Henry Man was born in 1776 at Reading, Berkshire, the eldest son of John and Sarah (Baker) Man, and was baptized on 30 November 1776 at St. Mary the Virgin, Reading. He married a widow, Harriet Dennett, on 28 January 1808 at St Mary’s-at-Lambeth.
Henry died in January 1819 at Chester Place, Kennington and The Gentleman’s Magazine made the announcement on page 94:
Henry and Harriet belong to Man Generation Seven. It is not known if there were any surviving issue, but probably not.
[References: Baptism – FHL Film# 1040614; marriage according to Dibdin; death Gentleman’s Magazine 1819]
NOTES: In his ‘Reminiscences: A Literary Life‘ Thomas Frognall Dibdin states that Henry died in 1810, but we reckon the Dibdin date is a typographical error. Dibdin further writes of Henry that: “In the month of January, 1808, I married him [Henry] to a widow with a small family, and he survived his marriage only a few years. He had a fine manly spirit, with an affectionate heart, and had a sincere regard for me. He died prematurely of an erysipelas in the arm.”
From Henry’s letters to George Cumberland (see below) we learn that Henry’s wife seems to have been quite sickly and had a series of pregnancies that all ended in miscarriages. He lived for a time at St Mary at Hill, Harp Lane and St. Botolphs Gate as well as Chester Place. He also seems to have assisted in the editing of the posthumously published ‘Miscellaneous Works’ of his uncle Henry Man. The marriage license for Henry and Harriet at St Mary’s-at-Lambeth has been found by Ed Man and reads as follows:
Henry Man, a Batchelor, of the Parish of St Margaret Pattens, London, and Harriet Dennett, Widow, of this Parish were married in the Church by License this 28th Day of January in the Year one Thousand eight Hundred and eight. By me, Tho Frognall Dibdin, Alternate Morning Preacher of Higher King Street Chapel. This Marriage was solemnized between us Henry Man Harriet Dennett. In the Presence of Thomas Campbell, Eliza Davies, Deborah Campbell, Maria Man, Edward Man.
Maria Man was Henry’s sister, the Campbells were probably Harriet’s parents and Edward Man was Henry’s his first cousin.
Also found a burial record for a Henry Mann at St Mary, abode – Kings Bench, buried January 18, age 42.
Ed Man has pieced together the following about Henry Man:
* 5 Oct 1803 – Henry writes George C. and mentions that he has moved from Botolph Lane to Harp Lane Tower Street. (In his letter of 8th Aug 1810, he notes that George has sent him a letter to 39 Botolph Lane which he had left seven years ago.)
* Dibdin marries Edward Man and Georgiana Desborough at All Hallows Staining in Dec 1806.
* Dibdin, in his book, mentions marrying Henry to a widow in Jan 1808.
* 8 Apr 1808 – Henry acknowledges George’s congratulations on his recent marriage. Though he writes from 1 St Mary Hill, he mentions that his dear Harriet has a spare bed at 20 Chester Place, Kennington.
* 23 Mar 1810 – Henry tells George that George’s son [Sydney] was coming to dine with them on the Sunday past when he met Mr. E[dward] Man near Westminster Bridge who informed him of Henry’s wife’s miscarriage the preceding evening.
* 8 Oct 1810 – Henry tells George that his wife is confined for the sixth time with a miscarriage.
* 5 Apr 1817 – the last letter of Henry to George in the “Letters.”
How did Edward Man know about Harriet Man’s miscarriage so soon after it happened? Edward and Georgiana lived at 18 Chester Place from, at least, 1808 to 1825. Georgiana, herself, had miscarriages in 1809 and 1813, and had a daughter born in 1811 who only lived a month. Must have been the air in Kennington.
Also found is an entry in the IGI for the baptism of a Henry Man on 25 Mar 1829 at St Leonards, Shoreditch, whose parents were Henry Man and Harriet. What makes this entry of particular interest is that it says that Henry was born on 25 Mar 1809. This could well be a mis-transcription and that the baptism was in 1809.
Adam Sowan, in his introduction to the new edition of John Man’s ‘Stranger in Reading’, notes that John’s son Henry was importing liquors as early as 1793 in Reading. Henry’s uncle James Man was a major wine, sprits and commodities merchant in London and so James may well have helped his nephew Henry set up shop in Reading which Henry later carried on in London. There are two references in the book “House of Man” (at the bottom of page 29 and the second paragraph on page 43) to a ‘Little Harry Man.’ It has always been assumed that this Harry was Harry Stoe Man son of Henry Man, and nephew of James and John. This assumption has rested on the fact that on p.29, the reference to Harry appears after a poem by Henry Man father of Harry Stoe Man. James Man had two nephews both named Harry, and the wine merchant mentioned in the book may in fact well refer to the Henry (Harry) from Reading, not Harry Stoe.
