Albert Williams And William Blomfield

Drapers and outfitters

As you can see from the advertisement below, there was not much that Messrs Williams and Blomfield could not do to clothe you for any occasion!

Williams and Blomfield Advert
Williams and Blomfield Advert

Background

Albert Frederick Williams and William George Blomfield probably met just before 1861, when they were both young assistants to John Bailey, a draper in Epsom High Street. Mr Bailey died in 1861 and his son, Edwin Ward Bailey, carried on for a while, but by 1871 he had moved away. The Bailey family was somewhat in decline after the demise of John Bailey, but Williams and Blomfield were definitely on the up. They were both from East Anglia, but were not working-class lads from the sticks looking to make good: they were middle-class boys who had been apprenticed to a trade.

Albert Williams

Albert Frederick Williams was born in 1841 in Framlingham, Suffolk, son of Augustus Frederick Williams (c. 1820-85). Augustus was originally from Braintree in Essex but by 1861 he had moved the family to Epsom and ended up as the Assistant Overseer and Collector of Rates (for more information on what this entailed, see 'The Poor') and Registrar of Marriages, jobs subsequently taken over by his son, Charles Burton Alexander Williams (1851-1913). Another son, Andrew Angelo Williams, was an outfitter's assistant, presumably working with his brother Albert.

William Blomfield

William George Blomfield was the son of a Superintendent of Police and came from Foulsham, Norfolk, where he was born in 1839. Having learned the drapery trade in Mr Bailey's extensive establishment, Albert and William had set up in partnership by 1871.

Williams & Blomfield

In 1866 Albert married Caroline Lunn of Carshalton, who had been working as a housemaid at the establishment of Joseph Ward, surgeon, at Clay Hill, Epsom. In the following year William married Emily Jane Frith, the daughter of Epsom schoolteachers, Thomas and Eliza Ann Frith.

Although Albert and William started out as drapers, they soon expanded into outfitting of all kinds and had two establishments, one in the High Street and one in South Street. William was a Poor Law Guardian for many years (The Poor ).

By 1901 Albert had retired, but William Blomfield was still involved in the business, although it looks as if his son, William Charles (see below), had taken over the day-to-day running. This situation continued until at least 1911 and probably beyond that.

William George Blomfield died on 4 October 1917 and was buried in Epsom Cemetery. He left effects of £8,523 (about £450,000 in today's terms). His wife Emily Jane had died in 1893.

Albert Frederick Williams died on 16 July 1919, leaving effects of £10,165 (about £400,000 ). His wife Caroline died less than a month later, on 11 August 1919, leaving effects of £90. Their last address was 'Framlingham', Burgh Heath Road.

The Williams children

Victoria May, born in 1871 in Epsom and Caroline Amelia, born in 1874 were both unmarried and living at home in 1911; nothing definite is known about what happened to them.

Albert Charles (1873-1928) was an architect who designed the 1914 Luncheon Annexe at the racecourse. He lived at Grove End and is buried in Epsom Cemetery.

The Blomfield children

William Charles was born in 1868 in Epsom and married Louisa Mary Chuter, daughter of Epsom builder Thomas Chuter (1868-1958). He died on 23 November 1925 in the Victoria Nursing Home, New Malden and is buried in Epsom Cemetery.

Edith Ellen Mary was born in 1872; she died unmarried in Colchester district in 1945.

Linda Jackson - © November 2011


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