Hannah (1) Woodhurst

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Brief biography

Hannah (1) Woodhurst was born to parents William (1) Woodhurst and his wife Elizabeth Clements. She was christened on October 30th 1814 at Frindsbury in Kent [Frindsbury Parish Register]. Her father was then occupied as a labourer.

She has not yet been found in the 1841 Census.

She partnered (and may have married) an Irishman John Joseph (1) Henigan. A marriage record for them has not yet been found.

The 1851 Census finds the family living at 49, Black Horse Yard in the Liberty of Glass House Yard in Finsbury, London. John Joseph (1)'s birthplace is given as Mayo, Ireland and his occupation as whalebone manufacturer. Hannah (1)'s birthplace is given as Crayford in Kent, the same birthplace as claimed by her brother James (2) in the 1861 Census. They had with them just the first three children listed below. Also in the household was a widowed visitor "Mrs. Woodhurst" aged "59" and born in Kent, this being Hannah (1)'s mother Elizabeth. Hannah (1) was certainly born at Frindsbury but by 1851 she probably remembered only having spent some years in or near Crayford as a child; or she may have consulted her mother whose own memory may by then have been failing.

Glass House Yard, which still exists, was situated immediately west of Aldersgate Street. The term "Liberty" reflected the claim of the citizens within it that they enjoyed immunity from the parochial law and its magistrates. The Yard included the church of St. Thomas Charterhouse which had opened in 1842. Its first encumbent recorded of the Yard that:

"... the boundary line has been scrupulously zigzagged [so] that every house of the better description has been cut out of the district. What was left was a network of the very lowest courts and alleys".

Its population was mostly Irish, this perhaps being what had drawn John Joseph (1) to live there. In this period there was much antagonism between the Irish Catholics and the predominantly Protestant population at large. The following extract from an Annual Report written by one of the missionaries to the Surrey Chapel in 1852 gives (if accurate) some insight into the prevailing mentalities in the neighbourhood:

"The deluded creatures in Glass-house-yard are nearly all Irish, and the appearance of a Protestant among them immediately excites their anger. If they could secretly murder him they would not hesitate to do so. Even the children are taught to watch my movements, and their parents will grind their teeth at me as I pass their doors. One woman said recently, 'If you intend to come here you had better order your coffin.' In Gravel-lane there is an Infant School belonging to the Established Church, and the Roman Catholic children, no doubt prompted by their parents, are constantly breaking the windows by throwing stones. A few days since, the door was burst open, and a donkey put in at the door. Ewer-street runs out of Gravel-lane into Union-street. Whenever I enter the streets I am narrowly watched. If I give them a tract, some of them will light their pipes with it. Others will shout out, 'Here comes the ----- missionary! Here is the Government spy! Here is the tormentor!' "An Irishman recently said to me, 'Here you are again, bad luck to ye. We have no pace hare for the like of ye. Faith, and we war never so tarmented in our lives before. Och! and I should like to roast ye, and all the like of ye! Oh, wouldent I like to have the kindling of the fire, and a drap of whisky over the fun. The curses of St. Michael be upon ye for iver and iver!' "Another Irishman accosted me in the street, and said, 'Are you the priest?' You know I am not,' I replied. 'In whose name then do you come here?' 'In the name of the Great High Priest, King Jesus!' 'By the blessed Virgin, and holy St. Patrick, and by Jasus ye shall not go down here, heretic as ye are, if ye do I will stab you to the very heart;' and he presented a knife with a sharp point, and dared me to stir a step farther. I told him he had no right to stop me on the Queen's highway, and I was determined, whatever might be the consequences, not to be prevented from doing my duty, and rushed past him. He followed me, gnashing his teeth, and uttering the most awful imprecations. An old woman cried out, 'Why did you not rid the world of an inimy, and do God a sarvice?' 'Sure,' said he, 'and if it had not been for my own neck I would, but the Protestant Government would have been after me, bad luck to them.'

The Times was content also to vent the nation's prejudice against the Irish, as indicated by this comment made in its issue of March 3rd 1853:

"We very much doubt whether in England, or indeed in any free Protestant country, a true Papist can be a good subject. But if all this had been avowed some years ago, the opportunities of Popery would never have been what they are."

On March 27th 1853 the oldest child Catherine Elizabeth, then aged nearly 10, was christened at St. Thomas Charterhouse [IGI: Batch C042071]. The record correctly names her parents and gives her birthdate as June 13th 1843. On exactly the same day, and also at St. Thomas Charterhouse, Hannah (1)'s sister Ellen (1) was christened when aged nearly 21. It is not known what instigated this double christening, nor why Hannah (1) did not take the opportunity to christen some of her other children at the same time.

By late August 1854, when their fifth child was born, the family was living at 27, Wellington Street in Bethnal Green.

