by Shane Badham

The first reference I saw to Ann was in the Moravian Register, on the death of her husband in Penzance on the 15th April 1832. I copied her name as Ann Mandrict Garvey. Later I found the marriage of Frederic James Badham and Ann on the IGI and confirmed that they were married at St. Augustine’s in Bristol. On the IGI there was some doubt as to the middle name; it was given as Mauduil or Mauduit. I favour Mauduit, because there is the appearance of a stroke across the final letter in most of the register and certificate entries for Ann. Also on searching the 1881 census, I could not find the name Mandrict.

Peter Badham Googled for the name Mauduit and found it to be French in origin. There are about 4,700 or so Mauduits in France today and quite a large number in Manche (Cherbourg peninsular). It seems possible that Ann’s grandmother's name was Mauduit and she may have been Caribbean French from another island.

I found their son’s baptism on the IGI and confirmed it at Bristol Record Office as the 12th June 1832. He was baptised at the Parish church at Westbury-on-Trym and named Walter Lucas Garvey Badham, but all I knew about him, at that time, was that he was the informant on James Billings Badham’s (JBB) death certificate, that he was a Moravian Minister, and his address of 30 James Street, Devonport proved to be a Moravian Chapel.

In the 1841 census return for Brislington, Somerset, there is a Walter Badham aged 10 at Churchill House School (our Walter would have been 9, however this is the 1841 census!). Several of the names in the school are German, including a John Seifferth. JBB’s second wife was Mary Maud, née Seifferth, and her brother Benjamin was a Moravian bishop, who I know married late in life. It is possible that this John is his son. Walter would have got a thorough education, including an introduction to the Moravian church. Also his grandfather would have influenced him, as I believe he did also to his nephew Thomas Leopold Badham.

I also checked the 1851 and 1861 census returns for James Street, Devonport, but there were some other incumbents there at those times. Later I found his marriage to Rebecca Jane Scandrett in Hillsborough, County Down, Ireland, on the 2nd October 1855. He gave his place of abode as Wellhouse, Mirfield, another Moravian establishment. The only other reference I have to his whereabouts came from the Moravian diaries in Bristol. He was present at Alonzo’s funeral in 1862 “...Br. Walter Badham from Ballinderry, North Ireland...”. According to W.L.G. Badham was minister there from 1860 to 1862. The line above in the table shows W. Humberstone. He was Minister at Devonport, according to the 1861 census, so it is possible that they swapped places. If you scroll up the page, you will see two pictures of the interior of the church. It is possible that they moved to the north of Ireland because of Rebecca’s family there. So, I still have not found out if there were any children of his marriage. Many of the Irish census returns were lost in the fire at the Four Courts in Dublin in 1922. Just recently I have had a rewarding exchange of emails with Alan Bunns in New Zealand. He is researching the Scandrett and McLeavy families, who are connected. He knew about Walter L.G and Emily McLeavy, née Badham.

I originally found Ann’s death on the 23rd August 1837, in the Moravian Register and later confirmed the location on the death certificate as Marlborough Place, Bristol. I cannot find Marlborough Place on a modern map. It’s possible that this was near the Moravian settlement and is now under one of the hospitals in Bristol. On the day of her death her age was 27 years, seven months and six days.

It was not until I discovered her “Memorandum” in the Moravian diaries - all 12 pages of it (about A5 size) - that I learned of her life story. It reads a bit like a story by Charles Dickens, but riches to rags, then back again to riches of a different sort. The Minister had access to her diaries and letters, (possibly her letter book) and some of the entries read somewhat like Shakespearian soliloquies.


Ann was born on the island of St. Christopher in the West Indies, on the 17th Jan 1810. Her father, Lucas Garvey Esq., was an opulent planter and landed proprietor.

He was so beloved by his slaves for his kindness and humanity, that on his last departure for England, they all accompanied him to the beach, and with “many tears besought him soon to return to them.” This has to some extent been proved true. Just recently. I sent an email to the National Archive in St. Christopher now better known as St. Kitts. The archivist confirmed that the Garvey Estate still exists! I doubt that the name would have been preserved otherwise! To continue the story:

Their hope was disappointed; they were never to see him again. He died in the year 1814, and was buried in London, leaving his only child under the care of her mother, with a handsome provision for both.

They returned to the West Indies, and Ann remained there until her mother's decease (about 1819), when she was sent to England for her education.

At about nine years old she went to the school of Sister (Sr.) Jane Bird, and was brought up in the Moravian faith in the Brother's Congregation. The term “Moravian” is more modern, but the original name was Unitas Fratum or United Bretheren. The full title in English being The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United Bretheren.

From an ejaculation, which fell from her [lips] on her death bed, it is evident that she had not been long an attendant at the children's meetings before she perceived in her heart a drawing of the Holy Spirit, for which, in the immediate view of eternity, she felt herself called upon to praise her heavenly Father.

During the time that she spent under the care of Sr. Bird, the failure of an eminent London Banker who came to an ignominious death, [committed suicide?] placed in priah [sic] jepody [sic] the property, which had been bequeathed her, & it was for some time very probable that she would be left in a state of destitution.

It is due to the kindness of the landlord and landlady of Reeves Hotel in Bristol, at which the Garvey family had stayed, that on learning of Ann's expected misfortune, they offered to adopt her as their own child. This generous proposal was never forgotten by her. “She often expressed a grateful sense of deep obligation to them.”

Through the mercy of providence, however, whose eye never forsakes the orphan, a considerable part of her patrimony, amounting to several thousand pounds was saved, & secured in the custody of the Lord Chancellor.

JBB becomes her guardian

When she was about 16 years of age, the responsibility for her education fell to the family, with which, five years later, she was to become connected by marriage. It is possible that the couple who had adopted her could not afford the education she evidently needed, but there are several other possibilities. She was sent to school at Tytherton, near Chippenham, Wiltshire (today the village is probably called East Tytherton or Tytherton Lucas) This Moravian settlement is where JBB’s eldest daughter, Arabella, was educated. Here she remained for about two years. From there she moved to a Boarding School in Bristol, where she made considerable progress in various branches of education, including some modern languages.

During her early youth, she had been subject to frequent attacks of indisposition, but until 1829, she had of late been quite free from them. In that year she was sometimes dangerously ill of a “bilious fever”.

In 1830 she was placed under the care of a Mrs. Sherwood, near Worcester, where she remained until she was almost 21 year’s old.

Her letters, scripture exercises, and daily observations, written during her stay with that lady, afford abundant evidence of the benefits she derived, among which she was wont to consider the constant study of scripture as one of the chief.

Marriage and widowhood!

On the 22nd of March 1831, she was married to Frederic James Badham (JBB’s eldest son), and in January of the following year, “the Lord blessed their union with a son, her beloved Walter, now an orphan!” About two years elapsed before consumption threatened to make her a widow.

In 1833 she accompanied her husband to Penzance, where he lingered for a few months, and departed with the hopeful declaration upon his lips: "I trust in my Redeemer!" His end was made a happy one by the presence of Br. Oakley and his family from Bristol and Sr. Jenkins from Devonport. “Those who surrounded his death bed can tell, with what tenderness, affection, and constancy she [Ann] nursed him. The great subject of her maternal anxiety now was her son Walter.”

Poor health

In a memorandum in her diary dated in 1835, are the following statements:

O God how mercyful (sic) has thou been to me, poor sinful worm! Had I been punished according to my sins, my soul were lost for ever. Awful thought! This day 2 years ago my poor Frederic departed. Walter! O most merciful Saviour subdue this self will of my child. Fill his heart with thy grace. I could weep tears of blood for his eternal welfare. Help me, I pray thee, to bring him up in thy fear & love.

In October 1836, are the following observations on the sudden death of a school-friend, who died on the day appointed for her marriage:

Hast thou indeed left this busy world, in which thy latest occupations were, the making ready for thy wedding day? And is it true, that thou didst live just long enough to die upon that very day? - But why am I then melancholy? In Thee, I trust, the exchange is gain. A bride of heaven! How beautiful! Hadst thou on the wedding garment fitted for the presence of such a bridegroom? I trust thou hadst. As to myself what shall I say? O Lord, have mercy upon me, miserable sinner. Cut me not down in the midst of my sins. Spare me yet a little longer!

This obsession with death must have some “fire” behind it; did she suspect that she had picked up her husband’s fatal disease? We may never know. She is, however, placing herself in her friend’s shoes. It is obvious that she fears for the future of her son and, like her friend, would have wished to live a little longer; certainly she wishes to live long enough to influence the education of her son. To me, it is these bits that read like Shakespearian soliloquies (think of Lady Macbeth and the hand-washing scene).

In the same month the following reflections were addressed in a letter to her father-in-law:

Death may call at my house before you & I can seriously converse upon my beloved charge. My darling boy is of course my greatest care. May I hope for a continuance of that kindness, with which you have always treated him? Consider his age, & do not expect too much of him. Let me instruct you to place him under the care of truly religious people, whose example he may safely follow. Should he live, he must have many trials real & imaginary. But what a sweet comfort may he always enjoy, if he knows his Redeemer, & seeks in Him for consolation! My anxiety is not whether he will be rich or poor, nor whether his 'trials' will be many or few; but whether his soul is filled with everlasting good. I am the more uneasy about him, because he is a child of a turbulent spirit, for which none but a mother can make due allowance, & none but a Christian would bear with such a disposition. Yet he is affectionate and may be won. If God see fit to spare me, I will watch over him with a mother's tenderness. May I receive wisdom from above, to direct his steps in the path of righteousness.

