Select Terry Miscellany

Here are some Terry stories and accounts over the years:

The Terrys of Cork

Kevin Terry has written two books on the Terrys of Cork, spanning the period from 1180 to 2000. 

The first, although published later in 2013, covered the period from 1180 to 1644.  Entitled Merchant Gentry, the book sought to establish some of the political, social and economic reasons for their rise to prominence from the 15th century, their maintenance of this position for some 250 years, through to their expulsion together with other old English families in 1644. 

The second, published earlier in 2005, brought the story up to the present.  This book studied the settlement patterns of Terrys in Cork city, as well as in the baronies of Cork, Barrymore and Imokilly, between 1600 and 2000.  In 1900 there were 21 Terry families recorded, all Catholic - six in Cork city, one in Cork barony, four in Barrymore, and ten in Imokilly. 

The book also looked at the Terrys who had emigrated from Cork and where they went.  The main destinations were America and Australia

The Rev. John Terry of Stockton, Wiltshire

The following memorial of the Rev. John Terry, the anti-Catholic writer, appeared at the church in Stockton, Wiltshire on his death in 1625: 

If men should be silent, this stone shall speak the due praise of God's grace in John Terry, lately a faithful, painful, vigilant and fruitful Minister of God's truth in this church of Stockton. He was born of substantial parentage at Long Sutton in Hampshire; bred a well deserving member of New College in Oxford; freely presented to this charge by the Right Rev. Bishop of Winchester in 1582.  May he sleep happily in the public cemetery of this Church till the last trumpet shall awake him to a joyful resurrection in Christ. 

He lived, he learned, he wrote, he taught, 
Well, much, truly, duly, he brought 
Home the lost sheep, which Christ's blood bought, 
Against Hell's power he stoutly fought. 
Terrae Terra datur, Caelum sed spiritus ornat, 
Mundus habet famam, lusa Gehenna fremit."

The Terry Theatrical Family

The Terry family was a theatrical dynasty of the late 19th century and beyond. The family included not only those members with the surname Terry, but also Neilsons, Craigs and Gielguds to whom the Terrys were linked by marriage or by blood ties. 

The dynasty was founded by the actor Benjamin Terry and his wife Sarah.  The first member of the family to achieve national prominence was their eldest surviving daughter Kate.  Her younger sister Ellen achieved international fame in partnership with Henry Irving.  Ellen Terry was seen as the greatest star of the family for many decades.  Kate’s grandson John Gielgud became at least as celebrated from the 1930s onwards

Three other siblings - Marion, Florence and Fred - also became actors.  And Fred married Julia Neilson, a prominent actress of her day.  Among those of the family who did not become actors was Gordon Craig, Ellen's son, an internationally-known theater designer and director. 

The family story was told in Marguerite Steen’s 1962 book A Pride of Terrys.

Jonathan Terry of Terrytown

Terrytown is a small village situated about two miles above the mouth of Wyalusing creek in Bradford county, Pennsylvania. 

Captain Jonathan Terry was its first permanent settler.  A descendant of Long Island 1640 immigrant Richard Terry, he had been born in Connecticut in 1758.  When he was five his family, along with other Connecticut settlers, moved to the Wyoming valley in Pennsylvania.  There on the frontier they encountered many Indian troubles.  They were indeed fortunate to be inside Forty Fort at the time of the Indian battle and massacre at Wyoming in July 1778.  

In 1787 Jonathan built for himself a house at Terrytown and moved into it, thus becoming the founder of the village. He was a typical pioneer and was also noted for his genial nature.  

In 1806 he constructed his "mansion on the river," after having purchased a tract of six hundred acres.  This he occupied throughout his life.  The log cabin which he constructed is still standing and is in an excellent state of preservation.  On Terry’s farm was erected the village’s first grist mill, a saw mill, tannery and distillery.  He also owned and operated the first ferry across the river

A description of Terry’s house as it appeared in 1878 ran as follows

It is a large two-storied hewn log house, with a huge chimney in the center of it, a small portico in the front, and in early times had large double doors about three inches thick.  It is the oldest house in the village and well merits the title "the Old Terry Castle!’”

Five generations of Terrys have lived in this home.  The story of the Terrys of Terrytown was told in C.F. Heverly’s 1913 book Terry Family Pioneers.

Terrys on the Wagon Train to Utah

Jacob Terry and his family made their way across the Great Plains to Salt Lake valley and the Mormon settlement there in 1852.  Annie Frank, grand daughter of Mary Hannah - Jacob's eldest daughter - supplied this little incident of their journey: 

"Mary Hannah was my grandmother and told an incident in their trip across the plains.  Her brother Parshall was a practical joker and she was a very pretty young woman. The Pawnee Indians were at peace with the whites, but the Chief came down to see the immigrant train and pointing to Mary said, 'Heep winow squaw.' 

Her brother Parshall replied, 'You bet she is.  How many ponies will you give me for her?'  As you know, Indians do not joke. The Chief said he would give one pony. 

"Oh, no," said Parshall.  So they dickered until he said he would give five ponies and Parshall said, 'Alright, five ponies.'  

The chief came next day with five ponies and insisted that he have the squaw and he followed the train for days and they had to hide Mary in different wagons this time until the Chief gave up and went on his way."

John Terry in Tasmania

There is a charming account by John Terry in a letter home in 1822 of his early labors in creating a mill, farm and orchard in the idyllic surroundings of Tasmania: 

“I threw off my coat and rose with the sun, wrought at all that had come to hand.  I now thank God and consider myself and my family in a very comfortable position. 

Wild duck in great numbers, as many as 300 to 400 rise at once.  Black swan and land quail, wild pigeons colored like peacocks, and fish in great plenty.  Hunt the kangaroo.  Trees here cast a shell of bark, not leaves.  Wood when cut green sinks in water like a stone. 

Your shortest day is our longest and your summer our winter.  The cuckoo cries in the night and mostly in our winter.  The man in the moon has his legs upward."

Noel Terry and Goddards

Noel Terry was a young man in 1910 when his father Thomas passed away and he and his uncle Francis took over Terrys of York. 

However, the First Wold War soon intervened and Noel enlisted as an officer
in the Yorkshire Regiment and took part in the Battle of the Somme.  He was wounded by a bullet to the thigh during the battle and might have died.  It is thought that a silver cigarette case in his pocket took most of the impact and may have saved his life. 

Back home in peacetime, Noel made a success of his stewardship of Terrys.  He introduced the
famous All Gold chocolate collection in 1930 and the Chocolate Orange selection a year later. 

By that time he had moved into his new home at Goddards
on Tadcaster Road, close by the chocolate factory.  The house took its name from Francis Goddard, the maiden name of his grandfather Sir Joseph Terry’s wife.  Completed in 1927, it was home to Noel and his wife Kathleen and their four children, Peter, Kenneth, Betty and Richard. 

has been described as the finest surviving example of the work of Walter Brierley, the Lutyens of the north.  It still retains many of the original fixtures, including its Arts and Crafts wallpapers and panelling and the staircase with its oak carving.  The exterior of the house features handmade locally produced bricks arranged in geometric patterns and decorative chimney stacks typical of a Brierley building.  Inside the house was a large assortment of Georgian furniture and clocks which Noel collected throughout his life. 

When Noel died in 1980, Goddards passed to the National Trust

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