Tony Spearing's site

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East End of London - Ancestral homes

To try to add a little bit of colour to the otherwise dry and dusty world of Genealogy I took a trip to London to see what had become of the streets and houses that my ancestors had spent much of their lives in.  Mostly based around the East End, with a short excursion into West Central, it is hardly surprising to learn that I didn't find much in the way of a front door to knock on and pronounce to the resident 'My Great Grandad used to live here'.  The following photographs show the modern day appearance of addresses gleaned from birth and marriage certificates since 1837.  We start with the short excursion into West Central........

Robert Edward Nellis / Hannah Ambrose
Robert & Robert Edward Nellis
Robert Edward Nellis & Emma Jane Hamilton
Robert Nellis & Sophia
Thomas Webster & Hannah Pate
Samuel Spearing & Martha Wiltshire - Bury Street
Samuel Spearing & Martha Wiltshire - Heneage Lane
Charles John Spearing & Hannah Rebecca Webster
Samuel Spearing & Ann Keaste
Grace Ellen Spearing



Robert Edward Nellis and Hannah Ambrose - 1845
Theobald's Road WC1
The Golden Horse


The Enterprise
Robert Edward Nellis and Hannah Ambrose had been married in 1845 and the following year were listed in Kelly's Directory of London as running the Golden Horse Public House, 20 Theobald's Road, Red Lion Square.  At the present day corner of Theobalds Road and Red Lion Street (shown left) there is a small pub called 'The Enterprise' but no trace of The Golden Horse.  There is however an inconsistency with the address as the Red Lion Square side of Theobalds Road consists of odd numbers and number 20 still exists today further east and on the opposite side.  Robert and Hannah's eldest son Robert Edward had been born in 1845 at 26 Theobalds Road, surprisingly enough just along the road from the modern day number 20.  Life is further complicated by this information found when searching the web, it's authenticity is unknown but presumed to be true.

The Theobald Road

i. Anne WILKINSON was born in 1789 in England.  She died in 1858 in England. In the 1840s Anne lived with her sister Elizabeth (Mrs. Scott) at 20 Theobold Rd., Holborn, England.  In addition to this large home, Mrs. Scott owned: The Golden Horse, as well as the property around the corner at 37 Red Lion St. where the William Candlers lived at the time their boys (James W. & William R.) left for America.

iv. Elizabeth WILKINSON was born in 1793 in England.  On the 1860 Census, Elizabeth's age is shown as 55 which would suggest she was born in 1805.  She died on 22 May 1868.  Died at 75 years.  In the 1840s Elizabeth lived with her sister Anne at 20 Theobold Rd., Holborn, England.  In addition to this large home, she owned: The Golden Horse, as well as the property around the corner at 37 Red Lion St. where the William Candlers lived at the time their boys (James W. & William R.) left for America.  They formerly lived in Colchester, England.  The 1860 US Census lists Elizabeth Scott living with Letitia Candler in the 6th ward of Detroit, MI.


The Enterprise's modern day address is 38 Red Lion Street, WC1R 4PN.  The picture to the right shows a view along Theobalds Road from No 20 towards No 26 and Red Lion Street.  The pictures below show No 20 Theobalds Road, the wall plaque on No 22 announcing the birth of Benjamin Disraeli and No 26 Theobalds Road, now an office block.

Further investigation is required as to the correct addresses as an 1854 map of London shows Theobald's Road considerably shorter than the modern day.  From that map Nos. 20-22 and possibly 24-26 would have been part of Kings Road, now gone completely.


No 20 Theobald's Road No 22 wall plaque 24-26 Theobald's Road
Theobalds Road Disrali Birth Plaque Theobalds Road
Thanks to Stan Gooch & Bob Sones at pubsindex@pubsindex.freeserve.co.uk who emailed me with this....

We have the Golden Horse at 26 Theobald's Road, Red Lion Square with Robert NELLIS in occupation in 1845/46.  Our next previous entry is for 1843, so he obviously took over after then, and was gone by 1850.


Robert Edward Nellis and Hannah Ambrose - 1844
Laystall Street EC1


Laystall Street Laystall Street
In the previous year of 1844 two sad occasions had befallen Robert and Hannah, the death of their two year old daughter Hannah, who died some seven days before the birth of Sophia.  Then Sophia, sadly, died at the very young age of just 19 days.  At the time they were living at 5 Laystall Street (the Duke of Argyle public house), just a short walk from Theobalds Road and their occupation was list as Licensed Victualler.  The picture to the left is of 6 and 8 Laystall Street while that to the right shows where the odd numbers would have been.

Subsequent research has shown that Robert & Hannah's run of bad luck didn't end there.  Their eldest daughter Susannah, aged two, died just three days before Sophia, so in the space of one month there were three deaths and one birth, by the end of October all of their children were dead.  Robert & Hannah had four more children, three of whom lived an average life span but the fourth, Sam, was taken before his second birthday.   December 2008

Thanks to Stan Gooch & Bob Sones at pubsindex@pubsindex.freeserve.co.uk who emailed me with this....

.........Incidentally, 5 Laystall Street was the Duke of Argyll and Robert E NELLIS is listed in occupation in 1855.........

Which got me searching the web looking for the Duke of Argyle - 5 Laystall Street, Holborn

LAYSTALL. A dunghill about London, on which the soil brought from necessary houses is emptied; or, in more technical terms, where the old gold collected at weddings by the Tom t—d man, is stored.

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Captain Grose et al.....................Charming!

....and always remember to check the Old Bailey proceedings at www.oldbaileyonline.org ......

THOMAS KIRBY, theft: simple grand larceny, 08 Sep 1831.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18310908-131
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial Summary:
Crime(s): theft : simple grand larceny,
Punishment Type: imprisonment, (Punishment details may be provided at the end of the trial.)
Verdict: Guilty,

Original Text: 1658. THOMAS KIRBY was indicted for stealing, on the 17th of August, 1 suit of boy's clothes, value 5s.; 1 handkerchief, value 6d.; 1 gown, value 5s., and 1 coat, value 19s., the goods of John Chapman.

JOHN CHAPMAN, JUN. I live with my father, John Chapman, who keeps the Duke of Argyle public-house, Laystall street.  On the night of the 17th of August I saw the prisoner coming down stairs from the second floor; on seeing me he dropped a bundle which he had, on the landing - I immediately asked what he had been up stairs for; he said he was waiting till the song was over - I came down, and told my father, who secured him; he said he had some friends up stairs, but nobody there would own him - the bundle contained these articles.

Cross-examined by MR. LEE. Q.Were any other persons there? A. No; I am certain the bundle fell from his hand.

WILLIAM NORMAN, I am an officer. I took the bundle from Mrs. Chapman.(Property produced and sworn to.)

Prisoner's Defence. I never had the things, nor saw them.

The prisoner received a good character.

GUILTY. Aged 19. - Confined Twelve Months.



Robert & Robert Edward Nellis - 1827
Coopers Row EC1


Cooper's Row
Cooper's Row
Coopers Row, which commands a fine view of the Tower Of London, was the Nellis residence during 1827 when Robert Edward Nellis was apprenticed to William Collings, Cooper of London, for a period of seven years. Cooper's Row
Robert and Sophia Nellis lived at No 11 (Tackle Partners) until at least 1830.  The apprenticeship started on 7th August 1827 in the eighth year of reign of King George IV . The railway bridge at the end of Coopers Row is just to the east end of Fenchurch Street station.


Robert Edward Nellis & Emma Jane Hamilton - 1881
12 Crown & Shears Court - Minories EC3


Minories
Minories
Some two or three hundred yards east of Coopers Row is Minories, running north south between Tower Hill and Aldgate High Street.  The railway bridge in the photographs probably runs through the site of Crown & Shears Court, long since demolished.
Minories

Crown and Sheers Place, Royal Mint Street.

