Children of Empire


The Younger Generation of Fox-Strangways and Hughes of Bovey Tracey

Malcolm and Frances Billinge 2017



Other articles on this site  describe the roles played by the Bullers and the Divetts in the development of the Bovey Tracey Pottery Company and local life more generally throughout the Victorian period, but by the 1880s the prominence of these two families was waning.1 The Fox-Strangways and Hughes families arrived in Bovey Tracey in 1884/5 and as they were both twice related by blood to the extended Buller family of Morval, Cornwall and Downes House, Crediton, their presence extended the Buller family’s influence in Bovey Tracey into the twentieth century.

Walter Aston Fox-Strangways 1833-1885 (maternally related to the Buller family) was married to Harriett Fox-Strangways née Buller 1832-1903. He was a younger son of the first Earl of Ilchester. William Templer Hughes 1822-1897 married 1) Katherine Mary Buller and 2) Georgiana Maria Phillpotts (maternally related to the Buller family) and these families are also the subject of companion articles. 2

These local Fox-Strangways and Hughes families were both army families:

Walter Fox-Strangways, Royal Artillery, saw active service during the Eastern Campaign (Crimean War) of 1854-55 and he fought at Alma, Inkerman, the capture of Balaclava and the siege of Sebastapol. In 1882 Walter became Commandant and Superintendent of the School of Gunnery, Shoeburyness but he was killed accidentally during artillery practice at Shoeburyness in 1885 aged fifty-two.3

William Templer Hughes became a General in the Indian Army having fought during the 1st and 2nd Sikh Wars, the ‘Indian Mutiny’ of 1857-9 and on the North-West frontier before retiring from active service in 1884 at the age of sixty-two.4

These two between them fathered fourteen children and this article, while describing aspects of their lives and careers, also explores gender differences in the education and career paths of the offspring of higher-ranking families during the later nineteenth century, a time when the British Empire was at its height.

Mrs Fox-Strangways and her family moved to Front House, East Street, Bovey Tracey soon after her husband’s death in 1885.5 General Hughes and his second wife Georgiana and family moved to Dunley House on the outskirts of Bovey Tracey in 1884 on his retirement from the British army in India.6

TABLE 1 Demographic Details of the Fourteen Offspring


Fox-StrangwaysDatesSchoolUniversityCareerMaritalAge at DeathChildren Boy/Girl
Arthur Henry1859-1948WellingtonCollegeBalliolTeacher/music criticSingle89-
Maurice Walter1862-1948CharterhouseBalliolIndian Civil ServiceMarried762B 2G
Violet Agnes1861-1903?-At homeSingle42-
Harold Stephen1664-1912Wellington College-Indian Army OfficerMarried472G
Mary Beatrice1868-1943?-As Mrs Gould, wife of tea planterMarried752B
Henry Wentworth1856-1884Wellington College-Indian Army OfficerSingle28-
Edith Isabela1860-1927?-At homeSingle67-
Mary Honywood1864-1940?-As Mrs Cameron, wife of pastoralist TasmaniaMarried765
Edward Honywood1866-1900Marlborough College-Army OfficerMarried34?
Ralph Buller1871-1949Marlborough CollegeBalliolIndian Civil ServiceMarried78?
Louis Campbell1877-1901Marlborough College-Army- Boer War OfficerSingle24-
Gertrude Caroline 1878-1954?-As Mrs Hunter, wife of StockbrokerMarried761B 1G
Janet Mary1879-1953?-As Mrs Gubbins, wife of Inian Army OfficerMarried841B
Guy Ferguson1880-1915?-Indian Army Officer WWIMarried351G

Eight Young Men  –  their education

Ralph Hughes was a ten year-old boarder at a preparatory school in Littleham, Exmouth at the time of the 1881 census. Ralph’s father and step-mother were in India but there were several Hughes and Buller relatives living nearby at Whimple who might have acted as guardians in their absence. Edward, Louis and Guy Hughes were in England with their family during their younger childhood (8-13 years) but, falling between census years, their schooling is not recorded. Their oldest brother Henry’s childhood coincided with family time both at home and in India. Did he remain in England in order to continue his schooling when his family returned to India in about 1867?7

Pencarwick, the preparatory school attended by Ralph, is well documented and in all probability his brothers would also have been pupils. This was the school in Exmouth where sons of the local gentility boarded before transferring to public schools at thirteen, and sons from the Kennaway, Chichester, Phillpotts, Acland and Bentinck families were pupils. Perhaps the most famous pupil was Redvers Buller.8

In 1893 a newspaper article praised Pencarwick school for its success in preparing boys to be Royal Navy cadets and ‘reference, by kind permission, may be made to Gen. Sir W. T. Hughes KGB, Dunley’ and other prominent gentlemen.9 The Hughes boys’ father clearly had an involvement with this school which played its part in preparing young men for their future roles within the British Empire.

