Mary Wanless

This directory contains information and documents about Mary Wanless (1846-1882), who was the second (common law) wife of Anthony (Jacques) Clarke/Cheeper (1837-1918).

The page includes all of their known descendants, who in 2016 numbered close to 50.

The page is intended to provide what it can in the way of a story about them as people, while at the same time capturing the family tree in adequate detail.

Supporting pages include:

Mary's Early Years – 1846-72, to age 26

Mary's birth certificate shows that she was born on 25 August 1846 at 132 Princes Road, Lambeth (inner-west London). Her father was Joshua Paul Wanless, whose occupation was publisher, and her mother was Martha Wanless formerly Moorhouse. Joshua appears to have been 55, hence born c. 1791. Joshua and Martha were married in Gawsworth, Cheshire. Here is information about Mary's forebears, assembled from several sources.

Mary is recorded with her family in the 1851 census, aged 4, at 31 King Street, St Saviour. Martha died in 1853, when Mary was only 6. In 1856, Kelly's Court Directory records Joshua as being at 93 Up Stamford Street (but that was presumably his business address).

In April 1871, she was governess in the Cheeper-Spilsbury household in York. She would have been 24, but the census records her as being 27. It also shows her as having been born in Brixton, Surrey, some miles east of her actual birthplace. (Census enumerators were responsible for many inaccuracies – especially when dealing with a head of household like Anthony).

Mary's Life as Anthony's Wife – 1873-1882, age 26-35

By the beginning of 1873, Mary was carrying Anthony's child. Harold was born in late September 1873. He was registered as a Wanless (which reflects the fact that he was born out of wedlock).

The photograph above is presumably from early 1874, when Mary was 27 and Harold some months old. As someone remarked, she looks "young in body and old in spirit". The photo has been in the possession of one of Mary's great-grandsons, Richard Clarke, in Auckland since at least 1955. A copy came to me via Geoff Clarke.

There is no evidence that Mary and Anthony were ever married. He was already married to Catherine Spilsbury (c.1836-1906), in whose household Mary was employed, so it would have been a bigamous marriage in any case.

Mary's father, Joshua Paul Wanless, died in July 1877, at the age of 86. The executors were Joshua Charles Wanless, his son, a merchant's clerk, and Anthony Jacques Cheeper, of St Paul's Chambers, 15A Paternoster Row in the City of London, Commercial Traveller. The will was proven on 22 September 1877. The estate was only "Effects under £450".

It appears that Anthony changed the names of himself and Mary to Clarke very soon after 22 Sep 1877 and no later than 30 Oct 1877. (He appears in the documents relating to Joshua's death, on 22 September, as Cheeper; and as Clarke on Ethel May's birth certificate, registered 34 days after her birth, on 30 Oct 1877). This had ramifications for young Harold, discussed below.

Mary and Anthony had a total of 3 offspring, b. 1873-1879, all of whom survived childhood:

Over a period of 10 years from 1873 to 1882, Mary and Anthony appear to have lived in inner west London, not far from Mary's origins in Lambeth, with at least 5 residential addresses

In the April 1881 census (left, right), at 34, Mary was with Anthony (occupation publisher) and their three children at Grosvenor House in Ealing. There were two servants, one a Companion / Lady Help (who was to be pregnant to Anthony shortly after Mary's death, and would become his bigamous wife). Mary was presumably chronically ill at the time.

Mary died on 5 March 1882, at the age of 35. Her death certificate said she died of Brights disease (a vague term for inflammatory or degenerative kidney disease) and that her illness had been of 4 years duration. Anthony was the informant. The address appears to be 13 Nield (?) or Frisk (?) Road, Lambeth(?). Geoff Clarke has a memorial card calling her 'Pop'.

Harold Wanless / Clarke

Harold c. 1877, at c. 4
Click to enlarge the photo

Harold in 1916, at 43
Click to enlarge the photo

Harold Wanless was born on 23 Sep 1873, in Notting Hill Gate, London. Curiously, he appears to have never found his birth entry, and believed that his birth wasn't registered. But it was.

The problem was that he understood he was born as a Clarke. In fact, he was born out of wedlock, and was therefore registered as Wanless. Here is a copy of the birth certificate that he never knew he had. The use of Mary's maiden name, combined with the absence of "formerly <name>" indicate a birth out of wedlock. Until about the 1970s, that automatically meant that the child's surname was that of the mother.

