Charles Palmer

Charles Palmer was baptized in Stoke Damerel on 16 Aug 1818. He was the eldest child of Nathaniel Palmer, a blacksmith, and served in the Royal Navy all his life, receiving a pension right up until his death at the age of 88. He married Mary Ann Ash Tingcombe on 2 Aug 1837 and they had five surviving children.

Charles Palmer

Charles Palmer in about 1895

The most interesting story in his life is that he took part in the First Opium War in 1841-1842 as a young rating on the flagship HMS Wellesley. He appears to have set sail a few weeks after his marriage aged 19 in October 1837. His children are not born until five years later after his return. He is listed amongst the crew and on his marriage certificate his ship is named.  All this is strong circumstantial evidence that he went to the Far East, although it is contradicted by the 1841 census where he is listed as being at home with his family (but apart from his wife). For the service he should have received the ‘China Medal’ – the record shows a ‘Chas Palmer’ AB amongst the recipients, although he was unable to sign his name.

He must have gained literacy therefore as an adult. His later postings would never take him away from home again for so long. After HMS Wellesley he served in HMS Impregnable and latterly in his career on shore station as Chief Signaller next to Admiralty House overlooking Plymouth harbour. The picture comes from Steve Palmer, still resident in Plymouth and a direct descendant of his eldest son Charles Nathaniel Palmer. Charles Nathaniel Palmer was born in 1843 under a year after the Wellesley had returned to England and he followed his father into the Navy and to the Far East.

Charles Palmer is recorded as resident in London with one of his children’s families but he died back in Devonport in 1907.

Family of Charles PALMER and Mary Ann Ash TINGCOMBE

Husband:Charles PALMER (bap.1818, d.1907)
Wife:Mary Ann Ash TINGCOMBE (1817-1904)
Children:Charles Nathaniel PALMER (1843-1881)
Florence Elizabeth PALMER (1850-1885)
Rachel Mary Ann PALMER (1852-1884)
Cordelia Fanny PALMER (1856-1894)
Henry Edwin PALMER (1858-1940)
Marriage2 Aug 1837East Stonehouse

Husband: Charles PALMER

Name:Charles PALMER
Father:Nathaniel PALMER (bap.1795, bur.1868)
Mother:Elizabeth MALLETT (b.1799, bur.1835)
Baptism16 Aug 1818Stoke Damerel, Devon
Occupation1837Seaman serving on HMS Wellesley
Military Servicebtw 1838 and 1842-; HMS Wellesley sails 30 Sep 1837 as flagship to Opium War China
Residence1841Plymouth, listed with Parents (Mariner) separate from his wife
Occupationbtw 1849 and 1850AB; HMS Impregnable
Occupationbtw 1861 and 1881Naval Signalman
Residencebtw 1871 and 1881Telegraph Station, Devonport (next to Admiralty House)
Occupation1879Chief Signalman in the Navy (HEPalmers marriage certificate)
Residence1901Deptford with son in law, Frederick Piper
Death20 May 1907104 Cotehele Avenue, Devonport

Wife: Mary Ann Ash TINGCOMBE

Name:Mary Ann Ash TINGCOMBE
Father:John TINGCOMBE (1791- )
Mother:Mary Ann ASH ( – )
Birth31 Oct 1817Plymouth, Devon
Baptism7 Jun 1824 (age 6)Morrice St -Wesleyan, Devonport
Residence1841 (age 23-24)Clowance Street but her husband is with his family for the night in question (or more likely in China)
Residence1901 (age 83-84)Deptford with son in law
Death9 Apr 1904 (age 86)188 Brixton Hill, Surrey

Child 1: Charles Nathaniel PALMER

Name:Charles Nathaniel PALMER
Spouse:Mary Maria DAWE (1846-1907)
Birth22 Jul 1843Devonport, Devon
Occupation1871 (age 27-28)Engineer (RN); Engineer RN
Death5 Mar 1881 (age 37)Hong Kong

Child 2: Florence Elizabeth PALMER

Name:Florence Elizabeth PALMER
Spouse:Thomas Edward PEEK (1849-1895)
Birth1850Devonport, Devon
Death6 Jun 1885 (age 34-35)Plymouth

Child 3: Rachel Mary Ann PALMER

Name:Rachel Mary Ann PALMER
Spouse:Frederick Samuel PIPER (1853-1914)
Birth1852Devonport, Devon
Death1884 (age 31-32)Stoke Damerel

Child 4: Cordelia Fanny PALMER

Name:Cordelia Fanny PALMER
Spouse:Frederick MUNFORD (1856-1918)
Birth1856Devonport, Devon
Death1894 (age 37-38)

Child 5: Henry Edwin PALMER

Name:Henry Edwin PALMER
Spouse:Elizabeth Jane (Ginny) TRELEAVEN (1854-1943)
Birth28 Sep 185844 Clowance Street, Devonport
Occupation1881 (age 22-23)-; Grocers Assistant
Occupationbtw 1891 and 1901 (age 32-43)-; Agent for Glove manufacturer
Death24 Dec 1940 (age 82)Fern Cottage, Carbis Bay1,2
Cause: Cerebral Thrombosis and Senile Dementia


1“Death Certificate”.
2Photos dated 1940 He and Ginny are still alive.