At the start of this year (1837), among many excellent reflections are the following:

My life has been a life of mercies. Another year is come, & I am still among the living. Is not this time given to me for repentance? This “is” the accepted time; now is the day of salvation. Create in me a clean heart, O God, & renew a right spirit within me!
 O Lord, help me to be in all things, as thou wouldst have us to be! Surely this new year of my life will not be as those that are gone.

In April last (1837) she wrote as follows:

To day I have partaken of the Holy Communion! Was I clad in the garment of holiness to partaken of it? O Lord, cleanse me more & more from the dross, and make me less unworthy to sit down at thy table.

These words, above, are the last words in her Diary, but the minister continues:

The messenger of death was come then demanding admittance, & her bodily weakness was beginning to appear in the defectiveness of her handwriting. But the symptoms of her complaint, which was Influenza, was not considered dangerous until a short time before her departure. It is manifest, that she has long been intent upon the great purpose of her being, the salvation of her soul, & that the subject of death was familiar to her mind. Many who have conversed with her can bear ample testimony to this truth. Yet as bodily exhaustion increased, the enemy of her peace was able at intervals to darken the horizon with clouds of unbelief, & to make her doubt of her Saviour's willingness to receive her.

Although her death certificate confirms the diagnosis of influenza, I still have my doubts. It may well have hastened her end, but to linger so long suggests some other cause. I have noticed in other death certificates, of this period, that doctors did not itemise the various causes contributing to a death, but settled on a main one.

[I now believe that she was a carrier of Yellow Fever, and had some immunity from her mother; note the Ministers reference to her suffering an illness of a “bilious fever”. The combination of this and influenza may have hastened her death.]

A change of air

On the 14th August (1837) Ann was, on the advice of her doctor, moved to Kingswood for a change of air. She was accompanied by a friend whose mother, Sr. Jenkins, had shared her anxiety at the death-bed of her husband at Penzance.

For the next week she grew steadily weaker. She continued to have doubts about her faith in Christ, her end, and what would become of her son, Walter. At other times she would pray fervently and spent some time in prayer at the foot of the cross in the church. I have cut this short; it’s pretty harrowing! She appeared racked with pain and had violent spasms. I still can’t believe this is just influenza. She continued to have doubts about her faith and kept asking questions of those around her. On being answered, that it was unbelief that drew a veil between her and her Saviour, she exclaimed:

Begone unbelief! for my Saviour is near,

And for my relief he will surely appear;

By prayer let me wrestle & he will perform,

With Christ in the vessel I smile at the storm.

On Peter Badham’s prompting I Googled for the opening line of this hymn and I was able to listen to the music as well. However, it was not a tune I knew. It caused me to think about the metre and I decided it was the same as “O worship the King”. I looked it up in my music edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, which has a first line index, and the well-known tune “Hanover” fits the above verse very well. And there is a great descant to go with it!

Her patience under suffering, and her tender concern for those who watched with her, were remarkable. The day before her decease she said: "Can this weakness be death? If so, tell me, and you shall not pass another such distressing night."

On being assured, that it was only her suffering that distressed her friends, she said: "You are too kind to me, so understanding a nature: but our Saviour sent you hither. It is another of his mercies."

Return to her home

She was anxious, however, to die at home. A messenger was immediately dispatched to Bristol, and she was moved without delay to her own house. The excitement rallied her strength, and she bore the journey much better than could be expected; but she passed a sleepless night. It was, however, through the mercy of her Redeemer, calm and peaceful. At about noon on Wednesday (23 August 1837), the blessing of the Lord and of the Congregation was imparted to her by Br. Pohlman, in a most solemn and impressive manner.

During the sacred transaction a sense of the divine presence and peace pervaded the souls of all who surrounded her bed, her hands were uplifted towards heaven, and the smile upon her countenance bespoke the influence of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost.

She afterwards raised herself in the bed, & with astounding energy, dignity & clearness, spoke of the “awfulness of death,” and the danger of putting off the day of Repentance; thanked her Redeemer for  the first drawings of his Spirit through the instrumentality of a simple Moravian; - commended her son to her father-in-law's care; - acknowledged with gratitude the help she had derived from the discourses and prayers of the minister of the Congregation; - and lamented that she had not made a more faithful use of the means of grace.

She then laid her head upon her pillow, continued for some time in fervent prayer and, at about 2 o’clock, breathed out her soul so quietly, and with so little change of countenance, that her sorrowing friends were in doubt, whether she were dead, or only sleeping.