Children of Robert and Elizabeth Spence Watson

Mabel (Spence Watson) Richardson 01. Mabel Spence Watson (May)

1864-05-23 b. Moss Croft, Bensham, Gateshead birth certificate; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. privately printed; Bootham School Register (1971); The Friend IV.146, 1864-06-02, The British Friend 1864-07-01, p. 179; Mary S.W. Pollard's birthday book
1864-08-16

On the 23rd of May in this year 1864 my little Mabel was born. She was a tiny child, but grew apace—She is now three months old, & is fat & flourishing, & a great delight to us all. I don't know how to describe my dear little baby. She has wide blue eyes, & pretty dimples when she smiles, which she often does; a fair complexion, & plenty of light hair—She has a well shaped head, with pretty little ears, & hands & arms that are always tossing about, in her extreme activity, & to add to the expression of her expressive face—Such is our little Mabel, & yet is these few words I have not told, & cannot tell, how dear she is to us both, how we love our darling & long for her that she may grow up good & fair, & that like little Mabel in the old story which used to please us so much as children, she may always be "alert & kind" & know that it is good to have a "willing hand." To her dear grandmother, my mother, this child is a great pleasure, & her Aunts make so much of her, that there is some danger of her becoming a spoiled child.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1865-09-15

When I last wrote in this book little Mabel was but three months old, & now more than a year has passed away, &, no longer a baby, Mabel runs about & calls "papa" or "mama", & begins in her childish way to understand some of the wonders & delights of the w her little world—Every day has made her dearer to us, & she seems to us the most delightful child that was ever given to a happy father & mother.

1865-09 spent two weeks in Wales with parents
1866-01-31

Whilst I write, my little Mabel sits beside me, scribbling on white paper to her heart's content, every now & then making a violent rush at my book, with a sly twinkle in her merry eyes. She grows daily dearer to us . . .

1866-04 spent four weeks with her mother (for three weeks) and Aunt Car with Aunt Anna at Heugh Folds, Aunt Hope joining them for the third week
1866-09-06

Our dear child is two years & three months old, & a bright intelligent happy child she is. She is a most sweet companion, understanding so well what we say, & talking away easily herself. She is the delight of her parents' hearts, who think (as other parents do of their children) that there never was such a sweet, loving, & intelligent child. She is certainly brimming over with affection, & I need not say it is amply returned.

1867-01-15

Mabel takes great delight in her baby sister, & assumes all the duties of a little Patroness.

1868-01-21 . . . she is a most useful little maiden, & a real help to her mother, besides filling the home with sunshine.
1868-04-06

When I kissed my little Mabel tonight after saying to her her evening hymn, she began to talk to me about the picture over the chimneypiece (a photograph of Holman Hunt's Light of the World)—She always calls it "that kind gentleman Jesus Christ", but her little mind is sorely puzzled to know how Jesus Christ can be the same as God & Our Father, & Our Lord—To explain to her very simply that which can neither be explained nor understood, I said "But May dear don't we sometimes call you May, & sometimes Mabel, & your name is Mabel Watson, & sometimes even Papa calls you Mab"? "Ah yes, she said, & Ma, once when I was coming home with Aunt Hope, & it was getting so dark, Aunt Hope said 'It is getting so dark, I can hardly see you my little Poppets'" "Yes my darling" I answered, & the trusting little heart was satisfied, kissed me over & over again, & quietly, happily went to sleep.

1868-04 with mother and sister at Heugh Folds
1868-07-07 "May has not been quite well" . . .
1868 left with Aunt Hope at Tynemouth, while parents holidayed in Norway Robert Spence Watson (1969) Reminiscences of the late Rt Hon. Robert Spence Watson. York, privately printed, p. 41
1868-12-25 sent to stay at Ashfield while Mabel and her family had scarlet fever Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
c. 1869-04

May is as sweet & lovely as ever, as we think, & is really growing a most useful little maiden. I could not have had a more efficient, let alone a sweeter helper, the day I was packing up my things to go away.

1869 autumn stayed with Aunt Carrie at Ashfield while parents touring in Germany
1869-11-30 "She is indeed a willing child, always ready to help, & quick, so quick to sympathize in sorrow or in joy."
1870-02-17

Mabel, my eldest born, is my dear little companion & helper, an active willing child, sweet-tempered, loving & good. How much we both enjoy her short morning lessons! She can now read with east the Sequel to the "Step by Step" & enjoys it thoroughly, & she write many a little letter without assistance except as to the spelling. She is not really pretty I believe, but to me she is such a bonny child, her fair hair & complexion, honest blue eyes & loving looks are far better than mere beauty of feature.

1870-05-23

On dear Mabel's birthday, the 23rd of May, we had a large children's party—& a more successful one could not have been. We all entered into it heart & soul—R. & Dr Merz put up two pretty balloons, wh were much applauded, & we had games of "blackthorn" "puss in the ring &c &c & all thoroughly enjoyed.  We dispensed tea & cakes on the grass—a meal which was done full justice to. Never can I forget the merry little faces & voices of that day.

1870-06 holidayed in Grasmere with mother and Ruth
1870-07-27 At her aunt Nellie Watson's wedding "Our dear little Mabel was one of the bridesmaids, & we should like to have seen her, although her vanity was quite sufficiently aroused by the remarks of others."
1871 scholar, of Leasham Lane, Gateshead (presumably Elysium Lane), living with family and two domestic servants TNA: PRO RG 10/5051 f62 p24
1871-07-13 "I am much puzzled about teaching Mabel—she has need now of more regular teaching & discipline, than I, with the claims of my new baby, can possibly giver her—so although I much regret giving up our pleasant lessons together, I see that we must make some other arrangement." Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1871-12-07

Our dear little Mabel is now taught by Miss Herbert, with the Jullions & Pattinsons—She enjoys her lessons extremely & the companionship I think does her good. Miss Herbert says she never knew any one so quick in music, & in other things too her progress is very satisfactory.

1872-05-14 "May is much occupied with her school & schoolfellows, & very happy."
1873-01

On the 20th of this month our two little girls Mabel & Ruth are to go to a day school. Their lessons have been sadly neglected lately but I have found it impossible to teach them much myself, having so many household duties & so much sewing, besides the outdoor claims wh there are always are in a large family. Mabel has got on very well with Miss Herbert, but Ruth is a good deal behind hand. What they both need particularly, having good enough abilities, is regular discipline. I have a constant struggle with their untidy habits, wh at home it is difficult, as I am a good deal out, myself, steadily to counteract.

1873-08 spent the last half the month on holiday with sisters and mother at Millburn Cottage, Suss
1873-09

After our return home, Mabel & Ruth went back to school, & they are now getting on very nicely there. They enjoy their lessons, & the walk seems to suit them well. They are very good, happy children, & a never ending delight -, all of them.

1874-01-02 "Our darling children are very well & very happy—sorrow as yet passes very lightly o'er their young spirits. May & Ruth have made good progress at school, & much enjoy their life there -"
1874-07 "In July during our children's holidays we spent a very happy fortnight at Grasmere with my sisters Carrie & Nellie."
1875-07-21 of Bensham Mosscroft visitors' book
1874-11-27

May & Ruth are making good progress at their school, which they continue to like very much. They are able now both to amuse themselves with reading (wh. Mabel has done for a long time) but and to take a great interest in many of the things that are going on, & to enjoy having books read & explained to them wh. perhaps they could scarcely understand entirely by themselves.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1876 holidayed with family in Norway
1876-09 "In September the High School, wh had with much difficulty & after many delays, been organized, was opened, & our three eldest girls all began to attend it."
1876/1879 educated at Gateshead High School The Friend XLVII:697–8; ACAD
1877 spring

. . . in the spring of this year our dear Mabel took riding lessons with Mr. Forbes in the Riding School here, & soon became a very good rider. She had had some practice before on a little pony we had, wh. Ruth also rode, & rode well, until she turned nervous & refused to ride any more.

 

Now rides her parents' own horse, Jessie.
Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1877-08 . . . "Mabel had the rare treat of riding all the way to Grasmere on horseback with her dear papa, & a glorious ride they had."
1878-03 . . . "our dear Mabel has passed her jnr Cambridge Examination—with wh both she & we are well pleased."
1878-08/1881-06 at Castlegate Friends' girls' school, York; of Gateshead The Friend XLVII:697–8; The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions
1879-06 spent a week in London with her parents Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1879-07 had a week's excursion on the borders with her parents and Ruth
1879 Christmas

We had our darling Mabel home from York—& rejoiced in her sweet presence. She is one emphatically who makes "sunshine in a shady place." She is now a great girl of 15—quite as tall as her mother, & strong & full of activity.

1880-04-24 to Grasmere for a week, with family
1880-05 passed University Extension examination in physiography, in the second class York Herald, 1880-06-15; Yorkshire Gazette, 1880-06-19
1880-06 with her parents, visited Sweden, where Robert had business. In London, on their way out, they had seen Henry Irving and Ellen Terry in The Merchant of Venice E. Spence Watson: Notes to RSW Reminiscences; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
  for several years secretary of the Mount Old Scholars’ Association The Friend XLVII:697–8
1881 scholar, of Friends' school, Driffield Terrace, St Mary Bishopshill Jnr, York PRO RG 11/4719 f141 p4
1881-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1881-12-26 played Mrs Cratchit at Bensham Grove Christmas party Bensham Grove visitors' books
1882-01-10 "Mabel has entered the College Course of Mathematics—the only Lady student at present in this class—the Junior Division, & will now—with singing & music—her reading class, German & Mathematics, have her time fully taken up." Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
c. 1882 attended the College of Science, Newcastle-upon-Tyne The Friend XLVII:697–8
1882-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1882-12-25 curtain drawer, at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1883-01-03

I see I have not mentioned that twice our dear Mabel has been top of the Mathematical Class (Junior Division) twice—at least the first time she was absolutely top, & the second time she & Miss Renwick, the only other lady student, were bracketed together. (I was interrupted here, & now Jan. 3rd 1883 resume my pen to record yet another similar result of the last Examination. Again she & Miss Renwick are at the front, with 2nd class honours, & this after only one term in that class.)

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1883 Matric. Newnham College ACAD—A Cambridge Alumni Database
1883-06 "Mabel worked hard at French & Mathematics all through the winter & spring, & in June she passed the Dyker Local (Cambridge) Examination in these subjects." Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1883-06 after the exam was over, holidayed in Switzerland and Italy with parents & Ruth
1883-10-10

The next morning the 10th I took my precious Mabel to Cambridge to instal her into her room at Newnham in the North Hall under Miss Gladstone. The first night she slept with me at Mrs Holmden's the next day we spent in putting her room right, & arranging her things & the day after I left the darling child . . . .

1883/1886 at Newnham College, Cambridge; passed the mathematical tripos, Pt 1 Cl. 1 The Friend XLVII:697–8; XXIV Oct:274; ACAD
1884-03-27 "Now she is home again after her 2nd term at Newnham, wh she has enjoyed much more than her first, having thoroughly entered into the spirit of the place, & advanced more with her studies, besides having made many friends." Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1884-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1884-10 of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Newnham College, Cambridge—Science Group, Higher Local, 2nd class Honours The Friend XXIV Oct:274
1884-11

In November last, our dear Mabel had a slight attack of scarlet fever at Newnham. I went to her at once, & after a little talk with Miss Gladstone & Miss Richardson, in Miss G's pleasant room, I was taken upstairs out to the hospital wing where Mabel was, changed my dress, & hastened in to the dear child. She was never really ill, so that it was not a time of much anxiety, & we both enjoyed the quiet rest together. At first we had a nurse from the Hospital, but after one week I let her go, as there was not need for her services, & then it was my delight to be my darling's sole nurse. Every morning I lighted the fire, & dusted & swept the room & arranged the lovely flowers with wh kind friends made our little hospital like a fragrant garden. Then there were innumerable letters to write & fumigate before posting; delightful books to read, & various little household duties which made the time pass quickly away. [ . . . ]

Then, when Mabel was better & able to be up, kind friends came to the window, to see & be seen, while I acted as the purveyor of many messages from an adjoining window. At last came the time when she herself could talk from the wiindow, & then go out in the garden, & on the morning afternoon of the 16th—the day on which the students went down, I went to her room in the College, & packed up her things, ready to start for home the next morning. And so, on the 17th Dec. we left together the snug little Hospital (in wh Mabel was the first patient) Miss Gladstone, the Housekeeper & the servants all seeing us off, with many kind words.  [ . . . ]

I forgot to say, in describing our arrangements, that our meals were brought to us, & deposited on the stairs where I went to fetch them in—Of course tea, I made for ourselves, & we were kept supplied with a little store of bread, butter & milk.

