The Life and Times of William Tom Wootton

This is the seventh in my series of eight blogs telling the life stories of my eight great-grandparents, next up is the wonderfully talented William Tom Wootton.


(Picture of William Tom Wootton from Cousin Eleanor)

William Tom Wootton was born on 28th May 1863 to Thomas Wootton and Nicolina Elizabeth Wootton nee Stampa, he was their only child and was born at 106, Carlton Road, Kentish Town, London. A Quick look at Kentish Town around that time and I am unable to find the location, Carlton Road, there is however a Carlton Street which I presume is the right address and maybe just a transcribing error.

Carlton Street, Kentish Town

Nicolina’s Father was Dominic Stampa and he was born in Como, in Italy before he emigrated to Edinburgh in Scotland. The birth was registered by his mother, Nicolina, on the 30th June 1863. This was Nicolina’s second marriage, she had previously been married to a William MacDonald and had three children from this Marriage, who were half siblings to William Tom Wootton.

William Tom Wootton Birth

(William Tom Wootton’s Birth Certificate)


William Tom Wootton Census Retun 1871

(Class: RG10; Piece: 229; Folio: 40; Page: 74)

William Tom Wootton is living in the family home of 9, Platt Street, London by the time of the 1871 census. Also present at the family home were William Tom’s parents, Thomas and Nicolina, along with her two daughters from her first marriage, Mary MacDonald and Willimina Louisa MacDonald along with Nicolina’s older sister Caroline Stampa.

Platt Street, London


William Tom Wootton Census Retun 1881

(Class: RG11; Piece: 213; Folio: 118; Page: 22)

By the 1881 census the family had moved to 23, Hadley Street, St. Pancras and young William Tom Wootton was making his way in the world and working as a Lead Glazier. Also at home at the time were his parents, Thomas Wootton and Nicolina Wootton, William’s half sister Mary MacDonald and Nicolina’s sister Nancy Stampa.

Hadley Street, St. Pancras

William’s first Marriage was to Elizabeth Ellen Compton on 31st December 1886. At the time of their Marriage they were both 23 years of age. William Tom Wootton’s occupation is listed as a Lead Glazier.

WTW Marriage Eliz Compton

(William Tom Wootton’s Wedding Certificate)

William was living at the same address as Ellen Compton at the time of their Marriage, 83, Malden Road, Maitland Park, St. Pancras. Their Marriage was witnessed by William’s Mother Nicolina Wootton and William’s half sister Williamina Louisa Jones.

Malden Road, Maitland Park

There is a slight discrepancy in the information recorded at the time of the Marriage. William Tom’s Father was recorded as Charles Wootton a carpenter, whereas in actual fact his Father was Thomas Wootton, carpenter.

The marriage took place at The Register Office, St. Pancras and William Tom and Elizabeth’s first child, Thomas Henry Wootton was born 2nd September 1886, three months before their Marriage took place on

Over the next twelve years, William Tom and Elizabeth go onto have a further six children, Mary Edith Wootton born 21st January 1888, William Alfred Jocelyn Wootton born 8th November 1889, Louisa Elsie Mabel Wootton born 12th February 1892, Albert Ernest Wootton born 10th April 1895, Frederick Arthur Wootton born 1896 and their last child together, Harold Wootton born 1898.


William Tom Wootton Census Retun 1891

(Class: RG12; Piece: 1119; Folio: 91; Page: 20)

During this period William Tom Wootton was counted in the 1891 census as living at 14, Banbury Road, Watford, Herts, his occupation is listed as a Stained Glass Glazier. One can only presume that William’s occupation as a Lead Glazier had taken the family to Watford in the pursuit of work. Between 1891 and 1892, around the time of the birth of their Daughter Louisa Elsie Mabel Wootton, the family move far away from London and are now living in Portsea, Hampshire. Louisa, Albert, Frederick and Harold are all born in Portsea, Hampshire.

It was the birth of their seventh child, Harold that was to have a devastating effect on the family as sadly Elizabeth died during childbirth. Elizabeth Ellen Wootton died on 23rd March 1898 at 38 Hawke Street, Portsea, she was just 34 years old. The cause of Death was Phthsis and Exhaustion, the informant was William Tom Wootton a Lead Glazier (Journeyman), who was present at the death.

