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The Early Years

Alfred Bartlett came from a large family being the fifth child born to William Bartlett (1808-1879) and Harriet Farr (1813-1896). His father William Bartlett was born on 15 Nov 1808 in Walton on Thames, Surrey, the son of William Bartlett & Mary Young, and was baptised on 5 Mar 1809 in St Mary’s Church in Walton on Thames. Alfred’s mother Harriet Farr was born on 20 Nov 1813 in Clapham, Surrey, the daughter of Thomas Farr & Sarah Ruggles, and was baptised on 19 Dec 1813 at Holy Trinity in Clapham. In total, Alfred had seven siblings, four brothers and three sisters.

Alfred’s parents, William and Harriet, were married on 12 Oct 1835 at St Mark in Kennington, Surrey. Their family quickly grew with three sons being born – William (1836), Frederick (1838), and Henry (1841), who were all baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Clapham, therefore the family certainly lived locally. 

We first find Alfred’s parents in the 1841 census living in Bickley Place, Bromell’s Road in Clapham. His father William works as a Carpenter, his mother Harriet looks after his three elder brothers – William 5, Frederick 2, and baby Henry 5m. The couple celebrate the birth of their first daughter in 1843 whom they named Emily.

The Arrival of Alfred

Alfred was born in Balham, in the Parish of Streatham, then in the county of Surrey, on 11 Aug 1845. He was baptised almost two years later on 13 Jun 1847 at St Leonard’s Church in Streatham. His elder sister Emily, now aged four, was baptised at the same time as Alfred.

In the 1851 Census the family are living in Balham New Road. Alfred’s father, William aged 42, supports his growing family by plying his trade as a carpenter, like his father before him, and is the only wage earner. His wife Harriet aged 47, keeps house for the family. Five of the children, William 15, Frederick 12, Henry 10, Emily 8, and Alfred 5  are at school, with the two youngest, Walter 3, and Harriet 1 at home with their mother.

By the 1861 Census the family have moved just a short distance, crossing Balham High Road, to 17 Holly Grove (renamed Oldridge Road) in Balham. Alfred’s father William, now aged 52, continues his trade as a Carpenter. Alfred’s three older brothers have not followed their father’s profession – William 23 is a Plate Layer, Frederick 21 is a Gardener, and Henry 19 is a Grocer’s Servant. Those still at school are Alfred 13, Walter 11, Harriet 9, and Emma 7. Alfred’s elder sister Emily 18 is living locally in Balham and working in service.  

Upon completing his education Alfred finds his calling and gains employment working with horses and the vehicles which they power. 

Married Life and a Growing Family

On 17 Sep 1866 Alfred marries Mary Carpenter in the church of All Saints in Wandsworth. The bride and groom are both aged 22. Alfred works as a Groom but no indication is given of Mary’s employment on the marriage certificate. Alfred’s father is confirmed as William Bartlett, Carpenter, and Mary’s father, also called William, is employed as an Exciseman. Alfred’s elder sister Emily Bartlett is a witness at his marriage. It would appear that Mary was five months pregnant at the time.

On 12 Jan 1867, Alfred and Mary welcome their first child whom they name Alfred William, his Christian name, Alfred, after his father and his middle name, William, after both his paternal & maternal grandfathers. Alfred (Jnr) is baptised the same year on 14 Jul 1867 at St Mary’s Church in Balham. Alfred’s profession is recorded as a Groom, as on his marriage certificate.

Fourteen months later, on 19 Mar 1868, Alfred and Mary celebrate the arrival of their second son Frederick Horace Bartlett, who is baptised three months later on 14 July 1867 at St Mary’s Church in Balham. The family live in Balham New Road and Alfred’s profession is recorded as a Groom. Also baptised on the same day was Alfred’s niece Blanche Harriet Eliza Bartlett, the daughter of his elder brother William and his wife Eliza. This must have been a happy occasion for the brothers’ parents William & Harriet to have two grandchildren baptised in the one family event. William & Eliza also live on the same street as Alfred & Mary.

Fourteen months later, on 12 May 1869, Alfred and Mary welcome their first daughter Nellie Emily Bartlett, who is baptised sixteen months later on 11 Sep 1870 at St Mary’s Church in Balham. The family continue to live in Balham New Road and Alfred is working as a Groom.

Sadly for this little family the next birth is not a happy event. An unnamed son is born to Mary in the Jun qtr of 1870 and dies the same qtr. Mary is just twenty-five and has had four pregnancies in four years.

1871 Census

At the next census in 1871 Alfred and Mary are still living in Balham New Road, first located there on the baptismal record of their son Frederick Horace Bartlett in 1868. Alfred 26, continues working as a Groom, recorded as in Domestic Service, so assumedly for a wealthy family. Mary 26 looks after her three young children, Alfred (Jnr) 4, Frederick 2, and Nellie 1. 

Mary’s next pregnancy, like her previous in 1870, again ends in sadness. In the Jun qtr of 1871 an unnamed daughter is born and dies the same qtr.

The 1871 census also shows us that, just around the corner from Alfred’s home in Balham New Road, two of his brothers are living in Balham High Road. His elder brother William married Eliza White in 1866, the same year as Alfred’s marriage, and Alfred now has a young niece called Blanche Harriet Eliza and a baby nephew William Stewart Bartlett. 

William, like his brother Alfred, has also experienced the sadness of the death of a child, his first-born son was born and died in the last qtr of 1866. His younger brother Walter married Mary Richards c1869 and they have a young daughter named Cicely Jane Harriet. Alfred is now the father of three children and an uncle to two nieces and one nephew. The next generation of Bartlett children is expanding.

William & Harriet Bartlett, Alfred’s parents continue to live in the family home at 17 Holly Grove, Balham and the census of 1871 tells us that four of Alfred’s siblings are still living with their parents – Frederick 31, a Plumber, Henry 29, a Grocer’s Assistant, Emily 27 and Emma 18 having no occupation listed but undoubtedly helping their mother Harriet 57, run the household. William,  aged 62, is unemployed at this time.

A move from Balham, Surrey to Lee (Lewisham), Kent, and Seven New Arrivals

Alfred and Mary welcome their fourth son Harry Bartlett who is born in 1872. Although his birth is registered in Wandsworth like his elder siblings, I cannot find a baptism record for Harry. I believe this is because shortly after his birth the family move from Balham in the county of Surrey, across the county border to Lee, near Lewisham, in the county of Kent. This move away from his parents, siblings and their growing families must have been a wrench for Alfred and Mary. I can only assume that it was a job with good prospects that drew the family to leave an area which was all they had ever known. 

Two and a half years after Harry’s birth, Alfred and Mary welcome their third daughter whom they name Mary Emma Bartlett, taking her mother Mary’s Christian name. Again, no baptism record is to be found. I would imagine the church in Lee where any further baptisms took place has yet to be digitised, or perhaps a darker reason may be found. Maybe the young couple lost their faith after the deaths of two newborn children, and the events of the next few years as I shall explain.

In what appears to be an annual event for Alfred’s wife Mary, she gives birth to her eighth child, a daughter whom they name Harriet, after her paternal grandmother. Harriet’s birth is registered in the first qtr of 1876, but she may have been born late in 1875 since Mary gives birth in the last months of 1876 to another son, whom they name Walter Bartlett, whose birth is registered in the Dec qtr of 1876. Walter only lived for a few days or weeks since his death is registered in the same qtr in which he was born. He died on 22 Dec 1876 and was buried six days later on 28 Dec 1876 in Lewisham Cemetery (renamed Ladywell Cemetery). What a sad Christmas time for the family.

Eleven months after the death of newborn Walter, tragedy strikes again. Their precious daughter Mary Emma dies on 28 Nov 1877 aged 3yrs. She was buried six days later on 4 Dec 1877 in Lewisham Cemetery. Mary would have been pregnant at the time of Mary Emma’s death, since in the first qtr of 1878 Mary gives birth to her tenth child, a daughter whom they name Florence Bartlett.

Sadly history continues to haunt this family. Newborn Florence dies on 6 Feb 1878 and is buried five days later on 11 Feb 1878 in Lewisham Cemetery. I cannot imagine the pain that Alfred and Mary endured when, seven weeks after the death of newborn Florence, her elder sister Harriet dies on 25 Mar 1878 aged just three years. Harriet is buried seven days later on 1 Apr 1878 in Lewisham Cemetery.

To lose a newly born child is an absolute heartache, but to witness the death of two daughters whom you have loved and cherished through their infancy, and be forced through circumstance to part with them aged just two and three years old is more than I can bear to think about.

Incredibly, within ten months of the death of her last newborn, and nine months after the death of her 2yr old daughter, Mary gives birth to her eleventh child, a daughter whom they name Edith Alice on 3 Dec 1878. This child of Alfred and Mary lives into her eighties but she too witnesses a fair amount of tragedy in her own life as I will tell you about later.

Alfred’s father William Bartlett dies in 1879 aged 70, and is buried on 22 Sep 1879 in the South Metropolitan Cemetery in Norwood. His mother and sister Emily continue living in the family home at 17 Holly Grove, Balham.

The 1880s – more births and deaths

Who will we find in the 1881 census? The Bartlett family are living at 35 Robertson Street (renamed Brightfield Road by the 1891 census) in Lee. Alfred 36 works as a Coachman, Mary 36 is keeping house and looking after Edith 2, whilst Alfred (Jnr) 14, Frederick 13, and Nellie 11, are at school.

Are there more pregnancies? Yes there are, two. Annie Bartlett is born and dies in the third qtr of 1882. She dies on 27 Aug 1882 and is buried four days later on 31 Aug 1882 in Lewisham Cemetery. A year later in the third qtr of 1883 Alfred and Mary welcome their thirteenth child, a daughter whom they name Bessie, who thankfully survives.

It needs more investigation to determine just why two of their children died so soon after their births that they were not named, three were named but died within the same qtr in which they were born, and two died in their childhood at 2yrs and 3yrs. 

So, of thirteen children only six survived to adulthood, three sons and three daughters. Interestingly the first three children born all stayed healthy, yet many of the subsequent pregnancies did not produce healthy babies. Their mother Mary gave birth practically every year from 1867 to 1883, from the age of 23 to 39. 

Mary must have been worn out both physically and mentally, and sadly for Alfred on 19 Apr 1885 Mary died. He lost his wife of nineteen years and the mother of his thirteen children. Mary was buried five days later in Lewisham Cemetery on 24 Apr 1885. She was only 40 years old. Alfred now has six family members buried in Lewisham Cemetery, his wife, three babies and two toddlers, and sadly as I shall explain an additional burial in 1894.

The wedding of his eldest son Alfred William Bartlett 1886 and the arrival of his first grandchild

A year after the sadness of the death of Alfred’s first wife, Alfred would celebrate a joyous occasion when his eldest child Alfred William, aged 19, marries Isabella Lockwood in 1886. They set up home in Santos Road, Wandsworth moving later to Point Pleasant in Wandsworth. Alfred must have been delighted when his first grandchild was born in 1886 named William John Bartlett.

A New Beginning

After the death of Alfred’s wife of almost twenty years, he still has five children to care for – Frederick Horace and Nellie Emily are old enough to earn a wage and be financially independent, Harry and Edith Alice would both still be at school, and little Bessie just under two when her mother died, would need someone to care for her during the day. What does Alfred do? He finds himself a new wife!

On 26 Jan 1890, at All Saints Church in Walworth, Alfred Bartlett, a widower, aged 44, marries Charlotte Amelia Sadgrove, a spinster, aged 32. Both record their addresses as 22 Rouel Road which is in Bermondsey. Their fathers are given as William Bartlett, Carpenter and Charles William Sadgrove, Mariner, both deceased. When the Banns were read on 5th , 12th and 19th of Jan 1890 at All Saints Walworth, Alfred Bartlett was recorded as being a Bachelor, when he was in fact a widower, and of the Parish of Southwark, with Charlotte Amelia Sadgrove being of the home parish. The marriage was registered at St Saviour Southwark. 

The newlywed couple return to live in Lee and cement their union with the birth of a daughter whom they name Kate Amelia Bartlett who is born on 2 Jan 1891.

In the 1891 census the Bartlett family are found living in the same road as in 1881 at 19 Brightfield Road (formerly Robertson St as named in the 1881 census) in Lee, Kent. Alfred is 46 and recorded as a Horsekeeper (Groom), Charlotte his new wife is 32, and their new baby Kate is 3 months old. Alfred has two of his daughters with him – Nellie now 21, whom I would imagine helps her new stepmother at home, and Bessie 8 at school. Most interestingly there is another member of the household. She is recorded  as Alfred’s stepdaughter and given his surname – Elizabeth R Bartlett, aged 5. She is in fact Charlotte’s illegitimate daughter whose birth was registered in the Sep qtr of 1885 in Greenwich as Elizabeth Reeves Sadgrove.

Missing from the Bartlett family group is Alfred’s daughter Edith who, at twelve years of age, is too young to be In Service.  She is located in the 1891 census at 24 Quentin Road as a visitor to the Newport family to whom I can find no connection whatsoever. Edith is recorded as a scholar, still being at school. Quentin Road is situated just a short distance from Brightfield Road across Lee High Road.

Alfred’s good fortune at marrying for the second time is short-lived as, after four years of marriage, his new bride Charlotte dies on 28 Dec 1893 aged 36. She was buried four days later on 1 Jan 1894 in Lewisham Cemetery.

The wedding of Alfred’s daughter Edith Alice Bartlett 

On 5 Sep 1898 Alfred’s daughter Edith Alice Bartlett, aged 19, marries William Thomas Egelton, aged 28 in her home town of Lee. His son-in-law is a soldier in the Middlesex Regiment and joined the army in 1890 when he attested at the age of 19. William Egelton was on home leave when he met and married Alfred’s daughter, after having served his country in East India from 1891-1898. 

A Short Spell in Lewisham Union Workhouse

On 5 Jan 1899 Alfred was admitted to the Lewisham Union Workhouse. The only information recorded on the admission register was to confirm his name as Alfred Bartlett, the year of his birth as 1845, his religion as Church of England, his occupation as an Ostler, and that he was admitted from the Parish of Lee. Fortunately Alfred’s time in the workhouse was brief and he discharged himself after eight days on 13 Jan 1899.

The Birth of a Granddaughter and a Military Death in the Boer War

Alfred’s daughter, Edith Alice Egelton, gave birth to her first child Winifred Alice Egelton between Oct-Dec 1899 at their home in Lee. The young couple had only enjoyed fifteen months of married life when Pte Egelton was posted to South Africa. Within seven weeks of bidding his loved ones farewell, he was killed in action on 24 Jan 1900 at the Battle of Spion Kop which, unfortunately for the British army, was a victorious battle for the Boers. (The Boer war 1899-1902). Without determining Winifred, Alfred’s granddaughter’s date of birth, we’ll never know whether William Egelton ever had the chance to hold her in his arms.

The wedding of his eldest daughter Nellie Emily Bartlett

It is doubtful whether Alfred attended his daughter’s wedding in 1900 since it took place almost 150 miles from London in Edington, a rural village outside Bridgwater in Somerset. Nellie was aged 31 when she married a local man so I am struggling to understand how they met.

Finding Sanctuary with his Siblings in his Childhood Home

By the time of the 1901 census we find Alfred residing with his elder spinster sister Emily Bartlett, at 17 Holly Grove (renamed Oldridge Road) in Balham, back in the home where he spent his teenage years with his parents and siblings, and where his parents lived to the end of their lives. 

His elder sister Emily has lived there her entire life working alongside her mother, Harriet, as a Laundress. Harriet Bartlett died in 1896, aged 84. Emily now 58, is the head of the household and operates a laundry business from home. She is registered as an Employer and Bessie 19, Alfred’s youngest daughter from his first marriage, is working as a Laundry Assistant with her aunt Emily. Alfred now 56, having been widowed twice, is still working as a Coachman (Groom). Emily also provides a home for her elder brother William 69, also a widower, who is not working since no occupation is recorded on the census. More about William later.

Alfred’s Daughters in the 1901 Census

It is interesting that Alfred chose to move away from Lee, where he has lived for two decades, and return to the Bartlett family home in Balham. Maybe the chance of employment drew him there? His daughters remained living in Lee. In the 1901 census the siblings are living at 26 Taunton Road, two streets away from Brightfield Road, the family home in the previous census of 1891. Alfred’s married daughter, Edith Alice Edelton, now a widow aged 22, is caring for her daughter Winifred 1, and her half-sister Kate Bartlett 10, the only child born from Alfred’s brief second marriage, whom one would have expected to have stayed with her father. Alfred must have felt that Edith, although only 22, was more able to care for Kate than himself.

His Health is in Decline

At some stage in the intervening seven years Alfred is admitted to the Wandsworth Union Infirmary. How long he spent there is unknown at this time, since no digital records for the infirmary appear to be online at present. He is discharged from there on 10 Jan 1908 and admitted the same day to Horton Asylum. 

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Patient’s statement as to family 

Married twice, widower, father of sixteen children. I have only accounted for fourteen, possibly fifteen if his stepdaughter is included. I have not found the sixteenth! Alfred’s nearest relative to whom notice of death was to be sent was recorded as his brother Henry Bartlett, of 125 Ramsden Road in Balham. This last piece of information is very strange since Alfred’s brother Henry Bartlett had lived, and continued to live, at 87 Sabine Road in Battersea from 1881-1911. #

The person who provided personal details about Alfred, whether it was Alfred himself, which I do not think he could have done as he was in such a confused state, was either a staff member from Wandsworth Union, or maybe a relative. His age was given as 63, a minor discrepancy, he was in fact 62, and his occupation as Stableman, a rather inferior status than being a Coachman (Groom)!

Alfred was very unwell when he arrived at Horton. Upon admission he was medically examined with the report stating that he was displaying signs of Phthisis and was extremely depressed expressing a wish “to go underground with his wife and children”. He was put on suicide alert.

Despite receiving good professional care throughout, Alfred developed Bronchitis followed by Pneumonia, and died five weeks after admission on 17 Feb 1908. The cause of death was recorded as (i) Senile Decay, and (ii) Tubercular Disease of the Lungs.

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Alfred was buried on 20 Feb 1908 in Plot b85 in the grounds of Horton Cemetery.

Alfred’s Children

Alfred’s first-born Alfred William Bartlett married Isabella Lockwood in 1886 in Wandsworth. Alfred William was aged 19 and Isabella 24. They welcomed their first child, William John Bartlett, Alfred’s first grandchild, in 1886. Their second child Ernest Walter died in 1891, aged 2, and sadly their third child Florence Ellen died in 1893, aged 1. The couple had four more children, two sons and two daughters who were born between 1894-1903, and all survived into adulthood.

On 9 Feb 1912 Alfred William Bartlett set sail from Liverpool, destination Canada. The Empress of Ireland docked at St John in New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada.

It’s intriguing as to why Aldred’s eldest son, Alfred William Bartlett, went to Canada. Maybe it was the Homesteading Act where someone could receive 160 acres of land for a $10 fee and keep it forever as long as they farmed it for three years. On the outward journey Alfred  William’s occupation was recorded as a Farmer yet he had no experience of farming. Tools and equipment would be needed to make a go of it and these cost money! Whatever the reason for Alfred’s trip to Canada we don’t know. If it was for him to try his hand at farming and make a better life for his family unfortunately it didn’t work out for him since he returned on 8 Dec 1920. He was away from home for almost nine years.

A footnote following these photographs of his family tells us a little more about Alfred William.

Alfred William and Isabella Bartlett (90% certain)
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Photo 1891: Alfred’s son and daughter-in-law Alfred William and Isabella Bartlett with their first two sons William John (1886-1973) and Ernest Walter (1889-1891). It is believed that Ernest died shortly after this photograph aged two.

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Photo: Alfred William Bartlett c1918

The following information is taken from an email, part of the communication between the author and a living contact – Alfred’s great, great, granddaughter, a descendant of Alfred’s eldest son Alfred William Bartlett.

I was thrilled with your research….so lovely to find out more about my family. I never knew that Alfred Bartlett had a second marriage and what a thrill to be able to see a snapshot of him.

My mother doesn’t know why her grandfather (Alfred William Bartlett, Alfred Bartlett’s first child), left the family and went to Canada. She knows that his wife Isabella was very strict and formidable. She wouldn’t let any of the family speak to him on his return. She saw him secretly and thought he was kind and gentle. He certainly looks benign in his photograph. Apparently he went to her father Albert Henry’s funeral, (the grandson of Alfred Bartlett). I can’t imagine what kind of a reception he got!

My mother’s father Albert Henry Bartlett was a jolly man; he was an engine driver. Unfortunately, he died of cancer when my mother was only 16. I never met him.

