So when last I discussed the Cutler family I was speaking about Elizabeth Windham Guise and her relationship to her father’s family. To catch up with my narrative, Elizabeth was the illegitimate daughter of William Windham (1717-1761). She was raised by her father in his household, with his mistress (later wife) her three children, and her half-brother William (1750-1810). In October of 1761 he father disinherited her because she of her ungrateful and undutiful behaviour.

Her family life afterwards is now my focus. She married Richard Guise of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, on the 29th of December 1761 at St George’s Hanover, London. As marriage register entries it is fairly straightforward, it lists the names of the married, their parishes, that they were married by banns, who married them, their signatures, and the witnesses. But of course there is meat in this simple information. First of all, the marriage happened in her parish church, after Banns, so there were no objections to her marriage. Of course, by this date her father had passed away, and although disinherited she was likely still living in the London family home in Golden Square which was not actually that far away. Both signed the marriage register in a smooth and legible hand. They were both literate [although, with a degree from Cambridge one hopes Guise was!]. As for the witnesses- here is an interesting bit. There were three witnesses a William Hudson, someone whose writing is nasty, and what looks like a J or R Lukin. My money is R, as her stepmother’s had a son named Robert Lukin. He witnessed her marriage. They were of an age and raised together, so she had some family present at her marriage.

And what of her life after her marriage to Richard? It seems to have been smooth. I cannot tell for sure of course, because the records are scant. Focus has to shift to Richard himself. I still have not found out when Richard Guise was born (although it could be 1740 or 1735 depending on sources), where, or who his parents were. He is a giant blank until he goes to Cambridge, where he earns a Bachelor’s of Music in 1758 [Mus.B. 1758. A Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. B. 1740. Lay-vicar and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey. Composed three single chants, contained in Vanderman’s ‘Divine Harmony.’ Died Mar. 10, 1808. (Brown and Stratton, British Musical Biography, 176.)] A search of genealogical databases have uncovered a number of property listings for Richard Guise, notably in London, so he appears to have been prosperous, at least in later life.

Richard was associated with Westminster Abbey for quite a while. According to the Assistant Keeper of the Muniments at the Abbey Library : “He was a tenor Lay Vicar of the Abbey from 1783-1806 and Master of the Choristers from 1794-1805. He was also a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal from 1779 to his death. He composed three chants contained in Vandernan’s Divine Harmony. His wife was Elizabeth and in his will it says he was living in Leicester Square.” [email 24 Apr 2013] I have found two daughters born to them although I have only found one baptism, and that is for Sarah Elizabeth, who was baptized in 1762 at St George’s Chapel, New Windsor, Berkshire.
I was tentative at first about what this means, but after checking- New Windsor means the area around Windsor Castle, and is called new to distinguish it from the village of Windsor which existed before the castle. New is a relative term. As a musician, he most likely was working for St George’s or for some part of the royal household. According to The Organists & Composers of S. Paul’s Cathedral [by John S Bumpus, Bowden, Hudson & Co, London, 1891] he was Lay Clerk of St George’s Chapel, Windsor and Eton College from 1760-1773 [p241].This is something I will have to look into further. I have to assess my options and make research strategies to confirm information already found, and see if I can go further.


They had another daughter named Frances, and I know about her because she was buried with her father in Westminster Abbey. I will focus another chapter on Sarah Elizabeth later on, and continue with Frances’ story in this instalment. Frances was married twice, both times at St Margaret’s Church in Westminster (the smaller church next to Westminster Abbey). Her first marriage was to Jean Victor Baron of Westminster Parish, on the 6 July 1789. I have found later traces of her son Richard John Baron, and according to the census in 1861 and 1871 he was born in 1793 in St Margaret’s Westminster. Now according to Westminster Abbey sources, Frances was late of Annonay, France. I cannot fathom a reason why they would live in France at that period. His name leads one to assume he was of French origin, but Revolutionary France is not a good place for a man with an English wife to be.

And this is why I believe that the reference in William Windham’s diary in 1789 of Mrs Guise having problems with her daughter’s in-laws is in reference to Frances. [11 Sept 1789 – page 186]. Newly married, etc…. Frances returned to England, and as a widow, married John Wright, also described as a member of the parish of Westminster. She had a son with John, John William Wright, who was born in 1802. She died in November of 1802, and was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey.


What is most interesting is the will written by Elizabeth Windham Guise. She died a widow, thus possessing the estate of her husband Richard. She left nothing to her daughter Sarah Elizabeth Guise-Cutler, and instead concentrated her interests in the children of her daughter Frances, specifically Richard John Baron, who on his mother’s death in 1802 was left an orphan.

“to pay the dividends of two thousand five hundred pounds of some one of the three percent annuities for the benefit of my grandson Richard John Baron now a cadet in the College at Woolwich until he shall attain the age of twenty one years and when he shall have attained the age of twenty-one years upon further trust to transfer unto him my said grandson Richard John Baron the said sum of two thousand five in one of the three percent annuities for his own use. . .”


I was able to trace a bit about Richard John Baron using the information from the census. In the census he stated that he was a Lt Colonel in the Royal Engineers. From a rather easy search made I was able to obtain his service records from the National Archives. [WO/25/3913 p 25] He served in the Royal Engineers from the 1 June 1810 to 1841, although he was on half pay until 1854. He served during the Napoleonic Wars in the Peninsula, in Canada during the War of 1812, and the Rebellions of 1838, and he also served in Bermuda. He started as a 2nd Lt, and left as a Lt Col. These records also show that he was married twice, first to Charlotte Bourtt in 1818 in Geneva, and 1845 to Mary Hughes in Middlesex. There were no children. He died in 1871.

I intend to find out what happened to his half brother.