Arthur, Maurice and Harold Fox-Strangways most probably spent all their early years in England and they are recorded with the Family in Norfolk on the 1871 census.10 Details are elusive but probably they were also boarders at a select preparatory school. Dame Elizabeth Lewin, an earlier Buller-related resident of Bovey Tracey was in Tonbridge Wells at the time of the 1841 census but her eleven year-old son Granville was boarding at ‘Cambridge House’ with nine other seven to twelve year old boys in what was a small, residential preparatory school. This was the convention of the time for the sons of gentility.11

The boys’ secondary schooling and higher education are far better documented and at least seven of the eight boys attended high-status public schools.

The Hughes boys were boarders at Wellington College (Henry) or Marlborough College (Edward, Ralph and Louis) and only the youngest boy Guy’s secondary school is not known. Ralph was the only young man to go on to university, to Balliol College, Oxford.12

Henry’s parents were in England, but Edward’s father and step-mother were in India when he was away at school.13 By the time that Ralph and Louis transferred to Marlborough College in the 1880s the family had settled at Dunley House, Bovey Tracey. (Fig.1)14

Figure I. Dunley House Bovey Tracey. Frances Billinge 2015

Arthur and Harold Fox-Strangways attended Wellington College but the middle brother Maurice attended Charterhouse.15 These three boys would have been at their public schools between 1872 and 1882 when we know that the family was in Norfolk in 1871 and then Exeter in 1881.16

Arthur and Maurice continued their education at Balliol College, Oxford. Maurice was living in a boarding house in Kensington, Chelsea in 1881 when he was a student at Balliol College, Oxford.17

Maurice had a son Walter, born in India in 1887 and he was sent to live with his grandmother Harriett Fox-Strangways at Front House, East Street, Bovey Tracey.18  Walter was a boarder at Woodcote House, Oxfordshire in 1901 before transferring to Charterhouse like his father before him.19  Walter received his higher education at Pembroke College, Cambridge while his father pursued his career in the Indian Civil Service.20 Many sons of the British Empire would have been schooled in England while their parents worked abroad.

In 1869, several years before the Hughes and Fox-Strangways arrived in Bovey Tracey, John Divett, co-founder of the Bovey Tracey Pottery Company agreed to join a council arguing for a school to be developed in Newton Abbot along the lines of Marlborough and Cheltenham. Newton College already had one hundred boarders and could be developed, ‘for the education of sons of gentlemen’.21 John Divett clearly shared an interest in boys’ education with William Templer Hughes, and the two men were related because John was married to Capt. Thomas Wentworth Buller’s sister Henrietta, and William’s first wife Katherine, was Capt. Thomas Wentworth Buller’s daughter. Thomas was the other co-founder of the Bovey Pottery, a detail that probably lies at the heart of these families’ decisions to move to Bovey Tracey.22 The idea of creating a local public school does not appear to have borne fruit.

Eight Young Men  –  their careers

Five sons who fought and died for their country

Five of the eight boys followed in their fathers’ footsteps and, rather than go to university, joined the army as young officers. Three enlisted in the Indian army, the eldest, Henry fighting in the 2nd Afghan War 1870-80 only to die of an unspecified cause at Mhow in 1884 aged twenty-seven.23 Harold served in India but transferred from the army to the Indian Service and he died of sunstroke at Jhelum in 1912 aged forty-seven.24 Guy served in India for only a few years before retiring on half pay in 1910.25  Guy re-enlisted in the British army at the outset of WW1 but was killed, apparently accidently, in France in 1915 aged thirty-five, he is commemorated on the War Memorial in Chudleigh Knighton church (Fig.2).26

Figure 2. Guy Ferguson Hughes Commemorated on the War Memorial, St Paul’s Church Chudleigh Knighton. Frances Billinge 2017.

Edward joined the army but did not serve abroad. He died locally of an unspecified cause in 1900 aged thirty-four and is buried in Bovey Tracey (Figs.3 and 4).27 Louis fought in the Boer War and was mentioned in despatches by General Lord Kitchener for conspicuous gallantry in action, but he was killed at Tweefontein in 1901 aged twenty-four.28


Figure 3. Grave of Edward Honywood Hughes on left , Bovey Tracey Cemetery. Frances Billinge 2017.

