©  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: December
18, 2018
Webpage updated: December 18, 2018

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Ham House and the Ham Estate passed in to the Collins family when, in 1784, Miss Mary Trelawny, the only child of Mr Samuel Pollexfen Trelawny and the former Miss Catherine Luce, married 22-years-old Mr George Collins of Kenilworth, Warwickshire.  He was a Captain in the Royal Marine Light Infantry.

George and Mary Collins had many children, of which the three sons are of importance to the story of the descent of the Ham House and the Estate.

The first son, naturally, was George Trelawny Collins.  He was born on December 28th 1787 and baptised at the Anglican Church of Saint Gregory the Great, Harpford, East Devon, on June 5th 1788.  The second son was Mr Arthur Luce Trelawny Collins, who was baptised at Harpford on July 23rd 1789.  Both these sons died at an early age.  Lieutenant George Trelawny Collins died on April 6th 1812 during the storming of Badajoz in the Peninsula Campaign.  Lieutenant Arthur Luce Trelawny Collins, Royal Artillery, died at the end of 1820 and was buried at the Anglican Church of Saint Pancras', Weston Peverel, on January 5th 1821.

Son number three was Charles Trelawny Collins, born at Ham House on April 10th 1792.  He began his education in 1803 at Peter Blundell's School, at Tiverton, Devon, from which, in 1810, he obtained a Blundell Scholarship and a silver medal for superiority in elocution.  He then attended Balliol College, Oxford, from where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1816, followed by a Master of Arts degree in 1821.  In that year he was admitted in to holy orders by the Bishop of Oxford and immediately became curate at Saint Pancras Church, Weston Peverel.

In addition to his pastoral duties he is thought to have been responsible for the erection of the Camel's Head Inn for the benefit of men working on the new turnpike road between Plymouth and Saltash Passage.

However, he did not stay long in Weston Peverel and in 1823 he was transferred back to Balliol College.  Two years later the Rectory of Timsbury, near Bath, became vacant and it was presented to him by the Master and fellows of Balliol College.  It was at Timsbury that in 1831 he married Miss Elizabeth Ayliffe Boodle, the youngest daughter of Mr Edward Boodle, of London.

Mr George Collins passed away and was buried at the Anglican Church of Saint Pancras on July 28th 1826.  His widow inherited Ham House and the Estate.  Mrs Mary Collins passed away in 1837 and was buried at the Anglican  Church of Saint Pancras on September 11th 1837.  She, having been a Trelawny, directed in her Will that he must change the surname of Collins to that of Trelawny.  The following decree was issued on November 26th 1838:

'The Queen has been pleased to grant unto the Reverend Charles Trelawny Collins, of Ham, in the tything of Pennycross, otherwise Weston Peverell, in the county of Devon, Clerk, Master of Arts, Rector of Timsbury, in the county of Somerset, only surviving son and heir of George Collins, late of Ham aforesaid, Esquire, deceased, by Mary, his wife, only child and heir of Samuel Pollexfen Trelawny, of the same place, Esquire, also deceased, Her Majesty's royal licence and authority, that he and his issue may, in compliance with a wish expressed in the last will and testament of his late mother, the  said Mary Collins, and in testimony of his grateful and affectionate respect for her memory, henceforth take and use the surname of Trelawny, in addition to and after that of Collins,, and that he and they may bear the arms of Trelawny; such arms being first duly exemplified according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the Herald's Office, otherwise the said licence and permission to be void and of none  effect: And also to command, that the said royal concession and declaration be recorded in Her Majesty's College of Arms.'

Thus the Reverend Charles Trelawny Collins became the Reverend Charles Trelawny Collins Trelawny and his wife became Mrs Elizabeth Ayliffe Collins Trelawny.

In 1841 he returned to the family home at Ham House and once again became curate of the Anglican Church of Saint Pancras, a position that had been kept open for him.

Fourteen people were resident at Ham House in the 1851 census.  Heading the list were the Reverend Charles Trelawny Collins Trelawny and his wife, Mrs Elizabeth Ayliffe Collins Trelawny, of course.  Next came his sister-in-law, Mrs Sophia Collins, aged 50, who was born in Canada.  His two sisters, both unmarried, Miss Caroline Trelawny Collins, aged 60, and Miss Charlotte Trelawny Collins, 54, were in residence.  Below them came three nieces, again all unmarried, Miss Sophia M Collins, aged 34; Miss Caroline M Collins, aged 33; and Miss Authurine Collins, 29.  All of the ladies were described as Gentlewomen.  Finally came the six domestic staff, yet again, all unmarried: coachman Mr Thomas Underhill, 25, from South Tawton, Devon; footman Mr John Dodd, 19, from Peter Tavy, Devon; cook Miss Elizabeth Hart, 35, from Bradworthy, Devon; housemaid Miss Harriet Barnacott, 23, from Falmouth, Cornwall; lady's maid Miss Susan Austin, 24, from Ashburton, Devon; and finally under house maid, Miss Jane Dadde, 17, of Clyst Saint George, Devon.  The pecking order is interesting in itself.

In the 1871 census, the last before the Reverend Gentleman's death (he was now the Rector of North Newton, Somerset, despite it being said that he had retired from the Ministry in 1868 due to poor health), his household has been reduced to his his wife, two unmarried sisters, Miss Caroline Trelawny Collins, now 80 years of age, and Miss Charlotte Trelawny Collins, 74, and his niece, Miss Arthurine Trelawny Collins, 49.  All the ladies are now listed as landowners.  The six staff now were: footman Mr William R Warring, 21, of Egloskerry, Cornwall; coachman Mr William Jordan, 28, of Beaworthy, Devon; lady's maid, Miss Jane Ireland, 21, of Alphington, Devon; upper house maid, Miss Sarah Elson, 37, of Walkhampton, Devon; and under house maid Miss Rebecca K Miller, 18, of Pennycross.

The Reverend Charles Trelawny Collins Trelawny died at Ham House on Good Friday, April 19th 1878.

It would appear that the Ham estate then passed to The Reverend Charles’s widow, Mrs Elizabeth Ayliffe Collins Trelawny, although in the 1881 census she called herself Charlotte Collins Trelawny, widow, but the date (1809) and place of birth (London, Middlesex) are the same.  She was then sharing the property, and the Estate by the looks of it, with her niece, 59-years-old Miss Arthurine Trelawny Collins, three domestic servants (one marked as a "visitor" for some reason), a coachman and a footman.   She held the Estate for only a short while, passing away in May 1886 at the age of 77.  She was buried at Saint Pancras Church on May 5th 1886.

Miss Arthurine Trelawny Collins continued to live at Ham House until she, too, died, on Tuesday February 21st 1905.  She was 83 years of age and had spent her entire life at Ham House.  The 1891 census shows she was still well supported by staff, having a 20-years-old lady's maid, a house maid, a cook, a footman and a coachman.

Ham  House and its Estate passed from the Collins family to the eldest son of the Reverend William Ross, of County Londonderry, Ireland, who on November 18th 1851 had married Miss Caroline Matilda Trelawny Collins at the Anglican Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Plymouth.  Christened at Limavady, County Londonderry, Ireland, as John Trelawny Ross, upon inheriting the Ham Estate he changed his name to John Trelawny Trelawny-Ross (1853-1935).