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PYM, Edward

b.1857-d.1909

Edward’s father James had 11 children before Edward was born

Before Edward was born his father, James Pym, had married his first wife Mary Gibson in 1822. They went on to have 11 children. Mary died in 1845.

James, aged 45, married Eliza, née Heath, aged 28 in June 1846, a notable age difference of seventeen years. James and Eliza had 6 children all together.

To say that the Pym family was quite large, is an understatement, James had 17 children in total.

Edward’s early life on the banks of the Thames – 1850 to 1860s

Edward was born in 1857 in the historic village of Cookham, Berkshire.

We find in the 1861 Census that the family is still living in Cookham. James is a marine store dealer and Eliza is a shoe binder.

Cookham is a village on the banks of the Thames, so it is not surprising that James Pym is working in the boat industry.

Edward’s elder sister Rose, aged 11 is listed as a nurse (Dom Serv; nurse is underlined). Elizabeth is aged 9, George 7, Edward 3 and Amos 1. Sadly, a son, Charles, was born and had died early in 1856.

Three of Edward’s five siblings were dead by the time he was 8 years old

Susan, the sixth child was born in 1862. There was more sadness for the family when Amos died early in 1865 and Susan died towards the end of 1865. So, of the six children born in this marriage, three had died young.

Edward disappears from the family for a number of years

In the 1871 Census Edward’s family is living in Back Lane. James, his father, is 69 and still working in the Marine store. His mother is 54 and still a shoe binder. Elizabeth, 19, is a machinist, George, 16, is a gardener. They have a boarder, Frederick Gowens, aged 24, who is a baker and Benjamin Ing, also aged 24 who works as a Labourer for Thames Conservancy. I have not been able to find Edward in the 1871 census when he would have been 13.

Edward reappears in 1881- his life is changing

In 1881 Edward, now 23, is working as a coachman for Richard Hussy living at 29 Brunswick Terrace, Hove, Steyning, Sussex.
One might wonder where Edward found his skill and love of horses to lead him to being a coachman.

In 1881, Sarah Hember, Edward’s wife to be, is living with her family in Penge.

Edward marries and starts a family with his wife Sarah – 1880s to 1890s

Five years later, Edward marries Sarah Annie Hember in June 1886 in Croydon. Edward and Sarah’s son Thomas is born in 1888, and Edward jnr. is born 2 years later in 1890.

In 1891, Edward’s family is living at 153 Auckland Road, the stables in Croydon. Edward is still working as a coachman groom. (A recent photograph shows this to be quite an imposing gated property today.) The owner was George Normand, described as living on his own means. There are a number of servants listed working for Mr Normand in the census.

Annie Eliza was born in 1894 and registered in St George’s Square.

1901- Edward has disappeared again

The 1901 Census finds Sarah living on her own with her three children at 129 Brighton Terrace, Lambeth. Sarah is working as a shirt needleworker. The census notes that Sarah’s status is married but Edward was not listed with her. I can’t find Edward in the 1901 census.

Edward is admitted to Long Grove Hospital

No more is heard of Edward until he is admitted to Long Grove Hospital in Epsom on 16th September 1907. Edward died 17 months later on the 18th February 1909 aged 52 and was buried on the 22nd February in grave 1275A.

Author’s thoughts

Why was Edward’s wife Sarah living with her children but without her husband in Brixton in 1901? Was Edward supporting his family or was Sarah having to do this alone? What happened between 1891 when the family was living together in Auckland Road, Croydon and 1901 when Sarah was on her own with the children in Brixton?

One wonders what event or events led Edward to be admitted to a mental institution.


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