Isabella Frances Louisa FENN 
- Born: 23 Jul 1842, Rushall WIL
- Baptised: 30 Aug 1842, Rushall WIL
- Marriage (1): Rev Digby Henry COTES  on 27 Jan 1874 in St Matthais Church Richmond Surrey
- Died: 6 Sep 1927, Southbourne HAM aged 85
- Buried: Lanteglos by Fowey CON
Mary Caroline Julius in her diary puts Isabella's birth date at Jul 17 1842
Sponsors at Isabella's baptism were Rev H T Liveing, Frances Liveing, Louisa Harrold.
Cotes - Fenn : 27th ult., at St Matthias Church Richmond Surrey, by the Rev A Smythies, assisted by the Rev C T Proctor, Vicar of the Parish, and the Rev J Tidcombe, the Rev Rev Digby Henry Cotes, Chaplain Bombay Presidency, to Isabella Frances Louisa, second daughter of the late Thomas Harrold Fenn, Esq., of Nayland, Suffolk.
ISABELLA F L COTES
England & Wales deaths 1837-2007
Cotes Isabella Frances Louisa of 24 Beaufort Rd West Southbourne Hants widow died 16 September 1927. Probate London 7 December 1927 to Dorothy Eleonore Digby Cotes widow.
Effects L5126 9s 5d
National Probate Calendar.
Pewsey VIII 364 1842 E-G Sept.
1. Census: England, 30 Mar 1851, Bear St Nayland SFK. Isabella is recorded as a daughter aged 8 a scholar born Rushall WIL
2. Census: England, 8 Apr 1861, 43 Bear St Nayland SFK. Isabella is described as a daughter unmarried aged 18 born Rushall WIL
3. Census: England, 2 Apr 1871, Stourbank Bear St Nayland SFK. Isabella is recorded as a sister (of Edward Liveing Fenn) aged 28 unmarried born Rushall WIL
4. Isabella F L Fenn: Letter to her Nephew Harold L Fenn, 30 Sep 1890, 1 Mt Ararat Rd Richmond SRY.
Written on 6 sides of note paper, two with a fine black edge.
1 Mt Ararat Road
My dear Harry
I am going to try and think of some Richmond news to tell you - I wonder if you have heard that the unfortunate Winnie Bateman has broken her arm again - just the same place where it was broken before - they were having a picnic in the Park on Saturday - Cyril and Tilly were there and she was running along and tumbled down so Auntie Annie drove her home in the pony cart as quickly as she could and Dr Williamson set the arm and father gave her chloroform. We had a dreadful thunder storm here last week - nurse and Baa were out but took shelter at Miss Quirk's and several houses were struck - and I think the Bruins at Strawberry Hill must have had a good fright for the lightning came down the nursery chimney danced about the room where 2 children and nurse were then went through the floor into the drawing room below, carrying the drawing room ceiling down with it most merciful no one was injured. Father was at Lady Augustine's at the time and poor little Robert outside with the horse which jumped and danced at every clap of thunder. Siss was there too and was so frightened and unhappy that the Butler took him inside - it was raining still hard when father came out and that wise tip declined moving one inch beyond Thacker's so father had to pick him up and tuck him under the apron - are you not very pleased with yours and Tips photographs? I think they are excellent now Dolly is most anxious to be taken with Pie. Milly went to church yesterday with Miss Annie Proveten, as it was St Michael's day sat in the front seat under the pulpit with her and was so . . . . . and good.
Aunt Annie Hand had Lance Mabel and indeed to stay at Dedham 2 or 3 days before they went back to Belgium they crossed from Harwich to Antwerp last Thursday night. I expect Dolly will want to add a line when she comes in from school about stamps - so I'll say goodbye,
Much love from your loving aunt
30 Sept 1890
5. Isabella F L Fenn: Letter to her Nephew Harold L Fenn, 27 Oct 1890, 1 Mt Ararat Rd Richmond SRY.
Written on 4 sides of a sheet of folded letter paper, over written on the front with the Closing and "27 Oct Monday What do you think of my verses on Pie?" With its original envelope addressed Master H L Fenn Malvern House, River, Dover. Franked Richmond Surrey OC2790. No stamp.
