Local History Society

 Families - Ellen Simonds




Ellen Anne Hayes was born in 1846 to the Rector of Arborfield, Rev. John Warren Hayes and his wife Ellen, and was baptised at Arborfield Church on September 14th that year. Her brother John Beauchamp Hayes was born in 1849, carrying his mother's maiden name. Sadly, the children were orphaned when Ellen died in August aged only 32, and was buried in the old churchyard on August 23rd 1849, just a week before her son was baptised.  

Ellen Anne married John Simonds of Newlands in 1868, but she only lived to 50, and died soon after her father in 1896.

On December 12th 1896, the 'Reading Mercury' reported:


With widely-spread pain and regret the news was received, on Wednesday, not only in the neighbourhood, but throughout a wide circle, of the painfully sudden death of Mrs. John Simonds, of Newlands.

The deceased lady had not enjoyed good health for some time, but nothing was actually feared by her ordinary medical attendant or by the specialists who were called in owing to the baffling nature of the symptoms. She was taken very ill in the middle of the night of Tuesday, and expired on the following morning, probably from some affection of the heart, so that she did not long survive her father, the late Rev. Sir John Warren Hayes, Bart.

The utmost sympathy is felt among all classes with Mr. John Simonds and his five daughters and two sons in their sad and sudden bereavement. Not only will society miss a bright ornament, but the poor will lose a kind-hearted and sympathetic friend and one who was always doing good. The funeral takes place on Monday at Arborfield.

The funeral was described the following week:


The funeral of this much lamented lady, whose death we recorded last week, took place on Monday by the side of her father, the Rev. Sir John W. Hayes, Bart., at Arborfield churchyard.

The afternoon was inclement, but nevertheless there was a very large gathering of persons of all classes assembled to show their regard for the deceased and heartfelt sympathy with Mr. John Simonds and his family. The officiating clergy were the Rev. J. Jones, Rector of Arborfield, and the Rev. A. L. White, Rector of Mortimer West End.

Some 70 carriages joined in the cortège, and the beautiful floral tokens of regret were exceedingly numerous. The arrangements were satisfactorily carried out by Messrs. Vincent and Sons, of Arborfield.

The same issue's 'Hunting Notes' reported:

MR. GARTH’S HOUNDS met at Brick Bridge on the 14th, but did not hunt owing to the funeral of Mrs. John Simonds (the hon. secretary’s wife) being fixed for that day.

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