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01 January 2021

The Raphael’s: In the Shadow of Mexborough

But Still Migrant Millionaires

I almost feel I need to apologise here at the beginning. I truly thought this story would be short and not too involved. But who can ignore such an enrapturing extended story, of money, inherited and earned; forbidden love, true love and love letdown; economic and political successes and failures; adventure and tragedy and a social footprint that is still being felt today? Edward Raphael had absolutely no idea how the future would play for his family and future descendants. He couldn’t know his sons would become substantial land and property owners on the south coast of England; that one of them would become the first Armenian Sheriff of London, or that a granddaughter would marry an Earl and that a great granddaughter would marry a Prince.  I certainly do not claim this story to be the full chronicle, but what I present here are aspects of the Raphael’s life that has melted away as each Raphael died, and the story is long.

I wrote a short entry about the Raphael family and their legacy back in 2011 as part of my private research page on Facebook. Having studied the family in more detail since then, I thought I would post an update here.


I think what all family history researchers should keep in the back of their minds, particularly if you are an enthusiast like me, is that sometimes our one-dimensional research process isn’t always enough. In this instance where there is an Armenian connection, and where so many elements, countries, languages and obscure turn of events are involved, it is important to remember that well known phrase, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Edward Raphael 1744-1791

Born Armenian
Raised Armenian
Preferred to be thought of as British

Extract of Edward's will. BL: L/AG/34/29/194/40

[Whatever] I may died possessed or legally entitle to, my will is that in the administration, sale, disposal and management thereof by my executors, they may in all matters be subject to the mode, usage and laws of Great Britain, in the same and like manner as if I was a natural born British subject, meaning hereby to disavow and disclaim all right of interference of any Armenian patriarch or other authority whatever, under the pretence of any particular usage among persons of the Armenian nation; for it is my express will and requisition that as I have acquired my estate under the British jurisdiction (whose laws I revere), the future administration of this my will, shall be according to such British laws. Edward Raphael[1]

 Before Edward set sail for England on the Prince William Henry, besides being a founding member of the Carnatic bank in Madras, he was a well established trading merchant with China, Canton and Manilla[2]. This is borne out by the estate accounts, prepared after his death. Furthermore, a newspaper report in March 1789 states: “……..his house was robbed of a bale of merchandise on the evening of the 27th February.   The inhabitants [of Black Town] are kept in alarm from numbers of vagabonds who have no visible means of support or subsistence.  Mr. Popham, secretary of the Police, being informed of the theft, used his best diligence for the recovery of the property and the detection of the robbers. They were at last traced on the road towards Polycatt, and by the exertions of his peons and servants of his farm, were overtaken on the road and brought back to Madras.” 

Image credit: Professor Sebouh Aslanian.

The photographs of the above painting of Edward Raphael, along with the painting of Samuel Mackertich Moorat (further down this blog) were taken by Prof. Sebouh Aslanian on one of his research trips to Venice. I have taken some time to track back, and the artist, Gaetano Astolfoni, was active in Italy between 1820 and 1840. This timeframe coincides with Alexander Raphael’s visit to Venice in 1840. I speculate that these paintings were executed as copies from sketches or paintings that had already been completed by another artist.  An earlier portrait of Edward Raphael, completed in 1789,  is held by the V&A Museum in London, and had been executed in Madras by artist John Smart. The V&A also speculates that the Astolfoni paintings were possibly done from sketches.  Alexander Raphael would have taken them to Venice with him on his trip with a view to having both his father and brother-in-law painted, to be hung in the premises they both were benefactors of.

Less than a year after the robbery, Edward was dealt a tragic blow. His wife, Maria died in July 1790 aged only 34 years.

Grave of Maria Raphael. Image courtesy of Liz Chater’s private archive

Edward’s life was more than just being a stock and shareholder in a bank or with the East India Company. He was trading and shipping in piece goods such as cotton, silk and spices between India and South East Asia, and that may also have included opium. Could that account for the enormous wealth his sons inherited? He relied upon fellow Armenian, Samuel Mackertich Moorat, to conduct business for him in China. Samuel was also an agent for Pogose Ter Raphael[3] who was similarly trading in China around the same time as Edward. I speculate there may have been some family connection between Pogose and Edward. Looking at the estate accounts of Pogose Ter Raphael, one can get an idea of the type of goods that came to India. Samuel, as agent for both merchants, was able to ship to India in large quantities such things as beautiful red taffeta, Sasterman and Chapah handkerchiefs (made from silk). Samuel also used other Armenian merchants in China to move goods onwards, in particular, I was interested to note his trading association with Joseph Ter Astwasatoor, a Syrian Armenian also buying and selling goods in China. For goods being shipped to Calcutta, Samuel Moorat  used his brother Carapiet Mackertich Moorat as a sub-agent.  Carapiet was equally adept at dealing with the Calcutta merchants and traders when the ships were off-loading at the port.

Amongst many properties, Edward owned a house in Canton which he fortuitously sold a few months before his fateful voyage. Certainly, he was exceptionally wealthy, both in India and England, and from one entry in his accounts it can be seen that a very healthy £46,452 was added to his estate from his English executor. At today’s values that is around £5.
5 million. 

The Prince William Henry 1780 [left and centre] painted by artist Thomas Luncy in two positions. Image courtesy of auction catalogue: “American Furniture and Decorative Arts. Skinner Auctions 2567B, published 3 October 2011. Lot No. 513. Skinner Inc.


I doubt there is a more peripatetic Armenian professor than Sebouh Aslanian. He roams archives with passion and a desire to find the forgotten.  Over the years, he has been the discoverer of many a missing, mis-index or misplaced Armenian documents, journals, diaries and letters. The ones that are truly unique in their content, are not in English, they are in Armenian or Italian, or Spanish, or Arabic or Portuguese; and it does beg the question: “what else is there?” His incredible, first hand research gained from his numerous exploratory trips around the world, including the enviable archives at San Lazzaro, Venice are always inspiring. Well, they are for me!

Here, I share Sebouh’s findings on the circumstances of the death of
Edward Raphael, who died at sea on board the “Prince William Henry” en route to England in 1791. He had three sons, Alexander, John and Lewis, and two daughters, Anna and Anna Maria. I am grateful to Sebouh for sharing his discovery on how Edward died.

Sebouh writes:

“…Since I have long been working on a detailed study of how Edward Raphael Gharameants, a wealthy Catholic Armenian merchant of Madras, read Roman History and became inspired by Classical Republicanism, I have been obsessed by how he passed away tragically at sea. He was apparently on his way to London to remove his daughter from an Anglican boarding school and to prevent her from renouncing her Catholic faith and marrying an Anglican young man of gentry background. In his magisterial four-volume history of the college bearing the benefactor's name (Collegio Armeno Moorat Raphael) and founded and funded by money left behind in his will before his hasty departure on the 802-ton East Indiaman, the "Prince William-Henry," Sargis Teodorian was the first to tell the melancholic tale of the benefactor's death on the high seas. I have pondered Edward Raphael's final moments since I first became hooked on this story upon reading Teodorian in Venice over ten years ago. I think I am now closer to "reconstructing" the circumstances of his death including the clash he had with captain Ralph Dundas followed by his "funeral" at sea.”

"Իբրեւ զամենայն ինչ ի կարքի դնէ, ելանէ ի ճանապարհ գնալ յԵւրոպայ ի լոնտոն, հանդերձ կրտսեր որդւով իւրով Լուիզիւ , եւ Հնդիկ սպասաւորաւ միով, յամսեան փետրվարի 1791 ամի

Նաւարկեալ զամիսս իբրեւ երկուս եւ հասեալ ի հրուանդան Բարեյուսոյ հիւանդանայ, սակս ռշտութեան եւ փառասիրութեան միանգամայն. քանզի ի նաւի անդ ի մէջ ճանապարհորդաց գտանի կին մի ծննդական, որոյ սենեակ լինի ի ներքնայարկ նաւին։ Խնդրէ նաւապետն ի Հեդվարթ Ռաֆայէլէ փոխանակել զսենեակ իւր ընդ սենեկի ծննդական կնոջն այնորիկ, կարօտելով նորա օդամուտ նենեկի որ ի վերնայարկ նաւին։ Ոչ կամի ընդ այն Հեդվարթ Ռաֆայէլ, ասելով թէ վարձ սենեկի իւրոյ առաւել էր քան զնորայն։
Ասէ ցնա նաւապետ, եթէ, հատուսցի նմա առաւելն այն վարց։
Յայնժամ հաւանի Հեդվարթ Ռաֆայել, եւ փոխանակէ զսենեակ իւր։
Յայնմ հետէ արհամարհեալ լինի նա ի նաւապետէն, չըմպելով նորա ընդ նմա գինի ի սեղանի անդ որ նախատինք մեծ են առ Անգղիացիս։
Ընդ այն նախատինք չկարացեալ նորա տանել ՚հիւանդանայ ի տխրութենէ անտի, եւ մերանի իսկ աւուրբ միով յառաջ քան զժամանել ի նաւահանգիստ Լոնդտոնի։ Արհամարհութիւն նաւապետին առ նա այնչափ լինի ՚ մինչեւ չկամի նա պահել զմարմին նորա ի նաւի անդ օր մի, առ ի հանել զայն ի ցամաք եւ ի տալ հողոյ, այլ արկանէ զայն իսկոյն ի ծով ի կեր ձկանց։
Ահա արգասիք ռշտութեան եւ փառասիրութեան միանգամայն։…

When he had put everything in order, in February of the year 1791, he embarked on a journey to London in Europe accompanied by his youngest son, Luis, and an Indian servant, Leander Lucas.
Having reached the cape of Good Hope, he became ill on account of avariciousness and vanity, all at once. There on the ship among the passengers was a pregnant woman whose cabin was on one of the lower decks of the ship. The Captain asked Edward Raphael to change rooms with the pregnant woman who needed a room with windows which were on the ship's upper decks. Edward Raphael did not wish to do that telling the Captain that the fare for his cabin was more than that for the woman's. The Captain then asked whether he would accept if he paid for the difference. At that moment, Edward Raphael agreed and exchanged his room for hers. Thenceforth, he was held in contempt by the captain, not even allowed to drink wine at his table, which was a great affront among Englishmen.

Not able to tolerate the offense, he became ill from melancholy and passed away a day before the ship berthed. The contempt of the captain for him was such that he was unwilling to keep the body on the ship for an additional day to deliver it on land to the soil, but on the spot dumped it in the water as feed for the fish.”[4]

Sebouh continues:

“The following passage is a salutary reminder for ship passengers in the 18th century.

…… being utterly inadmissible that a corpse should be retained on board, no time is lost in sewing it up in a hammock; placing a few lumps of coal, or other ponderous matter, at the feet, to cause its sinking. Thus prepared, it is laid upon a grating at the lee gang-way; and, after the usual burial service, at which all attend, is committed to the deep. In some instances, during calms, sharks have been seen to dart from under the vessel, and to attack the corpse in the most ravenous manner."[5]

Sargis Teodorian and Sebouh Aslanian are the first people to have more accurately reconstructed the circumstances of Edward’s death.

The Aftermath

As a family history researcher, I was as intrigued with this family as Sebouh was, and have completed my own bit of reconstruction of the family and their legacy upon their re-settlement in England below.

If this was indeed the way Edward had been buried, it would have been a truly distressing scene for the young 4 year old Lewis and the family servant Leander. I have found by looking at shipping records, I can break down the journey of the ship from India to England.

18th February 1791 - The Prince William Henry set sail from Fort St. George, Madras[6], only four days after the marriage of  Edward’s daughter.

27th April 1791 - The Prince William Henry arrived at St. Helena.

28th April 1791 -  A fleet of  twenty four Indiamen vessels, many carrying tea from Canton arrived at St. Helena as well. This fleet had previously stopped at The Cape on the 9th April, although it is unclear how long they stayed in port, making it difficult to calculate the journey time between the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena, but the very maximum it could be is 18 days. Whilst in St. Helena, the Pursers from all twenty four vessels and the Prince William Henry exchanged information.[7]

1st May 1791 - The Indiamen fleet left St. Helena, the Prince William Henry was reported to be still in port on this day, so we can safely say she left after this date. 

24th June 1791 – Edward Raphael reported to have died at sea on this day

24th/25th  June 1791 – some of the twenty four Indiamen vessels arrived off the coast of the Isle of Wight in the Solent

28th June 1791 – the Prince William Henry arrived off the coast at Weymouth/Portland in Dorset

1st July 1791 – the Purser of the Prince William Henry arrived at India House London to report the safe arrival of the vessel at Weymouth. The Purser also reported the list of passengers at Weymouth on board as: “Mr. & Mrs. Turing, Mr. Saunders, Colonel and Mrs. Nixon, Major Burrows, Lieut Forrest, Mr. Hickie, and Mr. Raphael, a very rich Armenian merchant, who has resided at Madras several years.” There is no report of deaths at this stage.

After the death of Edward, his son-in-law Samuel Moorat, as an executor,  began to wind up and sell the property and assets belonging to the estate. In June 1792 in Madras, five houses, various items of household furniture along with jewellery were sold at public auction. One of the last wishes of Edward was the translation and printing of Roman History of 16 vols., and the Ancient History of 13 vols., by Mr. de Rollin into the Armenian language. Once that had been accomplished the interest arising from the £50,000 set aside, should be applied “for the fund of a school for the poor Armenian boys in such number that might be sufficient that the boys and their masters could live decently and that Rev. Nicholas Pusani should be appointed director and manager of the works and school for all his lifetime, with liberty to appoint his successors.” Further explanation of how and why Venice was chosen for the location of the school is found in the many legal reports at the time. I quote a small section below.

“A suit was instituted in 1825 to establish the charity under the direction of the Court, and a reference was made to the Master to inquire, among other things, of what the charity fund consisted, and to whom and in what manner it ought to be aid. The Master stated in his report, that it had been alleged to him delay had arisen in ascertaining the amount of the charity fund, and that Mr. Alexander Raphael, in order to carry out his father’s intentions respecting the translation, at his own expense had caused the histories to be translated into the Armenia language by certain members of the convent of St. Lazarus, at Venice, at a cost of upwards £3,000; and, with regard to the foundation of the Armenian School, that Venice was to be preferred to any other place, on account of the frequent commercial intercourse which existed between Venice and Constantinople, where great numbers of Armenians resided, which furnished means for conveying boys to Venice for education; that in Venice food was plentiful and cheap, and all articles of clothing might be had at a low price, and that the climate was more healthy than at other places where the Armenian schools existed; that the Convent of St. Lazarus, where the Roman Catholic religion was professed, consisted of an indefinite number of members, and was governed by an abbot and six presidents, and that the society had long been known for integrity of character and sound learning, and that the members were chiefly occupied in the composition, translation, printing, and sale of literary and scientific works, and were admirably adopted to instruct the boys in case the school should be founded at Venice, and that any funds devoted to that purpose might be safely intrusted to the society, for in case of any abuse or mal-administration of the funds there was a court of law in Venice to which the members of the society were amenable. The Master accordingly certified his opinion that the charity should be founded in Venice, and that the charity fund, which consisted of upwards of £48,000, should after deducting the sum of £3,000 for translating and printing, remain invested in the name of the Accountant General of the Court and the dividends paid from time to time to the abbot of St. Lazarus for founding and supporting the charity. “ Alexander Raphael was made a Power of Attorney to receive the dividend and ensured they were paid regularly to the abbot. “In early 1840, Alexander went to Venice with a view to ascertain whether the income from the charity was being applied, and to establish the state of the school. On arrival, he found that the abbot had taken a large palace on the Grand Canal, and that the purposes permanently or occasionally resident there consisted of three members of the convent beside domestics; and that from 1835 not more than 14 Armenian boys had been educated at the school at one time.  All legal reports on this case can be found at

At the time of Edward’s death, his youngest son, Lewis, was only four, the other two boys, Alexander and John were approximately 14 and 12 respectively and were being educated in London[8], therefore not immediately aware of their parental loss. The news of their mother’s death and not long afterwards that of their father, must have been devastating for them. Their eldest child, Anna, had an arranged marriage on 9th February 1791 in Madras to Samuel Mackertich Moorat, Edward’s trusted business partner and the man named as one of the executors in Edward’s will that was written on the 14th February 1791. The newly-weds remained in Madras, not knowing  their wedding would be the last time they would see Edward.

Inheritance and Family

Edward’s three sons had to wait until they each reached their 30th birthdays before their share of inheritance came their way. In the meantime, the three young men chose very different directions; a politician, a lawyer and a farmer respectively. As for Edward’s younger daughter Anne Maria, Edward had stipulated that she could not marry before the age of 22 years, otherwise she would forfeit her share of his estate.

A simple family tree showing Edward’s previous three generations as well as his immediate family. Note Edward’s father chose to use the patronymic naming convention that so many other Armenian families used. There are many examples of this system being used by Armenians in India in the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Many family names changed in a single generation because of this, making family history research a little more challenging at times!

Anna Raphael – 1771-1828
First Daughter of Edward Raphael

As I have already mentioned, Anna married Samuel Mackertich Moorat a few days before Edward set sail for England.  Anna and Samuel had three children: Edward Samuel Moorat, John Samuel Moorat and Maria Teresa Moorat.

Edward Samuel Moorat married Maria Virginia White on 13th May 1813 in Madras. They went on to have two children: Samuel Alexander Moorat and Maria Virginia Adelaide Moorat.

On the same day, 13th May 1813 his sister, Maria Teresa Moorat married Abraham Arathoon Aganoor. They went on to have at least five children.

