Cally Hulbert’s inkwell?

Emily Charlotte Hulbert was known as Cally. She was born around 1869 in Market Lavington. Her parents were Henry who was a solicitor and attorney and his wife Emily (née) Hitchcock. Emily was the daughter of Doctor Charles Hitchcock who owned and ran the Fiddington Asylum.

At the time of the 1871 census the family lived at Townsend, Market Lavington, quite close to the asylum. Apart from Henry, his wife Emily and our Emily Charlotte, aged 2, there was a younger child, Frederick and also Henry’s parents. They were Henry and Charlotte Hulbert and to help with the confusion of names, the two Henrys were both solicitors and attorneys. The prosperity of the family is clear for they also had three live in servants.

In 1881 the Hulberts lived at West Lavington. The older generation were no longer with them, but young Cally was a scholar and as well as Freddy, she now had three more brothers, Charles, Theodore and Percy. Three live in servants were still on the payroll.

By 1891, the 22-year-old Cally had left the Lavingtons and was living at Dengie in the far east of Essex. She was working as a school governess and living at the Rectory with Edward Warrington, the rector, his wife and family.

In 1901, Cally was back with her parents but in different circumstances. Her father, Henry, was now a clerk in holy orders. He and his wife and Cally were the only occupants of the Parsonage, St Agnes in the west of Cornwall.

We do not know when Cally returned to Market Lavington – we haven’t yet traced her on the 1911 census but she lived in her Northbrook, Market Lavington Cottage by 1939. By this time, it seems, she had become eccentric in her ways. One local ‘lad’ recalls hearing a lot of splashing coming from Cally’s cottage. He was told by his father not to go up there because it would be Cally taking her bath in the water butt.

Another resident recalls Cally being a regular traveller on the bus to Devizes where she ate her breakfast of mouldy bread.

Her toffee, apparently, was legendary – not only for its fine taste and texture, but also because she used it to stop the keys on her piano from moving. It sounds, really, rather a sad end.

Emily Charlotte Hulbert was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 12th November 1951. She was 82 and her address was given as St James Hospital, Devizes. The Reverend John Arthur officiated.

We have no photos of Cally at the museum. Neither do we have one of her cottage on Northbrook, which has been demolished. Maybe somebody somewhere has these items and would be willing to share them. What we do have are a number of items dug up in what would have been her garden.

Perhaps this rather splendid glass inkwell, probably once part of a stand, which may have been silver, provides us with a link with the genteel early life of Cally.

A glass inkwell which was found in the former garden of Cally Hulbert of Northbrook, Market Lavington

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One Response to “Cally Hulbert’s inkwell?”

  1. Shippam’s Paste Jar « Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] jar is another item dug up in the garden which had belonged to village eccentric, Cally Hulbert. Shippam's Paste Jar dug up in a garden at Northbrook, Market […]

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