Edith Elizabeth Pyne

Edith Elizabeth Pyne

b: 28 SEP 1845
d: 1928
From the James, Pyne, Dixon Family Book, 1977 - the Reminiscences of Edith Elizabeth Chaplin, 1913:
(The paragraphs immediately following are taken from Edith Pyne's accounts of her grandparents and her father - see those accounts for the full text or the file 'James&Pyne&Gregory')

"In this year of 1913, I am setting down such bits of family history as I can remember or have discovered, in accordance with the wishes of some of my younger relatives. My earliest recollections concern themseles with my elder relatives, the oldest of whom, my Grandfather Pyne, was born in 1774, about 139 years ago. It is therefore quite possible that among grandchildren and great-nephews and nieces who may live to grow old, I shall link some to a period of 200 years of which my life would be the middle link."

"I was born in Porchester Place and so were my three elder sisters; the two youngest were born in Crescent Place. Our Grandfather had settled in Burton Crescent upon his own marriage, buying the house No. 21. The Crescent was then quite newly built-on land just outside the Bedford Estate, bordering on nursery gardens where Endsleigh Gardens and Euston Square now stand; the Marylebone Road and its continuation must have been almost a country road. Later, Burton Crescent was renamed after Major Cartwright, the Radical, to whom his admirers put up a monument on which he is recorded as desiring 'vote by ballot' - an unfathomable mystery to us - and Universal Suffrage (read as 'suffering', which seemed a strange desire in so good a man).*
[*No. 21 Cartwright Gardens was bombed during the 1939-45 War: Connaught Hall, belonging to the University of London, is built on the site. A.C.P]."

"Grandfather James, as we called him in distinction from Grandpapa Pyne, was a frequent visitor to our home in Crescent Place. It was a quaint house which had been built by the well-known architect, Burton, for his own residence and had the advantage of a large entrance hall in which we used to play, and a fine well staircase lighted by a large round skylight. Many a delightful ride did one have on the baluster rail of this staircase, which ran continuously in a double sweep from the second to the ground floor, enabling one to get up a most delightful speed. It was a forbidden enjoyment but we constantly availed ourselves of it, and without the least sense of guilt. This house had been bought by my Grandfather, who gave it to my parents, to tempt them back to live near him, from their early house in Porchester Place near Hyde Park."

"I have begun with the JAMES family as they seem to come first my childish memories, but my Father's family, the PYNES, are the more important from the point of view of heredity. Not only do we get our name from them but the main part of our natures. My Mother had a story of how at each new baby she had, our Grandmother would look at its blue eyes with disapproval and ejaculate 'Ugh! Another Pyne'.

Other people however could take a kindlier view of the family. When our Mother took Constance to Bedford College School, the Headmistress, Miss Martin, remarked that she was pleased to have another Pyne in the school and explained that the Pynes were 'never quite like other people'-in a rather complimentary sense. Later, her colleague, Miss Benson, described Constance as 'the Pyniest of the Pynes', also with a favourable meaning. And the expression, 'You Pynes', used by contemporaries implied a sort of family likeness which is the result of a common ancestry. That ancestry was mainly the Pyne ancestry; no doubt we had something from our Mother's side but rather her individual than family qualities, and while we are very much, as a whole, like our Father's sisters, we have very little in com- mon with our Mother's."

"My Father had a talent for friendship seen all through his life and due to the great confidence he inspired. I can often remember people coming to consult him or asking for advice about their affairs. I don't think he enjoyed this, as he was not of a managing disposition or at all anxious to interfere in other people's concerns. But he had the generous disposition which likes to give, whether advice or special information or the loan of his books, even at the risk of not having them returned, which he accepted as he did the other risks of life. I cannot remember ever being taught by him 'to play for safety'. Not but what he took good care of us. I still remember as a tiny child being on the terrace at Somerset House where his office was, to see the last of the old Lord Mayor's processions on the Thames. My Father at that time had a large room to himself in Somerset House opening onto a broad terrace with a balustrade protecting it from the river which flowed immediately below. To let me see the show better, my father lifted me onto the balustrade, where I sat with his arm round me. At a still earlier age, when we used the large front hall at Crescent Place as a frequent playroom, I can recall how we would run up to him when he came home from his office, asking him to give us a pick-a-back and he would let us ride on his shoulders the length of the hall and the long dining room which opened out of it.

Another incident is connected with the earliest strike I can remember; we were going to dinner with our grandmother on Christmas Day but a night of severe toothache left me with a swollen face. Not to deprive me of the treat, however, it was decided I might go safely in a cab, but when evening came all the cabs were out on strike and not one was obtainable. To spare me the disappointment, my Father said I could have a shawl put over my head, and he would carry me round to my grandmother's himself, which he accordingly did."

[To be continued from other sources if possible]
[Letters written to Ayrton when in Australia. He sailed from Glasgow to Brisbane on the Ariel on the 21 November 1992 so these letters are all from 1893]

3 Aubrey Road
January 4th [1893]

My dearest Ayrton

It has seemed very wisht without you at times, otherwise things have been fairly prosperous since you left. Henry really seems to have "caught on" at the chemical laboratory. At the end of the term he did a good bit of overtime work, and Dr Moody let him have the purifying of the silver residue to do, a bit of work which seems to be looked on as a privilege. I shan't get his report, I expect, till after this leaves, so can't tell how he has done his theoretical work, except that he got full marks every time for his lecture notes, except once -- that time, I think, was before you left.

Ulla has come back this time looking extremely well -- with quite a complexion, what you called the apple-cheeks. Last year; her joy and pride this time is at having set the femur in a child of 4, she did it under the eye of the chief surgeon, and it was going on well. She seems to get a great deal of clinical teaching at Glasgow, and the new boarder at the Wypers -- Miss Buckley -- seems an acquisition. She has again booked us for her theatricals, and we have been helping her with Japanese costumes. She wanted to have something Japanese, and Tina Bell told us of a capital little farce (real Japanese) is a book of that Basil Chamberlain, whom Matty used to know.

Mrs Bell is still in bed, she nearly died soon after you left, but is now picking up a little, very slowly. I have been round to sit with her good bit -- the hard frost, which began on Christmas Day and still lasts, has not been very good for her. We spent our Xmas Day with the Squires, they invited us some three weeks beforehand, and as I knew your Mother would be in Plymouth, I accepted; and we had a pleasant evening with them. Later on, about two or three days before Xmas, Effie invited us too -- but as the trio preferred the Squires’ entertainment, I was glad their invitation came first.

