George and Lucy Munns

I learned about George and Lucy Munns while researching the Thompson family. Lucy Munn’s name appeared on the 1871 and 1881 census returns along with William and Harriett Thompson.

1841

George and Lucy Munns, both aged 35 can be found on the 1841 census, living at Todds Lane Johnsons Square, St Sepulchre, Northampton.

1851

In 1851 George and Lucy are living at 1, Nelson Street Square, St Sepulchre Northampton, Both described as shoemakers, they have four daughters, including a daughter Harriett aged seven.

1861

In 1861 George and Lucy are living at 27, Vernon Street, Priory of St Andrew, Northampton. Harriett aged 17 is employed as a shoe machine worker.

1871

In 1871 a Lucy Manns is recorded as living with William and Harriett Thompson at Russell Street, Northampton. William is employed as a riveter, Harriett as a machinist and Lucy as a laundress.

1881

In 1881 Lucy Munns is again recorded as living with William and Harriett, living at 42 Great Russell Street, Northampton. Interestingly though, Lucy Munns, a widow also aged 75 and described as Mother in Law can be found recorded at 8 Billing Road Northampton, living with John Peach (a retired Market Gardener) and his wife too.*

* The 1901 census shows Lucy Thompson aged 21, working as a servant for a widow, aged 73, named Elizabeth Peach, at 25 Margaret Street, Northampton. Elizabeth is described as ‘living on own means’.

William and Harriett Thompson

William and Harriett Thompson were the parents of Lucy Thompson, who was the first wife of my great grandfather Joseph Charles Abram.

1841

The 1841 census shows William aged three living in Dallington, Northampton, with his parents William and Mary and six brothers and sisters – George, John, Mary, Sarah, Richard and Elizabeth.

1861

In 1861, William aged 23, can be found living in the home of John and Emma Humphrey at 5, Cavendish Terrace, Clapham, Wandsworth. John and Emma have eight children and five servants including William. William’s occupation is given as a footman and John’s occupation is given as wharfinger, which is the owner or keeper of a wharf.

1871

In 1871 William is back in Northampton, living at Russell Street. He is now married to Harriett. Living with them are two other women, Lucy Manns aged 65 and Harriett Clarke aged seven.

1881

In 1881 William and Harriett are living at 42 Great Russell Street, Northampton. They have four daughters including Lucy aged one. Lucy Munns is living with them, aged 75 and she is described as Mother in Law. Interestingly though, Lucy Munns, a widow also aged 75 and described as Mother in Law can also be found recorded at 8 Billing Road Northampton, living with John Peach (a retired Market Gardener) and his wife too.*

1891

In 1891 William and Harriett are living at Great Russell Street. Lucy is now aged 11. William is described as a gentlemen’s gardener.

1901

In 1901 still at Great Russell Street, William’s occupation is now given as a market gardener and Harriett is recorded as a greengrocer shop keeper. **

1911

In 1911 William and Harriett are living at 18 Burns Street, Northampton.*** Living with them is a Mrs Peach, a boarder and a widow aged 83, with a personal description of ‘independent means’.

* The 1901 census shows Lucy Thompson aged 21, working as a servant for a widow, aged 73, named Elizabeth Peach, at 25 Margaret Street, Northampton. Elizabeth is described as ‘living on own means’.

** The 1890 Kellys directory has William listed as the greengrocer.

*** At the time of Lucy’s marriage to Joseph she was living at 35 Burns Street, Northampton.

William Abram

William Abram was born in All Saints, Northamptonshire in 1888.  The 1891 census shows him aged three living at Great Holme Street, Leicester, aged 13 at 75, Lower Hester Street, Northampton, Kingsthorpe and aged 23 at Station Road, Earl’s Barton.

William Abram

Alice Abram

In 1939, William can be found living at 50 Doddington Road, Earl’s Barton, married to Alice C Abram. His occupation is given as a console master (boot trade).

 

 

 

 

 

Amelia

Amelia A Abram was born in Northampton in 1884.   The 1891 census shows her aged seven at Great Holme Street, Leicester.  Aged 17, she can be found on the 1901 census at 75, Lower Hester Street, Northampton working as a shoe fitter and aged 27 an Amelia Ann Abram can be found boarding at 43 Stanley Road, Northampton, Dallington St James.

