Person of the month: Hunterina and Lucy

The school room at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Every month, we’re stepping back in time to meet characters from Calke’s past. Join us on this journey as we discover the people who lived and worked on the estate, and then meet their modern-day equivalents who help to keep Calke alive today.

We’d like you to meet…

The Governess

Lucy Augusta Malleson

Lucy Malleson was the governess at Calke in 1861, when Sir Vauncey was 14 years old. Vauncey’s sister Alice was 13, and younger brother Hugo was 3 years old. It’s likely that Lucy tutored Alice and Vauncey, although Vauncey may also have had specialised tutors too.

Lucy came from an upper-middle class background, which is quite usual for governesses. Born in 1821 in Westminster to John and Lucy Malleson, Lucy was the eldest of five children and was often known by her middle name, Augusta.

By 1871, the Harpur Crewe children no longer needed a governess, and it is believed that Lucy moved away from Calke. By 1881, Lucy was living in St Anne’s Convent in Paddington, and was no longer working as a governess. Her occupation is listed as ‘Annuitant’, which means she was receiving a pension, or money of some sort. The remainder of Lucy’s life was spent ‘living on own means’, until she dies in 1903 at the age of 81.

Hunterina Emily Horry

Hunterina Horry was born in Edmonton, Middlesex, in 1862. Her father was a Steam Ship Broker, a middle-class occupation that paid well and allowed the family to have two servants until 1881. Hunterina had at least 11 siblings, many of whom were well educated and later became teachers. 

In 1887, Hunterina is recorded at Brownsover Hall, where she worked as a governess to a family called Broughton-Leigh. In December of that year, Hunterina was assaulted by a prisoner – it is unknown whether she left Brownsover after the incident, as she isn’t recorded again until the 1901 census, when she was working as the governess at Calke Abbey.

The nursery at Calke Abbey
The nursery at National Trust Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
The nursery at Calke Abbey

During Hunterina’s time at Calke, she was a ‘finishing’ governess to Frances, who was 13 years old. Hilda and Airmyne were 23 and 18, and would probably no longer require a governess. Hunterina would have further schooled Frances in the fine arts of dancing, piano, drawing and singing, and perhaps even languages, until Frances turned 17 or 18.

It’s unknown how long Hunterina remained at Calke Abbey, but it seems she left soon after this – in 1903, she is recorded as marrying Benjamin Francis Julian in Chicago, Illinois. Hunterina was 40 years old at the time of her marriage, and it seems like her brothers, William and Robert Percy, had also emigrated to America by this time.

From around 1910 until 1920, Hunterina worked as a linguistic tutor to private pupils. After this, her husband continued to work as a lawyer until he passed away in 1936. Hunterina returned home to England after her husband’s death, where she died in 1856. 

A modern-day governess

The Stableyard Coordinators

‘We are Amanda and Fiona, the Stableyard Coordinators here at Calke Abbey. We’re based in Squirts Stable along with a team of volunteers in our family activity centre and our main role is to provide a stimulating, fun environment for our younger visitors to play, enjoy and learn about Calke Abbey. We’re here every weekend during the open season and also every school holiday.

Amanda and Fiona will be on hand in Squirt's Stable all summer!
Squirt's Stable, the family activity area at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Amanda and Fiona will be on hand in Squirt's Stable all summer!
" We provide different areas for the children to play, including dressing up, role play and toys, and we change these around to provide something new each season. We often have a seasonal crafts available which the children and our wonderful volunteers enjoy doing."
- Amanda and Fiona, Stableyard Coordinators

‘We also carry out Stableyard tours and other fun events throughout the year to inspire our young and not-so-young visitors to enjoy the wonderful things on offer at Calke Abbey.’