[1] William Samuel Price III (1832-1903)

William Samuel Price III

Known to his family as “Willie”, his mother, Sarah, died before his second birthday. He was born in Poona, on 4th October 1832 and his early upbringing was entrusted to his grandmother, Mary, and then his step-mother, Margaret. At the time of the Scottish census in 1851 he was visiting his Dodds cousins in Scotland. He is recorded as staying with David and Margaret Wright (nee Dodds) on a farm at Gladsmuir, near Haddington, and is described as a student. He may have been educated in England or Scotland for some of the time, possibly at Haileybury College, but the details are not known.

He joined the Indian Civil Service on 2nd July 1856 as a supernumerary Sub-Assistant Superintendent in the Revenue Survey, his father’s Department. He initially worked in the Poona and Thana areas, and his record refers to him coming to India in 1851. This may confirm that he had been educated in Britain up until that year. His career seems to have been concentrated in the South Maratha area around Dharwar for a number of years. He is recorded in the 1868 Bombay Almanac as being in the ‘Mosfussil’ or suburbs of Bombay and employed as an Assistant Superintendent in the Revenue Survey. He was on an extended period of sick leave from 4th October 1876 to 26th June 1878.

The date of his marriage to Mary Elizabeth Urton was 6th December 1877, but a family locket with their monogrammed initials is dated 11th November 1877.

William Samuel Price III & Mary Elizabeth Urton – locket dated 11th November 1877

Pictures inside of locket

Mary was born in Bolehill, Derbyshire on 28th December 1857, the daughter of Frank and Ellen Urton, so she was 25 years younger than her husband.

The Urton Ancestry

Mary Elizabeth Urton, was the daughter of Frank Urton, a file cutter, of Kimberworth on the Derbyshire/Yorkshire border at the time of the 1861 census. Frank Urton had married Ellen Drabble in late 1855 and the Urton family can be traced back four generations to George Urton who married Elizabeth Marlow on 3rd November 1723 in the village of Cuckney in Nottinghamshire.

Frank and Ellen Urton had nine children between 1856 and 1877, he dying in mid-1889 and she in late 1912. Their children were:- Eunice (1856), Mary Elizabeth (1857), Eliza (1860), Ann (1863), Harry (1865), Rosa (1868), Hannah (1871), Frank (1874) and Tom Drabble Urton (1877).

Mary Elizabeth Price nee Urton

Mary Elizabeth Price nee Urton

William and Mary’s first child, Marie, was born in Dharwar on 25th August 1878. A son, William Samuel Price IV, followed on 9th July 1880. He was baptised in the Basel German Evangelical Mission Church in Dharwar on 5th September. His godparents were his grandfather (William Samuel Price II), William Henry Price, his uncle and Mary Ann Price, his aunt. As his grandfather had left India by this time, his father stood proxy for him at the ceremony.

William Samuel Price III in India

Mary Elizabeth Price nee Urton in India

More children followed during the remaining years of the couple’s time in India – Frank Urton Price (28th August 1882), Robert Locke Price (6th June 1883) and James Henry Wright Price (11th December 1888). On 4th October 1883, he signed his Will, leaving all of his possessions to his wife. The executor was to be his younger brother, Major Robert Locke Price. The Will mentions his household furnishings and apparel, books, plate, pictures, china, horses, carts and carriages, so the family must have been living to a high standard. He is said to have bred polo ponies in India.

Later in his career, he was transferred to be in charge of the Revenue Survey records for Dharwar and Bijapur on 1st July 1886 and was on privilege leave from 30th December 1887 to 1st March 1888. This is the last date on his Civil Service record, so probably marks his retirement. The family moved to the Channel Island of Guernsey shortly afterwards and they are to be found there for the 1891 census. At that time William and Mary were living at the Manor House, Havilland Road, St Peter Port, with the four youngest children, plus his elder sister, the unmarried Mary Ann Price and two servants. After Mary Elizabeth Price had a miscarriage around 3rd February 1892, the family grew still larger with three more children – John Steward Dodds Price (6th September 1893), Mary Ellen Price (19th December 1897 and Sarah Kathleen Marguerite Price (28th October 1899).

