Unrequited Love: Who Was Cyrus?

Fragments: Postcard album with the initials LMB embossed in gold on the cover. Contains 200 postcards, most of them unused, chiefly views of seaside resorts, public buildings and street scenes in the north of England and North Wales. On the first internal page is written: ‘To Lil from Cyrus Xmas 1907’. There are three photographs of Lily Mary Beaumont, one with her husband, Thomas Stobbs Henderson. A small pack of visiting cards inscribed ‘Rufus Rhodes’. A few loose postcards, some of them used.

 

To Lil from Cyrus Xmas 1907

 

Lily Mary Beaumont (the LMB on the cover) was born in 1882 in Moldgreen in Huddersfield into a family established in that town since at least 1850. She was the second child of Thomas Edward Beaumont, a stone mason’s labourer, and his wife, Mary Ann. In the census of 1901 Lily Mary and her younger sister, Blanche, are described as ‘cloth menders’ (that is, those responsible for repairing tears in textiles that were produced in the mill).

Lily Mary Beaumont and her husband Thomas Stobbs Henderson

In 1901 she was living with her family at 35 Silver Street in Moldgreen, where she remained until the First World War and where she would have received the gift album from her then boyfriend, Cyrus. At some time before 1918, however, the relationship with Cyrus had ended and she had a new boyfriend, Thomas Stobbs Henderson, whom she married and who in that year was living with her at 35 Silver Street. Cyrus did not reappear.

The entire album is filled with postcards, most pages resembling this one.

Although Lily Mary remained in touch with him, it is not clear how Rufus Rhodes fits into this scenario. Born in or about 1880, in 1901 he was living with his father, a silk warp sizer, his Norwich-born mother and two younger siblings, at 37 Haveta Street in Bradford, where he was employed as a worsted spinner. Perhaps the Beaumont and Rhodes families were in some way related; perhaps Rufus was another failed suitor.

Lily and Thomas’ apparently childless marriage lasted until Thomas’ death at 13 Lister Street, Huddersfield in April 1945.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 4th April 1945: ‘on April 3rd, at the Royal Infirmary, Thomas Stobbs, aged 58 years, the dearly loved husband of Lily Mary Henderson…’

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