Charles and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Constable

And Concord House

Charles and Lizzie Constable. © David George

We have recently been sent these fantastic photos by David George, the great nephew of Charles and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Constable. The couple owned Concord House from 1914-1920. The following is what we have been able to put together so far.

Charles Constable was born in St Pancras, London in 1860, he married his wife Elizabeth Neal in Paddington District in 1900. The couple started married life in Elgin Avenue, Paddington where his occupation was noted in the 1901 census as Commercial Clerk. They were still at the same address in 1911 with the addition of their niece Eleanor. Charles’ occupation at that time was Manager of a Window Blind manufacturer.

Charles and Lizzie at the front of ‘Concord’. Date would be 1914-1920. © David George

The first mention of the couple living on Canvey comes in 1914 when having bought ‘Concord House’ as a summer residence from the previous owner they applied to build a ‘lean-to back addition’ to the property. The plans are deposited in the Essex Record Office. Charles’ signature, taken from those plans, can be seen below.

We can tell you a little more about Concord House thanks to Martin Lepley –  the property was built in 1909. There were two bedrooms upstairs. One of the rooms downstairs was described as a sitting room/bedroom. Martin tells us the property was actually built partly in the road but we are not sure what this means. The building was on what is now an empty green opposite the entrance to Concord Beach. See maps below for approximate location.

It has now been established that Charles was a Canvey Councillor from 1915-19. We found Charles and Lizzie in the Electoral Roll for 1918 in the property and they continued to live in Concord House until 1920 when it was sold to a W. French. We have not found them in the 1929 Electoral Roll of which we have a copy. But their great nephew David George tells us they used to travel to America and Canada on singing engagements, they were classical musicians and singers so it is possible they were away on one of those in 1929. We will continue to investigate and may well find them when the 1921 census is published in 2022.

In 1927 Sonia Galperin arrived on Canvey Island and one of the many things she did was set up a convalescence home for sick London children in Concord House. The exact timing of this we do not know.

The next time we find them was when Charles died in 1930. They had moved to ‘Rest Haven’, Howard Place, off Marine Approach. As far as I can tell he is not buried in St Katherines Churchyard.

One tantalising entry in the Newsman for January 1931 (see below) lists his will stating:-
Mr Charles Constable, of Canvey Island, a nephew of the celebrated painter.  £1,970.
Is this true we wonder? After checking records we would say this is highly unlikely. John Constable had two brothers. The eldest, Golding, died in 1838 and the other, Abram, died in 1862 without issue.

In the register of 1939 Elizabeth Constable is recorded as being resident at 5 Howard Place, off Marine Approach along with other members of the Neal family. Also at the address is Nurse Margaret Morgan, known to many islanders as Nurse Morgan Midwife. It gives Elizabeth’s birth as 1865 and she was living on Private Means. She died in 1943 at Orsett Lodge, Orsett but her residence was still stated as ‘Rest Haven’, Canvey.

David tells us:- I have many fond memories of Canvey as my cousins and I spent much of our school holidays at Rest Haven between 1938 and 1949 with our grandparents and one or other of our mums.  My grandparents were Frank and Nellie Neal and they lived there until grandpa passed away in 1949.

We do not know what happened to Concord House David seems to remember being told it burnt down. If anyone can help please comment below. Hopefully some of our questions will be answered as more records become available.

Update: We now know the house had gone by 1949.

Thanks to David George for the photos and information.
Also thanks to Martin Lepley for the additional information.

Comments about this page

  • A further little snippet found in 31st August 1918 Edition of the Southend Telegraph Newspaper.

    Mr Charles CONSTABLE, of the Paddington Borough Council and Canvey Island Council, appealed at Rochford on August 21st, against the omission of his name from the list of Parliamentary voters for the latter place. He successfully proved his case, and the omission was rectified, the vote being allowed for his residence at “Concord” Canvey Island.

