19th century churchwardens and their families
with their predecessors in the previous century, there is much of
interest in the story of these local families. They served not only as
wardens, but as parish officers in local government. They continued to
go through the tribulations of tnsolvency and bankruptcy, and to be the
victims of robbery - Old Bailey case reports provide details.
THE STUTFIELD FAMILY - CHARLES (warden 1800-01), Charles Bradshaw, WILLIAM (warden 1843), Barton, Frederick
The family were wine merchants, and members of the Worshipful Company of Vintners (which continues to support two schools in Stepney) - Charles
senior was a Master, as a century or so later were his descendants
(1899) and Barton (1900). Together with Samuel Foulger and Rector
Farington, he was responsible for insuring the contents of the parish
workhouse. His wife Elizabeth died in 1821, aged 62, at their house in
St George's Place (they had other residences elsewhere), and he in
1826, aged 66; both were buried in a vault in the crypt, together with Thomas Bradshaw (died 1802, aged 75) and two other without inscription.
Charles Bradshaw Stutfield
(1794-1857) was baptized at St George-in-the-East. As a young man,
along with John Watson (who died of consumption in 1827), he was one of
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's [right] amanuenses for his Kantian-inspired work on Logic,
taking dictation from him at weekly sessions. Coleridge was godfather
to his daughter Mary Coleridge Stutfield in 1831. He had married Eliza
Lewis (of Crutched Friars in the City) in 1819, and in later life
corresponded with Sara Coleridge on various subjects, including 'early
marriage': she wrote to him in Hackney from Chester Place in 1848 (Memoir and Letters of Sara Coleridge p264):
|I have been much
interested by your note; it really gives the pith and marrow of the
case in pithy
language. I agree to it all without reserve, except a
partial one on a single point. You say that a "young man much occupied
will not generally think of marriage till past thirty". I know a good
many exceptions to that rule, I think. It seems to me, I own, that the
time to form a marriage engagement, in an ordinary case, for a man, is
between twenty and thirty. It is not so naturally, easily, or well done
afterward. D—, who has had some experience of youth, laments
the difficulties in the way of early marriage for men, and my Uncle
Southey was of the same mind. But the difficulties are often
insuperable. What I like is to see a young man made ready to work hard,
and ready to be married. Energy, energy, that is the thing — if it be kept in order by a religious mind.
was in Grove Place, Hackney, and he sat from 1832 as a justice of the peace
for the county of Middlesex. In a High Court case, R. v Inhabitants of Watford
(1846) 9 QB 626 he had been one of two local magistrates ordering the removal of
a widow, in receipt of poor relief, from St John at Hackney to
her former home; their order was confirmed. In 1854 a
general meeting of the churchwardens, overseers and trustees of the
poor of the parish of St. John at Hackney presented him with an
address thanking him for the zealous manner in which he had discharged
his duties as one of the resident magistrates of the district.
But he also
served more locally - as a deputy Lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets from
1831, as Vice-President of the Tower Hamlets Dispensary from 1841, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Raines Foundation from 1841, and
from 1849-51 as Chairman of the London Hospital;
after his retirement from this post he was part of the committee which
in 1853 raised funds for a marble bust of Dr Pereira.
businessman, he bought up (with others) the effects of firms that had
become insolvent, or where a partner had died: for example, in 1826 the
cordial distilling business of Francis Pothonier of Silver Street,
Cheapside. In 1836 he and his brother William
sold tenements, shops and yards in Lower Chapman Street for the
the Blackwall Railway. In 1841 he petitioned the House of Commons
against the London Bridge Approaches and Royal Exchange Avenues Bill.
By the time of his death in 1857 he had become the senior
magistrate of the division, and his colleagues presented an address of
regret at his sudden demise.
brother William Stutfield (1800-87) also became a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and
the Tower Liberties, and in 1852 a deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tower
Hamlets (one of 18 appointed that year), and later a freeman of the
City of London. But he too did not always live locally. His wife Mary
Burgoyne, whom he married in 1829, had inherited 550 acres of land in
Hildersham, near Cambridge, which together with 50 acres rented from
King's College Cambridge they farmed with fourteen men and two boys; in
1839 they had leased Hildersham Hall to the Rector for £52 10s. a year.
(In 1851 he gave evidence, as an interested party, to the Committee on the Enfranchisement of
Copyholders Bill.) In 1827 he had bought out the fire engine business in Ratcliff Highway of Margaret and John Bristow (John Bristow
- presumably the father - had been churchwarden in 1784). The 1861
census records him, described as a wine merchant, aged 61, and
aged 56, with their daughters Isabella 24 and Edith 19 (both born in
London) as resident at The Rookery, Hildersham - together with a
footman, a housemaid and a servant - but not his sons (see below) who
presumably resided elsewhere. They had had other London homes as
well: 51 Tavistock Square, then Monatgu Place (in or before 1842, when
he was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of London). Three
years later William Gerrard was convicted at the Old Bailey for
stealing from this address eight coats and a waistcoat, and imprisoned
for nine months.
Nevertheless, he served the local community: he was
churchwarden of St George-in-the-East in 1843, and successive editions of Shaw's Union
Officers Manual list him as the Treasurer of St George's Union
[workhouse] for over 20 years, from the office based at 139 Ratcliff Highway. It is
presumably for him, or the family in general, that Stutfield Street, parallel to Christian Street,
Frederick and Barton were both supporters of Bryan King and the St
George's Mission; they were members of the English Church Union, and
each subscribed half a guinea to St George's Defence League [not to be
confused with present-day far right groups!] at the time of the Ritualism Riots. Frederick
(b.1838) was King's 'principal chorister', and on one occasion in March 1860,
according to his account, was pelted with orange peel, stones, and clay
pipes. (The police merely acknowledged that he has been hissed at by
some boys.) He applied to the Commissioner to increase the police
presence. Dr Wilson, another victim, complained that the police did not do their
duty, but Frederick said that Dr Wilson was in a volent passion ... and
made use of language likely to excite the people that followed him. He
and his Limerick-born wife Harriet Pepper Stutfield later settled in
Hampstead; his year's-mind is still kept at St Mary the Virgin, Kenton
on 5 May, as is that of
Harriet on 4 January.
Barton (who was
baptized in 1840 at Old St Pancras church) became treasurer of the Working
Men's Club, Wellclose Square. As C.F. Lowder wrote in 1877 [full chapter here], The Penny Bank has proved a safe deposit
for the little savings of the poor, and encouraged provident habits.
During the sixteen years of its existence, under the careful and
unwearying management of Mr. Barton Stutfield, a sum of £2,439 has been
deposited in it, in the pence of the poor. At present the deposits
amount to £264. He married Ada, and they lived for a time in Tottenham as well as in St George's parish.
There were other
Stutfields around in the 19th century, presumably somehow related,
including 'William Stutfield the younger', formerly of Leinster Terrace,
Hyde Park, and of Mystole near Canterbury, then of Braham Castle near
Dingwall, Ross-shire and Netherdale House near Turriff in Banffshire,
who died in 1878; he was involved in in a Chancery case involving his
wife's estate in 1863 (Johnstone v Blake), and had two well-known barrister sons. Several Stufield solicitors were working in London in the early
20th century. There was also the organ builder Henry William Stutfield;
and a retired army officer J.C. Stutfield (d.1926), who in 1892-96 added an
elaborate Moorish music room to Grove House in Hampton [right - more details in English Heritage London List Yearbook 2010].
PHILIP [warden 1779-80] & CHRISTOPHER SPLIDT [warden 1804-05], and WILLIAM SHARP HANDASYDE [warden 1820]
Splidt first emerges locally with Peter Splidt, a native of Denmark,
living in London in 1659 as a mariner with a one-sixteenth part in a
ship, who married an Englishwoman in 1660 and applied to be made a free
citizen and broker, claiming he had lost all he had by the tyrant
Cromwell at sea. He was still residing in London as a factor at his
death in 1690. Most of the agents of the Norwegian timber merchants
lived near the timber-yards in Stepney and Wapping, and the story of
the building of a church for Danes and Norwegians is told here. The
National Archives at Kew hold papers of 1659-60 relating to Peter
Splidt, merchant, and the North Sea trade: bills and
receipts, account books (some with details of cargo), bills of exchange,
letters, and an insurance policy for the SS Mary and Margaret (some
documents in Dutch and Danish).
Philip and Christian were the common forenames of the men (and
Christian of the women too), so distinguishing the generations can be
confusing. A Philip was
born in London in 1734. Was this the same Philip Splidt of London,
ropemaker who in 1753 signed a release with Mascie Taylor of Chester,
esquire on a messuage on Limehouse Causeway [National Archives ZGCH
33, held at Chester]? In 1754 a challenge was made over the validity of
the appointment of overseers to the poor for the parish and their
assessments, including Philip Splidt. Among the
freeholders who voted for Col Luttrell at the parliamentary election
for Middlesex on 13 April 1769 was Philip Splidt, St George's, Ratcliff
Highway, ropemaker and contractor for government stores.
In 1771 he was one of the seventy Commissioners appointed for paving
local streets (as were others mentioned on these pages). In 1778
Philip, of New Road, and Christian, of Cannon Street [Road], described
as twine spinners, were listed among those supposed qualified to serve on juries. The European Magazine
recorded the death of a Christopher Splidt, of St George's Place,
Radcliffe [Ratcliff], on 27 Oct 1792; and a Thomas Splidt died in 1812.
By the turn of
the 19th century the family are described not only as ropemakers but as Russia merchants. They had acquired a Russian-style coat of arms -
vert, in water, in base, two boatmen, each respectively punting their
boats, all ppr; Crest, water, a man rowing in a boat to the
sinister, all ppr - and also property in Stratford Green. What caused the split (no pun intended) described here - was it Philip's retirement?
| The Partnership which subsisted between Philip Splidt
and Christian Splidt, of Cable-Street, Saint George's in the East, in
the County of Middlesex, Rope-Makers, Hemp-Dealers, and Russia
Merchants, under the Firm of Philip and Christian Splidt, is and stands
dissolved as and from the 13th lnstant by mutual Consent. The Concern
will in future be carried on by Christian Splidt only, who is
exclusively to pay and discharge all the Debts and Engagements of the
said late Copartnership Estate, and to have, and receive all and every
of the Debts, Monies, and all other Effects belonging thereto.—Dated this
15th Day of October 1806. Philip Splidt. Christian Splidt.
In the same year (1808) at the Old Bailey Edward Churchill, aged 36, was transported for seven years for
stealing 2,900lb of tallow, value £84, the property of Christian
Philip was a
collector, and on his death his library and other effects were
auctioned (a total of 1332 lots and single articles):
A Catalogue of the Curious and Valuable Library of the Late P. Splidt:
Among which are
a Very Rare Collection of Books on Angling ... Also, His Mahogany
Bookcase, Globes, &c.,
which Will be Sold by Auction, by Leigh and
Sotheby on Monday, February 14th, 1814, and Five Following Days.
