Francis Cable


The Cable Family – 1905 to 1911

St. Peter’s Church De Beauvoir RoadOn June 7th 1905, FRANCIS HARRY CABLE the son of Frank Cable (now known as Brown) and Catherine Cable (née Feltham), marries ALICE LOUISA SMITH at St. Peter’s Church, West Hackney, London. St. Peter’s Church is located on De Beauvoir Road, in the south-west corner of Hackney parish, near the junction with Northchurch Terrace.

The church, which was built in 1841, is still standing and continues to be a place of worship.

Francis is 28 years old and a ‘Dairyman’ (interestingly the same trade as his father) and residing in the parish of Teddington – his bride, Alice is 32 year old.

Witnesses to the marriage are both members of the bride’s family, her father, ‘Nevill Herbert Smith’ and a ‘Lizzie Smith’ who probably is one of her sisters. In the section on the marriage certificate for Father’s name and surname, Alice’s father is confirmed as ‘Nevill Herbert Smith’, with the profession of ‘Warehouseman’.

1905 – Frank Harry Cable (Frank Cable/Brown’s son) marries Alice Louisa Smith

Against Francis Harry Cable’s father is written ‘Frank Harry Cable’ – ‘Dairyman’, But intriguingly, under the name ‘Frank Harry Cable’ appears to be written the word ‘dec’d’ – I believe this means ‘deceased’.

So here we have numerous questions which we cannot, and never will be able to answer……

  • Did Francis Harry Cable believe his father, Frank Cable/Brown to be dead?
  • Had his mother told him so? The fact that Catherine is recorded four years previously on the 1901 Census as being a ‘widow’ might support that argument or did Francis Harry know his father was still alive but decided to record false information on his own wedding certificate?
  • Did his mother Catherine attend the wedding ceremony of her son? If so, why wasn’t she one of the two witnesses?
  • And what of Frank Cable (Brown) – did he sneak into the back of the church to watch his son wed? Doubtful, but if he did, what if anything, did he say to Polly regarding where he was going on that day?


Around six years pass and we move onto the Census of 1911, taken on the night of Sunday 31st March. This records Francis Henry Cable, the son of Frank Cable and Catherine Feltham in a house at 19 Park Lane, Clissold Park N.


1911 Census – Frank Cable (the son of ‘Frank Brown’) with his wife Alice Louisa Cable and their two sons.

Frank Cable (Frank’s son) is recorded as being 32 years old and a ‘Visitor’ in the house of NEVILL HERBERT SMITH, a 63 year old Brace & Belt Maker. The census records Nevill Herbert’s family;  Mary Ann, aged 65 and  three adult children; Mary Ann aged 31, Herbert Nevill aged 29 and Lily Maud aged 22 years old and a German ‘Boarder’ with the surname of Kkraus, aged 20 years.

As recorded on his wedding certificate, Francis Cable’s occupation is ‘Dairyman’ with a place of birth of Battersea. With him in the house, also recorded as ‘visitors’ are his wife, Alice Louisa Cable, aged 41, (although her marriage status is left blank) and their two sons; Frank Nevill Cable and Harris Cable aged 5 and 3 respectively.  These two boys are the grandchildren of Frank Cable/Brown.

Name and Surname Relationship Age Sex Condition Profession Birthplace
Nevill Herbert Smith Head 63 Male Married Brass And Belt Maker London City
Maryann Smith Wife 65 Female Married London, Shoreditch
Mary Ann Elizabeth Smith Daughter 31 Female Single Printers – Clerk London, Shoreditch
Herbert Nevill Smith Son 29 Male Single Law Clerk London, Shoreditch
Lilly Maud Smith Daughter 22 Female Single Confectioners – Clerk London, Shoreditch
Fistey Keans Boarder 20 Male Single Bronze Powder – Clerk Zeindorf, Germany
Francis Henry Cable Visitor 32 Male Married Dairyman London, Battersea
Alice Louisa Cable Visitor 41 Female London,Shoreditch
Frank Nevill Cable Visitor 4 Male Islington
Harris Cable Visitor 3 Male Islington

The name ‘Nevill’ is obviously a family name as it is the same name as the Head of this house (Alice’s father) and also the middle name of the head of household’s son Herbert (Alice’s brother). It is evident Frank is staying with his In-laws. Nevill and Mary Ann Smith are recorded on this Census, as having 6 children still living, 3 of whom are recorded here – at age 41 years; Alice Louisa Smith is possibly their oldest daughter, another of whom is likely to have been the ‘Lizzie Smith’ who was a witness at her wedding six years previously.

This same census finds Frank Cable/Brown’s wife (aka Catherine Sarah Frederick Feltham) living at Island House, Malden Road, New Malden, Surrey. She is recorded as ‘Katherine Cable’, aged 69 years and the ‘mother’ to the head of the household Frederick Feltham aged 45, a Carpenter. On the original census record someone, in a different hand has incorrectly suffixed the words ‘in-law’ to the word ‘mother’.

