Anne Insull Tilby
by Linda Ayres
Anne Insull Tilby (née Malden) was born into one of the most well-known families in Bedford. Her cousins were Charles Wells, the brewer, and George Wells who served five times as the Mayor of Bedford. Her great grandfather was Benjamin Malden and he, and his brother, Ebenezer Malden, were millers and the owners of Duck Mill in Bedford. They dissolved their partnership on the 31st December 1837 and Ebenezer continued to run Duck Mill. When Ebenezer died in 1842 his daughter, Sarah, and her husband, William Harrison, ran Duck Mill. In 1877 William died and his only son, Benjamin Harrison ran Duck Mill, until his death in 1883.
Anne was born in 1840 in Bedford and was one of the four children of David Malden and Ann (née Wells). Anne had two older brothers, Frederick Wells Malden who was born in 1836, and George was born in 1838. Sadly, George died aged 8 in June 1846. His burial took place at the Bunyan Meeting burial ground in Mill Street, Bedford. Anne’s younger sister, Emma was born in 1841. The family lived in the rooms above David Malden’s bakery and confectionery shop at 39 High Street, Bedford. Wilkinson’s, at 37-41 High Street, now occupies the site where Malden’s Bakery once stood.
Anne’s marriage to the Rev Joseph James Insull
On the 6th September 1859 Anne married the Rev. J. J. Insull at the Bunyan Church, Mill Street, Bedford. The Rev. Insull was born in 1828 at Kennington, Surrey. His interest in religion began at the age of 14 when he attended the Surrey Chapel Sunday School in London. He subsequently studied theology at Cheshunt College, Hertfordshire. His ordination took place in 1855 at the Bunyan Meeting Church, Mill Street, Bedford.
Anne’s uncle, George Wells, gave her away in place of her father who was too ill to attend the wedding. The Rev John Jukes conducted the service. After their marriage they lived in the house that Anne’s parents owned at 42 Offa Street, Bedford, (now known as Tavistock Street). They had two children, Emily Marian who was born on the 28th June 1860 and James Martin was born on the 3rd June 1862.
The Closure of Malden and Son Bakery
Anne’s eldest surviving brother, Frederick married Harriet Steers on the 26th December 1861 at the Bunyan Meeting Church in Mill Street, Bedford. The Rev. J. J. Insull conducted the service. Harriet was the daughter of Harriet and William Steers, a carpenter, of 69 Wellington Street, Bedford.
On the 30th April 1863 David Malden died aged 61 from a long-term illness. His burial took place at Foster Hill Road Cemetery. Section C8. 214. In December 1863 his wife, Ann Malden sold the business and Frederick and Harriet emigrated to Australia.
On the 14th October 1903 Harriet died aged 63 at their home at Prospect Hill, Adelaide, Australia. Her burial took place on the 16th October at the Anglican Cemetery, North Road, Nailsworth, Adelaide. Frederick died aged 82 in 1919 at Prospect Hill. His burial took place on the 16th February in the grave with Harriet. Plot 1966: Path 4.
The Funeral of the Rev. Joseph James Insull
On the 13th August 1863 the Rev. Insull died aged 35, from a long-term illness. On the day of the funeral the cortege set out from 42 Offa Street, and made its way to Foster Hill Road Cemetery Chapel where a large crowd had gathered. The chapel was too small to contain such a large crowd and the Rev. John J. Jukes conducted the funeral service at the graveside. Section C7. 74
A memorial to the Rev. Insull
In May 1864 a gravestone in memory of the Rev. Insull was erected in Foster Hill Road Cemetery, which bears the following inscription: –
“In affectionate remembrance of the Rev. Joseph J. Insull, for nine years the junior Pastor of the Bunyan Meeting. Born February 1st 1828; died August 13th, 1863; an exemplary Christian, a devoted Pastor, an earnest preacher, and a faithful friend; his congregation deeply lamenting his loss, have erected this stone as a memento of esteem for his character, and of gratitude to God for his ministry. ‘He being dead yet speaketh.’”
Anne Insull travels to China
Sadly, on the 8th August 1867, Anne’s daughter Emily died aged 7. Her burial took place in the grave with her father. Section C7. 74
Soon after Emily died, Anne visited her sister Emma and her husband, the Rev. Owen, who lived in Shanghai. The London Missionary Society had sent Emma and the Rev. Owen out to Shanghai in 1865 to work as missionaries.
