Pasteur-Marcet family gathering in England

The English branch of the Pasteur family organized a gathering over the weekend of July 13-14 2002 at Burford in the Costwolds area on the border of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. The English branch consists of the descendants of Henry and Caroline (née Marcet) Pasteur. Henry migrated from Geneva to London in 1846 but retained close links with Geneva throughout his life, with a residence at Grand Saconnex. These links have been maintained by his descendants and the organizers of the gathering extended an invitation to Swiss descendants of Caroline’s brother William Marcet and sister Anna de Candolle.

29 members of various families descended from these two came to the Burford weekend to join 97 member s of the English family, including one from Australia and two from South Africa. Those present who were related by blood (rather than marriage) were united by all being descendants of William, Anna and Caroline’s parents Francis and Amélie (née Beaumont) Marcet. Francis’ parents were Alexander and Jane (née Haldimand) Marcet, he a political exile from Geneva who settled in England in 1794 and became an eminent physician, and she from an Anglo-Swiss family who became a well-known educationist and author. The male line of Marcets has died out and on the Pasteur side there are no male descendants of Henry’s brother or uncle, so Pasteurs were not represented among the Swiss party.

On the Saturday the Swiss guests and a group of English hosts visited Broughton Castle near Banbury dating back 600 years and remarkably unchanged by history. In the evening there was an Anglo-Swiss family dinner for 60 at Lodge Park, an 18th century hunting lodge recently restored by the National Trust.

David Pasteur in a speech at the end of the dinner looked back at he years of the 19th and early 20th centuries when Marcets and Pasteurs moved frequently between London and Geneva and the ties were strong. They have inevitably loosened over the years and he hoped that this gathering would strengthen and develop these ties in the future.

On Sunday the party was joined by further members of the English family for lunch at the home of Sir Jeremy and Lady Belinda Morse near Burford. In all 126 people of all ages were there. It was notable that the younger generation was well represented among both Swiss and English.

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