The Shamrock

Oliver claimed by his affectionate friends – George Cruikshank

Since at least 1842, William LAMB of Derby, had been recorded as a bricklayer.  However in the 1871 census, he was recorded living at 59 & 60 Goodwin St “The Shamrock” and his profession was given as Bricklayer & Publican. It was common for innkeepers to have secondary jobs but it was the first mention of this family being involved with running a pub.  Goodwin Street was located within the ‘slums of Derby’ which were later cleared in the 1930s. My initial search for this pub proved fruitless but over the years, I’ve managed to glean a little more information about this ‘phantom’ pub.

The 1871 census entry for ‘The Shamrock’ and the Lamb family

In 1872, an inquest was held ‘upon the body of Rebecca Lamb, aged 51 years, wife of William Henry Lamb, landlord of “The Shamrock” beerhouse, Goodwin-street, who died on the previous day [17th April]” and the findings published in The Derby Mercury.

Rebecca Lamb’s Inquest in The Derby Mercury (24 April 1872, p5 col4)

In 1873, William Lamb of The Shamrock was among a number of ‘persons who had been called before the Bench to prove that their premises, if used for other than public-houses, would be rented at not less than 15 [pounds] a year” and received a renewal of their license.

The Derby Mercury, 27 August 1873, p2 col1

These two newspaper clippings together tell me that The Shamrock was actually a licensed beerhouse.  According to HistoryHouse.co.uk, beerhouses were “Premises which could sell only beer”.

The opening hours could be from 4am to 10pm. For a small fee of 2 guineas payable to the local excise officer, anyone could brew and sell beer. The excise licence would state whether the beer could be consumed on the premises (beerhouse) or as off-sales only (beershop).  [HistoryHouse.co.uk]

An 1874 directory also lists The Shamrock as a beerhouse:

Wright’s South Derbyshire Directory of 1874, p68

Whereas in 1878, another directory lists it as the ‘Shamrock Inn’:

Wilkins & Ellis New Borough of Derby, 1878

 

The Shamrock is also recorded twice in The Illustrated History of Derby’s Pubs by Maxwell Craven which I located when visiting Derby Central Library.  The first instance notes that it was almost certainly…

‘…named to encourage the colony of Irish families who in the early and mid-19th century lived (in some squalor, unfortunately) in this area, mainly in ‘Rookeries’ – grandish old houses split up by unscrupulous landlords. First recorded by name in 1874, but to be identified with the anonymous beerhouse listed at this address in 1857 and 1862.  The name quite probably migrated with a landlord from King Street.  Closed in 1908 after pressure from Mrs Boden and the Derby  Temperance Association.’ pp. 135-6

[NB: “First recorded by name in 1874” – does this refer to the 1874 directory entry or more official records?]

The second instance suggests it was a separate establishment located at 34 King Street from at least 1850 to 1852:

“Possibly later renamed the Mechanics’ Arms; it seems not unlikely that the landlord took the name with him to Goodwin Street, first recorded by name only a few years later.” p. 136

Although the Lambs are recorded at the same address in the 1861 census, there is no mention of the Shamrock or any publican profession.  The King Street incarnation of the Mechanics’ Arms appears in newspapers in 1862 under landlady Emily Bates [was she the Shamrock’s original landlord?]It’s still possible that The Shamrock was operating but not recorded at the time of the 1861 census and that William Lamb was the landlord who took the name from King to Goodwin Street.  As yet, there is no evidence that the Lamb family ever lived on King Street so we may never know.

Goodwin Street during demolition in the 1930s

 

 

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)

 

 

Hannah in Excelsis


Hannah was born Hannah Bates in 1856.  Her father was James Bates, a general labourer, and her mother was most likely, Ann Tilbury, a millhand.  Little is known so far about her childhood, but it seems her father died when she was around 2 years of age.  In 1872, she became Hannah ROLLETT when when she, an 18 year old Silk mill hand married Alexander ROLLETT, a 19 year old ‘Labourer at [the] Colour Works’. This seemed to begin a lifelong association for Hannah with the West End area of Derby, also known as the slums.

Searching the newspapers for Alexander brought up an assault on a police constable he had been involved in 1876, as well as an assault on his wife (Hannah) the previous year, and a charge of drunkenness.  “Poor Hannah,” I thought. “Another woeful tale of an abusive alcoholic husband – this must be what made her leave Rollett and take up with William”.  But I thought too soon; my next search for ‘Hannah Rollett’ brought up many more mentions than there had been for Alexander and she certainly seemed to be quite the character!  With the help of the newspaper articles and some maps, I started piecing Hannah’s story together.

After a couple years of marriage, Hannah and Alexander had their first child, William in 1874. [Evidence suggests they actually had a daughter in 1872 – Sarah Jane Rollett – but I’m uncertain she was Alexander’s] The very next year, Alexander was charged with assaulting Hannah, but because it happened ‘at Rose Hill’, she was directed to ‘apply’ to the County Bench. This was recorded in Friday’s edition of the Derby Mercury, 25 August, 1875.

1875 - assault on wife - Derby Mercury 25 August 1875, p2 col1
Assault on Hannah – Derby Mercury 25 August 1875, p2 col1

2 days later, Hannah was convicted of assaulting Alexander’s sister, Sarah Ann. The article notes this occurred on the Saturday; apparently the day after Hannah appeared in the Derby Borough Police Court.

1875 - assault on sister-in-law - Derby Mercury 01 September 1875, p8 col1
Assault on Sarah Ann ROLLETT – Derby Mercury 01 September 1875, p8 col1

ASSAULT CASE.-Hannah Rollett was summoned for assaulting her sister-in-law, Sarah Ann Rollett, at about three o’clock on the Saturday afternoon previous. -The evidence was of a disgraceful character, and defendant was fined 5s, and costs; in default, seven days’ imprisonment. -On leaving the dock defendant threatened what she would do to the complainant when she came out of gaol; whereupon the Bench ordered her back into the dock and called upon her to find sureties for her good behaviour for three months – herself in the sum of 20l., and two sureties in 5l. each, or one at 10l. – Prisoner said that she might as well be in gaol as anywhere else, and they would have to keep her there.

There was clearly no love lost between the two and although it is not stated what the argument was about, I presume Hannah’s recent charges against Alexander must have had something to do with it.

Their second son, John William was born the next year in September 1876, which means Hannah was heavily pregnant when Alexander assaulted a police constable on the night of August 13, 1876.

1876 - Sheffield Daily Telegraph 16 August 1876, p4 col3
Murderous Assault on a Policeman – Sheffield Daily Telegraph 16 August 1876, p4 col3

MURDEROUS ASSAULT ON A POLICEMAN. -Three men, named Alexander Rollett, William Gell, and William Murphy, were charged with violently assaulting Police-constable Simeon Webster when in the execution of his duty. -The policeman was unable to attend the Court in consequence of the injuries he had sustained. -It appeared that at midnight on Sunday he went to a disturbance in Willow-row, and had no sooner arrived on the scene than he was hit on the back with a brick.  He took hold of the man he believed to have thrown it, and was then felled to the ground bleeding and senseless by a brick which was thrown from another quarter, and which struck him on the temple.  While on the ground a mob gathered round him and pelted him with bricks and stones, besides kicking him brutally on the body, and they left him apparently dead.  He was shortly afterwards taken home, and medical assistance obtained, but he now lies in a precarious state.  The three prisoners, when arrested on the charge, emphatically denied it, but a hat found near the scene of the assault is supposed to belong to Gill [sic]. -The men were remanded for a week.

Despite Alexander’s claim he was home by half past 10 that night, he was sentenced (on 29th August) to six months imprisonment for his role in the attack .  Less than two weeks later, on the 9th September, Hannah gave birth to their second son and life was certainly not going to get any easier…

Continued in ‘The Hannah Chronicles’

Saint vs Saints

I have done a LOAD more research on the Lamb/Rollett family and found what I believe are answers to some of the questions I posed in my previous post (which I will write about later, I promise) but I’ve just come back from a quick trip to Derby and inputting the information into my online tree has thrown up ANOTHER question.

old_derbyirongate
All Saints, Derby

While at the Derby Local Histories & Family History Library, I found the baptism entries for William Henry LAMB & Rebecca TAYLOR’s children on a parish register microfilm.  Their 5 oldest children were baptised at All Saints, Derby (which is now known as Derby Cathedral) all on the same day – 11th March 1849. Beside the first column, the children’s actual birth dates were also recorded – the eldest, John, being born nearly 10 years previous.

This is not that unusual and I have come across this before in my research over the years.  However, these children had already been baptised as infants in St Alkmund’s Church!