Figure 4. Commemoration on Grave of Edward Honywood Hughes,Bovey Tracey Cemetry. Frances Billinge 2017.

Two sons in the Indian Civil Service, and one son who followed a different career path

Maurice and Ralph both joined the Indian Civil Service soon after graduating from Balliol College, Oxford. Maurice rose through the ranks to become a commissioner in Central province by 1902, and Ralph became the Inspector-General of police for East Bengal and Assam in 1910 and captain of the Assam Valley Light Horse in 1912. Maurice, then forty-nine, and his family were living in Hampshire in 1911 whereas Ralph, nine years his junior retired from the Indian Civil Service in 1917 aged forty-six. Maurice and his wife Louisa were both living at South Brent when he died in 1938 aged seventy-six.29 Ralph, already a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (C.I.E.) was made Commander of the Civil Division (C.B.E.) in 1920 for his civic service both in India and at home. Ralph and his wife Elizabeth were living in Lewes, Sussex where he died in 1949 aged seventy-eight.

Brass plaques in St Mary’s, Whimple commemorate the lives of Ralph and Henry Hughes-Buller (Fig. 5).30

Figure 5. Plaque to Ralph Hughes Buller, St Mary’s Whimple. Frances Billinge 2017.

Of the eight boys, Arthur chose the most individualistic career. Arthur gained an MA from Balliol College, Oxford before beginning his career as a young assistant master at Dulwich College and then as an organist and choirmaster at Wellington College. In 1895 Arthur gave an organ recital at the Bovey Tracey parish church on the day before his sister Mary was married there. In 1911 Arthur was music critic for The Times and between 1920 and 1937 he was the founding editor of Music and Letters. He was music critic for The Observer 1925 to 1939 and following visits to India he wrote The Music of Hindostan. In 1939 Arthur was living in Bovey Tracey with his widowed sister Mary Gould but after her death in 1943 he moved to Salisbury where he died in 1948 aged eighty-eight.31

Six Young Ladies –  their childhoods and unrecorded education

Edith and Margaret Hughes were both born in India but spent most of their primary years in Whimple where they took part in local social events. In 1872 Edith won a prize for her wild flowers at the Whimple Cottage Garden Show – a competition that was open to ‘members’ children who do not go to the National School’, which was the local Church of England school.32 The younger girls Gertrude and Janet were both born in England but were probably in India for some of their primary years before the family move into Bovey Tracey in 1884. There are no details yet found of primary schooling for these four sisters who, due to their high social class, would not have been sent to local, village schools.

Violet Fox-Strangways was born in Aldershot but her younger sister Mary was born in Canada. There are no details of this foreign interlude but they could have been visiting relatives known to live there. Both girls were living in Norfolk with their family in 1871 and in Exeter in 1881. Again there are no known details of any primary schooling.33

Edith Hughes spent her secondary years in Whimple. In about 1879 Edith and Margaret’s father returned to India with his second wife and three very young children. Possibly the nineteen year-old Edith went with them as she was not recorded on the 1881 census, but the fifteen year-old Margaret remained in Whimple. This census records Margaret, then seventeen, living at Woodhayes, Whimple with her paternal aunts Caroline and Matilda Hughes. Matilda was described as a teacher which suggests she may have been tutoring the girls. Eighteen year old Caroline Cornwall was also present and both young ladies were described on the census return as ‘scholars’. This term was used loosely and probably signified being of school age rather than definite school attendance. No doubt Margaret, and indeed Edith, had been receiving some secondary education but the form it took is unknown.34

The two younger Hughes’ sisters, Gertrude and Janet were both based at Dunley House during their secondary years in the 1890s. Sixteen year-old Gertrude played a piano solo at the Chudleigh Knighton Debating Society meeting in December 1894, but whereas their older sisters were frequently mentioned in the local press for their attendance at social events, Gertrude and Janet rarely featured.35 This could suggest that they were at a boarding school and only socially active in Bovey Tracey during school holiday times.

