|2nd Viscount Wentworth of Wellesborough (1745-1815)|
[Portrait by Daniel Gardner c.1780]
Rev. Thomas Noel, rector of Kirkby Mallory, is one of the rare instances of an illegitimate child of a peer receiving mention in Burke's Peerage (107th Edn., 2003, p. 2442, sub Lytton). Conceived four months after his father had succeeded as 2nd Viscount Wentworth of Wellesborough, and born at the end of 1775, Tom lived with his sister Anna Catherine, six years his senior, and their mother Anna Caterina van Loo, the Belgian-born Catholic mistress of Viscount Wentworth, for the first six years of his life, until his mother's death in 1781. "My chief anxiety is about the poor Children," Viscount Wentworth wrote to his aunt Mary Noel (1725-1802) two days later, "which are truly dear to me, & as fine ones as can be...The Boy I shall educate well, & inculcate into him that his future livelihood must depend on some profession he may chuse." Viscount Wentworth stayed true to his word, sending his son to Rugby School in Warwickshire, where, in his last half-year, his father proudly wrote that Tom had "grown a devilish handsome strapping fellow." In April 1792, Viscount Wentworth sent his son to his own alma mater, Christ Church Oxford, and Tom Noel seems by that point to have decided on the career of a clergyman, for he was baptized in the Anglican church two days prior to his admission.
In the summer of 1795, having completed his third year at Christ Church, Tom Noel accompanied his cousin Sophia Curzon (1779-1849) to Ravensworth Castle in county Durham, the seat of Sir Thomas Liddell, 6th Baronet (1775-1855, later 1st Baron Ravensworth) and his widowed mother. There, Tom and Elizabeth 'Betsy' Liddell, the 21-year-old eldest sister of the baronet, fell in love. Thinking that Viscount Wentworth would settle a generous inheritance on his only son, the dowager Lady Liddell encouraged the romance. "Nothing could make me happier than seeing Tom so very respectably settled & his forming so enviable a connection," Viscount Wentworth wrote to his sister Judith, Lady Milbanke, "but surely I could wish that no Step might be taken without giving time & particularly to the Lady to reflect on future consequences." Once it became clear to Lady Liddell that Viscount Wentworth was both unwilling and unable (he had many debts and his properties were heavily mortgaged) to provide immediately for his son, she insisted that her daughter break off with Tom Noel. Two months later, Viscount Wentworth discovered that his son's "vanity was the only part much hurt by his dismission." Seven months later in May 1796, Tom Noel received his bachelor's degree from Oxford and eloped.
|1811 engraving of Normanton Turville Hall, Leicestershire|
Edward III had two sons A1 & B1 (see below)
A1) Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338-1368) m. 1) Lady Elizabeth de Burgh (1332-1363, descended from Edward I), and had
A2) Lady Philippa Plantagenet of Clarence (1355-1377) m. Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1352-1381), and had
|Lord Protector Somerset -|
see Generation A8
A4) Lady Elizabeth Percy (c.1395-1437) m. 1) John, 7th Lord Clifford (1388-1422, descended from Edward I), and had
A5) Mary Clifford (c.1420-by 1458) m. Sir Philip Wentworth of Nettlestead (1424-1464), and had
A6) Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead (1448-1499) m. 1) Anne Say (c.1448-aft.1489), and had
A7) Margery Wentworth (c.1478-1550) m. Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall (c.1474-1536), and had
A8) Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector (c.1500-1552) m. 2) Anne Stanhope (see B6 below), and had
A9) Lady Elizabeth Seymour (1550-1602) m. Sir Richard Knightley of Fawsley Hall (1533-1615, descended from Edward I), and had
A10) Sir Seymour Knightley of Norton (1580-1640) m. Dorothy Bedell (d. 1633), and had
A11) Anne Knightley (c.1620-1699) m. Dr. Jonathan Holled of Cottingham (1612-1680), and had
A12) Rev. Knightley Holled of Barby (c.1650-1700) m. Anne Mayne (d. 1730), and had
A13) Anne Holled (c.1680-1766) m. John Smith of Leire (1672-1742), and had
A14) Knightley Smith of Leire (c.1710-1740) m. Darell Jervis (1713-1740), and had
A15) Holled Smith of Normanton Turville Hall (1732-1795) m. Elizabeth Grace (1738-1786), and had
A16) Catherine Smith (1773-1832), first wife of Rev. Thomas Noel of Kirkby Mallory
|Anne (née Stanhope),|
Duchess of Somerset -
see Generation B6
B1) Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1355-1397) m. Lady Eleanor de Bohun (1365-1399, descended from Edward I), and had
B3) William Bourchier, 9th Lord FitzWarin (c.1409-1469) m. 1) Thomasine Hankford (1423-1453), and had
B4) Fulk Bourchier, 10th Lord FitzWarin (1445-1479) m. Elizabeth Dinham (c.1450-1516), and had
B5) Elizabeth Bourchier (c.1478-1557) m. 3) Sir Edward Stanhope of Rampton (1469-1511), and had
