Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Champion & Wilton Saddlers and Harness Makers

Oxford Street at Selfridges the most famous street of shops on the planet
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ben Brooksbank -

As juxtapositions go, with my last post having been about the workhouse-poor matchgirls, I could not have found a more starkly contrasting one if I'd planned it. I didn't. Whilst looking for an entirely different store, of an entirely different branch of the family, I'd come across Pigot's Directory of Essex 1823, which listed a Henry Wilton as a saddler in Great Dunmow, he was uncle of the matchgirl's father, my 3rd great-grandfather, Richard Wilton, a harness maker and his older brother, Henry Wilton, also a saddler. Right now though, we're concerned with Henry Wilton's son, Henry Staines Wilton, who you'll deduce is a first cousin to the unfortunate match girl. Just five miles apart in distance, in fortunes it was a whole world away. As the son of my 3rd great-grand uncle, Henry Staines Wilton is therefore my 1st cousin 4 times removed. 

St. Giles Church, near Mountnessing
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Malc McDonald

Henry Staines Wilton, son of Henry Wilton, Saddler, and his first wife Sarah (née Staines), was baptised on 27 Sep 1840 at St Giles Church, Mountnessing and is listed, aged 0, with his parents on the 1841 Census in High Street, Great Dunmow, where Henry Wilton had his saddlery business. 

As the census returns for 1851 in Great Dunmow are missing, we next catch up with Henry Staines Wilton, Saddler, in 1861, aged 20, staying with his grandparents, Thomas Staines and Sally Hockley at Lord Peters (Sir William Petre) Alms Houses, Stone Field, Ingatestone, Chelmsford.

Bridge Street, Bishop's Stortford
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Bill Boaden -

Having set up business next door to his future father-in-law, on 4 Aug 1868, Henry Staines Wilton, Harness Maker, married Amelia Palmer, daughter of William Palmer a Tallow Chandler of Bridge Street, Bishop's Stortford at the church of St Michael, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. Witnesses to the marriage were the bride's father, William Palmer, the bridegroom's parents, Henry and Sarah Wilton and Martha Palmer, the bride's older sister. 

This looks like a 'beneficial match' for him, because Amelia's Great Western Railway shares passed to her husband on their marriage. This is, of course, before the Married Women's Property Act 1882, when anything a woman owned, became her husband's by default, effectively becoming dowry

By 1871, Henry Staines Wilton, Saddler and Harness Maker, Employing 2 men, 2 apprentices and 1 boy, is doing well enough to also employ a general servant and a nurse as he and Amelia grew their family of 5 children:
  1. William Palmer Wilton was born 19 Sep 1869, and baptised 28 Nov 1869 at St Michael's, Bishop's Stortford
  2. Mary Henrietta Wilton, was baptised 30 Apr 1871 in Bishop's Stortford
  3. Olive Martha Wilton born 25 Dec 1872, baptised 28 Feb 1873 in Bishop's Stortford. (Olive Martha Wilton, artist, died, aged 45, on 14 Apr 1918 in Ringwood, Hampshire. She is not buried with the family.)
  4. John Staines Wilton, baptised 24 Apr 1874 in Bishop's Stortford. (John Staines Wilton didn't marry either. He died on 6 May 1936.)
  5. Margaret Staines Wilton born 1877 in the district of St. George Hanover Square. (Margaret also remained single. She was buried, on 31 Dec 1957, in Hampstead Cemetery, with her parents and brothers.)
As you can see from the location of the birth of their fifth child, the family had moved into London. This was because, in 1875, Henry Staines Wilton had bought into an established saddlery company in Oxford Street and became associated with Henry Champion, and from the merger of the names of its two owners, the Champion & Wilton brand officially appeared. [Source]
"Champion and Wilton were founded in 1780 and had premises in Oxford Street, opposite Selfridges, in London’s West End. At one time they employed over one hundred saddlers making saddles, harness and other saddlery items and became, as holders of the Royal Warrant, the most highly respected firm in the country and I don’t doubt that many a stately home will still have a Champion and Wilton saddle tucked away somewhere in their tack room." - Keith Jenkin, SMSQF of Minster Saddlery
In The London Gazette of 4 January 1878, there is a notice regarding a Patent application: Henry Staines Wilton, of Bishop's Stortford, in the county of Herts, Saddler, for an invention of "improvements in the construction of saddles and saddle girths."—Dated 24th December, 1874. Then in 1879: 

In addition to the quality of the product, the main peculiarity that distinguished the saddles of this brand, owed much to the invention made in 1879 by Henry Wilton, who patented the well-known safety system, still in use and much appreciated today, which represented a technical revolution. 

