Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mr Fall of Evandale, Tasmania .. or, I am related to Henry Russell!

This morning, I lit upon this photo of a nice old gentleman from Tasmania. Since it was labelled I thought I'd investigate a touch ...

Thomas FALL. Ah, Jewish? 


Well, it turned out that Mr Fall was really easy to find out a bit about. What was he? Why, a pubkeeper! But not just that. Since his arrival in Van Dieman's Land in the1830s he had indeed been landlord of several pubs -- the Portland Inn at Long Meadow, Magpie Hill, then the Patriot King William IV at Evandale and finally the Clarendon in the same town, where he remained for over 40 years. But Thomas was smart. I see, from 1836, him buying and/or leasing property in the Evandale area ...

Clarendon in 1915

Thomas married in Tasmania (12 February 1838), Miss Elizabeth  Russell, and they had two daughters: Elizabeth 1838-1931 and Kate (1842-1935, Mrs William Hartnoll). Mrs Fall died 19 October 1874, Thomas 4 September 1888. And the press gave him a fine obituary:

'The deceased gentleman will be greatly missed on the township, as he was a resident of 50 years. There were very few houses here when he came to make Evandale his home, he was a large property holder here and in Launceston, and having only had two in family, they are left well provided for. He arrived in the colony in the barque Portland in 1832 (sic), the late Mr and Mrs J. Cox, of Clarendon, being also amongst the passengers. The vessel, it will be remembered, was wrecked at the Fourteen Mile Bluff. The deceased succeeding in saving Mrs Cox from a watery grave, but her son was lost, the remains afterwards being interred at George Town. Mr Fall lost all he possessed by the wreck, but he commenced business in Launceston, and removed to Franklin Village, and finally settled at Evandale. After being in the colony a few years, he married a Miss Russell, cousin of Henry Russell, the celebrated composer and song writer. Although deceased had reached the age of 89 years, he could read without spectacles and write freely within a few days of his death. He never took an active part in politics, but was a shrewd observer and criticiser of passing events, and was charitable in his disposition.'

The wreck of the Portland (385 tons)? 1 October 1833. Had left Sydney (Captain: D G Coghill) 17 September. Councillor [William] James Cox was an Esq, MLC. And it wasn't a son, but an infant daughter who was drowned. Rebecca or Mary or Georgina. Oddly, though, the passenger list of those listed to sail, or those reported 'saved' doesn't include Mr Fall. 

Dr Charles Inches (ship's surgeon), Edward Lord, newly-wed John Samuel Uther, Miss Blandford, and Mrs Thompson with two children and servant, John MacMahon, Andrew Gallagher, John Davis, James Murray, John Murray, Michael Power, Henry Tully, John Stewart. Strange, that. The 50 horses, 30 cattle, and Mr Cox's collection of imported seeds and plants were all lost. The Launceston press seemed more worried about the goods, especially Mr Cox's 'nearly L1000 worth' and the cedar wood, than the people. But Tasmania should perhaps be glad that the 'seeds and plants' that Mr Cox was trying to 'introduce' to the island got drowned.

I don't see the 'everything' that Mr Fall was supposed to have lost on the manifest ... maybe the fifteen cases of claret? And anyway, part of the cargo was saved by the good ship Ann and brought ashore at Launceston and put up for sale ..

A letter being carried by the Portland from London was found on the beach ...

The legend of Thomas's (actual or imaginary) shipwreck went down in history, decorated with the usual historical improvements ...

But this little item suggests that the Portland had originated its voyage in England, in which case Thomas was only then, at over 30, emigrating ...  yes, there it is berthing at Sydney in June 1833, bearing the London papers up to Febuary 18th .. the ship Portland, Captain William Ascough, from Cork, with 184 male prisoners arrived [26 June] .. having sailed 21st February ... a convict ship? 'The guard consists of 29 rank and file of the 21st Fusiliers, accompanied by four women and 11 children under command of Captain Frazer of the 26th regiment. Passengers: Lieutenant Wallace 16th Reg, D A C G Brackenbury Esq, Mrs Brackenbury, Miss Brackenbury and Miss Fraser'. Still no Mr Fall. 'The ship touched at Lisbon -- three men died of cholera -- six more of other diseases ... carrying 'three free passengers'. Well, Mr Fall wasn't one of those.  The prisoners were offloaded at Sydney, so he wasn't one of those. Crew?  Soldier? But they soldiers surely got off when the convicts did ...

