Henry Fardon - Chapter 9



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Chapter 9 ~ H - Henry

A small branch which set up in the blacksmith trade in Leamington, developed the business over three generations, acquired property, and apparently became successful and wealthy. A stable branch in terms of occupation and residence. Unfortunately untoward deaths of male members, and thereafter the prominence of female progeny meant that the Fardon name died out after three generations. The ready availability of probate records, commercial directories and electoral registers in addition to the usual censuses and parish records has meant that there is a greater depth of information here than with most of the branches,


The family's business was in Tavistock Street in Leamington, and remained here through the three generations, perhaps with an expansion into adjoining premises in the street around 1890. Their separate residential accommodation was in the area just to the west of the town, eventually known as New Milverton, perhaps the area bounded by Rugby Road (the main road from Warwick to Leamington, now the A445) and the Warwick New Road-Warwick Place (B4099), where the latter branches off the former near Leamington:

1841-1861 Henry at Bertie Cottages, also described once as "near the Bell Yard" and listed in the 1861 census after Bell Yard. Perhaps this places Bertie Cottages near the Bell Inn, which was at 30 Rugby Road

1871-1875 Henry at Guy's Cliffe Cottages, Rugby Road, not further located but likely to be in the same areas as Bertie Cottages. Henry died here. Guy's Cliffe is shown as Greyscliffe in the probate records.

1871-1874 Son Edwin, after marriage, at cottage 7, Rugby Road in 1871, perhaps the same as the 44 Rugby Road in 1874 and a stone's throw from the Bell Inn

1880-1924 First Edwin, then widow and daughters, at Beauchamp Street, a few streets nearer the centre of Leamington. Here they owned at least one, perhaps two houses.

1896-1930 Grandson Charles, after marriage, at 43 Rugby Road, opposite or next door to the former house of his father. A move in 1908 to number 95 Rugby Road, perhaps, like his father, a little nearer Leamington. Charles owned other property nearby

All this was in a very small area. The description in the censuses may suggest otherwise, but is confused by boundary changes cause by rising population. New Milverton was absorbed into Leamington around 1890, hence the change from Milverton to Leamington in the documentation. The area was originally within the parish of All Saints, Leamington's parish church, but around the same time a new parish of St Mark's was created to serve the rising population. Hence the change of the former to the latter in the census records. In fact the Fardons lived in much the same area throughout.

H - Henry

Henry moved to Milverton, Leamington, and here he remained until his death, running a business based initially on the blacksmith trade. The business passed to his son, who expended it, and later his grandson. It was located in the same street in Leamington throughout, and the family lived in a comparatively small area of Milverton throughout.

Henry was born in Temple Guiting in about 1803 and was baptised at the village church in that year. In 1830 he was in Leamington Priors (now called Royal Leamington Spa), Warwickshire, in the ecclesiastical parish of All Saints. Between 1830 and 1836 four children were born, and baptised at All Saints Church. The children's birth documents show Henry as a blacksmith/whitesmith (both descriptions appear). Nothing is known of his wife Eleanor except that she was older than Henry (the 1841 census shows 45 and 35, though both rounded to a multiple of 5), and that, like Henry, she was not Warwickshire-born. Perhaps they married before they arrived in Warwickshire.

The address during the 1830s is not known, but it may have been the same as in 1841 to 1861, Bertie Terrace, once called Little Bertie Terrace. The family was shown to be at number 6 in 1841 and 1861, but 5 in 1851. Others in the terrace show similar numerical mobility and it is likely that the numbers are purely the order in which the various enumerators listed the families rather than the families playing musical chairs among the houses. Bertie Terrace was associated in at least two censuses with Bell Yard, and in the parish documents the address of Henry's son Henry, when he died in 1843, was given as "near the Bell Yard in New Milverton". If this is a reference to part of the Bell Inn, this will place Henry's residence near the Inn at 30 Rugby Road.

In the 1840s Henry suffered a number of family losses. At different times in 1843 the first two of his four sons died aged 13 and 11, and six years later his wife Eleanor died at the age of 51. All were buried at the parish church.

In the spring of 1850 Henry married again, his new bride being Charlotte Selden, at 34 twelve years younger than he, farmer's daughter and born in Selescombe, Sussex (north of Hastings). The wedding took place in the Finsbury area of London at St Luke's church. How he met Charlotte and what he was doing in London are not known. The following year they were back in Milverton, Henry's two surviving sons with them. No documents have been found relating to any children by Charlotte.

In 1858 there was a further family tragedy with the death at age 22 of Henry's youngest son Charles. He left an estate in his own right, albeit less than £100. Only the third of Henry's four sons, Edwin, now survived.

