See also

Samuel BISHOP (1831?- )

Name: Samuel BISHOP
Sex: Male
Father: Joseph BISHOP (bef1791-1865)
Mother: Charlotte PHILLIPS ( - )

Individual Events and Attributes

Birth 1831 (cal) St Lukes, Middlesex

Individual Note

My Uncle Samuel's Book Slate


Uncle Samuel was much younger and much sharper than his sister. He did not like his school and remembered that piety was much esteemed at home. So he wrote the following letter in pencil upon a little book-slate.


My dear Mama

I wish very much to stay away from school because Mr. [name blurred] does not set before my eyes the fear of God; and if I do know a letter and have the fear of God before me I know as much as any man in the world, and if I know as much as any man I the world and have not the fear of God I am the worst of rebels.

Now Mamma do take me away from school or else I am lost. Nobody cares about my soul. Now Mamma if you do then shall I have the fear of God and love and obey my parents. Do not put it off until tomorrow. Now! Now is the day of salvation.

I remain Mamma

Your dutiful son

Samuel Bishop

Sept 4th 1839


A remarkable letter for a young child - not much more than 7 years old to write. But it answered. He was taken away from school.1


1Ellen Agnes Kimpton, "Mary Ann Bishop's account of her Father and Family".
Text From Source: Flysheet

Family Traditions

Being short
Tales told by
My Mother
About her
Father Mr
Joseph Bishop
of Goswell St
his family and friends.

M. S.

[The initials I take to be those of Grandmother Tringham (Marion Still).
See note at end of "Family Tree.]


Little Joseph Bishop must have been a pretty boy, ruddy-cheeked, bright-eyed and robust of limb, running about the lanes & working in the fields about Packington, Warwickshire, or Lord Aylesford's daughters walking demurely with their governess through these same lanes and fields would not so often have dropped behind a little, slyly pop a parcel of cake or school-room goodies into the hedge; then slyly signal to the little fellow and walk on again demurely.

The governess safely out of sight the cake was found and eaten.

And that is the first tale I remember my dear Mother [Mary Ann Kimpton] telling us about our Grandfather.
Of course he came to London when a lad and being shrewd and quick-witted soon got employment in the East India House. Also he quickly got a sweetheart, a Miss Charlotte Phillips. And they must have married early because he was only 27 years old when my Mother, his third child was born.
The letter announcing this event, dated January 10th 1819, is very brown and nearly dropping to pieces. It seems strange that a fine baby, whom they thought of calling "Mary", should be our dear and aged Mother. This is a photograph of the

[At this point there is a photo of the letter pasted into the manuscript; it is scarcely legible]

Old letter and can be deciphered by the aid of a reading glass.

The Christening

After all, the new baby was christened Mary Ann at St. Andrews Church Holborn. Now why my Grandfather should have scruples about standing Godfather to his little daughter just as the service began I never heard. But at the last moment he would not be sponsor; so a sea captain (Captain Davis?) who had accidentally strolled in - a perfect stranger - offered to stand for the child. Which he did. And for years afterwards he kept up a friendship with the family. A blue china basin which he brought from Bengal for his God-child, is now in my sister Emily's possession.

Little Elizabeth

The first thing my Mother remembered was seeing her Mother holding up her apron and dancing to amuse the baby Elizabeth. And afterwards taking a powder-puff & rouging the baby's face because she was too pale. This "rouge" was probably the powdered rose-pink that was used in the rinsing water for white silk stockings. And my grandmother wore white, silk stockings and sandaled shoes for best. A pretty, dark, dressy, smart little woman my Mother always described her.

Early Struggles

My dear Mother had much to tell of her father and Mother's young days when they worked hard, lived frugally and laid the foundation of a comfortable fortune. They took it in turns to go to Church on a Sunday morning and Mother was always delighted to stay at home and help her father stir the puddings! After they had both admired from the front door, her Mother, trim and smart, setting off to church with the younger children.

I have the shawl - moth-eaten rather badly - a fine cashmere, in which my Grandmother was married. It was a present from Lady Neave.

Uncle William

My Uncle William Bishop must have been an energetic child that his father found him at times rude and tiresome. He danced on the ice in the water-butt outside the back door, while his little sister Mary Ann looked on admiringly, until the ice broke and he fell in and was nearly drowned.

However his grandparents were very fond of the sturdy plucky little boy and did not like to part with him when it was decided he must come to London and be educated. The little Londoners played practical jokes upon him first and sent him to the school-mater to say "Please sir, I've made a beefsteak in my copy book". For which he was caned, with the retort: "Then there's some pepper and salt as well".

