Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thomas MARCH of 1 Charles Street: One degree from Queen Victoria

How did we get to Charles Street? Well, it started with a look at the 1881 census for the Bram Stoker family over in Chelsea, including the servants. One servant, Mary JARRALD, was a widow. In trying to find information about her husband, I followed a possible trail for Charles JARRALD. Since he died before 1881, I looked at 1871, and found him working as a servant on Charles Street.

Then I discovered just what kind of people lived on Charles Street and thought it was worth a little digging.

Eventually, we will get back to Bram.

In the meantime, I made up two games:

Six Degrees of Dracula
Six Degrees of Queen Victoria.

OK, on with the show.

Charles Street Berkeley Square in 1871 Census (In St. George Hanover Square, Mayfair, ED11. Starts at Ancestry p. 31.)
Cited as: Class:  RG10; Piece:  102; Folio:  75; Page: 31; GSU roll:  838762.

Link to page 31

Some of the links I use may require you to sign in to to see the item. That is for the convenience of Ancestry users. If you don't use it, don't despair. I will give as much information as needed to tell the story.

No. 1: Thomas C. MARCH, marr, 50, Clerk Lord Chamberlain's Office, born London, Marylebone
4 Family
  1. Thomas C. MARCH
  2. Arabella S. MARCH, wife, marr, 32, born Basingstoke
  3. Arabella MARCH, daughter, 14, born St. Lukes Chelsea
  4. Thomas C. MARCH, son, 3, born London, St. Georges [Hanover Square?]

3 Servants
  1. Agusta GERY, Servant, unmarr, 22, Domestic Servant, Lady's Maid, born Hanover (not a B.S.) [not a British Subject?] The spelling of both names looks suspicious. On this romp through the census I am not going to research the servants, even though it was a servant who led us here. Perhaps later.
  2. Anne COOK, Servant, unmarr, 52, Cook, born Chicester.
  3. Anne COOK, Servant, unmarr, 14, Housemaid, born London, Poplar.

On the first pass, I almost disregarded this household entirely. Clerk? That doesn't sound very high-falutin'. Mistake! I'm glad I went back for a closer look.

Thomas Charles MARCH was 50 in 1871. He was born on July 4, 1819 in Marylebone and christened there on August 14, 1819. Link to image of christening register. His father, Thomas MARCH, was an "Esquire", a gentleman, though I don't know his occupation. Thomas had at least two brothers, George Edward MARCH and William Gonne MARCH. His mother's name was Mary Ann GONNE. The parents, Thomas and Mary Ann, were British Subjects born in Portugal.

The 1871 census is the first time Thomas appears in his own home, at least the first time since 1851, when he was 30.

Thomas C. MARCH turns out to be, by the end of his life, one of the top people on the staff of the Royal Household of Queen Victoria. At various points, he was in the Lord Chamberlain's office, and also the Lord Steward's office. These two offices were for a time combined. The way some people describe it, the Lord Chamberlain's office deals with formal matters while the Lord Steward is concerned with "below stairs": the servants who make the day-to-day matters of living go smoothly.

The Lord Chamberlain's office dealt with the awarding of the Royal Warrant to approved suppliers of goods and services, and with organizing state funerals, to give two examples.

As Chief Clerk of the Department of the Lord Chamberlain of Her Majesty's Household, Thomas was alone in the second carriage of mourners who brought the remains of the Duke of Wellington from Walmer Castle in Kent, by horse-drawn carriage and then by special train from Deal, to London for the state funeral in 1852. The Duke's son was in the first carriage.

Here is an extract from the Order of Service for the funeral and the attendant arrangements.

I have lots more to say about Thomas and his family coming up in the next post.

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

With this article we move a little away from Dracula for a while and focus on the residents of Charles Street in 1871. An amazing collection, really.

Next: Thomas Charles March, and his rise through the ranks at Queen Victoria's household

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