Notes on Beckwith Family
Generation 9 onwards: The
John Beckwith (1837-1906) & Annie Snowden (1839-1904)
in Tree Notes 1 )
with Beckwith surname at birth are shown in Bold type
underlined are those which apply following marriage & carry through
to following generation(s)
These are the five known offspring, but
there may have been more - Please see NB below
Newington Butts - before the Beckwiths arrived
Beckwith Birth record found in Mar qtr 1867 in
Newington ('Surrey') and this is corroborated by 1871 census which
shows her aged 4.
Annie is shown as living with her parents in 1891 as a dressmaker
She married in Lambeth in
Dec 1898 William Henry WELLS (also b1867) who, aged 24 in 1891, is a
jeweller's assistant living with his parents, Richard and Catherine Wells at 73,
Crescent Lane, Clapham, at that time in the borough of Wandsworth (Surrey). In
1901 the couple with
their young baby daughter Bertha are shown as the only occupants of his
parent's former house, 73,
Crescent Lane. He is shown as
age 34 born in Stepney, London, and working as a 'salesman', she also
34 without occupation and the daughter, Frances Bertha WELLS is aged 3
months, born Clapham. In 1911 the situation is very similar except that
William is now listed as a "Jeweller's Salesman Retail" ,
there's a second daughter, Iris Mary born 1905 and a 73 yr old lodger,
Isabella Winch (b1838 in Chatham, Kent), to complete the household.
is believed to have died in 1924 in Wimbledon (Kingston district) but there are too many deaths of a Wm Henry
Wells in the period 1920-39 to be positive. For offspring see
also 10-9.1 below
Beckwith - b Mar qtr 1869 in Newington. Shown in 1871 census aged 2 (with Annie above
and John below) but then died in Dec qtr 1871 (age confirmed as 2)
b 24th Jan 1871 (but not shown in registers until March 1/4) in St Saviour's, Southwark.
Address quoted on birth certificate is 80 Newington Butts. Shown in 1871 census as
age 2 months. (a previous tree showing him born on 4th Feb 1865 is now
disproven - that was a John Ernest Beckwith who died in March qtr 1866 age
1 - no apparent relation
although also in Newington ).
As per his
siblings, the 1881 census
correctly records his birth as Newington, 'Surrey' as well as the address of the
parental home from 1877 as 94 Newington Butts. Aged
10, he appears as "John .... Beckwith" presumably because the transcriber couldn't read the enumerator's writing
! Comparably, in 1891 he is simply John S, an apprentice engraver
living at the parental
home. Indeed he was actually apprenticed to his father by a Goldsmiths
Indenture dated 1st October 1890 and was presented with a Goldsmith's
Bible at the Guildhall the same day.
He achieved his Goldsmith's Freedom by Service on
1897 at which time he was still living at parental home, 94 Newington Butts in London SE1. "His Freedom is
noteworthy as being by Service, and, as such, was the last family
member to serve a Goldsmith's
apprenticeship. Having been born before his father took up his Freedom
(which was in 1888), he was ineligible for the Freedom by Patrimony of
all subsequent Freedoms"
23rd July 1898 he married Ada Louise HODGES at St John's in Brixton (Lambeth
borough) when the couple were both are shown on the marriage certificate as living at
16 St James Road. Ada was born 29th April 1875 when her parents (Henry Peter
HODGES, a master butcher, & Elizabeth nee Marskell) were living at
72 Provost St, Hoxton New Town (Shoreditch district). Witnesses to John
& Ada's marriage were Arthur A Grist and Ethel Maud Hodges. Both
seem to from the bride's side because, in the 1881 census, Ada is shown
(aged 6) together with her grandma living care of Arthur Grist and his
wife in Tottenham.
In the 1901 census
John & Ada are shown living in one of the two separate households
occupying 30 Corrance Road, Lambeth, he working as a
brass engraver, she as wife aged 26 born in Islington but, as yet, no
offspring although they did have a young lodger with them - one Herbert
E Grist, a 20 yr old "Super.(= supernumerary ?) Registrar
Clerk" born in Bethnal Green and nephew of Arthur Grist.
their first child, Gladys, was born in 1904, the family address was
Leppoc Road in Clapham but when his father died on 28/12/1906,
was the quoted informant on the death certificate with an address given as 57 Crescent
Park (so only a few doors away from his sister Annie above). However,
his sojourn in the leafy suburbs seems to have come to an end soon
thereafter with a move back up the Northern Line again to live in Newington Butts
once more, though now as proprietor of the engraving business. The
family is shown at No. 94 in 1911, now enlarged with their two
In the 1920 London Telephone
directory (above) he is
shown as a 'Brass Plate Engraver' but now living at 102 Newington Butts, SE11.
