In reent posts, I’ve been tracing the lives of the sons of Joseph Holdsworth (1735 – 1795). So far, I’ve written about John (1765 – 1858), William (born 1771) and Joseph (1770 – 1848) and their families. To complete the picture, I now want to set down what we know about John’s and Elizabeth’s youngest son, Godfrey, who was born in 1773 and probably died in 1850.
Like his older siblings, Godfrey Holdsworth was born in South Weald, Essex. He married Diana Cam (also born in 1773) on 26th August 1793 at St Paul’s, Covent Garden. We know very little about Godfrey’s and Diana’s lives after this, except that (judging by the birth places of their children) they seem to have lived in Whitechapel and Stepney. There’s a record of a Godfrey Holdsworth dying in Hackney in 1850, but I’ve found no trace of him in the 1841 census.
Godfrey and Diana had five children, about whom we know the following:
Godfrey Holdsworth, whose birth date we don’t know, died in Stepney in 1839 (unless, of course, this was Godfrey senior?).
John Henry Holdsworth, born in Whitechapel in 1799, married Phoebe Buthead (born either in Mile End, or in Benson, Oxfordshire, depending on which census record you believe) some time before 1823, when their son Henry John was born in Bow. Another son, William, was born there five years later. The next record we have for John Henry and Phoebe is the 1851 census, which finds them living in Morning Lane, in the parish of St. John, Hackney. John Henry, a plumber, was 52, as was Phoebe, while 23 year old William was working as a journeyman painter. Meanwhile, their older son Henry John married Eliza Emily West (a widow, born in Hackney in 1824) in 1857, and was now living in Marylebone, where he was working as a painter and Eliza was employed as a ladies’ maid. In 1861, John Henry and Phoebe were still living in Morning Lane and John was still working as a plumber. I’m not sure where their son William was at this date, or indeed what became of him afterwards, but Henry and Eliza were now also living in Morning Lane.
John Henry Holdsworth died in 1863 at the age of 64. In 1871 his widow Phoebe was living with Henry John and Eliza at their house in Morning Lane. She seems to have died before 1881, when Henry (now a plumber and painter) and Eliza were still at the same address, together with Martin and Mary Jeffrey, who seem to have been relations of Eliza’s. Henry probably died in 1889. In 1891 Eliza is still in Morning Lane with the Jeffreys, and is described as Martin’s sister in law. She died in 1895.
About Charles Holdsworth, we know nothing beyond the date of his birth in 1800.
Edward James Holdsworth was born in 1806 in Mile End Old Town. In 1825 he married Mary Ann Chambers, also from Mile End, at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch. Their first child, also Edward James, was baptised in the same church in the following year. The record shows his father to have been a painter and the family’s address as New Inn Yard. A second son, George, was baptised at Christ Church, Spitalfields in 1828, while their daughter Lydia was christened at St. Leonard’s in 1831 (they were now living in nearby Leonard Street). They were at the same address when another daughter, Mary Ann, was baptised in 1835. They had moved to Anchor Street by the time their next child, Emma Jane, was baptised at St.Leonard’s in 1837.
By 1841 the family was living in Selby Street, officially in Bethnal Green but in reality close to Shoreditch and Spitalfields. Their last child, Elizabeth, was born in 1842. In 1851, journeyman painter Edward and his family are still in Selby Street, where son Edward is now working as a book binder, Lydia as a seamstress, Mary as a shirt maker (?) and Emma as a watch guard maker (?).
Edward’s and Mary Ann’s son George (1828) had married his wife, Emily Jane, some time before 1850, when their first son, George Alfred Holdsworth, was baptised at St Leonard’s, Shoreditch. George senior is described as a bookbinder (perhaps he and his brother Edward were apprenticed together?), living in New Inn Broadway (identical with New Inn Street on the above map, perhaps?), close to where his parents were living in the 1820s. George and Emily Jane had four other children: Charles (born 1854), Josiah (1856), Edward (1858) and Caroline (1859) were all baptised together at St. Sepulchre, Holborn in 1865, when the family was living at 1 George Yard.