Henry and Audrey went to the dance at the Central, just before the holidays, and also to one at the studio; both simple and inexpensive affairs but which they enjoyed very much. Your Mother also gave us tickets for King Lear, we went there last Saturday afternoon and all enjoyed it extremely. We thought Irving especially good, the best part we had seen him in; I believe he has modified and improved it since you saw him. Miss Terry's Cordelia wasn't much -- but it's a poor character! The two girls are going to the Haymarket tonight to see "Hypatia" and Ulla is now off to call upon the Corbetts. Her Girton friends have been calling on her with praiseworthy fidelity. Beyond that, we have been very quiet. My other Xmas dissipations have been a Xmas tree in Shoreditch where I went to help Miss Zimmerman, and a tea in Bethnal Green, where Miss Gregory had asked me to give the girls their prizes, and "speak a few words" -- they were very few but seemed to give satisfaction, and made the girls laugh. I told them how I had asked my nephews and nieces what I should say, and I gave them the various answers I had received.

I am afraid poor Mrs Gregory is very bad -- she is enormously swollen in the body, a form of ovarian tumour -- a sort of cyst with water in it. They think they may be able to draw some of this off and perhaps operate -- she is going into Guys (I think) for the purpose and I gather from Miss G’s letter, that she accompanies her Mother. Constance and her family are at Friedenheim these holidays and the Ayrtons are also at Eastbourne - in lodgings -- so with your Mother at Plymouth, we have not seen much of our relations, except Harriet. The Henveys however are giving up their house next spring, and have not yet decided where to go; but Harriet wishes to remain in this neighbourhood and so does Isabel.

Alice and John have gone to Ajaccio in Corsica, for the rest of the winter [This might be John Grenfell and his wife Alice neé Pyne]. They came here for two days between leaving John Street and the start; as they have warehoused their furniture and given up their rooms, and it was better for John to spend two days in a house where he could be kept warm, than at an hotel, besides being cheaper. The doctor has at last decided his complaint is chronic laryngitis, and does not seem to think it dangerous to life, but it is tiresome, and he looks very frail and broken. However I don't think it can be anything of cancerous nature or it would have made more progress by this time. Minny Boulter has come to Blenheim Crescent, not far from here -- she is again expecting a baby -- though not for some time. She had a miscarriage a little while back. I can't remember if it was before you left.

5th January: I am enclosing the paper you left with me, and I will send you the other 50£ to the Melbourne Bank in 2 or three weeks time. I must sell out something as the educational half of the chest is empty. I have been to the House Agent about letting this house in the spring, and mean to go to two or three more; if we can get a good let say for six months we may get along comfortably I hope, without drawing on anything but the legacy money and perhaps another hundred pounds or so.

I shall go on writing to P.O. Brisbane till I hear through your letters something more about your movements. John Skinner (who has been very good-natured about writing) tells me you have so far had favourable winds -- we heard of the Ariel - by Ulla asking of the owners -- off "the tail of the bank" -- supposed to be 400 S of Cape Clear. Now goodbye dearest from your loving
EEC


3 Aubrey Road
13th January

Dearest Ayrton

Little has happened since I last wrote. Henry returned to the Central on Wednesday; he got full marks for his examination in chemistry but only poorly (just over one-third marks) in physics. He hadn't enough head juice -- to use Aunt James’s expression -- for so abstract a study as physics; but there is no reason why he should not make a decent living out of the chemistry -- at least as far as I can see.

Ulla went back to Glasgow on Sunday night in excellent spirits -- I will put her letter in with this -- taking a whole boxful of Japanese dresses and properties, for the little play she is to get up next term.

Today I have been out with Audrey and have put the house in the hands of two more house agents -- that makes four. I am trying to let it from Lady day (when Henry's term ends) till the autumn; six months if possible. It would be an advantage both to Ulla and Henry to spend their next holidays in the country. I think Henry's Xmas ones were harmlessly, though not very profitably spent; but they were only for three weeks and as he had worked tolerably I did not bother him in the holidays, but let him do as he pleased. It will be a waste, however, if he spends the next and longer ones in the same way.
The Ayrtons are back in town, and we are going to their "evening" tomorrow, they are going to have them now, every Saturday, and I am hoping I may meet Dr Moody (Henry's teacher) there. Last Sunday Cecile Hartog and her brothers were here to supper, and Ulla was interested to find he knew the brother of her friend and housemate, Miss Buckley.

I wonder how you have stood the voyage, and whether you have enjoyed the protracted state of do-nothingness, like the old woman in the "Don't weep for me now, don't weep for me never." I should dislike the monotony of the voyage myself very much. One or two people have asked me if you have gone out to prospect for the family, but I don't think any of them wish to leave their native shores.

Cassell lately accepted another story of mine, "A ruler of princes," and I have been writing one on a plot which the editor suggested -- rather a stupid one, called "The Purse Pocket book." I don't seem to get much time for writing though perhaps I may be able to do something if Audrey and I retreat into the country in the spring. Alice and John have reached Ajaccio, which she describes has being very beautiful also fairly cheap -- except of course the voyage, which is an expensive one -- and a passage of 14 hours, but you will think nothing of that after your journeyings. I wonder how you are enjoying yourself and what you will think about it all. I have seen very little of the relations except Harriet, who comes & faithfully looks me up. I have also been to some more lectures with Julia and yesterday she and Audrey went to a ball at the Portman Rooms, with Mrs Armitage. They asked me if I knew of any gentlemen to go, so I gave a ticket to W. Still and one to Nugent, who escorted Audrey home. It was what they called a bal poudré, the Ladies being asked to come with powdered hair, so I took Audrey to get hers down at a little shop in the High Street which has been newly opened by a little Frenchman. He was about my height, much shorter than Audrey, and took evidently quite a pleasure in his work -- far too engrossed to chatter, looking at her as if she were picture he were painting. He did paint her in the end, quite unasked, and put on two patches; but we both agreed the paint was no improvement, and she washed it all off as soon as we got home -- her own complexion was much more becoming, but the effect of the powder was rather pretty and 18th-century, and harmonised with her short waisted and simple frock.

