Susan (Susie) Townshend (5D21)

Date of Birth: 9 Feb 1844
Date of Death: 13 Sep 1912
Generation: 6th
Residence: Alderley, Gloucs
Father: Reverend Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01]
Mother: Oliver, Eliza Wilmot
  1. Hodgson, Brian Houghton
  1. ? Phoebe, ?Percy, ?Alice, ?Edward
See Also: Table VD ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Susan Townshend (Susie)

Susan's birth was recorded in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - '9 or 10 February 1844 Mrs CC Townsend a daughter Susan'.

When her father died in 1852, Susan was eight 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.

Married April 1869, as his second wife, Brian Houghton Hodgson (2) [FRS], Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur.

Susan was a photographer and a member of the (later Royal) Photographic Society. She exhibited at their annual exhibitions.

Susan, her brother Richard Baxter Townshend [5D15] and sisters Katherine Townshend [5D17] and Anne Townshend [5D20] took out a 99-year lease (3) on 12 Ridgway Place, Wimbledon for £1,900 from Sir Edward Creasy on 11 November 1867. Their mother came to live in the house having sold hers in Clifton, Bristol.

In his unpublished autobiography (4) Edward Mansel Townshend [630] recalls meeting Brian Hodgson whom he described as “70 years of age, but with the vitality, strength and energy, of a well-developed man of 45. Of charming appearance, refined and fascinating manners and brilliant scholarship, he had gone out to India in 1818, a favourite of fortune and a Haileybury Gold Medalist, with his only brother, who was in the Royal Artillery”. It was while he was serving with the Bengal Civil Service that he contracted a serious fever in Calcutta and his doctor forbade him to remain there. Fortunately an appointment was found for him as Assistant to the British Resident in Nepal, whom he later succeeded.

In about 1850 Brian resigned as Resident and moved back to India where he proceeded to devote himself for some years to the arrangement of his great collections and to reading papers before the Royal Asiatic Society. He had a house in Darjeeling with wonderful views across to Mount Everest, on which he often saw the sun rise in all its glory.

Still a comparatively young man, though at the end of a great career and with a comfortable fortune, Brian settled at ‘The Rangers’, Dursley, in Gloucestershire, in 1858, where he remained till 1867, when he moved to ‘The Grange’, Alderley, near Wootton-under-Edge, where his wife died in 1868.

It was in the house at 12 Ridgway Place that Susan met her future husband who, whilst recovering from a severe hunting accident in 1869, visited his first wife's old school friend, Susan’s mother, Eliza. Despite the great difference in their ages Susan and Brian remained happily married for 24 years. Edward Townshend described Susan “as a pretty young lady with pink cheeks and two charming long curls on one side of her face.”

Susan’s grandfather, Major General Oliver died on 11 January 1854. In his will, dated 25 February 1853 (5), 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 (Susan’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.

Susan’s mother died on 17 August 1906 and her share of the Oliver estate amounted to £2,431 which passed to her sister, Anne Townshend [5D20] as her executrix and sole legatee when Susan died in 1912.

Susan was living at 53 Stanhope Gardens, London in June 1907.

(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) Brian was born on 1 Feb 1800 and died on 23 May 1894.

(3) Derry Papers 5D15/1. Agreement for the lease of 12 Ridgway Place, Wimbledon, dated 11 November 1867. Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy was Chief Justice of Ceylon. Richard and his sisters were living with their mother at 6 Rodney Place, Clifton, Bristol at the time.

(4) 'A Protestant Auto-Biography by the Rev E Mansel Townshend'

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