John Smith's Family Tree Website


Close up of Tijou Screen at Hampton Court Palace

Mason family


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Part 4: Rose Mason (1878 - 1978)


Early life and marriage to William George Higgins

Rose Mason was born 02 October 1878 at the Royal Naval Hospital, East Stonehouse, Devon, one of ten children born to William Mason and Elizabeth Tippett Wyatt. She was registered as ‘Rosey’ but known as ‘Rosa’ through her childhood. There is no baptism record for her and she married in a registry office so it is possible Rose and her family worshipped outside of the Anglican church.

Rose grew up in the Royal Naval Hospital until her father’s retirement when they moved to Hyde Park Road, away from the docks and the sounds of the sea. She married police constable William George Higgins (1872 - 1940) 13 October 1898 at Stoke Damerel Registry Office. They had eight children: Violet Ernestine, William George, William, Arthur Edwin, Elsie Rose, Frank, Cecelia May and Leonard. (More information about William and their children can be found in the Higgins section.)

William was with the Metropolitan Police which was responsible for policing naval dockyards. It is possible he and Rose met because of this naval connection. In 1902, the family moved to Essex where William had been transferred, then Tottenham and finally Wandsworth. Rose was able to take advantage of the Representation of the People Act (1918) that gave women over 30 the right to vote, provided they met the minimum property qualifications. Her husband’s occupation entitled her to vote for the parliamentary and also local government elections. In 1928, all women over 21 were enfranchised.


Post World War II life

After William died in 1940, Rose stayed living in their house in Tooting for some thirty years and then left London to live with her youngest son, Len, in Berkshire, having outlived many of her children. Rose died 13 June 1978, aged 99. The cause of death was listed as ‘senility’.