Monthly Archives: April 2016

George Foreman 1802 – 1870?

Emily Foreman married John Gray on October 21st 1883 at St Philip’s Church Camberwell,when he is 63 and she is 25. George Foreman Senior is Emily’s grandfather.

George Foreman Snr was born in 1802,  in Warminster, Wiltshire,and christened on the 9th May, 1802. His father was Emmanuel Foreman, and his mother was Mary Homes. They appear to have been married on 12 Jan 1789 in Warminster.


Holy Trinity, Froome

George Senior was a wheelwright, and married Eliza Laverton on 15 Dec 1825 at Holy Trinity, Frome, Somerset. Eliza Foreman was born in about 1804, in Shepton Mallet,Somerset. Eliza died between in the autumn of 1860. They are my great great great grandparents. (breaking the rule here ‘cos I wanted to work out exactly who they were.)


George and Eliza had nine children.

  • George Foreman Jnr. b. 1827
  • Walter Foreman b.1829
  • Seleana Foreman b. 1833
  • John Laverton Foreman b.1834
  • Richard Foreman b. 1835
  • Josh Foreman b. 1837
  • Albert Foreman b. 1840
  • Alfred E Foreman b.1844
  • Sophia A Foreman b. 1847

All the children were born and christened in Bristol, apart from George Jnr who was born in Warminster, and Walter who was born in Frome. So for about 17 years they were in the parish of St Mary’s Redcliffe, and then briefly in the parish of Bedmington. The first record we have is the 1841 census where the family are living in Nelson Place in Bristol.

By 1851 the family had moved to Nursery Row, Mimms Side, Barnet in Hertfordshire.  Where George Foreman Snr was working as a wheelwright, and George Jnr, then aged 24, as a coach wheelwright. 18 year old John was a labourer,  and Josh (Joseph) Foreman was a14 year old errand boy. Albert, Alfred, and Sophia were all at school.  There is no trace of Seleana, Richard, or Walter, though Walter re-surfaces again in 1871.

By 1861, 22 year old Albert has joined the army and is serving as a gunner in the Royal Artillery, and is in Woolwich Barracks.  George Senior is living in Southwark with Joseph, Alfred, and Sophia. Eliza died the previous year.  JLF is married, living at 17 White Place, Bermondsey with 2 year old Emily, and his 71 year old widowed mother-in-law. It is not clear where George and Walter are, though both reappear in 1871. There is no evidence at all of Seleana  after 1841.

There is no real evidence of George Senior after this, so he is likely to have died prior to the 1871 census. He would have been 69 years old by then.  The only possible, but highly improbable, record is of a George Foreman, born in 1805 who died in Lewisham in 1896 aged 91.



John Laverton Foreman 1833 – 1885

Emily Foreman marries John Gray on October 21st 1883 at St Philip’s Church Camberwell,when he is 63 and she is 25, and are both shown living at 746 Old Kent Road. George (Laverton) Foreman III, her brother, is one of the witnesses not John Laverton Foreman, Emily’s father.

St Mary's Redcliffe Bristol

St Mary’s Redcliffe Bristol

John Laverton Foreman was born in Bristol and baptised on 28 Apr 1833 at St Mary Redcliffe. So he is my great great grandfather. He is the son of George and Eliza Foreman.

He is the third son of nine children

    • George Foreman Jnr. b. 1827
    • Walter Foreman b.1829
    • Seleana Foreman b. 1833
    • John Laverton Foreman b.1834
    • Richard Foreman b. 1835
    • Josh Foreman b. 1837
    • Albert Foreman b. 1840
    • Alfred E Foreman b.1844
    • Sophia A Foreman b. 1847

St John the Evangelist, Lambeth

John Laverton Foreman married Catherine Montgomery on 26 Dec 1857 at St John the Evangelist, Lambeth. His father George Foreman was a wheelwright Her father Thomas Montgomery was a watch finisher, and watchmaker originally from Dublin.

His father George Foreman Snr was born in 1802,  and christened 9 May 1802 in Warminster, Wiltshire. His father was Immanuel Foreman, and his mother was called Mary. George was a wheelwright, from Warminster in Wiltshire. George married Eliza Laverton on 15 Dec 1825 at Holy Trinity, Frome, Somerset. Eliza Foreman was born in about 1804, in Shepton Mallet,Somerset. Eliza died between Oct and Dec 1860. They are my great great great grandparents.

Prior to their marriage Catherine is living with her parents in Shoreditch. In 1851 they are at 49 Mary Street, Shoreditch. Thomas Montgomery was born abt 1790 in Dublin. Ellen Montgomery seems to have been born in Liverpool in about 1791.

  • 1851 census
  • Thomas Montgomery 61 watch finisher
  • Ellen Montgomery 60.   Ellen was born in Liverpool.
  • Catharine Montgomery 19,  she is John Laverton Foreman’s first wife
  • Joseph Wilkes 26.  Joe is Tom’s son in law, and is a gun maker
  • Anna Wilkes 26.  Ann is Catherine’s sister
  • Joseph Wilkes 2.  Joseph Jnr is Catherine’s nephew
  • Emma Wilkes 3 months. Emma is Catherine’s niece
  • Matilda Burney 33.  Both Catherine and Anna are waistcoat makers as is Matilda.

Thomas has died by 1861, and Ellen then lives with JLF, and Catherine. In both 1861,and 1871, she is living with them.

In 1861, John L Foreman, 27, is living at17 White Place, Bermondsey, and working as a boilermaker in Hammersmith.  Catherine, 28, is working as a waistcoat maker, and in this census is shown as born in Liverpool; like her sister Anna. Ten years later, her birthplace is given once again as Dublin, which is what it was in 1851, and 1871. Emily aged 2 is living with them, and Catherine’s mother, aged 71 is also living with them.

By 1871, they have moved to 27 Mint Street, Bermondsey. John Foreman, aged 38, is shown as a smith in Hammersmith, born in Bristol. Catherine, aged 39, is still a waistcoat maker, but once again born in Dublin. They now have two children, Emily aged 12, and George (L) Foreman III, aged 9. Ellen Montgomery now aged 81, is still living with them.

Catherine has died somewhere between the 1871 and 1881 censuses, and JLF is living with 19 year old George  who is described as a Teacher (Unemployed  Schoolmaster), and Emily who is 22. They are living at 12 Darwin Street in Bermondsey, at the far end of, what is now, Tower Bridge Road. John describes himself as an iron smith, and widower. He is 48 years old.

John Laverton Foreman  remarries in 1883 on 11th  January as a 47 yo widower to Eliza Sparrow, 39 at St Mary Magdalene, Southwark. Her parents are witnesses. his father’s profession is a wheelwright, and her father Elijah Sparrow is a gardener.  Both are living at 12 Darwin Street, which just off the Old Kent Road, and Tower Bridge Road.

John dies between Oct and Dec 1885 aged 52 in Camberwell.


We regret to announce the death, on December 31, at 10.30 a.m. at St. Peter’s Priory, Hinckley, of the Rev. Wilfrid Lescher, 0.P., P.G., aged sixty-nine. He was buried. at Mount St. Bernards, Charnwood Forest, on January 5, the Requiem being celebrated at Hinckley by Very Rev. Father Bede Jarrett, 0.P., while Father Laurence Shapcote, Father Vincent McNaliob, Father Lewis Thomson, Father Michael Browne, 0.P., were present in the choir. The chief mourner was his nephew, Mr. Edward Lescher. Father Wilfrid had been a well-known figure in English Catholic. life for many years. He came of the old Lescher family, of Boyles Court, Brentwood, a younger son of Joseph Sidney Lescher and Sarah Harwood, but was born at 17, Church Row, Hampstead on October 2, 1847. His school days were spent at the famous Catholic Academy of Mr. James Butt, at Prior Park and at Ushaw, whence he passed to join the Dominican Order at Woodchester, September 3, 1864. Ordained priest on March 8, 1873, he was stationed successively in various Dominican Priories, besides remaining for nearly seven years as chaplain to Mathew Liddell, Esq., of Prudhoe Hall. Later he obtained leave to study theology at Louvain, under Father Lepidi, 0.P., at present Master of the Sacred Palaces in Rome, and returned to England in 1884. In 1889 he was elected Prior of Woodchester, and in 1910 Prior of Pendleton. He also was for three years chaplain to the contemplative Dominican Nuns at Carisbrooke. But his main work consisted in preaching and writing. In the latter field he was a strenuous fighter, especially for the Anti-Vivisection Society (on the general committee of which he served for some years) and in Catholic controversial literature. But of late years he has been especially prominent in the discussed authenticity of St. Dominic’s founding of the Rosary. Following the Papal tradition he defended the conservative view in letters, pamphlets and articles, which exhibited his dogged loyalty of character and the warmth ‘of feeling which lay behind an exceedingly impassive appearance and manner. After three months of general enfeeblement resulting from a slight paralytic shock, he died of suffusion of blood to the head on the last day of the year. Those who followed his intense devotion to the Rosary will notice with a sense of fitness that his last Mass was said on the octave day of Rosary Sunday. A staunch friend, a just and fatherly ruler, his going will be felt by a wider circle than his own Order.—R.I.P.

