Mabel Lucy Marsh formerly Banks (1875 – 1932) of Croydon, Holborn and Sevenoaks

She was known as ‘Bunny’.

Mabel Lucy Banks was born on 24 June 1875 at Croydon (registered Croydon district, September quarter 1875).  The London Evening Standard for 26 June 1875 carried an announcement to the effect that Mrs F.S. Banks gave birth to a daughter at Leslie Lodge on 24 June. She was a daughter of Frederick Seymour Banks and Elizabeth formerly Belsham.


In 1881 she was in the household of Lucy E. Lucy (widow, aged 68, born Havant, Hampshire) of 2 College Road Brighton.  Mabel was described as ‘Mabel A. Bank, niece’, aged 5 and born at Croydon.  She was not with her parents in Croydon on census night. This is further supported by the fact that there was also present with Lucy Lucy, Ellen M. Watts, aged 28, also a niece.  Ellen was a daughter of John George Watts who was a witness at the marriage of Frederick Seymour Banks and Elizabeth Belsham.  In 1861 Mabel's mother, Elizabeth formerly Belsham aged 12, was living with Lucy Eliza Lucy and her husband John George Lucy, at Epping.  Elizabeth was described as 'cousin'.  Elizabeth Banks was later described as the 'adopted niece' of Lucy Eliza Lucy in Lucy's will dated 1877. Mabel, although not a blood relative of Ellen, might be considered her half second cousin, by adoption!


In 1891, at home with her parents, she was aged 15 and born in Croydon, Surrey.


In 1901, living at home with her parents, Mabel L. was aged 25 and born at Croydon.


In 1911 she was living with her parents aged 35, an assistant to a horse commission agent and born in Croydon.


Mabel Lucy married a Marsh (by December 1929, the date of her mother's will).  An extensive search for her marriage in the GRO indexes between 1901 and 1931 inclusive failed to find the marriage under the name Mabel Banks.  However, a further careful study of the Banks marriage entries in the GRO indexes did reveal an entry for a Maud L. Banks, marrying a Marsh in the Pancras district in the December quarter of 1925.  The Pancras district is near John Street.  It is possible that a badly written Mabel could have been read as Maud. The certificate (a photocopy of the quarterly returns copy which itself is a transcription of the register) was therefore obtained and found to be the correct one, even though the name was Maud, not Mabel, both in the index and in the transcribed signature.

The certificate, prepared from the quarterly returns, states that the marriage took place on 26 December 1925, after banns, at Holy Trinity, Grays Inn, Holborn.  Maud Lucy Banks was aged 50, a spinster of 4 John Street, Bedford Row, a daughter of Frederick Seymour Banks, a gentleman.  James Douglas Marsh was aged 35, a widower and gardener, of 13 Redmans Place, Sevenoaks, a son of James Douglas Marsh (deceased), an ostler.  The witnesses were H Osborn and Benjamin Carswell.


James Douglas Marsh was 15 years younger than Mabel.  In 1901 he was living with his parents at Petts Court (London Road?), Sevenoaks in 4 rooms, aged 10 and born at Sevenoaks.  His parents were James Marsh aged 36, a general labourer and born in Ireland and his mother was Mary aged 36 and born at Tonbridge.  His brothers were Charlie aged 8, Cecil aged 6 and Reginald aged 2 and all were born in Sevenoaks.  James's mother-in-law's sister, Sophia Maria Wells and her family lived in Sevenoaks in 1901, and perhaps this accounts for how Mabel and James met.


The family did not approve of this marriage.  The much younger man was thought to be marrying Mabel because she was likely to inherit quite a large amount of money.  Her father, Frederick Seymour therefore left her nothing in his will, though her mother, Elizabeth, left her an annuity of £104.  It is very unlikely that they had any children. 


She died 29 November 1932 (registered as Mabel L. Marsh in the Sevenoaks district in the December quarter 1932, aged 57) and administration of her estate was granted to James Douglas Marsh, gardener, at London 19 June 1933.  She was of 53 Stoneville Flats, Hartsland Road, Sevenoaks and her effects were £387.6s.4d.


In 1939 (register) at 49 Hales Road, Sevenoaks RD, James D. Marsh, widower, general labourer and with a date of birth 27 September 1890 appears to be lodging with Frederick and Ada Breden.

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Posted March 2017