Packer, Mrs.Back to performers
Percy Grainger visited Mrs Packer at Winchcombe on 4 April 1908 when she sang Erin’s Lovely Home, Green Mossy Banks Of The Lee, Lord Bateman, Polly Oliver and The Three Gypsies. He returned on 6 April 1908 when she sang Mary And The Silvery Tide and There Is An Alehouse.
Mrs Packer was born Jane Holmes in Stanton about 1837, the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Holmes. Thomas was an agricultural labourer, the son of William Holmes from Stanton and his wife, Ann, from Snowshill and baptised in Stanton on 7 March 1802. He had at least two brothers and sisters, George born 1808 and Ann Hannah born 1811. Other children born to William and Ann Holmes of Stanton were Mary born 1745, William born 1746, Ann born 1749, Susannah born 1752 and Elizabeth born 1755. By 1841 Jane Holmes was living in Stanton with her parents and brothers George born about 1827, Thomas born about 1829, John born about 1835 and Alfred born about 1839 and sisters Mary born about 1831 and Jane born about 1837. In 1851 she was still living at home working as a farm labourer as were her brothers, John and Alfred. Her father, William, was also working as an agricultural labourer and he and his wife, Ann, then had more children: Sarah born about 1843, Robert born about 1844, Charles born about 1846, Charlotte born about 1847 and Frances born about 1849. All the children were born in Stanton. Jane Holmes married William Packer in 1856 in the Winchcombe registration district which included Stanton. Ernest William Packer had been born on 26 February 1870 in Coln St Aldwyns, the son of William and Hosiah Packer and he, his father and two brothers had all been working as agricultural labourers in Coln St Aldwyns in 1851.
By 1861 William and Jane Packer were living in Stanton where William was working as a carter, and they had two children, Mary A. Packer born about 1857 and Sarah Kezia Packer born 1860, both born in Stanton. Jane’s parents continued to live in Stanton and by 1861 the only children still living at home with them were Charles and Frances, now called Fanny. In 1871 William and Jane were still living in Stanton where William was working as a labourer and they had two more children, Ellen born about 1863 and Ernest born about 1870.By 1881 they were living in Bank Cottage, Stanton, where William was working as a carter and Jane as a laundress. Their daughter, Ellen, was still living at home and working as a domestic servant and their son, Ernest, was still a scholar. Jane’s father, Thomas, then a widower, was living in a cottage in Stanton and died in 1885. William and Jane continued to live in Stanton where William was working as a labourer in 1891 while his son, Ernest, became a gardener. By 1901, however, they were living in the grocer’s shop in Stanton where Jane had become the grocer and William continued to work as an agricultural labourer, Their daughter, Sarah Kezia was living with them at that time and working as a dressmaker. Jane Packer died in 1922 in the Winchcombe registration district.
In about 1887 Jane’s daughter Ellen married Jesse J. Malpass, a commercial traveller and tea merchant born in Gloucester. A daughter, Elsie Monica Malpass, was born to them in Cheltenham in 1889. By 1891, Ellen, now called Helen, and Jesse were living at 4 Victoria Terrace, Bolehall Glascote, Tamworth in Staffordshire and that year they had another daughter, Gladys Mary Malpass, born in Tamworth. At the time of the 1891 census Jesse was working as a ‘shopman’ and Jane’s sister, Kezia, was staying with them. Kezia was single and working as a dressmaker. A further daughter, Nellie Gwen Malpass, was born to Helen and Jesse in Oxford about 1892 and another daughter, Sybil Irene Malpass, was born in Alderbury, Wiltshire in 1894. They then had a son, Arthur Ernest J. Malpass , who was born in Barton Regis, Bristol in 1898. In 1911, Helen and Jesse were living at 36, Sidney Street, Gloucester with Elsie Monica, who was working as a dressmaker, Gladys Mary who was a milliner, Nellie Giben and Sybil Irene who were both shop assistants.
It appears that Helen’s son, Arthur Ernest, did not marry as records show that Arthur Ernest William Jesse Malpass of 52 Jersey Road, Gloucester died 4 May 1932 when probate was given to his sister, Nellie Gwendolin Malpass.
Helen’s daughter, Elsie Monica Malpass, married William Frank Cole in Gloucester in 1916. William Frank Cole of 18 Derby Road, Gloucester died 2 February 1935 when probate was given to Elsie Monica Cole. Elsie M. Cole died in 1935.
Helen’s daughter, Nellie Gwendoline Malpass, was living at 20 Greenway Gardens, Hendon in 1931 and 1932. She married Stephen Martin in Gloucester in 1936. Nellie Martin, formerly Malpass, died in Cheltenham in 1962 and Stephen Martin died in Cheltenham in 1979.
Notes by Carol Davies May 2015