A couple of posts back, I reported that I’d found Phoebe Holdsworth, with her second husband James Young, her son Thomas Chamberlin and his wife Elizabeth, and their young families, living next-door to Phoebe’s cousin Keziah and her husband John Blanch, in Green Street, Bethnal Green. The Youngs and Chamberlins were at No. 3 and the Blanch family at No. 2.

Today I thought I’d found another close neighbour linked to them by marriage, when I looked again at the marriage record for Joseph James Blanch, son of John and Keziah. Joseph, a carpenter, married Eliza Philpot, daughter of weaver John Philpot, at St. Matthew’s church, Bethnal Green, on 9th May 1852. I wrote about the Philpots and their links with the Blanch and Parker families in an earlier post.

In the marriage record, Joseph gave his address as 2 Green Street and Eliza gave hers as 4 Green Street. Now, the obvious conclusion to draw from this is that the two were near neighbours – separated only by Phoebe Holdsworth and her family at No.3. But all my attempts to link Eliza to the people who were living at No. 4 at the time of the 1851 census, just a year earlier, proved fruitless. There were no Philpots living there, and the people who occupied the house – greengrocer James Cole and his family, cottonbinder Mary Adams and her son John, and butcher Charles Knight and his family – seemed to have no connection to Eliza.

Then I tried a different approach, looking to see where Eliza’s relations were living at this time. I was surprised to discover her sister Sarah at 4 Green Street, Bethnal Green. But when I looked at the original record, I could see no Blanches or Youngs in the vicinity. It looked like a completely different Green Street – and yet there seemed to be only one on the map.

Green Street, Bethnal Green, from Cross' Map of London 1851

After much digging around online, I think I’ve found the solution. In the 1851 census, Green Street was divided between two enumeration districts. District 19 covered the west end of the street, from Globe Street to Bonner Street, while District 2 included everything from Bonner Street to Twig Folly at the eastern end. The two parts of Green Street fell into separate parishes: the western end was in the parish of St. John, Bethnal Green, while the eastern end came under the newer parish of St. James the Less.

The different parish jurisdictions may explain why the two sections of Green Street had their own, separate numbering systems. In other words, there were two No.4 Green Streets – one in the western part of the street, the other in the east. The Blanches and Youngs lived at Nos. 2 and 3 in the western section – and Sarah Philpot at No.4 in the eastern section.

So although Eliza’s marriage record made it look as though she was living two houses from her new husband – tempting us to conclude that this is how they met – in fact she was living some distance away – at the other end of the street. In the 1851 census, Eliza’s sister Sarah was living at 4 Green Street with William Henry Brereton, his wife Ann, and their two young children. Ann Brereton was Sarah’s sister: she had married William, a cabinet-maker but a weaver’s son, in 1847 (interestingly, at St. John’s, Hackney: see my last post). At the same address was Mary, another sister, whose husband William Powell had died shortly after their marriage in 1849.

Although Eliza was not at this address in 1851 (she was visiting Thomas Parker and his wife Sarah nee Holdsworth in West Street), she was almost certainly living with her sisters Ann, Sarah and Mary at the time of her marriage to Joseph James Blanch.

Old photo of Green Street, Bethnal Green