Signature of Grace Daniel Tremethick

Grace Daniel Tremethick later Richards 19th Century Navy wife

Photo of the Foundry Lane well.

Foundry Lane Well, Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn in 2015

Grace was baptised on 17 May 1857 in Paul Church up on the hill above Newlyn where her father Thomas Tremethick worked as a mariner. Thomas and wife Patience Daniel (nee Patience Daniel Rowe) lived in the east Street-an-Nowan area of Newlyn.

Grace was the eldest daughter with two older brothers Joseph and James, and seven younger brothers and sisters: Thomas, Annie, John, Albania, Samuel, William and Patience.

By April 1861 they were living in a small street with its own water pump called Foundry Lane; her widowed grandfather William Rowe was living in the same small street with her dressmaker Aunt Grace Rowe there with him.

1869 her grandfather William Rowe died; she had never known her grandmother Alice Daniel (later Rowe) who died before she was born but whose name she bore.

1871 the family were living round the corner in Chapel Street and Grace was still at school. Her father Thomas Tremethick died c February 1878

St Peter's Church, Newlyn

St Peter’s Church, Newlyn

On 1 September 1880 Grace married sailor James Richards in the new St Peter’s Church in Newlyn.  James was the son of a coastguard John Richards and his wife Elizabeth. Although born in Newlyn James had lived for much of his youth in Tresco on the Isles of Scilly. [Tresco is justly famous for its beautiful gardens, but I went there on my honeymoon and still feel haunted by one small section of their gardens which they had filled of the figureheads of wrecked ships, staring forever sightlessly.]

James had joined the navy and at the time of their marriage was working as a quartermaster on HMS Frolic [the least intimidating name for a naval ship I’ve ever heard!]. Grace was the first of her brothers and sisters to marry and given her father had died two years previously, her older bother Joseph, a GWR clerk, was her witness.

By April 1881 the young couple were living in Herbert Place, Stoke Damerel [Plymouth, Devon] where James was again quartermaster.  Grace’s youngest sister, 8-year-old schoolgirl Patience was visiting at the time.  They had neighbours on both sides with the surname Davey who worked in the Dockyards, one Cornish and one from Devon.

In spring 1882 their first son, Albert Morris Tremethick Richards was born, but died the following April.  They did have more children: their next son, Stanley, was born in 1887, followed by Mabel c1889, Gladys c October 1890 and Wilbert J c1898.

In April 1891 Frederick Richards was visiting, he was a 13-year-old boy who’d been born in the Isles of Scilly; his precise family connection is still escaping me.  Grace’s younger brother Thomas Tremethick and his wife Mary were living a couple of houses along Herbert Street.

Grace’s widowed mother Patience Daniel Tremethick (nee Rowe) had moved to Plymouth from Newlyn by 1901, probably to be near her four children, and was living at 4 Maybank Road with Grace’s younger married sister, Albania Lemmon.

In 1902 Grace’s oldest surviving son Stanley began military service with the Royal Navy; he was based on the Vivid training ship, where his second cousin John Victor would also serve a few years later.  Stanley worked as a ship-wright.

Grace’s mother Patience Daniel Tremethick (nee Rowe) died in August 1908.

The family continued to live in Herbert Place as I find them living there in April 1911, they had Edith Woodfield, James’ married younger sister, visiting.  Like Grace she had also had 5 children, one of whom had died, and she was noted to be of independent means.  James was by now working as a canvasser for the Great Western Railway, son John as a shipwright, and 2nd daughter Gladys as a clerk in a draper’s shop.

There are many more Richards than Tremethicks about and I can’t follow their story after that. However it I find their elder daughter Mabel married Herbert J Davy c November 1914; I can’t access info as to whether he’s related to their neighbours on Herbert Place but it’s definitely a possibility.

© Lynne Black, 29 November 2015
First published:

Photo of Kingsbridge

James Rowe Tremethick, Coachman, and family with attitude

Foundry Lane, Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn

Foundry Lane, Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn

James Rowe Tremethick was the second of the ten children of Thomas Tremethick and Patience Daniel Rowe.  He was born in 1855 in the Cornish fishing village of Newlyn in Mount’s Bay, 7 miles from Land’s End.

His older brother Joseph worked on the railway, and his father worked on the sea as a merchant mariner, but James chose to drive out of Cornwall.

James was one of those family members you fear was another lost child, died in infancy, but then gives you a pleasant surprise when you find they’re actually alive and well, but just left home young.

Baptised on 5 January 1855 within his first year up the hill at Paul Parish Church, James was a scholar at the time of the April 1861 census. By 1871, aged 16 he was working as a domestic errand boy up at Rosehill, just by what’s now Penzance in Madron, the next parish.

James’ father Thomas Tremethick died in 1878 when James was only 23.

By 1881 he had become a groom (domestic) and was staying up in Charleton, Devon, (near Kingsbidge) near the Ashburton Arms. The innkeeper was Elizabeth Wills whose husband Ambrose was a farmer of 43 acres. Although there is no specific address marked on the census next to his residence in 1881, he appears to be the groom (domestic) of the elderly Rector of Charleton, the Rev Thomas Twysden, MA, and his wife Elizabeth. The local church was the ancient St Mary’s Church. Their son, also living in the Rectory, a “pleasant residence”, was James Stevenson Twysden, aged 52, County Magistrate.

Charleton was on the coach road between Dartmouth and Kingsbridge.  Although at that time very much in decline, in the mid-18th century after a bridge was built Charleton ceased to be isolated and saw 10 coaches a day driving through, five in each direction, in those glory days of stagecoaches.  [Info on Charleton from the census, Genuki, A Vision of Britain and Charleton Parish Council website., also this Historic UK stagecoach page]

Rev Twyden died on 15 October 1887, The will, which went to probate in February 1888, would indeed suggest it was a pleasant residence as he had a personal estate worth £90,252, 2s 9d. The National Archives currency converter tells me converting 1890 rates to 2005 this would be £5,405,200.51.  Rev Twyden’s widow Elizabeth arranged for a stained glass east window in St Mary’s church as a memorial to him.  The 1891 census finds Elizabeth and daughter both living on their own means, unsurprisingly, now living in Dodbrooke with their son John identified as head of the household, and now described as Retired Captain (Royal Navy). John Twyden was married by then, to Aileen Frances Mary nee Wilson-Todd two years previously.  [On an unrelated note his wife’s family home was Halnaby Hall in Yorkshire where Byron spent his honeymoon in 1815.  But theirs is a different story.]

Kingsbridge Church, by LittleStar on Flickr, creative commons license

Kingsbridge Church, by LittleStar on Flickr, creative commons license

James married Kate Edwards in spring 1888 in Kingsbridge. The first of their five children, John E Tremethick, was born about September 1890. The following spring I find them living in Church Street, Dodbrooke, Devon [which appears now to be part of modern Kingsbridge] and James is working as a coachman (domestic servant).

I don’t know who he would have been working for at that time – maybe it was still John Twyden’s household? Hmm, not sure how I’d find out?  Maybe theirs is not such a different story after all? John’s 1891 residence’s staff included a groom but not a coachman…

Their eldest daughter, Patience Mary Tremethick, was born in 23 March 1892 in the Kingsbridge area (which covers Dodbrooke and I believe they were still at Church Street throughout the 1890s). Their second daughter Margaret Kate was born c August 1895, but sadly died at the end of 1895.

Their fourth child, son William James, was born in the autumn of 1896 but again sadly died before his first birthday, in spring 1897.

Photo of river at Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge, by Paul Englefield, Flickr Creative Commons license

Their youngest child, daughter Lena Alice Grace Tremethick, arrived on 9 October 1898 (the register notes they live in Dodbridge and James is a coachman) and happily she, John and Patience all survived into adulthood.

The March 1901 census finds them still living in Church Street and James still working as a coachman. However, James didn’t live to see the 1911 census; he died in 1905, aged only 50 years old.

By the 2 April 1911 census Kate had moved to River View on Fore Street, Kingsbridge and had a female staying with her (probably one of her daughters, the census summary doesn’t specify).

In April 1916 Kate saw her son John marry Gertrude Alice Hansell up in London where he had been working in 1911 as a warehouseman.

In early 1917 Patience also got married, to a widowed book and stationery seller (dealer) called Ernest Marshman. Although born in Wiltshire, he seems to have been registered to vote in London (his first wife had been from Hackney) but working in Salcombe, Devon.

However it was back to tragedy for poor Kate as later in 1917 her only son John died in London where he’s been working in the Army as an inspector in the Army Clothing Department. He is listed in Kingsbridge War Memorial.

On 1 April 1922, aged 23, Lena set off from Liverpool to the port of St John in New Brunswick, Canada, on the SS Melita (Capt H L Twaite) of the Canadian Pacific line. She was off to Canada to marry her fiancé William H Mason, who was by then living in Edmonton, Alberta. She had been working as a book keeper and living in Kingsbridge and had paid for her own passage, which cost her £5 for a 3rd class ticket.

I love the attitude when filling in the paperwork with lots of exclamation marks: Object in going to Canada? Marriage. Do you intend to remain permanently in Canada?  Yes! Are any of your or your family mentally defective?  No!  Tubercular? No!  Physically defective?  No!  Otherwise debarred under Canadian Immigration Law? No!

Her mother Kate lived on until 1946 when she died aged 87 in the Plymouth registration area in Devon. Lena once again is travelling back to Canada in 1948 on the Cunard ship the SS Aquitania, this time on 1 November, this time travelling with her engineer husband William. Perhaps they’d been back to sort out family affairs.

Kate and James’ oldest daughter Patience also lived to a good old age, dying in 1974, aged 82, in the Plymouth area; her husband Ernest, who was 14 years older than her, had died in 1939.

© Lynne Black, 22 November 2015
First published:

GWR Devon poster, Lampitt, 1936 from Flickr, Creative Commons Kitchener.Lord

Joe and Bessie Tremethick, working their way round England with GWR

On Thursday 8 December 1853, Joseph ‘Joe’ Tremethick was born in the Cornish fishing village of Newlyn. He was the oldest child of mariner Thomas Tonkin Tremethick and his wife Patience Daniel Rowe [Patience is my link to the family], and would eventually have 9 younger brothers and sisters over the course of the next 2 decades: James, Grace, Thomas, Annie, John, Albania, Samuel, William and Patience.

Photo of Florence Place, Newlyn

Florence Place, Tolcarne, Newlyn

At the age of 15, c1868, Joe joined the West Cornwall Railway. The next (1871) census describes him as a labourer living in Foundry Lane in the Street An Nowan area of Newlyn, so perhaps he started that way with the Railway company. In 1878 Joseph is based in Hay and railway records identify GWR [Great Western Railway]; this is possibly Hay Lane near Swindon, Wiltshire, rather than Hay-On-Wye in Powys, Wales. His father Thomas Tremethick died in February 1878; his grandmother Sarah Tremethick died in May 1879, so maybe he received the letters with that sad news there. By April 1881 he was back in Newlyn, in the Tolcarne area (just the other side of the small River Coombe from Street An Nowan).

By 16 April 1883 Joe had moved on again, to Devonport [Plymouth, Devon], when he married Elizabeth ‘Bessie’ Hutchings at St Stephen’s Church.  However by 13 January 1884 when Bessie gave birth to their daughter Ethel, they were in Birmingham, Warwickshire.  They were still in Aston [Birmingham] in November 1886 when their son Percy Gordon was born. In April 1891 the family were still in Warwickshire, with Joe working as a clerk at Bordesley Station; the family were living at Cooksey Road, Bordesley.

However, the 31 March 1901 census finds them living in Oxford. Their neighbours on Norreys Avenue were also various clerks and shop workers, a change from Newlyn where you would get whole streets of fishermen. Joe was still working as a clerk, with 17-year-old Ethel a pupil teacher.

On 27 March 1902 Joe and Bessie would have been proud when Percy joined GWR like his father; he started as a Lad Clerk in Exeter on a salary of 20 shillings a year. Maybe the whole family had moved to Exeter by then; they were certainly living there in 1911.

In March 1905 Joe would have heard that his brother James had died; James had also been living in Devon but about 40 miles away in Kingsbridge.  August 1908 saw Joe’s mother Patience Daniel Rowe later Tremethick also pass away, back home in Newlyn.

GWR Devon poster, Lampitt, 1936 from Flickr, Creative Commons Kitchener.Lord

GWR Devon poster, Lampitt, 1936 from Flickr, Creative Commons Kitchener.Lord

On 28 April 1909 Ethel married in Exeter.  Her husband was a Ireland-born bank clerk called John Foden.

Ethel and John would have been quite used to trailing round with their fathers’ work. The Fodens had also been a railway family; rather than being Irish, John’s parents Harcourt and Emma Foden were actually born in Lancashire (Harcourt) and Yorkshire (Emma). They too worked their way around, living at various times in Burnley and Blackpool before Ireland, then setting in Devon. Harcourt became a colliery agent and his probate record indicates that he appeared to do quite well for himself.

In April 1911 Percy was living with his parents still in Exeter; they had a visitor with them called Ida Passmore. Both Joe and Percy were railway clerks at that time, although Joseph was approaching retirement.

In September 1911 Joe and Bessie became grandparents, with the arrival of John Gordon Foden.

Percy got married later that year to Ida Passmore, the lady who had been visiting the family home back on census night. They married in St Thomas’ Church Exeter.

In March Joe was back in Newlyn for a family funeral; he is listed in the report as ‘Joe’ which is not something you always find out from a census.

Photo of Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge, by Paul Englefield, Flickr Creative Commons license

During World War One Joe came out of retirement and worked in Lloyds Bank in Kingsbridge, the town his late brother James had lived in.

Joe and Bessie celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on 15 April 1933, still living in Exeter. Joe seems by then to be very much a pillar of the community, being honorary secretary to the Women’s Committee of Plymouth Central Hospital, and honorary treasurer of Plymouth Dickens Fellowship.

In 1934 Percy and Ida moved to Barnstaple when Percy took post as stationmaster; he had previously worked at Kingswear and Langport. They lived there until 1943, Percy enjoying singing with various choirs and enjoying church life, I think he was also in the Barnstaple Masonic Lodge.

Bessie died two years later in February 1936. Joseph died on 17 January 1942 at the grand old age of 88.

© Lynne Black, 16 November 2015
First published:

Photo of Newlyn Beach, Cornwall

Mary Ann Rowe of Newlyn: daughter, sister, wife, widow and midwife

Mary Ann Rowe was the oldest child of Newlyn cordwainer/shoemaker William Rowe and his wife Alice (nee Daniel). As such I’m sure her early life was spent helping her young mother with the eight children that followed Mary Ann.

Photo of altar of Paul Parish Church

Paul Parish Church

She herself was born just over 200 years ago in the Cornish fishing village of Street An Nowan, Newlyn.  Mary Ann was baptised on 17 January 1913 in Paul Church, up on the hill above Newlyn and the neighbouring fishing village Mousehole. I have spent decades walking past this church on holiday, but only this year did I actually go inside. It was much bigger than I was expecting, although thinking about it, as the parish church it did have a large flock to gather together.  

Depending on the source you check, the church could be named after one of any four different St Pauls [here].  Whichever you go with, parts of the granite church are hundreds of years old but much had to be rebuilt after 1595 after surviving a burning raid by the Spanish (7 years after the famous Spanish Armada), with musketball holes still in the wall to prove it.

Mary Ann married a fisherman named Thomas Rowe in 1843 (the surname is coincidence) and described herself as a servant; I believe she was the unmarried female servant Mary Rowe who in June 1841 was living in the same building as Mr & Mrs Adams, the Innkeeper in Tolcarne.  Tolcarne Inn is another building I’ve walked past all my life. It’s been hard work tracking down her husband-to-be in that census but it appears he’s lodging about 5 minute walk away, in the Street An Nowan area of Newlyn, just a couple of census book pages away from Mary Ann’s parents and her younger siblings.

Chapel Street and Orchard Place, Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn

Chapel Street and Orchard Place, Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn

By 1851 Mary Ann is back in Street An Nowan area herself in Chapel Street.  Mary Ann describes herself as a fisherman’s wife. I think Thomas may be away at sea for the census; I can’t see his name listed at the back of the enumeration book where the boats and crews are recorded. Interestingly, on her page of the census, the head of the 6 listed households are all female, every husband away from home.  Mary Ann has her mother’s unmarried sister Elizabeth Daniel, a retired servant, staying with her. Mary Ann goes on to live in Chapel Street for many decades.

Thomas is home in spring 1861 and 1871 and still recorded as a fisherman in both censuses.  However in October 1878 he died aged 72 and was buried up in Paul Cemetery.

Mary Ann lived on in Chapel Street.  She was still in her own home in 1881 but in 1891 was lodging with the Treneer family in the same street.

Photo of newborn baby wailing

Photo from Morguefiles httpmrg.bzVxhz1p

The single most intriguing thing about Mary Ann’s story for me was that she gave her occupation in 1891 as midwife. I’m generally a bit cynical about this and suspect it would not have been any formal role given her age, location and circumstances, but more likely would have been just years of lay experience comforting and supporting women at their most vulnerable time, with faith in her presence and experience perhaps being the most beneficial aspect of her involvement. However, it does state that she’s employed, so perhaps I’m doing her an injustice… I read, in an online newspaper story, of a vague passing reference to a book where nurses qualified to practise as midwives are recorded. Not sure how I could check that out. I wonder whether she helped her nieces Mary in 1870 and Louisa in 1879 with their labours…

Mary Ann died on 13 June 1899 in Newlyn and was buried on 18 June in Paul cemetery.

So although she didn’t have any children of her own, the love and care she’d given to other women and their children over her 86 years must have been phenomenal.

Some history of midwifery links:

© Lynne Black, 2 November 2015
First published:

Aisle of Paul Church, Cornwall

Homebodies: Benjamin, Edith and Thomas Herbert Victor of Mousehole

I’ve recently written about Mary and John, some members of the Rowe and Victor family who had headed to Devonport (Plymouth) for work and Edwin who ended up in Glamorganshire. Their brother Benjamin happily stayed behind in Mousehole, 6 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, England.

Photo of Fore Street, Mousehole

Looking down Fore Street, Mousehole, Cornwall

Benjamin was the son of a fisherman called Bernard Victor and his wife Alice (nee Rowe). He was born around Christmas 1860/New year 1861 as he was 3 months old by the 7 April 1861 census.  He was baptised on 28 April that year, one of eight babies baptised that day – Paul Church must have been so noisy!  However, scrolling down the list of baptisms that year in Paul Church, 13 October 1861 must have been wilder as an astounding 17 babies were baptised!

The family were living on Quay Street at that time, but by 1871 they had moved to 2 Mill Place – this picture of Fore Street is the view Benjamin would have got as he came out the house and turned down to head to the harbour.  He was still at school at that point.

By 1881 he was working as a boot and shoe maker, living on Church Street in Mousehole with his parents and two of his brothers, widowed Gamaliel and younger brother Edwin.

His father Bernard died in summer 1891.

Photo of St Mary's Church, Penzance

St Mary’s Church, Penzance

Although there was hostility between neighbouring Newlyn and Penzance (the latter was the far side of Newlyn from Mousehole), Benjamin met and fell for a Penzance girl called Edith Wilkins. They married in her parish, Penzance St Mary’s, on 3 November 1890. Her father was an engineer called Thomas Wilkins and witnessed the wedding; by that time Benjamin had become a boot maker like his grandfather William Rowe.

