Lawrence Heyworth II (1831 – 1903)


   1. His childhood

Lawrence Heyworth jr. (II) was born at Yew Tree Manor, Walton-on-the-Hill, West Derby District, Lancashire, England on 15 February 1831 and was christened on 16 March 1831 at St Mary the Virgin Church, West Derby, West Derby District. His parents were Elizabeth Aked (1802 – 1832) and Lawrence Heyworth (1786 – 1872), who was Justice of the Peace. Lawrence was the youngest of six children and only one year old when his mother died.1-5 He was most likely raised by nurses and nannies, as his father never remarried. Whether he attended a school or whether he was taught by a private tutor or governess is not known. He grew up in a very wealthy home with a father who was highly regarded in his community.

   2. His wife

Lawrence married Rosina Kate “Rose” Mortimer on 17 August 1864 at St Andrew Church in the Clifton suburb of Bristol, Gloucestershire, England – the same church where Rose’s parents married on 21 October 1843.6-8 Lawrence was 33 years old and Rose almost 20 years.

Rose was the only surviving child of John Baskerville Mortimer (1819 – 1847) and Susan Rodon Payne (1820 – 1909). She was born on 19 August 1844 and christened on 15 September 1844 at Chaplin’s Army Station, Mercara (now Madikeri) in India. Rose’s younger sister, Elizabeth Carolina (20 February 1846 – 23 July 1847) was also born in India.7,9-11 Their father was born at Trowbridge and followed in his father’s military footsteps. 12  John Baskerville Mortimer and his daughter, Elizabeth died at sea in 1847 while they were en route from India to England. Only Susan and Rose arrived safely in England.9,11 Susan remarried in 1855 to affluent banker and magistrate, John Bates. By 1861, Rose was living with her mother and stepfather at 6 Royal York Crescent, Clifton in Bristol and in 1864 she got married.9,13 Both Lawrence Heyworth and Rose Mortimer were from very wealthy backgrounds. Rose was the sole heir to her mother and stepfather’s estates. READ MORE on the Mortimers.Rose Heyworth died at the age of 91 years on 3 June 1936 at Bulmer Lodge, Sudbury, Suffolk, England. Her will was executed on 27 July 1936 in London. The executors were her two daughters, Winifred Dagmar Kennard (née Heyworth) and Thyra Halgerda Heyworth10,13-15 The detailed content of Rose’s will or her wishes in the latter part of her life is not fully known, but it seems as if the memory of her son and the continuation of the Mortimer family name was important to her. She was the last Mortimer in her branch of family and her only surviving son died in 1915 in World War 1. These facts must have concerned her, so much so that she either approached her grandson, Peter Lawrence Jamison – and her late son’s name sake – or she extended the offer to all male relatives; being willing to take on the Mortimer family name, would secure the individual a substantial inheritance. Her grandson accepted the arrangement and legally changed his surname from Jamison to Mortimer in 1938.16,17 Rose and Lawrence Heyworth were my husband’s great-great-grandparents.

   3. His career

Lawrence followed a military career as an army officer in the British Armed Forces. On 31 May 1855 at the age of 24, he ascended the rank from Lieutenant to Captain of the 4th or Duke of Lancester’s Own (Light Infantry) Royal Lancashire Militia.18 Lawrence, however, also started to become more involved in the mining industry and by ca 1864 became the first Managing Director of the South Wales Colliery Company that bought Cmwtillery Mine, near the town  Abertillery, en route to Blaina, in Monmouthshire (now within Blaenau Gwent), Wales. The company was established by John Russell in 1863. His daughter Ellen was married to John Selwyn Payne, Rose’s uncle (her mother’s younger brother).9 Maybe it was through this connection that Lawrence and Rose met and later married in August 1864?

