Three Deaf Tailors of Plymouth
By H Dominic W Stiles, on 6 April 2018
This photo, shows three tailors of Plymouth who were deaf. The photo probably dates from 1910/20. It is possible that one of men, on the right or in the centre, may be Edward John Tavenor (1855-1938), who was born in Plymouth, but attended the Old Kent Road Asylum where he is listed in the 1871 census. Perhaps those in the photograph are a little young looking, but perhaps the photo is a little older than my guess.
At any rate, Edward was not born deaf according to the 1861 census, and so he probably lost his hearing having already acquired some speech. He was involved in the local Plymouth and District Deaf and Dumb Mission for a number of years as a member of the committee. At that time the missioner was Hiram Blount, who was himself deaf. Edward married a Deaf lady, Susannah Creber, in 1880. I am not sure if she was educated locally or not.
I have touched on the Plymouth Mission before, and there is a rich seam of Deaf history to be mined here.
1861 Census – Class: RG 9; Piece: 1454; Folio: 85; Page: 27; GSU roll: 542815 (Susannah)
1871 Census – Class: RG10; Piece: 601; Folio: 112; Page: 5; GSU roll: 818907
1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1744; Folio: 140; Page: 43
1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 2093; Folio: 27; Page: 46
1911 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 1725; Folio: 24; Page: 42
Plymouth Mission Annual Reports for 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1924 (we have incomplete holdings)