A month later, on the 14th June 1813 Edward and Maria’s brother John Samuel Moorat married Marie Delphine White, sister of Maria Virginia. John Samuel and Marie went on to have at least eight children.

I think it is worth covering just a little about Samuel Mackertich Moorat, as he too played an important part in the education of many Armenian children, just as his father-in-law, Edward Raphael did.

Image credit: Professor Sebouh Aslanian

Once again, my thanks go to Professor Sebouh Aslanian for unearthing in the archives in Trieste the biography written about the Moorat’s by
the Mkhitarist father Sargis Teodorian published in Paris, his classic four-volume masterpiece history of the Moorat-Raphael College (Պատմութիւն Մուրատեան եւ Հայկազեան Վաժարանաց եւ Մխիթարեան Աբբայից). Also, Sebouh’s paper, Networks of Circulation, Patronage, and ‘National Revival’: The Armenian Translation of Charles Rollin’s History of Rome, presented in February 2010 at Boston University’s International Conference and Student Workshop on the Armenian Diaspora. This paper is an invaluable piece of original research. Quoting from it below, I fully acknowledge and thank Sebouh for his untiring work, advice and assistance.

Samuel Murat was born in the city of Tokat in the Ottoman Empire in 1760 and hailed from the Aghamalian family of Julfan origin. He traveled with his father and brother first to Constantinople then to Petrovaradin in Transylvania where he was taught Armenian by a Mekhitarist monk at the local Mekhitarist school there. At age fifteen he visited San Lazzarro and stayed there for five months where, according to Mekhitarist authors, he was deeply impressed by the monks. He then traveled to India with his father but became orphaned in Surat when his father passed away. In Madras he was adopted by his cousin Agha Grigor Shahrimanian and trained in commerce by becoming Grigor’s commenda agent. His work involved the pearl trade and took him to China most likely Canton or Macau.) Having caught the attention of Edward Raphael, he was married to Edward’s oldest daughter Anna and became an agent of his wealthy father-in-law where he soon amassed a significant fortune.

Before his death in 1816, Samuel Murat followed the example of his father-in-law and left behind an even greater fortune to be used by the Mekhitarists for the establishment of a school or college for young, orphaned, and poor Armenian students on European soil.

Part of the Will of Samuel Moorat showing the clause of the bequest.[9]

Sixthly. In my account books, have an account for poor orphans and the needy – out of my estate they are to take one hundred and fifty thousand Pagodas and to carry it to the same account and after carrying to the same account the said one hundred and fifty thousand pagodas, whatever, in the same account my

My debt may amount to, the whole of the said amount I leave for the founding of an academy for orphans, and poor children of the Armenian nation that according to the advice and through the Armenian Monks of Venice they purchase land in any part of Europe they may deem convenient, and the income of the said land for the annual expense of as many children, as it will suffice for, so many orphans and poor children of the Armenian nation they in the said academy are gratis to educate and to instruct in languages and they are to return to their paternal land and it is not to be an obligation on those educated in the said academy to become priests, but if any spontaneously are inclined to priesthood let them be. And should any wealthy persons also of the Armenian nation be desirous to have their children educated in the above said academy they can by defraying their expenses because my intention for the founding of this academy is for the educating of poor children that is to say, for those whose fathers are devoid of means and from their inability to defray the expenses of an academy they neglect the education of their children and those innocent children remain destitute of all instruction and knowledge and in consequence of which almost the greater part of our unprotected Armenian nation are ignorant. I trust in God that others also wealthy persons of the Armenian nation after tasting of the sweets of an academic education which through my means may commence and they follow my path that it may be thereby possible to diffuse among the nation if not wholly…………

Alexander Raphael 1775-1850
First Son of Edward Raphael

Edward’s eldest son, Alexander, can be found renting a property at Towler Rents, in London in 1796. He later came to prominence in 1812 when he was granted the Freedom of the City of London by the Company of Merchants of Tailors[10]. I am of the opinion that this was a calculated, premeditated action on Alexander’s part. He had a long term plan, and it involved not only progressing his political agenda but being a showman of the highest quality to accompany his future successes.

Freedom of the City of London
Freedom of the City of London for Alexander Raphael

But first, he had to become known and familiar to London society. He did this by making himself available to a number of charitable institutions and becoming treasurer or steward of associated fund raising activities.  The Royal Universal Infirmary for Children whose Patrons were the King & Queen; The Surrey Dispensary; Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb; Freemasons’ Charity for Female Children; Christ’s Hospital Benevolent Society of Blues and St. Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics; all these and more, made him visible and gave him presence.

Alexander Raphael was probably the most forward and flamboyant of the brothers. He was at times grandiose and, in certain circumstances, spared no amount of money to ensure his opulent style was noticed. He was appointed Sheriff of London in a spectacular unanimous vote in his favour on the 23rd June 1834. During August of that year, Alexander was one of hundreds of officials, and thousands of spectators to greet Queen Victoria upon her return from Germany with Prince Albert. There were many vessels forming part of the welcoming flotilla on the Thames, and Alexander was on board the steamer ‘Magnet’;[11] this experience was no doubt a taste of things to come.  By now, he had already instructed his tailors and livery designers to prepare for the official swearing in ceremony for the office of Sheriff. After a great deal of preparation, the pomp and pageantry took place on 30th  September 1834. He was the first Catholic to be given this position since the expulsion of the Stuarts.[12]  Alexander commanded more than the usual wordcount in newspaper reports, not only because of his Roman Catholic faith, but because, in a jaw-dropping spectacle, no one had ever seen servants and carriages dressed and decorated in such an elaborate, showmanship  and flamboyant fashion as they were for Alexander’s moment in the spotlight.

“Mr. Sheriff Raphael’s State Liveries.  Swain and Co., tailors, Fleet Street, have been entrusted with the decoration of the domestics of Mr. Sheriff elect Raphael; and the firm have certainly done themselves much credit by the production, having built for the attendants of the Sheriff as fine suits of liveries as we ever remember having met with. We are not exactly willing to subscribe to the phrase we have seen applied to them in some advertisements – “classical elegance and neatness;” it becomes so difficult to apply these terms together and in harmony, when speaking of a footman’s coat or a coachman’s coat – but this much we readily declare, as far as we are capable of giving an opinion, we consider them master-piece productions of the art of tailoring with decoration.

We were told the Sheriff had not been particular with the price, leaving it entirely in the hands of the tradesmen to exceed, if possible, all previous productions in that line, and we could believe the object of excelling has been accomplished.

His father Edward, may have wanted to distance himself from his Armenian roots, but Alexander was a little more clever about wanting to be accepted in London, and acknowledging his Armenian heritage, he did so in the designs of his liveries, subtly but with pride, knowing the people in the Capital would be his audience.

The fabric of the coat are in light blue, with white facings; the skirts are ornamented with an Eagle and Crown,  the crest of the Sheriff,
[Note: perhaps lost on the reader and the crowd of the day, but these important emblems were his subtle way of bringing Armenia and his heritage to the heart of the British establishment during a centuries long tradition; a way to say “I’m Armenian, not Jewish.” He later used the Eagle and Crown as part of his Raphael family crest, see below], and the edges of the entire suit are bordered with massive embroidery in gold, of exquisite workmanship – a running pattern of the vine, leaves and bunches of grapes alternately. The breeches and waistcoat are of white cassimere, ornamented with gold lace profusely to match.”[14]

In fact the liveries were of such exceptional quality and finish that the tailors, Swain and Co., announced in the newspapers they were putting them on display for “private inspection” at their premises for three days only.

Alexander’s horse-drawn carriage was just as splendid in its accompanying style. Made by Stubbs and Hancock, it was stated that “the workmanship, high finishing, elegance and taste, were superior to any carriages in Europe.” It certainly came very close to outshining the carriage of the Lord Mayor in the procession.

Yet, for all the money he threw at this, for all the confidence he displayed, for all his commitment he swore to, there were rumblings of spite and malice. He was Roman Catholic, that didn’t sit well with some. It was reported that he was a Jew and that was something he attempted to correct. No doubt irked by the label; he was keen to rectify the misinformation.

“With reference to the account which appeared in the Morning Advertiser of the presentation of the Sheriffs of London to the Cursitor Baron, at Westminster, on Tuesday last, it appears that the information which led our reporter to the belief that Mr. Sheriff Raphael was a convert from the Jewish faith to that of the Church of Rome, was erroneous.  This gentleman, whose ancestors were natives of Armenia – was, like them, made a member of the Church of Christ from his infancy, according to the rights and doctrine of the Roman Catholic Communion.”[15]

But the papers continued to refer to him as the “Jewish convert” for the remainder of his days. The daily publications made many assumptions in their print columns,  and I believe that it was something that happened almost naturally for them. Alas! It wouldn’t have helped Alexander’s cause that there was another, completely unrelated family called Raphael, who were Jewish bankers in London trading as R. Raphael & Sons. To compound matters further, that family also had males named Edward, John and Lewis Raphael. Since fact-checking wasn’t always high on the priority list for the newspapers, I believe all the “Raphael’s” of London simply got given the same label because it was just easier. Making it a life-time of frustration for the Armenian Raphaels.

Alexander Raphael was politically ambitious but not always so lucky. In 1835, he was the unsuccessful Parliamentary candidate for Pontefract in Yorkshire and was elected M.P. for County Carlow in Ireland, which was disallowed on petition

In 1847, aged 72, he was elected M.P. for St. Albans, the first Armenian in the UK to do so.


Raphael clutches a handkerchief. Recommended by Daniel O'Connell, he was elected Member of Parliament for Carlow in 1835 but was later unseated on a petition. O'Connell was charged with corruption as Raphael had paid him on his nomination and on being returned. Alexander Raphael and Daniel O'Connell crying. Coloured lithograph by H.B. (John Doyle), 1836. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Towards the end of the 1830s, prior to Alexander going to Venice to check progress of the Armenian school his father had wished to be started, he travelled to Jerusalem. Accompanying him was a German artist, Herr Mullher. Mullher made sketches of the city that were later turned into two exceptionally large gallery paintings of 12ft by 8ft each. 

Image courtesy of The
National Library of Israel, Eran Laor Cartographic Collection.

These artworks of Herr Mullher , seem to have disappeared from known collections, making the prints even more sought after. Written at the bottom: Modern Jerusalem. As it appears at the present day. Sketched on the spot.

The pencil sketches were turned into paintings and later lithograph engravings and prints

In 1857 the paintings were moved all over the UK and put on display for visitors to view, the sketches had been published by R. Turner, Fine Art Repository, Grey Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne on the 2nd May 1857. By 1860 they had been successfully copied into lithograph engravings and these were then sold at an affordable price to the general public.  These reproductions were also sought after and had their own road show for a couple of years after production.

A typical review of a local newspaper of the exhibition of the paintings was made in the Yorkshire Gazette of 3rd July 1858. “We  have been much pleased with an inspection of the magnificent paintings now on view at Mr. Sampson’s gallery, representing Ancient Jerusalem in all its glory, and Modern Jerusalem as it appears at the present time. These pictures originated in the liberality of the late A. Raphael Esq., M.P., who was an ardent antiquary, and determined upon a pilgrimage to the land of his fathers[17], and engaged the eminent German artist, Herr Mullher, to accompany him thither. No labour nor expense was spared to obtain facilities for research[18], and ultimately the production of these valuable paintings, which, however, Mr. Raphael was not spared to see completed. Upwards of £10,000[19] was expended on their production. There can be no doubt that those who carefully examine the picture of Ancient Jerusalem will at once be struck with its truthful appearance, and acknowledge it by far the most acceptable of the Holy City, in its ancient glory, that has yet been painted. The Temple – in all its glory – every wall, gate and court mentioned in sacred history are represented with minute exactness; also the great altar and the Holy of Holies. In the back and foreground are the palaces of Asmoneans, of Herod and his sister Salome, the Tower of Mariamne, the tombs of Absolam, David and Solomon, the Hall of the Sanhedrim, the Kedra, Valley of Jehoshaphat, and other hallowed spots. The other picture is equally interesting – Modern Jerusalem, no longer adorned with its former glories – yet forms a most interesting subject, and affords matter for deep contemplation. Both paintings are executed with great artistic skill, and the elaborate manner in which the minutest details are wrought out is indeed marvellous. We cannot describe the paintings – they must be seen to be appreciated.

Advert: Bristol Mercury 17th November 1860

Almost every single advertisement printed to promote the display of the paintings incorrectly stated that Alexander Raphael was a converted Jew and had “returned to his motherland”. By the time these paintings had been executed, reproduced and then sent to tour the country, Alexander had passed away and it must have been a constant source of frustration for his family to endure the inaccurate label.

I have no doubt his travels, particularly those to Italy, inspired him. On his return to England, Alexander set about planning to build a Catholic church in the grounds of his home, Ditton Lodge, overlooking the Thames. The cost was around £14,000 which included a provision for an endowment for a priest. At its completion in  July 1847, it equates today to in excess of  £1.1 million in real terms[20]. He must have been struck by the architectural beauty in the buildings he saw in Europe. That influence was most definitely present in the design of St. Raphael’s church and transferring these new and exciting ideas to his own project, in the heart of England, was noted by many to be an extraordinary thing to do. It would have taken time to draw up plans, have the stone quarried and cut, organize shipping of the marble from Italy (which he may have already sourced when he was there); but the foundation stone was laid on 2nd February 1846 and the building was completed just over a year later.

“The new Roman Catholic Church is a handsome building in the Italian style, situated on the southern bank of the Thames, close to the road side, and opposite to Hampton Court Palace. It was designed by Mr. Charles Parker, architect of Tavistock Street, Bedford Square, and erected at the sole cost of Alexander Raphael Esq., of Surbiton Place, and M.P. for St. Albans, upon whose estate it stands. This church is built of Bath stone; it consists of a western tower, a nave, north and south aisles, a chancel, with tribune and sacristies.

The entrance is in the tower, as shown in the engraving.

Engraving: Henry Linton 1847 immediately after the church was completed

In the arch above the door, there appears the Greek form or monogram of the cross, as sculptured on sarcophaguses of the first ages of Christianity. The plan of the tower is square; it measures 16 feet at its base, and the whole height, including the cross, is 78 feet. A cast-iron screen runs across the inner part, and forms the entrance porch. On each side of the inner doorway are stoups, the bowl and shaft made of Italian marble. In one corner there is a small staircase, reaching to the organ loft, which is open to the nave, as high as the clock chamber. From this there is an easy ascent to the belfry, where, by an arrangement of the machinery, the clock strikes the angulus bell at the proper hours.

The nave consists of three compartments; the length is 45 feet, the height is 43 feet, and the width, including the aisles, 44 feet. The pedestals, pillars, and entablatures supporting the arches, are of Portland stone; over each arch there are windows of three lights, forming a clerestory The roofs, framed with beams and rafters, are open to the ceiling/ each principal rests upon a moulded and enriched corbel; all the roofs are covered with files made from a model obtained from Florence. The eastern gable rises considerably above the chancel, and supports a belfry for the sanctus bell. The floor is laid with red and while hexagonal tiles; the benches are low and open; the walls are decorated with coloured monograms, as found in the catacombs of the first Christians. At the western end of the north aisle the font is fixed; the bowl and shaft are of Italian marble; the cover is of oak, framed in four compartments.

The chancel, raised one step above the ordinary level of the church, and separated by a wrought-iron railing, is 22 feet in length, and the same width as the nave; the height is 37 feet; the roof is open to the ceiling, as before described. On the north, east, and south sides there are windows, each composed of three lights; in these openings coloured glass will be inserted. The wall immediately over the east window is enriched by a gilt cross. The pavement, three steps, and platform, are laid with Sicilian marble; the altar and tabernacle, both free from the wall, are of the same material; the altar is enriched with festoons of flowers, sculptured in Italy; the door of the tabernacle is an ancient carved oak panel; probably of the thirteenth century; it represents the crucifixion, and is a work of great interest. The sedilia are of oak and ornamented with carvings of angel-heads and other subjects, there are carvings on the backs of the seats. The pulpit adjoins the sanctuary, and is placed round the last column of the nave; it is octagonal in plan and of Sicilian marble. The tribune is separated from the chancel by an open screen. The vault for the founder is under the sanctuary.

On the north side of the church, and communicating with the sacristies, there is a residence for the priest, attached to which is a sufficient piece of ground for a garden. On the south side there are schools for boys and girls, with separate play grounds. At the east end the cemetery is placed, in the centre of which an iron cross is erected.

The church is on the estate of Mr. Alexander Raphael, the present member for St. Albans, who has given the ground, and at his sole charge erected and endowed the whole of the buildings for the benefit of the poor.
[21] [22]

The London Evening Standard made a point of rejoicing in Alexander’s building success, particularly since he was treated so badly during the elections: “…a gentleman whom we rejoice to see in Parliament, because we feel that his admission to that assembly is the payment of a debt long due to his manliness and integrity. We speak of Mr. Alexander Raphael, the victim of the most cruel injustice that ever was committed by a jobbing committee of a jobbing House of Commons – injustice we are ashamed to say, too freely connived at by the public. Mr. Raphael was grossly defrauded by one of whom we will now say nothing, because he has gone to his account.  He remonstrated against the fraud – a committee of the house all but sanctioned the wrong of which he had been the victim, and a frivolous public, unhappily not much indisposed to admire successful craft – seemed to approve of the sanction given by the Parliamentary committee to the transactions of the Carlow election.

