2013-02-22 04:52:12 UTC
with the De Ridder family by a member of a family related to me (my
great-grandfather's 2nd cousin), Stephana Augusta Plummer* (daughter
of Thomas Plummer, gent., of Holdcroft House, Broad Blunsdon,
Highworth, Wilts., by his wife Catherine nee Taylor)(Thomas Plummer,
bt. 1811, Garsdon, Wilts., d. Nov. 1870, was the son of John Plummer,
gent., of Siddington, Glos., and his wife, Mary Matthews. This latter
couple are ancestors of the late Lord Plummer of St Marylebone. John
was a younger brother of my ancestor Richard Plummer (1773-1824), of
Purton and Lydiard Tregoz, Wilts.)
I wonder if the De Ridder claims to such a title have any merit? The
origins are said to be so ancient (A.D. 780, but also 1711) as to be
The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, Thursday, 10 May 1894, issue 14351
"DE RIDDER - COLMAN -- On May 9th at the Abbey Church, Bath, by the
Rev. Thomas K. Allen, of Clifton, Louis Edward de Ridder, of Newbury
house, Clifton, member of the ancient Marquisate family de Renesquieu
de Bourbourg et de Monthiver to Stephana Augusta Colman, of Erlestoke,
Clifton, widow of the late E. S. [Edward Stone] Colman, and second
daughter of the late Thomas Plummer, of North Wilts. No cards."
This set me looking for the roots of this claim. I have dredged up a
fair amount in English publications, but have found little
corroboration in French ones. Is this a case of La Fausse Noblesse or
La Noblesse d'Apparence?
There is a passing reference to Louis Edouard de Ridder de Mont Hiver,
Marquis de Renezcure and Baron de Bourbourg et Mont Hiver in Crisp's
"Visitation of England and Wales", vol. 6, p. 83, under Smith,
formerly of Sidbury Hall, Salop.
The 1851 census of Westbury-on-Trim, Clifton, Bristol, shows this man,
as Louis E. De Ridder, aged 69, born at Renescure, Dept de Nord,
France, a French teacher, with wife, Margaret (nee Thomas), and three
grandchildren (sired by his sons, Edouard, the elder son, an
architect, and Louis, the younger, a land surveyor and engineer, who
were absent. I think there may have been a third son, Louis Charles
Henry De Ridder, born circa 1817-18 at Bedminster, Somerset, who
married Victoria Constance Granara and had issue too, but only his
profession (surveyor and civil engineer) and the area he was born in
hint at this).
"The Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London" (vol. 7, 1905, p.
21) show that one grandson, not mentioned in the 1851 census, named
Louis Edouard/Edward De Ridder (1846-1935) was elected a member in
1890. Included in his entry is a list of what look like the surnames
of his French Flanders kinfolk with the implication that some if not
all of them were also noble, viz.:
"Nov. 1890. De Ridder, Louis Edward, Comte de Mont-d'Hiver, Newbridge
Towers, Weston, Bath (de Ridder de Bourbourg, de Renescure, et de
Montd'Hiver, Montmorency, de Groote, de Schoebecq à Cassel, de
Then there are various other newspaper accounts and British
publications which include bits about this family and its claims of
ancient French noblesse:
Western Daily Press
Monday, 6 April 1868, p. 4, col. 2
"MARRIAGES. On the 11th January, at the British Legation, Lima, Peru,
by the Rev. Josh. Henry, EDWD. CROKER DARTNELL, Esq., to ELLEN ALICE,
second daughter of the late EDWARD DE RIDDER, C.E., of Clifton, and
granddaughter of the Marquis Louis Edward de Renezcure, of Bourborg,
Western Daily Press
Thursday, 26 March 1914, p. 12, col. 5
"DEATHS. DE RIDDER. -- March 24, at Redland, Caroline,
great-granddaughter of John Bartholomew De Ridder, Marquis et Bailli
de Renescure, who was killed during the Revolution at the retreat of
Neville, defending the Dauphin of France. Aged 70." [This is quite a
claim to fame if true.]
The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 - 1931) Friday 10
October 1930 p. 23
De Ridder-Cherrv Wedding
The altar at St. George's, Goodwood, was decorated with arum lilies,
and the chancel massed with roses, yesterday morning, for the Nuptial
Mass and wedding of Vivian Denning, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
J. Cherry, of Robert street, North Unley, with the Rev. Louis Edward
de Ridder. only son of Louis Edward de Ridder (Le Comte de Renezcure),
of Newbridge Towers, Bath (Eng.). Canon P. W. C. Wise officiated. The
bride, who was given away by her father, wore a frock of rich
parchment duchess satin, shirred on the tight-fitting bodice, and with
long tight-fitting sleeves, the flared skirt was slightly trained, and
arranged at the waist with a deep flounce of Bruges lace. A court
train, of cream chenille em bossed tulle over pink georgette hung from
the shoulders, and a parchment tulle veil, arranged by a wreath of
orange blossom, fell in misty folds to the floor and formed a train.
She carried a lovely shower bouquet of white flowers wtih a touch of
TWO MAIDS WORE PINK Two attendant maids were Misses Dorothy
Bartholomaeus and Nanette Whereat, in shrimp pink georgette, the
former wearing a long flounced frock with long tight sleeves, the
latter a flared frock, sleeveless, and with a cape. Their hats were
picture shape in beige straw. Each wore the bridegroom's gift of a
string of pearls and carried bouquets of pink sweet peas and
carnations with blue forget-me-nots. Mr, Frank Tomkinson was best man.
Mr. and Mrs. Cherry held a reception at heir home after the ceremony.
Mrs. Cherry was in copper silk-jersey, made with a full flared skirt,
and worn with a jacket to match; black ballibuntal hat; an
autumn-tinted posy was carried. The house was massed with beautiful
flowers, roses being arranged in the drawing room, and a glory of
Gawler pink sweet peas, heuchera and maidenhair fern in the living
room, where the wedding tea was served. The bride travelled in a suit
of blue wool, crepe-de-chine, with maize coloured blouse and blue
The Rev. and Mrs. L. E. de Ridder leave shortly for Colombo, en route
for Darjeeling (India), where they will stay about two months and then
go on to London. After the ceremony a cable arrived from he
bridegroom's father, who is aged 82.— .LADY KITTY.
Mr De Ridder had been a Brother in an Anglican order for some years
during his time in Australia. He was Stephana Augusta`s only child by
L.E. De Ridder. In 1931, he became Vicar of St Martin`s Roath, near
Cardiff. There were two daughters of the marriage, Helen Eugene (not
Eugenie) Vivian (b. 1931), and Angela (b. 1934). The family returned
to Australia in 1936. Mrs De Ridder died in 1950, and Mr De Ridder,
who seems to have given up being a clergyman in Australia, remarried
to Kathleen Inman. He died in 1970. His daughters are my 87-year-old
mother`s fourth cousins. I lost track of them after a return sailing
to Australia from Britain with their parents in 1947. There seem,
however, to be descendants of the possible third son of the original
French immigrant De Ridder to Britain now settled in New South Wales
as their genealogy is among the Public Members trees posted on
Western Daily Press
Tuesday 13 January 1931, p. 5, col. 7
headline: Local Notes and Topics
"A Wedding Group.
A wedding group on our picture page to-day will interest many old
Bristolians. The bridegroom is the son of Mr. Louis de Ridder, who,
thirty odd years ago, was a very well-known personality in Bristol's
public affairs, and especially during the controversy that raged
around the dockisation of the river Avon. Columns and columns of
correspondence appeared in our columns on this subject, and Mr. de
Ridder's name appeared at the end of many of the letters. For some
years now he has been residing at Newbridge Towers, Bath, but still
preserves his interest in Bristol and, he informs us, as a regular
reader of the Western Daily Press, keeps in touch with municipal and
other affairs in the city."
"The de Ridder Family.
There is a romantic association with Mr. de Ridder's family history.
He still preserves a letter from his father written 60 years ago,
recounting the discovery of documents giving authentic proof that Mr.
de Ridder's great-grandfather was the head of one of the "oldest,
noblest, and richest families of France." The letter referred to
states: "The packet contained also deeds and paper belonging to the
estate of Renescure. And father, when he took Edward and I to see
France in 1825, also took see the place and I can just recollect an
immense, large castle and fish pond. All this was the value of 200,000
frs. a year, which, when you consider that at that time, 1794, a franc
represented a pound English, was a very large fortune."
"Prisoner at Frenchay.
