Rachel Duff 1878 - 1893

Parents: Robert James Duff and Phoebe Plumbridge
Siblings: Phoebe Sarah Anne, Robert James, James, Elizabeth, Mary, Ruth, Andrew, Rebecca, Esther, Catherine Carr, William Charles and Elizabeth


Twins Rebecca and Rachel were on born 16 th June 1878, assumed at Kingston-upon-Thames .

After her mother Phoebe's death in 1884, her father Robert James could not cope with nor support his family. The Union Workhouse Kingston did not accommodate children and placed paupers' children to other institutions, mostly to Cowley Oxford but lesser numbers also to Brentwood and Grays in Essex, and Margate and Ramsgate in Kent . The Duff children, Rebecca, Rachel, Esther, William, Catherine and Elizabeth were sent to the Cowley Industrial School, an austere institution run on strict and harsh disciplinary lines on the outskirts of Oxford . The site is now the BMW factory. However, the children benefited from a basic education of the four "R"s - r eading, w r iting, a r ithmetic and r eligion. It is believed that this stood them in good stead when it came to employment. Upon leaving Cowley Industrial School they were found employment in the Kingston area by the "Guardians".

Rachel died on 6 th February 1893 aged 15 of pleurisy, epilepsy and bedsores in the Union Workhouse, Kingston . Her father Robert James was present at the time.


This page was last updated on 17th October 2010.