Author Topic: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes  (Read 172 times)

Offline silicondale

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Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« on: Wednesday 15 May 24 14:44 BST (UK) »
I am looking for any sources of information on silk mercers in Holywell Street, St Clement Danes. No certainty that there is any family connection, but ...

My 3g-grandfather was William Henley, born Woburn, Bedfordshire 1782. He married Ann White (youngest daughter of William White and Lettice Street of St Clement Danes) in Woburn in 1805. In 1803 she and Catherine Henley, William's cousin, were both housemaids at Woburn Abbey (from primary evidence of employment records in the Russell collection held by Bedfordshire archives).  William and Ann had a son John in 1810 but he vanished from the records until he is recorded again in Brighton in 1836, marrying there in 1838 by which time he was a fully qualified tailor with a shop on St James's Street, Brighton. A letter written by John mentions his aunt Lettice White (his mother's eldest sister), who census records indicate came from St Clement Danes and was living in Brighton in 1841 and 1851. The link with St Clement Danes is clearly established. What is unclear is where the family - William, Ann, and their son John were living between 1810 and 1836, and what happened to John's parents - who did not attend his wedding.
In April 1810, William White died in Woburn (this may or may not be the same William White) and in 1810-11 Andrew Henley, William Henley's father, replaced William White as ratepayer at the Henley family's home 14 Leighton Street, Woburn.

What follows is largely supposition, pieced together from newspaper reports and gazetted bankuptcy notices.
In 1796 William White of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes, "mercer, dealer, and chapman" was bankrupt. This could have been Ann's father but we have no proof.
In 1818 Johnstone’s London Commercial Guide lists silk mercers in Holywell Street as including Brewman B.H. at No.14. On 31 July 1819 a partnership was dissolved, Barnet Hart Brewman and William Henley, silk-mercers of Holywell Street, and in February 1820 William Henley, late of Holywell Street, Strand, silk-mercer, dealer and chapman, was bankrupt.
There are a number of 'loose ends' and coincidences that I'm not going to mention here, as they are likely to be irrelevant and only confuse the issue.

What I would like to know is whether there are any sources of information on silk mercers of London and of Holywell Street in particular, that might help to confirm my speculation or rule it out. William's son John became a tailor, so any apprenticeship records in the 1820s could also be helpful!
.
Henley (Brighton 1820+, Bedfordshire pre-1810),  Vine, Button, Bradford, Bodle (Sussex), Willey (Sheffield, London), Nattriss (London), Wood, Jones, Blaker, Shrimpton (London), Dalby (London, Cornwall 1800+, E.Yorkshire pre-1810), Hillmann, von Thun (London and Hannover)

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 15:51 BST (UK) »
Quote
John's parents - who did not attend his wedding.

How do you know that?
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline silicondale

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 16:51 BST (UK) »
From a letter that John wrote to his sister-in-law (Rhoda, then living in Brenchley, Kent) the day after his marriage, listing people who attended and specifically his aunt Lettice White, but with no mention of his parents. He did mention 'mother' but from the context it seems he was referring to his mother-in-law Mary Vine. Her husband William Vine had died in 1836 only a few days after formally welcoming John Henley into the Salem Chapel (Particular Baptists) of which he was an elder.

This statement in the letter is interesting: “We have taken appartments in Mother’s House the Parlour opposite the Workroom and the Bedroom above” - the house referred to is 1 Vine Place, a large cottage built by William Vine close to his windmill on Clifton Hill. The 1841 census shows that it had become quite crowded.

Interesting that John was apparetly not a very strict Baptist, as in 1840 he was suspended from membership of the chapel for "walking in the fields on the Lord's Day when the chapel was open for divine service". All subsequent family occasions - christenings, weddings, burials, were at St Nicholas church.

I guess, even so, there is a small possibility that his parents did attend. I have found no evidence that they ever lived in Brighton, but even if they were there, it doesn't tell us anything about the intervening 25 years from 1811 to 1836.
Henley (Brighton 1820+, Bedfordshire pre-1810),  Vine, Button, Bradford, Bodle (Sussex), Willey (Sheffield, London), Nattriss (London), Wood, Jones, Blaker, Shrimpton (London), Dalby (London, Cornwall 1800+, E.Yorkshire pre-1810), Hillmann, von Thun (London and Hannover)

Offline Ashtone

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 16:57 BST (UK) »
...his aunt Lettice White (his mother's eldest sister), who census records indicate came from St Clement Danes and was living in Brighton in 1841 and 1851. The link with St Clement Danes is clearly established.

