My desktop keeps filling up as fast as I empty it ... so a concentrated effort in the three hours of this evening to clear a some of the population off. Lots of pictures, and probably less tales of derring-do in the armed forces and big country houses. So, dip in ...!
I couldn't resist the lovely face (or the easy name!) of Alice Gertrude RABNOTT (b Hitchin 10 February 1865; d Middlesex Hospital 17 April 1932).
She beats Maude Branscombe hands down, for me. She could have modelled for a madonna ... but ....
Alice was born in the delightful town of Hitchin, the granddaghter of a carrier, Daniel (b Hammersmith 1798) and his wife and his wife, Martha. Daniel and Martha had a number of children: Charlotte, Charles, Elizabeth, Arthur, Martha, Frederick ... It was Martha who sinned, and brought into the world a fatherless child, Alice, and died soon after (1868). So Alice was brought up by auntie Charlotte Chadwick and went to work, aged sixteen, as a servant in the Barracks at Windsor. Did she escape from the soldiery intacta? It seems so, for by 1891 Charlotte had moved to London, with Louisa, now a 'dressmaker', in tow. And in 1891 Alice gave birth to an illegitimate son, Arthur Stuart, of her own. The baby died, but in 1895 (3 December) she followed up with a daughter, Kathleen Lawrence. Same father? Different father? Mr Stuart and Mr Lawrence? In 1911, she is living in Leyton 'widow' (!) with her daughter, still a dressmaker. Probably a bit faded ..
Kathleen went on to have two husbands (I'm not sure she officially got rid of the first before taking the second, but in this family ...) while Alice went on being a dressmaker -- unless she's the Miss Rabnott advertising rooms to let in Barnes in 1900 -- until her death, in 1932. Her death certificate suggested that she was the widow of a Mr Ray. No, Alice. You have to marry before you can be a widow. Bur her 'dressmaking' was upmarketed a little: she died as a 'dress designer'
I picked this lady, because the photo looked old. I think its more damaged than very old, for the London School of Photography didn't open its Liverpool branch till the early 60s. So, Mrs E[dmund] S[outhey] Rogers ... easy!
Edmund Southey Rogers (b Fulham 1792; d The Cedars, Reading 1 August 1883) by John out of Keturah, was a King's Messenger, and from the accession of Victoria, Senior Queen's Private Messenger. His wife, our lady, was Jane WAKE until 4 August 1825, when she became the Mrs E S Rogers we see. In 1828, their daughter Elizabeth Dora (Mrs was born in Maddox Street, but in the 1830s they were living in Grosvenor Street.
Jane predeceased her husband, dying at The Cedars 5 September 1878, at 78 years of age. In this photo, from the early 1860s, then, she would be already 60 years of age.
Lucy HUNTRESS (b Halifax 21 August 1855; d Scarborough 4 February 1931), father worsted spinner, William, mother Ellen née Edwards (b 4 March 1846; d 10 July 1887)
Wan wee thing, ain't she. But she lasted.
Well, I thought, papa a worsted spinner, I'm as far as I can be from Toffland. Wrong. William Huntress, in 1861, was employing 24 men, 37 young women, 15 boys, 4 girls ... He was a woolstapler, and a local constable, a Liberal supporter, and, I imagine, extremely well off. The genealogy of the Huntriss (sic) family is found on http://www.huntriss.com/GGdescendantCircle/GGtextGR.htm : suffice it for me to say that there were twelve offspring, of whom two died as babies, and the youngest aged 23, but all the rest made it to the twentieth century. They don't have much to say about Lucy.
Anyway, Lucy was schooled in Acomb, lived thereafter at Westfield House, Westfield (in 1891 she is there with brother Harold, solicitor, and ill-fated sister Effie), in 1911 we find her at Greystone with a niece ... the spinster aunt. I see that the Huntriss/Huntresses have a family website ... Lucy spells the name Huntress ... at (http://www.huntriss.com) and a facebook page, so I have sent them this photo ... (Postscriptum: they bought it!)
Another one finds a home!
A sad one. William Spencer [Alexander] HAMILTON (b Edinburgh 20 March 1851; d Colt Hill, Odiham, Hants 23 January 1888). Son of Robert Kerr Hamilton and his wife née Susan Ann Sophie Churchill Spencer (d 1866). Churchill Spencer? Don't say she was related to the beastly Winston!
