The death of Joseph Boden

I’ve now received a copy of the death certificate for Joseph Boden, husband of my great great aunt Elizabeth Robb – and possible bigamist (see my last post). Joseph died on 10th April 1855 at 100 Fetter Lane in the parish of St. Andrews, Holborn (north of Fleet Street). He was 41 years old and his occupation is described as ‘dentist’. The cause of death was ‘phthisis pulmonalis’ (consumption of the lungs). The informant, who was present at the death, was Henry Lloyd, also of 100 Fetter Lane, and the death was registered on 13th April.

Section from map in Cross’s 1851 London Guide, showing Fetter Lane at extreme left and Lawrence Lane to the right, off Cheapside

I’ve been unable to find any definite information about Henry Lloyd. He certainly wasn’t living at 100 Fetter Lane four years earlier, at the time of the 1851 census. Then, the inhabitants were printer William B. Harris and his wife, together with three lodgers and a house servant. Nor was Henry at that address nine years later, in 1860, by which time it was the home (and shop?) of coffee-house keeper William Chitty and his family, plus four lodgers. The next door neighbours were the same, though: licensed victualler Thomas Adams and his wife and employers were at 101 Fetter Lane in both 1851 and 1861. By the latter date, the premises were described explicitly as the Vintner’s Arms (later renamed the Printer’s Devil, the pub finally closed in 2008).

Perhaps the only connection between Joseph and Henry was that they were both lodgers at No. 100 in 1855. In any event, it seems clear that Joseph was no longer living with his wife Elizabeth, suggesting that their marriage had ended some time before this date. As for Elizabeth, there’s no way of knowing whether she was still at the couple’s former home in Lawrence Lane, Cheapside, or had already moved into her sister Matilda’s house in Pimlico (though it’s unlikely Matilda was in London before 1855).

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