Nicol, Mrs Mabel, nee Newman, and Mrs Elizabeth Cooper, nee Card

Notes on Mrs Mabel Nicol

For interviews with Mrs Nicol, see tapes 15, 16 and 43.

Mrs Mabel Nicol's family tree
Mrs Mabel Nicol’s family tree


After 1901
Frederick and Rose Newman went to farm at Gable House, Sandon, when they left the shop. Were Peculiars and went to G Baddow chapel from Sandon. Then to Chelmsford

By 1909, Frederick was in Canada, working in mines (probably gold mines) with a view to family following.

Before 1914: Rose and her parents, Robert and Elizabeth, i.e. Mabel’s grandparents, moved to Witham. Grandfather Robert died and grandmother Elizabeth moved to Guithavon Street with Mabel’s aunt Elizabeth (for whom see below) because Mabel’s mother Rose expected to go to Canada (grandmother lived till she was 95).
1914 or soon after, father Frederick came back from Canada because his wife wouldn’t join him there in view of the War.

Part of 1914-1918: in Witham, in bungalow in Maldon Road while Frederick worked at Billy[?] Evitt’s fruit farm in Maldon Road [probably Lound]
Part of 1914-1918: they ran Co-op at Earls Colne.
After 1918 on: caretaker and cook at De Crespigny’s house on Northey Island. [De crespigny sold Northey to Norman Angell MP, in the 1920s, according to Maldon DC Blackwater trail leaflet, 2003]

Brothers and sisters:
Stanley: sixteen months older than Mabel (so born 1893 or 1894). Journalist, first with Essex Chronicle, then Glamorgan Gazette. Killed in First World War.
Francis: born c.1905. First World War worked at Afford’s stationers and printers at 70 Newland Street, Witham. When first married, had one of the flats over Spurge’s shop (42 Newland Street). She lost touch with him since their father died.

Sandon village school
British School at the Friars, Chelmsford

December 1922, Wickham Bishops, Bob Nicol

Four. First born about 1925. Another before 1932. Another c.1932-34. Last c.1935. They were Betty, David, Malcolm, and Mary.

c.1895 to ???, Sandon, village shop
? to ?, Gable House, Sandon
??? to 1913, Chelmsford ? – ?
1913 (when 17) -1922:    Witham, 11 Guithavon Street, with aunt, Mrs Elizabeth Cooper (same as business) (rented)
Also, during the latter time, during War:
One year approx lodging with aunt in Springfield Road, Chelmsford (while working at Bolingbroke’s)
Some time at Earls Colne (while helping parents in Co-op shop)
1922 (when married) to c.1924,  Scotland, 11 miles from Edinburgh.
1924 to 1935, back to Witham, 11 Guithavon Street, with husband and aunt.
Electoral register has Elizabeth Cooper (Rw, Ow), Robert MacAlister Nicol (R, O), Mabel Rose Nicol (Rw, Dw) at Guithavon Street.
1935 to c.1970, 92 Highfields Road, rented.
c.1970 to c. 1975, Pattisson Close (i.e. after death of husband)
c.1975 onwards, 11 Rex Mott Court, Guithavon Street (sheltered flat)

1909 (at 14) to 1913, with Mrs Cant, dressmakers’ in Chelmsford (probably Mrs Frances Cant, 132 New London Road, Chelmsford (from 1912 Kelly’s directory). Apprenticed 2 years and improver one year.
1913, with Mr and Mrs Bryant, Hoddesdon, supposed to be looking after child (for one month).
1913 (at 17) to 1920, with aunt, Mrs Elizabeth Cooper, dressmaker in Witham, 11 Guithavon Street (same as home)
Also, during the latter time, during War:
One year approx at Bolingbroke’s, Chelmsford, dressmaker in workroom.bwt 1985 dec 19 mrs nicol obit
Some time at Earls Colne to help parents in Co-op shop
1920 to 1922, took over aunt’s business
1922, didn’t officially work after marriage but did odd jobs for people and still did in 1977.

Died: 9 December 1985 aged 89 (see the obituary below).

Obituary of Mrs Mabel Nicol, from Braintree and Witham Times, 19 December 1985
Obituary of Mrs Mabel Nicol, from Braintree and Witham Times, 19 December 1985

Mabel’s husband, Bob Nicol
Lived 11 miles from Edinburgh. She met him on a visit there with one of her assistants to visit the latter’s sister who had married a Scotsman she met in Witham in the First World War.
His mother was a midwife and he had two sisters and a brother John.
He was a shale miner in Scotland.
Two years in Scotland after marriage (1922-1924) and then back to Witham where he got a job at Crittall’s 1 April 1925[?]and was there 40 years (to c.1965). Except when it closed for 18 months in 1932 during the Slump.
Died c.1970


Extracts from relevant documents

1881 census returns, Great Baddow, RG 11/1766, folio 94, page 26, schedule 140 [no address]
Alfred Newman    Head    Mar    47    Laborer    born Essex, Great Baddow
Hannah A Newman    Wife    Mar    46        born Essex, Aythorpe Roding
Frederick Newman    Son        10    Scholar    born Essex, Great Baddow

