The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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John TORLESSE [1715]
Rachel BORCKENSTEIN [1716]
Martin ROBINSON [1964]
Mary ELLITHORNE [1963]
John TORLESSE [1627]
Anna Maria ROBINSON [1628]

Rev Charles Martin TORLESSE [1633]


Family Links

1. Catherine Gurney WAKEFIELD [1636]

Rev Charles Martin TORLESSE [1633]

  • Born: 29 May 1795, St George Bloomsbury
  • Marriage (1): Catherine Gurney WAKEFIELD [1636] on 7 Apr 1823 in St Helens Ipswich, SFK
  • Died: 12 Jul 1881, Stoke By Nayland SFK aged 86
  • Buried: 16 Jul 1881, Stoke By Nayland SFK

bullet  General Notes:

Charles was educated Harrow (captain of school) and Trinity College Cambridge, ordained 1823. A scholar with a touch of genius, the classics, music, science, mathematics, history, all gripped him.

Bygone Days Pg 47.
Charles Martin Torlesse was sent to a well-known preparatory school at Chiswick, kept by a Dr Horn. Here he underwent great suffering, both from the severity of the master and the bullying of the boys. I have often heard him say that the Latin and Greek grammars were flogged into him, adding, "it was a stupid plan, I was a timid boy and could not bear to be flogged, so to avoid flogging I did my best to learn." the arrangements for the boys seem, from present day lights, almost incredible. The only chance of a wash before breakfast was a round to the pump in the yard; at 11 o'clock three tubs of water were brought into the schoolroom, in one boys washed their faces, in another their hands, in the third their feet. The water was not changed for the whole school! While my father was there, two boys ran away and hid themselves in the woods. They were soon caught and brought back and were found to have been reading "the history of Valentine and Orson." They were punished by flogging in the way practised at Chiswick School; each boy was hoisted on to the back of another boy, and the Dr first gave one a few strokes with "Well, Master Valentine, how do you like the woods?" Then leaving him he went to the other, "and master Orson, how do you get on?" Then back to the wretched Valentine, and so on, gloating over their misery. . . . . . But those who could bear that rough treatment learnt well, and at 14, father went to Harrow well prepared. There he was for four years under Dr Butler, not leaving until he was captain of the school.

Ecclesiastical Preferments.
On Tuesday se'nnight the Rev C. M. Torlesse, M. A. was instituted to the vicarage of Stoke by Nayland, in this county, on the presentation of Sir W. Rowley, Bart - Bury Post
Ref: Jackson's Oxford Journal 13 October 1832.

He was a long serving Vicar of Stoke By Nayland, and is buried with his wife their grave is marked with a raked cross.

On the 10th Nov 1837 at St John Kentish Town Camden, Charles buried Mathais Archibald Robinson, R Certificate, aged 62 of 25 Cumberland Tce St Pancras - Mathias was Charles uncle [1969] and the famous inventor of the cordial Robinsons Barley Water.

Ipswich Museum.
The following presentations have been received since our last report. . . . .
the Rev C. M. Torlesse Stoke, a thighbone of dinornis ingens, from New Zealand.
Ref: extracted from the Ipswich Journal 4th May 1850.

Charles Was a Member of the Canterbury Association and on July 23, 1851 wrote to the Editor of the Ipswich Journal defending the choice of location to build the new city of Christchurch New Zealand.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 26 July 1851.

Testimonial to the Rev C. M. Torlesse M. A. Vicar of Stoke by Nayland.
50 years of spiritual Labour in one parish is a fact the significance of which it is not easy fully to realise. It falls to the lot of few men to labour for so long a time in one particular district in matters connected with the highest interests of mankind. How varied must be the experience of such a man! For even in a quiet regular going country parish there would, in such a lengthened period of time, be many and great changes, with all of which, with, perhaps, hardly an exception, he, as the spiritual leader of the parish, would in some way or other have to do. How many in that time would have departed from this life? Of how much misery and suffering would he, as a faithful minister, have been the eyewitness? Or, to turn to the brighter side of the picture, how many happy and joyous meetings of the parishioners? How many happy couples would have been united in the bands of holy matrimony, according to the solemn most beautiful service of our beloved church? Much might be said and written as to what would be the experience of such a man.
But let us turn from an imaginary case, to speak, or rather to let others speak, of a clergyman who has given one parish in Suffolk the benefit of 50 years of conscientious, arduous labour. The fortunate parish is Stoke by Nayland, and the gentleman is the Rev C. M. Torlesse. For 50 years has he been a preacher of the Gospel, but this has been only one part of his duty faithfully and zealously performed. He has been a most industrious and persistent visitor of the sick; he has identified himself with the spiritual and temporal concerns of his parishioners; and he has given them the best of advice when council and assistance were most needed. Happy the man who can look back upon 50 years of such work! Stoke by Nayland is of itself a large parish, and joined as it is to another extensive parish, Nayland, there is consequently a considerable neighbourhood for a country district, and, as may be imagined, there are meetings of Choral Societies, Benefit Clubs of various kinds, gatherings of agriculturalists and with each and all of these, and many more that might be named, the reverent gentleman has been a principal actor. In fact everything calculated to enhance the moral and social welfare of his parishioners has had his best support. He has on all occasions had the ready assistance of the laymen resident in the locality, who have learned to esteem and love him for his works sake. Notably has this been the case with the noble and generous owner of the fine Park, which is an ornament to, and the pride of the whole neighbourhood. A hint is enough for Sir Charles Rowley if there is anything he can do to add to the prosperity and comfort of his neighbours; and it must have been a great comfort to the reverent C. M. Torlesse to know that in the performance of the high and important duties imposed upon him by virtue of his sacred office, that he has never had to calculate in vain upon the aid and sympathy of gentleman in this position. Almost a whole generation must have sprung up since he began to work for the good of the parish, and, therefore, his name is inseparably connected in the minds of the vast majority with the magnificent building in which he has spoken so often about the simple plan of Salvation, and where, too, he has delivered words of reproof, which have been accepted in the spirit in which they were uttered, and, as coming from one who has their highest good so closely at heart. Until recently he had one who shared with him and his troubles, his anxieties, and who was in fact to him all that a loving and affectionate wife could be, and one who was beloved by the whole parish for her labours of love in visiting the sick and in numerous other ways. A short time since, however, it pleased an all wise Providence to remove her from this world. The stroke was, of course, a heavy one, but he who had had so often to express his sympathy with his bereaved parishioners, now in turn had the sympathy of the whole parish extended to him; and upheld by that Hand of which he has so often spoken as being extended for the deliverance and guidance of lost humanity, he survived the blow and continued his work. But having completed the 50 a year of his ministry, the residents of the parish and some of his friends, determined to take advantage of the opportunity, and not to let so significant a fact pass by without presenting him with a substantial proof of their esteam and regard. Accordingly the proposal to present the reverent gentleman with a testimonial stirred the whole parish, and soon upwards of L260 was collected. An address was prepared. We give it below, and our readers will see that though the words are few, much is expressed, and we cannot not congratulate the reverent gentleman on this heartfelt expression of esteem.
The address has been beautifully written on vellum by Mr J. W. Heard, of Hadleigh, in a form appropriate to its wording and he has carried out most successfully a good idea. It will be seen that the address combines a feeling reference to the death of Mrs Torlesse, and the address is written in a tablet form to her memory, as well as a commemoration of the Vicar's long ministry. All colour has been purposely avoid, and Mr Heard is deserving of the utmost credit for the admirable manner in which he has performed the difficult task allotted to him. We would have given the address in the tablet form in which it is written, but unfortunately the lines could not be made to fit into the the width of the column, even with the use of small type.

The following is the wording of the address:
To the Reverent C. M. Torlesse M. A. Vicar of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk.
Reverend and dear Sir,
We your Parishioners and Friends, are desirous of commemorating the completion of the 50th year of your ministry in this parish, by presenting you with a substantial proof of our esteem and regard; at the same time we desire to take this opportunity of expressing, with all respect, our appreciation of the manner in which you have discharged the duties of your office; that you have lived for so long a period in the affectionate regard and esteam of your parishioners is of itself no slight proof of this, but it is our pleasing duty to record our testimony to your faithfulness as a Preacher of the Word; your loyalty to the doctrines and formularies of the Church of England; your diligence as a visitor of the sick; your kindness and liberality to the aged and necessitous poor; and your care and interest in the moral and religious training of the young. And here we cannot forbear recalling the ready and earnest help of her so recently taken from you, of whom it may be truly said "She rests from her labours, and her works do follow her". It has pleased God in his Providence to remove her from us, and she cannot now share in this commemoration; but we feel it will not be the less grateful to you to know that her memory is reverently cherished, and her "work and labour of love" held by us in high esteem. Neither are we unmindful of the other members of your family, who have, one and all, interested themselves so much in the welfare of the parish. With these expressions of heartfelt respect and esteem, we beg your acceptance of the accompanying Testimonial. That the blessing of Almighty God may continue to rest upon yourself and your family, is the earnest prayer of your parishioners and friends.

The Vicar rose to respond and after a few preliminary observations said, the testimonial that has been presented to me has taken me wholly by surprise; I had not the slightest idea of anything of the sort. It calls for remarks of two kinds: one kind relating to the matter of fact that I am in my 79th year, and I came into residence here in the year 1823, and that since that time I have mainly had the spiritual management of this parish. I have been alone till within the last few years, when I have had the assistance of Curates. It is a matter of fact, then, that I have been enabled to go through the duties of this parish during that number of years, that I have had strength to enable me to go through it is a fact; and I thought it might interest you to know that I have filled this Incumbency for a longer period than any Vicar during the last 573 years. I have in my possession a list of all the Vicars from the year 1301 up till the present time the number is 40; and if you divide 573 x 40 that would give an average of only about 14 and few of them resided for any length of time. The longest was 41 years; but the greater proportion were here not nearly so long.
I may also speak of some of my labours: nearly 200 children have been baptised; 1300 persons have been buried; and 400 marriages have taken place. Now, I do not take any credit at all to myself for these facts. In the first place, with regard to the duration of my life, I can take no credit to myself; it is by the Grace of God that I have continued unto this day. Then one or two remarkable circumstances have taken place during my Incumbency. Our church has never been for a single Sunday closed during the last 50 years notwithstanding all the cleaning and repairs and extensive restorations that have taken place, the usual service has only been once interrupted. During my absence there was once a very severe thunderstorm, in the course of which the lightning struck the church, which cause such confusion that it was deemed necessary to break up the congregation. But here again I claim no credit for myself, because I attribute it to the excellent arrangements out churchwardens have made. (Applause). During my Incumbency, also an excellent school has been built, and the church has been completely restored, and strengthened, and beautified. (Hear Hear) the schools were built by the late admirable Sir Joshua Rowley; and I need not say by whom the church has been restored (Applause). Now these things are plain undeniable facts and, as I have said before, I can claim no credit for any of them. Now we come to that which I said was a matter of opinion. From the appearance of those who are gathered here this evening, from that purse which lies on the table, from that testimonial which has been read to you, and by this plate which I can hardly hold up, I conclude that your verdict is favourable (Applause). Far more favourable, I can say, without any affectation of humility, than I suppose it ever could be. Now, some things have been done very well in this parish. The schools have had an excellent conductor ever since I have been here. I think we had very good schools, both Sunday and weekday, before any other parish in the neighbourhood, and they have always been most skilfully and successfully managed. Here again what should I have done without her whom it has pleased God in his providence lately to take away from us? I must attribute a great deal of success with which the different charities of the parish have been carried on to her activity and energy. (Applause). Even to the very last, when great bodily infirmity and her disease prevented her from going out, her pen was never idle, her pen was always exercised in writing to those young persons whom she had got out to service, or with the promotion of some object connected with this parish. Within a fortnight of her death her pen was thus exercised. But now, as to what I have done myself. You speak favourably of it, but I must say that when I remember how much I have done that ought not to have been done, and what has not been done or done only imperfectly, I feel more and more astonished at the kind and liberal way in which you have spoken of my services. All I can lay claim to is good desires and intentions imperfectly carried out; the road which I have trod during the last 50 years is strewed with the wreck of good intentions (Hear Hear) and plans which perhaps have been imperfectly executed. How can I express to you my thanks for what you have done? I can say I was altogether unaware of this recognition of my services. Certainly my churchwardens came to me some time ago and said they should like to make some little acknowledgment, but my astonishment is as great as my gratification as to the extent of the donation and the number of the donors. I had not the slightest idea that I had so many kind friends, for most purposes words may be found, but I must confess that words are wanting me to say how gratified I am, and how thankful I ought to be.
My dear friends, it is not likely that some of us, at all events, now present, will live to see many more years. We shall have to leave these our places, and make room for others, my desire and prayer is that every temporal blessing maybe yours, and that you may enjoy health and strength, and the opportunity of doing good; but I think, as a clergyman of this parish, I ought to desire something more than your temporal good. I ought to desire and I do most sincerely desire, something better for you than mere money or any earthly possession, which you cannot carry away with you; and the prayer and the desire I should wish to be carried out on behalf on both myself and you is, that this pleasant connection formed here below may not be broken for ever when we leave this world, but that we may again meet in that world above, where there are no partings and no changes. (Applause). I know how imperfectly I have addressed you this evening, I can only pray God that when you and I get near the grave, we shall be more fitted for it, and that our last days may be our best days, and that the last hours of our life the most happy and comfortable (Applause).
The Rev gentleman concluded by acknowledging the assistance he had received from his Curate and the ladies of the Parish
Ref: Extracted from the Essex Standard 2 Jan 1874 & Ipswich Journal 3 Jan 1874.
Then follows a long list of the subscribers, an inscribed silver salver, was presented with the Testimonial, bearing a satin purse containing L244.

Torlesse. 12th inst., the Rev Charles Martin Torlesse, vicar of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, aged 86.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 16 July 1881.

Rev Charles Martin Torlesse
Extract from Will and Probate dated 18 August 1881
Bank Reg P3 75336.
Died 12 Jul 1881.
Gross Value 4676 15s 0d.
Will made 27 September 1875.
E J Bridges (nephew)
Emily Syer (servant)
Very few bequests some plate
Ivory carving as heirloom to grandson Arthur
50 to his daughter Emily Holland
Holman Hunt's print the Transfiguration to niece Frances Jane Liveing
The entire residue of the estate including 176 acres of land in New Zealand in trust to daughters Priscilla Catherine and Frances Harriet Torlesse

Stoke by Nayland.
Death of the Rev C. M. Torlesse.
It is with deep regret that we have to record the death of the Rev C. M. Torlesse, vicar of this parish, which took place on Tuesday morning the 12th inst. The Rev. gentleman had reached the ripe old age of 86 years. Few men attain so great an age as that, and it may also be said that very few clergyman indeed have the spiritual charge of the same parish for the lengthened period of 58 years. The deceased gentleman was curate of Stoke by Nayland 9 years and Vicar 49. Resident as he was all these years in one parish he was well-known in the neighbourhood, and indeed throughout the county, and he was as generally esteemed, and respected as he was widely known for his sEssex standard terling qualities as a devoted parish priest.
He was a refined scholar, a kind and genial host to all who came within the reach of his hospitality, and it may truly be said of him " He will long live in the hearts and memories of all who knew him".
Ref: Ipswich Journal 16 July 1881.

Stoke by Nayland.
Funeral of the Late Rector.
The funeral of the reverent C. M. Torlesse took place on Saturday afternoon in the presence of a large congregation. The deceased was best known and most beloved by those who knew him most intimately. In this village, where he had spent the greater part of his life, and where he had laboured nearly half a century, his loss is felt is felt most keenly. He was truly a good man, kind and liberal to the poor, generous to his friends, and well disposed towards all. For some years past the venerable vicar has not disguised from himself or his friends the fact that the time of his departure was at hand, and he has been patiently waiting till the change has come. There were a large concourse of persons, the children of the schools and their teachers, the tradesmen, and farmers of the parish, and the members of the choir, with the gentry and clergy of the neighbourhood. A deep gloom seemed to have fallen over the place. Shutters were closed at all houses, and that tolling of the bell could hardly fail to remind the parishioners of him who had so frequent service at the burial of others, and who was about himself to be laid low. McCaughan was a polished oak, with brass furniture, and covered with a pall. In front of it walked the farmers, tradesmen, and the clergy and surpliced choir. Among the clergy were . . . . . The Psalms and responses were sung by the choir, the lessons by the reverent G. Hodges, and the remaining part of the service by reverent J W D Brown. On leaving the church the hen was sung, " Jesus lives, no longer now can thy terrors, death, appal us" and just before the benediction was pronounced, the home was sung " O God our help in ages past". The scene was striking, beneath the shadow of the fine old church, which had for many centuries been the place where worshippers had met for prayer and praise, and where he had so often ministered. Here were grouped that children from the school. The clergy and the children saying the first verse, and then acquire and congregation joined in, sometimes with voices trembling with emotion, the him, which is so full of confidence, and is yet so often sung with hearts for sorrow. A large number of wreaths made of choice flowers were placed on the Coffin.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 19 July 1881.
The reporter appears to have had little knowledge of Torlesse and his history in the parish?

A stained glass window is reported to have been erected in Stoke Church to the memory of Charles Torlesse.
Ref STOKE AND MELFORD CLUB The Ipswich Journal (Ipswich, England), Saturday, May 19, 1883; Issue 8087
Memorial reads: to the glory of God and the memory of Charles Martin Torlesse M.A. 58 years priest in this parish, this window is dedicated by his parishioners and friends. Born May 29 1795, died July 12, 1881.

THIS DAY (Before His Honor Mr Justice Johnston.) PROBATE . . . . . Mr Martin obtained an order for probate of the exemplification to Priscilla Caroline Torlesse and Frances Harriet Torlesse, the executrices named in the exemplification of will. j
Star , Issue 5349, 30 June 1885, Page 3 (Papers Past NZ)

