St George's House,
Miss Emma Chapman.
See also, 1911 Census of St George's, at foot of page.
Miss Emma Chapman.
The two photographs of Emma Chapman, taken later in her life, were identified by Kath Moore (302) aged 92.
Emma Chapman was born 14 Dec 1862 in Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire. (Probably in Back Street or Front Street, Eynesbury.), St. Neots, Hunts. Vol 3b Page 302. She was the fifth of seven children born to William Charles Chapman and his wife, Sarah nee Jarvis, who were married 24 July 1851 in Eynesbury Church.
Her siblings were all born in Eynesbury.
The last four children were all baptized in the St Neot's Wesleyan Methodist Church, which suggests that the parents, William & Sarah Chapman must have converted to Methodism.
Her father died, aged 40 on 23 Mar 1871. BMD Ref: St. Neots March Quarter 1871 Volume 3b Page 224 (Emma would have been 8 years old at the time).
Photo of Miss Emma
Chapman taken in her teenage years and copy of 'On & Off Duty'
publication, kindly provided by
The final few
paragraphs of the tribute to Emma Chapman were written by
Footnote: Rev A R South Phillips writes in the Eynesbury Parish Magazine:- Our dear friend Canon Reed has supplied us with an interesting item of news. Fifty years ago, when he was reigning over our schools at Eynesbury, one of his scholars was Emma Chapman, a little girl living with her mother in Montagu Street. She must have been unusually capable, persevering and trustworthy, for she afterwards became Matron of a large Orphanage in Harrogate, and on her recent retirement after twenty-five years of faithful service, the Governors of the Orphanage have presented her with an expression of grateful appreciation of her services and a cheque for £500. Canon Reed, in his letter to me says, “I think that a few words in your Parish Magazine about the meritorious and successful career of Miss Emma Chapman might encourage the present generation of Eynesbury people to persevere in well-doing.”
Reprinted in the St Neots Advertiser on 8th February 1924
(Samuel Reed was headmaster at Eynesbury from 1872 to 1875.)
Extracts from the story 'EMMA CHAPMAN, A GIRL FROM THE BACK
Background: Family and Early Life
Emma’s paternal grandfather, Farrell Chapman, was born at Buckden in 1804. By 1841 he had moved to Eynesbury and the 1851 Census shows Farrell, aged 47, as living in the High Street (Berkley Street), Eynesbury, his occupation being that of paper manufacturer, along with his wife, Mary, and seven children. One of these, William Charles Chapman, Emma’s father, born at Eynesbury, was at this time also involved in the paper manufacture trade.
Emma Chapman was born on 14th December 1862 in Back Street (Montagu Street), Eynesbury. She was baptised in the Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Tempsford on 15th March 1863. Emma was the fifth of seven children, born to William Charles Chapman and his wife Sarah (née Jarvis, born in 1827 at Little Barford) Her brothers and sisters were Charles (born 15th April 1852), Albert Ebenezer (baptised 26th November 1853), George James (baptised 10th August 1856), Elizabeth (born 22nd February 1860), Edwin William (born 19th May 1865) and Walter (born 14th April 1867). The 1861 Census shows that her father William’s occupation was that of a papermaker. Tragedy was to hit the family in March 1871 as William passed away at the early age of only 41. In the 1871 Census, Sarah, now recently widowed, was shown as being a grocer. Her sons, Charles and George, both bachelors, were shown as bricklayer’s apprentices, the other children were listed as scholars; also living at the homestead was Mary, age 27, a spinster sister in law.
Sarah was still listed as a shopkeeper, and her daughter Elizabeth as a
dressmaker, son Walter had no occupation listed, but Emma was by now a
Pupil Teacher, and they were all living in Montagu Street, Eynesbury.
The Census of 1891 shows many changes. Sarah, now aged 64, was still
working in her grocer’s shop, but was living alone. Emma, aged 27, had
moved to Southwold in Suffolk to take up the position as a certified
nurse in the household of Henry Negus, a Boatman Coastguard.
Southwold and elsewhere, Nursing and Teaching
or not Emma Chapman applied for the position of certified nurse through
the local press, (i.e. the St Neots Advertiser), where Situations
Vacant were advertised, especially by a Mrs Sawford’s Registry Office,
of the Market Square, St Neots, is not known.
