Marrianne Poppy Hyde, nee Armitage.
(Third wife of Captain John Francis Hyde)

Graham, John and Marrianne Hyde

Marrianne Poppy Hyde, nee Armitage.
(circa 1857 - 1944)

Quoting from my father, Graham Hyde, from notes made by my sister Audrey:

"Mother was the only daughter of a Master Builder in Dover, and was reasonably well off. Beside having a handsome bank balance she owned a couple of cottages in Brimpton, on a property then known as 'The Birches'.

Father was starting to feel the pinch, money-wise, at the time of his third marriage, so Mother's money was to help considerably.

His lawyer, Mr Jeffery Edwards-Michelmore, would be asked, by Father, to try and wheedle money out of her. He would make an appointment to visit, and before he arrived at the house, Mother would state to all and sundry, "That old devil is not getting a penny more from me". He would roll up in his Barouche and take her wining and dining in town, which Mother loved. After being thoroughly spoilt, she would relent and give him whatever money was needed. Years later she was to regret this.

Mother was one of the first members of a Suffragette group called, 'The Women's Freedom League', founded by Mrs Charlotte Despard, who was originally a member of Mrs Emmerline Pankhurst's, 'Women's Social and Political Union'. She didn't like the militancy that was developing within the formed her own organisation, although Charlotte and Emmerline were to remain good friends in spite of their different approaches to the same cause.

The league ladies would picket parliament and chain themselves to the iron railings outside, whereas the Union ladies would riot and go on window smashing sprees.

One method the League had, was to resist paying taxes and this action resulted in Mother having a spell in jail.

She took on the name of Mrs Clarendon-Hyde, when she joined the W.F.L. much to the disgust of the Earl of Clarendon, who saw her name in the paper among the jailed suffragettes. He put an advertisement in the 'Times', stating he was no relation to Mrs Clarendon-Hyde, the Suffragette. He was right.

A misconception was that our branch of Hyde's, was related to the Earl's. This is not true, but I was not to verify it until the 1940's, thus I joined up in World War 1, as Graham Clarendon-Hyde.

Mother ignored the Earl's disclaimer and called herself Mrs Clarendon-Hyde, for the rest of her life."

And another extract:

"The death of Father, was to change our lives completely.

Another shock was in store for us at the reading of his will. We were to learn he had died leaving huge debts, and this came as a horrible shock to Mother, who knew nothing about them. Some were long standing gambling debts that had to be paid.

Hyde End automatically went to Frank, under the terms of Great Uncle Charles's will. He got it debt free, thanks to the thousands of pounds Michelmore had conned out of Mother, over the years, for its upkeep.

Frank, who by this time was well-off, knew the situation Mother was left in, and never offered her a penny. How she rued putting all her money into Hyde End over the years.

She sold 'The Birches", and a lot of her personal possessions, to pay off the debts, and gave up the lease on the guest house, as she couldn't afford the payments. Left with enough money to enable Jack and Howard to finish their last year at school, and money to help Maud look after Vi until her school days were finished, Mother was left nearly penniless.

Muriel went up to London, and Mother and I packed our bags and stayed for about a month with her old friend Alice Liddle, who was living in Headington, in Oxford. Muriel, found a small flat in London and asked us to go and live with her.

Many tears were shed, when we left Margate. People didn't move away, as they do now, and we had made lasting friendships over the few years we had lived in this charming town.

1903 was to see the end of my happy carefree childhood."


1. Captain John Francis Hyde died in 1903.

2. The Alice Liddle mentioned is the Alice who was part of the inspiration for Lewis Carroll in writing "Alice in Wonderland". I sometimes wonder if by chance there is a photograph of my grandmother taken by him.

3. Muriel and Maud were half sisters of Graham from my grandfathers second wife - Lillie Anne Hyde, nee Kitchen, who died at the age of 33, of tuberculosis on the 6th of March 1881.

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