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The Tathams of County Durham
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Valentine  Richmond

Valentine Richmond

Female 1912 - 2008  (96 years)


  • Name Valentine Richmond  [1, 2
    Known as "Val" 
    Birth 06 Feb 1912  55 Bury Rd, Alverstoke Find all individuals with events at this location   [2, 3
    • On the 6th Feb., at 55, Bury-road, Alverstoke, the wife of Captain H. W. Richmond, R.N., of a daughter. [The Times]
    Residence 1925  Ceylon Find all individuals with events at this location   [4
    • passengers on P&O SS Mantua arr London 18 Dec 1925 ex Yokohama: emb Aden, perm res Ceylon, UK res Rounton Grange, Northallerton: Richmond: Herbert Wm, 54, RN East India Station; Florence Elsa, 45; Mary Florence, 17; Bridget Horatia, 15; Valentine, 13; William Lowthian, 7.
    Residence 1938  28 Danvers St, Chelsea Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Marriage abt May 1939  Wycombe Find all individuals with events at this location   [6
    Horatio Frederick Vester,   b. 25 Aug 1906, Jerusalem Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1985, Jerusalem Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Death 15 Jun 2008  American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem Find all individuals with events at this location   [7
    Burial 22 Jun 2008  American Colony Cemetery, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem Find all individuals with events at this location   [8
    Notes 
    • In Memoriam. Valentine Richmond Vester, Age 96.
      Jerusalem is regarded as the center of the world by many people and the storied American Colony Hotel is a distinguished part of that center, so the death on June 15 of the proprietor of the American Colony, the witty and highly intelligent Valentine Vester, is a notable event. People all over the world who, going back many decades, have stayed at the American Colony or met the proprietor will feel a sadly nostalgic sense of loss.
      It all began with an epiphany of Anna Spafford after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Possessed of a powerful personality, this wife of a prominent Chicago lawyer saw a vision of Jesus Christ returning to Jerusalem in 1900. So in 1881 the Spaffords and members of the Larsen family from Chicago and from Sweden made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to stay.
      Mrs. Vester was born Valentine Richmond in England, the daughter of a wealthy Royal Navy officer. She married Horatio Vester, a grandson of Anna Spafford, who had wed Frederic Vester in Jerusalem. When Horatio Vester's mother, the redoubtable Bertha Spafford Vester, died in the early 1960s, he had to terminate his law practice in London and get to Jerusalem to keep the American Colony Hotel going.
      Valentine Vester, of course, went with him. Her son Nicholas described her move to Jerusalem as 'a colossal wrench,' but she was a powerful personality who 'adapted to everything that was thrown at her.' Nicholas Vester added, 'She and Horatio made this place a global landmark by their wit and by being interesting enough that people would travel a long way to see them, and were flattered by their attention.'
      Many famous people have stayed at the American Colony, from Lawrence of Arabia of World War I fame to Tony Blair, the former prime minister of Britain who currently keeps an office there as the Quartet's special envoy. [Even the editor of the Saxon Lodge Family Notebook, in 1978]. The Vesters maintained the hotel's neutral image between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Valentine Vester herself played a key point in this by her intemperate hostility to extremists on both sides, summed up by the phrase, 'a plague on both their houses'.
      Mrs. Vester is survived by two sons, Nicholas of London and Paul of California. [Andrew I. Killgore. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September-October 2008, page 71]
    Person ID I2488  Tatham | Richmond branch | Descendant
    Last Modified 26 Nov 2013 

    Father Herbert William Richmond,   b. 15 Sep 1871, Beavor Lodge, Hammersmith Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Dec 1946, Downing College, Cambridge Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Florence Elsa Bell,   b. 09 Mar 1880, Kirkleatham Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 03 May 1971, Fulham Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Marriage 08 Jul 1907  St Lawrence, East Rounton Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 9, 10
    • The marriage of Commander Richmond, R.N., of the cruiser Crescent, second son of Sir William Richmond, R.A., and Lady Richmond, with Miss Elsa Bell, second daughter of Sir Hugh and Lady Bell, was celebrated yesterday at East Rounton, Northallerton. Sir Hugh Bell gave his daughter away. The bridesmaids were the Hon. Blanche Stanley, Miss Philippa Johnson (cousins of the bride), and Miss Clena Rathbourne. The best man was Lieutenant Talbot Ponsonby, R.N. The house party included Sir William and Lady Richmond, Lord and Lady Stanley of Alderley, Sir Frank Lascelles (British Ambassador in Berlin), Mr. C. P. Trevelyan, M.P., and Mrs Trevelyan, Miss Elizabeth Robins, and Mr. Chirol. The presents numbered about 300, and included to the bride a silver rose bowl from the Rounton and arncliffe tenantry, a diamond star from officials and workmen of the Clarence Iron Works, a diamond star fro the officials of Messrs. Bell Brothers (Limited), Middlesbrough, and a diamond star from officials and workmen of Messrs. Bell Brothers' collieries; and to the bridegroom, from the officers of the Crescent, a writing table. Admiral of the Fleet Sir John and Lady Fisher sent a green and gold china tea-set. Commander and Mrs. Richmond left in a motor-car for the English Lakes, where the honeymoon is to be spent. [The Times, 09 Jul 1907]
    • Sir Herbert married in 1907 Elsa, daughter of Sir Hugh Bell, of Rounton Grange, Northallerton, and had a son and four daughters. [The Times 17 Dec 1946]
    Family ID F0615  Family Group Sheet

    Family Horatio Frederick Vester,   b. 25 Aug 1906, Jerusalem Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1985, Jerusalem Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Marriage abt May 1939  Wycombe Find all individuals with events at this location   [6
    Children 
     1. Living
     2. Living
    Last Modified 22 Nov 2012 
    Family ID F0991  Family Group Sheet

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 06 Feb 1912 - 55 Bury Rd, Alverstoke Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1925 - Ceylon Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1938 - 28 Danvers St, Chelsea Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - < - abt May 1939 - Wycombe Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - abt May 1939 - Wycombe Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 15 Jun 2008 - American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - 22 Jun 2008 - American Colony Cemetery, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : Town/District       : County/Region       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S04] H Curtis: Notes for a Pedigree of the Tathams of Co. Durham.

    2. [S02] BMD Index, birth reg Alverstoke, 1Q1912.

    3. [S05] The Times, birth notice, 08 Feb 1012.

    4. [S12] Passenger Lists, Mantua, 18 Dec 1925.

    5. [S17] Telephone Directories.

    6. [S02] BMD Index, marriage reg Wycombe, 2Q1939.

    7. [S11] Newspaper, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Oct 2008.

    8. [S07] Other Sources, Robert W Gee, statesman.com, 22 Jun 2008.

    9. [S02] BMD Index, marriage reg Stokesley, 3Q1907.

    10. [S13] thePeerage.com.