They Call Me Tree Mad

The internet is a wonderful thing, and over the years I have begun to become a repository for all things Clutterbuck, certainly from a Genealogical point of view.

My mother is Janet Clutterbuck, born an only child. Although her father Alfred Clutterbuck (b1912) had a brother, Edward (b1896 – yes a 16 yr gap) there were no other descendants. My mother always assumed the family was small, she never met her grandfather Albert (b 1867) as he died the year she was born, 1943. Her grandmother, Lucy Clutterbuck (born Lucy Baker Jones) had not made much mention of any other members of the family, and so life went on quietly. Ten years ago I started researching the Family on Lucy Baker Jones’ side and soon after finding 12 children and several generations back I was hooked. Once I had the knack and the sources I started branching out on my paternal grandfathers’ side, the Croppers, my Paternal Grandmothers’ side, the Ashtons, and then about 6 years ago—the Clutterbucks. By this time I would have to admit I had breached the barrier between being hooked and being obsessed!

My own line stems from John Clutterbuck, born in 1785, who married Sarah Bryan in Minchinhampton, Gloucs in 1810 and who went on to have 9 children: William (b1811), Ann (b1812), John (b1814), Sarah Bryan (b1816), Joseph (b1819), Jane (b1822), Henry Bond (b1824), Edward (b1826) and Charles (b1828). William the eldest married Martha Swinsford in 1835 in Cheltenham and they lived for over 60 years at No6 Commercial Street. The men were all carpenters, John the father ran his own business in Minchinhampton, William set up in Cheltenham, Martha was a Nurse. William and Martha had 7 Children all born in Cheltenham, William, Charles, Henry, Edward, John, Mary and Joseph between 1835 and 1856. in 1867 Henry married Esther Sarah Lloyd in London. The story always was that Henry and his younger brother walked from Cheltenham to Chelsea.

Henry and Esther had 14 children between 1869 and 1891. Three of the girls, Esther, Ellen Jane, and Alice, all died within three days of each other in 1880 from diphtheria. Another child Joseph died at 2 days old. Another, Harry, died of sloughing tonsillitis at age 6 months and another, the first born, Henry died at age 2. All-in-all of the 14 born only 6 are known to have survived to adulthood. Albert, my great grandfather, Sidney Horrace who stayed in Fulham area and had 13 children, and George Reginald who sailed to America on the RMS Royal Edward, having only one son, George Joseph, before he died early aged only in his 30s.

I've had the pleasure of meeting the youngest son of Sidney Horrace, David William (1932-2004) his sisters Vera Priscilla Agnes (1927-2004) and Margaret Theresa (b1923) Also the grandson of George Reginald, Charles Matthew (1936-2004) and his sister Linda. I also met Mark Ashley Spooner, great grandson of Sidney Horrace , by his first marriage to Jessie Ruth Alsop. What was a bit tense was that David William and his 12 siblings were never aware their father had been previously married and that there were two offspring. Jessie Ruth had abandoned Sydney, eloping with the two children Florence and Edward to Australia on the Gothic in 1921. However the fascination overpowered the feelings of “betrayal”. I also met David Pledger, Charles William Sidney and Jacqueline Fruin, all grandchildren of Sidney Horrace.

In 2001 I organised a Clutterbuck Reunion, or perhaps a Clutterbuck ”union” as we had not met before so nothing could be a “re” anything! A fantastic day that I enjoyed enormously and I am eternally grateful to my mother for spurring me on, as now three of the attendees have died—the moment was there and now it has passed.

At the beginning of 2005 I was approached by a lady whose Aunt had been adopted at a young age. She had discovered her biological mother was Jessie Ruth Airs and that she had married a Mr Allsop. The names in my tree “Jessie Ruth Allsop” who eloped from her husband Sidney Horrace Clutterbuck England and married an Albert Airs flagged up on the net in her search. In fact she had been searching for over 2 years for all the Allsops she could in Australia. The problem was she had the names the wrong way around, she should have been searching for Airs! I phoned Australia, assured her she had found the right family, put her in touch with Mark Spooner and his father Keith in Melbourne and forwarded all the details I had. A day later before the Aunt could hear the good news, her health declined and after a couple of weeks sadly she died, never realising that her family had been found.

I collected so much information over the years, and added more and more lines, that I now have over 3000 Clutterbucks and a total of 4409 people altogether, and the list keeps growing at my website.

The Hounds of Hornby Castle

Hundreds of supporters gathered to watch the 110-year old hunt and its harrier hounds meet at Hornby Castle, for the last time, before the ban on hunting with dogs came into force earlier this year.

Surrounded by his pack of baying dogs, whose ancestors had hunted throughout the area over 100 years, Master of the Hunt, Clive Richardson, also voiced his anger at the ban.

"I am heart broken, this is the end of everything - it is part of our life and our history. I cannot understand this government that wants to stop everything that is English," he said, according to local reports of the final hunt.

In the latter part of the most recent century the estate of Hornby Castle was owned by Roger Clutterbuck, Esquire, who figures among the contemporary people of distinction in the updated edition of Burke's Landed Gentry and was featured in Issue 26 of Country Life in 1989. R.E.H. Clutterbuck was actively involved in the historic sport of fox hunting, not only granting permission for the use of Hornby Castle for numerous hunts, but also as a judge.

But the Vale of Lune Harriers have had their historic last hunt and are now chasing scented fell runners, after the ban on hunting with dogs became the law of the land. Here's how one local paper described the end of an era.
The hunt gathered at Hornby Castle where the Vale of Lune Harriers officially began 110 years ago.

Clive Richardson, master huntsman who bred the hounds, said: "I have bred every hound here today and when I take them back to the kennel it will be for the last time."

However, the Vale of Lune Harriers will continue to hunt using a pack of the Three Counties Bloodhounds which follow a scent without killing the animal.

On Saturday a fell runner was given a 20-minute head start and the hounds were released. The bloodhounds followed the scent of the runner's shoes.

Mr Richardson said: "This is as close as you can get to replicating the hunt, but it is the unpredictability of the hunt that attracts people. "With the bloodhounds it is now just a cosmetic exercise."

Hounds used in the hunt will be continued to be bred at the kennels in Hornby to keep the original lineage alive.

Mr Richardson said: "Hunting has to survive until a day when the tradition can be reinstated."