Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Interesting facts about Deptford from the book " Curiosities of Great Briton." By Thomas Dugdale, William Burnett

DEPTFORD was anciently denominated West Greenwich. From a small fishing village, it has risen to a large, flourishing, and populous town. The situation of this place, on the banks of the Ravensbourne, gave rise to its present name, originally spelr Depeford, from the deep ford, which has been superseded by a bridge over that river. It was also named Deptford Strond; an appellation afterwards solely appropriated to what is now called the lower town, included in the parish of Deptford St. Nicholas: the upper town is in that of Deptford St. Paul, which was constituted a distinct parish in 1730. A royal dock was established here, by Henry VIII., in the beginning of his reign. Since that period, the town has progressively increased; its population having augmented in the proportion of twenty to one, though it experienced a considerable check in 1665 and 1666, when nearly 900 persons died here of the plague. The manor was given by the Conqueror to Gilbert de Magnimot, who made it the head of his barony, and erected a castle here, every part of which has been long since buried in its own ruins. After passing through the hands of numerous possessors, the manor was resumed by the crown at the restoration. The manor-house, with its surrounding estate, which had obtained the name of Sayes Court, from its having been long held by the Says, became, in 1651, the residence of John Evelyn, Esq., the celebrated author of the Sylva; and to him, in 1663, Charles II. granted a new lease, at a reserved annual rent of 22s. 6d. This gentleman passed much of his time in retirement, " at this his favourite spot." His gardens are said to have been the wonder and admiration of the greatest men of his time: in the life of Lord Keeper Guidford, they are described as "most boscaresque; being, as it were, an examplar of his book of forest trees." The severe frost of the winter of the year 1682, did considerable damage here; but a more complete destruction was made by Peter the Great, to whom Mr. Evelyn lent bis house and grounds, whilst he was obtaining a knowledge of the science and practice of naval architecture in the adjoining dock-yard, in 1698. Mr. Evelyn died in 1706. The house and gardens were afterwards entirely neglected; and there is not now the least trace of either: the present workhouse was built on the site of the Charitable institutions.
Deptford, so named from a deep ford.
The manor of Sir John Evelyn, the author of Sylva.

Lamentable fire in 1652,
Great im provent for maritime purposes.
Dsptford. I former, in the year 1729. The estate, however, which includes the site « the present victualling-house, and of a large dock-yard, is still vested in the Evelyns. A lamentable fire happened at Deptford, in 1652; any nineteen years afterwards the lower town was inundated by a great flooi which rose to the height of ten feet in the streets near the river, so tha: the inhabitants were obliged to retire to the upper town in boats. The adjoining marshes were also overflowed, and about 700 sheep, with a great number of oxen, cows, &c. were destroyed. Sir Thomas Wyat lay = night and a day at Deptford, with his army, in the year 1553. The Royaidock, or King's-yard, has been greatly enlarged and improved since iti original establishment. It is managed under the immediate inspection of the navy board: the resident officers are a clerk of the cheque, a storekeeper, a master shipwright, and his assistants, a clerk of the survey, a master attendant, a surgeon, and various inferior officers. The number of artificers and labourers employed here is about 1,500: even in times of peace, the general number is upwards of 1,000. The whole extent of the yard includes about thirty-one acres, which are occupied by various buildings; two wet docks, a double and a single one; three slips for men of war; a basin, two mast ponds; a model-loft; mast-houses; a large smith's shop, with about twenty forges lor anchors; sheds for timber, &c The old store-house is a quadrangular pile, and appears to have consisted originally only of the range on the north side; where, on what was formerly the front of the building, is the date 1513, together with the initials H.R. in a cypher, and the letters A.X. for Anno Christi. The buildings on the east, west, and south sides of the quadrangle, have been erected at different times; and a double front, towards the north, was added in 1721. Another store-house, parallel to the above, and of the same length, having sail and rigging lofts, was completed a few years ago: and there is also a long range of smaller store-houses, that was built under the direction of Sir Charles Middleton, afterwards Lord Barham, about the year 1780. The other buildings consist of various workshops and houses for the officers, where some of the largest ships in the navy have been built. On the north of the King's-yard stands the victualling-office, sometimes called the Red-house, from its occupying the site of a large range of store-houses, constructed with red bricks, which was burnt down in July, 1639, together with all its stores. Being rebuilt, it was included in the grant of Sayes court to Sir John Evelyn, in 1726; and was then described as 870 feet in length, 35 feet wide, and containing 100 warehouses. These premises were for some time rented by the East India company; but being re-purchased of the Evelyns by the crown, a new victualling-house was built on the spot in 1745, to replace the old victualling-office on Tower-hill. This new building was also accidentally burnt in 1749, with great quantities of stores and provisions. The immense pile which now forms the victualling office, has been erected at I different times since that period; and consists of many ranges of building, I appropriated to the various establishments necessary in the important concern of victualling the navy. In addition to the Royal-dock, here are two large private yards for ship building, belonging to Messrs. Barnards and Roberts, where men of war, of seventy-four guns, are sometimes built. Here is also a large and commodious commercial dock, which was opened on the 30th of June, 1809. Itwas intended principally for the receptionof foreign merchantmen engaged in the Baltic trade. It was formerly known by the name of the Greenland dock; in which several alterations and improvements were made, and an entirely new range of store houses was erected. The Lord Mayor's barge, handsomely decorated, was the first to enter; the whole ceremony was conducted with much pomp and splendour: and, as a close of the proceedings, a party of about 150 persons partook of an elegant dinner in one of the store-houses. 'The town of Deptford contains two churches; the oldest is dedicated to St. Nicholas, from time immemorial,
I Commercial dock.trie patron of sea-faring men; and the other to St. Paul. St. Nicholas
church consists of a nave, chancel, and aisles, with an embattled tower of

