The following year on 2nd October he married again, this time to the Hon. Catherine Dorothea, the second daughter of Sir Charles Colville, G.C.B., and this marriage too produced two children. (When applied to women the title of Honourable was given to Maids of Honour who were unmarried ladies who attended on a Queen or Princess). She outlived her husband by more than thirty years, dying on 26th February 1904.


W. A'Court Holmes who had become M.P. for the Island when Sir Richard Godin Simeon had retired from the Commons, was returned unopposed in 1841. He did not contest the seat in July 1847 when John Simeon stood as a Liberal and won the seat with a majority of 103 over his opponent Thomas W. Fleming (later to be Conservative M.P. for Winchester) who gained 373 votes to Simeon's 476.


In May 1851 John Simeon, having been converted to Catholicism, accepted the Chiltern Hundreds. (To accept the Chiltern Hundreds is to resign one's seat in the House of Commons should it be necessary for some reason, in this case John Simeon's leaving the Church of England).


During this break from politics he was appointed Major of the First I.O.W. Volunteers.


In July 1865 he was re-elected, now as Sir John Simeon, Bart., to continue his career in politics, gaining 810 votes to the 727 of his Conservative opponent, Sir C. Locock, thus having a majority of 83.


In the election of 1868 evidence of increased enfranchisement can be seen with Sir John getting 1353 votes to A.D.W. Ballie-Cochrane's 1118, giving a liberal majority over the Conservative of 235. This was to be the latest election Sir John Simeon fought as his death came only two years later.


In 1869 he voted for the disestablishment of the Irish Protestant Church, a measure introduced by Gladstone's government to remove the grievance of Irish Catholics in having to pay tithes to this Protestant Church. It's property was divided equally between the Protestant clergy in compensation and the Irish poor.


Sir John, referred to in Tennyson's poem 'In the Garden at Swainston' (reproduced below) as 'the Prince of Courtesy', died at Fribourg in Switzerland on the 21st May 1870.


The IW Observer reported the funeral noting that the arrangements had been made by a Mr Beach of Newport. At the wish of Lady Simeon his burial in the family vault under Calbourne Church was kept as private as possible but many people of all classes, political parties and religions came to watch as his coffin was taken to its final resting place. His popularity on the Island had been great, his appearance usually being greeted with cheers.


A monument (left) was erected in his memory at Carisbrooke and is known as the Simeon Monument. Its inscription (now almost invisible) reads:-


Sir John Simeon, Bart. M.P.

(of Swainston And

St. John's In This Island)

Born Feby. 9 1815 Died May 21 1870

A Man Greatly Beloved

To Whose Memory

Ever Honoured and Cherished

This Cross is Erected by Many Friends


In The Garden At Swainston - Alfred Lord Tennyson


Nightingales warbled without,

Within was weeping for thee:

Shadows of three dead men

Walk'd in the walks with me,

Shadows of three dead men and thou wast one of the three.


Nightingales sang in his woods:

The Master was far away:

Nightingales warbled and sang

Of a passion that lasts but a day;

Still in the house in his coffin the Prince of Courtesy lay.


Two dead men have I known

In courtesy like to thee:

Two men have I loved

With a love that ever will be:

Three dead men have I loved and thou art last of the three.


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