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The Morgenstern Brothers, Felix Family & 79 Pennington Street

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  • Thank you very much, Chris, for taking the trouble to reconstruct a timeline. I may have some Belgian additions regarding Adrianus and Marinus in the near future to fill in a couple of small gaps in the period 1880-1887.

    Comment


    • I tried looking for info about 15, Limehouse Causeway, but didn’t have much success. By the 1920s it seems to have been a Chinese restaurant where prostitutes congregated, but I couldn’t find much of interest prior to that.

      There was one thing, though, a report of an inquest into the death of the child of a sailor at that address in 1893. It seems the father, surname Corbett, was involved in the coal trade between Shields and Antwerp.

      Comment


      • Of course, 15, Limehouse Causeway wasn’t far from the addresses in Rich Street and the West India Dock Road where various members of the Breezers Hill mob could be found in 1891. Maywood had moved on by 1897 and was getting stuck into his Essex property buying/burning activities. I’m not sure about Morgenstern/ Boekee or Woodhouse/McCarthy though.

        Comment


        • To my mind it is interesting that the 1921 census records that Adrianus worked for the Gas Light and Coke Company (or had worked for them, as he was "out of work" at the time of the census).

          Given that his addresses in Victoria Road, Fulham, were so close to Fulham Gas Works (owned by the Gas Light and Coke Company from 1876) I don't think there can be much doubt that he worked for them in the early 1880s.

          But at the other end of his career he was living at 22 Joshua Street, Bromley, and the closest gas works to that address was Poplar Gas Works, which had a different owner, the Commercial Gas Company. If he had ended up working there, that would mean he changed his employer at some point in his career.

          Of course, we should like to know who he worked for in the late 1880s for two reasons:
          (1) Joe Barnett's inquest evidence that Mary Kelly lived (presumably c. 1885-6) with a man named Morganstone near (or opposite) Stepney Gas Works, specified in some newspaper reports as the Commercial Gas Works (Stepney Gas Works being owned by the Commercial Gas Company - like Poplar Gas Works) and
          (2) Neal Shelden's suggestion that the Mrs Elizabeth Phoenix of 157 Bow Common Lane, who spoke to the press about Mary Kelly in 1888, was really the wife of Adrianus Morgenstern, who was going by the name of Felix at the date of the 1891 census. Although Neal Shelden didn't mention it, Mrs Phoenix's address was very close to Bow Common Gas Works (which was owned by the Gas Light and Coke Company - like Fulham Gas Works).

          The 1921 census information makes it possible that Adrianus always worked for the Gas Light and Coke Company, first at Fulham Gas Works and later at Bow Common Gas Works. His addresses in 1891 (20 Cordelia Street) and from 1901 (22 Joshua Street) were not as close to gas works, but Cordelia Street was not too far from Bow Common Gas Works, and Joshua Street, while closer to Poplar, was not too far from Bromley Gas Works (which was also owned by the Gas Light and Coke Company).
          .................................................. ........................................

          1. Victoria Road
          A. Fulham Gas Works (Gas Light and Coke Company)

          GasMap2.jpg

          1. 157 Bow Common Lane
          2. Cordelia Street
          3. Joshua Street
          A. Stepney Gas Works (Commercial Gas Company)
          B. Bow Common Gas Works (Gas Light and Coke Company)
          C. Bromley Gas Works (Gas Light and Coke Company)
          D. Poplar Gas Works (Commercial Gas Company)

          GasMap.jpg

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
            To my mind it is interesting that the 1921 census records that Adrianus worked for the Gas Light and Coke Company (or had worked for them, as he was "out of work" at the time of the census).

            Given that his addresses in Victoria Road, Fulham, were so close to Fulham Gas Works (owned by the Gas Light and Coke Company from 1876) I don't think there can be much doubt that he worked for them in the early 1880s.

            But at the other end of his career he was living at 22 Joshua Street, Bromley, and the closest gas works to that address was Poplar Gas Works, which had a different owner, the Commercial Gas Company. If he had ended up working there, that would mean he changed his employer at some point in his career.

            Of course, we should like to know who he worked for in the late 1880s for two reasons:
            (1) Joe Barnett's inquest evidence that Mary Kelly lived (presumably c. 1885-6) with a man named Morganstone near (or opposite) Stepney Gas Works, specified in some newspaper reports as the Commercial Gas Works (Stepney Gas Works being owned by the Commercial Gas Company - like Poplar Gas Works) and
            (2) Neal Shelden's suggestion that the Mrs Elizabeth Phoenix of 157 Bow Common Lane, who spoke to the press about Mary Kelly in 1888, was really the wife of Adrianus Morgenstern, who was going by the name of Felix at the date of the 1891 census. Although Neal Shelden didn't mention it, Mrs Phoenix's address was very close to Bow Common Gas Works (which was owned by the Gas Light and Coke Company - like Fulham Gas Works).

            The 1921 census information makes it possible that Adrianus always worked for the Gas Light and Coke Company, first at Fulham Gas Works and later at Bow Common Gas Works. His addresses in 1891 (20 Cordelia Street) and from 1901 (22 Joshua Street) were not as close to gas works, but Cordelia Street was not too far from Bow Common Gas Works, and Joshua Street, while closer to Poplar, was not too far from Bromley Gas Works (which was also owned by the Gas Light and Coke Company).
            .................................................. ........................................

            1. Victoria Road
            A. Fulham Gas Works (Gas Light and Coke Company)

            GasMap2.jpg

            1. 157 Bow Common Lane
            2. Cordelia Street
            3. Joshua Street
            A. Stepney Gas Works (Commercial Gas Company)
            B. Bow Common Gas Works (Gas Light and Coke Company)
            C. Bromley Gas Works (Gas Light and Coke Company)
            D. Poplar Gas Works (Commercial Gas Company)

            GasMap.jpg
            This is a fantastic post, Chris.
            For a good deal into the 1880s Johannes' brothers Adrianus and Marinus appear to have been stomping about in Fulham and the gas works there situated, Adrianus at some point settling in Bow.

            Comment


            • There was also the Ratcliffe Gas Works which was taken over by the Commercial Gas Co. (in the 1870s from memory). That was in Johnson Street, very close to Station Place and Cornwall Street.


              Comment


              • The circular structures top right behind Johnson Street were the gasometers of the Ratcliff Gas Works. They would probably have been visible to anyone living in Station Place (marked red) and Cornwall Street below it.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • I think I may sometimes be seduced by inconsequential geographical coincidences. The group I think of as the ‘Breezers Hill Mob’ had connections to some or most of these places:

                  Fulham
                  The Highway
                  Shadwell
                  Limehouse
                  Bow
                  West Ham/Canning Town

                  Maywood had connections to all of them with the exception of Fulham (to my knowledge).

                  Johannes Morgenstern had them all (some through his brothers) except Shadwell.

                  Some of this can’t be mere coincidence, surely.






                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                    I think I may sometimes be seduced by inconsequential geographical coincidences. The group I think of as the ‘Breezers Hill Mob’ had connections to some or most of these places:

                    Fulham
                    The Highway
                    Shadwell
                    Limehouse
                    Bow
                    West Ham/Canning Town

                    Maywood had connections to all of them with the exception of Fulham (to my knowledge).

                    Johannes Morgenstern had them all (some through his brothers) except Shadwell.

                    Some of this can’t be mere coincidence, surely.





                    When I say ‘Shadwell’, I’m thinking of Bluegate Fields and the area around Shadwell Station, part of which is in SGE.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                      I think I may sometimes be seduced by inconsequential geographical coincidences. The group I think of as the ‘Breezers Hill Mob’ had connections to some or most of these places:

                      Fulham
                      The Highway
                      Shadwell
                      Limehouse
                      Bow
                      West Ham/Canning Town

                      Maywood had connections to all of them with the exception of Fulham (to my knowledge).

                      Johannes Morgenstern had them all (some through his brothers) except Shadwell.

                      Some of this can’t be mere coincidence, surely.





                      Exactly what I was thinking!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                        There was also the Ratcliffe Gas Works which was taken over by the Commercial Gas Co. (in the 1870s from memory). That was in Johnson Street, very close to Station Place and Cornwall Street.

