Lewish George Titheradge by Ivy Valdes

Lewish George Titheradge (b1842 d1927)

Ivy Valdes (deceased), Genealogist, talking about Eliza Jane Titheradge (1879 – 1955) and Lewish George Titheradge (1842-1927)

Ivy was a fellow genealogist and author who lived in Brighton. She was the grand daughter of Eliza Jane Titheridge and great grand daughter of Lewish George Titheridge. Below is a copy of her notes on the Titheridge family, written around 1991.

“My grandmother, Eliza Jane Titheradge, was born on 29 December 1879 at 37 Munster Square, Pancras, London. Munster Square is right in the heart of London, not far from Regents Park. She was the youngest child of Lewish George Titheradge and his wife, Sarah Ann (formerly Loop). How long the family had been living at this address I have not discovered, for Lewish and Sarah seem to have moved from house to house with incredible frequency. Checking back on the records it seems that every time they had another baby they had another address! Most of these addresses were either in the Westminster of Pancras areas of London.

I have fond memories of my grandmother. Of course by the time I was born her name, by marriage, Harris, but she was still proud of having been born a Titheradge. This pride in the family name was instilled in her by her father who apparently often commented on the fact that his name must surely be unique. “Not Lewis,” he used to say, “but Lewish spelt with an ‘h’. And Titheradge spelt with an ‘rad’.” In his latter years Madge Titheradge was, of course, a well known actress on the English stage – in fact the family saw many of the plays in which she appeared – and I am told that Lewish Titheradge was convinced she must be one of his brothers’ daughters because of the name. His family treated this claim as so unlikely that it became a family joke. It was not until last year that I learned Madge was indeed a relative. How delighted Lewish would have been!

But to get back to my grandmother Eliza Jane. I remember her as a motherly figure who seemed always to be surrounded by family. On 12 January 1926 she married William Edward Harris at the church of Holy Trinity, Haverstock Hill, London. It was a “boy-and-girl” marriage for she was only just sixteen, William only nineteen. And it was a love match that continued right into old age. There were three children of the marriage my mother, Elizabeth Sarah, born only a month after they married, Florrie Jane, born in 1897 and a son, another William Edward, born in 1904. About 1906 they moved from the centre of London to Walthamstow, a suburb that, although now part of London, was at that time almost in the country. Here she lived throughout my childhood and, in fact, stayed in the same house throughout the war years when the windows were repeatedly smashed by falling bombs and daily life became a living hell. She died here in 1955.

Of my great grandfather, Lewish George, I have only a vague memory. I recall him as an elderly man who used to spend much time sitting in an armchair in the corner of my grandmother’s living-room. He was born on 28 October 1842 in Bayswater, London. By trade he was gilder and specialised in decorating the panel of the ornate pianos, then fashionable, and also gilded frames when there was an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art. On Christmas Day 1862 Lewish married Sarah Ann Loop at the church of St James, Piccadilly, London. He was, my mother told me, an affable, warm-hearted man who spent his money as quickly as he earned it in treating his friends and so in his old age he had nothing left.

These two, my grandmother, Eliza Jane, and my great grandfather, Lewish, form my link with the Titheridge family. Curiosity to learn more about those who had come before, the ancestors who bore the Titheradge name but of whom I knew nothing, led me a few years ago to start researching into my family’s history’”

Photocopy of pictures of Eliza Jane Harris (nee Titheradge) in 1901 and 1930
Eliza Jane Harris (nee Titheradge) (b1879 d 1955)daughter of Lewish George Titheradge and grand mother of Ivy Valdes