Charles John Smith, Marylebone Tailor (1822-1890)

Humble Beginnings

Charles John Smith was an older brother of my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Ann Smith. He was born 17 September 1822 in the small English parish of Hindolveston, Norfolk, to parents John Smith, a tailor, and Mary Shirley. On 29 October 1822, when he was six weeks old, Charles was baptised at the Independent (Congregational) Church of Briston and Guestwick. He was the fourth of ten children born to John and Mary.

After his baptism, the next record of Charles is on the 1841 census. He was enumerated in Hindolveston, living with his parents and younger siblings Isaac, Maria, Charlotte, and Francis. He would have been 19 years of age at the time, although his age was recorded as 15.

Hindolveston was and still is a small parish. White’s directory of 1845 gave the population of Hindolveston as 839. Opportunities for advancement within the parish were limited, and several of Charles’ siblings had sought employment in the London area.

Tailoring Business in West End London

At some time during the decade after the 1841 census, Charles did the same, moving to Westminster, Middlesex. By the time of the 1851 census, Charles was living at 21 Catherine Street in the household of Richard Budd, a tailor. Charles’ occupation was also given as tailor. It’s possible that Charles was initially trained in the tailoring business by his father, John Smith, who was also a tailor. Perhaps Charles was continuing his training under the guidance of Richard Budd, or perhaps he was in business with him. In any case, when Richard Budd died in 1859, Charles served as one of the executors of Richard’s will.

It’s interesting to note that Charles’ older brother, John Shirley Smith, was also a tailor, and in 1851 was living in St. Pancras. As tailors, Charles John Smith, his father and brother, would have made, mended, and altered men’s clothing, as well as women’s coats.

The west end of London, including Westminster and Marylebone, where Charles lived and worked, was a centre for the tailoring trade in the nineteenth century. Competition for business would have been brisk; there were many tailors listed in the post office directory in 1870 with an address in the west end.

Marriage and Family, and a Move to Marylebone

On 20 June 1858, at the age of 36, Charles married Julia Ann Huxtable at Trinity Church in St. Marylebone, Middlesex. Julia was the daughter of Richard Huxtable, a builder. She was single at the time of the marriage and living in Trinity District. The witnesses at the marriage were Richard and Martha Huxtable, likely family of the bride.

Charles had moved residence by the time of his marriage, as the marriage register gave his address as Foley Street. Another move followed shortly thereafter to 9 Ridinghouse Street in St. Marylebone, where he and Julia were enumerated with their first two children, Eliza and Charles.

In total, Charles and Julia had nine children, all of them born at the Ridinghouse address.

Date of BirthName of ChildDate of Death
06 Apr 1859Eliza Ann Smith09 Mar 1863
24 Jan 1861Charles John Smith27 Feb 1863
01 May 1862Julia Ann Smith
08 Jun 1863Eliza Ann Smith
25 Sep 1864Alice Mary Smith28 Oct 1864
10 Dec 1865Alice Mary Smith
Abt Mar 1867Charles John Smith
19 Feb 1868Marian Emily Smith
Abt Mar 1870Harriet Huxtable Smith

Sadly, three of the couple’s children did not survive to adulthood. The couple’s two oldest children, Eliza and Charles, died within about two weeks of each other, both from scarlet fever, a streptococcus (bacterial) infection. London in 1863 reported the highest number of deaths from scarlet fever since the Registrar General had begun collecting cause of death in 1837. In the first quarter of the year, when Eliza and Charles acquired the illness, much of the country reported scarlet fever in epidemic numbers. Their youngest daughter at the time, Julia, either did not catch the disease, or if she did, she survived it. A third child, Alice Mary, born in 1864, died at the age of one month of bronchitis.

9 Riding House Street: Home and Business

Charles Booth’s poverty map shows Ridinghouse Street to be in an area of comfortable wage-earners and the well-to-do middle class. Charles’ tailoring business must have been successful for him to have been able to afford a property in this area. Charles ran several advertisements for help in the Clerkenwell News, suggesting that his business had blossomed beyond a one-person operation.

The building at 9 Ridinghouse must have been either a substantial one, or a crowded one. Not only did Charles and his family live there, but he operated his tailoring business from there as well. The family also took in a number of lodgers. At the 1861 census, there were 8 lodgers, two of whom were tailors, and might have worked for or with Charles.

By the time of the 1871 census, however, there were no longer any lodgers living at 9 Ridiinghouse. The household consisted of Charles and Julia, their six surviving children, and a domestic servant.

Charles’s wife, Julia, passed away in 1871, leaving him with six young children between the ages of 2 and 9 years. Many men in this situation would have quickly remarried in order to have someone to take care of the children. Charles, however, does not appear to have done so. He had a servant, Jane Cotterell, living with the family at the time of the 1881 census, and perhaps Jane filled the role of nanny.

Charles Smith’s Last Years

Charles lived to the age of nearly 68 years, dying just a few days before his birthday. He passed away on 13 September 1890 at his home at 9 Ridinghouse Street of bowel obstruction. At the time of his death, only two of his six surviving children had married. Charles took pains in his will to ensure that his unmarried daughters would be provided for and would have a home to live in until they married, leaving the leasehold of 9 Ridinghouse Street to his youngest daughter on condition that all of his unmarried children could all live there until they married.

Interestingly, his servant, Jane Cotterell, was also named in the will, and like his daughters, was to be allowed to live at 9 Ridinghouse Street until she, too, married. Charles was buried at St. Pancras Cemetery, Camden on 18 September 1890.

