Emma Lockwood

All her life Emma was defined through the men in her life. As a young girl she was known as Miss Atkins, all her decisions and any documents with her name on them were signed off by her father and in public, she was known as Miss Atkins, or Miss E. Atkins. Once married Emma became known as Mrs. Lockwood. This included the documents that show the evidence of her purchasing her own business. Emma Lockwood, wife of Frederick Lockwood says the document. Yet none of that shows the force that Emma was to become.

When the world changed and Frederick Lockwood could no longer keep working as a coachbuilder it was to Emma’s business that he turned. Emma was running a successful business in Granville and it was this business that kept the family afloat through good times and bad.

It was through Emma’s business that the Lockwoods became a force in the Parramatta and Ryde council areas. Emma was known for her suppers given at glamorous balls and weddings, Masonic ceremonies, and socials. While socialite women in their satins and furs and men in their black suits swanned around Emma was in the background supplying suppers that were often praised and were certainly mentioned in the papers.

Throughout what must have been a hectic work schedule at events Emma was also known for the quality of the displays in the windows of her shop.


Argus Advertisers’ Displays.

Mrs. Lockwood, the favourite caterer of Granville, has a very showy Christmas display in her window. First and foremost there is a large stock of the best quality of fruit and preserves, vegetables and confectionery the other lines are tobacco and cigars and fancy goods and stationery and iced drinks in abundance. Mrs. Lockwood announces that she makes picnic hampers ready at a few hours’ notice, which should be a great convenience to picnickers during the festive season. A special line with Mrs. Lockwood is poultry, and orders are taken for poultry guaranteed young and fresh. Great preparations have been made for the Christmas trade, and a big trade is anticipated.

1897 ‘CHRISTMAS AT GRANVILLE’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 18 December, p. 2. , viewed 16 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85767379

It wasn’t all parties and catering though, Emma had her fair share of eventful happenings. She quite literally had the proverbial bull in a china shop one Tuesday afternoon. What was noticeable about this event, aside from the fact that a large bull got into a shop and rampaged around while Emma was there, was that the shop was mentioned as being owned by Mr. F. Lockwood. Despite Emma being the person this happens to, and Emma being the person that runs the shop, the article is still about Mr. F. Lockwood’s shop. It is almost like Emma gets sidelined in her own business. The bull tore through the dining room of the shop, smashing a piano, sending food flying and striking at least one child before smashing a window to exit the shop and finally being trapped and caught in the back yard. Fred isn’t even present during the events of the day. It is Emma that is caught up in the events.

It was both Mr. and Mrs. Lockwood who put out a fire that Miss. Lockwood accidentally lit a fire in 1906. Once again Emma and Miss. Lockwood are defined in terms of their relationship to Fred, although in this case Fred is also defined in terms of his father and his heritage, not in terms of who he is. It is also noticeable that by this time, there is an acknowledgement that the shop is Emma’s, not Fred’s.

When Emma moves to Bondi, it is to open up a new business, a tearooms that is currently being run by her daughter Emily Lockwood. By this stage, the articles are very much about Emma and Emily, Fred Lockwood is not mentioned. It is at this point that the finances of the family become notable in that it is the woman who are driving the prosperity of this family, not the men. Fred is still working, but he is working with Emma and doing some smaller jobs on the side.

Emma does not seem to be as prosperous in Bondi. At this stage, the world is heading towards the First World War and things are changing. There starts to be rationing and food shortages, Emma has to pay a fine of £10 or do two months hard labor for adulterating milk. This appears to have been a mistake by a child, but the judge still imposed the fine.

Emma’s business at Bondi survived throughout the First World War to be hit by a cyclone that ripped a large section of the roof off the AV Tearooms that Emma owned and ran. Then in 1926, Emma decided to retire and sell the tearooms and the couple moved to Harris Park, back to Granville where the family had done so well earlier in Emma’s career.

On Fred’s death, his Will is contested by Emma and her son George. It appears that there is a dispute because some of the property that is being wound up and disposed of through the will does not belong to Fred, it belongs to Emma. This includes a property in Vaucluse. There is no mention of the property in Fred’s will, the will just mentions “all property” but because Emma is his wife it seems to be that the assumption is that all of the property owned by the couple was in Fred’s name and not in Emma’s. So, Emma and her son have to fight the will so that Emma can retain the property that she bought and had sole ownership of.

When Emma died, all of her property, including the property that she fought to retain when her husband died was shared equally between all her children.

Emma was a driving force in her marriage and was unusual for her time, although certainly not alone for her time. She was the main breadwinner and was the owner of property and of a business. It was her money that meant that the family were able to become prosperous and to be part of a world that would otherwise have passed them by, as they were by no means from a wealthy background. Yet, they were able to experience large parts of that upper echelon social life from the shadows of Emma’s business. Despite all of this Emma lived in a world where her contribution was mainly acknowledged through her relationship to her father, her husband and later her son when it was him that had to help her fight for the property that she owned outright.

1897 ‘ODDFELLOWS’ BALL AT BLACKTOWN.’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 24 July, p. 6. , viewed 20 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85772811

1897 ‘PROSPECT.’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW :

 – 1950), 13 November, p. 11. , viewed 16 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85765054

1898 ‘Wedding.’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 13 August, p. 8. , viewed 17 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85836336

1900 ‘The Enfield Mounted Rifles.’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 28 November, p. 2. , viewed 08 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85819850

1906 ‘A WILD BULL.’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 10 February, p. 4. , viewed 02 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85942136

1906 ‘FIRE.’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 1 December, p. 4. , viewed 02 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85933518

1908 ‘The Cumberland Argus.’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), 11 July, p. 2. , viewed 19 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85984345

1913 ‘MILK THAT WAS FAULTY.’, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 – 1930), 31 January, p. 7. , viewed 27 Jan 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article238618269

1922 ‘DAMAGE AT BONDI’, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 – 1930), 25 July, p. 6. , viewed 27 Jan 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245738217

State Archives NSW NRS-13660-31-10076-Series 4_376063 Emma Lockwood Date of Death 21/02/1951, Granted on 21/05/1951

State Archives NSW NRS-13660-31-10076-Series 4_226322 Frederick Nicholas Churcher Lockwood- Date of Death 24/07/1937, Granted on 14/12/1937

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