Samuel BACKLER (1784-1870)

38. Backler/Boulding/Cross: the denoument of my g.g. grandmother Susannah (1817 – 1883)

In which we trace the last years of my g.g. grandmother, Susannah [nee Backler] Boulding/Cross, rounding off the fates of her and the three children born to her second marriage, before following her two surviving Boulding children across the Atlantic.

In previous posts, we have seen that my g.g. grandfather James Boulding appears to have deserted his young family in or after 1848, after the birth of his and Susannah’s third child Apsley Samuel Boulding, and following the death on the same day of their second child, Lucilla Charlotte Boulding.  The first intimation of this supposed desertion comes with the 1851 census, showing Susannah and her two surviving children living with her parents in Islington.  She is ‘married’, but in this census year there is no James Boulding to be found in the British Isles.  It seems possible he had gone to Australia.

1851 England Census.  2 Old Paradise Row.  St Mary, Islington
Samuel Backler, Head, married, 66. Clerk [sic], Born Middlesex Stoke Newington
Mary Backler [nee Pellatt], Wife, married, 60. Born Middlesex Holborn
Esther Maria Backler, daughter, unmarried, 21.  Born Middlesex Bayswater
Susanna Boulding, daughter, married, 34. Born Middlesex Oxford Street.
Susanna Mary Boulding, grand daughter, 5. Scholar at home. Born Middlesex Islington
Apsley Samuel Boulding, grand son, 3. Born London Fleet Street.

We have seen in previous posts that Samuel Backler would live on for another 20 years, apparently tended by his youngest child, Esther Maria.  The status of Susanna, however, would change with her marriage on 28 October 1855, seven years after the disappearance of her husband James.  I am not exactly sure of the legal basis, but there

seems to have been an accepted rule that if someone had disappeared for seven consecutive years, with no news that they were alive, they could be presumed dead.  Hence Susanna’s status at the time of her second marriage as ‘widow’.

The marriage to Edwin John Cross, bachelor (and some 17 years Susannah’s junior), described as ‘Clerk’, took place just four months before the birth of their first child, Edwin John Frederick Cross, born on 24 February 1856, and christened at Christ Church St Marylebone on 30 March 1856, at which time his parents’ address was given as 13 Park Street.  Much more about him in a blogpost to follow.

Two years later another birth followed: Lucilla Beatrice Cross (another try for a little girl named ‘Lucilla’ – I have not found a precedent for Susanna’s use of this name).  Born on 1 June 1858, little Lucilla Beatrice was buried in Camden on 28 March 1861.  Thus the 1861 Census, taken shortly after this sad event, records just Edwin senior, Susannah and son Edwin jr.

1861 England Census. 
St Pancras, Camden Town.  3 Pratt Street (see photo right)
Edwin Cross, Head, Married, 27, China Dealer. Born Middx Marylebone
Susanna Cross, Wife, Married, 44. Born Middx Marylebone [sic]
Edwin Cross, Son, 5. Born Middx Marylebone
Susan Day, Lodger, Widow. Annuitant. Born Essex Harlow.

On 31 August 1862, Maberly Pellatt Cross was born to Edwin (china dealer) and Susannah Cross.  He was christened in September of that year at All Saints Church Camden Town, with the surnames of his mother’s maternal grandparents.  Alas, little Maberly was buried in Camden on 10 April 1863.  Older brother Edwin J F Cross was now about 6 years old, and had witnessed the deaths of two younger siblings.  Could this have affected him later in life?

Two Boulding children – soon to cross the Atlantic
Meanwhile, in 1861, young Edwin’s two half siblings appear to have been farmed out from the new Cross family.  Could this have been due to the influence of their new step-father?  We will take them across the Atlantic in a future blogpost, but suffice to say at the moment that in 1861 we find them as follows:

At number 5 Harley Street (now and then renowned as the location for private health care), in the home of Consulting Surgeon Mitchell Henry, 34, and his wife and 4 children, plus Governess, Butler, Footman, Cook, two Housemaids, Kitchen Maid, and two nursemaids, one of whom was my Great Grandmother Susan [sic] Boulding, unmarried, 16, born Middx Islington.

In the same Census, at 193 Tooley Street, in the home of Charles Bell, a Pawnbroker, we find her brother, 13 year old Apsley Boulding, Warehouse Boy, born Middlesex Strand.  He probably would not have been here long, as shortly after this Census was taken most of Tooley Street was destroyed in the great fire of 1861 (just search Tooley Street fire 1861 for details of this cataclysmic event).

How much these youngsters saw of their mother, step-father and half-siblings, is not known, though we will see that there was at least some correspondence with them after they left for America.

Back to the Cross family.
In 1871, we find Edwin, Susannah and 15 year old Edwin J F Cross at 130 High Street, Camden Town.
In 1881 Edwin and Susannah are at 58a Chalk Farm Road, a bit north of Camden Town (see left).

In this Census, sadly, we find the first intimation that things might not go too well for their only surviving child, Edwin John Frederick Cross.  As I will describe in more detail in a later post, we find in 1881 the following:

E J F C, age 24, Shorthand Writer, Patient, Lunatic, in the Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum, in Banstead Surrey, just up the hill from where I lived for many years.

On 9 February 1883, my G.G. Grandmother Susannah [nee Backler] [Boulding] Cross  died aged 66. She had congestion of the lungs, 7 days.  Her death was registered by her husband, E J Cross, of 156 High Street, Camden Town.

By the June quarter of 1884, Edwin had married widow Frances Anne [nee Lusty] Hilliard, mother of two children, and by the autumn of that year, Edwin had written his Will, leaving everything to his new wife and Executrix.  No mention at all of his son Edwin J F Cross.  Edwin Sr died in 1889, then living in Ramsgate Kent, and his Will was proved by his wife in January 1890.  At some point she emigrated to America, where she was to be found in Herrick Street, Boston in the 1900 US Census, living with her two sons Herbert H Hilliard and Walter J H Hilliard.   Frances died on 3 March 1902 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Brighton MA.  Her son Herbert H Hilliard perished on The Titanic, while her son Walter J H Hilliard died in 1926 and is also interred in Evergreen Cemetery.

Meanwhile, their step-son and step-sibling Edwin J F Cross was living out what was a rather sad and lonely life in England – the subject of my next post.

