Sunday, June 9, 2013

George Markham Tweddell and the Markham Family

George Markham Tweddell and the Markham Family
The Markham Coat of Arms
This post is an attempt to bring together what we know of George Markham Tweddell's (GMT) relation Paul Markham Tweddell, who until is death in 2010, spent many years researching his ancestors, and in association with me, making much of that research available on the internet. His full genealogical book, unfinished at his demise, is currently being prepared for publication by Paul's wife, Sandra but may take a while as a lot of Paul's later research still needs to be integrated into the text. Paul's book covers the full Tweddell family history.
to his father's family - the Markhams. I pull together material from

From Paul Tweddell's website

"George Tweddell (the name by which he was baptised) was born on 20th March 1823 and claimed he was the son of a Royal Navy Lieutenant, George Markham, who had been born in 1797 in the Rectory, Stokesley. His father, another George Markham (1763-1822), was the Rector of Stokesley, whilst also holding the post of Dean of York, and his grandfather was Archbishop Markham (1719-1807), famed for saving the walls of York from demolition in the first decade of the nineteenth century with the help of the author Walter Scott."

The Plantagenets and Cromwell
On one of our walks through Stokesley, taking me along his 'Tweddell Trail', Paul mentioned that through the
Sir Clements Markham's family history of 1913
Markham line, GMT was related both to Kings (the Plantagenet line) AND Oliver Cromwell! (GMT mentions the relation to Oliver Cromwell in Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham  and in the page pictured here from Sir Clement's Markham's Family History of 1913, (link to this book on line below) it says "Sir John Markham was descended through John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster (third son of King Edward 111)". Yet, although GMT was estranged from his father's family, brought up by his mother and living in relative poverty most of his life with no University education, he emerged as an impressive and energetic figure showing no lack of learning, wisdom and enterprise and leaving a large body of work - books, tractates, newspapers and poetry behind him. Long before modern communication systems and the internet, his regional, national and international network - often through the masonic craft, is still being unraveled and marveled at! Looking through Sir Clements book, it's noticeable that quite a few of the Markhams were also bards and it seems to me that GMT's 'lyre' as he would refer to his muse, fits neatly in with this.

GMT dedicated his inherited genes in the People's cause, firmly behind the Chartist movement, anti-slavery,  Cleveland News and Stokesley Reporter, established when he was only 19 and written about on this blog. Samuel Johnson wrote in 1775 "I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds", Paul and I picked up a pamphlet in the Yorkshire store in Stokesley called the The Stokesley Trail in 2008 and found an entry about GMT on page 29 which amused us a little - in regard to Rose Cottage (the Town House with its 'fine sepertine bow), it reads -
anti Corn laws and much more and writing a People's history of Cleveland. His wide body of poetry reveals a man who cared about people and sound values regardless of their social or financial position and envisioned a better world through wider education, culture and progressive political change. Not everyone liked him - you have to look at reaction to his radical paper the
 "George Tweddell lived here in the 1800's, a man of many interests, poet, historian, stirrer-up of controversy, publisher etc." (My italics). GMT died in 1903 and his reputation still 'rebounds' today! Paul thought 'stirrer up of controversy' a telling expression and among other things, might be accounted for by his support of the People's Charter and other political concerns.

Lieutenant, George Markham?
Paul Tweddell tells us -
"Lt Markham had lived an adventurous life in the Royal Navy, had been mentioned in dispatches during the late Napoleonic campaign on the Mediterranean coast of France and was wounded in the Siege of Algiers in 1816. Obviously, one must imagine that his dalliance with Elizabeth Tweddell (1800-1841) while on leave in Stokesley during summer 1822 resulted in George Tweddell's birth the next year and must have been a typical event in the pre-Victorian period. So too was the way the child was welcomed by this mother's yeoman family without social problems; George would be perceived as an extra worker in the family's various enterprises and brought the added advantages of 'noble blood' to add it to the Tweddell line. Members of the following generations used to say George had 'aristocratic hands', by which they meant broad, long and powerful hands and fingers with slim wrists. But these same people found it difficult to accept the circumstances of George's birth, living as they did a generation later during Victorian and Edwardian times when the hypocrisy prevalent during the period (what they called 'respectability') had taken its grip on changed social norms. The family made up a story to rationalise George's illegitimacy presumably so they could continue to discuss George's literary exploits and the glorious history of their Markham ancestors (which stretched back through John of Gaunt to the pre-Norman thane, Claron of West Markham) whilst preserving their own 'decorum'."

