Charles Webb

Author: FNRC
Date published: 09/11/2017


Born c. 1833 in Newbury into a family of barge owners, he was the second son of Henry and Sarah Webb. His father was born in Chippenham, Wiltshire,  and was “captain of a barge”. Charles grew up inNorthcroft Lanewith his siblings Henry (b.1831), Harriet (b.1837), Joseph (b. 1839), Mary Ann (b. 1840) and Jesse (b.1845). In 1856 he married Sarah Ann Wiggins and their first child,  Charles Tom Webb was born in 1860 followed by 4 more children: Harry (b.1862), Jesse (b.1864), Harriett E. (b. 1867), William Harris (b.1869) - and by 1871 the family had moved to the Rose & Crown,33 Northcroft Lane.  His occupation is recorded as Carman (driver of horse-drawn vehicles transporting goods). Another daughter Sarah Jane was born in 1872 in Brentford, Middx.,  which could mean that the family were back on the barge travelling and working on theGrandUnionCanal. Tragedy struck the family when their son Jesse died in 1874 aged 10 years in Brentford.

Sometime later in 1879 Charles became the landlord of the “Hand and Flower” Beerhouse,59 Southampton Street,Reading.  From 1880 onwards there are many newspaper reports of a troubled marriage with charges of violent assaults, constant disturbances due to his wife “being very much worse for drink” and a separation order.  In 1881 the Beerhouse was still in his occupation and he also used the two tenements inMitre Courtas lodging accommodation for his wife, sons Harry – now a canal boatman - and William, daughter Sarah Jane and some 20 lodgers.  Later  Charles  and Sarah Ann settled in Willow Cottage,Willow Street,Reading.  On11 December 1896tragedy struck yet again when Sarah Ann was found drowned. (refer to newspaper reports -  Charles Webb personal details page)

 She was buried inEaling & OldBrentfordCemeteryon17 December 1896aged 56 years alongside their son Jesse who was buried on23 August 1874. Later their daughter Harriet Elizabeth Webb was buried with them on29 May 1936aged 70 years.

In 1901, now a retired Waterman, Charles was living with his son William Harris Webb, also a Waterman, and his wife Mary Jane at2 Willow Court. Later he settled at The Lock House, Greenham, with his son Charles Tom Webb and wife, and he died there on20 August 1904, aged 71 years. He was laid to rest on3 September 1904.

Gravestone inscription reads incorrectly that he died in the year 1905.

Sources: 1841 to 1901 Census;  Marriage Index 1Q 1856;  Death Index 3Q 1904

Reading Mercury:5/6/1880;26/2/1881;27/6/1885;



Sources:Sources: 1841 to 1901 Census; Marriage Index 1Q 1856; Death Index 3Q 1904 Reading Mercury:5/6/1880;26/2/1881;27/6/1885; BerkshireChronicle:18/7/1885;16/10/1886;12/12/1896;19/12/1896

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