In their time, it is said that Champion & Wilton held Royal Warrants to Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II, and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as to the German Emperor, Queen Maud of Norway and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. 

A neighbouring firm of saddlers, Samuel Blackwell, also long-established, was taken over by Champion & Wilton in the 1880s. 

In 1891, the family were living at Braywick, High Town Road, Bray, Cookham, Berkshire. At the time of daughter, Mary Henrietta Wilton's marriage to Augustus Percival Bartley (of the equally top-notch Bartley & Sons, Military and Hunting Bootmakers, of 493, Oxford Street), on 11 Aug 1894, at St Michael's Church, Bray, Berkshire, the Wilton family resided at the rather stately Stafferton Lodge, Braywick Road, Maidenhead

Fake news is not a new thing: Apparently, according to this document (PDF), in Vol IV No 5 of 'Saddlery and Harness' November 1894, a spurious claim appears, "p.101 Notable Members of the Trade: Mr H S Wilton (Champion and Wilton) Owner of Champion and Wilton. At 457/459 Oxford Street. One of the leading West End saddlery firms. Made Queen Victoria's first saddle when HSW was only 19 years old, some 63 years ago." [i.e. 1831] Complete and utter bull poop, of course, like so many family stories, as he wasn't even born until 1840! (My feeling is the Oxford Street company that became Champion & Wilton did make Queen Victoria's first saddle. It was Henry Staines Wilton's personal involvement that got tacked (pun intended) on as an embellishment.)

By 1901, the Wilton family had moved back into town to 29, St Johns Wood Park, in the affluent community of Hampstead, where they remained in 1911. 

The Rebuilding of Oxford Street

"Nos. 453–459 (odd) Oxford Street and Nos. 22 and 23 North Audley Street, a small but elegant set of shops with flats over, were designed by Herbert Read and Robert Falconer Macdonald and built by Holloway Brothers in 1900–2 (Plate 46b). The client was E. H. Wilton of Champion and Wilton, saddlers, of Nos. 457 and 459 Oxford Street. The building had three storeys towards North Audley Street and five on to Oxford Street. The ground floor was of Doulting stone, the upper storeys of red brick with stone dressings, and the style a picturesque and effective Arts and Crafts treatment."

This tells us where the Champion and Wilton premises were, on the diagonally opposite corner to where Selfridges was later built. The building is long gone and replaced, with currently, a branch of Zara on that corner. The curious thing is that I cannot find anyone with the initials E. H. in the Wilton family. 

Henry Staines Wilton died on 31 May 1915 and his funeral took place on Thursday 3 Jun 1915. He is interred in Hampstead Cemetery (Camden) grave reference WE/222. He left his fortune to his two sons, William Palmer Wilton and John Staines Wilton, saddlers, and his son-in-law, Augustus Percival Bartley, bootmaker. The Probate record shows that he left £57,256 11s 4d, which is worth just shy of six million pounds today (£5,925,591 in 2020).

Amelia Wilton died, aged 77 and was buried, on 17 Dec 1919, in Hampstead Cemetery, along with her husband. 

Saturday, 19 December 2020

The Matchgirls at Bryant & May's factory in Bow

Former Bryant and May factory on Fairfield Road, Bow, was the setting of the 'London matchgirls strike of 1888'. Most of the buildings have been converted into housing - creating the Bow Quarter Estate. Photo © David Anstiss (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Ellen Wilton, (b. 1857), younger sister of my 2nd great-grandmother, Elizabeth Wilton (b.1847), had an awful start in life and nothing improved after it. Their father, Richard Wilton, having died in 1858, in 1861, the sisters were inmates in the Great Dunmow Union Workhouse. After their mother remarried, they moved to London, but she was widowed again and, we find Ellen and her mother, Catherine Eldred, in 1881, living in Powis Road, Bromley, Poplar

Ellen (24) and Susan Robison (21), a boarder living in their household, are listed as Match Makers, while lodger, James Howard (18) is listed as a Match Maker (Fusee). (A "Lodger" pays for use of a room only. A "Boarder" pays for a room and meals.) Living little more than half a mile from the Bryant & May's factory in Bow, it is probably reasonable to assume that this was where they were all employed, where the conditions were reported to be so awful that Ellen may well have reminisced fondly about her time in the workhouse. 

Matchgirl strikers, several showing early symptoms of phosphorus necrosis. Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
White Slavery in London

At the Bryant and May matchmaking factory in Bow, conditions were especially bad for the workers. 

"The match girls worked from 6.30am (or 8am in winter) until 6pm, with just two breaks, standing all the time. “A typical case”, wrote Besant, “is that of a girl of 16, a piece worker; she earns 4s a week ..." (Worth around £26 in 2020).

"Conditions were appalling for the 1,400 women and girls who worked at Bryant and May's match factory in Bow, East London. Low pay for a 14-hour day was cut even more if you talked or went to the toilet, and 'phossy jaw' - a horrible bone cancer caused by the cheap type of phosphorus in the matches - was common." 
"If you handled white phosphorus or came into contact with it too much, then it caused serious damage to your health and you ended up with a terrible condition known as ‘Phossy Jaw’ – where you would get severe toothache followed by swelling of the gums. Abscesses would then form on the jaw-bone, and the facial bones would glow a greeny white in the dark. If untreated then ‘Phossy Jaw’ would develop into brain damage and ultimately multiple organ failure."
As a result of these appalling conditions, the London Matchgirls Strike of 1888 started in the factory, which led to the establishment of the first British trade union for women. Having checked the records, I know that my 2x great-grand aunt was not involved in the Matchgirls Strike in 1888, but reading about it gives an insight into what she must have endured. She could have been involved in an earlier, unsuccessful, strike in 1881. We don't know how long she worked as a Match Maker or at what point between 1871 and 1881 she and her mother had moved to London. There is a potentially relevant record of a death of an Ellen Wilton, in St George in the East, in 1882, so maybe she had already become a victim of these dreadful circumstances. 

Having read that Quakers, William Bryant and Frances May, established Bryant and May and, knowing that Ellen's mother's first marriage to Richard Wilton had been celebrated at the Quaker Meeting House in Great Dunmow, it both saddens and angers me to think that it may have been through these circles that the family learned of - and worse, trusted - this 'opportunity'.

At around the same time, in the 1870's, Ellen's sister Elizabeth and her husband, James Hockley (a pair of my 2nd great-grandparents), also moved south from Great Dunmow. Their son, Charles Stephen Hockley was born in Bromley-by-BowPoplar, Middlesex, in 1874. It's not possible to tell who led, or if they all moved down together, but for Ellen and her coworkers, it can hardly have seemed like the streets of London were paved with gold.


  1. Britain: The Matchgirls strike - from a spark to a blaze
  2. Bryant & May ‘Flaming Fusee’ matches for cigars and pipes, London, England, 1861-1895
  3. Bryant and May Match Factory, Bow, Greater London
  4. The ‘Bryant & May Match Factory’ in Bow & the ‘Match Girl’ strike of 1888
  5. Setting the workers alight: the East End Match Girls' Strike
  6. Bryant and May Strike Bow East London
  7. The Match Workers Strike Fund Register
  8. Match Workers Strike, Bow 1888
  9. Match Girls Strike - The British Library

Thursday, 17 December 2020

A Day Out in Clacton-on-Sea in the 1930s

Eliza Louisa Sweeney with her granddaughter, Ivy. Edited with ImageColorizer

The internet isn't just useful for looking up dry-and-dusty old genealogy records, there is so much more to discover. Take this for example. Among lots of family photos I inherited from my mother and hers before her was one of my mother and her grandmother, Eliza Louisa Sweeney (née Tompson), taken in the 1930s (my mother was 15 in 1939, so I estimate this is close to then). Only because there was a distinctive looking window on a building that looked like a church in the background behind them, it peaked my interest and I thought I would try to find out where the photo had been taken.

At that time, my mother, her parents and grandmother, still lived in the City of London, in Fore Street. It didn't look like anywhere I knew around there, but then it got a bit altered in the interim. I'd also tried the facility to Search with an image on Google, but it just told me it was a snapshot. Duh! 

Eventually, I asked the The East of London Family History Society Group for help, but whilst they weren't able to answer, members made many useful suggestions that led to more searches ... that finally turned up images of the Trinity Methodist Church, Clacton-on-Sea, which perfectly fit the round window, as well as other elements of the architecture. As confirmation, they sent me a link to this map of Clacton (Revision of 1939), which shows the position of the post box (marked L.B.) that you can see behind them. 

