Reverend George Kemp
Rev. George Kemp was my Great Grandfather. Born in Stepney Green, East London, on the 30th July 1853.
His Father was John Kemp and his Mother Louisa (nee Dewson). John was an iron foundry owner, and built the Kemp oven, invented by another member of the family. George had two brothers, John and Robert. The foundry was next door to a Primitive Methodist Chapel, where George attended Sunday School, and he became a Christian from an early age. In his late teens he gave up his job in the family business and displeased his Parents by becoming a dissenting minister in the Primitive Methodist Church at the age of 22.
His first church was in Bury St. Edmonds, where he stayed for three years. From there he went to Forcett St. Peter, a village near to Wymondham. A year later he married my Great Grandmother on the 23rd August 1879 in the Wesleyan Church in the district of Lewisham. She was Emma Upton, twin daughter of a farmer, Stephen Upton of Durham Farm, Burnt Ash, Lee. She was aged 21 at the time. Following the marriage they moved to Soham, a village near Ely, Cambridgeshire. Here their first two children were born, George in 1880, and Frances in 1882. He then moved to Cambridge where he remained for six years, and where his other four children were born at two yearly intervals.
My Grandfather Stephen was the youngest, born 15th June 1890, ten days before George died.
George had been ill for 15 months after contracting TB following a chill caught whilst canvassing for his friend George Newnes, MP for Newmarket. Mr. Newnes paid for him to go to Switzerland in the hope of a cure, but this did not happen an George died in Stepney Green on 25th June 1890 aged only 36yrs. Emma and the children went to live in Crescent Road, Bromley to be near her Parent's farm, which was within walking distance across the fields. It is thought that she refused help from her in-laws in view of the fact that they had disapproved of his calling, but she was helped by George Newnes.
accounts of his time in Cambridge: his Birth Certificate: his obituary: Kemp & Sons oven: