Monday, May 25, 2020

Reuniting families ... 150 years later

For my last dig around in the photographic debris of the 19th century I'm going to put a few folk, who've been scattered round ebay, back with their families. Already this little game has reunited two photographed folk with their descendants ... maybe another?

The biggest bundle is the Poland family: a selection from three generations ... George Alfred POLAND (d Florence Lodge, Streatham Hill 29 January 1883) and his wife Hetty Rosina née ESQUILANT (b Rathbone Place, St Pancras 9 December 1818; d Florence Lodge 25 November 1888)

George, as you can see from his fancy dress (civic? guild? mason?) had a colourful life, and a successful one. Professionally, he was in the clothing business. His father, George (b c 1796; d Camden 10 May 1860), was a furrier at various addresses, all in Oxford Street, and young George, who in the 1851 census, described himself as a strawhat maker and Hetty as a milliner, joined and took over his father's business. On his 1842 wedding certificate he describes himself as 'furrier'. The founding father of the firm and family was John George Poland, and furrier of -- since 1804 -- 90 Oxford Street (b Hof, Germany December 1764; d 24 September 1816). His brother Peter [Raymond] Hof also operated in the wholesale skin and fur business.
There must have been money in furs, because I see that G A owned his own freehold house in Portman Square before his marriage. Maybe it was Hetty, whose father was a fringemaker, who was into straw hats. He seems to have been a fur man. Even though he became Grand Master of the Guild of (Wallpaper) Painters and Stainers. Which may have been the excuse for the above robes. He also seems to have been quite deeply involved in civic affairs and (Liberal) politics, and shortly before his death he was, briefly, a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works. When he and Hetty died, the extent of his investments in property could be seen

On top of all these activities, he was an impenitent breeder. Both of show pigeons and of children. I have lost count of the numbers of his children, but I spot a Maria (Mrs South), Emily Julia (Mrs Harrington, partner of Charles Poland, architect), Hetty Jane (Mrs Ord), Rosina Jane, Sidney Michael, Henry Gordon, Charles Ernest, Frederick William (1860-1934) pictured below

and George Edward POLAND (d Leaverdon Asylum, Watford 7 January 1907), hereditary furrier, pictured here with his wife Mary Anne Eliza née BAKER

Fred started working life as one of the many assistants in the drapery of Octave Lamare, court dressmaker, in Conduit Street, Mayfair (I lived some years just a bobbin's throw from that address!) and by 1911 is listed as an agent in leather goods. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Hosking.

George and 'Marian' gave bith to a son, George Victor Poland (b Oxford Street 3 June 1874), who continued in the fur trade, and to a daughter, Lillian Maud Marian (b Oxford Street 24 August 1879; d 11 Spencer Hill, Wimbledon 24 July 1950). Here is 'Lily' ...

There are a hundred peregrinations to be made into the Poland family -- Peter's son became High Sheriff of London and was dubbed --  but I shall just stick to the pictures ... and send you for further information to for the story of the Poland brother's large part in the 19th century fur trade.

Oh, number 90 Oxford Street (between Dean Street and Wadour Street) survived well over a century as a furrier's, until it became a Dorothy Perkins shop. Apparently is now 'The Sunglasses Hut'. How the glorious are fallen: from the heights of furry fashion to the pits of pseudo-fashion!

Husband and wife only this time ..

Samuel BRAME (b Bedale 1838; d West Bromwich 1909) and his wife Marie née BALL (d 1879)

Samuel Brame was born in Yorkshire, the son of John Brame, town missionary, and his wife Ann, and worked from his earliest teens as a japanner. He ventured to London (see him in Hatton Garden in 1861, listed as 'commercial'), but settled in Birmingham, where he married Marie (b Birmingham 1841; d Birmingham 1879) the daughter of Charles Ball, gold chain manufacturer, and set up as an emigration agent for New Zealand (1864-8). That proving unsuccessful, he joined his father-in-law's firm, which became Ball and Brame, 'employing 14 men' and occupied himself with the local church schools. A son, Charles Samuel died aged two, daughter Zillah Marie aged nineteen, a second son, Ernest William survived to become a canvasser for Lever Brothers, and two further daughters(Nellie B and Miriam Evangeline) arrived before Marie died in 1879.

The firm went bankrupt in 1880 (8s in the pound) and was liquidated in 1883.

Samuel remarried, Alice Matilda Boston, of Acock's Green, in 1882 (21 January), and switched to a new career, as a political agent. I don't know what he actually did ... but he did it for the rest of his visible life, up to his death aged 71.

The next family, to my surprise, I had already encountered in my work on D'Oyly Carte singers. This is Margaret ENGLISH née ABRAHAM (b Carlisle 20 December 1816, d 1872)wife (1845) of Liverpool shipbuilder's clerk (later shipowner and broker, Charles John English (b 1820; d Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool 10 May 1898).

The Englishes had seven children: Margaret Orpah, Charles Robert, Rebecca (Mrs Burdon), Mary Condliff (Mrs Isaiah De Zouche), Evangeline (Mrs Walter Norris Jones), Robert Abraham and Francis George. Alas, there is no photo of eldest daughter 'Madge Inglis', contralto of the Carte companies, but we have three of her siblings.

Francis in 1879
Francis George ENGLISH (b Liverpool 1859; d unknown). A shipping clerk in Liverpool at the age of 22 ... is this the answer?

Robert in 1876
Robert Abraham ENGLISH (b Liverpool 1857; d Bournemouth 19 July 1901) attended the Royal Indian Engineering College, Staines, and went out to India as a civil engineer.
Rebecca in 1867

Rebecca ENGLISH (b Birkenhead 1851; d 26 Kingsley Terrace 4 June 1914) 'music teacher', married John Burdon, physician, 1886, son John Hinton Burdon, settled in Elswick, Northumberland. Survived by her husband and son ('solicitor').

Well, it's a whole week, now, that I've been digging in this photo box. It's been fun, it's been interesting, but it's time to get back to the Victorian theatre.

I've still got a folder of folk, uninvestigated, in my Dropbox, so maybe I'll return to them one day ... and, of course, more will surface daily ...

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