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James Legrew and his Family

Part 2

James and Elizabeth Legrew had five children: Jemima Anne (1798); James (1803); Eliza (1805); Frederick (1810) and Arthur (1812).  The Parish Register shows that all five children were privately baptised and later received into the church.

James (junior) was born on 5th October 1803. He was well educated and seemed to have a flair for foreign languages, including Hebrew and Syriac. However, his leaning was towards sculpture which he studied at the Royal Academy under Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey. He was awarded an R.A. silver medal in 1824 and a gold in 1829. Records show that he exhibited some 30 pieces of sculpture at the R.A. It is no wonder then that the memorial to his mother, which he made in 1832 after her untimely death, is so beautiful.

It is disappointing to learn from the R.A. that, although James must have been quite successful in his day, he isn't listed among the R.A. greats. Whether he knew that his talent wasn't quite top knotch and this preyed on his mind is not known, but something pushed him into taking his own life. He died at his home in Kensington in September 1857 and was buried at Caterham in September, aged 54.

Sadly, the fourth child, Frederick, only lived for four months. He was buried at Caterham on 28th February 1811. Of the two remaining sons, James (junior) became an eminent sculptor and Arthur followed his father into the priesthood.

Arthur, the youngest member of the Legrew family, was educated at Charterhouse and then at the age of 18 he went to Cambridge University. There he studied at his father's Alma Mater, St John's College, and gained his B.A. in 1835 and M.A. in 1838.  In 1835 he was ordained as a deacon at Winchester and was priested the following year, when he became the curate at Chaldon church. Following his father's death in 1856 he briefly became Rector of Caterham.

Unlike the rest of his family, Arthur married and had children. He married twice; firstly to Sarah Hedger on 7th May 1840 and secondly to Emma Frere on 15th December 1849. He had five children in all, 2 sons and 3 daughters. He died young, aged 45, while at Nice on 9th March 1857, six months before his brother James.

The years 1856 and 1857 must have been sad ones for Jemima and Eliza, for they had lost their father and two brothers in the space of 13 months. The Caterham census returns show that they remained unmarried and lived at the Rectory in Caterham.

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