A Branch from Cumberland and Anglesey

Written by Jill Coulthard, wife of Captain John M. Coulthard, Master Mariner



Ann Coulthard ne Brocklebank had died in Menai Bridge on 30 December 1890 leaving one married daughter and six  unmarried children.    They had only recently moved to Anglesey though they would have visited their mother's brothers John and William and sister Tamar at their farm Plas in Llandegfan.   For the past ten years or so they had lived in and around Liverpool so it must have been a great change from a busy city to a small country town.    Liverpool itself must have been a completely different experience from the quiet of the Cumberland countryside for those who had been old enough to remember their early life there.

Ann had only recently taken the house Bryn Aethwy in Menai Bridge and furnished it throughout.    It remained a home for the younger children at least as Bob was by this time helping his uncles on the farm and probably Jack was living there too.   Bob who was then 27 and Lizzie 22 acted in loco parentis to the younger children aided by their uncles and aunt.    The rent on Bryn Aethwy was paid again on 13 May 1891 and in March 1893 when new Trustees of their late father's will were appointed it was noted that the effects of the late Robert Coulthard were in the house.














Kate and Harry had married  on 6 May 1890 after an eight year courtship.   In April 1891 they were living in Gillgrove, Egremont in Cumberland and must have been looking forward excitedly to the birth of their first child.   However, there was a tragic end to their short married life when Kate died in childbirth on 24 June 1891, it is said through the doctor's neglect.   The child did not survive.

Kate's body was taken to Liverpool to be interred with her parents at Toxteth Park Cemetery.   Mr. Moore paid the cemetery fees and William Brocklebank paid for a grey granite memorial stone.    Kate's name was added to her parents' stone.  

Harry was understandably completely distraught.    It is said he took to the bottle and later went off to Newfoundland.    Percy Coulthard who was only 15 at the time of his sister's death was despatched to Newfoundland to try and keep an eye on Harry so this must have taken place a few years after and before Harry died over there on 11 January 1900 aged only 39.











Fred joined the Merchant Navy on 8 August 1891 at the age of 16.   He was apprenticed to MacVicar, Marshall & Co. of Liverpool.

The photograph of him in his uniform does not do him justice as, as can be seen from the photograph on the right he was "extremely handsome with fine features and blonde hair".

Fred obtained his 2nd Mate's Certificate on 7 September 1896 at Liverpool.



"In 1892 Bob left Plas and went to help Jack Park farm at Cremlyn after the rest of the family left for Shannon House."   This statement deserves some explanation.

Jack Park's mother had been Elizabeth Grice born 1830 in Bootle.    She was the much younger first cousin of Ann (Brocklebank) Coulthard's mother of the same name who had been born in 1806 and had therefore been in the same age group as Annie herself.    The younger Elizabeth had married Thomas Park, a landowner at Pennington near Ulverston.   Both families were extremely wealthy as Elizabeth's branch of the Grice family had established an international trade between Cumberland and Australia with their own ships.    Elizabeth's older brother Richard had emigrated to Australia and managed that end of the trade to great effect.   

As well as Shannon House at Pennington, Thomas Park owned or leased a 424 acre farm named Cremlyn at Llanddona, Anglesey where the family were living in 1881 and 1891 according to those census returns.   Obviously in 1892 they had decided to return home and left Jack in charge at Cremlyn.


                    BOB COULTHARD            NELLIE PARK                ELSIE PARK                    JACK PARK

Thomas and Elizabeth Park had the following children.   JAMES born 1859 took Holy Orders;  WILLIAM GRICE 1860-1947 died unmarried in New Zealand;  JOHN HENRY (JACK) born 1861;  RICHARD (DICK) born 1863 went to New Zealand;  SARAH ELIZABETH (ELSIE) born 1864;  THOMAS born 1868 went to South Africa;  ELEANOR FRANCES (NELLIE) 1869-1936;  MARION ALICE 1876-1883.

Sarah Elizabeth Park or Elsie as she was always known had arrived back from a visit to Australia and New Zealand in June 1890.   She had been visiting her uncle Richard Grice's widow and their numerous adult children and families as well as her Park relations.    She wrote back a series of highly amusing and entertaining letters to her mother which gives us a wonderful insight into the life of the times out there as well as the foibles of some of her relations.

Bob Coulthard and Elsie Park were later to marry but not until 1898.     Elsie was second cousin to Bob's mother.


On 24 March 1893 an Indenture was drawn up to change the Trustees of Robert Coulthard's will.   In October 1889 after J.D. Newton died his place had been taken by George Brocklebank the chemist of Ulverston, another of Annie's brothers.   As we know, Joseph Robinson Fox had also died.    It was proposed to replace the deceased Trustees with Grice Brocklebank and James Brocklebank, Ann Coulthard's remaining brothers.    It appears that Ann's eldest brother John, who farmed Plas with William, the sole remaining original Trustee, never had any involvement in the financial affairs of Ann or her children.