B6) Anne Stanhope (c.1510-1587) m. 1) Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (see A8 above)
Likely it was Tom Noel's stepmother Countess Ligonier who smoothed things over between her husband Viscount Wentworth and his impulsive son, for Tom named his firstborn child, which followed nine months after his wedding, 'Mary' in his stepmother's honour. In 1798, Viscount Wentworth was reconciled enough to Tom that he presented him the livings of Kirkby Mallory and Elmsthorpe. Rev. Noel received his Master's degree from Oxford in 1801, and settled down for the next dozen years as the rector of Kirkby Mallory. In 1812, he asked for, and was granted, the honour of performing the wedding ceremony of his cousin Anne Isabella Milbanke, the legal heir of Viscount Wentworth, to Lord Byron. The poet took a ring from his finger and gave it to Rev. Noel as a souvenir of the occasion, but one of Tom's daughters wrote to a friend, "Papa expects something more substantial for the service he has rendered Lord Byron."
|Judith Noel, Lady Milbanke|
Byron's observation of Rev. Noel's unhappiness proved right on the mark. In his later years, Tom was increasingly frustrated by the inheritance situation following his father's death in 1815. To provide for his two illegitimate children Viscount Wentworth stipulated in his will that his Gloucestershire estates were to be sold for payment of his debts and to provide legacies for his children. Judith Milbanke had laboured determinedly for the past two decades to insure that Viscount Wentworth designated her and her only daughter as his legal heirs, and Judith even agreed to her brother's stipulation that she, her husband, her daughter and even her son-in-law Lord Byron all had to legally assume the surname Noel. Judith triumphantly moved into Kirkby Hall immediately on inheriting it, and never left it again. With her usual incapacity for seeing any perspective other than her own, she then legally blocked her brother's executors from selling his Gloucestershire estates. In 1816, Rev. Noel and his sister Mrs. Biscoe, both with large families, sued their father's trustees, Judith, and her husband for a settlement under the terms of their father's will. Not blessed with the several manors and estates of the Milbankes and Noels which Judith had successfully combined, Viscount Wentworth's two children needed the cash he had stipulated for them to help provide for their families, and didn't have the luxury of waiting for property values to increase, which seemed to be Judith's goal in delaying the sale. Judith once referred to Tom's wife Catherine as "a poor timid low-spirited creature," so it's no surprise that when she took possession of Kirkby Hall, Rev. Noel appointed a fellow prelate to perform the clerical duties of the parish, and vacated Kirkby Mallory.
|Kirkby Mallory Rectory in late 19th-century|
Lady Byron's refusal to loan money to Rev. Noel could have been a result of his own foolish behaviour. After the death of his wife Catherine in 1832, Rev. Noel seems to have moved to Calais, perhaps fleeing creditors. In 1838, at the age of 62, he made a second marriage there, to the 30-year-old Henrietta Fisher, an Englishwoman from Kent, and in 1846, when he was refused the loan by Lady Byron, they had two infant sons. His five surviving children from his first marriage, grown-up and starting families of their own, with the financial support of Lady Byron, were dismayed by their father's second wife and family. Rev. Noel felt betrayed enough by one of his sons, Charles Noel, who had accepted Lady Byron's offer in 1831 to serve as her resident land agent at Kirkby Mallory with an annual income of £100, that he cut him out of his will. Rev. Noel died in Plymouth at the age of 77 in the summer of 1853, leaving dual families: a 45-year-old widow with two young sons, aged 10 and 8, and grown children with families of their own scattered throughout England, Germany and Greece. It's evident that, thanks to the support of Lady Byron, the children of Rev. Noel's first marriage did much better in life than the two young sons of his second marriage. When his widow Henrietta died in Plymouth in 1878, her estate was valued at less than £300. Her elder son Vincent Noel had become a physician, but sadly died of scarlet fever at age 23 while treating an outbreak of it in Plymouth. The younger son Henry Noel, was the only one of Rev. Noel's six sons to follow in his footsteps and become a clergyman. He became rector of a parish in Manchester, and died there in 1893 leaving two sons of his own. The elder, Ternan Noel, a labourer who immigrated to Canada and died in a psychiatric facility, and the younger, Archibald Noel, a bookkeeper in Manchester - a far cry from the lectures at Christ Church and summers at Kirkby Hall and Ravensworth Castle that their grandfather had experienced.
