Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Munificent Shum-Storeys | Part One

On 6 June 1842 at Ramsgate, Kent the daughter of an Esquire and land proprietor was born. The baby girl was named Emmeline Ann, and was baptised exactly one month later at St George's church, Ramsgate. 


The announcement of Emmeline's birth.

Emmeline's parents were Henry Shum and Emma Cooper, who had married in Marylebone two years previously. Emmeline already had an elder brother named George Henry, and in the years after two younger sisters were born; Nina Caroline and Lilian Margaret. 

One of the Shum family's ancestors was a man named Robert Storey, who owned land near Cramlington, Northumberland. George Shum married Robert Storey's daughter, Ann and from that day forward the two families were united, with George Shum taking his wife's maiden name as his own, becoming George Shum-Storey. George went on to build the family's Northumbrian seat Arcot Hall, on his father-in-law's land. 



Arcot Hall; the seat of the Shum-Storey family.

The Shum-Storeys were generous and kind landowners. They acknowledged the fact that they were privileged at a time when so many were not, and accepted their responsibility to help those poorer and less-advantaged than themselves. They instilled these values in their children, and Emmeline in particular took it to heart.

Emmeline's parents were frequent donors to the Newcastle Infirmary, giving old linen and also money donations. In their closer locality they often gave warm clothing, coal and money to the poor of Cramlington. During the Crimean War the family donated considerable money to the Royal Patriotic Fund; a charity set up to help the widows, orphans and other dependents of members of the armed forces killed during the war.


In September 1863, Mrs Emma Shum-Storey paid for the members of the Cramlington Church Choir to go to Warkworth for their annual trip. The choir were able to tour the castle, the Hermitage and walk around the picturesque village.


On 19 October 1861, Emmeline's father Henry Shum-Storey died at Arcot Hall. He was buried the churchyard of St Nicholas, Cramlington, in the family vault.



"FUNERAL OF H. SHUM STOREY, ESQ. - The remains of this deceased gentleman were interred in Cramlington church-yard, on Saturday last. The funeral cortège, consisted of the hearse, four mourning coaches, containing relatives and friends of the deceased, and several private carriages, followed by the tenants and servants on foot, arrived at the church about 11 a.m., when the service was read by the Rev. J. Smithard, Incumbent. As a mark of respect in which the deceased was held, a large concourse of the inhabitants of the parish joined the procession to the grave. The shops of the tradespeople in the village were closed, and flags half-mast high were displayed in the collieries of Messrs. Lamb, Potter, and Co., at Cramlington, Shank House, and Dudley. As owner of the Arcot Estate, Mr. Storey has long been known for his readiness in assisting any cause having for its object the welfare and improvement of the neighbourhood; and whether as a genial and warm-hearted neighbour, a kind and considerable landlord, or an unvarying friend to the poor, his memory will long be cherished, and his loss deeply felt."
- Newcastle Journal, 28 October 1861


At Henry Shum-Storey's death, his son George Henry inherited the Arcot Estate. Like his late father, George was a kind and charitable man. He donated to numerous funds and charities, and even bought instruments for the local fledgling brass band. He was also a keen donor to the Hartley Pit Disaster Fund in early 1862. 

On 12 July 1866, Emma Shum-Storey died at Arcot Hall. She was remembered as the widow of the late and great Henry Shum-Storey, Esquire, as well as the daughter of the late Robert Chester Cooper of Lewes, Sussex. 


Three years later on 27 April 1869, George Henry Shum-Storey married Gertrude Isabella Shawe at High Hesket, Cumberland. 



George Henry Shum-Storey and Gertrude Isabella Shawe's marriage notice.

Sadly the marriage did not last long, as George died on 17 December 1869, whilst visiting Malta. His body was quickly returned to Cramlington for the funeral. His funeral was described almost identically to his father's eight years before. Much grief was felt by all in the small parish of Cramlington. Gertrude Shum-Storey never remarried.

Emmeline was now the heir, albeit female, to the Shum-Storey legacy. On 12 June 1872, Emmeline married Laurence Paulet Shawe at Cramlington. He was the elder brother of her bereft sister-in-law, Gertrude. There was great celebration in Cramlington and surrounding areas, and a mass of people turned out to honour the fantastic occasion. 

