Bridget Greentree

Bridget Greentree was born on St. Helena on April 18, 1755, the fourth daughter and seventh child of James Greentree and Margaret Bates.

On October 1, 1773, the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (and a number of other newspapers) announced that:

The Court of Directors of the East India Company have appointed the Rev. Robartes Carr, B.A. and fellow of Worcester College, Oxon, Chaplain to their settlement at Saint Helena, in the room of the Rev. Mr. Bearcroft, who is returning to England.

Robartes Carr was the fifth son of the Reverend Robert Carr and his wife, Elizabeth, was baptized in Twickenham in the county of Middlesex, England on October 2, 1748.[1] He had applied for the position on St. Helena from his position as Curate at St. Nicholas in Deptford.[2]

It is not clear when Carr actually arrived on the island, but on August 3, 1775, Daniel Corneille, the Lieutenant Governor of St. Helena married Robartes Carr to the 20-year-old Bridget Greentree.[3] They would have three children before leaving the island in October 1781.

John Frederick Born November 30, 1776, St. Helena
John joined the East India Company as a Cadet on the Bengal Establishment in 1795, arriving in India as an Ensign in 1797. He became a Lieutenant in the 11th N.I. and transferred to the newly-raised 24th N.I. in 1805, where he was promoted to Captain in 1806. Hodson lists no record of active service. He was pensioned August 28, 1806 and died October 2, 1812.[4] He is listed as being buried at Fort William, Bengal.[5]

James born July 17, 1778, St. Helena. Died sometime after 1787 (mentioned in father’s will at that date).

Elizabeth born February 29, 1780. St.  Helena. Died sometime after 1787 (mentioned in father’s will at that date).

In October, 1781, the Carr family left St. Helena for England; all the baptisms of their last three children are recorded in Twickenham.[6]

Margaretta Britannia baptized July 28 1783, Twickenham. Buried December 14, 1783, Twickenham.

Robartes baptized June 22, 1785, Twickenham.
December 1807 appointed an Ensign, without purchase, in the 44th Regiment of Foot.[7] Died in Portugal in 1811.[8]

Gabriel baptized November 30, 1786, Twickenham.
Gabriel is the child about whom most is known. In 1828, the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers details the following pension being paid as part of its listing of the Account of Superannuation Allowances in Public Departments. The Victualling Office was part of the Navy Board of Great Britain and, as it sounds, responsible for the providing of food and other stores for Navy ships. The dates below suggest he began his service there about 1802, at the age of 16.

Gabriel Carr, Clerk in the Victualling Office; Salary: £360; age on retirement: 42; years of service: 26; Pension commenced: 1 Jan. 1828; Amount per annum: £204 13s 4d.

Gabriel married Anna Doveton on January 31, 1833 – after his retirement – in St. Marylebone Church, London. Anna was presumably had a connection of some kind to the Doveton family which was prominent on St. Helena, although she herself was born February 25, 1794 in London, the daughter of Frederick Doveton and Mary Slade[9]. There appears to have been no children of the marriage, perhaps because Anna was 39 by this time.

In the 1841 census of England and Wales, the couple is living in Rectory Cottage in Hanwell, Middlesex. In 1851, they are on Elm Grove in Ealing Middlesex.  Four years later, Gabriel died in Sussex. Anna had already died on March 21, 1852, in London.[10]

1855 Dec 12. At Bognor, Gabriel Carr, esq. of West Brompton. (Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 44, 1856.)

In 1787, Robartes and Bridget, and perhaps some of their children, left for India, where he joined the Fourth European Batallion at Fategarh as Chaplain.[11] He died at Bankpore, India on 21 November, 1795.[12]

Bridget was awarded a pension from the Lord Clive Fund on October 5, 1796, which had been set up to help European officers and soldiers in the East India Company and their widows; chaplains were also eligible. She returned to London and 1798 has her contribution to a defence fund recorded in a London newspaper.

Voluntary contributions at the Bank, for the defence of this country: Mrs. Robartes Carr, 1.1.0. (Sun, Friday, May 4, 1798)

Nothing more is heard of her and she has not yet been located in the 1841 census. But she survived until the age of 91, dying on December 3, 1847 in London, of old age. The informant was her only surviving, child, Gabriel.[13] Interestingly, her death notice in the Gentleman’s Magazine gives no mention of her and her husband’s connection to the island of St. Helena.

Dec 3 at Hamilton-terr, St. John’s Wood, aged 90, [her death certificate gives her age as 91] Bridget, relict of the Rev. Robartes Carr, formerly minister of Twickenham. (Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 27, 1847, p. 103.



