Matilda Simpson

Matilda Simpson .... Leven Lock Keeper
Matilda Simpson (nee Jacques) was the daughter of Thomas Jacques and Jane Taylor and was born in either Cottingham (1851 and 1881 census), or Dunswell (1901 census) on 7th August 1814.

She married David Simpson on 23rd June 1834 in Leven. David was the son of William Simpson of Weel (1776-1853) and Margaret Cook of Frodingham (1779-1863).

On the 1851 census William Simpson is recorded as being the lock-keeper of Lock House, Leven, aged 75. Also living in Lock House are his wife Margaret age 71, son David age 41 and David's wife, the aforementioned Matilda, age 35. With them are David and Matilda's offspring, Thomas (9), George (7), John (5), James (3) and Jonathan (5 months) all born in Weel. Also David's brother, William, widower of 35 and his children Hannah (7) and Jane (5) both born in Leven. All in all, 12 people resided at Lock House.

It is assumed that David took over as lock-keeper when his father dies on 20th March 1853. However, David and his son, John were drowned in a tragic accident,

On the 1881 census, Matilda is listed as the lock-keeper (66) living in Leven Lock house with five unmarried sons - Thomas (39), George (37), James (33), Frederick (24), Edward (22), all agricultural labourers and born in Leven, and two grandchildren, Matilda (17) and William (11) both born in Beverley. Son David, meanwhile had married Ada Bilton and was living at Waterloo, Leven with their daughter Elizabeth.

Matilda was still going strong by the 1901 census when she is 86, and still quotes her occupation as lock-keeper. She still has two of her sons living with her, both single, George (56) and James (52).