Born to James and Elizabeth Eyre on 11th April and baptised 7th May 1823 in Isleworth, London. There is evidence through census record’s that she was known as Ellen. Her elder sister Frances (1817 – 1886) married a waterman named Charles Dear (1813 – 1862) who was born in Old Brentford as was Frances. There are a number of documented instances of the Eyre’s and Dear’s. One such instance is the minutes from the Central Criminal Court where Charles and Eleanor were giving evidence against a John Gardiner for an assault which can be seen below. The timeline of events around this were: 

  • 17th November 1839 – Frances Eyre and Charles Dear married 
Charles Dear and Frances Eyre – Marriage St. Mary, Rotherhithe, Southwark
  • 2nd December 1839 – Charles Dear and Eleanor Eyre walking through Hanwell – Eleanor assaulted and Charles attacked 
  • 16th December 1839 – Charles Dear and Eleanor Eyre attend court as part of the prosecution 

The next we hear of Eleanor is when she marries William Ransom on 10th February 1847 at St. Paul’s Church, Addlestone in Surrey. Both their addresses are given as Addlestone and it is not too far from Isleworth, about 10 miles where Eleanor was from. An interesting sign of the times is that William Ransom was unable to write his name and instead just puts an X as his mark. Eleanor however appears to have written her name herself as the writing is different to whoever wrote out the rest – possibly the reverend William Pidcock who married them. It is around this time that we start seeing more people who are able to write. Father of the groom is William Ransom and of the bride is James Eyre. 

Marriage certificate for William Ransom and Eleanor Eyre. 

William Ransom’s mother Frances Ransom (nee Bacon) died in 1845 at Portnall Park. Frances had lived with her husband who was also called William at Portnall Lodge. In the 1851 census William Ransom sr. is still living at the lodge and also listed is his daughter-in-law Eleanor Ransom who is the lodge keeper.

There is a drawing of the lodge from 1828 which can be seen below.

Entrance Lodge – Portnall Park from the book ‘Select Illustrations of the County of Surrey’ by George Frederick Prosser – 1828.

William and Eleanor Ransom moved from Addlestone to Brentford, Middlesex sometime between 1847 and 1852 which is not far from Isleworth where Eleanor originated.  Things take a twist in 1855 when Eleanor once again appears in court but this time as the accused. Making threats to kill her husband and it was not the first time she had been up for her threatening language.

21st July 1855 – Windsor & Eaton Express, Berks, Bucks and Middlesex Journal and West Surrey Gazette

In 1861 she was listed with William Ransom and sons James and Arthur at 19 Thornton’s Yard, Brentford, Middlesex.

1861 England Census for New Brentford, Middlesex, England.

When it was time for the 1871 census the family appears to have split apart. William is living as a lodger at Addlestone, Ellen is nowhere to be found, James is lodging with his aunt Frances Dear (nee Eyre) and poor Arthur is living at the Brentford Workhouse in Isleworth apparently deserted.

Clarence Ransom – Brentford Workhouse, Isleworth – 1871