NameFlorence Ethel Hart
Birthca 1873, Marylebone, London [23]
Death2 Nov 1936, Carlisle House, Mill Hill [24]
Birth29 Jan 1857 [14]
Death10 Mar 1937 [22]
FatherReginald John Graham (1822-1897)
MotherEllen Leah Boileau (1838-1918)
MarriageSep 1903, Brighton
Notes for Florence Ethel Hart
Or Frances. She’s called both, in the census and the electoral records. Her probate record calls her Florence, so that’s probably the correct name. Or maybe both are correct. Dunno.
Notes for Thomas (vii) Henry Boileau (Spouse 1)
Of Edmond Castle. J.P. cos. Sussex and Cumberland, Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn (1882). Educ. Eastbourne and Trin. Coll. Camb. M.A. (1885). He published a large number of articles in the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquities and Archaeological Society (he was the editor from 1926-1934), many about the Grahams, others about local Cumberland history. I have copies of some of them, especially those pertaining to the Grahams.
According to Hudleston and Boumphrey [21], he lived for many years in retirement in London, and Edmond Castle was uninhabited, and was eventually sold.

Burke’s genealogy says he died on May 10th, but I have a copy of a newspaper clipping that says March 10th. Both agree on 1937.

He was the author of “Some English Expletives”, The Gentleman's Magazine/Volume 271, August 1891, pp. 192-201. It’s a hilarious read, although probably not intended to be so.

One source (Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students ..., Volume 2) says that he was unmarried when he died. His death notice in the Yorkshire Post says nothing about a wife or children, which strongly suggests no wife or children. However, this is quite clearly wrong.

In the 1911 census is listed:
Thomas Henry Graham, head, aged 54, married for 17 years. Private means, born in Eastbourne, Sussex.
Frances Ethel Graham, aged 38, born in Marylebone, London.
They had four children living (one dead). Herbert Henry (14), Cecil John (11), Violet Ethel (9), Eric Charles (7)

The children were born in Wellesden, Middlesex, and they had a single servant, Maud Faithful, aged 25. The address of the family was 214 Walm Lane, Cricklewood.

Hudleston and Boumphrey say explicitly that his eldest son was Herbert Henry Cecil Graham. My grandmother’s handwritten notes concur with this, and also mention an unnamed son, and a daughter called Violet. All is consistent.

Then in the electoral registers, we see, in 1925:
Cecil John Hart Graham
Eric Charles Graham
Thomas Henry Graham (Owner)
Florence Ethel Graham (HO; i.e., qualified by husband’s occupation!)
Herbert Henry Cecil Graham

All living in Carlisle House in the Parish of Hendon (so this wasn’t the fancy Carlisle House in SoHo). In fact, Kelly’s Directory says that Carlisle House was in Uphill Road, Mill Hill.

We see the same in 1926, 1927, 1928. Son Herbert Henry moved away for a few years, but was back by 1936, although Eric Charles had gone by then.

So there is absolutely no doubt that THB Graham lived with Florence Ethel, presumably happily, for many years in the suburbs of London. They claimed they got married in 1894, but did they? See below.

THB Graham died intestate (Yorkshire Post, June 24, 1937). In the Probate Calendar he has two entries. On 24 June Cecil John Hart Graham and Eric Charles Graham (two of his sons) were named as the administrators. On 23 August, Nora (sic. They meant Nona) Evelyn Graham and Henry Fergus Graham were named as administrators. With 90,000 pounds in effects. Not bad. Why were new administrators appointed, the sons got rid of, and then the estate given to the youngest son? Seems very suspicious.

Well, I think I know the answer. There is no record anywhere of a marriage of a Thomas Henry Graham to a Frances (Florence) Ethel in 1894. As there should definitely be, if they were married in 1894, as claimed in the 1911 census. However, there is a record of a Thomas Henry B. Graham getting married to a Florence Ethel Hart in Brighton (Vol. 2b, page 498), in the 3rd quarter of 1903. In other words, just before Eric Charles was born, but after the other children were born.

If this was discovered only at the time of his death, much would be explained. The other children would have been officially illegitimate, and Eric would have got the lot, so he could not have been an administrator for probate. I’m guessing that Florence Ethel Hart from Marylebone was a decidedly unsuitable marriage for Thomas Henry Boileau. so perhaps they just lived together, pretending to be married, until they finally did the deed just before their last child was born. It certainly makes a lot of sense. No certainty, though.

Fortunately, this all agrees with some information I got from a descendant, Anne Ruffel, who corresponded with me in 2013. According to her version of the family history, “
the story goes that Ellen Boileau who had umpteen children had as close a grip on her family as Queen Victoria. The eldest son managed to escape to London, where he worked, and diligently went home each weekend. He managed to marry in secret, how he explained everything to his new family goodness knows but evidently Ellen never found out. Eric was the result.”

Which tallies almost exactly with what I found out. So there is actually a record in the family history of a secret marriage, which seems to be mostly supported by the evidence. Cool.
Last Modified 11 Dec 2015Created 12 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh