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Susan Elizabeth Barnett [b.2.8.5]

Susan Elizabeth Barnett was the fifth child of William Barnett & Ann Matthews born c1834 at Saunderton, Bucks.

In 1841 Susan was living at Saunderton Grange where her father was a farmer.

By 1851 only Susan & her older brother Benjamin were still living with their parents, other siblings having left home.  They were still living at the farm in Saunderton which extended to 220 acres.

Susan was still at home at Saunderton Grange in 1861, & she & brother Benjamin were listed as farmers like their father.

Susan’s mother died in 1870, & she & her widowed father were still at Saunderton Grange in 1871.  Susan’s younger brother William was with them at the time of the census.

After the death of their father in 1875, William & Susan continued to live at Saunderton Grange & in 1881 William was listed as a farmer & head of the household.  They had a general servant & 2 farm servants living with them.

In 1884 Susan founded the Tramps Mission in Cheltenham for the rescue of poor tramps.  Susan was horrified at the wretchedness of vagrants who took shelter in the lodging houses & casual wards of workhouses.  She & a growing band of co-workers visited these places & supplied  books & pamphlets & endeavoured to improve their way of life by bringing the Christian message to the tramps.  Susan’s work was much appreciated as revealed by a large number of letters of thanks from union officials & guardians & those who had been helped.  By 1896 the Tramps Mission was supplying 421 unions throughout England & Wales with literature. 

Susan could not be found in the 1891 census but in 1901 she was living with her widowed sister Frances Ann Jeanneret at 2 Eldon Villas,  Hales Rd, Cheltenham.  Susan was described as secretary of the Tramps’ Mission. 

Susan died at her home at 10 Albert Place, Cheltenham on January 26th, 1905.  Probate of her estate was granted to her ‘niece’, Eva May Barnett  & Beatrice Jane Matthews, spinsters.  Her effects were £207.0s.1d.  In an obituary written by General Morton (President of the Tramps Mission) it was mentioned that Susan had suffered from ill health throughout her life but had carried on her good works regardless.  Susan’s ‘niece’ Eva May Barnett [b.] had became involved with the Tramps Mission by the time of Susan’s death & appeared in minutes of the Mission as Treasurer.



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