[1] London Metropolitan Archives, St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham, Register of Baptism, DRO/174/A/01, Item 006.  Digital images. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2013.

[2] Robartes Carr Petition to the Honourable East India Company, n.d. British Library: IOR E/1/54 ff 139-140v.

[3] St. Helena Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1767–1835. Microfilm no. 0498605, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[4] Hodson, V.C.P. List of Officers of the Bengal Army. 1758-1834. London: Phillimore, 1957, vol. 1, p. 309

[5] British Library India Office Records: N/1/9 f.87. India Office Family History Search. http://indiafamily.bl.uk/UI/ : 2012.

[6] The three baptisms and one death in Twickenhan from Ironside, Edward. The History and Antiquities of Twickenham... London: John Nichols, 1797.

[7] Caledonian Mercury, December 14, 1807.

[8] Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 110, 1811, p. 658. Google Books. http://books.google.com : 2010.

[9] London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Marylebone, Register of baptisms, Dec 1793 – May 1799, P89/MRY1, Item 010. http://www.ancestry.com : 2012.

[10] 1852 March 21. At Cricklewood, Anna, wife of Gabriel Carr, esq. Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 191, p. 532.

[11] McNally, S.J. The Chaplains of the East India Company. Preface dated 1976. British Library, India Office: Typescript, p. 19. More of Robartes Carr’s history In India will be laid out in a separate entry for him.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Death Certificate

1 comment to Bridget Greentree

  • Charles

    Very impressed with your site as a whole and in particular with the quality of your information. When there is so much ignorant rubbish on the internet masquerading as family history, to find your careful and scrupulous research is a pleasure.

    Might I first offer a few additional details on some of the children of Bridget Greentree and Robartes Carr ?

    The second child James Carr, like his elder brother John Frederick Carr, became an officer in the Indian Army, where he was aide-de-camp to General Lake (1744-1808), though I’ve not looked up details of his service. He was left a ring by his unmarried aunt Isabella Anne Carr in her will of 6 Nov 1807 proved on 7 Jun 1809. According to a family memoir, he was a good officer but retired to Paris where he lost all he had in gambling. Before then he had given a French watch to Maria Carr (1801-1888), eldest daughter of his first cousin Reverend Robert James Carr (1774-1841), but she broke it falling off a pony. He may have been buried at Madras, now Chennai, on 20 Dec 1833.

    The third child Elizabeth Ann Carr, known in the family as Betsey, was unmarried and died in the last quarter of 1867 in the Brompton district of London, where she had been living in the 1861 census with Greentree relatives.

    There was a fourth child born on St Helena on 29 Feb 1780, named Bridget Carr. She never married and died in St John’s Wood, London, on 3 Dec 1846.

    The seventh child Gabriel Carr as a widower moved to Bognor in Sussex, not in Wales. According to a family memoir, he was still a very handsome old man. Staying in the Claremont Hotel, he started courting the landlord’s daughter and gave her valuable ornaments. However his death prevented a second marriage. The house Elm Grove at Ealing, where he and Anna lived in 1851, had belonged to his first cousin and was still inhabited by his stepchildren.

    Next, may I share a few details from this family memoir about Charlotte Greentree and her second husband Charles Wyatt ?

    According to this account both Charlotte and her sister Bridget struck their English relations as extremely silly and talked with a gabbling accent unique to St. Helena. Bridget asked her daughter one day : « Betsey, where de wasp’s sting, in his head or his tail? »

    The Wyatts lived at Ealing, home to Sir Henry William Carr (1777-1821) at Elm Grove and his father Reverend Colston Carr (1740-1822) at the Vicarage. During the Peninsular War, old Captain Wyatt gave it as his opinion that the Pyrenees were a great people and very much would depend on which side they took.

    Their daughter Charlotte eloped with a linen draper’s assistant and was married at a London church. The clergyman suspected all was not right as they were both extremely young, being good-looking, and Charlotte wore a magnificent Indian shawl. She was speedily captured and brought back by her brother and for some time she was at the Vicarage at Ealing till her mother would consent to see her. When she returned home, Mrs Wyatt’s sole reproof was « O fie, Charlotte; go learn your Catechism! »

    The family record this is drawn from consists of handwritten memories of Maria Carr (1801-1808), her niece Mary Sybella Peckham (1830-1920) and her nephew Walter Divie Peckham (1883-1979). I’ve transcribed them all and could supply a PDF to allow authentication.

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