5 The Elsom Children

Before dealing with the members of this family individually, it will be advisable to make a few remarks of the family generally - especially with regard to their education. The whole of the twelve, excepting No. 12, attended either the boys' or the girls' department of the British School in Pinchbeck Street, but five of the eight girls attended one or other private school in the town, as a finish, where they were taught the piano etc. Generally speaking, the elder children had least, and the younger most of the school tuition. This, however, was as might have been expected.

Eliza Elsom

As we have seen, Eliza, the first child, was born in the old toll bar house on August 9, 1848. Her career was a very brief one. After a very few years of happy childhood at home and school she passed away before completing her eighth year on July 22, 1856. Her mother believed that her death was hastened by having been allowed to walk home from Surfleet during a downpour of rain.

Mary Ann Elsom

Born May 20 1850. She was a very precocious child. After attending the British School, and Miss Lavender's, Albion Street, she was apprenticed with the late Mr. Pennington, Hall Place, Spalding, to the millinery business, under Miss Freeman, who became the second wife of Mr. G.F. Barrell. Having served her apprenticeship, she secured a situation as "second hand" in the millinery department of a drapery establishment at Market Harborough in Leicestershire, but also served in the shop. Later, she obtained an appointment in the house of Peter Robinson, Oxford Street, London. There, however, her health failed her, and, after spending some time with friends at Tottenham, she returned home to die. She was for some months under the able and sympathetic care of Dr. T. Cammock of Pinchbeck St., who paid every attention; but she passed away fully two months before attaining her majority on March 17, 1871.

Isaac Elsom

The writer of these "Jottings". Born June 13, 1852. Before he had completed his third year, a brother and sister had been added to the family. Attended the British School from his fifth or sixth year to the commencement of his twelfth year. At the latter end of August, 1863, the school "broke up" for harvest holidays as usual, but Isaac did not return. From that time until the latter end of August, 1872, he was fully employed in the ropemaking business with his father, but after nine years of such occupation, an entire change took place. This change had its history.

From infancy he had been a scholar in the "Wesleyan Reform", afterwards the "Free Methodist" Sunday School. At thirteen years of age he became a teacher of a junior class of boys. At fifteen he began to give addresses in the school, first in the junior department, and later in the senior. At eighteen, he commenced to preach, and before he had completed his twentieth year he had become a fully accredited local preacher, and a candidate for the Connexional Ministry. Provisionally accepted by the Annual Assembly of the "United Methodist and Free Churches" of 1872, which was held that year in Bristol, he subsequently preached a trial sermon and underwent theological examination at Sheffield, and finally left home for his new vocation on August 31.

After serving what is known as his "provisional year" at Gainsboro' in the Brigg circuit and his four years of "probation" in London, he was received into "full connexion" at the Annual Assembly of 1877, held at Louth, under the Presidency of Rev. Anthony Holiday.

On August 23, 1877, Mr Elsom was united in marriage to Miss Eveline Smithies of Battersea Park, and Brixton, London. Their first home was at Cardiff; they lived subsequently at Newhall (Burton on Trent), Bristol, Eckington, Holt (Norfolk), Bacup, Shrewsbury, Hexham, Wisbech, Eckington (Derbyshire), Salford and Market Rasen. In 1908 they returned to London, residing first at Mitcham and afterwards at East Ham; and retired to Spalding in August, 1914, where they still reside at "Stoneleigh", 16 Pinchbeck Road.

There are four children:

Isaac Charles born at Cardiff, Oct 1878. He resides at hull and has charge of the importing department of Messrs Smart and Elsom, Timber Importers & Merchants, of Derby & hull. On August 31, 1911, he married Miss Claire Hollingworth, of Hull; but there are no children. Their address is 25, Desmond Avenue, Beverley High Road, Hull.

Eveline Smithies born at Newhall, Burton on Trent, Sep. 8, 1880 and Grace Hilda, born at Holt, Norfolk, Aug 20, 1886, have been for a goodly number of years clerks at wholesale business houses in Manchester. They lodge together in Broughton, which is included in the Borough of Salford; and work together in the same Church and Sunday School in St. Stephen Street and Mount Street, Salford. Their private address is 180, Gt. Clowes Street, Broughton, Manchester. They are unmarried.

William Graham born at Bacup, Feb. 11, 1892, joined the staff of the London City and Midland Bank, 5, Threadneedle Street, London, April 26, 1909. In October 1914, he "joined up" with the Royal Horse Guards, with whom he fully trained for service: but was afterwards transferred to a branch of the Royal Engineers, and went to France about April, 1916; where he remained (except when on furlough) until some months after the signing of the Armistice: when he returned to the bill office at the Bank. He married in October 1918, Miss Iris Bramall, of S. Hampstead, and there is one child, a girl. Their address is 42, Hazelbank Road, Hither Green, Catford, London, S.E.

John Elsom

Born Nov. 18, 1853. Not being particularly fond of school and not liking work in the ropewalk, but preferring agricultural employment, he left home quite early to learn the principles and practice of farming, first at Hazlewood Farm, Palmers Green, and next at New Park Farm, Herts, both farms being occupied by Mr. W. Derham of Tottenham. After obtaining useful experience ha had two or three short appointments as farm bailiff in Hunts and Berks.; and then for a year or two occupied at first one, and then a second hay farm in the parish of Northaw, Herts., where he brought up a large family. But being deprived of his farm, and health failing him, he died at Enfield, Middlesex, of consumption of the bowels, in his 45th year, on May 16, 1898.

John Elsom married Miss Sarah Peacock, of Hanyard's Farm, Northaw - one of the two farms they afterwards occupied. They had a large family. The first was a daughter, Pollie; the others are sons, of whom four or five served in the Great War. Pollie married a Mr. Barnes, a man of feeble health with whom she is living at Dunmow, in Essex. They have marriageable children, one of whom is living at Derby. Most of Pollie's brothers are now married, but scattered; one at Nottingham, one at Northaw; two or three at Tottenham etc. Their mother is still living and spends her time among her children, chiefly with her eldest son, Samuel.

Ellen Elsom

Born 6th June, 1855. After having two or three unhappy situations as governess, fell on her feet with the family of a farmer named Knight at Walcot, between Bourne and Sleaford. With this family she maintains most happy relationships to this day. She married on September 21, 1881, Major Shadford, nephew of Mr. Major Shadford, Chemist and Druggist of Spalding and went to live at Milton Street, Nottingham. The business not prospering, they took a similar business at Derby; where Mr. Major afterwards obtained the appointment of Dispenser to the Derby Poor Law Guardians; a post he occupied with general satisfaction. He died May 23, 1918, aged 62 3/4 years. The present address of Mrs Shadford is 24, Sale Street, Derby.

Jane Elsom

Born August 21, 1857. After the usual schooling and serving a year or two in the shop of Mr. Tharratt, draper, of Hall Place, Spalding, she obtained a similar, but better, situation at Worthing, the popular and "sunny" seaside, health and pleasure resort in Sussex; where she remained several years. On November 23, 1882, she became the wife of Mr. John Richard Hewitt, Chemist and Druggist, of 493, Seven Sisters Road, S. Tottenham (formerly of Spalding). At the time of her marriage (age 25) she was a very beautiful woman; and was as beautiful in character as in person. She was, however, a great sufferer for a number of years, and died March 19, 1913, aged 55 years and 7 months.

Mr. & Mrs. Hewitt had four children. Ethel Mary, the eldest, born Nov. 5th, 1883, became a school teacher. About 1910, she married Mr. Harry Allen, who was in the employ of a shipping agency, and lived for a time at Palmer's Green, London, N., but have been living for some years in Manchester. They have four or five children. Herbert, the eldest son, after his school days, assisted his father in the business, and now succeeds him. He has recently married. Frank, his second son, learned the business of Timber Merchant with his uncle at Derby; and later undertook the management of a business in Bedfordshire; but at the call of his country, he joined the army and fell during the great struggle in France! Kathleen, born Sept 25, 1901, is a teacher in a high class girl's school.

Eliza Elsom

Born Feb. 9th, 1859. She was named after her mother and her deceased sister; but has scarcely ever been so called, Lillie being the name by which she has been known. After receiving a liberal education she had happy positions as a governess at Saffron Waldon and Bristol.

In 1880 she became the wife of Mr. Alfred William Barker of Cambridge and went to reside with him at Dalston, London, N.E. where he had bought the business of a chemist and druggist. At later dates we find them in similar circumstances at Fulham, S.W., and Wrexham: but they have now, for some years, been established at the important town of Watford, in Hertfordshire.

Mr. & Mrs. Barker have been specially happy in their home and family life. There are four children of the marriage - all of them happily married themselves and having children. Jessie, the only daughter and eldest child, is married to a Mr. Brodhead, who is in the Civil Service and residing at New Haven in Sussex. Donald, the eldest son, is partner with his father in the business. Malcolm and Eric are both members of the medical profession and doing well. Mr. & Mrs. Barker's private address is Craig Avon, Cassiobury Park Avenue, Watford, Herts.

George Elsom

Born March 18, 1860. He was a beautiful and healthy looking babe, but, when three or four years of age, he contracted dropsy, which nearly carried him off. Though he recovered from this attack, he was never strong. Brought up to the ropemaking, he succeeded to his father's business on Jan. 1, 1866, but he died on April 9, 1901, aged 41 years. (See Elsoms of Spalding.)

William West Elsom

Born April 28, 1862. After attending the British School as a scholar, he remained for a short time as pupil teacher: but eventually he was apprenticed to the business of a timber merchant with the late Mr. William Capps, of High Street, Spalding, who traded under the style of "Maples and Capps". Mr. Capps dying before the term of the apprenticeship had been completed, William remained for a short with the new proprietor of the business, but, at the age of twenty, he removed to Nottingham, where he was, for some months, in the employ of a timber merchant there, with another Spalding youth, Mr Alfred Smart.