The letter continues "There was the first Patent of Nobility, dating
from 780, for saving the life of Charles Martel, then King of what was
called France (but only a small part of France today) at the battle of
Neustrie, down to the date of 1711, when my father's grandfather was
created Marquis de Renescure etc., which Patent of Nobility is still
in existence to-day. My grandfather was taken prisoner by the English
whilst fighting two British frigates. He found that his frigate was
sinking. So to save the lives of his officers and men he surrendered,
and became a prisoner on parole, at Devonport, then at Brecon, in
Wales, where he married and had two sons. He eventually was
transferred to Frenchay near Bristol. His war friends made him French
master at Bishop's College, top of Park Street, Bristol. He died at
Clifton, and my dear mother buried him in Clifton churchyard." This
bit of family history indicates the ups and downs of fortune in 18th
"At the Port of Bristol: Members and problems, 1848-1890." 42
W. G. Neale, Port of Bristol Authority, 1968, p. 152
quoting "Contemporary Biographies: Bristol in 1898", vol. 1, p. 91
Louis EDWARD DE RIDDER, Chateau de Renescure, Bournemouth. Born at
Lympsham, near Weston-super-Mare; educated partly at Western and partly at
Bristol. (Named Louis Edward after his grandfather, who was naval
Napoleon I, and a member of one of the oldest noble families of French
patents of nobility granted A.D. 780, for saving the life of the then
King of France
at the battle of Neustrie). Came to Bristol in 1872, and soon
interested himself in the question of dockising the river Avon;
opposed the Docks Bill of 1892, and submitted to the Council plans for
dockisation, which allowed for the safe berthing at Bristol of vessels
from 450 to 500 and 550 feet in length; in 1893 sought the suffrages
of the Clifton Ward as candidate for the City Council, and fought two
elections, polling 511 votes on the first occasion, and 858 on the
second, when he was defeated by only five votes. Putting up again in
1894, purely on the dockisation ticket, he secured a majority of 500
votes. Though not now in the Council, Mr. de Ridder still presses his
scheme as the most advantageous which could be adopted."
Annales ..., Volumes 6-7 1862
Comité flamand de France
"LISTE DES DELEGUES
Choisis par les Villes, Bourgs, Paroisses et Communautés de campagne
ayant un rôle séparé de contribution, pour représenter l'Ordre du
Tiers État de la Flandre Maritime à l'Assemblée Bailliagère, du 30
mars 1789, à Bailleul.
[330 feus] Renescure (Paroisse et Seigneurie). [4 deputes] NOM,
PRÉNOMS, Etc. des Députés.... Jean-Barthelemi De Ridder, Bailli.
[followed by 3 more names]"
A slight expansion on this is available here (though the text is
garbled, but I have included a better URL later):
Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2009 with funding from University
Les cahiers de la Flandre maritime en 1789; avec une introduction et
des notes (1906)
Author: Saint-Léger, Alexandre René de, 1866-; Sagnac, Philippe, 1868-
Subject: French Revolution, 1789-1792 (Assemblée Nationale)
Publisher: Paris, Picard
Call number: AEY-2287
Digitizing sponsor: University of Ottawa
Book contributor: Robarts - University of Toronto
Collection: robarts; toronto
Full catalog record: MARCXML
DE LA FLANDRE MARITIME
Pour l'Encouragement des Lettres, des Sciences et des Arts
Publiés "avec une introduction et des notes
A. DE SAINT-LÉGER & Ph. SAGNAC
Professeurs d'Histoire à l'Université de Lille
TOME I "
"RENESCURE : p. 259"
24 mars, en la maison de Loi de celte paroisse, par de-
vant Jean Barthelemi de Ridder, bailli de la paroisse
et seigneurie de Renescure.
330 feux, par dessus les liait fermes situés au canton
des Heylles, en cette paroisse.
Députés : De Ridder, Pierre Jean Deschodt, Mathieu
Dabout et Louis Isidor Degay.
Le cahier de Renescure na pas etê retrouvé.
* Canton (nord) d'Hazebrouck, à 12 kil. "
I can find precious little about the existence of such a marquisate
(and it seems significant that the very man who is called Marquis and
Bailli in an English text is only called Bailli here), or the allied
countship and baronage. There seems to be some playing fast and loose
with the titles in terms of which ones are being used in which way. To
my eyes, this gives the appearance of evolving and inconsistent
claims, though I know Continental usages differed a great deal from
British ones. I wonder if anyone can verify or explode these claims
Thank you in advance,
Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA
* I only discovered two days ago that Stephana Augusta Plummer and her
elder sister Mary Eugenia Plummer were the subject of a very unusual
and rather salacious lawsuit in 1860 involving a clergyman, the Rev.
Two books have been written about it.
1. Henry’s Trials, by Peter Maggs, published by Mirli Books Ltd, 2009,
2. The Ordeal of the Revd. Henry J. Hatch of Walton-on-Thames: No. 34:
An Extraordinary Tale of Victorian Criminal Justice, by John Pulford,
published by the Walton & Weybridge Local History Society, 2010, ISBN