Henry Man’s Letters to George Cumberland
The following letters, transcribed by Stephen Man from the originals kept in the archives of the British Museum Library, are from Henry Man (1776 – 1810 ) to George Cumberland (1754 – 1848). Henry was the son of John Man (1749 – 1824) who was George Cumberland’s first cousin, their mothers being sisters. This Henry Man should not be confused with his uncle Henry Man (1748 – 1799). Although the latter Henry is sometimes mentioned by George and his brother Richard in their letters, none from him to his Cumberland cousins have been uncovered. The letters below cover the period 1803 to 1817. Note Henry’s concern for George’s son Sydney who was a bit of renegade and caused his father some concern. It was Sydney however who stayed most in touch with the poet William Blake after his father had moved to Bristol.
ADD 36499 f 265 Henry Man to George Cumberland
London 5th October 1803
I should have replied to your favour earlier, but being obliged to write to Reading for the particulars of the account you mention I waited for my brother’s reply and send you the bill annexed. It does not belong to me but is a claim of my brother William’s who succeeded me in business, but as we have an account open with each other if you remit me the amount it shall be regularly be passed to his and to your credit. With pleasure I shall execute for you any commissions you may have in London whether now or at any future day and if you will favour me with the particulars of those little accounts which wish settled here you may rely on their being regularly attended to as soon as I receive it. I entirely agree with you in your remarks on my late uncle’s works and the only circumstance to be urged in justification of the intrusion of so many of his most trifling pieces is a very great want of matter to complete the volumes. The generosity of readers you know are not judges for their subscription something was expected and if we had not had recourses to their trifling materials which we found scattered in a variety of places we should not have been able to make up two volumes as we did. At all events it was a means of stopping one plan of complaint.
My brother says your books shall be immediately packed and forwarded as you direct and James’s desire to return my fathers thanks for the perusal of them which offered him much pleasure. He begs his kind remembrances to Mrs C, yourself and family of all ours and in which request I must beg leave to join. Our commerce here most completely at a stand this cursed war dreadfully unhinges us and little else is talked of but invasion and stoppages. How it is to end God only knows. Last week one of the first houses in the city failed and this day rumour says another is gone. I heard from your brother yesterday and I am happy to hear his family are all well.
With respectful compliments I remain dear cousin yours most truly
P.S. I am removed from Botolph Lane to Harp Lane Tower Street where I must thank you to address me in future.
ADD 36501 f 203 Henry Man to George Cumberland
London 8th April 1808
My Dear Cousin
I have long been a letter in your debt for your very kind and polite congratulations on my recent marriage, which I should have replied to in course but waited the opportunity of a friend going to Bristol to send it by. In circumstances having occurred to make his journey unnecessary I shall call on my friend Mr Lefevre for a frank if he is in town which will answer the purpose full as well and I hope you will receive it safe. I thank both you and Mrs Cumberland for her kind wishes towards us and I have pleasure in adding that I enjoy all the happiness you promised in a former letter. I am as comfortable a heart can wish. My dear Harriet begs me to say that she would be exceeding happy to see you and Mrs Cumberland at No 20 Chester Place Kennington where she has a me…. Your brother Mr R Cumberland gave us his company one-day when he was last in town. I think he looked remarkably well. If you see him pray remember me kindly to him and also to all your family in which Mrs Man begs to join.
I am my dear cousin ever yours most truly
1 St Mary Hill
Add 36502 f198
London 23rd March 1810
It is long since your son delivered to me your very kind letter of 15th December last which I am ashamed to add has remained so long unanswered which would have not have been the case would he have favoured us with his company a little more frequently. Indeed we do not see him half so often as both Mrs. M and myself wish. He was coming over to dine with us last Sunday but meeting Mr. E Man near Westminster Bridge who informed him of my wife’s unfortunate miscarriage the preceding evening deterred him from coming over. I however should have been very happy to have seen him, and with the opportunity of forwarding him this for you. I have written to invite him for Sunday week when I hope Mrs. Man will be able to be again below stairs. She is yet very weak but I think her as well as I have a right to expect. Your brother when he was lately in town paid me for the Brandy I sent to Bristol and I gave him a receipt for it as you requested. I hope your family continue to enjoy the same good state of health as when you wrote, to all of whom we beg to be kindly remembered. My father family at Reading, on your conjecture, go on much as usual. He is again at present engaged with bricks and mortar building himself a small house in Castle Street to retire to and calculates on getting it sufficiently forward to be inhabited at Michaelmas, where I am sure he would be extremely happy to see you when you next travel this way.
