A resume on the CONNECTION or otherwise between the FREEMANTLE/FREMANTLE families:
It would seem that the connection between the family of Freemantle Settlers in 1820 and the Fremantle family of naval renown maybe somewhat closer than previously presumed, judging from the following extract taken from the 'Wynne Diaries', printed in 1937, and edited by Anne Fremantle. These are the diaries of Elizabeth (Betsey) Wynne, [written from 1794 to 1798] who married Thomas Francis Fremantle (later Admiral Fremantle), father of the second Admiral Fremantle after whom the port in Western Australia is named, and her sister Eugenia Wynne. Although nothing is confirmed and it is not known when the change of spelling might have taken place, she refers to Fremantle Park and Fremantle Farm, but the latter is spelt on the map as Freemantle and there is a Freemantle Park still in existence in Southampton.
When we visited Southampton in 1985 we were given to understand that there were in fact two parks there called Freemantle. However, we were only able to find one at that time during our rather hasty drive around the place.
CAPTAIN FREMANTLE'S FAMILY.
A synopsis (Appendix B) from the Wynne Diaries. Volume II. 1794-1798.
(Geographical notes, as numbered, will be found at the end of this extract)
The name Fremantle is found originally in Hampshire: Fremantle forest, North of Southampton, was a royal forest in Henry II's reign; at Fremantle Park, near Kingsclere (1) King John had a hunting box, where the Fremantle farm (2) still exists, supposedly on the ancient site. There is a present day suburb of Southampton named Fremantle as once there was also of Bournemouth (now swallowed up by the encroaching city).
The earliest direct ancestor of Betsy's husband of whom there is any authentic record, left his native county to become agent to Lord Crewe, the then prime bishop of Durham, in 1660. Lord Crewe had an estate near Stean, (3) in the neighbourhood of Brackley, (4) and John Fremantle (who in the grant of arms to his grandson is described as 'of the county of Hants') lived at Morton Pinkney, (5) and is buried there. He is mentioned in one volume of Evleyn's diary, in connection with the Northamptonshire floods, and it is permissible to suppose it was his father whom Scott describes in the preface to 'Woodstock', as being at Leckhampstead, (6) near Buckingham.
John Fremantle had three sons and one daughter. The latter married one Cunningham, and is buried at Brackley. (7) Of the boys, the eldest Thomas, was a graduate of Lincoln College, Oxford, and later became rector of Hinton in the Hedges, (8) near Aynhoe. (9) He died childless. The second, John, went merchanting abroad, and was living in Lisbon in 1703. The third, Walgrave (a Crewe name - no doubt bestowed by a beneficent godfather), married and lived and died in Morton Pinkney, (10) and his descendants after him remained there until the nineteenth century, undistinguished and undisturbed.
John, who went to Lisbon, married there Catherine Carter: family tradition has it that the great earthquake, which destroyed Francois-Marie Arout's faith in the benevolence of his creator, destroyed also the record of John Fremantle's marriage. At all events, the family Bible still in the possession of his descendants gives the date of his first child, Maria, as 1703; John followed in 1705.
This John (the second) grew up in Portugal, then crossed over into Spain and became secretary of legation at Madrid, and married a Spanish lady, remarkable for her extreme youth and even more extreme ugliness, one Maria Teresa de Castro. They were married in her parent's house, but not in their presence, which gave rise to the legend that John had eloped with her from a convent. Certainly she had taken neither vows nor veil, but she may still have been at school.
John and Maria had first a daughter, Frances, and then, on June 21, 1737, John (the third), who bought an estate at Aston Abbotts, (11) near Aylesbury, (12) and married an heiress, Frances Edwards. She brought other gifts, too, than money: long black lashes all her descendants inherit, and dark hazel - almost green - eyes, and, alas, pigstraight dark hair.
Frances' and John's eldest son John, born 1761, went into the Guards and died in 1805 at Bath, childless. He was buried at Melksham, (13) but there is a tablet to his memory in Bath Abbey. Sara, the next child, born in 1762, married Lord Cathcart's son, Archibald. Then came Stephen, born in 1764. He became lieutenant-colonel of the 39th. Infantry in 1786, and in 1794 married Albinia Jeffreys. Their son, John, was in 1818 aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, and his descendant, Guy Fremantle, the last representative of this branch of the family, now lives at Alassio (14).
Thomas Francis, the hero of this volume, was born at 9 a.m. one morning in 1765. After him came his younger brother, William Henry, in 1766. These two brothers were always very intimate, and when Thomas Francis died in 1819 William took care of young Tom, his nephew, who, as he was already of age, needed no legal guardian. When he died he left Tom all his money, and some Edwards property, too, near Bristol. William was for eleven years permanent secretary for Ireland, and member for Bucks. He married (as Betsy so graphically describes) Selina, relict of Felton Hervey. Later he became deputy ranger of Windsor Great Park, and her father-in-law could remember his grandfather telling him how he used, as a boy, to go over from Eton to Holly Grove (15) in '42 and visit his uncle, and how the old servant used to brush his uncle's wig on a stand.