flint and stone, of a date long prior to the body of the fabric, which was
rebuilt in 1697, on account of the great increase of inhabitants. In
the chancel, against the north wall, within the recess for the altar, is the
monument of Captain Edward Fenton, who accompanied Sir Martin
Frobisher in his second and third voyages, and had himself the command
of an expedition for the discovery of a north-west passage. Near this is
a tablet inscribed to Henry Roger Boyle, eldest son to Richard, Earl of |
Corke, who died at a school in Deptford, in 1615; and a neat mural
monument to the memory of George Shelvock, Esq., secretary of the
general post-office, and F.R.S., who, at a very early period of life, attended
his father in a voyage round the world. The tomb of Captain George
Shelvocke is near the east end of the chancel, on the outside; he was
descended of an ancient Shropshire family, and bred to the sea service under
Admiral Benbow. Against the east wall, to the north of the altar recess, is
the monument of Peter Pett, Esq., a master shipwright in the King's-yard,
whose family were long distinguished for their superior talents in ship-
I building; and who was himself the first inventor of that useful ship of war,
I a frigate: he died in 1652. On the opposite wall is a mural monument, with a
long inscription, in memory of Sir Richard Browne, Knt., of Sayes court,
who was " Governor of the United Netherlands, and was afterwards, by Queen
Elizabeth, made Clerk of the Green Cloth, in which honourable office he
continued under King James, till the time of his death, in May, 1604, aged
sixty-five years;" of Christopher Browne, Esq., his son, who died in
March, 1645, at the age of seventy; of Sir Richard Browne, knight and
baronet, only son of Christopher; and of their respective wives. Many
other monuments and inscriptions are in this church: among them a slab
in the pavement of the north aisle marks the burial-place of Mr. John
Benbow, eldest son of the gallant Admiral Benbow, who died at the age of
twenty-seven, November, 1708. The register of this parish records the
following instances of longevity: Maudlin Augur, buried in December,
1672, aged 106; Catherine Perry, buried in December, 1676, by her
own report, 110 years old; Sarah Mayo, buried in August, 1705, aged
102; and Elizabeth Wiborn, buried in December, 1714, in her 101st
year. The church of St. Paul is a handsome stone fabric, erected under
the provisions of certain acts passed in the ninth and tenth years of Queen
Anne, for the building of fifty new churches in and near London. It has
a well-proportioned spire at the west end : the roof is sustained by columns
of the Corinthian order; the pews are of Dutch oak, and the whole inte-
rior is neatly fitted up. On the north side of the altar, against the east
wall, is an elegant mural monument, by Nollekins, in memory of James
Sayer, Esq., Vice-Admiral of the White, son of John Sayer, and Catherine,
his wife, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Rear-Admiral Robert
Hughes, and Lydia, his wife, who all lie buried in the old church of this
town, with many of their issue. On the south side of the chancel is a
sumptuous monument, displaying a sarcophagus, surmounted by a large
urn of statuary marble, partly covered with a mantle, in memory of
Matthew Finch, gentleman, who died in 1745; and on the nprth side is
another splendid monument, in commemoration of Mary Finch, daughter
of the above, and wife to Richard Hanwell, of Oxford, gentleman, who
died in 1754. Among the tombs in the church-yard, is one in memory
of Margaret Hawtree, a famous midwife, who died in 1734, inscribed as

She was an indulgent mother, and the best of wives:

She brought into this world more than three thousand Uvea!
Mrs. Hawtree gave a silver basin, for christenings, to this parish, and

another to that of St. Nicholas. Mr. Isaac Blight, ship-breaker, of Green-
land-dock, who was killed by a pistol-shot, as he was sleeping in his
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chair in his back parlour, was also buried in this church-yard. A. man of

the name of Richard Patch, who had been taken into the employment of ,
the deceased, out of motives of charity, about three years before, and was
his confidential servant, was tried on suspicion of the murder, convicted
upon a chain of the most satisfactory evidence, and executed on the 8th
of April, 1806. For a long time great interest was excited by the
trial and execution of this man. The register records the burial of
Margaret Haley, who died in March, 1739-40, aged 100, and upwards.
The rectory-house is a handsome edifice. This parish contains about
1DO0 acres of lands; of which from 900 to 1100 are marsh and
pasture; about 550 arable; ani 250 occupied by market gardeners,
who are famed for the growth of asparagus and onions. Here are
several meeting-houses for Methodists, Independents, Quakers, Ana-,
baptists, and other sects. In this parish stands one of the telegraphs I
which communicate with the admiralty and Dover. The Surrey and'
Croydon canals also pass through and communicate with each other
in this parish. The corporation or society of the Trinity-house, the
meetings of which are now held in a handsome building on Tower-hill,
was originally established at Deptford, in the reign of Henry VIII., and
incorporated by the name of " The Master, Warden, and Assistants, of the
Guild or Fraternity of the most glorious and undivided Trinity, and of St.
Clement, in the parish of Deptford Strond." The ancient hall, in which
the members continued to assemble at this place, was pulled down about
the year 1787, on the erection of the Trinity-house in London; but here
are still two hospitals belonging to the corporation. The old hospital,
which adjoins to St. Nicholas church-yard, was founded in the time of
Henry VIII., and originally contained twenty-one apartments; bat on its
being pulled down and rebuilt in 1788, the number was increased to
twenty-five. That called Trinity-hospital, which stands in Church-street,
was erected towards the end of the 17th century, on a piece of ground
given for the purpose, in 1672, by Sir Richard Brown, the younger,
baronet, of Sayes court, who was an elder brother and master of the
Trinity-house. It consists of fifty-six apartments, forming a spacious
quadrangle, in the centre of which is placed a statue of Captain
Richard Maples, who, in 1680, bequeathed £1,300 towards the building.
The pensioners in both hospitals consist of decayed pilots, and masters of
ships, or their widows: the annual allowance to the widows and single
men is about £18; the married men receive about £28 yearly. Here are
numerous charitable establishments. In those founded previously to the
year 1730, both parishes have a joint interest. In Butt-lane is a charitv-
school, under the direction of twelve trustees, endowed for the education
and clothing of 100 boys and girls, who are apprenticed out. The school
house was erected about the year 1722, on a piece of ground given for the
purpose, by Mr. Robert Gransden; whose daughter, Mrs. Mary Gransden,
in 1719, bequeathed £80 towards the building; and also gave a farm in
Essex, and the ground rents of two tenements in St. Bartholomew's-lane,
London (since sold to the Directors of the Bank for £1,300), towards the
endowment of the school: the whole expense of the building amounted to
about £740. Besides the children educated in this school, between twenty
and thirty others are taught elsewhere, with the produce of different bene-
factions. A bequest of £200 was made by Mr. John Addey, a master
builder in the King's-yard, in the year 1606, for the purchase of land.
With this sum the Gravelpit-field, Deptford, was bought, the annual
rents of which now amount to more than £280. The Gun-tavern in this
town is said to have been the residence of the Earl of Nottingham, Lord
Admiral to Queen Elizabeth, whose arms, encircled by the garter, are
carved in wood over the chimney-piece of a large dining-room. Sir Thomas
Smith, who was sent ambassador to the court of Russia by James I., had
a magnificent house at Deptford, which was burnt down on the 20th of

