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John Meads 2014 from information provided by John Lack and Val Butcher (nee Muir) - ammended 2019
Edward Yeomans Miller
"Teddy the Potato King"

Edward and Mary Ann Miller
Edward Yeomans Miller and his wife Mary Ann

Edward Yeomans Miller was the second son of George, a shoemaker, and Elizabeth Miller. He was born in 1843 and died in 1912. At the young age of eight, the Burton Latimer 1851 census describes Edward’s occupation as ‘Farm boy’. In the 1861 Census he appears to be living in lodgings in Coventry with his future wife, Mary Ann. His occupation is described as a “Cordwainer” (new shoe maker). In the same 1861 Census there is a cousin also named Edward (son of Benjamin Miller) described as a ’Pig Dealer’ who living with his aunt Sarah Miller at the Horse & Groom public house, which is where he got into a bit of trouble in 1859. Click here to read about 'The case of the stolen cape'. Note: the two Edwards were born within a few months of each other. Benjamin Miller’s occupation is that of a ‘Pig Dealer’ the same as his son.
In 1871 Edward Yeomans and Mary Ann are living in Leeds and in 1881 at Irthlingborough where he is a ‘Shoe rivetter’ and back in Burton Latimer after his travels in 1891, 1901 and 1911, he is a ‘Dealer’.  He had set up in business as a furniture dealer and potato salesman, retail and wholesale. He stored his furniture in a large barn in Duke Street which was later replaced by the Fire Station and Parish Council Offices. He lived with his family in a thatched house on the corner of Piggott’s Lane and High Street and had a plot of land in Finedon Road where he grew potatoes, assisted by his two youngest daughters Fanny (Rachel Annie) and Topsy (Charlotte). He was well known in the county and became known as ‘Teddy, the Potato King’. He had bought the plot of land in Finedon Road with the intention of building a row of houses for his daughters to live in, as Joseph Allen had done further up the road (click here to read about Joe Allen) but, in the event, he used  the land for growing potatoes. Later, the land was used by the shoe manufacturers Joseph Westley and Henry Whitney, who lived in two ‘villas’ on the opposite side of the road, to build a pair of garages. The garages were later converted into a bungalow, latterly lived in by Gerald Church, but now demolished and the site used for housing.

Edward, Topsy and Fanny Miller at work in the potato field
An early 1900s photograph of Teddy Miller (centre) with daughters Fanny and Topsy
horse-hoeing in his potato field in Finedon Road

Edward Yeomans Miller married Mary Ann Daft at Leicester in 1861 and they went on to have ten children, but only eight survived into adulthood. The names of nine of them are known but the tenth is not. They are as follows:

Mary Ann born 1863 at Leicester. Married Thomas Dalby at Leicester 1886
Charlotte Elizabeth born1869 at Northampton. Died at Burton Latimer 1883

Ellen born 1870 at Leicester.  Married Henry Thomas Watson 1891

Martha Elizabeth Yeomans born 1872 at Leeds. Married John Claude Campen at Burton Latimer in 1895

Frances Harriett born1876 at Irthlingborough. Married Frederick James Durling at Croyden in 1895.*

Rose Beatrice born 1877 at Irthlingborough. Married Frederick Northern at Burton Latimer in1897

Susan Louisa Fanny born1878 at Irthlingborough. Married George Henry Smith at Burton Latimer in1902 **

Charlotte (Topsy) born1883 at Burton Latimer. Married Alfred Payne of Cranford at Burton Latimer in1908

Rachel Annie (Fanny) born 1885 at Burton Latimer. Married Walter Chapman at Burton Latimer in 1907

* A  daughter of this marriage – Mrs Mona Muir - was evacuated to Burton Latimer in WW2. Read about the Muir Family Evacuation here

** George Smith was a hawker and was boarding with the family at the time of the 1901 census

Wedding group - Rachel Annie Miller & Walter Chapman The family of Alfred and Charlotte Payne
Thought to be the wedding of Rachel Annie and Walter Chapman in 1907
Her parents are seated and her sister Charlotte on her right shoulder
The Payne family in the early 1930s. Alfred and Charlotte are seated with
Maurice in the centre. Standing L-R: at the back are Ruby, Edward,
Frederick and Lilian

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