Chapter 8

Susanna Love nee Ponting

Susanna Ponting was born on 9 March 1842 at Hengaston Farm in the parish of Breadstone. She was the daughter of Henry Ponting, farmer and Jane Jones of Hengaston Farm. Susanna was baptised on 6 April 1842 at Stinchcome, the daughter of Henry Ponting of Hengaston, farmer and his wife Jane (Chapter 4).

The 1851 census return shows Susanna, aged 9, a scholar, born Berkeley living with her widowed mother, Jane and her siblings at Appleridge, Highfield, Berkeley.

In 1861 Susanna now aged 19 was still living at Appleridge, although all her brothers appear to have left home (Chapter 4)

By 1871 the family had moved to London and on 23 March 1871 Susanna Ponting married Benjamin Love at St Peters Church, Bayswater. Susanna is described as a spinster of full age. Her father is said to be Henry Ponting, farmer. Benjamin Love was a 42 year old bachelor, a draper, the son of Benjamin Love, builder. Later censuses show that he was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset.  

Both Susanna and Benjamin give their address as 123 Westbourne Grove at the time of the marriage, although for Benjamin one assumes that this was a matter of convenience, for Benjamin hailed from Walsall and in 1861 was living next door to Susanna's uncle Thomas Ponting (Chapter 3) in Walsall. The entry for High Street, Walsall includes:

  • Benjamin Love, head, single, aged 33, draper, employing 5 hands, born Lyme Regis
  • 5 drapers shop men aged between 15 & 28
  • Mary Hill, servant, aged 31
  • Martha Hill, visitor, aged 12, presumably a relative of Mary's.

The witnesses to the wedding appear to be A P George, Sarah Jones, S A Jones, T H Ponting (Thomas - Chapter 6), M J Ponting (Mary Jane - Chapter 7) and A A Ponting (Ashfield - Chapter 12). Whether the Jones are relatives of Jane's has yet to be established, although she did have a sister Sarah.

Both Susanna and Benjamin signed the register. The certificate below is from the parish records and includes the actual signatures.

Benjamin and Susanna's marriage appeared in the Gloucestershire Journal dated 1 April 1871 

"Marriage - March 23rd at St Peters, Bayswater by the Rev Dr Robbins, Benjamin Love of Walsall to Susanna, second daughter of the late Henry Ponting of Appleridge, Berkeley, in this county".

We know that the Ponting's had retained close relations in Berkeley (Chapters 11, 12 & Appendices A to L) and this is presumably why the marriage came to be recorded in the Gloucestershire Journal.

"Aunt Sissie's journal" (see chapter 9) may explain how Susanna met her husband - "Meantime Jane's brother had become a successful mantle and dress manufacturer and as each child attained 14, he took them to learn the drapery trade. None of them minded except John and Susan who loved the land and the farm animals, but they had to go"

"Dear Aunt Sue.............Homesick for her mother and the farm she was sent to the Uncle's shop and so hated it that when another businessman asked her to marry him and offered her a nice home she went off and married him, only to find he meant her to "attend" the Counting House and his old housekeeper "held the reigns".  

I believe that it would have been Henry's brother Thomas Ponting (Chapter 3) rather than one of Jane's brothers to whom the children were sent. All Jane's brothers were farmers and it was Thomas who was living in Walsall. However if Susanna was sent to her uncle when she was 14, this would have been in 1856, some time before the wedding and in 1861 she was living with her mother. 

The 1871 census was taken on 2 April 1871. No trace has been found of either Benjamin or Susanna.

