Picture by Rupert Fox from a design by Michael William Alabaster

 

The Alabaster Chronicle 

The Journal of the Alabaster Society 

 

NUMBER FIFTEEN,  AUTUMN 2000 

Contents

Editorial

by Laraine Hake - 26th August 2000 

Here is Chronicle Number Fifteen - sounds like it ought to be a special one......well, it is at least rather unusual in that this Editorial will contain no apology for tardiness......I am actually ahead of myself! Perhaps I will be setting a precedent........

I am just coming to the end of a really good summer's break from school, although I am actually quite enthusiastic as I look ahead to next term! Life is very good! As I write, I am expecting 16 of my immediate family to join us here tomorrow for the annual Family Barbecue; the younger generation are all adults themselves, with a variety of partners. How time moves on, and how especially well we can see that truth as we look back over centuries of Alabaster family life. I do hope you enjoy the various aspects of it that are touched upon in this issue.

The two additional enclosures with this Chronicle are the subscription renewal form, including a couple of questions on the next Gathering and a list of names and addresses of the members of our Society. The latter was proposed at the last Gathering and referred to in the Editorial of Chronicle No. 13. Nobody contacted me with any objections, so here it is. Do notice that I have included a reference to which branch each member belongs - I may attempt to produce trees showing the connections for future Chronicles. I have also included email addresses where I have had permission to do so. If you are contactable by email, please do let me know your email address, especially as they change so often. If this is successful, I would hope to produce a similar list, with updates next year.

Lastly, as some of you will be aware, my daughter, Mandy, and I have decided we would like to visit as many non-UK Alabaster relations as we can on a whirlwind (6 weeks maximum) world tour in four or five years' time. "Pie in the Sky" but we have started to save towards it! If there are any Alabasters out there who feel they could offer us a bed (or floor) for 2 or 3 nights in 2004 or 2005, please let me know. Perhaps somebody, somewhere will decide to organise an Alabaster Gathering.........!

To Contents


The Gathering

Current Information / Thoughts to share:

I have started to give some thoughts to the sixth Alabaster Gathering, planned for 27th and 28th April 2002. Much as a change of venue is a great idea to play with, e.g. Thailand, France (see letters pages) or anywhere else abroad (see editorial) in reality, there is unlikely to be anywhere in the UK for the Alabaster family, quite like Hadleigh, Suffolk. From the feedback I have received, it appears that most members would be very happy to meet on the Saturday at the Old School in Hadleigh, as we did in April 1999.

I am thinking ahead, however, to a programme for the Sunday. I would like to suggest that we consider a trip up to Norfolk, by coach, leaving Hadleigh Sunday morning and returning there in the late afternoon. There are many places with Alabaster connections in Norfolk, but a choice of destination has to be made. I would suggest that we could visit Worstead, with its lovely church and screen, the latter having been provided by John Arblaster in the 15th century, and then move on to Great Yarmouth, the home of Branch IV of the Alabasters for much of the 19th century. We could have lunch there and certainly look at what is left The Rows where they lived. I will investigate other options. Possibly we could even fit in a cream tea on the way home!

It`s early days: I have no idea of costs or of how many participants we would need to make it a viable day. On the form for the renewal of your subscription I have included a tick box to complete to give me an indication of your interest. Be assured, you are not committing yourself to anything at all at this early stage!

For those of you with internet access, subscription renewals can now be paid on the internet at the site of Genfair: www.genfair.com

This facility is intended to be of particular use for members living out of the UK with no easy way of paying in sterling. It will cost overseas members the equivalent of £7 rather than £6.50, to allow for Genfair's charges, but this will still be a lot less than potential bank charges, not to mention the cost of a stamp! If you DO renew your subs this way, please would you send me an email to answer my questions on the next Gathering (see above).

Also available through Genfair is Adrian Alabaster's book, "A Quintet of Alabasters" which is clearly a must! The price of this is £8.95 plus postage and packing. As mentioned elsewhere, back numbers of the Alabaster Chronicle can also be ordered in this way - contents of these can be seen on pages 22 to 24. In fact, if you are into family history research in general, rather than just the Alabasters in particular, beware of visiting the Genfair site; there are such wonderful things on offer, you could end up spending a fortune!