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January, 1613. Cowley, the poet, was also a resident here for a considerable period. In the year 1753, an act was passed for paving and cleaning the streets, and for the better relief and employment of the poor. The bridge over the Ravensbourne, which was formerly of wood, but rebuilt of stone at the sole cost of Charles I., in 1C28, has been rendered more commodious of late years, at the expense of the parishioners. Here, previously to the battle of Blackheath, in the reign of Henry VII., was a skirmish between Lord Dawbeney's troops and "certayne archers of the rebelles; whose arrowes, as is reported, were in length a full yerde." The population of this town are chiefly employed in the dock-yards, or engaged in maritime pursuits. An extensive manufacture of earthenware, called Deptford ware, is successfully caried on here.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Old Site Of the Broadway Theater
(Thankful Sturdee Collection 
 Lewisham archive's )

Overgrown graves at St Pauls

St Paul’s Church, Deptford

Black and White photograph showing St Paul’s Churchyard from the church steps.
Thanks Lewisham Achives

Wesleyan Chapel, Mary Ann’s Buildings colour artwork showing exterior of Wesleyan Chapel, Mary-Ann’s Buildings, High Street 1856 by Frederick Ashford

The Old House in Edward Street.

Little bit of info Deptford Theatre

1840 Opened
1857 Closed
1868? Demolished

In 1840 an existing building in Church Street, Deptford was converted into a theatre. Its original seating capacity was 900, and it opened with the rather imposing name, the Royal Deptford Theatre. This use of the word “Royal” was

completely without authority, and after official protests the“Royal” was dropped. The theatre was also known as the“one-sided theatre”, Built alongside the Deptford Creek,the site was too narrow to allow for a range of boxes on both sides, so the ones on stage left took the form of images painted on the wall! At various earlier times the premises had been used as a school, a arehouse and a chapel before being used fortheatrical purposes. It opened under the management of a Mr Laws and survived under his control for some tenyears before it changed hands. The new owner, a Mr J.C.Neville, was not so lucky. Within four years he wasbankrupt and the theatre closed. Any plans to revive it came to an end when the nearby Carlton Theatre (see Greenwich Theatre) opened as a replacement in 1864. After it closed it became derelict and was mostly demolished. Part of the structure was retained when a new
storage facility was built, and the site was renamed Theatre Wharf.

Family History from Mary

I have often visited your olddeptfordhistory website and found it both extremely interesting  -  and useful, as I am finally writing up the history of my mother’s family - the rest of the family saying that they find it fascinating but not willing to put the work in  …..
May I ask you some questions?  The family  -  Spillane / Mahoney / Roche ( sometimes Roach ) / Rahilly and Sheehan  -  all came from southwest Ireland, Cork and Kerry, just after the Famine, and settled in the streets mainly in St. Paul, but sometimes in St. Nicholas, and worked as Deal Porters, general labourers in the dockyards, as skin dressers and slaughtermen ( with pigs, I think as they call themselves sausage skin dressers ) and brass finishers.  The female members were laundresses and tin workers.  Would you have any idea where the pork abattoirs and sausage factories were?  My grandfather invented a process for treating sausage skins and patented it, which came in useful when he retired!  Where were the brass foundry and tin works?  I presume the deal porters would have been in the Surrey Commercial  Docks or Greenland Docks at this time - 1880s and 90s?
The streets that they lived in were;  Butcher’s  Row, New St., Czar St., Rope Walk, Prince St., Bailey Rents, Ffinch St., Fairey’s Buildings, Blackhorse Square, Greenfield Place, Grove St., Junction Rd., Gosterwood St., Hood St., New King St., Brunswick Square, Watergate St., and Trim St. 
I have tracked down all of the above except Bailey Rents and Fairey’s Buildings which I think may now be too hard to trace given the general destruction and demolition of Deptford.  The little that the Luftewaffe spared, the LCC finished off!  Mind you a lot probably needed it.
Many thanks for any information that you can offer,
Mary Simpson

Help for David James


I am researching my mum's ancestors who lived in Hales (or Hale) Street and nearby Stanhope Street from about 1870 to 1910.  Hales St has 
virtually vanished (a short stub remains off  Deptford High Street) - presumably bombed out during the war, and Stanhope Street has vanished 

Does any of your readers have any background information about these two streets, or the people that lived there?  My mother's maiden name was 
Watson and her grand mother's maiden name was Jones.  Both families seems to have moved around a lot within the Hales/Stanhope Street area 
and finally moved south to Sydenham in 1909 or 1910.

Your web site (old deptford history) is absolutely fascinating!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The King Of Prussia/ King of Belgium Public House Albury Street.

A Rare photo of the King of Belgium, Formerly The King of Prussia.

The early address is at 4,5 & 6 Union Street. At 5 Creek Road by 1884, and 8 Creek Road by 1891,then 8 Albury Street by 1910. By 1921 (probably by the start of WW1, it is renamed the King of Belguim.

Colins grandfather (Richard Charles Quittenton) bought the lease of the ale house King of Prussia in 1895 for £350 from Thomas Hamilton Fox and his brother Walter St. John Fox, at a ground rent of £40 payable on the "usual quarter days" to Nalder and Collyer, brewers of Croydon. My grandfather did not live there, only the pot-man was resident at that time. In 1902 the ale house was rebuilt as a public house (a foxes head was depicted on each of two facade columns for the Fox brothers). In 1903 my grandfather continued to lease it at £50 quarterly. He also moved into it with his 2nd wife Minnie Elizabeth, nee Walsh and Albert (son by 1st. wife Fanny Ellen, nee Vodden d. 1897). During WWI and as a result of the anti-German riots, the name of the pub was changed to King of Belgium. My uncle Hector was born there (1903-1904), my uncle Leonard was born there (1904-1975) and my mother Ella was born there (1909-2004). In 1924 my grandfather retired and sold the lease of the pub for £600. I believe that the pub did not survive the war as did much of Deptford. On his retirement (to Eastbourne) he bought rental properties 22/24 Clyde St., one of which was rented to Mrs Hill who lived there with her son Reginald and her daughter Marjorie (married Charles Wincup).

In 1905, one of the Stratton brothers was arrested as he exited the pub. He knew that the police were outside waiting for him. My grandmother was alone in the pub behind the bar that night and Stratton offered to help her clean up. My grandmother knew him of old, and refused to let him behind the bar. If she had done, Stratton could have escaped over the back fence and into Pickford's yard.

Colins mother left home when she was 21 from Eastbourne and moved in with Mrs. Hill in Clyde St. The house had only 2 bedrooms with a double bed in each. My mother shared one bed with Marjory and another male lodger (polish artist named Rodolf Krystra (?)) shared the other double bed with Reg. Nobody thought anything about such things THEN! Mrs Hill slept in the kitchen. My mother married my father (born in the Stowage) in April 1939 and moved to a flat in Lewisham owned by Charlie Watson. His family owned two wood yards and a general shop in Deptford and the lease of several houses in Albury St. and still has some of those Grinling Gibbons portico's. I was born in 1940, and was brought up in Lewisham.

Colin E. Bailey.

My thanks to Colin for sharing his families history,  great information especially that photo.   

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A poem by H Cowlands 1880. Help to identify this man

The following letter originates from Deptford.

It dates 1880 and I believe it was sent to my Great Grandfather John Shipston or his wife Elizabeth Ball. It was in my Grandfathers collection of family letters.
I have searched all known methods of finding its author or anything about him/ Her.
I ask to post this to your readers as a last attempt to gather information on what appears to be a most colourful person. I myself live in Australia and have tried for some time now to find H. Cowlands to no avail. I understand this is an unusual request but would be ever so grateful if any hint in this letter could help me find more on the author.

It is a long and unusually written letter/ poem as you’ll see. Thank you so much, in advance for any help given to understand the town, times and the person.
Regards Harold Shipston.
Queensland Australia.

H. Cowlands poem. (transcript)


Monday, April 26th
96 years old

Dear Cousin, I am very glad,
To say, that work is not so bad.
As it was weeks ago
Perhaps now the Elections done
A better time is coming on.

Although it may come slow
I never saw in all my life
Such hot discussion, bitter strife
As in this town of late
A thousand flags there might be seen
From Deptford Broadway to the green
Of every size and shape

The Tories have got in, it’s true
Just for this Borough, but there few
Compared with liberals round
So now we hope, for better times
For more success and fewer crimes
And drink crush’d to the ground

I never want, such men to guide
Who thousands, try to lead aside
By advocating drink
It is, our national disgrace
And men, by it in every place
Are brought to ruin’s brink

But I no further, will discuss
Our politics, though all of us
In someway, are concerned
If, God but rule us we are blessed
He views the proud, and the oppressed
The ignorant, and learned.

