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St George's House,
Northern Police Orphanage. 1898-1956  Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.




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 Miss Catherine Gurney. OBE

                          Catherine Gurney.  1895  and later in life.                                                          

Born to Joseph & Harriet Gurney at Lavendar Hill, Battersea on the 19th June,1848, in an affluent and religious middle class family, Catherine Gurney was raised in the south London suburb of Wandsworth.  She was the youngest daughter of Joseph Gurney a member of the firm of W.B.Gurney, shorthand writers to Parliament and grand-daughter of William B. Gurney who played a leading part in the abolition of slavery.

Miss Gurney.was a woman who challenged the social mores of the time which dictated that, 'a woman's place was in the home'. She dedicated her life, energy and efforts to the physical and spiritual care of members of the Police Forces and their families, enlisting the help of many benefactors as well as the police officers themselves.

The following shows the institutions that she founded, many of which are still operating to this day.

 Wandsworth Prison c1870 - Bible Class

The first indication of her drive & initiative came in the early 1870's, when Catherine Gurney first began a Bible Class at Wandsworth.




 International Christian Police Association c1883

She then went on to form the International Christian Police Association in 1883 which was initially based at her home. This Association progressed and resulted in the establishment of branches in many countries, still operating to this day under the name CPA, Christian Police Association.


 Police Institute. London c1885

A Police Institute was subsequently opened by Catherine Gurney on Adelphi Terrace. London WC2.

The premises served as headquarters to the association and many members of the police forces from UK and from overseas were made welcome there.






Police Convalescent Seaside Home 1890

Her next project in 1890 was a Police Convalescent Seaside Home at Clarendon Villas, Hove, West Sussex and in the first year, over 100 Police officers were cared for.





 Southern Police Convalescent Home & Orphanage. 1893

The need for this type of care soon dictated a fund raising exercise which resulted in the opening in 1893  of the Southern Police Convalescent Home & Orphanage, Portland Road,  Hove, caring for 457 officers and 5 children from a Police family, in its first year of operation.



Southern Provincial Police Orphanage. 1895

This was later  relocated to Sutton and then Redhill in 1895, where it became known as the Southern Provincial Police School,  later to be called The Southern Provincial Police Orphanage.




The Northern Police Orphanage & Convalescent Home
 1897. Harrogate

In 1897 whilst visiting Harrogate, Catherine Gurney negotiated the purchase of St George's College building and grounds of 12 acres, for the sum of 10,000 pounds. So began the Northern Police Orphanage (later called St George's House) and the Northern Police Convalescent Home.
The first child  was admitted to the Orphanage in 1898 and, over the ensuing years, additional buildings were added to accommodate the growing number of children being cared for.


The Police Treatment Centre. Harrogate. 1901
Formerly known as Northern Police Convalescent Home.

Due to the demand for space and accommodation, the next to get Catherine Gurney's attention in 1901 was the building of the
Northern Police Convalescent Home, being located on part of the original St George's 12 acres. This was opened in 1903 and  continues  to provide care for members of the Police Force to this day, under the name Police Treatment Centre.

The two centres in Harrogate and Auchterader care for over 4000 police officers every year.

Police Treatment Centre, Castlebrae, Auchterader, Scotland.

In 1996 a major new development took place with the opening of a Police Treatment Centre in Auchterarder, Perthshire. Castlebrae was purchased for £630,000 in 1994. Work to alter and extend the building began the following year at a total cost of more than £3 million. Funds were raised by increasing the rate of donations made by serving officers and by approaching individuals, police forces, the Scottish Police Federation and police charities including the Police Dependants Trust.



Flint House. South Oxfordshire. 1988

The Police Rehabilitation Centre located in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire expects to provide treatment to over 4000 police officers in 2013.




The Gurney Fund for police orphans 1948
The Southern Provincial Police Orphanage closed in 1947 and, with the changing social climate, the GURNEY FUND FOR POLICE ORPHANS was established for the care and education of children of deceased or incapacitated Police Officers from subscribing Forces in England and Wales.


The St George's Police Trust was founded in 2006 and resulted from the merger of the St George's Fund and the Northern Police Orphans Trust. Both the Fund and Trust shared similar aims and objectives and so a merger enabled the beneficiary base to be widened and costs to be reduced.
The charity was set up when the proceeds from the sale of St George's House, the Northern Police Orphanage on Otley Road in Harrogate, were put into trust.