A Chancery case
resulted in 1816, Parsons v Splidt; the will of Philip Splidt
with probate and accounts of Christian Splidt's executors is held in
the National Archives.
Christian (who was appointed Major Commandant of St George-in-the-East Volunteer Infantry) died on 27 October 1820: the Annual Register records
(His only surviving child, Mary, married Walter Lawrence in 1824; a daughter Christian had died at Bath in February 1813.)
55, Christian Splidt, esq., of Stratford Green, Essex, a Russia
merchant, and who had been colonel of the St. George's volunteers. He
was coming in the Stratford stage from his country seat at
Stratford-green to his town residence in Spitalfields, when he was
seized with a violent fit of sneezing and coughing while the coach was
going along the Mile-end-road, which caused the rupture of a blood
vessel, and he died almost immediately after he had been taken into a
[He's not to be
confused with Christian Splidt Mathews, of New Square, Minories and a
director of the Commercial Dock Company, whose death on 28 March 1821
at Newington Place, Kennington, is recorded by the Gentleman's
Magazine. The Commercial Dock Company was formed in Rotherhithe in
1806/7, taking over the Greenland Dock which had been used for whalers
and adding the Baltic Dock; it was used for the North European trade in
timber, hemp, iron, tar and corn. Its office was at 106 Fenchurch
Street, where the Prussian consul was also based. In 1865 it merged
with Surrey Docks to form the Surrey Commercial Docks, which henceforth owned all the
In July 1810
Elizabeth Splidt, described in the Lady's Magazine as the daughter of
the late Christopher Splidt of St George's Place, married William Sharp
Handasyde. If this Christopher had indeed died, an 1813 Old
Bailey case where James Deighton was convicted and
confined for six months in the House of Correction and whipped in
jail, for stealing ten pounds of hemp, value 6s., the property of
Christopher Splidt (whose clerk James Sheppard described him as a
'Russian merchant') must relate to another Christopher. Likewise the
printed lists of papers referred to by the Chancery Commission in 1826,
which include 'Splidt' and 'Moxsy' [John Moxsy was warden 1795-96],
with In re Union Benefit Society scored through.
Mr & Mrs
Splidt (forenames not given), of Stratford Green, subcribed in 1817 to
John Shepherd's Critical & Practical Elucidation of the Book of
at that time were dealt with by the Exchequer Court ('wills, wives and
wrecks'). A case of the early 1800s, concerning ship-owner
bankruptcies, and widely-quoted as precedent in subsequent cases,
was Splidt v Bowles, 10 East 279 [again, which Splidt?], which determined - if you can follow it! - that
|as a charter party of affreightment is a mere personal contract,
without seal, for the payment of freight, and an ideal and incorporeal
thing, it cannot therefore be assigned; because it is not only a mere chose in action; but there being no privity between the freighter
and the intermediate vendee, no action could be maintained by one
against the other, and the vendor transfers none of his personal
contracts or liabilities, whereas in the case of an abandonment, he
does; and the wages of the master and crew, and repairs and all
expenses of earning the freight are afterwards cast upon him. It is in
effect a continuance of the same ownership.
The family vault in the crypt
contained the coffins of Miss Elizabeth Splidt (1808, aged 13),
Christian Splidt (1813, aged 16), Hellen Splidt (1813, aged 10), Mr
Christian Splidt (1820, aged 56), William Sharp Handasyde (1827, aged
40). Mrs Mary Splidt (1840, aged 70), Elizabeth Handasyde (1840, aged
54), and two others without inscription. There were other
branches of the family, including that of Philip Splidt Milner (born in
Caversham in 1822 and involved in another Chancery case), who settled
Natal. Splidts Street - now gone - was off Pinchin Street - see these comments from Booth's survey.
As noted above,
William Sharp Handasyde (warden 1820) married Elizabeth Splidt in July
1810. He lived in Wellclose Square, and was described as a gentleman.
The previous year he had received a commission from the Lord Lieutenant
of Essex as a Second Lieutenant to the Loyal Leyton Volunteers. The
London Gazette records the dissolution of a partnership:
Notice is hereby
given, that the Partnership which subsisted between the undersigned
George Lear, William Curtis, Timothy Abraham Curtis, William Sharp
Handasyde, and Henry Hughes, was dissolved by mutual consent, so far as
relates to the said Timothy Abraham Curtis, on the 31st day of. May
—Witness our hands. Geo. Lear. William Curtis, Timy. Abm.
Curtis, W. S. Handasyde, Hy. Hughes
Rector Farington, Christian Splidt and Matthew Moody, Handasyde held
stock for the
funding of Raine's Schools (and the Rector, Miss Handasyde - presumably
his sister - B. Foulger and Matthew Moody were responsible for St
George's National School). The financial difficulties Raine's School experienced
time are detailed here.
He died in
December 1827, aged 40 or 41, and his wife in July 1840, aged 54, in
Greenwich; as noted above, both were buried in the family vault at St
George-in-the-East. Their only child Christian-Splidt Handasyde [sic!]
John Pollewell, from a naval family, at Greenwich in 1843.
THOMAS ARMITAGE (warden 1803-07)
In 1773 (at an Old Bailey prosecution of John Padgett, when he was one
of three complaining of an assault) he was described as a cloathier of Kings Street, St George-in-the-East. From 1793 he insured, together with Elizabeth Ludeken
(widow of an earlier churchwarden) a house in New
Square, Minories - her home? Between 1803 and 1820 he insured his own home, as a gentleman,
the same address being variously described as '5 next the
George, New Road, Cannon Street Road'; 'near the
George Tavern, Back Lane, Ratcliffe'; '5 Back Lane, Ratcliffe'; '5
Jealous Row, New Road, Back Lane', together with other premises which
he owned - in Queen Street, Wapping (1803); Catherine Street,
Commercial Road (1808); 105 Ratcliffe Highway (1808, when he is
described as sugar refiner);
Humberstone [Umberston] Street, Commercial Road (1809); '14-17, at the
corner of Marmaduke Street and William Street, Cannon Street
Road' (1819);19 Kings Place, Commercial Road (1820). In 1817 he
was one of a large numer of freeholders summoned for jury service for
the celebrated treason trail of Arthur Thistlewood and others, but was excused on account of illness (as was John
Henry Wackerbath, a local sugar refiner).
HENRY WILLIAM HOBBS (warden 1806-08) and WILLIAM HENRY HOBBS (warden 1821-22)
Father and son were lightermen. [The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames
was established in 1555, and still regulates, under parliamentary
authority, passenger (watermen) and freight (lightermen) traffic.]
Henry was in partnership with John Addison; in a 1799 Old Bailey case, two men were acquitted of stealing eleven iron bars from one of their lighters. The Wapping-based Marine Police Force, which had been recently established (see here for their involvement in the Ratcliff Highway murders), conducted the investigation.
On 21 April 1796 Henry gave evidence to the Committee
appointed to enquire into the best mode of providing sufficient
accommodation for the increased trade and shipping of the port of
Mr HENRY WILLIAM HOBBS, a Lighterman, called in, and examimed.
How long have you been a Lighterman? Eighteen Years.
Are you acquainted with the Sufferance Wharfs and legal Quays, and the
Nature of the Business carried on there? Yes; but more particularly at
the Sufferance Wharfs. [These
were additional wharves on the south side of the river, with the same
legal rights as the legal wharves but existing 'on sufferance', in an attempt to
deal with overcrowding.]
What do you judge to be the chief Inconveniencies which the Trade of
the Port of London labours under in respect to the landing and shipping
of Goods? I beg to remark, that the Want of a sufficient Number of
Landing Waiters, and the great Number of Holidays kept at the Custom
House, are the chief Inconveniencies.
Have you ever refused to lighter for Ships, the Cargoes of which were intended to be landed at the legal Quays? I have.
Have you ever lightered any of those Cargoes at the Sufferance Wharfs? I have.
How came you to refuse to lighter them at the legal Quays, and then to
take them to the Sufferance Wharfs? Because I could not get them
properly dispatched at the legal Quays; and I lightered them to the
Sufferance Wharfs for the better Dispatch of the Merchants Property. —
I have done so with several West India Ships Cargoes.
Is there ever any Want of Room or Accommodation for landing or housing
Goods at the Sufferance Wharfs, except through the Want of Officers? I have not heard of any such Want of Room or Accommodation since the Year
1793, and that only existed for a small Time, a Month or Six Weeks,
during the Arrival of several Fleets at one Time.
Did any Accident ever happen to a Lighter of yours, loaded with Hemp,
at Brown's Quay? Yes — on the 28th of December 1790 I lightered Hemp
to Brown's Quay; we moored her alongside the Wharf, and no other Craft
was there — she remained there till the 30th at Night — on that Night
she was cast adrift by some Persons unknown — this cost me £600 to
repair the Damage of my Lighter, and the Merchant's Loss, which would
not have happened if the Officers had been there to have discharged her
in proper Time.— She should have been discharged on the 29th.— I had
given due Notice to the Clerks at the Compting House of the Wharf; but
whether the Clerk applied to the Revenue Officers or not I do not know.
Does it often happen that Craft wait at the Sufferance Wharfs so long, for want of Revenue Officers? Not when a single Craft.
What Regulations do you judge to be wanting in order to remedy the
Inconveniencies you have stated, and to give due Dispatch in the
landing and shipping Goods? —
A greater Number of Landing Waiters ought to be appointed to the
Sufferance Wharfs; and this, with the Holidays curtailed, I think would
remedy most of the inconveniences now complained of.
Together with William Thompson, he insured a waterside property in
Sampsons Gardens [now Sampson Street] Wapping, and was part-owner of
the brigantine Ploughman (which among other voyages took emigrants to Nova Scotia - its master in 1815 was Alexander Duncan). In 1812 one of the Hobbs' employees, John Frogley, was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing tallow, and was confined one year in the House of
Correction and whipped 100 yards near Iron Gate.
Henry died in 1816 at
Sidmouth. One of William's apprentices, in 1827, was William Henry
JAMES SIBLEY (warden 1811-12)
James was a citizen and carpenter of London by virtue of his membership of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters.
There are records payment of his 'quarteridge' - dues on the four
quarter days (Lady Day, St John's Day, Michaelmas and Christmas) - of
between 2 and 6 shillings. He took on apprentices, typically for
a consideration of £10: for example, in 1777 William Chapman from
Hertford (a bargemaker's son), in 1780 Thomas Smith, son of a local
brickmaker, and in 1786 Thomas Wheeler, also local. In 1778 his servant
Mary Stacey made a deposition in the salacious libel/divorce case of
John and Harriet Burt, where Harriet's naked and outstretched legs were
much referred to in evidence. In 1800 he was renting property in Wapping
Street [Lane] from Thomas Robins and Mrs James, but by 1811, when the
building of the docks had changed the local scene, owned and insured
property in Fawdon Fields, off Old Gravel Lane (with another property
in Pearl Street by the 1820s, as carpenter and builder).
MATTHEW MOODY (warden 1812-13)
Matthew Moody was an ironmonger, with
premises in Old Gravel [now Wapping] Lane, which he insured from his
time as warden and beyond. He was appointed a Captain of St
George-in-the-East Volunteer Infantry. As a freeholder (with
premises in Holborn) he had been included among the list of voters
for the 1802 Parliamentary election for Middlesex. In that year, we find him taking
over the effects of the late Jeremiah Hedley, anchorsmith of Lower
Shadwell, and paying out a final dividend to his creditors. As well
as serving as churchwarden, he was actively involved in the
management of the Raine's Foundation Schools, and in 1819 gave
extensive evidence to the Commission on the Education of the Poor.
PARKER JOHN HARRISON (warden 1814-16)
a carpenter, son of Thomas Harrison, who served his apprenticeship with
John Teppass of Tower Hill and gained his freedom in 1788 [left: unclear
whether this was by 'redemption', 'patrimony' or 'the testimony of his
master' - the normal routes ending an apprenticeship]. He became
Master of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in 1831, and died in 1849, aged 82, at his home in Sutton Street.
GEORGE ARMSTRONG (warden 1817-18)
was a coal merchant of
Wellclose Square. It is possible that he, or his descendants, entered
into partnership with Henry Brougham Hopwood - Hopwood and
Armstrong were wire workers and sieve makers of 195 Ratcliff Highway (Robson's Directory of 1842), who from '184 St George's Street, Wellclose Square' exhibited their registered brass side scuttles, with metal doors, for ships, also for light and ventilation at the 1851 Great Exhibition, and also patented a door and apparatus for closing the opening of ships' scuttles. Right is their porthole for PS Kangaroo.
DAVID BEDDINE (warden 1822-23)
He is variously
described as an upholder [= upholsterer], cabinet-maker and chapman
[= dealer], based at 20 Back Lane, New Road [now Cable Street]. In 1805 he went through
bankruptcy proceedings - his creditors were called to meet at Mr.
Bellamy's, the George Tavern in the New-Road, St. George, Middlesex, on
Wednesday the 16th Day of October instant, at Eleven o'Clock in the
Forenoon, to take into Consideration a Proposal made to the Assignees
for the Purchase of the Bankrupt's Leashold Estate; and for liquidating
and settling the Claims made thereon; he was discharged from bankruptcy, and was insuring his premises in New Road in the 1820s, and premises on the north side of Wellclose Square in the 1830s.
At the same time as Christian Splidt was appointed Major Commandant of
St George-in-the East Volunteer Infantry [see above], he was
commissioned as an Ensign.
THE FOULGER FAMILY (Samuel junior, warden 1823, John 1834, Samuel 1852)
Several generations of the Foulger family lived and worked around the
church, and were associated with it (though John's son Arthur, who
later lived in Walthamstow, was baptized at the Independent chapel in
Old Gravel Lane in 1815, as perhaps were other family members in
earlier years). Early 19th century listings show Samuel senior living
in Cannon Street Road (1819), and Samuel junior, chemist and druggist, at 62 Old Gravel Lane (1814) and 133 Ratcliff Highway (1815); John, oil and colourman, and his wife at [Seven] Star Alley, Ratcliff Highway (1815, plus insurance records from 1818); and Charles, oil and colourman, at 123 or 133 Ratcliff Highway (Kent's Directory
1823). In the Hilary term of 1838, Charles (a change of career or
another Charles?) of 133 Ratcliff Highway was articled or assigned as a
clerk to Richard Willey of North East Passage, Wellclose Square (who
had died by 1844).
Samuel Junior, though trading as a chemist and druggist, was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
in 1812. He was probably an amateur clockmaker, but some of the livery
companies admitted a proportion of members from other trades, and the
apprentices he took on through the Company were trained in the emerging
profession of pharmacy. They included in 1816 William Forrester
Portello - for seven years, at a premium of £157 10s. - who in 1842
became a founder member of the Pharmaceutical Society,
practising in Farnham; in 1819 Alfred Theodore Essex, a doctor of music
from Kensington, who later emigrated to Sarnia in Ontario and practised
there; and in 1823 John Genery, a schoolmaster of Bethnal Green - both
of these for seven years, at a premium of £210.
In the 1820s Samuel - like other locals - was a regular subscriber to the Royal Humane
Society, founded in 1774 'for the recovery of persons apparently
drowned or dead'; see here for an early handbook (with much fascinating detail about recovery methods) and here for the Society today.
In 1821, according to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on the Supply of Water to the Metropolis,
his water rates, like those of other local tradesmen, were sharply
increased, and the Committee investigated the reasons for this.
Comparisons with other areas were made, and the argument turned on the
volume of water he used to distil his products. (The 'worm tub'
referred to below was a large wooden vat filled with cold water,
through which the worm, a long coiled copper tube, ran to condense
alcohol vapour back into liquid form.)
|(Mr. Sharpe) — The next case
is Mr. Foulger, a chemist, at No.133, Ratcliffe-highway; the rise is
from 28s. to 50s; a chemist of the ordinary size of those in
Shoreditch, without any additional consumption.
A wholesale chemist? — He is a working chemist; he has a laboratory. I
wish to make an observation here, that Mr. Hill, in Shoreditch, lives
in a similar sized house and is only charged 30s.; he has also a
laboratory; he is a working chemist also; Mr. Knight in Norton Falgate,
who has a large business as a chemist, is only charged 30s. I have a
reason for stating Mr. Knight not being raised, he is situated where a
competition could take place, and therefore he is protected by that,
but with respect to the other, I do not conceive that a laboratory will
make a rise in one house and not in another, except for special reasons.
(Mr. Pickering) — If Mr Hill has a laboratory in Shoreditch we know nothing of it. Mr. Hill always paid 30s.
What is the reason of Mr. Hill being raised from 21s. to 30s.? —
(Mr. Rowe) Mr. Hill paid 30s. to the New River in 1810.
(Mr. Pickering) — That in Ratcliffe-highway ought not to be put in
comparison of this, which has a use for water which we knew nothing of.
(Mr. Sharpe) — I merely ask, if one chemist with a similar practice
to the other is charged 50s. why was the other charged 30s.?
(Mr. Steevens) — Foulger is a working chemist and a little distiller;
for chemists in a large way have a still or two, or three, (I cannot
speak to the number, but take it at two); it is well known to every
one, and particularly to Mr. Sharpe, who is a good chemist, that
chemists use a great deal of water; indeed, I heard a distiller say, if
you turned all you pumped up to the worm tub it would not be too much;
it is the case with all chemists, where the water falls in and out of
the worm tub, and in the case of distillers, where the water flows in
as it does to a worm tub and out again, without having been received in
any regular back, it is difficult to say the quantity they are
consuming; and under those circumstances I have no hesitation in
saying, that all distillers and chemists or any other person using a
still are under-rated.
Was he a distiller when charged 28s.? — I dare say he was, though we had no been told of it.
Mr. Robert Wright, Called in; and Examined.
You are collector of Ratcliffe-highway? — Yes; previous to the rise, the houses in Ratcliffe-highway was from 28s. to 30s.
Did that include trades? — Without trades.
(Mr. Sharpe) — I am sorry I had not the opportunity of giving this
ease to Mr. Pickering, but he will speak to it hereafter. I know that
Mr. Foulger is not a distiller. Great chemists distil a little, by
their own evidence; I do not think this is a fair charge; the
impression upon my mind; as one of the public, was that those charges
which I have now enumerated were exorbitant, and we thought it much
more so, comparing it with a letter, which I beg leave to read to the
Committee, it is signed T.N. Pickering, chief clerk and secretary,
dated East London waterworks office, December 1st 1817, immediately
preceding the rise ....
In 1828 Elizabeth Drake, of 66 Ratcliff Highway, printed Samuel's Directions for the Use of the Medicine Chest - see further Anne Mortimer Young Antique medicine chests, or, Glyster, blister & purge
(Vernier Press 1994). In 1840, he was a member of a committee set up to
monitor the progress of, and oppose, a Bill in Parliament, introduced
by Mr Hawes, one result of which would have been to prevent chemists
and druggists and apothecaries from prescribing. This was in large part
to control unqualified or poorly-qualified practitioners, whom it was
also believed over-prescribed, by selling as much as patients wanted
rather than only what they needed. The Bill was passed in 1845, but
more thoroughgoing regulation of the whole profession came with the
1858 Medical Act.
Meanwhile, as noted above, professional self-regulation had begun, with
the emergence of the Pharmaceutical Society which among other things
set up training regimes.
As noted above, the family was involved in supporting and fundraising for St George's National School in Walburgh Street, and an archive
of the papers of Samuel Burt Howlett (1794-1874), who became surveyor
for the Ordnance Survey, includes letters from the Foulgers from 1829-31
sent from Ratcliff Highway and from Walthamstow, thanking the Howletts
for their generosity, inviting them to the next sale and to a series of
lectures in aid of the school, asking them to help organise another
ball, proposing various children for Mr Howlett's evening classes, and
thanking him for allowing the children to use some of his sketches (and
asking his opinion on those which their own daughter had copied).
A generation later, Samuel Foulger and Son were trading as wholesale druggists. An interesting cross-over with the family's other trade emerged in the 1860s. Zinc oxide
was used then, as now, in a variety of ointments and creams for skin
conditions, and was manufactured for medical use by combustion or
roasting, but this product was impure. A purer form, made by
sublimation, was being produced in large quantities by Thomas Hubbuck
and Son, established in 1765, who had patented a white zinc paint
widely used on ships. Their offices were in Lime Street, in the City,
as were those of John Foulger and Sons - see below - and Samuel's firm
was among those who supplied this purer form of zinc oxide to the
pharmaceutical trade. Hubbucks supplied it in minimum quantities of a
quarter of a ton; their authorised suppliers sold it in 14lb boxes. See
left for more details. In 1883
Samuel Foulger & Son was among the old-established firms taken over
by Willows & Francis, which in turn merged with other
pharmaceutical companies as detailed here.
As for the other family trade: John, the oil and colourman (who in the 1830s subscribed to the London Society for the Improvement & Encouragement of Female Servants
- founded in 1813, offering financial rewards and bibles, and later
keeping a register of trustworthy servants), together with his sons,
expanded their business as paint suppliers, in due course with an
office in the City and the manufactory remaining at Seven Star Alley [1878 Vestry map left].