Nice to see the old exchange names again .... but who are those other
"He was an engraver and my cousin Margaret told me that
the family believed her grandfather
had made the Brass letters for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in
Westminster Abbey." Tony Robins. (the plaque was
unveiled on 11th Nov 1920. MGS)
a draft Trade Price List kindly passed on by Margaret, he quotes
"J S Beckwith (Est over 70 years), Engravers and Metal Workers to
the Trade". If this "Est" span is true, it would date it
to the late 1930's. Whatever, the registered address is still 102
Newington Butts and he obviously renewed his father's lease on 5
Peacock Yard as this is the quoted Works Address (tel RELiance 1092).
The catalogue makes fascinating reading - "Bronze, Engraved and
Enamelled Name Plates", "Brass Name Plates", Stair
Nosings & Step Treads", "Stencils" and even
"Brass Tickets for Time Checks" (clocking on machines).
Two lines of writing on an 18" by 12" brass plate would have
set you back 27/- but all the samples shown are for banks or solicitors
so, of course, mere loose change for them.
1939 the couple had moved out to the suburbs again - to 297 Croxted Road, Herne
Hill - to be with their widowed daughter Gladys and her two young children, John being described as a "Metal Engraver (Master)".
John died on
11th April 1943 in Croxted Road, Herne Hill. Death certificate quotes cause as "1a Coronary Artery
Occlusion, 1b Bronchitis" and his occupation as "a Brass
Engraver". Ada Louise died in 1960 at the age of 85.
children were Gladys
Ethel Beckwith & John
Augustus Charles Beckwith - see 10-9.3 below.
died in 1957
(before her mother) and was buried in the family grave at Streatham Park
Cemetery in S London together with her husband and her father. The Grave Owner in
1958 was John Augustus Charles Beckwith and, in 1988, the cemetery
supplied me with these details -
GRAVE No. 21451 SQUARE 14
Percy Manley Robins Aged 30
John Snowden Beckwith
Gladys Ethel Robins
Ada Louise Beckwith
The Memorial which was in place on the graves was removed during our
landscaping of the areas many years ago. The grave remains
undisturbed and the area is lawned. We do not have a record of
the inscriptions which were on the Memorial."
thanks to Tony Robins for kindly providing this info as well as corrections & additions
to John & Ada's entries.
Bertha Beckwith aka 'Bird' b 16 April 1877 in Newington - St
In 1901 she is still shown at the parental home
and without any occupation. The same applies in 1911 when living
with her sister Rose (below) in Folkestone, Kent (in the Elham
registration district, not Eltham as previously misread).
In May 1931 when she
paid for sister Rose's burial plot she was living in
Haywards Heath, Sussex but in 1939 she was living with her niece Bertha
Wells in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs and she died there in Q2 of 1945
Rose Beckwith b Jun qtr 1879 in Newington ('Surrey')
In 1901 still at the parental home, with occupation as 'hat shop
assistant' but in 1911, after the death of both parents, she is
shown at 7, High Street, Folkestone, Kent as a 32 yr old
"Saleswoman Manager Retail". The only other occupant
of the premises is her sister 'Bird' (above).
She never married and died in Ventnor, Isle of
Wight, being buried on 9th May 1931 (in grave 1973B that was paid
for by her sister Bertha).
Beckwith's diary notes on 4th Feb 1865 "John's wife confined -
girl". Although very reasonable to think it was this John considering
parents John & Annie married in early 1864 but no relevant registered Beckwith birth has yet been traced. As noted
elsewhere, the Emily Elizabeth Beckwith born in Newington in the Mar
qtr of 1865 was the daughter of an Alfred & Elizabeth Beckwith -
no apparent relation.
There is also a gap of 6 years between John Snowden and Bertha so
there may have been others in between who died before 1881 but
without obtaining birth certificates for all Beckwith births in the
area, it is impossible to prove.
There seem to have been several seemingly unrelated Beckwith families in the
Newington/St Saviour's area and there are 5 recorded Beckwith
births in St Saviour's alone in the 5 qtrs Mar 1873 to Mar 1874 but
all 5 died young, 3 at 0, 1 at 1 and 1 at 3. An epidemic of some
Offspring of Annie Beckwith
and William Henry Wells
Frances Bertha WELLS
- b Jan 1901 in Clapham, London SW. (part of the
"Wandsworth" registration district.)
papers inherited from aunt Nancy Beckwith after her death in 1956 was a
letter written earlier in '56 from a lady called Bertha Wells. She said that
she lived in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area and taught Geography at the Newcastle-under-Lyme school
for girls. She mentioned that her
mother's initials were 'A. B.' (presumably before marriage)
and she was aged 11 in 1878. Hopefully this at last now satisfactorily answers the
question 'who was Bertha
Wells' that I posed in the notes circulated with the draft trees in 1986. The
more recently published 1939 Register not only proves her location &
vocation but also gives actual birth dates for both herself and her aunt
Bertha with whom she was then living at 44 Kingsway in Newcastle under Lyme
died in Stoke district in Mar qtr 1963
Iris Mary WELLS - b Dec qtr 1904 in Clapham /'Wandsworth'
Discovered 12/09 in the 1911 census yet the family made no mention of
her. She does not appear to have died young as no death record has
been found but there are several marriage records for an Iris M
Wells in S W London in the late 1920's / early 1930's.
