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WEEKES, Esther

b.1853-d.1918

Esther was born in the September Quarter of 1853 in the Bethnal Green registration district to William Granger (Grainger) (1822-1865) and his wife Esther nee DARBY (1823-1890). They had married on 11th November 1844, at St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch.

William was the son of a William and both were weavers . Esther,a servant, was the daughter of James a dyer.

Unfortunately William fell foul of the law and was convicted in 1848 of stealing a silk handkerchief, for which he received a six month custodial sentence. Esther found herself on the 6th September that year before the Settlement Examination Panel.

I cannot trace the family on the 1851 census.

By the 1861 Census, William was recorded as a dock labourer. He died during the June Quarter of 1865 aged 44years.

William and Esther had six children, Esther being their third.

  • William James 1844
  • unnamed female 1850 – 1850 (GRO and FreeBMD)
  • Esther 1853 – 1918
  • James 1856
  • Sarah 1860
  • Alfred 1865 – 1865

Esther marries

Esther, the subject of our research, married James Weekes on April 2nd 1877, at St Mark’s Church, Clerkenwell, James is recorded as being a cabinet maker. He was born in 1852. No occupation is recorded for Esther.

They had ten children:-

  • James 1878
  • William Robert 1879
  • Esther 1881
  • Thomas 1882
  • Martha 1884
  • Charles 1885
  • Alfred 1887 – 1888
  • Albert 1889 – 1889
  • Sarah 1890 – 1890
  • Annie 1891 – 1907

On the census of both 1881 and 1891, Esther was with her family, but on the 1901 Census, she is absent. I found that she was an inmate at Cane Hill Asylum, Coulsdon in Surrey.

In 1911, James was with Thomas, Martha and Charles living in Clerkenwell. Esther was an inmate at the Epileptic Colony in Epsom.

According to her death certificate, Esther died aged 67 and had had epilepsy for 24 years, so no post mortem was performed.

I wonder what the trigger was for her epilepsy? The children would have been quite young and so it would have been very difficult for them to care for their mother. Both of her parents would have been dead at the time of onset so there appears to be no close family to care for Esther. Hospital care was probably the most appropriate.


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