Tryon family conundrum: mistress and legitimization of children

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George Tryon (1783 or 1785 to 1842) was (according to his son's marriage certificate) a British Army officer. He had at least three children by Peachey Chambers [Chambers-4122]: Clara born 1827, George born 1830 in London, and Charles Edward born 1836 London. I have traced birth/baptism records for the two sons, and they were originally given the name Chambers, with Tryon as a middle name. George, the father, married Peachey Chambers, their mother, in the late Spring or early Summer of 1842 in Brighton, Sussex, and was buried there on June 1, 1842, meaning he'd married her virtually on his deathbed. Later the children used the name Tryon rather than Chambers. My assumption was that Peachey Chambers was George Tryon's mistress, and that he may have "made an honest woman of her" at the very end of his life. Question: would that automatically have legitimated his children? Peachey had another daughter born in 1845, but as George was three years buried presumably she wasn't his, but took the name Tryon by virtue of being born illegitimately to the Widow Tryon. Question: Any thoughts on that? Does it seem a reasonable assumption? Finally, the parentage of father George [Tryon-1918]. I believe he was either the George Tryon baptized in Scotland in 1783 or George Tryon [Tryon-2014], the son of another George Tryon and his wife Elizabeth Wingfield. The 1783 record I have is for a birth/baptism in Scotland and the second, 1785, record is for a baptism near the family seat at Cottingham, Northamptonshire, England. As grandfather George was also a British Army officer, it's possible he moved about, including into Scotland briefly. Question: Are the 1783 Scottish and 1785 English records referring to the same child? Any help or insight anyone can give would be gratefully received!
WikiTree profile: George Tryon
asked in Genealogy Help by Laurie Keller G2G5 (5.8k points)
edited by Laurie Keller

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer
I've had two similar in my tree where I've assumed the intention was to give the wife/mistress rights to inherit. In one case there were no children and in the other the children retained the mother's name. But they were both long-standing housekeepers to the men. That doesn't seem to be the case here, as in 1841 Peachey is living with only the three children and I can't find George.

Not much help I'm afraid.
answered by Martin Allen G2G6 Pilot (251k points)
selected by Michael Maranda
I have answered part of my own question (whether the George baptized in Scotland in 1783 was identical with the George apparently baptized in England in 1785 -- answer yes, in 1785 it is likely he was "presented" at church at the time of the baptism of a younger sister). However, wife Peachey remains a bit mysterious. I did find her in the 1851 census. Peachey died in 1857. I also had a look (on advice from a professional historian) at the London Gazette, which does mention George a few times, thus giving me his regiment and rank. He spent time out in India (Bengal) with his regiment, which may explain why there are gaps between his children, particularly the two sons. Needless to say, though, none of the items in the London Gazette refers to: "George's mistress Peachey Chambers"! I can't find an estate either, so perhaps he wasn't particularly prosperous, despite coming from a prosperous family, nor a particularly distinguished officer, though coming from a strongly military family. It may be that the family paid Peachey to keep quiet. Anyway, thanks for the effort!

Ancestry has his will if you have access -

George Tryon


I think it's well worth you getting it, if not from ancestry, from the National Archives.

I've just transcribed part of it for you.

"This is the  last will and testament  of  me George Tryon of no 53, Chalybeate Street Brighton in the county of Sussex esquire, made this twenty seventh day of April one thousand eight hundred and forty –two"

Basically  I think that he seems asking for all his estate except what he owes to his brothers and sisters ((not sure whether he is a trustee for family funds or what)  to be converted into money and invested in a trust fund . He appoints  "George Battrock? Of Brighton aforesaid Surgeon, James Lee Douglas of Market Harborough in the county of Leicester, gentleman and my wife Peachey Tyron " to administrate it. It's full of legalese and have read it quickly so may have not got it exactly right.

The funds are to be divided into 4, 1/4 for Peachey the other 3/4 for children. He then names them and very usefully, their places of baptism.

"my three children, namely Clara Tryon, George Tryon and Charles Edward Tryon which said Clara Tyron is now of the age of fifteen years or thereabouts and was baptised at Bolougne in the Kingdom of France and which said George Tyron is now of the age of twelve years or thereabouts and was baptised in Trinity Church Marylebone in the County of Middlesex in the month of September, one thousand, eight hundred and thirty and which Charles Edward Tyron is now of the age of six years or thereabouts and was baptised at Brighton Old Church in the County of Sussex "

I'm not certain if the marriage actually legitimised them, his will though makes them and Peachey his heirs so  had the same effect.

edit, by the date, he wouldn't have been married long when he made the will. One of the witnesses was H.M Wagner  vicar of Brighton. (he  looks to be an interesting character and I had to stop myself disappearing down another rabbit hole researching him)

Edit: Peachey's will is also on ancestry and in the National Archives:

Well done, Helen. I didn't have the time to work through it. I know what you mean by rabbit holes. :-)

Wow. Thanks so much! I wondered why I could find the boys' baptisms but not Clara's; now I know. I'll look at Peachey's will too, thanks. I have kind of gathered that George the father didn't stick to the ways of his family and that probably as a result members of his birth family weren't particularly helpful to his mistress/wife and children. Again, thanks a lot; I really appreciate the efforts.

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