1881 census returns, Sandon, RG 11/1767, folio36, page 20, schedule 118, Village
Robert Card    Head    Mar    52    Agl labourer    born Essex, Sandon
Elizabeth Card    Wife    Mar    54        born Essex, West Bergholt
Lydia Card    Dau    Unm    24    Dressmaker    born Essex, Sandon
Ruth Card    Dau    Unm    22    Dressmaker    born Essex, Sandon
Rose Card    Dau        10    Scholar    born Essex, Sandon
Bertha Hills            12    Dressmaker apprentice    born Essex, Rayleigh

1881 census returns, Rayleigh, RG 11/1768, folio 30, page 14, schedule 74, Castle Lane
Thomas Partner    Head    Mar    47    Agric lab    born Essex, Thundersley
M A Partner    Wife    Mar    57        born Essex, Rochford
Elizth Card    Visitor    Unm    26    Dressmaker    born Essex, Sandon

1891 census returns, Sandon, RG 12/1389, folio 11, page 15, schedule 100, The Stores, and 101, Coffee House, Sandon Green
Robert Card    Head    Mar    63    Grocer    born Essex, Sandon
Elizabeth J Card    Wife    Mar    64        born Essex, West Bergholt
Elizabeth Card    Daur    Single    36    Grocer’s assistant and dressmaker    born Essex, Sandon
Rose M Card    Daur    Single    20    Grocer’s assistant and dressmaker    born Essex, Sandon
Alice Collins    App    Single    15    Dressmaker apprentice    born Essex, Danbury
Ada F Card    Servant        12    Gen servant and dressmaker    born Essex, Great Baddow
Samuel Card    Head    Mar    39    Gardener domestic servant    born Essex, Great Baddow
Emma Card    Wife    Mar    48        born Essex, Boreham
Herbert Card    Son    Single    17    Agricultural labourer    born Essex, Chelmsford
Thomas Card    Son        15    Agricultural labourer    born Essex, Chelmsford
Robert Card    Son        12    Groom, post boy    born Essex, Sandon
Augusta Root    Visitor        25        born Essex, Chelmsford

1901 census returns, Sandon, RG 13/1675, folio 35 page 15, schedule 96, The Village
Robert Card    Head    M    72    Grocer (own account, at home)    born Essex, Sandon
Elizabeth Card    Wife    M    74        born Essex, W Bergholt
Frederick Newman    S in law    M    30    Dairyman (own account, at home)    born Essex, Great Baddow
Rose M Newman    Dau    M    30        born Essex, Sandon
Frederick S Newman    G’son        6        born Essex, Sandon
Rose M Newman    G’dau        5        born Essex, Sandon
Samuel Card’s family still next door.

This was the village shop in Sandon. Frederick and Rose ran it for Rose’s parents who also lived there; Rose only allowed to marry if she stayed at home and worked in shop (MN)

Elizabeth Cooper, nee Card, Mabel’s aunt
Married Mr Cooper, a widower, when about 40. He was a Witham man who worked in the tanyard at Mill Lane before they married (MN)
1881 census returns, Witham, RG 11/1809, folio 70, page 2, schedule 7, Garretts Cottages
James Cooper    Head    M    36    Fellmonger    born Essex, Witham
Mary A Cooper    Wife    M    42        born Essex, Witham
James Cooper    Son        11    Shoemaker’s apprentice    born Essex, Witham
Mary Cooper    Dau        10    Scholar    born Essex, Witham
Emma Cooper    Dau        7    Scholar    born Essex, Witham
Arthur Cooper    Son        5    Scholar    born Essex, Witham

1886    Cooper James, jun. boot ma. 5 Avon ter
1890    Cooper James, jun. boot ma. 5 Avon ter

1891 census returns, Witham, RG 12/1425, folio 41, page 22, schedule 151, Mill Lane
[probably Avon Terrace]
James Cooper    Head    M [sic]    46    French man in leather trade    born Essex, Witham
Emma Cooper    Daur    S    17    Housekeeper    born Essex, Witham
Arthur Cooper    Son    S    15    Fellmonger’s laborer    born Essex, Witham
John Cooper    Son        9    Scholar    born Essex, Witham
Samuel Cooper    Son        7    Scholar    born Essex, Witham1898 Electoral register
Occupation voters include James Cooper, of Mill Lane, Witham, qualified by dwelling house, i.e. cottage in Avon Terrace [latter is in Mill Lane]
After marriage, Elizabeth Cooper came to Witham and they set up pork butcher’s business in Newland Street. Mr Cooper’s son helped (MN)

1901 census returns, Witham, RG 13/1725, folio 22, page 5, schedule 29, Newland Street
James Cooper    Head    M    56    Pork butcher (own account)    born Essex, Witham
Elizabeth Cooper    Wife    M    46        born Essex, Sandon
Samuel Cooper    Son    S    17    Cabinet maker (worker)    born Essex, Witham

1902    Cooper J. & E. pork butchers, High st
Photo M308 shows Coopers at 33 Newland Street
Mr Cooper died and Elizabeth returned to Sandon to family temporarily (MN)
Elizabeth back to Witham at 9 or 13 Guithavon Street, and then at 11 Guithavon Street, to set up dressmaking business. Rented rooms out to the men who started Heddles’ business of travelling clothes salesmen (clothes on credit) (MN)
Had companion with her who leaving to get married. So Mabel went to live there and help her in the business. There were four or five girls working there including her. Four soldiers billeted there in First World War (MN)
Mabel took over the business (MN)
Elizabeth Cooper died. She attended the Peculiars’ chapel and was very strict (MN).


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