Adm Sir Leopold George Heath of Moorhurst and later Anstie Grange, Holmwood, Surrey, England
Born: 18 November 1817 and died 7 May 1907.
Son of: George Heath (1779-1852) and Ann Raymond Heath (nee Dunbar,1787-1842).
1. Julia Anna Harrison (nee Heath) (1807-1879), who married James Park Harrison.
2. Rev John Moore Heath (1808-1882), who married Marianne Harman (1816-1888).
3. Douglas Denon Heath (1811-1897).
4. Charles Heath (1814-1814).
5. Rev Dunbar Isidore Heath (1816-1888), who married Emily Mary Harrison (18??-1897).
6. Emma Jane Whatman (nee Heath) (1821-1884), who married William Godfrey Whatman (?-1876).
Leopold married: Mary Emma Marsh (1826-1902), daughter of Arthur Cuthbert Marsh and Ann Marsh-Caldwell, 8 December 1853 at Malta.
Leopold and Mary had issue:
1. Arthur Raymond Heath (1854-1943) who married Flora Jean Baxter.
2. Marion Emma Crofton (nee Heath, then Cotton) (1856-1949) who married 1st Alfred Fox Cotton, 2nd Maj Richard Martin Crofton RHA.
3. Maj Gen Frederick Crofton Heath-Caldwell (1858-1945) who married Constance Mary Helsham Helsham-Jones (1869-1957).
4. Cuthbert Eden Heath (1859-1939) who married Sarah Caroline Gore Gambier (1859-1944).
5. Ada Randolf Broadwood (nee Heath) (1860-1957) who married HJT Broadwood (1856-1911).
6. Admiral Sir Herbert Leopold Heath (1861-1954) who married Elizabeth Catherine Simson.
7. Major-General Sir Gerard Moore Heath (1863-1929) who married Mary Egerton.
We know about Sir Leopold from the following sources:
The following is taken from "Records of the Heath Family" by George Heath, 1913.
A Sketch of the Life of ADMIRAL SIR LEOPOLD GEORGE HEATH
Written by him at Anstie Grange, August 13th 1885
Admiral Sir L.G.Heath K.C.B., is also a Knight of the Legion of Honour, and has the 5th class of the Medjidieh and Crimean, Turkish, and Abyssinian medals. He is the youngest son of the late Mr. Serjeant Heath. His mother, Anne Raymond Dunbar, was first cousin once removed to the late Gen. Sir John Moore, K.B. and Admiral Sir Graham Moore , G.C.B. He was born on Nov. 18th, 1817, and joining the Royal Naval College in Sept., 1830, he left it, carrying off the first medal at Xmas, 1831, and embarked on board the Melville of 74 guns, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir John Gore, K.C.B. he sailed shortly afterwards for the East Indies. On the voyage home, when off the Mauritius in a gale of wind, he was in one of the two boats which attempted in vain to pick up Sir John Gore's Flag Lieut. and only son, who had jumped overboard in the attempt to save a drowning man; on this occasion the other boat was swamped, and Lieut. Fitzgerald with ten seaman were drowned, whilst Lieut. Hammond's boat, in which Mr. Heath was, succeeded only with great difficulty in reaching the ship. Mr. Heath then joined in succession for a short period, the Nimrod, the Cleopatra, and the Dublin, and remained on the Pacific Station in H.M.S. Harrier till 1839, having passed his examination for Lieut. in 1838, joining first the gunnery ship Excellent, and then the Royal Naval College; he carried off a Xmas, 1840, the prize Lieut. Commission, and served for two years as Gunnery Lieut. of H.M.S. Impregnable in the Mediterranean. In 1843 he was appointed Gunnery Lieut. of the Iris , commanded by Capt. Geo. Rodney Mundy, and served a somewhat eventful two years in China. The Iris was first engaged in the capture of Borneo, on which occasion Lieut. Heath landed with the rocket party, and was favourably mentioned in the despatches published in the Gazette of Sept. 1846, as commanding the pioneers and rocket party in the romantic expedition sent inland under Capt. Mundy, to attempt the capture of the fugitive Sultan. On the occasion of hostilities the Iris remained as senior ship on the coast of Borneo, and Lieut. Heath, having acquired the Malay language, acted as interpreter and magistrate under Capt. Mundy in the discussions with the Sultan, under which the island of Labuan was eventually ceded to the British Crown.