The 1861 Census finds the family living at 6a, Prospect Place, South Hackney. John Joseph (1)'s birthplace is again given as Mayo and he was still occupied as a whalebone manufacturer. Hannah (1)'s birthplace is entered, slightly indistinctly, as "Frinsbury", Kent. Her entered forename appears more like Rosanna than Hannah. They now had with them all the children listed below other than Malachi, who had apparently died in infancy. At this same address, but as a separate household, was Hannah (1)'s sister Eliza (1) and the latter's second partner Isaac Fry. Eliza (1)'s birthplace is entered clearly as "Frinsbury", Kent.

John Joseph (1) appears to have died in 1864 [Death Index: Mile End 1c 494, 1864 (March)].

The 1871 Census finds Hannah (1) - entered as "Rosana" - boarding at 10, Denmark Place in South Hackney, described as a widowed annuitant aged "52" and born in Crayford, Kent. With her were her three surviving sons, her married daughter Catherine Elizabeth and the latter's infant son.

She died in 1875. The death certificate [Death Index: Hackney 1b 379, 1875 (March)] states that she died on March 4th 1875 at 11, Bentham Road in South Hackney. She is described as aged "58" and the widow of John Henigan, a whalebone worker. The cause of death was certified as "phthisis, bronchitis 14 days" and the informant, present at the death and of the same address, was her daughter Catherine Elizabeth, named as "C.E. Stocks [sic]". She was buried on March 11th [City of London & Tower Hamlets Cemetery Registers 1841-1966, Ref. CTHC/01/020], the burial register giving her home address as Grafton Terrace in Hackney.

Her children by John Joseph (1) Henigan

  1. Catherine Elizabeth Henigan - born in Stepney on June 13th 1843
  2. Sabina Rosanna Henigan - [Birth Index: Bethnal Green 2 41, 1849 (Dec)]
  3. Malachi Henigan - born in London in February/March 1851
  4. John Malachi/Joseph (2) Henigan - [Birth Index: East London 1c 31, 1852 (Dec)]
  5. George Thomas Henigan - [Birth Index: Bethnal Green 1c 257, 1854 (Sept)]
  6. Malachi James Henigan - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 351, 1858 (March)]
  7. and possibly others ...

Catherine Elizabeth Henigan

Catherine Elizabeth was with her parents in the 1851 and 1861 Censuses. Her future husband was Louis George (1) Stock, the son of Charles Stock and his wife Mary (formerly Hawes). The 1841 Census finds Charles and Mary with three children living in Haywood's Buildings, St. John Hackney [PRO Ref: HO107 Piece 698 Book 8 Folio 15 Page 22]. Their son Louis George (1) was born a year later [Birth Index: Hackney 3 159, 1842 (June)]. The 1851 Census finds him at age 9 with his parents who were still living in Haywood's Buildings, Charles being described as an ostler born in Ashdon, Essex. Also present was a much older "son" Samuel Hawes aged 24, possibly Mary's son by a prior partner, and a nephew "Payer" Hawes aged 11, both born in Ashdon. The 1861 Census finds Louis George (1) at age 19 living with his parents at 2, Cheston Cottages in St. John Hackney and occupied as a blacksmith.

Catherine and Louis George (1) married in 1867 [Marriage Index: Bethnal Green 1c 442, 1867 (March)]. The marriage certificate states that they were married by Banns at the church of St. James the Great on February 17th. It describes him as a farrier residing in Bethnal Green whose father Charles was a miller, and her as a spinster whose father John was deceased. The witnesses were George Grocott - presumably the husband of her sister Sabina Rosanna - and Emma Edwards whose connection is unknown.

Their first child was probably Louis George (2) Stock who died aged "0" [Death Index: Hackney 1b 293, 1869 (June)]. The GRO index spells his first name as "Lewis". In 1870 they produced another child Louis George (3) Stock [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 472, 1870 (June)].

The 1871 Census finds Catherine at age "24" with this child - entered as "Lewis G. Stock" - boarding with her mother and brothers. Her birthplace is given enigmatically as Birmingham, possibly owing to the enumerator misreading a poorly-written "Bethnal Green" on their census form. Her husband was meanwhile visiting or lodging with his parents at 22, Florefield Road in St. John Hackney. He is described as a farrier aged "29" with birthplace Hackney.

In March 1875 Catherine was the informant on her mother's death certificate and her address given at that time as 11, Bentham Road in South Hackney.

The 1881 Census finds her, at (under-stated) age "34", living with her husband and son Louis George (3) at 159, Powerscroft Road in St. John Hackney. Louis George (1) was still occupied as a farrier.

