#52Ancestors: Week 4: Curious

Curious Cuttings

Harry Cutting: Carpenter and Ironmonger

Curious about Harry Cutting (great grandfather) and his son Charles Harry Newland Cutting (grandfather) I wanted to find out a little more by exploring the Cutting line of my family tree.

I returned to my old blog and found this post. I have amended it since then after further research and deleted a few paragraphs to get to the important CURIOUS parts.

28 January 2022

The records show that Harry came from a line of carpenters – all of whom would have been in great demand for their skills in the building industry in the Victorian era. It is possible that Harry and his father Thomas before him practiced as Village carpenters.

Marriage: Harry Cutting and Emma Newland, 10 June 1867, St Peters, Norbiton

Recent research led me through a brick wall regarding my great grandfather; I was curious about why I could not find his marriage. I had incorrectly recorded his name as Charles Harry, instead of just Harry; easy mistake as his son was Charles Harry. Above is the elusive marriage record; see the lower right-hand record. Once the marriage record between Harry Cutting and Emma Newland was discovered, many things fell into place; such as the curious middle names of my grandfather – Charles Harry Newland Cutting.

One more curious detail from the marriage record above, the occupation of Cordwainer, for Emma’s father. Recent research showed me that a cordwainer was a shoemaker. This trade was to appear in later researching for my Cutting ancestors.
The Cuttings resided originally in Hampshire; Harry was born in Redenham in 1844. He moved to Norbiton where he married Emma Newland in 1867. The family was still living there by the 1881 census. Their family now consisted of 5 children and Harry is a Builder & Ironmonger.

Curious to know more about Harry’s occupation as Ironmonger I researched for books on the topic. The one below is too expensive for me to buy. However, the image on its front cover told me a great deal about an Ironmonger – a person or shop selling hardware such as tools and household implements.

The Ironmonger’s business was a huge success for my Great Grandfather Harry Cutting. When he died he left a huge legacy for Emma and the family.

Harry died on 7 November 1917 and was buried at the Kingston Cemetery on 12 November 1917. Probate was granted in February 1918
He left £4,034 in 1917 which is equivalent in purchasing power to about £298,187.97 today, to his son Charles Harry Newland Cutting

FindMyPast 21 4 2021

Hero: Charles Harry Cutting Gains Freedom of the City of London

The episode in our family history in which CHN Cutting appears as a hero is also an interesting story. I have always been curious about the Freedom of the City awards.

CHN Cutting served as a soldier of the City of London Imperial Volunteers in the Second Boer War in 1899 and was awarded the Freedom of the City, a document that is now proudly displayed in the homes of his descendants.

Here is the wording from that document:


Charles Harry Cutting of “The City of London Imperial Volunteers” was admitted into the Freedom aforesaid and made the Declaration required by Law in the Mayoralty of Alfred James Newton Esquire Mayor and Sir William James Richmond Cotton Knt. Chamberlain and is entered in the booked signed with Letter M1 relating to the Purchasing of Freedoms and the Admissions of Freemen (to wit) the 17th day of January in the 63rd Year of the reign of Queen Victoria And in the Year of our Lord 1900
In Witness whereof the Seal of the Office of Chamberlain oft he said City is herunto affixed Dated in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the same City the day and Year abovesaid. 

Honorary Freedom is the highest honour the City of London can bestow. Honorary freemen do not apply for but are invited by the Court of Common Council to take the Freedom. The presentation ceremony usually takes place in the Great Hall of the Guildhall before the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Common Councilmen, and invited guests. The presentation on these occasions is made by the Chamberlain of London and is usually followed by a Guildhall or Mansion House banquet.

Over the last 300 years, about 300,000 ordinary people have been made Free of the City of London. Even today, many men and women continue to be admitted to the City Freedom, although most of the privileges and practical reasons for doing so have now disappeared.

Thanks to cousin Sally for tracking that down the actual document for our very own Freeman, Charles Harry Newland Cutting, and for arranging for it to be framed. It was a chance remark made by my brother Michael years ago when asked about the possible reason for this particular award that sparked my research into the records from the Boer War. If I have the facts correct then Charles H N Cutting was a Private soldier number 760 in the Boer War.

It is not clear what role Private Cutting played in the Boer War, but obviously, he earned his award and we are immensely proud of this achievement – to us, he is a hero.

A Plumber in the family

The 1911 census shows that CHN Cutting was a plumber and now living at 6 Borough Road, Kingston Hill. The significance of his location will become more obvious as we now trace the family history surrounding the Cutting line.

