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Harrison Barber—Horse Slaughterers

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

    Possibly a map charting the progress of the construction of the GNR might solve the mystery.
    I’m still on the hunt for Alfred Street. Although I’m pretty sure I know approximately where it was, I’d like to find a map which identifies it by name.

    The first map below is from 1861, and I suspect Alfred Street was in the area circled in blue.

    The subsequent maps are from later in the 60s and I think the shading on them indicates that the area in question was affected by railway development.

    I’m planning a trip to the Islington Local History Centre next week to see if they any maps or plans that will provide the answer.
    Attached Files

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Jose Oranto View Post

    He should have run into the mares of Diomedes 😄


    Ooh, I say!

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  • Jose Oranto
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

    Perfect! :-)

    A little known but rather sinister character was a young Essex knacker, Edward Bentley, the so-called ‘horse Burker’ (as in Burke and Hare). He used to suffocate or strangle horses at night and then call back at the farms the next day to see if they had any dead stock they wanted to dispose of. He was discovered in the act of suffocating a horse by stuffing its nose with straw. He was convicted for that offence and transported, but it was believed he may have killed many more horses in the neighbourhood.

    This is the list of seemingly perfectly healthy horses that suddenly died and were purchased by him in an 8-month period:
    He should have run into the mares of Diomedes 😄



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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Jose Oranto View Post

    The knacker 'Mrs. Lovett' baking the horse flesh into pies.
    Perfect! :-)

    A little known but rather sinister character was a young Essex knacker, Edward Bentley, the so-called ‘horse Burker’ (as in Burke and Hare). He used to suffocate or strangle horses at night and then call back at the farms the next day to see if they had any dead stock they wanted to dispose of. He was discovered in the act of suffocating a horse by stuffing its nose with straw. He was convicted for that offence and transported, but it was believed he may have killed many more horses in the neighbourhood.

    This is the list of seemingly perfectly healthy horses that suddenly died and were purchased by him in an 8-month period:
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Jose Oranto
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    The most interesting thing about the Currells is that one of their daughters, aged 17 from memory, was recorded as a horse slaughterer.

    I’ve seen a few women so-described, but usually they are the owners of the businesses, often the widows of horse slaughtering businesses.

    I think the 17-year-old was Henry Currell’s niece and her father was also a horse slaughterer, so she can’t have been a non-active owner.
    The knacker 'Mrs. Lovett' baking the horse flesh into pies.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    The most interesting thing about the Currells is that one of their daughters, aged 17 from memory, was recorded as a horse slaughterer.

    I’ve seen a few women so described, but usually they are the owners of the businesses, often the widows of owners horse slaughtering businesses.

    I think the 17-year-old was Henry Currell’s niece and her father was also a horse slaughterer, so she can’t have been a non-active owner.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Jose Oranto View Post

    Thats cool, I would like to see that piece of news
    I think it’s on here somewhere, but I’m too lazy to look for it. :-)
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  • Jose Oranto
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post


    [Just in case Mark is feeling peckish, I should point out that Henry Currell once sued the Daily Telegraph for accusing him of selling horse meat pies.]
    Thats cool, I would like to see that piece of news

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied

    I was strolling along Brandon Road via the 1871 census the other day (as you do), finding a whole host of Stronachs and some Carvils (Henry Tomkins’ mum’s family) when I unexpectedly bumped into Robert Barnett.

    He is a 3x great uncle of mine, a horse slaughterer (what else?) and although I was aware that he was in Islington in 1871, I wasn’t sure exactly where. The address given on the census was Maud’s Terrace, but until now I hadn’t been able to decipher it. I now see that it was either part of or just off Brandon Road in Belle Isle.

    I’d found him before living in Pleasant Grove, so a Belle Isle address wasn’t in itself a surprise, but that he was living just a few doors away from the Stronach’s in 1871 is intriguing. Was he working for the Stronachs at that time?

    That lead me to spend a little time looking at the Stronachs in a bit more depth and in doing so I discovered something else rather interesting.

    The main Stronach knacker was George Ebenezer Stronach. It was his daughter Rebecca who married Henry Currell, one of the founders of Harrison, Barber. Currell was originally from Hertfordshire, but it seems he took over the Stronachs’ horse slaughtering business after George Ebenezer died.

    George Ebenezer was in Islington in 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881, but not in 1851. When that census was taken he was living in Wood’s Buildings, Whitechapel and he had been there three years previously when one of his daughters was baptised. So he was probably working for William Monk at the time.

    It’s that ‘small world’ thing again.



    [Just in case Mark is feeling peckish, I should point out that Henry Currell once sued the Daily Telegraph for accusing him of selling horse meat pies.]

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Jose Oranto View Post


    ​​​​​​It doesn't have to be relevant, which in fact it is. Any topic that helps us better understand the time and its people is more than interesting.

    Gary, what do we know about Mr. Barber resting place?​
    A family grave at Bow cemetery. I’d forgotten.

    there’s a long obituary in the ELO 17/12/1927

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    The point about the knackers ‘mindset’ is that I’ve always wondered whether the Winthrop Street business was squeaky clean. Alfred Barber was a prominent Whitechapel resident. He was local councillor and a Freemason and he was occasionally called as an expert witness when a court case involved horse flesh.

    But was he a perfectly upright citizen, or did he cultivate contacts to cover up dodgy dealings of some kind? I don’t know the answer, I don’t really have an opinion either way, but maybe something will come to light. The Barbers will probably deserve their own thread once I’ve exhausted the Monk sources.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Jose Oranto View Post


    ​​​​​​It doesn't have to be relevant, which in fact it is. Any topic that helps us better understand the time and its people is more than interesting.

    Gary, what do we know about Mr. Barber resting place?​
    I get a bit concerned when I go too far back in time. Late 19th century Whitechapel is clearly relevant, but late 18th?

    Personally I think it is because I suspect that aspects of the mindset of the 18th century knackers trickled down the generations.

    Which Barber did you have in mind? Off the top of my head, William died circa 1877 in Whitechapel and Alfred died in West Ham in 1927. Even as early as the 1870s they were farmers in Essex as well as knackers. I’m not sure where they were buried. Not far from where I live I would imagine. That’s something I must investigate.

    Unless someone beats me to it. ;-)

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  • Steve Blomer
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post


    Thanks, Steve. I’m obviously fascinated by the subject for its own sake, but I often wonder whether it’s really relevant to Ripperology. And then I remind myself that the ID of the Ripper hasn’t been conclusively established, and as a class knackers have a lot going for them: knife skills, nocturnal shift patterns, knowledge of mammalian anatomy etc. HB at one time used to give anatomy demonstrations to Royal Veterinary College students. I know a horse isn’t a human being, but an experience knacker would probably have handled many other species during his working life and would have had a much better idea of where to find a human kidney than the average man on the street.​
    I didn't know about the vet college, learn something every day

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  • Jose Oranto
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post


    Thanks, Steve. I’m obviously fascinated by the subject for its own sake, but I often wonder whether it’s really relevant to Ripperology. And then I remind myself that the ID of the Ripper hasn’t been conclusively established, and as a class knackers have a lot going for them: knife skills, nocturnal shift patterns, knowledge of mammalian anatomy etc. HB at one time used to give anatomy demonstrations to Royal Veterinary College students. I know a horse isn’t a human being, but an experience knacker would probably have handled many other species during his working life and would have had a much better idea of where to find a human kidney than the average man on the street.​

    ​​​​​​It doesn't have to be relevant, which in fact it is. Any topic that helps us better understand the time and its people is more than interesting.

    Gary, what do we know about Mr. Barber resting place?​

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Steve Blomer View Post

    This is really good info you are uncovering Gary.
    Gives more context to the slaught business

    Steve

    Thanks, Steve. I’m obviously fascinated by the subject for its own sake, but I often wonder whether it’s really relevant to Ripperology. And then I remind myself that the ID of the Ripper hasn’t been conclusively established, and as a class knackers have a lot going for them: knife skills, nocturnal shift patterns, knowledge of mammalian anatomy etc. HB at one time used to give anatomy demonstrations to Royal Veterinary College students. I know a horse isn’t a human being, but an experience knacker would probably have handled many other species during his working life and would have had a much better idea of where to find a human kidney than the average man on the street.​

    Leave a comment:

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