 

 

33. Burton/Backler: the family of Jane Ozella Backler (c.1795-1830) and Daniel Burton (1790-1876)

In which we take a final look at the offspring of Sotherton Backler and Hannah Osborne, reviewing the family and descendants of their seventh child and youngest daughter, Jane Ozella Backler.  We find folk who stayed ‘local’ to their English roots; a famous acting family; and scandal, divorce and flight to Canada. There are quite a few unfinished stories in this post, with several folks’ destinies proving untraceable 

Jane Ozella Backler was christened on 17 February 1795 at St Ann Blackfriars, near to Apothecaries’ Hall, where her father Sotherton Backler was soon to become Clerk to the Society of Apothecaries. Children in previous generations of this family had also been given the name of Ozella – I am not sure why. Two siblings had died before her birth: Thomas (1786-1786) and Elizabeth (1789-1791).  I have never found any further information about brother Benjamin, christened in 1793.  Her three surviving half siblings were about 15 years old when Jane Ozella was born, and she had four surviving older full siblings.  Her birth was to be followed by that of Thomas Osborne Backler (1796-1796), whose name perhaps indicates the name of Hannah Osborne’s father (not confirmed), and Sotherton Backler (1798-1875), whose life as a vicar in Northamptonshire we have reviewed in a previous post.  Jane Ozella’s mother Hannah Osborne would die when she was about 8 years old, leaving her most likely in the care of her older siblings while their father became Clerk to the Apothecaries.

Marriage to Daniel Burton:  Jane Ozella Backler married Daniel Burton at St Clement Danes Church on 9 October 1827.  He was a widower, of that parish, while she was of the parish of St Mary Islington, where in a previous post we have seen her sister Mary [nee Backler] Sudlow lived at about that time.  Possibly Jane Ozella was living with the Sudlows?  Witnesses were Mary Ann Burton and a Burton whose name I can’t read, and Sam’l Backler (Jane Ozella’s older brother and my 3x G Grandfather, reviewed in many previous posts).  Daniel Burton  was a Publisher, born in 1790 in Hounsditch, and previously married and widowed.

Jane Ozella’s early death:  Daniel’s marriage with Jane Ozella was to be sadly short-lived, as she would die in 1830, perhaps in childbirth.  Jane Ozella Burton was buried on 20 November 1830 at Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, where her parents had been interred before her.

On 7 December 1835, the twice-widowed Daniel Burton would marry again, to Juliana Maria Willats (1785-1869).  I can identify no children from this marriage. He died in 1876.

 

Descendants of Jane Ozella Backler and Daniel Burton (see chart above)(please note: there is one missing person from this chart, a sibling at bottom right to John Q Mayes.  This person may still be living – I have found no trace after the mid 1950s):
Jane Ozella Backler and Daniel Burton  had one child: Sarah Ann Burton, born 1 September 1828 and baptised at Fetter Lane Independent Chapel on 10 October 1828, the family being of the parish of St Andrews Holborn.  Sarah Ann Burton, or Sarah Ann Mayes as she would become, obligingly appears in every English census from 1851 to 1911. Frustratingly, I cannot locate her in the 1841 census, when her father appears with his new wife, but not with his daughter who would have appeared as aged 12 in that census.

Sarah Ann Burton marriage to John Mayes, 1853:  By 1851, Sarah Ann Burton  is to be found in Olney, Buckinghamshire as a teacher in a Ladies’ Seminary, said to have been born in Holloway, London.  It is here that two years later we find a record of a marriage registration with John Mayes (JUN quarter Newport Pagnell, 3a 564).  This short-lived marriage was to produce two children, before John Mayes died in 1857 – at least I deduce that fact from the two deaths of ‘John Mayes’ registered in that year, one in Newport Pagnell Union in Sep quarter (03A 319, age 42) and one in Bedford in Dec quarter of 1857 (03B 21, age 61).  Could these be father and son?  Hard to tell, since we don’t know how old John Mayes was when he married Sarah Ann, although I think it may be safe to assume that he was the 36 year old John Mayes, Tailor, living on High Street, Olney, Bucks, in the 1851 census, born in Olney, and therefore about 42 by the year of the deaths noted above in 1857.

1861 and 1871: The widowed Sarah Ann Mayes was living in Bedford by the time of the 1861 Census, where she appears as a schoolmistress. widow, with her two young children.  In 1871 she is living at 13 Western Street in Bedford, as the Proprietor of a Ladies’ School.  As well as a number of pupils in residence, we find her 80 year old father Daniel Burton, a retired publisher.  In 1871, daughter Mary Ann Mayes is found as a pupil in Hanwell, Middx, but I cannot find John Burton Mayes in this census.

1881 – 1916: Still on Western Street in 1881, Sarah Ann has been joined by her daughter Mary Ann, also a teacher,  where they are to be found in 1891, along with Sarah Ann’s 10-year old grand daughter Alice Ella Burton Mayes,  a pupil about whom scandal will unfold further down this page!  By 1901, 72 year old Sarah is living on her own in smaller premises on Bower Street, now a Teacher of Needlework.  Mary Ann is to be found as a servant in Hampstead.  In 1911, Sarah Ann was living on her own in Almshouses at 31 Dame Alice Street in Bedford, where she presumably lived until her death in 1916.  She was not entirely on her own – her widowed daughter-in-law Rachel Richardson had also moved to Bedford by this time.

Descendants of Sarah Ann Burton and John Mayes:

[yes, 2 before 1, since there is little to report] Mary Ann Mayes (1856 – ?), whose birth was registered in 1856 in Newport Pagnell.  I have summarised her history alongside that of her mother, above, and after the 1901 Census, I cannot find anything more, having searched for marriage, death, migration, etc.  And so we can move swiftly on to the scion of the rest of the Burton/Backler/Mayes descendants:

1  John Burton Mayes (1854 – 1909):  (birth registration: 1854 JUN qtr Newport P. 3a 453) married Rachel Richardson (?1858 – ?) in 1879 in Lambeth.  In the 1881 Census in Stockwell, with their daughter Alice E B Mayes, he was a commercial traveller.  In 1891 in Wandsworth he was a stationer, as he was in 1901 in Kingston.  However, he was to die in 1909, leaving about £500, and his wife would move to Bedford, near her mother-in-law.  I cannot trace her after the 1911 Census.  The couple had two children:

1.1 Alice Ella Burton Mayes (1880 – ?) was born in 1880, and apparently lived with her parents until her marriage in 1903 to John Sibley Richardson (1872 – ?) (who was not, as far as I can see, related to her mother Rachel Richardson).   John Sibley Richardson variously cites his birth country as Staffordshire and Warwickshire, probably because his birthplace, Harborne, is a village, a parish, and a sub-district in the district of Kings-Norton and county of Stafford. The village stands near the boundaries with Worcestershire, Warwickshire, and Birmingham borough, 3 miles SW of Birmingham.  Such places often find themselves designated in different counties, depending on border configurations.

