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Ancestors - The KemPs settlement in her favour. They knew that he might have children of his own who would displacethemselvesas heirs. Their uncle, knowing this, proposedto make the brothers a Deed of Gift, giving them money and various properties in Poole and London. The bride and her family objected and this led to a dispute between the families. After much negotiation the matter was f,rnally settledto the satisfactionofall. By this time George Kemp and his wife Sarahhad four children of their own, first two daughtersSarahand Mary and then two sons George and Henry. During these years the firm of G. & J. Kemp began its meteoric rise. One of the largest trading firms in Poole, that of John Green, was left without an heir or any suitable executors. It was therefore sold, the buyer being another of the prosperousmerchantfirms of Poole (William Pike). The two firms combined, as Green and Pike and then later were taken over by G. & J. Kemp, just before the turn of the century. G. & J. Kemp thus becameone of the largest merchandisinghousesin the Newfoundland trade, having obtained the businesspremises,the trade and the ships of both firms. In the early 1800sthey had not only a large trade in fish but they built many oceangoing ships and fishing boats and they supplied many goods to the independenttraders of Newfoundland. Probably the most renowned of the Kemps' ships was the "General Wolfe" which took part in the NapoleonicWars. The yearsleadingup to the battle of Waterloo in 1815and a few yearsthereafterwere probably the most prosperousperiod in the history of trade with Newfoundland, for the Wars had closed the Dutch and Scandinavianfisheries. The Kemp firm sharedin this prosperity; in addition to their successfulgeneraltrade they made a fortune in one single joumey by two of their ships. However, when the war was over and the continental fisheries resumed production, the prosperity ended and the Newfoundland fishers and merchants suffered a period of great depression. At this time Edward, son of John Kemp was the agent of G. & J. Kemp in Newfoundland; he reported in 1817 that supplies were almost exhausted. Shortly after writing this letter Edward was drowned with his crew, caught in one of Newfoundland's treacherous squalls as they crossed in an open boat between two of their stations there (Carbonearand Brigus). It was probably this calamity that decided George and JamesKemp to withdraw from the Newfoundlandtrade. George'swife Sarahhad died in 1813and two yearslater at the age of 58 he was manied again,to 31 year old widow ElizabethPearce(nee Knight) who herself had children of her own. The marriageupsetGeorge'sfour childrenjust as 20 yearsearlierhis uncle's marriage to Margaret Evans had upset his father. He had various troubles with each of his children and, finally, life with the two families living together in the Poole Mansion became impossible George Kemp decided that the only way in which the two families could live in peacewas to live separately. He built a small cottage for Mary Kemp and her unmarried sisters. He and his secondwife and family remained at the Poole Mansion. Then, quite suddenly,the greatfirm of G. & J. Kemp was no more. The partnerssold out to anotherlarge Newfoundland firm basedin Poole. Georgewas 68 years old, Jamesa few years younger, and after Edward's death none of the farnily was willing to take on the business. His son GeorgeKemp Junior decidedin 1828to leaveEngland. He was 44 yearsold; there seemedno prospect in Poole for him. He could expect little from his father whose 10


Ancestors - The KemPs