40. The ffrench-Pembertons, of
This family is descended from a Robert Pemberton (1789-1877) concerning whose parentage there was always a mystery. The following information is derived from correspondence with his daughter, Miss E. Mary Pemberton (No. 6) (who is living at Folkestone), his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Charles ffrench-Pemberton (No. 3), of Sefton, N.Z., and his grand-daughter, Mrs. Ensor, now Mrs. J. C. Butt, of Rollesby Hall, Norfolk (No. 15).
Robert Pemberton would never speak of his parentage, and was always regarded as the adopted son of a Mrs. Southbrook. This lady was the daughter of Count Philip Denoyer who came over from France during the Revolution, and the god-daughter of Queen Charlotte, and as a child spent much of her time at Kensington Palace. After her marriage with Mr. Southbrook she became acquainted with young Robert Pemberton, to whom she became greatly attached, and of whom she took the greatest care, so that he always looked upon her as his mother. He attended Levées at Court with her and her friends until his own marriage in 1824, when he was 40 years old. On his coming of age Robert had £500 settled on him, but it is not known by whom. His wife was Elizabeth Anne Evans, by whom he had five children. In 1838 the family went to France, living at first in the Provinces, and later in Paris. There the eldest son, Robert, studied at the Sorbonne, and took his Bachelor’s degree. Among his father’s many friends was Lady Broomhead, widow of General Broomhead, and daughter of Lord ffrench. She stood as godmother to Robert Pemberton’s second son, Charles ffrench, who thus introduced the distinctive name into this family. In consequence of the revolutionary disturbances in 1848 the Pembertons returned to England and lived at Chelsea until the marriage of the son Charles in 1856, when the son went to New Zealand, and the father moved to St. Albans where he died at the age of 90, in 1877.