Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Alexander Lamb 1869 - 1907 and Martha Anne Pattison 1869 - 1949

Martha Ann Pattison was born on 24 May 1869 at Longframlington, Northumberland, the daughter of William Pattison and Ann Brown.

Alexander Lamb was born 17 October 1869 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, the son of John Lamb and Margaret Gerrard.

I have no idea how they met - they lived 30 miles apart in an age when that was not a distance you'd commute - but both families had contacts in Seaton Delaval. Alex's father worked for a couple of years in that mining village. Miners William Henry and Samuel Coulthard lived in Seaton Delaval, but originated from Coxhoe, Co Durham (where William Pattison lived before moving to Longframlington). They were the exectutors of Williams's will, and presumably close family friends. Were they the source of the introduction?

The couple married on 19 October 1896 at Brinkburn Priory (just south of the village of Longframlington).  A year or two later (I haven't found the exact date), Alex left England to go to South Africa.  He suffered from tuberculosis and hoped that the dry climate on the South African veldt would help cure his condition. Presumably the intent was for Martha to follow him once he had set up home, but the Boer War intervened.  Alex got a job with the railway, which was then militarised as the Imperial Military Railway.

Martha eventually made it out to South Africa in 1902, by which time Alex had settled in Bloemfontein, Orange River Colony.  Three years later, their only child, Margaret Anne Lamb, was born.  Two years after that, Alex died - cause of death isn't listed, but the estate papers indicate substantial nursing bills.

Martha returned to England with 2 year old Margaret, and they settled in South Shields, Co Durham.  On 19 August 1911, she remarried, this time to a miner 20 years her senior, Henry Clark.  Henry was born in Seaton Terrace, Northumberland on 17 September 1847, and was a brother in law of William Henry Coulthard (Martha's father's executor).  Martha and Margaret moved to Seaton Delaval, and Martha remained in that area for the rest of her life.  Henry Clark died on 13 February 1923.

Following the birth of her only grandchild, Martha travelled out to Hong Kong with Margaret and baby Peter.  She stayed in Hong Kong for around 18 months before returning to England.  Martha lived at the Seaton Sluice house bought by Margaret and her husband Bill.  She died on 1 December 1949.

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