To Contents


A Note on Dr William Alabaster's Writings

by John Stammers Alabaster (I)

Further to Adrian Alabaster's brief appraisal in his 'Quintet' (Note 1) of Dr. William Alabaster's poetic works and to the supplementary comments therein on the English devotional sonnets by John Inder, who also contributed an article on the subject in the Alabaster Chronicle (2), two significant publications on William's writings have recently appeared by Professor Dana F. Sutton (3 & 4), both of which add illuminating biographical details on the author and on some of his contemporaries.

Minor poems

The first of Sutton's works deals with fifty hitherto unpublished minor poems in Latin, together with English translations, and also a transcription of William's autobiographical 'Conversion' (in English), all accompanied by extensive explanatory notes and comments.

One can trace in the poems: his first poetic efforts as a schoolboy, such as in the verses to his schoolmaster and Sidney; his early Protestantism, as in his lines praising the leader of the French Huguenots; his later sympathy for Catholicism, for example, in the poem on Father Garnet, one of the Catholic martyrs, and also, particularly in the following poignant quotation (from the hitherto unpublished translation by Poole & Poole (5) chosen in preference to Sutton's):

'As the lamp-wick, passing hot flame through its entrails, creates threads of light from its rich matter, so he who applies himself to the noble study of divine things is himself transformed into a ray of celestial light. What wonder if the Saints become stars after their death, when their living bodies now become torches'.

Furthermore, one can follow his later seeking of favour with James I, as well as his flattery of James' favourite Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset on his wedding to Frances Howard. And then there is the pleasure of finding a poem in praise of Francis Bacon's 'Novum Organum', only to have it dampened realising that virtually the same lines are recycled in praise of his friend Bishop John William! And so on.

The 'Conversion'

Although the transcription of the autobiographical 'Conversion' has been available in typescript from the English College, Rome, the value of the present printing rests on the extensive explanatory notes that accompany it.

Roxana

The second work of Sutton comprises the first printing of the English translation of the play in Latin, 'Roxana', together with an extensive introduction and notes 4. 'Roxana' dates from about 1595 and there is now good evidence that the translation was made by William himself. The authentic Latin version was first published in 1633, and it is interesting to note that there is little difference in the two versions, bearing in mind that they contain strong criticism of bad kingship, with explicit condemnation of royal revenge, lawlessness and tyranny. Also, there is no attempt to disguise his association with his Catholic friends, Hugh Holland and Thomas Farnaby, whose dedications remain. The play is based partly on Luigi' Groto's revenge play, 'La Dalida' (but is much more succinct, more logical, and less blood-thirsty), and partly on its model, Seneca's 'Thyestes', the rhetoric, theatrics and political input of which it imitates. But it has its own intrinsic value and has, according to Sutton, the greatest reputation of 150 renaissance academic dramas produced by Oxford and Cambridge. It is rather horrific and one can well believe the account of a gentlewoman attending one of the performances in Cambridge and falling into a dead swoon at the aweful climax!

An overview

These two papers by Sutton illustrate an increased interest in the works of William Alabaster in the last century, compared with the previous two. The praise of his work by Spenser (for Elizaeis) and Johnson (for Roxana) and the criticism by Story and Gardner (of the Sonnets) are well-known. But there has been much other praise, especially for the Latin works in the 1600’s and 1700’s. One example by Alicia Leith 6 refers to Edward Leigh’s ‘Treatise of Religion and Learning in Six Books’ (1656 Fol.) where Alabaster is listed under ‘Poets of late’ and also described as ‘an excellent poet’; others listed as poets include: Sir Philip Sydney, Sir Walter Scott, Edmund Spenser, Beaumont, Fletcher, Ben Jonson and, as well as being described as a philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon (strangely there is no mention of Shakespeare!)

William Alabaster’s mystical writings have received much less attention and nothing of late. Robert Herrick (perhaps our first pastoral poet) thought Alabaster:‘one onely glory of a million/In whom the spirit of the Gods dost dwell’.

