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WILSON, Eleanor Lydia Kate

b.1865 – d.1914

Eleanor Emily Lydia Kate Maule was born on the 11th October 1865 at Westminster, London. She was the daughter of William and Susan Maule. Eleanor was baptised at St Mary’s, Tothill Fields on the 5th November 1865. (Tothill Field area was eventually purchased by the Roman Catholic Church in 1884 and work was commenced to build Westminster Catholic Cathedral in 1895 with regular services being held by 1903).

William Maule had been born 15th April 1833 and was baptised at St George, Hanover Square, Westminster on the 12th May 1833. His parents were George and Mary Maule.

Susan Wilson, William’s wife, was born about 1835.

William Maule and Susan Wilson were married in the last quarter of 1854 at Lambeth. They had a total of 12 children between 1855 and 1876 with 5 sadly dying without reaching the age of 3 years old. In census records, William was variously described as a Labourer or horse keeper. Susan Maule has no occupation shown until after William had died, aged 47, in 1881. Thereafter, in 1891 and 1901 she is shown as a mangler. She says she mangles (washes) linen, is not employed or an employer and is at home. Susan died in 1906 age 70.

In the 1871 census Eleanor is living with her parents and 4 siblings at 14 Chaplin Street in the parish of St John, Westminster. She is aged 5.

From this point on until 1908, Eleanor’s whereabouts are a mystery. Researching under the surname of Maule or Wilson produces no result. She does not appear in any census records held by internet genealogy sites, Ancestry, Findmypast, or in FamilySearch. There is no reference to her being married or becoming a mother in either the General Register Office or in the FreeBMD web site. Neither is there any record of her in emigration listings.

However, a listing in under “London Workhouse admissions 1764-1930” shows Eleanor at City Road, Holborn Workhouse, with admission on the 21st May 1908. She is shown under the name Eleanor Lydia Kate Wilson. Her birth is shown as 1865. Her “calling” is listed as “housekeeper”. She is discharged from the Workhouse on the 9th September 1908 to Manor Asylum, Epsom.

In the 1911 census in the listing of patients at Manor Hospital, where patient’s initials are given but not names, there is an entry for EKLW. This female patient is shown as being 46, married, with no personal occupation, and her birthplace is stated as “unknown”. Her infirmity on the form is shown as “Lunatic” as is the case of most if not all the patients. This must be Eleanor.

It appears likely that Eleanor was a patient from 9th September 1908 at Manor Asylum until she died. Eleanor Lydia Kate Wilson is listed in the Horton Estate Burial records as being buried on the 17th December 1914.

Her Death Index reference is “Epsom 4th Quarter 1914 volume 2a, page 79”. Her name is shown as Eleanor Emily Lydia Kate Wilson therein.

There are several unanswered questions concerning Eleanor. Where was she between 1871 and 1908? Why is her surname changed to Wilson? If she married a man named Wilson why has it proved impossible to find such a record? The 1911 census record does indicate she was married but who completed that document and what was the source of that information? Did she in fact get married at all? Her mother’s maiden name was Wilson. Was there some confusion? Did she in fact elect to use that for her surname, perhaps after her father died in 1881 when Eleanor was 16?

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