Arthur Bernard Timson | Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Biography:
Arthur Bernard Timson
1863 –28/01/1913

Arthur Bernard Timson

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ARTHUR BERNARD TIMSON; 1863 – 1913

Arthur was born in Berkhamsted in the fourth quarter of 1863 and was baptised on 24th January the following year. His parents were Samuel and Alice Timson. Arthur’s parents are also both buried in Rectory Lane cemetery (plot 85). As Samuel and Alice’s biographies note, the Timson family was large. Alice gave birth to 16 children. Samuel Rowland, born 1852; John Robert, 1856; Mary Ellen, 1857; Alice Charlotte, 1858 (died in infancy); Charles, 1860; Frederick Albert,1862; Arthur Bernard, 1863; Ernest Alfred,1864; Ada Beatrice, 1867; Harold Harvey, 1870; Paulina Jane, 1871; Octavius Paul, 1872; Percy Lionel, 1874 (died in infancy); Gertrude Lilian, 1875 (also died in infancy) and last but not least, Ethel, who was born in 1875. Arthur’s mother Alice, died in 1885 at the age of 52, perhaps worn out after giving birth to so many children. Arthur’s father married for a second time, but had no more children.

Arthur’s father Samuel was a master tailor and the 1871 census tells us that he employed one man. The family lived in Berkhamsted High Street from where Samuel also ran his business. The 1871 census notes that in addition to tailoring, Samuel was also a schoolmaster, an assistant overseer of the poor and Parish Vestry clerk. Education was very important to him; all eight boys were educated at Berkhamsted School.

Of the eight brothers it was Arthur who was to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a tailor, eventually taking over the family business. By the time of the 1881 census Arthur was 17 and had left school. His occupation is noted as “tailor (learning).”

Arthur married in the last quarter of 1888. His bride was Eliza Saltmarsh, the daughter of a local bootmaker, Alfred Saltmarsh and his wife Caroline. Both of Eliza’s parents are buried in Rectory Lane cemetery (plot 510), as is her younger brother Frank (plot 980).

The 1891 census reveals that Arthur and Eliza had then set up home in Charles Street. Eliza had given birth to the couple’s first child, Alice Noel in 1890. Arthur and Eliza were to have another seven children; Arthur Charles, born 1892; Marjorie, 1894; Ada Catherine, 1896; Caroline Agnes, 1899; Gertrude Lillian, 1901; Ethel Millicent, 1903; Harold James; 1909. The 1911 census return confirms that Eliza gave birth to eight children and of those eight, one had died, that child being Caroline who died in 1904 at the age of 5 ½.

Arthur’s father Samuel died in 1899 and it must have been shortly after that Arthur took over the family business, as we find from the 1901 census that Arthur, Eliza and their family had moved from Charles Street and were now living at 149 High Street where Samuel had lived and worked. (Now Timpson’s shoe repair shop at 177 following renumbering.) The census tells us that Arthur himself was not only working as a tailor but that he was also an employer, suggesting he employed at least one other person in his business. Arthur and his family were still living at 149 High Street ten years later in 1911. Arthur was then 47 years of age and continuing to work as a tailor.

Among Arthur’s clients was Peter Pan, or at least one of the boys who inspired J. M Barrie to create the character. The Llewelyn Davies family had lived in London, where J.M. Barrie first met and befriended the Llewelyn Davies boys, before moving to Egerton House in Berkhamsted. The oldest of the boys was George. In 1907 his mother wrote in a letter to one of her other sons, Michael, “George is just going to Mr Timson to have his knickerbockers mended but they look almost too bad to mend. What a pity it is you all have to wear things - how much better if you could go about like Mowgli – then perhaps you would never have colds.”

Arthur was actively involved in the life of the town.

For many years until the end of the nineteenth century, the Vestry was concerned with every aspect of local government, being principally responsible for public health, relief of the poor and maintaining the workhouse. It was responsible for providing a fire service (the fire engine was kept in St Peter’s Church) and maintaining law and order. All owners of houses and lands had a right to participate in parochial business, a right accompanied by the duty to serve as churchwardens, overseers of the poor, surveyors of the highway and constables. The Vestry gradually lost its non-ecclesiastical duties over the course of the nineteenth century. Rural sanitary authorities were formed in 1872 and the Local Government Act of 1894 set up urban and rural district councils. The sanitary authority became the Berkhamsted Rural District Council and the Urban district Council was set up in 1898.

Arthur’s father, Samuel, as well as being a master tailor had been an Assistant Overseer of the Poor and Clerk to Parish Vestry. Arthur evidently also took his civic responsibilities seriously. Newspaper reports of Vestry meetings in 1863 and later in 1902 note Arthur as being in attendance. Arthur’s younger brother Octavius became Vestry Clerk and the collector of rates for the urban district council but fled from the town when it was discovered he had embezzled over £850 of council funds.  

Arthur was also involved with the Independent Order of Oddfellows and Ancient Order of Foresters. (Octavius was the Grandmaster of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, Great Berkhampstead District.)  These were both friendly societies. Before modern insurance and the welfare state, such societies provided financial and social support for members often according to their religious, political or trade affiliations.

