The children of Chaund Bebee and John Shore – (1) John Shore
We met Chaund Bebee, commonly known as Bebee Shore, in an earlier story about her will. She had four children with John Shore, an East India Company official who rose to be Governor General of Bengal: John, Francis, Martha, and George.
John Shore, 1st Baron Teignmouth, by Henry Edward Dawe circa 1823 © National Portrait Gallery, London NPG D40449
Sir John Shore left Calcutta for the final time in March 1798, sailing for England with his wife Charlotte and their children. Shore died on 14 February 1834. The only one of his ‘natural’ children to receive a bequest in his will was John, who received £50 for acting as one of the executors, although he wasn’t described as being Shore’s son.
John Shore junior was baptised at Calcutta in October 1777. In 1793 he was nominated by the East India Company Court of Directors as a writer for Fort Marlborough in Sumatra. John was in India at the time and it is unclear whether he ever went to Sumatra, although he remained listed on the Company’s West Coast establishment until 1811. In January 1797 he was appointed agent to superintend the unloading and loading of Company ships at Calcutta, and the following month he became Secretary to the Marine Board. He also served as Marine Paymaster and Secretary to the Committee of Embarkation.
Elizabeth Shore, John’s ‘natural’ daughter, was born on 4 October 1803. John quit his post in Calcutta in February 1808 and travelled to England with Elizabeth in the ship Castle Eden.
In 1812 John married Letitia Thwaits at St George Hanover Square. They had four children - Letitia, Ellen, John, and Jessy Emily. The family lived at 23 Guilford Street London, near the Foundling Hospital where John was a Governor. He was also a director of Guardian Fire and Life Assurance Office, and he and his brothers Francis and George were all East India Company stockholders and active in the Marine Society.
Engraving by James Wyld of the parishes of St Giles in the Fields & St George, Bloomsbury (1824). Maps Crace Port. 15.4 BL Online Gallery. Guilford Street is in the top right corner of the plan.
In 1822 John Shore, described as ‘a Gentleman of fortune’ was found guilty of assaulting schoolmaster John Underhill during an altercation at Ramsgate Assembly Rooms where the election of a master of ceremonies was taking place. Shore was fined one shilling and required to pay 40 shillings costs.
John Shore died on 7 April 1842. Newspaper reports and his burial record give his age as 70 which, if correct, would make him born about 1772. In his will John asked to buried in the vaults of St Pancras Church near to his daughters Jessy Emily and Ellen who had died in February 1829, aged eight and fourteen. He left to his wife Letitia a house and lands in Cheltenham and the house in Guilford Street, as well as monetary assets. Other beneficiaries included his daughter Letitia, wife of Reverend Frederick Hildyard in Norfolk; his son John; his daughter Elizabeth; his sister Martha’s widower Peter Mann Osborne; and his brother George. As well as money, George received a gold snuff box and John’s copy of the Asiatic Journal. John’s half-brother Charles John, 2nd Lord Teignmouth, and his cousin Reverend Thomas Shore of Paignton are mentioned in connection with trusts discussed in the will.
Sale details for 23 Guilford Street – ‘a well-built residence, very conveniently arranged, and in excellent repair’ - Morning Herald (London) 6 March 1852 British Newspaper Archive. Sculptor Jacob Epstein was a later occupant.
John’s widow Letitia died at 23 Guilford Street on 27 December 1843 and was buried at St Pancras Church. Their son John was still living in the family house in 1851 but the property was sold in 1852.
The next post in this series will look at the lives of Francis and Martha Shore.
Lead Curator, East India Company Records
IOR/G/35/36 Letter from Court of Directors to Fort Marlborough 5 June 1793 recording John Shore’s appointment as writer, and letter from James Cobb to Fort Marlborough 26 June 1793 forwarding covenants for John Shore.
IOR/D/34 p.409 Appointment of John Shore as writer for Fort Marlborough 9 April 1794.
IOR/L/MAR/B/296D Journal of the ship Castle Eden with passenger list from Bengal 1808 - John was accompanied by a servant Andrew Dias, probably the same man as the Andrew Deos who sailed to Portsmouth with Sir John Shore and his family in the Britannia in 1798. William Hickey was a fellow passenger in the Castle Eden.
Records relating to John Shore junior’s service in Bengal – IOR/F/4/20/796; IOR/F/4/211/4721; IOR/F/4/309/7076; IOR/F/4/368/9208.
IOR/N/1/17 f.14 Baptism of Elizabeth Shore at Calcutta 16 November 1804.
British Newspaper Archive e.g. Assault on John Underhill -Morning Advertiser 14 August 1822; Report of meeting of East India Company stockholders at the City of London Tavern Bishopsgate - London Courier and Evening Gazette 28 June 1833; Marine Society reports naming the Shore brothers – Morning Herald 9 February 1828 and New Times (London) 11 March 1830 and 11 February; sale of 23 Guilford Street - Morning Herald (London) 6 March 1852.
Will of John Shore proved 11 May 1842 in Prerogative Court of Canterbury (at The National Archives); also will and estate papers from court in Calcutta IOR/L/AG/34/29/73 pp. 343-365.