North out of Royal Mint Street. In. Portsoken Ward (L.C.C. List of Streets, 1901). Former names : "Blue Anchor Alley" (O. and M. 1677, to London Guide, 1758). "Crown and Sheers Alley " (Rev. of London, 1728). "Crown and Sheers Court" (Rocque 1746-Boyle, 1799). "Crown Place" (Horwood, 1799). "Crown and Shears Place" (Lockie, 1810-Elmes, 1831). "Crown and Sheaf Place" (O.S. 25 in. 1880).  It seems to have communicated with the Minories, and at Nos. 83 and 84 Minories the Crown and Shears Public House now stands to commemorate the site of the adjacent street.  The site of the court is now covered by the Goods' Depot of the Great Northern Railway.  From: British History OnlineSource: Crown and Sheers Place, Royal Mint Street.  A Dictionary of London, Henry H Harben (1918).© Copyright 2003 University of London & History of Parliament Trust


Robert Nellis & Sophia - 1836-40
11 Billiter Street EC3
Crown & Thistle


Billiter Street In 1836-40 Robert Nellis and his wife Sophia lived at No 11 Billiter Street just to the north of Fenchurch St station, and whether or not this was the Crown & Thistle remains to be discovered.  Robert was a Licensed Victualler by trade and apprenticed his son Robert Edward to one William Collings to learn his trade.  Notes left by Grace Spearing, researching this area in 1972, indicate that William Collings may have lived at 30 Seething Lane, Tower Street, this being just to the west of Coopers Row.

The information relating to Robert Edward's apprenticeship was taken from the Apprentice Binding Books MS5630 of the Worshipful Company of Coopers.  The £25 binding fee was paid by the Late Church Warden of Seething Lane.   The Freedom Admission MS5634 Vol 1-5, stamped 'London - Q - 31.10.46' records the £1 fee.   Interestingly enough the Apprentice Binding Books show members of the SPEARING family, as yet unrelated, living in Red Lion Street, Holborn.

Modern day Billiter Street shows No 11 occupied by a branch of Barclays Bank.

The newly built sky rocket in the background (as at 2004) is affectionately known as the 'The Blackberry' or 'The Gerkin' but in view of the location I think maybe 'The Thistle' is more appropriate.



Thanks to Stan Gooch & Bob Sones at pubsindex@pubsindex.freeserve.co.uk who emailed me with this....

Hi,
We were doing a trawl through the net today and came across your site.   We are able to confirm that 11 Billiter Street was the Crown & Thistle and we have Mrs Sophia NELLIS listed here in 1840 and 1841 however we would be most interested to learn the sources of your dates 1836 to 1840 for Robert.  With these details we would be keen to add him to the Index.

Incidentally, 5 Laystall Street was the Duke of Argyll and Robert E NELLIS is listed in occupation in 1855

Billiter Street.-South out of Leadenhall Street at No.38 to Fenchurch Street (P.O. Directory). In Aldgate Ward.
First mention : "Billiter Lane or Street" (Elmes, 1831).

Earlier names : "Belzeterslane," 1298 (Ct. H.W. I. 134). "Belleyetteres lane," 1306-7 (ib. 180). "Belleyetereslane," 1306-7 (ib. 184). "Belyeterslane," 1306-7 (34 Ed. I. Anc. Deeds, A. 2026). "Belieterslane," 12 Ed. II. (ib. A. 1993). "Belhetereslane," 1322 (Ct. H.W. I. 299). "Bellezeterestret," 1349 (ib. 587). "Belleyeterslane," 1470 (ib. II. 543). "Bylleter lane," 1526 (Lond. I. p.m. III. 319). "Billeter lane," 1540 (L. and P. H. VIII. XVI. p. 55). "Billitar lane " (S. 140). "Billiter lane" (Ryther's map, 1608).