I have been reading course of "Minor poets" - Austin Dobson, Dobell, F. Locker etc., one advantage is they are always "in" at the K. Library. I am now going out to post this so goodbye from

Your loving
EEC


3 Aubrey Road
19th January

Dearest Ayrton

Our history remains uneventful and so may it continue! There is every prospect of your finding us upon your return much as we were upon your departure. My chief preoccupation at this moment is the letting of the house, and Audrey and I are concocting certain embellishments to give it a more taking air, especially from the outside -- small art muslin blinds produce a great effect on the exterior, and inside have a slightly stained-glass effect which disguises the ravages of time upon the fair complexion of our wallpaperings. We are now in for a spell of dirty rainy weather, but not cold; during the frost, the gas stove was a great comfort, as during two or three of the worst nights I kept it burning, though turned down low. Also, last week, Audrey got a bad cold -- at the dance, I believe, which I quite cured (there was a severe frost) by keeping her for six and 30 hours in bed, at one temperature. She is back again at the studio after two days absence.

Calderoun’s pupils were very successful at the last Academy competition, ten of them getting their drawings accepted, while all the other schools in the country supplied ten more between them. Audrey finished her composition "a challenge" with the cock in it -- you remember she was talking of it before you left, - but it is not yet been looked at. She is also doing some black and white work at Blackburn's but has done no more painting at home. She does not like that type of work at all.

I put in Ulla’s last letter to me, her communications are sparse but satisfactory. The "curate" she alludes to is the main character in the little Jap. farce I told you about. It will be a very good thing if she does undertake it as I have always been sure she has the capacity for acting if once she could overcome her inertia and shyness. Henry gives you an account of himself; he has done very well in chemistry but poorly in physics, which is too abstract for him, whereas the glorified mud-pieness of chemistry exactly suits. I mean to interview Dr. Moody, who seems very kind, before the Easter holidays and get his opinion about the best course to pursue. During the Xmas holidays I did not urge him to work; Ulla was at home, it was bitterly cold and they only lasted three weeks. But he has a month at Easter which ought not to be wasted -- also both Audrey and I notice that he is far better tempered, and seems happier, when at work than he is in the holidays.

We have not seem much of Ralph; he has taken to playing the clarionet with great zeal and goes for lessons on it. Henry, being unmusical, is therefore out of this. Last week, there turned up a nice-mannered lad, by name Law, to see Henry. He is an old Hardyite and thinking of the Central. There is another boy, Fenwick, with whom he sometimes walks home. Audrey met him at the dance and she says he is a nice boy. Henry tells us there are a much nicer set at the Central than at Finsbury. He is continuing his mathematics with Mr Klugh who tells me he was working fairly well the end of last term. As Mr Klugh’s standard is high, this is as much as one can expect.

Last night I went to a lecture on "Philosophy" at the St. Andrew’s club -- where the London medical girls go -- to hear a lecture from Professor Sidgwick, at Mrs Dowson's invitation. I was not particularly taken with the look of the girls, though I should think they were clever set; but I don't fancy Ulla would have taken to them, and she is far better off at Glasgow, when she can be individualized, rather than in the herd in London. Miss Gregory has been operated on for ovarian tumour, and there seems a prospect of her pulling through though not yet out of danger.

Your loving
EEC


3 Aubrey Road
Campden Hill W.
27th January

Dearest Ayrton

It is rather dreary work to go on writing with never a word in reply, you must expect my letters to become stupider, if they don't become fewer. I begin to feel too as if you might never get them for I dare say you will have left Brisbane and I know how letters get lost when they have to be sent on from place to place.

I have put the house in the hands of five agents to let for the summer, and your mother kindly says that if I succeed, Henry can go to her for next term. I find we were mistaken in supposing he had done so poorly in physics. Will was here last Sunday so I asked him about it, and found that having done no laboratory work, of course he could get no marks for that half of his subject; so that makes his marks very creditable for the remainder of his work. He and Audrey are going to Constance's at five o'clock today, for a lesson in the gavotte. He has much improved in his dancing with all the practice he has had; and not only is it great enjoyment, but a help in polishing his manners.

Ulla’s letter, which I enclose, will tell you of her proceedings. Your mother returned Tuesday evening from Plymouth, all the better for her stay at the seaside. I called on her yesterday morning and she seemed very well and cheerful. In the afternoon I went with Audrey to the new gallery to see Burne Jones’s pictures, which are being exhibited there, and managed to get a cold. It is better today, but I'm keeping in out of prudence, and taking the opportunity to continue my house decorations. Nobody has yet been to look at the house but I wish to have an attractive appearance should anyone appear.

On Wednesday I expected Grace Barney to come here with her father, he to lunch, she to stay till Saturday. Neither of them appeared, and though I wrote early yesterday to ask why, have so far had no answer; he is a very casual sort of person, and nothing he does surprises one. I have had a cheerful letter from Alice, which I enclose, as it may amuse you. I'm writing a new short story called the Phantom forget-me-nots. Cassell has now two stories of mine in his possession. One called a Ruler of Princes, the other "The Purse Pocket book" a very ugly title but it was suggested to me, as well as the plot, by the editor himself, so I thought it wise to make the best of it.

Audrey caught her cold going to the "bal poudré" with Julia, but is pretty well again. There is a Miss Bakewell who went to Calderon’s studio. I don't know if she is any relation to Alice's neighbour. I hope to get some new upper teeth made soon. I forget if I told you that Mr Whitehouse took out two old stumps just before Xmas.

Your loving

EEC



3 Aubrey Road,
Camden Hill W.
10 February

Dearest Ayrton,

You can't think how uncanny it feels to keep on writing with ne'er a word in reply, it is like the trains they kept sending Westward in that weird story "the End of All." I am today sending you 50£ on the bank in Melbourne. I have sold out £100 Queensland, and am keeping £50 for the education expenses. I think I have secured a tenant for our house for six months from Lady Day at three guineas a week. It will be fortunate getting the house taken during the months of August and September and I should feel quite " flush" were it not for a heavy blow -- our drains must be overhauled and put to rights. I have applied to the sanitary inspector from the vestry. Ashdown will do the work and they -- the vestry -- will inspect and certify it. I expect it will quite come to £50. Still, it is impossible to avoid it; and it will be done once for all. We should (from the terms of our lease) have had to do it, in any case, before leaving. So we may as well get the benefit of it ourselves, and shall amply recoup ourselves, either during our 18 years lease, or by charging a premium to our successor, should we want to give up our house. We have found a tenant so easily this time, I think we should have little difficulty another time, but everyone asks about the drains -- are they good? And of course I can't say they are.

