This article is an update of my Unexpected “discovery”: Mariana Starke’s father lies in Livorno.

Having been recently contacted by Brian Bouchard (researching Hylands House in Surrey for the Epsom and Ewell History Explorer website) on the subject of Richard Starke (who received Hylands House from his father who bought it in 1743), I got back to my notes and started searching some more on the Internet finding out new and interesting details and corrections about his family.

First of all Mr. Bouchard kindly revealed to me that Richard Starke’s wife, Mary Hughes, died at Exmouth on April 13th, 1816.  I then found out that she was the daughter of Isaac HUGHES, Esq., of Garrets House, Banstead, Surrey. Isaac Hughes was married twice: firstly to Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas HARRIS, in 1729 and secondly to Sarah (d.1758), daughter of Christopher BUCKLE (1684-1759), of Burgh House and Nork House in Banstead and Sarah WESSEL. A brother of Sarah, admiral Matthew BUCKLE (1718-1784), married Hannah Hughes, a sister of Mary. Six children of Isaac Hughes and Elizabeth Harris appear in the baptisms registers of Saint Dunstan in the East, London, between 1731 and 1742. One of them, John HUGHES (b.1734) sold in 1791 his property of Kingswood Warren to William JOLLIFFE (1745-1802), MP, whose family is part of this project due to the presence of a JOLLIFFE in Livorno in the XVIIth century.

One of the sons of Richard and Mary Starke, Richard Isaac STARKE (b.1768), Lt.-Col. in the Army, married Elisabeth RAVENSCROFT, daughter of Colonel Ravenscroft, of Burwood (Chester) and Laugharne (Caermarthen), in 1798.

The almost incredible connection comes next: John Francis Theophilus STARKE (d.1843), a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and one of the sons of Richard Isaac Starke and Elisabeth, in 1840 married Caroline Anne CLIFTON (1818-1870), daughter of Charles Claude CLIFTON, Esq. of Ty Mawr, Brecon, South Wales and sister of Claude de Neufville CLIFTON (c.1816-1834) whose body lies buried in the Old English Cemetery of Livorno together with that of his mother Frances LUCAS (1780-1836) !

Further research on Richard Starke revealed that he was baptized in Madras, July 6th, 1720, being a son of John STARKE, of London, Epsom and Ewell and Martha EMPSON (they married in Madras April 19th, 1713, soon after John’s arrival in the East Indies from Chesapeake). These few details shed some light on the possibility that this John Starke was actually a son of the well known Virginia and Chesapeake merchant Thomas STARKE (d.1706), a citizen and perhaps haberdasher of London and his wife Sarah NEWSON. At least 12 children of this couple were baptized in Saint Dunstan in the East, London, between 1678 and 1696. John might be the John baptized on May 13th, 1685 in the same parish. He later seems to have married Honour (maiden name unknown) who lies buried in Saint Mary’s churchyard in Ewell. His will seems to be the one dated October 21st, 1763 in which he cites an Ann as his wife. No further information on her has been found yet but both wives seems to be buried close to him in the churchyard. Obviously some more thorough research is needed.

John Starke and Martha Empson had another son Richard who was buried as an infant in Madras in 1719, six months earlier than their daughter Elizabeth. A son John seems to have been employed in the East India service as well.

Martha Empson was a daughter of Matthew EMPSON senior, buried in Madras in 1708 and sister to Matthew EMPSON junior, in the Civil Service, who became a Sheriff of Madraspatnam later in his life. This EMPSON family is connected with the BRERETON, ALLFORD, MELLISH, SHERMAN and LOTT families in Madras.