The Marshall Orphans

Charles Henry Marshall and his siblings had eventful early lives. Their parents, William Marshall and Louisa Bentall, married in 1810, just prior to moving to Cape Town where they had four children. They then moved to Mauritius where they had five more children. Only six of the children lived to adulthood, and the family story was that three of those born in Cape Town, Mary, John and Charles, died as infants.

Louisa died in 1823 in Mauritius, after which the family relocated to Leith, Scotland, where William also died in 1828 without leaving a will. The family stories were that this left the children destitute and they had to be supported by their wider family.

William’s probate documents revealed a very different story and prompted further research that provided a lot more information on the family’s time in Cape Town and Mauritius, their return to England, and the support the children received from their wider family after being orphaned in 1828.

From this we see that, although Charles Henry Marshall had travelled the world by the time he was ten and had suffered a great deal of family upheaval, he was still given a solid foundation for life. And there is a link to Burke and Wills.

The probate documents (with transcriptions) and the corrected family story, including some fascinating documents from the Benthall family archive, can be found HERE


©Alun Stevens 2018

One comment

  • Virginia D. Denton

    Hello Megan….I cannot believe how much material you have been gathering…so very interesting to me as I am the descendant of….3: Dr. Richard Marshall (1776-1859); Sally Marshall (née Ford) (~1776-1858); William Marshall (1807-1885); Jane Farwell Marshall (~1809-1865); Ellen Marshall (~1811-1828); Louisa Marshall (later Edgcumbe) (~1812-1880); Mary Ann Marshall (later Thompson) (~1815-1855); Margaret Marshall (born ~1817) [Family chart.] I got my start on the family history from a diary written by my gt grandmother, the daughter of Mary Ann & Edward James Thompson, who also was very interested in her family history & collected all her history by writing to all her known cousins at the time! Happy to say it has all proven out…. You must be in touch with hundreds of people!!!
    Virginia Denton, Victoria, BC

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