I’ve noticed in all of my previous blogs about the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge, that all of my ancestors that I have shared with you have been male. For this blog I thought I would share with you, one of my female ancestors.
Lucretia Susan Petherbridge Harding is my son’s four time great grandmother, and I think, has the best name out of all my ancestors so far. Lucretia was born on 15 August 1847 in Whitchurch, Devon. She was the second of nine children born to William Harding (1821-1901) and Jane Ham (1824-1892). Her siblings were Avice Ann (1846), Henry Richard (1852-1927), Isabella (1853), William Robert (1855), Albert (1856-1907), Arthur (1859), Frederick (1862), Mary (1864) and Herbert James (1868).
Lucretia spent the first part of her life living in Devon with her family, where her occupation was a tailoress. Between 1871 and 1874, she moved up to Portsea Island in Hampshire where she married James Francis Sparshott on 10 May 1874. My next piece of research that I need to carry out is to try and find out why she moved from Devon to Hampshire. Was her future husband posted to Devon after he joined the army in 1872? Or was it her work that brought her up to Hampshire?
On the 1881 census return, she was living with her husband Francis and three children in Victoria Road, Hound, Hampshire. In 1891 and 1901, they were all living at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Hound which is in Southampton. Lucretia passed away in March 1907, 17 years before her husband.
The Royal Victoria Hospital was opened in 1863 with 138 wards and 1000 beds. The hospital was put to good use in the Second Boer War 1899 – 1902, which was the war that Lucretia’s husband fought in. It was also used in the First and Second World Wars, and was also used to treat tuberculosis patients. Fire destroyed a huge part of the hospital in 1963 and in 1966, it was demolished. Only a small part of the hospital exists now and it sits in the grounds of Royal Victoria Country Park.