George BLEWETT (1843/4–1887)
His wife Mrs Ellen Caroline ANDERSON, formerly Mrs BLEWETT, née Mastricht (1849–1922)
St Giles section: Row 35, Grave J32
I H S
IN MEMORY OF
POST OFFICE TELEGRAPHS
DIED MARCH 28TH 1887,
AGED 44 YEARS.
ERECTED AS A MARK OF ESTEEM
BY HIS BROTHER ENGINEERS
“HIS SUN HAS GONE DOWN
WHILE IT IS YET DAY”
ALSO OF ELLEN CAROLINE
RELICT OF THE ABOVE NAMED
DIED MAY 15TH 1922
aged 73 years
“PEACE PERFECT PEACE.”
George Blewett was born at Paul near Mousehole in Cornwall in 1843/4. He was the son of Thomas Blewett (an agricultural labourer born in Paul in 1801/2) and his wife Elizabeth (born in St Buryan, near Penzance in 1805/6). At the time of the 1861 census George was a young blacksmith of 17, living at Wherry Town, Madron, Cornwall with his parents and five of his older siblings: Thomas (30) and Joseph (22), who were agricultural labourers; Mary (27), who was a laundress; William (26), who was an invalid soldier; and Eliza (19), who was a tailoress.
George Blewett became a Post Office telegraph engineer, and at the time of the 1871 census when he was a single man of 28, he was working in Oxford, and lodging at 4 Walton Street, Oxford in the home of the provision dealer Thomas Whitlock (71).
Ellen Caroline Mastricht was born in Gloucester in 1849 (reg. second quarter with surname Van Mastricht). She was the daughter of William Mastricht (a Dutchman born in 1803/4) and his wife Caroline Smith (born in Brighton in 1809/10). At the time of the 1851 census Ellen (1) was living with her parents and her older sister Mary Jane (born in Ordsall, Nottinghamshire in 1842) at the Shakespeare Inn, Northgate Street, Gloucester, where her father was the victualler. Her father died in Gloucester in 1854, and her mother took over the inn. At the time of the 1861 census Mrs Mastricht was living at the inn with her daughters Mary (18), who was a barmaid, and Ellen (11) who was still at school, and her unmarried sisters Elizabeth and Harriet Smith, plus one servant. Six guests were then staying at the inn.
Ellen’s sister Mary married Charles Watkins in 1866, and at the time of the 1871 census they were keeping the Cross Keys Inn in Gloucester and Ellen (21) was living with them and assisting in the bar.
In the third quarter of 1872 in the Stroud district, George Blewett married Ellen Caroline Mastricht, and they had the following children:
- Louise Mastricht Blewett (born in Oxford in 1873, reg. third quarter)
- Ada Caroline Mastricht Blewett (born in Oxford around July 18770; died on 16 August 1878 aged eleven months
- Albert Mastricht Blewett (born in London around September 1879); died in March 1881 aged nineteen months
- Ida Nellie Mastricht Blewett (born in London in late 1880); died in 1881 aged nine months
- George Mastricht Blewett (born in Hackney in 1883, reg. fourth quarter).
The couple began their married life in Oxford, where George Blewett was continuing to work on its telegraph system, and in 1878 they were living at 146 Walton Street, which was in St Giles’s parish. Their daughter Ada Caroline Blewett died there on 16 August 1878, and Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 24 August published the following death notice: “Aug. 16, at 146, Walton-street, Oxford, Ada Caroline Mastricht, infant daughter of George and Ellen Caroline Blewett, aged 11 months.” The St Giles’s register records that she was buried on 20 August 1878, almost certainly in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery.
George Blewett was then appointed Superintending Engineer of the Postal Telegraphs, and became an Associate of the Society of Telephone Engineers (A.S.T.E.), which had been founded in 1871). He now had to move around the country, more frequently, and his wife were in London in 1879 when their son Albert Mastricht Blewett was born. When Albert died at the age of 19 months in early 1881, they were living in Hornsey at 35 Osbourne Villas (aka 17 Osborne Road), Tollington Park . His body was brought back to Oxford for burial on 7 March (again recorded in the St Giles’s burial register and almost certainly in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery).
