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Bedford BROWN CONSTABLE (1869-1930)

Known As
Uncle Bedford
Biographical Details

Bedford Brown Constable (1869-1930) was the uncle of Mela Brown Constable (the fiancée of Cyril Sladden).

Bedford Brown Constable was born in 1869 at Bedford, the tenth of 12 children of Charles Brown Constable by his second wife, Mary Christina (née Mackenzie).  His father was a retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the Indian Army.

Following his father’s death in 1887 he and his other siblings who were the youngest children in the family, moved with their mother to London.  At the time of the 1891 census, Bedford and his youngest sister, Clemmie, were living with their mother at 22 Bolingbroke Road, Hammersmith.  Bedford was working as a solicitor’s clerk.

On 29th April 1892 at Chelsea Register Office, Bedford married Florence Eveline Hipkins Turner.  They had two daughters:  Dorothy Bedford (1893-1967), known as Dora, and Clementina Hope (1894-1967), known as Hope.  At the time of Dora’s baptism he was a law student and lived at 14 Westmorland Road.  At the time of Hope’s baptism in 1895 he was a tobacconist and lived at 8 High Street, St John’s Wood.

However, there were problems with the marriage and Bedford filed for divorce on 26th October 1901 on the grounds of Florence’s adultery with William Ainsworth.  In his petition, he said that his wife had left him in March 1896, and was now living with Ainsworth at Watford; a decree nisi was granted on 17th January and a final decree on 4th August 1902.  At the time of the 1901 census, Florence and William were living together as man and wife at Weymouth Street, Watford, together with their three-year-old son, William.

The girls went to live with their grandmother, Mary Brown Constable.  After Mary died in 1906, their aunt, Clementina Stirling Brown Constable, was their guardian.

It seems that Bedford was in the habit of betting, which may have been a contributory factor in the marriage break-up.  An article in the London Daily Telegraph & Courier of 13th October 1898 reveals that Bedford was one of 33 men arrested in Shaftesbury Avenue for frequenting a gaming house; he was described as having no occupation.

In 1911, Bedford was living with his “wife”, Ella, an actress, though it is not thought that they ever married.  They lived at 157 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush; his occupation was described as “private means”.  Bedford married Catherine Ellison Attwood in 1918 in Hammersmith; he remained living at 157 Uxbridge Road.

Catherine died on 1st December 1926 in Hammersmith Hospital.  Bedford died intestate in 1930.

Letters mentioning this person: