Saturday, 19 May 2012

Louisa Crouch nee Ivall (1856-1898)

Louisa Ivall was a younger sister of my great grandfather George Ivall (1853-1932). This profile of her life contains information from John Mottram, who is her great grandson.

Louisa was born on December 29th 1855 at 6 Pontypool Place, Southwark. She was the eighth of nine children (five boys and four girls) born to David Ivall and his wife Elizabeth. In 1861, David Ivall’s family were living at 19 Nursery Row, Walworth (South London) and consisted of David (aged 44, a coach maker), Elizabeth (43), Georgina (17), Elizabeth (10), George (7), Louisa (5) and William (2). Nursery Row no longer exists, there is a park where the road used to be. Louisa was christened on 31 July 1867 at St John’s, Walworth. Louisa was nearly 14 by then - such a late christening is unusual. Her father David died later that year.

Louisa was a witness to her brother George’s wedding on 17th May 1875. On 6 February 1876, she married George William Crouch, at St John’s, Walworth. The marriage certificate gives his occupation as “Japanner” which means someone who applied Japanese style black hard varnish called “Japanning”. They were both aged 20 and went on to have 7 children who were born between 1876 and 1888.

The 1881 census shows George and Louisa living at 73 Bingfield St, Islington with their two eldest children George (aged 4) and Louisa (1). The occupation of Louisa’s husband is given as “Deal Furniture Maker (Cabinet Maker)”. It seems that George and his brother Alfred worked in a cabinet making business founded by their father George John Crouch. G J Crouch and Sons, Cabinet Makers, is listed in the Business Directory of London 1884 with premises at Alpha Place, Caledonian Road and York Road, Kings Cross. The York Road establishment is close to Bingfield Street, where George and Louisa lived. By 1891, the family’s address was 97 Pembroke St, Islington and consisted of George (aged 34, now a Cab Driver Groom) and Louisa (34) and their children George (14, a bradawl maker), Louisa (11), Florence (9), Charles (7), William (6), Alfred (5) and David (3). Louisa died in 1898 aged 42 in Islington Infirmary of phthisis pulmonalis (another name for tuberculosis). She was buried in Islington Cemetery, East Finchley.

The family moved to Edmonton soon after Louisa’s death, where two of her sons were accidentally drowned. The inquest was reported in the Edmonton and Tottenham Weekly Guardian, Friday 4 August 1899 :


On Friday afternoon last (28 July 1899), Mr Langham, deputy coroner, held a lengthy inquiry at Cemetery House, Edmonton, respecting the deaths of two lads named David Crouch, aged 10 and William Crouch, aged 14, the sons of George William Crouch, a cabman who had only resided about a week at Wimborne Road on the Church Fields Estate, Lower Edmonton and who were drowned on the previous Wednesday evening (26 July 1899) while bathing in “Salmons” brook in a hole between six and seven feet deep.
 George William Crouch, the father, said that he only moved to the present address on Monday. He never knew the boys to go into the water before. He left home to go to work about 8.10 on Wednesday evening, both boys were then at home, but must have gone out soon after.
Victor Cann, aged 8, of 4 Wimborne Rd said he met the boys across the fields and they asked him if he was going to bathe, he told them no, but he accompanied them to the brook. William went into the water first and David followed afterwards. They seemed to slip and he saw no more of them. He called out to them, but as they did not come to the surface, he ran home and told his mother and a sister of the boys.
Louisa Crouch said that she gave her brothers permission to go out. They did not say they were going bathing. Shortly afterwards the lad Cann came and told her that they were in the water and could not get out. She sent her brother and another boy to the brook and afterwards followed herself but was not allowed to see the bodies of the deceased.
Alfred Mills said he undressed and dived into the water but could not find the bodies. Some rods were obtained and soon after the bodies were recovered. The witness had seen boys bathing at that spot before.
John Newby of Ponders End, who was in charge of the Fire Station the day the council had their outing to Yarmouth, said that he heard of the occurrence and proceeded to the brook with a hitcher and pulled out both the boys. There was a hole six feet deep in the bed of the brook at this spot.
Richard Fletcher of 12 Church Lane said that he helped recover the bodies.
PC Driscoll 372N said that he and Dr Morrow attempted to restore life by artificial respiration but unfortunately failed.
The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death adding a rider to the effect that the proper authorities should be communicated with a view to having the hole filled up.
Police Constable Driscoll drew an excellent plan of the place where the accident happened for the guidance of the jury.

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