Charles Courtneidge was a coachman from Leatherhead, Surrey. He fell from the box of his fly and died on the Upper Road to Richmond in Putney in 1860, leaving his widow Sarah Watson and six living children. Charles was born in 1807 to John Courtnadge and Hanna Clifton. Courtneidge (also Courtnadge, Courtnage) is a rare surname that originated near the hundred of Godalming in southwest Surrey.
Sarah Watson was born on 1 Aug 1818 in the parish of St. Luke, Chelsea, then in the county of Middlesex. She was the first child of James Watson, a shoemaker, and Ann Copperthite. In 1842, the Watson family’s fortune took a turn for the worse. Ann Watson died of consumption at age 50 on 29 Sep 1842. James Watson died the next year from chronic bronchitis, followed by their youngest child, 6 year-old James. The other unmarried Watson children became inmates of the Workhouse.
Thomas James Ward was born on 9 Jan 1843 at Strand-on-the-Green in Chiswick. His father Thomas was an agricultural labourer at Edward Dean’s market gardens. Thomas married Sarah Hannah Lucy Courtneidge on 5 Aug 1867 at St. Paul’s Church, Hammersmith. Sarah was born in 1844 in Wimbledon to Charles Courtneidge, a coachman, and Sarah Watson, a shoemaker’s daughter from Chelsea. Thomas and Sarah had 12 children from 1863-1889. The family lived in Battersea, Wandsworth, Earlsfield, and finally Tooting.