Family Roots in Folkestone

With a rich and diverse past as an important fishing, farming and trading centre, Folkestone flourished through the second half of the 19th century and enjoyed an extensive building programme providing the community with homes, schools, churches, public buildings, a theatre and a number of grand hotels. Enterprise, affluence and refinement were the watchwords of the Folkestone into which George was born on 1st May 1874.

The construction of a harbour and a pier for commercial shipping, together with the coming of the railways underpinned the burgeoning tourist industry and created the ideal environment for astute tradesman to invest in new businesses and meet the demands of a growing population. One such enterprise was that created by Joseph John Musgrave who, with commendable forethought, identified the westward expansion of the town and acquired a number of ideally located premises in High Street and in Sandgate Road for his drapery, millinery and mantle making business.

Similarly, Thomas LeButt, a Master Bootmaker from Northamptonshire, moved his family to Folkestone and set up his business in the town. In the late 1860's the two families operated neighbouring businesses from Nos. 5 and 7 Broad Street (renamed as part of High Street, which then became The Old High Street when large parts of Folkestone were rebuilt after the war). By the 1870s the names of Musgrave and LeButt had become inextricably linked with Folkestone's Drapery, Fashion and Footwear industries, which were soon to become cornerstones of the town's success.

Joseph John Musgrave's first wife, Grace Button, died in 1971 leaving five children: Elizabeth Jane, Clara Maria, Louisa Margaret; William Robinson and Catherine Grace. Later that year he married Thomas Lebutt's daughter, Sarah Anna with whom he had six children: Florence Sarah, George Clarke, Laura Francis, joseph Leslie, Henry Paul and Mary Isabel.

George Clarke Musgrave's Family Tree

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