My mother remembers her aunts Maud and Ada, (two of Alfred Bartlett’s granddaughters). She says they were very kind to her. I’m afraid I  never met any of these relatives.

Thank you so much for sharing your research with me. How fortunate for me that you undertook a study of my Bartlett relatives. 

Alfred’s eldest daughter Nellie Emily Bartlett. Nellie married William Atwell who was born in Edington, Somerset. It’s a mystery how Nellie came to meet and marry a man who lived so far from Balham. The couple married in the Edington parish church in 1900 and had seven children. Their first child died aged 13, next came twin boys who died at two weeks old, followed by their first daughter who died at one month. Tragedy was repeating itself for Nellie in a similar way to her mother’s many pregnancies. Fortunately Nellie had three more healthy children who all survived into adulthood.

Alfred’s daughter Edith Alice Bartlett. Although Edith lived into her eighties, her life was marred with tragedy. Firstly her mother dies when she was just seven. Her father remarried when Edith was twelve. She had the stability of a stepmother to care for the family for just four years until the untimely death of her stepmother aged only 36.  Edith’s father has now been widowed twice. Edith marries William Thomas Egelton in 1898, only to be widowed fifteen months later after a military death in the Boer War in 1900. With a young daughter of her own, Winifred Alice Egelton, Edith cares for her half-sister Kate Bartlett. Edith supplements her husband’s army pension by working at home as a Needlewoman sewing shirts for the Army. 

Edith Edelton must have been struggling to make ends meet and by the 1911 census Edith, aged 34*, has moved to Southwark where she keeps house at 10 St George’s Walk for four young men, all Pawnbroker’s Assistants. *All records of Edith from henceforth give her another two years. Meanwhile her daughter Winifred Edelton is now 11 and being cared for by her aunt Kate Bartlett in Walworth. The property, 36 Hampton Street, is divided up into four separate residences with Kate sharing two rooms with her niece.

At some stage after 1911 the two sisters manage to move in together once more and from the London Electoral Registers for 1929-1939 Edith Edelton and Kate Bartlett are residing at 137 Royal Road in Kennington Park, SE17. Once Alfred’s granddaughter Winifred Egelton attains voting age she too appears on the registers but only until 1937. Sadly Winifred succumbs to a premature death and her death is recorded in Marylebone 1937, aged 37.

In the 1939 census taken after the outbreak of WWII, Edith Alice Egelton and Kate Amelia Bartlett are still living together at 137 Royal Road, Kennington. Edith keeps house and Kate is employed as a Shop Assistant at a Dress Agency. The enumerator has incorrectly transcribed their years of birth. The correct day of the month, and correct month is transcribed but Edith’s is one year out and Kate’s is five years out, in both cases making them younger than what they really were. Very peculiar.

Elizabeth Reeves Sadgrove was born in 1885 in Greenwich where the Sadgrove family lived. She was the illegitimate daughter of Alfred’s second wife Charlotte Amelia Sadgrove. After Alfred and Charlotte’s marriage in 1890, Elizabeth stayed with her mother and was found in 1891 as part of Alfred’s family group. The enumerator even legitimised her by stating she was Alfred’s step-daughter and giving her Alfred’s surname of Bartlett. Upon her mother’s death at the end of 1893 it would appear that Alfred was unable to care for her and on 9 Aug 1894 Elizabeth, aged 9, was admitted by the Board of Guardians to the Greenwich Union Workhouse. After six days, on 15 Aug 1894 she was transferred to the South Metropolitan District School in Brighton Road, Sutton. Two weeks later, on 28 Aug 1894, Elizabeth was transferred to the Girls’ School in Banstead Road, Sutton. The girls were instructed in all things domestic and it was expected that they would go into Service upon completing their education.

Elizabeth Sadgrove’s nearest relative, (next of kin), was given in all the records I have examined as her uncle, a Mr Sadgrove who lived at 15 Dupree Road in Greenwich. What a shame for Elizabeth that no-one other than the authorities could be found to care for her. 

Elizabeth is found in Service in London in both the 1901 and 1911 census’ but I have not been able to determine her subsequent fate. 

