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Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs
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(Under Construction)

The Burslems
William Burslem MP
James Bursem
Elizabeth Godolphin
Rev James Burslem DD JP
The Greswalds
Sarah Oldershaw
Humphrey Greswald
Willoughby James Burslem
Marshall William Burslem
Sarah Burslem
William Burslem
Nathaniel Burslem
Major Rollo Gillespie Burslem
Rollo's Wife Sophia
Their children
Lt. Sturt
Nathaniel Burslem VC
Harry Biggs of Stockton, Wilts
Margaretta Biggs
Maj Gen Yeatman Biggs
Bishop Huyshe Biggs

The Cobbes

Richard Chaloner Cobbes (1), (2), (3) & (4)

Date Narrative Sources

Overview: Work is in progress. The writer apologises for spelling and grammatical errors which are constantly checked and constantly overlooked. Much use is being made of the Oxford Paperpack dictionary, left to the family by Major Kenneth Archibald Holland TD and warrior and himself a Godolphin descended from the General's ancestor William Burslem's younger brother Rev. Dr. James Burslem DD JP (c1720-1786). When this section of work is nearer completion, if ever, the overview summmary will be composed.

Although not as complex as the family of Major Rollo Gillespie Burslem, the large number of Harry Farr Yeatmans make for a brain burning study.

The Major General's Great Grandparents
The Major General's Biggs Great Grandparents and their children
31 Mar 1800 Henry Biggs Esq., of Stockton, died aged 77 years. He was father of Harry Biggs, above.  
13 Jun 1818 Diana wife of Henry Biggs dies, aged 89 years.  
The Major General's Biggs Grandparents and their children
4 Dec 1766 Harry Biggs, grandfather of Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs was born - he died 30 May 1856 when the estate passed to his son Henry Godolphin Biggs.  
31 Aug 1783

Margaretta Anne (Burslem) wife of Harry Biggs was born. She was the sole daughter and heir of Godolphin William Burslem (1784-1809) of Alton Grange, Leics. In turn grandson of James Burslem and Elizabeth Godolphin who were married, it is reported, March 1717 at Hadley Church, Highgate, London

16 Sept 1802 Harry Biggs marries Margaretta Anne Burslem - they become grandparents of Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs and Bishop Wolcott Huyshe Yeatman Biggs.  
The Major General's Aunts and Uncles:
4 Jul 1803 Birth of Henry Godolphin Biggs, Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs's uncle and heir to the Biggs estates. Henry married Mary Ann Wyndam of Dinton (1798-1838), but the marriage apears to have been without issue. The Biggs estates passed from Henry Godolphin Biggs to Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman in 1877, on the condition of him adding Biggs to his surname - see below.  
9 Aug 1804 Arthur WIlliam Biggs (1804-1840); Major, 7th Hussars who died aged about 36 years, 2nd November 1840.
According to Hart's Army List, 7th February 1840, page 98, his progress was as follows: Cornet/Lieut - 20 Jul 1824; Lieutenant - 11 Feb 1826; Captain - 14 May 1829 and Major - 21st October 1837 with the Regimental Rank of Major in the 7th Dragoons. But, from page 133 of Hart's Army List, the Regiment was more fully described as; 7th (or Queen's Own) Regt., Lt. Dragoons (Hussars) and serving in Canada. All of the Major's promotions were by purchase. It further appears that whilst the 7th Hussars were in Canada, the Major was at the Barracks in York. Towards the end of October or very early November 1840 he travelled from York to Bradford or Doncaster to inspect Yeomanry when he was taken ill. After some 3 days he died and his death was registered at Doncaster, during the December Quarter of 1840. It is not yet known if his body was taken from Yorkshire to St. John the Baptist, Stockton, WIlts., for burial. It appears from the Britsh Newspaper Archive that as recently as early October of that year, he attended a Ball in York.
Memorial in the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, Stockton, Wilts., Hart's 1840 & other Army Lists - 7th Feb.

"The Seventh", Parker, London 1842 - University of California, Internet Download. National Newspaper Archives

Hart's Army List, 1840
FreeBMD wesbsite
The Major General's Parents:
23 Jan 1811 Birth of Emma Biggs (died 9th Feb 1873), wife of Harry Farr Yeatman and Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs's mother.  
26 Sep 1811 Birth of Harry Farr Yeatman, Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs's father.  
c Jul 1837 Emma Biggs marries Harry Farr Yeatman, parents of Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs  
The Major General's Siblings:
25 May 1838 Emma Louise Yeatman is born. Sadly, she dies of Scarlet Fever aged about 4 years at Marston House, Dorset on Thursday 1st September 1842 Times on Line Sat 03 Sep 1842 via Manchester 24 hr Library.
The Life of Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs is now givien in time-line format as gleaned from The London Times, The London Gazette, Army Lists, The On-Line British Newspaper Archive and other sources; as noted below:
c23 Mar 1843 Arthur Godolphin Yeatman - his birth is announced as " for Lady of Harry Farr Yeatman a son". [This appears to be the only newspaper announcement of his birth. Unfortunately, his name is not mentioned - his birth was registered during the June Quarter of 1843 at Sturminster, according to Free BMD. In those days St. Catherine's House Index entries were hand-written often appearing to have been done with quills well past their "use-by dates" and often difficult to decipher.

Morning Post 25 March 1843
British Newspaper Archive, Summary

27 July 1844 Arthur Godolphin Yeatman was Baptised in the Parish of Manston, Dorset. His brother Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman was baptised in the same place, almost a year later, on 7th July 1845. Parish Records for Manston, Dorset from www.ancestrylibrary.com via Bolton, Lancs., Central Public Library
18 Dec 1860 Arthur Godolphin Yeatman, Gentleman-Cadet becomes a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery - War Office, Pall-Mall 4th January 1861.

London Gazette, Friday Jan 4, 1861 No.22467 Pg 43

2 Apr 1871

Arthur Godolphin Yeatman The 1871 Census shows him to be aboard HMS Eclipse, a Sixth Rate Vessel, and listed as; A. G. Yeatman, Lieutenant R.A., taking a passage. In regard to; Condition, Age and, where born, "No particulars known" was the declaration of Eclipse's Captain, Anthony Hoskins. The vessel was at sea, at Latitude 9o.50' North, Longitude 58o 54' W. By rough interpolation thie coordinates imply a position some 150 miles east and south of Trinidad. According to Manning & Walker, "British Warship Names", London, 1959, was, at the time, a Sloop. which became a mine depot in 1894.

1871 Census RO 10/5780 www.ancestrylibrary.com via Bolton, Lancs., Central Public Library.

Manning & Walker, "British Warship Names", London, 1959

Reader's Digest Atlas of the World, 1989

3 Feb 1874 Lieutenant Arthur Godolphin Yeatman becomes Captain - to be Captain, vice [in place of] C. W. Bellairs, who resigns. 4th February 1874 London Gazette, Feb 3, 1874 No.1374 Pg 491
10 Feb 1876 Captain Arthur Godolphin Yeatman becomes Adjutant, vice G. W. C. Rothe, who resigns the Adjutancy only. London Gazette, Mar 10 1876 No. 1854
2 Jan 1878 Captain Arthur Godolphin Yeatman adds Biggs to his surname. Queen Victoria was "graciously pleased to grant this unto Arthur Godolphin Yeatman of Stockton House, in the Parish of Stockton, in the ccounty of Wilts., Esquire, a Captain in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, Her Royal licence and authority that he and his issue may, in compliance with a direction contained in the Will of Harry Biggs, late of Stockton House,aforesaid, Esquire take and use the surname of Biggs, in addition to and after that of Yeatman, and that he and they may bear the arms of Biggs quarterly with those of Yeatman, providing the same be exemplified according to the laws of arms, and with the said Royal Licence duly recorded in Her Majesty's College of Arms, otherwise the said Royal licence to be void and of none effect". London Gazette, Friday, January 11, 1878, No. 24541
Pg 169 -
Whitehall, January 2, 1878
5 Feb 1878 Captain and Adjutant Arthur Godolphin Yeatman adds Biggs to his surname with War Office Permissiion - has been permitted to assume the surname of Biggs, in addition to and after that of Yeatman London Gazette, Friday, February 5, 1878, Pg 583 -
War Office, Pall Mall
5th February, 1878
14 Mar 1879

Captain Yeatman Biggs rides in the Royal Artillery Steeplechases, Sandown Park. - He participated in the Welter Hunters' Stakes of 3 sovs. each, 1 ft, with 75 sovs. addes. Three miles. The entrants were Mr. F. Waldron's Kilbride, aged, 14st 7lb. (Owner) - 1; Mr. A. Warde's Bromham, 5 yrs, 14 st. (Mr. Barry) - 2; Capttain Yeatman-Biggs's Cocktail, aged, 14st. 7lb. (Mr. B. Cochrane) - 3; Mr. A. Chambers'sw Bexley, aged, 14st. (Owner) - 0; Betting, - 2 to 1 each agst Cocktail and Kilbride, and 5 to 2 agst Bromham.

After going half a mile Cocktail bolted, and shortly afterwards Bexley refused, leaving Kilbride to win by 40 lenghts from Bromham. [14stone = 196 ib = 88.93 kg; 7 lb = half a stone = 3.18 kg; horse 1 was 5 years old, aged for the other meant over 5 years - the writer's wife explained some aspects of the Times report. Like Captain Yeatman-Biggs, a distant relative, she too descends from the Godolphin family, noted for the introduction of an Arabian stallion into the sport]

The Times, Saturday 15 Mar, 1879
Pg 12, Iss 29516
Manchster 24 hour library
24 Jul 1880 Captain Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs becomes a Major - Royal Artillery London Gazette,July 23, 1880, 4090, War Office, Pall Mall
23rd July 1880
30 Mar 1881 Captain and Brevet Major Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs, Royal Artillery to be Brigade-Major of Royal Artillery in Natal and the Transvaal, Dated 30th March 1881 London Gazette,Mar 8, 1881, 1072, War Office, Pall Mall
8th March, 1881
7 Sep 1881 Captain and Brevet Major Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs, to be Major, vice J.H.P. Anderson, promoted. Dated 7th September 1881 London Gazette,September 16, 1881, 4726, War Office, Pall Mall. 16th September, 1881
17 Nov 1882 (Brevet) Major Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs to be Lieiutenant-Colonel, Royal Artillery London Gazette,November 17, 1882, 5173 - War Office, Pall Mall. 17th November 1882
18 Nov 1886 Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs to be Colonel Royal, Artillery London Gazette,December 3, 1886, 6126/6127 War Office, Pall Mall. 3rd December 1886
30 May 1891 Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs, Royall Artillery, to be CB. "The Queen has been graciously pleased on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to give orders for the following promotiions in, and appointments to, the Most Honourable Order of the Bath; - to be Ordinary Members of the Military Division of the Third Class, or Companions of the said Most Honourbale Order" viz. Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs. London Gazette May 30, 1891, 2921/2922,
War Office,May 30, 1891
9 May 1892

Warden Nicholas's fine classical woodwork is lost - following a Times article on the 7th May regarding the quincentenary of Winchester College, the then Colonel Arthur Godolphin Yeatman's brother t Huyshe Wolcot Yeatman, Bishop of Southwark, solved the mystery with a letter to the Times. It appears that after much of the woodwork had been used or left in a storeroom at Winchester College, he revealed that the greater par, including nearly all the carving and the whole of the magnificent choir screen was purchased by and in the possession of, the Colonel at Stockton House, WIltshire. It was to have been used for the fitting up of a 17th century chapel in his home but, the project was abandoned. Whilst the then Bishop of Worcester had wished to use it in Franham Castle, Sir Arthur Blomfield found it would not fit the walls. The letter was signed Huyshe Southward.

[William Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, obtained a Charter in 1382 to found Winchester College.Building started in 1387 and although incomplete, occupation commenced in 1394. In the meantime the Bishop's other project, New College (Saint Marie College of Winchester in Oxford) had begun operations. An ancestor of the Cobbe relatives (including Charles, Archbishop of Dublin) of the Godolphin - Biggs & Yeatman families, was Thomas Bilson. He was also Bishop of Winchester (1597-1616) and Worcester (1596-1597) having been pupil, master, headmaster and Warden of Winchester College. He gave the sermon at the coronation of James 1 and was co final- editor with Miles Smith (later Bishop of Gloucester) of the 1611 King James - Authorised Bible. He died in London in 1616 and was buried in Westminster Abbey - his daughter Amy married Sir. Richard Norton of East Tisted and their daughter married Richard Cobb(e) there in 1745. The only Yeatman found to have been a pupil at WInchester (up to c1888) was one of the numerous gentlemen named Harry Farr Yeatman. The one in question was baptised 29 May 1751, St. Mary, Redcliffe, who went on to Balliol, gaining B.D. in 1785 to become Rect or of Kilve, Vicar of East Brent, and Prebendary of Wells.In 1785 he married Louisa daughter and heir of the Rev. George Shuttleworth, Rector of Weymouth and Vicar of Osmington.

