The Early Wrights – Part 4

Robert (October 20, 1866-October 9, 1948)
Robert had two illegitimate children by a girl named Jeanette Manning. Jeanette’s parents were drowned when travelling home in their punt down the River Blackwater from Maldon Hythe to Heybridge Basin in 1877. Jeanette and her older sister Julia were sent to the Halstead Industrial School for Girls where they received a religious and moral education as well as industrial training.
The Prince Albert on the corner of Weedington  Road and Marsden Stree
The Prince Albert on the corner of Weedington
Road and Marsden Street
Their first child, a girl, died aged 10 months, but the second, a boy named Robert Wright Manning survived. Although Robert had promised to marry Jeanette this didn’t happen and he left Maldon to live in London.
Robert later married Alice Sarah Jacobs from Bethnal Green in 1891, and they had nine children, of whom four survived infancy: Mary Isabella, Grace Evaline, Robert James, and Harold. The children were all born in north London, excepting Robert Jr, who was born in Southend on Sea.

At one time Robert ran a public house in north London, at the corner of Weedington Road and Marsden Street, what is now Talacre Road and Marsden St.  (In September 2000 on a trip to the London Metropolitan Archives we discovered that Robert had been the licensee of the “Prince Albert” for only one year – from 14th April 1897 to April 20 1898. The owner of the premises was The Camden Brewery Co. of Hawley Crescent. ) The building was destroyed in the blitz.

The family went to the US on the S.S. Philadelphia in the autumn of 1902, and it seems that William Charles had lined up a job with Singer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for Robert. They all lived out their lives in Pittsburgh. He sold life insurance door to door and bought a 78 acre farm in Saxonburg, PA where he lived for the rest of his life. Robert became a US citizen on December 29 1922.

Alice WrightAlice Isabel Wright (June 11, 1869 – Dec 15, 1944)
Alice married Robert James Nisbet, a civil engineer at All Saints Church, parish of St. Peters in Maldon on 19 August 1897. Both were 28 at the time, and stepsister Grace Hayes was a witness. At some point they lived in Cairo. Alice and Robert had three children, Robert Hayes Nisbet, Grace Murrell Nisbet and Thomas Nisbet. Daughter Grace Murrell Nisbet (March 26, 1900 – Jun 3, 1986) became a controversial television producer as detailed in the following extract from the “Dictionary of National Biographies”
Grace Murrell Nisbet was born 26 March 1900 in Arisaig, Inverness, the second child and only daughter of Robert James Nisbet and Alice Isabel Wright. Her father was a civil engineer who worked in Egypt for a time and her first school was the Convent of Notre Dame de Sion in Alexandria.
 
The family returned to England in 1916 and Grace was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College. From there she went to Bristol University where she obtained a 1st class honours degree in history in 1921. She went on to Somerville College, Oxford where she earned 2nd class degrees in philosophy, politics and economics.
 
For the next three years she taught history at Brighton and Hove School. She married Frank Wyndham Goldie, a handsome film actor, in 1928 and they lived in Liverpool for six years, where Grace wrote the book ” Liverpool Repertory Theatre 1911-1934″.
 
In 1934 they moved to London and for the next seven years she wrote radio criticism for “The Listener”.
 
From 1942 until 1944 she worked for the Board of Trade and then in 1944 she joined the BBC. In 1948 as a young radio producer, Grace Wyndham Goldie was offered a post in the television service; at the time she was working for the prestigious and highbrow Third Programme. Despite discouragement from two senior radio executives, it was Gerald Cock who encouraged her to defect to television. Goldie was to become the single most important personality in the development of British current affairs television, overseeing the development of programmes such as Panorama and Tonight–precisely the kind of programmes that Cock had envisaged as the sine qua non of television programming.
 
She was awarded the OBE in 1958.
Grace died in her London flat on 3 June 1986
William Charles Murrell WrightWilliam Charles (April 1, 1871 – June 11 1929)
William Charles moved to the US before Robert. He lived at 884 Van Buren Street, Brooklyn, NY in 1915, and later at 2372 Jamaica Avenue, Richmond Hill, Queens. Subsequently he moved to Long Island, NY. He married Marcella Dandurand and had four children Harold, Charles, Marcella, and Grace.
The 1900 Federal census for Pittsburgh shows William Charles Wright, listed as a merchant, living at 4601 Butler Street . He was born in April 1871, age 29 and had been married for 6 years to Marcella E Wright. She was born in New York in July 1877 and was aged 22 at the census. Her mother was born in New York as well. They had at the time two children – Charles O. Wright, born February 1896 and Grace I. Wright born August 1897. Both children were born in New York.
William also confirmed that he was an American citizen in 1900 and that the year of emigration was 1891.
The following information was found from the 1920 census for New York:-
William Charles was living at 1145 Jamaica Avenue with his family. He was born in England, aged 47 and migrated to the US in 1893. (1900 census said 1891). He became a naturalised citizen in 1898 and worked as a salesman for a sewing machine company. His wife was Marcella E Wright aged 42, born in New York. Her father was born in Canada (mother tongue French) and her mother was born in Charleston (mother tongue English). Children living at home were Grace I Wright aged 22, born in New York and working as a stenographer in an export house, Harold E Wright aged 18, born in Pennsylvania and working as a clerk in a steel company and Marcella C Wright aged 12, born in Pennsylvania.
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