Mr. Raphael has had his revenge – such revenge as a generous and kind-hearted man can enjoy; he has lived down the sneers of his detractors by a succession of years passed in the active exercise of munificent benevolence, and of generous friendship where he had not scope for the exercise of munificence.. His purse and – where men would not consent to aid from it – his influence have ever been at the service of the deserving; we know of no man from whose modest private career a greater number of acts of generous kindness can be quoted. He endowed the Roman Catholic chapel at his own expense of £12,000 from his own resources. It is a consolation to know that among Roman Catholics there are such men…….”

However, only a few weeks later, ‘The Tablet’ in January 1848 stated: “we hope it is not true, as we hear, that this admirable church, and in particular the rooms of the adjoining house, are being injured by being left uninhabited. A correspondent informs us that the paper is falling from the walls, and that other signs of decay are visible. We are also told that this is owing to a delay in arranging the terms of an endowment, which is designed to be speedily completed by Mr. Raphael’s Christian liberality.’

Of course, there are always opportunists, particularly amongst petty criminals. The building project of the church was not immune to a bit of thieving. A plumber, named Gladow, employed by the contracting builders, Mr. John Dickson and Mr. Dean, had thrown some roof lead down from the top of the building and his accomplices, James Watts and James McDonald, attempted to make off with it. Unfortunately for them, a keen-eyed bobby noticed their arrival at Nine Elms train terminus, and, seeing Watts had something heavy on him, stopped him. McDonald escaped. The policeman wasted no time, gave Watts to two gentlemen of the public to hold whilst he then went in pursuit. He managed to capture McDonald, brought him back to the terminus and found that Watts had 32lbs of lead in a bag whilst McDonald had 38lbs of brand new sheet lead.[24] All I can say is, what stamina! To run away carrying that amount of lead. How fortuitous for Alexander to have his property recovered, presumably it was positioned back on the roof in no time at all. This incident is actually a good indicator of how completed the church was at the beginning of 1847.

I believe it is no coincidence the name of the church and the family name that built it, was a deliberate action for the Raphael name to live on many years after they had died. His great niece did the same thing with her aeroplane, and named it the St. Raphael. Alexander also built the Catholic Church in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, although it was completed after he died.

It is, without doubt, because of Alexander’s father, Edward Raphael and his strong Catholic beliefs and even stronger Catholic family network back in India, that St. Raphael’s church exists today in Surrey. The influence and history of the Raphael’s extended  family of Chorhatsgerentz, Gharamiants, Manuel, Arathoon, Baboom, Carapiet, Benedict, Tatius, Glomier and others, all helped to contribute towards Alexander’s Catholic philanthropic generosity. The small, close-knit Armenian Catholic community of Madras in the late 18th and early 19th centuries had no idea of the future and type of gentlemen the orphan Raphael boys would become, but they all stayed true to their faith.

Perhaps Alexander was inspired by  his equally generous and philanthropic cousin in Bombay with whom he shared Gharamiants as common relatives. Rose Nesbit, a woman of immense independent wealth, built her own Catholic chapel in 1787 in Byculla. Attached to her house, unlike St. Raphael’s Church whose purpose was to serve the poor Catholics of  Kingston and Surbiton, Rose’s church was entirely for her own private worship and reflection. She also endowed it with extra funds to support a priest, for whom she supplied a separate house as accommodation.  She was however, at least a little more organized than Alexander,
before her death in 1819 she gave over the chapel and property to the Vicar Apostolic, and it subsequently was opened to the public.

The Roman Catholic Church at Surbiton. Called the Church of the Archangel Raphael. Presented by Alexander Raphael Esqr., M.P. Image: Liz Chater private archive collection. Original image by Thomas Allom,
engraved by William Radclyffe.

Alexander’s home, Surbiton Place

Over the years Alexander had purchased large areas of land and property in the south of England, but no amount of money or pomposity could save him from His calling, and on the 17th November 1850 Alexander passed away after a short illness. He failed to make a will and thus died intestate, just as his brother John had done. Administration of his enormous wealth fell on the shoulders of his younger brother Lewis, who found himself having to pay a vast quantity of money in death duties on the estate. Alexander’s personal property alone amounted to £250,000. This is the equivalent today of over £23.6 million. Had Alexander completed a will, the death duties paid would have been a great deal less than the present day value of £1.1 million. A salutary reminder that we should all make time to complete our last will and testament, to save our families the distress and heartache that can be attached to dying when one isn’t made. It was reported that during his lifetime, he had given over £100,000 to the Catholic cause and was the builder of the new town of Surbiton.[25]

The Coat of Arms of Alexander Raphael Esq., a Catholic Armenian from Madras. M.P. for St. Albans Hertfordshire, and the first Roman Catholic Sheriff of London. Note Mount Ararat is included in the crest. This coat of arms is still in use by the family today by the Savile Family.

Extracted from: "The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales comprising a registry of Armorial B
earings from the earliest time to the present day. Volume 3. by John Burke 1851".

Raphael, Ditton Lodge, County Surrey; granted to Alexander Raphael Esq., of that place. Quarterly, azure and argent, a cross moline or, in the 1st quarter the sun in splendour; in the 2nd a mount representing Mount Ararat, the ark on the summit, and a city at the base, with the inscription, in the Armenian language, NAKSIVAN; in the 3rd quarter two figures representing the angel Raphael, and Tobias, standing on a mount, thereon a fish all ppr., in the 4th an anchor with the cable entwined in bend or. Crest: Out of an Eastern crown or, a demi eagle with two heads displ. sa. beaked and charged on the breast with a cross moline gold.

The double headed eagle was very familiar to Alexander, it having been placed on the altar and baptismal font of an Armenian funded Catholic Church in his home town of Madras.

The doubled-headed eagle symbol was used in a Catholic church in Madras also funded by Armenians

Alexander Raphael had ensured the architectural plans for the church included a vault immediately below the High Altar, it was specifically mentioned to be the Raphael family vault where he had already indicated his desire for it to be his last resting place. He was indeed laid to rest in the Raphael crypt of the church, as were other members of the Raphael family; brother, Lewis; nephew, Edward; nieces, Anne and of course Agnes, Countess of Mexborough, all of whom passed away after him. Ditton Lodge and St. Raphael’s church remained within the Raphael family until 1890. Details of the inheritance transitions can be found further down.

Alexander Raphael’s coffin in the Raphael Vault of St. Raphael’s Church, Kingston. Image courtesy of St. Raphael’s Church Kingston-upon-Thames A Virtual Tour. David A Kennedy, 2019, Alexander Raphael - a man with two burial places,

Image and translation courtesy of Kingston-upon-Thames – A Virtual Tour (as above)

To God, most good, most great

Herein rests Alexander Raphael, who in certain hope of a better life, not long since was the noble and distinguished founder of this Church. He was a member of the British Parliament and lover of country, justice and freedom, who held an unshakeable faith. He was a skilled linguist renowned for his generous financial assistance for the education of poor young people and in the promotion of the Catholic Faith, not only in England but also in Italy and Germany, which he continued to fund while he lived.

He was renowned for his many virtues for which he was honoured by the Order of St. Sylvester being conferred upon him by the Supreme Pontiff, His Eminence Pope Pius IX.

He died on the 17th day of November in A.D. 1850 aged 75.

This memorial monument has been erected by a dutiful brother and sister and his like-minded grieving nephews and nieces*.

May he rest in peace

* The brother in question was bachelor Lewis and the sister was Anna Moorat. The nephews and nieces were the surviving four children of Alexander’s late brother John and Mary Raphael nee Calvert as well as the surviving two children  of Anna and Samuel Moorat.

How some of the newspapers replicated the Raphael coat of arms

Image: Kingston History Research,  David A Kennedy, 2017, From Madras to Surbiton. Alexander Raphael, unbeaten champion, 1775-1850,

It is thought this sarcophagus at San Lazarro was intended for Alexander Raphael. It was never used until 1940 when another generous Armenian benefactor and philanthropist died in Trieste. Petros Hyrapiet Crete is forever remembered in Venice, His magnificent tomb (above) is situated opposite that of Abbot Mekhithar.
[26] Perhaps an enterprising abbot thought the unused sarcophagus would be the perfect tribute to such a generous donor. The tribute inscription is for Crete, as follows:[27]

Petros Hyrapiet Crete
Knight Commander of the Order of St Grigor the Great
Born in 1865 in New Julfa

Philanthropist, brother of Catholicosate of Cilicia
Died in 1940 in Trieste

P.H. Crete. Image Liz Chater’s private archive.

Although he was born in Persia, Petros Crete was educated at the Armenian College & Philanthropic Academy in Calcutta. He was heavily involved with the coal industry at Asansol and became very wealthy. He lived in India, but he travelled extensively and was widely known for his philanthropic contributions.  During one of his trips abroad, when he was in Rome he donated Rs5,00,000 to His Holiness, the Pope for Armenian Roman Catholics.  In recognition of his generosity the Pope conferred on him the title of Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.  Prior to his death Peter donated another Rs 35,00,000 to the Pope for Armenian Roman Catholics.[28]

As a bachelor, with no descendants, Alexander’s property Ditton Lodge at Thames Ditton, and the adjoining St. Raphael’s Church as well as the whole Ditton estate, devolved to Lewis the youngest brother, who was only able to enjoy it for a very short time as he died in December 1851. The property, including the church, was then inherited by his nephew Edward, son of Alexander and Lewis’s brother John, who lived there for the next 38 years. One of the bequests that Lewis made from Alexander’s estate was an exceptionally large gift of £10,000, an equivalent figure today would be over £1 million to Cardinal Wiseman. A name well known in Greenford, London because the local school was named after the Cardinal. Incidentally, Cardinal Wiseman saw out his days at Prior Park near Bath, a property that Alexander Raphael had purchased for £30,000. By agreeing to give Prior Park to the Cardinal, Alexander was honoured with the Papal Order of Knighthood by The Pope who conferred the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester[29] on him. However, Alexander’s lack of forethought brought a heavy price, not only to his family but to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church. As well as not making a will, Alexander also failed to sign the deeds transferring the churches at Kingston and St. Albans as well as Prior Park, to the Cardinal. This resulted in the Cardinal losing around £70,000 worth of property.[30]

Properties of Alexander Raphael

1811 – 49 Upper Berkley Street, Mayfair, London

1811 - Ditton Lodge, Thames Ditton was originally built by Alexander Raphael, along with the St. Raphael Church. Upon his death in 1850 his brother Lewis inherited it. Upon Lewis’s death in 1851 their nephew, Edward, inherited it. Upon Edward’s death in 1888 his sister Anne inherited it, and upon her death in 1889, her sister, Agnes, Countess of Mexborough inherited it.

1833 - Surbiton Hall also known as Surbiton Place and Surbiton Manor, Surrey

1837 - 10 Great Stanhope Street, London

1837-1842 – Canton House, 120 London Road, Brighton[31]

Contrary to popular belief, Alexander Raphael did not own Pope’s Villa in Twickenham. Speculation became so fervent in the London newspapers in August/September 1839 that he was the “new” purchaser, he was forced to place a denial in the London Evening Standard stating the claim was untrue.[32]
Verulam House, St. Albans

1847 – Parrock Manor, Milton, Gravesend [after Alexander’s death briefly owned by his younger brother Lewis and later owned by nephew Edward, then Edward’s brother Lewis]

1850 – Ifield Court, Gravesend [after Alexander’s death briefly owned by his younger brother Lewis and later owned by nephew Edward

1851 - Verulam Lodge, St. Albans [later owned by nephew Edward Raphael]

John Raphael family tree chart showing the direct lineage of the Raphael/Savile’s to Raphael Gharamiants of Persia. Image: Liz Chater

John Raphael 1777-1838
Second Son of Edward Raphael

John studied law and signed Articles of Agreement on 18th October 1802 for five years, with lawyer John Morgan of Bedford Row, London. He successfully completed his term and became a solicitor in November 1807.[33]  By 1815 John was able to take on his own Articled Clerk, his name was Charles John Frederick Malo. Charles Malo went on to complete his term and stayed on with John Raphael.

Just like his brother Alexander Raphael, John had the honour of receiving the Freedom of the City of London in December 1837.[34]

Freedom of the City of London for John Raphael, Alexander's brother

He too became involved in politics, but not as much as Alexander. Often seen as a Returning Officer for elections, he was more conspicuously his brother’s ‘wing-man’, not only advising him on political matters but also offering important legal advice, particularly during Alexander’s tumultuous time in the O’Connell affair.[35] 

John, who had married Mary Calvert (more on her later) in September 1810 in St. Mary Abbots Church, Kensington, went on to have seven children with her. (1) Alexander Edward; (2) Mary; (3) Edward; (4) John; (5) Lewis; (6) Anne and (7) Agnes Louisa.  All were born in England, but at the time of writing this blog, only two Catholic records are available to view digitally, the others, at the moment are mysteriously unavailable.

Whatever joy the Freedom of London may have brought him, it was a short-lived delight.

John was not destined to see his surviving children grow into mature adulthood. The loss of three of his off-spring put him in a permanent state of anxiety. On 23rd November 1838 he had received a letter from Boulogne, where his son and daughter were, advising that they were ill. He became depressed and soon after experienced chest pains. Nevertheless, he continued with his plans and went out for dinner about 4.30pm and returned home around 11pm. The pain increased once he was in bed and the housekeeper sent for a doctor. On examination it was declared he was suffering from “spasms in the chest” and the doctor wrote a prescription, but before it was obtained, John had died. Our modern medicines and diagnoses would likely say John suffered a heart attack, but the following extraordinary account offers another alternative.

“Mr. Anthony Watt, solicitor, said that he accompanied the deceased to St. John’s Wood. On his way there he appeared like a man who was overwhelmed with grief. He mentioned his children, and observed that he was fearful he should never bring one up. He had lost three – one at the age of twenty one, another at the age of twenty two and a third at the age of eighteen. They died successively.”

At the inquest of John Raphael, held at the Grafton Arms, Tottenham Court Road, with the body on view, the official verdict reached was: “That the deceased died by the visitation of God.”[36] Not a diagnosis and conclusion we are familiar with today.

John failed to make a will prior to his death,  and Administration of his estate was granted to his widow Mary (nee Calvert). However, for whatever reason, it remained unadministered right up until her death in August 1873, a period of 35 years. Her daughter Anne was executor to her will which was proved in December of that year. John’s estate was finally proved at Probate on 6th October 1874 by his son Lewis, whose address was given as 10 Jermyn Street, St. James’s.

The unexpected and untimely death of John did not just affect his family, but it also affected those who worked for him. His loyal Articled Clerk, Charles Malo, who had married only three years previously, suddenly found himself without a position and with no income, it wasn’t long before he was hopelessly in debt, declared insolvent and put into debtors’ jail. In 1841 he applied to the Court of Relief as an insolvent debtor and by 1848 he had passed away and was buried in St. Pancras cemetery.[37]

Of John Raphael’s children, three of the seven died as young adults.

Alexander Edward Raphael – 1811-1831
Eldest Son of John Raphael

Alexander Edward Raphael had been sailing in a vessel ‘Rothsay Castle’ between Liverpool and Beaumaris in Wales when it was caught in heavy stormy seas and wrecked. It was a catastrophe that could have been avoided, had the Captain not been drunk and not refused to turn around to seek shelter in port when pleaded with by the passengers. Those who did manage to survive gave heart rendering accounts of their journey and the disaster as it unfolded to the enquiry afterwards.

“Mr. Alexander Raphael. This young gentleman, who had not attained his twentieth year at the period of his premature death, was the eldest son of John Raphael, Esq., of Fitzroy Square, London. He had visited Manchester for the purpose of seeing a particular friend, (Mr. M.P. Calvert, the artist) and unfortunately determined upon an excursion to the Menai Bridge previous to his return home, which brought him in contact with the fatal vessel. He was intended for the bar, and had received the greater portion of his education in Paris. He resided in that city with such view for several years, and was an eye witness of the scenes consequent upon the revolution of 1830. His remains were never found, though every practicable means were resorted to for their recovery.”

Wreck of the Rothesay Castle. Image courtesy of National Maritime Museum Greenwich.

One can only imagine the mental anguish John Raphael suffered when he received word his son had perished at sea, just as his father Edward had done 40 years previously. No amount of financial good fortune could make John and Mary’s lives any less tormented; John suffered enormous emotional bouts of wretched anxiety for the remainder of his days. He and his wife Mary were destined to grieve for two more of their children. Son, John died in 1833 aged 17 years and daughter, Mary died in 1834 aged 20 years

To compound the family’s bad luck, in February 1832 John Raphael was aboard a horse drawn mail coach that had started its journey in Poole, Dorset, continued on to Southampton, Hampshire and was en route to London. It was 2am in the middle of winter and having changed horses and coachmen at Bentley Green, about 3 miles past Chawton (known for being the home of Jane Austen), the coachman was travelling at a furious pace. A carriage wheel hit a gate post and the wheel shattered into splinters. The pole connecting the horses snapped, the harness broke and the horses ran free. This probably saved the lives of the travellers, but the injuries were still quite severe. A passenger had his arm brutally shattered, and John sustained injuries that required surgery.[39]

Edward Raphael – 1814-1888
Second son of John Raphael

Edward remained a bachelor all his life. It can be speculated that since his elder brother Alexander Edward was educated in Paris, it is highly likely that Edward, John and Lewis were as well. Edward became a barrister, passing the Bar exam on 1st May 1841[40] and worked out of Clifford’s Inn Chambers, London. By 1855, he was resident in Verulam Lodge, Verulam Road, St. Albans close to where the catholic church was built by his uncle Alexander. However, his main residence was the inherited Ditton Lodge at Thames Ditton, but he also inherited Parrock Manor, Milton, Gravesend from his uncle Alexander. Edward shared this property with his brother Lewis. Edward was also the owner of the Parish of Denton in Kent, it was an area of 434 acres of farming land with 91 acres of water[41] and with a population of only 218[42]. When Edward died in 1888 properties were split between his surviving siblings, Anne and Lewis. Anne inherited everything he owned in Surrey (which included Ditton Lodge and the Church), she also inherited Stockwell Hall in Essex, whilst Lewis inherited everything he owned in Kent.