No other known offspring.
Offspring of John Snowden
Beckwith and Ada Louise Hodges (9.3)
Ethel Beckwith - b26/04/1904 in family home at Leppoc Road,
Clapham, died 1957.
1927 she married Percy Manley
ROBINS (b1905) but sadly he died rather prematurely at the age
of just 30 in 1935.
Family lived in Herne Hill and in their relatively short married
life they had two daughters - Gladys
(b Mar qtr 1929) and Margaret Louise (b20/2/1931) - see 11.10.11
below. In 1939 she is living at the former Robins family home at 297
Croxted Road, Herne Hill and joined by her parents.
Snowden Beckwith was a good man and I honour his memory. When my
father, Percy Manly Robins died suddenly, it was JSB who stepped
in and helped my mother Gladys to cope over the years. When he
died, my mother said 'He was my greatest friend'." (MLR -
was buried in Streatham Park Cemetery with her husband and parents.
Augustus Charles Beckwith
John ('Jack') worked for a short time in the metal engraving business with
his father (9.3) but he soon took up selling
motor car spares, which interested him more. He was in the Corps
of Military Police from 1939-1945 so was away for the 1939 register.
married on 23rd
August 1947 Doris Aline RAINS (nee FILMER), b 29 Aug 1918. The marriage
certificate describes John as a bachelor, aged 36 of 297 Croxted Rd, Herne
Hill and a Motor Spares salesman whereas Aline is aged 28, the 'divorced
wife of Stanley Charles Rains', no occupation shown and the daughter of
Percy Edmund Filmer, a gardener living at Church Gates, Pluckley, Kent.
In 1939 she is
shown as being single, living at home with her parents and with occupation
Childrens' Governess. In 1940 in Ashford district she married Stanley RAINS
(born 1919) and from the birth
of an Ian V Rains in 1945, the couple were by then living in Tonbridge but just
when they divorced and what happened to Ian has not been found.
At least from 1957, Aline & Jack lived at her parental home - Church Gates,
Pluckley - a gardener's cottage provided by Sir Henry Dering for whom
Aline's father had worked and which had been the Filmer family home for many years. (MLR).
died in Ashford district during Q3 1978
Aline & Jack
1979 Jack married again - Florence Cowley FARMAN who equally had been
married before. Florence Cowley
FOSKETT was born in King's Norton, Birminham on 6th October 1917 and
in 1939 was working as a book shop assistant in Birmingham. She
married Kenneth FARMAN (b1912) in Birmingham in Q2 1941 and the couple
had 3 sons between 1942 and 1948. Kenneth died in the Wrekin district
of Shropshire in 1976.
Jack and Florence seem also to have lived in Pluckley
but it was short-lived as Jack died there on Nov 6th 1980 following which Florence moved back
up to the Midlands (presumably to be closer to her children who all
lived up there) where she died in S Staffs on 18th March 1992.
Jack never had any children of his own - hence the end of
Offspring of Percy
and Gladys Beckwith (10.11)
Robins - b Mar qtr 1929 in Herne Hill
Was believed not to have
married, and so with her sister marked the end of the line, but thanks to
Lyn Robins from Australia in May 2018, it now is proven that she did in fact
not only marry but have 3 children. Her husband was James A MOSS b
20/09/1926 whom she married in Bromley, Kent, in 1954. Their 3 children were
- Margaret Catherine Moss b1955 in Lambeth
- Stephen James Moss b1958 in Bromley, Kent
- Maryanne Frances Moss b1961 in Woolwich, London SE
James died in
Reading in 2001 and it is believed that Gladys died about the same time but
the exact date has yet to be traced. No further tracing of the children
undertaken as they are below the threshold age for publication.
Robins - b20/2/1931 in Herne Hill.
married. Was living on the Sussex coast in 2009 and believed still to be
alive (2018) albeit in very poor health.
My grateful thanks to Margaret
Louise Robins (MLR) and her cousin the late Tony Robins (TR)
their invaluable help with this page.
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updated 15th May 2020