Violet Fox-Strangways’ early teenage years are unrecorded but as an eighteen year old in Exeter she attended balls and also completed a St John’s Ambulance training course.36   Mary Fox-Strangways spent some of her teenage years with her family in Shoeburyness where she attended an amateur theatrical show and a concert with her parents and older sister Violet but again, there is no indication of formal schooling.37

After her father’s death and the subsequent family move to Bovey Tracey eighteen year old Mary won first prize for her button-hole bouquet at the Bovey Tracey Horticultural Show, attended the Royal Horse Artillery Sports, the Dolphin Hotel Annual Ball and Lady Hotham’s Garden Party.38 All the girls enjoyed participation in such local and society events and to some extent their education took this social form.

The girls’ schooling or education otherwise therefore remains to be determined. There did exist small residential schools for girls at the time, including one at Church Hill House on East Street, Bovey Tracey, but at present it cannot be claimed that any of these girls attended such an establishment.39

The girls may have been tutored at home but there is no mention of resident governesses on their census returns. That this was an option is illustrated by the 1861 census for Bystock House, Colaton Raleigh, home of Edward Divett M.P. At home was twelve year old Adela, the niece of John Divett, who moved to Bovey Tracey following her father’s death in 1864, Miss Wilhemina Maker a thirty-four year-old governess and a seventeen year-old school room maid. Interestingly, Adela’s two younger brothers George Ross, eleven and John Ross, ten were also at home (and presumably also tutored by Miss Maker) and not boarding at a nearby preparatory school such as Pencarwick. Like Adela, George Ross and John Ross Divett were also to become residents of Bovey Tracey in later years. Ten years earlier this family was at its London home and Adela’s ten and eleven year old sisters had a French governess. Thirteen year old brother Edward was boarding at Eton and taken together this paints a clear picture of educational avenues open to these young men and women.40

There is a possibility that Edith might have received some artistic tuition as a Miss Edith Hughes won a prize for her drawing at the Exeter School of Art in 1874.41

There is no indication that the girls attended prominent public schools or university and these options were probably unavailable to all young ladies at the time. By way of contrast, today Marlborough, Wellington and Charterhouse Colleges are all co-educational and today females outnumber males at British universities.42

Six Young Ladies –  their adult lives

Four daughters –  who ‘married well’?

 Margaret Hughes / Cameron

In 1887 Margaret married Cyril St Clair Cameron at Bovey Tracey and, ‘the bride who was given away by her father, was attired in a dress and train of white satin, draped with old Limerick lace. She also wore a wreath of orange blossoms and a necklet of daisies in pearls, and pearl and diamond pendant.’43 After the celebrations the couple travelled to Cyril’s family home in Tasmania. Cyril was a soldier, politician and farmer. He fought in the Second Afghan War (1878-81), the Boer War (1899-1902) and took part in the Gallipoli landing in WW1. He led the Australian Commonwealth Corps at King Edward VII’s coronation in 1902 and he was something of a national hero in Tasmania. Margaret and Cyril had one daughter and four sons, one of whom was killed in WW1. In the late 1920s and 1930s the family lived at Dunley House Bovey Tracey but they both died at the family estate in Tasmania, Margaret in 1940 aged seventy-six.44

Mary Fox-Strangways / Gould

In 1895 Mary married Owen Gould who lived at Knowle, Bovey Tracey (now in Lustleigh parish). Owen was a tea-planter and their two sons Arthur and John were born in Ceylon. By the time of the 1911 census Mary and Owen were living at Southern Wreyland, Bovey Tracey (also now in Lustleigh parish) and their sons were both boarders at Exeter School. Owen died locally in 1929 and Mary also died locally in 1943 aged seventy-five.45

Gertrude Hughes / Hunter

In 1900 Gertrude married John Leslie Hunter and in 1901 they were living in Edinburgh, John being described as of ‘own means’. By 1911 Gertrude and ‘stock broker’ John were living at Welwyn, Hertfordshire and they had a five year old daughter Bridget. In 1939 Gertrude and John, now a retired director of British Tabulating Machine Department, were living at Larkbeare House, Talaton near Ottery St Mary. Gertrude died locally in 1954 aged seventy-six and is buried in Whimple cemetery.46  

Janet Hughes / Gubbins

Unlike the other girls Janet did not get married until she was thirty-five. In 1901 she was living with her newly married sister in Edinburgh, and in 1911 she was living with her aunt Gertrude Phillpotts nee Buller at Strete Raleigh, Whimple along with her nephew Raleigh Phillpotts and her widowed mother Georgiana . In 1914 Janet married Col. Russell Dunmore Gubbins, Field Artillery. Russell was seventeen years older than Janet and he had fought on the North West frontier (India) during the 1880s and in the Boer War of 1899-1902 36. He was from a prominent Irish family and he died in 1938. In 1939 Janet was living with her sister and brother-in-law, the Hunters, at Larkbeare House and she died locally in 1963 aged eighty-four.47

Two unmarried daughters – Violet and Edith

It may be coincidental but Violet was the older Strangways daughter and Edith the oldest Hughes daughter.

