Who were the Marshalls?

In preparation for her speech at the 150th anniversary celebration dinner for the Glengallan homestead, Megan drafted this summary of information regarding the Marshalls and their families. It was too long for the dinner and had to be edited to yield the actual speech which can be found HERE.


Many thanks to the Trust for asking me to speak about my great-great-grandparents, Charles Henry Marshall and Charlotte Augusta Dring Drake, this evening.

I find it quite amazing to be standing here, close to where my great-grandmother, Charlotte Louisa Marshall, was born in February 1859.

I have been researching the Marshall family since the late 1980s when my family and I lived in Brisbane. I am currently transcribing the hundreds of letters pertaining to them and their involvement on Glengallan which were deposited in the John Oxley Library in Brisbane by the Slade family. William Ball Slade’s intelligence, attention to detail, and punctilious record keeping pervades all these documents.

I thought I would give you a quick overview of Charles and Charlotte’s families, before telling you about their courtship and marriage, and what brought them to Glengallan in 1858.

Both Charles and Charlotte were products the British Empire, and had close family associations with Totnes in Devon.

The Marshall family

Charles’s father, William, was born in Devon, England, in 1780, and started his working life by joining the Honourable East India Company, rising from acting as the Captain’s servant on board the Brunswick in 1794 to Chief Mate on board the Canton in 1809. After resigning from the East India Company, he married Louisa Bentall in Totnes in 1810, and joined the British Army, working as Paymaster at the Cape of Good Hope and Mauritius. He then joined the Mauritian Police Force as joint Commissary General of Police in 1818, incurring the wrath of Mauritian locals by taking away their slaves. Charles was born at Mauritius, in 1818.

In 1821 the two older sons, William junior and John, returned to England, probably for schooling. An ill-advised investment dented William senior’s prospects at Mauritius, and he returned to England, probably after the birth of their 9th child, Thornton, in 1822. Things took a turn for the worse for the family in March 1823, when Louisa died at Mauritius, aged 39, probably as a result of the cholera epidemic which ravaged the island at that time. By this time, William senior was working as a merchant in Leith, Scotland. The five younger children, including Charles, returned over a year later in June 1824 to join William and his two older sons in England. A letter written from London by a concerned relative noted that “the poor children” would be arriving within a few days, with only a “Negro woman” accompanying them. We know from various sources that the children then lived and went to school in Leith.

In 1827 William changed jobs again, taking up a position with the South Devon Marine Insurance Company, which was founded by some of his relatives in Totnes. And then, in January 1828, he died suddenly, aged 48, without making a will. Once again, the families from Devon rallied round the children, making sure that they would be cared for by members of the large extended families of William and Louisa Marshall. The probate of William’s estate makes very interesting reading, and includes a poignant reference to the children electing their uncle, John Bentall, as guardian of the inheritance from their father, which left the children comfortably provided for. Three years later, Charles’s older brother, John, died in Totnes, aged 17.

So now there were six surviving children, William, Edward, Louisa Maria, Charles, Henry, and Thornton. Surviving documents show that they were a close-knit and loving family, despite some suggestions that Charles had hated his brother, William, so much that he ran away to become a cabin boy.

Charles Henry Marshall

Glengallan Marshall 3

Bowden House
©Alun Stevens 2016

It is clear that Charles did indeed become a mariner, as he is shown as such in the 1841 census at Bowden House, Totnes, but details of his maritime career are scant. I asked a researcher in London to try to find more detail as to when he became a mariner and about his career, but the only reference he could find was of a 20-year-old Charles, working as a third mate on board the Princess Charlotte in 1839.

Our next reference to Charles is in the 1843 Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) census, which showed him working as bookkeeper for the Van Diemen’s Land Company at Circular Head, a position he would have obtained through the patronage of his father’s cousin, Edward Marshall of the War Office, who was one of the directors of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. The Tasmanian archives in Hobart have provided us with a wealth of information about Charles and his time in Tasmania, including details of his desire to lease the Woolnorth station from the Company, an idea which did not come to fruition. He did take over as Superintendent of the Woolworth station in 1846, and spent the next few years learning about running a station and about wool, until he resigned in January 1849. It seems there was some bad blood between Charles and the Tasmanian agent of the Company, James Alexander Gibson. It is clear from the documents in the archives that Charles left the employment of the Van Diemen’s Land Company with a decent amount of money, probably at least £3,000, to start the next stage of his life in Queensland. It is interesting to note that the 1843 Tenantry Return noted that Charles had “capital” and that he was “a relation of Mr Edward Marshall of the War Office”, so Charles had arrived in Tasmania with capital and connections, and he left with more money than he had had when he arrived.

