Friday, 17 August 2018

The Mackenzie Family

These are sundry items gleaned from the internet that I have quickly assembled as part of research into the Mackenzie ancestors of my cousins in the Pio and Salvadori families. I apologise that not all have proper links to the original sites, but time is not on my side. Hopefully people who see what I have placed here will be encouraged to google the original sites.

Edward Mackenzie

Edward Mackenzie (1811-1880)

1880 Obituary [1]

Mr. Edward Mackenzie, of Fawley-court, Henley-on-Thames, has passed away at the age of 70. He had a severe paralytic seizure about four years ago, but he recovered from this, and was in the enjoyment of good health until three weeks ago; upon returning from his estates in Scotland, he was visited with a renewal of the seizure. His system had been too much shaken to resist this second attack, which ended fatally on Monday last.

He was the youngest son of the late Mr. Alexander Mackenzie, C.E., of Fairburn, in Ross-shire, and was twice married; first, to a Miss Dalziel, of the Craigs, County Dumfries; and secondly, to Miss Ellen Mullett, who survives him.

He leaves behind him a colossal fortune, made as a civil engineer and contractor. He was a man of mark in connexion with his elder brother, the late Mr. William Mackenzie, and the late Mr. Brassey, in the early and palmy days of the railways, they being the contractors for gigantic works in France and England. They were all men of great administrative powers.

Mr. Mackenzie lived for a quarter of a century at Fawley-court, which estate he purchased on retiring from business. The house abounds with valuable paintings and works of art; it was built by Sir Christopher Wren after the demolition of the former mansion during the great rebellion. Mr. Edward Mackenzie was a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant of the county of Oxford, and served the office of high sheriff of that county in 1862-3.
See Also

Engineering 1880 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index
William Mackenzie
Sources of Information
Jump up↑ Engineering 1880 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index
Fawley Court

Fawley Court was sold to the Scottish banker and railway entrepreneur, Edward Mackenzie in 1853. He retired to Fawley following many successful ventures developing major stages of the railway network in France, following the decline due to ill health and death of his partner and brother, the famous civil engineer and railway builder, William Mackenzie. Edward Mackenzie himself died in 1880, and the house was inherited by his son, William Dalziel Mackenzie, who commissioned the Lancaster architects Paley and Austin to extend the house. This took place in 1883, and consisted of the addition of a wing, containing a study, a billiard room, smoking rooms, and bedrooms, together with terraces around the house.[14]

It is reputed to have been Kenneth Grahame's inspiration for Toad Hall in his book The Wind in the Willows, written in 1908.[15]

National Archives1 19th cent-20th cent: estate papers
Norfolk Record Office
MC 114
NRA 27603
2 1355-1946: estate and family papers, incl estate papers of East Anglian and Scottish estates
Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies
AR 1/93, AR 41/94
NRA 40589 Fawley Court
3 1873-1938: family corresp
Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies
D/X 1152
NRA 41530
4 1853-1939: additional corresp and financial papers
Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies
AR 88/2003
See Annual return 2003

Mackenzie Mausoleum, Bucks.

A dour-looking mausoleum built of huge blocks of Aberdeen granite in a stripped Grecian style with a stepped pyramidal roof, heavy cornice and pediment over the doorway. There is a shield with a stag’s head attached to the lattice work of the wooden door, and a carving of a winged hourglass in the pediment above.

Not known

Grade II (England and Wales)
Year Built


Greek Revival

Edward Mackenzie (d.1880) bought Fawley Court in 1852. He was a banker who came from Renfrewshire in Scotland. The family mausoleum was built following the death of his first wife, Mary, in 1861. When he died the house, together with its extensive park and surrounding farmland, passed to his son, William Dalziel Mackenzie (1840-1928) a man who listed his recreations in Who’s Who as “farms largely, estate improvements, planting etc”. He was MP, first for Reading and later for Truro and Woodstock, and published a paper on “The Agricultural Depression and the Fiscal Question”.

Fair (2014).

BoE: Bucks (1994), 326; Who Was Who (1916);
Walford’s County Families of the United Kingdom

When Sambrook Freeman died, a nephew, Strickland freeman, inherited the estate which then remained in the ownership of the Freeman family until it was sold in 1853 to Edward MacKenzie. He was a Scottish banker and his son, William D. MacKenzie (1840-1928), a surveyor and railway engineer, added the side wing to the house in 1884. He also created the canal-like waterway from the house to the Thames, planted more trees and restocked the deer park, but transferred the manorial rights of Henley manor to the Henley Corporation. His son, Major William R.D. MacKenzie, sold much of the estate in 1931-2 but remained owner of the house.

