Amy Neil Clark /
Clarke / Cheeper / Cooper
This directory contains information and documents about the 5th woman known to have mothered children by Anthony Jacques Cheeper/Clarke.
Separate pages contain information about Amy's 6 children by Anthony Clarke.
For further details of Amy’s very interesting husband Anthony Clarke, including his families with other wives, see the AJCheeper/Clarke directory.
[Until the late 1980s, the family folklore of Anne's and my branch of the large family (the fourth of the five households, 1884-1904) included the story that Anthony Jaques Clarke/Cheeper (1837-1918) had 'run off with the maid'. But until August 2002, none of us knew anything more. Then Anne found a birth certificate for Donald Anthony Cheeper (child 6 below). The maid that Anthony had run off with was thereby identified as being Amy Neil Clark; but it left a vast amount open to speculation. In January 2009, the 1911 Census was released, and Anne quickly re-constructed the family. Contact was achieved in August 2009, and a meeting in October 2009.]
The sections of this page are:
Amy Clark was born on 13 Sep 1879, at Eton, Bucks, near Windsor (according to what appears to be her birth certificate), or Slough, Bucks (according to the 1911 Census).
Amy's parents were William J. Clark and Christina Clark formerly Adams. William's occupation was shown as Commission Agent on her Birth Certificate. According to census entries, William was born in Slough Bucks., and Christina in Yeovil, Somerset.
In the 1881 Census, she is aged 1, and with her parents and her elder sister Lily F, 5, at 81 Waddon New Road, Croydon, Surrey. William, but also Amy and Lily, were shown as having been born in Slough, Bucks.
In the 1901 Census, Amy's parents and her four younger siblings were at 24 Bensham Lane, Croydon. William was aged 53, so b. 1848. Christina was 49, so b. 1852. In the 1901 Census, William was a Tram Car Driver, and in 1915, he was shown on Amy's marriage certificate as 'Retired Tramway Inspector'.
The children of the family were:
We infer that Amy was a servant in the Davidge household some time in the period 1897/98-1900, after Anthony moved the household from Brockley, 6-1/2 miles south, to South Norwood. That's because the grandchildren on Anne's and my side (through the 6th child of that partnership, Willie Tony) said their grandfather 'ran off with the maid', and because he'd done it several times before. In the period 1897/98-1900, Amy was 18-21.
In addition, in the birth entry for her first child in March 1901, Amy declared her employment as 'General Servant', in Croydon. Anthony's household in Norwood is part of Croydon. Amy fell pregnant to Anthony in May 1900. Presumably she left the household about the end of 1900.
Anthony formed a household with Amy some time between mid-1900 and April 1902 and probably in mid-1901. We infer that from the birth certificates of their first child (where no father is mentioned) and their second child (where Anthony is father and informant). In mid-1901, Anthony was 63 and Amy was 21.
Anne has been unable to find Amy and her first child Victoria Beatrice in the 1901 census. The census was only 6 weeks after VB's birth, and only 4 weeks after Amy registered VB's birth, giving her address as her parents' home at 24 Bensham Lane, Croydon. So at census date she was either there (with 5 of her 6 siblings, but omitted from the Census sheet, so in hiding??), or elsewhere in Croydon (perhaps in lodgings that Anthony had organised?), or perhaps he had moved her somewhere else already. Anthony's household at South Norwood was only 2 miles away from Amy's parents' house, which may have been too close for everyone's comfort.
At the birth of their second child in mid-1902, the household was at 35 Carlisle Rd, Romford (in Essex, just beyond London).
In early 1905, at the birth of their fourth, they were 89 Union Terrace, Gillygate, York (just north of the Minster). 2 years later, they were at 4 Vyner St, York (1km north of York Minster).
In early 1910 and in early 1911, they were at 74 Broadfield Rd, (then in Ecclesall Bierlow), Sheffield.
[An aside is needed on the household that Anthony appears to have abandoned in favour of Amy (i.e. Anne's and mine). In 1900, the Kate Davidge household at South Norwood contained 9 children aged 2 to 16. A tenth was born in 1900 but died very young, and an 11th was born in 1904, and claimed as Anthony's. Anthony was 62 in 1900, and presumably starting to find it difficult to support himself, let alone a household with 10 other mouths in it and no other breadwinners, let alone a second household.
[When Anthony abandoned the Kate Davidge household is unknown, but it seems likely that it was late 1904 or soon thereafter. From 1891 until at least 1904, Anthony had the Davidge household within a 4-mile radius that included Brockley (1891-1897/98), South Norwood (1897/98-1901/04) and a different address in Brockley (1904). So it appears likely that he overlapped the Davidge and Clark households from about mid-1901 to late 1904. (The Amy Clark household was in York by the time of Phyllis Winifred's birth in Jan 1905).
They had 6 children, whose details are provided on a separate page:
We know that Anthony was in the household in April 1911 (aged 74), that he wasn't by 1916 (when he entered a workhouse in York, aged 79), and that he very probably wasn't by early 1915 (given that Amy (re-)married in July 1915). In the meantime, they'd lived at at least 4 residential addresses.
Anthony died on 6 June 1918, aged 80. He'd been running fairly hard for a long time. During his time with Amy, initially in South London (1900-1902, aged 63-65), York (1903-1905, aged 66-68), ?? (1906-09), and Sheffield (1910-11, aged 73), he was presumably running out of steam.
When Anthony left in 1911-15, Amy was still only 32-36, and she had 5 children, aged as young as 5-11 or as old as 9-15.
Amy (re-)married on 21 July 1915 to George Henry Cooper, commercial clerk, of 23 Fossett (?) Square, Dalston. Her address was given as 11 Wordsworth Terrace, Stoke Newington. (The addresses are 2 miles apart, in East London). The witnesses were her sister Mable/Mabel and her husband, W.N.A. Mitchell.
Their marriage certificate shows her as being Amy Niel Clarke. It shows her age as 30. (She was actually 36, but he was only 28 – so b. 1887, so some finessing is understandable). It also shows her as a widow, which technically she wasn't – because Anthony wasn't dead, and they hadn't been formally married anyway. (This too was an understandable fudge. There wasn't enough room on the form for 'no longer in a common-law relationship, long depicted as marriage, to the father of her previous six children; and who knows where he is now anyway, so maybe he's dead').
She had two further children by George, at the ages of 37 and 39:
Amy and George lived in Stoke Newington. Pamela Kendall remembers Amy as a tough bird, who ruled the roost over husband and children alike. And she liked a gin.
George d. in 1940, at only 52. The story goes that, at the height of the bitterly cold winter of 1940, George was ill, but Amy (then aged 60, and quite capable of doing her own errands) sent George out to buy her some gin. He came down with double pneumonia, and died.
Hazel moved Amy to Canterbury, presumably in the early 1960s. She didn't enjoy it.
Amy d. 9 Apr 1968, aged 88.
Anne discovered the family structure from the 1911 Census (which was released 2 years earlier than scheduled, at the beginning of 2009). Some observations are offered:
We're missing a lot of information; and we'd love to know more!
This a page within Roger Clarke's Family Web-Site
Contact: Roger Clarke and/or Anne Kratzmann
Created: 18 October 2005; Last Amended: 5 November 2009