Early in 1847, Lieut. Heath was appointed Acting Commander of H.M.S.Wolf, and remained in charge of Labuan for a few months, and during this time he discovered the coal mine on the north end of the island, which has since been extensively worked. He returned to England on the Iris as 1st Lieut., and was promoted to the rank of Commander whilst the ship was paying off in Aug., 1847.
Some of Leopold's drawings from this time were published in the book 'Views in the Eastern Archipelago, Borneo, Sarawak, Labuan ' by James Augustus St John.
Reference to Leopold's actions above are probably also made in the following book: Narrative of events in Borneo and Celebes, down to the Occupation of Labuan: From the Journals of James Brooke, Esq. Rajah of Sarawak, and Governor of Labuan. Together with a Narrative of the Operations of H.M.S. Iris. By Captain Rodney Munday. Published in 1848 by John Murray, London.
In 1850 Com. Heath commissioned the Niger screw corvette, and served for two years on the West Coast of Africa, employed in the suppression of the slave trade.
He joined with the Niger boats in the first attack upon Lagos under Com. Wilmot, on which occasion he was the first man to land, and two of the Niger officers were killed by his side. The Niger proceeded early in 1853 to the Mediterranean, and went with the fleet to Besika Bay, and subsequently to Therapia. Com. Heath was one of the beach masters at the landing in the Crimea on Sept.15th, and subsequent days, and witnessed the battle (on Sept.20th), at the Alma, and as soon as Lord Raglan had determined upon what has been called the flank march, which carried the army round to the south side of Sebastopol, the Niger was sent in to take possession of Balaclava Harbour, and remained there for some time, packing the numerous transports that came in, in regular tiers, so as to make the most of the very limited room, and organising and arranging the landing of siege guns, stores, and provisions. The Niger shortly afterwards joined the rest of the fleet, and took part in the bombardment of Sebastopol forts on the 17th Oct., towing the sailing Line of battle ship London. He returned to Balaclava at the end of Oct., when in consequence of the capture by the Russians from the Turks of our batteries, it was determined to strengthen its inner defences, and Comr. Heath, having landed the greater part of his ship's company, took charge of a battery in those lines under command of Sir Colin Campbell, with whom he lived whilst so employed.
In Nov., 1854, Com. Heath was appointed Acting Captain of H.M.S. Sanspareil, a screw Line of battle ship of 74 guns, and was confirmed in that rank on Nov.13th, as being the senior Commander in a separate command at the bombardment of Sebastopol, Oct. 17th.
From the Sanspareil he was transferred to the important post of principal agent of transport at Balaclava,, where he remained until superceded by Admiral Fremantle in Nov., 1855, having in the meantime been nominated a C.B. Hardly had he reached England, when he received orders to commission the steam Mortar Frigate Sea Horse, for service in the Baltic. Peace, however, was made with Russia in 1856, and the Sea Horse, having taken part in the great Naval Review at Spithead, was sent on to Constantinople, to assist in bringing home the army, and was eventually paid off in Sept. 1856.
The want of a naval reserve having been seriously felt during the Russian war, the Government had, since the peace, determined upon re-organising the Coast Guard to supply that want, and upon placing it under the Admiralty instead of under the Custom House authorities. The coasts of Great Britain and Ireland, for that purpose, divided of into districts, each district being placed in charge of a Captain, and the whole being under the orders of a Commodore. Capt. Heath in Dec., 1856, commissioned the Melampus, a small sailing frigate, and mooring her in Southampton Water, took charge of the district between Dover and Southampton.
