Anna Mary Babington was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn during 1893 at its Isis-Urania temple in London. She chose the Latin motto Perfecta victoria est de semitipso triumphare. She never really followed up her initiation and resigned from the Order in April 1895. It was probably just too difficult for her to be a committed member, as she had recently gone to live in Italy.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2016
From January to December this year, this biography contained a section on Benjamin Fayle, businessman and industrialist. However, in December 2016 a researcher on the industrial archaeology of Dorset contacted me, pointing out the errors in my account. There were rather a lot of them! - so I have decided to leave that section to the experts.
This file is still a complete rewrite (completed January 2016) of my original biography of Anna Mary. Nothing else was good enough after Terry Sheppard of the Rothley Heritage Trust contacted me to correct my original assumptions about Anna Mary’s financial circumstances. Thanks are due to Terry, for drawing my attention to the clay business and the tea rooms; and for sending me his recent booklet, which had copies of all sorts of family documents in it.
THE BABINGTON FAMILY
The surname may ring a bell to those with an interest in Mary Queen of Scots: Anthony Babington of the 1586 plot to free the queen, was a member of the same family. Another line of Babingtons were lords of the manor of Rothley and Soke in Leicestershire until the early 19th century. Thomas Babington of the Rothley and Soke line (1758-1837) was a philanthropist, member of the Clapham Sect and anti-slavery campaigner. Thomas’ brother-in-law Zachary Macaulay, another anti-slavery activist, gave his son the ‘Babington’ name and the son made it very famous: Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59) became a Whig politician and very influential historian.
So, plenty of distinguished Babingtons for Anna Mary to be proud of. However, I’m going to begin my rewritten biography with the friendship of physician William Babington and businessman Benjamin Fayle, great-grandfathers of Anna Mary Babington.
WILLIAM BABINGTON (1756-1833) was born in northern Ireland and became a doctor and surgeon. As was usual in the 18th century he began his training by serving an apprenticeship; then he went on to study medicine at Guy’s Hospital in London and at Aberdeen University; and learned surgery at the Haslar naval hospital in Portsmouth. He returned to Guy’s Hospital, as its apothecary and as a member of its teaching staff; was consulting physician to the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Kent Road; and also ran a successful private practice in the City and the Finsbury area of London. However, if times had been different it’s likely that he would not have chosen medicine as his profession: his main interests were in chemistry, and mineralogy. He bought the Earl of Bute’s mineral collection and catalogued it. It was on his recommendation that the Government bought the Greville mineral collection which is now in the Natural History Museum. He was one of the founders of the Geological Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He knew Joseph Priestley, probably while the Priestleys were living in Clapton (1791-94); and Humphry Davy, who took up his post at the Royal Institution in London in 1801. Both men were chemists: Priestley has a claim to have discovered the existence of oxygen; Davy discovered the properties of sodium and potassium and did important work on the nature of chlorine. They also both investigated electricity.
Benjamin Fayle (1751-1831) was another Irishman who moved to London. His involvement in the extraction of clay for the Midlands pottery industry, from pits on the Isle of Purbeck, made him a wealthy man. William Babington was not a partner in the exploitation of the clay-pits, but his descendants too were made wealthy by them.
BENJAMIN GUY BABINGTON AND ANNA MARIA FAYLE
As Benjamin Fayle and William Babington were very close friends, both families must have been delighted when William’s son Benjamin Guy married Benjamin’s daughter Anna Maria, late in 1816.
Benjamin Guy was the fourth son of William Babington and his wife Martha Elizabeth, born in 1794. It was customary for the Babingtons to send their sons to Charterhouse School, which was then still in its original buildings on Charterhouse Square in the City. Benjamin Guy was a pupil there from 1803 to 1807. William Babington’s sons all had to earn their own living but Benjamin Guy took a while to find work that he could settle in. He was in the navy long enough to see action at Walcherer and at Copenhagen; but then left to train at Haileybury for a career as an administrator with the East India Company. He held various posts in the Madras Presidency from 1812 until 1819, but then had to resign through ill-health. By 1820, he and Anna Maria were back in England, living at 5 St Mary Aldermanbury in the City of London.
Although it was Benjamin Guy’s health that had been such a concern, it was Anna Maria who died young; in 1825, leaving four sons aged from seven to only four. By that time, Benjamin Guy was several years into a second re-training, studying medicine at Guy’s Hospital as his father had done, before going on to Pembroke College Cambridge, qualifying FRCP in 1831. He worked as a doctor at Guy’s Hospital until 1855, and like his father worked as physician at the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. Like his father, though, he had wide interests. He invented an instrument for helping doctors see further into patients’ throats; he was a founder of the Epidemiological Society; he was one of the first secretaries of the Royal Asiatic Society; and translated religious works from Tamil and medical texts from German.
Benjamin Fayle died on 23 February 1831 at Benjamin Guy Babington’s house in Finsbury Square. I think Benjamin Guy Babington; his and Anna Maria’s surviving sons; Benjamin Fayle; and Fayle’s unmarried daughter Charlotte may all have been living there together. Charlotte Fayle continued to live with the Babingtons for the rest of her life.
BENJAMIN FAYLE AND CO IN THE MID-19TH CENTURY
It looks as though Richard Fayle was Benjamin Fayle’s only son. Richard was a director of Benjamin Fayle and Co in the mid-19th century but was not involved with the firm on a daily basis: he became a Church of England clergyman and by 1840 had been appointed vicar of Trinity Church in Torquay. He was married twice, and had four daughters but no sons. With Rev Fayle living outside London and having parish duties to perform, the most active directors of Benjamin Fayle and Co in the mid-19th century were Charlotte Fayle, and Benjamin Guy Babington.
Benjamin Fayle and Co negotiated new leases for the clay pits in 1825, when Benjamin Fayle himself probably conducted the firm’s negotiations; and again in 1846, when Benjamin Guy Babington and Charlotte Fayle must have done so. All three directors were present in May 1854 when the new railway from the clay pits at Newton to Goathorn Pier in Poole Harbour was opened. The opening ceremony was followed by a dinner at which the guests included the local vicar, Rev James Higgon Evans of Corfe Castle; Joseph Willis, Benjamin Fayle and Co’s representative in Dorset; and 170 workers at the clay-pits. Charlotte Fayle, Richard Fayle and Benjamin Guy Babington were also those named when the Crown took the directors of Benjamin Fayle and Co to court over Poor Law rates liability in Dorset, in 1856.
Charlotte Fayle’s role in the firm was at its most important in the late 1860s and early 1870s: Benjamin Guy Babington died in April 1866 and Rev Richard Fayle in 1872. In 1866, it was Charlotte who brought a case against the executor of the late Thomas Hanson Peile when the executor was refusing to act and release what were probably assets of Benjamin Fayle and Co. She was not daunted by the fact that the executor was her own sister-in-law (see below for how the warring women were related). Charlotte was also the one named as representing Benjamin Fayle and Co in a list of suppliers to the Navy, compiled in 1869. When Charlotte took sole possession of the house owned by the family at 1 Seymer Place, in 1878, it was perhaps as a residence for the periods she needed to be in Dorset. And on the 1881 census she was even listed as a “clay merchant”. When Anna Mary Babington started the tea rooms, she had Charlotte Fayle as an excellent example of how even in the 19th century, the right kind of woman could be an influential figure in a business.
THE BABINGTONS AND THE PEILES
Benjamin Guy Babington and his wife Anna Maria (née Fayle) had four sons: Benjamin Babington, who was born in Madras in August 1818; the twins William Peile Babington and Stephen Peile Babington who were born at St Mary Aldermanbury in 1820; and Arthur, also born in the City, in 1821, but who died in 1829. Anna Mary Babington was a daughter of the eldest of the four.
Whereas most male members of the Babington family went to school at Charterhouse, Benjamin went to St Paul’s School before going to Trinity Hall Cambridge. He was one of the first members of the family to qualify as a barrister, being called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1844 or 1846 (the accounts I found disagreed about the year). He chose a specialism that was very useful to the family - drafting equity and conveyancing documents. For a time was secretary to the Land Transfer Commission. He was a keen member of the Inns of Court Rifle Volunteer Corps. In 1843, he married his first cousin, Helen Savery Peile.
‘Peile’ is an unusual surname. 19th century census entries show most people with the name lived in Cumberland. However, by the 1790s, one member of the family - Solomon Peile - was living in the Stamford Hill/Tottenham Green district just north of the London suburb of Dalston. Solomon Peile was in business as a wine merchant. In June 1818, two of his sons - another Solomon Peile, and Thomas Hanson Peile - married two of Dr William Babington’s daughters, sisters of Benjamin Guy Babington, sisters-in-law of Anna Maria Fayle. Solomon married Anne; and Thomas Hanson married Elizabeth Helen.
Thomas Hanson Peile worked as a solicitor, based at various addresses in the City of London. The case brought by Charlotte Fayle against Elizabeth Helen Peile in 1866 suggests to me that he might have been solicitor to the Babington and Fayle families, and/or to Benjamin Fayle and Co. Helen Savery Peile was the eldest child of Thomas Hanson and Elizabeth Helen Peile; born in 1820 or 1821.
Benjamin Babington (the barrister) and his wife Helen had four children. Anna Mary was the eldest, born 14 February 1846 at 31 George Street Hanover Square, and named after her grandmother Anna Maria. After Anna Mary came Adeline Charlotte (born 1847); Colville Burroughs (I couldn’t find a birth registration for him, but he must have been born about 1848); and Alice Helen (born 1850). The 1851 census shows them growing up in a crowded household: Benjamin and Helen lived with his father, Benjamin Guy; and Charlotte Fayle; and Benjamin’s brother Stephen Peile Babington. Charlotte Fayle made sure she told the census official that she had an income from investments; though she didn’t go as far as mentioning that the investments were in a firm of which she was a director. Stephen Peile Babington described himself as a “merchant”. The census official didn’t write down any details of his employer but Terry Sheppard has found that Stephen was employed by Benjamin Fayle and Co - taking the involvement of the Fayles and Babingtons with the firm into the next generation. The family was one of the wealthiest of any GD member; in 1851 it employed a butler, a footman, a cook, two housemaids and a nursemaid.
One of the earliest events Anna Mary may have been able to remember was the death of her infant sister Alice Helen, late in 1852. Even having a doctor as the head of the household had been unable to prevent it - that was the reality of Victorian life. It was followed a few months later by the death of Anna Mary’s aunt Catherine Fayle, first wife of Rev Richard. The children of Benjamin and Helen Babington may not have known her well; but there would still have been mourning to observe. However, there were visits to Dorset and to Torquay, I imagine, and lots of weddings to go to in a family with so many cousins. In 1856 Rev Richard got married again, to Eleonora Savile. He lived in great style, at Park Hill Villa, Tormoham, Torquay. On census day 1861 he and Eleonora were living with their daughters Charlotte Bagshaw (a widow at 32) and Agnes (who hadn’t yet married). To look after the four of them a cook, two lady’s maids, a housemaid, a kitchen maid, a footman and a groom were employed.
Like most middle-class girls, Anna Mary and Adeline were educated at home: in 1861 the Babingtons employed a Swiss-born governess, who probably spoke French as well as German, to teach them what they felt a wealthy young woman should know. Both the sisters were at home at 31 George Street, Hanover Square, on census day 1861 and so was their brother Colville though I imagine he was being sent to school rather than learning at home. Benjamin and Helen were still living with Benjamin Guy Babington, Stephen Peile Babington and Charlotte Fayle and a slightly larger staff was employed in 1861 to that of 1851: a butler, a footman and a page; with a cook, a scullery maid and two housemaids.