SOME REMINISCENCES OF THE REV. CHARLES MARTIN TORLESSE, M.A., SOMETIME VICAR OF STOKE-BY-NAYLAND, SUFFOLK, BY G. D. LIVEING, President of S. John's, and late Professor of Chemistry in the University of Cambridge.
What strikes me as most characteristic of him was his universal sympathy and ready companionship. He was fond of quoting Pope's dictum, " The proper study of mankind is man," and diligently practised it, so that he was at home in any society and generally made his company acceptable. His views were remarkably sane ; he was not carried away by his emotions, or by any hasty generalizations. He acknowledged that every man's claim to consideration was his personal character, whatever his position in society, and that the rights of all sections of the community were mutual. A Christian Socialist in the true sense, he sympathised with Charles Kingsley's hatred of the social and economic conditions which squeezed all joy out of the life of the helpless, and of the insolence of wealth which claimed a right to all that could be bought, and made laws in its own interest without any acknowledgment of its obligations to dependants. There was little in these views in common with the socialism or syndicalism of the present day. They regarded the good of society as a whole and of all individuals in it high or low alike. I feel sure that he justly discriminated between his own ideal and a socialism having for its object the maintenance of the interest of each occupation against the rest of the world, a scramble for money by people really well to do though living on weekly wages, regardless of the sufferings of the class below them. His intellectual gifts were far above the average, and so was the variety of his interests and the extent of his knowledge. He was a good scholar. With him I read my first Greek play, and he introduced me to the charm of Horace's lyrics. It was a revelation to me, because hitherto I had been taught Greek and Latin in a merely mechanical way which made the study as uninteresting as it could be. Those of his former pupils whom I have come across seem to have felt much as I did about the inspiration of his teaching. He was not at all one sided. Though
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he had an enthusiasm for Greek literature, he had a just appreciation of English authors and was well read in them. The like holds true in respect to other forms of art besides poetry and the drama, and was conspicuous in his love of good music. To him music was a mode of giving expression to emotion as subtle and refined as poetry or rhetoric, in language more easily understood by many and therefore appealing strongly to the feelings of an assembly. His judgment of the merits of painting and architecture seemed to me rarely at fault, but good music always gave him the greatest pleasure. His success in reforming the music in his church, in spite of determined opposition by many of his parishioners was very characteristic. Even the bell ringers struck work in sympathy with the displaced musicians who were stung to the quick by seeing their prominent place in church taken by "them mawthers in the gallery." His energy and patience in personally training his singers knew no bounds. I have been present now and then at his practices and admired his zeal in insisting on good time, which as he said, was essential to a good effect and could always be attained by taking pains. His love of nature was not less than his love of good art and good literature. Always observant, he often called my attention to unusual occurrences in regard both to plants and to animals. Occasionally he has accompanied me in fossil hunting with a zest quite equal to my own. Once we drove to Ipswich on such an expedition and slept there, intending to go on by coach the next day to Woodbridge, which was near our hunting ground. We were ready some time before the coach started, so we left word at the coach office that we were to be picked up on the way, and started on foot, and walked till past the time when the coach should have overtaken us, and then learnt at a turnpike that the coach did not run unless sufficient passengers presented themselves. There was no help but to continue our way on foot, which we did without going through Woodbridge, and spent the whole afternoon digging in the crag, and then returned, as we came, with the spoils. The drawback was that we missed the lunch that we had hoped to get at Woodbridge, and had nothing to eat but a bag of gooseberries, bought out of a market cart. This did not
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trouble him a whit ; we got back to a late dinner, and he enjoyed the outing all the more because of this little trial of endurance. His interest in new discoveries never flagged, and he frequently stimulated my interest in them. He enjoyed, too, making experiments in illustration of any branch of natural philosophy. We ransacked the Stoke grocer's store for salt-petre for crystals which we cut, so as to show their properties in polarised light ; and with the help of a lathe made a successful gyroscope, when those things were a new invention. Clever, scientific toys always charmed him, and if he went to London for a day, almost always brought back one which he had seen exhibited in the street. I have been with him to London occasionally, and when business was done, there was always some exhibition, or a new building, or something else which he wanted to see, and his spirits and the number of things he contrived to see in a short time were surprising, and his remarks on them always to the point. He took a pleasure in solving a riddle, whether verbal or more concrete, and though he had never studied the higher mathematics, enjoyed puzzling out algebraic equations, which were regularly supplied by a former pupil, out of an examination paper which was annually set to the freshmen at St. John's College, Cambridge, and was known there as the " seven devils." He had a wholesome love of doing things for himself. I have more than once sat up half the night with him taking transits of stars with a portable transit circle and our watches beating only quarter seconds, for the pleasure of trying how difficult it was and how well we could do it, though we had no expectation of ever needing to get correct time that way. He seemed to be attracted by people who were resourceful in helping themselves. I remember one such acquaintance, a tobacconist at Ipswich, a lover of natural philosophy, clever in constructing very effective apparatus out of cardboard and glue, spectacle lenses, glass plates, and such like. Mr. Torlesse was not much of a mechanic himself, but he could show those who had skill of hand how to do what was wanted. I have no doubt that meeting a man whose intellect was not cramped by the prosaic daily occupation of distributing tobacco, but loved nature and pursued the study of it in an original and
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practical way, was the real attraction of this acquaintance. There were others of a similar character. One was old Mr. Landseer, the father of the artists Edwin and Charles, an engraver and as deaf as a post, who used to stay with Mr. Tyrell at Polstead Hall. As a good line engraving often took years to finish, the monotony of his profession must have far surpassed that of dealing in tobacco. He relieved it by trying to settle ancient chronology by calculating the dates of the recorded eclipses, and was always cheerful, going about humming tunes to himself in a low voice. Mr. Torlesse had many happy recollections of his younger days at Harrow and Cambridge, but I do not remember any enthusiasm for games or athletics, except bathing at Perivale under difficulties. He was fond of recalling his memories of contemporaries who afterwards distinguished themselves. One of these was W. H. Fox-Talbot, the pioneer of photogiaphy, who became renowned all the world over for his discoveries and inventions in that art. He was three years Mr. Torlesse's junior at Harrow and Cambridge, and not a particularly diligent student, but nevertheless carried off the highest honours in Classics at Cambridge, and at the same time took a high place in Mathematics, of which he knew next to nothing before going to Cambridge. Fox-Talbot used to say that he went to his tutor to be crammed with formula;, but really his wonderful genius was shown by his grasp of the principles involved, and ability to apply the formulm successfully to the problems proposed in the examination. Mr. Torlesse's keen sense of humour made him often recount what was whimsical in the characters of his old acquaintances : how Mansel, Bishop of Bristol and Master of Trinity, a well-known wit, could not bear to see an undergraduate in gaiters, trousers were only seen on sailors in those days, and how the undergraduates out walking used to whip off their gaiters when they saw the Bishop coming, for fear of his sharp tongue. Professor Farish, a popular preacher, and a popular lecturer too, tickled him much by the things he said in an absent-minded way. His lectures were always experimental, and on one occasion when he was illustrating the mechanical action of wheels on an uneven road, he called to his serving man,
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" John, bring me an obstacle," which puzzled poor John as much as it amused the audience. One of Farish's clever contrivances in the house he built for himself, was a movable partition which worked up and down like a sash window, and divided his study from the drawing room, on the ground floor, when it was down, and divided two bedrooms above when it was up. One day when he had his house full of visitors, and the two ground floor rooms thrown into one, he ,thought after his visitors had retired for the night, he would make himself cosy in his study to finish a piece of work, and proceeded to draw down the partition, forgetting the consequences upstairs, much to the confusion of the two couples whose rooms were unceremoniously made common. I think he had a special pleasure in telling stories of other people's absence of mind, because it was occasionally a failing of his own. He had stories of undergraduates too. One which he was fond of recounting related to his own exercise for the B.A. degree. Every candidate for that degree at that time (1817) had to keep what is called an " Act." The proceeding was as follows : The candidate, who was called respondent, gave public notice some time beforehand of three propositions (generally of natural or mental philosophy), which be was prepared to maintain in argument publicly before the University, and when the day appointed for his Act arrived he marched in state preceded by an esquire bedell with a mace, and accompanied by his tutor and a posse of friends, graduate and under-graduate, to the public schools. The proceedings there were opened by his reading an essay in Latin on one of his subjects. In bygone times this essay had been an important test of the candidate's fitness for a degree, but in 1817 it had ceased to be so, and the audience rarely attended to the reading. The real trial followed when three undergraduates in succession were put up to pose the respondents with arguments which they had prepared beforehand, controverting his propositions. He had no notice of the arguments which were going to be advanced against him, and it behoved him to be very fully master of his questions in order to answer his opponents then and there, as well as to answer the Moderator, who interposed when he thought the opponents weak. Mr. Torlesse was very busy in his last term preparing for the Mathematical Examination in which he
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was competing for honours, and left the writing of his essay till the last, and finally hoped to be altogether relieved of writing it, because a friend who had taken his degree the year before had offered to let him have the essay which he had used for his own Act. On the day before that appointed for his Act, Mr. Torlesse sent to his friend for the promised essay. The friend came and said he was extremely sorry, but he could nowhere find the essay, at the same time saying Mr. Torlesse need not trouble about it, for he would write a new one, and if necessary would sit up all night to finish it in time for the Act at 8 o'clock next morning. On his breakfast table next morning Mr. Torlesse saw a roll of paper, which he supposed to be the essay. Breakfast over, he thought that he would look to see if it was all right before starting for the schools. He found that it was a Latin essay, but headed, " Inebritatis Laus " (Praise of Drunkenness). He felt in a dreadful dilemma. If he put off his Act there was little hope that he would get another day assigned to him in the current term, and in consequence he would have to defer it to another term, which would delay his degree and put him to needless expense. The only alternative was to read the essay and run the chance of the Moderator not noticing it. He chose the latter, put a bold face on it and read the essay as fast as he could. The Moderator said nothing and he got his degree. It was a cruel trick, for if the Moderator had found out what the essay was about the consequence might have been serious. Mr. Torlesse kept the essay and I have seen it more than once. (E. Mosley adds to this story : " One sentence Mr. Torlesse said he should never forget : Id quod mathematicis argumentis vix probatum est, orbem terrarum magna velocitate circumagi, cuivis ebrio satis manifestum est,' i.e., 'What has scarcely been proved by mathematical arguments, that the world turns round at a great pace, is perfectly evident to every drunken man.'") In talking on questions which stirred the religious community he preserved his wonted sanity, never took a partizan view or allowed himself to be carried away by ambiguous phrases. I remember one occasion when we were conversing about a common friend who was called a high churchman, and held that prayers for the dead were legitimate, he pointed out that
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the legitimacy depended entirely on what sort of prayers they were ; that the prayer in the burial service where we pray " that we with all those that have departed this life," etc., was very different from the superstitious prayers sanctioned by the Church of Rome. In the days when it was the universal practice in the South of England (though not in the North) for the parson to preach in a black gown, he used to preach in a surplice on Christmas Day. He saw no good reason for changing the practice which he had found to prevail at Stoke, although a curious misapprehension was rife during the excitement of the Oxford Tractarian movement that preaching in a surplice was a Romish revival. No one could affix on him a charge of romanising, and I have never heard anyone at Stoke complain , of the surplice on Christmas Day, probably because it was no innovation at that church. His sermons were above the average, honestly out-spoken and to the point. For several years after I came to Cambridge I used to spend Christmas and Easter at my mother's, and heard the same sermons preached again and again on those festivals. I don't know whether on Sundays in general the cycle came round quite so frequently, probably not. I recollect one acquaintance being taxed with preaching the same sermon twice, who replied that it was the best he had ever written, and he thought it would bear repetition. I do not suppose that Mr. Torlesse would have said that exactly, but no one that I know of complained, and I did not complain of the sermons I heard. To my thinking there is no better test of the quality of a tale, or of a piece of music, or may be of a sermon than whether it bears listening to more than once or twice. I know that on some special occasions Mr. Torlesse was asked to preach, because it was known that he would handle the subject well. Of all our common friends there was no one whose opinion was more trustworthy than Mr. Hughes, Rector of Layham. He had been fellow and tutor of my College, distinguished for honesty and sound judgment. I used to call on him from time to time when I was staying at my mother's, and have heard him praise Mr. Torlesse's tact and moderation. This had no particular reference to his sermons, but I under-stood it of his discharge of his duties as a clergyman in general.
Page 282
He knew his parishioners great and small, well, but they did not all know him so well. In a country village, seven miles from any town, in the days before railways, the outlook was very narrow. The life of society, and the workings of the laws seemed to go on the supposition that self interest was the principal, if not the only motive power. At that time coals were very dear at Stoke. They were brought by sea-going ships to Mistley and Colchester, but the cost of distribution thence fell heavily on the poor, who could only purchase small quantities at a time. With his usual thoughtfulness for the poor, Mr. Torlesse started a co-operative club, of which the members by putting their contributions together, could buy a considerable quantity of coal at wholesale price, and afterwards distribute it for themselves. The organization of this club involved no little labour which Mr. Torlesse took on his own shoulders. So little at that time could people understand his disinterestedness, that one woman who did not join the club, thought it necessary to apologise to him "for not taking his coal." Keenly alive to everything which could improve the condition of the poorer classes he could not fail to be attracted by his brother-in-law's (Mr. E. G. Wakefield) schemes of colonization. Their aim was to make it easier by careful organization, for people, hampered by competition and trammelled by customs derived from bygone states of society, to start free in a new country without thereby losing the advantages of an established community. Through his advocacy quite a good few (as they say in the North) of Stoke people emigrated to New Zealand, enough to introduce an East Anglican strain which may leaven the character of the future population of the colony.
G. D. LIVEING. Cambridge, 25 Sept. 1913.
Ref: Bygone Days Pages 275 - 282, see Books section.