In 1873 they were advertising their white lead and other products. Right is a company advertisement of 1903. By 1925 they had moved their office to 27 St Clement's Lane EC4, and were described as paint and varnish manufacturers, oil, tallow, pitch, tar, paint and varnish manufacturers &c;
the company went public, with a nominal capital of £7,000 in £1 shares
(2,000 5% cumulative preference and 5000 ordinary). The patriarch of
the family at this stage was William Foulger, who died in 1925 - see here for the Rector's comments on his splendid old world courtesy,
despite the difficulties of trade after the First World War (to which
the above was presumably a response), and family illness. The company
survived until 1964 (with offices at 51 Bishopsgate EC2), when it went
EDWARD TILSTON (warden 1824-25)
was a smith, of 7-9 North East Passage, Wellclose Square.
PHILIP CRELLIN (warden 1826)
Crellin is a Manx surname, and down the years there have been a good
number of islanders, including clergy, who have settled in this area. Philip Crellin was established as a salesman, insuring premises at 198
Ratcliff Highway by the early years of the 19th century. Johnstone's
Directory of 1817 describes him as a slop-seller [dealer in cheap ready-to-wear clothes], and Kent's Directory of 1823 as a wholesale slopseller. Three Old Bailey trials relate to thefts of his goods: in 1822 William Royston, aged 13, was convicted of stealing 'a pair of blue cloth trowsers, value 12s.' from the doorpost of his premises (all he said in his defence was I never saw them)
and was transported for seven years -- an extraordinarily harsh
sentence for a juvenile compared with the one month prison sentence for
Edward Wilson (aged 34) in 1844, who pleaded guilty to stealing from his master a pair of shoes, value 4s. 6d. and a handkerchief, value 2s. 6d. In 1847 another servant, Caroline Moxon (whose duties were to see that the fire was properly taken care of in the front room, and to put the room to rights) was charged with stealing five shilling coins, which Crellin had carefully 'marked' (by adding a very small scratch on the head - a common practice at that time); they were found in her possession, but she was acquitted.
Several generations were members of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers
(by the late 18th century, when demand for pewter vessels had fallen
with the change in drinking habits, the number of members working in
the pewter trade became less.) Philip, admitted 1788, was a Warden in
1818, and Master in 1820; 'Philip Crellin junior', admitted 1814, was a
Warden in 1832, 1835 and Master in 1837; 'Philip Crellin junior' [his
son] was a Warden in 1857, 1862 and Master in 1863; Horatio Nelson
Crellin [sic] was a Warden in 1843, 1845, and Master in 1846, and
[another] Horatio Nelson Crellin was a Warden in 1887, 1889 and Master
in 1890; Frederick William Crellin was a Warden in 1900 and 1901, and
Master in 1902.
two Philips, father and son, were styled 'junior' at different stages,
and probably worked together for a time in the City, it's not entirely
clear to which of them some of the following activities refer. Tupling
and Crellin were accountants at 96 Newgate Street, and Philip (with a
home address at Thyssen Terrace, Lower Clapton in 1858) was a director
of the Whittington Life Assurance Company,
originally at 14 St Clements Lane (where the younger Philip had an
office for a time) but then at 37 Moorgate Street. [It was taken over
by the National Life Assurance Society in 1894 after three years of negotations.] In the 1850s 'Philip' was an Executive Committee member of the Society for the Liberation of Religion from State Patronage and Control
(which from 1844-53 had been the British Anti-State Church Association,
pressing the case for disestablishment of the church, and later was
generally referred to as the 'Liberation Society'). This was perhaps an
odd enthusiasm for a conventional Anglican [if indeed that is what he
was] - see this
speech by the Congregationalist minister Edward Miall - but its offices
were at 2 Sergeants Inn, Fleet Street, where again the younger Philip
had another office for a time. In 1859 'Philip' was a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works,
representing St George-in-the-East district but living at 2 Clapton
Square, Hackney. It was from this address that a daughter Mary was
married in 1860 to J. Langdon H. Down MD of Redhill.
In 1869 the Melbourne Argus reported a death: on
the 6th October, at his residence, Hackney, near London, Philip
Crellin, Esq., in the 77th year of his age, father of Mr. William
Crellin, of this city. Colonial friends will please accept this
intimation. (There were Crellins in Melbourne at this time,
including William, born 1846, who was one of 7 children of a
family who emigrated there as a child; but this was from the Isle of Man, not from London, and
their father (a stonemason, born 1821) was William, not Philip, so there may be no direct link with this particular family.)
However, there is more certainty about other activities of the younger Philip Crellin junior
(1823-1912, born in Stepney but baptized at Finsbury). He led a kind of
'double life'. He was a public accountant: from 1859 a junior partner
Tupling & Crellin, then from 1862-92 independently at six different
In 1871 he published A New Manual of Book Keeping for wholesale and retail traders (Bell & Daldy), combining
the theory and practice with specimens of a set of books ... This
volume will be found suitable for all classes of merchants and traders;
besides giving the method of double entry, it exhibits a system which
combines the results of double entry without the labour which it
involves. This was followed in 1892 by Book-keeping for teachers and pupils, with key (Whittaker).
for a time, from 1864, he was also a semi-professional photographer,
and later specialised in family portraits. He had studios in Regent
Street (at 162, then from 1867-70 at 87); here are four albumen cartes-de-visite of the 1860s, from the National Portrait Gallery (left to right: Edward Spencer Beesly, Samuel Davidson, Dr William Smith, Sir John Robert Seeley).
He also photographed professors of London University, including Huxley,
Priestley and Lubbock, and wrote articles in art and science journals
about photography. By 1881 he was living at 62 Hilldrop Crescent, Islington, and died there.
Captain WILLIAM IRISH (warden 1827-8)
The whaler and transport ship Salamander, a wooden vessel of 320 tons built on the Thames in 1776, owned by Joseph (or P.?) Mellish - similar vessel pictured right in full sail - was
one of the 'third fleet' taking convicts to Australia (John St Barbe, whaling investor and convict contractor, was one of the
backers). She departed from Plymouth in March 1791 with 160 male
convicts and 12 soldiers of the New South Wales Corps; they arrived at
Port Jackson 147 days later, five convicts having died en route. After a brief layover in Sydney she sailed to Norfolk Island
(aka Botany Bay) where most convicts disembarked to serve their
sentences. From there she went whaling, as part of the first European
whaling voyage in Australian waters (killing a 'forty barrel' whale off
Port Jackson but losing it by bad weather), and returned to England via
India. Returning to Australia the following year, she entered and
charted Port Stephens - and Salamander Bay there is named for her.
Since 2004 the Salamander Project has been tracing the subsequent lives of many of the convicts.
In 1794 Salamander made a
further visit to Norfolk island, bringing stores and provisions from
England. Much food was lost or went bad, and a good deal of clothing
irreparably damaged. By the time it reached the South Fishery, said one commentator, very little private trade on board either and what there is we that live here (at Parramatta) have little change of... She then went whaling again, and returned via India.
In 1800 she was a victim of 'friendly fire'.
Because Britain and France were at war, ships heading from the Thames
to the West Indies or South Seas had to sail to the Solent and form
into convoys guarded by Royal Navy vessels. The commander of one of
these convoys, Captain Lewis of the Snake,
decided to hold a gun drill shortly after leaving the Channel, timing
the loading and running out of the 18-pounder guns. The black powder in
the touch holes was lit and a massive broadside fired. One of the guns
was still loaded with ball and when fired directly hit the Salamander. The shot penetrated the hull three feet below the waterline. A boat crew from the Kingston went across to assist in keeping her afloat until repairs were effected. (Robert Curling, warden in 1792, was part-owner of another vessel in this convoy.)
What is not clear is for how much of this period Captain William Irish was the master of the Salamander.
Some sources name him as in charge in 1791, and again in 1794, but
Lloyds List names Captain Nichol as Master until 1797, and WIlliam
Irish thereafter. But he was clearly involved in much of this activity.
By 1810 he had settled at 7 Princes Street, Princes Square, and by 1817
at 2 Clarke's Terrace, Cannon Street Road; he married Mary Phoebe
Foster (from Ratcliff) in 1822; he could no doubt have provided some
(A namesake, Captain William Irish, had led expeditions to the West Indies in the closing years of the 16th century.)
JAMES MASSINGHAM (warden 1827-29)
The family were pastrycooks, with premises (insured from or before 1807) at 171 Ratcliff Highway. James' father was a member of the Worshipful Company of Cooks
(which today is one of the smaller livery companies): in 1760 he took
on William Faulkner as an apprentice, his first master James Jackson
having died; he was admitted to the Company in 1766. Joseph Massingham,
of Newgate Street, Spitalfields, who died in 1813, was also a
pastrycook. In 1842 James was
listed as a confectioner. See below for comments on his activity as a
Poor Law Guardian.
ABRAHAM GOLE JUNIOR (warden 1829-32)
The family may
have been Huguenots from Holland - Jacob Gole (c1660-1737) was a Dutch
artist and printmaker, and an Abraham Gole was living in the parish of
St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1714.
Abraham senior (d. 1819) and Abraham junior
(1777-1859) worked together as entrepreneurs. Their primary income came
from a contract, from 1802 onwards, with the East India Company for
housing and feeding lascars,
at the rate of 10s. per head per week. In the decade from 1803 they were
paid a total of £117,958; in five months alone during the peak season of 1813 they
received £13,804. They constructed a new barracks on Cannon Street Road
- more convenient than the previous location in Shoreditch.
From 1799-1804 John Anthony
(1766-1805) had a similar contract - and had married Abraham's daughter
Sarah. He was the first Chinese person to become a naturalised
Englishman, by private Act of Parliament [right taking the oath],
just a few months before his
sudden death. He claimed to have settled in Britain 'after the American War'. The
lascars trusted him, and he had prospered, and as well as a house at 4
Angel Gardens, Shadwell he had a home at Hallowell Down, Leyton, where he
kept a Chinese steward, Wing. At the Old Bailey
in 1800, he and Abraham Gole supported a lascar employee named Awing,
who was the victim of a burglary at
Angel Gardens (where items of Gole's property were also stolen): William Rayner,
aged 27, was sentenced to death but his accomplice Charles Moren was
acquitted. Six years before his death John Anthony became a Christian,
baptized at St Paul Shadwell and on his instruction buried there. There
is more about him here.
The Goles had
also been in partnership with Esther and Daniel Osborn, in Angel
Gardens, Shadwell, but this was dissolved on Daniel's death in 1806,
and business carried on by the Goles, father and son, alone. Given the nature
of their business, the Goles were often in court, both civil and
criminal. In 1811 Francis Fernandez,
aged 20, was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey for the attempted
murder by stabbing of John Clare, one of Goles' employees.
Abraham junior was
churchwarden from 1829-32; in his last year offfice (and also as a Poor
Law trustee) he gave the following interesting evidence to the Commission on the Poor Laws, prior to the introduction of the 1834
Poor Law Amendment Act.
Although he distinguishes between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving'
poor - an approach which succeeding generations were to intensify (see here,
especially after the 1869 'Goshen circular' and the local reduction of
out-relief) - he does at least recognise the realities of unemployment!
Mr. Abraham Gole, Churchwarden of St. George's in the East.
I have been in office as churchwarden four years and as trustee twelve years.
We have now no
assistant overseer. We have had four in our parish during seven years.
They were appointed by the board, but they have each turned out badly,
and we have been compelled to discharge them. Inquiries into the cases
of paupers are made by our two beadles. I am of opinion that there is
too much to do in the way of investigation for any unpaid officer to
In our district
and the vicinity the demand for labour has of late years been greatly
reduced. The competition of the dock companies has reduced profits;
they have reduced the wages of labour and the number of labourers;
their engines have suspended labour. In rope making, and other branches
of manufacture, improvements have had the same tendency to reduce the
quantity of labour, and notwithstanding the increased amount of
tonnage, there can be no doubt that the total demand for labour used in
the district has to been greatly reduced,
Out-door Relief to able-bodied Papuers
In our parish we
have long found it absolutely necessary to give relief to able-bodied
labourers out of employment. We give, as casual relief, never more than
1s. to a single man; if he has a wife and one or two children, we may
give from 1s.6d. to 2s.; if he has a large family, 3s. As permanent
relief, we give to a
The total number of out-door poor is about 2,230.
|1 6 per week
|— with one child not at the breast
|2 - —
|— — at the breast
||2 6 —
|Married man and wife, if an old couple decayed
|3 - —
|Married man, with a family, the man sick, we allow the family at the rate of 1s. a head
|The average of the highest pension is
|7 - —
Mode of investigation
visitation of the cases of pensioners or casual poor, is when the
overseer suspects that there is reason for a visit; he directs the
beadle to make a visit, and report to him, the overseer. Sometimes the
same direction is given by the board of trustees. The impression on my
mind is, that the beadle inquires into about a dozen cases in the
course of the week,. by order of the overseers or the boards of
trustees. In the cases of casual relief a great deal is taken on trust,
but inquiry is made into every case where the party applies to be taken
on the permanent list.
Character of the paupers
of these cases do you judge from your own experience to be cases of
blameless want; that is, want resulting from causes which no common
prudence, no prudence of the nature of that which may be found amongst
the labouring classes, could avert? -— In the investigation of cases, I should say, that I have not found above 25 per cent of cases of
blameless want: in saying this, I think I give a liberal average.
Effects of the Magistrates' refusal to interfere
Formerly we had
numbers of bad characters imposed upon us by the interference of the
magistrates; they ordered us to relieve cases of the worst description.
But a change in the administration of the poor laws has taken place in
this district, and the overseers and parish officers are now left to
their uncontrolled discretion. Mr. Walker, the magistrate of
Lambeth-street, as much as possible avoids interfering. The only effect
produced at first was some discontent amongst the sturdy and dissolute
paupers. These characters, who had been in the habit of receiving
casual relief, got less relief when the change took place, and the
influx of new claimants of this description was considerably checked.
On the whole, the change was much for the better; the deserving poor
were as well attended to as ever, while the sturdy impostors were
totally rejected. We have 84 paupers in our workhouse, and we find,
notwithstanding the space is large, that room for classification is
Three further legal cases may be mentioned:
According to the Gentleman's Magazine, Abraham Gole died on 15 Feb 1853, aged 76, at Plymouth.
- In 1835 in the civil courts was Clark & another, assignees of Scrivener, a bankrupt, v Gilbert - where Gole had assigned premises to someone who became insolvent.
- In 1836 at the Old Bailey Samuel Tite & George Frost were convicted of stealing 96 lbs lead, value 10s.,
from the roof of a semi-derelict shed in Shadwell Market owned by Gole:
they were recommended for mercy, and imprisoned for one year; Sim
Jewell was acquitted on a charge of receiving (he was drunk at the
- As company secretary of the Sligo and Shannon Railway Company
(apparently living in Chelsea at the time), Abraham Gole was involved
in the case of Mackenzie v Sligo & Shannon Railway Co
(1850) 18 QB 862 when the company was wound up and arbitration awarded
wages in instalments to Mackenzie, its chief engineer. Railway
speculation in this period was rife and risky,
and the legislation was complex. The Midland Great Western Railway
reached Sligo in 1852.
JOSEPH FRYER (warden 1833)
was a paper merchant of Cannon Street Road; he died in 1839 - his will is at the National Archives in Kew.
JOHN KNIGHT (warden 1836-7)
Knight was born in 1792 in Hertfordshire. He married Phoebe Fitchett in
1817 at St Dunstan Stepney, the same year that he set up in business
locally as a soap manufacturer. They had six sons (Abner died young)
and a daughter (also Phoebe). He was listed as soap maker and oil merchant (1836) and oilman, soap manufacturer and tallow chandler
(1838), of Babylon House, 9 York Place and 156 Old Gravel Lane in
Wapping. By 1844 the company was producing Royal Primrose soap [left],
and won a medal at the 1851 Great Exhibition; soon they were employing
150 people and producing 2-3,000 tons of soap a year. But the following
year John senior dissolved the partnership with his five sons (John,
William, John Burgess, Edwin, Alfred and Ambrose), retiring to 55
Chigwell Street in Chigwell and shortly before his death in 1864 - by
then a very wealthy man - built Hainault House, (right, now a Grade 2 listed building, and a girls' boarding house of Chigwell School). His headstone at Chigwell parish church reads
Sacred to the
memory of John Knight of Hainault House in this parish & for many
years a Resident of St. Georges in the East
who was born at Barkway in
the county of Hertford on Christmas day in the Year of our Lord 1792
His sons continued the business as John Knight Ltd, and moved to a riverside factory in Knights Road, West Silvertown in 1880 [left between the wars, and packers earlier in the century].
Its name - the Royal Primrose Works - was misleading: the smell from
the mountains of animal carcases, and the production of glues,
fertilisers and adhesives as well as soap was not exactly
aromatic... The Booth survey
interviewed the company along with many others in the same trade. In
1906 it re-registered as John Knight and Sons, soap makers and
perfumers and later became a subsidiary of Lever Brothers (now
Unilever). In the 1920s they were advertising Soap; Household, Laundry [including Hustler washing soaps], Perfumed,
Soft, Medicinal, Shaving, Flakes, Powder; Dye Soap. Toilet
Preparations; Glue; Tallow; Edible Dripping; Edible Oils; Oil Cake for
Cattle Feeding [compare a 1922 advertisement, right].
The factory was bombed on the first night of the Blitz, and rebuilt; by
the end of the 1950s it had over 1,200 employees. Their most famous
product was Knight's Castile soap, introduced in 1919 [1950 advertisement right].
Manufacture of the brand transferred to Elida Gibbs in 1997 after Unilever
reorganised its portfolio, and the Gumption Company took it over
JOHN HIND (warden 1836)
was an auctioneer and broker of household goods, who advertised his sales in the Times,
and appeared to own a number of houses in Cannon Street [Road]: in
1815, he insured no.23 (plus by 1820 six other houses in the area),
nos. 19 and 23 in 1825, and in 1836, jointly with Alice Garratt, a
widow, nos. 21 and 22 (plus three elsewhere). He died in 1849; his will
is in the National Archives at Kew.
JOHN BENTON (warden 1837)
was the uncle of T.M. Fairclough who in 1880 gave one of the apse mosaics in his memory; he died in 1841.
GEORGE COOPER (warden 1838)
was a butcher, with a shop at 9 Nassau Place (on the south side of
Commercial Road, east of Cannon Street Road). He was the first regular
customer of Thomas Herbert of Catherine Street round
the corner, who serviced his scales and weighing machines.
JOHN CHATWOOD (warden 1839-40), PETER RAYNER (warden 1839-40)
Chatwood was a chemist of Gravel Lane, and Peter Rayner a livery
stable-keeper of George Yard, off Cannon Street Road (insuring property
there from the 1810s). For a number of years - at least from 1839-50 -
Rayner was the chairman, and Chatwood the vice-chairman, of the Poor
Law Guardians for St George-in-the-East, following the 1834 Poor
Law Amendment Act: James Massingham was the first chairman. See here for comments on their in-relief spending policy.
BENJAMIN FRANCIS SKELTON (warden 1840-41)
was a gentleman of 1 Bath
Terrace [which later became 203 Cable Street, on the north side, now
all demolished]; he married Jane Louisa Titterton at Edmonton in
1837. He owned, with the Stutfields, a tenement yard that was
bought for the construction of the London & Blackwall Railway in
1836. When he died in 1857, his will [held at the National Archives in Kew] was proved by the Prerogative
Court of Canterbury, which
indicates that his wealth exceeded the limit for the London diocesan
court to deal with it. (Until that year, when secular courts was
established for this purpose, wills were 'proved' by the ecclesiastical
courts; when his widow Jane died in 1882, at the same house, it was the
Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court which dealt
with her will. William Cleaver was one of her executors.)
RICHARD EDWARD GIBBS (warden 1843)
was an ironmonger, born in Poplar (as was his wife Jane), with premises
at 90-92 Old Gravel Lane. In 1835 John King was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing his dirty linen basket (shirts, socks, drawers and
handkerchief) from a truck being drawn by his errand-man along the
highway, and was confined for a year. In the 1851 census there were two
children, a shopman and two servants living in their home.
THOMAS LIQUORISH (warden 1844-48)
The Liquorish family's
roots were in Sudbury, Suffolk. William senior was born there in
1748, and became a freeman of Ipswich, but had Tower Hamlets
connections – he was a corporal in the Tower Hamlets Militia in the
1790s. He had two sons, both born in Sudbury (moving between Suffolk
and London), shoemakers by trade, engaged in military service, and
musical. William junior was born in 1772, and served with the
Westminster Militia from 1793, the Tower Hamlets Militia from
1797-1808 and the West Suffolk Militia (enlisting at Liverpool, aged
39) from 1811, serving in the Peninsular war (for which he was
awarded the Peninsular medal), at Vittoria, the Pyrenees, the second
siege of Sebastapol, Ortez, and Toulouse. Invalided out as a
non-resident of the Chelsea Hospital in 1824, due to 'paralysis of
lower extremities and left arm', in 1796 he composed a Quick-Step and
Military March for the Tower Hamlets Militia. He lived in Hoxton
until his death in 1852 at Shoreditch. His brother Thomas joined the
Tower Hamlets Militia in 1799 at the age of 13; in 1807 he was
admitted by patrimony as a freeman of Ipswich, but from 1814-39 lived
at Chapel Street, and by 1810 was Master of the Tower Hamlets band
until the Militia was disbanded in 1816; he too moved to Hoxton, and
died there in 1842, having cut his own throat, in 1842.
