The Sarah Dore Detective Club invites you to help solve some of the mysteries surrounding Lady Sarah in “Garrow’s Law”.
The issues: Who was the mysterious Sarah, Sarah Dore who eventually married William Garrow? What was her family background? Was she Irish? Was she Catholic? Was she high born? What was her true relationship with Arthur Hill? What was the true relationship between Sarah and William Garrow before they married? Is it true that……? While there is a chapter on Sarah in the biography, “Sir William Garrow, His Life, Times and Fight for Justice”, there remain unanswered questions.
The background: These are typical of the questions that a small group has been asking and for which they have been seeking answers. This quest has been by a small group connected to Sarah in a family way. And the quest started long before Lady Sarah became a celebrated public personality in modern times.
The name “Sarah Dore Detective Club” was coined – as best I can recall – by Alan Dalton in July 2000 to describe the activities of new friends brought together to search the records for information on Sarah Dore. Alan is the husband of Jan who is a Dorehill and a direct descendent Sarah Dore and William Arthur Hill, the couple becoming famous today in the legal drama, “Garrow’s Law”. Alan is a retired publisher, and computer enthusiast, with a rich sense of humor. Jan holds the Dorehill family records, and is the genealogist of that family line. Prior to the Daltons sharing information, Doug and Rosalind Monk engaged in an ongoing exchange of information and visits with Carol and Richard Braby focusing on the family histories of Sarah and William Garrow. This relationship started in 1990. Doug is a retired bank manager who has a natural gift of focusing on details and is a descendant of Jane Garrow, Sir William Garrow’s sister. He has collected many of the existing genealogies of the wider Garrow family. Richard Braby is a direct descendent of Sarah Dore and William Garrow, and is co-author of “Sir William Garrow, His Life, Times and Fight for Justice”, the first biography on William Garrow. His career was in research with the US Dept. of Defense. His wife Carol is a trained historian and journalist. The first biography of William Garrow includes much family information generously shared by these members of the “Sarah Dore Detective Club”. The Daltons live in New Zealand, the Brabys in America, and the Monks in England.
Private information held by family: Until published in Sir William Garrow, His Life, Times and Fight for Justice (2009) , information held by the Dorehill family was not available to the public. Included are pictures (family treasures) of Sarah Dore and William Arthur Hill, as well as stories describing their relationship, including the birth and care of their child, William Arthur Dorehill. Family pictures tell family stories.
Successes: Based on the wealth of family data made available by Jan Dalton, and archival research by others, we claim to have brought Sarah’s relationship with Arthur Hill into the public record and established that the person known in the public record only as “Mrs. Garrow” was indeed Sarah Dore. We have searched the records available to the public from the 1780-1850s and in the current timeframe, and find no other information….except in the new version of the Dictionary of National Biography under “William Garrow”. It states:
About 1780 Garrow entered into a relationship with Sarah Dore (d. 1808). It was a connection formed “somewhat irregularly”, a contemporary was to say (Farington. Diary, 11-4017). Indeed, they were not to be married until 17 March 1793, a decade after Sarah had borne two children:
David William (1781-1827) and Eliza Sophia (1783-1857). They also raised a son (William Arthur Dorehill) from Sarah’s earlier relationship with Arthur William Moyes Hill, later second Marquess of Downshire.
This Garrow article was written by Professor John Beattie, a personal friend, based on information I gave him from data gathered by The Sarah Dore Detective Club…information he carefully evaluated before inserting it in his biographical sketch on William Garrow.
I have asked Mark Pallis, the barrister on the writing staff of “Garrow’s Law” to share with me the documented origin of the name “Sarah” and the information used to script Sarah’s relationship with Arthur Hill. I specifically asked if it was the new Dictionary of National Biography entry for Garrow. It would be exciting if there is another detailed historical source – other than our detailed family records. Perhaps – just perhaps – the source for “Sarah” and her relationship with Arthur Hill in “Garrow’s Law” is the work of the Sarah Dore Detective Club.
You can help. The biggest mystery surrounding Sarah is her family origins. There are some clues, some apparent leads. The Dorehill family has passed down through the generations the story that Sarah was an Irish lady of high birth. There is family speculation that she may have been Catholic. But we have not been able to connect Sarah with her forbearers. For those of you that are curious and have genealogical skills, I encourage you to continue the search for the family background of Sarah Dore Garrow. While chapter 12 in our book, “Sir William Garrow, His Life, Times and Fight for Justice” is on Sarah, and I have enjoyed putting some information about Sarah in the Garrow Society website, there is more work to be done. The best place to start may be St. Margaret’s churchyard near Dorenth, Kent – Sarah’s burial site…
Jan at Sarah’s tomb (Image copyright Alan Dalton – no reuse or reproduction without written permission)
Sarah’s tomb is next to Margaret Dore (1714-1801) and George Dore (1745-1805). Was this Sarah’s mother and brother? It would appear that Margaret’s maiden name was Munn and there is an extended Munn family in the area. But what of the Dore lineage? We need hard data, good records that confirm relationships. If you come up with anything interesting I will put you in touch with the other members of the “Sarah Dore Detective Club”.
And there are lots of other topics to entice you into the archives that hold the Sarah secrets of the past.