Mary Evamy was the eldest of eleven children born to Richard Evamy and his wife Mary (nee) Barnes. She was christened in All Saints Church on 27 March 1789.

Her first marriage, at All Saints on 10 January 1811, was to Enoch Hodgkinson, a draper in the High Street in partnership with John Pocock. Her husband had been established in the trade by his uncle, also Enoch Hodgkinson, a draper at 124 New Bond Street in London’s Mayfair in partnership with George Warriner, a director of the Hand-in-Hand Fire Office, owner of a raft of respectable houses (in Stamford Street, Bennet Street and Brunswick Street) on the Surrey side of Blackfriar’s Bridge, owner of property in Child’s Hill in Middlesex and a Surrey JP. In his will, proved 11 June 1810, he left Enoch – eldest son of his late brother William - £3,000 in bank stock and leasehold property at 16 Stamford Street, let at an annual rent of £46. He also wrote off £100 owed to him. Part of this inheritance was used in October 1813 to purchase the lease of a house recently built on land taken from Nursling Common and owned by Sir Charles Mill of Mottisfont. Hodgkinson sold the lease to his father-in-law Richard Evamy for £480 on 30 May 1818 (Hampshire Archives and Local Studies 11M70/B1/1/8/101). Towards the end of his life Enoch took the minor government post of landing waiter at the Custom House in Southampton. He died in 1820 and was buried at Holy Rood on 22 November 1820. In his will he left all his property – freehold, leasehold and copyhold – in the City of London, Middlesex, Surrey and Hampshire to his widow. Mary was also sole executrix. Three children were born to Mary and Enoch:

Mary. Baptized 18 August 1814 at All Saints and buried there, aged 7 days, on 21 August.
Clement (1818-93). He studied civil engineering in France, returning to England to work at topographical fieldwork and mechanical drawing. At 21 he inherited money and went to New South Wales where in 1840-2 he was a contract surveyor for the government on the northern rivers. Returning to England in 1843 he published Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay in 1845. He worked as an engineer on railways in France, Belgium and Holland and lectured at the College of Geodetic Engineers in Putney. Hodgkinson returned to Australia in December 1851 and joined the Surveyor-General’s Office in Melbourne. His subsequent 40-year career in surveying and engineering can be followed in Australian national biography online.
Henry. Baptized 4 December 1820 at Holy Rood. A chemist in Kensington, he lived a life less exciting than his brother and half-brothers. He married Mary Ann Coward, a step-daughter of her mother’s younger sister Ann, at All Saints on 1 February 1845. She had been born in Yeovil on 5 November 1817, daughter of Henry Coward and his first wife. Now a widower and living at Red Lodge in North Stoneham, Henry Coward married Ann Evamy in June 1828.

Mary’s second marriage, at Holy Rood Church on 24 September 1822, was to John William Millais, musician and gentleman of Jersey. Baptized at St Helier on 26 February 1800, he was nearly eleven years her junior. They were living at Townhill Cottage in South Stoneham at the baptism at Botley church of their first child (Emily Mary) on 3 January 1824. John was described a ‘gentleman’.

The next address we have for the family – at the baptism of their youngest child (John Everett) in December 1829 – is Portland Street in Southampton. This was a new, prestigious development by Mary’s father Richard Evamy. The exact address has much exercised local historians. Tradition and the testimony of later residents locate the house as 3 Portland Street. John William and Mary were witnesses to a lease dated 3 October 1828 between Evamy and his son-in-law Charles Pardey for 3 and 4 Portland Street (Southern Evening Echo, 21 July 1984, quoting a document in private ownership). 13 Portland Street (on the northern corner with Portland Terrace) was mortgaged by Richard Evamy to Mary Millais on 9-10 September 1829 “for securing the sums of £1,000 and interest by indenture of lease and appointment and release” (Southampton City Archives D/Z 459/13). 30 Portland Street is given as John William Millais’ Southampton address in an 1830 London post office directory published by Pigott.

Five children were born to Mary and John William. Ellen Amelia and Mary Elizabeth both died in infancy. William Henry (1828-99) became a watercolourist of note. The eldest and youngest we have already briefly met. Emily Mary Millais (1824-1909) married the actor John Johnstone (Lester) Wallack in 1848. He was to become one of the leading light comedians on the American stage. John Everett Millais (born 8 June 1829, baptized 2 December 1829 at All Saints Church) was to become the youngest ever Royal Academician, founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and commercially perhaps the most successful artist of the century.

The family had left Southampton by 1831. Mary, a lady of natural wit and cleverness, devoted herself to the education of her prodigiously-talented son. She died in 1864.

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