Where is aunt Lettice in the 1851 census? Has her name been mis-transcribed? (I see someone with that name in the 1841 census in Brighton, who is a servant. Born circa 1781, not in county).


Offline silicondale

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 17:15 BST (UK) »
1851: 3 Mighell Street: Lettice White, Head, unmarried, age 77, seamstress, born London St Clements.
And yes, in 1841 she was a servant in the household of Miss Charlotte Wheeler at 24 Sussex Square in the (then) smart new Kemp Town development - not far from John Henley's shop at 77 St James Street.
Lettice was born 1773?, christened at St Clement Danes 29/8/1773
Henley (Brighton 1820+, Bedfordshire pre-1810),  Vine, Button, Bradford, Bodle (Sussex), Willey (Sheffield, London), Nattriss (London), Wood, Jones, Blaker, Shrimpton (London), Dalby (London, Cornwall 1800+, E.Yorkshire pre-1810), Hillmann, von Thun (London and Hannover)

Online ShaunJ

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 17:23 BST (UK) »
There's a burial record for an infant William Henley at the Hanover Chapel in Brighton, aged just 10 weeks, on 4 May 1841. Address 1 Vine Place. Any relation?
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline silicondale

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 17:33 BST (UK) »
Yes - William was the second child of John Henley and Esther Vine. Their first was a daughter, Esther, born in 1839. They had nine further children between then and 1862.
Henley (Brighton 1820+, Bedfordshire pre-1810),  Vine, Button, Bradford, Bodle (Sussex), Willey (Sheffield, London), Nattriss (London), Wood, Jones, Blaker, Shrimpton (London), Dalby (London, Cornwall 1800+, E.Yorkshire pre-1810), Hillmann, von Thun (London and Hannover)

Offline Ashtone

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 17:51 BST (UK) »
What follows is largely supposition, pieced together from newspaper reports and gazetted bankuptcy notices.  In 1796 William White of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes, "mercer, dealer, and chapman" was bankrupt. This could have been Ann's father but we have no proof.

Checking the London Lives website is always recommended.

Examples: Below are 1795 entries for William White ("silkmercer" of Holywell Street) --

https://www.londonlives.org/browse.jsp?div=WCCDMV36205MV362050354&terms=silkmercer#highlight

https://www.londonlives.org/browse.jsp?div=WCCDMV36205MV362050355&terms=silkmercer#highlight


Offline silicondale

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Re: Silk mercers of Holywell Street, St Clement Danes
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 15 May 24 20:38 BST (UK) »
Many thanks, Ashtone! I hadn't seen these. IF (big IF) this is our William White it goes some way to filling in the gaps. Then after his bankruptcy in 1796, his youngest daughter Ann Maria, born 1785, went into service as a housemaid on the Duke of Bedford's estate at Woburn Abbey.

One of the coincidences (which I didn't mention before) was that there was also a William White in Woburn, who had a large family, with his last child born in 1770, named Ann. The William White in St Clement Danes was married in 1772, first child Lettice born 1773. I think it very likely that these are the same William White, and the same person who died in Woburn in 1810 and whose house at 14 Leighton Street passed to Andrew Henley, William Henley's father. I haven't found any record of the death of William White's first wife in 1770-1772 if they are the same person, but it all fits - however, still no evidence to back up a plausible story. His youngest daughter born 1785 was christened Ann Maria - odd for a family that didn't use second Christian names, but maybe necessary to identify her! The Ann(e) White born 1770 married in Woburn in 1789, so unlikely to have been William Henley's wife. Much more likely Ann Maria, even if she dropped her second name.

The more you dig, the more you find it's a rabbit-hole - and one with lots of branching possibilities, a veritable rabbit warren.
Henley (Brighton 1820+, Bedfordshire pre-1810),  Vine, Button, Bradford, Bodle (Sussex), Willey (Sheffield, London), Nattriss (London), Wood, Jones, Blaker, Shrimpton (London), Dalby (London, Cornwall 1800+, E.Yorkshire pre-1810), Hillmann, von Thun (London and Hannover)