13th January 1917



It is well nigh the universal custom now to place the arrangements for formal dinners, suppers, etc., in the hands of caterers, for experience has conclusively proved that in this way only can the most desirable results be attained. Of course the success of an occasion in which a collation bears a prominent part is dependent directly upon the quailty of the refreshments and the efficiency of the service, and therefore the selection of a caterer is a matter calling for no little care and discrimination. The residents of East Orange are excellently well served in this respect, for in Messrs. Purssell Brothers they have a firm of caterers who have few equals and no superiors. gentlemen are natives of New York city, and were formerly connected with the celebrated ” Purssell Company ” of Nos. 910, 912 and 914 Broadway. They utilize spacious and finely-appointed premises at No. 561 Main street, and do a general catering business, besides carrying on a first-class bakery. The main floor is 25 x100 feet in dimensions, and every facility is at hand to insure the comfort of patrons and render it easy to fill orders promptly and accurately. The bill of fare is very extensive and varied, comparing favorably with those offered at the leading New York establishments, and as the cooking is excellent and the service remarkably prompt and efficient, it is natural that this establishment should enjoy a large as well as a select patronage. A great varietv of creams and ices are obtainable here, and are furnished by the quart and delivered at residences at moderate rates. French, Vienna and American bread and rolls will be delivered every morning, and patties, pastry, etc., are made fresh every day. Some of the specialties of this concern are fine assorted cakes, Dundee, lady and wine cakes, gingerbread, birthday cakes, Purssell’s English plum cake. plain or decorated, English plum pudding, English mince meat, and Purssell’s calves’ foot jelly for invalids. The finest quality of French fruit is always in stock. Dinners, wedding breakfasts, suppers, etc., will be supplied with every requisite, and orders by telephone (No. 316), are assorted prompt and careful attention.

Purssell Brothers – New Jersey

The name of Purssell is prominently connected with bakery interests in the east, and, as associated with any enterprise in that line, is a guaranty of the excellence of the articles manufactured by the house. James Purssell, the father of the Purssell Brothers, was born in London, England, and made his home in his native city until 1859, carrying on business as a baker and confectioner at Cornhill for many years.

Crossing the Atlantic to the New World, he established himself in the same line of business in Broadway, New York City, near Twenty-first street, and his superior knowledge and understanding of the business soon brought him a constantly increasing trade. His growing patronage from time to time necessitated the enlargement of his facilities in order that he might meet the demands of his patrons, for the excellence of the articles manufactured soon won him a most enviable reputation, and the name of Purssell connected with pastry or confectionery was taken as a guaranty of superior quality. Mr. Purssell continued to conduct a large and profitable business in New York until his death, which occurred March 4, 1887. Previous to that time a stock company was formed, which uses the name of the Purssell Manufacturing Company. After his death, however, the family had no further connection with the corporation, the new company simply securing the right to use his name, which they found gave their business a prestige otherwise unattainable.

