🎀 Family detective 2/2 🎀
John junior's desire to work as a #railway clerk can perhaps be linked to an earlier #pub that his father ran, the #RailwayTavern at 33 Greyfriars Road, Reading. He had been there since at least 1871, when he was bringing up his young family assisted by his niece, #EllenWinslet. Three years earlier, he had wed at St Mary's Church, Reading, and the couple started married life together at #TheWhiteHart, Caversham Road. The marriage certificate reveals that John's father, Thomas, was also a publican, showing that the trade ran in the family from generation to generation.
Kate's maternal grandparents also had connections to pubs and hotels, yet this side of the family is riddled with secrets. Her grandfather was a #dentist, Archibald Oliver Bridges, who lived with his wife, Linda, in Reading. They married in 1938 and the certificate reveals that he was 17 years older than her and that he had divorced from his first wife, Florence.
Linda was the daughter of a hotelkeeper, George William Plumb, and his wife, who had the extraordinary name of Florence Theodelinda Lidman. The Plumbs hailed from Fulham in London, whereas the Bridges had arrived in Reading from Kent via the capital.
Archibald was the son of Robert Tilby Bridges, a print compositor from Sheerness, Kent, and Louisa Amy Hales, the daughter of a #policeman. Robert's ancestry comes under particular scrutiny, because it appears that his parents were cousins. Robert Tilby Bridges was born in 1859, the son of Robert Bridges, a joiner at HM Dockyards, and Mary Ann Ottewill. The marriage certificate for their wedding on August 17, 1851 reveals that he had been widowed and that she was nine years younger than him. But in the 1851 census taken a few months earlier, they were listed as living together and her relationship to him was cousin.
The Bridges remained in Sheerness, living a few doors down from another branch of the family, so clearly their relationship did not cause the sort of scandal in the mid-19th century that #KateWinslet's screen role generated in the early 20th.
There are a number of research avenues that these stories have thrown up.