The Heartless Conduct of Ernest Bromhead - Sheffield - Nottingham 1914

"The children had been found by the inspector to be very badly clothed, with only "apologies for boots"

"it was one of the most shocking cases the Bench had ever had before them"

In the 1911 Census there are two entries that on the face of it have nothing unusual about them,

The first is of Louisa Bromhead, a married woman who is living with her two children with her widower father Geoge at Rodford in Notingham

The second entry is of an Ernest Bromhead who is described as a 29 year old tool turner living as a boarder with the Johnson family in Coventry. As a point of interest you will note that he is married but gives no details of how long he has been married and there is no mention of children.  

But all is revealed in this report from the Nottingham Evening Post - Wednesday 13 May 1914

Nottingham Evening Post - Wednesday 13 May 1914


Yet another case child cruelty was brought to the notice of the magistrates at the Nottingham Summons Court 'Messrs. J. D. Player and W. B. Btggaley to-day. when Ernest Bromhead, of 1, Edgar-street, Sheffield, was summoned for neglecting his three children.

Mr. C. E W. Lucas appeared to prosecute behalf the N.S.P.C.C., stating that the case was of such a serious nature as to need serious treatment. Up to Easter. 1910, he explained, the defendent and his wife were living together. At that time he had left her and gone to Coventry, where he lodged with some people named Johnson. When these people left to go to Birmingham he went with them, and in Easter, 1911, he and Mrs. Johnson went away together to Sheffield, where they had lived as man and wife since. The man had from time to time sent his lawful wife money, in sums, however. which had not been sufficient to support her and the family. The man's wife was a cripple, and could not work herself. At Easter, 1912. the man visited Nottingham, and saw his wife, but went away again soon afterwards. The children had been found by the inspector to be very badly clothed, with only "apologies for boots"; and the house where the family were living was in a very dirty condition. 

During his absence from her the man had written letters to his wife, in answer to her appeals, some of which it was proposed to put before the Bench. Mr. Lucas stated that as there were women in court and the language in the letters was not fit for them to hear, and he would hand the letters up to the magistrates without reading them. 

It was stated by the mans wife that he could earn from to 4 a week. Other evidence of a corroborative nature was given. Defendant addressing magistrates, said he was exceedingly sorry for the trouble he had caused. He was willing to make amends for what had done if the magistrates would allow him to do so. As for the letters, he had sat down and written his thoughts, but he was sorry he had sent them. 

The Chairman said it was one of the most shocking cases the Bench had ever had before them. They had no alternative but to send the defendant to gaol for six months.

Edgar Street Sheffield circa 1970

From the narrative it looks as though the prosecution was brought by the N.S.P.C.C. on the grounds of child cruelty. But it is apparent that he was never around to be actually cruel to his children. He was an absent father who totally failed to maintain his family and as a result of this neglect his wife and family fell into destitution. This was exacerbated by him sending letters to his wife. "the language in the letters was not fit for them (the women in the court) to hear.

As far as I can ascertain the marriage to Louisa did not last. The next record I can find of Ernest Bromhead is in the 1939 National Register. His wife is Alice Mabel. 

There is no record of Louisa in the Register. But a check on Free BMD reveals that there was a death registered in the March quarter of 1936 for a 54 year old Louisa Bromhead (Nottingham Volume 7b Page 314)

The following year Ernest married Alice

Surname First name (s) Spouse District Vol Page 
Marriages Jun 1937 

Bromhead Ernest Burley Nottingham 7b 867 
Burley Mabel A Bromhead Nottingham 7b 867

Name: Ernest Bromhead
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Birth Date: 4 May 1884
Residence Date: 1939
Address: 6 Stratford Tre
Residence Place: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Occupation: Aa Gun Turner
Line Number: 21 Schedule Number: 499 Sub Schedule Number: 1 Enumeration District: Rmsw Borough: Nottingham Registration district: 430-5 47a
Inferred Spouse:  Alice M Bromhead
Household Members Age
Ernest Bromhead 55
Alice M Bromhead 51

Ernest Bromhead died on 18th April 1950 in The City Hospital Nottingham and was buried six days later.

Probate was granted to his widow and one Horace Bromhead. The Estate in today's money was 27,3000


Name: Ernest Bromhead
Death Date: 18 Apr 1950
Death Place: Nottingham, England
Probate Date: 5 Jul 1950
Probate Registry: Nottingham, England


The Sheffield Daily Independent dated 26th February 1926

UK Census

Free BMD

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