It will I am sure give you pleasure to hear, if you have not already heard, that a complete reconciliation has taken place between my wife and her relations. We all dined with them on New Years Day and I am happy in adding that we continue our best possible feelings with them by interchanging of visits and antics. The fine weather coming on with long days and your son being settled in town will, I hope be an inducement to you to turn your thoughts this way. We shall be very happy to see you and Mrs Man can give you a spare bed.
I remain dear cousin
yours most truly
ADD 36502 f 246
Henry Man to George Cumberland
London 26th July 1810
Yours of the 10th and 18th are just before me and in reply I have the pleasure to add that Sydney was with us last night and I went with him to a Widow lady’s in our neighbourhood with whom we have agreed and keeping your instruction in view I hope the terms will meet with your approval. To have a good bedroom to himself ready furnished but his own furniture is to be taken in and left in the room till otherwise disposed of. To breakfast at eight, dine at five, drink tea and sup with the family consisting of a widow and her daughter, in a good plain but comfortable family way, to pay for washing of towels and bed linen extra but for the board and lodging twenty five shillings per week without any other charge tea and sugar to be provided for him. The lady herself as far as one can judge from first sight seems to be a respectable, good sort of person about 50 years of age and rather inclined to the ??????? and give most reputable references as to character and connections. Her daughter I did not see. Sydney seems to be a very well disposed and good lad and both Mrs Man and myself will be always happy to have him to dine with us every Sunday when he is not better engaged and we will endeavour to make his Winter evenings as comfortable as we can while he continues in our neighbourhood. Today he is to meet with his present landlady about leaving to lodgings and if she will let him go immediately he intends taking up his new residence at Kennington Lane on Saturday night.
My father has been with me in town for a few days and unites with Mrs Man and myself in kind remembrance to all your house. He does not expect to visit Gloucestershire this summer. I wish your letter had arrived a few days sooner as I went to Maidstone last week and could have enquired about the books you speak of, however I will bear them in mind.
My Mrs Man is very unwell nor do see much prospect of her enjoying better health for some time.
In haste believe me dear cousin
yours most truly
ADD 36502 f 262
London 8th August 1810
Your parcel which should have reached me on Sunday has but this moment come to hand 5 o’clock owing to it being improperly addressed to Botolph Lane instead of St Mary’s Hill. Lest you should think me inattentive I wrote by this evening’s post and will in my way home call at Sydney’s lodgings whom I make little doubt has gone on an excursion with his friend Stothard as when I last saw him he told me he should. We expected to have seen him on Sunday last to dinner but the weather proving so unfavourable or perhaps he was not returned is the reason why he did not come. However I hope before you receive this all your apprehensions will be at rest by a letter from him. If you hear not from me by tomorrow’s post you may conclude that my enquiries this evening have proved satisfactory and that he is well.
Mrs M I am sorry to say is again confined for the sixth time with a miscarriage but is going on as well as we can reasonably expect.
Pray remember me kindly to Mrs Cumberland and believe me to be dear cousin ever yours most faithfully,
Henry Man 1 St Mary Hill not 39 Botolph Lane which I left seven years ago.
[On the back of the original manuscript is quite a bit of text, which I can make no sense of. SM 28.12.00 ]
Henry Man to George Cumberland
London 21st July 1812
The letter I received from you yesterday gave me considerable pain on finding Sydney had so likely incurred your displeasure and in consequence I immediately sent for him to meet me at Chester Place last night. The results of my enquiries I am happy in saying fully satisfied my mind and acquits him of having performed any improper or vicious connections and I trust upon your arrival in town you will be equally satisfied with myself on this lead. I really do believe the very utmost of his misconduct is what is but too common the attendant our youth is a want of sufficiently appreciating the value of money and too profuse an expenditure of it in trifles. The loss of the 20 pound note is an act of abominable carelessness but I hope it will ultimately be recovered as the number is known and it is stopped at the bank. Why Sydney took up his salary at the office before it was due I know not but he got the money of his friend Mr Swann at Cox and Greenwoods for his receipt dated on the quarter day and I am equally satisfied that the young man at the Bricklayers Arms Public House has actually got the note which Sydney gave him by mistake. The very looks of the fellow speak guilt and I hope it will ultimately be recovered. It had not been paid in to the bank on Saturday last when I enquired and it is stopped. Notice will be sent to me immediately on it being presented. You may rely on it and I hope you will believe that though your son may be imprudent he is not vicious and I really do believe him to be a good and worthy young man. He has from both Mrs Man and myself a general invitation to spend as much of his leisure at our home as is agreeable to himself. He dined with us on Sunday last and if we dine at home ourselves we expect him the next and I am sure if we had not so good an opinion of him we should act otherwise.