What relation was the
Thomas Liquorish who became a churchwarden, born in Leicestershire,
and the landlord of the Ship Tavern in Anthony Street
(numbering variously given as 11, 13 and 84)? With his wife Elizabeth
[or Martha] ???? he had eleven children. (We recently heard from a
family one of whose ancestors – no relation – was born in the pub
during his time.) He was
elected as warden by those opposed to Bryan King. He was the senior
warden at the time of the 1845 Requisition meeting, chairing the
public vestry on 15 March - see the text and comment here.
Afterwards an absurd declaration was made that
the Protestant Cause has triumphed over the Tools of Jesuitical
Tyranny by the Glorious majority of 76 in favour of Messrs Liquorish
and Bond, the true friends of the Church and of Civil and Religious
Liberty. In 1847 he put his name to a 'presentment', published in The Times
of 8 January on behalf of the wardens, stating the unhappiness of the
parishioners, and alleging marriage and baptism irregularities -
unconvincingly, since King was rigorous in complying with the
requirements: they are discussed here.
Like many other wardens of this parish at that time, he was a Liberal
in politics, and a member of the committee of no less than 332 (with
power to add more should they choose) formed in 1852 to secure the
re-election of Sir William Clay as MP (successfully: he served from 1823-57), based on the resolution That
the unvarying attention of Sir William Clay to the local interests of
the Borough, his steady support of the principles of civil and
religious liberty, and his early, zealous, and consistent advocacy of
Free-trade, entitle him to the continued confidence and cordial support
of the constituency of the Tower Hamlets. Among the 24 names from 'our Hamlet' were wardens John Chatwood (and John Chatwood jnr), Richard Carpenter, Samuel Foulger, John Sander, John James Bond, B.F Skelton, T.M. Fairclough, Thomas Barnett (warden 1848-49), Andrew Wilson, Dr E.A. Cory and Robert Nicholson.
was also vice-chairman of St George's Union (workhouse), with J. Gill
as chairman. The Times
reported his death at the Ship Tavern on 2 March 1854, deeply
regretted by a numerous circle of friends.
His wife took on the tenancy of the Ship
after his death.
JOHN JAMES BOND (warden 1844-47)
family background: John Lawton (c1673-1754)
lived in Ratcliffe Highway (probably no.19) on the eastern corner of
Essex (later Artichoke) Hill from at least 1730. A salesman, he
acquired property in and around The Highway and a country estate at
Loughton, Essex. Outliving all his sons, he left his property to his
grandson John Rogers Lawton, and on his early death it was divided
amongst his four young daughters, and hence eventually to their
husbands. John Lawton' great-grand-daughter Fanny (married to a coal factor and
living in Canterbury Square, Southwark) passed her share to her only
daughter's children. Their father, Joseph Messenger, a retired sea
captain from St Bees, Cumbria, was a pawnbroker at 177 Ratcliffe
Highway between 1812/14 and his death in 1826. The properties were
equally divided between Joseph's sons William (in New Zealand) and
Frank (in Australia) and his daughter Jane, who had married John James
Bond, cabinet maker and undertaker, who lived across the road at 24 Ratcliffe Highway. His father Benjamin Bond (c1752-1833), cabinet-maker, appraiser and furniture broker, had
lived at this address since at least 1761. and attended St
George-in-the-East: both his wives and all but one of his children were
buried there, and he was the largest rentpayer in The Highway, so
surely involved in the Vestry; he also owned a house in Dorking. John
James (1805-1858) was born there, but was living at no.24 at the time
of the Marr Murders, and in May 1835 served from this address as a juror
at the Old Bailey.The 1851 census lists him as a widower, cabinet maker, aged
47, living with his teenage son and daughter, a
housekeeper and a general servant, at 24 Ratcliff Highway (portrait left between his marriage in 1827 and his wife's death in 1839).
With his fellow-warden Thomas Liquorish he opposed Bryan King's
innovations, and (unusually at that time) served a second term; in 1848
the trustees (= Vestry) presented him with a gold propelling pen/pencil
for his services, with the inscription Presented to J J Bond Esq. by the
Trustees of St George’s Middx to Mark their approbation of his Services, as one
of the Churchwardens for a period of Four Years ending 1848. An obituary in the East London Observer of 11 September 1858 said
|DEATH OF MR JOHN JAMES BOND
It is with much
regret that we have to announce the death of Mr John James Bond, Upholsterer,
etc., of St George-Street, St George in the East. Mr Bond has been a resident
of St George’s all his life, and for thirty years has taken an active part in
the affairs of the parish. He was
Headborough at the time of the passing of the New Police Act, and the
introduction of the Metropolitan Police. Some years ago, he was churchwarden in
conjunction with Mr Liquorish for three years in succession, during which time
he successfully combatted with the rector, against his innovation in the church
service. For many years he has been a trustee of the parish, and had during a
long devotion to the service of his fellows, earned the good will of all. After an illness
of only three days, he died on Thursday morning last, from an attack of
Erisipelas. He was apparently a man apparently in robust health, of full habit
of body, and to all appearances likely to live for many years. His
comparatively sudden death has cast a general gloom over the whole of his
friends which we may honestly say comprised the principle inhabitants of the
parish of St George’s.
RICHARD CARPENTER (warden 1852)
was a pawnbroker. His first premises were on Charles [now Watney]
Street, Back Road [now Cable Street], where he had two yards.
Unsurprisingly, pawnbrokers at that time were often involved in criminal trials. In
1835 he gave evidence at the Old Bailey trial of William Johnson,
who was sentenced to death for a burglary in adjoining premises. His
shopman (and son?) William Carpenter was a witness in 1835 when Ellen Young and Caroline Neil
pawned a watch with them; he said he knew and had previously dealt with
Neil (who was acquitted) but would not have received it from Young (who
was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison). By 1858 Richard
was in partnership with Samuel Readfern, at 7 Cannon Street [Road], who
gave evidence that George Burchett had forged one of their tickets for 6 reams of paper, valued 12s. - it was a white one, and their tickets above 10s.
were yellow; he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. In 1868 his home
and shop were at 68 Cannon Street Road [the same premises, renumbered?]
where Thomas Homewood, George Kelly and Goerge Timothy
attempted a burglary, and were each sentenced to two years in prison.
(One of the witnesses had a sad life: her husband was 'insane', and she
and her son struggled to make a living selling pigeon dung to the
tanning yards in Bermondsey.)
Richard (by then also known as Richard Luke Windham Carpenter) died in
1874, having moved to Leytonstone Road; his executors were Richard and
William (sons?) and Charles Sells, but by 1891 - by which time William
had also died - his affairs were not finally resolved.
ANDREW WILSON (warden 1842) & JOSHUA WILSON (warden 1854-55)
Joshua was a carpenter and builder, with premises at Alington Place, Back Road [part of Cable Street]. A partnership
with his son Andrew was dissolved by mutual consent in March 1847. Andrew became an architect, employed for work on St
George's National School, Cannon Street Road in 1856 (and living at 34
Cannon Street Road); he then
got the job of designing St George's Town Hall in 1860/61. When Joshua died in 1861, his executors were Andrew, then of Harley Cottage, Bow Road, and John Alexander Wilson, ship and insurance broker of 22 Great Tower Street. Andrew also produced the Incorporated Church Building Society plan of St George's church between 1868-78.
FAIRCLOUGH (warden 1855-56)
dynasty were in the haulage trade - starting originally as carmen
with horses, working from 10 (and later 12) Christian Street. It is said that they
got their break when the Crystal Palace [right] was taken down and shifted in
1852 from the Great Exhibition site to Penge. In due course they
expanded, as T.M. Fairclough & Sons, into steam wagons, then modern
lorries, becoming major regional contractors, until the postwar
nationalisation of transport supplies. For example, in
1897 The Auto reported that they were now connected with the Motor-Van
Syndicate (Limited), recently formed for the purpose of exploiting
with Morrison and Arthur Fairclough as directors. And by
1933 they were providing repeat orders of 'Durable' lorries in
association with Armstrong-Sauer Commercial Vehicles Ltd. (Vickers
Armstrong records, held in the Tyne and Wear archives, include photos
of these vehicles.) See here for details of their repossession in 1930 of Premierland, the boxing venue in Backchurch Lane, following the High Court case T.M. Fairclough
& Sons v Berliner  1 Ch 60 - quoted in a 2006 Law Commission report on the termination of tenancies for default. There is more material here
on 'Tommy' Fairclough's local activities, in meat haulage and other
areas, including reference to the lowering of railway wagons from the
viaducts to street level around Pinchin Street. Another case involving the company and establishing legal precedents turned on rest time for drivers: Beer v T.M. Fairclough & Sons Ltd (1937) 156 LT 238.
The family may
have come to London from Lancashire, via Chester. Thomas Morrison
Fairclough was baptized in London in 1818, and worked with other family
members on building up the business. Around the time when he was churchwarden, John Calnan, aged 16, was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing a chest and 74 lbs
of tea, value £12, from one of his wagons, and was imprisoned for six
months - he was to make a number of repeat appearances at the Bailey!
In July 1874 T.M. Fairclough was named among the
additional Commissioners appointed for executing the Acts for granting
a land tax and other rates and taxes. He held a number of
directorships, and in his latter years served as Treasurer of the
Raine's Foundation Schools, then in Cannon Street Road. By the time of the 1878 Vestry map the firm had five yards in the area - two on Christian Street, and three off Cable Street [indicated on map, right]. In 1880, he gave one of the apse mosaics in memory of his uncle John Benton. He died in
1891, with Morrison, Walter and Arthur among his executors.
Fairclough Street is named for him - views here and here.
The men of the
family were involved in the Worshipful Company of Girdlers
- a livery company no longer involved in its original ancient craft of
belt making (except for supplying the sword belt for the Sword of State
and stole at coronations) but remaining active in charitable work.
Fairclough was Master in 1872; Morrison Fairclough (his first son, 1846-1919) in 1882 - he presented enamel & gilt badges for the Wardens; and Frank
Fairclough (second son - who married at St Augustine Kilburn, a noted
ritualistic church, in 1887) in 1895. In 1904 Morrison and Frank were
assistants, and Walter, Arthur and Percy served as liverymen.
The family home
was at Essex House, 401 Bow Road, in Mile End, until increasing
prosperity enabled them to move, around 1880, to Pitarrow, Bramley
Hill, a Croydon mansion with a large staff to match. Essex house
[right, in 1890s] - perhaps once associated with Lady Essex - was acquired by
C.R. Ashbee in 1891 and became the home of a number of significant projects: the Survey of London (now part of
English Heritage); the Essex House Press (which took over William
Morris' Kelmscott Press after his death, and produced much significant
and beautiful work), and the Guild of Handicraft (which began at
Toynbee Hall, as a silver- and metal-work studio in the Arts and Crafts
tradition - poster right), both of which moved to Chipping Camden in 1902; they no longer exist, but their influence lives on.
THOMAS PADDON (warden 1857)
Thomas was born in 1803 in Pilton (near Barnstaple), the youngest of
three sons of Thomas (born out of wedlock) and Frances. By 1841 he had
set up a carpet warehouse in Ratcliff Highway where he lived with his
wife Mary, five children and his brother Andrew Daly Paddon (born 1805)
who practised as an accountant. In 1838 their servant Amelia Sullivan was acquitted at the Old Bailey of stealing seven yards of calico, value 7s.; the following year another employee Agnes M'Cullum was convicted of the theft of 3½ yards of flannel, value 4s.; 1 shift, value 5s.; and 1¼ yard of merino, value 5s., and confined for three months. In 1842 James Tillett stole 7½ yards of printed calico; he had been drinking but was 'not drunk', and was sentenced to six months in prison.
JOHN DOWSETT (warden 1860)
was a gentleman of
8 New Road. He leased various properties, including two (for 21 year
terms) in Betts Street which formed part of the Drapers' Company portfolio
financing Edmanson's Almshouses in Stratford (established in 1695 to
twelve almshouses for poor men and women, and afterwards to employ the
rents for the use of such poor who were either inhabitants in the
precincts of St Catherine or decayed sail-makers or their widows
inhabiting there or elsewhere):
in 1840, a dwelling house and grounds for £35 (paying £1,050 for the
contents of its sugar-houses) and in 1843 number 4a, at £10. As
one of the four trustees of the Stepney, Ratcliff
and St George's Benefit Building Society (No 2), he entered into
mortgages on behalf of the society.
He must have prospered, since in the early 1870s he acquired Leyton House, Stratford [left] as his residence. This was a three-storeyed redbrick building with a front of seven bays, built
about 1706 by David Gansel, which had an interesting history and
succession of tenants, including Alderman Thomas Sidney (Lord Mayor of
London 1853-54) and thereafter the mother of William Morris (who was born in Walthamstow). Its history is fully detailed here,
though it does not refer to the Dowsetts' ocupancy. John Dowsett died
in 1873 (at the home of T. Gardner, Esq), aged 76. In 1906 the property
was leased by Samuel Henry Dowsett Esq (? John's son,
born 1846) to His Majesty's Postmaster General for 21 years, at £55 per
year, but it was demolished in 1913; the site was occupied by
the London Electric Wire Works, and later developed for light industrial and residential accommodation. [Samuel Henry Kaonohiulaokalani Dowsett was a successful entrepreneur in Hawaii, the third generation of his family there - what relation was he?]
FREDERICK CHARLES CORY MD MRCS (warden 1861-62)
In the middle years of the 19th century, at 7 Clark[e]'s Terrace, Cannon Street Road, lived Edward Augustus Cory MD FSA MRCS who wrote a textbook The Physical and Medical Management of Children: adapted for general perusal
which went through several editions (eg the enlarged 5th edition of
1844, J. Draper). He was well-known in the area, and a regular writer
to the medical journals of the time; here
are some of his letters, which show him to be enlightened in his
approach - on the treatment of 'hysteria', malignant cholera, medicines
for children, midwifery issues, and the delivery of twins - and also
quick to defend his reputation. He died (at Banstead) on 8 July 1854.
His son Frederick Charles Cory MD MRCS followed in his father's
footsteps: he was admitted as a Doctor of Medicine in 1853, and became
a Fellow of the Obstetrical Society of London (serving on its Council
1867-69); living at 8 Nassau Place, Commercial Road [the south side, just east of Cannon Street Road]. He susbscribed to
the Scripture Readers' journal.
JOHN FREDERICK HASTED (warden 1863-64)
Hasted's family were coopers.
In 1802 they had insured premises at 6 Fountains Court,
Minories, and in 1803 John
Frederick Hasted senior married Sarah Hunt at All Hallows by the Tower;
1824 he was insuring premises at 15 Prince's Square. She died in 1829,
aged 44, and he in 1852, aged 72; their table-top tomb and inscription
remains, to the south of the church entrance. His namesake son carried
on the business; the family's address was 12 Pell Street. Like many others
mentioned on this page, he was the victim of theft by an employee: in
1846 William Boynett was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing 3s. and other monies from his
master, and was imprisoned for six months. There was also a
Chancery case involving a family will, Brown v Hasted
in 1862. William (his son?) was listed as a rate collector for the parish in 1866. As with other wardens, John also served for a time as
vice-chairman of the parish union (workhouse), with J. Gill as
chairman. He died on 26 February 1872 at 4 Belgrave Villas, Ilford
Road, by then described
as a gentleman; Emma (his daughter?) continued to live there,
and his son at Clifton Lodge, The Green, Stratford.
JOHN PONLER (warden 1863)
The family were orginally seafarers: Captain John Ponler sailed the Queen West Indiaman
at the start of the 19th century, and wrote from the Barbadoes [sic] on
29 March 1806 to Lawrence Bruce, at the Jamaica Coffee House in London,
respect to my patent fore-sail, I had it bent during the bad weather at
our first sailing, and it certainly answers every purpose that the
patentee intended it; for at different times during the bad weather, I
sent the watch forward to reef the fore-sail, which could be done in
three or four minutes, without starting tack or sheet.
John married Janet (Jennett, in some registers - from Scotland?)
Stalker in 1797 at St Paul Shadwell, but their children were baptized
at the Independent chapel
in Old Gravel Lane - John in 1799, Elizabeth in 1800, Janet in 1802,
Margaret in 1804, Margaret Jane in 1806, Hugh Stalker in 1808, James in
1811 and Grace in 1814. John (father or son?) insured the second house from George Street, Commercial Road in 1821 (described as gent) and property at St George's Place, New Road, Back Lane [confusing, because Back Lane was next to St George's Place but some distance from the New Road] in 1830 (described as a timber merchant).
In the 1840s John (presumably by now the son) had become something of
an entrepreneur: he took over the property of various insolvent
debtors, on trust for other creditors -
In 1852 the partnership between John
Ponler, Janet Ponler, and Hugh Stalker Ponler, Timber Merchants, of St.
George's-place, St George's in the East, was dissolved by mutual
consent so far as regards Janet Ponler. The 1878 Vestry map [left] shows the firm's yard on Cable Street, to the north of the churchyard. His brother Hugh Stalker
Ponler died in 1854. (In the 1841 census Hugh was living at 'Back Road'
with his sister Margaret, and in 1851 at 14 St George's Place with his
widowed mother, and Margaret; but he had also set up house with Mary
Ann Dolder at 2 King David Lane; they did not marry, but had two
children, James Hugh in 1837 and Sarah Ann in 1839, both baptized at St
Paul Shadwell: Sarah died the following year. He is variously described
in registers as sawyer, timber merchant and mariner.)
- in 1842 of William Atkins, a carpenter of Devonshire Street, Bishopsgate;
- in March 1843 (together with Benjamin Dixon, a timber merchant of Limehouse - John described as a timber merchant of Back Lane) of John Dobson, carpenter and builder, shipwright and joiner - all his estate and effects whatsoever, except the necessary wearing apparel of himself and his family
August 1843 (together with George Nicholson, upholsterer of Aldgate
High Street) of Mary Rowland, widow of William Rowland of Grenada
Terrace, Commercial Road, who had been a partner with him in his
cabinet-making business (she retained their leasehold property).
business later moved to 228 Cable Street [left on Goad's 1899 insurance map]: a father and son partnership
(both called John) was dissolved in 1875. Despite the family
connections with St Paul Shadwell, a seamen's church, John was
churchwarden at St George-in-the-East in 1863. He was a Warden of the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers [crest right] in 1866. William Street, off Cannon Street Road, was re-named Ponler Street in the mid-19th century.
GEORGE HENRY SHABOE (warden 1864)
lived at 9 St George
Street; he was a cork cutter, master and manufacturer,
and ran a shop. Other family members were involved in this trade. Cork
cutting - to provide stoppers for bottles, sold by the gross - was
described in 1811 (The Book of Trades or Library of Useful Arts) as one of the blackest and dirtiest of all trades, and not very profitable either for the master of journeyman; it was done by men and women, with an exceedingly sharp knife of peculiar construction, requiring but little ingenuity, as the only tool required. But the processes were mechanised, and became more profitable - see here for more detail. He may
have been a newcomer to the area, as his daughter Catherine was
baptized in Hoxton in 1856. In 1871 he was vice-chairman of the Union,
with James Fraser as the chair.
GEORGE GRUMBRIDGE (warden 1865)
was a linen draper of Ratcliff Highway [100 St George Street]. At the Old Bailey
in 1844 Ann Stone, Lydia Johnson and Louisa Ellis (all with previous
felony convictions) were found guilty of simple larceny of his property
- three handkerchiefs, value 10s. 6d., and four yards of silk - and were transported for seven years.
JOHN BARNES (warden 1866)
of 59, Cannon Street Road
THOMAS HERBERT (warden 1866-67)
Herbert (1811-76) was a member of the Vestry from the time when it was
constituted in 1855 under the Metropolis Management Act, and in due
course chaired the Sewers / Sanitary Committee (for whom he gave a dinner a few
weeks before his death). He was in turn an overseer, trustee and churchwarden
of the parish - deploring the scandal of the ritualism riots and
working for harmony in the years that followed. An obituary spoke of
his steady adherence to any plan to
which he had become attached. Slow to decide - the result of earnest
thought and consideration - yet, when once resolved upon, nothing moved
him from his purpose ... By no means an orator, possessed the faculty
of pegging away until he made his view known, those view being
generally in favour of a somewhat close economy ...To this trait ... he
owed the alienation of many who would have been friendly with him but
who now that he is gone can but ackowledge the ability which
distinguished his actions.
in the parish, he was the second son of Thomas Herbert, a tidewaiter
(customs officer). He married Sarah Brinkhurst in 1836; they had six
children. He learned his trade as a scalemaker with Thomas Pallet in
Leadenhall Street, with whom he worked for seventeen years; in 1842 he
started his own business in a shed in the back garden of wife's father
Benjamin in Catherine [later Anthony] Street - where his first regular
customer was George Cooper,
churchwarden 30 years earlier - moving the next year to a shop in
Cannon Street Road, and taking on two of Pallet's men. Around 1849 he
moved to premises at 47 Ratcliff Highway [later St George's Street, now
The Highway], four doors from the Old Rose, adding a new shop front and workshops at the rear - right
in the 1870s. In 1857 he took over George Birch's business in
Chichester Place [later Grays Inn Road], and in 1867 purchased Wood's,
who had traded at 6-7 West Smithfield in the City for over a century -
well-timed, as Smithfield meat market opened the following year. Thomas
retired in 1873.
