THE SCOTTS (Pikes Hill, Epsom)

Victorian Studio Photos
Victorian Studio Photos


This article was to be (I thought optimistically) quite short, but once I started the research properly all kinds of other local connections emerged from the woodwork - eventually it seemed that the Scotts were related in some way to half the population of Epsom, which was obviously a delusion, but we may be here for some time.

The people we want are Edward Scott and family. Unusually for subjects in this series, we have both the glass negatives of Cuthbert Hopkins' original photographs of Mr and Mrs Edward Scott and the Cartes de Visite/Cabinet Prints that resulted from them, which provides an opportunity to show you the process from start to finish. This is the image on the glass negative for Edward.

Edward Scott
Edward Scott
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

And this is what we ended up with.

Cabinet Print of Edward Scott from the above negative
Cabinet Print of Edward Scott from the above negative
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Edward Scott was christened at St Martin's, Epsom on 26 March 1789, and his parents were John and Sarah, who seem to be the occupants of Grave 169 at St Martin's - Sarah Scott, died 22 December 1819, aged 71, and John Scott (John 1), died 11 August 1839, aged 88. We have another John Scott (John 2) in the same plot, who died on 1 May 1813, aged 82, and he might have been John 1's father.

We know that John 1 was Edward's father because I have read his will (proved in 1839) and, difficult to decipher though it is, all the evidence is in there (I say this because there are some family trees online that seem to have the wrong John). According to reliable Fire Insurance records on this website, John 1 ran a combined shop and school on the corner of the High Street and East Street, Epsom. Edward assisted him and is variously described in censuses as a grocer and schoolmaster (and a postman, but we'll get to that eventually). Anyway, what we do know is that the Scotts were not poor and there was some money in the family - I am not talking vast wealth, but very reasonable assets. However, John's assets were split between various members of the family - Edward had several siblings - and it looks as if nobody ended up with a fortune.

Edward married Ann Rawlins, born about 1787 in Harbury, Warwickshire, on 5 April 1812 at St James, Piccadilly, a fine Christopher Wren church, and I have been in it (for a concert, as I recall), but I daresay it looked rather different in Edward's time.

St James, Piccadilly c.1814
St James, Piccadilly c.1814
Image source not known

Mrs Ann Scott
Mrs Ann Scott
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Cabinet Print of Mrs Ann Scott
Cabinet Print of Mrs Ann Scott
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

We shall now list the children, which is easier than usual, since the Scotts were Epsom through and through, so we just need to visit the St Martin's christening registers, and, unfortunately, the burial registers too.

NameInformation
ElizaBorn 1813;
married Daniel Hurssey.
See later.
Mary AnnBorn c.1815,
died 1837; buried St Martin's (grave 171).
SarahBorn 1816,
died 1838; buried St Martin's (grave 171).
Elizabeth ClarkBorn 1819,
died 1840; buried St Martin's.
CarolineBorn c.1822,
died 1837; buried St Martin's (grave 171).
HarrietBorn 1824;
married James Busbridge.
See later.
EmmaBorn c.1826,
died 1839; buried St Martin's.
LouisaBorn c.1828;
married William George.
See later.
Charlotte EldonBorn 1831;
married 1869 Frederick John Turner (died 1884) and then married 1885 William Muttitt/Muttett.
Died 1924 Wandsworth district.

There may have been one or two more in between, but they would not have survived for long. As you will have seen, all of the children were female and the majority of them did not live to a great age. Edward's occupation was described as a shopkeeper for all of the christenings and he was still a grocer in 1847 when his daughter Harriet married.

As I said earlier, Edward became a postman, although he was getting on in age to be pounding the streets and footpaths in and around Epsom. For instance, Peter Reed tells us on this website that in 1843 only two men were employed to carry the correspondence to Ewell, Cheam, Sutton, Banstead, Burgh Heath, Kingswood, Walton, Headley and Ashtead. Considering that letters were the only mode of communication in those days, there must have been considerable wear and tear on both the postman and his boot leather. However, by 1851, when Edward was doing the job, there were several other postmen to share the burden, including his son-in-law, William George.

By 1861 Edward, now into his 70s, was described as a land measurer and he was also the bailiff for Epsom Manor. The Scotts lived at Pikes Hill. They are fairly well represented in Bourne Hall Museum's photo collection (once you know the people you're looking for) and we shall get on to some of the others very soon, but before then we need to look at a painting for which he sat with one of his grandchildren. It's a 'genre' work by James Collinson and not really of particular artistic merit, but this kind of thing was popular in its day and there is a kind-of joke in the fact that the cat is lapping up its presumably cold milk enthusiastically, but the child has a temperature issue. So, this is 'Too Hot', exhibited in1859, depicting Mr Scott and one of his daughter Louisa's girls.

Too Hot
'Too Hot'.
Click image to enlarge, opens in a separate window.

I expect that, whatever the value was of the legacy left by Edward's father in 1839, it had probably dwindled quite a lot since then, and the Scotts also had their widowed daughter Eliza on the premises with her children. Eliza was taking in laundry, so funds must have been stretched all round. Mrs Ann Scott died in 1873, followed by Edward in 1874. Both are interred at Epsom Cemetery (Grave C71).

Eliza Scott

Eliza married Daniel Hurssey, who was at the time in that now defunct occupation of ivory turner: the wedding was at St Mary, Lambeth on 22 June 1839. There were several children, a couple of whom died very young, and Daniel himself died in 1853. Eliza returned to Epsom with her surviving children, who were Edward Rawlings (sic, but presumably named after his grandmother, who was a Rawlins), Julia Emma, Louisa Eliza, Mary Ann and Ellen Elizabeth.

Edward (born c.1841) dropped an 's' from his surname and became Hursey; he mostly did various kinds of manual work and seemed to have no real home of his own after his mother died, but he had married in 1883. His wife was Mary Ockenden, who was 41 at the time, and she was a daughter of James Ockenden of Downs Road. In 1911 they were living with some relatives of Mary in Sutton and she died there in 1914. Edward ended up in Newington Workhouse and died in 1917. Both of them are buried in Epsom Cemetery but there is no gravestone. To give a big nod to Loz Hennessy, who has done sterling work in photographing stones in the Cemetery, he has identified the site of the grave and taken both a picture of the setting and the grass which covers the grave.

Julia married a draper, John Thomas Augustus Benson, in 1870 and they settled in Epsom, but he expired in 1875, aged just 36 (there was a daughter, Florence, born to Julia in Epsom in 1868 and registered with the surname of Hurssey, so we don't know who her father was). Florence may well have been the Florence Hurssey who was buried at St Martin's in 1871, aged three. In 1877 Julia remarried, the bridegroom being one James William Medhurst, and there was a daughter, Amy, born c.1881 Epsom. I am sorry to say that both Julia and Amy were listed as pauper inmates of Epsom Union Workhouse in the 1881 census. Julia is described as married rather than widowed and I believe she died in 1886, aged 40. Looking at the Workhouse records on this website, I think that Mr Medhurst was also an inmate, from 1884 to 1885, and he is marked as dead. The age is wrong in the GRO Index, but it is likely to be him. Little Amy had died in 1883, aged two. The Medhurst abode was in Leatherhead before all this happened, where in 1881 James was living as a coachman/caretaker with three children from his first marriage, his wife, Laura Louisa, having died at the age of 27.

Next up is Louisa Hurssey and I'm afraid she didn't last long either but the family she married into was well known locally. Her husband was George James Beams, then a bootmaker's shopman, and they lived in South Street. Mr Beams then went on to run his own boot businesses and became a personage in civic activities. There is a potted biography in our Epsom Businesses 1911 piece and we've also rummaged up a photo of him as he was in later life.

George James Beams
George James Beams
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Louisa had three children by George and died on 26 April 1875, aged 27: this was probably childbirth-related, as a daughter, Louisa Ellen, was born in that same year, but sadly died in 1876. They are both buried in Epsom Cemetery (Grave F15A).

Grave of Louisa Eliza Beams (née Hurssey)
Grave of Louisa Eliza Beams (née Hurssey)
Image courtesy of Loz Hennessy ©2019

Mary Ann Hurssey married William Polley, but they didn't live in our area. And, finally, Ellen Hurssey married tailor Charles Ernest Percy in 1875. I'm not sure what happened to Mr Percy, but by 1881 Ellen was back with her mother, laundering in the cottages on Pikes Hill. Ellen died in 1923, Eliza Hurssey having predeceased her in 1897.

