b.1867 – d.1918
According to Poor Law Removal and Settlement records, Edward Maidment, aged 46 and described as ‘lunatic’ was, on the 25th of April, 1914, resident at Long Grove.
Underneath his name, is written “properly Maidman, Edwin Albert”. As we will see, Edward’s change of name had occurred many years before, probably as a result of an administrative error, but he did, indeed, begin life as Edwin Albert Maidman.
His father, William Maidman, was born in Hoxton, Middlesex in 1826 and his mother Lavinia (née White) was born in Alverstoke, Hampshire in 1831. At the time of the 1851 census William was lodging with the Cooper family in Henry Street, Alverstoke and working as a carpenter. Lavinia was a servant in the house of Mr Hamlyn Thompson in High Street, Alverstoke. We do not know how the couple met but they were married in the parish church in Alverstoke on the 21st of April, 1851. When their first child, Lucy, was born in 1852, the family was living in Camberwell.
By the time of the 1861 census Lavinia had given birth to four more children, Lavinia Elizabeth, born in 1855, Jane (1856), James (1857) and Charlotte (1859). The family was living at 2, Winchester Place in Camberwell and William was still working as a carpenter.
Edwin was born in the third quarter of 1867 in Peckham, Camberwell and was baptised in the parish church of St Giles, Camberwell, on the 22nd of September 1867.
In the 1871 census William and Lavinia are living with Edwin and his brother James at 97, Sumner Street, Camberwell. The house belongs to the Eyres family and, although William is still described as a carpenter, he is listed in the census as “lodger”. The census also reveals that Lucy, now aged 19, Lavinia Elizabeth (16) and Jane (15) are working as domestic servants in houses in Camberwell and Peckham and twelve year-old Charlotte is living in Alverstoke with Lavinia’s brother James White and her widowed sister Mary Ann Cooper.
Sadly, Edwin’s father William died in the first quarter of 1875 followed by his mother Lavinia, aged just 45, in the fourth quarter of 1876. One can imagine the distress of the young Edwin on losing both of his parents in such a short period of time.
On 28th of April, 1880, Edwin, now aged 12, was admitted to the Gordon Road Workhouse in Camberwell, though his name in the register is given as “Maidman, Edwd”. We must assume this was an administrative error though the error was compounded on the 21st of May 1880 when Edwin was discharged to the Sutton School under the name “Maidment, Edward”. In official documents from now until the end of his life Edwin would be known variously as Edwin Maidman, Edward Maidman and Edward Maidment.
We do not know where Edwin lived after the death of his parents but it is likely that he was staying with his brother, James: in the admission records to the workhouse the name of Edwin’s nearest known relative is given as “J. Maidman, 56 Marlborough Road, Peckham” and Edwin’s residence before admission is “same address”.
James had married Mary Ann Jarvis in 1876 and their daughter Florence was born the following year. We do not know why Edwin was admitted to the workhouse but perhaps caring for his young brother was proving too difficult for James and his wife – especially if Edwin was already experiencing the mental health problems that would dominate his later life.
Built in 1851-3, the Sutton School was an industrial school set up to serve the South Metropolitan School District. According to the “Illustrated London News” of the time, such schools were “for the maintenance, education and industrial training of the pauper children… in a mode whereby it is deemed that much moral, physical, and economical advantage will be obtained by bringing the children together in an out-of-town locality, and under a special discipline, instead of rearing them within the confined walls of an ordinary workhouse, where the means of suitable education are limited and imperfect, and where also the demoralising influences and associations are very great”.
We do not know when Edwin left the Sutton School or the effect, beneficial or otherwise, the time he spent there had upon him.
We next meet Edwin, described as a labourer, on the 20th of August 1895 when he was admitted to Newington Workhouse in Westmoreland Road, Southwark under the name of Edward Maidman. He was discharged from the workhouse on the 2nd of September 1895 at his own request. The following year, on the 15th of January, 1896 and once again under the name of Edward Maidman, he was readmitted to the Newington Workhouse but was discharged on the 23rd of January, again at his own request.
Later that year, on the 7th of December 1896, still as Edward Maidman, he was admitted to the Cleveland Street Asylum in Holborn but was discharged ten days later.
In the 1901 census Edwin (listed as Edward Maidman), now aged 34 and described as a general labourer, is a prisoner in Pentonville Jail in the Caledonian Road, Islington. We do not know when he was admitted to prison or when he was released. However, on the 2nd of August 1902, Edwin (under the name Edward Maidment), was found guilty of begging and sentenced at Marlborough Street Police Court to six months hard labour at Wormwood Scrubs, beginning on the 12th August 1902.
According to the Calendar of Prisoners, Edwin, described as an “incorrigible rogue” already had six convictions for begging and it was for this crime that he was imprisoned in Pentonville.
After his release from Wormwood Scrubs, it would appear that Edwin’s mental state deteriorated as, under the name of Edward Maidment, he was admitted to Claybury Hospital, the Pauper Lunatic Asylum in Woodford Bridge, on the 21st of February 1903. He was to remain there until the 8th of August 1906 when he was transferred to the Buckinghamshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum in Stone.
On the 17th of April 1909 he was transferred to Long Grove where he died on the 19th of August 1918, aged just 50, having spent the last eighteen years of his life in prisons and mental institutions.
It is not known if Edwin ever had any contact with his siblings after his first admission to the workhouse in 1880.
Edward/Edwin is buried in grave 484b in Horton Cemetery.