Rev Peregrine Curtois

A picture of Rev Perergine Curtois

Of the Longhills, Branston. Born at Branston Rectory 4 April 1775, son of Rev Peregrine Harrison Curtois, and died at the Longhills 8 January 1847. Buried in Branston Church. LLB from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1800. Took up his freedom of the City of Lincoln 'by birth' 29 October 1806. Ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Lincoln at Buckden, Hunts., 16 December 1798, and Priest (same place and bishop) 1 March 1801. Curate at Potterhanworth 16 December 1798 (on a stipend of £60); Bardney 1800-1801; at Coleby 1801-1808. Rector of Potterhanworth on the resignation of his father 13 March 1801-1847 (patron: The Lord Chancellor); of Branston 1 March 1815 - 1847 (patron: himself), the fourth of the family to be so. Erected Branston church vestry in 1836, and rebuilt Longhills House for £40000 in 1838 with money from his cousin Dr Willis. In his will of 1835 he left £20000 in stock to each of his daughters, set up a trust fund of £16000 for his eldest son Peregrine, and left pretty much everything else to his younger son Atwill. Here is a letter from the Bishop allowing him to live at Longhills, and here is a letter to the Bishop from a disgruntled parishioner. More about Longhills.

This very wealthy, and highly Conservative clergyman, the fortunate heir to a large portion of the immense wealth left by the late Dr. Willis, and proprietor of the splendid mansion called 'Long-hills' lately erected near Branston, possesses two valuable rectories—Branston, set down at 677l., and Potterhanworth, set down at 665l. per annum. Instead of 1342l., there is not the smallest doubt that the two benefices are worth 2500l. per annum. A son of the rev. gent. is curate at Branston. {From the Stamford Mercury, Friday 26 October 1838.}
In addition to the huge rejoicings we had in Lincoln on the coronation-day, most of the surrounding villages had their feasts. The bakers and grocers of our city were full of orders for currants and raisins and bread. We have great pleasure in bearing testimony to the hearty English feeling displayed by several of the village Clergy on this occasion, many of whom enlivened the scenes of rustic festivity with their presence. Poor Branston, however, amongst our neighbouring villages, was left in solitary sorrow! The Rev. Peregrine Curtois, with his immense wealth, and large emoluments in the church, could not afford, it seems, to give a trifle towards gladdening the hearts of his poor parishioners with either good cheer or loyalty on the occasion of the coronation of his sovereign. {From the Stamford Mercury, Friday 6 July 1838.}
AN ENGLISH YEOMAN. In the course of the polling at Lincoln, during the county election, the following dialogue took place, on a voter from Branston, near Lincoln, presenting himself to record his vote. Most of the voters in this parish are under the screw of the parson, the Rev. Peregrine Curtis, and the instance we are about to quote, demonstrates pretty plainly the state of blissful ignorance in which these parsons and squires generally keep the voters who are under their thumbs: Question. For whom do you vote? Answer. Why I shall gi'e Billy Ingilby wun. Q. Well, do you vote for any one else? A. I reckon I can do as I leek aboot that. Q.- Well sir, whom else do you vote for? The candidates are Sir Wm. Ingilby, the Hon. C.A. Pelham, and Sir Robert Sheffield. A. Why, (hesitating and scratching his head). I doant noa exactly. Q, Come, come, sir, let us have no more nonsense. For whom do you vote? A. Why, for Parson Curtis's intrust. The candidates were then named again and again, but the fellow actually did not know which was "Parson Curtis's intrust," and the High Sheriff completely baffled him, by saying that "Parson Curtis was not a candidate, therefore he could not vote for him. In the midst of his trouble, the poor fellow, wanted to leave the booth to makethe necessary inquiry of the parson, but the Sheriff reminded him that he had recorded one vote for Sir Wm. Ingilby, and if he meant to vote for any one else, he must do so before he left the spot. " I tell ye," replied the man, " I'll be dd if I noa which is rait un, for I ne'er noad his name, it's Parson Curtis's intrust I vote for." The court was convulsed with laughter, and the vote was recorded a plumper for Ingilby. Not much for Parson Curtis's intrust, by the bye. Stamford News. {Leicester Chronicle, Saturday 19 January 1833.}
A DANIEL COME TO JUDGMENT.-The Rev. Peregrine Curtois, of Branston, is celebrated for his discerning decisions on the bench. Robert Herd is a farmer in his neighbourhood, tenanting a house with about sixty acres of land attached, the property of Mr. Ward, nephew of the late Alderman Robt Fowler. Herd has duly paid the Justice Parson his tithes, but that has not satisfied his Reverence: he wished also to influence his parishioner's votes. Yet as Herd and his landlord were of the same radical colour, the former was not quite willing to humour his Reverence in a matter wherewith it seemed to the farmer, Parsons ought not to busy themselves. The Parliamentary elections are past, and the season of sheep-worrying is come. Mr. Towler, of Branston, had eleven sheep much damaged a short time ago; and as a carpenter's dog in the village had been seen to worry one of the clergyman's sheep, it was natural to suppose this to be the guilty dog in Towler's case: but no: Herd had a dog; and in the month of August he had possessed another dog; and now, two witnesses were found who swore that they saw these two dogs worry Towler's sheep, the preceding midnight. The fact that one of the dogs died on the 16th of last August puzzled his Reverence a little on receiving this evidence: and when two witnesses swore, on the other hand, that the remaining dog had been tied up all night, and one of them swore that he had untied him with his own hand at five o'clock in the morning succeeding the sheep-worrying, his Reverence was still more puzzled. But no matter: he ordered the remaining dog to be shot, immediately. Herd was fond of his dog, for it was a valuable one, and said he would rather pay 10l. than lose it. Justice Curtois, however, persevered in insisting on its being shot. "The dog is as innocent as I am," said Herd; "and if this evidence had been received against me, under the same contradictory circumstances, what would you have done to me ?" "I should condemn you," replied the Justice. The dog was taken away to be shot: upwards of a dozen farmers who were present at the examination, declaring unanimously that they believed the animal was innocent.{Stamford Mercury, Friday 16 February 1838.}

