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 George Palmer Evelyn Last updated 6.10.2008

George Palmer Evelyn

George Palmer Eveyln was born at Marylebone in 1823, the second son of George Evelyn (1791-1834) and Susannah (b 1796) of Wootton, Surrey, and a descendant of the 17th century diarist, John Evelyn.

His father had fought at Waterloo and young George served in the Rifle Brigade before taking semi-retirment with a commission in the Royal Surrey Militia.  However when the trouble in the Crimea started he travelled there as a private citizen and like many Britons, took a commission in the Turkish army.  He was present at the battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman, and was decorated by both the British and Turks.  After the war he was made an honorary lieutenant-colonel in the British Army to match his Turkish rank, his commanding officer in the Crimea (R Cannon) wrote "I know of no officer in any army on whom I could place greater confidence or reliance in the performance of his duty in the presence of an enemy than in Lieut-Col Evelyn.  I can assure his Lordship that he is an active and gallant officer with good judgement and capacity".  He wrote a detailed diary of his years from 1853 to 1856 [1].

He married Esther Emmeline Phillips in 1856 and had 4 children - Mary (1857), Maud (1857), George (1858) and Edward (1867).  His eldest son George, a lieutenant in the East Kent regiment, died of fever on 30 March 1879 during the Zulu campaign at Fort Ekowe [2].

On 27 June 1861 he bought Hartley Manor.  Rather than live at the Court, he preferred to modernise Hartley Wood Farm into the house we know today as Hartley Manor.  He divided his time between Hartley and his town house in London.

He died on 18 March 1889, having survived his wife by 2 years [3].  He is buried with the rest of his family at Wootton in Surrey.

I am grateful to the Evelyn family for their permission to publish the photograph.


[1] A Diary of the Crimea (ed Cyril Falls, 1954)
[2] Times 20 May 1879, there is a picture of him at
[3] Times 21 March 1889