Picture by Rupert Fox from a design by Michael William Alabaster
  

The Alabaster Chronicle 

The Journal of The Alabaster Society
 
NUMBER TWENTY, SPRING - SUMMER 2003

CONTENTS: 1. Editorial; 3. The Book of the Alabaster Family, 2001 6; Jeu D'esprit - an epic poem by Henry Alabaster (1836-1882); 26. The case for John Alabaster 1561-1637 Sue Andrews; 30. Alabaster Penfriends; 32. Alabaster Research; 38. Animal Alphabet by Ellen May Alabaster Dunbavin; 39. Laraine's Letters Page; 44. Jack Alabaster (IIC) - a newspaper report; 46. Alabaster Society Accounts for the year ending 31st August 2002.

So often when I come to write the editorial, I wonder whether I will have anything to say. Well, this time I am not short of topics!

Firstly, welcome to Chronicle Number 20! The very number represents something of a milestone, but it does indicate that next September, the Alabaster Society will be ten years old. Chronicle Number 21 really should be an extra special one! With this in mind, I would be really grateful if as many members as possible could try to contribute something towards it - whether it be a letter that can be quoted on the Letters Page, a historical family snippet, a photograph, or a full-blown article!

The Chronicle you are reading now seems to have a heavy emphasis towards the written word. Possibly all Chronicles do, by definition, but it strikes me as more obvious in this issue. We have the culmination of so many members' written contributions towards the The Book of the Alabaster Family; we have young, present day, Alabaster family members, writing about themselves and asking others to write to them as penfriends; we have an epic poem, written by a 19th century Alabaster; we even have a modern poem, written by a nine-year old Alabaster today!

To take these topics one at a time - much has been said about the Alabaster Book, and with good reason! If you have not seen the printed version, there is a last chance to purchase one of the few remaining copies - see page 5.

One of our members, Janet Leclair (nee Alabaster), made an excellent suggestion. Two of her daughters, Isaline aged 10 and Floriane aged 12, would like to have an Alabaster penpal each to whom they could write, exchange photographs and who knows what else. I thought it was a wonderful idea and that it would be great to get our children involved in this way. I circulated the idea, and have been able to add the details of two further Alabasters who would like to hear from others around the world - see pages 30 & 31.

But could we extend it further?

It would be wonderful to have a page or two for our children to get to know each other. Do you have any sons, daughters, grandchildren, nephews or nieces who would like to write a paragraph describing themselves and who they would like to write to? Please do ask them and we could include it in future Chronicles. Photographs would be great too!

A substantial proportion of this Chronicle is given over to an Epic Poem written by a 19th century Alabaster. Perhaps this is as close as we are likely to get to an entry for the Alabaster Book, written almost 150 years ago. I think that glimpses of personality and character of Henry Alabaster can genuinely be seen in his poem, particularly the humour and possibly even irony!

Lastly, we have a very modern poem written by nine year old Ellen May Alabaster Dunbavin as a school project. Another lovely idea! I would welcome contributions to the magazine of stories, poems etc, written by the younger generation in this way!

As a whole year has elapsed since the most recent Gathering, Wednesday 23rd April saw the first Annual Meeting of the Alabaster Committee that was formed then. One of the suggestions that was put forward at the meeting was that an updated list of members` names, addresses, and email addresses should be circulated to members. I hope to organise this in time for Chronicle 21 in September 2003. Please let me know of any changes to include, particularly email addresses which change quite often.

If any members do not want their details included, please notify me of this as soon as possible.

Because of the formation of a Committee, the Constitution of the Society has had to be altered slightly. The updated version is printed on the inside back cover of this Chronicle.

So - a whole year has elapsed since the sixth Gathering - giving us two years in which to plan and organise the seventh! We discussed this at the committee meeting and concluded that Hadleigh is very much the family home, and remains the most ideal location in which to base the Gathering. We will aim for the last weekend in April 2005. Your comments and ideas on this would be most appreciated.

