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Old 01-06-23, 08:38
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Default Who Do You Think You Are - Andrew Lloyd Webber 1st Jun

On BBC1 at 9 p.m. and repeated next Tuesday on BBC1 at 11:20 p.m.
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Old 01-06-23, 21:50
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Episode summary:

Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in London in 1948. His brother Julian Lloyd Webber is three years younger than him. Their mother was a piano teacher, and their father was an academic musician and also a church organist. Andrew's daughter Imogen helped him look through their family archive of photos, documents, etc. Andrew's maternal grandparents were Charles C G Johnstone and Laura M Hemans, known as Molly, and they got divorced when Andrew's mother was young. The family moved away from Harrow after Andrew's uncle Alastair I C Johnstone drowned in a boating accident at the age of 18, in 1935.

In amongst the documents in the family archive was a copy of Andrew's mother's family tree, going back to Andrew's 4xg-grandparents Thomas and Jane Maitland. One of their sons, Andrew's 4xg-uncle General Sir Peregrine Maitland, fought at the Battle of Waterloo. Andrew went to the Royal College of Arms and met an Officer of Arms who showed him the Maitland family tree, and a painting of the Battle of Waterloo showing Peregrine next to the Duke of Wellington. Peregrine led the attack on the Imperial Guard at the battle, and was later knighted and granted a coat of arms. His pedigree showed that he was descended from Katherine Willoughby and her second husband Richard Bertie, who were Andrew's 12xg-grandparents. Katherine's first husband was Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

Andrew went to Katherine's family home in Suffolk (Parham Old Hall? I don't think they said but I assume so) and met the current owner. He also met a Tudor historian who showed him an indenture dated 20 Nov 1527 whereby Henry VIII sold the 8-year-old Katherine's wardship to Charles Brandon, and a report of Charles and Katherine's marriage when they were aged 49 and 14 respectively, Charles's previous wife having died. The couple went to live at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire, so Andrew went there and met the castle curator who showed him paintings of Katherine and Charles, and an account by the Bishop of Winchester of a dinner at the castle. In 1545, when Katherine was 26, Charles died, and Katherine later married Richard Bertie, who was her "gentleman usher", two years older than her, and had been educated at Oxford. Andrew was shown a portrait of Richard.

Richard and Katherine were Protestants and had to flee the country, with their baby daughter Susan, in 1553 when Mary I came to the throne, as Mary was anti-Protestant. Their second child, Andrew's 11xg-grandfather Peregrine Bertie, was born at Wesel in Germany and was named Peregrine after the family's peregrinations. The family returned to Grimsthorpe when Elizabeth I came to the throne and Katherine lived for another 20 years.

Andrew then turned to his father's side of the family. He knew that his grandfather, William Charles Henry Webber was a plumber and sang in church choirs. He met up with his cousin Anne who confirmed this and showed him a photo of their grandparents (their grandmother died before Andrew and Anne were born) and a review of a concert at Raynes Park Conservative Club in which Mr W C H Webber, a tenor, performed. There were photos of him, including one of him in the Coronation Choir in 1937 (the coronation of George VI.) William's birth certificate showed that he was born in East Battersea in 1886, his parents being William Southcombe Webber and Alfreda Charlotte Honor Simmonds. William sr and Alfreda's marriage certificate showed that her father was Henry Samuel Simmonds, a missionary in London's City Mission.

Andrew went to the George Tavern in East London to meet an historian who showed him a record of Henry's interview when he applied to work at the mission at the age of 23. It said that he had previously wanted to be an actor. Andrew was also shown extracts from Henry's journals. In 1865 Henry became a missionary to navvies constructing the railways south of the river and so moved to Battersea. Andrew went to St Mary's Church in Battersea and met an historian who showed him a book, "All About Battersea", which was written by Henry, and a letter which Henry wrote to the South London Press after his 10-year-old son Edward fell into the Thames and was drowned. Andrew was also shown Henry's obituary from 1892.

Andrew then met a genealogist who had been researching his family tree to find any musical ancestors. His 4xg-grandparents' marriage licence from 1788 showed that his 4xg-grandfather Samuel Simmonds was a musician, of Portsmouth. His 4xg-grandmother was Angelica Alexis Magito, and her father Henry Alexis Magito was also a musician. The earliest mention of the name Magito which the genealogist had found in the British Newspaper Archive was an advert in the Newcastle Courant in 1741 for a show which included the rope dancer Meneer [= Mr] Magito, suggesting that the family may have been Dutch.

