The Mangles Family
The connection of the family with Aldershot was two-fold, one geographic and the other familial. The geographic connection is the more tenuous. Charles Edward Mangles occupied Poyle House in Tongham which was not far from Tongham’s Grange Farm which was owned by Charles Barron Esq of the adjacent Aldershot Park, just across the Blackwater.
The familial connection is with Captain George Newcome. He was brother-in-law to Charles Edward Mangles and his younger brother Ross Donnelly Mangles, the MP for Guildford. The latter owned and occupied a house at Woodbridge.
Ross Donnelly had married Harriett, younger sister to Captain George Newcome, in February 1830; Charles had married George Newcome’s youngest sister Rose in 1831.
In 1851 Charles Mangles’ household at Poyle House comprised his six children and seven staff, including a governess from Switzerland. He was a magistrate and Captain late of West Indies Service. Never a captain-by-purchase in the Army, nor in the Royal Navy, Charles had risen steadily to that rank of command as a ‘freight captain’ whilst serving on board different ships in the service of the East India Company.
Ten years earlier, in 1841, Charles’ household at Polyle House included George Newcome’s younger brother Henry with his family staying there as visitors.
- Both brothers of the Mangles brothers invested in railways. In 1846, Charles Edward committed £15,000, Ross Donnelly even more at around £300,00. Henry Newcome had also been an investor, working together with the Mangles in 1845, just as the railway boom was reaching its height, to promote the Northampton, Banbury and Cheltenham line.
A third brother, Frederick Mangles, the eldest, occupied property in West Surrey; he owned Down Farm at Compton. He also had an address at Wandsworth Common where he was listed in 1851 as a magistrate and as a merchant trading to India & the Colonies, a dealer in ships’ stores.
Woodbridge House and Down Farm had been bought by their father James Mangles after his success in the ocean-going shipping business. Poyle House was leased.
James and his brother John set up Mangles & Co. having taken over a business their father Robert had begun in the Thames Basin. Arriving from Tynemouth, Robert and his brother had established a thriving ship’s chandlery on the Thames during the mid 1700s.
- “Robert Mangles appears in land tax returns for Wapping in 1754, occupying property adjacent to the great sugar house owned by William Camden and Co. A ship chandler, oilman and manufacturer of soap, candles and glue, operating from 272 Wapping New Stairs, he was at the heart of the major centre for victualing ships on the River Thames.”
Robert’s sons James and John were raised in what was then a new urban development in Wapping, baptised at St John’s.
When James and his brother inherited after their father’s death in November 1788, James was 26 and John was approaching 30. They expanded the business, acquiring the King’s flour mill, which made biscuits for the Royal Navy, on the Rotherhithe side of the Thames in 1802.
- They continued to develop their shipping interests and were part of the West India lobby that “petitioned George III for a new dock on the Thames (the West India Dock built 1802).”
Listed as shipwrights in 1817, the brothers were listed as wharfingers by 1820. Their trading interests increasingly became worldwide. Ships owned by Mangles and Co. traded with the East Indies. They had other ships, named Friendship, Guildford and Surr[e]y, were used for convict transportation to Australia.
- The ships made epic transoceanic voyages, schedules variously including Madras, Bengal, Bombay, China, Rio de Janeiro, St Helena, the Cape of Good Hope and Madeira.
James Mangles married Mary, the daughter of John Hughes of Guildford. This provided him with both naval and military connections in both the East and West Indies. It would also enable him to establish presence in Surrey as a county gentleman.
James and Mary Mangles established their family home in Hackney away from the river. This was where their children were baptised, over the period 1792 until 1801. Hackney was also where George Newcome was baptised in Hackney, in 1803, and likely where Mangles and Newcome families first met. George’s father worked for the Customs Office.
Later referred to as James Mangles of Woodbridge, the name of an estate he had bought in 1803, he served as High Sheriff of Surrey in 1808. Their three youngest children were baptised at Stoke Next Guildford, Jane in 1803, Ellen in 1807 and Hamilla Mary in 1812.
James was last listed in the Mangles & Co. partnership in 1821 as he approached the age of sixty. He had already been shifting his interests, setting up Mangles’ West Surrey Bank in Guildford in 1811. He became deputy chairman of the Wey-Arun Junction Canal Company of in 1821 and later took over responsibility for its day-to-day running.
He stood successfully as Member of Parliament for Guildford, sitting from 1831 to 1837. He was also a vice president of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
James Mangles seemed to have deployed his children in an interesting variety of ways, resulting in social as well as economic improvement for his family.
The eldest son Frederick took over the family business in Wapping and Rotherhithe, broadening the basis of products and later becoming a director of the East and West India Dock Company. Named after his mother’s family name, his second son Pilgrim was sent off to Eton and Cambridge to begin a career in law. Pilgrim died young in 1828, aged only 33.
Charles Edward Mangles was the third son, baptised in 1798, was sent to sea at a young age. He rose steadily over many years to the rank of Captain, serving on board different merchant ships in the service of the East India Company.
- His first voyage, 14 months in duration, was figuratively and literally a rite of passage, taking him to Jakarta in the Dutch East Indies, the Canton River in China and St Helena. Charles rose speedily through the ranks of the East India maritime service: 6thmate on the Henry Addington (1813/14); 5th mate on the Marquis of Huntly (1815/16).
Charles served for many years on the Marchioness of Ely, rising from 4th Mate in 1817 to eventually become its Captain in 1825. The Marchioness was owned by the Wigram family who were exceedingly rich and well connected in The City and the East Indies.
Charles ended his seafaring in July 1829 when the East Indies Company did not re-contract the Marchioness of Ely.
While Charles had been away at sea his father James had been arranging the future of other children.
In 1815 James’ eldest child Caroline was married into the Onslow family who may have acted as a sponsor having experienced parliamentary electoral success for Guildford.
- James Mangle stood successfully for election in 1831 in support of the Reform Bill that was passed in 1832. James Mangles was MP for Guildford as a Liberal until 1837 when ousted by a swing to the Tories.
Charles’ younger brother Ross Donnelly was sent by his father to Eton, as Pilgrim. Then in 1818 Ross Donnelly enrolled at ‘Haileybury’ the East India Company College. It had been set up by the increasingly powerful ‘government’ of that Company to train its own civil service. Ross Donnelly graduated successfully from ‘Haileybury. From 1819, he rose rapidly through the ranks of the Bengal Civil Service .
- Ross Donnelly would become a member of the Church Missionary Society and a passionate believer in the Christianisation of India.
In 1823 James’s the daughter Ellen was married on her sixteenth birthday to James Stirling. Stirling was then a Captain in the Royal Navy on half-pay without a command. Three years later, however, he was made captain of HMS Success and sent to Australia. That was to lead to explorations up the Swan River and the founding of a colony in Western Australia. He was to become its first Governor.
- James Mangles had apparently encountered Captain Stirling when touring in France and had subsequently invited him to the family home at Woodbridge. That had led to the betrothal.
- Charles Mangles would help to found the Western Australian Missionary Society in September 1835.