The 'Luxton' Family



Robert Luxton
1838 - 1901
Picture very kindly supplied by Anita Schultz
Many thanks to Brian Luxton, Anita Schultz (nee Luxton) & Mary Long
for some of the information below.


Robert Luxton  


February 16, 1838 Brushford, Devon
Died: November 3, 1901 Killed at Sonning Cutting - Reading to Waterloo Railway Line
Buried:   Reading - age 64
Parents Robert Luxton (1810)
Rebecca Hammett Ware

Below you will find that Robert's life has all the hallmarks of a novel.
Born in Brushford, Devon and as a very young boy his father took the family to Newton St Cyres to work for 'Squire Quicke'. Somewhere in the 1840's
he was kicked by the Squires horse resulting in Robert being crippled for the rest of his life. Whether it was out of guilt or remorse but the Squire took on the responsibility of Roberts upbringing, Robert was schooled alongside the squires own son. At the age of 14 we find Robert as a live-in servant working for Edward Osmond a farmer of 200 Acres employing 10 Labs at Newton St Cyres-Devon. It is said that Robert fell in love with a gipsy girl but it is unclear if he met her in Devon or Henley were we are to find him next working for a local nurseryman making wreathes and Bouquets. In any event Robert followed his heart against the approval of his Devonshire family (there is no record of him ever returning) and at the age of 30 he married his sweetheart 23 year old Emily Goodall at St Mary's Church, Reading in June 1868. They were to have two daughters and four sons. Things seemed to be on the up for Robert and his family for in 1881 at the age of 44 he was recorded as being a Head Gardener living at 61 Rupert Street, Reading and 10 years on living at 9 Gladstone Terrace, Reading, still employed as a gardener.
Where things started to go wrong for Robert is unclear but over the next few years Robert turned to drink, it was reported that he would just disappear for days on end, once even for a period of 5 weeks. I do ask the question why his family never tried to find him or just make sure he was alright but we now know that he suffered not only with his life long disability of being crippled but also with depression, in all accounts at the age of 64 Robert's world had fallen apart. Was it his home life, his disability, depression or simply just not being able to cope that took him to the railway track on a foggy November afternoon and after leaving a message to his wife and some prayers to his God in his pocket notebook he simply placed himself in front of a oncoming train. The outcome was not only tragic but swift, Robert’s suffering was now over.



Emily Goodall  


1843 or 1845 see below or click on Emily
Died: 1931 Reading - June quarter (2c 441) - age 87
Parents Richard Goodall (1811)
Mary West (1812)



June 29, 1868 St Mary's Church, Reading - June quarter 2c / 648





Date of birth:
Birth Place:
Emily Amelia Luxton 1869  St Mary, Reading - Sep quarter (2c 343)
Florence Ellen Luxton 1870  St Giles, Reading - Dec quarter (2c 344)
Robert Charles Luxton 1873  Mortimer, Reading - Bradfield - Jun quarter (2c 320)
Albert Edward Luxton 1874 St Giles, Reading - Dec quarter (2c 366)
Frederick William Luxton 1876 St Giles, Reading - Sep quarter (2c 358)
Sidney H. Luxton 1879 St Giles, Reading - Jun quarter (2c 370)




File Information:

Up-date: 03/09/2011
It has now come to light that Robert committed suicide
I have just had an email from Anita Schultz nee Luxton who is a Great Granddaughter of Robert Luxton (1838) and Emily Goodall.
She has mentioned that Emily Goodall could have been of gipsy background and Robert followed his heart and left home to marry his sweetheart.
Robert was said to have developed a taste for alcohol and sadly took his own life (age 63) after an unknown illness - by placing himself on the railway line at reading - More to come.

Robert Luxton was born at Moor End, Brushford on February 16, 1838, and baptised in the parish church on April 4, 1838. His grand daughter, the late Gladys Mary Luxton writes "as a young boy he was kicked by one of Squire Quicke's' horses and was lamed for life. The Squire then had him educated with his own son, but when he grew up he left Devon and made his way to Henley where he worked for a local Nurseryman, (possibly he was skilled at making wreathes and Bouquets). Later he must have come to Reading and I think was married in St Giles Church".
Robert was a 14 year old servant in 1881 to Mr Osmond at Hayne Barton, Newton St Cyres. He married Emily Goodall in St Marys' Church, Reading on June 29, 1868. The St Giles, reading census 1881 records Robert Luxton a 44 year old gardner living at 61 Rupert Street with his wife Emily and their children.
In 1891 the family were settled at 9 Gladstone Terrace, Henley, Oxfordshire but later returned to Reading where they lived at 65 Carnarvon Road. Robert Luxton age 64, was killed on November 3, 1901 near Sonning Cutting on the railway line from Reading to Waterloo. His widow, died aged 87 in the summer of 1931.

