Alice Rowe, daughter of William Rowe and Alice Daniel, was baptised on Sunday 31 October 1824 in Paul Church, Paul parish, Cornwall. Her father was a shoemaker and she was still living at home aged 16 in 1841; she is an older sister of my great-great-great-grandfather James Rowe. By the age of 16 she had lived under the reign of 3 different monarchs.
Alice became a servant until her marriage in 1844 in Newlyn’s Trinity Wesleyan Chapel to fisherman Bernard Victor of neighbouring village Mousehole. They lived in Mousehole and later that year had their first child whom they christened Gamaliel, ‘reward of God’.
Sadly she wouldn’t have had her mother’s advice and support for long after Gamaliel’s birth: Alice senior died the following year when her daughter was only 20. Bernard and Alice had their second child, a daughter called Mary Wright Victor, in summer 1846; their third child, another daughter, arrived in 1849 and was named Alice Daniel Victor after her late Grandmother Rowe.
Bernard was working as a ‘fisherman with nets’ on Capt William Ladner’s boat the Three Brothers for the 30 March 1851 census and Alice gave her occupation as a fisherman’s wife. They had three more children during the 1850s: John, Louisa and Agnes and then Benjamin in 1861. Their final child Edwin Albert was born in 1867, the year their oldest daughter Mary married.
Their oldest child, Gamaliel, married another Alice, Alice Vincent, the following spring aged 23, but before the summer was out he was widowed and by 1871 had moved back in with his parents.
Bernard had died in summer 1890 and April 1891 found Alice working as a laundress. Gamaliel was by now a cobbler; he was still living with his mother.
Alice died in 1903, her son died two years later.
Although it wouldn’t perhaps have made much difference to her day-to-day life, Alice had lived in the reign of four different monarchs: George IV, William IV, Victoria and right at the end of her life Edward VII, something I find disconcerting, having lived under the reign of just one monarch all my life. I’m not sure quite what difference, if any, all these remote people would have made to her life. The Cornishman included references to Edward VII’s 1902 coronation bunting in-between information in the same column about pilchard catches and the story of a ‘peculiar freak’ ‘Siamese triplets’ potato (3 joined together in a row) and asked ‘Have any farmers in West Cornwall made similar discoveries?’ This attitude tickles me more than it probably should but I do like the way that things are kept in perspective.
© Lynne Black, 16 August 2015
First published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/alice-rowe-victor