That ship was successively exchanged during the four years that Captain Heath commanded the district for the Arrogant and Dauntless, screw frigates; this duty during these four years was partly to prevent smuggling, but chiefly to attend to the discipline of the coastguard men, who were henceforth to be recruited entirely from the Royal Navy, and to be considered as the 1st line of Naval Reserve, and it was also his duty to enrol and drill periodically a newly organised 2nd reserve, called the Coast Volunteers, consisting of fishermen and other seafaring men living in his district. Captain Heath held this command till January, 1861. In the autumn of that year, war with America was at one time imminent, owing to the forcible abstraction by the Captain of an American Man-of-war, of Messrs. Slidell and Mason. Commissioners for the Southern States from one of the West Indian Mail Packets, and Captain Heath was warned by the Admiralty to hold himself in readiness to commission the frigate Mersey. The threatened storm however, blew over, and he remained on half-pay, living at Moorhurst, and superintending the building of Anstie Grange until 1862, when he was appointed to command the Cambridge Gunnery Training Ship at Plymouth.
In April 1863, he left the Cambridge, and became Vice-President of the Ordnance Select Committee at Woolwich, but as the committee met, as a rule, but three times a week, Captain Heath was enabled to live at Anstie Grange, which was by this time completed. He remained in this appointment until June, 1867, and during those four years he did much good service in advising on the various inventions connected with the public services, which were submitted to the Committee, and particularly to the change then gradually being made by the introduction of rifled ordnance in substitution of smooth bores. The 10-inch gun of 18 tons, which for a considerable time was the largest and most successful gun in the Naval service, was built at his suggestion, and on his design as to its rifling. On leaving the Committee, he was appointed 2nd class Commodore on the East Indian station, and hoisted his broad pennant on board H.M.S. "Octavia" at Bombay. In the autumn of this year it was determined to send an expedition to Abyssinia for the relief of our consul Mr.Rassam, who was detained in captivity by King Theodore, and Captain Heath was promoted temporarily to 1st class, and took charge of the Naval portion of the expedition. He left Bombay in his flagship Octavia, on December 21st, having on board Sir Robert Napier, the Commander-in-chief and his staff. The spot chosen for the landing of the expedition was Zoulla, in Annesley Bay, in the Red Sea, and here the men-of-war and transports assembled, and the work of landing troops and stores was carried out incessantly and energetically by the Navy.
At Zoulla, everything had to be provided. Stone houses to be built, and piers for landing to be made, but the greatest drawback to the site was that there was no fresh water, and everything had to be supplied by condensation of salt water.
The maintenance of this supply was a difficult matter, but fortunately some of the transports were fitted up with engines of a modern type, in which surface condensation was adopted, and by a little ingenuity they were arranged so as to give off fresh water of an excellent quality. Commodore Heath sent up with the troops a small body of sailors forming a rocket brigade, and they did excellent service, and were much praised by Sir Robert Napier. The expedition having succeeded in its object, returned and re-embarked at Zoulla in June, 1868.
The total force landed was as follows:
Infantry and Cavalry 14,214
Cavalry horses and Staff horses 2,538
Natives and Soldiers 26,254
Land transport, horse or mules 19,580
27,470 tons of water was manufactured and landed for the use of the troops, and an additional 9,563 tons was supplied for the use of the transports on their return voyage.
For more information see Admiralty Letter Book 1868-1870 .
For his services on this occasion Commodore Heath received the thanks of Parliament in the following terms, (identical in both Houses) "That the thanks of the house be given to Commodore Heath, Royal Navy, Companion of the most honourable Order of the Bath, for the indefatigable zeal and great ability with which he conducted the Naval operations connected with the transport of the troops and stores upon which the Expedition materially depended." He was also made a K.C.B. Sir Leopold Heath was made an A.D.C. to Her Majesty in February 1869. He remained in command of the East Indian Squadron until the end of 1870, his time having expired, when he returned to England on half-pay.
In the spring of 1871, he served on a Committee which laid down a complete system of torpedo defence for ports of Great Britain, and also for the ports of our Crown Colonies.
He became a Rear-Admiral in 1871, and was asked by Mr.Goschen (1st Lord), to take a seat at the Board of Admiralty, conditionally on his endeavouring to enter Parliament; this was declined, partly on grounds of the expense, and partly from the dislike to become a party man. In 1873, seeing but little chance of employment form some years, and believing from his age it was hardly possible he could ever become a Vice-Admiral on the active list, and quite certain he should never become a full Admiral, he retired from active service. In 1876, he was made a member of the Royal Commission on fugitive slaves, and in the same year, he attended at the invitation of the King of the Belgians, a conference at Brussels, at which the best means of opening up to commerce and civilisation the central parts of Africa were discussed.
This was his last public service. In 1861-1862 he had built Anstie Grange, and since his retirement he has lived there, doing the duties of County Magistrate, and employing his time as a director of various public companies, notably of the Hand in Hand, the oldest Insurance Co. in England, of the Central Bank of London, and of the Eastern and South African Telegraph Co.
On Dec. 8th,, 1853, Commander Heath, being then in command of the Niger, married Mary Emma Marsh at Malta, and Mrs. Heath remained during the first year of the Russian war, either at Therapia on the Bosphorus or at Malta, returning to Moorhurst in the autumn of 1854.
On his birthday Commander Heath received a pleasant surprise in the shape of a commission as acting Captain, which was subsequently confirmed from home, of the Sanspareil, Sir Edmund Lyon's flagship, in place of Capt. Dacres invalided, and a few days later he was appointed Captain of the port of Balaclava, a position of great responsibility, which brought him prominently forward. During his administration, Capt. Heath was much exercised in his mind at a severe criticism of the state of the harbour, which appeared in the Times. Sir Edmund Lyons, the Commander-in-Chief, was well satisfied with his work, for in January 1855, he recommended Captain Heath to the Admiralty for the important post of Principal Agent of Transports, "a post," Sir Edmund, on a very flattering letter to Heath, describes as "at this juncture of the highest importance, and whoever may be appointed by the Admiralty, may consider it a signal of proof of the confidence of the Board. Now I know no man so fit for it as your are." The Admiralty approved Sir Edmund's recommendation, and Captain Heath held his new appointment until practically the close of the War. How valuable were his services is shown by the fact that, although the junior captain employed in the Black Sea, his name appears among the first batch of Naval Officers selected for the honour of C.B. on July 25th, 1855.
Sir L.G.Heath published in 1897, an interesting little volume - Letters from the Black Sea during the Crimean War , 1854-1855, which contains a good deal of useful information, and documents of interest such as the despatch of the Duke of Newcastle to Lord Raglan, after receiving reports of the first bombardment of Sebastopol, of the battle of Balaclava, and that of Inkerman, which contains the striking passage, which might have emanated from Queen Victoria herself: "Let not any private soldier in the ranks believe that his conduct is unheeded; the Queen thanks him; his country honours him."
He was advanced to Vice-Admiral (retired) in 1877, and to Admiral in 1884.
The late Admiral was a J.P. for the county, and was one of the oldest magistrates for the Dorking district, although, it is some years since he sat on the Bench. He was a staunch churchman of the Evangelical school, and his opposition several years ago to the use of certain ornaments in Holmwood Church is too recent to need repetition.
In memory of Lady Heath, the Admiral erected a new lych-gate at Coldharbour Church, which was dedicated in Oct., 1904, by the Bishop of Winchester.
Generous and kind-hearted, he was a warm supporter of charitable and parochial institutions, and evinced a great interest in the miniature rifle club movement. He also took a deep interest in agriculture, being very fond of his own farm.
Lady Heath, who was born Nov.30th, 1826, died Dec. 20th, 1902, and Sir L.G.Heath May 7th, 1907, both at Anstie Grange, Holmwood, and were buried at Coldharbour.
End of the note in Records of the Heath Family Vol 1, 1913.
Political speech at Coldharbour by Admiral Sir Leopold G. Heath
From a family manuscript.
Delivered in his 88th year, May 11th, 1905.
My friends and neighbours,
Being probably the oldest man amongst you I venture to state my opinion as to the vote which Coldharbour should give when the dissolution takes place and we have to find a successor to Col.Cubitt.
I speak of the way in which Coldharbour should vote because I hope we shall all vote the same way and thus make our village small as it is of some weight in the politics of the division. Of course if half of us vote for Capt. Rawson and half for Mr. Brodie, we might just as well not vote at all. There never was a time when there were so many schools of thought in the country. There are the Liberal free-traders, the Unionist free-traders, the Imperialists with their preference for the colonists, the Chamberlainistes with their 10 per cent import duty which would bring in a large revenue with which to release us from other unpleasant taxes, the Balfourists with their retaliation principles founded on the common sense view that if a man slaps your face you forget the scriptures which requires you to turn the other cheek to him and you give it him well and force him to decent behaviour, and so on.
The general result of this split up of the old party divisions of Unionist or Radical is that if each of us was to stand out for his own particular views, we ought to have at least a dozen candidates before us to choose from, whereas we have but two.
We are thus driven back to government by party and are obliged to ticket ourselves as either Unionist or Radical and from this point of view we must not look so much at the personality of the candidates as to the principles of the party which they represent and to the personal qualities of the ruling members of that party.
Now I will put before you a short and very imperfect comparison of the two parties and I think I shall then be able to claim that we as men with a small but definite responsibility to our country should on the strength of that comparison without a doubt vote for the Unionist party.
I will not weary you with an imunuration of all the good laws passed by the Unionists during their long reign, free schooling, local government, compensation for accidents, allotments and small holdings and so on, but I will lay stress upon their one great claim to our gratitude in that they fought a great fight, having many (politically speaking) killed and wounded on the field and saved us from the danger of an Irish parliament, a danger the magnitude of which we cannot measure because we have happily escaped it. I will add one more reason why a community like this shall vote Unionist. It is that in Gladstonian days I paid 12/- a week to my farm labourers whereas now after many years of Unionist government I pay 16/-. This is a practical proof that the general result of Unionist measures has been in the direction of vastly improving the material condition of the working and this indicates that if again returned to power they will do nothing which will tend to lower that condition.
If you vote Unionist you will help to retain in power the present ministers whose principal members are Balfour, Lord Lansdowne, Littleton, Austin Chamberlain, and Long, whilst if you vote Radical you will help to bring in as substitutes the unscrupulous partisan Campbell Bannerman, the uncertain Lord Roxbery, and dry lawyer and special pleader Asquith, the solemn philosopher Morley, with perhaps the extremist Lloyd George and who knows but what there may be also Winston Churchill. It is a motley group, whose only idea seems to be that any measure whatever introduced by Mr. Balfour must be bad. Their sole idea of statesmanship is "obstruction" which by continual practice they have now reduced to a fine art. Well - all that I have hitherto said would have been appropriate to an ordinary electoral contest at a time when domestic concerns were alone at issue, but no thoughtful man can look at the political candidates of the world without seeing that the conduct of our foreign affairs will, in the near future, be of paramount importance to our dear old country. There is an extraordinary tutorial in the world, there are commercial jealousies and political jealousies amongst the civilised nations, there is the dreadful war in the East and most serious problems will crop up when it ends in which we cannot help being involved and it is all important for us to have at that time at the head of govt. a man like Mr. Balfour who to my mind stands head and shoulders above every other man in the House of Commons as a thoughtful and far seeing statesman and at the helm of foreign affairs a man like Lord Lansdowne who is trusted by the nation and has weight with European politicians, the man who by his far seeing treaty with Japan, and equally far-seeing agreement with France, has ensured so far as it can be ensured the isolation of the combatants. All our domestic squabbles about fiscal questions (which after all will take no practical shape for 2 years) sink into insignificance in comparison with the importance of the Eastern Question to us as a nation. We live by commerce and if we are to continue so to live we must have the open door and to ensure that open door in the scramble which will take place, we must have at the helm wise experience and above all strong men.
Balfour, Lord Lansdowne, Littleton, Austin Chamberlain with Chamberlain Lords Curzon, Milner, and Cromer as a reserve cannot be matched for those qualities and in comparison with these men any combination of Campbell, Bannerman, Lord Roubery, Mr. Morley, Mr. Fowler even with Lord Spencer the Duke of Devonshire and Sir Edward Grey, who ought to belong to us, thrown in, sink into absolute insignificance.
I therefore earnestly beg you to vote for Capt. Rawson and the Unionist party, and thus to do your best to ensure in the coming struggle the material welfare of our dear country and its maintenance in the splendid position which it now occupies amongst the nations of the world.
End of political speach
After Leopods death in 1907 a number of tributes were printed two of which are as follows:
Funeral at Coldharbour
From the SURREY ADVERTISER, 18 MAY 1907
In the little churchyard on the beautifully wooded hillside at Coldharbour on Friday afternoon of last week, the mortal remains of the late Admiral Sir Leopold George Heath, K.C.B., of Anstie Grange, Holmwood, were laid to rest with a touching simplicity of ceremonial. Six servants whom deceased employed on the farm in which he so much delighted during his days of retirement bore the body of their beloved master to the grave, after a short choral service had been held in the church, which was crowded with residents of the neighbourhood. The hymn, "Peace, perfect peace, was sung as the body was brought into church, and as the mournful procession wended its way to the graveside the organist (Mr. Furnival) played "O, rest in the Lord." The service in the church was read by the Rev. C.C. Inge, Vicar of South Holmwood, and the Rev. R.G. S. Gill, former Vicar of South Holmwood, read the lesson. The rites of committal were performed by the Rev. J. Harding, Vicar of Coldharbour, deceased being interred in the same grave as that in which his wife, Lady Heath, was buried in 1903. The grave was lined with moss, primroses and laurel leaves, and with the coffin was buried a large anchor of flowers "from all at Kitlands." The coffin, which was encased in purple velvet, and on which were placed the Admiral's cocked hat and sword, had brass furniture, and on the breast-plate was the inscription: Leopold George Heath; Died 7th May, 1907; Aged 89 years.
The mourners were: Mr and Mrs A. Raymond Heath, Mrs R. M. Crofton, Col. F.C. Heath and Mrs Frederick Heath, Mr and Mrs Cuthbert Heath, Mr and Mrs Henry Broadwood, Mrs Herbert L. Heath, Lieut-Col. G. M. Heath, R.E., D.S.O. (sons and daughters). The only other son, Capt. H. L. Heath, R.N., M.V.O., commanding H.M.S. Lancaster, is with the Mediterranean Fleet. There were in addition to the above: Mr. Frederick Heath and Master Leopold Heath (grandsons) and the following nephews: Mr. Geo. Heath, Mr Walter Heath, the Rev. Douglas L. heath (Bushend Vicarage, Takeley, Essex), Mr James Heath, Commander M.J. Harrison, late R.N., Mr. G.D. Whatman, Col. W.D. Whatman (20th Hussars), Major C. H. Crofton, late R.H.A., and Mrs Crofton, Mr. H.E. Malden, and Mr A. H. Loring. Deceased's household servants and other employees followed.
Among those also present were: Sir Alexander Hargreaves Brown, Mr A.C. Powell, J.P. (Chairman of the Dorking Bench, on which deceased held a seat for 45 years), Mr. H.C. Lee Steere, J.P., Miss Bovill, Mr Bristow Bovill, Mr Malcolm Bovill, Mr. H. H. Gordon Clark (Mickleham Hall), Miss Vaughan Williams, Capt. St. John Hornby, R.N., Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Perkins (Oakdene), the Hon. Wm. Gibson, Miss B. Broadwood,, Dr. H. Ward Clark, Messrs. B.J. Hack, J. Attlee, W. Sanders, J. F. O'Byrne, (representing the Holmwood and District Rifle Club), A. C. Cole, J. Tucknott, Roffey, and ex-Police Inspector Manning (of Holmwood, who, like the deceased served in the Crimean War).
