Further snippets on Epps and Knatchbull

I was walking my dog around Ashford Cemetery today.  I’m going to write a blog on the history of the cemetery in the next few days, as those places are positively alive with heritage!

But I spotted two names that I’ve written about in the last two posts, so thought I would share them here.

First, I spotted this:

Epps stonemason
On a grave in Ashford Cemetery, Canterbury Road

I’m convinced that an Epps in Ashford is going to be descended from, or related to, the Epes (and the spelling was very interchangeable with Epse, Epps, and Apps on various different records) who lived in the house in North Street, blogged about a couple of days’ ago.

When I got home, I googled “Epps Stonemason, Ashford” and sadly found an article in the Kent Messenger, here.  Epps Construction shut last year after 174 years in business.  They began in the same year that Thomas Cook started his travel agent business.  Epps Construction created many of the distinctive buildings you see around Kent, such as the Wing building in Capel-le-ferme.  Still, extraordinary to think that there have been Epes/ Epps family members – and buildings associated with them – in Ashford for nearly seven hundred years!

Then I saw this and it reminded me that Frances Epes’ father, John, had been friends with Sir Norton Knatchbull:

closeup of knatchbull cross
Ashford Cemetery, Canterbury Road

I could find very little on Fanny Dorothea, except that she was born in Mersham to Sir Norton Knatchbull and Lady Knatchbull, in the borough of Ashford, in 1831.  One wonders if she was living in Ashford town, to not have been buried with the rest of the Knatchbull family.  “Dorothea” is clearly a Knatchbull family name, because Jane Austen’s nephew, Edward Knight proposed to Mary Dorothea Knatchbull.


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