Nat Gould

His life and books

Lucy Moss King 1875-1937

Lucy Moss King
Born: 1875
Died: 1937
Robert Moss King 1832-1903
Elizabeth Augusta Egerton 1843-1917
Gerald Moss King 1870-1871
Robert Curzon Henry Moss King 1871-1929
Bertram Moss King 1872-1876
Geraldine Moss King 1873-1888
Margaret D'Este Moss King 1876-1930
Carleton Moss King 1878-1954
Layard Livingstone Fenton 1849-1921

Lucy Moss King was born in 1875 in India, the daughter of the Robert Moss King and his wife née Elizabeth Augusta Egerton.

In 1881 she was living aged six years old with her aunt Mrs Lucy Campbell in Wimborne Minster. Her parents were in India.

<i>Western Times</i> 28 May 1937

Western Times 28 May 1937

In 1903 she was married to Layard Livingstone Fenton of Marsh Hall, North Molton in Devon. He was born on 14 October 1849 at Bombay in India, the son of the Reverend George Livingstone Fenton and his wife nee Mary Ann Lloyd (1), and educated at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, serving in the Royal Artillery (2). He became a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Indian Army.

He had married Katherine Isabella Ashburner on 10 March 1874 at Quetta in India, and they had three children. She died in 1891.

In 1886 he had an encounter with a lion, widely reported in the English press "Our experienced and successful shikaree, Captain L.L. Fenton, Superintendent of Surveys under the Rajasthan Court, had some rather exciting sport in the Ghir during the last hot weather, and finished up with an exceedingly narrow escape for his life. A lion had been discovered lying down under a banyan tree. Captain Fenton commenced to creep up to within shot ... when a couple of samba broke cover close to him and startled the lion" which ran into a crowd of sepoys who fired shots at it. He rushed to the scene. Breathless he fired but only wounded the lion, which came straight for him. Reaching for his second gun his next shot "was true enough this time" (3).

By 1906 he retired to live at Marsh Hall (4). He died on 14 October 1921 (5). His Will was proved on 4 January 1922 (6).

His book The Rifle in India: being the Sporting Experiences of an Indian Officer was published posthumously in 1923.

Lucy Moss Fenton died at Marsh Hall on 22 February 1937, "a regular worshipper at South Molton Parish Church and a supporter of the Conservative cause. She was well-known as a breeder of dogs. She leaves a brother, Sir Carlton [[sic] King, who resides in Jersey (7)."

Her Will was proved on 4 January 1922 (8). Her executors donated her late husband's collection of hunting trophies to the town of South Molton in Devon (9). Some were retained, and a leopard skin and a spotted panther skin were offered for sale by auction in 2011 (10). Marsh Hall is now a country house hotel.


(1) Indian Army Quarterly List 1 January 1912.
(2) Reading Mercury 24 December 1869; Cheltenham Looker-On 25 December 1869.
(3) Manchester Evening News 18 August 1886. Similar reports appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette on 17 August 1886 and the Cheshire Observer on 21 August 1886.
(4) North Devon Journal 6 December 1906.
(5) North Devon Journal 29 December 1921.
(6) National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1858-1966 (1922) page 261. Probate of his Will was granted on 4 January 1922 to Edward Ashburner Manesty (his nephew) and Robert Pollock . Effects £8685 12s 7d. Some details of the bequests were reported in the North Devon Journal 12 January 1922 and the Western Times 13 January 1922.
(7) North Devon Journal 25 February 1937. The date of her death was there wrongly recorded as 23 February.
(8) North Devon Journal 3 June 1937; London Gazette 3 August 1937 page 4984; National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1858-1966 (1937) page 368. Probate of her Will was granted on 29 May 1937 to her brother Sir Carleton Moss King. Effects £2755 16s 7d.
(9) Western Times 28 May 1937; North Devon Journal 3 June 1937.
(10) Sale Catalogues 12 July , 6 September and 25 October 2011: The Canterbury Auction Galleries, 40 Station Road West, Canterbury, Kent: "A late 19th Century leopard skin mounted on a hessian backing with red cloth border, 78ins x 48ins overall. Provenance : Shot by Lt. Colonel Layard Livingstone Fenton when in India with the army, and formed part of his hunting trophies in Marsh Hall, North Molton, Devon" and "A late 19th Century spotted panther skin, the part moulded head with glass eyes, mounted on a black oil cloth with a red cloth border, approximately 74ins x 46ins overall. Provenance : Shot by Lt. Colonel Layard Livingstone Fenton when in India with the army, and formed part of his hunting trophies in Marsh Hall, North Molton, Devon".