Lastly - postage costs out of the UK have risen dramatically over the past ten years, although our subscription remains the same. The Alabaster Book orders were sent by surface mail, rather than airmail, which saved a lot of money - the majority of the books arriving as fast as "airmail". Clearly, it would appear, that much "surface mail" is actually being sent by air, at the convenience of the operators. Thus, I am going to experiment with this Chronicle and post them surface mail. Please let me know how it works out.
Laraine Hake.


The Book of the Alabaster Family, 2001

What an absolutely wonderful project the Book of the Alabaster Family, 2001 has been. Yet again I must thank Adrian Alabaster, whose bequest started the whole thing rolling. Further, I would like publicly to say an enormous thank you to Ron Alabaster West and team (wife Betty and sister Rene) for the absolutely excellent job they have made of compiling all of the contributions we wrote towards the Alabaster Book.

Not only that, but they managed to arrange production of a printed version, dealt with the finances, and dispatched it to members.

Some of the reviews of the printed version...................

Valerie Knobloch, (IV) Germany, 27th February 2003
Dear Laraine, .....just wanted you to know that the book arrived here safely yesterday. It is fantastic - lots of 'goodnight bed-stories' there. I'11 be writing to Ron personally to thank him for his good job on the matter, but just in case you speak to him beforehand. Hope you are fine, Valerie.

Tricia Dyer, (IIA) Kent, 27th February 2003
Dear Laraine, Got my Book today, what a fantastic effort on the part of Ron West. Most impressive. Love Tricia

Charlotte Alabaster, (IIA) Florida, 27th February 2003
The Alabaster Book arrived in today's mail and what a treasure it is!!!! We can imagine all of the work involved and will thank Ron with an email if you would be so kind to give his address to me.

John Cornelius, (Bryan) Connecticut, 28th February 2003
I've just received my copy and it's WONDERFUL! Please give Ron my congratulations on a terrific job. The only fault I can find is that it doesn't give him credit for all his hard work. Great job.

Lesley Harvey-Eells, South London (IIIA) 28th February 2003
Just to say that the book has arrived!!! It's really good so well done everyone.

Robbin Churchill, (IV) Atlanta 1st March 2003
I've been housebound today. My Honda CRV went in for its 60 thousand mile check up which took the whole day replacing brakes, tires and whatever else looked like it needed replacement. All I know is that I think I sent the garage owner's son to University. Anyway, a day at home is a great opportunity to clean the house, wash the clothes, get that ironing pile down, etc. Instead, the postman brought the Alabaster Family Book and I've been riveted to it all day.
I can not tell you how much I've enjoyed reading about my family. I'm indebted to you both for spearheading the project and bringing it to fruition. What an incredible accomplishment. All my thanks.

Myrna Pacquette, (IIC) Quebec 3rd March 2003
The book arrived and I have been enjoying reading some of it this weekend. What a wonderful souvenir. Many thanks and congratulations to those of you working directly on making it happen.

Angela Alabaster, (IIA) Surrey, 3rd March 2003
I am absolutely delighted with THE Book! I had a thoroughly absorbing session with it yesterday and found I was going to bed really late! It is very attractively produced: you are justified in being proud of the Family. It must be unique, not only in that it could produce such a book, but that it should come up with such an original idea. I am so glad it is now available to a wider readership. I wonder what others in the genealogical field will make of it.

Amanda Alabaster, (IIA) Edinburgh, 4th March 2003
....it arrived yesterday and my daughters and I are just loving it!

Oriole Veldhuis, (IV) Winnipeg, 5th March 2003 .. ...the Alabaster Book is a treasure. I have had a little time reading it and enjoy the individuality of each person's entries. In this day and age it is so tempting to do things all up with computer. This is such a joy!

..... but please do remember, these comments are about the printed version which, though wonderful, is not nearly as good as the real thing, with its original photographs and clear, hand-written entries.

To recap - Using money left to the members of the Alabaster Society by Adrian Alabaster, it was decided to produce a piece of history for future generations to enjoy, comprising entries from each member of the Society who wanted to take part. Four years since its original conception, at the fifth Alabaster Gathering, held in April 1999, the project has been completed, but then taken a step further, with a printed version having been produced for purchase by members. However, I am delighted to be able to report that Ron is willing to continue ........