On the birth certificate, Harold's father is shown as Anthony Jacques Cheeper, commercial traveller. Their address appears (twice) to be 7 Kenilworth Terrace, Notting Hill, Kensington Town. (There no longer appears to be such a street – assuming that there ever was one – and it doesn't appear in this list of old London street-names. There are a couple elsewhere in London, and Kenilworth Rd is 3 miles north. If Anthony had registered the birth, it could have been another of his many variations on truth; but the birth was registered by Mary, 4 weeks after the birth, on 24 Oct 1873).

Anthony was known as Cheeper until some time between 22 Sep and 30 Oct 1877, when Harold was 4. Thereafter the whole family was known as Clarke. Harold's mother died when he was 8, and perhaps neither she nor his father ever told him about the Cheeper name, although presumably he knew his mother's maiden name was Wanless.

Harold is in the Clarke-Wanless household in the April 1881 census (left, right), at age 7. His mother died 11 months later. From 8 to perhaps 16, he was presumably in the household of his father's next wife, Emma Terry/Clarke. His relations on the Wanless side were few and distanced. And, given the conservatism of the times about such matters, perhaps he never wanted to know about the murky past he had inherited with his father. To add to the confusion, both the official index to the Birth Register and the FreeBMD index contain entries under both Wanless and Cheeper – so a few observers, and even the officials, have been confused by this over the years.

In the 1891 census, at 17, he is a footman in a household at 59 Honor Oak Rd, Forest Hill, Lewisham.

m1. Minnie Rebbecca Vale, on 28 Jan 1893, aged 21, at St. Mary Magdalene, Southwark, London. The marriage certificate shows him as being a Salesman, of Warner Street, Norwood. His father is shown as Anthony Clarke, Traveller. (In 1893, Harold's father was 54, and living only a few miles south-east of Southwark, in Lewisham).

Minnie's parents were Reuben Vale and Rebecca Bull. She was b. 11 Dec 1867 in Islington, North London Minnie had been the cook in the same household in the Census 2 years earlier. She was shown as being 24 (so b. 1869), of the same address, and daughter of Henry Reuben Vale, deceased.

Harold and Minnie had children 1-7, of whom 2 had children.

In the 1901 Census, the family was at 20 Crofton Park Rd, Brockley Lewisham, with children numbers 1, 3 and 4 (Gordon had died aged 3).

In the 1911 Census, they were at 35 Minard Rd Catford (2 miles SE), aged 38 and 40. With them were their children 1. Harold Ernest, 16, draper shop assistant, 3. Violet aged 12, 4. Doris ahed 10, 5. Stanley aged 8 and 6. Gladys aged 5. 2. Gordon had died in 1899 and Irene/Elsie in 1908, at Peckham a couple of miles north.

Harold's grandson Geoff provided me with the three photos of Harold that are on this page, having acquired copies of them from his brother Richard. The uniform he's wearing in the photo from the time of World War I is that of a Special Police Constable.

Harold left Minnie, date not known, but after 1911 and no later than the mid-1920s.

m2. Clara Bryant in Dec 1928, in Bath, who had a daughter Betty, believed to be his.

Minnie died of cancer, in London, on 5 Jan 1927, at 58, still rueing Harold's departure.

Harold Wanless/Cheeper/Clarke died 10 Apr 1949, aged 74, at Poole Dorset.

Clara d. 1 May 1958 in Gloucester.

