Frances Amelia Meadows was born in Stepney in 1840, and was baptised at St Dunstan's Church. In June 1860 she married George Self (c.1837-1887) at St Mary's Church, Stratford, Bow. Amonst the witness at the wedding was Frances' cousin, Mary Bracebridge, the daughter of John Massey Wright. George's family made their careers as clerks and book-keepers, firstly for the East India and West Indies merchants who thrived at the Port of London during the heydey of the British Empire; and later as bank clerks and accountants.
Initially the young couple lived with Frances' parents in Coborn Street in Bow, but by 1871 they had moved to Bishopsgate in the City of London. By 1881, the family had moved once again, to West Ham, which became the family home and where George died in 1887. Following George's death, Frances continued to live in West Ham with her five daughters.
The paintings below of Frances Amelia are reproduced from the private family collection of one her descendants, by kind permission of the owner.
Frances Amelia Meadows, aged about 6, by her father James Meadows.
Two portraits of Frances Amelia Meadows, aged about 14, by her father James Meadows.
The father of the brides: George Self.
The children and grandchildren of Frances & George Self
Fanny Emily Self was born in 1862 in Poplar. In 1890 she married William Duncan at St Saviour's Church, West Ham. One of the witnesses at their marriage was Fanny's cousin, Charles Edwards, who also lived in West Ham with his brother and sister. At the time William managed a pub in Charles Street in Holborn, where the couple initially lived. They later moved to Camberwell. The photograph below of Fanny Self is reproduced by kind permission of Lesley Hayward.
Kate Anne Self was born in 1866 in Tower Hamlets. She followed the Self family tradition, and became at first a "coupon clerk", then a merchant banker's clerk, before finally becoming an accountant. The photograph below of Kate Self is reproduced by kind permission of Lesley Hayward.
Amy Edith Self was born in 1873 in West Ham. Her early career path was identical to her sister Kate. The photograph below of Amy Self is reproduced by kind permission of Lesley Hayward.
Jessie Meadows Self was born in 1876 in West Ham. At the time of the 1901 census she was a Government Telegraph clerk. Jessie married Harold Fritton Page, and they had a son, John, and a daughter, Phyllis Marjorie (1904-1998). Jessie and Harold later separated, and Jessie is believed to have moved to North America.
Photographs of Jessie Self (above) and her daughter Marjorie Page (below), reproduced by kind permission of Lesley Hayward.
Nellie Hilda Self was born in 1878 in West Ham. The picture below is reproduced by kind permission of Lesley Hayward, the granddaughter of Nellie Self.
In 1903, Nellie married Joseph William Yates-Fish at Great Ilford Parish Church. The picture below of their wedding-day, reproduced by kind permission of Lesley Hayward, shows them surrounded by their family. The couple met at the Ilford Operatic Society where they both performed.
Nellie and Joseph had two sons: Norman Laurence b.1907 in Ilford, and Stuart George. Norman read Physics at Oxford, gaining a First and later a D.Phil, and later became a scientist with many electronic inventions to his credit. He also displayed the Meadows talent for the stage, appearing in leading roles in the Bournemouth Shakespeare Players' productions. Norman married Marjorie Ashberry, a teacher and photographer.