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William was admitted to three institutions during his life. The causes of his mental health problems are unknown, but they started when he was only 13.


William Bromley Liddiard’s parents were Henry Pender Liddiard and Susan Liddiard, née Bromly. They were married in the December quarter of 1862 in the St. George Hanover Square Registration District.

Henry and Susan had their first child Harry Liddiard in the December quarter of 1863.

On 10 September 1865, Louisa Liddiard was born. She was baptised on 22 July 1866 at St Gabriel Church, Pimlico. Her parents were Henry Pender Liddiard, a plasterer, and Susan, of 3 Glasgow Terrace, Pimlico.

In the third quarter of 1869 a third child was born to Henry and Susan. Her name was Mary Elizabeth, reference Camberwell 1d 562.


In the 1871 Census the family was living at 3 Clarenden Street, Camberwell. Henry Pender Liddiard (mis-transcribed as “Siddart”), age 32, was the head of the household. He was a plasterer born in Westminster. Also living there were Susan his wife, age 36, born in the village of Bently, North Essex. Bently is about 7 miles from Colchester, Essex. Their children were Harry, age 7, born in Westminster, Louisa, age 5, born in Westminster, and Mary Elizabeth, age 1, born in Camberwell.

William was born in the September quarter of 1874 in Battersea.


In the 1881 Census the family was living at 6 St Georges Villas, Croydon Road, Streatham. Henry, age 44, was the head of the household and a plasterer; Susan, age 47, his wife, is listed as born in Colchester, and their three children, Harry, age 17, is not married and is a plasterer like his father, Mary age 11, is a scholar, and William age 6, is listed as born in Battersea.

In the 1881 Census William’s sister Louisa was a boarder at 5 Christ Church Terrace, Chelsea. She was 15 years old and a dressmaker, listed as born in Pimlico. The head of the household was Ann Maria Nichol, age 54, a widow and listed as a grocer.

Henry Pender Liddiard, William’s father, died aged 45 in the June quarter of 1884. This is a young age to die even in this period. What did he die from? This must have left his wife Susan, aged 48, and children Harry, age 20 (if he was still living with his mother), Mary, age 14, and William, age 10, with major financial problems.

On 12 July 1888, William, age 13, was admitted to Brookwood Asylum in Surrey. His entry details show that he was living at 4 Emily Road, Old Kent Road. His religion was Church of England and his body condition was Fair. A medical certificate signed on 11 July stated that the form of disorder was “dementia”. The cause of the insanity was unknown, and the duration of the attacks was two months. He was adjudicated to the Wandsworth and Clapham Union on 27 September. He was discharged from Brookwood on 21 December 1888, marked “recovered”.

Poor relief had been the responsibility of individual parishes until the Poor Law Act of 1834, whereby parishes grouped together to form a Union, administered by an elected Board of Guardians. The Guardians wished to ensure that the inmates of the Workhouse were legally their responsibility. Those inmates deemed to be the responsibility of the rate payers of another Union would be examined and if necessary, sent to that Union.


In September 1890, age 16, William started work as a clerk for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway company at the Willow Walk Station, Goods Department, in Bermondsey. His salary was 10 shillings a week. He was later dismissed for theft and brought before a magistrate. He was probably dismissed sometime after 1891.

The 1891 Census was taken on 5 April. William was a lodger at 260 Long Lane, Bermondsey. He was single, age 17 and a junior clerk.

In the 1891 Census William’s mother Susan was living in Elora Road, Streatham. She was age 56, a widow and head of the household, born in Bently, Essex. She was living with her son Harry, age 27, who was listed as single and a plasterer. Presumably, Harry was her only means of support but perhaps she was also getting some money from Mary, Louisa, and William.

The 1891 Census records William’s sister Mary Liddiard living at 6 Park Crescent, Marylebone. She was single, age 21 and listed as a cook born in London. The head of the household was George Herring, age 36, who was married and listed as a Director.

In December 1891, the Railway Employment Records show that William was still a clerk at Willow Walk Station with a salary of 10 shillings a week.

On 31 July 1897, Louisa, his sister age 31, married Robert Henry Higgins, age 28, an instrument maker, at St Barnabas Church, Pimlico in the parish of St George Hanover Square. They were listed as living at 162a Ebury Street. The father of the bride was given as Harry Liddiard, her brother.

Less than a year later, on 30 April 1898, William’s sister Mary Elizabeth, age 26, married Edward James Stanford, age 26, at the same church as her sister. They were also living at 162a Ebury Street. Harry Liddiard, her brother, was a witness. The father of the bride was mistakenly recorded as James Liddiard.


In the 1901 Census Susan, William’s mother was living at 12 Ellison Road, Streatham. She is the head of the household, a widow and age 65. Living with her still is her son, Harry, age 37, who is a plasterer and probably the bread winner. They had three rooms in the house. The rest of the house held another family. (Today some of the houses in Ellison Road, which is within 200 metres of Streatham Common station, have been divided into flats. In 2017 a one bedroom flat in the house next door to number 12, sold for £400,000.)

In the 1901 Census William’s sister Mary, age 31, her husband Edward Stanford, age 29, (a Canteen Manager) and his brother of 18 years, Alfred (a waiter) are living in “Horse Guards” at 1 Whitehall. In their living quarters (for that is what they appear to be), they have Officers, Guardsmen and various other support staff for the Household Division. Presumably Edward is the manager of the Canteen used by the Officers and soldiers of these two regiments (Life Guards and Blues and Royals) while they are serving in this location as 1 Whitehall was the HQ of the Horse Guards.

Also, in the 1901 Census at 47 Alderney Street, Pimlico, less than one mile from Horse Guards, was Robert H Higgins, age 31, a musical instrument maker who was born in Canada, his wife Louisa (William’s sister), age 35, a dressmaker, and their children John, age 2, and Dorothy, age 6 months.

On 4 July 1904, William, was admitted to Bexley Asylum. He was discharged on 29 December 1904 as “recovered”. This entry is mis-transcribed in the asylum records as Wm. Brawley Liddard.


In the 1911 Census Susan (William’s mother), age 77, was living at 100 Blyth Road, Hammersmith with her married daughter Mary, age 41 (William’s sister), Mary’s husband Edward James Stanford, age 39, now a butcher and shopkeeper. They had been married for 12 years and had no children.

In the 1911 Census Louisa (William’s sister) was living at 21 Jessel House, Page Street, Westminster with her husband Robert Henry Higgins, age 41, a musical instrument maker (he listed himself as being born in Canada with Irish parents), and their four children, John age 12, Dorothy age 10, Leslie age 5, and Harold age 3.

On 28 December 1912, “Wm. Lediard” was admitted to Long Grove Asylum and the record was updated to show that he “died on 9 January 1919”. The record has him being admitted to “Gloster [Asylum]” first, but Long Grove is added underneath. He was buried in Horton Cemetery Grave 2161a on 9 January 1919.

Family after the death of William Liddiard

William’s mother Susan Liddiard’s death was registered in Croydon Registration District in the December quarter of 1920, age 85.

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