Ann Eliza Partleton (1857-1932)

Searching for young Ann Eliza Partleton in 19th century censuses, we find her listed as Ann or Anne, but after she has left home, on all formal documents, she invariably declares her name to be Annie. I like that. Click here and use the ‘Search’ button in the PDF document if you wish to remind yourself where Annie sits in the tree.

Annie was born on 11 January 1857 in Lambeth.

Our second sight of her is at age 4 in the 1861 census. She is on is on familiar territory for 19th century Partletons: Lambeth, 27 Bird Street.

Annie is not in the direct lineage of the author of this web page, but she is close. Her dad, William George Partleton (1829-1898) for a while looked after his little brother Charles Greenwood Partleton (1842-1918) (my great-great granddad) after their father Benjamin died. Above we see 'visitor' Charles living with Annie's family. Annie's dad is a 'Brass Finisher and Gas Fitter'. Her mum, Anne Reilly (1825-1892) of Dublin, is a Laundress.

Now, we are not dealing with Burke's Peerage here... as can be seen above, Bird street (blue arrow on maps) is in the second poorest category in Charles Booth's famous Victorian Poverty Map. Unlike some of the other pages on this website, we are not privileged to have a photograph of Bird Street, but we do have something which is in many ways better: Charles Booth's own fantastic personal account of his visit to the street where Annie was living. So step into his shoes, read his notebook in his own fair hand, and take a walk down Bird Street, to Bird Place which is at the rough end of it. You might want to hold your breath:

"Bird Place : All these houses have 2 rooms + a yard with copper [a clothes-washing vessel] in the corner of the yard : 6/6 [6 shillings and 6 pence] per week 7/- for the corner houses in Bird St.  : Very poor : builders labourers : casuals [paupers]: prostitutes : like St. Gabriels St. : barefoot dirty children : School Board's officer going his rounds after truants : low & rough : bread meat & paper in Bird Street : smell of dirt : all these are db [dark blue] though some are given in map as lb [light Blue]."

Annie's dad liked to move about a bit, and in 1871, the family has moved to Woolwich - which surely must be a relief - and Annie has become a domestic servant at the home of Hugh Beech, a bookseller, of 2 Woodville Street.

Going into domestic service is pretty much a standard career path for a working-class girl in Victorian London. But she is not to remain a servant for ever.

In March 1873, we find Annie, aged 16, finally being christened in St James Church,  Paddington.

This is rather unusual in those days to be baptised at such a late age. The register was annotated at the time of entry with word 'Adult'. What prompted  this late baptism? The answer can be found three years later, in March 1876, when Annie, now aged 19, is married to William J Munn in the church of St Mary-Le-Bone. This certainly looks a very ordinary marriage among all the others in the records, but on further investigation we discover a surprise.

Annie's new husband William is 54 years old. That's 7 years older than her dad. This is not revealed in the wedding certificate below:

The wedding recorded in the register above that of Eliza is that of Edward Williams Byron Nicholson, author and chief librarian at the Bodleian Library, the principal research library at Oxford University. Some of his books are still in print.

Back to Eliza: the address William Munn gives - 16 Wyndham Street - is not his real address, but a temporary one, right next to St Mary Le Bone Church. His real address is 63 Bathurst Mews where he has lived for 20 years and continues to do so for nearly another 20 until his death. Annie was also living at 63 Bathurst Mews when she was christened three years earlier (see above) - no doubt in domestic service there. Her given address on the marriage register - 6 Lisson Street - is temporary rented accommodation for the purposes of the wedding.

Below we see the unpreposessing northern end of Lisson Street photographed in 1974.

There's no reason to think that Annie ever lived at 6 Lisson Street. She has a beautiful home next to Hyde Park - the Lisson Street address is part of the subterfuge.

We see all the places and a picture of St Mary Le Bone Church below:


William and Annie, whose church is St James Paddington, are marrying out of their parish (only by a mile or so)... no doubt to avoid the clucking and tongue wagging of the parishioners which they would have experienced if they had married at St James.

So, let's have a look at William J Munn. He was born in 1822 in Canterbury, Kent. Annie is his third wife, his second having died before 1871; he already has 11 children, five of whom are much older than Annie. To see the details of his previous two marriages, click here. William is a successful corn dealer. His residence is in a smart part of London, just to the north of Hyde Park.

So now, step into her shoes - Annie has a new station in life as the mistress of her own home, 63 Bathurst Mews, Hyde Park. It's a long, long way from Lambeth, and it's hard to imagine a posher neighbourhood.

As we can see above, the colour of the map has changed. Annie has moved from Bird Street, Lambeth, which is in the second poorest category, to Bathurst Mews which is nestling in among the the richest. When you see riders trotting around Hyde Park today, the horses are from Hyde Park Stables, the posh riding school which now occupies Annie's house at 63 Bathurst Mews. In Annie's day, while not as grand as the residences of the aristocracy in nearby Sussex and Gloucester Squares, Bathurst Mews was a neighbourhood of well-to-do middle-class merchants. The house had an associated shop where the big houses in the neighbourhood would buy their corn and flour. Below is how it looks now... you'd get no change from a million quid to buy one of these today...


In 1989, No 42 Bathurst Mews, seen below, was used as the location for Stephen Ward's flat in the film 'Scandal' documenting the Profumo Affair.


And now, thanks to the miraculous services provided by Bing Maps, we can take a stroll down Bathurst Mews and take a proper look at Annie's home, No 63, which is now [2014] the Hyde Park Stables:

Going back to the map above, a point of interest to the author is pointed out by the green arrow, a singular coincidence. Here, in 1881, perhaps 50 yards away, at the exact same time that Annie is living in Bathurst Mews, the fabulously-named Spridim Marrofain, a Greek Gentleman of Independent Means, is living in Gloucester Square. In his household, he has a young kitchen maid, Emily Stevens, who has come to London from her village in Sussex to find employment. Emily soon moves to Croydon, but many years later, her daughter Marguerite Eve marries Frederick Charles Partleton, the author's granddad. It's a small world. To see Emily's story, click here (future link).

One year after Annie's marriage, on 23 August 1877, she gives birth to her first child, Herbert Munn. Annie and William go on to have three more children; James (1880), Wilfred (1887), and Dorothy (1890). Dorothy is William Munn's 15th child; he is now 69 years old.

Here we see Annie and William Munn in the 1891 census; Annie is 34:

F.W. (Frederick) and Bertha are from William's second marriage, to Emma Leggatt. Annie's children Wilfred (looks like Wicford on the form) and baby Dorothy are at home. Annie's James (1880) can't be found in the records and may have died.

Also in the household is the Munn's domestic servant, Lucy Saunders, 22, who has come down to London from Shrewsbury.

Annie's oldest son, Herbert (b1877) is not at home; he's to be found at Grosvenor House Boarding School, Luton, as befits a wealthy middle class child.

Three months after the above census was taken, in October 1891, William Munn died, and in July 1895, in Hampstead, Annie remarries.

This time it is to a man who is a bit closer to her own age; Charles William King Marks, an estate agent (not an estate agent in the modern meaning; he is an estate manager for a wealthy client). Annie seems to have very specific requirements for husbands... Charles Marks is a widower with 11 children of his own, exactly as Annie' first husband William Munn had been!

Here are Charles and Annie in the 1901 census:

We see some of Charles' children; Edith, Ida, Kate, Dora and Charles. Annie has her three natural children Herbert, Wilfred and Dorothy living with her. Herbert, now 23, is married.

Annie now has no less than 26 children, (4 natural and 22 step-) but as of 1901 has no children of her marriage with Charles.

And also, as we can see, Annie has her first biological grandchild; newborn Leslie C Munn, less than 1 month old at the date of the census (31 March 1901).

