Johnson / Bryans Families

Tracing the ancestry of Pamela Murdoch Bryans and Maurice Alan Johnson

Arthur Bryans

Arthur Bryans

East India Merchant & Tea Plantation Manager
Male 1852 - 1944  (91 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name Arthur Bryans 
    Gender Male 
    Born 14 Mar 1852  Harley Street, Marylebone, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Address:
    Harley Street 
    Baptism 21 Apr 1852  Holy Trinity, Marylebone, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Census 1861  The Vicarage, Tarvin, Cheshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Education Between 1866 and 1868  Haileybury College, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Between 1869 and 1877  Chargola Tea Estate, Sylhet Division, Bangladesh Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Tea Plantation Manager 
    Census 1881  Foots Cray Cottage, Foots Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Occupation Aft 1881  [6
    East India Merchant 
    Census 1891  Foots Cray Cottage, Foots Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Residence Aft 3 Feb 1900  Woollett Hall, North Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Census 1901  Woollett Hall, North Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Census 1911  The Manor House, Woodmansterne, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence 1916  Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Residence 1916  8 Talbot Square, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Census 1939  Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 1 Mar 1944  Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 11
    Buried 4 Mar 1944  St Mary Magdalene, South Holmwood, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Probate 6 May 1944  Llandudno, Clywd, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [12
    Person ID I0375  Johnson Tree
    Last Modified 14 May 2020 

    Father William Bryans
              b. 8 Oct 1821, Liverpool, Merseyside, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 18 Jul 1889, Eltham, Greenwich, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Mother Sophia Anna Lonsdale
              b. 10 Jan 1825, Westminster, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 8 May 1907  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 29 Apr 1848  Holy Trinity, Marylebone, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [13, 14
    Siblings 11  
    Family ID F0136  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Wife Annie Jessie Burn-Murdoch
              b. 12 Apr 1856, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 14 Dec 1929, 4 Dorset Square, Marylebone, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Married 15 Sep 1875  Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [15
  • Wedding was officiated by William Bryans (father of the groom).
  • Children 
     1. Dorothy Bryans
              b. 22 Dec 1878, Foots Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 29 Dec 1950  (Age 72 years)
     2. Amy Lonsdale Bryans
              b. 4 Nov 1880, Foots Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 14 May 1945  (Age 64 years)
     3. Helen Maud Bryans
              b. 21 Mar 1883
              d. 15 Apr 1966, Andover, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     4. Nora Margaret Bryans
              b. 26 Oct 1885
              d. 12 Aug 1969, Sway, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     5. Henry Murdoch Bryans
              b. 29 Jan 1892, Foots Cray Cottage, Foots Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 3 May 1985, Winchester, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
     6. William Buchanan Bryans
              b. 11 Aug 1893, Foots Cray, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 4 Nov 1977, Lymington, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
    Last Modified 29 May 2018 
    Family ID F0135  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
  • Early Life
    Arthur was born on the 14th of March 1852, the third son (of 12 children!) of Rev. William Bryans and Sophia Anna Lonsdale. Arthur was born in Harley Street (home to his maternal Lonsdale grandparents), whereas all his siblings were born in Tarvin, or Ash Parva, where their parents lived at the time. He was baptised at Trinity Church in St Marylebone on the 21st of April 1752.

    Unlike all his brothers, it appears that Arthur did not go to Oxford (or Cambridge, for that matter). Perhaps his parents had decided that he wasn't the academic type; maybe he exhibited a more entrepreneurial bent. In any case, Arthur attended Haileybury College from 1866 (aged 14) to 1868 (aged 16). Haileybury had been formed in 1858 out of the existing buildings which comprised the East India College (the training establishment for administrators of the East India Company). So there was definitely some element of East India trading / tea etc inculcated into Arthur even at this young age. At least one of his brothers (Herbert) also went to Haileybury - the latter's epitaph is worth a quick read.

    Career
    After school, Arthur joined his cousin PR Buchanan1 in managing the Chargola tea estate in Sylhet, Assam (now part of Bangladesh) between 1869 and 1877 (so he would have gone out to Assam aged only 17). The following is extracted from a letter his mother Sophia wrote to his elder brother Edward Lonsdale¥:
    Arty [Arthur] & Patrick Buchanan appeared on Monday. He [Patrick] is a very stout, strong-looking fellow with a broad head and neck and a loud voice. His look & manner struck us at first as very unpolished but he improves upon acquaintance and one can see he is a Gentleman underneath the toughness. He seems particularly straightforward and candid and evidently he has good natural abilities & lots of resolution. Arty likes him & he seems to like A. He has had several youngsters offered him so I supposed we ought to consider A lucky but often when he talks of the tigers, snakes, heat, fevers & agues I begin to wish we had never heard of Cachar [a tea valley in India]. A is in good spirits tho’ at times I fancy he looks a little nervous & anxious. We expect he is to sail on the 8th April.

    Arthur’s mother was rather of the old fashioned way of thinking that “business life” was not such a high one as being a doctor or clergy man, but I think she saw clearly how business could be high too and not merely money grubbing. It seems to me that the backbone of a nation is greatly its business integrity.


    The following is taken from a newspaper article§ about Arthur, recalling his early dates in Sylhet:
    Sylhet was then a very different place to get at and live in from what it is now. It took me 3 weeks to get there from Calcutta, and the Chargola Valley, where I went to, was a very isolated part of the world.There was a stockade manned by police just south of me, as a protection against Lushais, who did actually make a raid while I was there. They raided the neighbouring Hailykandy Valley at the same time and, I think, killed a Mr. and Mrs. Winchester and carried off her daughter. A retaliatory expedition was the consequence.

    Wild elephants roamed the district to the south and I remember a kheddah being made there for their capture. There were practically no roads and communications were kept open by boat in the rains. For many months I never saw a white face and never spoke a word of English.


    Arthur subsequently became an East India merchant and partner at PR Buchanan & Co, 45 Leadenhall St, EC, London. In 1877 PR Buchanan set up a business in London (PR Buchanan & Co.) and Arthur may well have been a partner at that point (he almost certainly became a partner by 1922). By 1878, supervising tea estates was their main business and the backbone of that business was Chargola. Chargola Tea Co2 was floated in May 1877 and developed into the Chargola Tea Association3 in 1891, which comprised Chargola, Singlacherra, Maguracherra, Hingajea. In 1878 there were reported to be 4,800 acres under cultivation.

    Of course, as regards his first launching into tea life in India at the early age of 17, I had no say in that choice & he very little either, but I have seen his early letters to his mother from India & could see how strongly informed he was from that early age with the idea that he should make money so as not to be a burden to them! I suppose the very Spartan bringing up of the 6 sons at Tarvin informed that, but also & above this his mother always informed her sons with a very strong sense of duty almost to the faulty point of making unpleasant things seem duty! I think she got that from her steady Yorkshire father – Bishop Lonsdale. Well! Be that as it may, it is perhaps specially strong in your father & has pulled him through some very difficult & puzzling times in business.

    To go back to when he actually went into London business. We had returned from India the spring of 1877. I had been very ill but we intended going out again. We took a shooting [lodge in] Balinakill Perthshire & were a young & very merry party there when Mr Buchanan wrote telling Arthur he was making an agency business in London in connection with tea, especially for “Chargola” which was at that time your father’s property & “would he consider his going into partnership etc etc” & “would Nan consider it too?”. Well, we considered it in a very light & airy fashion & PR B wrote again to me upon what a serious step it was etc etc & had we considered very carefully etc etc etc?!! But the upshot was, we settled down in London & later on at Foots Cray & I don’t think either of us have seriously regretted the step. At one time in our lives your father got rather tired of office life & seriously contemplated farming & made many enquiries about it but always felt glad afterwards that he did not do so. The only terribly difficult & anxious time his firm went through was in 1902/3 when first PR Buchanan & Co. nearly went bankrupt. I have been told privately by a good London Banker and a lawyer that the firm would have gone smash but for your father’s “name & character for honesty & reliability”. I have always been proud of that – though we went through a few years of great anxiety and disappointment in those who father had trusted well, on looking back over all these years.


    Arthur was chairman of the Indian Tea Association in 1901-1902 and became president in 1930. He was also a member of the committee of the South Indian Association and the Ceylon Association. He retired in 1933.

    As an aside, one of Annie Jessie's cousins was William Fitzjames Urmston (1859-1883), son of her aunt Marion who married William Brabazon Urmston. William Fitzjames died in Chargola, so it seems plausible that he was actually working with or for Arthur on the tea estates.

    Family Life
    Arthur married Annie Jessie Burn-Murdoch on the 15th September 1875 in Edinburgh, when he was 24 and she was just 19. The wedding was officiated by William, Arthur's father.

    Arthur and Annie had six children:

    1. Dorothy, born in 1879 and married Robert Alexander John Berry in 1902
    2. Amy Lonsdale, born in 1881 and married Lionel Mowbray Hewlett in 1910
    3. Helen Maud, born in 1883 and married John "Jack" Talbot in 1906
    4. Nora Margaret, born in 1885 and married Francis Cecil Lodge in 1913
    5. Henry Murdoch, born in 1892 and married Fanny Curtis Mitchell in 1916
    6. William Buchanan, born in 1893 and married Mildred Isobel Eleanor Ramsbotham in 1917, and later, Constance Holt

    Residences

    • 1881/1891: Foots Cray Cottage, Foots Cray, Kent
    • c1900: Woollet Hall (now Loring Hall) in North Cray, Kent
    • 1911: The Manor House, Woodmansterne, Surrey
    • 1922: Number 8, Talbot Square, Hyde Park, London (City residence)
    • 1922-1944: Holmwood Cottage, Surrey (Country residence)

    Annie Jessie died in December 1929, leaving Arthur a widower for 15 years.

