Occupation 1840 Butcher Blackheath Hill Greenwich, Took shop in Lewisham 1840
MARRIOTT BUER married EDWARD WRIGHT on 13 September 1840 in St Alphage Church, Greenwich (after Banns). Edward was a bachelor and a butcher who gave his address as Blackheath Hill, Harriott was a spinster, daughter of William Buer of Lewisham Road, also a butcher. One of the witnesses was her only surviving brother, John Knill Buer (a butcher).
1841 St Pancras Middlesex 1851 2 Lewisham Road Greenwich 1861 13 Blackheath Hill St Alphage Greenwich London 1881 20 Falkland Road Kentish Town 1899/1903 47 Miranda Road Islington London
His youngest daughter, Fanny, gives an interesting insight into his life:
Father had to work from his childhood I have heard him describe himself as going on his errands, repeating his tables to himself as he ran along, and he became a remarkably good writer, and an excellent speller, and a man who nearly always could give the meaning of a word. He told me that he always made it a point If he came across a word that he did not understand, to look it up in the dictionary to find its meaning, and learn to spell it. In the 1830s Father was an employee of Uncle Buer [John Knill Buer, 1811-1897, who took over his father's butcher's business in Norfolk Street, by Middlesex Hospital, Marylebone]. The latter so thoroughly respected and trusted him that he said he would trust him any day with a bag of gold. In those days, butchers kept their shops open until midnight, and past, and yet Father has told me how he would rise early on Sundays to walk round the Inner Circle of Regent's Park, as the next best thing to a true country walk such as he had been used to in his childhood at Finchley.
In 'Charles Wright, a memoir' we read that John Knill Buer appears to have taken the young man [Edward Wright] more or less into the family, and when Edward fell in love with his employer's sister Harriott, no obstacle was placed in the way of such a match.
Fanny expands on this: Mother [Harriott Buer, 1817-1899] could not but be struck with his Christian bearing and I suppose he fell headlong in love with his master's sister. Dear Mother, though a true and consistent Christian, was never a "stiff" one, and she used to send Father ("Ned" he was, of course) to fetch milk for a pudding on Sunday mornings. He remonstrated gently with her, pointing out that it was a pity to buy milk on the Lord's Day. She was impressed, and gave up the practice.
Mother was 23 when she married, and father was 25. They were married at St Alphage Church, Greenwich, September 13, 1840, on a Sunday I believe. Father took a shop in Lewisham; I think with dear Mother's savings [from the counter she ran with her sisters in the celebrated Soho Bazaar].
It is possible that Edward Wright took over a shop run by his father-in-law, William Buer, who made his Will in 1840 and died the following year. William left all his wealth to his widow, Frances. In 'Charles Wright, a memoir' the author surmises that from the start they had a hard struggle... and at no time does Edward Wright's business seem to have been prosperous, in spite of two removes, first to Greenwich and afterwards to London. Probably he was handicapped by his initial lack of capital, and as time went on the increase in his family became a heavy drain on his profits.
From 'Charles Wright, a memoir' we learn that at the time of their marriage Edward and Harriott Wright had been devout church people of a strongly evangelical type. Since then they had both become Plymouth Brethren, but their character had developed on very different lines. Harriot Wright 's religion was never narrow. Her constant support in all trials, it enabled her to remain patient, hopeful and cheerful under a heavy load of responsibilities and anxieties; it quickened her affections and never extinguished her sense of fun. Her husband's temper seems to have taken on a tinge of Puritan narrowness and harshness. His children stood in awe of him, with the exception of his third daughter Ann. In some respects the father's rule seems to have been laxer than some of his persuasion, for neither novels nor music were barred.
In later life we learn from Fanny that Father was a naturally very strong man. On his 60 birthday he walked from Kentish Town to St Albans, Herts, and back, 40 miles. He had wonderful eyes and was a perpetual reader, from morning till night. But Fred adds, that a boy I heard the story that my grandfather used to get impatient during the long grace said by my grandmother before the Sunday roast and would start sharpening his carving knife! My father used to speak a little disparagingly of him as he had departed the 'Open Brethren' when the first split came; my father and his sisters Jane and Fanny becoming 'Exclusives' in name and practice, if not in spirit.
The birth places of their children show that in the early days of their family, Edward and Harriott Wright lived in and around the Greenwich area, Soon after Fanny was born, her father moved his business and family to London Street off Tottenham Court Road (now Maple Street, leading to the Post Office Tower). Charles Wright described the house as 'tall, inconvenient and gloomy, and the home atmosphere was overshadowed by business worries and, to some extent, the father's temper: This was where 'Charlie' sat in an attic room 'studying by the dim light of a guttering candle stuck in the neck of a bottle.' When Edward Wright was about 60, he retired and in 1874 he moved his remaining family to 20 Falkland Road, Kentish Town. Charles Wright's biographer suggests 'It was a shadowed household. Father appears to have been somewhat broken in spirit and to have withdrawn into his books. Mother had failing eyesight and could not stir out of the house without one of her children to lead her.' Edward Wright was living at this address in 1881, and when his son Richard married in 1885.
A brief note in Fanny's family history says of EDWARD "WRIGHT, 'Father passed Home in 1903, aged 87 and 8 months. His character sweetened and softened remarkably towards his end. Fanny and Jane moved to Barnet, and much later to Rudgwick in Sussex (on A29, NW of Horsham, Surrey).
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