I’ve just acquired a copy of the marriage certificate for Matilda Robb and Frederick Joseph King.
Matilda Robb was born in Aberdeen in 1805, the daughter of Charles Edward Stuart Robb and Margaret Ricketts Monteith. Her parents had been married for three years and she was their first child. She was also the oldest of their children, and the only one born in Scotland, to survive into adulthood: her younger brothers and sisters were all born in Yorkshire.
Matilda and Frederick were married on 21st February 1860 in St George’s church, Hanover Square, London: an impressive Georgian building just off Regent Street, which had been Handel’s parish church. Frederick is described as a dyer, son of George King, a builder. Matilda is described as a spinster, and her (late) father Charles as a cashier, perhaps indicating some decline in his status from that of solicitor’s clerk towards the end of his life?
The couple’s address is given as Gillingham Street, which I believe is in the Victoria area of Westminster. Both husband and wife are described discretely as being of ‘full age’. Matilda was in fact a couple of months away from her 55th birthday. The witnesses – Thomas Dunn and Thomas Austin – were not family members. Matilda’s mother Margaret had died 17 years before, her brother George 13 years before, her father Charles 7 years before, and her sister Elizabeth only a month before in January 1860 at the age of 39. We do not know whether her brothers John, then aged 44, and William, 47 and married for 6 years to his second wife Marianne, were present.
Why had Matilda waited so long to get married, and where had she been living previously? Her name is not mentioned in the 1841 census return for her parents’ home in Charing Cross – she would have been 36 at the time – raising the question of whether she moved with them to London.
Interestingly, there is mention in the 1851 census of a 47 year old Matilda Robb, born in Scotland, living at Tehidy Park in Illigan, Redruth, Cornwall, the home of Frances Bassett, described as a ‘baroness in her own right’. This Matilda is described as a ‘ladies’ maid’. It seems to have been an impressive residence, with a large number of servants: it’s now a holiday park and golf course. If this is indeed Charles’ and Margaret’s daughter, might she have gone into service when the family fell on hard times? It would be interesting to know when she left home and what prompted her move to London?