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Maria Louisa Roulson (aka Old Ma Lechmere)

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  • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
    No but JAL was relatively prominent in that business for a while. The Hereford bootmaking fraternity must have been a small world and I'd guess they would cross fertilise to a degree with the Northants focal point and would would seep back about the Hereford guy now working in Northants via industry gossip.
    Perhaps. I don’t see JAL as some kind of shrinking violet who would keep his past exploits to himself, but I’m not sure to what extent Northants was a focal point for the industry as a whole. There were some large tanneries there - and at a later date an HB knacker’s yard just over the border in Hunts. But would a small craftsman boot/shoe maker in Hereford have had much to do with the large scale manufacturers in Northants?

    An interesting topic for future consideration.

    My dad’s birth was registered in a Northants registration district, although he was born just over the border in Hunts. His POB is now in Cambs and the registrar wouldn’t have it that it should say POB Hunts on his death cert. It was a real ‘computer says no’ situation and my poor wife had to choose between Northants and Cambs while I was screaming Hunts (or something that sounded like that) down the phone. She opted for the lesser of two evils, Northants.

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    • Click image for larger version  Name:	EE065886-1F99-4402-BE04-64FE223FD967.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	136.7 KB ID:	584120

      I posted this over on CB as part of an ongoing civilised debate about the Lechmere/Cross name anomaly:

      ‘While Maria was living in Tiger Bay with the boy constable she had bigamously married, the executor of her father’s will, the Reverend Archer Clive*, was entertaining Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister, at Whitfield, which had been Maria’s childhood home.

      The Rev. A. C. was one of those in Hereford who would have instantly recognised the unique name of Charles Allen Lechmere.

      *Archer Clive was very much alive in 1876 when, it seems, a certain Pickfords carman withheld his unique name in court. He had sadly passed by 1888, but the Lechmere name would have still resonated in Herefordshire.’

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      • Northampton was and to an extent still is the focal point of the world-wide footwear industry.
        That is almost certainly what drew JAL to Northampton to revive his fortunes. I would guess that all provincial footwear operatives kept a weathered eye on the Northampton trade.

        I have noticed your civilised debate in another place.

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        • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
          Click image for larger version Name:	EE065886-1F99-4402-BE04-64FE223FD967.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	136.7 KB ID:	584120

          I posted this over on CB as part of an ongoing civilised debate about the Lechmere/Cross name anomaly:

          ‘While Maria was living in Tiger Bay with the boy constable she had bigamously married, the executor of her father’s will, the Reverend Archer Clive*, was entertaining Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister, at Whitfield, which had been Maria’s childhood home.

          The Rev. A. C. was one of those in Hereford who would have instantly recognised the unique name of Charles Allen Lechmere.

          *Archer Clive was very much alive in 1876 when, it seems, a certain Pickfords carman withheld his unique name in court. He had sadly passed by 1888, but the Lechmere name would have still resonated in Herefordshire.’
          One last thing (for the time being).

          The statue to George Cornewall Lewis was erected in 1864, the year after his death. He had been the High Steward of the City of Hereford and his successor was the Reverend Archer Clive. The Rev A. C. was at the very top of Herefordshire Society. Charles ‘Cross’’s mum presumably knew him personally.

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          • Not as at the top as the Fownhope Lechmere's, surely.

            Did Mrs Bridges or Mr Hudson 'know' the Bellamy family personally?
            Their knowledge of each other was somewhat unequal. I doubt the Clives took too much notice of the perigrenations of the children of their staff, even old retainers.

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            • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
              Not as at the top as the Fownhope Lechmere's, surely.

              Did Mrs Bridges or Mr Hudson 'know' the Bellamy family personally?
              Their knowledge of each other was somewhat unequal. I doubt the Clives took too much notice of the perigrenations of the children of their staff, even old retainers.
              What makes you think the Clives were beneath the Lechmeres in the Herefordshire pecking order?

              Yes, indeed, they weren’t social equals, but she had been born and brought up on his father’s estate and he was the executor of her father’s will. I’ve yet to establish where/what Whitfield Lodge was. There are references to Edward Bolton Clive living at Whitfield Lodge. Was it separate from the big house known as just ‘Whitfield’?

              I imagine there would also have been a social gulf between TC and Maria. In 1846, JAL was advertising for no less than 5 journeymen boot/shoe makers. I imagine TC’s family to have been at that level.

              More to research!

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              • I was joking about the Fownhope Lechmere's - although they were one of Herefordshire's more prominent families.
                I think I drove around or up to the Whitfield estate a few years ago on my last visit but I couldn't identify the lodge.

                Maria was upper working class - Thomas Cross lower working class.
                The area where Thomas Cross was from was rural poor. A scruffy area.

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                • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                  I was joking about the Fownhope Lechmere's - although they were one of Herefordshire's more prominent families.
                  I think I drove around or up to the Whitfield estate a few years ago on my last visit but I couldn't identify the lodge.

                  Maria was upper working class - Thomas Cross lower working class.
                  The area where Thomas Cross was from was rural poor. A scruffy area.
                  Thomas Roulson was described as a ‘yeoman’ in his will. In addition to the usual sense of a small landowner/farmer, I believe the term was applied to senior servants in noble houses. Roulson received the highest bequest of all EBC’s servants in his will.

                  That dosh, plus whatever else TR had managed to squirrel away during his 35 years with the Clives ended up with Maria and her two sisters. And possibly Maria received a widow’s pension from the Met, seeing that she was TC’s lawfully wedded wife. ;-)


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                  • Pensions were discretionary then and she didnt get one.

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                    • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                      Pensions were discretionary then and she didnt get one.
                      I wonder why?

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                      • I guess because at that time they were rarely given and usually for particularly meritous service.

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                        • Just for the record:


                          Thomas Cross - Age Discrepancies


                          Christening: 31st July, 1836

                          1841 Census (6th June): Aged 5

                          1851 Census (30th March): Aged 14

                          1861 Census (7th April): Aged 34!

                          Marriage (25th Feb, 1858): Aged 23

                          Death (18th Dec, 1869): Aged 34


                          Assuming the ages on the two earlier censuses are accurate, TC was born somewhere between 31/3/36 and 6/6/36. The Christening date would suggest most likely closer to 6/6/36.

                          So, his age was bumped up by 2 years on his marriage cert and 1 year on his death cert.

                          He was just 21 when he and Maria married, not 23 as recorded on the certificate. And at the time he was already a serving Met police officer.

                          As for the 1861 census… god only knows what went on there.

                          The question arises, if Ma was prepared to marry TC when he was just 21, when did their relationship begin? And where, I suppose.

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