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Rose RANDELL 1874

Rose and Lily Randell were the first of two sets of twins born to Thomas Randell and Justina Evans. They were born 6 February 1874 at St. Annes Road, Chertsey and christened a month later, 8 March 1874 St Peters, Chertsey, Surrey. The girls grew up at the rather grand sounding address of The Abbey, a house which still stands in walled gardens immediately opposite the ruins of Chertsey's medieval Abbey.
However, life for Rose was far from idyllic, her father died when she was 11, her twin sister Lily died the following year and she outlived three husbands.
Rose Randell married Edwin Jesse Hicks at Henley On Thames Registry Office, 3 January 1900. The wedding took place on the first Wednesday of the new century and was witnessed by S Hunt and J Raymond on a marriage certificate which had to be manually modified to accurately write 1900 in the date.
The details recorded on the certificate, show Rose to be 25 years old and living at 'Sherwood', Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire. Her father was noted as Thomas Randell, Mechanical Engineer (deceased). Groom, Edwin was recorded as a Farmer, aged 26 years living at Kings Farm, Harpsden, Oxfordshire. Edwin's father was also dead, but was recorded as David Hicks a Relieving Officer. The two addresses are in fact a couple of miles apart.
Rose and Edwin had a daughter, Emily Jessie Hicks born 9 August 1900. At the time of her birth Edwin was described as a 'Farmer of Abbey Cottage', Chertsey but my understanding, would be that Edwin was dead and more significantly Rose would have known this. Tragically, the marriage of Edwin and Rose lasted only weeks.
Census night, 31 March 1901, found Rose Hicks working as a servant, at Hollywood House, Kings Road, Brighton. She was listed as a widow and separated from her baby girl who was sixty miles away, in the care of her Grandmother Justina.
In 1901 baby Emily was recorded as aged 7 months and her mother aged 27.
Given the circumstances and times, it's reasonable to assume that Rose would remarry. Several brides called Rose Hicks appear in the following years but the 1911 census offers clear evidence that Rose Hicks married Peter Howes in a ceremony registered in Reading, Berkshire in the late spring of 1903.
The following summer, March 1904, Peter James Howes was born in Caversham, Henley district, Berkshire but by 1911 he was a 'visitor' at the home of his Aunt Flora Annie Collins (nee Randell). He was recorded as Peter Howes, nephew aged 7. Meanwhile Rose Howes, born 1874 in Chertsey was working for the family of Emile Guillet, a Parisian distiller who was responsible for Rouyer Guillet Cognac.
Rose Howes was recorded as a Domestic Nurse, aged 36 born in Chertsey, with the striking distinction of being, for the second time in ten years, a widow.
Rose married for a third time, taking John Underwood as her understandably anxious third husband. The marriage took place Sunday, 6 August 1916 at Christ Church, Woking, Surrey. The wedding certificate provides the following details Rose Howes, aged 42, widow, (no occupation) of 2 Spencer Terrace, Boundary Road, Woking, (in 1911 this address was Annie Flora's home). Father Thomas Randell, Engineer – deceased. Whilst John Underwood, was aged 43, also widower, gardener at New England, Chobham, a location directly north of Woking. His father was George Underwood a Labourer, also deceased. The witnesses were C H Collins, Rose's brother in law & Winifred Underwood, John's daughter.
Following the death of John Underwood in 1931, Rose lived with her son Peter at Poplar Cottage, in College Road, Woking. Poplar Cottage still stands at the corner of Oak and College Roads and is an attractive and pleasant single storey suburban cottage with '1885' carved above the door.
This proves to be the last absolute sighting of Rose but over the next fifteen years Rose Underwood appears in the Surrey Electoral Registers, living at 87 Old Farm Road, Guildford and whether by coincidence or design she lived next door to Mabel & Rose Hicks. The series of records ends in 1945 and at that point she was still at that address. Rose Underwood born 1874 died in the spring of 1961. She was still living in the same area and aged 87 years.
It seems to me Rose had an extraordinary life, she encountered great personnel tragedy, lost her father and twin sister within a year, lost first her husband in literally weeks and her second husband, we don't know. Hopefully her years with John Underwood were magnificent.