(Age 3)
Census - Little Brushford, Brushford, Devon
Robert Luxton - aged 30 - Ag Lab - born Devon
Rebecca Luxton - aged 25 - born Devon
Mary Luxton - aged 5 - born Devon
Robert Luxton - aged 3 - born Devon
William Luxton - aged 1 - born Devon

(Age 14)
Census - Hayne Barton, Newton St Cyres, Crediton, Devon -
PRO Reference: HO/107/1887 Folio: 264 Page: 9 FHL Film: 0221037
Edward Osmond - Head - age 54 - Farmer 200 Acres 10 Labs - born Newton St Cyres-Dev
Sarah Osmond - Wife - age 50 - born Newton St Cyres-Dev
Edward Osmond - Son - age 26 - Land Agent - born Newton St Cyres-Dev
John Osmond - Son - age 22 - born Newton St Cyres-Dev
Emma Osmond - Daur - age 21 born Newton St Cyres-Dev
Caroline Osmond - Daur - age 11 - Scholar - born Newton St Cyres-Dev
Sally Herring - Vist - age 45 - born Newton St Cyres-Dev
Eleanor Cann - Vist - age 38 - Dressmaker - born Broadwood-Kelly-Dev
Jane Robins - Serv - age 18 - Serv-In - born Upton Pyne-Dev
James Cockram - Serv - age 21 - Serv-In - born Newton St Cyre-Dev
Robert Luxton - Serv - age 14 - Serv-In - born Coleridge (old spelling) - Devon

This appears to be our Robert, I found him on the 1851 census just 2 records on from his parents cottage (Fishes Cottage) working as a live in Servant. On this census return Robert had stated that he was born at Coleridge or Coldridge as it is know today. Was he actually born in Coldridge or did he just think he was like his elder sister Mary Ann Luxton, as she is on record as having Coldridge as her birth place

(Age 22)
Census - Pauls Terrace, Exeter
Fanny James - Head - age 39 - Laundress - born Zeal Monachorum
Elizabeth James - Daughter - age 17 - Laundress - born Morchard Bishop
Henry James - Son - age 15 - Silversmith Apprentice - born Morchard Bishop
John James - Son - age 12 - Scholar - born Morchard Bishop
William Thonis - Lodger - age 22 - Blacksmith Journeyman - born Barnstable
Robert Luxon - Lodger - age 22 - Labourer in Nursery - born Brushford
John Luxon - Lodger - age 18 - Labourer in Iron Foundry - born Newton St Cryes - (Robert's brother)
William Partridge - Lodger - age 19 - Masons Labourer - born Tiverton
John Ingham - Lodger - age 24 - Bricklayer Jounyman - born *** Oakham

(Age 30)
June 29. Marriage at The Parish Church in the Parish of St Mary, Reading:
Robert Luxton age 30, Bachelor, a Gardener of 5 Eton Place
Emily Goodall age 24, Spinster of Caversham, Oxon
Father: Robert Luxton a Labour
Father: Richard Goodall a Brewer
Witnesses: Albert Goodall and Amelia Goodall
Entry 228 - information from file certificate

(Age 33)
Census - Leopard Terrace, St Giles, Reading
Robert Luxton - Head - age 33 - Gardener Unemployed - born Brushford
Emily Luxton - Wife -age 27 - born Reading, Berkshire
Emily A. Luxton - Daughter - age 1 - born Reading, Berkshire
Florence E. Luxton - Daughter - age 6 months - born Reading, Berkshire

(Age 44)
Census - 61 Rupert Street, Reading St Giles
Robert Luxton - Head - age 44 - Head Gardner - born Brushford, Devon
Emily Luxton - Wife - age 38 - Gardner's wife - born Reading, Berkshire
Florence Ellen Luxton - Daughter - age 10 - Scholar born Reading, Berkshire
Robert Charles Luxton - Son - age 7 - Scholar - born Sulhamstead, Berkshire
Albert Edward Luxton - Son - age 6 - Scholar - born Reading, Berkshire
Frederick William Luxton - Son - age 4 - born Reading, Berkshire
Sydney Herbert Luxton - Son - age 2 - born Reading, Berkshire

(Age 54)
Census -Piece: RG12/1157 Place: Henley -Oxfordshire Enumeration District: 13
Civil Parish: Rotherfield Greys Ecclesiastical Parish: Holy Trinity - Folio: 40 Page: 15 Schedule: 91
Address: 9 Gladstone Terrace
Robert Luxton - Head - age 54 - Gardener(Em'ee) born Brushford, Devon
Emily Luxton - Wife - age 47 - born Reading, Berkshire
Robert C Luxton - Son - age 17 - Gardener(Em'ee) - born Sulhampstead, Berkshire
Frederick W Luxton - Son - age 14 - Gardeners Assistant(Em'ee) - born Reading, Berkshire
Sidney H Luxton - Son - age 12 - Scholar - born Reading, Berkshire

1901: Census - 48 Carnarvon Road, Reading
Robert Luxton - Head - age 64 - Gardener - born Brushford, Devon
Emily Luxton - Wife - age 58 - born Reading
Albert E. Luxton - Son - age 26 - Single - Seedsman Shop Assistant - born Reading
Frederick W. Luxton - Son - age 24 - Single - House decorator - born Reading
Sidney H. Luxton - Son - age 21 - Single - Biscuit machine worker - born Reading

(Age 64)
November 3, Death of Robert Luxton age 64, Gardener at Great Western Railway Bridge, Kennelsmouth Road.
Cause of death: Placed himself in front of a train during temporary insanity.
Certificate received from William Weedon Coroner for East Berks. Inquest held on November 5th 1901
Registered November 1901
Entry 109
- information from file certificate.

I have contacted Berkshire Records Office they have said that the Inquest Report has not survived, so below is a newspaper cutting of the inquest - Beware it makes grizzly reading.

Newspaper cutting
Fatality on the GWR, near the "Dreadnought" - The inquest
The inquest was held by Mr. W Weedon, coroner for East Berks, at the "Dreadnought" Thames-side, on Tuesday, on the body of Robert Luxton, a gardener, age 64 of 65 Carnarvon-road, Reading, who committed suicide on Sunday afternoon by placing himself in the way of a Great Western Railway train. Inspectors Thomas and G. Box represented The Great Western Railway. Evidence was given as follows:-
Robert Charles Luxton, a son of the deceased, living in Hosier-street, Reading, identified the body as that of his father. Deceased left home on August 29th without saying were he was going or what he was going to do, and before he went he sold some of the furniture. Deceased had gone off that way several times before, but the longest time he had stayed away was five weeks. Witnesses mother was to unwell to attend the inquest. Deceased often got very despondent, chiefly because he had been unable to get employment on account of wounds in his legs. When deceased was in that state he wound take to drink. Deceased had a very comfortable home, and at the time of his leaving he had his wife and three sons at home. Witness last saw his father alive on Sunday week, when he came to witnesses house in Hosier-street. Deceased told him his leg was better and talked of going to get work. Witness asked him where he had been since he left home, and he informed him that he had been in the Reading Infirmary. He seemed then better than usual. Deceased suffered from pains in his head giddiness; he was on a sick club. Witness had never known deceased threaten of attempt suicide. The pocket book, produced was deceased's property, and the words "Mrs Luxton, good-bye. God bless you. I hope I might . . . . . . . . 65 Carnarvon-road, Reading were in his hand writing. Two or three prayers to God which were in the book, were written by deceased.
William Taylor, a foreman platelayer in the employ of the Great Western Railway Company, stated on sunday afternoon about 4.35 o'clock, he was walking on the down line towards Kennet Bridge, when he noticed the head of a man on the line. Witness went on down the line searching for a body but could only find the hat. He met inspector Box and they returned, and found the body about 15 yards from the head, in the four-foot way on the down relief line. There was no level-crossing or thoroughfare there. The head had been cut clean off, but he could see no blood marks on the rails, although there was plenty of blood round the body. The 3.20 train from London had passed, and was due at Reading at 4.30. The body was warm when witness discovered it. Inspector Box went for help while witness remained with the body, and subsequently a constable came and together they removed it to the "Dreadnought"
By a Juror: It was very foggy at the time.
Edward Gigg, driver in the employ of the Great Western Railway Company, deplored that he drove the 3.20 train Ealing on Sunday, being due in at Reading at 4.13, but on that occasion he was six minutes late. As he shut off steam at Reading, he was on the look -out for the distance signal when he noticed something small like a man's head, fly out from under the engine. He could not see what it was because of the fog. He did not think anything was wrong and drove on to Reading. At the station he calls the fireman to tell the inspector, who was on the platform of the occurrence.
By Juryman: He could not see the man stand up, it was too foggy. At Reading he examined the engine and found flesh and blood on the guard iron.
The Constable, who helped to remove the body to the "Dreadnought" said that he found nothing of importance on the body except the note-book. Deceased had only one penny on him.
The foreman of the jury said he met deceased on Thursday afternoon last in the Cemetery and had a conversation with him. He seemed very depressed and wanted to see his wife who was attending a funeral there. Deceased was rational in his manner and quite sober. He told the speaker he had been in the infirmary for some weeks. Deceased was hard up and he lent him 6d. He had known the deceased a long time.
A verdict that the deceased committed suicide whilst temporarily insane was returned.


More on Emily Goodall

1843: Birth record - Emily Ann Goodall at Henly - Sep quarter (16 75)
Although Emily has always stated that she was born at Reading in all the census returns,
on her marriage certificate she is said to be of Caversham, Oxon. If this is the case the above could be her.
However there is also another birth record which I have included as it could also be her -
Although I would say 1843 would be more likely.

1845: Birth record - Emily Goodall at Bradfield - Mar quarter (6 191)

1911: Census - 65 Carnarvon Road Reading Berkshire
Emily Luxton - Head - Widow - age 68 (1843) - No Occupation - born Reading Berks
Sidney Herbert Luxton - Son - Single - age 32 (1879) - Tram - Conductor - born Reading Berks

1931: Death record - Emily Luxton at Reading - Jun quarter (2c 441) - age 87




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