Book ’em Again, Danno

In my last post, I was trying to find a more exact address for Thomas Palmer, bookseller of Gosport.  I had narrowed him down to ‘Upper South Street’ but not being a local, still had no idea where exactly upon the street he lived.  The breakthrough came when I found a newspaper article reporting a robbery at his premises:

Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette 22 November 1862, p8 c3

John Daly, a Royal Artilleryman, was charged with attempting to break into the dwelling house of Thomas Palmer, almost opposite the Police Station, on the previous night. The prisoner was heard at the shutter by a policeman who was going to bed, and he gave information to a brother constable on duty, upon which he went outside the station gate and there saw the prisoner, without a jacket, standing by the window of the house, the shutters being open and partially broken. On seeing the policeman he ran away and was afterwards taken by P.C. Gibbs in a passage in North-street. Mr. Palmer, the occupier of the house, proved fastening up the house about 9 o’clock the previous night. Prisoner was committed for trial.

The old police station in South Street, Gosport – 1949

So now I knew that he lived “…almost opposite the Police Station…”.

Unfortunately, the police station no longer exists on South Street after being destroyed by enemy action in 1941.  I found a photograph of the building in 1949 on the Gosport Heritage site but it gave me no other details.  Luckily however I found a c.1896 map which marked the location of the police station which made the description, ‘almost opposite’ make sense.

Location of Thomas Palmer’s book store in 1862 (map c. 1896)

Interestingly, there is also a photo on the Gosport Heritage site captioned; ‘Portland Place; south side of South Street, running north-south almost opposite to the OLD police station.’  I’m pretty sure Palmer’s old book shop is just out of shot on the far left of this image (behind the first building).

Portland Place, Gosport 1941 via Gosport Heritage

That’s probably as close as I’m going to get but since the buildings on that block are long gone now, I still feel strangely accomplished.

The Slums of Derby

early-postcard-willow-row-old-derby
Willow Row, Old Derby

If you lived in the West End of Derby in the 19th century, you were considered to live in the slums.  It is here that the families I’ve researched lived mainly in what was known as court housing (see Discover Liverpool for a good explanation of this type of housing).

An article on the Derby Telegraph site mentions that this area was part of an 1849 report to the General Board of Health on “The Sewerage, Drainage and Supply of Water and the Sanitary Conditions of the Inhabitants of Derby”;

 In Willow Row, Court 1, 103 inhabitants shared two privies and residents reported that milk would turn to curd when mixed with water from the communal pump…

Observations of Walker Lane, where 75 cases of typhus fever were reported between June 15 and September 14, 1847, were: “The houses are of the most inferior description and the inhabitants of a piece with their houses; to crown all, there are lodging houses, which are the principal headquarters of vagrants, and of those comers and goers who, for reasons best known to themselves, prefer darkness to light.”

Model of Court Housing via National Museums Liverpool

It is in these conditions that Hannah Bates, William Lamb (& their families) lived most of their lives.  The slum clearances of the 1930s mean that the court housing is now long gone but it’s important to keep these living conditions in mind when researching the people of the area and trying to understand their lives.

derbymap
2016 map of Derby (old street layout  in black)

 

 

More Antenuptial Fornication

Applegarth Church, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
This is almost a continuation of my post about antenuptial fornication but I have decided to post separately as I am still not sure whether this is the same person.

In the Dumfries Kirk Sessions of 1822 (which are searchable online), James BROWN was “named as the father of Jean Smith’s child; [and] gave satisfaction for this in the parish of Applegarth” (Archive Ref: CH2/537/12).  I believe ‘gave satisfaction’ (in this sense), meant that the father gave monetary compensation to the parish for their support of the child.

So was this James BROWN my ancestor, who appeared in the Dunscore parish records 6 years later for antenuptial fornication?  With such a common name I cannot be sure but I can assess the likelihood of it being the same man for future reference.
First, was he old enough to be involved in this?  Although I don’t have his birth record, the 1851 census suggests he was born in 1801, which means he would have been 21 at the time – a prime age for this kind of crime. 😉
James Brown and family on the 1851 census
(Interestingly, their neighbour, Andrew Lorimer (appearing at bottom of image above) was the certifying physician on James’ death certificate.)

Next, was he near enough to be involved?  Applegarth is roughly 20 miles from Dunscore and about 30 miles from my James’ home, Glencairn.  Not a short walk, but not impossible distances.

