At the age of 8, Richard Hallowell became the stepson of his grandfather John. John was a loving parent to his grandchildren and among other things taught them to be staunch supporters of “The King Over the Water”, the son of John’s friend King James II. So Richard was from earliest years a Jacobite.
In 1715 James Francis Edward Stuart, the son of James II who was living in exile in France under the protection of the French king became convinced that the time had come for him to lead his followers to overthrow King George I who had recently ascended to the throne.
Word went out through England and Scotland for loyal Jacobites to rally to the cause. To that end Richard Hallowell in 1715 went to Athol in Scotland at the head of a group of Kentish Jacobites volunteering to serve in the regiment commanded by George Murray.
Richard fought bravely but without much success. When the Rising of 1715 collapsed the only lasting effects for Richard were the loss of many comrades and the gain of the good friendship of George Murray who was just Richard’s age. By 1720 George had fled to Rotterdam and Richard was lying low in the Norfolk county city of Norwich.
In Norwich was a man named Charles Wagg, a goldsmith by trade, who found his business so profitable that he was in a position to loan money to other businesses and individuals. Since he already had vaults in which to store his gold it was a natural extension for him to found a bank.
In June of 1720 Charles Wagg stopped to see his solicitor, Peckham Smythe-Hyde.
“Ham,” Charles Wagg said, “I have been looking for a reliable young man for a business enterprise I am engaged in. I plan to open a bank and need a man who can be trained by me to handle serious and confidential business affairs. Could you reach out to your contacts and see what you could turn up.”
“I’ll see what I can do Charles. Give me a few days.”
So Ham Smythe-Hyde went to his cousin Arthur Jones, the manager of an established bank in Norwich.
“Good morning Arthur,” Ham said. “On behalf of a client I am looking for a smart young fellow who might make a success in the banking business. Have you recently turned away any good candidates in favor to one you judged to be better?”
Cousin Arthur paused a few seconds to think and this is what he thought.
‘I run the only significant bank in Norwich. As such I know that rascal Charles Wagg is looking to found a bank and probably has the wherewithal to be successful. Wagg is Ham’s client. Wagg is a solid supporter of the “Glorious Revolution” that threw King James II out of England. I know a sharp young man who is a Jacobite. He might well be a resource for me in Wagg’s employ.’
“I think I may have a name for you Ham. It is Richard Hallowell I am thinking of. Do you know him?”
“No I don’t. Could you send him to me for an interview?”
“I’ll let you know after I have spoken with Richard.”
So Arthur spoke to Richard who he know through his friendship with his grandfather John Hallowell. He advised Richard to not get into politics with Charles Wagg. In due course Richard met Charles and impressed him suitably.
The question of Richard’s politics did not come up at the time of his hiring and Richard’s combination of business sense and leadership qualities resulted in his rapid rise to a position of authority in the company. Gradually Charles became aware that he was harboring a Jacobite but by the time he came to that realization Richard was making so much money for him that Charles decided it was not that important after all.
Back in 1713 Charles Wagg’s only child Ann had married Mark Hawkes of the Brighton shipping Hawkes’s. They were a happy but childless couple. In 1723 Mark was lost at sea and Ann returned to her father’s household to grieve. Richard later claimed he fell in love with her as soon as he laid eyes on her. However, he kept a respectful distance during the year of her mourning.
In 1724 Richard began a serious courtship of Ann Hawkes. Richard and Ann were both 30 years old at the time so they did not think it necessary to get Charles Wagg’s blessing. When Charles finally took notice of the romance Ann was too far gone in love to let her father’s objections have much effect.
Charles might be willing to overlook Richard’s support of the ”King over the water” in the name of profit, but the prospect of a Jacobite in the family was too much. When Richard and Ann married in March of 1725 Charles disinherited her and fired Richard.
Ann’s relationship with her in-laws at Brighton was such that her former father-in-law cheerfully received her and her new husband into the shipping business at that seaport town. To Ann’s great surprise she became pregnant and in December of 1725 she gave birth to a daughter, Juliet. On new-year’s day in 1728 a son was born and named James in honor of his great grandfather’s friend James II. Old John Hallowell lived to see young James walking and talking before John’s death in 1730. In 1731 another son, Charles, was born. It was this namesake that finally thawed Charles Wagg’s attitude toward Richard and Ann.
In the Hawkes shipping business at Brighton, Richard had risen to a management position where he frequently traveled to ports in Europe, from Brest to Bremerhaven, to drum up business for the company. He had learned French, Dutch and German from his grandfather which gave him an advantage over many other employees at the Brighton headquarters.
On the morning of July 30, 1733, on such a trip to Calais France, Richard was visiting a shipping office on the waterfront. There was a startlingly beautiful young woman, probably in her late twenties, behind the desk.
Richard had just opened his mouth to introduce himself when a blast shattered the windows and rocked the walls. The young woman behind the desk shrieked and covered her face with her hands. Richard, who was knocked to his knees by the blast struggled to his feet and went to the crying woman. Blood was oozing between her fingers.
Powder Ship Explosion
In French Richard said, “Please miss. Let me see how you are hurt.” He gently pulled her hands away to find a shallow cut across her forehead just below the hairline. It was bleeding copiously flowing down her face and dripping on her shirt. He could find no other injury so he cut a piece of his shirttail off with his knife and bound up her wound, then with another piece wiped up the blood.
“A bit of window glass has cut you slightly just below the hair.” Richard said. “It is not serious.”
“It is not your cut sir,” she said. ”I will call it serious enough, if you please. We must look outside to see if people need help.”
She an Richard picked their way through broken glass and pushed aside the door which was hanging from a single hinge. From the outside they could see that the office building as a whole leaned away from the harbor. Farther along the shore whole buildings were flattened. In the harbor floating debris spread over a couple of acres. A rolling black cloud covered much of the sky.
“Powder ship,” Richard said. “I see the fire company is on the way. Perhaps I should get you out of here.”
“No,” she said. We may be able to help.”
So they began to assist in extracting disoriented and injured people from the wreckage. For serious injuries they called for people better equipped to handle them. After hours of working together they had become acquainted and dirty and exhausted. The woman’s name was Giselle Turbot.
“You must come home with me,” she told Richard. “You can clean up and rest before returning to England. It is just a few streets over.”
So they started to walk away from the harbor. As they walked Giselle went slower and slower. Finally she stopped walking and looked at Richard with tears running down her cheeks.
“Whatever is the matter Giselle?” said Richard.
“I cannot do this.” she wailed.
“Do What?” Richard asked.
“I am meant to get you in a compromising situation that competitors might hold it against you to their advantage. After what we have been through I can not do that. Richard you must make your way home and not be seen with me anywhere.”
She turned and hurried away leaving Richard dumbfounded in the street.
When he told the story to his wife and best friend Ann back in Brighton he said, “It took and almighty catastrophe to keep me an honest man.” Ann laughed and said that the Calais blast of 1733 had saved Richard’s life since she would surely have killed him if he and compromised himself with the beautiful Giselle.
Richard was seriously injured in the collapse of a warehouse in 1740. He remained partially crippled for the rest of his days. He nonetheless maintained his old Jacobite ties through the years so he was in a position in 1745, for 400 pounds sterling, to get his 17 hear old son James accepted into the army that his friend George Murray was leading to restore the Stuarts to the throne of England. Ann died in 1751 and Richard died in 1771.