Kezia Millington and the Portugese Baron (John Stott Howorth)

John Stott Howorth

One of the Millingtons that has proved elusive in the 1911 census is a Kezia Millington living at 87 Crawford Avenue, Toxteth Park, Lancashire (RG14/PN22288) as Housekeeper to George Anderson, a surveyor. She is described as 59, a widow and born in Brampton, Derbyshire. I have tried to find more about this lady before without success but I thought I would have another go.

I searched my database for individuals called Kezia(h) who married a Millington – or at least that’s what I meant to do. I accidentally searched for marriages involving a Kezia(h) Millington. I noticed the marriage by licence of Kezia Millington to John Stott Howorth, 16th July 1869 at Rowsley in Derbyshire, close to Brampton. John Stott Howorth is described as a Merchant from Rochdale and a bachelor of full age. Both witnesses were from Kezia’s family, her sister Judith, and John who I presume to be her father.

The name “John Stott” made me recall another mysterious entry – the marriage of John Stott Millington in Preshute, Wiltshire in 1894 to Edith Annie Kirby. He is a Civil Engineer and described as the son of John Stott Millington, deceased. The repeated presence of “John Stott” could not, I feel, be a coincidence.

Previous investigations had linked the John Stott Millington who married in Wiltshire to census entries in Southampton in 1881 (RG11/1210/122/17) and Ormskirk in 1891 (RG12/3038/53/6). In both instances he is living with his mother “Kate” who is listed as being from Barlow or Brampton both in Derbyshire.

But where was the father and where were the whole family in 1871? Eventually I found Kezia Howorth and her son John S M Howorth (John Stott Millington Howorth?), aged 1, are in Baslow, Derbyshire (RG10/3626/26/17), but still no John Stott Howorth senior. There is also a birth registration of a John Millington in Bakewell Registration District in 1869. I have ordered this certificate to see if it is indeed Kezia’s child.

John Stott Howorth was born in Rochdale and baptised as a Wesleyan Methodist in 1829, but was later baptised as an adult in the Church of England at Whitworth, Lancashire in 1850. On 5th August 1852 he married Alice Rawstron at Whitworth.

I also came across an Ancestry tree for John Stott Howorth which implied he died in Lisbon, Portugal in 1893 but with no evidence offered. Intrigued I did a Google search for John Stott Howorth and “Lisbon” and came across a Portugese Wikipedia entry. It confirmed that he died in Lisbon and also stated that he became Barão Howorth de Savacem in 1885. No mention of a Millington connection though.

However, a reference in Yorkshire Evening Post for 19th May 1894 (courtesy of FindMyPast’s British Newspaper Archive) strongly suggests a connection. The announcement of John Stott Millington’s marriage describes him as the only son of the late John Stott Millington, of Lisbon. Substitute Millington for Howorth and it fits with the Baron’s death the previous year.

Why did Kezia and her son revert back to the Millington name? The Wikipedia entry suggests after his marriage to Alice Rawstron he lived with a Portugese lady and fathered three children. It is not clear what became of Alice. John Stott Millington, his son by Kezia, became a Chartered Civil Engineer which suggests that someone was funding his education. Kezia after all was a housekeeper. May be she felt abandoned or had found out that the marriage was bigamous (if indeed it was).

So is the 1911 census entry that of Kezia Howorth (nee Millington)? I think so, but absolute proof is wanting and may always be so. As a footnote, a death of Kezia Millington is recorded in the West Derby Registration District in 1921, aged 78 and that of her son John Stott Millington in Chelsea in 1937, aged 67.

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