85, Cambridge Gardens, W.,
Sept. 28th, 1913.
I shall never forget the delight with which we younger people, together with our father and mother, hailed that annual visit of
Page 283
your father to our Yorkshire home. He was the soul of bonhomie and fun, and his fund of stories told with such humour were an endless source of delight to old and young alike. He possessed the rare gift of accuracy, and those who heard him tell the same story many times, on different occasions said that they never varied in that respect. I remember on one occasion when the dear man arrived to find my father depressed and gloomy about business, his greeting was : " Well, Mr. Hadwen, gone to the dogs yet, a capital place to be at it seems." He was quite boyish in his love of games, and croquet became as scientific as billiards under his directions, his excitement was such that one evening, after playing till the dressing bell rang for dinner, he insisted on lamps being brought out on to the lawn so that we could finish the game after dinner. Music was an intense delight to him, and he would listen for hours to my sister Louie's playing of Beethoven's Sonatas, beating time behind her chair. One Sunday he was invited to preach in the village church, and somehow he managed to introduce the story of Circe into his sermon to our delight, and no doubt to the bewilderment of some of his hearers. As you know, he and my father went many expeditions together, and they did it in a very original way. They would drive down to the station, and take the first train that was going anywhere. On one occasion they finally landed in Ireland, on another in Wales, and they made several journeys to Switzerland and Italy, and came back with amusing accounts of their experiences, which I wish I could remember now. Another impression is very vivid in my mind. Once when my husband and I were staying at Stoke, we had our big dog, Pompey, with us, and one morning I met the Vicar going to the village school, so he invited me to accompany him. On arriving at the school Pompey insisted on coming in with us, no doubt to the delight of the children. I ordered him to lie down, which he did immediately, whereupon your father gave us all a most delightful and impressive lesson on obedience, making the dog the object lesson. Those were the days when there was time for impromptu lessons. The picnics on the Yorkshire moors are another recollection. Large parties of us used to drive up in carriage, dog-cart, and pony carriage for lunch and
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tea on the heather, and our custom was to choose some little burn with a stream running through it for our encampment. After lunch Pater used to offer sixpence to anyone who could break a bottle placed in mid-stream. We all armed ourselves with pebbles, and I can picture your father now, as keen as any of us to win the prize, which he often did. I think he must have been an unusually good teacher, as he could make such an unscientific and unmathematical mind as mine understand some of his puzzles. These good old days are over, and we are left lamenting for a time when age was reverenced, and the old and young could play and learn together and so be of infinite help to one another. I hope they may revive in the future.
Ref: Bygone Days Pages 282 - 284, see Books section.

bullet  Research Notes:

The Late Sir Joshua Rowley.
. . . . . Perhaps however, the two organisations in which Sir Joshua was most intimately associated than any others, were the Stoke and Milford Benefit Association and the Hadleigh Farmers Club it was Sir Joshua's grandfather who in association with the Rev Charles M Torlesse, of Stoke by Nayland, and Mr Gurdon, of Assington started the Thrift Club primarily for farmworkers. . . . . . Bury Free Press 2 May 1931

In 1870-72, John Goring's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Stoke by Nayland like this:
"STOKE-BY-NAYLAND, a parish, with a village, in Sudbury district, Suffolk; 11/2 mile NE of Nayland, and 6 E by N of Bures r. station. It has a post-office under Colchester. Acres, 5,277. Real property, L.9,299. Pop. in 1851, 1,406; in 1861, 1,275. Houses, 302. The decrease of pop. was caused partly by the closing of silk-mills. The property is divided among a few. Tendring Hall is the seat of Sir R.Rowley, Bart.; and Giffords Hall, of P. Mannock, Esq. A monastery was founded here by the Saxon Earl Algar. The living is a vicarage the diocese of Ely. Value, L.355.* Patron, Sir R.Rowley, Bart. The church is later English, with a lofty tower; and was restored in 1865. The p. curacy of Leavenheath is a separate benefice. There are a Roman Catholic chapel, a national school, alms houses, and other charities L.25. Lord mayor Capel, ancestor of the Earl of Essex, was a native. "

By the Anne Longton, the Committee for building the Church at Stoke have received a handsome bell, with all the fittings complete, manufactured by Messrs. John Warner and Sons, of Jewin Crescent, London. The bell is the gift of Sir Charles Ricketts Rowley, Bart., of Tendring Hall, Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, and the inscription on the bell was written for the founders by the venerable Vicar of Stoke, the Rev. C. M. Torlesse.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXIII, Issue 150, 12 December 1864, Page 6

Some Account of Stoke by Nayland 1877 by Charles Martin Torlesse:
Mainly an account of the gentry prior to 1800 with random extracts from the Registers.

Gerald Smith ( is searching for the original of the image of Charles Martin Torlesse sitting side-on with a scroll in his right hand, the image on this file. The source of this image presently is from Bygone Days page 131, but Gerald believes it may have been taken by Francis Gresley of Giffords Hall Suffolk, using a calotype negative.
If you can help with this question please be in touch.


bullet  Other Records

1. Letter to Charles Martin Torlesse: From Rev John Thomas Nottidge, 3 Apr xvi (1816), Bocking ESS.
Ref Bygone Days Pages 187 - 189 see Books Section.

" I have been much interrupted since I received your letter, and am seldom capable of being a very punctual correspondent. The impression I entertained of your being candidate for an University Scholarship arose solely from my being informed that you did not expect to succeed. For if you have to contend only with the men of your own college, even though some of them should be of a higher year, I did not think (all things considered) that you ought to have entertained any very appalling apprehensions. If the materials you possessed on leaving Dr. Butler, and the public and private lectures you have since received had been carefully attended to and regularly digested in an orderly manner in your own mind and memory, referring to such helps as were necessary to understand whatever difficulty occurred, I think you ought to be able to enter the lists with most men that even Trinity can furnish. There may be men of more talent and genius, but that does very little indeed at Examination, plain persevering labour is the only means of success. You say you have totally neglected your Classics since you have been at Cambridge. Here you see is more than half your time gone, and one most important subject of examination on which you are to depend for your future credit and for a fellowship, and for accomplishing that general success in your Academic pursuits which will reward your mother's anxiety and expence, as yet wholly neglected. I have no idea that this need have been the case with any young man of common industry, common talents, and common health. If indeed you have not yet habituated yourself to resolute application for a considerable part of every day, and if you do not regularly master every difficulty that can be mastered as it occurs in the course of your reading, then every other advantage will amount to nothing, the more you read the more you will be confused. And if you lay by any part of your studies for so long a time as you have the Classics, you will find that if you recollect anything of what has been so long neglected, what remains will be without any order or consistency, like the recollection of a dream, and when you come to Examination you will not be able to bring it forwards. Whatever subject you wish to retain and produce in an intelligible and creditable form, you must read a little of, if ever so little, constantly. 'The men of our year (you say) are very superior Classics.' How came they to be so Charles ? By labour, and persevering labour. This, with common advantages, will make anybody a good Classic, and you have had much more than common advantages and I hope the result of them will yet appear. As to getting up things for Examination I have
Page 188
no great opinion of any such process. But perhaps something of the following plan it might be worth your while to try. First keep fast hold on your Mathematics, and don't fall into the error of withdrawing your attention from them, but secure the means of doing yourself credit in the Department you have cultivated. Then give the rest of your time to reading Translations of the ancient Historians. And from the Translations as often as you come to any interesting period turn to the originals, and thereby make yourself master of the general style and all the grammatical peculiarities referring to the best grammatical works, and writing them down, and constantly examining yourself in them by memory. In the same manner exercise yourself in Chronology and I suppose Geography also, having dates and places always before you, and recollecting dates and drawing maps of particular places from memory. I don't know whether you ever tried Gray's Memoria Technica, a great deal may be so remembered if you take any fancy to the plan. This sort of exercise is the only road to the recollection of dates and grammatical peculiarities, they cannot be got up by any compendious method. The Translations will be a shorter way of getting at the matter of the Historians, as of course you will not have time to read the originals at length. Meanwhile you must translate and compose, and remember it is not how much but how well. Do a little constantly till the Examination and endeavour to catch the manner and spirit of the authors into whose language you translate. Write again as soon as you can and let me know when the Exam. takes place, and what books you resolve to undertake, and I will pick up any hints I can from Dr. Adams and other friends. Be determined and persevering and do your best, and if you do I am sure you will do yourself credit though you should not succeed, and you will feel your own strength for another struggle.
" Kind remembrances, "
Yours J. T. N.

"What have been the subjects of the Classical Lects. for this and the last year ?"

2. Letters from Rev Arthur Obins [32701]: To Charles Martin Torlesse, Cir 1819-16 Jul 1822, 47 Marine Parade & Hemingford Rectory.
Ref Bygone Days Page 191 see Books Section.

. . . . . it is I quite think with you a subject of regret that education is so mechanical, that the intellect is so little exercised. I feel the sad effects of this in my own case, and I regret it very much in the case of others. The talent of ques-tioning well, is one of considerable importance. I have it not, you may perhaps be more fortunate, at all events it is one you should cultivate, as supplying in some degree, or rather making up in part for the defect of skill we are complaining. An adroit question may lead the child to think before he answers ; here again so much simplicity is required that very few do it well."

. . . . . I was happy to receive my weekly letter this day. Wm. John's was not intended to exonerate you from this duty. I had a very full and satisfactory letter from him. I was pleased to observe the grateful mention he made of your name, and the sense he expressed of your great attention to him. He also spoke much of your exertions in the parish. I had not previously heard of the pains you were taking with the singers. This must be very grateful to the people and is very acceptable to me. I am very anxious to have good singing, and as I believe I told you to have the singing general, that everyone who can join may join. This and the repeating the responses aloud, adds considerably to the effect of our service, and gives an animation very mil& wanting where this is not practised. It is according to the Rubric, it also makes the people use their prayer books, we must work for this when we meet. Quo ad, the blind girl from B. I like the plan much. but I think Lady 0. would rather it should take place when she is at home, we will talk of this. I am very happy to find Mr. Beachcroft has been with you, pray consider it my wish at all times, that as long as you are in my house your friends should be all most welcome there. I fear, however, you are only nominally my guest, I have heard of little supplies from your own store for which I shall scold you. I am glad the servants second my wishes and make you comfortable. " Your faithful " A. 0"

To C. M. T.
" Boulogne, "June 16, 1822. " You will be glad to hear of our safe arrival at this place, and as I conclude and hope your troubles are over and that this will find you quietly seated at Ipswich, I shall briefly tell you something of your Rector and his party. We left Town Friday at 12 o'clock, and reached Canterbury that night, started at five next morn to catch the steam packet at Dover which was to sail at 9 o'clock. We had a very rough and sickening passage of four hours, and reached this place when the tide was ebbing. We had about a quarter of a mile to pass through a very rough sea before we reached the shore, and as this ttajet was made in a small boat, Lady Olivia was somewhat alarmed, as indeed she well might be, for the dear Frenchmen vociferated so loudly and had altogether so novel an appearance, and fatigue had already so exhausted her, that I was thankful when we reached this house. The steam packets are certainly very. wonderful inventions and the simplicity of the machinery is not the least wonderful part of the invention. The expense is great, 4,000 guineas the cost of the ' Medusa' our packet, about 60 ton. This bad effect has resulted at Dover that 6 packets do the work of 33, consequently the crew of the remaining 31 are adrift, to say nothing of rope, sailmakers, etc., etc. The smell is to me very sickening, and my nose has a full charge of this nauseous odour at this moment. I can scarcely believe that this day sennight we were at dear Hemmingford ; little marks the Sabbath at this place. I have just finished our service and have read a beautiful manuscript sermon of Dan Wilson's, on the benefit of affliction. " This place is full of English, they have a service on Sundays, but as there are persons here whom Lady O. knows and did not wish to see, we thought it better to have service at home, particularly too as it rained. We set off early to-morrow and expect to reach Antwerp on Thursday. We have got a very good courier; tell Allan when you see him, if he had been within my reach this morning I should have been disposed to give him a good scolding, he has sent me from home with my very thinnest drawers, so if I catch cold I shall leave it at his door, he should have given me my long cotton drawers. I hope you got my note about the B society and that Dotts explained my wish to you. I must conclude, my only news is, Baroness . . . . . your ci-devant Stanmore friend is become a Roman Catholic, it is well poor old Forbes is gone to his rest. We are not in the best position for a quiet Sabbath, but God is everywhere present to those who faithfully seek Him and I trust He will not allow our thoughts to be withdrawn from Him by any external circumstances. " I hope you have found Mrs. Torlesse and your sister well, pray present my compts. Lady Olivia and Miss Sparrow desire to be kindly remembered to you, say something kind from me to our servants when you see them and to John.B. and anybody who cares or thinks of me, not omitting William Johns. I have no address to give you yet. I must wish you farewell. Believe me ever, with sincere regard,
" Your faithful "
A. 0.

3. Part letter to Charles Martin Torlesse: Writer unknown, Sep 1831.
Ref Bygone Days Page 193 - 194 see Books Section.

. . . . The Coronation1 must be warm work. William was down at Westminster this morning at half past five. The Queen came attended by Alderman Wood and one lady and was refused admission. She was hissed ; all her advisers, legal advisers, had said don't go, and the King hooted her, but she hoped to make a row. Miss Sparrow had her hair dressed at 3 o'clock this noon and was to be at the Abbey at five, and not to get out probably before five."