During her visit to Shanghai Anne met her second husband, Alfred Richard Tilby. They were married on the 4th May 1869 at Trinity Church, Shanghai.
Alfred was born on the 17th July 1829 at Woolwich in Kent, and was one of the five children of Thomas Martin Illden Tilby, a metal merchant, and his wife Eliza (née Cockrell). Alfred went out to Shanghai in 1850 and set up his business, Tilby & Co., with Robert E. Love and L. T. Hong. They were shipbrokers and general commission agents at Kiangsu Road, Shanghai. Alfred was a Freemason and was the first Master of the Shanghai Tuscan Lodge, founded in 1864 in Canton Road, Shanghai. On the 14th February 1870 their son, Alfred Robert Insull was born. Sadly, he died on the 28th June 1870.
Alfred and Anne Tilby return to England.
Soon after their son had died, Alfred and Anne returned to England. They lived at 42 Offa Street, Bedford, where Anne had once lived with her first husband. In 1871 their son Alfred Edwin was born, and in 1875 Frederick Charles was born. The family subsequently moved to Middlesex, where their third child, Eldred Francis Edward was born in 1877. By 1881 the family had moved to Newton Abbot, Devon.
The Funeral of Anne Tilby and memorial
Anne died aged 44 in Devon. Her burial took place next to the graves of her mother and father, Ann and David Malden and her grandfather, Thomas Wells at Foster Hill Road Cemetery.
Anne’s memorial is in the form of an obelisk mounted on a plinth. For several years immense amounts of ivy had covered the plinth. Ted Spirito one of the volunteers from the Friends of Bedford Cemetery, painstakingly cut the ivy down. The removal of the ivy from the plinth revealed the following inscription: –
IN EVER PRECIOUS MEMORY ANNE THE LOVING AND BELOVED WIFE OF ALFRED RICHARD TILBY WHO FELL ASLEEP IN JESUS AT TORQUAY 22ND JUNE 1884
HER LAST WORDS WERE: –
“I HAVE ASKED FOR IT, IT HAS COME PEACE”
“OH, THAT I COULD GO NOW”
SLEEP ON DEAR CHILD OF GOD REST ON, THE CROSS IS LAID THE VICTORY ONE,
HIS ASKED FOR PEACE WITHSTOOD DEATHS FLOOD,
THY SOUL WENT HOME IN PEACE TO GOD MY PEACE I GIVE UNTO TO YOU, NOT AS IN THE WORLD GIVETH,
GIVE I UNTO YOU”.
“SO, HE GIVETH BELOVED SLEEP”.
Grave Ref: C8.195
Alfred Tilby presents new organ to St. John’s Church Bedford
In the early hours of the 26th July 1886 fire broke out at St. John’s Church, Bedford. The church comprised of a nave and chancel with a small transept. A fine organ occupied the north side of the transept, which was then under repair. A lighted candle left by the workmen next to the organ started the fire. The fire badly damaged the interior of the church, and the organ. The cost of the restoration was about £1,700. On the 24th June 1887 St. John’s Church re-opened.
On the 29th September1887 Alfred presented a new organ to St. John’s Church, in memory of his wife, Anne. The service started at 4. p.m. and a large congregation had gathered to hear an organ recital by Dr. J. F. Bridge, organist, of Westminster Abbey.
On the front of the casement bears the following inscription, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving”. and inscribed below it is a smaller plate “In Memoriam, Anne Tilby, died 22nd June 1884”.
James Martin Insull
James moved to Auckland, New Zealand, and on the 13th April 1887 he married Lucy Charlotte Nutter. After their marriage they lived at Artillery Road in Devonport, Auckland. James died within a year of their marriage on the 19th March 1888. His burial took place at North Shore Cemetery, Mt. Victoria, Auckland. Their daughter, Annie Heath Martin Insull was born in May 1888. Annie died aged 78 on the 2nd November 1966.
James’s gravestone bears the following inscription: –
IN LOVING REMEMBRANCE
JAMES MARTIN INSULL
ONLY SON OF THE LATE
REV. J. J. INSULL
OF BEDFORD, ENGLAND.
