Friday, March 9, 2012

Sarah CHAPMAN my 2x great aunt

Writing about Crow Hall yesterday and mentioning Sarah CHAPMAN who was working there in 1871 as a housemaid, has prompted me to do a post about her. I had never heard of Sarah before I embarked on my family history, and she has turned out to be such an interesting figure!

photo courtesy of cousin Sally
So. What else do I know about her? She was born in 1853, the first born child to my 2x greats William and Ellen CHAPMAN nee BONUS, in Wimbotsham. She lost her mother at the age of 10 in 1863, and thenceforward, seems to have taken over the maternal role in the family. She stayed within the Stow Bardolph area until her father was settled into his second marriage with Susannah
But, by 1881, she had taken the train to London, and was working as a cook in a private house in Kensington. From 1891 onwards, she was a confectioner and owner of CHAPMAN's sweet shop at 118 Malden Rd, St. Pancras, London. I wonder if St. Pancras was chosen as a base for the family as it was where the London to King's Lynn trains departed from, so it would have been a straightforward journey for visits from Stow to London and vice versa. She may also have been the inspiration for her niece (my nanna) Emma's leaving for London in her late teens.

photo courtesy of cousin Sally
In 1901 Sarah had her niece Nell CHAPMAN working as her assistant and Kate WRIGHT, her sister Mary Ann's daughter was with them. By 1911 Kate WRIGHT was her assistant, and her widowed sister Emma WOODROW was living there. (The photo above shows Kate outside the shop).

I have found several entries for her at 118, Malden Rd, in the London Electoral Registers. 1908-1915, sole owner/occupier. In 1918,1919,1920, 1921 and 1922 (Lydia and Richard TUXFORD also resident with her-sister Emma WOODROW at number 120) and in 1925 (Lydia still resident with her-sister Emma still next door. I went to Google Maps to see if the premises still existed. This what I found. You can see it's the same building. 

By the end of 1925 Sarah was dead. She died at some point in those last three months of the year and was aged 72. She is buried in St Pancras.


SheilaMatilda said...

Sadly no longer a chocolate shop! ;-)

Eric said...

A woman who runs a chocolate shop can't be all bad! ;*) She probably was fairly successful, if located anywhere near the St. Pancras Station. Perhaps being the older child in the family and without a mother around made her somewhat more independent, too. She had to help the family and she had to succeed. Thank goodness for papa remarrying, for it gave her wings to fly!

fengirl said...

Chocolate shops and pubs figure quite a lot in my blogs!!