Throughout most of his life, Lawrence kept one foot in mining and the other in the military. By 1871, at the age of 40 years, he was Captain in the Royal Glamorgan Light Infantry Militia as well as Justice of Peace (lay-magistrate) for Monmouthshire, Wales. The young family was living in Risca House, Waun Fawr Estate, that was located between the villages Risca and Cross Keys (now Crosskeys), approximately 10 km northwest of Newport in Monmouthshire (now part of Caerphilly). These two villages lie on the banks of the Ebbw River. The Crumlin Canal with the Sirhowy and Newport railways passes through them.9,19,20

While still employed by South Wales Colliery Co., Lawrence also became the Chairman of the Crumlin Viaduct Works and was financially involved in the Argentinian Railways Company. In December 1873 he ventured out to develop a colliery in his own name by entering into negotiations to buy land from Nantyglo and Blaina Company. In January 1874, tender notices for builders of yard buildings, walls and sidings were put out in the Monmouthshire Merlin newspaper, followed by notices for contractors to sink the new pit in the Western Mail on 14 March 1874. This new deep-mine-shaft was called “Rose y Gwartha” (in Welsh) or “Rose Heyworth”, after Lawrence’s wife. The contractors and miners at the mine were housed in new, purpose-built cottages known as the Clyn Mawr Cottages (now  Blaenau Gwent Rows) which were designed by Lawrence himself.9,21-23 He attended the official opening of the Board School Cmwtillery, also known as the “Cock n Chick School”, on 15 January 1877. Lawrence also defended the Truck Payment System (part Company Store Tokens and part Cash) of mine workers because, in his own words, “the men was spending the cash on alcohol and the women and children were going hungry”. Lawrence and Rose was also helped establish the Cwmtillery Colliers Hall. After its opening, a luncheon for the mine workers and their families was held at the local Clynmawr Hotel.21

Although Lawrence showed fairness and benevolence towards his workers, he could also act with the necessary assertiveness when required. He ended a four-month long strike at the nearby Cmwtillery Mine in 1868, by traveling to Staffordshire seeking workers to break the strike, and like the true military officer he was, rounded up men and enlisted 200 workers who were transported by special train to Cmwtillery were they started work. This move – showing the workers how replaceable they were – ended the gritty strike. By 1896, there were 1 625 men producing coal from the Big, Elled, Old Coal and Three Quarters Seems at the Roseheyworth Mine. From the 1930s, however, the number of employees gradually declined due to the general economy and weakening coal mining industry.9,23Roseheyworth Colliery had a long successful history, but not without its challenges of mine strikes and several underground explosions where miners’ lives were lost. Roseheyworth Colliery raised its first coal in 1874 and produced 32 million tons of coal over its lifetime, until it closed down on 9 October 1985.21,23,27 READ MORE on Roseheyworth Colliery.

I wonder what Rose’s thoughts were about having a mine named after her? This mine, however, immortalised Rose and even today streets and avenues built in the 1940s and 1950s in Abertillery bear her name. The Roseheyworth Tenants Welfare Club was built in 1962 but in 2007 the Club closed and was knocked down. There is also a local school called Roseheyworth Millennium Primary School.8,9,21,23,27Lawrence also broadened his mining interests and investments towards the international markets such as the Emperor Gold Mines Ltd in the Murchison District in Western Australia. By 1895, Lawrence was serving as one of the four Board Directors of the mining company.28

On 2 July 1873, Lawrence was granted the honorary rank of Major of Militia.29 By 1875, he held the rank of Colonel and by the 1880s that of Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding the 3rd Battalion of the Welsh Regiment (previously the Royal Glamorgan Militia that was restructured because of the Cardwell Reform of the British Army in 1881).9,22,29 Lawrence would eventually retire from the military services holding the rank of Colonel Lawrence Heyworth.8,9,15,30

By 1881, the family was still residing in Risca. In their employ were Ada Maria Purkin (private governess), Mary Ann Wheatstone (head nurse), Sarah Ann Gane (cook), Celia Crook (housemaid), Mary Anne Bright (nurse) and Jolene Ann Wheatstone (seamstress).31 In the late 1880s, the family moved to Ormsby Hall, Alford, Lincolnshire, England. By 1891, Rose’s mother was living with them, presumably because her second husband had died.9 It is uncertain when – possibly in the 1890s – Lawrence also acquired the estate Palstre Court near Wittersham, Kent, England and became the Justice of Peace for Kent. It is uncertain where Lawrence and his wife spent most of their time, they may have or have not alternated between these two residences in Alford and Wittersham, with a distance of 325 km between them. The couple, however, were residing at Whitefield Estate, Marwood, Devonshire (now Devon), England at the time of Lawrence’s death in 1903.30

  4. His death

Lawrence Heyworth II died at the age of 72. Although he resided at Whitefield, Marwood, the place of his death on 17 February 1903 is indicated as Meyrick Court, Bournemouth, Hampshire (now Dorset), southern England. Perhaps he was holidaying or visiting friends or family in the coastal resort town? His will was executed on 5 May 1903 in London.13,30 Lawrence was buried in the cemetery at St Michael and All Angels Church, Marwood, where Rose was also buried in 1936 in the same gravesite (C30). There is no traditional headstone, but rather a kerb with weathered inscription in honour of their memory.30,32-35Lawrence and Rose Heyworth were people who made their mark in life and their many achievements are evident. What strikes me about this couple, though, is the underlining presence of heartache in their family caused by the loss of so many of their children. Rose outlived at least seven of her eleven children. Providentially Lawrence was spared the great loss of his only surviving son being killed in battle during World War 1, and thus pronouncing the end of their particular Heyworth family name continuance. In spite of all this, the couple endured and attained, and their legacy is lasting until this day.

   5. His children

Lawrence and Rose had eleven children – four sons and seven daughters. Sadly three of their four sons died in infancy.11,13,31,36 Some of the children’s names were derived from ancient Saxon and Germanic saints and nobility.9 The children were:

5.1 Edgar Baskerville

Edgar was born in April 1865 and died at the age of 14 months on 27 June 1866, Kensington, Middlesex (now part of West London), England. He was the eldest child and the first son to die in infancy. He was buried at the Gloucester Cemetery, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England.11,13,36

5.2 Lawrencina Rose

Lawrencina Rose, called “Lina”, was born in June 1866 at Kensington, Middlesex. She died a spinster at the of 84 years in December 1950 at Hawkwood Manor, Sible Hedingham, Essex, England.9,11,13,36

5.3 Ethel Tholga

She was born on 2 October 1867 at Umberleigh House, Atherington, Devonshire, England and died on 11 October 1882 at the age of 15 years. She was buried at the Newport Cemetery, Newport, Monmouthshire (now Gwent), Wales.9,11,31,36

5.4 Heyworth Ormerod

He was the second son. He was born in November 1868 at Risca, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales and died that same month. He was buried at Newport Cemetery, Newport.11,36

5.5 Winifred Dagmar

Known as “Winnie”, she was born on 8 July 1870 at Risca. She married Rowland Stephen Astley Kennard (18 June 1871 – 1920), the son of Henry Steinmetz Kennard (15 February 1853 – 21 September 1902) and Frances Charlotte Celestine Sterling (1843 – 1899), on 11 August 1896. Together the couple had two children: Frances Doris (3 June 1897 – ?)  and Henry Rowland Heyworth (13 February 1900 – 1989). Winnie died at the age of 89 years on 7 November 1959 at Little Harrow, Christchurch, Hampshire (now Dorset) in southern England.9,11,15,31,36-385.6 Hildegarde Elfrida

Hildegarde Elfrida was born on 8 November 1871 at Risca and died on 3 October 1899 at the age of 28 years. She was not married. She died at Hawkwood Manor, Sible Hedingham and was buried in the churchyard at Brockley, Suffolk. She was like a living angel, according to Evelyn Mary Jamison, sister-in-law of Hildegarde Elfrida’s younger sister, Eanswythe.9,11,13,31,36

5.7 Thyra Halgarde

She was called “Hal” and was born at Risca on 8 March 1873. She never married. In 1836, she was co-executor of her mother’s estate, together with her older sister, Winifred (Winnie). She died at the age of 90 years on 19 April 1963 at Hawkwood Manor, Sible Hedingham.9,11,13-15,31,365.8 Thorold

Thorold, the third son, was born on 24 July 1876 and died a few days later. He was buried at Newport Cemetery, Newport.11,36

5.9 Eanswythe Elstrith

Eanswythe, the twin sister of Heyworth Potter/Peter Lawrence, was born on 20 November 1877 at 18:45 at Risca. Her twin brother followed three hours later at 21:30. Eanswythe and her brother were both christened on 4 February 1878 at Risca. She married a medical doctor, Dr Reginald Jamison and they had four sons. She died at the age of 47 on 8 July 1925 at Cape Town, Cape Province, Union of South Africa.8,9,11,31,36,39  Eanswythe and Reginald’s eldest son, Peter Lawrence Jamison, inherited a large fortune from his grandmother, Rose Heyworth. He denounced the Jamison family name and took up the Mortimer surname.16,17 One wonders what his parents’ thoughts and feelings were on this matter. Eanswythe and Reginald Jamison became my husband’s great-grandparents. READ MORE on Eanswythe Heyworth and her husband, Reginald Jamison.

5.10 Heyworth Potter/Peter Lawrence

Called “Potter”, the twin brother of Eanswythe Elstrith, was the only son of Lawrence and Rose Heyworth who survived into adulthood. After being educated at Harrow and Trinity College in Cambridge, he became a career soldier.8,9,11,31,36,39 In his free time, he enjoyed fox-hunting – now a banned sport in the United Kingdom since 2005 – which involved the tracking, chasing and killing of a red fox, using trained foxhounds that were followed by unarmed riders on horseback. The group was led by the “master of hounds” who was traditionally distinguished from the other riders by wearing a red coat and black velvet hunting cap – a leading position which Potter Heyworth often held during the hunts.8,40

The first military action he engaged in was in his early twenties on South African soil where he fought on the British side against the Boers of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (South African Republic or Transvaal Republic) and Republiek van Oranje Vrijstaat (Republic of Orange Free State) during the Second Anglo-Boer War (or South African War) of 1899 to 1902. Afterwards he received the Queen’s South African War Medal, with clasps for the British colonies of the Cape, Orange Free State and Transvaal.8,11,13,15,31,36,39After arriving with his regiment in the Dardanelles at the Gallipoli Peninsular of the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) in June 1915 during World War 1, tragedy struck on 6 August 1915 when Potter was killed at the age of 37 during the Battle of Sari Bair. Just six months prior his untimely death, he married Cecily Mabel Garfit, daughter of Bartholomew Garfit, on 21 January 1915 at Partney, Lincolnshire, England. No children were born from their marital union. At the time of his death, he held the rank of Captain in the 7th Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment. Potter Heyworth was buried at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery (Block 2, Row C, Site 5), Anzac, Gallipoli, Turkey. He was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the 1914 – 1915 Star Medal. He was also mentioned in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914 – 1924. His widow married again on 16 November 1918, to Colonel Richard Sparrow. 8,9,13,15,21,36,41-475.11 Beatrice Hestritha Gundred

Known as “Gundreda”, she was born on 31 December 1884 at 17:50 at Risca and died on 18 October 1978 at the age of 94 years. She never married.9,10,14,18

Gundreda’s great grandnephew, Kevin Jamison, has in his safekeeping her wooden pencil box that she used from 1889 to 1902 for storing her writing utensils. The schooling years and grade-levels are engraved on the lid, but whether Gundreda attended a public school or was educated at home by a governess, is not known. Her full name is written in neat, cursive ink handwriting on the inside of the lid.16

Like some of her sisters, the 30 year-old Gundreda also volunteered during World War 1 (1914 – 1918) and joined the British Army in 1914. She initially served as a Volunteer Aid Detachment (a military nurse in the UK), but in 1917 transferred to the newly-established Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), with Dr Mona Chalmers Watson as its first Chief Controller. The WAAC was renamed the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1918. Gundreda served as an ambulance driver, and after the war received the Allied Victory Medal and British War Medal.8,48


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  4. A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe.
  5. Baptisms at St Mary the Virgin in the District of West Derby, Liverpool in the Registers for the years 1813 – 1842.
  6. Lawrence Heyworth in the entry for Lawrence Heyworth and Rosina Kate Mortimer, 1864. England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538-1900, database, FamilySearch : 12 December 2014
  7. John Baskerville Mortimer in England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538-1900″, database, FamilySearch( : 12 December 2014), John Baskerville Mortimer and Susan Rodon Payne, 1843.
  8. Rob Jamison: Family portraits 2016.
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  14. Photos in possession of Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa
  15. Family notes by Evelyn Mary Jamison. Privately held by Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa.
  16. Personal interview on 7 April 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa with Kevin Jamison, great grandson of Eanswythe Heyworth and Reginald Jamison
  17. Peter Lawrence Mortimer in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc. 2010
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  39. Christening of Eanswythe Elstrith Heyworth and Heyworth Peter Lawrence Heyworth.
  40. Fox hunting.
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  42. Captain Heyworth, North Staffordshire Regiment. Glasgow Herald Newspaper, Glasgow, Scotland, 16 August 1915.
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  44. Battle of Sari Bair.
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