The Milverton Ansteys

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Milverton Ansteys Overview

The Milverton Ansteys of Somerset are a sub-branch of the Dulverton Ansteys (sub-branch E), and thus form part of the South West Peninsula Ansteys.

The patriarch of the Milverton Ansteys is George Anstey (b 1762 Dulverton) – even though he never lived in Milverton, his widow Judith Anstey did, as well as his son Arthur Anstey and daughter Louise Jane Anstey.

George Anstey (b 1762 Dulverton)

George Anstey was born in 1762 in Dulverton to parents Richard Anstey and Mary Vicary. George Anstey inherited vast wealth from his father Richard Anstey when he died in 1782, becoming a ‘gentleman’. George Anstey married Judith (possibly Judith Knapping of St Mary le Shand, Middlesex in Shopland Essex in April 1802 or Rochford, Essex in April 1805) and they had children:

  • George Richard Anstey (b 1810 Watford, married Eliza James in 1833 in North Cray, Kent and became a Reverend);
  • Julia Anstey (b before 1812, the ‘Saint James’s Chronicle‘ on 27 August 1829 reported “Married: August 25 at St Pancras Church, Campbell Wright Hobson Esq of Grays Inn to Julia, eldest daughter of the late George Anstey Esq of Russell Square“. She died before 1837?);
  • Louisa Jane Anstey (b 1812 Hanover Square, died in January 1846 in Milverton, described in the ‘St James Chronicle‘ as “Louisa Jane, young daughter of the late George Anstey Esq of Russell Square“); and
  • Arthur Anstey (b 1815 Camden, married Fanny Agnes Corser in 1842 in Brighton, became a Curate, lived in Milverton for a time).

In 1815 per the ‘Morning Chronicle‘ 01 November 1815 edition “FASHIONABLE ARRIVALS [in London]: George Anstey Esq and Mrs Anstey and family at the St Petersburgh Hotel, Dover Street from their seat near Bristol“.

It is likely the “George Anstey Esq” who appears in the ‘Hampshire Telegraph‘ on 14 September 1818 auctioning “all the live and dead stock, farming utensils, implements of husbandry and effects of George Anstey Esq of Westbrook Place, Godalming, Surrey” is this ‘George’.

George Anstey died in September 1826 in Bloomsbury, London (he was living in Russell Square at the time of his demise, the newspapers reporting that “on the 22 [September 1826] George Anstey Esq of Russel Square aged 65 [died]“). The ‘Morning Herald‘ on 22 December 1826 reported “ALL Persons having any CLAIM on GEORGE ANSTEY, Esq. late of Russell.square, deceased, are requested to send the particulars of their accounts forthwith, to Messrs. Holme, Frampton, and Loftus, New Inn, London, for the purpose of having the same examined…

His executors sold off some of his properties, for example the ‘Morning Herald (London)‘ 25 July 1828 edition had “In Russell Square corner of Guildford Street – two capital family residences for occupation or investment, one with possession the other on lease, also coach house and five stall stable behind held for nearly seventy years…by order of the executors of George Anstey Esq, deceased“.

His widow Judith Anstey moved first to Brighton (living at 33 Regency Square in 1839) and then to Milverton with her son Arthur Anstey and daughter Louisa Jane Anstey in c1840. Judith died in Milverton in September 1844, the newspapers reporting that “on the 24th inst at Milverton Somerset Judith, widow of the late George Anstey Esq of Russell Square, aged 66“.

George Richard Anstey (b 1810 Watford)

George Richard Anstey was born in 1810 in Watford, Hertfordshire. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1829 and St Alban College, Oxford University in 1833. In October 1830 he was appointed to the 4th New Zealand Dragoons “by purchase“, retiring under a year later in May 1831.

George Richard Anstey then married Eliza James (b 1815 in London) in 1833 in North Cray, Kent, the ‘Morning Chronicle‘ newspaper reporting that “On Tuesday 30 April [1833] at North Cray Church by the Rev. E. W. Edgell, George Richard Anstey Esq, eldest son of the late George Anstey Esq of Russell Square to Eliza, second daughter of W. R. James Esq of North Cray, Kent and Ely Place, London“.

