My father, GEORGE HARRY LEEDHAM, was born on Sunday 10th January 1897. He was born in the City of Leicester in the English Midlands. From an early age he was known as ‘HARRY‘ and I will refer to him by that name hereafter.
He was the third child of WILLIAM and LYDIA LEEDHAM; an elder brother WILLIAM was around nine years old, being born, I believe, on 16th May 1887. Harry also had an sister, GERTRUDE, who was seven years old when he was born, her date of birth was 26th May 1889. When Harry was born his father, William was around 30 years old, his mother Lydia was around 31.
At the time of Harry’s birth it is probable the family lived at 147 Curzon Street, Leicester – the family’s address at the first Census, four years after his birth.
BRITAIN IN 1897
Queen Victoria, official Diamond Jubilee portrait – Diamond Jubilee Service at St. Pauls –Lord Salisbury, British PM – Boar War in South Africa – 1st publications of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man
The family is recorded on the 1901 Census, which took place on the night of 31st March of that year, as living at 147 Curzon Street, Leicester in the Ecclesiastical Parish of St. Matthews.
|Road /Street||Name||Relationship||Marriage Status||Age||Occupation||Employer/Worker||Working at Home?||Where Born|
|147 Curzon St||William Leedham||Head||Married||34||Shoe Hand Riveter||Worker||Leicester|
|Willie Leedham||Son||13||Occupation Unclear||Leicester|
This Census record identifies the parent of George Harry Leedham as William Leedham (born 1866 or 1867) and Lydia Leedham (born 1865 or 1866).
In July 1902 a second daughter was born, her parents named her IDA LYDIA. At the time of Ida’s birth Harry would have been 5 years old, William (Willie) 15 years old and Gertrude 13 years old.
The Leedham Family in 1902
CURZON STREET, LEICESTER
What remains of Curzon Street is now only a short street off Dysart Way (highlighted in Red in at the top of the map on the right). However it was originally much longer (the house numbers in the 1901 Census go up to at least No. 205).
The image below left from 1960, shows house numbers 155 to 173. Therefore 147, Curzon St, where the Leedham family were living in 1901, is only a few doors away from this picture.
There are no longer any residential building at either end of the original street, as all the houses were demolished in the 1960’s as part for a slum clearance initiative when the St. Matthews Estate was totally redeveloped. Consequently Curzon Street was split and almost disappeared by these redevelopments, with the Humberstone Road end of Curzon Street being renamed Madras Street (highlighted in Red) but it is very clear from the modern Google Map where the line of the original Curzon Street lay.
NB. The low house numbers were at the Madras Street end, which allows speculation regarding the location of number 147.
1902 Ordnance Survey Map showing Curzon Street
LEICESTER RECORDS OFFICE: Get Coloured street map of Curzon Street c. 1901
The second Census on which George Harry Leedham was recorded took place on the evening of Sunday 2nd April 1911.
On this Census he is recorded, with his family, as living at 63 Norman Street Leicester, off the Narborough Road, near the City centre. The house in which they lived at this time was a relatively new house, around 14 years old, having been built in 1897.
Full record of occupants of at 63, Norman Street, Leicester.
|Name||Relationship||Marriage Status||Age||Occupation||Employer/Worker||Working at Home?||Where Born|
|William Leedham||Head||Married||45||Commercial Traveller – Stationery||Worker||Leicester|
|Gertrude Leedham||Daughter||Single||21||Shoe Trade||Worker||Leicester|
|Ida Lydia Leedham||Daughter||Single||8||School||Leicester|
The record show William and Lydia had been married for 24 years (1886 or 1887) also shows the number of children ‘born alive’ and those ‘Still Living’ – both numbers are ‘4’. This confirms there were no children of William and Lydia who died in infancy.
The record also shows us the William Leedham’s actual handwriting and his signature as, unlike previous Censuses, the 1901 Census requires the Head of the household to enter the information.
NORMAN STREET, LEICESTER
LEICESTER RECORDS OFFICE: Get street map of Norman Street c. 1911
Next Page: The Parents of George Harry Leedham