But then he was rather an eccentric who hated Puritans; he had a favourite pig which drank out of a tankard (beer, presumably) and once he threw his sermon at his congregation! His opinion of William is all the more surprising since it was expressed two years after the date (1646) predicted by Alabaster for Christ’s Coming on the basis of numerological calculations in his ‘Apparatus in Revelationem Iesu Christi’ (1607).

Notes and References

1 Alabaster, Adrian (1999) ‘A Quintet of Alabasters’ 2nd Impression. Able Publishing, Knebworth, Herts., 259 pp.

2 Inder, John (1999) ‘The Conversion of William Alabaster’ Alabaster Chronicle No. 12, Sprng\Summer, 1999, pp. 15-17

3 Sutton, Dana F. (1997) ‘Unpublished Works by William Alabaster (1568-1640)’ University of Salzburg, 178 pp. [Distributed by International Specialist Services, Market House, Market Place, Deddington, Oxford OX15 0SF]

4 Sutton, Dana F. (1998) ‘William Alabaster: Roxana (ca. 1595) ‘ A hypertext edition, The University of California, Irvine, Posted 22 Aug., 1998, 66 pp. [http://e3.uci.edu/~papyri/alabaster]

5 Poole, Georgina & Poole, Eric (1991) English translations of Rawlinson D 296 (Bodleian Library): ‘Epigrams by William Alabaster, Professor of Sacred Theology’, 6pp. and ‘A Poetical Apotheosis of Elizabeth......by William Alabaster’, 14 pp. [copies held by John S. Alabaster and Laraine Hake]

6 Leith, Alicia, A. (1901) Notes on the ‘Religion and Learning’ of Edward Leigh. Baconiana, Vol. IX, New Series, No. 36. July 1901, pp.186-190.

To Contents


News from Around the World

Amanda Alabaster (IIA) 25th April 2000
One of my colleagues was telling me yesterday that she recently visited an art gallery in Kirkcudbright and spotted a brass memorial plaque to an artist called Vera Alabaster, and wondered if we were related. She couldn't remember the precise date but thought it might be in the 1940s or 50s. I was very surprised because I don't know of any other Alabasters in Scotland, although I can well understand the appeal for an artist.
I was able to ascertain that Vera Alabaster nee Petchatkine was the wife/widow of Ernest Alabaster (1872-1950) son of Henry Alabaster "of Siam" and his wife Palaccia. She was apparently of "White Russian" descent, and died in Scotland in Kirkcudbright in 1964).

Carole Alabaster (IIIB) 27th April 2000
We have another new Alabaster........its a male! Hugh William was born 8th April in Gloucester, son of our son Michael and his wife Hilary.
There seems to be far more males than females born in our immediate Alabaster family - does that appear to be the way of things with other Alabaster branches?

Janet Leclair (IIIB), Conquereuil, Loire/Atlantique 3rd May 2000
A little hello from France...................Each time I read the chronicle, I find it exciting and very moving. As you know, my father is Robert Clifford Alabaster but I don't know how much you know about me personally! I have been living in France for eighteen years and married to Hervé for fifteen. We have three daughters, Floriane, Isaline, and Gemma, all with Alabaster in their first names, and it will be up to them if they continue the name with their children, fortunately a long way off for the moment as they are aged ten, seven and five respectively!
We farm 60 hectares and breed ostriches, which we then commercialise alive or in meat form to restaurants or direct to the housewife by doing local markets and selling in our farm shop, as well as guided visits of the farm.
If there are any Alabasters coming on holiday to France then they will be more than welcome to come and see us, and why not pitch their tent or park their camping car or caravan overnight. That way we can get to know some of you.
We are half way between Nantes and Rennes, two hours south of St Malo, or three hours from Cherbourg.
I am sure this is an offer that some Alabaster will be unable to refuse!

Thelma Ware, Guild of One Name Studies 19 May 2000
Herewith the tourist brochure as promised, the back page shows a small map marking the Cote d'Albatre but I saw in Le Treport a much glossier brochure calling it the "Alabaster Coast"
Thelma had contacted me to ask it I knew of the Alabaster Coast in France. She had just returned from a Gathering of the St Leger family in France and was suggesting that we should hold one on the Alabaster Coast! Does anybody know anything about this area?

John and Shirley Alabaster (IV) 3rd May 2000
Friends of ours visited Thailand earlier this year and were spending a few days in Bangkok so I laughingly said that they should visit Henry's tomb. So armed with the details in Chronicle XII they did just that. The receptionist at this hotel directed them by sky train and then taxi. The taxi driver put them down in the correct road but, oh dear, no sign of a cemetery. They asked a gentleman at the entrance to the docks for directions and using Diane's description they ended up in the office of a beautiful Thai lady. She made several phone calls, located the cemetery and had them taken there in company transport. Hence the enclosed photos. We also have video footage of the cemetery and the tomb. Diane says that it is the most impressive in the cemetery.
True to her promise, Nan Kenyon sent to me from Canada all the surviving letters written by Henry Alabaster "of Siam" (IIC) during the latter half of the 19th century. The UK was not to be their final resting place because Nan had agreed with Virginia Bird, great granddaughter of Henry, that this should be Siam/Thailand, where they had originated and where Henry's only descendants are based. However, before forwarding them on to "Ginny" I carefully photocopied each one, and then had a wonderful day in Reigate, with Angela Alabaster, reading through them together.

Virginia Bird (IIC) March 2000
Cannot wait to receive the letters. Intend to make some sort of a library for Henry. Have to see everything first before I can decide how to do it. My new home is certainly large enough to be a museum! How about the next get-together in Chiangmai!? .... do give it some thought!
Wow!!!

Virginia Bird (IIC) 4th July 2000
YES!!!!! ...the precious envelope has arrived safe and sound!!! It's wonderful to see all the letters! Imagine ..more than a hundred years old .. in 'his' hand writing too .. and still well intact. The English make very good paper and ink I must say!
My family is in the process of writing a book ... about the Alabaster/Savetsila Family. These letters came just in time to enter into quite a few pages I'm sure. Unfortunately the book will be in Thai. I can and will send you a copy .. at least you can look at the pictures .. but please please please don't ask me to translate it! Take care ... and again .. thank you!

Robbin Churchill (IV) 15 July 2000
For the record, the Churchills now have another grandchild - daughter of Craig and Sarah born May 1, 2000, Lydia Stewart Churchill. The clan keeps expanding.
Robbin Churchill, nee Alabaster, was the passenger on the BA flight who was surprised to discover that the First Officer was also a "Rob Alabaster" (Chronicle 14). Robbin is now a member of the Alabaster Society!

Millie Knox (WofW) 5th August 2000
A couple of our members (Weston super Mare FHS) are indexing W-s-M Cemetery and have found the following. Laurence Denis ALABASTER aged 67 died June 8th 1982. There may be more info on the headstone but they did not have time for any more. Do you know of him?
I had to admit that I did not know of him! Does anybody else? Millie has promised to investigate further!

Last minute news 24th August 2000
Nicola, the daughter of Ronald Alabaster West, gave birth to a daughter at 6.50am on Thursday 10th August 2000 who weighed in at 7lb 8oz. She has been named Florence Lily Alabaster Robinson.

To Contents


Alabasters who Fought and Died in the Great War

by Laraine Hake

Eighty-six years after the start of the First World War, the incredible waste of lives still shocks. Records are not always easy to locate, some having been destroyed in the Second World War that followed the “war to end all wars”. However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides information on those who died. The Commission was established by Royal Charter in 1917. Its duties are to mark and maintain the graves of the members of the forces of the Commonwealth who were killed in the two World Wars, to build memorials to those who have no known grave and to keep records and registers, including, after the Second World War, a record of the Civilian War Dead. Below is a list of the Alabasters who appear on the Commonwealth War Graves “Debt of Honour Register” for WWI, in date order of death. How poignant to notice that two Alabasters, doubtless unknown to each other, died on the same day in 1918; they were fifth cousins. In most cases, I am able to identify where each man fits into the Alabaster tree, but there are some of which I am unsure. If anybody has any suggestions, I would be pleased to hear about them.