After much anxious thought, we had decided that Mabel should go to Whitley, to lodgings for a week before coming home—we had taken Mrs Elder's nice lodging, where we were before, Mattie had been down & seen that everything was ready for us. Robert & my sister Carrie met us at Newcastle & were a few short minutes with us before we went on to Whitley & our rooms a joyful meeting indeed it was. Our rooms at Whitley were most comfortable—I settled dear Mabel in, & the next day changed places with Evie, who again changed with Ruth, & at the end of the week we were all—with thankful hearts, together at home again.

 

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1885-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family and Aunt Car
1886-03-06 "Mabel is studying hard—hoping to pass the Mathematical Tripos Examn shortly after Easter."
1886-08/-09 holidayed in Switzerland with parents, Ruth & Evie
1886 autumn

. . . Mabel passed her Examination in the Mathematical Tripos, & received warmest congratulations on all sides. After studying Chemistry in the Long Vacation at Cambridge (whence she joined us at Basle) she is now, to our great delight at home with us, & teaches Mathematics & Chemistry &c at the High School.

1886/1895 assistant mistress at Gateshead High School The Friend XLVII:697–8; ACAD
1887-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1888-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1888-11

In November of last year Mabel & Mary went, with Edith Richardson, to Dresden. They spent 6 mos. there, studying German, music, & (Mary) drawing. It was a very interesting time for them.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1889-07-28 "Mabel & Mary have spent six pleasant months in Dresden—& met many kind friends—& made good progress in German & music & singing."
1889-08-07 of 2 Broad Street, Oxford letter from Mabel to Mary Spence Watson, in my possession
1889-12 had mild attack of scarlet fever Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1890-06 "Mabel has been teaching again in the High School -"
1890-06/-08 holidayed in Norway with family & Charles Merz

When they went up Kvamshest:

One little incident might have been serious, when Mabel glissaded over a snowfield, & shot over some rocks at the bottom. Happily she escaped with a few bad bruises, but it makes me shudder even now to think how differently it might have ended.

1891 of Bensham Grove, Bensham Road, Gateshead, living with family, cousin, cook, and two domestic servants RG 12/4176 f60 p46
1891-04 "Mabel's knee wh had troubled her for some time is now quite well again." Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1891 Christmas

While we were absent Mabel worked too hard—then came Christmas time with its many engagements, & Mabel quite broke down. Her poor circulation affected her hands so much that they became too painful & sore to use, & Dr Wilson said it was absolutely necessary that she should go South to a warmer climate. So, in much anxiety, we prepared to go immediately—my sister Carrie very kindly offered to go with us & we decided to take Bertha too.

1892-01-07 with her mother and her sister Bertha, departed London for Tenerife, aboard the Kaikoura; accompanied by her aunts Caroline Richardson and Nellie Kuhlmann, and cousin Denis Kuhlmann UK outward passenger lists
1892 early part ordered south for her health, and spent four months with her mother in the Canaries; while there, took Spanish lessons catalogue of Tyne & Wear Archives Service; RSW & ESW letters now at TWAS; Reminiscences of Robert Spence Watson;  Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1893-03

Mabel has been since the end of January with C.J. & Alice Spence & their family in Italy & Sicily—They invited her so kindly, & it seemed such a delightful opening that we gladly consented.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1893-07 month's holiday with family at Nantgaredig, South Wales Mary Spence Watson: diary
1894-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1894-07-13 ‘Unofficial Visiting of Workhouses’ published in The Friend XXXIV Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'; RSW Cuttings
1895/1896 first lady tutor at Newcastle College of Science The Friend XLVII:697–8; ACAD
1895-04-20

Mabel has been for two terms the "Lady Tutor" at the College of Science—under Principal Gurney—a very responsible & interesting post. She has to generally superintend the women students, besides taking some mathematical classes, & the whole arrangements for the cleaning of the College are under her care. She is of course at the College all day—so we do not see very much of her—but are glad to think she is so well & happily employed, where her sympathy & interest are so useful.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1896-01-10 of Gateshead; name bracketed with Hugh Richardson Bensham Grove visitors' books
1896-04-09 of Bensham Grove, Gateshead; m. Hugh Richardson (1864–1936), of Sedbergh, Yorkshire, eldest son of David Richardson, of the Gables, Newcastle, at Newcastle Friends' meeting house; the reception was held at Bensham Grove The Friend XXXVI:254, 1896-04-17, The British Friend V May:122; Bootham School Register; GRO index; Robert Spence Watson's book of newspaper cuttings, which has a full report and list of wedding presents; Leeds Mercury, 1896-04-11; Bensham Grove visitors' books
1896-04-09 of Havera Bank, Sedbergh Bensham Grove visitors' books
  honeymooned in Devonshire; stayed at the Rougemont Hotel (presumably Exeter) Robert Spence Watson's book of newspaper cuttings; Western Times, 1896-04-18
1896-05-25 of Sedbergh Bensham Grove visitors' books
1896-08 holidayed in Ireland with family and Aunt Car Mary Spence Watson: diary
1896-09-02 of Havera Bank, Sedbergh Bensham Grove visitors' books
1896-09-08 of Havera Bank, Sedbergh; stayed at Bensham Grove; "a most delightful visit—the first together"
1896-11-05/-11 of Havera Bank, Sedbergh; stayed at Bensham Grove
1896-12-24/1897-01-09 of Sedbergh; stayed at Bensham Grove
Children: Mary Foster (1897–1956), Colin Spence (1899–1973), Esther Watson (1901–1978) The Friend; The British Friend; Bootham School Register; Hall, Kathleen and Chris Hall, eds (2001) Sidcot School. Register of Old Scholars 1808–1998. Sidcot Old Scholars' Association
1897-06-14 of Havera Bank, Sedbergh, Yorkshire; . . . "a happy home they had at Havera Bank, Sedbergh—for the 1st year of their married life" . . . The Friend XXXVII:430, 1897-06-25, The British Friend VI July:209; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1897-07-30/-08-03 stayed at Bensham Grove; "Sedbergh to York" Bensham Grove visitors' books
1897 removed to York The Friend XLVII:697–8
1897-10-22/11-02 of 12 St Mary's, York; stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1897-11-29/-12-07
1898-03-21 of York
1898-07-21/-26 stayed at Bensham Grove
1898-08-26/-09-06 of York; stayed at Bensham Grove
1898-11-19/-21 of 12 St Mary's York; stayed at Bensham Grove
1898-12-26 of York
1898-12-31/1899-01-09 stayed at Bensham Grove
1899-04-27/-05-01
1899-06-27 with her husband, gave vases to Jessie Corder, as wedding present Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 1899-06-29
1899-07-25/-28 stayed at Bensham Grove, "en route for Scotland" Bensham Grove visitors' books
1899-09-29 of 12 St Mary’s, York The Friend XXXIX:666; The British Friend VIII Nov:310
1899-12-01 with Hugh Richardson, had subscribed £100 to the Bootham School Building Fund, in memory of Robert Foster, Newcastle The Friend XXXIX: Supplement
1899-12-23/-30 of York; stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1900-12-21/-29 stayed at Bensham Grove
1901 not found in census, but husband and children at 12 St Mary's, York RG 13/446 f13 p18
1901-07-04/-13 stayed at Bensham Grove; "To take Molly home—She has been so happy & had so much kindness from everyone." Bensham Grove visitors' books
1901-09-16 of 12 St Mary’s, York The Friend XLI:664, The British Friend X Oct:284
1902-08-01/-09 stayed at Bensham Grove; "& little Esther—her first visit & a most truly delightful one" Bensham Grove visitors' books
1905-01-02 to Teneriffe with Hugh Mary Spence Watson's diary
1906-03/-06 in the Canaries with her parents and her sister Mary E. Spence Watson—watercolour sketches possessed by me; diaries of Mary S.W. Pollard (Ms), ESW: Album/holiday itinerary, now at TWAS; catalogue of Tyne & Wear Archives Service; letters of Mary Pollard; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1906-05

Theo and I had a splendid rest at Sidmouth (Fortfield Hotel) Caro, Mabel and Molly being in lodgings near.

Alice Mary Merz, 'Family Notes', typescript
1907-02-26

Mabel & I did a little shopping & baby was perfectly good, but we both seemed rather helpless. Mabel says her right arm is decidedly worse; she can hardly move it at all & says she doesn't know how she will be able to get a dress on. It is so tragic I can hardly bear to think of it, for she is so loving & good & brave.

letters of Mary Pollard
1907-04 spent a week in Ampleforth with her mother diaries of Mary S.W. Pollard (Ms); catalogue of Tyne & Wear Archives Service; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
  possessed a rare character, "so patient, so gentle, and yet how full of power." Percy Corder (1914) The Life of Robert Spence Watson. London: Headley Brothers, p. 309
  afflicted with Renard's disease [one or more of:] Mary Spence Watson, Commonplace Book; diaries of Mary S.W. Pollard; Catalogue of Tyne & Wear Archives Service; letters of Mary S.W. Pollard; Corder, op. cit.; BL Add. Mss 43638; The British Friend X July:198–9; The Friend XLII:800, XLIII:392; The Times
1907-09-07

Heard that Mabel has a sharp attack of pleurisy. It is awfully distressing.

Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1907-09-08

Very anxious, for we hear that Mabel has a touch of pneumonia. Mother staying with the B’s, but may only see her few minutes each day. 2 nurses. Darling Mabel. It is hard on her, and just when, at last, warmer weather has come.

1907-09-11

Very bad news of Mabel. She is very weak, temperature still up and hardly seems to miss the children, though asks for them occasionally.

1907-09-12

Telephoned to York. Mabel just the same. Dr. gives little hope. It is terrible.

1907-09-15

I think either today or yesterday Mabel recognized Mother and said ‘I’m delighted to see thee precious’. Generally now she is wandering or unconscious. We may not see her. One day at the beginning she told Mother all her hair was coming out and that she would have to wear a cap, which showed she expected to get better. Today we really felt more hopeful [ . . . ]

1907-09-16, Monday

Went along to St. Mary’s soon after breakfast and found that Mabel is much worse. Ruth sent for and Evie telegraphed for Ernest who came to stay with us. A dreadful day. Frank went with us to see Father and Mother, but had a slight temperature and could not go out after dinner. In the morning he and I went up to see Mabel. She was unconscious and looked terribly ill, breathing hard and her eyes nearly shut, but rolling about. I was along at no. 12 about 8.30 pm. She was then much worse. Hugh had not undressed for 3 nights, but had been persuaded to tonight, but he was up almost at once, and Dr Auden was sent for. He said the end was approaching. Hugh and Mother were with Mabel at the end. Laurie had come over. Bertha and I went to tell Father to come, and then Laurie came here with me to tell Ernest and Evie and Frank. As we went, he said ‘Mary, it’s all over’. It was terrible. Ernest and Evie and I returned, but Frank couldn’t come. Hugh asked me where he was. We sat, all of us, in the drawing room, weeping, and then Hugh put his arm round me, and took me to see Mabel. Evie and Ernest followed. Up to the last Hugh had hoped, but as we went upstairs he said ‘It is hearty congratulations for her, for I know best what she has had to endure’. I could hardly bear it and felt afraid of screaming, but I kissed Mabel—our beloved, precious, unselfish, brave, oldest sister—who has been like a Mother to me—and then came down and returned to Frank and baby. Oh, it is hard, hard and one’s heart aches for poor Hugh, and the children, whom Mabel loved so, and who were so devoted to her.

1907-09-16 of 12 St Mary's, York; d. there. Defective circulation induced scleroderma, for which cause and cure then unknown. So unable to rally from pneumonia. Her mother had been with her in York for the last two weeks of her life.

