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                                                                     WRIGHT FAMILY
                                                                              Biography
                                              Thomas Wright and his wife Fanny [nee Ashurst]     
                                                                      Of London, Middlesex. 
                                                     Formerly of Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk & Brighton, Sussex respectively 
                                                          Wright Old Family Photo Gallery 
                                                                                    [Photos date from c.1860 - c.1880] 
                                   These photos were in an old Album belonging to Julia Wright on the opening page was the inscription 
                                                                                "To Julia from your old friend George."

Thomas Wright

Fanny Wright 
[nee Ashurst]

Julia Wright

A sister Wright?

Amelia Wright
 

Fanny Matilda Beard
[nee Wright]

Thomas Beard
Thomas Beard
Horace Wright Beard

 Thomas Ashurst Beard

Beard Family member? 

                                                                                   [Above] unidentified Wright Family Members
                                     ANY FAMILY MEMBERS WHO MAY HAVE SIMILAR FAMILY PHOTOS & COULD HELP IDENTIFY
                                                                   CONTACT WOULD BE WELCOMED

                                                                           BIOGRAPHY [3 of 4]
                                                                                                           [Generation 3]
                                      Thomas Wright [1822-c.1864] and his wife Fanny [nee Ashurst] [1833-c.1864]
About Thomas;
Birth:            Thomas Wright was born baptised at on the 3rd July 1822 in the village of Wells next the Sea, Norfolk, England, the son of 
                       Thomas Wright, a farmer and Sarah Theodosia [nee Atmer], his wife.  
                       
Siblings;       Sarah Wright baptised 30th December 1824 at Wells 
                       Francis William Wright baptised 28th June 1828 also at Wells
                       In all three baptisms their father Thomas was recorded as a farmer and their mother's name and maiden name were recorded.
                       
Early Life:    Thomas spent his early childhood roaming the sand dunes and harbour in the small fishing village of 'Wells next to the 
                       Sea' in Norfolk,  England. 
                      The family lived in Staithe Street, the main through fare of the village, their father Thomas then a fisherman.

1831 Thomas's sister Sarah dies; 
                      On the 24th November 1831 a burial is recorded at Wells for Sarah Wright who died at the age of six years, buried as the 
                      daughter of Thomas and Sarah Theodosia Wright with a note beside the entry "accidentally burnt".

1841 Census: 
                      Thomas Wright was later found in the 1841 Census living with his parents  Thomas & Sarah and younger brother William 
                      [the family had dropped his initial name 'Francis'] at the village of his birth, 'Wells next the Sea' in Norfolk, England.  
                      The family was living in Staithe Street; 
                      Thomas [snr.] was recorded as aged 45, Occupation: A fisherman, of the County.  
                      Sarah was recorded aged 40, no occupation and was noted as born out of county [this is confusing as Sarah documents two 
                      different birth places on subsequent Census, 1) Yarmouth, which is in the County of Norfolk and in 1861 as Suffolk. 
                      Sarah was definitely born in Yarmouth 44 miles WNW of Wells next to the Sea. This anomaly is discussed in 
                      her own parents' Biography.   
                      Thomas [jnr.] was recorded as born in the County, aged nineteen with no occupation recorded.  
                      His brother William was recorded also born in the County with no occupation, aged ten years [rounded].  

Father dies: Three years later Thomas Wright [the elder] died on the 13th  October 1844 and was buried four days later on the 17th 
                      October  1844.  He was recorded as aged fifty-two and married.  He was survived by his wife Sarah nee Atmer of twenty-six 
                      years marriage and his two known sons, Thomas [the younger] now aged twenty-two and William now aged sixteen. 
                      During the next ten years Thomas and his mother moved to Middlesex, London. 

1851 Census:  Thomas was recorded on the 1851 Census held on the 30th March as a ship joiner, unmarried now recorded as aged 
                     twenty-eight and living at Hatt's Place in Boro Lane at St. Leonard, Bromley in the heart of London.  He recorded his place 
                     of birth as 'Wells next the Sea', Norfolk.
                     Living with him was his mother Sarah, recorded aged fifty-nine, a widow.  Strangely Sarah records her birthplace as 
                     Colchester, Essex.

A change of occupation:
                    Family Legend tells that Thomas eventually became the proprietor of a London Pub which will later be shown as very accurate.  
                    The vast difference between his current vocation, synonymous with that of his father and that of Licensed Victualler appears 
                    diverse, however Thomas's maternal uncle, William Atmer, Sarah's brother, was a successful Innkeeper & Malster, who 
                    although born in Yarmouth as was Sarah, he had since moved to Halesworth 88 miles SW of London.  Sarah's aged mother was 
                    still living in 1841 now aged in her 80's and recorded  living with her son and his family at the Inn, where William employed 
                    several servants and also had lodgers recorded in his establishment. More of William Atmer and Sarah's mother and childhood 
                    can be found in the biography of their parents William Atmer an his wife Theodosia nee Self. 

                    It is considered that Thomas's mother's family was familiar with the industry and this is probably where the aptitude and 
                    subsequent success in his new vocation derived. 

Thomas Wright & Fanny Ashurst;   
                   During the intervening period following his move to London, Thomas met a seventeen year old  barmaid by the name of Fanny 
                   Ashhurst. 

About Fanny Ashurst;  
                  Fanny Ashhurst was baptised at St.Nicholas at Brighton Sussex on the 27th  March 1833 the daughter of John Swinton Ashhurst, 
                  a Law Clerk, and his wife Fanny [nee Simpson]. The research into her lineage is indicating that she, like Thomas came from a 
                  once influential Family.  She had older two brothers, Lewis [born 1828] and John Swinton Ashhurst [jnr] [born 1829].
                 
                 Fanny's father died when she was nine years old but recognized as a child prodigy in pianoforte, between the ages of nine and 
                 thirteen she traveled, presumably with her mother to France where at the assumed pre death wish of her father was given the 
                 opportunity to have just a couple of lessons with the great composer Frederic Chopin who was teaching in Paris at that time. 
                 She returned home soon after but her mother showed signs of a form of tuberculosis, oddly the same disease which was 
                 harbouring in the great composer.
                 Her mother struggled with the illness for a further three years to which she succumbed on the 8th March 1847 the age of 39. 
                 Fanny was fourteen when her mother died, her brothers were aged 19 and 18 respectively.

                At some point following her mother's death Fanny and her brothers John and Lewis moved to London.
               By 1851 her other brother Lewis had left England following a Military Career and was living in Ireland.  Fanny's other brother 
               John was living in London near Fanny and working as a servant.  Fanny was recorded in the same Census aged seventeen and 
               living in the establishment of Joseph Till a licensed victualler and his family. It is not known if Joseph Till was living at his Inn 
               or the house was a separate residence. It has not yet been established if Joseph was related to the Wright or Ashhurst families 
               however the connection with Thomas who, as indicated above was then working as a ship joiner and his subsequent change of 
               occupation in the following Census to 'Licensed Victualler', is considered to have begun just after this time.                      

Thomas marries; 
               Six months after the Census of 1851, at the age of twenty-eight Thomas married eighteen-year-old Fanny Ashurst in the 
               September Quarter of 1851 at Poplar in the heart of London, England.  He was recorded as a 'Joiner' [ship].

                                            Marriage Thomas Wright to Fanny Ashurst 

              The couple settled at Poplar and Thomas's mother Sarah also lived with them. 

Fanny's brother returns to his native Brighton; 
              With his young sister now safely married John Ashurst returned to Brighton where he married Maria Bonner in 1854. 