|Gatehouse of Christ Church Oxford|
Charles, the son Rev. Noel felt inclined to cut out from inheritance, was able to reach a state his father never could: forgiveness. He wrote to Lady Byron: "Relating to the will of my late Father I wish to place on record my earnest desire in relation to that document. First I freely forgive the dead. Next I wish to prove to the widow that I cannot in hope of a future world before my eyes use the same weapons in defence...and I trust that I may be enabled to live and die without receiving in any way benefit from my Father's property." That a son engaged in a material career proved more spiritual in the end than a father engaged in a clerical one may not be so unusual among the 19th-century English clergy. Lord Byron deferred to his estranged wife on the matter of Rev. Noel, "she is a better judge of parsons than me."
Rev. THOMAS NOEL, Rector of Kirkby Mallory 1798-1853, b. 28 Dec. 1775 England, bap. 25 Apr. 1792 St Marylebone, London; d. 22 Aug. 1853 Plymouth, Devon, bur. 29 Aug. 1853 Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth, illegitimate son of Thomas Noel, 2nd Viscount Wentworth of Wellesborough (1745-1815, descended from Edward III) and Anna Catherina Vanloo (d. 1781); m. 1st 7 May 1796 St Mary Church, Bucklebury, Berkshire, CATHERINE SMITH, b. Claybrooke, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, bap. 21 Aug. 1773 St Mary Church, Lutterworth; d. 11 Mar. 1832 Norris Hill, Hampshire, dau. of Holled Smith of Normanton Turville Hall (1732-1795, descended from Edward III) and Elizabeth Grace (1738-1786), and had issue, five sons and five daughters; m. 2nd 1 Mar. 1838 Town Hall, Calais, France, HENRIETTA ELIZABETH FISHER, b. 27 July 1808 Gravesend, Kent, bap. 28 Jan. 1812 St George Church, Gravesend; d. 27 Aug. 1878 St Stephen-By-Saltish, Cornwall, bur. 30 Aug. 1878 Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth, dau. of Thomas Fisher of Gravesend (d. 1814) and Mary (?)Milgate, and had further issue, two sons.
|Town Hall, Calais, France|
Issue of Rev. Thomas and Catherine (Smith) Noel:
1) MARY GEORGIANA NOEL, b. 11 Feb. 1797, bap. 11 May 1797 St Peter & St Paul Church, Yattendon, Berkshire; d. unm. 25 Sept. 1815 Malvern, Worcestershire.
2) CATHARINE JUDITH NOEL, b. 6 Apr. 1798, bap. 29 May 1798 St Peter & St Paul Church, Yattendon; d. unm. 19 May 1815 Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire.
3) THOMAS NOEL of Boyne Cottage, Cookham, Berkshire, poet, b. 11 May 1799 Kirkby Mallory, bap. 13 May 1799 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; d. 22 May 1861 Brighton, Sussex; m. 29 Jan. 1831 All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, as her 1st husband, EMILY ANNE HALLIDAY, b. 13 Oct. 1812 Ham Lodge, Surrey, bap. 6 Nov. 1815 All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames; d. 7 Dec. 1882 Rochdale, Lancashire, yr. dau. of Capt. Francis Alexander Halliday of Ham Lodge (1773-1830, descended from Henry VII) and Anne White (1777-1840), and had issue, two sons and one daughter.
Issue of Thomas and Emily Anne (Halliday) Noel:
3A) THOMAS HALLIDAY NOEL, b. 1845 Boyne Cottage; d. 1859 Brighton.
3B) EMILY ELIZA NOEL, b. 1849 Boyne Cottage; d. 31 Jan. 1934 West Norwood, Surrey; m. 29 June 1869 St Nicholas Church, Brighton, JOHN GEORGE CHARLES SCHULER of West Norwood, language instructor, b. 16 Jan. 1847 Stuttgart, Württemberg, Germany, bap. there 7 Feb. 1847; d. 27 Mar. 1919 West Norwood, son of Johann Georg Schuler of Stuttgart and Friedrike Regine Menninger, and had issue, six sons and four daughters.
|Noel of Kirkby Coat of Arms|
3C) BYRON BRUCE NOEL of Evenwood, Ockham, Surrey, land agent to Earl of Lovelace, b. 14 Nov. 1851 Boyne Cottage; d. 3 Apr. 1909 Evenwood, bur. 8 Apr. 1909 All Saints Church, Ockham; m. 1874 Kensington, London, AMY ELFORD ADAMS, b. 6 Nov. 1854 Aberdeen, Scotland, bap. 26 Nov. 1854 Old Machar, Aberdeen; d. 1 Mar. 1940 Heathfield House, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, only dau. of Capt. William Elford Adams of Aberdeen (1822-1856) and Anna Maria Bannerman (1829-1904, descended from James I of Scotland), and had issue, six sons and seven daughters.