ANCESTRY ~ Clement / Thomas / Thomas / Thomas / Rose

Emily Jessie HICKS 1900

Emily Jessie Hicks was born 9 August 1900 and baptised 11 November the same year. Emily was the only child of Rose Randell and Edwin Jesse Hicks who had been married in January 1900. Following the unfortunate death of her father in the Boer War Emily spent at least some time in the care of her maternal grandmother Justina Randell and was with her in 1901.
Without social welfare, loosing a parent in 1900 would have been an unmitigated disaster. Rose, a mother and nurse, needed to find a balance between earning an income and parenting. Being a war widow may have given her access to some welfare and in 1911 Jessie Hicks, age ten, was a student at Imperial Yeomanry School for Girls, Stanley Avenue, Alperton, Middlesex. After the South African War the Imperial Yeomanry opened a girls school to 'educate, board and clothe the daughters of the yeomen who were killed in the war'.
As with Peter Howes I have found little absolute evidence of her life after 1911.
Her mother Rose, was to marry on three occasions and her third marriage to John Underwood took place on the same day that Emily Jessie would have celebrated he sixteenth birthday. I would like to think they celebrated together.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / Thomas / Thomas / Rose / Emily Jessie

Peter James HOWES 1904

Peter James Howes born 26 March 1904 Caversham, Berkshire was the only child of Rose Randell/Hicks and the mysterious Peter Howes who Rose married in 1903. Following the unfortunate death of his father, Peter spent at least some time in the care of his maternal Aunt Annie Flora Collins (nee Randell).
By the time Rose married John Underwood, Peter would have been 12 years old. A descendant of the Underwood family confirmed that both Peter Howes & Emily Jesse Hicks spent at least sometime under the care of John Underwood. However between 1933 and 1936 Peter lived in Poplar Cottage, College Road, Woking with his recently widowed mother Rose.
One other record came to light, 23 April 1940 Peter J Howes was employed as wireless operator with the London Post Office. Assuming this was our Peter James Howes he would have been 36 years old at employment.
There is evidence to suggests that Peter James Howes married Ada Florence Batt during the summer of 1936 and their marriage produced at least one daughter, born in late 1938 and given the middle name Rose. That same year 'Peter James & Ada Florence Howes' were recorded at 'Goblin Glade Cottage, Boughton Hall Avenue, Send', a village just south of Woking. In 1945 when this series of records close, Peter J & Ada Florence Howes were still in Goblin Glade.
Goblin Glade is still listed in Boughton Hall Avenue, a street which represents very expensive housing with tennis courts and swimming pools certainly not an address that would shout Post Office worker.
Peter James Howes born 26 March 1904 re-appeared in official documentation in May 1984 having died aged 80 in Surrey, South Western District, the area were it appears he lived his entire life. Ada Florence Howes was born 31 March 1907 and died aged 97 November 2004, in Surrey.

