The Wright Family of Redhill and their Family Bible
This scan of a family bible and the photo of its writer and her husband, who lived at 8, Ladbroke Cottage, Redhill, as well as other material, was very kindly sent by Mike Smith of Jersey as they form a part of the history of Redhill.
The bible and its owner, Lizzie Wright, with her husband Jabez (pictured c1896-8)
The entries on the left hand page read: -

Clara Wright born at past 10 Saturday morning 10th Feb 1866
Alice Wright born at 12pm the day Monday Novbr the 12th 1868
Lissie Wright born at to 4 on Saturday morning 17th July 1869
George Wright born at 11o'clock on Monday night 2nd Jan 1871
William Wright born at 2 o'clock on Monday morning 23rd Sepbr 1873
John Wright born at 5 min to 10 on Thursday morning 15th Sepbr 1874
(see also additional information below)
Harry Wright born at half past 9 Thursday night 5th October 1876
Thomas Wright born the 25th of Feb. 1878. Died on the 3rd March 1878
Sarah Wright born 17th March 1879 at
past 3 in the afternoon.
Baby still born 18th Nov. 1881 at 20 min past 11 in the morning.
Nellie Wright born on the 21st Jan 1882 at four o'clock in the afternoon

The entry on the right hand page reads:

Lizzie Wright
First Prize for
Punctual Attendance at the
Mother's Meeting
St Matthew's Redhill
Christmas 1877

Station Road, Redhill with St Matthew's Church visible


St Matthew's Mother's Union group. The Rev Henry Brass (far left at the back) was vicar 1862-1904 so the picture must date from between those years. The Rev Brass would have been well known to Lizzie and it was quite posibly he who presented the bible to her.


Mike says: -
Lizzie Wright was mother to Clara Johnson, nee Wright, my great grandmother. Lizzie's father was William Taylor an upholsterer. Lizzie was born c1840/41 in Nottinghamshire and died 11th Sept 1910 aged 69yrs. Christened Lissie Taylor, on her wedding certificate (see below) is the mention of being baptized as Lissie Taylor. Her name was also transcribed as Jessie in the IGI records. Married to Jabez Wright on 29th Oct 1865 at St John's Redhill, Surrey. More or less the right thing to do as she was pregnant at the time. They lived at 8 Ladbroke Cottages, Redhill. Feb 10th 1866 was when Clara, my great grandmother, her first child, was born. Lizzie was then 26 years old. In 1877 she lived lived in Redhill Surrey but is buried in Manor Park Cemetery (grave no.158 square 41). She bore eleven children, one was still born, her first was Clara at the age of 26 yrs. She was given the bible as first prize in 1877 for punctual attendance at the Mother's Meeting at St Mathew' Church, Redhill, and within the back and front covers she wrote the names, dates and times when her children were born.

The map shows Ladbroke Cottages between Ladbroke Road (made 1860) and the main London-Brighton Railway line. Very close to Redhill town centre they were built by the Redhill and Reigate Cottage Improvement Society at about the same time as the road. Some seem to have been demolished and how they were numbered has not yet been discovered, so which one was Jabez and Lizzie's home is not known.
The picture on the right shows some of the cottages as they are today and how close those away from Ladbroke Road are to it. As an engine driver Jabez would never have been away from the railway and steam engines even when at home.

This is the entry for the first ten cottages from the street directory for 1899. Jabez is shown at no.8. There is also a Miss Wright at no.5. She was probably unrelated to Jabez's family.


(Map, photo and street directory Alan Moore)

Marriage certificate of Jabez and Lizzie (Jessie)
Engine driver Jabez was married to Jessie Taylor at St John's Church, Redhill, by the Rev. Henry Gosse on October 29th 1865. Jabez's father was William Wright, a shoe maker, and Jessie's father was William Taylor, an upholsterer. (Certificate courtesy Mike Smith)
     Jabez Wright was the son of a shoe maker and lived with a large family in a small worker's cottage at Ratby in Leicestershire. He was still at home at the age of 14 but left soon after (1851 census) to work with one of the railway companies, probably as an engine cleaner, then was a locomotive fireman and later an engine/locomotive driver. He must have been working and living on the railways because he missed out on the next 1861 census. But in 1865 he got Lizzy Taylor pregnant and 5 months later on the 29th October 1865 was married at Redhill Surrey. Here he set up home for the next 20 odd years and had eleven children. They were pretty poor as his daughters left home at the age of 13 or 14 to work as servants, and one was sent to live with his brother William and his wife

Clara Wright, Lizzie and Jabez's firstborn, married Walter Johnson at the Wandsworth Rrgister Office and had a daughter, Muriel. After the death of Walter Johnson Muriel came to live with Lizzie and Jabez in 1901 while Clara worked as a cook elsewhere. Jabez died August the 12th 1908, leaving a widow and, as far as I know, nine surviving children, and was buried at Manor Park Cemetery on the east side of London.

Clara Wright c1910
(photo courtesy Mike Smith)

 (Certificate courtesy Mike Smith)

Muriel Johnson, daughter of Clara Wright. She was born in Redhill on 29th September 1897. She moved to Jersey with her mother, Clara, and in 1923 married Ernest Albert Smith. But it turns out that Ernest also came from Redhill as the cutting from a Jersey newspaper testifies. This was at first thought to be a possible reporting error but the marriage certificate for Ernest's parents below shows them as being resident in Redhill at the time of their marriage at Nutfield Parish Church.

Muriel Johnson c1910

(Photo and cutting courtesy Mike Smith)

 (Certificate courtesy Mike Smith)
Brief family tree showing those with known Redhill connections in red 
 Mary Reddy (photo courtesy Mike Smith)

Information regarding John (Jack) Wright (6th child of Lizzie and Jabez)
John Wright was killed aged 41 on board the steamship Princess Irene, which was a 5,900 ton Royal Navy Minelayer based at Sheerness in Kent. Moored in the River Medway on 27th May 1915 she blew up without warning as a result of a catastrophic internal explosion. There was only one survivor and the remains of those on board were scattered over a wide area. Few bodies were found. Those that were found are buried in Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham. A memorial to this and the Bulwark disaster is situated opposite Sheerness Railway Station. The Official Enquiry determined that work priming the lethal mines was being carried out in a hurry by untrained personnel.

Many thanks to Mike Smith who made this addition to the 'Families of Redhill' page possible
If you have any information to add to this or any of the other pages on this website please contact author
This is a page on Alan Moore's website