By 1866 the family had moved to Guy's Cliffe Cottage in Rugby Road, not located. Here Henry would live until his death. Henry's second wife Charlotte died here in 1872, aged 54, and was buried in the local cemetery. She left an estate of less than £300, letters of administration granted to her husband. Henry himself survived another four years and died on the last day of 1875 at home, aged 72. His will was proved the following month, with his surviving son Edwin as executor. His effects were "less than £600."

From at least 1850, and probably before that, Henry's place of business was in Tavistock Street (number 22 was quoted in 1866), near the centre of Leamington. He followed the traditional Fardon calling of blacksmith In 1851 he was listed as having one man and two apprentices working for him, though the latter were probably his sons Edwin and Charles. From 1860 the range of the business increased and he is variously shown as whitesmith, blacksmith, zinc worker, engineer and bell hanger. In 1872 the business was shown in the trade directory as "Henry Fardon and Son, ironmongers, hot water engineers, gas fitters, whitesmiths, locksmiths, bell hangers, shoeing smiths, farriers". Edwin, who would inherit the business from his father, was thus now officially part of it.

Children of Henry and Eleanor

The four sons of Henry and Eleanor, all baptised at All Saints, Leamington Priors, were (years are those of baptism)::

H1 - Henry 1830 H3 - Edwin 1834
H2 - William 1836 H4 - Charles 1836

At least the last two were being trained in the family business, but Henry and William died as young teenagers, Charles in early manhood. Thus only Edwin survived to inherit the business. This he did, seemingly ran it successfully, and in his turn handed it over to his son.

H1 - Henry and

H2 - William

Henry was baptised in Leamington in 1830, William in 1832. They were both at home in 1841. Tragedy struck in 1843, when both died at different times, William, aged 11, in January, Henry, 13, in November. The causes of death are not known They were both buried at the parish church

H3 Edwin

The sole surviving son, would inherit and develop the business. He was baptised in 1835 and was at home in 1841-1861, working as a smith's apprentice in 1851 and a whitesmith in 1861, in both cases presumably in the family business. He married Ellen Cooper at Milverton parish church in 1865, his father as one of the witnesses. Ellen was from Suffolk, her father a farmer.

Presumably on marriage, and certainly by 1871, the family had moved to its own accommodation, in [number] 7 cottage, Rugby Road in 1871 and 44 Rugby Road in 1874. These may be the same, and at least the latter was not far from the Bell Inn and thus probably in the same area as the original accommodation at Bertie Terrace. By 1881 the family had moved again, to Beauchamp Street, nearer Leamington but again not far away, and the family home would be here for the next fifty years - for Edwin, then his widow, finally at least one of his two unmarried daughters.

At the time the censuses show two houses in Beauchamp Street, with Edwin or his widow listed in number 1 between 1880 and 1901, in number 2 in 1880. But it is probable that he owned both. In the one electoral register so far seen detailing Edwin, that for 1895, Edwin is listed in the category of ownership voter, ie who owns property. The qualification was by virtue of a freehold house, the qualifying property being 2 Beauchamp Street. (he was living in number 1 at the time). When first associated with this address (1881) the second house of the pair was occupied by a 75-year-old widow who "lets apartments". In 1891 and 1901 she was gone, her place taken by another woman, different on each occasion, described as lodging house keeper. No lodgers were listed on either occasion, but the 1895 evidence indicates that Edwin owned the house.

Edwin died in 1898, aged 64., His wife Ellen and her daughters continued to live in number 1 Beaumont Street, now called Greylands, and, after Ellen's death in 1921 at age 79, the daughters continued there at least until 1933. The house appears to have been called number 4 Beaumont Street after the First War. Edwin had been accorded the status Private Resident in the Kelly directories, and this was inherited by his widow Ellen (Kelly's is a very useful source in this respect, as Ellen did not qualify, as a women, to be listed in the electoral register and would have been lost from the records until 1919). This status as Private Resident was not extended to the daughters after Ellen's death.

Edwin will have been a partner in the family business by 1872, when it was first recorded as "Henry Fardon and Son" and when Edwin was first listed in the Kelly directory. Thereafter, like his father, he is described variously as blacksmith, whitesmith, ironmonger, hot water engineer, gas fitter, locksmith, bellhanger, shoeing smith, farrier and so on. His business address remained at Tavistock Street in Leamington, number 4 up to 1888, perhaps extended as numbers 4 and 6 thereafter. The business was later called Edwin Fardon and Son, with Charles in his turn taking a formal part.

That the business had prospered greatly is suggested by the size of Edwin's assets when he died. His executors were named as his widow Ellen, son Charles Edwin, and presumably a colleague/friend George William Grove, ironmonger. His assets totalled over £5608, a considerable advance on his father's "less than £600" and in itself quite a substantial sum in 1898. Some of this may, of course, have been accounted for by the property that Edwin owned.

