Charlotte: Teenaged Mother


Charlotte was born on Bonfire Night, 5 November 1858, in Lewes, Sussex, England.

She was not raised by her parents, but by her mother’s sister, Elizabeth Hillman, who was married to a greengrocer named William Smith. By the time Charlotte was two years old, she was living with the Smiths, first in Lewes and later about 8 miles away in the seaside town of Brighton. When Charlotte was 17, and working as a domestic servant, her son Ernest Albert Stanbridge (my great-grandfather) was born.

No father is listed on the birth registration, and the baby was raised by a couple called James and Fanny Edwards. James was a baker in Brighton.

It seems that Charlotte moved away from Brighton after Ernest was born. We don’t yet know where she went, but about 20 years later she married a lawyer’s son named Frederick Partridge Smerdon and went to live in Sible Hedingham in Essex, England.

She and her husband ran a pub called the Bell Inn, and had at least two sons. Sadly, her husband died around 1908.

Charlotte lived as a widow for a long time, and died in January 1922 at the age of 62.

Charlotte’s father was John Stanbridge (1819-1891).

Next:  Ernest: A Foster Child

Sources [pdf]


Ernest: A Foster Child


When my great-grandfather Ernest was born, his mother was just 17 years old. She was not married, and we don’t know who his father was.

Ernest grew up in the household of a baker and his wife: James and Fanny Edwards, in the seaside town of Brighton, England. When Ernest was 20 years old, he married Cecilia Elizabeth Leeney at the register office there, and they moved to London, where Ernest got a job with the London Electricity Board.

Ernest and Cecilia had six children. My dad knew all of them (Uncle Ernie, Uncle George, Auntie Kit, etc.) except for the eldest girl, Ivy Blanche Stanbridge. She was raised by her grandmother & step-grandfather in a part of London that was a few miles away from the rest of the family.

She may have lived with them because their house was near a good school for girls. Ernest and three of his sons (Ernie, George and Albert) worked for the London Electricity Board. They all lived in Hammersmith.

Cecilia died in 1932, and Ernest passed away two years later, in September 1934.

Ernest’s mother was Charlotte Stanbridge (1858-1922).

Next: Albert: Two World Wars

Sources [pdf]

Ernest Albert STANBRIDGE b1876

Ernest Albert Stanbridge (1876-1934)


Albert: Two World Wars


His name was Albert, but everyone called him “Bill.” He was born three weeks after the turn of the century (17th January 1900), in London England.

Albert was 14 years old when the First World War broke out, and when he turned 18 he joined the Royal Flying Corps, working as a mechanic. After the war he married a young woman from Essex named Winifred Doris May Warren.

They lived in a neighbourhood called Shepherd’s Bush in the borough of Hammersmith in London, England. Albert and his wife had two children: Joyce and William Edward (my dad!)

Albert worked as a motor driver for the London Electricity Board, where his dad and a couple of his brothers were also employed. During World War II, he served as a mechanic in the Royal Air Force, stationed at High Wycombe.

After the war Albert returned to his position with the Electricity Board. He died in Hammersmith on January 13th, 1961.

Albert’s dad was Ernest Albert Stanbridge (1876-1934).

This is the end of my Rogues and Royals story–tracing 16 generations on my Dad’s side of the family. I had fun drawing-and-telling many stories from my Mom’s side of the family as well. You can find those on the Stories page if you’re interested. Thanks for visiting!