***************

Message from Ron.
Our two leather bound ring folders contain a fascinating record of "the family" as we know it today. All members of the Society during 2001-2 are included on the family tree that provides the framework for this archive document. Seventy-two members of the Society contributed to the book by completing a 'family sheet', using a formatted prompt to act as a guide when deciding what to include.
If you did not send a contribution but would like to do so NOW, please let me know and I will send you the necessary details and information.
It would be wonderful to have a contribution from every member.
The committee which was formed at the last Gathering has recently met and agreed that the archive book should be a 'living document', to be added to each year, through an addendum. Therefore new members will also be invited to complete a 'family sheet'.

There are a few copies of the printed version of the Alabaster Family Book still available. If you would like a copy please let me know.
Order from Ron Alabaster West at 3 Old Wolverton Rd., Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes. MK12 5PW
The cost will be (in sterling): UK £11 00, Europe £12.00, Asia and America £14.00, Aus/N.Z £14.50.

Thank you for the many messages which I received following the mailing of the printed version of the book. It has been a lengthy but never the less a very rewarding task and one which I have fundamentally enjoyed. The next phase is to compile the addendum, trying to involve all our present members and to encourage all new members to contribute.


The following several pages contain an epic poem writen by Henry Alabaster. A copy of this poem was found by Nan Kenyon, whose gt grandfather, Percy Criddle, (Henry's cousin) had taken it with him, amongst other family papers, when he emigrated to Canada in 1882 (1), It was transcribed, in Thailand, by Henry's gt granddaughter, Virginia Bird, in 1999.

According to the inscription on the poem, it was written by Henry at Horton, near Epsom, in January 1859. In 1856, at the age of 20, Henry had sailed to Hong Kong and later to Siam (now Thailand) as a student interpreter(2). Perhaps he was indeed home on leave in 1859. Certainly, reading the poem carefully, the influences of the Eastern culture can be seen in various references that Henry makes.

It is interesting to see this poem in the context of the time at which it was written. Epic poetry was very much in vogue. Alfred Tennyson had been the Poet Laureate since 1850 and actually published four of the Idylls of the King, his epic on the story of King Arthur and Camelot, in 1859.

Although I don't pretend to have any knowledge of literature, I think this poem is worth reading carefully, and then rereading. Having done so myself, proof reading and rechecking, I eventually found the story fun and the various references that Henry makes to, what would have been for him, everyday occurrences, (crinolines, milliners, Mayors, Vestrymen, Longman's, directories, parliamentary boroughs) fascinating. I was impressed by his evident knowledge of Roman and Greek mythology - evidence of the different form education took 150 years ago.

We have compiled our Alabaster Book so that future generations can know something of us as personalities. I would like to think that in this poem we can see a little of the personality of an Alabaster in the 19th century.

Laraine Hake

References:
1 Alabaster Chronicle 13 pp 12-23
2 A Quintet of Alabasters by Adrian Alabaster


Jeu D`esprit

By

Henry Alabaster

H.B.M. Consulate
Bangkok,Siam
Written at Horton, Near Epsom,
January 1859
________________________


I received the following letter and enclosure from Sue Andrews in January this year. I asked Sue's permission to reprint it in the Chronicle, entirely as she sent it to me. The historical information contained here is fascinating, and although it appeared unlikely that John Alabaster, our many times great grandfather (ten greats in my case), would be honoured in this way, how wonderful that his good deeds are still being remembered so long after his death. How many people from today will be recalled in the year 2369, I wonder!In act, I can now report, that Hadleigh's new primary school will be called the Beaumont School. However, we can take some consolation in the knowledge that Ann Beaumont, another local benefactor, was related to the Alabaster family!