More on Charles’s time in Tasmania later.

Some have suggested that Charles had been a clerk for the Campbell Brothers in Sydney before going up to the Darling Downs, but I am not so sure of that. I don’t think he had sufficient time to work as a clerk in Sydney, as I believe he only left Tasmania in March 1849, and by December 1849 we know he was working on Ellangowan station. I question whether he ever owned Ellangowan, as some have suggested, as the transfers of property I have found show that it was transferred from Francis Forbes to Robert Campbell tertius in August 1849, and from Robert Campbell to John Gammie in July 1851. But I am happy to be convinced otherwise.

18511231 Glengallan C Marshall PXC301 f.13 3

Glengallan C Marshall Esq, Dec 31, 1851
Courtesy State Library of NSW
(PXC 301 f.13)

By 1851 Charles was ensconced on Glengallan, with Conrad Martens painting scenes of Glengallan for him in December of that year. In July 1852 Glengallan was transferred from Campbell and Marshall to Charles as sole proprietor.

I would like to clear up a misunderstanding about Charles which is written in many books about the Marshall family and particularly about his nephew, economist Alfred Marshall – Charles never went to the goldfields and did not meet Nehemiah Bartley on the Turon goldfields in 1851. He also never claimed that he was the son of the chief cashier of the Bank of England. The man who did this was Francis Marshall, son of Matthew Marshall, the chief cashier of the Bank of England.

I will now turn my attention to Charlotte and her family.

Charlotte’s family

Charlotte’s father, William Henry Drake, like his father before him, was a Commissariat officer, and this meant that he was transferred all over the British Empire. Henry, as he was called, was born in 1812 at Coimbra, Portugal, where his father was serving with Wellington’s army during the Peninsular War. By the time he was sixteen, he was working for the Customs Department at Barbados, where his father was serving as a Commissariat officer. In 1831, Henry, who had by now joined the Commissariat department, was transferred to the new Swan River Colony at Perth, Western Australia. Here 20-year-old Henry married 19-year-old Louisa Purkis in 1833. Their five children were born in Western Australia, with Charlotte born at Albany in 1838.

In 1848 Henry was transferred to Hobart. After two years there, he was transferred to Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada, where Charlotte’s youngest sister, Emily, died of scarlet fever in 1853. The following year Henry was transferred to London, but while he was in transit, the Crimean War broke out, and on his arrival in England, he was directed to serve with the Army for the duration of that conflict. He spent most of the war at Balaklava, with his wife and their eldest daughter, Louisa Maria, joining him there. Charlotte and her sister, Laura, remained in London with their grandparents, attending school. Their brother, John, was already living in Sydney.

When the war ended in 1856, Henry and his wife and daughter returned to London, and he leased a house at 21 Regent’s Park Terrace, not far from where his parents lived at 27 Park Village East in Regent’s Park. Two doors down from Henry and his family, at 19 Regent’s Park Terrace, lived a young couple, William and Mary Marshall. Both William and Mary Marshall were Henry Drake’s second cousins, and their families also hailed from Totnes in Devon. William Marshall was also a second cousin once removed of Charles Henry Marshall, and Mary Marshall (née Benthall) was his first cousin.

So, it was probably inevitable that Charles and Charlotte would meet when Charles was in London in 1856, after he went into partnership with John Deuchar at Glengallan.

