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Reconstructing Thick

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  • Reconstructing Thick

    Reconstructing Thick

    I have spent a few days reconstructing the background of William Thick. I planned to publish it here next Friday but, since yesterday the podcast about Thick that Mr. Frogg Moody did at the last conference was posted in casebook ;, I have decided to ask here if the following subject was dealt with in order not to waste my time and energy (as you can know I can barely understand spoken English, I tried my best but couldn't get what he was telling).

    On Sunday 12, however, I will post a short biographical text with precise dates and places (of course, if it hasn't been said at the conference, otherwise i will delete it completely).

    My question now is, what is known about Arthur John (John Arthur, Arthur or simply John), the adopted son of William Thick? Has this been discussed before? was treated at the conference?

    Suddenly a new son named John, age 4, shows up on the 1891 census. I have traced this John and no birth or baptismal certificate exists, at least not with the surname Thick. If he had been a legitimate son this would not have been possible, from what we can know Thick was very faithful to the church and all of his children were baptized. He would soon baptize his youngest son after having lost two daughters in his life.
    In the 1901 census this mysterious son reappears, and although Ancestry has transcribed his relationship to the 'Head' as 'Assistant', I can clearly read: 'adopt son'. Unless this has some other translation, for me it means: 'adopted son'.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    The house where all of William's children were born —except for his first one, Alice Hannah— and possibly the house where he was living in Ripper's day, was at 19 Nottingham Place (now Parfett Street). If this street has not been renumbered at some point, and number 19 is still number 19, then, this is William Thick's former home.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jose Oranto View Post
      The house where all of William's children were born —except for his first daughter— and possibly the house where he was living in Ripper's day, was at 19 Nottingham Place (now Parfett Street). If this street has not been renumbered at some point, and number 19 is still number 19, then, this is William Thick's former home
      Great photos!

      I may have misremembered this, but didn’t some of Pizer’s family live in Nottingham Place?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jose Oranto

        I didn't know that, sounds very interesting.

        I can tell you that Thick's house was just around the corner from the pub where the incident of the three men taunting a smartly dressed man in the company of a prostitute the night of the Berner Street murder occurred.
        Indeed it was.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jose Oranto
          Thick's former house (as long as it's the right house) is up for sale today for the low price of £1,191,000.

          "19 Parfett Street, London is a 1 bedroom leasehold terraced house - it is ranked as the 2nd most expensive property in E1 1JR, with a valuation of £1,191,000."
          The son of a friend of mine lived in Parfitt Street a few years ago. I don’t know which number. He and some friends rented it.


          • #6
            Property prices in London today are ridiculous. Even more so its unbelievable that a three story house would have only one bedroom, that is more likely that that the house is divided up into apartments and the price is for a single apartment. Its also quite likely that the family despite its size had only two or three rooms in the house. A look at the relevant census returns should confirm that it was a house of multiple occupation.


            • #7
              Well, here I bring my little reconstruction of the background of William Thick. New little details have been put in bold, if this has been said before, please, let me know and accept my apologies, I'll happily correct it.

              Please, feel free to share any thought, comment, input or correction, it will be very welcome and grateful. I can go re-editing the text on the fly with your help.

              I hope it is of some use.



              William Thick was born on November 27, 1844 [1] in Bowerchalke, a farm village in the county of Wiltshire [2]. Son of Charles Thick and his wife Mary (née Sheppard), and brother of four-year-old Jane, born 1841; and two-year-old Ellen, born 1843. Over the years the family continued to grow: Frederick, in 1847; Robert, in 1849; Sarah, in 1851; Morgan, in 1855; Anne, in 1856; and Alice, in 1859 [3]. The children grew up at 51 Church Street, next to the homes of their grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins [4]. Some time later the family moved to Chase Farm & Cottages, on the outskirts of Bowerchalke, where William took a job as a carter [5] and where his parents had two new children : Robert Charles, in 1861; and George, in 1863 [6].
              At the age of 23, William left country life and moved to London, where on March 16, 1868, he joined the Metropolitan Police. For the next four years he was living at the Leman Street Police Station and patrolled the streets of Whitechapel, where he gained a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the area. On January 4, 1872, he was transferred to Chelsea, Division B, but not for long; on September 18 he returned to Division H, where he was promoted to sergeant. [7] On November 4, that same year, he married Hannah, a 23-year-old girl, born on December 8, 1848 in St. George in the East; the eldest of five children born to a rug and mat maker named William Ellison and his wife Margaret (née Peterson) [8]. The William y Hannah, already pregnant with their first child, went to live in St. George in the East, at 4 Wellclose Square. On February 19, 1873, little Alice Hannah was born [9]. They would later make their home in Mile End Old Town, at 19 Nottingham Place [10] , where Hannah gave birth to Susan on February 2, 1875 [11]. When the little girl was only two and a half months old, she fell ill with bronchitis, and two weeks later, on May 21, she passed away after suffering a convulsions attack [12]. A week after her death, her parents would say their final goodbyes at Victoria Park Cemetery [13]. A year later, on April 22, 1876, Hannah and William were blessed with the birth of a new son, William Charles [14].
              On 8 July, 1878, William was again transferred, this time to Camberwell, to Division P [15]. A few weeks later, on August 24, Hannah gave birth a girl whom they named Rose [16].
              On March 18, 1881, another daughter was born, Ellen Mary [17], but, tragically, in November of the following year contracted measles and, after complicating it with bronchopneumonia, died on the 28th [18].Thursday December 7 She was buried in Bow Cemetery [19]. The birth of Amelia the following year, on July 3, 1883, would alleviate the hard blow of the loss of little Ellen Mary [20].
              After nearly eight years in the Camberwell division, on May 3, 1886, he was again transferred to the streets of Whitechapel [22].

