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Mary Littledale Greenwood

Mary Littledale Hawkins

(Mrs Rohde Hawkins)

Mary Littledale Helsham-Jones


Of Redlands Holmwood, Surrey

Born: 18?? and died 27 April 1913.  She is buried together with her two husbands at St Mary Magdalene church in Holmwood.
Daughter of: Frederick Greenwood of Swarcliffe Hall.
Sister of:
1. John Greenwood.
Mary married twice:
1. Major Rohde Hawkins (1821-1888) in 1853. His christian names were Major and Rohde (Rhode?).
2. Col Henry Helsham Helsham-Jones RE (1838-1920), in 1888 at St George's, Hanonver Square.
It is assumed that Mary did not have any children?

The information I have about Mary comes from the following sources:
1. Her grave at St Mary Magdalene Church.
2. A number of references on the internet.
3. Dictionary of National Biography.

Mary's grandfather, John Greenwood (died 1846), was a cotton mill owner from Keighley in Yorkshire. He established a mill at Swarcliffe near the village of Birstwith, Harrogate in about 1805.  He had two sons, Frederick and Edwin.  Edwin took on Swarcliffe and had Swarcliffe Hall rebuilt to a design by Major Rohde Hawkins in 1848. Edwin died shortly afterwards and thereafter Swarcliffe Hall and the mill were in the hands of Frederick's son, John Greenwood who was the brother of Mary.  Their father Frederick endowed the church at Birstwith which was also built to a design by Major Rohde Hawkins.  In 1853 Major Rohde Hawkins married Mary.

Mary's brother, John Greenwood, later became an MP but in his earlier days he was a very close school friend of Martin Marsh while at Eton.

Major Rohde Hawkins is mentioned in the "Dictionary of National Biography" and "The Builder" published an obituary notice on 6 December 1884.  He was born at Nutfield, near Reigate in Surrey, on 4 February 1821, the third son of Edward and Elizabeth Hawkins. His somewhat unusual christian name derived from his maternal grandfather. Rohde Hawkins was presumably born into prosperous circumstances and was educated at Charterhouse in Finsbury. He was there from June 1831 to May 1837. After acquiring practical knowledge in Thomas Cubitt's building empire, he travelled to Asia Minor in 1844 and set up as an architect on his return.  He did further work in the Yorkshire area between 1856 and 1879.  His first building in London was Hunt's Hall, a large brick building in the Guy's Hospital complex, designed in 1853.  In addition to the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum, he designed two churches in the metropolis, St Paul, Burdett Road, Bow in 1858 and St Michael, Star Street, Paddington in 1860-1, both of which were destroyed in the Blitz.  From 1 April 1854 until his death in 1884, Rohde Hawkins was Architect to the Committee of the Council on Education, which was concerned inter alia with the scientific principles of school construction.  His obituary notice in "The Builder" closed with this tribute: 'he was both a skilful artist and a thorough English gentleman'.

Maj Rohde Hawkins died 19 October or 19th December 1884.  He is buried at St Mary Magdalene, Holmwood, and Mary had a window erected in his memory there to which she also makes references to her Greenwood niece and nephew.

It is not known how Mary met her second husband Henry Helsham Jones but it might be that he moved into the village of Holmwood, living at Vigo, some time towards the end of his career in the Army.  The Royal Engineers were based at Aldershot which was not very far away.  Henry's last posting was in Malta and presumably Mary went with him.  He returned to the UK and retired 26 June 1889.  Henry changed his surname from Jones to Helsham-Jones 14 April 1888 and this was around the time of his father's death and Henry's marriage to Mary.  It was also around the time of his daughter's marriage to Frederick Crofton Heath.

It would appear that Henry and Mary lived together at Redlands from 1888 until Mary died 27 April 1913.  Redlands presumably then passed to the Greenwood family.  Mary was the sister of John Greenwood and possibly an aunt to Sarah Greenwood of Exeter.

Mention is made of Henry and Mary in the booklet "The Holmwood", compiled by Bill Smith, as follows:  "Colonel and Mrs Helsham-Jones moved from Vigo to live at Redlands with Miss Helsham-Jones, but on the death of Mrs Helsham-Jones in 1913 Colonel and Miss Helsham-Jones moved to Moorfields. The whole family did an awful amount of good work for the church and the Colonel was a great figurehead in the village...The Colonels life ended very tragically - he collapsed and died riding his cycle at Trashurst Hill Dorking in 1920.

Mary died 27 April 1913 and her husband Henry erected a sedilia in the chancel at St Mary Magdalene in her memory.  She also left a legacy to the church.  



If you have any information to add to what is listed please contact me.