Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Charles Jarrald, a well-placed servant indeed

Charles Jarrald, born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, around 1849, is only loosely connected to Bram Stoker. His wife (or, the woman I assume to be his wife, but haven't proven) Elizabeth Jarrald, was a widow and the Nurse of Bram Stoker's only child in the 1881 census. Trying to learn more about Elizabeth, I found myself drawn into Charles's story. Where it took me was away from the Stokers and into territory I hadn't expected.

Servant in St. George Hanover Square in 1871

Because Elizabeth was a widow in 1881, I went looking for her husband in the census before that. I already had a hunch that the Charles Jarrald who died in 1877 was the man I wanted, so it was reasonable to look for him to be alive in 1871.

My result: A 22-year-old Servant born in Bury St. Edmunds, married, but not living with his family on census night, Charles Jarrald can be found in the census at 27 Charles Street, St. George's Hanover Square, in London.

When I first reported that the Stokers lived on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, I said it was a good address, fashionable now as then.

St. George Hanover Square takes us beyond fashionable. On the census pages in and around where Charles Jarrald was, there are many servants and here and there a Landowner, or Annuitant, or other wealthy person. The servants include Grooms, Butlers, and Lady's Maids, not just the more common Cook and Housemaid as the Stokers had. But the surprise for me, a mere commoner, was how many Viscounts, Earl's daughters, Lords and Ladies, etc., turned up when I did just a little digging. I don't want to give it all away now, but it is quite amazing.

Charles Street is called, in directories of the day, "Charles Street, Berkeley Square". It runs out of the south-west corner of Berkeley Square, in a westerly direction. In the census, St. George Hanover Square is split among several areas. Charles Street is found in St. George Hanover Square, Mayfair.

In my next few posts I will have a peek in the windows of each house on Charles Street in 1871. We'll soon see the real Upstairs, Downstairs.

This article is one in an ongoing series, starting with Bram Stoker, author of Dracula in public records: BMD (Birth, Marriage, Death).

Next: Six degrees of separation for Dracula and Queen Victoria

1 comment:

  1. I have to remind myself: I didn't explain yet how I figured out which of two women, Emma Bloom or Elizabeth Trott, Charles Jarrald married. Or did I? I'll go back and look soonish.

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