Susannah Mary Backler (1817-1883)

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.

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.