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Charles BROWN CONSTABLE (1807-1887)

Biographical Details

Charles Brown Constable (1807-1887) was the grandfather of Mela Brown Constable (fiancée of Cyril Sladden).

Charles Brown Constable was born at St Petersburg, Russia, on 20th March 1807, the fourth of eight children of Laurence Brown Constable, a merchant, and his wife, Anne (née Sanders).  Four years earlier, Charles’ father had changed his name from Laurence Brown to Laurence Brown Constable when he inherited a Scottish estate from his uncle, George Constable.  George Constable had purchased the estate in 1779.  Having no children, he wished Laurence (the eldest son of his sister, Matilda) to succeed to the estate on condition that he added to his patronymic the name of Constable (by virtue of a deed of entail executed on the 23d February 1796).

Charles embarked on a military career and went out to India where he joined the 18th Bengal Native Infantry and rapidly rose until he attained the rank of Colonel.

On 8th June 1830 at Jubbulpore, West Bengal, India, Charles married Helen Elizabeth Dennison.  They had four sons and one daughter:  Emily Elizabeth (1831-?), William Charles (1833-1886), Charles Laurence (1838-1870), Francis Richard Arabin (1840-1897) and George Dennison (1842-1862).

Helen died at some stage in the 1840s and Charles married again to Mary Christina Mackenzie, some 25 years his junior, on 14th December 1849 at Feorozepore, Bengal.  Mary became step-mother to his four sons.  Charles and Mary went on to have seven sons and five daughters of her own:  Henry Alexander (1854-1916), Kenneth Francis (1855-1885), Matilda Henrietta (1857-1917), Laurence David (1859-1930), Emelia Mackenzie (1861-1874), Albert Edward (1863-1928), Frederick Lyon (1864-1942), Mary Octavia (1865-1944), Arthur John (1867-?), Bedford (1869-1930), Margaret Augusta (1870-1951) and Clementina Stirling (1872-1956).

Life changed for the Brown Constables in 1852 when Charles’ older brother, William, died on 19th July.  Although only the fourth son of Laurence, Charles inherited the estate in 1852 on William’s death, as his two other older brothers, Laurence and George, had died in 1829 and 1831 respectively.  The estate which Charles inherited was the Wallace Craigie estate near Dundee. 

The Brown Constable family left India in the early 1850s and went to live in Scotland where their eldest son, Henry Alexander, was born in 1854.  By September 1855, they had moved to Cheltenham and were living at Wellesley Villa, Cheltenham; by December 1859 they had moved to 1 Lansdown Place, Cheltenham.

Charles Brown Constable died at Cheltenham on 10th February 1887 and was buried in Cheltenham Cemetery.  His 16-year-old grandson, Charles William Nelson Brown Constable, inherited.  By the time of Colonel Brown Constable’s death, much of the Wallace Craigie estate was covered in mills and factories in Dundee.  One of the new streets was named Brown Constable Street in honour of the deceased proprietor.

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