The couple evidently separated during the subsequent decade. Catherine took a new, unmarried partner named William Edward Rogers, a painter and decorator born in Haverfordwest in 1838 [Birth Index: Haverfordwest 26 521, 1838 (Sept)]. At the time of the 1881 Census he had been lodging at 15, Bishop Road in South Hackney, the same road in which Catherine's married sister Sabina was then living. The 1891 Census finds Catherine and William Edward living together at 51, Cranbury Road in Fulham and purporting to be man and wife. With them was Louis George (3) with his surname entered as Rogers instead of Stock.

Meanwhile, the 1891 Census appears to find Louis George (1) as simply "George" aged "48", living with a new and much younger partner Mary at 17, Rushton Street, Hoxton in Shoreditch and now occupied as a painter. They too were purporting to be man and wife. Also present was a girl Minnie "Stock" aged "10" and born in Hoxton who was probably Mary's daughter by a previous partner.

In 1893 Catherine and William Edward married [Marriage Index: St. Saviour Southwark 1d 209, 1893 (Dec)]. They married on October 22nd at the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Southwark, both giving their address as Alvey Street. His occupation was given as decorator. On the certificate she was entered as a "widow" named "Cathleen Elizabeth Stock" whilst her deceased father's name was entered correctly as John Henigan. The witnesses were William Poole and Henrietta Poole whose connections are unknown.

William Edward Rogers appears to have died aged "58" in early 1901 [Death Index: Fulham 1a 206, 1901 (March)]; he was actually 62.

The 1901 census finds Catherine widowed and living at 52, Rosebury Road in Fulham, together with Louis George (3) who was employed as a house painter. His surname is again entered as Rogers.

Meanwhile, the 1901 census appears to find Louis George (1) and Mary living at 13, Rushton Street together with Minnie now aged "20" and two younger daughters, Alice aged "9" and Rhoda aged "5", both born in Hoxton. Rhoda was born in 1896 [Birth Index: Shoreditch 1c 64, 1896 (June)]. He is described as aged "59" and out of work owing to illness. This illness was probably responsible for his death later that year [Death Index: Shoreditch 1c 61, 1901 (Sept)]. The GRO index names him as "Lewis George Stock", aged "59".

In 1909 Louis George (3) married Sarah Luker [Marriage Index: Wandsworth 1d 1259, 1909 (June)]. Sarah was born in Fyfield, Berkshire in 1868 [Birth Index: Abingdon 2c 279, 1868 (Dec)].

A little later in 1909 Catherine apparently died, aged "63" [Death Index: Wandsworth 1d 291, 1909 (Sept)].

The 1911 census finds Louis George (3) - named as "George Rogers" - occupied as a decorator and living with his wife Sarah and their infant daughter Kathleen at 135, Wellfield Road in Streatham.

Sabina Rosanna Henigan

Sabina Rosanna's second name may have been adopted in remembrance of James (2)'s child Rosanna Elizabeth who had died in 1847, but it does not appear in her own birth registration. She was with her parents in the 1851 and 1861 Censuses. When nearly 17 she married George Grocott [Marriage Index: Hackney 1b 756, 1866 (Sept)] who was born in Stoke Newington around early 1846 [Birth Index: Hackney 3 21x(page unclear), 1846 (March)]. The 1871 Census finds her at age 21 living with him at 13, Pleasant Cottages in St. John Hackney. George was occupied as a clerk at the Town Hall. Sabina's birthplace is given as Old Ford. With them were two young sons both born in Hackney. The 1881 Census finds the family, now with seven children, living at 26, Bishop Road in St. John Hackney. George was still occupied as a clerk. The entire family gave Hackney as their birthplace. One of the children there, Emily Sabina born in 1869, had not been entered in their 1871 Census schedule. The 1891 Census finds Emily Sabina at 59, Farleigh Road in Hackney as a visitor in the household of a human-hair merchant William Irmer whose son Henry ("Harry") she married at St. Mary in Walthamstow on May 30th 1892 [IGI: Batch M163964]. The birth references of Sabina Rosanna's children are as follows:

   Claude George Grocott - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 497, 1867 (March)]
   Emily Sabina Grocott - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 434, 1869 (Sept)]
   Frederick Charles Grocott - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 436, 1871 (June)]
   Henry John Grocott - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 538, 1875 (March)]
   Arthur Freeman Grocott - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 520, 1877 (March)]
   Sabina Rosanna Grocott - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 525, 1878 (June)]
   Florence Edith Grocott - [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 597, 1880 (June)]

Sabina Rosanna (senior) died aged 34 in 1883 [Death Index: Hackney 1b 330, 1883 (Dec)]. She was buried on December 3rd 1883 at the Abney Park Cemetery [Abney Park Indexing Project: Burial No. 74224 Section F05, Index 3S03]. Her husband George later remarried to a much younger woman Eliza Ann Porter [Marriage Index: Hackney 1b 618, 1885 (June)]. The 1891 Census finds him with her and his four sons by Sabina living in "High House" at 36, Chingford Road in Walthamstow. His daughters Sabina Rosanna and Florence Edith were meanwhile living, or staying, nearby with his widowed father Joseph Grocott at 5, Southborne Terrace off Hoe Street in Walthamstow.

