Desborough Family

Henry Desborough whose daughter Georgiana married Edward Man

Henry Desborough whose sister Georgiana married Edward Man

Three members of the Desborough family married three members of the Man family. In 1806 Georgiana Desborough, the daughter of Henry Desborough (of the Post Office) and Louisa Luther, married Edward Man.

In 1853 one of the sons of that marriage, James Lawrence Man, married his first cousin Ann Desborough and another son Edward Desborough Man married his first cousin Louisa Mary Harris whose mother was Louisa Ayton Desborough, Georgiana’s sister. Below are Lawrence Desborough and Ann Bryne, the grandparents of Georgiana and her sister Louisa Ayton and great grandparents of Ann Desborough and Louisa Mary Harris. The relationship between the Man and the Desborough families over several generations has been diagrammed here (<— one page PDF)

To view a diagram of how the Man and Desborough families have inter-married along with others such as Holworthy, Kirkness, Matthews and Webber click here (<— one page PDF). At the point when Louisa Ayton Desborough marries John Webber Harris (parents of Louisa Mary Harris), royal blood (somewhat diluted) begins to pour through the Man/Desborough veins. To view the descent from Edward III down to Edward MacPherson Man (Ed) please see the very end of this page. To read a description of the retirement dinner held for Henry Desborough of the Atlas Insurance Company (brother of Georgiana) (three pages in PDF) click here. To read Henry’s testimony before the House of Commons Select Committee on Postage click here. A genealogy of the Desborough family has been prepared and can be accessed here. (<— PDF). Also, there are two Desborough marriages to Rendalls. In 1854 John Rendall married Fanny Desborough and in 1887 Gerald Rendall married Ellen Desborough.

anne byrne desborough

Ann (Byrne) Desborough

Lawrence Desborough (1725 – 1799) Anne Bryne Desborough (1732 – 1794) Henry Desborough of the Atlas Assurance Co. and brother of Georgiana who married Edward Man.

Ann Desborough, who married James Lawrence Man, had a brother John Desborough who had a very successful military career during the Boxer Rebellion, details of which will be forthcoming. Ann and John’s father was Henry Desborough of the Atlas Assurance Company (above right); he was the brother of Georgiana who married Edward Man. John Desborough was not the only successful military man in the family, much earlier in the 17th century a John Disbrowe rose to the rank of general in the parliamentarian forces during the English civil war. He married Oliver Cromwell’s sister Jane Cromwell. It was this John Disbrowe who advised Oliver not too accept the crown when parliament offered it to him. A listing of births, marriages, and deaths appearing in the Gentleman’s Magazine starting in 1816 and covering the names of Desborough, Disbrowe, etc. can be viewed here. A transcription of a letter from Sophia Kellner to Henry Desborough (in PDF) can be read here. Abstracts of letters to Sir Robert Peel, etc. can be read here.

An aunt of Georgiana (Desborough) Man’s, Fanny Desborough, married on 1 October 1870 John Henry Stewart. One of their children, Frances Emelia Stewart married Sir Augustus Brydges Henniker and they had a daughter Frances Elizabeth Henniker who married Charles Robert Bree whose two main claims to fame was a book on birds not found in the British Isles and his attacks on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution which he published as ‘An Exposition of Fallacies in the Hypotheses of Charles Darwin‘.

Lawrence Desborough

Lawrence Desborough

Will of Henry Desborough, Will of Louisa Ann Desborough, Will of Charles Desborough (<– PDF)

Desborough Albums: 1. Small contact sheets and 2. Large contact sheets. These have been divided up to make access easier:  Small contact sheets pages 1- 4; Small contact sheets pages 5 – 8Large contact sheets pages 1 – 4; Large contact sheets pages 5 – 8Large contact sheets pages 9 – 12Large contact sheets pages 13 – 16.

