Tag Archives: Victorian

St. John’s Church ­ Tachbrook Street: A Brief History

The project to build a church for the spiritual welfare of the residents of South Leamington first occurred to Mrs. Matthew Wise of Shrubland Hall in 1874 whilst she was making alterations to her will.  She donated £1,000 for the purpose. A Committee, including Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh, and Canon Young, Rector of Whitnash, was formed and a meeting was held in the Crown Hotel on 5th September 1875. In […]

The Relieving Officer

In the days before the introduction of the benefits system of the welfare state, it was the job of the Relieving Officer to identify the needy in his district and address those needs to the best of his ability.  The 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act introduced a National Welfare System (of poor relief) covering the […]

Dr John Hitchman. 1805-1867

The photograph is plainly of a mid Victorian gentleman: dark suit and waistcoat, high turnover collar, dark circle of cravat, and yet not over-tidy, rustic almost; a shortish man with a short neck, chunky rather than burly; leaning forward as if in conversation, fair hair flying as if he drags his fingers through it when […]

Samuel Thomas Wackrill 1828 – 1907, First Mayor of Leamington

Samuel Wackrill, the son of a prosperous draper from Chelmsford, and an experienced draper in his own right, arrived in Leamington in 1861 and set up a drapery business with his brother Jack.  In common with other tradesmen of the time, the brothers worked very long hours.  There was no early closing, or Bank Holidays, […]

William Louis de Normanville (1843-1928)

William Louis de Normanville’s family originated in Normandy. His grandfather, the Marquis de Normanville had escaped from the Revolution in 1792, leaving his family behind in the sadly mistaken belief that women and children would be safe from revolutionaries. In England he married again and eventually dropped the title. As a young man William de […]

A Curious Footpath

This photograph shows the ancient cobbled footpath and bridge across the River Avon at Saxon Mill.  Outwardly this is just a footpath crossing the Avon, which happens also to mark the Milverton/Warwick parish boundary.  The footpath extends from the river crossing as far as the Coventry/Warwick Road and is properly defined with a row of […]

Rediscovering the Toovey Family, Leamington Artists

A few years ago, my dad brought home a dusty old envelope from the Town Hall, where he works.It was about to be put in the bin, so he brought it for me to look at.  I was excited when I saw that the contents all related to one person, Richard Toovey. But who was […]

Women in the Cricket Field

 A trawl through back copies of the Leamington Courier in search of archive material relating to Leamington Cricket Club turned up an intriguing announcement by Mr W A Bezant in the editions of June 1890, – the forthcoming “Engagement, for one day only, of The Original English Lady Cricketers”,  when two complete teams, Reds v. […]