Francis George Abram

Francis G Abram was born in Northampton in 1881.   The census for that year shows him aged less than one year old, at 12, William Street, Northampton St Sepulchre, Northampton.

In 1891 the family can be found at Great Holme Street, Leicester and it now includes my great grandfather Joseph Charles, Amelia A, Theresa, William and Albert V.  I have been unable to find Francis on the 1901 census but the 1911 census records a Francis George Abram living at 27 Lawrence Street, Northampton.  Now aged 30 he is married to Annie Elizabeth who was born in London. Her occupation is given as Hotters Furrier. The couple have two children, a son named George Thomas and a daughter named Gladys Kate. 

The 1939 register shows Francis and Annie living at 84 Northcote Street, Nothampton.  Francis is recorded as a builders labourer (heavy worker) and Annie is recorded as undertaking unpaid domestic duties.

Albert Victor Abram

Albert V Abram was born in Leicester in 1891.   The census for that year shows him aged less than one year old, at Great Holme Street, Leicester.

Albert Abram with Kit, Gwen and Sonny.

In 1901 the family can be found at 75, Lower Hester Street, Northampton, Kingsthorpe where Albert, aged ten, is living with eight brothers and sisters.  In 1911, aged 20, Albert can be found living at Station Road, Earl’s Barton, working as a shoe machine operative.

Albert can still be found living in the UK in 1939, at 24 St Peters Avenue, Rusden where he lives with Kate Abram and Gwendoline Taylor (nee Abram). Albert’s occupation is given as a Heel Scourer Boot and  Shoe Operative. 

On 25 February 1952, aged 61, Albert travelled from London to Melbourne on the Strathnaver with wife Kate and daughter Josephine.

albert-passenger-list

William Barratt, Barratts Shoes and The Barratt Maternity Home

On 16 August 1944 my dad  was born at The Barratt Maternity Home in Northampton. World War two was still raging and it would be another eight  months until victory was declared in Europe. The photo below is said to have been taken the year dad was born. The title and description read ‘The front of the Barratt Maternity Home in Cheyne Walk, after nurses had covered it in flags. The American Stars and Stripes the most prominent, perhaps due to the number of US fathers who visited after American forces came to town, It was said at the time the American fathers outnumbered the ‘local dads’. 

Embed from Getty Images
The Barratt Maternity Home, 1944

The flags may also have been displayed to mark VE day, as described in the newspaper article below.

barratt-ve-day-news
An article from the Northampton Mercury newspaper
dated 11 May 1945
detailing the display of a large US flag.

The Home was a separate building in the grounds of Northampton General Hospital and was built by William George H Barratt who was  born in Northampton in 1877, where he lived throughout his life. The son of a boot sewer, William and his brothers became shoe workers by their early teens and William managed one of Manfield’s shops in London, then his father’s boot shop in Gold Street, which later he bought. By 1902, he and his brother David had a boot shop in the Drapery. Their innovative idea of selling boots via the post (the first in the country) was resented by the manufacturers who cut off supplies of boots and shoes. However, in 1907, the brothers started a new company, W Barratt and Co, Ltd. to make their own shoes, with two of their other brothers, Albert and Richard, as nominal shareholders.

Urquhart, Murray McNeel Caird, 1880-1972; William Barratt, Benefactor to the Barratt Maternity HomeWilliam George H. Barratt
Photo credit: Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

In 1913 they opened a new factory, the Footshape Boot Works an elaborate looking building with a brick and cream terracotta frontage and a pierced balustrade which reads Footshape Boot Works. The building was designed for the comfort of its workforce, with air conditioning and natural light through roof vents and widows with clear glass. An up to date conveyor reduced lifting and carrying. A canteen served tea free of charge and made hot meals available. Welfare services included a benevolent scheme and contribution free pensions.

footshape

They added a chain of retail shops and advertised their wares with the slogan ‘Walk the Barratt way’, which became famous internationally. The first shop opened in London in 1914, and by 1939 there were 150.  A chain of retail shops followed and products were advertised with the slogan ‘Walk the Barratt way,’ which became famous internationally. The first shop opened in London in 1914, and by 1939 there were 150.

