In 1849 Spencer Charles Dudley Ryder married in India, Julia, the eldest child of the Reverend William Money. The papers deposited at the Bodleian Library are about equally distributed between the two families of Ryder and Money, the earlier ones dating from the beginning of the century being mainly Money papers and the later ones chiefly Ryder.
Spencer and Julia were both children of the evangelical sect of the Church of England. Up to a point they had a common background. But the Church had been a more indulgent mother to Spencer's family. His father was the Hon Henry Ryder, youngest son of the first Baron Harrowby. Henry's eldest brother held high government office. Henry himself was successively (and simultaneously) Rector of Lutterworth in Leicestershire, Dean of Wells, Bishop of Gloucester and Bishop of Lichfield. (He did not hold all those jobs at the same time, but several of them). Starting his career as a high churchman he was early converted to evangelicalism and was one of Hannah More's disciples, and a friend of Wilberforce and Zachary Macaulay, His papers were all lost in a fire and our papers contain very little directly concerning him. There is a fragment of biography, privately printed, by one of his sons.
The papers begin with letters from his two sisters describing a tour in Wales in 1798 undertaken by them with their father and Henry The letters are very much of the period and very tedious. They read as if the two girls had been taught how to describe mountain scenery. During the early years of the 19th century there are very few letters, mainly (on the Ryder side) some from the Bishop's wife to her eldest daughter Annie who married Sir George Grey. The Bishop was however leading a very busy life, preaching and visiting and founding churches. He died, aged 59, in 1836.
Meanwhile On the Money side the letters deal mainly with Julia's grandfather. The son of a Captain in the East India Company's service who was also a Director of the East India Company, he followed in his father's footsteps in both respects. During the Napoleonic war he captured the Dutch East India fleet as it was homeward bound sailing (Money was) for the moment under government orders. Returning home, in poor health but something of a hero, he met and married Eugenia, the daughter of a Herefordshire family of the same name as his, but no relation, and of a considerably higher social standing. Immediately after his marriage he took his wife (and some brothers in law) on a voyage to China. His wife's first child was born in the China seas and died next day. There are extracts among the papers from the journal of one of Eugenia's brothers kept during the voyage, written in a very dull style but containing a good d deal of interesting matter.
William Taylor Money was then appointed by the East India Company to a post in Bombay as Controller of Shipping (or some such title) and while there, was responsible for the fitting out of the expedition which captured Java and the Isle de France. The papers are very scanty over this period unfortunately for his work must have been interesting. In 1816 he returned home and entered Parliament as member for Wootton Bassett. He was a follower of Canning.
When Java was captured by Sir Stamford Raffles, he, in his impatience to raise money for the many public works he planned, sold several large estates to English proprietors. William Taylor Money bought a fourth share of one of these estates. The transaction was disliked by the Government in India and England. When the war was over Java was handed back to the Dutch who complained that it was contrary to international law to sell conquered territory previous to a peace treaty. The proprietors were faced with endless difficulties and the estates caused them heavy losses. The negotiations between the proprietors and the British and Dutch Governments lasted for years. William Taylor Money's difficulties were aggravated by ten children, and he finally left England in debt and took up the post of Consul in Venice and Milan. He was at some early date converted to evangelicalism and was also a friend of Wilberforce and Macaulay. He and Henry Ryder were well acquainted at one time but when Money left England the two family's lost touch, and it was by chance that Money's granddaughter and Ryder's son met and married many years later.
There is very little in the papers concerning Money's parliamentary career, though there are references to a speech of his in favour of the notorious Six Acts. With his flight to the continent however the papers reach a flood. He carried on a voluminous correspondence in the form of journals, written up nightly and despatched when occasion offered, mainly with his best friend and brother in law, David Inglis. He describes minutely his journeys backwards and forwards across Europe. Unfortunately there is very little about his actual work in Venice and Milan. He took about two years leave of absence however to visit the Hague in order to press his claims against the Dutch Government and during that visit, when he was not, evidently very busy, there is a most detailed day to day account of all he saw and heard. The Dutch seem to have been in a miserable state of poverty, or at least the fishermen were in the winter, and Money was very active in collecting clothes and money for them from his philanthropic friends in England. The Dutch authorities distrusted his efforts. He returned to Venice only to die of cholera in 1834.
His eldest son, also William Money, was charming high principled and feckless. Put, against his wishes, by his father, into the great shipping firm of Forbes in Bombay, he married before he was earning a real salary and got himself turned out of the firm on some excuse, and had to return to England with his wife and baby, and was back on his father's hands. He then went to Cambridge where he was befriended by Mr. Simeon, and entered the Church. He had about ten children, never held a living worth anything, and finally, leaving all he could scrape together to be paid to his creditors, he fled to St Servan in Brittany where he lived for the next thirty years. He became chaplain to the English community and lived a life of poverty and piety, very much beloved, and shining among the curious crowd of bankrupts and cardsharpers and down at heels who had fled to France from an England too hot to hold them.
To return to the Ryders. When the Bishop died in 1836 his widow with twelve children (one had died) was left hard up, though she was wealthy enough compared with what her daughter in law was to be. She settled at Hambleden Cottage near Henley. The charming house was adored by the whole family and for about 50 years it was the centre of the family's life. Spencer was only ten when his father died. The responsibility for the whole crew fell mainly on the husband of the eldest daughter, Sir George Grey. He was, as he deserved to be, adored by them all, but they must have been a great burden on him. He found a ship for Alfred the naval one, and a school for Spencer the youngest, and sent his servants to escort any across London who needed such help. There is nothing about public affairs (he was Home Secretary at the time) in the papers, only a great quantity of letters of domestic interest dealing with the comings and goings, and ways and means, of the big family. The sons nearly all went abroad. They wrote letters from America, India and Ceylon. The one in America was serving on a Commission concerned with the abolition of the slave trade, but he regarded his duties lightly and there is a stiff letter from the Foreign Office reprimanding him for spending his leave in England when he ought not to have been beyond recall from his headquarters. He went on shooting expeditions and wrote lyrical letters describing the beauties of primeval America for a sportsman.
Another brother (Sir Alfred) entered the Navy and rose to be an Admiral. He was very religious and spent much time advocating the posting of chaplains to all ships.
Spencer, the baby, went to India as a soldier, and was present at the battle of Ferozshah in 1845. It was apparently reported at home that some British officers had not behaved well during the battle which was a very bloody one, and there is a letter from his mother to some member of the family describing her terror lest Spencer should have been one of the cowardly ones, and how much worse that would nave been than his death. But he wasn't killed, and did very well, and became a bit of a hero to his family. His marriage to Julia Money (who was on a visit to a rich Money uncle) was improvident, but fortunate for him. She was charming (with red hair), very good and religious, and had a strong character. He seems to have been quite charming but not nearly so forceful as she was. He adored her, but his health failed early and he had an endless struggle to get appointments carrying enough money to support a family. They had ten children of whom four died as infants in the terrible way babies did die in India at that date. There are fewer letters during the period of their married life, but he died aged 47 and Julia returned to England to an income of about £400 a year and six children of whom the eldest also Spencer but known as 'Spennie' was a teacher but suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to an asylum.
She passed the next few years between her father's house at St Servan, her mother-in-law's at Hambleden, and Cheltenham where she went for her sons' education. She was very touchingly loved by her husband's family who took an intense interest in her and her children's affairs. Her sons were by this time the only male descendants of Bishop Ryder in the third generation bearing the name. In 1884 her son Wilfred went to India and from then until her death in 1902 there is a practically complete series of her letters to him written weekly. Her son Charles also went to India and joined the Royal Engineers Survey, later becoming Surveyor General of India. She lived first in London, then in Eastbourne to look after her parents who were by then in failing health, and finally near Bradford on Avon in Murhill a small and beautiful country house which her children bought for her and which was her delight. She was much given to good works, being particularly interested in the Emigration Society and the Bible Society of which her grandfather and her husband's father had been original members. She was also a keen gardener and cultivated the bulbs and seeds her son sent her from India. Her two daughters Una and Mary lived with her unmarried. The eldest, a brilliant and charming creature in her youth, wrote delightful letters. She visited a great deal all the big houses where her relations still lived - Fallodon, Sandon and Garrendon among others. But she got too much of a taste, poor dear, for big houses arid could never take kindly to the great poverty which was all she was ever to know. The preservation of the letters is mainly due to her and her sister. They collected them and annotated them and preserved them, having very strongly the Victorian feeling for the sanctity of the family.
The typescripts of Wilfred's daughter Joan Maitland have been photographed and published as documents. The quality has made it unrealistic to scan these using optical character recognition. You can download by clicking on the texts/dates below:
1847 A, 1847 B, 1848, 1849 A, 1849 B.
1870/1872, 1872/1873. 1880/1882, 1883, 1884, 1885.