And Portland Head was thus named before the wreck. Ah! Journalism.

My first official sighting of him comes in 1837 ... tiens! I wonder if that's the same auctioneer Underwood who sold off the hulk of the Portland for L145.00.  Anyhow, he's taken up Mr Moore's business in cattle and horse trading, seemingly on the Perth Road ... 

Running a sales yard? But by October he's at the Portland Inn ... and on his way, as a wheeler-dealer publican ..

And he is married. Cousin of Henry Russell? Really? THE great Henry Russell of 'Cheer Boys Cheer' and 'The Maniac' fame?  Well, yes, he was Jewish ...  from Sheerness in Kent. Born 1812. Elizabeth was born in 1804 ... in Sheerness ..?  Well, damme, it's true!  Henry was the son of Moses Russell, and Elizabeth was the daughter of Moses's brother Philip  ..  blow me down!  And oh dear ...

Geni says Catherine Keila [Uri Feiss] Russell is your great uncle's brother's wife's sister's ex-husband's uncle's wife's brother's wife's second cousin's wife's first cousin's husband's grandmother. Catherine was Elizabeth's mother.

So, I'm infintesimally related by a network of Jewish (and occasionally not) marriages to ... Henry Russell!  Well, to Thomas Fall, too, but  .. Henry Russell!

Dr Fritz Eduard Ganzl   (father)

Rudolfine Josefine Ganzl  (his mother)

Hermine Maria (Minna) Stojetz  

her sister



Richard Michael Stern  

her husband


Ing. Joseph Stern  

his brother



Margarethe Grete Stern  
his wife



Stefanie Fleischner - Füchsl  
her sister



Otto Fleischner  
her ex-husband



Max Fleischner  
his father


Moritz Fleischner  
his brother



Adele Fleischner  
his wife



Dr. Friedrich Gans  
her brother



Emily Gans  
his wife



Catherine Spier  
her mother



Hannah Hyam  
her mother


Frances Myers  
her sister



Mitchell Myers  
her son



George Myers  
his son



Sarah Myers  
his wife



Elizabeth Solomon  
her mother


Rachel Abrahams  
her sister



Elizabeth Russell  
her daughter



Joseph Russell  
her husband



Michael John Russell,  
his father

Catherine Keila Uri Feiss / Russell  

his mother

No one seems to have said where Thomas came from. That trip (or not) on the Sydney to Tasmania Portland is his 'first appearance'. But he was undoubtedly from England, and there is one thus named who seems to fit the bill and, indeed who has been claimed on Familysearch.  He was the first-born son of Thomas Fall (Coventry 25 December 1776), from Warwickshire, and his wife Johanna née Archer, and he was christened in Coventry in November 1799. Round about that time, the family moved to Southwark, where Johanna produced a run of further children, of whom two other sons survived infancy, before dying of dropsy in 1812, at the age of 33.  Father Fall remarried, and his second wife, seemingly Elizabeth née Gunn, gave him several more children. It was a large, sprawling family of which some remnants can be seen at 22 Charles Street, Stepney, in 1851: Thomas, baker, two unmarried daughters (Joanna and Elizabeth), and two nephews ... but it all gets rather muddly in 1853 when Thomas Fall (baker) son of Edward Fall (carpenter), marries this Johanna Fall, (1817-1883) daughter of Thomas Fall (carpenter) ... 
By then, of course, our Thomas was at the other end of the world. 

I see that in 1838 his assigned convict servant, Frederick Bond, had his transportation extended by three years for stealing .. a roll of ribbon?!

Here he is in the early 1840s ...

and forty years later

End of story. What other (very) distant relations shall I find ...

But did he or didnt he sail on the last voyage of the Portland ... what do you think?

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Montevideo Countrywomen's Institute Crochet Circle ...


These photos (all from the same ebay bunch) are from an era, a century ago, when the Scottish and English were a force in Uruguay. Enough of them are wholly or partly identified sufficiently to tell us that they are ladies of a certain standing ...

Mary [Maria Carmen] MacEachen Stirling (b 1856) wife of Eduardo Guimerá. Mother of five. Sister to Eduardo MacEachen y Alarcón presidential candidate in 1903 

Agustina Segundo di Antuña

Maria ?Maratoris de ****

Justina Cortez sister of Don Jose Cortez

Mrs [?Thomas] Jefferies

Fancy dress, or for real?


Isabel Figares



Well, they may be nothing but the Montevideo Countrywomen's Institute Crochet Circle ... but someone kept these photos together for a century and more ...

Be nice to know why. Uruguyans ...?

Friday, October 8, 2021

This (would-be?) actor left his photo folio to posterity ..


But not his name ...

Should I know who he is ...

Or is he an aspiring amateur?

Here you are laddie ... I've helped you into the internet era!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Lettie Keyes: piano roller!


The other day, friend Robert was going to Ballina so, since I had never been there, I went along for the ride ...

And on the way into the sprawl that is the rather odd 'town', I noticed an antiques barn. You don't see many of those wonderful institutions these days. Ebay and delivery charges have wiped away those glorious Saturdays spent dabbling in all levels of 'old merchandise' shops. And 'antiques' now are things I grew up with! Ex-cuse me.

Anyway, on the way back from dropping Louis off at the airport we stopped in for a peek. Robert had been to Summerland Antiques before and, indeed, bought a delightful Victorian hall-stand which now graces their home on topmost Yamba Hill. So we visited. They had beautiful things ... one C18th century chest of drawers which aroused my lust like nothing since (censored) .. a row of grandfather clocks, including one from Chester with a painting of Kirkham Abbey, Leeds .. alas, not signed by Turner.  Sadly, I am selling furniture, at 75, not buying it ... and hopefully that beautiful chest of drawers is sold to someone else by now!

More practically, I searched for my usual old photos, old documents, old theatre programes .. with which to aliment my blog ... but no luck. A box of pianola reels ... oh, look! There's one of the Pirates of Penzance! What fun.

Adjunct/adjacent to the Antiques Barn there is a nursery. A large and glorious nursery. So, if we didn't buy anything at the Barn .. we came away with a 2-metre flame tree instead!!!!

We brought the flame tree back to Yamba, and ... I didn't sleep too well that night. That chest of drawers was preying on my wakeful mind. But also the piano roll. I went on a G&S website and asked and ... bingo! It hadn't come in a container from Britain, like the furniture. It was fair dinkum Aussie ...

So when Robert went to fetch Louis on his homeward flight, he popped in and bought it for me. $2. The chest was still there ... gnnnnnn ... 

I am told that a friend of a friend has a pianola ... so I hope to be able to listen to this soon! But in the meantime, the mighty Michael Magnusson of Melbourne came up with the story of the piano reel and its pianist. 'Lettie Keyes, piano'. I'd suspected one of those early recording pseudonyms, but no ..

And there's my Pirates! Obviously, by the numeration, one of her early recordings. Yes, same number ...

Awww. That's worth $2 of anyone's money.

Now. That chest of drawers ...

PS I finally weakend and wrote about the chest of drawers. Sold, the previous day. Just as well, I suppose ...

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

People of the Past: Cordelia and Horace


Too hot!  Can't work on the book. Do the eight year-old swimming-togs still fit? Just. Ice-cold pool just outside my door .. dare I? 

I dared. In 32 degrees it is quite a shock to the system. But it woke me up. So I'll just sail the rest of the day away, playing a little history ...

Just two folk today. These two, full of character, picked themselves.

Well, I've done it again. Back amongst the vaguely aristocratic or gentry, the Reverends and the armed forces ... but not wholly.

The lady is [Cordelia] Ellen HOLDING.  Born in Broad Street, Walworth 27 October 1833, daughter of corn-dealer Richard Holding and his wife Elizabeth. That's what her baptism entry says ..

Well, I know nothing of Mr Holding. But one turns up in Windsor a few months later. And then nothing. 1841, 1851 ... where are they? Then in 1861, Cordelia turns up in the census. A 'visitor' 'fundholder' in the home (46 Baker Street) of Miss Mary A Browne, who runs to a cook, a housemaid, a ladies maid and a footman. The housemaid is named Ellen Hannaford (41) from Strutt in Devon. 

So who is Mary Ann Browne? Ah! 1838. Maria Browne of 46 Baker Street, daughter of the late James Browne Esq ... Sarah Elizabeth Browne 46 Baker Street (1856) .. Henry Nibbs Browne 46 Baker St. Sugar Refiner (1788-1858) 'of Friern Barnet'. Henry left L35,000, so Mary Anne would have been 'all right'.  Connection? Relative? Friend? Young lady companion to elderly, wealthy lady. Hmmmm. Blank drawn.

I guess Mary Ann died before the next census. Because in 1871 Ellen is living at 2 Queen's Terrace, Windsor, still a fundholder, still single, with two servants. One of them is Ellen Hannaford. And in 1881 the two Ellens are still at Queen's Terrace. But there is an extra member in the family. Cordelia Ellen, aged 40, has taken to herself a husband (3 September 1873). Commander Annesley Turner Denham, RN (retired) FRAS. He was a couple of years younger (b 4 May 1835) than her spritely self, so Ellen hereafter lost a few years. I don't know what he had commanded, but anyway he was clearly home from the sea and looking for a comfy wife for his pensioned days. The size of that cross around Ellen neck worries me ...

Anyway, they had a 'honeymoon' at Southsea's Tillington House, and a quarter of a century of married life together ... Sailorboy became a gent round the Windsor area ... at some stage it seems they lost the faithful Ellen H ... and they seem to have little defrayed the chronicle until his death, 27 June 1899.  He left L824.  Sailing on half-pay evidently don't pay. Even when you get invited to the Queen's levée!

Ellen died in Windsor 5 December 1926. She left nearly L8,000. 

The gent is Horace [Edward] HAMOND. Born in Great Massingham, Norfolk 2 January 1808, a son of the Reverend Horace Hamond, chaplain to the Prince of Wales regiment of Light Dragoons, rector of Great Massingham, 'of Charlotte Street, London', scion of a race of DDs, distantly related to the Earl of Ordford, Robert Walopole etc etc, and Frances Clifton of Prestwold, Leics, of titled descent. His sisters Fanny and Jane (later the Marchea Bocella, d 20 May 1888) got themselves painted by Thomas Lawrence

Horace apparently started his working life in the 1st Life Guards. He married Alicia Maria [Corisande] Bedford (1834), fathered a son, Ernest Augustus William  (5 September 1835) and a daughter, Frances Louisa (16 January 1837) and then headed for central Europe where his two following daughters, Alicia Mary (27 September 1838) and Frederica Louise Mathilde (17 October 1841) were born. In Germany, in 1838, he became Flügel-Adjudant 'Rittmeister extraordinair' to Ernest, King of Hannover. When the King of Hannover got into difficulties, and was deposed, Horace ('Knight of the Hannoverian Order of Guelph) returned to Britain in 1852 where he was named British Consul to Cherbourg, a job which seemed to entail largely keeping a watch on 'enemy' shipping and representing the Empire at dinners and other public functions. I notice that he came to the defence of the unthroned King Ernest in the British press.

Son Ernest didn't go back to England. He headed for the goldfields of Australia in 1852 and married, bred (2 daughters), deserted his family, and died (16 February 1883) in Melbourne. Daughter Alicia married Dr William Stewart Falls, who settled in Bournemouth, and had three children, Frederica ('Frida') married one Paul Carl Wilhelm Petersen, had four children, and died at Ülzen 22 May 1882. Frances also returned to Bournemouth, where she died 11 July 1877. 

Horace also retrenched to the family nest at Bournemouth where he died at Marden Ash 8 February 1876.  His widow apparently returned to Germany, where she died 27 March 1882.

Horace's will was probated at L100. Alicia's at L134.


Saturday, September 25, 2021

My best meal in Yonks!

A decade and more ago, I --who had become a flaming foodie in my years living in France -- was asked to be the restaurant critic, for a month, for a newspaper in Britain. I'm not one of those 'critics' who wants to tell you 'put five milligrams more turmeric in your taramasalata'. I'm here to tell you 'did I have a nice/great meal' and why. And bugger your bought and paid for Michelin star. And I did. Full frontal.

We had a (not Michelin) star restaurant here, in li'l old Yamba. And boy, was it worthy of its star. I ate there at least once weekly .. sometimes nights in a row. But, alas, the call of the surf and the sirens lured Charlie and Merindah away ... the resto closed, I wept .. and almost started to learn to cook. No. I may be adept at some things, but cooking ... it's too late. You need to know tastes, smells etc etc ... 

I won't sink to getting into what in the western world is called "pizza" or "burger", the only classy, me-type restaurant in my area is a drive distant, at Angourie. Barbaresco. But I have no car, and the wine is a bit beyond my means, so even though their food is grand, I don't get to visit often. And, anyway, you can't when you are locked down. So I fell back onto my limited repertoire of home-made soups and lamb fillets ..

 But ..! When times are darkest ...

Robert. Robert Lee and I became friends a few years ago under the auspices of the celebrated Sevatp Yuce of Beachwood Cafe. We've been good mates since, and in lockdown time he started delivering me "wheels on meals". Two wheels. Electric bike. Oh, la! Such meals ... steak and dorper lamb kidney ragout!

Well, we ar'n't locked down or up anymore, and last night I visited Robert chez lui for dinner. Quite simply my best meal in yonks. 

I know nothing about Japanese (as opposed to Chinese, Viet, Thai et al) food. I thought a wombok was a kind of African antelope. But I sat with my glass of chilled white wine and watched as Robert prepared the Hokkaido Salmon Chanchan  ... miso? what's that? ...  and? it's ready already?

What a deliciously stunning meal. Light, bright and oh! so tasty ...

Have a go. It says 'skill level: easy'. Here's the recipe: courtesy of Adam Liaw, TV cook ...

I do LOVE good food ....

Photos by the chef!

Thursday, September 23, 2021



I'm not in the mood for my proper work this morning. It's hot and muggy and a mosquito with gluteal tastes somehow got into my bed during the night and had a meal.  So I itch. Well, I've got litre of fine, cold milk, and I'm going to spend the morning on the e-bay game.  Some nice ones today. And I picked this one ...

Outside my period -- it's clearly 20th century -- outside my area -- it's from Oak Bay, Victoria, Canada and -- maybe outside the realms of possibility. Two of the girls are named (the third is 'myself') and their surname is ... guess! ... SMITH.

Well, I couldn't do much about 'myself' (right) who looks delightful, but I got the other two. Yes, they were the sisters Smith.

Centre, we have Vaila E J Beatrice Simson SMITH (b Vancouver, Canada 27 December 1900; d St Albans, England 1950)

Left, is Eunice Margaret Monica Wilson Simson SMITH (b Kelowna, British Columbia 7 October 1902; d Sidmouth, Devon 4 September 1982).

I think it must have been mother who had the passion for multiple names (and even a hyphen on occasion), because father was the son of a simple John Smith, lately of Demerara, British Guiana. Father was born there, Colin Simson Smith, on a date in 1854 which may have been 12 December, or may not have been. He seems to be in two places at once in the 1901 census with different dates of birth. Colin was sent 'home' to Edinburgh to be educated, and emerged as a civil engineering student, working at the Burntisland Docks and later in London. I lose him for a bit there: he may have been civilly engineering somewhere in the Empire, but in 1893, he moved to Kelowna, British Columbia. By 1901, he is listed as a 'plantation manager'. Back home, he was still registered as a voter in Edinburgh, and he certainly visited for, in 1900 he married an Irish lady by name Louise Beatrice Pim at St George's.

Miss Pim (b Monkstown 14 April 1868; d 1 Carlton Mansions, Hampstead 28 July 1926) was from a prominent Quaker family, a good deal in view in public and financial affairs .. Thomas Pin Esq of Monkstown House ... Thomas Pim the railways speculator ... and, at 32, it was time that she was wed. Colin Smith was 46. Anyway, they scooted off back to Canada after the wedding and there, before the end of the year, Vaila was born. Later, her birthdate would be given as 1901, but there was a census in early 1901 and there are Mr and Mrs Smith with 3-months old Vaila, born December 1900. Maybe a touch too soon?

