Henry Groves Blanchard was born in 1790 in Fawley, New Forest, Hampshire, the son of John Blanchard, a ship joiner, and his wife Mary, formerly Groves. He was named after his maternal grandfather, Henry Groves. Henry grew up in Hythe, New Forest, where there was a flourishing ship building industry, and was no doubt trained by his father as a ship's carpenter. Henry married Louisa Stovell, 28th December 1812 in Milton, New Forest, Hampshire. Henry and Louisa had ten known children, Emma, b. 1814, Henry Groves, b. 1815, John, b. 1816, Edward, b. 1818, William, b. 1820, Jane, b. 1821, Louisa Ann, b 1824, Alfred, b. 1826, Robert, b. 1829 and Mary Rebecca, b. 1834. At least three of their children died in infancy, John, Jane and Mary Rebecca, William is presumed to have died before 1864. Henry and Louisa appear to have lived in Southampton, where their two eldest children were born, until 1815 when Henry took on the lease of the Lord Nelson Public House, forging a family link with the same inn, that was to last for seventy years. Henry remained as publican until 1835, when he returned to the ship building industry. The Lord Nelson was taken over by his daughter, Emma, and her husband, John Stephens. Emma died following child birth in 1850 and John continued to run the inn until his death in 1869, it was then taken over by their youngest son, and Henry's name sake, Henry Groves Stephens. In 1864 Henry purchased the Ship Yard in Hythe, from Joseph Bailey Haines, which he intended to use in partnership with his son, Alfred, however, he died a year later on 30th October 1865. The cause of death given on the death certificate, is Unreduced Inguinal Hernia, 3 years, Strangulated. An Inguinal hernia is a condition in which the small intestine protrudes through a weak point in the lower abdominal muscles, causing a bulge in the groin. The hernia was unreduced, meaning that it could not be pushed back manually in to the abdominal cavity. A strangulated hernia involves an irreducible bulge that is tightly constricted, producing a blockage that cuts off the blood supply to a section of the intestine, causing the tissue to die. Bleeding and septicaemia result, and when left untreated, gangrene develops. Henry would have died in excruciating pain after about a week of suffering, he was attended by a nurse, Susan Banks, who is named as the informant on the death certificate. Henry left a will, dated 31st October 1864, which was proved at Winchester, 4th January 1866. The Executors were his son, Alfred and son in law, John Stephens. The benficiaries of his estate were his survivng children, Alfred, Henry, Edward, Robert and Louisa.
Louisa Stovell was born in 1795 in Southampton, the illegitimate daughter of Hannah Shayer Stovell and Thomas Cripps. Her mother was just 14 years old at the time of her birth. She was baptized on 16th August 1795 in St Mary's, Southampton. She died on 27th July 1859 of English Cholera.
Last Will and Testament of Henry Groves Blanchard
This is the last will and testament of me, Henry Groves Blanchard of Hythe in the parish of Fawley, in the county of Southampton, Shipbuilder. Whereby I give and devise unto my son Alfred and his heirs, one moiety or equal half part of all my real estate situate at Hythe in the parish of Dibden in the said county of Southampton and which has been recently purchased by me of Mr Joseph Bailey Haynes and which is about to be used by me in partnership with my said son, as a shipyard. To hold the said moiety or equal half part unto my said son Alfred, his heirs and assigns, forever, for his and their own use and benefit. And then in exercise and execution of all powers and authorities in me now vested or in anywise enabling me in this behalf, I give and devise the remaining moiety or equal half part of my said real estate and all other real estate of which I may die seized or entitled unto to my said son Alfred and my son in law John Stephens of Hythe in the said parish of Fawley, Innkeeper, their heirs and assigns upon and for the trusts hereinafter declared, concerning the same. I Give and bequeath unto my said son Alfred my share in the good will of the business of ship and boat builders now carried on by us as partners, for his own use and benefit. I give and bequeath unto my said son Alfred and my said son in law John Stephens all my share in the stock in trade, debts and monies belonging and due to me from the said business and all other my personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever and of what kind and description the same may be, To hold the same unto my said son Alfred and my said son in law John Stephens, their executors, administrators and assigns, Upon trust, that they, my said trustees, do and shall as soon as conveniently may be, after my decease, sell and dispose of the said moiety of my said real estate and