Mr. Moses Keans

Another occasion upon which Grandfather impulsively altered his mind at the last moment occurred over the signing of Mr. Moses Keans' will. Mrs. Keans was Grandfather's Aunt - a good kind soul who had married a most eccentric man. He made a will leaving everything he possessed to my Mother and asked her father to witness it. Grandfather wrote "Joseph", then stopped and said the will was unjust to Mr. Keans' own relatives.
"Well", said Mr. Keans stubbornly "What I have written I have [written] and shall write no more".
And Grandfather said: "What I have written I have written and shall write no more".

And so at Mr. Keans' death the will was found to have only the name "Joseph" as the attesting witness. But the old gentleman - he was 90 - had so wasted his estate in lawsuits - that he had nothing to leave, except as his brother sent word, "an old pair of bellows". Hardly a valuable asset. At the time of the will-making he was well-to-do.

One brother Mr. Isaac [Michael?] Keans was a market gardener who made a large fortune over a new strawberry called "Keans' seedling". About 20 years ago the Scotch gardener at Merivale Hall, Warwickshire, told me that the gardening books showed that they paid £1 each for plants of Keans' seedlings. The strawberry fortune went to a grandson named Warren and I believe the Warrens are now people of some importance in Isleworth.

By Coach to Birmingham

Somewhere about 1826 Grandfather went by coach to Birmingham - there was no railroad - and all the children went to the coach office to see him off.
"Oh Father" said the little Mary Ann "Do take me with you. I did have clean clothes on this morning".
Her father laughed. "Go home and tell your Mother that I have taken Mary Ann with me", said he to the other children. And so my Mother went to Birmingham by coach and thence to Packington with no luggage at all and wearing her school frock of lilac print and a lilac sun-bonnet. And the other children went home to tell their horrified Mother who packed up a carpet-bag of clothes, including a little green silk frock & sent it on to Packington.

Now whether my great-grandmother Bishop really enjoyed hearing my Mother repeat that long dreary poem Thompson's "Seasons" from beginning to end I can't say. But repeat it the child did to her father's delight. And at seven years old it was a remarkable performance.

Aunt Hannah

Aunt Hannah was lame from the effects of a fall when a child but it never affected her spirits; being always described as very lively. One anecdote told of her when about 14 is certainly lively enough: She thought it ridiculous that her brother William would wear a night-cap. And every night she tip-toed into his room and twitched the night-cap off when he had gone to sleep. But one night her brother stuffed his boots into the cap & laid it on his pillow. Then he crawled under the bed-clothes and waited.

His sister came as usual in the dark and pulled the nightcap off - and her brother's head as well apparently. Then she raised the house with her shrieks. It was only a practical joke; but Aunt Hannah was ill through fright and Uncle William, as usual, got caned. Really it was hard on him. Later on her health failed and she went as parlour boarder to a school at Margate kept by a Miss Green. Her letter to her sister Mary Ann at this time is full of praise of Miss Green, her piety and learning etc. This is a photograph of her letter dated Sept. 29th 1836

[Here is another small photo pasted in; too small to decipher]

The original is very faded & the writing faint.

Here is another nice letter sent, with a most magnificent doll to her little sister Emily.
The letter is undated but probably written in 1838 as the doll was a present on her 5th birthday.

"My dear little Emily
I have sent you this pretty doll, which I hope you will be careful of, and often [?] it nicely. I hope you would be a good little girl until I come home and believe Hannah loves you truly."

The doll's clothes were as beautifully made as any baby's. It was the delight of our childish lives when we stayed at Holloway 20 years after. I believe that it is still in existence.

The Press Gang

All the time that my Grandfather was at the East India House my Grandmother dreaded that the Press-Gang would seize him as he came home at night. He was a fine broad-shouldered young man and his Majesty's navy sorely needed able-bodied sea-men. The Press Gang were not squeamish in their methods either.

Stoke Newington

After a time Grandfather's business in Goswell St. kept him fully employed; and the family went to live in a little house at Stoke Newington. My Grandmother's health failed and it was thought purer air and Asses Milk (then the fashionable remedy) might restore her.

The Donkey's Visit

A donkey and foal were kept somewhere at the back. One day visitors were expected today, and much thin bread and butter was cut in readiness and laid out on the kitchen table. The invited visitors came but there was nothing for them to eat. The donkey had found her way into the kitchen - and helped by her foal - had eaten up all the bread and butter & cakes.

