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Daisy’s parents and siblings

According to the baptism register of St Clement Danes Church Daisy was born on18 May 1887, and baptised on the 12th June. Her parents were George and Elizabeth Hyatt and they lived at 266, Gray’s Inn Rd.

We see that George gives his occupation as a ‘Water Gilder.’ Water Gilding is the highest level of the art and is one of the oldest ways of applying pure gold, and silver leaf; it is a centuries old tradition passed down to this day.

Daisy’s parents, George Hyatt and Elizabeth Ann Skinner were married on 24 May 1885 at the church of St Clement Danes.

You can see that George’s father, James Morrison Hyatt, was already dead by the time he married, as was his mother Margaret Bass, both of them died in 1878.  James Skinner was a ‘map mounter’, another skilled job.

There is some confusion about the number of children in the family. Elizabeth says that Daisy is the second in a family of four with two brothers and two sisters.  

In the hospital notes it is recorded that one baby died at 12 months from convulsions. (George Harry?)  Two children were born dead (not counted).  One child died at 36 months (Mary Grace?) with a bowel disorder.

Daisy later says that she is second in a family of six and that only she and one brother are living but I believe the only other surviving child was Elizabeth Grace. 

From my research this is the family of George and Elizabeth Hyatt.

Daisy was the oldest surviving child, followed by another daughter, Mary Emma  1888 – 1890. Then a son, George Harry 1893 – 1894 and finally another girl, Elizabeth Grace 1896 – 1968.

The 1890s – George’s death

In the 1891 Census we find the family living at 151, High Holborn, next to the Windsor Castle Public House. Sadly no photos have been found but an excellent website gives the history of this well known London road. https://thelondonwanderer.co.uk/2022/06/that-absurd-excrescence-the-life-death-of-middle-row/

George is 36 years old and says he was born in St Giles. He is a Water Gilder. Elizabeth is also 36 and born in The Liberty of the Rolls, Middlesex. Daisy is just 3 years old and born in St Pancras.

In 1898 at the age of just 37 George dies of “pulmonary consumption” and is buried in a common grave in Chingford Mount cemetery, Waltham Forest on 13 Jan 1898.  It is about 12 miles from Holborn to the cemetery, taking 40 minutes plus today, so how much longer in 1898, and yet George junior, Mary Emma and their father were all taken there for burial. Was it even possible for the family to attend the funeral of their loved ones at this distance?  Apparently it was opened in 1884 as a sister cemetery to Abney Park.

Following George’s death Elizabeth is left with two children; Daisy Lilian aged 10 years and Elizabeth Grace who is 2 years old. 

Daisy is admitted to the Colony

We find this small family in the 1901 Census living at 27, Bramah Rd, North Brixton, which according to Booth’s maps is “fairly comfortable, good average earnings” Elizabeth, now 40 years old, is a widow and working as a charwoman. Daisy Lilian is 13 years old and Elizabeth Grace is 4 years and is noted as born in Bloomsbury.

We later learn that Daisy’s fits began around the age of 17 years so Elizabeth has had a lot to deal with and on Jan 16th 1907 we find Daisy in the Lambeth Lunatic Register aged 19 years, she is immediately transferred from the Lambeth Infirmary to the Ewell Epileptic Colony, Epsom, where she lives the rest of her short life. Her care is chargeable to the Lambeth Union.

The ‘Ewell Colony’, part of the Epsom Cluster of five mental hospitals, had been opened in 1903 to care for “the Epileptic insane of the Metropolis”. This new approach housed patients in a collection of villas, avoiding the stigma of living in a mental asylum.  The treatment consisted of a specially regulated diet and doses of Potassium bromide, the first effective treatment for controlling epilepsy.  The patients were expected to contribute to their costs by working on the hospital farm or in the kitchens, laundry or bakery all of which supported the Epsom cluster of hospitals. 

