27 December 2012

Mademoiselle Leonora Tourrier

This particular bit of research was prompted because two Australian Tourrier relatives contacted me quite recently. So I thought I'd do a bit more Tourrier investigation for them!

Georgiana Eleonora Aglae Tourrier was born in Marylebone, London, England, on 19 December 1844 to Jean Furcy and Constantia Eleonora Tourrier (née von Holst), the third youngest of (by my count) ten children.

She was baptised at All Souls Church Marylebone on 12 July 1846. She was noted in the 1851 English Census as living at 69 Charlotte Street, Marylebone, with her parents, and a sister, two brothers and two servants.

I have not been able to find the Tourrier family in the 1861 Census. Perhaps they were in France visiting relatives - Jean Furcy Tourrier was born in Paris.

The next we hear of Leonora, as she was often called, was in a periodical article about a musical soirée to inaugurate the opening of the "Young Ladies College" in Regents Park in January 1865 (The Orchestra Musical Review, No. 70, 28 Nov 1865, p.279). "Mdlle. Tourrier", as one of the soloists, was to sing a cavatina "La Sonnambula" by Bellini and a song "Leggiero Invisible" by Arditi.

It would seem that Leonora made a small career out of singing before her marriage. In November 1867 she was a vocal soloist at a pianoforte recital at Westbourne Hall, Westbourne Park, Westminster (The Orchestra Musical Review, No. 216, 16 Nov 1867, p.117). In December of the same year she performed in a second recital at the same place, and was encored in her performance of a serenade (The Orchestra Musical Review, No. 221, 21 Dec 1867, p.196). She also sang at a concert in the Beethoven Rooms in July 1868, and at the inauguration of a new branch of the Marylebone Penny Readings in Paddington Green in February 1869. In June 1869, as a pupil of Madame Therese Leupold (well known in musical circles in those days), she performed some classical songs at a musical soirée of Mme Leupold's. "The singing of Madlle. Tourrier in Glück's "Chè farò," was in every respect excellent... the duet, "Voga tonio," by Madlle. Tourrier and Miss Goodall, and two vocal trios, in which the above mentioned ladies were joined by Miss Ogle, were received, as they deserved to be, with the most spontaneous applause." The Musical Times, 1 July 1869, p.148.

By 1874 Leonora was married, to Anthony Charles Montague Jellicoe, a former soldier in India, China and the Cape of Good Hope. They were married at St Matthew's Brixton, Leonora aged 29 and Anthony 33. Anthony was listed as a "Gent", and they both lived in Acre Lane - and at a guess they lived together - they had four children together, all boys, with their first child born two years before they married.

I do wonder what calibre of "Gentleman" Anthony Jellicoe actually was - he was made bankrupt in 1866 and apparently spent time in the Debtor's Prison, he got Leonora pregnant before they were married, and eventually, when he died in 1895, he left all his money (£300) to some spinster named Annie White even though he was still married to Leonora!

Anyway, Leonora lived out her days with her sons (at least for some of the time), until her death in the fourth quarter of 1923, her death registered in Brentford, Middlesex.

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