I send you on Ulla's letter, which is very satisfactory. Henry is doing well I think in his chemistry, though he wants keeping up to the mark in other subjects. Mr Klugh was here on Saturday. Apparently both Will and Dr Armstrong had been enquiring of him about Henry, as to whether he were getting on in his mathematics and likely to pass next autumn. I think Henry has given satisfaction in his chemistry; and he spends a great deal of extra time in the laboratory. Will says however, that it will be a great advantage to him if he combines engineering with it -- modern chemistry being much bound up with engineering which is wanted to devise apparatus. That seems rational and I urge upon Henry the importance of getting sufficient mathematics to understand the engineering.

I have some idea of going for the holidays at Easter to Dedham, and of writing to Miss Booth (where Grace Barney is) about lodgings. Holroyd will take in letters for me at Lincoln's Inn Fields -- I think I asked you before to address to me there. I have also written to Tabram about the rent having not had any for Christmas. Will you tell him to pay it to me?

Audrey has been working at black-and-white, and decidedly improving. We hope soon to see if Cassell will take a joint production from us; and I have offered the editor of the Ladies' Treasury to expand Victor le Valliant into a serial. She has the plot and two scenes -- now under consideration. I should like to do it during our summer retreat.

Today I'm going to see Helen at Ealing, we are having very mild weather with a good bit of rain, but much less fog and cold than during the last two winters. The proposed tenant is a lady, Miss Whately, daughter of Archdeacon Whatley lately Deceased, and she wants to live near her married sister in Holland Park Terrace.

Miss Zimmerman, the eldest, is trying for one of the new factory inspectorships, and I have been writing letters to two or three people on her behalf. Miss Gwynne of the Kensington Womens' Liberal Association is helping me. I have joined that association -- subscription 2/6 and was rather amused at Miss Gwynne's telling me that she was impressed by my speaking powers at Constance's drawing-room meeting -- I said "A few words" -- very few -- and she thought I should prove a useful member. I fear she will be disappointed!
With much love my dearest,
Your loving
EEC
Mrs Gregory is recovering from her operation.



Freidenheim
Upperton Road
Eastbourne
February 24th

Dearest Ayrton,

I came here on Monday, and the following day Audrey wrote to tell me the house would be uninhabitable for a week, owing to the drain alterations. Harriet has kindly received her, your Mother has taken Henry; I propose extending my visit here till I can go back to Aubrey Road, which may not be till the middle of next week.

I am rather busy on some work for Cassell. He has just send me the proofs of one story, and has accepted another one, so now he has two of mine on hand. Then there is a third, which I have called "Phantom forget-me-nots" -- isn't that sensational! in which he wants a little alteration; but I can't attend to that as I am busy on "Country Sketches." I so much want to write some articles which Audrey can illustrate. That has chiefly sopped up my thoughts since I last wrote to you, and I have so exhausted my ideas that you'll get a very stupid letter.

On Sunday Mr Klugh called -- inter alia -- he said he had recovered from his influenza and could not stop longer at Brighton, he disliked it so much, but I thought him still looking very delicate. Now poor Helen has fallen victim to the complaint and has written Mama a pencil note today from bed. She says she is getting better and that Irene is pretty well again -- Muriel had it before.

It is just three months since you left, and I am hoping soon to hear at least that the Ariel has arrived. I don't know if you have met any ship, or sent any letters, but not a word of news has reached us and the papers don't condescend to notice so small vessel as yours. I am afraid you will have found it very dull all this long time, and have got very sick of your companions even if you have not suffered from any other form of sickness. I wish you had gone out in one of the regular liners, as then by this time we could have heard of you.

You will see by Ulla's letter that she is very comfortable, and so I think are the other two. Mama is very brisk and well, and I think your Mother also is very well, the mild winter and trip to Plymouth having suited her.

Everyone else is much as they were.

Your loving wife,
Edith E Chaplin

Biography
From the James, Pyne, Dixon Family Book, 1977 - the Reminiscences of Edith Elizabeth Chaplin, 1913:
(The paragraphs immediately following are taken from Edith Pyne's accounts of her grandparents and her father - see those accounts for the full text or the file 'James&Pyne&Gregory')

"In this year of 1913, I am setting down such bits of family history as I can remember or have discovered, in accordance with the wishes of some of my younger relatives. My earliest recollections concern themseles with my elder relatives, the oldest of whom, my Grandfather Pyne, was born in 1774, about 139 years ago. It is therefore quite possible that among grandchildren and great-nephews and nieces who may live to grow old, I shall link some to a period of 200 years of which my life would be the middle link."

"I was born in Porchester Place and so were my three elder sisters; the two youngest were born in Crescent Place. Our Grandfather had settled in Burton Crescent upon his own marriage, buying the house No. 21. The Crescent was then quite newly built-on land just outside the Bedford Estate, bordering on nursery gardens where Endsleigh Gardens and Euston Square now stand; the Marylebone Road and its continuation must have been almost a country road. Later, Burton Crescent was renamed after Major Cartwright, the Radical, to whom his admirers put up a monument on which he is recorded as desiring 'vote by ballot' - an unfathomable mystery to us - and Universal Suffrage (read as 'suffering', which seemed a strange desire in so good a man).*
[*No. 21 Cartwright Gardens was bombed during the 1939-45 War: Connaught Hall, belonging to the University of London, is built on the site. A.C.P]."

"Grandfather James, as we called him in distinction from Grandpapa Pyne, was a frequent visitor to our home in Crescent Place. It was a quaint house which had been built by the well-known architect, Burton, for his own residence and had the advantage of a large entrance hall in which we used to play, and a fine well staircase lighted by a large round skylight. Many a delightful ride did one have on the baluster rail of this staircase, which ran continuously in a double sweep from the second to the ground floor, enabling one to get up a most delightful speed. It was a forbidden enjoyment but we constantly availed ourselves of it, and without the least sense of guilt. This house had been bought by my Grandfather, who gave it to my parents, to tempt them back to live near him, from their early house in Porchester Place near Hyde Park."

"I have begun with the JAMES family as they seem to come first my childish memories, but my Father's family, the PYNES, are the more important from the point of view of heredity. Not only do we get our name from them but the main part of our natures. My Mother had a story of how at each new baby she had, our Grandmother would look at its blue eyes with disapproval and ejaculate 'Ugh! Another Pyne'.

