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The barons Silsoe

their cousinship with
Jean Margaret (Kennedy) Mitchelson
through the Borden family

Adam Hart-Davis
Dr. Adam Hart-Davis
brother of the Baroness Silsoe

Sir Rupert Hart-Davis
father of the Baroness Silsoe

The 2nd Baron Silsoe, of Silsoe in Bedfordshire, whose wife’s American ancestry figures here, is himself a Canadian on his mother’s side, being son of the first baron, Sir (Arthur) Malcolm Trustram Eve, sometime Chairman of the Boundary Commission for England and Wales, by his first wife, Marguerite, daughter of Sir Augustus Meredith Nanton, of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    The Borden-Turners’ ancestress Mary Borden (1886-1968), who wrote under her real name and also under the nom-de-plume of Bridget Maclagan, was a novelist, perhaps best known for The King of the Jews. In the DNB entry for her second husband, it is stated that during the World War II, “She equipped and ran a highly efficient hospital and ambulance unit for the Free French forces, which she accompanied throughout the whole of the campaigns in North Africa, the Levant, and later in France.” Her husband is said to have been a great admirer of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (whom we show on his own chart), and it is interesting to note that she was related (although distantly) to Churchill through the Wilcoxes.
    Her son-in-law, the distinguished and incredibly prolific man of letters Sir Rupert Charles Hart-Davis, had some interesting family connections. He and his children acknowledge that he was not the son of his mother’s husband, Richard Hart-Davis. His mother, who had many lovers, was herself a great-granddaughter (matrilineally) of Elizabeth FitzClarence (1801-1856), an illegitimate daughter of King William IV. Sir Rupert was father not only of Bridget, of whom we treat below, but of Peter Duff Hart-Davis (1936-), the well-known historian and biographer, and of Dr. Adam Hart-Davis (1943-), the famous television producer and presenter, whose work includes the long-running series Local Heroes.

                Richard Borden   = Joan Fowle
             of Portsmouth, R.I. | (ca. 1604-1688)
                 (1596-1671)     |
             |                                         |
        John Borden                               Mary Borden
     of Portsmouth, R.I.                     (1623-before 1691)
        (1640-1716)                              = John Cooke
      = Mary Earle                               of Portsmouth
     (ca. 1655-1734)                             (1630-1691)
             |                                         |
        Thomas Borden                           Hannah Cooke
         (1682-1745)                           (ca. 1660-1736)
= (as 1st husband) Mary Briggs                = Daniel Wilcox
      living 1727-1745+                       of Dartmouth, Mass.,
              |                                (ca. 1656-?)
              |                                        |
        Joseph Borden                            Daniel Wilcox
        (1733-1763+)                            (ca. 1680-1721)         
    =  Catherine Turner                         = Sarah ----
      living 1751-1763                             living 1721
              |                                        | 
         John Borden                             William Wilcox
         (1752-1828)                              (1711-1743)
    = (2) Sarah Shearman                        = Dorothy Allen
       living 1784-1803                           (1707-1782)
              |                                        |
       John Borden, Jr.                          Benjamin Wilcox
         (1785-1824)                              (1737-1816)
  He had, by one of his two wives:              = Elsie Lanning
              |                                   (1739-1805)
              |                                        |
       John Borden (III)                         Daniel Wilcox
   of Chicago, Illinois, lawyer                 (ca. 1771-1857)
founder of New Providence, Indiana               = Mary McIntyre
          (1825-)                                 (1775-1816)
  = (1) Alice Jane Wood                                |
        (d. 1852)                                      |
              |                                        |
       William Borden                            Jemima Wilcox
of Chicago, mining industrialist                  (1801-1876)
         (1850-1896)                           = Francis Comfort
  = Mary DeGama Whiting                           (1800-1880)
        (living 1886)                                  |
              |_________                               |
                       |                               |
George Douglas = (1) Mary (2) = Sir Edward Louis  Margaret Comfort
    Turner     |    Borden,     Spears, 1st Bt.    (1833-1916)
               |   novelist       (1886-1974)    = John Kennedy (IV)
               |  1886-1968        (see DNB)       (1832-1897)
               |                                       |
Catherine Comfort Borden-Turner                 John Kennedy (V)
     (apparently d. by 1999)                       (1862-1939)
= (as 2nd w) Sir Rupert Charles Hart-Davis      Susanna Samantha 
    of Henley-on-Thames, Oxforshire,             Helena Young
& Marske-in-Swaledale, Richmond, North Yorks.,    (1882-1937)
   author, editor, & publisher                         |
         (1907-1999)                                   |
              |                                        |
    Bridget Min Hart-Davis                  Jean Margaret Kennedy
           (1935-)                                (1917-2000)
= David Malcolm Trustram Eve, Q.C.        = Richard Harry Mitchelson    
   2nd Baron Silsoe (succ. 1976)                  (1914-1998)
           (1930-)                            of Winnipeg, Manitoba
              |                           (my natural grandparents)
     Simon Rupert Trustram Eve
heir apparent to the barony of Silsoe

Thanks to Mr. Roger Bradshaw, of Silsoe, for sending a correction of a geographical error. In preparing this page we have consulted the following sources:

  • George Andrews Moriarty, “Genealogical Research in England: The Bordens of Headcorn, co. Kent,” NEHGR 84 (1930): 70-84, 225-29.
  • George Andrews Moriarty, “Genealogical Research in England: Fowle-Borden,” NEHGR 75 (1921): 227-33.
  • Hattie Borden Weld, Historical and Genealogical Record of the descendants … of Richard and Joan Borden, who settled in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, May 1638… (Albany, 1899), pp. 35-40, 48-55, 70-72, 97, 127, 149-50, 201, 260.
  • National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 13:365-6 (for William Borden).
  • Contemporary Authors, Permanent Series, vol. 1 (for Mary Borden).
  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1971-1980 Supplement (for Sir Edward Spears)
  • Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage, 104th ed. (1967) (Spears, Silsoe).
  • Who’s Who, 1992 (for Sir Rupert Hart-Davis, David Malcolm Trustram Eve, s.v. “Silsoe”)
  • Burke’s Landed Gentry, 17th ed. (1952) (Hart-Davis).
  • “Obituaries: Sir Rupert Hart-Davis,” The Guardian, 10 Dec. 1999.
  • Debrett’s Illustrated Peerage, 1980 (Silsoe).
  • The Complete Peerage, 14 (Addenda & Corrigenda, 1998), p. 837 (Silsoe).

Return to list of famous relatives

From the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson
URL = johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/famous/Silsoe.html
This page written 5 January 2002
Revised 5 February 2007