William's signature on the document was witnessed by John Coulthard, Plas Llandegfan, Farmer.   Grice's was witnessed by his son J. P. Brocklebank of 40 Clifton Road, Birkenhead.   James' was witnessed by a Clerk of Queen Insurance Co.

Included in the schedule, as well as several of Robert's old shares, was 500 on mortgage of the Workingmen's Conservative Club, Bangor.

In November that year Bob aged 30 and Jack aged 26 left Plas and rented Baron Hill Hall Farm from Sir Richard Bulkeley in partnership.    Jack was to remain at the farm until retirement becoming the Agent and Home Farmer for the Bulkeley family.    The Bulkeley family had been at Baron Hill from at least the 1500s.



BOB          PATTIE          JACK          PERCY          LIZZIE         FRED



On 25 April 1894 John married his second cousin Mary Jane Coward at her home parish church of Aldingham, Furness, Lancashire with Bob and Lizzie as two of the witnesses.    John and Mary Jane were always known as Jack and May.    May had previously stayed at Plas with her family as her grandmother had been a Brocklebank and her father first cousin to Ann and her brothers and sisters.

To understand this relationship we have to go back through the Brocklebank family.    Both were descended from John Brocklebank and Mary Case of Whitbeck, south Cumberland through two of their children Jane and John.   As described, John Brocklebank had married Elizabeth Grice in 1829 and had Ann, her sisters Eliza Jane and Tamar and brothers John, William, George, Grice and James.

By the time John Brocklebank and Elizabeth Grice were married, John's sister Jane had married Thomas Coward of Colt Park, Aldingham and already had five children.

Their sixth child, born 1831, was named William Brocklebank Coward and he continued to farm Colt Park after his parents.   On 5 October 1859, exactly a week before Robert Coulthard and Annie were married at Corney, William had travelled to Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire where he married Frances (Fanny) Outram from a family long established in that area.    It is not known how they met and was indeed a complete aberration in the family as previous marriage partners had been chosen from much closer to home.    However, Fanny appears to have settled quite comfortably to life in her new home.    One wonders if the two weddings had been co-ordinated and how many of the family were able to attend either or both or if it was an unfortunate clash of events.

Mary Jane Coward (May) was the third child of William and Fanny born in 1863 and therefore a few years older than Jack.   They returned to Baron Hill Farm where their five children were born.    John Alexander (Alec) in early 1895, Frank Outram on 20 July 1896, Gwyneth (Gwen) in 1897, Frederick Noel (Noel) around December 1898 and Kenneth Brocklebank (Ken) in 1903.   All the children were brought up on the farm and spoke Welsh as well as English.   Alec went to WWI but never returned and his fate was unknown until his wife wrote from Australia in the late 1950s.    He died in Melbourne on 19 January 1960.   Understandably the rest of the family was outraged at the grief and uncertainty he had inflicted on his parents then long since dead.    Ken died as a young man from T.B.    Frank, Gwen and Noel remained in the immediate area.


FRANK          GWEN          NOEL

In the autumn of 1894 James Brocklebank, the youngest of Ann Coulthard's brothers had at last married in Birkenhead at the age of 45 to a widow Emma Catherine Bevis, nee Glover, some ten years younger than himself.    They had one daughter Nancye born about the same time the following year.

On 19 December 1894 Bob and Jack made an agreement for tenancy of Paddocks at an Annual Rent of 17 with Sir R.H.W. Bulkeley.     It is noted that Elsie Park spent the Christmas with her mother and sister Nellie at the Hotel Continental in Algiers where they enjoyed a very sumptuous menu.   In 1895 Bob and Jack dissolved their partnership at Baron Hill when Bob was appointed Agent for Gadlys Farm by Mr. McCorquordale.

Uncle John Brocklebank had retired from farming by April 1891 though he was still living at Plas where his brother William and nephews Bob and Jack Coulthard had been described as the working farmers.   His sister Tamar as well as Lizzie and Percy Coulthard were also living there at the time.   John evidently returned to his native Cumberland where he died at Drigg on 12 May 1895 at the age of 60.

On 15 August 1895 Fred signed on "Crompton", a sailing ship, as an A.B.   He was described as 5ft 10in tall, fair hair, blue eyes and fair complexion.   He gave his address as that of his uncle Grice in Birkenhead with whom he had been living in 1891.   Grice and Rebecca had a very large family so perhaps one extra nephew did not matter especially as he spent most of his time at sea.

This was evidently not the first time that Fred had sailed on "Crompton" as on 8 September 1895 he received a letter of recommendation from the Late Master of the ship who said "The bearer, F. A. Coulthard sailed with me during my command of the ship "Crompton" for two and a half years of the latter part of his apprenticeship.   During the whole time I found him very diligent and attentive to his duties and well advanced in his profession.   He was also very obedient to his officers, excellent character and of strictly sober habits.   I can confidently recommend him for promotion."


We will now leave the family at the end of 1895 and rejoin them in January 1896.......