Mary Backler (1813-1882)

29. Henry Apsley Pellatt (1835-1905) A Registration of Convenience – using the new GRO ‘mother’s maiden name’ facility in tracing some birth registrations

CNV00036In which we explore another unusual marital relationship (or not) and the parentage of several children, this time of Henry Apsley Pellatt, son of Henry Pellatt and his wife Mary Backler. It all centres around one of the houses above, in Roupell Street, near Waterloo Station in London.

A distraction:  I was meant to be exploring the life and times of my 3x great grandfather, Samuel Backler (1784-1870).  Once before I was diverted from the chronological account of my Backler ancestors by the story of Thomas Meriton Pellatt – or Sargeant, at https://backlers.com/2014/11/06/thomas-meriton-pellatt-or-sargeant-who-is-the-father/   Thomas was the son of Samuel Backler’s oldest daughter, Mary Backler, and her husband Henry Pellatt – or was he?  I described my suspicions in the blog post.

Now, in thinking about Samuel’s bankruptcy in 1831, the topic of a recent post, I have come across some interesting stuff about another of Mary and Henry’s sons – Henry Apsley Pellatt (c. 1835-1905).  I cannot resist writing this all up while it is fresh in my mind.  It illustrates how powerful is the new General Register Office facility to search for births after 1837 by mother’s maiden name.

My curiosity was piqued by my inability to find any record of the birth of Henry Apsley Pellatt’s four children, who appeared as follows in the 1861 Census:

In the Borough of Marylebone, Parish of Old Pancras, 1 Tavistock Square:

  • Henry A Pellatt, Head, married, 26. Proprietor of Boarding Establishment.  Born Middx London
  • Mary Pellatt, Wife, Married, 32. Born Middx. London
  • Mary Ann Pellatt, Daur, Unmarried. 6.  Born Surrey N.K. [registration district not known]
  • Jessy Pellatt, daur, unmarried, 3. Born Surrey N.K.
  • Henry A Pellatt, son, unmarried, 1. Born Surrey N.K.
  • Willm M Pellatt, son, 5 days. Born Middx St Pancras

Additionally were a Nurse, a Waiter, and three other servants, as well as two other families.

In retrospect, I could have wondered why the birthplace of the three older children was ‘not known’, in the County of Surrey.  Why didn’t the parents have this information to hand?

The 1871 Census showed the family far from London, in Hanley, Stoke upon Trent, Staffordshire, at 10 Windmill Terrace:

  • Henry A Pellatt, Head, married, 37. Commercial Traveller. Born [inexplicably] in Richmond, Yorkshire.
  • Mary Pellatt, Wife, married, 43.  Born Middlesex, London.
  • Henry A Pellatt, Son, 11. Born Surrey, Kennington.
  • Mary A Pellatt, Daur, 16. Born Surrey, Camberwell.
  • Jessy Pellatt, Daur, 13. Born Surrey, Camberwell.
  • William H Phillips, Boarder, unmarried, 30, Banker’s Clerk. Born Staffs Leigh.
  • Ann Kelly, Servant, unmarried, 19. Born Staffs, Stone.

By 1881 the family were, at best, difficult to trace.

  • Young Henry Apsley Pellatt and Jessy Pellatt had died.
  • Father Henry Apsley Pellatt is next sighted in Australia, on the occasion of his marriage in 1885.
  • Mother Mary (nee Tull, see below) Pellatt is, I think, found as a Lodger, Music Teacher, married, age 52, born Middx St Georges in the East, in the home of Albert and Elizabeth Paul and their family, at 74 Daneville Road, Camberwell.
  • Young Mary Ann (born 1854) is not to be seen until her marriage on 21 July 1885 to 48 year old Widower, Frederick Martin Howard, Publican, of Camberwell New Road.  Mary Ann is shown as ‘27’ [this is a bit out…], spinster, father Henry Apsley Pellatt, Farmer [presumably, by this time, a farmer in Australia].  Witnesses were Mary Ann’s uncle William Cowper Pellatt and his wife Eliza Ann.  I cannot find anything more about this couple, anywhere!

No birth registrations surname Pellatt:  I could find no birth registrations for the children of Henry Apsley Pellatt and his wife Mary.  I tried FreeBMD, Ancestry, findmypast and the GRO newly-released digitised indexes, all to no avail.  But these children had to be somewhere.

