Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:52 pm 
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I'm sure we have a thread somewhere for false claims and tenuous links to a Nelson connection but I can't find it.

This one appeared in - of all places - a 'home and garden' type mag (of which I'm reading a lot at the moment as I am doing up my new house):

'My house was built in the 1760s,' [notes the owner of the house in Kent] and used to be the home of Admiral John Henry, whose daughter married a naval officer called Beatty. It was Beatty who removed the bullet that killed Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The musket ball was brought back to this house where it stayed until it was sent to Queen Victoria.'

Well, Beatty was Nelson's surgeon but he died unmarried. Any comments?

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 Post subject: Re: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:16 am 
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Anna

I wonder if that was one of my threads!! :D

Anyway first glance tells me that there WAS an Admiral John Henry and ONLY ONE.

He died as Admiral of the Red in 1829 aged 98!!

His wife Charlotte died in 1816 aged 76.

Sounds like somebody got a crossed wire regarding his daughter marrying William Beatty. But as yet I can't drill down any further.

Anyone else??!!

MB


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 Post subject: Re: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:31 am 
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And Admiral John Henry did die at his house in Rolvenden, Kent, on 6 August 1829 - but he had no children...

(Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine)

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 Post subject: Re: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:12 am 
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Tony

That's funny I just got as far as Rolvenden - which is where Admiral Henry is buried.

So question to Anna - is that where this house is?

If you do a simple Google search on Rolvenden and William Beatty it brings up a house that Beatty is supposed to have owned.

So did Henry and Beatty own the same house at different times or something like that??!!

I'm sensing some kind of connection between Beatty and Henry even if it wasn't a marital one.

Too late in the day for my brain to cope with this now!!

MB


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 Post subject: Re: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:51 pm 
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Thanks for your comments, gentlemen.

The location of the house is given simply as 'Kent'. I have a biography of Beatty in my collection but it is, as yet, unpacked. Maybe a search later will reveal more; but we do know that there was no daughter and no marriage!

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 Post subject: Re: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Admiral John Henry predeceased his wife and had no children so I wonder where his estate ended up.

The musket ball was only given to Queen Victoria after Beatty died (1844?) which was long after Henry died.

So was Beatty left the house by Henry, or did he purchase or rent it after Henry's death?

Now I notice that Henry's Will is downloadable from the National Archive website.

I wonder if the Will might have anything to contribute to this conundrum? If nothing else it might prove if I am on a completely false trail.

But my luck with Wills is not good. For every ten I have looked at over the years probably only one has ever contained information I was specifically looking for.

Maybe later . . . . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Beatty died in 1842 and the musket ball passed to his elder brother Vincent, who gave it to Queen Victoria in 1844. At the time of his death Beatty lived in London and owned no property. According to Brockliss, Cardwell and Moss, 'Nelson's Surgeon', Beatty was based in Plymouth from September 1806 until September 1822, apart from a couple of years in Edinburgh. From 1822 until 1839 he was physician to Greenwich Hospital, with lodgings provided. From 1839 until his death, he spent a little time in Germany and then rented a house in London. The details of his bank account from 1828 until his death don't seem to suggest that he owned property.

There are a few months unaccounted for in 1806 when apparently on the books of the Suffolk hospital ship at Sheerness (Kent!) and writing his book, but I wouldn't have thought he could afford to buy a house at that time.

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 Post subject: Re: Another Nelson Legend
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:18 pm 
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I have to admit I somehow overlooked Admiral Henry when compiling my 'TARS' database. I have already visited Rolvenden and recorded the grave of two naval officers from the Weller family. It now looks like I will have to re-visit Rolvenden and hopefully find Henry's grave. As it transpires Henry was related, by marriage, to the Weller's.
I have found nothing that directly links Henry with Beatty, although it occurs to me that Beatty and Henry may have met professionally. From the few snippets I have seen, it appears Henry, had his own unique remedies for Rheumatism and gout among other afflictions, some of which may have been of interest to the medical profession. Perhaps Henry's story was of particular interest to Beatty?

I did find a newspaper cutting that gives the name of Admiral Henry's house at Rolvenden:

express & Ashford (???) newspaper cutting
After his resignation of the vicarage of Tenterden, the Rev. J.R. Coombe lived for many years at Sparkeswood, a house he had inherited through his wife on the death of Admiral John Henry, R.N., an old resident in the parish since 1760. Admiral Henry was allied by marriage to the very old Rolvenden family, of Weller, of Kingsgate. Mrs. Baker had been laid aside by illness for a considerable number of years, but there are many who will remember her unfailing acts of kindness in cases of need. The interment took place on Tuesday, in the family grave at Brighton, the service being taken by the Rev. H. Percival Smith, M.A., of High Halden, a former vicar of Rolvenden. In addition to the tokens from the family very beautiful wreaths were received from the Rolvenden Parish Council, Rolvenden V.A.D. detachment and the household and garden staff.


There is still a Sparkeswood House at Rolvenden, whether it is the same one I couldn't say-I have not seen the building.

I also found a brief biography for Admiral Henry, taken from the following book which was published shortly before his death:

" An Account of the means by which Admiral Henry, of Rolvenden, in Kent, has cured the Rheumatism, a Tendency to Gout, the Tic Douloureux, the Cramp, and other Disorders; and by which a Cataract in the Eye was removed."


Admiral Henry was born at Holyhead, in the island of Anglesea, on the 28th of Sept. 1731, and consequently was, on the 28th of Sept. last, turned of 91 . He went into the navy in the year 1744. Whilst on service, he had his thigh bone completely broken by a hawser, in 1746. He was at the capture of the Havannah in 1762, first lieutenant of the Hampton Court. During the American war, he was made, in 1779, a captain, by that distinguished admiral, Lord Howe, in consequence of his success in taking Mud Island in the Delaware, which was considered at the time a most important service. He was made an admiral in 1794, is now an admiral of the
red, and the twelfth on the list. He was married; had no family, and is now a widower. Soon after the close of the American
war, in 1786, Admiral Henry returned to the parish of Rolvenden in Kent, where he had formerly resided, and where, during his absence, a house had been built for him, in the neighbourhood of a pleasant village, about 55 miles from London, 21 from Maidstone, and three from Tenterden. He has resided there ever since, with the exception of about a year and a quarter, during which period he was on service with the late Earl St. Vincent, and assisted in capturing the French Islands in 1793 and 1794.

If anyone is more interested in Admiral Henry's remedies:
http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/thomas-john-graham/an-account-of-persons-remarkable-for-their-health-and-longevity--exhibiting-the-ala/page-12-an-account-of-persons-remarkable-for-their-health-and-longevity--exhibiting-the-ala.shtml


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