John Baskerville Mortimer (1819 – 1847)


   1. His childhood

John Baskerville Mortimer was born on 6 April 1819 at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England as the seventh child of Edward Horlock Mortimer II (1786 – 1857) and Frances Lardner (1788 – 1828). His christening took place at St James Anglican Church in Trowbridge on 1 October 1823 when he was 4 and a half years old. He was a fifth generation Mortimer to be born at Trowbridge. He followed a military career like his three brothers Edward, Thomas and John Lewis and half-brother William Picton.1-3

   2. His wife

At the age of 24 years on 21 October 1843, Baskerville married Susan Rodon Payne (6 January 1820 – 1909), daughter (eleventh child) of Albinia Selwyn (25 August 1780 – 1 March 1860) and Charles Payne (1 January 1781 – 4 December 1845) of Clifton, Glouchestershire. Baskerville and his brother, Thomas Mortimer married on the same date and place (St Andrews Anglican Church, Clifton, Bristol). Thomas married Catherine Helen Payne (1815 – 1872), daughter of Charles Payne and Albinia Selwyn.4,5 This double wedding occurred between two sets of Mortimer and Payne siblings. By then, Baskerville’s sister, Elizabeth Caroline, too had already married into the Payne family. On 2 June 1842, she tied the knot with Captain William Augustus Townsend Payne (3 October 1806 – 1884), the son (fourth child) of Charles Payne and Albinia Selwyn.1,6 Three sets of Mortimer-Payne married couples!

   3. His career

He became Lieutenant while serving in the 34th Madras Light Infantry Regiment in India, a military wing in the army of the British East India Company, who held administrative and commercial control over India until 1857 when the British government took direct control. The light infantry units were better suited for various crisis situations, such as counterinsurgency or other low intensity-type operations, as compared to heavily armed units.4,7,8

   4. His death

By 1847, Baskerville’s health declined and it was decided that for his own best interest to take sick leave and return home. Sadly, however, Baskerville died at sea at the age of 28 years on 11 July 1847, while en route with his wife and two daughters from India to England. The ship docked at Point de Galle in British Ceylon (now Galle in Sri Lanka), where he was buried in the Dutch Cemetery. Sarah and her two young daughters continued their trip to England, but while still at sea, Elizabeth also took ill and died at sea on 28 July 1847, twelve days after her father had passed away. Only Susan and Rose arrived safely in England. Eight years later, in 1855, Susan remarried John Bates, a wealthy banker and magistrate.1,7,9-12

In 1857, ten years after Baskerville’s death, his father Edward Horlock Mortimer II died, and Baskerville’s only surviving daughter, the 13 year-old Rose inherited from her grandfather’s estate 6 000 pounds – measured in today’s worth, about 32 million British pounds or half a billion South African Rand.13,14

   5. His children

5.1 Rosina Kate

Rose, as she was called, was born on 19 August 1844, Mercara, British India. She and her husband had eleven children and became my husband’s great-great-grandparents.1,10,15 Rose was the last Mortimer of her father’s line, but the legacy of the Mortimer name continued via her many cousins and one of her grandsons, who changed his surname from Jamison to Mortimer. READ MORE on Rose Mortimer and her husband Lawrence Heyworth II.

5.2 Elizabeth Carolina

She was born on 20 February 1846, Madras, British India, christened on 14 June 1846 and died on 28 July 1847, at the age of 17 months – twelve days after the death of her father. Her death announcement appeared alongside her father’s on 4 September 1847 in the the newspaper called Salisbury and Winchester Journal that was based in Salisbury, Wiltshire.1,7,10,16,17


  1. John Baskerville Mortimer.
  2. Transcript of christening record of John Baskerville Mortimer. England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database, FamilySearch ( : 5 February 2023), John Baskerville Mortimer, 1823
  3. Information received electronically in February 2018 from Kenneth Joseph Mortimer of Lebanon, the great-great-great-great-grandson of Edward Horlock Mortimer
  4. Thomas Richard Bythesea Mortimer and John Baskerville Mortimer. 1843. England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538-1900, database, FamilySearch.
  5. Marriage date of John Baskerville Mortimer. England Marriages, 1538–1973, database, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2020), John Baskerville Mortimer, 1843
  6. Marriage date of William Augustus Townshend Payne. England, Somerset, Church Records, 1501-1999, database, FamilySearch ( : 25 February 2022), William Augustus Townshend Payne in entry for Elizabeth Caroline Mortimer, 1842
  7. Fox-Davies, A.C. Armorial families: A directory of gentlemen of coat-armour online. T.C. & E.C. Jack: Edinburgh.
  8. British East India Company.
  9. DEath and burial of John Baskerville Mortimer. Find A Grave Index, database, FamilySearch ( : 11 January 2022), John Baskerville Mortimer; Burial, , Galle District, Southern, Sri Lanka, Dutch Cemetery, Galle; citing record ID 211764331, Find a Grave,
  10. Milkins, N. & Llewellyn, D. 1999 The lady who had a pit named after her! The story of Rose Heyworth.
  11. Family notes by Evelyn Mary Jamison. In possession of Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa.
  12. History of British Ceylon.
  13. Textile history and economic history. Essays in honour of Miss Julie de Lacy Mann. 1973. 1st Harte, N.B. & Ponting, K.G., Eds. Manchester University Press: Manchester, p 145-148. htpps://
  14. Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1270 to Present.
  15. Transcript of christening record of Rosina Kate Mortimer. United Kingdom, British India Office, Births and Baptisms, 1712-1965″, database, FamilySearch ( : 20 January 2023), John Baskerville Mortimer in entry for Rosina Kate Mortimer, 1844
  16. Transcript of christening record of Elizabeth Caroline Mortimer. United Kingdom, British India Office, Births and Baptisms, 1712-1965, database, FamilySearch ( : 20 January 2023), Elizabeth Caroline Mortimer, 1846
  17. Death announcement of John Baskerville Mortimer and Elizabeth Carolina Mortimer.