The clerical connection

John Maynard Keynes published an obituary to his mentor and teacher, Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), in The Economics Journal a few months after Alfred’s death. In the introduction to this obituary, he wrote that, “The Marshalls were a clerical family of the West, sprung from William Marshall, incumbent of Saltash, Cornwall, at the end of the seventeenth century.”

This prompted me to explore the Marshall lines of descent to see how extensive this clerical connection actually was. In the end, I found eleven clergymen in Alfred Marshall’s direct ancestry:

  • Rev. John Marshall (1728-1799), Alfred’s great-grandfather, Rector of St John’s and St George’s, Exeter; Master, Exeter Free Grammar School. (Listed by Keynes.)
  • Rev. William Marshall (1677-1756), Alfred’s great-great-grandfather, Rector of Ashprington, Devon. (Listed by Keynes.)
  • Rev. Charles Hawtrey (1687-1770), Alfred’s great-great-grandfather, Rector of Heavitree, Sub-Dean of Exeter. (Listed by Keynes.)
  • Rev. Edward Hawtrey (1605-1669), Alfred’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, rector of Denham, Buckinghamshire.
  • Rev. John Hawtrey (1645-1715), Alfred’s great-great-great-grandfather, vicar of Sanderstead, Surrey and of Mapledurham, Oxfordshire.
  • Rev. Richard Sleech (1675-1730), Alfred’s great-great-great-grandfather, Canon of Windsor.
  • Rev. William Thornton (1669-1718), Alfred’s great-great-great-grandfather, Rector of Birkin and Clapham.
  • Rev. Robert Thornton (1623-1698), Alfred’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, Rector of Birkin, Yorkshire.
  • Rev. Robert Thornton (~1597-1665), Alfred’s great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Rector of Birkin, Yorkshire.
  • Rev. Nicholas Upman (married 1640), Alfred’s great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, of Westminster.
  • Rev. Stephen Upman (1643-1707), Alfred’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, Prebendary of Westminster, Rector of Stamford.

I also looked into the wider family because the Marshall, Hawtrey, Bentall, Sleech, and Thornton families, largely of the West of England, were extensively interconnected and intermarried over many generations. They produced many clerics. I found sixty-six clergymen amongst this wider group of ancestors.

I also found seventeen clerics amongst the family connections who were contemporaries of Alfred’s.

Keynes’s statement summarised the family’s connection to the Church quite succinctly.

Full details of my research can be found HERE.

©Megan Stevens 2018

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