Thomas Ince and Elizabeth (Townsend) who lived at the newly built Christleton Hall, married in 1744, and had four children, Elizabeth who married Thomas Passingham, and Emma who married Hugh Webb. A younger son Bell, who died unmarried, became the Lord of the Manor of Pulford. The elder son Townsend married Miss Mary Catherine Currie, daughter of Dr William Currie of Boughton Hall, Chester. (Mary Catherine’s grandmother, also Elizabeth had married John Williams of Gwersylt Hall near Wrexham, and from this line the Reverend Arthur Alyn Guest Williams is descended.
It seems that during his marriage to Elizabeth, Thomas was in such despair over his financial affairs that he threatened to commit suicide, and in the papers found at The Old Hall (now at the Cheshire Archives & Local Studies Centre) there is a very detailed handwritten suicide letter written by Thomas to Townsend his eldest son, explaining his problems and asking for help. At the end of this long and desperate letter he asks for forgiveness and that Robert should give the news to Bell. He threatens to “weight himself down and jump off a boat in the Irish Channel”. It seems that he didn’t do so as we learn that when Elizabeth (Townsend) died, Thomas married again, seemingly very happily to a Margaret Adams of Christleton, although not for money this time. According to his own record he would sacrifice his life in order to secure his widow and her child sufficient income. Their son was also named Thomas. From later correspondence in the archives we learn that Thomas and Margaret are living in London and Thomas becomes a successful wine merchant, even supplying Bell with good bottles of wine.
In 1805 Church Registers show that a Thomas Ince (of the right age) was buried in the churchyard, significantly in an unmarked grave, and not in the Ince family vault. Could this be the same Thomas, who built Christleton Hall ?
Rector A.A. Guest Williams
Rev Guest Williams Pedigree
Townsend and Lucy Ince
Thomas’ eldest son Townsend and his wife Mary (Currie) had a son, also called Townsend, who married Lucy Anne, daughter of Augustus Fuller Meyrick of Rose Hill in Sussex. The couple devoted themselves to the welfare of the people of Christleton, and had great influence in the life of the village and the County of Cheshire. This was particularly so during the Rectorship of Reverend Lionel Garnett. He often said that without her great moral and financial support he would not have been able to carry out his many plans and ideas for the people of Christleton. This included the rebuilding of the church and the schools. Lucy Anne had acquired her wealth from the estate of her father Augustus, who originally had his settlement from the estate of Sir Francis Drake. She was a powerful and important lady and had been present at the Coronation of Queen Victoria. She is also said to have been in the first carriage following that of the Queen, who as Princess Victoria, had officially opened the Grosvenor Bridge over the River Dee in Chester in 1832, then the longest single arch bridge in the world.
In dying without surviving issue, Townsend and Lucy Anne’s property came by will to Major William Townsend Currie, grandson of Bishop Graham and great grandson of Dr Currie of Boughton Hall. Major Currie came to live at the Old Hall in Christleton in preference to his ancestral home at Boughton, and the impressive Christleton Hall was sold. Major and Mrs Townsend lived in Christleton and did much to make the Old Hall a centre of hospitality and good causes in the neighbourhood. Major Currie served in the British Army in India and Tibet. He was particularly interested in the work of the Boy Scout Movement, and entertained the Chief Scout, Lord Baden Powell in Christleton. Major Currie retired to Amlwch in Anglesey, where he died in 1942.
Canon Garnett 1897 Victoria's Jubilee
St.James Church Christleton 1831
St.James Church Christleton 1876
Butterfields geometric designs
Butterfield's St James Church