As far as soldiers who served in the army in the years prior to the World War are concerned, in some cases their service records do survive at the Public Record Office, Kew. I have copies of all those that I was able to locate and I list them below, together with their years of service. If there are any of which you would like a copy, please let me know. Each record consists of three or four A3 sheets.
 

          Name

          Dates of Service

          Branch

          Edwin Alabaster

          1877-1883

          I

          George Thomas Alabaster

          1882-1894

          WofW

          Arthur James Alabaster

          1897-1898

          IIIA

          Albert Arthur Alabaster

          1898-1902

          IV

          Walter William Alabaster

          1899

          IIIB

          Leonard Ernest Alabaster

          1901-1913

          IIIA

 
Name
Rank
Regiment
Date of Death
Burial Place

  1

Alabaster, F. C.

2nd Lieut

Royal Warwickshire Regt

25th Aug 1916

Moseley, Birmingham, died of wounds

  2

Alabaster, B.

Private

The Queen`s (Royal West Surrey) Regt

18th Nov 1916

Grandcourt, Somme, France

  3

Alabaster, E. H.

Private

Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

21st Apr 1917

Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium

  4

Alabaster, W. J.

Private

Essex Regiment

24th Apr 1917

Killed in action, France & Flanders

  5

Alabaster, R. G.

Rifleman

London Rifle Brigade

16th Aug 1917

Killed in action, France & Flanders

  6

Alabaster, G. S.

Private

Northamptonshire Regiment

5th Apr 1918

Picquigny, Somme, France

  7

Alabaster, W.

Sergeant

Australian Infantry, A.I.F.

5th Apr 1918

Doullens, Somme, France

  8

Alabaster, J.

Private

Royal Welch Fusiliers

6th May 1918

Killed in action, Serbia

  9

Alabaster, W.

Lance-Corporal

London Regiment

26th Aug 1918

Daours, Somme, France

10

Alabaster, W. E.

Air Mech 2nd Cl

Royal Air Force

28th Aug 1918

Ligny-St. Flochel, Pas-de Calais, France

11

Alabaster, H. H.

Private

Middlesex Regiment

11th Aug 1918

Leuze-en-Hainaut, Hainaut, Belgium

12

Alabaster, J.

Private

Army Service Corps

18th Nov 1918

Etables, Pas de Calais, France


  1  This is Frederick Clifford, born King`s Norton, 1886, son of Arthur Alabaster and Catherine (nee Birch), IIA
  2  This is Bertram (registered as Bertie), born Haggerston, 1892, son of Robert Alabaster and Emma (nee Meades), IV
  3  This is Edward Harold, born New Zealand, 1896, son of Horace Alfred Alabaster and Annie Alice (nee Brewer), IV
  4  This is William Joseph Alabaster, birth registered Shoreditch, December 1887. From his name it is likely he was Branch IV
  5  This is Roger George, born Romford, 1891, son of Roger George Alabaster and Mary Ellen (nee Perry), IIIA
  6  This is Gilbert Stephen, born Leyton, 1891, son of Thomas Alabaster and Victoria Cordelia (nee Jolly), IIA
  7  This is William, born Poplar, 1890, son of Edwin Rickard Alabaster and Elizabeth (nee Emm), who had emigrated to Australia, I
  8  This is a John Alabaster. He enlisted in London and was formerly with the Royal West Surrey Regiment. More than that I am unable to ascertain at present.
  9  This is William, born Bethnal Green, 1893, son of John Alabaster and Susan (nee Gibbs), IIIB
10  This is William Ernest, born Shoreditch, 1893, son of William Alabaster and Alice. The names of William`s parents come from the Commonwealth War Graves details. Further information would be gratefully received.
11  This is Herbert Horace (registered as Bertie), son of Horace Alabaster and Jessie (nee Ives), IV
12  This is another John Alabaster about whom there is virtually no information.

Once again, if you would like a copy of the limited information I have on one of these from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, you are more than welcome.

