Charles Edward Robb (1851 – ?)

William’s son Charles Edward Robb married Louisa Bowman in December 1877 at St. Luke’s Church, Victoria Docks. Charles was described as a ‘labourer’, living at 22 Buxton Terrace (in Clerkenwell?). He was 26 and she was 21.

 Louisa was the daughter of John Bowman, an umbrella frame maker, and his wife Elizabeth. The Bowmans lived in Pell Street, Stepney, with Elizabeth’s widowed mother, Mary Larke, who kept a sweet shop and was originally from Chard in Somerset.

Charles and Louisa had ten children: Charles William (born 1879), Joseph John (born 1880), David Edward (born 1881), Louisa Jane (born 1884), Thomas Bowman (born 1887), Marion Fanny (born 1889), Fanny Sarah (born and died 1891), Caroline Emma (born 1893), Robert Henry (born and died 1895) and Arthur Ernest (born 1897).

Charles William died in 1904 in Aden, aged 25. Joseph married Alice and had a son Arthur. David married Margaret (Maggie) and had three children: Charles, Enid and Frank. Louisa married Richard Brackley and had five children: Harold, Irene, Richard, Sidney and Walter.  Thomas married Eva and emigrated to New Zealand: they had two children, Edna and Mabel. Marion died in 1905 aged 16. Caroline married Edward (Ted) Walters and had two children: Violet (Bonnie) and William (Billy).

By 1881 the family was living at 40 Trinity Street, Trinity Terrace in West Ham and Charles was working as a tally clerk. However, in 1891 they were living in Pell Street, Stepney, close to Louisa’s parents, and Charles Edward was working as a housekeeper at a (Methodist?) mission house. On the census form, the word ‘preach’ is written next to his occupation, suggesting that his job may have involved more than simply looking after the building.

By 1901, the family was living at 86 Kensington Avenue, East Ham. Charles, now aged 50, was described as a city messenger (port).

Charles Edward appears to have been responsible for copying the information about his grandparents and parents, and about his own children, from the register in the family Bible in November 1885, when he would have been 49 years old.

Charles’ and Louisa’s daughter Marion Fanny died in April 1905, aged 16. Louisa died only a few months later in June 1905, aged 49 (a year before the death of her father John). The date of Charles Edward’s death is unknown, but there are letters from him to his son Arthur Ernest, when the latter was serving in the army during the First World War.

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