Scandal and divorce: And here our story takes on a hint of scandal.  In the 1911 Census, we find  at 43 Braemar Avenue, Wood Green, North London, the couple Alice and John (he is an Automatic Slot Machine Dealer), and their 5 year old son Denis Richardson (1905 – ?).   I had thought I had lost touch with them after that until, in preparing this post, I came across his divorce petition against her, which can be seen on Ancestry.  In brief, Alice apparently left John S Richardson in autumn 1911 to take up residence in Notting Hill Gate and elsewhere with Charles Grange Lowther (1879 – ?), an artist born in Hull in 1879, who had won scholarships for his art studies.  In 1912, John S Richardson petitioned for divorce from Alice, which was finalised in 2013, with him apparently taking custody of the young Denis.  Meanwhile, Charles G Lowther’s wife also petitioned for divorce in 1912, citing the relationship between Alice and Charles.  

I had thought there that the trail ran cold, BUT, there is recorded on 13 October 1912, the arrival into Montreal, Quebec, of Chas G Lowther, artist, 33, and his ‘wife’ Alice E Lowther…from that point on, I can find no trace.

Nor can I find a certain ending for John S Richardson.

1.1.1 Denis Richardson (1905 – )
Oh my. 
I have just rescued myself from a near-amateur error.  I had recorded ‘our’ Denis Richardson as the one who died by torpedo in the Atlantic in 1942, but NO!  More detailed checking of registered births and mothers’ surnames on the GRO website reveals that the torpedoed Denis’ birth was registered in 1906 to a different mother’s surname. His birthdate is given on his 2nd Mates’ certificate, confirming that he is indeed not ‘ours’.  ‘Our’ Denis’ birth was registered in 1905, and he disappears like his father after the 1911 Census and the subsequent divorce.  End of story for the moment!

1.2 Frank Burton Mayes (aka Frank MILRAY) (1888 – 1936) Born 24 April 1888 in Camberwell.  Frank married first Elsie Georgina Thomas (?1889 – ?) on 8 August 1909 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.  Elsie’s mother Ethel had been widowed by the time of the 1891 Census, when Elsie was 2 years old.  In 1911, Elsie and Frank lived at the desirable address of 15 Chaucer Mansions, Queen’s Club Gardens, West Kensington.  Both were aged 22, she born in Worcestershire, Longden, and Frank in London, Denmark Hill.  He designated himself as an actor.

And there Elsie’s trail runs cold!

1.2.1  Our next sighting of Frank Burton Mayes is the registration of his presumed son, John Quinton MAYES (1921 – 2012).  Not one birth registration, but five!  Herewith what I have found, courtesy of the FreeBMD website: freebmd.org.uk:

DEC qtr 1921: An entry with annotation at the bottom of the registration page, linked to an asterisk in the right alphabetical place under Mayes: Mayes, John Q. Mother’s surname McPherson.  Wandsworth 5D.  See M/60

FreeBMD explains this unusual entry as follows (but all is not straightforward as the subsequent entries will reveal): ‘Normally GRO Index page numbers are numeric, optionally followed by a letter. As this page number (‘see M/60’) does not follow this format it is possible that it is a Late Entry. Late Entries mean that the registration of the event was delayed, e.g. parents did not attend the Register Office to record a birth but the birth was registered much later when the child was about to begin work, or an Inquest after a death prevented the immediate issuing of a death certificate. A Late Entry attempts to show a searcher where to look for the actual GRO reference. Unfortunately the format of such Late Entries is not standardised, but the usual pattern is a letter showing the Quarter of the Registration [March (M), June (J), September (S) or December (D)] followed by the last two digits of the year, thus giving the quarter and year when the Registration was entered into the GRO records. A reference that reads ‘see J/75′ would therefore indicate that the GRO registration and reference is probably to be found in the June Quarter of either 1875 or 1975 (depending on context).’

MAR qtr 1922: McPherson John Q.  Mother’s surname McPherson. Wandsworth 1d 1097.  Annotated at the bottom of the page: See S/24 [ie, September quarter 1924]

Mar qtr 1922: Mayes John Q.  Mother’s surname McPherson.  Wandsworth 1d 1097.  Annotated at bottom of page: Mayes, John Q. Mother surname McPherson. Wandsworth 1D. See Sept ’24.

Sep qtr 1924: McPherson John Q. AND Mayes John Q.  Both names appear in the printed lists, both have  mother surname as McPherson and are now referred to as Wandsworth 1d 1009.

Mar qtr 1960: Mayes John Q. Mother surname McPherson. Wandsworth 5D 1116.

Phew! Since I can’t find out what happened to Elsie Georgina Thomas Mayes, I can only surmise that she and Frank Burton Mayes aka Milray separated, or that she died.  Frank Burton Mayes married (2) to the actress Esther Dorothea Constance Stuart McPherson  in the June quarter of 1924, in Kings Norton, some three years after the first registered but much amended registered appearance of John Quinton Mayes.  Without ordering all the various certificates, it is difficult to unpiece the story, but it seems little John was first registered in his mother’s surname, and then had it amended to that of his father – at least we assume that John Burton Mayes aka Milray was little John Quinton Mayes’ father!

