Descendants of Ellen FOLEY (to contribute information, please email Helen@HelensFamilyTrees.com)

Second Generation


4. Thomas HUSSEY (Ellen ) was born in 1834 in Kensington, London. He died on 1 Jun 1919 in 23 St. Mary Abbots Terrace, Kensington, London. He was buried on 4 Jun 1919 in St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green, London (grave no. 3282).

Thomas became a master plumber and later a builder, eventually forming his own building company. He would lease or purchase land for building purposes and he played a significant role in the development of several streets in southern Kensington in the late 19th century, sometimes in partnership with another builder named Thomas Huggett. Among the Hussey and Huggett developments was a row of houses, Nos. 43-61 Warwick Gardens, on the old Edwardes Estate in Kensington, built in the late 1860s (all of which still survive with the exception of No. 61, although No. 43 appears to have been largely rebuilt). By 1871 Thomas was employing 40 men (according to the census of that year).

In the 1860s and 1870s Thomas carried out extensive building work on both sides of Ball St. (this street was demolished in the 1920s), as well as on property on Young St., King St. and Burden Mews (the latter two streets were demolished, with new homes built in the 1920s on King St., which became Derry St.). Other Kensington projects completed by Thomas's firm in this period included the construction of two pairs of semi-detached houses at Nos. 5-8 Harley Road (now Harley Gardens) on sites leased in 1867, and Nos. 1-15 Hollywood Road on sites leased to both Thomas and Mr. Huggett. The two builders also constructed Nos. 2-12 Kenway Road in 1867 and a number of houses on the south side of Child's Place (of which Nos. 17-22 survive) having been granted freehold of the land for the latter in 1866. In 1868, under lease, they built Nos. 147-159 Earl's Court Road which, according to a piece on British History Online, were "not very appealing or even well-built-looking houses". Next to these houses, on land they had purchased themselves (No. 161 Earl's Court Road), they built The Prince of Teck public house, still in existence. And between 1869 and 1870 Thomas constructed two shop buildings at Nos. 21 and 23 Earl's Court Road.

Still in Kensington, in 1872 he purchased the freehold of No. 34 Kensington Square and used most of the northern part of the garden for a builder's yard where he erected workshops and storerooms. In 1873, he was engaged to build a new terrace of nine houses on Gordon Place (now Nos. 20-38), and in the same year he rebuilt the present Nos. 36–54 Stanford Road and the present Nos. 4–13 Kelso Place following demolition work that had taken place to make room for a new railway. It is believed that he also built a new house at No. 18 Kelso Place. In 1874 he built  four houses (Nos. 28–31) on Kelso Place which match his work of the previous year on the other side of the street, as well as a new house at No. 27. In 1871 a narrow strip of land more or less parallel to the new railway line became available on Cromwell Road and, being "a sedulous picker-up of left-over properties in the parish" (according to the writer of a piece on British History Online on the development of Cromwell Road), Thomas acquired the freehold and between 1874 and 1876 built twenty-one houses corresponding to Nos. 116–156 Cromwell Road. However, given their noisy and sooty location, the houses did not sell well as private residences and many were turned into flats, shops, hotels and boarding houses.

The building trade generally in southern Kensington was thriving around this time but it peaked in 1875; there was a steep fall thereafter and it appears Thomas may even have faced bankruptcy in the late 1870s because we have come across a reference on British History Online to Thomas in the context of the declining fortunes of developers in Kensington which states that in November 1878, "the solicitors of the builder Thomas Hussey declared that 'there are at the present moment acres of large mansions in South Kensington empty but finished'". No more details on Thomas's situation are provided.   

However, he seems to have weathered the storm thanks probably to having had a tender accepted in 1875 for the construction of Albert Hall Mansions in Kensington, beside the famous hall, which was the first large, privately-owned block of apartments built in London. The Mansions, designed by the celebrated architect Richard Norman Shaw, were built between 1879 and 1886. Back in those days, there was no tradition in England of living in apartments, but Albert Hall Mansions, with its attractive red-brick exterior, Dutch gables, triple windows and delicate iron balconies sold quickly and led to the development of further mansion blocks. It is known that Thomas had an apartment in Albert Hall Mansions for at least two years, between 1884 and 1886.

