The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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Robert FENN Capt [198]
Harriet LIVEING [227]
George ALSTON [61]
Anne Margaret VANDERZEE [60]
Dr Thomas Harrold FENN M.R.C.S. [1]
Maria ALSTON [2]

Catherine Maria (Kate) FENN [7]


Family Links

1. Professor Herbert Allen GILES M.A. L.L.D. [27]

Catherine Maria (Kate) FENN [7]

  • Born: 30 Sep 1844, Nayland SFK
  • Baptised: 29 Oct 1844, Nayland SFK
  • Marriage (1): Professor Herbert Allen GILES M.A. L.L.D. [27] on 30 Jun 1870 in Nayland SFK
  • Died: 24 Dec 1882, Pagoda Anchorage Foochow China. aged 38
  • Buried: Pagoda Anchorage Foochow China.

bullet  General Notes:

Sponsors at Catherine's baptism were, John Ambrose, Julia Ambrose, Catherine M Liveing.

The 1860's Log Books of the Nayland School show Kate as a visitor, listening to the children recite, or helping with needlework etc.

The Ipswich Journal Saturday to July 1870.
Giles - Fenn. 30th ult., at Nayland, in this county, by the Rev Dr Giles (father of the bridegroom), rector of Sutton, assisted by the Rev J Hunnybun, vicar of Nayland, Herbert Alan Giles, Esq., of H.M's Consular Service in China, to Catherine Maria, 3rd daughter of the late Thomas Harrold Fenn, Esq., of Nayland.

Extract from a letter to Catherine M Liveing, by Kate's father Thomas shortly before his death.
Dated 13 April 1870
My Dear Aunt
. . . . . I feel quite satisfied about Mr Giles and I think Katie's prospects a happy one as they will start very fairly and if health is vouchsafed them the progress is humanly speaking certain and not slow and Mr Giles is eminently qualified to take advantage of opportunities. . . . .
Origional E L Fenn archive 2005

John Allen Giles: Diary & Memoirs.
Page 600 & 601
Mon Feb 19th 1883
Some days before we went to Churchill we received the sad news of Kate, Herbert's wife's death, which happened on the day before Christmas day (Dec. 24, 1882). This loss plunged us all into the greatest grief, for she was one of the most amiable, cheerful, and happy women I ever met with, and Herbert's position, left with 6 little children so far away, was most lamented.
I copy a letter written by Herbert immediately after her death to her brother.

Letter from H.A.G. to Dr Edward Liveing Fenn
Pagoda Island, Dec. 24, 1882
Dr E L Fenn
Richmond Surrey
Dear Edward
The following account of Kate's illness and death, brief as it is, will give all those details which are of so much interest to friends. Please regard it as a general letter, addressed to both families, and to be sent round from one to the other. After the sicknesses of the summer we had all fully settled down for health and enjoyment of the beautiful winter months. The children were all well and Kate appeared to be thoroughly herself, playing tennis, eating heartily, &c. &c. until the latter end of October, when her appetite began to fail, and she told me, half jokingly, that she seemed to have a growth inside her. On the 3rd of November she took a run up to Foochow, and went to theatricals and to a ball. Her diary says, "I went to bed at one o'clock, as I had got a chill or something, which gave me a good deal of pain." The next day she came back in considerable pain, and on the 6th Dr Underwood examined her and said she had congestion of the liver. She got better, and on the 29th played a game of tennis. A few days afterwards the old pains returned, and on the 4th of December Dr Underwood blistered her over the liver with some relief. But he began to have some suspicions, and on the 7th she was examined by Dr Rennie of Foochow. The latter told me at once the case was hopeless, there being in his opinion a rapidly growing tumour on the liver. From that moment I slept every night on a mattress by her bedside, full dressed and prepared for every emergency. I gave her morphia (hypodermic) regularly at bed-time; occasionally a little during the day, in case of pain: I had only that one consolation left. Gradually she began to get worse, and ceased to see the children; but as she never knew what was really the matter with her, she was buoyed up to the last by the hope of ultimately getting well again. Her cheery spirits never deserted her for an instant. From the 17th I had to feed her day & night at short intervals. On the 21st she began to lose consciousness of her surroundings, but seemed to know me up to the night of the 22nd, when all her mental and physical powers collapsed. At about a quarter to 11 a.m. on the 24th she passed quietly out of her sorrow, and was buried late that night in the cemetery over the water, by the side of her 9th child Gwyneth. Throughout the illness I was her only nurse. We could have had much kindly help, but she preferred to have only myself as her attendant. I wholly devoted myself to watching her every wish, thinking all the time of the 12 and half years we have lived together, during which time she wholly devoted every energy and thought to me. She was indeed an incomparable wife and mother, and I think her life has been as she herself made it a very happy one: every one was her friend, I do not believe there is a living person who ever for a moment felt unkindly towards her. In the early stages of her weakness I used to lead the conversation round to her old home. She was never tired of talking of those days, about her father & mother, Grandma Alston. Aunt Margaret, and the family circle generally. Her life at Camberwell, as a little girl, with Uncle Robert, seemed to have made an indelible impression on her memory, and she could recall many incidents out of those 32 years old. I could fill pages with the names of people she dwelt upon from time to time. The Liveings, Hands. Torlesses, and many others, never forgetting her old friends Henry and Elizabeth: and among her last sympathies were many words of sorrow for Palmer Smithies, the news of whose wife's death reached us whilst she was quite clear in mind. I can think just now of nothing more to add.
With best wishes to all friends
Yours ever
H A Giles.

