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The Turvey Website The history and families of Turvey in Bedfordshire, England

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One could not consider a site about Turvey complete unless there was mention of this important, industrious and fascinating family.

The Higgins Family in Turvey

Firstly, it should be explained that there were three Mr Higgins living in Turvey in the mid nineteenth century -

All three were Justices of the Peace.  There are more detailed biographies below.

Another Higgins of note is:

Turvey AbbeyTurvey House

The Higgins Family of Turvey

In about 1786 Charles Higgins of London Wall (a rich grocer and sheriff of London) and his distant relative, John Higgins of Weston Underwood, together with a gentleman called William Fuller, a banker from Lombard Street, purchased the village of Turvey from Charles Henry, 5th Earl of Peterborough.

In 1790 Charles installed a gallery in the parish church, and added new pews.

Charles Higgins owned the Turvey Abbey estate and died unmarried in 1792.  He was succeeded by his nephew who was another John Higgins, (the artist, see below) who became Lord of the Manor and lived at Turvey Abbey.  His son was Charles Longuet Higgins .

It was Charles Longuet Higgins who, together with his cousin, Thomas Charles Higgins, rebuilt the village and made so many improvements to it in the nineteenth century (from about 1847).

John Higgins of Turvey Abbey

The nephew and heir of Charles Higgins of London. Became Lord of the Manor of Turvey with his inheritance.  He was a County Magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant and then High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1801.

He was a talented water colour artist and painted some lovely scenes of the village (see the example on the right).  Some were lithographed and sold to the villagers.  His wife was called Teresa. They had two sons, Charles Longuet Higgins who inherited the Abbey and Lord of the Manor title, and Rev. Henry Hugh Higgins who was an eminent naturalist.  He also had a daughter called Mary (bapt 1808) who married Rev E.H. Steventon and went to live in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells.

In 1829 he conveyed 13 acres of land, called ‘Ball’s Pasture’, in trust for the Sunday School.

Painting of Turvey Abbey by John Higgins

Thomas Charles Higgins of Turvey House

1797 -1865

Known as TC Higgins, he was a relative of Charles Longuet Higgins.  His parents were John and Martha Higgins and he was baptised 26 January 1798 in Turvey.

In 1838 he married Charlotte Price.

TC was chariman of the county Quarter Sessions from 1848-1865.  He added the upper storey of Turvey House.

In 1857 he established the Turvey Reformatory at Carlton.

Thomas died in Leamington on 4 February 1865.

Lt Col William Bartholomew Higgins of Picts Hill

1799 - 1878

Known as WB Higgins. Son of John & Martha Higgins, he was baptised 14 January 1799, at Turvey. He was the younger brother of Thomas Charles of Turvey House (see above). He erected the arch over Nell’s Well in 1875 and built the handsome house called Picts Hill, just outside the village.  He was the first Chairman of the Bedford-Northampton Railway and invested his own money to help the construction of the local station.

He died unmarried in 1878.

He left money in his will for the schools and Working Men’s Room in Turvey.

Higgins Entries in the Turvey Parish Registers 1602-1812

1794 Dec 5 - Harriet, dau of John & Martha Higgins baptised

1795 Jun 30 - burial of Elizabeth Granger, servant to John Higgins esq

1795 Dec 28 - Ann Maria, dau of John & Martha Higgins esq baptised

1798 Jan 26 - Thomas Charles, son of John & Martha Higgins esq baptised

1799 Jan 14 - William Bartholomew, son of John & Martha Higgins esq baptised

1806 Dec 2 - Charles Longuet, son of John & Teresa Higgins esq baptised

1808 Feb 26 - Mary, dau of John & Teresa Higgins baptism registered only

Major William Francis Higgins of Turvey House

5 January 1845 - 7 March 1899

The son of Thomas Charles Higgins, William inherited Turvey House.  He was a Justice of the Peace.

He married Fanny Adela Tyringham on 21 January 1873.

He had a son called Gustavus Higgins who was born in 18 November 1873 and became a soldier.

For many years he lived at Turvey Cottage.

George Francis Higgins of Turvey House

1845 - ?

Owner Nicholas Farm and Northy Farm (which was part of the Reformatory).

Click here for a list of John Higgins’ descendents

Descendents of John Higgins Higgins Mausoleum CL Higgins

John Higgins’ oldest son, Charles Longuet Higgins has his own page.

The Higgins arms

Vert three cranes' heads razed argent

On the wall of the gatehouse of Turvey House.  Click to enlarge the picture.

Here is a tree of the Higgins family, with colour code to help you see who lived where.

This is the first version of this tree, it will be updated later with additional information.

Click the tree to see a bigger version (in a new window).

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