Alfred William Bailey 1858 - 1938


The Tollgate on the Lower Sandgate Road circa 1900.



Alfred William Bailey 1858 - 1938

Alfred William Bailey was born 18th April 1858 in a cottage on the Lower Sandgate Road in Folkestone, the second son and fourth child of Richard Bailey and his second wife Sarah Ann Barker. He was christened at Christchurch Church on 16th May of the same year.

Before his third birthday the family had moved to the High Street in Folkestone where his father's occupation had changed from general labourer to gardener and bun seller. But after his father's failed attempt to become a publican, and the death of his mother, Alfred and the older children moved out of the family home, presumably into employment with lodgings.

In the 1881 census Alfred is living at 4 Beach Street, Folkestone, with his wife and children. His brother Stephen lives next door at number 3. He is a fisherman by trade. On 28th October 1877 he had married Annie (also called Mary Ann) Bailey from Walmer at Folkestone Parish Church. Their common surname is a coincidence - they are not related. Annie signed her name, but Alfred could not read or write so he 'made his mark' in the parish registers. Their witnesses were E. and Emma Stone.

Sometimes work and money were in short supply., and at those times the Folkestone Charities Board would help respectable families through a rough patch. In February 1886, Alfred applied for assistance on the recommendation of Sister Elizabeth, a charity worker attached to St Peter's Church. These are the notes recorded in the Folkestone Charities Diary and Report Book (held at Folkestone Library);

Alfred Bailey, age 28.

trade: fisherman (this had been crossed through and porter inserted)

abode: 5 East Street

children to feed: 4 (altered to 5) ages: 1 month to 11 years

comments: Respectable.

Married to a fisherman, home very comfortable. Rent two small rooms at 4/- a week. Not able to work - near confinement. Three children at St Peter's School.

A note was added; confined of a daughter on 16th Feb.

Various amounts of bread coals and groceries were supplied to the family until April.

In 1891 the family were living at 14 Great Fenchurch Street, and they had the following children: Alfred William (b.1877), Annie Amelia (b.1878), Percy (b.1879), Frederick (b.1880), Nellie (b.1883), Ellen Elizabeth (b.1886), Stephen Richard (b.1889), and Walter Richard (b.1892).

Alfred was still employing in the maritime trades. He is recorded sometimes as a fisherman, sometimes as a mariner.

In the summer he ran a pleasure boat, as he is recorded in the Register of Boatman's Licences (held at Folkestone Library) from 1887 to 1932. He applied every year at the start of the season at Easter, and paid 6d for a rowing boat licence. These records also give the address of the boatmen and Alfred's address changes about every two years. He is listed as living in Fenchurch Street, Fancy Street, Dover Street, and Radnor Street.

Annie died on 11th January 1894 at their home at 46 Fenchurch Street, and was buried two days later at Cheriton Road Burial Ground.

On the 1901 census Alfred is listed on board the fishing vessel Espa.  She was a lug sail ship of 13 tons, registered at Folkestone.  He was the master and  slept on board the ship that night.  His two crewmen, John Starling and John Taylor, were on shore. Alfred did not own the Espa, as he is listed as a worker on the census.  He completed the schedule and signed it himself in a neat if painstaking hand. It does not seem that he was used to writing everyday, and had learnt to read and write late in life.

Alfred died in April 1938.


Last update : 1st May 2007