 

adverts
 
William Barratt was also active in politics. He and his brothers were fervent socialists. As a young man he was a prominent member of the Social Democratic Federation, one of the forerunners of the Labour party, and he was present at the foundation meeting of Northampton Independent Labour party in 1908. In 1904 he stood twice, unsuccessfully, for the town council. His second attempt came 25 years later in 1929, when he was elected as Labour councillor for Delapre ward.
 
In 1930 William contested Bethnal Green at the parliamentary election. He was narrowly defeated, but the incoming Labour Minister of Health appointed him to a committee inquiring into the law covering the composition and description of food. In 1935 he became a Northampton magistrate. He was a Director of Franklins Gardens Sports and Pleasure Company, and a Committee member and later President of the Saints Rugby Club.
 
nurses-at-barratt-maternity-home-2
Sisters and pupil midwives
on the steps of The Barratt Maternity Home, 19 February 1941.

Photo used with permission of Historic England.
 
 
William and his wife, Alice, are best remembered however for financing the building of the Barratt Maternity Home with an initial gift of £20,000 in 1934. Alice laid the foundation stone in May 1935, and the Home was opened in July 1936. William explained they had desired to do something in their lifetime, of a lasting character, for the benefit of the town, and that the Home should be as bright and cheerful as possible for the benefit of the patients and staff alike.
 
labour-ward
A view of the labour ward. with a nurse preparing equipment,
at The Barratt Maternity Home, 19 February 1941.

Photo used with permission of Historic England.

 

The following year the Barratt’s agreed to fund a gynaecological department, a maternity outpatients department, and an operating theatre. It was hoped that the provision of a maternity home would help to reduce maternal mortality in the town. William was a regular contributor to good causes, including a rest home for the unemployed, and the Mayor’s Fund for the Red Cross. He died in a Northampton nursing home in December 1939.

 
barratt-maternity-home-bathroom
Pupil midwives with babies on their laps, in the bathroom
at The Barratt Maternity Home, 19 February 1941.

Photo used with permission of Historic England.
 
The Historic England website records the Home at first provided 34 beds for ante- and post-natal patient, a nursery, and a labour ward. Located on the first floor, the labour ward and was separated from the gynaecology ward by doors which were opened to allow patients to be transferred to the gynaecological theatre for caesarean sections. It consisted of two delivery rooms, a first-stage room, staff changing room, sluice room, and admission room.
 

Burton, Alice Mary, 1893-1968; Miss C. E. Nelson (d.1954), Matron to Northampton General Hospital (1938-1954)

Miss C. E. Nelson, Matron to
Northampton General Hospital and The Barratt Maternity Home (1938 – 1954)
Photo credit: Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
 
Midwifery training was divided into two parts in 1938, and establishments were approved to provide training in one or both: Part I was primarily theoretical, based in hospitals and was assessed by examinations; Part II was largely practical, and allowed pupils to demonstrate competence and to link theory with practice.  The same year, The Barratt Maternity Home was approved as a Midwifery Training School to provide Part I of the training. Miss Eleanor Hague, who had qualified as a midwife in 1933, was appointed by the Central Midwives’ Board as the Approved Teacher; in 1943 she received her Midwife’s Teacher’s Diploma. Later, Miss Hague became Matron of the Barratt Maternity Home and is regarded by some as the ‘Mother of Midwifery’ in Northamptonshire.  When my dad was born in 1944 the Matron was Miss C. E.Nelson.
 
home
The Barratt Maternity Home as it looked in 2020.

Lucy Thompson

Lucy Thompson was the first wife of my great grandfather Joseph Charles Abram, a Corporal in the Army Service Corps. Married on 16 April 1906 in Northampton, at the time of her wedding, Lucy was living at 35 Burns Street, Northampton and the witnesses were Lucy’s sister Alice Thompson and Joseph’s brother Frederick George Abram.

