Harriet Ann was the youngest child of Thomas and Harriet Brimacombe, née Ball. It would seem she was known as Annie so that is how she is referred to here. Her parents had married in 1849 and had had six other children before Annie was born in early 1869 in Falmouth, Cornwall. Sadly, Annie’s 13-year-old sister Bessie died the year after.
The family was living in 15 Berkeley Place, Falmouth in 1871 where Annie’s 47-year-old father worked as a “master painter employing 1 man, 1 boy”. The census records that Annie’s mother was aged 44 and her siblings as Thomas aged 21, Martha aged 11, Ellen [Caroline] aged 7, and William aged 4. Annie’s other sister Eliza Jane, who had been deaf from childhood, was working away from home for the Chapman family.
Annie was aged 12 when the 1881 census was taken and, along with her brother William, was recorded as being a scholar. The census records her father’s occupation this time as being a decorator. Her older siblings were also working – Thomas as a painter, Eliza as a domestic, Martha as a silk milliner, and Ellen [Caroline] as a dressmaker. The family address this time was noted as Berkley Vale, Falmouth.
Annie’s mother was aged 56 when she died on 30 July 1883. Soon after their mother’s death, Annie’s sister Martha married William Olivey Nankivell. Her sister Caroline Ellen later married James Robson in 1889.
The 1890s – a wife and mother
Along with her father, brother Thomas and sister Eliza, Annie was recorded in 1891 as living at 8 Berkley Vale, Falmouth. Later that year Annie, aged 22, married 30-year-old John Charles Llewhelin (sic) Noye who, like her father, worked as a house painter and decorator in the Falmouth area.
Annie and John’s son Thomas John was born in 1893 and baptised on 2 August 1893 in Roath, Glamorganshire, Wales. The baptismal register records that they were living at 6 Clive Road and John was a painter. Shortly afterwards their young son died, and his parents moved to Hackney, London, where in 1894 their daughter Mary Winifred was born. Her birth was followed on 23 March 1896 by the birth of Gertrude Annie and Frederick John on 7 December 1899.
A decline in Annie’s mental health
Whether or not it was after her last son’s birth that Annie’s mental health started to decline is unknown but on 19 June 1900, recorded as “Harrt. A. Noyes”, Annie was admitted to the Ipswich Borough Lunatic Asylum in Suffolk.
The Ipswich Asylum’s patients were recorded just with their initials when the 1901 census was taken. However, there does not seem to be a record for a female aged 32 with the initials HAN.
Annie’s family after her admission to the asylum
Annie’s husband John was recorded on the 1901 census as living in two rooms at 66 Sandbrook Road, Stoke Newington, with their three children along with his mother Mary, who was staying with the family, presumably to look after the children. Also living at the same address was Sarah Green and her two daughters, Minnie Arline Green and Laura Emily Green. Minnie would later go on to marry John. Later that year, in the September quarter, Annie and John’s eldest daughter Mary Winifred died. She was 8 years old.
Annie is admitted to Horton
On 20 March 1902 Annie was released from Ipswich Asylum into the care of Horton Asylum in Epsom, Surrey. Twenty-four days later, on 13 April, her two remaining children were baptised in St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington. Two months later, on 6 June, 33-year-old Annie died and was buried on 12 June in grave 19 in the Horton Estate Cemetery.
Five years after her death, in 1907, her widowed husband John married Minnie Arline Green in Christchurch, Hampshire.