Saturday, 28 April 2012

Aunt Lizzie’s Story, Nov 14th 1889

The following character studies of the Penfold and Marshall families, connected by marriage, are told by “Aunt Lizzie” Marshall, nee Penfold and written by her second cousin Louise Gorringe. (NB Annington is about a mile from Steyning.)

We have a copy of these notes at Steyning Museum, with the right-hand edge of some pages missing, so I have had to leave xxx gaps where the words cannot be surmised. Perhaps you can work out what they are?

The extracts below are as originally written.

“The first thing I recollect is Rooke my (Penfold) Grandfather’s man, coming to Annington for my Mother Sister Ann and Myself in a two-wheeled carriage. My Grandfather would be about 67 at that time, a tall fine active man, ruddy face and grey hair, very thick not bald in the least. He always wore Corduroy Breeches High top Boots Blue coat & brass buttons with a very large white handkerchief round and round his throat fastened with a pin & frilled shirt. He was not at all blind then, that came on later. He was always riding. I don’t recollect that I ever saw him walking. He always wore a long drab Great Coat nearly down to the ground and a large Cape for Colder weather. On Sundays he wore Velvet or Velveteen black. My Grandmother at that time was a tall very pale woman, grey with very fine features and wore all day a large black bonnet, on Sundays black satin, always a black Dress. The Black Satin xxx too large to go into a box lined with white satin xxx be placed on a stand in the spare room. She was xxx austere woman with a very solemn manner th(at) always inspired us with awe, at the same time she was xxx She had very bad health and suffered very much w(ith) Indigestion when she went out, She was very fond of (the garden. She wore a long black silk Cloak with a xxx great feather .... 

My Grandfather Penfold who lived at the Old H(ouse) at Annington used also to ride up to London a(nd if) he had any money to invest, he had a coat m(ade) with concealed pockets in which he placed xxx Banknotes as it was considered a hazardous xxx to ride about with so much money but I nev(er) xxx that he was molested. ... 

My Great Grandmother Penfold was a Hartley. My Grandmother’s maiden name was Williams she married my Grandfather John Penfold brother of my Grandmother Gorringe. This John Penfold was the younger Son of Hugh Penfold of Wickam near Steyning, the older Brother Hugh being the ancestor of the Wyatt’s formerly Penfolds of Cissbury and Penfolds of Rustington. My Grandmother Gorringe nee Penfold was a daughter of Hugh Penfold of Wickam, she had two sisters one Ann married Hugh Ingram of Steyning the other Elizabeth married Hugh Fuller of Storrington or Sullington. ...

The pres(ent) Penfold-Wyatt of Cissbury nee Penfold grandson xxx Penfold of Wickam took the name of Wyatt on xxx into any estate bequeathed him by his Uncle Rxxx Wyatt at Applesham buried in Coomber Churc(h) Applesham was sold by him to Lord Egremon(t) Edward Greenfield Penfold another son of Hugh of Wickam bought Rustington about 1820 He w(as a) Captain in the Militia ...he was a very good dancer and so was his wife Sarah Marshall daughter & co heiress of Charles Marshall of Steyning solicitor & agent to the Duke of Norfolk. He was a connection of the Marshalls of Bolney but a distant one he came from Kent and began life with only sixpence in his pocket but a more courteous old Gentleman never lived.

His very appearance was remarkable as I recollect him always in black with black silk stockings buckled shoes large cravet and frilled shirt. Mrs Marshall always wore a Turban & false hair little curls round her face white in the daytime and coloured for dress. Mrs Marshall was known for her gay dressing she was a very handsome woman noted for her kindness hospitality & many charities. Mrs Marshall was a Miss Williams daughter of the Vicar of Shermanbury and sister of Mrs John Penfold of Annington.”

These extracts are from a collection of memoirs and reminiscences held at the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester (ref: MP 2025) and are reproduced here by their kind permission.

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