Following on from the last post:
In 1851 John Blanch was 50 and living with his wife Keziah at 2 Green Street, Bethnal Green, where he was still working as a boot and shoe maker. Their son Joseph, 20, a carpenter, was living with his parents, as were 9 year old Emma and 7 year old John. Their eldest daughter, Mary Ann (my great great grandmother) had married Daniel Roe in 1848 and the young couple were now living a few streets away in Patriot Row, with their first daughter, Kezia Eliza, who had been born the previous December in Hackney (though baptised in January at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, when her parents had given their address as Green Street).
The most curious thing about the 1851 census record for John Blanch’s family, as I’ve noted in earlier posts, is the presence in their home of 2 year old Mary Ann Ellis, described as a ‘nurse child’. She is almost certainly the daughter of Richard Ellis and his wife Marianne, who were still to be found living at 3 Richmond Street, Soho, at this time. Richard and Marianne were both 39 by this time. Richard is described in the census as a builder master, employing two men, though we know that he was going through a difficult time: only two months after the census was taken, he had a bankruptcy annulled.
Three children were living at home in Richmond Street: Frances Marianne, 9, David Richard, 6, and Alfred H.B. Ellis, 2 months. Was the arrival of a new baby the reason why Marianne sought a nurse maid for 2 year old Mary Ann, even if it doesn’t explain why she sent the child to Keziah Blanch in Bethnal Green? Strangely absent from the census record is Richard and Marianne’s 6 year old daughter Sophia Sarah: was she too being looked after by a relative or friend? Sophia’s baptismal record from 1846 provides a possible clue as to the Blanch / Bethnal Green connection. Although her address was given as Richmond Street, Soho, she was christened in the church of St. John, Bethnal Green. Was the Ellis family – or at least, Marianne – staying with John and Keziah Blanch at the time of Sophia’s birth? (St. John’s church, built in 1828, stood at the end of Green Street.)
In the previous post, I speculated that the Ellis-Blanch connection came about via Richard’s near-neighbour (and possible professional associate?) David Blanch, who lived in nearby King Street. This receives some confirmation from the fact that, in 1851, the Ellis household in Richmond Street also includes, as a visitor, 56 year old widow Mary Ann Harrison. This is David’s sister Mary Ann Blanch, who was living with him in King Street in 1841. The Ellis household also includes 12 year old Richard Metcalf, Richard Ellis’ nephew, the son of his sister Sarah and her husband Thomas, a cordwainer. The boy was born in 1839 at 2, Richmond Street (the 1846 London directory has Richard Ellis, then a carpenter, occupying both No.2 and No.3).
By 1851, David Blanch had moved with his family from Soho to Chelsea, following the winding-up in 1846 of the business partnership with his brother Thomas. David, 40, was still working as a coachsmith, and living with his wife Sarah, 37, and children James, 14, William, 12, David, 10, Thomas, 8, and (Maria) Jane, 6. The latter was born in Chelsea, so they must have moved there by 1846 at the latest. Still living with them was David’s half-sister Maria Blanch, 69, an annuitant: her married name Rodbard is spelt incorrectly again, this time as ‘Bodbard’, and she is wrongly described as David’s aunt. The final member of the household had also moved with them from King Street: Elizabeth Higham, 30, is now described as a servant.
Figures on Cheyne Walk with Chelsea Old Church
by William Knight Keeling, 1886
In 1851 Thomas Blanch, 54, his wife Ann, 47, and mother-in-law Ann Fletcher, 67, were living at Faulkner’s Cottage, near North Row, Fulham. Like his brother David, Thomas was still working as a coachsmith. Living at the same address was their daughter Mary Ann Sophia, her husband Thomas Bagley, a fruit salesman, and their children Thomas, 6, Louisa, 3, and William 1. When Mary Ann got married in 1843, she was still living in Westminster, but all of her children were born in Fulham, suggesting that the whole family moved there around 1845-6 (which, once again, would match what we know about the dissolution of Thomas Blanch’s partnership with his brother David).
William Henry Blanch, 47, is still living in Great Windmill Street in 1851 and still working (at Ham Yard?) as a coachsmith. Living with him are his wife Sarah, 47, their son, David, 22, also a coachsmith, and their daughter, Eleanor, 15, as well as their niece Ellen Bridges, 5. By this date their eldest son James William, a smith, was married to Susan Chapman and living in Anglesea Yard, in the same parish.