The Guernsey Manor House

Nicolas Corbin built the Manor House on land purchased in 1780 on meadow called “Le Manoir”. The house is taller at the back than the front because it lies on sloping land. Over the next few years adjoining land was bought until the holding was a considerable size for the Island. Fort George was later built on the nearby cliffs and an approach road to the fort split the Manor House lands. The house has extensive cellars that were originally servants’ quarters, kitchen, scullery, pantry, wine and coal cellars and larders. On the ground floor were a drawing room, dining room, breakfast room, sitting room and smoking room. Two staircases (one for the servants at the back) led up to six bedrooms and above these were attic rooms, probably originally servants’ bedrooms. Attached to the back of the house are a washroom, saddle room and stables. Across the rear courtyard is coach house. During the Second World War the occupying German Army used the lands to keep horses and the soldiers caring from them were billeted in the Manor House. Towards the end of the War, with fuel in short supply, the house was stripped of everything wooden, including furniture and the staircase rails, for heating. In a first floor bedroom, facing the rear garden, young Marie Price left a pane of glass etched with the inscription “M Price”.

Manor House, Guernsey circa 1900

“M Price” scratched on a rear bedroom window of the Manor House

They were still at the Manor House for the 1901 census with Marie, Robert, James, John and Sarah, but no servants living-in at the house. William Samuel Price III died at the house, of meningitis, on 6th February 1903. The local newspaper, The Star, mentioned his passing in an obituary notice as being “late Bombay Revenue Survey Department (Indian papers please copy)”.

He was buried in Foulon Cemetery in St Peter Port, (in “New Grave E, No.63”) but his family, now without his full pension as income, had to find somewhere cheaper to live and decided moved to Edinburgh soon after his death. His grave is about 25m into the cemetery from the Foulon Road entrance. The simple small headstone reads “In Loving Memory of WILLIAM SAMUEL PRICE LATE OF THE INDIAN CIVIL SERVICE WHO DIED FEBRUARY THE 6th 1903 AGED 70 YEARS”.

Mary Elizabeth Price brought up her younger children in Edinburgh in difficult financial circumstances. When her son, James Henry Wright Price enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1914 (see below), he gave his mother as next-of-kin and her address as 84 East Clarendon Street, Edinburgh. In old age she moved into a nursing home at Sevenoaks, Kent, to be near her daughter, Mary Ellen Seager. She died there on 16th April 1935.

All of the male children of William Samuel Price III of school age attended Elizabeth College, St Peter Port. This prestigious establishment was founded in about 1565 and the present buildings were started in 1826 when the school took the new name of “Royal College of Elizabeth”.

William Samuel Price III gravestone in Foulon Cemetery, St Peter Port

Elizabeth College, St Peter Port where William Samuel Price IIIs’ sons attended school

All of William Samuel Price III’s eight children survived into adulthood, but Frank Urton Price, unmarried, died of typhoid in the Boer War in 1901. He was a Private in the 17th (Duke of Cambridge Own) Lancers and died at Aliwal North, on the border of Cape Colony and the Orange Free State, on 17th June that year. His name is commemorated on the Boer War Memorial in St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Frank Urton Price

Frank Urton Price listed on the Boer War Memorial, St Peter Port

Robert Locke Price and Sarah Kathleen Marguerite Price never married dying in Canada in 1957 and in the Duns area of the Borders region of Scotland in 1985, aged 86, respectively. The former died on 20th October 1957 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is described as being "a red-haired imp" when a child and in later life he was a merchant seaman but seems to have been over-fond of the bottle.

An Army Enlistment document for Robert Locke Price survives dated 11th July 1908. On the form he gave his age as 18 years and 10 months, fixing his birth as late 1889, but this appears to be false as the other information on the form suggests that he is WSP III’s son. He gave his occupation as an engineer, born in India and that he had some military experience already in the 1st Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, a militia formation. He was in the Lincolnshire Regiment in 1902-1905 and enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1914 as he was in Quebec at this time, his occupation being that of a storekeeper.

Robert Locke Price

Sarah Kathleen Marguerite Price

Marie Price emigrated to Canada and married William Smith at Holy Trinity Church, Yonge St, Toronto on 20th April 1921. She had a child, William Francis Urton Smith on 10th April 1922, but he died of diphtheria in the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto on 6th March 1925. It seems likely that the Smiths could not have any more children, as they adopted a boy called Christopher. He became a photographer in Toronto, married and had six children. Marie visited the UK in 1953 and in a letter to her brother, William Samuel Price IV in the Philippines (see below) told of seeing their brother and sister in Scotland (John Steward Dodds Price – “Jack” and his daughter Dorothy and Sarah Kathleen Marguerite Price – “Kay”). She went on the see another sister, Mary Ellen, who had married George Wilfred Seager, and her family in Shoreham, Sussex. Marie Smith died in Canada in 1963.

Marie, William Samuel IV, Frank Urton and Robert Locke Price

Marie Price in India 1881

John Stewart Dodds Price remained in Scotland after his family moved there in 1903, marrying twice and having two daughters, Margot Margaret and Dorothy, one by each wife. He ran a garage in Edinburgh and died in Scotland.

John Stewart Dodds Price

Marie, Mary Ellen and Sarah Kathleen Marguerite Price

Marie Smith nee Price

Mary Ellen Price became a surgeon, married Geoffrey Wilfred Seager in 1929, and worked for some years in Persia.

Mary Ellen Price graduating at the University of Edinburgh

James Henry Wright Price

James Henry Wright Price married twice and his four children and their descendants live in Canada, the USA and Europe. He was a bank clerk in 1914 when he enlisted in the Canadian Army on 5th November in Winnipeg and served in France in World War I. He stayed active in the reserves between the wars, with the South Saskatchewan Regiment, and was activated at the outbreak of the World War II in 1939. The photograph of him below was taken in Derbyshire in 1941 and it is interesting to speculate if he was trying to trace some of his Urton forebears whilst in England. He died in 1971.

James Henry Wright Price in the Army in Derbyshire, 1941

James Henry Wright Price with his wife, Sigga

The eldest son, William Samuel Price IV, enjoyed an adventurous life, joining the 17th Lancers on 22nd January 1900 in Guernsey and serving with his brother Frank in the Boer War. He was discharged on 6th January 1903, shortly before his father’s death and moved to Scotland with his mother and the rest of his family. He was employed for a short time in the Burgh Assessors Office in the second half of 1903 and then moved to Tyneside to join the South Shield Docks and Piers Police. He was working there from December 1903 to early 1904, but soon moved on down to London. There he joined the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and stayed with them for some time. He emigrated to Canada, via New York and Baltimore, and spent some time in Calgary until moving back to the USA in 1908. He arrived in Kingsgate, Idaho on 25th May of that year and on 26th January 1909 signed a Declaration of Intention to become a Naturalised Citizen of the United States.

William Samuel Price IV in the 17th Lancers

William Samuel Price IV

He resided for a time in Spokane, Washington, joined the Army Medical Corps then was sent to the Philippines in 1909, where he married a Japanese woman. Little is known of this marriage and no children are known to have been born as a result of it. He then married Sittijanon Idlani and they had five children before her death in 1945. He endured the Japanese occupation in World War II and died in 1963.

The descendants of William Samuel III and Mary Elizabeth Price

The family of William Samuel Price II’s son, William Samuel Price IV, who live mainly in the Philippines, make up the largest part of the whole Price Family. His children were – Gladys Margaret Price (1925-2008), who married but had no children; Frances Kathleen Price (b. 1928) who has four children ; Robert Locke Price (b. 1930) who has seven children; Frank Urton Price (1933-1992) who had five children, including Vivian Maribelle Price; and James Wright Price (1936-1999) who had five children.

As described earlier, William Samuel Price III’s sons Frank Urton Price (1881-1901) and Robert Locke Price (1883-1957) had no children. His eldest daughter Marie Price (1878-1963) had one son who died in childhood and then an adopted son. His youngest daughter Sarah Kathleen Marguerite Price (1899-1988) never married.

William Samuel Price III’s fifth child, James Henry Wright Price (1888-1971) married twice and had four children – Edwin James Price (b.1928), Frank Elding Price, Paul William Price (b. 1934) and Sheila Dale Price (b.1938).

The next son, John Stewart Dodds Price (1893-1968) had two daughters, Margaret (b. 1928) and Dorothy Ann (b. 1939).

Finally, his daughter Mary Ellen Price (1897-1975), married George Wilfred Seager in 1929. She gave birth to twin boys in 1930; one was still-born and the other died shortly after birth – Walter W. M. Seager. She then had a son, Geoffrey Wilfred Michael Seager in 1931 and two daughters, Janet Marguerite Seager in 1934 andNorah Winifred Seager in 1938. Mary Ellens’ descendants live in Britain and India and she died in 1975 in Kent. Her husband died in 1977.