If you are aware of any soldier I have missed, or if anybody hasa photograph of any of these men, I would be grateful to receive a copy for future publication. Please send it to Laraine Hake, whose details are on the Contact us page.

To Contents


A Sad Death in Tasmania

by Beryl Neumann (IIA)

Looking through the records for Tasmania I found the following entry: Rupert Cecil Alabaster (born 1879) died at Strahan, aged 32 years on the 12th February 1911. Wife: Etta Winifred Fahey. Son: Edward Chaloner born 1909.

This seemed a very good excuse to visit Tasmania for a holiday and to explore the West Coast. Strahan is the gateway to one of the most outstanding wilderness areas - a land of majestic mountains, ancient rainforest and famous wild rivers. Strahan was once a mining and fishing port, and home to the timber cutters who sought prized native Australian timbers, particularly Huon Pine. Strahan is classified as an historic town and today there are many reminders of its importance as a port, such as the fine Commonwealth Building, which housed the post and telegraph offices and the Customs Offices.

We decided to stay in Strahan for five days. On our arrival at the Estate Agent to pick up our key for the cottage, he proceeded to hand me brochures, pamphlets etc. for the unusual tourist activities in the area. I told him that I was in Strahan to follow up on some family history. He asked me what name I was looking for and I said “Alabaster”. He immediately said “I know that name; a young chap called Alabaster died suddenly in the post office building.” I told him that we were talking about the year 1911 but that Alabaster was very unusual name. He said that his Uncle knew a lot about the history of Strahan and he would arrange a meeting if I so desired. Later on in the day I proceeded to the Post Office - even today the most majestic building in Strahan - the left side of the building being the post office and the right now housing the offices of the National Trust. I ventured in the National Trust Offices and made enquiries as to the age of the building etc. The lady there asked why I was interested and when I mentioned the name Alabaster she immediately went to the filing cabinet and pulled out newspaper cuttings plus the photo of the tombstone. I was “dumbfounded”. She took photocopies for me, at no charge, and said that the Alabasters lived in the flat at the rear of the building. She said that it is still used as a flat by one of their rangers but he was out at the moment; if I would like to call back tomorrow he would probably show me the flat and the staircase where Rupert Cecil was found. This I did. Over the next three days I visited the Council Chambers and the library as well as the Cemetery. Everyone I saw knew the name. They were all so nice and friendly and seemed to really enjoy my side of the story.

We left Strahan and travelled north to Zeehan where I was told that the museum might be able to find out some more information for me. I visited the Museum but they were not able to tell me any more and seemed reluctant to help me further.

So our holiday to Tasmania was not in vain - this is just another interesting chapter in the life of an Alabaster in the small township of Strahan, a wilderness on the west coast of Tasmania.


Report from ZEEHAN DUNDAS HERALD
Monday February 13 1911

Word was received in Zeehan last night from Strahan that Mr Rupert Charles Alabaster, general manager of the Oonah Mines, Limited, had been found dead on the stairway at the Public Buildings, Strahan between 4.30 and 6 o’clock yesterday afternoon.

Very little information concerning the sudden death was available last night, and the news, as it circulated amongst his many friends in Zeehan, was received with profound regret and deep surprise, and sincere sympathy was expressed for Mrs Alabaster in the sad hour of her trial and bereavement.

Mrs Alabaster and her young son have been spending several weeks at Strahan where they were occasionally joined by Mr Alabaster for a few days as absence from his headquarters permitted. On Thursday last Mr and Mrs Alabaster left Zeehan for the Port, where it was understood Mr Alabaster intended to remain till this week.

Mr Alabaster has not enjoyed robust health for some time, insomnia being the chief trouble.

From the meagre particulars to hand it is understood that Mr H.P.S. Royale, Postmaster, Strahan, was the first to discover the body on the stairway. Dr Wickens was summoned and pronounced life extinct. Superintendent Beresford was communicated with, and the coroner, Mr E.W. Turner, proceeds to Strahan this morning. It is probable an enquiry (sic) will be held this afternoon.