George Richard Anstey became a Reverend (Rev. George Richard Anstey M. A.), living in various locations across England including Kent, Hampshire, Devon. Somerset and York; he was a major beneficiary of his uncle Richard Anstey‘s will when it went to probate in 1837. George Richard and Eliza had children:

  • Julia Frampton Anstey (b 1834 Ryde St Thomas, Hampshire, unmarried in 1881 living with her mother Eliza in Edinburgh. She was still unmarried at the time of the 1911 Census, living off “private means” at The Haven Sutton Valence Kent. She died in 1923 in Reigate, Surrey);
  • Maria Campbell Hill Anstey (b 1837 Willsden, Yorkshire, married Robert Laidlaw Stuart in Richmond, Surrey in 1861);
  • George Anstey (b c1838? Aigley House in Devon – though the 1851 Census says ‘Oxfordshire’. He migrated to Australia, becoming an Australian Anstey pioneer, settling in Port Elliot, South Australia where he died in 1869);
  • Hannah Louisa Anstey (b 30 December 1838 York – a twin);
  • Arthur Sipthorp Anstey (b 30 December 1838 York – a twin, died a young child in York in 1840);
  • Francis Thomas Anstey (b 1840 Dulverton – the ‘Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser‘ on 28 October 1840 reported “At Dulverton, the lady of the Rev George Anstey, a son“. He was baptised on 20 November 1840 in Dulverton – incidentally this was the final ‘Anstey’ baptism in Dulverton after many centuries of Ansteys being baptised there. Francis Thomas Anstey died in 1847 in Cheltenham);
  • Gertrude Eliza Anstey (b 1842 Sutton Valence, Kent, married Alexander Clark in Madras, India in 1870)

The ‘Leeds Mercury‘ 28 October 1837 reported “Infant School Wilsden – On Saturday last G. R. Anstey Esq laid the first stone of an infant school about to be erected in Wilsden for the education of the poor in the principles of the established church in connection with the National Society. The school has hitherto been supported by that gentleman..” In March 1838 George Richard Anstey became a Deacon.

In September 1840, George Richard Anstey was living in Acomb, Yorkshire, when Mary Robinson was accused of “feloniously and maliciously” setting fire to his house. The fire had actually occurred a year previously and also involved some thefts, the ‘Yorkshire Gazette‘ 12 October 1839 reporting “Fire At Vicarage House Acomb: Shortly after the fire which broke out Saturday last at the Vicarage House Acomb near York was got under, suspicion was raised that it was the act of an incendiary. From statements made by some servants of Rev G. R. Anstey, the cook was supposed to be implicated in the matter… Rev George Richard Anstey deposed that he occupied the house in Acomb in which the fire took place last Saturday morning. About 4:30am on that morning he was awoken by one of the female servants shouting ‘fire’ at his bedroom door. Witness got up and found the cupboard in which the dirty clothes are kept ablaze. He called up the man servant and sent him off to York for the fire engine...” The following week “The Late Fire at Acomb. — We mentioned last week that a fire had unexpectedly broken out in the house of the Rev. G. Anstey, at Acomb. We have now the unpleasant duty of stating that Mary Robinson, the cook to Mr. Ansty, has been committed to York” and later that month “The Rev George Richard Anstey, of Acomb Hall, near York, and late of St. Alban Hall, has been nominated to the Perpetual Curacy of Wilsden, Yorkshire

The ‘Patriot‘ on 22 October 1840 reported “Dulverton, Somerset: The following account has been sent to us of the offence against the Toleration Act committed at this place by a clergyman – On Sabbath evening October 4 the Rev. George Anstey, a clergyman of the Church of England, entered the Independent Chapel at Dulverton and while the Minister, the Rev. J. Poole, was in prayer, called him a hypocrite and his prayer a ‘humbug’ and used other opprobrious language towards him thereby creating a confusion in the place. For this offence he was summoned before the magistrates…the business was finally arranged [with] the Rev gentleman making a public apology which was read before the meeting, paid all the expenses incurred and also paid 5l to be given away in bread to the poor

In August 1841 George Richard Anstey announced that he was permanently “leaving the neighbourhood of Dulverton” and selling his “costly, modern and truly valuable furniture and effects” including a piano and fine wines.