Thomas also worked with Richard Norman Shaw on the development of seven houses at Nos. 200-222 Cromwell Road which Thomas built between 1882 and 1884 and which he converted into a block of 12 flats in 1886 because of the increasing difficulty at the time in finding buyers for the large houses. The block was badly damaged in World War II but was refurbished and further divided about 1950 when it became Huntingdon House. While the building has been considerable altered it still retains the original first three floors and two-storey entrance.        

Between 1869 and 1890 Thomas involved himself in a number of less profitable ventures, i.e., the building of housing for the working-class in southern Kensington which the Vestry (as the Borough Council was known at the time) and most builders, including his partner Thomas Huggett, were reluctant to take on. One of Thomas's workers' housing schemes was St. Alban's Road North in Kensington. This cul-de-sac of terraced houses was built in the back garden of No. 13 Kensington Square which Thomas had purchased in 1876 for £10,600 (in 1885 he sold the big house and what was left of the back gardens). The street was later renamed Ansdell Terrace and Nos. 18-20 and 24-27 still survive. Other such projects were undertaken by Thomas on Blithfield St. in 1869, Barker St. (off Fulham Road) between 1877-1878, and Pater St. (or Warwick St. as it was called until 1905) between 1887 and 1890. However, Barker St., a cul-de-sac of 24 mews houses created in the back gardens of Nos. 258 and 260 Fulham Road which Thomas had purchased in 1876, rapidly degenerated into a slum and was eventually cleared in 1937, 10 years after the Hussey family appears to have sold the property.

Another aspect of Thomas's work as a builder was brickmaking. In their book 'Stamford Brook - an Affectionate Portrait' (1992, 1997), Shirley Seaton and Reginald Coleman describe Thomas's brickmaking and building activities in the Stamford Brook area, a summary of which follows:

In 1876 Thomas leased Stamford Brook Fields, an area of approximately 50 acres of meadowland in Stamford Brook, for the purpose of making bricks. To make the bricks, Thomas collected refuse from all over London - this would be burned and sifted to obtain ash and cinders which would then be mixed with clay and shaped into bricks which would then be fired. Close to the brickfield was a 17th century house with extensive grounds called The Brook. In 1878 Thomas purchased The Brook, apparently for the sole purpose of building houses on the property. By 1881 he had built a row of five four-storey terraced houses (now Nos. 20-28 Stamford Brook Avenue) on part of the land. Also in 1878 Thomas purchased a part of the Pallingswick Estate in Hammersmith and built Westcroft Square.

The brickmaking operation flourished throughout the 1880s (apart from 1884 and 1885 owing to a building slump) and Thomas was eventually employing about 250 men and boys. In 1889 there were seven million bricks made, more than in any other year. In 1890 however, Thomas's fortunes took a downward turn following complaints by residents of Bedford Park, close to the brickfield (and built mostly with Hussey bricks), about the smells from the brick-burning and the refuse. A High Court action was taken against Thomas by the Chiswick Local Board and in June 1890 he lost the case on the grounds that he was interfering with "the comfort and enjoyment of the inhabitants, so as to injure their health and deprecate the value of their property". Thomas was forced to shut down the brickmaking operation and pay court costs. The effect of this was to ruin Thomas financially. At the time of the court case he had a number of building agreements on The Brook land, but over the next few years it seems he managed to build only four houses on the property (Nos. 32-38 Stamford Brook Road, made with his own bricks). A large site that Thomas had purchased on the east side of Marloes Road in Kensington for £25,000 in 1891 (now occupied by blocks of flats) was sold without having been developed, possibly due to his financial situation. Another possible result of the court case was the halting in about 1892, at foundation level, of construction of a six-storey block of flats on Cromwell Road (the flats, located alongside Huntingdon House, were eventually completed in 1900 by another builder and named Moscow Mansions). It is known that in 1897 Thomas was attempting to pay off creditors and obtain releases from building agreements.

In 1901 Thomas rented out The Brook house, by then in a ruinous state, to the artist and wood-engraver Lucien Pissarro, son of the French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Lucien Pissarro carried out repairs and eventually bought the house when it was put up for sale in 1919 following Thomas's death (from 'enlarged prostate, retention of urine, uraemia').

