The Trumpington Ansteys

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

Overview of the Trumpington Ansteys

The Trumpington Ansteys of Cambridgeshire are a sub-branch of the Blewbury Ansteys of Berkshire, headed by the famous 18th century poet Christopher Anstey. This sub-branch is also very closely connected to Walcot near Bath, Somerset.

Christopher Anstey the Poet (b 1724)

Christopher Anstey was born in Trumpington, Cambridgeshire in 1724 to parents Rev. Christopher Anstey and Mary Thompson. He attended Cambridge University, but was refused his M. A. in 1749 because during his address to the university authorities, he offended and belittled them by starting his speech with: “Doctors without doctrine, artless masters of arts, and bachelors more worthy of the rod than the laurel“.

When his mother died in 1754, Christopher Anstey inherited Anstey Hall in Trumpington and returned to live there. He married Ann Calvert, daughter of the extremely wealthy Felix Calvert of Albury Hall, Hertfordshire, in 1756, and then settled into a life of luxury. Christopher Anstey was made Sheriff of Cambridgeshire in 1771, however at almost the same time he decided to take up permanent residence in Bath, Somerset (which he had been visiting annually since 1760), living at No 4 Royal Crescent in central Bath until his death in 1805 at the house of Henry Bosanquet (his son-in-law) at Harden-Huish (next to Chippenham), Wiltshire – the ‘Salisbury and Winchester Journal‘ on 12 August 1805 reported “On Saturday 3rd inst at Harnish House in this County (the seat of Henry Bosanquet Esq) in the 81st year of his age Christopher Anstey Esq of Trumpington in Cambridgeshire, the celebrated author of ‘The New Bath Guide’“.

Christopher Anstey was interred at the church of St Swithin, Walcot, near Bath, in the vault holding the remains of William and William Thomas, his sixth and seventh sons, and of Sarah, his fourth daughter. His wife, Ann Calvert, who died on 31 January 1812, was also interred there – the ‘Bristol Mirror‘ reporting on 15 February 1812 “DIED. her 80th year. Mrs. Anstey, of Lyde House, Sion hill, relict Christopher Anstey, Esq late of Bath“.

Christopher Anstey is most famous for penning his poetical work ‘The New Bath Guide’, first published in 1766 to raving reviews such as containing “so much wit, so much humour, fun, and poetry, so much originality, [as] never met together before” [review by Horace Walpole the famous writer]. In remembrance of his life and contribution to literature, a monument to Christopher Anstey was placed near those of Shakespeare and Thomson in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey in 1807, where it can still be seen today. The ‘Hampshire Chronicle‘ on 29 June 1807 reported “A neat and elegant monument is erected in Poets Corner, in Westminster Abbey, to the memory of the late Christopher Anstey, Esq. a tribute justly due to the poetical talents of that distinguished writer, whose numerous private and domestic virtues, and exemplary conduct throughout life made him as universally beloved and respected, as the uncommon endowments of his mind, and the originality of his genius in composition, made him extensively known and admired as an author.

Christopher Anstey and Ann Calvert had a total of thirteen children, of whom eight outlived him – incredibly, despite having nine sons, only one of them (John Anstey) had sons of his own. This is confirmed by a letter sent by Rev. Henry Anstey of the Rugby Ansteys to fellow Anstey researcher Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1911, which stated “My great grandfather [Christopher Anstey the poet] aforesaid had several sons, but none of them left any son (or at any rate any legitimate son), except my grandfather John Anstey

Christopher Anstey and Ann Calvert‘s children were:

  • Rev. Christopher Anstey (b 1756 Trumpington, attended Rugby and then Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1775, married Elizabeth Grey and later her cousin, also Elizabeth Grey. In 1805 he succeeded to the estate at Trumpington on the death of his father. In 1817 “Rev. C. Anstey arrived at St James’ Square Bath“. According to the ‘Durham County Advertiser‘ 31 January 1818 edition “On Saturday last an elegant and massy silver turin and stand were presented to the Rev. C. Anstey of Norton near Stockton bearing the following inscription “Presented to the Rev C. Anstey A. M. Vicar of Norton by his grateful parishioners for whom he has endeared himself during a ministry of 32 years AD 1817“. They had no children and Elizabeth died in 1821 – the ‘Durham County Advertiser‘ 01 December 1821 reporting “DIED: At Norton near Stockton on Friday last in her 65th year, Elizabeth, wife of the Rev. Christopher Anstey, vicar of that place..” . The ‘Durham County Advertiser‘ on 1 June 1822 reported “The Rev. Christopher Anstey, vicar of Norton, returned 10% to his respective tenants on his late rent day. It is due to this liberal landlord to state that he never took advantage of the dear times to advance his rents“. In 1825 Rev. C. Anstey remarried – the ‘Durham Chronicle‘ on 29 January 1825 reported “At Norton on the 20th inst the Rev C. Anstey, vicar of that place to Miss E. Grey, sister of William Grey Esq of Stockton“. Rev. Christopher Anstey died in 1827, the ‘New Times (London)‘ on 28 December 1827 reporting “DIED. On the 19th inst. at the Vicarage, Norton, near Stockton upon Tees, the Rev. Christopher Anstey, of Trumpington, Cambridgeshire“);
  • John Anstey (b 1757 Trumpington- see below);
  • Robert Anstey (b 1760 Trumpington – an Anstey Hero);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1762 Trumpington, the ‘London Courier and Evening Gazette‘ on 9 April 1829 reported “Died: On Monday 6th inst at her house in Cavendish Crescent, Bath aged 66, Mrs [Miss?] Mary Ann Anstey, eldest daughter of the late Christopher Anstey Esq of Trumpington in the County of Cambridge” )
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1763 Trumpington, the ‘Sherborne Mercury‘ 2 January 1837 edition reported “Died: December 27, at her house, No. 1, Cavendish Crescent, Bath, Mrs [Miss?]. Elizabeth Anstey, second daughter of the late Christopher Anstey, Esq.“. She was buried on 4 January 1837 in Walcott aged 73);
  • Arthur Calvert Anstey (b 1764 Trumpington, married Diana Ann Pierson in 1794. He was living in Bath in 1814, referred to as “Arthur Anstey Esq” and by 1830 he was a barrister in Bath living at 22 Park Street. By the time of his death on 1 June 1847 he was living in Taunton. He was buried on 7 June 1847 at Walcot, St Swithins, “4th s/o Christopher; h/o Diana Ann“, referring to himself as ‘Arthur Anstey Calvert‘ by this time, as he had done for a few years);
  • Caroline Anstey (b 1767 Trumpington, married Henry Bosanquet in 1790 in Walcot);
  • Sarah Anstey (b 1769 Trumpington, married Rear Admiral Thomas Sotheby in Walcot in 1791. She died in 1802 “youngest daughter of Christopher Anstey Esq of Bath” and she is buried with her father in Walcot Church);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1770 Trumpington, attended Peterhouse College, Cambridge University in 1789, went to India, died in Bath, Somerset);
  • William Anstey (6th son, buried with his father in Walcot Church);
  • William Thomas Anstey (7th son, buried with his father in Walcot Church);
  • Walter John Anstey;
  • Thomas Christopher Anstey (died an infant);

John Anstey (b 1757 Trumpington)

John Anstey (b 1757 Trumpington) attended Eton and then King’s College, Cambridge University in 1777. Like his father Christopher Anstey, John Anstey was also a poet, as well as a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn.

In 1785, a couple of years after the conclusion of the American War of Independence, John Anstey was made a member of the Commission for Enquiring into the Losses, Services, and Claims of the American Loyalists (‘American Loyalists’ were American colonists who had remained loyal to the British Crown throughout the war). After stopping at Mount Vernon, John Anstey left for Charleston, eventually touring much of America before returning to England in September 1788 to render a final report on the Loyalists’ claims. He is mentioned in the diaries of George Washington (who he clearly met) on 11 December 1786 “In the Afternoon a Mr. Anstey (Commissioner from England for ascertaining the claims of the refugees) with a Mr. Woodorf (supposed to be his Secretary) came in and stayed all Night.“; on 13 January 1787 “About 8 Oclock in the evening Doctor. Stuart on his return from the General Assembly at Richmond &
Mr. Anstey came in.
“; and 14 January 1787 “Doctor. Stuart stayed and dined as did Mr. Anstey after which both went away—the 1st. to his own home and the other to Alexandria.

