A Disgusting Sheffield Home - Thomas and Florence Maskery's house in Boston Street Sheffield - February 1901

Thomas Maskery and Florence Manning were married on 31st March 1889 at St Philips Church Shalesmoor Sheffield

MASKERY, Thomas (Bachelor, age 21, Cutler, residing at 18 Wentworth St).
Married Florence MANNING, on March 31, 1889, by J Turton Parkin (Banns) at
St Philips Church, Shalesmoor. Father's name is George Maskery (Moulder).
Married in the presence of William Linley, Emma Maskery. Notes: ~. Page No: 126 Reg No: 251

Two years later they were living at Brightmore Place in the St George's district of Sheffield. This is the entry in the 1891 Census. Florence's age was given as 21 which would have meant that she was 19 years old when she married. They had a son Thomas Buxton Maskrey in late 1889

 

Ten years later the 1901 Census reveals that the family were living at 2 Hinchcliffe Walk which is in the Netherthorpe district of Sheffield and close to their address ten years earlier 

In the intervening ten years Florence had given birth to four more children - 3 sons and a daughter (Hannah)  

Birth of Son John Maskery abt 1891 Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Birth of Daughter Hannah Maskery 27th Setember 1893 Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Birth of Son William Maskrey 27th November 1897 Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Birth of Son George Maskrey abt 1900 Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

The eldest three children Thomas, John and Hannah were all christened on the same day 13th October 1893. At that time they were living at 73 Meadow Street which is still in the Netherthorpe district of Sheffield , .
Baptised October 13, 1893, by C R Killick at St Philips Church, Shalesmoor.
Parents name(s) are Florence & Thomas (Cutler).


But at the time of the 1901 Census, Florence was not living with the family but her sister-in-law Emma Maskery was. This was due to the fact that Florence was serving a sentence of two months hard labour at HMP Wakefield for the willful neglect of her 5 children

   

This is the report that appeared in  Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 28th February 1901 under the title "A Disgusting Sheffield Home"

This judgment does seem unduly harsh on Florence. Both parents had "an unenviable reputation in the district" but it was Thomas who "had the misfortune to have a drunken wife." Surely the report should have also said that Florence had the misfortune to have a cruel and violent husband but it did not. The simple fact is that Thomas was in employment and if he was sent to prison alongside his wife the whole family would have become a charge to the public purse. They fined Thomas 10/s (50p) which is about 43 in today's money and he was released. But the chairman said the facts were very grave against Florence and that she must go to prison for two months. 

And this is where it gets rather interesting for want of a better term. Ten years later in 1911. Thomas Maskrey is still living at 2 Hinchliffe Walk. His eldest son Thomas has left the family and is living as a boarder with another family. The other children are still living there but were joined by two other children making a total of six in the house. His wife must have returned to the house after her sentence in 1901 and bore two more children.  

Birth of Son Edward Maskrey 1903 Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Birth of Daughter Florence Maskrey 1904 Sheffield, Yorkshire, England   

       

But Florence was not living there in 1911. Her widowed mother was - Annie Constable age 60 but from the Census it looks as though the 17 year old daughter Hannah was the housekeeper. The other point to note is that Thomas describes himself as married and not widowed but fails to complete the column stating how many years they were married or the number of children they had.  

In fact I cannot find any trace of Florence. The assumption is that she is the mother of Edward and Florence who were born after her time in prison and so she would have been alive in 1905. I cannot find any trace of her in the 1911 Census, and the only other lead I have is this entry in the BMD Registers

Name: Florence Maskrey
Event Type: Death
Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep
Registration Year: 1912
Registration District: Chesterfield County: Derbyshire
Event Place: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
Age: 42
Birth Year (Estimated): 1870
Volume: 7B Page: 647 Affiliate Line Number: 58.

The age ties in with UK Census information but I cannot collaborate it with any other records. A family tree on Ancestry actually gives the date of death as 17th July 1912 but like so many Family Trees on Ancestry fails to give an authorative source for the information. Her husband Thomas lived until he was 68 years of age, dying in Sheffield on 16th May 1936.

As for the children, this is the information I have been able to ascertain to date

1. Thomas Buxton Maskery born 1889 - in the 1911 Census he was a living as a boarder with the Smith family in Watkin Street Sheffield. His occupation is given as Cutler. A year later he married a Nellie Watts in Sheffield. They had two daughters - theses are their baptism records

MASKERY, Irene (of 5Ct 1hse Mitchell St, born 1913-01-11).
Baptised February 12, 1913, by ~ at St Mary, Walkley.
Parents name(s) are Nellie & Thomas Buxton (Table Knife Cutler). Note: ~ Godparents: ~ :Page No 29 :Reg No ~

MASKERY, Florence (of 5/1 Mitchell Street, born 1916-08-18).
Baptised September 10, 1916, by J Trevor Lewis at St George, Brook Hill.
Parents name(s) are Nellie & Thomas Buxton (Cutlery). Note: ~ Godparents: ~ :Page No 150 :Reg No 1349

The second daughter is called Florence - was she named after her late grandmother? Sadly, Florence did not see her first birthday as this record from the BMD registers show

Births Sep 1916 Maskrey Florence Watts Sheffield 9c 1001 
Deaths Sep 1917 Maskrey Florence 0 Sheffield 9c 449 
 

It appears that they lived all their married life in Mitchell Street which was a typical Sheffield street of terrace and back to back houses in the Netherthorpe district of Sheffield. In fact Thomas died there in September 1936 age 47. This is the burial record of the couple. His wife Nellie died age 80 at Beckett Road on the Lowedges estate in Sheffield 

MASKERY, Thomas Buxton (Cutler, age 47).
Died at 5 Ct. 1 Mitchell Street; Buried on September 24, 1936 in Unconsecrated ground;
Grave Number 5702, Section G of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield. Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 290
 

MASKERY, Nellie (Widow, age 80).
Died at 7 Beckett Road; Buried on January 28, 1970 in Unconsecrated ground;
Grave Number 5702, Section G of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield. Plot Owner: of . Page No 36
 

2. John Maskery born 24th June 1891 - the next information I have for John after 1911 is from the 1939 National Register. He hey was living at Cemetery Avenue in Sheffield with his married sister Hannah and husband John. John was single at the time and his occupation is given as fork and spoon manager, John died at the age of 78 in July 1969

Name: John Maskrey
Death Age: 78
Birth Date: 24 Jun 1891
Registration Date: Jul 1969 Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep Registration district: Sheffield Inferred County: Yorkshire West Riding Volume: 2d Page: 77

3. Hannah Maskery born September 1893 - in 1911 Hannah was single and still living in the family house. She married a John E Shaw in Sheffield in January 1916. They had two children together. In the 1939 National Register, they were living at Cemetery Avenue in Sheffield. John was employed as a brewer's labourer. But in 1943, John died at the young age of 40 leaving Hannah a widow. Hannah passed away on 7th December1969 in Sheffield at the age of 75. Her brother John died five months earlier.

4. William Maskery born 26th November 1897 - an errand boy age 13 in 1911, the next information I have on William is that in the 1939 National Register, he was living at 963 Ecclesall Road and was employed as a table knife cutler. He was also designated as an ARP Warden. He is listed as married but he was the only person living at that address.

Name: William Maskery
Death Age: 79
Birth Date: 26 Nov 1897
Registration Date: Oct 1977
Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec Registration district: Sheffield Inferred County: South Yorkshire
Volume: 3 Page: 1941

5.George Maskery born 30th December 1900. - George was at school in 1911 and the next record I can find for him is his wedding in 1922 to an Ivy Gough. The 1939 National Register, have the couple living at 58 Sutton Street in the Netherthorpe district of Sheffield George was employed as a Metal Window Fitter. It looks as though they had four children but those records were redacted. George died in 1979 at the age of 78

Name: George Maskrey
Death Age: 78
Birth Date: 30 Dec 1900
Registration Date: Jan 1979
Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar Registration district: Sheffield Inferred County:South Yorkshire Volume: 3 Page: 2306

6.Edward Maskery born 6th September 1903 - the first child born after Florence's term in Wakefield Prison. Again there is no information after 1911 but there is an entry in the 1939 National register that gives an Edward and May Maskery living at 28 Parsonage Street, Sheffield. His date of birth is given as 6th September 1903 and his occupation as Machine Metal Grinder. This is  a possibility but would need further confirmation. If it is the same person he lived to be 76 years old when he died

Name: Edward Maskery
Death Age: 76
Birth Date: 6 Sep 1903 Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar 1980 Registration district: Sheffield Inferred County: South Yorkshire Volume: 3 Page: 2136
  

His marriage was in 1936 - Name: Edward Maskery Registration Date: Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep Registration district: Sheffield Inferred County: Yorkshire West Riding Spouse: May Stringer Volume Number: 9c Page Number: 1438

Edward was the last of the Maskery siblings to pass away

7.Florence Maskery born 2nd October 1904 - was Florence named after her mother?  - there is no information after 1911 although their is an entry for a marriage in 1933 between a Florence Maskery and a John Lowe. This is a distinct possibility given that there is an entry for a death for a Florence Lowe in 1971 - Deaths Mar 1971 LOWE Florence 2Oc1904 Sheffield Volume 2d Page 813

And so after the start they had in life that was dominated by the evils of filth and neglect, they somehow managed to survive to adulthood but you are always left wondering whether or not they were handicapped from the start. The other point to note is that five of the siblings lived well into their seventies and all seven remained in Sheffield. 

If you can supply me with any more information on the family and what became of them, please contact me

Sources

Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 28th February 1901

UK Census

Sheffield Indexers

Free BMD

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This page was last updated on 05/03/20 11:23