As so many of you were interested in the last post I've been trying to find out more about Dovleys Manor and especially about the people who lived there. As you know from my Family Matters blog I've been 'doing' Family History for a very long time - since before the internet provided so much information, in fact in some cases even before parish registers had been put on microfiche. In those days you looked at the actual registers sitting at a desk with the manuscript on a book-rest or cushion and in some cases wearing white cotton gloves. In the last few years it has become quite easy to find lots of information from your home PC or laptop instead of making appointments and travelling miles to record offices. So it has been quite a simple task to find out a bit more of the Heywood family of Doveleys using the on-line resources I use when researching my own family history.
When I wrote the last post I'd looked up the family on the 1871 census and found what a big household it was. For those who were interested in the friend of the family her name was Maria Roberts, age 29 and her birthplace was given as Landau, Germany; her occupation was governess. I think this is really interesting! Was she a friend staying with them who was a governess? Or was she a governess to the children of the family and considered as a friend rather than an employee?
I moved on to 1881 and the household is even grander - obviously in it's heyday. There is now a french lady's maid in the house called Irina Landreux, age 30, her birthplace, Paris. There are more servants including a maid called Sarah Tortoishell who was born locally in Rocester - what a lovely name! The girls are Isabella, Etheldred, Hilda and Mary, aged 29, 24, 22 and 18 respectively- the boys, Bertam and Gerald were not at home on census day - probably at boarding school or university. In fact I found a Bertam Heywood a boarder and scholar in Winchester so perhaps the boys went to the famous boarding school there. Thomas Heywood is recorded as being a Baronet, Magistrate and Farmer of 100 acres of his own land. Of course, only the household servants lived in the house, many of the farm labourers and estate workers would live locally possibly in estate property or tied cottages.
By 1891 the household had decreased in size and only Etheldred is at home on census day with some of the servants. Thomas, Margaret, Isabella and Mary are at their London home, 39 Lourdes Square, Chelsea, Hilda isn't at Doveleys or in Chelsea and Bertam and Gerald were probably at University or living elsewhere.
I hope you have enjoyed this 'snapshot' of a wealthy family in the late 19th century.