b.1883 – d.1917
The parents of Edith Stideford, Nicholas and Elizabeth (nee Lovell), were both born in Devon and were married in Devon in the December Q of 1863. (Nicholas may have been married before in Devon, perhaps in the December Q of 1847.) In the 1881 Census they were living at 16 Dante Road, Lambeth (an area subsequently much damaged by bombing in WW2). The head of the family, Nicholas is described as a Blacksmith. Perhaps he learned his trade in Devon and then came to London with Elizabeth to find work with the tens of thousands of horses that worked in the capital. Their children living with them at the time were Elizabeth 16, Thomas 8, Beatrice 6, Arthur 3, Ethel 1 and Alice newly born. The house they were living in was shared between 4 families consisting of 10 adults and 12 children at the time of the Census.
Nicholas is listed on at least two census documents (1881 and 1891) as being a Blacksmith and in the 1891 Census the “Employed” column has a cross next to his name indicating that he is an employee rather than an employer.
The census forms do not indicate that Elizabeth, his wife was in employment. She would be busy caring for the children and house-keeping.
Edith Annie Stideford was born in 1883 and her birth was registered in the June Q in the district of Saint Saviour, Southwark, London. Her parents, Nicholas and Elizabeth were 59 and 39 respectively at this time. Edith was the youngest of her parent’s seven children.
On the 11th of July 1883 Edith was baptised at Saint Pauls church, Lorrimore Square, Walworth, London. (This version of the church was mostly destroyed during the London Blitz in 1940. A new church has been built to replace it. Source = Wikipedia.) This is where her full name is first mentioned as Edith Annie Stiddeford. Her father, Nicholas and mother, Elizabeth are both present and the family is now listed as living at 15 Danson Road, Walworth, London. Nicholas is listed as being a Smith by trade, this ties in with the Census forms.
In the next census of 1891 Edith is 8 years old. She is living with her parents, her brother Arthur 13, sisters Ethel 11, Alice 10 and her youngest sister Florence, 2 years old. (I cannot find any record of Florence’s birth. Was she a child of Nicholas and Elizabeth who would have been about 69 and 49 at the time of her birth? ) They now live at 46 Kempshead Road, Camberwell, London. The older children Elizabeth, Thomas and Beatrice who would have been 26, 18 and 16 respectively were probably living and working elsewhere, the girls may well have been married themselves at this stage.
Not much is known about Edith Annie from 1891 until 1900 when I found the death of her mother, Elizabeth aged 55. Elizabeth’s death was registered in the June Quarter of 1900 in the Wandsworth registration district. The family was still living in Camberwell London.
In the census of 1901 Edith still lives with her old dad who is now listed as 76 years of age, a Widower and a Pensioner. They are living at 32 Longcroft Road, Camberwell. (This area was badly bombed during WW2. Today – 2021 – only the eastern end of the road survives, it is now called Loncroft Road and runs into the newly developed Burgess Park.) Edith’s older sister Alice, age 20, is also living there and she is described as a “Button Holer, Collars” and Edith is described as a “Mangler”, typically using a mechanical mangle roller to dry washing for people for payment.
They are the only children still living with Nicholas, what became of little Florence who would be 12 years of age by now?
When Edith Annie is 23 years old in 1906 she loses the one person who has always been there for her, her father Nicholas dies aged 81, a very good age for that time. His death was registered in the June Quarter in 1906 in Camberwell registration district.
On the 3rd of August 1907 Edith Annie is admitted into Constance Road Workhouse, Camberwell. She was admitted into the infirmary, was this because she was unwell or unable to care for herself now that both her parents have died? There is no diagnosis from the workhouse admissions book. Edith was on her own when admitted to the workhouse, there is no mention of her sister Alice or any other family member.
I found at least three occasions where Edith was admitted or discharged into or out of the Constance Road workhouse in Camberwell. All of these after the death of her father and mother. Is this because she relied on her parents to care for her when they were alive? Perhaps if her sister Alice had to support Edith she would not have been able to work and perhaps this would have meant that they would both go into the Workhouse. Did Edith have no ability to look after herself? I don’t really know.
In the Census sheets 0f 1891 and 1901 the rightmost column asks about disabilities. I did not find any reference of this sort for Edith. But on this last admission into the Workhouse on January 17th 1910 Edith is once again put in the infirmary for observation. She must have stayed there for ten days because when she is discharged on the 26th of January 1910 it is to Long Grove Asylum in Epsom, Surrey.
After Edith’s admission into Long Grove asylum all I can find out about Edith is from the not very appropriately named UK Lunacy Patients Admissions Register.
There is not much information in this book apart from her admission date 26th of January 1910, the name of the asylum and her discharge date, which in the case of Edith is the date she died.
Edith died aged 34 and was buried in Horton Cemetery, Epsom Surrey in Grave number 1162b on 20th April 1917. Horton Cemetery was created to take the bodies of people who died in any of the Epsom Cluster of Hospitals. RIP.