Wood – Elizabeth (1809-1897)

Life Events :

  • Born : 21st December 1809 in Patrington, Yorkshire
  • Married : 22nd December 1836 in Hull, Yorkshire to Henry Jubb.
  • Died : 30th June 1897 in Hull, Yorkshire. Cause of death, old age

Parents : Richard Wood and Mary Ann Palmer

Children :
  • Mary Ann – 11 December 1837 – 17 February 1849
  • Charles – 12 March 1840 (my great-grandfather)
  • Henry – March 1845
  • Elizabeth – September 1847
  • Thomas Wood – 2 May 1849
  • Mary Ann – 29 February 1852

Elizabeth was born in December 1809 in Patrington to Richard Wood and Mary Ann Palmer but not baptised until August the following year, perhaps they preferred a summer Christening! She was the second eldest of five children but I have struggled to find any further records to tell what happened in the lives of her siblings. It would be interesting to know if they also moved to Hull (or elsewhere) or if they stayed in rural Patrington but I’ve been unable to discover their movements. I do know that Elizabeth and three of her siblings were all baptised in St. Patrick’s Church between the years 1808 and 1815, probably in the font in the picture below.

Font of St. Patrick’s, Patrington
St. Patrick’s Church

Patrington is described in Pigot’s Directory of 1828 as

a small market town, 18 miles from Hull and about a mile and a half inland from the River Humber on a small river. It is reported as having once been a good little port but the river having silted up to little more than a creek, only very small craft now have access to Patrington. The market is on Saturdays, mostly for corn and there are fairs three times a year in March, July and December for pedlary.

Pigot & Co’s Directory 1828 (Leicester University Special Collections)

The population in 1821 was 1,244 yet in this directory alone are listed so many tradespeople that I wonder where their customers came from. The directory entry does also cover Ottringham and Keyingham with an additional combined population of 1,276 but even so, with 5 coal merchants, 11 tailors, 17 boot and shoe makers, 8 blacksmiths as well as many other trades, not forgetting of course the 7 inns and taverns, Patrington with the surrounding villages appears to have been a busy little place in 1828.

As you would expect from a market town, communication with the nearest large town, being Hull was regular during the week. Post for everywhere was sent via Hull three times a week and the coaches and carriers between them covered every day of the week apart from Sunday.

By 1836 Elizabeth had left Patrington and was in Hull and at the age of 27 she married Henry Jubb on 22nd December of that year. I am making the assumption that she came to Hull with her parents and youngest brother Thomas. I cannot find a definite baptism record for Thomas, which would tell me where the family were living at the time of his birth around 1829.

On the 1841 census, Elizabeth’s parents Richard and Mary Ann lived next door to her in Dixon’s Entry along with Thomas aged 12, his birth place is just given as Yorkshire so no clues there. Specific towns of birth were not recorded until the census of 1851 and later. Elizabeth was home alone with daughter Mary Ann aged 3 and baby son Charles – who would become my great grandfather, her husband, Henry presumably being away at sea on census night of 6th June. It must have been a comfort to Elizabeth to have the support of her parents next door when Henry was away, especially in the area where they were residing. I have written about the living conditions in Dixon’s Entry and you can read that on Henry’s page.

In March 1845, son Henry was born and then sadly, just when she needed her most with a newborn baby and two young children to take care of, Elizabeth’s mother Mary Ann died in April, just a month after seeing her grandson born. A year later brother Thomas aged just 17 was to die in July of 1846. From his death certificate I have found Thomas was working as a mariner and died in the Infirmary in Prospect Street, Hull, from a head injury sustained after falling from a ship’s rigging. What a shock for that family, Elizabeth must have been devastated to lose her mother and brother within a year of each other. Being the age of 19 or 20 when Thomas was born and their mother being around 43, I imagine Elizabeth to have had a lot of involvement in taking care of him as a baby and young child. The fact that her next born son in 1849 she named Thomas Wood Jubb speaks volumes to me about how much her young brother was still in her thoughts and the sadness she must have felt at his life being tragically cut short.

Elizabeth was to go on to bear three more children, in 1847 fourth child and second daughter, Elizabeth was born and then two years later in May 1849, her son Thomas Wood came along. This must have been such a difficult time for the whole family as three months earlier in Febuary 1849, they had suffered the death of eldest daughter Mary Ann at the age of 11 from ‘fever’. I had wondered if this actually meant cholera but further research has shown that fever was not a symptom of cholera. At aged 11, I would think that Mary Ann had become a great help to her mother with household duties and helping to take care of her younger siblings so as harsh as it sounds, it was a practical loss as well as the loss of a beloved daughter.

By the census of 1851, the family, including Elizabeth’s father Richard now living with them, had moved to Gibson Street. Although still cramped housing it was certainly a huge improvement on Dixon’s Entry. At the age of 42 in 1852, Elizabeth gave birth to her sixth and final child, a daughter whom they named Mary Ann. As I mentioned on Henry’s page, the naming of a child the same as a deceased sibling seems a very odd practice to us now and I can’t imagine anyone doing so these days. Back then though naming traditions often involved naming children after parents and grandparents so Mary Ann being Elizabeth’s mother’s name and her having died a few years earlier probably had a lot of bearing on the choice of name. Perhaps the baby would have been named Hannah, for Henry’s mother had the first Mary Ann survived.

Tragedy was again to touch Elizabeth in 1853 with the loss of Henry on a voyage between Hull and Rotterdam with the sinking of the ship he was serving aboard, The Camerton. From one newspaper report it is said that neither ship nor cargo were believed to have been insured so I doubt that Elzabeth would have had any monetary compensation for the loss of her husband and breadwinner. So with a baby, three children under the age of 10 and Charles aged just 13, Elizabeth must have struggled financially. Her father Richard was by now 71 and I would think, unlikely to still be working. On the census of two years earlier he was described as a mariner, if that was still his position then there would be some money coming into the household but I’m doubtful of that. It must have been a terrible struggle as none of the children were of working age yet.