Mabel died in 1904 [pencil correction to 1907] after a long time of increasing weakness—borne with unfailing patience & gentleness. I had fixed to go with her to Glasgow for her to be under Dr Walker, the Osteopathist, & had made all arrangements, when a letter came from Hugh saying she had caught a chill & could not go. So I went instead to York, hoping to be of use in nursing—but alas when I reached St Mary's I found our darling very ill, with two nurses already installed. She welcomed me in her own loving way—"My precious, I am delighted to see thee" but these were nearly the last words she said—she sank quietly to rest on the 16th day of September, her little Esther's birthday, & she lies in the quiet Friends' Burial ground in York. How great her loss to her husband, & her three dear children, to her parents & her sisters, no words can say -

National Probate Calendar; The Friend XLVII:697–8; XLVII:644, 1907-09-27; The British Friend XVI Oct:302; diaries of Mary S.W. Pollard (Ms); catalogue of Tyne & Wear Archives Service; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1907-09-17

Ruth made a lovely wreath from us all and sent for myrtle from Mabel’s wedding tree at Bensham and made another of myrtle and put on the verse by Jean Ingelow ‘There is no friend like a sister’, etc. Heaps of beautiful wreaths were sent. Frank and I went up to see Mabel, but she looked worn and weary—later on we saw her again in the coffin, and she looked peaceful and at rest. I longed to kiss her poor hands that had been such a trial to her and that she shrank from people seeing, but they were hidden away.

Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1907-09-19

A glorious very hot day. It seemed almost a mockery to put Mabel to rest on one of the days she had so longed for this summer, but which never came. Still we were thankful for it. In the morning I went to No. 12 and Molly looked after baby most of the morning. I took her up with him to see the coffin covered with wreaths. She cried quietly and I let her hold baby. It is terrible to see the empty bed. Lots of people arrived at different times—Aunt Hope, Norbert, Joe, Aunt Emmie and Uncle Harry, Fosters, Claphams etc. Aunt Car and Aunt Nelly K. (There was a Masters’ Meeting in the morning—Hugh went for a few minutes.) (The school re-opens today and some of the boys and masters were at the funeral).

After dinner, Evie, Ernest, Frank and I walked to No.12, and at 2.15 there were gathered into the drawing room all of our family, and of course Molly, Colin and Esther dressed in white with grey coats and holding lovely flowers made up by Ruth I believe. Cousin K and Cousin David—Aunt Emmie, Uncle H, Laurie, Aunt Car (who drove with poor Ruth—poor because she has no husband to help her) Mr Ede and I believe one or two others. Hugh read us Mabel’s beautiful letter written to Sallie Pattinson 3 or 4 years ago (and nearly broke down) and then Cousin Kate with great difficulty told us that on the 16th the motto in her book had been ‘the master is come and calleth for thee’, and I think the next day ‘and she arose quickly and came unto Him’, and Cousin David prayed. Then we went out to the cabs. Hugh and children first, then Father, Mother, Aunt Car and Ruth, then the E’s and Frank and me, and then the B’s and Aunt E. and Uncle H. We walked the horses through Bootham (where the principal shops had their blinds down) and then went quickly to the Friends pretty green burial ground near the Retreat. Funeral at 3.0. Fielden Thorp, Cousin Thos P and Mr Ede spoke and prayed, and Father said a few words beautifully, ending with ‘The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ It was pathetic to see Hugh talking to the children. I don’t think they understood and Esther wanted to wait and see the earth thrown in—there was no further service, but tea at No. 12, and after coming back here to feed baby, Frank and I went along, and baby was brought too for a short time. Everyone very kind, but I don’t realize it a bit yet.

1907-10-18 obit. by Th. E.C., with photo by Elliott and Fry The Friend XLVII:697–8
1907-12-13 will proved at York by husband Hugh Richardson and sister Evelyn Spence Weiss; effects £2615 5s. 9d. National Probate Calendar
  Tyne and Wear Archives Service Acc 213 contains 373 letters to and from Mabel (Spence Watson) Richardson Catalogue entry


Ruth (Spence Watson) Gower 02. Ruth Spence Watson (Dootie)

1866-10-24 b. at Moss Croft, Bensham, at about 1 a.m. birth certificate; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. privately printed; Bootham School Register (1971); The Friend VI.71:251, The British Friend 12:306; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1867-01-15

My love for Ruth came gradually—her crying tormented my weak nerves, & it was long before I could believe it possible to love an other child as dearly as the first. But better thoughts came, & when the nurse left, & the helpless little baby became more exclusively my charge, then my love grew & increased until I wondered how it ever could have been otherwise. Now little Ruth is a sweet child of 3 months old, with a fair face, & dark blue eyes, & a bright winning smile.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1868-01-21 . . . "Ruth has just begun to walk quite alone, & is very proud of her performances. She is a child of a remarkably sweet happy disposition, & is the delight of all the household" . . . .
1868-04 with mother and sister at Heugh Folds
1868-12-25 "On Christmas day our dear little Ruth took the scarlet fever" . . .
c. 1869-02 spent a month at Cullercoats
c. 1869-04 "She is getting to talk now very nicely—she can say almost anything we tell her, & is at a very bewitching age."
1869 autumn stayed with Aunt Carrie at Ashfield while parents touring in Germany
1870-02-17

As for Ruthie, she is the pet of all the household, for a child with more winning ways there could not be. She has better features than May, & if she lives, I cannot but think she will have a really fine face. She is a very sensitive child, the tears ever ready to start to her blue eyes. If I reprove her at all, the struggle is often hard to restrain the tears, & the innocent subterfuge both amusing & touching. To day while May was busy with her lessons, Ruth wanted the box of bricks brought upstairs to play with. I said "Not now darling, but afterwards you shall have them in the nursery, & build a famous tower." Ruthie pleaded for them now, & still I refused,—then the poor little lips began to pout & the eyes to brim over with tears, & the little head was pressed to my breast, & between her sobs came a plaintive "Doot's eyen so watery," or as she calls it "fo vautery". Sometimes again she says, when struggling not to give way "Ma, Doot only tired" One day she said to me quite spontaneously, Ma doen Ma think God ever thinks about Dootie?" Her affection for us is unbounded, & she has sweet caressing ways of stroking our cheeks, & saying "fo foft" (so soft.) Many a time does she leave her play to come & kiss my hands, or to give me a good hug, interrupting me at my work as little as possible.

1870-06 holidayed in Grasmere with mother and Ruth
1871 scholar, of Leasham Lane, Gateshead (presumably Elysium Lane), living with family and two domestic servants TNA: PRO RG 10/5051 f62 p24
1871-12-07 "Ruthie learns in somewhat irregular fashion with me, for as I have now no nursemaid, I have many things to do, & no time to spare." Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1872-05-14 "Dear little Ruthie is at Grasmere & we miss her much, but are glad to think of her as very happy with her Aunts, & with little Maurice, making that brightness in a house wh children only can."
1873-01

On the 20th of this month our two little girls Mabel & Ruth are to go to a day school. Their lessons have been sadly neglected lately but I have found it impossible to teach them much myself, having so many household duties & so much sewing, besides the outdoor claims wh there are always are in a large family. Mabel has got on very well with Miss Herbert, but Ruth is a good deal behind hand. What they both need particularly, having good enough abilities, is regular discipline. I have a constant struggle with their untidy habits, wh at home it is difficult, as I am a good deal out, myself, steadily to counteract.

1873-08 spent the last half the month on holiday with sisters and mother at Millburn Cottage, Suss
1873-09

After our return home, Mabel & Ruth went back to school, & they are now getting on very nicely there. They enjoy their lessons, & the walk seems to suit them well. They are very good, happy children, & a never ending delight -, all of them.

1874-01-02 "Our darling children are very well & very happy—sorrow as yet passes very lightly o'er their young spirits. May & Ruth have made good progress at school, & much enjoy their life there -"
1874-07 "In July during our children's holidays we spent a very happy fortnight at Grasmere with my sisters Carrie & Nellie."
1874-11-27

May & Ruth are making good progress at their school, which they continue to like very much. They are able now both to amuse themselves with reading (wh. Mabel has done for a long time) but and to take a great interest in many of the things that are going on, & to enjoy having books read & explained to them wh. perhaps they could scarcely understand entirely by themselves. Mabel has several times taken a part in our Shakespeare Readings wh we instituted last winter at our house. We choose a play, & invite some of our friends, assigning different parts to each to read & our own dear May generally takes on or two of the subordinate characters, & she really reads well, & with considerable appreciation. We have now in this way gone through "As you like it", "Merchant of Venice," "Macbeth", "Julius Caesar", "King Lear", & "Richard II" with great interest & profit.

1876 holidayed with family in Norway
1876-09 "In September the High School, wh had with much difficulty & after many delays, been organized, was opened, & our three eldest girls all began to attend it."
1877 spring . . . "Ruth also rode, & rode well, until she turned nervous & refused to ride any more."
1879-02-27 . . . "Ruth much stronger, & getting on well at the High School" . . .
1879-07 had a week's excursion on the borders with her parents and Mabel
1880-04-23 to Grasmere for a week, with family
c. 1880-07 spent a week at Whitley with all her siblings except Mabel
1881 scholar, of Bensham Grove, Bensham Road, Gateshead, living with family and four general servants PRO RG 11/5033 f97 p14
1881-04-14

On the 14th of April, the day before Good Friday all the dear children, that is, Ruth, Evelyn, Mary, Bertha, Arnold, with Mattie went off to Grasmere. "Aunt Car" had most kindly asked them all to spend their Easter holidays & their cousins Maurice & Ernestine Richardson were to join them.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1881-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family
1881 Christmas "Ruth had drilled some of the little ones in representing "Mary Mary Quite Contrary"—Little Bo-Peep & other nursery rhymes" . . .
1881-12-26 played Spirit of Christmas Past at Bensham Grove Christmas party Bensham Grove visitors' books
1882-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1882-12-25 stage directress, at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1883-06 holidayed in Switzerland and Italy with parents & Mabel Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1884-03-27 "Ruth has left school, & is now going on with drawing, botany & music at home, or at the School of Art."
1884-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1885-01

In January our dear Ruth went to Bedford College in London, Mabel taking her. (I had been up from Cambridge in the Autumn & arranged for this) She found the routine work & regular hours & the rather strict regulations, a little trying at first, but she writes very happily, & we are convinced it is the right place for her.

1885-04-01 "Ruth looks very well—as if her London life thoroughly suited her—& she is so bonny."
1885-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family and Aunt Car
1886-03-06 "Ruth is much happier now at Bedford College—& has many kind friends."
1886-08/-09 holidayed in Switzerland with parents, Mabel & Evie
1887-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1888-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1888-11/ 1889-05 in Germany with her sister Mary, on an educational visit Mary Spence Watson: diary
1890-06

Ruth has been in Germany with "Aunt Car" whose eyes gave her great trouble. They stayed for some weeks at Wiesbaden, & it is delightful to think that now she can see quite well, & can both go about & read & write with ease—all of wh were difficult or impossible to her before. Our cousin Sarah Ann Richardson & Sara, & later Miss Davies joined "Aunt Car" & Ruth at Wiesbaden, & a very merry party they were.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1890-06/-08 holidayed in Norway with family and Charles Merz Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
c. 1890-10 with her mother, has been taking sketching lessons Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1891 not found in census  
1891-04 "Ruth is in Wiesbaden again with my sister Carrie, & S.A R. & Lena Richardson" . . . Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1893-07 month's holiday with family at Nantgaredig, South Wales Mary Spence Watson: diary;
 

 . . . dear Ruth's not being very well was a great drawback. Afterwards I took her to London, where she was for some time under Mrs (Dr) Scherlieb. A long time of delicacy followed—but now I am thankful to say she is much stronger.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1894 subscribed £1 to the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom Free Russia
1894-01 spent at least three weeks ill, in a private hospital in Newcastle Mary Spence Watson: diary
1894 early spring

. . . in the early spring of '94 I took Ruth to Llandudno to stay at Miss Wood's delightful Boarding House—It was a lovely spring—Lilac & laburnum out by the end of March, & primroses in abundance in the beautiful woods—(we had been at Ilkley in the autumn also for Ruth's health—but happily she was much better when at Llandudno—& gained strength daily)

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1894-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family; not well there Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1895-04-20

Ruth has been though still far from strong, much better than she was last winter, which is a great comfort—but one cold after another had has sadly interfered with her exquisite singing—singing wh to me is far more lovely & far more expressive than any prima donna's.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1896-04-09 bridesmaid at sister Mabel Spence Watson’s wedding at Pilgrim Street fmh; signed marriage certificate Robert Spence Watson's book of newspaper cuttings
1896-08 holidayed in Ireland with family and Aunt Car Mary Spence Watson's diary
1896-05 attended annual meeting of the Old York Scholars Association, for the last weekend in May
1899-07 spent a month on holiday with sister Mary in Plombières, in Vosges
1900-09 visited Switzerland, with family Mary Spence Watson: diary
1901 not found in census  
1903-09-12

Ruth still may not come downstairs. We had to send for her own doctor, and he says she must be very, very careful. I am sorry for her, for she misses so many things. She is very funny; says she ‘nearly fell out of bed in a fit at seeing thee and me sitting on one chair’ !!

letter from Mary Spence Watson to Frank Pollard
1903-10 holidayed in Ireland with her parents ESW: Album/holiday itinerary, now at TWAS; catalogue of Tyne & Wear Archives Service; letters of Mary Pollard; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1907-06-19

Heard that Ruth went yesterday into a private hospital in Bath, to undergo operation this morning of her piles. Poor Ruth. She has had a terrible time of suffering.

