Charles Allen Du Val

His life and works

Jemima Hampton Renney

Jemima Hampton Renney
Born: 1829 Liverpool
Died: 1894 Bridgwater, Somerset
William Renney
Elizabeth Gregory 1806-1879
George Constantine Evan Renney 1831-1908
William Renney 1833-1874

Jemima Hampton Renney was born in Liverpool in 1829, the daughter of William Renney and his wife nee Elizabeth Gregory. She was baptised on 6 April 1829 at St Nicholas' church in Liverpool. The family were then living in Great Orford Street in Liverpool. The occupation of William Renney was given as music master.

Her father William Renney died in about 1831, and her mother married Charles Allen Du Val in 1833 and 1834 (1). She went to live with her mother and stepfather at their home in Manchester. When the 1871 Census was taken there, her age was correctly recorded as being then 42 years old, but her name was written down as "Minna" Renney. In the family Jemima Renney was apparently called "Mina" or possibly "Mima" pronounced with a long "i" vowel sound.

She was still living in Manchester as part of the Du Val family in 1871, but after the death of her stepfather in the following year she went to her Holland family relatives at Bridgwater in Somerset, the home of her half-sister Florence Holland nee Du Val. She died there unmarried on 24 September 1894.

Probate of her Will was granted on 13 December 1894 at Taunton to Edward James Du Val (her half-brother) and Thomas William Holland (husband of Florence Holland) (2).

She was said to be an industrious lady, but the nature of her work is unknown. She also seems to have had some minor disability, because after a visit made to the Du Val family in 1856 the artist Samuel Bough (1822-1878) wrote to his sister that "The Duvals are all right. Miss Mina as industrious as ever, and still slightly afflicted. The rest of them seem only a little bigger and a little stupider, or more properly, more abstruse." (3)

(1) Charles Allen Du Val married Elizabeth Renney nee Elizabeth Gregory twice, once at St Nicholas church, Hawke Street in Liverpool in 1833 and again in Manchester Collegiate Church in 1834. Such double marriages were not infrequent where one of the parties was Anglican and the other Roman Catholic. Elizabeth Gregory was baptised at St Ann's (Anglican) church in Manchester, but her marriage in 1825 to William Renney was at St Mary's church in Manchester, which was said to be the first purpose-built Roman Catholic church in England since the Reformation. St Nicholas Church, Hawke Street in Liverpool was also a Roman Catholic church. So Elizabeth seems to have been born Anglican and become Roman Catholic when she married William Renney. Presumably she and Charles Allen Du Val wished to have the blessings of both denominations when they married. She may have reverted to Anglican thereafter, as all her Du Val children were baptised in Manchester Collegiate Church (Manchester Cathedral from 1847).
(2) Her estate was £1,050 14s.
(3) Letter to J.H. Lance dated 19 August 1856 in George Coward's Notebook, Carlisle City Art Gallery. The letter is quoted on page 96 of a scholarly yet highly readable biography of Samuel Bough entitled Sam Bough: The Rivers in Bohemia by Gil and Pat Hitchon (1998). The arresting title of the biography is a quotation from Sam's great friend Robert Louis Stevenson "On the Choice of a Profession" in his Essays Literary and Critical.
Samuel Bough (1822-1878) is usually regarded as being a Scottish artist, but he came from Carlisle, and some of his formative years were spent with Charles Allen Du Val in Manchester.