ANCESTRY ~ Thomas / Thomas / Thomas / Rose / Peter James

Murder, Suicide & Several Foreign Coins

Because the death of the Edwin Jesse Hicks was registered in Fulham, some distance from their home I wondered if Edwin had fallen victim to an accident which may have appeared in the newspaper. I searched his full name with the date he died and a single entry opened up, 'Attempted Wife Murder & Suicide'.
An entire side of the the Oxford Journal, 3 February 1900 outlined in detail the attempted murder of Edwin's younger sister, Edith (Edie) who had married an Innkeeper twenty years her senior called Alex Naylor. Edwin and his mother Emily appeared as witnesses at the inquest.
The story unfolded to reveal how Alex, a casualty of heavy drinking and excess, had squandered all their money, acquired debts in excess of £500, and lost the tenancy of his Inn which privided their income.
Being desperate to feed herself and their baby, Edie had taken a job at the Crown Inn (once owned by her Grandparents). The circumstances Alex & Edie found themselves in naturally strained their relationship, in fact, he had thrown her out claiming she was 'flirty'. This was disputed and evidence was presented showing Alex had a history of psychotic disturbance. He had also recently surrendered his revolver to his mother in law, fearing he might 'do for himself'.
After a brief separation, Alex had returned to spend a cordial evening with his wife. Before retiring, Alex enjoyed a cigar and pleasant chat with the landlord. Together they'd taken a small brandy and around 11pm Alex had retired to his room, only to slit the throat of his sleeping wife before fatally slashing his own.
Edie survived the attack, that is to say she was alive at the inquest but Alex didn't fare as well. His body, complete with gaping hole to the left side of his throat, was shown to the jury at the inquest and the contents of his pockets which contained nothing but pawnbrokers tickets and several foreign coins “each wrapped as an individual packet” were much discussed.
Edwin, a witness to the good character of his sister, was described as a Farmer of Kings Farm, Witney but attended the inquest in an Imperial Yeomanry uniform. This was an army unit made up of gentlemen, farmers and Yeomen from Oxfordshire who volunteered to fight in the Boer Wars. They disembarked for South Africa in February that same year with Edwin never to return.
Amazing what you find.

Edwin Jesse HICKS 1873

Rose Randell married Edwin Jesse Hicks in the first few days of 1900.
Edwin Jesse's Hicks untimely death creates the situation that he was never recorded in a census with Rose but the details on his wedding certificate leave little doubt that Edwin Jesse Hicks was born in the first quarter of 1873 in North Leigh, Oxfordshire. His parents were David Hicks of North Leigh, the local Relieving Officer, and his wife Emily Bracey Jordan, an Innkeeper/Housekeeper.
The Hicks family were described as 'widely known and respected' at the inquest into the attempted murder of their daughter. There's a certain contradiction in that statement but the family were clearly middle class.
Emily Bracey Jordan first appears in a census age 3 months. In 1851 she was recorded with her parents, Edwin & Elizabeth Jordan, and her mothers sister, Hannah Bracey. The family live at the Crown Inn, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire. Her father Edwin records his occupation as 'Victualler' and plumber & glazier. This implies he owned the Crown. In 1871 prior to her marriage to David Hicks, Emily was still at the Crown presumably working in the family business.
David Hicks, was the son of Jesse & Elizabeth Hicks and grew up in North Leigh on the family farm. Jesse Hicks was a carpenter and farmer of 11 acres.
In 1861 David Hicks was a Brewers Clerk. A few years later, 1866, he married Mary A Thorn in Witney. By 1871 David Hicks, then aged 32, was a widower, freeing him to marry 20 year old Emily Bracey Jordan in the summer 1871 in Thame, Oxfordshire. Presumably they met in his official capacity as brewery clerk visiting the Crown Inn.
By 1881 the family were living in Cheveley Street, Cheveley, Cambridgeshire were David Hicks was the relieving officer. Each community, village or town, appointed a Relieving Officer to administrate 'The Poor Law' and distribute parish relief. They frequently acted as Births, Deaths and Marriage Registrars. Relieving Officers were, in many ways, the forerunner to today's local government.
The couple progressed to have eight children. Their eldest son Edwin Jesse Hicks took the names of his grandparents.
David Hicks had the misfortune to die relatively young leaving his family in less than ideal conditions. In 1891 the family were spilt, the younger children were separated from their mother, in the care of their sister Edith (Edie), who herself was barely fourteen. The elder children were scattered in various positions of service whilst widow Emily Bracey Hicks was acting as a housekeeper at The Catherine Wheel, Hart Street, Henley on Thames.
Emily Bracey Hicks married farmer Thomas Lewis in Henley in the spring of 1892. By 1901 Emily Lewis was installed at Kings Farm, Greys, Oxfordshire. The couple lived with five Lewis children plus two Hicks children.
Edwin proved to be something of a troubled child and his mother 'turned him in'.
Jessie court
At the murder inquest Edwin was called to give evidence as Mr Edwin Hicks, farmer, but appeared in uniform. The newspaper noted his as 'a member of the Oxfordshire Imperial Yeomanry' which it seems departed for the Boer War mid February. The events of his death are not entirely clear but according to The London Standard, Thursday, 3 May, 1900, "Private E Hicks, 7978, Oxfordshire Imperial Yeomanry died of typhoid 28 April 1900, Naauwpoort Junction, South Africa".
However the gravestone of his mother states “Sacred to the memory of Emily Bracy Lewis Hicks died 1 October 1926, age 75 years. A loving and devoted mother - Edwin Jesse Hicks died in S. Africa, March 1900 age 28 years”.
Tragically, Rose was to spend only a few weeks with her husband and even that time was interrupted by the extraordinary events of the attempted murder.

Edwin and Rose had one child:

Emily Jessie HICKS 1900 Guildford, Surrey

Peter James HOWES 1870's

In 1911, a mysterious 'nephew', Peter James Howes, appears as a visitor at the home of Annie Flora Collins (nee Randell). He proved to be the seven year old son of 'Rose Howes, late Hicks, formally Randell' and 'Peter James Howes'.
In 1911 Rose was recorded as a 'double' widow employed as a 'live-in domestic nurse' in Dulwich estranged from both her son and her daughter Emily. By implication 'widow' Rose, assumes Mr Howes had gone to meet his maker but I'm unable to match any death record to him. More significantly, I'm unable to find anyone who is even close to the description of our missing groom before he married the delightful widow Rose.
According to the birth certificate of his son, Peter James Howes, (senior), was a 'nurse attendant' who in 1904 lived with his wife Rose at 'Brooklyn Lodge, Peppard Road, Caversham'. Rose Hicks married Peter Howes in Reading, Berkshire in the second quarter of 1903. After that I have absolutely nothing.

Peter and Rose had one child:

Peter James HOWES 1904 Reading, Berkshire


From the record of the wedding, we know John Underwood to be a gardener in Chobham. We also know he was born 1873 and a widower, with a relative called Winifred. A search of the 1911 census reveals John & Charlotte Underwood living at New England, West End, Chobham. To remove any doubt that this was the future husband of Rose, John was a Nurseryman Labourer and his eldest child was named Winifred Amelia Underwood.
John Underwood married Charlotte Young, 3 July 1897 in Frimley. Unfortunately Charlotte, aged 37, died not long after the 1911 census leaving, John, a widower with six children, the youngest under four.
John was the son of George & Emma Underwood, who also lived at an address recorded as New England, Chobham. I found New England on a modern map, naturally given it's name, it's between Donkey Town and Cuckoo Hill, off Red Road. What remains is a very secluded small collection of houses, some thatched, accessed by a narrow track through dense woodland. Very Thomas Hardy, rural idyllic. I would have thought a wonderful place to grow up.
George Underwood married Emma Vaughan in 1862 in Chertsey. Their marriage produced five children with John being the middle child. George, a carpenter labourer, was ten years older than his wife and died 1898 aged 65. Emma, outlived her husband by 35 years and died aged 89 in March 1933.
The Woking News & Mail, July 1918, reported that John Underwood's military service had been deferred to allow him to obtain agricultural qualifications. John who was aged 45 at the time, had been conscripted into the army, giving credence to Captain Blackadder's observation about the great plan "continue the total slaughter until everyone's dead except Field Marshal Haig, Lady Haig and their tortoise, Alan?"
John Underwood born around 1874, died March 1931 aged a very young 57 years.
It's reasonably safe to assume Rose and John were not blessed with children.

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