Now, of myself a little news
I still continue making shoes
At Deptford, in High Street
Mady is my employer’s name
And he has got, a noted fame
For thousands do him greet.

His shop is full, where’ere I go
His stock is large his prices low
Not many can him beat
There’s Wellington’s likewise high lows
There’s cashmere boots and patent toes
And boots for tender feet

There’s Watertights, and bluchers too
Lace ups and balmorals on view
Slippers, and socks, as well
Look in, no matter where it be
It is astonishing, to see
The hundreds he does sell

For want of something else to do
The other day, I went to view
Blackheath, and Greenwich Park
Here on a hill with great delight
Beauties of nature, came in sight
And warmed my very heart

“Oh,” how sublime, is this thought I 
Whilst gazing at the earth, and sky
And looking, all around
How bright, and cheerful, is the spring
The birds, how happy, on the wing
There notes how sweet they sound

The river Thames, I saw below
With ships a passing, to and fro
Amidst, the Sparkling wave
How many lives, throughout the year
Thought I, do sink and perish here
And find a watery grave

Now, how are all of you at potton
Don’t think, that I, have quite forgotten
My friends, residing there
Also a few, at Gamlingay
Some, sixteen-thousand miles away
Of whom, I little hear

To Lizzy Chapman, give my love
May the have comfort, from above
From whence our blessings flow
And may her Mother daily find
That God is merciful and kind
In darkest shades of woe

To Mrs Seal, remember me
And tell her, Lucy longs to see
Her little girl and boy
And, as the future days, draw nigh
Cheerful, I hope she’ll live and die
Then enter into Joy
And then her Brother George comes next
He is a man, not often vexed
Though always very dark
Easy, and quiet, is his life
I wish his children, and his wife
Success with all my heart

And then remember our dear Mother
I really think, there’s not another
More useful, that can be
Oh, may her last days be her best
Then enter everlasting rest
And sing of victory

Another word, before I’ve done
Tell Minnie, she’s to sure and come
In the bright month of May
With us we wish for her to dwell
As many things we have to tell
So she must not delay

Now Your Dear Mother, Father too
I trust that God will bring them through
And bless their latter days
Then say Oh, “Death where is thy sting
And mount o high, to dwell and sing
A song of endless praise

And now Dear Cousin, I must close
These simple rhymes, but don’t suppose
Dear Ebins not in mind
If tis God’s will I hope that he
May be restored and happy be
And many blessings find

Good Bye dear friend. God bless you all
The weak, the strong, the great, the small
I wish you peace and love
And when your days, on earth are gone
May heaven be your eternal home
To dwell with saints above

H Cowlands

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Help please


I wonder if anyone has any information about both sides of my Deptford family.

My grandad John Carney (now 86) lived in 73 Fawcett Road, Deptford, from 1928 onwards. His parents, Bridget (born O'Connor) and John Carney, lived there from even before that. My grandad also had siblings Brendan and Sheila Carney. Unfortunately, my grandad was put into care quite early on as his mother died so we don't have a lot of information about his Deptford days. Any memories of the family or Fawcett road would be greatly appreciated! 

Another side of my Deptford family history is that my New Cross Nan, Pauline Carney's (born Freeman) family used to run a (Jewish?) grocery store (or maybe a sweet shop) along Deptford Broadway, on the corner of the park and next to or near Molins Cigarette factory. My nan can't remember the name of the shop but thinks it was a family name - so probably Freeman's/Freemans or Friedman's? Rosenburg was also a family name: Eva Rosenburg and John Freeman were my great-grandparents. 

Both my grandparents are old now and enjoy talking about their family history so any information or any stories would be so lovely!

Thank you.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Hi - I was wondering if you might be able to help me,

My great-great-grandmother Julia Button formerly Murphy née Calnan/Hayes married her second husband, Edwin Charles Button in 1933 whilst living at 4 Grenville House, New King Street, Deptford. Family legend has it that she left her husband for another man (her first husband, Timothy Murphy died in 1924). She also worked as a money-lender, a profession which other Catholics would have found distasteful. As a result she fell out with most of her ten children from this marriage.

Julia died in 1949, nine years after her husband Edwin Charles Button. I would very much like to hear from anyone who may have known her. Unfortunately as a result of their fall-out, I have no photos of either of them to share, although it is possible that some may exist.

Her birth has also been the cause of some confusion - on both her marriage licenses she lists herself as the daughter of John Calnan, however on the birth certificates for half of her children she lists her surname as Hayes. She married in 1887 at the age of c. 16. There is no record for a Julia Calnan in the 1881 census but there is some record of a Julia Hayes - how she connects to the Calnan family is yet another mystery.

Thank you,

Daniel Maldonado

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Help for Gill

Just wondering if anyone has any photographs of Dorking Road or the corner shop there before demolition?
My family were the Daltons and I am struggling to find any photos of this road.
Attached photo of my mum Marjorie Dalton (now 96!) and her brother Stan (sadly passed).

Gill Middleton

Sunday, 8 January 2017

26 Deptford Broadway

Peter sent this photo in saying....

 I think this might be next door to the sweet shop in Church Street/The Broadway 

 oh BTW thats my great uncle and his half brother in the doorway.

The shop belonged to Charles Allen  b 1800  d  1870 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sayes Court

View of the John Evelyn's manor house at Sayes Court, based on a drawing by Evelyn himself. The diarist John Evelyn came into possession of the Elizabethan manor house and the estate at Sayes Court through marriage to the heiress Mary Browne in 1647. He took up residence at the house in 1652 and lived there until 1694 when he returned to his family estate at Wootton, Surrey, letting the property to rent paying tenants.

The house was pulled down in 1728 or 1729, and the workhouse built on its site 

Sayes Court was the ancient manor house of Deptford. There was a building on the site from the 12th century. However, the building shown here (originally the St Nicholas Workhouse) dates from 1729. It was demolished c.1930.

This picture depicts one of the old parish workhouses that served the local poor in south London. In 1777 the parish of St Nicholas was known to have 130 inmates. The Poor-law amendments in 1834 stated that "no able-bodied person was to receive money or other help from Poor Law Authorities except in a workhouse". Despite the workhouse being considered a harsh environment, one observer of Greenwich's poor was to note: "It is curious to notice the effect that the workhouse regime has in prolonging the lives of those who may have often survived hard buffetings in the world. Anxiety and care concerning the future are thrown off at the entrance to the house, and the inmates are henceforth placed under conditions more favourable to health and longevity than they have ever before experienced".

Creek Bridge through the Ages

Saturday, 3 December 2016

I'm looking for any information/photographs reflecting life in Pender Street (off Deptford Church St and Berthon St), particularly between the two World Wars, and wondered whether any one on Old Deptford might be able to help.

My father grew up at 25 Pender Street between 1920 and 1937 with his younger sister and, early on, with an older married sister and her husband who lodged there. For some of this time, his mother (my grandmother) worked as a charwoman at theRachel McMillan Nursery which Dad also attended from age 3 to 9 before transferring to the Clyde Street School for Boys. 

Dad later described the area as 'a dreadful slum area by the Thames' and, with no other financial support (as far as I know), it must have been a poverty-stricken up-bringing. How my grandmother managed to keep the family together and a roof over their heads in such circumstances I can't imagine so any insight into day-to-day life at that time would be fascinating, or any recollections at all.y

Dad did record some of his experiences many years later and recalled these names among his nursery schoolmates - Katie Seymour, Dorothy Amstead, Hilda Court, the Fergusons, the Rossiters and Bertie Shear. So perhaps these might ring a few bells?

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Christopher Snowden

Saturday, 12 November 2016

B&B for the RUSSIANS

Little snippet I came across regarding the above which may be of interest: During the 5th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which took place in London between May 13 and June 1, 1907 many of the delegates were billeted in Carrington House and apparently were quite impressed with the facilities. (Lenin and Stalin stayed elsewhere!) See - Nottingham Evening Post, 11 May 1907, 3; 'Congress in a Lodging House'. The report claims that the first meeting of the Congress was held on Friday 10th May in Carrington House. (Although it is generally believed that the sessions actually took place in the Brotherhood Church, Southgate Road in Islington.) Regards Bob Henderson

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Help for Teresa

I wonder if anyone can help? I am working on a family tree for a friend but have hit a sticky patch.

