Maud(e) Beatrice Magee
The lovely Maude started me on the whole family history thing. She was my grandmother but I never knew her, or knew anything about her, not even her name, other than that she died young of TB. She has been a woman of mystery and constant surprise.
There was a photograph in my parents’ possession of a rather beautiful lady, in profile, date ca 1920 or maybe a little earlier. Did she have her head resting on her hand? Did she have a hat like the one above, or a scarf wrapped around her head, as was sometimes done in those days? I can’t quite remember. In my head I have my father telling me that this was his mother, and that she was beautiful - or have I made that up? The photograph has disappeared - was it one of the things my mother burnt when my father died? Did it ever exist anywhere other than in my imagination - my siblings cannot remember it. Gone too is any chance to find out anything about her from my father. All I remember him saying was that she died young, indeed both his parents did, from TB. So, I assumed really young, and that they died within a short space of time of each other. But not so. She was young, but not that young, when she died - 41 - and my father would have been 18, not a child as I had somehow imagined, because I also have it in my head that he told us he was brought up by his aunts - two old ladies we visited with some trepidation in their Victorian home in Dulwich. And then, it seems, as we investigated their lives, that he went to sea for the first time, literally almost as soon as she was dead.
And then there is the notion that she was a music hall artiste? Where did that come from? I do find that it is firmly in my head but have no idea how it got there.
There was lots to find out - and indeed, there still is. Now that I see the meanings of her two names I begin to speculate that they might have been strangely apposite - strength and strife, bringer of joy - it seems she might have been all of these things. To read her story click on the sections below or to read about her husband, click on the link below.
Maude Beatrice Magee
b 1 October 1884, Forest Hill
m Gerald Osmond Hubert Mollett 12 January 1904 Camberwell
d 19 April 1925 Southend-on-Sea
Florence Elsie 1904-1928
Hubert Stanley 1906-1978
Roland Harold 1911-?
Census for 1891, 1901, 1911
Birth certificates of all the children
From the same root as Matilda which is Old German meaning strength and strife or might and battle, but associated with the Celtic Maeve and the French Molde. Popularised by Tennyson’s poem and the song, Come into the garden Maud, and very common at the time.
Latin, meaning ‘bringer of joy’. The English Princess Beatrice was born the same year as Maud(e). Beatrice is Dante’s ideal love.
Beatrix, Beatriz, Bettrys
Bea, Bee, Beaty, Beet, Trix, Trixy, Beetroot