This biography of Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny nee Dana (1820 – 1904), also includes her forebears, siblings and descendants.
Charlotte Frances Dana, of middling gentry background, was married to a county solicitor when she met her second husband Philip Robert Champion Crespigny. After a scandalous divorce and a brief exile in France, they came to Australia in 1852 where Philip Robert became a Warden and Magistrate in the goldfields.
Viewed through the life of Charlotte Frances, this is an account of a migrant Victorian family of the nineteenth century.
CHAPTER ONE Prologue: The family background of Charlotte Frances nee Dana The Dana family in America 1 Edmund Dana in England and Scotland 3 The children of Edmund Dana and Helen nee Kinnaird 14 William Pulteney Dana, father of Charlotte Frances 31
CHAPTER TWO The Road to Divorce The Bible and the census 43 Breakdown 53 Divorce 59 France to Australia 67 A note on the Crespigny surname 77
CHAPTER THREE Victoria in the Gold Rush The Dana brothers and the native police 79 Family in Victoria 95 Commissioner, Magistrate and Warden of the Goldfields 105 Letters from home 113
CHAPTER FOUR Amherst and Talbot 1855-1871 Settlements at Daisy Hill 121 Public and private life 128 Farewell to Talbot 142 In search of Daisy Hill Farm: a note 145 Tragic cousins: George and Augustus, the sons of Henry Dana 149
CHAPTER FIVE Ararat to St Kilda 1871-1889 Bairnsdale, Bendigo and Bright, with a brief return to Talbot 157 Magistrate at Ararat 163 Constantine Trent in Australia 1875-1881 173 Rose Crespigny and Frank Beggs 182 Philip Crespigny and Annie Frances Chauncy 191
CHAPTER SIX Eurambeen 1889-1904 The second marriage of Philip Champion Crespigny 207 The letters of Constantine Trent Champion Crespigny 1889-1896 207 Banks and the land: the crisis of the 1890s 216 The Eurambeen Letters 1898-1904 218
CHAPTER SEVEN Epilogue: The immediate descendants of Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny nee Dana Philip Champion de Crespigny 1850-1927 253 Philip Champion de Crespigny 1879-1918 256 Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny 1882-1952 259 Francis George Travers Champion de Crespigny 1892-1968 261 Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny 1897-1969 262 Royalieu Dana [Roy] Champion de Crespigny 1905-1985 263 Claude Montgomery Champion de Crespigny 1908-1991 264 Rose (1858-1937) and Frank Beggs (1850-1921) 265 Postscript: Ada, Viola and Rose 266 John Neptune Blood 1869-1942 267
A great emigration necessarily implies unhappiness of some kind or other in the country that is deserted. For few persons will leave their families, connections, friends, and native land, to seek a settlement in untried foreign climes, without some strong subsisting causes of uneasiness where they are, or the hope of some great advantages in the place to which they are going.
Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)
Charlotte Frances Dana and her second husband Philip Robert Champion Crespigny came to Melbourne in 1852. Through their son Philip, who took the full surname of Champion de Crespigny, they were the founders of the Australian branch of the family.
In Champions from Normandy, published in 2017, Rafe de Crespigny discussed the history of the family, later known by the surname Champion de Crespigny, from the earliest records in France to their forced emigration as Huguenots in the seventeenth century and then the establishment in England during the eighteenth century. The present volume considers the experiences of the first generation in Australia. It is centred upon the life of Charlotte Frances, for she and her brother were central to the decision to emigrate, and she lived to see her first great-grandchildren in the new country and the new century.
Born in 1820, Charlotte died in 1904, and that period of eighty-four years was a time of enormous and dramatic change. She was first a subject of King George IV, former Prince Regent, and she lived through the reigns of William IV and Queen Victoria into the first years of Edward VII. Her voyage to Australia in 1851-52 lasted four months; fifty years later a steamship passage took only six weeks, less than half that time. When she arrived in Victoria, travel was by horse and cart, often no faster than seven miles a day; she would later take a train from the goldfields town of Beaufort and reach Melbourne in a matter of hours; while at the time of her death the Wright brothers in the United States were making their first powered flights at Kitty Hawk.
So it was a time of progress, but it was also an age of uncertainty. Health and medicine were both erratic, and diseases which are now quite easily treated were dangerous and could be fatal. Infant or child mortality was very high – to such a degree that many children were baptised with the name of an older sibling who had gone before them: Charlotte had two brothers christened Francis Richard Benjamin, three called Douglas and two more named William. And even those who grew to maturity could be crippled or killed by accident or sickness: one brother died in his thirties and another at the age of just forty; two young nephews died of scarlet fever and one of tetanus; and Charlotte’s son Constantine Trent Champion Crespigny and her sister-in-law Sophia nee Walsh both died of tuberculosis.
Such dangers applied still more to women of the time. Childbirth always carried a risk and stillbirth was by no means uncommon, while the absence of any practical means of contraception meant that pregnancy was often frequent: Charlotte had seven children, but she had twelve full and half-siblings, both her father and her mother had twelve brothers and sisters, and her mother’s father had sired ten more on another wife. Similarly, in her first marriage she experienced three pregnancies in three years, with one daughter who would live to maturity, a son who died in his very first year, and a third child which was still-born. With the vagaries of midwifery and the chances of infection, many women were weakened or simply worn out by such frequent fertility.
Apart from these physical matters, social and financial life could likewise be a question of fortune, good or ill. Charlotte’s family could fairly be described as gentlefolk: her grand-mother was the daughter of a Scottish baron; her grandfather came from a notable back-ground in the American colonies; one of her uncles was a general in the British army and owned a landed estate; two of her aunts married wealthy men; and in 1839 Charlotte herself was married to a prosperous solicitor in Gloucestershire.
Apparent security, however, could change very quickly. Soon after Charlotte’s wedding her father’s printing business failed, he was sent to prison for debt and was stripped of all property. The last years of his life were survived on a small pension in the home of his daughter and son-in-law.
Bankruptcy and indebtedness were indeed a constant threat: if a bank failed, its notes were worthless – and much of the currency in circulation was issued by private banks; the system of limited liability was not in common use, so the failure of a business could bring ruin to its owner; and a batch of unpaid bills could bring a cascade of misfortune.
The position was even more precarious for women. Until quite recent times, a married woman was identified with her husband, with no separate legal or financial existence, while unmarried women had limited opportunities for a meaningful career which might enable them to support themselves. Married, unmarried or widowed, most women were obliged to rely upon their families. When Charlotte Frances’ husband Philip Robert was taken ill, he was entitled to a pension, but after his death there was no further official or government support; and her unmarried daughters Ada and Viola were equally dependent upon the goodwill of their more prosperous kinfolk.
One question may always be raised of any Australian whose family arrived within the last 250 years: “Why did they come?” For convicts, it was compulsory; very often, notably in the years of gold rush, it was the hope of sudden fortune. For Charlotte’s brother Henry Edmund Dana, educated as a gentleman but with few opportunities at home, it was the hope of better prospects than could be expected in England – and for Charlotte and her second husband Philip Robert Champion Crespigny it was a means to escape the social and financial embarrassment of a dramatic and well-publicised divorce.
Regardless of such an erratic beginning, however, that second marriage was affectionate and companionable, and even after Philip Robert’s sad slow death Charlotte was able to enjoy the support of her daughters and the successes of her son Philip and her grandchildren. In a letter of 1858, her father-in-law wrote in praise of her patience and courage, and of her determination to make the best of everything.
Richard Rafe Champion de Crespigny and Christine Anne Young nee Champion de Crespigny December 2020
Among the papers of my great grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny (1882 – 1952) donated to the State Library of South Australia by his daughter Charlotte de Crespigny is a letter of bequest, giving directions about the distribution of the writer’s belongings after her death.
The bulk of her possessions she leaves to her niece and goddaughter Ada Isidora Crespigny. She also mentions Ada’s sister Viola, Philip Crespigny, and various relatives, including her grandfather Edmund Dana.
The author was fourth great aunt Anna Penelope Wood née Dana (1814 – 1890). Anna had no children to receive her possessions automatically upon her death; her bequest is rather a considered working-out of who should get what, an insight into her opinion of the people she regarded as suitable recipients.
It is interesting that Anna was still so closely connected with her Australian relatives, for following the emigration of the family to Victoria in 1851, Charlotte Crespigny and her daughter Ada never returned to England and Anna did not travel to Australia. But it is clear that they stayed in correspondence. Anna sent a copy of “Two Years Before the Mast” to her sister Charlotte, for example.
The following directions I wish to be faithfully fulfilled after my death.
To my niece Ada Isidora Crespigny I bequeath my evening dresses, lace dress, scarves, shawls, my dressing case (once belonged to my Father) & all the Jewelry & ornaments which it contains (except the Diamond ring and the plain torquoise ring which I leave to Mrs Greenham & her daughter after her – To Ada I Crespigny I also leave my Gold watch and bracelets containing the miniatures of my Grandfather the Revd Edmund Dana, also the portrait of him hanging over the piano. My great grandfather Charles 6th Lord Kinnaird – his likeness is the one in the scarlet coat – my grandfather is dressed in a blue velvet coat – I also leave the said Ada my brooches containing the miniatures of my Grandfather the Revd Ed. Dana my great grandfather the Revd Dr Grueber Provost of Trinity College.
Dubin & My brother William Pulteney Dana, all the photographs of the Danas & George 6th Lord Kinnaird & George 9th Lord Kinnaird & of Queen Victoria also my photograph album, and other photos in cases and frames – all these family portraits I wish for Philip Crespigny and his sons to inherit after the death of Ada so that they and their descendants so that they may retain them in their family for ever. All my music books, work boxes & baskets all my fancy articles, I also bequeath to my niece and goddaughter Ada –
To Rose E Greenham I leave my amethyst brooch and bracelets my little fancy work bags and
Longfellows poems. To Edith ? Greenham I leave my Indian pebble bracelets, my red leather writing case – To Katherine Maltby I leave my amethyst earrings. To Viola Crespigny I leave my cameo bracelets, the likeness of her mother when a girl, & the little dog lying on a red cushion which she worked. Also to Ada Crespigny I leave the portraits of the Countess of Chesterfield (the Honble Anne Forester) – the photograph of her cousins grouped together – the portrait of our uncle Sir William Rowan Hamilton & the photograph of our cousin Mrs Rathbone & the one of myself and our father grouped together – To the said Ada I also leave all my books among which are Dana’s and Longfellows’ works. To Alice Gough I leave my Indian Cedar Wood Chest which stands in the Drawing Room
also a book called “The Land and the book” To Grahame Parry I leave my three Japanese China jars These are simple keepsakes to dear friends who have been kind to me – To my good and faithful Sidney Smith I leave my carbuncle ring Farrers Life of Christ & Picturesque Europe. To his brother Jasper I leave Capcis Family Bible for a keepsake. To Mary Ellen Jones I leave all my wearing apparel (except what I have left to Ada Crespigny) my sewing machine & all the odds and ends ?? ?? my clothing. I particularly desire that she will keep for her own use every thing that I have left to her. She is not to part with a single article. To my dear Wilfred I leave all the furniture books pictures plate ??? plate China House linen & whatever money or property I may possess on condition that he takes care of and provides fo as far as he is able Mary Ellen Jones & Catherine Wood as far as he is able as long as they live.
My father has some of the miniatures Anna mentions, for example the Reverend Edmund Dana and the Reverend Dr Grueber. He also has “the little dog lying on a red cushion which [Charlotte Frances] worked.” When I was a child this tapestry – later left to my grandfather Geoff CdeC by Viola’s younger sister Rose Beggs née Champion de Crespigny – hung in my bedroom.
State Library South Australia Records of Sir Trent de CrespignyNumber ACC 2898
William Barnston (1592-1665) of Churton, a village some seven miles/twelve kilometres south of Chester, was among the royalist defenders of that city against the attacks of parliamentary forces and the final siege of 1645-1646. He was imprisoned for a time after the Civil War and was obliged to pay a fine to the Interregnum government before he could return to his estates. The area had suffered heavy damage during the war, but soon after the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 Barnston was able to rebuild his parish church of St Chad at nearby Farndon, and he added a chapel with a memorial panel to his experience of the war and a window commemorating his comrades of Chester.
After general conflict in Cheshire between royalists and parliamentarians, the parliamentarian forces under Sir William Brereton (1604-1661) established supremacy in the county. Chester, held out as a royalist stronghold, however, and was important as an entry-port for troops from Wales and Ireland. After some early attacks in 1643 and 1644, full siege was laid in September 1645. The city held out for several months, repelling many assaults, but as supply lines were cut the people were faced with starvation, and the garrison surrendered in February of the following year.
After three and a half centuries it is not surprising that the Farndon window has suffered damage and decay: one panel at the top is missing and many details are blurred. By good fortune, however, a coloured copy was made in the early nineteenth century and an engraving of it was published in Ormerod’s History of Cheshire:
In the Barnston chancel …[is] a curious historical subject, which was rescued from a state of extreme decay, and repaired at the expence of the late dean of Chester. It is represented in the attached engraving, on a scale reduced about two-thirds from a fac-simile drawing, which was executed under the inspection of the dean, when the glass was in his possession.
The Dean of Chester was Hugh Cholmondeley (1773-1815), who held that office at Chester Cathedral from 1806 until his death, four years before Ormerod published his History. In the engraving, the blank panel at the top is occupied by a title sheet with an attribution to his patronage.
The engraving is presented on a two-page spread-sheet. It is certainly clearer than the photographs, and given that it was prepared under supervision we may accept it as a fair reproduction. A full copy appears at the end; details are used for comparison and clarification in this essay.
The window is divided into four registers, with four larger panels in the centre, four each across the top and bottom, and four each again in column on either side. Since the overall measurement is no more than 28 inches/72 centimetres high and 18 inches/46 centimetres wide, the twenty pictures are all quite small.
The four central panels have a display of arms, armour and other equipment, and the one in the upper left also shows an officer standing outside a tent and carrying a baton of command. From the shield part-hidden behind him: or, three mallets sable [yellow, with three black wooden hammers], he can be identified as Sir Francis Gammul (1606-1654). A former mayor of Chester, when King Charles raised his standard at Nottingham and issued a call to arms in August 1642 he raised troops in the city and brought a contingent to join him. He played a leading role in the defence of the city and was made a baronet in 1644.
Eight small pictures on either side of the window show figures of armoured infantrymen with muskets and pikes, and in four larger pictures across the base there are a pikeman, a junior officer bearing a flag, a flute-player and a drummer. In his discussion of the window, Colonel Field notes that the figures are based upon contemporary drawings published in France by the engraver and water-colourist Abraham Bosse (c.1604-1676): styles were the same on both sides of the Channel.
Like Sir Francis Gamull, the flag-bearer can be identified by the shield in the corner of his picture: the shield is black, with three white greyhounds, surrounded by a white border [sable, three greyhounds courant argent, within a bordure of the last]. This was the insignia of the Berington family of Cheshire, and the top of the shield has a “label of three points” – a bar with three pendants – indicating that he is an eldest son whose father is still living.
The senior lineage of the Berington family had held the estates of Bradwall and Moores-barrow, a short distance southeast of Middlewich in Cheshire, but they passed by marriage to the Oldfield family in the late sixteenth century. A cadet branch, however, still held property at Warmingham, some five kilometres/three miles south of Middlewich, and Hugh Berington was baptised there in 1626. In 1644 Hugh would have been eighteen, and Ensign – equivalent to a second lieutenant at the present day – was an appropriate rank for a young gentleman.
The shield of the Grosvenor family, blue with a yellow sheaf of grain [azure, a garb or] is marked at the top by a label of three points, indicating that – like Ensign Berington above – Richard Grosvenor is the eldest son and his father is living.
A label also appears on the shield of William Mainwaring. In his case, however, his father Edmund was a second son, so the family shield of two red bars on a white ground [argent, two bars gules] is also differenced by a crescent for cadency.
The Barnston shield is complex: blue with an indented bar of speckled with black across the centre, and six complex yellow crosses [azure, a fess dancettée ermine between six cross-crosslets or (ermine is a formulaic rendering of the animal’s fur)]. It does not, however, have any marks of difference, so William Barnston was the head of his family.
The colours in the window have been affected by age and in several places they are uncertain. Where the Cholmondeley copy, for example, has sashes in differing colours and Gamull and Grosvenor with yellow coats, Field argues that all the sashes and the senior officers’ jackets were originally red. With the handsome headgear, this was parade dress; Barnston, however, was wearing the long, close-fitting “buff coat” of heavy leather, often made from buffalo- or ox-hide, which gave basic protection in combat.
As pictured in the side columns of the window, some pikemen bore half-armour of metal plate over the leather. Such corselets, however, were heavy to wear and were going out of use, while musketeers had sufficient problems with their weapons. Two shown in the side panels are holding “matchlocks,” dangerous and erratic and requiring a pole to rest upon, but even the new, lighter “firelocks” shown in the other pictures were awkward to manage. Horsemen, like William Mainwaring’s cousin Philip, carried pistols and swords and were often armoured, but the soldiers in the Farndon window were defending a city and had no use for cavalry.
William Barnston, who had the Farndon window made in the early 1660s, has already been discussed, while nothing more is known of Ensign Berington – even his identification as the Hugh Berington baptised at Warmingham in 1626 is uncertain. We can, however, offer a brief account of the other officers shown in the window:
Following the surrender of Chester in 1646, Sir Francis Gamull was able to compound for his estates, but in 1654 he joined a rising against the newly-established Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. The rebellion was defeated and Francis Gamull was executed. He left no sons, and the baronetcy was extinguished.
The Grosvenor family of Eaton Hall in Eccleston, just to the south of Chester, were leading gentry of the county. As a member of Parliament in the 1620s, Sir Richard Grosvenor (1585-1645) had been a strong supporter of the royal interest, and he had been made a baronet by King Charles in 1622. His son, also Richard Grosvenor (c.1604-1665) was High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1643 and raised troops in the royal cause.
Richard Grosvenor succeeded to the baronetcy at his father’s death in 1645, and later generations of the family became increasingly successful and prosperous. The present-day Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, one of the wealthiest men in England, is a direct descendant, and Eaton Hall in Cheshire is his country house.
William Mainwaring (c.1616-1645) had been a Sergeant-Major of the troop brought by Sir Francis Gamull to join the king’s forces when he raised his standard at Nottingham in 1642. William took part in the campaign which led to the battle of Edgehill on 23 October, first engagement of the civil war, and he was knighted by the king at Oxford in January of the following year.
William’s father Edmund (1579-c.1650) was a younger son of Sir Randle Mainwaring of Over Peover (d.1612), some fifty kilometres/thirty miles east of Chester. While many gentlemen of the time determined their allegiance in the war through family interest and local alliances rather than by any political or religious conviction, the Mainwarings were divided. Philip Mainwaring of Over Peover, whose armour is shown above, was a son of Sir Randle and first cousin of William, but as William defended Chester for the king Philip was commanding a troop of cavalry in the parliamentary army.
Sir William Mainwaring was killed in October 1645, fighting on the walls of Chester. It was reported that he had been wounded by musket-shot under the arm and died on the following day. His widow Hester was left with two daughters and an infant son, who died a few months later. The elder daughter Hester had no children, but Judith married John Busby, who was knighted by Charles II in recognition of the service given by his father-in-law, and their daughter Hester married Thomas Egerton of Tatton Park near Knutsford in Cheshire; her descendants became barons and earls.
 There is a general history of the war in Cheshire in The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester: compiled from original evidences in public offices, the Harleian and Cottonian mss., parochial registers, private muniments, unpublished ms. collections of successive Cheshire antiquaries, and a personal survey of every township in the county; incorporated with a republication of King’s Vale Royal, and Leycester’s Cheshire Antiquities, by George Ormerod (1785-1873), 3 volumes, Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor and Jones, London 1819 [archive.org] Ormerod, History I, xxxv-xxxviii, and a modern account in “Early Modern Chester 1550-1762: the civil war and interregnum, 1642-60,” 115-125; digitised by British History Online [BHO] from A History of the County of Chester, Volume 5 Part 1 “The City of Chester: General History and Topography,” published by Victoria County History, London 2003; online at british-history.ac.uk/vch/ches/vol5/pt1/pp115-125.
 After the victory of Parliament in the civil war, gentlemen who had fought on the royalist side did not suffer a direct confiscation of their estates, but had to pay in order to keep them. The process was known as “compounding.”
 The window is discussed, with photographs, at the following websites:
There is also an article on “Army Uniforms in a Stained Glass Window in Farndon Church, Cheshire – temp Charles I,” by Colonel C Field, in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research V.22, 174-177 [https://www.jstor.org/stable/44227597].
I also acknowledge the most impressive and helpful site cheshire-heraldry.org.uk, described as “A web site dedicated to the art and science of heraldry in the County Palatine of Chester.” It provides a quantity of information, with excellent sources, and has impressive illustrations.
Ormerod, History II, page 408. This introductory paragraph is followed by another with a description of the contents, which has been drawn upon for some of the discussion which follows.
 His dates of appointment are given by Ormerod, History I, 221. Reproductions from the engraving are referred to below as the Cholmondeley copy.
 Ormerod notes disagreement whether Sir Francis received a baronetcy or only a knighthood, and the shield in the window is unclear, but the Cholmondeley copy shows the red hand, insignia of baronetcy, in the centre of his shield.
 “Army Uniforms,” 175. He suggests that five bars [Gamull and Grosvenor] may have indicated a colonel, four [Mainwaring] a lieutenant-colonel, and three [Barnston]
 “… two men of Captain Mainwaring:” Alice Thornton, quoted in Roger Hudson [editor], The Grand Quarrel: from the Civil War memoirs of Mrs Lucy Hutchison; Mrs Alice Thornton; Ann, Lady Fanshawe; Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle; Anne, Lady Halkett, & the letters of Brilliana, Lady Harley, Folio Society, London 1993, page 92.
 Summary accounts of weapons, armour and tactics at this time appear in Austin Woolrych, Battles of the English Civil War, published first by Batsford, London 1961, then by Pan 1966, at 100-101; and William Seymour, Battles in Britain and their political background, volume 2 (1642-1746), Sidgwick and Jackson, London 1975 and Book Club Associates 1976, at 26-27.
My paternal grandfather, Richard Geoffrey Champion de Crespigny, oldest son of Constantine Trent Champion De Crespigny (1882-1952) and Beatrix Champion de Crespigny née Hughes (1884 -1943), was born in Glenthompson, Victoria, on 16 June 1907. He died in Adelaide, South Australia, on 12 February 1966. Today is the 113th anniversary of his birthday.
Geoff’s father was in private medical practice in Glenthompson from 1906 having previously worked for several years in Melbourne hospitals after graduation. In 1909 he took up the position of Superintendant of the Adelaide Hospital and the family moved to Adelaide. Geoff’s sister Nancy was born in Adelaide in 1910.
In 1933 Geoff married Kathleen Cudmore. They had one son, Rafe.
In 1939 Geoff enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and served in the Middle East and New Guinea rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. His extended period of nine months in Tobruk, earned the nickname of `The old man of Tobruk’.
After graduating from Melbourne University in 1930 Geoff was a resident medical officer at the Adelaide Hospital from 1931 and then undertook postgraduate studies in England in 1932. On his return to Adelaide he took up general practice. He specialised in paediatrics and was on the Honorary Staff of the Adelaide Childrens’ Hospital from 1936. He was admitted to the Royal Australian College of Physicians in 1938 and made a Fellow in 1953. He gave up private practice in 1960 to take on the role of Medical Director of the Mothers’ and Babies’ Health Association. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1960 and in that year he was President of the South Australian Branch of the Australian Medical Association.
In December 1965 he suddenly became ill and died less than two months later on 12 February 1966 of a brain tumour.
Among my paternal grandmother’s photographs is a casual shot of her father, Arthur Murray Cudmore, her future father in law, CTC de Crespigny, and Bronte Smeaton, another Adelaide doctor, in deckchairs on RMS Mooltan sailing to Lemnos in the Aegean, near Gallipoli, in 1915. Both Drs de Crespigny and Cudmore held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel: de Crespigny was Registrar and Secretary and Cudmore a consultant surgeon of the 3rd Australian Hospital.
Arthur Murray Cudmore with Trent de Crespigny [centre] & Bronte Smeaton [left] in 1915 at sea. Picture from my grandmother Kathleen née Cudmore’s scrapbook. (Kathleen later married the son of Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny.)
18 May 1915 Crowds of well-wishers farewell Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) personnel who have just embarked on the transport HMT Mooltan at Port Melbourne railway pier. Australian War Memorial image id C01009 retrieved from http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C01009/
In January 1916 the hospital closed. De Crespigny was put in charge of the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis. The staff of the hospital sailed for Marseilles in 1916 from Alexandria.
On 24 March 1916 Alice Ross King received her orders to sail to France. She and her fellow nurses from No. 1 Australian General Hospital waited on the pier at Alexandria, weighed down with the booty from a final shopping spree. One nurse had a canary in a cage. A captain was told to make sure all the nurses were on board the hospital ship Braemar Castle.‘Not knowing the AANS he told us to form a double row to “number off”,’ Alice recounted.‘He wanted 120. Each time he got a different number. He was terribly worried. Finally our big [commanding officer] Col De Crespigny came down the gangway to see what was the matter. In his tired voice he called out, “Sisters! Form a fairly straight line. Left turn! Get on board.” “Oh! Sir,” said Matron, “they are not all here.” “Then they’ll be left behind,” said our CO. Our first hard lesson! We had always been fussed over [and] spoilt before,’ Alice wrote, with a shade of overstatement. (Rees, Peter. The Other Anzacs: Nurses at War 1914-1918. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2008. Retrieved from https://epdf.pub/other-anzacs-the-nurses-at-war-1914-1918.html)
I never knew my great grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny, and my impression of him is derived from what my father can remember and other people’s memoirs. But this story, of him of directing people to get on with it, sounds characteristic. It certainly brings him to life for me.
Another shipboard anecdote is set in the journey home. My great grandfather, supposedly averse to brisk exercise, did his rounds of the deck very very slowly. But he met a satirical suggestion about his speed with a rapid retort:
My third great grandmother Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny née Dana, lived from 1820 to 1904, a period of great change in the political status of women.
Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny née Dana (1820 – 1904) photograph probably taken in the late 1850s
In 1902, when she was 82 years old, the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 granted Australian women the right to vote and the right to stand for election to the Commonwealth Parliament.
When the list of voters was compiled, Charlotte was recorded on the Electoral Roll for the polling place of Beaufort, Division of Grampians, State of Victoria, as Charlotte Champion, living at Eurambeen, occupation home duties. (Eurambeen was about 11 kilometers west of Beaufort.) Also on the Roll were her daughters Viola Julia Champion and Helen Rosalie Beggs née Champion Crespigny, both also living at Eurambeen with the occupation of home duties.
The Commonwealth of Australia 1903 Electoral Roll for the polling place of Beaufort, Division of Grampians, State of Victoria, pages 2 and 3 showing the surnames of Beggs and Champion. Image retrieved from ancestry.com
Oddly, it appears that Charlotte and Viola were recorded twice. There are entries on page 4 of the roll for Crespigny Frances and Crespigny Constantia, also both of Eurambeen; Frances was Charlotte’s middle name and Constantia was Viola’s third given name. When names were collected for the roll the surname Champion Crespigny went over two lines and so did their given names. There was not enough space on the form: the result was two Roll entries each.
The Commonwealth of Australia 1903 Electoral Roll for the polling place of Beaufort, Division of Grampians, State of Victoria, pages 4 and 5 showing the surname Crespigny. Image retrieved from ancestry.com
On the 1909 roll Viola’s surname was changed to Crespigny, with her full name recorded as Crespigny, Viola Julia Con. C. At that time she living at St Marnocks with her sister and brother-in-law.
A Victorian state election was held in October 1902 but for this women were as yet not enfranchised. The next year, however, there was a Federal election on 16 December and Charlotte and her daughters were eligible to vote.
The Federal Division of Grampians was retained by the sitting member Thomas Skene (1845 – 1910) of the Free Trade Party, an anti-socialist party which advocated the abolition of tariffs and other restrictions on international trade.
Charlotte and her daughters, from a prosperous family of graziers, probably supported Skene, a pastoralist. Voting was not compulsory, however, and though she was entitled to vote, Charlotte was unwell and probably unable to travel to the polling station at Beaufort to cast her vote.
There was provision for postal voting but it was very complicated, with specific witnesses required.
All in all, the story of my great grandmother’s enfranchisement is not especially remarkable. She was not a fire-breathing suffragist, but an ordinary person who, late in life, accepted a new political privilege with no great fuss.
Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903 retrieved through ancestry.com first published by the Australian Electoral Commission
My father has a small collection of family portraits. One is a miniature of his father Richard Geoffrey “Geoff” Champion de Crespigny (1908 – 1966) as a child.
The portrait is signed ‘O. A. Chatfield’. This was Olive Amy Chatfield (1880 – 1945).
Olive Chatfield was born in New Zealand, the fourth of eight children of an architect named William Charles Chatfield (1852 – 1930). Olive’s mother Mary Chatfield nee Hoggard (1853 – 1896) died when Olive was 15.
In November 1910 Olive Chatfield ‘of New Zealand’ was one of the artists in the 13th annual Federal Art Exhibition in Adelaide, a showing organised by the South Australian Society of Arts. I am not sure when Olive Chatfield came to Adelaide or why she was living there.
In March 1912 Miss Olive Chatfield donated a miniature portrait of Lady Bosanquet, wife of the South Australian Governor, to the Art Gallery of South Australia. Described as ‘gouache on ivory, 7.6 x 6.3 cm’, it remains in the Gallery’s collection,
In 1914 and 1915 Olive Chatfield is mentioned several times in Adelaide newspapers, usually under ‘social notes’.
Olive Hughes did not re-marry, and in November 1916 returned to New Zealand, where under the name of Mrs Westbury Hughes she practiced as a professional artist specialising in miniature portraits. Some of her work was exhibited by the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.
Photo of Olive Hughes accompanying an article in the Sydney Sun of 16 December 1923
My 8th great uncle was Gabriel Crespigny, a Huguenot refugee from Normandy.
Born in 1666, he was sent to England by his parents when he was just twelve years old, and had joined the army in 1686 at the age of twenty. In 1691 he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the First Foot Guards – later the Grenadier Guards – with effective rank as a Captain. Serving in Flanders against the armies of King Louis XIV of France, he was wounded in 1695 during the successful assault on Namur in present-day Belgium.
In 1701 Gabriel transferred to be Captain in a newly formed regiment commanded by Arthur Chichester the Earl of Donegall. Raised at Belfast in Ireland and numbered as the 35th Foot, the regiment was a strongly Protestant unit and had authority from King William to bear orange facings on the uniform.
The Nine Years War against Louis XIV – essentially the War of the English Succession – had concluded with the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, but conflict broke out again with the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702, and the Earl of Donegall’s Regiment was designated for “sea service” – amphibious attacks on enemy ports and shore positions. Following an unsuccessful raid on Cadiz in August, it was engaged in the West Indies but returned to Spain in 1704. In 1705 the regiment joined the garrison of Gibraltar under Spanish attack, and later that year it was engaged in the capture of Barcelona. On the following 9 April the Earl of Donegall was killed in the defence of that city; his place was taken by Sir Richard Lord Gorges, another Irish Peer, and the name of the regiment was changed accordingly.
Having taken part in the capture of the port of Alicante later that year, the regiment was brought into the main British-Portuguese field army, but in 1707 the allies were heavily defeated by the French-Spanish coalition at the battle of Almansa; Gorges’ Regiment lost its colours and many of its officers and men were killed or captured. The remnants were brought back to Ireland, where the regiment was re-formed; Captain Crespigny had escaped the debacle and was one of the officers in the new arrangement.
La Batalla de Almansa, Museo del Prado. The Battle of Almansa, 25 April 1707, landscape by Filippo Pallotta, figures by Buonaventura Ligli
Forerunner of the present-day Army Board, the Board of General Officers of the British Army was established at the beginning of the eighteenth century, gathering men of that rank to deal with matters of discipline, disputes, recruitment and the provision of supplies.
At its meeting of 9 February 1708, however, a letter written by Captain Gabriel Crespigny had been presented in which he complained to Colonel Phineas Bowles, commander of another regiment, that, after the colonel of Gabriel Crespigny’s regiment, Colonel Lord Donegall, was killed at Barcelona on 10 April 1706, Thomas Caulfeild, Viscount Charlemont, had appropriated a quantity of Donegall’s goods and papers. It appears that this matter had come to the notice of Lord Peterborough, leader of the English and Dutch armies in Spain, and was the initial reason for Charlemont bring summonsed to discuss his position. The minutes of the meeting then record that
After which all Persons being ordered to withdraw, as they were passing out, Mr Caulfeild, Son to the Lord Charlemont, gave Capt Crepigny several blows over the Face and Head with a Cane. Whereupon Mr Caulfeild was sent Prisoner to the Guard, to be kept there until Her Ma[jes]tys or the Princes Pleasure should be known.
The Disorder being then over….
At its meeting on 5 May 1708 the Board took official notice of the quarrel between two officers, Captains Gabriel Crespigny and Thomas Caulfeild. Captain Caulfeild had insulted Captain Crespigny, and the matter was considered extremely serious: the Prince Consort George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne, was advised that “to Repair so great an Injury and Affront to a Gentleman’s Honour,” Captain Caulfeild should be required
In the …Guard Chamber, during the [next] Sitting of the Board, on his knees, to ask pardon of Captain Crespigny, who is at the same time to have a Cane in his Hand, with Liberty to use it, as he please.
The background of Gabriel’s opponent was very different. Thomas Caulfeild was the second son of William, second Viscount Charlemont in the peerage of Ireland. A strong supporter of William of Orange against James II, in 1701 the Viscount was rewarded with command of a newly-formed regiment – later to be known as the 36th Foot. Like the Earl of Donegall’s Regiment, Viscount Charlemont’s was sent on sea service, and the two units took part in an attack on Cadiz and the campaign in the West Indies in 1702 and 1703.
Born in 1685, and thus twenty years younger than Gabriel Crespigny, at the age of sixteen Thomas Caulfeild had been commissioned as an Ensign in his father’s regiment at the time of its first formation in 1701. He took part in the attack on Cadiz, but received permission, with his father, not to join the enterprise in the West Indies. Rejoining the regiment on its return to Ireland in 1704, he accompanied it to Spain in 1705, where it took part in the siege and capture of Barcelona alongside the Earl of Donegall’s unit. When the city was attacked by a Franco-Spanish force in April 1706, Charlemont’s Regiment formed part of the relief force.
Viscount Charlemont had been made a Brigadier-General in 1704, but in May 1706 he was replaced as Colonel by Thomas Allnutt, and the name of the regiment was duly changed.
This gave cause for controversy. During an assault on Fort Montjuȉc at Barcelona, several men of Charlemont’s regiment had taken to flight, though he himself maintained the attack and did his utmost to bring them back to order. The fort was captured, and the Earl of Peterborough, commander of operations in eastern Spain, congratulated him on the success. Later, however, a document appeared, said to have come from Queen Anne herself, which ordered his dismissal, and Peterborough compelled him to relinquish his command. Charlemont subsequently appealed to the Board of General Officers, which found that he had properly carried out his duties and that the Earl of Peterborough had been deceived by a forgery and made a mistake – an elegant compromise. Charlemont was soon afterwards promoted Major-General, but the regiment remained under Allnutt’s command.
In the following year the two regiments – the 35th Foot commanded by Lord Gorges with Gabriel Crespigny serving as a Captain, and the 36th commanded by Thomas Allnutt with Thomas Caulfeild probably serving as a Captain – were part of the main field army which suffered defeat at Almansa on 25 April 1707. Like Gorges’ Regiment, Allnutt’s was all but destroyed, and Colonel Allnutt himself was wounded and taken prisoner. Released on exchange in September, he was commissioned to rebuild the regiment; enlistment, however, was no longer in Ireland but was based upon Cheshire.
Since their regiments were rebuilding separately, the 35th in Ireland and the 36th in England, one must assume that the quarrel between Thomas Caulfeild and Gabriel Crespigny had arisen while they were together on campaign in Spain. Though we have at this time no details, it was very likely related to some aspect of the defeat at Almansa, and the most obvious accusation which one officer could levy against another was that of cowardice.
One may wonder why the insult was not followed up by a duel between the two men: though duelling was formally outlawed, it was common at this time, particularly – as might be expected – among military men. Again, it is possible Caulfeild refused the challenge.
Caulfeild may have refused to regard Crespigny as a gentleman of appropriate rank: though both were commissioned officers, Caulfeild was of noble birth and Crespigny was foreign born and of uncertain heritage (Gabriel Crespigny and his brothers Pierre and Thomas had had their gentry lineage and pedigree certified by the College of Arms ten years earlier, but this may not have been enough for all whom they encountered in British society).
Alternatively, if Caulfeild was convinced his opponent was a coward, he may have refused to meet such a fellow on equal terms. Men of lower rank were unworthy of swords or pistols, and should be dealt with by the horsewhip or a cane.
In any event, the Board of General Officers found Thomas Caulfeild’s accusations and his conduct of the quarrel to have been quite unjustified – and the reference to his potential punishment with a cane makes one suspect the second explanation is most likely.
Prince George died in October 1708 and it seems that without his support the direction lapsed. Perhaps the humiliation of Caulfeild was held to be sufficient without Gabriel Crespigny actually using the cane. The minutes of the Board of 26 October 1708 record
Capt Crepigny [was] called in on his Petition for Satisfaction from Mr Caulfeild, and [was] told that Lt-Gen Seymour not being at the Board, who presided when the matter was first under Consideration, and had attended the Prince. Therefore the Pet[itioner] could not be then informed what Directions His Royal Highness had given therein.
Lieutenant-General William Seymour was Colonel of The Queen’s Regiment of Foot, now
part of the Royal Marines. He had presided at the Board Meeting of 5 May, but later joined his regiment in Spain; in September he and his men had taken part in the capture of the Mediterranean island of Minorca. Since there had been no written reply from the prince, nor any report of what he might have said, the matter was left to lie.
We may note that at this time Captain Crespigny was forty-two years old and had been on active service for more than twenty years. Captain Caulfeild was twenty-five; he had seen combat at Cadiz in 1702, followed by two years in Spain and the defeat at Almansa.
It does not appear that the two men had any further dealings, and their subsequent careers were very different.
Gabriel Crespigny returned to his duties with Gorges’ Regiment, but three years later he was wounded in a riot when engaged on recruitment at Wigan, north of Liverpool. With any system of regular conscription, recruitment – either voluntary or forced – was essential for any unit of the army, but it was often resented by the civilian population, and especially by friends of those who were tricked or compelled to join the colours. Gabriel was so seriously injured that he was obliged to leave the army, selling his commission to pay his debts, and was eventually granted a pension at half-pay. He died in Ireland in 1722.
For one reason or another, perhaps associated with the Crespigny affair, Thomas Caulfeild transferred his commission to the marines; since his original regiment had been involved in sea service, the change was not inappropriate. In 1710 his new unit, numbering four hundred men, was sent to America to militia regiments from the colonies of New England in an attack on the French base at Port-Royal in Nova Scotia. Having distinguished himself in the campaign, Thomas Caulfeild was named Lieutenant-Governor of the newly-acquired province of Nova Scotia, and had charge of the territory until his death there in 1717 at the age of thirty-two.
