The clerical connection

St. David’s, Ashprington; memorial to Rev. William Marshall in St. David’s; St. Mary’s, Totnes; Nave of Exeter Cathedral; memorial to Rev. Charles Hawtrey in Exeter Cathedral; and Rev. John Marshall.

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Coase took issue with Keynes’s statement that the “Marshalls were a clerical family of the West” (Keynes 1924) because he felt this unduly elevated the status of the family. He wrote:

The second sentence in the memoir tells us that the “Marshalls were a clerical family of the West” and we can almost hear the clink of teacups on vicarage lawns. … It is true that John Marshall had other relatives (Marshalls) who were clergymen, but the fact is that the two mentioned [i.e. Rev. John Marshall of Exeter and Rev. William Marshall of Ashprington] are the only clergymen in the direct line to Alfred Marshall. As we all have eight great-grandparents and sixteen great-great-grandparents, it is hazardous to discuss genetic influences unless all lines of descent have been studied and hazardous even then until their DNA has been inspected. (Coase 1994,131)

I was surprised by the statement that there were only two clergymen because Keynes clearly stated, in the sentence that names Rev. John Marshall, that Rev. Charles Hawtrey, Sub-Dean and Canon of Exeter, was also Alfred’s great-great-grandfather – i.e. a third clergyman in the direct line to Alfred Marshall.

With the online resources now available, I have explored the Marshall lines of descent and I have found ten clergymen in Alfred Marshall’s direct ancestry:

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

The wider family is also important. 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 have found over eighty clergymen in Alfred’s family tree. (Full Details Here)

The clerical connection was undeniably deep and extended widely. The Marshalls were from the west (Devon) and had an extensive clerical background and connections. Keynes was correct in his characterisation of the family as a “clerical family of the West”. My conclusion is that Coase, in claiming that “Alfred Marshall was not a member of a cultivated, comfortable and well-connected clerical family,” (Coase 1994, 148) was not correct.

3. Turon goldfields◄ ● ► 5. The halt, the maimed and the blind

Megan Stevens

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