Arthur Haes and Diana Mary Wilson

Arthur and Diana Mary had six children, but they lost their third son, Archer Blackwell who died aged three years of T.B. Meningitis in 1906. The children led a well ordered, secure and happy life. They had breakfast in the nursery, then the boys, Ted and Tony (Arthur) went off to their Prep school and Peg and Diana went to a Dame school run by two friends which was excellent. The last baby, David was born in 1912 so was mostly in the nursery. The Dame school was the only ordinary school Peg went to except for Art School in London when she was 14-17. She and Diana would be home for lunch, but the whole family would be together for tea - parents, Katie and children.

Daughter Diana writes: They were lovely teas, with bread and butter and two or three kinds of jam and two kinds of cake. After tea for at least an hour there would be games and cards etc.. We had a lot of toys. The boys had clockwork trains and masses of lead soldiers. My father was always bringing home some new toy which had caught his fancy, until Mother put her foot down and said "Toys are for birthdays." I had 36 dolls because I loved them so. My sister Peg had the big doll's house when she was seven years old. When I was seven I had my own doll's house and everyone who came to my party brought me something for it. Every Christmas we went to a pantomime with all the cousins. One year we could choose which one we would go to and we divided up into two groups because Peg and I wanted to go to one and the others chose a different one. Granny Wilson and the Aunts never had much money, but they went to all the 'Events' in London - baby as well, wrapped in a shawl under a cloak. Night or day, whatever it was, they all went. Mother's sisters lived close to us and there were frequent visits and relations staying with us. I was born the year after Archie died, so the three older ones were quite big when I remember them. Then there was another gap of five years and David joined me in the nursery. By this time Ted, the eldest, was in the Navy as a cadet on the Training Ship "Conway" at Liverpool. Three years later Tony (Arthur) followed him into the Navy but at Dartmouth and then, of course there was Mersea in the summer .......

Mersea in Summer

To four generations of the Wilson/Haes families, Mersea, on the Essex coast, was very important as a haven from the strain of London life. Hannah Wilson was born there. Charles Clark Wilson, her son, took his family to a rented cottage there for their summer holidays. Diana Mary Wilson, his daughter, met her future husband, Arthur Edward Mount Haes there, and subsequently he also rented a cottage for his family's summer holidays.

The early days at Mersea are best recollected in Isabella Rosa Dawson's memoirs. [See MF08_006 ] Her mother, Margaret Christina (Granny) Wilson was a good oarswoman and sailor. Her motley crew of relatives and friends called her "The Captain". This piratical crew was encouraged to bring friends for the weekends - especially young men - as the Captain had four daughters to marry off.

One such young man was Arthur E.M. Haes, who also worked in the City and was glad to accept the invitation of a friend to spend a weekend at Mersea. Coming from a somewhat austere and restrictive Victorian family, he found the casual atmosphere and freedom of the life at Mersea much to his taste and continued to visit. He expressed his delight in true pirate fashion by composing a Chorus for the pirates to sing, and by falling in love with the Captain's daughter - Diana Mary. He asked her to be his wife. She said she would if she did not have to do any cooking. They became engaged by a five barred gate at as their family grew, Arthur rented two adjacent cottages - The Cabin and The Moorings - for the sum of £5 per year.

DIANA WRITES: Every summer we went down to Mersea. for two months. Wives and children for the whole time and husbands joining them for weekends and holidays. It was a holiday for my parents too because with the other families there they had lots of 'helps' and we had Katie too, so parents could wander off on their own and have fun sailing etc.. A horse drawn Station Bus would pick us up from Colerane Road, Westcombe Park and take us, and much luggage, to Liverpool Street Station. We went by train to Colchester where another horse drawn Station Bus picked us up and took us the 12 miles to Mersea. Granny Wilson and Aunty Smudge lived there and the Cottons. The Cockerells owned 'The Hall' a farm next to the church. My father rented two adjacent cottage which had very few amenities - no bathrooms - the lavatory was an earth closet half a mile down the garden, and an old fashioned range for Katie to cook on. We often filled up the cottages so the boys slept in a tent in the garden.