Rupert Cecil was the son of Sir Chaloner Alabaster and his wife Lady Laura Abbie (nee MacGowan) (IIC)


Report from the MERCURY
Tuesday February 14th 1911
MINING MANAGER’S SUICIDE
**************
A WIFE’S SHOCKING DISCOVERY
**************
ZEEHAN February 13

Yesterday evening the dead body of Rupert Charles Alabaster, aged 32, general manager of the Oonah Mines Ltd., was discovered hanging by the neck from the bannisters in the Public-buildings, Strahan. The deceased had been paying a short visit to his wife and child, who had been spending the summer at Strahan, and recently occupied the Customs residence. It was Mrs Alabaster, who had just returned from a walk, who discovered her husband. Help was obtained, and efforts made by Dr. Wickens to resuscitate the body, but they were futile.

At the inquest to-day the evidence of the widow, Etta Winifred Alabaster, Hartwell Conder, and Adye Collins showed that the deceased had suffered severely from great nerve strain occasioned through the Oonah mine and the smelters closing down. He had become possessed of the erroneous idea that he was responsible for the failure of the smelting process, and that someone had been working deliberately against him. He suffered from insomnia.

A verdict of suicide while deceased was in an unsound state of mind was returned.

The deceased had been a resident of Zeehan about two years. He was born in China, and held a commission in the British Artillery, on leaving which he entered the mining profession. He received his education at Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall, and in America. He and his wife were highly respected and popular on the West Coast.

At the annual general meeting of St Luke's (Zeehan) parishioners to-night a vote of condolence with Mrs. Alabaster in her great affliction was silently passed, and the meeting then adjourned out of respect. The deceased was a churchwarden.

A photograph with more information about Rupert Cecil Alabaster can be found in Chronicle 16.

To Contents


A SELECTION OF OCCUPATIONS OF THE ALABASTER FAMILIES, TAKEN FROM THE 1881 CENSUS FOR MIDDLESEX

"TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SAILOR"
WHAT'S MY LINE? (Part II)

      • 1. We need him for the Chronicle
      • 2. Looks after the inner man
      • 3. Lets you rest your legs
      • 4. Could be using horse power
      • 5. Any office needs a capable one
      • 6. Maybe it's a colourful job
      • 7. She'll provide you with a cloak
      • 8. Puts a roof over your head
      • 9. In charge of the stores
      • 10. She tends the sick

Many of you will remember Part I of this quiz which was much enjoyed in Chronicle No.10. Thanks again to Millie Knox who contributed this second part. For the answers and details, not only of who held these occupations, but precisely where they were on the night of 3rd April 1881, read on...............

******************************************************
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SAILOR:
Answers to the Quiz

1. James H. Alabaster, aged 29, General Printer, at 80 Evering Road, Hackney, born Finsbury, Middx, with wife Matilda.
This is James Harris Alabaster (1851-1920) [IIA], son of James and Emma Diana (nee Harris), sister of Emma, see Chronicle Eleven, and great-uncle of Shirley Rowe and Martin Clarke. James, the father, was part founder of Alabaster, Passmore & Sons Ltd, Maidstone, Kent.

2. Robert Alabaster, aged 26, Cook & Confectioner, at 14 Cranbrook Street, Bethnal Green, born Bethnal Green, Middx, with wife Emma (nee Haffner), son Robert William aged 4 and daughter Emma Elizabeth aged 2.
This is Robert Alabaster (1857-1911) [IIA], son of Robert and Harriet (nee Harris), great-uncle of both Beryl Neumann and Norman Alabaster.

3. John James Alabaster, aged 47, Chairmaker, at 13 Austin Street, Bethnal Green, born Bethnal Green, with wife Martha, sons John, James, Walter, Alfred, Joseph, Edward, William, George and Charles, aged 21, 19, 17, 15, 13, 10, 8, 6 and 3 respectively and daughter, Martha, aged 10 months.
This is John James Alabaster (1833-1888) [IIIB], son of John and Mary (nee Holt), gt gt grandfather of Denis Alabaster.

