The following is a genealogical account of a part of the Betjemann family. While such information is most succinctly presented in the form of a pedigree, it is difficult to include all relevant detail in such a chart and maintain its clarity. For this reason, the Detail has been set out in a more narrative form immediately below. It does not however purport to be a series of proper biographical sketches of the individuals involved, although a little of such description may obtrude from time to time. The pedigree itself is shown later in the account. The pedigrees and Detail for other Betjemann families who settled in England are also shown - in other sections - as Betjemann Pedigrees II and III (see Betjemann Homepage).

1.  Origins of the Family and the First Generation in England.

     George Betjemann, the first member of this family to settle in England (of whom we are aware), married Eleanor Smith on March 1st, 1797 at the parish church of St George-in-the-East, Wapping - then part of Stepney. The church, one of those white stone churches designed by Wren’s pupil Hawkesmoor, is situated just above what is today ‘The Highway’ but was then called ‘Ratcliffe Highway’. The marriage was after the posting of weekly banns, rather than by licence, with both parties described as ‘single and of that parish’. The ceremony was witnessed by Gilbert and Lucy Slater, seemingly a married couple who, like the bride and groom, signed the register; many at the time still ‘made their mark’. Any uncertainty concerning the original spelling of the surname is resolved when one notes George’s own signature in the marriage register, which clearly appears thus:

      Some years later, his age at death as shown in another register indicates he was born about 1764. No Betjemanns (of whatever spelling) were born in the Wapping/Stepney area around that time (nor indeed elsewhere in England according to the usual indexes) and we may assume that, like many residents of Wapping then, with names like ‘George Schwitter, Joseph Schmollenger, Lewis Vandepump, George Leidemann and George Wacherbach’ (owner of a Sugar House there), George Betjemann too was probably born and raised abroad - seemingly in the north of Germany. Thus, according to Bevis Hillier in ‘Young Betjeman’ “..a tradition in the family...suggested that…George Betjemann (their ancestor)...was born in Bremen - in 1764”. An examination of the style of writing the capital letters G and B by those signing contemporary marriage registers in London at that time indicates that those written by George (as above) were indeed not typical of native-born residents.

      In his autobiographical poem ‘Summoned By Bells’, the renowned poet and direct descendent of George, Sir John Betjeman, describes how the mother of his next door friends provided his first sense of insecurity when, as the first World War loomed, she exclaimed: “Your name is German, John” - whereas he had himself ‘always thought it Dutch.’ He asked his mother about this: “No”, she assured him, “ It is Dutch…”. He also refers to “that tee-jay-ee; that fatal ‘tee-jay-ee” (ie ..t j e..) in the middle of his name which, combined with the ‘..mann’ ending on his own birth registration, seemed to trouble the future poet, as well as various officials trying to spell it. He apparently clung to the belief that in the last century his family had, to give their company’s products an aura of Germanic expertise, actually added an extra ‘n’ - to an original single ‘n’ spelling, with its less Germanic connotation. Belief in this was fostered by the fact that a forebear did indeed use the one ‘n’ version for a time - on earlier company stationery. But, like the first George Betjemann above, that ancestor - George's eldest son, also George - began and ended the 19th century still using the double ‘nn’ form; any one ‘n’ versions in mid-century appear to have been temporary and atypical.

     Later, at school, young John would be called ‘a German spy’ by his classmates and one may appreciate why, many years later, he would write to his mother that he had been looking-up some of the family’s earlier church registrations near the present day Barbican (at St Botolph’s, Aldersgate) and was pleased to find a few entries at least which spelt the name with just the one ‘n’ - as though still seeking reassurance that the name was indeed not German. It was however spelt in a great variety of ways by early incumbents, showing variations in both vowels and consonants. Variations in the final ‘n’s were but part of this inconsistency and some ‘one-n’ versions were thus virtually inevitable. Bevis Hillier states that nevertheless “To the end of his life, John insisted that his ancestors were Dutch and that the founder of the family firm had come from Holland - in the late eighteenth century.” In fact, as described below, the founder of that company - George’s son George Betjemann Jnr - was himself only born at the end of that century - and in neither Holland nor Germany, but in England. It was the elder George, initially a Sugar Baker (and later a ‘Keeper of Dairy Cows’), who was the one born abroad and, as now apparent, in north Germany (see below for confirmation).

      Sir John appears to have based his conviction of a Dutch origin for the first Betjemann to settle here partly upon unverified reports he had received from Holland that one ‘Joost Betjeman’ was a public official there in the 16th century. This apparently over-rode family tradition of the birth of George Snr in Germany - in 1764 - and later elaborated by an elderly relative saying he had been a 'Sugar Refiner' there - ‘who sat in a German Parliament’. Archive searches have yet to confirm either of these suggestions, however - particularly that more unlikely latter aspect.

      The prevailing religious denomination in the state of Hanover, from where so many sugar bakers emigrated to England from the 1760s onwards, is and was that of the Lutheran church. Most of the parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1700 on in that area have survived and remain with church incumbents. These have all been transcribed onto microfiche copies held at that church’s archives centre in Hanover, as well as at their various regional centres. One of the latter, that for the church district called Wessermud Sud, includes such register copies for all the parishes situated along the east bank of the river Wesser - just south of Bremerhaven and in particular those of Stotel, Bokel, Bramstedt, Loxstedt and Beverstedt - where most of the limited Betjemann family resided for some generations, and many still do. It seems quite likely that a baptism entry for 'George' Betjemann, around the year 1764, may be located within these records by an assistant working at the Lutheran archives or by a professional genealogist, although in both cases the fees quoted were quite excessive for the anticipated time required. An ‘amateur’ genealogist was also contacted in this regard, but his fee was just as marked. Eventually, this information should be forthcoming - either to affirm or negate the views expressed here. [Note: Initially these requests suggested that George's first name, at his baptism, and while still in Germany, may have been 'Jurgen', which I understood was the equivalent of our 'George'. Later, I was not so confident about this, recalling that our first King George - from Hanover coincidentally - appeared to possess that name before coming to England - possibly spelt 'Georg'. See now below regarding this matter and the affirmation or negation of the views expressed here.]

      One may wonder whether raw sugar was similarly landed at Bremerhaven and other dockside areas along the river Wesser - near the small towns of Stotel and Bokel - just as it would be in and near Wapping. Early German immigrants were attracted to England from this area who had expertise in this trade and so set up the first ‘Sugar Houses’ in Wapping (eg ca 1760s). A German church was establihed in the East-end as early as 1765. Relatives and friends no doubt followed on once a foothold was established and many young men then came (ca 1770-1850) who had not necessarily any experience in this trade back home, but started as labourers and ‘warehousemen’ once in England. Some would progress to being ‘sugar bakers’ and finally ‘refiners’ and/or owners of their own ‘Sugar Houses’. Thus George Betjemann may, or may not, have been in this trade before he set out for England as a young man. Many of these men appeared to come directly from farms in that area - where economic conditions were apparently difficult - especially as the Napoleonic wars spread.

      There were three farming families of Betjemanns in Stotel (just south of Bremerhaven and near Bramstedt and Beverstedt) early in the 18th century. One of these included an ‘Alheid Betjemann’ who married there in 1709 (see below). Interestingly, there was also a ‘Jost Betjemann’ born there (cf. ‘Joost’ above). A picture of the emigration of Germans to the Wapping area to work in the Sugar industry is provided in an article entitled 'The London Sugar Refiners around 1800’ by Walter M. Stern - in a volume in the Guildhall Library called ‘Guildhall Miscellany - No. 7, 1954', and in manuscripts there on which this is based. Shortages of labour in this trade from the 1790s (and beyond) in London resulted in the recruitment of many young men from the Hamburg and Bremen areas of north Germany at that time. They may or may not have had prior experience in this trade. Several more sugar bakers named Betjemann from the state of Hanover (and many others) continued to enter England over the ensuing decades (see Alien Lists - PRO, as well as a new website devoted to Sugar bakers generally, produced by the Anglo-German F.H.S.).

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      [NB. Since writing the foregoing about George's origins (in about 1998), I am now pleased to report that in April 2003, I received a surprise e-mail - 'out of the blue' - from a German researcher in social history - one Dr Horst Roessler - who is researching those in the Sugar industry who emigrated from Germany to England. I quote verbatim from his letter:

    "My findings show that most of the German sugar bakers were Hanoverians, that they came from small villages in a fairly restricted rural region between the Lower Weser and Lower Elbe rivers (roughly between Bremen and Hamburg) and that the immigrants were generally the (non-inheriting) sons of (small) farmers and of rural labourers who had not worked in the sugar industry before they left home."

     He goes on to say that he is familiar with many family names of this population - including that of 'Betjemann'. But of greater relevance to our present concerns, he says that he believes he has located the baptism of 'our' George Betjemann (Snr)! Again, I quote:

   "I came across Betjemann entries in the parish records of Stotel, Beverstedt and Bramstedt. These (Lutheran) parishes comprise a number of small villages between Bremerhaven and the Hanseatic City of Bremen. In the 18th and 19th centuries a considerable number of young single men, often sons of small farmers, cottagers, day labourers and village craftsmen, left these villages in search of work in the British sugar industry. Most headed for London; while some returned home after a shorter or longer sojourn in England, a majority married and stayed in Britain. It is in the Bramstedt parish records that I found most of the Betjemanns. Since you found out that George Betjemann (Snr) died in June 1813, aged 49, I feel that he is identical with:

    Jürgen Bitjemann, bapt. 19 June 1764, Bramstedt, parish of Bramstedt, Amt (district of) Hagen, Hanover.

