Christina Clair Maitland

Christina (Nina) Clair Maitland

I know very little about Christina Clair Maitland aka Nina. She was born abt 1884 in London and married Percy Alan Cleaver. She was my great grandmother’s younger sister and thanks to Charles Daniel I know have some fantastic photos of here.

Christina Maitland 1896
Christina Maitland 1896
Christina Clair Maitland

2 thoughts on “Christina Clair Maitland

  1. George Graham has added a page for Christina on his site here. It mentions that her husband Percy Alan Cleaver (1880-1945) was the son of Harris Peugeot Cleaver and Helen Frances Phoebe Makin, at Liverpool, Lancashire.

    He also found the announcement of her death in The Times:

    The Times, Thursday, Mar 30, 1972 Death
    CLEAVER – On March 28, 1972, at 40 Palace Mansions, London, W.14, Christina Clair (Nina), aged 87 years. Requiem Mass at Holy Trinity, Brook Green, 10 a.m. Tuesday, 4th April. Flowers to J. Hussey Ltd., Kensington Church Street w.8.

    And George found a birth record in the BMD files of a Cerise M. Cleaver 1911 3Q Alton (Hampshire) 2c 395 with a mother with maiden name of Maitland

    Cerise died in 1966 Age 55, 3Q Fulham 5b 313, unmarried. I wonder of Cerise was Christina’s daughter and if they had other Children?

  2. I did a quick Google search on ‘Harris Peugeot Cleaver ‘ and found the following brief history on the The Cleaver family here:

    Arnold Jeffries Cleaver (1851-1918) assisted in the formation of The Liverpool Children’s Shelter, established by Liverpool banker, Thomas Agnew in 1883, which went on to become the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He was also the Honorary Secretary to the Liverpool Children’s Hospital, Myrtle Street, and President of the Liverpool Law Society, 1904-05.

    His brother, Harris Peugeot Cleaver (1853-1925), was a Clerk to the West Derby Board of Guardians and Chief Registrar for Liverpool, then at Brougham Terrace. The Board had the power to send paupers abroad to the colonies, Canada being their usual choice, a practice Harris Cleaver didn’t agree with. He was a man who was noted for his devotion to work, his father (William Cleaver 1812-1880) having been the Clerk before him from 1847 until his death in 1880.

    In April 1884, the Board decided that because several poor persons were ‘desirous of emigrating to Canada’ took the necessary steps to effect their emigration. The oldest of these ‘poor persons’ was 16, the two youngest was a girl aged 4 and a boy aged 2. How children of this age, and without parents, could possibly ‘desire’ to be transported to Canada is inexplicable. Cleaver was so deeply concerned about these decisions that he travelled to Canada, at his own expense, to investigate their situation. He was so distressed at the conditions under which many of the children were living that when he returned he persuaded the Board of Guardians to discontinue their ‘emigration’ policy.

    Shortly afterwards funding was made available and on 27th March, 1889, the Cottage Homes, Fazakerley, were opened to house pauper children. The Liverpool Select Vestry followed suit and a similar scheme was carried out to erect Cottage Homes at Olive Mount, Wavertree, in 1897, and they became a Children’s Hospital c.1925. The West Derby Union extended their facilities for children with a Children’s Sanatorium that opened in Heswall, c1903, for children suffering from TB. The Sanatorium was later renamed The Cleaver Hospital. They also purchased Alder Hey house and grounds, Eaton Road, West Derby, in 1906, and built a hospital for chronic infirm paupers, but the building was used for sick children instead. The Foundation Stone was laid in March 1911, and it was then known as Alder Hey Hospital – the prefix ‘Childrens’ was added in 1951.

    In 1889, solicitors Arnold Jeffries Cleaver and his brother, Richard, acted to defend Florence Maybrick indicted for the murder of James Maybrick, her husband.

    The trial, on the 31st July, at Liverpool Summer Assizes, St. George’s Hall, was dubbed “The Fly-Paper Murder.” A steward/waitress gave evidence that Florence soaked fly-papers to extract arsenic. It was without doubt one of the most sensational criminal cases of the century.

    Council for the defence, instructed by Messrs. Cleaver & Cleaver, were Sir Charles Russell, QC., MP., and Mr. William Dickford. Later, Lord Russell became Lord Chief Justice.

    James Maybrick was described “a very good kind of fellow” but he was a seducer, adulterer, drinker, drug addict and debauchee. He was known to take arsenic to ward off bouts of Malaria and to boost his voracious sexual appetite. Before he married he had seduced a young woman of eighteen under promise of marriage. He kept her as his mistress until she bore him five children and then he cast her off without remorse when he saw his chance of marrying Florence Maybrick.

    Even though she was accused of his murder Florence Maybrick implored Messrs. Cleaver’s “to spare Jim as much as possible.” “I know,” she said, “he has done many wrong things, but he is dead now, and I would be distressed if his life were to be made public.” Her solicitors yielded to her pleas, consoling themselves, from a professional point of view, that to comply with her earnest pleas might not materially injure the case. The case was lost and Florence Maybrick was sentenced to death by hanging.

    At his own expense Arnold Cleaver travelled to the USA, obtaining sworn statements from servants who attended James Maybrick at his frequent cotton-buying visits. These revealed the shopping trips which servants frequently made to obtain arsenic to sustain James Maybrick’s habit.

    Following a long struggle (the Court of Criminal Appeal only came into existence some 15 years later), Queen Victoria reluctantly expressed mercy. Florence Maybrick served ‘life’ and was released 25th January 1904. She died in 1941, aged 81, in Connecticut, USA.

    In Lord Russell’s later recollections of Mrs. Maybrick he is quoted as saying “a woman who, in the opinion of some who had most knowledge of the facts should not have been convicted.”

    Nearly 100 years after his death convincing evidence shows that Jack the Ripper, who slaughtered and butchered prostitutes in London’s East End, was James Maybrick.

    Arnold Jeffries Cleaver left the legal firm to become Registrar to the Liverpool District High Court in the Government Offices, Victoria Street, Liverpool. A building that backed on to the Municipal Buildings on Dale Street, and was shared by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, the Assistance Board and the Inland Revenue Stamp Office among others. By a twist of irony his son, William Babcock Cleaver (1882-1956), also a solicitor and principle clerk of the Registry, was on fire watch in this same building during the 1941 3rd May Blitz in which he lost his left leg after he was impaled by timber when a high-explosive bomb destroyed the building. William Babcock Cleaver was rescued by a police officer. The official report read:

    “Mr. Leatham was on voluntary fire-watching duty with other colleagues, and was sheltering in the basement during the height of a raid when a high-explosive bomb crashed through the floors immediately above, tearing down the walls, caving in the shelter, and setting the place on fire. Mr. Leatham managed to worm his way out from under the fallen brickwork and timber and go for help to secure the release of two colleagues, who remained trapped and injured under the debris. Police and auxiliary firemen were soon at work, the firemen fighting the fire overhead and Constable Hunter digging his way through to one man who was pinned down by beams. Despite the limited space, Constable Hunter removed the rubble, sawed through the timber and got out the casualty.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Leatham, who had already directed the firemen so that the trapped men should not be drowned by water from the hoses, began burrowing towards the other victim, but was unable, owing to heavy obstructions, to reach him unaided. The rescue work went on for seven hours, and while waiting for help from the rescue party, Mr. Leatham salvaged valuable papers and periodically crawled down the tunnel near to the trapped man to reassure him.”

    For their gallantry both men received the British Empire Medal. The building, which was totally destroyed, is presently a public car park and one of only a few visible remains of the 1941 May Blitz.

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