Gustavus Orlando Dace
1850, Witham, Essex – 1919, Kensington district
Organist: 1876-1884

He was the son of the parish clerk and gardener James Dace II (1787, Writtle, Essex – 1864, Witham) and his far younger second wife Elizabeth Drane (1827, Woodham Walter, Essex – 1910, Pancras district). They married in Witham in 1847 and had three children – Gustavus and two daughters, Rosetta (1848, Witham – 1911, Wigan, Lancashire) and Isabella (1852, Witham – 1904, New Zealand). James already had eleven children by his previous 1808 marriage to Mildred Malyon (18th March 1787, Witham – 1830, Witham, possibly in childbirth), daughter of William Malyon and his wife Mary Skinner1. Mildred’s grave inscription survives in Witham churchyard.

James Dace II was one of two children born to James Dace I (died 7th October 1789, Writtle, Essex) and Sarah South – the other was William Dace (born 1788, Writtle). Sarah remarried after James Dace I’s death to William Bright on 30th January 1793. James Dace II became a music teacher and in 1852 opened a music shop in Chelmsford which still survives. In the Kelly’s Directory for Chelmsford of 1862, he advertised himself as “JAMES DACE – professor of music, harmonium and pianoforte, warehouse and music seller, NEW LONDON ROAD and WEST HAM ROAD STRATFORD2. Orlando is presumably after the Tudor and Jacobean English composer Orlando Gibbons, but Gustavus is more of a mystery – it cannot be after Gustav Mahler, since he was born a decade later, but might feasibly be after one of two kings of Sweden – Gustavus II Adolphus (1594-1632), writer of a hymn used by his Protestant army at the 1632 Battle of L├╝tzen, or Gustav III (1746-1792), patron of opera and theatre.

Two of Gustavus’ elder half-brothers, Robert and James Dace III, were both music professors. Robert was imprisoned in 1848 for a total of a year for two counts of larceny. He was tried again for larceny in 1850 but convicted of felony. His sentence this time was life transportation but it is unclear if this occurred, since in January 1851 he was back in court, this time for stealing a gold pencil case, for which he was sentenced to seven years’ transportation to Gibraltar. He also went bankrupt in 1868. James Dace III (1822, Witham, Essex – 1896, Colchester) was living in Chelmsford in 1861 and 1871 and inherited the music shop. He married a woman named Eliza or Elizabeth Meadowcroft (1838, Colchester – 1896, Colchester) in Chelmsford late in 1863. Two years prior to the marriage she had owned, run and lived in a school on New London Road in Chelmsford, though the couple had moved to Colchester by 1881. They had six children of their own, including Arthur Wellington Dace (1866, Colchester), whose birth was confusingly registered under the name Horatio Dace. Arthur became a professor of music like his father – he lived most of his life in Edinburgh, where he gave recitals, but never married. Another of James III and Elizabeth’s sons, Ernest Waring (1869, Colchester – 1926, Colchester), became a piano tuner and later a music seller and married Maud Marion Denton (1872, Colchester – 1960, Ipswich, Suffolk) in Colchester in 1903.

Rosetta and Gustavus were living on Chipping Hill in Witham with their parents in 1851, whereas in 1861 the household consisted of the parents, Gustavus and Isabella on Church Street, Witham. Rosetta had moved out by 1861 but was still on Church Street, working as a servant in the household of an auctioneer and upholsterer. Upon widowhood Elizabeth moved the family to London, where she, Gustavus and Isabella formed one of three households packed into 12 Egbert Street, St Pancras in 1871. Rosetta had risen to being a housemaid at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire by 1871 – it then housed the 7th Duke of Marlborough, paternal grandfather of Winston Churchill. She went on to marry Benjamin Moor (1847, Westbourne, West Sussex) at St George’s Hanover Square on 2nd August 1877. He was a butler and he was the son of William Moor (1815, Westbourne – 1861, Westbourne) and his wife Martha (1815, Westbourne). Gustavus’ sister Isabella went on to emigrate – she married George Graham in Sydney in 1877 in Sydney, Australia, but the couple spent most of their lives in New Zealand. They had twelve children and she died in 1904 of “apoplexy”.

In 1851 Benjamin had been living in his birthplace with his parents and eight siblings, whose jobs ranged from basket maker’s apprentice to game keeper’s boy. William himself was a gardener (1851) or “labourer in gardens” (1861). By 1861 Benjamin had entered service as a footman at Oldfield Lawn, a country house on Lumley Row in Westbourne, then inhabited by Lieutenant General John Oldfield (1789, Portsmouth, Hampshire – 1863, Emsworth), commandant general of the Royal Engineers since 1859, who had fought at Waterloo and against the Fenian invasion of Canada. Also in that household were Oldfield’s third wife Cordelia Ann Yonge (1808, Anthony, Cornwall) and three of his children, including Captain Aldred Oldfield (1836, Newfoundland), 16th Regiment of Foot.

William and Martha were also still in Westbourne in 1861, now in a house known as “The Canal or Engine House”. With them were six of Benjamin’s siblings. In 1871 Benjamin was still a footman, one of nine servants in Kirklington Hall, Nottinghamshire. Its master was Colonel Alexander Boddam-Whetham (1806, Enfield – 1872, Rome), landowner, colonel of the Royal Sherwood Foresters militia and magistrate – he had been born with the surname Boddam but changed it to Boddam-Whetham by deed poll in 1870. Rosetta’s address at the time of the marriage was 24 Wilton Crescent in Belgravia and Benjamin was near the church at 47 Brook Street, then occupied by James Lindsay, Master of Lindsay (1847-1913), occupier of 47 Brook Street (1870-1882)3. Rosetta did not give a profession on her marriage certificate, presumably since she was leaving service for married life – Benjamin remained a butler until his death. One of the witnesses to the marriage was her mother Elizabeth.

Rosetta and Benjamin had two children by 1881, whose birthplaces suggest they remained in London for a time after their marriage – Hilda Millanie (late 1878, St George’s Hanover Square) and William Cecil (June 1880, St George’s Hanover Square). They then made a dramatic move between 1880 and 1881 to Haigh, Lancashire, now part of Greater Manchester. Initially this was to Copperas Lane (1881) then to Farm Cottages (1891), both times having their own household. This heavily implies that around this time Benjamin was still employed by James Lindsay, who was MP for Wigan until 1881 and whose family owned Haigh Hall in Haigh. Lindsay collaborated with his father to enlarge the Hall’s library and continued that work after inheriting his title of Earl of Crawford in 1880, turning it into one of Britain’s largest private collections – he sold its manuscripts in 1901 for form the nucleus of the John Rylands Library in Manchester, whilst his collections of philatelic literature collections are now in the British Library.

Three more children soon followed – Rosetta Violet (1882, Haigh – 1934, Paddington district), the son Eric Arthur (1884, Aspull or Haigh) and May Lillian (1887, Haigh). Benjamin Moor was absent on census night in 1901 but with a valid excuse – still a butler, he was living at Hall Lane near his workplace at Wrightington Hall, a country house owned by a Roman Catholic landowning family six miles north of Wigan. By 1901 the rest of the family was at 23 Kenyon Road, Wigan, Lancashire. William had entered the workplace as a tram conductor for Wigan Corporation, Eric as a joiner’s apprentice and Rosetta junior as a dressmaker. In 1907 Rosetta junior married Herbert Spedding in Skipton. Her brother Eric remained in Wigan to marry the tailor and sewing machinist Mary Ellen Sims (1884, Wigan) in 1910, with whom he was living at 157 Hodges Street, Wigan in 1911. By 1911 Eric had finished his apprenticeship and William’s job had been retitled “ticket inspector”. William had also inherited 23 Kenyon Road by 1911, in which year it also housed his unmarried sisters May and Hilda.

In 1879 Rosetta senior’s brother Gustavus followed suit, marrying Elizabeth Kathleen Keen Simmons (1851, St John’s Wood – 1911, Pancras) on 28th June at All Saints, Notting Hill (also known as All Saints Kensington). She was the daughter of George Simmons (1807, Hitchen, Hertfordshire) and Caroline Keen (1822, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland), a coachman and an upholsterer respectively. Elizabeth was sometimes known as Lizzie, but oddly always misstated her birthplace as Berwick on her census entries after her marriage. Lizzie was with her parents at 22 Turner Road, Lewisham in 1851 and already working as a milliner to support them and her two younger sisters. Of those sisters, Agnes (1853, Bayswater) was a dressmaker but Annie (1858, Lee, Kent) was still at school.

Lizzie and Gustavus had only had one child, Orlando Lawrence Simmons Dace (5th September 1880, Highgate or Islington – early 1935, Greenwich district). In 1881 all three of them were at 9 Twisden Road between Tufnell Park and Primrose Hill, with Gustavus working as a school teacher. In 1891 the whole family was at 4 Archway Road, Hornsey and Gustavus had switched careers to become a “General Agent”. By 1901 the couple had moved to 31 Hargrave Park, Islington, leaving Lawrence behind to live and work as a barman at the Maynard Arms, 70 Park Road, Crouch End. Gustavus’ widowed mother was in his household in 1881, 1891 and 1901 working as a seamstress, whilst Lizzie continued working after her marriage as a “Ladies Fitter (Dress)” (1901) or “dressmaker” (1911). In 1911 Lizzie and Gustavus were at 37 Gaisford Street, Kentish Town. He was a “teacher of music (1901 and 1911) and on the 1901 and 1911 censuses he added “on own account” (1911), meaning that between 1891 and 1901 he probably switched from being a school teacher to a private tutor. Between then and 1919 Gustavus moved to Grafton Crescent in Kentish Town and became a clerk at Messrs. Cameron and Co., a coal merchants on Bayswater.

Lawrence was back with his parents by 1911 and had switched to working as an accountant’s clerk. Lawrence’s mother died later that year and the following year he married in Pancras district to Lily Kate Watts (6th February 1888, Guist, Norfolk – 1967, Havering, Essex), daughter of Robert Carter Watts and his wife Anna Maria. Lawrence’s father Gustavus was walking along Kensington High Street on 28th April 1919 when two Army Service Corps lorries overtook a stationary vehicle – both the army vehicles were under instruction but had been passed as fit to drive in central London. As Private Reginald Foord pulled back into the kerb in the front lorry, a civilian removals lorry tried to overtake Foord at excessive speed. Owned by Messrs. Savage and driven by Bertram Lynn, the civilian lorry hit Foord’s hubcap, causing it to mount the pavement with both its left wheels and collide with Gustavus, who was killed instantly. Then living at Ladywater and working as an auditor, Lawrence had to speak at a coroner’s inquest into his father’s death the following month, which attached blame to neither driver and came to a verdict of “Accidental Death”.

Lawrence and Lily had two children – Phyllis M or H (June 1909, Hackney district – 1985, Northampton) and Kathleen E (late 1913, Lewisham district – 1914, Lewisham district). Lawrence died in 1935 and a year later his widow re-married to William Sidney Gordon Cowie (28th June 1895, Plaistow, east London – 1974, Barking, east London), one of four children born to Matilda Louise (1872, Norwood, south London) and her husband Henry Joseph Cowie (1864, Greenwich), a journeyman baker. William was working as a professional page boy in 1911 but had joined the Royal Flying Corps in January 1916, becoming a Batman and an Air Mechanic 3rd Class during the war and a messenger for the Air Ministry after it. On 29th September 1939 Lily was at 66 Malyons Road, Lewisham district but William was lodging at 8 Skipton Crescent, Harrogate – his workplace had just been evacuated from Adastral House at No 1 Kingsway in London to the Grand Hotel in the North Yorkshire town.

In 1931 in Lewisham district, Phyllis married Walter George Goodwin (25th December 1900, Greenwich – 1972, Hellingly Hospital, East Sussex), the son of a steel joist cutter from Bromley-by-Bow in east London. Phyllis, Walter and their child were living at 203 Burnt Ash Hill, Lewisham in 1939, with Walter then working as a bank cashier and clerk.