The Family History of Janet Lovesey

The Lovesey's...

This photograph is of my great-great grandparents, Patience Lovesey (nee Stephens) and William Lovesey.  One of their daughter's -  Fanny Elizabeth Lovesey (standing) is also pictured.  The photograph was taken around the 1890s in Cropthorne - a small village not too far from Evesham in Worcestershire.  The cottage outside which they were pictured was their home for many decades and was one of three terraced Farm Labourer's cottages.  The cottages are still standing but have been renovated and knocked into two cottages, now  named Perseus and Phoenix.  They are, I imagine a far cry from the poor farm-labourer's cottages that my ancestors inhabited.

William Lovesey was the son of Henry Lovesey, born circa 1796 in the village of Marston Meysey in Wiltshire.  Henry married a Mary Ann Bartlett who was born in Painswick in Gloucestershire.  Henry died in 1877, his death being registered in Pershore...  he was aged 82.  Mary Ann also lived to a ripe old age; her death was registered at the Pershore Union Workhouse in 1887, her age was given as 89 years. 

A great story is recounted in the book 'The Cropthorne Camera of Minnie Holland' by the author ER Cornell who tells a story of Patience Lovesey who by all accounts only had one tooth in her head.  Cornell states that according to legend, local schoolchildren were looking through the Lovesey's cottage window when they saw Patience chasing a pickled onion around the kitchen table, trying to spear it with her one and only tooth!

Patience also appeared in the Worcester Chronicle of 1864....  "PINVIN AND PERSHORE ONCE MORE -  Mary  Ann Baylis charged Hannah Garrett, Maria Collins, and Patience Lovesey, with using threats against her.  Ordered to pay expenses, 7s 6d. each, and bound over to keep the peace for six months"!

Left-Right... The three Lovesey boys  L-R William Thomas Lovesey (Bill), Leonard Charles Lovesey and Cyril (Sid) Lovesey circa 1918; Len in his RAF uniform during WW2; my Grandad's Funeral card

Charles Lovesey was my great grandfather... he bore a remarkable likeness to Winston Churchill and was the youngest child of William and Patience.  Like his elder siblings, he too left the Worcestershire countryside for work but he didn't stray too far when he moved to the Kings Norton Ward of North Worcestershire... an area that is now part of South Birmingham.  Charles worked as a Railwayman, being based at the Maryvale Road site in Bournville.  He married Sarah Jane Harris - a Warwickshire lass from Hatton who worked at Cadbury's prior to her marriage.   When first married, Charles and 'Jinny' lived in Bond Street in Stirchley which was then a small urban village near Bournville.  By the Edwardian period , they were living at no. 11 Warren Road in Stirchley where they would remain.

I'm not sure that Charles was a religious man but he was against any type of work being carried out on a Sunday... this included housework.  My Nan Rose would recall Sunday evenings when they would hear his footsteps coming up the entry (he never used the front door), and she and my grandad would hurry to put the ironing away before he came through the back door.  Whether Charles (like his son Len would be) was interested in industrial relations I don't know, but on sorting through his papers, I found an original General Strike poster from 1926... being on 'the Railways', he probably was. 

Len Lovesey was and will always be my hero.  Short of stature, standing at 5'6" with blue eyes, his hair was brown in his youth but I only remember it as being white-grey and brylcreemed.  His passport tells of a distinguishing feature - that of the middle finger of his left hand missing.  He apparently lost it in a machining accident at work, but he would tell me that I bit it off when I was a small child.

Len was quite ill as a child, suffering double pneumonia around the age of 10; ill health was to burden him all his life.  Len attended Stirchley Street Council School, leaving at the age of 14 in July 1930.  The Head Teacher made the following remarks on his School Leaving Certificate  "has considerable intelligence.  Should prove quite reliable and give every satisfaction".

