The Godbold children.

Vera Godbold, daughter of Herbert and Florence nee Roydhouse was born in 1912.
She appears to have married later in life to Edward Douglas in 1953. She died in 1972.

Ronald Godbold was born in 1914 and seems not to have married. His photo indicates he was in the Military Forces in World War 2. He died in 2001.

Sheila Godbold was born in 1922, and also appears in uniform suggesting WW2 service. Apparently she died aged 83 in Sydney in 2005, having never married.

Florence Roydhouse 1886-1972

I started exploring the family of Benjamin Roydhouse, but got side-tracked. The next few blog posts are about his children.
Florence Roydhouse was the only daughter of Benjamin and Ellen. She was born in Leyton, Essex on the 19th January, 1886.
By the age of 15, she was living at 360 Harrow Road, Paddington. Frederick and Arthur Frisby, who worked as a drapers assistant from home and employed a male, 3 females and Florence in the same business.
In 1911 the census was taken in early April, and Florence is boarding at 6 Netterton Road, Deptford North with Herbert Godbold, both working in drapery. They married on the 3rd of June that year at St Marys, Mortlake in Surrey. Herbert William Godbold was a 29 year old drapery buyer.
Herbert and Florence had three children:
Vera born 1912
Ronald born 1914
Sheila born 1922
In 1939 the family is living in Maldon & Coombe, though Sheila is not recorded there.
Herbert died in 1957, and Florence on Christmas Eve, 1972.

(Ancestry tree photo)

Amy Bell

Amy  Bell was 5 moths old in the 1881 census. She was born in Lambeth, and

she was 3 years old when  her brother Arthur was born.

By 1891 Frank and Ann ( nee Roydhouse) had 3 children attending school while

they lived at 24 Devon Road, Brixton.

Ann was a widow by 1901, and Amy was working as a milliner, younger brother

Arthur was a commercial clerk.

Amy married Edward Henry Yates on the 20th February 1910 at St Margaret

the Queen in Streatham.

Frank Yates was born in 1911, and in 1915 the family were living very close by

Downton Ave and Cricklade Street at 135 Barcombe Street.

( Google maps)

Edward died in 1917.

I have not found any further children, nor a other marriage for Amy.

Vernon Augustus Bell


The grandson of Thomas and Esther Roydhouse Vernon Augustus Bell was

born in Camberwell, Surrey on the 19th January,1879.

He was the eldest of 4 children.

He was boarding at 6 Harwick Road, Chorlton cum Hardy in Manchester and

his occupation was recorded as a travelling lace salesman in 1901.

He married in 1909 to Harriet Maud Campbell nee Bastin.

In 1911 he is living with wife Harriet and step-son George (aged 13) and servant

Ida Gooding at 1 Cricklade Avenue, Streatham.

They occupy a 7 room apartment in a large block of flats.

He and Harriet are  managers/employers of a wholesale costume business.

From 1913-c1919 he and Harriet lived at 55 Downton Avenue in Streatham.

As shown by the Google map, this is one street away from their previous

address in Cricklade Avenue, suggesting their business was nearby.

In 1914, he is registered as Temporary Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval

Division records of service.

After 1919, their address is in New Cavendish Street, Westminster.

He travelled to Spain several times in the early 1930’s by small ship as a silk

merchant, appearing to spend at least 4 months each year in that country.

Harriet did not travel with him.

His last trip to Tenerife was completed as the “BAZAN” arrived in London in

April 1933  and his death is recorded in Preston in the December . He was

aged 54.

Dowton Avenue, Cricklade in the background.

1911 census details, Ancestry

(New Cavendish Street, Google maps)


Ann Roydhouse 1857-1929

Ann Roydhouse was baptized by her parents Thomas and Esther on the

2nd August 1857 at the Holy Trinity Church, Chelsea.

In 1861 she is the youngest of 6, with 3  brothers and two sisters all at home.

The family is recorded as surname House.

She is 14 in 1871, her sister Esther had died aged 25 the year before.

She married Frank Augustus Bell at St Saviours Church on the 13th April 1878,

aged 21. Her sister Ellen was one witness, and a Henry Roydhouse another.

In 1881 33 year old Frank was working as a publishers collector, and the couple

had two children, Vernon aged 2 and Amy aged 5 months.

A career change for Frank by 1891 saw him working as a commercial clerk, and

the family had increased by another son, Arthur F, born in 1884.

Ann was widowed in 1898, and in 1901 the census recorded Ann as living at

Number 2 Lancaster House, Brixton.

In 1911 the census records Ann with her youngest son Arthur Frank,27, living

at 59 Lydhurst Avenue in Streatham.

It is noted Ann had 4 children, with one no longer living.

Ann died aged 71 in October 1929.

(Google maps 59 Lydhurst Avenue, Streatham)

Edward Roydhouse

Edward Roydhouse was born in October 1852 at 72 New Road Chelsea to Thomas and Esther. They baptised him at the Holy Trinity Church in Upper Chelsea on the 26th December the same year.