The Times, London, Monday,
9 May, 1892, pg 7, Iss 33633


"Winchester Scholars", Thomas Frederick Kirby, M.A.
Henry Frowde, London, 1888.

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1852
Vol 2, Page 1669 -
Yeatman of Stockhouse;
Vol 1, Page 96 - Biggs of Stockton;
J. Bernard Burke Esq., 1852

This website - Early Cobbes

1 Jan 1894 Brevet Colonel Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs, Royall Artillery C.B. On completion of five years' service in the rank, is placed on half pay.. Dated 1st January 1894. London Gazette January 2 1894,
Pg 4,
War Office, Pall Mall,
2nd January 1894
6 Jan 1898

Major General Yeatman Biggs, C.B. Obituary. The obituary shown on the Images page is an original cutting, dated around 6 January 1898. It was was found amongst the papers of Major Kenneth Archibald Holland T.D. (1905-1998) inherited at the time of his death by his maternal niece Rev Prof. J. M. Davies.

Details of a corresponding London Times publication date is given in the sources section to the right. The cutting was possibly from a West Country newspaper perhaps inherited by Uncle Ken from his maternal uncle Capt Robert Richard Clay MC (1881-1963) who participated in the Boer War and most of WW1 with only a back injury. That injury was obtained whilst demonstrating how to jump over a trench. He lived to be 82 years of age dying in 1963.

Capt Clay was first cousin of, and served in the 2nd Wilts.,with, Capt Vivian Hastings Clay who was killed at 5.30. a.m. on 18th October 1916; his 24th birthday. Uncle Ken, Rev Prof. J M Davies and the Clay cousins, all descended from Rev. Dr. James Burslem DD JP (c172 1-1786), younger brother of the Major General's ancestor, William Burslem (c1718-1781) and, in turn, sons of James Burslem and his wife Elizabeth Godolphin who were married at Highgate c 1717. Uncle Ken and the Captains Clay were also descended from Elizabeth Godolphin's sister, Mary Godolphin, who married Lt. Col. Richard Chaloner Cobbe (#1) at St. Martins in the Field, Nov 1726.

The families merged when Elizabeth's granddaughter, Sarah Burslem, married Mary's grandson Rev. Richard Chaloner Cobbe (#3) at Market Bosworth, May 1776. Richard was about 21 years of age and Sarah (daughter of Rev Dr. James Burslem and his wife Sarah Oldershaw) was about 18 years of age. They are known to have had 13 children, 10 of whom survived into or nearly into adulthood. The Clay cousins, Uncle Ken and Rev. Prof. J. M. Davies, descended from their daughter Charlotte (c1783-1858).

An almost identical obituary appeared in The Times, London,
6 Jan 1898, pg 3; Iss 35406.


6 Jan 1898 New York Times: London, Jan. 6 1898 - "According to a special despatch from Peshawur[as spelt in the articlde], Major Gen. Arthur Godolphin Yeatman-Biggs, in command of the Second Division of the Tirah expedition, on the northwest frontier of India, died on Tuesday of dysentry. The news is confirmed from various sources etc., etc.," This report is effectively the same as the one in the London Times. It goes on to summarise the General's life: Major Gen. Yeatman Biggs was son of the late Harry Farr Yeatman of Manston House, Dorset, and was born in 1843. He entered the army in 1860, became Captain in 1874, Major in 1880, Lieutentant Colonel in 1882, Colonel in 1886 and Major General, last year [1897]. He served in China in 1862, during the South African war in 1879, and with the Egypt expedition in 1862. In 1878 he assumed, by royal licence, the additional surname of Biggs. He was created a Companion of the Bath (Military) in 1891, and from 1895 had commanded the Presidency District of Bengal. Some of the most effective work of the British forces on the north west f rontier of India during the campaign against the rebellioius tribesmen has been done by the troops of the Second Division. The most brilliant exploit of the punitive expedition was the storming and recapture of Dargai Ridge, on the Samana Range, by the Ghurkas and Gordon HIghlanders of the Yeatman-Biggs Brigade last October.
New York TImes
Published January 6, 1898
24 June 1898 Major General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs C.B.deceased - Pursuant to the Statute 22nd and 23rd Victoria chapter 35. A notice given by the solicitors of the General's sole Executrix, his sister Emily Frances Emma Yeatman of Greyladies, Blackheath Hill, to all creditors and persons with claims against his estates, those claims to be made before 25th July 1898, after which date the Executrix will distribute the General's assets to entitled parties. London Gazette June 28, 1898
Pg 3948
  12 Jan 1898 Memorial Service to Major-General Yeatman-Biggs at Stockton Church, Wilts. 2.30. Train leaves Salisbury at 1 5 for Wylye Station (G.W.R.) "To-day's Arrangements", Times
12 January 1898 - Court Circular
  13 Jan 1898 A memorial service to General Yeatman-Biggs was held yesterday afternoon [12th Jan 1898] in Stockton Church, Wilts, of which parish he was Lord of the Manor. A shortened form of the Burial Service was used special hymns. Relatives of General Yeatman-Biggs present included the Bishop of Southwark (brother), Lady Barbara Yeatman, Miss Margaret Yeatman, Mr. William Yeatman, L. Yeatman, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Farr Yeatman, Miss Rhoda Yeatman, and Mr. Percy Nevill. There were also present Colonel George O'Malley, Colonel Scott, Lieutenant Colonel Lindsell, Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Bowles, Major Blane, Mr. and Mrs. Tennant. The Rector(the Rev. C. J. Johnstone) and the Rev. E. A. H. Aston(rector of Codford officiated at the service. The Bishop of Southwark [Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman] afterwards delivered an address, revkiewing the career of General Yeatman-Biggs. Later that same year, the Bishop added Biggs to his surname in order to inherit the estates from his brother, the General.

