© 2016 Bulmer & District History Group

Bulmer & District




        Bulmer & District History Group

Emily Cornell 1890 - 1983

‘I was born 1890, the youngest daughter of David and Eliza Rowe, who lived at Upper Houses. There were nine children, all boys except sister Agnes, second oldest and myself second youngest. I look back to a happy childhood. Father and Mother were wonderful parents and spent all their lives for our well being.

I started school ~ I should say I was under 4 years old ~ pinafores were worn in those days. By what I’ve seen and heard of schools. I should say for that day we had a good start and my parents wouldn’t have had the opportunities that we had.’

‘After school age I was given the chance to teach small children 3 and a half to 5 years, which I did for about 6 months. Then a friend who worked in a small farm quite near my home said that the farmer’s wife was looking for some help over the summer months.’

Emily took work as a maid at Goldingham Hall and in 1917 married John Cornell.

Emily and John had three children: Jack, Mabel and Evelyn. Initially, they lived in Laundry Cottage and then ran the ‘Cock and Blackbirds’ pub until John’s death in 1936.

Emily remarried to Charlie Hearn who had four grown children: Bob, Marjorie, Tom and Doll. They married without telling the children who were shocked at the secrecy. Emily and Charlie moved to Gallants Farm in Maplestead where they spent the war years with various combinations of the adult children.

In the early 1950s Emily and Charlie Hearn moved to Mosses Farm in Maplestead, and Emily was widowed again.  In the 1950s the farm had no running water, so rainfall was preserved in butts, tanks and the pond. Drinking water was collected from the pump on the main road and stored in buckets under the sink. In Emily’s lifetime, there was no indoor toilet or bathroom.


Emily was over 90 when she died.  She was independent, driving a motor scooter well into old age, and refusing to apply for state benefits. Her lifetime spanned amazing changes. She lived through the reigns of Victoria, Edward VI, George V and VI and Elizabeth, and over 20 different prime ministers including Gladstone, Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher. Born into an age before flight, Emily was disbelieving when man went to the moon. She was a very gracious lady.

She is buried with her first husband, John Cornell.

Gillian Lamb March 2011