Sunday, 4 March 2018

#52Ancestors Week 10 "Strong Woman"

#52Ancestors Week 10 Strong Woman

Rosetta Elizabeth Lane 1853-1926
There was no dithering over who I should write about this week, it has to be Rosetta Elizabeth Lane my paternal Great Great Grandmother.  Everyone has someone in their tree that they admire, Rosetta is mine, this is one strong woman. 
Rosetta was born on 10th February 1853 at Hope Street, New Town, Sheerness, Kent, baptised 13th April 1853 the only daughter of Michael LANE and Amy TAYLOR.  The next record we have of Rosetta is the 1861 census where at the age of 8 she is living with her Grandmother Mary and Aunt Elizabeth LANE at 7 Meeting House Lane, Chatham.  Her parents and brother are living in Radnor Square, Chatham.  1871 sees her still living with her Aunt Elizabeth also her Uncle (brother of Elizabeth) Joseph LANE, still at Meeting House Lane, her father Michael is in Medway Union Workhouse, her mother living in Post Office Yard, Chatham with Rosetta’s brother William George.
Rosetta marries Horatio Blair WEST a tailors cutter at St Margaret’s,  Rainham on 21st January 1872. Their first son Joseph William Blair WEST is born the following year in Chatham. Henry Charles (my Great Grandfather)  is born in 1876 and Albert Edward Blair in 1879 by which time Horatio is already committing adultery with Patience Nicholls a spinster from Old Brompton.   Horatio joins the Royal Navy in Oct 1881 leaving Rosetta with their 3 sons living in 8 Paddock Street, Chatham with Joseph and Elizabeth LANE.  In November 1882 Rosetta petitions for a divorce on the grounds of adultery coupled with cruelty which was granted 1884, according to the Office of National Statistics this was one of just 348 divorces granted in 1884 throughout England.  There are not the stats re the petitioners but I would imagine that the number of these that are petitioned by the wife must be small.
The transcript of the divorce petition can be found here

The nurse mentioned in the petition I think is Rosetta’s aunt Elizabeth Lane who Rosetta & Horatio lived with in Paddock Street.
 A year after her decree absolute on 27th June 1885 she marries Peter Joseph Gregory  an Engine Room Artificer (i) in the Royal Navy .  They have a daughter in 1887, Rosetta Charlotte Gregory.   
On the 1891 census Rosetta and her daughter Rosetta Gregory are still living in Paddock Street with Elizabeth and Joseph Lane along with her 3 sons from her marriage with Horatio. Peter is at sea with RN on HMS Pembroke, returning June 1892.  Would love to say after a tough first marriage that she now lives happily ever after, but unfortunately I cannot.   
The next record found is showing Peter being admitted to Medway Workhouse on 21st October 1892, it would seem due to a removal order (ii).  I can only surmise that Peter did not return to Chatham after leaving the navy and was forcibly returned to his home parish when he could not support himself as it looks as though he left the navy after 15 years was due to rheumatism.  Some removal orders have survived but unfortunately cannot find one for Peter, to confirm this guess, within a year at the age of just 35 on 3rd June 1893 Peter dies in the workhouse (Update - Peter dies in the county lunytic asylum of "general paralysis of the insane")
Now a widow Rosetta is still living with her aunt Elizabeth Lane now in New Road, Chatham on the 1901 census along with her daughter Rosetta.  Her uncle Joseph Lane having died 16th June 1891, probate shows him leaving his whole estate of £7 to his sister Elizabeth.  Rosetta is working as a home worker for a shirt factory in Chatham.  On 20th October 1904 Elizabeth dies at the age of 83 in Medway Workhouse, as her parents seem to have had little contact with Rosetta Elizabeth must have been like a mother to her, being that she lived with her  from the age of 8.
The 1911 census shows Rosetta living on her own in 1 room at 22 Hartington Street, Chatham after her daughter Rosetta married in 1908 and is working as a colour maker at the dockyards
Rosetta died 9th October 1926 at All Saints Hospital, Chatham, her death certificate shows that she was living with her daughter Rosetta at 68 Cross Street before going into hospital, Rosetta was with her when she died, cause of death is shown as Senile Decay at the age of 73.


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