Daisy’s medical notes

The medical certificate, signed by Marcus Hy Quarry records that, “she is strange in manner and filthy in habits.  Makes strange grimaces and screams loudly without cause.”  Daisy says that “the people downstairs are going to kill her.” Daisy’s mother says that “she has been strange in the mind for 2 years, low spirited, she neglects herself. She says she is Jesus and is in heaven.” Diagnosis…Epilepsy with insanity. Anaemia.

On her admission to the Colony Daisy’s mother, Elizabeth Ann Hyatt of 29, Sutton Street, York Rd, Lambeth, gave a statement of her history. 

She says that the present attack commenced when she was 17 years old and that she has previously been in Lambeth Infirmary but has had no previous treatment. 

In her early life all went well although she had fits whilst teething and they began again aged 9 years, ‘possibly caused by a fright she had aged 8 years.’ These fits continued about every two weeks with no warning. She turns her head to the left, usually in a state of stupor for an hour or more.”  She has attended Queens Square, and spent 2 months in Wellbeck Hospital, she was also in the Middlesex Hospital as an in-patient. (Different from previous statement.)  

Apart from periodic headaches Daisy has no other illnesses and is regular of habits.  Her disposition is cheerful; she is very religious, always at home and fond of needlework. She has epilepsy but is not suicidal or dangerous. 

I have found that the initial notes are often inconsistent, particularly so in this case. 

On admission Daisy’s general health is said to be “impaired.”  It is noted that her forehead is “broad and rather low” and she has a “tilted nose and a weak chin.” Great details were taken at this time of size and shape of facial features as it was believed that these were indicators of mental illness. 

Mentally she is said to be “generally fair, rather vague on present and recent surroundings.” She says the year is 1897.  She is slow of conversation and appears simple and not aware of her condition. She suffers no illusions or hallucinations and at present is fairly cheerful.  She is “fairly truthful, religious and sociable with a sense of propriety and has always been teetotal.

“A chat shows her to be intelligent and fairly well informed, says that her fits occur “once a month just before her courses commence” she gets “out of her mind and says silly things in association with the fits.” There follows  more confusing information regarding the onset of the fits which she says started when she was 7 years old,  the doctor says her Catamenia (periods) appeared in January last year and that these mental attacks have only occurred in the last few months.  He concludes that she is “suffering from Insanity with Epilepsy of the recurrent type, conscious they coincide with her Catamenia. She has attacks where she is out of her mind and of which she has no memory. 

Daisy’s first year in the Colony rather set the pattern for the next nine years.

Jan 1907…”Quite docile and well behaved, taking an interest in her surroundings and shows a normal desire to associate with others.  She is now in Holly (villa), willing to be useful but ineffective at housework.”  Later that month she began having large numbers of fits in rapid succession and was put to bed in Laurel (care ward) and was given a rectal injection of Chloral.  This controlled the fits before they increased in number beyond twenty two.  She slept for some hours and when roused to take food was very “stuporose” (insensible/semi conscious.)  Has had a series of eighteen fits in the night and after being very “stuporose” all morning she is now restless and peevish, crying in a childish manner.  She continued restless next day and under the influence of aural and visual hallucinations, she appears to see and call to her mother.”  Daisy was put on a diet of 2 eggs and 3 pints of milk.  “So restless during the night that she was removed to P.R (padded room) but being quieter in the morning was returned to open bed.  

In the pm at 12.20 became so restless, automatic and resistive that she had to be put into P.R and secluded until 7pm.  Is now getting 3 eggs.  Following day spent in P.R.”

Things seem to improve slightly over the next few months and she is generally described as well behaved and docile but weak minded or imbecilic. Strangely there is a gap in the notes until late October but when they resume they say largely the same as before.

At this point Daisy is receiving no regular medication despite high numbers of fits, due to concerns about her anaemia. The Sept notes state that she has had 136 fits in the past quarter. After one such event “she made charges against the nurse of hitting her and pulling her hair, she claimed that two other patients had witnessed this, these patients were questioned and both they, and the nurse denied that any struggle had taken place. Patient was examined but nothing was found.”

