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Alfred Henry Butler and Family



Alfred Henry Butler was the elder brother of Ernest Albert Butler, he was born in Kentish Town London , although the rest of the family were born in Wellingborough Northants. Their father Alfred was a Locomotive Engine Driver on the 1891 Census and Alfred Henry was a Printers Apprentice. On the 1901 Census he was single & living as a boarder at 84 Castle Road Portsmouth, a Printer Compositor.
He married Francis Harding on 26 Sept 1903 in Portsmouth and died in Oundle in 1951


He was a typical Victorian father and I used to hate visiting my maternal grandparents whilst he was alive. My mother told me that when she was a child, if she wanted someone to pass the salt and pepper at mealtime, she had to signal for it as the children were not allowed to speak! Their great treat at breakfast was on a Sunday, when they were allowed to mop the fat from the pan in which their father's bacon had been fried. My mother passed out at school one morning because she'd had no breakfast. At that time, about 1920, her father was earning near ten pounds a week!

The family lived at 124 Newcomen Street Wellingborogh for many years

Another story about my grandfather involves his growing of prize-winning Sweet Peas. The ground was prepared for these peas by digging a deep trench and filling the bottom with old
newspapers. Two of his sons were digging this trench one year and the only
advantage was that they could sit in the bottom of it and have a fag without
being seen. Unfortunately for them, the smoke rising from the trench could be
seen, and was! Later, when the peas were in full bloom, the two boys
harvested the flowers and sold them round the town and pocketed the money. As
their dad had given them nothing for digging the trench, they thought they
deserved it.

When my mother told me the many stories of the hardships they'd suffered as
children, I couldn't quite understand why this was as she'd said her father
was a printer and I knew they were well paid. It was only after many years
later that I - and my mother - heard the truth from one of her brothers. He'd
been spending his money on drink and women. His wife was finally put in the
picture by a friend and, from that point, when he went out for a drink she
went with him. Her attitude was "if he's going out to spend his money on a
drink and a woman, I'm the woman he's going to spend it on!"

Alfred Henry with Dorothy Frances 6.8.1904 - Edward 15.6.1905 - Alfred George 22.6.1907

The family likeness can be seen between Alfred and his nephew Ernest Derek!