The Cuddeford Sisters

The name is not a common one in England. With the variant Cuddiford, it spread a little in the 19th century with Devon and London vying for the honours of “heartland”. Compare the maps at the linked site to the illustration below.

Sisters Ann Eliza and Ellen were born in Devon and are remembered on a substantial headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

47 Fowler B4 | Granite

In affectionate remembrance of BENJAMIN FOWLER, who died March 3rd 1860, aged 54 years.

ELLEN, wife of the above, who died June 8th 1894, aged 75 years.

ANN ELIZA CUDDEFORD, who died February 1st 1860, aged 37 years.

JANE SMITH, eldest daughter of the above BENJAMIN & ELLEN FOWLER, who died April 8th 1915, aged 70 years.


Crimlisk Survey 1977

Benjamin FOWLER was a Riding Officer but he is also described in some sources as a “gentleman”. He was 36 years old when he married Ellen CUDDEFORD in Stokenham, a village just a mile from the haunts of smugglers in Torcross on the south coast of Devon. I am not quite sure how old Ellen was exactly – censuses and vital records can’t be reconciled – but she was about 12 years his junior. They had four daughters and two sons in almost eighteen years of marriage. Benjamin’s efforts on behalf of Customs and Excise may have been poorly rewarded and the value of his effects at death was less than £70,000 in today’s money.

A month after she buried her husband, and two months after her sister Ann Eliza had been laid to rest, the census enumerator found Ellen at 21 The Crescent with all of her children and Ann PEERS, 19, a servant from Hornsea. 

Photographed this morning

Jane Smith Fowler died in Scarborough in 1915 but I failed to find her in censuses after 1871. I have added some sources to Benjamin’s Collaboration tab.

2 thoughts on “The Cuddeford Sisters

    1. You sure have, Tom. Ellen “daughter of James the Butcher” was having babies after Ellen Mrs Fowler had buried her husband. Ellen Mrs Temple died in Gravesend aged 56 in 1884, her husband Thomas aged 83 in 1908. Sources can be wonderful things.


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