The following information comes from my grandfather's (Claud Leonard Broun) writings:
"My father, Claud Brown, was the third son [of John Wyld Brown and Mary Mackellar] and had been born at Woolamoolo (?) near Sydney, in 1850. The family settled down in London at Lancaster Gate, and my father went to school in Highgate, and then to Wadham College, Oxford, where he read Theology, and after a course at St John's College, Highbury, was ordained deacon in Lent 1874 and priest in Advent the same year. In the following year he married Marion Janet Wyld, George Wyld's eldest child.
"The result of migration to London however was that my grandparents ultimately conformed to the Church of England.
"Both my mother and father were devoutly religious. I have a copy of the Vulgate given to my father in 1864, when he was fourteen, a proof of the bent of his mind already at that age. He held several assistant-curacies, including one at St Leonard's, Hythe to which church he afterwards gave a marble reredos, depicting the entombment of our Lord, in memory of my mother.
"After over three and a half years of happy married life, my mother died, a fortnight after my birth.
"I was born in Harmondsworth in Middlesex, where my father was then assistant curate, on July 31st, 1879, and baptised by him on August 20th. My own life was nearly cut short in infancy by whooping-cough, through which I was nursed by my mother's mother and my great-aunt Margaret MacKellar. My father's parents both died I believe in the year of my birth."
And from an earlier set of writings:
"The family were Presbyterian and my father was brought up on the Shorter Catechism. He was a religious boy and knew his Catechism well but he used to manage always to get stumped by the last question to avoid being put onto the Longer Catechism! In London the family conformed to the Church of England, and my father after being educated at Highgate, Wadham College Oxford and St John's College Highbury, was ordained both Deacon and Priest in the Church of England in 1874.
"Next year he married his cousin, Marion Wyld.. ..
"I was born on July 31st 1879; my mother died a fortnight later; and I was baptized on August 20th. My father was curate in Harmondsworth in Middlesex at the time; but previously he had been at Much Wenlock in Shropshire, and at Hythe in Kent. I was named Leonard after the Patron Saint of Hythe, and the reredos there is a memorial to my mother. Shortly after, my father became curate of St James' Newlands in West London, where he stayed five years; he taught me the rudiments of cricket (of which he was very fond) in Kensington Gardens; my other recollections include watching for a large flag to be run up in Notting Hill to tell us by its colour the winners of the Boat Race, and sailing a yacht on the Round Pond. My schooldays began at a Kindergarten quite near to our home in Holland Park Gardens.
"In 1887 my father accepted the living of Verwood and West Moors, in Dorset but marching with the New Forest, where he maintained 3 Churches and 3 Schools almost entirely out of his own pocket, besides building a new Chancel and Vicarage at Verwood, and a new stone Church and School with houses for the Curate and Schoolmaster at West Moors. I was sent away to a Boarding School in May 1887 at Clevedon in Somerset, and moved to the Preparatory School of St Andrews College Bradfield in Berkshire after Christmas, owing to an outbreak of scarlet fever, and thereafter in May 1890 to Stoke House near Slough to be prepared for an entrance scholarship at Winchester which I gained in July 1892."
My father tells me that regarding Claud Brown's love of cricket: when old and blind he had to be read out the complete scores of all first-class cricket from the Times daily, a job given to his granddaughter Marion much against her will!
At the time of his marriage to Marion Janet Wyld in 1875, he was living in Much Wenlock in Shropshire. However, the marriage took place in London.
I found a reference to Claud Brown at http://www.st-michael.org.uk/vicars.html:
Rev. Claud Brown, M.A., Wadham College
Oxford - vicar 1887 - 1917 at St Michael's, Verwood, described as "a small
Anglican parish a few miles north of Bournemouth and Poole in the county of
Dorset on the south coast of England."
"A book could be written about the Rev. Claud Brown and his impact on the village. In brief, he was a man of substantial private means, and had a powerful personality. Many gifts to the church and improvements were made during his incumbency.
"He also began a nursing service in Verwood, and provided a wheelchair in which those unable to walk could be pushed by relatives to visit the doctor in Cranborne. This was an innovation which would scarcely be appreciated today, but for which the then sick of the village and their relatives must have been most grateful.
"For a short while, West Moors was also in the Parish of Verwood, and Claud Brown built the church there, and one at Three Legged Cross. Two curates assisted him in looking after these churches, travelling around the parish by bicycle.
"At this time, the road to Three Legged Cross ran by way of St. Michael's Road to Crab Orchard, through Manor Farm. There were three gates across the road, and it is told that the farmer, who could be very awkward, used to lock the middle gate on occasions, causing the maximum annoyance to travellers from either end.
"Claud Brown built a fine Vicarage, now demolished, but which stood on the site of the present day Montrose flats, giving Vicarage Road its name. The coach house and stables in Copse Road have now been converted into dwellings.
"There used to be a windmill in the gardens to pump water, and one parishioner recalled that it was her Sunday treat to be taken by her parents to watch it going round.
"According to the custom, his staff had to appear in church in their Sunday best, maids in bonnets. Boys and girls were expected to bow or curtsey on meeting the vicar and his wife.
"Although he kept a coach and horses, these were never used on a Sunday, and often he would walk three times a day to Three Legged Cross to take the service there. He was instrumental in getting the bridge at Potterne built after his carriage overturned in the ford then there. His concern seems to have been more for his coachman, Samuel Parker, licencee of the Albion, than himself."
My name is Alasdair Broun and I was born and brought up in Scotland, son of a clergyman and a freelance journalist. I took up genealogy as a hobby when I was 17 and I went on to write a PhD thesis in philosophical psychology ... more >
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