Untold lives blog

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09 March 2023

The children of Chaund Bebee and John Shore – (2) Francis and Martha Shore

Francis and Martha, the second and third children of Chaund Bebee and John Shore, were baptised together in Calcutta on 2 February 1785.  John Shore was at that time a senior merchant in the service of the East India Company.  Francis was born about 1781 and Martha in about 1783.

When Francis made his will in 1825, he said that he had lately resided in Bengal but now lived in Regent Street, Westminster.  The Westminster Rate Books show his address as 4 Carlton Chambers, Regent Street.  Carlton Chambers was purpose-built for letting out as sets of rooms. A resident porter looked after the building, and a female servant also lived on the premises to light fires and clean for tenants.

Carlton Chambers in Regent StreetCarlton Chambers in Regent Street from Tallis's London Street Views. No. 17, Regent Street, Division IV (1838)

Francis’s business interests were closely linked to his brothers John and George.  He was an East India Company stockholder and active in the Marine Society.  In 1832 Francis was elected a member of the Royal Asiatic Society.

On 5 November 1834 Francis Shore died aged 53 at his home in Regent Street, after a short illness of 4½ hours.  He was buried at St Pancras Church.  A memorial tablet originally on the west wall of the church is now in the crypt. 

Francis’s will bequeathed his estate in trust to his brothers John and George and his sister Martha, and after their deaths to their lawful children.  A bequest was made to John’s ‘natural’ daughter Elizabeth Shore who was living at Guilford Street London with her father and his family. Elizabeth was left 20,000 sicca rupees, or the equivalent in British currency, to be paid out of her father’s share at his death before it was divided between his other children.  Although Francis identified Elizabeth as his niece, a clear distinction was made between her and John's legitimate offspring.

Drawing of St Sidwell's Church ExeterSt Sidwell's Church Exeter from British Newspaper Archive Illustrated London News 22 February 1845 Image © Illustrated London News Group

Martha Shore also moved from Bengal to England. She married Peter Mann Osborne on 28 September 1813 at St Sidwell's Church Exeter, Devon.  Osborne was a Church of England priest who was curate for the parish of Heavitree just outside Exeter.  They started their married life in a ‘neat modern-built’ house at Salutary Mount.

Sale of house occupied by Reverend Osborne at Heavitreee 1814Sale of house occupied by Reverend Osborne at Heavitree - British Newspaper Archive Exeter Flying Post  11 August 1814

The couple moved to the village of Pinhoe, where Martha died aged 50 on 8 September 1834 after a severe illness.  She was buried at Clyst Hydon.

The 1841 and 1851 censuses show Martha’s niece Elizabeth Shore living with Reverend Osborne at Pinhoe.  Osborne died in Pinhoe at a house called Petersfield aged 81 in June 1860.  In his will he made provision for Elizabeth to live at Petersfield and have use of its contents for the rest of her life.  After Elizabeth’s death, Osborne's estate was to pass to the eldest son of his brother Thomas Osborne, and to Letitia Hildyard (née Shore, Elizabeth’s half-sister), her husband Frederick Hildyard, and their children.

In 1861 Elizabeth Shore was living at Petersfield with three servants and was described in the census as a landed proprietor.  She died there on 20 May 1865 aged 62.  Her will describes Peter Mann Osborne as ‘my deceased friend’.  She bequeathed her property in investments to the children of Letitia Hildyard.

Newspaper advert for sale of Petersfield in Pinhoe 1865Sale of Petersfield - British Newspaper Archive Exeter Flying Post  20 September 1865

Petersfield and its contents were put up for sale soon after Elizabeth’s death under the terms of Peter Mann Osborne’s will.

Sale of Peter Mann Osborne's effects 1865Sale of Peter Mann Osborne’s furniture and household effects -British Newspaper Archive Exeter Flying Post 6 September 1865

The next post in this series will look at the life of George Shore, Chaund Bebee’s youngest son.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
Baptism of Francis and Martha Shore at Calcutta 2 February 1785 IOR/N/1/4 f.11.
Death of Francis Shore – British Newspaper Archive English Chronicle 6 November 1834 and Satirist 9 November 1834.
Will and estate papers for Francis Shore - IOR/L/AG/34/29/57 pp.21-36; IOR/L/AG/34/27/108 p.574; IOR/L/AG/34/29/3; IOR/L/AG/34/27/109 p.262.
Death of Martha Shore - British Newspaper Archive Western Times 13 September 1834.
Death of Elizabeth Shore - British Newspaper Archive Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 26 May 1865.
Westminster Rate Books via Findmypast
Information about Carlton Chambers 
The will of Chaund Bebee or Bebee Shore 
The children of Chaund Bebee and John Shore – (1) John Shore 

 

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