I’ve just come across a copy of the death certificate for my 2 x great grandfather, William Robb, which my contact Diane sent me some time ago, but I’d mislaid. William, son of Charles Edward Stuart Robb, was born in Richmond, Yorkshire, in 1813. By the early 1880s he was living in Turners Road, Mile End. 

William died on 4th August, 1888, at 25 Oxford Street, Whitechapel. He was 74 years old and the cause of death was given as ‘senile decay exhaustion’. His occupation was described as ‘law writer’. Present at the death was his son, my great grandfather Charles Edward Robb, then aged 37. (We know that William’s second wife, Marianne Mansfield Palmer, had died 5 years earlier in 1883, at the age of 52).

Charles’ address is given as 3 Betts Street, St. George’s. Betts Street was between Cable Street and the notorious Ratcliffe Highway, not far from Pell Street where we find Charles and his family (close to his wife Louisa’s parents) in the 1891 census. This new evidence reveals that Charles and Louisa moved to Whitechapel from their address in Trinity Terrace, West Ham, some time between the 1881 census and William’s death in 1888. Presumably, this was connected with Charles taking up his new job at the Wesleyan Mission.

From what I can gather so far, it seems that a charitable refuge/hostel was opened in Betts Street in the late 1880s (this at a time when the whole area was gripped by the deeds of Jack the Ripper) and the St. George’s Settlement Synagogue was founded there in the early 20th century, possibly on the same site.