It’s been puzzling me for a while just where Honnor (or Honour, Hannor, Hanner) Gregory, Edmund Greenaway’s second wife, sprang from. They had a daughter born in 1867, and her birth registration gives the clue to Honnor’s maiden name; however I can’t trace a marriage for the couple, or them on the 1871 census. Subsequent censuses consistently show Honnor to have been born in about 1826 in Windsor. She doesn’t apparently appear in any earlier censuses and neither does there seem to be any baptism recorded under this name anywhere let alone Windsor. There was however an Edward Gregory baptised on the 6th June 1830 in Old Windsor to parents James and Mehetabel. So I thought I’d follow him up just on the off chance … James Gregory married Mehetabel Mitchell in Dogmersfield, Hampshire on the 22nd February 1814. She is of Farnham in Surrey, and her father is Richard Mitchell; she had been baptised in Frensham on the 11th May 1788. James and Mehetabel had five children: Harriet, Thomas, Frederick and Emma were all born in Brighton between 1816 and 1824; Thomas died there in 1820. Edward was born in Old Windsor in 1830 where James was killed in a tragic accident the following year. A report of the inquest in the Reading Mercury of the 20th June 1831 reveals that James died at Frogmore having been thrown from a gig whose driver was intoxicated, while James who was perfectly sober, was merely getting a lift home to Old Windsor. James is described as “one of His Majesty’s servants” so it would seem that the Gregorys moved to Windsor from Brighton as part of the household of William IV on his accession to the throne. James’s age on his burial is said to be 48, which would put his birth in about 1783, and his marriage at the age of 30. Mehetabel and the children returned to Brighton, and in 1836 Harriet married John George Tweedy, and they had a son, George John baptised there in 1837. With her son she appears in the 1841 census as a Female Servant in Brighton, and in 1851 she is a widow, still with her son, but now living in Westminster and working as an upholsteress. She returned to Brighton where she died in 1856. Her son was last recorded in Malta Dockyard when on the 4th February 1865 he signed a Civil Service proof of age declaration confirming his birth on the 15th January 1837 in Brighton. In 1841 Frederick was working as a Male Servant at the Albion Hotel in Brighton; he was still there in 1851 as a Waiter. By the early 1860s he was in Rockhampton in Queensland along with his brother Edward. Frederick put his hotel experience to good use in Australia and ran various establishments in the Rockhampton area, including Tattershall’s and the Old Hector before ending up at the Normanby Hotel where he died in 1881. He had a sideline training racehorses, which Edward helped with - it’s possible that the E. Gregory lodging in North Street, Midhurst in 1851, aged 25, born in Windsor, and a veterinary surgeon, is his brother. Edward Gregory died in Rockhampton in 1872 and doesn’t appear to have married. Frederick married Mary Ann Pohlmann sometime after the death of her first husband in 1872; she had four children from her first marriage, but none apparently with Frederick. Emma Gregory was working as a Maid to a dressmaker called Mehetable Dash in Brighton in 1841. She married Thomas Lye early in 1851 though they don’t seem to appear anywhere on the 1851 census. She next appears in the 1861 census as a widow and dressmaker living with her mother at 12 Richmond Hill, Brighton. In 1868 she married William Henry Bird at St Botolph’s in Bishopsgate, and by 1871 she was widowed again, living in Woodford, Essex, and working as a dressmaker. Mehetabel Gregory, a widow aged 60, in 1851 is a lodging house keeper at 6 Grenville Place, Brighton; she gives her birthplace as Godalming. Although she married Charles Card in 1857 in Brighton - when she states her age to be 60 - she still appears with the surname Gregory on the 1861 census: she is widowed again, as Charles died in 1859, but she gives her occupation as “formerly the Queen’s housemaid”. She probably made her way to London with her daughter Emma, for she died in 1868 and was buried on the 20th May in Victoria Park Cemetery, Hackney, when her address is given as 85 Langbourne Buildings, Shoreditch. None of this helps with Honnor Gregory. I had hoped to identify her as one of Mehetabel’s daughters, but the four children mentioned at his inquest can all be accounted for …. unless the newspaper got it wrong and there were five. On the censuses she appears in she is consistent with her age and place of birth, so it is unusual for her not to appear in any - even searching just by variants of her first name and place of birth - prior to her marriage. If she has made up an identity for herself she is to be congratulated on sticking to it!
Tales around the tree Honnor Gregory … or not
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