“The Case of the Intertwined Families”


He married twice, and both times to daughters of well off fathers. The first marriage was to Clara Jane Wilson, daughter of John Wilson, of The Laurels, Upper Tooting. John Wilson was editor of The Globe, a barrister, and a Justice of the Peace. The families would have been neighbours in Upper Tooting. His marriage to Clara was in 1866, when he was 24 and she was 22. There was one daughter from the marriage, Winifred, born in 1867. Clara died at Brighton in May 1909 at the age of 64 after 43 years of marriage.

[Put this in a footnote]. “The Globe” was also published as “The Globe and Traveller”, and later became incorporated in “The Pall Mall Gazette” which continues today as “The Evening Standard”.

Almost exactly one year after the death of Clara he married again, this time to a woman 23 years younger than himself and only 11 months older than his daughter Winifred. The new wife was Gertrude Jane Corsar, the widow of David Corsar, of The Elms, Arbroath, Scotland. [For info on him search “David Corsar” Arbroath] Gertrude Jane was the daughter of George Simpson of Devizes, Wiltshire. [For info on Simpson search “George Simpson” Devizes].  I’m sure this must have been cause for much discussion amongst the family!

George Simpson is listed as a newspaper proprietor in the 1881 census, and a son, another George Simpson is also listed as a newspaper proprietor. He must have carried on in the publishing business as there are books with the George Simpson imprint of the sort that Frederic Lucas would have been interested in.

Interesting that both of his father-in-laws were in the publishing business, and that he too must have been a bookish sort of man. He obviously had connections with Henry Stevens, the antiquarian bookseller and agent to the British Museum

1891 Census:

Both Gertrude and Cecil Simpson are living with their parents at 90, Trinity Road, Wandsworth.  Both are unmarried.  Gertrude has no occupation given and Cecil is a law student.  George Simpson, the parent, is “Living on own means”.   In 1881 he was still in Wiltshire and a “newspaper proprietor”, so sometime in the intervening 10 years he moved to Wandsworth / Tooting.

Fred Lucas is living at 169 Trinity Road, along with his wife Clara, their daughter Winifred, and Clara’s nephew John G. Wilson.

1901 Census :

By now George Simpson has died and his widow is living at 161 Trinity Road along with one son, Cecil.   He is age 35 and a solicitor.  Gertrude is no longer there as she has married David Corsar and moved to Scotland.  161 Trinity Road is at the corner of Trinity Road and Hendham Road and can be seen on Google Maps Street View.

A few houses down at 169 Trinity Road are Frederic W. Lucas and Clara J. Lucas.  With them is their daughter Winifred and Clara’s sister Georgina V.A. Wilson.

Oooh, it gets complicated!   Let’s just sort this out now.  Clara J. Lucas and Gertrude Simpson are the same age and probably would have known each other.   In 1898 Gertrude Simpson marries David Corsar, of Scotland, and moves to Scotland with him where she subsequently has twin girls in 1900.

In 1905 David Corsar dies (Gertrude’s husband) and in 1909 Clara J. Lucas dies (Frederic’s wife).  In 1910 Frederic and Gertrude marry, thus making Gertrude the step mother of Winifred when there is less than a year’s difference in their age.  There is no record of how this marriage was received by Winifred.

Winifred Mary Lucas, his daughter

Winifred married, at the age of 34, a man older than her father and 23 years older than herself, Louis Hooper Le Bailly, of the Island of Jersey in the Channel Islands and living in Weybridge, Surrey. He was a widower and already had a family of his own, with the older children not much different in age than the new wife. There were no children from this marriage. You have to wonder what his family thought of this marriage!