Catherine Gurney was without doubt a remarkable woman, one who had the character & drive to plan & carry out a number of major projects, all with the common aim of assisting members of the Police Force and their families. She died on the 11th August, 1930 and at her request was interred on the 13th August, 1930 at All Saints Church Cemetery, Harlow Hill, Harrogate, near to St George's and St Andrew's, the two homes she had originated in Harrogate.

Photo, signed by Catherine Gurney.                             Letter of acknowledgment dated August 1930. 

          Police Pall Bearers, representing the County,City &                All Saints Church,Harlow Hill,Harrogate.
          Borough Forces, at Miss Gurney's funeral, 1930. 

          Catherine Gurney's original headstone, now relocated to her                    Catherine Gurney's new headstone located at
          Rose Garden at St Andrew's, Police Treatment Centre. Harrogate.            her gravesite in All Saints
Church, Harrogate.                                                                                                                   

Catherine Gurney's work is continued through both The St George's Police Trust (formed in 2006 after a merger between the Northern Police Orphans Trust and the St George's Fund) which is based in Harrogate and The Gurney Fund for Police Orphans based in Worthing.
Income is derived from regular subscriptions from the Police Forces, donations, legacies and investment income and being registered charitable trusts,  operate according to the aims of the respective trust deeds, which is, to provide and distribute grants and assistance to needy orphan children of the Police.
For further information contact:
St. George's Police Trust.-   St. Andrew's,Harlow Moor Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 0AD
The Gurney Fund for Police Orphans-   9 Bath Road, Worthing, West Sussex,  BN11 3NU

Catherine Gurney plaque unveiled.

A plaque in remembrance of Catherine Gurney was unveiled at the Police Treatment Centre (St Andrew's), Harlow Moor Road, Harrogate, on Sunday April 22nd, 2012. The plaque recognises not only Catherine Gurney but also the Police Treatment Centre and St George’s House, Northern Police Orphanage.

                            The Catherine Gurney plaque              The official unveiling

The unveiling event was attended by Les Ellington - Mayor of Harrogate; Mark Botham - Vice Chairman of the St George’s Police Trust and PTC; Michael Baxter C.E.O. Police Treatment Centre; Henry Pankhurst - Chairman of Harrogate Civic Society; Andrew Jones, MP (Harrogate); Malcolm Neeson - Historian and columnist for Harrogate Advertiser and of course the St George's old boys/girls and friends, attending the coffee morning. The unveiling was followed by, a short talk about Catherine Gurney and also an opportunity to tour the Police Treatment Centre. 

A brief look at some of Catherine Gurney's Ancestors.

With acknowledgement and thanks to Colin Salter, writer of the material used in this article and provider of the family photographs reproduced below. To read in greater depth about the Gurney - Salter and other branches of the family visit the following website and view the many and varied posts. 

c 1636 - 1688   Thomas Gurney
Catherine Gurney's Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather.

Factual information about Thomas Gurney is shrouded in the mists of time but it is thought
   probable that he was of the Gurney family of Norfolk, ancestors of whom had come over from
   Gournay in Normandy with William the Conqueror and fought at the Battle of Hastings.

   Thomas was a Quaker and a contemporary of George Fox (1624 - 1691), the founder of that
   Society of Friends, as it was more formally known. More than that, Thomas was at one time
   travelling with Fox as the latter went about the country preaching his disaffection with the
   established Church of England. Reception was sometimes hostile, sometimes even violent. In
   Derby in 1650, Fox was imprisoned (not for the first time) for blasphemy - and when in court he
   commanded the judge to "tremble at the word of the Lord", the judge mockingly described Fox and
   his followers as "quakers" . The name stuck.

   The following year Fox went to Lichfield with a party of Friends, a party which must have included
Thomas Gurney, this is known because the family records tell of a well worn pocket knife on the cover of which were engraved the initials "T.G." and the inscription "Given to me by George Fox at Lichfield'. Thomas Gurney, for all his companionship with George Fox, eventually became a Baptist, a denomination which the next four generations of his family would actively serve in a variety of offices in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and London.

   1705 - 1770  Thomas Gurney
Catherine Gurney's Great, Great Grandfather.
Thomas Gurney was the son of a Bedfordshire miller. Driven by his Baptist faith and a belief in the
   worth of knowledge, Thomas, at the age of nineteen, had not only developed a strong interest in
   Astrology and founded a school, but also developed a shorthand system (by improving and
   simplifying what was at the time, the disused "Mason's Shorthand" method). The Gurney method,
   would remain in use for two hundred years.
   It was the first system used in verbatim reporting of events, in which it was proved to be capable
   of extremely accurate record. Gurney Shorthand was the official system of both the Old Bailey
   (from 1750) and of both Houses of Parliament (from 1813) throughout the 19th and early 20th
   century, presided over by at least six generations of the Gurney family and widely used - not
   least by Charles Dickens who used it as a young reporter in the House of Commons, and whose
   firsthand experiences of learning shorthand were quoted in a Radio 4 programme!