I decided to search just on ‘Henry Apsley’ – no surname.  This search turned up a Henry Apsley Pellatt Middleton, birth registered in Sep quarter 1859, Newington 1d  203. A search for this person on the GRO birth search showed the mother’s maiden name as TULL.  The actual certificate shows that he was born on 8 July 1859, at 15 Allen’s Terrace, Lorrimore Road, Walworth.  The father was shown as John Middleton, the Mother as Mary Middleton, formerly TULL.  She registered the birth, as of the above address, on 19 August 1859.

Searches on the names ‘Mary Ann’, ‘Jessy’, and ‘William M’ revealed that all appeared under the surname ‘Middeton’, mother’s surname TULL.

‘Middleton/Tull’ births: I decided to go back to the beginning of the Middleton/Tull partnership and find all the births registered to those two names – starting with the marriage of Mary Tull to John Henry Middleton, and looking at Census records along the way.

Marriage:  On 25 June 1839 at the Parish Church of St Giles Camberwell in the County of Surrey, John Henry Middleton,  of full age, Bachelor, married Mary Tull, spinster, possibly also of full age (although this is written only once under the ‘age’ column).  He was of Orchard Row, a Slater, and his father Jno Middleton was also a Slater.  She was of Portland Row, her father Jno Tull also a Slater.  The couple both signed the register, as did their witnesses, John Middleton and Elizabeth Middleton [his parents?].

1841 Census:  The 1841 Census finds this couple in Mile End:

John (20) Slater and Mary (15).  Were they really of full age when they married two years previously?

Now for a search on Births registered, using the new GRO indexes:

  • John Charles Middleton (mother’s maiden surname: TULL) Mar 1843 Stepney 02 496
  • Henry William Middleton (TULL) Dec 1849 Lambeth 04 319
    • Death: Henry William Middleton Dec 1849 Lambeth 04 243
  • Harriet Hannah Middleton (TULL) Sep 1851 Lambeth 04 329
  • Mary Ann Middleton (TULL) Sep 1854 Camberwell 1D 438
  •  Eliza Middleton (TULL) Mar 1856 Lambeth 1D 244
    • I believe Eliza’s death may have been registered as Eliza Pellatt, ‘11’ (I am told the GRO register list sometimes lists the figure which should be months, as years…) in 1857 MAR qtr, Newington, 1D 153.  The Newington location would match with the registration of Jessy’ s birth, below.
  • Jessy Middleton (TULL) Sep 1857 Newington 1d 194
    • Death: Jessy Pellatt: SEP 1872. Lambeth 1D 291
  • Henry Apsley Pellatt Middleton (TULL) Sep 1859 Newington 1d 203
    • Death: Henry Apsley Pellatt MAR 1876 Hackney 1b 331
  • William Mill Pellatt Middleton (TULL) Jun 1861 Pancras 01B 43
    • Death: William Mill Pellatt:  Jun 1861 Pancras 01B 29
  • Florence Pellatt Middleton (TULL) Dec 1862 Kensington 01A 9
    • Death: Florence Pellatt Dec 1862 Kensington 1a 13

And finally – giving the game away, with the Pellatt surname …

  •  Frederick William Pellatt (TULL) Mar 1864 Brighton 02B 186
    • Death:  MAR 1867 Marylebone 1A 388

Eureka – the 1851 Census reveals all:  It was only latterly that I thought to check out the Middletons in the 1851 Census.  Lo and behold, there they were in the household of my many times great aunt Mary Backler and her husband Henry Pellatt, the very same couple whose relationship had troubled me when I was looking into the parentage of their [supposed, presumed, or actual] son Thomas Meriton Pellatt, later Sargeant.

The picture at the start of this post is of the houses on Roupell Street, which are in a conservation area and remain largely unchanged today.  They were built between about 1825 and 1835, and were intended as artisans’ conttages – an interesting choice for the fairly large family of lawyer Henry Pellatt AND the Middletons!

Residing at 66 Roupell Street, very near the later-built Waterloo Station, were:

  • Henry Pellatt, Head, married, 55. Solicitor.  Born Surrey Peckham
  • Mary Pellatt, Wife, married, 38. Born Middlesex Islington.
  • Henry [Apsley] Pellatt, Son, 16, unmarried, Clerk.  Born Middlesex Islington.
  • Victoria Pellatt, Daughter, unmarried, 14. Born Middlesex Holborn.
  • William Pellatt, Son, 8, unmarried, Born Middx Shepherd’s Bush.

At the same address, separate household:

  • John Middleton, Head, married, 32. Slater. Journeyman. Born Hartford [sic] Hertfordshire
  • Mary [nee TULL] Middleton, Wife, Married, 28. Born Middx. St George.
  • John Middleton, Son, 8, Scholar, Born Middx St George.

Well, well.  It looks as if Mary (Tull) Middleton was due to set up a liaison with Henry Apsley Pellatt, 12 years her junior, the first child of this union to be Mary Ann Middleton [mother surname Tull], born in 1854 and to appear from 1861 as Mary Ann Pellatt in the household of Henry Apsley Pellatt and his supposed wife Mary.

I cannot find anything other than the birth record for ‘Eliza Middleton’, born 1856, but I feel fairly sure her death was recorded as Eliza Pellatt in 1857 MAR quarter, as described above.

Further children clearly (well, presumably) attributable to Henry Apsley Pellatt though registered under the Middleton surname, are

  • Jessy (1857-1872);
  • Henry Apsley (1859-1876);
  • William Mill (1861-1861);
  • Florence (1862-1862); and, the only child registered as ‘Pellatt’:
  • Frederick William (1864-1867).

A marriage for Henry Apsley Pellatt and Mary Ann Tull?  This marriage cannot be found, but something changed to enable baptism of four of the children in 1867:

  • little Frederick William, on 18 February 1867, when he was three years old and just before his death;
  • Jessy and Henry Apsley on 16 November 1867, at St Marylebone.
  • Mary Ann on 30 November 1867 in St Marylebone

Henry Apsley Pellatt in Australia: The marriage of Henry Apsley Pellatt to Elizabeth Skinner was registered in Victoria, Australia, in 1885.  He died in September 1905, and is buried at St Kilda Cemetery, Victoria Australia.

What happened to Mary (nee Tull) Middleton Pellatt?  I believe, as stated above, that she appears in the 1881 census as a music teacher.  After that I can find no further census records anywhere, nor marriage, nor death.  Hmm….

What of the supposed half siblings, the children of John Henry Middleton and Mary Tull?

  • John Charles Middleton (Mother maiden surname TULL) Mar 1843 Stepney 02 496
    • He married Mary Ann Molland and died in 1936. He worked in the foreign office, after being recorded as a drummer boy in his youth (1861 Census), perhaps reflecting the fact that his mother was a music teacher.
  • Henry William Middleton (TULL) Dec 1849 Lambeth 04 319
    • Death: Henry William Middleton Dec 1849 Lambeth 04 243
  • Harriet Hannah Middleton (TULL) Sep 1851 Lambeth 04 329
    • Harriet Hannah appears to have had a relationship similar to that of her mother.  She took up at some point with George Hagley, Lighterman, with whom she had several children, whose births were registered under the surname of Middleton, with no Mother’s maiden name given, indicating that the births were illegitimate.
    • Like the children of Henry Apsley Pellatt and Mary Tull, some of these children were baptised long after they were born.  No marriage is in evidence for Harriet and George.  For the record, the children were (registered with no mother’s maiden name shown):
      • George Hagley Middleton Sep 1871 Lambeth 1d 292
        • Death: Sep 1871 Lambeth 1d 212
      • Kate Hagley Middleton. SEP 1872, Lambeth 1D 347.
      • [twin] Edith Hagley Middleton SEP 1874 Lambeth 1d 337
        • Death: SEP 1874 Lambeth 1D 200
      • [twin] George Hagley Middleton SEP 1874 Lambeth 1d 337
        • Death: JUN 1884 Woolwich 1d 694
      • Arthur Hagley Middleton JUN 1876 Lambeth 1D 358
        • Death: SEP 1876 Lambeth 1D 205

And then, something changed, perhaps the death of George Hagley’s first wife, to allow the final two births to be registered under the surname Hagley, with mother’s maiden name now shown as Middleton.

  • James John Hagley  DEC 1878  Lambeth 1d 349.  Mother’s surname Middleton
    • Bap. 24 April 1891, Birth shown as 28 August 1878.  Parents George (Lighterman) and Harriet, 48 York Road.
  • Harry Joseph Hagley DEC 1884 Lambeth 1d 361
    • Death: DEC 1884 Lambeth 1d 214

The 1881 Census shows at 48 York Road, Lambeth: George Hagley, 52, married, Lighterman living with Harriet, wife, 29 and three children, Kate, 9; George 7; and James, 3.

In 1891 the couple are at the same address, with children Kate and James, and George’s widowed sister Jane Sharpe, age 65.

George died early in 1901, so in the 1901 Census, Harriet Hagley was a 51 year old widow, a boarder at 4 Vidal Road, Tulse Hill, Reg district of Lambeth.  She died in 1909 at the Constance Road Workhouse in the parish of St Giles Camberwell.  She had many descendants, who can be seen on an Ancestry family tree.  I can pass on  the relevant information to anyone wanting more information.

Alas…no blood relations for me… As so often seems to happen with my family, some of my best record discoveries are of folk who are no blood relation to me!  These various Middleton/Hagley folk acquire some new Pellatt half-siblings and half aunts and uncles, some of whom will have some Backler and Pellatt ancestors.  But in fact, since all the Middleton/Pellatt children seem to have died in childhood or infancy, this may not make a lot of difference.

 

 

28. Samuel Backler (1784-1870): a quiet end

In which we follow as far as possible the final years of Samuel Backler.  We mention in passing two daughters Susannah Mary Backler (1817-1883) and Esther Maria Backler (1830-1918), of which more in future blogs. In a previous post we followed the fortunes of Samuel’s oldest daughter Mary Backler (1830-1882)  through her marriages to her cousin Henry Pellatt (of which more to come in the next blogpost), and Waldo Sargeant. 

Alas, the 1841 census for part of Middlesex is missing.  Presumably Samuel, Mary and their two unmarried daughters lived together, but their circumstances following the traumatic bankruptcy in 1831, when they lived in Kensington, are unknown.  Other than at the marriage of his daughter Susannah, the only confirmed sighting we have of Samuel before the 1851 Census is a design registration  of 1847, held at The National Archives as follows:

Reference: BT 45/6/1046
Description:

Useful Registered Design Number: 1046.

Proprietor: Samuel Backler.

Address: 4 Cambridge Terrace, Islington, London.

Subject: Spatula.

Category: Surgical and Medical Instruments etc.

Date: 1847 April 28
These are the designs submitted to the Patents, Designs and Trade Marks Office under the terms of the Non – ornamental (‘Useful’) Designs Act 1843.  The quote in italics below is from a presentation at the National Archives by Julie Halls, the Archives’ specialist for registered designs and the author of Inventions that didn’t change the world (Thames & Hudson, 2014).

‘These designs were registered for copyright under what was called the Utility Designs Act of 1843. This came about primarily as a result of the expense and difficulty inventors found in patenting their ideas during the first half of the nineteenth century. The system had become notoriously expensive and inefficient, and there were concerns that it was holding back innovation. An inventor would have to negotiate a labyrinthine system, taking his design to as many as 10 different offices, with a fee payable at each, and petitions, warrants and bills were prepared several times over, signed and countersigned, before a patent was approved. In his short story ‘A Poor Man’s Tale of A Patent’, Charles Dickens asked: ‘Is it reasonable to make a man feel as if in inventing an ingenious improvement meant to do good, he had done something wrong?’

‘A solution came about in the form of the 1843 Act, which was for ‘any new or original design for any article of manufacture having reference to some purpose of utility, so far as such design shall be for the shape or configuration of such article’. Under the Act, proprietors were given three years’ copyright protection at a cost of £10, as opposed to up to £400 for 14 years’ protection for a patent.

‘Although the Act was meant to apply to the appearance and not the function of useful objects, which was still supposed to be patented, in practice it was widely perceived as a cheaper and quicker form of protection than the convoluted patent system, and the law struggled to make a distinction between the two. Thousands of inventors chose to register their designs, resulting in the unique documents we hold at The National Archives.