22. 12. 29.
My very dear Girlie,
Your little letter was a great treat, and Stinton is delighted with her calendar. I'm glad to be temporarily away from Gas n Razor blades. Life always fails for me on this date, the day, as perhaps Val has told you, on which I committed without a moments hesitation then and without any feeling of regret later on - a period of 48 years - what was legally a murder but morally a humane act. I have never shaken off the resentful feeling that a sweet tempered lovable girl, who never had an enemy, should not be allowed to see what all mothers long to see - her children grow up.
I am sorry to write like this, I have rarely, if ever, done so before. I will leave off now, think of Delphia, your bright star. All best wishes from your loving father H A Giles
This letter was written to Valentine Giles second wife Philadelphia [9234], and is in the possession of her daughter, Philadelphia Atkinson [9235] - 2008.
Published courtesy of the Gt Grandaughter of Herbert Giles, Rosamond Stewart.
The researcher has held this letter embargoed for many years, it is now time to reveal this act of compassion by a loving husband nursing a loved wife suffering the agony of liver cancer.
Should you be reading this you are asked to respect the devoted intimacy of the writer.

GRO Consular Death Indices (1849 to 1965)
Year range1881-1885
Record setBritish nationals died overseas 1818-2005

Rosamond Stewart writes in 2008:
"Catherine died at Pagoda Anchorage up the Minh River, Herbert buried her there at night in a thunder storm in 1882, by the side of her nineth child Gywneth"

Miniature in possession of the estate of Alison Redman late of Notley Farm Broughton Hampshire.

Pastel at age 10 1854 by Sydney Buck in possession of Adrian Hopkins Vale View Marnhull Dorset 1998.


bullet  Other Records

1. Census: England, 30 Mar 1851, 14 The Green Camberwell Dulwich SRY. Catherine is recorded as a grandaughter to head of house Harriet Fenn, aged 6 born Nayland SFK

2. Catherine Maria Fenn: Images from her life, 1854.
From pastel by Sydney Buck of family group 1854, as young woman, marriage 1870, second child Harold Alston Giles c1872 (d 1873).
Catherine's memorial plaque in St James Nayland which reads:
"To the glory of God and in most loving remembrance of Catherine Maria wife of Herbert Allen Giles of H.B.M. Consular Service and third daughter of Thomas Harrold Fenn of this Parish, who died at Pagoda China Christmas Eve 1882. This tablet is erected by her brothers and sisters. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God".

3. Census: England, 8 Apr 1861, Ramsay Rd St Ives Huntingdonshire. Catherine is described as a scholar aged 16 unmarried born Nayland SFK


Catherine married Professor Herbert Allen GILES M.A. L.L.D. [27] [MRIN: 9], son of Rev John Allen GILES D.C.L. of Churchill Court SOM [2048] and Anna Sarah DICKINSON [7494], on 30 Jun 1870 in Nayland SFK. (Professor Herbert Allen GILES M.A. L.L.D. [27] was born on 8 Dec 1845 in Oxford, Oxfordshire. UK, died on 13 Feb 1935 in Cambridge. and was cremated in Feb 1935.)

Copyright © and all rights reserved to Edward Liveing Fenn and all other contributors of personal data. No personal data to be used without attribution or for commercial purposes. Interested persons who wish to share this data are welcome to contact to arrange same and be given the details.

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