The Illustrious Residents of Slawston and Glooston

It has come to light after much research by my brother Neil that an eminent family once lived a quiet existence in the villages of Slawston and Glooston.

Two sisters Eveline Augusta Sophia Metcalfe (nee Pocock) and Ida Maud Pocock were daughters of Colonel Sir George Francis Coventry Pocock, 3rd Baronet, who was born in Brighton in 1830 and died in Ryde, Isle of Wight in 1915. He entered the 30th Regiment as an ensign aged 18 in 1848 and rose through the ranks to become a Colonel. He served in Bulgaria in 1854 before serving in the siege and fall of Sevastopol, Crimea in 1855. Sir George was mentioned in dispatches. 

He lost his left arm and injured his right wrist in battle and was awarded 3 medals. The Crimea Medal with clasp for Sevastopol, the Turkish War Medal and the Order of the Medjidie. He retired in 1891. Sir George was married to his first wife Honoria Harriet Alicia Ravenhill in 1856 and secondly to Mary Baldwin in 1913. His daughters Eveline and Ida were from his first marriage. Sadly, neither had any children but later in life they were benefactors to the youngsters of Slawston.


Eveline married Reginald Metcalfe in 1885 at Tatenhill, near Burton upon Trent. He became vicar of All Saints Church, Laxton, Northants. and by 1902 he was the rector at St. John the Baptist in Glooston, Leics.

Reginald was born in 1854 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to John Bell Metcalfe (who was a broker with Lloyds of London) and Charlotte Williams. He was the youngest of eight children. Along with his parents and at least four of his siblings he moved to Greater London in the late 1870s. Reginald matriculated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford at the age of 19. He became a vicar of numerous churches before arriving in Glooston where he lived from 1902 to 1914. He then moved to Slawston and was vicar of All Saints from 1914 until his death on 25 November 1925. Reginald died at the Cottage Hospital in Market Harborough and his funeral service was conducted by the Rev. D. Davenport at Slawston and his remains were buried in Glooston churchyard. A granite cross and surround mark his last resting place.

Following his demise, his widow, Eveline, moved out of Slawston Rectory and into Rosslyn House on the Main Street where she was joined by her unmarried sister, Ida. Both Eveline and Ida were highly respected in the village of Slawston and contributed to funds to help the children of the village on numerous occasions, one of which was reported in the local newspaper. In 1937 they paid for the children to be taken to the Princes Theatre in Leicester in celebration of the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Famous Ancestors

When Ida passed away on 25 June 1940 she was also buried in Glooston. Then on 15th April 1951 Eveline died and she was interred between her husband and her sister. On further investigation I discovered that the sisters’ great-great-grandfather was Admiral George Pocock R.N. He was a Knight of the Noble Order of the Bath and a memorial to him is in Westminster Abbey. He was Commander of Naval Forces in the East Indies.

It has also come to light, during my research, that this family had another hidden secret that was never revealed. The seafaring ancestors of Ida and Eveline, through their great-great-grandmother Sophia (nee Drake) who was married to Admiral George Pocock R.N. took me back to the 16th century. The sisters’ 7th great-grandfather, Thomas Drake was none other than the infamous Sir Francis Drake (1545-1596). He travelled the high seas and fought the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Who would have thought this unassuming family, who were well-respected and much travelled with such an illustrious background would have been residents of the small and quiet villages of Glooston and Slawston? The only reminder of them today being the three simple headstones in the churchyard in Glooston. 

Incidentally, when Rev. Reginald Metcalfe came to England in the 1870s he, along with his parents and some of his siblings, lived at Rosslyn Gardens, Hampstead, London. I guess that’s how Rosslyn House in Slawston, where Eveline and Ida later lived, got its name!

Glyn Hatfield