Long Grove records have Arthur dying in 1917 at the age of 44, so he was born about 1873. I found his birth registered in the General Record Office in the March Quarter of 1873 in St Pancras and his mother’s maiden name was Peck.
I will start his story way back in 1851 with his mother’s family – the Pecks – for reasons which will become clear as his story unfolds.
Joseph and Mary Ann Peck had 6 daughters and one son. It is Charlotte and Caroline who feature chiefly in this story, and Maria to a lesser degree. They all lived at Red Hall Farm House, Watford and Joseph was a farm bailiff.
On July 10th 1866 Charlotte married Joseph Glenister at St Saviour’s in the Parish of South Kensington, Middlesex. Her father, Joseph, was a Bailiff, and his father, William, seems to have been a herdsman. The witnesses were Sarah Lawrence and Georgy Peck though their names are written very poorly. Was this due to age or illness or were they never taught how to write?
Arthur was born in early 1873 – his birth is registered in the March quarter. I found Joseph and Charlotte at 11 Upper Hartland Road St Pancras in the 1871 Census – taken on 2nd April and likely before Arthur was born – but William (born about 1867) was not with them on that night, as he was staying with his aunt Maria and uncle Horace. However, Joseph’s brother, George Peck, age 24 and a gardener, was with them. I think it was probably he who witnessed the marriage when he was about 19.
1880s – tragedy befalls the family
Charlotte died in early 1881 aged only 41 – before the census was taken on 3rd April 1881- as Joseph was by then a widower with seven children still living in Upper Hartland Road but now at number 45. His children are named as:
Charlotte 4 wks
It is quite likely that Charlotte died in or shortly after childbirth as little Charlotte is only weeks old – her death certificate would provide more information.
Joseph was fortunate to have his sister-in-law, Caroline Peck, living there, possibly for a long time to help care for the children, but certainly on census night. He also had two lodgers which I presume helped him financially – he was still a cabman whose income may well have been variable and irregular.
I have not followed all the children, just concentrated on Arthur as this is his story. Just imagine what sadness must have overwhelmed the children – all under 15 – after the death of their mother. It must have been immeasurably hard for Joseph too, even with Caroline’s help.
After Charlotte died, Joseph and Caroline married in the 3rd quarter of 1882 in West Ham.
In the 1891 Census Joseph and Caroline are living with six of Joseph’s children at 49 Hadley Street in Kentish Town. Arthur, now aged 18, is working as a grocer’s porter.
In the 1901 Census, Joseph, Caroline and Arthur are living at 54, Ainger Road Hampstead. Joseph’s occupation is now ‘caterer, coffee house on own account’ (i.e., he was not an employee). Arthur, aged 27, is employed as a carman but there is no incapacity noted for him.
The Lunacy admissions records show that Arthur, a pauper, was admitted to Long Grove on 20th April 1909 and died there 8 years later. Whatever can have happened? Hospital records when available may give us the answer, but until then, unfortunately, Arthur’s story pauses here.