Sunday, 11 March 2012

Richard Veale Thomas Colenso and descendants.

Richard Veale Thomas Colenso was the brother of the famous New Zealand missionary, printer, botanist, and maori language scholar William Colenso.  Richard was remarkable in his own right, a very successful businessman, he founded Colenso the decorators a well known Penzance business, a branch of which (now in different ownership) still exists in St Ives.

Richard was a direct descendant, through his mothers family of the famous Gulval family the Veales.  The Veales were a landed family that owned the large estate near Gulval known as "Trevaylor".  Richard spent considerable efforts during his lifetime trying to get this large house returned to his family (Specifically the Rev William Colenso of New Zealand), with the extinction of the Veale family and the passing of the house to the Fitzgerald family.

Richard had a large number of children, allegedly 19 in total, many did not survive into adulthood.  His son William achieved high public office serving as Mayor of the town in 1901 and was the Hon President of the towns art school and many other organisations and an active member of the odd fellows and the towns large freemason community.

The flier shown left was issued to commemorate the unveiling of the Boer remembrance statue. Ald William, Colenso is listed as "Hon Secretary of the committee".

The direct relationship between the Colensos and the Reeds of Penzance comes through Richards youngest son, Thomas Veale Colenso and his daughter Phyllis.  Thomas was, like the rest of his family a painter and decorator. He married Phyliss Trahair of Newlyn in 1889 but sought a more prosperous life, as did many people at this time, by going to America.  Thomas lost complete contact with his family and he was declared dead some years after his migration.  In actual fact he had bigamously married in America a one Catherine Mongeau.  Thomas therefore has 2 separate family lines, one here in Cornwall, the other in America.

(Picture left shows Thomas Veale Colenso with his American family),

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