              Notes and References

              1. Birth record.
              2. The question of the exact place of birth of William Thick is not very clear. In 1841, William's grandfather, Robert, lived with his children on a farm in Misselfore, a hamlet within the village of Bowerchalke. This hamlet was made up of eight unnumbered farms. William's parents, Charles and Mary, were married on January 14 of that same year, 1841; in the census, Charles appeared in his father's house, while Mary, pregnant with Jane, appeared in her family's house. We can reasonably assume that they lived in the house of Charles's parents, and that Mary was at the time in the house of her parents, who lived only four houses away. But what we cannot assume is that William was born in his grandfather's house, that is, in Misselfore. We have no record of William and Mary again until the 1851 census, when they appear living at 51 Church Street with their, to date, five children. 51 Chrurch Street did not belong at that time nor did it ten years earlier, to the village of Misselfore. This time, in the census of 1851, the hamlet was named Misselfore Green and it was made up of only five farms instead of the eight it used to be. Where did the other three farms go? The other three farms had ceased to belong to the village and now occupied 54, 55 and 56 Church Street (54 being William's grandfather's house). The five farms in the village were numbered 57 to 61 (58 being the house of Mary's parents). From the information I have I cannot determine whether William was born at Misselfore or 51 Church Street, but I would wager he was at the latter.
              3. Baptized Ann Eliza on April 3, 1859. – Baptism record. – General Register Office Index.
              – Censuses of 1851 and 1861.
              4. 53 and 54 Church Street, and 58 Misselfore Green. – Census of 1851 and 1861.
              5. Sometime before April 1861. – 1861 Census.
              6. Index of the General Registry Office.
              7. Metropolitan Police Pension Records. – Census of 1871.
              8. Birth certificate. – Census of 1871. – Index of the General Registry Office. – Marriage registration.
              9. Baptism record.
              10. Today Parfett Street. –
              11. Baptism record.
              12. Death record.
              13. Victoria Park Cemetery (today Meath Gardens): May 28, 1875, grave 330. – Burial record, courtesy of Rob Clack.
              14. Baptism record.
              15. Metropolitan Police Pension Records.
              16. She is listed as Rosie on the baptism record.
              17. Baptism record.
              18. Death record.
              19. Grave N417. – Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park Burial Record.
              20. Birth record of Ellen Mary. – The 1901 census shows an adopted son born in 1887. The origin of this child is not known, nor if he was adopted as a newborn or shortly before the census was taken. Although he has been excluded from this text, it is possible that he was already part of the family in 1888. Also, this census places the Thick family as living at 81 Dempsey Street, also in Mile End Old Town (today this street no longer exists. It was a long street parallel to Jubilee Street, on its east side). Sometime between 1885 (electoral registration) and April 1891 they left their home in Nottingham Place and moved to this new address.
              21. Metropolitan Police Pension Records.

              Attached Files


              • #8
                Burial record of Susan Thick, courtesy of Rob Clack

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                  Indeed it was.
                  Sorry Gary, I removed my previous post by mistake

                  19 Parfett Street, London is a 1 bedroom leasehold terraced house - it is ranked as the 2nd most expensive property in E1 1JR, with a valuation of £1,191,000.



                  • #10
                    I found this picture of Thick's parents grave on findagrave —

                    Note that 'Thicke' ends in 'e'

                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      This may be as interesting to someone as I am. I've visited Edith Thompson's grave a dozen times and never knew Thick was buried just a few graves away.
                      In the photo below, if you count twelve graves, you will find Thompson.

                      ​​​​​​(Edith Thompson, reinterred for the third time. Executed for her alleged involvement in the murder of her husband Percy Thompson).

                      Here you can see some photo of Edith Thompson's grave:

                      Attached Files


                      • #12

                        I want to thank you for sharing your work and applaud you for undertaking it in the first place. Writing history isn't easy, and I would imagine doubly hard when you're writing in a language other than your native tongue. Very impressive work. I hope you have fun with your research and keep at it.

                        Yours truly,

                        Tom Wescott


                        • #13
                          I really appreciate your words Tom

                          I must say that I was so impressed by your article on Le Grand in The Casebook Examiner that I had to read both of your books next. Both great jobs.

                          Thanks again Tom.


                          • #14
                            Ellen Mary.

                            She was born on March 18, 1881 but the following year she contracted measles and, after complicating it with bronchopneumonia, she died on November, 28

                            Attached Files