Edwin's life - a short story
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Ugborough - the church and the village

Ugborough - the church and the village

A tight little community - there were no secrets here!

Richard J. Brine

 

Edwin Stentiford was an illegitimate child. He was born in the Spring of 1899 and even then, parish priests were still marking their birth registers to differentiate between the children of married couples and the children of single women as though the child itself exhibited some difference.

Could we step back in time to the very beginning of the 20th century, we would soon discover that the majority of ordinary people held the view that there was a difference - there was a stigma attached to the birth of such a child that would never go away. It reflected on the mother and it reflected on the child who would have great difficulty in  rising above such a life start. Of the father, nothing much was said especially if he acknowledged the child and gave the mother a few shillings a week to support it, thus saving the parish funds.

Edwin's mother Beatrice, was the second daughter of Charles Stentiford and Caroline Pound who we wrote briefly about in Issue 10 and she was the second daughter to have an illegitimate child - her sister Annie having had a little girl, Kathleen, who died a year after her birth in 1890. Beatrice was 31 when he was born and had worked as a domestic servant since leaving school - a job she had to return to in order to support Edwin - who seems not to have been declared in the 1901 census.

In 1903, Beatrice married Arthur Richard Hannaford, a farm labourer who came from Dartington near Totnes. We shall have to wait for the 1911 census to discover if Edwin ever went to live with them. What we do know is that at some point in his childhood, Edwin was sent away to live in what, today, we should call an institution. Edwin's address on joining the army is given as Chelsea and although we haven't yet traced a publicly-run industrial school in that place, there were, at that time in this Borough, similar privately-run charity schools where children could be placed. As to his joining the Army, it is quite clear from reading papers relating to other industrial schools, that the decision would have been made for him by the head of the institution acting as his legal guardian.

We've been able to add some more information to the family table we first published in 2002:

 

Charles Deering Stentiford

 

ba 26 Sep 1819 Ugborough

m 29 Apr 1865 Dartmouth 

d 1893 Mar St Thomas aged 73

Caroline Amelia Pound

b 1837 Dartmouth

m 29 Apr 1865 Dartmouth

d 1909 Mar Totnes aged 72

 

Annie* ba  30 Jul 1865 Ugborough m ?  d ? * See footnote
Charles Henry ba  30 Jun 1867 Ugborough m 1896 Dec Ugborough d 1928 Mar  St. Thomas  (60) Emma Jane Wilcox Tapp ("Jane")
Beatrice ba  19 Aug 1868 Ugborough m 1903 Jun Ugborough d ? Arthur Richard Hannaford
Arthur ba  11 Apr 1871 Ugborough m 22 Jul 1894 St. Matthias Plymouth d 1934 Dec Newton Abbot (64) Eva Mary Bovey
John Henry ba  9 Feb 1881 Ugborough d 8 Feb 1902 Plymouth (21) No Issue
Winifred Evelyn b 1886 Jun Ugborough d 15 May 1887 (14 months) No Issue

 

* Kathleen Stentiford, baptised on 27 Jul 1889 was the daughter of Annie Stentiford. The little girl did not survive - she was buried on 2 Mar 1890, aged 8 months.

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Last modiied: 30/05/2007