History has not been kind to the memory of William Mackenzie. While the names of Telford and Stephenson continue to be well known today, that of William Mackenzie, one of the most important figures in the engineering world during the first half of the nineteenth century, has slipped from prominence.The Institution of Civil Engineers has now published The Diary of William Mackenzie, a fascinating new book which presents a unique record of this important figure and also of the Victorian world in which he lived, affording new insights for economic, social and engineering historians

Lord Robert Edward Somerset

by William Salter
20 3/8 in. x 16 1/8 in. (518 mm x 409 mm)
NPG 3754

This portrait

The portraits [NPG 3689-NPG 3769] are oil studies for a large picture (about 6ft x 11ft), 'The Waterloo Banquet', now hanging at Stratfield Saye House. The banquet was held regularly at Apsley House on the anniversary of Waterloo, 18 June 1815, William Salter's picture representing the occasion in 1836, though it may have been conceived earlier. Two of the sitters, Bathurst and Manners, died in 1834 and 1835 and their portraits appear to have been painted from life, but the only banquet when both William IV and William II of Holland were present was in 1836 (The Times, 20 June 1836, 4e). The finished work, far more meticulously painted than the rather rough oil studies, was completed in 1840 and exhibited in June 1841 at 20 Threadneedle Street, the offices of Alderman Moon who published Greatbach's engraving of the picture. Neither Moon nor Salter were able to find a buyer for the picture until it was bought in 1852 by a friend of Salter's, Edward Mackenzie, who had just acquired a large house in the country, Fawley Court, Henley-on-Thames. It hung there until bequeathed to the 6th Duke of Wellington by his grandson Major W. R. D. Mackenzie.
The NPG oil studies are probably ad vivum sketches painted coarsely but with considerable verve and with close but not infallible attention to the details of uniform and orders. Several of them, if not all, were worked up into finished portraits for the individual subjects, the Mackenzie family tradition being that two sets were painted.

According to what I have been told by my Father and my Grandfather, Salter certainly painted two sets of these portraits; I do not know who commissioned one set, but have an idea that Salter tried to sell them to the subjects. Also according to family tradition, Salter who was a friend of my great-grandfather, tried unsuccessfully to sell the Banquet picture and another set of portraits, and these were finally bought by my great-grandfather out of friendship to Salter, and possibly because he had just acquired a house large enough to house them.
(Letter of 3 July 1952 from Alexander Mackenzie of Inverness in NPG archive.)
A few of Salter's improved sketches are known to be still in the sitters' family collections or elsewhere (Askew, Clifton, Dick, Dickson, Hunter-Blair, Richmond and Lennox, Rooke, Rowan and Wellington); and a few more, implying completion, were engraved by either Cochran or Greatbach (Bowater, Egerton, Hunter-Blair, Lambert, Lygon, Richmond and Lennox, Sleigh, Lord Edward Somerset, Townshend, Wellington and Wyndham). The NPG set, after its acquisition by Edward Mackenzie, hung on the staircase at Fawley Court until the house was requisitioned for military purposes in the Second World War. They were then boxed in neatly fitting wooden cabinets made by the Office of Works and finally came to the NPG in 1950.


Dalton 1890, 1904
Charles Dalton, The Waterloo Roll Call, 1890 and 2nd edn. 1904.

Dawnay & Tamplin 1971
Major N. P. Dawnay & Major J. M. A. Tamplin, 'The Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House 1836, by William Salter' in Journal of Society for Army Historical Research, XLIX, 1971, pp 63-76 illustrated with several of the studies and a colour reproduction of the whole picture as frontispiece.

Longford 1983
Elizabeth Longford, 'Apsley House and the Battle of the Waterloo Banquets' in The V&A Album 2, 1983, pp 22-7.

The Athenaeum, 1841, p 342 notices the exhibition at Mr Moon's house in Threadneedle Street, 18 June 1841.

Physical description

Three-quarter-length standing gesturing with left hand, lieutenant-general's uniform, Ribbon and Star of GCB, Badges of St Vladimir, Maria Theresa, ? Tower and Sword, Peninsula Cross with one clasp, and Waterloo Medal; black hair, brown eyes, swarthy complexion; column in left background.


The artist until bought, together with the finished painting, by Edward Mackenzie in 1852 'out of friendship' for Salter; bequeathed by his son William Dalziel Mackenzie to the NPG in 1929 (though the bequest did not take effect till 1950).


