Members of the First Family:
Most of the following is from notes written by my sister Audrey on what our father Graham Hyde had to say.
"My Father (Captain John Francis Hyde) was often called, "The handsomest man in Berkshire".
He was tall, good looking, had impeccable manners, and after reaching the rank of Captain, he retired from the Army and lived the life of a gentleman. But he was a spendthrift and a gambler.
He was popular within London circles, and among his acquaintances was the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII. The Prince would borrow money from Father, now and again, and I doubt he ever paid it back as at that time, folk considered it an honour to help the old rogue out. Now knowing the reputation of the Prince, for the 'Good Life', I do wonder what else Father got up to on his trips away from home, apart from gambling. Father inherited the Hyde End Estates when his Uncle Charles died on the 15th January 1862. The Estates contained fifteen hundred acres of farmland, the family mansion, and other assorted buildings.
The mansion was a fine building, rebuilt by Uncle Charles in 1800 after the former Elizabethan mansion burnt down.
Extensive gardens were cared for by gardeners, and the stables held a number of beautiful horses, looked after by grooms, for the family, when they were in residence.
Father was known as an absentee landlord as he never lived there permanently, preferring the life in larger towns, so the mansion was rented out most of the time.
The farmland was split up into small holdings, and run by tenants. Later Father was to lose some of the farmland, owing to debts incurred partly through his gambling, and also by the greed of his elder sons, so by the time my half brother, Frank, inherited the Estates, they had dwindled to seven hundred acres.
Father's first wife Eliza Gudge was a widow. She was the daughter of Edward Meeson, and had previously married a Mr Gudge in 1843. He was a Barrister of the Inner Temple of Law, and died circa 1848, leaving her with three small children. The childrens names were:
Jane Elizabeth Martha Gudge, born 20th May, 1844;
James William Gudge, born 29th September, 1845;
Arthur Gwyde Gudge, born 1st May 1847;
So Father had a ready made family at the time of his first marriage.
They were married at the St Mary's Church, in Marylebone, London, on the 1st of January, 1849.
Within the year, the first of their six sons arrived.
Frank was born, prematurely, on the 8th of October, 1849;
followed by Frederick, 3rd December, 1850;
ClarenceCharles, 29th March 1852;
Alfred Benjamin, 17th May 1854;
George Cecil, 26th December 1855,
and Leonard, 28th December1857.
The boys had a privileged life, in their early years. They lived in London where Eliza and Father often held grand parties for their many friends.
The boys loved to watch, from the top of the stairs, the guests in all their finery, being ushered in by the butler. After the last of the guests had arrived, the Governess would send the boys off to their beds, which had been heated with warming pans by the servants.
As each boy grew up, he had a few years of private tuition before being sent off to complete his education, at Downside Abbey, in Somerset, Fathers old school.
Holidays were often spent at Hyde End, where the boys learnt to shoot well and became superb horsemen. The fishing was good in the River Enborne, which ran through the property, and many a fine fish was caught in its waters.
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A few details on Frank's brothers (excluding George):
Frederick could see no future in staying in Eng1and as he didn't stand to inherit, unless Frank died, so he set his sights for America in the mid 1870's.
Clarence, who had become an architect and surveyor, and Leonard, who hadn't long finished school, accompanied Frederick and for a while they found work and lived in Shenandoah, Virginia, before moving South to Hamilton in Texas.
I believe Frederick was a sheriff in Texas for a time, and he mastered the art of whip-cracking. He became a good friend of Buffalo Bill and many years later, when Buffalo was doing a tour in Australia he spotted his old friend in the crowd. He called Frederick into the arena and asked him to do a display with his whips. After the performance, Buffalo gave him a fine ornate, Western saddle.
On the 14th of February, 1878, Leonard who was working in Lavaca
County, about 200 miles away from Hamilton for Mr ?. A red Indian named Pocket, a co-worker, had a fight in the town the night before. He grabbed his gun set off to shoot the man. Leonard tried to stop him but Pocket shot him. He was killed instantly.
Pocket went into hiding. A proclamation from the Governor was posted offering a $500 reward, and a letter printed in the paper from Father, offering the best double barreled rifles for his capture. He was eventually caught a year later and put on trial where he received the death penalty and was hanged on the 12th of September, 1879.
Frederick and Clarence stayed working on various building projects, in Hamilton, and Ben went to join them on April the 6th, 1883.
The three brothers left America about 1886, had a few months in England and after Father gave them a sum of money each, they set off for Australia on the passenger ship Oraya, arriving in Sydney on the 2nd of April 1887.
Frederick bought a business in Kempsey and Clarence and Ben bought a gold mine in Dalmorten, about 60 miles from Grafton in New South Wales, and named it 'The Little Gem'. Here another tragedy was to strike the brothers.
On the 9th of March, 1892, Clarence was killed when he was overcome by bad air in the mine shaft in the mine shaft.
Frederick sold his business and Ben was too saddened to carry on with the mine so he deserted it. They packed all their belongings onto pack horses, and worked their way South until they reached Eden, about 300 miles South of Sydney.
Eden was a struggling little seaside village, in those days, but the area appealed to the men, and they decided to stay. They opened a shop and named it, 'The Eden Mart', selling produce, drapery, china and glassware.
Unfortunately the shop didn't do very well and after a time they had to close its doors. Buying forty acres of farmland named "Shenandoah" near Eden, they eked out a living there for the rest of their days, growing vegetables which they sold weekly in Eden.
At the age of 57, Frederick married a local girl, Alice Elizabeth Ryder, on the 21st February, 1908. The same year Frederick and Alice were married, Frank came out from England to visit them. He had become a very wealthy man, not only from getting good rentals from the Estates, but his paintings were fetching high prices...
...Frank did write to his Australian kin up to 1918, when they were shocked to learn of the sale of Hyde End. I have no doubt they wrote to Frank to tell him of their views and from then all correspondence ceased, so it seems, because my Australian nieces and nephews have some correspondence saved up to that time.
Hyde End was Frederick's rightful inheritance, under the terms of Great Uncle Charles's will, but by the time they were to hear of the sale, it was too late to do anything about it (at this stage Frank's son was assumed dead by them - not true) Distance and communications, at that time, was a distinct disadvantage to them, but even if they could have stopped the sale, I doubt they would have been able to afford the expense it would have entailed...
...Frederick and Alice had three children, at the time of his death on the 8th of February, 1923.
Their eldest son, Clarence Dudley was 15; Frederick Gerard, their second son, was 12, and their daughter, Phyllis Muriel, was 11. Ben, who never married, was a great help to Alice, after the death of her husband, and the children adored him, but unfortunately he was to succumb to a stroke, followed by pneumonia, a year after his brother died, on the 16th February, 1924, at the age of 70.
Alice never married again and lived to the age of 84, passing away on the 20th January,1968."
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I would be pleased to receive any further information on members of the family.
I have included a couple pictures of Countess Arabella Anzolato sister of Captain John Francis Hyde and her husband. Alan Hyde made contact with a descendent of hers, Renato Cifonelli, who was kind enough to send me the photos.
Acknowledgements and thanks to my twin sister Audrey Paterson (fraternal twin) for most of the written content.
21 Dec. 2005: Rhonda Porada a great granddaughter of Frederick Hyde sent some corrections which have been incorporated.
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