Aged 9 and a scholar in the 1861 census, his parents still lived at number 72.
Recorded as a carpenter aged 18 in 1871, Edward lived with his family at 45 Smith Street, Chelsea.

He appeared in records in Mallow, County Cork, Ireland when he married Susan Fitzgerald in November 1878.

The couple returned to Chelsea by 1881, where they lived at 24 Bramerton Street, Chelsea until after 1893.

Sometime before 1899 they moved to 47 Shawfield Street, Chelsea, renting 2 unfurnished rooms upstairs from their landlord.

Almost 50 years of age, Edward and Susan first appeared in the Irish census documents in 1901 in Curraghlehane, Ballyclough, County Cork.

Ten years later in 1911 they were still there.

There is no record of the couple having any children.

Susan died in June 1919.

Edward married Annie Flora Sedgwick in February of 1920.

He died in County Cork in 1928 aged 77.

Benjamin Roydhouse

Benjamin Roydhouse was baptized on the 19th December 1849 at St Lukes,

Chelsea to Thomas and Esther.

He married Ellen Mary Layton in September 1883 in the Marylebone Parish.

Ben and Ellen had two children, Florence in 1886 and Douglas in 1887.Benjamin in c1920

In 1891 his occupation is recorded as Bank Messenger and the family were

living in Leyton, Essex, about 10 miles from Chelsea.

In 1901 he is living next door to a male bank secretary household, and listed as

a “housekeeper”.

I believe this meant he was employed full-time maintaining the banks house,

possibly mostly outdoor work but general repairs indoors. His neighbor John

was also listed as housekeeper and messenger.

Richard Williams the bank secretary  had two sons, a daughter-in-law and

grandson living at number 68. As well as a cook , 3 housemaids and a nursery

maid, he had 2 bank clerks, and a night watchman under the main roof.

Further possible staff lived in the next few houses and included another night

watchman, another male housekeeper and messenger.

Ellen died in 1919 in Richmond Surrey, and Benjamin was in Guildford, Surrey

when he died on the 24th October 1931.

The Chelsea lot- Thomas Roydhouse 1820


Thomas Roydhouse was born in Middlesex, London in 1820.

Thomas, a saddler ,and Esther Robbins  married 20th November 1843 at

St Brompton’s Church, Middlesex.

Saddlers made, repaired or sold saddles and other horse furnishings like

harness, bridles and collars.

Thomas’s father was also Thomas; and on the marriage certificate was

recorded as a horse handler.

Thomas, 31, and Esther,32, were living at 73 Alfred Place, Chelsea in the 1851

census,with their three children:

Esther 7, Ellen 4 and Benjamin 2

By 1861 the family included 3 more children:

Edward, 9, Henry 7 and Ann 4

Their daughter Esther died in 1870 aged 25.

In 1871 Thomas and Esther have Ellen,23, Ann,14 and Edward, 18 living with   


Thomas junior died aged 53 in 1873.

His father, Thomas, 80, resided with them. In 1871 the census shows him as

being born in  Whitby, Yorkshire. Thomas senior died in 18 74.

By 1881, Esther is listed as a widow of 62 and her unmarried daughter Ellen is

32. They live at 124 Arthur Street, Chelsea. Ellen never married and died in


Esther died in King Street, Chelsea in 1895 aged 76. Esther, Thomas, Ellen and

Esther are all buried in Brompton Cemetery, though not together.

Charles Roydhouse- “The Other Lot”

Two Roydhouse families lived in London during the period of time before William immigrated to New Zealand, and during the  course of trying to establish a link between their seemingly common Yorkshire backgrounds a couple of generations before, I spent a lot of time researching “The Other Lot”. They were saddlers, or in other horse related trades, and mainly lived in Chelsea. Charles especially was a fascinating study  and I found myself researching him for the sake of finding out more of his life long after the two families connection was proved to be in the “extremely doubtful basket”.

Charles Potter Roydhouse was born in St. Georges, Middlesex in October 1834 ,his father William a saddler  and mother Elizabeth. He had eight siblings, with sisters Mary, Jane , Alice, Caroline, Elizabeth, Sarah and brothers George and William. Alice, Elizabeth and Sarah died as young children.

At age  9 in 1843 he entered St Pauls School, Westminster. Records do not indicate when he left, just that he “Left for a situation”.

He was serving in the Army in Dublin, Ireland, when he met Emma Dennison, daughter of a Sergeant posted there. They married at St. James, Dublin on the 26th November 1861.

As a Sergeant in the Chelsea Guards, Charles went to Fort Henry, Kingston, Ontario, Canada and lived in the married quarters with Emma for at least six years, as daughters Emma Jane and Alice Elizabeth Sarah were born there in 1861 and 1870 respectively. The journey home was undertaken before the 1871 census, as the family is recorded at the Woolwich Barracks in Greenwich London.

Eleanor Mary was born in 1872(recorded as Helena)in Kent.

Sometime before 1881 Charles and Emma were appointed Master and Matron of Dunmow Workhouse in Essex, 70 kilometres from London.


( various angles of the Workhouse)

The plan of the workhouse had a single storey entry, containing the porters lodge and Guardians board-room and a chapel.

The main block, four storeys high in the centre with three storey wings, with the Masters Quarters at the very centre. Men’s accommodation was on the west side, and females to the east, a a separate infirmary was built to the south in 1871.

This was a very demanding role for both Charles and Emma, as seen by the following Duty Statement:(

The Master

  • To admit paupers into the workhouse.
  • To ensure new male inmates are searched, cleansed, clothed and classified.
  • To enforce industry, order, punctuality and cleanliness.
  • To read prayers to the paupers before breakfast and after supper each day.
  • To hold a daily roll-call and inspection of inmates.
  • To provide work, training or occupation for the inmates.
  • To inspect the male sleeping wards at 11am daily.
  • To superintend the preparation and distribution of food.
  • To say grace before and after meals.
  • To visit the male sleeping wards before 9pm in winter and 10pm in summer to see that all male paupers are in bed, and all fires and lights not necessary for the sick are extinguished.
  • To receive the workhouse keys from the Porter at 9pm and return them to him at 6am.
  • To see that the male paupers are properly clothed, and that their clothes are kept in proper repair.
  • To register all Births and Deaths in the workhouse.
  • To send for the Medical Officer if any pauper is taken ill or becomes insane, and to inform their nearest relation in the workhouse, and in the case of dangerous sickness, to send for the Chaplain, and any relative or friend whom the pauper may desire to see.
  • To ensure that no pauper near death is left unattended, day or the night.
  • To inform the Medical Officer and next of kin of any death in the workhouse. If the body is not removed within a reasonable time, to provide for its interment.
  • To deliver an inventory of the clothes and other property of any pauper who may have died in the Workhouse, to the Guardians at their next meeting.
  • To submit, at each Board meeting, an estimate of provisions and other articles required for the Workhouse.
  • To ensure that the workhouse building, fixtures, fittings etc. are kept clean and in good order.
  • To report at each meeting of the Guardians on the number of the inmates in the workhouse
  • To bring before the Visiting Committee or Guardians any pauper inmate wishing to make a complaint.
  • To report to the Medical Officer and Guardians all cases where any restraint or compulsion is used towards any pauper inmate of unsound mind.

The Matron

The Matron acted as a deputy for the Master in his absence, and also had specific responsibilities of her own, mostly relating the supervision of female inmates and the workhouse’s domestic arrangements.

  • To oversee the admission of female paupers and pauper children under seven.
  • To oversee the employment and occupation of female paupers, and to assist the Schoolmistress in training up the children so as best to fit them for service.
  • To inspect the female sleeping wards at 11am daily.
  • To visit the female sleeping wards before 9pm in winter and 10pm in summer to see that all female paupers are in bed, and all fires and lights not necessary for the sick or for women suckling their children are extinguished.
  • To pay particular attention to the moral conduct and orderly behaviour of the females and children, and see they are clean and decent in their dress and persons.
  • To superintend the making and mending of the linen and clothing supplied to the inmates, and ensure that all such clothing be properly numbered and marked on the inside with the name of the Union.
  • To see that every pauper has clean linen and stockings once a week, and that all the beds and bedding are kept in a clean and wholesome state.
  • To superintend the washing, drying, and getting up of the linen, stockings, and blankets, and to see that the same is not dried in the sleeping-wards, or in the sick-wards.
  • To take proper care of the children and sick paupers, and to provide the proper diet for the same, and for women suckling infants, and to provide any necessary changes of clothes and linen.
  • To assist the Master in: enforcing the observance of good order, cleanliness, punctuality, industry, and decency of demeanour among the paupers; cleansing and ventilating the sleeping-wards and the dining-hall, and all other parts of the premises; placing in store and taking charge of the provisions, clothing, linen, and other articles belonging to the Union.
  • When requested by the Porter, to search any female entering or leaving the Workhouse.


In 1881 there were 22 staff and families, and 191” pauper inmates” and by 1891, 136 “pauper inmates” and 14 staff and families, the daughter Alice working as a Caretaker for girls. She died in 1892 at Dunmow aged 21.

Emma married Francis Henry Hawksford in Dunmow 1893- he was also born in Kingston Canada as his  father was  in the Army there also. Their only child was Alice Emma, born in 1895.

On the 7th October, 1895, Charles wife Emma died of a “coughing fit” in Dunmow aged 54.

Charles died at Dunmow on the 19th December, just a few weeks after his wife died. He was probated to Francis and Emma Hawksford at  almost 560 pounds. Eleanor  lived with Emma and Francis until at least 1911 when recorded as a spinster of almost 40.

Researching Charles was the start of a real interest in following up a One Name Study for  Roydhouse families of any country. The challenge continues..