The Times, London, Thursday, Jan 13, 1898; pg 7; Iss 35412.

Category Court and Social

The Yeatman Pedigree
To identify family members at
The Memorial Service

  25 Jan 1898

Bishop Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman (shortly to become Yeatman Biggs) wrote to the Times of London criticizing Sir William Lockart who the Bishop claims "disregarded Major General Yeatman Biggs's advice in regard to the fatigue of the troops after 18th October 1897 and his local knowledge in regard to the better route for taking the Dargai heights viz: going via Gulistan instead of Chagru. The Bishop, the Major General's brother, goes on to say - there comes the surprising conclusion of blame to General Yeatman-Biggs and a heavy responsibility thrust by a few bare sentences on a man who cannot defend himself - the Bishop believed the public would not hastily condemn the man who hitherto had borne the burden of the division and had done so with credit, as the despatches acknowledge, but will wish to hear a great deal more detail, especially the evidence of my brother's staff and letters - Your obedient servant, HUYSHE SOUTHWARK - Athenaeum Club, Jan 25,"

    General Sir William Lockhart

The Times, London, Wednesday, Jan 26, 1898 pg 8 Iss 35423
Huyshe Southwark

"The Campaign in Tirah 1897-1898"
The Expedition against the Orakzais and Afridis
Col H. D. Hutchinson
Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1898
from which
General Sir William Lockhart's
Image is reproduced

  6 Aug 1898 Bishop Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman, the General's Younger Brother, becomes Bishop Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman Biggs in accordance with conditions graciously granted by Queen Victoria, similar to the conditions applied to his brother, the General's, entitlement to the surname Biggs. London Gazette 27 September, 1898
Pgs 5650/5651
Whitehall August 6, 1898
  15 Jun 1917 Emily Frances Emma Yeatman of Kings Stagg, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, died. [Kings Stagg can be found on Google Maps and various "Houses for Sale" adverts on the internet. It is part of Lydlinch which itself appears to be a village about 3 miles west of Sturminster Newton and not too far from the Stock Gaylard and Manston, Yeatman homes. Emily was the sister of General Arthur Godolphin Yeatman Biggs and of Bishop Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman Biggs. In 1898, see above, she was the sole executrix of her brother, the General's Will] Probate records 1917 via www.ancestrylibrary.com - Bolton Public Library
  20 Jun 1917

21 Dec 1917

Emily Frances Emma Yeatman of Kings Stagg, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, was buried in the parish of Stock Gaylard, Dorset. Her brother, Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman Biggs, then the Bishop of Worcester, together with the Rector of Lydlinch, Rev. S. F.Hooper [best guess at his name from the parish burial register] officiated at the service. Probate was granted in London on 21 Dec 1917 to her brother Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman Biggs, Bishop of Worcester with her effects amounting to £6804 10s 8d. In decimal coinage that would be about, £6804.53p.

1917 Probate Records & Parish Records for Stock Gaylard both from www.ancestrylibrary.com via Bolton, Lancs., Central Public Library

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