Descendants of Charles Vidal of Jamaica


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19. Harriet Vidal was baptized on 5 Apr 1796 in St Mary's Parish, Jamaica 53,124 and died in 1838 in Jamaica 55 at age 42.

Something about her life:

• Will: 5 Apr 1832, Pleasant Hill, Jamaica. 55 Harriet bequeathed all her real and personal estate to her sister Elizabeth Vidal and to her daughter Sarah Ray.

Harriet's Will was witnessed by:-Thomas White, David Tucker & John Menzie

• Grant of Administration: 13 Oct 1838, Jamaica. 125 Administration was granted to Harriet's sister Elizabeth.

Harriet married.

The child from this marriage was:

   43 F    i. Sarah Ray Vidal 126,127 was baptized on 6 Nov 1835 in St Mary's, Jamaica. 128 (Illegitimate)

21. John Gale Vidal 17 was born on 11 Feb 1792 in Jamaica, 17 was baptized on 28 Mar 1792 in Kingston Parish, Jamaica, 63 died on 8 Nov 1850 in Saint Jago Park Pen, St Catherine's, Jamaica 17,64 at age 58, and was buried on 9 Nov 1850 in Saint Jago Park Pen, St Catherine's, Jamaica. 65 The cause of his death was cholera.129

Something about his life:

• Military Service: 1812.1819, Jamaica. 56,130 Was commissioned as an Ensign in the St. Catherine's Regiment of the Jamaican Militia on September 25th., 1812 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1815 and Captain in 1819.

• Occupation: 1814.1850, Jamaica. 56,131 Following the family tradition, Gale became an Attorney at Law in 1814 at the age of 20 . Initially, at least in 1817, he was in partnership with Thomas James Brown but later he may have joined the firm of Allwood & Vidal.

He held many posts during his life. The most important of these were:-
Judge Advocate General, 1822; Clerk to the Honourable House of Assembly from 1821 until he died (for which, according to the "Blue Book of Jamaica" for 1847, he was paid at that time £960pa); Clerk to the Supreme Court in 1829 and Registrar in the Court of Chancery and Clerk of Patents, 1847.

Additionally, he was a JP and a Churchwarden for various parishes at various times and was appointed a director of the Planters Bank in 1839.

• Obituary: 11 Nov 1850, Kingston, Jamaica. 129 The Colonial Standard and Jamaica Dispatch
Monday, November 11, 1850

Death of John Gale Vigal Esq. [as written]

The sad intelligence to which we gave publicity in a short paragraph on Saturday morning proves to be too true. The above estimable gentleman having been previously ailing, but not seriously ill, was attacked on Friday morning with symptoms of Cholera and succumbed to the fatal disease in the course of that night.

Mr. Vidal was one of the few survivors from the wreck of Jamaica's better days. As a Solicitor in extensive practice he will be known only through tradition to the great majority of those who will now lament his death. His active connection with the profession ceased many years ago, when he assumed the high and honourable distinction of Clerk to the House of Assembly, a situation which he occupied at the time of his death. The change of Jamaica's fortunes were abundantly participated by Mr. Vidal, and many who remember his princely hospitalities in by-gone days have seen with regret his latter hours clouded by adversity. He was a gentleman of whom Jamaica might well be proud - a distinguished member of a class rapidly disappearing from among us.

• Commemoration: c.1851, St Catherine's Cathedral, Spanish Town, Jamaica. 64 A plaque in the Cathedral commemorates Gale thus:

"John Gale Vidal, Clerk of the Honourable House of Assembly of this Island, d. at Saint Jago Park Pen, 8 November 1850, aged 58.
Erected by the Assembly as a tribute to one who for 29 years served them with zeal and fidelity."

Gale married Georgina Archbould Dunston ,132 daughter of George Pinnock Dunston and Unknown , on 16 Apr 1818 in Up-Park Cottage, St. Andrew's Parish, Jamaica 66.,67 Georgina was born on 22 Aug 1795, 132,133 died on 15 May 1832 132,133 at age 36, and was buried in St Catherine's Cathedral, Spanish Town, Jamaica. 134

Children from this marriage were:

   44 M    i. John James Vidal 17 was born on 4 Oct 1820, 17 was baptized in St. Catherine's Parish, Jamaica, 135 died on 12 Mar 1869 17 at age 48, and was buried on 14 Mar 1869 in St Albans, Parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica. 136

Something about his life:

• Occupation: 1841.1869, Jamaica. 56 Vestryman St Catherine's parish 1841
Attorney-at-Law 1843
Registrar of the Diocese of Jamaica 1853
Clerk to the Magistrates of St Elizabeth 1854
Sometime Sergeant at Arms

John married Marianne Williams Salmon ,17 daughter of Hon. John Salmon and Unknown , in Aug 1851.17 Marianne was born <1830>, died on 25 Jan 1857 in Pleasant Villa, Kingston, Jamaica 137,138 at age 27, and was buried in St Andrews Parish Church, Jamaica. 139

   45 M    ii. Francis Vidal 17 was born in Jun 1822 17 and died in Jan 1825 17 at age 2.

   46 F    iii. Georgina Dunston Vidal 17 was born on 8 Oct 1822, 17 was baptized in St. Catherine's Parish, Jamaica, 140 and died on 18 May 1853 17 at age 30.

Georgina married Capt. Stonehouse George Bunbury ,17 son of Major General ——— Bunbury K.H. and Unknown , on 25 May 1850 in St Catherine's Cathedral, Spanish Town, Jamaica 141.,142

General Notes: In 67th Regiment of Foot when he married.

Bessie in her 86th year  (391 KB)
Nov 27, 1913 
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)

   47 F    iv. Elizabeth Vidal 17 was born on 17 Sep 1828 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, 132,143 was baptized on 12 Feb 1829 in St. Catherine's Parish, Jamaica, 144 and died on 29 Jan 1917 in 25 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, Surrey 145,146 at age 88.

Something about her life:

• Will: 21 Nov 1905, West Dulwich, Surrey. 147 I, Elizabeth Vidal, now residing at No. 25 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich in the county of Surrey, Spinster, hereby revoke all testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last Will.

I appoint the Reverend Francis Joseph Stone clerk in Holy Orders and an assistant master at Radley College in the County of Berks. and Edward Wellington Stone an assistant Master at Eton College in the county of Bucks to be the EXECUTORS of my Will and I bequeath to each of them who accepts the office of Executor the sum of £50.

I bequeath the following pecuniary legacies: to Mary Vidal Stone( Sister Mary Christobel) of St Katherine's School, Wantage; to Margaret Theresa Carter of High Street Eton, the wife of Thomas Carter; to Guy Ironsides Stone of Beansville, Ontario in the Dominion of Canada; to Ruth Boswell Stone , Faith Norma Stone and Christopher Reynolds Stone, all of Helensbourne, Abingdon the sum of £40 each.
To Gwynedd Lillian Cunliffe Vidal, Hilda Cunliffe Vidal, Violet Cunliffe Vidal and Gladys Vidal, all of Creeting Rectory, Needham Market in the county of Suffolk. to Peter Wellington Furse Vidal, my Godson, of No. 164 Banbury Road, Oxford and to Henrietta Alice Vidal of No. 23 Fairlawn Road, Ashley Hill, Bristol the sum of £30 each.
To Mary Vidal and Maude Vidal both of No. 15 Macleay Street, Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales and to Carlotte Maria Munro of No. 3 Sunderland Place, Barnstaple the sum of £20 each.
To my niece Beatrice Rose Grant the wife of Hugh Grant, Eighth Avenue, Maylands, near Perth, Western Australia the sum of £300.
To my Nephew Percy Dunstan Vidal care of Mr. J. T Harris of Cunliffe, near Moonta, South Australia the sum of £100.

I bequeath to Captain J. H. Vidal of No. 22 Park Road, Chiswick the shares which I may hold at my death in the Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa Ltd whose office is now at No. 8 Old Jewry in the city of London and to John Furse Bancroft Vidal, son of the last named person, the shares which I may hold at my death in Sir W G Armstrong Witworth and Co Ltd whose office is now at Elswick Works Newcastle on Tyne.

I direct that all the Legacies here in before bequeathed shall be paid free of legacy duty or other deduction and that all legacies given to a female shall be for her separate use.

I appoint devise and bequeath all the Real and Personal Estate which I can dispose of by Will in any manner I think proper either as beneficially entitled thereto or under any general power subject to and charged with the payment of my debts funeral and testamentary expenses and the legacies hereby or by any codicil hereto bequeathed and the legacy duty payable in respect of the same to the said Guy Ironsides Stone now residing at Beansville, Ontario in the Dominion of Canada for his absolute use and benefit.

In witness whereof hereunto set my hand this 21st day of November 1905. Elizabeth Vidal - signed and declared by the said Elizabeth Vidal as her last Will in the presence of us both present at the same time who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses Dudly David Pontifex 73 Alleyn Park West Dulwich SE Barrister at Law. Sarah Agnes Mitchinson 73 Alleyn Park SE Spinster.