Meeting and marrying

Henry Drake’s Journal entries give us an inkling of the family’s social engagements after his return to London from the Crimean War. In August 1856 Edward Marshall of the War Office called on Henry. In September Henry called on their neighbours, Mary and William Marshall. There was a bit more to-ing and fro-ing between the Drakes and the Marshalls, and on 6 April the Drakes again visited their neighbours. Henry mentioned the other people who were there, one of them being a “Mr. C. Marshall”. On 11 April Charles dined with the Drakes, and called again on the 13th. On the 18th Henry, Louisa, Louisa Maria, and Charles went to see Wyld’s Great Globe and the Pan of St. Petersburg, after which Charles dined with them. On the 27th Henry, Louisa, Louisa Maria, and Charles went to St. James Theatre to see the Crimean relics. On 8 May Charles dined with them again, and on the 12th had tea with them. On the 29th Charles dined with the Drakes again. On 8 August Henry, Louisa, Charlotte, and Charles went to the Art Union Exhibition, and a week later they all visited the Tower of London.

On the 18th of August Charlotte’s older sister, Louisa Maria, who had travelled to the north of England with friends, wrote, saying, “Most sincerely do I congratulate you dear Pop, & wish you every happiness. When I shall see you again I cannot tell, but it will not be a very long time as Scotland will not be the same place to me now, for I must constantly think of your going to Australia. You know I always said it wd. give me more pleasure to see you married than any thing else, but still now it is so near it makes me sad. I know it is selfish & after all I do rejoice to think you will have a husband I like so much & everybody else thinks so highly of.”

Royal Seven Stars Hotel

Royal Seven Stars Hotel, Totnes
©Alun Stevens 2016

Later that month the Drakes visited Devon, and met Charles’s extended family, staying with Charles’s aunt, Eliza Furse, as well as at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel in Totnes, where my husband I spent a few days last year.

Wedding Veil

Wedding veil
©Megan Stevens 2016

On 11 September, Charlotte’s mother sent out invitations for the Wedding Breakfast, and on the 23rd Charles and Charlotte were married at St Pancras Old Church. The officiating minister was Charles’s second cousin, Rev. Stephen Thomas Hawtrey. Henry noted in his Journal that “A Party of 37 lunched with us after the ceremony & at 3 p.m. the Bride & Bridegroom left for Rugby & a tour.” There are, unfortunately, no photos of the wedding, but I know that Charlotte wore a hand-embroidered Honiton lace veil – the same one my mother wore when she married my father.

Nineteen-year-old Charlotte kept a Journal while on tour with her new husband. She noted that they “Left 21 Regents Park Terrace in style, having had an old white satin shoe thrown at us, left Euston Square Railway at 3, & arrived at Rugby about half past five.” From there they went to Chester and Manchester, on their way to the Lake District where they spent a number of days. On 13 October they went to Edinburgh, and on the 15th, Charlotte wrote that, “After Breakfast got into a Leith Omnibus … & we went to Leith. We saw the house where Charles used to live when a boy, & we also saw the place where his father was buried, which is in a Scotch Church Yard in Constitution Lane. The English Church having no Burial Ground attached to it.”

What is striking about Charlotte’s Journal, are her descriptions of the places they visited. She clearly had an eye for detail, and remembered it so that she could write it down every evening. It is interesting comparing her descriptions with photos taken of the same places, as they clearly match.

Charles and Charlotte returned to London, via Berwick, Newcastle, Durham, and York. On 22 October Henry Drake sent them £20 as on the 10th Charles and Charlotte had notified him that their funds were running low – no handy ATMs in those days! They arrived back in London on the 27th, staying at the Drapers Hotel, and started preparing for their passage to Australia and saying good-bye to their relatives and friends. On 12 December Henry noted in his Journal, “Charles & Charlotte left Southampton per Teviot for Alexandria en route for Australia.”

Australia and back

On 17 February 1858 the 700 ton steamer City of Sydney, under Captain Moodie, arrived at Sydney, with “Mr. and Mrs. Marshall and servant” on board. This “servant” would have been Jane Chudleigh, who married James McIntosh in 1860. According to his obituary in 1899, James “came to the Downs” in 1859 “and took up the duties of overseer on Glengallan”. Jane’s obituary, after her death in Warwick in 1898, said that she “came to the Downs with the Marshalls about forty years” previously.

On 3 March, the Marshalls embarked for Moreton Bay, on board the Yarra Yarra. On 4 May the piano Charles had imported for Charlotte arrived in Queensland.