Line and stipple vignette by J. Cochran published 1 August 1841 and re-issued 15 February 1853 by Thomas Boys (example in National Army Museum).


Mackenzie, William Dalziel, Esq. of Fawley
Court, CO. Bucks, Farr, Invernesshire, and Newbie,
Dumfricssliire, M.A. Magdalen Coll. Oxford, Hon.
Major Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, Barris-
ter-at-Law of the Inner Temple, J.!*, cos. Dumfries,
Kirkcudbright, Bucks, and Oxford, D.L. co. Inver-
ness, High Sheriff co. Oxford 1873, b. 31 March,
3 840 ; m. 1 Dec. 1863, Mary Anna, eldest dau. of
the late Henry Baskerville, Esq. of Crowsley Park,
CO. Oxford, and has issue,

I. William Rodebick Dalziel, J.P. Oxon, Capt. 2nd batt.
Cameron Highlanders, 6. 2 Sept. I8G4 ; m. 21 Nov. 1883,
Maud Evelyn, eldest dau. of Gen. Sir G. W. Higgenson,
K.C.B., and has issue,

1 DoDGLAS Alexanbee Willtam Dalzell, 6. 1889.

2 Kenneth KitzPatrick, 6. 1891.

3 Archibald Edward Murray, h. June, 1892; d. 13
March, 1893.

II. Edward Baskerville, 2nd Lieut. 2nd batt. Cameron High-
hinders, 6. 11 Dec. 1874.

I. Mary Gwendoline, m. 15 Nov. 18S7, Duncan Da\idson,
Ksq. of TdUoch, co. Ross.

II. Isla Jessie, m. 23rd Feb. 1892, Harry Officer, 3rd son of
Richard Blackwood, of Hartwootl, N.S.W.

III. Aimee Dorothea.

IV. Kathleen Helen.

liineag'e. — Alexandeb Mackenzie, b. 5 June, 1769, at
Wester Fairbum, parish of Urray, co. Ross, of the family of
Mackenzie, of Fairburn and Muirton, co. Ross, was educated
at Inverness High School, where he was a fellow-student of
David Mackintosh, with wliom he came to England, and sub-
sequently became partner. As canal engineers the firm thus
formed constructed many of the canals throughout the
country ; but while Mr. Mackenzie's partner amassed a laige
fortune, his improvidence left him in difficulties. At his
death, his eldest son, William Mackenzie, at first with Mack-
intosh (on Union Canal) and then as a civit engineer under
Telford, speedily made his way ; he assisted in most of the
great works (railways, canals, <tc.) of his time, and was
employed by the government as engineer in the Shannon
improvements, and received the thanks of the Irish Secretary
in the House of Commons for the talent and energy he
displayed there. He afterwards contracted for many
' railways, both at home and in France, Spain, etc., and was
, for some years (as was also the late Mr. Edward Mackenzie)

■ partner in the firm of Mackenzie and Brassey. He was
; director of several railways. Chevalier of the Legion of

■ Honour, and at the time of his death presumptive heir to
: the Muirton estate. He was s. by his brother, the late

Edward Mackenzie, Esq. of Fawley Court. Alexander Mac-
kenzie d. at Blackburn, co. Lancaster, 23 Feb. 183G. He
m. Mary, dau. of William Austin, Esq., by whom (who
d. 8 June, 1828, aged 56) he had issue,

I. William, of Newbie, Civil Engineer, to whose successful
career we have just alluded, was b. 20 March, 1794; m. 1st,
Is 19, Mary, dau. of James Dalziel, of Glasgow, which lady
</. 1838, aged 49 ; 2ndly, Sarah, dau. of William Dewhurst,
Esq. of Chorley, co. Lancaster, who d. 29 Oct. 1851, by
neither of whom he had issue.

II. Alexander, 6. 1796 ; to. and had issue,

1 William Sager, C.E., in Russia, m. 1st, — dan. of T.
Woodhouse, Esq., and 2ndly, Lucy, dau. of G. Wood-
house, Esq., and d. in London, 27 Feb. 1887 (aged 60),
leaving issue.

2 Kenneth, C.E., killed in a railway accident in France.

3 Richard, C.E., m. hi? cousin, Eliza, dau. of J. Griffith,
Esq., and d. in Canada, 16 Feb. 1887, aged 54.

4 Alexander, C.E., killed in a railway accident in Canada.
1 Mary, m. Mr. Scott, in Canada.

III. David 6. 1799; d. 1802.

:v. Jnhn, b. 1804 went to Virginia as a planter, and d. unm.
v. Daniel, b. 1807; d. 1811.

