Tuesday, 14 April 2015

L is for Lofthouse-Joseph Platt Lofthouse

Joseph Platt Lofthouse  1813-1857
Joseph Platt Lofthouse II 1848-1921

On  5th November 1812 James Lofthouse married Jane Platt in Checkley Staffordshire. At the Checkley parish church on 23rd August 1813 Joseph Platt Lofthouse was christened. He was my husband's great grandfather.
Joseph Platt Lofthouse quickly followed in his father's footsteps as a surveyor. From Gateway to the Past website http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/leisure/archives/collections/OnlineCatalogues/GatewaytothePast/home.aspx it was discovered that he had surveyed large areas of Staffordshire, particularly near Milwich in the 1830's. Copies of the surveys are available at the William Salt Library in Stafford.
After his marriage to Elizabeth Reeves on 9th September 1840 in the Holy Trinity church at Berkswich Staffordshire he continued his surveying. They were blessed with 2 daughters-Elizabeth ( 1842-1857)and Louisa (1844-1868).
His surveying must have been exceptional as he was called to London in the late 1840's to survey the Kensington area for the Great Exhibition of London in 1851. While the family were there Joseph Platt Lofthouse II was born in Lambeth on 9th April 1848.
The plan of estates in the parishes of Kensington and St. Margarets Westminster, in the County of Middlesex. was purchased by Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851. [1860] which is bound into the volume  Miscellaneous pamphlets : Prince Consort, Woolwich, South Kensington &c. &c. NAL Pressmark: 802.AA.0053. Several years ago a lithograph of the plan was on sale for 600 pounds-way beyond our budget I'm afraid.
Joseph continued surveying in Staffordshire until his death on 30th November 1857. Shortly after, Elizabeth died leaving the children to be under the care of Uncle Thomas Reynolds Lofthouse and Aunt Ann Reeve(Mrs Thomas Reeve)-nee Ann Reeves and the Lofthouse grandparents.
In the 1861 census James Lofthouse was living in Hopton Staffordshire still listed as a surveyor and now had Jane his wife, Louisa and Diana Jane his granddaughters and Joseph Platt his grandson living with him. Also there were 2 servants Ellen Holford and Lorenze Brain and a visitor Harriet Platt aged 29.
James died later that year. So in 1871in the census Jane is widowed but running a farm of 30 acres. Granddaughter Diana Jane and grandsons Joseph Platt Lofthouse and Thomas Clark Lofthouse are living with her. Ellen Holford is listed as a servant still but there is another servant Arthur Fradley aged 11 who looks like he might be from the neighbouring family as they are Fradley's.
Joseph Platt Lofthouse is listed as a civil engineer aged 22. Thomas Clark Lofthouse was the son of Thomas Reynolds Lofthouse,  the other son of James & Jane Lofthouse.
From the 1879 Post Office Directory for Stroud, Gloucestershire  Joseph Platt Lofthouse II was listed as an architect, civil engineer and  surveyor to the Local Board. By 1881 he is living in Landsdown, Stroud, Gloucestershire with his sister Diana Jane, his cousin Thomas Clark Lofthouse and Caroline Synnach, a servant. He is working as a civil engineer and town surveyor.
Now he had to take a trip across the country to Caistor Lincolnshire in 1887 for his marriage to Ellen Josephine Dixon on February 22. Here begins the lies.On the marriage certificate he says he is 34 when he is actually 39 but I guess as Ellen is only 18 he wants to appear younger.
Claude Gilbert Lofthouse joined the family on 14 November 1887.
In 1890 Joseph was fined for not appearing as a juryman. As he was listed as living at 52 Hammersmith Rd, Hammersmith London in the 1891 census I guess he'd left Stroud without telling them he was shifting.
Again in the 1891 census he is creative with his age-39 this time when it should be 43.  Ellen Josephine and 3year old Claude are there and Joseph is working as a civil engineer and surveyor. At the same address we have Ellen Josephine Dixon, his mother-in-law, sisters-in- law Mary aged 14 and Norah aged 3, and brothers-in-law Samuel aged 13, Sidney aged 11 and Lionel aged 8 as they had shifted from Caistor Lincolnshire. Thomas Dixon, Ellen Lofthouse's uncle was also living there.
By 1901 they had shifted to 30 St James Square Kensington London and again he has a creative age of 49(should be 53) and he is an engineer and surveyor. Claude Gilbert is at school and from other records we know it was Merchant Taylors School for boys.
Now in 1911 Joseph Platt gets more creative. He's single, 52(no-he's 63), a civil engineer and boarding with a widow at 6 Albert Terrace, Towcester.
There is no trace of Ellen Lofthouse in the 1911 English census. Family stories have it that she went to Argentina for some time. There are records of her travelling to Buenos Aires in 1914 and on the passenger list it has her as a permanent resident of Argentina. So maybe that was where she was in 1911.
Poor Joseph Platt Lofthouse ended his days in Rowton House 103 St Dunstans Rd Fulham,,Middlesex on July 16 1921. At that time his son Claude was also living in this single men's accommodation.

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