"FASHIONABLE MARRIAGE IN NORTHUMBERLAND. -
On Wednesday, the marriage of Captain Shawe, late of the Royal Marines, only surviving son of the late Captain and Hon. Mrs Shawe, of Sevres Lodge, York, and nephew of Viscount Bolingbroke, with Miss Shum-Storey, eldest daughter of the late Henry Shum-Storey, Esq., of Arcot Hall, in the county of Northumberland, was celebrated in the parish church of Cramlington, in the presence of a large number of the relatives and friends of the bride and bridegroom. In honour of the occasion the cottagers and servants had erected a number of arches of evergreens and flowers over the road from the hall to the church, the principal of these being a triple arch near the Dam-dyke Farm, composed of ivy, laurel, and holly, with geraniums and other flowers blooming in pots in various parts of it, and a verdant and floral true lover's know depending from the crown of the centre span. Flags of various colours and designs waved from every prominent point within sight of Arcot or Cramlington, guns were fired from several places from the early morning till late in the evening, and the cheerful and appropriate music of the Seaton Burn Saxhorn band augmented the festive character of the proceedings. The bridal party left the hall in seven carriages, each drawn by a pair of handsome grey horses, ridden by properly costumed equerries. The bride was dressed in white corded satin, trimmed with Brussels lace, tulle, and bouquets of orange blossoms, with a tulle veil and wreath, and pearl ornaments. The bridesmaids, Miss Shum-Storey, Miss Shum, Miss Edith Shawe, Miss Montague-Shawe, Miss Hind, and Miss Bramwell, were dressed in white tarletan trimmed with cerise, Dolly Varden caps with tulle ends, and bouquets. The groomsmen were Mr Ernest Shum, of London, Mr Carr, Newcastle; Capt. Murray, 14th Brigade Royal Artillery, Newcastle; and the Hon. Mr Shore, of the Royal Artillery. A large number of persons assembled in the church to witness the interesting ceremony, which was performed by the Rev. C. C. Snowdon, vicar of Mitford, assisted by the Rev. J. Smithard-Hind, D.C.L, vicar of Cramlington. The bride was given away by her uncle Mr Robt. Shum-Storey, of London, and at the conclusion of the service the Wedding March was played on the organ. As they left the church flowers were strewn by little girls ranged on each side of the pathway from the porch to the gate, and the villagers set up a hearty cheer. On the return to Arcot Hall a magnificent breakfast was placed before the wedding guests, who included in addition to those ladies and gentlemen already mentioned the Honourable Mrs Shawe, of Sevres Lodge, York, mother of the bridegroom; the Rev. Ambrose and Mrs Jones, Stannington Vicarage; Mr and Mrs Bramwell, Jesmond Hall; Miss Shawe; Miss G. Jones; Mr and Mrs Woodruffe, Heywood Abbey, Staffordshire; Mrs Shum-Storey, London; aunt to the bride; Mr Atkinson, Moorland Hall, Penrith; Mr Cooper, Clifton; Captain Barret, Heighington, Darlington; the Rev. C. C. Snowdon of Mitford; and the Rev. Dr. and Mrs Smithard-Hind, Cramlington. The bride's health was proposed in graceful terms by the Rev. C. C. Snowdon. The toast was honoured with bumpers, and soon afterwards the happy couple drove to Newcastle to catch the 2:10 express for the south of England, where they will stay during the honeymoon. The bride is the happy recipient of a large number of very handsome and costly wedding presents from her relatives and friends, all of which were displayed in the drawing room for the inspection of the guests. In the afternoon the school children at Cramlington and the members of the choir were entertained in honour of the wedding. A dinner is to be given to cottagers and servants at Arcot Hall on Friday, and the festivities will be continued on Saturday, when the tenants on the estate will dine together at the Queen's Head Hotel in this town."
- Newcastle Courant, 14 June 1872

In May the following year, Queen Victoria granted Laurence and Emmeline a Royal license allowing them to take and use the ancestral name Storey. This enabled Laurence to take and bear the arms and crest of the Storey family, as well as any children arising from his marriage to Emmeline to take the name Shawe-Storey.

Emmeline definitely found her equal in Laurence, as he too was generous, kind and charitable in nature. The local community certainly took to Laurence, the new quasi-Lord of Arcot Hall. He was asked to be the honorary president of the Shankhouse Football Club, although this only came about after a handsome donation to the club. Laurence was described as an "ardent supporter" of the club in later years. 

In 1893, Emmeline and Laurence donated fresh fruit and vegetables to the Royal Seaman and Marines' Orphan School. Laurence had formerly been captain in the Royal Marines, but this was perhaps not the only reason they had made a donation to this particular cause, as Emmeline and Laurence's marriage was childless.

The Shawe-Storeys must have felt a huge sense of missing, and so children were the most frequent beneficiaries of their charity and generosity. In June 1897, Great Britain celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Laurence and Emmeline funded a massive celebration at Elm Lodge, Bursledon, Hampshire, their southern residence. Over two-hundred school children were invited to the festivities. 

Captain and Mrs Shawe-Storey were a big part of the Cramlington community, and they managed many events. There was a great church bazaar in August 1899, which lasted for three days. The event was opened by Laurence, and Emmeline herself presided over the various stalls set up in the school at East Cramlington.

Sadly, this wasn't to last. On 4 January 1905, Laurence Paulet Shawe-Storey died after having an operation for appendicitis. Laurence and Emmeline were obviously well-matched, but I think the death of her husband liberated Emmeline in a way. After Laurence's death, she began giving out larger amounts of money to local causes and organisations. Perhaps Emmeline needed a cause to fill the void caused by the loss of Laurence. 

Emmeline had converted to Catholicism only a few years before, and she noticed there were no Catholic churches in the locality. She enquired with a local priest who was using the school chapel at Annitsford, close to the Arcot Estate. Emmeline decided soon after that she would donate some of her land nearby, and pay for the building of a new Catholic church. So in early October 1905, only nine months after the death of Laurence, the chief stone of the new Catholic church was laid and blessed at Annitsford.