Charles Baumgarten

Charles Baumgarten served Cocking as curate for a few months in 1824, early in the “reign” of Revd. Thomas Valentine. He was also curate at Heyshott; other than this, he seems not to have had any preferment as parish priest.

Charles Henry Thomas Baumgarten was born in Bath, Somerset on 14 February 1799, the son of Captain Samuel Henry Baumgarten, Royal Navy, and his wife, Ann née Brydges. He was baptised at St Swithin’s Church, Bath on 16 May 1799.

In the Christmas term 1813, he was admitted to Westminster School but left the following summer. Despite this, he matriculated on 23 June 1818 and joined Magdalen Hall, Oxford. He graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1822, gaining his Master of Arts in 1825.

It’s not clear when Baumgarten was ordained, but he was appointed a curate at Heyshott on 31 October 1822 by John Buckner, the Bishop of Chichester. He first appears in the Cocking parish register when he officiated at the baptism of Henrietta Hide on 25 July 1824. Between then and November, he officiated at five further baptisms, and one funeral, for Mrs Anne Newman.

By the early 1830s, he had settled in Aldwick, near Bognor, where in 1834, he and his sister, Mary Ann, had donated £200 towards the purchase of a bell, named “Mary Ann” to be installed in the newly constructed tower at St John’s chapel in Bognor. At the same time, Mary Ann also donated a weather vane (at a cost of £25) for the tower and their father had donated a bible and prayer book for the reading desk.

On 4 July 1834, Charles Baumgarten married Frances Ord at St Thomas à Becket Church in Pagham. Frances’s father was John Ord of Aldwick Lodge, whose first wife, Jane had died earlier in 1834. On 12 August 1835, Mary Ann (aged 32) married John Ord (aged 62) at St Thomas à Becket Church. John died in Aldwick in September 1838. A year later, on 2 September 1839, Mary Ann re-married, to Revd. Thomas Graham Smyth at St. James Church in Westminster.

Charles’s parents both died in late 1836/early 1837 and were buried at St Mary’s Church, Petworth.

In 1839, Charles is recorded as the joint owner of Gold Hill Farm, Bosbury, eight miles west of Malvern, Worcestershire with William Henry Brydges (his brother-in-law?).

By the time of the first national census in 1841, Charles and Frances were living in Malvern. Living with them was Charles’s sister, Mary Ann Smyth, and 9-year old Edward Picton Warlow. Edward was the son of Frances’s sister, Mary Prudence and the late Captain Thomas Warlow, who had died in India in February 1839. Mary Prudence had now re-married to Dr. Laurence Fyffe of Great Malvern.

Charles and Frances adopted Edward, and his surname was changed to Baumgarten.

In 1851, Charles and Frances, together with Edward, plus three servants, were still living at Great Malvern at Foley House. Charles’s occupation was given as “Clergyman, not having cure of souls”. Edward was now an undergraduate student at Worcester College, Oxford from where he graduated in 1854, going on to join the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. (For further details of Edward’s interesting life, see an article in the Leigh Society newsletter of New Year 2019.)

Although Charles was never a parish priest, it appears that he earned a modest living by officiating at baptisms etc. around the Malvern area. Thus, in 1848 he conducted a baptism at St Mary’s Church, a few miles east of Great Malvern.

Frances died in Clifton, Bristol on 1 July 1865 and was buried at Redland Chapel, Westbury-on-Trym on 5 July. Subsequently, Charles lived with Mary Fyffe at Highland Grove, Fownhope, in Herefordshire, about 20 miles south-west of Malvern, where he died on 9 May 1875.

Charles was buried at Mathon church, near Great Malvern. In March 1876, their adopted son, Edward, obtained a faculty to remove Frances’s remains from Redland Chapel, and have them re-interred at Mathon. In Mathon church, there is a plaque in memory of Revd. Charles Henry Thomas Baumgarten. It reads:

Sacred to the memory of the Revd C.H.T. BAUMGARTEN

who departed this life May 9th 1875 Aged 76 years



1841 England Census

1851 England Census

1861 England Census

1871 England Census

Old Westminsters, Up to 1927

Oxford University Alumni, 1500–1886

Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531–1812

Becoming Prue: 18 November 2015. Samuel Henry Baumgarten

Bosbury History Group: Tithe Apportionment for Bosbury, 1839

Challen, W.H.  The Parish Register of Cocking, Sussex (1558–1837) pp. 79, 122

The Clergy Database: 61369: Baumgarten, Charles (1822–1822)

Pagham Parish Register: Marriage Baumgarten – Ord 1834

Pagham Parish Register: Marriage Ord – Baumgarten 1835

Petworth Parish Register: Burial Samuel Henry Baumgarten. 1837

Gravel Roots. Heyshott clergy

Guarlford History Group: St Mary’s Church – baptisms (1843–1884) and officiating clergy

Gloucestershire Chronicle: 15 May 1875. Deaths

The Leigh Society: New Year 2019. p.7. Who Lived in Elm Road in 1911

The National Archives: P/HTW/Chw/8(b). Citation to lead faculty re removal of remains of Frances Baumgarten

Sussex Online Parish Clerks: St John the Evangelist Chapel, Steyne, (Bognor)

St Wilfrid’s Church (Pagham) Heritage Site: St. Wilfrid’s Church