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b.1838-d.1902

Emily’s parents and siblings

Emily’s father, George Nurton, was aged 26 when he married her 19-year-old mother Harriet Pargiter on 9 June 1833 at St James Church in Paddington. Over the next seventeen years the couple had twelve children including Emily.

NameBornMarriedDied
Harriet Emma20 September 1833??
George Charles23 April 1835 Mary Ann Madley 18571884
Clara Jane 14 November 18361900
Emily 14 July 1838Charles Henry Larner 18841902
Ellen19 May 1840??
Henry Daniel13 July 1841Elizabeth Eliza Sacker 18641909
William Samuel28 August 1843Julia?1871
Jessy7 August 1845 1863
Alfred James17 December 18471855
Thomas Walter3 November 1848??
Florence Eliza17 January 1850Sydney A L A Cowley 1872?
Francis William5 July 1852Emma Townend 18771920

Emily’s father in the Debtors’ Prison

Emily was born on 14 July 1838 and was baptised on 8 August in St Marylebone Church. It was noted in the baptismal register that the family was living at 48 New Church Road, Portland Market, Marylebone in Westminster where her father ran his printing and bookbinding business. Unfortunately, on 23 February 1839, The Jurist reported that Emily’s father was in the Debtors’ Prison for London and Middlesex. How long George was there is uncertain, but he was back home when the 1841 census was taken and by 1851, still living at number 48, he was recorded as running a printing works and employing 2 men.

The deaths of Emily’s mother and brother

Emily’s mother Harriet was aged 39 when she died; she was buried in All Souls Church in Kensal Green on 1 May 1853. Two years after her death, Alfred, Emily’s 8-year-old brother, died in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. 

Emily’s father

In 1858 Emily’s father found himself once again in the Debtor’s Prison for London and Middlesex. but he was out by January 1860, when he brought a successful action to recover debt at the Court of Exchequer.  At that time, he was carrying on business at Praed Street in Paddington, but it seems that this could have been just a business address. With the exception of her brother George Charles, who was living with his wife Mary Ann at 2 Church Street, Paddington, none of the surviving Nurton family have been found living either together or on their own in the 1861 census, and certainly by then, number 48 New Church Street was occupied by a different family. 

The 1865 London Post Office Directory listed “Nurton George, Printer” at 148 Praed Street, Paddington and “Nurton George, jun, Printer” at 2 Church Street, Paddington.

Emily, Charles Henry Larner and their children

Where Emily was living and working is unclear but at some point, she met her future husband Charles Henry Larner that resulted with the births of their children – Alfred Charles Larner in 1868, Walter Henry Larner in 1870 and Florence Matilda Larner in 1872. Charles was a stone mason by trade and had been born in Aldsworth, Gloucestershire in 1831. 

Although still unmarried, the 1871 census records Emily and Charles living as a married couple at 39 Pultney Street, Islington, with their two sons Alfred aged 3 and 5-month-old Walter. Also living with them was Emily’s sister Ellen, who was working as a barmaid. 

Three deaths – and a birth – in the family

Shortly after the census was taken, Emily and Ellen’s brother William died from consumption. Their father George Nurton died the following year in the 1872 September quarter, and in the same quarter, Emily gave birth to her daughter Florence Matilda.

Emily and Charles’ 3-year-old son Walter died in 1873 and was buried in Islington Cemetery on 30 August.

The 1881 Census

Aged 13, Emily and Charles’ eldest son Alfred was recorded in the 1881 census as being a patient in the “Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic” at Queen Square, Finsbury, London. He was also recorded as being a clerk for a solicitor. Meanwhile, Emily, Charles and their daughter Florence were recorded as living at 2 Pultney Street, Islington. Also staying there was Charles’ niece Amelia Walker. Fortunately, Alfred appears to have recovered enough from whatever ailed him to return to the family home.

Emily and Charles marry

Emily Nurton and Charles Henry Larner eventually married in the Shoreditch registration district towards the end of 1887. 

Emily is admitted to Fisherton Asylum

Four years on and the family were recorded in the 1891 census as living together at 11 Somerford Grove, West Hackney. Emily was by now aged 52, and her 60-year-old husband Charles was still working as a stone mason while Alfred was recorded as a clerk and Florence as a milliner. The census was taken on 5 April that year and did not record any health worries for Emily but on 13 August she was admitted to the Fisherton Asylum in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Emily was discharged as ’recovered’ on 24 February 1892.  Eight months later her son Alfred was aged 24 when he died; he was buried in Chingford Mount Cemetery, Waltham Forest, on 24 October 1892.

The death of Charles

On 6 January 1894 Emily’s husband Charles was admitted into the Hackney Union Workhouse. The following day he was transferred to the infirmary where he stayed until he was discharged on 21 March 1894. The admission entry records that his religion was Church of England and that he was a mason. It also noted that his wife was Emily and he lived at 18 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston. Charles died in March 1899 and was buried in the same cemetery as their son Alfred. 

Horton Asylum – and Emily’s death

When the 1901 census was taken, Emily and her daughter Florence were living in 2 rooms at 164 Boleyn Road, Stoke Newington. Florence was still supporting herself and her mother by working as a milliner. Later that year, on 12 October, Emily was admitted once again into the Fisherton Asylum in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Emily was transferred to Horton Asylum in Epsom on 15 March 1902. Following her death on 1 December, Emily’s body was buried on 5 December 1902 in grave 81 in the Horton Estate Cemetery.

Author’s notes:

The possible cause of not finding the family in the 1861 census may have been due to mis-transcribing or mis-heard pronunciation of the Nurton surname, e.g., Nerton, Norton, Horton, but even searching using just their first names, ages, and places of birth did not result in finding the family with any certainty.

Charles Larner’s whereabouts in 1861 is also unknown and although no previous marriage has been found, could he have already been married to someone else? This may explain why the couple had not married before the births of their children. A copy of their 1887 marriage certificate might give more of an insight.

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