3. No’s 15 – 20, 1859-1900?

No. 15 Mornington Road

1861 Census gives James Martin Dunstan, a clerk aged 29 from Breage, Cornwall; his wife Eleanor Mary Dunstan, aged 21, from Notting Hill, with a daughter of 3 months, Florence. They had a housemaid, Mary Butler, age 23, born in Stepney, and a nursemaid, Ann Heasman, age 16, from Hartsfield, Sussex.

1861 27th December Mr Dunstan’s house was burgled – part of a series of burglaries in the area committed by Frederick Wells White of 12 Violet Stree, Bow Common. Wells worked as a labourer for the North London Railway Company at their factory in Bow. Police Constable Atkins, 443K, apprehended White in the act of breaking into a house in the New Grove, Bow Road. Property recovered stolen from No. 15 Mornington Road included a gold broach, a pair of silver sugar tongs, a coat, a shawl and three table cloths. (The Burglaries at Bow, East London Observer, 29th March 1862)

1863, 1865, 1867 Street Directories give “Dunstan, James Martin, esq.”

1865 Mr James Martin Dunstan – a witness to the burglary at No. 16, Aug 1865 (London Evening Standard, 31 Aug 1865)

1871 Census gives James and his Wife Eleanor, with two daughters, both at school, Florence age 10 and Catherine age 6. James has by now been promoted to Assistant Secretary, but now says he’s from Callington, Cornwall, and his wife Eleanor is now states she is from Brixton. They have a 28 year old cook, Rebecca Meeres born in Lincolnshire, and an 18 year old nurse, Ellen Collins from Bow.

James Dunstan continues recorded as resident in London Street Directories to 1873.

1875 London Street Directory has Herbert Bartfleet as resident of no. 15.

1881 Census gives the family of Thomas Adam Young, an engineer from Bow, 62; his wife Sarah from Shadwell, 56; they have living with them four daughters, Jemima 34, Mary Ann 27, Florence 19, Mathilda 16, all four unmarried; and two sons, Frederick, 21, an engine fitter, and Ernest, 19, still in education. They have a servant, age 22, Elizabeth H Green, from Bromley.

1882 and 1895. London Street Directories give the name as Reverend Thomas Adam Young.

1887  Young, Ernest A. “Bow Emmanuel Workers’ Society, Flower and Picture Distribution Branch.” A letter to the Isle of Wight County Press: “Sir, we feel sure the work of brightening the homes of the poor must receive the sympathy of all your readers, and therefore ask, on behalf of those living in the courts and alleys of East London, that you will grant the following appeal a corner in your valuable paper.  Our aim is to create in our poorer neighbours, who know nothing of the pleasures of the country, a love for cultivating flower, and to enable them, in their leisure time, to convert their window-sills into gardens of bright refreshing colour, and decorate their homes by the introduction of nature and art.  May I therefore venture to ask your readers for their sympathy and support in this mission?  We shall be glad to receive for distribution bunches of flowers, pot or garden flowers, and pictures or other suitable ornaments.  As much expense is incurred from the purchase of window-boxes, picture frames, etc., donations or subscriptions would materially help us in our endeavours.  All parcels and letters should be addressed to the manager, Ernest A. Young, 15, Mornington-road, Bow, E, or to your obedient servant, Alfred W Bevis, hon. Sec., 115 Malmesbury-road, Bow. [Isle of Wight County Press and South of England Reporter – Saturday 28 May 1887. A similar letter in Bucks Herald – Saturday 04 June 1887]  A similar letter, reporting a generous response to a previous such appeal, had been placed in North Devon Journal – Thursday 12 May 1887.  

1891 Census, Thomas Young, now 71, still has four unmarried daughters, age 44 to 26, but son Frederick is there no more. Ernest, now 23, is a manufacturing engineer like his father. Elizabeth J Davis is their general domestic servant, age 27 – she was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

1899 Street Directory records William Hartley Smith as resident at No. 15

No. 16 Mornington Road

1861 Census: Cuthbert Vaus, a shipowner from Sunderland, age 50 and his wife Anne, age 40, lived here. They had four children, Cuthbert, Anne Jane, Isabella and Walter, age 20, 16, 15 and 10. Cuthbert jnr was Chief Officer in the Merchant Service. They all came from Durham. Their servant was Sarah Ann Hayden, age 26, a House Maid from Bow.

1865  Vaux, Cuthbert, shipowner and captain, and his wife, who sacked their servant Mary Buckingham, September 1865, following a burglary that took place whilst Mr. and Mrs Vaux were away in  Bremen. (London Evening Standard, 31 Aug. 1865, The Era, 1 Oct. 1865).  Details of the ‘crime’ can be read on the “Cricket and Crime” page.  Mr Vaux is listed in street directories resident here in 1863 through to 1873.

1871 Census night, the seafaring men seem to have been away. Annie Vaux, age 49, and her daughter, now Annie Campbell, born in Liverpool, now age 26, are both described as “mariner’s wife”. There are two grandsons, Cuthbert Campbell, age 6, and Walter Inwards, age 2. Louise Welch, age 20, is a general servant. She was born in Shoreditch.

In 1875 Frederick W. Francis is listed in the Street Directory.

1876 A marriage took place on the 18th October at St Leonard’s, Bromley, of George Thomas Seaborn jnr, of Bow, to Emily Ann, second daughter of F. W. Francis Esq., of 16 Mornington-road, Bow. Notice thereof in The Hackney and Kingsland Gazette 25th October 1876

1881 Census, Frederick W. Francis is listed as age 60, a surveyor. He has a wife, Ellen, who is 37. There are two children in their twenties, Mary 27 and Alexander 22, who is an architect; and then two very young daughters, Clara and Kathleen, aged 5 and 4 – so presumably Ellen was the second wife. They had two servants, Emily Attlee and Rachel Waymans, age 18 and 19, both local girls.

1882 London Street Directory lists Mr Francis.

1891 Census the house is unoccupied.

1895 Livingstone Medical Missionary Training College, Chas. F. Harford-Battersby, M.A., M.D. principal. (1895 London Post Office Directory)  Harford-Battersby and his wife lived across the road at No. 33.  He was author of various books, perhaps the best known is a biography of a British missionary shot in Uganda, Pilkington of Uganda, published in 1899.

No. 17 Mornington Road

1861 Census, William Archer, age 52, a miller and flour dealer of Middlesex (which at that time included Bow), his wife Mary Ann, also 52, who was born in Lincoln. They had a daughter, also named Mary Ann, who was 26, without occupation. They had two servants, a house maid from Suffolk, Emma Pipe, 22, and a cook from Surrey, Caroline Phillips, 18.

1863, London Street Directory records William Archer esq., living at No. 17

1863, 1866 Archer, William. His only daughter, Marian, married J. Ross of Albert Square, Stepney on August 5 1863. (Bell’s Weekly Messenger, 8 Aug 1863). He died on 10th October 1866. (London Evening Standard, 12 Oct. 1866) In November his effects were sold by auction: “mahogany pillar, four-post and Arabian style bedsteads, full feather beds and bedding, mahogany chests of drawers, handsome winged wardrobe with plate centre panel, marble-top washstands, cane-seat and other chairs, dressing-glasses and dressing tables, walnut-tree drawing-room suite covered in damask, handsome walnut-tree chiffonier with plate-glass back and panels, sofa, chairs, loo tables, damask curtains, mahogany extending dining-table, mahogany chairs, sofa, dinner waggon, chimney glasses, fine-toned 6 ½ octave cottage pianoforte in rosewood case, Brussels carpets, mahogany hall chairs, hat and umbrella stand, and the usual kitchen requisites; also a bay horse, harness, brougham and gig.” (Morning Advertiser, Oct 19 1866)

1871 Census has two brothers of the same age, 24, resident. Henry Thomas Withers, who was a secretary, and Frederick John Withers, for whom no occupation is given. They had both been born in Stepney. They had a cook from Dunmow, Essex, Mary Stokes, who was 20 years old, and a housemaid from Brentwood, 16 years old, Helen Chatters.

1870 – 1882 Withers Mrs., in London Street Directories. 1892 Withers, Frederick John.  

1881 Census has Harriett Withers, a widow aged 65, Henry and Frederick Withers are both listed as secretaries/clerks. The census now has their ages as 44 and 27. There are two servants, Eliza Nampane(?) 27, and Sarah Ramkins 22, who was born in Ilford.

1891 Census has Henry Withers age 54, and Frederick age 42, both ‘living on means’. They have two servants, Mary Grimshaw, a married woman, age 57, born in Grantham, and Emma Balls, age 20, born in Manningtree.

In January 1892 Frederick Withers supported a collection for a retiring long-serving fireman from Kennington, Mr. William Port. (South London Press, 9 Jan 1892) But by 20 May 1892 his will had been proved. He bequeathed to his brother Henry Thomas Withers all the property which he possessed. Should his brother predecease him, then two-thirds of his estate he bequeathed for placing a stained-glass window into the church of St. Mary Overy (St. Saviour’s), Southwark, to the memory of his father Henry Withers; the remaining third to the restoration fund of the church of St. Bartholomew the Great. (But his brother did not predecease him.) [St Bart’s records]

1892 21 June someone at the address is advertising for a housemaid. (London Evening Standard)

1895 London Street Directory has no entry for resident at No. 17

No.18 Mornington Road

1861 Census: Frederick Smith, age 43, a master mariner, born in Newcastle on Tyne; his wife Margaret, age 35, from Durham; their daughter Margaret, age 12, also born in Durham, and a son age 6, Charles, born in Newcastle. They had a servant, Elizabeth Pozey(?), age 18, from Limehouse.

