I’ve been looking at some old photos that were sent to me
from Canada, many years ago, by my mother’s cousin Violet Marsh who lived in
Ottawa, Ontario. Many of the photos are
of the Stubbs family of Hose and Long Clawson in Leicestershire. There were eight children, six girls and
two boys born to William Stubbs and his wife Martha (nee Matthews.) According to the 1891 census William was a
farmer of 63 acres. Violet’s mother
Gertrude Ellen always known as Nell emigrated to Canada with her husband and twin daughters about 1912, certainly
before WWI. One of the other sisters, the eldest,
intrigued me. My Mum often used to talk
about her aunts and cousins and once said that her Aunt Edith used to work in
a restaurant at the House of Commons. I’ve often wondered about this and over the years have found little
snippets about Mum’s Aunt, Edith Emma Stubbs.
From five on-line documents I’ve found the following information:-
She was born in Hose, Leicestershire in 1875 and died on
1st January 1922 at Pembridge Square, Paddington. At that time she was, according to her will,
living at 20 Crowndale Road, in the St Pancras area of London. She never married and her estate of £896. 6s
10d was left between her brother George Edward Stubbs and Edward Allen her
I found her listed on the Electoral Register for 1921 living
at 20 Crowndale Road with her brother George Edward Stubbs (always known as Ted), his wife Mary Ellen
and two others, Thomas and Rose Valiant.
I went back to the 1901 census and found Edith living in a
boarding house at 73 Portland Road, Nottingham.
The head of the household Jane Sagebiel age 52 was the boarding house
keeper and she has one other boarder Amelia Lydall who worked as a telephone
operator. Edith’s occupation is
waitress. This ties in with the
restaurant work later in her life. I
wonder what kind of establishment she worked for in Nottingham? Perhaps a tea shop, restaurant or hotel? Portland Road in Nottingham is quite central and runs from the Arboretum behind what is now the Trent University building and past the Nottingham Cemetery.
At the time of the 1911 Census Edith is visiting her sister
Catherine Anne, always known as Annie and her brother-in-law Edward Allen a
farmer at Gibsmere, Bleasby in Nottinghamshire.
Also in the household are Edward and Annie’s four children, their 16
year old housemaid and another family visitor Harriet Allen. Again Edith gives her occupation as waitress. I wonder if she was still working in
Nottingham then or if she had already moved to London.
I found another reference to Edith dated 1921 She had sailed to Canada to visit her sister
Nell in August 1921 and she left a couple of months later to return to
England. She left Montreal, Quebec on a Canadian Pacific Line
ship called the Minnedosa and arrived in Liverpool on 5th November
1921. She had only a couple of months left to live. Did she know she was ill when she travelled all that way? Had she intended to stay longer but came home
because she was ill? Did she take a last chance to see her sister? We will never know.
|Edith Emma Stubbs|
Edith Emma Stubbs taken October 1921 in Canada.
|George Edward Stubbs with his wife Mary Ellen and two children|
Gertrude Ellen (Nell) Marsh (nee Stubbs) with twins Violet and Olive.
|Edward and Annie Allen at Bleasby, Nottinghamshire with their four children.|
Just as a matter of interest and to add flesh to the bones the Prime Ministers at the time Edith probably worked at the House of Commons were David Lloyd George and before him Herbert H Asquith. I've no idea what years she worked at the House of Commons but she was certainly living in London in 1918 with her brother and sister-in-law. She may have been there during the years of WW1, the Spanish flu epidemic which followed and been aware of the 1918 Act of Representation of the People which gave property owning women over the age of thirty the vote and also to all men over the age of twenty one.
I've found this little journey quite fascinating and a good way to pass the time on a very wet day.