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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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Edward a Gentleman and an Officer
 

 

Edward was the second son of Charles Bowdler Muckleston a Grocer of Shrewsbury. He was baptised on 28th May 1790 at St Julians parish church in Shrewsbury. In 1806 Charles Bowdler Muckleston died at the early age of 39 and as a result his oldest son Charles became head of the household and inherited the greater part of the family estate. Edward, as the second son, was left a house in Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury and land in Montgomery.

 

On the 14th December 1808 at the age of 18 Edward was appointed to the 25th Regiment of Foot as an Ensign. This regiment was also known as the “Kings Own Borderers”. An Ensign was the lowest commissioned rank in the British Army and as well as having to buy the commission, letters of recommendation from influential persons would have been produced along with Edwards application to join this regiment . He would also have to give his reasons for selecting the particular regiment he wanted to join.

 

In January 1809 the monthly return of the 2nd Battalion of the 25th showed Edward Muckleston as absent without leave. The reason given was that he had not joined since his appointment and a note was made that he had been “wrote to, to join”.

 

By the 1st February Edward had joined the Battalion which was quartered at Glasgow in Scotland. With the Napoleonic Wars in full swing Edward's first duty was to recruit men for the regiment and in May he was to be found recruiting in Preston, Lancashire where he remained until August. He then moved on to Newcastle under Lyme in Staffordshire where he continued to recruit until March 1810.

 

At the end of his term recruiting Edward was given orders to join the 1st Battalion of the 25th Regiment which was based at St Christopher in the West Indies. The war between the French and British was also taking place in the Caribbean with the strategic Island of Guadeloupe being captured from the French by the British in February 1810. To continue the offensive more troops were required from the mainland. A long sea journey ensued with Edward arriving at the battalions’ headquarters in February 1811.

 

Edward remained in the West Indies until November 1811 serving at St Christopher and the nearby island of St Eustatius. During his time in the West Indies he was promoted to Lieutenant and from the letters surrounding his promotion we get just a hint of Edwards character.

 

As with all commissions, a Lieutenancy would have to be purchased and the following letters were found at the Public Record Office relating to Edwards new commission:-

 

Paddington Barracks. 26th March 1811.

 

Sir

 

I beg you will be pleased to be able to obtain for me His Majesty’s consent to the sale of my Ensigncy and Lieutenancy. In case his Majesty shall be graciously pleased to permit the same I do declare and certify upon the word and honour of an officer and a gentleman that I have not demanded, or accepted, neither will I demand or accept directly or indirectly, at any time or in any manner whatever, more than the sum of £550 being the price limited and fixed by His Majesties regulators as the full value of the said commission. I have the honour to be Sir, your most obedient humble servant.

 

Alex Browne Baxter Lieut 25th Foot.

 

Park Place. St James. 25th April 1811.

 

We beg leave to transmit herewith the memorial of Lieut. Baxter of the 25th Regiment for permission to retire from the service selling his commission which we are to request you will be pleased to lay before his Excellency the Commander in Chief. We have the honour to be Sir Your Hble Servant.

 

Nash V Geo Collyer

 

Colonel Porrens

Park Place. St James. 17th June 1811.

Sir

 

We beg leave to transmit to you the annexed copy of a letter from Ensign Muckleston of the 25th Foot complaining of having been passed over in promotion by purchase – his money being ready for the step. In our letter to you dated 22nd February we stated that the purchase money was ready for Mr Muckleston – yours in reply informed us that he had declined to purchase. We beg leave to add that the purchase money is now ready for that officers promotion vice baxter which is submitted for his Royal Highness the Commander in Chiefs consideration.

 

We have the honour to be Sir Your Obed Hble Servant.

 

Nash V Geo Collyer.

 

 

Colonel Porrens

 

St Kitts. May 3rd 1811.

Gentn.

 

Finding of the Gazette of the 20th March that Ensign Jas Blagg has procured Mr Perrots Lieutenancy. I beg leave to remind you of a letter which I received some time since in answer to one which I sent to Preston wherein you stated that all you required was to let you know when the money was to have been had in the event of a Lieutenancy being for sale in the 25th Regiment as the money would have been lodged in your hand immediately, now in the present case. I consider myself ill used for if you applied when you were informed by my letter to you I am certain the money could have been had without trouble and if you did not apply it has been the means of my losing the Lieutenancy through your neglect and as such I shall report it to the Colonel of the Regiment General Fitzroy. I beg leave to obtain a reply on the subject in course of post as I may know the reason why I have been used in such a manner.

 

I have the honour to be Gentn.

 

Edward Muckleston Ensign 25th Foot

 

[On the back of the above letter is written]

 

Major Collyer. Park Place. July the ??

 

On the 24th December 1809 the return from the 2nd Battalion of the 25th Regiment particularly states Ensign Muckleston declined to purchase from that time his name has been omitted in the returns from the 2nd Battalion and no return has been returned from the 1st Battalion nothing was known of the intention of Ensign Muckleston to purchase until after the Colonel in Chief had approved of Ensign Blagg succeeding to a Lieutenancy by purchase and then the agents stated that he would purchase which was not agreed to as his name had not been given in at the proper time.

 

There is a Lieutenancy now for sale in the 25th and Ensign Parker has been written to for his money but it is not lodged Ensign Muckleston is senior to Parker – should he succeed to this vacancy.

 

Ensign Hevleden who is the senior Ensign in the Regiment was formerly stated by the agents as a purchaser but afterwards sent in his resignation and has since been allowed to withdraw it and it is not known whether he is inclined to purchase.

 

Ensign M. To be recommended for the post of Lieutcy.

 

A mix up in paper work? Or an indecisive Edward Muckleston? He was certainly upset at being “ill used”.

 

Edward's older brother Charles had died aged 22 in July 1810 at which time Edward was en route for the West Indies. As requested in their fathers will, in this eventually, the bulk of their fathers’ then estate passed to Edward. There is a strong probability that in 1809 when Edward allegedly declined to purchase a commission that he did not have the money, however, on the death of his brother he was obviously in a far better position financially.

 

Edward was first shown as a Lieutenant in the Monthly Returns of the 1st Battalion in November 1811 at which time he was also ordered to rejoin the 2nd Battalion again in Glasgow.

 

Edward arrived back in Glasgow in March 1812 slightly quicker than his outward journey and once again he was sent to recruit, this time at Wolverhampton where he stayed from April 1812 until April 1813.

 

During this period Wellington was having success after success against the French army in Spain and the French had turned their attention to Russia. They did not count on the freezing winters and the war weary French troops were abandoning the army in droves. It was now time to end the war and a large number of battalions were ordered into Europe amongst these were the 25th Foot.

 

On the 24th May 1813 Edward was with his regiment based at Ipswich and on the 25th they marched to Woodbridge where a depot was set up. In July the majority of the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment was on board the Baring transport ship, Edward however, was one of six officers who remained at the Woodbridge depot. The regiment fought at such places at Stralsund, Barth, Rostock, Klundent, Roosenddal, Worouhout, Stabrack, Schield and Antwerp, finally joining Wellington at Brussels. Meanwhile, Edward and his fellow officers moved the depot to Berwick on Tweed. Regiment casualties in Europe were an average of two dead and one deserter each month. From time to time soldiers from the depot would join the regiment in Europe.

 

On the 18th of June one of the bloodiest battles of the Napoleonic Wars took place – “The Battle of Waterloo” where very heavy losses were sustained. As a result Edward was ordered to join the regiment in Brussels. Edward duly arrived in Brussels on the 24th July 1815, 9 days after Napoleon had surrendered!

 

He remained in Brussels with the 2nd Battalion until December 1815 when they set sail for Ireland to disband arriving in Cork in early February 1816. Edward was granted leave to attend to “Private Affairs” from 18th February to 25th April and this was later extended to 24th July. On the 25th July Edward had rejoined his Regiment (now consisting of just one Battalion) which was by then in Southampton.

 

The reason for his leave is unclear, no close family member is known to have died at this time. His only surviving brother had died the previous October aged just 17 leaving his mother and married sister as his only remaining family.

 

Edward was shown as doing duty with the regiment as it moved around various barracks, Winchester (August to October 1816), Bristol (November and December 1816), and Weedon (February to July 1817). In the monthly returns for the regiment in August 1817 under “movements” Lieutenant Edward Muckleston was transferred to half pay and returned home.  Not quite 9 years in the army aged 27 and a Lieutenant it was time to pick up life in Shropshire.

 

One of Edwards daughters produced a family tree (which can be seen in the Shropshire Record Office) and on it she made the notation that her father had been encouraged to leave the army by his “millionaire” cousin Joseph Muckleston who promised to make him one of his heirs. [Joseph left Edward only a small legacy].

 

Edward now returned to civilian life in Shrewsbury maintaining the title of Lieutenant (although on occasions he was referred to as Captain Muckleston) and continued to draw half pay from the army which was his right until he sold his commission.

 

He married Elizabeth the only daughter of Thomas Jeffreys of Salop and sister and sole heir to Thomas Jeffreys of Liverpool on the 18thSeptember 1818. Together they produced three children a boy and two girls and Edward now a Gentleman and head of this particular branch of the family became a Magistrate.