At the time the 1881 census was taken, Benjamin and Susanna were living at 2 High Street, Walsall and they had five children;

  • Ethel Marie Love (transcribed as Esther M), daughter, aged 7, born Walsall (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1873 Walsall 6b 677)
  • Myldred Jane Love, daughter, aged 6, scholar, born Walsall  (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1874 Walsall 6b 699)
  • Hilda Ashfield Love, daughter , aged 5, scholar, born Walsall (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1875 Walsall 6b 686)
  • Frank Love, son, aged 4, born Walsall (Reg Gen March Qtr 1877 Walsall 6b 769)
  • Horace Love, son, aged 2, born Walsall (Reg Gen March Qtr 1879 Walsall 7b 768)
  • Plus 4 drapers assistants (William Cook, aged 21, Frank Raynor, aged 17, Willim Carroll, ged 21 and Prudence Barnsby, aged 19) and 2 general servants (Sarah Bradbury, aged 30 and Sarah Williams, aged 20).

Benjamin and Susanna are still living at 2 High Street, Walsall in 1891 and a further two children had been born. The census records

  • Benjamin Love, head, aged 64, draper, born Lyme Regis, Dorset
  • Susanna Love, wife, aged 49, born Berkeley
  • Ethel M Love, daughter, aged 17, born Walsall
  • Mildred Love, daughter, aged 16, scholar, born Walsall
  • Hilda A Love, daughter, aged 15, scholar, born Walsall
  • Frank Love, son, aged 14, scholar, born Walsall
  • Hosa A Love (Horace), son, aged 12, born Walsall
  • George Love, son, aged 9, scholar, born Walsall (Reg Gen Sept 1881 Walsall 6b 674)
  • Clarissa Love, daughter, aged 7, scholar, born Walsall (Reg Gen June Qtr 1883 Walsall 6b 753)
  • Plus 4 drapers assistants and 2 domestic servants 

indicating that their business and standard of living had remained substantially the same in the intervening 10 years.

"The poor children were left in the morning, but had a good and faithful "nannie". As they grew older........... they all had to be in bed at 9.30 and no bedroom doors shut, Often Auntie would go down when Ben was asleep and unlock the doors if the boys were out late". 

Benjamin Love, linen draper, of Walsall died on 4 June 1894. Probate was granted to Susanna Love and Thomas Hewitt Ponting, draper. His effects were valued at £1,346 10s 6d (about £105K in 2006).

On 16 November 1894 the following notice appears in the London Gazette.

"Notice is hereby given, that all creditors and other persons having any debts, claims, or demands upon or against the estate of Benjamin Love, late of Walsall in the county of Stafford, draper (who died on 4th day of June 1894) and whose will was proved by Susannah Love and Thomas Hewett Ponting, the executors, therein named, on or about the 17th day of August 1894, in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice) are hereby required to send in particulars, in writing, of their claims or demands to us, the undersigned, as solicitors for the said executors, on or before the 17th day of December next: and notice is also hereby given, that after the said day the said executors will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased among the persons entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims of which the said executors shall then have had notice; and that the said executors will not be liable for the assets, or any part thereof , so distributed to any person or persons of whose debt, claim or demand they the said executors shall not then have had notice"

TIPPETTS and Son, 11 Maiden Lane


The 1896 Kelly's Trade Directory still lists the business at 2 High Street, Walsall as being run by Benjamin Love (exors of). 

Seven years after being widowed Susanna was still living at 2 High Street, Walsall and had taken over the business. The entry in the 1901 census shows

  • Susanna Love, aged 58, head, widow, draper (employer) working at home, born Gloucestershire
  • Mildred Love, daughter, aged 26, draper working on her own account, born Walsall
  • Horace Love, son , aged 22, apprentice electrician, working at home (!), born Walsall
  • Clarice Love (presumably Clarissa in the earlier census), daughter, aged 18, born Walsall
  • 2 drapers assistants, domestic cook and domestic housekeeper.

The picture shows Walsall High Street in the early 1900's. More can be found

In 1911 Susanna Love is still living at 2 High Street, Walsall and although now 68 is still employed as a draper. Living with her is her 33 year old daughter Hylda Ashfield Armstrong, who was also now a widow and her son Gordon James Armstrong, aged 13.

