Margaret Rosa Cecil VOSS (1879-1957) and her bequests

I felt my search for Margaret Rosa Cecil VOSS concluded when I found this photograph in my cousin Rosemary’s collection. On the reverse is inscribed:
Margaret “Daisy” Cecil Voss. She was borne in 1879 in India and the photograph was taken in Dorking, perhaps about 1882, when she must have been in England.

When sorting out my parents effects, I came across a letter from a bank acting as executors and addressed to my father on 2nd April 1957.  It reads:

Dear Sir
             Miss M R C Voss, deceased

    We are now in a position to give effect to the specific legacies and have today dispatched under separate cover the miniature of Captain Voss and the daguerreotype of Claude and Tertius Voss and the Voss signet ring.
    The portrait of the deceased’s Great Uncle Pascal, the crayon drawing of H. M. S. Vernon and the portraits of the Raja of Parla Kimedi are being sent by our agents, Messrs, H. E. Hall & Sons.  When all
the articles have been safely received will you please acknowledge receipt by signing and returning the enclosed form.
    We regret that the Executors were unable to trace the portrait of Tertius Voss, and the Voss crest brooch which was bequeathed to your wife, and we can only presume that the late Miss Voss must have disposed of these during her lifetime.
    Yours faithfully

I found the miniature, the daguerreotype and the crayon drawing.

Who on earth was Miss M R C Voss, clearly known to my parents, and who were Claude, Tertius and Great Uncle Pascal? Thus began a search in which I have learnt a great deal about Capt. Edward VOSS. I now know her to have been Margaret Rosa Cecil VOSS, granddaughter of Capt. Edward Voss through his son Claudius William VOSS, a Political Advisor in India.

(Since this was originally written here, a lot has been clarified about Daisy, and this posting has been updated in places, with additions in orange.)

The name Rosa clearly comes from her aunt Rosa Somers VOSS, and Cecil from her maternal family connection with the CECIL family and Lord Robert CECIL, Third Marquis of Salisbury and British Prime Minister, who was her 2C2R

I am yet to discover who her Great Uncle Pascal was, and I do not know whether he was on her paternal VOSS or maternal WOODHOUSE side.  (Alison Smith posits that he was a step-brother of her maternal grandmother Elizabeth Ann SUMMERS.)  I never found the portrait bequeathed to my father, nor that of the Raja of Parla Kimedi.

Margaret R C Voss’ will makes an extraordinary read.  A copy is included below.  She had clearly spent much time in India, judging from the artifacts she bequeathed. She was careful to explain the provenance of the items, but did not indicated her relationship to the beneficiaries.  Some, no doubt, were friends, as suggested by addresses in or near Wokingham where she lived her last years.

Bequests to my own family of VOSS artifacts imply a connection between my forebears and her own.  It is interesting that she chose my family to receive them, rather than those closer to her own.  She must have had numerous closer cousins through her aunt Elizabeth’s 14 children.  But there was no surviving male line from Capt. VOSS and she may have wanted to acknowledge the Voss connection.

And the remainder of the beneficiaries?   There is no mention of her aunt’s FERRIER line.  One or two beneficiaries include the name Woodhouse in their forenames, suggesting they may be related to her own maternal line of WOODHOUSE, but none have been identified to date. (See identifications in notes to the will.)

I am yet to discover how Capt. Edward VOSS is related to my own VOSS line.  My first guess was that he and George VOSS (d) were brothers, but that is not looking likely.  Perhaps cousins?  (I am now sure they were brothers.) It looks like Margaret and my father and his sister were no closer than third or fourth cousins, perhaps once removed.  Margaret’s Aunt Elizabeth Collins FERRIER (née VOSS) had 14 children and there must surely have been closer relatives, but not, it seems, bearing the VOSS name.  In her will Margaret identifies clearly the relationship of the persons she had inherited items from, but does not identify her relationship to the beneficiaries.  So perhaps some of the other beneficiaries are relatives.  None have the name FERRIER.


Will of Margaret Rosa Cecil VOSS with notes referenced in brackets [ ] by Tony Voss.

