Frances  Jones nee Halford

195 & 196 Lower Street

Occupation: Milliner

Image showing Jones Milliners (directly on the left of the picture) and Jones the Chemist (with the curved windows)

Born in March 1818 Frances was the third child of John Halford and Frances Cox. She was baptised in St. Leonard’s then interestingly in 1822 she was registered at the General Register of Protestant Dissenters which was an early form of birth registry. It is now more commonly known as  Dr. Williams Library, which is where the register is held.  The register, as it’s official name suggests, was mainly used by nonconformists, so this suggests that her parents had decided to join one of the nonconformist’s churches in Deal. As to which denomination she was attached we just don’t know. 

When John Halford died in 1847, he made his wife and Frances executors to his will. While he adequately provided for all his children, it appears that it was Frances in whom he put the most trust. It was to her as and his wife that he bequeathed his hosiery business. The previous year in 1846 John had taken out a lease on 195 Lower Street and this too was bequeathed to Frances and her mother where they continued to run the hosiery shop but with Frances’ skills as a milliner adding to the attraction of the establishment. A milliner was the name for a person who makes or sells women’s hats. Heart shaped bonnets that framed the face and decorated with ruffles, lace and flowers were very popular at this time and no doubt made a very appealing display in the shop window.


On August 18 1849, Frances married chemist Edward Jones setting up home with him at 196 Lower Street, right on the corner of Broad Street. Immediately opposite, at number 195, Frances carried on the business inherited from her father. She had, for the two years after her father’s death, been in business with her mother but, ten days after her marriage, the partnership was officially dissolved being announced in the South Eastern Gazette. Frances was to continue to run her hosiery and millinery business, from the same premises, for the next thirty years.

South Eastern Gazette -Tuesday 04 September 1849

195 Lower Street

The Archbishop of Canterbury owned great swathes of Deal at this time, and it was from him that John Halford in 1846 took out the twenty-one year lease on 195 Lower Street. These leases were renewable every seven years so in 1853, Frances and her mother renewed the lease in their own names by paying a fine of £13 10s.  The Indentured Lease dated 1st February 1853, found at Lambeth Palace Archives, tells us that this new twenty-one year lease came with a rent of 2s a land tax of 5s 9d. It makes clear that they are responsible for the care and repair of the property, and interestingly it states that they have the “… the liberty and benefits…” of a passageway between 195 and the next-door property on Broad Street enabling them “… to go into and from the premises…”  It also gives them the “….use and benefit of the pump and well in the said passageway..” which both lessees have to jointly and equally maintain. This passageway still exists.

The Jones Children

Frances and Edward were to have five children; two, John Halford and Richard, sadly died in infancy.

Edward jnr., their eldest son, was to become a locomotive driver in Bengal, India, where he and his wife raised their family of six children. Fanny, their only daughter, was born in 1860 but intriguingly she wasn’t baptised until 1877 when Rev. Payne noted under her baptism entry, and that of another adult baptism on the opposite page,  “Alter form for those of Riper Years.” Aged one in 1861, she was, according to the census, boarding with John and Elizabeth Chittenden at 157 Beach Street; in 1871 ten-year-old Fanny is a scholar and living with her aunt Sarah Hobbs, nee Jones, and her husband William in Bermondsey; then in 1881 she was visiting her cousin Julia Golds, nee Halford, and her husband Edward in Hornsey. Then, as are no definite records for Fanny after this census, she seems to disappear. Now whether Fanny ever lived with her parents or if it was just a coincidence that every time the census was taken she was away from home, we really don’t know.

Thomas the youngest surviving son was living with Frances in 1871 but after that, he too seems to disappear from the records.

Edward sen’s. Death

In January 1864 Edward sen. died at the age of forty-two. He may have been suffering from a long-term illness as in 1861, when he was just thirty-seven years old, the census states he is a ‘retired’ chemist. Without purchasing a death certificate though, we won’t know the cause of his early demise. The probate records tell us that he left under £1,500 to Frances. After his death the Chemist business was sold, and the shop was taken over by bootmaker Henry Randall.