In terms of biographical detail, I can’t do better than show just one cutting from The Stage (22 September 1927), of which there are many similar ones; and then show the following pieces about the artist and actor Frank Burton Mayes aka Milray.  The first one is copied from the e-bay website offering for sale an attractive wood block engraving:

Frank Milray; 1888-1936, (born Mayes) actor and printmaker, as an actor he toured with the the Alexander Marsh Company 1922-24 and Julia Nielson Fred Terry Company all over the country, painting and sketching as he toured. He married Esther McPherson (1897-1965) they had a son; John Mayes (1921-2012), John acted with the well-known Shakespearean actor-manager Donald Wolfit. In 1928 Frank retired to ‘The Willows’ Pavenham, Bedfordshire.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Limited-edition-wood-block-engraving-pencil-signed-Frank-Milray-Mayes-1920s-/292380702781

And another piece:

About this Item: The Willows Presse, Pavenham, Bedfordshire, 1924. No Binding. Condition: Fine. Limited Edition. Six original linocuts of Pavenham, handprinted by the Bedfordshire actor and artist Frank Mayes, working under the pseudonym Milray, at his home, Willow Cottage, using the imprint, ‘The Willows Presse’. Each shows a street view of the village, and are hand-printed on beige paper. The prints are numbered 1 – 6, First Series, and all but one are signed in pencil, and dated 1929. Print sizes vary, but are approx. 15 x 10cm, 13 x 16cm, 13.5 x 11.5cm, 14.5 x 12cm, 12.5 x 17.5, 14 x 13cm. Each print has been recently remounted on cream card, with the original backing card retained (each bears a printed slip with an impression of the artist’s house, and the wording “Handprynted by Milray at the Willows Presse, Pavenham, Bedfordshire” Underneath is a small panel with the wording “Pavenham Village 1st Series” and the handwritten number (1 to 6). Frank Mayes used the name Milray as an actor from the early 1920s and when signing his work as an artist. When he was not engaged as an actor on tour throughout the UK he lived in Pavenham, from 1923-1931, after which he and his family moved to the neighbouring village of Stevington until his death in 1936. The original portfolio which contained these prints is present, although in very poor condition. It bears the same imprint as the prints, but at the bottom is hand-written, “6 Mounted Proofs”, suggesting that these were the very first printing of each linocut. The prints themselves are in fine condition, and are most attractively done. Signed by Illustrator. Seller Inventory # 005912.
https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/pavenham/

As to John Quinton Mayes, I know little other than what is summarised above in the portraits of his father.  For posterity, he deposited family papers about himself, his father and mother, and other McPherson actors.  Wouldn’t it be a treat to see these documents about two Backler descendants! They are described as follows on the website of the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas, Austin: http://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/fasearch/findingAid.cfm?eadid=00340

The John Mayes Family Papers, circa 1879-1970s, document the lives and lengthy careers of three generations of British actors, writers, and artists. Among the primary family members were brothers Herbert Pearson (1866-1955, born McPherson) and Quinton McPherson (1871-1940); Quinton’s daughter Esther McPherson (1897-1965) and her husband Frank Milray (1888-1936, born Mayes); and the son of Esther and Frank, John Mayes (1921-2012). John Mayes, who acted with the well-known Shakespearean actor-manager Donald Wolfit, brought together his family’s papers with his own, including his research and notes about the family.

1.2.1  As noted with reference to the family tree above, there is another Mayes/McPherson child, but the person is perhaps still living – I cannot trace any sign after the mid 1950s.  I do know who it is…

And there we leave the last batch of descendants of the children of Sotherton Backler and his wives Fran Harris and Hannah Osborne – except, of course, for my direct line descended from Samuel Backler (1784 – 1870) and his daughter Susannah Mary Backler (1817 – 1883), to which we will turn in the next post.

31. Highgate Cemetery – last resting place for some Backler ancestors

In which we view the rather wooded (understatement!) last resting place of some Backler/Abelin ancestors, and reflect on how moving it is to be there, despite the absence of any visible marker.

I see from my photographs that it was way back in 2010 that I ventured to north London to visit Highgate Cemetery.  New online records had shown this to be the last resting place for Samuel Backler and his wife Mary [nee Pellatt].  What was once a major privately-owned cemetery, run by the London Cemetery Company, is now under the care of the charitable Friends of Highgate Cemetery, a similar arrangement to those of the other great municipal cemeteries such as Nunhead in south London, where other Backlers are interred.  Nowadays the focus of the Friends is not only on burials, which continue to take place in quite small numbers, but also on conservation of both its memorials and of nature in line with its overall purpose to ‘promote the public benefit’.

On writing to the Friends, I received a letter revealing that more folk than Samuel (1870) and Mary (1857) shared the gravesite: their daughter Susannah (1883) (whose marriages to James Boulding and Edwin Cross will feature in future posts); Esther Maria (1918) (wife of Magnus Christian Abelin); and their daughter-in-law Edith Ann (nee Foster) Abelin (1928).

I had high hopes as I arrived at the Cemetery for my appointment to be escorted to the gravesite.  Immediately, however, I was warned by my guide that there was nothing to see.  Up the hill we marched, past the famous sites of the Egyptian Avenue and the Terrace Catacombs, curving around to the right along a roughly paved path.  My guide had searched out the area previously, so knew when to turn right off the path, into a treacherous wooded and overgrown section, with monuments in different states of repair, and unstable ground.

We reached a spot where he had laid out sticks to mark the spot – and that was it!  I was very moved, albeit a bit disappointed. Despite the presence of monuments nearby, my guide had explored the area, probing with his stick, and had not found a memorial at our site.  There was surely once one there, but no longer.

This was an area in the early West Cemetery on high ground, which at the time of the earliest Backler burials would have had a view over London.  It was a fashionable and beautiful site, allowed to become run down during the 20th century.

A very special place: Highgate Cemetery is a Grade 1 listed site, and is a very special place not only for those whose ancestors and more recent relatives are interred there, but also for anyone interested in its historical importance for London.  I feel privileged to have ancestors for whom it was their last resting place, and have become a life member of the Friends in order to support their ongoing work.  I am sorry I now live so far away!

More about the Cemetery, its history and present day events can be found at: https://highgatecemetery.org/

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.

 

 

27. Samuel Backler (1784-1870), Bankrupt Tobacconist

In which we face the sad task of reporting the complicated affairs of Samuel Backler and his wife Mary (nee Pellatt), as they faced bankruptcy and the loss of money and possessions, while looking after daughters Mary and Susannah Mary, and newborn Esther Maria.  We glean most of the story from papers held at The National Archives in B/3/695: In the matter of Samuel Backler of St James Street, Piccadilly, Middlesex, tobacconist, bankrupt. Date of commission of bankruptcy: 1831 February 21

Our tale begins with a notice in The London Gazette dated 15 February 1831, to the effect that Samuel Backler, tobacconist of 81 St James’s Street, is unable to meet his financial obligations (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/18776/page/302) Screenshot (116)

An insolvent debtor who was also a trader could declare himself bankrupt.  An individual who was not a trader could be kept in a debtor’s prison, a fate which Samuel seems to have avoided.

Here began a process which stretched across the entire year, in which a parade of creditors (including close family) laid out their claims on Samuel’s assets, his wife Mary had to forego part of her inheritance from her grandfather Stephen Maberly, and at least some of the family’s furniture was sold.  The date of 1831 was significant, as the process of administering bankruptcy was changing from Commissioners of Bankruptcy (which I believe was the process under which Samuel was treated) to a Court of Bankruptcy.  I do not claim to be expert!

Information copied at TNA 26 September 2009.  B/3/695.  The information is mainly extracted.  Where verbatim, it is in quotes.  I have poor quality photos of further lists of creditors than are reported in this account – they are not usable, and so I have left them out.  The total in debts was over £1,000, while money due to Samuel Backler was in the low £100s.  The outcome of it all was that creditors were to receive £2 and 5s in the pound.

__________________________________________________

22 February 1831.  Samuel Backler Tobacconist.  Burwood Rooms   George Maberly, Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square Middx. Coachmaker.  Against Samuel Backler of St James’ Street Piccadilly in the County of Middx tobacconist.  £104 – 17 – 4d lent between 1 January 1830 and 1 February 1831: ‘no security or satisfaction whatsoever’ except promissory notes and Bill of exchange.

Note: George Maberly was some sort of cousin to Samuel’s wife Mary Pellatt, though given the number of Maberly families in London at the time, I am not exactly sure of his relationship.  George is probably the George Maberly who eventually became a partner in the famous firm of Thrupp and Maberly.
___________________________________________________________________

23 February 1830 [sic –  is this 1831?].  George Cross of 3 Poole Street, Hoxton, Gentleman. Has known Samuel Backler four years, during which time he carried on trade, buying and selling tobacco, snuff, cigars and other commodities of a like nature.  He said Samuel Backler was in insolvent circumstances and unable to meet claims of debtors.  On Monday 14 February inst Samuel Backler came to Hoxton and asked for a bed because he was afraid of being arrested by his creditors for debt if he remained at his own house of residence.  Samuel Backler stayed there until the present, having not returned to ‘his own house or place of business’.
_____________________________________________________________________________

22 February 1831.  Provisional Assignment of Estate to William Burwood of Southampton Buildings Chancery Lane Gentleman. John Beauclerk, Jefferies Spranger and John Dyneley Esquires, the major part of Commissioners named and authorised in and by a Commission of Bankrupt – awarded and issued and now in Prosecution against  Samuel Backler of St James’ Street Piccadilly in the County of Middlesex tobacconist.  S.B. declared bankrupt at Burwood Rooms, 22 February 1831.
________________________________________________________________________________

22 February 1831 p. 350. London Gazette   Giving notice of the following dates: 25 February, disclosure; 8 March – Assignees; 5 April – finish examination of creditors, agree certification.  On this day Samuel Backler was reported as not at present prepared to make full disclosure and discovery of his Estate and Effects, praying further time until the next day.  25 February:  Still not full disclosure.
______________________________________________________________________________

8 March 1831. List of Creditors:

  • Gilbert Selioke Edwards, Newman Street, Oxford Street, Coachmaker. Late of Pall Mall.  Executor Thomas Chamberlayne. Had loaned £25 10s
  • Samuel Ward, Piccadilly, tobacconist. £100 – 10 – 10 for goods sold and delivered to Samuel Backler
  •  Henry Pellatt of Ironmongers Hall, Gentleman.  £104 – 8 – 6 money lent and advanced on 25 May 1829, 25 January 1825, 7 May 1828.  [on 18 March 1831, while these proceedings were going on, Henry had married his cousin Mary Backler, Samuel and Mary’s oldest daughter!  They feature in several posts (and one forthcoming).]
  • George Maberly, Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square,  Coachmaker.  £104 – 17 – 4
    George Maberly and Henry Pellatt chosen as assignees

On this date, the solicitor’s bill of £40-8-2 to be paid from the first monies raised.  Also the Messenger’s Bill, £14-4-8d
________________________________________________________________________________

5 April 1831.  More creditors:

  • Richard Vandome, Leadenhall Street, City of London, Scalemaker.  £59 – 5s
  • John Bale [Bask?] Derby Place, Bayswater in the County of Middlesex, Coal Merchant.  Goods sold and delivered £14 – 16
    _____________________________________________________________________

8 July 1831.  London Gazette. P. 1382:  ‘The Commissioners in a Commission of Bankrupt, bearing date of 21st February 1831, awarded and issued forth against Samuel Backler … intend to meet on the 29th of July instant at Eleven in the Forenoon, at the Court of Commissioners of Bankrupts at Basinghall-Street in the City of London in order to Audit the Accounts of the Assignees of the estate and effects of the said Bankrupt under the said Commission, pursuant to an Act of Parliament, made and passed in the sixth year of the reign of his late Majesty King George Fourth intituled “An Act to amend the laws related to Bankrupts.”

An untimely death:  On 3 June 1831, Mary [Pellatt] Backler’s grandfather Stephen Maberly died in Reading.  The timing of this death was rather unfortunate for Mary, in light of her husband’s bankruptcy proceedings!  Stephen Maberly had made specific provision for his grandchildren in his Will, which was proved on 5 July 1831, with quite a few Codicils relevant to the Backler bankruptcy.  Having initially left £4000 in trust for the benefit of ‘all and every the child of my late daughter Mary Pellatt’ [Samuel’s  mother-in-law], this sum was reduced to £2500 in a codicil, which excepted Mrs Mary Backler.  In an earlier Codicil, dated 12 August 1826, there was to be deducted £250 from ‘Mrs Backler’s share of the property I have left to her, having lately advanced that sum for her husband’ but that Codicil was revoked on 26 April 1827 in favour of the following:

£400 on trust – interest, proceeds etc – to Mary Backler into her own hands for her sole and separate use exclusively of her present and any future husband and without being liable to his debts or arrangements.  On her death, proceeds to go to every her child and children when they become 21, or when the daughters marry.