    By Martin Lepley (08/08/2020)
  • Thanks Martin. It would appear they kept two places going. One in Paddington and Concord on Canvey. Am I reading it right Martin?

    By Janet Penn (08/08/2020)
  • And more – This is from Kelly’s directory 1929 – Concord Private Hotel (Edmond. J. Askew, propr.). Shell beach. This is confirmed by the entry in the Electoral Roll stating Edmund Joycelyn Askew – ‘Concord’, Rosewinkle Ave.

    By Janet Penn (08/08/2020)
  • From the Newspaper article above I have checked the Parish Council minutes and have found that he was voted on to the Council on 1st June 1915 meeting. He replaced Henry Lowthian BARGE, who had resigned, (probably as Mr BARGE moved to Westcliff)
    Mr CHAMBERS proposed.
    Mr HARRISON seconded.

    The last mention of him was 22nd October 1918. A meeting that he was unable to attend. I suspect he did not put himself up for re-election in the 1919

    By Martin Lepley (08/08/2020)
  • That’s great stuff Martin. I have also found an article to do with Concord in 1918 but cannot access it until I get on my pc.

    By Janet Penn (08/08/2020)
  • It would appear that Mr and Mrs Charles CONSTABLE were singers. I did read a news article that they sang at an event on Canvey, but then I discovered this:-

    Southend & Westcliff Graphic 22nd May 1914
    Miss Maud Oppenheimer, who will be one of the artistes at the recital to take place in the Boy’s High School to-morrow (Saturday), will have a warm welcome from her old friends-and admirers in Westcliff and Southend.
    Miss Oppenheimer has distinguished herself in her profession in London and it is a compliment to the cause that from her numerous engagements she comes to recite for this local charity. Miss Eleanor Williams is a young soprano of great promise and with Mr and Mrs. Constable sang last week at the Albert Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Constable have recently purchased a summer residence on the river-front on Canvey Island.

    By Martin Lepley (08/08/2020)
  • Yes I have found more too.

    By Janet Penn (08/08/2020)
  • I am absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of information you have gathered about the Constables in such a short time. I cannot thank you all enough for finding so much about my relatives. It all adds so much to the collection of memories about our family in the Canvey years. Thanks again,

    By David George (08/08/2020)
  • David George,

    You are welcome and if you have any questions regarding the statements I have made you can contact me on

    The Royal Albert Hall has a History and Archive part and they will hold Posters and Programmes of all performances. As Mr and Mrs CONSTABLE performed there (if I understand the article correctly) , and you know it must have been early May 1914, you might be able to find them in the programme for the show.

    The website is detailed below.

    By Martin Lepley (08/08/2020)
  • Thanks David. I still have lots to look through. It would appear from the 1939 register that Concord did not exist anymore. Unless there was a name change or it is under the redacted text. So what you say about possibly burning down this would have occurred between 1929 and 1939. Something to look into.

    By Janet Penn (09/08/2020)
  • Concord was in the 1939 “Census”. It is at reference TNA_R39_1491_1491D_009. (schedule number 244)

    It was Vacant at that time.

    By Martin Lepley (09/08/2020)
  • I will have a look. I did not see it.

    By Janet Penn (09/08/2020)
  • No cannot find with your criteria Martin. Nothing is coming up.

    Found at last. Very hard to read which is probably why it did not come up in my original search. As I said Martin nothing using your criteria must use different sites. But old fashioned searching manually got it in the end. ‘Concord’ The Promenade – Vacant. So still there in 1939.

    By Janet Penn (09/08/2020)
  • In 1952, an application was made to the council for a re-building of “concord house”. It was refused as :
    1. A greater portion of the site is reserved for a Public Open space in the County Development Plan.
    2. It will be impossible to gain access to the site when the Public Open Space is developed.

    By Martin Lepley (11/08/2020)
  • I can confirm that Concord House was gone by 1949. Just the bare bones are left in an aerial photo I have. But it still does not tell us what happened.

    By Janet Penn (05/09/2020)

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