Harriet Hallís family
Harriet married Thomas Wells on 19th May 1894 at the age of 26.† Her address at the time was 15 Walton Terrace, Wassand Street, Hull.† Her father, Edward Hall, is deceased and had been a plumber and gas fitter by trade.† Three years earlier aged 24, during the 1891 census, she was a servant at the Hunt household, 36 Margaret Street, Hull.† Ten years earlier during the previous census at the age of 14 she is a domestic servant in a pub called The Crystal Hotel on Waterloo Street in Hull.† At the time other family members were not faring so well.†
Her father had died, aged 44, of diabetes on 14th May 1880 while resident in the Sculcoates Union workhouse.† He is described as a tinner and gas fitter.† Maybe work was short and heíd been unable to support the family, or perhaps his diabetes had prevented him from working.† The following April during the 1881 census while Harriet is working in the Crystal Hotel, her younger sister, Clara, is resident in the workhouse, listed together with Thomas Hall age 7 and Minnie Hall aged 5.† Without a proper family context I need Thomas and Minnieís birth certificates to determine whether they are family, or whether this is coincidence, Hall is a common name.†
I canít find Harrietís mother, Jane Hall, on the 1881 census.† Ten years later aged 53 she is a domestic servant to Timothy and Alicia Lynch from Ireland who live on 123 Spring Bank, Hull.† Another ten years later and she is a retired domestic servant in the workhouse.† Jane died on 27th December 1902 at 61 North Street of a rupture of Aneurysm of Aorta PM.† An inquest into her death was held and the following article appeared in a local paper days a few days later:†
At an inquest on Saturday evening as to the death of an aged widow, Jane Hall, the Hull Coroner made some strong remarks with respect to the action of relatives who had left the deceased to earn her own living.† It appeared that the woman had three sons and four daughters.† Five of the children were married, and yet the woman had been left to go into the workhouse when she could not work, and had actually died at a lodging house.† The deceased had been insured.† The Coroner added that he hoped the parish in which the woman died would make the family pay the cost of the funeral.† The Coroner also intimated that would communicate with the Clerk of the Hull Guardians (Mr Winter) on the matter.Ē
This paints the sad picture of a lonely end to Janeís life and is another example of how difficult life was for widows in Victorian times.† The Coroner is less than complimentary on the support Jane received from her children, however they may not have had the means to support their mother.† Jane had life insurance which I find remarkable for someone who had endured such poverty for over twenty years minimum.† She clearly didnít want to be a burden on her children who already, no doubt, had enough mouths to feed.† For example, Harriet had four children the eldest of which was seven.†
The article tells us that Jane had three sons and four daughters, so either Thomas and Minnie were not Edward and Janeís children, or two of their children died.†
Edward and Jane were married for 24 years before Edward died.† Their wedding took place on 5th May 1856 at the Catholic Chapel on Jarrett Street, later to become St Charles Church.† Their first daughter was born later that same year, not as unusual as you might think in Victorian England.† I assume the Catholic faith came from Janeís mother, Mary, who was Irish.† The Catholic faith was lost somewhere along the way because Harrietís grandson, Edwin, was raised in the Church of England and converted to Catholicism as an adult.
Edward and Jane were both born in Hull, but as already mentioned Janeís mother was Irish.† The potato famine was in the early 1840s and Jane was born in Hull in 1838 so Mary wasnít a potato famine refugee.
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