Letter from solicitor James Barber Edwards

Frances moved back across the road to 195 Lower Street where she continued to run her Millinery business. Unfortunately, like many traders in the 1870’s during the decades of stagnation known as the ‘ Long Depression’, Francis fell on hard times, and in 1873 she filed for bankruptcy at which time she closed the shop and moved to Ramsgate. In the archives of the Deal Maritime and Local History Museum, there is a letter from James Barber Edwards a solicitor of Queen Street, Deal, writing to an unknown gentleman regarding a former servant of Frances’ named only as ‘Piggott’ who must have remained at 195 as James B Edwards suggests  “to have ‘Piggott’ painted on the shop late Mrs Jones.” In this letter one of Frances’ sons is mentioned: “It might be well also to see Jones jnr. To inform him that his mother has nothing more to do with the house & Shop that if he goes to this house he will be charged for Board.”  Quite which son this actually refers to we don’t know as Thomas was living with his mother in 1871 and only fifteen at the time of the bankruptcy so it is quite probable that he moved with her move to Ramsgate, Edward, on the other hand, we can’t find on the 1871 census so we have no idea if he was actually in the country then or not. So which “Jones jnr.” the solicitor is referring to really isn’t clear.

It appears that following the bankruptcy, Frances was able to restart her business at 195 Lower Street where she continued to trade until at least 1881. The Hamilton Road burial register states that she was buried from 24 Wellington Road so she may well have retired, sold the business and moved there soon after the 1881 census taken. 

Frances was buried alongside Edward in Hamilton Road Cemetery on the 16 May 1883.

The Beloved Memory of the Above
Edward Jones
Whose soul has entered the Eternal World
16th January 1864
In the 40th Year of his Age
Blessed are the dead which die in the Land
Frances relict of the above who departed this life
18th May 1883 aged 65 years
Her end was Peace



Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Frances Halford 14 March 1818
Lower Street, Deal
24 March 1818 St. Leonard’s Edward Jones
18 August 1849
St. Leonard’s ChurchBorn 1824
Died 16 January 1864
13 May 1883
24 Wellington Road
16 May 1883
Hamilton Road Cemetery

The Children of Frances Halford & Edward Jones

Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Edward 1852 29 February 1851
St. Leonard’s
Fanny Balcombe
22 November 1878
St. Leonard’s
John Halford 1854 29 September 1854
St. Andrew’s
1859 23 July 1859
Hamilton Road Cemetery
Richard 1857 5 February 1857
Private Ceremony
St. Leonard’s
1857 13 February 1857
Hamilton Road Cemetery
Thomas 1859 5 June 1859
St. Andrew’s
Fanny 18 March 1860 3 June 1877
St. George’s


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1841 Lower Street Richard Head Grocer
Eliza Wife
Ada Daughter
Eliza Daughter
Ann Daughter
Frances Halford Dressmaker
Mary Norris Female Servant


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1851 196 Lower Street Edward Jones Head Chemist (employing 2 men & 2 Boys)
Frances Wife Milliner (employing 4 assistants & 1 boy)
William Bright Chemist Assistant
Edward Mourilyan Chemist Apprentice
William Browning Milliners Assistant


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1861 11 Broad Street Edward Jones Head Retired Chemist
Frances Wife Milliner
Edward Son Scholar
Thomas Son Scholar
Sarah Redsull Servant Cook
Amelia Hobday Servant Housemaid


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1871 195 Lower Street Frances Jones Head Milliner
Thomas Son Scholar
Caroline Goddard Servant General Servant


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1881 195 High Street Frances Jones Head Milliner
Emily Saunders Milliner
Elizabeth Williams Servant General Servant

Trade and Street Directory

Directory and Year Trade or Occupation Address
Post Office Directory 1867 Milliner & Hosier 195 Lower Street
Kelly’s Directory 1874 Milliner & Hosier 195 Lower Street
Kelly’s Directory 1880 Milliner 195 High Street