Sophia Jekyll G. Wilkinson (née Newman)
c1858 - >1901

 Relationship to me: First Cousin Twice Removed Gen -2
 Born: c.1858 in London  
 Died: after 1901
 Age ??  
 Father:      Edwin 1829 - c1883
 Mother: Sophia B Armstrong b. c1836 (was 35 in 1871 census)
 Siblings: (younger) Charlotte E. (born in Dedham, Essex) b. c1860 (was 11 in 1871 census)
Edwin Henry Armstrong Newman b. c1862 (was 9 in 1871 census)
  Violet Ida (born in London) m. Hunter b. 1869 (was 2 in 1871 census)
 Married: (1) Tom A Sawden (or Sawdon) m. 29th March 1884 at St Saviours Church, St George's Square London
  (2) Matthew Wilkinson (or Williams)  
Children:   unknown  

Outline her Life:

Sophia's name appears as 'Sophie J.G Newman' in the 1861 census for Bolton Street, London when she was recorded as being 3 years old and born in London. In the 1871 census Sophia is recorded as visiting her cousin Sophia Storie in Portchester. Nothing more was known about her until Oct 2008 when the "Tale of Tom Auther Sawdon" was sent to me by Christine Gatenby in the UK, as compiled by Delphine Sawden with Christine's assistance.

The story that is told is interesting in itself but doubly interesting in that it is so closely aligned with that of Sophia's younger sister Violet Ida. It seems that both girls married actors who had close associations with medical practice, and both appear to have became actresses themselves. Given the likelihood that Violet was ostracized by her family as a result of her career choice, it's not unlikely that Sophia was also ostricized.

In Sophia's case it appears that she married Tom A Sawden (or Sawdon) at St Saviours Church St George's Square on 29th March 1884 (shortly after her father's death). This is likely to have been the Newman family's local church, so presumably the wedding was conducted with the family's blessing. After that nothing is known of Sophia until 1900 when it was recorded that Sophia Jekyll G Sawdon had married a Matthew Wilkinson (or Williams) in Bristol. Some years earlier, in 1892, Tom Sawdon had emigrated to Australia where he took on an acting career under the name Tom Cannum. He married again in 1919 and died in 1951.

Meanwhile, Sophia and Matthew made one further appearance in the 1901 census where they were recorded as being visitors in the home of William and Mary Russell in Radcliffe, Lancashire. Matthew’s occupation was given as "dramatic author" and Sophie’s as "actress". Nothing further is known about Sophia at the time of writing (Oct 2008).

Page created 11th Oct 2008