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After the Peninsula War, Henry’s father, John Drake, was listed in the Army Lists as being on half pay by 1822. Henry’s sister, Caroline, was born in Everett Street, Bloomsbury, Middlesex, on 12 June 1816, as was Charlotte Augusta, on 30 April 1818. 1 The youngest sister, Maria Harriet, also known as Molly, was born at Kirdford, Sussex, on 17 January 1821. 2
Also living in Kirdford around that time was John Drake’s friend and colleague from his Peninsular War days, Deputy Commissary-General Gregory Haines. 3 On 13 December 1854, Henry remarked to Louisa about meeting one of his childhood playmates in Balaklava, writing:
By the by Col: Haines 4 21st Foot is made Commandant of Balaklava 14/6 per day – He was President of our Board yesterday. I called on him & renewed our old Acquaintance – He was very Cordial indeed & we talked over old Kirdford times – We shall have much to do with each other now & it is just as well we know each other.
I have not been able to find out where Henry Drake attended school. I know his brother, John Minshull Drake, went to Westminster School in London, having been admitted on 12 January 1818, as he is listed in Volume 1 of The Record of Old Westminsters.
John Drake served in Jamaica from 1823 to 1826, and the West Indies (Barbados) from 1827 to 1833. In October 1827, his mother, Sarah, 5 wrote to him. John had obviously asked his mother about the possibility of obtaining a position with the Honourable East India Company for young Henry, through the patronage of Matthew White, his aunt Sarah’s husband. 6 It seems likely that Henry’s brother, Ensign John Minshull Drake, had obtained his position with the Bengal Army through the patronage of Matthew White. Unfortunately, John Drake’s hopes were dashed, with his mother saying:
No letter yet from Mr. White, 7 I fear (if you want it) that there is very little chance of your getting a cadetship through him as his long absence and inattention to India affairs (now that his own turn is served) has lost his Interest there, indeed no body seems to know anything about him, it is wonderful that such a man should be lost to the world.
John Drake was placed on half pay again from 1836, at which stage he probably returned to England. By the time of the 1841 Census, John Drake and his family were living in Culver Street, Chudleigh, Devon. 8 It was here that his daughter, Caroline, met her husband, Dr. Bernard Manning Browne. Their marriage notice in the Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post of 4 February 1836 read as follows:
MARRIED. Jan. 26, at Exmouth, Bernard Browne, Esq., of Chudleigh, to Caroline, eldest daughter of Commissary General Drake. 9
By 1846 John Drake and his family had moved to Dawlish, Devon. This location was noted when Henry’s promotion to Assistant Commissary General was published in the Woolmer’s Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 10 as well as when Henry’s brother, John Minshull Drake, was appointed as Superintendent of the Oude Frontier Police. 11 And in 1849 John Drake was still in Dawlish, Devon, because this is where he was living when he found out that he had received “the Peninsular Medal for his services there during the war”. 12
By the time of the 1851 Census John Drake and his family was living at Vendome Cottage, in the parish of St Pancras, Middlesex. 13 Henry Drake noted in his Journal on 26 June 1856 that he had written a letter to his father to ask if he wanted to buy “Vendome.” On 2 September 1856 Henry noted that the “C.G. [as Henry called his father] paid for his house, Vendome Cottage £500.” Vendome Cottage had been offered for sale on 14 June 1856, 14 being described as follows:
Park-village east. – A desirable Semi-detached Residence. – By Order of the Trustees under a Deed of Settlement.
MESSRS. PRICE and CLARK will SELL by AUCTION, at Garraway’s, on Tuesday, July 1, at 12 for 1, a very comfortable RESIDENCE, on a small scale, known as Vendome Cottage, Park-village-east, Regent’s-park, close to Glocester-gate, containing drawing, dining, and breakfast rooms, convenient bed chambers, and good domestic offices. It is now in the occupation of a highly respectable tenant at a rental of £60 per annum, and is held for a long term of years at a ground rent of £10 per annum. The residence may be viewed by permission of the tenant, and particulars had of J. Edwards, Esq., solicitor, 39, Lothbury: the Victoria Tavern, Mornington-road; and at the offices of Messrs. Price and Clark, 48, Chancery-lane.
In 1861 John Drake and family were listed as living at 27 Park Village East, Regent’s Park. 15 It seems to me that Vendome Cottage and 27 Park Village East may be one and the same place, with John Drake having been the “highly respectable tenant”, who then bought the house when it came up for sale.
|28 Park Village East, Regent’s park
©Alun Stevens 2005
|It seems No. 27 was demolished for the railway and Euston Station
©Alun Stevens 2005
(Interestingly, when I was showing these pictures to a friend of mine, she told me that she had worked as an au pair at 28 Park Village East.)
So, now we know a little more about where Henry Drake lived in his youth – Kirdford, Jamaica, and Barbados. By 1841, he had already married and was living in Perth, Western Australia. We also know where his parents, John and Maria Drake, were living.
1. Ancestry.com. London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Board of Guardian Records, 1834-1906 and Church of England Parish Registers, 1754-1906. London Metropolitan Archives, London.▲
2. Ancestry.com. England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.▲
3. Gregory Haines (1778-1853) and his wife, Harriet Eldridge (1877-1868).
DIED. On the 3d inst., at No. 8, Belvidere-place, Dublin, Commissary General Haines, C.B. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Morning Chronicle [London, England] 8 Aug. 1853: n.p. British Library Newspapers. Web. 20 Apr. 2018.]
DEATHS. HAINES. – On the 11th inst., at Dublin, Harriet, the widow of the late Commissary-General J. [sic] Haines, C.B., in her 92nd year. [“Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Pall Mall Gazette [London, England] 15 Sept. 1868: n.p. British Library Newspapers. Web. 20 Apr. 2018.]▲
4. Col. Frederick Paul Haines (1819-1909), 21st Regiment of Foot (Royal North British Fusiliers).
DEATHS. HAINES. – On the 11th inst., at 123, Pall-mall, FIELD-MARSHAL SIR FREDERICK PAUL HAINES, G.C.B., G.C.S.I., C.I.E., after a short illness, in his 90th year. Funeral arrangements will be announced later. [“Deaths.” Times [London, England] 14 June 1909: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 July 2013.]▲
5. Sarah Drake (née Chadder) (1743-1830).▲
6. Matthew White (1764-1840), and his wife, Sarah (née Drake) (1772-1828).▲
7. Matthew White was a man of influence, and had been British Member of Parliament for Hythe on two occasions, 1802-1806 and 1812-1818, so he had “served his turn”. “On 15 Sept. 1802 White’s friend Starling Day of Norwich recommended him to Lord Hobart for an introduction to Castlereagh, then at the head of the Board of Control, stating that White was ‘largely connected in the India business, but not a director’ and was, moreover, ‘an intelligent man and one whose knowledge of India affairs will render him serviceable in the lower Houses.’” – See http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1790-1820/member/white-matthew-1766-1840, accessed 27 July 2013.▲
8. Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 219; Book: 11; Civil Parish: Chudleigh; County: Devon; Enumeration District: 6; Folio: 6; Page: 6; Line: 20; GSU roll: 241310. Source Information:Ancestry.com. 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1841. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England.▲
9. “Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries.” Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser [Exeter, England] 4 Feb. 1836: n.p. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 31 July 2013.▲
10. The London Gazette of Tuesday contains a list of promotions in the Commissariat Department; among which is Deputy Assistant Commissary General Wm. Henry Drake, son of Commissary Drake of Dawlish, to be Assistant Commissary General; … [“News.” Woolmer’s Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, etc [Exeter, England] 3 Jan. 1846: 3. British Library Newspapers. Web. 4 Feb. 2017.]▲
11. We extract the following notice from the Overland Calcutta Englishman of the 15th February: – “Notification. – Frontier Department, Ferozepore, 3rd Feb. – The Governor General is pleased to appoint Captain John Marshall [sic] Drake, of the 46th Native Infantry, to act for Captain Hollings, as Superintendent of the Oude Frontier Police, and Assistant to the Superintendent for the suppression of “Thuggy,” as a temporary arrangement. Captain Drake is a son of Commissary General Drake, of Dawlish, and brother of Assistant Commissary General Drake, lately appointed to the Staff at Van Diemen’s Land. [“Western Railways.” Woolmer’s Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, etc [Exeter, England] 4 Apr. 1846: 3. British Library Newspapers. Web. 4 Feb. 2017.]▲
12. THE PENINSULAR MEDAL. – Several of the Peninsular Medals have been received in this neighbourhood, but as they are distributed alphabetically we can only as yet record a few of them. … Commissary General Drake, residing at Dawlish, has also been awarded the Peninsular Medal for his services there during the war. [“THE COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ON THE BANK ACT OF 1844.” Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser [Exeter, England] 22 Feb. 1849: n.p. British Library Newspapers. Web. 18 Apr. 2018.]▲
13. Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 1493; Folio: 702; Page: 23; GSU roll: 87822-87823. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1851. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England.▲
14. Vendome Cottage. – “Freehold, Ground Rents, on the Arundel Estate, between Kingsland-.” Times [London, England] 14 June 1856: 14. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.▲
15. Source Citation: Class: RG 9; Piece: 97; Folio: 89; Page: 1; GSU roll: 542573. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1861 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1861. Data imaged from The National Archives, London, England.▲
©Megan Stevens 2018