Thomas Alabaster, aged 39, Chairmaker, at 11 New Nichol Street, Bethnal Green, born Bethnal Green, widower, with son Thomas, aged 16, also a chairmaker, and daughters Ann and Louisa, aged 13 and 8.
This is Thomas Alabaster (1842-1917)[IIIB], son of John and Mary (nee Holt), brother of John James, above.

Joseph Alabaster, aged 23, Chairmaker, at 137 Gossett Street, Bethnal Green, born London, unmarried, with his brother Henry, age 20, also a chairmaker.
These are Joseph Alabaster (1857-1883) [IIIB] and Henry Alabaster (1860-1886), sons of Joseph Alabaster and Elizabeth Rawlinson, gt uncles of Frank Nottage and Teresa Byrne and gt gt uncles of Peter and Steve Abbott.

Henry Alabaster, aged 40, Chairmaker, at 7 Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green, born Bethnal Green, with wife Maria, sons Henry, John, James and Joseph, aged 17, 14, 11 and 5, and daughter Sarah, aged 11 months.
This is Henry Alabaster (1841-1891) [IIIB], son of Joseph and Mary Ann (nee Holt), gt grandfather of James Herbert Alabaster, Joan Thompson, Gwen Lewis, Joan Watts, Linda Braim and Reg Hill.

4. Henry Alabaster, aged 17, Carman, at 7 Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green, born Bethnal Green, with parents Henry and Maria, above.

5. Edward Alabaster, aged 34, Clerk, lodging at 59 Middleton Road, Hackney, born Brixton, Surrey, along with his brothers, William, aged 30 and Frederick, aged 26.
This is Edward Alabaster (1846-1921) [IIB], son of Robert William and Ellen (nee Earish). Brother Frederick was the grandfather of Colin Alabaster and the gt grandfather of Martin Alabaster.

Charles W.M. Alabaster, aged 21, Railway Clerk, at 25 Ashcroft Road, Old Mile End Town, born Islington, Middx, with his mother Harriet, a widow, aged 52.
This is Charles William Mustell Alabaster (1859-1929) [IIA], son of Robert and Harriet (nee Harris) and grandfather of Norman Charles Alabaster, brother of #2.

6. Albert Alfred Alabaster, aged 24, Painter, at 85 Mayfield Road, Hackney, born Hornchurch, Essex, with his wife Sarah Maria, aged 22.
This is Albert Alfred Alabaster (1856-1930) [IIIA], son of Walter Goddard and Louisa (nee Patten), gt grandfather of Bryon Charles Alabaster and gt gt grandfather of Clive Alabaster.

7. Elizabeth Alabaster, aged 50, Mantle Maker, at 5 Cadel Street, Bethnal Green, born Bethnal Green, with sister Fanny, aged 48, and brother William aged 34.
These are Elizabeth (1830-1918) and Frances Alabaster (1832-1896)[WofW], daughters of Thomas and Susan (nee Lingley).

8. Frederick Alabaster, aged 16, Builder's son, born Hornchurch, visiting 21 Broke Road, Shoreditch, the home of his brother, William Henry Alabaster , his wife, Elizabeth and their children, Walter and Arthur, aged 2 yrs and 3 months, respectively.
This is Frederick Alabaster (1865-1920) [IIIA], son of Walter Goddard Alabaster and Louise (nee Patten). Frederick did not marry, but his nephew Walter is the gt grandfather of Diana Alabaster-Strahan and David Parker, whilst baby Arthur is the father of Evelyn Monaghan and Clifford Alabaster and the grandfather of Jo Maydom, Jim Alabaster and Robert Alabaster.

9. William Alabaster, aged 30, Warehouseman, lodging at 59 Middleton Road, Hackney. See answer #5.

10. Susannah Alabaster, aged 61, Nurse, born Stroud, Gloucestershire, living at 13 Groombridge Road, Hackney, the home of Samuel Hooper, umbrella stick manufacturer, employing 10 men and 3 boys.
This is Susannah Alabaster (nee Rogers) the widow of George Alabaster (1816-1863) [IIB] Susannah is the gt gt grandmother of Michael William Alabaster.

Compiled by Millie Knox, William of Woodford Branch.

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