And, so, on 23 February 1859 my great-grandmother, Charlotte Louisa Marshall, was born at Glengallan, eight months after her mother painted a beautiful watercolour of Glengallan as it was then, showing the wooden house she and Charles were living in. In February 1889 Charlotte told Slade that she was glad she “was not there to see the old house pulled down,” though she thought “it was time”. By all accounts, for whatever reasons, Charlotte didn’t want to stay on at Glengallan and asked Charles if they could return to England. The family arrived back in London in time for the birth of their second daughter, Amy, on 14 November 1860, at 5 Loudoun Road, St John’s Wood.

I would here like to give a quick overview of what happened to Charlotte’s birth family after Charles and Charlotte’s marriage. In 1858 Henry was posted to Gibraltar, and in 1859, as Commissary-General to the Cape of Good Hope. It was here, sadly, that his wife, Louisa, died at Grahamstown in 1862, aged 48. Despite declarations that he had lost his “dear and best Friend for thirty years”, within a year 50-year-old Henry remarried, to 21-year-old Elizabeth Lucy Wood. Initially, this marriage did not sit well with Henry’s daughters, as they were much the same age. Henry and Elizabeth had five more children, the first of whom, Ella, was born in Auckland in 1864 when Henry was sent to New Zealand for three months. Henry George was born at the Isle of Wight in 1866, and Lucy Beatrice in Dublin in 1868. William Barnard and Kate Alice were both born in London. Sir William Henry Drake died at his home in Bayswater in 1882, a stone’s throw away from Kensington Palace.

Charles and Charlotte

Now back to Charles and Charlotte: Charles returned to Queensland alone in 1864, and organised for John Deuchar to buy out his share of Glengallan. And it was John Deuchar who built this magnificent house.

In 1870, when John Deuchar’s troubles came to the surface, Charles and Charlotte both returned to Glengallan, and stayed for three years. Charles then went into partnership with William Ball Slade.

Charles and Charlotte went on to have six children, the youngest of whom, also Charles Henry, was born in December 1874, four months after Charles’s sudden death in August. In July 1873 Charles had had what he called “a most severe operation” on a tumour on his ear.  Sir James Paget informed him that had he “not come home the disease must have continued spreading and in a couple of years or so proved fatal”. His death certificate states that he died of cardiac disease, though I suspect this tumour might have contributed, as in March 1874 he had another operation, as Paget had observed that “the original tumour had thrown out a branch some little way off and he considered that it would be best to have it removed before it grew larger”. On his death, Charlotte took over the Marshall part of the partnership of Marshall and Slade.

Charles in Tasmania

It is here that I would like to return to Charles’s time at Stanley, Tasmania. My mother had always told me that Charlotte had found out when Charles died that he had had another family. We have never been able to find out more about this other family as there is no mention of them in Charles’s will. I do know that there was what could be called a “side letter” to the will, as Charles left money to his nephew, Alfred, and this bequest is well-documented. What seems to have happened is that Charles also left a bequest to this “other family”. The Van Diemen’s Land Company Tenantry Report for 31 August 1849 said that Charles had “one wife” and “one child”. So, it seems that an unnamed woman got pregnant by Charles in Stanley, and possibly didn’t even know that she was pregnant when Charles left in early 1849. But it is clear to me that Charles did not abandon them entirely as I would not have heard the family story about another family if he had done so – he must have been sending money to support this child while he was alive, and also ensured that a legacy was left when he died. In February 1880 Charlotte wrote to William Ball Slade, saying that she had had “very many other very heavy expenses to meet that no one knows of or suspects” and that since her “dear husband’s death” she had had “very heavy calls on all sides” which had reduced her income “very much indeed”. This cryptic remark that “no one knows or suspects” the “very many other heavy expenses” she had had, is the only hint I have found of this legacy to the “other family”.

