BEAN, Cassiobury, Watford, 1898 &
Andy Bean of
Hemel Hempstead, Herts asks: Do you know what regiments were in the Watford area between about 1898 and 1900? Could
they have been passing through on their way to fight in the Boer War? My Great
grandmother, Alice Mary Bean, was in
service at Cassiobury House, and `Family
Lore` says the father of my Grandfather was an Officer from a Scots regiment
that was being entertained at Cassiobury House.
Births associated with the movement of soldiers are often
difficult to unravel - so what can be said about this situation. I have a few
points but no certain solution.
- As I assume the birth date of your grandfather is known
you can probably estimate the date of his conception to within a month
- Cassiobury House was
the home of the Earl of Essex.
- If any troops were in encamped in Watford
during this period, on their way to the Boer War, there is a good chance
that the movement would have been mentioned in the Watford Observer
newspaper which is available on microfilm at the Watford Central
Library. It is likely that officers (particularly those of higher status)
would have been invited at least for a meal. If this identifies a Scottish
Regiment the officers will be published in the Army List (try Society of Genealogists Library, the
Guildhall Library in the City of London, or the Public Records Office at Kew.)
- However it is important to realise that it was normal for
sons of the upper classes to become officers in the Army, which means that
many of the young men who were house guests at Cassiobury
would have been officers, although they may not have been in uniform. This
means that your great grandfather may have been a visitor to the house
with no direct link to the movements of his regiment.
- The household papers of Cassiobury
may well have included a record of visitors to the house. A lot of papers
were handed over to the Herts Records Office (now HALS) in 1930 and it is just
possible that the papers includes such a record.
- The current Earl of Essex might still have some archives
from the period, but might not be happy with his records being used to try
and find out which of his house guests bedded the chamber maid!
Bean replied Thanks for the information re Alice Mary Bean. If I find any more about it I
will let you know.
If you can add to the information given
above tell me.