Thomas & Fanny's children are all born at Poplar in London; 
Child 1:         A year later Fanny gave birth to a daughter, Fanny Matilda Wright at Poplar in the Sept. Qtr. of 1852.   
Child 2:         This birth was followed by a further four daughters; Julia Wright in 1854;  
Child 3:         Teresa Sarah Wright in the Sept. Qtr. 1856; 
Child 4:         Amelia Ann Wright in the Sept. Qtr. 1859 
Child 5:         and young Elizabeth Wright in 1860. 
                       If Thomas and Fanny had any sons, they did not survive [there are a few possibilities who did not survive].    
1861 Census;  
                      A few months after the birth of their youngest daughter the Census 1861 was held on the 7th April,  Thomas was recorded 
                      as a Licensed Victualler living at and operating the Trinity Arms Inn at Orchard  Place, Blackwall, London.  He was recorded 
                      aged thirty-eight, born [c.1823] at Wells in the County of Norfolk and his wife Fanny aged thirty, born [c.1831] at Brighton in 
                      Sussex. Their children were recorded as; Fanny [Matilda] aged nine, born at Poplar, Middlesex; Julia aged seven, born Poplar, 
                      Middlesex; Teresa [Sarah] aged five, Amelia Ann aged three and their youngest Elizabeth aged 9 months the latter girls also 
                      born at Poplar.  
                      
                      Also in the establishment on that evening  was Thomas’s mother Sarah Wright aged 70yrs born [c.1791].  Sarah now records 
                      her birthplace correctly as Yarmouth, Norfolk.  Two servants were also living at the Inn;  Mary Huchinson, 16 year-old servant 
                      and William Crofton a 15 year-old 'pot-boy' both born in Poplar Middlesex.

Family Life;   Their daughters were shown to have a love of the pianoforte undoubtedly generated from their mother.  It would be assumed 
                      that their living quarters were very comfortable, consistent with a family of some means.  The noise of young daughters and 
                      their frocks and aprons starched meticulously would rustle through the house.  A piano was always in the parlour, a tradition 
                      that was to endure for many generations.  Amelia Ann particularly showed talent.
The Death of Thomas Wright's mother; 

                      

The Deaths of Thomas & Fanny Wright; 

                     Family Legend handed down some years later from his daughter Amelia Ann states that both Amelia’s parents owned a 
                     London Pub and both died of tuberculosis when she was very young.  In the absence of Thomas and Fanny’s names in the 
                     subsequent 1871 Census, investigations were made and there were two deaths which stood out, both in Poplar 
                     Middlesex for Fanny Wright and Thomas Wright, both in the June Qtr. of 1864.  In this case Thomas Wright would have been
                     aged forty-two and Fanny aged thirty-one. 

                    This would make Amelia five years old at her parent's deaths. 

                    An elderly aunt told that her grandmother, Amelia was adamant that when her parent's died when she was a child and that she
                    was sent to a boarding school for a period of time.  The legend went on to say that at some point her elder sister Julia had to 
                    work as a barmaid to make ends meet.  Julia would have been ten years old in 1864.

                    Certainly the subsequent Census in 1871 shows Amelia without her parents living with her two sisters Fanny Matilda and 
                    Julia who were working as milliners [Amelia later owned and ran a Milliner's Shop in Melbourne, Australia].  The head of 
                    the house was Martha Wright 'widow! who documents the girls as her daughters?  This prompted the scenario that Thomas 
                    may not have died at the same time as Fanny and that he had remarried only to died a few years later, certainly before the 
                    1871 Census where he does not appear.  

Another mystery; 
                    No entry in the 1871 Census was found for their daughter Teresa Sarah Wright who would have been aged fifteen at that time.
                    There was however  one tenuous thread found at Brighton, Fanny's birthplace.  Recorded in March Qtr. 1862 was the death of 
                    Teresa Sarah Wright, spelt exactly as the previous birth registration.  

                    Could Teresa Have become ill and Thomas and Fanny have taken the children for a holiday near the sea at her birthplace, 
                    Brighton to visit her brother John and his wife Maria who were considered childless and still living there!?  

                    Investigations showed that there was no birth registered for 'Teresa Wright' at Brighton and no entry for such a child born at 
                    brighton appears in the prior 1861 Census held a year before. 
                    It seems a huge co-incidence that her middle name also matches that of Thomas and Fanny's child and the venue of death, 
                    Fanny's home village.  However family photos would seem to indicate that Teresa may have survived. 

                    Thomas and Fanny's youngest daughter Elizabeth has also proved elusive in subsequent records and census.  An Elizabeth 
                    Wright died in the December Qtr. of that same year i.e. 1862 also at Brighton.  

                    This hypothesis for the possible death of the children must be considered tenuous.  When the elderly aunt was asked about
                     her grandmother's siblings she tells that she was told that long ago Amelia was concerned for her family in England.  When 
                     the writer asked who?  The aged narrator was very clear, "She had a sister in England.  She died when her children were 
                     fairly young, I think Nana was worried about them.  You know!  if they were alright."  But of course all this happened many
                     years before the elderly Aunt was born in 1915.  

                     Later investigations revealed that the legend again rang true, the sister was Fanny Matilda who died 1901 when her children 
                     were very young.  Amelia did not appear to mention any other sisters still living. The narrator was nineteen when Amelia 
                    Ann [her grandmother] died and Amelia spent much time living with them, eventually she died at the family home in 1934. 
                    [The narration was tape recorded in 1986]. 

The anomaly - 1871 Census; 

                    In the following Census held on the 2nd April  1871 finds Amelia Ann recorded aged 14yrs born at Poplar and her elder sisters, 
                    Fanny Matilda recorded 18yrs and Julia recorded 16yrs both working as milliners, living at Ponder’s End, Enfield at Falcon 
                    Farm with Martha  Wright, recorded as a widow, aged twenty-nine, a licensed victualler born in Blackenwell London.  

                    Martha recorded the three girls as her daughters, this would be impossible as according to her age she would have been nine years
                    old at the elder girl's birth.  No marriage was found recorded between a Thomas Wright and 'Martha' occurring from 1861 to 1871.
                    It is considered she may have been a cousin. 
                    Amelia’s other two sisters, Teresa who should have turned fifteen and Elizabeth who would have been eleven were not found on 
                    any the Census.  
                    Martha was certainly contributing to the girl’s support likely from the earnings of a Pub of some sort where she was employing 
                    the services of two servants.   A few years later the girls did receive the inheritance left by their parents although
                    the actual Will has not been found yet. 

                    The Will of Thomas Wright; 

                    In view that the exact date of death of Thomas Wright has not been established [there are a few possibles during the period 
                    1864-1871] and that it has not been established if Thomas died testate or only Probate Granted on his Estate the search would 
                    be a long and expensive one.  There may also have not been administration given till or up till 1881 when Amelia is said to have
                    been given her inheritance.  
                   The indexes to legacy duty on the estates of intestates from 1864 to 1881 have not survived.  Many of the estate duty registers 
                    for the 1890s were destroyed by fire.

                   The search may prove fruitless if all efforts are made.  It could prove a waste of time and expense when the date of Administration
                    could be anytime within a twenty year period i.e. 1861 - 1881 and the document may not have survived.

                   For those who wish to try, the application form and detailed instructions can be found at; 
                   URL:  http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/pa1s_0405.pdf
                   PLEASE ALLOW TIME FOR THE 'APPLICATION FORM' TO DOWNLOAD [PDF]. 

                    It seems little more than curiosity to know the contents of the Will.  We know that both Thomas and Fanny died of tuberculosis
                    between 1861-1871 and that Amelia collected her inheritance around 1880 just before her vacation to Melbourne Australia and
                    her subsequent marriage to John Riley, see below in Epilogue i.e. NEXT GENERATION - Amelia Ann Wright.
                                                                               Epilogue
Fanny Matilda Beard [nee Wright]; Eldest Child of Thomas Wright and his wife Fanny nee Ashhurst;
                    Fanny Matilda  was the first of the sisters to marry.  In the June Qtr 1875 she married Thomas William Beard, a lighterman 
                   [barge] at nearby Stephney. A year later Fanny Matilda gave birth to a son Horace William Beard in 1876 followed by another 
                   son Thomas Ashurst Beard in the December Qtr 1877.  
                   Fanny Matilda continued to live in Middlesex England with her husband and children for the remainder  of her life. 
                   The year after her two younger sisters left for Australia, the 1881 Census held on the 3rd April showed her living at 22 Turner 
                   St., Mile End old Town near London with her husband Thomas and their two sons Horace aged five and William aged three.  
                   William had continued working  as a Lighterman.  

                   Ten years later, the 1891 Census revealed them living at 14 Sidney Square, Mile End old Town.  Very little detail was given 
                    regarding their children’s names.  The Census  reads: 
                    T. Beard, aged 33, Head of the  family, Occupation Lighterman; 
                    F.M. Beard [Fanny Matilda] wife age 33yrs; 
                    H.W. Beard, son, 15yrs [presumed Horace William]; T.A. Beard, son, 11yrs,
                    [presumed Thomas Ashurst  Beard]; 
                    H.H. Beard, age 4, son; 
                    Gertrude F Beard, daughter, age 3 
                    William A  Beard, son, 1 year.  
                     Fifteen-year old Eliza Sullivan was also recorded as a domestic servant. 
                   
                   Fanny Matilda died five to eight months later in the December Quarter of 1891 at the age of thirty-nine.  She was survived by 
                   her husband William of twenty years marriage and her six children. 
                   Fanny's husband Thomas re-married a year later and moved, taking his family to West Hampshire. 

                   The 1901 census shows him living with his 2nd wife at 49 Clova Street, West Hampshire with his children by Fanny Matilda and 
                   one child from his marriage to Mary.  The Census reads; 
                   Thomas W Beard ,  Head, age 48; 
                   Mary, wife, age 45, born at Gravesend, Kent; 
                   Horace William, son, 25yrs, unmarried; Thomas A Beard, son, 21yrs, unmarried; 
                   Gertrude F.M., daughter, age  13yrs; 
                   William A. Beard , son, age 11 
                   Ethel A. Beard, age 9 [by his wife Mary].  
                   Also recorded was Beatrice P. Noakes, age 19 born in London at Bow, General Servant. 

                   Thomas and his two elder sons were working as ‘Lightermen – Barge’.   The child ‘H.H.’ aged four in the previous census does
                   not appear to have survived. 
Julia Wright; daughter of Thomas Wright and his wife Fanny nee Ashhurst;
                 Julia traveled with her sister Amelia to Sydney Australia on holiday in 1879.  When her sister married there not long after 
                 arrival, Julia remained living with her younger sister and her husband.  Amelia gave birth to several children with the 
                 assistance of her sister and also a midwife and doctor.  After Amelia's separation from her husband, the two sisters later owned 
                 and ran a Milliner’s shop in Melbourne. 

                 Julia never married and died without issue suddenly just before Christmas 1903 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of forty-nine. 
                 Subsequently Amelia's husband John Coyne Riley returned to the house. Amelia continued running the Milliner's Shop after 
                 her sister's death. For more information on Julia’s later life see the life of her sister;
                 The Life of John Coyne Riley and Amelia Ann [nee Wright]. 


Teresa Sarah Wright; daughter of Thomas Wright and his wife Fanny nee Ashhurst;

                There is tenuous evidence to suggest that Teresa may have died at Brighton in early childhood.  However this is inconclusive 
                and the photos above would suggest that she survived.  Further investigations have proved fruitless. 

Amelia Ann Wright; daughter of Thomas Wright and his wife Fanny nee Ashhurst; 
                  By the end of 1879 Amelia Ann  was by now twenty, she stood 5’3” and had blue eyes.  Family Legend also tells that at that time
                  she claimed her inheritance from her father’s Estate and with a later self confessed love of travel, Amelia set out for a holiday 
                  to Australia with her sister Julia.  Amelia often complained at the length of the journey which she said took six months. 
                  The two sisters arrived at Melbourne Victoria in February  1880.  
                  Soon after arrival Amelia met John Coyne Riley a Racecourse Bookmaker at the Melbourne Tracks. The couple married a year 
                  later in Melbourne on the 16th August 1881.  

                  Amelia always longed to return to England particularly at the death of her sister [proved to be Fanny Matilda] who died at a 
                  relatively young age leaving young children.  The Story of Amelia’s marriage is available now. 


Elizabeth Wright: youngest daughter of Thomas Wright and his wife Fanny nee Ashhurst;

                There is tenuous evidence to suggest that Teresa may have died at Brighton in early childhood.  However this is inconclusive 
                 and the photos above would suggest that she survived.  Further investigations have proved fruitless. 
Martha Wright; the identified carer of the three Wright sisters in the 1871 Census; 
                Martha was not found any subsequent Census under the name Wright. Further investigations have proved fruitless.