  1. Harold Ernest Clarke (1894-1979)
    b. 11 May 1894, in Southwark, regd Jun 1894 St. Olave 1d 213
    Harold began as a drapery shop assistant, but became a commercial traveller by profession
    m. May Ethel Webber on 19 Dec 1920 in Slough Bucks.
    May was b. 8 Aug 1895 in East Battersea (south-west London).
    May was of Irish descent, parents Joseph Henry Webber and Sarah Ellen Doolan.
    May had a brother who was killed at Gallipoli with the ANZACs.
    May had 6 sisters, all of whom had children, mostly boys.
    A son of May's sister Josephine, Terry Dawson, discovered this page and made contact.
    Harold d. 6 Jan 1979, aged 84, in Chichester.
    May passed away 29 Jul 1979, aged 83, at Midhurst (Sussex)
    Geoff Clarke said there was a meet-up of Webber cousins in 2008.
    The eldest was Philip, then 87, followed by Geoff at 81.
    2 sons, whose details are below, both of whom had children:
    1. Geoffrey David (Geoff) Clarke, b. 11 Jul 1927, d. aged 85, on 27 Oct 2012
    2. Richard Vale Clarke, b. 21 Aug 1933, d. aged 76, on 24 April 2010
  2. Gordon Leonard Clarke (1895-1899)
    b. 18 Jul 1895, Camberwell 1d 942
    d. 25 May 1899, aged 3, in Peckham – Camberwell 1d 484
  3. Violet Dorothy Clarke (1898-1987)
    b. 3 Aug 1898, in Peckham – Camberwell 1d 942
    d. 2 Jul 1987, aged 88, in Bath
  4. Doris Hilda Clarke (1900-1952)
    b. 4 May 1900, in Lewisham – Lewisham 1d 1192
    d. 23 Sep 1952, aged 52, of cancer, in Bath
  5. Stanley Douglas Clarke (1902-1976)
    b. 15 May 1902, in Lewisham – Lewisham 1d 1189
    m. Eileen Doris Prior, in June 1934 in Bromley
    Eileen was b. 13 Aug 1906.
    Stanley d. 26 May 1976, aged 74, in Great Hale, Lincs.
    Eileen d. 8 Jan 1996, in Hayes, Kent.
    2 daughters, whose details are below, both of whom had children:
    1. Janice Eileen Clarke, b. 15 July 1935
    2. Susan Beverley Clarke, b. 26 March 1939
  6. Gladys Evelyn Clarke (1905-1984)
    b. 28 Jun 1905, in Lewisham – regd Sep 1905 Lewisham 1d 1173
    d. 29 Sep 1984, aged 79, in Aberdeen
  7. Elsie Irene (Barbara?) Clarke (1907-1908)
    b. 16 Jun 1907, in Lewisham – regd Jun 1907 Lewisham 1d 1144
    d. 26 Jan 1908, in Lewisham, overlain, i.e. suffocated by being lain upon
  8. Betty F. Clarke (1912-?)
    b. Jan 1912 in Axbridge, Somerset

Ethel May Clarke

Click to enlarge the photo

Ethel May was born on 26 Sep 1877 (1 day before Anthony's 40th birthday), and the birth was registered 34 days later, on 30 Oct 1877.

The birth certificate shows that the family was at 32 St Mary's Rd, Willesden (West London, presumably in the suburb of Harlesden NW10). Ethel's mother is shown as Mary Clarke formerly Wanless, and her father is shown as Anthony Clarke, profession commercial traveller.

This is the first appearance in any public records whatsoever of Anthony Clarke, commercial traveller. Only a couple of weeks earlier, another commercial traveller, Anthony Jacques Cheeper, had been apparently co-habiting with the heavily pregnant Mary, and becoming executor for her deceased father. And in the 1881 and 1891 censuses, Anthony Clarke claimed Anthony Jacques Cheeper's son Harold as his own. The reasonable inference is that the two Anthonys are the same person. The evidence is consolidated in a separate document.

Ethel was in the Clarke-Wanless household in the 1881 census (left, right), at 3.

She was also in the Clarke-Terry household in the 1891 census, at 13.

In the 1911 Census, Anne found her working in South Eastern Hospital, Avonlea Rd, New Cross SE, Greenwich, as a staff nurse. The entry says age 32 (rather than the 33 she should have been) but born Willesden.

Geoff Clarke said that Ethel was a nurse in Minehead (Cornwall), but we're unsure whether than was in the 1900-1910 or after 1911.

She died of cancer on 13 July 1939, aged 62. Anne has found a likely death registry entry, in Sep Qtr 1939, at Wandsworth.

Stanley Clarke

Click to enlarge the photo

Click to enlarge the photo

Stanley was born on 25 Jun 1879.

His birth certificate shows that the family was at Grosvenor House, Ealing, Brentford (West London). His mother was shown as Mary Clarke formerly Wanless. His father was shown as Anthony Clarke, commercial traveller. The informant was Anthony.

In the 1881 census (left, right), Stanley, aged 1, was in the Clarke-Wanless household in Ealing (West London).

In the 1891 census, aged 11, he was in the Clarke-Terry household at Deal (on the south coast of Kent near Dover).

m. Zipporah Bushell on 25 Apr 1901, at the Congregational Chapel, High St., Deal, Eastry, Kent.

He was shown as 22 (actually 21), Joiner journeyman, of 4 East Street, Herne Bay. Stanley's father is shown as Anthony Jakes Clarke, Commercial Traveller. In 1901, Anthony was 63, and in South Norwood (south London), not all that far from Herne Bay (on the Thames estuary) and not far from Deal.

Zipporah was 25, b. Jul 1875, in Eastrey. Her address was shown as 196 Beach Street in Stanley's old home town of Deal, daughter of William Wilkins Bushell, Licensed Victualler.

Geoff Clarke said Stanley remained a builder in Herne Bay (on the Thames Estuary, north of Canterbury), and that his wife was known in the family as Aunt Bouncer.

Stanley and Zipporah had no children. Richard Clarke recalls visiting him in Herne Bay in the late 1940s, and that family wasn't seen as a proper topic of conversation. Geoff Clarke remembers being told not to say too much, because Stanley was nosy and always asking questions if given the opening. Ah, families.

Zipporah d. 22 Mar 1956, aged 80, in Bridge, 12 miles S of Herne Bay.

Stanley died a fortnight later, on 6 Apr 1956, aged 76, in Herne Bay, Kent.

The Harold Ernest Clarke Line

Harold and May had two children, whose photos are below:

  1. Geoffrey David (Geoff) Clarke (1927-2012)
    Geoff was b. 11 Jul 1927, at Upminster, Essex.
    m. Jill Mayles (1939-2015) on 19 Dec 1964, in Billericay, Essex.
    Jill was born 15 Feb 1939, in Ealing, dau. of Frank Mayles and Margaret Louisa Malins.
    They have lived at Walton-on-Thames (West London, south of Heathrow) for much of their lives.
    2 children.
    Geoff recovered from a stroke to spend a lot more time bike-riding.
    Geoff d. 27 Oct 2012, aged 85, in Chertsey.
    Order of Ceremony
    Original Poems, Photos
    Cycling, always cycling
    Well, almost always
    Jill d. 3 Oct 2015, aged 76, in Whiteley Village, Surrey.
    1. Lesley Sarah Clarke (1969-)
      b. 1 Mar 1969 at Walton-on-Thames.
      m. Jonathan Stephen Brennan on 1 Jun 2001 at Ealing
      Jonathan was b. 19 Feb 1970 in Thurrock, Essex
    2. Roger Neil Clarke (1971-)
      b. 14 Mar 1971 at Chertsey (Surrey)
      m. Rachel (May?) King on 14 Oct 2000 at Weybridge, Surrey.
      Rachel was born 22 Aug 1969
      1. Daniel James Clarke (2001-)
        b. 25 Jul 2001, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  2. Richard Vale Clarke (1933-2010)
    Richard was b. 21 Aug 1933, at Upminster, Essex.
    He migrated to New Zealand in 1955 and lived there for the rest of his life.
    m. Clare Marina Tonks on 23 Dec 1961 in Christchurch NZ.
    Clare was b. 24 Nov 1934, in Christchurch.
    2 children.
    Richard was an engineer, and they lived in Auckland.
    Richard worked until the last 6 months or so of his life because he didn’t like being inactive.
    Clare d. 1 November 2009, aged 74.
    Richard d. 24 April 2010, aged 76.
    Richard and Clare's children are:
    1. Paul Richard Clarke (1963-)
      b. 12 May 1963
      m. Carol Chen on 21 Jan 2013
      Carol was b. 28 Oct 1984
      1. Jeremy Paul Chen Clarke (2014-)
        b. 21 May 2014, in Wellington
      2. Lydia Chen Marina Clarke (2016-)
        b. 12 Feb 2016, in Wellington
    2. Katherine Jane Clarke (1965-)
      b. 18 Aug 1965, in Auckland

Geoff and Richard were half-second-cousins to myself and Anne Kratzmann. And our kids have half-third-cousins, if they ever feel like tracking them down. (Hey, an Australian backpacker's never quite sure when they might need a bed in a place like Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Okay, Anne's 4 'kids' were born 1966-71, 2 have retired from the pro tennis circuit back to Queensland, and 2 are elsewhere in south Queensland; and my 2 'kids' were born in 1980 and 1983. But any of them might get the travel bug again, who knows?!).

