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HOLLIDGE nee WATERS, Martha

b. 1848 – d. 1909

1840s

Martha Sarah Agatha Waters was baptised at St Mary’s Church, Ewell on the 26th March 1848. She was the daughter of Thomas Waters, a carrier, and his wife Elizabeth.

1850s

The 1851 census showed the family living in Green Man Street in Ewell (now the High Street). Thomas was still working as a carrier and the family had eight children living at home plus a nurse and one general servant, so they must have been doing reasonably well.

Green Man Street c1890 taken from EEHE

1860s

In 1860 Martha’s older sister Susan married William Hollidge, a butcher, in the parish of St George’s, Bloomsbury. Susan gave her address as 5 Gilbert Street where her parents and the rest of her family were now living. On the 1861 census the family were still living at Gilbert Street including the, now married, daughter Susan. Thomas Waters was working as a cab man. Martha was no longer living at home. She was working as a housemaid for a dairyman in Finsbury.

On Christmas Day 1867 Martha married Charles Hollidge, brother of William Hollidge. The couple married at St George the Martyr and gave their address as 2 Devonshire Street. Charles occupation was ‘boot maker’ while Martha’s father Thomas now gave his occupation as ‘grocer’.

1870s

Their son Charles was born in 1870 and baptised in Brixton.

On the 1871 census the couple were living in New Park Road, Camden with their baby son and Charles’ widowed father. Charles continued to work as a boot maker.

Helpfully, the 1871 Brixton census lists the shops and a few doors down from where Charles and Martha lived there was a shoe shop occupied by a Richard White and his wife. Perhaps this is where Charles worked?

A daughter, Ellen Martha, was baptised at All Saints, Clapham Park on the 15th October 1871, followed on the 1st December 1872 with the baptism of a son, Walter John.

Sadly a few weeks later, on the 5th February 1873 baby Ellen died of convulsions and was buried on the 11th February. Convulsions in a small child were often the result of fever, so most likely Ellen had an illness that raised her temperature although it could also point to illnesses like epilepsy. The family were now living at 6 Cowper Place, Streatham. Two months later on the 17th April, baby Walter is also buried.

On 21st June 1874 Martha gave birth to a son, John Thomas and he was baptised on the 6th September 1874. He died of tuberculosis on the 17th May 1876, just before his second birthday.

On the 2nd June 1878 two daughters were baptised, Susan Cecilia and Martha. Martha had been born in 1877 and Susan around April 1878. Martha died on the 15th February 1879 from bronchitis although the death certificate also mentions eczema on her scalp. She was buried on the 21st February 1879 and Susan died on the 4th October of the same year. Her death certificate also shows bronchitis and rickets.

1880s

On the 2nd January 1881 the couple’s last child, Annie Marie was baptised but two weeks earlier on the 18th December 1880 Charles had been admitted to the Surrey Lunatic Asylum (Springfield Hospital). The records for Charles then become confused but what is almost certain is that he was to spend the next forty years in and out of asylums, most of that time at Cane Hill Asylum in Surrey.

This left Martha with a son of eleven years and a new baby. Her son Charles went to live with his uncle William and Aunt Susanna and their family. On the 1881 census he is mistakenly recorded as their son. Martha went back to live with her parents in Ewell where the 1881 census records her with baby Annie aged just four months. Shortly after the census is taken, Martha’s father Thomas died. He was buried at St Mary’s Ewell on the 18th May 1881.

1890s

The next definite sight of Martha is the census of 1891. Martha was a patient in the infirmary of the Wandsworth and Clapham Union Workhouse. Baby Annie, now ten years old was living with Martha’s sister Ellen in Ewell. On the 20th February 1894 the records show that Martha was herself admitted to an asylum, Bethnal Green Asylum. Five years later on 16th June 1899 she was transferred to The Manor Hospital in Epsom[1].


[1] The Lunacy Register tells us it was Horton Hospital but in fact Horton was not opened until 1902. In 1899 the only Epsom Cluster hospital open was The Manor (with an address on Horton Lane), which opened in 1899 and seems to have taken its first patients in June of that year. Martha was in the very first intake.

1900s

Exactly ten years later, she died from influenza on the 16th June 1909. Her death was registered by Annie, now 28 and living in Mulgrave Road, Sutton with her uncle William Hollidge.

William’s wife (Martha’s sister) Susannah had died in 1905.

After Death

Two years later on the 1911 census, Annie is an inmate of the Wandsworth Union Workhouse and her father Charles is a patient at Cane Hill Lunatic Asylum.

Annie herself died in 1940, a patient at Cane Hill, like her father. Her older brother Charles married in 1899 and moved with his wife and family to Brentford where he died in 1936.


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