Wednesday, 20 August 2014

John Cruwys and Sarah Chown of Tiverton, Devon

Richard Chilcott has very kindly sent me this wonderful photograph of John Cruwys (1860-1919), Sarah Chown/Quant (1851-1921) and their daughter Winifred May Cruwys (1897-1983). The photograph is from the collection of Leslie Cruwys and is published with his permission.
John's wife Sarah Chown had previously been married to John Henry Quant (1850-1881) by whom she had three children. She married John Cruwys in 1882 a year after the death of her first husband. John and Sarah had eight children together, and Winifred was the youngest of their children.

John Cruwys is from the Witheridge Cruwys tree which can be traced back to William Cruwys and Sarah Taylor who married on 2nd February 1820 in Witheridge, Devon. William is probably the William Purchase Cruys, who was baptised on 2nd November 1794 in Cheriton Fitzpaine and was the illegitimate son of Sarah Cruys.

John Cruwys worked as a stonemason. His family remember that he lost a leg following an accident. Indeed the accident might possibly have occurred in 1901 because in the 1901 census George was a patient at St George's Hospital in Hanover Square in London. I was told a story by a local resident that John had skills as a carpenter and that if he ever broke his artificial leg he would go home and make himself another one! It was thought that he made his legs from chair legs strapped on from the knee down. You can clearly see from the crease in John's trousers that he has an artificial left leg just below the knee.

We don't know the exact date when the photograph was taken but Winifred looks as though she's in her early teens which would date the photo to about 1910. In the 1911 census John and Sarah were living at Jurishayes Cottage in Tiverton and the photograph is almost certainly taken outside their house.

1 comment:

marietje said...

Don't forget the dog on the pillow! Probably had to put it there so the dog would lay still but you see the tail is wagging. He looks like a lucky little pup.