My Great Grandfather, Joseph Lines (1848-1931) clearly possessed a strength of character. His father, Abel Lines (1807-1877) had been variously a Fur Skin Dresser, Smith, Steel Worker, Porter and Furrier. Joseph’s elder brother George (1841-1921) trained as a carpenter, and started making wooden horses. His sisters were in domestic service until they married or died.
George must have been pretty enterprising in his own right as he had his first factory, at 51, Great Saffron Hill, Camden, London by 1860, where, in the 1861 Census he is described as a Children’s Horse Maker.
In 1876 Joseph joined his brother George and they formed G&J Lines, having a factory at 457 Caledonian Road, which produced Rocking Horses, Velocipede Horses and Life Size Horses for Circuses and Steam Fairs. The business prospered due to the George’s skill and Joseph’s business acumen. Two of Joseph’s sons, William and Walter joined the firm in 1897. They were joined by the fourth son, Arthur in 1909. The third son, George Edward Lines, my Grandfather, did not join the firm,doing an engineering apprenticeship instead.
George retired in 1903, leaving Joseph in charge of the business which continued to thrive until the outbreak of the First World War, William, who was 35, was too old to be called up, and continued to work for his father at G&J Lines, but the other sons all served in the army.
At the end of the war, while George Edward went into farming, the other three sons returned to the toy business, but their views on where the business should go had changed. Joseph, used to being very much in charge did not agree, and William, Walter and Arthur set up their own toy company – Lines Brothers, operating under the brand name Triang (three Lines make a triangle).
Joseph cut off contact with the rebellious sons, which was very distressing to his wife Jane, who hoped for a reconciliation until her death in 1925.
Although there does seem to have been some thawing in relationships, when Joseph died in 1931 his will shows he had not forgiven the defecting sons.
The Last Will and Testament of Joseph Lines
This is the Last Will and Testament
of me JOSEPH LINES of 141 Lordship Road in the county of Middlesex Strong toy and Baby Carriage Maker and I hereby revoke all my former testamentary dispositions and appoint my son George Edward Lines and Leanord Herbert Graves Accountant of Allen Craig Vera Avenue Grange park in the County of Middlesex (hereinafter called my Trustees) Executors and Trustees of this my will and I declare as follows:-
1. I give free of all duties the following legacies:-
To each of my Trustees who shall prove my Will and shall act in the trusts thereof the sum of twenty five pounds to reimburse them for their interest and time spent, in carrying out my wishes and I declare that Leanord Herbert Graves shall act conjointly with my Son George Edward Lines for a period of two years after which Leanord Herbert Graves will terminate the trusteeship leaving my son George Edward Lines as sole executor and trustee for terminating the disposition of the Residuary estate.
2. All the gifts both of real and personal property, other than that of my residuary estate, contained in this my Will or any codicil hereto shall be paid free from all legacy and death duties whatsoever and it is my intention to exercise by this will or any codicil hereto to the fullest extent all powers of appointment vested in me whether such powers are general or special and whether expressly referred to or not.
3. I give the following legacies to the employees of G. and J Lines Limited if in the service of the company at my death to be paid within three months of my death To my nephew Frederick Fitzhenry the sum of fifty pounds to George William Woodrow, Bertram Tigg thirty pounds each to John Lawrence Ives, Harry Thomas, Arthur Ernest Cutter and Alfred Dilley Twenty pounds each To Henry Arthur Marshall, Alec McKenzie, Joseph Lee, Stanley Bettell, John Warrilow, Mabel Burbridge, Violet Keen and my House maid Elisabeth Stone Ten pounds each.
4. I give the following to my children as a provision during the period which may elapse before the realisation and distribution of my residuary estate such legacies to be paid within three months of my death: –
To my Daughter Edith Rae the sum of Two hundred pounds.
To my Son George Edward Lines the sum of Three Hundred pounds
To my Daughter Winifred Lines the sum of Four hundred pounds
To each for their sole use and benefit:-
5. I give to the Prince Of Wales General Hospital 14 princes Road Tottenham one hundred pounds and I direct that the receipt of the Treasurer or acting Treasurer or other proper officer of each institution shall be sufficient discharge to my Trustees.
6. The number of shares in the Company of G. and J. Lines Limited held in my name is 22,942 these shares are to be transferred as follows within three months of my death:-
To my Son George Edward Lines Ten Thousand five hundred shares
To my Daughter Winifred Lines Eight thousand four hundred and forty two shares
To my Daughter Edith Rae Four thousand shares.
7. These shares are not to be sold or transferred by them except to one or other of the recipients in the first place and dividends (if any) must be distributed in same proportion to numbers held by them and not until the Firms reserve amounts to the sum of five thousand pounds. These shares are to be held on same conditions as stated in the said Firm’s articles of association dated the Thirteenth day of April One thousand nine hundred and eight.
8. I give and bequeath all my other property of every description unto my trustees upon trust that they shall sell call in and convert in to money such parts thereof as may not consist of money with full powers to postpone such sale calling in and conversion for such periods as they shall think proper and shall out of my ready money and the proceeds of such sale calling in or conversion pay my funeral and testamentary expenses and debts and the legacies bequeathed by this Will or any Codicil hereto and shall invest the remainder of such monies and proceeds in or upon any of the investments for the time being authorised by law for the investment of trust funds with power to change any such investment for others similarly authorised for the period of two years from the date of my death and after such period Upon Trust to pay and divide such investments and accumulations whether invested or not between such of my three children George Edward Lines Edith Rae and Winifred Lines as shall survive me in four equal parts Three parts to be equally divided between my Son George Edward Lines my Daughter Winifred Lines the remaining fourth part to be paid to my Daughter Edith Rae.
9. And I desire that my Freehold of Tottenham Toy and baby carriage works and land shall be valued by a professional Valuer and the value arrived at shall be divided between my three children aforesaid in the same proportion as stated in paragraph No 8 in this my Will and it is my wish that Mr. W.R. Harrison of 41 Fairfield Road Edmonton shall be chosen as valuer in this matter and also all other questions of valuation which may arise.
10. And I desire that my Son George Edward Lines shall accept the position of Governor Chairman and Sole Managing Director of the company of G. and J. Lines Limited he should hold all my share certificates Leases Deeds policies and private papers and keys connected with the aforesaid Company and myself.
11. I give to my son George Edward Lines my Gold watch and gold chain and my rings.
12. I desire that the furniture linen ornaments clocks pictures and all contents of 141 Lordship Road shall be offered at first instance to my three Children aforesaid at the valuers estimate of price and they should have first choice of them before arranging sale of the remains and remainder of Lease which should be possible within three months of my death
IN WITNESS whereof I have to this my Will hereunto set my hand this
16th day of December one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven
My Grandfather – was working with Joseph at G&J Lines by 1927 when the will was written, and still working there in 1931. Rather against the spirit of the Will, but a sensible move, was the sale of G&J Lines to Lines Brothers, where my Grandfather now worked as head of the Development Department.
Joseph’s eldest daughter, Edith had married James Rae in 1916. He was a civil servant, who became Sir James Rae, K.C.B and Under Secretary, H.M. Treasury, but had not reached these heights in 1927. She died on 12th March 1957, and he died on 1st November 1957, just 8 months later.
Joseph’s youngest daughter never married, so he made provision for her financial support. She died, aged 93 in 1983.
Joseph’s sister, Mary Ann Lines married Benjamin Fitzhenry in 1875. In 1877 Joseph married Jane Fitzhenry, Benjamin’s sister. Benjamin and Mary Ann had four children, one being Frederick Fitzhenry, born 3 March 1882. He was baptised on 30th April 1882, the same day as Walter Lines, and by then his mother, Mary Ann had died. She probably giving birth to him as he was born on 3rd March and she died on 6th March.
Benjamin re-married in 1884 and had another three children.
Frederick worked for his uncle. His occupation is unreadable in 1901, it might be ‘perambulator trimmer’, but was a French Polisher, working for a Toy Manufacturer in 1911. In both cases he was living with his aunt, Joseph’s sister, Martha Lines. He married Grace Bailey in 1934, in the 1939 Census he was ‘assistant to a silver dealer’ and he was a ‘retired shop porter’ when died in 1952.
George William Woodrow, Bertram Tigg, John Lawrence Ives, Harry Thomas, Arthur Ernest Cutter, Alfred Dilley, Henry Arthur Marshall, Alec McKenzie, Joseph Lee, Stanley Bettell, John Warrilow, Mabel Burbridge, Violet Keen
I assume they all worked at G&J Lines, but I know nothing more about them
Joseph’s housekeeper, who would have had to take on more responsibility after Jane’s death.
This opened in 1867 and closed in 1983, and had just added a new wing in 1923.
Not all of Joseph’s surviving children (he had a daughter, Rosa, who died aged 3) are mentioned in his will.
Joseph’s daughter, Mary, married Ralph Freeman in 1908. By 1927 Ralph Freeman was a senior partner in the engineering firm Donald Fox and Partners (which later changed its name to Freeman, Fox and Partners). Presumably Joseph had no concerns that they might need financial support.
Joseph’s eldest son, had been too old to be called up in 1914, and continued to work at G&J Lines throughout the First World War, but joined his brothers in forming Lines Brothers in 1919.
Served in the army during WW1 and rose to the the rank of Captain. Like his elder brother William, he had been a director of G&J Lines Ltd, but took the risk of branching out with his brothers.
The youngest of Joseph’s sons, he had started work as an apprentice at G&J Lines, before joining the army. He completed the trio of toymaking Lines Brothers in 1919.
Joseph’s sister. Although she worked for Joseph in 1901 as a Toy Horse Rosette maker and was still alive in 1927 (she died in 1935) she was not mentioned in the will.