Mary S.W. Pollard's diaries
1907-06-20

Operation successful, but Ruth very weak. Fistulas operated on.

1907-06-29

At 5.50 Mother, Father Ruth and the nurse arrived en route for Newcastle. [ . . . ] They were in an invalid carriage. Poor Ruth was feeling the journey very much, having come off a water bed; she has been 5 weeks in bed. It was very pathetic to see her; she looked thin and worn and sobbed so. [ . . . ] Poor Ruth. She had 3 fissures removed, piles and something stretched—an hour under chloroform. We had about ¼ hr with them. The nurse seems very nice and kind. It was sad to let them go. We heard later that [ . . . ] Ruth had a fair night.

1909-03-14 very ill in the Isle of Wight
1910-08-08 "Ruth still with the Whites at 'Wednesden'." Alice Mary Merz, 'Family Notes', typescript
1911-03 had been staying for several months with her parents at Lyndhurst; was ill Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1911 with mother and niece, boarder in 8-room boarding house at 43 Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton, Shropshire RG14PN15924 RG78PN980 RD344 SD1 ED1 SN131
1911-07-20

Went to see Mother and Ruth as I heard the latter was ill. Röntgen Ray treatment seemed to have failed owing to bismuth making her so sick and Mother looked ill with disappointment.

Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1912-06-20

Heard the thrilling news of Ruth's engagement to Edmund Gower. He has waited 14 years for her but it is terrible to think of his going to Tasmania, especially after she has been so ill nearly all this year. They are staying at Randapike and write happily.

1912-10-15 of Bensham Grove, Gateshead; m. Edmund Innes Gower (1869–1965), of Hobart, Tasmania, at the Friends’ Meeting-house, Colthouse, near Hawkshead The Friend LII:708, The British Friend XXI Nov:318; FreeBMD
 

In the summer of 1912 Edmund Gower came to England from Tasmania. An old attachment was renewed—& ultimately Ruth consented—though with many tears—to leave her old house & return with him as his wife to that far off land. On the 15th of October 1912 she & Edmund were married in the little meeting house at Hawkshead. Dia & Betty Morrell were the two lovely little bridesmaids—Bowes & Bertha, Hugh Richardson, Ernest Weiss, Frank Pollard, J.W. & G. Edmundson, Herbert & May Corder, Percy & Nelly C. Sara Renton, Lilian Wise, Margaret White & Miss Innes, Edmund's Aunt, were the guests—some at the Hotel, some in at the lodgings. Evelyn & Mary were unable to be with us. It was a lovely day—the bright colour of October on hills & woods. The meeting was a solemn & impressive one G. Edmundson, & Herbert Corder & Mr Naish speaking words of exhortation & comfort. Luncheon followed at the Red Lion Hotel—a very pleasant company—& after some speeches the dear couple drove off in a motor car for Keswick calling on the way to see dear "Aunt Car" at Heugh Folds, the last time either of them saw that beloved aunt, so lately gone from among us. In November the dear newly married couple sailed for Tasmania—viâ the Cape. We had all learned to love Edmund—who to me has been, & is a very dear son in law. Ruth had been far from strong for many years—had "suffered many things from many physicians" but the Doctors consulted before she left England had given it as their opinion that the climate of Tasmania would quite restore her. But climate is not everything—the conditions of her life at Hobart were very different from those at home, the food not nearly so good—& she missed the care & attention she had been used to at home. Edmund did what he could but of course his school duties kept him much occupied. Even the climate was not what we had expected. In the hot weather cold winds set in in the afternoon—& no sun ever shined in her drawing room facing South wh often felt chilly & needed a fire.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1912-11-08 "Ruth & Edmund sailed for Tasmania on board the Demosthenes—they went round by the Cape, Mother got messages from Tenerife & Cape Town "All Well"." Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1913 host to her mother in Tasmania, for several months diaries of Mary S.W. Pollard (Ms); Annual Monitor 1919–20; RSW & ESW letters now at TWAS
1913-12-24 . . . "alas my dear Ruth was not stronger" . . . Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1914 domestic duties, of Friends' High School, New Town, Denison, Tasmania electoral roll
 

But now I must tell about my Ruth. My early journals say "a child with more winning ways there could not be." Even then her little subterfuges to hide pain were like the courage of her later years. I tell how when she was disappointed about some toys she only pressed her head against me & said "Doot's eyes so watery".—She was a lovely child with her golden hair & blue eyes—& a prettier pair than Mabel & Ruth would be hard to find. They were devoted to each other—I can never forget the meeting at Cullercoats after a long separation when Ruth had had scarlet fever—the exquisite delight of being together again. They went to their first school together, in Bewick Rd (Miss Every's) & afterwards to the High School. Later Ruth went to Bedford College, where she made many friends—chief among them Lily Weiss. This friendship may be said to be the first step in knowing the Weiss family, & to my dear Evelyn's marriage with Ernest Weiss—& later to Lily Weiss' marriage with Charles Spence. Ruth shewed great aptitude for drawing at Bedford College, & for Literature—She exceedingly enjoyed Prof. Hall's literary lessons, and we all know her love of music; she had an exquisite voice & a very good ear—& her singing has given delight to friends far & near. She had—I am speaking of a later time—a very large répertoire of songs—German & English & Scotch & Irish—Her enunciation was perfect—so clear one could hear every word & she sang with exquisite expression. Into the Irish songs she threw all the fervour of pathos for the sorrows of Ireland—her rendering of "The Arbretus Tree", & "Patrick Sarsfield" can never be forgotten—"Oh why Patrick Sarsfield, o why did you go?" Some of Christina Rossetti's too were most beautiful—"Stay June Stay" & "Who has seen the wind"? Songs for the children delighted them—"Little brown brother" "Molly with her broken toy" & "When a pig wears a wig." But indeed it is impossible to do more than touch on the charm & delight of her sweet singing—which was appreciated not only by those ignorant of musical lore, but by those of real musical gifts who often admired her singing more than that of professional & well known singers.

Ruth was the beloved companion in many a journey—her eye for beauty in its many forms made her an enthusiastic & delightful one—only want of strength often sadly marred her pleasure.

 

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1914-07-25

V. anxious, because letter from Mother saying cablegram from Hobart last night to say “Ruth undergoes exploratory operation to-morrow (that is, to-day). 2 Drs. urgent advice”. Her last letter spoke of having been 5 or 6 weeks in bed with enlarged liver, fearful perspirations at night, etc. Had a nurse & poor Edmund had to sleep on sofa. If she has been in bed ever since it must be now nearly 3 months.

Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1914-07-27

I was busy ironing in the morning, when Bertha came & showed me the terrible telegram (R. had stood operation well), that Ruth has malignant growth on the liver, hopeless & may linger a few months. We both sat & sobbed & sent a telegram of sympathy to Edmund from us all at York. It was a terrible day.

1914-07-28

Had to go out; when I got back at ¼ to 1.0 found telegram that “Ruth is sinking fast, unconscious, Mother not going.” I was miserable, & determined to go to Bensham by the 2.5. When F. came in before 1.30, he insisted on my having some dinner & then Brian Sparkes turned up, but we left him & had a cab & found Bowes going by the same train. Got home about 4.0 & found darling Mother & Ber sitting in garden. Mother very brave, but dreadfully troubled, not being able to go, but just waiting in suspense. Evie & children came in later. E’s telegram to me was not quite right. It really was that Ruth was sinking slowly, comatose, might linger 10 days”, so of course, Mother decided not to go.

1914-07-29

When we got back there was this telegram, “Ruth slightly better. Sleeping mostly. Little pain, takes liquid nourishment well. Sends love.” I felt this greatly encouraging for it shows she is conscious again. Telegrams cost 3/- a word & it is so hard not to be able to hear more.

1914-08-03 "In evening a better account of Ruth, thro’ Charles Merz’s office."
1914-08-04 "Ruth ignorant result of operation rallied somewhat doctor thinks mother might arrive in time hesitate advise" cablegram from Edmund Gower

Cablegram to say “Ruth slightly better. Sleeps well, ignorant of result of operation. Dr. thinks Mother might arrive in time.”

Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1914-08-20 of the Friends High School, Hobart, Tasmania; wife of Edmund Innes Gower (Headmaster Friends’ High School, Hobart); d. at Hobart, of cancer of the liver National Probate Calendar; The Friend LIV:660, 1914-09-04; The Times; Annual Monitor; letter from Edmund Gower to Mary S.W. Pollard
"We little knew that this day our darling Ruth died. We were anxiously waiting for reply to B’s wire." Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1914-08-24

Decided to stay in garden with children in case a wire shd come. Mother & all of us were picking sweet peas to send to workhouse quite happily baby helping too, & at about 10.15 I came in to get a pair of scissors. As I went round to front door, I met Percy in black, looking very sad, coming in at the gate, & I knew what had happened, & went to bring the precious Mother in. The cablegram was: “Dear Ruth passed away peacefully and painlessly this evening. Edmund Gower” 6.50 p.m. 20th. Aug. So she had really died last Thursday, & we had only just heard. It did seem cruel.

 

But dear Ruth grew worse & on the 20th of August 1914 after a very long & suffering time, her bright brave spirit passed away. An operation to discover the cause of her continued weakness, had revealed an incurable growth. Edmund had cabled this, so we were in some sense prepared for it, & yet when the end came it was a terrible blow. It was hard to think that I could be with her in those last suffering weeks, altho' I know that Edmund did everything possible for her. She was removed from the Nursing Home into the little house Edmund had taken for them, & only two days—two happy days—was she permitted to live there. She was buried in the Cemetery at Cornelian Bay—far far from the land of her birth -

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1915-03-10 will proved at London by brother-in-law John Bowes Morrell and cousin Percy Corder; effects £3317 18s. National Probate Calendar
1915-03-27

Edmund arrived safely about 5.0. We are thankful. He is better with the voyage. In evening gave us a very pathetic account of the last sad weeks, & how disgracefully poor darling Dootie was treated in the hospital.

Mary S.W. Pollard's diary


Evelyn (Spence Watson) Weiss 03. Evelyn Spence Watson (Evie)

1871-04-26 b. Mosscroft, Bensham, Gateshead

Bootham School Register (1971); birth certificate; The Friend XI.June:156

 

On the 26th of April our little Evelyn was born. Robert was away in London on important business, wh was to me a very great trial, for he did not get home until a week afterwards. My kind Doctor also was prevented from attending me through illness, but he made every arrangement for my well-doing, send Dr Gibson in his stead, & I am thankful to say I recovered nicely, & had no drawbacks of any importance. My sister Alice stayed with me, & was my kind & devoted helper all through, while my equally kind sister Carrie took care of the dear bairnies for the next few days.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1871-03-13 "Evelyn is now nearly three months old, & is a fine healthy little thing, very observant & active—indeed I am inclined to think, the sweetest little baby there ever was."
1871-12-07 "Evelyn is now a fat little body, able to sit by herself & amuse herself, & as good & happy a bairn as could anywhere be found—every body's pet & delight."
1872-05-14 "Evelyn can walk now a few steps quite alone—she is a year & 3 weeks old—She is the merriest, bonniest bairn, with such fine dark eyes—It is quite time to have her photo'd -"
1873-08 spent the last half the month on holiday with sisters and mother at Millburn Cottage, Suss

The children were all the time very well, & enjoyed to the full the delightful pleasures of that charming place. One memorable day we went up Ben Lomond—children & servants & all. We had a pony for dear wee Evie whom May held on her knee in going up, & I in going down. But alas the mists descended & the floods came, & we saw nothing from the top, & reached Rowardennan cold & drenched. But little Evie's behaviour deserves to be recorded—she sat on my knee all the way down, & wet & cold though she was, she never complained, but prattled away in her own sweet winning way, & when we, at last, got down the mountain, she said "Evie would ike to go up Ben Ormond adain".

