Following on from these posts about David Edward Robb and Joseph John Robb, sons of my great grandfather Charles Edward Robb: I’ve obtained copies of the marriage certificates for both of them.

David Edward Robb, age 26, married Maggie Everard, age 21, on 4th August 1906 at St George’s Welseyan Centenary Chapel in the district of St. George in the East, London. David, a stationer, was living at 13 New Martin Street, Whitechapel, while Maggie, a waitress, was at 17 D (?) Block, Peabody Building, also in Whitechapel. The two addresses were quite near each other, close to the Royal Mint and not far from the Pell Street / Wellclose Square addresses where we have found the family before.

David’s father, Charles Edward Robb, is described as a messenger and Maggie’s father, Robert Everard, as a carman. The witnesses were Joseph John Robb, David’s older brother, and Ann Everard.

Five years later, on 23rd September 1911, it was Joseph’s turn to be married at the same chapel. He was 31, and working as a chartered accountant’s clerk, when he married Mary Alice Tyler, 30. Joseph was living at 4 Grace’s Alley, Wellclose Square, while Mary was in the Square itself, at No. 6.  Joseph’s father Charles is now working as a shop owner’s clerk, while Mary’s father Thomas George Tyler is described as a district gas engineer. The witnesses were A G Tyer, C E Robb, and M B Harrison. The minister was F. W. Chudleigh.

Coincidentally, I recently had a comment on my post about Charles Edward Robb and the Wesleyan Mission from Rev Michael Ainsworth, the Rector of St. George’s in the East. Michael writes:

The Rev Peter Thompson [whom I had mentioned as providing a reference for Charles] was the (somewhat controversial) minister of the Mission, which had taken the bold step of hiring Wilton’s Music Hall, in Grace’s Alley, as a means of engaging with the local community.

Michael also provides a link to his parish website, which is a mine of information about the history of the area, including the Wesleyan Mission, which appears to have been based at the Centenary Chapel in Cable Street. Here’s an extract:

A society of worshippers in the East End was established in 1746. In 1812 they built a chapel, to the east of where St George’s Town Hall now stands in Cable Street, and the burial ground around the same time. Following the 1852 Metropolitan Burial Act which created public cemeteries, burials ceased in 1854. In 1876 the Vestry bought the burial ground for £2,700 and incorporated it into St George’s Gardens.

Until the mid 19th century it was a flourishing chapel, but entered decline as the neighbourhood changed. From time to time they had to ask for some financial help from other circuits, though they did manage to install, and pay for, hot water and toilets in 1876, when G. Curnock was the minister. In 1874 the new Metropolitan Lay Mission provided a worker, to undertake district visiting; he set up a Mission Band and in 1882-3 they visited 520 houses every Sunday. He held open air services and class meetings, and set up a mothers’ meeting. When the grant was withdrawn in 1884, the congregation managed to pay him for a further year.

In 1885 Conference established the London Wesleyan Methodist Mission, as a response to the spiritual destitution of London highlighted in George Mearn’s The Bitter Cry of Outcast London (1883) and the need for new ways of working. One controversial provision was the waiving of the normal ‘itinerancy’ rule that ministers should move on every three years, to enable continuity in areas where lay leadership was weak. They chose the well-nigh forlorn hope of St George’s Wesleyan Chapel as their base, and the Revd Peter Thompson was stationed here. Although in the coming years there was pressure for radically new patterns of mission and ministry – such as Hugh Price Hughes’ ‘Forward Movement’ – for the most part existing structures were retained and strengthened. The range of activities – including a Dorcas Society, a girls’ sewing class, a maternity society, a training home for girls, reading rooms, and the distribution of soup, coffee and clothing, as well as renewed worship – was impressive, but not new in principle. Weekly rather than quarterly collections were introduced, a quarterly morning communion was introduced for those who could not attend in the evening, and temperance work continued. Thompson was instinctively a paternalist, but he was a member of the Anti-Sweating League, and preached during the 1895 elections on ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’

A major innovation, however, was to hire secular premises as new-style mission halls, and in 1891 the Mission took over Wilton’s Music Hall […]

A generation later, St George’s was one of several East End missions to provide cinematographic entertainment, introduced by the Revd F.W. Chudleigh. There were few entertainments available to working-class youngsters, and motion pictures proved more popular than magic lanterns!