Carriages were sent by Mr. J. H. Dennis (Capel), Col. Helsham Jones, Mr. Barclay (Bury Hill), Mr O.E. Mortimer (Capel), and Mr. F.S. Phillips.
At the wish of the Admiral, his favourite old horse followed, attached to the first carriage after the hearse.
There were many beautiful floral tributes, including those sent by the following: Col. And Mrs. F. C. Heath, Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Heath, all at Kitlands, Ada and Harry, Raymond and Freddie, Herbert and Bessie, James and Florence, the Rev. Douglas L. Heath, Sir Leopold's household servants, the servants at Kitlands, from the farm, Capt. and Mrs Duke Crofton, Madeline and Posey, Miss Marsh Caldwell and Miss Rosamond Marsh-Caldwell, G. M. and M. B. Col., and Miss Helsham Jones, Mrs Cazalet and the Misses Cazalet, Sir Alexander, Lady and Miss Hargreaves Brown, A. and S. Tyler, Major and Mrs Leonard Watkins, Nelly, Kitty and Sidney Crumpler, Mr and Mrs Lipscomb and family, Holmwood and District Rifle Club, Miss Cazalet and Miss Dora Cazalet, "directors and employees of Perkins, Bacon and Co., Ltd., in kind remembrance of his connection with us as chairman for many years." Genesta, May, from Home Gordon, Arthur Barnes, Theodore Monk, G. S. Nichols, Ronald E. Hall, J. O. Goodes, F. C. Dearing, G. T. Shearing, and Montague Evans.
The Late Admiral Sir Leopold George Heath, KCB
From the Holmwood Parish Magazine, 1 June 1907
We are indebted to the kindness of Mr. H.E. Malden for the sketch which follows, of the late Admiral. Our readers will be glad to have in their possession, such a fresh and vivid portraiture of one whom we all looked upon with sincere affection and regard. - J.H.
With the death of Admiral Sir Leopold George Heath, K.C.B., on May 7th, 1907, the last of the elder generation of a family long connected with Coldharbour passed away. Sir Leopold was the fourth and youngest son of Mr. Serjeant Heath, who bought Kitlands in 1824. He was born 18th November, 1817. In 1830 he joined the Naval College, Portsmouth, where young naval officers were then trained. He passed out of it with the first medal next year. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1840, gaining what was called a prize commission as the result of his qualifying examination for lieutenant. When the future Admiral joined the navy our men-of-war were all sailing ships. Steam was only being introduced between 1840 and 1850. Some steam sloops answering by their place in the navy, to the third class cruisers of to-day, but much less powerful, were just being built. To the command of one of these, the Niger, he was appointed in 1850. We then kept a squadron off the coast of West Africa to suppress the slave trade. The Niger was commissioned to this station. Here he saw war service at Lagos. The native ruler of the place was a supporter of the slave trade. English sailors and marines were landed, and took the town, but only after sharp fighting, in which our loss was nearly one hundred killed and wounded. When the Russian war was threatening to begin the Niger was sent to the Mediterranean. Here, Commander Heath married, at Malta, in 1853, Miss Marsh, who after nearly fifty years of married life, was buried at Coldharbour in 1902. When war broke out the Niger went to the Black Sea, to blockade the Russian ports, and to check the passage of supplies by sea from Sebastopol or Odessa to the Russian armies on the Danube. She was more fortunate than her sister ship the Tiger, which went ashore in a fog close to Odessa, and was forced to surrender to Russian batteries on shore. The Niger arrived upon the scene to find the Tiger a burning wreck and her crew prisoners. When the expedition sailed to the Crimea, Commander Heath filled the responsible position of Beach Master, to superintend the arrangements for the disembarkation of the army. The Niger was next used to tow the London, a sailing line of battleship, in the first ineffectual bombardment of the forts of the harbour of Sebastopol. His capacity quickly brought Sir Leopold to the front in that time of stress and trouble. First promoted to be Acting Captain of the Sanspareil, he was soon after made Captain of the harbour of Balaclava, and later still Principal Agent of Transports. The existence of our army depended upon the arrangements at Balaclava, and the testimony of the Admiral, Sir Edmund Lyons, and of Captains of the transports, was conclusive of the efficiency of his management. What he saw of war in the Crimea made him, like other real fighting men, anxious to keep war away from England. He once said in a speech, "I have seen the fields of Alma and of Inkerman, and I am determined that no preparation of our army or navy is useless which may keep such scenes from occurring in England." In 1867 he was made Commodore on the East India Station. It fell to his lot there to organize the transport and disembarkation and return of the force which sailed from Bombay to Abyssinia, a service for which his Crimean experience was specially useful. He received the thanks of Parliament and a K.C.B. after the war. In 1870-71 he was Vice-President of the Ordnance Select Committee at the time when improvements in naval guns needed much consideration. His mathematical aptitude, shared with all his brothers, was a valuable assistance on a Board which had to listen to the views of experts upon the flight of projectiles. In 1861-2 Captain Heath had built Anstie Grange, where, except when on service, he continued to reside, though in 1897 the death of is elder brother, Mr.D.D. Heath, had made him owner of Kitlands also. He was an indefatigable man of business, and after his retirement from the sea, which was in 1871, when he was promoted Rear-Admiral, he became a Director of more than one Company, and sedulously attended to their affairs up to a very recent period. He died in his 90th year. When he was born Coldharbour was out of the world. There was no road to it which we should now call passable for carriages; the way over the common below the Church ran down the ditch next the hedge of Chasemore. The Schools, however, were just being built by Mr. Barclay. The Church was not built till Sir Leopold was thirty, nor was Holmwood Church when he first saw the neighbourhood. He was fifty before there was any railway nearer than Dorking. The changes of Society and of all around it were greater in his life-time than for 300 years perhaps before; and he was the last of a generation which worthily and wisely presided over the course of those changes. "His body is buried in peace"; but that which changeth not remains. And on the beautiful hill-side is another memorial, among the many that remind us that duty, justice, uprightness, love, remain for ever.
The Will of Adm Sir Leopold George Heath
BE IT KNOWN that Sir Leopold George Heath of Anstie Grange, Holmwood in the County of Surrey K.C.B. died on the 7th day of May 1907 at Anstie Grange aforesaid. AND BE IT FURTHER KNOWN that at the date hereunder written the last Will and Testament of the said deceased was proved and registered in the Principal Probate Registry of His Majesty's High Court of Justice, and that administration of all the estate which by lay devolves to and vests in the personal representative of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to Frederick Crofton Heath of 178 Ashley Gardens in the County of Middlesex, Colonel (retired) in H.M. Army and Cuthbert Eden Heath of "Lloyds" Royal Exchange in the City of London, underwriter, sons of deceased, and Marion Emma Crofton of Bone Hill St.Albans in the County of Hertford, widow, daughter of deceased, the Executors
Named in the said Will.
Dated the 7th day of June 1907
Gross value of Estate - ?43,664.4.8 Res.. ?50,065.14.0
Net value of Personal Estate ?41,970.14.7
9.And I give to my son Herbert Leopold the sword made from a bolt of the Royal George sunk at Spithead in 1782 with Admiral Kempenfelt and 600 men and presented to me by my friends at the Royal Naval College when I left it in 1840 carrying off the prize - Lieutenants Commission. It is to be thoroughly renovated and altered to the service pattern with a new belt at the expense of my residuary estate and I also give to Herbert all my medals and Orders not claimed by the Government except the silver medal gained at the old Royal Naval College in 1831 which is to go to my grandson Cuthbert and I also give to Herbert the pair of china vases standing 7 ? inches high now in the small drawing room. And I give to Ada the pair standing 10 inches high also now in the small drawing room.
In the 7th day of June 1907 Probate of this will was granted to Frederick Crofton Heath, Cuthbert Eden Heath and Marion Emma Crofton the Executors.
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