    I have come across various immigrants called "Jürgen" who changed / anglisized their first names into "George". As to the family name: Bitjemann is identical with Betjemann, the spelling of the name changing from time to time in the register. Jürgen/George was the son of a Hausmann (farmer) Hinrich Bitjemann and his wife Catharina Alheit Bitjemann. 'Hausmann' means that Jürgen/George's father was a well-off farmer, not a small one. Other children were: daughter Ann Trin (bapt. 19 May 1767), son Johann (bapt. 28 September 1768) and sister Becke (bapt. 24 September 1772) - and this time the family name was spelt Betjemann).

    "As a rule, the first born son inherited the farm. Thus, for the other children it became more and more difficult to make a living and establish a family at home. This is why the majority of those who emigrated were non-inheriting sons. It is not clear, therefore, why Jürgen/George (the first born) left. However, sometimes first born sons did move abroad with the intention to make some money and return with savings to take over their father's farm. While most seem to have stuck to that plan others got a liking to the place they had immigrated to, fell in love, got married ... and never returned!

    "Since I found neither a Georg Betjemann nor another Jürgen Betjemann born in the parishes of Stotel, Beverstedt or Bramstedt in the years around 1764, I am confident that he is the one from whom Sir John descends."

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      I am most grateful to Dr Roessler for providing this long awaited information. It would appear that our views were indeed 'affirmed' rather than negated, and some ideas about the sugar bakers basically confirmed also. There seems very little doubt that the origin of the Betjemann family that leads to Sir John Betjeman (and many others) was indeed by way of Hinrich and then Jurgen/George Betjemann of a major farming family of the village of Bramstedt in Hanover, Germany. In particular, one can place considerable confidence in the coincidence of the forenames of the Bramstedt George's mother - 'Catherina Alheit' and that given by 'our' George in London to his third daughter (see below re birth and baptism of Catherine Alheit Betjemann (1804-1886). One also notes that the suggested name of his father - as 'Heinrich' - was essentially also correct. As a potential 'Hausmann' with a good sized farm to return to, George must indeed have been strongly attracted to his future wife and a life in England. Sir John Betjeman (and the rest of us) can thus be grateful that his ancestor 'Eleanor Smith' (how English can you get?) apparently had the necessary charms to hold George to these shores!]

     In the register of St George’s a year after their marriage - at the baptism of their first born - the elder George Betjemann was described as then being a ‘Sugar Baker’ - of Pennington Street, in Wapping. This is a short street just below The Highway, running parallel with it (see map below). Some of the Georgian warehouses which served St Katherine’s dock in Victorian times remain on Pennington Street to this day and The Times newspaper re-located from Fleet St to No.1 Pennington St some years ago. The Land Tax books for Wapping for the years 1790 to 1800 show no entries in the name of George Betjemann - either as main tenant/occupant or as owner. However, there were entries on Pennington Street - for the years 1797-99 - in the names of ‘Ann Slater, widow’, occupant of one house, and of Jacob Goodhart, owner of two houses there and proprietor of a ‘Sugar House’. Wapping had a number of such establishments then, where raw sugar, landed at the nearby docks, was prepared (baked and refined) for the retail market. It is quite possible therefore that young George Betjemann (Snr) of Pennington Street worked for such as Jacob Goodhart (originally ‘Goodhardt’ we may suggest), while he and Eleanor resided as sub-tenants in the nearby home of Ann Slater. She may well have been the mother or aunt of their friend and witness Gilbert Slater, although this requires confirmation.

      That the Slaters of Wapping were in any case close and important friends to the newly-wed Betjemanns is indicated by the fact that George and Eleanor’s first daughter and second son were named Lucy and Gilbert, respectively - early name choices which otherwise would be quite inexplicable. Moreover, after the early death of that second son, the next was named, even more pointedly, as ‘Gilbert Slater Betjemann’. The basis of this determined choice of names and the obvious significance of Gilbert Slater to George Betjemann is discussed further below. Their first son, George Jnr, named more typically after the father, was born on June 16th 1798, when the family still lived on Pennington St. He was baptised at St George’s on July 15th that year, registered in the surname of ‘Betigemann’ (reflecting spelling uncertainty more on the part of the incumbent than the parents, one suspects). Later Census records suggest the younger George was however actually born in neighbouring Whitechapel - possibly at the then home of Eleanor’s parents - but soon baptised in his parents’ home parish next door.

