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BISHOP, Charles Joseph

b.1856-d.1909

Charles’ parents and siblings

To research Charles’ story, I first found his birth register on the General Register Office website. This revealed that Charles’ birth was registered in 1856 in the January, February, March quarter in the district of Edmonton. His mother’s maiden name was Lee.

The London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1921 show that Charles’ mother, Mary Lee, was born on 5 February 1820 to William and Elizabeth Lee. Her father was a butcher.

Charles’ parents, Thomas and Mary, were married in September 1841 at St Saviour, Southwark. Their first two children (both born in Southwark) appear to have died in infancy or childhood. Their first son, Thomas John, was born in 1842 and died in 1844, aged 2 years and 4 months. They have another possible daughter, who was born in 1844 and died before she was named, possibly only a few days old. We don’t know for certain that this was Thomas and Mary’s daughter as there are very few official records of her. They went on to have at least seven other children who appear to have lived until adulthood: 

  • Mary (b.1846)
  • Thomas (b.1848)
  • Rebecca Hephzibah (b.1851)
  • William Walter (b.1854)
  • Charles Joseph (b.1856)
  • Elizabeth Susan (b.1858)
  • Hannah (b.1859).

The 1860s

Charles Joseph Bishop first appears in the 1861 England Census, aged 5, living at 1 Sherwood Villas in the parish of Tottenham. It shows that Charles was born in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. His parents are listed as Thomas Bishop, born in c.1821 and Mary Bishop, born in c.1820. His father’s profession is listed as a clothier. At the time of the 1861 Census, Charles was living with his parents, five siblings, Mary (aged 14), Thomas (aged 12), Rebecca (aged 10), William (aged 7), and Elizabeth (aged 3). They also have a servant, 19-year-old Elizabeth D. Robinson, suggesting that the family was relatively comfortable.

In the 1861 Census, Thomas and Mary’s youngest daughter, 1-year-old Hannah, can be found staying at the home of her maternal grandfather, William Lee, a retired butcher, and his new wife, Hannah in Braintree, Essex. This was likely only a temporary measure.

The 1870s

In the 1871 England census, a 15-year-old Charles is shown to be living at 2 Lee Villas in the parish of Tottenham with his parents and three sisters, Rebecca (aged 19), Elizabeth (aged 13) and Hannah (aged 11). They have a servant, 20-year-old Elizabeth Bayford. Charles’ sister, Mary, had a husband (Henry Jefferies) and a one-year-old daughter by this time and was living with her family in Suffolk.

In the 1871 England Census, Charles’ brothers, Thomas (aged 22) and William (aged 17), are living together at High Street Southwark, with Thomas working as a clothier. They are listed as ‘sons’ on the census so we can assume that they were working at their father’s shop as he was also a clothier.

At some point between 1871 and 1876, Charles’ parents, Thomas and Mary, had moved to Lowestoft, Suffolk, likely to be closer to their daughter, Mary, and her family. Perhaps Thomas’ health was starting to deteriorate by this time. Thomas died on 10 August 1876 in Mutford, Suffolk at the age of 56. Thomas’ will and probate show that he died in Lowestoft. His effects were under £1,500, which is worth around £120,000 in today’s money. The comfortable size of his estate enabled his wife, Mary, to live on her own account, as written in the 1881 and 1891 Censuses.

Charles married Mary Ann Furney on 16 February 1879 at St Saviour, Southwark in London. Mary’s father, William Furney, has his profession listed as a stationer’s assistant in the 1861 England Census, and as a stationer in the 1871 Census. Both of their fathers are listed as deceased on their marriage certificate.

Marriage certificate for Charles Joseph Bishop and Mary Ann Furney in 1879.

The 1880s

The 1881 England census shows Charles and Mary living at 123a King’s Road in Chelsea, with their son, Charles William Bishop, who was born in Chelsea in 1881. Charles’ occupation is listed as a clothier, the same profession as his father, Thomas. They are shown to have one servant, 18-year-old George M. Codd, and a visitor, 26-year-old Robert W. Andrews, whose profession is listed as a ‘tool traveller’. Despite Chelsea being an affluent area, the flat appears to be fairly modest in size.

