Elizabeth Caroline Cole (1861-1936), potter's wife of Tottenham

Elizabeth Caroline Cole (1861-1936)

Elizabeth Caroline Ellis became a potter's wife when she married James Reedman Cole, the live-in manager of the pottery in White Hart Lane, Tottenham. This page provides an illustrated summary of her life and links to pages on her ancestry.

The woman who was to become Elizabeth Caroline Cole was born Elizabeth Caroline Ellis on 17 August 1861 at Fore Street, Edmonton to John George Ellis, a baker/journeyman, and his wife Elizabeth Ellis, born Elizabeth Blunden.

Elizabeth Caroline was to be the oldest of a large family - for brief biographies and photos, see the page on individual Ellises.

Elizabeth Caroline married James Reedman Cole on 14 February 1880 at the Parish Church of All Hallows in Tottenham. She and James, too, went on to have a large family. There are links to many of them on the Cole descendants page.

The back garden or yard at the Cole Potteries in Tottenham showing the piles of pots in the background

The back garden or yard of the pottery house, Tentdale, with the stacks of pots behind the family group (Back, L to R: Rosa Ellis (then Luetchford); Elizabeth Caroline Ellis (then Cole); unknown; unknown; Florence Maria Bartlett (then Cole). Middle row: Herbert James Claud Cole; unknown; Elizabeth Blunden (then Ellis); James Reedman Cole. Front row, Jim Cole; Ted Cole; Frederick Cyril Luetchford and Florence Edith Cole.

By all accounts, Elizabeth Caroline seems to have been very much in charge of how things were run at the Cole Pottery house, Tentdale, and no-one seems to have had anything but good to say of her. She went on to be an equally caring grandmother who never forgot Christmases and birthdays for her grandchildren. She even brought up one of them (the first son of her daughter Ivy).

Elizabeth Caroline ran a home of plenty. For example, when my mother and her brother were sent by E. G. Cole to pick windfalls from his garden, she never bothered to use them, and food that was not in prime condition just got thrown away. The local tradesmen always knew that she had to have the best. One of her daughters is on record as being disgusted at her mother's generosity but that is one lone voice saying anything against her.

Elizabeth Caroline in later life with her husband, James Reedman Cole

Elizabeth Caroline in later life with her husband, James Reedman Cole

In the early 1930s the couple were forced to leave the Pottery house by the then owner, their nephew Sid Cole, which caused such bad feeling among the next generation that all contact between them and Sid was broken off. The couple then lived with their youngest son, Arthur, and his wife, Mag, at Ruislip, although there was a rented flat for a short time.

Elizabeth Caroline died on 20 January 1936 at Ruislip at age 74, but was was buried with her husband at Tottenham Cemetery.

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This website Potteries and brickyards worked by the Cole family is Pat Cryer. For applications to reproduce text or images, click here.