Edmund Francis Anstey, a member of the Trumpington Ansteys, was born in 1825 in Madras, India, to parents John Thomas Anstey (an “esquire” who worked for the English Civil Service in Madras, India in the 1820s) and Charlotte Filmer. During Edmund’s childhood the family returned to England, where they were living in Lacock, Wiltshire in 1841 and Bath, Somerset in 1851.
In 1842, Edmund joined the 20th Foot Regiment (East Devonshire, later the Lancashire Fusiliers) as Ensign “by purchase“. In 1845 he became a Lieutenant “by purchase“, then in 1854 he became a Captain of the 20th Foot Regiment “by purchase“.
He was stationed in Bermuda from 1844 to 1846; in North America from 1847 to 1850 and again from 1851 to 1853; then he was posted to Crimea on 14 September 1854 to fight in the Crimean War (1853-1856).
Edmund fought under General Lord Raglan at the Battle of Alma on 20 September 1854; the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 (in which took place the infamous ‘Charge of the Light Brigade‘); and the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854. All of these battles were part of the 1854/55 Siege of Sevastopol. Then on 18 January 1855, Edmund “retired by sale of his Commission” and returned to England. Soon after, Edmund received £2,000 per an 1857 codicil to the will of his great uncle Francis Filmer.
In 1859, by now “Esquire“, Edmund became Captain of the 2nd Somerset Volunteer Rifle Corps, and in 1860 he became Captain of the 7th Somerset Volunteer Rifle Corps, which he resigned in 1861 on account of his leaving Bath.
Also in 1861, Edmund married Charlotte Maria Mogg (b 1839) in Weston, Somerset, the ‘Home News for India, China and the Colonies‘ reporting “MARRIAGES. ANSTEY—MOGG—at Weston, Edmund Francis Anstey. Esq., late Captain 20th Regiment, son of J. T. Anstey, Esq., of Bath, to Charlotte Marie, only child of the Rev. Mogg“. They moved to Oxfordshire, then Hanham in Gloucestershire where they had two daughters, Frances Charlotte Anstey (b 1862, married Sidney Adolphus Wittmann in 1888 in Notting Hill), and Constance Harriet Anstey (b 1864, married “Frederick Carey Stucley, 13th Bengal Infantry” in Bombay in 1894).
In 1866 there was a serious incident reported in many newspapers. For example in the ‘Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser‘ 1 October 1866 edition “Shocking Occurrence at Ramsgate: On the evening of Sunday last, an accident of a very shocking nature took place, which nearly resulted fatally to a young married lady named Mrs Anstey, then staying at Mr Sackett’s Nbr 6 Royal Crescent. It appears that the husband of the unfortunate lady, Captain Anstey, is an invalid, and when the occurrence took place, which was about 9:30pm he was fast asleep, but he was aroused by the piercing shrieks of his wife, and on rushing to her assistance he found her enveloped in flames. By an almost superhuman effort he succeeded in throwing her down, when her maid endeavoured to put out the flames by placing the hearthrugs and mats on her. The screams of the unfortunate lady were also heard by Mr and Mrs Sackett and they immediately ran upstairs to her assistance, and the former, on entering the room, commenced to tear away the burning clothes of the poor woman… she was found to be very much burnt, her arms, neck and the lower portion of her body having suffered severely from the effects of the flames...the lady, who is about 26 or 27 years of age, was attired at the time of the unfortunate occurrence in a light muslin dress, which perhaps accounts for the rapid spread of the flames“
The family later moved to Brighton, where Edmund died in 1869.
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