On the 8th day of March 1917 probate of this Will was granted to the Reverend Francis Joseph Stone and Edward Wellington Stone the Executors

• Probate Granted: 8 Mar 1917, London. 148 Effects: £1262 19s 7d

+ 48 M    v. Dunstan Vidal 17 was born on 2 Jul 1830 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, 17 was baptized on 13 Nov 1830 in St. Catherine's Parish, Jamaica, 149 and died on 1 Dec 1895 in Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 1 at age 65.

   49 M    vi. Francis Robert Vidal 17 was born on 31 Mar 1832 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, 132 was baptized on 21 Jun 1832 in St. Catherine's Parish, Jamaica, 151 and died on 8 Dec 1865 132 at age 33.

23. Jane Caroline Vidal 17 was born on 6 Nov 1796 in Jamaica, 17 was baptized on 1 Dec 1796, 68 and died on 28 Oct 1880 17 at age 83.

Jane married Herbert Jarrett James , son of ——— James and Rachael Allen ——— , on 2 Mar 1815 in St Catherine's Cathedral, Spanish Town, Jamaica 17.,70 Herbert was born <1788> 152 and died on 3 Apr 1840 in York Place, Clifton, Gloucestershire 153,154 at age 52.

Something about his life:

• Military Service: 1813-????, Jamaica. 155 Commissioned as an Ensign into the St Catherine Regiment of Militia

Children from this marriage were:

   50 F    i. Elizabeth James 17 was born on 25 Jan 1816 17 and died in 1873 17 at age 57.

Eliza married Weston Goss 1 on 28 Aug 1834.17 Weston died on 21 Jun 1840 1 .

   51 M    ii. William Rhodes James 17 was born on 6 Aug 1817, 17 was baptized on 7 Oct 1817, 1 and died on 10 Jun 1888 1 at age 70.

William married Mary Lister , daughter of James Lister and Unknown , on 5 Jan 1847 in Ilfracombe, North Devon.156

   52 M    iii. Herbert Jarrett James 17 was born on 19 Nov 1818 17 and died on 3 Oct 1833 in England 17,157 at age 14.

   53 M    iv. John Vidal James 17 was born on 10 Sep 1820. 17

John married Frances Lucy Fisher 1 on 27 Feb 1851.17

   54 M    v. Richard Boucher James 17 was born on 4 Mar 1822 17 and died on 4 Sep 1908 1 at age 86.

Richard married Mary Le Brun Helmore .

   55 F    vi. Julia James 17 was born on 9 Nov 1823, 17 died on 6 May 1824 17 , and was buried in Clifton Churchyard, Bristol. 1

Francis  (326 KB)
From a portrait painted by his wife, possibly, some time in the 1830s now in the possession of the National Library of Australia in Canberra.
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)

25. Revd. Francis Vidal 74 was born on 26 Nov 1805 in Berkshire Hall, St Thomas in the Vale, Jamaica, 74 was baptized on 15 Feb 1806 in St Thomas in the Vale, Jamaica, 68 died on 20 Jun 1884 in 29 Royal Crescent, Bath, Somerset 75,76 at age 78, and was buried in Sutton Parish Church, Sutton, Suffolk.

General Notes: There has been considerable comment over the years about the lavish lifestyle of the Vidals in their heyday in Jamaica. However, the extent of their wealth has probably been much exaggerated.

Francis's father had two estates which were relatively small when compared with others in Jamaica and, in all likelihood, a significant part of his income would have come from his professional work as an attorney and from his various official appointments. One of the properties, Berkshire Hall, he let go in exchange for an annuity of £300, the other, St Jago Park Pen, he left to his eldest son, Gale. In 1818 this latter property boasted 19 slaves and 33 head of stock.

Gale kept St Jago Park Pen till he died and even invested in other estates but the realities were that the fortunes of the planters in Jamaica had been in decline from the turn of the 18th century. Sugar prices fell, there was a shortage of labour due to the lack of new slaves (the slave trade was prohibited throughout the British Colonies in 1807 and transportation rigorously suppressed by the Royal Navy) and by their threatened emancipation which eventually came about with the Emancipation Act of 1833.

However, like his father, Gale's income was supplemented first by his professional work and then by his long appointment as Clerk to the House of Assembly. There is no doubt that the rapid decline in Jamaica's prosperity following the emancipation of the slaves there and the removal of tariff protection on colonial produce in the British market in 1846, which reduced the price of sugar still further, affected Gale as much as any other plantation owner, many of whom were forced to close down their sugar plantations.

Francis and his younger brothers, Robert and George, like all younger sons at that time, only received comparatively small inheritances (though £2000 was quite a generous sum in 1823) and had to find their own way in the world. Francis was not unsuccessful; he married a clever and industrious women and thanks to her writing and her skillful management of their Eton College boarding house was able to leave £17,000 when he died in 1884. 158

Something about his life:

• Education: ????-1818, Camberwell, London. 159 According to Francis's details in the Cambridge University Alumni, he was educated in/at Camberwell before going to Eton. However, the school he attended has not been identified.

• Education: Jan 1819-Jul 1822, Eton College. 160,161 It was later said by his granddaughter, Faith Compton Mackenzie (née Stone), that he had more pocket money than any other boy at Eton at that time. What truth there is in this remark is hard to judge as Faith was rather prone to unsubstantiated statements in her writings about the Vidals. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Francis distinguished himself in any other way at Eton.

• Occupation: 1823.1827, Jamaica. 132 After leaving Eton, Francis returned to Jamaica in January 1823 shortly before his father died in England. There is no record of what he did between that time and his return to England in 1827 to go up to Caius College, Cambridge. However, he did take a commission as an Ensign in the St Catherine's Militia in 1826.

It has been suggested that a decline in the family's fortunes following the death of Francis's father (see Notes) forced Francis to return to England and to take holy orders. Like all younger sons whose elder brothers have inherited the bulk of the family estate, Francis needed an occupation that produced some income. Presumably, he was not attracted to the legal profession like his elder brother Gale and his younger brother Robert and the prospects of being a successful planter in Jamaica were rapidly diminishing.

Having been educated in England, he would know that being a schoolmaster or in the Church were regarded there as perfectly acceptable occupations for younger sons but he needed a degree and to be ordained before he could embark on either career.

His father had left him £2000 in his Will, which he inherited on attaining his majority in November 1826, so he was able to use that money to return to England and fund his undergraduate days at Cambridge.

• Education: 1827.1831, Cambridge. 162 Admitted to Caius College May 31, 1827; Matriculated Michaelmas term 1827; B.A. 1831. Did not take his M.A. until 1863 when he was no doubt thinking about retiring as a Dominie at Eton and becoming an incumbent.

• Ordination: 1831.1832, Various places. 132,163 Ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Gloucester (for the Bishop of Exeter) at Gloucester and Priest by the Bishop of Exeter at Exeter.

• Occupation: 1832.1838, Various places. 163 Francis was appointed to two stipendiary curacies: First, at Roborough (near Great Torrington) from 25 June 1832 at a yearly stipend of £75 and then at Ideford (near Newton Abbot) from 30th September 1834 at the same stipend. He was living at Ideford when he married Mary.

In the spring of 1836, about a year after he was married, he applied for the post of Chaplain to the Goal & House of Correction & Sheriff's Ward at Exeter. His reasons for applying for this rather depressing position can only be guessed at; it may because he needed more money or because Mary was unhappy in the rather isolated village community of Ideford. Whatever the reason, he was successful and became Chaplain from 30th July 1836 and his letter of thanks to the Magistrates of Devon for selecting him was published in the Exeter Flyer Post of April 14, 1836.

He resigned in the autumn of 1838. His resignation letter saying that he was suffering from an "organic affection of the throat" which had not been amenable to treatment and which " .. rendered my duties as your Chaplain most painful to me..".

It may be that Francis did indeed have serious throat problems because they seem to have persisted for some years causing him to lose his voice from time to time. However, from the accounts of his time there given by various of his children, it seems likely that he was also affected by the depressing role that he had to play as Chaplain to the inmates of the Prison and that he was moved by the stream of minor offenders who had been sentenced to transportation to the colonies.

• Emigration: 29 Oct 1839, Plympton, Devon. 132,164,165,166 Sailed on board the "Earl Grey" from Plymouth with his wife and three small children bound for Australia, accompanied by his brother George.

The Vidal party are reputed to have taken with them two maids from Great Torrington and a couple of New Forest Hounds (a cross between blood and stag hounds). Arthur Manning's account of the voyage makes mention also of a manservant and confirms that Mary had servants with her.

Arrived at Sydney on 25th February 1840 after a voyage of 3 months and 27 days. A voyage not without its tensions, tragedies and drama, which, no doubt, was typical of long sea voyages at that time.

A passenger died in Cape Town leaving a pregnant widow and two small children; George and one or two other young, unmarried, men upset other cabin passengers by holding evening "tea parties" at which they played cards and were suspected of drinking; George got involved in a contretemps with another passenger, Lewis Whitaker, over a piece written by George in a newspaper, produced onboard, which threatened to lead to a duel.

