Fred, Reg and Eric Spencer were the sons of Herbert Everard Spencer, founder of the family bakery business. Some years back the History Society was given access to Fred's photo collection and many of these photos are already in the galleries on this site. Throughout the nineteenth century Spencer was one of the most common surnames in Hathern's census records. By  the 1911 census there were no less than seven Spencer families and this of course does not include the female line. However we were also privileged to have access to another set of photos with more Spencer pictures - this belonged to Constance Mary Roughton nee Spencer. Mary and husband James (Jim) Roughton lived in Golden Square.

Untangling the family tree has been no mean task but the following describes the key connections which have helped to identify some of the people in these collections albeit belatedly. Nearly all of the photos in the Spencer and Roughton collections have now been added to our gallery.

The start of it all for most of these Spencers was when John Spencer (1817 - 1891) from Whitwick married Elvina Bird (1819 -1847) from Hathern, the daughter of George Bird and Mary Johnson  in 1837. The couple can be seen in the 1841 census with the first two of their four children (no address specified). Sadly Elvina died of 'consumption' (turberculosis) in early 1847. TB was a major killer in the C19th - Elvina was one of nine Hathern people who died of the disease within two years. Widower John re-married in 1849 to Sarah Hart (1820 - 1895) there being no further children from this union. In 1851 the couple lived in Church Street and in 1861 - 1881 in Golden Square where Sarah continued to live after John's death. 

It is their second child John Spencer (1841 - 1919) whose descendants populate the two collections described above. In 1860 in Loughborough John married Sarah  Price (1841 - 1913) from Barlestone and they had five children all raised in Golden Square. Both John and Sarah were from framework knitting families - indeed Sarah was already a 'winder in silk' at the age of ten. Their first three children were Walter, Herbert and Edwin. 

Walter Spencer (1867 -1951)

H379Walter married Charlotte Elizabeth Randon (1867 - 1955) the daughter of Charles Randon and Sarah Watts in 1888 and they brought up fifteen  children. The Randons were a long-established Hathern family and Charles himself was the sixth child in a family of eight. In 1891 Walter and Charlotte lived on The Green and were starting their family. Ten years later they had moved to Golden Square possibly to their late parents' house. By 1911 they had fifteen children of which thirteen were still at home, possibly at that time the largest family in Hathern. Sadly, one of their children Frederick Robert Spencer born in 1898 died in 1918 in the Great War and his story is one of those featured in our WW1 exhibition. From this large family some people will maybe recall David Albert Spencer (Dave), who married Vina Hart, and Sidney Edward Arthur Spencer (Sid). The 1939 register showed that Walter and Charlotte had moved to Tanners Lane and the only children still at home were Nora (who married Alfred W. Dakin in 1941) and the just-married David Spencer and Vina. Walter was still recorded on the Hathern Street directory of 1952 but most likely Walter Spencer had died the previous year (the death of a Walter Spencer born abt. 1867 is recorded in Loughborough in Jan. 1951). The children of Walter and Charlotte were:

  • Vernon Harcourt Spencer (1888 – 1974). Married Nellie Fuller in 1908. Tramcar finisher (wood) in 1911 census. Daughter Marjorie Spencer born 1909 – family in Wide St. in 1911.
  • Sarah Spencer (1890-). Factory hand hosiery. In 1911 Living with Grandmother Sarah Randon b. 1841 on The Green
  • Carrie Elizabeth Spencer (1892-). In 1911 census no occupation shown.
  • Nellie Spencer (1894- 1987). Married Thomas Harold Groves from Hathern in 1921. Son Stanley Frederick Robert Groves (1922 -2014).
  • Ethel May Spencer (1896 - 1984). Married John H. Green in 1921. Daughter Constance Muriel Green (1921 – 1982).
  • Frederick Robert Spencer (1898 - 1918). WW1 casualty – see above.
  • Agnes Gertrude Grace Spencer (1900 – 1988). Married Robert Ernest Wareham in 1921. 2 Children.
  • Maurice Malcolm Victor Spencer (1901 - 1992).
  • Norah Kathleen Spencer (1903). In 1939 register – see above.
  • Richard Peter Spencer (1905-)
  • John Charles Spencer (1903-)
  • Walter Edmund Spencer (1906-)
  • David Albert Spencer (1908-)
  • Constance Muriel Spencer (1910-)
  • Sidney Edward Arthur Spencer (1910-). In 1939 living at 148 Loughborough Road (Agricultural Joiner) with Emily M. born 1911 (silk hosiery for Government).

