This morning, it's time to take a look at a Clarke, and I don't mean Darren [left] up at Royal St George's…
Last time we ended with young Egerton Clarke, 11 years old and attending an "institution" in Blean, Kent. It's possible this could have been the Blean School. It's possible the "institution" was the Blean Workhouse. And depending on the way the census was aggregated, it may even have been St. Edmund's School in Canterbury (also known as The Clergy Orphans' School), just 2 kilometers from the village of Blean.
To understand which it may have been, we'll have to dig deeper, and that means having a look this time into his mother's family.
That Egerton would have ended up at St. Edmund's is no surprise. Wikipedia: "St Edmund's School Canterbury was first established in 1749 as the Clergy Orphan Society." [You can see the school below, right; click to enlarge any image]
Egerton wasn't exactly an orphan when his father passed away in 1902, but he was barely three years old. His mother, Emma Anna Piper Clarke, who was also responsible for his 13-year-old sister, Dorothy, was the daughter of a farmer. On the 1871 census, Emma Anna, is listed as a scholar, but what that meant for a 14-year-old young lady in rural Hertfordshire—even if her father worked 130 acres and employed 6 men and 2 boys—is difficult for me to ascertain. What useful skills she may have possessed or learned with which she could have supported her children is open to speculation.
And as there are no probate records for Egerton's father, Rev Percy Carmichael Clarke, we don't know the financial situation in which Emma Anna found herself—there isn't even a record of Percy's death in English or French databases—if there were legalities to be settled stemming from a death abroad, and then there was the shipping of the body back to England and the burial. That is, unless, of course, he was buried in France, where he had been Chaplain at resort town of Dinard.
On page 89 of Hazell's Annual for 1906 within a listing of various "Charitable Societies"—just below an entry for the City of London Truss Society for the Relief of the Ruptured Poor—we find the Clergy Orphan Association. Under that bold-faced entry is listed, among others, "St. Edmund's School, Canterbury" [pictured below, left].
While Egerton, whenever he attended, may have enrolled there simply because it was close to home, that reason seems less than likely. As we discussed last time, his father's move from Rector at St Michael-at-Plea, might not have been career advancement, and the family may have been in some trouble, partly financial trouble caused by the move itself. What would it have cost to move one's entire life and household to France?
Egerton's mother passed away in 1930 leaving a legacy of £194 12s., and using a solicitor as executor of her estate, not one of her children. She had been living for a number of years at 30 Portland-road in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, less than 10 miles from her childhood home at Hare Street Village in Hertfordshire.
This doesn't guarantee that she was less than well-endowed financially—it may be as simple as having a great love for family—but that's a bit difficult to determine.
Emma Anna Clarke (née Piper) was raised in a family of 11 children. She had married Percy Carmichael Clarke in late 1887 or early 1888, just at the time her father died. Francis Caton Piper, farmer, had passed away on 9 December 1887. His probate proved £270 12s. 2d. The exectutors were his eldest sons, Francis Parsey Piper and Robert Dean Piper.
That's not a huge legacy to leave a farmer's wife and 11 living children.
Might it be safe to assume that, at the time, staying out of the workhouse may have been as prominent a motive for marrying the much older Percy Clarke Emma Anna as was love—and perhaps larger?
Hannah Parsey Piper, Emma's mother, soon passed away in January 1891. There are no probate records for her.
So, by 1901, Emma Anna's parents were deceased, and Emma herself was in France with husband Percy, and most likely her two children: Neither Dorothy nor Egerton appears in Kent or Hertfordshire on the 1901 UK census. Presumably they were residing with their parents at Dinard in Bretagne [right].
So who was left back in Herts for Emma to turn to when Percy then died in 1902?
Let's see. With such a large numnber of siblings, it may be best to number them…
1.) Her youngest sibling, brother Clement Samuel Piper, died in October 1887, in Reigate, Surrey, at the age of 28. There was no probate, and there is no record that he had ever married.
2.) Another brother, Edward Herbert Piper, like his father a farmer, had passed away in 1893 in Hertfordshire, leaving behind a widow, Sarah Louisa Piper, and a 4 year old daughter, Mildred Louisa.
In 1891, Piper was likely working Bradbury Farm in Greater Hormead, and living there with his 32 year old wife and 2-year-old child.
There was no probate.
After his death, both wife Sarah Louisa and daughter Mildred Louisa would appear separately in the 1901 census, but we'll read about that much later.
3.) Yet another brother, Arthur Dalzell Piper had attended Cambridge. His entry in Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900 reads:
Arthur Dalzel Piper. College: ST JOHN'S Entered: Michs. 1873 Died: 16 Nov 1895 Adm. pens. at ST JOHN'S, Oct. 4, 1873. S. of Francis Caton, farmer (and Hannah). B. at Great Hormead, Herts. Bapt. Jan. 29, 1854. Matric. Michs. 1873; B.A. 1879. Ord. deacon (Lincoln) 1879; priest, 1880; C. of Timberland, Lincs., 1879-81. C. of St Luke's, Camberwell, 1881-3. V. of N. Woolwich, 1883-9. V. of Albury, Herts., 1889-95. Died Nov. 16, 1895, aged 42. (Eagle, XIX. 200; Crockford; The Standard, Nov. 19, 1895.)
[An obituary from St. John's College's The Eagle, from Volume 19 in 1897, is seen, left.]
As we can see, Arthur passed away on 16 November 1895 in Albury, near Ware, Hertfordshire. His probate proved £257 10s. 8d., presumably most or all of which was left to his wife, Jessie Mary Elizabeth Jarrett Piper. His executor was Reverend Edward John Doherty.
One wonders if Arthur's death in 1895 in any way figured into the departure of Emma Anna's husband, Percy (another cleric), for Dinard, France, in the same year.
In addition, Arthur's religious calling seems at odds with one chosen by several of his brothers, as we shall see.
Afterwards, Emma Anna's brothers seemed to pass away in even more rapid succession!
4.) Robert Dean Piper died in December 1910 in Bishops Stortford, just before the 1911 census. He left two adult children behind.
Just a decade before 1911, during the 1901 census, he had resided in Newport, Essex, and Robert, 52, listed as "living on own means." His wife, Emma Elizabeth Patten Piper, died on 6 August 1906, and her probate proved £416 17s. 3d. to Robert on 4 December 1908.
Strangley, on the 1881 census, Robert is listed as "Rolston Piper," and he was living at 68 Church Road in Richmond, Surrey, with Emma Elizabeth, their 2-year-old daughter, and a brother-in-law, 19 year old Alfred Patten, listed as a "Student Pupil." They were attended by a cook and a nurse. Robert's occupation was that of a "Brewer."
We find out why on page 5913 14 October 1879 edition of the London Gazette:
NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Robert Dean Piper and Horace Shearly, carrying on the business of Brewers, at Friars-lane, Richmond, in the county of Surrey, under the style of the Richmond Steam Brewery, was this day dissolved by mutual consent j and in future the business will be carried on by the said Robert Dean Piper alone, who will pay and receive all debts owing from or to the said partnership in the regular course of business.—Dated this 11th day of October, 1879.
Robert Dean Piper.
Then, in 1891, Robert (42), Emma (37), and the children [Robert Garnet R. (8) and Emma May Hannah (12)] were living with Emma's father, farmer John Pallew, back in Greater Hormead, Herts. Although the form does not list an occupation for Robert, it would be surprising if he had not been obligated at least to help a bit around his father-in-law's farm.
Incidentally, their son, Robert Garnet Piper, was born in January 1883 in Reigate, Surrey—where Emma Anna Clarke's brother Clement, above, died several years later in 1887. We'll soon see why and how Reigate figures into this story even more.
Two of Emma Anna Clarke's brothers passed on during July 1911, just after the census was taken:
5.) Eldest son, George Parsey Piper, had married his wife, Emma, in Essex in 1870, but worked Bury Farm in Greater Hormead, Herts, where he passed away at the age of 68. He left behind a wife named Emma and 6 children.
6.) Francis Albert Piper appeared on the 1911 census at the age of 65 and passed away at Edmonton, Middlesex.
His story starts on page 6091 of the 15 November 1867 edition of the London Gazette:
NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership hitherto subsisting between us the undersigned, John Newnham and Francis Albert Piper, as Brewers and Coal Merchants, at Horley, under the style or firm of Newnham and Piper, was this day dissolved by mutual consent; and that in future the business of a Brewer will be carried on by the said Francis Albert Piper on his separate account, who will receive and pay all debts owing to and from the said partnership firm. As witness our hands this 11th day of November 1867.
Francis Albert Piper.
Newnham & Piper had been listed among the literally hundreds of brewers in England in Loftus's Almanack for Brewers, Distillers, and the Wine and Spirits Trade, 1869 [left].
On the 1871 census we find that Francis, 24, was owner of a brewery in Reigate, Surrey. He lived there with his unmarried sister, Matilda Frances Mary Piper, 26, and his bachelor brother Robert, 22 and mentioned above, and a servant. The business employed 3 men.
This explains the death of their brother Clement, above, occurring in Reigate in 1887, where the younger man presumably worked with, or at least was visiting, his family.
Then on page 4571 of the 7 November 1871 issue of the London Gazette, we find:
NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership which for some time past has been carried on by Francis Albert Piper and George Lewis Lilley, as Brewers, at Horley, under the style or firm of Piper and Co. is dissolved by mutual consent, as from the 18th day of February last. All accounts due and payable to and by the said firm will be received and paid through the said Francis Albert Piper. Dated this 9th day of October 1871.
Francis Albert Piper.
Geo. Lewis Lilley.
On the heels of that partnership dissolution, this item crops up in the 22 May 1874 issue of the London Gazette, however, on page 2751:
NOTICE is hereby given, that the partnership which for some time past has been carried on by Francis Albert Piper and Robert Dean Piper, under the firm Messrs. Piper Brothers, in the trade or business of Common Brewers, at Horley, was, on the 1st day of January, 1874, dissolved by mutual consent. As witness our hands this 1st day of May, 1874.
Francis A. Piper.
Rob. D. Piper.
It seems Francis also was having some trouble keeping a partner in on his brewing business, and those problems included his brother. We can see, though, that the dissolution of their partnership did not drive either man out of the brewery business—it merely sent Robert off to Richmond.
The 1881 census shows that Francis, 34, was still running the Horley Brewery on Station Road, but was now residing with his wife, Eliza, 32, three children, a 17-year-old governess, and two teenage sisters as domestic servants. At this point, the business employed 6 men.
Business certainly seemed to have improved.
Interestingly, in 1883, Francis's brother, Robert and his wife had had a child who was born in Horley—at a time when Robert's own brewery should have been running in Richmond. Perhaps they had anticipated a need for a period of confinement, and Francis's wife, Eliza, had offered assistance. Or, it could be that Robert's brewery had folded by then.
The Post office directory of the brewers and maltsters (1884) distributed by Kelly's Directories, Ltd. [left], lists both the Piper Brothers' Horley Brewery in Surrey, and Piper & Sweeting's Langdown Steam Brewery in Hythe, Southampton, as being active that year.
The 1995 book, A Century of British Brewers, 1890-1990, by Norman Barber, contains the following transaction: "Langdown Steam Brewery. Acquired by Strong A Co.Ltd 1895."
By 1891, however, Francis was gone from Horley, the brewery already disposed of by the above transaction, and would be residing then in Hackney, where he is listed as a "Granary Superintendent Corn," and lives with his wife and 6 children, ages 5 to 15, and he's no longer an employer: He's listed clearly as a "employed."
By 1901, Francis was living in Hackney at 315 Kingsland Road with Eliza and 5 children, ages 10 to 25 years. His occupation still is listed as a "Forage Superintendent Corn."
There was no probate that I could locate.
That amounts to six deceased siblings through the year 1911.
So, by the end of that summer in 1911, Emma Anna Clarke had only four living siblings:
7.) Matilda Frances Mary Piper, her spinster sister, was living back in Bishops Stortford in 1911. In 1901, she had been living on her own means, 40 miles from Hare Street, in St Alban's, Herts, in a flat in 172 Fishpool Street [right], at the age of 56. She had somehow eluded being counted during the 1891 census.
Matilda would pass away in on 6 January 1933 while residing at 30 Portland-road (the address Emma Anna would be using at the time) in Bishops Stortford, Herts, and proved a legacy of £2,121 2s. 4d. Her executor was her sister, Elizabeth.
8.) Elizabeth Agnes Piper, appeared on the 1911 census as probably living in Edmonton, Middlesex, at the age of 50, but she passed away in Bishops Stortford in June 1935. She showed up on the 1891 census living in Thorley (I am unable to find the complete record on ancestry.com), but she managed to miss being counted on the 1901 census. In 1881, she was recorded as a resident of Thorley Wash Farm with her brother-in-law John and sister Hannah Patten, their children, and 4 servants.
In 1911, she may have been living with her brother, Francis, during his time in Middlesex, but she died near home in Herts, the probate reading "Administration (with Will)." She seems always to have lived in the care of, or caring for, her siblings, even before the passing of her parents.
9.) In 1911, Hannah Louisa Piper Patten, a sister who had married farmer John Edward Drury Patten, still lived at Thorley Wash Farm, just outside of Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, where she bore 5 children. John Patten would pass away on 16 August 1898.
Thorley Wash Farm must have been doing well: Patten's 1898 probate proved £14,091 13s. 3d. Executors were Hannah and her brother, George Parsey Piper. Hannah would die at Thorley Wash in 1930 and her probate shows her leaving £5,935 5s. 5d. Executors were her sons John Francis and Drury Dalzell Patten.
10.) Emma Anna's final sibling was Frederick Ebenezer Piper, born in January 1852.
In early 1873, he married Mary Meacher in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. She was the brother of well-to-do Charles Robert Meacher, Esq. Mary's brother passed away on 18 August 1876 in Watford, Herts, and his probate was listed as "Under £18,000." Spinster sisters Sarah Lucy and Agnes Meacham were executors, along with William Godden of 34 Old Jewry, Gentleman.
Ebenezer and Mary had two children, according to family trees on ancestry.com. He appeared outside the confines of his father's farm when the London Gazette carried this item on page 2457 of their 10 May 1881 edition:
Notice is hereby given, that the partnership heretofore existing between us the undersigned, Francis Albert Piper and Frederick Ebenezer Piper, carrying on business as brewers at the Albert and Bell Breweries, Horley in the county of Surrey, under the style or firm of Piper Brothers, was dissolved by mutual consent, as from the 25th day of March 1881. And all debts due to and owing by the said firm will be received and paid by the undersigned, Francis Albert Piper.—Dated this 3rd day of May 1881.
Francis A. Piper.
Fred. E. Piper.
At the same time that brother Robert was brewing on his own in Richmond, and Francis had found and severed ties with yet another partner in younger brother Ebenezer, who may have had some money through his bride.
What's odd is that Ebenezer and wife do not seem to appear on the 1881 or 1891census.
The National Archives at Kew list the following entry:
Papers relating to a loan D 123/25 1882-1893
From Sarah Lucy Meacher and Agnes Dillon, to Frederick Ebenezer Piper for his brewery business in Hythe, Hants.
So, by 1882, Ebenezer was off to borrow money from his sister-in-laws, spinster Sarah, in Watford, and an Agnes Dillon (presumably the married name of Agnes Meachan above) for funds to open his own brewery.
It's hard to tell exactly how things worked out, but on page 4888, the London Gazette of 12 October 1883 reported:
NOTICE is hereby given, that the partnership heretofore existing between us the undersigned, Frederick Ebenezer Piper and Randall George Frederick Sweeting, carrying on business as brewers and maltsters at the Langdon Steam Brewery, Hythe, near Southampton, Hants, under the style or firm of Piper and Sweeting, has this day been dissolved by mutual consent, as from the 29th day of December 1883—Dated this 6th day of October 1883.
Fred. E. Piper.
Randall George Fredk. Sweeting.
We saw a snippet about Piper & Sweeting's brewery above. As noted, Ebenezer and Mary do not appear on either the 1881 or 1891 UK census.
Ebenezer, however, appears on the 1901 form at the age of 48. In that year, we find him living in St Margaret's Villa at 4 Benhill Road in Sutton, Surrey, obviously having returned from his days as a brewmaster in Hants.
His occupation is given as "living on own means," and the other person sharing the villa with him is his 44 year old widowed sister-in-law, Louisa Piper.
Sarah Louisa Piper was widowed, you'll recall from above, when Herbert Piper died in 1893.
It seems reasonable to think that this "sister-in-law" of Ebenezer's is Sarah Louisa, being called simply Louisa here.
How Ebenezer ended up hooking up and co-habiting with Louisa is unknown.
What happened to Mary Meacher Piper, I also don't know. There are simply too many Mary Pipers who died between 1881 and 1901 to determine which one she might have been. And why Ebenezer seemingly doesn't appear in the census counts for 1881 or 1891 is also unknown.
However, according to the blog The Breweries and Public Houses of Surrey, there was a public house described thusly:
The Three Tuns, High Street (NGR TQ 326508 (?) Situated 200 yards from the White Hart Inn and 200 yards from the Plough.
In 1892 described as a beerhouse owned by Frederick E Piper, of Horley, and tied to the Hornchurch Brewery Co, Hornchurch, Essex (formerly Youell & Elkin, brewers, Horley). The licensee was William Balcombe, and the premises described as a tramps lodging house.
That "Frederick E. Piper" is certainly our Ebenezer, and the "tramp house" [right] a place where it might been difficult to take an accurate census count.
Ebenezer, however, died back home in Bishops Stortford in September of 1930, returning to his place of birth as most of the siblings did near the end.
That explores the entire cast of siblings of Emma Anna Piper Clarke, mother of Egerton Clarke, in the year of 1911. The situation was thus:
Six were dead or about to die that year, leaving just four besides herself.
