The Caves

Victorian Studio Photos
Victorian Studio Photos

Mrs Cave was born Isabella Julia Starck (or de Starck) on 20 June 1792 and christened in a job lot of Starcks on 31 January 1794 at St Marylebone. The parents were Charles George and Isabella Starck. In May 1818, probably at Salisbury, Isabella married surgeon Thomas Cave (it seems she was by then styling herself as Isabella Juliana or just Juliana). Unfortunately, Mr Cave did not last all that long and died in 1833, aged only 42, after 'a long and painful illness'. The family was then located in Poole, Dorset and Mrs Cave was left with ten children on her hands.

In the 1841 census she was still in Poole, described as an instructress of youth (I think it says), which probably means she was trying to make ends meet by teaching children. Her own children were as follows.

Thomas CharlesBorn 24.2.1819 Salisbury. Emigrated to USA and died 1880 San Francisco.
Caroline JuliaBorn 16.7.1820 Salisbury. Married 1850 Robert Thomas Kent (barrister, who died 1886). Died Staines 1872.
Henry MauritiusBorn 15.11.1821 Salisbury. Married 1850 Elizabeth Williams. Died Poole 26.6.1880. Henry worked in the Coastguard Service.
Julia MatildaBorn 4.4.1823 Salisbury. Married 1853 George Neave Penney (merchant, who died 1875). Died 1900 Gloucestershire.
William John Everard (or Edward)Born 21.8.1824 Salisbury. Died 1843 Poole.
Gertrude MaryBorn 27.1.1826 Christchurch, Hants. Married 1851 John Budden (gasworks manager). Died Poole 1.8.1911.
Emma ArabellaBorn 8.6.1827 Christchurch. Married 1851 William Hicks (solicitor). Died 17.7.1912 Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Emma had 16 children in total.
Frederic AlfredBorn 10.11.1828 Christchurch. Nothing found.
Agatha SarahBorn 1830 Poole. See later.
Frank EdwardBorn 1832 Poole. Nothing found after 1851 census, when he was a bank clerk and still living at home.

Mrs Cave was still running her little school for ladies in 1851, with five of the children still at home, but that was soon to change. Gertrude, Julia and Emma got married and Frank presumably left home, so there was just Agatha left. Mrs Cave moved into the College and took Agatha with her. Both were still there in the 1871 and 1881 censuses, Mrs Cave being 92 by then and Agatha 50. Also there was Julia Matilda (Mrs Penney), who had been widowed in 1875.

Agatha Sarah Cave
Agatha Sarah Cave
Photograph by Cuthbert John Hopkins, courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Mrs Cave expired in 1883 and, in a nice touch, the service at St Martin's was conducted by the Rev. William Delancy West, headmaster of the College: she was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Grave A27A). Agatha remained in Epsom, living at Woodbine Cottages, Station Road. Julia Penney was with her, described as a visitor, in the 1891 census, but she died in December 1900, then living at Merlin Haven, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, which is where Agatha was in 1901, the householders now being Caroline and Benjamina Penney, two of Julia's daughters. By 1911 Agatha, aged 80, was living with a niece, Beatrice Helen Kent (daughter of Caroline Julia Cave, who had died in 1872), at Chapel Farm House, Greenham, Berkshire. Beatrice died in 1913, but Agatha stayed on at Greenham until her own death on 4 January 1914, leaving effects of 279. She was probably the last survivor of Mrs Cave's children.

Linda Jackson 2018