In particular, you can see in this transcript of the 1911 census, that three of the six children were living at this address, but what we cannot see are the names of the two youngest of the triplets, who were born to Mary Jane in 1909. Note that of the six births for Mary Jane, five were live births and one has died. I shudder to think of such anguish and pain, the suffering and the sorrow of her child’s death.

My mother would always tell me about the multiple births in her family and how this set of genetics would be passed on to her children and grandchildren. Indeed – twin boys were born to our mother in 1940. Twins, a boy, and a girl were born to our brother John and twin girls to our sister Patricia. But I was always a little unsure of who were the triplets amongst Mum’s siblings and which of them survived, and now I wonder where were they on the night of the 1911 census.

My later research discovered that one of the triplets, Harry, had died at the age of 2. Curious I explored the 1911 census for her brother Frank, and found that Violet was in the household of her Auntie Edie along with Frank, twin brother to Reginald, who had been adopted out to Edie and Charles Howells.

The story now takes on another aspect – that of family links between the Cuttings and the Allerys.

Location, location, location!

The importance of Kingston-upon-Thames becomes clearer as we now explore the relationships and stories surrounding my parents, Winifred Edith Cutting and Cecil Henry Allery. The 1911 census above shows my Mum aged 8 living at 6 Borough Road, Kingston Hill – a suburb of Kingston-on-Thames. The 1911 census showed my Dad aged 10 living at London House, Coombe Lane, Norbiton – a suburb of Kingston-on-Thames.

In this census, I saw that grandmother Harriet Priscilla had seven births, five of whom lived and two who died. I know that childbirth and childhood illnesses accounted for the loss of many children in the early part of the 20th century, but I can understand what heartaches Harriet would have experienced than the death of one of her two daughters. (Ivy Dorothy B. 27 Jan 1904 D. 4 Apr 1904). There was more agony in store for her, but she did not know it then. It was in May of 1930 that she lost another child, my uncle Edward Lionel, aged 28, who was killed at Brooklands in a tragic car racing accident. (more about that in another episode as I explore the lives of these brave women in my ancestry)

I wonder at the way in which history repeats itself – my mother lost her firstborn child and I don’t think she ever got over that. I imagine that she received some comfort from her mother and mother-in-law in 1925 – two other brave women who also lost their babies.

Parts of this were posted 8th January 2011 by Coach Carole at https://celticfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/

Photograph that sparked a romance!

Curious about the connection between my Mum and Dad, which was not fully explored in the post from 2011, I have now fully explored the records to find the connection between my Dad, and his bride, and her brother. This story will help to recognise the importance of photos in war time and how my Dad, Cecil, fell in love with my Mum, Winifred even before he met her.

Cecil joined the war effort in 1918 and became a Mechanics Assistant in the R.A.F. He was stationed at the Leuchars RAF base in Scotland between 1921-1923. Reginal Cutting, Win’s older brother, also signed up to the R.A.F. and was also relocated to the Leuchars airbase between 1919 and 1922.

Note: The service record for my Dad, shown below, is a recent discovery of mine. I was searching for my Dad in the newly available 1921 Census for England and Wales and was curious as to why I could not find him at home. I explored this record for any clues to his location and found the note about the squadron’s Movements – transferred to Leuchars, Scotland on 5 August 1919.

Cecil Henry Allery, Service Record 82153

The two men obviously got to know one another during their time at Leuchars and struck up a friendship. Just to double-check, I recently obtained the Service Record for uncle Reg.

Reginald Charles Cutting, Service Record 92804

Reginald showed Cecil a photo of his sister Winifred, and that was a special moment in time when a romance began from afar. I can only imagine how that romance by letters followed; sadly no letters from that era were kept.

Winifred Edith Cutting, aged 18, Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey.

This photo of my mother as a young woman in summertime captured my Dad’s heart. Cec then began to write letters to Winnie before his return to Kingston whilst on leave for 28 days between 6 April and 3 May 1922.

A romance ensued and they planned to be married when Winnie turned 21. Both sets of parents were not in favour of the marriage, so, the two star-struck lovers eloped in a motorbike and sidecar on a Wednesday, half-day holiday, 23 July 1924.

If you are curious to know more about that elopement, please visit my old blog site and read this post:

If you have Cuttings in your family tree, then we may well be related. Here’s a slice of the pedigree chart for my Cutting line. Leave a comment if you think there’s a connection.

Pedigree Chart: Grandfather Charles Harry Newland Cutting

Stories of my Cutting line ancestors are beginning to emerge and these are on my storyboard for February 2022. Stay connected for more intrigue, more curious facts, and some imaginative fiction surrounding their lives.

Your thoughts are welcomed here!

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