Violet Fox-Strangways

Twenty year-old Violet was living with her family at Polsloe House, Exeter in 1881, and for the next two years she attended the society October and Christmas Balls in Exeter before moving with her family to Shoeburyness where her father was by then Commandant of the artillery school. Here Violet attended an amateur theatrical show and a concert before her father was killed by an exploding artillery shell in 1885.48

Following the family bereavement in 1885 Harriett Fox-Strangways and her two daughters Violet and Mary moved to Front House, East Street, Bovey Tracey  where Harriett died suddenly in 1903 with Violet dying later that year at an address in Hampshire at the age of forty-three.49 During her nineteen years in Bovey Tracey Violet attended many local and society events along with mother and sister, as well as her Hughes relatives of Dunley House, the Divetts of Bovey Tracey and other gentility as will be described below during their heyday.

Edith Hughes  

William Hughes and his family returned to England, to Dunley House on the outskirts of Bovey Tracey in 1884 with Edith now twenty-four. She attended several local and society events including her sister Margaret’s wedding at Bovey Tracey in 1887 where she, Gertrude and Janet were bridesmaids.50 In 1891 the family group included her father and five of his other children. By 1901 Edith’s siblings had moved away leaving her with her now-widowed step-mother, Georgiana. They remained together but moved to East Devon. Edith was living at Dunley House with her step-mother Georgiana in 1901 and they moved to together to East Devon to live with Georgiana’s sister-in-law, Gertrude Phillpotts nee Buller at Strete Raleigh, Whimple in 1911 and later residing at Larkbeare, Talaton near Ottery-St-Mary.51 Edith died in 1927 aged sixty-six and her funeral was held at Whimple. Her obituary read, ‘the deceased was greatly loved and respected, her attractive personality winning the esteem and affection of a host of friends.’52

Returning to the education of young women we have seen that they received an informal, ‘social’ education by being taken to balls and other society events by their parents who were automatically included in the long list of gentility invited to all such functions. They also entered flower arrangements, button-hole bouquets and needlework into local shows at Whimple and Bovey Tracey. Evidence of a broader, less gender-stereotyped education is sparse but in 1891 at an Arts and Crafts exhibition at Kingskerswell it was noted that of the seventeen art classes now running in Devon the one at Bovey Tracey was taught by Miss Fox-Strangways. This could have been either Violet aged thirty or Mary aged twenty-three.53

Violet and Mary were most likely encouraged to pursue some degree of learning by their mother Harriett Fox-Strangways who clearly valued education and intelligent debate. In 1894, ‘A (weekly) drawing class in connection with the County Council was formed at Redgate (aka Front House) with the kind permission of Mrs Strangways’.54 In 1895 Harriett was on the committee of the Bovey Tracey debating Society and she made one of her rooms available for their meetings.55

Two lectures were delivered by ‘Miss Hughes of Dunley’ to the Chudleigh Knighton and the Bovey Tracey Debating Societies in 1895. The first was entitled ‘Flints, chalks and limestones, their formations and characteristics’.56 The second one ‘most interestingly dealt with the bed of lignite at Bovey, and specimens were shewn containing the impression of ferns’.57 Edith’s half-sisters Gertrude and Janet were also living at Dunley House at this time but as they were aged only seventeen and sixteen, Edith was the most likely presenter.

If Edith was the amateur geologist and also the Miss Edith Hughes who won the prize for her drawing in 1871 then this would suggest that some level of tuition was available to daughters of gentility. This topic merits further research but from the above details it is clear that education and career choice in Victorian times were issues with clear gender and social class dimensions.

The Young People’s Heyday in Bovey Tracey

These two families moved into Bovey Tracey in 1884/1885. Henry Hughes had recently died and other young men were pursuing careers in India. Four girls were to marry and move away but despite this the next few years stand out as a time when the young people from these two families participated in many events in Bovey Tracey along with other relatives from the Buller and Divett households before their eventual dispersal.