Married at Edmonton parish church, Middlesex, on 22 December 1802, Anne, 5th and youngest daughter of Sir James Winter Lake, 3rd Baronet of Edmonton, by his wife Joyce, daughter of John Crowther of Bow. She was born in 1778 and died at Branston Hall 30 November 1810, five days after giving birth to her youngest child; in child-bed, as the Manchester Guardian put it. Buried in the chancel of Branston Church.

DIED. On Friday morning last, at Branston Hall, near this city, aged 32, Mrs. Curtois, wife of the Rev. P. Curtois, jun. By this calamitous event an excellent husband has been deprived of a kind and affectionate wife, five small children of a tender and indulgent parent, a large circle of friends of a most amiable acquaintance, and society of one of its most finished and accomplished ornaments. Mrs. Curtois was the daughter of the late Sir James Lake, and sister to the present Baronet. {Stamford Mercury, Friday 7 December 1810.}

Issue four daughters and two sons:

  1. Jessie Annie Curtois, born and died at Branston Hall 19 and 20 September 1803.

  2. Barbera Anne Curtois, born 3 January 1805 at Branston Hall and died at her house in London (27 P(D?)orchester Square in the 1871 census) 23 June 1873. Buried in Kensal Green Cemetery 27 June 1873.

    Married at Branston 11 October 1849, Captain William Allen Herringham R.N., who had been present at Trafalgar. He was born 7 June 1790, the son of the Rev. William Herringham, Canon of St Paul's, by Anne, daughter of the Rev. William Woodrooffe, Rector of Cranham, Essex. Died in London 27 December 1865, and buried in Kensal Green cemetery.

  3. Peregrine Curtois, born 10 May 1806 at Branston Hall.

  4. Mary (May) Curtois, born 27 November 1807 at Branston Hall and died unmarried in London 12 January 1891. Buried in the Kensal Green Cemetery. It is said that she wanted to marry her first cousin, Rev Chauncey Hare Townsend, poet and mesmerist, but that the parents disapproved so he married elsewhere. In late life the cousins lived in adjoining villas on the Riviera, May acting as his hostess.

  5. Atwill Curtois, born at Branston 8 November 1809.

  6. Anne Curtois, born at Branston Hall 25 November 1810, and died (on the same day as her father) 8 January 1847 at Masulipitam, Tamil Nadu, India. It is said that her father wanted her to marry her husband's elder brother (later the 5th Baronet), but she ran away with his younger brother, then a subaltern. Issue two sons and a daughter.

    Married at Branston 22 April 1841, her cousin Captain Sir Henry Atwill Lake, 3rd son of Sir James Samuel Winter Lake, 4th Baronet of Edmonton. A Captain in the Corps of Engineers in the Madras Army, he was born 25 December 1808 and died at Brighton 17 1881, and is buried at Hove parish church. He was Colonel A. D. C. to the Queen, distinguished at Kars (in the Crimean War), an Officer of the Legion of Honour and K. C. B. He married secondly, 22 Feb 1848, Anne Augusta, daughter of Sir William Curtis, Bart.

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