Mrs. Purssell bore the maiden name of Eliza West, and she is still living. Their children, in order of birth are as follows:

  • James,
  • William A.,
  • Arthur J. ;
  • Eliza C, wife of J. Louis Kight, of London, England;
  • Francis J.,
  • Charles,
  • Charlotte J.,
  • Mary L.
  • and George.

In 1887, after his father’s death, James Purssell, Jr., established a bakery business in East Orange (N.J.), continuing the same until 1889. when the business was reorganized under the name of Purssell Brothers, the partners being Francis J. and Charles Purssell. Their mother still resides in East Orange.

Francis J. Purssell, who is the managing director of the firm, was born in New York city, April 19,1863, and his brother, Charles, who is financial manager of thebusiness, was born in New York, May 31,1865. Both were educated in the Catholic schools in the city of their nativity, and in early life began working in their father’s establishment, so that they are fortified by practical experience and long training for the work they now have in charge. Their business in East Orange has assumed extensive proportions, and they employ a large force of competent men at the head of the various departments. The place is characterized by a neatness that would be difficult to improve upon, and the artistic manner in which they put their products upon the market is one of the attractive features of the enterprise, and combined with their honorable dealing, has brought them a very gratifying success. The brothers are both energetic and enterprising business man, whose careful oversight of their interests has made them prosperous, and Essex county numbers them among her most reliable and highly respected businessmen.

Biographical and genealogical history of the city of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey .. Volume 1: Isaac T Nichols: published 1907


 The Tablet, Page 21, 10th September 1910

On September 1,Mother Mary Aquinas, of the Convent of Mercy, Crispin-street, E., celebrated the Silver Jubilee of her profession. In addition to the blessing of the Holy Father, the jubilarian was the recipient of many congratulations from clergy, convents, the friends of the Night Refuge and Homes in Crispin-street, with which she has been so long connected, and the past and present pupils of St. Joseph’s School. Mother M. Aquinas is a sister of the late Bishop Bellord. Three of her sisters, two of whom survive, became Sisters of Notre Dame, one being at present Sister Superior at Mount Pleasant Training College, and the other Sister Superior at Everton Valley, Liverpool.


Page 26, 31st December 1904

The name which heads this article (writes a correspondent) was dear and familiar to thousands, and the shadow which her loss has cast over the great Convent and College of Mount Pleasant falls indeed over the whole of Catholic England. Frances Mary Lescher was the eldest child of William Joseph Lescher of London, and his wife Mary, daughter of John Hoy, of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk. The Leschers were of German descent, and had preserved the Catholic faith unsullied since pre-Reformation times. So, too,had the Hoys ; and their ancestors, the Daveys, and the Cruises, were well-known ” Papists ” in Oxfordshire. There seems to have been in both families something of the old Chivalry of the Knights of the Middle Ages—their warlike spirit, enthusiastic devotion to a great cause, the exquisite tenderness and finished courtesy. And all these things were inherited to the full by Frances Mary, the child who came into the world on May 8, 1825.

Her first education was confided to the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, Newhall, where she remained till the age of 14, bearing away the gold medal, the highest prize for excellence in the school. From this time onwards she pursued her studies under the supervision of her father, whose constant companion she now became, reading with him and travelling with him on the Continent.

The Oxford Movement aroused her keenest interest, and her sympathy with the converts, to whom the Leschers’ house in Nottingham-place stood always open, was unbounded. Frances threw herself heart and soul into the great movement of revival among English Catholics, which had been set on foot immediately after the Catholic Emancipation Act, and with which the names of Bishop Wiseman, Dr.Gentili, Father Spencer, Frederick Lucas, and the elder Pugin are intimately connected, and gave in her own .generation all the support a woman could give to those anxious to devote themselves to the furtherance of the Catholic cause in England. Her wide reading, brilliant conversation, and personal attraction charmed all, and she was as wise and practical as she was accomplished and ardent. The teaching of poor children—that work with which the name of Sister Mary of St. Philip is indissolubly connected—found early a place in her life ; she made a classroom of the coach-house and there taught them their catechism, and more than once led the ragged waifs and strays, who formed her Sunday school class, through the streets of the city to church. This passion of her heart, for in truth it was nothing else, eventually drew her into the institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, which is wholly devoted to the education of girls, more especially of the poor. About the time of Miss Lescher’s entrance into the order, Father James Nugent (now Mgr. Nugent), Father James Carr (now Mgr. Carr), and others of the Liverpool clergy, had invited the Sisters to take charge of some of the elementary schools in the town.