Hamilton was educated at Clarehall Academy, Edinburgh, whence he graduated with second prize for gymnastics. He was promptly sent to the Royal Military College, from where he was made an ensign in the 104th Foot. Two years later, he was made Lieutenant. By that stage, he was in India, where this photo was taken. In 1876, he resigned his commission and married Annie Fanny Sarah Scott, and produced a daughter, Frances Scott Spencer Hamilton and a son Robert Scott Spencer Hamilton. They seem to have put a store by that 'Spencer'. So what did they do in that retirement?
But he was not to have a long family life. He died at their home in Odiham at the age of thirty-six, and lies in the local graveyard, with Annie Fanny ..
This next turned out a fun one: Mrs Shaw, photographed in Bath. Sophia Alicia Byam GUNTHORPE (b Madras ?1837; d 6 Kensington Crescent 15 May 1913) daughter of Indian army man John Houlton Gunthorpe (d Madras 5 October 1838 aged 31) of the Horse Artillery, a plantation and slave owner in Antigua, and his wife Margaret Ann.
The widowed Margaret and daughter came to Britain where Sophia was educated and, in 1863 (7 April), married Scotsman John Shaw 'of the Clan Shaw', a Madras solicitor and registrar of the High Court. They returned to India, but finally made their home in Britain (see 1881 census, at 103 Holland Rd) where their family would make its late 19th-century name. Son John Byam Liston Shaw (1872-1919) made a name as an artist (personally, I don't care for his work) but, of course, is better-known to me as the father of Glen Byam Shaw of theatre fame. There is, therefore, plenty of to read about the family elsewhere.
I know I said No Toffs, but this one was rather adorable, so I didn't throw him back. John Watlington Perry WATLINGTON (b London 7 December 1828; d Moor Hall, Harrow 24 February 1882) was the son of Thomas Perry of Moor Hall and his wife Maria Jane née Watlington.
Educated at Harrow and Cambridge, MA, Inner Temple, Major in the Essex Yeomanry, comissioner of prisons, JP, High Sherrif of Essex, MP for South Essex (1859-65). Married Margaret Emily Ethelston of Uplyme Rectory and Wicksted Hall, Cheshire ... I only remember tales of his staging cricket matches in the grounds of Moor Hall in which his servants took on the servants of other big houses..
This photo was taken in 1878 around the time that Margaret suffered a stroke, but it was John who died the first, in 1882. Margaret died in 1886 after a second stroke, and Moor Hall passed into the hands of others. No more cricket.
William M[ilner] CROWE (b Paddington 12 September 1846; d Cregg, Nightingale Lane, Wandsworth Common 21 April 1888), son of John and Alice Crowe ...
He married Evelina Lattey (26 September 1870) who bore him two daughters before her death 26 September 1878 at their home in Gipsy Hill.
He was a civil engineer for some years, enough to win an obituary in the minutes of the Institute of Civil Engineers. His death was also noticed in the Cambridge press, as a great-nephew of William Crowe Esq of Gonville House. Cambridge also notice the postmortem sale of 'two houses at 10 and 11 King's Parade', opposite King's College ...
John Pitman PAUL (b Illminster, Soerset 1828; d New Close, Thorley, Isle of Wight 16 July 1890), son of John Paul, farmer, and Keziah née Berry ..
Farmer at Thorley, Isle of Wight, near Yarmouth ... '836 acres, employing 11 men, 3 boys'. Married Penelope Wood (1844-1892) and fathered two sons and ... eight daughters: Flora Penelope, Colleen, Inez Cornelia, Thyra Adeline, Zillah, Jessie Catherine, Muriel Olive, Mary Octavia plus William Ayshford Wood Paul who died aged 15 (18 May 1887) and Lionel Alexander who died aged 20 in 1894. Yes, that's ten. He was also good at breeding sheep, and I see him carrying off various prizes at local shows.
Penelope tried to carry on the farm after her husband's death, but she had little time left, herself. Her remaining son had left the island to go to study medicine ... and the girls drifted back to the mainland. Jessie (Mrs Britton) and Mary (Mrs Humphrey); Flora, Zillah, Thyra, Muriel didn't; Inez and Col[l]een I lose .. and Thorley Farm ... well, it seems to have still been a farm in the 1950s. Today it has become (like half the finehouses in the south of England) holiday lets ... sic transit agriculture .. I wonder if they employ 11 men ...
Apparently Thomas was involved in the lace business. In the 1861 census, in his native Heanor, he describes himself as something to do with silk. But he chucked all that. In 1868, he and his family (wife Sarah, children John, crippled Henry, Edwin, Agnes, Rebecca ... all having Weston as a middle name) emigrated to America, and settled in Augusta, Ohio. Thomas became a farmer, and, apparently, a local worthy. There are a few tales behind paywalls. Son John died in 1872, mother Sarah in 1884 ... Edwin lived to 1915, Agnes (Mrs Leyda) to 1935 and Rebecca (Mrs Crawford) till 1950.
This could be any baby. But the inscription tells us that it's Ethel Labron JOHNSON (b Victoria Park, Wavertree 20 August 1880; d Wallasey 1981) daughter of John Labron Johnson solicitor and Ada Gordon née Hargreaves (d 2 April 1889)
Ada died when her five children (Henry, Gordon, Ethel, Ada Marcus .. all with Labron as a middle name) were young. They can be seen at Bella Riva. Montpellier Crescent, Liscard, Cheshire in the 1891 census. Ethel, as you can, lived to be over a hundred years old ...
Our next lived only to the age of nineteen. Bessie [Catharine] JEFFS (b Buckingham 1857; d Buckingham 1875) was the daughter of solicitor's clerk John Jeffs of Stowe, Buckingham and his wife Fanny née Morton.
Poor Bessie must have died shortly after this photo was taken.
Fathers handing on their identical name to their son used to be a fashionable pastime, made more confusing by the heavy rate of breeding in Victorian times ... every son named one of his sons after daddy. I am moved to that expression of frustration by the Sells family and the name of Edward Perronet SELLS. Easy to track? Irritating when there are four of five generations (at least) of them, sometimes exisiting at the same time ..
We have EPS born 1763 died 18 June 1841; his son born 29 October 1787 died 30 May 1873; his son born 1815 died 16 November 1896; his son born 9 September 1845 died 1915; his son born 2 December 1881 ... and there are more!
So, which do we have here?
Both photos are taken at Elliot and Fry, have identical back designs, but not consecutive file numbers ... so do we have EPS II and III, or III and IV? The elder gent is inscribed 'grandfather' ... I don't think I can bear to go through all that genealogy for two sets of grandchildren!
The elder Sells made their money in coal. Not hewing it, selling and exporting it from White Lion Wharf, Bankside, Southwark.
I quote http://www.stgitehistory.org.uk/media/cablestreetdirectory1921.html
'Edward Sells (1721/2-1793) was a lighterman, and astutely specialised in coal, establishing his company at 49 Bankside (on the south of the Thames) in 1755. Although the price of coal fell in the 1820s, and further in the 1830s when the government succeeded in dismantling the complex and archaic monopoly system, introducing sale by weight rather than by the 'chaldron measure' (based on estimates by underpaid, and therefore bribeable, officials), it remained highly profitable, not least because of the advent of gas lighting - hence the building of the now-iconic power station at Bankside. By the 1830s, the firm was Jones and Sells Coal Company, run by bachelor Vincent Sells and his brother Edward Perronet Sells; the area was unhealthy, until it was later drained, so Vincent moved away (but remained closely involved with the restoration of St Saviour's Church) and the Bankside house was let to their clerk, but it remained the company's address for some years until it was let to a scrap metal dealer in 1860. In 1856 they amalgamated as Wright, Sells, Dale and Surtees, but when Wright died 3 years later a further merger took place with their South Bank neighbours Charringtons, who had become prominent in opening up trade in soft Welsh coal from the Rhondda. Charrington, Sells, Dale & Co. continued as a market leader for 60 years, with their main office and depot at Charrington's [later Free Trade] Wharf, 2 Broad Street, Ratcliff [now The Highway].
In 1894 John Charrington senior dropped out of the partnership, which was continued by Edward Perronet Sells junior, Hylton William Dale and John Charrington junior. ...
They had their own railway wagons (copied by Hornby Dublo for model railwayers); a High Court case Charrington v. London & North Western Railway  2 KB 437 about 'demurrage' laid down precedents for what might be 'reasonable' in terms of delay and compensation for railway traffic. The company is mentioned in John Betjeman's poem 'Parliament Hill Field' which described a young boy's tram ride [the number 7 route?] in 1912 or1913 from Charrington's offices at Gospel Oak station (where there was a request stop - 'stop here if required' - outside) to Highgate.
One of the Edwards went out to Australia on a stargazing trip. William Briggs Sells, last son of Edward I, was there in Adelaide ('of Morelana') ...
Oh look! Here's Julia née Wall, wife (1879) of .. er .. III. Son of the Croydon one. Yes, the Croydon one was married to Elizabeth Rideal (1843)
Well, I think I'll punt for II and III ....
Enough for one post