But no care could save my Grandmother. The care of her numerous babies - fourteen of them - and grief for the loss of many of them tried her heavily. When she died there remained alive only William, Hannah, Mary Ann, Joseph, Ellen, Samuel, Emily.

[2 silhouettes pasted at this point]

Mr Daniel Bishop

My Great -grandfather had died under strange circumstances. He was a brewer and a heavily built man. There was some dissatisfaction because the men were not allowed to take the grains away. And it is thought that one of them bore a grudge against him, and sawed a ladder nearly asunder while he was at work in the loft early in the morning. My great-grandfather was found dead at the foot of the broken ladder - his neck was broken.

The New Mother

And now a new influence came into their lives. It began with Aunt Hannah's affectionate admiration of Miss Green. Naturally enough a warm-hearted home-loving man like Grandfather was attracted by her description. And equally naturally thought that such a kind clever, pious woman would make an excellent Mother for his young children. So he married Miss Green. And here follows a tale that my own children loved to hear.
"Do tell us how you made a pin-cushion and ran away Grandma." They would say. And my dear Mother would tell them how she made that pin-cushion!

The Pincushion

Uncle William and Aunt Hannah talked seriously to my mother who resented the idea of any other woman taking her own mother's place.
Said Uncle William: Their father was a good man and a good father and it behoved them as the eldest in the family to set the younger children a good example. And they must receive the new step-mother as their father's wife should be received.

So my dear mother with her passionate love for her father and her strong sense of duty had that house in Minerva Terrace cleaned and made beautiful. And she made a pincushion of state for the bride's dressing table. It was of white satin set with tiny pins to form the word "Welcome". And she welcomed her father and his new wife really well. Alas! At tea-time the step-mother put her hand caressingly upon Grandfather's arm and called him "My dear". My mother could not stand it. She ran upstairs, put on her bonnet and went to Goswell St., where the housekeeper, Mrs. Smart, made a home for her for 6 months.

Then Aunt Hannah's illness becoming acute, Mother went home again and tried hard to like her step-mother - and half succeeded. But the prim orderly house with its display of religion in season always jarred upon her.

My Uncle Samuel's Book Slate

Uncle Samuel was much younger and much sharper than his sister. He did not like his school and remembered that piety was much esteemed at home. So he wrote the following letter in pencil upon a little book-slate.

My dear Mama
I wish very much to stay away from school because Mr. [name blurred] does not set before my eyes the fear of God; and if I do know a letter and have the fear of God before me I know as much as any man in the world, and if I know as much as any man I the world and have not the fear of God I am the worst of rebels.
Now Mamma do take me away from school or else I am lost. Nobody cares about my soul. Now Mamma if you do then shall I have the fear of God and love and obey my parents. Do not put it off until tomorrow. Now! Now is the day of salvation.
I remain Mamma
Your dutiful son
Samuel Bishop
Sept 4th 1839

A remarkable letter for a young child - not much more than 7 years old to write. But it answered. He was taken away from school.

Grandmamma Bishop (not Grandmother) had founded herself upon Mrs. Hannah More. Was in fact very much like Hannah More. I always had a great affection and respect for her. But she was very pious.

Mrs. Richard Kimpton

In 1844 another disturbing influence came into my Mother's life. Not a step-mother this time, but a good looking impetuous lover. Mr. Richard Frederick Kimpton. My father. He certainly had not founded himself upon Hannah More. Not at all. And so began for my Mother that long, noble and arduous life, so recently laid down that I cannot write about it; although I hope some day to worthily write the life of a noble woman.

Grandfather's Dream

My Mother always said that her father was the best man in the world. But underlying his shrewd practical good sense was a curious vein of superstition. He dreamed once that he saw a poplar tree grow tall and strong. Presently the branches fell off one by one - then the tree fell. And from the ground where it had stood sprang a small tree. Grandfather asked an Angel who stood by, what it all meant?
Said the Angel: "The tree is yourself; the branches are your children & the young tree your descendants". He always thought that he should outlive all his children; and my Mother thought that he would.

Another time when Mother was ailing - long after she was married - Grandfather came in the early dawn to see how she was. A tap, tapping on his bed-room wall had awakened him in the night & feeling persuaded that it was some mysterious call from my Mother he dressed & went out.

A Coming of Age Letter

Here is another letter written to Aunt Emily on her 21st birthday.

Jany 28th 1854

My Dear Girl

It is through the goodness and Mercy of God to you and to me, that I have been spared till this time to congratulate you upon your 21st birthday.
May the Lord bless you & keep you and grant you many happy returns of the day.
And now my dear Girl I give you this as a motto:
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths". May you bear it in mind. And now my dear girl with this you will receive a little gold watch, with a very pretty back but it was not bought because of your dream for I had it laid by for you for a long time before you dreamed about it. Now my dear girl I know that you have it much on your mind about receiving some such present,
But I would advise that you think nothing more of it than as a little mechanical toy instrument to remind you of time. For gold at best is but sordid dross. So I hope that you will not make a display of it by wearing it outside your dress. And with this I wish you many happy returns of the day from your ever affcte. Father

J. Bishop

I am afraid that watch was worn outside. As it was stolen a little time afterwards when Aunt Emily wore it to chapel. (Mr. Sukins?)

Grandfather's Letter to Me

45 Goswell St
Oct 30th 1858.

My Dear Girl
I received your very kind letter yesterday with your many kind wishes for many happy returns of my birthday. I thanks you my dear girl for the letter it is very nicely written.
And I thank you and Lizzie & Emily for the very pretty book marker, as it seems to be a gift from all three. I am very pleased to accept it and send you my love and many kisses from
Your Affectionate
J. Bishop

To Miss Ellen Kimpton - A last letter from Lowestoft

35 Marine Parade
July 10th 1865

My Dear Girl
I thought I should have seen you before I came away. I wanted to see you to tell you to take the children to Holloway to gather some of the fruit there is lots of it. Let the children go if you do not. How do you get on about the house at Holborn & how is dear Fred getting on. This is a very nice place and I do hope that it will do me good, but I have been very sadly since I have been here till to-day. This afternoon we had a heavy thunderstorm. My kind regards to Richard. Mother joins me in kind love to you all from
Your Affectionate Father
J. Bishop

[pencil note added … to Mrs Kimpton]

It has given me so much pleasure recalling and writing these stories that I cannot help hoping they will prove interesting

Ellen A Still

Feb 26th 1906


Two anecdotes have just reached me:

Grandfather told his girls that it was all very fine their giving him presents - all bought with his money. So they said they would give him no more presents. Aunt Ellen was the first to relent and bought her father a tobacco box with which he seemed pleased & scratched on the underneath "Smallest contributions thankfully received J.B."

Grandfather promised Aunt Ellen £5 if she ever finished a piece of work. She began plenty and finished none. She was too conscientious to work a kettle holder or hem a pocket-handkerchief, but resolved to work something worth a £5 reward. So she began a knitted counterpane. Of course it never got finished!

A Family Tree

[A family tree has been drawn in. It is in the form of a mature tree; with Daniel Bishop at the base of the trunk and four generations of his descendants "growing" up. Ellen Agnes's children Eleanor, Dora and Marion plus three others un-named (presumably as they had died earlier) appear as leaves half way up and on the left of the canopy. I think that I can see Uncle Alan Hill, son of Ellen Agnes's sister Annie. The title is in Ellen Agnes's hand, but the artist has put her initials on - M S - which I take to be those of Marion Maud Still. This seems plausible as the main part of the account is dated February 1906 at which time Grandmother Tringham was still single (she was to marry in September 1906, exactly 7 months later.]


[There follows a page with 6 portraits in silhouette (or shadow portraits) each about 5cm high and between 2 and 5 cm wide. What are pasted in the book are apparently photos of the originals. Four are named, viz.: Grandmama, Aunt Hannah, Uncle Samuel and Aunt Emily, but two have only question marks beside them. The writing is Ellen Agnes's so either she did not know whose silhouettes they were or the passage of some 60 years had caused her to forget what her mother had told her.]

These shadow portraits were cut out of white paper & stitched on to black paper. They were life size. Date about 1841. They were in a compartment of an old square work-table that had once belonged to Grandmama.

Transcription and notes in italics by Roger Tringham - grandson of Marion Maud Tringham (nee Still).
This was apparently an account made by Mary Ann Kimpton (nee Bishop) of her reminiscences of her father and family, that was written down by her daughter Ellen Agnes Still (nee Kimpton).
The whole was transcribed by her Grandaughter, Marion Still, and this was in turn transcribed by Marion's grandson, Roger Tringham.
A copy of this was given by him to me, Graham Hoadly, and I have appended the relevant tales to the persons they concern.
The original account is dated February 26th1906.
Roger Tringham, Hallow, Worcestershire.