First I would like to begin this update on the Guise-Cutler history with an update on the other posts I have written in the last couple of weeks. I have been busy making enquiries and continuing my research on this line, and was fortunate enough this week to have received emails from the archivists at Eton College and St George’s Chapel, Windsor. I had written to them to find out if Richard Guise had been associated with their institutions, and so as to prove or lend credence to the idea that Richard was a tutor at Eton, and that measures were made to keep him away from his brother in law William Windham, when he was a student there.

Many many thanks go to Penny Hatfield, Eton College Archivist, and to Eleanor Cracknell, Assistant Archivist, St George’s Chapel Archives and Chapter Library.

So here are more details to add to the story. Richard Guise was lay clerk at Eton College (1755/6 -1792/3) and St George’s (1756-1794). Apparently at the time the two institutions were tied closely together and shared personnel. A lay clerk is a person employed by church to sing the more complicated parts of the service. As to his social level, I am still uncertain. I am guessing they are above the menial, but they are employed, and perhaps not on par with what William Windham would have wanted for his daughter. I keep getting in my mind that they could be considered the pop-stars of the time- don’t know. Ms Hatfield recommended a book, “A Quire of Voices” which should provide some details of this, but it is $70 used, so I will wait until I feel more flush.

In addition to this material, Ms Cracknell provided the baptismal information for his two daughters. I had already found Sarah Elizabeth through and but had had problems trying to find her sister Frances. I have a feeling this difficulty lies in indexing of these sources for these databases, because she found her baptismal information in the church’s registers. Frances was born the 24 March 1772, and baptized the 20th of April that same year in St George’s Chapel. She also mentioned where the Guise family lived, Horseshoe Cloister at Windsor Castle.

And now I will turn my attention to Sarah Elizabeth Guise Cutler…
So far in the Guise odyssey I have concentrated on Elizabeth Windham Guise, but of course I am interested in her because of her daughter Sarah Elizabeth, from whom I am descended.

In my last Guise-Cutler post (August 25, 2013) I talked about Elizabeth Windham, and her daughter Frances Guise Baron Wright. When we last left this story, I talked about how Elizabeth had left £2500 of 3 percents to her orphaned grandson. There is more work to do on this topic, as I got this information from the Bank of England summary, and not the actual will. When I feel flush again I will download it from the National Archives website.

I started this epic journey when I was searching my Cutler antecedents, so it is to them that I will turn now. As I mentioned in an earlier post I was searching out my great many times ancestor John Cutler who died in 1843. So what do I have now, and who were these people?
Roger Cutler was a plumber in Eton. From what I can get about him, and there isn’t much right now (work to be done- oh my what a long list!) he was part owner of the Windsor and Eton waterworks with a Mr Davis. According to a history of the waterworks (….) the Cutler family held control of the works from 1747 to 1888. I also found mention of Roger Cutler, plumber, in a history of the house called “Shardeloes” in Amersham, Bucks. According to this history Roger Cutler, local plumber worked on the building (construction 1758-66). He appears to have died before 1785, as I found a document listed for the Essex Archives which states that his wife Mary (nee Bold) was a widow. I found their marriage was 16 May 1753 in Boughton, Kent. They had 5 children that I have been able to discover: John b 1756, William Henry b 1754, Mary b 1757, Thomas b 1760 and Charles b 1762.

Now on to his son the Rev John Cutler. He was a student at Eton College, and is listed as a graduate in 1775. So he would have been a student there when his future father in law was working in there and in Windsor. I imagine that is how he met Sarah Elizabeth Guise. Following his education at Eton (Exeter College) he obtained his BA at Oxford in 1779. He became a deacon that year [Clergy database]There are several references both from Cambridge and Oxford that he served as Chaplain on the Hero in Sir Edward Hughes’ Fleet to the East Indies. From what I can gather this is a fleet sent to the East Indies to engage the Americans during the Revolutionary War (1778-1783). This did not end well for the British. On his return he married Sarah Guise in London, at St Margaret’s Church, next to Westminster Abbey (18 July 1786). He was already assistant Master at Rugby School (1784-7). He was ordained in 1787 and became headmaster of Dorchester Free School. He stayed there a while, and then obtained his MA from Cambridge University in 1790. In 1792 he became headmaster of Sherborne School in Dorset.

It is at Sherborne where most of his children were born, including my ancestor John Cutler. It is to be assumed that all of his sons were educated there, although the school only has records for his son Richard, who followed in his father’s footsteps at Oxford, becoming a headmaster and being ordained and Henry. John did not go to Oxford. I find him working in the Ordnance office about 1810. Not sure how this worked, whether he was apprenticed or whether or not he just worked his way up.

But work there he did, and when he was married it was a prime point of identification for him: [The Times, 30 December 1824, page 30 ]”On the 24th instant, at St. Mary’s, Newington, John Cutler, Esq., of the Ordnance Department, Tower, to Louisa, daughter of Thomas Freak, Esq., of Blackheath.”

Now back to the parents. The Rev John Cutler retired from Sherborne in 1823. His departure must have caused much grief, a celebratory dinner was held for him in 1821 [Salisbury and Winchester Journal] where he was feted by alumni and friends. He became rector of the church in Patney, Wiltshire in 1815 until his death in 1833. [According to a history of Patney there was a tendency for their rectors to not actually live in the area, and have assistants run the parish for them]

As to Sarah Elizabeth, well there is not much to be said. A history of Sherborne School suggests that she was not happy, and had expensive tastes. This was based on the mention of William Windham in his diary that Mrs Guise’s daughter was having problems in 1789 [the same year her younger sister Frances was married] , and that Sarah wrote to her uncle in 1795 to ask about her husband’s military pension. I am not entirely convinced. I am thinking that when there is time I ought to investigate Windham’s correspondence, since, unlike his diary for which the book in the 1860s was written from, they still exist.

According to newspapers announcing his death, the Rev John Cutler died [Morning Post, 7 March 1833] in the home of his son Edward Cutler on Sackville Street in London. His wife Sarah died 5 months later in the house of her son John in Kennington, Surrey. [Sherborne Mercury, 5 August 1833] Curious to know why there was this difference in residence. Were they just visiting their children and happen to die there, or were they resident with the family at the time of their deaths?

So this is where the story currently lies. I have yet to get more information on John Cutler’s son William Henry Cutler. It is clear from several sources that he inherited the family’s interest in the Windsor waterworks, but the waterworks were in the hands of John’s uncle William Henry, who I believe died in 1829 – without heirs? I have some mention of John inheriting some land in Eton from his uncle, but not the waterworks.

I also want to investigate Louisa Freak Cutler’s son born a few years into her widowhood, and also examine her family more to see how they lived close to one another or interacted. I found some census information that have some nieces living with an uncle’s family in the 1860s. I also found a connection to a lawyer who was related to her through her Freak connections. I am especially interested in the Camberwell area and how they settled at different times there.