Henry Davidson Milligan was born in 1791, the fifth child and third son of Robert Milligan and Jean Dunbar. He was baptised at St. Andrews, Holborn, on July 19, 1793.
Like his brother David, Henry also died at a young age, tragically soon after his marriage to Georgiana Matilda Sterling, the daughter of St. Walter Sterling, M.P for St. Ives, Cornwall.
Henry was 25 years old when he married 18 year old Georgiana Matilda Sterling, the daughter of Sir Walter Sterling, on August 3, 1816. Just days before, Joanna Baillie had written in a letter:
“ Your old tenant Mr. Henry Milligan, after spending the summer in Cornwall, is about to prepare for wintering in the West Indies, though he is much better than he was. He prefers this to living in London confined to the house.”
His wife’s father was M.P for St. Ives , Cornwall, which may explain another reason for Henry’s choice of an area for convalescing. On the other hand, he may have met Georgiana whilst in Cornwall...who will ever know?
A mystery surrounds Henry Milligan’s death. His death was reported in several publications, but vaguely stated “ died at sea off the Isle of Wight”, and on his brother’s gravestone in Jamaica it was written “HE LEFT HIS OWN COUNTRY TO ATTEND UPON A BELOVED BROTHER, WHO DIED AT SEA ON HIS WAY TO THIS ISLAND FOR THE RECOVERY OF HIS HEALTH.”
Henry died on October 2, 1817, after only 14 months of marriage. He must have been very ill indeed to embark on a journey and die so soon after setting sail. Joanna Baillie reported that he was about to depart for the West Indies for his health in August of 1816...he and his new wife must have spent some time there before returning to England, and then with his health suffering again in England’s cold climate he departed again, only to die before he could reach his destination.
Henry made his will on April 12, 1817, with an addition made on September 26 of the same year. His address was given as North Audley Street, Grosvenor Square, London. The main body of the will is very difficult to read due to the poor quality of the copy, but seems to deal mainly with ‘my dearly beloved wife Georgiana Matilda’, and with the naming of his brothers Robert, David and Duncan Davidson Milligan as his executors.
An addition made five months later states “In addition to the foregoing I would wish the following small bequests to my most excellent Mother and sisters and brothers (including Elizabeth) the sum of twenty five pounds as a small memorial of my great attachment. To my good friends Doctor Baillie, Mr Davidson, Mr. C. Robertson, Mr. T.B Lennard, Mr Flower, Mr Reid, David Lyon & _ _ Robertson mourning rings.
I appoint G.T Goodenough Esq an executor of my will and I desire that mourning rings may be presented to him and to Sir Walter Stirling Bart. London, September 26, 1817.”
The last two names mentioned in Henry’s will refer to his wife’s father and grandfather, Sir Walter Stirling and George Trenchard Goodenough. George’s daughter Susannah Goodenough married Sir Walter in 1794, before he was awarded his baronet in 1800, and had by him daughters Mary Jane ( married Sir James Flower in 1816), Dorothy Anne ( married John Barrett-Lennard in 1814) and Georgiana, and son Walter (married the Hon, Frances Caroline Byng). Susanna Goodenough Stirling sadly died just days after giving birth to final daughter Susanna Maria. The baby was born on May 31, 1806, and her mother died on June 8th, one day after her little daughter.
Henry’s widow remained unmarried for another sixteen years. In 1833, at St. George hanover Square in London, Georgiana Matilda Stirling Milligan married widower Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard (1762-1857). There is a memorial to them inside St. Michael’s Church at Aveley, Essex, which reads as follows:
“To the memory of Sir THOMAS BARRETT LENNARD, of Belhus, in this Parish,
Bart. Born A.D. 1762, deceased A.D. 1857. This Tablet is erected by his surviving
Sons and Male Descendants of his Name 1875. Also to that of his First Wife,
DOROTHY, Sister and co-heir of Sir JOHN ST. AUBYN, the last of the Baronets
of Clowance, Cy. Cornwall, and co-heir of Sir WILLIAM MORICE, the last of the
Baronets of Wirrington, Cy. Devon. She died A.D. 1830. Also to that of his Second
Wife who survived him MATILDA GEORGIANA, daughter of Sir WALTER
STIRLING OF FASKINE, Lanarkshire, N.B. Bart. and Widow of HENRY
MILLIGAN, Esq. She died A.D. 1873.
Their Remains are interred near this place.”
Georgiana bore her husband one child, a son named Walter James Barrett-Lennard. He was born on April 1, 1835, at Belhus, Essex.
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