ESSEX-UK-L Archives

Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2005-11 > 1131410916-02

From: "La Greenall" <>
Subject: RE: [Ess] Re: D'Arcy Spice and other old English fruits
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2005 00:48:36 -0000
In-Reply-To: <007301c5e3d4$722a16a0$0302a8c0@Vaio>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Colleen [mailto:]
> Hello Michael...
> ...Perhaps your
> wife's ancestor first migrated to 'the smoke', then relocated
> with her employer...
> ...I wonder if this man, Thomas Hammond, who
> eventally became a well known local photographer, first
> migrated to London
> from Cheshire. It would make far more sense than him
> migrating directly to
> Totham...
> Colleen

I like this idea Colleen. Here's a story along similar lines:

My 4xgrt-grandad William Patterson Greenall (1852-97) was born in
Burnley (the grandson of a Congregational minister) and grew up in
Salford, but before he'd reached 21 he moved to Bow, London to seek his
fortune as a racecourse bookie and had evidently found a wife to begin
his family with. She came from near Newbury in Berks, though I have no
idea how or when they met. As a stab in the dark, I wonder if it could
have been at Newbury races? Anyway, ten years later they were living in
a well-to do main-road villa in the posh London suburb of Cheshunt Herts
(some think it still is), and ten years later again, in 1891, the family
had moved into Temple House, the grandest of several secondary
residences on the Theobalds Park estate near Cheshunt. Though still
calling himself "Commission Agent" he was now Lady Meux's racehorse

He also appears to have taken in fee-paying students who learnt his
bookie's secrets; these students then seemed to do very well for
themselves in this line, including one George Tuck, who at that time
worked in the Gunpowder Factory at Waltham Abbey, taking bets off his
workmates on the side. The story goes that George was caught and told to
pack it in or lose his job - at which he promptly told them where they
could put their job and set himself up as a full-time bookie! He must
have done very well, for in 1918 he and his brother Arthur bought
Upshire Hall at auction, along with two farms totalling about 400 acres.

Tragically, Wm. P. Greenall died prematurely in 1897, possibly from
typhoid caught at a racing event. He was only in his mid-40s. Lady Meux
allowed his widow and their eleven surviving children to stay on at
Temple House for a further five years, but the inevitable finally came
and they had to move out. Where would they go? It was George and Arthur
to the rescue, I believe out of gratitude or recognition for the
training they had received from the family's late father. They rented
out a large farmhouse in Upshire to Mrs. Greenall at a nominal rent
which the present Mrs. Tuck of Upshire Hall says was never paid or asked
for anyway; and that is how my Greenalls set foot in Essex.

Maybe my story isn't very Essex-based but it does support your theory
Colleen. Apologies to the rest of the list for boring you silly, but at
least I haven't mentioned NBI - oh darn it, I have now!

P.S. George and Arthur married two of the Greenall sisters, whilst some
of the other Greenall siblings married into local farming society,
including the Pryors through which I can claim a Waltham Abbey ancestry
back to c.1675 so far. The Tucks became farming pillars of local
society, serving as local councillors and even Mayor of Waltham Abbey
for a while. Their descendants have done so ever since, right down to
today's Councillor Liz Webster, who is a Tuck by birth, and whose
partner is Don Spinks. If you don't know these names then you ain't*
missed much.

P.P.S. Family tradition has it that there were more than just business
interests between Wm. P. G. and Lady Meux. I doubt that I'll ever be
able to substantiate this, except by reputation and circumstance. First
the reputation. Lady Meux had landed her extremely young, wealthy and
eligible catch after he'd met her working behind the bar of one of his
London pubs. Once he'd married her it wasn't long before he popped his
clogs. It is popularly accepted that whilst her job-description was
probably accurate it was at the same time a euphemism for another type
of occupation as well - like much of Victorian society, it seems that
all she wanted was a hedonistic good time. Now for the circumstantial
evidence. After Mrs. Greenall moved out of Temple House, Lady Meux moved
Sir Hedworth Lambton in, who is well-known to have been her last
favourite lover; in her will proved in 1919 she left Theobalds and
practically all her estate to him on condition he change his name to
Meux, which he did. Her biographer Virginia Surtees claims that Lady
Meux installed whichever man was currently at the head of her dinner
party list into Temple House, and this as I have said is the house where
Wm. P. G. had formerly lived. I even wonder if he was training her
racehorses (another euphemism?) as early as 1881 when he still lived on
the main road in Cheshunt - maybe he moved to the neighbourhood to be
close at hand, and maybe Temple House was preoccupied with someone else
at that time.

P.P.P.S. Mrs. Greenall was always meticulously careful to cover up her
identity. Though she gave her correct age and birthplace (I believe) in
the censuses, she always used the name Edith, which I am certain was
false. For years I could never find anyone of that name born in that
place around that time who hadn't married someone else or died off, who
could have been her. But luckily for me there was one clue - in the 1881
census a visitor on census night described herself as 'wife's sister',
so I decided to track her down instead as she wasn't married and
presumably bore her sister's maiden surname. This led me to eventually
accept that Edith must in fact have been Adah Jane Chamberlain, who was
born in 1851 at Hampstead Norreys near Newbury, one of several children
to a humble sawyer. My only thoughts are that she was not proud of her
background or indeed of her 'plain Jane' name, and with her rise in
status decided to raise their status a bit too. So why, you ask, didn't
I just order their marriage certificate and settle this once and for
all? Simple - I can find no record in the GRO indexes of any such
marriage at all! A man from Burnley sets up home in London with a woman
from Newbury without getting married? There must surely be something
fishily Victorian going on here!

Lawrence Greenall.

My spellchecker wanted to change * to isn't - how rude! It's third
choice, "am not", seems a lot more 'ceptable.

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