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THIRD GENERATION


6. William MORTLOCK (18) was born in 1877 in Hundon Suffolk. He was buried in Jan 1962 in Clare Cemetary.(19) He died on 1 Jan 1962 in Melton nr Woodbridge. (20) He was an Ag Lab 1890 >>>>>> in Hundon. (21) In 1881, at the age of four, he is found living with his parents at The Cottages, Hundon.
My grandfather William suffered from a mental illness, believed to be a form of Religious Mania, on and off for most of his adult life. From my personal knowledge he was committed to the Melton Asylum near Woodbridge and was an inmate there on and off for 41 years of his life. Regretfully, this instability was transmitted to his eldest son Frederick and thereon to 2 of his 3 grandsons. As a result my grandmother Clara was left with 5 children to raise on her own with no income other than a pittance from the Parish Chest.
Below is a description of the conditions prevailing in the Asylum, which seems to have been very forward thinking for it's time. The Asylum is of course now closed and I believe it to be a private residence.

I believe the details below were taken from a local
directory dated about l875....

Suffolk Lunatic Asylum, which stands in a healthy and airy situation
near Woodbridge, but in Melton parish, was originally erected as a House
of Industry for the parishes of Loes and Wilford Hundreds, which were
incorporated for the maintenance of their poor in l765, but
dis-incorporated in l827 when the building was purchased by the county
magistrates, chiefly for the reception of pauper lunatics.
Whilst a workhouse, it had sometimes as many as 250 inmates and there
are now within its walls about 450 patients, labouring under the worst
of human maladies, insanity. They are all Suffolk paupers, for whom
their respective parishes pay at the rated of l0s 6d per week per head.
This useful and well-regulated establishment, including the purchase of
the grounds and the original buildings, and the subsequent alterations,
enlargements and improvements, with the furniture & c. had cost about
£37,000 in l844 and the asylum was considerably enlarged and improved in
l850, at a further outlay of £2,000. Though it is not so imposing in
external appearance as some of the modern county asylums its internal
arrangements and domestic economy are of the highest order."
It was one of the first asylums in which the non-restraint system in the
treatment of insanity was introduced: indeed its skilful and humane
superintendent (Dr. KIRKMAN) has never resorted to personal restraint
for more than forty years, his active agents for the restoration of
mental sanity being kindness and a happy blending of employment and
recreation, suitable to the varied diseases and tempers, or fancies of
his patients. About 30 A. of land are attached to the asylum, and
cultivated as garden, farm and pleasure grounds by the patients. The
grounds, to which the patients have free access, are tastefully laid out
and planted and have raised mounds in the centre, commanding full
prospects of the surrounding country over the boundary walls, which have
recently been lowered. The asylum has accommodation for about 450
patients, and is generally full. The Government Commisioners inspect the
asylum yearly and a committee of the visiting county magistrates meets
here every alternate Friday. The total number of patients admitted
since the opening of the asylum in January l829 to July l874 was 4299.
There are now (July l874) l88 males and 249 females, making a total of
437 inmates. The annual charge for each patient in l829 was £22.l9s.l0d;
in l833-4,5,6, £l4.l5s.9d and in l873 £27.6s.0d These charges vary with
the price of provisions. Dr John KIRKMAN is the physician and
superintendent; Mr George SARGENT, assistant medical officer; the Rev.
Thomas CHAMBERS, chaplain; Mr George FLAXMAN, steward and Mr William
ARNOTT, Clerk.
Post and money order office at Mr Alfred William SKOULDING's. Letters
are received at 6 a.m. and
l p.m. from, and are despatched at ll.30 a.m. and 7.50 p.m., to
Woodbridge.
He was married to Clara MANSFIELD on 1 Mar 1902 in Hundon. (22) Look in Scrapbook for Marriage Certificate.