Dear Laraine, I enclose a copy of a letter I recently sent to Jan Byrne, Hadleigh Town Councillor, who is on the committee for selecting a name for the new primary school currently being erected in Hadleigh. She asked me, as Hadleigh Archivist, if there were any names of people and places in Hadleigh that would be appropriate. Immediately, I suggested John Alabaster School or Alabaster School and Jan took to the idea, having heard me mention the family and their good works in Hadleigh. She asked me for some information, hence the letter.

The naming of Hadleigh's new primary school:
The case for John Alabaster, 1561 - 1637
by Sue Andrews

John Alabaster was born in Hadleigh and baptised in the Parish Church in 1561. He was the second son of Thomas and Christian Alabaster.

The Alabaster family had sanguineous connections with the Forths of Hadleigh, Stewards ofthe Manor of Hadleigh Hall, with Nicholas Shaxton, Bishop of Salisbury and later Bishop of Ely and with the poet William Alabaster. Through marriage, the Alabasters were also related to the Winthrops, Lords of the Manor of Groton and founders ofthe Protestant Colony at Boston in Massachusetts, and to John Still, Rector of Hadleigh and later Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Nothing is known of John Alabaster's childhood but he probably attended Hadleigh Grammar School in the Guildhall where he was a contemporary of John Boise and John Overall, who both later worked on the translations for King James's Authorised Version of the Bible.

John followed his father Thomas, not only into the family business as a successful clothier in the woollen-cloth industry that was still flourishing in Hadleigh at this time, but also into public service. As a Chief Inhabitant of Hadleigh, his father Thomas had shared responsibility for running the town during a most difficult time of inflation and high unemployment that had led to much poverty. In 1588 at the age oftwenty-seven, John took over his father's role by joining the Town Trustees, who were responsible for managing the market, the Pykenham and Raven Almshouses and other Town Lands, the profits ftom which supported the poor. On four occasions, he held office as Chief Collector for Town Lands, for which he kept his own accounts of the income and disbursements for maintaining the various properties and for charitable distributions of cash, fuel and clothing.

For some time, lobbying had taken place for official status for those governing the town. In 1618, King James I granted a Borough Charter that incorporated eight aldermen, with one of their number to be annually elected as mayor. Sessions of the Peace were also established with the Mayor sitting as Justice of the Peace for his mayoralty and the following year. John Alabaster was the second Mayor in 1619 and again in 1630. However, he sat as Justice in 1619 and 1620, 1622 to 1626 and again ftom 1629 to 1631. In 1628, John was selected by the County to act as Lay Subsidy Commissioner in the Hundred of Cosford.

During the 1620s, John was assessed for taxation purposes on the value of his goods even though he owned approximately 300 acres of land and numerous houses throughout the town, which made him the second wealthiest person living in Hadleigh.

At his marriage in 1584 to Mary, daughter of John Brond, clothier of Boxford, manorial lord of Polstead, Nether Nusteeds in Polstead, and Castells in Thorpe Morieux, John's father had settled upon the young couple property in Bridge Street. The Alabaster family home is now the site of Babergh District Council Headquarters. John and Mary had nine daughters and two sons, both of whom followed their father into the office of Town Mayor. In 1637, during a very harsh visitation of plague in Hadleigh, John Alabaster died aged 76 and was buried in the Parish Church. His monumental brass (now placed below that of his father on the south chapel wall) tells us that........... he lived a godly and discreet life and was of holy conversation, for whose death the rich did mourne and the poore did much lament. He was kynde to the rich and mercifull to the poore and lovinge to all.......

In his will, John made provision in real and personal estate for his wife, his adult children and their families. He gave monetary tokens to the mayor, the rector and the curate and to men with whom he had shared not only friendship but also the responsibility of town government. His business agent in London, long-serving craft workers, his spinners and household servants were also remembered. He requested that within a week of his death, £20 in bread be distributed to the poor. He also passed on to his son, as had been passed from his father and uncle to himself, responsibility for four cottages, three in Bridge Street and one in Duke Street, the rents from which were to provide thirteen poor people with bread every Sunday in perpetuity.