Richard died in 1858 of bronchitis, his place of death recorded on his death certificate is the workhouse on Anlaby Road, Hull, although I imagine it was the workhouse infirmary rather than the actual institution itself. Most workhouses had an infirmary attached to them which was the only option for the poor when they needed medical treatment before the days of the NHS. You didn’t have to be a workhouse inmate to be in the workhouse infirmary and a lot of the poor would have spent their last days here.

In the 1861 census, Elizabeth was still living in Gibson Street with son Charles now 22 working as a labourer, Henry aged 16 as an apprentice cooper and Thomas and Mary Ann still at school. Eldest daughter Elizabeth at the age of 14 was to be found as a servant in the home of Robert Flowers, a grocer on Church Street (part of present day Wincolmlee). Coincidentally her employer was born in Thorne like her father Henry and is just a few years younger than Henry would have been. It could be that he was a friend or acquaintance of Henry from their younger years in Thorne, helping out the family of a former friend with employment – or it could well just be coincidence. It’s nice to speculate and make a story out of these bare facts though so you can decide for yourselves if there is a story here.

Elizabeth (senior) was listed with the occupation ‘launderer’ which probably meant she took in other people’s washing. The following is paraphrased from the book English Laundresses – A Social History by Patricia Malcolmson

The image of the laundress in England was that the work was a temporary income source in times of adversity. Undertaken almost solely by married or widowed women and often in their own homes, it was too commonplace to attract much public interest or attention.It was small scale, unskilled and unsophisticated work and seen as a private domestic arrangement between a householder and an ‘outdoor servant’ and there was little concern to investigate or regulate it.

English Laundresses – A Social History by Patricia Malcolmson

I think we can assume that this work was a necessity for Elizabeth with five children to feed, and rent and bills to pay. I suspect Elizabeth had started to earn her own keep by taking in washing soon after the death of Henry.

The map and image below taken from the book F.S. Smith’s Drawings of Hull – Images of Victorian Hull volume 2 shows three significant locations in Elizabeth’s life. Gibson Street is highlighted in orange, near the top left, above that is Grange Street in pink, and at the bottom right marked with a green X is the Charterhouse. The Cannon Street railway station wasn’t opened until 1885 so just a few years after Elizabeth left Gibson Street. The drawing shows the view numbered 120 on the map, sketched in 1888 but very much how it would have looked during the time of Elizabeth and her children. CLICK FOR FULL SIZE IMAGES. For those familiar with this area of Hull, imagine standing on High Flags (still there), opposite the Whalebone pub, looking straight opposite at the drain between Lincoln Street and Green Lane and you have this view in your mind’s eye.

By 1871, only youngest son Thomas aged 21 was still living at home which was still 71 Gibson Street. Eldest son Charles had married Eliza Stringer in 1862, Henry married Martha Clubley in 1867 and daughter Elizabeth had married Charles Marsters in 1870. Daughter Mary Ann was in service as a cook in the house of Alderman John Seaton, an oil merchant. Elizabeth at aged 60 is still a laundress – hard work for anyone but at 60 years old, she must have found it physically very demanding. In 1874, Thomas also flew the nest when he married Elizabeth Fields so by the 1881 census, our Elizabeth is living alone. She is 70 years old and has no occupation listed. One month later in May of 1881, she was awarded a room in the Charterhouse. This was reported in the Hull Packet as part of the minutes of the Council meeting:

Elizabeth Jubb (70) widow of 71 Gibson Street, 36 years a rate payer of Hull was elected by a majority of one vote to a room in the Charterhouse.

Hull Packet 6th May 1881

I’m led to believe that this would have been after a while on a waiting list so either Elizabeth herself or perhaps one of her family had made the application some time previous. The Charterhouse. established in the 14th century, has a wonderful history which you can read about in many other places, including their own excellent blog, so I won’t go into detail here just to say that it wasn’t a workhouse, it was a charitable organisation run by a board of trustees, one of which was the Hull Town (later City) Council, and only respectable men and women would be offered rooms. The pictures in the below gallery are a mix from the aforementioned book of F.S. Smith drawings and some used with permission from the Charterhouse blog. The photograph of the Charterhouse today is from Wikimedia used under the Creative Commons open license and linked here. I love the fact that it is almost the same view as the F.S. Smith drawing of 1888!

Elizabeth’s other daughter Mary Ann was by now married to John William Marsters, the younger brother of her sister Elizabeth’s husband Charles, so we have two Jubb girls married to two Marsters boys. The Marsters families lived a few streets apart in the Fountain Road area of Hull where the Jubb girls had grown up and I think Elizabeth must have sometimes visited and was still close to her daughters even after moving into the Charterhouse, because on 30th June 1897 aged 87, she died at 9 Barnsley Villas, Grange Street (highlighted in pink on the map further up this page), the home of her daughter and son-in-law Mary Ann and John. The informant on Elizabeth’s death certificate is her other daughter Elizabeth Marsters who was present at the death. After a long and hard life, Elizabeth died of decay of nature, so basically just old age. I’m very pleased to know that she was with her daughters at least and possibly other family members, rather than alone in the Charterhouse as I had imagined before possessing all the facts.

I feel very proud of this tough woman who had to knuckle down and work hard to bring up her five surviving children on her own. All of them went on to marry and have their own families and appear to have been good, hardworking people, so she did a very good job of it.