Answers to Questions


MAGOR, Redbourn, late 19th century

November 2001




Catherine Watts (cathy @t caemw.fsnet.co.uk) says  I am looking for information on Catherine Magor and her sister Edith Louise Magor, who lived at Redbourn House, Hertfordshire around 1880's.  I am almost sure she rode with the Hertfordshire Hounds, I have a large photo album from that time showing Redbourn House with the Hert. Hounds meeting there.   Edith left to marry Captain F M Sandys-Lumsdaine of the Highland Light Infantry in India, she left England in 1895 and the date of wedding was Tuesday 10 Nov 1896 in Malabar Hill Bombay. Edith was my Grandmother, and Catherine my great Aunt.

My first check was for anyone called Magor (or Major in case of an error) in Redbourn at the time of the 1881 census - and this proved negative - with no-one called Magor anywhere in Hertfordshire. I checked the 1851 census for Redbourn and while there was no Magor I did find a "Redbourn House" in the High Street, Redbourn, a few doors away from the Saracen's Head Public House. While she was not at home on census night, it was the home of a Lady Glamis. Returning to the 1881 census I was able to identify the unnamed house by its neighbours. It was then occupied by a widow, Mrs Alicia Holdsworth who was living there with three daughters, a resident governess and four resident household staff.

A wider search in 1881 showed that five Magor children - Edith L. (10), Mary J. (7), Catherine B. (8), Gertrude E. (5) and Edward M. (4) were all at a small boarding school at 46 Torrington Place, Plymouth St Andrew, Devon. All had been born in Calcutta, India and bearing in mind their age I would not be surprised to learn that their parents were then in India as it was common to send the children back to England to be educated.

Your mention of hunting sent me to my partial newspaper index of cuttings relating to Bernards Heath, St Albans. On the 16th February 1889 the Berkhamsted Staghounds chased a deer over Bernards Heath and my great grandfather's farm. The field included Mr and Miss Magor. (I have posted the text of the news item in full as "The Staghounds at Cuckman's - 1889".) The J. Reynolds listed may well be my great grandfather, while the T & H Cox are probably related. If your photograph shows those taking part in the hunt there might well be a relative or two of mine among them although whether they could be recognised is another matter.

I also note from my index that Mr, Mrs and Miss Magor attended the County Ball on 11th January 1890. It may well be that reference to the 1890 Kelly's Directory will show the family was at Redbourn House, and a look at the 1891 census (soon to be available online) should identify the individuals living there.

Afterthought in July 2012

A query about this page reminded me how out of date some of the early pages on this site are - as so much more information has become easily accessible since 2001. For instance it only takes a minute to find the family in Redbourn in the 1891 census:

MAGOR, Richard B Head Married M 47 1844 East Indian Merchant Truro, Cornwall
MAGOR, Mary Wife Married F 45 1846   Calcutta, East India
MAGOR, Edith L Daughter Single F 20 1871
Calcutta, East India
MAGOR, Catherine B Daughter Single F 18 1873
Calcutta, Iast India
MAGOR, Clara W Daughter Single F 10 1881   Calcutta, East India
MAGOR, Philip Son Single M 9 1882   Calcutta, East India
MAGOR, Dorothy G Daughter   F 7 1884   Putney, Surrey
TRUBORNE, Charlotte Servant Single F 28 1863 Cook Dorsetshire, Dorset
BIBBY, Rose Anna Servant Single F 23 1868 Housemaid Colchester, Essex
MYLES, Mary Servant Single F 22 1869 Housemaid
Cromer, Norfolk
JENNINGS, Amelia Servant Single F 21 1870 Kitchenmaid
Tottenham, Middlesex

This supports my suggestion that the parents were in India at the time of the 1881 census - with two children being born there. The census returns also show that the family had moved to Ingatestone Hall, Billericay, Essex, by 1901. A few minutes more and I established from online trade directories that Richard Blarney Magor was still at Redbourn House in 1895. Googling provides a history of the Williamson Magor group which provides information on the Indian connection.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.