VI. Thomas, 6. 1808; d. 1811.

VII. Edwaed, his heir.

I. Sarah, 6. 1797 ; d. unm.

II. Margaret, m. J. Griffith, Esq., and d. 1875. leaving issue.

III. Mary, b. 1814; m. Mr. Barnard, of Greenock ; d. «. p.

IV. Eliza, m. Alex. Duckworth, Esq., and left issue.
The youngest son,

Edward Mackenzie, Esq. of Fawley Court, Bucks, J.P. cos.
Buckingham, Oxford, Dumfries, and Kirkcudbright, D.L. co.
Oxford, and High Sheriff 1862, 6. 1 May, 1811; s. his brether
William, in the property of Newbie ; purchased 1853, the
manor and estate of Fawley Court from William Peere- Wil-
liams-Freeman, Esq. of Pylewell; m. 1st, 31 Jan. 18S9, Mary,
dau. of William Dalziel, Esq. of the Craigg, co. Dumfries, by
Maria his wife, dau. of William Dewhurst, Esq. of Chorley,
CO. Lancaster, and by her (who d. 21 July, 1861) had issue,

I. William Dalziel, now of Fawley Court and Farr.

II. Edward Philippe, of Auchenskeoch, Kirkcudbrightshire,
of I he Craigs, Dumfriesshire, and of Downham Hall,
Suffolk, formerly Lieut. 9th Lancers, Lite Col. Comm. Loyal
Suffolk Hussars, J.P., cos. Norfolk, Suffolk, and Dumfries,
High Sheriff co. Suffolk, 1882, and D.L. for that co., b. 14
March, 1842: m. liGb, Helen Jane, 3rd dau. of Henry
Baskerville, Esq. of Crowsley Park, co. Oxford, and has a
dau. Beryl Baskerville, m. 1890, Col. Geoffry Barton, C.B.,
7lh Fusiliers, and has issue.

III. Austin, late of Warmanbie, Dumfriesshire, J.P., late
Lieut. 3rd Batt. Scots Fusiliers, 6. 10 Oct. 1856; m. 31 Jan.
1878, Lucy, dau. of Major Gustavus Tuile Dalton, of
Fennor, co. Meath.

IV. Keith Ronald, of Gillotts, Oxon, b. 17 May, 1861.

I. Alarie Ada, m. 1869, John William Rhodes, Esq. of
Hennerton, Berks, J. P., formerly Lieut. 60th Rifles, and
lias issue,

II. Claire Evelyn, to. 1866, Francis Henry, Esq. of Elmstree,
CO. Gloucester, Hon. Lieut. -Col. Gloucestershire Hussars,
late Lieut. 9th Lancers, and has issue.

III. Sarah Rosa, 7!i. John E. Cooke, Ksq., and lias issue.

IV. Alice Edith, to. Major \V. Partridge, and has issue.

V. Aimee Gertrude, m. 22 Oct. Ia7:, Sir William Robert
Clayton, 6th Bart, of Marden Park.

VI. Maiy Maude Janetta,

Mr. Edward Mackenzie ra. 2ndly, 1864, Ellen, dau. of James
Mullett, Esq. He d. 27 Sept. I8S0, and was s. by his eldest
son, William Dalzlel Mackenzie, Esq., now of Fawley

Artns — Or, a cross, parted and fretty az., between, in the first
and fourth quarters, a stag's head cabossed of the last; in second
and third quarters, a mountain in flames ppr. Crest — A stag's
head cabossed az , within its attires a cross couped or, the
whole between two stags' horns guld. Motto—AUvsija faithful.

.SVais— Fa» ley Court (built by Sir Christopher Wren), Henley-
on-Tliames ; Croxton Park, Thetiord ; Newbie, Annan, N.B. ;
and Farr, co. Inverness.
Colonel Edward Philippe Mackenzie, 1842- 1929, A Military Man and Much More

Colonel EP Mackenzie and his wife Helen moved into Sussex Square in 1911. He was 69 and Helen - his wife of 46 years - was 67. He lived there until his death in 1929 and was to be the last proper resident of the whole, undivided house.
Colonel McKenzie of the Loyal Suffolk Hussars.