It is unclear what brought about Francis's decision to emigrate to Australia. Certainly, he had been unhappy as Chaplain at Exeter Gaol and perhaps Mary had not settled well in Ideford or Stokeland (Exeter) and the opportunity for a new start in a burgeoning colony was, therefore, attractive. The more so because free passages were being offered to clergy to encourage them to emigrate to Australia. It seems very likely that Francis availed himself of that offer though, presumably, George had to pay his own passage.

His cousin, the Revd. Robert Allwood, had been induced by the Bishop of Sydney to go to Australia earlier in 1839 and maybe his enthusiasm and the idea of carrying the Church's message to distant parts persuaded Francis and his brother, George, to embark on this adventure.

George, who had just left Cambridge, was unencumbered but for Francis the decision must have been hard. Mary's parents are said to have been very much against the idea and are supposed to have extracted the promise from Francis that he would bring the family home within five years (some accounts say seven). In the event he did return within five years and eight months but whether that was because of a promise to the Johnson parents, or because the venture had not worked out as he had hoped (see later), is not known.

• Occupation: 1840.1845, New South Wales, Australia. 163,167,168,169,170 Francis served for a short time between August 1840 and March 1841as the incumbent at the Church of St Mary Magdalene , South Creek , near Sydney. Then, according to the SPG archives, he was sponsored by them to work in the Port Philip district (later the Melbourne area) which he did for some time in 1841 following in his cousin, Robert Allwood's, footsteps.

According to the "Blue Books" Francis was appointed as incumbent to the parish of St Stephens, Penrith in 1841 and later, in June 1844, to the parish of Denham Court, Liverpool where he stayed until he and the family returned to England in Jan 1845. He may have been responsible for the Port Philip district while he was the incumbent of St Stephen's, Penrith.

It is by no means sure that Francis remained the incumbent at St. Stephens until he took up the appointed at Denham Court. The family appears to have been living in Balmain, not far from the centre of Sydney, in 1943, when Wellie was born and there is a view that Francis's pastoral duties in 1842 were limited to the occasional service in his brother's parish and ceased altogether when the family moved to Balmain.

Francis bought a smallholding of 93 acres in the County of Melbourne, in the parish of Bourke (Jika Jika south by Yarra river) on the 23rd September 1840 at a price of £3 per acre. It is difficult to see how Francis could have farmed this properly himself given that it was quite some way from most of the parishes in which he was the incumbent, so it was, presumably, it was either managed for him or leased to someone. It is said to have formed part of his estate when he died.

Francis was also a trustee for the Savings Bank of N.S.W. in the Penrith district for a while. This is rather ironic as he (and George) are reputed to have lost substantial sums of money when the Bank of Australia failed in 1843.

• Immigration: 17 Jun 1845, Plympton, Devon. 169,171 Left Sydney on 22 Jan 1845 on the "Pestonjee Boomanje" barque, under the command of Captain Binnie, with his wife and five children, together with his brother George (now a deacon) and arrived back in Plymouth on 17 June; a journey of 4 months and 26 days.

It is not known what caused the family to return to England. Certainly, Francis does not seem to have taken enthusiastically to being an incumbent, indeed, in later life he seems to have avoided parochial duties whenever possible. Also, the depressed economic conditions in NSW and Francis's losses when the Bank of Australia failed in 1843 must have all contributed to the urge to go home.

• Occupation: Mar 1848-Apr 1865, Eton College. 132,172,173 Francis was a Dominie (the male equivalent of a Dame who was someone who ran a school boarding house at Eton) first at a house in Keate's Lane and then at Old Christopher's in the High Street, which he took over in 1851 from his brother-in-law, William Johnson ( later Cory).

Faith Compton Mackenzie suggests in "Much as I dare" that Francis took a house in Eton because he wanted his sons to be educated there but could not afford to pay their board as oppidans. However, it is also likely that he went to live in Eton because his wife, Mary, was there running her brother's boarding house and because there was an opportunity to make a reasonable, and not too strenuous a living. Dames and Dominies (of whom there were very few) ran their boarding houses independently of the College and were paid directly by the boys' parents and it was very unusual for them to teach at that time.

Francis handed over Old Christopher's to his son, Furse, when the latter got married in April 1865. Mary had not been well for a number of years (her tic douloureux had been getting worse year by year) and, no doubt, the running of Old Christopher's was becoming quite a burden. Furse's acquisition of a wife (a vital necessity for someone running a school boarding house) provided an ideal opportunity, therefore, for some other member of the family to take over the running of the "Vidal" house.

• Occupation: Aug 1866-Jul 1867, Beachley, Gloucestershire. 132 Priest-in-charge

• Occupation: 1872.1884, Sutton, Woodbridge, Suffolk. 163 Francis took the living at this parish, which was in the gift of Eton College, and became Vicar there with his son, Wellie, as his curate. He does not seem to have spent all of this period actually in the parish. While Mary was alive, they travelled widely in Europe seeking a cure or respite from Mary's Tic Douloureux and other ailments and, when Mary's health permitted, enjoying the delights of the countryside and culture.

Later in the 1870's, Francis is reputed to have had a stroke which affected his right side (his writing in a letter to his son Jack in c.1877 giving his blessing to Jack's engagement confirms this) and left the parish totally in his son's care, at least until 1881, whilst he lived in Brighton. So we find Wellie describing himself as "Curate in charge" in the 1881 Census.

How Francis ensured that the parochial duties were carried out when Wellie moved to Bayford in Hertfordshire in 1881 is unclear. Perhaps, another curate looked after the parish.

• Will: 3 Dec 1881. 174 Francis made a short Will and one which is interesting because he distributed his estate amongst his children in accordance with their needs as he saw them.

The Will read as follows:-

I The Reverend Francis Vidal vicar of Sutton in the County of Suffolk hereby revoke all Wills and other testamentary dispositions made by me and declare this to be my last Will and testament I bequeath the following legacies free of duty To my son Charles the sum of five hundred pounds To my son John the sum of three thousand pounds To my daughter Elizabeth Teresa the Wife of the Reverend Edward Daniel Stone the sum of two thousand pounds and to each of my sons The Reverend Robert Wellington Vidal George Vidal and Leonard Vidal the sum of five hundred pounds I devise and bequeath all the residue of my property real and personal including estates vested in me as trustee or mortgagee to my son Francis Furse Vidal absolutely and appoint him sole Executor of this my Will and I declare that in bequeathing the foregoing legacies of unequal amount instead of dividing my property between my children equally I have taken into consideration the different pecuniary circumstances and prospects of my several children with the view of making as far as possible a fair and equitable division of my property between them In witness whereof I do hereunto set my hand this third day of December 1881 — Francis Vidal

Francis Furse Vidal, his eldest son, received approximately £10,000 from his father's estate.

• Probate Granted: 26 Jul 1884, London. 175 Personal Estate £17,055 9s.

Mary  (325 KB)
From a self-portrait painted on wood, possibly some time in the 1830s, now in the possession of the National Library of Australia in Canberra.
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)

Francis married Mary Theresa Johnson , daughter of Charles William Johnson and Theresa Johnson Furse , on 25 Apr 1835 in St Michael and All Angels Church, Great Torrington, Devon.77 Mary was born on 23 Jun 1815 in Great Torrington, Devon, died on 19 Nov 1873 at age 58, and was buried in Sutton Parish Church, Sutton, Suffolk. The cause of her death was meningitis.

Marriage Notes: Francis and Mary were married by Revd. Joshua Reynolds Johnson

General Notes: In the story of the Vidals, Mary does not seem to have been given the prominence which is due to her, yet, in all probability, it is she who will survive in the general consciousness long after most of the other Vidals are forgotten. She was an early settler in the pioneering days of New South Wales, a writer, a fine illustrator and painter, a translator, a "Dame", in all but name, of an Eton house and, last but not least, a mother of seven children.

It was probably due to her writing that some of the fortune lost in her and Francis's unsuccessful four years in Australia was recouped. Certainly, it was her connections with Eton (her brother William Johnson, later Cory, was an assistant master there and also ran a college boarding house) which enabled Francis to take over that boarding house from William in 1851 and establish the "Vidal" house in Old Christophers, in Eton High Street, which was to survive for 30 years, being run latterly by their eldest son, Furse, who took it on from 1865. Moreover, she brought to that part of the Vidal family the artistic and commercial talents (the latter seemingly being singularly absent) of the Johnsons and their forebears which later manifested themselves in her children and grandchildren. Above all else, she seems to have had a formidable energy and determination despite suffering, grievously, from Tic Douloureux for many years (see Medical Notes).

Mary will be best remembered for her novels, particularly her first, "Tales for the Bush", which was published in Sydney by D. L. Welch in 1844 in a series of eight, sixpenny monthly parts and which established her as one of the first women novelists in Australia to be published. She later went on to write ten other novels, some set in Australia and some in provincial England, of which the best known is, probably, "Bengala:, or Some Time Ago" which was published in London in 1860 by John W. Parker and Son. How these novels were received when they were first published in England is not known but "Bengala" was moderately well received in Australia in its time. Literary critics and historians of later years have not always been enthusiastic about her work but it is difficult to make a proper judgment 150 years on when tastes and mores have changed. Nevertheless, "Bengala", which was republished in Australia in 1990, still entertains in the year 2000, though its pace is, probably, a little too gentle for modern tastes.