I MARGARET ROSA CECIL VOSS of “Purlah” Denton Road Wokingham in the County of Berks Spinster hereby revoke all former Wills and Codicils made by me and declare that this is my last Will

1. I APPOINT Westminster Bank Limited (hereinafter called “the Bank”) and Lilian Gwendoline Youde [1] of 41 Leacroft Staines in the County of Middlesex the Wife of Gerald Sanford Youde [2] (hereinafter together called “my Trustees”) to be the Executors and Trustees of this my will and I declare that the Bank may act as such executor and trustee on the Bank’s published terms and conditions now in force (including those governing the incidence of the Bank’s remuneration) as if such published terms and conditions ware herein declared

2. I DESIRE that my body may be cremated and my ashes scattered and that a short service be conducted in All Saints Church Wokingham aforesaid prior to cremation

3. I BEQUEATH the following specific legacies:-

(1) To the Poor Clergy Relief Corporation of Number 38 Tavistock Place London W.C.1, the Friends of the Poor of 38 Ebury Street London S.W.1. and the Greater World Shelter for Homeless Women of Number 13 China Walk London S.E.11 all my clothes except my furs and fur coats and house linen in equal shares

(2) To the Church of Spiritual Unity of London Road Reading in the said County of Berks all my spiritualist books and literature with the exception of the book entitled “Beyond Life’s Sunset”

(3) To Mrs Lillian Phillips formerly the wife of Edgar Spottiswoode Humphreys of 36 Onslow Street South Perth West Australia my old paste coronet brooch my small plated teapot my fluted hot water jug

(4) To Penelope Ann Humphreys [0] the daughter of the said Edgar Spottiswoode Humphreys my carved coral necklace my pearl necklace with the smaller pearls my pearl and marcasite earrings vy snail diamond initial ring end my Indian silver ball necklace

(5) To Virginia Charlotte Wood [24] my ball-coral necklace which belonged to my grandmother Charlotte Woodhouse [3] and carved coral Neopolitan ring (circe 1750) my coral safety pin brooch and earrings my ruby and diamond Gipsy ring my “Merry thought” brooch and my carved coral antique ring

(6) To John Edward Franklin Voss [4] the son of the late Edward Voss [5] c/o Lloyds Bank Berkhampstead Herts the portrait of my great uncle Pascal [6] the portrait of Tertius Voss [7] the crayon drawing of Captain Edward Voss’s flagship H.M.S. “Vernon” [8] the portrait of the Raja of Paria Kimiedi [9] the miniature (in a case) of Captain Voss [10] and the daguerreotype of Claude and Tertius Voss [10] and my Voss signet ring [9]

(7) To Margaret Voss Wife of the said John Edward Franklin Voss my “Voss” crest brooch [11]

(8) To Mona Willingham Voss [12] of Cranbourne Chestnut Lane Amersham Bucks the Widow of the said Edward Voss a moonstone brooch (formerly the property of my Aunt Rosie Voss [13]) and a single set claw set diamond ring

(9) To Elizabeth Willingham Hunt [14] of Blackwood Bois Iane Chesham Bois Bucks the daughter of the said Edward Voss a Trichinopoly gold chain and locket (with a painting therein on ivory of the golden temple at Amritsar) an oval gold brooch (with an ivory miniature thereon of the Emperor Akhbar) a small oval goldstone brooch (formerly .the property of my great-aunt Eliza Voss [15]) and my Chinese ivory-handled umbrella my gold stud and small gold pocket pencil my black marble Voss family clock [16]

(10) To Phyllis Nock of 56 Priory Road Kenilworth the daughter of Amy Nock and Guy Nock the two ivory miniatures (in oases) of my maternal grand-parents Major and Mrs Woodhouse [17] a small silver cream jug a silver tea caddy a filigree plated sugar basket a large engraved plated teapot a gold filigree maltese cross brooch (formerly the property of my Mother) a gold ring set with small rubies and four pearls (formerly the property of my grandmother Mrs Woodhouse) and my photographs of Colonel Sir Swinton S.Jacob and Lady Jacob my oil portrait of my ancestress Margaret Fraser Baroness Saltoun [18] a black-opal and pearl ring a gold cable necklet chain and a pink peridot pendant

(11) To the said Guy Nock a gold chased pencil (formerly the property of my father) my photograph of the late Raja of Paria Kimedi and of his son the present Raja and any one piece of my teak furniture that he may select

(12) To Colonel Frank Derek Ironside Wood [19] of Copton Hall Rattlesdon near Bury St Edmunds in the County of Suffolk my two large prints by Cousens one of Queen Victoria in her coronation robes and the other of the Abercorn children and my gold brooch with hair inset and inscription on the back

(13) To Mrs Olga Wood wife of the said Colonel Frank Derek Ironside Wood a gold ball necklet a carriage clock six stainless tea knives two original portraits of my grandparents Major and Mrs Woodhouse [17] and a “Plymer” crayon portrait of Mrs Woodhouse marked “Margaret Charlotte aged 16” one amethyst and gold antique ring and my amethyst spray brooch

(14) To Mrs Rex Curtis [20] a diamond and sapphire ring a lapis lazuli and gold Indian filigree brooch and two Indian silver Cutoh-ware snake vases and single stone square set diamond ring

(15) To Patricia Wood [21] elder niece of the said Mrs Rex Curtis a round gold filigree and crystal brooch with small diamond spray containing the hair of the four Misses Russell

(16) To Mrs Fred Phillips of Bewyn Fort St Mary in the Isle of Man [22] a small silver salver and a carved silver card case my Sinai crystal chain with Jaipur enamel pendant and my pearl “bee” brooch

(17) To Patricia Kathleen Woodhouse Huddleston [23] of 30 Westwood Road Beverley East Riding in the County of Yorks the daughter of the said Captain Frederick Phillips a ruby ring and a pearl and crystal bar brooch

(18) To the said Lilian Gwendoline Youde [1] my Turner picture my Taj pictures the small gold ring that I always wear a reputed Dresden china lidded cup and saucer and (except as otherwise speoifioally disposed of) the trifles usually kept in my cabinet also my six silver photo frames my coral and gold spray brooch my gold ring with “Table-cut” 4 Java Garnets and a brass pilgrim’s bowl and a model of a well and bucket

(19) To Gerald Sanford Youde [1] of The Shrubbery 41 Leacroft Staines aforesaid three small Irish prints and three volumes of “Arabian Nights” and two black Indian small armchairs

(20) To William John Crawshay Youde the son of the said Gerald Sanford Youde a set of carved Red and White Canton ivory chessmen (dated 1799) and their lacquered box the chessmen being usually kept on a certain shelf in my said cabinet and my Indian papier mache “nest” boxes and the said cabinet

(21) To Gertrude Drodie [0] c/o Lloyds Bank Limited 30-32 Westbourne Grove London W.2. Spinster a pearl and ruby bee safety pin broooh and an old paste and amethyst oval brooch

(22) To Mrs Gerald Allingham [0] of The Nook York Hill Loughton in the County of Essex a pearl and turquoise bar brooch a turquoise blue bird brooch and an amethyst and enamel drop brooch

(23) To Louise Durbridge [0] of Stanford-in-the-Vale Faringdon in the said County of Berks a Cashmere engraved silver atta of roses holder a Jaipur brass tray table and stand and my small Jaipur brass tumbler trays

(24) To Florence Sutcliffe [0] a garnet brooch and necklace a gold wrist watch and a garnet cluster ring and my Persian Shah portrait brooch

(25) To Beryl McDonald [0] of “Achmonie” Westfield Lane Baldstow St Leonards-on-Sea in the County of Sussex a Pashmina (Camel’s hair) cashmere shawl

(26) To Eva C Trimnell of The Redoubt Nursing Home 73-75 Royal Parade Eastbourne my single sapphire bar brooch

4. I BEQUEATH the following pecuniary legacies:-

(a) To the said Lilian Gwendoline Youde [1] the sum of Fifty Pounds if she shall prove my Will and act in the trusts thereof

(b) To the said Gertrude Brodie [0] the sum of One hundred and Fifty Pounds

(c) To the said Mrs Gerald Allingham the sum of One hundred and fifty Pounds

(d) To the British Sailors Society of Number 680 Commercial Road London E.14 and to the Trustees of the Church of Spiritual Unity aforesaid the sum of Twenty five Pounds each (o) To Mrs W Frederick Lindsay [0] of Number 102 Peach Street Wokingham aforesaid the sum of Twenty five Pounds

5. I DECLARE that the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer of any of the institutions or bodies hereinbefore mentioned shall be a complete discharge to my Trustees for any legacies hereby given to such institution or body

6. I DEVISE my freehold lands and hereditaments situate at Denton Road Wokingham aforesaid together with the messuage or tenement erected thereon or on part thereof and known as “Purlah” to the said Gerald Sanford Youde [2] absolutely and if he dies in my lifetime I devise the same to William John Crawshay Youde the son of the said Gerald Sanford Youde absolutely

7. I DEVISE AND BEQUEATH the residue of my real and personal estate including all entailed property of which I have power to dispose by Will and property over which I shall then have a general testamentary power of appointment unto my Trustees upon trust to sell call in and convert the same into money with power in their discretion to postpone such sale calling in and conversion and after payment thereout of my debts funeral and testamentary expenses and all legacies or annuities bequeathed by this my Will or any Codicil hereto to hold the same in this my Will referred to as “my residuary estate” IN TRUST for such of the following persons as are living at my death and attain the age of twenty one years in equal shares namely the said Penelope Ann Humphreys [0] the said Virginia Charlotte Wood [24] and the said Florence Sutcliffe AND I DECLARE that in case any such residuary legatee shall be an infant at the time of my death my Trustees shall not exercise any statutory or other powers of maintenance or advancement but shall accumulate the income of the share of such residuary legatee as an accretion to her share until she reaches the age of twenty one

8. I DECLARE that my Trustees may invest any part of the trust moneys in or upon any of the investments or securities in which any part of my personal estate is invested at the date of my death AND I DESIRE that such part of my estate as is invested in African gold mines shall remain so invested whilst producing a better rate of interest than trustee investments AND I DECLARE that the power of appropriation conferred by the Administration of Estates Act 1925 shall be exercisable by my Trustees without any of the consents made requisite by that act

9. MY TRUSTEES may determine what articles pass under any specific bequest contained in this my Will or any codicil thereto but in choosing the clothing for the legatees named in clause 3(1) hereof the Bank shall abide by the decision of the said Lilian Gwendoline Youde and I desire that the Bank shall consult the said Lilian Gwendoline Youde in connection with all sales of my property and as far as possible allow her to effect all sales of my personal chattels at such time and in such manner as she thinks fit

10. I DECLARE that the income of ay residuary estate however invested including income accrued or accruing due at my death but actually received after my death shall form part of and be applied as if the same were the income of authorised investments thereof

11. AND I DECLARE that if legacy duty shall be payable at the date of my death that all legacies bequeathed by this my will or any codicil hereto shall be paid free of legacy duty immediately payable upon or by reason of my own death

IN WITNESS whereof I the said Margaret Rosa Cecil Voss have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of January One thousand nine hundred and fifty

SIGNED by the above named Margaret Rosa Cecil Voss as and for her last Will in the presence of us both being present at the same time who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses:-



[0] Connection not established

[1] & [2] Youde connection not yet established. Gerald Sanford Youde was born ca. 1892 in Stains, Middlesex. He became a soldier: Company Quarter Master in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and eventually Lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry. His son William John Crawshay YOUDE was borne in Wokingham about 1921, which fits with them being local friends.

[3] Margaret Charlotte Saltoun WOODHOUSE née SMITH

[4] John Edward Franklin VOSS

[5] Edward George VOSS was her 2nd cousin

[6] Great Uncle Pascal – tentatively identified as a step-brother of her maternal grandmother. Portrait apparently sent to John E F Voss but not to hand today.

[7] John Tertius Lloyd VOSS – uncle. Portrait never found by executors.

[8] This drawing was sent by the executors to John Voss and now in possession of Anthony Voss. It had originally been bequeathed to John by Rosa Somers Voss (Margaret’s aunt) but must have found its way to Margaret for her lifetime.

[9] Apparently sent to John E F Voss but not to hand today.

