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Harrison Barber—Horse Slaughterers

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    Originally called Midden* Lane, possibly in reference to the Great Dust Heap which lay at its southern end close by the Smallpox Hospital in the area known as Battle Bridge. William Tomkins was born nearby.

    https://dickensourmutualfriend.wordp...value-of-dust/

    *mid·den
    /ˈmidn/
    noun
    1.
    a dunghill or refuse heap.
    Powered by Oxford Dictionaries
    Although he doesn't name it, Dickens describes Belle Isle to a T in OMF:

    Between Battle Bridge and that part of the Holloway district in which he dwelt, was a tract of suburban Sahara, where tiles and bricks were burnt, bones were boiled, carpets were beat, rubbish was shot, dogs were fought, and dust was heaped by contractors’ .

    So we can perhaps add dogfighting to the list of pastimes enjoyed by the Belle Islanders.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Maiden Lane

    Originally called Midden* Lane, possibly in reference to the Great Dust Heap which lay at its southern end close by the Smallpox Hospital in the area known as Battle Bridge. William Tomkins was born nearby.

    https://dickensourmutualfriend.wordp...value-of-dust/

    *mid·den
    /ˈmidn/
    noun
    1.
    a dunghill or refuse heap.
    Powered by Oxford Dictionaries

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Smith

    From The Nottingham Evening Post of 5 April, 1888:

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    What a curious term to use. ;-)

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    1874 Act

    Extract from The Slaughterhouses &c. (Metropolis) Act, 1874:

    Absolute prohibition against establishing anew certain businesses

    If any person establishes anew within the limits of this Act the following businesses or any of them; that is to say, the business of -

    Blood boiler, or
    Bone boiler, or
    Manure manufacturer, or
    Soap boiler, or
    Tallow melter, or
    Knacker,

    he shall incur a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds in respect of the establishment thereof, and any person carrying on the same when established shall incur a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds for every day which he so carries on the same.


    This sounds like the regulation under which Charles Hart was prosecuted in 1878. £50 a day was a vast sum at the time. Hart claimed that he did not slaughter animals at his Bethnal Green premises, but at West Ham where he was licensed to do so. The Metropolitan Board of Works (and the court) did not believe him.

    The definition of The Metropolis was that laid down by the Metropolis Management Act of 1855 (see link).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metr...ement_Act_1855

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    A couple of recent Spitalfields Life blogs. The first concerns the railway arches in Three Colts Lane, very close to the Coventry Street arch from which HB operated (it was arch no. 216, the second image on the blog is of a car repair business at nos 207 - 11); the second blog concerns Broadway Market where the Lechmere family had their horseflesh stall.


    http://spitalfieldslife.com/2016/06/...ee-colts-lane/

    http://spitalfieldslife.com/2016/06/...oadway-market/

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    I was just browsing through M. Trow's torso book when I spotted his claim that Harrison Barber acquired premises in Coventry Street.

    That's new to me. Is he right, or has he got Henry Tomkins' home address muddled with his place of work?
    He was right. According to the 1887 directory posted by Ed (post 175 below) HB were operating from 216, Railway Arch, Coventry Street, E.

    I wonder what went on there? (And who had the keys).

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Scuttling

    So far I haven't found any evidence that any of the Tomkins boys were directly involved in scuttling.

    However, they lived in two areas controlled by gangs - the Newton Heath gang controlled Newton Heath and the Lime Street gang ran Miles Platting.

    It would seem gang membership was virtually compulsory, it was certainly risky for a youth not to align himself with the local gang. Although scuttling had begun as a sectarian rivalry - Catholic versus Protestant - it developed into an issue of 'postcode' loyalty and those boys not signed up to their local gang were almost as likely as boys from another area to be set upon in the street.

    The Tomkins brothers spent their late teens in Manchester and would have had to declare for their local gang or risk being beaten or 'doled' (stabbed).

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Here's the other half of the census page. He also utilises pretty much the same shape shen writing 'P'. Was that common at the time?

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    Would you call this a 'good/round schoolboy hand'?

    And might someone who writes Joeth for Joseph and Heney for Henry write Juwes instead of Jews? (Harriet Emily's relationship to the head of the household was 'daughter', but what is written looks like 'fath'.)



    [ATTACH]16570[/ATTACH]
    I've just noticed that Robert's capital T looks like a J, as does his F and the left vertical of his H. Even the S in son against 'Joeth' looks similar.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
    Great work, Gary. I need to catch up with this thread. Thanks.
    Thanks, Debs.

    I suspect people may see the HB thread popping up on a regular basis, think to themselves 'He's off again on his horse sausage crusade' and ignore it.

    Perhaps the Tomkins boys should have their own thread. However, much of the other background stuff on this thread I think is relevant to an understanding of the environments they grew up in, which may or may not have pushed them towards unspeakable antics in Whitechapel.

    Or are you talking about the mushy peas?

    Gary

    Leave a comment:


  • Debra Arif
    replied
    Great work, Gary. I need to catch up with this thread. Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Wot, no mooshy peas?

    A Maiden Lane chippy. At the time, no doubt, a mushy-pea-free zone.


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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Scuttlers

    Anyone interested in the phenomenon of scuttling should read this excellent book:

    http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/769

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    'All sorts and sizes.'

    If the gates of the Winthrop Street yard were always left open all night, and beyond them lay the possibility of a nice cup of tea or a glass of beer and a warm by the copper, I can well imagine it being a tempting stopping-off point for the ladies of the Whitechapel Road.

    They came in all sorts and sizes according to Henry Tomkins. No doubt some, the ones they got on with or took a fancy to, were more welcome than others.

    Given how desperate they may often have been for a bit of warmth and a glass of grog, I imagine the unwelcome ones may well have been a persistent nuisance.

    I doubt a few choice Manc oaths would have had much effect. A raised pole-axe or an unsheathed knife might have been more effective.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Glorious Beer

    Beer seems to have been the fuel that powered the Victorian knackerman. Those at the Winthrop Street yard patronised the Grave Maurice; the Belle Isle men favoured the Fortune of War. (As for the Garratt Lane men, perhaps Polly knew the answer to that one.)

    I'm somewhat sceptical about James Mumford's description of a brief mid-shift break at the Maurice just before it closed. William Tomkins drank so much that he fell into a coma. Henry almost certainly perjured himself to avoid admitting he had been to the pub that evening. And in 1903, Jeremiah Slowe's attack on Martha Hardwick was heavily drink-fuelled and he was able to lure his workmate away from the yard for an illicit gargle.

    Over in Islington, James Greenwood described the blood-stained knackermen quenching their prodigious thirsts at the Fortune of War, and on one occasion the police staked the pub out in an attempt to catch the slaughtermen buying out-of-hours liquor. The prosecution claimed that most of the out-of-hours callers at the pub were HB men and on one occasion (at 10.35 a.m.) a gallon jug of ale had been passed through the pub window to a slaughterman.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the main attraction of the yard to the women of Whitechapel was a ready supply of beer, quite possibly exchanged for their professional services. Some of them would have been more welcome than others. The more bedraggled, less attractive might be viewed by the slaughtermen as 'knackers', creatures of little worth but easily disposed of.

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