So Colin farmed his fruit, Louise brought up her daughters until ... did something happen? All four of them are together in 1911 ... but then they appears to be living apart .. in 1921, Colin is living alone at Okanagan ... and mother and two daughters can be seen travelling frequently between England and Canada, until mother died in 1926 at her home in Brondesbury ..

Colin lived to a fine old age, dying, aged 87, on 22 June 1941 at Kelowna.

After Mamma's death, Monica married (1 June 1933) the Reverend Leslie Francis Edward Wilkinson (b Madras 1 November 1904; d Barnet 13 December 1960). There was no issue, and Monica lived her last twenty years alone. For Vaila was also gone. Something must have happened, for in the 1939 quasi-census she can he seen in Napsbury Hospital 'patient, incapacitated'. Yet two years previously she had still been crossing the Atlantic ..  She died at St Alban's in 1950 ...

Oh, Mamma left a will, to be executed by her brother, the Rt Hon Jonathan Ernest Pim, who had risen to high rank and parliamentary honours. It won't have taken much of his time. She left less than 300 pounds. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Corporal Shorter: a short strut and fret ...

Fascinating photo

Amateur military dramatics

This is a picture of Corporal William Shorter bandsman of the 16th Lancers, stationed at York, in the role of Reuben Rags in the 2-act drama Ben Bolt ...

27 January 1864. York Theatre. Here's a review ...

Alas, the story doesn't have a happy ending. Little more than a year later ... 

He was buried at St Botolph's, Colchester ..

William Alexander Shorter, (b Meerut, Bengal, India 6 November 1830; d Colchester 6 April 1865) son of Alexander Shorter and his wife Amelia née McNeale. Married Jane Cartledge daughter of the foreman of the Little London Works, near Sheffield 9 October 1864 ...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Fiddle-dee-diddley-dee .. Five Ladies


These ladies having been sitting in my in box for a bit, so I thought they should come out and undergo a moment under the blaze of the Gänzlscope...




Norah (aged 5 1/2)

and Jessie

Most of them, give or take some execrable handwriting, confessed their identity pretty finely.  Eliza was well inscribed

So, was it 'little Lydia' who re-inscribed the picture, many years later? Eliza Esther COOPER was the daughter of George Cooper, and she was born at Milton-near-Gravesend in 1847, soon after his marriage to Miss Sarah Snoswell. Father was a steward on a steam-packet, later 'second waiter', and finally he came home from the sea and settled at Orsett as a 'carriage cleaner'.
In the meanwhile, he had given Eliza two sisters and two brothers, and the family had moved to another maritime town, Southampton. In the 1871 census, Eliza can be seen working as a cook at the Lodge, Jervis Street, Bournemouth, but she soon became the wife (24 July 1871) of one John Charles Powell, carpenter, and gave birth rather too quickly to 'little Lydia' -- Lydia Sarah Powell. There were to be six more children before Powell's death in 1888.
Oddly, it seems that while John and Eliza brought up their other children, Little Lydia was brought up by her Cooper grandparents, and she lived with the widowed Lydia Ann Louisa Cooper for some twenty years. In 1906 she married Glasgow art master, Donald Wilkie who survived her when she died 31 October 1960.
Eliza remained in Southampton, where she died, at 7 Forest View, 1 January 1939.

Oh 'love to Aunt Fanny'. Fanny Sugden Cooper (1853-1947) was indeed Eliza's sister. A lifelong spinster.

Next up: Harriet.

Harriet Mary WARREN (b Cambridge 17 March 1836; d Surrey 10 February 1914) was born in Cambridge, the daughter and first child of John Warren, liquor merchant' and his wife Harriet Elizabeth née Wettenhall. Mr Warren can be seen in the town's Downing Street in 1841, selling wine, and having added twice to his stock of children. By 1851, he has become a commercial traveller, the children count has risen to seven, but the population of their home in Maid's Causeway also includes two house servants, so I guess he was travelling hopefully. In 1861, papa is a 'commission agent'. Hmmm. Still seven children (no mean feat in the era), but down to one servant. Two of the boys are now merchant's clerks, but Harriet is not working. And in 1867 she married. By which time papa was billed as 'esquire'.
Her husband was Jacob Stanley (b Torrington 1840; d 30 Crescent Grove, Clapham 7 July 1920) , son of a decidedly active Wesleyan minister, and born while father was stationed in Devon. Intended to follow the paternal profession, he was sent to St John's, Cambridge, where he duly gained his MA, married Harriet, and went to work as ... a brickmaker in Nuneaton, with brother Reginald. But Jacob's heart was not solely in bricks and tiles. He became a prominent member of the Nuneaton Amateur Dramatic Society, and the painter of their scenery. He also painted in oils, and eventually he retired from business as described himself solely as an historical painter in oils. 