They settled down in Mousehole, where their son Thomas Herbert was born on 6 September 1894. Their daughter Annie Olive was born on 5 August 1898.  I know they also had a third child who’d been born and died young before 1911, according to that census.  I’ve found reference to a Harold Victor, 1896-1897, but don’t know at this stage whether Harold was Benjamin and Edith’s son or the son of his brother Albert and wife Sarah; I’d need to check either a gravestone or order a death certificate for that.

Benjamin continued to work as a boot and shoe maker and they lived in Mousehole at various addresses over the years.

Benjamin’s mother Alice Victor (nee Rowe) died in 1903.

Photo of Penzance Public Library and School of Art

Penzance Public Library and School of Art

In 1911 Benjamin and Edith were living at home in Mousehole with Thomas and Annie. They also had a widowed aunt staying, a lady called Ann Curnow (I think she is from Edith’s side) who had been senile for two years. At this time Thomas was an art student, which I found intriguing as this is the time when the Newlyn School of Art was flourishing and there was an art college in Penzance next to the Library, built in 1880.

So I googled Thomas Herbert Victor and – yes! A ‘famous ancestor’ at last! I found him on the Cornwall Artists Index and he indeed did go to to the Penzance School of Art where he had a scholarship from the start.  He was offered a scholarship at the Slade School of Fine Art in London but chose not to leave Mousehole and indeed lived there all his life, never travelling further than Truro, 32 miles away.

Bernard died in 1914 and was buried in Paul Cemetery.  Edith outlived him and the First World War by many years, dying on 15 January 1941 in Mousehole; her son was her executor.

Their children lived into their 80s, Thomas dying on 10 March 1980 in Mousehole, and Annie two years later, also close by in the same registration area.

© Lynne Black, 22 October 2015
Adapated from a blog post on the Worldwide Genealogy Collaboration Blog, 21 October 2015: 

Aisle of Paul Church, Cornwall

A story of two Louisas: A Mousehole mother and daughter

Louisa was born in 1854, the fifth of eight children of fisherman Benjamin Victor and his wife Alice nee Rowe. She grew up in the West Penwith area of Cornwall, England, in a small fishing village called Mousehole.  Although her father was a quiet man, with seven brothers and sisters it can’t have been a particularly quiet home. Long before she, her parents’ fifth child within 10 years, was born her oldest brother Gamaliel was staying with his grandparents Victor [30 March 1851].

Photo of Mousehole village name signLouisa’s younger sister Agnes was born in early 1857, Agnes was the family’s youngest daughter although two more sons were still to come, with Benjamin born in early 1861 and Edwin Albert on 21 July 1866.  The family were living at 15 Quay Street in March 1861. Mary Badcock, a retired baker and probably a relative from Bernard’s mother’s side of the family, was boarding with them.

When Louisa was 13 her family entered a tumultuous couple of years.  On 18 September 1867 her oldest sister Mary Wright Victor married a naval carpenter called Edward Kelynack; they moved to neighbouring Newlyn (Edward’s home town) before heading off to Devonport when he was posted there.

The following spring, in May 1868, her eldest brother Gamaliel also married. He married Alice Vincent, a Mousehole girl, up in Paul Church. Tragically their marriage didn’t last long – Alice died that same summer and eventually Gamaliel moved home with his parents.

Louisa’s 2nd eldest sister Alice Daniel Victor died in September 1868 and also was buried up in Paul Cemetery on 13 September. She was only 20 years old.

There was further tragedy at home when younger sister Agnes, aged 11 or 12, died in autumn 1868; I think she may be the Alice Victor buried on 6 October in Paul Cemetery.  Louisa was now the only one of Alice’s four daughters still living close by.

There was happier news for Louisa in 1869: she became an aunt when Mary and Edward Kelynack had a daughter named Mary in Devonport. By May 1870 Mary Snr had her second child, a son named Edward, in Newlyn. They were living with Louisa and Mary’s Aunt Grace, a milliner so Louisa and her parents would have felt delighted to have her back, especially after their recent losses.

By 1877 Louisa’s older brother John was working in Stoke Damarel [Plymouth] making boilers in the naval dockyards.  He had met Eliza Jane Crews and they married that February; their first child, another Alice, arrived in May 1877.

Also in May 1877 it was Louisa’s turn to settle down.  She, aged just 19, married William John Pentreath in Paul. William was a fisherman and the son and grandson of fishermen. Their daughter Louisa Jnr was born almost two years later, c Feb 1879.

Louisa’s brother Edwin married on 3 April 1887 and soon Louisa became an aunty again, this time to little Agnes Victor, perhaps named after their lost sister.

William and Louisa only had 16 years together: Louisa died aged approx 35 and was buried on 29 March 1889, in Paul Cemetery.

Photo of Paul Quarry

Newlyn Quarry in centre with Mousehole to left, Paul on the hill and Newlyn to the right; photo by mif168 on Flickr, Creative Commons license

So poor Louisa Jnr was left without a mother at the age of 10.  In summer 1890 Louisa’s quietly-spoken grandfather Bernard Victor also died.

At the time of the April 1891 census William and Louisa were living with her grandparents Pentreath in 1 Mount Pleasant, Mousehole.

It’s likely that her father William was courting again by then as in July 1891 he got remarried. His second wife was Mary Whitfield Harris, who’d been born in St Austell area in 1862 and was a mariner’s daughter.  In early 1892 Louisa’s half-sister Isabella was born in Mousehole.

In 1894 Louisa’s other grandfather, William Pentreath in whose home they’d stayed after the death of his first wife, also died.

On 1 December 1900 Louisa married Thomas Henry ‘Harry’ Drew, a quarryman who’d been born up Lamorna (two and a half miles away), her father was one of the witnesses. In March 1901 Louisa and Harry were living in Mount Pleasant, Mousehole.  There is still a big quarry up on the hill between Mousehole and Newlyn so perhaps that’s where he worked.  This 1894 Stanhope Forbes painting The Quarry Team gives us a glimpse of how Harry’s working life may have been.  Her father, step-mother and Isabella were still living in Mousehole in spring 1901.

In summer 1903 Louisa’s grandmother Alice Victor nee Rowe died aged 78.

In spring 1909 Louisa became a mother with the birth of her daughter Olive Louise.  By April 1911 she and Harry were living in tiny Trungle, on the edge of Paul, which itself is only a small place.

By April 1911 her father and step-mother were living in Manaccan, near Helston (approx 17 miles away), where he was working as a fisherman, one of those changes of location which seem to come out of the blue when following a family story. The were living in Gwealangear, in Wendron parish, but I can’t find it on the map, just a few historical references, so it was maybe tiny and subsumed into another village or abandoned.

Photo of old Bosahan House

Image of Bosahan House pre-1955 by Drew on Flickr, Creative Commons license

Isabella had left home and was working in the same parish. She was working as a scullery maid at Bosahan, St Anthony in Meneage. Her employers were industrialist, mine owner and politician Sir Arthur Vivian and his wife Lady Jane Vivian; a portrait of Sir Arthur is shown here. Bosahan had a private beach but I suspect she’d not have got to use it! I’ve been watching the Time Crashers ITV series this autumn which I’ve really loved, but at the time I thought how rubbish it must be to be a scullery maid; poor Isabella…  She was actually listed as Isobel on the census, so either she preferred that or they couldn’t even get her name right.

With the lack of personal information from the 20th century the later facts of Isabella’s life are obtained sadly from various death indexes, records of gravestones and newspaper reports.

In late November 1916 her Grandmother Mary Pentreath died and was buried on 2 December 1916 in consecrated ground in Paul; she had reached the grand old age of 87 and would have been one of the central figures of Louisa’s childhood and possibly her life.

Her husband Harry didn’t live nearly so long, he died aged 54 in 1929, perhaps the years of quarry work taking their toll; Louisa was still just in her 40s when she was widowed.

Her stepmother Mary dies c May 1937; her father also died that year, leaving her just her daughter as immediate family, although there would have been many Victor and Pentreath cousins around in the parish.

Louisa lived on until summer 1963.  There is a 1996 death reference for an Olive Drew, if Olive never married that may be her.

© Lynne Black, 12 October 2015.
First published: