Emma Shellaker


The Shellaker Family moved to Billesdon

In the Spring of 1886, when Emma was approaching the age of twenty, the family moved from Tugby to a new home, Billesdon Lodge Farm,  a couple of miles north of the village of Billesdon.

Shellaker Lodge Farm Billesdon - Earliest Picture

 Billesdon Lodge Farm – Home of the Shellaker Family

Two years after the family moved to Billesdon, in 1888, further tragedy stuck the family when Emma’s younger sister Elizabeth died of pneumonia at the age of twenty, at this time Emma was twenty-one years old. Elizabeth was the sister closest in age to Emma. Elizabeth was buried in the family plot in the churchyard at Tugby

Emma Shellaker - Anniversary at Baptist ChapelBILLESDON BAPTIST CHAPEL
It was likely that soon after Emma had moved with her parents and siblings, to Billesdon Lodge Farm she started to attend the Baptist Chapel in Back Street, Billesdon. The chapel had opened in 1813 and had a growing membership of local supporters of the Baptist cause.

In the minutes of the Baptist chapel at Billesdon there is a record that reads “Miss Emma Shellaker played Harmonium which was bought in 1863.” These minutes also record in 1888, at around the age of twenty-one or twenty-two years old, Emma was baptised at this chapel.

On the right is a copy of a service sheet, once belonging to Emma, for a service at the chapel, her name is written at the top ; ‘E. Shellaker’ Billesdon Lodge.” The service took place on Sunday 19th June 1892.

The inside of this service sheet reveals the hymns at the afternoon service were;

“Lord, we come before Thee now”, “Gladly we sing for Jesus”, “The Lord is my Shepherd, how happy am I”.  “Marching on with shout and song” and “Gentle Saviour, God of love”.

At the Evening service they sang;

Yes ! it is good to worship Thee”, “There is a song that will never cease”, “On the journey of life we are going”, “Gracious Saviour, hear our voices”, and “Onward we tread to the city of God”.

1891 – CENSUS
On Sunday 5th April 1891 another National Census was taken in England, the third in which Emma Shellaker was recorded. In this Census Emma is back living with her family at Billesdon at “Shellaker Lodge”.

Emma is listed between older brother William and younger sister Helena (Nellie). Emma age is recorded as 24 years old. As can be seen below, Nellie is living with her family; parents, Richard & Mary, her sisters Sarah & Nellie, who were twenty-nine and eleven respectively and her brothers, William, who was twenty-eight and younger brother John who was nine years old. This 1891 Census reveals one of Emma’s sisters is ‘missing’ from the family home. Mary Jane (Polly) is at this time working as a housekeeper in the house of a Mr. Joseph Wardle in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Their sister Elizabeth, is also absent from this Census having died three years before in 1888 as mentioned above.

1891 Census - Richard Shellaker & Family in Billesdon

1891 Census – The Shellaker Family in Billesdon

Name of House Name Relationship Condition Age Occupation Where Born
Shellaker Lodge Richard Shellaker Head Married 60 Leicester,Tugby
Mary A Shellaker Wife Married 53 Leicester,Hallaton
Sarah A Shellaker Daughter Single 29 Leicester,Tugby
William Shellaker Son Single 28 Leicester,Tugby
Emma Shellaker Daughter Single 24 Leicester,Tugby
Helana Shellaker Daughter Single 11 Leicester,Tugby
John Shellaker Son Single 9 Leicester,Tugby

On Monday the 10th of October 1892. Emma attended the wedding of her sister Mary Jane at a Wesleyan chapel in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Mary Jane, who was known as ‘Polly’, married a man with the name of FRANK BROWN. Emma, who was 26 years old at this time, was also one of the witnesses; the other witness was Polly and Emma’s father, Richard Shellaker. This marriage in Grantham of her sister Polly to Frank Brown was later to be the cause of serious discord within the family. However around six years after the wedding of her sister, it was Emma herself who had to endure the disapproval of her family…..


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