Sepia Saturday has commented on how many of our family snapshots are taken in the doorway of the home and asked us to take that as our starting point for Sepia Saturday 203
My first post for Sepia Saturday spoke of Tom Tansey leaving Snitterfield near Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire and coming to Australia. This is his mother Mary Matilda Tansey photographed with an unidentified girl in the doorway of the home where Tom grew up. The house was in The Green, Snitterfield which is near Stratford on Avon in Warwickshiure. If the girl is Matilda’s youngest daughter Ellen Matilda then this places the photo c1900
I never met my great grandmother Matilda but our lives overlapped for a while so I feel as though I can reach out and touch her, and through her touch her grandfather William Hutchins who was born in 1782. Matilda was the youngest of five children and as her father was a lot older than her mother Matilda was less than three years old when her father died in 1853 Her mother was left with five children aged twelve and under to look after.
Next door lived Matilda’s grandfather, William Hutchins, a widower.
You might have expected a father to give his widowed daughter a helping hand. but a complaint was made against William Hutchins for not maintaining his daughter Mary Checketts and in 1854 the Overseer of the Poor at Stratford Union ordered him to pay 5 shillings a week in order to maintain his widowed daughter and her children.
BUT, he didn’t do as he was told to and on 21 July 1854 it was ordered that goods of his should be taken to cover the debt and the expenses.
BUT no goods to sell to cover his debt could be found at his house and he was committed to the Common Gaol at Warwick for three months. It cost four shillings and six pence to transport him there.
By 1861 William, his daughter Mary Checketts and four of her five children were all living together in a house in The Green, Snitterfield, one hopes happily ! He is even listed as a retired brickmaker and the Head of the Household in the 1861 Census. So through my great grandmother Matilda who was later to marry Thomas Tansey Snr. I feel I know her naughty grandfather.
It does raise a few questions.
1. At the time he was a brickmaker. Was he just “crying poor” so that his daughter could get extra money ?
2. No goods worth selling in his house ? Sounds to me as if they weren’t allowed to seize tables and chairs, beds etc
3. If he genuinely couldn’t pay then why put him in gaol ?
But then again it might just have been discord between the two families when you look at this entry from the National Archives
[no title] ER10/3/1101 27 April 1852 Contents:
Poor William ! He survived until just after the 1861 Census. I hope his daughter and her family were nice to him.
See more doorways with the links on Sepia Saturday 203