7. Clara MANSFIELD was born on 14 Apr 1881 in Barnadiston.(23) (24) Look in Scrapbook for Clara's birth certificate. She died on 14 Aug 1967 in Clare Suffolk.(14) To my great grand-daughters

It occurred to me the other day that I can remember my grandmother,
and so I can span 6 generations. I can’t believe how lucky I am in that I
have lived to see all you girls, my great grand-daughters, Ashlee, Bonnie,
Tui, little Shinae and another one who is going to be born soon. Not
many people live to see three generations down from themselves,
especially when they can remember their own grandparents. So I thought
it would be a good idea to tell you about her, your great great great
grandmother, who lived all her life in England, the other side of the
world, round about a district called Clare, in the English County of
Suffolk.
Her name was Clara, Clara Mansfield, and she was born in 1881 in a
little village called Barnadiston. She was the seventh child of her parents,
Samuel and Mary Ann Mansfield who had a total of 9 children, 5 boys
and 4 girls, and Clara was born on 14th April, 1881, just too late to get
onto the Census of that year. We don’t know a lot about her as a child,
but I would guess that it was quite a happy time for her, as when I knew
her, much later on in life, she had no obvious hangups even though her
life had been far from easy. I spent most of my school holidays with her
at her little house in Clare. The first thing we know about her for sure,
other than her birth is her marriage at the age of 20. This happy event
( or not so happy as it turned out) took place at Hundon on 1st March
1902 and that is just over 101 years ago, as I write this in July of 2003.
Her new husband was William Mortlock who had been born in Hundon
and they started out their married life there, where William was
employed as an Agricultural Labourer. Hundon and Barnadiston are so
close to each other it is possible to throw a stone from Hundon and it
could land in Barnadiston!
Before long, the babies started arriving, as was the way at that time, no
contraceptives in those days, and The Pill or The Injection were still 50
years away. First to arrive was Fred born in 1902, just one year into the
marriage, so they didn’t have a lot of time to themselves. Then came
Arthur in 1904, the son after whom I was named, then Anne in 1906, this
is my mother and your Nan’s Nana. George followed in 1908 and then
quite a gap until 1919 when Lilly was born. I don’t exactly know at what
stage things started to go funny but it must have been during that gap in
the children, between George and Lilly, that William started exhibiting
the mental illness which was to see him spend 41 years of his life in a
home for the Mentally Ill. It is believed to have been a form of Religious
Mania, which means that he became obsessed with the Bible and all
things sacred. Certainly he had a huge Lectern in the family home upon
which he would place the family Bible and would read from it to the
children and to Clara. He had several spells away from home in
institutions until finally one day he tried to kill Clara, I believe by
threatening to throw her from an upstairs window, and he was taken
away, as it turned out for good. He died in 1962 in the Mental Asylum (
as such places were called in those days) without ever having been
released. Ask your Nan to show you the picture which she has of him,
taken when he was working on the land, I can remember waiting for him
at the gate when I was over visiting Nana. We don’t know what it was
that finally turned him over the edge, but it could have been a most
serious accident which happened to George. George left school at about
10 or 11 years of age, and gained employment on a local farm. During
the course of work one day he fell from a corn stack during the threshing
season onto the belt of the threshing machine, and from there he was
dragged into the machinery. This so seriously damaged his right leg that
it had to be removed and he lived the rest of his life dragging around an
artificial leg, which burdened his heart to the extent that he died of heart
failure as a relatively young man, aged about 57. At this time, Lilly was
still just a young baby, perhaps a year or so old, so it must have been a
very traumatic time for everyone. Of course, in those days, there was no
Dept of Social Welfare as such, and if you were left with no income it was
the rest of the parish who had to come to your aid. Everyone in the
parish would give what were called tithes, that is 10% of your own
income, for the relief of the poor, with the wealthier people giving more,
and it was this charity that Clara and her children must have lived on for
a good few years. Arthur and Anne soon obtained employment in service,
as servants in the local ‘Big House’, but their wages would have
amounted to next to nothing. At that time, if you were ‘in service’ the fact
that you were given a uniform to wear and a bed to sleep in, and were
fed by the Big House was all counted as part of your wages, so they
would have been able to make very little in the way of a contribution to
Clara. The house she lived in at that time was on a road called Folly
Road, and had no running water or power or a decent toilet, none of
those things which make life so easy for us today. Water had to be drawn
from an underground spring and she would walk about a mile to draw it,
with a milkmaid’s yoke over her shoulders from which hung two buckets,
not plastic ones like our buckets today, but heavy steel ones. Going to the
spring was OK as it was down-hill, but coming back with two heavy
buckets of water slung on the yoke across your shoulders, trying not to
spill too much, and up-hill as well, must have exhausted her. She never
did have a lot of ‘padding’ on her body, and I can just imagine the
wooden yoke boring into her shoulders, directly onto the bone, sheer
agony! Not a drop was wasted, it was used for tea making, washing,
peeling and washing any vegetables, bathing, and finally was thrown out
of the door onto the vegetable garden! She grew as many vegetables as
she could, potatoes, beans, peas etc and kept chickens. I can remember
her chasing a fowl around the garden with an axe in her hand, and
chopping it’s head off on the chopping block, and the bird then getting up
and running around the garden minus it’s head! She would walk several
miles to the local abattoir where for sixpence ( 5cents) you could buy a
whole sack of what we called Chitterlings ( pig’s intestines) straight out
of the pig. Home she would come with the sack over her shoulder, wash it
all out by hand, boil it all up in a big pot over an open fire, then press it
between two plates with books on top. This was then sliced and fried,
accompanied by her home grown potatoes and some stinging nettles
boiled up which she had gathered from down by the long drop, where
they grew best. A chicken from her little flock would last three days, first
day roast, second day cold, third day all the bones etc turned into soup,
but if there was still enough meat she would turn it into a chicken pie and
soup on day four!
George was lucky enough, after his accident, to be sponsored by the
parish into an apprenticeship, and he was sent away to learn to be a
cobbler, what today we would call a shoemaker. He never enjoyed this
work, and at the outbreak of WW 2 when most men were called up into
the Armed Forces, he was sent to be a night duty telephone operator.
There was no STD in those days, if you wanted to make a telephone call
to someplace other than the town where you lived, you had to get the
operator to do it for you, if you just dialled 0, this went straight through
to the switchboard and the operator. George eventually became the
supervisor of Bristol telephone exchange and he lived in Bristol, lodging
with the same people, Len and Lila Cottrell, for many years. Your Nan
used to visit him there with us, when we lived in Hampshire, and was
very taken with his wooden leg. The eldest son Fred had inherited his
father’s mental illness, and unfortunately had also married someone who
was mentally unstable. As a result, their middle son Ronnie had several
bouts of the same disability when under stress, although the other two
boys, Freddie and John, were OK. Arthur and George were both so
distressed by this happening in their brother’s family, that they swore
never to marry, and neither of them ever did, although Arthur ( Uncle
Arthur as I called him) had a very long relationship with a lady named
Margaret, who was accepted in the family as being Arthur’s lady.
By the time Grandnan and I were married, in 1954, Clara was living in
Clare, in a small house in Bridewell Street, with no running water, a long
drop for the toilet, although there was a power supply to the downstairs
room.
She still cooked over an open fire and collected her own water from the
one tap which supplied about 6 cottages. Lilly had married and was also
living in Clare with her husband Bill and her one daughter Pat, George
was still in Bristol, Arthur was by this time a butler in a block of service
flats in Grosvenor Square London, and Anne and her husband Charlie
were living in Gazeley, where he was stud groom of the local stud farm.
It was here that your Nan was born in 1957, an event which gave Clara
much pleasure and she would hold Nan on her knee and jiggle her up
and down and bill and coo at her! I remember being told off once in no
uncertain terms when she caught me showing Nan her own reflection in
the mirror “ Don’t show that child herself in the mirror, you’ll give her
worms!” We were always pleased to hear that Nana ( as we called her)
was coming over to Gazeley to stay for a week or so, especially if it was
pickling time for the onions, as she could peel a whole bag of onions
without crying! Also, if you had roasted a chicken you would give the
carcase to Nana to pick over, she would leave it without so much as a
smell of meat, all the best bits picked out for a pie, and the bones for
soup! Every afternoon, on would go her hat and coat and out she would