In successive editions of the Brighton directories, Edward Philippe Mackenzie designates himself Colonel E P Mackenzie DL, JP, FRS, MCC. The use of rank andlettered achievements after his name might seem to indicate some pride in a full and varied life or equally, the string of letters might be included with just a twinkle of irony. In 1927, for example, he rather pointedly describes himself: “JP, ex-DL, MCC, FRS”.

The census of 1911 describes Edward Mackenzie as “Colonel. Private Means” xxiv and it does seem clear that Edward Philippe Mackenzie’s military standing meant a great deal to him and went some way towards defining the kind of man that he was. He may have been a proud military man but for much of his military career he was not a member of a regular regiment and he never saw active service abroad. Apart from anything else he was too young for the Crimean War of the 1850’s and (probably) too old for the Boer Wars of the 1890’s. Edward Mackenzie was most closely associated with one of the county yeomanries: The Duke of York’s Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars. This unit like many other county yeomanries had been set up as a Volunteer Troop back in 1794 to counter the then perceived threat from France. The volunteers came mainly from the propertied class: aristocrats, landed gentry, farmers, yeomen, for it was imperative that they owned (or had access to) a horse. Their purpose was to guarantee safety: safety from the threat of a possible French invasion and, equally important, safety from social unrest at home. Anxieties about a discontented and increasingly pauperised labouring class were very real in the early decades of the 19th century for it was feared that the poor might be infected with dangerously revolutionary ideas from across the channel.

Half a century later the Suffolk Yeomanry had become a slightly strange mixture. It did fulfil some kind of military purpose but it was also seen as a way of conferring social cachet upon its members and followers. Its annual training camps were concluded with the well-attended Yeomanry Races and the prestigious Yeomanry Ball. There was a lingering suspicion that some of the officers were a little too aware of their glamorous uniforms xxv and never quite immune from the sneer that they were just playing at being soldiers. xxvi

Edward Mackenzie military career began as a young man. A brief newspaper report of April 1862 announced that EP Mackenzie was to be a “Cornet” in the 9th Lancers “by purchase”. xxvii As a Lieutenant he was for a while in the 1860’s stationed with the 9th Lancers at Preston Barracks in Brighton. It was also reported that he was a skilled and enthusiastic amateur actor who on one occasion performed before the Queen Mother at the Theatre Royal in Brighton. Promotions followed and a couple of decades later The London Gazette recorded “Captain EP Mackenzie to be Major. Dated 18th December1886”.

In the Yeomanry, however, there seems to have been a perennial problem with non-attendance by the men at the annual training sessions. In 1882, for example, after the Inspection, the C.O., Lt. Col. Blake, complained about the numerical strength. All the squadrons were short and “the squadron under Captain Mackenzie had 74 enrolled but only 48 present”.

The following year, in December 1883, there is a rather interesting report in The Bury & Norwich Post. In that year, EP Mackenzie was also the High Sheriff of Suffolk and one of his duties was to convene the Winter Assizes (law courts) held in Ipswich Shire Hall. The article reports that the Sheriff “wore the uniform of the Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry” – presumably his Captain’s uniform - and goes on that a large crowd had assembled near the station “but excellent order was maintained by a contingent of the County Constabulary”. This report of Mackenzie’s decision to wear the army uniform on this occasion carries more than a hint, a veiled threat perhaps and a reminder of the Yeomanry’s other traditional function: that of supporting law and order at home. From 1887 to 1892 he was Lieutenant Colonel commanding the Suffolk Yeomanry and was appointed honorary Colonel in 1894. Although this final promotion would have taken place in the reformed post-Cardwell age, patronage and the purchase of commissions did not disappear straight away. In fact the Cardwell reforms left the volunteer regiments pretty much unscathed and able to carry on in the old ways. xxviii There was still a strong sense of the officer class being what one historian described as “a wealthy man’s vocation” and EP Mackenzie was certainly a wealthy man. Like Percy Arden before him, Edward Mackenzie was born into a family with money and property. A great deal of money in fact and Mackenzie money was railway money.
Railway Money.