As well as her nursing, Emma was also a qualified teacher, having trained at St Margaret’s College, London. She taught in two schools, one of which was Casterton School, Kirkby Lonsdale Here she was involved in nursing as well as teaching.
Emma’s mother, Sarah, sadly passed away, aged 71, in 1898. The year of Sarah’s death is significant as this was also the year in which Emma took up the position of Lady Superintendent at the Police Orphanage in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Emma was a devout Christian and at one time had hoped to go as a missionary but a chest problem had prevented this. At a Christian convention she was introduced to Catherine Gurney by the Rev A G Whaley and it was this meeting that led to her appointment.
She is remembered as being “a tall, very well built lady who wore glasses. She wore her hair drawn back from her face and in a bun at the back of her head, her face was round with ‘crinkly’ skin”. She was very strict and not averse to using the cane, even on quite young children.
The years of the First World War must have been particularly difficult ones for Emma. Boys whom she had seen grow up from her earliest days at the Orphanage joined the forces, and news would come through from time to time of yet another casualty. The St George’s First World War Memorial, illustrated below, has on it the names of thirty-seven men who enlisted, ten of whom died.Emma resigned her position at the Orphanage in the summer of 1926 due to ill health, and retired to Hertfordshire on a generous pension awarded her by the General and Finance Committee of St George’s.
In our own locality Emma Chapman’s years of service at St George’s were referred to in the Eynesbury Parish Magazine in 1924 by the Rev Alexander Robert South Phillips, who had been supplied by an old friend Canon Reed with the story of one of his past scholars, a little girl living with her mother in Montagu Street. He notes that on her retirement the Governors of the Orphanage presented her with a cheque for £500 and an expression of grateful appreciation of her services.
After her retirement Emma moved to Berkhamsted where she shared a house with her friend, Miss Austin, who had been a missionary in Africa. She maintained her links with St George’s by regular monthly letters. Emma Chapman died on 13th December 1936, one day short of her seventy-fourth birthday. A wreath made by Mr. Adams, gardener at St. George’s from 1898, was sent in the name of the children of St. George’s, and a number of old girls and boys living in London went to Hertfordshire for the funeral service.
The Closure of St George’s Owing to the declining number of children in need, the Orphanage closed in 1956. A total of 644 children had passed through the doors of St George’s through the years, and a local Eynesbury lass had been part of the history of the Orphanage.
The 1871 Census taken at Back Street, Eynesbury, Hunts., shows
The 1881 Census taken at Montagu Street, Eynesbury, Hunts., shows
Sarah Chapman died, 6 Apr,1898 at 23 Fairfax Rd, Bedford, Bedfordshire, aged 71, June Qtr. 1898 Bedford Vol 3b Page 187
One old girl describes Miss
Emma Chapman as a tall, very well built lady who wore glasses.
She wore her hair drawn back from her face and in a bun at the
back of her head, her face was round with 'crinkly' skin. One
old boy of St George's recalls that when he first entered St
George's as a small boy and met Miss Chapman, he was very
frightened of her.
Text of the Will of Sarah Chapman (1827 – 1898)
This is the last will and testament of me Sarah Chapman of 3 Montagu Street Eynesbury near St Neots in the County of Huntingdonshire made this Fifteenth day of September in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and ninety seven. I hereby revoke all Wills made by me at any time heretofore. I appoint my sons Charles Chapman of Bowbridge Lane Newark on Trent, George Chapman Old Cross Hertford, Walter Chapman Foster Hill Road Bedford to be my Executors and direct that all my debts and funeral Expenses shall be paid as soon as conveniently may be after my decease. I give and bequeath unto my children Charles Chapman, George James Chapman, Elizabeth Jones, Emma Chapman and Walter Chapman my property consisting of five cottages No 1,2,3,4,5 Montagu Street Eynesbury Huntingdonshire, the value of the same cottages to be equally divided among them. Sixty pounds that I have lent to my daughter Elizabeth Jones to be paid to the executors at my decease or deducted from her share of the value of the cottages. Of my household furniture I bequeath to Mr Charles Chapman the Chest of Drawers, Matthew Henry’s Commentaries, Popular Educators, looking glass. To George James Chapman, Mahogany Pembroke Table, couch, Large Bible and Prayer book, Coffer. To Elizabeth Jones chest of drawers, second size feather bed, bolsters and pillows, To Emma Chapman my own feather bed, bolster and pillows, two pairs of blankets, two pairs of best sheets, six pillowslips, counterpane and best linen tablecloth, small chest of drawers, little round mahogany table, silver tablespoon two silver teaspoons, my armchair, galvanic battery. To Walter Chapman small feather bed bolster and pillows and piano. The old china tea service to be equally divided amongst all my children. The rest of my household furniture and personal belongings to be disposed of as approved by my two daughters Elizabeth Jones and Emma Chapman. In the event of the death of any of the above their share to be given to their children or to whom they may appoint.
Signed by the said Testator Sarah Chapman in the presence of us, present at the same time, who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses.
William H. Sinester, Charles Tyser
is on the east coast, about 14 miles south of Lowestoft and not
too far from Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Emma may have been caring for the newly born baby and the
Further research into Emma Chapman’s family shows that her paternal grandfather, Farrell Chapman, was born c 1804 in Buckden, Hunts. His wife, Mary, was born c 1806 in St. Neots, Hunts. The 1851 Census taken in Eynesbury shows Farrell to be a Paper Manufacturer. There are seven offspring, ranging from 4 years old to 23 years old, including William Charles Chapman, aged 20, bachelor and a Paper Manufacturer.
The 1841 Census, also taken in Eynesbury, shows Farrell, aged 37, married with five children and to have the same occupation.
Emma Chapman’s mother, Sarah nee Jarvis is shown on the 1841 Census, taken in Little Barford, Beds., as the 14 years old daughter of Philip Jarvis, aged c 40, Agricultural Labourer, and his wife, Mary, aged c 35. There are five other children, ranging from 15 years old to one month old.
The 1851 Census taken at High Street, St. Neots, Hunts., shows Sarah Jarvis, spinster, aged 24, to be employed as a servant in the household of John George, aged 29, bachelor. Butcher, who also has his widower uncle, John Stevenson, aged 58, also a Butcher, living in the house. Interestingly, their next door neighbours are Henry Chapman aged 56. Publican Brewer Maltser, his wife, Hannah, 54 and offspring, Thomas, 24, Brewer; George, 20, Coach Maker and Mary, 15.
Sarah Jarvis’ future husband, William Charles
Chapman, may have been related to this family and may have
visited their home, thus meeting Sarah, marrying and later
producing their child, Emma Chapman.
Miss Chapman's paternal
uncle, James Page Chapman, born 1833 in Eynesbury served as a
Police Officer for many years and on
Miss Emma Chapman died, aged 73,
13 December, 1936, on the eve of her 74th birthday. Berkhamsted Vol. 3a Page 1217
Text of the Will of William Charles Chapman (1831 – 1871)
This is the last will and testament of me William Charles Chapman of Eynesbury in the County of Huntingdon, Papermaker. First, I direct all my just debts funeral and Testamentary expenses to be paid by my executors hereinafter named out of such money as shall belong or accrue to me at the time of my decease. And I give and bequeath the remainder of such money and particularly that which will accrue to me on account of the Policy of Assurance on my life granted by the Star Life Assurance Society and all my household goods and furniture and all other property of whatsoever kind which I may be possessed of at the time of my decease Unto my dear wife Sarah Chapman for the purpose of providing in the best manner possible according to circumstances a home and maintenance for herself and such child or children as I may leave at the time of my decease. If my said wife shall die leaving any child of mine under the age of twenty one years then I direct that the above property or such of it as may remain be applied in the best manner possible for the maintenance or in assistance of such child or children. And when each of them shall have attained the age of twenty one years Then I direct that such of the above described property as shall remain shall be equally divided amongst them or if there be only one be given to him or her entirely. If my said wife shall live until each of my children shall have attained his or her majority Then I wish and direct that the remainder of the property above described be possessed by her absolutely for her own sole use and maintenance And I appoint my said dear wife Sarah Chapman and my brother James Chapman of Eynesbury Papermaker and my brother-in-law Henry Peter Chandler of St Neots, Shoemaker, Executrix and Executors of this my will and guardians of my dear child or children. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of March One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Five.
William Charles Chapman
Signed by the said testator William Charles Chapman on the seventeen day of March One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Five and declared by him to be his last will and testament in the presence of us who at the same time in his presence and the presence of each other have hereunto set our names as witnesses.
Alfred Arundel, Schoolmaster, Eynesbury Harriet Elizabeth Arundel
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