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26 Madras Road

History of 26 Madras Road

See 24 Madras Road.

1893 Charitable Relief

On 10 June 1893, the case (No. 2332) for Arthur Gill of 26 Madras Road was submitted by the Rev. E. C. Marshall, St Philip’s District. Mr Gill, originally from Cumberland, and his fam- ily had been at No. 26 for two and a half years. The landlord was Miss Bull of 27 Sidney Street; the rent, which was 3 shillings per week, was collected by Mr Duncombe. Assistance was being asked for Mr Gill on account of his seemingly long-lasting, though undefined, ill- ness, during which he was unable to work.

The occupants of the house were listed as: Arthur Gill (age 33), employed at the telegraph department GER (foreman W. Clark) at 19 shillings per week; Caroline Gill (27), who did washing for Miss Edwards of Market Street, earning 2/7 per week; Clare, 8, and Lily May, 5, both attending the Catharine Street School; Alfred, 3; Percy, 2. Another child, Louie, 9, was staying elsewhere with his grandmother.

The Gills were not members of any benevolent clubs or societies, and their nearest relation was Mr Gill’s mother-in-law, Mrs Flack. Their doctor was Dr Butt and their District Visitor was Miss Blackburn, who organised some relief – two pints of milk and some coal. Their references in the application were W. Prior, baker, and W. Austin, coal merchant. The application’s report reads:

R. O. Worthy can give no information about applicants. Mr Duncombe says applicants pay their rent – knows but little of them. Mr. First, applicant’s employer, says applicant has worked for him about a year & a half & is a very good man – hopes he will soon be well enough to return to his work – he gets no pay while ill but he thinks the other workmen intend making a gathering for him this week – does not know for certain – his wages when at work is 3/4 per day.

Mr Pryor, baker, says applicants have dealt with him for about two years & are very honest people. Mrs Cowell, whose husband is a coal dealer Mill Road (very respectable people I believe) says applicants wife may often been[sic] seen going to the public house with a young man, her cousin, & it is said by some that they are on far too intimate terms with each other. Mrs Brown, shopkeeper Mill Road, says the same […] Miss Blackburn, deaconess has heard the same rumour but knows very little of them.

I visited applicants house which was clean & comfortable – found the man ill in bed.

The decision: on 23 January 1893 a decision was deferred for a fortnight with, it seems, 6/6 weekly (4/- in kind) being disbursed. A certain “E.E.H.”, evidently a significant person at the charity, stated that Mr Gill “must join a club or would not be able to be helped on another occasion”. On 6 February Mr Gill was still not yet able to work. However, on 11 February it was stated that he “intends starting work on Monday but would be glad if a little help would be given to his wife for the week – his work lies away from home – promises to join a club soon”. On 13 February the case was dismissed with grant of 6/– for that week.

On the evidence of Spalding’s street directories, Arthur Gill was resident at No. 26 until around 1922/23, after which Mrs Gill was recorded, remaining there until 1951/52. Born in Cherry Hinton in 1866, she died in 1952 at the Cambridge Maternity Hospital, Mill Road (now Ditchburn Place — ).

(see Madras Road Project)


Arthur Gill, labourer


Arthur Gill, labourer


Arthur Gill, labourer


Mrs C Gill


Reginald J Gray


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