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A Grandmother’s Legacy: The Early Days

Jenny Mallins’s 4 x great grandmother penned a cookbook in 1844 when she was aged just 15 and newly married to an English schoolmaster. This was her Legacy.


Five generations of Jenny’s family lived in India during the days of the British Raj with several ancestors serving in the British Army or The Royal Indian Navy. They worked for the Railways in Madras, co-founded an English Medium School in India and rose through the ranks of the ICS to become Postmaster General in the telegraph industry.

In this talk you’ll hear the stories of Jenny’s ancestors, including that of Benjamin Hardy, a weaver from Mirfield in Yorkshire, who in 1798 sailed to Madras with his British Army unit and fought for the next 22 years in India where  the next five generations of his family remained.

The Ancestors

Jenny MallinAbout the speaker: A Berkshire-based public speaker and award-winning author for her 'Best in World' cookbook memoir "A Grandmother's Legacy". Jenny delivers a fascinating insight into five generations of her family who lived in India during the days of the British Raj. With her extensive collection of family sepia photographs and her compelling storytelling, Jenny manages to bring those stories to life which are intertwined with this period of British history through her highly visual presentation and narrative. Jenny’s career has been the culmination of several instinctive paths in her life influencing her continued interest in both research and travel from her early days in television production at the BBC where she picked up skills in how to present but also carved out a career there in researching. With almost thirty research trips to India over the past thirty years, she has both explored and uncovered the history of her ancestors and their interesting path. Recently interviewed by Jenni Murray on BBC’s Woman’s Hour, Jenny has also been featured in “The Lady” magazine, “Who do you think you are?” magazine as well as “Waitrose Magazine” and “Sainsbury’s Magazine”. As custodian of her ancestors’ recipe book, Jenny has been able to impart knowledge of her family’s cuisine through her teaching at notable cookery schools, including the renowned WI headquarters, Denman College in Oxford.

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Collage of The Early Days John Sausman Military Career


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