The Royal Descent from Edward III to Ed Man*

Edward III = Phillipa of Hainault > Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence = Elizabeth de Burgh > Phillipa Plantagenet of Clarence = Edmund de Mortimer > Roger de Mortimer = Eleanor Holand > Lady Anne de Mortimer = Richard Earl of Cambridge > Richard Duke of York (Father of Richard III) = Cecily Neville > Lady Anne Plantagenet (sister of Richard III) = Sir Thomas Saint Leger > Ann Saint Leger = George Manners > Thomas Manners = Eleanor Paston > Frances Manners = Henry Neville (6th Lord of Abergavenny) > Lady Mary Neville = Thomas Fane > Francis Fane = Mary Mildmay > Robert Fane = Dorothy Sedley > Elizabeth Fane = Lewis Incledon > Henry Incledon = Susanah Chichester > John Incledon = Elizabeth Northcote > Mary Incledon = Philip Rogers Webber > Mary Webber = John Harris > John Webber Harris = Louisa Ayton Desborough > Mary Louisa Harris = Edward Desborough Man > James Henry Man = Sarah Francis Huntley > Edward MacPherson Man = Alberta Coad > Edward MacPherson Man jnr. (Ed)

* based upon the book The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal Being a Complete Table of all the Descendants now living of Edward III, King of England by The Marquis of Ruvigny and Raineval.

Desborough , Disbrow, Disborowe, etc Mentions in the Gentleman’s Magazine 1800 – 1836.

  • 1800 Aug 7 Marriage At Elslworth, Co. Cambridge, Charles Bedford, esq., Procter of Doctors Commons to Miss Desborough of Huntingdon.
  • 1802 Aug 29 Death At Peterborough, the wife of Lieut-col. Desborough of the Royal Marines.
  • 1803 Dec 17 Marriage At Portsmouth, Lieut-col. Desborough of the Royal Marines to Miss Vivion.
  • 1805 Oct 1 Death In Billiter-square, George Desborough, esq. agent-victualler to his Majesty’s fleets on the Leeward Island station.
  • 1806 Sept 8 Birth At Chatham, the wife of Lieut.-col. Desborough of the Royal Marines, a son.
  • 1806 Dec 13 Marriage Edward Man, esq. of Harp-lane, Tower Street, to Georgiana, youngest daughter of Henry Desborough esq. of the Post-Office.
  • 1806 Elected – New Windsor – Edward Disbrowe.
  • 1807 Oct (Lately) Birth At Chatham, the wife of Colonel Desborough of the Royal Marines.
  • 1808 Oct Mr Nield’s ‘Remarks on Huntingdon Gaol’ – Surgeon, Mr. Desborough.
  • 1810 (suppl.) Lately (Around June) Wm. Desborugh esq. of Hemingford, one of the aldermen of Huntingdon
  • 1817 Feb Death Aug 30 1816 At Calcutta, Charles Desborough, Esq. of the East India Company’s Medical Establishment.
  • Appearing in Feb 1817 is this notice: Aug 30 1816 At Calcutta, Charles Desborough, Esq. of the East India Company’s Medical Establishment.
  • Oct 5 1819 Marriage – Maj.-General Sir Herbert Taylor to Charlotte Albina daughter of the late Edw. Disbrowe, Esq.
  • 1820 Oct Marriage lately Joseph Henry S. Carrad esq. of the Canton of Vaud , Switzerland to Miss Louisa Disbrow, daughter of the late Bishop of Down and Connor.
  • 1821 July 12 Marriage Laurence Desborough of Furnival’s Inn, to Frances dau. of Edw. Hughes esq. of Shrewsbury
  • 1822 Dec 22 Birth In King Street Mrs. Henry Desborough, a son.
  • 1825 April Lieut. Col. G. Disbrowe Grenadier Guards to Louisa, dau of Lord Kilmaine.
  • 1825 Aug Death … At Canterbury, aged 66, Lieut-Col. Desborough of Royal MArines
  • 1826 June Death Lately at Bambourg France age 21 Catherine, eldest dau. of the late Lieut.-General Desborough.
  • 1829 Aug 11 Death at Clapham aged 74 Henry Desborough esq. late Clerk of the North Road General Post Office.
  • 1831 Oct 2 Death At Southgate the wife of Henry Desborough Esq. Actuary at the Atlas Assurance Company
  • 1832 Feb. Death Lately in Chester St., Grosvenor Place, Charlotte Catherine Vere, dau. of Lieut.-Col. Disbrowe, Grenadier Guards.
  • 1833 Jan 26 Death at Brighton, aged 13, Susan 2nd dau. of Henry Desborough esq. of Southgate.
  • 1834 May 12 Marriage At All Saints Southampton, H. Desborough, esq. to Mary, dau. of late Lieut. Gen. Desborough.
  • 1834 Nov 25 1834 Death At Carlsruhe [Germany] Albina, second dau. of Sir Edward C. Disbrowe, G.C.H. of Walton-hall, Derbyshire, Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Stockholm.
  • 1836 Marriage Aug 4 At Sunning-hill, The Rev. J. W. Geldart LLD Regius Professor of Civil Law at Cambridge, to Mary Rachel dau. of the late W. Desborough of Henningford Grey.
  • 1838 Deaths At Clapham, aged 76, Louisa Ann, widow of Henry Desborough, esq., formerly Clerk of the North-road General Post Office.


The following is based on various sources including Sir Leslie Stephen’s entry in the first edition of the DNB.

Samuel Disbrowe

Samuel Dsibrowe

Samuel Desborough [Disbrowe] (1619-1690), was born at Eltisley, Cambidgeshire, in November 1619, and was obliged to retire to America on account of his religion. He arrived at New Haven in July 1639 aboard a ship of about 350 tons, and in August he helped negotiate the purchase from the Indians the tract of land comprising the present town of Guilford, the contract being formally made on 26 Aug (the deed dated 30 Sept., 1639) thus becoming one of the early settlers of Guilford, Connecticut, in 1641. These papers and a map made by the Indians of the territory sold and of the adjoining coast, are still preserved in the Massachusetts historical society in Boston. During his time in the colonies Samuel became first magistrate of Guilford, and filled other high offices with disntction. The first settlers of Guilford came to New England when the hold of the Dissenters was broken from the mother country, so that they settled as an independent republic. Their constitution is on record in the handwriting of Samuel Disbrowe. This document is complete in all its parts, providing for executive, legislative, and judiciary departments, the order of its courts, manner of holding its meetings, etc. When Desborough left Guildford his property was purchased by Dr. Bryan Rossiter and on returning home in the autumn of 1650 he sought employment under the Commonwealth.In 1652 he was acting as a commissioner at Leith in Scotland. On 4 May 1655 he was appointed by Cromwell one of the nine commissioners for Scotland, and was made keeper of the great seal of Scotland on 16 Sept. 1657, an office in which he was continued by Richard Cromwell. He represented Midlothian in the parliament of 1656, and Edinburgh in that of 1658-9. Upon the prospect of the Restoration of the monarchy (Charles II) he prudently embraced the declaration of Breda, and signed his submission, in the presence of Monck, on 21 May 1660. He obtained a full pardon, with restitution of goods and lands, on the following 12 Dec. After this he retired to his seat at Elsworth, Cambridgeshire, which, with the manor and rectory, he had purchased in 1656. He died there on 10 Dec. 1690. He was twice married: first, to Dorothy, daughter of Henry Whitfield of Ockley, Surrey, the first minister of Guilford, Conneticut. By her, who died in 1654, he had a daughter Sarah, born in March 1649, and a son James, a doctor of medicine. The son married, on 9 March 1678-9, Abigail, daughter of John Marsh of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, and had a daughter Elizabeth, who became the wife of Matthew Holworthy, only son of Sir Matthew Holworthy, knight, of Great Palgrave, Norfolk. James died at his house in Stepney Causeway about the same time as his father, for his will, dated on 26 Nov. 1690, was proved on 14 Jan. 1690-1. Desborough married for the second time in 1655 Rose Hobson, who had previously been married, first to a Mr. Lacey, and secondly to Samuel Penoyer, merchant and citizen of London. She died on 4 March 1698-9, aged 82. His brother John was a general under Oliver Cromwell and he married Cromwell’s sister, Joan.

Below ‘Gyant Desborough’ [John] holding a large club leads a ‘Meek Knight’ (Oliver Cromwell’s son Richard) followed by General Lambert; an illustration from the frontispiece of the book ‘A comical history of Don Juan Lamberto’.

John Desborough

John Desborough

[Below Benjamin West’s portrayal of Oliver Cromwell dissolving the Long Parliament. Cromwell’s brother-in-law Major General John Disbrowe is supposedly the figure at the table on the left facing Cromwell. A detailed biography of John and some of his family can be found in ‘Memoirs of the Protectoral House of Cromwell.’ ]

Cromwell Dissolving the Long Parliament Benjamin West


The will of Charles Desborough can be read here < — in PDF.

Transcription of the Will of Henry Desborough, 1827

This   is   the   last   Will  and    Testament

of me Henry Desborough of Clapham in the County of Surrey, Esquire. I give and bequeath to my dear wife Louisa Ann Desborough the sum of two hundred pounds of lawful English moneys and to my daughter Georgiana the wife of Edward Man, Esquire, the sum of fifty pounds of like money, such legacies to be paid free of legacy duty as soon as convenient after my decease.  I give and bequeath to my said wife all my household furniture, plate, linen, china, wearing apparel, books, pictures, wines and other liquors for her own absolute use and benefit.  All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever (after payment of my just debts, funeral expenses and testamentary expenses which I desire may be discharged as soon as possible after my decease) I give, devise and bequeath unto my sons Henry Desborough the Younger of the Atlas Assurance Office, London, Esquire, and Laurence Desborough of List Lane, London, Gentleman, their heirs, executors and administrators. Upon the special trusts and confidences hereinafter mentioned, that is to say, upon trust as soon as conveniently may be after my decease to sell and dispose of such part of my said trust property and  in such manner as they shall think proper for the best price and prices that can be gotten for the same and to collect and receive all debts due and owing to me and to convert the whole of my said residuary estate into money. And upon further trusts (after payment of my debts) to lay out and invest the same in their own names or in the names of my trustees for the time being in or upon some of the pubic stocks or funds of Great Britain or some other Government or civil securities at interest and to alter, vary and transpose such stocks, funds and securities from time to time as my said trustees or trustee for the time being shall think fit. And then upon trust to stand possessed of and interested in my said trust property. In trust to pay to or otherwise permit my said dear wife and her assigns to receive the whole of the dividends, interest and annual product thereof for her and their own absolute use and benefit during her life. And from and immediately after the decease of my said wife or my own decease in case I should survive her I direct that my trustees shall stand possessed of and interested in my said residuary estate and the stocks, funds and securities whereon the same may be invested and laid out and the principal, interest and other product thereof from time to time when and as the same may become due and be receivable to my daughter Louisa Ayton, the wife of John Webber Harris of Clapham aforesaid , Esquire, and her assigns for and during her natural life and for her own use and benefit independent of her present or any future husband whom she may happen to marry and so as not to be liable to his debts, engagements or controul and for which the receipt and receipts of my said daughter and her assigns only shall be good and sufficient discharge and discharges to my said trustees.  And from and after the decease of my said daughter Louisa Ayton Harris in trust to pay, apply and divide the said sum of five hundred pounds and the stocks, funds and securities thereof into and among such issue of the body of my said daughter lawfully begotten as may happen to be living at he time of her decease in equal proportions qwith benefit of survivorship between them to be paid to such issue when he, she or they shall attain their age or ages of twenty one years and in the meantime the dividends, interest and product thereof to be applied to and for his, her and their maintenance, education and advancement in the World.  But in case said daughter Louisa Ayton Harris shall die without issue or such issue shall die before the said bequest shall be payable or divisable then the said sum of five hundred pounds and the securities whereon the same shall be placed and all accumulations thereof shall sink into and become part of the residue of my said trust property.  And as to all the rest, residue and remainder of my said trust property I hereby direct that my said trustees or trustee for the tim being of this my Will shall from time to time when and as the same shall …. and become recoverable stand possessed thereof and interested therein in trust for my said sons Henry and Laurence and my said daughters Louisa Ayton Harris and Georgiana Man in equal proportions the share and shares of my said sonsbe paid to them as soon as the …. of the case will permit and the share and shares of each of my said daughters invested, paid, applied and disposed of and to be subject to the same contingencies and benefit of survivorship as I have hereinbefore directed with respect to the bequest of the sum of five hundred pounds for the benefit of  my said daughter Louisa Ayton Harris and her issue and in case of their failure to to her brothers and sisters so far as the difference in the names and circumstances of the parties will permit.  And I hereby direct that that the receipt or receipts of my said trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will shall be a good and sufficient discharge to the purchaser or purchasers of the whole or any part of my said trust property for so much money as in such receipt or receipts shall be mentioned to be received.  And such purchaser or purchasers shall not be bound  to see to the application of his or their purchase money or be answerable or accountable for the misapplication or nonapplication thereof or of any part thereof.  And I  do hereby further direct and appoint that in case my said trustees hereby appointed or either of them or any new or other trustees or trustee to be appointed under this present power shall depart his life or be desirous of being discharged from or shall become incapable of acting in the trusts aforesaid then a new trustee or new trustees shall be chosen and appointed in his or their stead by the surviving or continuing trustee or his personal representative – – and my said trust property shall be conveyed and assigned. appointed trustees or trustee so as to vest the same in him or their as effectually as in the surviving and continuing or original trustees or trustee of this my Will and upon the trusts hereinbefore by me declared respecting the same.  Provided always and I do hereby declare that my said trustees shall not be answerable for oath other but oath for himself and his acts and defaults only and that they shall respectively be accountable only for such losses as my said trust property may sustain in consequence of their or his wilful neglect or default.  And also that they shall be at liberty to retain and allow out of my said trust property all necessary expenses attending the execution of the trust hereby in them.  And whereas I have advanced and lent to my sons Henry and Laurence divers sums of money, now I do hereby direct that the payment thereof by them respectively shall not be rquired until two years after the death of my said wife provided that my said sons shall pay interest on the amounts due from them respectively to my said wife during her life and after her death to the party or parties intitled under this my Will to a distributive proportions of my said residuary estate. And I appoint my sons Henry and Laurence

Executors of this my Will  and hereby revoking all former Wills and Codicils by me heretofore made I do publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament contained in four sheets of paper set my hand and seal, that is to say, my hand to the first three sheets thereof and my hand and seal to this fourth and last sheet this tenth day of September one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven. – H. Desborough (seal) – Signed, Sealed, published and declared by the said Henry Desborough the testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and at his request have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses – S. Humphry No. 7 Peckham Grove, Surrey –  S. J. Pickering No. 2 Tower Royal, Watting Street – Edmund Barlow No. 1Goswell Terrace, Goswell Road.

Proved at London 3rd October 1820 before the Worshipful John Danbury, Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oaths of Henry Desborough and Laurence Desborough the sons, the executors to whom administration was granted having been first sworn duly to administer.

Transcription of the Will of Louisa Ann Desborough, 1830.

I Louisa Ann Desborough
of Clapham in the County of Surrey, Widow, do make this my last Will and Testament. After payment of my debts I leave various articles of Plate & to my Children to be divided & the remainder sold. I leave to my Son Henry & in case of his death to his heirs & Executors the Leasehold Estate in Limerick which was bequeathed to my late Husband & to myself by Mr. Eavis Ninbus, late of Bideford in Devon & as …. in his Will. I leave to my Sister Sophia Elizabeth Kellner should she survive me the sum of Two hundred pounds, but in case she dies before me I then leave to her Daughters & my Nieces Sophia Kellner & ffanny Kellner the sum of One hundred pounds each & to my Nephews George Kellner and John Kellner the sum of ten pounds each. As to the rest and residue of my property of whatsoever kind or nature I leave to be equally divided among my Sons and Daughters share and share alike, but in case of the death of any of them then the share of each Son and Daughter so dying to be appropriated and applied to the use & benefit of any Child or Children surviving in equal proportions share and share alike. I hereby constitute my Sons Henry & Laurence Executors of this my Will.

I Louisa Ann Desborough leave my Plate, Pictures and Books to be divided as follows: To my Son Henry, Neal’s History of Westminster Abbey, 2 Vol.; Bible containing ages of the ffamily; Common Prayer Book by Baskmiller; History of Josephas; Miniture of father by Kirkpatrick;  of …. Desborough;  and of his Grandfather and Grandmother; Profiles of  … and … Desborough; Portraits of George the Third & Queen Charlotte; Miniature of myself; and of One Print; Marble Box for his Wife; Plate, Soup Ladle, Wine ffunnell and Marrow Spoon and his father’s Gold Seal, Diamond Ring belongs to my Son Henry being the late Coll. Winbusand willed to my Son by Mrs. Eavis Winbus. To my Son Laurence.

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