Consisted of old timber houses in Strype's time which wanted pulling down and new building, occupied by small shop-keepers.  These old houses still stood on the west side of the street in 1775, but on the eastern side the houses had been pulled down to widen the street, and having been rebuilt were occupied by the East India Company's warehouses and other modern buildings (Maitland, 1775, II. 778).
Derivation of name : Stow says it was so called of the first builder and owner thereof "Belzettars lane." But he gives no authority for the statement.  Skeat suggests that it was Bell-zeter's Lane, the lane where the bell-founders lived, and this seems probable enough.  "Bellezeter"=a bell-founder ("Promt. Parv." and in Halliwell, s.v.). Wm. Burford is described as a "belyeter" in Ct. H.W. Wills, 1390 (II. 301).

http://www.motco.com/Harben/587.htm



Thomas Webster & Hannah Pate - 1847
9 Fashion Street - Spitalfields EC3


7-9 Fashion Street Fashion Street East
I can't believe that anybody would live in a place quite like that on the left from choice, so I presume that all of Fashion Street use to look like the picture to the right, which is the west end of the street.  Maybe one day I will check to see if Fashion Street was hit during WWII.......

.......however, my GreatGrandMother Hannah Rebecca Webster was born here.

[ Jack the Ripper ] Some 40 years later Fashion Street was to find notorious fame as the residential address of one of the Ripper murder victims.  On Friday 9 November 1888 Mary Jane Kelly was found dead at 13 Miller's Court, 26 Dorset Street Spitalfields.  Several weeks earlier on the 29th September Mary had occasion to spend the night in a police cell and on her release gave her address as 6 Fashion Street.


Samuel Spearing & Martha Wiltshire - 1818
Bury Street EC3


Bury Street Mitre Square
John , a contact from Genes Reconnected, who I still have to make contact with, has indicated that Samuel and Martha lived in Bury Street at the time of the birth of Samuel, my GG Grandfather.  It took a long while to link Samuel the younger with Samuel and Martha as published online information related to Samuel's christening not birth, and as he was not christened until he was 8 years old confusion reigned and the link was not made.

[ Jack the Ripper ] Some 70 years and two weeks after his birth one of the Ripper murders occured just a few tens of yards from Bury St, in Mitre Square.  On Sunday 30 September 1888 Catherine Eddowes was murdered in Mitre Square, Aldgate, City of London.

Present day Bury Street (shown to the left) lies in the shadow of the 'Thistle' while the picture on the right is of Mitre Square.

Heather Kershaw (nee White, my third cousin) recognised the above photo...

"The picture of Mitre Sq., brought back memories as the red brick building is my old school Sir John Cass. It looks a lot posher now. The inside is beautiful though, the governors board room is richly panelled and all the main corridors are marble. A really beautiful building."



Some local views

Brushfield Street East India Arms Spitalfields Market

Brushfield Street - Spitalfields

East India Arms - Fenchurch St

Spitalfields Market



Long since demolished
So who lived here?
Crown & Shears Place

North out of Royal Mint Street. In. Portsoken Ward (L.C.C. List of Streets, 1901). Former names : "Blue Anchor Alley" (O. and M. 1677, to London Guide, 1758). "Crown and Sheers Alley " (Rev. of London, 1728). "Crown and Sheers Court" (Rocque 1746-Boyle, 1799). "Crown Place" (Horwood, 1799). "Crown and Shears Place" (Lockie, 1810-Elmes, 1831). "Crown and Sheaf Place" (O.S. 25 in. 1880). It seems to have communicated with the Minories, and at Nos. 83 and 84 Minories the Crown and Shears Public House now stands to commemorate the site of the adjacent street.

The site of the court is now covered by the Goods' Depot of the Great Northern Railway.

Robert Edward Nellis & Emma Jane Hamilton - 1881 Census

Sponsor: Centre for Metropolitan History
Publication: A Dictionary of London
Author: Henry H Harben
Year published: 1918
Sweet Apple Court

West out of Bishopsgate, in Bishopsgate Ward Without (Hatton, I708-O.S. 1880). Before its rebuilding early in the 18th century, the site was occupied by two courts, viz. Horshoe Alley or Yard and Soapers or Sopers Alley (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 108). These two courts are shown on the site in O. and M. 1677. The name Sweet Apple Court was derived from the owner Sir John Sweetapple, Goldsmith (Strype, ib.).

