Life story retold by Deborah Oughtibridge
Sarah Swain was the daughter of Charles Swain, Joseph’s eldest son. She married William Cowley in 1880. They lived at 34 Blenheim Gardens, Reading and Wiliam worked at the biscuit factory, Huntley and Palmers. They had seven children. Sadly, Ellen Cowley age 8 months died in 1881 and was buried in unconsecrated ground in London Road Cemetery. Their son Frederick Cowley died in 1902 age 11 years and was buried in London Road Cemetery in consecrated ground.
William Cowley died in 1905 age 45. Sarah has 44 at the time. Several local newspapers reported on the sad death of William by suicide and the subsequent inquest.
In the 1911 census Sarah was living at 121 Cranberry Road with her three sons and a daughter. The other daughter was away in domestic service. One son was working on the railway and another at the biscuit factory .
In 1921 Sarah was still at 121 Cranberry Road but now with her married son Charles , his wife and their new baby. Although Charles was living in Reading at the time of the census, the record showed that he worked for Gardner, Hinton and Lockett, coal merchants and barge builders in Mile End, London. Interestingly Arthur Swain, Sarah’s brother and their cousin Joseph Henry Swain (my great grandfather) also worked at the same time for Gardner, Hinton and Lockett. One of Sarah’s daughters, Lilian, was recorded at working in Reading at the Ship Hotel as a chambermaid . Her other children had moved away from Berkshire.
In October 1921 Sarah Swain, age 62, was buried in London Road Cemetery (consecrated ground).