Other people however could take a kindlier view of the family. When our Mother took Constance to Bedford College School, the Headmistress, Miss Martin, remarked that she was pleased to have another Pyne in the school and explained that the Pynes were 'never quite like other people'-in a rather complimentary sense. Later, her colleague, Miss Benson, described Constance as 'the Pyniest of the Pynes', also with a favourable meaning. And the expression, 'You Pynes', used by contemporaries implied a sort of family likeness which is the result of a common ancestry. That ancestry was mainly the Pyne ancestry; no doubt we had something from our Mother's side but rather her individual than family qualities, and while we are very much, as a whole, like our Father's sisters, we have very little in com- mon with our Mother's."

"My Father had a talent for friendship seen all through his life and due to the great confidence he inspired. I can often remember people coming to consult him or asking for advice about their affairs. I don't think he enjoyed this, as he was not of a managing disposition or at all anxious to interfere in other people's concerns. But he had the generous disposition which likes to give, whether advice or special information or the loan of his books, even at the risk of not having them returned, which he accepted as he did the other risks of life. I cannot remember ever being taught by him 'to play for safety'. Not but what he took good care of us. I still remember as a tiny child being on the terrace at Somerset House where his office was, to see the last of the old Lord Mayor's processions on the Thames. My Father at that time had a large room to himself in Somerset House opening onto a broad terrace with a balustrade protecting it from the river which flowed immediately below. To let me see the show better, my father lifted me onto the balustrade, where I sat with his arm round me. At a still earlier age, when we used the large front hall at Crescent Place as a frequent playroom, I can recall how we would run up to him when he came home from his office, asking him to give us a pick-a-back and he would let us ride on his shoulders the length of the hall and the long dining room which opened out of it.

Another incident is connected with the earliest strike I can remember; we were going to dinner with our grandmother on Christmas Day but a night of severe toothache left me with a swollen face. Not to deprive me of the treat, however, it was decided I might go safely in a cab, but when evening came all the cabs were out on strike and not one was obtainable. To spare me the disappointment, my Father said I could have a shawl put over my head, and he would carry me round to my grandmother's himself, which he accordingly did."

[To be continued from other sources if possible] [Letters written to Ayrton when in Australia. He sailed from Glasgow to Brisbane on the Ariel on the 21 November 1992 so these letters are all from 1893]

3 Aubrey Road
January 4th [1893]

My dearest Ayrton

It has seemed very wisht without you at times, otherwise things have been fairly prosperous since you left. Henry really seems to have "caught on" at the chemical laboratory. At the end of the term he did a good bit of overtime work, and Dr Moody let him have the purifying of the silver residue to do, a bit of work which seems to be looked on as a privilege. I shan't get his report, I expect, till after this leaves, so can't tell how he has done his theoretical work, except that he got full marks every time for his lecture notes, except once -- that time, I think, was before you left.

Ulla has come back this time looking extremely well -- with quite a complexion, what you called the apple-cheeks. Last year; her joy and pride this time is at having set the femur in a child of 4, she did it under the eye of the chief surgeon, and it was going on well. She seems to get a great deal of clinical teaching at Glasgow, and the new boarder at the Wypers -- Miss Buckley -- seems an acquisition. She has again booked us for her theatricals, and we have been helping her with Japanese costumes. She wanted to have something Japanese, and Tina Bell told us of a capital little farce (real Japanese) is a book of that Basil Chamberlain, whom Matty used to know.

Mrs Bell is still in bed, she nearly died soon after you left, but is now picking up a little, very slowly. I have been round to sit with her good bit -- the hard frost, which began on Christmas Day and still lasts, has not been very good for her. We spent our Xmas Day with the Squires, they invited us some three weeks beforehand, and as I knew your Mother would be in Plymouth, I accepted; and we had a pleasant evening with them. Later on, about two or three days before Xmas, Effie invited us too -- but as the trio preferred the Squires’ entertainment, I was glad their invitation came first.

Henry and Audrey went to the dance at the Central, just before the holidays, and also to one at the studio; both simple and inexpensive affairs but which they enjoyed very much. Your Mother also gave us tickets for King Lear, we went there last Saturday afternoon and all enjoyed it extremely. We thought Irving especially good, the best part we had seen him in; I believe he has modified and improved it since you saw him. Miss Terry's Cordelia wasn't much -- but it's a poor character! The two girls are going to the Haymarket tonight to see "Hypatia" and Ulla is now off to call upon the Corbetts. Her Girton friends have been calling on her with praiseworthy fidelity. Beyond that, we have been very quiet. My other Xmas dissipations have been a Xmas tree in Shoreditch where I went to help Miss Zimmerman, and a tea in Bethnal Green, where Miss Gregory had asked me to give the girls their prizes, and "speak a few words" -- they were very few but seemed to give satisfaction, and made the girls laugh. I told them how I had asked my nephews and nieces what I should say, and I gave them the various answers I had received.

I am afraid poor Mrs Gregory is very bad -- she is enormously swollen in the body, a form of ovarian tumour -- a sort of cyst with water in it. They think they may be able to draw some of this off and perhaps operate -- she is going into Guys (I think) for the purpose and I gather from Miss G’s letter, that she accompanies her Mother. Constance and her family are at Friedenheim these holidays and the Ayrtons are also at Eastbourne - in lodgings -- so with your Mother at Plymouth, we have not seen much of our relations, except Harriet. The Henveys however are giving up their house next spring, and have not yet decided where to go; but Harriet wishes to remain in this neighbourhood and so does Isabel.

Alice and John have gone to Ajaccio in Corsica, for the rest of the winter [This might be John Grenfell and his wife Alice neé Pyne]. They came here for two days between leaving John Street and the start; as they have warehoused their furniture and given up their rooms, and it was better for John to spend two days in a house where he could be kept warm, than at an hotel, besides being cheaper. The doctor has at last decided his complaint is chronic laryngitis, and does not seem to think it dangerous to life, but it is tiresome, and he looks very frail and broken. However I don't think it can be anything of cancerous nature or it would have made more progress by this time. Minny Boulter has come to Blenheim Crescent, not far from here -- she is again expecting a baby -- though not for some time. She had a miscarriage a little while back. I can't remember if it was before you left.

