THE RATHBONE CONNECTION

My connection with the Rathbones arises through the marriage of Jane Stringer Steward(189), (an older sister of my great grandmother Alice Sophia Steward(6)) to Philip Henry Rathbone(752), third son of William Rathbone (1787-1868) and Elizabeth Greg (1790-1882). According to Foster (1890), this marriage took place on 05 Jan 1853, he does not say where. There is an entry in the GRO marriages index for the first quarter of 1853 for the marriage of a Philip Henry Rathbone registered at Kensington. The volume and page number are difficult to decipher on the page image available through 1837online. Information from the Rathbone Register indicates that the marriage took place at Trinity Church, Bayswater, London.

Websites which contain information on the Rathbones include the Rathbone Register, which is a route for queries as most of the information is not directly available. Another website which has many Rathbone entries is that maintained by Alan Bennett.

Philip Rathbone and Jane Steward had eleven children, all but one of whom survived to adulthood. They are listed in the Rathbone pedigree in Foster (1890), in the IGI, and most of the births, marriages and deaths I have also found in the GRO indexes, but have not bought the corresponding certificates.

Children of Philip Henry Rathbone(752) and Jane Stringer Steward (189)

Separate pages are under construction for each of these children except Gerard.

Name Notes
Oswald Henry Rathbone(757) Born, according to the IGI, on 29 Sep 1859 at Liverpool and died on 21 Nov 1919. There are GRO entries in the births index for the Dec quarter of 1859 (W. Derby, 8b, 233) and in the deaths index for the Dec quarter of 1919 (Wirral, 8a, 483). In the 1861 Wales census he was with his parents in Llandudno, Wales. In the 1881 England census he is at his parents' house, Greenbank Cottage in Toxteth Park, Liverpool, and is described as an insurance underwriter. In 1893 he married Jessie FAIRRIE(1203), one of six children of Adam J. Fairrie, born in Scotland, and his wife Emma. Adam is described in the 1891 England census as a sugar broker and refiner. Jessie was a twin, her twin sister being Helen Jane. In the 1901 England census, Oswald and Jessie had three children.
Gerard Manning Rathbone(758) Born, according to the IGI, on 16 Oct 1860 at Liverpool, and died on 16 Feb 1862. The respective GRO index entries are births Dec quarter 1860 (W. Derby, 8b, 232), and deaths Jan quarter 1862 (W.Derby, 8b, 270).
Herbert Reynolds Rathbone(759) In the 1871 England census he was at home in Greenbank Cottage, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, a schoolboy. By 1881 he was at Clifton College and in 1891 he was a boarder at 2 Eldon Road, Kensington, London, and described as a solicitor. In 1901 he was still single, now a barrister aged 39 and again staying at Greenbank Cottage with his widowed mother. On 1908 he married Winifred Richardson Evans (GRO marriage index Jun quarter 1908, Kingston, 2a, 820). It appears that they had four children, three daughters and one son. According to his obituary in The Times of 12 May 1930 (not yet seen by me but quoted on Robert Alan Bennett's website), his funeral was on 12 May 1930 at St. Agnes, Ullet Road, Liverpool.
Edmund Hamilton Rathbone(760) Born, according to the IGI, on 08 Sep 1863 at Liverpool, and died on 02 Apr 1924. The corresponding entries in the GRO indices are births Dec quarter of 1863 (West Derby, 8b, 273) and deaths in the Jun quarter of 1924 (Steyning, 2b, 327). He was 60 when he died. In the 1871 England census he is at home with his parents at Greenbank Cottage, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. In 1881 he is a pupil at Clifton College. In 1891 he is back at Greenbank Cottage, aged 27, single and described as an architect. In 1901 he is now head of household at 23 Gambier Terrace, Liverpool, with his wife Grace M Rathbone, aged 23, and born in Liverpool. In 1899 he had married Grace Monica Crompton (GRO marriage index, Liverpool, 8b, 299).
Ethel Mary Leonie Rathbone(762) Born, according to the IGI, on 15 Sep 1869 at Liverpool, and died on 26 Feb 1945. The corresponding entries in the GRO index are, births Dec quarter of 1866 (W. Derby, 8b, 307) and deaths Mar quarter of 1945 (Wallingford, 2c, 482). According to information provided via the the Rathbone Register, she died at Wallingford Cottage Hospital, after an operation, and her will was dated 20 Feb 1945 when she knew that she had only a week to live. Again according to the IGI, and without source details, on 18 May 1893 Ethel married Rowland Edward Whitehead(1206), and the corresponding entry in the GRO index is for the Jun quarter of 1893 (Toxteth Park, 8b, 457). The Rathbone Register confirms this date and says that the wedding took place at the Presbyterian church, Ullet Road, Liverpool.

Rowland Whitehead, the middle of three sons of James Whitehead, a Yorkshire born stuff merchant, and Mercy Matilda Hinds (m. 30 May 1860), was born on 01 Sep 1863 according to the IGI, and there is a GRO births entry in the Dec quarter of 1863 (Islington, 1b, 190). The 1871 England census indicates that he and his brothers were all born in Holloway, which is in Islington. Rowland went to Clifton College (1881 England census) at the same time as Edmund Rathbone(760), and possibly through him met his younger sister Ethel. According to the IGI Rowland died on 09 Oct 1942, and there is a GRO deaths index entry for the Dec quarter of that year (Wallingford, 2c, 409). He was a barrister (1901 England census) and a K.C.

So far as I know, Ethel and Rowland had four children, two daughters and two sons, though it sems a long gap from 1897 to 1910. The children were:

Hermione Elfrida M. Whitehead (GRO births, Sep quarter of 1894, Marylebone, 1a, 602)
Eileen Isabel Whitehead (GRO births, Dec quarter of 1895, Marylebone, 1a, 570)
Philip Henry R. Whitehead (GRO births, Sep quarter of 1897, Marylebone, 1a, 638)
and Gilbert R. Whitehead (GRO births, Dec quarter of 1910, Marylebone, 1a, 514).
Elfrida Lilian Rathbone(763) Born, according to the IGI, on 12 Jul 1871 at Liverpool, and died on 23 Apr 1940. The corresponding entries in the GRO index are births in the Sep quarter of 1871 (W. Derby, 8b, 243, and deaths in the Jun quarter of 1940 (Henley, 3a, 2479). In the 1881 Wales census she was 9, a boarder at Sea View, Llanfair Fechan, Caernarvon, Wales, together with her sister Ethel, aged 11. In the 1891 England census she was a 19 year old visitor (guest) at the Rothay Hotel, Grasmere, Westmorland. In the 1901 England census, aged 29, she was at Greenbank Cottage, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, the family home, with her widowed mother Jane S. Rathbone, 67. Also in the house were her brother Herbert and a one-year-old grand-daughter Lorna(?).

According to information provided via the Rathbone Register, Elrida devoted her life to helping mentally-handicapped and educationally backward children in North London.

In her book "Relatively Rathbone", Joy Robinson writes that Elfrida moved to London to be near her sister Ethel, and threw herself into her chosen work in Islington. In 1919 she set up an occupation centre for children excluded from special schools and proved that these children could be helped to lead active, useful lives. This work is still carried on in her memory and known as the 'Elfrida Rathbone Committee', and the work has spread nationwide under the name of The Rathbone Society. The Committee she formed in 1919 was re-formed in 1963 as the Elfrida Rathbone Association, to coordinate and expand work being done for the educationally handicapped in the Inner London Area. This Association became the national Elfrida Rathbone Society, with active groups and projects countrywide. In coordination with special schools, she initiated holiday camps, treats and outings for backward children, and later started clubs for older girls and mothers who still needed support.

Eventually, she became a victim of multiple scelerosis. She built a house on the hillside at Crowmarsh, Oxfordshire, where in imagination she could look across the Thames to the home of her sister Ethel at Whitecross, near Wallingford. The house had no steps only gentle ramps to give easy access to her wheelchair. She was devotedly cared for by her friend and colleague, St Clair TOWNSEND until her death in 1940.

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© John Stowell 2004, 2006