1911-Census-Katherine Cable

1911 Census – Katherine Cable (the wife of ‘Frank Brown’) 

Also in the house are Frederick’s wife Ada Feltham, aged 44 and their Five children; Frederick A, aged 21, also  a Carpenter, Florence aged 20, Alice aged 16 years, Arthur, aged 12 and Marjorie aged 4 years old. One point of interest on this census is against Katherine Cable’s is the response to the question ‘How many children born alive to present marriage?’ In the column ‘Total Children born alive’ is written ‘2’. Children still Living – ‘1’. Children who have Died – ‘1’.

This leads us to the conclusion that Frank Cable and Catherine Sarah Frederick Feltham had two children, one of whom died prior to 1911.

Name and Surname Relationship Age Sex Condition Profession Birthplace
Frederick Feltham Head 45 Male Married Carpenter Kent, Lewisham
Ada Feltham Wife 44 Female Married Camberwell
Frederick A Feltham Son 21 Male Single Carpenter Middlesex Harlesden
Florence Feltham Daughter 20 Female Single Battersea
Alice Feltham Daughter 16 Female Single Surrey Kingston
Arthur Feltham Son 12 Male School Surrey Kingston
Marjorie Feltham Daughter 4 Female Surrey, New Malden
Katherine Cable Mother 'In Law' 69 Female Married Chelsea

This Census also records details of Frank Cable younger brother Harry, his full sibling, their mother being SARAH COLLINSON. Harry is living at 1 Hornshay Place, Hatcham S E, London. His age is recorded as 48 years; he is an Engineers Labourer, born in Camberwell, London. Also in the house is his wife, Rose Cable, aged 53 years born in Sandgate, Kent. Harry and Rose have three children, Frank Cable’s nephews; Ernest Charles, aged 26 years, a sauce maker, Lillian, aged 23 years, a waitress and a second son, Sydney Arthur aged 21 years, employed as a Milk Carrier. The two younger children have a birthplace recorded as Deptford, London, Ernest records his birthplace as Lambeth.

Name and Surname Relationship Age Sex Condition Profession Birthplace
Harry Cable Head 48 Male Married Engineers Labourer London Camberwell
Rose Cable Wife 53 Female Married Sandgate, Kent
Ernest Charles Cable Son 26 Male Single Sauce Maker London, Lambeth
Lillian Cable Daughter 23 Female Single Waitress London, Deptford
Sydney Arthur Cable Son 23 Male Single Milk Carrier London, Deptford

This census also records Frank’s half-brother, Samuel J Cable now 60 years old, living with his wife and two grown-up daughters, Beatrice and Charlotte, aged 32 and 26 years old respectively and both shop assistants. The family are still living at ‘77, Rosemary Road, Peckham’ as they have for at least the previous twenty years.

Name and Surname Relationship Age Sex Condition Profession Birthplace
Samuel Cable Head 60 Male Married Bootmaker Rotherhithe
Sarah Cable Wife 62 Female Married Camberwell
Beatrice Cable Daughter 32 Female Single Shop Assistant Peckham
Charlotte Cable Daughter 25 Female Single Shop Assistant Peckham

On this census it records Sarah as having seven children born alive, six of whom are still living, one having died.

Frank’s paternal half-brother, Edwin, is again recorded in the Census, and as in 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901, he remains at the Corporation Buildings in the St James area of Clerkenwell. Edwin and his family have been recorded as living at numbers 79, 162 and 25. In this Census he is living at number 48 but since the last census in 1901 his wife Harriet has died as he is now recorded as a’widower‘.

Name and Surname Relationship Age Sex Condition Profession Birthplace
Edwin Cable Head Widower Male 72 Painter Surrey, Bermondsey
William John Cable Son Single Male 42 Clerk Newington,
Minnie Clara Cable Daughter Single Female 39 Leather Case Maker London,Middlesex
Frederic T Cable Son Single. Male 35 Wood Carver London,Middlesex

Sidney Cable, who at this time would have reached the age of 32 years, is not with the family – possibly married and living elsewhere.

So from the 1911 Census, taken on Sunday 2nd April, we know the whereabouts of Frank’s wife Katherine, his son Francis, his grandsons Horris and Frank Nevill Cable, his brother Harry, his half-brothers Samuel and Edwin – all with their own families. On that same Sunday night, Francis Cable cannot be found in the 19111 Census, now known as Frank Brown. He is with his ‘wife’ Polly are now living in Kingston in Surrey at 4 Fife Road. Frank is now a working as a ‘Photographer’ working at home from this same address. With them are five of their children; JOHN RICHARD aged 16 and an ‘Apprentice Electrician’, ELIZABETH aged 15 years whom is ‘Assisting the Business’, EDITH aged 13, DAISY aged 11 and FRANCIS JOSEPH aged 9 years all of whom are attending school. Their eldest daughter MAY, now aged 17 years, is recorded at Billesdon Lodge Farm in Leicestershire.

1911 Francis Cable Census - Bournmouth

1911 Census – Polly & Frank Brown with family in Bournemouth

At the time of this Census in March 1901 Frank & Polly have been bigamously married for nearly eighteen years.


Next Page: Moving on to 1933 and a Wedding takes place