In 1792 John Anstey married Helen Senior at Walcot Church in Bath, then in 1796, under the pseudonym of John Surrebutter, John Anstey wrote a didactic poem of the legal profession entitled ‘The Pleader’s Guide’, described as “containing the conduct of a suit at law, with the arguments of Counsellor Bother’um and Counsellor Bore’um, in an action between John-a-Gull and John-a-Gudgeon for assault and battery at a late contested election”. In 1808, John Anstey edited and published some of his father’s works in ‘The Poetical Works Of Christopher Anstey: With Some Account Of The Life And Writings Of The Author’.

In a a letter sent by Rev. Henry Anstey of the Rugby Ansteys to fellow Anstey researcher Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1911, he stated “[my grandfather]  John Anstey had five sons of whom three married and had several sons“. John Anstey and Helen Senior had children:

  • Christopher John Anstey (b 1794 Bath, never married or had children. He became a barrister and he sold Anstey Hall, Trumpington in 1838. In the 1861 Census he was an “unmarried barrister not in practice” lodging in Chelsea);
  • William Jekyll Anstey (b 1795 Bath – see below);
  • John Thomas Anstey (b 1795 Shirehampton – see below);
  • Helen Anstey (b 1796 Shirehampton, never married. She was an “annuitant” living in Southampton with her brother George and sister Caroline in the 1871 Census)
  • Charles Alleyne Anstey (b 1797 Marylebone – patriarch of the Rugby Ansteys);
  • George Anstey (b 1799 Marylebone, never married. He was “retired from audit office” living in Southampton with his sisters Helen and Caroline in the 1871 Census);
  • Caroline Anstey (b 1802 Marylebone, never married. She was an “annuitant” living in Southampton with her brother George and sister Helen in the 1871 Census);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1804 Aldenham, died in early 1807, the ‘Kentish Gazette‘ on 23 January 1807 reporting “Death: Tuesday – the youngest daughter of J. Anstey Esq of Queen Ann Street West“)

In 1802 per the ‘Oracle and the Daily Advertiser‘ “John Anstey Esq [was living at] Gloucester Place, Portman Square“. In 1806 John Anstey was one of ‘His Majesty’s Commissioners for Auditing the Public Accounts‘. In 1811 and still in 1817 John Anstey Esq was living at Hertford Street, London.

John Anstey died in 1819 – the ‘Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser‘ on 2 December 1819 reporting “Died: Nov 25 in Hertford Street, Mayfair, John Anstey Esq, one of His Majesty’s Commissioners for Auditing the Public Accounts“. He was buried in Trumpington, Cambridgeshire.

John Thomas Anstey (b 1795)

John Thomas Anstey was born in 1795 in Shirehampton, Gloucestershire (baptised in Westbury upon Trym in 1811), third son of John Anstey Esq. He attended the College of Fort St George and in 1813 embarked for India to study Sanscrit – per the ‘Government Gazette (India)‘ 14 July 1814 edition “J. T. Anstey [arrived in India] 9 August 1813 [gained a] Second Class in Tamil“.

He married Charlotte Filmer in 1823 in Walcot (the ‘Bristol Mirror‘ on 26 July 1823 reported “Marriage: At Walcot Church by the Rev. W. Filmer, J. T. Anstey Esq of the H. E. I Company’s Madras Civil Service to Charlotte, second daughter of the late E. Filmer Esq of Bath and granddaughter of the late Rev. Sir Edmund Filmer Bart. of Sutton Park Kent“. They had children:

  • Rev. John Filmer Anstey (b 1825 India – see below);
  • Edmund Francis Anstey (b 1825 Madras, India – an Anstey Hero);
  • Charlotte Anstey (b 1826 Madras, India, married Thomas Bennett in Clifton in 1848);
  • Frederick Anstey (b 1827, the ‘Bombay Gazette‘ on 24 October 1827 reported “At Cocanadeh on the 30 September, the lady of J. T. Anstey Esq, Civil Service, of a son“. He died an infant in January 1828 at Rajamundry per the ‘Bombay Gazette‘ 05 March 1828 edition)
  • Ellen Anstey (b 1828, India, married John Macron in Bath in 1850);
  • Caroline Anstey (b 1830 Bath, unmarried in 1857);
  • Arthur Anstey (b 1833 Walcot, died in 1847, the ‘Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette‘ on 8 July 1847 reported “FATAL ACCIDENT: On Saturday afternoon, between 3 and 4 o clock a fatal accident occurred to Master Arthur Anstey 14 years of age, son of J. T. Anstey Esq of Lansdown Crescent, Bath. It appears that the deceased was riding a horse in the carriage road when from some unexplained cause the animal took fright and started off towards Widcombe at a terrific pace. Being under no control and from the rate at which it was going being unable to turn the corner of Sussex Place it struck against the pavement which is there raised above the ground, fell and threw its rider on the pavement a distance of several feet with tremendous force. When taken up Master Anstey was entirely insensible, blood was flowing from his ear and a cut was observed on his left temple. As speedily as possible he was conveyed to the United Hospital..but fruitlessly. Deceased was evidently suffering from concussion of the brain, combined with fracture of the skull, and after remaining in a comatose state until midnight, expired“)

John Thomas Anstey was an “esquire” who worked for the English Civil Service in Madras, India in the 1820s (he was described as “J. T. Anstey Esq Civil Service Madras” in 1821). By the 1841 Census the family had returned to England and were living at Notton House in Lacock. By 1847 they were living at Lansdown Crescent, Bath. By the 1851 Census the family were still living in Bath, Somerset; John Thomas Anstey was a “late Madras Civil Service – Fund holder“.

In 1857, according to a codicil of the will of Francis Filmer (uncle of Charlotte Filmer), there were five surviving children of this marriage, being “[Francis Filmer’s] great-nephews Rev. JOHN FILMER ANSTEY and EDMUND FRANCIS ANSTEY, £2,000, and to their sisters, CHARLOTTE BENNETT, ELLEN MARCON and CAROLINE ANSTEY £1,000 each“. Francis Filmer also bequeathed to John Thomas Anstey and his wife Charlotte rather a large sum of cash, plus he wrote that “I give and devise my Mansion House at Woodbury aforesaid, coachhouses, stables, outbuildings, offices, gardens and all other my messuages lands and premises in Woodbury aforesaid (except those hereinafter specifically devised) unto and to the use of JOHN THOMAS ANSTEY now residing at Bath Esquire his heirs and assigns for ever. I also give and bequeath to the said JOHN THOMAS ANSTEY and CHARLOTTE his wife, all and singular the household goods and furniture, implements of household, fixtures, books, linen, china, plate, pictures, prints, goods and other effects of what nature and kind so ever now being or which shall be in or upon the said Mansion House, and other the messuages, buildings, lands and premises hereinbefore devised to him as aforesaid.

John Thomas Anstey died in 1885 in Bath, Somerset, while living at 8 Lansdown Crescent; his son Rev. John Filmer Anstey was the sole executor. As both Rev. John Filmer Anstey and Edmund Francis Anstey only had daughters, this family became Anstey-extinct once Rev. John Filmer Anstey died in 1912.

William Jekyll Anstey (b 1795)

William Jekyll Anstey was born in 1795 in Bath, Somerset, second son of John Anstey Esq. He married Balbina Isabella Franchi (b 1799 Portugal) in Lisbon, St George, Portugal in 1818 and they moved to first Chelsea in London and then Jamaica in the West Indies. William Jekyll Anstey was the (Deputy) Postmaster General of Jamaica from 1824 to 1832 (he was D. P. M. G. in 1827), then on his return to England he became Postmaster of Bath from 1832 to 1833.

