Lewis Hensley (1824-1905) Vicar of Hitchin (1856-1905)





This picture, enlarged from a carte de visite was taken by T. B. Latchmore, of Hitchin, and because the names are known, and the younger child is probably little more than six months old, it provided an excellent opportunity for a precise dating.

So I decided to find out who these two children were and also something about their parents.

The baptism of Agnes in May 1864 by her father, Rev Lewis Hensley, vicar of St Mary, Hitchin

This suggests the photograph was take towards the end of 1864


As their father turned out to be the Vicar at Hitchin for almost 50 years I decided to draw up a family history time-line for the Reverend Lewis Hensley and his immediate family. The basic family framework comes from the very useful British Isles. Peerage, Baronetage, and Landed Gentry families with extended lineage (on familysearch) and the Hitchin parish registers (on FindMyPast).  Other sources are identified.


The Rev. Canon Lewis Hensley

From a photograph by H. G.  Moulden

History of Hitchin Grammar School

by Reginald Hine


In the following time-line I have concentrated on family matters and have not attempted to report on Lewis's activity as a vicar in Hitchin. It is perhaps worth noting that Reginald Hine wrote extensively about the history of Hitchin but hardly mentions the Rev Lewis Hensley - who was vicar at Hitchin between 1856 and 1905. He clearly didn't consider Lewis one of the Hitchin Worthies, there are only two passing references in The History of Hitchin, and there is no mention in A Short Story of St Mary's, Hitchin. Hine could not help but mention him briefly in History of Hitchin Grammar School as Lewis had been very critical of the teaching standard when the old school closed down, and was Chairman of Governors when the school was re-established in 1888.


Time Line for Lewis Hensley and his immediate family

Year Place Event Source
1824 London Born 20 May, baptised 24 June, the son of Lewis Hensley (1795-1845) and Harriet Ann Hales (1790-1827)  
1827 London Mother dies  
1830 London Father marries Eliza de Morgan (1802-1836)  



Educated at Kings College, London - before proceeding to Trinity College, Cambridge


1838 Suffolk Father marries Martha Mitton (1798-1865)  
1841 Holborn, Middlesex Living with father Lewis (Surgeon) & Martha Hensley and siblings at St James Street, St Andrews, Holborn Census
1845 London Father dies  
1846 Cambridge Cambridge, Oct 10, Opening of Term ...  : New Fellows ... Lewis Hensley, B.A. 1846, Senior Wrangler ... Times
1850 Cambridge List of Honours at the Bachelor of Arts Commencement, Jan 26, 1850. Moderators: Lewis Hensley, M.A., Trinity College. ... Times
1851 All Saints, Cambridge M.A. a Fellow Tutor at Trinity College, Cambridge Census
1852 Upton cum Chalvey, Bucks Became Curate of St Laurence Church Obit
1856 Great Wymondley, Herts PREFERMENTS AND APPOINTMENTS. ... Hensey [sic] Rev. Lewis, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, to Great Wymondley V., w St. Ippolyts, Herts: Value $301, with residence. [Manchester Courier, 12 July]


  Great Wymondley, Herts

Picture from village web sit

St Mary's Church

Village Web Site
1856 Hitchin, Herts Transferred to Hitchin (an important Trinity College Benefice) 19 Dec 1856 following the death of Rev Henry Wiles



1857 St Ippolyts, Herts On the 10th inst. [June], at. Ippollitt's Church, the Rev. Wm Amos, assisted the Rev. James Amos. brothers the bride, the Rev. Lewis Hensley, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Vicar of Hitchin, Herts, to Margaret Isabella, only daughter of Andrew Amos, Esq, of St, Ibbs. in the same county. [Herts Mercury] BNA
1858 Hitchin, Herts Son Arthur Hensley born 1 April 1858 at the Vicarage, Hitchin - baptised 7 May 1858 by his father  
1859 Hitchin, Herts Daughter Lucy Hensley born 3rd July. Baptised 10 August 1859 at Hitchin by her father  
1860 St Leonards-on Sea,  Sussex Daughter Alice born prematurely 13 September and died the following day. Her mother Margaret Isabella Hensley died on 19 September and Son Arthur died on 29 September.  
1860 Hitchin, Herts Margaret Isabella Hensley of the Vicarage buried at Hitchin 26 September aged 23 by J A Tooke, Rector of Sarum St Edmund  
1860 St Leonard's on Sea

Hitchin, Herts

BIRTHS. ... HENSLEY. - On the 13th inst. [September], at St. Leonard's-on-sea, prematurely, the wife of the Rev. Lewis Hensley, M.A., vicar of Hitchin, Herts, of a daughter. [Leicestershire Mercury +] BNA
DEATHS. On the 14th inst. [September], at St Leonard's-on-Sea, Isabella, the infant daughter of the Rev. Lewis Hensley, M.A., vicar of Hitchin, having survived its birth only 18 hours. [Herts Guardian +]
DEATHS. On the 19th ult. [September] at St Leonard's on Sea, aged 23, Margaret Isabella, wife of the Rev. L. Hensley, M.A., vicar of Hitchin, only daughter of the late A. Amos, Esq., of St. Ibbs. [Herts Guardian +]

Funeral of Mrs. Lewis Hensley.On Wednesday last, at half-past ten a.m., the remains of the late Mrs. Hensley, wife of tho Rev. Lewis Hensley, vicar of Hitchin, and also of their infant child, were interred in the Hitchin Cemetery. The corpses were brought from St. Leonard's on the day previous. As the time appointed for the funeral drew nigh, the shops were closed, and a large number the gentry and tradesmen of the town neighbourhood attended at church in mourning attire, with the teachers and many the scholars of St. Mary's Sunday Schools. The funeral cortege consisted the hearse, two mourning coaches, and the carriage Mrs. Amos, mother of the deceased lady. The Rev. L. Hensley desired that the funeral might be private as possible ; therefore, those who desired to he present at church, met the hearse at the cemetery-gates, where procession was formed the grave. The deceased lady was deservedly esteemed by the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, and the painful circumstances connected with her death, which was recorded in our obituary last week, increased the regrets of her friends.

 [ Hertford Mercury 29 September]

1860 St Leonard's on Sea DIED. On the 28th ult [September], at St Leonard's on Sea, aged 2 years and 6 months, Arthur, only son of the Rev Lewis Hensley, M.A. Vicar of Hitchin, Herts. [Bury & Norwich Post + others] BNA
1860 Hitchin, Herts Arthur Hensley, aged 2, of The Vicarage buried at Hitchin 5 October 1860  
1861 Hitchin, Herts 20 February [1861] Administration of the effects of Margaret Isabella Hensley (Wife of the Reverend Lewis Hensley, Clerk) late of Hitchin in the County of Hertford, who died  19 September 1860 was granted at the Principal Registry to the said Reverend Lewis Hensley of Hitchin, vicar of Hitchin. Probate
1861 Hitchin, Herts Lewis Hensley (widower) at The Vicarage, Hitchin, with daughter Lucy (10), Sister Eliza Hensley (30) and three servants. Census
1863 Richmond, Surrey Married Gertrude Hull Terrell  
1864 Hitchin, Herts Gertrude Agnes Hensley. Born 14 April. Baptised 18 May 1864 by her father at St Mary's, Hitchin  
1864   Author of Hymns for the Sundays after Trinity and Household Devotions; or, family prayers for the Church Seasons www
1865   Author of  Shorter Household Devotions www
1866 Hitchin, Herts Margaret Hensley born 27 February, baptised 3rd April 1866 by her father at St Mary's, Hitchin  
1867   Author of Hymns for the Minor Sundays from Advent to Whitsuntide www
1867 Hitchin, Herts Alice Winifred Hensley born 31 July 1867 and baptised 28 August 1867 by her father at St Mary's, Hitchin  
1871 Hitchin, Herts At Church Yard, Hitchin, with Wife Gertrude Hull Hensley, children Gertrude Agnes (6), Margaret (5) and Alice Winifred (3). Also a student, cook, housemaid and nurse.  Census
St Ippollitts, Herts Lucy Hensley was staying with her grandmother, Margaret Amos at St Ippollitts.
1872   Author of Figures made Easy: A First Arithmetic Book www
1875   Author of The Scholar's Algebra: An Introductory Work on Algebra. A contributor to A Dictionary of Christian Antiguities www
1877 Hitchin, Herts Made rural Dean of Hitchin Obit
1881 Hitchin, Herts Lewis Hensley was at the Vicarage, Hitchin, with daughter Alice, four pupils and two servants.  


