John Henry BRIDGES M.D. 
- Born: 11 Oct 1832, Old Newton SFK
- Baptised: 11 Nov 1832, Old Newton SFK
- Marriage (1): Susan TORLESSE  on 7 Feb 1860 in Stoke By Nayland SFK
- Marriage (2): Mary Alice HADWEN  on 5 Jun 1869 in Ripponden YKS
- Died: 15 Jun 1906, Tunbridge Wells KEN aged 73
Little has come down to us of John's early childhood. We gather from his mother's letters that he was strong willed and passionate. "Little Johnny's will needs constant curbing" and at four years old he was still unable to take his turn with his brother and sister in reading a verse round at family prayers, till the old nurse Chisnall took him in hand, and is taught him successfully from the first chapter of St John. He was considered backward, for he could not read at the age of three, as did his brothers and sisters!
For the first 16 years of his life, Old Newton was John Bridges home, an out of the way spot, hidden in the tangle of Suffolk lanes. In a lecture on history, delivered at Shipley, Yorkshire, in 1882, he told his hearers, "in the village I was born in, faraway in Suffolk, out of the reach of steam engines, I remember well there was a weaver just as there was a blacksmith and wheelwright; and this weaver was also the village postman, and kept a small shop into the bargain". Elsewhere we are told that the blacksmith called himself Vulcan and his wife Venus, which looks as if evangelical Bridges had not penetrated the smithy!
Ref: Extract from "A 19th Century Teacher: John Henry Bridges" by Susan Liveing 1926
Refer also "Some Account of John Henry Bridges and His Family" by Francis H Torlesse.
See also letters from Harriet Bridges to Susan Morley.
Companion to the Rugby Register. [1845 -1846]. Head: Archibald Campbell Tait.
John Henry Bridges, son of the Rev. Charles Bridges, Old Newton, Suffolk, Second Rugby Exhibitioner, 1851, Scholar of Wadham College, 1851, Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, 1855, Arnold Historical Prize, 1856.
Bridges John Henry, 2s of Charles, of Old Newton Suffolk, cler. Wadham College, matric 7 May 1851, aged 18, scholar 1851, B.A. 1855; fellow Oriel College 1855-61, B. Med. 1859. see Fosters Baronetage.
Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886.
John's engagement to Susan Torlesse caused a negative reaction from friends and outside relations on narrow religious grounds, but their immediate families were supportive. However the couple thought it wiser to make their home in Australia after they married on 7 Feb 1860. They arived in Melbourne 11 June after a good voyage, John got an appointment to Melbourne Hospital. Tragically Susan fell ill in October and died in December. Her body was brought home and she was buried at
Ref: Recollections of John Henry Bridges MD
Deeds Registration Act 1868 file - 122/1879 - John Henry BRIDGES and Susan TORLESSE 1879 Christchurch High Court NZ
The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Jun 26, 1906; pg. 14; Issue 38056.
A correspondent writes: "I have seen no notice in The Times, and very few elsewhere, of the death of a man who some years ago was regarded by his friends as one of the remarkable men of his generation. This was John Henry Bridges, F.R.C.P., for over 20 years medical inspector to the Local Government Board, but better known as one of the ablest of the English Positivists. he was the son of a clergyman, the Rev. Charles Bridges, and was born in 1832. He went to school at Rugby under Tait, and then to Wadham College, Oxford, where among his contemporaries were two men who were destined to become his lifelong friends, and, with himself and their senior, Richard Congreve, to form the inner circle of the English followers of Auguste Comte. I refer to Frederic Harrison and Edward Spencer Beesly, of whom the former became Fellow of Wadham and a lawyer, and the latter a schoolmaster and subsequently professor of history in University College, London. Bridges obtained a Fellowship at Oriel, and adopted the profession of medicine, but after a few years of practice he accepted the appointment mentioned. The four friends, however, were better known as men of letters, and especially as the translators of Comte's 'Positive Philosophy' and the constant advocates of his doctrines and creed. The section of the book translated by J. H. Bridges was the "General View," and ten years later (1875) he collaborated in the translation of the 'Positive Polity.' He also wrote from time to time pamphlets and essays on practical political questions, treated, of course, from the Comtist standpoint. There were marked by singular clearness of style and by an absence of both the trenchant bitterness of Professor Beely and the somewhat excessive fluency of Mr. Frederic Harrison. Finally, Bridges published in 1897-1900 the book on which he had been engaged for years an edition of the 'Opus Major' of Roger Bacon. Unfortunately he had deferred it too long, for by that time his health had begun to fail, and he was unable to give sufficient care to the collation to the test or to the editing. It did not, therefore, satisfy the scholars, and it is to be feared that some of the review of it wounded him severely. For some years past Mr. Bridges was more or less of an invalid, and seldom visited his old London haunts at the Athenĉum or elsewhere. He was of a shy, retiring nature, but the few people who knew him well had the highest respect and regard both for his character and his abilities. He died at Tunbridge Wells on the 15th inst."
