One of the foundation stones on the Tring High Street Baptist Church and the church itself, taken October 2008.


Answers to Questions

John MARNHAM, Boxmoor, late 19th century

(Also William HUCKVALE, Architect, Tring, 19/20th century)

October, 2008

Tim Amsden, of the Tring Local History & Museum Society, has a particular interest in William Huckvale, an architect who was employed by the Rothschilds, at Tring Park, and who is responsible for designing many buildings in the Tring area. Having discovered a reference to William Huckvale I sent him the following information, and question.
From Notes on Stevenage by E V Methold, published 1902:
The site of the Bunyan Baptist Chapel was paid for by subscriptions, and the building itself was the gift of John Marnham, Esq., who at his sole expense paid for the erection of the same and for all the interior fittings. The Architect was Mr. Huckvale, of Tring, and the builders were Messrs. Willmott & Sons, of Hitchin, the contract price being 2,200.
Do you have this one, and is there much evidence for William Huckvale taking contracts outside the immediate Tring area?

Tim replied:

Many thanks indeed for this reference.  I did not know of it although the pastor at Northchurch Baptist Church told me that he understood there to be another church over that way, which wasn't much to go on.
I should be interested to know who this John Marnham was - his name appears on the foundation stone of the High Street church here too.  By tradition the Huckvales were Baptists and had begun the church at Chipping Norton; William himself (or at least his wife) seems to have been C of E, but probably retained a soft spot.
As yet I haven't found much evidence for work outside the Tring area although William's obituary says that there had been.  He was involved in the early days of Trust Houses.  I came across some cottages in Aldenham which look like his work, paid for by J.P. Morgan, who was no doubt a friend of Natty's [Nathanial Rothschild]; I suspect William Huckvale might have obtained a lot of work that way.

John Marnham

A google search showed a small number of references that linked John Marnham with the Baptist Church at the national level and the following two references from the Hemel Hempstead Gazette, published online under the title "100 Years Ago".

The Gazette carried a two-column obituary report on the death and funeral of Mr John Marnham J.P.(after whom a ward at Hemel Hempstead Hospital is named). There were also comments in the leader column. Mr Marnhams name and fame travelled far outside our local limits. As a prominent Nonconformist he was known throughout the country especially in the Baptist Church of England and and his liberality to missionary work, both foreign and at home was on the largest scale. There seemed to be no bounds to his free-handed munificence and to many of the wealthy members of society his example administers a rebuke. [The report had been transcribed as an example of a press account of a significant local death. It provides much more information about John Marnham and his work for the Baptist Church - see Death and Funeral of Mr John Marnham of Boxmoor]

The will was published of Mr John Marnham who had lived at The Hollies, Boxmoor and was a prominent local citizen. He left 500 to Hemel Hempstead Hospital and bequeathed a life pension of 1 a week to his head gardener John Glenister and his head gamekeeper John Bearman. [Jan 15 2004]

The Marnham family living in The Hollies, Boxmoor

Name Relation 1871 Census 1881 Census 1891 Census 1901 Census Place of Birth
John Marnham Head 45 Member Stock Exchange

[Absent from home]

65 Justice of the Peace 75 Justice of the Peace Willesden, Middlesex
Elizabeth Marnham Wife 47   [Absent from home] 65   75   London
Francis John Marnham Son 17 Clerk to Stock Exchange 27 Member of Stock Exchange         Blackheath, Kent
Marian Elizabeth Marnham Daughter     26   35   47   Blackheath, Kent
Ellen Marnham Daughter 14 Scholar 24   34   45   Blackheath, Kent
Alice Mary Marnham Daughter 13 Scholar     31       Blackheath, Kent
Catherine Marnham Daughter 11 Scholar 21   31   41   Blackheath, Kent
Arthur H Marnham Son 9 Scholar 19 Clerk 29 No Occupation     Blackheath, Kent
Herbert Marnham Son 7 Scholar 17 Clerk         Blackheath, Kent
Alfred Marnham Son 4     25 Stock Broker 34 Member Stock Exchange Hemel Hempstead
Frederick Marnham Son 2               Hemel Hempstead
Frederick Lown Visitor 18 Clerk             London
Gertrude Franklin? Lown Visitor     19  

[Married Francis John Marnham]

Islington, Middlesex

In addition each census shows a number of live-in domestic servants.

A checks of the 1899 Kelly's Directory confirmed John Marnham at "The Hollies" and came up with the following entries relating to his family:

1899   Hemel Hempstead Gymnastic Club, Drill Hall, Hemel Hempstead   Russell Steele M.D. pres.; A. Marnham, vice-pres.; H. Fordham, hon. sec.
1899   Oxford Club, 47 London Road, Boxmoor   Miss Marnham, sec.

John Marnham's son became a Member of Parliament.

Marnham, Francis John, J.P.; b. 1853, s. of John Marnham, J.P. of Boxmoor, Herts; m. 1881, Gertrude, d. of R. Dury Lown; one s. two d.  Educ.: privately. Formerly Member Stock Exchange; J.P. County of Surrey; M.P. (L.) Chertsey Div .Surrey 1906-10; a Baptist. Address Meadfort Rock, Torquay, Devon. Club: National Liberal. [Who's Who, 1918]

There is a web page for Boxmoor

Page created October 2008