All the Aunts and Uncles and cousins congregated there in the summer. We were free to go anywhere we liked - often barefoot - and all the country people knew "them little 'aeses". The only restriction was the shore. We could only go there with adults. I was the eldest of twelve cousins - the young lot, and there was another batch of older cousins, about ten of them with my sister Peg and brothers in that lot. We had several rowing boats, a four oared gig and a dinghy. The boats were rowed round to West Mersea for the winter and collected again the next summer. It was a long row back so we young ones were not allowed to go until we were considered old enough. I remember the occasion when my cousin Geoffrey and I were allowed to go. It was the tradition to buy a melon at West Mersea to eat on the way back because it was thirsty work rowing all that way, but this time no one had a knife to cut it and everyone was disappointed. Then Geoffrey produced a penknife from his pocket, the melon was cut up and handed round and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Then Geoffrey said "The last thing I cut with that knife was a snake." There was a startled silence. My mother and Aunty Smudge were excellent oarswomen and took part in many of the local seaside regattas. They rowed in two oared dinghy races and frequently came first. This provoked some anti-visitor feeling among the natives who tried some obstructive tactics - but in vain. They still won.

In his early days my father had his own yacht the WENONAH and a ship's cutter which he used for the scouts. He was one of the earliest, people to get involved in scouting and started the lst Greenwich Troup who camped on the Bowling Green at Mersea which was reputedly Roman. We used to row to Brightlingsea in the Gig for stores. There was a general store in East Mersea. The butcher and baker, in their horse [the store was called Underwoods] drawn carts, came twice a week from West Mersea. We fetched our milk in cans from the farm. An Aunt had a bicycle and Granny Wilson had a donkey and cart which as not very fast - unless the boys pushed. So we walked everywhere. In my mother's young days they used to walk the 12 miles to Colchester. There was a slow carrier, just like the one in Johnny Townmouse by Beatrix Potter. So there were no cars, no restrictions. We children were allowed to run wild. Mersea meant so much happiness to us all.

The steam yacht VALFREYIA was moored at Brightlingsea. You can see it in the background of one of the photos of Granny Wilson and the children on the beach.

This item was found in papers donated to the Museum by Martin Dence July 2011. Diana Haes, the writer of part of it, would have been born around 1910. The overall author is not yet known!


Read More

Memoirs of Mrs Isabella Rosa Dawson 1880-1972

An old lady remembers by Alan Dawson

Grace Edenborough - a Victorian orphan


Related Images

 The will of Hannah Clark of East Mersea. Image from Tim Clark, transcribed below by Chris Kirkman.
 