1873-09 "As for little Evie, she is my sweet & precious little companion when her sisters are at school—how sweet & how precious words would fail me to tell."
1874-01-02

As for Evie I think a sweeter little thing never existed. She talks both very clearly & very intelligently for her age, & is a most companionable child. Many are the conversations we have together, & sore the questions that puzzle her little mind. We have an old dog buried in the garden, & she likes to go & see "Winnie's" grave. "Where is Winnie Mamma?" "Winnie is in the cold ground darling." "Where Grandmama is, Mama?" "Yes darling, only Grandmama is in Heaven, her spirit is in Heaven." "Then is Winnie in Heaven too Mamma?" When I told her one day the rain came from the clouds in the sky she said "The sky where Uncle Herbie is mama? Does Uncle Herbie feel the rain"? And when the rain & cold cutting wind were blowing in her face, she looked up to me with her happy smile "It's only a shower Ma." This evening after she was in bed, & I had said to her the invariably asked for "Noble Ark", she said her little Prayer. When she had finished, she said to me, "Ma say God make Evie a good little girl". I said these words, & the dear child seemed quite happy, & gave me the sweetest of kisses as I bade her farewell.

But it were vain to try to tell her sweet little sayings, or to describe the charm of her winning ways.

 

1874-07 "In July during our children's holidays we spent a very happy fortnight at Grasmere with my sisters Carrie & Nellie."
1874-09

The first week in September we had a very pleasant visit from Miss Gibson, a sister of Mr. Gibson who often comes out to see us on Sundays, & who is always one of our Shakespeare readers—Miss Gibson is very artistic, & a very clever, but at the same time simple & pleasant girl. She pleased us much by taking a portrait of our bonnie Evie (on an old cigar box lid.) It is slightly painted in oils, & makes a very pretty little picture, though not a flattering one of our sweet child. The colour is certainly very good, & the likeness very fair, considering the difficulties under which it was taken.

1874-11-27

Our little Evie is a fascinating little thing—I could tell many stories of her winning ways, but will only put down one or two instances—Once at Grasmere, when Carrie had not been very well, Evie woke up in the night, & all she said was "How is dear Aunt Car?" & then, when satisfied, quietly went to sleep again.

Another time she fell out of bed a great thump on the floor. The poor little thing after one short sharp cry, only said "Please dear Mama, has Aunt Nellie come home"? (Nellie had been expected the night before)

One night when I went to see her in her little crib & told her as usual the story of the Noble Ark, she asked me the curious question "Mama was God wet?" I said "No darling, God was up in the sky, in Heaven". She answered quickly "But the rain comes from the sky"—which made me laugh so, that I escaped the difficulty of a reply.

She has quickly learned her letters, & now every morning is eager to say her little words, & to put together one-syllabled words out of her letter box.

 

1875 late autumn

So I took dear little Evie with me, & we set off—spending a night in London on the way. We spent a fortnight very pleasantly at Bournemouth—at my sister's.

1876 holidayed with family in Norway
1876-09 "In September the High School, wh had with much difficulty & after many delays, been organized, was opened, & our three eldest girls all began to attend it."
1879-02-27 . . . "dear little Evie thoroughly enjoying school" . . .
1880-04-23 to Grasmere for a week, with family
c. 1880-07 spent a week at Whitley with all her siblings except Mabel
1881 scholar, of Bensham Grove, Gateshead, living with family and four general servants TNA: PRO RG 11/5033 f97 p14
1881-04-14

On the 14th of April, the day before Good Friday all the dear children, that is, Ruth, Evelyn, Mary, Bertha, Arnold, with Mattie went off to Grasmere. "Aunt Car" had most kindly asked them all to spend their Easter holidays & their cousins Maurice & Ernestine Richardson were to join them.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1881-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family
1881-12-26 played 'Little Fan' at Bensham Grove Christmas party Bensham Grove visitors' books
1882-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1882-12 "Evie would certainly have had one [a school prize] too had she not been moved into a higher Class, among much older girls."
1882 Christmas

And now Christmas has come & gone—we had over 70 on Christmas Day—old & young, & a very merry happy part, "Cinderella", got up by Ruth, was charmingly acted by some of the younger ones—Mary being a sweet little Cinderella, Charles the Prince, (acted with great dignity) Ernestine the godmother, Evie & Dora the two unkind sisters, & George the Herald.

1883-06 with Mary, Bertha, & Arnold, spent a fortnight at Grasmere with Aunt Car
c. 1883-08 spent a week in Scotland with parents

"Evie was a charming little companion—never tiring, & never troubled with unnecessary fears, but full of interest & as merry as a bird, flitting hither & thither to get us raspberries or blackberries or picking up curious stones or wonderful fungi."

1884-02 At the prize-giving after the High School concert "Our little Evie took two, one for term work & one for Examn work" . . .
1884-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1885-04-01

Evie has been most kindly allowed by Miss Cooper to work her Examn papers at her house (& Mary too). This was a very kind concession, & took away the regret of missing some school days. Dear Evie has come out 2nd in her form. We have not yet heard the results of the others. Evie is in the "Cambridge form".

1885-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family and Aunt Car
1886-08/-09 holidayed in Switzerland with parents, Mabel & Evie
1887-04 at High School, Gateshead—Cambridge Local Examination, Junior Division—First division of First Class, with Distinction in English The Friend XXVII Apr:94
1887-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1887-12-09 . . . "Evelyn has won the Company's Scholarship, tenable for two years" . . .
1888-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1889-07-28

So lest I forget this I must record our dear Evelyn's leaving the High School. Thirteen years has she been there, & it was a hard wrench to leave—but the memory she leaves behind her is indeed a blessed thing. I copy here what is written by Miss Wheeler & Miss Cooper—in her last report.

"A pupil whom it has always been a pleasure to teach" ADW.

"Evie's forgetfulness of self & large minded devotion to the general good have made her a power in the school where her work has been an ever increasing source of pleasure." J.C.C.

When I called on Miss Cooper to bid her good bye—she spoke to me of Evie in words that were almost too touching—her voice was broken with emotion & her eyes filled with tears as she told me of Evie's goodness & unselfishness—"I never had such a head girl as Evie, the whole school will miss her, teachers & scholars alike, for she has made herself such a power in the school—& all in such a way that she has never let the thought or fact of her being the head girl obtrude itself." Words to this effect & more I cannot quite remember the exact phrases—& more—made my mother's heart rejoice with thankful joy—May God bless the future of this beloved child! I know how much she owes to Miss Cooper, Miss Wheeler, & some of the other teachers—& how happy these school years have been—The future must bring more care, more anxiety & responsibility with it, but she has a brave heart—She goes on the 25th of September to Mrs Bergman Østerberg's Gymnastic College at Hampstead—May her influence there be of good, as it has been in the High School—A new epoch begins in the dear child's life—a time always of sadness even if mingled with hope & joy.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1890-06

Evelyn is making good progress, & one of the interesting things she does is to teach swimming at Whitechapel—with the other resident students to some of the poor children of that neighbourhood. She also teaches gymnastic exercises at [Reremonde ?] to children who come in from the elementary schools—& she finds her physiological studies very interesting.

 
1890-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family and Charles Merz Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1890 with her father, and the revolutionists Kropotkin and Stepniak, founded the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom To the Arctic Zone, 1890, reprinted from Free Russia; Free Russia 5.7-9, July-October 1904
1891 not found in census  
1891-04 . . . "has gone off to Stockholm with Emily Baker & Ethel Stevenson" Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1891-08/ 1894-06 resident mistress (gymnastics and games), York Quarterly Meeting's Girls' School (The Mount) H. Winifred Sturge, ed. (n.d.: 1932) A Register of Old Scholars of the Mount School York, 1931–1932, Leominster: Orphans’ Printing Press; The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions; H. Winifred Sturge & Theodora Clark (1931) The Mount School, York, 1785 to 1814, 1831 to 1931; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1893-07 month's holiday with family at Nantgaredig, South Wales Mary Spence Watson: diary
1894-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1894-08-01 climbed Store Skagastølstind (2406 m), along with Philip and Robert Spence and two local guides; only the third woman ever to ascend this mountain—"Norway's 3rd highest peak and quite a challenge to climb" emails from Arne Larsen, October 2017
1895-04-20 "Evelyn is teaching Swedish gymnastics at Cambridge—" Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1895 late physical training mistress of the Mount School, York, and the Cambridge Teachers’ Training College; gave a demonstration of Ling’s Swedish drill in the Albany Hall, Otago Street Robert Spence Watson's book of newspaper cuttings, Vol. 6
1896-04-09 bridesmaid at sister Mabel Spence Watson’s wedding at Pilgrim Street fmh; signed marriage certificate
1896-04-14/-05-08 holidayed in Italy with her sister Mary Mary Spence Watson: diary
1896-08 holidayed in Ireland with family and Aunt Car
  had been engaged once, before she was engaged to Ernest Weiss 'Mabel's Route Map'
about 1897-07 told Mary of her engagement Mary Spence Watson: diary
1897-07-18 visited Bensham Grove; named bracketed with F.E. Weiss Bensham Grove visitors' books
1897-08 holidayed in Norway with parents and two siblings Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1897-12-25

THE Copartnership carried on by the Subscribers in the Albany Hall, Otago Street, Glasgow, under the Firm of SPENCE WATSON & WILSON, Teachers of the Swedish System of Drill and Gymnastics, of which the Subscribers were the sole Partners, was DISSOLVED, by mutual consent, on the 25th day of December 1897.

Miss Evelyn Spence Watson retires from the Business, and the other Subscriber, Miss Rosa Wilson, will continue to carry it on under the same name, and will receive all accounts due to, and pay all debts due by, the dissolved Firm.

The Edinburgh Gazette, 1898-02-01
1898-01-14 Late Inspector of Physical Training for the Girls’ High School Company; gave paper on 'The Physical Training of Girls' published in The British Friend VII:46–8, 68–9, 1898-02–03  
1898-03-21 of Gateshead; m. Frederick Ernest Weiss (1865–1953), of Owens College, Manchester at Newcastle Friends' meeting house; the bridal party left for the south in the afternoon The Friend XXXVIII:188, 1898-03-25, 106:255, 1948-03-26; The British Friend VII Apr:98; GRO index; North-Eastern Daily Gazette, 1898-03-22
  honeymooned in Italy 'Mabel's Route Map'
1898-06-05 of Manchester Bensham Grove visitors' books
Children: Elizabeth Gabrielle (Elsa) (1900–2001), (Margaret) Erica (1904–1997), Mabel Irene (1913–2013) The Friend; The British Friend; The Times; GRO index; information from Mabel Weiss and Stella Green
1900-12-14 of 4 Clifton Avenue, Fallowfield, Manchester The Friend XL:866, The British Friend XLI Jan:24
1901-02-01/-26 stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1901 of 4 Clifton Avenue, S. Manchester, Lancashire, living with her family, a nurse, a general servant, and a visitor PRO RG 13/3671 f5 p2
1901-05-16/-17 of Manchester; stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1901-12-17/1902-01-15
1902-07-17/-08-04
1902-11-12 with Ernest, arrived Liverpool from Boston, Massachusetts, aboard Cunard's Saxonia; 2nd [class] cabin UK Incoming Passenger Lists
1903-01-01/-15 stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1904-07-09 of 20 Brunswick Road, Withington, Manchester The Friend XLIV:484, 1904-07-15, The British Friend XIII July:211
1904 with husband, gave Frank & Mary Pollard an oak book case with cupboard, as well as flowers, for their wedding present Mary S.W. Pollard, list of wedding presents
1907-04-19 of Withington, Manchester; wrote letter on Votes for Women, published in The British Friend XVI May:137  
1907-08-27/-28

Tuesday night poor Evie had a miscarriage and Ernest wired on Wed morning for Dr Fraser. Frank and I went up and I saw Evie who is very brave.

