In my last post I wrote about law stationer and clerk William Seager, who I believe may have been related to my own Seager ancestors.
One of my reasons for thinking this is that William’s homes in Little James Street and John Street, Holborn, were very close to addresses associated with ‘my’ Seagers. For example, Samuel Hurst Seager, older brother of my great-great-grandmother Fanny Sarah Seager, was living at 33 East Street (near the top of the above image; now renamed as Dombey Street) when he registered the death of his father, another Samuel Hurst Seager, in 1837. Samuel junior was 18 at the time and working as a carpenter. However, he was no longer at this address when the 1841 census was taken (the location of all the Seager children at this date remainds a mystery: I suspect my search is being hampered, once again, by a misleading transcription of their surname at Ancestry).
In 1851 Samuel was living with his mother and siblings at 46 Gerrard Street, Soho, and in the same year he married Jane Wild at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. The 1856 Post Office Directory finds Samuel, now described as a builder, still at the same address in Gerrard Street.
Jane died some time before June 1860, when Samuel married Sussex-born tailor’s daughter Mary Ann Yeates at the church of St. George the Martyr, Queen Square (see photograph in last post). Samuel and Mary both gave their address as 6 Theobalds Road (just to the north of Red Lion Square), and the witnesses were Samuel’s sister Elizabeth, and John Thomson. It seems likely that the latter was the couple’s landlord. Although they were no longer in Theobalds Road when the census was taken in the following year, a John Thomson is still living there with his wife and children.
John was born in Cromarty, Scotland in 1811 and his wife Mary in Ryde, Isle of Wight, in 1817. They had three children: Henry Alexander, Catherine and Mary. An earlier census, when the family was living in Pimlico, desribes John as a pianoforte maker, but later records give his occupation as cheesemonger, and it’s likely this was his job when Samuel and Mary Ann Seager were living with him. The premises on either side were occupied by a greengrocer and a hairdresser, so it’s probable that No. 6 was one of a row of shops with accommodation above, very much as this part of Theobalds Road is today:
Incidentally, I had forgotten that another person in my family tree was living in Theobalds Road in the 1860s. Staffordshire-born bookbinder Enoch Palmer, the widowed father of Marianne Mansfield Palmer, second wife of my great-great-grandfather William Robb, lived at No. 13 with his daughter Martha, a dressmaker.
It’s possible that Samuel Seager and Enoch Palmer were acquaintances as well as neighbours. They were certainly connected by their association with William Robb, who had married the former’s sister and then the latter’s daughter. And if my theory about the religious affiliations of the Seagers and the Palmers is correct, they may also have been fellow-worshippers at Great Queen Street Methodist Chapel, just a few streets from Theobalds Road (bottom left of map).