At the time of the 1861 census the household at Selby Street remained largely unchanged, with two exceptions. Edward’s and Mary Ann’s youngest daughter Emma had married in the interim and is now listed under her married name, Emma Jane Dean. She had married coach painter George Dean at St. Matthew’s, Bethnal Green, in January of that year; he was staying with his brother-in-law in Rochester, Kent, at the time of the census. Another daughter, Lydia, had married William Hobbs in 1854 and by this date they were living in Commercial Road with their daughters Lydia Ann, 5, and Mary Ann, 3. William had been a painter when they married but is now described as a beer house (?) keeper. I don’t know where George Holdsworth and his family were living in the 1860s.
In 1871, Edward and Emma, now in their 60s, are still in Selby Street, with their son Edward. Also living with them is their 11 year old granddaughter Caroline, youngest daughter of their son George. The latter, by now a widower, was living with his three sons, Charles, Josiah and Edward, at Strand Buildings in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. I don’t know where his oldest son, George Alfred, was living at this date, but (given what we know from later records) it was probably in the Holborn area where he grew up.
Lydia’s husband William Hobbs had died in 1870. She was now working as housekeeper for Inland Revenue Copying Clerk Richard Humphrey, and she and her family were living with him at 210 Whitechapel Road. Lydia had five surviving children from her marriage to William: Lydia 15, William, 9, Emma 6, George, 4, and Elizabeth, 1. At the time of the census Lydia’s daughter Mary was with her aunt Emma and her husband George Dean (now a coffee house keeper) in Lambeth. Another visitor was Emma’s and Lydia’s sister Mary Ann. I don’t know where their other sister, Elizabeth, was living at this date.
In 1874 Lydia married for a second time, at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, to widower William Henry Dunbar, a butcher. By 1881, Lydia and William were living in White Horse Street, Ratcliffe, with Lydia’s children and William’s two sons from his first marriage, together with a young man described as a butcher’s servant. In 1881 Emma and her husband George Dean were still in Lambeth, though only one daughter, Elizabeth Ann, is mentioned in the census record. I’ve been unable to find any trace of the other two Holdsworth sisters, Mary Ann and Elizabeth, in the 1881 census.
Athough I can’t find any record for their brother George at this date, we know that his oldest son George Alfred, a bookbinder like his father, had married his wife Caroline (born in Grays Inn Road in about 1845) before 1872 when their first child, Emily, was born. In 1881 they were living in Crown Court, in the parish of St. Dunstan’s in the City of London. Besides Emily, now 8, they had three other children: John, 6, Ellen, 4, and Caroline, 7 months, all born in Gray’s Inn Road.
Edward James Holdsworth’s wife Mary Ann died in 1880 at the age of 74. At the time of the 1881 census Edward and his unmarried son Edward were visitors, as was Lydia’s daughter Mary Ann Hobbs, in the home of Sarah Fladgate and her daugher, also Sarah, in Smith Street, Mile End Old Town. Edward James senior died later that year at the age of 75.
In 1891 Edward James Holdsworth junior, 62, still described as a bookbinder, was living in a boarding house in Haggerston. Ten years later, he can be found living in a large institution (workhouse?) in Wood Green, where he is described as a ‘pauper’. He died in 1907.
Lydia Dunbar nee Holdsworth died in 1886 at the age of 55. In 1891 Emma and George Dean and their two daughters, Elizabeth, 17, a piano teacher, and Alice Mae, 6, were living in Camberwell. In 1896 Elizabeth married civil servant John Edward Plowman in Peckham. By 1901, George had retired and he, Emma and Alice were living in Deptford with Elizabeth, John and their three year old daughter Winifred. Emma died in Camberwell in 1917, at the age of 80.
As I noted in an earlier post, Godfrey and Diana Holdsworth’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth Holdsworth, who was born in about 1809, was the second wife of her cousin, another Godfrey, son of Joseph and Margaret Holdsworth. Elizabeth emigrated to New Zealand with Godfrey and his family and died there in 1900.