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Edgar’s early life with his parents and siblings – 1860s

Edgar Horace Hodd was born in 3rd Quarter, 1869 in Lambeth, Surrey. He was the 4th of five children found, born to Edward Hamilton Hodd (1841-1909) and Amelia Child (1832-1908).

Edward and Amelia were married in St Mary’s Lambeth on 25th Oct 1861, Edward is a minor and a cigar merchant, Amelia is a full age spinster. Both fathers, Edward Hodd and John Bonus Child are record as ‘gentleman’.

Edgar’s siblings:
Percy Herbert 1863 – 1864 who sadly died aged 5 months old.
Florence Lulu 1865-1880, died aged only 15, (the only child I found to be baptised)
Sidney Percy 1866 -1945
Ada 1873 –1950.

By 1863, Edward Hamilton Hodd is bankrupt.

Edgar and his family in the 1870s

In the 1871 Census, we find the family living at 22 Wellington Road, Lambeth borough of Brixton. The Head is his Father Edward aged 30, an accountant and Amelia aged 37, wife. Florence 6, Sidney, 4 and Edgar, 1.

In 1873 his sister Ada was born.

1880s – Did his brother Sidney go to prison in Australia?

In 1880, sadly, Edgar’s sister Florence dies.

The 1881 Census shows a change of address to Pembroke Villas, Shakespeare Road, Lambeth, Victorian semi-detached houses. Edward is now a commercial clerk. Amelia as his wife, Sidney, Edgar and Ada are scholars.

In 1886, a Sidney P Hodd shows, on an emigration record, as going to Freemantle, Australia. In 1887, in an Australian Court in Perth a Sidney Percy Hodd is charged and found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 18 months hard labour. He returns to UK in 1904. Possibly Edgar’s brother? Unable to find him on the 1891 and 1901 census in England and Wales.


The 1891 Census shows the family have moved again. This time to a larger three storey semi-detached, in 25 Ravensbourne Road, Lewisham. Edward is a merchant clerk, Amelia as his wife, Edgar is a store clerk and Ada.

Edward seems to be recovering financially after being reported as bankrupt in 1863.

In 1892, the Electoral Register shows Edgar Horace is paying rent to his father.

1893 Electoral Register


In the 1901 Census for Lewisham, Edgar is not recorded as being with the family on the day of the census. I have searched the pages of the 1901 census for Lewisham infirmary he is not listed.

Edgar is a troubled patient in the early 1900s. On 28 June 1902, Edgar is admitted to the Bethlem Royal Hospital. The report shows that he is suffering mental health issues. Residence previous to this date says Lewisham Infirmary, part of Lewisham Workhouse.

This is Edgar’s first attack which lasted 3-4 days, with a supposed cause of insanity as “business worry”.

He is Church of England, single, well educated, sober habits, not suicidal. Not a danger to others and of fair body health. He is restless and has delirium.

Edgar is hearing voices and talks to imaginary persons. He imagines that:

his father is trying to electrocute him with a battery under his bed with wires to his bed posts;

adjoining neighbours are trying to shoot him with a revolver through a hole in the wall;

people could read what he was thinking by looking at his face;

that people make signs about him by walking in a peculiar manner in the streets and they read his thoughts

His Father confirms this on the report in facts communicated by others.

Observation at the time of examination: He is depressed, restless and sometimes very excitable.
1st certificate. Signed by Hugh S Beaties 35 Sunderland Road, Forest Hill. 25th June 1902.

2nd certificate. Signed by F S Toogood MD the Infirmary Lewisham. 27th June 1902.

Edgar is admitted to Horton Hospital in 1903

On 17th July 1903, Edgar is transferred to Horton hospital.

Edgar’s parents die while he is in Horton and he dies the same year as his father. In 1908, his mother Amelia died aged 76.

On 16th February 1909, his father Edward died aged 68. Probate to Amelia’s brother and sister -Augustus Hodd Child, a gentleman and tea merchant and his sister Fanny Elizabeth Nixon widow, £714 17s 1d. Sidney is not mentioned.

Edgar died on 2nd December 1909 and was buried in Horton Cemetery in grave 531A on 7th December. I am unable to find him in the Lunacy Admissions Register.

Family notes

Sidney rents two rooms at 34 Berlin Road. Lewisham Catford, in 1905 for 15 shillings a week from a Mr Hodd same address. This would be his father’s home. Edward is living at this address in his probate record 1909. A larger 3 storey semi-detached in a tree lined road, renamed Canadian Avenue in 1918.

1911 shows him living at 150a Broomhill Road, Catford, his sister Ada as his housekeeper, both recorded as single. However on the immigration record coming back from Australia, he is marked in the married column. I cannot find any marriage so this could be a clerical error.

Sidney and Ada are still together at the same address on the 1939 register. Sidney dies in 1945. Effects to Ada £642 10s 2d. Ada dies in 1950. Probate to Ralph Harry Dibben £3183 8s 9d. neighbour, 150 Brownhill Road.

Notes on the HODD Family tree

It is a very complex family tree with 1st cousins marrying.
Edward Hamilton Hodd is Amelia Child’s first cousin.
Amelia’s mother Louisa Hodd is a sister to Edward’s father, Edward Hodd senior.
Amelia’s two sisters marry brothers also 1st cousins from the Hodd family, Edward’s 1st cousins.
All descending from Richard Hodd and Barbara Tutt of Cuckfield Sussex.

They all held good jobs and put themselves on records as gentlemen. Edgar’s Grandfather Edward Hodd was a deputy controller, superintendent, vice president in the inland and General Post Office; his maternal Grandfather John Bonus Child was a Distiller/ Gentleman. Unable to find what he distilled but an obvious choice is gin, but Vinegar, Essential Oils, Lavender and Peppermint are also in the area.

Some of the family stayed in the Sussex areas of Hastings and Brighton.

Research Linda Martin and Roger Miller

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