Clara Louisa Stone was the fourth child of Benjamin Stone & Rebecca Matthews born December 29th, 1841 at Lupin St, Aston, Birmingham & christened January 25th, 1842 at St Phillips, Birmingham.
Clara was living with her parents, 2 brothers & 2 sisters at Lupin St, Duddeston, Aston in 1851.
Clara was still living at home in 1861 at Lupin St.
Clara married Frederick Knight on December 2nd, 1868 at St Peter & St Paul, Aston, Birmingham. Witnesses at the wedding were Benjamin Stone & Eliza Knight. Frederick of Whately Hall, Castle Bromwich, Warks was born c1838, the son of Eliza Yates & Frederick Hands Knight, accountant.
Frederick was already involved with the Stone family prior to the wedding in a business sense. In 1862 Frederick, along with Thomas Bird Smith and John Benjamin Stone, set up the paper making company in Birmingham, called Messrs. Smith, Stone and Knight (SSK) Ltd. It became one of the largest producers of brown and bag papers in the country. Thomas Smith was the only one of the three with experience in the paper making industry, but all three were astute businessmen. The SSK company is the last remaining paper mill in the West Midlands and celebrated its 150th anniversary in June 2012. As well as business partners, the three men were related through marriage. John Benjamin Stone (Clara’s brother) was to marry Jane Parker and Thomas Smith married Jane’s sister Ann.
In 1871 Clara & Frederick were living at Belgrave Place, Park Crescent, Erdington, Aston Manor, Birmingham & Frederick was a paper manufacturer. They had 2 children by this time – Clara M (1) & Beatrice K (2 months). They also had 2 servants. Another daughter, Frederica Louisa was born in 1875 but she sadly died in infancy.
By 1881 Clara & Frederick had moved to Whateley Hall, Castle Bromwich, Aston Manor, Aston & Frederick was still described as a paper manufacturer. At home were Clara, Beatrice & Linda M (8). They had a 24 year old Ladies Companion, Annie Port as well as a coachman & cook – William & Ann Cuthbertson - & a servant.
Clara & Frederick were still living at Whateley Green Hall (Timberley) in 1891 & Frederick had the same occupation. Clara, Beatrice & Linda were still at home as was their companion, Annie Port. They had a coachman, cook & housemaid.
In 1901 Clara was found still at Whateley Hall at the time of the census with companion Annie Port, but Frederick was not at home. They still had a coachman, cook & parlour maid. None of the daughters were at home. Daughter Beatrice had married Ernest Frederick Lever, a barrister, in 1894 & they were living in Bloomsbury, London. Daughter Linda had married Howard Seymour Wynn, a tool manufacturer & carpenter, in 1897 & they were living in Edgbaston, Warks with their daughter Vera in 1901.
In July 1902 Frederick attended the funeral of his brother-in-law Joseph Wainwright (husband of Rebecca Stone) at Handsworth.
In June 1904 Doxford & Sons, shipbuilders of Sunderland, launched their 100th turret steamer. It was named ‘Whateley Hall’ & the ceremony was performed by one of Frederick’s daughters.
In 1911 Clara & Frederick were still living at Whateley Hall & Frederick was now a retired paper manufacturer. With them was daughter Beatrice (Lever) & ladies’ companion Annie Port. They still employed a coachman, cook & parlour maid.
Daughter Linda & husband Howard Wynn were living at 19 Calthorp Rd, Edgbaston in 1911 & Howard was still a tool manufacturer. They had 2 daughters & a son who had a governess & there was also a cook & a housemaid.
Frederick died on June 17th, 1919 at Whateley Hall, Castle Bromwich. He was described in the Probate Calendar as Lord of the Manor of Rowington. Probate was granted in Birmingham on November 21st to widow Clara, daughter Clara Millicent, son-in-law Howard Seymour Wynn, manufacturer, & nephew Oscar Harold Stone, paper manufacturer. Frederick’s substantial effects amounted to £179,010.14s.4d.
Clara died, aged 88, on June 21st, 1929 at Whateley Hall, Castle Bromwich. Probate was granted on September 21st, 1929 to daughters Clara Millicent Dugdale (wife of George Frank Dugdale, a commander in the Royal Navy), Beatrice Katherine Lever (wife of Ernest Frederick Lever) & Linda Margarita Wynn (wife of Howard Seymour Wynn). Clara’s effects were £8,950.13s.2d.
Whateley Hall was surrounded by considerable wooded grounds & was the second largest house in the village after Castle Bromwich Hall. The Knight family lived there until 1935 when it was sold & demolished.
The children of Clara Louisa Stone & Frederick Knight were:
st.4.7.1 Clara Millicent Knight born September 1st,1869 at Aston, Birmingham & christened September 30th, 1869 at St Matthew, Duddeston; died August 2nd, 1936 at Rowington Hall, Branksome Park, Bournemouth
st.4.7.2 Beatrice Katherine Knight born Jan-March 1871 at Aston, Birmingham; died Jan-March 1966 at Sutton Coldfield, Warks
st.4.7.3 Linda Margarita Knight born August 11th,1872 at Aston Manor, Birmingham & christened September 17th, 1872 at St Matthew, Duddeston; died Jan-March 1955 at Sutton Coldfield, Warks
st.4.7.4 Frederica Louisa Knight born June 5th, 1875 at Aston Manor, Birmingham & christened July 7th, 1875 at St Matthew, Duddeston; died July 1875 at Aston Manor