The two Roger Clarkes are half-second-cousins, once removed. We're both in the I.T. industry – a hazard of the late 20th century. The elder lives near the Molonglo (which is now more about government than about fine merino fleece), and the younger on Tyneside (which is now more about silicon than coal). Anne, like Jill, and like Leslie, was a teacher - another hazard maybe?

Geoff in 2004

Richard in 2004

The Stanley Douglas Clarke Line

Stanley and Eileen had two children:

  1. Janice Eileen Clarke (1935-)
    b. 15 July 1935, Bromley.
    m. Allen John DOLLEY on 8 Sep 1956, in Bromley
    1. Tania Jane Caroline Dolley (1958-)
      b. 20 May 1958 in Claro, Yorkshire (?)
    2. Carolyn Ruth Suzanne Dolley (1960-)
      b. 20 Nov 1960 in Bromley
      m. John Richard BOND, 30 Jul 1988, in Surrey
      1. Ella Rose Bond (1997)
        b. 20 Feb 1997, in Surrey
    3. Philippa Anne Bernelle Dolley (1963-)
      b. 27 Aug 1963, in Sidcup, Kent
      m. Kevin Roger BLACKHAM, 20 Sep 1997, in Surrey
      Kevin was b. Jun 1967 in Bridgnorth, Shropshire
    4. Freya Stephanie Louise Dolley (1968-)
      b. 3 Nov 1968, in Surrey
      m. Peter John SHERLOCK, 9 Apr 1988, in Dorset
      1. Joseph Joel Sherlock (1991-)
        b. 26 Feb 1991
      2. Rain Marie Sherlock (1993-)
        b. 11 Sep 1993, in Cork, Ireland
      3. Isabelle Mondlah Sherlock (1997-)
        b. 1 Jan 1997
      4. Benjamin Sherlock (c. 2000?-)
  2. Susan Beverley Clarke (1939-)
    b. 26 March 1939, Bromley.
    m. Harry Gideon FULLER, 24 Sep 1960, in Bromley.
    Harry was b. 6 Aug 1933.
    They ran a homeopathic remedy business near Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
    Harry passed away in Jan 2007, aged 74, in Lincolnshire.
    1. Claire Susanne Fuller (1962-)
      b. 16 Feb 1962
      m. Leroy A. GEORGE, in Feb 1989, in Sleaford Lincs.
      Leroy was b. Mar 1962 in Meriden, Warwickshire
      1. Andrew Lee George (1989-)
        b. Sep 1989, in Boston, Lincs.
        p. Laura Reeson
        1. Cameron George (2009-)
          b. 25 Oct 2009
        2. Oliver George (2012-)
          b. 12 Apr 2012
        3. Emily George (2013-)
          b. 22 Mar 2013
      2. Luke Robert George (1994-)
        b. Sep 1989, Boston
      3. Matthew Harry George (1995-)
        b. Sep 1995, Boston
        p. Molly Webber
        1. Darcie Jayne George (2014-)
          b. Nov 2014
    2. Neil Douglas Fuller (1964-)
      b. 31 Mar 1964, in Surrey
      According to Geoff, a very tall man
    3. Leise Beverley Fuller (1968-)
      b. 28 Jun 1968, in Ashford, Kent
      m. Ian WHEATON, in Feb 1995, in Sleaford Lincs.
      1. Amy Louise Wheaton (1994-)
        b. Dec 1994, in Boston
      2. Christopher Ian Wheaton (1995-)
        b. Nov 1995, in Boston
      3. Alex Keith Wheaton (2000-)
        b. May 2000, in Boston
    4. Simon John Fuller (1979-)
      b. 24 Feb 1979, a twin, in Boston, Lincs.
    5. Richard James Fuller (1979-)
      b. 24 Feb 1979, a twin, in Boston, Lincs.

This a page within Roger Clarke's Family Web-Site

Contact: Roger Clarke and/or Anne Kratzmann

Created: 30 October 2005; Last Amended: 9 March 2013, 20 July 2013, 10 Oct 2015, 2 Oct 2016 (many changes drawn from Roger N. Clarke's consolidation of Geoff's research, plus his own)