Both Anna Mary’s grandfathers died in 1866, when she was 20: Thomas Hanson Peile in March and Benjamin Guy Babington in April. A sad year. Changes were inevitable and by census day 1871, the old, large household had divided into two. Benjamin, Helen and Anna Mary were living in Brompton (I couldn’t read the name of the street). Stephen Peile Babington, Anna Mary’s sister Adeline, and Charlotte Fayle were living at 22 Taviton Street on the edge of Bloomsbury. Both households were run with a notably smaller staff of servants than when all the family was living under one roof: Benjamin and Helen had just a cook and housemaid; Stephen and Charlotte had the cook and the housemaid, but also a butler. Anna Mary’s brother Colville doesn’t appear on any census after 1861; I guess that by 1871 he had already gone to live in Argentina, where he married (in 1889) and was still living when he died.
Benjamin Babington became chronically ill with heart and lung trouble at a relatively early age. By the early 1870s, he was too ill to work and he, Helen and Anna Mary (but not Adeline, at least not at first) went to live at Vevey, on Lake Geneva near Montreux in Switzerland. Benjamin died there in August 1875 aged only 57. Their house there was probably the one at rue de Leman 4 which was still being lived in by family members in 1910. Though a lawyer, he had not been very tidy about his own affairs: it was not until March 1877 that probate was granted to Stephen Peile Babington, acting on Helen’s behalf; family members brought a case against the estate which was not settled until May 1877; and Stephen Peile Babington was still tidying up his brother’s affairs in 1878. Benjamin had left relatively little money in any case, his income diminished by his ill-health; and the amount that was left for his wife and children was probably further eroded by all the legal action that was necessary in the wake of his death.
Helen Babington may have not liked the climate of Switzerland. She and Anna Mary continued to own the house at Vevey for many years, but very soon after her husband’s death Helen moved to Hyères in the south of France. She may, however, have come back to England (like many did) for the London social season each spring - when in 1878 Helen and Anna Mary passed ownership of 1 Seymer Place Swanage over to Charlotte Fayle, their address as given as Gordon Square Bloomsbury.
As census day was in early April, before the start of the London Season, Helen and Anna Mary were not in England for it in 1881. Neither was Adeline - perhaps she was living with them by now, or visiting them in France. Stephen Peile Babington and Charlotte Fayle were still living together at 22 Taviton Street. It was an elderly household by now: Stephen was 60, and Charlotte 87. And James Pelly Babington, who had come to live with them, was 74. James was William Babington’s youngest son; another doctor who had worked at Guy’s Hospital, though more recently he had been helping his sister Angel Peile (another Babington sister who had married a Peile) run a boarding school, Northcotts in Hatfield. Five servants (one young boy and four women) were employed; though the census official didn’t note down what each of them did.
With the death of Benjamin Guy Babington, it had been up to Rev Richard and his sister Charlotte Fayle to decide whether to appoint a new director of Benjamin Fayle and Co, to replace him; or whether to wait and run the firm between them. Although I haven’t found evidence that states it in so many words, I think that Stephen Peile Babington became a director, either in 1866 or in 1872 when Rev Richard died.
Charlotte Fayle died in April 1882. That was to be expected, at her age. But in February 1886, Stephen Peile Babington died, in Guy’s Hospital, aged 66. He left personal effects to the value of £9500 (which Terry Sheppard computes at about half a million in today’s terms), probably mostly in shares in Benjamin Fayle and Co but also - possibly - from whatever income he might have had from a patent he’d been granted in 1848 for a new design of hat-peg. Stephen’s Will set up a trust fund, the proceeds of which were to provide for his nieces and nephew as his brother had perhaps not been able to do well. Stephen had never married. Perhaps he thought of Anna Mary, Adeline and their brother Colville as the children he might have had: he certainly left them a very comfortable income.
In 1886 Anna Mary was 40 and Adeline 39 and neither had married. Evidence from later in the lives of the sisters suggested that both may have been glad to remain single. See below for how Anna Mary was not consigned to the fate of so many middle-class spinsters, of continuing attendance on an elderly parent. And her sister Adeline had a vocation. With her inheritance from her uncle, she may at last have had the resources with which to follow it. By 1891 she had become a Sister of Mercy at All Hallows, at Ditchingham in Norfolk; and she remained there until her death in 1923.
All Hallows was an anglican sisterhood, founded in 1854 by Lavinia Crosse (later known as Mother Lavinia), daughter of a surgeon based in Norwich. Such sisterhoods were frowned on by the Church of England as being too close to Catholicism for comfort; so they were very dependent on charitable donations and whatever money those who joined them could bring with them as personal income - which, of course, they would hand over for the good of the convent as a whole. Although not a closed order - the sisters did a great deal of training, nursing and child-care work in their local community, and also took in pupils - it’s likely that Anna Mary didn’t see her sister very often, after Adeline joined the community.
During the 19th century it was considered perfectly normal for unmarried daughters to live with their parents until they had both died, except perhaps for visits to other relations. Although a lack of money to finance any alternative was often an issue, it was not normally finances that kept unmarried women at home in this way - their filial and religious duty was thought to demand it. However, Helen Savery Babington doesn’t seem to have been a typical Victorian, in that respect: when Anna Mary was offered the chance to go travelling in Europe with a younger woman who was looking for a knowledgeable companion, she allowed her to go. And the result was: Anna Mary’s life opened out in several unforeseen ways, including the Theosophical Society, the GD, and the tea rooms.
The family backgrounds of Isabel Cargill and Anna Mary Babington were similar in some ways. Like Anna Mary, Isabel had a religious martyr in the family though Isabel was a direct descendant of the Scottish Covenenter Donald Cargill who was executed in 1683. The 19th-century Cargills had kept to their ancestor’s strict Presbyterian faith; and Donald Cargill’s bible was still in their possession in 1903. As with Anna Mary’s story, though, Isabel Cargill’s can be said to begin with a grand-father, in this case Captain William Cargill who sailed to New Zealand in 1848 to help found the Otago Settlement on the South Island. Captain William and his wife Mary had 17 children (!); Isabel’s father was the eighth of them, Edward Bowes Cargill, born in Edinburgh in 1823.
Edward Bowes Cargill didn’t go with his parents to Otago: he had joined the merchant navy in 1837 and then gone to live in Ceylon where in the early 1850s he was employed by the Bank of Western India. He married Dora Jemima Newsham of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1854, and after a short time spent living in Melbourne Australia, moved to Dunedin in 1857. I’m not going to go into all Edward Bowes’ business dealings as these were many and complex. I’ll just say that they involved import/export, shipping, railways, gas and water supplies - all the necessities of 19th-century life - and that he lost money through shipwrecks or investments that went wrong, several times, but still became one of the wealthiest and most prominent of Dunedin’s citizens. The big, Italianate house, first called The Cliffs but now known as Cargill Castle, was his pet project, begun in 1876.
Edward Bowes Cargill and his wife Dora had five daughters: Margaret, Frances, Annie, Isabel, and one other whose name I haven’t discovered and who died before both her parents. Isabel was born in 1864 so perhaps she was the youngest. She lived in Dunedin until she was in her late twenties, when she left New Zealand for Europe. The story handed down by Isabel’s descendants is that she went to Europe in order to marry someone - that is, someone in particular - but that the marriage fell through. The impression that story gives is of Isabel arriving in the UK alone; but her sister Annie was also living in Rome in 1903 and perhaps they travelled to Europe together. If the story’s true about Isabel being left stranded at the altar by her intended, she certainly doesn’t seem to have wasted much time feeling sorry about it, or planning how to return to New Zealand. She (and possibly her sister Annie) decided that they would see Europe - they had obviously inherited some of their father’s willingness to travel. They felt, though, that they needed a companion - a guide, who knew the ropes, someone who could (as they probably could not) speak a European language. Again according to family legend, Isabel advertised for a suitable woman. I would suppose having friends recommend someone was a safer strategy; but however the two women found out about each other’s existence, it was Anna Mary Babington that Isabel Cargill chose to go travelling with her. Possibly a certain amount of vetting had taken place before they set out, because Anna Mary’s cousin-once-removed Harry Diamond Peile met Isabel; and as he spent most of the 1890s working in India, the early 1890s seem the most likely time for him to have been introduced.
BABINGTON’S TEA ROOMS
Anna Mary, Isabel, and Isabel’s sister Annie, if she was with them, arrived in Rome in 1892 and of course they were following a very well-trodden route from Britain to Italy. From the 18th-century, Rome had exercised a particular hold on the British, despite - perhaps even because of - being the headquarters of world Catholicism. Although it was not as high-profile a place for it as the south of France, by the 19th century Rome was a popular choice for wealthy Britons wanting to spend the winter in a warm climate. And throughout the year there was art, there was culture; and by the 1890s Rome was the capital of Italy which meant royal pageantry to match the religious pageantry of the Vatican.
Isabel told her descendants that she and Anna Mary arrived in Rome with the intention of setting up a business there; so perhaps they didn’t arrive in 1892 by accident. Rome was always teeming with foreign visitors but 1893 was going to be a year of higher-even-than-usual volumes of them.
Rome began 1893 with the jubilee of Pope Leo XIII on 19 February, with a procession to St Peter’s, starting at 6am and led by pilgrims from Britain. In spring the focus turned to secular matters with the 25th wedding anniversary of King Umberto and Queen Margherita on 22 April. The week of celebrations in Rome included a military review, a garden party, a formal ball and lots of less high-profile meetings and dinners; and then the king and queen with their principle guests set out for Naples and more festivities. The principle guests made themselves very visible - Kaiser Wilhelm and his Empress. Conspicuous by their absence, at least from the official events, were the British royal family; rather pointedly not invited, though Queen Victoria did make her presence in Italy felt by a visit to Florence; and the Princess of Wales, two of her daughters and her son the Duke of York (the future George V) did just happen to be in Rome that April, doing the tourist thing and having an audience with the Pope. In September 1893, Rome should have hosted the 11th International Medical Congress; but in the summer, outbreaks of cholera in France and Germany caused it to be postponed and eventually it took place in March 1894, in time for Anna Mary and Isabel to benefit financially from those who attended it.
In his booklet on Anna Mary Babington, Terry Sheppard quotes a handbook from 1853 which remarked on the very well-organised way the British had made the district around the Piazza di Spagna their own even by then; so that you heard more English spoken in the streets around it, than Italian. The English still dominated the district in the 1890s and there were so many of them in more-or-less permanent residence that they were able to support a couple of English-language newspapers. One thing was lacking, however; and both Anna Mary and Isabel came from families which could spot a business opportunity when they saw it. Rome couldn’t provide its British visitors with a decent cup of tea.
Perhaps it took them longer than they had hoped to find premises and fit them out; to order tea, tea-making and tea-serving items from England; and to publicise their new venture - so that they missed the big events of the spring - but Anna Mary and Isabel opened their Babington’s Tea Rooms, in Via Due Macelli, in December 1893.
Why ‘Babingtons’? Terry Sheppard, on the authority of Isabel’s descendants, says that Anna Mary provided the bulk of the money that financed the venture - which she could well afford to do. I think, also, that it weighed with Anna Mary and Isabel that ‘Babington’ was a name likely to better known amongst British visitors to Italy, than ‘Cargill’. It sounds so very English, as well! - at least, I think so.
Babington’s Tea Rooms were so successful that in the next three years they had to move to bigger premises twice. The second move, in 1896, took them to where they still are now, in the unused stable-block of a Roman palazzo just round the corner from the Piazza di Spagna; and by this time Anna Mary and Isabel had enough spare money to invest some in pushing the rooms towards the 20th-century by installing gas lighting. From the beginning they ran the business in person: when the tea rooms were open, one or the other of them would be at the front desk taking the customers’ money. And perhaps this is how Anna Mary got invited to join the GD - Babington’s tea rooms became the very hub of English-speaking society in Rome and perhaps one or two people who went there to drink tea and rest their feet were GD members.
By 1894 Anna Mary was perhaps realising how difficult it was to be a member of a society whose meetings were held several hundred miles away. In 1894, she joined the Theosophical Society, a group of whose members were based in Rome and met there regularly. At this time, all applications for membership had to have the support of two people who were already TS members. Anna Mary’s two sponsors were a Mr E H J Murphy, and Alfred King. Neither man was a GD member and perhaps they were both visitors to Rome, or resident there. The TS’s lodge in Rome had its own library at Via Porta Pinciana 74, and occasionally guest speakers would visit it from London (Isabel Cooper-Oakley, for example, who was in Italy in 1897). By 1897, however, Anna Mary had resigned from the TS as she had done from the GD and perhaps for the same reason. Babington’s Tea Rooms was perhaps taking just too much of her time.
The address that Anna Mary gave both the GD and the TS was via dell’Aurora 35, Rome. I guess she was probably living there with Isabel and perhaps Annie Cargill as well. It might even have been the pensione Annie Cargill was running in Rome in 1903. Anna Mary did not spend all year every year in Rome, however - she could hardly do so, as she was the only one of her siblings who could visit Helen Babington, who was now in her seventies. Anna Mary was with Helen Babington on census day 1901, at 120 Madeira Road, in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, perhaps settling her mother into a new home. Ventnor had a mild climate and may also have been a place that Helen had often visited when her children were young: her cousin the Rev Arthur Lewis Babington Peile was vicar of Holy Trinity Ventnor from 1862 to 1888 and from 1879 he was also honorary chaplain to Queen Victoria when she was at Osborne House - which she often was - so perhaps Helen could remember being invited to meet Her.
Anna Mary and Isabel had been friends for at least 10 years by 1903, and they had been business partners for almost as long. 1903 and 1904 were years of great change for Isabel - in May 1903, she married the artist Giuseppe da Pozzo; and in 1904, she had her only child, Dorothy or Dorotea. Although Isabel’s sister Annie was in Rome to help Isabel through with the dangerous process of giving birth at the age of 39 or 40, Anna Mary may not have been able to be there.
Helen Savery Babington died in April 1904, in Ventnor. Helen did not have much to leave but Anna Mary was the executor of her Will, and the one to clear the house and deal with the lawyers. I presume it was now that Anna Mary came into possession of one of a group of small statues of her grand-father Benjamin Guy Babington, commissioned by the family and made by the sculptor C A Rivers, using Babington’s death mask. The statues show Babington seated with legs crossed in what was probably a typical pose. He’s holding a small, long box - perhaps the box in which a doctor would carry the throat-examination instrument Babington had invented.
After her mother’s death there was not much for Anna Mary to return to England for; other than meetings with the family lawyers. She might have travelled to England in 1923 when her sister Adeline died in All Hallows Convent. Her brother Colville died in Argentina in 1928; by that time it was probably half a century since Anna Mary had seen him.
The house at rue de Leman 4, Vevey was still in the hands of the Babington family in October 1910 when Anna Mary’s aunt Susette Peile (her mother’s youngest sister) died in it; she’d probably been living there since the 1890s. Susette’s long-time companion Ann Scott Tweedie was the executor of Susette’s Will; but Anna Mary went to Vevey to help Ann sort out Susette’s possessions, which included another of the small statues of Benjamin Guy Babington, and a signet ring which was to go to Susette’s nephew Harry Diamond Peile.
Anna Mary wrote to Harry in November 1910 as soon as she got back to Rome. Left an item in the Will of a woman he doesn’t seem to have heard of, he’d been asking Anna Mary exactly how they were related. Anna Mary tried to explain how they were all descended from Thomas Hanson Peile - Susette as a daughter, she as a grand-daughter, he as a great-grand-son. In her letter, she mentioned a second house that she now owned, in the countryside of northern Italy. She needed places to retreat to from the heat and dust of Rome by this time. She told Harry that her health was pretty good for a woman of 65, but her eyes were giving her a great deal of trouble: glaucoma had blinded her right eye, and she also had regular attacks of what her doctor in Rome called conjunctivitis, during which she could often not see at all. When in Rome, Anna Mary lived with Isabel and her husband - in 1910 they were all at Via Calabria 56. It’s clear from her letter that she and Harry hadn’t been in touch for years. Isabel and her husband were Anna Mary’s main family now; and Isabel’s daughter was to Anna Mary the child she had never had herself.
Babington’s tea rooms continued to flourish until 1914 but the outbreak of the first World War began a period of struggle for its owners. Isabel and her husband were particularly hard-hit by the sudden cutting-off of tourists coming from Britain and the USA, as they had less money than Anna Mary from other sources. Giuseppe da Pozzo’s main source of income was from his portraits and of course, during the war he had fewer sitters. He died in 1919, from heart disease, just as the peace was beginning to allow visitors back to Rome.
Rome was occupied during the night of 27-28 October 1922 by Fascists demanding the resignation of the liberal government. King Victor Emmanuel II handed power to their leader, Benito Mussolini, who by 1925 had made Italy a dictatorship. He saw Britain and France as threats to his desire to found a new Italian empire. War between Italy and Britain over Corfu, in 1923, was avoided by diplomatic means after Mussolini decided that Italy wasn’t yet ready to take Britain on; but life became difficult for English people living in Italy, and deterred visitors as well. Babington’s Tea Rooms did stay open, but had to keep a low profile.
Anna Mary stayed at work at the tea rooms through this difficult political period and despite her age and health. But in 1928 she decided enough was enough, and retired from the business. She went back to Switzerland; though not to the house at Vevey. She chose instead to live at Baugy, on the outskirts of Montreux. She died there in August 1934 at her house, called Perceneige.
Isabel da Pozzo took sole charge of Babington’s Tea Rooms when Anna Mary retired. The business was inherited by her daughter Dorotea, Contessa Bedini; and is still run by members of the Bedini family.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden. Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01. I have recently (July 2014) discovered that some records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have survived, though most have not; however those that have survived are not yet accessible to the public.
For the history of the GD during the 1890s I usually use Ellic Howe’s The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923. Published Routledge and Kegan Paul 1972. Foreword by Gerald Yorke. Howe is a historian of printing rather than of magic; he also makes no claims to be a magician himself, or even an occultist. He has no axe to grind.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette. Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
SOURCES FOR ANNA MARY BABINGTON
Terry Sheppard’s booklet: On the Trail of Anna Mary Babington privately printed for the Rothley Heritage Trust 2015. I have made enthusiastic use of the booklet as its so full of reproductions of exactly the sort of documents I need. Terry’s researches into the Babington family confirmed that Thomas Babington Macaulay anti-slavery campaigner and the Babingtons of Rothley and Soke in Leicestershire were related to Anna Mary. He also made contact with the people who run the tea rooms today, descendants of Isabel Cargill; they gave him all sorts of family history information and sent photocopies of original documents including Anna Mary Babington’s birth certificate, reproduced on p22. He also looked at a copy of the Will of Stephen Peile Babington though that’s not reproduced in the booklet. On p26: the reference to Benjamin Fayle and Co which I have chased up; and some details of what was in Stephen Peile Babington’s Will. On pp30-31 the full text of a very useful letter from Anna Mary Babington to Harry Diamond Peile (1872-1959) dated 12 November 1910, Via Calabria 56, Rome containing family history details (not all of which are correct); the reference to Harry having known Isabel Cargill in England; the mentions of Anna Mary’s eye troubles; the references to houses Anna Mary owned in Vevey and north Italy; and Solomon Peile’s being in business as a wine merchant. On p32 a photo of the statue of Benjamin Guy Babington, owned by Anna Mary Babington.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography volume 3 p76 for Anthony Babington 1561-86.
Wikipedia for Thomas Macaulay 1800-59 and the man who was named after him, Thomas Babington Macaulay. Zachary Macaulay also gets a mention. The Clapham Sect are on wikipedia and plenty has been published on them.
DR WILLIAM BABINGTON
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography volume 3 p89 although Benjamin Fayle is not mentioned in William’s entry.
A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs pubished 1831 p28 in its list of asylum charities: entry for the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb; Kent Road.
The connection with Madras involves other members of the Babington family, not just Benjamin Guy: Gentleman’s Magazine volume 95 1825 p368 marriages during October included, at Tottenham, that of Captain Babington of the Madras Cavalry, son of Dr Babington of Aldermanbury. He married Adeline 7th dtr of William Hobson of Markfield Stamford Hill. For more on the residents of Tottenham Green at this time, see below, the PEILE family.
BENJAMIN FAYLE: some sources for anyone wanting to follow up.
The original partnership he worked for, which was based in Dublin:
At www.irishtheatreinstitute.com text of 17 Eustace Street: A History by Robert Somerville-Woodward and Nicola Morris. Published Timeline Research Ltd 2007.
London Gazette; I couldn’t see the date of the issue. On p8 of that issue, in a list of partnerships dissolved: a notice issued 3 December 1803 by Benjamin Fayle, Richard Chambers and Alexander Jaffray, merchants, of Dove Court London where they were in business as Benjamin Fayle and Co. The partnership was dissolved due to the retirement of Jaffray; Chambers and Fayle would continue in business, under the same name.
Via genesreunited to Staffordshire Advertiser of 3 November 1804 to confirm that Benjamin Fayle was living in London by this time; and was a person important enough in the Potteries to be mentioned in its local newspapers.
London Gazette but again I couldn’t see the date of the issue. On p20 in a list of partnerships dissolved: a notice issued 31 December 1817 by Benjamin Fayle, Richard Chambers and Richard Jaffray of Dove Court, Lombard Street, trading as Benjamin Fayle and Co. Their partnership was dissolved by the consent of all three parties.
Gentleman’s Magazine 1831 p282 Benjamin Fayle had died on 23 February 1831 at the house of his son-in-law, Benjamin Guy Babington, in Finsbury Square.
A modern source but relevant to the 1840s: via the web to Annals of Science volume 39 1982 pp229-54: William Robert Grove and the London Institution 1841-45 by M L Cooper and V M D Hall.
See wikipedia for an introduction to its industrial use; and to the careers of John Calcraft the elder 1726-72 and his son John the younger 1765-1831, who owned the land exploited for clay by Benjamin Fayle and his business partners.
Via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk to records of land owned by the Calcraft family in Dorset. John Calcraft senior bought the manor of Wareham 1768. The current owner of Rempstone Manor is a descendant, but isn’t called Calcraft.
The Middlebere Plateway, an early railway built and used by Benjamin Fayle and Co to get their clay from the pits to the coast:
Web pages at www.semgonline.com are run by the Railway Structures Southern-E Group.
Dorset in the Age of Steam by Peter Stanier. Dorset Books 2002 p[x] gives 1795 as the year Jaffray, Chambers and Fayle began extracting Purbeck clay at Norden.
Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society volume 52 1931 plix gives 1803 as the date the partners took over the Purbeck clay works. It also confirms that Benjamin Fayle and Co was still in existence and still extracting clay on the Isle of Purbeck in 1931; by that date it had been turned into a limited company.
Web pages www.pmmm.org/FaylesCo.htm, the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum’s page on the plateway of Benjamin Fayle and Co.
PROPERTY IN DORSET
At discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk records at Dorset History Centre include a conveyance dated 22 November 1878 in which the parties were:
1 = Helen Savery Babington of Hyres (I think it means Hyères) France and Anna Mary Babington of Gordon Square spinster
2 = John Philip Martineau of Gray’s Inn
Parties 1 and 2 are on one side of the deal.
3 = Charlotte Fayle spinster of Gordon Sq.
Prop in the conveyance is 1 Seymer Place.
See britishlistedbuildings.co.uk for Seymer Place whose modern address is 1 Seymer Road Swanage.
PORTRAITS OF BABINGTONS AND FAYLES BY SAME ARTIST:
At www.pastellists.com/Articles/SmithJR.pdf is the Dictionary of Pastellists Before 1800 by Neil Jeffares. See p1 for the career of John Raphael Smith 1751-1812 including reproductions of pastels by him of Dr William Babington FRCP and Mrs Fanny Adams, mother-in-law of Benjamin Fayle. They are both now in Sydney Art Gallery NSW, donated by a Brigadier Foot, descendant of Rev Richard Fayle. On p4 there’s a reproduction of a pastel of Benjamin Fayle 1751-1831.
The descent of the pictures to the man who gave them to the Sydney Art Gallery is through Rev Richard’s fourth daughter Sophia Maria Fayle, who married Cunningham Noel Foot in 1861.
BENJAMIN GUY BABINGTON
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography volume 3 p79. A small statue of Benjamin Guy was done by sculptor C A Rivers in 1867, based on his death mask. Sources for the ODNB entry: Lancet 21 April 1866; 1870.
Charterhouse Register 1769-1872 published 1974 p14; including what little information there was on his time in the navy.
The Monthly Magazine or British Register volume 42 1817 p563 listings for January 1817 though the marriage actually took place the month before: at St George’s Bloomsbury, marriage of Benjamin Guy Babington esq of the Madras Civil Service to Anna Mary Fayle of Bloomsbury Square.
A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs pubished 1831 p28 in its list of asylum charities: entry for the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb; Kent Road.
Benjamin Guy Babington and the Royal Asiatic Society: he’s listed on a plaque in the lobby of the Royal Asiatic Society offices in Stephenson Way, Euston: as secretary 1827-30. The Royal Asiatic Society was founded in 1823.
ANNA MARIA BABINGTON née FAYLE, and her children
Parish registers of Presidency of Madras. Reference N-2-7: baptism of Benjamin Babington at St Mary Madras 23 September 1818; born 25 August 1818. Mother Anna; father Benjamin. Seen via findmypast at the British Library.
Boyd’s Inhabitants of London. Item reference 11223: entries for the household at 5 St Mary Aldermanbury include the birth date of the twins William and Stephen; and date of birth and date of burial of Arthur. Also seen on findmypast at the British Library.
GL Ms 3572/3: City of London burials. Index of burials at St Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury 1825. Seen on findmypast at the British Library.
SCULPTOR C A RIVERS - CHARLES AUGUSTUS RIVERS 1811-70
There’s very little information on him; and virtually nothing on the art sales websites.
There’s a bit of information on him at sculpture.gla.ac.uk, Glasgow University’s Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951. It’s taken from the Biographical Dictioinary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851 pp1047-48 and other ref works of that kind.
The one time there’s plenty of coverage of him, it’s as an expert witness in a murder trial, eg Central Criminal Court: Minutes of Evidence eighth session 1840 p271 Regina v François Benjamin Courvoisier.
The Art-Union volume 9 1847 p334 has his name in a long list of candidates for election as associates of the Royal Academy. I guess he didn’t get in, as I couldn’t find any item describing him as ‘ARA’.
ANNA MARY’S FATHER BENJAMIN BABINGTON
Alumni Cantabrigiensis seen on the web so the volume number wasn’t visible; but p106 in that volume.
Solicitor’s Journal and Reporter 1875 p828: an obituary.
London Gazette 17 April 1877 p2649 notice of hearing in case of Babington v Babington, with family members claiming ag estate of late Benjamin Babington, late of Lincoln’s Inn; and Stephen Peile Babington as the defendant, as administrator of the Will.
ANNA MARY’S UNCLE WILLIAM PEILE BABINGTON who doesn’t figure much in her life-story. Like his brother Stephen, he never married. He died in 1900.
He’s in Alumni Cantabrigiensis seen on the web so no volume number visible; its p108 and just noting, here, that there are lots of other Babingtons on p108 and p107.
Local and Personal Laws part 150 1854 p28.
Crockford’s Clerical Directory 1868 p23.
London Gazette 13 April 1900 p2451 a ‘claims on estate notice’.
ANNA MARY’S UNCLE STEPHEN PEILE BABINGTON of Benjamin Fayle and Co
Charterhouse Register 1769-1872 compiled by R L Arrowsmith published 1974: p14; source for his DOB.
List of Carthusians 1800-79 compiled by W D Parish; p8.
At discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk reference BT 45/8/1596: a “Useful Registered Design” for a hat-peg or hat-stand, owned by Stephen Peile Babington of 31 George Street; dated 27 September 1848.
London Journal of Arts and Sciences 1848 p223: Irish patents. Similar information in the Mechanics Magazine volume 49 1848 p335.
As a freemason in Scotland: see www.thecelticlodge.org, the web pages of Celtic Lodge of Edinburgh and Leith number 291; information based on a list of members 1851-60. A search of the archives at the Freemasons’ Library in London didn’t produce any Babingtons other than Thomas Babington Macaulay.
London Gazette 9 July 1886 p3360 notice issued by Walker, Martineau and Co of 36 Theobald’s Road.
CHARLOTTE FAYLE AS DIRECTOR
Law Times Reports volumes 26-27 issue of 26 April 1856: Regina v Fayle, with details about leases.
The Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory 1869 p337 in a list of suppliers to the navy, und heading RVWQ: Miss Charlotte Fayle of Norden Dorset.
JAMES HIGGON EVANS
My source for the 1854 opening of the railway to Goathorn Pier reads as if Rev J H Evans was a director of Benjamin Fayle and Co. I’m fairly sure he wasn’t.
Via genesreunited to the Hampshire Telegraph 29 January 1848 and the Morning Chronicle 12 December 1855 for his time as curate of Corfe Castle.
THE PEILE FAMILY - ANNA MARY’S MOTHER
At www.myheritage.com; but with no source: Thomas Hanson Peile’s parents are named as Solomon Peile and wife Jane née King.
Gentleman’s Magazine 1818 p17?3 ?8 marriages in June include that of Thomas Hanson Peile son of S Peile Esq of Tottenham Green to Elizabeth Helen eldest daughter of Dr W Babington of Aldermanbury; and that of his brother Solomon Peile eldest son of S Peile Esq to Anne second daughter of Dr W Babington.
