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Matlock Bath: Mrs. Mary Widdowson
People who lived in the Matlocks : Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Mary Widdowson
Photographed by John Wiliam Hilder
Mary Widdowson
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Past Matlock & Matlock Bath photographers

Upper Wood, about 1890

Upper Wood

Zoo Tea Gardens,
Upper Wood

Heights of Jacob,
Fluor Spar Cavern

An old envelope and its contents helped Chris Dewey research information about his great great aunt, Mrs. Mary Widdowson.

Born in St. Pancras, London, Mary (nee Boot) and her husband William set up home in Matlock Bath, living near Masson Mill and also in Matlock Dale[1]. They spent a many years living in Upper Wood on the Heights of Jacob, next door to Jacob Raynes. It was here Mary was visited by her very young great niece about 1918; Mary is remembered as a very elderly lady who ran a tea room in Matlock Bath. William and Mary had one daughter, Bessie, who died in childhood. Bessie was buried at Holy Trinity Church in 1861[2]; her father was buried there in 1907 but it is not yet known when Mary died. She wasn't in Matlock Bath in 1911, but there were two uninhabited properties in Upperwood at the time of that census[3].

Mary's photograph was taken in the studio of the photographer John William Hilder on South or Museum Parade. Although he didn't advertise in Kelly's 1887 Directory, Hilder set up in business in Matlock Bath some time between then and 1891, continuing to advertise until 1899. He was still in the village in 1901, described as a "Photographer Stationer Domestic".
See 1901 census transcripts.

Envelope addressed to Mary, sent in 1895, which the photograph was kept in.

There is more on site information about
Part of Upperwood is shown in an 1890 picture
Matlock Bath Golf Club

Images of the photograph and envelope kindly provided by and © Chris Dewey, who would like to hear from anyone with more information about Mary or knows anything about her possible family connection to Jesse Boot.
researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] See 1861 census | 1871 census | 1881 census | 1891 census | 1901 census. It is probable that the couple married in Q4 1855, but William was not the child baptised at Chesterfield on 11 Apr 1832. His parentage is unknown at present.

[2] See Matlock Bath : Holy Trinity Church Burials. Mary possibly died in 1921, aged 82 - but this has not been verified.

[3] The 1911 census is available on FindMyPast - see Links in the footer.