Friday, 26 April 2013
Primroses for Daisy Maud Spencer
Memorial to Daisy Maud Spencer, All Saints Cemetery, Maidenhead Berkshire.
"In Loving Memory of Daisy Maud Spencer who died suddenly August 21st 1911 Aged 29 - Rest in Peace."
Daisy Maud Spencer was born in Cookham Berkshire in 1882 to Julius Spencer, a solicitors clerk, and his wife Sarah Jane Lloyd. Daisy was the cousin of Sir Stanley Spencer.
Daisy first appears on the 1891 Census, aged 8 years old, living at Belmont Villa in Cookham, High Street (the house next door to Stanley Spencer's famous home Fernlea, however the villa's name has changed to Bellingho), with her parents and elder siblings Mabel Lloyd, an art student born in 1873, Lilly who was born disabled in 1875, and Violet Eleanor born in 1881.
Sadly Lily Spencer passes away in 1899 in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
In 1901 the 18 year old Daisy is still living in Belmont Villa (next door to her 9 year old cousin Stanley Spencer), with her parents Julius and Sarah Jane. Sadly in 1901 Violet Eleanor passes away aged only 20 years and in 1902 Julius passes away in Bournemouth, aged only 54 years.
The Reading Mercury reported -
"Death of Mr. Julius Spencer - The death occurred at Bournemouth Wednesday week, at the age of 54, of Mr. Julius Spencer a well-known and respected inhabitant of Cookham. The funeral took place at Maidenhead Cemetery on Saturday afternoon and was attended by a large number of relatives and friends, the latter including many residents of Maidenhead and Cookham. The deceased was on of the oldest continuous season-ticket holders on The Great Western Railway, travelling to London every day to attend at the office where he had been engaged for the past 30 years. Among other duties, he held the post of vestry clerk to the united parishes of SS Lawrence and Mary Magdalene Jewry. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. J. Stephen Barrass, rector of St. Lawrence Jewry."
In 1903 Daisy was admitted to Bethlem Royal Hosptial for the Mentally Ill, possibly for depression. Bethlem Royal Hospital was one Britain's oldest hospitals dealing with patients with mental health issues. It's foundation can be traced as far back as 1247.
Daisy was released seven months later, however on 15th December 1909 she was admitted to Camberwell House Asylum, until her release on 8th June 1910. This was not to be her last stay at a hospital for the mentally ill.
1911 finds the widowed Sarah still living in Belmont Villa with her daughter Mable Lloyd now a hospital nurse.
In 1911 Daisy was a patient at Essex County Asylum, her entry gives her age as 27 and her previous occupation as governess. On 10th April 1911 Daisy was admitted for a second time to Bethlem Royal Hospital.
Daisy's probate records states that she died on 21st August 1911 in Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark Surrey, leaving £500 to her sister Mabel.
I cannot be certain for the reasons behind Daisy's admittance to those hospitals or even her death, but I suspect that depression of some sort had it's part to play, both in her life and her death.