Children of Edwin and Ellen

Three children of Edwin and Ellen were baptised in Milverton:

H3a - Charles Edwin (1866) H3b - Eleanor Mary (1867) H3c - Florence Charlotte (1869)

H3a - Charles Edwin

Charles was born in Milverton in 1866 and was baptised in June of that year. He was at home in Leamington in 1881 and 1891, an employed smith, locksmith, bellhanger etc., no doubt working in the family business. In 1891 he married Flora Annie Bissell and by 1896 was living at 43 Rugby Road in New Milverton in Leamington, where he continued to live until at least 1908.

In 1908 he moved up the road to number 95 Rugby Road. The three electoral registers that have been seen for the period (1904 when he was at number 43, and 1908 and 1914 at number 95) show that he was an ownership voter (see Edwin above), the qualification being his ownership of number 39 Warwick Street. Warwick Street is not far from Beaumont Street, where his mother and sisters were living, and it could be that his own move along Rugby Road was in the same direction.

Following his father's death in 1898 Charles inherited the family business, which had been named Edwin Fardon & Son probably before 1900. In 1901 he was shown as an employer, and he continued his father's change of direction in the business from blacksmith to more modern crafts, remaining in the Tavistock Road premises. In the 1901 census he was a gas and hot-water engineer, in 1911 a gas and hot-water fitter, and this is also reflected in the 1904-1908 Kelly listings as a hot water engineer at the same family business address in Tavistock Street.

Up to his move to number 95 Rugby Road Charles had appeared in the Kelly directories of Leamington, in the commercial listings and also as a private resident. This ceases after 1908, which might suggest that the Tavistock Street address was given up at this time. The two post-war electoral registers that have been examined (1920, 1930) show him still at 95 Rugby Road. Charles's death was registered in Warwick in 1949. He was 83 years of age. His wife Flora died three years later, aged 84.

There was a daughter, Gladys Evelyn, whose birth was registered at Warwick in 1898 and who was at home in 1901 and 1911. She is then lost from the records until 1930, when she first qualified for inclusion in the electoral register. She was then unmarried and living at home. Evelyn's birth was rather later than might be expected given that Charles married in 1891. There are some births registered in Warwick soon after their wedding, of children who died as babies: twins Bertie and Percy in the first quarter of 1893, Violet Eleanor in the second quarter of 1893. Further analysis will be needed before it can be determined whether any of these were children of Charles and Flora.

However, there were no surviving male children in this, the only male line of this branch of the Temple Guiting Fardons, and after Charles the Fardon name disappeared.

H3b - Eleanor Mary and

H3c - Florence Charlotte

Edwin's two daughters did not marry, but lived with their mother in the family home after the death of their father, and then after their mother's death, perhaps for the rest of their lives. The family was well off, and at least initially the three women were living on private incomes.

Born in 1867 and 1869 they were still at home in Beaumont Street, Leamington, with their widowed mother in 1901, when they were employed as morning governesses at a school, and in 1911, when all three were listed as living on private means. Their mother died in 1921 and the sisters were still at Beaumont Street in 1930, when they became eligible to be included in the electoral register.

That was still Eleanor's address when she died in 1933, in the County Mental Hospital at Hatton, Warwickshire. Probate was granted to her sister Florence, her effects totalled nearly £9500. This was a goodly sum in the 1930s, and if brother Charles and sister Florence had similar amounts this will have been a wealthy family. It will certainly have been enough for her not to have had to work (as in 1911, see above).

Florence outlived her sister for another 20 years, She is presumed to have been living at Beaumont Street when her sister died, and perhaps remained there until her own death, which was registered in Warwick in 1953. She was 83.

H4 - Charles

Charles was baptised in Leamington in 1836. He was home in 1841 and 1851, on the latter occasion an apprentice whitesmith presumably working for his father. He died in 1858, aged only 22. His parish documents show him as a locksmith, again presumably working in the family business. The cause of death is not known. He was buried at the parish church. Letters of administration were granted to his father in respect of an estate shown as worth "less than £100" (the normal way of describing small sums).

Probate Details

The following are details from the National Probate Records. They are in chronological order, and show in the estate row the increasing prosperity of the family.

name Charles Charlotte Henry Edwin Eleanor Mary
address Milverton Guy's Cliffe Cot., Milverton Guy's Cliffe Cot., Milverton Leamington Greylands, Leamington
occupation locksmith [house]wife whitesmith whitesmith spinster
date of death 26/4/1858 13/2/1872 31/12/1875 8/1/1898 18/11/1933
place of death Milverton home home (home) County Men- tal Hospital, Hatton
date and place of Probate/ Admin 28/6/1858















executor(s) father Henry husband Henry son Edwin widow Ellen,

son Charles,

George Grove

sister Florence Charlotte
estate under £100 under £300 under £600 £5608 5s 11d £9488 8s 2d
comment bachelor

This page was last Updated 11 July 2015