|Written by Dr Edward Nares: (Some
time between 1805 and 1815, transcribed as exactly as possible from the
original document, which does not appear to be addressed to anyone in
I was born on the 26th of March 1762 in my father's house in Carey Street London, being the 3rd son of George (afterwards the Honourable Sir George) Nares, born in 1716 in Stanwell, one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. My mother (married in 1751) was daughter of the Right Honourable Sir John Strange, sometime Solicitor General to George II and afterwards Master of the Rolls, a Privy Councillor and I think M.P. at the same time for Totness. Sir John Strange died in 1754. My grandmother Lady Strange was one of the 4 daughters & co-heiress of Mr Edward Strong, a very eminent Mason who was particularly concerned in the building of St Pauls of which he laid the last stone upon the lanterne Oct 26 1708 the first stone having been, 33 years before, laid by his brother Thomas. Mr Strong was also engaged in the building of the Churches erected by Act of Parliament after the fire of London - Greenwich Hospital & many of the first houses in the kingdom, particularly Blenheim in 1705. Mr Strong left a large fortune behind him, my eldest brother being now in possession of some of the estates inherited from my Uncle John Strange Esq. sometime minister at Venice - the 3 other daughters of Mr Strong married James Munday Esq of Bath, -Phillips Esq of Hereford, & Sir Thomas Parker Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, whom I remember well, & who died at a very advanced age having been 32 years a judge, his eldest daughter married Earl St Vincent, & is now living: She is Godmother to my daughter - his youngest married the Rev. Thomas Heathcote, son of Sir Thos. Heathcote, M.P for Hants, a very worthy & respectable man, his family was previously connected with Sir J. Parker's family in consequence of the marriage of his aunt with the Earl of Macclesfield a younger branch of Sir T. Parker's family, who was himself descended from the Lord Chancellor Macclesfield - Mrs Heathcote a very sensible and worthy woman died early of an asthmatic complaint. At the time of my birth, my father was King's Sergeant & M.P. about the same time for the City of Oxford, of which he was also Recorder, & where to this day to my certain knowledge, he is remembered with the highest respect, many of his old constituents being still alive, & with whom I have often voted for members of Parliament as a Freeman of that anfient city by descent. Tho' I may perhaps have other occasions of mentioning my brothers and sisters, I shall give an account of such as lived to grow up. Four died very young, the eldest of those who survived was my sister Mary married in 1779 to the Rev Thos. Treacher Rector of Ardley in Oxfordshire to which living he was presented by the Duke of Marlborough. Mrs Treacher had 5 children, 2 died young, 3 are now living, with 2 daughters, the eldest married to Thos. R Walker Esq of Oxford, & one son married in 1804 to Miss Swainston of York. Mr Treacher died in 1786, & my sister Mrs Treacher in June 1787. She was a religious good woman, & generally esteemed by all who knew her. My eldest brother John is living. He was born in 1754 educated at Eton & afterwards called to the bar; he was appointed Commissioner of Bankrupts by Lord Bathurst when Chancellor, Secretary of Briefs by Lords Loughborough & Thurlow successively, & afterwards a Police Magistrate, all which appointments he at present holds. He married 1795 Martha daughter of William Owen Brigstoke Esq. of Blaeupant(?) in the County of Cardigan, by whom he had 5 children, 4 sons & a daughter, the sons are living, the daughter died to the great grief of her parents Nov. 1805. My 2nd brother George Strange was born in 1759. He went to Westminster School whence he was elected from the foundation to a studentship at Ch: Ch: 1776 from thence he went into the army & became a Captain in the 70th Regiment of Foot. He accompanied his regt. to the West Indies in 1794, in the expedition commanded by Sir Charles, afterwards Lord Grey, having caused his thanks to be returned to him at the head of the army, & as a remuneration for his gallantry, gave him a civil post of considerable emolument in Martinique after its surrender, but he lived but a short time to enjoy his new appointment, dying only a few days I think after he received it, of the fever prevalent in those parts. Lord St Vincent told me his death was generally commented by his brother officers, & that they had entered into a subscription for his widow - he married a Miss Heard of Ireland, by whom he had only one son who survived him, & to whom in consideration of his father's services H.R.H. the Duke of York was pleased to give an Ensign's Commission when an infant. My brother was a man of great energy &B spirit, & had he lived, I make no doubt would have been a very enterprizing but steady soldier. We had a great affection for each other, being educated at the same school, & therefore much together in the early part of our lives, & it is with much satisfaction that I record to circumstance to show that his attachment continued to the last hour of his life;- for in a very short will that he drew up upon his death-bed, he commends his only son to my guardianship & care in the following words, "I beg him that the said Edward Nares to be a guardian to my child, he being the man on earth I most revere". My second sister Susanna Letitia is still living. She married Dec. 1799 Charles Masterman Henning Esq. of a respectable family in Dorsetshire & has 2 children, a son & a daughter. My 3rd sister Anne was born in 1764, she was a most amiable and good young woman, but her life was short. She died of a decline at Bristol Hotwells May 1795. I had a great but melancholy satisfaction in attending her till she breathed her last. My 4th sister is living & has a large family. She married Nov. 1792 D'Arcy Preston Esq. of Askham in Yorkshire then a Lieut. in the navy. He also in consequence of our connection with Lord St Vincent, accompanied him in his own ship to the West Indies in 1794 & on the taking of Martinique was sent home with the despatches by which he became a Master & Commander. In 1796 he was made a Port Captain, & while I am writing this has the command of the sea fencibles at Whitby in Yorkshire being also in possession of his estate at Askham by the recent demise of his father. Such is the account of our family to the present time. At 8 years old I was sent to Westminster School & this is the first last & only school I ever went to - reading I was taught by my excellent mother, who without any assistance & with invincible patience performed the same task for all her children; she had her regular school hours with which no engagements nor amusements were suffered to interfere, & when I consider the fashions of the present day, I feel as if I'd never sufficiently admire the truly maternal care of my mother in never suffering my sisters to pass from under her own eye, or leaving them to the care & company of hirelings, tho' her situation in life was such as to have enabled her to do so, had she chosen to abandon so solemn a charge.