Harriet Scott

Harriet led me a merry dance, simply because her marriage records (GRO and parish) all say that the bridegroom was James Rusbridge (albeit that he clearly signed himself Busbridge on the marriage certificate). James was a gas fitter, initially from Ongar. We know more about their son, Alfred Edward, than we do about them and you can read about him and see some good photos in our Epsom Businesses 1911 piece. James died in 1901 and Harriet in 1906; they are buried in Grave A194 at Epsom Cemetery.

Louisa Scott

Louisa married William George at Holy Trinity, Newington on 6 July 1851. It's odd, don't you think, that the Scotts seemed to avoid St Martin's for their weddings and the Georges don't seem to have had their last four children christened there either - perhaps there had been fallings-out with the irascible Reverend Benjamin Bradney Bockett, which wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, William was a farmer's son from Wigton, Cumberland, born in about 1826. We know that he was an army pensioner, as well as a letter carrier/postman, and he is said to have served in the Sikh Wars, which occurred in the mid to late 1840s between the Sikhs and the East India Company.

Louisa George (née Scott)
Louisa George (née Scott)
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

William George
William George
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

William seems to have continued as a postman until he died in May 1892, so he had been pounding the highways and byways with the letters for more than 40 years, which is pretty impressive.

Time for a table of George children, I think.

NameInformation
Louisa AnnBorn 29/8/1852;
married widower William Stoner 1885.
See below.
HarrietBorn 29/10/1854;
married Frederick James Holloway 1885.
Died 1909 West Ham district.
JaneBorn 27/9/1856,
married William Lewis Rogers 1877.
Died 1899.
HenryBorn 26/12/1858;
died 1862 (3 yrs). Buried St Martin's.
WilliamBorn 1861;
married 1889 Edith Mary Coomber.
Died 1941 Wokingham.
WalterBorn 1863; see below.
ClaraBorn 1867; see below.
ElizabethBorn 1870; see below.

Louisa and her husband, William Stoner, started out in Banstead, where he was a farm bailiff; they then moved to Worcester Park Farm, Cuddington. William died in 1908 and by 1911 Louisa had returned to Epsom with her daughter, also Louisa .Ann; she died in 1919, followed by her daughter in 1922 and they are both interred in Epsom Cemetery (Grave F331).

Walter was a house painter; he married Edith Ann(ie) Jones in 1883 and a daughter, Florence Edith, was born in 1885, but Edith died in the December and was brought from Brixton to be interred in Epsom Cemetery. Florence died in 1886, aged just one, and is also in the Cemetery. By 1911 Walter was living with his sister Clara and her family at 53 Albert Road (where we shall return in a trice). Walter died in 1931.

Walter George
Walter George
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Clara married bricklayer Thomas Smith in 1901 and they lived at the aforementioned 53 Albert Road, with their children, Thomas George and Hilda May.

Clara George
Clara George
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Thomas George and Hilda May Smith outside 53 Albert Road
Thomas George and Hilda May Smith outside 53 Albert Road
Image, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Clara died in 1914 at St Thomas's Hospital, Lambeth and is in Grave F135A.

Elizabeth George married policeman Ernest James Terry Short in 1906 at St Martin's; Constable Short was one of the officers in the police station on the occasion of the Epsom Riot in which Sergeant Green suffered a fatal head wound, but fortunately Ernest was only slightly injured. Elizabeth and Ernest died in 1951 and 1954 respectively. Here is a very late photo of Mrs Louisa George with her grandson, Donald (Don) Short, who was born towards the end of 1908. She would have been about 81/82 here.

Louisa George with her grandson, Don Short
Louisa George with her grandson, Don Short
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Louisa died at the age of 82 in April 1910, still living at Pikes Hill. Her house was next door to the Railway Guard pub and here is one final shot of her sitting in her garden. She was interred in Grave F75A with her husband, as were Elizabeth and Ernest Short in due course.

Louisa George in her garden at Pikes Hill
Louisa George in her garden at Pikes Hill
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Linda Jackson 2019