Mackenzie and Brassey was, according to the Institute of Civil Engineers, the “largest contracting firm in the world”. In the 1840’s and 1850’s it built “much of the French railway network as well as fulfilling contracts in Britain, France, Belgium and Spain”. William Mackenzie - EP’s uncle - is now less well known than his near contemporary Isambard Kingdom Brunel but he had much of the latter’s genius and dedication. A civil engineer, he started life as a canal builder with Thomas Telford but soon moved into railway design and construction. The peak of his career was in the 1840’s when, with his business partner Thomas Brassey, the company built most of the railway network in Northern France and the 434 miles of track between Orleans and Bordeaux. Immensely busy, he also found time to keep a detailed, daily diary that gives us a fascinating picture of his years in France. Much of the diary is about the technical and physical challenges of building a railway system from scratch but he also makes frequent reference to his younger brother, Edward Mackenzie – EP’s father – who was also working with the company in France. EP himself was actually born in France – in Nantes – which perhaps explains his French middle name, Philippe. William Mackenzie was an obsessive. He was utterly devoted to work, to the detriment of his health and everything else and this probably contributed to his premature death in 1851. He left all of his very considerable fortune to his brother Edward. Edward soon retired, returned to England and bought himself Fawley Court, near Henley. xxixIn acquiring this grand house with its ancient deer park stretching down to the banks of the Thames, Edward Mackenzie seems to have made that not uncommon Victorian journey from trade to gentry.

Edward Philippe McKenzie.

Fawley Court was where, after his early nomadic existence in France, the young EP lived. The 1861 census tells us that the 19 year old Edward Philippe, now an undergraduate, is living at Fawley Court with his mother, six sisters, brother, a Governess and thirteen servants. He was not to remain there long for at the age of 23, he married. Helen Jane Baskerville was the daughter of Henry Baskerville, Lord of the Manor of Shiplake. The Baskerville family owned Crowsley Park near Shiplake and lived in the 18th century Mansion within the Park. xxxThe Berkshire Chronicle describes their wedding on 14th October1865 at Shiplake Parish Church in some detail. There were 20 carriages and a “large number” of friends and parishioners in the church. Afterwards, a “splendid dejeuner” was served at Crowsley Park followed by “a large ball in the evening attended by all the elite of the neighbourhood.” Early the next morning the bride and groom left for Folkestone “en route the continent”.

That phrase “all the elite of the neighbourhood” - even allowing for some press sycophancy - does suggest how this marriage helped to cement the family’s standing in the higher echelons of county society. xxxi Shortly after this Edward Mackenzie senior made a substantial addition to his property portfolio with the purchase of Santon Downham Hall in Suffolk. Bought from the Duke of Cleveland it was described as “a noble mansion built of white Suffolk brick, situated in a well-timbered park” and it was to be Edward Philippe’s family home (or one of them) for decades to come.

After their marriage, Downham Hall was home for Edward, Helen and - from 1867 - their daughter (and only child) Beryl. The 1871 census reveals Edward Philippe living at Downham Hall with his wife and four year old daughter. He now describes his occupation as “late lieutenant 9th lancers” perhaps a euphemism for gentleman of leisure. Life is eased by the presence of 7 inhouse servants: Cook, Nurse, Footman, Housemaid, Scullerymaid etc and numerous other outside staff: Bailiff, Coachman, Grooms, Gamekeepers, Shepherds, Gardeners etc. When his father died in 1880, EP Mackenzie was left both Fawley Court and Downham Hall (and £130,000) xxxii although in 1881 the family are to be found in their London home at 14 Seymour Street, Marylebone.

Beryl, now 14, is a “scholar” with a German Governess. Within a few years - in the mid 80’s - Beryl is ready to make her appearance in “society”. The Morning Post of 6th March, 1889 reports that “Colonel and Mrs Philippe Mackenzie and Miss Beryl Mackenzie have arrived at 19 Wimpole Street from Downham Hall, Suffolk for the Season”. There were similar reports of Beryl’s arrival in London “for the Season” in 1885, ’86, ’87 & ’88. Her regular presence in London “for the Season” seems to have done the trick as in August 1890 she married Colonel Geoffrey Barton of the Royal Fusiliers in the suitably august setting of All Souls, Langham Place. Colonel Geoffrey Barton, an Old Etonian, was some 13 years older than Beryl and was very definitely a “real” soldier with a distinguished military record. He had seen action defending the Empire in various parts of Africa: the Ashanti Expedition of 1874, the Zulu War of 1879 and protecting the Suez Canal Zone against an Egyptian uprising in 1882. He had been wounded as well as being “mentioned in despatches”. The wedding report in the newspaper is long, dwelling upon the “very numerous and costly” wedding presents. Astonishingly there were over 200 presents and each gift is described in loving detail and attributed to its donor. Diamonds, pearls and silver proliferate.
Family, the Primrose League and Duty.