Thomas Hanson Peile as a solicitor:
The Legal Observer 1835 p394.
The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Tottenham by William Robinson 1840 has coverage of the Peile family and of two other families who are related: the Hobsons and the Mountfords. See p72 in the chapter The Church; a comprehensive list of people buried in the churchyard.
The Jurist volume 18 part 2 1855 p25 a list of partnerships dissolved included that of Thomas Hanson Peile, Rowland Babington Peile (Helen’s elder brother) and William Henry Murch, in business as Peile, Son and Murch of Mansion House Place; on the retirement of Mr Murch.
At discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk, records of Fayle v Peile, Cause Number 1866 P51. Ref C 16/365/P51. Charlotte Fayle is the plaintiff, bringing an administration summons with regard to estate of late Thomas Hanson Peile of 5 Barge Yard Bucklersbury; the defendant is Elizabeth Helen Peile, the widow.
VENTNOR and the Peile family:
Wikipedia on Holy Trin Church Ventnor
See www.isle-of-wight-fhs.co.uk for a list of inscriptions on memorial stones in Holy Trinity Ventnor with family history information on some of the people mentioned.
Helen Peile’s younger brother Mountford joined the navy:
At www.pdavis.nl some info on his career in navy and details of his marriage. Admiral Mountford Peile died in 1885.
ANNA MARY’S SISTER ADELINE CHARLOTTE - ALL HALLOWS CONVENT
It still exists, though not in its original form, and is on the web at www.all-hallows.org; where there’s an account of its early years. It is mentioned on wikipedia page though not in much detail; and it’s on facebook.
The Churchman volume 62 1890 p148: announcement of the death of Mother Lavinia.
Mother Lavinia is in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Article May 2010 by Simon Knott seen at www.norfolkchurches.co.uk on All Hallows Convent chapel at Ditchingham with details from the original Dictionary of National Biography.
A modern account of 19th-century sisterhoods: Stolen Daughters, Virgin Mothers: Anglican Sisterhoods in Victorian Britain by Susan Mumm. London: Leicester University Press 1999.
Times Mon 20 February 1893 p5
Taken from Wikipedia, the Popes who reigned during the time Anna Mary was living in Rome: Leo XIII 20 February 1878 to 20 July 1903, one of the longest; it’s his jubilee in 1893. St Pius X 1903- 20 August 1914; Benedict XV September 1914 to January 1922; and Pius XI February 1922 to February 1939.
Umberto and Margherita’s wedding anniversary:
Times Wed 19 April 1893 p5.
Times Sat 22 April 1893 p7.
Times Mon 24 April 1893 p9.
Times Tue 25 April 1893 p9.
Times Thur 27 April 1893 p5.
Times Wed 19 April 1893 p5.
Fall of the Italian government: Times Sat 2 December 1893 p5.
See wikipedia for Umberto I of Italy 1844-1900.
Members of the English royal family in Rome, seen on web at archive.thetablet.co.uk issue of 1 April 1893 p17: a report sent by their Rome correspondent on 26 March 1893.
Cholera in Europe in the early 1890s:
The Conquest of Epidemic Diseases by Charles Edward Amory Winslow. New Jersey: University of Wisconsin Press 1980. P338.
Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence by George C Kohn 2007 p18.
Theosophical Society Membership Register June 1893 to March 1895 p93.
The TS lodge in Rome:
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine volume XVI Mar-August 1895 p78.
Lucifer: A Theosophical Magazine Volume XX March-August 1897. Volume XX number 118 issued 15 June 1897.
ISABEL CARGILL DA POZZO
Online The Cyclopedia of New Zealand information on Captain William Cargill and Edward Bowes Cargill.
Via paperspast.natlib.govt.nz to Otago Daily Times number 12737 issue of 10 August 1903 p6 a long and detailed obituary of Isabel’s father Edward Bowes Cargill 1823-1903. Very good on his business ventures.
Wikipedia has information on Cargill Castle and it now has its own website as part of an attempt to restore it: www.cargillcastle.co.nz.
It’s interesting that Isabel Cargill’s marriage to a Roman Catholic was announced in a Dunedin newspaper: via paperspast.natlib.govt.nz to Otago Witness issue 2574 15 July 1903 p51.
There’s very little information on Isabel’s husband:
Giuseppe da Pozzo 1844-1919 by Raffaella Cargnelutti and Giuseppe Bergamini published Arti Grafiche Friulane 1996.
At www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings there are two portraits by him, clearly done as a set: Henry Spencer Lucy and his wife Christina Cameron Campbell Lucy.
THE TEA ROOMS
They have own website is at www.babingtons.com, in Italian and English. The web pages are the source for Isabel Cargill’s year of birth.
They have a wikipedia page in English.
The 1853 account of the English in Rome quoted in Terry Sheppard’s book is from George Stillman Hillard’s Six Months in Italy. Two volumes, published London 1853, Boston Mass 1856.
About the English-language newspapers published in Rome: I found references to the Roman Herald and the Roman Times on the web; but not much in the way of detail and I couldn’t see either of them in the British Library catalogue. Confirmation that they were both being published in the mid-1890s can be seen at archive.thetablet.co.uk issue of 12 October 1895 p17 in the middle of a rant against anti-Catholic propaganda being published in the press. Both the Roman Times and the Roman Herald are seen by The Tablet as anti-Catholic. The Tablet adds that the Roman Herald has recently become the mouth-piece of the American methodists.
A later mention of the tea rooms when they had become a Roman institution:
A Traveller in Rome by Henry Vollam Morton. London: Methuen and Co 1957. Seen on the web so I couldn’t see the page numbers.
The Insider’s Guide to Rome by Nick Wyke. Robson Books Ltd 2004 pp27-38 quotes the publicity given to the tea rooms by the Roman Herald around the time of their first day in business.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
19 December 2016
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
2 November 2016
Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: