In the last two posts I wrote about two of the sons of Joseph Holdsworth (1735) – John Holdsworth (1768) and William L. Holdsworth (1771) -from both of whom I’m directly descended, via their daughters Keziah (1804) and Eliza (1801) respectively. As I noted in another post, Joseph and his wife Elizabeth had five other children, of whom one (Elizabeth) died young, while for two others (Henry and Sarah) we have limited information.

That leaves two other sons – Joseph (1770) and Godfrey (1773) – for whom we have fairly detailed information. Although I’m not a direct descendant of either of them, in the next few posts I want  to set down what we know about them and their families, in order to fill in some of the context of my ancestors’ lives in Stepney and beyond in the nineteenth century.

In this post, I’ll be writing about Joseph Holdsworth (1770). My fellow family historian Adrian Holdsworth is a direct descendant of Joseph’s, so we’re fortunate to have quite extensive information about this branch of the family.

Joseph got married in the same year – 1792 – as his brother William. He married Margaret Miller (born 1771) in Christ Church, Spitalfields, in May (William was married in Bishopsgate in November). I have no record of Joseph’s death: he is said to have died in 1848, but in 1841 his (widowed?) wife Margaret was living with one of their daughters.

This is what we know about the children of Joseph and Margaret:

Sarah Holdsworth was born in 1793 in the parish of St. George’s in the East. She married Isaac Crawshaw at Holy Trinity Minories in 1815, when her father Joseph was a witness. Sarah and Isaac had one daughter, Margaret, born in 1816 in St. George’s in the East. In 1841 Sarah, 45, a shopkeeper, and Margaret, 20, were living in Shadwell High Street. There’s no sign of Issac, so I assume he had died by this date. Sarah and Margaret share the address with a shopman and a family servant.

In 1851 Sarah, now described as a milliner, and Margaret were living in Bedford Place, Mile End Old Town, with a family servant. Also present at the time of the census was visitor Mary Ann More, described as the proprietor of the house (I wonder if she was any relation to Sarah’s brother-in-law John Moore: see below). By 1861 Sarah, now 68, had moved to Lewisham Terrace, West Ham, where her status is described as ‘independent’.  I’m not sure where Margaret was at this date, but someone of her name was married in Stepney in 1853. Sarah was still in West Ham in 1871, but was now living at Upton Villas with her sister Elizabeth and her husband, retired tallow chandler John Moore (see below). Apparently Sarah died in West Ham eight years later, at the age of 86.

Sarah’s younger sister Elizabeth Holdsworth was born in Stepney in about 1796. In 1815 she married tallow chandler John Moore (born in about 1794) in Spitalfields.  Elizabeth and John had four children: William, born in 1817; George, 1818; Samuel, 1824; and Elizabeth, 1841. At the time of the 1841 census, the family was living in Crown Row, Mile End Old Town, with Elizabeth’s widowed mother Margaret, now 70, as well as a domestic servant. By 1851, they had moved to West Ham, where they  lived in Ham Cottage, Upton Villas, Romford Road. John is now described as a ‘house proprietor’ (landlord?). His mother-in-law Margaret seems to have died by this date, and all of the children appear to have left home, leaving John and Elizabeth with their servant Eliza Lewis, who would remain with them in the coming decades.

The 1861 census finds them at the same address, and in addition to Eliza the household includes a 13 year old errand boy, David Elsee, though of course he might just have been passing through the house when the enumerator called. Ten years later, the household had expanded again to include Elizabeth’s widowed sister Sarah Crawshaw (see above), as well as their 11 year old nephew Alfred Moore.

John Moore seems to have died in 1876. Certainly, when the 1881 census was taken, 84 year old widow Elizabeth was living alone with her servant Eliza Lewis, now 63. Elizabeth died in the following year.

The third child of Joseph Holdsworth and Margaret Miller was Godfrey Holdsworth, born in 1798. Godfrey married Anne Mitchell (born 1801) at St. Anne’s, Limehouse, in 1822. They had two sons: Joseph Godfrey was born in 1823 and his brother John in 1825. In both of their baptismal records (from St. Paul’s, Shadwell), Godfrey is described as an ‘oil man’. The 1841 census shows 42 year old tallow chandler Godfrey, his wife Anne, 39, and their sons, Joseph, 18 and John, 16, living in Shadwell High Street, not far from Godfrey’s sister Sarah.

St Paul's Shadwell

Anne appears to have died in about 1849, and in the next year Godfrey married again. His second wife , Elizabeth (born in about 1809), seems to have been his cousin, the daughter of his uncle (his father Joseph’s brother), another Godfrey Holdsworth, and his wife Diana Cam. The 1851 census shows the family still in Shadwell. The head of the household now appears to be Godfrey’s son Joseph Godfrey, a tallow chandler employing ten men, who married Mary Ann Battersby in 1846. By this time they had three children: Mary Ann, 4, William, 1, and Eliza, 7 months. Godfrey, 52, described as a tallow chandler ‘out of business’ (had he passed it on to Joseph?) and Elizabeth, 42, are at the same address, as are Joseph’s mother-in-law Eliza Battersby and two servants.

Godfrey’s younger son John had married Anne Jane White in about 1847 /8. In 1851 he too was living in Shadwell High Street and working as an oil man master. With him were Anne, their daughter Anne, 3, and son Frederick, 8 months, as well as a general servant and a nursery maid.

In 1853 Godfrey, his wife Elizabeth, his two sons and their families, all emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand. Godfrey and Elizabeth stayed, dying in New Zealand in 1874 and 1900 respectively, as did Joseph Godfrey and his family. John and his family eventually returned to England and in 1871 could be found living in Mile End Old Town, where John was working as a tallow chandler’s traveller.

Joseph and Margaret Holdsworth had one more child after Sarah, Elizabeth and Godfrey. Joseph Edward Holdsworth was born in 1802, but I plan to write about him in a separate post.

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