Reverend Edward James Scarlett (1847-1913)

The whole of Thurlestone Road is in the parish of St Peter Streatham, whose church occupies an imposing position nearby in Leigham Court Road. The clergy in the picture, which was published in St Peter’s parish magazine in December 1904, are understood to be (left to right) Rev E J Scarlett, Rev F J Babcock and Rev Edward Jarvis, who was then the vicar.

Edward James Scarlett had a varied, if unspectacular, career. He was born at Manchester, the son of John and Helen Scarlett. John worked for the Customs as a clerk and later a collector. The family was living at Rusholme in 1851 and had moved to Tidenham, Gloucestershire by 1861. The census return for each of those years includes Edward as the only child at home, along with his parents and one house servant.

In 1871, Edward was one of the household of his widowed aunt Ann Maria Scarlett at Bridgnorth and described as a student of theology. A press report of his ordination and appointment as curate of Temple Balsall in 1872 states that he had studied at Queen’s College, Birmingham. In the following year, Edward married Leonora Scarlett at Edgbaston parish church. Whether the couple were already related in some way is not clear. The fathers of both bride and groom were described in the marriage register as gentlemen.

In due course, Edward and Leonora raised a total of nine children, all of whom survived infancy. The growing family were living at Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire in 1881. Ten years later, they were to be found at Stone, Kent. They had moved to 36 Wandsworth Common West Side in time for the 1901 enumeration.

He was appointed as senior assistant priest at St Peter’s in 1904 and lived at 69 Thornlaw Road where the 1911 census lists Edward, Leonora and no fewer than seven of their adult children still living with them. In 1912, he moved to a very different environment as vicar of Kettlebaston, a village in Suffolk which then had a population of about 138. Some forty years after his ordination, this seems to have been the only time Edward was put in charge of a parish.

The last three years of Edward’s life were plagued by the kidney complaint now called nephritis but formerly known as Bright’s disease. As a result, after a short time he resigned from his living in Suffolk and returned to London. He was staying in the household of his son Gerald at 41 Thurlestone Road when, his health further weakened during the final three weeks by angina, he died on 17 March 1913.

Thank you to David Chapman for providing the picture and other information relating to Rev Scarlett.