Anthony William Durnford married Francis Catherine Tranchell in Sep 15, 1854, St. Stephen's Church, Trincomalee, Ceylon. (At this point the records from the church may only be on micro-fische)
St Stephen's Church was inside the fort, however it seems that it is not there now, as only the remains of the cemetery and some old graves are available.
|Colonial hotel 1870|
One of the places inhabited by the British was Fort Fredrick, now occupied by the Sri Lankan Army. Some of the old buildings in the fort were used as residences, including one previously occupied by the Duke of Wellington. In the early 1950s the British Government built groups of bungalows within the fort specifically for their employees. These bungalows today provide accommodation for the Sri Lankan Army. There was a large Naval Hospital which catered for sick and injured British naval personnel from all over the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
During his time in Ceylon he was working on many projects including harbour defences, and was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Road, and Civil Engineer to the Colony.
Mention has been made that while in India he became a gambler, if so he was probably one of many British Military who were involved in constructing the road to Kandy, as many illegal gambling dens and taverns sprung up along side the road, this then gave rise to The Robin Hood of India. He robbed the patrons in true Robin Hood style. Living in remote outposts often gives rise to boredom, what Aussie soldier has not played "two-up", or bet on which cockroach will escape first!
Perhaps he wanted them to travel with him to his next posting in Gibraltar. After her experience in Malta, would she be likely to want to go?
Edward William Durnford born 19th June 1855 Trincomalee, most probably baptised at St Stephen's Church and died 16th July 1856 in Malta. He was buried at Msida Bastion Cemetery Malta.
Frances Elizabeth Mary Durnford born 5 January 1857 she died in 1919
Julia Catherine Brabazon Durnford was born July 1859 in Alverstoke in Hampshire.
Alverstoke is near Gosport in Portsmouth.
She died April 1860 Medway in Kent (Chatham Barracks)
The cemetery records of the Msida Bastion Cemetery Malta shows, Edward William Anthony Charles Durnford as the name of their first son. (There is also a transcription error re his year of birth)
From Malta History
Died 16th July 1856, Edward William Anthony Charles DURNFORD, aged *33 years. The only son of Frances Catherine and Anthony William Durnford, Lieutenant, Royal Engineers *He was one year old transcription error.
Msida Bastion cemetery was one of four cemeteries or burial grounds located close to the bastions at Floriana. These bastions were built in the 17th century by the Italian engineer, Floriani, as additional protection for the city of Valletta. The French took over Malta in June 1798 but surrendered in September 1800 to the combined Maltese and British Forces. Shortly afterwards burials began to be made in this bastion area. The other three cemeteries, Quarantine, Greek Orthodox and Cholera, are no longer in existence and the land has been built upon.
Din L’Art Helwa (The National Trust of Malta) in conjunction with the Government of Malta and the British High Commission took an interest in Msida Bastion Cemetery and during 1988 this research culminated with the then Minister of Education, Dr. Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, declaring that the area should be open to the public as a garden, with some of the most important tombs restored and retained.
Consider how it was in the Barracks at Malta especially for a woman in Malta in 1850's.
The Crimean War was the catalyst for reform. In August 1861, the Barrack and Hospital Improvement Commission was directed by Lord Sidney Herbert and by Sir George Cornwall Lewis, who succeeded Lord Herbert as Secretary of State for War, to report on the sanitary condition of garrison towns in Malta.
|Barracks on top of the casemates|
Captain Douglas Galton RE and Dr John Sutherland proposed a number of improvements pertaining to drainage, water supply, and sewage disposal.
Ventilation shafts and windows were opened in casemates as a temporary measure until the construction of healthy barracks in well ventilated localities, set apart from the local population.
The report by Galton and Sutherland pointed out that there was no proper hospital accommodation for the sick. The General Hospital in Valletta, the Upper Vittoriosa Hospital, the two hired houses which made up the Lower Vittoriosa Hospital, and the Forrest Hospital in Spinola were inadequate for the garrison.
Despite the recommendation for a new General Hospital of 300 beds at Valletta and a smaller one of 136 beds for the Cottonera, none were built until 1873, when the Cottonera Hospital was erected for the infantry regiments in the Cottonera District. However, on 1 March 1873, regimental hospitals were abolished and regimental surgeons ceased to exist.
The Station Hospital at Cottonera remained in use together with the Valletta Station Hospital until the completion of a new m Polverista Gate Barracks consisted of a range of casemates along the top of St Nicholas Curtain.Military hospital at Mtarfa.
Close to the Vittoriosa Hospital was St James Cavalier.
This had two wards with 38 beds embedded in the mass of the work. The first ward was 81 feet long and 23 feet broad. It was cut off from the external air by a wall 36 feet thick, and received its light through the door and from two narrow loopholes in the wall. The other ward was 39 feet by 18 feet and was interposed between part of the long ward and the outer air excavated out of part of the 36 foot wall.
Any wonder there are hundreds of young children buried in cemeteries in far flung places.
A lot has been written about Frances Durnford, Anthony's daughter, from the fact that her mother left her with relatives, his family, and had an affair, to her father fondly calling her "his lamb".
How much of that is true, and how much is conjecture? or how much has been gossip handed down through the years.
There seems a considerable amount of conjecture in so many of the stories about Anthony and his family, and often without substance or consideration of another possibility. One question has been common in the family stories, Why, and often a completely different scenario is possible, especially when you consider the different options regarding the "Bow" christening cup!
What really happened to Frances Elizabeth Mary Durnford?
Frances Elizabeth Mary Durnford was one of three children born to Anthony Durnford and his wife Frances, she was born while they were in Malta. She was, however the only surviving child.
The following timeline of events describes Frances Elizabeth Mary Durnsford's life until her marriage.
A Timeline With her Parents
The family returned to UK in February 1858. Frances was twelve months old.
In April 1858 her father was appointed as a Second Captain and he served at Aldershot and at the headquarters in Chatham.
(The fortifications, called the Chatham lines, enclose the dockyard and the principal barracks; include Brompton village, partly in Gillingham parish; run down to the Medway, at the extremities of Chatham and Brompton; were commenced in 1758, and completed about 1807)
Then baby Julia Catherine Brabazon Durnford is born July 1859 in Alverstoke in Hampshire.
They move again, to Chatham. Then when Julia is 8 months old, she also dies.
History reveals that child deaths in the mid 1850's were staggering.
Cholera - called the Third cholera pandemic (1852 - 1860), in London more than 11,000 people died.
Diptheria, typhus, small pox, scarlet fever, and measles were prevalent.
While researching all the children born to our ancestors the number of deaths is quite unbelievable.
The problems were usually caused by water and lack of sanity and sewerage.
Remember back to Lady Mary Whortley Montague and Elizabeth Montague, and their efforts to follow the Otterman's who had developed a vaccine against smallpox?
Louis Pasteur's own children died, and he eventually along with others, identified the cause of the epidemics.
(The number of children who died of scarlet fever, just in Tasmania in Australia, alone between 1850 to 1860 was in excess of 10,000)
Her mother and father separated some point after the death of her sister, in April, 1860 and by 1870.
Later in 1860 he went to Command the 27th Field Company Royal Engineers, stationed at Gibraltar.
There are no census records for Frances or her mother in 1861 that are available to research.
(They may have been on an Army base, or still in Kent, where they have not digitised there census records)
In August 1864 her father was back in England, but left again for China. He became ill and had to disembark at Ceylon where he was hospitalised for three months.
In January 1865 he was posted back to Britain on home postings, where he remained for 5 years.
During this time he was at Raglan Barracks at Davenport, Plymouth, Assistant to the Commanding Royal Engineer.
In 1871 her father was living at 7 Moleworth Terrace Stoke Devonport. He is not listed on the 1871 census, but some time after the death of Julia and before 1870, her parents separated, as that was the time he made his will.
|Now home to a Dentist|
|Portsea Esplanade 1880|
In 1871 she and her mother were living at 28 Dinan Cottage in Portsea in Portsmouth, with her mother's brother George Tranchell and his wife Amelia and two children.
This is probably the name of a cottage in St Jude's Close.
In 1871 she was listed as a scholar. In St Jude's Close is St Jude's Church, it may have had a school attached to it then. There is a school there now.
On 22nd January 1879 her father is killed at Isandlwana, South Africa.
In 1879, she and her mother were living at 21 Tavistock Crescent Westbourne Park.
In May 1879 she was the beneficiary of her father's will.
In 1881 after her father's death Frances, along with her mother and her aunt were living in Walpole House Strawberry Road, in Richmond London.
(The lands adjoining Strawberry House were developed in the late 1800's)
So many of her family are not listed in the 1861 census. Did they go to Gibraltar? Where they living on one of the bases while Anthony was overseas?
The census records of both Anthony's and Frances' extended family have been searched.
Her mother was living with her in 1871 and 1881 census records, and receiving an annuitant.
There is no proof that Frances was "left" by her mother, nor that her father's family raised her!
Her grandparents were in Ireland until around 1870 when they are recorded on the 1871 census as living at Sidney House Elm St Portsea.
In fact the distance between her grandparent's home and where she was living is only a few streets.
|Elm St Portsea Marked on the Map|
After her father's death the English press were full of stories about the battle, the circumstances of it all, blaming Anthony for not following orders, for weeks no word of who had survived.
Then possibly the worst report was the graphic and gruesome reports about the discovery of the bodies, four months after they were killed. How upsetting would that be for his daughter to read, one wonders how her mother handled that.
In 1881 the first book written by Edward, trying to clear Anthony's name is published. He wrote that book in collaboration/conjunction with Frances Colenso.
In 1883, while the newspapers are still regularly reporting the events, her daughter gets married.
The announcement in the press details Frances' relationship with her father.
Her brother-in-law Edward is a witness at the wedding. Would he have gone if Frances was never again to seen by the family.
Rapp - Durnford - At St Stephen's Twickenham, Nicholas son of the Late Edward Rapp of Bonn to Frances daughter of Colonel A.W.Durnford R.E. of The Baron's East Twickenham on August 7
The political climate changed after the Zulu Wars, and public opinion about South Africa changed
There was an an election, a change of government . Questions were being asked about the Zulu War, William Gladstone a former PM labelled it "unjust".
In October 1886 her other brother in law Arthur George Durnford is presented to Prince of Wales at a reception. By now the press about Anthony's battle and the war has taken a different direction. New evidence has been found. It would be unimaginable to think that Queen Victoria was not aware of the events, as would Prince of Wales.
A couple of weeks later, an announcement is made that the Queen has issued Frances with a Grace and Favour Apartment at Hampton Court.
She was granted Apartment XVII, a two bedroom and perhaps her sister moved in with her.
From the 1760s onwards, the palace was divided up for ‘grace-and-favour’ residents who were granted rent-free accommodation because they had given great service to the Crown or country. They lived, often with their own small households of servants above, underneath and around the state apartments. The apartments and houses were allocated by the Lord Chamberlain to individuals who had served the monarchy or their country in recognition of their dedicated service
Frances Catherine Durnford died 3rd September 1888.
She is buried at the Teddington Cemetery in Richmond
Her sister Selina Tranchell had died in the January of that year
Her sister Mary Eliza Tranchell who was living with her died in July 1892
Her sister Sarah Elizabeth Tranchell who was living in London died January 1893.
By 1891 her brother George had returned to England and was living in Devon.
In 1892 his wife died
In 1906 the last sibling Edward Frederick Trachnell had also died.
|Hampton Court Palace|
|Home of our cousin Henry VIII|
|It holds an extensive collection of priceless items, including walls of tapestry|
A couple of weeks later, Queen Victoria announces in the newspaper that she was delighted to grant Francis a Grace and Favour Apartment, Number XVII in Hampton Court.
Would Queen Victoria, be speaking of publicly, to, a "woman who ran off with another man and caused a scandal that was hushed up?" Let alone offering her free accommodation in a Palace.