Over recent weeks pieces of the jigsaw portraying the lives of Thomas and Ann’s children have been discovered. These are the main ones:
The 7th child Charles was discovered in the history of the Thistlethwaite family. Charles died at birth or very soon after. He was born on 30th December 1860 and was buried five days later on 4th February.
The life of Reginald Harry Fothergill
Born 6th May 1861 in Bowdon Cheshire, died in the Royal Chelsea Hospital, London on 5th November 1900. But what of his life between these dates?
The 1881 census finds him living at 42 Richmond Grove, Chorlton-Upon-Medlock, Manchester together with his mother, four siblings and a servant. He was employed as a bankers clerk. But that same year a dramatic event completely re-directed his life! On 15th May he was enlisted in the Coldstream Guards as a private infantryman. He was signed up for twelve years. Six years in service and six as a reserve. He is described as being age 20, height 5 feet 8 ¾ inches tall, chest 35 inches, eyes grey, hair brown, fit and able. At that time there was no forced enlisting, so what persuaded him? Perhaps the recruitment at that time was persuasive as the countries interests in Egypt were about to boil over!
His service record indicates he was posted to Egypt for 205 days from 19/2/85 to 11/9/85 for which he received his Egypt War Service Medal. At that time protecting the Suez canal was the UKs primary campaign in Egypt. The rest of his service is based at home, however, he was in hospital in Malta in August of 1882 and a hospital in Cyprus in July 1885, being sent there from Egypt.
Sadly, some of the hospital treatment he received was for Gonorrhoea...
But Did Reginald Harry Fothergill Marry?
In 1891, while he was a reserve soldier, he is found to be living in Belgrave, London. Back then it was undoubtedly not as exclusive as now. What is particularly interesting is that on this census it states that he was married and living with, among others, Emma W Fothergill, age 28, born in Reading, Berkshire. However I cannot find any record of a marriage between them and she does not appear under that name on the 1901 census. However, giving them the benefit of the doubt, I have accepted them as husband and wife, the only child of Thomas and Ann to have married. Sadly though, there is no record of any offspring.
In 1871 Sophia was living in a residential training establishment called Sandwell Hall >>
Its initial primary purpose was to train young women for domestic service.
In 1901 and 1911 she was retired and living with her sister Elizabeth at 4 Richmond Hill, Bowdon, Cheshire. Elizabeth was employed as a teacher of cookery and laundry.
Sophia passed away 1913 at Hawes in Yorkshire, effects, £2124.
At the time Elizabeth and Sophia were together in 1901, Caroline was a missionary in the East End of London. (See here) In 1911 she had moved back to her ancestral roots and was living in West End, Askrigg in the Yorkshire Dales. >>>>>>
Votes For Women!
On 21 November 1918 8.4 million women in the UK were given the vote. Caroline and Jessie, before she passed away, had certainly been part of the suffragette movement. It is therefore interesting that Caroline and Elizabeth were listed on the electoral role of 1918 living in Prospect Terrace, Settle Yorkshire. They lived here for at least the next 5 years. >>>>>
For the last years of their lives Caroline and Elizabeth moved to Windermere in what is now Cumbria. For most of those years they lived in a fabulous, modern new home off Cornbirthwaite Road. Their home was called 'Goldielands'. Unfortunately none of the houses any longer have that name. But the 1939 census taken as WW2 began records it as Goldielands situated between Sunny Garth and Scotby. The 1969 map names the house Nab Crate?
But one question still intrigues me, why did none of the four sisters ever marry? This is particularly fascinating as two of them were Victorian authors of novels in which romance was a major theme. Having just read Caroline's last published novel, 'A Point of View' I think that perhaps there are some clues included in the main character of that novel... (To be continued)