Uglow Family HistoryUglows in Torquay
"TORQUAY . . . is a handsome
market town, seaport, and bathing place, delightfully situated on the
strand and the picturesque acclivities of the shore of the northern recess
of Torbay, in the parish of Tor-Moham, 22 miles S. of Exeter, . . Its
terraces and suburban villas extend more than a mile westward, to the
old village of TOR, or Tor-Moham; and such has been the rapid increase
of buildings and population during the last twenty years, that they may
now be considered as one town . . . . Torquay, which was merely a small
fishing hamlet at the close of the last century, is now a large and handsome
town, comprising with its western suburbs of Tor and Upton, about 9000
inhabitants. . . . The Parish Church at Tor-Moham, more than a mile west
of the Quay, is an ancient structure, . . . It has an embattled tower,
two galleries, and a good organ . . . C.H. Mallock, Esq., is the patron,
and the Rev. J.H. Harris, D.D., is the incumbent. . . . " [From
White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
Here's a map for you - Torquay is on the south coast
Family 1: Abel and Bessie Ricketts
Abel is with his parents in 1871 but there's no sign of him in the 1881 census. In 1891, he (but recorded as Izlow) is at 9 Higher Union Lane, Tormoham married to Bessie Ricketts - they have two sons, John and Abel. They are living with Bessie's mother, Mary, born in Yeovil in 1851 and Bessie's brother, John, is living in the same building. Abel is recorded as born in Callington and Bessie as born in Plymouth in 1871. They are both licensed hawkers. The 1881 census tells us that Bessie may well be the daughter of John and Mary Ricketts of 123 King Street, Plymouth - John, from Manchester, was also a hawker.
In later years, we get a sad picture of the family from the newspapers:
In Trewman's Exeter Flying Post of 26th August, 1899 there is the inquest on Abel and Bessie's daughter, Kate Uglow, one year old. Kate had apparently been left at the Newton Abbott workhouse by Bessie who had been convicted of neglect of her children on an earlier occasion and had also left Kate there at other times. Bessie had turned up "unexpectedly" and the staff had allowed her to take Kate away. She subsequently died from gastric catarrh and convulsions. The inquest concentrated on whether the workhouse staff should have kept her - the doctor, testifying at the inquest, felt that she was emaciated (only 12lbs instead of 19lbs) and that this had to have been apparent to the staff. He also stated that Kate had bruises but these were not severe and he felt that they may have been caused by the child herself. The workhouse master, nurse and doctor also testified that she wasn't markedly ill or emaciated. The jury did not believe them and returned a verdict of natural causes but said that the nursing had been negligent. There was a meeting of the workhouse guardians soon after the inquest and, although there appears agreement that little Kate should not have been removed from the workhouse in her condition, there was uproar when it was suggested that the doctor was at fault. The blame appears to have been placed on the nurse who '...ought not to have been appointed.'.
Later that year, again in Trewman's Exeter Flying Post of 23rd December, 1899, Bessie was charged (again) with neglecting her children. The case was in Torquay Magistrates' (Police) Court on 21st December. Mr Carter from the NSPCC stated that, while Abel was in prison, Bessie left the children, aged 11 (Abel), 8 (William) and 5 (Mary), alone for three consecutive nights, uncared for in filthy surroundings. When Abel was released, Bessie was given 2 shillings as Abel was leaving for the herring fishery. Bessie abandoned the children and went to Plymouth. Inspector Brown of the NSPCC had to find someone to look after the children. The husband, it was said, was a decent sort of man and the fault lay with the woman. The inspector said that the children had been found in a lodging house in Exeter where they had been tramped (sic) by Bessie and Abel. William Mahoney, who was a hawker living with them in George Street, testified against Bessie. She was imprisoned for 2 months
In 1901 they are living at a lodging house at 14 Pimlico, Tormoham, and Abel is a fisherman on his own account. He's now saying he was born in St Austell and Bessie gives Yeovil as her place of birth but they are clearly the same family. In 1911, the family of eight are living in four rooms at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay (there's the census but also a residents list on the web confirming this). Abel is an employed fisherman - as are his eldest sons. Abel and Bessie are now said to have been born in Plymouth
He marries Florence Louisa Julia Reddy in 1926 in Newton Abbot - although they had split up by 1932. Ernest clearly had a hard time as he lost his house and job and had a few brushes with the law [Western Times 2nd September 1932; North Devon Journal 5th July 1934; Cornishman 18th October 1934]
Ernest was in the army for a time during World War II, was a general labourer, and a good boxer. He died in 1987 in a Dawlish nursing home.
He was born in Parkfield Road, Torquay. Originally at St Vincents Boys Home, Torquay from 1930-1942, he was then looked after by his uncle Abel and aunt Rose. In 1951 he married Kathleen Jean Emily Beer, born 1930, at the Abbey Road Catholic Church in Torquay. Gordon worked on the council gardens and Jean was a shop worker.
[Much of the information
on this page comes from Martin 1954]