George Hopkins stealing drink 1815

My great-grandfather’s first father-in-law [he, G G’pa, married twice] was a George Hopkins. He appears to have been transported to Australia in about 1847. There seem to be a few George Hopkins who show up with criminal records, and probably aren’t all the same person. This may well be the right George – there’s about six years difference between his age here, and the 1841 census – but that census rounded up people’s ages by five years for some bizarre reason. But he’s an entertainingly bad boy. This one was prosecuted at the Old Bailey in 1815, and sent to Newgate prison [1 year, and a whipping]
JOHN BENNET, GEORGE HOPKINS. Theft: grand larceny.  15th February 1815

JOHN BENNET and GEORGE HOPKINS were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 15th of January, three pints of brandy, value 4 s.[£181.50] a pint of rum, value 3 s.[£136.10] a quart of geneva [gin], value 4 s.[£181.50] two quarts of wine, value 6 s. [£272.20] eight bottles, value 1 s. 4 d. [£60.79] the property of Christopher Smith, esq. Newman Smith , and William Petter Woodhouse , and a basket, value 1 s. [£45.37] the property of John Adnam. [ The total value was 19s.4d., or a modern-day equivalent of £877.40 ]

GEORGE WHEATLEY. I am night constable.

Q. On the evening of Sunday the 15th of Januuary, where were you?

A. I was in Union Street; I saw the prisoner John Bennet in Union Street, with this basket in his hand, and the contents, except this bottle. It was between the hours of seven and eight. I asked him what he had got there, he did not give me a satisfactory account; he asked me what it was to me. I asked him to go into some public-house with me to give me a satisfactory account; I got him to a public-house door, he put the basket down. The prisoner Hopkins then came up, and while we were talking, the prisoner Hopkins took up the basket, and run away; I had got hold of Bennet. Hopkins came by, and got hold of the basket; he ran about twenty-yards; I stopped him with the basket.

THOMAS CHILDS . I am constable of St. Saviours. I was at Union Hall when the prisoners were brought there, on Sunday, the 15th of January, I went to the watchhouse; I asked them where they lived; Bennet told me 223, Kent-street; they both lived together in one room; I found a pint bottle of brandy in a hamper; I found a letter in Hopkins’s box, in that letter was

“send me a bottle of brandy for the old man, for he has nothing to drink but small beer.”

WILLIAM PETTER WOODHOUSE . The names of the firm are Christopher Smith , Newman Smith, and William Petter Woodhouse ; we are wine and spirit merchants , Queen-street, in the City of London. The two prisoners were porters in our house; they were employed in the warehouse and the cellars. There are two pint bottles of brandy, one quart bottle of brandy, a quart of rum, and three of port wine; I can identify the bottle of brandy with the name on it, of which a pipe of wine was sent in our cart; this bottle is a sample of the pipe of wine; it appears to have been emptied and filled with brandy; I have every reason to believe it is all our property; we sent the pipe in the cart; the sample we keep ourselves as a check to the carrier, least there should be any change or alteration in the journey. The prisoners had full employment at our house from seven o’clock in the morning until eight at night.

Q. What is the value of each?

A. About five shillings the quart, about half a crown the pint. I know this bottle to be our property.

The prisoners called four witnesses, who gave them a good character.

BENNET, GUILTY , aged 24.

HOPKINS, GUILTY , aged 22.

Confined one Year , and whipped in Jail .

London Jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 8.0, 18 July 2018), February 1815, trial of JOHN BENNET GEORGE HOPKINS (t18150215-43).

Transportation for Cheese Theft, April 1827

My great-grandfather’s first father-in-law [he, G G’pa, married twice] was a George Hopkins. He appears to have been transported to Australia in about 1847. There seem to be a few George Hopkins who show up with criminal records, and probably aren’t all the same person. This probably isn’t the right George – he seems to be about eleven years too young. But he’s an entertainingly bad boy. This one was prosecuted at the Old Bailey twice in 1821, the second time when he was already in Newgate prison [3 months, and a whipping] and then this.
George Hopkins. Theft: Grand Larceny. 5th April 1827

GEORGE HOPKINS was indicted for stealing, on the 2nd of April , 50lbs. weight of cheese, value 3l. 10s.,[modern-day value £ 4,052] the goods of Charles Beach .

