(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: The “Enigma” Regarding Ida Edith (Payne) Edwards, 1983 Letter, Yorkshire, England

Ida Edith Payne, London, England, about 1911

In 1983, Ida Edith “Eddie” (Payne) Edwards was living in Yorkshire, England, and was just a few months shy of 90 years old at the time. She wrote the following letter to her friends Joan and Ces Newbegin in Yorkshire, which she either never sent, or kept a duplicate copy of, in which she recorded a few thoughts about her own family history, documenting several stories about her maternal line. (Ida’s matrilineal haplogroup is H – “Helena” in Bryan Sykes’ Seven Daughters of Eve)

Below is a transcription of the letter, with names and dates of family members added in italics and brackets for clarification.

To Joan and Ces. 27/8/83
The “Enigma” re: Eddie.
My Grandmother [Rachel Scarrott, b. 25 Sep 1839, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, d. 20 January 1908, Lambeth, England] was a native of Birmingham, of good class. She was sent to London, to enter a good service, as the custom. She made the grade. Whilst there she met grandfather [Joseph Scarrott, b. 15 January 1844, Birmingham, d. 17 February 1886, London, England], a Londoner who had his own lamp business on the way to London bridge. They got engaged, or “Went steady”, finally got married [at Lambeth, 24 April 1869]. They produced twins, which died after six months. Next a daughter arrived, ‘my mother’ [Edith Jane Scarrott, b. 15 April 1874, Lambeth], next a son [Henry Percy Scarrott, b. 29 June 1877].
My Mother disgraced herself by marrying my Father [Thomas Samuel Henry Payne, b. 31 December 1855, Coventry], who was an electrical engineer of the working class British. Then I arrived with a “smirch”, being born out of class. [Ida Edith Payne, b. 9 December 1893, Lambeth]
However, Grandma [Rachel (Scarrott) Scarrott] took me under her wing until I was fourteen. Then she died and I started work in Court dressmaking in the West end of London. Two years apprenticeship. Owing to Grandma I was able to mix with the class. Well, I was born in St. Olaves House, Walnut Tree Walk, Lambeth in 1893. So doesn’t seem to be any n-s in the woodpile. So what am I?
Grandmother’s sister followed the same routine, ended up marrying into the Austrian Embassy.
Eddie
PS Not a Cockney. A sturdy mongrel?

First page of 1983 Letter from Ida (Payne) Edwards to “Joan and Ces”, detailing her family history, written in Yorkshire, England

Second page of 1983 Letter from Ida (Payne) Edwards to “Joan and Ces”, detailing her family history, written in Yorkshire, England

“Grandmother” Rachel (Scarrott) Scarrott, London, England

“My Mother” – Edith Jane (Scarrott) Payne, London, England (1874-1947)

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One thought on “(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: The “Enigma” Regarding Ida Edith (Payne) Edwards, 1983 Letter, Yorkshire, England

  1. I wonder what prompted her to send the letter in the first place, are there others that may be in the possession of Joan and Ces or there family which might clarify this? Other than that most interesting to me is the language she uses to describe her thoughts.

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