‘To copyright a design the inventor had to take or send to the Designs Registry, originally based at Somerset House in London, ‘two exactly similar drawings or prints of the design made on a proper geometric scale’. He, or less often she, would also need to provide the title of the design – quite often deciding on a pseudo-scientific name for what could often be quite a mundane object. Explanatory text also had to be included, saying what the purpose of the design was and what was new about it.

( http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/inventions-didnt-change-world-history-victorian-curiosities-2/ )

I have a beautiful photo of the original design of this ‘heated spatula’, copyright by The National Archives, which I can forward for personal use, on request.  There is no sign that this design was ever put into production, but the design itself is a thing of beauty.  The photo, purchased from the National Archives online, is of the original document, which would have been handled by Samuel himself.  Awesome!

The address given on the design shows that the family lived in Islington, where Susannah Mary Backler had married James Boulding in 1844 at St Mary’s Parish Church.  On the marriage certificate, Samuel Backler was styled ‘Gentleman’, the first time we have seen him designated as such. Perhaps he felt the need to keep in step with James Boulding’s father Samuel Boulding, who all along, as we shall see in the future, was styled the same.

By the 1851 census, however, we find that Samuel is recorded as a ‘Clerk’.  (I wonder if this is an error by the census enumerator, as it seems likely that Samuel would have described himself as a Chemist.)  The family are living at 2 Old Paradise Row, Islington, and as we shall discover in a future blogpost, nothing would be seen now or in the future of James Boulding.  The family are listed as follows:

  • Samuel Backler, Head, married, 66. Clerk [sic]. Born Middlesex, Stoke Newington
  • Mary Backler, Wife, married, 60. Born Middlesex Holborn
  • Esther Maria Backler, daughter, unmarried, 21. Born Middlesex Bayswater
  • Susanna Boulding, daughter, 34, married.  Born Middlesex Oxford Street
  • Susanna Mary Boulding, grand daughter, 5, scholar at home. Born Middlesex, Islington
  • Apsley Samuel Boulding, grandson, 3. Born London, Fleet Street

Backler places of residence:  In these times, most folk rented, often on an annual basis, rather than owning their own properties.  While we know Samuel and Mary were in Kensington/Bayswater at the time of his bankruptcy in 1831, we do not know when they moved to Islington.  Once there, however, they seemed to stay quite local, although we have no way of knowing how many other addresses they had than those listed here:

1847: 4 Cambridge Terrace (registered design application)

1851: (census) 2 Old Paradise Row (facing Islington Green, on the north side)

1857: (wife Mary’s death certificate) Rheidol Terrace  (east of, and roughly parallel to Essex Road in Islington)

1861: (census) 14 Angell Terrace (in the block bounded by Rheidol Terrace, River Lane, Lower Road and Queens Head Lane in Islington).  Here, Samuel is found as a 77 year old Accountant [sic], a widower, with his daughter Esther M, 31, single, and one servant.

1870: (Samuel’s death certificate)  11 Maria Terrace  (since re-named Lambert Street, on the census enumerator’s route of Albion Grove (re-named Ripplevale Grove), and Thornhill Road in Barnsbury – can be seen on the map accompanying a historic walk around Barnsbury at: https://www.islington.gov.uk/~/media/sharepoint-lists/public-records/leisureandculture/information/factsheets/20112012/20120303localhistorytrailbarnsbury

The map below incorporates two old maps, and shows how local the various addresses were, over a period of decades.

Screenshot (145)Maps: http://london1868.com/weller19.htm#image and http://london1868.com/weller18.htm#image  Both maps from David Hale and the MAPCO : Map And Plan Collection Online website at http://mapco.net

An address in Bishopsgate? See: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18340703-106&div=t18340703-106&terms=Backler#highlight  3rd July 1834

It seems to me there is no way of knowing if the court case described in Old Bailey records in 1834 refers to ‘our’ Samuel Backler and his wife Mary.  Here, Samuel is described as a silversmith (not an unusual occupation for someone with an apothecary’s background), and Mary as a ‘staymaker’.  Was this the family’s next step after the bankruptcy of 1831?  An address in the City of London is not impossible, as both Samuel’s and Mary’s origins were related to City Livery Companies, and I am not aware of any other couple in the area known as Samuel and Mary Backler. (Please correct me if I am wrong!)