"Lieutenant George is the subject of a brief chapter (§19) in Sir Clements Markham's family history of 1913, Markham Memorials, stating that, during the time of his relation with Elizabeth Tweddell (the author makes no mention of it, unsurprisingly), he was suffering from a head injury the result of a fight following a dispute during a gambling game at sea. Perhaps Elizabeth found him an attractive partner - prestigious and courageous but also in need of her feminine reassurance. Although he returned to sea, Lt Markham never recovered from the injury and died in 1834 tended by his second sister, Henrietta Montgomery, at her home, Nunton House near Salisbury where her husband was vicar. Documentary evidence of Lt George's death was available in George Tweddell's time in Foster's Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire (1874), but one must assume he could not have found it, as he leaves a gap for his father's date of death in his notes, presumably hoping to fill it in when he found it." 

For further research see -
Sir Clements Markham's family history of 1913 - preview here -

GMT Makes Contact with Frederica Havisides née Markham.
Paul Tweddell tells us that "Whilst still in Bury (as Master of the Bury Ragged or Industrial School) c 1855 - 60), George made contact with a member of his father's family, Frederica Haviside (1798-1863), a younger sister of his father, who lived in the (then rural) Rectory Manor, Walthamstow. In 1859 Frederica sent him two paintings of her house with a dedication recording her gift to him, framed in gilt. By the time Frederica, now widowed, wrote her last will George and Elizabeth were living in Middlesbrough, and when she died in 1863 her will showed she had bequeathed an annuity of £100 per annum (perhaps in today's money something like £5 or 6000 (roughly £100 a week) for the term of their lives. On the early installments of the bequest the couple set up a business 'Tweddell and Sons' as newsagent and printers at 87 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough. In gratitude George penned a sonnet to celebrate Frederica's life. Frederica kept up a correspondence with her nephew before her death."

George Tweddell becomes George Markham Tweddell
Rectory Manor, Walthamstow 1860
From Paul Tweddell's book on the Tweddell's

In another bio Paul Tweddell tells us -  "Shortly after arriving in Bury, Tweddell took the opportunity to add Markham as his middle name; the first recorded mention being written in his hand: ‘Bury, December 15th, 1855’,[xix] (and from then on often appears abbreviated to ‘GMT’). Despite publicising the change in the national Freemason newspaper and what it signified, the Markham family seems to have accepted it. The reason why was to appear shortly after his return northward .

By 1861, as soon as he could set up a new printing and publishing company, the family moved into premises in Commercial Street in the nearby, rapidly expanding town of Middlesbrough. Fortuitously then, in 1863, a younger sister of GMT’s father, Frederica Haviside (née Markham), died leaving him a generous annuity, which gave him the opportunity to move the business into a better location at 87 Linthorpe Road. Between 1864 and 1876 the company of Tweddell & Sons reached its apogee and expanded with a branch opened in Stokesley before 1870. He put his second son and apprentice, Horatio John Tweddell (1848-1918), in charge of the long-established printing press his father had bought. This was situated on the north side of the High Street in Stokesley but is now demolished."

In his Tractates, GMT published a grateful obituary to Frederica Haviside (née Markham) as ‘Cleveland Sonnet No. X’ (p. 37).

