Charlotte’s admission to the Manor and subsequent death
Unfortunately, we know very little about Charlotte Gregg’s life. From the few documents we do have we know that she was admitted to the Manor Asylum on the 18th of May 1910 and died there on the 14th of September 1911. She is buried in Horton Cemetery in grave 1079b.
Charlotte’s age at her death was estimated to be 68 which would suggest that she was born in 1842 or 1843, but we later discover that she was born in 1841. We do not know the nature or the severity of the mental health problems that necessitated her admission to the Manor as her case notes are missing from the Manor archives.
Did Charlotte spend time in Wandsworth Workhouse?
A woman named Charlotte Gregg aged 62 was admitted to Wandsworth Workhouse from the parish of Battersea on the 24th of February 1905 but we do not know why she was admitted or how long she stayed there. Could this have been our subject who was subsequently transferred to the Manor? Unfortunately, no further documentation has been discovered.
Charlotte’s name does not appear again in the Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records and does not appear at all in the UK Lunacy Admission Register. With so little information to go on, any attempt to piece together Charlotte’s story must be subject to speculation and assumption.
Charlotte’s visitors in the Manor
The only clues we have come from the Manor’s visitors’ register. In 1910 and 1911 Charlotte had four visitors:
- Alice Carter of 51, Kambal(l)a Road, Battersea, whose relationship to Charlotte is given as ‘landlady’
- Charlotte’s nieces, Mrs. Lilian M. Williams of Ecclefechan, Lake Road, Wimbledon and
- Mrs Pearce, of 7, Syon Park Cottages, London Road, Brentford
- A friend, Ethel Fulford, of 9 Avenue Gardens, Acton.
According to the 1911 Census, Mrs Fulford was married to civil servant, Denis Charles Fulford who worked in the Control office of the London Postal Service. The couple, who were both in their late 30s, lived in Acton with their 12 year-old daughter, Frances Blanche.
We do not know how Mrs Fulford and Charlotte Gregg – who was thirty years her senior – had become friends.
Alice Carter appears in the 1911 Census at the Kambal(l)a Road, Battersea address with her labourer husband Thomas and their two children. There are also two boarders living there which might suggest that Mrs. Carter had, indeed, been Charlotte’s landlady in the past, perhaps at the time of her admission to the Manor.
It is also worth noting that the Charlotte Gregg who entered Wandsworth Workhouse in 1905 was admitted from Battersea. However, it would appear that Charlotte was not living with the Carters at the time of the 1901 Census.
Charlotte’s niece – Lilian Williams
Lillian Williams was the wife of barrister-at-law Ernest Edwin George Williams. In the 1911 Census we find them living at the Ecclefechan, Lake Road, Wimbledon address. They have their nine children: George Stewart Robert Louis Stanislaw Stevens, Brigit Helen Christine, Owen Paul Edward, Aubrey John Anthony, Ernestine Winefride Elizabeth, Raymund Arthur, Brendan Bernard, Laurence Eric Wulstan and David Evelyn Alfred. We learn from the census that the family employed a nurse, a cook and a housemaid.
As well as being a barrister, Welsh-born Ernest was a journalist and author. Born in 1866, the son of a solicitor, he was privately educated and after working as a private secretary to a Liberal MP he became a journalist in 1895.
He wrote a series of articles for the New Review on the threat to British industry from German competition which were published in 1896 as “Made in Germany”. He advocated protectionism in this work. In 1897 he wrote “The German Menace and its English Apologists” and “Marching Backwards” in reply to the arguments of free-trade politicians.
In 1898 he became a leader writer for the Daily Mail and from 1899 he wrote articles for the Financial Times and protectionist articles for the Daily Express. In later life Williams became chairman of The Freedom Association and a member of the Anti-Socialist Union.
However, with the Great Depression causing mass unemployment, in 1930 he wrote an unpublished manuscript advocating “Socialism without the State”. Williams also studied law, being called to the bar as a member of the Inner Temple on 17 November 1905 as a barrister. He died in 1935.
Ernest and Lillian Stevens (or Lily, as her name is written on the marriage certificate) were married in Hendon in the 1st quarter of 1896. From the 1901 Census we learn that Lillian was born in 1876 in Harrow, Middlesex.
In the 1911 Census her full name is given as Elizabeth Mary Lillian. However, it has not been possible to find anyone of that name in the General Register Office Birth Records. There are several girls with the name Elizabeth Mary Stevens so maybe the name Lillian was adopted later in life.
Without knowing Lillian’s mother’s maiden name, however, it has not been possible to determine her exact relationship to Charlotte, though it is intriguing that such a wealthy woman, married to an eminent author, should claim kinship with a patient in a pauper lunatic asylum.
Charlotte’s niece – Mrs Pearce
In the 1911 Census we find that Mrs Pearce of 7, Syon Park Place (not Cottages) is 41 year-old Charlotte, the wife of waterman and lighterman William Pearce. The couple have seven children, Lilian Mary (born 1891), Elsie Annie (1898), Kathleen Alice (1900) Edith Rose (1902), William Henry John (1904), Ena Elizabeth (1907) and Albert Richard (1910).
They were married in the church of St James, St Pancras in Camden in 1890. We learn from the marriage register that Charlotte’s maiden name was Gregg and her father was called John. Charlotte was born in 1870, the second child of John Gregge (sic) and his wife Eliza née Johnson. Her siblings were Hannah (born in 1864) and Harry (1874).
As we know that Charlotte was our subject’s niece, it may be assumed that John was her brother. From this detail we can trace Charlotte and her brother to the 1851 census.
Charlotte parents and siblings
We find John and Charlotte in the 1851 Census (where their surname is spelled Gregge) living with their parents John and Charlotte (née Mitchell) and siblings at 4, High Street Ealing. Their father is described as a stationer and newsagent though in an earlier census we find him working as a coachman. He and Charlotte were married in St George’s, Hanover Square in March 1835.
From the General Records Office Birth Register we learn that Charlotte was born in Kensington in the 4th quarter of 1841 and was the fourth of her parents’ eight children, the others being Ann (born 1837), John Frederick (1838), Frederick (1841), Mary (1844), William Henry (known as Henry) (1846), William Mitchell (1848) and Fanny (1850).
It would appear that John senior died in the 3rd quarter of 1854, his wife having died in either the 2nd or the 3rd quarter of 1852. After this the family seems to have broken up and it has not been possible to trace the whereabouts of all of Charlotte’s siblings.
Research has been complicated by the duplication of names (Henry’s full name is William Henry and in some records John is known as John Frederick) and the various spellings of the family surname, including Gregg, Gregge and Greig.
Charlotte works as a servant to a baronet
Although she does not appear in the 1861 Census, in 1871 Charlotte, by then aged 28, was a servant in the house of Sir George Barrow, Baronet and Chief Clerk in the Colonial Office. He and his wife, Lady Rosamond, lived at 24 Addison Road in Kensington.
Unfortunately it has not been possible to trace Charlotte after the 1871 Census. It would appear, therefore, that until further documentation comes to light, it will not be possible to tell the full story of Charlotte’s life before her admission to the Manor.