Margaret Maria Finn

Author: Ros Clow
Date published: 01/04/2015

Margaret Maria Finn nee Cullingham

Margaret was born in 1858 in Ipswich, Suffolk. Her father Charles Cullingham owned the Ipswich Steam brewery. In 1881 she is living with her parents and is classed as a Governess as are two of her sisters. Her older sister Elizabeth has already married Herbert Finn, who works for her father and becomes a partner in the business.

In 1882 her sister Elizabeth dies (jaundice; hepatitis; Weil’s disease) aged 38, leaving three young children: Cordelia, Marion and Dudley.

It was common in those days for unmarried sisters to move in and help when a widower was left with children to care for. However it was against the law for a widower to marry his dead wife’s sister (Marriage Act 1835).

In 1888 Charles Cunningham decided to retire and sell the Ipswich Steam Brewery in its entirety. Two of his sons were also partners. The brewery and all its tied houses and cottages were sold to the Hon Ranulph Tollemarche for the fantastic sum of £65,800. Lord Tollemache had sold two portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds to raise the funds for this venture. The brewery later became well known as Tolly Cobbold brewry.

Herbert Finn and his children moved back to his origins, Lydd in Kent. In 1889 he married Margaret at Lambeth, far from those who knew them. In 1891 They are living as a family as lodgers to Robert and Ellen Jones in Lydd.

In 1893 Herbert bought The Phoenix Brewery in Newbury. The family moved into 50, Bartholomew Street, Phoenix House and were still living there when Margaret died on 28th March 1901 aged 43. The angel was placed there in her memory.

Sources:Censuses, death certificates, Newbury Weekly News, Ipswich Journal, Auckland Star

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