|ruins of the great castle |
at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire
Annie's father, Edwin as he was known (though he was baptized with the name of Edward), was an ironmonger and the son of an ironmonger, a Shropshire lad who originally hailed from the small town of Much Wenlock, where the family kept an ironmonger's shop. Edwin and his brother and sister were raised strict Methodists.
Locals are said to have whispered to themselves that Morgan had bewitched the much younger and reputedly slow-witted Davies into remaining with her and doing her bidding, though she was known to have subjected him frequently to foulmouthed harangues.
Evidently the worm turned. Davies was found to have murdered Morgan with a large clasp knife sold to him by Thomas Haynes just two days before the murder. The bloody knife had been left on a dresser in Morgan's cottage. Davies was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but this sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, on the grounds of provocation.
Edwin Haynes's marriage to Jane Henderson did not end violently like the common law arrangement of Ann Morgan and William Davies, but it obviously was not a successful union of man and wife. By 1861, when he was twenty years old, Edwin Haynes had left the family shop and moved to Ashby de la Zouche, where he apprenticed with local ironmonger John Orchard. There he married Jane Henderson, daughter of a prominent landscape gardener, the Scottish-born Montgomery Henderson, who superintended the famous gardens at nearby Coleorton Hall, home of the Beaumont baronets. (The poet William Wordsworth once designed a winter garden for Coleorton Hall.)
|Was all forgiven?|
Iglesia San Bartolome,
English Church at Rosario, Argentina
Once settled in Argentina, Edwin Haynes may have married again and had a son named Eduardo, who appears to have been a successful lawyer. According to a Haynes descendant, when Edwin died he left an island located near Rosario that he owned (appropriately named Haynes Island) to Annie's brother, Thomas, provided that he come live there. Thomas declined to do so, so Edwin's English family inherited nothing from him. (Thomas himself became an ironmonger, learning the trade from his grandfather and uncle in Much Wenlock.)
Annie thus grew up on the estate of Coleorton Hall, surely giving her significant glimpses of the life of the gentry, which she would later put to good use in her fiction. In 1871, when Annie was six, Sir George Howland Beaumont, 9th Bt., resided at Coleorton Hall with his two young sons and a Dowton Abbey-ish retinue of servants, including a governess, butler, footman, groom, stables helper, nurse, cook, kitchenmaid, three housemaids, coachman, gamekeeper, laundress, laundry maid, head gardener (Annie's grandfather) and two assistant gardeners, not to mention all the people who worked on the Hall Farm.
During his lifetime did Annie Haynes ever learn what happened to her father, of whom she would have had no personal memory whatsoever from her childhood years? Evidence from one her novels suggests that perhaps she did.
|Coleorton Hall and grounds|