Trinity Methodist Church, Clacton-on-Sea
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © JThomas -

So, from this, we can deduce that, since this church is in the background, then they must be walking down Pier Avenue (shown here in c. 1925), in the direction of the sea front and pier and, as they lived in the East End, they can only have been on a day trip (no, I don't suppose they were flush enough for a whole holiday!) to Clacton-on-Sea. I'd wondered what they were up to that was special enough - in those pre-selfie days - for a photo. Now I know.

Mind you, "... if you stood where they were walking now you'd get mown down by the traffic, those trees, hedges and post box long gone too."

Sunday, 13 December 2020

The Case of Lucy Smith, found Guilty of Larceny

Scene of the crime: Waterloo House, 21 Market Square, Northampton.
A walk through the history of Northampton Market Square

It's Saint Lucy's Day, so let me tell you a story about a Lucy who definitely wasn't a saint. Lucy Smith, daughter of Solomon Thompson Jnr and Maria Willis, my 3x great-grand aunt, sister of my 3x great-grandfather, Daniel Thompson

This news item appeared in the Northampton Mercury of Saturday 13 April 1844, reporting on the Northampton Borough Sessions of Tuesday 9 Apr 1844:

LUCY SMITH, wife of Thomas Smith, was indicted for stealing a quantity of ribbon, the property of Mr. T. S. Wright. 

Mr. Scriven appeared for the prosecution.

Charles Goosey, one of Mr. Wright's assistants, saw the prisoner come in and out of the shop quite as many as twelve times on Saturday last. Some persons were looking at some ribbons, when the prisoner put her hand over the shoulders of the parties, took a piece of ribbon up, concealed it under her shawl, and ultimately put it in her basket. She had previously asked to be shown some net. Witness was engaged with a customer when she took the ribbon, and upon observing what had occurred, he went to the prisoner, and served her with some net, for which she tendered a shilling. Witness went under pretence of getting change and sent for a policeman, and she was given into custody. The ribbon was found in her basket.

Sessions House, Northampton 
StJaBe, CC BY 3.0,
via Wikimedia Commons
Prisoner comes from West Haddon, and a Mrs. Hoole of that place, said she had an excellent character. Her sister, Mrs. Bottrill, a respectably dressed person, who cried bitterly, also said she had always borne a good character. The distress of her sister affected the prisoner who had hitherto exhibited no signs of emotion. 

The jury found the prisoner Guilty.

There were two other indictments against her, one for stealing a pair of shoes, the property of Henry Freeman, and the other for stealing 14 yards of cotton print, the property of J. Phipps, both on the same day. At the suggestion, however, of the Recorder, no evidence was offered in either of these cases. After a feeling address, the Recorder sentenced the prisoner to Six Months' Imprisonment.

The Cast of Characters:
  1. Thomas Smith was a Brickmaker. In 1841, he and his wife, Lucy Thompson (25), lived in West Haddon. Staying with them was Elizabeth Tompson (10) - actually 12 - she too was Lucy's sister.
  2. Thomas Wright (35) was a Draper at Waterloo House, 21 Market Square, Northampton in 1841 and had a Charles Goosey (15), Draper's Apprentice, listed in his considerable household (employ) of 27 people. 
  3. Mr. Thos. Scriven, of the Town of Northampton, Solicitor, according to the 1841 census, when he was aged 40, lived in St Giles Square.
  4. Mrs. Hoole, will have been Ann Hoole, wife of Thomas Hoole, Brazier, who in 1841 lived next door to Stephen and Mary Bottrill, then of The Bell Inn, West Haddon.
  5. Henry Freeman (35), Shoemaker, in 1841, resided at Great Russell Street, Northampton. (Great Russell Street, Northampton, in 1974 waiting to be demolished.) Perhaps he sold his wares in the market?
  6. In 1841 there was a John Phipps (40), Draper, in Albion Place, Northampton and a John Phipps (15), Draper, in Gold Street, Northampton. We can assume it was one of these. 
  7. The Recorder was N. R. Clarke, Esq., Sergeant-at-Law.
Presumably, Lucy will have served her sentence at the Northampton Borough Gaol and House of Correction, at that time located at Fish Lane (now Fish Street), Northampton. Built in 1792–4 this gaol and bridewell were erected to the south of the County Hall and held 120 prisoners. She was lucky that her punishment wasn't transportation, still very much in use at that time. 

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Daniel Botterill and Sarah Elizabeth Thompson

The "skull & crossbones" entrance to St. Nicholas' Church, Deptford Green Photo © Mike Quinn (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Four more pubs with family connections - The White Hart in Deptford Green; Old Centurion Pub on Deptford BoadwayClock House in Holborn and the Holly Tree Arms in Lewisham - and if even the first was a surprise, finding three of these south of the river was much more unexpected. 

Sarah Elizabeth Thompson (bap. 15 Dec 1833), eldest child of Daniel Thompson and Mary Adcock, married Daniel Botterill (bap. 20 Dec 1831), son of Stephen Botterill and Mary Thompson at Christ Church Watney Street, St George in the East in 1856. Mary Botterill (née Thompson) - Daniel Botterill's mother - was the sister of Daniel Thompson - Sarah Elizabeth Thompson's father. Daniel Botterill and Sarah Elizabeth Thompson were, therefore, 1st Cousins.

In 1841, Daniel Botterill (10) was living with his parents in West Haddon, Northamptonshire, with his father, Stephen, then listed as a Publican and also listed as staying with them, was Solomon Tompson, who was a Brewer.

Flagon Row 1880
In 1861, Daniel was living at 3, Wellington Street (formerly Flagon Row), St Nicholas, Deptford. He was listed as a "Boiler Maker Tobaconist", though I imagine the latter trade was more obvious, being that he was sandwiched between a Butcher and a Shoe Shop on one side and a Baker, a Greengrocer, a Chemist and a Clothes Dealer on the other. He had Emma Thompson (16) listed as a Servant in his household, while his wife, Sarah, was visiting her brother George and their widowed mother, back in Northamptonshire, along with sons Daniel (4) and Benjamin (0).

A report in The Era of 17 Nov 1867 lists the transfer of the licence for The White Hart, Deptford Green to Daniel Botterill. Situated at 33 Deptford Green, the pub closed c.1896 and has now been demolished. We find Daniel and Sarah Botterill there in 1869 and again on the 1871 census, where Daniel Botterill (39) is listed as a Licensed Victualler and living with him are his wife, Sarah E (37), sons; Daniel Stephen (14) and John (6), daughters; Elizabeth (4) and Mary (0), as well as Sarah's sister, Louisa Thompson (26), listed as "Barmaid" and Sarah's widowed mother, Mary Thompson (61). 

(1) Houses In Old Flagon Row, North Side (2) Corner of Flagon Row (3) Deptford Green c.1897

Daniel and Sarah had five children: 
  1. Dan Stephen Thompson Botterill, born 1857, baptised at West Haddon, Northamptonshire on 13 Sep 1857. Birth registered in Greenwich. 
  2. Benjamin Adcock Botterill was also baptised at West Haddon, on 6 May 1861. (Died in the 2nd quarter of 1862, aged 1.)
  3. John Benjamin Botterill (b. 25 Aug 1864) was baptised on 27 Jan 1867 at Saint Nicholas, Deptford.
  4. Elizabeth Cox Botterill (b. 1867) was also baptised on 27 Jan 1867 at Saint Nicholas, Deptford. (She died in 1871, aged 4 years.)
  5. Mary Louisa Adcock Botterill (b. 19 Apr 1870) was baptised at Saint Nicholas, Deptford on 8 May 1870. (Died 1947, see below.)
In 1874, D Botterill was listed as the licencee of The Old Centurion Pub on Deptford Boadway. Given the two following reports in the newspapers of the time, it would seem that this was probably a pretty rough establishment. The pub closed in 2004 and was converted into flats.
Kentish Mercury 9 May 1874
Jane Bartlett, about 70 years of age, a hawker, residing in Hales Street, Deptford, was charged with stealing a drinking glass, value 6½d., the property of Daniel Botterill, landlord of The Centurion, public house, Deptford Broadway. It appeared from the evidence of the barman that the prisoner came into the house on the previous evening, and remained there some time drinking with a navvy. After he had gone witness saw the prisoner place the glass under her arm, and upon speaking to her about it she dropped it. The prisoner, who denied any intention of stealing the glass, was sent to Maidstone gaol for seven days.

Kentish Mercury 6 Mar 1875
James Chapman, of Wood's lodging-house, Mill Lane, Deptford, was charged with being drunk, and assaulting the landlord of the Centurion public house, Deptford Broadway. Daniel Botterill, the landlord, said the prisoner came into his house on Saturday night and annoyed the customers. He was ejected, but got in again, and commenced another row. Witness put him outside, when the prisoner ran at him, and kicked him several times. Mr. Patterson sentenced the prisoner to 14 days' hard labour, refusing his application for the imposition of a fine. 
(Top left) The White Hart, Deptford Green, (Top right) The Old Centurion Pub on Deptford Boadway, (Bottom left) Clock House, Leather Lane, (Bottom right) Holly Tree Arms, Lewisham

On the 1881 census and in 1882, Daniel Botterill was listed as landlord of the Clock House (formerly Coach & Horses), in Leather Lane, Holborn. Sarah's sister, Louisa, who married John Soppit in 1875, was living there, but Sarah was not on census day. Instead, she was lodging in the household of John Snell, a Lodging House Keeper, in Torquay in Devon. The transcription of that record describes her as "Sister to wife". That doesn't make sense and I believe the original actually says "Licensed Victualler's Wife" which is what she was. Was this a relative, a business contact, a holiday or perhaps a health break?

By 1891, the Botterills were back south of the river at the Holly Tree Arms, then in Holly Tree Terrace, between Hither Green and Lewisham. Staying there at that time were Daniel (59), Licensed Victualler, wife Sarah E (57), daughter Mary L (20), grandson John (11), granddaughter Alice (6), Alice J Pretty (28) Domestic Servant General, niece Catherine S Soppett (15), Edmund Allen (16) Pot Boy and Catherine Hancock (59) Laundress. 

A report in the Woolwich Gazette on 16 Feb 1894, showed Daniel Botterill as the outgoing licensee in the transfer of the licence of the Holly Tree.

Given they only seem to stay in one place for a couple of years at a time, there may well be even more pubs in the years between these various records. 

In 1901, Sarah, 'Wife of occupier (away)', is living at 49, Wisteria Road, Lewisham along with daughter Mary L A (30) a Teacher of Dressmaking and grandson John (21) a Sign Writer, while Daniel Botterill (69), "Living on own means", is away in the household of his son, John Benjamin Botterill, in Croydon, where Daniel is listed as a 'Widower'. Clearly he isn't, as Sarah is alive, so this leads one to think that they may have become estranged. 

Daniel Botterill died, aged 76, on 12 Feb 1908. 

Sarah died just a month later, on 11 Mar 1908, aged 74. The probate record shows that she left £2449 1s 3d (almost £300,000 today) to her three children. 

Their eldest son, Daniel Stephen Thompson Botterill married Mary Jane Harris in 1878. He died on 16 April 1917, aged 60 and was buried in Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery together with his parents.

If you were looking for a happy ending to this story, then I'm sorry, you aren't going to find it here. The Probate record for Mary Louisa Adcock Botterill, who obviously never married and was still living at Wisteria Road in 1911 and at 69 Old Road, Lee, Lewisham in 1939, show that she was resident at Leavesden Hospital (The Imbeciles Asylum) at the time of her death on 4 Feb 1947. Leavesden Hospital was a mental health facility - Leavesden Asylum for Idiots and Imbeciles - as it was called when it opened. She was buried, on 11 Feb 1947, along with her parents and bother.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Dan Tompson and Mary Ann Green and Sarah Jane Baker

St Michael & All Angels, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Salmon -

Dan Thompson, one of my 2nd great-grandfathers, was born in Broughton, Northamptonshire on 12 Oct 1848 and was baptised, on 5 Nov 1848, at St Andrew's Church, Cransley. His parents were Daniel Thompson and Mary Adcock. He ended up in Canada, but via this pretty indirect route.

Dan (2), is listed on the 1851 census with his parents, in Broughton. Following his father's death in 1854, by 1861, 12 year old Dan is living in the household of his eldest brother, George Thompson (born 1836), who appears to have taken over the family carpentry business in Broughton, along with their widowed mother, Mary Thompson (née Adcock). Dan's brother Benjamin (19) was then living with their aunt and uncle, in St George in the East, Middlesex. 

So it's presumably as a result of these family connections that Dan goes to London too, because on 13 Aug 1867, at the age of 19, Dan Tompson married Mary Ann Green (17), daughter of Edward Green and Eliza Goodman of the King and Queen public house in St George in the East, at the Church of Saint John the Evangelist, in Limehouse (bombed in 1940 and since demolished). 