Mary's biography in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, though it contains many factual errors, gives a good account of her work as a novelist and concludes: "To the student of Australian literature her works are of interest historically rather than as novels in their own right."

In 1996 the National Library of Australia acquired from the Vidal family in England, two miniatures of Mary and one of Francis together with a sketchbook of flower specimens. These have been added to their collection of memorabilia. The miniatures of Mary and Francis are believed to have been painted by her and copies of them have been used to provide the pictures of them in this section.

Of Mary's other achievements, perhaps her and Francis's Australian venture would appear the most challenging to modern eyes. The long sea voyage from Plymouth to Sydney with three small children, the oldest of which was 3½ and the youngest only one month, must have seemed very daunting even in those days, not to mention, the prospect becoming a settler in some untamed part of New South Wales. By all accounts, Mary's parents and family were concerned about the venture, no doubt not wanting to see her travel so far away and fearful of the hardships of the journey and the dangers, probably more perceived than real, of an existence in a penal colony. The voyage home cannot have been much better, Mary was nearly seven months pregnant with her sixth child on their return to Plymouth in June of 1845, and there were then five children to care for and amuse during the five months journey. At least she had the prospect of being reunited with her family to sustain her and a children's nurse to help her.

Mary's Reynolds heritage showed through in her painting, particularly her attractive habit of illustrating some subject or other in her letters. According to her brother, William's, letters, she did translation work for London editors on her return from Australia. It is not know what languages she translated from or into to but in all likelihood they included French as she and Francis travelled widely in France and sent Furse and Lily to Paris to further their education.

As for being a "Dame" at Eton in all but name, she initially went there to help her brother, William, run his boarding house. William, at the time, was in a unique position of being an assistant master but also having responsibility for a boarding house. This dual arrangement was fairly unusual, Eton Dames and Dominies rarely taught, and William found it impossible to carry out both duties satisfactorily, so he persuaded Mary to help him run the house. Indeed, for a while, she seems to have been involved in running two boarding houses because in March 1848 she and Francis started a small boarding house in Keate's Lane, just around the corner from Old Christophers and it was not until 1851 that they gave up that house and moved into Old Christophers.

Dames ran most of the boarding houses in Eton and it was said that it was impossible for a man to run one successfully without a wife; hence William's problems and the reason, perhaps, why there were so few Dominies. However, Francis, no doubt, made an elegant and impressive figurehead while Mary made sure that the domestic, and probably the economic, arrangements worked satisfactorily. There are no records of how well Mary and Francis succeeded in making a financial success of running Old Christophers, one hopes it was better than Furse's efforts who managed to lose money in all but three of the first ten years in which he and Lucy ran the "Vidal" house.

Of Mary's sons, Jack and Wellie inherited her skill of illustration, Jack being also an outstanding craftsman in silver and Furse a skilled carver of wood. Leonard became a successful businessman through his purchase of F.P. Baker & Co on his retirement from the Indian Army. Of her grandchildren, Faith Compton Mackenzie was a successful writer as was her brother Christopher Stone and, to a lesser extent, Lois Chatham (née Vidal).


Mary's published works are these:-

"Tales for the Bush.” Sydney: D. L. Welch (serialised 1844; first book edn. 1845)
London: Francis and John Rivington, 1846
London: Joseph Masters, 1876

“Een geschenk uit Australie: onderhoudende verhalen uit het ]even der
Engelsche Kolonisten.”
Schoonkoven: S. E. Van Nooten, 1850 (Dutch edition of
Tales for the Bush)

“The Convict Laundress” (extracted from Tales for the Bush and published separately)
London: Francis and John Rivington, 1852

“Winterton.” London: Francis and John Rivington, 1846

“Esther Merle and Other Tales.” London: James Burns, 1847

“Cabramatta, and Woodleigh Farm.” London: Francis and John Rivington, 1850

“Florence Templar,. or My Aunt's Story.” London: Smith Elder, 1856

"Home Trials." London: Joseph Masters, 1858

“Ellen Raymond; or Ups and Downs.” London: Smith Elder, 1859

"Bengala: or, Some Time Ago." London: John W. Parker and Son, 1860

“Lucy Helmore.” London.. John Morgan, n.d. [c. 1863]
“The Trials of Rachel Charlcote.” London: John Morgan, 1864

“Deb Clinton, the Smuggler's Daughter.” London: William Maclntosh, 1866 176,177,178,179

Medical Notes: Mary suffered from Tic Douloureux, otherwise Trigeminal Neuralgia*, after Jack's birth in 1839, episodes of which gradually became worse and more frequent through the rest of her life and gave her a great deal of pain and misery. (See Aunt Ellen's letter to Mary's son, Jack, of Sept 7, 1910. The latter writing about the death of her sister, Fanny, in 1845 said "...& yr own Mother was not fit for any worry - she had acute Tic often...").

She must have been feeling particularly miserable and unwell sometime in c.1860 when she wrote this letter to her son Jack:-

It was addressed: For Johnny

My dearest Johnny
When this reaches you I should be out of my pain & thro' Jesus X's sake I shall be at rest.
I wish I cd have seen your dear old face once more but my sufferings have been so great I can't wish to live. I don't forget you I pray to God to watch over you & guard you from all Sin & the Devil Seek God by prayer & often take Holy Communion it only can help & strengthen you.
I commend to yr love & care yr poor Father - comfort him all you can for my sake - Lily too & the younger ones - poor little motherless Leonard!
We shall meet again I hope where is no more trial or pain.
God bless you
Yr loving Mother

Jack Vidal received this letter in April 1874, after she had died. He was serving in Barbados at the time.

*Trigeminal Neuralgia is a neurological condition of the trigeminal facial nerve, characterised by paroxysms of flashing, stab-like pain around the eyes or over the forehead, around the upper lip, nose and checks or along the side of the tongue and lower lip, depending on which branch of the nerve is affected. Momentary bursts of pain recur in clusters lasting many seconds, paroxysmal episodes of pain can last for many hours. 180

Something about her life:

• Memorial: c.1876, Sutton Parish Church, Sutton, Suffolk. Mary's life was commemorated in a porch built for this church in which the following inscription appeared:-

“This Porch was built A.D. 1876 to the Glory of God and the Memory of Mary Theresa Vidal wife of Francis Vidal, Vicar of this Parish, who was born June 23rd 1815 and died November 19th 1873.”

Sadly, the porch has been replaced and this inscription has been lost (1999).

Children from this marriage were:

+ 56 M    i. Revd. Francis Furse Vidal 17 was born on 19 Jun 1836 in Great Torrington, Devon 17,181 and died on 27 Apr 1908 in Creeting Rectory, Needham Market, Suffolk 17,113,182 at age 71.

+ 57 M    ii. Captain Charles Johnson Vidal R.N. 74 was born on 11 Aug 1838 in Exeter, Devon 1,74 and died on 14 Feb 1885 in Villa Lucie, Dinard, France 185,186 at age 46.

+ 58 M    iii. Captain John Henry Vidal R.N. was born on 8 Sep 1839 in Great Torrington, Devon, 132 died on 7 Feb 1918 in 34 Park Road, Chiswick, Middlesex 188 at age 78, and was buried on 11 Feb 1918 in Chiswick Old Cemetery, Chiswick, Middlesex.

+ 59 F    iv. Elizabeth Theresa Vidal was born on 23 Mar 1841 in Minchinbury, South Creek, NSW, 164 was baptized on 22 Apr 1841 in St. Mary Magdalene, South Creek, NSW, 191 and died on 29 Sep 1898 in 33 Park Mansions, Battersea, London 192,193 at age 57.

+ 60 M    v. Revd. Robert Wellington Vidal 150 was born on 19 Feb 1843 in Balmain, Sydney, Australia, 150 was baptized on 23 Mar 1843 in St. James Church, Sydney, NSW, 150 died on 10 Nov 1911 in Bethlehem Royal Hospital, Lambeth Road, Southwark 196,197 at age 68, and was buried on 15 Nov 1911 in St. Mary's Church, Bayford, Hertfordshire. 198

+ 61 M    vi. George William Vidal 74 was born on 23 Sep 1845 in Great Torrington, Devon, 74 died on 13 Oct 1907 in "Torrington", West Hill, Sydenham, Kent 201 at age 62, and was buried on 16 Oct 1907 in Elmer's End. 202

   62 F    vii. Marianne Vidal 204 was born on 29 Aug 1854 in 42 South Street, Great Torrington, Devon, 205 died on 16 Sep 1854 in Great Torrington, Devon 206 , and was buried in St Michael and All Angels Church, Great Torrington, Devon. 207

+ 63 M    viii. Major Leonard Hugh Vidal 17 was born on 13 Oct 1856 in Oakley Square, London 17 and died in 1936 in London 208 at age 80.

26. Robert Vidal 17 was born on 12 Sep 1807 in Jamaica, 17 was baptized on 11 Feb 1808, 68 and died on 6 Nov 1875 in 2 Barnabas Terrace, City Road, Bristol 17,78 at age 68.