4) ROWNEY NOEL [son], b. 20 June 1800 Kirkby Mallory, bap. there same day; d. 25 June 1800 Kirkby Mallory, bur. there same day.
5) JANE NOEL, bap. 31 Aug. 1801 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; bur. there 13 Oct. 1801.
6) Maj. ROBERT RALPH NOEL of Brompton, Middlesex, Leicestershire Regiment Militia, phrenologist, bap. 28 Oct. 1802 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; d.s.p. 3 July 1883 Brompton; m. 1838 Germany, LOUISE VON HENNIGEN, b. 1813 Bohemia; d.s.p. 27 Apr. 1885 Brompton.
7) SOPHIA ANNE NOEL, b. 26 July 1805 Kirkby Mallory, bap. 17 Nov. 1812 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; d. 2 June 1876 Richmond, Surrey; m. 20 Aug. 1833 St Martin Church, Bryanston, Dorset, Lt. LIONEL HALLIDAY of St Helier, Jersey, b. 5 Mar. 1803 Ruxbury, St Anne's Hill, Surrey, bap. 2 May 1803 St Peter Church, Chertsey, Surrey; d. 23 Jan. 1846 Dinan, Brittany, France, est son of Capt. Francis Alexander Halliday of Ham Lodge (1773-1830, descended from Henry VII) and Anne White (1777-1840), and had issue, three sons and three daughters.
|All Saints Church, Leamington Priors|
8) CHARLES NOEL of Leamington Priors, Warwickshire, land agent for Lady Byron, b. 7 June 1809 Kirkby Mallory (twin with sister Anna Frances), bap. 17 Nov. 1812 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; d. 7 May 1857 Leamington Priors, bur. 9 May 1857 All Saints Church, Leamington Priors; m. 2 June 1836 St Catherine Church, Burbage, Leicestershire, MARY ANNE DYKE, bap. 30 Apr. 1802 St Catherine Church, Burbage; d. 20 Apr. 1857 Leamington Priors, bur. 23 Apr. 1857 All Saints Church, Leamington Priors, dau. of Rev. Jerome Dyke of Burbage (1771-1837) and Mary Sheppard (1775-1826), and had issue, one son and two daughters.
Issue of Charles and Mary Anne (Dyke) Noel:
8A) MARY AUGUSTA NOEL, governess, b. 1837 Kirkby Mallory; living 1861 - further history not known[*1].
8B) CATHERINE EMMA NOEL, bap. 4 Aug. 1838 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; living 1857 - further history not known[*1].
8C) CHARLES EDWARD NOEL of Purbrook Cosham, Hampshire, bap. 24 July 1840 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; d. unm. 19 May 1876 Portsmouth, Hampshire.
9) ANNA FRANCES NOEL, b. 7 June 1809 Kirkby Mallory (twin with brother Charles), bap. 17 Nov. 1812 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; d. unm. Apr. 1833 Bloomsbury, London, bur. 27 Apr. 1833 St Mary Church, Hanwell, Middlesex.
|Edward Henry Noel (1811-1884)|
10) EDWARD HENRY NOEL of Hampstead, Middlesex and Achmetaga, Euboea [today Evia], Greece, b. 18 June 1811 Kirkby Mallory, bap. 17 Nov. 1812 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory; d. 29 Feb. 1884 Hampstead, bur. 5 Mar. 1884 St Mary Church, Hendon, Middlesex; m. 18 June 1838 St Mary Church, Ealing, Middlesex, FRANCES ISABELLA DOYLE, b. 1819 Bengal, India; d. 5 Nov. 1845 Torquay, Devon, bur. 11 Nov. 1845 St Saviour Church, Tormohun, Devon, dau. of Maj-Gen. Carlo Joseph Doyle (1787-1848) and Chiano Begum (d. by 1820), and had issue, two sons and three daughters.
Issue of Edward Henry and Frances Isabella (Smith) Noel:
10A) IRENE SELINA NOEL, b. 22 May 1839 Athens, Greece, bap. 23 May 1839 St Paul Anglican Church, Athens; d. unm. 1855 Piraeus, Attica, Greece, bur. Athens.
