Central India Horse. Married Mary Jackson.
Annie Isabella 1845-1914. Married Henry John Tritton, brother of Emily Mary above.
Alice 1849-1923. Married Herbert Brooks (died 1918) of Woodcote Park.

James was educated at Eton and began his army career as an Ensign by purchase in the 57th Foot (the West Middlesex Regiment) in 1852; he was promoted to Lieutenant (without purchase) in 1854. By 1857 he was a Captain on half-pay but was then appointed to the Military Train (later the Royal Logistics Corps), purchasing his way to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He found himself on half-pay again and retired in 1877 with the honorary rank of Colonel. In 1881 he was appointed, on the recommendation of the Marquis of Huntly, to Her Majesty's Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (a ceremonial role by then, the Corps having fought its last engagement during the English Civil War).


1937 Player's cigarette card
1937 Player's cigarette card.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

The only other information I can find about James's military career is that he fought in the Crimean War (1853-56), was wounded in the trenches before Sebastopol and wounded again on his way back to camp.

James was also a member of Surrey County Council and the Foresters.

Catherine Anne Williams


Arms of Williams family of Caerhays, Scorrier & Tregullow in Cornwall.
Arms of Williams family of Caerhays, Scorrier & Tregullow in Cornwall.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

James's first wife was Catherine Anne Williams, daughter of Sir William Williams of Tregullow (1791- 1870) and Caroline Eales (1796-1886), who were married in 1826. The Williams family had owned tin/copper mines in Cornwall and smelting operations since the early 18th century; Sir William lived at Tregullow House in the village of St Day (near Redruth) and the house is still standing (Grade II listed).

James and Catherine were married at St Day Parish Church on 9 June 1859 and it was a wonderful event, according to the Royal Cornwall Gazette of 10 June 1859.

The marriage of Captain James Hornby Buller of Lanreath to Miss Catherine Ann Williams of Tregullow was celebrated at St Day Church this morning (Thursday).There was a general holiday in St Day in honour of the auspicious event; the streets were tastefully decorated with evergreens and banners; and triumphal arches, with appropriate mottoes affixed to them, were erected in all parts of the town. The marriage was announced to take place at eleven o'clock and long before that hour multitudes were seen eagerly pressing towards the church, anxious to catch a glimpse of the fair bride and the bridegroom. The children of the St Day Free and Sunday schools, to the number of 150, with their teachers, headed by an excellent band of music playing appropriate airs, preceded the bridal party on their way from Tregullow to the church, each wearing a white bonnet trimmed with white ribbon, and white gloves and sash, the kind gift of the bride. On her return from church they strewed flowers on her path …

The church was most tastefully decorated and was crowded to excess, numbers being unable to gain admittance …



The now ruined old church of St Day.
The now ruined old church of St Day.
Image source: Rod Allday and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In the 1861 census James and Catherine were with her parents at Tregullow, but by 1871 they were living at Rock House, Farnham, Surrey with their five children, who were Mary Hornby (1860 Farnham-1885 Tregullow, unmarried), Caroline Alexandra (c.1863 St George Hanover Square), Emily Catherine (c.1865 Eltham-1884 Epsom), Wynn Hornby (c.1866 Eltham-1891 Vivi, Congo, whilst travelling) and Henrietta Florence (1867 Kidbrooke-1895 Devon, unmarried); they then moved to Down Hall, Epsom.

Down Hall
Down Hall
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall

Catherine died on 9 December 1874, aged 38, and was buried in Epsom Cemetery. In 1876 her brother, lay rector Michael Williams, designed a memorial for her in the re-consecrated Davidstow Church: this comprised a stained glass window in the south isle with an inscribed brass beneath. And, Michael Williams also erected a brass to his schoolfellow and friend, Ashley Carr Glyn, son of Lord George Carr Glyn, 1st Baron Glyn of Wolverton, who was a grandson of Sir Richard Glyn of Ewell.

The only one of the five Buller children to marry was Caroline Alexandra, who wed artist Edgar Giberne (born 1850 Epsom) at St Martin's on 20 February 1884: he was the son of George and Maria Giberne of Richmond House. Edgar died in 1889.

Edgar Giberne illustration
An Edgar Giberne illustration for Riding Recollections by George J Whyte-Melville.
Image source: http://gutenberg.net.au/

Gravestone of Edgar Giberne in Epsom Cemetery.
Gravestone of Edgar Giberne in Epsom Cemetery.
Image courtesy of Gravestone Photographic Resource.

There was one child, Harold Buller Giborne, born c.1885 Kensington. On 23 June 1894 at St Giles, Ashtead Caroline, then living at The Cottage, Ashtead Park, married solicitor George Kendall Hext (1864 St Veep, Cornwall-1919). Their children, both born in Berkhamsted, were Catherine Mary (1896) and George William Buller (1898). Caroline died on 21 March 1919, just a few months before her husband.

Harold Buller Giborne married Margaret Hext in 1919 and died in 1965 in Salisbury. Catherine Mary Hext became a doctor and married GP Leslie Phillips Marshall in 1931. Leslie won the MC whilst serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment and played county cricket for Somerset. Catherine died in 1981. George William Buller Hext was an Engineer Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy for some years; he married Margaret Amy Hilda Ronald in 1930 and died in 1993.

Emily Augusta Dashwood

There were two baronetcies of Dashwood in the English nobility and I think that Emily's family must have belonged to one of them because names such as Walpole and de Courcy crop up (which would suggest a connection with the Dashwoods of West Wycombe, of Hellfire Caves fame): however, I am not going to put my neck on the line!

Emily Augusta Dashwood was born in Gibraltar in 1852, daughter of Major Henry Walpole John Dashwood of the Royal Horse Artillery (his parents were Robert [1801-40], a Captain in the Royal Engineers, and Henrietta Mary Annette Eyre, who died in 1847) and Georgiana Mary Hickman - married 2 October 1851 at St James, Paddington. Georgiana died in 1855, aged only 21, and Henry died in 1857, aged 28, then of Donnington Grove, Newbury, Berkshire (once the home of Beau Brummell). There was one other child, Henry Walpole George Dashwood, born 1854 Gibraltar.

The children were taken in by their great-uncle, George John Eyre, a solicitor and landed proprietor who then lived at Stoke Park, Stoke, Surrey, where he was a tenant. Mr Eyre was unmarried, kept several servants and employed a governess.

By 1871 George had moved to Palmeira Square, Hove. The census suggests that he lived in Number 3 and Emily in Number 4, which seems odd, since the houses are vast (and these days numbers 4 and 5 are the two that have been joined together - if you look at the left-hand house in the picture below, the strange exterior conversion consists of slapping a window in front of the door of Number 5), but later records put them all in Number 4. (Robert Carter, one time chairman of the Epsom Magistrates, had his seaside home in Number 5 at the same period.)

4 Palmeira Square on the right.
4 Palmeira Square on the right.
Image courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2014.

Emily and James were married on 25 October 1877 at St Andrew's Hove.

St Andrew's Old Church, Hove (apologies for the scaffolding).
St Andrew's Old Church, Hove (apologies for the scaffolding).
Image courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2014.

Before we continue, I will just tell you what happened to Emily's brother, Henry. He married Katherine Louisa Margaret Tugwell in Brighton in 1883 and she died on 17 October 1909 at Southsea. Then, in 1911, he married Esther Desforges (born 1876 Woolwich), a sick nurse by trade. There was one child, Joan Augusta de Courcy Dashwood, (1913-88, married Haddon Charles Spurgeon). Henry died on 26 October 1914 and it seems that Esther died in South Africa in 1951 (I am not vouching for the latter fact).

The wedding ceremony of James and Emily was performed by none other than the Rev Richard Buller, still Rector of Lanreath. There were two children of this marriage - John Dashwood (1878) and Dorothy Nina de Courcy (1882), both christened at St Martin's by Richard Buller. James died on 7 August 1895 and was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Grave 16A), with his first wife and his mother.

After James's death Emily moved to Woodcote Green House with her daughter Dorothy.

Woodcote Green House
Woodcote Green House in February 2012
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2012

Emily died on 12 September 1931, followed by Dorothy on 28 March 1953, both still living at Woodcote Green House.

The last surviving child of the family was Lt Col John Dashwood Buller CMG, DSO, who was educated at Eton; he served in the South African War and in WW1 he was in France and at Gallipoli with the Royal Naval Division. During WW2 he was at the War office and the Ministry of Information. He married Sybil Ernestine Collier (born c.1872 Tavistock) at Marylebone in 1899 and for some reason he married her again in 1903 at Tavistock; she died in 1934 and in 1938 John married Ruth Verrieres (1901 Bengal-1982 Surrey). John died on 10 May 1961, then living at Beech Cottage, Downs Wood, Tattenham Corner.

Linda Jackson © 2014


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