NameReginald John Graham [14], GG Grandfather
Birth30 Dec 1822
Death22 Jun 1897
FatherJohn Graham (1794-1879)
MotherCaroline Eleanor Curteis (1797-1863)
Birth1838, Vizagapalam, Madras, India [16], [17]
Death10 Aug 1918 [16]
Marriage30 Apr 1856
ChildrenThomas (vii) Henry Boileau (1857-1937)
 Caroline Eleanor (1860-1863)
 Mary Paulina Caroline (1862-1931)
 Violet (1865-)
 Ellen Octavia (ca1866-1955)
 Nona Evelyn (1868->1901)
 Georgina Decima (1870->1901)
 John Davenport (1871-1931)
 Estelle Alice (1872-1897)
 Olivia (1877-)
Notes for Reginald John Graham
of Edmond Castle, Cumberland, and of The Elms, Eastbourne, Sussex. J.P. and D.L. for Sussex, and J.P. Cumberland. Lineage in Burke’s Landed Gentry [14]. Educated at Harrow and Trin. Coll. Camb. M.A. Inherited the title from his uncle, who had no issue.

Reginald wrote a book “Eastbourne Recollections” [20] that I hoped would contain a lot of personal information, so I bought it in 2009. It doesn’t, and was an enormous disappointment. Pigs to him. Still, here is what it says:


My family for some centuries has resided at Edmond Castle, in the County of Cumberland.

An extensive footnote reads: The Grahams of Cumberland. In the reign of Henry IV., John Graham of Kilbride, second son of Malise, Earl of Menteith, taking offence at some fancied affront at the Court of King Robert II. seceded from the Scottish Clan of Graham, and with many of his kinsmen retreated to the Wilds of the “Debateable Land”, where they increased and multiplied till they filled the country side.

Malise, Earl of Menteith, was a grandson of Sir Patrick Graham, of Dundaff, who is the common ancestor of the Border Grahams and the noble house of Montrose. He was descended on his mother’s side from King Robert I. of Scotland.

Among the representatives of the Cumberland Grahams at the present day are four English Baronets, viz:
Sir Robert James Stuart Graham of Esk.
Sir Reginald Graham, of Norton Conyers.
Sir Richard James Graham, of Netherby.
Sir Lumley Graham, of Kirkstall.

I have lived at Eastbourne the greater part of my life, and have witnessed many changes of men and manners. So I begin my simple narrative by telling how I came to be here, and by a brief notice of the earlier inhabitants of this largely developed place.

My grandfather, Thomas Graham, of Edmond Castle, married the daughter and heiress of Mr. John Davenport, the owner of a considerable estate in the parish of Battersea, including all the North side of Clapham Common which lies in Battersea. Mr. Davenport built a mansion adjoining the picturesque waste about the year 1780, and after his death and that of my grandfather in 1813, Mrs. Graham, my grandmother, as a widow, resided at The Hall till her death in 1844, when that property passed to my father. My great-grand-parents attained respectively the ages of 89 and 91, while my grandfather died at the comparatively early age of 60, in 1813. His eldest son (my uncle) succeeded to the large estates in Northumberland and Cumberland before he came of age, and held them till he was 87, when I succeeded him in 1881, my father having died in 1879.

My grandmother, Mrs. Graham, in the summer used to take her family to the sea side at the quiet village of Eastbourne, and thus became intimate with the Curteis family at Windmill Hill Place, Mr. Curteis being then the representative in Parliament of the undivided County. The result was that my father took one of the Miss Curteis’s to wife, and, to use the expression of Mr. Weller, I “was the consequence of the manoeuvre”. About the time of his marriage my father became possessed of property at Eastbourne, and for many years of his life it was his habit to spend one half of the year at Eastbourne and the other half at The Hall, at Clapham. He was a Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Sussex. I was not actually born there, but, to use an Irish mode of speaking, I am a native in all respects except being born there.


The monument in Hayton Church [16] of Reginald John Graham shows a beautiful rendition of a joint coat-of-arms, with the left half the Graham three escallops in chief, and on the left the three towers and crescent of the Boileau de Castelnau. I reproduce the photo in my wee piece on the Grahams. But I’m puzzled by the use of the three escallops in chief like this. That’s just the standard Graham arms and didn’t (I thought) apply to the Grahams of Edmond Castle. Puzzling.

Personally, I suspect that the “official” arms of the Grahams of Edmond Castle (in Burke’s Landed Gentry) were invented; possibly copied directly from the arms of the Baronetcy which lasted only a few generations in a side branch before dying out (according to Burke the arms of the Baronetcy were identical to those of the Grahams of Edmond Castle). Thus, I suspect that the only arms ever used by the non-Baronet line were the usual three scallops. There is no evidence that any other arms were ever used. However, the tower as a crest was used as more specific identification; I have an old silver christening mug from the Grahams of Edmond Castle, and this has the tower on it. I also have an old gold signet ring from them, with the tower on it.

Beneath the arms [MMC] [16] reads:
“In loving memory of Reginald John Graham of Edmond Castle, in this parish, and of The Elms, Eastbourne, Sussex, a Justice of the Peace for the County of Cumberland, and a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Sussex, who died June 22nd, 1897, aged 74 years.
And Ellen Leah, his wife, daughter of Thomas E.J. Boileau, A Judge in the Honourable East India Company’s Service at Madras, who died August 10th 1918, aged 80 years. Both lie here.”
Notes for Ellen Leah (Spouse 1)
With the entry of the Boileaus into the family tree, a huge amount of information becomes available. The Boileaus (once you go back a few generations) were a Huguenot family, nobility from the south of France, intermarrying with other French noble families. Ellen’s pedigree can be traced in great detail in the pages of the sources shown here. However, her connection to the Boileau de Castelnau relies entirely on two family documents: [RBB], [13] copied by her granddaughter, Catherine Charity Graham Sneyd; and [BBB] [15], which I obtained from another Boileau descendant, Vincent O’Grady. I have so far found that these family documents are consistent with each other, and agree in most respects with Lart [18] and Chesnaye-Desbois [19], so I believe them to be accurate.

Some memories from Anne (descendant of Henry Davenport Graham):
“The Grahams, I don’t know how many of them, but certainly the two elder boys used to go down to Eastbourne during the summer. They rented a house which had a wall between it and the house next to it, which is where Ellen Boileau, aged ?15 lived. I think it was a case of WHOOPEE-------- Boys!!  Anyway she kept bobbing up over the garden wall and duly got to know them. I gather she was a persistent little madam, and eventually landed one. Quite a girl, she probably ran rings round the gentle Graham boys. I don’t know at what time of her life, but she took her daily carriage exercise (pony and trap) driving around the 20 odd miles of paths round the estate.  Equally I don’t know when she decided to take to her bed, from where  she ruled the roost. All this I had from my weekly chats with Aunt Iona when all we could do was remenisce , or rather she could, and I listened, fascinated.Her far memory was very clear, and there were so many gems.”

What a wonderful family story.
Last Modified 11 Jun 2010Created 11 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh