Watson of Maryland USA

Looking for Watson descendants from Chaptico, St Marys County, Maryland USA

Letter from Eleanor Bettinson Dows 1916 regarding her English Family

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My grandfather, William Bettinson married Eleanor Lamb (a relative of Charles Lamb, the poet and writer). She had three brothers, viz: William, Charles and Henry. The two latter went to Austrialia, were prominent there. Uncle Henry was Governor of Melbourne.

The Lambs had plenty of money; William stayed in England lived at Cranwell Lodge, had a lovely place, farmed a thousand acres under Sir Robert Peel.

Grandmother had several sisters: Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Rycroft and Catharine Lamb.

My grandmother Bettinson had three children: my father, Henry Joseph,
William: and a girl (Jane) who died in infancy. Her mother died young, when I was a baby. They lived at Farndon, a pretty village near Newark. (I have some recollection of it: also of the Brocton’s, cousins of theirs, they lived in a fine house were well off fond of sports and fast horses. They had two children – Ripan and Lizzie.

When grandmother died, William and his father stayed at Farndon until William went to Australia. (I was only a little girl but he could not marry the girl he wanted so he left). Then grandfather broke up the housekeeping and came to live with us at Balderton, where he died July 1854 in his 70th year. The only member of the family who lived to be old.

Henry Joseph, my father, married Mary Ann Long, his distant cousin. Uncle William Lamb was her guardian and her brother Joseph Long, who were left orphaned when about six or seven years old. I think her mother was Miss Mane (Jane Mower). I used to spend some of my summer holidays with her Uncle and Aunt Mary and a couple of weeks at Cranwell Lodge.

They all talked so much about her, she was so beloved. I remember one remark her cousin William Green made when speaking of her after both my parents were dead (after 1868). He said, “I always considered your father a proud haughty man, but your mother was an angel on earth”.

She died the 27th of July, 1854, aged 35 years, leaving one son, William
Henry, and four daughters: Eleanor, aged 12, Mary Ann, 8 years old, Catharine, six years; and Annie Rosa, 3 months.

The epitaph on her tombstone is “She lived respected and died lamented”.
Willie lived 4 years after her death. He never got over losing his mother. He was a remarkably bright boy, but longed for his mother. He told me on his deathbed he was going to see mother and what did I want him to tell her. Then he said, “How many times have you taken communion?” I said “once”. then he said, “Once, only once, must I tell mother that”” He was very pious. The clergyman who visited him said he had taught him a great deal about the bible and religion that he never knew.

My father died a month before you (Frank Dows) were born, of spinal trouble: he could not walk for two years, had an attendant who wheeled him in a mechanical chair.

We went to Cadeby Hall when I was sixteen. The last three years of his life he lived at Louth to be near his doctor.

Grandfather Bettinson had two brothers, Henry a bachelor and George, who was a widower, I think, no children. He was a millionaire. They used to visit us at Balderton till father married Miss Elizabeth Ward (when did she die”) in 1856, then we seldom saw them, but father was his heir, being the oldest nephew. He died 13th July then the property went to another nephew, Henry Bettinson who lived at Northampton (England). However, he was very kind to us and made us handsome presents in money. His two daughters, Emily and Lucy, were lovely girls, the latter quite literary.

Mothers daughter, Mary Ann, married Mr. Henry Adams. She had one son, William Joseph. She died in 1904.

Catharine never married, died of cancer of the stomach 1905.

Annie Rosa married Thos. Wright, is living at Sutton-on-Sea in England in comfortable circumstances, but has spent money very extravagantly.

My mother’s brother Joseph, was a promising young man, when spending a vacation at his Uncle Thos. Maw’s, he climbed a high fence and fell, striking his head against a stone. He was insensible for hours, they thought him dead. When he did revive, the fall had affected his brain and he was taken to _______Asylum. He got better and used to visit us at Balderton but not for many days at a time, as it did not agree with him to get out of his regular ways, so he used to ride out with Dr. Walsh, one the the asylum doctors who was fond of him, and died there 20 years before I went to England. (1900). None of my sisters notified me, although they had a number of letters from his lawyer inquiring for his heirs. Mr. Wright told my sister Mary he would look into his affairs but Willie Adams preferred to attend to it himself and let the matter drop. My sister Mary Ann said, “you were in America and I could do nothing. Besides his lawyer Mr Newton died suddenly.” I told her there were lawyers in Amercia too who could attend to business in England. There were piles of letters. I read
them all. If I had been stronger I would have gone to Newark with Mr. Wright and consulted the lawyer who succeeded Mr. Newton to see if we could recover a little of his fortune. It took a good deal of it to pay his expenses at the asylum all those years: there must have been something left or they would not have inquired for heirs, and 20 years had elapsed so perhaps we could have done nothing.

another part I found”

Written by Grandmother Dows
– Eleanor Bettinson Dows –

Mary Ann Long – born at Hale Terrace, Lincolnshire, Eng. Dec 12, 1828. Her parents died when she and her brother Jospeh were 6 or 7 years old. Her Uncle, William Lamb (brother of their mother) was guardian for them. She was educated at Miss Capps (a relative) Private Seminary at Seaford. Spent part of her holidays with her little grandmother (which grandmother”) – she often spoke of her. After her grandmother died Mary Ann Long lived with her Uncle and Aunt Lamb and two cousins until she married her cousin – Henry Joseph Bettinson whose mother was Eleanor Lamb before her marriage to William Long ((this must be William Bettinson)).

Mary Ann Long and her cousin Henry Joseph Bettinson were married May 31, 1841 and lived at Balderton, Nottinghamshire. It was a lovely home. I remember it so well. It was her guardians who wished they reside there instead of Cadeby Hall. She died at Balderton, July 31, 1854 a true christain. On her tomb stone is engraved “She lived respected and died lamented”.

This is a letter from Eleanor Bettinson Dows to Frank Dows and Rosa Dows Watson


Written by watson1693

May 28, 2013 at 1:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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