5th January: I am enclosing the paper you left with me, and I will send you the other 50£ to the Melbourne Bank in 2 or three weeks time. I must sell out something as the educational half of the chest is empty. I have been to the House Agent about letting this house in the spring, and mean to go to two or three more; if we can get a good let say for six months we may get along comfortably I hope, without drawing on anything but the legacy money and perhaps another hundred pounds or so.

I shall go on writing to P.O. Brisbane till I hear through your letters something more about your movements. John Skinner (who has been very good-natured about writing) tells me you have so far had favourable winds -- we heard of the Ariel - by Ulla asking of the owners -- off "the tail of the bank" -- supposed to be 400 S of Cape Clear. Now goodbye dearest from your loving
EEC


3 Aubrey Road
13th January

Dearest Ayrton

Little has happened since I last wrote. Henry returned to the Central on Wednesday; he got full marks for his examination in chemistry but only poorly (just over one-third marks) in physics. He hadn't enough head juice -- to use Aunt James’s expression -- for so abstract a study as physics; but there is no reason why he should not make a decent living out of the chemistry -- at least as far as I can see.

Ulla went back to Glasgow on Sunday night in excellent spirits -- I will put her letter in with this -- taking a whole boxful of Japanese dresses and properties, for the little play she is to get up next term.

Today I have been out with Audrey and have put the house in the hands of two more house agents -- that makes four. I am trying to let it from Lady day (when Henry's term ends) till the autumn; six months if possible. It would be an advantage both to Ulla and Henry to spend their next holidays in the country. I think Henry's Xmas ones were harmlessly, though not very profitably spent; but they were only for three weeks and as he had worked tolerably I did not bother him in the holidays, but let him do as he pleased. It will be a waste, however, if he spends the next and longer ones in the same way.
The Ayrtons are back in town, and we are going to their "evening" tomorrow, they are going to have them now, every Saturday, and I am hoping I may meet Dr Moody (Henry's teacher) there. Last Sunday Cecile Hartog and her brothers were here to supper, and Ulla was interested to find he knew the brother of her friend and housemate, Miss Buckley.

I wonder how you have stood the voyage, and whether you have enjoyed the protracted state of do-nothingness, like the old woman in the "Don't weep for me now, don't weep for me never." I should dislike the monotony of the voyage myself very much. One or two people have asked me if you have gone out to prospect for the family, but I don't think any of them wish to leave their native shores.

Cassell lately accepted another story of mine, "A ruler of princes," and I have been writing one on a plot which the editor suggested -- rather a stupid one, called "The Purse Pocket book." I don't seem to get much time for writing though perhaps I may be able to do something if Audrey and I retreat into the country in the spring. Alice and John have reached Ajaccio, which she describes has being very beautiful also fairly cheap -- except of course the voyage, which is an expensive one -- and a passage of 14 hours, but you will think nothing of that after your journeyings. I wonder how you are enjoying yourself and what you will think about it all. I have seen very little of the relations except Harriet, who comes & faithfully looks me up. I have also been to some more lectures with Julia and yesterday she and Audrey went to a ball at the Portman Rooms, with Mrs Armitage. They asked me if I knew of any gentlemen to go, so I gave a ticket to W. Still and one to Nugent, who escorted Audrey home. It was what they called a bal poudré, the Ladies being asked to come with powdered hair, so I took Audrey to get hers down at a little shop in the High Street which has been newly opened by a little Frenchman. He was about my height, much shorter than Audrey, and took evidently quite a pleasure in his work -- far too engrossed to chatter, looking at her as if she were picture he were painting. He did paint her in the end, quite unasked, and put on two patches; but we both agreed the paint was no improvement, and she washed it all off as soon as we got home -- her own complexion was much more becoming, but the effect of the powder was rather pretty and 18th-century, and harmonised with her short waisted and simple frock.

I have been reading course of "Minor poets" - Austin Dobson, Dobell, F. Locker etc., one advantage is they are always "in" at the K. Library. I am now going out to post this so goodbye from

Your loving
EEC


3 Aubrey Road
19th January

Dearest Ayrton

Our history remains uneventful and so may it continue! There is every prospect of your finding us upon your return much as we were upon your departure. My chief preoccupation at this moment is the letting of the house, and Audrey and I are concocting certain embellishments to give it a more taking air, especially from the outside -- small art muslin blinds produce a great effect on the exterior, and inside have a slightly stained-glass effect which disguises the ravages of time upon the fair complexion of our wallpaperings. We are now in for a spell of dirty rainy weather, but not cold; during the frost, the gas stove was a great comfort, as during two or three of the worst nights I kept it burning, though turned down low. Also, last week, Audrey got a bad cold -- at the dance, I believe, which I quite cured (there was a severe frost) by keeping her for six and 30 hours in bed, at one temperature. She is back again at the studio after two days absence.

Calderoun’s pupils were very successful at the last Academy competition, ten of them getting their drawings accepted, while all the other schools in the country supplied ten more between them. Audrey finished her composition "a challenge" with the cock in it -- you remember she was talking of it before you left, - but it is not yet been looked at. She is also doing some black and white work at Blackburn's but has done no more painting at home. She does not like that type of work at all.

I put in Ulla’s last letter to me, her communications are sparse but satisfactory. The "curate" she alludes to is the main character in the little Jap. farce I told you about. It will be a very good thing if she does undertake it as I have always been sure she has the capacity for acting if once she could overcome her inertia and shyness. Henry gives you an account of himself; he has done very well in chemistry but poorly in physics, which is too abstract for him, whereas the glorified mud-pieness of chemistry exactly suits. I mean to interview Dr. Moody, who seems very kind, before the Easter holidays and get his opinion about the best course to pursue. During the Xmas holidays I did not urge him to work; Ulla was at home, it was bitterly cold and they only lasted three weeks. But he has a month at Easter which ought not to be wasted -- also both Audrey and I notice that he is far better tempered, and seems happier, when at work than he is in the holidays.

We have not seem much of Ralph; he has taken to playing the clarionet with great zeal and goes for lessons on it. Henry, being unmusical, is therefore out of this. Last week, there turned up a nice-mannered lad, by name Law, to see Henry. He is an old Hardyite and thinking of the Central. There is another boy, Fenwick, with whom he sometimes walks home. Audrey met him at the dance and she says he is a nice boy. Henry tells us there are a much nicer set at the Central than at Finsbury. He is continuing his mathematics with Mr Klugh who tells me he was working fairly well the end of last term. As Mr Klugh’s standard is high, this is as much as one can expect.