At the time of the 1881 census George Blewett was living at the Hornsey house with his wife Ellen and their two surviving daughters Louisa (7) and Ida (five months). His mother-in-law Mrs Caroline Mastricht (72) was also living with him, and the family had one servant.
A few months after the census, their baby daughter Ida Nellie Mastricht Blewett died at 17 Osborne Road at the age of nine months, and again her body was brought back for burial in Oxford on 8 August 1881 (St Giles’s register).
George Blewett himself died in March 1887. His home address was then still 17 Osborne Road in London, but his death took place in Lancashire, where he was presumably supervising telegraph work:
† George Blewett died at 30 Brunswick Street, Chorton-upon-Medlock, Lancashire at the age of 44 on 28 March 1887, but his home address in the burial register is given as 17 Osborne Road, Finsbury Park, London; he was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
He was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, which implies that the family had bought a plot there, possibly back in 1878 on the death of their daughter Ada. His gravestone was erected by his “brother engineers”, and the following obituary appeared in The Electrician on 8 April 1887:
THE LATE MR. GEORGE BLEWETT.— We regret to have to announce the death of Mr. George Blewett, A.S.T.E., and Superintending Engineer of the Postal Telegraphs, which took place somewhat suddenly at Manchester, on the 28th March last. The body was interred in St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Oxford. The sincere respect which was felt for Mr. Blewett was made evident at the funeral by the numerous wreaths which were placed on the coffin. In addition to a large number from personal friends, wreaths were taken from the Engineer-in-Chief’s office, the Controller of Stores office, the Manchester Central Telegraph Office, and the engineer’s staff of the North-Western Division. The various departments of the telegraph service were represented by Major C. F. C. Beresford, R.E., J. H. Cordeaux, Esq., E. Ashton, Esq., and J. H. Knight, Esq., of London; J. Jenkins, Esq., Cambridge; J. Doherty, Esq., Manchester; J. Gavey, Esq., Cardiff, F. E. Evans, Esq., Birmingham; the local engineering staff by Mr. J. W. Woods, and the local post office staff by Mr. F. Porthury.
His personal estate came to £1,563 6s. 11d.
His wife Ellen Caroline Blewett and his two surviving children
In November 1888 his daughter Louise Mastricht Blewett was certified as a Skilled Telegraphist in London.
At the time of the 1891 census his widow Ellen (41) was living at the Post Office, 203 Mare Street, Hackney, London, where she worked as a letter receiver. Her two surviving children were still with her: Louisa (17) was a Post Office employee, while George (7) was at school.
Mrs Ellen Caroline Blewett married again in 1895 (reg. Thanet district fourth quarter): her second husband was Henry Edmund Anderson, who was then a worker in the Post Office.
At the time of the 1901 census Ellen (51) and Henry Anderson (49) were living at 96 Stapleton Hall Road, Hornsey with Ellen’s two surviving children, Louisa (27), who was also working for the Post Office, and George (17). They had one servant.
At the time of the 1911 census Ellen (61) who was no longer working, was living at 94 Stapleton Hall Road, Stroud Green, London with her husband Henry Anderson (59), who was now a Postmaster and her unmarried niece Annie Caroline Mastricht Watkins (38), who was a postal clerk. The family still had one servant.
Ellen died in 1922, and her body was evidently brought to Oxford so that she could be buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery with her first husband and their three children:
† Mrs Ellen Caroline Anderson, formerly Mrs Blewett died at 94 Stapleton Hall Road, London W4 at the age of 73 on 15 May 1922 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 May (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).
The two surviving children of George and Ellen Blewett
- Louise Mastricht Blewett (born 1873) never married. She died at Curraheen, Vicarage Road, Sidmouth, Devon on 26 February 1954, and her effects came to £149 6s. 8d.
- George Mastricht Blewett (born 1883) was in 1909 appointed a Post Office Inspector (Second Class) in the Engineer-in-Chief’s Department, London. At the time of the 1911 census when he was 27, he was an Inspector in the GPO Engineering Department and boarding at 11 Ordnance Terrace, Chatham. He married Dorothy E. Everett in Bristol in 1914, and their daughter Doreen M. Blewett was born in Taunton in 1916. George Mastricht Blewett was described as a retired civil servant when he dealt with his sister’s probate in 1954, and he died at 20 Jennifer Close, Topsham, Exeter at the age of 77 on 29 May 1960.