Smith&Gosling Who’s Who

My two diarists, Emma Smith and Mary Gosling, have their own pages.

If it helps to have *famous* faces populating this huge stage full of characters, see Dream Team Casting. *NEW*

The Smith of Suttons Family

Papa & Mamma – Charles and Augusta Smith (née Smith) married in 1798. Charles Smith died in 1814. Their country estate, Suttons, was and is located near Stapleford Tawney / Romford (Rumford) in the English county of ESSEX. During the “season,” when London was their home, the Smiths lived at No. 6 Portland Place. Mamma never remarried, and Emma (their second daughter) writes of a wonderful “life with Mamma”, noting down her experiences, as well as the experiences of her five sisters and three brothers.

Augusta Smith was the eldest of them all. She drew and sang with great talent; a friend called her Mamma’s “ornamental daughter”. Emma writes about Augusta’s court presentation in 1817, seemingly the only Smith to be officially “debuted”. I sometimes refer to her as Augusta (the daughter) or, using her married name, Augusta Wilder.

Charles Joshua Smith was the eldest son, but second child. Born in 1800, he inherited his great uncle’s baronetcy in 1816.  He married twice; his second wife being Mary Gosling, the second daughter of the banker William Gosling, who resided at No. 5 Portland Place, London. As the eldest son, Charles inherited his father’s estate Suttons.

Emma Smith probably was not the only sibling to keep a diary; but, so far, hers are the only ones that have surfaced. As a girl, she describes a friendship with her next-door-neighbor, Mary Gosling. Emma was a popular girl, receiving a proposal or two before accepting the suit of James Edward Austen (later: Austen Leigh), the only son of the Rev. James Austen of Steventon.

Frances (Fanny) Smith grew up in between the elder girls and the so-called “children” who brought up the rear. Once married, she lived the furthest away from the rest of her siblings, having settled in Kinwarton, Warwickshire. Fanny’s joy was drawing, and three of her excellent albums are extant at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Spencer Smith would, by the end of 1832, be the only Smith son remaining alive. “Spenny” was described as knowing well the sport of cricket; he was also a sportsman. In the late 1830s he lived at Brooklands, Sarisbury, Hampshire, and it was his children who began to be known by the hyphenated name Spencer-Smith (for a time: Hamilton-Spencer-Smith).

Sarah Eliza Smith was the only sister to marry a man who was at all involved with politics! How unlike the previous generation, when there were four MPs. (For the most part, her sisters chose clergymen.)  Always known as “Eliza”, she seems the sibling who most disliked writing letters.

Charlotte Judith Smith was a young charmer and often teamed up with her younger brother. She, Eliza, and Maria made up what Emma sometimes referred to as “the children”

Drummond Smith was the youngest brother and he, like Charlotte, charmed everyone he met. He was especially described as having a quick, sharp mind. Letters exist from his years at Harrow, and have been used in a history of the school. He died, while abroad, in 1832.

Maria Louisa Smith, as the baby of the family, was often depicted as spoiled and willful. Family and friends describe her as looking like her sister Emma, but not having Emma’s easy-going nature. Maria had a love of languages and was quite religious (as they all were).

Charles Smith (Papa) had one living sister, Judith Smith of Stratford (near London; the district now called Newham). Miss Smith was always known as “Aunt” within the family; Augusta (Mamma) would sometimes refer to her as “sister”. Charles’ father died long before his marriage to Augusta Smith (no relation), his mother died in 1808. So it was “Aunt” alone for whom the children felt a close devotion.

Charles Smith’s first wife, Susannah Devall / Duval had several sisters, which figure in the Smith&Gosling tapestry: one is always referred to as “Miss Devall“; her first name may be Jane. Another sister, Elizabeth Devall, married in 1792 Charles Scrase Dickins (also found as Dickens). Their son, another Charles Scrase Dickins, married Lady Elizabeth Compton (daughter of the 1st Marquess of Northampton and his wife Maria Smith).


The Smiths of Erle Stoke Park

Augusta Smith (Mamma) had three sisters:

Her eldest sister Maria Smith (sometimes found referred to as Mary, though not within the family) had married Lord Compton, who became the 9th Earl and then 1st Marquess of Northampton. Their children are treated separately, below.

The next sister, Elizabeth (Eliza) Smith, married William Chute of The Vyne, in Hampshire. The childless Chutes “adopted” Caroline Wiggett, who was the same age as Augusta Smith (the daughter), when she was still a toddler. It was Caroline’s brother William Wiggett Chute who inherited The Vyne, following the deaths of both William Chute and his younger brother the Rev. Thomas Chute. The Chutes’ clergyman was James Austen, eldest brother of the writer Jane Austen.

The youngest sister Emma Smith was known to the children as “Aunt Emma” and that is how she’s typically referred to in this blog. Emma never married. Her drawings of Erle Stoke Park (Wilts), done in the late 1810s, can be seen via links on artwork done by….

The owner of Erle Stoke Park, Joshua Smith, was the grandparent who lived long enough to see some of the Smiths become young adults. His wife Sarah (née Gilbert; of Antigua) was the half sister of Lady Colebrooke. Her grand-daughter Belinda Colebrooke became Charles Joshua Smith’s first wife; Belinda died in childbirth in 1825.

Joshua Smith’s siblings included Drummond Smith of Tring Park – the great uncle Charles inherited his baronetcy from; Drummond was married to Mary Cunliffe, who I discuss below. Joshua’s brother Thomas Smith, described as “of Jamaica and Bersted Lodge” married Susan (or Susannah) Mackworth Praed. She was related to poet Winthrop Mackworth Praed and the diarist Emily Shore. Her twin sister was Arabella, Countess Mayo – a lady in waiting for Queen Adelaide (consort of William IV).

Other Joshua Smith siblings, whom I haven’t mentioned much online, include Elizabeth Jelph (also Jelfe);  Sir John – who took his wife’s family name, Burges / Burgess / Smith Burgess; Emma Mary, Lady Dunsany, married later in life Randall Plunkett (12th Lord Dunsany); and Henry Smith. Sir Drummond Smith’s second wife, the widow Elizabeth Lady Sykes (born Monckton), was a daughter of the 2nd Viscount Galway. John Smith Burgess’ widow, Margaret, remarried and was later known as Lady Poulett, having married the 4th Earl in 1816.


The Cunliffes of Liverpool

Comprised of Lady Cunliffe (the former Mary Bennett) and her daughters Mary and Elizabeth (Eliza), the Cunliffe ladies lost Sir Ellis Cunliffe before Eliza was even born. With no male heir, his baronetcy devolved on his brother, Sir Robert Cunliffe and on his death in 1778 to his son Sir Foster (of Acton Park, Wrexham). Until my Lady Cunliffe’s death in 1814 there were three women who went by the title of LADY CUNLIFFE (and two with the first name Mary); they are sometimes difficult to separate, other then by the Wales connection of the 3rd baronet.

I have no evidence about the meeting or courtship of Mary Cunliffe and Drummond Smith, who was perhaps twenty years older than his wife. Mary must have been of an age with Drummond’s nieces (the four daughters of Joshua Smith), for her younger sister Eliza was a bosom friend of Eliza Smith (Eliza Chute). The Smith sisters typically referred to her as Mrs D. Smith, to differentiate her from all the others entitled to the name “Mrs Smith.” Eliza Cunliffe married William Gosling of Roehampton Grove.


The Goslings of Roehampton

Papa & Mamma – Eliza Cunliffe married William Gosling (of the banking firm Goslings and Sharpe) the same year Eliza Smith and William Chute married (1793). Letters exist for this exciting time in the lives of these two women. Slowly turning up are letters discussing the burgeoning Gosling family. The Goslings lived at No. 5 Portland Place, when in London, right next door to the Smiths of Suttons. Their country estate, Roehampton Grove, is now a part of the campus of Roehampton University. Eliza Gosling died in December 1803; her sister Mary Smith (Mrs Drummond Smith) followed in February 1804. The fashionable Lady Cunliffe lived until the summer of 1814.

William Ellis Gosling was painted (by William Beechey) as a toddler; you will find this portrait on the Two Teens blog. William never married, and died in the prime of life. He seems to have been thwarted in love during the 1820s, which rather casts him in the role of ‘romantic hero’. He certainly was described by those who knew him in “heroic” terms – kind, generous, knowledgeable, charitable. He went into the family banking firm, and can be found dealing with estate matters for Mrs Thomas Smith of Bersted Lodge.

Robert Gosling, like his brother, became a banker. He married Georgina Vere Sullivan in 1826, the same year his sister married Sir Charles Joshua Smith, bart. It is Robert and his children who are associated with the estates of Hassiobury and Botleys.

Bennett Gosling began his career in the law, but gave it up to join the family banking firm. He never married. Bennett inherited Roehampton Grove, and he helped his sister during her widowhood.

Margaret Elizabeth Gosling is described solely as “my Sister” in all of Mary’s diaries and letters. She married Langham Christie, and, although the Christies lived at Preston Deanery, it was Langham who inherited the estate of Glyndebourne — and their son, William Langham Christie, who lived there. In writing about the Christie family, daughter Charlotte Brookes dangles a few tidbits about her Gosling relations (the book is The Christies of Glyndebourne), including a lengthy description of the “missing” dual portrait of Elizabeth and Mary painted by Beechey.

Mary Gosling was still a toddler when her mother died at the end of 1803. Her Aunt Mary she also never really knew: Mary (Mrs Drummond Smith) died the following February of 1804. Mary’s travel diary was the first piece of this puzzle to be uncovered. She described in 1821 a visit to Llangollen — and the Ladies of Llangollen, Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler. She seems the quintessential “girl next door”, who had to watch Charles marry the glamorous, wealthy Belinda Colebrooke. How she and Charles ultimately ended up marrying in the summer of 1826 remains a mystery: Charles’ extant diaries begin on his wedding day, though he does not write of it as his wedding day at all!. Mary outlived Charles by eleven years; they had three children: Charles Cunliffe Smith (who became Sir Charles at the age of only four), Mary Charlotte (early on called Mimi; later Mary) and Augusta Elizabeth.

William Gosling remarried in 1806. With his second wife, the Hon. Charlotte de Grey, he had two more children:

Charlotte Gosling who we read about throughout Mary’s diaries. Charlotte sustained a fall in April 1828 and evidently never walked again. She was deeply affected by the death of first her father (1834) then especially her namesake mother (1839). Charlotte may have lived with her brother later in life, but without Mary and Charles’ diaries, little is known about her subsequent life beyond what her niece (and godchild) Charlotte Brookes (born Christie) touched upon.

Thomas George Gosling was of an age with young Drummond Smith. Thomas is mentioned several times by Drummond; they had similar “school paths”.


As to primary material, it is obvious that several large “Smith” caches existed. Some that came through Emma, into the Austen Leigh line, got deposited at the Hampshire Record Office. The death of the several siblings in the 1830s and 1840s means there were fewer nieces to bequeath items to, yet the break in diaries – for Mrs Augusta Smith and Mrs Eliza Chute, specifically – seems to indicate that such items, after their deaths in 1844 and 1842 respectively, took different routes. Fanny Seymour and Eliza Le Marchant are prime contenders for having once had other papers. These may have been dispersed through their children &c. Several private collectors have come forward, with a letter or two here and there; the most surprising was the 1798 diary of Augusta Smith, which had been purchased decades ago. Related items are continuing to turn up in other archival collections.

Mary Gosling’s items, given the holes in the sequence of her diaries, must likewise have gotten parcelled out among her three children. Two Smiths married siblings of the Cure family (Charles Cunliffe Smith married Agnes Cure; Augusta Elizabeth married the Rev. Lawrence Cure), and it is through the Cures of Bobbingworth that items have been deposited at the Essex Record Office. One suspects that Charles Joshua Smith kept diaries prior to his marriage to Mary Gosling; did he destroy them or do they still exist? Letters, in this instance, are very few; those too may exist in private (family) hands.

* * *

Smith & Gosling and Jane Austen

Ronald Dunning has been creating an extensive online Austen Ancestry “Jane Austen’s Family.” My Emma Austen Leigh, of course, shows up; but a surprising number of people in the greater Smith & Gosling tree show up too! I’ve known about some later generations intersecting, but Ronald has unearthed some earlier connections too. Read more at Jane Austen’s World and several guest posts at Jane Austen In Vermont.



family tree2


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