Following this her fits seem to have reduced in the following two quarters but in the January of 1909 she is said to be in a “somewhat reduced mental state, ill orientated, faulty of habits and has to be washed and dressed. Some difficulty in getting her to take food.”  By July we find that she is “now taking Stront Bromide”

She remains unaware of the onset of her fits although it is clear to others as she becomes lost and confused one or two hours beforehand. 

She is said to be weak minded “It takes considerable thought to know “how many pennies are there in 18 pence.”  (Author’s note: I find this kind of questioning hard to understand.  That a young, relatively uneducated girl who has never been employed and has had years of brain scrambling fits should be judged in this manner seems unfair to me.)

This is the pattern of Daisy’s life over the next couple of years; in April 1911 she is again being judged on her mental arithmetic, “cannot multiply 9 x 3.  First gave 26 pence in 2/6d and then was not sure if 30 were correct.” However, changes in her medication do seem to be helping cut down on her fits although Daisy is depressed and says the “others are talking about her and seem down on her”.  

Now we find that Daisy is working in the laundry and that recently she has been bright, happy and content and working well. 

Daisy’s health deteriorates

Sadly this seems to have been the calm before the storm and in August she is in a state of “considerable mental confusion associated with continuous hallucinations, she is constantly quarrelling with other patients and accusing them of talking about her, eventually she is sent to Laurel for “bed treatment.” This continues into September when she is said to be restless and only partially coherent, she is calling for Gracie and then states that her sister Grace has been killed. Although her general condition has improved a little she now has to be hand fed.

In October Daisy says that when she fits she has the “feeling and the coppery taste of a coin in her throat,” she says “she swallowed a farthing aged 8 years and wonders if that has anything to do with it?” The following day we find that she has had 13 fits overnight and four that morning and is now in bed in Laurel. Over the following days her temperature climbs and her fits increase, she cannot swallow and has to be fed rectally and is given a saline injection.  Her stomach is washed out and she is given “brandy, mist acid co, one egg and ¾ pint of peptonised milk (an enzymatic digest of milk solids, given to aid digestion) with Chlorline, nasally.”

From the notes it seems that Daisy was unconscious from 12 – 18th of October during which time she had some breathing problems, but then on the 18th she is “much improved, swallowing well, is conscious and speaks in reply to questions”

However we learn that her fits started again in the night of the 18th, 38 in 24 hours and 30 since 6am this morning (10am) difficulty swallowing again returned to nasal feeding.  She is not allowed up fully again until 5th Nov.  

This was the pattern of Daisy’s life, she is still working in the laundry when she is able but her mental state is deteriorating. Her notes are short and sporadic over the following months with none at all in March and November 1913.  They continue in this way simply reiterating that she has recurrent attacks, that she is dull, depressed at times, but she is still working in the laundry although she is slow.

The final note is taken on Nov 20th 1915, nine months before she died, it says “groups of fits, in bed noisy and hallucinating.” 

Usually in the early pages of the case notes there is a section for “final stats” which give the patient cause of death and a “Statement of death to the Coroner” neither of these appear in Daisy’s file.  However I did purchase a digital copy of her death certificate.

Daisy was buried in the Horton Estate Cemetery on1 Sept 1916 in grave 2222 b

(There are apparently some loose notes available at the Surrey Archives so we may be able to fill in the gaps at some point.)

Daisy’s family.

Daisy’s father George Hyatt was born 16 June 1859 but not baptised until 1 Jan 1865, at St Giles in the Field, Holborn. His parents were James Morrison Hyatt (1828 – 1878) and Margaret Bass (1831 – 1878).  James was a shoemaker but by the time of George’s marriage he was working as a tin plate worker (Morrison was his mother’s maiden name.)

Margaret’s mother Margaret, was born in 1831, her parents were George Bass and Catherine Shine.  Margaret’s father was also a shoemaker.

James and Margaret married at St John the Evangelist Church, Waterloo Rd, Lambeth on 20 July 1850, James signed his name but Margaret makes her mark 

The following year in the 1851 Census we find them living at 87 Dudley Street, Finsbury and they are still there in 1861 Census with their four children including George. 

