Elizabeth SLADDEN (née POTTER) (1850-1914)
Elizabeth Sladden (1850-1914), née Potter (known as Lizzie or Aunt Lizzie, not to be confused with Aunt Lizzie of Eastbourne), was the widow of Julius Sladden’s eldest brother, George (1840-1909).
Elizabeth Potter was born at Shepherdswell (or Siberstwold as it is sometimes called), the sixth of seven children of Robert Potter, a farmer, and his wife, Emma. She was baptised in the village church on 22nd April 1850 and grew up at Place House, Butter-Street Farm. Robert died in 1862 and Lizzie and her widowed mother and siblings moved to 5 Brockley Villas, Brockley Road, Greenwich.
On 7th August 1878 at St John’s Church, Deptford, Kent, Lizzie married George Coleman Sladden, a master mariner. George was the elder brother of Francis Nixon Sladden who had married Lizzie’s elder sister, Edith, in 1873. George was then living at 9 Warwick Road, Upper Clapton.
After marriage, Lizzie and George moved to Scotland where George worked as a Marine Superintendent. The 1881, 1891 and 1901 census returns for Scotland reveal that they lived at Walworth Terrace, 78 Kent Road, Barony, Lanarkshire.
On retirement, the Sladdens returned to Kent in May 1904 where they settled at Petone, Upper Deal, Kent. Petone was a reference to Petone in New Zealand, a suburb of Lower Hutt, Wellington, where George’s brother, Dilnot, lived. The name, Petone, from the Maori Pito-one, means "end of the sand beach" – perhaps not the most appropriate name for a house in Deal which has a pebble beach.
On 17th December 1904, George and Lizzie, together with their siblings, Francis and Edith Sladden, set sale from New South Wales, Australia, bound for Wellington, New Zealand. After spending a few months there, they set sale from New South Wales on 15th April 1905 bound for London.
George died at Deal in 1909. Lizzie remained at Petone and is listed in the 1911 census as living there with one servant.
Letters from New Zealand relatives reveal that Lizzie was visiting New Zealand in early 1914; it is probable that, with George, she had paid a number of visits to the country. This was to be her last big trip as an operation in September 1914 revealed that she did not have long to live. She died at Deal on 25th November 1914 and was buried alongside her husband at Ash three days later.