Charles Viscount De Roussiere

“Charles, son of William and Rebekah de Roussiere, born 7 January 1745, and baptised 3 February 1745, as appears in the Register of Births and Baptisms belonging to the Parish of St. James, Westminster. Certified 9 August 1803 by Thomas Bracken, M.A. Clerk in Orders and Registrar.

Charles de Roussiere’s ancestors are buried in Reims Cathedral. Later the family became Huguenots, some are said to have suffered about the time of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew (24 August 1512) and to have fought for their faith under the banner of Navarre. During the 17th century (1601-1700 A.D.) they settled at Frameries, near Mons, in Hainault, Belgium.

About the year 1720, William, Viscount de Roussiere with his wife Rebekah, settled in England, where in London Charles was born. In England, Charles married a French woman. He died in England, having issue two children, both daughters. Thus the title lapsed. The younger daughter, Mary, died unmarried.

The older, Eliza de Roussiere (born 1786), married (1815) Robert Borora, the oldest son of William Borora, Vicar of Clavering, Essex. Their eldest daughter, Eliza Harriet Borora (born 1820, died 1865) married (April 1840) John Herbert Glover, whose second daughter, Clara Emily Glover (born 24 February 1847, died 1 March 1925) married (29 December 1870) Sebastion Anderson. Their issue being Gordon; Gertrude; Wallace; Irene; Nina and Hilda Anderson.”


This is the family story, handed on by Ethel Stonehouse, daughter of the above Irene Anderson. Irene was my paternal Grandmother.

As is the case with family stories, they cannot be taken literally without proving it yourself.

The IGI provided the following information: all St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster; I also searched the film of the Parish records, Census and BDM records, confirming information, including their burials

The film of Baptisms for the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields, provided birth dates additional to the baptismal date (the baptismal date for Eliza was unable to be read.)Also Burial dates. All of the early burials were at Wimbledon, Surrey. Mary was buried at South Bersted, West Sussex, after dying at Bogmor, Sussex; Eliza died at Long Ditton, Surrey and was buried at St. Andrews Church, Cobham, Surrey.

On the IGI for Surrey is the following:-

De Roussiere Charles marriage to Millicent Walker (not a French name) on 5 November 1778 at Wimbleton. I found that they were married by special license.

The IGI for London also provided the following: Harriet Eliza Borora; C. 27 Dec 1819; St Mary Lambeth. Since then I have found that "Borora" was a misinterpretation and the actual surname was BOWRA.

Conclusions: Obvious spelling and interpretation errors due to the literacy of the times. Eliza and Mary were the only SURVIVING issue, not the only issue! Mary was in fact older, not younger then Eliza.

Eliza Harriet Borora, was in fact Harriet Eliza Bowra; she died as Harriet Eliza Glover, registration as St. Catherine’s House Index, Lambeth 1d 222 Sept. Qtr 1865.

I found the marriage of Robert Bowra to Eliza "Devonssiere", 3 Feb 1816 at Saint Pancras, Old Church, London; IGI M047931 and the following births:

  • William Addenbroke Bowra B. 1816; D. 4 Sept 1866;
  • Charles Woollott Bowra B. 1818; D. 11 Jul 1856
  • Harriet Eliza Bowra B 1819; D. 7 April 1865
  • Elizabeth Emily Bowra, C. 2 Mar 1821,
  • Mary Frances Bowra C. 5 Dec 1822
  • Rosa Millicent Bowra B 9 Sep 1825 D. 31 Dec 1911

    Eliza Bowra nee DeRoussiere

    Moral of the Story: Check all your family stories for accuracy, don’t take anything literally until you have proved it for yourself.

    A London Researcher for the Huegenot Society, Michael Gandy, BA FSG, did some research for me but could not find any trace of the family in the Huegenot records of the Society. He suggested that William and Rebekah could not have arrived in England already married in 1720, as this was too early, also thought that Rebekah is not a French name, so it seems likely that William and Rebekah married in England, probably around early 1740. Rebekah/Rebecca was still alive in 1798 when William, the brother of Charles died.

    He found the Will of William, which was informative as it named Charles as Executor and described Charles as "my brother Charles Deroussiere of Villers St, Strand, Jeweller in the Parish of St Martins in the Fields, London."

    Charles was buried at Wimbledon, as were his young children when they died. This despite the fact that the family lived in London. Then, as now, it costs money to transport a body for burial outside the home area, so suggests that Millicent's family perhaps had a family vault, or strong ties to the Wimbledon area. The death register of the 25 February 1812 says simply "Charles Derousier of the Parish of St Giles in the Fields, London, aged 69 years, buried". St Giles in the Fields is about a mile away from the eastern end of modern Oxford Street.

    From "The Gentleman's Magazine: Vol. 82, Part 1. Bereavement Notice: Feb 18th In Great Russell Street, in his 67th year, Mr Charles Deroussiere".

    Copy of a miniature of Charles Deroussiere (Count DeRosier)?
    So in the family there existed the belief that there was a title.

    Mr Gandy also checked out all the available Peerage directories, including Burkes " Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire (1883)" and could find no reference to a title for the family. If they ever had one, it seems unlikely that it was ever used in Britain. Had Charles used a title, it would have been acknowledged in the will of his brother and most definitely on his burial entry and bereavement notice.

    However, it does seems that this was a wealthy family of some note, with a tragic history of early infant mortality.

    With the rest of my ancestors being good, hard working stock, farmers, clerks, merchants and the like, it has been nice having the family "legend" of a Viscount in the family - but I am happy to acknowledge Charles De Roussiere as an ancestor, even without a title. It is a great name, sadly no longer used; tending to be shortened to De Rosier. He was obviously a man of some substance at the time.

    The portrait of Eliza and the Miniature of "Count De Rosier" were supplied by Stephen Kent, also a Descendant of Charles and Eliza.
    The miniature of Charles at the top was owned by Ethel Stonehouse, Daughter of Irene Stubbs (nee Anderson).

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