The gist of the case was that ‘HARRIET BATE was indicted for stealing, on the 9th of June , 2 spoons, value 9s.; 10 yards of crape, value 2l.; 1 printed book, value 6d.; and 1 handkerchief, value 6d., the goods of Samuel Backler , her master.’

MARY BACKLER deposed: ‘I am the wife of Samuel Backler, who is a silversmith , and lives in Bishopsgate-street without , and I myself keep a staymaker’s shop – the prisoner worked for me for about five years, and left – I lost some silver tea-spoons – I mentioned it to her – she said she thought it must have been the servant, who had just left – I said, “No; it is impossible, for I know her well” – she said, “Why did you not look into her box?” – I said, “Because I believed her strictly honest” – I said no more about it then – I gave the prisoner a china crape dress, containing ten yards, to get dyed, as she had said she knew where to get it dyed – I afterwards found it had not been taken to the place, and in consequence of suspicion I gave her into custody – I lost a little book from my work-room, and a handkerchief – (looking at the property) – I know the crape by a tear in it – the spoons have our initials on them.’

After the usual rather dubious evidence from witnesses about various items said to belong to the Backlers, Mary Butt was found guilty, and detained for three months after being recommended for mercy by Mary Backler.

Death of Mary [Pellatt] Backler and burial at Highgate Cemetery. As seen in the address list above, Mary Backler died in 1857, and was buried on 7 February in what would become a family plot at Highgate Cemetery.  I have visited the site, which is in a wooded area, with no stones visible.  Samuel would be buried there in 1870, along with their daughter (my 2x great grandmother Susanna [Backler] Boulding Cross – more of her in a later post) – and some others.

Interestingly, just a few weeks after Mary’s death, Samuel’s half-sister-in-law Susannah Maria [McLauchlan] Backler died in Peckham, Samuel’s half-brother the apothecary and Cupper John Backler having died nearly a decade earlier in Paris.  I have wondered how or if these half-sibling relatives were in touch with each other, suspecting that Samuel and his family might have been seen as rather a failed branch of the family.

Death of Samuel in 1870. As seen above, Samuel died on 24 May 1870, aged 85, ‘formerly dispensing chemist’, and was interred at Highgate Cemetery.  By this time his daughter Susannah, presumed widowed, had re-married; Esther Maria had a child but was not yet married to her soon-to-be Swedish husband; and the grandchildren Susannah Mary and Apsley Samuel Boulding had emigrated to the USA, or were about to do so.

Samuel seems to me the ‘not-quite’ successful apothecary son from a line of apothecaries.  Having never fully qualified as an apothecary, he seems to have moved through a range of occupations, perhaps not very successful with their business aspects, and almost certainly rocked by the trauma of his bankruptcy in 1831.  Marrying well into the highly prosperous Pellatt family, he seemed to manage to have a respectable but not very prosperous life.

And so, we bid goodbye to Samuel.  Future blogposts will look at another development in the always interesting family of Mary Backler and her cousin-husband Henry Pellatt, at an outline of Mary Pellatt’s lineage, and at the fortunes of Esther Maria Backler.  I will also do a short feature on my trip some years back to find the Backler grave at Highgate Cemetery (pretty unrewarding, just so you don’t have raised expectations).  After all that, we will at last cross the Atlantic to follow the fortunes of Susannah Mary and Apsley Samuel in New York City.

 

 

26. Samuel Backler (1784-1870): Family, Thefts and a Changing Career

In which we continue our perusal of the life and times of my 3x g. grandfather, Samuel Backler (1784-1870), tracing the birth and some deaths of his and Mary Pellatt’s children, and witnessing his metamorphosis from apothecary to tobacconist, along with a few brushes on the right side of the law at the Old Bailey.

screenshot-100

A growing – and sometimes diminishing – family.  As noted in my most recent post, Samuel Backler married Mary Pellatt on 30 November 1810 at St Andrew by the Wardrobe, the church which was amalgamated with St Ann Blackfriars after the Great Fire of 1666.  St Andrew by the Wardrobe exists today, rebuilt within its Christopher Wren walls after destruction by bombing in the Second World War.

