Whilst researching various house histories during November and December, I have been noting interesting facts relating to Clarendon Park where they emerge. For example, whilst looking at the burial records for St Mary Magdalene, Knighton, I discovered lots of Clarendon Park residents – which is obvious really, but somehow I always imagined most of them spending their eternal rest at Welford Road Cemetery. Amongst the dearly departed were Neville Thomas Hind, son of the Queens Road chemist William Tom Hind (aged just 21 months, in 1897) and William Tom himself in February 1944. Also his son Frederick Leonard Hind (aged 77, in January 1978). But now I am getting sidetracked.
What I really wanted to share with you is that I
wasted time did some valuable research using the 1894 Electoral Register. In 1894 suffrage (or the right to vote) was still not universal, and one of the qualifying factors – apart from needing a Y chromosome – was property ownership. A separate register was kept of property owners. I looked at the register for Knighton Ward and made a list of all the Clarendon Park residents who both owned a property and lived in it. The numbers were tiny in relation to the total number of properties in Clarendon Park. Most people rented their properties, even those living in the posher houses. It would be very interesting to know what the proportion of owner-occupiers is today. Much larger, I suspect.
The total number of owner-occupiers in Clarendon Park in 1894 was 55. Several of these also owned the house next door, or even a row of houses in the same street. There were a good many more absentee landlords, like George Colborne who owned a fair bit of Clarendon Park Road, yet lived in Havant in Hampshire. Perhaps he let the properties through an efficient lettings agent and maintained them well. Or then again he might not have.
If you live in or own a house in Avenue Road Extension, Cecila Road, Central Avenue, Clarendon Park Road, Cross Road, Edward Road, Fleetwood Road, Montague Road, Queens Road, Springfield Road, St Leonards Road or West Avenue, and would be interested in finding out whether it was owner-occupied in 1894 (and who the owner was), feel free to contact me. Regards, Elizabeth.