Just over a year later, William Tom Wootton married his second wife, Emily Dodd on 5th August 1899 at The Register Office, St. Pancras. By this time William Tom Wootton was living at 65, Mansfield Road, London, his occupation is listed as a Stained Glass Painter. Emily Dodd was a spinster and living at 1, Thomas Street, Stepney. Witness at the wedding, once again, was Williamina Louisa Jones.

WTW Marriage Emilly Dodd

(William Tom Wootton’s 2nd Marriage Certificate)


William Tom Wootton Census Retun 1901

(Class: RG13; Piece: 1255; Folio: 13; Page: 17)

By the 1901 Census, William Tom is living at 20, Roseberry Gardens, Tottenham, his occupation is listed as Lead Glazier and Glass Cutter and he is at home with his wife Emily and children, Thomas Wootton, William Wootton, Frederick Wootton, and Doris Wootton.

Roseberry Gardens, Tottenham

William Tom and Emily had nine children, Doris Julia Wootton born 10th September 1900, Winifred Alexandra Wootton born 10th October 1901, Emily Hilda Wootton born 6th December 1902, Margaret Gladys Wootton born 29th April 1904, Ronald Jospeh Wootton born 29th April 1906, Ena May Wootton born 6th March 1908, Phyllis Ellen Wootton born 22nd December 1909, Edward Tom Wootton born 13th August 1911 and Constance Vivienne Wootton born 23rd May 1916.


William Tom Wootton Census Retun 1911

(Class: RG14; Piece: 1701)

During this time the Wootton family moved from their home in Tottenham to Poplar in the East End of London, they were residing at 6, Bentley Terrace, Poplar London in the 1911 census with seven of their children at home and William Tom’s occupation was still a Stained Glass Lead Glazier. The family lived in Bentley Terrace for a number of years as confirmed by the Electoral Registers, before moving to 15, Tetley Street, Poplar by the time of the 1939 Register. William Tom’s occupation is a Stained Glass Lead Glazier.


William Tom Wootton Census Retun 1939

(The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/448G)

William Tom Wootton at work

(Picture from Cousin Eleanor)

William had a great interest in music and amazing musical ability, including the ability to be able play numerous musical instruments, he said he could play anything from a comb and tissue paper to an organ. He was so keen to play music that he used to eat his meals whilst playing the piano. When he was short of work as a Lead Glazier he used to busk with a Trumpet, he also wrote his own music and family folklore has it that he actually wrote the songs “Any Old Iron”, “Boiled Beef and Carrots” and “I’m Henry the Eighty I am” and sold them down the pub for 1/-. I am unlikely to ever be able to prove or disprove the story, but it all adds to the character that was William Tom Wootton.

William Tom Wootton Band

(William Tom Wootton is on the far left of the picture standing)

William Tom Wootton was also a born entertainer and he had a Punch & Judy show on the beach at Southend, he also entertained his own children and grandchildren at home with Punch and Judy shows. His work as a Lead Glazier took him around the Country and we know from oral testimony, that he worked on two significant pieces of work, the restoration of The Five Sisters Window at York Minster and also some work on Salisbury Cathedral.

Seven Sisters Window

(York Minster Five Sisters Window)

He also worked on stained glass in state dining rooms including luxury liners, which is why he moved the family to Portsmouth. His signature on glass was a W over an inverted W with a horizontal line between them, this was in the bottom corner of all his pieces of work.

William Tom Wootton

William Tom Wootton 1926

William Tom Wootton 1903

(Pictures kindly copied by Cousin Eleanor)

Later in life William Tom Wootton went to live with his Daughter Phyllis Copeland (nee Wootton) at 3, Grays Hall Cottages, Dell Road, Grays. This was probably due to age and ill health at the time.

Sadly William Tom Wootton died on 8th February 1951, aged 87, at 3, Grays Hall Cottages, Grays, Essex. He died from cerebral thrombosis, his death was recorded by his son and my Grandfather, Edward Tom Wootton, who was living next door at the time. He was buried at Stifford Church, North Stifford, Essex, Grave Number 119.

William Tom Wootton Death Cert

(William Tom Wootton’s Death Certificate)

51 Dell Road

(51, Dell Road as it looks today)

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