Thomas Cussans III

12th Aug 1771 - 22nd Aug 1855

Claimant or beneficiary


Major Thomas Cussans [III] of the 94th Foot, who married Georgina Losh at the British Embassy in Paris 02/07/1834, and son of John Cussans and Euphine McQueen. Thomas Cussans III appears in the family-tree of the 1st Earl of Snowdon and his son Viscount Linley through the Messel family.

  1. John Cussans was the son of Thomas Cussans I of Jamaica (d. 1745) and brother of Thomas Cussans II (c. 1739-1796) (q.v. under Thomas Cussans of Mayfair). John Cussans had matriculated Trinity Oxford in 1759 aged 17. John Cussans of the parish of Clarendon Esquire married Euphine MacQueen of Kingston, spinster, in Kingston, 05/05/1767.

  2. Major Thomas Cussans III (1771-1855) was 62 years of age when he married Georgina Losh. Their marriage produced no children. He did have a son, Thomas, born earlier out of wedlock, whose mother was Sophia Adele de Chastenay. This Thomas, born 1796, was a Cadet for the Artillery at Fort St George, Madras, in 1815 and appointed 1st Lieutenant in the Artillery in 1818. Appointed Captain 1829. A lithograph portrait of Thomas Cussans, Madras Artillery, c. 1830 is held at the British Library, as is his album of 19 drawings of scenes in Bombay and South India together with a few miscellaneous sketches, 1817 - c. 1822.

  3. The 1851 census shows him as Thomas Cussans [IV] aged 50 'Artist Painter' and his wife Matilda with inter alios son John aged 13 and daughter Annie aged 4 born Heavitree Devon living in Plymouth; by 1861 Matilda is living as head of household 'Mar[ried]' aged 50 Fundholder at 30 Barford Street Islington with Annie and a number of other children, including Georgina T[homasina] Cussans aged 10. In 1866 Matilda Cussans petitioned the courts for 'protection of earnings' following the desertion of Thomas Cussans.

  4. "Even if Thomas Cussans IV did not inherit the Cussans compensation money, it appears that his daughters may have come into some of it by a roundabout route. When Major Cussans died in 1855, his widow Georgina wrote the three living daughters of Thomas Cussans IV (namely Jane, Annie and Georgina) into her will, in recognition of the fact that their father had been (in her words) ‘the reputed natural Son of my late Husband’. When Georgina in turn died two years later, she thus bequeathed an annual income to the three Cussans girls from shares held in trust until their twenty-first birthdays, when each would inherit the principal. The affidavit sworn by their mother Matilda before the Divorce Court in 1866 reveals that the family relied on this income to support itself in the years after the girls’ father had deserted them."

  5. "Annie Cussans (1846-1920) married Ludwig Ernst Wilhelm Leonhardt Messel (1847-1915) in 1871 and had six children. The eldest of these six, Leonard Charles Rudolph Messel (1872-1953), was the grandfather of Antony Armstrong-Jones, later the first Earl of Snowdon."

  6. The ODNB entry for John Edwin Cussans (1837-1899), antiquary, who was born in Plymouth Devon 30/10/1837, gives him as the second son (of eleven) of Thomas Cussans [IV] (b. 1797?) and Matilda Ann née Southwood (d. 1870). 'His father and grandfather had been army officers, and the family had connections with Jamaica.'


  1. IGI shows the 1834 marriage and identifies Thomas Cussans parents as John Cussans and Euphine MacQueen. Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919), Vol. 3 pp. 265-266, 'Cussans of Jamaica' shows Miss Euphine Cussans as daughter of the late John Cussans of Amity Hall and niece of John McQueen of Potosi on her marriage to George Scott of Hordley 03/12/1789. A family genealogical website for the Losh family shows the marriage of Georgina Cecilia Thomasina Losh to Major Thomas Cussans, 94th Foot, son of James [sic] Cussans of Amity Hall (and a date of death as 22/08/1855 at Le Havre), sourced to Burke's Landed Gentry 1969 'Cussans of Amity Hall', [accessed 21/07/2011].

  2. Email from John Hilary 07/03/2020 with numerous sources, in particular the 1972 work 'Cussans of Jamaica and England' put together by Geoffrey Mead and available in typescript from the British Library: Vol 3 includes the details of the will of Georgina Cussans, née Losh, as described above, which confirmed John Hilary's earlier deduction that Thomas Cussans III and Sophia Adele de Chastenay had Thomas Cussans IV out of wedlock., UK, Registers of Employees of the East India Company and the India Office, 1746-1939 [database online]; British Library P2248 and WD484.

  3. 1851 census online entry for Thomas Cussans IV.

  4. Email from John Hilary 07/03/2020 with numerous sources, in particular the will of Georgina Cussans and TNA J 77/12/C199.

  5. Ibid.; John Hilary, 'Messel, Ludwig Ernst Wilhelm Leonhardt (1847–1915), stockbroker', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019), online edn, May 2019, [accessed 28/04/2020]; John Hilary, 'Messel [married names Armstrong-Jones; Parsons], Anne, Countess of Rosse (1902–1992), conservationist and collector', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019), online edn, May 2019, [accessed 28/04/2020].

  6. Alan Rushton, 'Cussans, John Edwin (1837–1899), antiquary', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004), online edn, May 2008, [accessed 28/04/2020].

We are grateful to John Hilary for his extensive help with this entry.

Further Information

Georgina Losh
[illeg.] Thomas IV (1796/7-1870)
Charterhouse [1784-1788 ]

Associated Claims (1)

£3,831 12s 9d

Associated Estates (2)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1791 [EA] - 1794 [LA] → Joint owner

Shown as Thomas Cussans junior, joint owner with Thomas Cussans senior. The entry appears to reflect the barring of entail on Amity Hall by Thomas Cussans of Mayfair and his nephew Thomas Cussans [III] referred to in a codicil to the former's will.

1794 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner

Possibly tenant-for-life, but apparently owner of one moiety of Amity Hall. The other half belonged to his siblings either as owner-in-fee or tenants-for-life.

Relationships (3)

Nephew → Uncle
Notes →
Thomas Cussans III was also a beneficiary under the will of Thomas Cussans II of Mayfair....
Son → Father
Brother → Sister