The 1886 Bovey Tracey Horticultural Show and Summer Ball at the Dolphin Hotel

Mary Fox-Strangways won first prize for her button-hole bouquet, Miss Hughes a prize for her table decoration and General Hughes judged the vegetables. Mary Divett and John Ross Divett donated prizes. Violet, Mary and Arthur Fox-Strangways were at the Ball along with Mrs Hughes and at least two of her daughters.58

The wedding of Margaret Hughes and Cyril St Clair Cameron at Bovey Tracey in 1887

Edith, Gertrude and Janet Hughes were bridesmaids who wore ‘dresses of white China silk and Leghorn hats, trimmed with white ostrich feathers.’ Guy was a page in the uniform of the 9th Lancers, the best man’s regiment. Presents were received from Mrs Harriett and Misses Violet and Mary Fox-Strangways, Mr and Mrs George Ross Divett, Miss Divett and many other Buller relatives including Dame Lewin, formerly of Bovey Tracey.59

A Juvenile Fancy Dress Ball held at the Dolphin Hotel in 1887

This event was attended by Georgiana Hughes, Miss Hughes (presumably Edith) and younger siblings Edward, Ralph, Louis, Gertrude, Janet (only eight) and Guy (only seven). The Fox-Strangways were not present on this occasion but William and Gertrude Phillpotts, Georgiana’s brother and sister-in-law were as was Miss Mary Divett along with other relatives.60

The 1890 Bovey Tracey Flower Show

George Ross Divett, owner of the Bovey Pottery was president of the committee with his cousin Miss Mary Divett was Hon. Treasurer. Mary gave the prize for the best cut flowers and either Violet or Mary Fox-Strangways won for the prize for the best table decoration. Twelve year-old Gertrude Hughes won the prize for the best button-hole.61

Grandchildren and Inheritance


Three of the young men did not marry, Louis and Henry dying as young soldiers and Arthur remaining a bachelor. Two of the other young men who joined the army did marry but Guy, only one year before his death in France and Edward, only five years before he died in Bovey Tracey. Guy fathered a daughter. The final young man who joined the army was Harold who switched to the Indian Civil Service and lived until he was forty-seven. Harold married and fathered two daughters. The two career Indian Civil Servants both survived India and enjoyed lengthy retirements back home. Ralph married but without known children and Maurice married producing four children, including Walter the future 8th earl of Ilchester.

The unmarried Edith and Violet were childless. Janet had one son, Gertrude a son and a daughter, Mary two boys and Margaret four sons and one daughter.

The fourteen young people featured in this article only produced seventeen children between them which was a very modest total given the popular presumption of generally large Victorian family size.

Of these seventeen children only seven were of the male line and so there was little perpetuation of the two family names. Furthermore of these seven only two were boys – both from Maurice Fox-Strangways – so the Hughes line was not continued at all.


How did these fourteen young people fare financially as judged by their estates on death? Was a commitment to the British Empire a guarantee of a wealthy lifestyle and rich inheritance? Judging by the probate figures there were very mixed fortunes:

Table 2 Probate Records of the Fourteen Offspring62

Five young men who went to war
Henry Hughes Buller188428£541
Harold Fox-Strangways191247? Wife Beatrice left £3,177
Guy Hughes190535£72
Edward Hughes190034£4,712
Louis Hughes190124£39
Two Civil Servants and a Musicain
Maurice Fox-Strangways193876£2,572
Ralph Hughes194978£36,173
Arthur Fox-Strangways194889£1,588
Four young ladies who 'married well'
Margaret Cameron194076312,341 husband Cyril left £98.033
Mary Gould194375£3,362
Gertrude Hunter195476Nil husband John left £1,833
Janet Gubbins196384£135,673
Two unmarried ladies
Violet Fox-Strangways190342£5,576 mother Harriet died earlier in 1903 left £862
Edith Hughes192767£11,085

Three of the sons who fought and died left little money but Edward fared better despite his early death, and Harold also appears to have managed some savings. Indian civil servant Ralph enjoyed comfortable old-age whereas Maurice’ estate was surprisingly low for the father of the future 8th earl of Ilchester.

Music critic Arthur was a man of only modest means.

Of the daughters Janet had considerable wealth as she had married into a prestigious Irish family. Margaret was also wealthy as her husband’s family owned significant land holdings in Tasmania. Mary and Gertrude do not appear to have been wealthy whereas the unmarried Violet and Edith were both comfortably off.


At a celebratory function in Bovey Tracey following the successful introduction of gas lighting into one of the Bovey Pottery Works in 1857 at least ten members of the Buller extended family were present of whom at least six were living in Bovey Tracey.63 One possible reason for the Fox-Strangways and Hughes moving into Bovey Tracey around 1884/5 might have involved the close connection between the Buller family and the Bovey Pottery, and the changing circumstances following the death of Bovey Pottery owners Wentworth William Buller in 1883 and John Divett in 1885.

