A recent donation to the India Office Private Papers is an ensign’s commission granted to Anthony Merry who joined the East India Company as an army cadet in 1798.
Anthony Merry was baptised at Great Warley in Essex on 2 September 1783, the younger son of Anthony Merry and Margaret (née Hornby). When Anthony senior died in 1785, his will confirmed the marriage settlement made with Margaret together with a further £200. The settlement appears to have included the manor of Hayleys in Epping. Anthony did not mention his children. The bulk of the remaining estate went to his sister Elizabeth Pinnell and other relations.
Margaret Merry re-married twice. In 1786 she wed widower William Dowson of Chamberlain’s Wharf Southwark, and their son William was born the following year. Dowson died in 1791, leaving Margaret £100 and the use during her lifetime of Millfield House in Highgate.
In 1795 Margaret married another widower Henry Coxwell, a chemist and druggist in Fleet Street London. They had a son Charles in 1795 and a daughter Elizabeth in 1797. Coxwell was a member of the Committee of Chemistry at the Society for the Promotion of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, and the inventor of concrete lemon.
Concrete lemon was crystallised lemon juice,…