10B) EDITH CATHERINE NOEL, b. 25 Oct. 1840 Athens, bap. 25 Dec. 1840 St Paul Anglican Church, Athens; d. in infancy 5 July 1841 Trieste, Italy.
10C) EDGAR CARLO NOEL, b. 12 Feb. 1842 Leamington Priors; d. in infancy there Oct. 1842.
10D) ALICE MARY NOEL, b. 27 Feb. 1843 Leamington Priors, bap. 4 Sept. 1844 All Saints Church, Leamington Priors; d.s.p. 10 Apr. 1929 Hampstead; m. 2 July 1885 St John Church, Hampstead, JOHN ARCHIBALD MURRAY MACDONALD of Browns Copse, Heyshott, Sussex, M.P. Bow & Bromley 1892-95, M.P. Falkirk Burghs 1906-18, b. 9 Oct. 1854 Strachur, Argyllshire, Scotland; d.s.p. 16 Jan. 1939 Browns Copse, son of Rev. Hugh Ferguson MacDonald of Strachur (d. 1901) and Christina McIver (d. 1883).
|Alice (née Noel) MacDonald|
10E) FRANCIS EDWARD NOEL of Achmetaga, b. 31 July 1844 Leamington Priors, bap. 4 Sept. 1844 All Saints Church, Leamington Priors; d. 28 Sept. 1919 Achmetaga, bur. there; m. 26 Feb. 1876 St Stephen Kensington, London (divorce c.1885), EDITH ELLEN VINER, bap. 8 Aug. 1856 All Saints Church, St John's Wood, Middlesex; bur. 19 Aug. 1893 St Peter Church, Turnham, Buckinghamshire, yst dau. of Thomas Viner, coffee merchant, of Ceylon & Wavendon Lodge, Woburn, Buckinghamshire (c.1808-1884) and Emma ---, and had issue, one son and one daughter.
Issue of Rev. Thomas and Henrietta Elizabeth (Fisher) Noel:
11) Dr. VINCENT EDMUND NOEL of Plymouth, Devon, physician, bap. 11 June 1843 St Andrew Church, Plymouth; d. unm. 6 Dec. 1866 Plymouth, bur. 11 Dec. 1866 Ford Park Cemetery.
12) Rev. HENRY ANTHONY NOEL, Rector of St Clements Longsight, Manchester, Lancashire 1881-93, b. 27 Mar. 1845 Plymouth, bap. 12 June 1845 St Andrew Church, Plymouth; d. 12 May 1893 St Clements Rectory, Longsight; m. 26 May 1869 St Clement Danes, London, JANE ELIZABETH O'NEIL, b. 1842 Rame, Cornwall; d. Dec. 1909 Chorlton, Manchester, bur. 4 Jan. 1910 Southern Cemetery, Chorlton, dau. of Capt. Henry O'Neil of Plymouth (1812-1884) and Mary Cole, and had issue, two sons and one daughter.
Issue of Rev. Henry Anthony and Jane Elizabeth (O'Neil) Noel:
12A) IRENE MAY NOEL, b. Halifax, Yorkshire, bap. 28 Mar. 1870 All Saints Church, Salterhebble, Yorkshire; d. 24 Jan. 1925 Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire; m. 19 Apr. 1894 St Clements Longsight, as his 1st wife, ROBERT ASTLEY HOPWOOD of Manchester, Master Merchant Marines, bap. 3 Nov. 1868 St Philip Hulme, Manchester; d. 1942 Lancashire, est son of Richard Hopwood of Manchester, lithographic printer (1847-1906) and Maria Louisa Robinson (1845-1933), and had issue, two sons and two daughters.
12B) TERNAN OSWALD NOEL of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, labourer, b. 29 Jan. 1873 Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; d. unm. 11 Apr. 1924 Protestant Hospital for the Insane, Verdun, Quebec.
|Protestant Hospital for the Insane, Verdun, Quebec|
[*1] Mary Augusta Noel last appears on record in the 1861 Census as a governess, while her sister Catherine Emma last appears on record in their father Charles Noel's 1857 will. It's possible either or both sisters married, though neither has a readily apparent entry in the England Marriages 1837-1915 Index. Nor is there a readily apparent death entry for either sister in the England Deaths 1837-1915 Index. Administration of the estate of their brother Charles was granted in 1876 to their uncle Robert Ralph Noel, which suggests both sisters had predeceased their brother, though it's also possible one or both had emigrated from England.
The next blogpost will examine the Edward III descents for Francis Noel-Baker, M.P., a descendant of Rev. Thomas Noel.