History, The Tennyson's'

Charles Tennyson Turner

Charles Tennyson Turner was the vicar of Grasby from 1835 until his death in 1879.

Charles was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, on 4th July 1808, a son of The Reverend Dr George Clayton Tennyson, the vicar of Somersby and Bag Enderby and Elizabeth,( formerly Fytche ).

Charles was ordained in 1833 and obtained the curacy of Tealby. His uncle, The Rev Samuel Turner, was the parson and squire of Caistor and Grasby and he named Charles as his heir to his estate and the Grasby living.

When his uncle died in 1835 Charles added Turner to his name and moved to a big house in Caistor. He found this too far from Grasby and moved to the vicarage in Grasby, on Station Road, next to the current village hall ( it was one house then ).

In 1836 he married Louisa Sellwood.

Charles’ brother, Alfred Lord Tennyson was best man and Louisa’s sister Emily was bridesmaid. The meeting of Charles and Emily led to their getting engaged and eventually marrying on 13th June 1850.

The vicarage was not to Charles and Louisa’s liking, so they built a new home, ‘The Grange’ in Vicarage Lane.

Grasby church, a thirteenth century gothic building was partially rebuilt by Charles in 1850, then more so in 1869. Charles also funded the building of the village school in 1855.

In an attempt to counteract village drunkenness, Charles bought the village inn ( was this The Bluebell Inn on Church Hill ?) and installed a ‘reliable’ man as innkeeper.

Charles died on April 25th 1879 in a convalescent home in Cheltenham, Louisa dying a month later.

Charles and his brother Frederick were both poets of repute, although it was their brother Alfred Lord Tennyson who made poetry his profession and became the most famous poet.

Alfred Lord Tennyson and his wife Emily were regular visitors to ‘The Grange’ to stay with their brother and sister respectively. Alfred is reputed to have sat on a circular metal garden seat ( half of which was still in the village until recently, in a garden on Front Street ) thinking and composing his poems. He also wandered along the woodland path to the south west of The Grange to the pond at the bottom of the field which is in front of the house, gaining inspiration for his poems.