Richard Hingston of Penryn and his family

This document was sent to me by Michael Palmer ( who is descended from the Hingstons who emigrated to Te Puke, New Zealand. The document was given to him by his mother. It is placed on the web with their permission. The document was clearly written by one R.H.F. of 28 Weymouth St, London W., in 1906, but it is not known who he was. William E Hingston, who prepared the Vine Tree, is mentioned, but it is clearly not addressed to him, although his efforts may have prompted the work.

The original is much copied, and has clearly been faxed, so it is not very legible. It is presented here as typed but I have added obvious corrections and comments (in italics) and added links to other parts of the web site.

Chris Burgoyne

Memo. by R.H.F. 4 Jan. 1906

Richard Hingston (HD#11), surgeon and apothecary of Penryn, was born at Plymouth 1695. He married at Exeter 1718, Sarah Purchase. The eminent “Friend”, Thomas Story, was present and speaks of the occasion in his Journal as “a good open time”, many present. His signature on the marriage certificate is in a large bold hand at the head of the other witnesses. R. and S. Hingston removed with a daughter Mary who was born to them, in the year 1719, from Plymouth to Penryn; but his wife died in 1722, and was buried at Kea (now “Come-to-good”) where his father Richard Hingston of Plymouth, who was a minister among Friends, had died in 1710 at the house of T. Giddy, and was buried. In 1725 R. Hingston again married, to Elizabeth, the daughter of Nathaniel Steel, she being, as it appears, under 17 years of age. N. Steele was “a man of note” in Falmouth, and of substance, a rope-master; his kinsman Lazarus Steele was mayor of the town in 1740. The Hingstons had a large family, many of whom died young. Thrice they essayed to perpetuate the name Nathaniel, and the third child lived to maturity. Many French prisoners of war were in those years landed at Falmouth, and the business of caring for them medically becoming one of some profit, R. Hingston obtained by the interest of his father-in-law that office, but within a year or two he contracted fever from the prisoners stationed at Kergillack, a farm not far from Falmouth, and died in 1749. His wife had died the year before at the age of 38, having had thirteen children. At R. Hingston’s death nine only of his fourteen children were living, two having died in infancy, and others at 7, 8, and 19 years. He left this troop of orphans to the care of his brother Andrew Hingston, and to Nathaniel Steel, who with Robert Scantlebury of Mevagissey, and his daughter Mary Hingston, were appointed his executors. In his will, now in the possession of Nathaniel Fox, he consigns(?) his soul to God, with a good deal of religious expression.

The eldest surviving son Richard had died in the previous year shortly before his mother: he had been sent to a Friend’s school at Kendal, making the long journey by coach, and five of his characteristic school letters are preserved; he learnt “Virgil, Greek grammar, and Cornelius Nepos”, and his death at 19 must have been a severe trial.

R. Hingston left his son Andrew money “to give with him to some honest able surgeon for his accomplishment to that business”. He was accordingly taken by his Uncle Andrew to Plymouth, where he was apprenticed for about four years. The fourteen letters preserved at Liskeard give a curious account of his life there. In 1752 he appears to have set up as a surgeon and apothecary at Callington. Next year he married at St. Germans one of the honourable Quaker family Debell of Looe, and died four years later at the age of 27, leaving two children, besides a third born five months after his death. From the eldest of these the Liskeard branch of the family comes.

Andrew Hingston of Penryn, upon whom with N. Steele the care of R. Hingston’s orphans fell, had no family of his own, and seems to have discharged his part with diligence and kindness. The second daughter Sarah and some of the younger children lived with him. John Griffith, a travelling minister of note among Friends writes in his journal, 1750, that A. Hingston, wife and niece were “affectionately kind” to him. A.H. died in 1762.

Within a few years of R. Hingston’s death, his children were further reduced in number:- the eldest daughter Mary died a few years after her father, probably of the same complaint. She was 25. Two other children died later – a girl at 17 and a boy who was drowned at three years of age. These, with the death of Andrew, left five only remaining. Of the three sons, Lazarus had employment with his grand-father, taking the Rope-walk at Falmouth of his, but as the letters show, they disagreed, and Andrew I suppose was irregular in his ways. He married and had a large family, who were apparently not members of the Friends; perhaps he may have been disowned for “marrying out”, as was common on those strict days. He was however buried at Kea, having died at 48, ruined by Cotton Speculation. He and his brother Nathaniel were both very large men. I have seen their great grave-mounds at Kea, and local tradition still told, 30 years ago, of the difficulty of conveying their remains out of the house for interment. Lazarus’ large family seems to have had little perpetuation. A grand-daughter, Jane Hingston, married George Doherty a surgeon of Falmouth, who died of consumption without issue. They were both known to my Father, and the widow gave to him, probably about 1840 in his student days, a human skeleton, portions of which I possess. I wonder what became of the Hingston seal which she had.

James Hingston, the youngest son, who married Grace Nancarrow of Marazion, was the ancestor of some Hingstons who went to the United States and Australia, as well as of the Atkins of Coventry, Odalls of Hong Kong, Colliers and James of Plymouth.

