The Edwardian Community of Ratsloe

Continuity of residence

The longest resident of the Ratsloe families is that of R. Chambers. Richard Chambers was a head of household in 1841 and, although his house is not named as in Ratsloe, there is no reason to suppose that he moved and he reappears at every census. Richard had in fact died in 1889, but the tenancy continued to be in his name. The Eliza Mutter of the 1891 census was his widowed daughter, who died in 1891 leaving her sister Elizabeth as the only resident in 1901. Elizabeth was in the Almshouse in 1911 where she died in 1913.

Richard’s daughter Susan married John Glidden in Huxham in 1868. Although the Gliddens started their married life in Huxham, where they are recorded in 1871, they appear in the Huxham section of Ratsloe in 1881.

The Glidden Family

1881 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of Birth
Glidden John h m 34 agricultural labourer Okehampton
Glidden Susan w m 31   Poltimore
Glidden George s   11 scholar Poltimore
Glidden Mary. A. d   9 scholar Poltimore
Glidden Susanna d   6 scholar Poltimore
Glidden Helena d   3   Poltimore
Glidden John s   11 mths   Poltimore

 1891 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Glidden John h m 44 agricultural labourer Okehampton
Glidden Susanna w m 42   Poltimore
Glidden George s u 21 agricultural labourer Poltimore
Glidden John s   10 scholar Poltimore
Glidden Eva Eliza d   7 scholar Poltimore
Glidden Susanna d   4   Poltimore
Glideen Albert s   2   Poltimore

1901 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Glidden John h m 54 agricultural labourer Okehampton
Glidden Susanna w m 52   Poltimore
Glidden Albert s   12   Poltimore
Glidden Ruth d   6   Poltimore

The appearance of two daughters called Susanna, one aged 6 in 1881 and one aged 4 in 1891, is accounted for by the death from diphtheria of the older Susanna in 1884 during Poltimore’s scarlatina/diphtheria epidemic. John also caught diphtheria, but recovered. Ratsloe was one of the trouble-spots in the epidemic, with complaints being made of the well water. Investigation showed problems with unrepaired drains close to the pump trough and by the privies. The repairs at Ratsloe were not undertaken as swiftly as those in the main village, and the problems of overcrowding were noted.

The younger Susanna probably chose to call herself ‘Laura’ as John Glidden’s daughter Laura, aged 20, married William Yeoman in 1907. At that time, John Glidden described himself as a woodman. In 1911, Laura and William Yeoman (a self-employed rabbit trapper) were tenants of one of the Poltimore Barton cottages. John Gliddon appears in the 1911 census in Broadclyst parish, at the Lodge, Poltimore Park and was shown on his daughter Eva’s marriage entry as ‘Lodge Keeper’. Eva had been out in service at Bampfylde Lodge where she was in 1899 when she is recorded as a witness at an inquest on accidental death.

The Sprague Family

The Spragues were another well-established Ratsloe family, first recorded there in 1881.

1881 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Sprague William h m 39 agricultural labourer Ashbrittle
Sprague Thirza w m 33   Witheridge
Sprague William Manley s   12 agricultural labourer Puddington
Sprague Ann d   9 scholar Puddington
Sprague Henry s   7 scholar Puddington
Sprague Herbert s   5 scholar Poltimore
Sprague Thirza d   3   Poltimore
Sprague Emma d   9 mths   Poltimore

1891 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Sprague William h m 51 agricultural labourer Ashbrittle
Sprague Thirza w m 43   Witheridge
Sprague Ann d u 17

dressmakers apprentice

Puddington
Sprague Herbert s   15 bricklayers labourer Poltimore
Sprague Emma d   10 scholar Poltimore
Sprague Mary d   8 scholar Poltimore
Sprague Frank s   5 scholar Poltimore
Sprague Roger s   3   Poltimore
Sprague Mark s   1   Poltimore

1901 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Sprague William h m 61 agricultural labourer Ashbrittle
Sprague Thirza w m 53   Witheridge
Sprague

Frank

s   15   Poltimore
Sprague Roger s   13   Poltimore
Sprague Mark s   11   Poltimore
Sprague Arthur s   8   Poltimore

1911 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Sprague William h m 72 farm labourer Ashbrittle
Sprague Thirza w m 63   Witheridge
Sprague Arthur Owen s   18 farm labourer Poltimore
Sprague Bessie Louise granddaughter   11   Clyst Honiton
Sprague George Brice grandson   7   Clyst Honiton

The Spragues moved to Ratsloe from Puddington where their eldest children (including John, not shown above but in 1881 an apprentice butcher at Vinnecombes) were born.

The family were severely affected by the diphtheria in the epidemic of 1883/4 with Annie, Henry, Herbert, William and Thirza all falling ill. The last four went to the sanatorium in November, where Thirza died.

Henry Sprague enlisted in the Devonshire Regiment in 1890 at the age of 17, was transferred to the Rifle Brigade and was wounded at Ladysmith in 1900. He later emigrated to British Columbia.

