Francis Cable


The Cable Family – 1901

In 1901 Frank Cable, now known as ‘Frank Brown’, has been married for nearly nine years.

Seasalter KentTen years previously, in the Census of 1891, Frank Cable was recorded as living with his wife Catherine, at the home in West Hackney in London, of Catherine’s daughter Emily and her family. Frank & Catherine’s son, Francis Harry Cable, was living in Herne Bay, Kent with his half-brother William Feltham and his family.

Ten years on, on the night of 31st March 1901, Frank’s son FRANCIS HARRY CABLE, is still living in Kent, approximately seven miles from Herne Bay but now he is with his mother CATHERINE. They are living together at 5 Oxford Street, Seasalter, an area just outside Whitstable.

Seasalter is a village located by the sea on the north coast of Kent, between the towns of Whitstable and Faversham. It faces the Isle of Sheppey across the estuary of the River Swale. It is approximately five miles north of Canterbury. A picture of Seasalter beach is shown on the right.

The house at 5 Oxford Street, Seasalter still remains and can be seen on Google Street where it can be seen as a shop selling Knitting related merchandise. However the area known as Seasalter has since been absorbed into Whitstable.

Catherine, as can be seen at the bottom of the page in the Census below, is recorded as ‘KATE CABLE’ and is working at home as a ‘Confectioner/Baker’. Her son FRANK CABLE also works in the Bakery industry as a ‘Confectioner/Bread worker’. Some of the occupations of their immediate neighbours – ‘Ship-builder’, ‘Oyster Dredger’ and ‘Mariner’ are evocative of the coastal location of this home. Catherine age is recorded as 50 years, with her son, Frank as 21 years old. Frank age is correct, Catherine’s age is incorrect by over a decade. She was born in June 1840 and therefore she had reached the age of 60 years in the previous year.

Interestingly Frank Cable’s wife describes herself as a ‘Widow’. On this occasion the notable absentee from the family home is Frank Cable himself. But as we know, at this point in this story, ‘Frank Cable’ no longer exists; around 18 months after the 1891 Census Frank has bigamously married Polly Shellaker in Grantham in October 1892 and thenceforth became ‘Frank Brown’.

1901 Census – Catherine (recorded as ‘Kate’) Cable, with her son Frank

Location Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
No.5 Oxford Street KateCable Head Wid. M 50 Confectioner/Baker Pimlico, London
Frank Cable Son Single. M 21 Confectioner/Bread worker London

In the same night that his wife and son are living on the Kent coast, FRANK CABLE, now known as ‘FRANK BROWN’ is living over 160 miles away in Bournemouth, Dorset. NB – Since marrying Polly Frank middle name became ‘James‘.

1901 Census – Frank Cable (now recorded as ‘Frank Brown’) with his ‘wife’ Polly, with their five children.

Road /Street Name Relationship Marriage Status Age Occupation Employer/Worker Working at Home? Where Born
172 Holdenhurst Rd Francis J. Brown Head Married 40 Sausage Agent Own A/C London, Camberwell
174 Holdenhurst Rd Mary J. Brown Wife Married 36 Leicester, Tugby
May Brown Daughter 7 Lincoln, Grantham
John Richard Son 6 Lincoln, Grantham
Elizabeth Daughter 5 Lincoln, Grantham
Edith Daughter 2 Hants, Bournemouth
Daisy Daughter 1 Hants, Bournemouth

He is living at 174 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth with his ‘wife’ MARY JANE (POLLY SHELLAKER) and their five children; MAY aged 7 years, JOHN RICHARD aged 6 and ELIZABETH aged five all of whom l have a recorded birthplace of Grantham, Lincolnshire and EDITH and DAISY aged two and one respectively, who were born in Bournemouth. Frank’s age is recorded as being 40 years old, Mary Jane (Polly) as 36 years – both these ages are correct. Frank’s occupation appears to be that of ‘Sausage Agent’ of his ‘Own Account’, (presumably this means self-employed). At the time of this Census in March 1901, Frank & Polly have been bigamously married for nearly eight years.

Also in the 1901 Census, are Frank’s half-brother, SAMUEL J CABLE, now 50 years old and living with wife SARAH, aged 51, at the same address as in the previous Census, at 77, Rosemary Road, Camberwell.  Three children still remain with their parents; their sons FREDERICK and LEONARD, aged 25 and 15 years, the former working as a shop assistant and their daughter CHARLOTTE aged 15, also like her brother, is a shop assistant.

Curiously this is the first family census in which a ‘FREDERICK’ is recorded. His birth year would have been 1875 or 1876 but he did not appear with the family on the 1881 or 1891 returns, when he would have been ages 5 and 15 respectively.

In a later Census his mother Sarah Cable is recorded as having seven children born alive, six of whom are still living, one having died. The 1881 census records five children William, Lillian, Minnie, Beatrice and Samuel, four of whom appear ten years later in the 1891 census with Lillian missing so she is possibly the one child who died. Additional children on the 1891 census are Charlotte and Leonard – equating to seven children in total – so from where has ‘Frederick’ appeared?

EDWIN, Frank’s paternal half-brother is again recorded in the Census, and as in 1871, 1881 and 1891, he remains at the Corporation Buildings in the St James area of Clerkenwell. Edwin and his family have been recorded as living at number 79 and number 162. In this Census they are residing at number 25.

Location Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
25 Corporation Buildings Edwin Cable Head Marr. M 62 Painter Surrey, Bermondsey
Harriet M A Wife Marr. M 64 Middlesex, Bermondsey
William JCable Son Single. M 32 Clerk Newington, Surrey
Minnie C Cable Daug Single. F 29 Leather Case Maker Middlesex, Clerkenwell
Frederic T Cable Son Single. M 25 Wood Carver Middlesex, Clerkenwell
Sidney H Cable Son Single. M 22 Clerk Middlesex, Clerkenwell


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