Very little is known of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Edward Tyrrell Smith, save that it occurred, according Boas who wrote his obituary, on the 26th August 1804 and that his father, also Edward Tyrrell Smith, was then a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy.
His mother is said to be the Admiral’s second wife, a Comtesse de Murat, whom he married in France and where Edward Tyrrell Smith jnr was born.
Where he spent his early years is a matter of conjecture but legend has it that, being expected to follow his father, he was enlisted in the Navy but found it not to his liking and so before his ship sailed he went home to mother.
His mother must have died when Edward was very young because his father, now an Admiral, contracted a third marriage in 1820 to Susan Tomlin, my three times great grandmother.
Edward married Magdeleine Nanetta Gengoult on 29th September 1824 in Paris and the young couple settled in Southwark, London where their four children were born.
Edward Tyrrell came along in 1825 and was baptised on 26th January 1826 at St. Saviour, Southwark. Two daughters followed, Mariana Euprasie Louisa, baptised 16th December 1827 also at St. Saviour, and Mariana Euphrasie Nanetta Susan baptised 2nd June 1829 at St. Peter, Walworth. A second son, Louis Laurent, was born on 15th May 1830 and baptised at St. Saviour, Southwark on 19th January 1831.
Around this time Edward was employed in the newly formed Police Force and it is recorded that on 15th April 1830 as a "constable of the night" he was a witness in a case at the Old Bailey. Just how long he continued in this employment is not known but by 1841 he was living at 72 Red Lion Street, in the Clerkenwell district of Holborn with a woman called Ann and was employed as a carman. His estranged wife Magdeleine was at Webber Row in Southwark with their eleven year old son Louis and making a living as a general dealer.
Edward continued to live in Red Lion Street although by 1850 he was the landlord of the Red Lion and Ball public house at number 62-63.
On the census in 1851 he says he is a 45 year old Auctioneer living with a wife Frances, 30, daughter Isabella 15 and has two live-in servants. It is very unlikely that Edward and Frances were married because before 1858 divorce was rare and expensive. In all probability he had come to some sort of arrangement with his wife Magdeleine who by now, in partnership with Felicete Sebevie from Paris, appeared to be running a private school and taking in lodgers at 20 Bloomfield Terrace, Westminster. Her son, Louis, a medical student was a lodger here in 1851.
In 1852 Edward moved to 2 Princess Street, Bedford Row, not far from Red Lion Street, and entered what was perhaps the busiest decade of his career. It was toward the latter end of the year that the "E T Smith, publican and expoliceman" rented the Drury Lane Theatre from the directors for the sum of £3500.
The management of this theatre was to last some seven years during which he also acquired the leases of Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Her Majesty's Theatre and The Alhambra Palace which he had created from the old Panoptican of Science and Art.
He also managed a travelling Circus, was landlord of the Radnor Tavern, a wine merchant, auctioneer, picture dealer, land agent, bill discounter and proprietor of the Sunday Times. He stood as a candidate in the Bedford Borough elections in 1857 and was said to be the owner of Pennsylvania Castle in Portland, Dorset, although he may only have rented it. Certainly Pennsylvania Castle is listed as one of his residences in the Court Directory of 1859 along with Drury Lodge, Parsons Green, Fulham; Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and 311, High Street High Holborn. However, it is not listed as one of his properties ten years later in the Court Directory of 1869 which lists his interests in Cremorne Gardens, Ashburton House, Chelsea, 1 New Coventry Street, Leicester Square and Tamworth House, Brighton.
Sometime around the middle of the 1850s Edward formed a new relationship with Eveline and they had several children during the fifteen years they were together. There doesn't seem to be a record of marriage between them and, except for the youngest child, none of the children's births appear to have been registered.
In 1861 the couple were living in Priors Bank, Fulham with their son Edward Tyrrell age four, Eveline Tyrrell age three, Marianne age two and six month old baby Julia. It all seemed to be going so well; Edward took over the management of Cremorne Gardens, the popular place of entertainment, and the family moved into Ranelagh House in the Fulham district of Kensington. Then tragedy struck. The children contracted Scarletina, a form of scarlet fever, and little Julia died on the 11th March 1862. She was one year and five months old. Eight days later on the 19th of the same month her brother, four and a half year old Edward Tyrrell, succumbed to the disease.
Cremorne Gardens continued to be a commercial success despite criticisms made largely on social and moral grounds from those attempting to get it closed down.
In 1863 Edward Tyrrell Smith became the lessee of Astley's Theatre for three years until 1866.
He and Eveline had three more children in the next four years, Georgina in 1862, Harry in 1864, Tyrrel in 1865. After a gap of five years another daughter, Louisa Elizabeth, was born 1870 but died in the same year.
