Reuben (1) Stubbs

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Brief biography

Reuben (1) Stubbs was born to parents Joseph (1) Stubbs and his wife Harriet (nee Reddish). He was christened on June 9th 1811 at St. Mary, Nottingham [IGI: Batch C044873].

He became an Army Chaplain and evidently travelled much, presumably as dictated by his regimental postings. He was serving with the Royal Artillery based in Woolwich, Kent.

He first partnered - but appears not to have married - a spinster named Frances who bore him a son William (4) in 1833. This boy was baptised at St. Mary Magdalene, Woolwich on December 11th 1833. The baptism register states that he had been born on November 20th and that his parents - named as "Reuben and Frances Stubbs" - were residing at the Artillery Barracks; Reuben's profession is entered as "Bomr. [Bombadier?] Royal Artillery".

On January 5th, 12th and 19th 1834 marriage banns were published for Reuben and Frances at St. Dunstan and All Saints Church in Stepney, giving Frances' maiden surname as "Humphryes" [sic], probably intended as Humphreys; they are both described as "of this parish". However, the banns register does not annotate their entries with a note of the date when an ensuing marriage occurred, whereas it does so for most other couples. It appears that some event must have prevented the marriage taking place. Possibly Frances died soon after the banns, or perhaps she and Reuben decided not to marry. There are no clear indications of what became of her or the baby.

Later in 1834 Reuben married Sarah (nee) Wildman [IGI Batch: M022181]. Sarah was born around 1818. Their marriage took place on September 2nd 1834 at St. Mary in Swansea, where they produced at least the first two children listed below.

Subsequently, Reuben must have been posted abroad because in the 1840s he and Sarah produced at least two further children at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

The 1851 Census finds Reuben at age "39" living with Sarah and the latter two children at 1, Francis Street in Woolwich. He is described as a retired Colour Sergeant born in St. Mary, Nottingham, and Sarah as a British Subject born in France.

The family has not yet been found in the 1861 Census despite extensive searching.

The 1871 Census finds Reuben and Sarah living at 3, Millward Street in Woolwich. He is described as a pensioner born in Nottingham and she as born not in France but in Swansea. In the same house, as a separate household, was the family of her married daughter Harriet A. (1).

Sarah died aged "61" in 1877 [Death Index: Woolwich 1d 652, 1877 (March)] and Reuben died aged "67" later that year [Death Index: Woolwich 1d 629, 1877 Dec].

His child by Frances Humphreys

  1. William (4) Stubbs - christened on December 11th 1833 at St. Mary Magdalene, Woolwich [IGI: Batch C055942]

William (4) may have died soon after birth.

His children by Sarah Wildman

  1. Eliza (3) Stubbs - christened on May 2nd 1836 at St. Mary, Swansea [IGI: Batch C022182]
  2. William Henry (2) Stubbs
  3. Mary Eliza (1) Stubbs - born in 1845 at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
  4. Harriet A. (1) Stubbs - born in 1848 at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
  5. and possibly others ...

Eliza (3) may have died in childhood, as she was not with her parents in the 1851 Census.

Mary Eliza (1) married William Turkington [Marriage Index: Greenwich 1d 970, 1863 (June)]. He was born in Ireland around 1842. The 1871 Census finds them living in the military complex comprising the Royal Marine Infirmary and Green Hill Schools at Woolwich Dockyard, where William was serving as a military staff clerk and a sergeant in the Royal Artillery. With them were three children - William Horatio [Birth Index: Greenwich 1d 685, 1864 (June)], Emma Mary [Birth Index: Lewisham 1d 826, 1867 (Sept)] and Edith Maud(e) [Birth Index: Woolwich 1d 899, 1868 (Dec)]. The 1881 Census finds the family living at 9, Verran Road in Streatham, William now being a sergeant major in the Royal Artillery. In 1890 Edith Maude married Richard Henry Sharpe [Marriage Index: Hackney 1b 760, 1890 (Sept)]. He was born around 1867-68, possibly in Bedfordshire. The 1891 Census finds Mary Eliza (1) lodging alone, but described as married, at 19, Victoria Grove in Hornsey. Meanwhile, Edith Maude and her husband were living at 122, Rotherfield Street in Islington where Richard Henry was occupied as a printer's compositor. The 1901 Census again finds Mary Eliza (1) living alone, but now described as widowed and aged "55", at 29, Shellgrove Road in Stoke Newington, whilst Edith Maude was living with her husband and several children at 4, April Street in Hackney. Mary Eliza (1) may have died in 1918 aged "73" [Death Index: Croydon 2a 366, 1918 (June)].

Harriet A. (1) married William Chapman in 1866 [Marriage Index: Greenwich 1d 1149, 1866 (Sept)]. The 1871 Census finds her living with him and their two infant daughters Harriett A. Chapman and Eliza A. Chapman in the same house as her parents at 3, Millward Street in Woolwich. William is described as a British Army band musician born in "West" London, Canada around 1843-44. The 1881 Census finds the family, with five further children, living at 8, Ordnance Road in Woolwich where William is now described simply as a soldier born in "New" London, Canada (presumably in Ontario). William appears to have died aged "46" in 1889 [Death Index: Woolwich 1d 755, 1889 (March)]. The 1891 Census finds Harriet widowed and living with six children at 50, Hanover Road in Plumstead, living on her own means. The 1901 Census finds her still widowed and living with three children at 20, St. James Place in Plumstead. Here her birthplace is given as Cape Town. She probably died in 1922 aged "75" [Death Index: Woolwich 1d 877, 1922 (Dec)].