This will dated 14/2/1805, approved 17/4/1821.


Transcription of Robert's Will.

(This document obtained and transcribed by Marcus Tunaley)

This will dated 14/2/1805, approved 17/4/1821.

The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Snape Tunaley

(with many thanks to Dr. Jane Holmes for providing
a copy of the original Will document).


Robert Tunaley


b. Derby 1744/45.

m. Mary Needham 11-6-1770.

Mary d. Derby 1775, buried St. Alkmund's,

Derby, Sept. 1775.


Second Marriage:

m. 27-1-1800 Constantia Snape.

Robert d. 11th August 1820, Derby.


In 1851 when Thomas Snape was visiting in Worksop Nottinghamshire, Catherine, described as a teacher, is given in the census as living with her widowed mother (listed as a schoolmistress), aunt and two unmarried sisters at Millfield House, Lichfield Road, Coton Farm, Staffs.

In 1861 Catherine had moved to Harrow and was still living with her mother (no longer working) Kathleen Constantia, aunt, two unmarried sisters one servant and a brother who is described as a clergyman "without care of souls".


A Chancery Court notice published in the London Gazette (7/8/1857), involving Thomas Snape ("deceased"), Catharine Tunaley, daughter Kathleen and Constantia Maria Roch vs Robert James Tunaley Further records show Thomas Snape died 17th April, 1855, registration district Tamworth. His estate was valued at £1500, although no clear evidence of property ownership.

This case followed on from the case mentioned in panel right. Judgement - Constantia's will revoked.











Click here for newspaper announcement of Thomas' marriage to Catherine Smith - copy of source document courtesy of Jean Parkinson.

1847 - Thomas Snape Tunaley meets Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, author and philosopher.


Thomas Snape Tunaley


For information on Thomas Snape Tunaley's dancing activities, see links below and base of this panel. Cuttings suppled by Dr. Jane Holmes of Auckland, New Zealand.

b. 5-6-1802, Derby.

m. Catharine Smith, 28-6-1850.

Bloomsbury, Middlesex.


Thomas d. 17 April, 1855, Wigginton, Tamworth (see panel left).

Thomas's will signed and witnessed on the day of his death 17/4/1855. (cause of death pulmonary phthisis (a form of T.B.))

His estate valued at £1500, although no clear evidence of property ownership (click here for Thomas's will).

(see also "Tunaley Court Cases of 1857 - click here)

Catherine died 22 May, 1883, Peckham House, Camberwell.


The Extraordinary Dancing Career of Thomas Snape Tunaley

- click on link above or here.

The Pursuits and Pastimes of Thomas Snape Tunaley

- click on link above or here.

Kathleen Constantia Tunaley

b. 13-4-1852 c. 7-9-1852, Wigginton, Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Thomas, like his father Robert, was a dance master operating in Derby - venue the Old Assembly Rooms which was used for ballroom dancing. Also at Mansfield, Nottingham, Kegworth, Leics and, later, Sheffield. Thomas is shown on the electoral register of 1841 at the Old Assembly Rooms, Full Street, All Saints, Derby (info. courtesy of Dr. Jane Holmes).  

Thomas took over the business after father Robert died. Dancing engagements included fencing and callisthenics as part of the overall tuition. Thomas's dancing venues extended to Sheffield later in his career.

It is likely that Thomas is the man referred to as "Tunnaling" in Chapter 4 of Graham Stevenson's excellent book "Defence or Defiance."

One section refers to a political riot which took place just outside Derby in 1831 and prior to the Reform Act of 1832. The book describes an account of the riot written by Edward Soresby of Brailsford. Elizabeth Cox, Meynell and Curzon are all mentioned along with "a man named Tunnaling (a dancing master)".

What is also of interest is that Sarah Tunaley subsequently married into the Cox-Soresby family in 1838. See Cox-Soresby-Tunaley Tree.


In the book "The History and Directory of the Borough of Derby

(Intended As A Guide To Strangers Visiting the Town)"

By Stephen Glover

Published 1843

The residences and occupations of eight of the various Tunaleys are given as follows:

"Tunaley Edward, cabinet maker, Full Street.

Tunaley William, Silk Dyer, Upper Brook Street.

Tunaley Thos Snr., Silk Dyer, 4, Tenant Street.

Tunaley Thos Jnr. Silk Dyer 7, Derwent Street.

Tunaley Samuel, Silk Dyer 17, Derwent Row.

Tunaley Henry, Silk Dyer, Tenant Street.

Tunaley John, Silk Dyer, Tenant Street.

Tunaley Thos Snape, Dancing Master, Full Street."

Thomas Snape Tunaley was the son of Robert Tunaley.


Cuttings suppled by Dr. Jane Holmes include a connection via a business partner to Jean Georges Noverre, the father of modern ballet.

Although the Regency Period was officially from 1811 through to 1820 when King George 111 was incapacitated - his place taken by the Prince Regent - unoffocially the Regency Period is taken from the late 1780's to around 1840 where the dress code for ladies and gentlemen was of a particular distinguishing style. At the highest end of the social scale debutantes in London might first be presented to the monarch. Elsewhere debutantes would initially have their own "coming-out party", usually in the form of a ball. It meant the young woman involved was eligible to marry with the purpose of meeting eligible bachelors and their families with a view to marriage at the same or higher social level. Following this, a season of events would take place that might include afternoon tea parties and further dancing events.
As such, the art of dancing was a necessary social skill for both a lady and gentleman and their dancing finesse might confirm or otherwise their marital eligibility. Hence a dancing master could well be called in by a family prior to any "coming out" event in order to provide appropriate dancing tuition. In the provinces, many towns had their own Assembly Rooms for this purpose in addition to the balls themselves.
The Old Assembly Rooms at Derby was such a place and it is evident that with father Robert having opened his dancing school in 1777, Thomas was a dancemaster at the very height of Regency Dancing.

From the Sheffield Independent, Dec. 31st 1842, containing article that had appeared in the Derby Mercury:

"Mr. Tunaley's dress lesson on Monday evening at the Old Assembly Room added to the high reputation he has already achieved. It was very numerously attended and went off with great eclat. The dancing of the pupils gave general satisfaction and altogether the dress sense was a brilliant and fashionable affair - Derby Mercury."





Constantia Snape


c. 17-12-1763.

St. Werburgh's, Derby.

m. Robert Tunaley, 27-1-


Constantia d. Duffield, nr.

Derby 1854 - buried,

Duffield, 10 June 1854




Tunaley vs Roch - April 27th, 1857 - a challenge to mother Constantia's Will by the other Tunaleys, following her death, 1854. Challenge appears to be whether on Constantia's death estate should go to Constantia Maria Roch or divided equally between Robert's children.



1861 census records show that, some time after the court case, Catharine had moved to Harrow, Middlesex, where her brother Rev. John Smith (M.A. Trinity College, Cambridge) was living and working (this info. courtesy of Dr. Jane Holmes)

Catharine d. Camberwell, 1883, aged 57.










The Tunaley Family History

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