Mary Spence Watson's diary
1907-08-30

Poor Evie had suffered agony, and has to be moved into a home in York tomorrow—Frank Rowntree is going to send his motor. She was so sweet and looked lovely with her exquisite hair.

Mary Spence Watson's diary
1907-12-13 co-executor of the will of her sister Mabel Spence Richardson National Probate Calendar
1908-08 holidayed with her mother at Summerbridge diaries of Mary S.W. Pollard (Ms); letter from Evelyn Weiss to Robert Spence Watson, now at TWAS
1909-08 of 30 Brunswick Road, Withington, Manchester; letter on women’s suffrage in The British Friend XVIII:226–7  
1909-09-24  ‘The Syllabus of Physical Exercises for Public Elementary Schools’ published in The Friend XLIX:637–8  
1911 living with husband (professor of botany, University of Manchester), two daughters, two domestic nurses and a cook, with nephew and niece as visitors, in 9 rooms at 30 Brunswick Road, Withington, Manchester RG14PN23689 RG78PN1377 RD464 SD1 ED32 SN123
1913 of Manchester Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 1913-01-10
ca. 1913-07 moved to Disley with family 'Mabel's Route Map' (transcript of taped reminiscences)
 

Mother always kept hens and sometimes 'runner ducks', so we were well provided for throughout the First World War. Runner ducks don't need very much water, so they had a little pond.

'Mabel's Route Map'
 

Later, when we were living in Disley and Elsa and Erica, my two sisters, were both more or less grown up, Mother converted some of our old loft buildings which had come with the house (a stable and loose box and lofts, which we used to play in) for new uses (we were sorry to lose those places to play in), but she turned the inner loft into a little weekend place which she let to people for 1 shilling a night (the loo, incidentally, was in the back yard of the house and quite a long way off!). I think it went mostly to deserving people who couldn't afford much. The outer part she turned into a library for the village. She begged and borrowed and perhaps stole books right, left and centre and got people interested to help cover the books and catalogue them.

c. 1920 with husband, went to Switzerland
1921-11-04

Professor F.E. Weiss, D.Sc., F.R.S., has been appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University. Our Friend is a son-in-law of the late Dr. Robert Spence Watson.

The Friend LXI:735
 

Mother always preferred the mountains to the sea. We used to tease her that our seaside holidays (apart from one when I was 3 years old at Beadnell, Northumberland) were failures—so we girls always asked for the Lake District.

'Mabel's Route Map'
 

. . . "Mother was hopeless at languages."

1928-07 published 'Bensham Grove' in the Bensham Grove Settlement Magazine Bensham Grove Settlement Magazine
1930-09-20 "Spent the aft. with Evie—had lunch tog. They have just left Disley for good & are going abroad for a year." diary of Mary S.W. Pollard
1930

We sold our Disley house. My parents, who needed to rest and reflect before they decided where they wanted to live, settled in Switzerland, in the Pension des Narcisses, above Montreux.

'Mabel's Route Map'
1930-12-29 "The Weisses are at Pension de la Fontaine, Tusinge sur Blonay." diary of Mary S.W. Pollard
 

. . . my parents were determined to travel to Italy, where they had spent their honeymoon, including Sicily into the bargain. We started there at Palermo, Syracuse, Agrigento and Taormina, then back to Naples, Rome and Florence.

'Mabel's Route Map'
 

Returning from Italy we spent some of the summer months in the high Alps, my father botanising and my mother and I just revelling in the Alpine meadows. We also went climbing [ . . . ]

1931-11-27  . . . "has shown how much the wife of an official or teacher can contribute, over and above special work within the University, to the delight and refreshment of the common life." The Friend LXXI:1081
 

My parents decided to move to Guildford. [ . . . ]

My parents found a newly-built house in Merrow, just outside Guildford, which had been empty for a year and was still as dry as a bone, with no sign of damp, and the right size. It stood in a newish road leading to woods and with meadows all around, not far from the small railway station and the main road to London, along which the Green Line bus service ran through Wisley. The name of the road was Woodway, I think. It was lovely and my father created a wonderful garden there from scratch. It seemed ideal, so we moved in as soon as we could, after a say, most eccentrically for us, in the Army & Navy Bridge Club.

'Mabel's Route Map'
1932 of Easedale, Woodway, Merrow, Guildford, Surrey Sturge (1932)
1935-07 "My parents [ . . . ] had been in Cairo for the previous six months [ . . . ] ." 'Mabel's Route Map'
  collected autographs, including numerous prestigious items, such as a letter from Karl Marx, an extract from David Copperfield in Dickens's handwriting, &c. collection inherited by Mabel Weiss, seen by me in the 1980s
1939-09-29 unpaid domestic duties, living with her husband and their daughter Mabel at 'Easedale', Woodway, Merrow, Guildford 1939 England and Wales Register (TNA: PRO RG 101)
1942-07-31

I got to Easedale soon after 3.30 & had a perfect time, but Evie is [by] no means well. I felt very sorry for her. She is so plucky. Private. She tole me, but even her daughters don't know, so don't mention it to anyone that she has got cataract in both eyes.

Mary S.W. Pollard, letter to Frank
1942-11-24

I went to Guildford arriving about 11.0 to see Evie who has been very ill and I have been anxious. She could get so little domestic help that she and Ernest have had to go to the small Mitcombe Hotel, where they have a bed-sitting room. I found her in bed, but rather better than she has been. One eye covered over because she sees double with it—the other has cataract. She has had terrible pain in her head which all swelled up owing to deep seated neuralgia of facial nerves, but she is having electric treatment at the hospital 3 times weekly wh. is doing good.

diary of Mary S.W. Pollard
1943-02-23

Lovely visit from Evie. A relief to see her so much better.

1943-07-16

To see Evie again in hospital. I am so sorry for her. She has been there several weeks and it is so dull as she can’t read.

1943-11-26

Lovely visit from Evie. She is much better at last, but can only see with one eye.

1945 with Ernest, living at Easedale, Woodway, Merrow, Guildford electoral register
1947 . . . "my parents had sold their house in Guildford and gone to share a house with my sister Elsa in Sydenham." 'Mabel's Route Map'
1947/1950 of 73 Longton Avenue, Sydenham West, Lewisham, London electoral registers
1948-03-26 announcement of Golden Wedding The Friend 106:255
1951 of Sydenham Mary S.W. Pollard diaries
  ". . . my parents were moving out into a residential hotel." 'Mabel's Route Map'
1952 living with Ernest at the Old Cedars Hotel, Westwood Hill, Sydenham electoral register
1953 of Sydenham The Friend:77
after 1953

 . . . well she had senile dementia, really, because she had bouts of real mind-wandering, and didn’t know anything at all, where she was, what she was doing, and then she’d have periods of complete sanity, and it was very distressing for her and the family, because when she was feeling well and sane she realised that she had been not well—to feel that she had been upsetting everybody by her behaviour worried her, and made her worse again—and so she had these bouts of sanity and insanity, and gradually deteriorated. I know this was very upsetting for your grandmother, to have to go and see her, and visit her, when she was like that—I don’t know whether your mother had to handle her when she was in these bouts of insanity. But it was a happy release when she died.

The Memoirs of Sidney Beck
1954-04-15 of Norbury Lodge on Fox Hill, SE19; visited Becks at 50 Clarence Road, St Albans Beck visitors' book
1955-04-21 "She is very frail." diary of Mary S.W. Pollard
1958-04-02

I met Mabel in London and she took me to see my darling sister Evie. We spent about 3 hours with her—gave her her tea and supper. She has to be fed and is nearly quite blind, but I think she realized who I was, and listened to me, but a lot of her talking I could not understand.

1959-03-02 of The Cedars, Westwood Hill, Sydenham; d. at 191 Church Road, Upper Norwood, London The Friend 117:336, 1959-03-13; GRO index; National Probate Calendar
 

Evelyn (Spence Watson) Weiss was born in Gateshead in 1871. She was educated at the girls High School & spent 13 years there becoming Head of the School of about 300 pupils. When she left the Head Mistress wrote "I never had such a head girl as Evie; the whole school will miss her, teachers & scholars alike, for she has made herself such a poer in the school, & all in such a way that she has never let the thought or fact of her being the head girl obtrude itself". She left in 1889 & went to train in Swedish gymnastics at Madame Österberg's in Hampstead. Here among other things she taught swimming to the girls in Whitechapel. After completing her training she went to teach at the Mount School, York in the new gymnasium largely equipped by her directions. She also taught Sloyd, a form of Swedish wood carving. Her discipline was strict, but she was very popular & quickly made friends in the school & in York. When vaulting over the wooden horse one day to demonstrate how it should be done, a girl was overheard saying "Isn't she a picture?" & she did look lovely with her golden reddish hair.

After several years at the Mount she taught for a short time in Cambridge to study anatomy & physiology & then & a friend started a centre in Glasgow for remedial exercises. In 1898 she married F. Ernest Weiss, a professor of botany at M/C. University & for over 50 years they lived an ideally happy life together. There her 3 daughters were born. She was an excellent hostess, & full of vitality, giving of her best to many good causes. In the village of Disley near M/C. where she lived she started a lending library which became a very great boon to the district & meant a great deal of unselfish work on her part. She also equipped an out-house as a small week-end cottage where friends who needed a rest could come & enjoy the lovely garden.

After Prof. Weiss's retirement they went to live in the South, first at Guildford then in London, but she never fully recovered from the shock of his death, & deafness & failing sight though patiently borne troubled her a great deal. She died in March 1959.

Ms draft obituary by Mary S.W. Pollard, in my possession
1959-06-08 will proved at London by Elizabeth Gabrielle Browning and Mabel Irene Weiss; effects £39,938 13s. 6d. National Probate Calendar
  Tyne and Wear Archives service GB 186 SW 3 consists of correspondence to Frederick and Evelyn Weiss, 1875-1949 Spence Watson Papers


Mary (Spence Watson) Pollard 04. Mary Spence Watson


Bertha (Spence Watson) Morrell 05. Bertha Spence Watson

1877-05-18 b. at Bensham Grove, Gateshead The Friend XVII June:185; Bootham School Register (1971)
1877-10-21

First of all, another little girl, our Darling little Bertha was given to us on the 18th of May. I recovered nicely, & the new baby, like all of her sisters in turn before her, was much made of, & considered the greatest treasure. She is now a plump little thing with dimpled cheeks & wide blue eyes, & the sunniest of sunny smiles—Her sisters delight in nursing her, & she lets them haul her about in a most amiable manner. When she was just a month old, as Ruth had not been very well, we went down to Cullercoats for two or three days. There Ruth rapidly recovered, & I grew very strong, & dear little Bertha grew & prospered.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
by 1878-03-02 weaned
1879-02-27 . . . "darling wee Bertha, the pet of all." . . .
1879-10-17 . . . "Dear little Bertha is quite a picture—so bonny & well, & so good tempered—soon the dear wee pet will have to "try the stirk stall" . . .
1880-04-23 to Grasmere for a week, with family
1880-05-04 "Bertha is now quite grown out of the baby—a tall strong girl, rather passionate at times, but very good & sweet for the most part."
c. 1880-07 spent a fortnight at Whitley with Mary & Arnold, joined for the second week by Ruth and Evie
1881 of Bensham Grove, Bensham Road, Gateshead, living with family and four domestic servants TNA: PRO RG 11/5033 f97 p14
1881-04-14

