The Rev. John Septimus GROVER 1766 - 1852
Seventh son of Montague GROVER 1723–1795 and Letitia MOODY 1734 - 1811
Born 30th October 1766, Hammersmith, London
Died 28th November 1852, London
Married Harriet DICKINSON 1786-1865 28th August 1811 at St Nicholas Church, Plumstead, Kent.
John's parents had ten sons:
1758 - 1823
65 years
no issue
1759 - 1760
1760 - 1760
Harold (Harry)
1761 - 1835
74 years
1 girl 1 boy
1763 - 1779
16 (died at sea)1
no issue
1765 - 1765
John Septimus2
1766 - 1852
86 years
no issue
1768 - 1828
60 years
5 girls 5 boys
1772 - 1773
1774 - 1811
37 years
1 girl 1 boy
1 Thomas died at sea on the Hillsborough = Voyage 2, 1778-1780. Left Plymouth on 9 February 1778, bound for Madras and China.
2 From the Latin Septimus, meaning "seventh". Septimus was once a common name for the seventh child.
The name Grover did continue but only through a small number of descendants.
The Grover family were comfortably off, making their money as top solicitors in London. They had a house in Hammersmith. (Source - baptism records, various letters)
34-35 Sackville Street today.
The family also owned property at Boveney. Montague Grover, the oldest brother, lived at Boveney Court. The Court and lands had been inherited from the Montague family via Margaret Montague who in 1685 married John Grover (d.1690) of Whelpley Hill, Chesham. It was part of her marriage settlement. It had stayed in the Grover family for many generations.
John Septimus Grover as incumbent of Boveney and Vice-Provost at Eton had an ideal situation. It was here he brought his young wife Harriet Dickinson.
The Grovers, being wealthy, enjoyed a comfortable, fairly effortless living, which could not be said for very many clergy of the day.
How did John meet Harriet?
Harry Grover 1761–1835 was the second oldest brother of John Septimus.
Harry became a solicitor, and married Sibylla Ehret, who was the granddaughter of the famous botanical artist Georg Dionysius Ehret.
As well as being a solicitor, he became a banker and established the firm Grover and Pollard.
Harry and Sibylla had two children. Their daughter Ann GROVER 1789 - 1874 married John DICKINSON 1782 - 1869 in 1810.
At the time of the wedding Harriet Dickinson was still living with her parents at Bramblebury, Plumstead, Kent and John Grover was living between Raynham in Norfolk and Boveney in the far south of Buckinghamshire.
Did John meet Harriet Dickinson at his niece’s wedding?
Whatever or however they met, Harriet and John got married the following year in August 1811 at St Nicholas Church, Plumstead.
Harriet had married the uncle of her sister-in-law.
Harriet was twenty-four and John forty-four, twenty years her senior.
The Bury, Hemel Hempstead
John and Harriet lived in Watford for some years, and then in about 1792 they moved to Hemel Hempstead, where they rented several houses before they tenanted The Bury, the old manor house, in about 1808 and later bought it.
The Bury
Vice Provost of Eton
John Septimus was educated at Eton and gained a M.A. at university. We know little of his earlier moves. We know he was incumbent of Raynham in Norfolk. Like many clergy of the time, he probably held benefices in plurality, which meant he could be absent for much of the year from the parish but still be granted the stipend. Curates or less affluent clergy did the work. (The Pluralities Act didn’t come into force until 1850.) He eventually became a Vice Provost of Eton and was made a Fellow of Eton in 1814. As Vice-Provost he would have been quite influential in church circles. Eton College held a very strong hand in the field of patronages for parish livings. (Patronage is the right in English law of a patron to present to the diocesan bishop a nominee for appointment to a vacant parish or church living.)
He helped at least two members of the family find clerical positions:
Firstly: Rev. Henry Adams Sergison ATWOOD 1800 - 1880 who was married to Cunitia EVANS 1794 - 1855, daughter of Lewis EVANS (Rev.) 1755 - 1827.
Secondly: John helped Arthur Benoni EVANS 1781 - 1854, his brother in law, procure the appointment at Market Bosworth (Time and Chance p.31)
Will of John Septimus Grover (1766 - 1853)
This was made the year after his marriage to Harriet in 1812.
This is the last Will and Testament of me The Reverend John Septimus Grover of Rainham in the County of Norfolk Clerk. I direct that my just debts be paid with all convenient speed after my decease and after payment thereof and of the expenses of my funeral (which I desire may be conducted with as much frugality as is consistent with decency) and the charges of proving my Will, I give devise and bequeath unto my dear wife Harriet, her heirs executors and administrators, All my estate and property both real and personal to and for her own use and benefit and I appoint my said Wife Executrix of this my Will, hereby revoking all former Wills by me at any time made. In witness whereof I have to two parts of this my Will set my hand and seal the fourteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve. - John S Grover. Signed sealed and published by the testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses - Andrew Strahan - Thos Dickinson - John Dickinson.
Proved at London the 21st Decr 1853 before the Worshipful George Edward Huoches Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oath of Harriet Grover Widow the relict, the sole Executrix to whom admon was granted having been first sworn duly to administer
Transcribed in February 2022 by Penelope Forrest (born Phelps.)
John died in 1852 aged eighty six.
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