Thursday, November 6, 2014

2.2.2. Henrietta Cassels (c1855-1893)

Henrietta Cassels was the second child of Matthew and Elizabeth (Muir) Cassels. She was born about 1855 at East Kilbride, Lanarkshire. In 1861 she was living with her parents and siblings in East Kilbride. Her mother died two years later and her father remarried in 1870. The next year she was living at 49 Stonefield Road in Blantyre parish with her father, stepmother, younger sister, and half sister.  On 8 October 1874 she married William Brodie, 25, a coal miner, after banns and according to the forms of the Free Church of Scotland.  His parents were William Brodie, a shepherd, and Mary (Turnbull) Brodie. 

Henrietta and William moved to Dixon’s Rows sometime before 1881 and William Brodie worked as a coal miner for William Dixon Ltd. Dixon’s Rows were constructed in 1877 and operated by William Dixon Ltd., a company, which also owned several coalmines in the area. It was an extensive housing complex off Stonefield Road. The apartments were one or two rooms and each room had at least one window. Entire families lived together in a unit and a typical family of the time often included 6 or more children.

Dixon's Rows; image courtesy of Auld Blantyre

The housing at Dixon’s Rows did not include indoor plumbing. Families used community washhouses to bathe, which were shared by every 4 two-room units and every 8 one-room units. And they had to bring their own water to the washhouse. Water closets, or toilets, were also shared; there was one toilet for every 3 two-room units, one for every 5 one-room units. Sometimes 18 or more people shared an outhouse.

While the miners were toiling deep underground, their wives were working hard, too. There were no sinks in the houses at Dixon’s Rows so the women had to go to standpipes, which had been installed at long intervals along the rows. After the cleaning, cooking and washing, was done, the dirty water had to be taken to an open gutter that ran along the front of each row. Dixon’s Rows included no garden grounds for growing fresh vegetables or coal cellars in which to store fuel for heating. The miners paid for trash removal, called scavenging at the time.

In 1891 William and Henrietta were living at 9 Calder Street in Dixon’s Rows. Two years later, Henrietta died of phthisis pulmonalis, from which she had suffered for three months. She was 38 years old and her youngest daughter was 18 months old.

Children of William and Henrietta (Cassels) Brodie:
  • Elizabeth Muir Brodie born 29 November 1874; died 14 June 1910; married James Lively on 31 December 1891
  • Mary Brodie born 17 September 1876; died 22 February 1944; married John McKillop on 8 April 1898
  • James Brodie born 15 December 1879; died 6 January 1882
  • Martha Brodie born 8 September 1881; death unknown; married James Moore on 29 March 1901; immigrated to Canada on 7 September 1912
  • William Brodie born 2 April 1884; died 17 April 1903
  • Henrietta Cassels Brodie born 17 July 1892; died 18 November 1965; married 1) Nathaniel Thomson on 11 October 1913 and 2) Thomas Torrance on 6 January 1927
1861 Scotland Census, 07/04/1861 Cassels, George (Census 1861 643/00 003/00 004)
1861 Scotland Census, Parish: East Kilbride; ED: 3; Page: 4; Line: 4; Roll: CSSCT1861_95
1871 Scotland Census, 02/04/1871 Cassels, Henrietta (Census 624/00 005/00 009)
1871 Scotland Census, Parish: Blantyre; ED: 5; Page: 9; Line: 2; Roll: CSSCT1871_118
1881 Scotland Census, 03/04/1881 Brodie, William (Census 624/00 008/00 005
1881 Scotland Census, Parish: Blantyre; ED: 8; Page: 5; Line: 13; Roll: CSSCT1881_202
1891 Scotland Census 05/04/1891 Brodie, William (Census 1891 624/00 005/00 033)
1891 Scotland Census, Parish: Blantyre; ED: 5; Page: 33; Line: 24; Roll: CSSCT1891_223
Blan'an'tir's Ain Website,
Scotland, Select Marriages, 1561-1910, William Brodie and Henrietta Cassels
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1874 Brodie, William - Cassels Henrietta (Statutory Marriages 624/00 0038)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1893 Brodie, Henrietta (Statutory Deaths 624/00 0216)
Scottish Mining Website,

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