Friday, April 3, 2015

{16} Henry IV Descent for Mrs Evelyn (née Clay) Williams (1906-1995)

Evelyn (née Clay) Williams 
[Image from the Clay of Piercefield
family tree on]
Evelyn Agnes Clay was the firstborn child of Arthur Joseph Clay, a partner at Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton, the (then) largest brewing company in the world, headquartered in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, which output a million barrels a year. Her father was also a Major in the 6th Battalion of the British Army’s North Staffordshire Regiment, and he died at Harpenden, Hertfordshire while on active service on 18 February 1915, six months after the outbreak of the First World War. Evelyn was only 8 years old. At the age of 31, she married, as his second wife, Brigadier Edward 'Ted' Williams (1892-1977), and they had two sons and two daughters. Evelyn Williams survived her husband eighteen years, dying in 1995 at the age of 88.

The Clay family originated in Burton-on-Trent, and made their fortune when that town became one of Britain’s leading brewing centers in the 18th-century. By the 19th-century, the family expanded into banking. Evelyn’s paternal grandfather, Charles John Clay, a younger son, became a barrister at the Inner Temple, a banker, and a partner at the Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton brewing company. He inherited a family property not far from Burton-upon-Trent, over the border in Derbyshire, called Stapenhill House, where all four of his sons were born. He later bought Holly Bush Hall, in Newborough, Staffordshire, which he made his chief residence, and where he died. Charles John Clay and his family can be found in the Clay of Piercefield article in Burke’s Landed Gentry 18th Edition Vol. 1 (1965). A website created by Charles John's descendant Robin Clay also has detailed information and wonderful photos.
Stapenhill House in 1878. It was demolished in 1933.

Marriage Notice of
Edward Williams and Evelyn Clay

[Surrey Mirror, Friday, January 28th, 1938]
EVELYN AGNES CLAY, b. 1 Oct. 1906 Kensington, London, bap. 3 Nov. 1906 St Peter Cranley Gardens, Kensington; d. 25 Sept. 1995 Winchester, Hampshire, only surv. dau. of Arthur Joseph Clay of Grangewood House (1870-1915, descended from Henry IV - see Generation 17 below) and Bridget Parker-Jervis (1885-1973, descended from Edward III); m. 22 Jan. 1938 All Saints Church, Banstead, Surrey, as his 2nd wife[*1], Brig. EDWARD STEPHEN BRUCE WILLIAMS of The Old Rectory, Bramdean, Hampshire, b. 2 Nov. 1892 Pinhoe, Devon, bap. 22 Dec. 1892 St Michael Church, Pinhoe; d. 20 Jan. 1977 Hampshire, only son of Sir Hugh Bruce Williams of Chillies, Crowborough, Sussex (1865-1942, descended from James V) and Mabel Augusta Heward (1867-1945), and had issue, two sons and two daughters.

Issue of Evelyn Agnes (Clay) and Edward Stephen Bruce Williams:

1) Col. DAVID ARDEN BRUCE WILLIAMS, Royal Green Jackets, b. 1940; d. 23 June 2007; m. 1972, SUSAN ELLIS-JONES, b. 1947 Lancashire, and had issue, one son and two daughters.

2) BRIDGET EVELYN BRUCE WILLIAMS, b. 1943; m. 1968, JOHN CHARLES FAIRLIE of Dorchester, Dorset, and has issue, one son and one daughter.

3) EDWARD BRUCE WILLIAMS, b. 12 June 1946 The Well House, Banstead; m. 19 May 1973 Portsmouth, Hampshire, CATHERINE JANE HOWARD, b. 28 July 1950, only dau. of Capt. Henry Edmund Howard of Wickham (1923-1999, descended from Edward III) and Sheila Brown (1923-2007), and has issue, three sons.

4) JOANNA CATHERINE BRUCE WILLIAMS, b. 1949; m. 1978 Hampshire, DEREK R.M. ARMANDIAS of London, b. 1948 Windsor, Berkshire, and has issue, one daughter.

[*1] Edward Williams m. 1st 14 Apr. 1925 St Dubritius Church, Porlock, Somersetshire, Elizabeth Frances Chadwick-Healey, b. 1892 Marylebone, London; d.s.p. 24 Feb. 1934 Oxford, who can be found in the Chadwyck-Healey article in Burke’s Peerage 107th Edition (2003), p. 741. Rather unusually for a lady of the upper class in early 20th-century England, none of Elizabeth’s four grandparents – Edward Charles Healey, Elizabeth Wheatley, William Killigrew Wait, Elizabeth Perrin – despite their rather posh-sounding names - appear to have any lines of descent from Edward I. So much for the claim of respected Victorian-era genealogist John Horace Round that if he were given an English person with at least four English/British grandparents he could prove their descent from a British royal.