1863, 1865 London Street Directories have Captain Frederick Smith.

1867 Harper Twelvetrees, (1823-1881), industrialist, philanthropist and campaigner. He is listed resident at No. 18 Mornington Road in London Street Directory 1867. A manufacturing chemist and drysalter, industrialist who managed works at Imperial Works, Bromley-by-Bow. He was in the bankruptcy court in 1868, adjudicated bankrupt on 24th May, his address being given as ‘late of 18, Mornington Road, Bow.’ His company was responsible for developing and marketing Penny Patent Soap Powder and Glycerine Spa Power (to wash clothes) and Eggs and Butter Powder (for cooking). He was a philanthropic employer and an anti-slavery campaigner who had written a book in 1863, The Story of the Life of John Anderson, the Fugitive Slave.  His laundry soap was advertised as the ‘abolition of the horrors of washing day’.  His bankruptcy was discharged in November 1868, his address then being given as Upper Abbey Street, Dublin. (For more about Harper Twelvetrees, probably the most renowned resident of Mornington Road, see the article by Julia Lafferty in Hackney History, volume 13 page 20, and for his connections to Bromley-by-Bow see Diamond Geezer 24 May 2020)

There was an auction at 18 Mornington Road ‘without the least reserve’ on 6 Sept. 1867, presumably these were Harper Twelvetrees’s things: “Household Furniture and Effects of the above eleven-roomed residence, comprising superior chimney and dressing-glasses, chests of drawers, handsome mahogany Arabian and iron bedsteads and fittings, mahogany-framed chairs, a handsome drawing-room suite covered in green velvet, loo and other tables, three whatnots, a superior 6 ¾ octave rosewood cottage pianoforte, Brussels carpets, rugs, oil paintings and prints, two office tables, Spanish mahogany wardrobe with plate-glass panels, bookcases, two gilt clocks under shades, gasfittings, two portable mangles, two wringing machines, costly double lantern by Cox, and the entire kitchen and laundry effects.”  (Clerkenwell News – 29 July 1868) (Morning Post 29 January 1869) (Wikipedia)

Census 1871 – Charles Potter, Post Master E6, age 45, with his wife Eleanor, age 44, and his 83 year old mother, Mary, who had been born in Devonport, Deveon. An 18 year old son, Willan, was a Post Office clerk. Edward, 13, Jessie, 11, Emily, 8 were all at school. There were two toddlers, Charles, 5, and Henry, 2. Amelia Otten, 19 and Elizabeth Letter, 13, were servants.

Census 1881 – Thomas A Smith, age 40, and his wife Agnes, age 29. Mr Smith was perhaps a ‘colour maker’ (difficult to decipher), born in Oxford. His wife was born in Glasgow. They had a cook, Amelia Clothier, age 29 from Stepney, and a housemaid of 19, Clara Ann Oldfield from Derby.

Census 1891, no. 18 is listed as uninhabited.

1895 House to be let, advertised in the London Evening Standard, 29 April 1895, “for about five years; best part of Bow: breakfast room, three reception and four bedrooms; box-room, ususal offices; rent moderate, close to rail, omnibus and tram.

No.19 Mornington Road

1861 Census, nos 18 and 19 were empty and no 20 under construction.

1863 June 19th , “excellent household furniture” was sold by auction, “including feather beds, bedding, bedsteads, and usual bedroom appendages, a 6 ¾ octave grand pianoforte by Broadwood, 6 ¼ octave cottage ditto in walnut case, drawing-room suite in rosewood, carved rosewood chiffonier, sets of dining tables, handsome window hangings, chimney glasses, china and cut glass, prints and paintings, ornaments, table and bed linen, about 40 doz. of Port, Sherry, and Claret, 70lbs of Congou tea, kitchen utensils, and other effets… Catalogues may be had at The Little Driver and New Globe Taverns; and at the Auctioneer’s Offices, Mile-end-road.” (Morning Advertiser June 16 1863)

1863, 1865 street directories have no occupant listed.

1867 street directory has Mrs Hare listed at this address.

1870, 1873 street directories list Andrew White Tuer.

1871 Census, No. 19 was occupied by Andrew W Tuer, a printer, and his wife Thomasine, he was from Durham and she was from Cornwall. He was 32, she was 27. They had a domestic servant from Oxford, 20 years old, Fanny White.

1875 street directory has no occupant listed.

1876, 7th April “E.S.”, presumably Emily Spears, is advertising in Christian World for “a Nursery Governess for three children, a boy six years and two girls four and two years old.”

1877, 1879, 1880 Spears, Rev. Robert. Unitarian Minister. In May 1877 you could apply to him for a course in Stepney Green of Twenty Lessons in Plain Cookery. “East End Lessons on Cookery by The South Kensington National Training School”.  “Reserved seats for the course, 10 shillings; second class reserved seats, 3 shillings. Admission to each lesson to the unreserved seats, 2d.” (East London Observer 5 May 1877). 1 March 1879, reported in East London Observer, he delivered an address at the Tower Hamlets Liberal Club in Beaumont Square on Tuesday night on “Religion and Politics”  “Did religion influence the conduct of our politicians, a State Church, as a gross injustice to others, could no longer be allowed to exist; – Englishmen would not now be butchering barbarians in Afghanistan and Zululand on the flimsiest of pretexts; arbitration would supplant war; trade lying and deception would be suppressed and there would be no drones in the national hive living on the honey which the working bees produced.  The reverend gentleman was accorded a vote of thanks at the close of his address.”  In April 1880 he was advertising the “Best and cheapest book of the season – the complete works of Dr Channing.  848 pages for 1s 4d (one shilling and four pence).” (The Globe, 22 April 1880)

1881 Census, the house was occupied by the 55 year old minister of religion, Robert Spears. His wife, Emily, was 45. He was from Newham, Northumberland, whilst she was born in Durham. They had two sons and five daughters, the eldest daughter being 23 and the youngest son being just one year old. A neice called Helen M Boddy was a governess, age 22, and they had an Irish servant named Mary Crynes, age 23.

1882 Post Office directory lists the Rev. Robert Spears.

1891 Census, the house was occupied by an ageing Scotish caretaker of the property, John Fraser, a widower aged 78.

1895 Post Office directory has no occupant listed.

No.20 Mornington Road

1861 Census, no. 20 was still being built.

1871 Census has a Customs Comptroller, Samuel J Louttit from Cornwall, and his wife, listed as named Thomasine, like her neighbour at No. 19 (also from Cornwall). They were both 59. They had a daughter, Jane, 31, born in Cornwall, and a son Duncan, 23, born in Stepney, and he was a tea and coffee salesman. They had two domestic servants, Mary Combe, age 20, from Blackheath, and Charlotte Bradbury, age 19, born in St Pancras.

1876 Brown, A. O.  His wife, Sarah Dawson, died age 28, September 20 1876, a few days after their son who lived only a few hours. (The Daily News, 25 Sept 1876)

1876, 1879, 1880, 1884, 1918 Brookes, R. Philpot. His wife gave birth to a stillborn daughter 5 February 1876, but then to a daughter, April 2 1879. (London Evening Standard, 10 Feb 1876, 7 April 1879)  In October 1879 Mrs Brookes advertising for “a general servant; family, two and child; nursemaid kept; good wages to a thorough servant. In August 1880 she had a son, and in January 1884 she had another son. (London Evening Standard 23 Oct 1879, 13 Aug 1880, 12 Jan 1884).  In 1918 Robert Philpot Brookes attended the inquest into the suicide of his sister, Henrietta Elizabeth Philpott Brookes, who had poisoned herself, aged 68, at her lodgings in Cheltenham.  [Gloucestershire Echo – Friday 07 June 1918]  Robert Brookes was one of the longest staying residents in the street.  Here appears on street directory in 1875, and is still here over 40 years later.

1881 Census has the 29 year old architect, Robert P Brookes, who was to be recorded living at this address well into the 20th century. He was born in Cheltenham. He lived with his wife, Charlotte, 35 years old, who was born in Pimlico, and with his mother and sister, both called Henrietta, though his widowed mother’s surname is listed as Boddington. He has a two year old daughter, Henrietta Evelyn, and a seven year old son, William R P Brookes. They have a general servant, Sarah Robinson and a nursemaid, Eliza Turner.

1887 Theobold, E advertises for Housemaid, 1887 – 14/. – 16/. (London Evening Standard 22 Sept 1887).  Maybe he was an agent hiring on behalf of the Brookes’s.

1891 Census Robert P Brookes is described as ‘living on own means’, 39, and his wife, Charlotte now listed as 41 years old, (if the 1881 Census is correct, she should be 45.) There’s no sign of Robert’s mother and sister – maybe they were only visiting in 1881 – but Henrietta, the daughter, is now 12, and there are two sons, Robert and Charles, they are aged 10 and 6. They now have a general domestic servant, Harriet Jolly, a single woman aged 30, from Stow in Norfolk.