It seems to be that when the brothers reach the East End they drop the aitch from Thompson. My mother always insisted it was Tompson.

Dan and Mary Ann's children were:
  1. Eliza Louisa Tompson b. 24 Aug 1868 at 299 Cable Street, Limehouse
  2. Dan Edward Green Tompson b. 12 Mar 1870 (died 2nd quarter of 1870)
Mary Ann contracted Scarlet Fever and died, on 19 Mar 1870, just 7 days after giving birth to their son, Dan Edward Green Tompson. She was just 20. 

Junction of Cable Street
and Watney Street, Shadwell

cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Robin Stott
At the time of the 1871 census in April, the widowed 
Dan (22) was lodging in Cable Street. However, on 4 June 1871, he remarried to Sarah Jane Baker (19), daughter of Charles Hoile Baker and Amelia Young, at Christ Church, Watney Street, Stepney, making it four of the five siblings who married in this church.

Dan and Sarah Jane went on to have a further TWELVE children, half of whom did not survive infancy:
  1. Amelia Mary Tompson b. 1872 (died 1874, aged 1)
  2. Jessie Elizabeth Tompson b. 1874 (died 1876, aged 1)
  3. Sarah Sophia Tompson b. 1876
  4. Mabel Grace Tompson b. 1878
  5. Mary Adcock Tompson b. 1880 (died 2nd quarter of 1881)
  6. Dan Baker Tompson b. 1882 (died 1883)
  7. Charles Frederick Tompson b. 1884 (died 1887, aged 3)
  8. George Daniel Tompson b. 1885
  9. Ernest Wilberforce Tompson b. 1888 (died 1890, aged 1)
  10. Amelia Mary Tompson b. 14 Nov 1890
  11. Ellen Hoile Folville Tompson b. 22 May 1893
  12. Ivy Maud Tompson b. 23 Feb 1895
By 1881, Dan and Sarah Jane, living at 27 Watney Street, with Dan's daughter Eliza Louisa (12) - listed as Elizabeth L - have had three more daughters; Sarah Sophia (born 1876), Mabel Grace (born 1878) and Mary Adcock (born 1880). Sadly, Mary died in 1881, aged just one year. 

Mabel Grace, George Daniel (born 1885) and Amelia Mary (born 1890), were all baptised on Christmas Day 1890, in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire

Waddesdon High Street, Buckinghamshire
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Winder -

In 1891, the family are living in High Street, Waddesdon, 
Buckinghamshire, although Sarah Sophia was visiting her aunt Mary Thompson, widow of her father's brother, Benjamin, at the Spotted Cow, Hither Green, Lewisham

St Michael & All Angels,
Waddesdon - Font

cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Salmon
Sarah Sophia, along with yet two more daughters; 
Ellen Hoile Folville (born 1893 in Ashby Folville, Leicestershireand Ivy Maud (born 1895) were also baptised, in Waddesdon, on 5 Jun 1895. The denomination on all of the baptisms is listed as Anglican, so I assume this was at the church of St Michael & All Angels, Waddesdon. In later documents, Dan lists himself as Wesleyan and indeed there is a Wesleyan Chapel in Waddesdon High Street.

In 1901, Dan (52) and Sarah Jane (49), are listed as living in Gracious StreetWhittleseyCambridgeshire with son George Daniel (15) bricklayer, daughters; Amelia Mary (10), Ellen T H (7) and Ivy Maud (6), plus a lodger, William Warren (61), described as a 'Draper But Not In Occupation'. Brickmaking has been taking place in Whittlesey and the rest of Peterborough since the end of the 19th Century, utilising the band of clay which runs from Peterborough to Oxford. 

Gracious Street, Whittlesey (1897) A decorated house on Whittlesey’s Gracious Street during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria in 1897. Image Peterborough Images Archive

In 1911, Dan (63), Sarah Jane (60), Ellen Thoila Tolnilla (sic) (18), Ivy Maud (16) and William Charles Kritzer (7), listed as a Grandson, born "At Sea", are all living at Lattersey Field, Whittlesey. Sarah Sophia had married Joseph Kritzer in 1905 and Mabel Grace Tompson was employed as a Lady's Maid in the household of Sir Philip Hickson Waterlow, 2nd Baronet (Waterlow and Sons).

Having travelled from Northamptonshire to London to Buckinghamshire, then Leicestershire and back to Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire, in 1912, the family sail to Canada, where they finally settle, in Toronto.

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