Chapter 12

Ashfield Anne Beardsworth nee Ponting

Ashfield Anne Ponting was born on 12 May 1848 in the parish of Kemeys Inferior in the sub district of Caerleon in Monmouthshire. Her father was Henry Ponting, farmer and her mother Jane Jones (Chapter 4). The birth was registered by her mother, Jane on 20 June 1848 in the registration district of Newport. She was baptised on 12 January 1849 at Kemeys Inferior. Henry is described as a farmer and their abode as Kemeys Inferior. 

Kemeys Inferior is a parish in the hundred of Usk in the county of Monmouth, 3 miles north east of Caerleon, and 5 miles south of Usk. By today's standards it is reasonably close to Berkeley (about 40 miles), but I have no idea why Ashfield would have been born there. When Jane registers the birth she describes herself as "from Kemeys" and not Berkeley which suggests that they was doing something more than just visiting. They were still there when Ashfield is baptised in 1849. 

Henry Ponting was back in Berkeley at the time of his death on 5 February 1851 and the whole family was back by the time that the census was taken on 30 March 1851, Jane, now widowed, was living at Appleridge, Highfield, Berkeley. Ashfield Ann Ponting, aged 3, born Kemys, Monmouthshire was living with her mother and her siblings (Chapter 4)

In 1861 Ashfield Ann, aged 12, was still living with her mother and sisters at Appleridge, Highfield, her brothers apparently all having left home.

A search of the 1871 census produces only one entry for Ashfield Ponting. Ashfield Ponting, aged 22, born Newport, Gwent is boarding with and recorded as an assistant to George Hodge, a 47 year old draper and his wife Fanny Hodge, milliner, living at 4a Strand, Tormonham, Torquay, Devon. George Hodge seems to have been running an established business, having been listed in the 1856 Kelly's directory for Torquay as running a baby linen warehouse at 4, The Strand.

Ashfield does not appear to have stayed in Devon for long. In 1871 she was a witness when her sister Susanna married Benjamin Love (Chapter 8) and also when her brother John Jones Ponting married in 1872 (Chapter 9), both in Kensington, London. This may have been a good thing, for on 29 March 1878, the first creditors meeting was held "in the matter of proceedings for liquidation instituted by George Hodge of No 4 Strand, Torquay, in the county of Devon, Fancy Draper, Milliner and Ladies Out-fitter".

On 28 June 1876, Ashfield Ann Ponting married Clarence George Beardsworth, a commission agent at St Peters Church, Bayswater. Ashfield's father was Henry Ponting, farmer. Clarence's father was George Beardsworth, vicar of Selling, Kent. The witnesses were Myldred Beardsworth (Clarence's sister), W Ponting (Chapter 10) and T H Ponting (Chapter 6). They were married by George's father. Both parties signed the marriage register. The marriage certificate below is a copy of the parish record so it shows the participant's actual signatures.

Clarence George Beardsworth was baptised on 21 August 1843 at Selling, Kent, the son of George Beardsworth and Charlotte Neame. At the time of the 1851 census 7-year-old Clarence was visiting the Neame family at Selling Court, Canterbury with his parents and siblings, Mildred Beardsworth, aged 5, Gertrude Beardsworth, aged 3 and Henry Beardsworth aged 1. Father George is described as "Curate of Sittingbourne". In 1861 Clarence and his family, which now included Selwyn Beardsworth, aged 9, Ernest Beardsworth, aged 5 and Herbert Beardsworth aged 3 were living at The Vicarage, Selling where George Snr was the vicar. The family were still in the same parish in 1871 but by then Clarence, aged 27 was living in London at 85 Guildford Street, St Pancreas and was working as a "glove agent". At the time his younger brother Ernest, aged 15, was living with him and working as a commercial clerk. The household also included Edward Steane, a 20-year-old lodger working as a trimming agent.