WILLIAM KLING . On the 2nd of April, at half-past nine o’clock at night, I was in my back premises in Oxford-street, and heard two whistles – I opened our back gates and looked out – I saw the prisoner and another man in conversation, and saw a bag by the prisoner’s side – this was about twenty yards from Mr. Beach’s house – I stood still – the other man then left the prisoner and met a man who was coming down the mews, which my gates open into – that man lifted the bag on the prisoner’s back – I followed them to No. 28, Parry’s-court; they gave three knocks at the door – the prisoner was taken there in about an hour and a half, and the bag and cheese found in his room.

Cross-examined by Mr. BARRY.

Q. You did not see the cheese brought from Beach’s house?

A. No.

CHARLES BEACH. I am an oilman, and deal in cheese , and live in North Audley-street . On the 2nd of April, about half-past nine o’clock, I left the shop for half an hour – the Parmasan cheese was in its usual place – Kling came to me – I then looked and missed the cheese – there are 50lbs. – it cost me 18d. a pound. 


Q. Where was it?

A. On a tonguetray at my door – mine is a corner house; it was not in a bag – I can swear to the cut of it, and it is eaten by rats in one place.

Prisoner’s Defence. I was coming from my father’s, who is coachman to Mr. Hanbury – a gentleman came and and asked me to carry the parcel, which I did – I did not know what was in it; the man asked if he could leave it at my room till Monday, as he was going into Surrey.

GUILTY . Aged 23.  Transported for Seven Years .

Reference Number:  T 18270405-213

Verdict:   Guilty

Sentence: Transportation

From: Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 8.0, 18 July 2018), April 1827, trial of GEORGE HOPKINS (t18270405-213).

200 years ago this month, my Great, Great, Great Grandfather was transported to Australia

This was originally posted on May 7, 2016 as ” Hurrah hurrah, I’ve found a convict………..”  However as it is almost 200 years to the day that it happened, I think it is due a re-post.

This one gives me almost unadulterated joy. The only similar one was finding good old JROB mistreating his niece Pauline Roche in such a textbook Victorian villain manner that it would have been rejected by a publisher. If you haven’t seen it yet use the link on her name.

Robert Miles transportation 1818Robert Miles, born about 1798, was tried at the Old Bailey on the 6th of May 1818. He was found guilty of Larceny, and sentenced to seven years transportation. He was sent to New South Wales, on board the General Stuart leaving in July 1818. He was 20 years old, and according to the notes in the court register “an old offender”, so presumably it wasn’t a first offence. He is Esther Penn’s great-grandfather. He seems to have returned as soon as the sentence was up, and married in Tottenham in July 1826, eight years after the sentence.

So basically, he is a Norf London bad boy who got in a bit of bother with some laundry. Not quite the Dandy Highwayman……….or is he??

This is the court transcript from

Old baileyROBERT MILES was indicted for stealing, on the 23d of April , one trunk, value 2s.; 18 shirts, value 5l.; 21 cravats, value 20s.; 20 pair of stockings, value 23s.; 15 handkerchiefs, value 10s.; two night-caps, value 1s.; six shifts, value 2l.; four sheets, value 10s.; eight table-cloths, value 2l.; three pillow-cases, value 3s., and two towels, value 2s. , the goods of George Woodfall . A total of £ 12. 11s. Aproximately £15,140.00 in today’s money. 

So maybe bad boy Bobby was on to something. Anyway back to the trial.

SECOND COUNT, the same, only stating them to be the property of William Rance 

MARY BERRYMAN. I am laundress to Mr. George Woodfall , who lives at Shepperton. On the 23d of April I sent a box, containing the articles stated in the indictment, to town. I delivered it to Rance, to take to Great Dean’s-yard, Westminster.

WILLIAM RANCE. I am a carrier from Chertsey to London. I received the box from Berryman, and brought it safe to the White Horse, in Friday-street , on Thursday night, the 23d of April. I did not unload the waggon until next morning. I do not know what became of it.

CHARLES STARK . I am servant to Rance. About half-past nine o’clock at night, I got into the waggon at the White Horse, and fell over the box; it laid on the chaff that I wanted for the horses – I left it safe in the waggon.