We learn from Arthur’s obituary published in the Bucks Herald in 1913 that he was also a member of the Berkhamsted and Northchurch Chamber of Commerce, a staunch conservative and a bellringer at St Peter’s Church. (Arthur’s brother in law, Frank Saltmarsh, was also a bell ringer at the church.)

Arthur, like his oldest brother Samuel Rowland Timson, served as a volunteer in the 2nd (Hertfordshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment, which, upon creation of the Territorial Army in 1908, became the 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment. Samuel, volunteered for service in South Africa during the Boer War and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. There is no evidence that Arthur served in South Africa. Neither did he attain the high rank that Samuel reached, although Arthur’s military record reveals that he did become a sergeant and retired as Colour-Sergeant. It is in the uniform of a sergeant of the Hertfordshire Regiment that he appears in the photograph accompanying this biography.

Arthur died on the 28th January 1913 at the age of 48 years. He died in Kings Hospital in London. The cause of death recorded on the death certificate was faulty heart valve and heart failure.

His obituary, published in the Bucks Herald, read as follows:

“FUNERAL OF MR ARTHUR TIMSON – The funeral of Mr A.B. Timson on Saturday afternoon was made the occasion for a remarkable demonstration of esteem and respect. Mr Timson, who was only 48 years of age, was a member of a family which has long been prominently associated with the public life of Berkhamsted. He was an enthusiastic Oddfellow; for some years a bellringer at the Parish Church; a volunteer from the age of 15, retiring with the rank of Colour-Sergeant; a staunch conservative; and a member of the Berkhamsted and Northchurch Chamber of Commerce. The funeral was attended by members of the National Reserve, the old Volunteers, the Territorials, Friendly Society men and the representatives of many public bodies. Mr Timson leaves a widow, one son and five daughters.”

His brother Samuel was appointed as Executor of his estate which was worth £608 6s 6d.

Samuel’s business was purchased from his estate by Cyril Ham, a tailor and outfitter, for £190. Sadly, the venture did not turn out well for Cyril. Cyril, who had been apprenticed as a tailor in Exeter, came to Berkhamsted in November 1912, to manage Arthur’s business. His new employer died within three months of Cyril taking up his post. Cyril agreed to buy the busines for £190. His father gave him £100 from which he paid a deposit of £30 with the balance to be paid by quarterly instalments. Initially the busines was a success but in August 1914 war broke out. Most of his customers had been young men of military age and as they joined the services, business declined. He hoped to obtain a contract for the supply of cadet uniforms, but was unsuccessful and his creditors began to press. In January 1917, The Bucks Herald reported that Cyril was being made bankrupt.

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ARTHUR BERNARD TIMSON; 1863 – 1913

Arthur was born in Berkhamsted in the fourth quarter of 1863 and was baptised on 24th January the following year. His parents were Samuel and Alice Timson. Arthur’s parents are also both buried in Rectory Lane cemetery (plot 85). As Samuel and Alice’s biographies note, the Timson family was large. Alice gave birth to 16 children. Samuel Rowland, born 1852; John Robert, 1856; Mary Ellen, 1857; Alice Charlotte, 1858 (died in infancy); Charles, 1860; Frederick Albert,1862; Arthur Bernard, 1863; Ernest Alfred,1864; Ada Beatrice, 1867; Harold Harvey, 1870; Paulina Jane, 1871; Octavius Paul, 1872; Percy Lionel, 1874 (died in infancy); Gertrude Lilian, 1875 (also died in infancy) and last but not least, Ethel, who was born in 1875. Arthur’s mother Alice, died in 1885 at the age of 52, perhaps worn out after giving birth to so many children. Arthur’s father married for a second time, but had no more children.

Arthur’s father Samuel was a master tailor and the 1871 census tells us that he employed one man. The family lived in Berkhamsted High Street from where Samuel also ran his business. The 1871 census notes that in addition to tailoring, Samuel was also a schoolmaster, an assistant overseer of the poor and Parish Vestry clerk. Education was very important to him; all eight boys were educated at Berkhamsted School.

Of the eight brothers it was Arthur who was to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a tailor, eventually taking over the family business. By the time of the 1881 census Arthur was 17 and had left school. His occupation is noted as “tailor (learning).”

Arthur married in the last quarter of 1888. His bride was Eliza Saltmarsh, the daughter of a local bootmaker, Alfred Saltmarsh and his wife Caroline. Both of Eliza’s parents are buried in Rectory Lane cemetery (plot 510), as is her younger brother Frank (plot 980).

The 1891 census reveals that Arthur and Eliza had then set up home in Charles Street. Eliza had given birth to the couple’s first child, Alice Noel in 1890. Arthur and Eliza were to have another seven children; Arthur Charles, born 1892; Marjorie, 1894; Ada Catherine, 1896; Caroline Agnes, 1899; Gertrude Lillian, 1901; Ethel Millicent, 1903; Harold James; 1909. The 1911 census return confirms that Eliza gave birth to eight children and of those eight, one had died, that child being Caroline who died in 1904 at the age of 5 ½.