Malachi Henigan

This boy appears in the family's 1851 Census record, where his age is given as "4 weeks" and his birthplace as "London". His forename appears in the schedule as "Robuck", probably a misreading of a poorly-written "Malachi" on the original census form. No GRO birth reference has been found for him under any name variant. He evidently died around early 1852 [Death Index: East London 1c 26, 1852 (March) - indexed as "Heneigan"].

John Malachi/Joseph (2) Henigan

John Malachi/Joseph (2) was evidently registered at birth as "John Malachi", but the family appears thereafter to have substituted "Joseph" for his middle name. He was with his parents in the 1861 Census and with his mother in the 1871 Census. In 1878 he married as "John Joseph" to Emily Sarah Dyer [Marriage Index: Bethnal Green 1c 441, 1878 (June)]. Emily Sarah was born in Homerton in 1859 [Birth Index: Hackney 1b 331, 1859 (Sept)]. The 1881 Census finds them living at 113, Balls Pond Road in Islington with a son Ernest G. aged 1 month. John Joseph (2) was occupied as a house decorator. The 1891 Census finds them living at Westwell Cottage in Streatham with Ernest G. and three other children. John Joseph (2) was again occupied as a house decorator. The 1901 Census finds the family living at 310, Balham High Road in Streatham where he was now occupied as a builder and undertaker.

One of their children, Catherine Sabina [Birth Index: Wandsworth 1d 825, 1891 (March)] married in 1911 - at the Holy Trinity Church near Balham High Road - to John Crosby-Browne [Marriage Index: Wandsworth 1d 1272, 1911 (Sept)], who was born in 1886 [Birth Index: St. Geo.Han.Sq. 1a 431, 1886 (Sept)]. Both the latter two index references give his name as "John Crosby Browne". John appears also to have had a younger brother William C. Crosby-Browne [Birth Index: St. Geo.Han.Sq. 1a 404, 1890 (June)]. John and Catherine Sabina produced at least two children, John Ernest Crosby-Browne [Birth Index: Wandsworth 1d 1199, 1912 (March)] - born in December 1911 - and Irene G. Crosby-Browne [Birth Index: Wandsworth 1d 1288, 1913 (March)].

Descendants report that by 1914 John Joseph (2) and his family had emigrated to Australia. Not long afterwards he was accidentally killed in the docks at Sydney. His death certificate states that he died on April 6th 1916 owing to "accidental injuries (fall into hold of vessel): finding at Inquiry by City Coroner, 12 April 1916". He had been living at Belmore and was described as a painter. The informant was his son Ernest. He was buried on April 8th 1916 at the Rookwood Cemetery, New South Wales, his gravestone giving his age inaccurately as "61". His widow Emily Sarah died in 1949.

George Thomas Henigan

George Thomas was born on July 21st 1854 and christened at St. Matthew, Bethnal Green on September 10th 1854 [IGI: Batch C046984]. His birth certificate [Birth Index: Bethnal Green 1c 257, 1854 (Sept)] confirms that he was born on that date at his parents' address 27, Wellington Street in Bethnal Green. The informant was his father, described as a whalebone manufacturer. His mother's maiden name is given clearly as Woodhurst. He was with his parents in the 1861 Census and with his mother in the 1871 Census. He has not yet been found in the 1881 Census. In 1883 he married Lucy Crabtree [Marriage Index: Hackney 1b 908, 1883 (Sept)]. Lucy was born in Winchester, Hampshire around 1863-64 to parents Thomas Crabtree and his wife Maria. The 1891 Census finds him living with Lucy, but no children, at 69, Paradise Road in Lambeth where he was occupied as a decorator. The 1901 Census finds the family living at 93, Laitwood Road in Streatham where he was again occupied as a house decorator. They again had no children with them.

Malachi James Henigan

Malachi James was with his parents in the 1861 Census and with his mother in the 1871 Census. He has not yet been found in the 1881 Census. In 1889 he married (as "Malichi James") to Mary Ann Crabtree [Marriage Index: Wandsworth 1d 948, 1889 (June)]. Mary Ann was born in Winchester around 1866-67 and was the younger sister of his brother's wife Lucy. The 1891 Census finds them living at 42, Bromfelde Road in Clapham with a daughter Daisy aged "6" who must have been born some years before they had married. Like both his brothers he was occupied as a house decorator. The 1901 Census finds the family living at 12, Woolneigh Street in Fulham where he was again occupied as a house decorator. Their daughter Daisy married in 1906 [Marriage Index: Brentford 3a 402, 1906 (Sept)].