Alfred’s Siblings

William Bartlett (1836-1902)

Alfred’s eldest brother married Eliza White in the same year as Alfred in 1866. He worked as a Gardener and lived in Balham his whole life. He, like Alfred, moved back to his childhood family home in Holly Grove once he became a widower. William had five children, two sons and three daughters. He died aged 67.

Frederick Bartlett (1838-1905)

Alfred’s elder brother married Mary Ann Nichols in 1875. He worked as a Plumber, and later Plumber & Painter, and also lived in Balham his whole life. Frederick had three daughters. He died aged 66.

Henry Bartlett (1841-1911)

Alfred’s elder brother married Ann Benwell in 1871. He worked as a Grocer’s Assistant and after his marriage lived in Battersea. Henry had four children, one daughter and three sons. He died aged 70. From Alfred’s Horton Records the nearest relative to whom notice of death was to be sent was recorded as his brother Henry Bartlett, of 125 Ramsden Road in Balham. This is a mystery since Henry lived in Sabine Road, Battersea for thirty years until his death.

Emily Bartlett (1843-1922)

Alfred’s eldest sister was the lynchpin that held the Bartlett family together. She lived in the family home at 17 Holly Drive in Balham for most of her life until her death. She supported her mother operating a laundry business from their home. After the death in 1873 of her brother Walter’s first wife, Mary Richards, who may have died in childbirth with her second child Walter Richard Bartlett (1873-1873), Walter’s daughter Cicely Jane Harriet Bartlett came to live with her aunt and grandmother. Cicely never returned to her father upon his second marriage but stayed in Holly Drive until her untimely death in 1896 aged 26. By the 1901 census Emily, now aged 58, is the head of the household and, besides running her laundry business, looks after her two widowed brothers William 69, and Alfred 56. Additionally Alfred’s daughter Bessie 19, the last born child from his first marriage to Mary Carpenter, also lives with Emily and assists in the laundry business. 

By the 1911 census Holly Drive has been renamed Oldridge Road with No. 17 Holly Drive now appearing as 62 Oldridge Road. Emily has sublet her large empty house and given over 4 rooms to an elderly widower 73, a widow 58 and her daughter 21. She even completes their page of the census return on their behalf and signs it. Emily completes her own return stating that she has just the one room in the house. Emily never married and died in 1922 aged 79.

Walter Bartlett (1847-1921)

Alfred’s younger brother had his own share of tragedy with his first wife Mary Richards dying, probably in childbirth, in July 1873 aged 25. The son to whom she gave birth died aged 5m and is buried in the same cemetery as his mother, the South Metropolitan Cemetery, in Nov the same year. After Mary’s death their young daughter Cicely went to live with her grandmother and aunt Emily until her untimely death in 1896 aged 25. Walter remarried nine months after the death of his first wife to Isabella Thompson Elliott. Walter and Isabella had seven children together, two sons and five daughters. Interestingly two of the siblings, James Henry Bartlett and Ethel Bartlett married two siblings from the Bryant family. Although Walter initially started working as a Gardener, like his elder brother William, he later switched to the building trade and learnt the skill of bricklaying probably influenced by his brother-in-law James Bryant Symonds whose occupation was a Bricklayer. Walter died in 1921 aged 75.

Harriet Bartlett (1850-)

Alfred’s younger sister never married and worked in service as a Lady’s Maid. I am unsure of her death. In the 1911 census she completed her return as having retired, was aged 61 and living independently in a large house in Doyle Road occupying three rooms, the rest of the house of four rooms housing a young married couple.

Emma Bartlett (1852-1937)

Alfred’s youngest sister married James Bryant Symonds in 1878, had one child Archibald Bryant Symonds and lived in Balham her whole life. She died in 1937 aged 84. The Bartlett family were closely bonded living in streets just around the corner from one another with the exception of Alfred who moved to Lee. Emma’s only child was baptised in St Mary’s Church, Balham on the same day in 1879 as her niece, Harriet Jane Bartlett, her brother Walter’s daughter – cousins baptised together. 

NB. I can find no connection between the Bryant family, where two Bryant siblings married two Bartlett siblings (two of Alfred’s brother Walter’s children), who originated in Cornwall and Emma’s husband James Bryant Symonds whose parents came from Norfolk. It would appear that it’s just a coincidence that the Bryant name crops up in two different places and across two different generations.

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