Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Harriett Jane Himbury nee Taylor (1881-1947)

Harriett was my great aunt, she was an elder sister of my grandfather William Taylor. This profile of her life contains some information and photos supplied by Christine Hughes, her granddaughter.

Harriett was born in 1881 in Calcutta, East India, while her father George Taylor, who was a Bombardier in the Royal Artillery, was serving there. Her mother was Margaret Taylor nee Smiles. Harriett was the fourth of their ten children (seven boys and three girls). The GRO index of regimental births spells her name as Harriet, but most other documents that refer to her record it as Harriett, so this is what I shall call her.

George left the army in about 1886 and moved to Charlton. The 1891 census shows George Taylor (aged 41, a labourer) and Margaret (36) living at 9 West Street, Charlton with their children George (14), Ernest (12), Harriett (9), Charles (6), Margaret (4) and Thomas (2) and William (10 months). From their address and George’s occupation, it seems that the family didn’t have much money.

By 1901 the family were living at 7 West Street, Charlton and consisted of George (aged 50, a labourer local board), Margaret (47), George (24, a covering machinist), Harriett Jane (19, a covering machinist), Charles (16, a covering machinist), Margaret (14, a daily servant), William (10), Samuel (9) and May (6). Margaret’s father died in 1903 aged 54.

Harriett married Edwin Alfred Himbury on August 18th 1910 at All Saints Church, Plumstead. They were both aged 28. Edwin was born in Woolwich and was a milkman. The 1911 census shows the couple living at 141 Sellincourt Road, Tooting and Edwin as a “milk roundman”. Electoral registers show them at 137 Sellincourt Road in 1913 and 1915.

Harriett and Edwin in 1910

Edwin joined the army on 12th November 1915 to fight in the war. As this was before conscription was introduced, he must have volunteered. By then he had three children, Edwin Terence (1911-99), Percy (1913-69) and Lucy Gertrude (1915-2000).

Edwin Alfred, Percy, Edwin Terence, Harriet Jane and Lucy Gertrude Himbury in 1915.

Edwin was wounded in the leg during the war, but survived and was discharged from the army in 1919. He moved to 86 Princes Road, Plumstead where he and Harriett had three more children, Alma Margaret (1920-82), Leslie John (1921-83) and Frank Leonard (1923-99). Edwin got a job at Woolwich Arsenal as an armourer’s assistant.

Apparently Harriett was a strong character. She was quite small but ruled her household with an iron fist ! She kept her sons in order and also told her husband what to do.

Electoral registers show Edwin and Harriett at 86 Princes Road until 1938 (when their children Edwin and Percy were also listed here).

The 1939 Register records that Edwin (a fitter's labourer) and Harriett were living at 68 Charlton Park Lane in Charlton. The 1945 Electoral Register shows that shows that their son Frank and his wife Alice were also living at this address.

Harriett died in 1947 aged 65 at St Alfege’s Hospital, Greenwich. She was buried in Charlton Cemetery. The grave (Q / 62) has kerbstones which are inscribed
In loving memory of a dear wife and mother, HARRIETT JANE HIMBURY who died 5th July 1947 aged 65 years.
In loving memory of Dad, EDWIN ALFRED HIMBURY who died 10th August 1965 aged 83 years.

The grave of Harriett and Edwin Himbury (in 2012)

Probate records state that authority for administration of Harriett's estate (£296) was granted to her husband Edwin, a retired armourer’s assistant. The fact that probate was required shows that she had some money registered under her own name. Edwin continued to live at 68 Charlton Park Lane until he died in 1965. He was buried in the same grave as his wife.

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