They were a wealthy family but a routine article in a local newspaper of 1890 – a few months before Beryl’s wedding - sheds much light on the character, culture and social values of the Mackenzie family. It is the 11th February 1890 edition of The Bury & Norwich Post and it describes a “Primrose League Concert” held in nearby Brandon. The Primrose League was an enormously popular movement in late Victorian times. Initially set up by Lord Randolph Churchill and other Tory grandees at The Carlton Club, its aim was to popularise the Monarchy, Free Trade, the Empire and the Tory cause. The “primrose” was claimed to be Benjamin Disraeli’s favourite flower and the League adopted impressive-sounding nomenclature (branches were known as “Habitations” for example) and a latin motto: “Imperium et Libertas”. The Brandon concert was a fund raising event. It played to a packed house (“the hall was crowded to suffocation”) and consisted of music, comic songs and a half hour “eloquent and stirring speech” praising both Lord Salisbury’s government and the huge increase in 28

Primrose League members. The concert was organised by Mrs Philippe Mackenzie (“Ruling Councillor of the Brandon Habitation”), Colonel Mackenzie was the MC for the evening and their daughter, Beryl, seems to have been the star turn. Miss Mackenzie (“Secretary to the Habitation”) kept “the audience in a high state of hilarity from beginning to end with her admirable comic performance.” She, along with her mother and the vicar, Rev. M.A. Gathercole, played “several selections” with the set of Handbells that were much appreciated by the audience. This concert held in the village hall was so successful that it was repeated a few days later at Downham Hall. It wasn’t the purpose of the article but indirectly it does make quite clear the kind of family that the Mackenzies were: politically conservative, conventionally imperial and the natural leaders in their local community.

Edward Mackenzie, we should remember, was born in France. Suffolk was his adopted county but during the last few decades of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th century he was very much part of the fabric of that county. In addition to being Colonel of the Suffolk Yeomanry, he was High Sheriff for the County in 1882/83, he was Chairman of the Brandon Magistrates, Chairman of Brandon Rural Council and Chairman of the Thetford Union (The Workhouse). xxxiiiThe Workhouse was managed by paid staff but overseen by “Guardians” who represented the 34 parishes whence the “paupers” came and for many years Colonel Mackenzie was Chairman of the Board of Guardians.
The Move to Brighton

When in 1911 Edward and Helen Mackenzie decided to move to 14 Sussex Square, it must have been a big decision. For them in their late 60’s it was a personal wrench, a real sense of breaking with the past. They had reached what we would think of as retirement age but what they were retiring from was not really paid work but a whole way of life. A life based on unpaid public duties and the belief that privilege brought responsibilities. In practice having moved to the South coast their life must have been punctuated by frequent visits back to Suffolk. They still had Downham Hall and the Colonel served on various Suffolk committees. How they travelled was interesting as it was reported that “Col. Mackenzie was well known in Brighton as perhaps the last gentleman to prefer a hansom to a motor car”. A century later he would have been labelled a technophobe. He only bought his first car in 1924. Perhaps they travelled by rail but either way must have found it a long and increasingly arduous journey.

So it is perhaps no surprise that the final severance with their Suffolk past fell a few years later, in 1917. In August of that year a two day sale took place in Downham Hall. Salter, Simpson & Sons had been “instructed by Colonel Edward Philippe Mackenzie to sell by auction without reserve on Thursday & Friday 23rd & 24th August 1917”. The sale was to commence at 11 o’ clock each day and was to consist of “the valuable contents of the mansion”. The contents included: Sheraton cabinets, Chippendale bookcases, Jacobean chests, Hepplewhite chairs, paintings, Persian rugs, a Grand Pianoforte, 40 dozen cases of wine and spirits, a Pony & Carriage and - most plangently of all - “a set of Handbells”. The contents were sold off and the following year The Hall and Estate itself were sold to land speculators who eventually sold it on to the Forestry Commission.

In the following month of September, EP Mackenzie made a speech at the Brandon Petty Sessional Court. In that speech he announced his retirement as Chairman of Magistrates. After 45 years he felt that the time had come to say farewell. He recalled how in the early days he had often ridden to Court on horseback and how often they sat in court for hours on end. On one occasion there was such “long list of cases he did not dine until twenty minutes to ten”! He also chose this occasion to resign from his membership of Thetford Rural Council and the Board of Guardians for the Thetford Union. He had served for over 40 years on that Board, twelve as Chairman. In his letter of resignation - written from Sussex Square - he explained his reason was that “he had now left the neighbourhood”. One might also add that he was 75 years of age.

