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The Case of the Marylebone Six: Part Two

If you read last week’s article, which can be accessed here, you will remember that trouble was brewing in Marylebone Lane on the evening of Thursday the 13th of January 1848.  Two powerfully built young men, John Poole and John Smith, who were both navvies, and out of work, entered a baker’s shop at no. 64 owned by a Mr …

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The Case of the Marylebone Six: Part One

Monday the 17th of January 1848 was a busy day at the sessions house on Clerkenwell Green.  The sessions house was, and would be for the best part of the nineteenth century, the principal judicial centre for the county of Middlesex.  In this imposing classical edifice, with its Ionic columns and pilasters, its ornate pediment and its rusticated basement, the …

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Death in the Dials: Part Three

If you have been following the story of the mysterious death that came to light in late September 1872 at 24 Dudley Street, a slum dwelling in the Seven Dials district of St Giles, then you will remember that Ellen Hannen was a significant player in the drama.  Ellen was at one point thought to be the woman who was …

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Death in the Dials: Part Two

Not the least mysterious of the circumstances surrounding the death at 24 Dudley Street in 1872—concerning which see the article published here—was the identity of the dead woman.  Her body had been discovered in the basement kitchen by Mrs Charlotte Cook, when her daughter, eleven-year-old Anne, had stumbled upon a motionless figure slumped under the stairs.  The time of the …

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Death in the Dials: Part One

On the 27th of September 1872, which was a Friday, a woman by the name of Charlotte Cook decided that enough was enough.  Her son had absented himself from school, and she had made up her mind to punish him.  She had a stick—a cane of sorts—which she used for beatings.  But she remembered that another of her children, who …

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Music in the Menagerie, or, Everard Home Entertains an Elephant

Sir Everard Home was one of the most prominent members of the Georgian scientific establishment.  First and foremost he was a surgeon, and it was as a surgeon that he found favour with the third of the four Georges, being appointed Sergeant Surgeon to the King in 1808.  However, he was also a distinguished comparative anatomist, and his widespread renown, …

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Scholar and Sculler, or, The Life and Legacy of Frederick Furnivall

One of the more remarkable products of the Religious Tract Society was a periodical with the title The Cottager and Artisan, which was published every month from 1861 to 1919.  Originally it was The Cottager in Town and Country—it changed its title in 1865—and it carried the subtitle The People’s Own Paper.  Costing one penny an issue it was aimed …

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The Art of Survival, or, Jacomb-Hood and the George

One of the more curious items in the heritage collections of Southwark Council is a drawing of the inner yard of the George Inn.  The drawing was executed in May 1865 by George Percy Jacomb-Hood—more of whom later—and it is about ten inches in height and seven and three-quarters in width. The view is of the entrance to a coach …

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The Poor Brothers: Part Three

If you have been following the story of Edward and William Connor, the poor Irish brothers who were taken under the wing of the philanthropic Martin Ware, a teacher at the Brunswick Street Ragged School, and co-founder of the Shoeblack Society, you will remember the part played in the drama by a cruel fate.  Both brothers had gone to sea, …

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The Poor Brothers: Part Two

If you read last week’s article you will remember how the philanthropic Martin Ware took a poor young Londoner by the name of Edward Connor under his wing.  Edward was an Irish Catholic, and Ware, a teacher at the Brunswick Street Ragged School, and a man of stern Christian principles, exercised forbearance as well as compassion in his dealings with …