● Widowed sister Hannah Patten, 62, was relatively wealthy and living in Thorley, Herts, near Bishops Stortford. Hannah would die at Thorley in 1930.
● Spinster sister Elizabeth 60, was residing in Edmonton, Middlesex, in 1911 after living for years with Hannah at Thorley. She eventually would pass away in Bishops Stortford in 1935.
● Spinster sister Matilda, 66, was living once again in Bishops Stortford, probably at 30 Portland-road [left], in 1911 after appearing on the 1901 census alone and living by her own means in a flat in St Alban's.
● Brother Ebenezer, 59, was also living in Bishops Stortford in 1911, and it probably won't surprise you to discover that widowed sister-in-law, Sarah Louisa Piper, about 52, was living there as well.
Sarah Louisa's 22 year old daughter, Mildred Louisa, also was living in Hertford, Herts, in 1911. In 1901, she had been a 12 year old "school girl" at the London Orphan Asylum's District Girls School [below, right] in Watford, Hertfordshire, while her mother lived with in-law Ebenezer Piper.
One wonders why. Was it a chance for a free education—and a decent one at that, if past opinion is to be believed? Was it just that there was no money in a home 'living by its own means' to support Mildred? Is there another reason I simply cannot imagine?
Emma Anna Piper Clarke had been born on 1 December 1857, the youngest of all of the Piper siblings, and would have been 53 years old in 1911 when the census was taken.
Emma Anna still had a handful of kin back in Bishops Stortford in that year, although older than she, along with an in-law. What could have happened to her? Why wasn't she there, with them, in that 1911 census count?
There are 5 Emma Clarkes on the 1911 UK census who could be our Emma. They were living in Durham, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire—none of which seem very proximate to a place she would probably want to be: Near her child or her family. They could be Emma Anna, but are probably not, unless she took herself far afield.
Given the UK census's propensity, however, often to have middle names entered instead of Christian names (like Ebenezer and Louisa above), I tried "Anna Piper." Using the same year of birth, we end up with this:
That top entry may not be our Anna, but, again, the Annas in the other possible locations—here Nottinghamshire and Sussex—don't seem at all likely to be Emma Anna Clarke, actually far less so.
The siblings in Bishops Stortford were all listed as members of "households" in 1911.
Did their sister, Emma Anna, end up in the workhouse at Watford, Herts? 54 is a bit old for attending a school...
There are no solid primary sources available to me that would describe conditions in the Watford workhouse [right] in that era. However, it is near the workhouse in Bishops Stortford, and was designed by the same gentleman. Reading the report of the commission set up by the British Medical Journal, 1894-95, to inspect the workhouse makes it seem not quite as awful as the institutions portrayed by Dickens—as long as you can get past the sewage. [Read about it HERE.]
One thing that we can feel better about: It appears that young Egerton Clarke, Emma Anna's 11-year-old son does not appear to have been in a workhouse in 1911.
Here's the information found on the 1911census.co.uk website regarding young Egerton:
It seemed unusual that a school situated in an historic English cathedral city like Canterbury—and which is today in the district of Canterbury—would have been listed as having been within the district of village of Blean in 1911. Today, it is the other way around: Blean is within the Canterbury district.
That said, clever researcher and friend of this website, Jennifer M., found out where Egerton was... indirectly.
Wikipedia lists the names of the Headmasters & Headmistresses of St Edmund's School in Canterbury, which, you'll recall was established for the orphans of clerics. (In the United States, "orphan" would imply that a child has no living parents, but we learned above, in the case of Mildred Piper, that having a dead father and a living mother would have been enough to consider a child an orphan in England at the time.)
Jennifer used the name of Walter Burnside, who was Headmaster of St Edmund's from 1908 to 1932 and came up with this information:
And so we find that Walter Burnside was also residing in an "institution" in Blean, Kent, during 1911—a time we know he was serving as Headmaster at St Edmund's.
St Edmund's School today takes children of the ages 3 to 18. Hopefully, Jennifer's cleverness demonstrates clearly that young Egerton already had been enrolled at the school by 1911, no matter where his mother may have been. And, as it was a school for orphans, it was unlikely he would have been the beneficiary of any great amount of money bestowed upon him by his wealthy Aunt Hannah in Thorley (on his mother's side of the family) or his rich Uncle Egerton (on his father's side).
Next time, we'll tighten the focus on Egerton as the Great Britain moves on to the next challenge to the Empire: The First World War.
And it's at that point that we'll discover the link between Egerton Arthur Crossman Clarke and our own George Ramsay Acland Mills.