Griffiths family, Rectory Place

We received these two enquiries entirely separately three months apart and it turns out the enquirers are second cousins – who are now in touch with each other – The Chislehurst Society historical reunion agency!

Q1. First, I have been working on tracing my family and found my great great great grandfather lived in Chislehurst from about 1852 until his death after 1911. He was the schoolmaster and teacher of music as well as playing the organ for weddings during this time.

Edward Hughes Griffiths (1831-?), wife Charlotte Ann Cobb Griffiths1824-1894)

I hope someone has information about this family due to his length of time he lived in Chislehurst and his 8 children born in this town.  I would like any information that is out there about this family.

My second request is I am looking for a copy of the book Francis Murray of Chislehurst by Jean Pailing published in 2002. I have not been able to find this book online but see that when it was published it was offered to the members of Chislehurst Society for £10. The Griffiths/Cobb family has many ties to the Murray family from at least 1810 on Isle of Man until at least the death of Francis Murrays (pictured here), including being servants in the household during the Mordaunt scandal in the 1870’s.

Any help with these requests would be greatly appreciated. I live in the United States so I am unable at this time to travel to the area (was in London 2 years ago) but hope to visit the area within the next two years to see where my family lived.

Q. I am looking for information about my great-great-grandfather, Henry Handel Griffiths, who worked as a warehouseman in Chislehurst in the 1880s. According to the 1881 census, Henry lived at 67 Albyn Road with his wife, Clara Agnes Dennison Griffiths. I know they had at least one son, Edward Llewellyn Griffiths. Anything about Henry or his wife, or where I may find additional information, is much appreciated.

A. The family lived at 5 Rectory Place between 1853 and 1914.  I have found them on the census and also a reference to their youngest child, Alice, buried in the graveyard aged 5, June 3rd 1870. A quick look in the transcript of the registers by Peter Masson at St Nicholas found:

  • Alice Griffiths, child of Edward and Charlotte, baptised 25/3/1865
  • Alice Griffiths, buried 6/6/1870, age 6 (I think this must be a transcription error for 5)
  • Charlotte A Griffith, buried 3/6/1894, age 60
  • Frederick H Griffith buried 16/7/1892. Age 37
  • Emily Griffith, buried 14/3/1921. Age 68

These four were buried in adjacent graves, so were all presumably members of the same family. Griffith may be a transcription error for Griffiths.  The grave was in the triangular plot opposite the west door of the church.  There was a stone cross, but this was among those broken or damaged memorials which were removed in 1976.

Edward was a school teacher and then became professor of Music, though we have yet to determine where.  He is buried in Norfolk; he may have moved there on the death of his wife.  It is not surprising that one of his sons should be called Handel!

We were also able to provide a copy of jean Pailing’s book to the first enquirer.