Kensington, London His wife Gertrude Hull Hensley was visiting George Hensman & family in Kensington, London
St Ippollitts, Herts Daughter Lucy was staying with her grandmother, Margaret Amos at St Ippollitts.
Brighton, Sussex Daughter Gertrude A Hensley at a girls school run by Charlotte A Frewer at 8 Sussex Square, Brighton
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Daughter Margaret was at Cheltenham College, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
1881 St Albans Made Honorary Cannon of St Albans Obit
1888 Hitchin, Herts Chairman of Governors of Hitchin Grammar School Obit
1891 Hitchin, Herts At the Vicarage with wife, all four daughters (Lucy a deaconess), and two servants. Census
1901 Hitchin, Herts Lewis Hensley was at the Vicarage with wife and two servants. Census
Hackney, London Daughter Lucy Hensley, Deaconess, was part of a community of Ladies working freely among the poor in East London at Church House, Church Crescent, Hackney.
Stroud, Gloucestershire Daughter Gertrude Hensley was living at Stroud, Gloucestershire
? Daughter Margaret Hensley [Not traced]
Woodchester, Gloucestershire Alice W Hensley was working as a nurse companion in Woodchester, Gloucestershire
1905 Great Ryburgh, Norfolk

Rev. Lewis Hensley, Vicar of Hitchin

Rev. Lewis Hensley

Died on a Great Eastern Railway train 1 August 1905


Obituary from The Times of 4th August

1905 Hitchin, Herts HENSLEY the reverend Lewis of the Vicarage, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, clerk died 1 August at Great Ryburgh Norfolk Probate London 26 August to Sir Robert Mitton Hensley knight [half brother] Effects 3103 8s 3d. Probate
1911 Bournemouth, Hampshire Widow Gertrude Hull Hensley was visiting cousin John Hales at Bournemouth Census
South Hackney, N. E. London Daughter Lucy Hensley was a Deaconess of the Church of England engaged in Parish Visiting
Victoria, London Daughter Gertrude Agnes Hensley was a guest at the Wilton Hotel, Victoria, London
Brighton, Sussex Daughter Margaret Hensley was a teacher at St Mary's Hall School for Clergymen's Daughters, Eastern Road, Brighton
? [Daughter Alice not located]
1917 Westminster HENSLEY Gertrude Hull of 11 Vincent-square Westminster Middlesex widow died 10 February 1917. Administration London 11 April to Alice Winifred Hensley spinster. Effects 2808 2s 7d. Probate
1941 Hove, Sussex HENSLEY Gertrude Agnes of 23 Walshingham-road Hove Sussex spinster died 14 January 1941 Probate Lewes 28 March to Alice Winifred Hensley and Katherine Costanza Georgina Corrie spinsters. Effects 883 4s 5d. Probate
1947 Hitchin, Herts Hensley. On Feb. 9, 1947, at Hitchin Hospital following an accident, Lucy Hensley, aged 87 years. Funeral service St. Mary's Parish Church, Hitchin, to-morrow (Thursday) at 2.125 p.m. Times
1950 Sunninghill, Surrey HENSLEY Alice Winifred of the Marie Louise Club, Sunninghill, Berkshire spinster died 6 April 1950 at the Lavershott Hall Nursing Home, Windlesham, Surrey. Probate Lewes 7 June to Margaret Hensley spinster. Effects 2372 17s 6d. Probate
1963 Windsor, Berkshire Death of Margaret Hensley, aged 96 registered FreeBMD

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

December 2014   Page created