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Biddy the Chiver’s Khazi

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  • Anna Morris
    replied
    That handwritten letter looks modern? Writing style looks modern and it looks like a modern writing tool was used? Not a pen or fountain pen? Or pencil?

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    There were Bradley families at two addresses in Invicta Rd.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    It seems unlikely that Biddy would have had personal friends in Stone. I suspect Mr and Mrs Bradley may have been connected to the asylum in some way - social workers of some kind?

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    I wonder who the ‘friends’ mentioned in the Stone notes were:

    Mr Evans,
    28, Mitchell Street,
    St. Luke’s,
    London.

    Mr and Mrs Bradley,
    Invicta Road,
    Stone,
    Kent.
    There was a George J. Evans, a Ladies’ Blouse Cutter, living in the Mitchell Street Flats, 28/30, Mitchell Street in 1901. He seems the best fit for Biddy’s ‘friend’, but who was he and how did he know her? George was born ca 1872, was married to Rosina and had two children, George and Rosina in 1901.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    I wonder who the ‘friends’ mentioned in the Stone notes were:

    Mr Evans,
    28, Mitchell Street,
    St. Luke’s,
    London.

    Mr and Mrs Bradley,
    Invicta Road,
    Stone,
    Kent.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Below (next post) is Arthur Harding’s handwritten description of Biddy the Chiver, which is very close to the version published in ‘East End Underworld...’ The main difference is Harding’s claim that one of the reasons he didn’t follow up on his attraction to Biddy was that she was living with a ‘decent’ man who had his own business. Bearing in mind that it seems that Thomas O’Rourke was the father of Biddy’s child Mary, born in 1901, six years or so before Bridget and he had married - when Harding was in his mid-teens - you have to wonder whether the decent businessman really existed. It’s possible that he hooked up with Biddy at some point while O’Rourke was away at His Majesty’s Pleasure, I suppose.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    Can anyone point me in the direction of an online or hard copy version of this:


    Ó Conchubhair, P.,

    Thá Sinn Ocrach: Ballylongford and the Great Famine (self-published, Ballylongford, 1997)


    The pamphlet arrived today. It’s a typical amateur local history title, mainly a collection of quotes and transcriptions of various contemporary documents with some connecting narrative.

    The only references to any Enrights are in the appendices, one of which lists houses in the Lenamore area ‘knocked’ or ‘fallen’ as a result of the famine. There are four Enright houses in the list, those of Margaret, Catherine, Dennis and ‘Batt’, and one belonging to a Michael Mulvihill - a Catherine Mulvihill was a witness to the marriage of Patrick and Bridget Enright in Crickhowell, the other witness was a Margaret Enright.

    In addition, there were a number of presumably better off Enrights who contributed to the Ballylongford Parish Relief Fund in 1846.

    Patrick and Bridget had been born during, or just after, the famine years. Whether their emigration to Wales had been as a direct result of the famine or was part of subsequent ‘chain migration’* I don’t (yet) know. But I suspect that the displacement of her family may have been at least partially responsible for a sense of not belonging that contributed to Biddy’s ‘Chiverishness’.

    *Described by the Canadian historian Bruce Elliot as a pattern in which ‘one emigrant is followed by another, who is followed by others in turn, draw[ing] upon kin groups...’

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    Can anyone point me in the direction of an online or hard copy version of this:


    Ó Conchubhair, P.,

    Thá Sinn Ocrach: Ballylongford and the Great Famine (self-published, Ballylongford, 1997)


    I found a copy on Abe Books!

    I suspect that the famine had something, directly or indirectly, to do with the Enrights’ move to Wales. And I further suspect that the fact that they weren’t entirely welcome in their new home may have contributed to the development of Biddy’s persecution complex.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Would you Adam and Eve it? If you have a spare AU$61.45, you can become the proud owner of a scatter cushion carrying an image of the Langho Inebriates Reformatory (later Brockhall Mental Hospital).

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    It’s a little known fact that after Bridget left Stone she became known as Biddy the Pruner.

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  • Cogidubnus
    replied
    Was one of the doctors perchance the author of a book called "Lawn mowing as Occupational Therapy"?

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Not too many flowerbeds?

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Stone Asylum

    And here’s an aerial view to show the size of the asylum and its grounds:

    Click image for larger version

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    This was the entrance to Stone Asylum. It looks rather nice, but it must have seemed somewhat daunting to Bridget as she arrived to collect her daughter. Did Poplar stump up the travel expenses, I wonder?

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