1 Mt Ararat Road
27 Oct 1890
My dear Harry
I was very glad to hear from you - your friend Segar[?] is here I have seen him twice driving through George Street in his gilt chariot and four with his band and attendants. He is having so many patients that he talks of being here two or three weeks, last time I saw him he was surrounded by lovely bouquets, he holds his meetings near the Gas Works.
Dolly is hoping to see him but poor child she has been shut up all the last week with cold and very bad toothache - not been to school for a whole week. Father has been in every day to see her and given her lots of medicine. Tomorrow she is to go Mr Davies to see what he can do for her teeth. I have a horrid cold now from hopping in and out of bed on Saturday night when D was very bad, to get her brandy etc - so we are a pair of miserable objects wrapped up in shawls Father has promised us one of yours and Tips photos and he has also given you to your godmother Miss Fanny Torlesse to take back to New Zealand with her next month. She is going to live in the same place - Christchurch - where Uncle Churchill is.
The Hopkins have got a fox terrier now by name Pat Uncle Nathanial got it at the home for lost dogs - but the poor little beast is very ill with distemper and has to have a doctor, I hope it will recover for they have all got so fond of it - your old Nelly is living at Aunt Lucy's now for a little time till she can hear of a French nurse. Jn Edward Kitty Rees and Lewis and my old Julia has taken Nelly's place at your house - Billy calls her "Judea" - I have not been able to collect many postmarks for you yet, I enclose a few.
Aunt Annie at Dedham has lost her favourite little Alderney cow - it died of fever
With Dolly and my best love ever dear Harry
Your loving Aunt Isabella
6. Census: England, 5 Apr 1891, 1 Mt Ararat Rd Richmond SRY. Isabella is recorded as head of house a widow aged 48 living on her own means born Rushall WIL
7. Isabella Frances Louisa Fenn: Her Confession, Cir 1891.
Isabella's confession in her daughters Confessions Book
ISABELLA'S CONFESSIONS c1891
MY FAVOURITE VIRTUE: Moral Courage
MY IDEA OF HAPPINESS: The old home life
MY IDEA OF MISERY: Having nightmare
MY FAVOURITE OCCUPATION: Listening to good music \endash walking and reading.
MY FAVOURITE COLOUR: Black and White
MY FAVOURITE FLOWER: Lily of the Valley
MY FAVOURITE POETS: Longfellow Keble Tennyson
MY FAVOURITE PROSE AUTHORS: Scott Dickens Agustoides [?] Crockett
MY FAVOURITE PAINTER: Fildes \endash Long \endash Cook \endash Leaden \endash Cooper
MY FAVOURITE FOOD: Bread and Fruit
MY FAVOURITE NAMES: Dorothy \endash Constance \endash Lionel
MY PET AVERSION: Early Rising
MY FAVOURITE MOTTO: Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
Isabella F.L. Cotes
8. Isabella Francis Louisa Fenn: Various Images, her "Confession" Memorial Plaque in Nayland Church, Jun 1891.
Image on left Pastel of Isabella at age 9 1851 by Sydney Buck in possession of Adrian Hopkins Dorset 1998.
ISABELLA'S CONFESSIONS June 1891
MY FAVOURITE VIRTUE: Moral courage
MY IDEA OF HAPPINESS: The old home life
MY IDEA OF MISERY: Having night-mare
MY FAVOURITE OCCUPATION: Listening to good music, walking & reading
MY FAVOURITE COLOUR: Black & White
MY FAVOURITE FLOWER: Lily of the Valley
MY FAVOURITE POETS: Longfellow Keble Tennyson
MY FAVOURITE PROSE AUTHORS: Scott Dickens ? Crockett Mrs Humphry Ward Edna Lyall
MY FAVOURITE PAINTER: Fildes Long Cook Leaden Cooper
MY FAVOURITE FOOD: Bread & fruit
MY FAVOURITE NAMES: Dorothy Constance Lionel
MY PET AVERSION: Early rising
MY FAVOURITE MOTTO: Every cloud has a silver lining
A Memorial plaque in St James Church Nayland, under one to her sister reads "Also of Isabella Frances Louisa widow of Digby Henry Cotes, Government Chaplain in India, and second daughter of Thomas Harrold Fenn of this Parish who died at Southbourne Hants 1927. This tablet is erected by her loving daughter.