 Hannah Clark
 In the Name of God Amen
 I Hannah Clark of East Mersea in the County of Essex Spinster do
 make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that
 is to say First I nominate constitute and appoint my brother Elijah
 Clark my friend Robert White Forster of East Mersea aforesaid Gentleman
 and Charles Tiffin of Peldon in the same County Farmer Executors
 of this my Will and I give and bequeath to each of them a legacy of
 ten pounds to be retained by them immediately after my decease I be
 queath at my decease unto my Godchild Hannah the wife of Frederick
 Wilson of Finsbury Pavement in the County of Middlesex Wine Merchant
 formerly Hannah Tiffin Spinster sister of the said Charles Tiffin /All my
 plate wearing apparel watches trinkets and one moiety or half part
 of all my linen to and for her own absolute use and disposal I be
 queath unto my servant Deborah Morley a legacy of nineteen pounds
 and nineteen shillings I bequeath to my servant Jane the wife of
 Moses Woods a legacy of ten pounds I bequeath unto my old servants
 Thomas King and Thomas Ward each a legacy of five pounds and
 which several legacies I direct to be paid within one year after my de
 cease provided my said servants are in my service at the time of my
 decease but not otherwise I bequeath unto my said brother the use and
 enjoyment of all my household goods and furniture and other household
 effects/ except as aforesaid/ during his life and after his decease I bequeath
 the same unto the said Hannah Wilson absolutely and I direct my
 executors to raise an Inventory to be taken of the same Articles and
 two copies thereof to be signed by my said brother of which copies
 so signed one shall be delivered to him and the other to the said
 Hannah Wilson I bequeath all my live and dead farming stock grow
 ing crops implements of husbandry money securities for money and
 all the rest and residue of my personal estate and effects whatsoever to
 be divided between my said brother Elijah Clark and my said Godchild
 Hannah Wilson in such way and manner as they may think proper
 within one year after my decease and if any dispute shall arise con
 cerning the division thereof then such division shall be made by the
 executors of my said will in such way and manner as they shall see fit
 and proper I devise all my freehold and copyhold messuages lands tene
 ments and hereditaments with their appurtenances unto and to the use
 of the said Charles Tiffin his executors administrators and assigns upon
 trust to pay the rents and profits thereof as and when the same shall become
 due unto my said brother Elijah Clark for his life and on his decease upon
 further trust during the life of my said Godchild the said Hannah Wilson
 to pay the rents and profits thereof as and when the same shall become
 due and not by way of anticipation into her own hands whensoever
 she shall be coved1 for her separate use independently of her husband and
 for which rents and profits her receipts alone shall be discharges to my said
 trustee and upon further trust during any and every discoverture1 of my
 said Godchild the said Hannah Wilson to pay the rents and profits
 thereof to her for her own use and benefit and I empower the said
 Hannah Wilson whether coved1 or sole by any deed or deeds with or
 without power of revocation and new appointment or by her last
 Will and Testament to limit give and devise the said hereditaments
 or any part thereof to such person or persons and to such use or uses
 as she the said Hannah Wilson shall appoint and in default of
 appointment To the use of her child if only one or for her children in
 equal shares if more than one in fee simple And I empower my said
 brother during his life and the said Hannah Wilson after his decease
 by deed to grant Leases of the same hereditaments or any part or parts
 thereof for any term or terms of years not exceeding seven years in
 possession at the best rent without taking any fine or premium I devise
 all the real estate which at my decease shall be vested in me as mort
 gagee or trustee to my said executors subject to the equities affecting the
 same respectively I declare that the receipts of my said executors
 shall exonerate all persons paying monies to them by virtue of
 my Will from all liability in respect of the application thereof I de
 clare that if my said trustee or any trustee to be appointed under this
 provision shall die or become unwilling or unable to act as trustee as
 aforesaid it shall be lawful for my said Godchild the said Hannah
 Wilson whether coved or sole to appoint any fit person to be trustee
 in the place of the trustee dying or becoming unwilling or unable to act
 and I declare that the trustee for the time being as aforesaid shall be
 competent to exercise all the powers hereby confided to the trustee herein
 named and I further declare that the trustee for the time being of my
 Will and also the executors of my said Will shall neither of them be
 answerable for losses happening without their own respective default
 and shall be at liberty to retain out of the respective trust monies all ex
 pences incident to the execution of the trusts and powers of my Will here
 by revoking all other testamentary papers In witness whereof I have
 hereunder set my hand this twelfth day of August in the year of our
 Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty one. Hannah Clark
 Signed by the said testatrix Hannah Clark as her last Will and Testament
 in the presence of us present at the same time who at her request in her
 presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names
 as witnesses Sarah Tiffin - Saml Tillett Conveyancer Colchester
 
 Proved at London the 26th October 1843 before the Judge by the oaths
 of Elijah Clark the brother Robert White Forster and Charles Tiffin the
 executors to who admon was granted having been first sworn (by
 & com[m]on) duly to administer.
 
 1 (n.) The condition of a woman during marriage, because she is considered under the cover, influence, power, and protection of her husband, and therefore called a femme covert, or femme couverte.
  <b>Notes from Tim Clark 16 September 2011</b>
 
When I visited the Museum, found we some information regarding William Clark c1803 who is my 4 x Grandad who married Hannah Cramer c1808, I am sure it was his christening and it gave his parents details, and I think it was in West Mersea not East Mersea where he was born.
 Hannah Clark seems to me a very interesting person she seemed to either own or rent lots of the agricultural land in East Mersea also owned the beer house now Dog and Pheasant (which I had a nice lunch and beer in recently). I understand she was a spinster, but for this era she was I would have thought quite unusual to be in her position, I know she had a brother from the will ( Elijah ) and can see that he also either rented or owned a lot of properties and fields.
 I know also from census returns that there was Clarks farm which Hannah was an occupier of.  IA01_HAN_001IA01_HAN_001
The will of Hannah Clark of East Mersea. Image from Tim Clark, transcribed below by Chris Kirkman.

