A small silver Mug for one of the owners of St. John’s Wood, London.
A mid-Victorian silver small Mug in the early 18th century manner, London 1850, by Sebastien Crespel. The Mug is engraved on the front with script initials, ‘HSE‘, and, in a cruder hand under the base with a crest for the family of Eyre and ‘Harry S. Eyre from Col. Eyre 1850‘ and ‘HSW Eyre 1877.’ The Eyre family were owners of, and developers of, St. John’s Wood, now one of the more desirable areas of London within which to live.
Accodring to ‘Wiltshire Notes and Queries’, ‘Henry Samuel Eyre, who being settled in London in 1732, purchased of Philip Dormer, Earl of Chesterfield, an estate of about 500 acres, called St. John’s Wood, in the immediate neighbourhood of the Metropolis ; at this time its pastoral character was undisturbed, and its value said to be ^1,200 a year. The Marylebone Terminus of the Great Central Railway was built on forty acres of the estate, for which the Eyre family received a large sum of money, fixed by arbitration. Henry Samuel Eyre m. Mary Hervey, widow of [- ] Houblon, a merchant of the City of London, and d. s.p. in 1754, leaving the St. John’s Wood estate to his nephew, Walpole Eyre of Burnham, youngest son of his brother, Kingsmill.’ A descendant [and there were ‘Henry Samuel Eyre’s’ in each generation], was: ‘The Rev. Henry Samuel Eyre who succeeded his cousin George John Eyre as Lord of the Manor of St. John’s Wood in 1883. He was born 15th June 1816, and became Vicar of St. Mary’s, Newington, from 1863- to 1870, and Vicar of All Saints’, St. John’s Wood, from 1870 to 1887. He died 26th July 1890, and was buried at Old Hendon Churchyard, Middlesex. He had married and had issue as follows : Henry Samuel Eyre, of St. John’s Wood and Mead House, Crowborough, Sussex, who married Margaret, daughter of Benjamin Lloyd, of Maentwrog, North Wales, and their eldest son, Henry Samuel Walpole Eyre, was born 16th May 1872.’ An uncle of the Rev. Henry Samuel Eyre was ‘Henry Samuel Eyre, of St. John’s Wood, born on 26th August 1770, who became a Colonel in the Guards Regiments, and died unmarried on 6th March 1851.’
A website devoted to St. John’s Wood Memories has the following taken from a manuscript in the Westminster Archives:
‘Mary Richardson Eyre [died 1922] was the daughter of Reverend Henry Samuel Eyre, vicar of All Saints, Finchley Road. She lived at 23 St John’s Wood Park from 1872 – 1884 and loathed it. ‘To this day this road gives me the shivers and I never go through it if I can possibly avoid doing so –it is so dull, so damp and so overgrown with trees’, she wrote in 1904. The house was comfortable but outside it was a ‘patchy stucco abomination like so many in this locality.’ Despite having loving parents – her dear father was a ‘perfect gentleman and always too kind’ and her mother took enormous pains with the ‘small ugly garden and made it into a perfect bower of flowers’ – she was never happy there, nor at the next house she lived in when they moved to 35 Finchley Road. This was a nicer house with a bigger garden but there was ‘literally noone in St John’s Wood for us to associate with- the Society, such as it was, being impossible’. She remembered ‘foggy dark winter days in ugly St John’s Wood.’
Having married the curate of her father’s church she first lived at 7 Marlborough Hill, which was entirely furnished by Maple, and then moved to 28 Marlborough Hill, which had four sitting rooms but when they gave a party, ‘we provided very good music but the St John’s Woodites talked so much, one could not hear a single note of it’. When the new railway company put the railway line through the centre of the parish, this was directly opposite her house in Marlborough Hill and resulted in even fewer residents worth talking to – ‘All the other people on the other side of Marlborough Hill left en masse and for two years we had houses full of navvies for neighbours.’
Moreover, the house was not well built. ‘We woke one morning to find that daylight was showing through the walls in Patrick’s dressing room and study. Both these rooms were built off from one end of our little domicile. Patrick at once sent for a builder, who came and propped it up, telling us the only thing to be done was to pull that part down and rebuild it, and that the whole of the house must be underpinned. We had taken it on a repairing lease, and our landlord would do nothing.‘
Height – 8.40 cm.; Width – 10.60 cm.; Depth – 7.40 cm.; Weight – 222.90 gms.