The 1881 census (taken 3 April 1881) shows Clarence and Ashfield Beardsworth living at 66 Foulden Road, London. The entry reads

  • Clarence Beardsworth, head, aged 37, agent of silk goods, born Selling, Kent
  • Ashfield A Beardsworth, wife, aged 32, born Kemys, Wales
  • George C Beardsworth, son, aged 3, born Hackney, London
  • Constance M Beardsworth, daughter, aged 1, born Hackney, London
  • Annie Henderson, general servant

George Coupland Beardsworth was born on 19 November 1877.  He was baptised on 5 February 1878 at West Hackney in a private baptism. Father George gives his occupation as "agent" of 66, Foulden Road.

Constance Margaret Beardsworth was born on 31 October 1879. She was baptised on 29 December 1879 at West Hackney. That same year Clarence George Beardsworth had become a trustee of the trust set up in anticipation of his brother-in- law Sydney's marriage to Emily Cowley (Chapter 11)

George and Ashfield had another daughter Dora Gwendolyn Beardsworth who was born on 16 February 1881 at 66 Foulden Road. Father, Clarence registered the birth, describing himself as a manufacturer. She was baptised on 23 February 1881 at West Hackney, Middlesex. 

Dora died less than a month later on 14 March 1881, although her death certificate shows she was 2 months old. The cause of death is given as convulsions and muco-enteritis). Again, her father Clarence registered the death.  

Ashfield Ann Beardsworth died on 8 June 1881 at Morton, Thornbury, aged 33. She was described as the wife of George Clarence Beardsworth, warehouseman. The cause of death is given as anaemia shock following vomiting. The informant at the time was Mary Till who was present at time of death. Mary Till had been born Mary Wetmore and was Ashfield's first cousin. Mary Wetmore was the daughter of William Wetmore and Mary Jones who had married on 18 October 1838. Mary Jones was Ashfield's Aunt, the sister of her mother Jane (Appendix K). Mary Wetmore had married Thomas Day Till on 9 June 1864 (Appendix I - Part 1)).  In another connection Thomas Day Till had a sister Mary who married Ashfield's maternal uncle, George Hewitt Jones.  George Hewitt Jones was one of Jane Ponting nee Jones' brothers (Appendix K).

 Ashfield Ann Beardsworth was buried at Stone Church on 13 June 1881

Administration of the personal estate of Ashfield Ann Beardsworth (wife of Clarence George Beardsworth) late of 66 Foulden Road, Stoke Newington who died on 7 June 1881 at Thornbury was granted to said Clarence George Beardsworth of 22, Castle Street, Falcon Suare, City of London, trimming mnufacturer on 23 July 1887. Her personal effects were valued at £14 18s 1d. Why the six-year delay? 

Administration was re-granted to her husband's second wife on 16 March 1908. Her effects at that time were valued at £114.18s. 11d. The re-granting of administration seems to have followed the death of her husband in 1905, but by this time both her children would have been 'of age' so I am unsure why her estate had not been wound up before then.

Clarence George Beardsworth had remarried on 10 October 1883 at Stoke Newington. George is a 40 year old widower occupied as a manufacturer. His new bride is Elizabeth Helen Pitman, aged 25, the daughter of Nathaniel Gerrard Pitman, merchant. Both parties give their address as Woodbury Grove. The witnesses were N G Pitman and Annie Charlotte Beardsworth, Clarence's elder sister. 

Elizabeth Helen Pitman was born on 22 June 1858, the daughter of Nathaniel Gerrard Pitman and Charlotte Unwin who married on 13 May 1852 at St James, Holloway. 

The photograph of the Pitman family grave (below) in Highgate Cemetary was kindly sent to me by Simon Edwards. It records the death of Elizabeth's mother Charlotte Pitman on 1 September 1875, aged 44, her father Nathaniel Gerrard Pitman on 11 June 1906, aged 85 years and two of Elizabeth's siblings Joseph Unwin Pitman, died 3 April 1863 aged 10 months and Annie Louisa Pitman on 24 October 1865 aged 6 years 5 months. Also Nathaniel's parents Elizabeth Pitman, died 8 November 1868, aged 82 and Isaac Pitman, died 5 May 1875 aged 85 years old. 