However, despite this long family association, and not withstanding Miss Hughes lecturing on lignite in 1895, none of the fourteen offspring introduced above appear to have had or expressed any real interest in the Bovey Pottery or Lignite Works.

As we have seen, by the turn of the century Violet Fox-Strangways was still living with her mother Harriett at Front House, East Street but both were to die in 1903. Her married sister Mary Gould (née Fox-Strangways) returned from abroad with her husband Owen to live at Lustleigh, and then  her bachelor brother Arthur Fox-Strangways lived with her back in Bovey Tracey  in their later life.64

Edith Hughes and her step-mother Georgiana moved away from Dunley House to Whimple in the first decade of the twentieth century,  but her sister Margaret Cameron returned to live in Dunley House during the 1930s before returning to Tasmania shortly before her death in 1940.65

The only tangible reminder of the Hughes and Fox-Strangways families in Bovey Tracey today is the grave of Edward Hughes at the parish cemetery which since 1981 has been shared with his niece Margaret Cameron junior of Dunley House who died aged ninety-one with an estate valued at £130,000.66

Of the next generations Arthur and John Gould ran the Boveycombe fruit and flower farm in Lustleigh in the 1940s.67 Walter Fox Strangways’ daughter Doreen Jeanne Fox Strangways married John Livingstone in 1977 and they lived at 72a Fore Street with Doreen still recalled as a member of the Bovey Tracey Players.68