In the 1881 Census, Charles’ 62-year-old mother, Mary, is shown living at 3 Waterloo Terrace in Lowestoft, Suffolk as the head of the household with a servant, 16-year-old Anne Hood. The size of her late husband’s estate enabled her to live on her own account.

In the 1881 Census, Charles’ brother, Thomas, is shown living in Finchley as a furniture dealer. He is married to Fanny Bishop and they have at least four children together. 

Although Charles’ profession was listed as a clothier in 1881, he must have also participated in furniture sales (probably with his brother, Thomas). A newspaper clipping from the London Gazette shows that Charles’ business in furniture dealing on King’s Road in Chelsea was liquidated by arrangement on 25 Feb 1882.

1881 England Census showing Charles and Mary living at 123a King’s Road in Chelsea.

The baptism record for Maud Louise in 1889 shows her birth in May 1883.

Charles’ son, Charles, died only a year after his birth in 1882. Charles and Mary also had a daughter, Maud Louise, who was born in 1883. Maud was baptised in 1889 at the age of 6, which was unusually late for baptism during this period. We don’t know whether Maud’s parents were still living together at the time of her baptism.

The 1890s

The 1891 England Census shows a 34-year-old Charles living as a boarder with his brother, William Bishop, at 216 Westmoreland Road in Newington St Mary in London. Charles’ profession is listed as ‘pawnbroker’s salesman’ and his brother’s profession is listed as ‘hosier’. Charles’ profession is clearly a step down from his previous profession as a clothier. It is unclear why both brothers had professions as salesmen when their family seemed relatively well-off.

It is unclear where Charles’ wife, Mary, is living in 1891 as I have been unable to find records for her. As she was clearly very unwell at the end of the decade, perhaps she was already in some kind of hospital at this point.

In the 1891 England Census, Charles’ daughter, 7-year-old Maud Louise, is shown living at 2 Meadow Row in Newington with her maternal grandmother, Mary Ann, who has got remarried to a man named Henry E Smith. Henry’s profession is listed as a bricklayer. Mary and Henry are living with two children, 20-year-old Stephen and 18-year-old Thomas. Maud’s name is mistakenly listed as ‘Mana’, which made her difficult to find on the Census. As the censuses are only every decade, it is unclear when Maud went to live with her grandmother.

Charles’ wife, Mary, died on 8 March 1897 at London Hospital Whitechapel at the age of 39. On her death certificate, her cause of death is listed as ‘haemato-salpingitis operation’ and ‘peritonitis’. We can speculate that ‘haemato-salpingitis’ refers to endometriosis. Mary had likely been unable to look after her daughter, who was living with her grandparents in the 1891 England Census. This suggests that she had been suffering for some time by the time she died. Charles’ profession is listed as a ‘commercial traveller’ on her death certificate.

Death certificate of Mary Ann Bishop.

In the 1891 Census, Charles’ mother, Mary, is living with her daughter, Mary Jefferies, and her family at 110-111 High Street in Lowestoft, Suffolk. She is still shown to be ‘living on her own means’.

The 1900s  

Charles’ older brother, Thomas, died in 1900, aged 52. His death was registered in Barnet, where his family had been previously living.

The 1901 England Census shows a 45-year-old Charles living as a lodger at 35 Roupell Street in Lambeth, London, very close to Waterloo Station. It shows that his profession is ‘jewellery salesman’ on his ‘own account’. It is unlikely that Charles showed any symptoms of mental illness at this point as otherwise, he would not have been able to hold down a job.

35 Roupell Street from Google Maps.

The 1901 Census shows 17-year-old Maud working as a telephone operator at 29 Royal Road in Newington, with a new adoptive family, John and Louisa Ewing. As the head of the household, John, has his profession listed as ‘salesman’, we can speculate that these are friends of Maud’s family. Maud was not officially adopted by the Ewings as adoption was not made a legal process until the Adoption of Children Act 1926 and a central Adopted Children Register was only created in 1927.

The 1901 England Census shows Mary, Charles’ mother, living with her daughter and her husband, Mary and Henry Jefferies in Mutford, Suffolk. Mary died four years later, in May 1905, aged 85.

Charles’ sister, Elizabeth, died in August 1901, aged 43. Her death was registered in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Charles’ death in Horton Asylum

The London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930 state that Charles, mistakenly named Joseph Bishop, was admitted to the St George’s Workhouse on Mint Street in Southwark on 16 April 1909 and discharged on 28 April 1909 to the Horton Asylum. The UK, Lunacy Patients Admission Registers, 1846-1912 confirms this and states that he died only a few weeks later on 8 June 1909.

We do not know when Charles’ mental illness symptoms began as we have very limited information about his life in the period between 1901 and 1909.

St George’s Workhouse on Mint Street in Southwark.

The London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930.

The UK, Lunacy Patients Admission Registers, 1846-1912.

Charles’ death certificate shows that he died at Horton Asylum on 8 June 1909, with his profession listed as ‘hawker’. A ‘hawker’ at this time would have been someone who sold goods by carrying them out into the street. His cause of death is listed as a ‘duodenal ulcer haemorrhage’, a type of internal bleeding. His death was registered by his brother, William, which shows that they were close as many deaths were registered by the asylum superintendent. 

Death certificate of Charles Joseph Bishop.

Maud Louise Bishop

The 1911 England Census shows 27-year-old Maud living as a boarder at 324 South Lambeth Road in Stockwell, with her occupation listed as a telephone clerk. ​​The boarding house keeper is 69-year-old widow Jane Frances Lane. Maud lived with three other boarders, 38-year-old Lenna May Hutchings, who was also a telephone clerk, and two male pharmacists.

29-year old Maud married a man named Reginald Brutus Glyde on 1 June 1912 at St Barnabas Church in South Lambeth. Reginald’s profession was listed in the 1911 Census as a ‘colour merchant’ for ‘Aniline Colours’. He was employed on his own account. Maud and Reginald don’t appear to have had any children. 

Maud and Reginald lived together at 65 Dinsmore Road in Balham from 1922 to 1932. This seems to have been Reginald’s family home as there is a record of him living there in 1911 prior to their marriage. 

Reginald died on 28 May 1932 at the age of 51. His probate shows that his effects were worth £3480 3s, which is equivalent to over £169,000 in today’s money. Maud never appears to have remarried and this money allowed her to live relatively comfortably.

65 Dinsmore Road in Balham from Google Maps.

In the 1939 England and Wales Register, 56-year-old Maud was living at 41 Heybridge Avenue in Streatham, with her occupation listed as unpaid domestic duties. Maud lived at this address until at least 1965. It is unclear whether Maud was still undertaking unpaid domestic duties after 1939 because there was no census in 1941 (due to the Second World War) and the electoral records do not give this information.

41 Heybridge Avenue in Streatham from Google Maps.

Maud lived until the age of 89, dying on 4 December 1972 in Lewisham. She was living at 82 Ladywell Road in Lewisham before her death. Her probate is listed as £1196. This is equivalent to £11,439.03 in today’s money, which is a fairly modest amount.

Probate record for Maud Louise Glyde in 1972.

Charles’ siblings

  • Mary (b.1846-d.1935)
  • Thomas (b.1848-d.1900)
  • Rebecca Hephzibah (b.1851-d.1939)
  • William Walter (b.1854-d.1929)
  • Elizabeth Susan (b.1858-d.1901)
  • Hannah (b.1859-d.1929).

Author’s thoughts

What was most interesting to me was how Charles went from living a relatively normal life with his wife and children in the 1881 England Census to living with his brother in the 1891 England Census. As the censuses are only once a decade, we have very limited information about what happened to Charles and his family in the years between 1881 and 1891. I have been unable to find the location of Charles’ wife, Mary, during this period but it is possible that she was already in some kind of hospital.

It’s also interesting how Charles went from being a salesman in 1901 to being admitted to St George’s Workhouse in Southwark in 1909. We don’t know what happened to Charles in these eight years. Furthermore, there was only around a month between Charles being discharged from the workhouse and his death in Horton Asylum in June 1909. Charles’ health declined incredibly quickly in the last years of his life. The death of his wife, Mary, and two siblings, Thomas and Elizabeth, between 1897 and 1901 may have contributed to the onset of his mental illness.


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