Something about his life:

• Military Service: 1827, Jamaica. Was commissioned as an Ensign in the St. Catherine's Regiment of the Jamaican Militia in 1827 and promoted to Lieutenant 1828.

• Occupation: 1831, Jamaica. Robert, like his brother, became an Attorney at Law at the age of 24 in 1831. In 1841 was the Co-Manager of XXX Bank and later in 1847 became Clerk to the Magistrates of the parish of St James.

• Grant of Administration: 15 Dec 1875, Bristol. 209 Effects under £450

Robert married Henrietta Charlotte Payne ,17 daughter of Charles Payne and Albinia Selwyn , on 24 Sep 1839 in Clifton, Bristol 79.,80 Henrietta was born on 13 May 1813 in Ludgershall, Wiltshire 210 and died on 1 Apr 1886 in Piercefield, Ennerdale Road, Kew Gardens, Richmond. 211 at age 72.

Something about her life:

• Probate Granted: 29 May 1886, London. 212 Personal Estate: £121 6s 6d

Children from this marriage were:

   64 F    i. Theresa Vidal 17 was born on 4 Jun 1840, 17,71 died on 3 Mar 1841 17,71 , and was buried on 7 Mar 1841 in St Catherine's Cathedral, Spanish Town, Jamaica. 213

   65 M    ii. George Vidal 17 was born on 17 Oct 1841. 17

   66 M    iii. Selwyn Vidal 17 was born on 7 Jun 1843. 17

   67 M    iv. Charles Robert Vidal 17 was born in Jan 1845 17 and died in 1922 in Hereford 214 at age 77.

   68 F    v. Henrietta Alice Vidal 17 was born on 21 Jul 1846 in Jamaica 17,215 and died on 25 Jan 1915 in Bristol 216 at age 68.

Something about her life:

• Probate Granted: 24 Mar 1915, Bristol. 217 Effects: £911 17s 7d.

   69 F    vi. Annette Chevalier Vidal 17 was born on 25 Mar 1848 in Clifton, Bristol. 17

Annette married Robert McEwan in 1885 in Kensington, London.218 Robert died on 17 Nov 1897 in London 219 .

Something about his life:

• Probate Granted: 7 Feb 1898, London. 220 Effects: £10
George  (176 KB)
Photographed by J. Hubert Newman of Hyde Park, Sydney
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)

27. Revd. Canon George Vidal was born on 28 Apr 1815 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, 17 was baptized on 25 Jul 1815 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, died on 10 Jan 1878 on board SS "City of Melbourne", between Melbourne & Sydney 81 at age 62, and was buried on 12 Jan 1878 in Haslems Creek (now Rookwood Cemetery), N.S.W., Australia. 82

Something about his life:

• Education: Sep 1828-1831, Eton College.

• Education: 25 Jan 1832, London. 162 Admitted to Middle Temple

• Education: May 1834-1839, Cambridge. 221 Admitted to Caius May 8, 1834; Matriculated Michaelmas 1835; B.A. 1839.

• Immigration: 25 Feb 1840, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 150,222 Arrived in Sydney aboard the "Earl Grey" having sailed from Plymouth on 29th October 1839 with his brother, Francis, and Francis's family.

The long voyage was not without its excitements and tragedies. A duel was threatened, George and some of the other younger passengers, were accused of illicit gambling and drinking. (See account in Francis's story). Worse, the "Shipping Health Report" compiled on the "Earl Grey's" arrival at Port Jackson speaks of forty four cases of fever and six dead; there were 218 passengers and 31 crew.

• Ordination: 1840, NSW. 223 Ordained Deacon.

By being ordained in N.S.W., George relinquished any chance of a clerical appointment in England as those with colonial ordinations were not accepted as candidates for clerical positions there. George must have decided, therefore, to remain in Australia from his earliest days there.

• Occupation: 1841.1845, Sutton Forest, N.S.W., Australia. 223,224 George's first parish was that of Sutton Forest where he seems to have been sponsored by the SPG. Later he took on the parish of Campbell Town and some accounts suggest that he was responsible for both parishes for some time.

A local newspaper of the period wrote as follows:

"The church at Sutton Forest is a primitive looking building of weather
board and alongside it, is the school which consists of two neat little
whitened cottages. The parsonage is a neat little cottage with a garden in front."

Being a bachelor, a neat little cottage was probably all that George required in those days!

• Interlude: 21 Jan 1845, Various places. 225 Left Sydney on 21st January 1845 for Plymouth aboard the "Pestonjee Boomanje" barque with his brother, Francis and Francis's now enlarged family. Arrived in Plymouth on 17th June 1845. Met and wooed Jane Creak and married her in just over six months of his return to England.

Left England on 5th May 1846 with his pregnant wife aboard the "Berkshire" barque, arriving in Sydney on 26th September 1846, his wife having given birth to their first child , Elizabeth, on board ship, 20 days before they docked.

• Occupation: 1844.1848, Campbeltown, N.S.W., Australia. 223 According to the SPG archives, George was being sponsored by the SPG as incumbent of this parish even though for much of the time he was on the high seas between Australia and England or in England seeking a wife. This may be because the slow communications between Sydney and the SPG in London took time to reflect what was actually happening in Australia.
It is not clear whether or not George ever returned to this parish after he left it for England in 1845 but, as he got back to Australia in 1846, he may have gone back there until he was appointed to Denham Court.

• Occupation: c.1848-1855, Denham Court, N.S.W., Australia. 68,162 On his return from England, George was appointed incumbent of Denham Court, the parish where his brother, Francis, had been the Rector for a short time before George and he had returned to England in 1845.

George's family bible tells us that four of his and Jane's children were born at the Parsonage: George (1848), Arthur (1850), Edith (18520 and Grace (1854).

• Occupation: 1855.1865, Mulgoa, N.S.W., Australia. 226,227 George was appointed Rector of the parish here on the 1 June 1855 on a stipend of £200.

Of his and Jane's children, Alice (1859), Henry (1861) and Maud (1863) were born in the Parsonage here.

• Occupation: 1865.1878, St Lawerence, Sydney, N.S.W. 162 George was the incumbent of Christ Church parish here for the last 12 years of his life.

Mable, his and Jane's youngest child was born here.

• Report of death: 12 Jan 1878, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 228 Sydney Morning Herald reported George's death:-

One of the oldest and most, respected of the clergymen connected with the anglican church in this colony the Rev. Canon Vidal. died on Thursday on board the steamer "City of Melbourne" while on the way from Melbourne to Sydney.

The Reverend gentleman had been in failing health for some time past and had visited the Victorian capital in the hope that his strength would thereby be recruited.

• Funeral: 12 Jan 1878, Christchurch, N.W.S. 229 TOWN AND COUNTRY JOURNAL. [Probably the Jan 19th edition] gave this report of George's funeral:

The Rev. Canon Vidal one of our oldest and most esteemed Clergymen died on board the Steamer City of Melbourne at half past one o'clock Thursday morning, Jan 10 during the passage from Melbourne to Sydney . For some years past the health of the Reverend gentleman has been failing and his medical attendants deemed a change of air and scene necessary. He left Sydney on Dec. 27 with his wife on a visit to Melbourne in the hope that from the change he would derive some benefit. At Melbourne he gradually grew worse and he left Melbourne for Sydney on the 8th instant. At the hour previously mentioned he quietly breathed his last.
His death will be lamented far and wide as he was loved and esteemed by all with whom he came in contact.
The Reverend gentleman was a native of Jamaica and at the time of his death was 62 years old for the last 37 years he has been a clergyman in the diocese of Sydney and thirteen of those years he has been incumbent of Christchurch,
The remains of Rev. Canon Vidal were interred on Saturday morning in the Haslems Creek cemetery at Rookwood. The body of the Reverend gentleman lay in Christchurch all Friday night, and between 8 and 9 o'clock that evening and early next morning muffled peals were rung on the church bells. About a quarter past 8 o'clock Saturday morning the church was well attended, and divine service was performed by Rev. Canon Allwood.
Precisely at a quarter to 9 o'clock the funeral cortege left the church for the mortuary station at Redfern. First came the choir (dressed in surplices) and the church wardens walking on foot closely followed by the hearse containing the body. A mourning coach , containing the deceased gentleman's relatives and about thirty carriages containing many clergymen and numerous leading citizens then followed.
The funeral party were conveyed by special train to the cemetery. At the grave the Rev. Dean Cowper, Rev. Canon Allwood, and Rev. Mr. Hellyer conducted the burial service and the choir sang appropriate hymns.
The chief mourners were Captain Evans and the deceased's two sons. Among the clergymen present were the Rev. Dean Cowper, Canon King J.D.Langley Hellyar, Canons Allwood, Kemmis, Brown, Sallimere ,Wood, Palmer, Napoleon. The Rev. Dean McCarthy was present on behalf of the Roman Catholic Clergy, to do honour to the remains of the lamented gentleman, and the attendance of lay citizens of influence and of all denominations, was further proof of the esteem and regard in which Canon Vidal had been held.
The pall bearers were Sir Alfred Stephen, Mr.T.S.Mort ,Mr. M.Metcalf, Mr. Haviland and Mr. Winchcombe.

• Obituary: 26 Jan 1878, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 230 TOWN AND COUNTRY JOURNAL published this obituary:

The Rev. Canon Vidal

The decease of Rev. George Vidal who had for over thirty four years been doing the work of a Clergyman of the Church of England in this Colony, and who won by his character and deportment the esteem of a wide circle within and beyond his own denomination, calls for some notice of his career.
He was born in Jamaica on the 28th of April 1815. He was sent to England for his education and studied first at Eton Grammar School then at Caius College, Cambridge where he took the degree of BA.
In 1840 he came out to New South Wales and resided for some time with his brother, who was engaged in pastoral pursuits. He devoted his attention to preparation for the work of the church and in 1843 he was ordained by Bishop Broughton and began his work as a clergyman at Sutton Forest. He was shortly afterwards appointed by the bishop to Campbeltown.
In 1845 he went to England for a short visit. On his return to the Colony he was appointed to the charge of the parish of Denham Court. There he laboured for nearly 10 years and was then appointed to Mulgoa where he spent 9 years.
He received from his brethren many years ago the honour of being elected a Canon. And in 1865 on the departure of the Rev. Canon Walsh to occupy a position in the Diocese of Litchfield in England. Canon Vidal was appointed his successor in the cure of souls in the parish of St Lawrence Sydney. In that position he fulfilled the duties of his sacred office for 12 years.
To those outside his own church he was chiefly known as a gentle advocate of charity. While his means were not equal to his Generosity he was always ready to aid in relieving the wants and lightning the sorrows of the poor. He took little part in public affairs except for the promotion of humane efforts for the relief of suffering. As a churchman he held and frankly avowed the sentiments of the party generally designated "High Church". He often deprecated what he called "Ultra Protestantism" and in avoiding that extreme he seemed to some of his Protestant brethren to be verging towards the opposite. He was not ultra in anything. While he maintained views which are rejected by many members of the Church of England, he avoided all that savoured of party spirit and deprecated the use of party designations in the church. He loved moderation and piece. Yet he did not shrink from avowing his own distinctive sentiments. With an exalted conception of the authority and dignity of the church he thought little of the supposed advantages of an establishment He expressed in the synods of the church and elsewhere, his great satisfaction at the removal of the fetters of connection with the state which had crippled the church's energies. And he was ready to join his voice with those who sought the removal of such elements of State Churchism as remained to hinder the full development of eccleciastiele [ecclesiastical] functions.
As an Illustration at once of his frankness and courtesy of his independence of mind and his reverence for eccleciastiele [ecclesiastical] authority, - On one occasion when the effect of the bishops letters Patent was the subject of discussion in the Synod, Canon Vidal freely declared before the bishop that he had no respect for the letters Patent, but he added with an attitude suited to the sentiment "I have the deepest reverence for the authority of your Lordship as a successor of the apostles" His action was consistent with his profession. He differed widely from the bishop of the diocese in his views of the propriety of certain ornamental memorials In the church, and carried out his own opinion in this matter as far as he could without setting at nought the episcopal authority. But as soon as the bishop went beyond the expression of a personal opinion, and commanded the removal of the rededos which had been the subject of controversy Canon Vidal yielded implicit obedience giving up his own predilection rather than resist the authority of a Successor of the Apostles.

As an instance of the esteem in which he was held by men of other nominations it has been mentioned within the last week that a distinguished minister of another church once said to a member of the Church of England concerning him - "I can never think of your Canon Vidal without being reminded of a noble passage in one of Keble's Latin Orations a poetry professor at an Oxford Commemoration when he said that" to Wordsworth's poetry should be referred all those who sincerely desire to understand and feel that sacred, harmonious intimacy which exists between honourable poverty, the severer muses sublime philosophy, and holy religion. All this can be leant" remarked the speaker, "not only from Wordsworth's poetry, but from your saintly Canon's life".

All who knew Canon Vidal must have been struck with the singular meekness and gentleness of his manner and the afflicted and the poor to whom his visits were frequent cannot but have been deeply impressed with the reality of his kindness and the zeal of his compassion. For about 2 years his health had been failing and during the last few months he suffered much under a wasting affliction. He endured the protracted trial of increasing, weakness and pain with characteristic patience and submission to the will of God.

No means that the affection of his friends and the skill of his medical advisor could use were effectual in averting the course of disease.

On the 27th of December last he left Sydney for Melbourne in the hope that change of air might revive his wasted strength, but he did not rally there and wishing to return home while life remained, he set off for Sydney in the Steamer City of Melbourne, on the 8th January.
On the 10th he expired on board the steamer. His end was Calm and apparently free from pain. His remains were conveyed to Christ Church on Saturday Morning the 12th Instant and thence to the Necropolis. One of his oldest friends Canon Allwood took the chief part in the funeral service. The Dean of Sydney and many clergymen and laymen of his other churches followed him to his last earthly resting place.

• Grant of Administration: 4 Feb 1878, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 231 Estate : under £750.

George married Jane Carter Creak ,17 daughter of Commander William Creak R.N. and Jane Havelock , on 24 Dec 1845 in Alverstoke, Hants 83.,84 Jane was born <1827> in Angelsey Beaumaris Wales, was baptized on 12 Jun 1828 in Beaumaris, Anglesey, Wales, 210 died on 20 Sep 1885 in Queen Street, Woolhara, Sydney, N.S.W. 232,233 at age 58, and was buried on 22 Sep 1885 in Waverly Cemetery, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 234

Children from this marriage were:
Mary  (374 KB)
Photographed by B.C. Boake of 330 George St., Sydney and sent to her cousin Jack (JHV).
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)

   70 F    i. Elizabeth Jane Mary Vidal was born on 6 Sep 1846 at Sea, 235,236 was baptized on 3 Oct 1846 in Christ Church, Sydney, 236 died on 24 Oct 1920 in "Mount Royal", Macleay Street, Sydney 237,238 at age 74, and was buried on 25 Oct 1920 in Waverly Cemetery, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 239

Something about her life:

• Will: 30 May 1914, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 240 Wills: 104866

Vidal Elizabeth Jane Mary late of Sydney Spinster. This is the last will and testament of me Elizabeth Jane Mary Vidal of Sydney spinster I give devise bequeath and appoint all my property of whatsoever situate to my sister Maude Ettrick Vidal absolutely and appoint her sole executrix hereof.
In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand this 30th. day May 1914. Signed by the said Elizabeth Jane Mary Vidal
Witnesses J. Arthur Dowling Solicitor Sydney Norman H. Macdonald solicitor Sydney

19th. January 1921 on this date probate of the last will and testament of the said deceased was granted to Maude Ettrick Vidal of Sydney spinster the sole Executrix named in the said will.
Testatrix died at Sydney 24th. October 1920 Estate sworn at £366-1-9net.

George  (367 KB)
Photographed by B.C. Boake of 330 George St., Sydney and sent to his cousin Jack (JHV).
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)

   71 M    ii. George William Vidal was born on 14 Oct 1848 in Denham Court, N.S.W., Australia, 232,241 was baptized on 12 Nov 1848 in St. Mary the Virgin, Denham Court, N.S.W., 242 died in Mar 1884 in Summer Hill, Cassilis, N. S. W. 243 at age 35, and was buried on 11 Apr 1884 in C. of E. Cemetery, Cassilis. 244 The cause of his death was exhaustion and exposure having been lost in the bush.

Something about his life:

• Occupation: 1884, Cassilis, N.S.W., Australia. 245 BLUE BOOK 1884
Cassilis, Clerk of Petty Sessions, G. W. Vidal 1.3. 1884
Annual Salary £300, date of appointment 14 October 1874

[The date of appointment does not seem to tally with the description of George as the "new" Clerk of Petty Sessions in the report of his disappearance.]

• Report of death: Apr 1884, Cassilis, N.S.W., Australia. 246 TOWN AND COUNTRY JOURNAL - April 5th. 1884
Mr. Vidal the new Clerk of Petty Sessions of Cassilis who was lost on Friday morning has not yet been found . Four trackers have been out since Friday evening & they have tracked him over 30 miles along the Cassilis River. There are Faint Hopes of his being found alive.

The remains of Mr. George Vidal C. P. S. at Cassilis, to whose mysterious disappearance we referred last week were found in the bush some 13 miles from that town on Monday. The body had been much mutilated by native dogs, but was recognised by means of the clothing and jewellery.

• Inquest: 7 Apr 1884, Cassilis, N.S.W., Australia. 240 Inquest held 7th. April 1884 at Royal Hotel, Cassilis

Coroner: W. Cooke.
Verdict: George William Vidal aged 35 years born near Sydney died near Cassilis due to exhaustion & exposure thro having been lost in the bush. Valuables of the deceased - Cash Pounds 4. 6. 5. Jewellery Pounds 10.

   72 M    iii. Arthur Charles Vidal was born on 15 Aug 1850 in Denham Court, N.S.W., Australia, 232,247 was baptized on 8 Sep 1850 in St Mary the Virgin, Denham Court, NSW, Australia, 150 died on 19 Jan 1851 in Woolongong, NSW, Australia 232,248 , and was buried on 20 Jan 1851 in Woolongong Burial Ground, NSW, Australia. 249

Edith  (375 KB)
c. 1870 
Photographed by B.C. Boake of 330 George St., Sydney and sent to her cousin Jack (JHV).
(Click on Picture to View Full Size)

   73 F    iv. Edith Vidal was born on 3 Jan 1852 in Denham Court, N.S.W., Australia, 250,251 was baptized on 25 Jan 1852 in St Mary, The Virgin, 251 died on 19 Apr 1878 in Sydney, N.S.W., Australia 252,253 at age 26, and was buried on 22 Apr 1878 in Haslems Creek, N.S.W.. 254 The cause of her death was typhoid.255

General Notes: Entry in Bible
January 3rd. 1852 "Edith" born at the parsonage Denham Court N.S.W.
Baptised January 25th. 1852 in the church of St. Mary the Virgin Denham
Sponsors William Rhodes James, Mary Bannister Reddall, and Caroline
April 19th. 1878 Edith Vidal died at Sydney aged 26years buried at
Haslems Creekon 22nd April Easter Monday.[famtree.ged]

Town and Country Journal April 27th 1878
Vidal. April 19 at Christchurch Parsonage Edith, second daughter of the late. Rev. Canon Vidal.

   74 F    v. Grace Vidal was born on 9 Dec 1854 in New South Wales, Australia, 256,257 was baptized on 31 Dec 1854 in St. Mary the Virgin, Denham Court, N.S.W., 257 died on 13 May 1878 in New South Wales, Australia 252,254 at age 23, and was buried on 14 May 1878 in Haslems Creek (now Rookwood Cemetery), N.S.W., Australia. 254

   75 F    vi. Madeline Isabella Vidal was born on 16 Apr 1857 in New South Wales, Australia, 258,259 was baptized on 10 May 1857 in St. Thomas, Mulgoa, 259 died on 19 May 1878 in Sydney, N.S.W., Australia 252,254 at age 21, and was buried on 20 May 1878 in Haslems Creek. 254

   76 F    vii. Alice Theresa Vidal was born on 29 Jun 1859 in Mulgoa, N.S.W., Australia, 260,261 was baptized on 24 Jul 1859 in St. Thomas Church, Mulgoa, 261 died on 20 Oct 1860 in The Parsonage, Mulgoa 262,263 at age 1, and was buried on 22 Oct 1860 in St. Thomas, Burial Ground, Mulgoa. 263

+ 77 M    viii. Henry Havelock Vidal 1,17 was born on 21 Oct 1861 in Mulgoa, N.S.W., Australia, 264 was baptized on 17 Nov 1861 in St Thomas's Church, Mulgoa, N.S.W., Australia, 264 and died on 15 Apr 1949 in Hornsby Hospital, Hornsby, N.S.W., Australia 265 at age 87.

   78 F    ix. Maud Eltrick Vidal was born on 3 Oct 1863 in Mulgoa, N.S.W., Australia, 232,266 was baptized on 24 Oct 1863 in St. Thomas Church, Mulgoa, 266 and died on 22 Sep 1953 in Sydney, N.S.W., Australia 150 at age 89.

Something about her life:

• Probate Granted: 18 May 1954, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia. 150

   79 F    x. Mable Constance Vidal was born on 30 Sep 1866 in Parsonage, Christ Church, St. Laurence, Sydney, 267,268 was baptized on 28 Oct 1866 in Christ Church, St Laurence, Sydney, 268 died on 25 Dec 1866 in Parsonage, Christ Church, St. Laurence, Sydney 268,269 , and was buried on 26 Dec 1866 in Randwick. 268

28. Eliza Vidal was born <1814> 31 and died in 1898 in Ventnor, IOW 88 at age 84.

General Notes: No baptismal record has been found for Eliza and her date of birth has been calculated form her stated age at death. Moreover, there is some question as to whether or not she was the natural daughter of Charles and Martha. Charles's grand niece, Etta Kerr (née Vidal - 1847-aft. 1908) wrote the following in 1908, presumably after hearing about Alice Diehl's account, in her autobiography "The True Story of My Life", of her grandparents and her mother:-

"........No, I have never seen Mrs. Alice Diehl's book and don't know where she got her information from! Her mother had no right to the name of Vidal, her grand-father as she calls him was not that at all, he certainly was married and she may have that certificate but he had no children by his wife. Alice Diehl's mother was adopted by old Uncle Dr. Charles of Avel[e]y (the one in 20th Dragoons mentioned in that book) (my great Uncle) but was his brother's (Uncle William's and Jeanie and Mabel's grand-father) illegitimate child (white) and she married her music master Mr. Mangold, a german with whom she ran away and her so called grand-father had nothing to say to her for years for he had educated her well and treated her as if she were really his daughter" [Note - instead of his natural niece] "so was very angry. Eliza Mangold was a very handsome woman and I heard could have married well but I fancy it must have been when her birth had to be told [to] the suitors they fell back. I fear I am the only one of the family that knows all this history for I don't suppose either Jeanie or Mabel do. None of our relations I ever heard of as marrying even colour, much less black!!! ........."

PHOENIX, HAMPDEN P.O. JAMAICA - 18th November /08

Note - January 2000
Etta Kerr may be right about Eliza's origins but she is wrong about her "running away" with Mr. Mangold for the couple were married in Aveley Church in August 1838 with her cousin (or step-brother), Horace, and her "mother", Martha, listed amongst the witnesses. Also, she is to be found living with her parents at Aveley at the time of the 1841 Census and her first child, Charles, who died aged 3 weeks, was buried there. It may be that Dr. Charles was not at all happy with her marriage to Mangold but it seems unlikely that his anger lasted very long, in view of the above and Alice Diehl's warm account of her childhood at Aveley. 39,107

Eliza married Carl Georg Mangold 31 on 9 Aug 1838 in Aveley, Romford, Essex.89 Carl was born on 1 Oct 1812 in Darmstadt, Germany 31 and died on 1 Nov 1887 31 at age 75. Another name for Carl was Charles George Mangold.

General Notes: Teacher of Music. Published three short books on music in 1886: "Harmony", "Counterpoint" and "History of Countpoint and Harmony - A sketch for the use of students"

Children from this marriage were:

   80 M    i. Charles Lewis Mangold 31 was born in May 1839 31 and was buried on 6 Jun 1839 in Aveley, Romford, Essex. 31

   81 F    ii. Alice Georgina Mangold 31 was born on 25 Feb 1844 in Aveley, Romford, Essex 31 and died on 13 Jun 1912 31 at age 68.

General Notes: Wrote an autobiography: "The True Story of My Life" under the name Alice Mangold Diehl which was published in London by John Lane in 1907. 270

Something about her life:

• Probate Granted: 16 Sep 1912, London. 271 Effects: £92 6s 2d

Alice married Louis Diehl 31 on 7 Dec 1863 in Middlesex.31 Louis died in Jul 1910.

   82 F    iii. Henriette Mangold 39 died <1861> in Mauritius.

   83 F    iv. Pauline Mangold 39 was born in 1853. 39

29. George Barnes Vidal 9 was born on 12 Oct 1810 in Rockspring, Hanover, Jamaica, 9 was baptized on 17 Jan 1811 in St. Andrew's, Holborn, London, 38,91 died on 27 Dec 1852 in the sea around Little Mewstone, off Wembury Bay 9 at age 42, and was buried in St Werburgh's, Wembury, Devon. 92 The cause of his death was drowning.

General Notes: George met his death when the sailing ship on which he was a passenger was wrecked on the Little Mewstone rocks four miles southeast of Plymouth. He was one of two passengers on a small brig of 206 tons, known as the "Ocean Queen", which was sailing from London to Jamaica. It had a crew of 14 and was carrying a general cargo consisting, amongst other things, of linen and sowing thread as well as dresses, hats and leather goods. Whether or not George had any interest in the cargo is not known but he seems to have been a merchant and it may well have been that he was returning to Jamaica with goods to be traded there.

Some days out of the Port of London, on Boxing Day evening, 1852, the "Ocean Queen" was caught in one of the worst storms in the Channel for many years; some reports referred to a hurricane, the Admiralty report calls it "a heavy SW gale force 11". This southwesterly gale eventually swung to the south forcing the "Ocean Queen" towards the shore. Contemporary reports suggest that the ship's Master was seeking the shelter of Plymouth harbour and on sighting the light on Breakwater island, which lies at the harbour mouth, northwest of the Great Mewstone and its associated rocks and reefs, he thought, erroneously, that he had found a safe channel to the harbour. The Admiralty report of the wreck simply concludes that the small brig was forced onto Little Mewstone rocks. Whatever the case, the "Ocean Queen" stood no chance on those treacherous reefs and was immediately dashed to pieces leaving all her passengers and crew to perish in the raging sea.

Part of the wreck which carried the ship's name, thereby allowing her to be identified, was washed ashore in Wembury Church Bay and 15 bodies were also washed ashore in the following days. The jury at the inquest returned a verdict of "accidental death" and the bodies were buried in the churchyard at St Werburgh's, Wembury, possibly in a mass grave, though in 2001 there are no indications of such a burial and only the entries in the Burial Register record the event.

Had the "Ocean Queen" made Plymouth harbour she would not have been safe, though her ship's company might have had a better chance of surviving; the terrible winds caused considerable damage that night not only to shipping in the harbour with many breaking their moorings and being driven shore but also to buildings and stores on the wharfs. There had not been such fierce gales in Plymouth since 1839.

In its report on the wreck of the "Ocean Queen" The Times focused on the extensive pilfering of the ship's cargo by the parishioners of Wembury. Interestingly, however, it does mention that among the articles found washed up on shore there was a leather traveller's bag marked "G. P. Vidal, London." Apart from family tradition this is the one piece of evidence which incontrovertibly links George with this disaster. 272,273,274

Something about his life:

• Military Service: 1843.1846, Jamaica. 118 George was commissioned into the Hanover Militia as a Cornet in 1843 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1846

George married Henrietta Phillips , daughter of ——— Phillips and Unknown , on 1 Jan 1836 in St George's Parish, Jamaica.93 Henrietta was born <1815> and died on 24 Apr 1897 in Wealestone, Middlesex 118,275 at age 82.

Children from this marriage were:

   84 M    i. George Gray Maxwell Vidal 9 was born on 13 Oct 1837 in Fort Stewart, St. George's, Jamaica, 9 was baptized on 3 Apr 1838, 9 died on 4 Sep 1839 in Richmond, St. Mary's, Jamaica 9 at age 1, and was buried on 6 Sep 1839 in Highgate Chapel. 276

   85 F    ii. Theresa Rigaud Vidal 9 was born on 29 Jul 1839 in Airy Hill, St Mary, Jamaica, 9 was baptized on 10 May 1840 in St Mary's Parish, Jamaica, 9 died on 18 Nov 1842 in Rockspring, Hanover, Jamaica 9 at age 3, and was buried on 19 Nov 1842 in Hanover Parish, Jamaica. 277

   86 M    iii. Stephen Charles Allwood Vidal 9 was born on 5 Aug 1841 in Rockspring, Hanover, Jamaica, 9 was baptized on 18 Mar 1842 in Hanover Parish, Jamaica, 9 and died on 17 Aug 1844 9 at age 3.

+ 87 M    iv. Henry Walter Vidal 9 was born on 14 Apr 1843 in Rockspring, Hanover, Jamaica, 9 was baptized on 4 Aug 1843 in Hanover Parish, Jamaica, 9 and died on 20 Dec 1894 in Aden 9,278 at age 51.

+ 88 M    v. George William Barton Vidal 9 was born on 5 Jun 1845 in 5 Union Place, Aberdeen, 9 was baptized on 16 Jul 1845 in Aberdeen, 9 and died on 23 Mar 1887 in Herberton, Queensland, Australia 9 at age 41.

+ 89 F    vi. Henrietta Theresa Helen Whitlock Vidal 9 was born on 6 Jul 1847 in Rockspring, Hanover, Jamaica 9 and was baptized on 17 Apr 1848 in Rockspring, Hanover, Jamaica. 101

   90 M    vii. Thomas Ferdinand Murray Vidal 9 was born on 20 Mar 1853 in Stuttgart, 9 died in 1860 in 50 Hamilton Terrace, St. John's Wood, London 9,280 at age 7, and was buried in Piccadilly Cemetery, London. 9

35. Jane Vidal 98 was born on 4 Dec 1822, 98 was baptized on 9 Sep 1823 in St George's Church, Bloomsbury, Middlesex, 98 and died in 1907 98 at age 85.

Jane married John Herman Hall ,98 son of William Hall and Dorothy Gray Jackson , on 13 Jun 1861.9 John was born on 29 May 1803 in Grecian Regale, St Andrew's Parish, Jamaica, 98,281 was baptized on 4 Dec 1803 in Kingston Parish Church, Jamaica, 98 and died on 5 Apr 1867 in Byfield, St Thomas in the Vale, Jamaica 9,98 at age 63.

The child from this marriage was:

+ 91 M    i. Charles Herman Vidal-Hall was born on 18 Mar 1865 9 and died on 30 Mar 1963 in Abingdon Hospital, Abingdon, Berkshire 282 at age 98.

36. Ellen Georgina Vidal 9 was born on 5 Oct 1824 in Bariffe Hall, St. Mary's, Jamaica 9 and was baptized on 5 Oct 1828 in St Mary's Parish, Jamaica. 99

Ellen married Dr. George William Brown 9,283 on 27 Nov 1843 in Hanover Parish, Jamaica 100.,101 George died in 1844 101 .

The child from this marriage was:

   92 F    i. Florence Brown .9

Florence married ——— Rowe .

Ellen next married Capt. Charles Braine .9

The child from this marriage was:

   93 F    i. Ellen Georgina Braine .

Ellen married Revd. David Rowe .101

40. Elizabeth Vidal 38 was born on 19 May 1822 in Clapham, Surrey, 107 was baptized on 8 Aug 1823 in St. Anne, Soho, London, 38 and died on 1 Sep 1850 in Carawina Estate, Jamaica 33,115,116 at age 28.

Elizabeth married James Riguad 33 on 16 Oct 1838 in Bariffe Hall, St. Mary's, Jamaica.118 James died before Sep 1850.

The child from this marriage was:

   94 M    i. James Edward Vidal Riguad was born <1841> and was buried on 7 Jan 1848 in Rockspring, Hanover, Jamaica. 285

42. William Foot Vidal M.R.C.S., L.S.A. 119,120 was born <1828> in St Mary's Parish, Jamaica, 33,121 was baptized on 5 Oct 1828 in St Mary's Parish, Jamaica, 46,122 and died on 19 Jan 1870 in Bethlehem Royal Hospital, Lambeth Road, Southwark 119,120 at age 42.

Medical Notes: Suffered from psychiatric problems in the later part of his life and died in the Bethlehem Asylum for the mad in Southwark. 39

Something about his life:

• Education: <1842.1847>, London Hospital. 109,286 Admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons of England as a member on July 16, 1847.

• Occupation: Various places. 287 After a brief spell as acting staff surgeon at H M Hospital, Purfleet where he was following in his uncle's footsteps and surgeon at the Reformatory Ship "Cornwall", he joined his uncle's practice in Aveley where he continued to practice until c. 1869 when ill-health seems to have forced him to give up.

• Probate Granted: 21 Feb 1870, London. 288 Effects under £800

William married Maria Louisa Briand ,289,290 daughter of Francis George Charles Briand and Susanna Clements , on 11 Oct 1851 in St Mary's Church, Islington, Middlesex.123 Maria was born in 1824, 33 was baptized on 27 Apr 1827 in Spitalfields Christ Church, Stepney, London, and died on 3 May 1903 in 4 Carlisle Road, Hastings 289,291 at age 79.

Marriage Notes: William and Maria were married in St Mary's Church on the same day as Maria's brother, George, and their Marriage Register entries follow each other. It looks very much, therefore, as if they had a joint wedding.

Something about her life:

• Probate Granted: 5 Jun 1903, London. 292 Effects: £102 2s 6d

Children from this marriage were:

   95 M    i. Crasser Foot Vidal 293 was born in 1853 in Westminster, London 293 and died <1854> in Westminster, London 294 at age 1.

   96 M    ii. William Forrester Vidal 295 was born in 1855 in Ilfracombe, North Devon, 295 was baptized on 11 Jun 1856 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 296 died in Jan 1860 in Aveley, Romford, Essex at age 5, and was buried on 10 Jan 1860 in Aveley, Romford, Essex. 36

   97 F    iii. Lizzie Ethel Vidal 297 was born in 1856 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 297 was baptized on 29 Mar 1857 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 296 died in 1860 in Islington, London 298 at age 4, and was buried on 3 Mar 1860 in Aveley, Romford, Essex. 36

   98 F    iv. Louise Vidal 299 was born in 1858 in Aveley, Romford, Essex 299 and was baptized on 25 Apr 1858 in Aveley, Romford, Essex. 296

General Notes: It is said that she married a German and as there is no record of any marriage in the GRI, she presumably married abroad.

   99 M    v. William Vidal 300 was born in Dec 1859 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 300 was baptized on 27 Dec 1859 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 296 died in Dec 1859 in Aveley, Romford, Essex 301 , and was buried on 31 Dec 1859 in Aveley, Romford, Essex. 36

   100 M    vi. Charles Lewis Vidal 302 was born in 1861 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 302 was baptized on 6 Mar 1861 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 296 died in Dec 1863 in Aveley, Romford, Essex 303 at age 2, and was buried on 5 Dec 1863 in Aveley, Romford, Essex. 36

+ 101 F    vii. Jeanie Vidal 304 was born in 1862 in Aveley, Romford, Essex 304 and was baptized on 1 Feb 1863 in Aveley, Romford, Essex. 296

+ 102 F    viii. Mary Mabel Vidal 306 was born in 1865 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 307 was baptized on 2 Dec 1865 in Aveley, Romford, Essex, 296 and died on 19 Jun 1935 308 at age 70.

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