One of the recurrent motifs in this house-history is the connection between the house and the Hervey family. A connection that links Sussex and Suffolk. We know that for some of the 19th century 14 Sussex Square was owned by the Marquess of Bristol. It is possible that Sarah Darnell nee Sale (of Ickworth) was known to the Marquess before her arrival at Sussex Square and 50 years later the pattern continues with the arrival of the Mackenzies from Suffolk. Intriguing questions loom. Edward Mackenzie was involved with the Suffolk Yeomanry for much of his adult life culminating in his appointment as Colonel. The Suffolk Yeomanry, ultimately, was the responsibility of the Lord Lieutenant of the county and for almost 20 years in the latter part of the 19th century the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk was Frederick William Hervey, 3rd Marquess of Bristol. In addition Ickworth - the Hervey estate – was frequently used by the Yeomanry for training purposes. Clearly Edward Mackenzie would have known successive Marquesses of Bristol and probably other members of the Hervey family. So when the Mackenzies decided to relocate to Brighton in 1911 it seems unlikely that it was mere coincidence that the 4th Marquess was living a few doors away. It seems probable that there was some kind of personal or social or even legal connection.

Whatever their reasons for moving to Brighton, the war years of 1914 to 18 must have difficult. Edward and his brother (and his son in law) were all former military men and must have been appalled by the reports of the horror and destruction in the trenches that were leaking back from Northern France. Perhaps Edward was aware of the terrible irony that their family business – building the French railway system – had, by the law of unintended consequences, helped to facilitate death on an industrial scale never before seen. In a more direct and personal way Edward and Helen would have had daily reminders of the consequences of war. 15 and 16 Lewes Crescent had been turned into a military hospital and the wounded soldiers, escorted by their nurses (stationed at 28 Lewes Crescent), were a daily sight being walked around the gardens to help with their convalescence. This continued until some mean-spirited residents complained about this use of the private gardens and the practice ceased.

Perhaps by the end of the war Helen and Edward Mackenzie - having finally severed their links with Suffolk - felt that their lives were more centred in Kemp Town. Perhaps the Sussex Square house finally seemed like home. If that were the case then it wasn’t to last very long for in the autumn of the following year, Helen died. She was 75 and had been married to Edward for almost 54 years.
The Final Years

He must have felt bereft but the impulse to contribute to public life had not completely deserted him. From its very inception the Kemp Town Estate had been managed by a committee. In the very early years the committee had been chaired by Thomas Read Kemp himself. Antony Dale’s revealing little booklet xxxiv and the beautifully kept Minute Books indicate how that committee had been functioning continually, regularly and sometimes argumentatively for almost a century.

In 1921 Colonel EP Mackenzie was its Chairman. The previous Chairman for a number of years had been Lord Francis Hervey and Dale describes how a certain amount of tension had arisen. A dissident group of residents were dissatisfied with the management of the gardens and Edward Mackenzie – by now the Chairman – was prompted to call an Extraordinary General Meeting. It was held at The Bristol Hotel on the 19th November 1921. The Committee survived a vote of no confidence but only just, the majority was small and hardly a ringing endorsement of the Committee’s efforts. Mackenzie seems to have had enough and resigned the Chairmanship the following year. He was by then 80 years old.

In 1923, Edward Mackenzie had one final duty to perform. It was a duty that, though tinged with sadness, must have made him very proud. The event was recorded in The Evening Telegraph of April 19th 1923 under the headline “Scottish Weddings in London”. It was the wedding of his granddaughter. Joanna Katherine Barton was following family tradition by marrying a soldier - the Groom was Captain Robert Tottenham of the Royal Fusiliers. The Bride was the daughter of the “late Colonel Sir Geoffrey Barton and Dame Beryl Barton”. The now widowed Beryl was living in Scotland - Kircudbrightshire - but had decided that the wedding should be held in fashionable London. The venue was St Paul’s, Knightsbridge – and it was probably both mother and daughter’s wish that the bride should be “given away” by her Grandfather, Colonel EP Mackenzie. The reception was held at 67 Lowndes Square and it must have been quite a grand occasion and a very fitting finale for a proud family man.

In fact Edward Mackenzie lived for several more years and, apparently, never lost his interest in the stage. It was reported that just a fortnight before his death on 3rd September 1929 he attended a matinee at the Theatre Royal. His funeral service was held at St Marks Church prior to interment at the Extra-Mural Cemetery. He was survived by his only child, Dame Beryl Marie Baskerville Barton, widow, two grandchildren and five great grandchildren. None appeared to have any wish to retain the house. 31

No comments:

Post a comment