For more on John Henry Bridges, his and related families see "Recollections of John Henry Bridges MD" in the Books section of this website. The book contains many family letters.
1. Census: England, 30 Mar 1851, Rugby, Warwickshire. John is recorded as a pupil unmarried aged 18 a scholar of Rugby School born Newton Suffolk
2. Census: England, 8 Apr 1861, Hinton Martell DOR. John is recorded as a son a widower aged 28 M.B. Oxford not practising born Old Newton Suffolk
3. John Bridges: John for 20 years was medical inspector to the Local Government Board, 27 Feb 1869. Letter to Edward Liveing Jnr part of the application process for John to work for the Local Govt Board
4. Census: England, 2 Apr 1871, St George Bloomsbury LND. John is recorded as head of house married aged 38 a physician not practising, a Poor Law Inspector born Old Newton Suffolk.
5. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, The Brambles Woodside Road Wimbledon SRY. John is recorded as head of house married aged 48 a medical Inspector of the Local Government Board born Old Newton Suffolk
6. Census: England, 5 Apr 1891, Kensington Town Kensington LND. John is recorded as head of house married aged 58 a physician not practising, employed as Inspector of Local Government Board born Old Newton Suffolk.
7. Census: England, 31 Mar 1901, Paddington LND. John Henry is recorded as head of house married aged 68 a retired physician Inspector Local Govt Board born Old Newton Suffolk.
8. John Henry Bridges: Will 5 Jan 1897.
I JOHN HENRY BRIDGES of No 28 Ladbroke Gardens Notting Hill in the county of London Esquire M B Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians hereby revoke all wills codicils and other testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last will and testament.
1. I appoint my wife Mary Alice Bridges and her brother Frederic Hadwen of Rybourne near Halifax in the county of York Silk Spinner and Justice of the Peace and Percy Robert Turner Toynbee of No 16 Southampton Street Bloomsbury Square in the said county of London Solicitor EXECUTORS and Trustees of this my will
2. I give to the said Frederic Hadwen a legacy of fifty pounds free of duty
3. I bequeath my interest in the house 10 Rue Monsieur le Prince Paris (part of Which was formerly occupied by Auguste Comte) or in any company or other body by which that house may be held at my death to Frederic Harrison of No 38 Westbourne Terrace in the said county of London Esquire if he shall be living at my death but should he die in my lifetime I bequeath the same to Edward Spencer Beesly of No 53 Warrington Crescent in the said county of London sometime Professor of History at University College London if he Shall be living at my death but if he as well as the said Frederic Harrison shall die in my lifetime I bequeath the same to Alfred Cock of Elm Court Temple in the city of London Esquire one of Her Majestys Counsel
4. I bequeath to my trustees hereinbefore named a legacy of four thousand pounds free of duty to be held by them In trust for such of my nieces Harriett Susan (the wife of Edward Liveing of No 52 Queen Anne Street Cavendish Square in the said county of London MD) Edith Brown Mary Brown Margaret Brown and Hilda Brown (the five children of The Reverend James Wilson Davy Brown of Stowlangtoft Rectory near Bury St Edmunds in the county of Suffolk and my sister Anna Maria his wife now deceased) as shall be living at my decease and shall then have attained or shall thereafter attain the age of twenty one years as tenants in common in equal shares Provided always that if any of my said nieces shall die in my lifetime leaving a child or children who shall survive me and shall attain the age of twenty one years then in every such case the last mentioned child or children shall take (and if more than one equally between them) the share which his or her or their parent would have taken if such parent had survived me and attained.the age of twenty one years. 5. Any and every person who under the last preceding clause hereof shall become entitled beneficially to any share or interest in the said trust legacy of four thousand pounds shall be bound if he or she shall desire to take the benefit conferred upon him or her by that clause to adopt and confirm all the acts and dealings of myself (as one of the trustees of the settlement made on the marriage of the said James Wilson Davy Brown and my said sister) and of my co-trustee or co-trustees thereof for the time being and to give up any claim which he or she may have against my estate or against any co-trustee or the estate of any deceased co trustee of mine for any breach of trust which may have been committed during my lifetime with regard to the said settlement or the trust funds comprised therein and before the share or interest of any such person in the said trust