George William Richardson was born on 31st March 1872 in Peterborough. He was the illegitimate son of Mary Ann Richardson. Mary, too, was illegitimate. In 1871 she had been working as a general servant for Edward Longhurst, a chemist in Matlock Bath, Matlock, Derbyshire. A child named George Richardson was baptised in Peterborough on 24th November 1872. This may well have been George as no other possible births were recorded locally at this time. The father’s name is recorded as George Bond, a coachpainter, (or possibly George Bond Richardson, but I can find no records for this name). A birth certificate would confirm whether this is the same child but it seems very likely.
In 1875 George’s mother Mary married Henry Peace, a post office clerk. Henry and Mary had five children together. Arthur Henry in 1876, Elizabeth in 1879, Helen Mary in 1880, Gertrude in 1883, and Ethel May in 1887. Im 1881 nine year old George was listed in the census as a visitor, but one would have expected him to be listed a stepson. He may have been staying elsewhere, for example with a relative or at an industrial school, or this may have been an inaccuracy in the enumerator’s records. Ten years later George was correctly listed as a stepson, living with his mother and stepfather, when he was 19 years old. At that time the family were living at 5 May Terrace, Granville Street, Peterborough, and George was working as an engine fitter.
In 1894 George married Bertha Glithero, the daughter of John Glithero, a coach painter, and Mary. Bertha was also from Peterborough. They settled in Hampden Road and had two children, Ethel May in 1895 and Cecil George in 1897. Their third child, Florence Mary was born in Armagh, Ireland, in 1899. It is not yet clear why Bertha gave birth in Ireland.
Bertha must have been pregnant when she returned to Peterborough. In 1901 Bertha, Cecil and Arthur were living in Eastgate, Peterborough, but George was still away, boarding at a public house in London Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire, and working as an engine fitter. Ethel, now 16, was staying with Bertha’s widowed mother Mary, who was working with Bertha’s brother George as a taxidermist. Bertha gave birth to a son, Arthur, on 30th May 1901, and a daughter, Dora, in 1903.
On 21st Feb 1903 George William Richardson, engineer’s fitter, and Henry James Sams, commercial traveller, submitted their application GB190304109DA for a tea maker. The patent was entitled the ‘Time Water Heater and Alarm‘. George’s address at that time was 74 Palmerstone Road, Woodstone, Peterborough.
In 1904 Bertha gave birth to another daughter, Dora, followed by a son, Leslie, in 1907. Both children were born in Leicester. In 1911 the whole family, except for the eldest daughter Ethel, were living at 72 Moores Road, Belgrave, Leicester. George was still working as an engineer’s fitter. Their youngest child, Dorothy Vera, was born in 1916 at 79 Moores Road.
In 1939 George was still living at 79 Moores Road with his children Leslie, Dorothy, and Florence, and his grandson John Moulds. George was working as a brass finisher and assembler. Sadly, by this time Bertha was in Leicester Mental Hospital.