The Rugby Ansteys

by Gary. M. Anstey and Thomas John Ansteychief researchers of the Anstey story project.

Overview of the Rugby Ansteys

The Rugby Ansteys of Warwickshire are not a sub-branch of the Warwickshire Ansteys, they are a sub-branch of the Trumpington Ansteys of Cambridgeshire, themselves a sub-branch of the Blewbury Ansteys of Berkshire, headed by Charles Alleyne Anstey, a grandson of the famous 18th century poet Christopher Anstey, who moved to Rugby in c1820.

Rev. Charles Alleyne Anstey (b 1797 Marylebone)

Charles Alleyne Anstey was born in 1797 in Marylebone, London to parents John Anstey and Helen Senior. He attended Rugby School in 1811 and later Trinity College, Oxford University in 1815, receiving his Master of Arts there in 1824. Charles became a clergyman and moved to Rugby in Warwickshire where he became Assistant Master (and later Master) at Rugby School. In 1821, Charles (at that time a “clerk“) married Ann Townsend in Rugby, St Andrews, Warwickshire, and they had children:

  • Ann Helen Barbara Anstey (b 1822 Rugby, never married. She was living with her father in 1881 in Clifton, and she died in 1903 in Bristol. She lived with her sister Susan Charlotte Anstey all her life.);
  • Charles Christopher Anstey (b 1826 Rugby, attended Caius College, Cambridge University in 1844 and became a Reverend (known as “Rev. C. C. Anstey“). He married Frances Mary Gibb in Kensington in 1855, having children Bessie Couper Anstey (b 1856 Hillmorten, an Australian Anstey pioneer who emigrated to Brisbane, Australia in 1885 on the ship ‘Duke Of Argyll‘. She then moved to Queensland and married Louitzen Houkes there in 1887); Christopher Scott Anstey (b 1857 Hillmorten, died in 1858); Margaret Frances Anstey (b 1859 Hillmorten); Annie Emily Anstey (b 1861, died an infant); Annie Mary Anstey (b 1862); Harry Christopher Scott Anstey (b 1864 Isle of Wight); Maud Lisle Anstey (b 1870 Cornwall); and Amy Townsend Anstey (b 1871). Charles Christopher Anstey died in 1877, buried in Hammersmith Old Cemetery.);
  • Rev. Henry Anstey (b 1827, Rugby – see below);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1829 Rugby, married Gerard Moultine in Rugby in 1855);
  • Emily Caroline Anstey (b 1830 Rugby, married Frederick Thomas Haggard in Rugby in 1852. The ‘Morning Post‘ 28 July 1852 edition noted “MARRIED. At Rugby, on the 27th inst., by the Rev. C. C. Anstey [Emily’s brother], F. T. Haggard, Esq., of Norfolk House, the Mall, Chiswick, to Emily Caroline Anstey, third daughter of the Rev. Charles Alleyne Anstey, of Rugby“);
  • Susan Charlotte Anstey (b 1832 Rugby, never married. She was living with her father in Clifton in 1881 and she died in Bristol in 1902. She lived with her sister Ann Helen Barbara Anstey all her life);
  • Mary Louisa Anstey (b 1833 Rugby, married Edward Augustine Law in Dover, Kent in 1866);
  • Isabella Jane Anstey (b 1834 Rugby, married Raymond Brewster Smythies in 1859 in Rugby, having a son R. H. Raymond Smythies (b 1861, who later became a Major in the Army and communicated with Anstey researcher Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1911 writing in one of his letters “My mother was Isabella Jane Anstey, daughter of Rev Charles Alleyne Anstey a Master at Rugby School therefore I am naturally much interested in the family, the Rev Henry Anstey of Clifton is my mother’s brother“) Isabella’s husband Raymond Brewster Smythies died in early 1861 in Brighton, so in the 1861 Census Isabella was a “widow” living with her son in Rugby with her family. She later married Major-General Robert Yeld Chambers in 1868 in Calcutta, Bengal);
  • Francis William Anstey (b 1836 Rugby, died an infant);
  • Francis Senior Anstey (b 1837 Rugby, a Canadian Anstey pioneer and patriarch of the Kamloops British Columbia Ansteys);
  • Lucy Amelia Anstey (b 1840 Rugby, married Justinian Armitage Nutt in 1865 in Dover);
  • Eleanor Octavia [Olivia] Anstey (b 1842 Rugby, married Lieutenant Colonel Henry Lowther Nutt in 1868 in Leamington);
  • Walter Robinson Anstey (b 1845 Rugby, died a child in 1855);

