The Thompson and Selves families

One of my great-grandfathers, on my mother’s side, was George Selves who lived in Clapton, East London. He married Margaret Miall in 1877; the family travelled to Iquique, now in Chile but prior to the Pacific War of 1879 in Peru, where George managed a bank. 

There were four children, Margaret Eliza (1878), George (1879), Charles (1881-84) and Herbert Samuel who was born in Iquique in 1883. For whatever reason, Margaret decided to return to England with her two surviving children in 1888 on the steamship Gulf of St Vincent. At some point,”when the balance of her mind was disturbed”, Margaret threw herself overboard, leaving the two children and their nursemaid to complete the journey to England alone. George died in Iquique in 1890 so the two orphaned children were raised by their grandparents, the Mialls.

Another of my great-grandfathers was Charles Thompson, a silk merchant with a large house on High Road, North Finchley, called Colebrooke. With his wife, Margaret Palferran née Smith, he had seven children. There must have been a social connection with the Miall/Selves family, because brother and sister Edward (Eddie) and Margaret Helen (Marjory, Margie?) Thompson married sister and brother Margaret Eliza (Daisy) and Herbert Samuel (Bert) Selves. Daisy was a teacher of French, at Kilmorey House, St Margarets, and was married to Herbert in nearby St Stephen’s, Twickenham, on 9 June 1908, given away by her grandfather, John Herbert Miall. They had one daughter, Margaret Grace, known as Peggy and moved to Westcliffe-on-Sea in Essex where they built a house called Cranfield. Peggy lived there until her death in 2007. Herbert married Margaret and they had two daughters, Margaret Anne (1921-2005), my mother, and Barbara Joan (1923-2003). Margaret died in 1926 from nephritis compounded by unsuccessful surgery. 

Herbert (Bert) Selves was clearly a close family member of the Thompsons, appearing in several of the photographs, and seems to have been particularly fond of riding the motorbike and sidecar, with or without equine assistance. He served in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, flying spotter balloons in Egypt. On retiring from Northmet (the North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Company) he moved to Fowey, Cornwall, where he died in 1964.

Anthony Garrett

Note on the photos from Allan Thompson

These photographs were taken from a glass slide collection of Mr Allan C Thompson living at 92, Mount Grace Road, Potters Bar, EN6 1QY, (01707 655043), in 2000.

Allan’s grandfather, Charles Thompson, owned and lived at Colebrooke, High Road, North Finchley, N12. This was a large house with an orchard on the west side of the road about 150 metres south of Christ Church. His grandmother was a Smith from Yorkshire.

Their sons were Harold, Charles Carby (Alan’s father), Ernest and Eddy. Their daughters were Grace, Dorothy and Margaret (Marjory). The Thompson's were Silk Merchants in Wood Street Barnet (?).  

The glass slides were taken by Eddy Thompson, mostly in the early 1900s.

Frederick East, FAH, married Grace Thompson and was a Hertfordshire County Councillor and lived at Pryors Corner, Totteridge. He bought the Green man Pub at Whetstone in 1925/26 and converted it into a garage, managed by Charles Thompson junior, Alan's father, who lived over the garage. Bert Selves became Chief Electrical Engineer at Northmet Brimsdown Power Station.

Henry Sykes was a Brig. Gen. and Govenor in Bombay. Many of the photos are taken at Colebrooke and others at Chapel St. Leonards, Lincolnshire where they spent their holidays at the family cottage.