Usually at this point, the information dries up for the family history researcher. The 1901 census is the last one available. Searches for the possible death date of Annie revealed one Annie Marks who died in 1907 in Islington which looked like it might have been a bit of a sad ending to Annie's life as she was only 50 at that time...


...But then in July 2007 we were contacted by Denise Strangeway all the way from Australia...

 "Hi.  I just found your website and love it.  Annie Partleton, now Marks immigrated to Australia with some of her extended family in 1912 on the Geelong.  You will find this information by searching for [un]assisted British immigration."

Denise is Annie Partleton's Great-Granddaughter!

Further info from Denise reveals more, but let's start by getting a good look at the passenger list of the Geelong in December 1911:

Annie takes no less than nine members of her extended family on this antipodean adventure; two of her natural children; a stepdaughter by Charles Marks; a stepson by William Munn; a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, a nephew and two grandchildren.

Let's review who's who in the above list:


Mrs Annie Marks Annie Eliza Partleton, widow of William Munn and Charles Marks
Edith Davis Marks Annie's stepdaughter. She is the daughter of Charles Marks and his first wife Mary Elizabeth Davis (1842-1892)
Herbert Munn Annie's son whose birth we saw earlier
Edith Lucy Munn Herbert Munn's wife, Edith Lucy Jarvis. Married in Lambeth in 1900
Leslie Charles Munn Herbert's son, now aged 10, whom we see in the above 1901 census aged 'under 1 month'
Annie Edith Olive Munn Herbert's daughter, born 1907. No doubt named after her grandmother Annie, she was always called Nancy in the family
Bryan Lynn McCullough A very interesting discovery. Bryan is the son of Annie Partleton's sister Rosanna. More on this later.
Frederick William Munn Annie's stepson. In reality he's only 2 years younger than Annie; the son of William Munn and Emma Leggatt
George William Arscott Husband of Annie's daughter Dorothy Anne Munn
Mrs Dorothy Anne Arscott Annie's daughter Dorothy Ann Munn whom we saw as a 9-month-old baby in the 1891 census above

With this knowledge, we observe that Annie's husband Charles William King Marks is not on the voyage, and by backtracking we discover that he died in Rochford, Essex in October 1906 aged 67.

So Annie Partleton and William Marks had moved to Rochford, near to Southend-on-Sea, at some time between 1901 and 1906.


In October 1911, Annie's daughter Dorothy Munn married George William Arscott at Rochford, clearly in preparation for their voyage a few weeks later and their life together in Australia.

Above we see a picture of the Geelong. She was originally built in 1904 for the Blue Anchor Line, and in 1910 she was purchased by P&O with whom Annie sailed in 1912. The Geelong had accommodation for 90 1st-class passengers and 610 3rd-class (there was no 2nd class). Annie and her entourage travel economy in the 3rd class cabins.

Time now, I think for a review of their voyage. They departed from London on 28 December 1911 and celebrated the new year on board the ship. The voyage was planned for 54 days with a single stop at the Cape of Good Hope.

The (unstated) port of arrival is Melbourne. The trip took more than the planned 54 days because the Geelong does not arrive at Melbourne until February 1912. Below we see the arrival list - very similar, of course, to the departure list

Family Name First Name Age Month Year Ship Port Who is this?
MARKS A MRS 54 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Annie Eliza Partleton aka Munn
MARKS E D MISS 44 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Edith Marks, Annie's stepdaughter by Charles Marks (NB only 10 years younger than Annie!)
MARKS S H MR 19 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Not related
Family Name First Name Age Month Year Ship Port Who is this?
MUNN H MR 34 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Herbert Munn, Annie's son
MUNN ---- MRS 34 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Edith Munn, wife of Herbert Munn
MUNN ---- MAST 10 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Leslie C Munn, son of Herbert Munn
MUNN ---- MISS 4 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Annie E O Munn, aka Nancy, daughter of Herbert Munn
MUNN F W MR 52 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Frederick W Munn, Annie's stepson by William Munn (NB only 2 years younger than Annie!)
Family Name First Name Age Month Year Ship Port Who is this?
ARSCOTT ---- MRS 21 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Dorothy Munn, Annie's daughter who had married George Arscott in Oct 1911
ARSCOTT G W MR 30 FEB 1912 GEELONG B George William Arscott, husband of Dorothy Munn
Family Name First Name Age Month Year Ship Port Who is this?
MCCULLOUGH B L MR 17 FEB 1912 GEELONG B Bryan Lynn McCullough, son of Annie's sister Rosanna Partleton

An apparent surprise is passenger Mr S H Marks aged 19. Searching for info on this chappie in the London Departure list reveals that it is just a coincident name; he's not related. He is Samuel Harris Marks, a carpenter born in 1893 in the East End of London. His family were recent Jewish immigrants in London.

Returning to the departure list from London, we are also surprised to find that Herbert and Frederick Munn, and George Arscott, all declare their occupations to be farmers. This is indeed reason for us to raise our eyebrows since, though they had at one time been running a city corn dealership, none of them has ever stepped foot outside of Paddington. But clearly they had plans.

At this point, I'll introduce a map, because if you are like me, and you haven't been to Australia, you'll need it. I have circled some of the place names.

Their port of arrival, Melbourne, in 1912 was a bustling affluent modern city:

Clearly the family didn't hang around in Melbourne because - according to the family history given to us by Denise Strangeway - having arrived in Victoria, Annie purchased a farm! Strange but true, it was located at Tongala, about 90 miles north of Melbourne (see map).


We know they moved quickly to Tongala, because it was there that Annie's daughter, Dorothy Arscott, gave birth to her first child, Joan, on 22 August 1912. Using a quick bit of arithmetic we can speculate that the baby could have been conceived on the voyage!


Alas, it appears that experience of living in Paddington and other London suburbs had not been good preparation for farming in Australia, and this venture was not a great commercial success, and Annie moved on to other things. The picture below was taken in Tongala in the 1920's:



We know that the family is in Wangaratta (see map) in 1919, because it is there that  on 28 July Dorothy has another baby, Dorothy Betty.


Annie and her entourage are about to embark on another commercial venture; a hotel! The family history records the hotel as located in Bright (see map) and was named The Bright Hotel.


Below are a couple of pictures of Bright at the time; beautiful, mountainous and rural:




Here's a good moment to share an amusing family story passed along by Denise Strangeway...  There seem to have been quite a number of business schemes generated by Annie and her clan in Australia, one of which was for the breeding of Angora rabbits. A number of rabbits were purchased at staggering cost, rumoured to have even been as much as £1000 per bunny. Anyhoo, the dog next door clearly had not been fully informed of this investment value or he might have shown a bit more respect. Instead of which he broke in one day and killed and ate the lot!

Probably not thought of as very funny by Annie at the time & I should imagine that a fairly frosty conversation with the neighbour would have ensued. And, with the Great Depression looming, money was to become very tight in future years to come.

At some point after this Annie left Victoria and moved north to New South Wales - Sydney.

Here's a picture of a landmark which Annie would have seen in progress, Sydney Harbour Bridge nearing completion in 1930:

Annie's daughter Dorothy Arscott nee Munn sadly became a widow in 1931 when her husband George William Arscott died aged 51 in Liverpool, Sydney. Below we see a picture of George, and a picture of Dorothy Munn (1890-1954) in later life:


And in 1932, Annie Partleton finally passed away in Auburn, Sydney, aged 75.

Thanks very much to Denise Strangeway nee Arscott and her cousin Pauline Kirby in Australia, both of whom are descendants of Annie Partleton, for their information about what happened to Annie and her family, and for providing the fabulous photographs including this marvellous picture of the very winsome Annie Partleton (1857-1932) in her old age:

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