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Tours The Withers Family Tour
Chapter 1: Summary, from Henry to Cecil Withers: 4 generations
Chapter : From Henry to William Withers
Chapter : The Tiptons
Chapter 4: The Hopes
Chapter 5: The Greens
Chapter 6: Thomas and Cecil Withers
Chapter 5: The Greens
Louisa Hope's mother was Mary Ann Green, born in 1846 in Pauntley. Mary Ann Green was the eldest child of Charles Green, who was born in Uxbridge and Mary Powell who was born in Pauntley. But Charles Green wasn't always from Uxbridge. His father (also a Charles Green) was an Excise Officer who travelled around and worked in Plumstead (London) and Northleach. After Charles' marriage in 1845 to Mary Powell he settled into life as a sawyer in Oxenhall, and together they had 6 children. However, by 1876 his wife began to fear that he 'would do some mischief.' His 'manner had been peculiar for some time past. Aimless wondering about the country. Various delusions: that he is about to be married to a young girl, that his wife is about to be married, that he saw a light descend from Newent Church and that he can always see it near him. More or less idiocy.' His physical condition was described as 'properly nourished, bony frame, features marked by drink, muscles tremulous.' So reads the details of his admission to Gloucester Lunatic Asylum in Horton Road on 2 March 1876 (References: Gloucester Record Office: HO22/70/16, HO23/70/1). By April 1877 he was sent home on a trial and then discharged as 'recovered' in May, a month later. But he was re-admitted in September 1877 and remained institutionalised until his death in 1899, over 22 years later. His delusions persisted, declaring that he 'thinks the superintendant is a Russian Captain.' However, he 'works well and willingly. On being questioned says he wants to earn his bread as a prison warder. Knows his position, the day of the month and can do easy calculations.' When the Gloucester Second County Lunatic Asylum was opened, Charles was transfered there in September 1884. His case notes document him at this stage as 'very demented and talks in a rambling, incoherent manner ... works well about the house. ... very weak minded and is always mumbling and untidy ... '. By 1898 he was 'demented and feeble. Never speaks but can answer questions.' In January 1899 there was a rapid decline in his health and he was confined to bed. He did recover a bit, but died on 11 November 1899. Charles Green was buried at Tredworth Old Cemetery in Gloucester, in a grave with other people who were not related to him. There is no gravestone.
Charles Green's admission to Gloucester County Lunatic Asylum states that the cause of his lunacy was 'hereditary'. The medics must have come to this conclusion after taking a family history. Charles' brother, John Green, was declared 'insane' and had also been a patient at the same asylum. Charles' admission also recorded that Mary Green, (Charles Green's daughter and Louisa Hope's mother), had been in Abergavenny Asylum, but had 'recovered'. Finally, Elijah Green, the youngest child of Charles Green, was admitted to Gloucester County Lunatic Asylum, also in 1876.
The stone inscription above the entrance to the Coney Hill Hospital in Gloucester, otherwise known as the ' Gloucester Second County Lunatic Asylum '. The inscription reads ' ANNO DOMINI 1883 - BEAR YE ONE ANOTHERS BURDENS '. Charles Green would spend 15 years here until his death in 1899.
Newent Church, from which Charles Green saw a light descend that he could always see near him.
Of Charles Green's 2 children who were treated in asylums, Elijah had a more complicated problem and spent many years being treated. Elijah was admitted to the asylum as a 15 year old who had tried to commit suicide by throwing himself into a well. Elijah had serious medical issues. He had a problem with his left leg which had caused him to be admitted to the Infirmary twice for periods of 3 and 4 months at a time. His bodily condition was described as 'head badly formed, with low forehead and marked prolongation backwards. Left tibia irregularly thickened all along the shaft, and over it are marks of sinuses, some dried up and others with fungus granulations and discharging.' On admission to the asylum he wanted his 'head or his leg cut off, for the benefit of his general health ... was tolerably quiet, but locquacious, about keeping on having his leg cut open, the pleasures of Chloroform, but all in a rambling irrational manner' (References: Gloucester Record Office: HO22/70/16, HO23/70/1). Charles Green's eldest child, Mary Hope (nee Green), would spend 2 weeks in Abergavenny Asylum in March 1874. She was admitted due to mania, with the cause given as 'lactation'. Census records show a gap where a baby would have been born. (Reference: Gwent record Office: D3202.30.4).
John Green (Charles' bother) was a law clerk who was employed by Mr Boodle Solicitors of Cheltenham. At the time of his admission to Gloucester County Lunatic Asylum on 27 February 1872 he was 38 years old, married and described as a 'strong, well nourished man.' The reason for his admission was 'acute mania from drink'. Specifically, he had 'stripped himself naked, broke his bedroom windows and threw others out ... was kept under restraint by several men and straight waistcoat was obliged to be put on him to restrain his violence ... that he is under temporary insanity caused by the use of stimulants ... quarrelsome and dangerous, has illusions of sight, very impulsive, spat in the Medical Officers face, thinks he is being poisoned and occasionally refuses food.'. A few days later he 'became very threatening in his manner when spoken to. Has had xxx of Chloral the first night, and Morphia last, but with not much effect.' John was subsequently transfered to Wiltshire County Asylum in September 1872, and was still there as at the time of the 1901 census (References: Gloucester Record Office: HO22/70/16, HO23/70/1).