"I thank my God for every remembrance of you".
9. Poem attributed to Isabella F L Fenn, 1892.
THE FOLLOWING POEM IS SIGNED BY I.F.L.C. : 1892
A is for Arthur whose surname is Fenn,
B is for Basil Lieutenant R.N.,
C is for Charlie a student at Kings,
D is for Dolly who learns lots of things,
E is for Edith a Frenchified girl,
F is for Frankie whose red hair won't curl,
G is for Georgie third son of his mother,
H for Harry & Hal who belong to each other,
I Aunt Isabella who is Dolly's Mamma,
J Julius or Edgar sometimes called Baa,
K is for Katherine who grows like a weed,
L is for Lewis a fat dumpling indeed,
M's for Margery R C a very long name,
N for Nathaniel or Edward of bicycle fame,
O is for Olive of Simla the belle,
P Playford Dick who at school does so well,
Q stands for Miss Quirk a friend of the boys,
and R for Rees H who dearly loves toys,
S is for Sumner called Georgie above,
T is for Thomas who mischief doth love,
V is for Vandy a prim little lad,
For W X Y & Z no names can be had,
From Hopkins or Giles or even from Hand,
Or Cotes of Rich-mond or Fenn of Nay-land.
10. Census: England, 31 Mar 1901, 1 Mt Ararat Rd Richmond SRY. Isabella is recorded as head of house aged 58 widow living on her own means born Rushall WIL
11. Isabella F L Fenn: Post Card to her Nephew Ernest V Fenn, 17 Mar 1904.
Written on a Post card of St Mary Magdalene Richmond endorsed in Isabella's hand "In remembrance of the old Chancel which is now pulled down, the walls of the new one are rising fast. Many Thanks"
The Rev EV Fenn
Your letter, very interested in all your news, shall think of you on 29 May. The rumour for Cambridge has come to nothing so far. Perhaps we shall see a name in H.M's. birthday honours list. Harry and Dolly went to the service at St Paul's for the Centenary of Bible SY (Society) heard the Archbishop and saw the Royalties. The B's have a foreign countess living with them - who is slightly crazed but very charming. Jack and G not come north yet.
Love from us both
I.F.L.C. 17 March 1904
12. Census: England, 2 Apr 1911, 50 Mt Ararat Rd Richmond SRY. Isabella is recorded as head of an 8 room house aged 65 a widow and mother of 2 children one still living, supported on her private means born Rushall Wilts.
13. Isabella Frances L Fenn: Reply to Edward H T Liveing with Fenn family details, 29 Nov 1920, Boscombe HAM.
21 Westby Rd
I am afraid you have applied to a very hopeless person about dates et cet as my memory is shocking, particularly about dates. My one excuse is that I am 78, but I will answer what I can, 1st I never heard of the old Harwich Bible & I don't think G' Mother Fenn could ever have had it, I knew my father had not & I never saw it at Uncle Roberts.
I was living with him at his death when we cleared his house, grandmother Fenn lived at The Cottage Nayland (where you were born) the last few years of her life & is buried in Nayland churchyard.
Now for my brothers and sisters.
Annie Vanderzee born 1841 married George Hand RN
George Edward Basil
Frederick Harold (dead)
Margaret Rosa Catherine
Admiral Hand died a few years ago.
Isabella Francis Louisa born 1842 married Digby Coates (priest died 1878) 1874. Child Dorothy Eleanor Digby born 1877.
Edward Liveing born 1843 married Catherine Julius in 1872 second wife Edith Todd.
Walden Robert (dead)
By 2nd wife
Edward Gerald Palmer (dead killed in late war)
Three other children by his 1st wife died in infancy
Catherine Maria married Herbert Alan Giles 1871 Catherine died at Pagoda Island China 1882
All married, 4 other children died of Catherine's, three in infancy.
