The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Eliza Bevan (1840 – 1917)


Eliza Gould married Edmund Bevan, a journeyman bootmaker of Northchurch, in 1864. 

By 1871 Eliza was living with her mother and described as a straw-plaiter aged 31, with two children Frank, aged 5 and Alfred aged 3, born in 1867.  There is no sign of Edmund being at home.

In 1881 aged 40, she is described as married, a brush drawer, living with her widowed mother Eliza Gould, in Ravens Lane. Prior to this she is recorded as living in the High Street, Prospect Place, and Holliday Street.  Frank Bevan aged 15, is still living with her, but described as a lodger. Still, no sign of Edmund being at home.

In 1891 Eliza is still described as married with son Alfred, aged 23, but by 1901 she is entered as a widower. So this suggests that Edward Bevan may have left her just before Alfred was born but lived somewhere else until his death between 1891 and 1901. Alternatively as a journeyman bootmaker it is possible he was away travelling for most of his working life.

Eliza is listed in the St Peters burial register as dying on 1st November 1917 aged 77 years and certified by R Hart Davies, Rector, so she is almost certainly buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery – the problem is that the incomplete burial records don’t tell us where.

Eliza’s story is an interesting one – making the change from straw-plaiter (and starting at an early age as she hadn’t learnt to write) to brush drawer/maker is interesting given that the former occupation was dying out at this period so the transition is understandable. Also clearly she was acting as a ‘carer’, having to look after an ‘imbecile’ brother. 


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