                        Yes. One of the reasons I thought it was interesting that the 1921 census specified that Adrianus worked (or had worked) for the Gas Light and Coke Company, was the discussion following your post of information about the Ratcliff Gas Works on the thread "Life's a Gas". You commented that if he did work for the GLCC he probably had no connection with the Commercial Gas Company (which was at Stepney, Poplar and Ratcliff). Debs noted then that there was no definite evidence which company he worked for.

                        The 1921 census does give us some definite evidence from the end of his career, and I think there has to be a strong possibility that he worked for the same company at the beginning of his career (as far as I can see there's no alternative gas works near Victoria Road, Fulham).

                        I've always been a bit hesitant to assume either that Barnett got the name of the gas works wrong in his inquest testimony, or that the Phoenix = Felix identification is necessarily correct. But I think this does tend to support both, because for Barnett to have been right (or to have meant the Ratcliff works), Adrianus would seemingly have to have switched first from the GLCC to the Commercial and then back again (assuming that the gas works was where Barnett's "Morganstone" worked as well as close to where he lived). And also Mrs Phoenix's address would fit the (GLCC-owned) Bow Common Gas Works pretty well.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                          Yes. One of the reasons I thought it was interesting that the 1921 census specified that Adrianus worked (or had worked) for the Gas Light and Coke Company, was the discussion following your post of information about the Ratcliff Gas Works on the thread "Life's a Gas". You commented that if he did work for the GLCC he probably had no connection with the Commercial Gas Company (which was at Stepney, Poplar and Ratcliff). Debs noted then that there was no definite evidence which company he worked for.

                          The 1921 census does give us some definite evidence from the end of his career, and I think there has to be a strong possibility that he worked for the same company at the beginning of his career (as far as I can see there's no alternative gas works near Victoria Road, Fulham).

                          I've always been a bit hesitant to assume either that Barnett got the name of the gas works wrong in his inquest testimony, or that the Phoenix = Felix identification is necessarily correct. But I think this does tend to support both, because for Barnett to have been right (or to have meant the Ratcliff works), Adrianus would seemingly have to have switched first from the GLCC to the Commercial and then back again (assuming that the gas works was where Barnett's "Morganstone" worked as well as close to where he lived). And also Mrs Phoenix's address would fit the (GLCC-owned) Bow Common Gas Works pretty well.
                          Thanks Chris.

                          I’d drafted this before I read this post and was intending to post it on the HR thread.



                          Rather strangely, HR has Kelly living with Joe Fleming near the Bethnal Green Gas Works, saying, ‘For a handful of months at most, the couple inhabited what was probably no more than a single furnished room on Bethnal Green Road or Old Bethnal Green Road.’ She describes the episode as a ‘brief period of settle domesticity’ for Kelly.

                          She apparently bases her opinion on information provided by Joe Barnett, but this is what Barnett actually said in his inquest testimony:

                          ‘She came back [from France] and lived in Ratcliff Highway for some time, she did not tell me how long. Then she was living near Stepney Gas Works. Morganstone was the man she lived with there. She did not tell me how long she lived there. She told me that in Pennington Street she lived at one time with a Morganstone, and with Joseph Flemming, she was very fond of him. He was a mason’s plasterer. He lived in Bethnal Green Road. She told me all this, but I do not know which she lived with last. Flemming used to visit her.’

                          She explains her reasoning in a note:

                          ‘As Pennington Street is not near a gas works and there is no evidence that she lived with Adrianus Morgenstern, it is more likely he [Barnett] was referring to Fleming.’

                          I think there was a Gas Works in Wapping, which was fairly near Pennington Street, but I doubt Kelly would have described Pennington Street by reference to it.

                          Something that seems not to have occurred to HR is that Johannes Morgenstern may have briefly moved from Pennington Street to a location near a Gas Works, as, it seems, did Maywood, Miller and Blair.

                          I should add that by 1894, the Johnson/Hardinge Street Gas Works seem to have been demolished. Originally the Ratcliff Gas Works, it had been taken over by the Commercial Gas Co. in 1875 and its gasometers are shown on Bacon’s 1888 Ordnance Atlas (see image). When the area was surveyed for the Bacon’s map isn’t clear.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • Thanks for the link to the Life’s a Gas thread, Chris. I had tried to find it without success.

