Waterton married Anne Mary Edmonstone in Brugge (Bruges), Belgium on 18th May 1829.
however, a second ceremony in St. Helen's Church in the parish of Sandal
Magna on 20th December 1829 as the entry in the church's marriage register
testifies - see side panel. Walton was then, and still is, in the Church
of England parish of Sandal Magna (although now a separate civil parish).
Edmonstone was the second daughter of Charles Edmonstone, a longstanding
friend* of Charles from his days in Demerara. He had attended Anne's christening
in 1812, on his return from his first Wandering. At the time the Edmonstone's
were living at Mibiri Creek (2). Seventeen years later, this infant would
become the wife of the Squire.
[* Of Charles Edmonstone, Charles Waterton said, "he was the most valued friend I ever had in the world".(3)]
he had attended the christening as Anne's godfather there is no indication
that Charles had formulated a plan to eventually take her as his wife.
However, in 1827, Waterton visited the Edmonstones, who were now living
in Scotland, and became engaged to Anne. The Edmonstones were by now an
unhappy family, ill at ease so far away from their former home in Demerara.
a Protestant and Charles needed to marry a Catholic, accordingly it was
decided that Anne and her sister Eliza, would be sent to the Engels Klooster (English Convent)
in Bruges (Brugge) to complete their education. Later, Anne's sisters Helen and
Eliza would take up residence at Walton Hall.
marriage was conducted according to the Roman Catholic faith, the Sandal
marriage would be legal under English Law. Anne was six months pregnant
at the time of the church ceremony in England, and, although the Catholic Emancipation
Act was passed by Parliament in 1829, it may have been considered by the
Watertons that a Church of England marriage was the best way to make sure
that there were no legal complications. Given the Squire's distrust of
the established church, it would have been no light matter for him to
have had to undergo such a ceremony.
Waterton died in April 1830, just three weeks after the birth of their
son Edmund, who was to play a significant part in the last few years of
the Watertons of Walton Hall. In the Sandal Magna Parish Register, the entry
of Walton Hall, a Roman Catholic, was buried without a service by T. Westmoreland,
(2) covers this part of the Waterton story very well in her Chapter "A
1. Sandal Magna,
a Yorkshire Parish and its People, Mary Ingham and Brenda Andrassy,
2. Charles Waterton, Traveller and Conservationist, Julia Blackburn,
The Bodley Head, London, 1989.
3. The Letters of Charles Waterton of Walton Hall, near Wakefield, edited with Notes by R.A. Irwin. Rockliff, London, 1955.
A list of reference
sources is contained on the Links page.
English Convent (Engels Klooster) Carmersstraat, Brugge / Bruges
the convent, click here.)
Helen's Church - the church in Sandal Magna.