His three sons started in the business, but for reasons unknown Thomas
eldest, left in 1863 to fight in the American Civil War, despite having
recently married; he enlisted in the 34th Regiment, New Jersey
Volunteer Infantry under the name of James Goodwin, becoming a second
lieutenant by its end. He was naturalised in 1884, and died of TB at a
military hospital in Dayton, Ohio, in 1887, shortly after
re-establishing contact with his family.
William, the other sons, dissolved their partnership a few days before
their father's death. George and his wife Mary Ann lived over the shop
- they had four rooms, with a kitchen parlour and scullery at the back
of the shop. In 1868 George had enrolled as a Special Constable, in the
wake of the Fenian rising and the subsequent Clerkenwell explosion -
more details here; left is his truncheon.
The firm moved out in around 1900, and the building was
destroyed in the Blitz. Herbert & Sons remain in business - here
is their excellent website, giving their subsequent history; and see here for another firm of scalemakers on Commercial Road.
GEORGE SAVILLE BARNARD (warden 1867)
was a manufacturer of Seamen's Improved Waterproof Clothing and Yarmouth South-westers, based at 111, Ratcliff Highway.
JOHN SANDER (warden 1868)
Various family members were linen drapers and/or haberdasherers.
In 1846 John is listed as in business at 127 St George's Street, with
'Sanders and Palmer' at 215/6 Shadwell High Street, and another John
traded at 5 Little Pulteney Street, Walker's Court, Golden Square,
dying as a gentleman at 144
St Paul's Road, Canonbury in 1864. 'Our' John's partnership with
William Sander (his son?) was dissolved by mutual consent in 1869,
William continuing the business. He was a trustee of St
George-in-the-East in 1871, involved in the parish's local government
ROBERT NICHOLSON (warden 1868)
was also a parish Trustee in 1871; his address was given as 4 Cannon
Street Road, but this may have been an office address - see here.
FREDERICK WARSKITT (warden 1869-70)
He was a builder, living at 102 Cannon Street Road, and in 1865 he was granted retrospective planning permission by the
Metropolitan Board of Works to erect a counting-house and entrance to
his yard there, on condition that it was adapted to conform with his application.
Two years previously he was involved in a case over a contested will, Eastman v Dennis.
His wife was Martha; their daughter Emma, born here in 1852, married
Nathaniel William Hicks from Hackney, and raised four children there. A
son Frederick James emigrated to Australia, marrying Emma King at St
Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney in 1881. She taught 'fancy dancing' - see this
report of her juvenile class. In 1889 he was riding with a
friend Henry Cannon whose horse bucked, causing his fatal drowning.
Frederick and Emma were divorced in 1894, on the [standard] grounds of habitual drunkenness, leaving without means of support, and cruelty. Frederick sernior retired to Brigden - Cann Hall Road, Wanstead [now Leystonstone].
RICHARD JOSEPH COLLYER (warden 1869-70)
He was born 11 March 1822 on the island of St Helena, as were
five of his ten siblings. His parents Nathaniel Collier and Charlotte
Knipe were married there in 1817, and lived there on and off for a
number of years - was his father working for the East India Company, or
guarding Napoleon? His father had been bound as an apprentice to the Mercers' Company
[nowadays the 'premier' livery company], but - presumably because he
had left the country - had delayed claiming his freedom of the company,
and of the City (a linked benefit), for which he had qualified in 1808,
until some point between the birth of his two sons Nathaniel and
Richard, between 1818 and 1822. Under the rules, therefore, Richard
became the apprentice master (as a 'carrier') to Nathaniel's three
sons. Richard himself gained Mercers' and City freedom in 1843, and
married Sarah Partridge, in Hackney, the following year, and between
then and 1870 they had eleven children, seven of them born in the
parish. The 1878 Vestry map [right] shows
his works yard on Cable Street [previously 6 Back Road], just north of
the church. By 1901 he was living in Clissold Road, Stoke Newington,
his unmarried daughter Florence, and died in West Ham in 1905.
WILLIAM CLEAVER (warden 1871-72)
lived at 125 Cannon Street Road, moving to Highbury Villa, Leytonstone
when these premises were rebuilt in 1875 for the boys' school of Raine's Foundation. He was an executor of Benjamin Skelton
and his widow. He died at Leytonstone in 1892, leaving a widow Sarah; a
son Alfred William qualifed the same year from this address as an
architect (having been articled to Andrew and Thomas William
Aldwinckle); he practised at London Wall in 1914, Fenchurch Street in
the 1920s and 1930s, and died in Epsom in 1947.
CHARLES HEWITT OLIVER (warden 1871-3)
lived at 60 Christian Street, and was a cooper by trade. His
partnership with William Fairbarns, based at 15 Lower King Street,
Commercial Road, had been dissolved in 1856, and he had continued the
business on his own account.
FREDERICK JOSEPH WHITE DELLOW (warden 1873-75)
whose trade was basket-making, may possibly have had Huguenot roots.
Their links were previously with St Paul Shadwell (where Richard
Dellow, born in 1815, was baptized in 1824 - in the 1840s he lived at
15 Chapman Street, but later continued his trade in Clerkenwell, Surrey
and then Gateshead). Frederick
born in Stepney in 1837. He married Elizabeth Allsop Bate in 1859 at St
James Garlickhythe, who bore him seven children, and Frances Catherine
Bonken in 1875 at St George-in-the-East, who bore a further ten. (They are all named here.) They
lived at 73 St George Street. In the 1861 census he is described as
a basket maker; as a brush and basket maker in 1871, but by 1881 he had
become a cotton waste maker in West Ham, and in 1891 at Walthamstow; a
decade later he was a commercial traveller living in Prittlewell. He
died in 1914.
He was a member
of the London School Board
from 1885-91. Named for him are Dellow Street [previously Victoria
Street, and before that Blue Gate Fields, a name also given to part of
Cable Street], east of St George's church. The Dellow and Bewley Buildings were constructed between
1893-96, probably on the site of the New Court opium den visited by Charles Dickens as part of his research for Edwin Drood; it formed part of the Cable Street housing scheme, and cost
£23,083; the rent for two rooms was 5s. a week, and three rooms 7s. There is also the Dellow Centre for the homeless, in nearby
MOSES JOHN HICKMAN (warden 1875-6)
family came from Sandon in Essex to the parish around 1816, and lived in Church Road. (At the Old Bailey
in 1822 James Gosnell was
convicted of stealing two sheets, a blanket and a quilt from Moses
senior from a room in Twine Court, Shadwell which he had recently let
to a tenant - he was imprisoned for two months.) The family
trade were undertakers - funeral directors: Moses junior and his three
younger brothers set
up various local agencies. In 1854 a
partnership was dissolved between Benjamin Bourne Hickman and John Bradford, at 1
Cannon Street Road [which a few years earlier had been insured by Eliza
Whybrow, oil warehouse keeper - see here for this family's pickle factory]. In Moses' case the agencies were in the name of his wife, Ann
Elizabeth Hickman, at 1 Prince's Place and at 111 Cannon Street Road. A
bankprutcy petition was filed against them in November 1850 [London
Gazette p4740] but they were discharged with a certificate of the
second class (meaning that their debts were partially unavoidable - the
result of carelessness or recklessness but not dishonesty) [p3502] and
they resumed their trade. Here is one of Hickman's
advertisements (some of
the prices are missing), and a memorial card for Sarah Waller, buried
at Bow Cemetery in September 1865:
MOSES JOHN HICKMAN, UNDERTAKER,
No. 1, PRINCE'S PLACE, COMMERCIAL ROAD EAST* (Corner of Morgan Street) and
No. 111, CANNON STREET ROAD, ST. GEORGE'S EAST (Corner of William Street)
submits the following Tariff of inclusive Charges for Funerals,
guarantees the equipage in all cases to be of the best description,
the obsequies performed with respectability and decorum.
CAUTION. I beg
to inform the public that some undertakers and others have issued a
fac-simile of my Prospectus, thereby deceiving them, by relying on
extras to make up their bills, instead of keeping to the sum specified
in their advertisements. I have no connection with any other
establishment, and am only surprised that, in the present enlightenment
although a sense of duty does not restrain education might make men
abashed at the thought of being guilty of so mean an action as to rely
on the merits of my productions to gain public favour.
WALKING FUNERALS - Grown Persons £1/10/-
CARRIAGE FUNERALS within Ten Miles of the General Post Office:
A Carriage Funeral complete, with Coffin and all requirements £2
A Carriage Funeral, with separate Hearse and Mourning Coach, 1 Coffin, and all requirements
A Carriage Funeral, with Hearse and Pair, and Mourning Coach and Pair, Coffin, &c
Funeral, with superior Coffin, Hearse & Pair, Mourning Coach and
Pair, Velvets, Mutes, Pages, and all requirements
Funeral, with double-lid Coffin, Hearse and Four, and Mourning
Coach and Pair, Ostrich Plumes to Hearse, and Horses, Mutes, Pages,
stout Elm Shell and Case covered with fine Cloth, Hearse and Four, two
Mourning Coaches (pairs), Ostrich Plumes and Velvets, Lid of Feathers,
Mutes, Pages, &c., £20
CHILDREN'S CARRIAGE FUNERALS from £1/4/-
for Removals to or from all parts. Letters by post receive immediate
attention. No extra charge for Removals from Hospitals. Oak and Lead
Coffins on the shortest notice.
Scotland - Edinburgh: James Pocock, 72, Charles-street; Greenock:
Joseph Crookshanks, 41, West Blackhall-street. Ireland - Belfast : John
Robson, 31, Chichester-street.
* later renumbered 152 Commercial Road
In the 1881
census Moses John, his wife, grand-daughter and a resident domestic
servant are listed as living in Louisa Villa in Great Baddow,
Essex. A son George Augustus, born in Cannon Street Road in 1828,
died in Ilford in 1900.
EDWIN COOMBE (warden 1878)
was a house decorator, builder and contractor of
8 Old Gravel Lane. He was previously in partnership with James
May (latterly of 31 Johnson Street), at premises in St Pancras, as house decorators, plumbers, glaziers, gas fitters and paper hangers; May
was declared bankrput in 1858 and the partnership dissolved. Edwin
traded with his son Ernest James Coombe as 'E Coombe and Son', and at
some point they moved to Lime Villas, Foxberry Road, Brockley; Ernest
continued the business after his father's death on 1883.
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