THE MOUBRAY FAMILY OF DALGETY BAY - FIFE  SCOTLAND - TOTTENHAM CONNECTIONS 

 

 

 I have been contacted by a gentleman who lives in Dalgety Bay in Fife, Scotland, that overlooks the Firth-of-Forth and located north of Edinburgh. The reason for his contact was to share a distant connection that Dalgety Bay has with Tottenham.

Over 220 years ago one of their local dignitaries, named Robert Moubray, was to marry Laura Hobson, the daughter of William Hobson of Markfield House, Tottenham. It transpired that Robert Moubray built two follies in his grounds in memory of his wife. One was called ‘Laura’s Mount’ and the other ’Markfield Tower’. Sadly, Markfield Tower had to be demolished a number of years ago, but Laura’s Mount still survives. The Moubray family are still recognised in Dalgety Bay today and they also have a Markfield Road in the town.
 
 
 

 

SADLY ALL THAT REMAINS OF MARKFIELD TOWER IS RUBBLE
IT WAS DEMOLISHED AS BEING UNSAFE SEVERAL YEARS AGO

 

 

 


     

MARKFIELD HOUSE TOTTENHAM - IMAGE COURTESY BRITISH MUSEUM

 

 The irony of the two towers built in Dalgety Bay, in memory of Laura Moubray (nee Hobson), was that her father, William Hobson of Markfield House, Tottenham had been a master builder and responsible for the building of London Docks but, more interestingly, the construction of the Martello Towers around the South-East corner of England that were a means of defence during the Napoleonic wars.

The Hobson family were also known to the artist John Constable and he painted portraits of the Hobson children, including Laura Moubray and her sister Ann Hobson.




PORTRAIT  LAURA MOUBRAY - BY JOHN CONSTABLE
The painting was once owned by the artist Lucien Freud
who valued the works of John Constable.

 

A little further research has disclosed some interesting information regarding the marriage of Robert Moubray to Laura Hobson in 1807. It was obviously in keeping with the laws and practices at the time, but it would appear that Robert Moubray had to pay a surety or possible dowry of £200 to William Hobson as part of a bond that was declared and indeed signed by both parties.

MARRIAGE BOND AND ALLEGATIONS
SIGNED ROBERT MOUBRAY & WILLIAM HOBSON 9th SEPTEMBER 1807


MARRIAGE BANNS - ROBERT MOUBRAY & LAURA HOBSON
ST MARY'S CHURCH - STOKE NEWINGTON - 10TH SEPT 1807
SIGNED BY ROBERT MOUBRAY -  LAURA HOBSON
WITNESSED BY WILLIAM HOBSON (FATHER) - ANN HOBSON (MOTHER)
ANN HOBSON (SISTER) ARTHUR HOBSON (BROTHER)
   

 

FAMILY OF ROBERT AND LAURA MOUBRAY (nee Hobson)
Robert and Laura were to have at least 11 Children that we know of and there could possibly have been more . Refer to list below.


Sir Robert Moubray died in 1848 and the following is a copy of his probate record.
 £10,117 must have been a considerable value for his estate in 1848 


 

CAPTAIN PERCY LIONEL MOUBRAY  1872 - 1914
Son of William Hobson Moubray and Grandson of Robert and Laura Moubray


CAPT P.L MOUBRAY - WW1 CITATION
KILLED IN ACTION AND MENTIONED IN DISPATCHES

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS OF DALGETY BAY - TODAY
Notably the Markfield Road area

                                                                                                             EXTRACT FROM THE DALGETY BAY - HERITAGE TRAIL

MARKFIELD ROAD
Markfield Tower will be remembered by early residents of the Bay as being a tower that stood on the hill ridge at Otterston just to the North West of the Eastern Access Road, from where it could be seen clearly on leaving the Bay. It has now been demolished, presumably for safety reasons, but it was described as a ”Square 19th cent. look-out tower built of rubble. Corbelled parapet. Buttressed angles. Door-lintel inscribed 'Markfield'. Gutted.”

Markfield House was a mansion in Tottenham (then a mere village) the residence of William Hobson, who was a successful and well-known builder. He was involved in the rebuilding of St. Luke’s Hospital, the construction of London Docklands and Newgate Gaol. He was most renowned, however, for the building of many “Martello Towers” on the English South and East coasts to protect against a possible French invasion. Many of these squat, round defensive structures still survive to this day.
Hobson’s wife, Ann Rickman, bore him sixteen children. The seventh born, Laura (b 1788), married Robert Moubray of Cockairnie and Otterston, Deputy Lieutenant of Fifeshire and the tower (and Laura’s Mount, a little further north) was clearly a tribute to her and her family, possibly with a nod to Hobson’s Martello Towers. We have also previously mentioned Laura’s portrait by Constable, a family friend of the Hobson’s.

 

 



THE HILLTOP WAS THE FORMER SITE OF MARKFIELD TOWER - DALGETY BAY

MARKFIELD ROAD - DALGETY BAY

 

 

it’s nice to hear of this slice of Tottenham’s hidden history that lives on in Scotland !

 

 

 BACKGROUND IMAGE:
If you look carefully at this old map of the Dalgety Bay area
you will note in the top centre of the Map its refers to the Rob't Moubray Estate

 

Article prepared and illustrated by Alan Swain March 2023
Based on original research by Jonathan Ellington of the Dalgety Bay Heritage Trail - We are indebted for his help and many photographs.