Reverend Arthur Humphrey (Peter) Townsend (6C17)

Date of Birth: 6 Mar 1867
Date of Death: dunm Jan 1942
Generation: 7th
Residence: Watford and London
Father: Doctor Edward Richard Townsend [6C04]
Mother: Humphries, Elizabeth
Spouse: Unmarried
Issue: None
See Also: Table VIC ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Reverend Arthur Humphrey Townsend (Peter)

Arthur studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and page 296 of the Trinity College Calendar 1906 records that he qualified BA in Summer 1890 and MA in 1893. The brothers Edwin Hotham Townsend [6B29], John Sealy Townsend [6B30] and William Richard Townsend [6B30] were undergraduates at the same time. The 1906 Calendar also shows that Arthur was living at 2, Briar Villas, King's Road, New Windsor, Berkshire.

Arthur was admitted to The Charterhouse, London EC4 as an In-Curate of Christ Church, Forest Hill, London in 1910. Page 170 of the Dublin University Calendar Volume II 1917-1918 records that he was living at 69, Stile Hall Gardens, Chiswick, West London.

Much of what is known about Arthur is drawn from an article entitled ‘Doesn’t mind a Gamble. Retired Clergyman’s Admission’ in ‘The Mercury’ of Hobart, Tasmania dated 27 August 1937, a full copy of which is reproduced in his ‘Scrapbook’. From this it can be deduced firstly, that he served as Chaplain with the 10th Hussars who were based in Dublin; this would therefore be sometime between 1918 and 1921 when they returned to England. Secondly, ill-health forced him to retire after over 30 years service as a curate in various London parishes. Following this he played various clerical roles in some six films, under the pseudonym Thomas H. Arthur, the most famous of which was 'The Glorious Adventure' which was directed by Stuart Blackton and released in 1922. Sadly Arthur is not listed in the cast.

It is known that Arthur was living in London sometime after 1921 for his nephew Edward Marcus Richard Townsend [6C38] recalls how, after he left school, his uncle Arthur met him on his arrival at Waterloo station wearing a Victorian cloak, a straw hat and white spats and standing on a pile of luggage, waving a white handkerchief tied to a walking stick. The ‘Mercury’ article also refers to “Mr Arthur Humphrey Townsend, retired clergyman, with a rubicund "humorous" face that is reproduced in pencil, and camera studies on the well-bedecked walls of his "bed-sitting room" in the Charterhouse, London.

Arthur was evacuated to Watford during the Blitz in 1940 and died there. Probate on his will was granted on 16 July 1942 and is listed in the [National Archives of Ireland (reference number CS/HC/PO/4/95/9293 in the principal registry of the High Court). The document is interesting as probate was granted to – "Mrs Annette T Townsend widow". Annette was the widow of Dr Francis Edward Townsend [6C16] and there is no evidence to show that she married a second to become Arthur's widow.