Cleveland Sonnet
No. X [To my Father’s Sister]
Addressed to my Father’s sister Frederica,
daughter of the late Dean Markham

Lady! thy name is doubly dear to me,
And shall be, whilst this o’ercharged heart can feel;
For, like an angel, in my poverty
Thou hast appear’d, my rankling wounds to heal.
Then can I less than bow before my God, 5
And in lowly reverence I kneel,
Beseech each blessing promised in His Word—
Peace here on earth, and then eternal weal
In Heaven on high, where golden harps e’er peal
Th’ Almighty’s praise from every holy chord,— 10
“Glory to God, the holy God, our Lord,
The God through all the universe adored!”
Oh! can I less than offer up for thee
A fervent prayer that such thy lot may be?

George Markham Tweddell

From North of England Tractates No. 7
Cleveland Sonnets (1870)

"Sonnet 10 was addressed to my Father's sister, Frederica, daughter of the late Dean Markham. She was born at Stokesley Rectory, and ever cherished a strong love for Cleveland. An angel on her sojourn here, she is now one in heaven.George Markham Tweddell Stokesley April 23rd 1870"
Elizabeth Frances Markham (Donkin)
Another of GMT's aunties on the Markham side was Elizabeth Frances Markham (later Elizabeth Donkin) "was born on 28  August 1790 to a clerical family. Her grandfather had been the Archbishop of York (The Rt. Rev. Dr. William Markham) and her father (Richard) was the Dean of York. 1815 was the year of the Battle of Waterloo, and it was in this year - on May Day - that she married Rufane Donkin at Stokesley in Yorkshire."

We can only speculate whether Elizabeth would have befriended GMT as Frederica did, as Elizabeth was tragically snatched from life at only 28, some five years before GMT was born. Her story is tragic but interesting and here memory lives on in a surprising way as we shall read - 

Rufane Donkin was a Lt.-General, and he was soon called to go to India; his new bride accompanied him. By 1817 she was expecting their first child and gave birth to a son George David - on 24th December of that year. In the heat of India, she never fully recovered, and died of a fever in Meerut on 21st of August 1818. Rufane was devastated, conditions of the time necessitated a quick burial of his young wife, and he immediately left India to return to England, taking his baby son and Elizabeth's embalmed heart with him. At that time British interests in South Africa were in the Cape Colony, which was administered by a Governor - Lord Charles Somerset. Somerset was called to England for discussions - a long operation in the days of sailing ships - and Rufane was intercepted on his journey and asked to take the position of Acting- Governor until Somerset returned.

Whilst in the Cape he journeyed to Algoa Bay to supervise the landing of the organised British immigrants
(whom we refer to as "The Settlers" today). He immediately saw that a sea-port would be necessary if the new settlements in the Eastern Cape were to be viable. On 6 June 1820 he named the site of the landings, and the temporary "tent city", Port Elizabeth; and arranged land for those who could invest.

In August 1820 he selected the site of today's Donkin Reserve, as the position to build a memorial to his late wife. In the early 1800s pyramids were a not an uncommon memorial in both India and England, and the one he commissioned was based on that of an ancient Roman, Caius Cestius."
Read more From

Interestingly Fearon Fallows "was sent to Cape Town by the Royal Astronomical Society to start the Cape Observatory. This was to be the first Astronomical Observatory in the Southern Hemisphere (As well as the first Scientific establishment in the Southern Hemisphere). He was chosen for the post at the Cape because of his skills in mathematics and astronomy.  In Cape Town he was well received by the Acting Governor, Sir Rufane Donkin, and the Colonial Secretary,Colonel Bird. Fallows had to set up a temporary observatory to provide time signals and to set make a catalogue of Southern stars. Sir Rufane Donkin had some wooden houses for British settlers in Port Elizabeth. He kindly provided Fallows with a wooden house, which was to serve as a temporary observatory. Fallows was a Freemason at the Good Hope Lodge." Abridged from

I've no idea if Rufane Donkin was a Freemason too but the idea of the pyramid may have been apt memorial to Elizabeth but coupled with his help to Fallows to set up an observatory seems to have similarities to the thesis around Captain Cook's monument, also on this site and sparked by researching GMT's masonic poetry and symbolism - here


William Markham - Archbishop of York 1719-1807
William Markham was GMT's great grandfather, famed for saving the walls of York from demolition in the first decade of the nineteenth century with the help of the author Walter Scott.

I won't comment greatly on William Markham as I would need to study him more closely, but i think this would be essential in any full study of the Archbishop's great grandson - George Markham Tweddell for the parallels and differences. The Archbishop was the son of major William Markham -

"Son of Major William and Elizabeth. He was born at Kinsale in co.Cork on 9 April 1719 and attended Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. After ordination he took up teaching and became Head Master of his old school in 1753. Later he held the post of chaplain to George II, and served as prebendary of Durham Cathedral, Dean of Rochester, Dean of Christ Church, Bishop of Chester and lastly Archbishop of York and Lord High Almoner. On 16 June 1759 in London he married Sarah, daughter of John Goddard a merchant at Rotterdam. Sarah was born in Holland 14 February 1739 and died 26 January 1814."

In relation to Archbishop Markham, I refer you to Sir Robert Clement's "A Memoir of Archbishop William Markham" which can be read on line or downloaded as a PDF on Open Library here

It explains the family's loss of inheritance and the struggle to recover from it that affected the early life of the Archbishop. He and his father were Whigs and supporters of the 'Glorious Revolution' and although the principles of that were strong in the family, Archbishop Markham, the book explains, was a critic of Richard Price and the American Revolution on the grounds that the Glorious revolution was founded on the supremacy of law, while the American Revolution as deemed to be lawless. A full account of this and the reasons given are in the above book p 46-49.

I feel sure that Richard Price would have been someone GMT would have supported with his connections with the Unitarian Church and ideas on egalitarianism and although i haven't found anything yet, there may well be some reference to Price in Tweddell's work somewhere -

"Richard Price (23 February 1723 – 19 April 1791) was a Welsh moral philosopher and preacher in the
tradition of English Dissenters, and a political pamphleteer, active in radical, republican, and liberal causes such as the American Revolution. He fostered connections between a large number of people, including writers of theConstitution of the United States. He spent most of his adult life as minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, where possibly the congregant he most influenced was early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who extended his ideas on the egalitarianism inherent in the spirit of the French Revolution to encompass women's rights as well. In addition to his work as a moral and political philosopher, he also wrote on issues of statistics and finance, and was inducted into the Royal Society for these contributions."

Archbishop Markham was a poet, often writing in Latin (including a Latin version of Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man) and a close friend and supporter of  Edmund Burke (as described in the book). Burke was a supporter of the American revolutionaries but not the French which led him to move to the right of the Whig party.


George Markham Dean of York - Rector of Stokesley 1763 - 1822

George Markham was GMT's grandfather, living at the Rectory in Stokesley until not long before GMT'sAlice Barrigan in her essay
George Markham - Dean of York
birth when he died in 1822. George was, according to local historian -
Radicalism in Stokesley in the 1820s - here

Robert Armstrong - owner of a Zetetic bookshop in Stokesley, publishing the likes of Thomas Paine and involved in a Stokesley 'paper war', similar to the one GMT would be involved with 20 years later in regard to his own radical newspaper - is shown by Alice to have admired the Dean of York - George Markham as follows -
"The position of the Stokesley Deists was rather more nuanced and the rift between Church and chapel was growing. According to Robert Armstrong's third letter of 3 November 1822, he himself

"frequently derived both pleasure and improvement from the Sermons of our late Rector, the deservedly lamented Dean of York ; because I considered his Sermons true Deistical and moral compositions".
"I do sometimes go to Church","

GMT had planned to write about Robert Armstrong in his proposed 2nd volume of Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham. No manuscripts of the 2nd edition have so far turned up and are presumed lost in the Stokesley floods of 1930 when many of his remaining papers were lost int he flood. Up until recently, any Deistical  tendencies in GMT are presumed to have come from the Tweddell side of the family and or the influence of his school master - William Sanderson but it looks like George Markham had such an influence on both Robert Armstrong and the community in Stokesley. Another thread for research!

Below is from Sir Robert Clement's Markham's family history of 1913 (Click link to view this book)

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