[10] Now in possession of Anthony Voss

[11] Not found by executors

[12] Mona Willingham VOSS, wife of Edward George VOSS [5]

[13] Rosa Somers VOSS – aunt

[14] Elizabeth Willingham HUNT née VOSS, daughter of Edward George VOSS [5]

[15] Eliza VOSS (c) – sister of her grandfather Capt. Edward VOSS

[16] Not identified in today’s possessions

[17] Lt.-Col. Joseph Robert WOODHOUSE & Margaret Charlotte Saltoun SMITH

[18] Margaret FRASER (b. ca. 1739), GG Grandmother. It is not clear how she was related to the Lords Saltoun of Abernethy, although the name Margaret FRASER crops up in their lines. Alison Smith posits she may have been Margaret SHARPE, wife of William FRASER, 12th Lord of Saltoun of Abernethy.

[19] Col. Frank Derek Ironside WOOD was son of Walter G WOOD=Mary C B WOODHOUSE. Mary was a cousin of Margaret’s through her maternal grandparents [according to Alison Smith’s tree]

[20] Mrs Rex Curtis was Eileen Mary WOOD, brother of Frank [19] and hence another cousin 1R

[21] Patricia Margaret Russell WOOD (b. 1926), daughter of Hilary Russell Woodhouse WOOD, a brother of Frank [19] and hence a cousin 2R

[22] Presumably a connection from her Isle of Man days and related through [23].

[23] Presumably a relative on her mother’s WOODHOUSE line – not identified.

[24] Virginia Charlotte WOOD – daughter of Frederick Derek Ironside WOOD [19]=Olga M M BROWNE, and hence a cousin 2R

16 thoughts on “Margaret Rosa Cecil VOSS (1879-1957) and her bequests

  1. 1841 Wales census has Capt Edward’s four children staying with Eliza Pascal (aged 65) and Anne M B Rhode (35) (who in 1851 Wales census is said to be Elizabeth Ann Summers Voss’ sister-in-law, a widow).

  2. Interesting to note that Margaret’s will mentions an oil portrait of her ancestress, Margaret Fraser, Baroness Saltoun. Could this be Margaret Sharpe?

    “Alexander Fraser, 13th Lord Saltoun of Abernethy was born in 1684. He was the son of William Fraser, 12th Lord Saltoun of Abernethy and Margaret Sharpe. He married Lady Mary Gordon, daughter of Sir George Gordon of Haddo, 1st Earl of Aberdeen and Anne Lockhart, on 26 October 1707. He died on 24 July 1748.”

    Owing to the fact that Charlotte Woodhouse’s mother, Margaret Smith, was born in India, I haven’t been able to trace her parents. Hoping to get more info from a descendant of one of Charlotte’s brothers, who lives in Australia and still has some connection to the Channel Islands.

  3. I found a number of passenger list records for Claude Ferrier, sailing between NZ and Australia 1888-1890, also for Claude Jack Ferrier (wool buyer in 1947) travelling all over globe.

    Rosa Ferrier married William Edward Robinson (born abt 1870 in Appleton, Berkshire) on 22 Jul 1896 in Malew, Isle of Man. 1901 census has them in Sonning, Berkshire.

    Mary Ferrier married William John Strachan Ewan (born abt. 1871 in Scotland) on 12 Sep 1900 in Malew, Isle of Man. 1901 census has them in Tottenham, Middlesex.

  4. Found some info about Gerald Sanford Youde. Being her main legatee, I thought there might be a family connection somewhere, but haven’t found it yet. He was born abt 1892 in Staines and married Lilian Gwendoline Bailey (born 1889 in Wales), daughter of Crawshay Bailey and Gwenllian ? 1938 found Gerald, his wife and son, William John Crawshay Youde (born abt 1921 in Wokingham), travelling back to 41 Leacroft, Staines from Indonesia.

  5. Margaret Rosa Cecil Voss and her mother, Charlotte Cecil (not Cecile) Saltoun Voss found at 2 Barry Villas, The Crescent, Leatherhead, Surrey in 1891 England census. Incorrect transcription had them as “Wingham” (the entry for 1 Barry Villas) – this had previously been corrected to “Voos”.

    With the help of Rob Woodhouse, I’ve managed to trace numerous of her Woodhouse ancestors, including her great-grandfather, Ollyett Woodhouse, Advocate-General for Bombay. I’m still digging away to find Woodhouse cousins who may have been legatees.

    Her grandmother “Charlotte” was Margaret Charlotte Saltoun Woodhouse (nee Smith), daughter of Donald Smith and Amelia Marsh Stewart

  6. One of her legatees was Col. Frank Derek Ironside Wood. He was the son of her cousin, Mary Charlotte Blake Woodhouse (daughter of Henry Opie Woodhouse and Lydia Charlotte Batson) and Walter Gunnell Wood.

  7. Alison/Rob… please keep an eye open for her Great Uncle Pascal (mentioned in the letter). No sign of him on her VOSS side, nor of the portrait.

  8. I’m following the line of thought that “great-uncle Pascal” was Elizabeth Ann Summers/Somers’ step-brother. You’ll remember that Capt Edward’s four eldest children were found in the 1841 Wales census with Eliza Pascal (65) and Anne M B Rhode (38). 1851 census finds Elizabeth, her two daughters and Anne W Rhoda (48) (Elizabeth’s “sister-in-law”) in Wales. Step family were referred to as “in-law” in that time, so I think that Elizabeth’s mother was Eliza, who remarried Pascal. Pascal may have had children from a previous marriage, namely Anne (who married de Rhodes/Rhode) and “great-uncle Pascal”.
    No proof yet, but I’m still digging away.

  9. I have just discovered, thanks to Rob Woodhouse and Dan Fletcher, where the “Cecil” in Margaret Rosa and her mother’s names comes from. Margaret’s grandfather, Joseph Robert Woodhouse’s 2nd cousin, Georgina Alderson was married to Lord Robert Cecil, Prime Minister of Great Britain. The name “Cecil” appeared for a few generations in the Woodhouse family. Also received a gorgeous image of Margaret’s great-grandfather, Ollyett Woodhouse.

  10. The gold filigree brooch bequeathed to Patricia Wood, contained the hair of the four Misses Russell. They were the daughters of her great-aunt Harriet Elizabeth Woodhouse, who was married to Maj.-Gen Lechmere Coore Graves Russell.

  11. Charles Wood, whose father was Frank Derek Ironside “Derek” Wood’s cousin, has identified some more legatees.

    Patricia Margaret Russell Wood is the daughter of Derek Wood’s brother, Hilary Russell Woodhouse Wood.

    “Mrs Rex Curtis” was the sister of Derek and Hilary Wood – Eileen Mary Wood (1897-Nov 1957) who married Reginald George “Rex” Curtis in 1916 in India.

    Virginia Charlotte Wood is a daughter of Derek and Olga Wood.

    Charles Wood and Rob Woodhouse are trying to trace the portraits bequeathed to Olga Wood.

    1. I wonder if anyone will see this message … I have a photograph of Hilary Russell Woodhouse Wood, Eileen Mary Wood and Frank Derek Ironside Wood taken on 11.9.1908. I can’t recall how I acquired it, but probably in a box or old album of photos that someone gave me many years ago when I was interested in photography. I’ve just been having a clear out and came across it. It would be nice to send it to someone in their family who would like to have it.

      Google is an amazing thing. And well done to the person who wrote the details on the back.

      Incidently my maternal grandmother was called Florence Sutcliffe. Not the same one I’m sure.

      1. Sara… This comment is to document that, as you have no connection with this family, you have sent the photograph to me to curate. It is a good example of how vital it is to write identifications on photos. I will keep it in case closer family make contact. Thank you.

  12. The visitors’ book maintained by my grandparents Edward & Mona VOSS for a while records a visit by Rosa Voss in 22nd August 1910 to Ridge House, Amersham. She gave her address as Clarendon Villa, Ramsgate. She would have been aged 31. This visit is surely further evidence that her line is related to mine?

  13. I am the great grandson of Harriet Russell the fourth daughter of Harriet Elizabeth Woodhouse and Lechmere Coore Graves Russell whose hair was probably in the locket referred to above. It may not have been since they had seven daughters in all.

    I would like to make contact with Rob Woodhouse as I know little of Harriet Elizabeth’s siblings.


  14. Dear Adrian Derby,
    I’ll try to find out what I can and let you know, although Dan Fletcher is probably better informed than I am.

    Rob Woodhouse

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