Major Francis Angerstein Clarendon Rowley-Hyde
Major Francis Angerstein Clarendon Rowley-Hyde

Major Francis Angerstein Clarendon Rowley-Hyde

From a letter written to Elizabeth Miller (Major Rowley-Hyde's niece), 22 April 2002, by Peter mentioned on the above photo.
Note: Major Francis Rowley-Hyde was usually called Frank.

" Frank was always known as Frank Rowley-Hyde and all that I remember is that he had a villa in Capri until the estate was embezzled by the trustee? And he worked in casinos in Monte Carlo?

He was a major in British Military Intelligence in both World Wars and had to escort Mata Hari from France to Britain in the 1st World War. He was badly wounded and he always talked of the "plate" replacing part of his skull. He received a medal of honour from the French Government and was mentioned in dispatches with an oak leaf on his ribbons.

I agree his date of marriage to Luna Craster was in 1932. (It was Luna's 3rd. marriage) and his death was in 1967 from a coronary thrombosis.

The only memento I have is an oil painting painted by F. Hyde approximately in 1880 which hung in the Australian Embassy in London and Frank said that it was painted by his father and hung in the Royal Academy at one time.

Frank and Luna came to South Africa in September 1939 I think after selling their Inn 'Jockey House' outside Bournemouth. He joined the British Army again as a major and went to Kenya to look after a Prisoner-of-war camp for the Italians."

Note: The painting referred to is "The old gold prospector" and is in Frank Hyde's virtual gallery.

Notes by Ken Hyde on Francis Hyde supplied on 17 May 2017.

Resulting for a request for information from a researcher into the lives of people associated with Lord Alfred Douglas, my cousin Ken Hyde did some research into the life of Francis Hyde who was a friend of Douglas in 1914.

Below are some items derived from Ken's research. Francis seems to have been generally called Frank but to avoid confusion I have called the father Frank Hyde and his son Francis Hyde.

Frank Hyde, Francis father, was an established and well known painter, illustrator and engraver, who is very likely to have moved in the upper reaches of society as well as more arty unconventional bohemian society.

On the 1st November 1876 His father, the painter Frank Hyde, had married his first wife, Constance Mary Louise Felgate, who sadly died within a year.

1881 Frank Hyde married his second wife Florence Ellen Louise Rowley at St Lukes Church, Kensington, on the 16th November 1881.

John Francis Hyde, Francis grandfather, was living at 5 Lansdowne Square, Brunswick, Brighton, Hove, Sussex,in 1881 (English Census) Brighton, Hove, Sussex, England.

In December Quarter 1882 they (Frank and Florence) had a daughter Florence Mina Georgie Lila Hyde.

In March Quarter 1884 Kensington registration district 1a160 they had a son, birth name Francis Angerstein Clarendon Rowley Hyde.

As the Clarendon Hydes were both extremely well connected to society, and very rich and influential, Francis who preferred to be called Frank, changed the order of his names and may have styled himself Frank Clarendon-Hyde, a name which would have impressed and carried respect and authority in all Francis's social and work interactions. He also seems to have called himself Francis or Frank Rowley Hyde, Rowley being another prestigious family.

The Denchworth Hyde family, from whom Frank was descended, was not related by blood to the Clarendon Hydes in any way.

In 1887 Frank divorced Florence because of her adultery with her cousin(s). A salacious scandal which was widely reported in the newspapers of the time. Florence counter sued for her husbands cruelty, but lost the case and Frank obtained custody of the children. Florence died three years later.

So Francis was brought up without the direct influence of his birth mother, something that had happened to Frank and to his father John Francis. As you know, in Victorian and Edwardian times, this was not unusual, given the perils for women of pregnancy and birth.

Francis father Frank, was a staunch Roman Catholic and the branch of the Hydes of Denchworth from whom he was descended (which can be proved genealogically back to at least 1220 ad) were recusants who had all held strongly and stubbornly to Catholicism through the many years of persecution.

In England, a recusant was not allowed to hold any office of the crown, Navy, Army, Civil Service or to practice law. They were also fined, had lands and property confiscated and paid extra taxes when they died. This policy effectively removed a great deal of their influence from society and impoverished many Catholic landed gentry families.

It is highly likely that Francis received a Catholic education at St Augustine's College, Ramsgate (Benedictine Monks) and you know of Lord Douglas interest in Catholicism.

In the 1901 English Census Francis was a border at Grange Road, Ramsgate. The record states that he was a British Subject born in Italy. His occupation was given as schoolboy and his age as 17.

It is worth noting that Francis is still at school aged 17. Here is some information from the National Archives:-
(Despite the 1902 Education Act, secondary education remained the preserve of a few. Even by 1911, only 7.5% of 12 to 14 year olds went to secondary school. Not until after 1944 did secondary education become universally available. The statutory school-leaving age was fixed at 14 in 1921, going up to 15 in 1947, and then 16 in 1972-3)
So it would seem his father Frank is paying for Francis's further education

His father Frank Hyde's Census data for the 1901 Census shows him renting a few rooms in a large house in Hope Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England. He had a boarder aged 21 by the name of Herbert E Stammwitz. (Name corrected by Ken from Stammivitz)

1901 The elderly Grandfather (77 yrs) of Francis , John Francis Hyde was living at Margate, Kent with his third wife and some of his children.

At 21yrs of age Francis was gazetted as a second lieutenant in the Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment.

Francis was declared bankrupt in bankruptcy Order 1391 1906. He applied for discharge on Feb. 13 1908 but his discharge was suspended for two years until 13th February 2010. He was finally discharged on December 13th 1909.

In the last quarter of 1910 Francis married either Patricia Maguire or Kate Weston.

In 1914 at age 30 Francis is recorded as being a lieutenant in the 4th regiment of foot, in the Royal Lancaster Regiment. Later he was promoted to Captain and transferred to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Regiment.

Francis married a Luna Ayton in the December Quarter of 1932 at Kensington registration district Kensington 1a401. He was 48 yrs old.

He seems to have been a bookkeeper (accountancy) in 1938 when he was declared bankrupt in his absence. Edinburgh Gazette 31st May1938 reports:-. "Francis Clarendon Angerstein Rowley Hyde, lately of Flat 7, 41 Brunswick Place, Hove, Sussex, and whose present residence or place of business the petitioner is unable to ascertain, a Major (retired) in H.M. Army.

The previous account by Peter account states:

Frank and Luna came to South Africa in September 1939, I think, after selling their Inn 'Jockey House' outside Bournemouth. He joined the British Army again as a major and went to Kenya to look after a Prisoner-of-war camp for the Italians."

September 1939 marks the beginning of WW2, and thus it is more likely he left England before the bankruptcy proceedings in 1938.

Francis appears to have died of coronary thrombosis in Durban, South Africa on 18th Dec 1967 at 83 yrs.

     Original letter by Ken Hyde dated 17 May 2017 - PDF document (53k)
(Return to Frank Hyde's family and In-laws)