Also, he left a tenement in Bridge Street and twelve acres of land in Coram Street to the Incorporation of Hadleigh, the profits from which were to be .... employed for a stipend to an honest, sober and sufficient man who shall teach poor children of the Town of Hadley to read English, to write and cast accompt... This was the beginning of elementary education in Hadleigh with the master chosen by the rector and together with the mayor, he was also to select the pupils who were to receive a free education. The tenement was to be a house for the master and schoolroom for his charges. John was careful to ensure that his school did not interfere with the viability ofHadleigh's other school by stipulating that his master. .. shall never meddle with or clayme any stipend formerly given and payed usually to the teacher of the Grammar School. Unfortunately the 12 acres at Coram Street were only held as security for a mortgage, which was promptly repaid. However, his son John as executor, wishing to fulfil the will's bequests, purchased lands to greater value just beyond Toppesfield Bridge, which later became known as School Meadow.

No details would seem to have survived regarding the operation of the school. During the eighteenth century, it was referred to as Hart's Writing School after the master and later, as its endowments were amalgamated with those for the almshouses, as Pykenham 's School.

 The endowed lands were eventually sold in 1868 to Holbecks Estate and the income invested in consols. The schoolbuilding, originally called Posfords, was pulled down in 1853 when a new master's house and National School were erected on the site that continued as Bridge Street Boys'School. In 1905, when educational charities were taken out of the hands of the Grand Feoffment, the John Alabaster Education Foundation Charity continued to maintain the house and playground.

In 1968, when the boys were transferred to the newly built Saint Mary's Church of England Primary School, the old school and master's house went into private ownership. Funds arising fi'om the school-house sale went to the Alabaster Charity, which now makes grants for fees or expenses to those students under the age of 25 from Hadleigh and neighbouring areas, who live away from home in order to further their education.

Although it was John Alabaster's wish that his charity be applied to elementary education only, since 1853 this has not been the case. Until 1968, the charity provided free accommodation for the head-teacher at Bridge Street School and now, under a resolution made by the trustees under the 1985 Charities Act, other types of education can be considered.

It would be of significance to the town to name the new primary school either Alabaster or even John Alabaster as recognition, which is long overdue to the Hadleigh-born man who had the fore-sight to be first in establishing primary education here over 366 years ago.


 

Alabaster Research by Laraine Hake

New information and clues that help fill out our knowledge of Alabaster Family History come from many different sources. Occasionally, as in this case, a genealogist researching his own family line kindly keeps an eye open for any Alabaster references. Peter Copsey, a fellow member of the Guild of One Name Studies, has done just that, sending me a variety of occurrences ofthe name Alabaster over the space of time. Naturally, some of these I already had, but in several cases they are new to our records. Below is a copy of an email he sent to me last December, together with my explanations/discoveries relating to the information he sent. Peter's words are in italics, mine are in normal print.

Hi Laraine. Here are some more Alabasters that I found whilst looking for Copseys.

1861 Census for Bethnal Green

Re! RG9/25 0 12 New Nichol Street.
John ALABASTER head, Mar, 54, chair maker b. Whitechapel.
Mary ditto wife, Mar, 26, b. Bethnal Green
Thomas ditto son, Unm, 18, chair maker b. Bethnal Green
David ditto son, Unm, 15, chair maker b. Bethnal Green
William ditto son, Unm, 13, b. Bethnal Green
Sarah ditto daur, 11, b. Bethnal Green

Branch IIIB John (1806-1886). First wife was Mary Holt, but she would have been about 52 by 1861. A Mary Ann Alabaster had died in Bethnal Green in 1857, and this could have been Mary (nee Holt).
Presumably the Mary above, aged 26, was the Mary Ann Levy whom John married 18 months later on 9th October 1862.
John and his first wife, Mary, were the 3 x gt grandparents of several of the members of Branch IIIB

RG9/250 folio 126L      13 Austin Street.
John ALLIBASTER Head, mar, 27, chair maker b. Bethnal Green
Martha ditto Wife, mar, 23, b. Bethnal Green
John ditto Son 1, b. Bethnal Green

Branch IIIB This is John James (1833-1888) eldest son of John and Mary (Holt). Martha (nee Waterman) was his second wife too, his first wife, Sophia, and son, John, having both died in September 1858, shortly after the baby John's birth.

RG9/251 folio 102L          3 Caroline Street
Susan ALABASTER Head, widow, 53, - b. Bethnal Green
Betsy ditto Daur, Unm, 28, fancy trimming maker, b. Bethnal Green
Thomas ditto Son, Unm, 26, carpenter, b. Bethnal Green
Fanny ditto Daur, Unm, 19, fancy trimming maker, b. Bethnal Green
Mary A. ditto Daur, Unm, 17, dressmaker, b. Bethnal Green
George ditto Son, Unm, 21, carpenter, b. Bethnal Green
Henry ditto Son, Unm, 15, carpenter, b. Bethnal Green
Walter ditto Son, 12, scholar, b. Bethnal Green
Alfred ditto Son, 9, scholar, b. Bethnal Green

WofW branch.  This is Susan (nee Lingley) the widow of Thomas Alabaster (1808 - 1859) She was the gt gt grandmother, (or more) of each of the William of Woodford branch members of the Society!

RG9/252folio 91L         3 Virginia Row .
Josh. ALABASTER Head, Mar, 64, shoe maker, b. Wapping
Ann ditto Wife, Mar, 57, Silk winder, b. Coventry, Warwicks
Mary ditto Daur, Unm, 17, worsted winder, b. Bethnal Green.

Branch IIIB Joseph Alabaster (1796-1878) was the elder brother of John. Mary (or Marianne) was the youngest of Joseph and Ann's four children. Joseph and Ann were the 3 x gt grandparents of many other members of Branch IIIB.

Parish Register of Holy Trinity, Harrow Green, Leytonstone.  Baptisms
1909 Feb 28 Winifred Lily Katherine daur of Frederick & Louisa ALABASTER, 38 Dunedin Road, bricklayer. No birth date given.
1911 Oct 15 Arthur Frederick son of Frederick & Louisa ALABASTER, 38 Dunedin Road, bricklayer. No birth date given.
1911 Oct 15 Edwin James son of Frederick & Louisa ALABASTER, 38 Dunedin Road, bricklayer. No birth date given.

Branch IIA Frederick Alabaster (1879-1941) I did have the births, but not the baptisms of Arthur and Edwin, who were twins, but I had not previously placed Winifred in a family.
There are no descendants of Frederick and Louisa in the Society, but his father, Edwin, was the brother of my gt grandfather, Thomas, (and the gt grandfather of several other members!) and of Sarah Alabaster, gt grandmother of Tony Springall.

St Michael & All Angels, Walthamstow -   Baptisms 1901 Oct 7
Elsie Georgina daur of George & Charlotte ALABASTER, 25 Haroldstone(?) Road, labourer. No birth date given.
1903 May 14 Charles Alfred son of George Thomas & Charlotte Caroline ALABASTER, 25 Hardlater(?) Road, general labourer. No birth date given. 

This is WofW Branch, George Thomas Alabaster (1864-1936) being the grandson of Thomas Alabaster and Susannah Lingley, and the son of George, aged 21 on 1861 census (above). I did not previously have either of these baptisms! George and Charlotte were the grandparents of Brian Alabaster and the gt grandparents of Josie and Malcolm Alabaster, all members of our Society............in fact, Charles Alfred, the baby being baptised in 1903, was Josie's grandfather! 

St Saviour, Walthamstow -  Baptisms 1908 Feb 9
Herbert Sidney son ofSidney Herbert & Daisy Florence ALABASTER, 34 Camden Road, bricklayer. Born 12 Jan 1908.

Branch IIA - Herbert Sidney is actually the father of two of our members, Tricia Dyer and Colin Alabaster. I did not have details of his baptism and I do not suppose they did previously either!

1908 Nov 6 Ellen Jane daur of John William & Augusta Campbell ALABASTER, 33 Beaconsfield Road, greengrocer. Born 10 Oct 1908.

