The Andrews Family
Part 2 - William Chase Morrish Andrews And Lucy Welby Dorling
The family of William Chase Morrish Andrews (c.1801-57) and Lucy Welby Dorling (1808-96)
In strict fairness, the names in the title should perhaps be the other way round, as it seems to be Mrs Andrews who featured rather more prominently in the town for many decades. She was Lucy Welby Dorling, born in Bexhill, East Sussex on 21 November 1808, daughter of printer William Dorling1
, originally from the Ipswich area, and Lucy Welby. Legend has it that, one day, William rode over the Downs, espied Epsom and decided to move there, which he did, in about 1821. The Dorlings
are well-documented elsewhere on this website.
Like his father, William Chase Morrish Andrews was a builder. In theory, from 1843, he was also the postmaster but it was actually Lucy who ran the High Street Post Office, the history of which is explained in Peter Reed's excellent account, entitled 'Local Postal Services
In his book 'Reminiscences of Epsom' William's son, James, says 'In 1843, the date of my father's appointment as postmaster, and for several years after, the business was transacted in one small room (in the house now occupied by Mrs Geo Furniss), the space thus afforded being amply sufficient for the requirements of the period. All transactions with the public (for whom no shelter was provided) were conducted through a small trap-door in the wall.'
William C M Andrews died on 8 March 1857. His will was a model of simplicity compared to that of his father - he simply left everything to Lucy. She then officially became the postmistress. Her father, William Dorling, who ran 'Dorling's Library', died in 1858. Presumably Lucy was not overly impressed with her late father's stock or the methods of display and in January 1859 her brother-in-law, Henry Andrews, auctioned it all off, with 'no reserve'. Looking at the advertisement for the sale, you can see where she was coming from!
Sale by Auction Flyer 1859
Although of undoubted good quality, the stock was a bewildering mixture and probably rather old-fashioned even in the 1850s - an upmarket version of Steptoe & Son. Leaving aside the amount of space needed, you would probably not expect to shift six valuable pianofortes, three harmoniums and a violoncello in a hurry, particularly in a stationery and book shop.
Lucy soon got things ship-shape and re-branded the business as 'L W Andrews & Son', whereupon the stock became more coherent for a printing, stationery and book business, although in due course the firm had also become a shipping agent and an entertainment agency, providing a band for your function (perhaps the musical instruments had not sold at the 1859 auction).
The '& Son' in the firm was Lucy's only son, James, and he will be the subject of Part 3. James effectively ran the shop and printing side of things, whilst Lucy dealt with the Post Office, assisted by daughter Mary Ann.
Another Andrews Advert
Before the demolition of the shop date not known
Before and after. Above is the Andrews shop as it used to be. It later became Pullinger's the stationers. The picture below shows the demolition of the shop in about 1931 to make way for Lloyd's Bank
The demolition of the shop c1931
In 1891 Lucy resigned as postmistress and Mary Ann took over completely, with James running the rest of the business, as he had done for many years. Lucy died in 1896, the same year as her sister-in-law, Jane Andrews.
James and Mary Ann continued to live together over the shop. In April 1915 Mary Ann died and on 24 April Lord Rosebery2 wrote to James as 'an old acquaintance and neighbour' offering his condolences on the occasion of James's 'grievous loss'. Sadly, on 14 November in that same year he had to write another such letter, this time to James's sister, Eliza Jeffery, expressing 'heartfelt regret' on the death of James.
Grave of William Chase Morrish, Lucy Welby and Jane Andrews in Epsom Cemetery.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011
That was effectively the end of the Andrews family in Epsom, apart from Eliza Jeffery. Part 3 of this series deal in more depth with James Andrews and Part 4 with his other sisters.
Linda Jackson © November 2011
1. Son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Dorling of Dennington, Suffolk.
2. The extent to which Lord Rosebery (the 5th Earl) was cognisant of people and events in the district is extremely striking. Elsewhere on this website we read of his great kindness in the matter of Henry Constable, the jockey, LINK and his concern for Robert Dearle the tallow chandler LINK