Eliza Susan (Bessie) Townshend (5D18)

Date of Birth: 1837
Date of Death: 1923
Generation: 6th
Residence: Unknown
Father: Reverend Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01]
Mother: Oliver, Eliza Wilmot
Spouse: Unmarried
Issue: None
See Also: Table VD ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Eliza Susan Townsend (Bessie)

When her father died in 1852, Bessie was 15 and her mother, maternal grandparents and aunt, Katherine Townshend [5D06], acted as guardians to her and her siblings until they came of age. Under the terms of her father’s will (1) dated 2 September 1846 she became entitled to an equal share of £2,000 devised to all the children, except her half-brother Horace Payne-Townshend [5D12] who inherited the entire Derry estate.

Bessie was a great writer of letters and many of these written to her sister Marianne [5D16] and her husband, John Townsend [622] survive (2). From this correspondence it can be deuced that she seems to have enjoyed travelling. She was in St Louis, Switzerland in 1864 for some time, in 1875 she wrote of her trip to Brittany and in 1876(?) visited her distant cousin Elizabeth Townsend [444] in Naples. The last of her extant letters is dated 20 June 1907; it was written from Frant, Sussex, to her sister, Marianne about the death of Marianne's daughter Kathleen Townsend [631].

In a letter to his brother George Chambre Wilmot Townshend [5D33], William Pearson Townshend [5D35] wrote from Southsea in 1906 - "There is quite an invasion of Townshends in Southsea; Aunt Bessie is here for the winter, then Aunt Anne and Hugh Morgan are coming down tomorrow for a week, so it will be quite a large gathering at Horace's on Christmas Day". (3)

Bessie’s grandfather, Major General Oliver died on 11 January 1854. In his will, dated 25 February 1853 (4), he devised his personal estate to his trustees who were to invest the same and pay the interest to his wife, Marianne, during her lifetime and after her death to his daughter Eliza Townshend (Bessie’s mother). After her death the residue was to be divided equally amongst her surviving children share and share alike.

Likewise he devised his real estate in Suffolk and Kerry to his trustees who were to pay the yearly rents to his wife during her lifetime and after her death to Eliza. After her death when the children came of age, or if the daughters married before then, they were to receive their share of the real estate or the rents thereof, or if the real estate was sold they were to receive their share of the principal or the interest of the proceeds.

Bessie’s mother died on 17 August 1906 and her share of the Oliver estate amounted to £3,324.

(1) Derry Papers 5D01/6. Will of Chambre Corker Townsend dated 2 September 1846 with codicil dated 5 April 1851. Probate 9 Sep 1852.

(2) Llanvapley Papers.

(3) Derry Papers 5D35/1. Letter dated 22 December 1906 from William P Townshend to George CW Townshend. 'Bessie' is this Eliza Townshend, 'Anne' is Anne Townshend [5D20], 'Horace' is Horatio Baxter Townshend [5D34] and 'Hugh Morgan' is the son of Alicia Hewitt Townshend [5D48].

(4) Derry Papers OL/8, 8A, 8B, 9, 9A. The wills of Major General Oliver and his wife, Marianne, and the disposal of their estates.