Brethren Archive

Grave of Augustus Pemberton Gipps

Tunbridge Wells Cemetery

Tom said ...
There was a quiz show on lunchtime TV when I was growing up, called "Going for Gold", and in one of the rounds the host would phrase a question based around a story of a person's life told in the first person, and whichever contestant was first to buzz in and guess correctly who was being spoken about, would get the points (and the number of points declined from 4 to 1 depending on how long into the question we were before the answer came!) So in true GfG style, here is my question:

"I was born December 20th 1828, third son of the Rector of St Peter's Hereford. By the time of my marriage to Helen Etough Crookshank in 1851 I had become secretary of the patent department of the Kensington Museum. Sadly the marriage did not last long and we were separated in 1854. My wife's affair with the hugely wealthy Conservative MP for Wicklow, William Wentworth Fitzwilliam Hume led to a scandelous divorce case in the early 1860's which I lost. In due time though I was converted, and found my way amongst the Brethren. Around 1878 I was living at 14 Lonsdale square, the same square as Mr Darby and Mr Stoney. W.G. Turner wrote that I was "a firm adherent of the London Park Street Fellowship in 1881", and as such I took the opposite side to my brother-in-law, William kelly. I wrote a hymn "Lord Jesus Come", and an accompanying tune "Even So", which have been included in every Taylor hymn book since 1932. Who am I?"

Answer: Augustus Pemberton Gipps!

Some more details; His marriage to Helen C., though beginning brightly soon hit the rocks, and the couple separated a year later after the birth of their daughter Clara. Soon reunited, they traveled through Europe and their son Alexander was born in Dunkirk in late summer 1854. After this though, they separated for good, and towards the end of the decade Helen met, and began an affair with the hugely wealthy Conservative MP for Wicklow, William Wentworth Fitzwilliam Hume. When her husband found out about this in 1860, he sued for divorce, and quite a scandal ensued; "During the trial, Hume offered Gipps £3000 to quash the case and a further £4000 to be paid later. Gipps accepted and the divorce case was found in favor of Helen. When the second payment failed to materialize, Gipps sued Hume in court (which failed) and petitioned again for divorce in 1862. In the meantime, Helen gave birth to twin daughters, Helen Amelrosa and Williamina Emily (thereby confirming her adultery). The judge in the second divorce proceeding ruled adultery had occurred but Gipps connived with the adultery by accepting the money in the first trial and by failing to take back his wife. Gipps appealed to the House of Lords who affirmed the decision in 1864. (There is no evidence if Augustus and Helen ever legally divorced.)". Helen went on to become a novelist, generally going by the pseudonym Mrs Pemberton! but she died young in 1877.

N.B. WK married Gipps sister, Miss Elizabeth Emily Gipps, and she became his second wife. One of WK's sons was called George Pemberton Kelly, and he died in South Africa.

More detals of the story can be read here

Hymn: Lord Jesus Come

When did he marry his second wife Mary Jane? I assume after his first wife died. When did he move to Tunbridge Wells?
Thursday, Dec 18, 2014 : 18:13
Tom said ...
Slight clarification,
First wife Helen Etough Crookshank died 13 Jun 1877 - APG married Mary Jane Clapham in late 1878. He was at 14 Lonsdale Sq 1878 to 1880, in Holmer, Hereford in 1881, in Sidmouth in 1891, Dover in 1901, in TW by 1911 until his death,
Friday, Dec 19, 2014 : 20:43

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