                            I’d forgotten exactly what it contained. If you ignore the fart joke posts, it does present my theory about MJK’s gas works episode rather well I think.



                            Comment


                            • This from the 79, Pennington Street timeline thread may be useful here. It shows some of those operating out of 79, PS and 1, Breezer’s Hill (at one time the same premises, the Old Red Lion) moving around when their children were being born or were ill. The Maywoods and Millers at 94, Cornwall Street and the Blair’s in Station Place, both close to the Ratcliff Gas Works site, are particularly interesting.

                              General Timeline, 1885-6

                              1885 (Feb): John/Jane Blair - John Joseph Baptism @ 79, PS.
                              1885 (Oct): Morgenstern/Boeku - Twins’ births @ 79, PS.
                              1885 (Nov): John/Sophie Miller - Annie birth @ Manor Lane, Rotherhithe.
                              1885 (Dec): John/Jane Blair - John Joseph Death @ 4, Station Place.
                              1886 (Feb): John/Sophie Miller - Annie death @ 94, Cornwall Street*.
                              1886 (May): John Miller - Charles school enrolment @18, Albert Street
                              1886 (Aug): Maywoods - Mary Ann birth @ 1, BH
                              1886 (Sept): Morgenstern/Boeku - Elizabeth Death @ 79, PS.
                              1886 (Oct): 2Bn Scots Guards arrive at Tower.
                              (1887 (Sept): 2Bn Scots Guards leave Tower.)

                              *The same address given by the Maywoods in 1888.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                                Thanks Chris.

                                I’d drafted this before I read this post snd was going to put it on the HR thread.



                                Rather strangely, HR has Kelly living with Joe Fleming near the Bethnal Green Gas Works, saying, ‘For a handful of months at most, the couple inhabited what was probably no more than a single furnished room on Bethnal Green Road or Old Bethnal Green Road.’ She describes the episode as a ‘brief period of settle domesticity’ for Kelly.

                                She apparently bases her opinion on information provided by Joe Barnett, but this is what Barnett actually said in his inquest testimony:

                                ‘She came back [from France] and lived in Ratcliff Highway for some time, she did not tell me how long. Then she was living near Stepney Gas Works. Morganstone was the man she lived with there. She did not tell me how long she lived there. She told me that in Pennington Street she lived at one time with a Morganstone, and with Joseph Flemming, she was very fond of him. He was a mason’s plasterer. He lived in Bethnal Green Road. She told me all this, but I do not know which she lived with last. Flemming used to visit her.’

                                She explains her reasoning in a note:

                                ‘As Pennington Street is not near a gas works and there is no evidence that she lived with Adrianus Morgenstern, it is more likely he [Barnett] was referring to Fleming.’

                                I think there was a Gas Works in Wapping, which was fairly near Pennington Street, but I doubt Kelly would have described Pennington Street by reference to it.

                                Something that seems not to have occurred to her is that Johannes Morgenstern may have briefly moved from Pennington Street to a location near a Gas Works, as, it seems, did Maywood, Miller and Blair.

                                I should add that by 1894, the Johnson/Hardinge Street Gas Works seem to have been demolished. Originally the Ratcliff Gas Works, it had been taken over by the Commercial Gas Co. in 1875 and its gasometers are shown on Bacon’s 1888 Ordnance Atlas (see image). When the area was surveyed for the Bacon’s map isn’t clear.

                                I'm a bit bewildered about the Ratcliff and Wapping gas works. This article seems to have a wealth of information about the Wapping Gas Works, which it says was owned by the Ratcliff Gas Light and Coke Company, which amalgamated with the Commercial Gas Company in 1875. The works don't look very close to Pennington Street:
                                http://www.breweryhistory.com/journa...e/171/Star.pdf

                                The article does mention the Ratcliff Gas Works, but when it does it seems to be referring to the Wapping Gas Works, not the one on Johnson Street.

                                Do we know for sure that the one on Johnson Street was owned by the Commercial Gas Company? The article you posted at the start of "Life's a Gas" could be read as implying that, but I think it probably doesn't.

                                Comment

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