legacy shall be paid over to him or her he or she shall execute and do all such instruments and things as shall be required by my executors or by the trustees or trustee of my will for the purpose of testifying his or her adoption and confirmation of all such acts and dealings as aforesaid and for releasing my estate and every such co trustee and the estate of every such deceased co trustee of mine as aforesaid from any claim which such person may have for or in respect of any such breach of trust as aforesaid and also (if required by my executors by the said trustees or trustee) for the purpose of indemnifying my estate and every such co trustee and the.estate-of every such deceased co trustee of mine as aforesaid from and against any claims or possible claims of the issue of such persons for or in respect of any such breach of trust as aforesaid and also (if required by my executors or by the said trustees or trustee) for the purpose of indemnifying my estate and every such cotrustee and the estate of every such deceased cotrustee of mine as aforesaid from and against any claims or possible claims of the issue of such persons for or in respect of any such act dealing or breach of trust as aforesaid and if any such person being of full age shall refuse or neglect for 12 calendar months to comply with any written request in that behalf which may be made to him or her by my executors or the trustees or trustee of my will within 12 calendar months after my death or after such person shall attain the age of 21 years (whichever shall be the latest) then such persons interest under the last preceding clause hereof shall be forfeited in the share and interest which such person would otherwise have taken under that clause shall sink into my residuary estate
6. All costs of and incidental to any release indemnity or thing which may be required to be executed or done in order to comply with the terms of the last preceding clause hereof shall be paid out of my residuary estate
7. I give devise point and bequeath all the residue of my estate and effects (expressly including the sum of £2500 brought into settlement by me upon my marriage with my said wife the income where of is under such settlement payable to my said wife during our joint lives and also including all properly over which I have any general power of testamentary appointment) to my said wife for her own use and benefit absolutely
8. I empower may executors and trustees instead of acting personally to employ and pay a solicitor or any other person to transact any business or do any act required to be dons in the execution of this my will including the receipt and payment of money or any other act which such executors or trustees might have done personally And I declare that the said Percy Robert Turner Toynbee and any executor or trustee hereunder being a solicitor or other person engaged in any profession or business shall be entitled to charge and be paid all usual professional or other charges for any business done by him or his firm in the premises whether in the ordinary course of his profession or business or not and although not of a nature requiring the employment of a solicitor or other professional person And any benefit taken under this clause shall be free of duty
IN WITNESS hereof I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of January one thousand eight hundred and
JOHN HENRY BRIDGES
Signed by the said John Henry Bridges the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us both present at the same time she at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
WALTER J NORRIS
HARRY R SMITH
Clerks to Messrs Stileman Neate & Toynbee Solicitors 16 Southampton Street Bloomsbury London W C
I JOHN HENRY BRIDGES new residing at 2 Park Place Gardens Paddington in the county of London and formerly of 28 Ladbroke Gardens Notting Hill in the same county Esquire Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians hereby declare this to be a codicil to my will which bears date the fifth day of January one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven Whereas Percy Robert Turner Toynbee whom by my will I have ap-pointed to be one of the Executors and Trustees thereof has lately died Now I hereby appoint Ernest Edward Bird of Grays Inn in the county of Middlesex Solicitor to be an EXECUTOR and Trustee of my will in the place of the said Percy Robert Turner Toynbee And I declare that my will shall be construed and take effect as if the name of the said Ernest Edward Bird were inserted in my said will throughout instead of that of the said Percy Robert Turner Toynbee And in all other respects I confirm my said will
IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of March one thousand nine hundred
JOHN HENRY BRIDGES
