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Photos and information from Mike Smith, 2021
Charles Hewitt

Charles Hewitt was born in 1838, son of James and Elizabeth. He was baptised at St Mary's Church on 26th May 1841 with his older brothers Thomas and William, and their sister Harriett. James was a watch and clock maker, but his sons did not join him in the business, chosing to follow the shoe trade. William went to London, returning to Rushden in 1889, and later he built a fine factory in Rushden, and his son brought the cinema to Rushden.

page from bible

Hewitt Births recorded
inside the Family Bible

James Hewitt

March 30th 1834

Levi Hewitt

November 5th 1838

Elizer Hewitt

October 19th 1821

Harriott Hewitt

March 21st 1824

Thomas Hewitt

February 23rd 1827

Ann Hewitt

June 23rd 1829

William Francis Hewitt

August 10th 1832

Charles Hewitt

April 30th 1838

Charles worked as as a clicker, but after marrying Elizabeth Ann Steele in the Downham area of Norfolk in the summer of 1861, he decided to turn his attention to business, setting up as a bookseller and stationer at 35 High Street. By 1874 he had also taken over as Postmaster, from William William Packwood the parish clerk. The stationery business flourished and much of the local printing was done by Charles, including many posters advertising local events. In August 1901 Charles retired as postmaster.

With Elizabeth he had two daughters and a son Charles. Charles junior trained as a carpenter, but by 1891 he had joined the shoe trade and was described as a manufacturer (perhaps he was with his uncle William), Elizabeth joined her father in the post office, and later she took over the shop, at 35 High Street.
Sarah became a costumier, and with partner Elizabeth Course, moved to 41 High Street.

Family Portrait
Taken behind 35 High St in 1890. 

Seated right: Elizabeth Briggs Hewitt (2 Mar 1796 - 9 Oct 1894) wife of James Hewitt
and mother of the others.

Standing left: William Francis (10 Aug 1832 - 1 Sep 1913). Owner of Hewitt and Noble shoe and boot factory. Father of William Francis James Hewitt, the theatre owner.   

Standing right: Elizabeth Hewitt Smith (19 Oct 1821 - 1907) wife of John Smith
Charles was the youngest of her 7 children.

Seated left: Harriet Hewitt Rice (21 Mar 1824 - 3 Oct 1913). Married James Rice of Rushden in 1854. They had no children.  They lived opposite Newton Road School.

Seated centre: Charles Hewitt Sr
(30 Apr 1838 - 19 Apr 1911)

This picture was taken in the garden behind 35 High St in 1905, shortly before
Charles Hewitt Jr left to find work as a carpenter in Toronto Canada.  His wife and two younger children joined him when he became established in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1907.
Dorothy remained in Rushden with her grandparents and aunt.  
Photo by S Powell

Standing in the back:
Kate Bonner Elliott, Niece of Elizabeth Steele Hewitt; Charles Hewitt Jr

Seated adults - left to right:
Sarah "Lottie" Hewitt, daughter of Charles Sr and Elizabeth; Charles Hewitt Sr; Elizabeth Steele Hewitt, the wife of Charles Sr; Eliza "May" Feline Hewitt, the wife of Charles Jr and the mother of the 3 children; Elizabeth "Bessie" Hewitt, daughter of Charles Sr and Elizabeth.

Children l to r: Constance "Betty" Hewitt, my grandmother; Dorothy Hewitt; Donald Hewitt

Note: Elizabeth "Bessie" Hewitt continued her father's business as a stationer, bookseller, and printer at 35 High St.

Sarah "Lottie" Hewitt co-owned Course & Hewitt, with Elizabeth Course, of Bedford. Both were costumiers.

In 1901 they were living at 22 Church Street, with one of their workers boarding with them, and one servant girl.

Their drapery and dress shop at 41 High Street, began advertising in Kelly's Directory from 1903.

They employed up to 30 women.

Sarah "Lottie" Hewitt
Sarah "Lottie" Hewitt

In April 1911 Charles died, and he was buried on the 24th. Elizabeth died in January 1914, and was buried on the 22nd. Their daughter Sarah died in November 1914 and was buried on the 10th.

Rushden Cemetery has three Hewitt Graves next to each other in B Section, with inscriptions:

B 821/2

Elizabeth HEWITT 1837 - 1914 In sure and certain hope. Charles HEWITT 1838 - 1911

B 823/4

In loving memory of William Francis HEWITT died September 1st 1913 aged 81 years. Also Elizabeth HEWITT died December 29th 1913 aged 74 years. When the even was come Jesus said let us pass over unto the other side. So He giveth his beloved sleep. In loving memory of my dear husband William F J HEWITT who entered into rest 1st September 1938 aged 72 years. "As for God His way is perfect". Also Ellen Elizabeth HEWITT wife of the above who entered into rest 10th April 1946 aged 82 years. "At evening time it shall be light".

B 825

Sarah Harriet loved daughter of E & C HEWITT.

Elizabeth Hewitt took over the shop from her father, trading in fancy goods, stationery, and printing. In 1901 she opened a library, and published postcards. [but only one found.... so far?]

Rushden Echo, 1st March 1901

The Golden Century Circulating Library will open on Saturday, March 2nd. E. Hewitt, High-street, Rushden.

The Green and Church Parade c1910
Postcard published by E Hewitt c1910
The Green, Church Parade, Wheatsheaf Inn

a young Elizabeth Elizabeth in later life
Elizabeth Hewitt
and in later life
Later Elizabeth moved her shop to Newquay, Cornwall, where she died in 1926.

Graves and Chapel The Hewitt Graves
Hewitt Graves 824+823 with the Chapel behind
Five Hewitt Graves 825 - 824+823 - 822+821 with rails

more about the Hewitt Family

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