The family moved to Nightingale Lane, Streatham, where three of the four daughters also went in for painting. The fourth was named Mabel Stanley, a name dear to all followers of The Pirates of Penzance.
Harriet seems to have been an invalid latterly, and died in 1914; Jacob in 1920. His story can be read at

Jacob Stanley

Constance and child ..

Constance BACCHUS (b Edgbaston 15 July 1853; d 33 Longridge Rd, Earl's Court 9 October 1914) came from a substantially well-off family. Her father, William Bacchus (1812-1857), was a manufacturer of iron and a pillar of the Birmingham Hospital, and her mother, Emma née Saunders (1817-1884), left a widow with five children a few years after Constance's birth, kept up an establishment at Eastwick House, Great Malvern, with her four daughters (Maria, Catherine, Annie & Constance), one son, a governess, a nurse, a lady's maid, a cook, three house servants ... They subsequently removed to Hastings, where Constance married Dr Douglas Duke (b Chichester 1850; d Villa Albert, Cannes, France 22 February 1900)), and gave birth to the baby above, Douglas St John Duke (b St Leonards 24 June 1877; d Guildford 8 May 1942),  and thereafter a Dorothy Constance (1879-d Villa Albert, Cannes, France 4 March 1900) and a Neville Oswald (b St Leonards 21August 1880; d 16 June 1933), ans a second daughter (23 October 1884) who did not survive.
Douglas became a solicitor, Neville a dentist. After the deaths of her husband and daughter, Constance sold up their home, Winstowe, on the Pevensey Rd, and left Hastings for Earl's Court, and subsequently a residential hotel, with her sister Annie, up to her death in 1914.

Norah aged 5 1/2

Norah Madeline BATTYE (b 66 Queens Gardens Paddington 15 June 1873; d 84 Cadogan Square 13 February 1957)
Looks a little madame in the making, yes? I was sure there would be a story behind this one. But ... it seems, just a comfortable life, largely in the salubrious confines of London's 84 Cadogan Square, with lots of money, lots of servants, the occasional reported appearance at court or at someone else's fashionable wedding.  
Norah came from a family of landed gentry and legal gentlemen .. on both sides. An article I came upon describes thus: 'In 1866, Richard Battye, of Skelton Hall and Crosland Hall,Yorkshire, married Frances Bibby, the daughter of James Jenkinson Bibby, the High Sheriff of Shropshire and an enormously wealthy man who had founded the Bibby Shipping Line. In 1867, Richard and Frances had their first child and only son, Lionel Richard James Scholefield Battye, who went on to an Eton education and a career in the 13th Hussars where he rose to the rank of Captain. He thus became well known as Captain Battye.
Captain Battye's father and grandparents died between 1869 and 1873, leaving 331 acres of West Riding land and property to his widowed mother, Frances. This included land in Ossett, including Sowood Farm, and in Horbury including Hallcroft, Nether Hall (subsequently the Shepherd's Arms), and Horbury Hall. Many of the Horbury land and property ownerships had once belonged to John Scholefield who was, of course, Captain Battye's great grandfather.
Captain Battye's mother, Frances, died in 1921 and Captain Lionel Richard James Scholefield Battye of 64, Cadogan Square London died on 15th May 1947 and the huge estate which he inherited was subsequently sold.
Part of the Bibby Estate was Hardwick Grange where the Battyes hung out.

84 Cadogan Square

Anyway, Lionel Battye was Norah's only brother. But there were several surviving sisters Millicent Audrey (1871-1966), Hilda Frances Marion (1869-1953, Mrs Alfred Bibby), Marjory Cecil Rachel (1874-1899, Mrs George Percy Brasier-Creagh) .. and more than enough of everything to go round ten times. 