The family are still in Dudley Street in the 1871 Census but now living at number 12, and then in 1878 both James and Margaret die. Intrigued, I ordered digital copies of the death certificates thinking it may have been some kind of local epidemic, however I discovered that James died on 9 April 1878 of “Vascular heart disease 2 years  and Bronchitis 5 days” and Margaret died on 20th September 1878 from “Meningitis.”  

Dudley Street became part of Shaftsbury Ave when “Old Soho” was cleared to make way for the new thoroughfare in 1884-6. 

Daisy’s siblings

Mary Emma was born on 27 June 1888 and baptised on 5 Aug of that year at Holy Trinity Church, Grays Inn Road.

By this time the family lived at 266 Grays Inn Road Camden, and George is said to be an electrician. Below is 244-250 Grays Inn Rd showing the housing styles, Booths maps shows the area as reasonably comfortable but that seems a little optimistic for this family.

Sadly Mary Emma had a short life and died in Oct 1890, she was buried in Chingford Mount Cemetery, Waltham Forest on 26 Oct 1890

George Harry was born on 7 June 1893 and was baptised on 9 July of that year at St George’s Church, Bloomsbury.

At that time the family were living at 157 High Holborn and now George is said to be a porter.  Poor George only lived for one year and was buried in the Chingford Mount Cemetery on 17 July 1894. 

Elizabeth Grace is the only child that lived a full life.  She was born on 12 April 1896 and baptised on 21 May of that year in the Church of St Giles in the Field. 

The family were living at 151, High Holborn and her father is once again said to be a Gilder.

Early in 1898 George died aged just 37 years of pulmonary consumption, and on 17 Jan 1898 he is buried in the Chingford Mount Cemetery in a common grave, leaving Elizabeth with her two young daughters, Daisy and Elizabeth.

In the 1901 Census they are living at 27, Bramah Rd, Brixton and Elizabeth is supporting the family by working as a charwoman.

We know that Daisy’s health was in decline at this point and that she had entered the Colony in Epsom in 1907.

In the next census, 1911, we find Elizabeth Ann and Elizabeth Grace living in one room at 64, Knowle Rd, Brixton and young Elizabeth, aged just 14 years is working as a ‘gold burnisher’ and her mother is cleaning for a theatrical agency. ***

In the 1930 electoral register mother and daughter are still living together at 25, Margaret Street, Marylebone, and when the 1939 register is taken we find Elizabeth Ann at the same address but now sharing her home with Glynn Hyatt, male, bn 1.Dec 1917. Who is this?

Meanwhile Elizabeth Grace has moved out of London and is living in Twickenham at 28, High Street and  in the same 1939 register she is working as a shop assistant alongside Gore G Ouesley, grocer.

She is unmarried and remained a spinster for the rest of her life.  

However, it seems that she and Gore Glynn Ouseley had previously had a son, 

Gore Glynn Ouseley Hyatt born on 1 Dec 1918 and it was he that was living with Elizabeth Ann whilst his mother and father lived in Twickenham.

You will see from Glynn’s baptism cert that his father is clearly named and his occupation is given as “theatre producer,” possibly connected to the agency her mother worked for?

From my research Mr Ouseley married three times and produced 11 children in wedlock, some of whose births appear to overlap. He died in 1949. 

Elizabeth Ann moved out and joined her daughter and grandson in Twickenham around 1947 and died 1953. 

When Elizabeth Grace died on 21 July 1968 she was still living in Twickenham at 51 Haggard Road, she left £819, a sizable amount of money for a single female at that time. Her son Glynn died in 2016 aged 97 years.

Looking at the visitors’ book it seems that Daisy’s mother visited every other year and in the years in between she was visited by various friends and once by her sister.  Then in 1913 her mother visited in June, and twice in August but looking at the case notes there are no serious health issues that might have prompted this. Again in 1916 Elizabeth visited twice, in April and again in June but not in the time leading up to Daisy’s death in August of that year.  I don’t know if there was a limit to visits set by the Colony but it seems that Daisy’s friends and family did make an effort to keep in touch and perhaps there were other visits that were not noted in the book.

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