(End of Book 7. Book 8 continues)

In the Spring of 1883, these two young men seriously considered the question of commencing business together on their own account, and having secured a piece of land from the Great Northern Railway Company in Derby, adjoining Friar Gate Station, they obtained a supply of stock, and duly opened out on July 1,under the style of Smart and Elsom, Timber and Slate Merchants, their address being Great North Wharf, Stafford St., Derby. In 1899 the firm became importers as well as merchants, and obtained of the North Eastern Railway Company, a timber wharf at ..... Dock, Hull, where they have since done a large business, their offices being at 26, Charlotte Street, Hull. About 1920, the firm received from the Gt. Northern Railway Co., notice to quit the wharf at Derby; and new offices having been secured at 45, Friar Gate, Derby, the wharf was duly quitted and the business continued without one. The style of the firm is now Smart and Elsom, Timber Importers and Merchants, Derby & Hull.

In 1897, Mr. Elsom married miss Chestney of Derby and there has been a family of three sons and six daughters. The two elder sons,William and John are with their father in the business. William married in April, 1925, Miss ..... of Derby. Raymond, the third boy and youngest child is still at school. Margaret, the eldest child is qualifying for a medical career. The other daughters are in various situations or at school. Mr. Elsom is a Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Derby.

Harriet Elsom

Born March 1863. Generally known as Hattie. After the usual schooling she had several appointments as school teacher, in Spalding, .........., Littleborough etc., but being far from strong, she could not continue the work, and finally settled down with her father and mother, with whom she remained until their deaths in 1910 and 1911. In July, 1914, she removed to her own house, No. 14, Pinchbeck Street, where she still resides.

The Elsoms of Spalding Continued

It may be gathered from the foregoing pages that of the eight Elsoms of Spalding who attained their majority, seven removed from the town; and though Isaac and Harriet returned, it was not until the former was upwards of sixty years of age, and Harriet never married. On George, therefore, devolved the responsibility of continuing the Elsoms of Spalding.

We have seen that George, born, March 18, 1860, was brought up to the ropemaking business of his father, and eventually succeeded him on January 1, 1886. But before he succeeded to his father's business, he was in business on his own account. Agricultural depression being very acute in the late "seventies" and early "eighties", George was encouraged by his father to strike out for himself; and about 1880 or 1881, he commenced to deal in bags and sacks. Soon after, he bought the stock in trade of a Mr. Capps, (son of Mr. William Capps, timber merchant) who had been doing a small business as a seedsman, and, wearying of it, embarked for America. Thus, when he took over his father's business, he was already well-known as a "sack and seed merchant". To these occupations he soon added that of stack and waggon covers. Later, he bought some 13 acres of orchard and garden land, on both sides of the railway, near the Pinchbeck Road crossing, where he did business as a fruit farmer. Then he took for a short time, a small farm at Weston Hills; but eventually he gave that up and bought and farmed, a farm of some 90 acres at Cuckoo Bridge in Pinchbeck Common. In the meantime, he had built new buildings at the ropewalk; sold the house and shop at 31, New Road, and bought the larger and more important premises of 9, Market Place. He was successful in all his undertakings.

In 1886, he married Miss Christina Emerson of Little Steeping; and there were six children of the marriage - George, William, Harold, Albert, Dorothy, and Ivy. He had been married about 15 years, and had been most enterprising, struggling with ill-health more or less nearly all the time, when on April 9, 1901 - the 55th anniversary of his parents' wedding day - he died aged 41 years.

Thus Mrs. George Elsom was left a widow with five children, the eldest of whom was only fourteen years of age. (Ivy, the youngest of six, had died two weeks before her father, aged 2 years.) Very bravely did the widow take up her heavy burden; and right skilfully and untiringly and successfully did she win through! All four boys, both before and after they left school, co-operated with their mother in every department of the business - shop, ropewalk, gardens and farm etc. So that by the time the youngest boy had attained his majority, or soon after, the mother had retired in their favour. To George the elder, and Albert the younger, were given the rope, cover, sack and seed business, to William the second son, the garden and orchard, and to Harold, the third, the farm.

But the mother has not had a very happy retirement. During the Great War, Harold the farmer felt it his duty to leave his farm in the care of a neighbour and join the army in France. One day, during an engagement with the enemy, he was "missing"; and has never since been found. The farm was transferred to William, who was doing a good business as a fruit farmer and produce merchant. But in the course of a few years he succumbed to consumption of the bowels. The farm and garden were then entrusted to George and Albert. Lastly, the greatly beloved Dorothy fell a victim to pulmonary consumption. Mrs George Elsom has now to mourn the loss of her husband and four of her six children!

George Elsom, eldest child of the late George Elsom of Spalding was born, February 6, 1887. On February 3rd, 1915, he married Olive, daughter of, Mr. George Burges, farmer, of Hurdletree House, Holbeach Fen. There have been three children of the marriage, but the first, a boy, died in infancy. Mair, born Jan. 28, 1919 and Dorothy Jean, born .........., are still living.

Albert Elsom, Fourth son of the late George Elsom of Spalding, was born ........ On Jan 10, 1921, he married Miss Janet Furness, of Peterboro'. They have one little boy, Thomas, born November, 1921.

(End of Book 8. The work concluded)

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