The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Francis Henry (1844-1876) and Emily Mary (1842-1876) KEYSER

Grave Number 285

Francis Henry Keyser was the third child and second son of Alfred and Ellen née Ricardo. He was born in Paddington on 1 Jan 1844. At the age of 14, on 5 Jun 1858, he joined the Royal Navy as a navel cadet. His navel records show that he moved between ships fairly frequently (1). He is showing as a Midshipman on the 1861 census on the “Liffey” which was in the Grand Harbour, Malta.

He was promoted to Acting Sub Lieutenant on 18 Sep 1863 whilst stationed on the Pantaloon. Then promoted to Lieutenant on 25 Jan 1866. At the time of the 1871 census he was in Sheerness Harbour on the Penbroke, he was also showing as being at his parent’s house in Paddington. This was probably wishful thinking on the part of his parents, the census was taken on 2 April and he was due for his first period of leave since joining up on 22 April.

In March 1874 he was admitted to hospital, this was followed by three months’ full pay leave. His active service finished on the “Duke of Wellington” on 25 July 1874. He retired from the navy on 16 Nov 1875 having served nine years and 89 days. The papers show that he retired with the rank of Commander but do not state when he was promoted. He died aged 32 at his parents’ home, Cross Oak, in Berkhamsted. As he was a bachelor probate was granted to his father Alfred.

Emily Mary was the eldest daughter of Alfred and Ellen née Ricardo. She was born in Paddington on 8 Jul 1842. She never married and lived all her life with her parents. She died aged 34 on 26 Jul 1876 at her parents’ home, Cross Oak, in Berkhamsted.


  1. National Archive ADM 196/15/124

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