ENID BLYTON and the SHEFFIELD CONNECTION

In June 2003 a local researcher, Hugh Waterhouse posted a message to a Sheffield Family History mailing list giving details of two families he had located in the 1891 Census for the Sheffield area. The first was a family that lived at 165 Aizlewood, Road (Ref: piece 3809 e.d.48 folio 95 - Ecclesall Bierlow) which is near Abbeydale Road, a couple of miles south of the City Centre

SURNAME FORENAME Age Status Rel Occupation Place of Birth County of Birth
BLYTON Thomas C 51 Married Head Linen Draper's Buyer Swinderby Lincolnshire
BLYTON Marrianne 52 Married Wife     Ireland
BLYTON Thomas 21 Unmarried Son Mercantile Clerk Deptford Kent
BLYTON Sybil M 19 Unmarried Daughter   Lewisham Kent
BLYTON Alice May  12   Daughter   Sheffield  Yorkshire

The earlier 1881 Census has the same family living at 10 Asline Road (Ref: RG11 Piece4637 folio 60page9 - Ecclesall Bierlow) which is not all that far from the Aizzlewood Road address. It is near Sheffield United's football ground at Bramall Lane

SURNAME FORENAME Age Status Rel Occupation Place of Birth County of Birth
BLYTON Thomas C 41 Married Head Linen Draper Swinderby Lincolnshire
BLYTON Marrianne 42 Married Wife   Tyrone Ireland
BLYTON Bertha Hamilton 14   Son Scholar Deptford Kent
BLYTON Sidney Charles 13   Son Scholar Deptford Kent
BLYTON Thomas Cary 11   Son Scholar Deptford Kent
BLYTON Sybil Marianne 9   Daughter Scholar Deptford Kent
BLYTON Alice May  2   Daughter   Sheffield  Yorkshire

The Head of the household THOMAS C BLYTON was born in Swinderby Lincolnshire and a check in the IGI records reveals that a THOMAS CAREY BLYTON was christened on 5th February 1840. His parents are given as GEORGE and ELIZABETH BLYTON (Batch No: C032001 Source Call No:1813 - 1840 Type: 0508055) 


The second family called HARRISON was far larger. Living at 43 Monmouth Street (Ref: piece 3804 e.d.15 folio 6 - Ecclesall Bierlow) in the Broomhall area of Sheffield were  

SURNAME FORENAME Age Rel Occupation Place of Birth County of Birth
HARRISON Walter 45 Head - Marr Table Fork Maker Ecclesfield Yorkshire
HARRISON Elizabeth 46 Wife - Marr Misterton Nottinghsmshire
HARRISON Annie M 19 Daughter Staveley Derbyshire
HARRISON John W 18 Son Table Fork forger Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Teresa M 16 Daughter Miliner Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Gervase M 12 Son Scholar Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Winifred C 10 Daughter Scholar Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Frances E 8 Daughter Scholar Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON George A 7 Son Scholar Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Beatrice L 5 Daughter Sheffield Yorkshire

The family were also living at the same property ten years earlier in  1881 (Ref: RG11 piece 4632 folio 85 page 6 - Ecclesall Bierlow). Apart from the three youngest children not being born, there are two daughters Sarah and Gertrude that do not appear on the 1891 Census. I do not yet have information as to their whereabouts.  

SURNAME FORENAME Age Rel Occupation Place of Birth County of Birth
HARRISON Walter 35 Head Table Fork Maker Ecclesfield Yorkshire
HARRISON Elizabeth 36 Wife Misterton Nottinghsmshire
HARRISON Annie M 9 Daughter Scholar Staveley Derbyshire
HARRISON John W 8 Son Scholar Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Teresa M 6 Daughter Scholar Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Sarah H 5 Daughter Scholar Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Gertrude M 3 Daughter Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Gervase M 2 Son Sheffield Yorkshire
HARRISON Winifred C 7m Daughter Sheffield Yorkshire

The connection with ENID BLYTON is that THOMAS CAREY BLYTON (1870 - ) and TERESA M HARRISON (1875 - ) were married and their eldest daughter ENID became the world famous children's novelist. The future author never lived in Sheffield and was in fact born in 1897 in a flat above a shop in East Dulwich, South London. The 1901 Census has the family living in Beckenham Kent

From the little that is known, it appears that THOMAS was indeed talented - he painted in water colours, wrote poetry, played the piano, taught himself foreign languages, and was a photographer. After working as a cutlery salesman, he joined the family 'mantle warehousing' business of Fisher and Nephew. Theresa Mary Hamilton, Enid's mother, did not share her husband's interest. Enid was born on 11 August 1897 at 354 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, the eldest child of Thomas Carey (1870–1920), and Theresa Mary, née Harrison (1874–1950). There were two younger brothers, Hanly (b. 1899), and Carey (b. 1902), who were born after the family had moved to the neighbouring suburb of Beckenham. Enid Blyton was very close to her father, who encouraged her musical talents and inspired her lifelong interest in natural history. The fact that he left the family for another woman in 1910 affected her deeply. Thomas meanwhile had established a successful wholesale clothing business in the City of London. He took care of his children's private school fees and sent regularly money to support his family.

From 1907 to 1915 Enid Blyton, attended St Christopher's School for Girls in Beckenham. It had been intended that she should pursue a musical career and attend the Guildhall School of Music. However, her gift for story-telling was already apparent and, convinced that she was unsuited to a career in music and that she needed to leave home, she went to stay with the Hunt family on their farm near Woodbridge in Suffolk. Ida Hunt taught at Ipswich high school, which included a kindergarten where teachers were trained. Recognizing that Enid Blyton had an obvious flair for handling young children, she encouraged her to think of teaching as a possible career and Enid Blyton embarked on a training course at the high school in September 1916. In January 1919 she began teaching at Bickley Park, a small independent school for boys in Kent, and a year later became a nursery governess to the four Thompson boys in Surbiton 

There are numerous publications, websites etc that are dedicated to Enid Blyton and so I am definitely not going to add my thoughts on her abilities as a novelist. One of the better reviews of her life and work can be found on a section of the main BBC site.

This is her obituary from The Times dated 29th November 1968

The Times 29th November 1968 

The Times 4th December 1968 

The Times 27th August 1969

Sources

The Times 29th November 1968 

The Times 4th December 1968 

The Times 27th August 1969

UK CENSUS

Return To Main Homepage

This page was last updated on 23/03/19 14:57