Extract of Edward Raphael's will

Edward left numerous small legacies to various people that included some distant cousins, but his final estate amounted to £349,000, the equivalent figure today would be in excess of £38.8 million, which was split between his sister Anne and his brother Lewis.

Mary Raphael – 1815-1834
First Daughter of John Raphael

Little is known about Mary, other than she died in August 1834 at her father’s house Fitzroy Square, London in her 20th year.[43]


John Raphael – 1816-1833
Third Son of John Raphael


Also died young, apparently of a burst blood vessel whilst at college on 22nd November 1833.

Lewis Raphael aka Louis Barnes – 1821 -1907
Fourth Son of John Raphael

Roman Catholic baptism in London of Lewis Raphael, son of John Raphael and his wife Mary nee Calvert

Parrock Farm

Lewis’s uncle, Alexander Raphael had purchased Parrock Farm around 1827 when it came up for auction following the death of the owner Col. Thomas Dalton. Dalton had spent a great deal of time and money in making it a very modern and profitable farm, something that Alexander benefitted from. Following Alexander’s death in 1850, it passed to his nephews Edward and Lewis, and in 1862  it was recorded that Lewis owned a seven-twelfths share of  Parrock Farm[44], his brother Edward owned the remaining five-twelfths share. Lewis appears to be the more active of the brothers, but he engaged his second cousin, Lieut. Colonel Robert Arathoon (who had also been born in Madras), to manage it on his behalf. Lt. Col. Robert’s two youngest daughters, Dorothy and Roberta were both born at Parrock Manor House in 1888 and 1890 respectively. In January 1905, Robert’s eldest daughter Mary Cecily Arathoon married Mr. Lewis Edward Brown Greaves[45]. Just a few months later, when Lewis Raphael was finalizing his will, he appointed Brown Greaves as an executor.

Image: Ifield Court, via Strutt & Parker property particulars. In 1891 Lewis owned the mansion house Ifield Court, [46] Gravesend, another inherited property from his uncle, Alexander Raphael who was noted to own it in 1850. The 600 plus acre estate was sold in 1908 following Lewis’s death[47].

In 1893 Lewis also owned a property in Whitehall Road, Kent which was in the occupation of a tenant Mr. G.H. Edmonds[48].

Lewis appears to have led a double life. When he was 38 years old he had an illegitimate daughter in London with a 20 year old woman called Julia Mary Barnes. She gave birth in June 1859. In October 1868 Julia was baptized in the parish of St. Peter, West Hackney a week before her own daughter, who was now 9 years of age. The young girl, named Julia Louisa Barnes,  was baptized at the Holy Trinity Church, St. Marylebone on 4th November 1868. Both Lewis and the child’s mother were entered on the baptism record, but it omitted his surname. Evidence of their address was also given, as Mewsbrook, Littlehampton, Sussex. This is the earliest known record of Lewis at Mewsbrook. Local history groups are of the opinion that Mewsbrook was built in 1870, but the baptism suggests there was already some kind of property built prior to then. In the 1871 census, their London address was Monmouth Road, an elegant 3 storey town house, where Lewis Raphael used his alternative name of Louis Barnes. Julia Mary Barnes was listed as his wife, although she wasn’t, whilst Julia Louisa was 11 years old. Also living with them was Julia Mary’s widowed mother, Caroline. Lewis married Julia Mary Barnes in Birmingham on 20th July 1881.  He appears to have gone out of his way during the course of his life to throw out many false trails and red herrings to ensure he wasn’t traced.  As an example, he chose to marry Julia in Birmingham. This begs the question, why, when he was living and working between London, Kent and Sussex? On the marriage record he appears to have deliberately given his father’s name incorrectly, probably thinking “no one will know or find out.” He was incredibly particular about how he put his name to official street directories and electoral records. There are distinct entries for his professional lifestyle in London where he is listed as Lewis Raphael. However, there are also separate entries for him as Louis Barnes where he can be seen at the same address as Julia Mary and their daughter Julia Louisa. Incidentally, Julia Mary continued to use her maiden name throughout her life even after she married him.  If he was in Sussex his name was Louis Barnes and in the Kent directories he was Lewis Raphael the farmer of Parrock Farm.

I became aware of the Barnes name when I reviewed a copy of Lewis’s will.

Extract of Lewis Raphael's will

After his death on the 23rd January 1907 at Copthorne, Sussex, the home of his cousin Mary Cecily and her husband Edward Lewis Brown Greaves, he left his entire estate in trust to Julia Louisa Barnes. He carefully ensured he did not write what relationship she was to him. He was surreptitious to the last. He didn’t legitimize his daughter at her baptism with his name, and he couldn’t find it in his heart to recognize her officially at his death, but the emotional pull was such that he wanted to ensure she was comfortable for the remainder of her days. One can guess at many scenarios, but the most obvious one is to have had an illegitimate child would have brought shame and embarrassment on his family and also his sister Agnes, Countess of Mexborough. He separated out his London life and his Sussex life and there was very little he did to allow any cross over.  I would say the Mexborough’s knew of Julia Louisa, because he also stated in his will that after her death the remainder of his estate was to go to his nephews and nieces; the Honorable John Savile, the Honorable George Savile, Lady Mary Louisa Savile, and the Princess Anne Lowenstein-Wertheim, all children of Lewis’s sister Agnes, Countess of Mexborough.  I have drawn the conclusion that Lewis  was not prepared to bow to any bloodline dynasty he was part of or associated with, he also wasn’t prepared to try and get either Julia his wife or daughter truly accepted and integrated into the Raphael/Mexborough families. His estate amounted to around £71,000. When his daughter Julia died in 1946 her estate amounted to around £3,000.  I really hope she was able to benefit well from the trust he set up, and I also hope she had a good time spending it. The residue of Julia’s estate was left to Percy Prockter to be distributed to charities, “according to my wishes communicated to him in my lifetime.”

Incidentally, the marriage of Mary Cecily and Edward Lewis Brown-Greaves ended in divorce in 1910. He died in Sackville Hospital, Sussex in 1949 leaving an estate of just £520. Mary Cecily died in 1957 in Folkstone, Kent possessed of an estate around £900.[49]

As far as Mewsbrook in Sussex was concerned, in true Raphael style, Lewis had acquired a substantial area of land and built a strong and imposingly sturdy house with a tower.

Advert in the Sussex Agricultural Express July 1867

Julia Barnes and her daughter were comfortably set up in Rustington Sussex by Lewis. In Mewsbrook with his separate identity, one that was entirely detached from that of his identity in London, Julia was known locally as Mrs. Barnes, Lewis was known as Louis Barnes. Julia was an active supporter of the inmates of the local workhouse. There was the “annual treat” at the family home of Mewsbrook, Julia being a well-liked and respected member of the local community. Those attending were transported to the house by carriages from the workhouse, sometimes up to 120 people were entertained. Greeting them at the entrance to Mewsbrook was a brass band and it would have been quite the spectacle as it led the carriages down the long drive. The afternoon treat consisted of a Punch and Judy show, games, races and music. Mrs. Barnes would often present everyone with gifts; pipe and tobacco for the men, tea and sugar for the ladies and toys for the children.  Food was served around 5pm, and Julia made sure everyone had plenty to eat. They managed to squeeze in a few more games before departing back to the workhouse in the early evening, but not before Julia had ensured everyone had more food to take away with them.

In London he was Lewis the lawyer, in Gravesend he was a landed proprietor/farmer of Parrock Manor and in Sussex he was simply Mr. Barnes with a wife and daughter, no one seemed to know of his background or other lands and properties he had, nor his tridimensional life.

Mewsbrook built circ. 1870 by Robert Bushby for Louis Barnes aka Lewis Raphael. Image courtesy of Friends of Mewsbrook Park.

Julia Mary Barnes died in 1901 at 11 Montagu Street, London, the London home she shared with her husband Lewis Raphael and their daughter Julia Louisa. Lewis chose not to let his wife and daughter use his Raphael surname during their lifetimes. From a 21st Century viewpoint, I can’t help but wonder how this must have made them feel about themselves. It was Julia Mary’s niece who recorded the death at the Registry Office, and she made the point of stating that Julia was “wife of Lewis Raphael of independent means.”  At her death, she finally got to be recognized as a Raphael.

This is the first time the two names of Barnes and Raphael can be officially associated. No one has previously made this connection with evidence and proof.

Julia Louisa grew up between the family townhouse in Montagu Street and Mewsbrook their country mansion. It must have been very difficult for her to leave. Her childhood was formed there, but in 1920 Julia Louisa put the estate of Mewsbrook up for sale. It coincided with the expiration of the foreshore rents her father Lewis had negotiated in 1900 for a period of 21 years. [50] The size of the forefront wasn’t as large as some, 88 yards,[51] but it still gave that all important access direct from his land to the sea. Given that Julia was in her 60s, coupled with the fact the rents would have been increased substantially by the council, it was a natural decision, albeit a sad one to make.

 Preliminary announcement. Instructed by Miss Barnes.

Littlehampton, Sussex
To be sold by auction by
J.S. Castiglione.

Situated midway between Littlehampton and Rustington. Delightfully situated detailed freehold Marine Residence standing in its own grounds of about 18 acres. The house is uniquely built, commands extensive landscape and marine views and contains: lounge hall, gallery, two reception rooms, library, nine bedrooms. Also several pieces of land, cottages and farm buildings, situate at Rustington extending in all to about 22 acres. Particulars are in course of preparation and may be had from J.S. Castiglione, Auctioneer, 24 Haymarket.

It was advertised in the local papers many times between the initial listing in June 1920 and when it was sold in May 1921.

Julia Louisa Barnes passed away on 1st July 1946 at 4 Hamilton Mansions, Fourth Avenue, Hove. Just as her mother’s death certificate had recognized  her as a Raphael, so too did Julia Louisa’s. Her death certificate finally gave her the acknowledgement Lewis denied her during their lives; it recorded her surname as Raphael.

Julia Louisa Barnes/Raphael death certificate

With no relatives left, her burial was arranged by her long term friend Percy Prockter in Hove; even though she was a Raphael by birth, there was no family vault interment with her Raphael and Mexborough cousins at St. Raphael’s Church, for her. She was buried in a simple grave in Hove Cemetery South on 6th July 1946[52], section JD No. 243.

Image courtesy of

One final thought I had, was that Lewis Raphael, with his ever agile mind for the subtleties of subterfuge, deliberately chose the second name of Louisa, not only because it echoed the second name of his sister, Agnes, Countess of Mexborough, but also because Julia would always then be named after her father, even if he couldn’t bring himself to formally recognize her. Julia Louis[a] Barnes.

Anne Raphael – 1818 - 1889
Second daughter of John Raphael

Roman Catholic baptism of a Raphael 3rd December 1818, daughter of John Raphael and his wife Mary nee Calvert.

Anne remained a spinster all her life. Her estate legacy was the largest left by a woman in England in the year 1889. When finalised it amounted to £261,638. The equivalent today would be around £29 million. She also owned a property in the Lombardy region of Italy. She and her sister Agnes were regular travellers to Italy and the house would have made a great bolt-hole to escape the harshness of the English weather. Being unmarried, with no issue, her estate was left to her sister, Agnes, Countess of Mexborough and absorbed into the Mexborough family finances. However, Anne did set up a £45,000 trust fund for her nieces, Lady Mary and Lady Anne Savile, daughters of her sister Agnes. She also directed that investments be made in Government stocks, bonds and securities as well as shares in the Bank of England and debenture stocks of any railway company in India to be secured on a term of 300 years[53]. Anne also made a point of stating in her Will that she was not leaving anything to her brother Lewis Raphael because “he was amply provided for.”

Anne, who had died on the 27th October 1889 was buried in a private ceremony on the 4th November in the Raphael vault of St. Raphael’s, the family church, in Kingston Surrey.

Agnes Louisa Elizabeth Raphael – 1827 - 1898
Third Daughter of John Raphael

Agnes married John Charles George Savile, Earl of Mexborough at St. Mary’s Church, St. Marylebone on the 27th July 1861. Three of her witnesses were her siblings, Edward, Anne and Lewis Raphael.

Marriage certificate of Agnes Raphael and John C.G. Savile

The Earl had previously been married, and had issue, John Horatio Savile, Viscount Pollington who would go on to inherit the title and become the 5th Earl of Mexborough. However, although John Horatio was married three times; firstly to Venetia Errington with whom he had a daughter who survived only a day; secondly to widow Sylvia Cecilia Maria de Ser-Antoni and thirdly to divorcee Anne Belcher, there were no children to survive him. The title then passed back to John Horatio’s half brother, the eldest son of the 4th Earl of Mexborough and Agnes nee Raphael.  The Earl and Agnes had four children: Lady Mary Louise Savile, Lady Anne Savile, the Honorable John Henry Savile and the Honorable George Savile.

It may be no coincidence that Agnes’s uncle, Alexander Raphael fought, but lost the contest for the parliamentary seat of Pontefract in 1835, whereas the Earl as John Charles George Savile (also known as Lord Pollington), won the very same seat in 1836. Did he meet the endearing 9 year old Agnes at this very early age, not realising he would end up marrying her as his second wife?  One can only wonder and speculate.  And let’s not forget the extensive travels the Earl undertook during his lifetime. Certainly, by the time he married Agnes, he was not unfamiliar with Armenia nor its people, and travels to India were already tucked in his back pocket. He was, of course, possessed of enormous wealth, gained from the coal beds under his land in Yorkshire. The royalties from which brought riches that many could never rival, and the family enjoyed the trappings such income purchased.

His obituary reads like a travelogue: “……his fondness for travel displayed itself soon after he left college, and from that time until advancing age began to interfere with his wanderings abroad, Lord Mexborough spent the greater part of his time in foreign countries. His travels were not confined to Europe. He journeyed through Persia at a time when that country was little known by Englishmen. He spent some months in India and China, and the Steppes of Turkestan and Tibet were not unknown to him. He became a familiar figure in Constantinople through his frequent visits to the Turkish capital, and there were few places of interest in Armenia, Palestine, Greece or Egypt with which he was not acquainted. Unfortunately for the reading public he could never be induced to publish any account of his wanderings abroad. While yet a young man during his travels he studied the characteristics of the Mongols in their native wilds of Tariary. On his journey to Turkey, Asia Minor and Egypt he was accompanied by Kinglake, afterwards the historian of the Crimean War. A graphic account of their travels is given in Kinglake’s book “Eothen”. “They entered the Turkish states by way of Servia and undertook a ride of a thousand miles to Constantinople, Methley, as Kinglake called him in the book, was accompanied by a faithful Yorkshire servant named Steel. Describing the setting out of the party from the gates of Belgrade and the generally picturesque appearance of the cavalcade, Kinglake said: The one of our party most out of keeping with the rest of the scene was Methley’s Yorkshire servant, who always rode doggedly on in his pantry jacket, looking out for “gentlemen’s seats.”  The party had to rough it during a greater part of the journey.

Long before midnight we reached the hamlet in which we were to rest for the night; it was made up of about a dozen clay huts standing upon a small tract of ground which had been conquered from the forest. We took up our quarters in a square room with white walls and as earthen floor, quite bare of furniture and utterly void of women. They told us, however, that the Servian villages lived in happy abundance but that they were careful to conceal their riches, as well as their wives. The burdens unstrapped from the pack saddles very quickly furnished our den: a couple of quilts spread upon the floor, with a carpet bag at the end of each became capital sofas – portmanteaus, and hat boxes, and writing cases, and books, and maps, and gleaming arms soon lay strewn around in a pleasant confusion. Mysseri – he was a Greek servant – canteen, too, began to yield up its treasures, but we relied upon finding some provisions in the village. At first the natives declared that their hens were mere old maids and all their cows unmarried: but our Tartar swore such a grand sonorous, oath and fingered the hilt of his yataghan with such persuasive touch that the land soon flowed with milk, and mountains of eggs arose.

This “roughing it” did not seem at first to agree with Lord Mexborough for we read further on:

Before we reached Adrianople, Methley had been seized with we knew not what ailment, and when we had taken up our quarters in the city he was cast to the very earth by sickness. Adrianople enjoyed an English Consul, and I felt sure that, in Eastern phrase, his house would cease to be his house, and would become the house of my sick comrade. I should have judged rightly under ordinary circumstances, but the levelling plague was abroad, and the dread of it had dominion over the consular mind. So now, whether dying or not, one could hardly tell, upon a quilt stretched out along the floor, there lay the best hope of an ancient fine, without the material aids to comfort of even the humblest sort, and, sad to say, without the consolation of a friend, or even a comrade worth having.  We called to said a solemn Armenian I think he was half soothsayer, half-hakim, or doctor, who, all the while counting his beads, fixed his eyes steadily upon the patient, and then suddenly dealt him a violent blow on the chest. Methley bravely dissembled his pain, for he fancied that the blow was meant to try whether or not the plague were on him.

Here was really a sad embarrassment – no bed – nothing to offer the invalid in the shape of food, save a piece of thin, tough, flexible, drab coloured cloth, made of flour and mill stones in equal proportions, and called by the name of “bread”, then the patient had no “confidence in his medical man” and, on the whole, the best chance of saving him seemed to like in taking him out of the reach of his doctor, and bearing him away to the neighbourhood of some more genial consul. But how was this to be done? Methley was much too ill to be kept in his saddle, and wheel carriages, as a means as travelling, were unknown. There was, however, such a thing as an “araba”, a vehicle drawn by oxen, in which the wives of a rich man were sometimes dragged four or five miles over the grass by way of recreation. The carriage was rudely framed; no one had ever heard of horses being used for drawing a carriage in this part of the world, but necessity is the mother of innovation as well as invention. After no end of controversy Myeseri, well seconded by the Tartar, contrived to have the horses put to.

It was, writes Kinglake, a sore thing for me to see my poor comrade brought to this, for young though he was, he was a veteran in travel. When scarcely yet of age he had invaded India, from the frontiers of Russia, and that so swiftly that, measuring by the time of his flight, the broad dominions of the King of Kings were shrivelled up to a dukedom; and now, poor fellow, he was to be poked into an araba like a Georgian girl! He suffered greatly, for there were no springs for the carriages, and no road for the wheels, and so the concern jolted on over the open country with such twists and jerks, and jumps as might also dislocate the supple tongue of Satan. All day the patient kept himself shut up within the lattice-work of the araba, and I could hardly know how he was faring until the end of the day’s journey, when I found he was not worse, and was buoyed up with the hope of some day reaching Constantinople.  We started very early indeed on the last day of our journey, and from the moment of being off until we gained the shelter of the imperial walls we were struggling face to face with an icy storm that swept right down from the steppes of Tartary, keen, fierce, and steady as a northern conqueror. Methley’s servant, who was the greatest sufferer, kept his saddle until we reached Stamboul, but was then found to be quite benumbed in limbs, and his brain was so much affected that when he was lifted from his horse he fell away in a state of unconsciousness – the first stage of a dangerous fever.

The journey from Belgrade to the Golden Horn occupied 15 days, at the end of which time the whole party seems to have become thoroughly exhausted. Methley, however, recovered almost suddenly on reaching Constantinople, and he and Kinglake decided to go through the Troad together.

Kinglake gives us a glimpse of the future Earl’s classic learning.

My comrade was a capital Grecian. It is true that his singular mind so ordered and disposed his classic lore as to impress it with something of an original and barbarous character – with an almost Gothic quaintness, more properly belonging in a rich native ballad, than to the poetry of Hellas; there was a certain impropriety of his knowing so much Greek – an unfitness in the idea of marble fauns, and satyrs, and even Olympian Gods, lugged in under the oaken roof, and the painted light of an odd, old Norman Hall. But Methley abounding in Homer, really loved him (as I believe), in all truth, without whim, or fancy; moreover, he had a good deal of the practical sagacity, or sharpness, or whatever you call it.

“Of a Yorkshireman hippodamoio,” and this enabled him to apply his knowledge with much more tact than is usually shewn by people so learned as he….

The Earl’s Funeral

“The remains of the late Earl of Mexborough were buried on Wednesday, in accordance with his own desire. They were deposited beside those of the late Countess of Mexborough, the Earl’s second wife, in the Raphael family vault in the crypt of St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church. The funeral was marked by the greatest privacy, and divested entirely of all outward splendour which usually marks obsequies of personages of rank and wealth, but the lack of display was more than compensated by the impressive dignity of its simplicity. The secret of the funeral had been well kept, only the priests who were to officiate and a few other discreet persons being aware that it was going to take place; and the townspeople had evidently no idea that a peer of the realm and a great traveller and ripe scholar was to be laid to rest in their midst.

The remains, encased in an English oak panelled coffin, were brought from Brighton, where Lord Mexborough died on Friday, and were removed to his town residence, Dover Street, Piccadilly, whence they were conveyed on Tuesday to Surbiton, and placed on a catafalque, draped in black, in front of the high altar of St. Raphael’s Church, remaining there during the night. The large brass coffin plate bore the simple inscription:

“John Charles Geo. Savile, fourth Earl of Mexborough, died 17th August, 1899, aged 89 years. Requiescat in pace.”

At the head of the plate was a gilt earl’s coronet, and the expressive monogram of the Saviles, “Be Fast;” and at the head of the coffin was a massive gilt crucifix, relieved with scenes from the Passion of the Saviour.

The funeral party assembled at Waterloo Station yesterday, the members of the household in Dover Street being conveyed by three mourning coaches, and left by the ordinary 11.15 train, several carriages being specially reserved for them. Surbiton was reached about twenty minutes later, and eight mourning coaches were in waiting to convey the mourners to the church, about a mile away.  The cortege was met at the west door of the pretty Bysantine church by the parish priest, the Rev. Father de Pleray, the Rev. Father Leslie S.J., of the Church of Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, Berkeley Square, and the Rev. P. Perini S.J. (South India), and the mourners were marshalled to their seats in the nave. These included Viscount Pollington, the heir to the title and estates; the Princess Loewenstein-Wertheim, youngest daughter of the late Earl and relict of the late Prince, who was killed in the Phillipines fighting; Lady Mary Harris, eldest daughter, and wife of Mr. Walter B. Harris, who was also present; the Hon. John Savile and the Hon, George Savile (sons), Captain Savile (nephew), Captain William Savile (son of the last named), Commander Henry Savile (nephew of the deceased), Lord Orford (cousin), Mr. F.W. Harris, Mr. W. Harris, Mr. Arthur Farrer (solicitor to the family), Mr. J. Richardson (steward of the Yorkshire estate), Mr. W. Chatham and Mr. John Chatham (old tenants on the Methley estates), the members of the household, and others.

The scene inside the church was a deeply impressive one, and the service profoundly touching. Six large candles were burning on the magnificent high altar, which is of polished white marble, and two were placed on either side of the coffin, the lid of which, as well as the base and front of the alter rails, were covered with magnificent floral wreaths sent by members of the family, the tenantry in Yorkshire, and the servants from the several family mansions. The wreath from Lady Mary Harris bore the inscription: “To my loving father.” A large and beautiful cross from the tenants of the Methley estate was sent, with the inscription: “To his dear lordship, whose loss we all regret.” Floral tributes from the tenants of the other estates, and the members of the households in Yorkshire and in London, bore similar expressions of affection.

The burial service was taken by the Rev. Father du Pleray, who was robed in full canonicals, and was attended at the altar by the Rev. Father Leslie and the Rev. P. Perini. The celebrant said low mass, the musical portions of which were magnificently rendered by a choir of priests, whose solemn cadences deeply moved the mourners and the other members of the little congregation. The choir was composed by Father Roe (Caterham), Father Butler (Palace Street, Westminster), Father Lutfi (Norbiton), and Fathers Fanning and Augustine Hoga (of the Pro-Cathedral, Westminster). Mr. Alphonso Cary, choirmaster, played the organ with majestic effect, in the absence of Mr. C. Lett, the organist, and Father Luts discharged the duties of choirmaster, the master of ceremonies being Mr. G. Leppard. After the Kyrie, to a plain chant arranged by Cox, came Mendelsohn’s inspiring and comforting “Beati Mortui”, followed by the “Sub Venite” (Dr. Crookall). Father du Pleray having solemnly pronounced the absolution, and censed the coffin, the choir sounded a triumphant note. “In Paradisum”, (Cox), while the coffin was borne down the central aisle to the west door, preceded by the choir and the clergy, and thence to the vault in the crypt, where the final rites were performed with great solemnity. Subsequently the mourners and their friends took luncheon at the room formerly used as a Presbytery and in the schoolroom, and later returned to town.

Numerous messages of condolence and inquiry, as well as numerous floral wreaths, were received by Lady Mary Harris from friends of the deceased Earl in all parts of the country, and some from abroad, but his wish that the funeral should be absolutely private was respected. The Earl of Warwick, first cousin to the Earl, who was abroad, telegraphed regret that he would be unable to attend, and Cardinal Vaughan had an important engagement which could not be postponed, or he would have been present, and taken part in the funeral service, while the Roman Catholic Bishop of Southwark (in whose diocese Surbiton is) was out of the country.”

Only a few months after Agnes’s death, the Earl’s estate was valued at £349,652, an equivalent figure today would be approximately £38 million.

By AndyScott - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The errant uncle Lewis Raphael (Agnes’s brother) who had the illegitimate daughter, is missing from the tribute tablet.

Meanwhile, Agnes, had an accomplished reputation for her ability to entertain visitors and guests. Whether she was in residence at her homes in Dover Street in London, Methley Park in Leeds or Thames Ditton in Surrey, they were all social centres of Anglo-Oriental interest. Long after the journey her husband made to the near East, his travelling companion, Kinglake, said of Agnes: “since Lady Hester Stanhope, no lady of my acquaintance had acquired so clear an insight into Sicilian character, or know so much at first hand of the paradoxes and perplexities of the near Eastern question. Without being a stateswoman, or the holder of a political salon, she [Agnes] thoroughly understood the art of social reception. Her interest in politics was always keen and unaffected. At one time no peeress more frequently took her place in the ladies’ cage or in the gallery belonging to the Speaker’s wife in the House of Commons. Her husband, as Lord Pollington, had only represented Pontefract for a short time. Long after he ceased to sit in the House of Commons his wife listened to its debates.”

Even prior to her marriage to the Earl of Mexborough, Agnes took every opportunity to learn and expand her knowledge. “In 1857 she heard, or tried to hear, a very masterly speech, by her friend Kinglake on Napoleon III’s persidy towards Savoy and Nice. Kinglake seldom spoke in a tone above a whisper. Upon that occasion even the whisper was unusually low. Those who sat very near the speaker could catch just enough to convince them of the instructive value of the speech. Amongst these was the late Sir Robert Peel, himself holding Kinglake’s Anti-Napoleonic views and in Mr. Gladstone’s opinion endowed with the finest voice that ever rang throughout the House. Kinglake, as Lady Mexborough used to tell the story, had scarcely sat down when, knowing Peel intended shortly to speak on the subject, and conscious of his own failure, he offered Sir Robert his notes. The next day, or at least within the next week, Lady Mexborough heard Sir Robert in his resonant tones deliver his address on foreign policy, not only audible in every corner of the House, but that for a fortnight to come continues to wake the echoes of Europe and formed the subject of talk in most cabinets and chancelleries of the Continent. It was word for word the same oration which Kinglake had delivered, now published urbi et orbi by Peel’s magnificent voice!”[55]

Agnes died at Methley Park on the 23rd December 1898. She had never recovered from three very serious paralytic fits she had suffered during the last six months of her life. Her passing was not unexpected. Her children, John, George, Mary and Anne were all at her bedside[56]. She was buried on the 2nd January 1899 in the family church, St. Raphael’s at Kingston Surrey, in the Raphael family vault, alongside her uncle Alexander and her sister Anne. Agnes, Countess of Mexborough’s estate was sworn at £163,271, equating to approximately £17.8 million.[57]

Lady Mary Louise Savile

She was born 25th October 1862 in London and went on to marry Walter Burton Harris in July 1898.

Marriage certificate of Lady Mary Savile and Walter B. Harris

She brought a personal wealth with her to the union of around £100,000,[58] an equivalent today of approximately £11 million.

Lady Mary Savile and husband Walter Harris

He was a writer and orientalist, whose life was based in Tangier in Morocco. It was suggested that following the marriage the couple would settle down to a life of domestic bliss “at their property on the edge of the Thames”, but Walter’s wander-lust and free spirit was never going to let that happen. They did live briefly together in Tangier; his house, the Kasba-el-Beida, was one of the most charming residences in Morroco, but the marriage was a short-lived union ending in divorce in 1905 citing “the respondent’s incapacity to consummate the marriage.[59]” He didn’t contest the divorce, probably because his sexual preference was actually for men rather than women. A good biography of Walter can be found on his page. Needless to say, there were no children.

Divorce application of Lady Mary Harris (nee Savile) against Walter

After the divorce was finalised, Lady Mary Louisa reverted to her maiden name, remained single, and seemed to enjoy a very busy social life, in London, Essex and Yorkshire as well as abroad.

As with all of Agnes’s children, Lady Mary enjoyed the trappings great wealth brought. She was an early owner of a Ford motor car. As can be seen, Ford’s advertisement for their vehicles included names of eminent ladies and gentlemen who had purchased one.

During WW1 she enrolled with the French Red Cross and spent a great deal of time looking after wounded soldiers in the field in France.

Lady Mary was able to provide photographic evidence to the Yorkshire Evening Post of the damage the Cathedral of Rheim sustained during the war.

When the war ended, she returned to England, and once again took up her place in society. She particularly enjoyed living at Stockwell Hall when not at her Yorkshire home of Scarcroft Lodge, or staying with her sister Princess Anne, at 8 Upper Belgrave Street. Stockwell being her favoured residence, she enjoyed getting the family together, particularly at Christmas time. Lady Mary had purchased Stockwell Hall from her brother in the October 1920[60], to make it her main residence, rather than Scarcroft Lodge in Yorkshire.

Scarcroft Lodge, Lady Mary's bolt-hole

Lady Mary’s house, Scarcroft Lodge. Lady Mary had created a small Catholic Chapel inside the house for the use of herself and her visiting family and any guests who may be staying with her. Image: The Leeds and Yorkshire Mercury June 1907

Interestingly, in July 1930 she made one of her properties, 47 Cadogan Square, available to her nephew and his bride, John Raphael Wentworth Savile, Viscount Pollington and Josephine Fletcher, for their wedding reception, before they left for their honeymoon in Italy and Sicily, her wedding gift to them was a car[61]. Incidentally, her aunt, Anne Raphael had property in Lombardy, Italy, although I do not know if it was passed on in the family, or if it was sold after her death. Lady Mary Savile passed away at Stockwell Hall in July 1945. She left an estate of £97,000, the equivalent today would be around £4 million. She also took the trouble to bequeath to her companion, Veronica Gillette, £6 a week, with additional £2.10s a week more if she took care of her cook, Sarah Price. However, Veronica had died a month before Lady Mary, but the then Earl of Mexborough, her nephew, John Raphael Wentworth Savile took care of Sarah until she passed away.

Lady Anne Savile


Researching Lady Anne, I get the feeling she was probably the most wilful of Agnes’s children. Like all her siblings, Lady Anne wanted for nothing. She had a privileged upbringing and her marriage to His Highness Prince Ludwig Karl zu Loeweinstein Wertheim was originally due to take place in April 1897, but was postponed. Whatever the creases were that needed ironing out, they were done within a month, and by May, the wedding finally took place  in London. It was probably one of society’s biggest weddings of the year. She was small in stature, of fair complexion and reputed to be mild in manner, her bridegroom towered over her in his tall, strong and athletic form. The wedding was incredibly extravagant. Her duchesse satin wedding gown was embroidered with diamonds and silver, and her veil was held in place by the most magnificent diamond tiara, a gift from her parents. In fact, the family were so well regarded that The Pope telegraphed from Rome his Apostolic benediction to the happy couple during the afternoon. The guest list was more like Who’s Who. There were European royals, Counts and Countesses, Ambassadors, Barons, Earls, Marquis, several Viscounts and a couple of Rothschilds.  The wedding presents numbered over 500 and included some magnificent pieces of jewellery. The first part of their honeymoon was at Ditton Lodge, lent to them by Agnes.

Did Anne’s well-travelled and well-read father, Earl Mexborough already know about the prince’s conduct back home in Germany? The prince courted pleasure in ways popular with his class, and soon the time came when his large income was insufficient. He became badly involved in debt, and left his creditors in the lurch, fleeing to London. He was quickly absorbed into society life, trading on his noble family name as well as his charming manners. Was she flattered by his attention? Probably. Was he captured by her wealth? Very likely. His handsome good looks and those all important charming manners, got him a long way, but they didn’t fool Lady Anne’s father, the Earl. Be that as it may,   it wasn’t long before the engagement to Lady Anne was announced. However, there was underlying discord within her family about the marriage, and it may be the reason behind why her father was “unavoidably detained” on her wedding day, and she was walked down the aisle by her brother. Another reason may be that the family could not shake off the Jewish label that had been so erroneously attached to Alexander Raphael, and subsequently Agnes, Anne’s mother. It would seem that an attempt was made on the occasion of the marriage of Lady Anne Savile to argue that her mother was of Persian descent, (presumably to try and placate the German royals Lady Anne was about to marry into) but incredibly, the move was unsuccessful and the result of Lady Anne’s union to the Loewenstein-Wertheim scions of Europe and a former German sovereign house, was regarded on the continent as a morganatic alliance. She was never received at Court abroad as Princess Loewenstein-Wertheim nor accorded any recognition nor allowance from the extensive family estates of the Princes of Loewenstein-Wertheim.

Their Highnesses, the Prince and Princess Loewenstein Wertheim planned on settling down and living at 6 Deanery Street Park Lane, London, the property was a wedding gift from Agnes.  But the princess had not reckoned with the prince’s inability to relax, his erratic nature, and his expensive tastes. No sooner had they married, he then disappeared for very long periods. A known lavish spender, the princess had cleared his debts in Germany, but old habits die hard, and he was being chased by creditors, even his new bride refused to pay his London bills. The princess became very skilful at offering reasons for his absence, and, for a while, people accepted what she said, but it didn’t last.  In February 1899, her hand was forced when a firm of solicitors placed an advert in a London newspaper seeking the whereabouts of the prince, and urging him to get in touch regarding some business in Germany. The princess had no alternative but to refute he was “lost”, and claimed she knew where he was. She reiterated to the press that her husband had, only two months ago,  attended a party given by the Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey. What she hadn’t bargained for, was  the Duke of Portland denying he had ever met Prince Loewenstein, and he certainly had not been at the Duke’s party. The princess went on to say she had received a letter from her husband “a few days ago”, and, she continued, she expected him home shortly, saying he was staying with his brother in Germany. To add insult to injury, a Yorkshire investigative journalist printed a rather detailed article on the flimsy responses given by the princess, questioning her honesty in what she had claimed. Only a couple of weeks after the advertisement placed by the solicitors seeking Prince Lowenstein did further news reach the English papers. A telegram had been received from Manila on February 23rd stating “the Prince Lowenstein is still here, and is well.” The princess retreated to her father’s home Methley Hall in Yorkshire, to hide her embarrassment and lick her wounds of deceit.