                      Shorthand notes written by Charles Dickens, based on the Gurney method.

Frontispiece of Thomas Gurney’s Brachygraphy
Or An Easy And Compendious System Of Shorthand       

   1733 - 1816  Martha Gurney
Catherine Gurney's Great, Great Aunt.  

  She was a remarkable woman, a bookseller and printer of whom her biographer Timothy Whelan
  writes, “No British woman played a more prominent part in raising the consciousness of the English
  people against the slave trade.” Her pamphlet An Address to the People of Great Britain on the
  Propriety of Abstaining from West India Sugar and Rum
(written by William Fox in 1791) sold more
  than 200,000 copies in
Britain and America and was the best selling pamphlet of the eighteenth
  century. With public debate on the topic at its height, the publication ran to about 30 impressions
  or reprints, and drew 20 further pamphlets responding to its contents either for or against.

   Martha published fourteen such anti-slavery pamphlets and another 25 transcriptions of state
  trials and other proceedings – one of the benefits of being the sister of Joseph Gurney, official
  shorthand writer to the Old Bailey and the House of Commons, who had privileged access to such
  events.  Joseph was also able to bring first hand knowledge of the debate over slavery which
  raged in parliament in 1791 and 1792.

Martha Gurney's willingness to nail her colours so explicitly to the mast was brave – the pamphlets all carried her name as publisher when many of their authors remained anonymous (including Fox on that 1791 Address).
Trading in slaves became illegal in Britain in 1807, having slaves however did not until the Slavery Abolition Act was passed in 1833 A landmark of humanity which Martha Gurney can take some small credit for having helped initiate the change.

An Address to the People of            Medallion of the logo of the Society for Effecting      Report on Remarkable Trials (including
Great Britain, on the Consumption    the Abolition of Slavery, produced in 1787 by the      those of 32 prisoners "capitally
of West India produce written         manufacturer and abolitionist Josiah Wedgewood.      convicted") Published by Joseph and
by William Fox, published by                                                                                   Martha Gurney.
Martha Gurney in 1791.

  1744 - 1814  Rebecca (Brodie) Gurney
Great Grandmother of Catherine Gurney

  Born in Nottinghamshire to Paisley parents, Rebecca Brodie Gurney, as was observed by her son
  William Brodie Gurney, did not have the gift of large resources but, she knew how to set others to
  work and made the most of what she had.

  Around 1787 Rebecca prevailed on her neighbours in Walworth, South London, with greater
  resources than hers to set up a Girl’s Charity School. She played a very active part in the running
  of it, and also in the organisation of a Maternity Society which she set up there. Thirty years
  after her death in 1814, William was still meeting people whose lives had been touched and
  changed by her activity.

  The girls’ schoolteacher was encouraged to extend the school’s activities to include religious
  instruction every Sunday, and he was offered a penny for each child attending on a Sunday, up
  to a maximum of thirty pupils. Unsurprisingly attendance at the Sunday school ran at a steady
  thirty week after week after week, netting the teacher a regular extra income of half a crown.
  When, as was expected of a pious young man, William Gurney went along to volunteer one
  Sunday in 1795, he found a less than spiritual reason for the full classroom. If ever there was a
  shortfall, the teacher sent his son out on the streets to round up extra children with the promise that they wouldn’t be kept long – just long enough to have their heads counted by the chapel treasurer.

William Brodie Gurney took over the running of the Sunday school and his success there led to the founding of the Sunday School Union eight years later. William’s son in law William Augustus Salter met his future wife, Gurney’s daughter Emma, while volunteering at a Sunday school run on Gurney's lines. Salter would go on to found two schools himself, and in 1860 Emma, without doubt inspired by her grandmother’s Maternity Society, set up the first ever Mother's Meeting in Leamington Spa.

   1768 - 1845  Sir John Gurney
Catherine Gurney's Great Uncle.

