HENRY (HARRY) MARKS & SONS, BAKERS

Like many of the very long-standing family businesses in Epsom and Ewell, this one, at 15 Kingston Road, Ewell, eventually disappeared, perhaps in this case through lack of heirs.

Marks Bakery in the 1910s
Marks Bakery in the 1910s.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum.

There seems to have been no history of baking in the Marks family. Henry was born on 25 June 1841 in Leatherhead and his father, George (c.1803-80), was a bricklayer there; his mother was Charlotte (c.1809-67) from Kingston. Henry seems to have learnt his trade with Charles Wood in High Street, Epsom and by 1871 he had his own establishment in High Street, Cheam; by 1881 he had opened the premises in Ewell.

In 1869 Henry married carrier's daughter Mary Ann Shepherd from Cheam. She was most probably related to the William Shepherd who had been the previous incumbent of the Kingston Road bakery. They had ten children in all, but sadly lost six of them in childhood (see below).

Name Born Married Died
Eliza 1870 - 1930
Henry 1872 Emma Amelia Morris 1955
Charles 1873 - 1874 (11 months)
William Robert 1874 - 1879 (4 yrs)
Emma 1875 - 1885 (9 yrs)
Charlotte Lydia 1877 - 1879 (2 yrs)
George Arthur 1878 1949
Alice Mary 1880 - 1885 (4 yrs)
Thomas 1881 1937
Esther Ada 1883 - 1884 (8 months)


All four of the surviving children helped in the business, milling flour and baking, with Henry Junior carrying on after his father died on 14 March 1920. Mary Ann had predeceased him in 1915, aged 73.

Marks Shop
Marks Bakery, date unknown.
Image source Bourne Hall Museum.

Grave of Henry, Mary Ann and Eliza Marks
Grave of Henry, Mary Ann and Eliza Marks in St Mary's Churchyard, Ewell.
Image courtesy of Gravestone Photographic Resource.

It does not look as if any of the children, other than Henry Junior, married and he was 40 before he did so. His wife was Emma Amelia Morris, originally from Ewell, who was a domestic servant and also past 40. They had one child, Montague Maurice, born in 1914, but tragically he died in Egypt on 24 December 1942, whilst serving as a Leading Aircraftman in the RAF Volunteer Reserve; he is buried in the Suez War Memorial Cemetery.

Linda Jackson
August 2013

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