Alice Whiting 1873-1965

Parents: Jesse Whiting and Ellen Smith (1)
Born: 6th December 1873 in Burton End, Haverhill.(1,2)
Baptised: 28th February 1880 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(1)
Married: None
Children: None
Died: 1965 in Risbridge District. Buried at Haverhill Cemetery on 31st May 1965.(5,6)

Bio: The 1881 census finds Alice as part of a large family in Burton End belonging to Jesse and Ellen. She is at school at this point. On the next census, in 1891 we see Alice at 17 living as a lodger with George and Susan Whiting at the Royal Standard pub, 78 Burton End. She is working as a factory hand at Gurteen's. George Whiting was not a close relative of Alice - however there was a connection somewhere in their past as they were both descended from Burton End Whitings.

At the time of the 1901 census Alice, I believe, is a general domestic servant working in the household of spinster sisters Amelia Matilda and Caroline Adela Woodhouse and their 77 year old aunt Caroline Rogers at 18 St Phillip's Road, Hackney (now the home of the North West London Housing Association). The age is correct, as is Alice's birthplace of Haverhill. She would have had relatives in London, so it was not too suprising that she gravitated towards the City.

It appears the life of housekeeper suited Alice, for she remains as such on the next census in 1911. In fact we find her at exactly the same place, 18 St Phillip's Road, Hackney. The head of the house is Caroline Adela Woodhouse, 60, who was the younger of the sisters living there ten years previously. Resident too, is one Helen Circhmeyer(?), 38, and visitor Alice Muller, 20, a 'silver assistant' from Liege.

Amelia Matilda, the older Woodhouse sister had died on 11th December 1908 and left £2302 13s 3d to her sister in effects after probate, as well as presumably the house at no.18.(3)

This is a little off topic, but how had they come by such a nice townhouse? Their father Henry Woodhouse, originally from York, had been a ribbon warehouseman and merchant. He must have done well for himself. When he died in 1855(4) he seems to have left to his widow Amelia, amongst other things, some Railway dividends of great worth - for these are mentioned on several censuses as being the source of her income and obviously enabled her to live well for the rest of her life. When she died on 9th September 1888 she left everything to her two daughters - effects totalling £1269 5s 9d.(3)

So did Alice stay in the service of the remaining Woodhouse sister after the 1911 census? This is unclear, although there is record of Caroline's death on 16th April 1938. She left effects of £2085 6s 10d to Frederick Maisey, retired civil servant, and Kenneth Alexander Hayward, storekeeper.(3) Would it have been too much to ask for her to leave it all to Alice? Maybe so!

It seems that Alice may well have returned to the Haverhill area after her tenure with the Woodhouses had come to an end. It would make sense, as not being married it was where most of her remaining family including her sister Emma and brother Joseph would have been.

Whether this was the case or not, it is almost certain that she was buried at Haverhill Cemetery when she eventually died at the very respectable age of 91, one year older than her eldest sister Emma. The Alice Whiting buried in a single plot on 31st May 1965 was of the correct age, and although there were other Alice Whitings born around the same time as her in the Risbridge district, all the rest are accounted for.


(1) Suffolk Baptism Index, SFHS, Clare Deanery 1812-1900
(2) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1874, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 437
(3) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941
(4) National Archives, Will of Henry Woodhouse, Merchant of Wood Street, Cheapside, 10th April 1855, Prob 11/2211
(5) Haverhill Cemetery, Compartment U, Grave Space 112, Grant No.453, Ref: 7057
(6) Death Register. 2nd Quarter 1965, Sudbury District, Volume 4b Page 1086