Searching for Angells: facts and fiction
When William Adrian Allery was born in June 1845 in London, his father, William, was 28 and his mother, Mary, was 26. He was one of the few surviving children of William and Mary. He married Mary Ann Sampson and they had two children together. He was a master Tailor and the family historian. He believed he had solved the riddle to the family fortune in 1924. He acted upon his evidence of ancestry and seized a dwelling in Brixton, part of the Angell Estate, demanding that the resident pay their rent to him, the rightful owner. Sadly he died on March 12, 1929, in London, at the age of 83 and his family name tainted.
On the morning of December 3, 1924 William travelled by train from Paddington Station to Dartmouth in Devon. He intended to explore the parish register at St Clement’s Church and locate the missing marriage details. The journey was long and tiring for the passengers and William dozed off frequently in the warm, stuffy carriage. He was confident that he would find the missing entry in the register and prove his inheritance.
On reaching the station at Dartmouth he hailed a cab to take him to the Church at Townstal, St Clements. On reaching the Church he asked to view the parish registers for 177o’s. This is what he found : 24/1/1710: Samuel ALLERY & Elizabeth BENADICT. He believed that Elizabeth Benadict was a direct descendant of Justinian Angell and his wife Elizabeth Scaldwell.
His search took him to Stokenham Village in Douth Devon, where he also allegedly found proof of the Baptism of Mary, the daughter of Justininian Angell and Elizabeth Scaldwell and had made the link from Mary to Elizabeth Benadict who had married his ancestor Samuel Allery.
On his return to London, this is what the papers had to say about his attempt to lay claim to the Angell Estate:
The Evening Standard of March 1928
“Mr William Adrian Allery an old-age pensioner, who is in his 84th year- has seized two houses in Brixton- and declares he intends to seize many more- in an attempt to make good his claim to the Angell Estate….Behind the door he had pinned the parchment showing his family tree…. some friends in the city advanced him the money to go to Devonshire, which is his family home. There he found in Townstal Church Dartmouth, what he claimed was the missing link for which he had been searching. This was the marriage certificate of Elizabeth Benadict Angell who married Samuel Allery on 24 Jan 7011.”
William was later taken into custody and unable to make good his claim. Later reports from the Vicar at Stokenham, noted in the local paper, said that a Baptismal entry was falsified. The writing was clearly in a different pen and ink from the originals and was a forgery.
His claims made news in the local town of Stokenham where this article appeared:
DEVON VICAR AND A BAPTISM ENTRY
A discovery, which may have some bearing on the claims made to the Angell estate (in which some Tasmanian ‘claimants are interested), -has been made In the register of the little village’ church at. Stokenham, near Torcross, South Devon, says the local newspaper. An, entry has been found at the bottom of the right-hand page of the register as follows:-“May 18, 1673. baptised Mary, daughter of Justinian Angel and his wife, Elizabeth.” On the left-hand page, opposite the entry, however, is a declaration signed by the vicar, the Rev. Alaric Davys, and attested by two churchwardens, that the entry was not seen by them when the vicar inspected the register in March, 1925. The vicar has also stated that in his opinion the entry, which is made in old brown , ink, similar in appearance to the ink used in the 17th century, was made with a steel pen, and not a quill, as would have been used in former days.
The most recent claimant to the estate is Mr. William Adrian Allery, of Larkhall Rise, Clapham, who Is nearly 80 years of age, has collected records all his life to obtain information, and Interviewed regarding this latest discovery In the Stokenham register, Mr. Allery smiled and said his solicitors were in possession of all the information. He to expressed his’ firm conviction that the entry was a genuine one. “How can anyone say,” he asked, “that a written entry was made with a steel pen and not a quill.”-,
In March last Mr. Allery seized a house In Brixton-road to try to establish his claim. He barricaded himself inside until an Injunction was obtained and the house pulled down to make room for new offices. Recently a company with a capital of £10,000 was formed to enable Mr. Allery to fight his claim.
You will find further facts in this Angell Estate History here.