Elizabeth (Mabe) Cadogan

Elizabeth Mabe was born on 22nd July 1844 in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. She came from a long line of butchers and regularly drove her pony and trap to Tenby Market to sell meat and produce. Her mother came from a family of textile workers and glove makers and the family was regarded as prosperous. Elizabeth employed a housekeeper and staff on her smallholding.

Elizabeth lived with her grandmother, Jane Mabe, before her marriage to Charles Cadogan, a stonemason, on 3rd September 1865. They later lived at Trogan house, Templeton, reportedly painted ‘Ox blood Pink’; moving in 1885 to Redcliff House. However, in spite of her relative prosperity, Elizabeth’s life was often challenging.

Elizabeth gave birth to eleven children; three of whom (Isaac, Owen and Edward) died in infancy and one daughter (Agnes) who tragically died when her dress caught fire. It is thought that while the housekeeper was hanging out the washing, Agnes intercepted her younger sibling who was crawling too close to the fireplace. However, in doing so, her own clothing set alight and she died from her burns. She was just six years old.

In 1909, Charles Cadogan suddenly died and Elizabeth was left a widow. The Pembrokeshire Herald & General Advertiser reported on 18th June 1909:

‘The sad affair occurred (at) about 10 o’ clock. Being told that their cattle had gone astray, Cadogan and his wife went to fetch them back. He proceeded in one direction & she in another…Mrs. Cadogan went in search of her husband and found him lying on the ground unconscious. He died shortly afterwards’.

In another account from June 1909, we find Elizabeth’s own description of the events. ‘The Welshman’ reports:

‘I called to him and could not see him. I went to look for him. I heard a groan and went to where the sound was and I found him on his face. He was not dead and spoke to me…Miss Griffiths came. She helped me to lift him up, when he died in my arms…’

In her husband’s will, Elizabeth Cadogan was left with ‘…all personal property…household furniture, books etc. Also horse, cows, trap and harness…’ However, by October 1909, The Pembroke county Guardian and Cardigan Reporter was advertising the ‘Clear out sale of stock, hay, etc., property of Mrs. Cadogan’. Elizabeth Cadogan died on 14th April 1916.

Categories: Agriculture

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