My great great grandfather, Charles Henry Murray, in his will of 1891, left the sum of £50.00 to his nephew Andrew Hodges de Normanville Murray. Such an unusual name was worth following up. Andrew Hodges Murray was born on 9th November 1861 at 13 Northwick Terrace, St John, Marylebone to William Murray, civil engineer and his wife Elizabeth Murray, formerly De Normanville. William and Elizabeth had married by licence on February 15th 1848 in the parish of St Giles with Cripplegate in the City of London. He is a surveyor, resident in St Pancras, and his father is Andrew Murray, Purser. Elizabeth gives her residence as St Giles Cripplegate, and her father is Lewis de Normanville, Gentleman. The witnesses are James Patching and Gilly Johns. The birth of Andrew Hodges Murray was announced in The Times of November 12 1861: On the 9th inst. at 13 Northwick-terrace, Maida-hill, London the wife of Mr William Murray C.E. of Adelaide, South Australia, of a son. Elizabeth's death is announced on the 21st November 1861: On the 18th inst. at 13 Northwick-terrace, Maida-hill, London. Elizabeth Murray, the beloved and deeply lamented wife of William Murray C.E. of Adelaide, South Australia, in her 43rd year. On 21st November 1861 William Murray purchased three graves at Kensal Green Cemetery. The only person buried here is Elizabeth. On January 31st 1862 William signed the graves over to his brother Charles Henry Murray, who did not use the plots. This was the date of William's permanent removal to Adelaide. So who were the De Normanvilles? The following details are from a biography of William Louis de Normanville (by Janet Storrie), Borough Surveyor and chief architect of Leamington Spa in Warwickshire: "De Normanville's family came from the village of Normanville in Normandy. His grandfather, Louis, was an émigré from the French Revolution who landed at Brighton in a collier in 1792 ... the Marquis of Normanville (the last Marquis as it turned out, as the title was dropped in England) who escaped from the Terror in a small boat. He left his wife and family behind thinking women and children would be safe. But they were later arrested, and died in prison of jail fever. He married again in England." [...] [Strictly speaking he wasn’t a marquis, and his wife and at least one of his children survived the imprisonment]. "William Louis' father [William John, more on him below], also an engineer, worked on the construction of the Round House in Camden as assistant to Robert Dockray, one of its designers," [...] "Before he joined Leamington as Borough Surveyor in 1882, [William Louis] de Normanville spent his engineering tutelage in London with his father, then went to South Australia where he obtained a post in the Government Civil Engineers' Department [see below]. Returning to England five years later, he worked in Great George Street, Westminster, in the offices of the Engineers to the Furness Railways and Barrow Docks, until 1877 when he was appointed City Engineer to the Corporation of Durham. He stayed in Durham for five years, until he became Borough Surveyor of Leamington." Though short on actual dates this probably sets his time in South Australia in the early 1860s, more or less the same as William Murray. William Louis de Normanville was born in St Pancras, in the June quarter 1843. His parents were William John de Normanville and Nancy Complin Barton. He married Elizabeth Simonds in Durham in the December quarter 1879 and they had eight children, and also fostered the three orphaned children of his sister Ellen Tucker. He died in London on May 29th 1928. The Elizabeth de Normanville who married William Murray is living in St. James St., Brighton in 1841. She is an Artificial florist, aged 22, living with her mother Harriet (age 51, also an Artificial florist), her brother Charles (age 25), and her grandmother Angélique Blessauxnaux (age 86). William John de Normanville was her older brother, so she was the aunt of William Louis the Leamington Spa Borough Surveyor. Henrietta (or Harriett) Blessauxnaux married the émigré Louis de Normanville in 1824 in Marylebone, five years after the birth of their youngest child. He was about 65 years old at the time, and she was 33. Was he perhaps aware that his first wife had not died in prison? William Louis de Normanville William Louis was the son of William John de Normanville, and hence the nephew of William Murray and his wife Elizabeth de Normanville, and thus of course cousin to their children. As William Murray took his family out to Adelaide in 1852 to take advantage of the presence of his older brother Andrew John Murray as a government officer, it seems likely that William Louis de Normanville thought he would further his career and broaden his experience by making use of his uncle's connections in the province. William Louis probably arrived in Adelaide in 1867, for that is the year his name first gets mentioned in the local press as an active member of the Catholic community. He regularly performs as a singer at church fundraising events between 1867 and 1871. He sings in the choir at the funeral of Sir Dominic Daly (Governor in Chief of the Province of South Australia) in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral in Adelaide on the 22nd February 1868, and is a member of the Committee set up to establish his memorial. In October 1869 he is a member of a committee set up to organise a collection around the Adelaide churches to present to Bishop Shiel before his departure by the October mail for Rome to attend the General Council. Along with five other members of Adelaide's Catholic laity he addresses a petition to Cardinal Barnabò in December 1871: "The undersigned [...] humbly beg the consideration of your Eminence [...] to the present condition of this unhappy see." This letter is strongly critical of Bishop Shiel's excommunication of Mary MacKillop (now Australia's first saint Mary of the Cross) the management of diocesan finances and impropriety within the clergy. Professionally he left lasting reminders of his presence. Working as an architect from offices at 18 Hindley-street, which possibly doubled as the Catholic Book Depot, he requests tenders in 1869/1870 for the erection of the Church of St Ignatius, Norwood. "This is a beautiful building in the Italian style, with two prominent towers. [...] The cost of the building has been about £3000. Mr W. De Normanville was the architect; Mr M. McMullen, the builder" - so wrote the South Australian Register in its report on notable buildings completed in 1870 (it was opened for Divine worship on 7 August 1870). I can't find any copyright-free pictures so here are a couple of links: Church of St Ignatius, Norwood - flickr Church of St Ignatius, Norwood - ohta In August 1870 he is requesting tenders "for building an Oratory and other additions to the Convent of St Joseph, Franklin-street, Adelaide." Mary MacKillop was the first sister and mother superior of the order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart in Adelaide, but by 1870 she had moved on to Brisbane. The book "Australian Gothic: the Gothic revival in Australian architecture" by Brian Andrews, credits William de Normanville as the architect of St Mary's Convent Chapel, Adelaide, 1870, I wonder if these are just two different names for the same building? On the 2nd April 1873 William Louis de Normanville left Port Adelaide to return to England on board the Loch Katrine. Did he take a more than merely curious interest in how the ship was run? In 1876 he lodged a patent no 2589: And William de Normanville, of No. 79, Bridge-road, Hammersmith, has given the like notice in respect of the invention of "improvements in ships' logs or speed indicators." Settling down to married and professional life in England, Janet Storrie details his next few years. She doesn't mention however one strange patent that he registers in 1891: 15684, Improvements in Waist-Belts. "According to this invention, waist belts, are so constructed that when applied they control the form of the figure or waist, causing an alteration in the form thereof, and reducing it at the sides, while allowing its expansion at those points where the extra size is not of so much moment [...] and thus a figure or waist that is not round is changed into one that approximately is so." To a modern eye all the metal banding and springs involved appear to be an instrument of torture, especially when he refers to the unwanted oval shaped waist as "natural"! See the full description with detailed drawings, plus his signature at Google Patents. William John Normanville William John de Normanville was the brother of Elizabeth who married William Murray and father of William Louis. Following a successful career as an architect, engineer and inventor (professionally he dropped the "de"), and marriage to Nancy Complin Barton with nine children, he is declared bankrupt in 1854 and disappears from the records. The death of his daughter Cecilia in 1859 is announced in the New York Herald, and in Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1896 (Google Books) where his daughter Agnes' marriage to Edwin Plumer Price is listed he is described as "William J. de Normanville, Esq., of Queen's Road, Regent's Park, and New York". Born in 1813 he had surely passed away by this date, but it does suggest I should be looking across the Atlantic for him. And indeed William John Normanville did go to New York, but in the company of a certain Mrs George Winter. They sailed across the Atlantic, departing from Portsmouth on board the Northumberland in December 1854, travelling as Mr and Mrs Sinclair. They left behind two spouses and thirteen children all together. Sadly, from a letter Emily Winter writes in 1856 she appears to have been abandoned by him in New York. Her husband filed for divorce in 1858/1859, with all of his contacts on both sides of the Atlantic he had been unable to track them down. Mrs George Winter had been born Emily Keale Heseltine in about 1824, and had married George Winter in 1843. [National Archives J77/58 C421799 Winter v Winter & Normanville]. Surprisingly George Winter turns up in New Zealand in around 1860 playing on the Heseltine/London Stock Exchange connection to marry his daughters into the colony’s leading families. None of this was without scandal and ended up with George being imprisoned for embezzlement but not until he had tried to escape justice in a frantic escape by sea. Shades of William John and Emily’s dash for Portsmouth and the United States about ten years earlier.
Murray families: The De Normanvilles