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  • Samuel Cowdry

    Is there any information available about Polly Nichols' employer, Samuel Cowdry?

    The censuses for 1871/81/91 give his occupation as Clerk of Works (M) Police (Chief by 1891), so possibly he would have had some involvement in the construction of the New Scotland Yard building?

  • #2
    Apart from the censuses, BMD etc he seems to have been a neglected figure.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
      Apart from the censuses, BMD etc he seems to have been a neglected figure.
      He was apparently born in Soho in 1828, the son of a carpenter. Mrs C was born Sarah Manchee in 1826 in Bethnal Green. Her father, Daniel, was a weaver and judging by the names in her family tree I think she was probably of Huguenot origin.

      And their son, Francis, was a passionate advocate of Clarke's Blood Mixture.

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      • #4
        Hi Gary

        He seems confused as to where he was born. I've seen Wiltshire mentioned too.

        The 1891 census shows the whole family out of town. So who gave the info? They should have been listed at the place where they were. Strange.

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        • #5
          I'm sure Mrs Mason was delighted that her head eruption was discussed in the papers.

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          • #6
            My old copy of the A-Z has Polly at the Mitcham Workhouse between 4/1/88 and 16/4/88 and going directly from there to the Cowdrys', but Neal Shelden has her going back to Lambeth for a couple of weeks and being recommended from there to start work with them on 12/5/88.

            The Mitcham Workhouse was fairly close to the Cowdrys' home in Rose Hill Road, Wandsworth.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
              Hi Gary

              He seems confused as to where he was born. I've seen Wiltshire mentioned too.

              The 1891 census shows the whole family out of town. So who gave the info? They should have been listed at the place where they were. Strange.
              Yes, the Wiltshire POB was on the 1861 census when he and Sarah were boarding in Framlingham.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                I'm sure Mrs Mason was delighted that her head eruption was discussed in the papers.
                I wonder if they left bottles of the mixture lying around at home.

                Poor old Polly was only human, after all:

                https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2x8D4T--0v4

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                • #9
                  An F. A. Cowdry, giving the address, Ingleside, Rose Hill Road, Wandsworth, wrote a glowing recommendation of Clarke's Blood Mixture, claiming it had cured an 'eruption' on the head of a Mrs Mason of Norwood.

                  There was no alcohol in Clarke's Mixture, it would seem, but it contained potassium iodide which caused blotches on the skin...

                  http://thequackdoctor.com/index.php/...d-is-the-life/

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                  • #10
                    A modern-day map showing Rosehill Road (top right).

                    The blue squiggle on the left is the river Wandle, it's confluence with the Thames is a bit further north. The Mitcham workhouse was situated a bit further south.

                    St John's Drive - bottom left - marks the former site of Harrison, Barber's largest slaughterhouse. (Sorry!)



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                    • #11
                      Hi Gary

                      "Eruption Woman" seems to be Mrs Ann Mason, wife of John Gauntlet Mason, a coal merchant. She was in her 60s.

                      This mixture seems nasty and makes Tumblety's pimple banisher look like Godfrey's ointment for wasp stings.

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                      • #12
                        This is from the Morning Advertiser of 12th March, 1864. A Mr Cowdry is described as the surveyor involved in the construction of the Marlborough Street Police/Magistrates Court. Elsewhere he is described as the Clerk of Works responsible for the building.

                        I think this is probably Polly's employer.


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                        • #13
                          Good find, Gary. No canteen?

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                          • #14
                            Gary he's also mentioned in 1860, in connection with a fire. He was then Assistant Surveyor.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                              Gary he's also mentioned in 1860, in connection with a fire. He was then Assistant Surveyor.
                              Where was that? On the 1861 census he was in Kent.

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