At some time Susanna left Walsall and moved to London. When she made her will on 20 March 1925 she was living at 7 Courtside, High Street, Sydenham, Kent.

Susanna Love died on 19 June 1932 aged 90 at 41 Hook Road, Surbiton, Surrey. It seems that she was living with her unmarried daughter Myldred Jane Love at the time. Myldred would have been 57 years old. In her will she appoints Myldred as her executor makes the following bequests.

  • To her son Horace, "my carved bookcase and my books, the oil painting of his father and my two silver plated entrée dishes"
  • To her daughter Clarice, "all my bracelets and rings"
  • To her daughter Mildred all her remaining jewellery and personal effects and "all my linen, china, glass, pictures an furniture and all other articles of domestic or household use"

The remainder of her estate is to be divided equally between her children (or if deceased their children). The will does make reference to "any real or leasehold property " owned and gives Myldred the right to accept surrenders of leases, or pay for repairs from rental income, etc, but it is not clear that any such property was owned. Susanna's estate was valued at £2,125 2s 9d (the equivalent of £101K in 2006).

Ethel Marie Shore nee Love

Benjamin and Susanna's daughter Ethel Marie Love had married Harry Shore in Walsall in 1895 (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1895 Walsall 6b 1223). Harry Shore was the son of Pharez Shore, a surgeon and his wife, Hannah.

In 1901, 27 year old Ethel was living at 31 Bradford Street, Walsall with husband, Harry, a 29 year old doctor (MD) and son Clarence, aged 4 months plus two general servants. Clarence Lewis Shore had been born on 29 November 1900 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1901 Walsall 2b 719).

In 1911 Harry and Ethel Marie Shore were living at 6 Lichfield Road, Walsall. Harry, aged 39, gives his occupation as medical officer of health and police surgeon of the county borough of Walsall. Also at the address is Harry and Ethel's 10 year old son Clarence Lewis Shore, their nephew John Bernard Armstrong (see below) and Mary Ann Hawkins, domestic servant.

In 1915 Harry Shore is listed in the Medical Directory at The Laurels, Lichfield Road, Walsall. He is described as "MD Durham 1895, M.B., M.S., 1892, B.S., 1892, D.P.H., 1894 (Queens College Hospital, Birmingham & Durham University): M.O.H & Police Surg. Co., Boro. Walsall; late Hon. Surg. Walsall & District Hosp.; Med. Exam. Walsall Educat. Comm." 

Harry Shore died on 22 June 1923 at Walsall General Hospital aged 52 years.

His obituary in the British Medical Journal dated 28 July 1923 reads

""Harry Shore, M.D., D.P.H., Medical Officer of Health, Walsall. We regret to record the death, in tragic circumstances, at the age of 52, of Dr Harry Shore, medical officer of health for Walsall for the past fourteen years. Dr Shore met by chance the superintendent health visitor in his department, who was riding a motor bicycle. Dr Shore was much interested in motors, having been one of the first persons in the district to drive a motor car, and suggested trying the motor bicycle. Unfortunately, the end of his coat caught in the driving wheel and he fell to the ground, fracturing the base of his skull.

Dr Shore was educated at Queen's College, Birmingham, and Durham University , and at the latter he graduated M.B., B.S., in 1892, and M.D. in 1895, and took the D.P.H. in 1894. He was formerly in general practice in Walsall, and held the appointment of honorary surgeon to the Walsall General Hospital for some seven years, before being appointed medical officer of health, school medical officer and police surgeon. He was a zealous and conscientious medical officer, a man of strong convictions and fearless in expressing them. He is survived by his widow and one son."

Administration of his estate was granted to his widow Ethel Marie Shore of 3 Denmark Road, Walsall, his widow. His effects were valued at £864 11s 6d.

"Aunt Sissie's journal" describes how Ethel's husband "cared only for his poor patients and wouldn't bother with money affairs - he was adored by the poor and was killed falling off a motor bike - mackintosh caught in the wheel. Nothing left for her so she had to go home and with Millie (see below) they had a dressmaking and fancy works business - Millie and a staff did the dresses and she made several for Mrs Chase".  

When Ethel died in 18 April 1933 (aged 59) she was living at 4 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, Surrey, with her sister Myldred. Administration of her estate was granted to her son Clarence Lewis Shore, schoolmaster. The estate was valued at £766 2s 4d.

In 1939 Clarence was living at 4 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, Surrey with his Aunt Mildred and his cousin Gordon Armstrong (see below). Clarence was single and employed as an "L C C Schoolmaster". 

In 1965 Clarence is the only person listed in the electoral register at 4 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, perhaps indicating that he never married. 

Clarence Lewis Shore of 4 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton died on 19 May 1979 in Surrey aged 78 years old (Reg Gen Surrey North Western 17 0520). 

Mildred Jane Love

Mildred had been born on 6 October 1874.In 1901 Mildred was still living with her mother at 2 High Street, Walsall, she was 23 years old and a draper working on her own account.

In 1911 Mildred Love "Millie", now aged 33 was employed as a dispenser and was boarding with Catherine Elizabeth Clarke at 440 Gillott Road, Egbaston. According to "Aunt Sissie's journal"  she was "with one doctor for many years - gave it up in 1920 to help her sister and make a home for her mother - her fiancee died". She later ran  a dressmaking and "fancy works" business with her sister Ethel. 

In 1939 Mildred was living at 4 Glenbuck Road, Surbition. Also listed are Clarence L Shore, her sister Ethel's son, a schoolmaster and Gordon J Armstrong, her sister Hylda's son, a bank accountant.

Mildred Jane Love of 4 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, Surrey, spinster, died on 5 September 1947. Administration of her estate was granted to Clarence Lewis Shore, schoolmaster. Her effects were worth £478.00.

Hylda Ashfield Armstrong nee Love

Hylda Ashfield Love had married James Armstrong in Walsall in 1897 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1897 Walsall 2b 1244).

In 1901, aged 25 she was living at 56 Lichfield Road, Walsall with 34 year old husband, James, a solicitor, and sons, Gordon J, aged 3 and John B aged 1 plus two domestic servants, a housemaid and a nurse.

Gordon James Armstrong had been born on 30 August 1897 (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1897 Walsall 6b 709).  

John Bernard Armstrong had been born on 1 September 1899 (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1899 Walsall 6b 782) and baptised on 20 September 1899. 

I have been told that James Armstrong died in Buffalo, New York in January 1908 having abscounded from bankruptcy, but can find nothing to date to support this! 

So by 1911 Hylda had been widowed  and was living with Susanna Love at 2 High Street, Walsall. Also listed is her son Gordon James Armstrong, aged 13. Hylda's other son John Bernard Armstrong was living with his Uncle and Aunt, Harry and Ethel Marie Shore at 6 Lichfield Road, Walsall. 

Hylda Ashfield Armstrong of 57, Worsley Road, Worsley, Lancashire died on 17 August 1936. . Administration of her estate was granted to her son Gordon James Armstrong, bank accountant. Her effects were worth £961 9s 3d

In 1939 Gordon was living with his Aunt Mildred at 4 Glenbuck Road, Surbition He was a bank accountant - insurance. His brother John B Armstrong was also still single, an insurance agent living at 26 Stirling Road, Birmingham, in a guest house run by Mrs Gladys Egergton.  

John Bernard Armstrong of 26 Stirling Road, Birmingham died on 11 December 1959 on the way to The General Hospital, Birmingham. Administration was granted to The Public Trustee.  

Gordon James Armstrong of 1 Shirley Drive, Hove died on 16 April 1980 in Hove, East Sussex aged 82.  