StAlkmunds_Church_in_1906
St Alkmund’s Church, Derby c.1906

Now, I have heard of some children being re-baptised after changing religions or denominations; I’ve even heard of some being re-baptised after moving to a new area. But St Alkmund’s & All Saints are both Church of England AND within a stone’s throw of each other so those explanations don’t fit.

antique-maps-Town-Plans-80-1
Plan of the Town of Derby c.1817 – arrows indicate the locations of All Saints & St Alkmund’s churches

 

Researching the church of St Alkmund’s shows that it was rebuilt 1844-46 (during the time some of the children were originally baptised); perhaps there was some issue surrounding this? The only other thought that has come to mind is some kind of scandal where there were concerns the children were not legitimately baptised.

If anyone can shed some light on this, or pose an alternative explanation, please contact me.

 

Hannah had a little LAMB

I’ve just spent a few days revisiting some old research and came across some notes I wrote regarding the LAMB family (starting with Reuben Henry LAMB):

Reuben birth
Birth Record of Reuben Henry Lamb, 1898

Reuben Henry LAMB

18 April, 2005
Found in 1901 census with parents William & Hannah & sister Rosannah. In the same house(? – 1 & 2HC2 Willow Row) is Alice Green unwed mother of 3 year old son John Thomas. She is not listed as head – relationship is mother but she is only 30 so not mother of head William LAMB. Could she be William or Hannah’s sister – maybe Hannah’s maiden name is Green?) (Look for record of Hannah Green)

Find Hannah’s maiden name – marriage to unknown Bates. the marriage would be between 1872 – 1897 (SOLVED – see next entry)

1901 lamb
Lamb family in the 1901 census

22 April, 2005
Found William & Hannah in 1891 census – here Hannah, Rose & another son John are recorded under the name ROLLETT. Hannah is listed as married (not to William – he is single) and is William’s ‘housekeeper’.

This confirms Rose RICHARDS’ memory (of Rolletts) but Reuben’s birth certificate lists mother as Hannah BATES so this is probably her maiden name. The record of a Hannah BANNER (nee BATES) marrying a William Henry is confusing. Will need to find record to confirm this – marriage to WH should be between 1891-1898 (Reuben’s birth). Perhaps she married again before William Henry or perhaps this was bigamous (ROLLETTS may have gone AWOL)

William is listed as a sweep but is neither employer/employed. This could reflect his journeyman status (1901 census).

1891 Lamb
Lamb family in the 1891 census (Hannah and children recorded under previous names)

13 October, 2007
Found marriage record of Ann BANNER marrying William Henry LAMB in 1891 (IGI) – Her father is listed as James BATES and his as John LAMB. So this seems very likely to be them.

Found marriage record of Hannah BATES marrying Alexander ROLLETT in 1872. He was living with a Selina BANKS (possibly married to a Henry BANKS in 1874 nee GARTON) [in the 1881 census] but they were both recorded as married with 2 children of each other’s surname.

Hannah/Ann’s parents may be James BATES and Ann TILBURY who married in 1854. By the 1861 census, Ann was listed as a widower.

Could the name BANNER come from her mother’s new partner? Hannah was very young when her father seems to have died. OR perhaps Hannah used a false name to hide the fact she may not have been divorced?

Lamb Banner
Marriage record of William Henry Lamb & Ann BANNER, 1891

The residence and profession match the 1891 census entry AND Reuben’s birth certificate, so this must be the same people but WHY has Hannah used a different name other than ROLLETT?  Her marriage record to Alexander has the same name and profession of her father (who has died before 1872).  She already lists herself as a widow – why not use the Rollett surname?  Could the clerk copying the entry have misread Rollett as Banner? It’s possible.

It’s also possible that Hannah had lost contact with her ex-husband and so labelled herself a widower in order to marry William – since Alexander Rollett still seems to be alive throughout the next few censuses.  I would need to see the original marriage entry to put that issue to rest.

Rollett Bates
Marriage record of Alexander Rollett & Hannah BATES, 1872

UPDATE: I have come to the conclusion that Hannah used the name Ann BANNER when marrying William to hide from authorities the fact that her husband, Alexander ROLLETT was still alive.  Divorce was at the very least expensive and likely would not have been granted in those times (more info). Interestingly, Hannah continued to use the name Rollett and Lamb interchangeably through the rest of her life.

Next Steps:

  • View original marriage entry of Lamb/Banner marriage to check for mistranscription no mistranscription
  • Follow the trail of the Rollett children for any other clues
  • Research adult chimney sweeps in the Victorian era