Of the two daughters, Elizabeth probably lived with her widowed grand-father N. Steele, and if he died as I suppose in 1749 or 1750, she may have stayed on with other members of his family at Falmouth. Joseph Fox, who settled at Falmouth as a surgeon somewhere about 1750, would meet her there, and married her when she was twenty years old, in 1754. They had a large family, faithfully reproducing the Christian names of their near kindred. She, who is described as a very stately woman, outlived her husband seventeen years, dying at 69 in 1802.

The youngest daughter Sarah married into a very staunch Quaker family of Falmouth, the Tregelles’s, and she also had a large family of able children. She lived to 64. Marrying in 1766, no doubt from her uncle’s house, and he dying six years later, she would be likely to possess and hand down old Hingston documents. Hence it is from the Tregelles’s that R. Hingston’s will and marriage certificates have been derived.

I think there can be little doubt that there was Phthisis in the Hingston family. It appeared in both the Fox and Tregelles families. A cousin of R. Hingston, another Andrew, was dying of phthisis in 1744. There were (sic) a large-framed race of poor vitality.

“Come-to-Good” or Kea meeting house and graveyard where so many of our ancestors worshipped, married and were buried, is a picturesque spot, secluded among the hills which border Malpas Road on the Truro river, some three miles south of that town.

“ Memoirs of (?) Cookworthy” of Plymouth, by his grandson Geo. Harrison, published in London in 1857, contains a series of letters (1740-1747) to Richard Hingston, who he supplied with drugs. ?.C. was a cultivated man, linguist, and of literary power, as well as a deep religious character, and his intimate correspondence with our ancestor implies similar qualities in him.

29 Weymouth Street, London. W.

The name of Hingston, often spelt Hingeston or Hengiston, is probably of territorial origin, as in The Close Rolls. Temp Edward I. Vol.2. f.625.A.D.1887 we find that a Hugh of Hingeston owed the Bishop of Bath and wells the sum of 20 marks, for land in Sussex.

It does not follow that Hugh had any connection with Holdeton (sic), it simply shows that he was the possessor of landed property at a period when surnames were unknown.

After an interval of almost two centuries, we find in The Inquisition Post Mortem, Henry VII. F.443, that a yeoman named Robert Hingston died on the 28th of January 1488. He was survived by his wife Margaret and succeeded by his son John, who at the time of his father’s death was over twelve years of age. The land he inherited included “6 furlings” in Layston, worth 20/- held of Margaret Countess of Richmond, as of the manor of Holbeton, by fealty only for all services; a tenement in Kyngebrigge worth ¾, held of the Abbot of Buckfast by fealty (???)

It is probable that the above mentioned John was the progenitor of the Hingston of Scotscombe who trace their descent from Andrew who died in 1623.

Pedigree of Hingstons

Your old account does not include the younger sons of Andrew Hingston of Scotscombe, (and younger brothers of Walter Hingston who married Sarah Reeve). Three left descendants.

James of Holbeton – whose grandson James (HD#12) had large families, marrying into the names of Kales, Luscombe, Yabsley, Wyatt, Bowden, Dunsford, Veale (St. Austell), Treffry, Newton, Bracher, etc. John Hingston of Kingsbridge (HD#18) was son to this last James; he married (1) Rachel Fox, and (2) Rachel Collier, and died 1816. His son Joseph had again large families, marrying into Prideaux of Bearscombe, Kenway, and Fox of Wadebridge and Kingsbridge. Dr C.A. Hingston (HD#35) of Plymouth is a grandson of Joseph, and another is Dr. Joseph Tregelles Hingston, the well-known alimist (or alienist?). A granddaughter married Robert Dymond, who printed in 1851 the Hingston pedigree, of which my cousin Joseph Hingston Fox, of Cambridge, has lent me a copy.

Another son, Abel, left children who apparently had no issue.

The youngest son of Andrew Hingston of Scotscombe was William (HD#7), 1640-1695, one of the first “Friends” in Devonshire. He married Sarah Tripe in 1666. Of his two sons, Henry died unmarried at 56, a scholar; he published at Exeter in 1703 “A dreadful Alarm on the clouds of Heaven, mixed with love”, etc. The younger son William went to America in 1708; perhaps he was the ancestor of the American and Canadian branches, to which William E. Hingston (HN#26) of Buffalo, N.Y., who was here in 1903, belongs, and the Hon. Sir W.H. Hingston (HN#12) (surgeon) of Canada.

There was a Dr. Thomas Hingston, M.D. Edinboro’ 1824, who was an author and able man (See Tree HM#10). He died young (of consumption?) in 1837 at Falmouth, having been born at St Ives, 1799, and practised in Penzance. His brother Francis Hingeston (HM#16), who died 1741, wrote poems which were published in 1857 by his son, now the Rev. F.C. Hingeston-Randolph (HM#17), of Ringmore, Devon, and Prebendary of Exeter, a writer of historical records. I cannot fit these brothers in the pedigree anywhere; possibly you can do so. (See Tree HM for details of the possible early link to Tree HD).

Copied by Chris Burgoyne 10 July 2004