JOHN TILLEY . I am a watchman of Whitechapel. On the 23d of April, about a quarter past ten o’clock at night, I came up with three men in French-street – each of them had a bundle; I attacked the last man, he dropped his bundle and escaped-the other two turned the corner. I sprang my rattle and pursued, calling Stop thief! I picked up another bundle at the corner of Halifax-street, the prisoner was taken in Halifax-street. He is not the man who escaped.

JOHN COKELEY. I am a watchman of Spitalfields, which joins Whitechapel. I heard the rattle sprung, went to the corner of Halifax-street, and saw the prisoner with a bundle; he laid it down on a step. I pursued, calling Stop thief! A man who stood at a door, stopped him – He did not run above ten yards, and was not out of my sight. I am sure he is the man.

JOHN WILSON . I am a carpenter. I came out, hearing the alarm, and heard some person running on the other side of the way; I crossed over, and collared the prisoner, the watchman came to my assistance. On going along Osborn-street he was rescued from us. I took him again, and am sure he is the man. I put him in the watch-house.

RICHARD PLUNKETT . I am a beadle. The prisoner and property were delivered to me at the watch-house.

Prisoner’s Defence. I was passing and the man caught me.

Robert Miles sentance 1818
Robert Miles sentence 6th May 1818

GUILTY . Aged 20.

Transported for Seven Years .

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

Reference Number: t18180506-87

Charles Joseph Penn 1814 -1884

Newington Workhouse
Newington Workhouse

Charles Joseph Penn (1814 -1884) is the father of Charles Penn Jnr, b.1848, and grandfather of Esther Penn,b.1872. He died in 1884 of “apoplexy”, in Newington Workhouse. He seems to have been admitted to the Workhouse in Westmorland Road on Wednesday 2nd January 1884, some time after lunchtime because his admission record shows the next meal is supper. At that date the workhouse also acted as a hospital, and a number of London hospitals are still in the original Victorian workhouse buildings – Hammersmith springs to mind – beautifully placed next to Wormwood Scrubs prison.

St Mary's NewingtonHe was born in about 1814 in Keston, which was a suburb of Bromley, in Kent, at that time a village on the fringes of London; with his parents recorded as Richard and Susan Penn. He married Ellen Wilmott Miles(1831-1896) on the 13th October,1846 at St Mary’s, Newington. Ellen appears to be about 16, and he appears to be 30. She is explicitly referred to as a minor on the marriage licence.

Ellen’s father, Robert Miles (1798 -1844) had died in 1844, aged forty six. Her mother Jane (nee Corney) died in 1832, about a year after Ellen’s birth. Rob remarried on the 26th Jun 1837 to another Jane – this time to Jane Lowe at St Mary’s, Lambeth. So by the time Ellen was fourteen, both her parents were dead, and her closest relative was probably a step-mother.

Robert Miles also had the distinction of having been transported to Australia in 1818, and then returned to London by 1826, when he married Ellen’s mother in Tottenham. By 1841, he seems to be fairly respectable, and working as a mill-wright.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this marriage. The age difference between the two is pretty stark. Charles is close to twice Ellen’s age, and whilst a fourteen year age gap is considerably less extreme than some others, she is a teenage girl, and he is a thirty year old man. But there are any number of possibilities, it could be love, it could be predatory, it could be protective, or it could be practical. At the moment I’m not sure it’s bad, but it’s maybe iffy.

But to put it in context in the story, James Herbert, Esther’s other grandfather is sixteen years older than his wife; and, of course, John Gray, the father of Esther Penn’s son-in-law, is forty years older than his second wife, and twelve years older than Esther, and only two years younger than Charles Penn Senior. Put another way, when Walter Gray, and Ella Hayward marry, her father is thirty years younger than his is (except his is dead).

By 1851, Charles and Ellen are living at 5 Victory Place, in Newington, South London. It’s a fairly rough part of south-east London, off Elephant and Castle, and the New Kent Road. Later on in the century, Charles Booth classified it as poor, and ” tenanted by labourers, and car-men, always shifting”, and noted ” 2 brothels here – windows dirty, blind half down, pinned up, everything dingy and dirty”. So a tough area on the edges of the London docks. Charles and Ellen are bringing up their first two children, Charles Junior, who is three, and one year old Elizabeth

Charles Senior is thirty five and working as a  gardener, a job he continues right up to his death aged seventy. Ellen is twenty, and a mother of two toddlers.

Chas and Ellen live at 5 Victory Place for the best part of twenty years, and have twelve children over twenty five years. When they start Charles is thirty four, and Ellen is eighteen; by the time Harriet, the youngest is born, Ellen is forty three, and Chas is almost sixty.

  • Chas Penn Junior b 1848
  • Elizabeth Penn b1849
  • Joseph Penn b1853
  • Richard Penn b1855
  • Emily Penn b 1857
  • Sarah Penn b 1859 – not certain.
  • Thomas Penn b 1860
  • John Penn b 1862
  • Ellen Penn b. 1862 
  • Mary Ann Penn b.1868
  • William Penn b 1870
  • Harriet L. Penn b 1873

By 1861, they are still at 5 Victory Place, with Charles still working as a gardener. The family has grown to three boys, and three girls ranging in aged from thirteen year old Charles Junior to two year old Sarah. Charles is now forty seven, and Ellen is twenty nine.

Ten years later, in 1871, the eldest two children Charles Junior, and Elizabeth have moved out. In fact, Charles marries some time in the first three months of 1871, shortly after the birth of his first child, Amy, who was born on the 15th December  the previous year. Esther was born about a year later in February 1872.

Charles Senior, and Ellen are still in Newington, in South London. The address is unclear, and, rather improbably, seems to be Little Lane Street. They have had four more children;  John, and Ellen who were born in 1862, followed by Mary Ann in 1868, and then two years later by William in 1870. Eighteen year old Joe is working as a coal and sand seller, and fourteen year old Richard is  an errand boy.

In 1881, the majority of the family have moved out and Charles Senior, and Ellen are living at 9 Eltham Street, Newington, with the three youngest children.  Mary Ann is fourteen, William is eleven, and Harriet the youngest is only eight, fifty nine years younger than her father. Charles senior lives another two and a half years before dying in January  1884.

Hanky Panky in Islington

This is about two of Emily Foreman’s uncles.

In Islington at 5 Hollingsworth St, North, in 1881, there is a very strange set-up. The house was shared between three households; there was Richard and Mary Parker, and their six sons, three teenage, three younger, the youngest being four.  It was also shared with the Sable family with two sons, and two daughters. The census return for the third household in the building is as follows.

  • George Foreman 61  head,   wheelwright,   wilts, warminster 
  • Carrie Foreman 45    wife                                surrey,lambeth
  • Albert Foreman 41    son      wheelwright,   somerset,bristol

There is a lot in this that is very curious.  The ages in this don’t appear to match up for it to be George Senior who should be 79, and was born in 1802 in Warminster and died in about 1870, and if it is George Junior he would be about 55, and not 61 years old. However they are right for Albert, and the professions, and places of birth are right.

But what is a lot stranger is the descriptions of  “Head, Wife, and Son”. George Junior was born in 1826 in Warminster, like his father who was 24  when Geo Jnr was born. Al was born fourteen years later in 1840, in Bristol. In all the other census returns, Albert is referred to as George Senior’s son,and given his position amongst the family, it seems incredibly unlikely he isn’t. As we can see from the dates of birth below, George Senior, and Eliza, have a child every couple of years or so, or even closer, for almost twenty years.

  • George Foreman Jnr. b. 1827
  • Walter Foreman b.1829
  • Seleana Foreman b. 1833
  • John Laverton Foreman b.1834
  • Richard Foreman b. 1835
  • Joseph Benjamin Foreman b. 1837
  • Albert Foreman b. 1840
  • Alfred E Foreman b.1844
  • Sophia A Foreman b. 1847

So, whilst it is technically possible that fourteen year old George becomes a father in Bristol in 1840, it does seem more than improbable. It seems even more improbable, to the point of absurdity, that he would end up with a son that he gets his parents to bring up as his younger brother.

So we’re faced with the next part of the puzzle, “Wife, and Son”. Why is Al listed as a son, rather than a brother? There is nothing odd in putting down brother in the box describing the relationship to the head of the household. In fact most obvious descriptions of the relationship are used at the time.  It could be an enumerator’s error, or it could be what they were told.

The following puzzle is Carrie Foreman; if she is George Junior’s wife, then she may be his second wife, and there is no trace of a marriage; or she is his only wife, and called herself Catherine initially, and over time changed to Carrie, and then Caroline.

George got married in the summer of 1864 to Catherine Fitzpatrick, somewhere in Westminster, when he was either 38 or 43, and she was ten years younger. They were living as husband and wife at 48 Borough Road, in Southwark in 1871; even then George is unclear about his age, and says he was five years older (50) than he actually was (45). Having said that, it may well answer the fact that he says he is also five years older than he actually was in 1881 as well. Catherine also gives her age as 40, rather than 35.

Catherine Fitzpatrick seems to have been born sometime between 1831 and 1835. Given the variety of ages that Catherine/Carrie/Caroline seems to gives in the census returns, they are probably the same person.

Caroline Foreman died in Lewisham on the 26th July 1905, and her age is recorded in the Parish register as 70. This would mean she was born in about 1835, which would mean her age in the 1881 census would be about right, and that it is the same woman. In 1891, she says she is 48, when she is in fact 55, and Albert also takes two years off his age, and says he is only 49. By 1901, Al is back to the correct age, but Carrie is still describing herself as three years younger. There’s nothing wrong with this Madonna has been doing it for years.

However this does all rather skirt around the head/husband – wife/sister-in-law- son/brother thing. By 1891, Al and Carrie are living as man and wife, and George has disappeared. Al and Carrie continue to call themselves husband and wife in the 1901 census, and presumably until his death in Poplar in 1902, and hers in Lewisham in 1905.

This raises the obvious question, when did Albert’s and Carrie’s relationship start? Al is probably four years younger than she is, and fourteen years younger than his eldest brother George.  Both men are working as wheelwrights, so it does make some sense that Al is sharing with his brother, and sister-in-law rather than with other members of the family. It also makes some sense for George having a younger man working alongside him, as it was tough physical work. Campbell’s The London Tradesman (1747) says the following

“The Wheelwright is employed in making wheels for all manner of Carriages; I mean the wooden work. This business requires more Labour than Ingenuity; a Boy of weakly Constitution can make no hand at this Trade. It is abundantly profitable to the Master and a Journeyman earns from 15 to 20s. per week. A Youth may be bound about Fifteen.

The Cart-Wheeler differs nothing from the Coach-Wheeler, but that he makes wheels for carts only and is not obliged to turn his work so neatly finished as the other.

A boy designed for this trade requires to be of strong robust Constitution and ought not to be bound till the age of 15 or 16, when his joints begin to knit and he has arrived at a moderate degree of strength. A Journeyman earns from 12 to 15s. a week.”

We don’t know from the 1881 census how many rooms there were in Hollingsworth Street, but it is unlikely they were living in more than a couple. In 1891, Al and Carrie were living in two room, in Bow, and ten years later they were in one room in Parnell Road. So I think we can safely assume they were living in very close proximity in Hollingsworth Street, if not actually on top of each other.

In his Life and Labour of the People in London Charles Booth mapped out poverty levels in London from 1886, and literally walked the streets to record it. Booth categorized each street as a different colour, and category from A. to H. ranging from occasional workers/semi-criminal to upper middle class/wealthy.  He describes Hollingsworth Street as a mixture of Light Blue, and Purple, or C,D.

Light Blue: Poor. 18s. to 21s. a week for a moderate family”

“Purple: Mixed. Some comfortable, others poor”

“C. Intermittent earning. 18s to 21s per week for a moderate family. The victims of competition and on them falls with particular severity the weight of recurrent depressions of trade. Labourers, poorer artisans and street sellers. This irregularity of employment may show itself in the week or in the year: stevedores and waterside porters may secure only one of two days’ work in a week, whereas labourers in the building trades may get only eight or nine months in a year.”

“D. Small regular earnings. poor, regular earnings. Factory, dock, and warehouse labourers, carmen, messengers and porters. Of the whole section none can be said to rise above poverty, nor are many to be classed as very poor. As a general rule they have a hard struggle to make ends meet, but they are, as a body, decent steady men, paying their way and bringing up their children respectably.”

