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Frederick Clarkson HaroldChemical Engineer
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Today in Masonic History – William Hesketh Lever is Born (masonrytoday.com)
Port Sunlight Welcome and introduction to Port Sunlight (portsunlightvillage.com)
Frederick Clarkson Harold 1881-1948
Frederick Clarkson Harold was born in the second quarter of 1883 at Wood Green, London to Charles William and Mary Ann nee Rowe. His parents married in 1873 and their first child, Marianna , arrived in 1874.
Frederick was the middle child of 7. His second sister Geraldine was born in 1876, a brother Charles William in 1879, Frederick in 1881, Winifred R in 1884, Mabel Mary in 1886 and a final child as indicated in the 1911 census.
Marianna and Geraldine were both born in Somerset, the next 4 were born in Wood Green and the final child in Bridgend, Glamorgan. This is where we find the Harolds in 1891 at 31 Park Street. The census lists Charles W , 46 , a “ supervisor Inland revenue “ born in Glastonbury. Mary Ann , 43 , born in Barnstaple, Devon, Marianna 17, Geraldine 15, Charles William 12, Frederick C , 7, Winifred R 4, Mabel Mary 2 and a 24 year old domestic servant.
Frederick’s father followed in his father’s footsteps , described as an Excise officer on his marriage banns of 1843. Both men were called Charles William.
By the 1901 census 17 year old Frederick is working as a farm labourer and listed as a lodger in Kirkham near Preston, Lancashire.
This venture into farming seems to have been a short lived as the next mention of Frederick is on 26th October 1906 when he is initiated into the Freemasons. The record for the William Hesketh Lever Lodge , Port Sunlight includes Frederick as a chemist.
This link gives an insight into William Lever, known as the “ Soap King” who built Port Sunlight to house his employees at his Sunlight Soap factory on the Wirral. We are told that Lever was the first to have a Lodge named after him in 1902. He went on to found other lodges. He apparently saw the fraternity of Freemasons as a way to strengthen the hierarchy within Lever brothers.
Frederick at his initiation was living at 23 Chestnut Grove, Higher Bebington . The 1909 electoral register even tells us that he was paying 18/- per week at 31 Bolton Road for a “bedroom on first floor and use of sitting room on ground floor, furnished”.
By 1911 he appears on both the electoral register and the census at another address lodging with a 61 year old single lady at 3 Townfield Lane, Bebington. Now an analytical chemist working for a soap manufacturer.
His parents, now 66 and 63 are listed at Rosebank, St Brannock’s Park, Ilfracombe, a dwelling of 9 rooms. Chares is a civil servant pensioner and they have been married for 38 years. They have had 7 children who all lived . Marianna , 37 is living at home as is Mabel May, 22 , a student.
Frederick left his employment at Port Sunlight between 1911 and 1914 as we find him homeward bound to Liverpool from Iquique, Chile on the Orapesa , 2nd class on 9th November 1914. He is 31 and an analytical chemist.
As soon as he arrived back in Liverpool he married Martha Burrows in the Wirral registration district ( Port Sunlight area) . The marriage registration gives an approximate date of the final quarter of the year.
It seems highly likely that 33 year old Frederick had met Martha whilst working at Port Sunlight.
Martha was born on 23rd October 1883 in Liverpool to Charles , a porter, and Elizabeth. Very little information is forthcoming regarding Martha.
We know that both Frederick and Martha were living at 18 The Ridge , Eastriggs during 1918-19 as they are listed on the electoral register for 1 Frederick as a chemical engineer. He was one of the many chemists employed at HM Factory Gretna. It is possible that he responded to a circular calling for chemists to join the Royal Engineers with waivers for height and eyesight and an immediate promotion to corporal.
Frederick can still be found at 18 The Ridge on the 1920-21 valuation Roll , this time listed as an engineer and the proprietor being listed as The Secretary of State for war rather than the Ministry of Munitions. Production had ceased at the factory by this time and the majority of workers had moved.
The final piece of this jigsaw is the Probate record informing us of Frederick’s death at Cheveril, Whitchurch, Tavistock, Devon on 22nd July 1948. Probate to Henry Burrows, Company Director ( Frederick’s brother in law?) £9695 2 11d. He was 65 and is buried in Barnstaple with his parents.