Notes:

  1. Baptisms (non-conformist). England. Independent Church of Briston and Guestwick, Norfolk. 29 October 1822. SMITH, Charles John.
  2. Census. England. 1841. Hindolveston, Norfolk. SMITH, Charles. [Head of household: John SMITH]. HO107/763/14 folio 10 page 22.
  3. White, William. (1845) History, gazetteer and directory of Norfolk: including the city of Norwich and comprising a general survey of the county. Sheffield: William White. p. 351.
  4. Census. England. 1851. Westminster St. Margaret, Middlesex. 21 Catherine Street. SMITH, Charles. [Head of household: Richard BUDD]. HO107/1480 folio 505 page 64.
  5. Testamentary records. England. 12 December 1859. BUDD, Richard. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the grants of probate. p 188. Collection: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 21 September 2019.
  6. Census. England. 1851. St. Pancras, Middlesex. 41 Johnson Street. SMITH, John. HO107/1496 folio 559 page 15.
  7. Hall, P.G. (1960) The location of the clothing trades in London, 1861-1951. Transactions and Papers (Institute of British Geographers), vol. 28. pp. 155-178.
  8. Marriages. Civil registers. England. Trinity Church, St. Marylebone, Middlesex. 20 June 1858. SMITH, Charles John and HUXTABLE, Julia Ann. Entry No. 3.
  9. Births. Civil registers. England. All Souls District, Marylebone RD, Middlesex. 6 April 1859. SMITH, Eliza Anne. Entry No. 392.
  10. Deaths. Civil registers. England. All Souls District, Marylebone RD, Middlesex. 9 March 1863. SMITH, Eliza Anne. Entry No. 46.
  11. Births. Civil registers. England. All Souls District, Marylebone RD, Middlesex. 24 January 1861. SMITH, Charles John. Entry No. 26.
  12. Deaths. Civil registers. England. All Souls District, Marylebone RD, Middlesex. 27 February 1863. SMITH, Charles John. Entry No. 27.
  13. Births. Civil registers. England. All Souls District, Marylebone RD, Middlesex. 1 May 1862. SMITH, Julia Ann. Entry No. 209.
  14. 1939 Register, England. Gloucester C.B., Gloucestershire. SMITH, Eliza A. 29 September 1939. Schedule 272/2. RG101/5044B/003/1 Letter Code: OBBD. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. https://www.findmypast.com/ : accessed 21 September 2019.
  15. Births. Civil registers. England. All Souls District, Marylebone RD, Middlesex. 25 September 1864. SMITH, Alice Mary. Entry No. 412.
  16. Deaths. Civil registers. England. All Souls District, Marylebone RD, Middlesex. 28 October 1864. SMITH, Alice Mary. Entry No. 425.
  17. 1939 Register, England. Watford M.B., Hertfordshire. HAYES, Alice Mary. 29 September 1939. Schedule 50/2. RG101/1641J/005/36 Letter Code: DEWS. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. https://www.findmypast.com/ : accessed 21 September 2019.
  18. Births index. Civil registers. England & Wales. RD Marylebone, Middlesex. 1st Q., 1867. SMITH, Charles John [Mother’s maiden surname: Huxtable]. Vol. 1a, p. 433. https://www.gro.gov.uk : accessed 29 September 2019.
  19. 1939 Register, England. Watford M.B., Hertfordshire. HAYES, Alice Mary. 29 September 1939. Schedule 50/2. RG101/1641J/005/36 Letter Code: DEWS. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. https://www.findmypast.com/ : accessed 21 September 2019.
  20. 1939 Register, England. Harrow U.D., Middlesex. RAPPILLARD, Marian E. 29 September 1939. Schedule 83/1. RG101/0783C/006/30 Letter Code: BIBT. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. https://www.findmypast.com/ : accessed 21 September 2019.
  21. Births index. Civil registers. England & Wales. RD Marylebone, Middlesex. 1st Q., 1870. SMITH, Harriett Huxtable [Mother’s maiden surname: Huxtable]. Vol. 1a, p. 486. https://www.gro.gov.uk : accessed 29 September 2019.
  22. Radcliffe, J.N. (1865) Report on Epidemics in Great Britain, 1863. Transactions, Epidemiological Society of London. 2(1). pp. 173-199.
  23. London School of Economics. Charles Booth’s London: Maps. https://booth.lse.ac.uk/map/14/-0.1174/51.5064/100/0 : accessed 01 November 2019.
  24. Clerkenwell News. (1871) Wanted: Braiders and jacket hands. Clerkenwell News. 2 June. p. 8a.
  25. Census. England. 1861. St. Marylebone, Middlesex. 9 Ridinghouse Street. SMITH, Charles John. RG9/68 folio 30 page 56.
  26. Census. England. 1871. Marylebone, London. 9 Riding House Street. SMITH, Charles J. RG10/151 folio 151 page 17.
  27. Deaths index. Civil registers. England & Wales. RD Marylebone, Middlesex. 4th Q., 1871. SMITH, Julia Ann. Vol. 1a, p. 361. https://www.gro.gov.uk : accessed 29 September 2019.
  28. Census. England. 1871. Marylebone, London. 9 Riding House Street. SMITH, Charles J. RG11/135 folio 15 page 24.
  29. Testamentary records. England. 3 October 1890. SMITH, Charles John. Will and grant of administration. Principal Probate Registry.
  30. Burial registers. England. St. Pancras Cemetery, London. 18 September 1890. SMITH, Charles John. https://www.deceasedonline.com : accessed 21 September 2019.


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