Louisa Stamps was the mother of William Hunt Painter's wife, Jane. She came to live at Stirchley Rectory in 1894 aged 80 and died just three years later in 1897.
However, in that short time, she clearly made an impact on the small village. One of the few memorials in this church is dedicated to her memory.
Baptised at St Martin's-in-the-Bull Ring in Birmingham in February 1814, Louisa was the daughter of William and Jane Wynn. At the age of 27 she married 36-year-old Joseph Stamps of Wolverhampton in September 1840 also at St Martin's Church. There is evidence that her father died later that same year.
Joseph was a clerk and the couple are first found living together in the 1841 National Census on Bristol Street. At that time this certainly was not one of the city's slum areas, but an area of small terraced rows close to the city centre whose residents were artisans or lower middle class.
Ten years later the couple are living in Islington on the edge of Edgbaston in a solidly middle-class district. Their neighbours are small merchants and bank clerks, and almost everyone has a servant, including the Stamps. Joseph is now a merchant's clerk. Jane, aged 10, is at Sparkhill School at Showell Green, then a rural district outside Birmingham, a private boarding school for 15 girls aged 10-18.
By the time of the 1861 Census Joseph had risen to be a general hardware merchant and in 1871 an iron merchant. Jane had married William Hunt Painter early in 1871. however, on the night of the Census in April she was staying in Edgbaston with her parents.
Joseph died at the age of 73 in 1878 leaving up to £10 000 in his will to Louisa, a sum worth today close to £1 million. Louisa moved into lodgings in the next road to the family home for a while.
By 1891 William had been appointed a curate at St Lawrence, Biddulph. By now Louisa, 'living on her own means' was living with the couple, with two servants to care for them,. Louisa was now aged 77. She came with them to Stirchley when William was appointed in 1894.
Louisa was at Stirchley for less than four years, but in that time endeared herself to the parishioners to the extent that they raised a memorial in the church to commemorate her life.
In Memory of
Late of Stirchley Rectory
Born Jan.ry 9th 1814 . Died Dec.r 17th 1897.
This tablet was erected by members of the
Sunday School and other friends in token of
their grateful esteem.
Her grave in Stirchley churchyard is alongside the boundary with the rectory garden where her daughter and son-in-law were later laid to rest.