Sunday, June 14, 2020

The rector's wife of Dickleburgh

Oh, dear. The Rector of Dickleburgh. Sounds like the Curate of Tickletum, or the Vicar of Dibley. How did I get here?

Well, I popped back into the pages of ebay dealer 'scortonarrow' to look one more time at the wonderful photo of the postman of Cheddleton ... just to make sure there wasn't another photo from the same collection lurking nearby. There wasn't, but there was a charming photo of a mother and child, dated 1874, clearly labelled, so with my first morning cuppa green tea, I thought I'd check the little baby out. Ashton Byrom Brandreth, born Christmas day 1873, can't be too hard to find ... with a name like that, and photographed by Elliot and Fry ... a younger son of a younger son? A clergyman's child ...?

I was right on all counts. Baby Ashton was the child of the Rev Henry Brandreth (b Queen's Square, 4 April 1834; d Cambridge 27 June 1904) rector of Dickleburgh, Norfolk, and his wife (and cousin) Louisa Victoria née Jackson (b Highgate, Bordesley x 8 April 1838; d Ravenswood, Wanstead 15 August 1915). Pictured above.

Rev Henry, so the University records tell us was 'Trinity. Sch. 11th Wrangler, 1857. B.A., 1857; M.A., 1860. D., 1867; P., 1867. Formerly Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College. Rector of Dickleburgh'.  

And this was his church.

Alas, the baby in the picture died at the age of two. Of the four Brandreth children (abstemious for a Victorian clergyman!) only daughter Caroline Lois Rosalind and youngest son Rev-to-be Roland Henry Brandreth surivived.

They and the memory of their parents. For Mrs Brandreth was a shining example of a C19th churchman's wife, and her good works were seriously good. If she were deprived of two of her own children, she, on the other hand, worked for nearly a quarter of a century for the benefit of those, lost, stolen, strayed, ill-treated or orphaned children of other folk. She established and ran homes for unfortunate children ...

This is Rose Cottage, Dickleburgh (1878), one of Louisa's projects, originally described as 'a home for the reception of workhouse orphans' and thus described on the www:

Rose Cottage could house 20 girls, aged 7-12. New children would arrive at the Home with all their worldly possessions, which usually amounted to very little. According to Mrs Brandreth, one girl came into the cottage 'clutching only a chestnut and a penny'. Most of the children who arrived were illiterate, and the girls all attended the local school to help them develop some basic skills. Outside school hours, the girls were trained in housework and laundry, so that they could move on to careers in domestic service.

Louisa and Henry retired and left Dickleburgh in 1899, and moved to Cambridge (1 Dorset Terrace, Hills Road), where they lived in slighty less affluent cirumstances -- only a cook, a parlourmaid and a lady's maid -- but the homes that the good lady had established ran on. 

Henry, Catharine, Louisa, Roland

I see that Louisa has been featured in a book Children in Care 1834-1929, by Rosemary Steer (ISBN 152672801X, 9781526728012) who was involved in a memorial event at Dickleburgh, one hundred years after her subject's death.

One does meet interesting folk on e-bay ...

1 comment:

Webrarian said...

One day, you know, my endless researching of the same sort of people as you will take me to one of your pages. It hasn't happened yet, but I feel sure it will. What I will never understand, though, is how you turn so much out. I'm not slow myself but I could never match you. Thanks for everything you do, and have done, Kurt.