E1 A Journey Through Whitechapel and Spitalfields

Books 4 Comments »

Although not directly a “Ripper book” E1 brings more to the case than most “Ripper Books” and teaches us something new.  I was looking forward to this release for some time, and when it arrived yesterday, I was unable to put it down, until I finished it!

The book is split into two sections, Whitechapel and Spitalfields, with each section once again split into smaller chapters, and covers the geographical area of E1, minus Mile End, Stepney, Shadwell and Wapping, but despite this, it is book full of wonderful suprises and information for both the East End Novice, to the true Eastender.

The photo’s are full of little details, and local charector, which will become a vital resource on the area in years to come, if not now.  Market traders, shoppers, and diners of every creed, colour and nationality are here, and it amazing to think that the same social groups are still as evident today as they was back in the Victorian period, but the book goes beyond that.

Most, if not all, of the locations in the book contain a full history, not just of the building, but the people associated with it, and tales of strikes, marches, protests, and criminal activity come to life, and take you on a journey into what life was like in the past.

Jack the Ripper gets the ocasional mention, alongside other colourful charectors such as the Krays, Jack “The Hat” McVitie, and Dick Turpin.  The book also features information on Joseph Merrick aka The Elephant Man and Michael Jackson!

This is a great book, and one that is so easy to pick up and read in one sitting, or to visit time and time again in smaller bitesize chunks.  If you don’t learn something new from this book, you have not read it properly!

A must for anyone with an interest in the East End of London, it’s buildings, people, streets and stories.

I must congratulate John Bennett on a great read, and also Five Leaves Publishing for the quick turnaround on delivery!

E1 A Journey Through Whitechapel and Spitalfields

John G. Bennett

2009 Five Leaves Publishing

ISBN: 978 1 905512 54 6

RRP: £9.99

This weeks Findings…

Archives, Libraries, Press Reports, Research No Comments »

It’s been another busy week, with three days out in the field researching, and taking photographs. 

Which can be seen here,


I also had the pleasure of visiting The Carnegie Heritage Centre again, and took in their collection of Trade Directories, and was once again welcomed by the staff who devote their time to run this amazing venue, and help “Faulty Researchers” such as me.


This week I also transcribed a large newspaper account regarding Joseph Dawber and his attempts to defraud a customer at his Solicitors firm for £1,000!  The account reveals new names and addresses, which will be looked at this week. 

Stephenson and Friend?

Archives, Libraries, Research, Stephenson Family 1 Comment »

We all need friends, and it is nice to see that Robert D’Onston Stephenson had a friend in Alexander Fowler. Fowler as jounger than Stephenson, but it appears as though they got on well, as we shall see them holidaying together, and Fowler testifying for Stephenson in the 1868 Customs Reports.

1851 March 30th Census Fowler family, 35 Spring street, Hull, HO107, P2363, F334, P5, GSU87637-87639
Robert Fowler, 32, Head, Merchant
Sarah Fowler, 31, Wife,
Alexander, 8, Son
Robert, 5, Son,
Edward, 3, Son
Henry, 2, Son
Alexander McClanna, 64, Father, Retired Inn Keeper
Mary Ann Button, 18, House Servant

1861 April 7th Census, Fowler family, 258 Coltman street, Hull RG9 P3597 F72 P19 GSU 543159
Sarah Fowler, 40, Head, Porter Merchant
Alexander M Fowler, 17, Son, Clerk
Henry John Fowler, 12, Son, Scholar
Elizabeth Wauldby , 20, House Servant

1868 March 12th Hull Customs reviews Robert D’Onston Stephenson,

Witness produced in his Defence, by Mr. Stephenson
Alexander McClellan Fowler, having been duly sworn, deposed as follows,
That, on Tuesday the 25th Feb; last. I met Mr. Stephenson near the High Flags, a little before 9 o’clock in the morning, in consequence of a letter which I had received from a mutual friend, materially affecting Mr. Stephenson.- It was necessary that it should be immediately attended to that day, as the tenor of this letter seriously affected Mr. Stephenson’s prospects and character. From my knowledge of the facts of the case, I believe it would have been too late, had he deferred attending to the matter until the next day.- I have every reason to believe that Mr. Stephenson was on his way to the Customs House, when I stopped him.
Alex. McC. Fowler

Mr. W. J. Bean, Exam Officer —–Page 5
Mr. S. L. Smyth, surveyor ——Page 6
Mr. A. Fowler ———————–Page 7
Miss Anne Deary, Servant to Mr. Stephenson……Page 8
Herewith I transmit the evidence and other particulars connected with the charge preferred under the directions contained your minute dated the 28th Ultimo against Mr. R. D’O. Stephenson, the 16th Clerk of this Port.-
That Mr. Stephenson absented himself from duty without leave on the 25th Ultimo is proved by the testimony of Mr. W. Smyth and Mr. Bean, but it appears by the witness produced by Mr. Stephenson that he was actually on his way to the Customs House at 9 a.m. on the day in question, when he was met by Mr. Fowler, who communicated to him some urgent private business, which required his immediate attention, that he returned to his residence and, with as little delay as possible forwarded a request for leave. There is no reason to doubt the truth of this evidence, and, as Mr. Stephenson has expressed his [illegible] that he did not, in the first instance, satisfy me that his absence was from a legitimate cause., I respectfully submit that on this occasion he may be cautioned as to his future conduct, and be restored to duty.

1868 July 11th Monday Bridlington Free Press carries a piece showing who is staying at the Black Lion Hotel, among the names is Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Adam Fowler!
Black Lion
Fowler. A. Esq Hull
Stephenson D.O. Esq Hull
Richardson Mrs S Hull
Richardson Miss Hull
Parker. J. Esq Sheff
Wardell….Esq Grantham
Snowdon. Mr. Snainton
Bennet. Mr.

1868 Alexander McClellan (McClennan in the BMD Registers) dies aged just 25. HUM/18/439

WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Login