By 1891 Clarence and Elizabeth were living at Chetweod House, Oakleigh Park, Frien Barnet, London. The entry shows:

  • Clarence G Beardsworth, head, aged 47, manufacturer of trimmings, born Selling Kent
  • Elizabeth Ellen Beardsworth, wife, aged 32, born Islington
  • Constance Margaret Beardsworth, daughter, aged 11, born West Hackney
  • Mary MacKenzie, aunt, widow, aged 85, born St Lukes, London
  • John Cryer, brother-in-law, widower, aged 39, manufacturer of Trimmings, born Warwickshire
  • Margaret Cryer, niece, aged 5, born South Hornsey
  • John Lindsey Cryer, nephew, aged 4, born South Hornsey
  • Eric Cryer, nephew, aged 2, born South Hornsey
  • Plus, a cook, housemaid and nursemaid. 

John Cryer had married Elizabeth's sister Charlotte Emma Pitman on 19 July 1884 at St John the Evangelist, Finsbury Park. Charlotte had died aged 33 and was buried on 24 April 1889 at Highgate Cemetery. It's not clear how Mary MacKenzie fits in at present. 

At the time the 1891 census was taken, Clarence and Ashfield's son, George C Beardsworth, by then aged 13, was a student at St Nicholas College, Shoreham, Sussex. "The Lancing Register" records that George Coupland Beardsworth, the son of C G Beardsworth Esq of Oakleigh Park entered in May 1890 and left in July 1895. His address is given as Chetwood, Oakleigh Park.

The Lancing Register listed masters and pupils of Lancing College. Lancing College was founded in 1848 by Reverend Nathaniel Woodward, the Vicar of Shoreham. It was one of 11 schools founded in all that were intended to tackle social problems by providing "a good and complete education of sound principle and sound knowledge, firmly grounded in the Christian faith" and it began life in the vicarage at Shoreham.

In 1896, according to Emily Amelia Ponting's will (Chapter 11) Clarence is living at 25 Hamsell Street, City of London. Clarence remained one of the trustees of the trust set up on Emily's marriage to Sydney throughout its duration indicating he remained a valued and trusted family member after Ashfield's death and his remarriage.

The 1901 census shows that son George had returned home and the family living at Walfield Bank, Finchley:

  • Clarence G Beardsworth, head, aged 57, manufacturer of children's blouses/dresses, born Selling, Kent
  • Elizabeth H Beardsworth, wife, aged 42, born Islington, London
  • George C Beardsworth, son, aged 23, warehouseman, born South Newington, London
  • Constance M Beardsworth, daughter, aged 21, born South Newington
  • Mary E Jones, aged 26, cook
  • Jane M Jones, aged 24, housemaid

Clarence George Beardsworth died on 4 December 1905 aged 62.  He was buried on 8 December 1905 at St James, Friern Barnet. The parish record gives his address as Carbis, High Road, Whetstone. Probate was granted to his widow Elizabeth Helen Beardsworth on 7 February 1906. His effects were valued at £1,261 19s 5d (worth about £93K in 2006). 

In 1911 Elizabeth Helen Beardsworth, aged 52 was living at 35 St John Street, Shoreham by Sea, Sussex with her 22 year old nephew Eric Cryer, a warehouseman for a clothing manufacturer and general servant 25 year old Kate Peters.

In 1921 Elizabeth, aged 63, was at 7 South Cliffe, Walton on Maze. She was visiting Herbert Wentworth Clubb, insurance clerk for the Railway Passengers Assurance Company at 64, Cornhill, London.  Herbert's father in law was John Cryer, aged 69, a manufacturer agent for ribbons and collars.  

In 1939 Elizabeth Helen Beardsworth was living at Flat 4, 15, Palmeira Square, Hove. She was living with Charlotte R Adams (born 1 August 1862), both of "private means" and Bertha Cretten (born 30 October 1914), cook. 

Elizabeth Helen Beardsworth died on 26 February 1953 at Flat 4, 15 Palmeira Square, Hove aged 94 years old. Probate was granted to Charlotte Alethe Rosalie Adams, widow. Her effects were worth £145 19s.