My father has recently written an essay on the early history of the Champion de Crespigny family. It was an update of an earlier essay written in 1988. The essay includes a bibliography, footnotes, index and colour illustrations and maps.
Paperback version of Champions from Normandy
The essay was composed and edited using Microsoft Word and came to 221 A4 pages. My father exported the manuscript to PDF thereby ensuring the formatting and pagination stayed constant.
While downloading a PDF may suit some family members we were conscious that others might like a printed version.
My father arranged for ten copies to be printed and bound in hardcover. The cost was just under $50 for printing double-sided in colour and $54 to bind in good quality thesis style or just over $100 per copy. In addition involved arranging drop off of the manuscript to the bookbinders and collection from the bookbinders and distribution to family members and libraries by hand.
I thought it would be easier if family members could purchase their own copy and we could outsource the printing, payment and shipping.
Our decision as to which printer to use was determined by our desire to retain the A4 size of the publication. We did not wish to reformat and or compile the index again.
There are several print on demand suppliers but IngramSpark (http://www.ingramspark.com/ ) seemed to be the only firm that could print a coloured manuscript in A4. Books printed by IngramSpark can be ordered through Amazon.com and other distributors.
Reviews of the quality of printing by IngramSpark were favourable.
My father has written a number of books and was familiar with the steps in the publishing process.
We had to purchase ISBNs. “ISBN” stands for “International Standard Book Number”. The ISBN identifies a book or other book-like product (such as an audiobook) in a specific format and edition as well as who published it.
ISBNs used to be distributed for free by the National Library of Australia but the process has been outsourced to Thorpe-Bowker ( https://www.myidentifiers.com.au ). We bought ten ISBNs for $88. A single ISBN is $44 and you need a separate ISBN for each format. In addition there was a “new publisher set-up fee” of $55.
We needed to assign three of the numbers to this book for the three different formats: hardback, paperback and PDF to be downloaded.
Next we submitted cataloguing-in-publication information to the National Library of Australia. Cataloguing-in-Publication (CiP) is a free service offered to publishers by the National Library of Australia to provide a catalogue record for publications that have not yet been published. You can apply at https://www.nla.gov.au/cip.
The book was listed on Trove, the National Library of Australia’s online portal. The capitalisation of the title was not as we submitted it but the Library advised that would be corrected once the deposit copy was received. However, three weeks after the deposit copy was handed personally to the library, the catalogue is not yet updated, still stating the deposit copy has not yet been received.
For IngramSpark to print the book we needed to upload two files, a PDF file of the contents and a separate file for the cover.
IngramSpark emailed a template of the cover with the exact dimensions based on the number of pages, and the weight of the paper we chose. A bar code with our ISBN was included. We elected not to have the price coded in the barcode.
Modifying the template was beyond my capabilities. I did not have the right software and despite spending some time Googling for help and watching YouTube videos I felt no closer to mastering this task. I Googled for help and found the site UpWork.com. I was able to
describe the task
find 5 candidates who were able to take on the task
select and brief an experienced designer who had produced covers for IngramSpark previously
agree a fee and pay the money into Escrow using PayPal
provide the designed with the files forwarded by IngramSpark and image of the design my father wanted
the work was completed in less than half an hour and the files forwarded to me
I released the payment and rated the work done (5 stars as prompt and conforming exactly to my brief)
Cost was $US30.83
IngramSpark requires you as a publisher to set a retail price for the book for each of the main countries it can be printed in. You are given the information about printing costs. I was required to budget for a wholesaler discount. I chose the minimum and did not allow for returns. I am not trying to place the book in bookshops and do not expect anyone other than family members to be interested.
Once we uploaded the files IngramSpark charged $US49 setup fee.
It took several days for IngramSpark to process the files as I submitted on the weekend and I believe they are reviewed by a person. The proof was available to download on Wednesday morning. I reviewed the electronic copy and ordered a hard copy for review. I could delay anybody else ordering until I have reviewed the hardcopy but have decided to allow anybody who wishes to order a copy.
The cost of the hardcopy was the actual printing cost $Au11.74 plus $Au2.20 handling fee, economy shipping of $Au9.25, Tax (GST?) $Au2.32 for a total of $25.51.
On Thursday morning, 24 hours after enabling production on IngramSpark, the book was listed on Amazon.com, Angus and Robertson and booko.com.au. No price was given and the book was listed as “not in stock”. However I was able to place alerts to be notified when the book is available for sale.The National Library would appear to have also been notified by IngramSpark as the entry on Trove included an image of the cover that could have only come from IngramSpark.
A summary of the cost of getting the book to publication in Australian dollars:
ISBN purchase and setup $Au 143
Cover designer $US 30.83 = $Au 41.95
IngramSpark set up fee $US 49 = $Au 66.69
Single printed copy to review $25.51
Total $Au 277.15
It took three weeks for the review copy to arrive. IngramSpark’s service standard was ten business days and they printed on the tenth business day. Postage took six days. In hindsight, because I was eager to see a copy quickly, I should have ordered the express printing which would have taken only two to three days to print.
The quality of the printing is good, the only comment being that the colour for some of the illustrations is less vivid than the initial individual printing my father had arranged.
Pages from the paperback version printed by IngramSpark
Pages from the hardback version showing that the colours were slightly more vivid than the printing by IngramSpark
The book is now available for sale through various outlets including Amazon and Book Depository. These firms acquire the book at the “wholesale” price. When setting the price on IngramSpark I had to set a wholesale discount of at least 30%. There was a calculator which helped me to ensure the wholesale price covered the printing cost.