George Richard Anstey died in September 1846 in Ludlow, Shropshire. His widow Eliza Anstey was living in Lansdown Villas in Cheltenham in the 1851 Census (a “widow” and a “proprietor of houses“). Eliza Anstey died in Greenhill Gardens, Edinburgh in September 1881, where she was described as “widow of Reverend George Richard Anstey of Dulverton Somersetshire

Arthur Anstey (b 1815 Camden)

Arthur Anstey was born in 1815 in Camden, he attended Worcester College, Oxford University in 1835 and he was a major beneficiary of his uncle Richard Anstey‘s will when it went to probate in 1837. Arthur Anstey married Fanny Agnes Corser (b 1812 Oxley, Staffordshire) in Brighton in 1842 and then moved to Milverton in Somerset, where he became Curate of Raddington (Arthur appears frequently in the Milverton parish registers as “Arthur Anstey, curate of Raddington”). Arthur Anstey was also a Reverend and Curate of Bolney in 1841 and Sixpenny Handley in Dorset by 1851. Arthur Anstey and Fanny had children:

In the 1851 Census, Arthur Anstey was “perpetual curate of Handley“, living in Sixpenny Handley with his wife Fanny and their four children. By the 1861 Census, Arthur Anstey and Fanny were living in Sidmouth, Devon. Arthur Anstey died in November 1866 in Paris, the ‘Morning Advertiser‘ newspaper noting “[Death] On the 5th [November] at Paris, the Rev Arthur Anstey, perpetual curate of Handley, Dorset, aged 51“.

His widow Fanny Agnes Anstey died on 26 October 1881, living at 2 The Mount St Leonard’s on Sea in Sussex – probate was to her son Arthur Campbell Clements Anstey.

There are interesting memorial inscriptions in Sixpenny Handley which indicate there were more children of Arthur and Fanny, however we find no other evidence of them so presumably they died as children. The memorial inscriptions are clearly referencing this family and state:

  • Thomas Reginald Anstey, son of Arthur“. Grave Reference 346;
  • Annie Anstey, sister of Thomas“. Grave Reference 93;
  • Rev Arthur Anstey, father of Thomas“. Grave Reference 346 (Note: Incumbent);
  • Fanny Agnes Anstey, mother of Thomas“. Grave Reference 346;
  • Harriet Anstey, sister of Thomas“. Grave Reference 93;
  • Jane Anstey, sister of Thomas“. Grave Reference 93.

Arthur Campbell Clements Anstey (b 1843 Milverton)

Arthur Campbell Clements Anstey, known as Rev. A. C. C. Anstey, was born in Milverton in 1843, baptised on 16 April 1843, to parents Arthur Anstey and Fanny Agnes Corser. He attended University College, Oxford University in 1862 and then became a Reverend. He married Agnes Randall in 1871 in Bristol and they had children:

  • Arthur Henry Anstey (b 1872 Bristol, he communicated with chief researcher Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1911, at which time he was at Codrington College in Barbados and he is mentioned in Tom‘s 1913 ‘The Anstey Family‘ article. In 1901 he was an unmarried clergyman living at Chessell Street, Bristol. According to WikipediaArthur Henry Anstey CBE DD (1873 – 13 November 1955) was Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago from 1918 until 1945; and for his last two years there Archbishop of the West Indies (primate of all the Church in the Province of the West Indies). Anstey was educated at Charterhouse School and Keble College, Oxford. After graduation, he was ordained in 1898 and began his ecclesiastical career with curacies at Aylesbury and Bedminster. From 1904 he was principal of St Boniface Missionary College, Warminster and after that (until his appointment to the episcopate) Chaplain to Proctor Swaby, Bishop of Barbados. There is a school named after Anstey in Port of Spain [Bishop Anstey Junior School].“. The ‘Western Daily Press‘ 29 March 1945 edition has a photo of Arthur together with the caption “Dr Arthur Henry Anstey, Bishop of Trinidad, Archbishop of the West Indies has returned to England in ill-health. He has resigned the primacy and will resign the Trinidad Bishopric. Dr Anstey was curate at St Aldhelms Bedminster 1900-1902 and for the following two years was minister of the newly constituted district of St Aldhelm. He was Principal at St Boniface Missionary College Warminster 1904-1910“. He died 13 November 1955 at Barnwood House Hospital, Gloucester – seemingly he never married);
  • Fanny Agnes Anstey (b 1873 Bristol, died in 1889 in Bristol);
  • Theodore Reginald Anstey (b 1875 Stroud, known as Reginald – alive in 1900 at which time he was Master at Grahamstown College in South Africa, he was presumably there in c1910. He died on 28 March 1944 in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa); and
  • Gertrude Ann Randall Anstey (b 6 February 1878 Stroud, living at Grahamstown in South Africa in 1900 with her uncle and aunt, the Bishop and Mrs Cornish – she was presumably still there in c1910. She never married and died on 25 November 1949 living at Barnwood House, Gloucester)

Rev A. C. C. Anstey is mentioned in Tom‘s 1913 ‘The Anstey Family‘ article. His wife Agnes died on 17 February 1878 at Whitesall Vicarage in Stroud, presumably due to complications after childbirth (the ‘Stroud Journal‘ on 23 February 1878 reported “ANSTEY February 17 at Whiteshill, Stroud, age 26, Agnes wife of the Rev A. C. C. Anstey“).

Rev A. C. C. Anstey died on 14 January 1900 living at Pearl Street, Bedminster – probate was to his son Arthur Henry Ansteyclerk“. The ‘Bristol Mercury‘ 15 January 1900 edition stated “DEATH OF CANON ANSTEY: It is with deep regret that we have to record the sudden death of Canon Anstey, which occurred yesterday morning at his residence in Pearl Street, Bedminster. The tidings caused quite a shock in Church circles and amongst many of other denominations who valued deeply his work in Bristol. There had been no hint that he was in ill health. Although slight of build he was wiry and he had rarely complained of anything more serious than an occasional headache. Early on Saturday he had spoken of feeling a trifle unwell, but by evening he seemed to have recovered his usual health and gave attention to a variety of matters. He was interested in making arrangement for a forthcoming school treat and had a chat with some friends about his new home in Pearl Street, into which he had moved about three weeks ago. It had been adapted to his modest needs and he was gratified that it had the advantage of being in the heart of his work…shortly after seven o clock [his housekeeper] took his hot water upstairs and on tapping on the door could get no answer. She knocked more loudly but there was still no response whereupon she looked into the room and at once saw the deceased gentleman lying on the floor with a towel in his hand…his hearts action had failed…the Rev Arthur Campbell Clements Anstey was a son of the late Rev George [typo – should be Arthur] Anstey, who years ago was well known in Devon; and he went to University College, Oxford taking his BA degree in 1867 and his MA two years later. He was for four years up to 1871 an Assistant Master at Uppingham School and in 1871 he was ordained Deacon, passing to priests orders the following year.He was Curate of Redcliff for three years up to 1874 when he became Vicar of Whiteshill, a village near Stroud. He married Miss Agnes Randall, the third daughter of the late Archdeacon Randall…The Rev A. C. C. Anstey remained at Whiteshill until 1883 and during his residence there he suffered heavy bereavement in the death of his wife. He returned to Bristol as vicar of St John’s Bedminster and was there for five years up to 1888…thence to St Johns Redland…he was made an Honorary Canon of Bristol Cathedral shortly after going to Bedmister. Canon Anstey was about 56 years of age and leaves three children – the Rev Arthur Anstey, Mr Reginald Anstey and Miss Anstey. Mr Anstey is a Master at Grahamstown College and Miss Anstey is also at Grahamstown, residing with her uncle and aunt Bishop and Mrs Cornish. The deceased gentleman has two cousins living in Clifton, the Misses Anstey of Downfield Road [see Further Details #2 below]

Further Details on the Milverton Ansteys

#1. George Anstey‘s brother Robert Anstey was also an ‘Esquire’ living in Dulverton most of his later adult life. In 1820 “Robert Anstey Esq of Dulverton” was selling a spacious dwelling house in Dulverton. Per the ‘Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette‘ 08 September 1825 “Robert Anstey, Dulverton” was the only ‘Anstey’ to obtain a Game Certificate in that year in Somerset (ditto 1820). The ‘Morning Herald (London)‘ 11 December 1826 reported “Died: On Wednesday 6 inst, Robert Anstey Esq of Dulverton Somerset, in the 63rd year of his age“. Another brother Richard Anstey obtained a game certificate in Dulverton in 1832. On 5 December 1826, the day before he died, Robert Anstey wrote his last will – in it he bequeathed large sums to his sisters Sarah Greenslade and Mary Peppin, as well as the “four nephews and nieces of my brother George Anstey deceased” with the bulk going to his brother Richard Anstey – the will was proved on 27 October 1828.

#2. In Rev A. C. C. Anstey‘s above obituary it was noted that he “has two cousins living in Clifton, the Misses Anstey of Downfield Road” – this is referring to two daughters of Rev. Charles Alleyne Anstey, Ann and Susan Anstey. However it is a great stretch to call them ‘cousins’ (they are very distant cousins indeed) – but it is more evidence that the higher class Dulverton and Trumpington Ansteys in the 1800s thought themselves much closer related than they actually were.

#3. Around four weeks after the death of Richard Anstey, his belongings were auctioned off – the ‘Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser‘ 03 May 1837 reporting “Dulverton Somerset To be Sold by Public Auction at the residence of the late Richard Anstey Esq deceased…all the household goods, furniture and personal effects of the said Mr Anstey… [including] a quantity of well-bound books…”

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