all other my real estate of which I may die seized of or entitled unto, by public auction or private contract, for the most money that can be had or gotten for the same, and shall and do make and execute all such conveyances and assurances as shall be necessary to effectuate such sale or sales and also that they my trustees do and shall sell and dispose of and convert into money all such part and parts of my personal estate as shall not at the same time of my decease consist of ready money and recover and get in all such debts and sums of money as shall be due and owing to me at the time of my decease, And I do hereby declare that the receipts of my said trustees shall be good and valid discharges for the sums to be therein mentioned, and that it shall not be necessary for any purchaser or purchasers, nor shall he or they be bound to see nor be in any respect liable or accountable to any person or persons whomsoever, for the misapplication or non-application of the purchase monies or any part or part thereof. And I do hereby direct that my said trustees shall and do, by and out of the monies to arise by the sale of my real estate and the monies to arise from my said personal estate, pay and satisfy my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses and then, Upon trust to divide the residue of my said trust monies unto and equally between my children, Henry, Louisa, Robert and Edward for their own use and benefit Provided always, and I hereby declare that it is my will and desire that if my said son Alfred, notwithstanding his being a trustee of this my will, shall be desirous of purchasing the remaining moiety in my said real estate and shall within three months from the time of proving this my will, give notice in writing of such his desire, to my said son in law John Stephens, then my said son Alfred shall no longer be a trustee with regard to my said real estate but the same shall vest in the said John Stephens and his heirs To the use of this my will and my said son Alfred shall be at liberty to purchase the remaining moiety of my said real estate at such price as shall be agreed upon by two valuers or their umpire, one of such valuers to be appointed by my said son Alfred and the other of such valuers by the said John Stephens, and the said valuers so appointed shall before proceeding to such valuation appoint an umpire to decide between them in case they shall differ in opinion and the amount agreed upon by such valuers or their umpire, shall be the price at which my said son Alfred shall purchase the remaining moiety in my said real estate and the said John Stephens shall convey the same unto my said son Alfred and his heirs accordingly. Provided also and I do hereby further declare that if my said trustees or either of them or any future trustees or trustee to be appointed under this present provision shall die or be desirous to be discharged or be unwilling or incapable to act in the said trusts aforesaid, then and in that case it shall be lawful to and for the said trustees or the surviving or continuing trustee appointed in this my (will) whether he or they shall accept the trusts thereof or shall renounce the same by any deed or deeds, to nominate and appoint any fit person or persons to be a trustee or trustees in the stead or place of the trustee or trustees so dying, desirous to be discharged or becoming unwilling or incapable to act as aforesaid and as often as any new trustee shall be nominated and appointed as aforesaid, all the trust estate and premises shall be vested in the person or persons so appointed as aforesaid either solely or jointly with the surviving or continuing trustee as the case may require Upon the trusts and to and for the ends, intents and purposes hereinafter expressed and declared. And I nominate, constitute and appoint my said son Alfred and my said son in law John Stephens, Trustees and executors of this my will. In witness whereof I have, to my last will and testament contained in three sheets of paper, set my hand this thirty first day of October one thousand eight hundred and sixty four.
Henry Groves Blanchard
Signed by the said Henry Groves Blanchard, the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us both, present at the same time, who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses. The name of my said son Edward, having been first written on the fourteenth line of the second page thereof.
William F Giles, Surgeon, Hythe, Hants
Anth’y Guy, Solicitor, Hythe
Proved at Winchester the fourth day of January 1866 by the oaths of Alfred Blanchard the son and John Stephens, the executors to whom administration was granted.
The testator Henry Groves Blanchard was late of Hythe in the parish of Fawley in the county of Southampton, Shipbuilder and died on the thirtieth day of October 1865 at Hythe aforesaid.
H G Guy,