The site is now occupied by the Great Eastern Railway lines.

Mary Spearing and Frederick Williams - 1881 Census



WellClose Square

Wooden Cottage - Wellclose Square Such was the influence of Wellclose Square on the surrounding neighbourhood that it deserves a complete page on it's own.  In the present day the Square is but a shadow of its former self, whether one considers the glorious or the notorious.

Wellclose Square

Coming to this space soon
Wellclose Square

The Wooden Cottage


Towards Ship Alley



Mentions in passing
Colchester Street Wapping High Street Wapping High Street
Colchester Street - Whitechapel
Surviving in name only it was the birthplace of John Spearing in 1816
Wapping High Street
Nobody to my knowledge lived on the High St but it must have been a major part of many of my ancestor's lives.
Wapping High Street
Becoming very fashionable, this shot shows the old warehouses converted to flats and the cobbled street.


Samuel Spearing & Martha Wiltshire - 1827
Heneage Lane EC3


Heneage Street Heneage Street East Heneage Street West
A contact from Genes Reconnected, who I still have to make contact with, has indicated that Samuel and Martha lived in Heneage Street at the time of the birth of some of my GG Grandfather's brothers and sisters.  Some care is needed here as my old 'A-Z of London' indicates the possibility of a Heneage Lane/Street very close to Bury Street where my GG Grandfather was born (allegedly).

The three people in the world who care may wish to bookmark this page for future reference.



Charles Spearing & Hannah Rebecca Webster - 1881 & 1891
Peabody Buildings - Shadwell EC1


Peabody Buildings - Shadwell Peabody Buildings - Shadwell One of the marvellous privileges of being a Webmaster is that you can write whatever you like, history is good but if you don't have any, make it up.

Peabody Buildings - Shadwell

I have no idea of the actual age of these buildings and one day I must get around to checking on how much damage was caused by the Luftwaffe during WWII. Charles & Hannah obviously lived here for a long while and bought up many of their children here. One of those was my G Grandfather Charles John Spearing.




Samuel Spearing & Ann Keaste - 1839
Wapping E1



Green Bank East Green Bank West
Sam and Ann were married in October 1839, one of the first to have to 'register' their marriage. Samuel lived in Green Bank and Ann in Red lion Street, which is now Reardon Path, only the sign over the doorway of a derelict building 'Red Lion Court' bearing testimony to it's previous history.

Green Bank West
Taken from the northern end of Reardon Path the above pictures show Green Bank to the east (left) and to the west (right). The picture to the right is of Reardon Path looking north with Red Lion Court visible on the left.

Green Bank West

Red Lion Court


....and finally.. ..without whom none of this would have happened !

Grace Ellen Spearing 1905 - 2000
Riverside Mansions, Wapping E1


River Side Mansions

It was my Aunt Grace who started me researching my family tree back in the 1970's. I had helped Grace collect birth and marriage certificates as far back as Samuel Spearing and Ann Keaste and to this day I have not managed to progress any further back along the Nellis line than she did. Grace would have been fascinated but not fazed by todays wealth of online information.

Residence

The Hollies, 11 St Katherines Road, Broxbourne, Herts, EN10 7LG
Rosewood, Dell Lane, Little Hallingbury, Essex
4 Mark Hall Moors, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2ND
199 Felmongers, Harlow, Essex
63 Upminster Road, Hornchurch, Essex
22 Shirley Gardens, Hornchurch, Essex - 29/06/53
10 Crosby Road, Dagenham, Essex
39 Riverside Mansions, Wapping, Mddx
37a Juniper Street - Ilford 10/09/1927
323 Cable Street, Shadwell, Mddx
15 High Street, Shadwell, Mddx
47 Winns Avenue, Walthamstow, Mddx
35 Dellows Buildings - Bow 28/07/1906
31 Jamaica Street, Stepney - 1905