Harriet Fanny Kingham
Harriet Fanny KinghamView full burial details
in the cemetery
Harriet Fanny Kingham, nee Nash, was born in 1859 in Berkhamsted. She was the youngest of 8 children born to William and Mary Nash. She was baptised on 7th April 1859. Her father, William, was a blacksmith and at the time of the 1851 census he employed two other men. He died, however, in 1860, not long after Harriet’s birth.
The business had been long established In Berkhamsted. “...James Nash first began trading as a farrier in 1793 and by 1915 the family was still in control, when Bert Nash took over the business from his cousin William. The business was eventually run from a property situated behind the High Street overlooking the yard, called Farriers House. The property has since been re-built and is currently home to the British Legion.” (Berkhamsted, An illustrated history. S Hastie) (The William referred to is Harriet’s eldest brother, not her father.)
The 1861 census reveals that Harriet’s mother, Mary, together with Harriet’s older brother William, who was then aged 14, must have kept the smithy going, as both mother and son are described as blacksmiths. Although certainly not a common occupation for a woman, female blacksmiths are not unknown in history. As early as the 14th century blacksmith guilds began inviting widowed wives of craftsmen to continue running the family business in the place of their husbands.
Harriet was living with her mother and siblings in Berkhamsted at the time of the 1871 census.
On 3rd August 1879 Harriet married Frederick Kingham. The marriage took place in the Parish Church, Hampstead.
In 1880, Harriet gave birth to her first child, Alice, and in 1881 Harriet, Frederick and Alice were living in Northolt Road, Harrow. In 1892 Harriet gave birth to the couple’s second child, Charles. By 1891 the family had moved back to Berkhamsted.
Harriet and Frederick continued living in Berkhamsted, being recorded on the town’s electoral roll up to 1926.
Harriet died on 1st November 1935. Her death certificate records that the cause of her death was hypostatic pneumonia. This form of pneumonia is caused by a build up of fluid in the lungs, especially in those bedridden or elderly who lie on their backs for extended periods of time. The death certificate also records that Harriet was suffering from senile dementia, a secondary cause of her death.
Although the certificate gives her address as 8 Chapel Street Berkhamsted, she died at 60 Vicarage Road, Watford. This had been the Watford workhouse, but in 1930 it was taken over by the Watford Borough Council and renamed The Shrodells Public Assistance Institution. In 1948, with the creation of the NHS, it became Watford General Hospital.
Charles was with his mother at the time of her death. She was buried in Rectory Lane cemetery and was joined there by Frederick upon his death in 1943.