During WW2, Len served with the RAF spending some time overseas in France.  His main role in the war was repairing Spitfires and other war planes.  Len was an electrician by trade working (amongst other firms) for ICI, The Rackhams Store in Brum (where he was sacked from during 1969 - a period when he spent a lot of time in hospital), and later the Maternity Ward of the QE Hospital.  He was also a Labour Councillor for Weoley Ward in Birmingham for the years between the late 1950s to the late 1960s, and an active Shop Steward and Trade Union member, belonging to the Electrical Engineering Union.  He was known for being a selfless, reasonable and logical man (who nevertheless would not suffer fools) who worked tirelessly for others.  After he died, I cleared out his old work chest; here I found hundreds of letters from the constituents of Weoley Castle thanking him for his help in finding better housing, or getting them hot running water and an inside loo and bath.

In the November of 1977, my beloved Grandad shuffled off this mortal coil and is still desperately missed.

above L-R - (1) Steve Lovesey aged about 14, (2) Private S L Lovesey of the Royal Signals in Cyprus c.1958, (3) 9th June 1963 at the rear of no.44, the family - Auntie Kate (Catherine Hickey), Nan Rose (Lovesey nee Hickey), me, Granny Hickey (Sophia Turland), Mom (Eileen Hymas) and Dad in the foreground with Mackey the Airedale celebrating my Christening

Steve Lovesey was and is my dad - he died after a very brave fight in the early hours of Wednesday 15th June 2011.  I love and miss him very much.  This is the Eulogy that I read at his requiem mass

Stephen Leonard Lovesey was born on Boxing Day – St Stephens Day, 72 years ago in a house on Breedon Hill. He was the much adored son of Rose and Len and spent his childhood living in Frances Road where the majority of his extended family also lived. Although he was an only child he did have lots of close cousins and you could say that one of them was a big sister to him in the form of our Pat who looked after him a lot when he was little – even though she did drop him on his head from shoulder height when he was a baby, which we always said explained a lot!

My dad attended the old St Josephs School until the age of 13, finishing his education at Bishop Challenor’s; his school reports show that he excelled at R.E., Mathematics and Sports – dad was a very good footballer in his youth, in fact his headmistress at St Joseph’s summed him up on his leaving report saying …

‘Stephen makes no noise about himself, but he has made a good Captain. He has shown himself to be thoroughly reliable and has always set an excellent example… A good sportsman and a good sport’.

In 1958, dad was one of the last band of young men to be conscripted for National Service joining the Royal Signals regiment of the British Army. After initial training at Catterick he departed England to serve in Cyprus… I once asked dad what combat was like and he said ‘pretty scary – I nearly shot a donkey’!.

After National Service dad got a job at Burmans on Wychall Lane where he spent 26yrs machining metal until he was made redundant. A year later he got a job at The Austin where he worked for 17yrs until his retirement, also machining metal. The two pieces of advice dad gave to Michael and me about the world of work were ‘study hard, you don’t want to end up in a factory all your lives like me’… the 2nd bit of advice being ‘never volunteer for anything’.

The biggest and most important part of dad’s life was us, his family, although he could never be accused of being soppy or romantic. It started early on in 1962 when he met a young lass who had recently moved to Birmingham from a small Yorkshire Village.

On one date in particular he had taken this lass to the pictures at the Pavilion in Stirchley to see Dr No, however about an hour into the film, he kept looking at his watch. Suddenly at about 10 to 10 he grabbed his young lady’s hand and rushed out of the cinema saying to her ‘C’mon, if we run we’ll just make it to the Oak for last order’s!

That young lady was my mom Eileen and surprisingly she wasn’t put off by this and married dad here at St Joseph’s in the November of 1962. Mom has since told me that many people said it would never last – but it did for over 48 very happy years, spending the 1st half of their marriage in Frances Road and the last 24yrs on Midhurst Road … and believe me, dad knew he’d backed a winner the day he married my mom.

Dad and mom went on to have 2 children – me, followed 3 yrs later by Michael and then 3 beloved grandchildren, Sarah, James and Nathan who all made him very very proud… and even though dad was a staunch blue-nose, he used to say that he was happy that Michael and all 3 of his grandchildren turned out to be Villa fans because they wouldn’t have to go through the heartache he had endured supporting Birmingham City.

A season-ticket holder down the Blues in his younger days dad keenly followed their ups and their downs… he also loved horse-racing, but his foremost passion was the dog’s. Dad had always said he’d have loved to own a racing greyhound – he’d even picked a name for this dog ‘Certa Cito’ which was his Royal Signals motto and means ‘Swift and Sure’.

Dad had many other interests – he was an old Labour Socialist and took a keen interest in politics. He loved his garden and particularly enjoyed the banter he and Lenny would have about who’d got the first bean off or who had the best crop of tomatoes.

Dad loved music – his taste ranged from Roy Orbison to Mario Lanza to Eva Cassidy through to Andrea Bocelli… his dulcet tones could often be heard throughout the house belting out operatic pieces

I can’t forget to mention that dad spent many a happy hour or 2 having a pint with friends and relations putting the world to rights and moaning about The Blues... A member of KNEX for the duration of his adult life, many could set their watches by his punctual arrival into the Snooker room. I must also give a mention to his pal Paddy who might be across the other side of the world but he’ll be thinking of Dad right now.

Dad was an honest man; pragmatic, sometimes outspoken and opinionated, but he was a warm and a generous man. I’d just like to thank dad for giving us the charmed life we as a family have lead…

His favourite poem was Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ which Michael will now read.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Keep Right On Pa    x


Generation No.1 ~ Paternal

1. Leonard Charles LOVESEY. Born on May 22 1916 in Stirchley, Birmingham, England. Leonard died on Nov 12 1977 in 44 Frances Rd, Cotteridge, Birmingham; he was 61.

On Jun 26 1938, when Leonard was 22, he married Rosina Beatrice HICKEY.   They had the following child...
            i.        Stephen Leonard LOVESEY (1938 - 2011)

Generation No.2 ~ Paternal

2. Charles LOVESEY. Born on Jul 19 1878 in Cropthorne Worcestershire, England. Charles died in 1948 in Birmingham; he was 69.

In 1900, when Charles was 21, he married Sarah Jane HARRIS.
They had the following children ...
            i.        Evelyn Pearl LOVESEY (1902 - 1968)
            ii.       William Thomas LOVESEY (1905 - 1974)
            iii.      Cyril LOVESEY (b.1908)
   1      iv.      Leonard Charles LOVESEY (1916 - 1977)
3. Sarah Jane HARRIS. Born on Feb 28 1879 in Hatton, Warwickshire. Sarah died on Apr 02 1932 in Birmingham; she was 53.

Generation No.3 ~ Paternal

4. William LOVESEY. Born in 1832 in Netherton nr Pershore, Worcs, England. William died in 1908 , reg Pershore; he was 76.

On Aug 04 1857, when William was 25, he married Patience STEPHENS.
They had the following children ...
            i.        Giles LOVESEY (b.1860)
            ii.       William Richard LOVESAY (1862 - 1933)
            iii.       Hannah LOVESEY (1863 - 1922)
            iv.      Alfred LOVESAY (b.1869)
            v.       Fanny Elizabeth LOVESEY (1871 - 1939)
            vi.      Henry Giles LOVSEY (b.1874)
   2      vii.     Charles LOVESEY (1878 - 1948)
5. Patience STEPHENS. Born on Mar 20 1835 in Ashton under Hill Glouc. Patience died on Apr 05 1919 in Cropthorne; she was 84.

Generation No.4 ~ Paternal

8. Henry LOVESEY. Born in 1795 in Marston Maisey, Wiltshire. Henry died in 1877, reg Pershore; he was 82.

Henry married Mary Ann BARTLETT.
They had the following children ...
            i.        Richard LOVESEY (1827 - 1845)
            ii.       Hannah LOVESEY, b.1828 (b.1828)
            iii.      Sarah LOVESEY, b.1831 (1831 - 1913)
  4       iv.      William LOVESEY (1832 - 1908)
            v.      John LOVESEY, b.1835 (1835 - 1878)
            vi.      Henry LOVESEY, b.1839 (1839 - 1921)
9. Mary Ann BARTLETT. Born in 1798 in Painswick, Gloucestershire. Mary died on Jan 20 1887 in Union Workhouse, Pershore; she was 89.


10. Giles STEPHENS. Born in 1796 in Winchcombe Gloucs. Giles died in 1869, reg Evesham; he was 73.

On Dec 11 1823, when Giles was 27, he married Hannah PHELPS.
They had the following children ...
          i.          Esther STEPHENS (b.1824)
          ii.          Mary Ann STEPHENS (b.1825)
          iii.         Caroline STEPHENS (1827 - 1908)
          iv.        James STEPHENS (b.1829)
          v.         Giles STEPHENS, b.1831 (1831 - 1831)
          vi.        Christiana STEPHENS (1831 - 1831)
          vii.       Charles STEPHENS (b.1833)
          viii.      Job STEPHENS (b.1835)
  5      ix.       Patience STEPHENS (1835 - 1919)
          x.         Frances STEPHENS (b.1837)
          xi.        Elizabeth Emma STEPHENS (b.1842)
11. Hannah PHELPS. Born in 1797 in Worcs. Hannah died in 1844, reg Evesham; she was 47.

Generation No.5 ~ Paternal

16. John LOVESEY. Born in Gloucs / Wiltshire ?.

John married Elizabeth (Betty) UNKNOWN
They had the following children ...
            i.         Mary LOVESEY (b.1781)
19. Hannah ?
            ii.        William LOVESEY (b.1783)
            iii.       Sarah LOVESEY (b.1786)
            iv.       Elizabeth (Betty) LOVESEY (b.1790)
            v.       John LOVESEY (1792 - 1872)
  8       vi.       Henry LOVESEY (1795 - 1877)

17. Elizabeth (Betty) UNKNOWN

18. Richard BARTLETT. Born in Gloucestershire?.

Richard married Hannah UNKNOWN.
They had one known child ...
   9        i.       Mary Ann BARTLETT (1798 - 1887)
19. Hannah UNKNOWN. . Born in Gloucestershire?.

20. John STEPHENS. Born in 1760 in Glos.

John married Ann UNKNOWN.
They had the following children ...
 10       i.        Giles STEPHENS (1796 - 1869)
             ii.       Samual STEPHENS (b.1799)
             iii.      Ann STEPHENS (b.1803)
             iv.      Mary STEPHENS (b.1804)
21. Ann UNKNOWN. Born in 1760 in Glos?.

Who, What, When, Where?

o 1841 Census – Henry Lovesey (Ag Lab), Ann & family were living in the village of Cropthorne, Worcestershire. 

o 1851 Census – Henry Lovesey (Ag Lab), Ann & family were living in the Hamlet of Charlton in the Parish of Cropthorne, Worcs

o 1861 Census – Henry Lovesey (Ag Lab), Mary A & family were living in the Civil Parish of Charlton, Worcs

o 1871 Census – Henry Lovesey (Ag Lab) & Mary Ann were living in the home of son William & family in the Civil Parish of Cropthorne in the Town of Charlton, Worcs

o 1881 Census - Mary A Lovesey was widowed and living alone in the Cottage opp Church, Cropthorne, Worcs

o 1881 Census – William Lovesey (Ag Lab), Patience & family were living in the Cottage opp Vicarage, Cropthorne, Worcs

o 1887 - Ann Lovesey, widow of Henry Lovesey, Ag Lab of Cropthorne died aged 89 on 20 January of Old Age Certified at the Union Workhouse, Pershore. The informant was William Sherlock, Master of the Union Workhouse

o 1891 Census – William Lovesey (Ag Lab), Patience & family were living in the Cottage opp Vicarage, Cropthorne, Worcs

o 1901 Census – William Lovesey (retired Ag Lab), & Patience were living at The Den in Cropthorne, Worcs

o 1901 Census – Charles Lovesey (Railway Engine Stoker) and Sarah Jane were living at 17 Bond Street, Parish of St Nicholas, Kings Norton, Bournville, Worcestershire

o 1911 Census – Patience Lovesey (widowed) was living in Cropthorne, Worcs.