Sophia was said to be an unusually good looking young woman, bright and attractive, who married Robert Goulden of Manchester at the age of eighteen at Braddan Church on the Isle of Man. It would appear that Sophia’s parents ran a lodging house at ‘Tynwald House, 3 North Quay, Douglas, which is where she first met Robert Goulden. He was the only son of Richard Goulden and Mary Brownridge who began his working life as an errand boy, but later rose to become a calico manufacturer. He is remembered as being an ardent Liberal and a member of Salford Town Council 1870 – 1877.
The newly married couple moved away from the Island to live in Manchester whilst Sophia’s mother went to live in Christian Road, Douglas, before finally moving to Strathallan Crescent also in Douglas.
Robert and Sophia Goulden had a large family of six sons and five daughters although the eldest child, a boy, died at the age of two. Another of their daughters, Mary Clarke, was also an active worker within the suffragist movement. Sophia was said to have been greatly enthusiastic about securing the vote for women, giving her blessing to the important work done by both her daughters and granddaughters.
Links with the Island, however, remained strong as Robert Goulden owned a house in Douglas to which the family returned for holidays. Previous biographers comment how they spent summers exploring the lanes and glens of the Isle of Man, and visiting their grandmother ‘who plied them with soda cakes’. Their uncle, Robbie Craine, was a well known local character, learned in Manx folklore.
Sophia lived at 9 Strathallan Crescent, Douglas, for approximately forty years and it was at this address that she passed away just two days before the anniversary of her husband’s death. Robert Goulden also died here on the 24th April, 1892. She had been in poor health for some months after enduring a bout of double pneumonia, and although partially recovered Sophia’s general health was weak and she suffered a fatal relapse. Dying at the age of 75 she was laid to rest with her husband in Braddan Cemetery on the Isle of Man.
Thanks to Valerie Caine © April 2010
This is the obituary from Manx Quarterly, #9, 1910