The family were all registered together on the 1871 Census at 1 Old Palace, Richmond as were the four servants employed in the capacity of cook, housemaid, nursemaid and page. Whether Edward was actually living with the family is open to question because three months after the Census was taken in April Edward married Isabella Donnison by licence in the Parish Church of St. James, Gravesend on 12th July 1871. He describes himself as a widower and Gentleman. Both declare that they are of "Full" age even though Isabella could only have been eighteen or nineteen at the time of the marriage. Isabella bore ETS two children, a son Edward Tyrrell born 12th April 1872 at York Road, Lambeth and a daughter Emily Tyrrell born 26 Mar 1873 at Oval House, Kennington Park.
Edward Tyrrell Smith died at his house in Kennington Park on 26th November 1877 at the age of seventy four. His death was notified by his mother-in-law Susan Donnison who was in attendance. His occupation is recorded as being a Licensed Victualler. What happened to Isabella is not known. Was her marriage to ETS bigamous? It very likely was because Magdelaine died in Australia only eight months earlier on the 18 March 1877.
Where did all the children go?
Some of ETS's children are lost in the mist of time. Maybe they will surface again through their descendants seeking their roots. Meanwhile the fortunes of a few of them can be traced through the maze of public and private records.
The eldest son of ETS and Magdelaine Gengoult, Edward Tyrrell born 1825, is purported to have become a merchant and emigrated to America where he died.
Louis stayed with his mother and attended St Saviour's Grammar School, Southwark until, on 31st August 1846, he was indentured for five years as an apprentice to Mr Thomas Longmore surgeon and apothecary of Borough Road, Southwark. He then completed eighteen months attendance at Westminster Hospital and was examined, with success, for the Licence of the Society of Apothecaries (LSA) on 22nd April 1852. He seems to have anglicised his baptismal name and appears in the List of Licentiates as Louis Lawrance Smith.
Louis may have already decided to go abroad because he paid the lesser fee of six guineas for his Licence to practice "in the country" rather than the ten Guineas for the right to practice in London.
Soon after he qualified he signed on as ship's doctor on the Oriental bound for Australia and arrived in Melbourne on 11th December 1852. He soon found his feet and initially made a living selling patent medicines and doctoring to the miners in the goldfields.
His mother either travelled with him or joined him soon after.
He married first a Lancashire Lass, Sarah Ann Taylor and they had a large family of some eight to ten children before her death in November 1882. Barely six months later, on 15 May 1883, Louis married Marion Jane Higgens by whom he had four more children. His younger son, Harold Gengoult Smith, born 1890 became Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 1931.
Eveline moved from the house in Richmond and in 1881 was living in Clapham district of Wandsworth with her daughter Eveline and son Tyrrell. It must have been a complete reversal of fortune for the family. A far cry from a decade previously when several servants were kept.
Possibly to help pay the bills Eveline, describing herself as a widow, took in a boarder. Young Eveline was engaged as a Governess in a school and Tyrrell had employment as a house agent's clerk.
In 1889 Eveline left the now depleted family and married George Leslie Bannerman, a Scots born Barrister at Law. The couple lived in Hampstead and appear to have had no children.
What happened to Eveline after that is uncertain but by 1901 George Bannerman has a wife Muriel.
Tyrrell went on to become a solicitor's clerk. Declaring himself a widower he married Edith Rose Maxey in 1899 at St John the Evangelist, Westminster and their son Harold Tyrrell Smith was born in 1900 where they lived in Wandsworth.
Tyrrell was widowed again and married Lilian Pavis, a Builder's daughter twenty years his junior.
Who reared the children of ETS and Isabella is a mystery. They don't appear with any other members of Isabella's family on the 1881 census.
Her son, Edward Tyrrell Smith, became a Licensed Victualler in Walworth, a district of Southwark.
In 1898 he married Alice Douglas the nineteen year old daughter of a silversmith at St Clement Dane, London and a son, Edward Tirrell Archibald was born in Walworth on 19th November 1903 - one hundred years after the birth of his grandfather, the flamboyant ETS.
Edward Tirrell Archibald married Emma Watkins in 1924 in Bridgend, South Wales. It is known that they had two sons, Edward Tirrel Rees Smith born 30 November 1924 who became an engineer and died in Birmingham on 5th September 1992 and Charles Thomas Smith born 1934 in Bromley.
Little is known of Emily save that she married Charles Frederick King a Master Smith in 1903 at the age of thirty
Lyrebird Rising, Jim Davidson, Amadeus Press 1994
Will of Edward Tyrrell Smith PCC 1824
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18300415-6 15th April, 1830
History of the London Stage and its Players,1576-1903, by H Barto Baker, 2nd Edn, Jan 1904 pages 100-101
Dee Cook MA DARM RMSA, Archivist, Society of Apothecaries, Apothecaries' Hall, Black Friars Lane,London EC4V 6EJ
Censuses for 1841,1851,1871,1881,1891,1901
Birth, marriage and death records.
F Boas, Modern English Biography, v6, 1892 -1921
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