My friends grandfather was Alfred Ernest Stanton born in 1905. I have a baptism record for him that States his father was Alfred Stanton and his mother was Florence (Shreeves) that they were living at 22 Octavia Street and that he was a Bar Man. I have not found a marriage for these two and am having trouble continuing on this Stanton line. there are talks of a pub in deptford, which does tie up with the baptism record, but haven't traced him to a pub. also New Cross and a theatre, maybe hearsay links but thought I'd add them just in case it rings any bells with people. I know not much to go on but any help greatly appreciated.

Regards, Teresa

Friday, 21 October 2016

Help for Jackie please

am trying to get a replacement WW1 roll of honour for  St. Lukes, Deptford. I am trying to find a photo of the roll of honour at St Lukes Church , Deptford. Unfortunately the photos I have found on the internet (e.g. I am unable to read the names. I do have 100 names but am missing the 47 that were on the 2 additional panels. I wonder if anyone knows of any other photos. I have contacted the local church, Lewisham archives, LMA, British Legion,  Imperial War Museum and checked the local newspaper of the time but to no avail.

Many thanks


Saturday, 3 September 2016

I hope you might be able to help me by posting the following question on your Deptford History website.
I trying to track down information about a group of teenagers who belonged to the St Joseph's youth club ramblers group in the war. I have extracts of a diary from1943 handed down by my wife's late father Bill Grizzell. I'm trying to piece together the stories of the people in that diary. Father Coleburt ran the group and I know about him, he would have been linked to Our Lady of the Assumption church in Deptford high street. The members of the club included Arthur James, Susan Hickman, Betty Stork, Esther Gummer, John Wren, Dickie Boorman, John Grogan, Gerald Donoghue and Joan Sharp. All would have been about 16 or 17 at the time the diary was written.
Peter Eustace

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Deptford Reminiscences from Christine Fagan

My nan lived in Brookmill Road, just past Carrington House (but not in the Sylvan Cottages), and we often visited her there in the 1950's.
Her front door opened onto the street, and there was a long passage leading down to a living room with a scullery off. The living room was typical of the time, with a cast iron cooking range/fireplace (nothing at all fancy, mind you). I remember being horrified once, by the smell and look of her dinner simmering on the stove. It was green tripe (unbleached) and is unfit for human consumption apparently, but she still lived to a ripe old age.
The other two rooms off the passage must have been a bedroom and a parlour, although I never got to see inside either.
Upstairs was rented to another family, as was quite usual in those days. Most houses where I lived, in East London, were multiple occupancy. A young couple, wanting to get married, would speak to their mother's landlord who would find them a room in a house nearby. As they got on their feet financially, they might rent an additional room as it became available, and eventually a whole floor. It was usually a really large family who ever rented a whole house.
This was the reason that London then was a succession of 'hamlets'. I knew everyone in a radius of 4 or 5 streets, and was related to a number of them. These communities were broken up due to the post war 'slum clearance', initiated by a Labour Government. I often smile at the frequently referred to 'problem' of an ageing population. We lived in 'slums', unheated and without indoor plumbing, everyone smoked in tiny rooms, we burned coal, breathed in pea soupers, and played on bombsites. How come we have lived so long??
I was a bit intimidated by the men outside Carrington House, but my dad told me that a lot of them were ex-servicemen who had come home to no house and no family. After that I noticed how many of them had service tattoos. No-one ever bothered kids anyway.
I was amused to read that Carrington House was considered inferior to Rowton Houses by residents, on the grounds that it wasn't 'homely' enough.
Thanks for bringing back these memories of a slum, that is now a Conservation Area!
kind regards,
Chris Faganpt

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Help for Mark please


I was wondering if you could help me. 
My family pre and post wars were from Deptford the family name being Elston on my grandmother's side.

Enclosed is a photo of the butcher's they once owned on Deptford high street..a picture proudly on display in my great uncles house and a copy also now in mine! 

The picture is anticipated to have been from around the turn of the century may be earlier.

We believe the butcher's was called Elston's, again not too sure! 

In addition the family were landlords and or owners of the Victoria pub on grove street and the old centurion on Deptford high street during war times.

They also had the Crystal Tavern pub...but believe this was rotherhithe.

If you have any knowledge or can help pass on to someone who may no more that would be great.


Mark Roles

Thanks to Bill Ellson's sharp eye we can see Marks grandparents butcher's shop middle left. Also Elston's Market

Thanks Bill