Prince Ludwig was now under the suspicion of being a German spy. There was speculation that he had travelled to Manila and deliberately sought death, having been discovered that he was acting as a confidential agent of the German government. 

“There is strong circumstantial evidence that Prince Ludwig von Loewenstein, who was killed during an engagement between the American troops and the Filipinos before Caloocan, deliberately sought death to end a life which had become to him little more than a regret.  C.S. Bradford of San Francisco, who has just returned from Manila and who was on the firing line with the Americans when the Prince met his death, tells a story which goes far to substantiate this theory.

“That morning” he says “there was some skirmishing near the Malabon River, and I stood with a party of civilians on the stone bridge watching the manoeuvres. Prince Loewenstein and another German were in the crowd. An orderly from General Hale’s headquarters rode up and requested us to get away, as the position would soon be exposed. Then he looked straight at Loewenstein and his companion and said: ‘I’m speaking to you particularly. You have already given us some trouble by hanging around the firing lines, and we will have no more of it.’  Prince Loewenstein smiled and bowed and followed the orderly as he rode away. Shortly after the Oregon regiment moved across the wide plain toward some timber on the extreme left of the Filipinos’ line, I saw two or three men dodge among the trees and take shelter in nipa houses. The Oregons continued advancing and firing volleys through the timber, and their commanding officer ordered some of his men to perforate the houses. In one of these houses were Loewenstein and his friend. The prince was shot through the body, the ball entering his right side, and he died instantly.
[62] The other man’s left arm was shattered above the wrist.  On the Prince’s body were found a cheap watch, 25 cents in silver, three visiting cards with the full title of the Prince and a pass signed by Agulnaldo, giving the bearer the privilege to go anywhere within the Filipino lines. This paper was saturated with blood. Germans thought the Prince had been seeking suicide ever since he arrived at Manila, and that he deliberately courted the death which overtook him. Americans looked upon him as in the service of the German government, and this view was shared by Englishmen at Manila. There is much in the record of Prince Ludwig Carl von Loewenstein’s life to render logical the theory that he courted death. He had travelled the pace and found the inevitable disaster at the end.”[63]

In April 1899 official confirmation of her husband’s death at Manila in the March, was conveyed to the princess by the United States Embassy in London. There were family matters to deal with, and in August 1899 the princess travelled to her late husband’s parents, Prince and Princess Loewenstein Wertheim at Schloss Kreuzwertheimer, Main, in Germany.  It is likely she received word of her father’s death whilst she was in Germany, he having died at Brighton on the 17th August. However, she did make it back to England for the funeral on the 23rd August. It must have been an incredibly difficult time for her to deal with; she had lost her mother Agnes in December 1898, her husband in March 1899 and her father in the August.

The princess threw herself into charitable and social events and by January 1901 she was at the forefront of a most avant-garde enterprise. She headed up a board of governors on an exclusive woman’s club, whose purpose was “without an object other than enjoyment.” Similar to a gentleman’s club, the Empress Club, was originally founded in 1897 at No. 32 Dover Street[64] but membership was so popular (in excess of 3000), that in 1901 they very quickly had to find new premises. Fortunately, a fitting building was able to be erected at 35 Dover Street for approximately £70,000, equal to just over £7.5 million at today’s values. And just how far did the ladies of Mexborough have to travel to this exclusive building? Not far. The family home was No. 33 Dover Street. I wager that Princess Lowenstein may have had something to do with the location, it is too coincidental.

Lady Anne's ambitious project, a Ladies Club

Image: youtube

The club contained dining rooms, drawing rooms, reading and around 100 bedrooms. Every member had their own mail box, theatre tickets were obtainable at the touch of a bell, private dinner parties could be given, and a luxurious reception room could be used by members who did not wish to suffer the inconvenience of entertaining in their own homes. Entry to this exclusive club was based on a good social position, and a heavy subscription fee.
The princess was a regular traveller to Europe and the USA. She was also very active with a number of charitable associations, particularly children and orphans. She supported such organisations as ‘Little Sisters for the Poor’, the ‘Ophthalmic Hospital, London,’ and one whose name today would not be tolerated; “Our Dumb Friends’ League”, ‘Nursing Sisters of the Poor’, as well as causes like the ‘building fund for the Roman Catholic Boys’ School and Chapel’.

In 1900 she was active in her support for the housing requirements of wounded soldiers returning from the Transvaal. The princess was on the Ladies Committee, along with Augusta Spencer Churchill, who wanted to raise much needed financial assistance for the upkeep and maintenance of the homes which were based at Bisley, near Oxford.

Home for wounded soldiers

The homes had been donated by the Building Trades of Great Britain. To raise enough funds, required a large, charitable event and the princess and Augusta Churchill organised a matinee performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The performance was to be by artists purely of British nationality with over 200 actors and actresses and members of the music hall profession, all of whom volunteered their services. Her Majesty the Queen had agreed to attend as had her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales and other members of the royal family.[65]

Although clearly she certainly was active and charitable, but she was also rather self-absorbed and used to getting her own way without obstacles standing in her path. 

Princess Lowenstein always dressed well for charity events

In December 1899 the princess moved out of 6 Deanery Street, Park Lane and into 23a Bruton Street, Berkeley Square. She didn’t stay long in that house because in October 1901 she sold Bruton Street, and went on to purchase in 1902 a very desirable property at 8 Upper Belgrave Street. A roomy residence, very finely furnished and well situated, with a view down the lengthy vista of Eaton Place. She regularly hosted fashionable dances at her new home, attended by all the most stylish people. She was an accomplished singer, and would often accompany her own piano recitals, presenting her visitors the full entertainment package a well rounded young woman of her times should offer. The guitar was also another instrument she was gifted in playing, music was such a joy for her.  The princess and her sister Lady Mary would always wear the very finest and latest designs, including Pompadour brocade, accompanied by a dazzling parure of diamonds. The sisters had inherited their mother’s jewels, and it was a very enviable and breath-taking collection of pearls, emeralds, rubies, diamonds and other elegant precious stones. The princess greatly enjoyed wearing an overt number of diamonds when the occasion called for it, and as a socialite, those occasions called often. The princess was a regular traveller to Europe, calling at Paris for fashion fittings, moving on to Cannes and enjoying the Riviera, she would also pay visits to her husband’s family in Germany, enjoying the trappings of the hospitality on offer from the old family of Europe.

In August 1908 the princess opened the Warrington Flower show.

On one of her “at homes” in 1911 the princess adapted for private entertaining purposes the universally popular activity of roller-skating. Her large circle of friends and acquaintances were treated to an afternoon skating in the great ballroom of the Grafton Galleries where she had arranged for a special skating floor to be laid. Numerous staff were on hand to assist with the fitting and adjusting of the skates, and of course, a delightful band played a selection of cheery dances, with fine refreshments being served for her friends.

It would seem though, that the princess dabbled with a more serious side. In 1909 she registered the patent for her gyroscope invention which claimed to help travellers with quelling seasickness they may encounter on voyages. It was effectively a self-levelling bed; used by Queen Mary in 1912, the princess subsequently took it on a crossing to New York in 1913. Sailing on the Majestic from Southampton in January of that year, accompanied by her agent, Hughie Massey and a footman,  Arthur James Humm, they stayed at the Ritz Hotel.[66] She gave a short interview about her invention, in the hope it would attract financial backers. It was published all over the USA, but no backers found it sufficiently interesting enough to invest in it. In December 1914 the War Office agreed to install the swing cots on hospital ships that were conveying patients to England, a very pleasing development for the princess.

the patent sketches for Lady Anne's self-levelling bed

05 February 1913 - Quincy Daily Herald - Quincy, Illinois, United States Of America

Princess Loewenstein was the first woman to fly in an aeroplane. Her achievements in the air have never gained as much recognition as her later compatriot, Amelia Earhart, who became the first woman to successfully  fly across the Atlantic. That milestone was something the princess dreamt to achieve, and she spent a great deal of money attempting it, but ultimately failed. I detail below the timeline of the princess’s flying career.

13 June 1914. Image: findmypast Newspaper Archive. The list of distinguished people who are learning to fly is now a very long one. Among the pupils at Hendon is the Princess Ludwig zu Lowenstein-Wertheim, and the picture shows her being strapped in her seat by Mr. Page before going up with Mr. Baumann. The Princess was formerly Lady Anne Savile, and is half-sister of the Earl of Mexborough.

Princess Ludwig of Lowenstein-Wertheim learning to fly in a dual-control bi-plane with Mr Baumann of the Beatty Flying School. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Princess Ludwig of Lowenstein-Wertheim with her flying tutor Mr Baumann prior to take-off. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

In the early part of 1914 the princess had travelled to North Africa and, with her pilot, Mr. Olivier, became the first woman to fly from Cairo to Luxor,[67] and then onto the South of France in a Farman bi-plane. She returned home in early May, and two weeks later did another flight from London to France. Newly qualified by only three weeks, Mr. Rowland Ding her pilot and the princess did the journey in a 100 h.p. Handley Page biplane.[68] They started in Hendon and flew to Eastbourne which took them 1 hour 5 minutes. They flew on to Calais crossing the Channel in 15 minutes, the whole flight taking 110 minutes.

21st May 1914: Princess Lowenstein-Wertheim in the cockpit of her aircraft before a flight across the English Channel. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

21st May 1914: Aviator Princess Ludwig of Lowenstein-Wertheim Freudenberg with co-pilot Rowland Ding at the time of her Channel crossing. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The Princess became the subject of much suspicion during WW1. She was looked upon as German and was therefore put under the Aliens restriction order, which she promptly ignored and, to her cost, found herself in Court.

October 1917. “The case in which Her Serene Highness the Princess Lowenstein Zu Wertheim was charged with having furnished false particulars with regard to herself to the proprietor of the Victoria Hotel, Manchester, was again before the Manchester City Stipendiary. A further charge against her, who had been on bail since she was remanded last Friday, was that of having, as an alien enemy, travelled more than five miles from her registered place of abode without a permit.

The defendant was the daughter of the late Earl of Mexborough and before her marriage, was known as Lady Anne Savile. By her marriage with the German Lowenstein, she became a German subject. When it became necessary for her to register under the Aliens Restriction the particulars she gave were: Surname, Ludwig; Christian name, Anne; nationality, German; occupation Princess Lowenstein Wertheim; residence, 8 Upper Belgrave Street. On September 24th the defendant left London and proceeded to Leeds. She did not obtain any permit to travel, nor did she make any application for a permit. From the 24th to 27th September she stayed with her sister, Lady Savile, at Scarecroft Lodge, near Leeds. On the 27th she came to Manchester. There she stayed at the Victoria Hotel. In compliance with requirements of the hotel, she filled out a registration form. Instead of filling it out in the proper manner, she described herself as Evelyn Ellis, of British nationality, of 118 Portchester Terrace, London. All the particulars she gave were false. The defendant’s purpose for visiting Manchester was to make some inquiries about aeroplanes, and in pursuance of arrangements made over the telephone she called at a local aeroplane works. She asked the manager if they could make her an aeroplane, capable of carrying four passengers, and with a  200 horse-power engine, the period of delivery to be an early one. She did not report herself to the Aliens Office. It was suspicious that a German princess should have adopted the conduct the defendant did in attempting to acquire an aeroplane capable of flying across the North Sea with herself as a passenger and any documentary evidence she might like to place at the disposal of the enemy, or of carrying away any escaped German officer who might be at large in this country. The manager of the aeroplane works became suspicious as she refused to give her name or address, he reported it to the police. After her arrest she explained that she wanted an aeroplane to help to do war work.

Her brother, the Earl of Mexborough, when questioned stated that his sister had a craze for flying. All the connection she had with Germany was occasional visits paid to that country during her two years married life before the death of her husband. She had no German or anti-British leanings. The Earl confirmed that he had known her to be a thoroughly patriotic British person all her life. He quipped “we have always called her the John Bull of the family. She is most patriotic.”  Questioned further about his sister’s passion for flying, Lord Mexborough said she had done a great deal of it in various parts of the world. She had flown across the Channel from Sussex to Dieppe and also in Egypt. She had made various flights since, and to his own knowledge in May 1914, she had formed the intention of giving an aeroplane to the Government. Lord Mexborough continued that the family had always greatly disapproved of his sister’s craze for flying, and had taken as strong an attitude against it as they could. That had led her to resort to subterfuges in order that she might be able to concern herself with flying in opposition to the wishes of her family. He believed for a fact that she had been in communication with the Air Board on flying matters, as she was very anxious to do something in the flying world for the benefit of this country in the war. He believed she was a member of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom. A further character witness statement was read to the Court from Father Bernard Vaughan who described himself as an old and intimate friend of the defendant’s. The Court acquitted her of any motive in any way inconsistent in her loyalty to the country of her birth. However, she was guilty of the breach of the Aliens Restriction Order, an order that must be observed by her just as much as by others who fell into it. She was ordered to pay a fine of £25 for each of the two offences, and three guineas special costs.”

A few days later the John Bull publication took exception to the Princess and her punishment. “Madam, accept my congratulations. If you had not been a lady, the widow of a German prince, and with what we call “high English family connections”, you would have received six months [jail] instead of being fined £50 for that little attempt of yours in Manchester to masquerade under a false name and address after, as a German subject, breaking the law by travelling more than five miles from your registered address in aristocratic Upper Belgrave Street. What gave added suspiciousness to your conduct was your attempt to buy an aeroplane of 200 h.p. to carry four passengers, capable – according to the expert evidence – of flying across the North Sea, and your refusal to disclose your name. I notice that you entered the Court by way of the Magistrates’ staircase. If I had had anything to do with the case, you would have left it via the steps to the cells. John Bull”

After this episode in which the princess was clearly made to realise she wasn’t above everyone else, steps were begun to have her re-naturalised. It was done in a quiet, low-key fashion and confirmed on the 4th June 1918.[69] The John Bull continued its campaign to highlight the princess’s double standards, they were astonished that she managed to regain her citizenship by re-naturalisation, strongly hinting that strings must have been pulled for her to achieve this. The publication pointed out that for the last 20 years she had made no attempt to lose her German status, but it was only since she was thwarted by her actions in Manchester that it suddenly became important. The John Bull implying that the princess had under-lying German intentions, in particular, to help repatriate a German officer held at a detention centre, who also happened to be a close friend of her sister Lady Mary Harris. The John Bull was almost incandescent with anger that she, as a privileged upper class woman, had clearly been given far better treatment than an ordinary member of the public.


The princess, with her pilot Leslie Hamilton, entered into the King’s Cup Round Britain Race in 1922. She used her maiden name of Lady Anne Savile, they flew in a De Havilland 9c, 230hp Siddeley Puma,  normally used as an air taxi, they came 6th overall. The plane had been installed with an Avexine automatic pilot which was a “compressed air electrical devise that allowed the pilot to abandon control with safety.”[70]

The De Havilland 9c used in the 1922 King’s Air Race by the princess and her pilot, Leslie Hamilton. image courtesy of

circa 1923: Princess Anne Loewenstein Wertheim dressed in flying gear with friends before the start of an Aero Club Circuit of Great Britain Race. They are standing by a De Havilland D.H.9 biplane. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

July 1923: Captain C D Barnard (left of three) stands next to a De Havilland DH9c G-EBDD before the start of the 1923 King's Cup Air race, which he previously won in 1922 [Note by Liz Chater: actually, he didn’t. Getty Images have mixed him up with his cousin F.L. Barnard who DID win the race in 1922 – see races results in any 1922 newspaper. She did enter the race in 1922, her pilot was Leslie Hamilton, they came 6th]. With him are his sponsor, Princess Loewenstein-Wertheim, who accompanied him in the race, and Flying Officer Leslie Hamilton. They were eventually disqualified for not crossing the finish line at Manchester. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The plane the princess flew in for the 1923 King’s Air Race

14th July 1923, the princess flew in the King’s Cup. The course was Hendon-Birmingham-Newcastle-Glasgow-Manchester-Bristol-Hendon. Her pilot, C.D. Barnard was at the controls of her biplane, DH9c Siddeley Puma. However, it was disqualified for not crossing the line in Manchester.[71] Incidentally, his cousin F.L. Barnard had won the race in 1922.

On the 3rd August 1923, the princess was again a passenger in a D.H. 37, piloted by Major Hemming and Captain Timms from Croydon to Rotterdam in readiness for an air race in Gothenburg.[72] Two days later on the 6th the flying trio were expected back in London on their return journey from the International Races in Sweden.[73]

In the winter of 1924/1925 Captain Hamilton, who by now had acquired a reputation of a stunt pilot,  and the princess flew out to St. Moritz where he landed on the ice. He afterwards invented a new winter sport. [74] In August 1925, the princess and Capt. Leslie Hamilton had flown to France, but were reported “lost” as they had not made contact.  They had left Lympne on the Friday and by Sunday it was established they had made a force landing in a wood near Le Bourget, having previously landed at Pontoise.[75] They did make it back to England safely. Once settled, the princess went to stay with her sister Lady Mary Savile at Stockwell Hall.[76]

The princess’s fascination for air travel and aviation generally, became an obsession. As an extremely wealthy woman, there was no such thing as a budget. She funded her follies with great alacrity.  Two favoured pilots who flew the planes she purchased or had manufactured for her, were often Captain Leslie Hamilton, D.F.C., M.B.E., and Lieut. Col. Frederick Frank Minchin, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., both very experience and highly decorated officers.  The princess and Frederick Minchin also had India in common between them; Frederick had been born in Madras, just as her grandfather, John Raphael had been.