Map showing locations of Applegarth, Dunscore and Glencairn (Moniaive) in relation to each other

So I can’t rule out my James Brown as the father of Jean Smith’s illegitimate child and I have kept hold of this genealogical tidbit. To get any closer to proving this, I would need to check for further information in the Kirk Session records and the Applegarth parish records for any further information on Jean SMITH and her child.

Next Steps:

  • Check for further information in the Kirk Session records
  • Check Applegarth parish records for the child’s birth

Update: Checked Applegarth, Dunscore, Glencairn and Lochmaben parishes (via ScotlandsPeople) for any  birth with Jean SMITH as parent (between 1800 – 1825) and any SMITH birth (between 1816 – 1825) – no likely entries found (all have listed fathers).

Future House Call (Using Google Street View)

Read 1st part here.

After his second wife died, George seemed to move around, lodging at various places in London. His marriage to second wife Emily FELLA was so short that it didn’t feature in any of the censuses (they married in 1873 – she died in 1875). Luckily for me, Emily’s death certificate lists George as the informant and his residence as 54 Swinton St, London (Emily also died here).


Death Certifcate of Emily Jane FELLA -1875
A quick search of Rumsey’s site informs me that houses still exist at this site:
I am aware that house numbers changed at some time in the past and need to check that number 54 Swinton St today is the same number 54 Swinton Street of 1875. Even so, it’s another address for me to visit when I’m in London. I like being able to get a feel of how my ancestor’s lives may have lived.
I used Google’s street view for a quick peek at the area. Click and drag the orange man on to the map and use the on screen tools to have a look around.
Did the PALMERs live (and in Emily’s case, die) in these buildings:
Or these?

Read 3rd part here.

House Call

Whilst reading my copy of ‘Your Family Tree’ magazine, I came across a great resource for people with London ancestors. The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection includes an 1843 London map which you can transpose over google’s current satellite map. This would have saved me a lot of time a couple of years ago.
I don’t have many links to London in my tree. The only significant person in my tree to reside in London was George Wright PALMER and part of his family.
George was born in Portsea and his job in the Royal Navy caused him to move around a bit. For some reason, George was in London at the time of the 1871 census. He was living at 33 Marshall St with his first wife, Mary Ann and youngest son, Edward.
Palmer family in 1871 census
When I went on the hunt for this address a couple of years ago, I had to switch between windows and use educated guesses to pinpoint the locations. With Rumsey’s site, I was able to search and quickly locate Marshall St in Westminster.


Here is a photograph I took of what I believe to be 33 Marshall St (I found it the hard way but using this map overlay it was so quick and simple):

Here is a picture I found of 33 – 36 Marshall St, taken in the 1960s (annoyingly from the opposite direction to my picture):

It’s hard to say how long George and his reduced family lived at this address. Mary Ann died the next year and he married his second wife, Emily Jane FELLA in 1873. Tragically, she died just two years later.
I’m not often able to find detailed information on the houses in which my ancestors lived, which makes the details I found at British History Online even more special.

Most of these buildings […] were erected in the 1820’s by or under the supervision of Thomas Finden after the closure of Carnaby Market […]. This redevelopment was uniformly planned, small in area and scale, but forming to-day an unusually pleasant oasis for pedestrians, and offering facilities for shopping away from the through streets. There is accommodation for shop-keepers over the shops, as well as for chamber trades such as tailoring. The least altered parts are the block bounded on the west by Newburgh Street and on the south by Ganton Street, and the two pedestrian courts west of Newburgh Street—Lowndes Court and Marlborough Court.
The prevailing form was the four-storey terrace house fronted in stock brick, two windows wide with plain window-openings, and a continuous plain parapet with stone coping. The windows, most of which have their original narrow glazing-bars, have stone sills. The ground floors were built as shops from the beginning, for this was the period of the planned shopping street…
The ground floors of Nos. 33–36 Marshall Street have thin pilaster-strips and a continuous entablature; space appears to have been provided for shop-windows but, except at No. 35, these spaces have only one domestic-size window each. The ground floors of Nos. 20–22 Peter Street are similar.

(From: ‘Marshall Street Area’, Survey of London: volumes 31 and 32: St James Westminster, Part 2 (1963), pp. 196-208. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41471 Date accessed: 10 January 2010).
(The bold font was added by myself for ease of reference).

Read 2nd part here.