(Thomas Jones married Mary Kirby who had come down from Deene with the countess when she married the Earl. The description of her family below has been immensely valuable for reserching that side of my family tree. One thing that does always amaze me when reading these memoirs is how deferential they are over there “Lords and Masters”. Even when they have fallen out, see The Pelhams. How times have changed! )
In July 11th 1841 my Father was married in Stanmer Church to Mary Kirby. She had come to the house from Deene in Northamptonshire. The home of many Counts of Chichester. Her father was John Kirby a Yeoman for many years a tenant of the Earl of Cardigan, he had a large farm at Glapthorne, but ill health compelled him to retire. Lord Cardigan then placed him on the Home Farm and any farms that were in hand. As a consequence my Mother resided on several parts of the Cardigan estate. Her father and her Mother Rebecca lie close to the chancel of Deene Church so as to be as near as possible to his noble master, the Earl. My mother used to tell me the Earl was one of the most generous of men. Boys would start running as soon a she appeared invariably he gave them a shilling for opening the gate for him. She had also a recollection of his outbursts of temper making her afraid to answer the door; but these explosions were not often and perhaps were the result of aggravation.
My mother never tired of talking of the beauties and virtues of the young ladies at Deene. I never knew only Lady Charlotte Stuart (?) and our own beautiful countess. The Earl who befriended my Grandfather was a tall handsome man extremely wealthy and left to his charming daughters a grand parsimony. My Mother used to say the Cardigans were generous to a fault. A little inclined to ebullition of temper which was soon over. All the inhabitants of Deene would run to do their bidding. My grandfather and grandmother adored them and they were both buried as close to the sixth Earl as Possible in Deene church yard.
My mother was extremely proud of Lord Cardigan of Balaclava fame, but she would never allow his wife’s name to be mentioned. One of my uncles William Kirby was a foreman at the Breweries at Oundle. Her brother Joe was Reeve of the woods and Park at Stamford belonging to the Marquis of Exeter. Her Sister Elizabeth had the only confectioners shop in Huntingdon and the refreshment bar at Peterborough. My aunt wished me to learn the business so as to carry it on when she retired. I had a month at Huntingdon, when I am afraid I was more interested in Oliver Cromwell, than in Biscuit making. Soon after my Sister Annie went to Huntingdon and assisted my aunt in the shop there she contracted Rheumatic fever, which unfortunately hastened her end.
My uncle Jude for many years had a shop in Sheffield where he made only one article, the tuning fork of the concert hall and class room. In his old age he dealt in ancient artistic ironwork, armoury’s locks steel chests, Old bibles with beautiful clasps, swords, oriental and Indian metal work, guns and armour. He once showed my brother Jude a pair of daggers he bought of the count of Munster at Brighton. My uncle William was for many years an invalid. Gout was the only remains of my grandfather’s wealth and this we all suffered from more or less in diverse forms.