Hannah Clark
In the Name of God Amen
I Hannah Clark of East Mersea in the County of Essex Spinster do
make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that
is to say First I nominate constitute and appoint my brother Elijah
Clark my friend Robert White Forster of East Mersea aforesaid Gentleman
and Charles Tiffin of Peldon in the same County Farmer Executors
of this my Will and I give and bequeath to each of them a legacy of
ten pounds to be retained by them immediately after my decease I be
queath at my decease unto my Godchild Hannah the wife of Frederick
Wilson of Finsbury Pavement in the County of Middlesex Wine Merchant
formerly Hannah Tiffin Spinster sister of the said Charles Tiffin /All my
plate wearing apparel watches trinkets and one moiety or half part
of all my linen to and for her own absolute use and disposal I be
queath unto my servant Deborah Morley a legacy of nineteen pounds
and nineteen shillings I bequeath to my servant Jane the wife of
Moses Woods a legacy of ten pounds I bequeath unto my old servants
Thomas King and Thomas Ward each a legacy of five pounds and
which several legacies I direct to be paid within one year after my de
cease provided my said servants are in my service at the time of my
decease but not otherwise I bequeath unto my said brother the use and
enjoyment of all my household goods and furniture and other household
effects/ except as aforesaid/ during his life and after his decease I bequeath
the same unto the said Hannah Wilson absolutely and I direct my
executors to raise an Inventory to be taken of the same Articles and
two copies thereof to be signed by my said brother of which copies
so signed one shall be delivered to him and the other to the said
Hannah Wilson I bequeath all my live and dead farming stock grow
ing crops implements of husbandry money securities for money and
all the rest and residue of my personal estate and effects whatsoever to
be divided between my said brother Elijah Clark and my said Godchild
Hannah Wilson in such way and manner as they may think proper
within one year after my decease and if any dispute shall arise con
cerning the division thereof then such division shall be made by the
executors of my said will in such way and manner as they shall see fit
and proper I devise all my freehold and copyhold messuages lands tene
ments and hereditaments with their appurtenances unto and to the use
of the said Charles Tiffin his executors administrators and assigns upon
trust to pay the rents and profits thereof as and when the same shall become
due unto my said brother Elijah Clark for his life and on his decease upon
further trust during the life of my said Godchild the said Hannah Wilson
to pay the rents and profits thereof as and when the same shall become
due and not by way of anticipation into her own hands whensoever
she shall be coved1 for her separate use independently of her husband and
for which rents and profits her receipts alone shall be discharges to my said
trustee and upon further trust during any and every discoverture1 of my
said Godchild the said Hannah Wilson to pay the rents and profits
thereof to her for her own use and benefit and I empower the said
Hannah Wilson whether coved1 or sole by any deed or deeds with or
without power of revocation and new appointment or by her last
Will and Testament to limit give and devise the said hereditaments
or any part thereof to such person or persons and to such use or uses
as she the said Hannah Wilson shall appoint and in default of
appointment To the use of her child if only one or for her children in
equal shares if more than one in fee simple And I empower my said
brother during his life and the said Hannah Wilson after his decease
by deed to grant Leases of the same hereditaments or any part or parts
thereof for any term or terms of years not exceeding seven years in
possession at the best rent without taking any fine or premium I devise
all the real estate which at my decease shall be vested in me as mort
gagee or trustee to my said executors subject to the equities affecting the
same respectively I declare that the receipts of my said executors
shall exonerate all persons paying monies to them by virtue of
my Will from all liability in respect of the application thereof I de
clare that if my said trustee or any trustee to be appointed under this
provision shall die or become unwilling or unable to act as trustee as
aforesaid it shall be lawful for my said Godchild the said Hannah
Wilson whether coved or sole to appoint any fit person to be trustee
in the place of the trustee dying or becoming unwilling or unable to act
and I declare that the trustee for the time being as aforesaid shall be
competent to exercise all the powers hereby confided to the trustee herein
named and I further declare that the trustee for the time being of my
Will and also the executors of my said Will shall neither of them be
answerable for losses happening without their own respective default
and shall be at liberty to retain out of the respective trust monies all ex
pences incident to the execution of the trusts and powers of my Will here
by revoking all other testamentary papers In witness whereof I have
hereunder set my hand this twelfth day of August in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty one. Hannah Clark
Signed by the said testatrix Hannah Clark as her last Will and Testament
in the presence of us present at the same time who at her request in her
presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names
as witnesses Sarah Tiffin - Saml Tillett Conveyancer Colchester

Proved at London the 26th October 1843 before the Judge by the oaths
of Elijah Clark the brother Robert White Forster and Charles Tiffin the
executors to who admon was granted having been first sworn (by
& com[m]on) duly to administer.

1 (n.) The condition of a woman during marriage, because she is considered under the cover, influence, power, and protection of her husband, and therefore called a femme covert, or femme couverte.

Notes from Tim Clark 16 September 2011
When I visited the Museum, found we some information regarding William Clark c1803 who is my 4 x Grandad who married Hannah Cramer c1808, I am sure it was his christening and it gave his parents details, and I think it was in West Mersea not East Mersea where he was born.
Hannah Clark seems to me a very interesting person she seemed to either own or rent lots of the agricultural land in East Mersea also owned the beer house now Dog and Pheasant (which I had a nice lunch and beer in recently). I understand she was a spinster, but for this era she was I would have thought quite unusual to be in her position, I know she had a brother from the will ( Elijah ) and can see that he also either rented or owned a lot of properties and fields.
I know also from census returns that there was Clarks farm which Hannah was an occupier of.
26 October 1843
 Messing about in boats - the Wilson /Dawson family.
 John Wilson and his cousins. John was born November 1918.  VLT_WSN_011VLT_WSN_011
Messing about in boats - the Wilson /Dawson family.
John Wilson and his cousins. John was born November 1918.
1930s
 Dinghy with Wilson / Dawson family.
 John Wilson and his cousins. John was born November 1918.  VLT_WSN_013VLT_WSN_013
Dinghy with Wilson / Dawson family.
John Wilson and his cousins. John was born November 1918.
1930s
 Family Tree. Descendants of Frederick Horace Wilson 1812-1902 who married Hannah Tiffen 1812 - 1818. [Hannah Tiffen was born North Farm, East Mersea - see <a href=mmresdetails.php?col=MM&ba=cke&typ=ID&pid=MF08_006>MF08_006 </a> ]
 Charles Clark Wilson 1843-1914 who married Margaret Christina Blackwell 1848-1938.
 Also shown and relevant to Mersea are:
 Diana Mary Wilson 1876-1959, who married Arthur Edward Mount Haes.
 Isabella Rosa Wilson 1880-1972 who married Geoffrey Dawson.
 Kate Hannah Wilson 1885-1929 who died Mersea.
  The compiler of this tree is not known!
  <b>Comment from Hilda Rosemary Allen youngest daughter b.1921 of Geoffrey Dawson and Isabella Rosa Dawson (née Wilson)</b> 1 December 2011:
 The Mersea Island life has meant a lot to so many of the family.
I always understood our ancestor was a daughter of the King of Kandy, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon ).
 Kate Hannah Wilson married Capt. Percy Cotton.  MF08_005_010MF08_005_010
Family Tree. Descendants of Frederick Horace Wilson 1812-1902 who married Hannah Tiffen 1812 - 1818. [Hannah Tiffen was born North Farm, East Mersea - see MF08_006 ]
Charles Clark Wilson 1843-1914 who married Margaret Christina Blackwell 1848-1938.
Also shown and relevant to Mersea are:
Diana Mary Wilson 1876-1959, who married Arthur Edward Mount Haes.
Isabella Rosa Wilson 1880-1972 who married Geoffrey Dawson.
Kate Hannah Wilson 1885-1929 who died Mersea.

The compiler of this tree is not known!

Comment from Hilda Rosemary Allen youngest daughter b.1921 of Geoffrey Dawson and Isabella Rosa Dawson (née Wilson) 1 December 2011:
The Mersea Island life has meant a lot to so many of the family. I always understood our ancestor was a daughter of the King of Kandy, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon ).
Kate Hannah Wilson married Capt. Percy Cotton.
 Picnic on the Bowling Green, East Mersea. Wilson family. 
 The Bowling Green was the grass area below the cliffs at Cudmore Grove, now all gone with erosion.  VLT_WSN_001VLT_WSN_001
Picnic on the Bowling Green, East Mersea. Wilson family.
The Bowling Green was the grass area below the cliffs at Cudmore Grove, now all gone with erosion.
 Wilson Family - teatime on the Bowling Green at East Mersea.
 The Bowling Green was below the cliffs at Cudmore Grove, now all gone with erosion.  VLT_WSN_003VLT_WSN_003
Wilson Family - teatime on the Bowling Green at East Mersea.
The Bowling Green was below the cliffs at Cudmore Grove, now all gone with erosion.
ID: MF08_005
Source: Mersea Museum / Martin Dence Collection