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William Moseley's Ancestor Among Royal Institute of British Architects

'Narnia' actor William Moseley is descended from an architect who designed churches, markets, and taught architecture at Kings College London.


I'm back with this fourth installment on the ancestry of William Moseley, best known for his roles in The Chronicles of Narnia films and the E! series The Royals. Thanks to William sharing some information with me, I've found a wealth of info on his family tree and have so much to share about what I found. Huge thanks to William!


Let's take a quick look below at William's patriarchal line of descent and get oriented to who we're looking at in his family tree.


Line of descent chart by Mike Batie / Image via E! series The Royals

Andrew Moseley (2nd great grandfather)


Actor William Moseley's second great grandfather is Andrew Moseley, born 4 June 1813 in Hanley, Staffordshire, to Rev. Dr. W.W. Moseley and his wife, Margaret Jackson.


In 1838, Andrew was elected Associate of Royal Institute of British Architects (R.I.B.A). By 1841, he was an assistant to Professor William Hosking, the first professor of architecture at King's College London. From 1841 to 1886, Andrew was a lecturer in Arts of Construction at King's College London.


Andrew Moseley taught architecture here at King's College London from 1841 to 1886. This engraving shows the college as it appeared around that time period. / Image via Wellcome Images

Andrew Moseley's brother, Henry, was also at Kings College London; Henry was Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Astronomy, chaplain of the college, and was also an international authority on naval architecture. So a lot of smarties in the Moseley family. Through Henry's line is descended the physicist who discovered the atomic number.



Smithfield Market, London


In 1847, Andrew Moseley was shown in records as one of the architects employed on the design of Smithfield market, London abattoirs.


Smithfield Market, London, showing its Victorian influence. Andrew Moseley was one of the architects who worked on the project. / Images by Tony Hisgett (left) and Michel Wal (right)

St. Elvan's Church, Aberdare, Wales


In 1851, Andrew was selected to design a new church for Aberdare in south Wales. The population of that parish was close to 14,000, but the ancient parish church existing there could only accommodate about 200 people. Andrew Moseley drew up plans for a new church, Saint Elvan's, which was consecrated on 25 September 1854.


St. Elvan's Church in Aberdare, Wales. It was designed by Andrew Moseley and consecrated in 1854. / Image by John Lord

Andrew Moseley's design of the church is in the "Victorian Gothic" style, with a 180 foot spire. The church has been called by locals "the cathedral of the valleys."



St. Elvan's Church, designed by Andrew Moseley, as it appeared in 1960. / Photo by Glyn Davies via Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Service

St. Elvan's is a British Listed Building, meaning it is of special architectural and historic interest, particularly for its fine interior and town scape importance.


Interior photo of Saint Elvan's, which was designed by William Moseley's architect ancestor, Andrew Moseley. / Image via St Elvan Community Heritage Facebook Page

Below is a video of the interior by the St. Elvan's Community Project, which has undertaken a restoration of the church and is adding some modernized features to draw more community use of the building, such as adding a mezzanine level for exhibitions and community workshops, a visitor's center, and cafe.





In 1861, One of Andrew's papers, "Some Particulars regarding the Plan and Construction of the Westminster Palace Hotel," was read in a meeting of the Institute of British Architects.


In 1866, Andrew married his second wife, Euphemia MacDonald, at St. Saviour, Paddington, London. At the time of their marriage, Andrew was 53, and Euphemia was 20. They would go on to have five children, including William Robins Moseley in 1873, through whom actor William Moseley is descended.


Record of Andrew Moseley and Euphemia MacDonald's intent to wed, in the marriage banns record. Note Andrew Moseley's signature at the bottom.


At the time of their marriage, Andrew Moseley and his wife Euphemia were living here at 15 Bristol Gardens, London. / Image via Google Maps

By 1875, Andrew was the District Surveyor of Fulham and was in partnership with his brother, William Moseley, County Surveyor of Middlesex.


Sadly, by 1877, Andrew's marriage to Euphemia ended in divorce. Court records show her claiming that he enforced a 9 p.m. bedtime on her, and she was informed and believed that her husband had “improper familiarities with governesses and with female servants.”


Court records of Andrew Moseley and Euphemia's divorce.

Euphemia moved with her children south to Hastings and they had a governess. Andrew remained in Fulham, London with two servants. Euphemia died in 1882 at the early age of 33.



Index of Wills summary for Euphemia MacDonald Moseley, Andrew's wife.

Andrew Moseley passed away on 13 June 1906 in Fulham, London. It's amazing to see that his architectural legacy still standing today in St. Elvan's Church in Wales, and of course, King's College London remains a fine institution today where he taught. The Moseley family has certainly left a legacy of architects, doctors, professors, scientists, and reverends that have influenced history, and their line continues to do so today, with William Moseley carrying the name far and wide to the silver screen and televisions around the world.



Stay tuned for more about William Moseley's ancestry. There are still several more interesting characters in his family tree for me to share about. Again, big thanks to William Moseley for his assistance in this research.


About the Author

Storytelling binds generations. Films and family history are both powerful forms of storytelling that do just that. Family history research has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. Having researched my own family tree extensively, I enjoy looking into the family trees of notable people. It gives me a sense of their background and what shaped them and their family into who they are today. To see their roots and where they come from is always inspiring. Being a history geek, I’m often in awe of the historical experiences of their ancestors and how they connect to the present day. I hope to inspire others to research their own family trees and find out where they come from by sharing interesting insights from the family trees of some of my favorite artists and entertainers.


— Mike Batie



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