24 June 2009

Strawberries & . . . . .

OK, the sun is shining and we've got perfect blue skies. I've just had some strawberries and it's Wimbledon on the TV. For any/all of these reasons, I completely forgot yesterday's significant birthday - that of my great-grandmother's sister.

So, let me rectify my mistake and introduce you to Sophia Culpin, the oldest of the eleven children of Millice & Naomi, who was born yesterday in 1864 in Hockerill, Bishop's Stortford. The family moved to St Ives before 1871 and Sophia grew up in The Quadrant. In April 1887, according to the Hunts County News, she was involved in a road traffic accident on the Fenstanton Road - she was thrown "completely out of the trap. In addition to receiving ugly cuts upon the face, she sustained a severe shaking." Alas, we can't blame an early boy-racer as the other driver was also a woman!

On 8 March 1892, Sophia married Samuel Rowland Robb at the Free Church; Sam was the oldest son of the Robb rope-making business in the town (see Betty Yeandle's excellent book "Robb's Walk - A history of rope making in St Ives" for more details) and he and Sophia went on to have two children:- Jessie, who sadly died in childhood, and George William (Bill) who went on to follow in his father's footsteps in becoming Mayor of St Ives.

Sophia died on 24 February 1934 and, as you would expect for the wife of a Councillor and former mayor, her death and funeral merited a good write-up in the Hunts Post. Under the headline of "St Ives Councillor's Loss", the opening paragraph conveyed the tone of the article:-

"The death occurred on Saturday of Mrs Sophia Robb, wife of Councillor S. Robb, of East Street, St Ives, at the age of 69 years. Though not a native of the town, she had lived in St Ives since childhood. She was a member of St Ives Free Church, and in her younger days was a Sunday School teacher. Though she had been in indifferent health for some considerable time, her death was not expected, and came somewhat suddenly. Much sympathy will be extended to her bereaved husband, and an only son. During the year Mr Robb filled the Civic chair, Mrs Robb worthily upheld the position of Mayoress. "

There appeared to be a fairly substantial turn-out and Sophia was buried in Broadleas alongside her daughter Jessie.

I can't promise to be back tomorrow as Andy Murray is playing again (I'm watching Roger Federer as I'm typing this) but I will try to get back soon.

PS. Very pleased to report a new reader - welcome Sam!

PPS. Casualty 1909 is back on the TV for a six-episode run. This is the one based in the London Hospital and "starring" Millais Culpin and Ethel Bennett - shock, horror, they kissed (on the doorstep - how common!) in the latest episode . . . . they'll have to get married now!

More soon.


Sam Culpin said...

Thank you for the welcome and for posting information on one of my Culpin ancestors.

In reference to Casualty 1909 I am sure I have read somewhere that Dr Culpin served in that army during WW1 and became quite an eminent pschiatrist. Whether he ever got it one with nurse Bennet I am not sure?

Genpen said...

Yep, Millais Culpin did indeed become an eminent psychiatrist . . . and, yep, he and nurse Ethel Bennett got married in Shanghai in 1913!

Sam Culpin said...

Cool!! Did she ever become a doctor?