Arthur’s father Samuel died in 1899 and it must have been shortly after that Arthur took over the family business, as we find from the 1901 census that Arthur, Eliza and their family had moved from Charles Street and were now living at 149 High Street where Samuel had lived and worked. (Now Timpson’s shoe repair shop at 177 following renumbering.) The census tells us that Arthur himself was not only working as a tailor but that he was also an employer, suggesting he employed at least one other person in his business. Arthur and his family were still living at 149 High Street ten years later in 1911. Arthur was then 47 years of age and continuing to work as a tailor.

Among Arthur’s clients was Peter Pan, or at least one of the boys who inspired J. M Barrie to create the character. The Llewelyn Davies family had lived in London, where J.M. Barrie first met and befriended the Llewelyn Davies boys, before moving to Egerton House in Berkhamsted. The oldest of the boys was George. In 1907 his mother wrote in a letter to one of her other sons, Michael, “George is just going to Mr Timson to have his knickerbockers mended but they look almost too bad to mend. What a pity it is you all have to wear things – how much better if you could go about like Mowgli – then perhaps you would never have colds.”

Arthur was actively involved in the life of the town.

For many years until the end of the nineteenth century, the Vestry was concerned with every aspect of local government, being principally responsible for public health, relief of the poor and maintaining the workhouse. It was responsible for providing a fire service (the fire engine was kept in St Peter’s Church) and maintaining law and order. All owners of houses and lands had a right to participate in parochial business, a right accompanied by the duty to serve as churchwardens, overseers of the poor, surveyors of the highway and constables. The Vestry gradually lost its non-ecclesiastical duties over the course of the nineteenth century. Rural sanitary authorities were formed in 1872 and the Local Government Act of 1894 set up urban and rural district councils. The sanitary authority became the Berkhamsted Rural District Council and the Urban district Council was set up in 1898.

Arthur’s father, Samuel, as well as being a master tailor had been an Assistant Overseer of the Poor and Clerk to Parish Vestry. Arthur evidently also took his civic responsibilities seriously. Newspaper reports of Vestry meetings in 1863 and later in 1902 note Arthur as being in attendance. Arthur’s younger brother Octavius became Vestry Clerk and the collector of rates for the urban district council but fled from the town when it was discovered he had embezzled over £850 of council funds.  

Arthur was also involved with the Independent Order of Oddfellows and Ancient Order of Foresters. (Octavius was the Grandmaster of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, Great Berkhampstead District.)  These were both friendly societies. Before modern insurance and the welfare state, such societies provided financial and social support for members often according to their religious, political or trade affiliations.

We learn from Arthur’s obituary published in the Bucks Herald in 1913 that he was also a member of the Berkhamsted and Northchurch Chamber of Commerce, a staunch conservative and a bellringer at St Peter’s Church. (Arthur’s brother in law, Frank Saltmarsh, was also a bell ringer at the church.)

Arthur, like his oldest brother Samuel Rowland Timson, served as a volunteer in the 2nd (Hertfordshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment, which, upon creation of the Territorial Army in 1908, became the 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment. Samuel, volunteered for service in South Africa during the Boer War and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. There is no evidence that Arthur served in South Africa. Neither did he attain the high rank that Samuel reached, although Arthur’s military record reveals that he did become a sergeant and retired as Colour-Sergeant. It is in the uniform of a sergeant of the Hertfordshire Regiment that he appears in the photograph accompanying this biography.

Arthur died on the 28th January 1913 at the age of 48 years. He died in Kings Hospital in London. The cause of death recorded on the death certificate was faulty heart valve and heart failure.

His obituary, published in the Bucks Herald, read as follows:

“FUNERAL OF MR ARTHUR TIMSON – The funeral of Mr A.B. Timson on Saturday afternoon was made the occasion for a remarkable demonstration of esteem and respect. Mr Timson, who was only 48 years of age, was a member of a family which has long been prominently associated with the public life of Berkhamsted. He was an enthusiastic Oddfellow; for some years a bellringer at the Parish Church; a volunteer from the age of 15, retiring with the rank of Colour-Sergeant; a staunch conservative; and a member of the Berkhamsted and Northchurch Chamber of Commerce. The funeral was attended by members of the National Reserve, the old Volunteers, the Territorials, Friendly Society men and the representatives of many public bodies. Mr Timson leaves a widow, one son and five daughters.”

His brother Samuel was appointed as Executor of his estate which was worth £608 6s 6d.

Samuel’s business was purchased from his estate by Cyril Ham, a tailor and outfitter, for £190. Sadly, the venture did not turn out well for Cyril. Cyril, who had been apprenticed as a tailor in Exeter, came to Berkhamsted in November 1912, to manage Arthur’s business. His new employer died within three months of Cyril taking up his post. Cyril agreed to buy the busines for £190. His father gave him £100 from which he paid a deposit of £30 with the balance to be paid by quarterly instalments. Initially the busines was a success but in August 1914 war broke out. Most of his customers had been young men of military age and as they joined the services, business declined. He hoped to obtain a contract for the supply of cadet uniforms, but was unsuccessful and his creditors began to press. In January 1917, The Bucks Herald reported that Cyril was being made bankrupt.

Relatives