On the 14th of April, the day before Good Friday all the dear children, that is, Ruth, Evelyn, Mary, Bertha, Arnold, with Mattie went off to Grasmere. "Aunt Car" had most kindly asked them all to spend their Easter holidays & their cousins Maurice & Ernestine Richardson were to join them.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1881-11 "Dear little Mary & Bertha are sweet little Kindergarten pupils, & are learning to sing so nicely—among other things."
1882-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1883-06 with Evie, Bertha, & Arnold, spent a fortnight at Grasmere with Aunt Car
1884-03-27 "None has improved more than our winsome little Bertha, who is wilful enough at times, but very good generally & so bonny & sweet."
1884-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1885-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family and Aunt Car
1885-12 in the 1st form of the High School under Miss Bicknell
1886-08 spent three weeks in Bournemouth with the Whites, then went on to Grasmere
1887-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1887-12-09 won a prize for recitation, at the High School
1888-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1890-06 in London with Evie; "Dear little Bertha's time is nearly over—she is a great favourite there" . . . . Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1890-06/-08 holidayed in Norway with family and Charles Merz Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1891-02/-03 had long holiday in Canaries with Mabel, her mother, and Carrie Richardson; while there took Spanish lessons Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1891 scholar, of Bensham Grove, Bensham Road, Gateshead, living with family, cousin, a cook, and two domestic servants PRO RG 12/4176 f60 p46
1891-10-03 at the conclusion of Gladstone's visit to Newcastle, presented Mrs Gladstone with a bouquet, on the platform of Newcastle station Morning Post, 1891-10-05; The Standard, 1891-10-05; Belfast News-Letter, 1891-10-05
1892-01-07 with her mother and her sister Mabel, departed London for Tenerife, aboard the Kaikoura; accompanied by her aunts Caroline Richardson and Nellie Kuhlmann, and cousin Denis Kuhlmann UK outward passenger lists
1892-08/ 1895-06 at The Mount School, York H. Winifred Sturge, ed. (n.d.: 1932) A Register of Old Scholars of the Mount School York, 1931–1932, Leominster: Orphans’ Printing Press; The Mount School, York. List of Teachers and Scholars 1784–1816, 1831–1906 (1906) York: Sessions
1893-07 month's holiday with family at Nantgaredig, South Wales Mary Spence Watson: diary
1894-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1896-04-09 bridesmaid at sister Mabel Spence Watson’s wedding at Pilgrim Street fmh; signed marriage certificate Robert Spence Watson's book of newspaper cuttings
1897-11 at Swanley Mary Spence Watson's diary
1898-01-19 . . . "Bertha has returned to Swanley" . . . Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1896-08 holidayed in Ireland with family and Aunt Car Mary Spence Watson's diary
1896-05 attended annual meeting of the Old York Scholars Association, for the last weekend in May
1897-08 holidayed in Norway with parents and two siblings Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1898-09 holidayed in Dauphiné Alps with parents and sister Mary; with Mary, wore 'rationals' Mary Spence Watson's diary
1898 autumn a by-election occurred in York. John Bowes Morrell, secretary for the Liberal Association in Micklegate Ward, was in need of canvassers. Someone told him Bertha Spence Watson was living in York, working for Backhouse & Co., the well-known nurseryman

John Bowes went to call on her, in her lodgings at Acomb, to ask if she would help as a canvasser. The twenty-one-year old Bertha agreed willingly, and although the Liberal candidate was defeated the election was to have important consequences for two of his young supporters.

John Bowes, during the next two years, was often to think of the girl with the beautiful golden hair, who had trudged about the streets of York distributing election pamphlets in the interests of the Liberal Party.

Anne Vernon (1966) Three Generations. The Fortunes of a Yorkshire Family. London: Jarrolds, pp. 137-8
1898-12-07 Sea-Captain & Curio, in Twelfth Night, at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1900-09 visited Switzerland, with family Mary Spence Watson: diary
1901 agricultural student, of Bensham Grove, Bensham Road, Gateshead, living with her father, a cook, a housemaid, and an under housemaid RG 13/4751 f106 p54
  obtained horticultural diploma at Swanley, and trained at Backhouse's Nurseries, York Sturge (1932)
[date uncertain, but apparently prior to marriage] lived at Rawcliffe Holt, York letter to me from Pit Corder, c. 1985
1901 got engaged to John Bowes Morrell Vernon (1966): 140
1901-05-01/-02 stayed at Bensham Grove; name bracketed with Bowes Morrell's, as "verlobt" Bensham Grove visitors' books
1902-04-02 of Bensham Grove; m. John Bowes Morrell (1873–1963), youngest son of W.W. Morrell, J.P., West Mount, York, at Newcastle Friends' meeting house The Friend XLII:256 [‘Bowle’], The British Friend XI May:124; Bootham School Register (1971); The Times; Edward H. Milligan (2007) Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775–1920. York: Sessions Book Trust; Shields Daily Gazette, 1902-04-03
 

Four grown-up bridesmaids and two little girls attended the bride. The women's clothes were elaborate. Bertha wore a dress of 'pure white oriental satin' trimmed with quantities of lace and with a long train. The bridesmaids also wore white satin, with insertions of coffee-coloured lace, and very large white hats. There were flowers everywhere. In Bertha's bouquet were some orchids sent by Backhouse's—the York firm of nurseryman for whom she had once worked.

Vernon (1966): 141
  reception held at Bensham Grove: 120 came. Afterwards the couple left for London, en route for Italy. Shields Daily Gazette, 1902-04-03; Vernon (1966): 142
1902-06-07/-09 of York; stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1902-08-22/-28 of 30 St Mary's, York; stayed at Bensham Grove
1902-10-04/-06 of 30 St Mary's; stayed at Bensham Grove
1902-12-24/-30 of 30 St Mary's, York
1903-04/-05 holidayed to Tunis, with Bowes and her sister Mary Mary Spence Watson's diary
1903-03-21/-23 of 30 St Mary's, York; stayed at Bensham Grove Bensham Grove visitors' books
1903 with Bowes, visited Rowntree's West Indian cocoa estates, returning via New York and Boston Vernon (1966): 147
Children: Lydia Ruth (1904–91), Elizabeth Bertha (1907–94), William Bowes (1913–1981) Bootham School Register; The Friend; The British Friend; GRO index; Interment, accessed 2010-12-21
1904 of 30 St Mary's, York; with husband, gave Frank & Mary Pollard a £25 cheque, for their wedding present Mary S.W. Pollard, list of wedding presents
1904-11-20 & 1907-01-07 of 30, St Mary’s, York The British Friend XIII Dec:351, XVI Feb:62;The Friend XLVII:96, 1907-02-08
by 1907-10-02 had moved to a new house Mary S.W. Pollard's diary
1911 living with husband (cocoa manufacturer), eldest daughter, and three servants, in 12 rooms at Burton Croft, York RG14PN28413 RG78PN1626 RD517 SD2 ED30 SN74
1911-05-13 with Bowes and Cuthbert Morrell, left for six weeks in Asia Minor Mary S.W.Pollard's diary
1911/1912 host to her mother over Christmas and New Year diaries of Mary S.W. Pollard (Ms)
1912 Spring holidayed in the Italian lakes with her mother
1914/1915 host to her mother over Christmas and New Year
1918-12 host to her mother for a fortnight letters from Frank Pollard; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1920-07-29 director; with Bowes and son William, arrived Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, from Liverpool, aboard the SS Victorian (which had departed on -07-20); 5'6", fair complexion, brown hair, blue eyes Border Crossings from Canada to US
1921-09-22 had just returned from a visit to Switzerland Mary Spence Watson: diary
1925-08-15 housewife, of Burton Croft, York; with her whole family, embarked Southampton for Cherbourg, aboard the Cunard Berengaria, travelling first class UK outward passenger lists
1927-06-03 in America Mary Spence Watson: diary
1927-08-27 housewife, of Burton Croft, York; with her daughter Lydia, arrived Plymouth from New York, aboard Cunard's Caronia, travelling cabin class UK incoming passenger lists
1929-09 visited Trinidad The Memoirs of Ruth Beck
1929-10-26 departed for a visit to the West Indies with Bowes and Lydia; arrived back on Christmas Eve Mary Spence Watson: diary
1929-12-24 of Burton Croft, York; with Bowes and Lydia, arrived Plymouth from Barbados (after two weeks in Dominica), aboard the Royal Netherlands Steamship Company's Stuyvesant UK Incoming Passenger Lists
1931-11-18 Lady Mayoress of York; two photographs with her daughter Lydia, "in practical working kit on their farm, "Potter Hill," near Helmsley Leeds Mercury
1932-10-15 of York; daughter’s wedding there The Friend 90:974, 1932-11-04
1932 of Burton Croft, York. Many civic interests; now acting Lady Mayoress Sturge (1932)
1932 At her daughter Lydia's wedding reception at the Guildhall 'Aunt Bertha looked so young that people thought she was Lydia's sister.' . . . 'Aunt B (trained in horticulture) did the flowers.' The Memoirs of Ruth Beck
1934-07 offered her niece Ruth Pollard Brereton Farm, Goathland, Yorkshire, for her Dijon reunion

Then, a few weeks before, she wrote & said we couldn't have it then, someone else wanted it. Mother was furious, & wrote such a strong letter that we got it all right, and Aunt B was so kind, providing an enormous box of groceries to greet us, and free riding.

1935-11-19 gave Ruth Pollard £21, for her 21st birthday
1939-09-29 unpaid domestic duties, living with her husband and her daughter Bertha at Burton Croft, Burton Stone Lane, York, with two (or perhaps three) domestic servants 1939 England and Wales Register (TNA: PRO RG 101)
1939 health giving rise to some anxiety.

Bertha had always been an energetic woman. She had loved long walks on the moors, riding, swimming, and gardening. The beauty which had been hers in youth lasted, like the brilliant gold of her hair, well into middle age. Her children, when when grown up, found her a good companion. She had surprised her family, in her fifty-fifth year, by moving for the second time into the Mansion House. The Lord Mayor, Alderman Wragg, was a widower, and he asked Bertha to act as Lady Mayoress.

When when was about sixty, however, she began to go lame in one leg. It was the first onset of arthritis, and in spite of all possible treatment the disease advanced.

She fought it stubbornly. When a first-aid post was set up in the stable at Burton Croft during the Second World War she took a nursing course, became one of the team of nurses, and turned up whenever there was an air-raid 'alert'. After the war her lameness increased, and presently she was obliged to use an electric chair. This she drove dashingly about York; and although most of her favourite activities were now impossible she managed to go on swimming until she was nearly seventy. She was, however, not strong enough to act as Lady Mayoress when John Bowes became Lord Mayor for the second time in 1950.

Vernon (1966), pp. 170-1
 

She was quite different from your Granny, and Evelyn, and she seemed to be a very lively person, and aware and much more a realist in touch with everyday matters—much more in tune with modern living, as it were, and able to cope with being the wife of a director of Rowntree’s, and being a hostess to a very fluctuating number of guests, in the house; and she was very well off, of course, and very friendly and helpful. She had a good sense of humour—I think she had to, to put up with Uncle Bowes, and his peculiarities! I think she wore a wig, in the last years of her life, when I knew her. Your mother was always impressed, when she visited there, while she was at the Mount—Bertha was very kind to your mother, when your mother was at the Mount school, because your mother, when she went to the Mount school in the first term, was miserable—she was very home-sick, she’d been brought up largely with her mother, her mother had always been around, and her father was always at home, and—of course they’d been very close, with Carol, and Margaret, and Robert—and so she missed all her family very much, when she went to the Mount; and it was unfortunate, when she first went there, for the first half of the term, when she was most miserable, Aunt Bertha I think was away on holiday, or they’d gone on a tour, and so she didn’t even have the pleasure of her aunt’s company, to help her. But I think about half way through the term two things happened, 1) Bertha came back from holiday, and was able to invite her out at weekends, and give her boxes of chocolates, which helped to restore her standing amongst the other girls, in her class; and also she made friends with a girl in the class, and no longer felt alone, and she became reconciled to boarding school from then onwards. But it was great fun for her, having her aunt at Burton Croft—all the fluctuating, interesting people who came to see her at weekends, or staying there—and also when Aunt Bertha was the Lady Mayoress of York, she got invited to quite a lot of functions, going to the Mansion House, on various occasions, and—so it was a real bonus, education, for her, being associated with someone like Aunt Bertha; and I think she acquired a lot of Bertha’s love of life, and fun—and I think it sort of broke her a little bit away from the rather solemn nature of many of the Quaker tradition that she’d been brought up in.