    Death
    Arthur died on the 1st of March 1944, aged 92, at home in Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood in Surrey. He was buried three days later at St Mary Magdalene Church in South Holmwood.

    Footnotes
    [1] PR Buchanan & Co. was established by Patrick Robertson Buchanan, who was married to Harriette Bryans. In turn, Hariette Bryans was Arthur's cousin, so effectively PR Buchanan was Arthur's cousin-in-law and just six years older than him.
    More info on PR Buchanan: https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/b2321881-e162-3865-92fb-99c020d82e62
    [2] Chargola Tea Association https://archive.org/stream/teaproducingcomp00gowwrich/teaproducingcomp00gowwrich_djvu.txt
    [3] Arthur's brother Herbert William Bryans was listed as a Director of the Chargola Tea Association
    † Letter from Annie Jessie Bryans (née Burn-Murdoch) to her son Henry, 18th November 1918; L_1918_11_Bryans_Bryans_1.pdf
    § N_Unknown_ABryans_Profile
    ¥ L_1869_03_Bryans_Bryans_1

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - 21 Apr 1852 - Holy Trinity, Marylebone, London, Greater London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - Between 1866 and 1868 - Haileybury College, Hertfordshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 15 Sep 1875 - Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1881 - Foots Cray Cottage, Foots Cray, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1891 - Foots Cray Cottage, Foots Cray, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Aft 3 Feb 1900 - Woollett Hall, North Cray, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1901 - Woollett Hall, North Cray, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1911 - The Manor House, Woodmansterne, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1916 - Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1916 - 8 Talbot Square, London, Greater London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1939 - Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1 Mar 1944 - Holmwood Cottage, Holmwood, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 4 Mar 1944 - St Mary Magdalene, South Holmwood, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - 6 May 1944 - Llandudno, Clywd, Wales Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Arthur Bryans
    Arthur Bryans
    The Wedding of Arthur Bryans & Annie-Jessie Burn-Murdoch
    Bryans/Burn-Murdoch wedding

  • Sources 
    1. [S0303] England and Wales Census, 1901, FamilySearch, (familysearch.org), Arthur Bryans; (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X9FM-QDX : 20 May 2019), Arthur Bryans, North Cray, Kent, England, United Kingdom; from "1901 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : , 1901.

    2. [S0106] Haileybury Register, 1862-1922, Edited by L.A. Speakman, (London, 1922), Page 25.

    3. [S0118] London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1917, Ancestry, (Ancestry.com), Arthur Bryans - Baptism.

    4. [S0310] England and Wales Census, 1861, FamilySearch, (familysearch.org), Bryans; (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M7L7-81N : 24 October 2019), Sophia A Bryans in household of William Bryans, Tarvin, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom; from "1861 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast, 1861.

    5. [S0312] England and Wales Census, 1881, FamilySearch, (familysearch.org), Bryans; (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q27W-9B6C : 11 December 2017), Arthur Bryan, Foots Cray, Kent, England; from "1881 England, Scotland and Wales Census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing p. 5.

    6. [S0313] England and Wales Census, 1911, FamilySearch, (familysearch.org), Bryans (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XW85-VW2 : 8 July 2019), Arthur Bryans, Woodmansterne, Surrey, England, United Kingdom; from "1911 England and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing, 1911.

    7. [S0260] 1891 England Census, Ancestry, (ancestry.co.uk), Arthur Bryans and Family; The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; Class: RG12; Piece: 633; Folio: 5; Page: 3, 1891.

    8. [S0303] England and Wales Census, 1901, FamilySearch, (familysearch.org), Hal Bryans; (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X9FM-QDX : 20 May 2019), Arthur Bryans, North Cray, Kent, England, United Kingdom; from "1901 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d, 1901.

    9. [S0120] Dublin Daily Express, British Newspaper Archive, (British Newspaper Archive), Page 4, 11 Aug 1916.

    10. [S0046] findagrave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/130891472/arthur-bryans.

    11. [S0084] England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976, Ancestry, (ancestry.co.uk), Arthur Bryans, 1 Mar 1944.

    12. [S0119] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966, 1973-1995, Ancestry, (ancestry.com), Llandudno, 6 May 1944.

    13. [S0191] London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932, Ancestry, (ancestry.co.uk), Bryans / Lonsdale;London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: p89/tri/049, 29 Apr 1848.

    14. [S0309] England Marriages, 1538–1973, FamilySearch, (familysearch.org), Bryans / Lonsdale; (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJWL-K8H : 10 February 2018), William Bryans and Sophia Anna Lonsdale, 28 Apr 1848; citing Trinity Marylebone, Middlesex, England, reference , index based upon data collected by the Geneal, 28 Apr 1848.

    15. [S0267] Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910, FamilySearch, (familysearch.org), Bryans / Burn-Murdoch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XY99-R32 : 10 February 2018), Arthur Bryans and Annie J. Burn-Murdoch, 15 Sep 1875; citing Edinburgh Parish,Edinburgh,Midlothian,Scotland, index based upon data collected by the Genealo, 15 Sep 1875.