According to the ‘Blue Book 1824William Jekyll Anstey‘s “Salary of £400 Sterling pa with an extra allowance of £228-2-6 pa to cover the contingencies of Office. = £879-7-6 Currency. The Deputy Postmaster General enjoys the exclusive privilege of franking Colonial newspapers to all parts of the Island of Jamaica, from which a profit is derived of about £2000 Currency. Net amount received by the Principal = £2056-13-11 Sterling, £2879-7-6 Currency.

William Jekyll Anstey and Balbina had children:

  • Julia Helen Anstey (b 1821 Chelsea (the ‘Sun (London)‘ on 10 April 1821 reported “BIRTH. On Saturday the 7th instant, at Chelsea, the Lady of William Jekyll Anstey, Esq. of a daughter“), married Henry Gawler Bridge Esq in 1852 in Thanet, Kent);
  • Balbina Emma Anstey (b 1824 Kingston, Jamaica – the ‘Morning Post‘ on 27 April 1824 reported “BIRTHS— On the 17th of February last, at Kingston, Jamaica, the Lady of William Jekyll Anstey, Esq., Deputy Postmaster General of that Island, of a daughter“. She married Robert Alexander William Westley in 1849 in Kensington);
  • Sophia Caroline Anstey (b 1825 Kingston, Jamaica – the ‘British Press‘ on 15 October 1825 reporting “On the 2nd August at Devon, Penn, Liguania, Jamaica, the lady of William Jekyll Anstey Esq, Deputy Postmaster General, a daughter“. She married William Castle Smith Esq in 1846 – the ‘Morning Post‘ 21 November 1846 edition reporting “On the 19th inst at St Pancras New Church by the Rev. Charles A[lleyne] Anstey M. A. William Castle Smith Esq of Cambridge Place, Regents Park, son of the late William Smith Esq M. D. of Bideford Devon to Sophia Caroline, third daughter of William Jekyll Anstey Esq of Brompton Crescent, late Postmaster General of Jamaica“);
  • Louisa Matilda Anstey (b 1827 Kingston, Jamaica, married Heinrich Wilhelm Kern in 1873 in Hampstead);
  • William Wilson Anstey (b 1827 Kingston, Jamaica, an American Anstey pioneer and co-patriarch of the New York City Ansteys);
  • Frederick Thomas Senior Anstey (b 1829 Kingston, Jamaica, unmarried in 1851, died in 1857 in Kensington);
  • Laura Isabella Anstey (b 1831 Kingston, Jamaica, married George Gordon Forlong Esq in 1852 in Margate, Kent);
  • Robert Anstey (b 1833 Bath, an American Anstey pioneer and co-patriarch of the New York City Ansteys);
  • Frank Calvert Poussett Anstey (b 1836 Weymouth, Dorset. He married Ruth Jones in 1860 in St Martins in the Field, London. They had children Balbina Ruth Anstey (b 1862 Wandsworth); Frank Anstey (b 1865 Islington); Amy Anstey (b 1868 Highgate); Julia Isabella Anstey (b 1869 Highgate, married John Halford and was executor of her father’s will in 1905); Montague Percy Anstey (b 1871 Highgate); Jessie Anstey (b 1874 Highgate); and Edith Anstey (b 1876 Blackheath, Kent). In the 1881 Census the family were living in Epsom, Surrey – Frank (father) was an “accountant of an insurance company“. Frank (father) died in 1905 in Epsom, Surrey, living at Chester Lodge, Brunswick Road, Sutton – probate was in 1906 to his daughter Julia Isabella Halford.);
  • Herbert Anstey (b 1840 Plymouth, an American Anstey pioneer and co-patriarch of the New York City Ansteys);
  • Fanny Amelia Anstey (b 1846 Kensington, married Alfred Joseph Veale in Pancras, London in 1875).

In the 1841 Census the family were living at Chapel Street, East Stonehouse. In the 1851 Census William Jekyll Anstey, a “fundholder” and his family were living in Brompton Crescent, Kensington. In 1852 William Wilson Anstey won an award from the ‘Royal Humane Society‘ for “saving his father, Mr W. Jekyll Anstey, in the London Docks.

William Jekyll Anstey died in Kensington, London in 1868.

Rev. John Filmer Anstey (b 1825)

Rev. John Filmer Anstey (b 1825 India), attended Oriel College, Oxford University in 1843, and then married first Caroline Daubeny [Daubeney] in 1850 in Cirencester and later Anna Maria Daubeny, having a single child Caroline Mary Filmer Anstey (b 1869 Paddington – see below). As noted above, John Filmer Anstey was a major beneficiary of the 1856/7 will of Francis Filmer (uncle of his mother Charlotte Filmer). He was also the sole executor of his father John Thomas Anstey‘s will in 1885, of which he would have been the principal beneficiary as his brother Edmund Francis Anstey had already died.

John Filmer Anstey died in 1912 a very rich man indeed. ‘The Globe‘ newspaper of 24 December 1912 reported “LARGE ESTATES: The Rev John Filmer Anstey M. A. of St James Terrace, Regents Park, died on November 30th, leaving £142,026, all of which goes to his daughter Mrs Caroline Mary Samborne-Palmer absolutely

[Note: £142,026 in 1912 would be equivalent to around £10 million in 2021 money]

John Filmer Anstey is today remembered at ‘Anstey’s Chantry‘ in Westminster Cathedral where can be found the following dedication:

This chapel was given for the glory of God and in honour of St Paul the Apostle and to be a memorial to her beloved parents John Filmer Anstey and Anna Maria Anstey [nee Daubeny] by their daughter Caroline Mary Samborne-Palmer for whose intentions the holy sacrifice of the mass shall be offered daily in this chapel in perpetuity. 7 October 1913.

Caroline Mary Filmer Samborne–Palmer (nee Anstey) was John Filmer Anstey‘s only child (b 1869 Paddington). In the 1871 Census the family were living at Belvedere Road, Croydon. After her father’s death, Caroline Mary Filmer Samborne-Palmer become a very wealthy woman indeed, and in 1921 she filed for divorce from her husband Colonel Frederick Carey Stockly Samborne-Palmer, as reported in the ‘Sheffield Daily Telegraph‘ on 18 November 1921 where it states “WIFES INDEPENDENCE: Separation With Allowance for Husband. In the divorce court yesterday Sir Henry Duke heard the petition of Colonel Frederick Carey Stockly Samborne-Palmer of the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, for a decree for the restitution of conjugal rights against his wife Mrs Caroline Mary Filmer Samborne–Palmer (nee Anstey). The respondent replied that she had reasonable grounds for refusing to live with her husband and alleged that he had treated her with unkindness and cruelty and she had asked for a judicial separation. The petitioner denied his wife’s allegations. The onus being on the respondent, Sir Charles Gill opened the case on her behalf and admitted that the wife had withdrawn from cohabitation and refused to live with her husband. She said that her husband was suspicious, disagreeable, dictatorial, bad tempered towards her, used coarse and unkind and cutting remarks to her, used threats towards her and had assaulted her. The case was an exceptional one. The question was Under what circumstance was a woman justified in refusing to cohabit with her husband? ..the respondent was the only child of the Rev. John Filmer Anstey, a clergyman of the Church of England, and they were people of considerable means. After the marriage, petitioners description of his wife was written in a letter as follows:- Her simplicity and faith are something wonderful while her knowledge of the world can only be compared to that of a child of seven. She had been brought up like a hothouse plant, shielded from everything…

Further Details on the Trumpington Ansteys

#1. The ‘Bristol Mirror‘ on 2 September 1815 reported “DEATH: Monday at Perrymead near Bath Francis Ansty [Francis Anstey] Esq aged 79 [after a long illness] – he has bequeathed to the Bath General Hospital; the Blue Coat School; and Casualty Hospital 100l each“. Other reports add “And to the Bath City Infirmary and Dispensary 300l, besides handsome legacies to numerous friends“. Even though he ‘sounds like’ a ‘Trumpington Anstey’ he is not – he belongs to an earlier Bath Anstey sub-branch (see ANSTEY: The Devon and Somerset Branch).

We are actively on the lookout for Trumpington Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Trumpington 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 Trumpington 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 ‘Trumpington’ 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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