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Tuesday 4 March 2014

Lieutenant General Owen Lewis Cope Williams MP and Edith Countess of Aylesford

Monument to Lieutenant General Lewis Cope Williams MP and Edith Countess of Aylesford, All Saints Churchyard, Bisham, Berkshire.
"Vault of the Williams Family of Temple House Berkshire - In Loving Memory of Lieutenant General Owen Lewis Cope Williams born 13th July 1836 died Oct 2nd 1904.  This monument was erected by his widow in grateful remembrance of 22 happy years spent together.

Edith Countess of Aylesford Widow of Heneage 7th Earl and daughter of Col Thomas Peers Williams of Temple House.  Born April 12th 1842 died June 24th 1897."
Lieutenant General Owen Lewis Cope Williams was born on 13th July 1836 at 41 Berkley Square, London, eldest son of Colonel Thomas Peers Williams, who sat in the House of Commons for Great Marlow from 1820 to 1868, and his wife Emily Bacon, youngest daughter of Anthony Bushby Bacon, an industrialist of Benham Park, Berkshire.
Countess Edith Finch was born Edith Williams on 12th April 1842 to Colonel Thomas Peers Williams and Emily Bacon.
Lieutenant General Williams first appears on the 1841 Census aged four years old, living with his parents and younger sisters Margaret and Emily at 41 Berkeley Square, Westminster, London.
In 1851, however, fourteen year old Lieutenant General Williams can be found studying at Eton College in Eton, Berkshire.  In 1854 Lieutenant General Williams entered the Royal Horse Guards, he became Lieutenant in 1856 and Captain in 1858.
Countess Edith first appears on the 1851 Census, aged nine years, living with her parents, elder sisters Margaret Elizabeth and Emily Gwendolyn, younger sisters Blanche, and Nina Janet Bronwyn, younger brother Thomas Anthony Hwfa, Uncle George Bacon and cousin Kate Bacon.
By 1861 Lieutenant General Williams has returned to Temple House where he is now listed as being Captain of Royal Horse Guards.  His parents and sister Countess Edith have moved to Craig-y-don in Anglesey, Wales.
In 1862 Lieutenant General Williams married Fanny Florence Caulfield, in 1865 they celebrated the birth of their first child, a son, Owen Gywnydd St George Williams, followed closely by his brother Ivor Henry Williams in 1867.  In 1866 Lieutenant General Williams became Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1871 Lieutenant General Williams, now made a Colonel, his wife and two young sons can be found living at 24 Hill Street in Westminster, London.  That same year countess Edith married Henaege Finch, 7th Earl of Aylesford.  In 1872 they celebrated the birth of their first child, Lady Hilda Joanna Gwendoline Finch, followed by her sister Lady Alexandra Louise Minna Finch in 1875.  However in 1877 the Earl of Aylesford and Countess Edith separated.  After their separation, on November 4th 1881 at 8 Avenue Friedland, Paris, France, a son, Guy Bertrand Spencer Aylesford was born to Edith.  However there was some question as to his legitimacy.  After the Earl's death in 1885, Countess Edith petitioned the House of Lords to have her son Guy acknowledged as the son and heir of her late husband.  However the petition was unsuccessful with the title of 8th Earl of Aylesford being passed to Henaege's brother Charles Wightwick Finch.  The real father of Guy Bertrand was George Charles Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford, 8th Duke of Marlborough.  Before the 7th Earl of Aylesford's death Countess Edith and the Duke's younger brother, Lord Randolph Churchill, tried to get the petition dropped by threatening the Princess of wales that they would subpoena the Prince of Wales as a witness. The 7th Earl of Aylesford died before the divorce could be finalised.
In 1881 Countess Edith can be found living alone at 11 Portugal Street in Chelsea London.  Later in 1891 Countess Edith and nine year old Guy Bertrand Spencer are living at Bear Place, Hare Hatch, wargrave, Berkshire.  Her daughters can be found living with their paternal grandmother Lady Augusta Sophia, Dowager Countess of Aylesford.
In 1876 Fanny Florence passes away. 
In 1880 until 1885 Lieutenant General Williams becomes the Conservative MP for Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire as well as the justice of the Peace for Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Anglesey and Carnarvon.  In 1882 he is promoted to Major General.  He also held the office of Silver Stick in Waiting to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
I am unable to locate the widowed Lieutenant General Williams on the 1881 Census, but his eldest son Owen Gywnydd can be found studying at Eton College in Eton Berkshire.  .
In 1882 Lieutenant General Williams married Nina Mary Adelaide Sinclair, who was twenty years his junior.  He retires from the army in 1887 with the honourary rank of Lieutenant General.
By 1891 Lieutenant General Williams had returned to Temple House in Bisham Berkshire, where he is living with his second wife Nina and eldest son Captain Owen Gywnydd (Captain of the Royal Horse Guards).  Living with the family is 5 month old Archibald Henry Macdonald Sinclair, Nina's nephew.  In 1901 Lieutenant General Williams, his wife Nina and Archibald Sinclair are still residing at Temple House in Bisham Berkshire.  Sometime before 1904 Ivor Henry Williams passes away.
In 1892 the George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th duke of Marlborough passes
On June 24th 1897 Countess Edith Aylesford passes away at 51 Welbeck Street, London
On 2nd October 1904 Lieutenant General Williams passes away at his home in Temple House, Bisham.
The widowed Nina Williams leaves Temple House in Bisham and takes up residence at the family home at 24 Hill Street, Westminster, London, where she can be found on the 1911 Census.  Young Lieutenant Archibald Sinclair has become a commissioned officer in the 2nd Life Guards At St George, Hanover Square in London.
In 1910 Guy Bertrand Spencer married Lily Blanche Saville.  In 1911 Guy Bertrand Spencer and his wife Lily can be found living at New Road, Dinton, Aylesbury.  Guy Bertrand Spencer's occupation is listed as a brewer.
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