In 1856 they opened in Mount Pleasant a training college for schoolmistresses, and Frances Lescher, immediately on the completion of her novitiate, came to fill the post of Mistress of Studies. From that moment her name was identified with the work ; the training college was what it was and is because of Sister Mary of St. Philip—and from that Feast of Candlemas, when she gave her first lessons to the little band of 21 students, to the last day when she sat among the 160 girls gathered round her in the splendid new hall, it has been her spirit and her heart which have been the life and light of the place. All, Catholics or Protestants, inspectors, clergy, university professors, admired her superiority of mind, respected her judgment and her counsel, and recognised her influence. “She is a woman,” said Sir Francis Sandford, then Secretary of the Education Department, “who might fearlessly place her hand even on the helm of the State.” His appreciation of her was ratified by that of his successors in office, and by many men eminent in the educational world, who from time to time visited the College. Such, in the early days, were Sir James Kaye Shuttleworth, Earl Granville (who in 1861 was President of the Committee of Council on Education), the Marquis of Ripon, and in later years Mr. Mundella and Sir G. Kekewich. MM. Inspectors of Training Colleges, Mr. Tinling and Mr. Warburton, both Canons of the Church of England, Sir Joshua Fitch, and Mr. Scott Coward, regarded Mount Pleasant as a model institution, unique in its organisation and work, and the local inspectors have not been less warm in their praise. It may be fitting to remark here that the home and centre for pupil teachers at Mount Pleasant paved the way for the foundation of similar centres for the collective teaching of pupil-teachers, first in Liverpool, then in the metropolis and other large towns. Mr. Sadler, in his recent report, says : “There is, so far as I am aware, no educational institution in England exactly comparable to that which, by the patience and foresight of the Sister Superior, has gradually been built up at Mount Pleasant. here in one long range of buildings, the slowly achieved outcome of half a century of work, every grade of girls’ education is provided for, from the primary school upwards, including the professional education of girls preparing themselves for the work of teaching in elementary or in secondary schools. Nor, in spite of the magnitude of the undertaking, is it the impression of mere size or numbers that dwells in the recollection of the visitor. It is rather the sense of quiet, cheerful, untiring, labour and of care for each individual pupil that lingers in his mind, and comes back vividly to his thoughts as he recalls what he heard and saw.” This appreciative and sympathetic report of Mr. Sadler’s was one of her last human consolations. In the beginning of December she caught a serious internal chill, and from the first, on account of her advanced age, the doctor entertained grave apprehensions as to the issue. From her sick bed she took the keenest interest in the College celebrations of the jubilee of the Immaculate Conception, arranging for the solemn Act of Consecration, and listened to the notes of the hymns borne up from the procession winding along the corridors below. On the morrow she received the Last Sacraments in great peace, and from that moment she laid aside completely, with the simplicity of a little child, the burden of her solicitous work, to give all her thought and care to the last great journey. But her splendid constitution, the widespread and incessant prayer sent up to God for her dear life, and, above all, her own extreme clearness of mind and freshness of memory made her sisters and children hope against hope. A serious crisis on the afternoon of Friday the fifth took away all illusion ; it was repeated on Saturday, and on Sunday night at about II p.m. she gave up her soul into the hands of God, very tranquilly and gently. Her noble life had closed nobly, fittingly. All that the Church could give her she had ; and two days before the end the Bishop had brought her the supreme consolation of the Holy Father’s blessing. To the last she kept an unclouded mind, visibly uniting herself to ‘the prayers and hymns, pressing the crucifix to her lips, lifting her feeble hand to make one of her old large signs of the Cross as she received her frequent absolutions—to the very end her own sweet, simple, great self.

She was laid out in the community-room in all religious simplicity with no other pomp than that of the kneeling Sisters, who watched her night and day, and the never-ceasing influx of her dearly loved and faithful “old students,” whose grief was pitiful to behold.


