Charles Freville Surtees DL JP FRGS (13 November 1823 – 22 December 1906)[1] was a Conservative Party politician in England.

Charles Surtees
High Sheriff of Durham
In office
Preceded byRowland Burdon
Succeeded byJohn Fogg Elliot
Member of Parliament
for South Durham
In office
Preceded byHenry Pease
James Farrer
Succeeded byFrederick Beaumont
Joseph Whitwell Pease
Personal details
Charles Freville Surtees

(1823-11-13)13 November 1823
Heighington, County Durham
Died22 December 1906(1906-12-22) (aged 83)
Charing Cross Hotel, London
Political partyConservative
Bertha Chauncey
(m. 1855; died 1882)
RelationsHenry Surtees (brother)
ChildrenSir Herbert Conyers Surtees
EducationHarrow College

Early life


Surtees was born on 13 November 1823 at Heighington, County Durham. He was the youngest son of four children born to the former Elizabeth Cookson (1783–1847) and Robert Surtees of Redworth Hall (1782–1857).[2] His eldest brother, Robert Lambton Surtees, inherited the Redworth Hall after their father's in 1857. When his brother died unmarried with no children six years later in 1863, the property passed to another brother, Henry Edward Surtees MP for Hertfordshire (who married Eliza Snell Chauncey in 1843).[3]

His paternal grandparents were first cousins Jane Surtees and Lt. Crosier Surtees, who died in 1803 when returning from a banquet with Lord Barnard at Raby Castle when he drunkenly fell into the moors and froze to death.[4] His grandmother's sister, Dorothy Surtees (co-heiresses of William Steele, a director of the East India Company),[5] also married a first cousin, Robert Surtees, and they were the parents of antiquarian Robert Surtees of Mainsforth.[6][7] Charles became a member of the Surtees Society in 1859.[8]

He was educated at Harrow before entering the British Army in 1842.[9]



Surtees was a member of the 10th Royal Hussars, reaching the rank of Lieutenant in 1845,[10] and captain in 1847.[11] From 1873 he was Colonel of the 3rd Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry.[9]

He served as a director of the Great Central Railway and was chairman of the Universal Life Assurance Society when it merged with North British and Mercantile Insurance Company in 1903.[12]

Political career


He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Durham at the 1865 general election and served alongside Joseph Whitwell Pease, but was defeated by Frederick Beaumont at the 1868 general election. He did not stand in the 1874 general election, but failed to win a seat when he stood again in 1880.[13]

In 1873, as Charles Freville Surtees of Mainsforth, Ferryhill he succeeded Rowland Burdon of The Castle at Castle Eden as High Sheriff of Durham.[14] Surtees was himself succeeded by John Fogg Elliot of Elvet Hill.[15] He also served as Deputy Lieutenant of Durham.[9]

Personal life


On 25 August 1855, Surtees was married to Bertha Chauncey (1833–1882), a daughter of Nathaniel Snell Chauncey, Esq. of Green End.[16] Bertha was relative of Charles' older brother Henry's first wife, Eliza Snell Chauncey.[17] Together, they were the parents of one son:[2]

He was a member of several of London's most prestigious gentlemen's clubs, including the Army and Navy Club, the Carlton Club, the United Service Club, the Cavalry Club and the Ranelagh Club.[20] He was also made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.[21]

His wife died on 5 November 1882. Surtess died on 22 December 1906 at the Charing Cross Hotel in London.[1] His funeral was held on 27 December at Long Ditton and was attended by Lady Paget, Col. Surtees, Horace Avery K.C., Mr. Sheath (Secretary of the South Eastern Railway Company), and Cosmo Bonsor among others.[22]



Through his only son, he was a grandfather of Dorothy Cynthia Surtees (1890–1957), who married Sir Patrick Ramsay (the second son of John Ramsay, 13th Earl of Dalhousie and a brother-in-law of Princess Patricia of Connaught (through her husband Sir Alexander Ramsay), a granddaughter of Queen Victoria); and Etelka Bertha Surtees (1891–1974), who married the American diplomat Edward J. Bell,[23] and after his death,[24] Sir James Leishman Dodds.[25] During World War II, Dodds was the British Minister to Bolivia.[26]


  1. ^ a b "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "D" (Part 4)". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons page. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ a b Burke, Sir Bernard (1863). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. Harrison. p. 1459. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  3. ^ Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885 (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  4. ^ Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. Society for Army Historical Research. 1984. p. 188. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  5. ^ Burke, John (1846). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland: M to Z. Henry Colburn. p. 1334. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Durham Cathedral Library: Catalogue of the Surtees Manuscripts". Durham Cathedral. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Surtees, Robert (1779–1834), historian". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26790. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. ^ Publications of the Surtees Society. Surtees Society. 1884. p. 15. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1910). Armorial Families: A Directory of Gentlemen of Coat-armour. T.C. & E.C. Jack. pp. 1549–1550. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  10. ^ "War Office". The London Gazette. T. Neuman. 1845. p. 358. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  11. ^ The United Service Magazine. H. Colburn. 1848. p. 472. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  12. ^ Commons, Great Britain Parliament House of (1903). Parliamentary Papers. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 167. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  13. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 384. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  14. ^ "No. 23945". The London Gazette. 6 February 1873. p. 513.
  15. ^ "No. 24061". The London Gazette. 2 February 1874. p. 481.
  16. ^ "Summary of Individual | Nathaniel Snell Chauncy". Legacies of British Slave-ownership database. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Herbert Conyers Surtees & Madeline Augusta Crabbe".
  18. ^ Dorment, Richard (5 December 2017). "Virginia Surtees obituary". The Guardian.
  19. ^ Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1929–30). Armorial Families (7th ed.). London: Hurst & Blackett. p. 1242.
  20. ^ Walford, Edward (1869). The County Families of the United Kingdom Or, Royal Manual of the Titled and Untitled Aristocracy of Great Britain and Ireland ... R. Hardwicke. p. 931. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  21. ^ "History of Mainsforth, in Sedgefield and County Durham | Map and description". Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Court Circular". The Times. 28 December 1906. p. 7. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  23. ^ TIMES, Special Cable to THE NEW YORK (19 January 1914). "EDWARD BELL ENGAGED.; Attache of American Embassy in London to Marry Miss Surtees". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  24. ^ "SUDDEN STROKE KILLS EDWARD BELL IN PEKING; Death of the Legation's Charge Shocks Washington -- F.L. Mayer Succeeds Him". The New York Times. 29 October 1924. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  25. ^ "MRS. ETELKA BELL TO WED; U.S. Diplomat's Widow Engaged to J. L. Dodds, British Official". The New York Times. 5 June 1927. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  26. ^ "DODDS, Sir James Leishman". Who Was Who. A & C Black. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for South Durham
With: Joseph Whitwell Pease
Succeeded by