Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My wife's ancestors - Kerr - Contents

John Manners Kerr

A miniature, inherited in the Kerr/Gibbon family.
Written on the back: "Colonel Kerr?" (This must be Col. John Manners Kerr.)
This is a miniature painted by Florence Gibbon in 1899 as a copy of a lost original portrait.
Presumably it is the portrait that went to the Alston family.
See larger and full size.
See alternate shot and alternate shot.
See small shot.

John Manners Kerr (see here and here),
General in British Army, Sheriff of Merionethshire,
born 30 Oct 1766,
descendant of Robert III, King of Scotland and of Henry I.
His father was a surgeon in Northampton.
He was educ Rugby School, Warwickshire. Entered 1779.
See entry on p.68 of The Rugby Register, 1838.
See entry on p.49 of The Rugby Register, 1881.
See entry on p.77 of Rugby School Register, 1901.

Long career in British Army.
Appointed Ensign on 21 Feb 1785. [Obituary] says joined 111th Foot at Gibraltar, but it is unclear that 111th existed in 1785.
Became Lieutenant in 60th Foot on 24 Sept 1787.
He mar 1stly, pre-1793, to Isabella Errington [born 1774, dau of George Errington, see here].

West Indies:
He went with his regiment to Barbados in the West Indies. Britain and France went to war in Feb 1793.
He was Captain of the 60th Foot in the attack on Tobago, which they captured from the French in Apr 1793.
Became Major 29 June 1794.
Became Lieutenant colonel 25 Oct 1794.
Stayed in West Indies until May 1795 [Obituary].
Appointed 1794 or 1795 commander of Northampton Regiment of Fencible Infantry with rank of Colonel-Commandant. This regiment was raised in 1793 by his father Dr. William Kerr. John Manners Kerr was their commander until the regiment disbanded in 1801.
The Northampton Fencibles were based in Ireland.
He transferred to the 62nd Foot in Mar 1798.
Appointed Colonel 1 Jan 1801.
He was Commander of the Forces in the islands of Grenada, Dominica, Barbados and St. Vincent 1801-04.
He was appointed Brigadier General in West Indies on 5 Feb 1802 [Obituary].

England and Ireland:
[Obituary] says he returned to England due to ill health in June 1804. Then from Sept 1804 to June 1806 he was on the staff of the North West District of England, with command of the volunteer force of Manchester and neighbourhood. Then in July 1806 he was appointed to the staff in Ireland.
However this conflicts with the Almanacks at the time. The years in the [Obituary] seem a bit out.
He is listed in [Dublin Almanack, 1804] as serving in Ireland as "Colonel" with the 62nd Foot.
He is listed as Colonel with the 62nd Foot in [Dublin Almanack, 1805]. He is serving in Ireland.
He is listed among the Brigadier Generals in [Dublin Almanack, 1807]. He is with the 62nd Foot, serving in Ireland.
He is listed as Brigadier General on the Army staff of Ireland in [Dublin Almanack, 1808].
He was appointed Major-General 25 Apr 1808.
On 26 Sept 1808 he left Irish staff to a position in England.
Isabella died 14th Oct 1808, age 34 yrs.

He was Commander of 5th Royal Veteran Battalion 1810-14. Appointed 25 June 1810.
He is listed among the Major-Generals in [Dublin Almanack, 1811]. He is with the 5th Royal Veteran Battalion.
Appointed Lieutenant-General in 1813.
He is listed among the Lieutenant-Generals in [Dublin Almanack, 1814]. He is with the 5th Royal Veteran Battalion.

[Burkes LG, 1886] describes him as of "The Great House, co. Northampton". Rugby School Register says this house was in Northampton. This house is unidentified. It may refer to his father's house, Sheep St, Northampton.
At marriage 1814 he is described as of the Parish of St.Sepulchre in Northampton, which would include Sheep St.
Seems to have no connection to Wales until his 2nd mar.

He mar 2ndly, 14 Dec 1814, at Llangar church to Margaret Davies [see here, born c.1770, Plas Issa, Wales], no issue.
Church register says 14 Dec.
See marriage notice on p.674 of The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 84, Part 2, July-Dec 1814. This thought it was 15 Dec.
She was dau of Hugh Davies, of Penybont and Tyllcha, Edeirnion, N Wales,
by his wife Katherine Owen, heiress of Plas Issa (now Plas Isaf), Llangar parish, Merionethshire, near Corwen, N Wales.

His dau married at Northampton in 1816.
They moved at some point to live at Plas Issa, Merionethshire, Wales.
See 1820 letter from him. Mentions "Dr. Kerr". (His father was still alive.) The letter is about a letter of credit, and also enquiring about the future of the Veteran Battalions.
His father died 4th Sept 1824.
[1824 deed] is dated 14 - 15 Oct 1824. He is described as of of Plas Issa, Llangar.
Margaret died at Plas Issa, 15 Sept 1825, age c.55 yrs, NOT 1820.
See notice on p.383 of The Monthly magazine, 1 Nov 1825.
She was bur 20 Sept 1825, Llangar church (near Plas Issa).
Kerr inherited Plas Issa under her will.
He is listed as Lieutenant-General in [Treble Almanac 1829].

He mar 3rdly, 15th Jan 1829, to Catherine Lloyd [bapt 2 Dec 1776, descendant of Edward the Elder].
They married at Llangwm (W of Maesmor). He was age 62. She was age 52.
She was co-heiress of Maesmor and Trefnant.

General, 1830:
He became a General 1830.
Maesmor was re-modelled 1830 in Neo-Tudor style.
He is listed as "of Plas Issa" in 1837. See Gwynedd Archives, ZQS/M1837/22.
Sheriff of Merionethshire, 1838-39:
He was Sheriff of Merionethshire 1838-39. Described as of Plas Issa at his appointment as Sheriff in 1838.
Kalendar of Gwyedd lists "John Manners Kerr, of Plas Issa Esq. High Sheriff of Merionethshire 1 February 1838-9".
At some point they moved to Maesmor Hall.
He sold Plas Issa to Colonel Vaughan of Rug, Corwen.
They are both listed as living Maesmor Hall in [Census, 1841]. He is listed as "Army Pensioner". They have 8 servants.

Death, 1843:
His will is dated 24 Mar 1842.
He died 1st Apr 1843, Maesmor Hall, age 76 yrs.
[Gentleman's Magazine obituary] says died "Maesmor heath". This phrase only appears in the Gentleman's Magazine and so is probably an error.
He was bur at Llangwm church. There was a monument to him there.
There is a memorial to him at Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton, beside his father's grave.
Will proved 13 May 1843.
Catherine is listed as widow, living Maesmor Hall, in [Census, 1851], has 8 servants.
She died 3rd Apr 1859, Maesmor Hall, age 82 yrs.
She was bur Llangwm.

John Manners Kerr had issue by his 1st wife Isabella Errington:

  1. Mary Kerr,
    born 2 June 1793, NOT Elizabeth,
    described as "only daughter" at mar,
    see mar notice in The Freeman's Journal, Mon 1 July 1816,
    see mar notice on p.84 of The European Magazine, and London Review, Volume 70, July-Dec 1816,
    mar Thur 20 June 1816, Northampton, to Justinian Alston and had issue.

  2. John James Kerr,
    of Maesmor, Wales,
    John James Manners Kerr,
    born 18 Mar 1799, eldest son,
    born Tiverton, Devon [census].

  3. Frederick Kerr,
    born 6th Oct 1804,
    served in 62nd Regiment,
    listed with his brother's family in 1841 census,
    died 23rd Feb 1876, age 71 yrs,
    had issue:

    1. 2 daus, Kerr.

  4. Rev. William Frederick Kerr,
    born 15th Nov 1806,
    educ Charterhouse,
    educ St John's College, Cambridge, entered 9 Apr 1829,
    see entry on p.29 of Alumni Cantabrigienses, Volume 2, Part 4,
    mar 17th June 1834 to Agnes Morris,
    BA 1836,
    ordained deacon 29 May 1836,
    priest 23 July 1837,
    Rector of Marston-Sicca, Gloucestershire, 1839-78,
    died 3rd Feb 1878, age 71 yrs,
    had issue:

    1. William Frederick Kerr.
      Major in 3rd Regiment.
      Became Colonel.
      See an autograph of "Colonel W.F. Kerr, 3rd Regimental District".

    2. Mary Kerr, born 1832,
      mar 1869 to her 1st cousin Howard Kerr and had issue.

Signature of John Manners Kerr.
From 1820 letter.

John Manners Kerr listed as Colonel with the 62nd Foot in [Dublin Almanack, 1804].
He is serving in Ireland.
See full size.

John Manners Kerr listed among the Lieutenant-Generals in [Dublin Almanack, 1814].
He is with the 5th Royal Veteran Battalion.
See full size.

John Manners Kerr listed among the Lieutenant-Generals in [Treble Almanac 1829, p.142].


Llangar church

Llangar church, Llangar parish, Edeirnion, Merionethshire, near Corwen, N Wales.
On the river, SW of Corwen.
Near Plas Issa (Plas Isaf).
See and satellite view.
Kerr's 2nd wife Margaret Davies was bur Llangar church in 1825.
The church is no longer used.
The monuments inside Llangar Church were relocated to the new church at Cynwyd nearby.
The graves outside survive.


Llangar church.
Photo 2014. See full size. From here.
See Wikimedia Commons photos.
See Geograph photos.
See photo courtesy of Bob Maysmor.

Llangwm church

John Manners Kerr married his 3rd wife Catherine Lloyd in 1829 at Llangwm (W of Maesmor, see map and map and close-up).
Both of them were buried there.
The church is now closed, and has been sold to a private owner.
This is now in the church parish of Llangwm (Dinmael).

There was a monument to John Manners Kerr at Llangwm church.
Inside of church is gutted.
Graveyard survives. No Kerr grave found in initial search of graveyard.
Kerr monument might have been inside church. Memorials inside church have been removed. They were probably moved to another church when it was sold. Possibly moved to the new parish church, St. Catherine's Church, Maerdy.

Llangwm church on street view.

The disused church at Llangwm.
Photos 2009.
See larger and full size.
See similar shot and wider shot and wider shot.
See photo courtesy of Bob Maysmor.

The gutted interior of the church.
Photos 2009.
See larger and full size.
See similar shot and porch and porch (where a wall memorial survives).



Sources yet to be consulted


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