This one is a complete mystery! All that I can ascertain is that Augusta died in the registration district of Shoreditch in 1918, aged 34.
If anybody can place a John William, Augusta and Ellen Jane Alabaster in their ancestry, I would love to hear about it!

St James the Great, Bethnal Green -   Baptisms
1898 Nov 27 Charles Thomas son of William & Agnes ALABASTER, 12 Peacock Street, carman. Born 9 Nov 1898.

William and Agnes are Branch IIIB. Steve Abbott wrote about them in detail in Chronicle 17. William was the grandson of John Alabaster, of the first census given above.

St Matthew, Bethnal Green -   Baptisms
1904 May 1 James Edwin son of James & Matilda Amelia ALABASTER, 153 Vallance Road, porter. No birth date given.

James and Matilda are Branch IIB. They are the grandparents of Michael William Alabaster, so James Edwin was Michael's uncle. We did not previously have this baptism either!

St John, Bethnal Green -    Baptisms
1891 Oct 17 George son of Edward & Harriett ALABASTER, 3 Thurlow Place, labourer. Born 21 May 1887.
1896 Apr 26 Lilian daur of Edward & Lydia ALABASTER, 298(?) Glebe (or Globe) Road, dyer. Born 6 April. God parent Agnes AGARS(?)

These are Branch IIB again, the Edward and Harriett being the parents of the second Edward. Edward the elder was the brother of the father of James, above, so Edward the younger and James were first cousins.
Another son of Edward and Harriett, Robert William, emigrated to Australia just before World War I. His descendants include several Alabasters now living in the Melbourne area of Australia.

Enjoy your Christmas and good luck in 2003. Cheers, Peter Copsey. 

I am sure you will agree that we owe Peter Copsey a debt of gratitude. This is not the only such list that he has sent to me! Please remember that I am always grateful for any Alabaster information at all, to help piece together the overall picture, so if you do have any family artefacts which include details of names and dates, I would be very grateful for such information! Do look out for the name Copsey too!

..............and there's more!
Would you believe it - with one thing and another, the Chronicle is sufficiently behind schedule that I have received another email from Peter Copsey, entitled "Alabasters for Easter" !!!

All Saints, Leyton (West Ham RD) -    Baptisms
1938 Jan 30 Brian son of Ernest Thomas & Lilian May ALABASTER, 153 Beaumont Road, Leyton. Painter. Born 28 Dec 1937.

I truly think I can say this is a first for me! This baptism is not just of one of our ancestors, it is actually the baptism of a member of the Alabaster Society!!! Here you are, Brian, this is YOUR baptism! Brian is a member ofWofW Branch!

Christ Church, Leyton (West Ham RD) -    Baptisms
1935 Sept 8 Arthur Edwin son of Edwin James & Fanny Nora ALABASTER, 6 Newport Road, Leyton. Carpenter. Born 31 July 1935.
1938 June 26 Roger Thomas son of Edwin James & Fanny Nora ALABASTER, 6 Newport Road, Leyton. Carpenter. Born 25 April 1938.
God parent - Donald WASPE.

Branch IIA - the father here, Edwin James is one of the twins, baptised in 1911.

St Luke, Leyton (West Ham RD) -   Baptisms
1939 Jan 22 Colin Frederick son of Arthur Frederick & Rose May ALABASTER, 463 Grove Green Road, E11. Bricklayer. Born 26 Nov 1938 (or possibly 1928)
1950 Nov 5 Patricia Rose daur of Arthur Frederick & Rose May ALABASTER, 100 River Road Born 29 July 1950.

36--and the father here, Arthur Frederick, is the other one of those twins, baptised in 1911.

St Stephen, Upton Park (West Ham RD) -   Baptisms
1927 May 11 George William son of Charles Henry & Lilian Maud ALABASTER, 9 Park Road, East Ham. Labourer. Born 25 April 1927. 

Branch IIIA - George William was one of the earlier members of the Alabaster Society, number 28, until his death in October 1993.

