Frances (Fanny) PHELPS 1826 - 1890
Born 21st August 1826, Bramblebury, Plumstead.
Died 22nd September 1890, Nash Mills, Hertfordshire
Married 23 July 1859, Sir John (Jack) EVANS K.C.B., F.R.S. (1823 – 1908)
Although born at her grandmother's (Frances Dickinson, born de Brissac) home in England, Frances (known as Fanny) soon went home with her mother to Madeira where she spent her childhood. She and her mother visited England in 1844 and her uncle John Dickinson and his wife Ann invited Fanny to stay. This she did the following year and in fact she lived with them at Abbot's Hill, near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, or their London home in Brook Street, until her marriage, spending only short holidays in Madeira.
She was a faithful correspondent with her parents and siblings and while her youngest brother Arthur was in India, she acted as his banker sending him scrupulous accounts as well as many items, from magazines to swords. She was also a conscientious keeper of family records and prepared detailed books recording births, marriages and deaths for Joe and Harriet, two of her siblings who were in Newfoundland and Natal respectively. These books have survived and been valuable to later members of the family in their research.
Her cousin, Jack Evans, lost his wife after childbirth, leaving him with five small children. Fanny and Jack were married 18 months later, and she became a much-loved stepmother. Fanny and Jack made numerous tours in the British Isles and continental Europe, often visiting sites of archaeological interest.
Frances PHELPS, wife of John EVANS.
Portrait by Jane Mary Hayward, c. 1859.
Fanny was the most notable musician in a family where everyone had at least some musical accomplishment. She had never been strong and was the first (and youngest) of the 11 children to die, aged 64.
See also ‘Time and Chance’ by Joan Evans