Last night I went to a lecture on "Philosophy" at the St. Andrew’s club -- where the London medical girls go -- to hear a lecture from Professor Sidgwick, at Mrs Dowson's invitation. I was not particularly taken with the look of the girls, though I should think they were clever set; but I don't fancy Ulla would have taken to them, and she is far better off at Glasgow, when she can be individualized, rather than in the herd in London. Miss Gregory has been operated on for ovarian tumour, and there seems a prospect of her pulling through though not yet out of danger.

Your loving
EEC


3 Aubrey Road
Campden Hill W.
27th January

Dearest Ayrton

It is rather dreary work to go on writing with never a word in reply, you must expect my letters to become stupider, if they don't become fewer. I begin to feel too as if you might never get them for I dare say you will have left Brisbane and I know how letters get lost when they have to be sent on from place to place.

I have put the house in the hands of five agents to let for the summer, and your mother kindly says that if I succeed, Henry can go to her for next term. I find we were mistaken in supposing he had done so poorly in physics. Will was here last Sunday so I asked him about it, and found that having done no laboratory work, of course he could get no marks for that half of his subject; so that makes his marks very creditable for the remainder of his work. He and Audrey are going to Constance's at five o'clock today, for a lesson in the gavotte. He has much improved in his dancing with all the practice he has had; and not only is it great enjoyment, but a help in polishing his manners.

Ulla’s letter, which I enclose, will tell you of her proceedings. Your mother returned Tuesday evening from Plymouth, all the better for her stay at the seaside. I called on her yesterday morning and she seemed very well and cheerful. In the afternoon I went with Audrey to the new gallery to see Burne Jones’s pictures, which are being exhibited there, and managed to get a cold. It is better today, but I'm keeping in out of prudence, and taking the opportunity to continue my house decorations. Nobody has yet been to look at the house but I wish to have an attractive appearance should anyone appear.

On Wednesday I expected Grace Barney to come here with her father, he to lunch, she to stay till Saturday. Neither of them appeared, and though I wrote early yesterday to ask why, have so far had no answer; he is a very casual sort of person, and nothing he does surprises one. I have had a cheerful letter from Alice, which I enclose, as it may amuse you. I'm writing a new short story called the Phantom forget-me-nots. Cassell has now two stories of mine in his possession. One called a Ruler of Princes, the other "The Purse Pocket book" a very ugly title but it was suggested to me, as well as the plot, by the editor himself, so I thought it wise to make the best of it.

Audrey caught her cold going to the "bal poudré" with Julia, but is pretty well again. There is a Miss Bakewell who went to Calderon’s studio. I don't know if she is any relation to Alice's neighbour. I hope to get some new upper teeth made soon. I forget if I told you that Mr Whitehouse took out two old stumps just before Xmas.

Your loving

EEC



3 Aubrey Road,
Camden Hill W.
10 February

Dearest Ayrton,

You can't think how uncanny it feels to keep on writing with ne'er a word in reply, it is like the trains they kept sending Westward in that weird story "the End of All." I am today sending you 50£ on the bank in Melbourne. I have sold out £100 Queensland, and am keeping £50 for the education expenses. I think I have secured a tenant for our house for six months from Lady Day at three guineas a week. It will be fortunate getting the house taken during the months of August and September and I should feel quite " flush" were it not for a heavy blow -- our drains must be overhauled and put to rights. I have applied to the sanitary inspector from the vestry. Ashdown will do the work and they -- the vestry -- will inspect and certify it. I expect it will quite come to £50. Still, it is impossible to avoid it; and it will be done once for all. We should (from the terms of our lease) have had to do it, in any case, before leaving. So we may as well get the benefit of it ourselves, and shall amply recoup ourselves, either during our 18 years lease, or by charging a premium to our successor, should we want to give up our house. We have found a tenant so easily this time, I think we should have little difficulty another time, but everyone asks about the drains -- are they good? And of course I can't say they are.

I send you on Ulla's letter, which is very satisfactory. Henry is doing well I think in his chemistry, though he wants keeping up to the mark in other subjects. Mr Klugh was here on Saturday. Apparently both Will and Dr Armstrong had been enquiring of him about Henry, as to whether he were getting on in his mathematics and likely to pass next autumn. I think Henry has given satisfaction in his chemistry; and he spends a great deal of extra time in the laboratory. Will says however, that it will be a great advantage to him if he combines engineering with it -- modern chemistry being much bound up with engineering which is wanted to devise apparatus. That seems rational and I urge upon Henry the importance of getting sufficient mathematics to understand the engineering.

I have some idea of going for the holidays at Easter to Dedham, and of writing to Miss Booth (where Grace Barney is) about lodgings. Holroyd will take in letters for me at Lincoln's Inn Fields -- I think I asked you before to address to me there. I have also written to Tabram about the rent having not had any for Christmas. Will you tell him to pay it to me?

Audrey has been working at black-and-white, and decidedly improving. We hope soon to see if Cassell will take a joint production from us; and I have offered the editor of the Ladies' Treasury to expand Victor le Valliant into a serial. She has the plot and two scenes -- now under consideration. I should like to do it during our summer retreat.

Today I'm going to see Helen at Ealing, we are having very mild weather with a good bit of rain, but much less fog and cold than during the last two winters. The proposed tenant is a lady, Miss Whately, daughter of Archdeacon Whatley lately Deceased, and she wants to live near her married sister in Holland Park Terrace.

Miss Zimmerman, the eldest, is trying for one of the new factory inspectorships, and I have been writing letters to two or three people on her behalf. Miss Gwynne of the Kensington Womens' Liberal Association is helping me. I have joined that association -- subscription 2/6 and was rather amused at Miss Gwynne's telling me that she was impressed by my speaking powers at Constance's drawing-room meeting -- I said "A few words" -- very few -- and she thought I should prove a useful member. I fear she will be disappointed!
With much love my dearest,
Your loving
EEC
Mrs Gregory is recovering from her operation.



Freidenheim
Upperton Road
Eastbourne
February 24th

Dearest Ayrton,

I came here on Monday, and the following day Audrey wrote to tell me the house would be uninhabitable for a week, owing to the drain alterations. Harriet has kindly received her, your Mother has taken Henry; I propose extending my visit here till I can go back to Aubrey Road, which may not be till the middle of next week.