In the 1841 Census the family were living in Barby Road, Rugby; Charles Alleyne Anstey was a “clerk“. By the 1851 Census, he was “Assistant master of Rugby School clergyman not having cure of souls” living at Watergate Street, Rugby. By the 1861 Census, the family were living at Lawrence Sheriff Street, Rugby – Charles Alleyne Anstey was now “Clergyman Master of Rugby School“. Ann Anstey died in Rugby in 1861, just after the 1861 Census. By the 1871 Census, Charles Alleyne Anstey was living at St Mary Priory, Coggs, Witney, Oxfordshire with some of his daughters; he was the “vicar of Coggs“.

Charles Alleyne Anstey died in 1881 “aged 84“; he was buried at St Andrew’s Church, Rugby. An obituary appears in the ‘Nuneaton Advertiser‘ 3 September 1881 edition where it begins “The Late Rev. Charles Alleyne Anstey: Of one whose connection with Rugby School was of a more lengthy period than that of any master from the foundation of the school to the present time, a few brief notices may not be out of place. Entered at Rugby School at 1811, his name thus appears in the Rugby School Register :- ‘Anstey, Charles A. son of J. Anstey Esq of Hertford Street, London aged 13 in May [1811]In 1819 he was invited by the Headmaster of Rugby School to return to Rugby as an Assistant Tutor in the school [becoming an Assistant Master a year later]… As one of the Assistant Masters he continued to labour until the year 1864.”

Rev. Henry Anstey (b 1827 Rugby)

Henry Anstey (b 1827 Rugby) attended University College, Oxford University in 1846. He became a Reverend and married Anna Maria Chase in Rugby in 1854 (he was living at Edgbaston at the time). They had children:

Anna Maria Anstey (mother) died in December 1857 in Oxford (probably in childbirth). In the 1871 Census Rev. Henry Anstey was a widower and Vicar of St Mudrow, living at Wendron, Cornwall with his children. In 1880 in Brighton Rev. Henry Anstey remarried Martha Ann Stevens and in the 1881 Census they were living in Slapton, Buckinghamshire where he was “Rector of Slapton M. A.” They were still at Slapton Rectory in 1891 and by 1901 they had returned to Banbury Road, Oxford where Henry was a “Clergyman of the Church of England“.

By 1911 they were living at Downfield Road Clifton, Bristol where Rev. Henry Anstey was a “Clerk in Holy Orders, retired“. Rev. Henry Anstey died in 1916 in Bristol, buried in Westerleigh, Gloucestershire. Various newspapers reported his death, for example ” In his 89th year, the death took place at Downfield Road, Clifton, of the Rev. Henry Anstey, M.A., formerly Chaplain of Queen’s College, Oxford“; “The Rev. Henry Anstey, of St. Levan, Downfield Road, Clifton, who died in January at the age of 88, left estate valued at £14,282“; and “Death: The Rev. Henry Anstey, M.A., of Clifton, Bristol, at one time assistant master at Roesall School, Rector of Slapton, Bucks until 1892“. Six months later his widow Martha Ann Anstey also died “The death has occurred at St. Levan, Downfield Road, Clifton, of the widow of the Rev. Henry Anstey M.A., who pre-deceased her in January [1916]” per ‘South Bristol Free Press’ 10 June 1916 edition.

Rev. Henry Anstey communicated with Anstey researcher Thomas John Anstey (Tom) on numerous occasions in 1911.

Further Details on the Rugby Ansteys

We are actively on the lookout for Rugby Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Rugby Ansteys who fought in World War One, preferably with personal souvenirs such as letters sent by the soldiers or military photos etc. 

Anybody who has such expertise and inclination, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Rugby Ansteys, and continue to upload more all the time (see Project Updates), however it is spread over various segments of the website.

The best way to find said information is to enter ‘Rugby’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

Anybody who finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com and we will correct it.

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