Almost every house I look into has some kind of tragic story and number 47 Queens Road is no exception. The house was built in 1889 and was bestowed with the name ‘Trentham.’ In June 1889 Trentham was available for rent at £38 per year. It was taken by 30 year old Thomas Pearse Trethewey (1858-1894) and his wife of a month or so, Alice nee Evans (c1863-1930). Thomas was the recently appointed minister of Clarendon Park Congregational Church on the corner of London Road and Springfield Road. He and Alice had moved from Sheffield to take up the appointment in April, leaving behind Abbeydale Church where he had been much loved.
Thomas was well liked by his Leicester flock too. The deacon described him as
popular and able. But he had a tendency to disappear for periods, being low in spirits and sometimes troubled with delusions of being in insurmountable debt. One Tuesday evening in November 1894 Thomas left his wife at home without a word and walked to Blaby railway station, carrying no luggage. After a couple of days he was traced to the Liverpool area and was thought to have sailed for America. On Sunday morning the deacon announced to Thomas’s congregation that he was missing. His body was found on Monday, drowned in Lake Windemere. Thomas left letters in his pockets that described how he purposefully travelled there, to the place he had enjoyed visiting with his wife and mother and law, to drown himself in the dark and cold. He was worried about a debt of £270. He hoped Alice would forgive him. He was 32.
Poor Thomas, and poor Alice. In December she was forced to sell their belongings, the contents of Trenthham, which were described in an auction catalogue: “Superior modern furniture and appointment…including a nearly new dining room suite of six chairs, two easy chairs and couch, covered in morocco leather…a number of etchings, photographs and sketches…full-size brass rail bedstead…stained glass hall lanthorn…hip bath…lawn mowing machine, etc.” Alice left Leicester, moved back to Sheffield to live with her parents and died, still a widow, in 1930.
After the Tretheways departed, the Bray family moved in. They were Harry (1859-1931), solicitor with his own practice Bray and Price, his wife Lizzie Jessie nee Turner (1863-1946) and children Cecil Francis (1885-1964), Harry Gerard (1887-1964), Amy Ethel (1889-1973), Winifred Jane (1891-1969), Marian, (1894-1960), Bessie M (c1896-) and two servants. I assume Harry was one of the early founders of Bray and Bray, whose headquarters are near the city centre today. The Brays advertised for a servant in June 1897: “General Servant (Good) wanted. No washing. – Address B, ‘Trentham,’ Queens Road Leicester.”
By 1899 the Brays had moved to Narborough Road and widow Adela Martha Wykes nee Bramley (1856-1908) lived at Trentham. Adela lived with her adult children William Bramley (1881-1932), Lillie Marian (1881-1972), Gerald Davis (1883-1962), Alfred Douglas (1885-), Adela Ellen (1888-1975), her sister in law Fanny Davis Wykes (1860-1928) and a servant. The Wykes were partners at printing company Johnson, Wykes and Paine.
After Adela died in 1908 her children William, Lillie and Adela lived on at 47 Queens Road until 1912 when William got married.
In 1912 Dr Louis Edward Staynes (1869-1945), physician and surgeon, took the house at an annual rent of £32 a year (£6 less than the Tretheways paid in 1889). Louis was a wealthy GP whose single brothers and sisters lived at Avenue House, Avenue Road. Louis himself lived at Avenue House until 1912 and returned to live there after the First World War, when Trentham was sold in January 1919.
Next came the Hirsts. Arthur Hirst (c1870-) was a grocer. He, his wife Henrietta nee Wheatley (1870-1956) and their children Edith Winifred (1899-), Enid Gertrude (1900-1974), Arthur Vernon (1901-), Hettie Gladys (1903-2000), Lilian (1907-) formerly lived in a much smaller shop and house at 64 Montague Road. They had moved away by 1939 and unfortunately that is as much as I can trace of 47 Queens Road until the records office is open again.