A Large Family

I left sculptor Robert SMITH on Thursday with five children. I have added six more. You can find them on the Shared Tree.

On census night in 1881 Selina Hannah was in Arthur Road, Horsham, with seven of them. She had to manage on her own while her husband carved stone somewhere. Robert was alone in Beverley in 1901 but I haven’t located Selina that year. Neither would be visited by the enumerator in 1911.

 At least three of the Smith children died in infancy. Their mother was used to such departures. She had eight siblings and may have outlived them all. (One died before she was born.) The parents were not represented on the Shared Tree but now you can follow this link to William FARMER.  

Aaron, brother of Moses, dressed well and was hardly ever depicted without his “breastplate” studded with twelve jewels. A censer dangles from one hand and he holds his Rod in the other. At my father’s knee, I learned something about Aaron’s physiognomy. “God said unto Moses…” – I’m sorry, I can’t tell you the rest, but it still makes me laugh.

I continue to be amazed by Robert’s skill – but did he abandon his wife and children?

Water 36 · Glen Gardens

The boats have gone into hibernation

He Married a Sculptor’s Daughter

Robert SMITH (yesterday’s post) was “of a retiring disposition” according to his obituary in the Beverley and East Riding Recorder (29 May 1909). But he was not shy. He was nineteen-years-old when he married Selina Hannah FARMER on 17 June 1867. She was seventeen. The census enumerator found them in 1871 living at No. 81 Hercules Buildings, Lambeth, “Sculptors Premises held by Farmer Prinsley”. They had three children – Ada Selina, 3, Ernest William, 2, and newborn Arthur George.

A few years earlier, Selina’s father, Sculptor William Farmer had entered into partnership with one of his former apprentices, William BRINDLEY. They would work successfully together on London landmark buildings such as the Natural History Museum, Albert Memorial and Holborn Viaduct. Find information about the company here. Some apprentices and employees are listed but Robert Smith isn’t one of them.

Arthur died the following year but in 1881, at 13 King Edward Street, Southwark, there are five Smith children, including Alice Edith, mentioned yesterday. Each child has a FamilySearch ID generated by a christening source. The parents have six IDs each – the sixth linked to their marriage. I can make a start on building Robert’s pedigree on the Shared Tree and hope to find some grandchildren. Here is another of his stone offspring – I don’t think he needs an introduction.

Water 35 · Glen Gardens