According to British History Online (www.british-history.ac.uk), in 1927 a member of the Hussey family named Thomas Hussey, who was an estate agent at Hyde Park Gate in Kensington, sold some or all of Thomas's property on Barker St. (the street that had been created by Thomas in the back gardens of Nos. 258 and 260 Fulham Road). However, I am not aware of any member of our Hussey family named Thomas who was alive in 1927. It is a possibility that the Hussey property may actually have been sold by family member Clifford Ralfs, who was the husband of Thomas's granddaughter Marjorie Kent and who is believed to have run an estate agency in Kensington around that time. I have been told that Marjorie inherited the bulk of her grandfather's estate, hence the likelihood that the Barker St. property would have been sold by Clifford. Another possibility is that it was Edmund Hussey, a nephew of Thomas (son of his brother Edmund) and an estate agent, who sold the property. However, we have no information as to the address of Edmund's estate agency business, only that his residence in 1927 was probably Ealing, London.

Note: Huggett researchers may be interested in the following information provided by Martyn Killion, a descendant of Ann Emma Huggett, sister of Thomas Huggett, business partner of Thomas Hussey.

Thomas was born 11 December 1836 in Ash, Kent and on 30 November 1899 in Logan-mews, Kensington. On 3 September 1861 he married Hannah Vaux in St. Botolph Bishopsgate, London. Hannah died on 8 July 1924. Both Thomas and Hannah are burried in Kensington Cemetery, Hanwell, London. It appears Thomas thrived in business as he was worth tens of thousands of pounds when he died. The family home appears to have been 9 Cromwell Crescent, Kensington, which presumably Thomas developed. Besides his building work, Thomas was also a vestryman at St. Mary Abbots in Kensington and was on several boards, including the London School Board.

Thomas and Hannah had two sons, Edgar Vaux (born 30 May 1862, died 30 January 1892 in Munster House, Fulham, London) and Frank (born about 1864, died 28 December 1866 at 26 Dartmouth St., Kensington, buried Kensington Cemetery, Hanwell). Edgar married Alice Mary Bayly on 1 September 1891 at Christ Church, Ealing, London and they had one child, Henry Edgar Vaux Huggett (born 9 July 1892, died 26 April 1930 at 98 Baker St., London, buried Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey).  Henry had a distinguished military career and was a captain in the British army at Gallipoli. He died unmarried.

If anyone has any further information on the Huggett family, Martyn would be delighted to hear from you. He can be contacted at mchk@bigpond.com.

Thomas married Agnes DEVINE, daughter of Michael DEVINE and Catherine JONES, on 14 Sep 1857 in Catholic Chapel, Holland St., Kensington. Agnes was born about 1834 in St. Giles, London. She died on 17 Apr 1913 in 23 St. Mary Abbots Terrace, Kensington, London. She was buried on 21 Apr 1913 in St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green, London (grave no. 3282).

According to the 1851 census, 17-year-old Agnes was a shoebinder.

Agnes and her husband Thomas lived in various parts of Kensington after their marriage. Known addresses are:

1860, 1871:   9 Mayfield Place
1881:            96 Kensington High St.
1884:            14 Church St.
1891, 1913:   23 St. Mary Abbots Terrace

According to her death certificate, Agnes died of bronchitis and "exhaustion".

Notes:

1. Regarding the birthplace of our Agnes, there is some confusion: according to the 1851 census she was born in St. Giles, London; the 1861 census tells us she was born in Bloomsbury, London (Bloomsbury and St. Giles seem to be interchangeable); in the 1881 census, her birthplace appears to be "Hobham", Middlesex (which doesn't exist - it has been suggested that Hobham should read Holborn); according to the 1901 census, she was born in Kensington and the 1911 census tells us she was born in Soho! Given that St. Giles, Bloomsbury, Holborn and Soho are all in the same area, it seems most likely she was born in that area rather than in Kensington.

2. It appears that Mayfield Place, Kensington, the address for Agnes and her family for many years no longer exists. We do not know exactly where the street was located but a posting on the Ancestry website regarding an unconnected family mentions "2 Mayfield Place, Kensington (by the Crown Public House in Kensington High Street)", which is not far from the other addresses the Hussey family later had.

Marriage Notes:

Witnesses to the marriage were Alfred Daly and Eliza Jory.

Thomas and Agnes had the following children.

  6 F i
Agnes Ellen HUSSEY was born on 22 Aug 1858 in Kensington, London. She died on 24 Mar 1860 in 9 Mayfield Place, Kensington, London.

Agnes died at the age of 19 months from "cerebral irritation and convulsions".
  7 M ii
William HUSSEY was born in 1860 in Kensington, London. He died on 7 Oct 1866 in 9 Mayfield Place, Kensington, London. He was buried on 10 Oct 1866 in St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green, London (grave no. 3282).

William died at the age of six years and seven months from diphtheria.
  8 F iii
Agnes HUSSEY was born about 1862 in probably 9 Mayfield Place, Kensington, London. She died in probably 1935 in probably Kensington, London.

Agnes lived for most of her life in the family home at 23 St. Mary Abbots Terrace, Kensington, where she continued to live after the deaths of her parents. The 1919 electoral register shows her living alone at this address, and the elctoral registers for 1925, 1930 and 1933 show that she had been joined by her sisters Elizabeth and the widowed Kate. By 1835 the three sisters had had moved to 18 Marloes Road, Kensington. Their brother William was known to have lived at 18A Marloes Road between 1936 and 1938.

A death record on the FreeBMD website has been located for an Agnes M. Hussey who died in Kensington in the fourth quarter of 1935 aged 74. I think it likely that Agnes M. is our Agnes above.
+ 9 M iv Thomas Aloysius HUSSEY was born in 1864. He died on 30 Mar 1916.
+ 10 M v James HUSSEY was born on 27 Sep 1865. He died on 3 Apr 1936.
+ 11 M vi William (Will) HUSSEY was born in 1867. He died on 27 Feb 1939.
  12 M vii
John (Jack) Thomas HUSSEY was born about 1868 in 9 Mayfield Place, Kensington, London. He died on 15 Sep 1922 in Consumption Hospital, Kensington, London. He was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green, London (grave no. 3282).

After leaving school at St. Edmund's Roman Catholic College near Ware in Hertfordshire, Jack became an undertaker and eventually set up his own business, Hussey Bros. Funeral Directors, probably with his brother Edmund.

The 1901 census has details of a Kensington-born embalmer named John Hussey who was 32 years old, single, and living at 258 Fulham Road in Kensington. This is definitely our Jack because it is known that our Jack's father, Thomas (1834-1919), purchased nos. 258 and 260 Fulham Road in 1876. The electoral registers of 1905 and 1906 tell us that Jack was living at 10 Prince of Teck Buildings. His father had built the Prince of Teck pub so perhaps there were accommodation units attached to the pub. By 1910 Jack was living at 8 Draycott Mews in Kensington while carrying on his business at 14 Church St., Kensington (this from legal papers). By 1914 his business seems to have become John Hussey Ltd., Funeral Furnishers, located at 33 Phillimore Mews in Kensington (this from London telephone directories from 1914 and 1922).

Jack was declared bankrupt around 1910 (and discharged from bankruptcy in 1913). This probably explains why he appears to have returned to live with his parents (at 23 St. Mary Abbotts Terrace, Kensington) by the time of the 1911 census. On the death certificate of his father, who died in June 1919, the address of Jack, who was the informant, was given as 23 St. Mary Abbotts Terrace. However, Jack's death certificate tells us that at the time of his death in September 1922 his address was 25 St. Mary Abbotts Terrace. Was this an error or was he living next door to the old family home? Jack died of tuberculosis at the age of 54. His sister Kate, whose address is given on the death certificate as 25 St. Mary Abbotts Terrace, was present at his death at the Consumption Hospital in Kensington. He is buried with his parents, Hussey grandparents and other Hussey relatives in St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green.   

Interestingly, Jack's funeral business continued for another 50 years after his death as it remained listed in the telephone directory until 1973. It appears that Archibald Fritz Klapproth, who had worked for Jack since at least 1914, and Mr. Klapproth's son took over the business after Jack's death, keeping the old name. Jack's sister Elizabeth, however, is listed as managing director of the company in the 1939 Register.
  13 M viii
Alfred HUSSEY was born in 1869 in 9 Mayfield Place, Kensington, London. He died on 15 Apr 1899 in 23 St. Mary Abbots Terrace, Kensington, London. He was buried on 19 Apr 1899 in St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green, London (grave no. 3282).

Alfred is listed in the 1891 census return for his parents' household as a 'builder's clerk', and his death certificate gives his occupation as 'house agent'. He was only 30 years of age when he died of 'tubercular phthisis'. According to his obituary in 'The Edmundian magazine (Alfred attended St. Edmund's College in Ware, Hertfordshire), "His death, though premature, was not unexpected; for through an accident while bathing, some six years ago, he had contracted a disease of the chest from which recovery was pronounced to be impossible. He passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on April 15th, after receiving all the last rites of the Church".
  14 F ix
Elizabeth Josephine M. HUSSEY was born on 1 Mar 1871 in probably 9 Mayfield Place, Kensington, London. She died after 29 Sep 1939.

Elizabeth never married. She lived for several years with her sisters Agnes and Kate in the Hussey family home at 23 St. Mary Abbots Terrace in Kensington, and the 1935 electoral register tells us that she, Agnes and Kate had moved between 1933 and 1935 to 18A Marloes Road, Kensington. It is known that Elizabeth was still living at the Marloes Road address at the time of the 1939 Register (September of that year) in which she is described as the managing director of John Hussey Ltd., the funeral business of her late brother Jack. Unfortunately we know nothing of Elizabeth after 1939.
  15 M x
Henry (Harry) Aloysius HUSSEY was born on 27 Jul 1872 in 96 High St., Kensington, London. He died on 13 Jun 1916 in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium. He was buried in unknown place (commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium).

Like his brothers before him, Harry attended St. Edmund's College in Hertfordshire (from 1886 until 1889) where he was a keen cricketer. It is known that he was working as a builder's clerk at the time of the 1891 census, and sometime in the early 1890s he attended King's College in London (course unknown), where he represented the school in cricket. By the time of the 1901 census he was a coffee dealer. He later moved to Canada, having lived in South Africa at some point because he stated on his attestation paper for service in the Canadian Overseas Expedition Force that he had been a member of the "Civil S. Force in South Africa".  A record for the departure of a Harry Hussey to Canada has been located on the Find My Past website, www.findmypast.co.uk. This Henry Hussey was a labourer and left Liverpool for Halifax, Nova Scotia on 19 March 1909. It is possible that he is our Harry.

Harry's name appears in the Alberta Homestead Records which means that he had applied to "homestead a quarter section (160 acres)" in Alberta. If Harry had occupied his land for at least three years and performed certain improvements, he would have been able to apply for patent (title) to that land. It is not known if Harry ever reached the stage of owning his property but it is known, from his obituary in 'The Edmundian' (the St. Edmund's College magazine), that he was living in Canada when World War I broke out. According to 'The Edmundian' he thereupon enlisted in the Canadian army and, following a period of training in Shorncliffe in England, was sent to France in August 1915 with the 4th Battalion of the 1st Canadian Brigade.

According to a letter from his captain to the Hussey family after Harry's death in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium in 1916, "It was before daybreak on June 13th, that my company was ordered to advance and take and consolidate the enemy's front line. Pte. Hussey came through the barrage of artillery fire safely, and was consolidating the taken position with three other man in a small section of trench, when all four were killed by a large shell which landed amongst them".

Harry was aged 43 when he died at Ypres. He does not have a marked grave but is named on the Menin Gate Memorial (Panel 18-24-26-30), one of four memorials to the missing in that part of Belgian Flanders which covers the area known as the Ypres Salient. The Menin Gate Memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 Commonwealth soldiers whose graves are unknown. Harry's name also appears on a war memorial in King's College.   

Notes:

1. We know from Harry's attestation paper for Canadian army service, dated January 1915, that he wasn't married. The paper also states that Harry was a builder's clerk.

2. From his army medical examination report (January 1915), we know that Harry was 5ft 7ins tall, had a dark complexion, brown eyes, and black hair which was turning grey. His medical exam was carried out in Edmonton, so it is possible that that is where Harry was living at the time.

3. According to information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, www.cwgc.org, Harry's nationality was Canadian.

4. Ursula Staszynski has put together a tribute to her Hussey and Bishop relatives (including Harry) who served in World War I. It contains biographical information, stories and photographs and can be viewed at http://youtu.be/N_YXbvPOT4E
+ 16 M xi Edmund HUSSEY was born on 6 Jul 1874. He died on 6 Nov 1955.
+ 17 F xii Catherine (Kate) HUSSEY was born on 10 Oct 1875. She died in 1944.
  18 xiii
'unknown' HUSSEY died.

'unknown' died young. The 1911 census tells us that Thomas and Agnes had 13 children born alive, nine of whom were still living. 'unknown' is not listed in any census and is therefore likely to have been born and to have died between censuses.

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