I am rather busy on some work for Cassell. He has just send me the proofs of one story, and has accepted another one, so now he has two of mine on hand. Then there is a third, which I have called "Phantom forget-me-nots" -- isn't that sensational! in which he wants a little alteration; but I can't attend to that as I am busy on "Country Sketches." I so much want to write some articles which Audrey can illustrate. That has chiefly sopped up my thoughts since I last wrote to you, and I have so exhausted my ideas that you'll get a very stupid letter.

On Sunday Mr Klugh called -- inter alia -- he said he had recovered from his influenza and could not stop longer at Brighton, he disliked it so much, but I thought him still looking very delicate. Now poor Helen has fallen victim to the complaint and has written Mama a pencil note today from bed. She says she is getting better and that Irene is pretty well again -- Muriel had it before.

It is just three months since you left, and I am hoping soon to hear at least that the Ariel has arrived. I don't know if you have met any ship, or sent any letters, but not a word of news has reached us and the papers don't condescend to notice so small vessel as yours. I am afraid you will have found it very dull all this long time, and have got very sick of your companions even if you have not suffered from any other form of sickness. I wish you had gone out in one of the regular liners, as then by this time we could have heard of you.

You will see by Ulla's letter that she is very comfortable, and so I think are the other two. Mama is very brisk and well, and I think your Mother also is very well, the mild winter and trip to Plymouth having suited her.

Everyone else is much as they were.

Your loving wife,
Edith E Chaplin

Facts
  • 28 SEP 1845 - Birth - ; Porchester Place, London, Middlesex
  • 1928 - Death -
  • JAN 1872 - Fact -
  • ABT 1882 - Fact -
  • 1885 - Fact -
  • BEF 1893 - Fact -
  • 1913 - Fact -
Ancestors
   
John Pyne
1774 - 1853
 
 
Henry Pyne
2 JAN 1809 - 9 FEB 1885
  
  
  
 
Edith Elizabeth Pyne
28 SEP 1845 - 1928
  
 
  
Thomas James
1780 - 1853
 
 
Harriet James
25 DEC 1819 - 13 MAR 1895
  
  
  
 
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Henry Pyne
Birth2 JAN 1809
Death9 FEB 1885 Woodchester, Gloucestershire
Marriage7 APR 1840to Harriet James at Old Church, St Pancras, London, England
FatherJohn Pyne
MotherHannah White Rawlins
PARENT (F) Harriet James
Birth25 DEC 1819
Death13 MAR 1895 Eastbourne, buried at Woodchester, Gloucestershire
Marriage7 APR 1840to Henry Pyne at Old Church, St Pancras, London, England
FatherThomas James
MotherMary Ann Watkyns
CHILDREN
FEdith Elizabeth Pyne
Birth28 SEP 1845Porchester Place, London, Middlesex
Death1928
Marriage2 JAN 1868to Ayrton Chaplin , Rev
FMary Juliana Pyne
Birth17 FEB 1841
Death1927Little Baddow, Essex, buried Woodham Walter, Essex
FAlice Pyne
Birth21 OCT 1843
Death191718 Merton St. Oxford, buried St. Cross, Oxford
Marriage1869to John Granville Grenfell
FHelen Sophia Pyne
Birth27 MAY 1844
Death1931The Manor House, Stawell
Marriage1865to Edward Frederick Grenfell
Marriage1878to Allen Dowdeswell Graham
FHarriet Pyne
Birth22 AUG 1847Bloomsbury, London.
Death1929Warneford Hospital, Oxford - buried in Ealing Cemetery
MarriageFEB 1866to Frederick Henvey , I.C.S
FConstance Pyne
Birth2 APR 18515 Burton Crescent (Cartwright Gardens) Bloomsbury, London
Death19294 Ladbroke Square, London W11, buried at Kidlington, Oxfordshire
MarriageOCT 1874to Jervoise Athelstane Baines , K.C.S.I. K.C.S.I
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Ayrton Chaplin , Rev
Birth19 OCT 1842Edgbaston, Warwickshire, England (1881 Census)
Death1930
Marriage2 JAN 1868to Edith Elizabeth Pyne
FatherJohn Clarke Chaplin
MotherMatilda Adriana Ayrton
PARENT (F) Edith Elizabeth Pyne
Birth28 SEP 1845Porchester Place, London, Middlesex
Death1928
Marriage2 JAN 1868to Ayrton Chaplin , Rev
FatherHenry Pyne
MotherHarriet James
CHILDREN
FUrsula (Ulla) Chaplin , M.D.
Birth30 NOV 1869Looe, Cornwall
Death1937Pyne Cottage, Little Baddow, Essex
FAdriana (Audrey) Chaplin
Birth26 APR 1872
Death15 DEC 1945Woodham Walter, Essex (at Bassetts, part of which is in Woodham Walter and part in Little Baddow)
MarriageJUN 1895to John Walter (Jack) Gregory , F.R.S., D.Sc. Lond
MHenry Ayrton Chaplin , L.R.C.P. & S.
Birth21 AUG 187618 Kent Terrace, Regent's Park, London, Middlesex, England
Death2 JUL 1905Salaga, Northern Territory, Gold Coast, West Africa
Evidence
[S12758] Ann Gregory (Mendell)'s copy of 'A short account of the Families of Chaplin and Skinner........' with annotations by Ayrton Chaplin & others
[S6271] Matilda Adriana Chaplin's diary, 1872
[S28950] Hertha Ayrton 1854-1923: A Memoir by Evelyn Sharp. Edward Arnold & Co, 1926
Descendancy Chart
Edith Elizabeth Pyne b: 28 SEP 1845 d: 1928
Ayrton Chaplin , Rev b: 19 OCT 1842 d: 1930
Ursula (Ulla) Chaplin , M.D. b: 30 NOV 1869 d: 1937
Adriana (Audrey) Chaplin b: 26 APR 1872 d: 15 DEC 1945
Ursula Joan Gregory b: 29 JUL 1896 d: 17 JUL 1959
Christopher John (Kit) Gregory b: 11 JUL 1900 d: 1977
Marion Eastty Black b: 3 MAY 1902 d: AUG 1998
Elizabeth Gregory b: 22 OCT 1933 d: 1938
Henry Ayrton Chaplin , L.R.C.P. & S. b: 21 AUG 1876 d: 2 JUL 1905