Home Ownership in 1894 (and other ramblings)

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.


4 responses to “Home Ownership in 1894 (and other ramblings)

  1. Elaine Stephens

    Am following all your posts as the area connects to my family on both sides. A family marriage to James Bennett Wigley has my Wards connected to them as he took one of the Ward children under his wing and also trained a nephew as James was a tailor. He was on Central Avenue and listed as at No 8 1901. I would be interested to find out if you have come across the Wigley family in your 1894 list. I do have Moore’s in the area too but into the 1900’s, my mother’s maiden name was Moore and her mother a Ward originally, the Wards were fishmonger’s in Leicester for many years.

    James, his wife and nephew are all buried at Welford Road!

    • Hi Elaine and thanks for following my blog. I am interested to know how you found it? Anyway, you are in luck. James Bennett Wigley is listed as owner-occupier at Central Avenue in 1894 (no house number or name given). There is an Arthur Moore at Wellesley, Clarendon Park Road, but no Wards. Do you live locally? I would be happy to post a picture of 8 Central Avenue if you don’t have one.

      For anyone else reading this, the surnames on my list are: Adlard, Allen, Barlow, Barnes, Bellamy, Bennett, Biddle, Billson, Bolton, Broughton, Burgess, Carnley, Chapman, Chawner, Darlow, Deacon, Ellingworth, Frost, Garner, Garnett, Goddard, Grice, Harding, Harris, Hubbard, King, Lacey, Langham, Letts, Lulham, Marris, Moore, Neal, Packwood, Pick, Poctin, Price, Ross, Smith, Stanley, Stanniland, Stevens, Thrall, Webster, Whitaker, Wigley and Wright.

  2. Elaine Stephens

    I think it came up on the Leicestershire mailing list, apologies for not quite remembering. James moved from Birstall Street after 1881 to Central Avenue and is recorded at 4 Eastgates in the directories. Looking at the burials, I believe their only child died and they took in a son of George Ward, nephew George and Bennett Norman, another nephew. My side of the family then use Wigley as a middle name and Bennett as a first name as you can see; James died May 1903.

    I am in Nottingham so not far but if you have a photo, I would love to see it. Posting it here would be perfect. You might be interested in his will as yet another nephew is at 4 East Street and of course Bennett is a trustee whilst George is left £200.

  3. Annie Albert ran a hardware shop on the road with her husband don’t know is sir name, she was born in 1901 in holborn and the famerly move to leicester about 1905 her father Joseph was in the fish trade

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