      An Eleanor Smith was born in St George-in-the-East at about the right time to represent George’s wife-to-be (as per the IGI), although the forenames of the parents concerned were not given to any of Eleanor’s later issue. They were John and Lydia Smith of Stepney Street in that parish, with their daughter Eleanor baptised there Sept 25th 1771. If Eleanor Betjemann's 1851 Census entry could be discovered (it long remained stubbornly lacking), this may have confirmed this parish of birth and thus that parentage. [Eleanor's death certificate later confirmed that she was indeed born in or near 1771 and it now strongly appears that her parents were John and Lydia Smith, for the witness at her marriage - Lucy Slater - was very likely her younger sister, born Lucy Smith to this same couple. John Smith had married Lydia Russell in St George's church on 16 Feb 1768. Their first child, Lydia, was baptised on 28 Dec 1768, followed by Eleanor in 1771 - both at St George-in-the-East. The third daughter Lucy was baptised in Aug 1774 at All Hallows Staining, a little further west, to where the parents had apparently moved in the interim, possibly temporarily. For Lucy Smith would marry Gilbert Slater in late 1796 back at St George's - where her sister Eleanor would do so just a few months later in 1797 (to George Betjemann), with Lucy and her husband Gilbert as witnesses. A portrait of Eleanor was (in 2000) in the possession of a descendant - Mrs Doris Betjemann-Lurot, Sir John’s first cousin (still living in 2008).

      Around 1800, the Betjemann family of Wapping first moved a mile or so away - to Mile End Old Town, Stepney, where their next two children were born: Lucy on 16 July 1800 - baptised at St Dunstan’s, Stepney on 28 Sept 1800 - as ‘Betjimann’; and Sarah Eleanor on 22 Oct 1802 - baptised at the same church on 13 Feb 1803 - interestingly as ‘Betjeman’. George was now described (ca 1800 in Mile End) as a ‘Sugar Refiner’. His employer may have moved premises - unless George started up on his own in that area ? Land Tax records were checked to reveal the street they lived on at this time but they did not yet appear there as tax payers - either as ‘occupants’ in their own name or as sub-tenants.

      A more significant and distant move was then made by the young Betjemann family - from east of the City to the west of it - to Aldersgate near the Barbican. This occurred about 1804; for their next child, Catherine Alheit,was born there on 16 Feb 1804 (although not baptised until 28 July 1805) - at ‘St Botolph’s without Aldersgate’. This was a few days before the birth there of her sister Eleanor Gilbert (in case there were no other boys?) on Aug 1st that year, she being baptised on the 15th of the following month. Both girls were registered as ‘Betjemen’. Catherine’s middle name certainly suggested a Germanic influence in the background, being similar to that of the girl (Alheid Betjemann) mentioned above who had married in Stotel, near Bremerhaven, a century earlier. ‘Alheid/Alheit’ was a derivative of Adelaide.

     [But, the crucial significance of this latter daughter's full name is now further confirmed thanks to the information forwarded by Dr Roessler, as described above; Catherine Alheit Betjemann was clearly named after George's mother of this same name back in Bramstedt, Germany.] There were to be three further sons and significantly two of these would also receive the name Gilbert - the first to live less than two years. In the text of his biography of Sir John Betjeman, Hillier notes correctly that George and Eleanor married in 1797 - although not saying where - and that “...the couple lived in Aldersgate Street”. While true, this rather overlooks the first seven years of their marriage and the reality of their East End beginnings - in Wapping and Stepney - some years before the move to Aldersgate Street, as now described above.

      In fact, a probable factor in the move west to Aldersgate would seem to be the establishment at 5 Carthusian Street, Aldersgate (around the corner from present day Barbican tube station) of the former east-ender Gilbert Slater, ‘Citizen and Cabinetmaker’, from the early 1800s. He is listed as a ‘Knife-case & Portable Desk Maker’ in an early Holden’s Directory at this location (1804-5) but was quite possibly in the area before this, having completed his apprenticeship some years earlier. The records of the Livery Companies at Guildhall show that Gilbert Slater, born 1774, apprenticed between 1788 and 1795 under the tutelage of one Nathaniel Dawson, a member of the Grocer’s Company, and thereby acquired his Freedom of the City and the sought-after appellation ‘Citizen’. Many of those artisans resident on the periphery of the City, who were not obligated to acquire such status, nevertheless sought to do so in order to trade unhindered within its jurisdiction. The actual City Company one belonged to by this time usually bore little or no relevance to the trade or craft actually pursued (as it had done originally). Thus, Gilbert Slater was more properly designated ‘Citizen and Grocer’. