A life cut short – Ann Groves

Ann GROVES, my 3 x Great Grandmother, the daughter of John GROVES (1794-1863) and Jane Humpres TOMKINS (1793?-1851), was baptised on 28 July 1828 in Evershot. She appeared in the 1841 Census living on the Common in Evershot aged 12, the 1851 Census, shows her still with her parents and siblings in Evershot now aged 22, but with no occupation shown.

She married Charles MULLINS on 26 May 1851 in Evershot and their son Henry Charles was born on the 26th April 1853.  She died of Smallpox on 10 September 1854 according to her death certificate, which was notified by John Groves, most likely either her father or brother. The parish records of St Osmonds show she was buried the same day in the church she had been baptised and married in aged just 26.

She left behind her husband Charles and her 18 month old son Henry Charles.  Charles died just two years later leaving Henry to be brought up by his Grandfather and Uncle.

The burial register for St Osmond’s, suggests the Smallpox outbreak carried away several more of Evershot’s residents as from the end of the August to the beginning of October there were 8 deaths. In 1855 there were just 5 all year.

Burials in Evershot Church August 27th 1854 – 12 October 1854

Forename Surname Place Date Age
James English Evershot 27-Aug 27 years
Philip Harris Evershot 05-Sep 20 years
Ann Mullins Evershot 10-Sep 26 years
Robert Pulman Evershot 12-Sep 43 years
William Trenchard Evershot 19-Sep 64 years
Richard Pucket Evershot 24-Sep 7 years
William Thomas Evershot 10-Oct 7 months
Henry Samuel Evershot 12-Oct 9 months



Smallpox vacination had become mandatory in 1852 in the UK,  but it was not always done, as can be seen from the ten’s of thousands killed in the London outbreak of 1870’s.1 Evershot was a poor parish in the 1850’s, not the prosperous and upmarket village it is today, so in a poor population, it’s not really surprising so few were protected from the disease.

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