Who DIED 19 MARCH 1888
AGED 25 YEARS.
“HE ASKED LIFE OF THEE AND THOU GAVEST IT HIM
EVEN LENGTH OF DAYS FOR EVER AND EVER”.
Grave Ref: 3.117
Alfred’s second marriage to Pauline Eugenie Cochet.
Alfred and Pauline were married on the 14th July 1885 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Dundee. Pauline was born in 1848 and was the daughter of Theophile Narcisse Cochet, of Paris. Before her marriage Pauline was a governess at Renfrewshire, Scotland. In October 1885 Alfred and Pauline moved to Eglinton Villa, First Avenue, Mannamead in Plymouth, Devon.
Gifts to the Church
In 1889 Alfred wanted to give eight bells to St. Matthias Church, Plymouth, but the church rejected them on the grounds they would be too noisy. Instead, he gifted to the church a stained-glass window.
After Pauline died, Alfred gifted an organ in her memory to the restored St. Andrews Parish Church Moretonhampstead, Devon. The brass plate in the front of the organ bears the inscription: “I will praise the name of God with song and will magnify Himself with thanksgiving. In memoriam, Pauline Eugenie Tilby, 6th Dec., 1903”. The cost of the organ was £800.
Alfred gifted eight bells to St. Emanuel Church, Mannamead, Plymouth, in memory of Pauline. Above the door leading to the bell tower stairs, bears the following inscription: “To the glory of God, and in memory of Pauline Eugene Tilby, a devoted wife, a loving mother, the peel of bells hung in the tower is dedicated. December 6th 1903. With Jesus which is far better’.
Alfred Tilby’s Funeral
Alfred survived Pauline by five years. He died, aged 78 on the 17th January 1908 at Neath in North Wales. His burial took place in the grave next to that of Pauline at St. Andrew’s Churchyard at Moretonhampstead Devon. Pauline and Alfred had no children.
The children of Alfred and Anne
Frederick Charles Tilby became a bank clerk and moved to 24 Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey. On the 1st September 1900 he married Annie Josephine Frederica Rauman at Holy Innocents’ Church, South Norwood. Frederick and Anne lived at “Clovelly” 24 Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey. He died in 1958, aged 83 at Hove, Sussex. They had no children.
Alfred Edwin Tilby moved to Ford Park Plymouth and became a school teacher. He subsequently became the Headmaster of Mannamead School, Walmer House, Plymouth. In 1894 Alfred married Jessie Blanche Holt at Plympton, Devon. Before her marriage Blanch was a music teacher. Alfred died aged 77 in 1949 at Brighton, Sussex. They had no children.
Eldred Francis Edward Tilby was a Second Lieutenant in the Electric Lights Companies, Devonshire (Fortress). After he left the army Eldred became an electrical engineer. In 1907 Eldred married Edith May Hammett; they lived at 31 Thornhill Road, Plymouth, Devon. Eldred died aged 80 in 1957 at Tavistock, Devon. They had no children.
Researched by Ted Spirito and Linda S. Ayres
Photography by Linda Ayres
The Champion (Gazette) 19th February 1837
Perry’s Bankrupt Gazette 18th March 1837.
Sheffield and Rotherham Independent 13th Sept 1845
Bedfordshire Mercury 12th September 1859
Page 467 Church Members Magazine 1863
The Directory for Annual Publication Page 45 1863
1867 China Directory – China families
The History of Bedford and visitor’s guide-Volume 1 Page 288 By Thomas Allen Blyth
The Northern Warder and Bi-Weekly Courier and Argus 17th July 1885
The New Zealand Herald March 21st 1888
The Western Morning News 10th June 1889 and 5th April 1904 and June 16th 1905
Ampthill and District News 5th December 1903
The Western Times 20th June 1908
Bedfordshire Times and Independent 16th September1871 and June 29th 1869 and October 1st 1887 and 31st December 1861 and 23rd November 1895
Find A Grave Auckland New Zealand
Eyre’s Post Office Plymouth Page 29
A summary of The Origin and History of Shanghai Tuscan Lodge by Graham B Tarran.
Kelly’s Directory Devonshire
Special thanks to Andrew Boucaut the Manager of North Road Cemetery, Nailsworth, Adelaide, for his help locating the graves of Frederick and Harriet Malden.
May 21, 2021