In this post I wrote about the children of Joseph Holdsworth (1735) and Elizabeth Greene (1732), and in the last post I wrote about one of those children, John Holdsworth (1765), and his wife Eliza Jane Webb. I noted that John was my 4 x great grandfather, via his daughter Keziah Holdsworth and granddaughter Mary Ann Blanch. In this post, I want to write about John’s brother William Holdsworth (1771) and his family. Once again, I am grateful to my fellow family historians and distant relatives – in this case, Adrian Holdsworth and Ron Roe – for sharing the results of their researches.

Strange as it may sound, William was also my 4 x great grandfather. How so? William’s daughter Eliza Holdsworth (1801) married Daniel Roe and their son, also Daniel, married Mary Ann Blanch (his second cousin). This means that I have two connections to the Holdsworth family, both coming down to me via my great grandfather, Joseph Priestley Roe, son of Daniel and Mary Ann.

Like his brother John, William L. Holdsworth was born in South Weald, Essex – in 1771. By the time he was 21, William, who worked as a cordwainer, was living in the parish of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate, which is where he married Lydia Evins (who was born in London in 1770, the daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Evins) in 1792. We have a record of the banns, which were read in November of that year. (The poet John Keats would be baptised in the same church three years later.)

St. Botolph's without Bishopsgate

I’ve written before about William’s and Lydia’s membership of the Baptist meeting at Little Alie Street, Whitechapel. The Meetings Book for the chapel shows that William was admitted on 14th May and Lydia on 23rd July 1798. Lydia’s address is given as Marmaduke Street, Whitechapel, and they had certainly moved there by 1794, when their first child was born.

William and Lydia had six children:

Issac Holdsworth was born on 5th January 1794 at Marmaduke Street, but I have no further information about him.

Samuel Holdsworth was born on 4th October 1795 at the same address. He married Lucy (1791 – 1846), and in 1841 they can be found living in Jane Street, Shadwell.

Phoebe Holdsworth was born on 19th December 1796 at the same address and baptised at St. George’s in the East. She married Thomas Chamberlain in Hackney in 1820, when she was 24.

Whitechapel in 1827 from Greenwood's Map.

(On the map above – click on it to enlarge – Little Ayliffe Street (Little Alie Street) is in the top left-hand corner, above Goodmans Fields. St. George’s in the East is at middle right. Marmaduke Street (unmarked) was a short distance to the north of Cable Street and to the west of Cannon Street.)

By the time their next daughter Eliza Holdsworth was born, on 18th April 1801, William and Lydia appear to have moved to Mile End Road. The record of Eliza’s birth in the register at Dr. Williams’ Library shows that there were two witnesses: the midwife, and a Sarah Parker. This is not Eliza’s cousin Sarah, who married Thomas Parker, since she was born a few years after Eliza. It’s likely to be Eliza’s aunt, her father’s sister Sarah, born in 1767, who (coincidentally?) married another Parker – William.

I’ve written about Eliza in a number of other posts. By the time she was in her early twenties, Eliza had moved to Blunham in Bedfordshire, where she married shoemaker Daniel Roe in 1825. Pondering recently how she came to be so far from home, two thoughts occurred to me. Later in her life, Eliza would move back to this part of the country to work as a domestic servant. Like her cousin, also named Eliza (1798), whom I wrote about in a recent post, she would work for the family of a clergyman (in her case Robert Merry, vicar of Guilden Mordern, Cambridgeshire) and then follow his widow to another address after his death (see this post). I wonder whether Eliza’s original move from London to Bedfordshire came about for similar reasons: that is, in order to take a job as a servant in a private house in Blunham, or to follow an employer there from London?  The other thought that occurred to me was this: is it just a coincidence that Eliza’s father William and her husband Daniel were both shoemakers, and possibly both Baptist shoemakers (unless Daniel’s connection to the Baptists came solely through Eliza)? More on all of this another time, perhaps.

Blunham, Bedfordshire

© Copyright Michael Trolove and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I’ve written extensively about Eliza and her family on other occasions, but to summarise briefly: she married Daniel Roe in Blunham in 1825. Their first child, Anna or Hannah Maria was born in the village in the following year, but would die in 1844 at the age of 18 (she was buried at the Baptist burial ground in Biggleswade). Their other children – Richard (1829?), Daniel (1829), Eliza (1831) and Caleb (1833) – were all born in Biggleswade, where Daniel senior had a shoemaker’s shop on Stratton Street. The latter died in 1836. Eliza married for a second time, to John Sharp, in Stepney in 1845, and (as described in earlier posts) spent some years in domestic service before living with her daughter Eliza and husband Thomas Parker (another coincidental name?) in Camberwell, where she appears to have died in about 1885.

William and Lydia had two more children after Eliza. Edward Porter Holdsworth was born on 28th January 1803, presumably at the same address (the Meetings Book at Little Alie Street shows the couple as living in Mile End Road in that year), but I have no further information about him. Sarah Ann Holdsworth was born in 1806, apparently in Bethnal Green. Certainly the Meetings Book has the Holdsworths living at Wilmot Street (which ran south from Bethnal Green Road) by this date. I have no more details for Sarah Ann.

William and Lydia would have been in their mid-thirties when their last child, Sarah Ann, was born. I have no records for them after 1806 and have to assume that, since they do not appear to feature in the 1841 census, they both died before the age of 70.