Born in Northampton in 1880, Lucy was the daughter of William and Harriett. On the 1881 census, Lucy can be found aged one, living with her parents and sisters Emily, Annie and Alice.  Living in the same house is Lucy Munns (described as mother in law).* In 1891, Lucy, aged 11,  can again be found living with her parents and sisters at Great Russell Street.  Her father William is now recorded as working as a Gentleman’s Gardener. Finally, in 1901, Lucy, aged 21, is no longer at home with her parents but is working as a servant for a widow, Elizabeth Peach, at 25 Margaret Street, Northampton.

Lucy died aged 26, at 4 Ferndale Villas, Holly Road, Aldershot on 12 October in 1907 with the reason for death being instrumental labour and pulmonary embolism. The death was registered by Joseph Charles and Lucy was buried four days later on 16 October 1907 at the Aldershot Military Burial Ground, Hampshire. John Greenfield at the Aldershot Garrison has kindly helped me identify Lucy’s burial place in the cemetery, as plot number 1406, in site M.  Sadly there doesn’t appear to be a record of a burial for Joseph and Lucy’s child.

Map of Aldershot Military Cemetery.

I am interested to learn more about Lucy and her family, as she has been described to me as ‘a dark skinned lady’ and I have discovered that Northamptonshire has a significant black history, with people of Asian, African and Caribbean origin, residing in the county over many centuries.

Further information

* I have located a Lucy Munns on the 1851 and 1861 census returns. She is recorded as having been born in Riseley in Bedfordshire and is married to George Munns.  The couple have a daughter called Harriett.

Jeremiah Maloney

Jeremiah Maloney was the son of my great great great grandmother Ann Abram (nee Cox).  On the 1861 census, I have been able to locate Ann, living with my great great great grandfather, where Joseph, a shoemaker aged 23 and Ann aged 21 were living at 4 Lower River Terrace, St Sepulchre in Northamptonshire with three children, Emma, Charles (my great great grandfather aged 1) and Harriett. The photo below was given to me by my relative Margaret Creighton in Australia. Jeremiah is shown wearing a British army uniform but also a turban which appears to have a Northamptonshire Regiment badge on it.

jeremiah-maloney

Sadly, it appears that Joseph died aged just 28.  The death certificate shows he had been suffering from Phthisis Pulmonalis (Tuberculosis) for 13 months. In 1869 Ann appears to have married William Maloney and her story continues on the 1871 census, where, aged 31, she is living at St George Square in Northampton but now with William Maloney of Ireland, Charles (aged 11 and recorded as Charles Abram Maloney) and three other children, George, Emma and John W Maloney.

In 1881 William and Ann can be found living at 12 Alpha Street, Northampton, with four children, Jeremiah (aged 9), Eugene, William and John Maloney.  Finally, in 1891, Ann can be found at 50 Adelaide Street, Northampton.  She is a widow and working as a laundress. Eugene, William and John are still living with her.

Jeremiah Maloney does not appear on the 1891 census with his mother and siblings but I believe I have located him, aged 19, living as a boarder at Luther Street, Leceister in the home of William and Sarah Abrams (both recorded as being born in Northamptonshire) and their children Herbert and Amy, along with two other boarders,  Ellen Maloney aged 24 and and Eva M aged 1.  (I believe that Jeremiah Maloney married Ellen Frost in 1889).

Jeremiah’s army service records are detailed below.

  • First name(s) Jeremiah
  • Last name Maloney
  • Birth year 1871
  • Birth parish St Sepulchres
  • Birth town Northampton
  • Birth county Northamptonshire
  • Birth country England
  • Service number 6568
  • Regiment Northamptonshire
  • Regiment Year 1902
  • Attestation date 12 Mar 1902
  • Attestation age years 31
  • Attestation corps 3rd Northamptonshire
  • Document type Attestation
  • Series Wo 96 – Militia Service Records 1806-1915
  • Archive The National Archives
  • Archive reference WO 96 Box851
  • Box record number 286
  • Record set British Army Service Records
  • Category Military, armed forces & conflict
  • Subcategory Regimental & Service Records
  • Collections from Great Britain, England

The South Africa 1900-1902 Medal Roll, 3rd Militia Battalion records a Private J Maloney,  was awarded the Queens South Africa Medal with Claps for Cape Colony and South Africa 1902.