The princess had long wanted to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic. Through her acquisition and subsequent adaptation of the St. Raphael that wish was within her grasp.  When she heard of Captain Hamilton’s plan, she was an eager financial backer of the project. The Fokker-Jupiter mono-plane, with its 510 horse power engine of nine cylinders  was Dutch built and modified for the transatlantic attempt. Both pilots had flown to Amsterdam in early August 1927 in a Napier Amphibian aircraft to collect the Fokker Jupiter monoplane.  The original plan had been that the Atlantic attempt was to start from Baldonnel Aerodrome near Dublin on the 15th August, but the plane had some technical issues, and Hamilton and Minchin weren’t able to return to England in it until the 18th of August. Their journey from Amsterdam was not without concern, they took off at 6.55am, but they encountered low cloud at Ostend and the Channel, forcing them to land briefly until the weather cleared. They resumed their homeward flight at around 11am and landed safely at Croydon airfield at 12.40pm. Curiously, when they arrived at Croydon, instead of wearing flying kit, they wore lounge suits and light mackintoshes, with soft hats, and as they stepped out of the aircraft one of the Imperial Airways typists presented them with a live black kitten for good luck. The totally enclosed cockpit, an unusual feature for planes at the time, offered them sufficient protection they felt comfortable enough to fly in civilian clothes. They continued on to Bristol in the early afternoon. However, the plane  displayed some further technical issues and the departure of their Atlantic attempt was re-scheduled for 31st August from a Wiltshire aerodrome.

Col. Minchin and Capt. Hamilton had flown the St. Raphael, to the Upavon airfield from Filton airfield on the evening of the 26th August 1927 in readiness for their journey. With its wing span of 60 feet made of light oak,  and a sky blue fuselage, it was a striking sight.  Nevertheless, the plane failed its air-worthy tests and the Air Ministry initially refused to give it a pass certificate. Modifications were hastily made, and it did finally get the Air Ministry’s go-ahead. There was secrecy surrounding whether the princess would be part of the flight plan, but a local newspaper heard that the pilots had done final checks and had the plane filled with fuel. The princess became alerted to this development and on the morning of 31st August, the gathered spectators, including the princess, who had motored at speed from London in the early hours, watched as the Catholic Archbishop, Most Rev. Francis Mostyn of Cardiff bestowed his blessing on the plane. The princess had given no indication of her intentions until the Archbishop had sprinkled holy water on the machine, when she dramatically fell to her knees in front of him, kissed the episcopal ring and received the prelate’s final blessing. Moments later, she climbed into the cockpit where a wicker armchair had been placed for her. Her luggage, food, clothing and her personal jewellery collection were placed on board; the engines roaring, they taxied off. It was a cloudy morning, with heavy mist and poor visibility.  For the 3,000 mile journey she wore blue leather knee breeches and jacket, a black crush hat, black stockings and high heeled, yellow, fur-lined boots. The gathered crowd, which included her friend Winston Churchill, watched as the plane lumbered along, struggling to get off the ground. It looked like disaster was going to strike at take off, but at the last moment, the plane managed to lift, and missed hitting a road and trees by a whisker. Apart from an inflatable boat, it didn’t have any other safety equipment; no life jackets, radio, beacons or anything that may assist in their rescue should they encounter trouble.  The plane was spotted flying over Inverin just after mid-day, estimated to be at an altitude of 900 feet going in the direction of the Aran Islands off the Galway coast of Ireland. Their aim was to make it to Ottawa in 38 hours.

There had been so much excitement, hope, expectation, and anticipation of a successful flight, but it wasn’t to be. Somewhere between Ireland and North America the plane was lost. The waiting, on both sides of the Atlantic went from hours to days; days to weeks; then resignation to the realisation the three people on board the St. Raphael had perished.

Amazing rare image of Princess Anne at take off on her ill-fated trip

Image: Findmypast Newspaper Archive

There was a great deal of speculation regarding the loss of the St. Raphael, with numerous theories as to what may have happened. Did the plane run out of fuel whilst fighting head winds? Perhaps it would have been a more realistic achievement had the two pilots not had the princess with them. The added weight, not just of another person, but additional luggage, the extra cane chair she had installed, the cot-bed brought aboard for the princess to rest, all added to the already heavy weight the plane carried. It was 6.5 tons of metal and wood, carrying 800 gallons of fuel, plus food supplies for 3 people for 2 days. The princess “……….was rich, energetic and progressive, and she financed the flight, undoubtedly in the patriotic effort to have a British plane to be the first to bridge the Atlantic from the east….her decision to make the flight at the last minute speaks highly for her energy, daring and initiative, even though her judgment may be questioned in adding her weight to an already heavily loaded plane…..It is regrettable that aviation’s rapid advance should be interfered with by sensation seekers or publicity hounds………The National Aeronautical Association has taken definite steps to discourage any more ocean flights by the inexperienced, the dollar prize chaser, or the sensation seeker…….[77]

Her family were inconsolable, particularly her sister, Lady Mary Savile. Lady Mary arranged for a memorial service to be held at the Farm Street Roman Catholic Church on the 5th October 1927 for the late princess.

Lady Mary Savile leaving the Farm Street Church having attended the Requiem Mass for her late sister.

It was the formal recognition of the abandonment of all hope for the princess’s survival. A Low Requiem Mass was said, followed with Absolutions. As there was no body, prayers for the deceased princess were said by the priest, not around the coffin, but around the catafalque which was surrounded with wax tapers.

A year after that fateful flight, it was reported that a wheel had washed up near Skaptaros, (sic)[78] off the coast of Iceland. The Palladium Tire Manufacturing Company identified the markings on the tyre"Palladium cord, aero standard, 1000 plus 220,"  as one of two they had sold on the 12th August 1927. They also confirmed wheels of this type were used on the St. Raphael. [79]

Anne’s sister was, eventually, granted Administration of her estate. Lady Mary took possession of the house at 8 Upper Belgrave Street, the estate was estimated to be around £28,000.

The Honorable John Henry Savile


John Henry Savile married Margaret Knatchbull-Huggesen in 1905 and  was the only one out of his siblings, to have children as follows.

John Raphael Wentworth Savile 1906-1980. Married Josephine Bertha Emily Fletcher, had issue.
Agnes Marjorie Alice Mary Savile 1907-1987. Married Thomas M. Eyston, had issue.
Beatrice Anne Savile 1910-1973. Married Ralph H. Scrope, had issue.
Mary Elspeth Sylvia Savile 1914-1948. Married Andrew Ramon D De Bertodano, had issue.
Anne Sarah Alethea Marjorie Savile 1919-1991. Married James Roualeyn Hovell-Thurlow-Cumming-Bruce, had issue.

The Honorable George Savile


George Savile's birth certificate

Born on 24th November 1871, George was clearly a man in no rush. It was first announced in September 1902 that he and Lady Margaret Forbes were to be married. Eighteen years later in 1920, the marriage was announced again, and this time there was a wedding.  What patience Lady Margaret possessed!

A very young Lady Margaret engagement photograph was published in “the Sketch” in September 1920. However, it does rather look like a photograph taken of a particularly youthful Lady Margaret. I wonder if this was the official engagement photograph from 1902.

Clearly a very striking bride, and he a very handsome groom, the photographs from the wedding in September 1920 give a truer picture. Lady Margaret was 41 years, George was 48 years. They had left it so long there were no children in the marriage.

George was one of the 27 founding subscribers for the new Westminster Catholic Cathedral, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1895. He further donated the high altar, which was made of Cornish granite.[80]

George’s passion was carriage driving, at every opportunity he would participate in competitions enjoying the thrills and skills required to control  his dashing steeds.

George Savile and Lady Margaret seen here in July 1928.

Returning now to the last two children of Edward Raphael of Madras.

Anna Maria Raphael 1778-1850
Third Daughter of Edward Raphael

Anna Maria married Henry Bertram Ogle in Marylebone St Marylebone in May 1802. There were no children in the marriage. Henry died in 1835 leaving everything to his wife. Anna Maria died in December 1850, only a month after her brother Alexander Raphael. She left a number of bequests to family members and friends; a legacy of £8000 to be divided between charities chosen by her executors with the remainder and residue of her estate going to her nephew Lewis, and nieces Ann and Agnes, children of her brother John Raphael and his wife Mary nee Calvert. Anna Maria requested she should be buried “in the vault of my friend Admiral Sir Charles Ogle Baronet in St. Peter’s Church Eaton Square near to my late dear husband. And I request my executors to erect a small tablet to my memory in the said church with such addition as they shall judge proper inscribing thereon that my said late dear husband is also buried in the same vault with myself.”  Besides her desire to be buried in the vault of Sir Charles Ogle, who was her husband’s cousin, she also bequeathed Sir Charles her house in Eaton Square along with all the furniture and fixtures. I do not know if the burial wishes were undertaken, but it would appear that in 1951 all those who had been buried at St. Peter’s church were removed and reinterred into Brookwood Cemetery, in Surrey.  Whether she and her husband Henry Ogle were two of those to be moved is unclear. There is a tribute tablet to Henry at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Whalton, Northumberland placed there by Anna Maria. There is also a tribute table and a rather impressive tombstone to the late Sir Charles Ogle at the same church.

Lewis Raphael – 1785-1851
Third Son of Edward Raphael


Lewis had been on board the Prince William Henry when his father suddenly passed away in 1791. As a four year old, and accompanied by a servant, one can only wonder at how this traumatic event affected him. It is evident he was well cared for, and, like his brothers, was a substantial property owner in adulthood. Eschewing politics and law, he chose instead to be a dairy farmer. He first leased parts of Hodford Farm,[81] Westcroft Farm (sometimes mistaken as West Cote Farm) and Cow House Farm in Hendon, around 1829 from the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.[82]  During the winding-up process on the estate of Alexander Raphael, I have found that Alexander had taken on the lease on this farm and 500 acres from the Dean and Chapter of Westminster himself, presumably so Lewis could continue farming it and sub-letting it at a profit. In 1851 the lease was put up for sale, along with a small portion of the freehold Alexander owned.[83]

Lewis wasn’t immune to a bit of legal controversy. In March 1835 he was convicted of passing through a turnpike without paying the appropriate toll. He used the argument of a similar case that, as an agriculturalist, it was important to be able to freely move around, not just with animals, but also hay feed and manure.  It was noted in Court that he was the brother of the present Sheriff of London, and maybe it was that, that swayed the magistrates. His conviction was quashed, but at the same time, the previous defendant, who, also as an “agriculturalist”, argued exactly the same reasons, had his conviction confirmed.[84]

Lewis purchased the estate at Bush Hill Park  in 1838. It consisted of around 400 acres of the finest agricultural land, and it became his main farm with a very impressive dairy herd. He farmed the estate himself, and coupled with the above Hodford Farm and acreage, had established himself as a successful dairy farmer.

Image: Liz Chater’s private archive. Bush Hill Park, owned by Lewis Raphael

Just like his brother Alexander, Lewis was unmarried and without children of his own. When he died, he appointed his nephews, John Samuel Moorat (son of his sister Anna Raphael and her husband Samuel Mackertich Moorat) and Lewis Raphael (son of his brother John) as executors.

In 1842 evidence of Lewis Raphael owning Kempton Park, a vast estate of over 500 acres was noted in The Morning Advertiser when William Green was tried for trespass on the land. It was a valuable parkland with elm, ash, lime, oak and beech trees that created income for the family, but local scoundrels would try their hand at independent harvesting, in the hope they didn’t get caught.  These days the prestigious Kempton Park is well known world-wide for its horse racing.  The Raphael’s really should have kept it in the family!

Lewis Raphael was present at the opening of the new Catholic Church in Gravesend in November 1851.[85] Named St. John the Evangelist, Lewis had donated £2,000 towards the purchase, it previously having been a chapel. High Mass was conducted by Cardinal Wiseman, someone Lewis was well acquainted with.

He owned properties at 1 & 2 Argyle Street, London; Bush Hill Park; Parrock Manor Gravesend and the entire parish of Denton in Kent.

He left generous legacies to his niece, Maria Theresa Aganoor of £8,000 and John Samuel Moorat inherited the house and farm at Bush Hill Park.

Mary Calvert 1786-1873
Wife of John Raphael

Family tree chart of Mary Calvert and her family

I have always been intrigued by Mary Calvert. Her background and family history, have, so far, been difficult to trace. As we have seen, she married John Raphael, 2nd son of Edward Raphael of Madras, in London in 1810. There was a marriage settlement prior to the wedding, agreed and signed on the 8th September 1810, this amounted to £5,000, the equivalent today of around £300,000. She is recorded in the 1841 census at Stockwell Hall in Essex with two of her daughters, Anne and Agnes. When her son Alexander Edward Raphael died in 1831 in the shipwreck of the Rothsay Castle off the coast of Anglesey, North Wales, his obituary stated he had been visiting a friend in Manchester called M.P. Calvert, an artist. This piqued my interest, it had to be more than a coincidence; the same maiden surname as his mother.  I quickly found that it was Michael Pease Calvert a well known artist in the Manchester area, and I suspected he was Mary’s brother, Alexander’s uncle. Having traced Michael’s birth and therefore the name of his parents, I found evidence of this conclusion in the will of Elizabeth Calvert[86], who was Michael’s mother. It confirmed not only Michael as her son, but Mary Raphael as her daughter and Agnes Raphael as a granddaughter with bequests to each of them.

Incidentally, when Michael Pease Calvert married Sarah Barker in 1835, they were blessed with four daughters and two sons. Their youngest child, a boy, was born in 1848. They named him John Raphael Calvert, clearly in acknowledgement of his sister’s family, and likely to be a tribute to the drowned Alexander Edward Raphael. Michael created many works of art in his lifetime, but one with the title “Boats in a Squall” makes me wonder if it was his homage to his late nephew Alexander Edward Raphael. The painting was exhibited in Leeds, in 1868.[87]

Mary’s father Charles Calvert was an amateur artist and also Steward or Agent to the Duke of Norfolk. Investigating the Calvert line further, there is a claim he was a descended from the younger brother of a Charles Calvert, first Lord Baltimore and Governor of Maryland in America[88].  However, I don’t think that is entirely correct. It is my understanding that Cecil Calvert (1605-1675) 2nd Baron Baltimore, was the first Proprietor of the Province of Maryland, the first Baron being a George Calvert (1580-1632). Be that as it may, as well recorded as the Calvert family are, both in the United States as well as the UK, it is bewildering that nothing can be found of Mary’s father Charles Calvert’s early years. No birth record, apprenticeship or residence records appear to readily exist. However, what I have found is a number of illegitimate Calvert children over the years, some of whom were provided for in estate records and wills. I am leaning towards the possibility that Charles was of questionable descent, and may have been one of several Calvert illegitimate children. I’m sure, as more records are digitized and become available, this particular conundrum will get solved.

As an example of a Calvert illegitimacy, but I stress I do not believe it is connected with Charles above, is the following.

Benedict Leonard Calvert (1680-1715), was 4th Baron Baltimore. He and his wife Charlotte nee Lee, had seven children. One of them was Charles Calvert (1699-1751) 5th Baron Baltimore. Another son was Cecil or Caecilius Calvert who was born in 1702 and died 1765. Cecil (as he was more commonly known) appears to have had an illegitimate child, born around the 20th August 1755 at a house he rented in Charles Street, Westminster. The child was named Caecilius Newport and Cecil Calvert left the majority of his estate to the child when he came of age. “I do give and bequeath unto the said Cecilius Newport an infant boy who was born at my house I rent in Charles Street, Westminster, to and for his behoof use and benefit all my personal estate be it called stocks or publick parliamentary funds mortgages bonds notes or any securities publick or private as well as all interest money due and cash with me whatsoever at the time of my death…….”[89]

As much as it would be easy to say Caecilius Newport may have become Mary’s father Charles Calvert, by simply changing his name when he was older, it does not appear to be the case. Caecilius Newport signed up for military service, was an ensign with the 2nd Regiment of Foot. He was posted to India but as a Lieutenant, died there around October 1792.

So you see, as an example of unravelling just one illegitimate Calvert child, it can change the direction of research enormously.