Signed by the said John Henry Bridges as a codicil to his last will in the joint presence of us who before leaving his presence or that of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
CHARLES B MARSHALL
W T WILLS
Clerks to Messrs Bird Moore & Strode Solicitors Grays Inn
I JOHN HENRY BRIDGES now residing at 2 Park Place Gardens Paddington in the county of London and formerly of 28 Ladbroke Gardens Notting Hill in the same county Esquire Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians hereby declare this to be the second codicil to my will which bears date the fifth day of Jandary one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven Whereas by my will I have bequeathed my interest in the house No 10 Rue Monsieur le Prince Paris or in any company or other body which that house may be held at my death to Frederick Harrison Edward Spencer Beesly or Alfred Cock as the case may be now I hereby direct that the name of Francis Sydney Marvin one of His Majesty Inspectors of Schools be substituted for that of the said Alfred Cock and that clause 3 of my will shall read and take effect as though the name of the said Francis Sydney Marvin had been originally inserted therein instead of that of the said Alfred Cook
2. Whereas I have by my said will bequeathed on certain conditions therein mentioned the sum of four thousand pounds to my trustees in trust for my nieces Harriett Susan Liveing Edith Brown Mary Brown Margaret Brown and Hilda Brown in equal shares Now I hereby revoke the said bequest of four thousand pounds and in lieu thereof I bequeath the sum of three thousand five hundred pounds to my trustees to be held by them upon the same trusts in favour of my said nieces and subject to the same conditions as are contained in my will concerning the bequest of four thousand pounds And I declare that my will shall be read and take effect as if the sum of three thousand five hundred pounds had been originally inserted in clause 4 thereof instead of the sum of four thousand pounds
3. In all other respects I confirm my will and first codicil thereto bearing date the eleventh day of March one thousand nine hundred and one
IN WITNESS whereof I have here unto set my hand to this the second codicil to my will this twenty fifth day of April one thousand nine hundred and three
JOHN HENRY BRIDGES
Signed by the said John Henry Bridges as a second codicil to his last will in the joint presence of us who before leaving his presence or that of each other have hereunto-subscribed our names as witnesses
E D MURRAY
W T WILLS
Clerks to Messrs Bird Strode & Bird. Solicitors 5 Grays Inn Square London W C
I JOHN HENRY BRIDGES of 2 Park Place Gardens Paddington in the county of London Esquire Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians hereby declare this to be the third codicil to my will which bears date the fifth day of January one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven and the first and second codicils whereto are respectively dated the eleventh day of March one thousand nine hundred and one and the twenty fifth day of April one thousand nine hundred and three Whereas by my will I have given to any wifes brother Frederick Hadwen a legacy of fifty pounds free of duty Now I hereby revoke such bequest and in lieu thereof bequeath a similar legacy of fifty pounds free of duty to Anna Mary Hadwen the wife of the said Frederick Hadwen
In all other respeots I confirm my said will and the first and second codicrils thereto
IN. WITNESS whereof have hereunto set my hand to this the third codicil to my will this twenty first day of July one thousand nine hundred and four
JOHN HENRY BRIDGES
Signed by the said John Henry Bridges as the third codicil to his last will in the joint presence of us who before leaving his presence or that of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
W B M Bird Solicitor Grays Inn
T H Tollfree Clerk to Mr Bird
On the 13th day of July 1906 Probate of this world with 3 codicils was granted to Mary Alice Bridges and Ernest Edward Bird to the executors.
Bridges John Henry of 2 Park Place Gardens Paddington MDX died 15 Jun 1906 at 2 Woodbury Park Gardens Tunbridge Wells. Probate LON 13 Jul 1906 to Mary Ann Bridges Widow and Earnest Edward Bird solicitor.
National Probate Calendar.
John married Susan TORLESSE  [MRIN: 550], daughter of Rev Charles Martin TORLESSE  and Catherine Gurney WAKEFIELD , on 7 Feb 1860 in Stoke By Nayland SFK. (Susan TORLESSE  was born on 14 Apr 1831, baptised on 8 May 1831 in Stoke By Nayland SFK, died on 7 Dec 1860 in Melbourne Vic and was buried in 1861 in Stoke By Nayland SFK.)
John next married Mary Alice HADWEN  [MRIN: 551], daughter of George Burgess HADWEN  and Georgina Selina DAVIES , on 5 Jun 1869 in Ripponden YKS. (Mary Alice HADWEN  was born on 27 Nov 1847 in Ripponden YKS, baptised on 29 Dec 1847 in Ripponden YKS and died in Mar 1925 in Hastings SSX.)