Saturday, 3 August 2019

Charlotte (Chamberlain) Monfries, Charlotte Laura Monfries and Ernest Hall

Charlotte (Chamberlain) Monfries, Charlotte Laura Monfries and Ernest Hall

As we know from Richard Morgan’s life story in the blog, on the sudden death of James Lawrie Monfries in 1871, Charlotte Monfries, Richard’s mother-in-law, was left a widow at 47 with six young children. Charlotte was born in Broadclyst, a village just outside Exeter in 1824, and all her children born in her 30s. Her marriage to James must have been about 1856: Charlotte Laura is b. 1857, James Alexander 1858 (died 1872), Marion 1860, William Jeffrey 1861, Ann 1863 and Margaret 1864; a Jessie and Merivel may have died in infancy in 1859 and 1862. However, Charlotte was already a widow when she married James, as she had been married first to William Ernest Hall, whose birth, death and marriage dates we do not yet know. This marriage, like that to James, took place in India, where William Ernest seems to have been in government service. Charlotte was clearly a talented milliner and dressmaker: although one business fell into bankruptcy in 1869, in 1880 she is listed in the Cardiff Business Directory as trading at 29 Windsor Place, at the heart of the city. Charlotte and Charlotte Laura, on the eve of her marriage to Ernest Hall in Calcutta in 1880, are living in the terraced streets of Crockherbtown just outside the East Gate, one of the lost districts of Cardiff. And here we have a fascinating puzzle. Ernest is b. 1854, so three years older than Charlotte Laura; his father is Arthur Hall (his mother, probably Maria, was dead in 1915 when their only son, also William Ernest, was killed at Gallipoli), who must be a brother or cousin of Charlotte’s first husband.


MONFREES.—On the 18th inst., at 12, Chamber- combe-terrace, Ilfracombe, Charlotte, wido a of the late James Laurie Monfries, of Pwllypant,

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