This inheritance results in a notice on August 22:  The Law Advertiser, Vol. 9:  Special meeting of creditors of bankrupts:

‘Backler, Samuel, St. James’s-st., Piccadilly, Middlesex, tobacconist; Sept 21, at 12 precisely, C.C.B., as to assignees compromising their claim to a legacy of 200l, bequeathed by Stephen Maberley, deceased, to the bankrupt’s wife, by accepting half of such legacy, and permitting the remainder to be settled on bankrupt’s wife for her separate use; and on other special affairs.’

Some confusion?  I am not sure how the legacy of £200 was determined.  In his Will Stephen Maberly had declared the legacy of £400 to be free from any debt of her husband.  Was this £200 Mary’s share of the £2500 left to all the children of Mary [Maberly] and Apsley Pellatt?  I don’t fully understand, as I thought she had been exempted from this.  Apparently not (see below).  Perhaps the £400 would remain at the disposal of Mary.

At the Court of Commissioners of Bankrupts, Basinghall Street London 21st day of September 1831:  Memorandum – At a Meeting of the Creditors and Assignees of Samuel Backler of St James’s Street Piccadilly in the County of Middlesex Tobacconist Dealer and Chapman a Bankrupt held on the day and year and at the place above written pursuant to a notice in the London Gazette of the thirtieth day of August last in order to [sic] the said Creditors to assent to or dissent from the said Assignees compounding their claim to a Legacy of £200 bequeathed by the Will of Stephen Maberly late of Reading in the County of Berks Esquire deceased to the Bankrupt’s Wife by receiving one half of the said Legacy and allowing the other half to be retained by the Trustees or Executors under the said Will for the purpose of Settlement on the said Wife of the Bankrupt for her separate use according to the decisions in Equity in like Cases And further to assent to or dissent from the assignees paying to a party to be named at the meeting the amount of certain premiums paid by him on a policy of Insurance in the London Life Association effected on the life of the said Bankrupt for the sum of £500 with a view to the Assignees obtaining possession of the said Policy And also to assent to or dissent from the said assignees selling and disposing of the said Policy and of any other the Estate and effects of the said Bankrupt either by public auction or private contract and for such terms and prices as they shall think fit And also to assent to or dissent from whatsoever the said Assignees hitherto done or at the said Meeting shall propose to do in reference to the said Bankrupt’s Estate.

The following is a copy of a letter from Mr Apsley Pellatt [Mary Backler’s brother] to the assignees produced and read at the Meeting –

“Mr Apsley Pellatt presents respects to the Assignees of Samuel Backler and acquaints them that he is willing to surrender to the use of the Creditors the Policy of Insurance of His (Mr B’s) life of £500 in the London Life Assurance Office on payment of the premium (he has paid) amounting to £27.13.10  Mr Apsley Pellatt begs also to say that he has no doubt on the Creditors assenting to accept £100 in full satisfaction of the Legacy of 1/11th of £2500 left by Will by the late Stephen Maberly Esquire to Mrs Backler that the Executrix will forthwith pay the same into the hands of the Assignees”.  Falcon Glass Works.  17 Sept 1831

Present the undersigned Creditors

It was resolved and agreed that the said assignees be authorized to pay to Mr Apsley Pellatt the Sum of £27. 13. 10 the amount of the premiums paid by him on the above mentioned Policy   And that they be at liberty to dispose of the said Policy  either by Surrender to the London Assurance Office or by Public Sale or private contract and at such price and on such terms as to the said Assignees may seem meet

Secondly – It being stated at the meeting that the Legacy in question being to the Bankrupts Wife and that the Court of Chancery thro’ which alone such Legacy could be recovered always makes a provision for the Wife out of it, and generally to the extent of one half of the Legacy, It was resolved and agreed that the said Assignees be also authorized and empowered to receive the sum of £100 in full satisfaction of their claim of the Legacy of 1/11th of £2500 left by the Will of the late Stephen Maberly Esquire to Mrs Backler the Wife of the Bankrupt and that they also be authorized to give and sign full and sufficient receipts and discharges for the same

Thirdly – and resolved and agreed that the undersigned do approve of the sale of the Bankrupts Furniture as made by the assignees, and ratify the same accordingly.

Henry Pellatt.  Richard Vandome.  Sam Ward
________________________________________________________________________________

22 November 1831.  London Gazette. P. 2442.  Notice of the following event: The Commissioners ‘intend to meet on the 23rd day of December next, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon … in order to make a Dividend of the estate and effects of the said Bankrupt; when and where the Creditors, who have not already proved their debts, are to come prepared to prove the same, or they will be excluded the benefit of the Dividend. And all claims not then proved will be disallowed.

Account: Cash realised:

Sale of bankrupt’s furniture                                           £20/3
Cash in compromise of Stephen Maberly legacy        £100/ –
Deposit on sale of policy per Mr Shuttleworth           £24/-
Balance from the purchases [?]                                       £96/–

£240/3-

Paid:

30 Sep Solicitor’s bill re choice of assignees                £40 – 8 – 2
Mr Pellatt’s claim re life policy                                       £27-13-10
Mr Shuttleworth’s charge on sale of policy                  £6 – 0 – 0
Messenger bills                                                                   £20-14-8
Auctioneer charges sale of furniture                             £4 – 14 – 0
Solicitor dividend                                                               £49-13-10
Claim of shopman in full                                                     £5 – 10
Claim of maidservant in full                                              £3 – 0 – 0
Balance to be divided                                                           £82-8-6

£240 – 8 – 0

____________________________________________________________________________

23 December 1831: More debts!

  • Richard Cater, deceased.  17 September 1827                     £23-8-4
  • William Deighton 71 St James’s Street Tailor.  Goods
    sold and delivered. Work and labour done as a tailor       £22 – 1 – 6
  • Maria Palmer 8 Kensington Terrace, Kensington
    Gravel Pits late servant to the Bankrupt. Wages due.
    Her X.                                                                                            £3 – 0 – 0
  • John Martin, 82 St James’s Street, tailor.  Goods sold
    and delivered.                                                                             £6 – 19
  • William Cousins, 45 Duke Street, St James’s. Carpenter
    Carpentry work                                                                         £6 – 12 – 5
  • James Davies, 106 New Bond Street, late shopman to
    The Bankrupt.  For wages                                                       £5 – 10 – 0
  • John Collier, Carey Street, Lincolns Inn, Gent.
    By judgement HM Court Kings Bench, Easter term
    11th year King George IVth for £500 debt and 65
    shillings costs. Indenture re William Nokes [Noke?]           £203

________________________________________________________________________________

23 December 1831.  Creditors to get £2s 5d to the £

_______________________________________________________________________________

What to make of all this? Little more is heard of Samuel Backler before his death in 1870, other than his presence in the 1851 and 1861 Censuses and the marriage of his second daughter Susannah Mary Backler to James Boulding in 1844.  We do not know what happened to Samuel and Mary after the traumatic events of Samuel’s bankruptcy in 1831, other than to assume that it did little in terms of good family relationships!  Clearly Samuel was a poor businessman.  Was he reckless, or just unfortunate?    We may never know.

 

 

 

 

 

25. Samuel Backler (1784-1870). A question of Bark

sam-backler-1784-baptismIn which we consider the life and early career of my 3x great grandfather, Samuel Backler, having reviewed the varied fortunes of his four half-siblings and nine siblings in previous posts.  We follow Samuel as he embarked on a career as an apothecary, like his father, grandfather and half brother John before him.  We see his fortuitous marriage to the eldest child of noted glassmaker Apsley Pellatt, and after what seems to have been an abortive apprenticeship, we witness Samuel setting up in business, perhaps armed with inside knowledge of the market for Peruvian Bark from his and his father’s association with the Society of Apothecaries.   

IMG_3340 (2)Early years: an apothecary apprentice and laboratory worker.  Samuel Backler was the second child and oldest son of Sotherton Backler (1746-1819) and his wife Hannah Osborne (approx 1763-1803).  He was born in Stoke Newington, and baptised at St Mary’s Church there. (The church, left, is ‘the old church’, no longer consecrated.)

No evidence as to Samuel’s education has come to light.  His older half brother John (c.1780 – 1846), and youngest sibling Sotherton (1798-1875), were educated at St Paul’s School, but there is no record of Samuel having been there, nor of him attending university. When he was just two years old the family faced sorrow.  Infant Thomas Backler, aged 8 months, was buried at St Andrew by the Wardrobe on 16 December 1786, followed just two weeks later on the 30th by Samuel’s 9 year old half brother Sotherton.  On 14 May 1791, Samuel’s 2 year old sister Elizabeth was also interred in the church, and to cap it all, his mother Hannah was buried in April 1803 at Bunhill Fields, aged about 40.

Samuel’s older brother John was apprenticed to their father, Sotherton Backler.  Samuel, however, was apprenticed in 1800 to Thomas Hall, but on Hall’s death in 1802, Samuel was released from his indentures and in 1805 gained the freedom of the Society by Patrimony.  The records show that he was in the service of the Laboratory Stock, established many years previously to oversee and control the quality of the manufacture of chemical and plant-based medicines. In 1843, he withdrew from the Society.  He had never fully qualified as an apothecary, though he was surely well trained in aspects of the art through his tenure in the laboratory. We will see that his subsequent career was to have many twists and turns.

Fortuitous marriage: Apothecaries’ Hall was located on Water Lane, very near to St Paul’s Cathedral, whose churchyard housed, among other residents and enterprises, the firm of Pellatt and Green, known as glassmakers to the King.  Here the names of Pellatt and Maberley enter my family tree, with the marriage in 1810 of our Samuel to Mary Pellatt, eldest child of Apsley Pellatt (1763-1826) (the third of six with that name) and his wife Mary Maberly.  The marriage linked two families prominent in their respective Livery Companies.  Apsley Pellatt had been Master of the Ironmongers Company.

screenshot-90Bedford Street Laboratory:  Following his marriage, Samuel set up his lab at Covent Garden’s Bedford Street.  Here he marketed a range of interesting lotions and potions, such as this one for Asthmatic Strontium Tobacco (The Morning Post, 10 October 1811).  Backler was in the forefront of the use of stramonium, derived from the common thorn-apple, in treating asthma.  The history of the use of smoking in treating asthma is fascinating, and can be explored through the following link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2844275/

A matter of Bark:  I speculate that another of Samuel’s treatments, Peruvian Bark, might well have been linked to activities at the Society of Apothecaries’ labs, which I was able to learn more about through some sessions a few years back in the Society’s Archives.

By the early 19th century, Peruvian Bark (Jesuits’ Bark; cascarilla; le remede anglais) – or the various forms of cinchona – had become key elements in the maintenance of health in the far-flung British Empire.  First recorded as being used for fever in South America in the 17th century, and thought to have been brought to Europe by the Jesuits, it had become an important trade item.  Historians continue to debate the origins of the name cinchona, once said to have been because of a cure of a fever in the Countess of Chinchon.  Its use in England dates from as early as 1658, when the ague had become endemic in the south-east.  However, its first use at that time resulted in the death of the Alderman of the City of London – not a good start![1]   A decade or so later, however, Robert Talbor (or Tabor) began to use a remedy which included the Jesuits’ powder.  He went on to use this cure across Europe and in the Court of Charles II.  It took some time for understanding to develop that Peruvian Bark was not effective for all fevers – only those of an intermittent nature, like malaria. And it was not until 1820 that Pelletier and Cavenout isolated the alkaloids quinine and cinchonine.[2]

It stands to reason that with such an important product, the Society would be involved in its preparation and sale as part of its trading activities.  The Laboratory Stock and Navy Stock companies had been engaged in trade throughout the 18th century, and in 1810, during the Peninsular Wars, an approach from the Army Medical Board opened the prospect of providing the Army’s medical supplies.

Questions of quantity and quality: The Archives show that a special meeting of the Court of Assistants was convened on 8 October 1810, to consider a letter from the Army Medical Board of 26 September in which the Society was informed of the Army’s intent to obtain its supplies from the Society – subject to the answers to a series of questions.  These included whether the Society could at short notice ensure a sufficient quantity of medicines ready packed to be immediately available, and whether the Society would consider having Depots at Plymouth, Portsmouth, Falmouth and elsewhere. The Army also wanted to know if supplies could be returned to the Society if they were not wanted.

The Society indicated that they would certainly be able to supply medicines for an Army of 30,000 men – at ten days notice. and every medicine to be delivered in a ‘most perfect state’ – but not from Depots, which would be removed from the Society’s methods of quality control.  There would be no question of receiving returned unwanted goods!

By Spring 1811, a further letter from the Army Medical Board raised questions about the quality of drugs imported from abroad, suggesting that it was said to be the custom of the druggists ‘after purchasing them in their original state from the Merchants, to assort and mix the different qualities previously to offering them for sale, so that it is difficult, if not impossible, to procure any of the genuine.’  They asked how the Company could ‘obviate this nefarious and dangerous practice’ with respect to Bark: ‘It is understood that the only species of Peruvian Bark which of late years have been imported of distinct fine quality are the Crown Bark and grey silver coated Bark in small quills, but that these are afterwards mixed by the Dealers with others.’  They wanted ‘to be informed whether all the Drugs that are used in a state of Powder are bought by the Company in the gross, and powdered under their own inspection, such as Ipecaccuanha and Jalap, as well as Bark.’

On 13 March 1811 came the reply (no doubt drafted by the Clerk to the Society, Samuel Backler’s father Sotherton Backler):

‘…They [Master and Wardens of this Society] beg to observe that their mode of dealing does not expose them to any of these Inconveniences, as the Drugs sent to them for purchase are (in the language of the Druggists, garbled, that is picked, before they receive them) that they buy by competition, and by sample, without knowing of whom ‘till the purchase is made and without Reference to price or anything but the perfection of the Article to be bought; … On the subject of Bark … [there are] three sorts, corresponding with the directions given them by the College of Physicians’.  These were Yellow Bark (cinchona cordifolia Cortex), quilled or pale Bark (the Crown Bark – cinchona lancifolia cortex), and Red Bark (cinchona oblongifolia Cortex)…The Bark sent by them [Master and Wardens] when simply the Term Bark is employed, is the Cinchona lancifolia or Crown Bark, which is considered as the best Bark in the market…they never purchase any Article used in Medicine in powder…every article of the Materia Medica is bought in the Gross, and powdered at their Mill in the Premises under the Inspection of their very confidential Servants.’

A speedy reply (or rebuke?) on 14 March 1811 suggested that the Army didn’t want to know about the three types of bark – but wanted to know how the Society got the best quality of each type.  Furthermore, the Society had said that when ‘Bark’ is used, it referred only to Crown Bark. But, a sample was purchased  ‘at your Hall in which a proportion of 3 in 16 of the small quilled Bark, a sort considered inferior, was found mixed with the best Crown Bark, the whole being sold as an article of the best quality.’

On the 16th of March the Society replied that when any article was wanted, notice is posted so interested parties, druggists, merchants in the City, will want to produce proper samples.  Re the Bark bought at the Hall, ‘they think it proper to observe that the most eminent Druggists in London are not as yet perfectly decided on every identical piece of the Crown Bark, but at all events, the Committee can only purchase the best Article submitted to them’.  Pharmacists had to judge the quality of cinchona bark, as it arrived at London Docks, by colour and taste. The relationship between commercial barks and botanical species was unclear, and there was no assay to measure the active components.

This episode clearly hit at the heart of the Society’s reputation as provider of pure and high quality substances, and the doubts raised must have resonated throughout the Society and its laboratories.

One historian noted: ‘A further problem was that harvesting the bark of cinchona trees often led to their death. As the trees grew wild, regeneration was not sufficient to maintain supplies. By the beginning of the 19th century, as Spain’s American colonies gained independence, there was serious concern in Europe over the quality, quantity and price of exports of bark. Cinchona was taking on an increasingly important role in the occupation and safe administration of tropical colonies in Asia (India, Indonesia) and Africa.’[3]

At the same time as this spat with the Army Medical Board, Samuel Backler, Sotherton’s son, was trading on his links with the Society to market his own preparation of Peruvian Bark.  In a Times advert of 10 January 1811, we find S. Backler, ‘from Apothecaries’ Hall’, marketing a preparation of Peruvian Bark in the form of an oval tablet equal to one teaspoonful of powdered bark.  The advert modestly states that ‘S.B. confidently assures the faculty and the public that, having studied more than eight years in the chemical department at Apothecaries’ Hall, he is enabled to prepare all sorts of medicines agreeable to the plan pursued there…’

This, along with the advert for asthma preparations discussed above, and several others, such as the one below for whooping cough (BCWG, 16 May 1822 – alas my notes don’t say what ‘BCWG’ stands for, and I cannot find it online!), whooping-cough-bcwg-thu-16-may-1822-p1d1suggest that for a while, at least, Samuel, adept at trading on the name of Apothecaries’ Hall,  pursued a successful career marketing medicines from his laboratory in Covent Garden and later from his home in Berners Street.  To modern eyes, his claims of quality and efficacy make interesting reading indeed!

In the next post, I will follow his life and times as a parent, ‘tobacconist’ and ‘bankrupt’; ‘clerk’ in the 1851 Census; and ‘formerly dispensing chemist’ (his death certificate).  The records show that Samuel  ‘withdrew’ from the Society in 1843, and my feeling about him is that he was first, a poor businessman, and second, that he suffered by not having completed his apprenticeship, therefore not able to make claims to be an apothecary after the Apothecaries’ Act of 1815, which regularised and strengthened the role of apothecaries, forerunners to today’s general practitioners.

[1] ‘A cure for the ague: the contribution of Robert Talbor (1642-81)’. T.W. Keeble J R Soc Med 1997; 90:285-290.

[2] For a very interesting discussion of the uses of Peruvian Bark in the battle against malaria (or ‘fever’, or ‘ague’), see M.R.Lee, ‘Plants against Malaria. Part I: Cinchona or the Peruvian Bark’, J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2002: 32: 189-196

[3] A short history of Cinchona (Kew) http://www.kew.org/collections/ecbot/collections/topic/cinchona/a-short-history-of-cinchona/index.html