On Thursday last Bishop Whiteside sang the Solemn Requiem in the beautiful convent chapel, whose sanctuary was entirely draped in black. The Mass was admirably chanted by the diocesan choir, conducted by the Rev T. A. Walmsley. The Right Rev. Mgr. Carr, V.G., acted as assistant priest ; Canon Gordon, of Birkdale as deacon ; Canon Banks, of St. Edward’s College as subdeacon. The deacons at the throne were Canon Kennedy and Canon Cosgrave ; the masters of ceremonies the Revv. J. Clarkson and W. Slattery. More than 8o priests were present in the chapel amongst them Provost Clegg, Mgr. Marsden, Canons Beggan, O’Toole Barry, Singleton, Richardson, Chisholm ;the Rev. T. J. Walshe, chaplain to the community ; Father Hayes, Rector of St. Francis Xavier’s ; the Rectors of the churches of Liverpool and the outlying district, and representatives of different religious orders.

Immediately after the absolutions the cortege passed from the chapel down the main staircase and along the spacious corridor to the door of the new wing in Hope-street, where a long line of coaches awaited the mourners—clergy, sisters, and former students with other friends, all anxious to give this last testimony of esteem and affection to her whom they had loved and venerated in life. But the most touching part of the funeral was the assemblage of poor children drawn up at intervals along the route in front of each school with their parents and teachers, patiently standing in frost and fog, the boys with raised caps, girls with joined hands and bowed heads. Some 40 coaches reached the Great Crosby Cemetery, where the procession formed and passed through lines of teachers and former students proving by their presence and their sorrowful demeanour that she whom they mourned had been their best and truest friend.

Expressions of sympathy and condolence have flooded in upon the Sisters from all quarters ; telegrams were received from the Marquis of Ripon, from H. M. Inspectors, from the Professors of the Liverpool University ; letters from his Grace the Archbishop of Westminster and the bishops and clergy all over the British Isles. A vote of sympathy was passed by the Association of Principals of Training Colleges holding their annual Conference in London, and “carried in silence,” wrote the President, “by the whole body of members rising in their places.” A deputation from the University conveyed expressions of esteem and regret from that body ; and the Liverpool Education Committee passed a unanimous resolution : “That this Committee desire to express their deep regret at the death of Miss F. M. Lescher, Principal of the Mount Pleasant Training College ; to place on record their high appreciation of the services rendered to the cause of education in the city ; and to convey their sympathy with the authoritieS of the college in the loss they have sustained.”

The main lines, large and simple, of Sister Mary of St. Philip’s striking personality were apparent to all who came into even passing contact with her. A countenance, noble and eminently good, and easy dignity of presence that was far removed from stiffness or condescension, and above all the genuine and unaffected interest which she took in the doings, plans, joys and sorrows of the most casual visitor, and what someone has happily called “that princely gift of making herself all in all,” these things charmed and won multitudes. Multitudes too, recognised and admired her royal gifts of mind—her quick and sure judgment, her wise and temperate counsel, her quite exceptional capacity for organisation and. administration • and few who knew her ever so little, but felt the charm of the freshness, the enthusiasm, the youngness of heart which were so beautiful and harmonious a contradiction of her ripe years. Others have been privileged to see more— the grand simplicity of her daily life, devoting to others, without suspicion of heroism, time, talents, labour ; the large sympathy that went out to the smallest the most trivial of sorrows ; the ever-growing gentleness and forbearance and long patience ; and that lowliness of spirit which was so marked and beautiful a trait in one s.) great. The fragrance of all these things and many more is with those who immediately lived and loved and laboured under one roof with Sister Mary of St. Philip, and they are to them part of her very name. Yet not to them alone does that name belong, but to the whole Catholic Church in England, to the poor of Christ and the priests of Christ, wherever they suffer and toil between its three seas. R.I.P.

The Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount Pleasant, desire to thank most warmly all those who have written to express sympathy with them in their sorrow. Owing to the large number of letters received from friends and from students, past and present, it is impossible to write an individual acknowledgment.