The Peace Family of Castle Hill – Fragments of Memory Page 3 Back to page 2

Minnie, the eldest daughter, was sent away to school to a Mrs Judson's establishment (Malvern House) in Worcestershire along with her High Wycombe friends, Edith and Alice Thurlow.  The Thurlow friendship was to last through several generations as we shall see. It is more than likely that the younger Peace girls went there too, once they were old enough, but until that time they may well have had a governess to teach them all that was required. It would appear that the five Peace girls remained close all their lives. William, the only son in the family, was sent to The Middle Class School in Beaconsfield. 

Although William was the oldest of the Peace children it was Minnie who faced the prospect of marriage first.  Unfortunately she took after her mother and appeared to be a somewhat austere figure. As a consequence it was some time before she became engaged. This delay caused consternation for Edith, the second eldest daughter, and for Ellen May (Nellie) the third in line. Edith and Nellie were more like James.  Nellie, in particular, was very pretty.  Family gossip has it that she, or possibly Edith, met and fell in love with a young man destined to be a missionary.  Unfortunately the social etiquette of the day prevented her becoming engaged before her elder sister had found a spouse and sadly the young man was called abroad before they could marry. Since there is some inconsistency over dates the story may refer to Edith which would explain the gap between Minnie's marriage and that of Edith’s. Nellie and Florence then became engaged in swift succession.

Minnie married Arthur Clarke, a prosperous High Wycombe solicitor, who became a director in the Peace family tailoring company.  No doubt the marriage would have been highly approved of by all parties concerned.  They had four children, two boys and two girls, and were to later live at Castle Hill.  Arthur Clarke was to become Town Clerk of Wycombe.

Edith married Acton Bucknall, a solicitor from Northwood, where they lived happily ever after in a house purchased for them by James.  Before they were married Acton would cycle all the way from Northwood on his pennyfarthing to visit Edith at Castle Hill.  He was a keen photographer and would ask Edith to pose for the camera.  Thus many photographs of Castle Hill were taken during this period.  So carried away was he with his love for Edith and his love of photography that he would often be asked to stay for supper.  James would then take pity on poor Acton and his long cycle ride back to Northwood and invite him to sleep the night in the spare room.  Soon Acton came prepared for this possibility and would arrive with a small overnight bag which he would hide in the trunk of a tree by the main entrance.  When asked to stay the night he was then able to accept without hesitation knowing that he had a change of underwear and his own razor already with him.  Acton and Edith had one daughter, Margaret, many of whose memories are recounted here.  Being an only child she often travelled to High Wycombe to visit her Auntie Minnie and Uncle Arthur and her Uncle William and Auntie Florence so that she could play with her cousins.  She was nearest in age to Minnie’s children and would often go on holiday with her aunts and their families.

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