George Coupland Beardsworth & Margaret Mary Smith

George Coupland Beardsworth married Margaret Mary Smith on 14 October 1905 at the Register's Office, St Pancreas. George is described as a 27 year old bachelor, a commercial traveller resident at 4 Broad Street Station Chambers, Wilson Street, St Pancreas. His father George is a fancy goods manufacturer. Margaret Mary Smith is a 21 year old spinster, resident at 22 Manchester Street. Her father is Alfred Edgar Smith, electrical engineer.

I can find no trace of George in the 1911 census, but his wife Margaret Beardsworth, aged 27, a machinist was living with her brother Alfred J Smith, a 24 year old shorthand typist at a motor engineers and their mother Margaret, a 52 year old widow at 45 Clarendon Road, Luton.

It appears that George may have already emigrated to Australia. A George Beardsworth sailed from London to Brisbane on 28 January 1909. Although the right age to be George, he states that his occupation is "an engineer", which is not his known occupation. George had certainly arrived in Australia by 1913 when he appears in the Australia Electoral rolls living in Ingham, Herbert, Queensland along with Henry Beardsworth and his wife, Ellen Elizabeth. George is described as a labourer, Henry as a farmer.

George's uncle, Henry Beardsworth had emigrated to Australia earlier. He had been baptised on 26 August 1849 in Minister-on-Sheppey. He was a "Commercial traveller - haberdashery" living with his parents at the Vicarage in Selling in 1871, Henry left for Australia on the "Indus" under the "Assisted Immigration Package 1848 to 1912" arriving on 8 October 1873. On 24 August 1897 he married Ellen Elizabeth Barrett in Ingham, Australia. Henry Beardsworth died in Wynnum, Australia on 1 June 1919. His wife Ellen Elizabeth Beardsworth of Sussex Street, West End, Brisbane, Australia died on 15 June 1939 in Brisbane River, Brisbane. Administration of both of their estates (in England) was granted on 27 March 1942 to, in Henry's case, Percival Albert Wright, solicitor attorney of Hubert Parker Waring and, in the case of Ellen Elizabeth Beardsworth, to Hubert Parker Waring, mill employee. Their effects in England were valued £346.18s.8d.

In 1930, 1936, 1937, 1941 and 1943 George Coupland Beardsworth is living in Cannon Valley, Prosperpine, Queensland. He is listed as a farmer. There is no reference to his wife Margaret, and it seems she may never have joined him in Australia. 

In 1933 Margaret Mary Beardsworth was living at 101, Marsh Road, Luton with Alfred John Smith. Margaret M Beardsworth may have remarried in 1935 (Reg Gen Sept 1935 Luton 3b 1274). In 1939 she was living at 101, Marsh Road with Richard Percy Jones. 

George Coupland Beardsworth died on 16 January 1948 in Queensland, Australia.

Constance Margaret Owen formerly Cooper nee Beardsworth

Constance Margaret Beardsworth married Henry Vernon Cooper on 5 October 1904 at the Christ Church, Broadway in the parish of St Margaret's, Westminster. Henry Vernon Cooper was a 37 year old widower, a gentleman who gives his address as "Hotel Windsor". His father is George Chester Cooper, gentleman. Constance, aged 24 gives her address as Walfield Bank, Whetstone and describes her father as Clarence George Beardsworth, gentleman. The witnesses included Robert Granville Cooper and Charles Beardsworth.

Henry Vernon Cooper had been baptised on 24 May 1866 in Addlestone, Surrey. He had previously been married to Maude Ferrari Southgate. The marriage had taken place on 25 April 1901 at Christ Church, Ottershaw.  Maude was the daughter of Tufnel Southgate (deceased), a solicitor.  Maude died on 11 December 1902 aged 29 years old. Probate was granted to Henry Vernon Cooper, gentleman. Her estate was valued at £19,067. 11s. 3d, a huge amount in those days!!

Henry and Constance had a son Leslie Chester Cooper was born on 5 June 1907.  He was baptised on 16 July 1907 in Nursling, son of Henry Vernon Cooper and Constance Margaret Cooper of Clover Nook, Redbridge. Henry is described as "Esquire". He is mentioned in the codicil to Ashfield's sister Mary Jane Finemore's will dated 12 October 1907 (Chapter 7).

When the 1911 census was taken on 2 April 31 year old Constance was living with her husband, Henry who is described as of "private means" at Clover Nook, Redbridge, near Southampton. Their son Leslie was three years old. Also listed are a cook and housemaid. Constance would have been heavily pregnant with their second son at that time.  

Henry and Constance's son Denis Vernon Cooper was born on 2 May 1911 and baptised on 1 June 1911, son of Henry Vernon Cooper and Constance Margaret Cooper of Clover Nook, Redbridge. Henry is described as "Esquire".  

Henry Vernon Cooper of Clover Nook, Redbridge died on 23 January 1918 aged 51 years old. Probate was granted to Reverend Joseph Leonard Boulder, clerk, George Chester Cooper, fruit grower and William Fielder Johnson, solicitor. His effects were valued at £9,806 17s 6d.

Henry is mentioned in the Alumni for Jesus College, Cambridge. 

Constance remarried later that year on 12 November 1918 at St Swithin's Church, Bournemouth. Her second husband was Owen White, a 37 year old bachelor, a grain importer living at 32, Kings Park Road, Bournemouth, son of Thomas Thompson White, civil servant (retired).  Constance was a 38 year widow from Honston, New Milton, Hampshire, daughter of Clarence George Beardsworth, merchant (deceased). The witnesses were Lydia White and Thomas Thompson White. 

In 1921 Owen and Constance were living at Fernhill, New Milton. Owen was a 39 year old grain merchants assistant working for Fear, Colebrook & Co Ltd of Southampton. Constance, aged 41 was on "home duties". Constance's son Denis Vernon Cooper was 10 years old and in school "whole time".The register notes his "father dead". Also listed is 28 year old Ada Mary Loader, a general domestic servant. Constance's elder son Leslie was a 14-year-old student in Cranleigh, Surrey.  He was described as "from Redbridge, Hampshire" and the register also notes "father dead".  

In 1939 Owen and Constance were living at "Winthorpe", South Avenue, Lymington. Owen was a retired grain importer salesman. Constance was on unpaid domestic duties. Both her sons had left home. 

Nothing more is known about Owen and Constance. 

Henry and Constance's son Leslie Chester Cooper married Barbara Florence Manning in 1936 in Portsmouth Registry Office. Barbara had previously been married in 1926 to Godfrey Charles Blakeway (1900 - 1951) and they had had two children. Godfrey had attempted to take his own life in April 1932 following a bankruptcy order in He was found guilty by reason of insanity and detained at his Majesty's pleasure, but had been released by the time that the 1939 census was taken and was living with his parents.

 Leslie and Barbara had a son of their own who was born prior to their marriage.

  • Clive Chester Cooper. Born 14 June 1934 in Portsmouth. Clive Chester Cooper of Stamford House, 1 Beach Street, Deal, Kent died on 8 February 1979

 By 1939 Leslie was living 62 Central Road, West Drayton, Portsmouth where Leslie was a garage proprietor and motor engineer.  The next two entries are closed, but these are followed by one of Barbara's childen from her first marriage who was "at school" and Clive Cooper who was "under school age". As reported below Leslie and Barbara divorced in 1943 as a result of her adultery. 

Barbara went on to marry again in 1944, her third husband was Robert Stephenson Smythe Baden Powell Robson (1900–1960). Barbara Robsen died in 1993 in Banstead. It is not known what became of Leslie Cooper Chester, but the newspaper item from Andrews Newspaper Index below dated 10 November 1955 appears to be seeking him out with "news to his advantage". It's not clear why? 

Henry and Constance's son Denis Vernon Cooper married Agnes E Nicholson in 1939 in Southampton. In 1939 Denis and Agnes were living at To-O For East Cliff Way, Christchurch, Hampshire. Denis was a retail radio dealer and engineer. Agnes was on "unpaid domestic duties". Denis Vernon Cooper died in 1979 in Poole, Dorset, aged 67 years old. Between 2003 and 2006 Ms Agnes E Cooper was living at 60, New Forest Drive, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7QW. Nothing more is known about Agnes.

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