Frank, Horace and George Love

By 1901 Frank and George Love were both living at 40 Overton Road, Lambeth. 23 year old Frank and 20 year old George were both employed as drapers assistants. No head of household is given and all the occupants are described as boarders. At 38 Overton Road, the head of the household is Kate M Rory who is described as a housekeeper/domestic worker in the business of a boarding home so I expect Frank and George were boarding with her. This does not give any clues as to who they were working for at the time.

Horace Love was a 22 year old apprentice electrician still living with his mother at 2, High Street, Walsall.

In 1911 George Love, aged 29 and a drapers assistant was boarding with James and Ethel Annie Hames at 48, Swindersby Road, Wembley, Middx. The Australia World War I Service Records show that a George Love, born Walsall enlisted in the 30th Battalion of Australian Imperial Forces and died of wounds on 30 September 1917. His next of kin was his mother Susanna Love. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. 

I cannot trace Horace Love in the 1911 census. It is possible he enlisted in the Rifle Brigade on 6 September 1914 and was discharged wounded on 13 September 1917. According to "Aunt Sissie's journal" Horace went to South Africa. In 1920 Horace Love, aged 41, inspector of works and Ellen E M Love, aged 35, arrived in London on the "S S Ingoma"  having sailed from Beira, Mozambique. They show their country of last permanent residence as South Africa and their future intended residence as "British Possessions".    

I have also been unable to trace Frank Love in the 1911 census. According to "Aunt Sissie's journal" Frank died in Australia from tuberculous. A Frank Love, a 35 year old farmer had sailed from Liverpool arriving in Melbourne on 9 March 1912. I had previously thought that he may have  enlisted in the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment and went missing presumed dead between 27 September and 30 September 1915. The death of Lance Corporal Frank Love is recorded at the Loos Memorial at Loos-en-Gohelle, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, but this does not appearto be "our Frank". Neither is he the Frank Love that died in Walsall in 1915 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1915 Walsall 6b 893). 

Clarissa Blackwell nee Love

Clarissa Love had married Thomas Freeston Blackwell on 26 April 1905 at Little Aston, Staffordshire. (Reg Gen June Qtr 1905 Lichfield 6b 753).

By 1911, 36 year old Thomas and 26 year old Clarissa were living at The Beeches, 54 Lichfield Road, Walsall. They had one son James Trevor Blackwell who had been born on 17 June 1906.

It appears that the family later emigrated to Australia. On 18 December 1913, Mr Thos H Blackwell, aged 39, manager, and Mrs C Blackwell, aged 30, sailed from Liverpool to Australia 3rd class on the "Ceramic". Their son James is not listed.

In 1919 Mrs Clarissa Blackwell, aged 35 returned to the UK, sailing from Sydney to London on the "SS Osterley" arriving on 30 April 1919. Clarissa Blackwell returned to Australia in April 1920 on the "Argyllshire". This time she was travelling with her 13 year old son James. Was this the same trip? 

In the 1930, 1933 and 1937 electoral rolls, Thomas Freeston Blackwell, a fancy goods manufacturer, Clarissa Blackwell and James Trevor Blackwell, a wireless mechanic are listed at 347 Western Road, Wentworthville, Werriwa, New South Wales. Clarissa Blackwell had returned to the UK in the interim arriving in London on the "Balranoid" on 17 May 1930.

In 1943 and 1958 both Thomas Freeston and Clarissa Blackwell are still at 347 Western Road, Wentworthville. 

In 1939 their son James Trevor Blackwell enlisted in the Army. In 1943 he is living with his parents at 347 Western Road and was a wireless mechanic. He married Gladys Annie Lawson on 9 January 1954 at Paramatta. James was a fancy leather goods manufacturer of 347 Western Road. Gladys was on 'home duties' and gives her address as 115 Prospect Road. In 1963 they were living at 115 Prospect Road, Wentworthville. In 1980 Gladys Annie Blackwell was still living at 115 Prospect Road, but James is not listed so may have died. 

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