For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

Elizabeth Dearie nee Hogg (Eliza)

1813 – died before 1868 Instructress to children and known for her beauty.

Compiled by Claire Grey

Early Life

Elizabeth Hogg was born about 1813 in London. She was the eldest daughter of John Hogg, a jeweller from Perth and his wife Elizabeth Lydstone Mugridge from Dartmouth in Devon. Her parents had married in August 1807 at St James’ Church, Westminster; she was born 6 years later. Her birth date has been found from looking at the 1851 census, the only census that she has been found on so far. Her birthplace is given as London and this is likely to have been the City of London. As a jeweller John Hogg might have lived and worked in Hatton Garden, which was the jewellers’ district, although this is just outside the City. Her sister Annie was also born in the City of London in 1815.

By October 1818 when her sister Georgina was born the family had moved to Perth in Scotland. Agnes was born in 1822 and in 1826 her brother Alfred was born also in Perth. In 1828 when her mother was 44, her youngest brother Oscar was born, he was baptised in the Pomarium West Church. Pomarium was the weavers’ district of Perth so possibly this is where the family were living.

There is also evidence to suggest that through their mother or her mother Ann the family knew the Reverend Francis Lyte in Brixham Devon and spent part of their childhood there.

According to family myth Eliza was intelligent and very beautiful. Written on the back of a picture of Eliza’s mother Gertrude Fox writes: “Eldest daughter Elizabeth was very beautiful. Instructress to the English Ambassador’s children Belgium.” It is not known if this means the children of the English ambassador to Belgium or the children of the Belgian ambassador in London. This information has not been not verified. It shows however that she must have had to work.(1)

Captain Smart RN?

In 1833 at the age of 20 she ran off with a sailor and had a child with him who she called Jessie Elizabeth Smart. The birth year of her child can be estimated but we know nothing about the sailor.

Myth says that her family cast her out and then the sailor abandoned her. Perhaps this was when she had to find work? Eliza’s daughter Jessie later took the name of Russell. It was initially thought that the sailor must have been called Russell, however her son Jack’s birth certificate says that her name was Smart, so the assumption is that this was the sailor’s name. On one of Gertrude Fox’s family trees she has written, “ There was a Captain Smart" This is likely to be the Captain Smart who was her Uncle. It is quite possible that the father of her child was one of his sons and therefore her cousin. See end of this page here.


Five years later in 1838 she married Richard Dearie, “wine merchant” whose first wife had just died in America and whose children were being brought up there by their grandmother and uncle. They married at St Georges in Bloomsbury on 27 January.

St Georges is a very large and imposing church. Both their parents were still living, but there appear to have been no relatives at the wedding. The witnesses to the ceremony were William Sharp and Henry Porter Collins.

Elizabeth recorded her address as The British Museum. It was not the present building, which was under construction at the time, but it was in the same place about 5 minutes walk north of the church. Certain people employed by the British Museum did live on the premises right up into the 20th Century. Senior staff lived in the buildings still known as the East and West Residences.

Bryony Leventhall the Archive & Records Assistant at the British Museum has searched the archives from the 1820s onwards but has unfortunately been unable to find any mention of an Elizabeth Hogg or Smart. This could mean that she was employed using a different name, or used the British Museum for some other reason.

Bryony did however discover that a Captain Smart was registered as a reader of the British Museum Library. She looked through the registrants for 1836-1843 and Captain Smart RN registered on 10 February 1838 with the address 5 Montague Street, Russell Square. It may be that this is the father of Jessie but we cannot guarantee it.

A search of the 1841 census for Montague Street has not found him.

Marrying Richard Dearie may have felt like being rescued from a difficult situation but it proved to be a poor decision. As Gertrude Fox noted on the back of a picture” “She married poet R. Dearie Sheridan Knowles prize pupil. Unsatisfactory. R.D. son of strict Presbyterian family”.


As soon as they were married they left for America. We know that she gave birth to at least 8 children, 3 of whom died as babies.

The eldest was Maria born in 1838 in America, then George in 1841 possibly in Philadelphia, Annie in 1842 in New York, Bessie in 1843, in Pennsylvania.

In 1844 they were back in London staying with her mother in Belgrave Lodge Chiswick for the birth of her son Donald who only lived for 4 days. Richard’s occupation is “Gentleman”. Mary was born in 1845 in New York.

In 1846 they were back in London again living at 60 Warren Street where Archibald was born. He lived for 5 months. Richard’s occupation was “wine merchant and customs house agent”. Richard had a business address at 8 St. Swithins Lane in the city in 1848 but by 1849 he was bankrupt. The inn he had been running to the north of Soho Square at 9 Charles Street, called The Fish and Bell wine vaults was sold at auction in 1849.

In December 1850 John was born at Guildhall Chambers in the city. Richard’s occupation was collector to a brewer. The family can be found living in Guildhall chambers in the City of London on the 1851 census. Richard’s occupation” Innkeeper” aged 49, his wife Eliza, aged 38, daughter Jessie, 18, Maria, 12, Annie 9, and John 3 months. They had three lodgers one called James Sharp gentleman aged 49 born in Scotland in 1802. (This makes him Richard’s contemporary and is worth noting since one of the witnesses at their wedding had been a William Sharp.) There were three servants including a cook and a waiter. The two missing daughters Bessie 11 and Mary 8 were at a Boarding school, but there is no record of where her son George was. It was two years since Richard has been declared bankrupt yet they had two children at school and three servants.

They moved to 10 King Square and Eliza’s son John died there aged 9 months on 11 September 1851.

The west side of Montague Street looking North towards Russell Square. The street is numbered from one to eleven on this side.

The British Museum. 2009
The south east corner of the British Museum where Great Russell Street meets Montague Street.

There are no more records in England of Eliza having more children. The informant on John Dearie’s death certificate is Alexander Watt Dearie, one of Richard’s children from his first wife. It does seem unusual that neither of John’s parents have registered his death. There is a record of John’s burial at the Church of St Luke Old Street.

Right: St Lukes Church was built in 1733. It was dismantled in 1959-60 but has since been restored and become the home of the LSO’s music education programme. Only a few large tombs remain. The interior can only be visited by appointment. 0207 490 3939.


Little more can be found out about Eliza. Richard was the ratepayer at King Square for 1851 and 1852 in arrears. On November 1851 he was declared bankrupt with debts of £1,487. From 1852 to 1854 he was the ratepayer at 115 Nichols Square Hackney. In 1853 Richard’s father died and he may have come into his property, and used the money to buy three pubs in Glasgow.

In 1855 Jessie gave birth to Jack Russell, Richard's child. It is not known if all or part of the family lived in the buildings listed as being connected to Richard: the 3 pubs and Rose Street in Glasgow, or Nichols Square and Murray Street in London. In 1856 Richard was found guilty of running an illicit still and by 1857 he was in debtors prison. Annie was taken away to be brought up by Eliza’s sister Georgina Rough.

Another note by Gertrude Fox records that Oscar Hogg, Eliza’s brother, did a lot to help her children. ”Uncle Oscar’s other sister Elizabeth my grandmother married unhappily R. Dearie and U. O. did much for her children.”

Richard was relieved of his debts in 1857, and is recorded as running a lodging house in Mayfair. He is on a passenger list for America with daughters Mary and Bessie in 1859. There is no Mrs. Dearie on the passenger list of this ship. There is a Mrs Dearie travelling to New York from Liverpool in 1860 but this may not be her.

There is a record of an Elizabeth Deary aged 52, dying at 16 Great Charlotte Street in Southwark, London, on 13 May 1866, and being buried on 18th May. (2) The husband's name is Richard Deary, Mercantile Clerk, and the cause of death is disease of the liver. The person registering the death is a Louisa Howes. Elizabeth was buried in Victoria Park Cemetery, Bethnal Green. A cheap option since it only cost 7s whereas Nunhead cost a £1. Victoria Park was a private cemetery, packed full of the dead, it was never consecrated, and later made into a park called Meath Gardens. Only the gate of the cemetery remains. Her name does not appear on the records of the remaining tombstones made in April 1893. (3)The rate books for Great Charlotte Street, now part of The Cut do not show anyone paying rates at number 16. (4) The Post Office Directory for 1865, record No. 16 as being occupied by a Miss Margaret Sexton, furniture dealer. The names of Howes and Sexton are not known to be connected to the family so we cannot be absolutely certain that this is the right Eliza.

Richard appears in street directories in New York in 1867. He remarried in 1868 in New York so it can be assumed that Eliza was dead by then. If this Eliza is the correct one, the person present at her death spelled her name incorrectly and there appear to be no family members able to afford her a decent burial.

Family myth says she was very worried if anyone said they were thirsty because they might want alcohol but that she herself turned to drink and died in extreme poverty clutching her last piece of coal.

Richard survived till 1883 and was looked after in his old age by his daughters Bessie and Mary so it is odd that her siblings or her children would not have looked after their mother as well.

Possibly other death records in Scotland, New York or Wilkes Barre will eventually reveal that she died there.

It must have made a very moral lesson to young family members of what happens if you don’t follow the rules and a tragic story to consider that someone so beautiful and clever should end in drunkenness and destitution. If that is indeed what happened to her.

Gertrude Fox’s two words “unhappily” and “unsatisfactory” are the only indicators of a life in which Eliza saw at least three of her children die, her husband a wanted criminal and prisoner, and also the man with whom her daughter had a son.

Left: King Square was built in 1822-25 with the church of St. Barnabas on the East Side, the original houses were typical four story flat fronted Georgian buildings. The whole square was demolished and rebuilt by Islington council in 1959-65. Only the square itself and the church remains.

St. Barnabas King Square, it was later renamed St. Clements. Photographed in 2010 by Claire Grey
Above: Nichols Square. It is now demolished. Permission for use agreed: City of London, London Metropolitan Archives.
5 Montague Street. The original door would have looked like number 6 on the right. These are splendid buildings with wood panelling and decorated plaster ceilings.

Notes.(1) Elizabeth Hogg was born in 1813 and probably dead by 1868. In 1830 she would be 17 years old, she had Jessie in 1833 and married in 1838. If she did teach the Belgian Ambassador's children, (there is a list of Ambassadors from the United Kingdom to Belgium here,) then The Rt. Hon. Sir George Hamilton Seymour might be the most likely. His three predecessors either had no children or their children died. Information about his family can be found on Burkes Peerage.

(2) BMDregisters.co.uk have the Register of Burials at Victoria Park Cemetery, Hackney, Middlesex 1863 to 1866 from the National Archives at Kew. TNA Ref RG8/Piece 46.

(3) Victoria Park Cemetery, Bethnal Green, Copy of lists of Names and dates of death taken from Tombstones in April 1893. Ref Code 0/190/001 held at the Metropolitan Archives, London.

(4) The rate books are at Southwark Archives, John Harvard Library. 1865 and 1866 were checked.

Did Eliza's siblings help her?

Alfred was in China, Agnes had lost her husband in 1864, Annie had lost her husband before the 1860s, Georgina's husband died on May 16 1866, and she was already looking after Anne Dearie, Elizabeth's daughter. Perhaps Oscar with his wife Sarah and their shop in Goodge Street, who were already bringing up Agnes' son Archie, were the only ones who had the means to help. This may account for Archie and Jack Russell being close in later life.