As can be seen in the extract above, it clearly wasn’t sufficient for there to be two witnesses to this marriage!  To the left we see signatures of Apsley Pellatt, presumably Mary’s father, and S Backler (or could this be a ‘J’?) and M Backler, possibly Joseph, Samuels’ brother, and their sister Mary.  Next we see ‘S Backler’, almost certainly Sotherton Backler, Samuel’s father. Underneath is J Backler Jnr – or is this an ‘S’?  Could this be Samuel’s youngest sibling, 12 year old Sotherton?  To the right are Apsley Pellatt Jnr (1791-1863), Mary’s brother, and another brother, Stephen Pellatt (1792-1839).

screenshot-99The slightly fuzzy tree on the left shows the birth of six children.   Young Apsley Backler is something of a puzzle.  I can find no record of his christening, nor of his death.  Yet he appears in a family tree held at The National Archives (J66/10/43), linked to the case of Buxton v Pellatt, a dispute over inheritance and the Will of Susannah [Maberly] Langford.  These papers contain a number of family trees, and I will probably draft a separate blog post about them.  Meanwhile, it would have been logical for a child to be name Apsley, after Mary’s father.  Did he exist?  Any answers most welcome!

First born was Mary Backler (1813-1882), in 1813.  I have looked at her marriage to her cousin, Henry Pellatt, in a previous blog.  Her birth on 25 May 1813 was registered on 21 June 1816 at Dr. Williams’ Library, the repository for non-conformist births, where many Pellatt children’s births were registered.  Witnesses were John Cribb, a Pellatt ancestor, and Mary Pellatt, presumably Mary (nee) Maberly, Mary (Pellatt) Backler’s mother.  Lots of Mary’s!  I have recently discovered a real puzzle concerning the births of the children of Mary and Henry’s first-born, Henry Apsley Pellatt.  Another blog post is needed!

Next appears the mysterious Apsley Backler…mentioned in a series of family trees, all related to the Will of Susannah Langford, sister of Mary Pellatt, wife of Samuel.  I have no further information about him.

Susannah Mary Backler followed on 22 March 1817, born in ‘Oxford Street’, presumably at the 71 Berners Street address where records show Samuel Backler and his wife Mary lived for some years, not far from Samuel’s brother Joseph, the stained glass artist, in Newman Street.  Susannah was my 2x great grandmother and I will devote future blog posts to her and her marriage to the elusive James Boulding.  I have never found a christening record for her.

Samuel Backler and Elizabeth Backler, presumably twins, appeared in 1820, although there appears to be no christening record for them either.  Sadly, both were to die within 10 days of each other in 1822, to be interred in Bunhill Fields Cemetery.

Very much later, the youngest child of Samuel and Mary Backler was Esther Maria Backler, whose arrival on 3 February 1830 was very near the time when Samuel was to face bankruptcy, and his nephew Joseph to be transported to Australia.  Esther Maria was baptised at Holland Road Independent Chapel in the Brixton Road in March 1830, the family’s address given as Linden Grove, Kensington Gravel Pits. Samuel’s occupation was now a tobacconist.  This address, near what is now Notting Hill Gate, was in the early 19th century a favoured area, away from the city, and home to many artists.  The picture below ((c)Victoria & Albert Museum), is entitled The Mall, Kensington Gravel Pits. It is by the artist William Mulready, and dated around 1811-12.

Kensington Gravel Pits 2006BH7808_2500

Esther Maria lived with her parents after her sisters’ marriages, and was only to marry Magnus Christian Abelin in 1870, just months after the death of her father Samuel.  She appears to have been the dutiful younger daughter, living with and caring for her parents in their later years.

Crime and Punishment: Back at Berners Street, off Oxford Street, the early years of the family saw them feature as the victims of some cases at The Old Bailey.

As a first example, I make an assumption (in the absence of an address) that the report below of ‘Elizabeth Butt: simple grand larceny, 18th September, 1816’ refers to Samuel and Mary Backler.  Screenshot (107) It is downloaded from the following url, and is reproduced from the Old Bailey Online Project.  We have already seen examples of how helpful this project is, in stories about young Joseph Backler’s uttering of forged cheques.  1816https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/images.jsp?doc=181609180085

Hannah Barry – transportation for 14 years:  On safer ground, in terms of location and participants, we find the case of Hannah Barry and Mary Murphy, Theft and receiving stolen goods, trial proceedings on 1 November 1824.