The Memoirs of Sidney Beck
1943-12-01

Bowes saw us off. They have all been so kind, but it is sad to see poor Bertha so crippled and with a wig. She is wonderfully plucky.

diary of Mary S.W. Pollard
1945-02-07

The only thing that spoilt the day was hearing that dear Bertha is suffering great pain with her hip, but she wrote me a lovely letter. A day or two later she was taken to hospital and X-rayed, and had a splint put on which allayed some pain. She is so good and plucky.

1945-03-10

Bertha has been very ill and in hospital, but is back at B.C. so on 10th Sat. I went to York to see her. She was much better, but still in her bedroom, and it was lovely to see her.

1949/1950 unable to accept the office of Lady Mayoress, owing to ill-health Yorkshire Evening Post, 1951-07-11
1954-07-31 of Burton Croft, Burton Stone-lane, York; d. peacefully, in her sleep, at Burton Croft, York, aged 77 The Friend: 814, 1954-08-13; National Probate Calendar; Vernon (1966): 178
 

Old Scholars will be very sorry to hear of the death, on the 31st July, 1954, of Mrs. J. Bowes Morrell, wife of Alderman J. Bowes Morrell (1884-90) and youngest daughter of the late Dr. Robert Spence Watson. They will have many happy memories of her kindness and her charming welcome and generous hospitality at Burton Croft, and of the wonderful way in which she shared her life with everyone. Her warm-hearted friendship, and her cheerful and courageous spirit have meant much to us, and she was loved and admired by everyone

Bootham 25.6:280, Nov 1954
 

. . . had been an invalid for some time, but to the very end her courage did not desert her. When she was in pain she would try to straighten herself against the piano in the drawing-room or the sideboard in the dining-room. She was never heard to complain.

John Bowes' wife had a narrower range of interests than her husband, but in a sense her gifts were a complement to his. She was naturally hospitable, and her girlhood at Bensham Grove had taught her to mix easily with people. Her husband's reserve, and the slight shyness of his early years, were offset by her cheerful friendliness towards anyone who came to Burton Croft. The responsibilities of entertaining fell largely upon her, and her open-handed hospitality survived through two world wars and the onset of her own illness.

Vernon (1966), pp. 178-9
1954-08-05 short obituary in The Times  
1954-11-16 will proved at York by John Bowes Morrell, William Bowes Morrell, and Elizabeth Bertha Hould; effects £18,906 7s. 6d. National Probate Calendar


Arnold Spence Watson 06. Arnold Spence Watson

1879-12-06 b. Bensham Grove, Gateshead The Friend XX Feb:51; Bootham School Register (1971)
  . . . "we have got a bonny wee laddie Arnold Spence Watson—born December 6th 1879 also to cheer us with promise for the future" Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1880-04-23 to Grasmere for a week, with family
1880-05-04

Our little Arnold was born on the 6th of December, in the depth of a bitter winter, but he is was a strong healthy baby, & never seemed to suffer from the cold. He is now 4 months old, & the delight of us all—such a good tempered bonny little thing.

Baby grew apace—he is now a bonny boy of 4 months old, bright & intelligent, & full of life—with full dark eyes, & growing I hope & trust, every day more & more like his dear Father. He is a great pet with all his sisters—little Mary especially delighting to nurse him & proving a capital hand.

c. 1880-07 spent a fortnight at Whitley with Mary & Bertha, joined for the second week by Ruth & Evie; had been "looking very pale & pulled down"; after his return, "Arnold still pale, but much better than he had been, & so good & sweet."
1881 of Bensham Grove, Bensham Road, Gateshead, living with family and four domestic servants TNA: PRO RG 11/5033 f97 p14
1881-04-14

On the 14th of April, the day before Good Friday all the dear children, that is, Ruth, Evelyn, Mary, Bertha, Arnold, with Mattie went off to Grasmere. "Aunt Car" had most kindly asked them all to spend their Easter holidays & their cousins Maurice & Ernestine Richardson were to join them.

Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1881-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family
1881-07

Our dear little Arnold had such a bad cough, after Dr Wilson left, that we became quite anxious about him, & even doubted whether we cld continue our journey. However we consulted Dr Stabel, the highest authority in Bergen & a very delightful gentleman, & he completely reassured us. He made a most careful examination of the child, & then told us his lungs were perfectly sound, but that his throat was slightly affected. He gave us some medicine wh had wonderful effect, for the dear little laddie seemed to lose his cough at once, & although we had been told particularly to avoid the damp for him, & we he was constantly exposed to damp, owing to the weather over wh we had no control, he gained strength rapidly, & never ailed anything more.

1881 Christmas "Our bonnie winsome Arnold went "round & round the Mulberry Bush" with the rest, & very lovely he looked in his Christmas frock worked by kind Mrs Dendy's skilful hands."
1882-05-14

Our precious children are all well, except that little Arnold has a cough, & is rather troubled with swollen glands (from his teeth, the Dr says) What a darling little fellow he is—to see his delight in pictures is quite a delight.

1882-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
1883-05-22

I have not put down many things wh some day when I can find leisure I want to record—To night I am too tired, but I must tell two stories of our sweet little Arnold, who really is the sweetest & most precious little boy it is possible to imagine. He has a will of his own, & can be very naughty, but this rarely happens, & many a struggle the dear child has to conquer his self will.

On Sunday among various other guests (Archdeacon Watkins among the number) Henry Tennant was here. He called little Arnold to speak to him, & after shaking hands with him said, "Well Arnold have you nothing to say to me?" when the gentle little voice naïvely replied "I am very well, thank you."

Yesterday I told Arnold to shut the door—he objected & said Bertha must go & help him. This I would not allow—then he wanted Mary—but I forbad this also. Then I said "Won't Arnold try to be good—won't he try to be Mother's good little boy? Look at Mother & tell her." The sweet trusting eyes were raised to mine, & the sweet little arms flung round my neck with a kiss, & away the darling ran to shut the door.

All his pretty prattle it would be impossible to describe—his recollections of Norway, of the steamer, of the bathing—his intelligent questioning—when I or his father have a headache his "I will kiss ou & make ou better"—his love for us all—his devotion to Mattie—he is so sweet that we dread setting our hearts too much on that precious little life.

 

1883-06 with Evie, Mary, & Bertha, spent a fortnight at Grasmere with Aunt Car
1884-03-27

The dear father has not been at all well the last few days—it has been beautiful to see the little son so tenderly nursing him—sitting on his bed, & stroking him & telling him stories, & saying all manner of pretty things to him. But indeed no words could say how sweet & dear this little son of ours is—very shy with strangers, he pours forth his affection on us, & his loving ways & his pretty prattle are almost too sweet. When Dr Wilson & R. were talking one day of what profession some boy should be, R. said to Arnold, "& what will you be Arnold?" "I'll be a Liberal" was the instant reply of the dear little laddie, wh made us all laugh.

1884-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family
c. 1884-09

Arnold, the sweet little laddie has had his first week of school. He declared he would not go—"I will follow you Papa wherever you go, but I won't go to school." However when the time came, he went without a murmur, & he has been so happy—& so good, Miss Sewell says.

. . . the sweet little Kindergarten children—our wee Arnold looking so bonny among them . . .

1885-04-01

. . . our little Arnold has taken the measles, & we have had to send the other children off without him. He is going on well, & we must be thankful if he recovers nicely with no evil effects—but it is a bitter disappointment not to take the precious little laddie. The others their cousin Lucy with them, & Margaret & Charlotte (the two servants who are to do duty there) all went off this morning. Robert & I hope to follow tomorrow, if Arnold is still doing well—just over the Easter Monday holiday. The house seems strangely desolate—only the wee laddie upstairs in his nursery, tired & weak, the devoted Mattie who has worked splendidly though she is much disappointed not to go to Grasmere, & Mary the Cook . . .

1885-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family and Aunt Car
1885-12

. . . Arnold in the Kindergarten under  Miss Sewell. It is impossible to describe the loveliness of our little boy—he grows sweeter & lovelier every day, & is so good & obedient. His pretty sayings would fill a book—surely never child prattled so sweetly. He said when his father sang his song about Norway

"I will be a gallant sailor,

As happy as can be"—

"But I am not a gallant sailor Papa, for I was so sea sick." He would like to go to Norway in "chariots best." One day he was wishing for a writing wand—& said to his father—"I know what I'd wish for"—"What would you wish for Arnold"? And the sweet little voice whispered "That you needn't go to the office, papa." When he comes in to our bed in the mornings his little heart seems to overflow with love—He comes in between us & smothers us with kisses, & then begin songs & stories & endless prattle of the most bewitching kind, & Mattie's knock at the door comes far too soon. He is so like his dear father in face—may he only grow like him in mind . . .

 

1886-08 spent three weeks in Bournemouth with the Whites, then went on to Grasmere; rode up Helvellyn on a pony
1887-07/-09 holidayed in Norway with family

It was a pretty sight to see our little Arnold clad in his waterproofs, & carrying the fishing bag setting forth with his dear father, & many a weary tramp did he go without a murmur, many a wetting did he get without complaint—always wanting to carry & help in every way he could. A sweeter little companion there never was.

 

1887-09 at the Boys' High School
1888-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1890-06/-08 holidayed in Norway with family and Charles Merz
1891 scholar, of Bensham Grove, Bensham Road, Gateshead, living with family, cousin, a cook, and two domestic servants PRO RG 12/4176 f60 p46
1891-10-03 at the conclusion of Gladstone's visit to Newcastle, gave him a buttonhole, on the platform of Newcastle station Morning Post, 1891-10-05
1892/1896 at Bootham School, York; hobbies—fishing, photography Bootham School Register; Edgar B. Collinson, ed. (1935) Bootham School Register, 2nd edn
1893-07 month's holiday with family at Nantgaredig, South Wales Mary Spence Watson: diary
1894-07/-08 holidayed in Norway with family Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
1896-04-09 present at sister Mabel Spence Watson’s wedding at Pilgrim Street fmh; signed marriage certificate Robert Spence Watson's book of newspaper cuttings
1896 holidayed in Ireland with family and Aunt Car Mary Spence Watson: diary
1896-05 attended annual meeting of the Old York Scholars Association, for the last weekend in May Mary Spence Watson' diary
1896-07 of Bootham, York; U. London Matric, 2nd Division The British Friend V Aug:231; Yorkshire Herald, 1896-07-17
1896-10 to Dalton Hall, Manchester Mary Spence Watson: diary
1897-08 holidayed in Norway with parents and two siblings Mary Spence Watson: diary; Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'
  student at Owen's College, Manchester. 'His was a truly lovable and winning personality, and in him centred many bright hopes for the future.' Percy Corder (1914) The Life of Robert Spence Watson. London: Headley Brothers, p. 309
 

Arnold would have made a capital football player: he used to play half back in front of me, and was getting to be a very useful man. What escapades he and Hugh Gibbins used to be up to! They climbed up a rainwater pipe outside, and forced an entrance into Gopsill Burtt’s room (the room above Arnold’s) when he thought he was secure behind his double doors. But they had some more serious fights to make than that, with one or two men that there were about then—I don’t mean physical fights—and they came out strong there too, I know. I remember well the great discussions we used to have in his room at times—he and Gibbins and Gill—and I was there sometimes—but was still something of the schoolmaster perhaps—too much so for quite an equal footing. I remember persuading him to read at one of the Socials—with great difficulty. Indeed I bought my copy of My Lady Nicotine for him to read a piece from: I think it was the chapter called ‘My Brother Henry’. And then too we had great difficulty in persuading him to begin to shave—when it really was getting very necessary. He must have had thy affection for long hair!

I used to give him tutorials in Jevons’s Logic: in fact he had one with me the day he was taken ill.

letter from Frank Pollard to Mary Spence Watson, 1903-11-28
1897-11-27

of Bensham-grove, Gateshead, studying for the law at Dalton Hall; d. there of pneumonia, after a week's illness, aged nearly 18 years

Bootham School Register; The Friend XXXVII:808, 1897-12-03; Annual Monitor; The Standard, 1897-11-29; Northern Echo, 1897-11-30; National Probate Calendar
  long and detailed account of his final illness in Mary Spence Watson's diary, as also in Elizabeth Spence Watson's 'Family Chronicles'  
1897-11-30 bur. Jesmond Old Cemetery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Mary S.W. Pollard diaries; Find a Grave
1898-01-29 administration granted at Durham to Robert Spence Watson; effects £1370 National Probate Calendar


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