1. William IV and Queen Adelaide were crowned on 8th September 1831. The doors of the Abbey opened at 4.00 am. At 10.15 am the coronation procession left St James' Palace, the King dressed in an admiral's uniform and the Queen in a white and gold dress. For the first time a special lavishly furnished annexe had been built outside the west front of the Abbey to marshal the processions. The royal party arrived at 11.00 am and the ceremony finished at 3.00 pm. There was no usual coronation banquet as the King decided it was too expensive.

4. Charles Martin Torlesse: Letter to daughter Priscilla Catherine Torlesse, Cir 1834, Stoke By Nayland SFK.
Ref Bygone Days Pages 194 - 195 see Books Section.

"As the contents of my epistle will not be very valuable, I shall endeavour by plain writing to give you as little trouble as possible in obtaining possession of them. I am afraid that you find what you would not believe at Stoke to be true, that Bath is a dull place. One lesson you may learn from this is not to expect to be made happy by mere change of place. Some people are all their life long finding this out, and after moving from London to Bath, and from Bath to Paris, and from Paris to Moscow, and from Moscow to Brighton, and from Brighton to Cheltenham, and so on to twenty other places, are as far from happiness as when they first put their feet into the travelling carriage. Oh ! (says Pris.) indeed ! But why, papa ? I will endeavour to explain it to you, Pris. Supposing you had broken your leg, would you cease to feel the fractured limb by going from the Pump Room to the Concert Room, and then to the Crescent, and so on to all the grand places in and round Bath. You must first have the limb set, before you could enjoy anything. Now, my dear girl, there is something out of order within you, and you will never be quite content with anything without this is set right. You must be a follower and a child of Jesus. You must pray to Him to enable you to love Him, and then you will be happy almost anywhere, as Joseph was happy in imprisonment in Egypt, Daniel in the lion's den, Paul in dungeon in Philippi. But perhaps, Pris., you have not found Richmond Terrace quite as dull as at first it appeared. You went to Bath hoping to find happiness in dress, and shops, and fine buildings, and fine people. But perhaps the day does not pass so heavily in going through regular lessons, and in
Page 195
walking and talking with uncle and aunt. Many poor children lead what you would call dull lives in picking up stones or spinning wool, but they are not dull because they are actively and usefully employed. Try, then, and never sit with your hands unoccupied, and even Richmond Terrace without balls and theatres, and other places for idle people, may be a cheerful spot. I want you to bring home some Bath stone, which consists of little round particles like the roe of a fish, and some fern fossils or impression of fern plants on coal, which is found in the neighbourhood of Bath. If, however, the weather is as cold in Somersetshire as it is here, I daresay you and aunt keep close to the fire. Charley is delighted with the ice, and skates famously, and what is still more wonderful, now the leader of complaints is in Bath, neither Anna, nor Louisa, nor Emily, nor Susan, nor Henry say a word about the cold. I am afraid mama and Charles have told you all the news in Stoke. I am glad to hear you are not learning any new music before you are perfect in your old lessons. Does aunt understand the Sol Fa card, and do you learn to sing Psalm tunes ? Perhaps aunt will teach you to play one or two of the tunes which are written in Sol Fa letters in the printed books. I suppose you know Charley is going to school. You must then come home, or Stoke will be too dull for me without you both. But I am so satisfied that aunt desires to see and make you happy, that I think I could bear to be dull at Stoke without you, if I was certain you was actively employed at Bath. And now, Pris., goodbye. In return for this long letter you must send me a sheet with only twenty misspellings on each page.
Kind love to dear uncle and aunt.
"Your affect. papa, "

5. Sir John Franklin: letter to Charles Torlesse, 18 May 1845, HMS Erebus Greenhithe.
Liveing Archive Red Book 059

Rev C M Torlesse
HMS Erebus
18 May 1845
Dear Sir
I thank you for your kind thought in sending me the MS note of Mr Collinson which is not without its value.
I am glad to hear good account of your neice to whom I beg my kind remembrances & good wishes, as do also my wife and daughter & Miss Gracecroft(?)
We sail early tomorrow morning*
Believe me
Dear Sir
Yours very truly
John Franklin.
Sir John Franklin: explorer 1786-1847 - this letter was written on the eve of Franklin's departure* to find a North West Passage to the East, through the Arctic. This may well be one of his last personal letters, before he perished on the mission.

6. Charles Martin Torlesse: Letter to daughter Fanny Harriet Torlesse, 4 Aug 1860, Petworth Rectory.
Ref Bygone Days Pages 197 - 198 see Books Section.

To F. H. T. (after one of C. M. T.'s journeys with Mr. Hadwen).
I ought sooner to have acknowledged the receipt of your letter which I found at London Bridge on Tuesday, contrary to my expectations. You must know that the hotel there is closed, so that when I moved there on Sunday evening, I could gain no admittance, and found myself with my luggage in the street. A policeman directed me to a most (as he called it) respectable place, the Sussex Hotel. I found the entrance filled with a motley group of cab drivers, navvies, etc., but the bedrooms were tolerable, and my appearance was so respectable that they did me the honour of charging me three shillings for my lodging ; but when I came down in the morning in my wideawake and flannel shirt, I suppose I was taken for a different person, and for a good cup of coffee and four slices of bread and butter had the mortification of being called upon to pay only fourpence. " I have brought down my travelling only to the inn at Nardessach, at the foot of the Gemmi Pass. The room in which we passed the night, containing four beds (used generally for guides and porters), was, as you may suppose, not of the most neat and inanimate kind, and it was without any difficulty that we turned out at 3 o'clock to ascend the Pass. Not without much pleading I prevailed upon the landlord to let me have a horse for the first two hours, in other words, for the roughest and hardest part of the ascent. The air was so light, and the ground so crisp with frost and ice, the height of the Pass being between 6,000 and 7,000 feet, that I felt no fatigue in walking on for five hours, taking care to walk very slowly, especially in the descent to Leuk, which is a most marvellous work of pathmaking. You have to descend a rock 1,600 feet perpendicular depth, and this is managed by cutting zig-zag grooves in its face. Leuk is a small town at the foot of this rock, between 3,000 and 4,000 feet above the sea, famous for its hot springs and baths, where invalids come to sit in its hot medicinal waters for hours together. We all, after our walk, found much comfort from a bath, and then went on by a char-a-banc down a most wonderful road cut in the same zig-zag shape to the banks of the Rhone as far as Sion, from which we took the railroad to Martigny. Here we slept, proceeded the next morning, Friday, by rail to the Head of the Lake into which the Rhone flows, with its white, turbid waters, and immediately on board a steamer, and coasted the North shore of the lake about fifty miles to Geneva, which we reached about eleven o'clock. We had little time to look over this interesting city, and started again at two for Paris, travelled all night, and arrived at six in the morning ; left it at half-past ten, and were in London by ten Saturday evening. " I much regret the hurried travelling by night from Geneva to Paris ; we could discover by faint twilight that one part of the road passes through most beautiful and romantic country. I heard yesterday from Miss Rowley, to whom I had sent a few ferns collected by Mr. Davis. She says there is very little illness in the parish, and thinks Mr. A. would ably preach the school sermon in the place of Mr. Reeve, who does not visit Suffolk. I therefore wrote to Mr. A. to ask him to preach for the schools on the zoth. It will not do to postpone the sermon until after my return. Miss R. says that Charley is fishing and playing with Mr. A.'s boys all day, so I suppose Tendring and the Vicarage agree together. Let me know how the Isle of Wight plan goes on, and when letters must be sent to Melbourne and Canterbury. This is a most quiet place. I like Mr. Bright, he manages the boys judiciously. This morning news came of the death of General Wyndham, Lord Leconfield's brother. By this death 20,000 a year comes to his Lordship, which, as Charles says, will place him in easy circumstances. Mrs. W. Burrell has just arrived with her children, and dinner is ready.
" Goodbye, with kind love to mama and Pris., uncle, aunt, Edward, and A. M.
" Believe me ever affect., "

7. Charles Martin Torlesse: Letter to son Henry Torlesse, 25 May 1866, Stoke.
Ref Bygone Days Pages 200 - 201 see Books Section.