Herbert Spencer (1867 -1933)

H17Herbert married Mary Ann Tollington from Hathern in 1889 and they had five children the fourth being Herbert Everard Spencer (1894 - 1966) from Sileby. After getting married Herbert senior and Mary first lived in the Tanyard (1891 census) then on The Green in 1901 and back to Tanners Lane in 1911. It seems the family homes were quite interchageable ! Son Herbert Everard ('Ev') had been an apprentice baker at the Co-op (1911 census) and then worked at Skinners Bakery in Loughborough. In 1915 Ev married Ethel Grace Roper (1896 -1979 - see below). The family bakery business was started in 1953 and operated to the rear of Kaipoi cottages on the A6 road. The bakery closed in 2016. Herbert Everard and Ethel Grace had three children Reg., Charles and Fred :-

  • Reginald George Spencer (1915 – 2006) married Constance Gwendolyn Smalley in Shepshed in 1946. Constance was from Shepshed the, daughter of John Smalley and Catherine Grimley. In the 1939 Register Reginald is an Engineering Fitter – and Constance still with her parents. is a Hand Knitter. Their children Yvonne and Ian took over control of the business in 1992.
  • Charles Eric Spencer (1923 – 2015) married Nellie Mattison (1923 – 2019) in 1945. Pic of Nellie is in personal gallery and also in events gallery with other residents of The Green in the 1940s.
  • Frederick Everard Spencer (1929 -1914) married Lilian(Lily) Smith (1932 – 2018).

Edwin Spencer (1870 - 1953)

Spencer boysEdwin married Rose Ann Bradley in 1892. The 1901 census shows them in Tanners Lane with the first four of their 5 children, Edwin a ‘surgeon bandage maker working from home’. Rose was daughter of William Bradley from Shepshed and Ann Bennett from Loughborough. In 1911 the family was in ‘The Dovecote’. The children of Edwin and Rose were:-

  • Percy Edwin Spencer (1894 - 1958). Percy was a fitter (needles) and then a bell fitter and married Florence Eliza Mitchell from Narrow Lane (parents Tom Mitchell and Mary Ann Fuller both from Hathern) and they had six children – Rose Ann (1916 – 1985), Minnie Edie Spencer (1918 - 1987), Agnes Violet (1919 – 1979), Laurence Cyril Spencer known as Sid (1921 - 2017), Constance Mary Spencer (1926 – 2016), Percy (Pip) Spencer (1928 – 2014), John Horace Spencer (1931 -1974). The family was raised in Gladstone Street.
  • Horace Francis Herbert Spencer (1896 – 1978) was born in Sileby though was in Hathern in 1901. In 1911 he was an errand boy. He married Edith.
  • Cyril Spencer (1898 – 1911) was born in Sileby though was in Hathern in 1901. Sadly Cyril drowned when a child.
  • Edwin Spencer (1900 -) was born in Sileby though was in Hathern in 1901. He married Martha Kelham and had 3 children. In 1939 Edwin and Martha lived at 102 Loughborough Road with Edwin’s father, now a widower (Needle Caster retired).
  • John H. (‘Jack Pony’) Spencer (1908 -) was born in Hathern and married Hilda Dewsbury. Their children were John and Hilda. In 1939 John an engineer's fitter lived with Hilda and children on Green Hill.

For the record …. the following other Spencers are in census records, possibly unconnected to above.

  • John b. 1806 in Gotham husband of Ann b. 1811 from Shalford are in census in 1841 1851 (Cross to Dovecote), 1861 (Cross), 1871. John a farm labouer. Then John boarder with Carringtons in Wide St. in 1881. Son George born 1850.
  • Romagh b 1826 a visitor in 1841
  • James b. 1826 and Deborah b. 1834 with 2 children James b. 1836 and Mary b. 1838, James b. 1836 and Mary b. 1838. In 1841 census.
  • Frederick b. 1825 from Anstey and Mary b. 1830 both FWK in Dovecote to Derby Road in 1851 and in Wide St. (same thing?) in 1861. Children Joseph 1848 and Elizabeth 1849. Couple also in Hathern in 1871, 1881 (Wide St.) Mary a widow FWK in Wide St. in 1891. and General Dealer in Sweets in 1901.
  • Benjamin b. 1825 SFK from Wigston Magna and Elizabeth b. 1829 also SFK on Green 1861 with children Maria b. 1849, Mary b. 1852, Walter b. 1856 and Henry b. 1860.
  • Thomas b. 1854 an ‘Assistant in Coal Trade’ from Shepshed. Stopping in house of John Rossill (‘Coal Trader’) and Sarah Ann Rossill (Thomas’s sister, born 1849).
  • Clara b. 1870 a cook/servant at The Anchor.
  • Harry H. b. 1889 and Evelyn b. 1887In 1911 on Green Hill (Harry an Engine Fitter).
  • G. Arthur Spencer b. 1899 with wife Florence E. b. 1901. Arthur a Stoneware Supervisor (Stoneware).

Doubtless there may be others down the female line (so far only checked for surname ‘Spencer’).

spencers ropers and moodys at kaiapoiNote 1. Ethel Grace Roper the wife of Herbert Everard Spencer was the daughter of Fred Roper (1866 – 1955) and Mary Ann Moody (1869 -1955). In the 1939 Register you can see Ropers, Moodys and Spencers living next door to each other in what were then the last houses on the left on the A6 (Loughborough Road, site of Kaiapoi cottages). Fred’s parents were John Roper (1845 – 1914) and Esther Fisher. Mary’s parents were Hatherner Charles Moody (1837 - 1924 ) and Mary Bowley (1834 – 1902). It was Charles’s brothers – William Moody and John Moody who emigrated to New Zealand in the mid C19th whose adventures and misadventures are chronicled in the article on Kaiapoi cottages.


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