Evelyn (née Clay) Williams descends from Edward III through each of her parents, and it is through her father that she has the line of descent from Henry IV. Like Mary Jones (1644-1683), first wife of Lt-Gov. Thomas Lloyd of Pennsylvania, Evelyn Williams’s 18-generation line of descent from Henry IV is through the Worcestershire Littleton family.

Henry IV had a son,
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
- see Generation 1
1) Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1390-1447), had
2) Antigone of Lancaster, illegit. (b. c.1420) m. 1) Henry Gray, 2nd Count of Tancarville (1420-1450, descended from Edward I), and had
3) Lady Elizabeth Gray (c.1439-aft.1495) m. Sir Roger Kynaston of Hordley (d. 1495), and had
4) Anne Kynaston m. Roger Thornes of Shelvock (by1469-1531, descended from Edward I), and had
5) John Thornes of Shelvock m. Elizabeth Astley, and had
6) Richard Thornes of Condover m. Margaret Cla, and had
7) Alice Thornes (c.1530-1597) m. Rev. John Littleton of Spetchley (d. 1560), and had
8) Thomas Littleton of Stoke St Milburgh (c.1552-1622) m. Frances Lutley (1562-1648, descended from Edward III), and had
9) Sir Adam Littleton, 1st Baronet of Stoke Milburgh (c.1585-1647) m. Audrey Poyntz (c.1597-1648), and had
10) Anne Littleton (c.1622-1655) m. Thomas Powys of Henley Hall (1617-1671), and had
11) Sir Thomas Powys of Lilford (c.1648-1719) m. 2) Elizabeth Meadows (c.1668-1728, descended from Edward I), and had
Arthur Joseph Clay -
see Generation 17
12) Philip Powys of Hardwick House (1704-1779) m. Isabella Lybbe (1713-1761, descended from Edward III), and had
13) Philip Lybbe Powys of Hardwick House (1734-1809)[*2] m. Caroline Girle (1739-1817), and had
14) Caroline Isabella Powys (1775-1838) m. Rev. Edward Cooper of Hamstall Ridware (1770-1833, descended from Edward III)[*3], and had
15) Isabella Mary Cooper (1795-1859) m. Rev. Thomas Arden of Walton-on-Trent (1796-1860, descended from Edward I)[*4], and had
16) Agnes Lucy Arden (1838-1874) m. Charles John Clay of Holly Bush Hall (1828-1910), and had
17) Arthur Joseph Clay of Grangewood House (1870-1915) m. Bridget Parker-Jervis (1885-1973, descended from Edward III), and had
18) Evelyn Agnes Clay (1906-1995) m. Brigadier Edward ‘Ted’ Williams
Rev. Edward Cooper (1770-1833)
[The original portrait is in the
Jane Austen House Museum]

[*2Philip Lybbe Powys is also an ancestor of genealogist Tim Powys-Lybbe, and Tim’s online database is the go-to resource for these lines.

[*3Rev. Edward Cooper, a first cousin of the novelist Jane Austen, is a descendant of Anne, Duchess of Exeter, the sister of Edward IV & Richard III. He and his wife Caroline Powys appear on p. 97 of the Anne of Exeter volume in Ruvigny’s Plantagenet Roll series. But the Marquis in 1907 only assigns the couple a single child – a son Rev. Edward Philip Cooper (1794-1864). In actuality, they had five sons and three daughters. So Generations 15-18 above are additions to Ruvigny.
Isabella Mary (née Cooper) Arden (1795-1859)
[Portrait courtesy of Robin B. Clay]
[*4Rev. Thomas Arden can be found in the ‘Arden formerly of Longcroft’ article in BLG 18th edition Vol. 2 (1969). The article provides little detail and no dates for Rev. Thomas. He was born 17 March 1796 at Longcroft Hall, Yoxall, Staffordshire, died 8 October at Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, buried 12 October 1860 at St John the Baptist Church, Walton-on-Trent. He married 9 April 1834 at St James Church, Longdon, Staffordshire, Isabella Mary Cooper (born 29 November 1795 at Harpsden, Oxfordshire; died 31 January 1859 at Walton-on-Trent). In addition to the two sons mentioned in the article, Rev. Thomas and Isabella Mary Arden also had two daughters: Agnes Lucy Arden, born 19 August 1838 at Longcroft Hall, christened 9 May 1839 at St Peter Church, Yoxall (see Generation 16 above), and her elder sister Margaret Isabella Arden, born 25 January at Longcroft Hall, christened 9 March 1836 at St Peter Church, Yoxall; died unmarried 11 May 1878 at Stapenhill House, buried St Peter Church, Stapenhill. 

The next post will lay out Evelyn (Clay) Williams’s descent from Anne, Duchess of Exter, as well as her 25 other lines of descent from Edward III.

Cheers,                  -----Brad


  1. Updated to include the marriage notice, and details on the children, of Evelyn Clay and Brig. Edward Williams.

  2. Updated to include a portrait of Isabella (née Cooper) Arden (1795-1859), provided by her descendant, genealogist Robin B. Clay.