Let’s assume that the Foreman household is at the upper end of the scale and are “decent steady men, paying their way” . It is still fascinating to speculate as to when Al and Carrie’s relationship started, and why they never bothered to get married. 

By 1891, they were living in two rooms at 12 Libra Road, Bow. Another shared house, with three families living there. The Barlass family live in four rooms. William Barlass is a fourty year old carpenter from Manchester, Annie Barlass was from Bristol, and the family seems to have started married life in Bristol with the three eldest children born there, before moving to London.They had five sons, and three daughters

Also there, in one room, are Mary Ragan, and her 15 year old nephew George Rolph, both born in the East End, in Hackney and Barking respectively. She’s a tailor, and dressmaker, and George is working as a messenger boy in the Port of London

By 1901, they are living in one room at 70 Parnell Road Bow, in another shared house with Ambrose Moyonowicz, his wife Mary, and their seven daughters, and one son. Ambrose is a woodworker. The Moyonowiczes are living in four rooms between them. Rather bizarrely, for someone with an eastern European surname like Moyonowicz, Ambrose says he was born in Swindon. Also in the house are 24 year old Thomas Marchant, his wife Maud, and their 6 month old baby, also called Maud. Tom is a line worker, and they are also in one room

Al dies two years later in Poplar aged 63, followed by Carrie two years after him at the age of 70.

Emily Foreman’s Uncles and Aunts

Emily Foreman is John Gray’s second wife, and John Laverton Foreman’s daughter

Wheelwright's workshop
Wheelwright’s workshop

Emily’s grandfather George Foreman Snr was born in 1802 in Warminster and died in about 1870. He was a wheelwright, so a skilled working man. Eliza Laverton was born two years later in 1804 in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, and they married in 1825. Eliza died in London in the autumn of 1860. They are my great great great grandparents. George and Eliza had nine children.

  • George Foreman Jnr. b. 1827
  • Walter Foreman b.1829
  • Seleana Foreman b. 1833
  • John Laverton Foreman b.1834
  • Richard Foreman b. 1835
  • Joseph Benjamin Foreman (Josh) b. 1837
  • Albert Foreman b. 1840
  • Alfred E Foreman b.1844
  • Sophia A Foreman b. 1847

The family were in Nelson Place Bristol by 1841, moved to Barnet by 1851, and then to Bermondsey by 1861. The majority of the boys are all wheelwrights at various times, in Albert’s case having been a gunner in the Royal Artillery.

By 1851 the family had moved to Nursery Row, Mimms Side, Barnet in Hertfordshire.  Where George Foreman Snr was working as a wheelwright, and George Jnr, then aged 24, as a coach wheelwright. 18 year old John was a labourer,  and Josh (Joseph) Foreman was a14 year old errand boy. Albert, Alfred, and Sophia were all at school.  There is no trace of Seleana, Richard, or Walter, though Walter re-surfaces again in 1871.

Royal Artillery Barracks,Woolwich 1900
Royal Artillery Barracks,Woolwich 1900

By 1861, they are all starting to move properly into adult life. Eliza  has  died in the autumn of 1860.  The Georges Senior and Junior  are living in Southwark with Alfred and Sophia. 22 year old Albert has joined the army, and is in Woolwich Barracks.

JLF is 27 years old, married with a child, Emily, and living at 17 White Place, Bermondsey with Catherine’s widowed 71 year old mother (GGG Granny). John has obviously learned a trade by then because he describes himself as a boilermaker working in Hammersmith. In 1851, he was listed as an 18 year old labourer, and the Georges Senior and Junior, are working as a wheelwright, and a blacksmith respectively. Alfred is a “moulder”, and 14 year old Sophia is working in the silk trade.

There doesn’t appear to be any trace of Walter, Richard, or Selena.

By 1871, JLF is still living in Bermondsey, but at 27 Mint Street, with 12 year old Emily, and her 9 year old brother George Laverton Foreman. Ellen Montgomery, Catherine’s mother is still living with them having reached 81. Ellen’s place of birth is still listed as Liverpool, but Catherine’s place of birth has changed from Liverpool in the 1861 census, to Dublin in 1871.

Alfred has joined the Navy, and is serving on HMS Barrosa, which is at the Singapore Straits Settlement on the night of the census. He is 27 that year, and John Laverton Foreman is ten years older.

However Walter has reappeared living in Spital Road, New Windsor in Berkshire. He is now 42 years old, married and describes himself as a coach maker master employing 2 men. His wife Mary is a year older than him.

Sophia has moved out and is lodging with a policeman, and his family. She is 24, and working as a machinist, and living at 38 Frances St, a couple of streets north of Waterloo station.

There is no trace of the Georges Senior and Junior, Joseph, Richard, Serena, or Albert.

The Turks Head, 711 Old Kent Road c.1880

1881 is when it all appears to get interesting. John is still living in Southwark, but now at 12 Darwin Street. He is a 48 year old widower living with his son George who is 19 and describes himself as a teacher (Unemployed) (Schoolmaster), and 22 year old Emily, who marries John Gray two years later on October 21st 1883 at St Philip’s Church Camberwell,when he is 63 and she is 25, and are both shown living at 746 Old Kent Road.

Meanwhile over in Islington at 5 Hollingworth St North, in 1881, there is a very strange household.  No 5. was shared  with Richard and Mary Parker, and their six sons, three teenage, three younger, the youngest being four.  It was also shared with the Sable family with two sons, and two daughters. The census return for the third household in the building is as follows

  • George Foreman 61  head,   wheelwright,   wilts, warminster 
  • Carrie Foreman 45    wife                                surrey,lambeth
  • Albert Foreman 41    son      wheelwright,   somerset,bristol

The ages in this don’t appear to match up for it to be George Senior who should be 79, and if it is George junior he would be about 54. However they are right for Albert, and the professions, and places of birth are right. I’ll come back to the curious household later. or see this post.

However by now, Walter is still in Spital Road in Windsor. This time in Grove Cottage, which may,or may not have been the same address as 1871. This time he lists himself as a wheelwright employing two boys, rather than a coach-maker as previously. Richard Foreman has resurfaced as well, this time at 25 Brownlow Rd, Shoreditch, where he and his wife Elizabeth are sharing their house with a twenty four year old lodger.

Saint George Church, Hanover Square

Back in London, Alfred has come out of the Navy, and is living  at 10 Short St, New Cut, Waterloo with his wife and two year old daughter. They are about two miles away from John, and about three from George and Albert. Thirty seven year old Alf is working as a provisions porter.  He married Emma Spittle four years previously, in the summer of 1877 at St George’s, Hanover Square.  Emma is a south London girl, born in Lambeth.  Her father, David Spittle is an engine fitter in Lambeth, and Sophia Foreman, Alf’s sister married her brother David Spittle Jnr on 4th June 1876  at St Clement, Barnsbury, Islington. He is 41, and she is 29, and an engine fitter like his father.

JLF , remarries in 1883, the same year his daughter Emily marries John Gray. JLF marries on the 11th  January, as a 47 year old widower to Eliza Sparrow, 39 at St Mary Magdalene, Southwark. Her parents are witnesses. his father’s profession is a wheelwright, and her father Elijah Sparrow is a gardener.  Both are living at 12 Darwin Street, which just off the Old Kent Road.

bisnc_postcardAlf, Emma, and Eleanor emigrate the same year, leaving London on 5th November 1883, and arrive at Cleveland Bay, Queensland, 16 miles south east of Brisbane, on New Year’s Day 1884.  They traveled via Suez, and Batavia, now Jakarta, in Indonesia,  and finally Brisbane, on the Goalpara, a 285ft long steam ship, with one funnel, and two masts (rigged for sail). It was brand new, having been built in Glasgow for British India Steam Navigation’s Queensland Royal Mail Service the same year. It was the only voyage the ship made on the route, transferring the following year to the Mail Service between India and Singapore.

Finally to close this chapter, John Laverton Foreman dies in the autumn of 1885 aged 52, somewhere in Camberwell. That same year George, John and Emily Gray’s eldest son is born, also in Camberwell, followed by Jesse two years later, Auntie Kitty born a year after him in 1888, and Walter, in 1890.