go for her walk, staying out for an hour or hour and a half, I can see her
in my mind’s eye now, striding up the road at Gazeley past the Church
and up to see Auntie Joyce who was living up by the Mill.
William himself died in 1962, but they had been apart so long that I don’t
recall her being too emotional over it, she had visited him over the years
as and when she could, but he mostly did not recognise her and it must
have almost been like hearing of the death of an old friend. George also
died around this time, dropping dead on Paddington Station, where he
and Arthur were having a farewell drink before catching his train down
to Bristol. They had got into the habit of having their holidays together,
spending some time in London at Arthur’s flat, and always a week or two
with Clara in Clare. They were good boys to her, and would have bought
her anything, but she was a very proud woman and possibly felt that she
had had enough of what she called charity. By this time she was probably
getting either a widow’s pension from the Government, or the old age
pension, and so had a certain amount of security for the first time in her
life. George left her £3000 in his Will, which she point blank refused to
spend, saying that it was George’s money, not hers! I remember her at
this time needing a new pair of shoes, and as Grandnan and I were
visiting the folks in Suffolk at the time I volunteered to take her into Bury
St Edmunds to buy them, and encouraging her to buy a more expensive
pair which fitted her beautifully, and didn’t hurt her poor old feet. No
way - she bought a much cheaper pair which she had to wear around the
house for a month before she could walk too far in them. I think it was
about 1966 or 1967 when she had her first heart attack, a great shock to
us all, but within three weeks there she was walking down Gazeley Sreet
past the Church again. It didn’t last for long though, and she soon had to
give up her little house in Bridewell Street. and moved in with Lilly and
Bill in Clare. She would still make herself useful though, helping around
the house and doing what she could, coming over to Gazeley to be with
Anne and Charlie and give Lilly a break. No mention of retirement for
her, she didn’t know the meaning of the word, to be alive meant to work,
as she had done all her life. She had become a strong Chapel member
and would undertake no work of any nature on a Sunday, which to her
was The Lord’s Day. The only work you were allowed to do was what
was necessary in order to feed your family, no sewing or knitting,
gardening or cleaning etc. She would go berserk if she saw you working
on a Sunday and she attended Chapel regularly. Always smiling, and
loved a good joke, sometimes not ones for mixed company either, she
always was a realist! I don’t recall ever hearing her complain about
anything and God knows that life had not treated her fairly. When she
died finally of another massive heart attack, it was within a year of
Grandnan and I and your Nan leaving England to come to New Zealand.
We all gathered at Bill and Lilly’s home for the funeral where she had
been living, and I remember looking up during the service and seeing
huge tears rolling down Bill’s face Afterwards, the rest of the family went
up to her bedroom to sort out her things, and found in the bottom drawer
of her chest of drawers a shroud, which she had embroidered for herself,
but no-one knew about it so it had not been used for her burial. Also in
with it was a letter and a Post Office Savings Book with several £s in it, I
don’t know exactly how much. Her final instructions were that the money
in this account was to be used for the purchase of flowers for the grave
each Sunday, but not during the winter when they would be too
expensive. Also that someone should scrub the gravestone on a regular
basis, implying that no way was she and her William ( they were buried
in the same plot) going to lie under a dirty gravestone if she could help it.
That was your great great great grandmother Clara Mansfield. I don’t
suppose that her story is too far different to that of a lot of women of her
time, they all had to work so hard and they all had so little. They were
wonderfully strong women who have left nothing but the sunniest
memories in the minds of those who were privileged to know them and
were capable of the deepest possible love for their children. They were
hard yes - you did wrong you were punished hard, but this fitted you for
life in those days, which was just as hard. You and I (Pops) are lucky to be able to say
that we are descended from such a woman. Arthur Charles Palmer. Children were:

child i. Fredrick MORTLOCK was born in Sep 1902 in Hundon. He died in Aug 1974 in Clare. (25)
child ii. Arthur MORTLOCK was born in 1904 in Hundon. He died in 1995 in Clare.
child3 iii. Anne MORTLOCK.
child iv. George MORTLOCK was born in 1908 in Hundon. He died in 1965 in London.
child v. Lilly MORTLOCK was born in 1919 in Chilton By Clare. She died in 1997 in Clare.

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