  1. The Bullers of Bovey Tracey and The Divetts of Bovey Tracey, 2017, articles on under ‘People’.
  2. The Fox-Strangways of Bovey Tracey and The Hughes of Bovey Tracey, 2017, articles on this site under ‘People’.
  3. The Western Times 28 February 1885, p. 3.
  4. British India Office Pensions registers, Military Funds image with a summary of William Templer Hughes’ army career. accessed 1 July 2017.
  5. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar 1885, p.406.
  6. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams 9 April 1884, p.3.
  7. The National Archives 1881 census; British India Office Pensions Register see note 4.
  8. Brine, M. E ., 2009. Boarders at Pencarwick School 1851 with historical information on the school accessed 2 August 2017.
  9. Western Morning News 15 February 1893, p.1.
  10. The National Archives 1871
  11. The National Archives 1841
  12. Wall, A.H. and Wall, Mrs D. E.,  1936. Marlborough College Register, 1843-1933 (Marlborough, Marlborough College, Eighth Edition), p.258, p.309 and p.372 www.; England, Oxford Men and their Colleges, 1880-1892; The National Archives 1871 Census, ibid.1881.
  13. See note 4.
  14. See note 6.
  15. Arthur at Wellington: accessed 21 August 2017; Harold at Wellington: The National Archives 1861 Census; Maurice commenced at Charterhouse in 1875: Girdlestone, F. K. W., Hardman, E. T., and Tod, A. H. eds., 1904. Charterhouse Register 1972-1900 (Godalming, R.B. Stedman) 78.
  16. The National Archives 1871 and 1881 Census; see also notes 5 and 6.
  17. The National Archives 1881
  18. British India Office Ecclesiastical Returns accessed 26 June 2017; The National Archives 1891 Census.
  19. The National Archives 1901
  20. Lundy, Daryll, 2017. ‘Walter Fox-Strangways ’in The Peerage, accessed 21 August 2017.
  21. Western Morning News 11 November 1869, p. 3.
  22. The Divetts of Bovey Tracey, 2017, see note 1.
  23. Morning Post 15 December 1884, p. 3.
  24. Army & Navy Gazette 20 July 1912, p. 15.
  25. Newcastle Journal 30 December 1915, p. 6; Hart, H. G., 1912. Hart’s Annual Army List for 1912 (London, John Murray) accessed 19 August 2017, p. 1347h.
  26. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 31 December 1915, 6.
  27. British Army Service Records accessed 20 August 2017; Ibid., Devon Burials Transcriptions.
  28. Morning Post 22 November 1901, p. 1.
  29. India Office List 1933 Image giving Maurice Fox-Strangways’ appointments accessed 19 August 2017; Ibid., Ralph Fox-Strangways; England and Wales Nat Probate Calendars Maurice Fox Strangways accessed 21 August 2017.
  30. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 23 December 1949, p. 5; England and Wales National Probate Calendars Ralph Fox Strangways accessed 21 August 2017.
  31. Reading Mercury 22 December 1894, p. 4; Western Morning News 4 September 1895, p. 5; Steuart Wilson, ‘Strangways, Arthur Henry Fox(1859–1948)’, rev. John Warrack, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 27 Aug 2017; 1939 Register Transcription accessed 19 August 2017; National Probate Calendars for England and Wales 1858-1959 accessed 21 August 2017.
  32. The Western Times 19 July 1872, p. 8.
  33. The National Archives 1871, 1881
  34. See note 3; The National Archives 1881
  35. Totnes Weekly Times 8 December 1894, p. 2.
  36. The Western Times 21 October 1881, p. 6 ; Ibid., 30 December 1879, 3 are examples.
  37. Southend Standard and Essex Weekly Advertiser 21 December 1883, p. 5; Ibid., 8 February 1884, p. 5.
  38. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 20 August 1886, p. 6 Horticultural Society; The Western Times 21 August 1886, p. 3 sports; Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 26 August 1886, p. 3 ball; Ibid., 28 August 1886, p. 2 garden party.
  39. The National Archives 1881
  40. The National Archives 1861, 1851
  41. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 24 December 1874. p. 8.
  42. Ucas data accessed 27 August 2017.
  43. The Western Times 1 September 1887, p. 4.
  44. Bennett, Scott, 2000. Cameron, Cyril St Clair (1857-1941) in The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, vol. I, 1901-1929, (Melbourne, Australia; Melbourne University Press) pp. 221-223, accessed 19 August 2017; National probate Calendar, Margaret Cameron 1940 accessed 27 August 2017/.
  45. London Evening Standard 9 September 1895, p.1 wedding; The National Archives 1911
  46. Devon Marriages Transcription accessed 19 August 2017; 1939 Register Transcription accessed 19 August 2017; England and Wales Deaths 1837-2007 accessed 19 August 2017.
  47. The National Archives 1901, 1911 Census; Anglo-Boer War records 1899-1902 marriage accessed 19 August 2017; England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007 asccessed 19 August 2017.
  48. The National Archives 1881 Census; The Western Times 21 October 1881, p.6 Exeter as an example ; see note 37 for family’s move; Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 27 February 1885, p. 3 report of her father’s death.
  49. The National Archives 1891 Census; National Probate Calendar 1903 Harriet Fox-Strangways and Violet Fox-Strangways; East and South Devon Advertiser 18 April 1903, p.8,Harriet Fox-Strangways’ death.
  50. Margaret Hughes’ wedding, see note 43.
  51. The National Archives 1891, 1901, 1911
  52. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 15 June 1927, p.3; Eng & Wales, National Probate Calendar, Edith Hughes 1927.
  53. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 30 March 1891, p. 6.
  54. East & South Devon Advertiser 20 January 1894, 5.
  55. Western Morning News 14 March 1895, p. 5. re
  56. , 28 January 1895, p. 5.
  57. , 16 October 1895, p. 5.
  58. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 20 August 1886, p. 6.
  59. Margaret Hughes’ wedding see note 43.
  60. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 29 December 1887, p. 6.
  61. The Western Times 13 August 1890, p. 3.
  62. England and Wales National probate Calendar by surname and year accessed 19 August 2017.
  63. The Western Times 28 November 1857, p. 5.
  64. The National Archives 1911 Census; England and Wales National probate Calendar 1858-1966, p.1370; Arthur Fox-Strangway’s residence on 1939 Register accessed 27 August 2017; Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 15 January 1943, p.2 Mary Gould’s funeral.
  65. Western Morning News 28 March 1934, p.2 Margaret Cameron’s death; Caroline L. Cameron,1979. ‘Cameron, Cyril St Clair (1857–1941)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 28 August 2017; Scott Bennett, 1979. ‘Cameron, Cyril St Clair (1857-1941)’ in The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, vol. 1, 1901-1929, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, Vic., 2000, pp. 221-223; Cameron, Cyril St Clair, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 28 August 2017.
  66. Western Morning News 19 December 1949, p. 4, Margaret Cameron junior residing in Dunley ; National Probate Calendar.
  67. The London Gazette 19 February 1946, p.1026, Arthur and John Boveycombe.
  68. Lundy, Daryll, 2017. ‘Lady Doreen Jeanne Fox-Stangways’ in The Peerage, on accessed 27 August 2017.

Updated 7 November 2017