Sunday, 28 September 2008

Later Llewelyn Davieses at Campden Hill Square, with an element of Siegfried Sassoon


At 17 October 2008 at 08:51 , Blogger Atticus said...

How interesting, Henri! Thank you. Just one point, if I may:

You say you don't know why Jane dropped 'Llewelyn' from her name. May I offer you a possible explanation?

You will know, I'm sure, that your great uncle Peter also dropped the same middle name. In his case the overriding reason is perhaps understandable - an attempt to sever the connection with Peter Pan and the Barrie/Llewelyn Davies link, a connection which evidently dogged Peter for years. But also he may have preferred the simpler name in its own right.

In Jane's case, might I suggest that she may have recognized that Llewelyn was actually her given second name (as indeed it had been for several in the family) and not part of her formal surname. Like others before her, including Arthur, his father and his grandfather, but possibly not in your own case (of which I have no knowledge), her formal surname may have been simply 'Davies'. Examination of the Government Records Office's Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths reveals the facts.

By way of comparison, within my own family my mother was named Marian Llewelyn Jones - her mother having been born a Llewellyn - and she was always known as Miss Jones or Marian Jones. Making a Christian name form of the Llewellyn surname was a fairly common occurrence, it seems, but this did not necesarily mean that a compound surname was created for the next generation.

At 18 October 2008 at 03:29 , Blogger catswitch said...

hi henri! I have just found this blog and am really enjoying it. Sassoon's tiny poem made me understand all my uncles and most of my boyfriends; like a time tunnel tardis from linen to lycra, it carries on the same...
I know you're an astrologer. How could I book a reading with you?

At 19 October 2008 at 12:42 , Blogger Henri Llewelyn Davies said...

Atticus: Many thanks for your interesting comments.

Our family seems to have been called just 'Davies' up to my great-great-grandfather (always known now as John Llewelyn Davies). His sister was always called plain Emily Davies. She was an amazingly determined Taurean and largely-forgotten feminist who worked incredibly hard for many decades to get girls educated and finally founded Girton College Cambridge, the first higher-education establishment for women. One of her biggest ambitions was to see women get the vote - she died aged 92 in 1921. (There was a biography of her by Daphne Bennett - published by Andre Deutsch in 1990).

Emily Davies's brother, my great-great-grandfather John Llewelyn Davies, was the grandfather of Arthur Ll. D. - who married Sylvia du Maurier, adored by J.M Barrie. John Ll.D. was one of Queen Victoria's chaplains for a while, but she booted him back to Wales for being too radical (he was intent on helping poor people, and carried on regardless).

I once was told by a librarian at a genealogy library that around that time some people had 'honorary' names conferred on them if they were respected figures in the community, and that maybe John acquired the 'Llewelyn' at some stage for that reason - true or not I don't know.

I do know from more recent family letters that my grandfather Jack (number 2 of J.M. Barrie's adopted boys) tended to use the full double-barrelled surname, and that my mother had me enrolled in school from year one with my full mouthful of a name ( which then stuck). I've never seen her or Jack's birth certificates, but my mother was definitely officially named Sylvia Jocelyn by my grandfather - after the du Maurier mother he had adored and lost aged sixteen. My mother went on strike about this from childhood and insisted on being called Jane or Jinny. Possibly she decided even Jane Llewelyn Davies was too much of a mouthful, I don't know why I ended up, at her prompting, with such a long name!

Catswitch: Many thanks! How to get a phone reading from me is outlined on my website (phone and email are there)

At 19 October 2008 at 12:55 , Blogger Henri Llewelyn Davies said...

Catswitch: sorry, I meant my website is

(am a technomuddler!)

At 20 October 2008 at 01:33 , Blogger Atticus said...

Hello again, Henri. Thanks for your comments on my comments.

Yes, I knew much of what you say, and as I have copies of some certificates relating to your family, I can confirm that Arthur's birth certificate records that his given names were Arthur Llewelyn, indicating that his surname at birth was just Davies, just as his father's given names were John Llewelyn. And when John married Mary Crompton, Mary became Mrs Mary Davies; it seems John gave her name as such (ie. not as Mary Llewelyn Davies) on formal occasions, including when registering Arthur's birth. In fact, John gave all his sons the name Llewelyn as their second given name. But his first-born child was a girl, Margaret (whose work and achievements as Margaret Davies, and as Margaret Llewelyn Davies, also warrant mention sometime), but she herself adopted the name Llewelyn! I know this because she was registered as Margaret Caroline Davies after her birth.

It seems to me that the 'Llewelyn Davies' compound surname could be said to have adopted itself part way through John's career when he started signing his name as 'J. Llewelyn Davies'. So, did he wish to take on a double-barrelled surname, or did he prefer to be called 'Llewelyn' in preference to being called 'John'?

All this is not exactly of earth-shattering importance but I do find such considerations fascinating.

At 20 October 2008 at 12:29 , Blogger Henri Llewelyn Davies said...

Hi Atticus, Thanks for your interesting comments.

I found, after my last posting, that in Daphne Bennett's book on Emily Davies, John Ll.D. her brother was always referred to as just Llewelyn Davies (not John at all) till just one late reference in the book to him, when he was quite old, calling him John Llewelyn Davies. Bennett must have found reason to refer to him like that from her research, which included documents at Girton College Cambridge I saw. (John Ll. D.'s father was called John Davies - perhaps as long as both father and eldest son were alive the son was often called just Llewelyn, to avoid confusion between the two of them.

Margaret (Ll.) Davies - yes, I did have a book on her which I now can't lay hands on, and remember letter(s?) from Virginia Woolf to her, which I thought, when I read them, sounded slightly patronising(!)

At 3 January 2009 at 09:30 , Blogger Nicolas said...

Dear Henri
I have been interested by what you and Atticus have written about the Llewelyn Davies name. My own comment is on a different aspect - Campden Hill Square, your birthplace. My grandparents (name of Hawkes) lived at no. 17 from 1905/6 to 1946 and then at no. 21 until 1967. My father, who was born in 1905, always told me that he was taught to play cricket by J M Barrie in the gardens of that Square. Evidently Barrie was there because he was visiting or living at no. 23 with the boys in the years after Sylvia's death in the summer of 1910.

My question is: Did the boys go on living there until they were grown up, with Barrie living in with them (+ nursemaids), or visiting? They must have stayed there for a while, as my father would not have been taught cricket until over 5 years old.

And who actually owned the house in those days, before Harold Speed bought it?

I know there are biographies of Barrie which must have the answer but having enjoyed your websaite I thought I would ask.



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