Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Henry William Stone and Sarah Snow and Jane Tarr

Huntsham : All Saints Church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

Henry Stone, second son of my 2x great-grandparents, Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, born in Ashbrittle, Somerset, in 1856, is to be found at home with his parents - no surprise, aged 4 - at Court Place, Ashbrittle, in 1861. 

In 1871, aged 13, I believe it is this Henry Stone, who is employed as an Indoor Agricultural Labourer working for Richard Poole (62) a Farmer of 170 acres, employing 7 labourers and 1 boy, at Bathealton, Somerset.

Poole & Burgess, Bathealton
A view of Bathealton: Poole & Burgess from the other direction, along the path arriving from Dairy House Farm. The curiously-named 17th Century house with the irregular roof line is "named after 2 earlier owners" (Archive Link) . It is shown on one map as "Poole Farm".

On 27 Feb 1879 Ellen Stone Snow was born at Putson Cottages, Blundells Road, Tiverton to Sarah Snow, a Domestic Servant and in 1881, this child was living with Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, listed as their granddaughter. 

Only two of Henry and Mary's sons looked likely to be this child's father and I was about to cast more aspersions upon the character of John Stone, until I discovered the marriage of Sarah Snow and William Henry Stone (baptised Henry William) on 23 Jul 1879 at All Saints' Church, Huntsham. Witnesses were John Voisey and the bridegroom's sister, Mary Ann (Marrianne).

But Sarah Stone, wife of Henry Stone a Farm Labourer, died only months later, on 22 Jan 1880, from Phthisis acuta (Acute tuberculosis), at Huntsham. Emma Maunder, sister, was present at her death. This explains why, in 1881, Henry Stone, is a widower, aged just 24, living alone at Little Fair Oak, Uplowman. 

At that same time, in Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway's household were two visitors: Mary Ann Tarr (27) and Jane Tarr (22). (The sisters were daughters of William Tarr and his wife, Jane Wood, a Hostler, of Marsh Bridge Road, Dulverton, Somerset.) Clearly they were there preparing for a wedding, because in the 2nd quarter of 1881, William Henry Stone married Jane Tarr.  

Henry and Jane had two further children: 
  1. Frederick Henry Stone born 1885, bap. 26 Apr 1885, son of Henry and Jane, at St Mary’s churchUffculme (died 1887)
  2. Louisa Jane Stone born 1888, bap. 26 Feb 1888 as Louisa Mary Jane Stone, daughter of William Henry and Jane, at St Mary’s churchUffculme.

On 29 July 1887 The Western Times reported on the inquest into the accidental death of Frederick Henry Stone, 2½ yrs old, of Wellington Road, Uffculme, whose clothes caught fire, causing burns over his whole body, as did the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. This report of the inquest, which was held in the cottage where they lived, is perhaps the most telling of the characters.


The inquest touching the death of the child, Frederick Henry Stone, aged 2½ years, son of a labourer residing at Brickyard Cottage, Wellington Road, near Uffculme, was held by Mr. F. Burrow, district coroner, on Saturday, when the evidence of the mother, Mrs Potter, a neighbour, and Dr. Morgan, of Uffculme, was taken. It appeared that about 8 a.m. on Friday the mother, having lighted the kitchen fire, placed the child, which was wearing its night-dress, in a chair by the side of it. Her back was turned for a few moments, and in the meantime the nightdress, a long one, became ignited by a burning stick which fell out of the grate. On hearing the child scream the mother ran into the kitchen, and finding the nightdress in flames, endeavoured to smother them by throwing some woollen material around the child. Failing, however, in this attempt, she and her little girl called for assistance, Mrs Potter then came in and, according to her statement, found the child in the middle of the floor, getting up into its knees and enveloped in "a mass of flames from head to foot." With the exception of fragments, the nightdress and undergarments were then completely charred. She extinguished the flames upon what remained and then, with the assistance of other neighbours, the burns were treated with linseed oil and lime water. In the meantime Dr. Bryden, of Uffculme, was sent for, as also was Dr. Morgan. The latter arrived first, but not until the child had expired. In his evidence, Mr. Morgan said he entirely approved of the remedies applied and even had he been there more could not have been done. The extent and nature of the burns, involving as they did the whole body were sufficient to cause death. -- The father of the child was present at the earlier part of the enquiry, but as he persisted in interposing remarks he was ordered by the Coroner to withdraw. Subsequently he was recalled and allowed to make a statement, the Coroner holding that he was not in a fit state to be sworn. Stone complained very strongly that Dr. Bryden although called twice and promised to come down did not do so until it suited his convenience in the course of his usual round as parish doctor, which was an hour or more after death. Mentioning incidentally that Dr. Bryden had attended on previous occasions he said he owed him 7s 6d, which he declared he would never pay. -- The Coroner remarked that that was a matter between himself and Dr. Bryden. -- It transpired that the child was insured in the Prudential Insurance Company. -- The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
Then, on 11 Aug 1889, William Henry Stone, Farm Labourer of Halberton, died, aged 33, at the Infirmary Tiverton from Cardiac disease and oedema of the lungs (Pulmonary edema is often caused by congestive heart failure.)

And, as if things couldn't get any worse, in 1891, both Jane Stone and daughter Louisa Mary Jane are listed as inmates at the Tiverton Union Workhouse

Is there a potential happy ending anywhere in this? As yet, I don't know.

Ellen Snow (12) was still (or maybe again) living with her grandfather in 1891 and still going by the surname Snow that she was registered with, even though her parents had married. I imagine this was so that the records matched up when she was enrolled at school. In 1901, she was using her father's surname, listed as Ellen S Stone (22), working as Cook Domestic, at a Private Girls School at 19, St Peter Street, Tiverton, Devon. Ellen married in 1901

Jane Stone remarried to William Staddon in 1899. In 1911 (didn't find them in 1901), they are living in Kitwell Street, Uffculme with William Staddon (52) Basket Maker, from Uplowman, Devon, with wife Jane (52) from Dulverton, her stepson Tom Staddon (32) and Henry Wright (45) boarder. William Staddon had previously been married to Leah Parr (m. 1871) - and the mother's maiden name on Tom's birth is Parr to confirm this - who had died, aged 51, in 1897. As yet, I've been unable to find the deaths for either William or Jane Staddon.

Louisa Mary Jane Stone, sadly, simply disappears.

Tiverton : Old Belmont Hospital
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -
Belmont Hospital used to be the workhouse before it became a hospital
Now known as Perreyman Court, it has been converted into housing.

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