Colchester Wemyss Family

The sitter, a member of the Colchester family of Westbury Court, Gloucestershire .colchester-wemyss-2-better-picture

He is depicted elegantly at ease surrounded by much of the land owned by his family. Sat on a rustic bench holding a broad brimmed summer hat, the river Severn flows past him from the left and opens up to a landscape that includes parts of the Forest of Dean, the Westbury Court estate to the right and in the distance the wider opening leading towards the Mouth of the Severn in the vicinity of Bristol.

Westbury Court gardens is now owned by the National Trust having been thoughtfully laid out by Maynard Colchester in the early 18th century and added to by successive generations. At the time of this painting, circa 1845, the original manor at Westbury Court had been demolished, as indeed had the later houses, resulting in the Colchester family residing at another home nearby. (Giles Colchester who has done much research of the Colchester family feels this picture is a Colchester Wemyss)


This picture taken about 1902 is the canal at Westbury Court built by Maynard Colchester I. The house which can be seen connected to the pavilion was built by Maynard Willoughby Colchester Wemyss in 1896 and eventually pulled down in the 1960s.When this picture was taken the Crown Prince of Siam stayed here. The Gardens were built by Maynard Colchester I and many of the plants for it were supplied by "Cousin Richard Colchester the Gardener", whom we have not yet connected into the family tree.

Wartime Letters of a Westbury Squire

Selection of letters written by Maynard Willoughby Colchester-Wemyss to King of Siam during First World War. by Barbara Owen

On the eve of Thursday 21st August 1902 large and elegant audience was invited by Mr & Mrs Colchester-Wemyss to Westbury Court for a performance organised by Crown Prince Vajiravudh whilst staying with them. The performance took place in the Iron Room suitably decorated. This was a superior out-house built behind the Court House and constructed in part of corrugated iron; it was sometimes used as an unofficial village hall. The triple bill was received with tremendous applause. after the plays, supper was served in a marquee on the lawn and the distinguished company, strolling around the gardens in the moonlight, were further fascinated by hundreds of coloured lights reflected in the water.

Colchester-Wemyss of Westbury Court

maynard -wemyss portraitmaynard--wemyss-portraitSir Maynard Francis Colchester-Wemyss(Landed Gentry 1952)

Sir Maynard Francis Colchester-Wemyss, K.B.E. [1920] , formerly of Westbury Court, Glos.

Lord of the Manors of Littledean, Mitcheldean, Glos. The Lea and Baysham, Herefordshire. D.L. (Doctor Law?) [1919] and J.P. [1906 -1949],

High Sheriff 1919, Capt. in The Cameronians [Scottish Rifles] [ret],

President Croquet Association, member of Council of Wine and Food Society.

Many years Chairman of Severn Board of Conservators [res.(igned?) 1929];

served with the Cameronians 1890 – 1903, in India and South Africa,

member of Joint War Committee of B.R.C. during World War II, and Hon. Controller of Food in Auxiliary Hospitals in England and Wales.

Member of B.R.C. Demobilization Board. Born 12/3/1872, educated at Eton

and R.M.C., married 11/10/1891 Maria Alice (d.7/12/1940), 2nd daughter of late Gen. Robert William Disney Leith, C.B. of Glenkindie, and Westhall, Aberdeenshire, and sister of Lt-Col 5th Baron Burgh, Gordon Highrs.

They have issue. 1. Francis Disney, Lieut. The Cameronians [c/o Barcley's Bank, Salisbury, South Rhodesia]b.10/8/1899, educated at Malvern and R.M.C. 2. Patrick Maynard, M. Inst. Fuel, A.M.I. Plant E. Served in World War II as Capt. Royal Engineers. [278, Ashgate Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire]. B.8/5/1905, educated at Malvern, married 1/3/1 .934 Alba Gladys Ivy, only daughter of late Major Alexander Robert Leith, O.B.E. D.L. J.P. of Petmathen, Aberdeenshire.


Sir Patrick Wemyss Knt, a native of Scotland

He was a Capt. Lieut. to the Earl (afterwards Duke) of Ormond in the army of Charles I, and entered Drogheda with fifty horse for it's defence 22/11/1641. He married Mary, daughter of Jonah Wheeler, Bishop of Ossory. He was buried at St Andrew's Church, Dublin 31/5/1660. They had issue. 1. James (Sir) his heir 2. Thomas d.s.p. 3. Maurice, who had a son Francis of whom presently. 4. Henry (Sir) knt, of Dunfert, now Danes Fort co. Kiljenny. Devisee of half his brother, Sir James' estate. Henry married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Blundell, Bart. and had [with other issue] a son, Patrick, ancestor of Wemyss of Danesfort. 5. Jonas.

Sir Patrick

d.30/5/1661 and was bd. the next day in St Andrew's Church, Dublin. His eldest son, Sir James Wemyss, Knt. married 5/2/1665 Judith, daughter of Sir William Usher, Knt. Clerk of the Council. By whom he had two daughters. He died 11/11/1674 and was buried at St Andrews 14th, same month. 1. Elizabeth d.19/7/1688 unmarried in her 21st year, was bd. at St Andrews 21st, same month. 2. Mary, died very young.

Sir James,

By his will, dated 1/101672 and 18 Nov. following, devised his estates, subject to a jointure for his wife and portions for his daughters, between his younger brother Henry and his nephew Francis Wemyss(B.1684 married Joyce Blundell ). Colchester Wemyss descended from this line but I cannot find the connection to any of his six sons.(2017).A Francis Wemyss married Miss Agar and had, with a younger son, Maurice, Major-Gen, in the Royal Marines who d.s.p. (died no children), an older son, his successor ?Francis . His Son Francis Wemyss, Captain Royal Marines, married 1808 Elizabeth, daughter of John Colchester of Westbury [descended from the marriage of Sir Duncombe Colchester 1655, with Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr Sergeant Maynard] and had issue by her [she died 1821]. 1. Francis, his heir 2. James Robert, d.s.p. (died no children) 3. John Maurice, Lieut-Col. Royal Marine Artillery, d.s.p. (died no children) 1. Dorothea, married C.(harles) Barton 2. Mary Elizabeth

Capt. Wemyss

died April 1848. His eldest son, Francis Wemyss, Captain Bombay Engineers married 1841 Eliza, daughter of Major General Dickinson, Bombay Engineers. She died 17/1/1860/3, he died 10/6/1848, having had issue. 1. Francis, died young 2. Maynard Willoughby, now Colchester-Wemyss, of The Wilderness. 1. Harriett Catherine d.1929 2. Alice d.1929 The 2nd son, Maynard Willoughby Colchester-Wemyss C.B.E. [1920] L.L.D [Bristol], R.A., of Westbury Court, Glos. Lord of the Manors of Little dean, Mitcheldean, The Lea, and Baysham. C.C., D.L. and J.P., Head Verderer of H.M. Forest of Dean; assumed the additional surname of Colchester 1877 upon succeeding to the estates of that family in the Counties of Glos. and Herefordshire. In 1883 the name Wemyss-Colchester was altered to Colchester-Wemyss. Born 14/8/1846, educated at Eton and R.M.A., married 14/8/1871 Mary Clere [d.3/1/1908], daughter of Rev. Edward Newton Dickenson. He died 17/6/1930, leaving issue. 1. Maynard Francis (Edward, b.12/3/1872) (Sir) of whom we treat. 2. John Maurice O.B.E. [1918] J.P. [1932] Glos. Lt-Col of the Cameronians [Scottish Rifles] served in South Africa [wounded at Paardeberg Feb. 1900], and in World War I in German E.(ast) Africa [wounded, despatches twice], Salonica and France. B.20/3/1880, educated at Marlborough, married 3/3/1909 Stella Wyndham M.B.E. Co. Organiser W.V.S., only daughter of Major John Algernon Aylmer, 4th Dragoon Guards, of Courtown, Co. Kildare. He died 25/1/1946 leaving issue. 1. Hugo John Edward, Supt. of Police, Barbados. B.16/2/1910, educated Malvern. 1. Geraldine Mimie Clere, married 1/6/1898 Robert Bathurst, 4th son of Charles Bathurst, M.A. of Lydney Park, Glos. J.P. She died 16/2/1946, he died 7/3/1929, leaving issue. 2. Cecil Dorothea, d.15/11/1928 unmarried. 3. Margaret Alison, d.16/1/1935 unmarried. Residence – Wendover, Cheltenham, Glos. Clubs – Royal Automobile; Hurlingham; Flyfishers; New [Cheltenham].

Interesting article from the Gloucestershirearchives on Maynard Colchester letters to the King of Siam .

(My aunt May Weymes who was Nurse in the 1930 was a nurse to the king of Siam family at one time !!)