Robert William Lockwood


b January-March 1871

Mile End Old Town (Stepney), London E1

d. date unknown

possibly Claydon, Suffolk


son of William Lockwood [1] and Mary Ann Elizabeth Hills



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Robert William Lockwood was the son of William Lockwood and his first wife Mary Ann Elizabeth Hills. His birth was registered in January-March 1871 in the then registration district of Mile End Old Town (West Ward), and his first Census entry, aged two months, saw him residing with his parents at Turner Street in the same parish.


Mile End Old Town, however, is not, as the name might imply, a region to the east of Cambridge Heath Road - the intersection at which point the Whitechapel Road ended and the Mile End Road began - stretching beyond Stepney Green to Mile End itself. The registration district, in fact, commenced as far west as what is now known as Aldgate East – bounded by Commercial Road to the south and below Whitechapel Road to the north. The northern boundary was the London Hospital and eastern limit extended to St Dunstan’s Church. Turner Street runs parallel with New Road, both streets leading from Commercial Road towards Whitechapel Road.


The next recorded entry for Robert’s family was the tragic death of his 25 years old mother in the spring of 1876. Robert was just five years old at the time.


An 1881 Census Record exists for a Robert Lockwood, similarly born in 1871, but with Limehouse given as the registration district. While at one time the area from Aldgate East stretching along the Commercial Road towards Poplar was referred to as Stepney, the same cannot be said for Limehouse which was distinctly east of Turner Street. This Robert Lockwood was the 10 years old nephew of the Head of the 61 Teviot Street, Bromley by Bow Household, Robert Snell. Mr Snell was a builder, whose household included another nephew and niece named Leach, and a second niece with the surname Hills – matching the maiden name of Robert William Lockwood’s mother, Mary Ann. Of subsequent interest, too, was that Snell’s Leach relatives hailed from Suffolk.  


While on Census night Robert was recorded as staying with his uncle Robert Snell at Teviot Street, his father, William, was registered as being a lodger at 30 Tudor Street, West Derby, Liverpool.


Research into the Hills and Snell relationships reveals that a George Hills (born cir 1793) married a Mary Ann ~~~ (born cir 1789). They had two children: George Hills [2] (born cir 1825) and Mary Ann Elizabeth Hills (born cir 1828). A George Hills, with matching 1824/5 date of birth, married Mary Elizabeth Burrell with whom he had a daughter born in 1851. A strong indication that this was George Hills [2] lies in the fact that he named this daughter Mary Ann Elizabeth Hills - all four names identical to that of his sister. (NB: His wife's name was Mary Elizabeth and not Mary Ann Elizabeth.) George [2]'s sister, the elder M A E Hills, married Robert Snell in the West Ham registration district in 1847. Four years later, Robert Snell would have become the uncle, through marriage, to the younger Mary Ann Elizabeth Hills, who subsequently became the wife of William Lockwood and mother of Robert W Lockwood.


The 1891 Census once again provided an entry for a Robert Lockwood born in 1871 – on this occasion with Stepney given as the registration district. He was once again described as the nephew of the Head of Household – the now retired Robert Snell. On the Census night in question, residents at the house also included Snell’s wife Mary and two visitors from London. Of special interest was that this Census was conducted in Claydon, Suffolk to where Robert Snell had retired. A question which appears to remain unanswered is why did Robert and his father live apart following the death of his mother?


Four years later, in the October-December quarter of 1895, the marriage was recorded of Robert William Lockwood, 24, to 39 years old widow Kate Mary Ann Snow in the Ipswich registration district in Suffolk. The entry of his middle name William provided confirmation of his identity.


Mrs Snow, born Kate Mary Ann Levett, had been the widow of  medical practitioner William Clement White Snow, born c1850 in Aden. The couple had three children: William Stephen Snow (born 1883), Edward Ladell Snow (1887), and John R White Snow (1891). They and their mother had all been born in Ipswich. The Census of 1901 confirmed Robert W Lockwood as having been born in Stepney and listed him as the 30 years old Head of Household at the family home in The Street, Claydon, Suffolk. His profession was entered as “Living on own means”. The three Snow boys, now aged 18, 14 and 10, were listed as Stepson.


NOTE: At the time of her marriage to William Lockwood, 21 years old Lydia Nathalie Neale became the step-mother-in-law to the then 44 years old Kate Mary Ann Levett Snow.


We are especially grateful to Roma Snell Chatt for identifying her family member Robert Snell as the "uncle" with whom Robert William Lockwood stayed on the night of the 1881 Census. Thanks to Roma's researches, we have also been able to include further background to Robert's mother, and faher William's first wife, Mary Ann Elizabeth Hills.