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John MOURILYAN (1808-1900)

Biographical Details

John Mourilyan (1808-1900) was the father of Eugénie Narcisse Mourilyan who married Julius Sladden in 1877.  As Eugénie and Julius were second cousins, John was also related to Julius, being his first-cousin-once-removed.

John Mourilyan was born at Wootton, Kent, in 1808, the eldest of three children of John Mourilyan and his wife, Susannah.  John became a solicitor, being admitted in 1827.  He practised in Sandwich where at one time he held the post of Town Clerk and other offices in the Borough.

On 30th December 1828 at St Mary’s, Sandwich, aged just 20, John married Christina Smith Solly.  They had four sons and two daughters in very quick succession, all born at Sandwich and baptized at St Clements, Sandwich:  John (1830-1855), George Noakes (1831-1870), William Henry Solly (1832-1864), Walter (1834-1882), Christian Solly (1835-1850) and Mary Fanny (1836-1836).  Christina died in January 1837, possibly in childbirth.

John married again on 29th July 1840 at Holy Trinity, Tunbridge Wells, Kent; his bride was Mary Anna Wood.  At the time of the 1841 census, John and Mary lived at Strand Street, Sandwich, with George, William, Walter and Christian, the four youngest of his five surviving children; the eldest son, John, was a boarder at the Kings School, Canterbury.

John and Mary went on to have five sons and three daughters:  Edmund John Thomas Judge (1841-1882), Thomas Burton (1843-1879), Mary Anna (1845-1924), Frederick James (1846-1927), Augustus Giraud (1848-?), Fanny Eliza Jacqueline (1849-1927), Joseph William Ralph (1852-1927) and Eugénie Narcisse (1854-1916). 

The Mourilyans were still at Strand Street, Sandwich, in 1851.  John and Mary lived there with George (a law student and John’s son by his first marriage), Edward, Thomas, Frederick, Augustus, Fanny and four servants. 

Some time between August 1852 (the baptism of Joseph) and December 1854 (the birth of Eugénie), John and Mary and the children by the second marriage moved to Paris where John set up a practice at 370 Rue St Honoré.

Mary died at Paris in March 1869 when her youngest daughter, Eugénie, was 14 years old.  By this time, some of the older children had left home and were living in England.

The Mourilyans had to flee from Paris at the time of the siege of Paris in 1870.  At the time of the 1871 census, widower John Mourilyan was in London with his two youngest daughters, Fanny and Eugénie, living on Great Coram Street.  They had returned to Paris by 1872.  According to an article entitled, “History of the English legal profession in Paris - 1850-2000”, the Law List for England and Wales for 1880 (which, from 1863 began including “foreign lawyers”, ie English lawyers with practices abroad) records John as having offices in Paris, Lyons and Marseilles as well as in Bruges and Brussels in Belgium.  By this time he had sons who had trained in the law, so they may well have been based at the branch offices.

John continued to split his time between England and Paris, staying either with his sisters, Polly or Fanny, in England, or lodging at 21 The Green, Richmond.  In Paris he lived firstly at Avenue Wagram and then, by 1877, at 188 Boulevard Haussmann.

John died on 27th February 1900 in Paris, aged 92.  An article in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald of 17th March 1900 contained the following report:

By the death, at the ripe age of 92 years, of Mr John Mourilyan, Sandwich is relieved from the payment of £112 per annum.  Mr Mourilyan once held the offices of Town Clerk of Sandwich and Clerk of the Peace, but about the time of the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1935, he was form some reason removed from these positions, and he brought an action against the Corporation for compensation for the loss of the Town Clerkship.  The Court held that Mr Mourilyan had been granted the appointment during good behavior, or practically for life, and the consequently he was entitled to compensation for being deprived of his office.  The compensation awarded was a annuity of £112 for life.  Mr Mourilyan died on the 23rd of February, in Paris, where he resided during recent years.  Thus a curious charge on the Sandwich Corporation revenues lapses, after 64 years.

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