. . . . . I must again repeat that my own present bodily and mental powers are - as far as relates to the instru-mentality\emdash owing to the careful diet I have adopted for many years as good as ever. A good day's work fatigues me as little as it did 20 years ago, and you know I never touch a cigar or pipe, or beer, or porter, and wine very rarely, and so I have a good appetite and sleep soundly, and take no medicine, and if I live till next Tuesday I shall be in my 72nd year. What a long lease of life and how little has been done, what a wreck of broken resolutions and intentions and plans strew the road which I have trodden. "The papers will tell you what a disturbance there has been in the financial and monetary world, and how many must have fallen from the supposed position of princely fortunes to
Page 201
bankruptcy. We seem also on the eve of a great Continental war. All Europe is bristling with arms. The year 1866 has long been fixed by the interpreters of prophesy as the end of the twelve-hundred and sixty years, and certainly the signs of the times in which we now are are of no common kind. Will our own Church much longer withstand the assaults from without, seconded by our internal divisions ? Church rates seem doomed, and the Irish Church curtailed of the greater part of its emoluments and machinery. And the inherent weakness of the Established Church has vastly increased, not only by the wide differences of spirit, but by the determination of the contending parties to make known to the world their disputes. Oh, that they would remember the direction, Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in Askalon.'
"A new monthly theological Review, the Contemporary has come out this year. It contains many articles of power and originality, but it is tinged with the dangerous tendency of the day 'Broad Church views.'
" In this month's number a work which has excited great interest, Ecce Homo' is reviewed. This history of our Lord taken from the three first Gospels, and the Epistles of St. Paul, professes to contain only that portion of His Life which can be drawn from these sources, and reserves further development to a future volume. It is full of interesting and original passages quite out of the common groove, but it is looked upon with suspicion and fear for many, not so much by what it asserts, as for its omissions. Little mention is made of man's fallen and sinful state, and of course there is no reference to the Atonement. However, it is unfair to pass sentence upon a work which its author professes to be incomplete. What with Romanism and Ritualism on the one side, and Socinian, Rationalistic and Deistical tendencies on the other, what need have we to hear a Voice saying, 'Walk ye in the strait way' when we are so invited to turn to the Right hand or to the Left.
". . . . . Much love to your wife and children,
" Your affectionate
" C. M. T."

8. Charles Martin Torlesse: Letter to son Henry Torlesse, 10 Jan 1870, Stoke.
Ref Bygone Days Pages 199 - 200 see Books Section.

I believe that a closer and more uninterrupted correspondence takes place between Stoke and New Zealand than between us and many spots in England containing friends, and relatives, the monthly mails reminding us of epistolary duties. At the same time it is rather provoking to have to write when in a few days we might be able to reply to your letter. How much I expect to learn in your next, of your new position, of your people, of the schools, the house, the neighbourhood, the society if there be any. As to your ministrations, however circumstances may require a difference of style and language, the treatment must be essentially the same, as the disease is the same, whether it be in the hovel or in the palace. Earnestness and sympathy are sure to gain access to the heart. Si vis me flere dolendum est. Primum ipsi tibi. I hope you will mention any theological books which you may want. I live so much out of the way of Bishops, or Candidates for Holy Orders, and I see so seldom young clergymen, that I probably am less acquainted with the theological works of the day than the clergy of Christchurch. If you undertake to teach singing, and can collect a few boys and girls, let me strongly recommend you to teach them time. I observe in the most recent musical publications, the different metres are Trochaic, Dactyle, Anapaestic, etc., thus drawing the attention of the learner to the place where the accent should be placed. I am also inclined to think that time is the best for Psalmody. I think you would be very pleased with the way we have dressed the Church this year. The Rowleys undertook the task, and with the help of two men and the loads of evergreens, which their garden supplies, have wreathed the shafts of the pillars very gracefully. The great danger in the present day consists in carrying out these ornamentations too far. I see in the paper to-day that another unseemly collision has taken place between the Rector of Edmonton and one of his Churchwardens on the subject of an Altar Cloth. No sooner is one affray settled than another seems
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to spring up. I strongly suspect that this zeal for semi-popish practices in our Church is fostered by those who wish to over-throw the Establishment ; certainly nothing is more suited to the end desired by these men than such practices. " I have been mercifully carried through the past year. I believe Mr. Fenn1 has not paid us one professional visit. The question is, Has the Mastes, of the Vineyard found any fruit this year ? If not and the tree is yet not cut down, must I not expect that the Vine dresser will dig about and dress it. " What the events of the year may be, is known only to God ; but whether they be adverse or prosperous, if we bear fruit it will be well. " I took for my New Year's text St. Paul's address to Agrippa :
"Would to God that not only thou but that all that hear me this day were both altogether such as I am except these bonds'
" Kindest love to Eliza and many kisses to baby, "
Ever affectionate "

1. Dr Thomas Fenn of Nayland SFK

9. Charles Martin Torlesse: Research notes.
Not all these entries are correct !

10. Diocese of Norwich: Details of livings in Suffolk, 1733.
Liveing Archive 22042020

11. Notes from the family Bible of Charles M Torlesse.

12. Charles Martin Torlesse: Charles was 58 yearsthe Vicar of Stoke: Stoke by Nayland Suffolk.
Stoke Green and Tendring Cottage, Thorington House Thorington, these two images painted by Mary Kate Liveing 1850.
The nave of St Mary Stoke (by Nayland), a fine 14thC "Wool Church".

13. Memorial Window to Charles Torlesse: St Mary Stoke by Nayland SFK.
To the glory of GOD and to the memory of Charles Martin Torlesse MA. 58 years Priest in this parish this window is dedicated by his parishioners and friends. Born May 29th 1795 - Died July 12, 1881.
Photos kindly taken by Mr A Norman-Butler - 2020

14. Charles Martin Torlesse: Re book on Stoke by Nayland, 1877.
Uncertain that it refers to this publication which is available on the internet in 2020.
"Some Account of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk". Compiled by C. M. Torlesse - 1877. The book covers a period from medieval Stoke to the mid 19th C including MI, Registers, Overseers books etc. Local manors, details of early families, some early wills etc in 120 pages.
British Library

15. Edward Liveing: Letter to Charles Martin Torlesse, 31 Oct 1879, 52 Queen Anne St London W.
Letter to Charles Martin Torlesse re early Torlesse family - nothing of note in it.
For a fine rendering of the Torlesse arms see the file of Richard Torlesse [7108]


Charles married Catherine Gurney WAKEFIELD [1636] [MRIN: 535], daughter of Edward WAKEFIELD [1637] and Susannah CRUSH [1638], on 7 Apr 1823 in St Helens Ipswich, SFK. (Catherine Gurney WAKEFIELD [1636] was born on 27 Jul 1793 in Old Jewry MDX, baptised on 13 Dec 1819 in St Stephen Ipswich SFK, died on 26 Apr 1873 in Stoke By Nayland SFK and was buried in Stoke By Nayland SFK.)

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