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Fourth Generation

04 May 1845 - 31 March 1923

Fourth son of Robert John and Phoebe Green.
Married on 16 September 1874 to Ellen Gossling of Cranbourne (01 May 1851 - 13 April 1918)

Eleven children -

 1. Stewart George   27 August 1875 - 31 January 1945 (Twin)
 2. Harold Philip  27 August 1875 - 17 October 1954 (Twin)
 3. Ethel Phoebe (Phoebe)   10 April 1878 - 14 August 1947
 4. Madeleine Edith (Madge)   17 April 1879 - ? 1949
 5. Reginald William   13 October 1881 - 03 September 1939
 6. Wilfred Robert   16 May 1883 - 14 May 1940
 7. Helena Augusta   04 May 1887 - 13 February 1908
 8. Nora Louise Cecile   26 October 1888 - 01 June 1889 (Twin)
 9. Norman Leslie Charles (Leslie)   26 October 1888 - 07 January 1956 (Twin)
10. Theodora Mary (Batty)   26 August 1891 - 04 August 1958
11. Evelyn Anthony  1894 - 12 May 1915


On 11 October 2005, I, (Ann Perrett nee Klitz) received the following email:
"I collect photographs and am interested in genealogy, and saw an ambrotype of two little boys called Klitz on ebay. Now the seller has linked to your website, but I wondered if he/she had told you about the picture?
I just thought if you didn't know about it, you might like to see the auction. To see a picture reunited with a family appeals to me. Jennifer Carnell"

Ann, Betty (nee Klitz) and David Green put in some bids for this photograph, but were outbid in the end. Carol Harding nee Klitz in Canada, discovered the buyer, bidding under the name of 'giddy_uncle', lived in France and sent him an email asking why he wanted our family picture. The reply shown below:

"No I am not a member of your family. I bought this photo to add to my collection of Daguerreo types and Ambrotypes as we hope to open a small museum of photography here. These photographs are mostly monochrome but this one is hand-tinted which makes it a little more special.
Kind regards, giddy_uncle"

The photograph was apparently applied to glass. We were glad to have the opportunity to obtain a copy and after a bit of clever adjustment by Bob Klitz the result is as you see below. The reverse of the photo is also shown with the writing on card - William Lawson on the right and Henry John on the left. The picture might have been taken around 1855/6, making it approximately 150 years old.



William and his wife, Ellen in later years

William Lawson was a harpsichord craftsman. Understood to have been a Freemason.

In 1881 at age 35, he was living with his wife, age 29, at 8 Captains Row, Lymington with children -

1. Stewart George 5
2. Harold Philip 5
3. Ethel Phoebe 3
4. Madeleine Edith 2
5. Reginald William 5 months


Elizabeth L. Gossling - 62 (widowed mother-in-law)
Louise Rickman 17 - domestic servant
Mary A. Harper 14 - nursemaid

The whole family were still there in 1891 with the addition of -

6. Wilfred Robert 9
7. Helena Augusta 4
8. Norman Leslie 2

(N.B. Theodora Mary was born in August 1891 and Evelyn Anthony was not born until 1894)

Captain's Row, Lymington


William with all six sons

Widow Elizabeth L. Gossling 72, was still living with them until she died on 29 March 1900.

In the household also were -
Georgina Lamb 24 - governess, Mary Ann Crouch 21 and Mary Phillips 18 - all domestic servants.

The following information was gleaned from a visit to Edgar Hopkinson 25 February 1993.

William had the best workbench in the workshop for harpsichord work owing to the exacting requirements of this fine instrument. The bench was made in Germany and is a rare but versatile tool. The bench, now in my possession, (Edgar's) has the remnants of a copper nameplate bearing the following stamping as shown. The bench is now in Bob Klitz's possession and very much used and treasured still. Sadly Bob has now gone but the bench is still in his son, Simon's good hands.

William Lawson was known only as Mr Klitz to Edgar Hopkinson, who served his apprenticeship under him from 1914 to 1920. He taught him both the harpsichord and the organ.

Fear of where the dottle from his mentor’s pipe was going to drop often distracted Edgar from his instruction on the harpsichord. He would tell Edgar to "stand up" whenever he caught him stooping!

William considered the pianoforte work very commonplace run-of-the-mill work - coarse compared to the demands of the harpsichord.

William in his riper years with his daughter, Theodora Mary (Batty)

A family autograph book is amongst the memorabilia that has survived these many years. There is no acknowledgement as to whom the book belonged but several family members contributed to its pages. William Lawson penned the following lines:


Since I did leave the presence of my love
Many weary long days I have outworn.
And many nights that slowly seem'd to move
Their sad protract from evening until morn.
For whereas day the heaven doth adorn
I wish that night the noyous day would end
And when as night doth us of light forlorn
I wish that day would shortly reascind
Thus I the time with expectations spend
And fain my grief with changes to beguile
That further seems his term still to extend
And maketh every minute seem a mile
So sorrow still doth seem too long to last
But joyous hours do fly away too fast

by Edmund Spenser

Signed: W. L. K. (No date)

1911 Census

Ten of William Lawson and Ellen Gossling's children

Stewart George


Ethel Phoebe

Madeleine Edith

Reginald William

Wilfred Robert

Helena Augusta

Norman Leslie

Theodora Mary

Evelyn Anthony


William Lawson - 04.05.1845 – 31.03.1923
=Ellen Gossling - 01.05.1851 - 13.04.1918
Stewart George - 27.08.1875 - 31.01.1945 (Twin)
Harold Philip - 27.01.1875 - 17.10.1954 (Twin)
=Florence Lillington Badcock - 06.06.1906 - ?
Ethel Phoebe -10.04.1877 - 04.08.1947
Madeleine Edith - 17.04.1879 - 1948
=H. John. Clark - ? - ?
Reginald William - 13.10.1881 - 03.09.1939
=Edith Helen Ashford - 09.11.1886 - 05.05.1964
Wilfred - 16.05.1883 - 14.05.1940
=Dora Welch - 1883 - 1967
Helena Augusta - 04.05.1887 - 13.02.1908
Nora Cecile Louise - 26.10.1888 - 01.06.1889 (Twin)
Norman Leslie Charles - 26.10.1888 - 07.01.1957 (Twin)
=Alice Christine Eede - 25.07.1901 - 24.06.1993
Theodora Mary - 26.08.1891 - 04.08.1958
=Philip Tenison-Smith - 17.04.1917 - 1976
Evelyn Anthony - 1895 - 12.05.1915

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William Lawson