Charlotte and Slade

Relations between Charlotte and William Ball Slade were always respectful, but at times became quite testy. This was particularly so in 1876 when Charlotte’s brother-in-law, Henry, who was helping her with the financial side of the business, declared that he could not “make the accounts out to his own satisfaction”. Later that year Henry employed a professional accountant, James Wilkie Logan, to help resolve the matter. This infuriated Slade, and he refused to respond to Logan’s letters. Slade noted on one such letter from Logan, dated 8 July 1877, that Logan was asking that he should reply, but that he was treating it as with the “previous ones with contempt”. In the end, Charlotte had to resolve this conflict, as Henry died in February 1877. She wrote to Slade in June of that year, saying, “I hope you will excuse my not having answered your letter of 29th January in detail, I have felt quite unable to do so, being very sorry for the misunderstanding which has occurred & being aware that my poor Brother in-law, was latterly too ill to go into the accounts or to understand them, especially as they were made out in a way he had not been accustomed to – Mr. Logan was a stranger to me, until after my business was put into his hands, & I never saw the letter he wrote you, until you sent it to me, I was aware from my late Brother [in-law] that he had written, but I did not know the contents of his letter, and I think he was not justified in writing as he did, the whole tone of his letter is very disagreeable and impertinent and I know you will be glad to hear that I have removed my affairs out of his hands. I never for one instant doubted you or your honor, nor, I am sure, did my late Brother [in-law] intend to convey such a sentiment to Mr. Logan – As regards our partnership, I am quite willing to renew it, and carry it on under our present agreement for a further period of five years stipulating that when your present share is paid off, that a fresh valuation be made of the stock and property.”

Charlotte’s typically Victorian education in French, Italian, religion, needlework, art, and music let her down. She did, however, try to understand Glengallan’s business by surrounding herself with reliable and trustworthy advisors, such as family members and friends who had been pastoralists on the Downs, as well as George Harrison Wilson, her agent at Ipswich. In May 1877 Wilson wrote to William Ball Slade, saying “so now all business [is] in the hands of Ladies & would be glad of advice from me”. In February 1881, however, Charlotte admitted that she really thought it was “rather a farce” for her to be “signing the Balance sheet” as she “honestly never quite” understood the accounts, and expressed her relief in February 1883 that Mr. Wilson had “agreed to take the quarterly accounts” as it was “so difficult for an English accountant to make head or tail of colonial accounts”. By 1904 it seems Charlotte was more proficient in reading balance sheets and asking pertinent questions about them.

Charlotte remarried in 1883, to the accomplished and well-respected widower, William Knighton. He and Charlotte signed a deed before their marriage, which Charlotte described to Slade as follows: “I have had a special clause put in, in the settlement that the management of Glengallan should be carried on by you & by me as heretofore, no one else in England knows as much about it as I do, & I still feel quite capable of doing my part & you will find all just as before.” This seemed to preclude William Knighton from interfering with any Glengallan affairs, though he did get involved when Charlotte was dealing with family crises, such as deaths in the family, or when she was ill. I know that William Ball Slade didn’t find it the easiest thing to deal with Charlotte and William. In 1896 relations between Charlotte and Slade were so bad that Slade was threatening legal proceedings, but I need to do more research on just what the issues were, and how they were resolved.

The final chapter

William Knighton died, aged 76, in 1900, and in February 1905 the Marshall-Slade partnership was dissolved, after the Queensland Government repurchased Glenagallan for closer settlement.

In May 1922 Charlotte died at her home, Caberfeigh, in Redhill in Surrey, aged 84. She was, I think, quite a remarkable woman, who had been raised in the traditional way to be a middle-class Victorian wife and mother, but through circumstances beyond her control, went on to become a Victorian capitalist, who knew what she wanted, and worked hard to get what she thought were the best outcomes for Glengallan and her family.

The Marshalls’ investment in Glengallan wouldn’t have been as successful as it was without the exceptional skill, hard work, and intelligence of both Deuchar and Slade. As the Brisbane Courier noted in November 1872, Charles Marshall had “taken into partnership … William B. Slade, one of the cleverest and most respected of the young gentlemen in the district”; and the Queenslander said in 1932 that “It was Mr. Deuchar who laid the foundation of the noted Shorthorn and merino studs on Glengallan.”

Thank you.

Glengallan Homestead

Glengallan Homestead – P.F. Jacklin 1972
©Megan Stevens 2018

©Megan Stevens 2018

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