St Andrew, Walthamstow (West Ham RD) -   Baptisms
1947 Oct 5 Janet daur of John Henry & Winifred May ALABASTER, 272 Blackhorse Lane, E17. Police constable. Born 21 Aug 1947.

WofW Branch - here it is the parents of the child who are members of the Alabaster Society! John Henry Alabaster was, and is, one of our earliest members; number 18!

St James the Greater, Walthamstow (West Ham RD) -   Baptisms
1910 Aug (April crossed out) 3 Florence Grace Dorothy daur of Sidney Herbert & Daisy Florence ALABASTER, 22 Hartington Road. Builder's foreman. Born 6 Nov 1910. This entry was between baptisms of Nov 2 and Nov 9. I suspect that birth and baptism dates are transposed.

Branch IIA - Florence Grace was the mother of Tony Moore, one of our members. She was the sister of Herbert Sidney, baptised in 1908 - and I realised I had a photograph of her!

1912 Oct 9 Violet Grace daur of George Thomas & Charlotte Caroline ALABASTER, 70 Gosport Road. Labourer. Born 4 Sept 1912.

WofW branch. George Thomas and Charlotte Caroline were referred to earlier, with baptisms in 1901 and 1903.

Whew! Thanks again to Peter Copsey!


 

 

........a poem for the 21st century by Ellen May Alabaster Dunbavin (IV) aged 9 years


Audrey Tilling

Phryne Mundy (IIA) reports from Spain to tell me her sister, (Yvonne) Audrey Tilling (nee Alabaster) passed away Wednesday 13th November 2002

This was sad news to receive. Audrey was with us at the Alabaster Gathering last April, and contributed a very interesting page to the Alabaster Book.
Audrey and Phryne were born in Tientsin, China, where their father, Geoffrey Alabaster, worked for the Dunlop Rubber Company. Audrey had strong memories of Tientsin and Shanghai and remembered sailing to England, via Suez, in 1924, aged 8.
Audrey's grandfather, Henry Alabaster, owned an Electrical Engineering supplement called The Electrical Review. I managed to buy a bound volume of The Electrical Review, July - December 1889, from an antiquarian bookseller at a Boot Sale recently! It has Henry Alabaster's name on the frontispiece, and makes fascinating reading, if somewhat heavy, about the early stages of the introduction of electricity. Headlines of articles include: "Electric Lighting at Brighton"... ..... "Will Electricity Supplant Gas?" LH

 



Jack Alabaster (IIC)

By no means his best round but still below his age

Alexandra: Age has not slowed former New Zealand test cricketer Jack Alabaster.
Mr Alabaster, a 72-year-old golfer playing off an 8.3 handicap, had what he called a pretty good round of golf on Sunday.
The former leg spinner, who played 21 tests between 1955 and 1972, managed to score a 71 at the Alexandra Golf Club to notch up the rare feat of scoring under his age.
Par on the course was 72.
"I didn`t do anything different. It was just a combination of things, really. The weather was great - not too much wind, the course is in good condition and it just happened," he said.
The round included a double bogey on a par 3, a bogey and four birdies.
He added it was not the best round he had had, as he had gone sub-par in his younger days.
Mr Alabaster was playing with his wife, Shirley, on club closing day and they managed to win the competition - so the freezer has an additional couple of chickens to store.
Brother Gren (68), also a former New Zealand cricketer, and an Alexandra club golfer, who plays off a handicap of 6.8, hit an 81 on Sunday.


This photograph and article appeared in the Otago Daily Times earlier this year. It is with thanks to them that it is reprinted here.
James Chaloner (Jack) Alabaster, is a member of Branch IIC. He is the gt grandson of Reverend Charles Alabaster who emigrated to New Zealand in 1859 and was one of the early movers in primary education there before his early death in 1865. ( Alabaster Chronicle Number Three, pp 3-6. A New Zealand Connection, by Margaret Francis ).
There is a memorial plaque to Charles in St John's Cathedral, Christchurch.