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Edward Henry SIMPSON (1838-1922)

Known As
Ted; "the old man"
Biographical Details

Edward Henry Simpson (1838-1922), known as Ted, was the husband of Eugénie Sladden’s niece, Mary, and son-in-law of her sister, Mary Anna Robinson.

Ted was born in London on 20th April 1838, the younger of two sons of William Butler Simpson.  Ted’s father had founded the decorating firm of W B Simpson in 1833; his innovative designs, particularly in wallpapers, earned him a gold medal from The Society of Arts in 1849 and a bronze medal from the International Exhibition of Decorators in 1851.  In 1852, Ted and his older brother were apprenticed to the firm and were made partners in 1860; the firm was now called W B Simpson & Sons.  They traded from 456 West Strand, opposite the Grand Hotel, but in 1868 moved to premises built by the sons at 100 St Martins Lane. The whole of the upper floors of 100 St Martins Lane was used as tile painting studio and for Mosaic and Ecclesiastical “Opus Sectile” panels and stained glass.

Ted married firstly Kate Roberts, by whom he had six children:  Edward Graham (1869), Frederick Coleridge (1870-1964), Margaret Lilian (1871), Cecil Butler (1872-1955), Miles Godwin (1874-1957) and George Thornton (1875-1958).  The family home in 1871 was 87 Harcourt Terrace, Kensington.  By 1891, the Simpsons were living at 6 Pembroke Villas, The Green, Richmond.

Ted Simpson retired in 1894, handing over the business to his two eldest sons who set about reorganising the company to meet the demands of large scale plain tiling required for the many new operating theatres, toilets and clinics throughout the country. They also had the largest contract ever undertaken by a single tile company at the time, the London Underground.

Ted and Kate retired to Devon which was Kate’s home county and settled in Budleigh Salterton.  At the time of the 1911 census, Mary Robinson, whom Ted and Kate had probably got to know when they lived in Richmond, was visiting Ted’s home at Highfield, Budleigh Salterton, Devon.  Kate was a patient at Home Hospital, Exeter, and died there on 27th May 1911.

On 3rd May 1913 at Holy Trinity Church, Exmouth, Devon, Ted married Mary Robinson who was 33 years his junior.  Ted and Mary continued to live at Highfield and had almost nine years of married life together, Ted dying on 29th April 1922, aged 84.  Ted died at Highfield on 29th April 1922, aged 84.  His widow, Mary, was one of the executors, as were two of his sons, Edward and Frederick, and Charles Tanner Kingdon Roberts, an Exeter solicitor.  Ted left effects of £21,058 4s 8d.

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