Distribution - Sherborne

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The Sherborne Hanns are a bit of an enigma in that they arrive from nowhere.

In 1689 a Robert and Judith Hann, his second wife (?) appear and have 8 children. Judith then dies and he marries Mary Manderfield. Assuming that Robert was in his twenties at the time this could, at a pinch, make him the Robert Han (of the Offwell part of the Dalwood family) who was christened in Cotleigh, Devon in 1668

All that is known of Robert of Castleton was that, in his will dated 1716, he gives his position as starchmaker and mentions property at Castleton, Sherborne and Bishop's Caundle - so he may be connected with the Stourton Caundle Hanns Of his children four died young, Judith married Ingram Combe in Castleton in 1719, Susannah married John Combe in Castleton and Sarah disappeared, as did third wife Mary.

The line continued through the surviving son Robert (born 1691). When he attended Sherborne School, he was recorded as Robert Hand. He in turn married, to an Eleanor, who bore him nine children. Of these Mary had an illegitimate son (Thomas Tucker Hann) in 1735 and Robert had seven children - as well as a Bastardy Order served on him for an illegitimate child by Ann Wilton. Judith died unmarried in 1774 and Joseph may have been the one who qualified as a Bachelor of Arts at Trinity College, Oxford and was ordained deacon at St Michael's parish in Warwickshire in 1735. There was also Eleanor who married John Matchem in Sixpenny Handley in 1745, Elizabeth and Susannah who both disappeared, Hanna who married Robert Gillingham in Castleton in 1754 and Sarah who married Thomas Symonds, again in Sixpenny Handley, in 1760

Of Robert's seven children, Joseph appears to have moved to Yeovil, Somerset at the beginning of the 19th century, but little is known of the other children - with the exception of Benjamin and Barnard/Bernard/Bennett Justins Hann.

Benjamin appears to have been well-off owning property in Newland, Sherborne for which he was charged seven shillings and thr'pence ha'penny Land Tax in 1798.  In 1823 he was assigned 28 acres of land in Trent and in Mudford, Somerset and shortly before his death in 1824 was purchasing an estate in Buckland Newton. Benjamin's son died in infancy and his daughter Elizabeth married a William Simmonds and had a son Benjamin Hann Simmonds

Barnard however appears to have followed in his father's footsteps, having had a Bastardy Order served on him in 1775 for a child by Sarah Walters. Two years later he is marrying an Ann Walters in Queens Camel, Somerset. He had at least four sons, Barnard, Robert, Charles and Silas; both Barnard and Robert marrying in Sparkford, Somerset - and a daughter (Hannah who died aged 24).

I have been unable to trace Charles, but Barnard, Robert and Silas all moved up to Lambeth in London where Barnard and Robert were bakers and Silas was a painter. Robert spawning a family of musicians who devoted their lives to music and its teaching and to the theatre, some moving to Cheltenham and thence to British Columbia.  It is this branch that has been thought of as being German, possibly because of its status during the Hannoverian period - more of this to follow.  Silas's two sons carried on the painting branch of the family

The marriage of Elizabeth Hann to William Simmonds and of Sarah to Thomas Symonds, together with the assignment of land to Benjamin by Thomas Billet of Warmwell, give hints that this branch might be the origins of the family of Thomas Hardy - whose daughter said that they came from the Blackmore Vale (though the Henstridge branch could similarly hold a claim to this honour)

Thomas Hardy's ancestor was a William Hann who married Betty Simons in Puddletown in 1773. William's daughter, Sarah Hand, marrying a William Billet in Puddletown in 1780. William's father was Roger Hann of the Dalwood branch, who married Sarah Michel in Wareham in 1750

Of Barnard and Robert's children.  It appears that Barnard's children all died in childhood and that line died out on Barnard's death in Lambeth in 1841  However Robert rose in standing to become the Secretary of the London Bakers' Pension Society.  His branch of the family went from strength to strength, he having had 22 children between 1803 and 1841 with two wives. Nearly all of his children died in infancy or childhood too, but five survived to have fruitful lives within the artistic world, Reuben, Robert, Thomas Richard, William Henry and Walter

Reuben was a boot maker and spent his life in Lambeth. The line disappearing following Reuben's death in 1880 and his only surviving son, Reuben Thomas not being found after the 1871 census when he was a painter

Robert was a musician and with his brother William Henry spawned a veritable orchestra before he died in the borough of Lambeth, Greater London in 1874 - his daughter Lucy was a piano teacher and son Charles Thomas a musician before turning to the retail of beer.

Thomas Richard emigrated to Chicago where he pursued a career as an actor, with Walter becoming a member of the Royal Academy one of the most well-known scenic artist of Victorian times being responsible for the scenery at numerous theatres through the country for over fifty years including work for Sir Henry Irving and the first production of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde on 14 Feb 1895.  He died in Balham, Greater London in 1922.  His craft was continued by his son Ernest.  Another son (another Walter) following the musical tradition and becoming a violinist, composer and professor of music, his sister Harriet also being a music teacher and professor of music

William Henry was the most prolific of the brothers with six children who were all involved in music in its widest range.  He was a viola player of some note and as well as being a professor of music for most of his life was also a Musician in Ordinary to Queen Victoria during the 1870's and 1880's.  His children were Edward Hopkins, Charles William/William Charles, Lewis Robert, Sidney Herbert, Clement Walter and Marianne Sophia

Edward Hopkins was a chorister at Chapel Royal in his childhood and became a renowned violinist who, when not being a professor of music and passing his skill to others, was second violin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra around the turn of the 20th century.  He retired to Bognor Regis, West Sussex where he died in 1929

Charles William or William Charles was an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM), a composer, cellist, professor of music and a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra alongside his brother and also a member of Queen Victoria private band in 1898.  Some of his descendants moved to Lincolnshire, he having died in Norwood, Greater London in 1925. 

Lewis Robert was also an ARAM, a composer and violinist who moved to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire and became violin master at Cheltenham Ladies' College and Malvern Girls' College and also Leader of the Cheltenham Philharmonic Society.  He died in Cheltenham in 1937.  His son Francis Milbourne emigrated to Canada and is ancestor of some of the Hanns in the Vancouver area 

Sidney Herbert again was an ARAM, a composer, organist at the Chapel Royal, violist, professor of music.  He had three daughters and died in Streatham, Greater London in 1922

Clement Walter was also a chorister at the Chapel Royal, a cellist, professor of music and second violin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  Like Edward Hopkins he retired to West Sussex where he died in Worthing in 1921

Marianne Sophia kept up the family tradition by being a professor of music, school teacher and a mezzo-soprano.  She died unmarried in Brixton, Greater London in 1926

Walter was a scenic artist of great repute in his time and also, I believe, an ARAM. He was responsible for the scenery at numerous theatres throughout the land from the mid 1860s right up to his death in 1922. At the time of his death he was living in Balham but prior to that lived near his London roots and had studios which covered a number of warehouses in Murphy Street, near Lambeth Walk. He even had an entry in Who's Who. There is a list of the productions with which he was associated at http://theatricalia.com/person/axw/walter-hann

Among his children he had four sons, one of whom died young. One of those whose lines continued was Walter who carried on the family's musical interest and may too have been an artist, another Ernest who continued the scenic artistry business and Maurice who became a chartered accountant. I believe that at one time there was a Hann art gallery very near Bond Street that was probably connected to the family




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