Daisy May Clark
Daughter of master harness maker
Daisy May Clark was born on 17 March 1891 at 9 Catherine Terrace, Seven Sisters Road (Stamford Hill
end), Tottenham, Middlesex, London. She was the daughter of master harness-maker,
ClarkFT and Rose Anne Thwaites. Her
parents married at St Saviour, Southwark in Q3 1884.
Daisy May married insurance clerk
On 13 October 1914, aged 22, Daisy May Clark married 23-year-old Ernest Aberdeen,
an insurance clerk who worked in a shipbroker's office in Tottenham. Ernest Aberdeen was born on 27
Oct 1880 in 35 Peabody Buildings, Spitalfields, in the Whitechapel area of London, to vegetable
salesman Henry Aberdeen and his wife Elizabeth1. Daisy May Clark married
at the Registry Office in Hackney, London, in the presence of Eva Collins and Henry Smith. Their
pre-marriage addresses were 11 Kenmore Street, Hackney (his) and 24 Woodland Street,
Dalston, a village within the Parish of Hackney. Six years later,
Daisy May Aberdeen bore Ernest a son, Maxwell Ernest Aberdeen, at Queen
Charlotte's Maternity Hospital [ed. prob. Arthur Street, Chelsea] on 5 December
19202. The family lived at 54 Lordship Lane,
Tottenham, north London3.
On 2 September
1944, Daisy May Aberdeen bought Zimapan, in Tregullow, Scorrier and lived there for
thirty-four years, making her the longest owner-occupier of Zimapan. She was still the
wife of Ernest Aberdeen when she bought the house4. How long Ernest
Aberdeen lived at Zimapan is uncertain. However, from around 1949, Daisy
May lived there with her second husband until she sold the property in March 1978.
Daisy May divorces and remarries
Daisy May Aberdeen, a stage actress5, went on to divorce Ernest
Aberdeen, who by then had become an accountant. Although divorce was quite unusual in those days,
Daisy May remarried on 2 June 1949, aged 58, this time to Joseph Pierre Angèle Etienne de L'Arbre de
MalanderFT, who was 19 years her junior, whom she had met when she
was in charge of the Red Cross during the war in 1944. Ernest
Aberdeen remarried Hilda M. Dinham in Q2 1949—the same quarter in which Daisy
May remarried—in Wood Green, north London.
Signed her name 'de
The marriage took place in the Registry Office in Truro, Cornwall, on
2 June 1949. Although her marriage certificate only shows her husband's name as 'de
would later sign her name 'Daisy May de L'Arbre de Malander' on at least two conveyances in 1953
and 1978. There were no children from this marriage7.
Little Mum and Mr
The De L'Arbres, who called themselves the Count and Countess Joseph
de L'Arbre de Malander, were great friends of the Straker family from Pinner,
Middlesex, who frequently holidayed at Zimapan during the 1950s and 1960s. They
always referred to the De L'Arbres as either "the Dee's" or "Little Mum and Mr Dee". During those
two decades after the Second World War, Pauline Straker spent many a "blissful" week on holiday at
Zimapan, sharing the first-floor bedroom opposite the walk-in attic with her sister.
Although she never knew about or met Daisy May's son from her first marriage, Maxwell actually
lived at Zimapan with his mother between 1948 and 19498.
Little Mum was an antique collector and she and Mr Dee had collected some
"fabulous pieces and paintings", and used to store many of their antiques and artwork in the
first-floor walk-in attic room. Little Mum once gifted one of her stage dresses, a
heavily sequinned gown, to Pauline's mother. That gown was sold at auction in July 2009 as part of
a clearing out when Pauline moved house9.
Additional land (1953)
In 1953, Daisy May bought an additional piece of waste land to the south of the property from
Barclays Bank Ltd—land that had once belonged to John Williams
5th of nearby Scorrier House (see the 1953 Conveyance).
Little Mum was a tiny
lady who apparently "could be totally formidable". This may well have caused Mr Dee to take refuge
or seek solace, as he did from time to time, in the comforting ambience of private nursing
establishments. She always kept her Aga permanently stoked up, and a large saucepan of homemade
soup was always bubbling quietly away on the oven's simmering plate. Judging from her
fondness for cooking, she must have been a generous, homey housewife, as Pauline
recalls that her lunches were "large enough to have fed an army".
Little Mum would bake scones for afternoon tea and would serve them with jam and
cream. Among their many visitors was the Dee's niece, Suki, who often visited with
Beach party at Wiggle Cliff, Whitsand Bay, nr
L to R: Unknown man; Unknown woman; Daisy May de L'Arbre de Malander
(behind Joseph de L'Arbre de Malander, prostrate);
Unknown woman; Peggy Drew; Malcolm Drew (flippers); Sidney Drew
(father of Malcolm) on a Cornish beach;
Roger Drew (photographer)
(Photo: Malcolm Drew, summer 1956)
(Mrs Dee) and one of her Sealyhams
with Irene Fulford on the front lawn at Zimapan, 1964
(Photo: Coutesy of Irene and Alan
Daisy May sells Zimapan (1978)
On 13 March 1978, Daisy May sold Zimapan Villa (see the 1978 Conveyance).
Daisy May moved to Karenza, Lower Broad Lane, Illogan, Redruth, Cornwall
in 1978, where she remained with Joseph until her death on 19 April 1982, aged 91. She actually
died at The Firs, Mawla, near Redruth, the same address at which her husband Joseph died
in 1991, which suggests that The Firs may once have been a private hospital or a
nursing home. She is described as Countess Daisy May de L'Arbre de Malander
on the death certificate, wife of Count Joseph de L'Arbre de Malander,
fictional titles they ascribed to themselves! Coincidentally, she died of (i) broncho-pneumonia and
(ii) senility, the very same causes that Joseph died of nine years
If you knew Daisy M. Clark or her relatives, please contact the author
1. Marriage certificate, 1914.
2. The existence of a son from the first marriage was communicated to
the author in April 2009 by Pierre Luc Joseph Marie Ghislain de L'Arbre of Dienze,
PLJMG de L'Arbre (b. 4 Sep 1942, Zottegem, Belgium) was the son of
Jules de L'Arbre and Lucette Everaert, and married Amay Cécile Marthe Edgard Jeanne Forgeur, a
baroness (b. 8 May 1943) on 17. Jul 1965.
3. Birth certificate, 6 Dec 1920.
4. Abstract to the Title of Mrs Daisy May Aberdeen to freehold
property known as 'Zimapan', 1944.
5. Pauline Fanning (née Straker), 2009
6. Marriage certificate, 1949.
7. Same as f/n 4.
8. British Phone Books, 1948 and 1949.
9. Same as f/n 4.
10. Same as f/n 4.
11. Death certificate, 20 April 1982.