I hope we shall soon see you in town when I doubt of being able to satisfy you on this lead and in the meanwhile pray present my kind compliments to Mrs C and assure her from me she may dissipate her alarms on Sydney’s account. I shall use my best exertion towards recovering the money lost but I am informed that Sydney cannot proceed against the fellow by service for the debts in the present stage of the business.
I remain dear sir your most faithfully
Henry Man to George Cumberland
London 24th August 1812
The annexed letter I received on Saturday from Bridgewater which you perhaps will be able to follow up. Should you want any assistance in London you will not hesitate to employ me and I shall with pleasure follow your instructions. I hope yourself and my friend Sydney arrived safe and well and found all your family so too. Pray remember us kindly to Mrs C and your daughters and should it be in my powers to leave London for a week or ten days together, Mrs M and myself will pay you a visit there.
In haste I remain dear cousin yours most faithfully
Henry Man HC from Mrs Beavan Attached letter re note in previous letter recovered in Dunster Addressed to Mr Henry Man St Mary Hill in London.
ADD 36504 f 24
Henry Man to George Cumberland
London 1 March 1813
It is long since we had the pleasure of hearing from you. Your last letter of November date brought to town by your daughter Georgiana came safely to hand but she did not favour us with a call and not knowing where to find her in London we had not the pleasure of seeing her.
The Spring now advancing well again make it necessary that one or two other of them will again visit this metropolis do pray remember us kindly to them and say that we shall be extremely happy to see them when they come and have a spare bed well aired and very much at their service it would give both Mrs M and myself great satisfaction to see them with us and make them as comfortable as we can and trust they will never again come to London without affording us the pleasure. It is long since we have heard anything from our young friends George and Sydney.
They must already have seen a great variety of service and I hope will continue to do so well. I suppose Sydney saw Madrid but that was all. Your conjecture that we should not be driven out till the spring was wrong as to know for we were not allowed to remain there so long I wish the British were all safe home again.
Pray say to Mrs Cumberland that if she would accompany her daughters to London when they next come and make our home her house it would give us great pleasure. Our best endeavours should be exerted to make her comfortable and welcome. I suppose Sydney’s note was irrevocably lost and the rascal who stole it makes it his own. The public papers furnish you with all the political news of the day but such a winter as the past assure Bonaparte and his army never experienced before. The late election campaign at Weymouth proved rather unfortunate in its results to your friend Long. That is according to their ??? report of the examination of the evidence but while the present state of representation prevails such things must be a matter of course.
Harriet unites with me in kind remembrances to your family and I remain dear cousin
ADD 36506 f 65
Henry Man to George Cumberland
London 5th April 1817
Knowing your readiness to serve anyone when it pays in your favour I hesitate not to trouble you on the present occasion. The case is simply this, I have just heard that the Governor of the penitentiary is about to resign his situation, in short he cannot hold it any longer and my friend Mr Lefevre (who is one of the committee)has advised me to become a candidate for it considering me a fit and proper person for the appointment. It is scarcely necessary to add that he will render me all the assistance in his power both by his vote and ??? but there a four gentlemen of the committee, mostly Members of Parliament. He wishes me to make all the possible interest I can with my other friends. In this view I look to you as one of the foremost of the members and though I am sensible I ought not to trouble on the subject yet as I have no other channel through which I can possibly get at one gentleman of the committee. I trust the necessity of the case will plead my excuse. That gentleman is Mr Long; he takes an active and leading part and could that obtain his interest alone would be a host to me. Lord Sidmouth in the former appointment claimed the nomination but he leaves it wholly to the committee in this instance either directly or indirectly. I should therefore feel particularly obliged if you could write to that gentleman in my favour. The qualifications are I understand that the party must be a married man and a member of the C of E and otherwise qualified in accounts, diligence in attendance to business, regular habits of living, and in all these I flatter myself I should not be found deficient. Sydney tells me you are expected in town very soon and I should have waited your arrival but that promptness of measures are very requisite as I have heard of other candidates having started and it is always in these cases that the foremost have the best chances. The situation is good and will be better. Trade is very bad and if I could but get the situation I could enter on it at three days notice. My friends in town will do all for me they can but without your interest we cannot get at Mr Long. I regret extremely to obliged to trouble you on this occasion but without your assistance I shall be foiled in that quarter.
With kind remembrances to Mrs Cumberland and my cousins I am dear Sir in haste yours very truly
Addressed to George Cumberland Culver Street Bristol Post Script (Can’t read)