But the family had its tragedies.  Father Richard died 'of an accident' (no one says what kind!) at Hardwick Hall aged 39. Marjorie married a capatin in the Bengal Lancers, went out to India and died in Rawalpindi bringing a little Brian Richmond Brasier-Creagh (12 September 1899) into the world. The widower left India for South Africa and a command with Roberts' Horse. Within four months of his wife's death, he too was dead. Little Brian was sent back to Britain, grandmother Frances and aunties Muriel and Norah. And so it goes on ...

In 1939 the three unmarried siblings -- Lionel, Muriel and Norah -- are living together ..

Well, if Norah herself didn't have a story, her family certainly did.  


Jessie Fernley BRUNDRIT (b Runcorn 18 February 1856; d 37 Croxteth Rd 29 November 1907). Yes, it was Brundrit. Daughter of William Wright Brundrit (1828; d The Mount, Runcorn 29 July 1873), stonemerchant and shipbuilder, director of the local waterworks, and of his wife Mary Anne née Hazelhurst (1831-1912), also from Runcorn (m  31 March 1853). What a beautiful young girl.

She, too, lost her father (latterly a quarry owner, magistrate, JP) at a too-early age, just 45, after he had fathered a brood of chicks -- Dennis (1854) xx (1855), Jessie (1856), Mary Anne Hazelhurst (1857-1883), Helen Ada Louisa (1860), William Hazelhurst Wight (1862), Fanny Eliza Octavia (1863), Arthur Fernley (1866) -- but there were plenty of Brundrits in town to help out ...
Well, I don't know if they did .. but Mary Anne obvioiusly helped out herself.  In 1881 sjhe is visiting the very well-off family of a Heaton Norris cotton-merchant. Surname: Fernley. Oyoy! In 1891, I see her as the wife (?) of an elderly Scots retired chemical manufacturer named Neil Mathieson, at Beechfield 9 Croxteth Rd, Toxteth Park.  Jessie, aged 45, is with them and .. a cook, two housemaids, a kitchenmaid, a waitress ...  Oh! Look! 1893. Cabin class to New York! Jessie Brundrit, no profession, transient passenger from Liverpool along with Mrs L? J Mathieson, children May and Nora, a nurse ... going to Saltville ..

So who are these Mathiesons? There is Neil (b Scotland 1823; d New Brighton 18 September 1906), all right, living in Runcorn already in 1871. A widower, with 3 daughters, 2 sons .. 'manufacturing chemist and copper extraction ..' .. and Yes! 1880. Married Mary Anne Brundrit! 
Neil left over 100,000L ... but I think children of the first Mathieson marriage saw more than the widow. Still, when Mary Anne died at Croxteth Rd, 26 November 1912, she left a comfy 7880L. 

PS Well! Mathieson was born in Campelltown, Scotland and came to work for J&T Johnson, soap and alkali makers in Runcorn, where he became works manager. Around 1860 he joined two other Johnson's workers, in setting up the Old Quay Works in Runcorn to make soap and to extract copper by the Henderson wet process. In 1865, when John & Thomas Johnson became registered under the Companies Act as the Runcorn Soap and Alkali Company, Mathieson invested in the company, buying 175 shares. He left the Old Quay Works to set up his own business, Matheison and Company in Widnes in 1870. Matheison and Company became one of the most important companies in Widnes. Its main business was producing alkali by the Leblanc process and they also produced glycerine from soap waste from Gossage's. Later Mathieson's third son, Thomas Train Mathieson, became a partner in the business.
Neil's eldest son, Douglas Dugald (1861–86), an assistant manager at the works, was killed after being struck by a falling derrick. In 1892 Mathieson obtained a charter in Saltville, Virginia (yes!) to open an alkali plant, buying out the Holston Salt and Plaster Company. His son Thomas Train Mathieson went to USA to supervise this business, the Mathieson Alkali Company, which was later to develop into the Mathieson Chemical Corporation.

Well, Jessie, you turned out to be quite a can of Runcorn beans!

So that's my five ladies identified. Quite a bunch!

I think I deserve a slightly early apéritif!