The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 was followed by cycles of famine and unemployment, and
   a groundswell of radical feeling that the nation’s wealth should be distributed more equitably. This
   climaxed in 1819 with a huge rally at St Peter’s Field in
Manchester which was brutally dispersed
   by sabre-wielding cavalrymen. Up to 600 people were injured or killed. It became known as the
   Peterloo Massacre.
   After the massacre six new laws were enacted, designed to restrict any sort of assembly which
   might lead to public disorder. The Six Acts were perceived by the public as repressive, which only
   served to fuel anger and discontent amongst radical groups. One such group resolved that the
   only solution was the assassination of the Prime Minister and his entire cabinet.

   The group was given false information about a dinner to be held in London on 23rd February, 1820
   at which the Prime Minister and his Cabinet were supposed to attend. As the would be
   assassins gathered in an attic in Cato St to plan their attack, all were arrested.

   John Gurney was appointed the counsel for the prosecution of two of the Cato Street
conspirators at their trial, Richard Tidd and William Davidson.
He was made King’s Counsel in 1816, perhaps in part as a result of having performed well as an assistant to counsel in the prosecution of John Bellingham, the assassin of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, eight years earlier (for more on this story, see William Brodie Gurney article below).
Tidd was a failed shoemaker and Davidson a failed cabinet maker. Davidson was a Jamaican who’d studied Law in
Glasgow and Maths in Aberdeen. He accused the Court of racial prejudice – more or less, “Is it ‘cos I is black?” But the fact that Davidson had been in Cato Street, and had earlier taken a blunderbuss out of pawn in preparation for the planned murders, rather counted against him. All eleven conspirators were convicted, and such was the outrage of the Establishment at their crimes that they were sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered, a rather medievally brutal version of the death penalty.

In the end some of the guilty had their sentences commuted to transportation, and the rest were merely hung, on 1st May, 1820 at Highgate Prison.

John Gurney’s successful prosecution of the case made his name. In 1832 he was knighted and appointed a Baron of the Exchequer. The government used the trials to defend the introduction two months earlier of the Six Acts. But the Observer newspaper defied the government order not to report the proceedings of the trial before the sentencing. And in Manchester the whole sequence of events led directly to the establishment in 1821 of a new liberal newspaper, the Manchester Guardian.

   1777 - 1855  William Brodie Gurney
Grandfather of Catherine Gurney and Grandson of Thomas Gurney.  

  William Brodie Gurney was the younger son of Joseph Gurney (1744–1815), shorthand writer, who
  died at Walworth, Surrey, in 1815, by a daughter of William Brodie of Mansfield. He was the
  grandson of
Thomas Gurney (1705–1770), who created the Gurney shorthand system, or
  Brachygraphy, and brother of
Sir John Gurney

  Born at Stamford Hill, London, on 24 December 1777, he was taught by Mr. Burnside at Walworth
  in 1787, and afterwards by a Mr. Freeman. He received adult baptism at Maze Pond Chapel,
Southwark on 1 August 1796. Adopting the profession of his father and his grandfather, he
  commenced practice as a
shorthand writer in 1803, and between that date and 1844 he took
  down in shorthand many of the most important
appeals, trials, courts-martial, addresses,
  speeches, and
libel cases, a number of which were printed as volumes from his notes. In pursuit of
  his calling he frequently visited
Ireland and Scotland and many parts of England. He reported the
  impeachment of
Lord Melville in 1806, the proceedings against the Duke of York in 1809, the trials
Lord Cochrane in 1814 and of Arthur Thistlewood in 1820, and the proceedings against Queen Caroline. In 1802, in conjunction with his father, he was appointed to take notes of evidence before the committees of the Houses of Lords and Commons, and in May 1813 he was formally appointed shorthand writer to the Houses of Parliament, his emolument being two guineas a day for attendance, and one shilling a folio for the transcript of his notes.
He is mentioned as a famous shorthand writer in
Byron's Don Juan
, canto i. st. clxxxix.

Gurney joined with his friend, Joseph Fox, in 1795 and opened a Sunday school at Walworth, of which he in the following year became the secretary. In 1801 he commenced the Maze Pond Sunday school and here he introduced the Scottish method of catechising in the scriptures.

In 1812, on the establishment of the Westminster auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, he was elected a member of the first committee, and soon after became secretary. In connection with the baptist denomination he was treasurer of Stepney College from 1828, and of their foreign missions from 1835. Like his father he was warmly interested in the anti-slavery movement.  rebuilding chapels in Jamaica and sending additional ministers there. He was a liberal contributor and frequently received baptist missionaries into his own house.

The year 1812 is also well remembered in Britain for the Tchaikovsky overture of the same name, written in 1882 to mark the seventieth anniversary of Napoleon’s humiliating retreat from Moscow. But it is also the date of an event unique in British political history, the assassination of a British Prime Minister.
On the 11th May 1812, William
Brodie Gurney, official shorthand writer to the House of Commons, found himself in a committee room recording evidence being given to a government inquiry. He later wrote in his memoirs:   Mr Perceval … was entering the Lobby when he was shot by Bellingham. I shall never forget the appalling scene. A shot was heard, and one or two members near me had just said, “What is that?   ” when Sir Charles Burrell rushed into the room, exclaiming, “He is shot! He is shot!” Every one cried out, “Who is shot?” “Perceval.” Every one immediately rushed to the door. … I saw the corpse of Mr Perceval on the table in the Speaker’s room, and then attended in the House to take the evidence of the doorkeeper of the House of Commons, who saw the deed committed.
Having shot Perceval, John Bellingham quietly sat down in the lobby and waited to be arrested. His
grievance had been the failure of the British government either to intervene when he was being held in a Siberian prison for four years or to compensate him for those years.
His trial began on 13th May. During the proceedings in the Old Bailey, also taken down by W.B. Gurney, the court heard that Bellingham would have preferred to assassinate the British Ambassador to Russia, but had settled for the Prime Minister as the “representative of his oppressor.”
The judge, Sir James Mayfield, found Bellingham guilty, the defendant was hung in public a week to the day after the assassination. A public subscription for his widow and family raised more money than he could ever have hoped for in compensation.

Gurney died at Denmark Hill on 25 March 1855, and was buried in the family vault at West Norwood Cemetery.

  1780 - 1845 Elizabeth Fry nee Gurney.
Catherine Gurney's fourth cousin
Elizabeth (Betsy) Gurney was born in Gurney Court, off Magdalen St, Norwich, Norfolk, England
  to a Quaker family. Her family home as a child was Earlham Hall.
  Her father, John Gurney, was a partner in Gurney's bank. Her mother, Catherine, was a part of
  the Barclay family who were founders of Barclays Bank. Her mother died when Elizabeth was only
  twelve years old. As one of the oldest girls in the family, Elizabeth was partly responsible for the
  care and training of the younger children, including her brother Joseph John Gurney, a
  philanthropist. One of her sisters was Louisa Gurney Hoare (1784 - 1836), a writer on education.
Elizabeth Fry nee Gurney was an English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a
  Christian philanthropist. The conditions she saw when she visited Newgate prison horrified her.
  The women's section was overcrowded with women and children, some of which had not
  received a fair trial. They did their own cooking and washing in the small cells in which they slept
  on straw.   She became the major driving force behind new legislation to make the
  treatment of prisoners more humane.


    1804 - 1878  Russell Gurney, QC, MP.
Catherine Gurney's first cousin, once removed.

  Obituary Right Hon. Russell Gurney.
  A telegram from London announces the death of Right Hon. Russell Gurney, M.P., Q.C.. who in
  1871 acted as one of the Commissioners appointed under article 12 of the Treaty of Washington.
  Mr Gurney was the son of the late Sir John Gurney, a Baron of the Exchequer, and was born in
  Norsewood, Surrey in 1804.
  He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in
  1828, made a Queen's Counsel in 1845, and appointed Recorder of London in 1856. This is one of
  the most important and most lucrative positions open to the legal profession and is one of the
  very few public offices that does not exclude the holder from Parliament.

  In the general election of 1865 Mr Gurney first came forward as a candidate for
  Parliament. He offered himself to the electors of Southampton, the principal continental seaport
  on the south coast, and was elected by a large majority. Apart from great popularity as Recorder
of London, he had large interests in the neighbourhood and at the election in 1868 he was again returned at the head of the poll. In politics Mr Gurney called himself a Liberal-Conservative, but was a strong adherent of the Conservative Party in all questions affecting the interests of the Established Church. In 1874 he introduced in the House of Commons the Public Worship Regulation bill, which had been originated in the House of Lords by the Archbishop of Canterbury and York. The bill passed the House of Commons by a small majority and would very possibly have been defeated altogether but for his able advocacy of it.

In 1866, shortly after he had been returned to Parliament, Mr Gurney was appointed one of the Commissioners to investigate the Jamaica disturbances, his associates being Sir Henry Storks, then Governor of Malta and Mr J.B. Maule, Recorder of Leeds. At the time of the appointment great indignation was felt in England at the conduct of the Governor of Jamaica, Mr Eyre, who was charged with having, at the commencement of the disturbances, suspended martial law on the island, and allowed an indiscriminate slaughter of the blacks. The Commissioners commenced their labours at Spanish Town, the capital city of Jamaica on 25th February, 1866, and sat for 48 days, during which several hundred witnesses were examined, including Gov. Eyre and his principal officers. The report presented by the Commissioners to Parliament showed that during the disturbances 489 persons were put to death either by hanging or shooting, 1000 cottages of the peasantry burned down by the soldiers and 600 persons flogged, many of whom were women. The conclusions arrived at were, briefly, that praise was due to Gov. Eyre for the skill, promptness and vigour which he manifested during the early stages of the insurrection; that the naval and military operations were prompt and judicious, but that martial law was continued longer than necessary; that the punishment inflicted was excessive; that the punishment of death was unnecessarily frequent, and in some cases positively barbarous.
The Liberal Party was dissatisfied with this report and a committee formed for the purpose of prosecuting Gov. Eyre, the specific charge being the murder of Mr Gordon, who the Governor ordered to be shot for his complicity in the outbreak at Morant Bay. The ground of the charge was the Commissioners' report that there was not sufficient evidence of such complicity.
At the same time the, Liberal Government were not slow to appreciate the patience and marked ability with which Mr Gurney had conducted the investigation, and the same year he was sworn in as Privy Councilor.

In 1871 Mr Gurney was chosen by the Government to settle the legal details of the Treaty of Washington, and came to this country (USA) for that purpose. Afterward he always expressed high admiration for the United States and his pleasure that an amicable settlement of the differences with England had been arrived at.

Mr Gurney was a keen politician, a fluent speaker, and at the time of his death, one of the highest legal authorities in Great Britain.
New York Times, published 1st June, 1878.

   A Sad Accident
A news item from the Suez Mail, relayed in New Zealand’s Southland Times on 25th
,1876, reads:
  A melancholy accident has occurred on the Nile. While Mr Russell Gurney, and three daughters
  of the Rev J.H. Gurney, were on the river, a squall capsized the boat, and all the ladies were
  drowned. Divers are seeking to recover the bodies.
  The New York Sunday Courier carried a fuller version of the story (from the London Times) in
  its 30th January edition, 1876.

Mr Russell Gurney had started on his Nile journey first, leaving the rest of the party, consisting
  of his nephew and nieces, to follow him in a second boat named the Flora.
  It was usual, because of sandbanks and shallows, for this type of boat, a dahabeeah, to moor
  at night, but, in order to lose no time the reis (captain) pressed on after sunset.
  The Flora was under full sail – that big lateen sail, twice as big as the boat itself, which makes
  a dahabeeah look like a great swan upon the water. As she rounded the point, a sudden squall
  took her, and before the sheet could be let go, she capsized in the darkness.
  The ladies in their cabins, most of the crew, the reis himself, were all lost in the deep, rapid
  stream, and only one passenger and the dragoman were able to reach the shore.

  1804 - 1879  Joseph Gurney.
Catherine Gurney's father.

  Joseph Gurney followed his father and grandfather in the office of Official Shorthand writer to the
  Houses of Parliament, using the Gurney shorthand system invented by his great grandfather 

  Thomas Gurney.
The Gurneys were Non-Conformists by faith. Baptists (and other Christian churches not aligned
  with the Church of England) were emerging in the nineteenth century from the shadows of
  intolerance and marginalisation, driven by radical religious zeal and a passionate belief in
  Disenfranchised, they had a hunger for god and knowledge which the
establishment Church of
had rather lost sight of over the centuries.
Joseph managed to combine his zeal for both heaven and learning through his fifty years of
  membership of the Religious Tract Society, an organisation founded in 1799 and committed to
  spreading the Word of God in print, particularly to children, women and the poor.


The Lord's Prayer for Little Children, published by the Religious Tract Society, 1870.

 Joseph Gurney joined the Tract Society in 1829, became a Trustee and later the Society's
 treasurer. With inspired innovation guided by the Society's core ethos, he produced the Pocket 

 Paragraph Bible which was small enough to fit into one's pocket.
 Buoyed by the success of the Pocket Paragraph, Joseph Gurney next enlisted the help of linguistic
 and biblical experts, who laboured for ten years with Joseph Gurney on the new project, based on
 the classic King James Version.
 It was published in sections between 1850 and 1860, when the first complete edition of the 
 Annotated Paragraph Bible appeared.
 His next big project was to dispense with explanatory notes and instead update the text itself,
 with a new translation. With the assistance of eminent Greek and Hebrew scholars of the day, he
 published the Revised English Bible in 1877, eight years before the Church of England's officially 
 sanctioned Revised Standard Version. Joseph died on 12th August,1879, just two weeks after the
 death of his brother-in-law and long time friend, William Augustus Salter.
Salter's son William Henry Gurney Salter succeeded Joseph in the post of Parliamentary Shorthand Writer.

 1812 - 1871  Mary Anne Gurney
Catherine Gurney's Aunt.  
Mary Anne Gurney was born on the 18th May, 1812 at St. Clement Danes, London, England. The
  daughter of
William Brodie Gurney and Ann Benham.
  She was the sixth child and second daughter of William and Ann. Much loved she was showered
  with both attention and affection.

  By coincidence she was born on the same day that John Bellingham was hanged for the murder of
  the Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, a case in which Mary Anne's father William Brodie Gurney
  was much involved in at the time.

  Children of Mary Anne Gurney and William Kingsbury Jameson
  Marion Caroline Jameson
  Sarah Jameson
  William Gurney Jameson
  Alice Jameson
  Frederick Jameson
  Ellen Jameson
                                           Alice Jameson
                                           Florence E. Jameson
                                           Horace E. Jameson
                                           Hampden Gurney Jameson
                                           Evangeline Jameson
                                           Kingsbury Jameson

Mary Anne Jameson nee Gurney died in July 1871 at Wandsworth, Surrey, England.

   1815 - 1893   Emma Gurney
Catherine Gurney's Aunt.

Emma Gurney was the daughter of William Brodie Gurney, a man who was a passionate Baptist and
  educationalist. After Emma's mother died in 1828, her father William played the role of patriarch to
  his eight surviving children and sixty two grandchildren, the Christmas parties held at the Gurney
  home in South London being legendary.
  The connection between the Gurney and Salter families came about through the marriage in 1836
  between Emma and William Salter. They had met through their voluntary work as teachers at their
  local Baptist Sunday school in Denmark Hill, South London and it was there that William Salter felt
  the calling to train for the Baptist ministry.
  He studied at Stepney Baptist College, whose treasurer was his future father-in-law William
  Brodie Gurney.
  William Salter was selected as minister of Henrietta Street Baptist Church in London's Covent
  Garden and on 19th October 1836, a fortnight after his ordination, he and Emma married and over
  the ensuing years produced seven children.
  William, with Emma beside him worked hard within his city parish but, as London was not a healthy
  place he became ill and was obliged to move to Lower Baptist House, Amersham, as Minister.
Emma's beloved father, William Brodie Gurney, died on 25th March, 1855 aged 77. Emma's grief was immeasurable and as a result her health suffered, forcing her husband William to resign from his Amersham commitments to look after her.

In 1858 they moved to Leamington Spa where William had found a permanent post but, after two years he resigned and with the support of some fifty parishioners bought land in Clarendon Street, where they built a new Baptist church.

A school for infants and girls was established in the Public Rooms on Windsor Street; and a night school for boys was held in the Tachbrook Street Missionary Rooms. William taught Scripture of course; their daughters Anne, Emma and Maria all assisted, teaching songs, reading and arithmetic; and in 1861, Emma Gurney Salter started up a regular Mothers’ Meeting, the first of its kind in the town.

Clarendon Street Chapel (capacity 400) held its first service on 22nd June 1863 and Clarendon Street British School opened three weeks later. The congregation was large enough to have paid off all the new building’s debts by the end of the year; and the school, officially licensed for 91 children, often attracted as many as 150. After the years of adversity, the establishment of the Clarendon Street church was an enormous achievement by both William and Emma. They remained there to nurture its development for the rest of William’s life.

   1836 - 1917 Mary Gurney
Catherine Gurney's half sister  

  Mary GURNEY  b. 1836, d. 1917; the author of “Are We to Have Education for Our Middle Class
  Girls? Or, The History of Camden Collegiate Schools” (1872) and “The Establishment of Girls' Public
  Middle-Class Schools”, article in Englishwoman's Review  (1872); 12 Mar 1872 also saw opening of
  Sheffield High School, prompted by a Feb 1872 meeting in Cutlers Hall, Sheffield, to promote
  education for girls, attended by Mary, Lady Stanley of Aldeley, Maria Georgina Grey nee Shirreff
  (wife of William Grey who was a nephew of Earl Grey), and her sister Emily Shirreff – the four also
  the founders of many of the 26 schools now in the Girls’ Day School Trust group, originally the
  Girls Public Day School Company founded at a public meeting in the Albert Hall, London in June
The two Shirreff sisters were the prime motivators in the formation of these schools strongly
  supported by Mary Gurney and Henrietta Stanley.
  Mary Gurney devoted herself for 45 years from 1872 till her death in 1917 to the daily business
  and the weekly meetings of the schools she had helped to originate. Her benefaction did not end
  with her life because characteristically after helping schools and scholars financially all of her life
  she bequeathed
£500 for a scholarship fund, to the school Trust.
Mary was an excellent horsewoman and even in old age drove a dog-cart through the streets of London. She was an admirable
linguist and published her own translations from French, German, Italian and Spanish literature. Mary was also extremely musical
and loved foreign travel, often starting her travels at a continental music festival and sharing with Henrietta Stanley a special devotion to Italy. At home Mary Gurney gave lessons to her young step-sisters, amongst whom would have been Catherine Gurney. She was a natural teacher, with a brilliant, lively imagination and in later life one of her sisters remembered weeping miserably when these lessons were brought to and end.

    c !840 Anne Gurney Salter. Eldest daughter of the Rev. William Augustus Salter
Catherine Gurney's first cousin.

    Anne helped her father run the Chapel and school he formed in Clarendon St, Leamington Spa.
    She never married and spent her whole life in the service of her parents. Anne and two of her   
    sisters, Maria and Emma, spent time teaching at the school.
    By the end of 1863 the school was regularly attracting around 150 pupils, however, after the
    death of the Rev. Salter the Clarendon St School struggled and was finally closed down around

    Anne, Maria & Emma were well enough provided for by their father in his will and it is thought
    that they spent their time in useful charitable work and enjoying the genteel pastime of hand
    painting beautiful china cups and saucers, some of which have been passed on to later
    generations of the family.



    1847 - 1888  Edmund Gurney grandson of Sir John Gurney, nephew of Russell Gurney.
Catherine Gurney's second cousin

Edmund Gurney was an intellectual, philosopher, a frustrated musician, a too-sensitive medical
   student, a bored lawyer, a gullable sceptic. In short he was a complicated, intelligent man prone
   to depression and addicted to the chloroform which relieved his neuralgia.

   Edmund was the son of a Unitarian minister but Darwinian science had undermined his Christian
   faith. His search for a greater meaning and value in mundane existence led him to devote the last
   fifteen years of his life to experiments and research in hypnotic states, telepathy and
   hallucinations. In 1882 he was a founder member of Frederick Myers’ new Society for Psychical

Gurney’s published works included “The Power of Sound” (1880), an essay on the philosophy of
   music; and “Tertium Quid” (1887), which might loosely be translated as “The Third Way”, an
   argument for open-minded discussion, ideas developed from more than one aspect, and the
   existence of a third state between mental and physical, between god and atheism.

He was a clever and energetic researcher. It is astonishing and tragic therefore that he should have entrusted the execution of his experiments in hypnotism to a theatrical producer by the name of George Albert Smith. Smith, it emerged in Spring 1888, had been using stage effects and techniques to falsify phenomena, which undermined all of Edmund Gurney's results.

Edmund was a broken man. His rising reputation as a man of science was dashed on the rocks of theatrical illusion. In June that year he was found dead in a hotel bed in Brighton, a chloroform pad still held to his nose. The coroner passed a verdict of accidental death, although suicide seems a clear possibility.


  1872 - 1927  Charles Frederick Gurney Masterman
Catherine Gurney's first cousin once removed. 

  Charles Masterman (grandson of Thomas Gurney) had literary aspirations and had been the editor of
  literary review Granta while at Cambridge in the 1890's, he went on to become the literary editor of
  the Daily News in the early 1900's.published several impassioned books about the state of the
  country, notably 1909's Condition of England.
  He served as a Member of Parliament from 1906 and, because he was unable to find a safe
  Liberal seat, was voted in and out of Parliament on a regular basis.
  At the outbreak of World War I he was serving as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but with a
  background in journalism he was appointed as head of the new War Propaganda Bureau.
  Charles' first move was to recruit Britain's most talented writers to the war cause, including
  H.G.Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and John Buchan.
  Under Masterman's direction, over two million books in seventeen languages were published in the
  first two years of the war, almost entirely without the readers being aware that they were
  sponsored by the British Government.
  Another initiative he introduced was that of the concept of the War Artist and this proved to be so
  successful that in the last two years of the war he sent more than ninety artists to make a visual
  record of the war. Among the artists employed were Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and Augustus John.

To learn more, visit  www.TallTalesFromTheTrees.blogspot.com  and read the well written, detailed stories of all of the above, along with many others connected to the Gurney - Salter families.





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