Andrew went to The National Archives of the Netherlands, in the Hague, and met a musical historian who showed him Henry Alexis Magito's baptism record from 29 Jun 1732, which named his parents as Johannes Alexis Magito and Huberta. There was a contract dated 19 May 1727 regarding Johannes's circus tent at the Great Italian Show which toured the Netherlands. Andrew was also shown a picture of Pieter Magito, a Dutch rope dancer and ice skater. The marriage banns of Johannes Alexis Magito's parents showed that his father was Alexander Masitoi of Dunkirk. One of Henry's brothers was Alexis Magito, a cellist. Andrew went to Leiden where Alexis lived and met a musician who showed him a piece of music written by Alexis, which was published in Cambridge in 1765. Andrew then went to King's College in Cambridge and met the music librarian who showed him a copy of an engraving from 1767 showing a group of musicians including Alexis (Andrew's 6xg-uncle). There was also a concert bill from 1764 which mentioned "Mr. Alexis". Andrew then went to see Julian to tell him about what he had found out.
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Last edited by kiterunner; 02-06-23 at 17:43. Reason: add episode summary
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Old 01-06-23, 21:58
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Celia Imrie's 3xg-grandmother was a Diana Bertie, so I wonder whether she is distantly related to Andrew. A public tree on Ancestry has Diana Bertie's grandfather as a Peregrine Bertie, so I would think so.

Also Peregrine Worsthorne's (the writer and broadcaster, who died in 2020) grandmother was a Lady Alice Josephine Bertie, according to Wikipedia, so he must have been another relative of both of them.

I do prefer episodes where they concentrate on more recent ancestors, instead of zooming back to 12xg-grandparents and the like.
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Old 02-06-23, 08:03
ElizabethHerts ElizabethHerts is offline
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OH and I really enjoyed this episode. We thought ALW was fab and he seemed to really enjoy the whole experience. I don't mind going back so far as the distant ancestors interest me just as much as the more recent ones.
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Old 02-06-23, 10:34
Olde Crone Olde Crone is offline
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I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, but more as a documentary than a "how to do genealogy". I preferred the old format that told you step by step how to find out.

I am always irritated when some rich and famous person says "I've always wondered..." Well, if it was such a puzzle, why didn't you employ a professional genealogist then!

I thought Julian seemed more put out than amazed by the cellist ancestor, haha.

Like Elizabeth, i find my very distant ancestors just as fascinating as the more recent ones, more so in some cases and the character they reveal in written records.

OC
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Old 02-06-23, 11:48
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Ann from Sussex Ann from Sussex is online now
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I really liked his down to earth, no-nonsense approach and his sense of humour. I did laugh at the conversation with Julian about the rope dancer. I imagine the detailed family tree that his daughter "found" amongst his papers at the beginning had been drawn up by the College of Heralds when he got his peerage. It looked very professional. The family surely must have studied it at the time. I know mine would have done!
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Old 02-06-23, 11:54
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By the way, the Dutch genealogist had the surname Arends. My gt gt.grandmother was Eliza Arends. She was a New Yorker of Dutch extraction whose family had been in America since the early 1700s.
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Old 03-06-23, 10:44
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Just caught up with this. I loved it. Fascinating.
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Old 03-06-23, 12:13
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I was intrigued to note that the surname Lloyd Webber only seemed to begin with Andrew and Julian's father William and wondered how that came about but it wasn't mentioned. I have found this on a Wikipedia entry devoted to the various members of the family:

By the age of 14, William Lloyd Webber had already become a well-known organ recitalist, giving frequent performances at many churches and cathedrals throughout Great Britain. He won an organ scholarship to the Mercers' School, later winning a further scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams and gained his FRCO diploma at nineteen. Because there was already another student at the college with the name William Webber, William continued to use his second middle name 'Lloyd' from then on as part of his last name.
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Old 10-06-23, 23:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann from Sussex View Post

Because there was already another student at the college with the name William Webber, William continued to use his second middle name 'Lloyd' from then on as part of his last name.
My first cousin three times removed was George Henry Collis Brown - he obviously thought George Brown was too plain, or he could be confused with another, as he modified his name to George Henry Collis-Brown, and his branch are still known by this double barrelled surname.
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