Screenshot (108)As seen on the left, the case began with a summary of items alleged to have been stolen by Hannah Barry, servant to Samuel and Mary Backler in their rented home in Berners Street.  The evidence included statements by 12 year old Mary Backler’s cousin Henry, living with the family, and later to marry oldest daughter Mary, as described in a previous post. Following Mrs Backler’s statement that she had ‘missed property’, she said she had ‘sent for Craig, who searched her boxes and found a variety of property’.  The rest of the case was as follows (image and text downloaded from: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18241028-140-defend1298&div=t18241028-140#highlight):

WILLIAM CRAIG . I am an officer. On the 28th of September I searched three boxes, which Mrs. Backler pointed out to me; the prisoner was present; and before I searched them, I asked her if she knew anything of a diamond pin, and a locket which were lost; she denied it at first, and then said she had found the pin, but knew nothing of the locket; she went up stairs with us, one of her trunks was open, and another locked; the third was a small tea chest. I found two stiffners in her pocket; in the open trunk was the trimming, and several things, and in the other trunk several caps and articles of linen; and in her tea chest, I found the diamond pin – she said she knew it was in some of her boxes, but could not tell which. I forget whether the tea chest was locked. I went to Murphy’s house with a warrant, and found a waistcoat, a petticoat, and other things; she was not at home, but her husband was. I afterwards saw her, and she said she had bought them of different people in the street.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. You do not know that to be a diamond pin – A. I am told that it is.

MR.   HENRY PELLATT . I lived at the prosecutor’s house. This diamond pin and locket are mine, and the waistcoat. I missed the pin and locket on the 27th of September; I had seen them two or three days before, and had left them in a box unlocked.

Cross-examined. Q. Are there any children in the house – A. Yes, one of them is twelve years old. I had put the property among some fishing tackle.

COURT. Q. How long had you lived there – A. Three years. I wore the pin every day; the prisoner must have known it to be mine. I paid 13 l. for it about six months ago, to Mr. Fletcher, a lapidary, of Marlborough-street.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

BARRY’S Defence. The box which the things were found in is not mine – I had lent my mistress a trunk when she went into the country, and she gave me one of hers to put my things in. I never saw these things till they were found.

MRS. BACKLER. Two of the trunks belonged to her; some of the property was in them, and some in one which I had lent her, having had an accident with hers, and sent it to be repaired – the tea chest belonged to her, and was locked. and she produced the key of it after some hesitation.

MR. PELLATT re-examined. I have tried the pin, and know it to be a diamond.

BARRY-GUILTY. Aged 25.

Of stealing to the value 39 s. only .

Transported for Fourteen Years .

MURPHY – NOT GUILTY .

Hannah Barry was duly transported to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania) on The Providence, which left England in December 1825, arriving in Australia on 16 May 1826.  I cannot firmly identify what happened to her in later years.  Once again, the standard of proof in Old Bailey Trials might well raise eyebrows in more modern times!

And finally: there is another case about Harriet Bate, theft, on 3 July 1834.  This date is after the disastrous events for the Backlers of 1830-31, which I will recount in my next post.  The case involves theft by Harriet Bate of goods belonging to her master, Samuel Backler, Silversmith, of Bishopsgate Street.  His wife Mary gives evidence, stating she is a staymaker.  Is this ‘our’ Samuel and Mary, or another?  I am not sure.  The full report can be seen at:  https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18340703-106-defend680&div=t18340703-106#highlight

There is a reference in this case to ‘the prosecutor’s son’.  If there really was an Apsley Backler, this reference could be to him; if it is not him, then this is probably not ‘our’ Samuel, as there was no other surviving son.  I haven’t, though, been able to trace an alternative ‘Samuel and Mary’. Samuel Backler (born in Haverhill) and his wife Elizabeth appear in St Luke’s Parish in the 1841 and 1851 censuses, but he is shown as a Labourer, and I don’t think he is the same as the one in the court case…perhaps!

Moving on: In this post I have tried to give a brief flavour of what might be called the middle years for Samuel and Mary Backler. Alas, their fortunes were not due to prosper, as we will see in my next post, in which I will consider Samuel’s bankruptcy and its apparent impact on family relationships.