The Melluish Family

1891 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Melluish Thomas h m 40 agricultural labourer Broadclyst
Melluish Elizabeth w m 44   Rewe
Melluish Lilian d u 17 domestic servant Huxham
Melluish Caleb s   14 farm servant Huxham
Melluish Walter. J. s   9 scholar Huxham
Melluish Herbert s   1mths   Poltimore

1901 Census data (in Huxham census, but under Ratsloe, between Lower Huxham and Stoke Hill

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Melluish Thomas h m 50 Yardman on farm Broadclyst
Melluish Elizabeth w m 54   Rewe
Melluish Herbert     10 scholar Poltimore

1911 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Melluish Thomas h m 60 farm waggoner Broadclyst
Melluish Elizabeth w m 64   Rewe
Melluish Herbert George s   20 building labourer for the railway Poltimore
Bere Mary lodger wd 89   not known
Gittings William Henry lodger   18 scholar Holloway, Exeter

The Melluishes were another family who lived for many years at Ratsloe. Thomas and Elizabeth had been at Bussell’s Cottage in Huxham in 1881 but then moved to Ratsloe.

 Thomas’s son Caleb himself moved to Ratsloe after his marriage. He married Anna Maria Staddon on 18 October 1894 in Exeter.

1901 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Melluish Caleb h m 24 cattleman of farm Poltimore
Melluish Anna. M w m 27   Stoke Canon
Melluish Reginald. G. s   6   Stoke Canon
Melluish Hilda. M. d   3   Broadclyst
Melluish Gertrude d   1mth   Poltimore

1911 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Melluish Caleb h m 34 labourer, Poltimore estate Higher Huxham
Melluish Anna w m 37   Stoke Canon
Melluish Reginald s u 16 gardener, Poltimore gardens Stoke Canon
Melluish Milly d   10 scholar Poltimore
Melluish Scopric s   6 scholar Poltimore
Melluish Gwendoline d   4 scholar Poltimore

A Gwendoline Melluish, aged 5 months, was buried at Poltimore on 18 Mar 1894. Reginald was one of the pall bearers at Lord Poltimore’s funeral in 1908. Caleb joined up in 1915, and served in the Devon regiment during the First World War.

The Curtis Family

1891 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Curtis George h m 48 shepherd Loxbeare
Curtis Eliza w m 45   Templeton
Curtis Jane d u 21   Clyst Hidon
Curtis Fred s   14 farm servant Tiverton
Curtis Annie d   10 scholar Burlescombe
Curtis Lily d   9 scholar Stoke Canon

1901 Census data (On Huxham census, next to the Melluish which is shown as Ratsloe)

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Curtis George h m 59 shepherd Loxbeare
Curtis Eliza w m 55   Templeton

1911 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Curtis George h m 69 shepherd Loxbeare
Curtis Eliza w m 65   Templeton
Curtis Jane Hagley d u 40 parlourmaid Clyst Hydon
Curtis Annie Eliza d u 30   Burlescombe

 In 1881, George had been the farm bailiff at Bridge Farm in Stoke Canon.

 The Thorne Family

1891 Cenus data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Thorne William h m 30 agricultural labourer Cheriton Fitzpaine
Thorne Jessie w m 25   Poltimore
Thorne William s   2   Broadclyst
Thorne George s   1 mth   Poltimore

1911 Census data (living in three rooms in Ratsloe)

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Thorne William h m 50 farm labourer Cheriton Fitzpain
Thorne Jessie w m 45   Poltimore
Thorne William. J. s   22 carter- Poltimore estate Broadclyst
Thorne George s   20 horseman Poltimore
Thorne Reginald. F. s   12   Poltimore
Thorne Albert. E. s   8   Poltimore

William Thorne was living with his parents in Broadclyst in 1881. In 1889, he married Jessie Westcott. In 1901, the family were living in the village, William and Jessie together with William junior, George, Jessie junior and Reginald.

The Ley and Davey Families

1911 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Ley William h m 68 farm labourer Countess Weir
Ley Sarah w m 67   Pinhoe
Sizer Jessie d m 22   Wonford
Sizer Ernest son-in-law m 26 gardener, dom Tunsted, Norfolk

 In 1901, William and Sarah and their family (Ernest, Frederick, Daisy and Jessie) were resident in the village, where William is described as a sawyer. He is also described as a sawyer in 1906 when his son William got married but not in 1910 when his son Sydney did. Jessie (Isabel) married Ernest Sizer in 1910. William and Sarah and their family had also been resident in 1891, but not earlier.

1911 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Davey William John h m 36 brickyard labourer Heavitree
Davey Edda w m 34   Countess Weir
Davey Frederick. W. E. s   12 scholar Heavitree
Davey Violet. W. d   9 scholar Pinhoe
Davey Florence. M. d   6 scholar Pinhoe
Davey Albert. E. s   8 scholar Pinhoe
Davey Francis. P. s   5 scholar Pinhoe
Davey Dorothy. G. d   2   Pinhoe

Edda was the daughter of William Ley. She married William Davey on 21st May 1898 at the Exeter Register Office and in 1901, she and her husband were living in Pinhoe.

The Vincent Family

1911 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Vincent Edwin h m 50 police pensioner Colyton
Vincent Elizabeth w m 38   Colyton
Vincent Laura d   10 scholar Dolton
Vincent Frederick. R. s   9 scholar Dolton
Vincent William Joesph s   8 scholar Dolton
Vincent Charles Walter s   3   Langtree
Vincent Julia Ellen d   3   Langtree

 Edwin Vincent was the police constable in Dolton in 1901

The Lawrence Family

1901 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Lawrence Thomas h m 49 carpenter (general) Salcombe Regis
Lawrence Sarah w m 49   Broadclyst
Lawrence Ernest s   20 gardener dom Broadclyst
Lawrence Edwin s   16 wheelwright apprentice Broadclyst
Lawrence Alfred s   13   Broadclyst

Sarah Lawrence died in 1908 and none of the Lawrences are resident in Poltimore in 1911 except Thomas who is boarding with Elizabeth Rugg in the model cottages.

The Stamp Family

1901 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Stamp Henry h m 42 carter on farm Littleham
Stamp Sarah w m 47   Salcombe Regis
Stamp William s   23 agricultural labourer Withycombe

The Webb family

1901 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Webb Louisa w widow 41   Silverton
Webb George s   16 milk deliverer Christow
Webb William s   14   Christow
Webb Margaret d   12   Ide
Webb Arthur s   10   Ide
Webb Dorothy d   6   Crediton
Webb Alice d   5   Crediton

 Louisa Webb was George Webber’s daughter (see entry for Webber below) and married a ‘coachman’ called James Webb in 1881. ‘Coachman’ should probably be understood as waggoner as in the 1891 census. In 1891, James is working as a farm servant in Crediton, together with Louisa and the children with the exception of George, who is living with his grandparents in Poltimore. James Webb was described as ‘of Rattisloe’ when he died at the age of 46 in 1897.

The Webber Family

1901 Census data

Surname First name Relationship Married Age Occupation Place of birth
Webber George h m 72 carter on farm Silverton
Webber Maria w m 71   Cullompton
webber Maria d u 35   Poltimore

George and Maria Webber are recorded in Poltimore from the 1871 census and are present with various members of the family in 1881 and 1891. Maria Webber was buried on 7th May 1908 and George Webber, aged 80, on April 25th 1909.

References

 Huxham marriage registers, Jan 31 1889. Jessie described as a domestic servant and William as a labourer.

Poltimore marriage registers, Sep 25 1906, Apr 28 and Oct 13, 1910 suggesting that he may have had to give up work as a sawyer for more general duties in his mid-sixties. Sterry, F. (Rector), ‘People with Fever’. Notes in DRO 2810A/P29.

Poltimore Burial Register, Dec 20 1883, Thirza Sprague .

Ancestry.co.uk information for Henry Sprague, b. 1874 in Puddington. www.ancestry.co.uk

Public Member Trees of Melluish and Lyttle.

Poltimore Burials Register. Feb 23 1884 Susanna Glidden, aged 9.

Poltimore Marriage Register. Eva Glidden married Frank Blandford of Exeter, Oct 11 1911.

FP accounts of the discussion at St Thomas Rural Sanitary Authority on the epidemic Nov 28 1883, Feb 27 1884, Mar 5 1884.

Poltimore Burials Register. Oct 13 1889 Richard Chambers; Sep 10 1891 Eliza Mutter; Dec 18 1916 Elizabeth Chambers

Poltimore Burials Register, Feb 4 1897. Poltimore Burials Register, Apr 25 1909. Poltimore Burials Register, Feb 3 1881 and 16 Aug 1883.

Poltimore Burials Register. Samuel Hawkins, Ratsloe, Jun 10 1889. Ann Hawkins, Dec 29 1896.

Poltimore Marriage Register, Apr 20 1908.

Devon Weekly Times, Oct 6 1871 Poltimore Burials Register, 23 May 1886 and Aug 22 1895.

Poltimore Marriage Register, 2 Feb 1880. Poltimore Burials Register Thomas Lowden, Feb 9 1884, Mary Lowden, Jun 10 1888.

Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post (hereafter FP) Oct 13 1880.

Poltimore Burials Register Richard Pratt, Sep 18 1846, aged 42.

Poltimore Burials Register, Apr 6 1889.

Huxham Marriage Register, Oct 4 1869

FP Mar 16 1809. The timing of this is unclear, but Sir Thomas Acland was advocating the need for it in 1839.

FP Feb 18 1835; Poltimore Tithe Apportionment, 1837.

Poltimore Family Papers, Devon Record Office (DRO) 5271-0, Box 12118, succession duty return.

FP Sep 5 1839.

FP Jun 3 1841; Jun 16 1842.

FP Sep 4 1851