Luke Keep

Author: Allison Godgray
Date published: 14/06/2015
© Allison Godfray

Luke was the third child and son of 10 children born to George and Elizabeth Keep (nee Chapman). He was born & bought up in Chieveley and baptised there on7 Jun 1835.

After a brief period of working as a servant in Welford, he moved to Newbury and became a Bargeman. It there he met and married Elizabeth Haines (b.1836) on28 May 1856at the District Church in Chapelry of Speenhamland. The marriage was conducted by John A. D. Meakin and was witnessed by John Keep (Luke’s elder brother) and Samuel Bellows.

Luke and Elizabeth started married life living at Back Lane in Newbury where they had their first two children, George Frederick (b. Jul 1856) and William (b.1859). In 1857 Luke became a labourer for a local brewery.

In the 1871 census Luke and Elizabeth are shown to be living in Kings Arms Yard in Newbury. Luke is still working as a Brewers labourer; son George is on trial training as a carpenter and William is working as a servant boy. In addition to George and William, Luke and Elizabeth have gone on and had a further six children,

Naomi born in 1861 is a Scholar
Elizabeth Annie born in 1862 is a Scholar
Ellen born in 1864 is a Scholar
Jane born in 1866 is a Scholar
Walter Herbert born in 1868
An infant son 2 days old born31 March 1871

By 1881 Luke and Elizabeth had moved to27 Cheap Street, Newbury, where they would remain until Luke’s death. The 1881 census shows that Luke is still working as a Brewers Labourer and the only children living with him and Elizabeth are Naomi, who is shown as a Dyers Assistant, Elizabeth Annie a Pupil Teacher, Jane an Assistant Teacher and Walter Herbert a Scholar. I can find no trace of the infant son shown in the 1871 census as 2 days old in any birth, baptism, census or burial records.

In 1890 Elizabeth became a Greengrocer, working from the family home in Cheap Street. Elizabeth Annie went on and became a Teacher at the local Elementary School and Walter Herbert became a Corn Merchant. The 1891 census shows that Luke and Elizabeth’s granddaughter Ellen Maria is living with them, this follows her mother’s death in 1888 and her father’s subsequent remarriage.

Luke outlived two of his sons, George Frederick (Ellen Maria’s father) died in 1892 and William who died in 1899.

In the 1901 census Luke is 65 and Elizabeth 70. They are still living at 27 Cheap Street where Luke is shown as a Greengrocer “own account from home” having evidently taken over the running of the small business from his wife. Luke and Elizabeth’s daughter, Ellen, is back living with her parents working as a shop assistant to the Greengrocer. Granddaughter Ellen is working as a dressmaker.

Luke can be found in the 1903 Kelly’s Directory as a Master Greengrocer.

Luke died on 20 February 1903due to kidney failure, he was 67. He was buried at the Newtown Road Cemetery on 25 February 1903.

Probate was issued to Luke’s children Walter and Elizabeth Ann on 24th March 1903.

Luke's wife Elizabeth died in February 1911.

Sources:as above

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