Returning to Charles Calvert, with his society and royal connections, for me, this is when the pieces of the family tree puzzle began to fall into place. Through their mother being a Calvert, I could see how three orphaned Raphael brothers from India were able to circulate with some considerable ease in high society from a very young age, even before Agnes Raphael had married the Earl of Mexborough. Of course, it helped that the Raphael’s were wealthy in their own right, thanks to their father Edward. Alexander Raphael had ingratiated himself into London society by supporting various orphan, asylum and worthy causes that resonated with him and his own personal experiences.  This allowed him to mingle comfortably with the cream of London. It may even have been his contacts that introduced his brother John Raphael to Mary, Alexander was one of the witnesses at their marriage.  By marrying with a Calvert and their associated connections to royalty as well as the Calvert’s own success in the arts and theatre,  it gave the Raphael’s even more of an appreciation of the arts and culture generally. Charles Calvert’s sons, Frederick, Henry and Michael  (above) were all artists of note. Charles Calvert and his wife Elizabeth nee Holliday had 8 children in total, Michael was the youngest who was born seven months after the death of his father. Mary Calvert was the eldest daughter, born in 1786.[90]

Mary was under the guardianship of Elizabeth Colegrave nee Pease in 1808 at Stockwell Hall. Elizabeth Colegrave was the Godmother to Mary’s sister, Elizabeth Calvert, yet it was Mary whom Elizabeth Colegrave took under her wing. Elizabeth Colegrave was also part of a culturally rich family, with her cousin Ann Harper having married the briefly successful and ambitious artist and engraver Henry Bryer. He had pioneering ideas of selling vast quantities of his engravings in India via the East India Company. However, it was a crashing disaster and he ended up bankrupt. After his death, his equally enterprising wife, Ann, took over the painting and engraving business and made much more of a success of it than her late husband.  The Pease’s and Calvert’s were great influencers of their era.

A family tree chart showing the guardianship relationship between Mary Calvert and Elizabeth Colegrave

Mary Raphael (nee Calvert) died in Biebrich on the Rhine, Germany on 8th August 1873, buried there just a few days later on the 12th[91]. She had made her will on 7th September 1861 in London, only 10 days after her daughter Agnes had married John Savile, Earl of Mexborough.

The only place I have found, that gives a figure of the estate left to Mary Raphael is from the Manchester School Register:  “…….Mary [nee Calvert] now resident in Eaton Place, Belgravia, married John Raphael Esq., and by the death of four rich bachelor brothers-in-law, [actually it was only two, plus Mary’s husband John and her father-in-law Edward Raphael],  the sum of £800,000, is concentrated in her family, her second daughter, Agnes, being now Countess of Mexborough…”  The equivalent figure of inheritance today would be a conservative amount of over £72.5 million.[92]

Extract of Mary Raphael's will

Mary Raphael left the majority of her fortune in trust to her daughter Anne Raphael with a smaller (but still not inconsiderable portion) to her other daughter Agnes, Countess of Mexborough.  Mary’s two surviving sons, Edward and Lewis were each bequeathed token amounts, but Edward inherited Stockwell Hall.

Stockwell Hall in Billericay
Also known as The Clock House


Image courtesy of Historic England. Stockwell Hall, Little Burstead, also known as the Clock House.

The earliest record I have been able to find for Stockwell Hall is a sale notice in September 1786. It was then in the tenancy of a John Clarke. The sale itself was scheduled for the 28th September that year, and it was, by all accounts, a most luxurious property.

“Bursted, Essex. By Mr. Spurrier at Garraway’s Coffee House, Exchange Alley, Cornhill on Thursday, the 28th instant at two o’clock. A freehold estate, consisting of a spacious convenient MANSION, called STOCKWELL HALL, otherwise the Clock-House, with suitable OFFICES, and GARDEN, PLEASURE GROUNDS, FISH-PONDS, Dove House etc., and eighteen acres of rich meadow land adjoining (the whole upwards of 20) very pleasantly and healthfully situate at BURSTED, in ESSEX, and are now in the occupation of John Clarke Esq., who will quit at Michaelmas. The premises are distance from London 23 miles; from Brentwood five; and from Billericay a mile and a half; command extensive and beautiful prospects, including the Thames, the County of Kent etc.  May be viewed by leave of the tenant. Printed particulars may be had ten days prior to the sale; of Mr. Walton, Attorney at Law, Saffron Waldon; Mr. Mitchell, Attorney, Shire Lane, Carey Street; and of Mr. Spurrier, Copthall Court, Throgmorton Street, by each of whom offers a private contract will be received.”

The property was purchased by Robert Colegrave[93], who had only recently married for a 2nd time to Elizabeth Pease in 1786. As previously mentioned, In 1808, Elizabeth Colegrave was noted as guardian to Mary Calvert who was living with her at Stockwell Hall.[94] Robert Colegrave having died there in 1801, he was buried at Ingatestone, Essex, close to the graves of his children and mother.[95] Stockwell Hall devolved to his widow Elizabeth (nee Pease) and she continued to live there until her death in September 1818. In her will, she had left instructions to be buried close to her husband Robert and her parents, assuming she should die in Essex. As she had died in Margate, her instructions were for a simple, no fuss funeral with no mourning. Elizabeth was buried on the 21st September 1818 at St. John the Baptist Church, Thanet. As an aside and unrelated to the Colegrave’s, John Thompson Bull, a Justice of the Peace for Essex, was a tenant of Stockwell Hall in the 1820s. By now Mary Calvert had married John Raphael. On the death of Elizabeth Colegrave (nee Pease), whom I believe must have been a relative of some sort, she left Stockwell Hall to Mary Raphael. She also directed that Mary Raphael establish if a painting in her possession, was in fact a genuine Titian.
I hereby direct my executors hereinafter named to sell and dispose of my picture of Ecce Homo[96] [behold the man] if painted by Titian for the best price that can be obtained..[97] Elizabeth Colegrave also made Alexander Raphael of Thames Ditton one of her executors. Meanwhile, Mary Raphael can be found living at Stockwell Hall in 1841 with her two young daughters Agnes and Mary. By 1844 the house was once again put up to be let.

From this advert in 1846 it can be seen the land was always managed.

Ownership of Stockwell Hall was now firmly with Mary Raphael between 1818 and 1873 when she died. After her death, the property was bequeathed to her son, Edward Raphael. However, he remained the owner only for a short period, dying in 1888, and he subsequently bequeathed the house to his spinster sister, Anne Raphael, who only enjoyed ownership for a year. When she died in 1889, she bequeathed ownership of Stockwell Hall to her sister, Agnes, Countess of Mexborough for life, with the property being bequeathed to Agnes’s son John Henry Savile for life upon the death of Agnes. Subsequently each first born son of John Henry Savile’s family was to inherit the property, this is how the Savile family came to own Stockwell Hall. However, John Henry’s residential preference was Yorkshire, leaving Stockwell Hall the residence of his sister Lady Mary Louisa Savile who had lived there for a number of years. Her death in July 1945 and his in September 1945 prompted the sale of the property  contents which took place in 1946. A glance at the advertisement shows what an incredibly rich and varied collection of furniture the house possessed. It wasn’t something that was cleared out very quickly, as further sale notices for the contents were still being placed in 1950 by the  Earl of Mexborough.

Stockwell Hall Timeline

1786 – Tenant John Clark
1786 – Purchased by Robert Colegrave
1801 – On the death of Robert Colegrave it became the property of his widow Elizabeth
1818 – On the death of Elizabeth Colegrave it became the property of her ward, Mary Raphael nee Calvert
1820 – Occupied by tenant John Thompson Bull, Justice of the Peace, Essex
1841 – Occupied by owner Mary Raphael and her daughters Anne and Agnes
1844 – The property was advertised “to let for the season or longer”
1849 – The property was advertised “to be let on a lease”
1850-1873 - The property continued to be occupied by tenants
1873 – On the death of Mary Raphael it became the property of her son Edward Raphael
1888 – On the death of Edward Raphael it became the property of his sister Anne Raphael
1889 – On the death of Anne Raphael it became the property of her sister, Agnes, who by now was the Countess of Mexborough
1898 – On the death of Agnes, Countess of Mexborough it became the property of her son John Henry Savile.
1920 – John Henry Savile sold Stockwell Hall to his sister Lady Mary Louisa Savile[98] [99]
1945 – John Henry Savile and Lady Mary Louisa Savile died within 2 months of each other. The executors of Lady Mary Savile auctioned the contents of the house in May 1946
1950 – Further auctions of the contents took place
1955 – Stockwell Hall became a grade II listed building
1978 – Stockwell Hall still in the possession of the Trustees of the Earl of Mexborough
1988 – Purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Mudd
1997 – The property was put up for sale
1999 – The property was put up for sale

Throughout this story on the Raphael’s I have listed just some of the properties they owned. What has become clear to me as I researched for this article, is they were exceptionally prolific property owners, particularly along the south coast of England, possessing a portfolio that would impress even in present day.  Alexander Raphael was the most strategic of purchasers, doing so to ensure he had voting rights and a political foothold in his property areas. Occasionally sold on, but mainly bequeathed, each Raphael ensured the financial stability and continued fortune for their family. The London town houses were always well proportioned and statement pieces, and the country properties were substantial, imposing houses and mansions.

It is my belief that the wealth the Raphael’s of Madras brought with them, via the early demise of their father Edward Raphael, has been grossly under-estimated. In particular, the contribution to the Mexborough finances via Agnes, Countess of Mexborough nee Raphael, who inherited from her two bachelor uncles, Alexander and Lewis; as well as her father John; her aunt Anna Maria Ogle (nee Raphael); and her grandfather Edward Raphael, made her a most attractive catch. It wasn’t just the inherited money she brought to the marriage, it was all the very smart investments that had been made over the years, such as stocks in the East India Company and the Bank of England, as well as the large portfolio of properties and their respective incomes that made her stand out. She continued to accrue independent wealth with inheritances from her six siblings, all, except brother Lewis Raphael, remained single, and even Lewis made sure the Mexborough nephews and nieces inherited from him, eventually.

Furthermore, such was the impact the Raphael’s had in Kent, owning vast swathes of land including the entire parish of Denton, as well as their presence in Gravesend; supporting the local community, school, church, the workhouse,  it is a little recognized fact that Raphael Road, Gravesend was named after them. Yet local history to the area knows little or nothing about the family.

Having made such an impact in the Home Counties for very nearly 100 years, today, we find the Raphael name has long been absorbed in with the history of the Mexborough’s; their role in the family story is small, standing in the shadow of the long Mexborough lineage. After the death of their father, Alexander, Lewis and John each made a future for themselves, but as foreigners did they suffer as they tried to become part of the English class system? I believe they did. As Armenians who were proud of their heritage, it was hardly ever acknowledged. Moreover, as Catholics they were sometimes looked down on and of course, there was the constant mis-labelling of them as Jews.

Agnes was the only one of her siblings who had off-spring, after her death the Raphael fortunes were inherited by her Mexborough children, and continues to be enjoyed by living descendants today. 18th and 19th century sailing ships trading the routes of Canton, Manila, China, Madras, Calcutta, Surat, Bombay, Julfa; carrying raw cottons, silks and other commodities and maybe even opium, all had a part to play in the lives of the present day family of the 21st century.  And it was all because of a stubborn man who didn’t want to give up his bed on a ship.

Footnote: A word of caution. This Raphael family should not be confused with the Jewish Raphael family who were contemporaries of Alexander, John and Lewis, also living in London. The other family were the founders of the Raphael Bank and made the fortunes and lifestyles of the Armenian Raphael’s look rather tame. Whilst researching for this story, I have discovered numerous references where family members from both dynasties have been confused and merged. I have observed timelines mixed up as well as occupations, faith, wives, children and legacies.

The coat of arms incorporated into the stained-glass window of St. Raphael’s Church, Kingston, Surrey.

Alexander left a legacy; a lasting legacy, full of clues for his love of beautiful Armenia.

© Liz Chater 2020

[1] See British Library  L/AG/34/29/194/40 for the complete will

[2] Canton presentation paper 2013 of Edward Raphael, Edward Raphael Gharamiants: A Microhistory of an Armenian Merchant in the Guangzhou-Manila Trade, Professor Sebouh Aslanian


[3] BL: Inventory-Accounts L/AG/34/27/17/107

[4] Sargis Teodorian, Patmut'iwn Muratean ev Haykazean varzharanats' ev Mkhitarean Abbayits' [History of the Muratean and Haykazean Colleges and of the Mkhitarist Abbots] (Paris, 1866), 44-45.

[5] Captain Thomas Williamson, The East India Vade-Mecum: or, Complete Guide to Gentlemen intended for the Civil, Military, or Naval service of the Hon. East India Company, London, 1810, 70-71

[6] Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 2nd July 1791

[7] Kentish Gazette 1st July 1791

[8] Canton presentation paper 2013 of Edward Raphael, Edward Raphael Gharamiants: A Microhistory of an Armenian Merchant in the Guangzhou-Manila Trade, Professor Sebouh Aslanian

[9] The full will can be found at the BL: L/AG/34/29/216/27

[10] Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1930


[11] The Globe 21st August 1834

[12] Sun (London) 1st January 1935    

[13] Morning Advertiser 12th September 1834

[14] Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 20th September 1834.

[15] Morning Advertiser 3 October 1834

[16] Kingston History Research

[17] The press doggedly persisted with their incorrect claim Alexander was Jewish, as we clearly already know, he was not.

[18] It was reported in the Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser of 21 February 1860 that Alexander Raphael gained access and had undertaken some research at the Vatican Library in Rome

[19] That is the equivalent today of in excess of £1 million

[20] Calculated using Measuring Worth

[21] The Builder, 18th December 1847

[22] A Topographical History of Surrey 1850

[23] London Evening Standard 20th December 1847

[24] The Morning Post 22nd February 1847

[25] The Examiner 23rd November 1850

[26] I have written to Kingston History Research

[27] My thanks to Karen Mkrtychan from the Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO and Indian Armenian Cultural Centre Armenia for the full translation

[28] Armenian Settlements in India, Anne Basil

[29] The Tablet 17th August 1850

[30] The London Gazette 31st December 1850

[32] London Evening Standard 10th September 1839

[33] UK, Articles of Clerkship, 1756-1874 for John Raphael

[34] Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1930

[36] London Courier 27th November 1838

[37] London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-2003 for Charles John Frederick Malo

[38] Circumstantial Narrative of the Wreck of the Rothsay Castle Steam Packet On Her Passage from Liverpool to Beamaris Aug. 17th, 1831, by Joseph Adshed.

[39] Berkshire Chronicle 11th February 1832

[40] John Bull (London, England),Saturday, May 01, 1841

[41] Kelly’s Directory 1882

[42] 1881 Census

[43] The Times, 11 August 1834

[44] Electoral registers Kent 1832-1932

[45] The Gentlewoman, February 1905

[46] 1891 Kelly´s Directory of Kent, Surrey & Sussex (Pt 1 Kent)

[47] Daily Telegraph & Courier 19 June 1908

[48] Electoral registers Kent 1832-1932

[49] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995


[50] Royal Commission on Coast Erosion. Volume I. Part II. Minutes of Evidence and Appendices etc. 1907. Schedule of Lettings of Foreshore p.71. Lewis Raphael was granted the lease to part of the foreshore at Rustington on 5th April 1901 for 21 years for “10 Shillings and royalty of 4d a ton on stones and shingle removed, but if the price exceeded 8d a ton then royalty to be half gross selling price.”

[51] Sessional Papers, Volume 21. By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, p.98


[52] My thanks to Woodvale Cemetery for kindly furnishing me with the burial details.

[53] The Will of Anne Raphael

[54] Read the full account of their travels in “Eothen, Or, Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East”

By Alexander William Kinglake


[55] Character description of Agnes, Countess of Mexborough extracted from The Free Lance, November 1900

[56] Clifton Society 5th January 1899

[57] All present day valuations are calculated using Measuring Worth

[58] Gentlewoman, 28th May 1898

[59] England & Wales, Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1918


[60] Sheffield Daily Telegraph 26th October 1920

[61] Daily Mirror 23rd July 1930

[62] He died on 25th March 1899. At the time of his death he was apparently acting as Honorary Aide-de-Camp to General Miller of Iloilo.[Reuters, Washington]

[63] Fort Wayne News 24 June 1899

[64] 32 Dover Street had been the residence of Lady Anne’s aunt, Anne Raphael up to her death in 1889. The family appear to have made certain that the property was reused for their benefit as well as the ladies of London. Dover Street was dominated by the Saviles.

[65] Evening Mail 23 April 1900


[66] Passenger list S.S. Majestic, Southampton to New York January 1913

[67] London Evening News 4th May 1914

[68] Western Daily Mail 23rd May 1914

[69] Naturalisation record National Archives Kew, London. Also London Gazette notice 5th July 1918 p.7955.

[70] Leeds Mercury 9th September 1922

[71] Western Daily Express 16th July 1923

[72] Daily Mirror 4th August 1923       

[73] Leeds Mercury 6th August 1923

[74] Sunday Mirror 23rd August 1925

[75] Sunday Mirror 23rd August 1925

[76] Westminster Gazette 14th September 1925

[77] Douglas Daily Dispatch 03 September 1927

[78] I actually think this is probably Skaftárósviti

[79] Washington C.H. Herald 31st August 1928

[80] Bicester Herald 20th June 1902

[81] Hendon Courier, 7th April 1887

[82] The History and Topography of the Parish of Hendon, 1890

[83] Morning Chronicle 19th May 1851

[84] The Examiner, 8th March 1835

[85] The Tablet 1 November 1851

[87] National Exhibition of Works of Art at Leeds, 1868, Official Catalogue, p.80

[88] Extracted from the summary family biography of student Michael Pease Calvert. The Admissions Register of Manchester School, 1868, Vol. 1 p.21

[89] Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858

[90] [Manchester] City News Notes and Queries Pt II, April-June 1878, p.183

[91] Baden, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1502-1985

[92] Calculated using Measuring Worth

[93] His family were well known, and owned a number of properties including Cann Hall

[94] The will of Bridget Colegrave

[95] The will of Robert Colegrave

[96] My thanks to David Atkinson who was able to decipher the undecipherable and tell me the name of the painting.

[97] The will of Elizabeth Colegrave

[98] Sheffield Daily Telegraph 29 April 1924

[99] Sheffield Daily Telegraph 26th October 1920