Theodore George Fenn R.N. Died 1889, married Margaret Playford.
Lucy Vanderzee married Dr N Hopkins 1877.
Lewis (killed in late war)
Ernest Harrold born 1850 married Bertha A Jobson
Ernest Harrold died 1916.
My sister Lucy is buried in the cemetery at Nayland, I can't give you any dates as I have nothing to refer to here. When I broke up my home 3 years ago, I burnt over 40 years of diaries (mine), which would have been a great help now & a cuttings book I started some years ago containing many family events is I imagine in the warehouse where I stored other belongings. I am sorry my memory is so bad, what I wonder your uncle is, I am very glad to hear he is well.
You know Katie Ingram I think? I heard from her today that she and her mother are staying in Bournemouth so I hope to see them soon.
If I have the chance of giving you more dates presently I will write again.
I don't think it is any use referring you to my sister Annie for since her severe illness nearly a year ago she has become very feeble, before that she had a much better memory for past events and I have.
Your affectionate cousin.
Isabella F L Coates
14. Isabella Frances L Fenn: Reply to Edward H T Liveing with Fenn family details, 4 Dec 1920, Boscombe HAM.
Liveing Archive. 20042020
21 Westby Rd
My sister-in-law at Alston Court has the family Bible which uncle Henry Liveing gave father and mother at their wedding, I know I used to enter all our births in it. Ask Edith Fenn when you go to Nayland to show it to you \endash perhaps it would be as well to send her a postcard before hand, so that you can see it even if she was out when you called. How well I remember your love for mending locks and cleaning watches when you were quite small. Mother was the only one who trusted you to take her watch, but then it never went right any time. I have the casket you mentioned with Abraham in the costume of Charles I \endash great-grandmother Liveing's washerwoman gave it to her and said the money in it was from her grandson's Robert and Thomas Fenn.
I also remember how you and my nephew and nieces loved the story of my falling out of the window at Camberwell1 when grandmother Fenn lived there. Annie has sent me the dates of her children's births if they are of any use. Basil 1870 Harold 1874 George 1880 Margaret 1883 Henry 1885. Kate2 was a favourite with all boys she was so strong and good-tempered she used to go shooting with the boys carrying their game sparrows pidgeons etc etc and lie up in damp ditches for the pidgeons coming home to roost.
1. This probably refers to the home of Isabella's Uncle Robert Fenn in Camberwell where the family of Thomas & Maria Fenn often visited.
2. This refers to Catherine Maria Fenn, see her notes where her husband Herbert refers to her visiting her Uncles home.
15. Isabella Fenn: Letter to Edward H T Liveing about Capt Robert Fenn her Grandfather, 25 Aug 1922, Bournemouth DOR.
248a-b Isabella D Cotes 6, to Edward H T Liveing 445 25th Aug 1922, Page 1 of 2
25 August 1922.
I am going to ask you a favour and hope you will grant it, and that is not to tell Adria Fenn1 about the doings of her great grandfather, curiosity would interest her and I expect she would like to tell the tit-bits to her half-brothers etc.
I think the poor black sheep after all these years might be left in peace, when I think of the loyalty of my Grand Mother, father, and Uncle Robert who never mentioned him to us. I knew he was a fast man2, but am afraid hard-drinking was a very common vice a century or so ago3 - you must remember you only knew of him from letters which were not meant for our eyes4, and I feel sorry your father did not burn them. I am sure my brother Edward5 would have felt with me and much preferred that his children should not be told about the poor man and that we ought to be as loyal as our ancestors. The family has not inherited his vices, I am sure my father and Uncle were the best of sons and it has always been a pleasure
to me to remember that just before my mother died she said to me "none of my boys have ever given me a moment's anxiety".
My father had always the greatest affection and admiration for your Grandfather and all his family, who were always held up as models to us when we were children and we never hated them for it! But I think continued the admiration.
When I was staying with Uncle Henry6 at Tansor on my return from India he told me that my grandfather was a handsome and fast man, but that was all, and that my grandmother was a great fidget7 which I knew to have been the case, it was her nature and we all have our weak points.
I am the only old person left in our family now, and I felt I must write.
I am very glad to hear such a good account of your Uncle George8, he really is a wonder! Did you ever get over to Nayland to find out the things you wanted to know? I hope the old family Bible is Safe I wrote to Charlie9 about it. My memory gets worse and worse. I hope your wife as well, I saw her once at I.G.S. Adria seems to have enjoyed her day with you both very much we are staying here till the end of next month and then hope to return to our old rooms for the winter.
21 Westby Road
Yr affect Cousin
Isabella D Cotes
Don't tell Adria I have written to you about the poor black sheep
1. Adria Fenn was Isabella's niece
2. A man or woman who is quick to engage in sexual activities. (The Urban Dictionary 2017)
3. The Age of Scandal
4. Letters by Harriet Liveing Snr discovered in the 1880's, in a secret desk drawer.
5. Dr Edward Liveing Fenn
6. Rev Henry Thomas Liveing Rector of Tansor Northants.
7. Make small movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience.
8. Professor George Downing Liveing.
9. Dr Charles Edward Fenn.
16. Isabella F L Fenn: Letter to her Nephew Harold L Fenn, 11 Oct 1926, 78 Harbour Tce Fowey Cornwall.
Written on 3 sides of 3 sheets of heavy letter paper.
78 Harbour Terrace
11 October 1926
My dear Harry
I was very pleased to get your letter on July 29 and to know you have a cousin living with you, much more cheerful than being alone with only servants and I am glad he is a good worker. I think it was splendid of you to give a dance, but am sorry you have had a bad epidemic amongst your dogs but hope the very valuable one has recovered. You dreaded blindness for the poor animal.
Dolly is away for a few weeks and I have a very nice Miss Park to keep me company and do my shopping and everything I want whilst she is away, I was wanting Dolly to have a change she had been having so much headache, but seems to be enjoying her change very much, she stayed with me and the Arthur Ingrams at Boscombe at Trisk(?) then went to her club in London and did various matinees and went to Richmond and saw Aunt Ada the Todd's, & Rugge-Prices etc then went to the Cotes Reedys and Gerrards Cross they took her to see the Lawrences at Iverna Heath, their eldest girl Esbeth is now married out in China to a Mr Norman in the Yorkshire Regiment who has unexpectedly been ordered home so the marriage has been hurried on Esbeth was staying with Bertram, I think she is only in her teens and not at all good looking the last time I saw her and wears spectacles. Mabel's elder boy has been entered at Trinity Cambridge and Dolly says he is a regular Giles only has red hair. I expect Dolly back next week Miss Park is a great church worker at Streatham but does not know Charlie or Ella I like her very much she is a great friend of a friend of mine in this place.
12th. Tom Fenn is in England now in a nursing home near London Lucy writes to me and she and Dick have been to see him and she says he is much better in every way except that his speech has not yet thoroughly recovered I can only think that he has had a kind of stroke Lucy and Dick are very good to their brothers & Josephine, his wife and two children are in Brighton and she does not seem to trouble herself much, Tom has always been such a good husband and father the I hope he will get well again Lucy means to have him to stay with her as soon as he can be moved - the East Grinstead Sisters may send Josephine to one of their schools to teach in South Africa this winter. I was very glad to see the Mater and Adria in June for a week the last time I heard from the Mater she had had the Archbishop and Ada to stay a few days with her they were in good spirits and he mended some of her clocks and watches for her! but left her to preach the following Sunday at Richmond.
Well dear Harry I feel I must only say goodbye for this time my hand and head gets tired too soon
From your loving aunt
Isabella A Cotes
Isabella married Rev Digby Henry COTES  [MRIN: 5], son of Rev Digby Henry COTES  and Georgihannah GALE , on 27 Jan 1874 in St Matthais Church Richmond Surrey. (Rev Digby Henry COTES  was born on 22 Jan 1847 in Hammersmith LND, baptised on 18 Mar 1847 in St Pauls Hammersmith LND, died on 10 Jul 1878 in Kurrachee Sindh India and was buried on 11 Jul 1878 in Kurrachee Sindh India.)