 

In the Warwickshire County Record Office are household accounts deposited from his sons parish when he was Rector of Haseley Parish in Warwickshire. Amongst these papers is listed “Accounts mostly household of Lieutenant Edward Muckleston, Acting Paymaster, Depot 25th Regiment of Foot or Kings Own Borderers. The beginning of the first volume contains accounts of all expenditure of all public monies. He clearly kept his contact with his former regiment, even if it was just in an administrative way.

 

For a period Edward and his family lived at Bicton House, this was from at least 1825 until the house was put up for sale on 30th October 1830. It was a lovely property with lots of land which he almost certainly rented and you can well imagine the life he led while living there.

 

 

PARTICULARS

Of a most eligible

Freehold property

FORMING A

MOST DESIRABLE RESIDENCE

CALLED

Bicton House

AND

Upwards of Eighty Acres

OF LAND,

Which will be Sold by Auction,

BY

MR. PERRY,

AT THE

LION INN, SHREWSBURY,

On Saturday, 30th October 1830,

Between the Hours of Four and Five.

~~~~~~~~~~

Howell, Shrewsbury

The above is a transcript of the cover of the particulars of sale of Bicton House and Farm.

PARTICULARS, &c.

 

Lot 1.

 

ALL that capital MANSION HOUSE, with Coach House, Stabling, Barn, Buildings and Offices, Gardens, Orchard, Plantations, Pleasure Grounds, Lawn, Meadows, Pasture and Arable Land, Cottages with Gardens, now in the Occupation of EDWARD MUCKLESTON, Esq., (who has notice to quit at Lady Day next) within a Ring Fence, in the Centre of the Shropshire Hunt, near a pack of Harriers, only three miles from Shrewsbury, on the great Holyhead Road.

 

Currently Bicton House carries out trade as a Bed and Breakfast accommodation with camping and country pursuits.

Engraving circa 1830 to 1832.

 

By 1835 Edward and his family were living at Quarry Place in Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury is fortunate to have its own beautiful, 29-acre parkland known as The Quarry. The Quarry used to be a rough place, where tanneries were sited and stone was dug and the local women used to do their washing. The good gentlefolk of Shrewsbury were having none of it, though, and decided instead to create a riverside promenade for their refined Regency ladies. It is still used for precisely the same purpose. Things change slowly in Shropshire.

 

The Quarry is the perfect place to relax, enjoy walks, picnic, or to let off steam, and has been the towns most important site for recreation since the 16th Century. At its centre lies the Dingle, a formal floral masterpiece created by world renowned gardener Percy Thrower - during his 28 years here as the towns Parks Superintendent. Each year the Shrewsbury Flower Show takes place in the Quarry.

 

Quarry Place adjoins the quarry. The buildings are built of red sandstone and are Regency in design. The film “A Christmas Carol” starring George C Scott was filmed in Quarry Place using the outside of the properties in street scenes. Today many of the big old houses have been converted into apartments and shops. Those which are still complete houses change hands for just under half a million pounds each.

 

Edward had two daughters Elizabeth born in 1820 and Mary Louisa born in 1825. We are not sure to which daughter this letter was sent. Elizabeth made a good marriage but Mary remained a spinster.

 

Letter to Miss Muckleston - Quarry Place Shrewsbury from Edward Muckleston Nov. 18th 1836.

 

My Dear Child,

 

I received your letter yesterday, I was extremely happy to receive so favourable account of your dear brother, which will enable him to pursue his studies and as his time is of the greatest consequence it will be of the utmost importance for him not to lose a moment and I feel confident now he is to come to a desirable age, he sees the value of time in the same light that I do and will employ it to his future advantage this life, and my sweet girl the same language is applicable to you, as in two years you will be considered a woman and must act accordingly. If then you consider the short period you have to finish your accomplishments you will not (for your own sake) fail to receive any good advice that may be offered by your dear mama or myself, well knowing what a great interest we feel for your happiness. I believe that the foundation of employing time to advantage is to be an early bird, and if possible to take a bath before breakfast, as that will contribute to your health, and enable you to follow your different avocations with pleasure and advantage, It will likewise give you strength in your carriage. If bathing is of great importance at your age, for your good or bad appearance suffice will entirely depend on it and I am sorry to observe that your bath does not please me, you **** out your [paper torn] too much, I find your body to **** which gives you an ungraceful appearance, and as now is the only and golden time to correct such a material fault. I must beg of you to be particularly attentive, or you will seriously repent it in after life, when it will be too late to apply a remedy. I feel very grateful to providence that you and your sweet sister all so far recovered from the measles and I think with continued care you will neither receive any ill effects, you must also impress it on your brother to be very careful not to take cold, as it may make him very wretched and uncomfortable all winter and as we cannot depend upon the weather at this season of the year, it will behold you all to act accordingly. And now God help you my dear child in great haste and your very affectionate father.

 

                                    Edwd. Muckleston

 

This letter was found amongst documents given to Shropshire Record Office by John Corbett Muckleston the Great Grandson of the writer of this letter, also amongst the documents was a beautiful family tree drawn up by Mary Louise Muckleston the youngest daughter of Edward Muckleston. Edward's army training obviously made him a stickler for cleanliness. Also amongst the documents is a letter from Edward in 1846, to Lyon (Elizabeth’s husband) congratulating him on the birth of his daughter and mentioning the farming situation - unfortunately most of the letter is unreadable.

 

Edward had been sworn a Burgess of Shrewsbury in 1812 and became a Justice of the Peace (Magistrate) between February 1st 1840 until 1849. A very important person indeed!

 

His wife Elizabeth was the only daughter of Thomas Jeffreys of Willcott, Shropshire, and sister and sole heir of Thomas Jeffreys of Liverpool and therefore almost certainly brought money into the family to add to Edward's wealth.

His son Edward born in 1819, trained for the church at Worcester College at Oxford University. He firstly became Vicar of Ford in Shropshire between 1852 to 1860,  then for a while he had no curacy until settling in Haseley in Warwickshire in 1865 where he was Rector until his death in 1913. He did not marry until he was aged 52 but his wife was much younger just 26 at the time of the marriage and they had 2 children a son and a daughter. A little snippet about this Edward follows:-

“The Reverend Edward Muckleston, Rector of Haseley near Warwick, and a Gentleman named Peake were colliery proprietors at Pontblyddyn (a village about three miles SE of Mold in Clwyd). Mr Peake retired from the partnership leaving the Reverend Edward and his foreman a Mr Guest to carry on the business. In December 1868 the Reverend Edward and Mr Guest (now his partner) purchased another property, near to their colliery, the sale included a tramway and machinery. In order to pay for this transaction a loan of £900 was taken out with the Chester Benefit Building Society. The partners fell into arrears with repayments and the Building Society took possession of the site in June 1869 but relinquished it when payments were brought up to date. In October 1869 the Building Society found that the tramway and the machinery, which formed part of the mortgage (valued at £300), had been sold for £100. The solicitor and accountant for the Building Society obtained a summons against Guest and Reverend Edward on 13th November 1869, but the outcome is unknown.”

 

Eldest Daughter Elizabeth made a good marriage to William Lyon Esq. in 1845, a member of the landed gentry and they lived at Ford Hall in Shropshire with a number of servants and even a governess for her son and two daughters. After her father’s death her mother and unmarried sister moved to live with her. Mary Louisa never married but thanks to her we have a beautifully drawn up family tree including many coats of arms which is deposited at Shropshire Record and Research Office in Shrewsbury.

The census returns for 1841 and 1851 read:-

 

1841

Quarry Place, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

 

Edward Muckleston, Married, Head, 50, Independant means, of this county

Elizabeth Muckleston, married, wife, 50, of this county

Elizabeth Muckleston, unmarried, daughter, 20, of this county

Louisa Muckleston, unmarried, daughter, 15, of this county

Sarah Fleet, servant, 40, female servant, not of this county

Sarah Carswell, servant, 20, female servant, not of this county

 

1851

2 Quarry Place, Shrewsbury

 

Edward Muckleston   Marr    Head               69

Magistrate, Captain in Army on Half Pay      Shrewsbury

Elizabeth Muckleston Marr     Wife                61                                            Shrewsbury

Mary Louisa Muckleston        Unm Dau        24                                            Shrewsbury

George Newnes                      Servant            22  Gentlemans Servant          Battlefield

Ellen Wall                               Servant            20  Housemaid                       

Mary Evans                             Servant            34  Cook                                 Pontesbury

 

 

Edward appears as a Captain in some local directories but unless he bought a further commission (of which there is no evidence), this was probably more wishful thinking than fact.

 

Edward died on 21st June 1851 in Shrewsbury. His death must have been unexpected as he left no will. His widow Elizabeth gained letters of administration and his estate was valued at £3,000.

There is only one non-religious stained-glass window in St Chads Church Shrewsbury. It is large and ornate, and states "In memory of Edward Muckleston Esq of Quarry Place Shrewsbury. Born May 28th 1790; died June 21st 1851".

 

 

 

 

St Chads Church – Shrewsbury

 

(opened 19th August 1792 to replace an old church which collapsed in 1788)