The identity of the Mr Poolman who died in Maria’s letter of December 1875 has been discovered, thanks to my very good sleuth friends John and Rose.

He wasn’t a Mr at all, he was a Mrs, or rather she was a Mrs. The following newspaper cutting from the Salisbury and Winchester Journal dated 27th November 1875 tells the tale, although not accurately as we shall see.

Poolman, Mary death 1875
Cutting from the Salisbury & Winchester Journal 27th November 1875

Even this newspaper report is wrong, as John explains:

There seems to be at least one obvious error in it as far as I can see, as Benjamin Poolman’s wife was Elizabeth and it is definitely her that this refers to. Also Miss Titt has to be Amelia Titt, and it’s her niece’s (Annie) marriage being referred to, not Mrs Poolman’s niece. In the parish burial records, Elizabeth is buried on 28th November with a note saying “coroner’s warrant” – I think that’s how I got to the old papers angle, thinking about it. Here is that record:


Poolman, Elizabeth burial record 1875
Elizabeth Poolman’s burial record, 4th entry down

If you look back at a calendar for 1875, it shows that Wednesday was 24th November, and so fits in exactly with the date of the marriage of Annie – and that event must, as Maria says, have been something of a dampener indeed.

Thank you John and Rose for that clever detective work.

So, just to clear up this whole sorry mess, who was Elizabeth Poolman by birth? She was Elizabeth Bartley born c1819 from Semley, Wiltshire. After her death Benjamin Poolman born 1821, died 1894, Chitterne, married widow Eliza Ashley, neé Bacon.


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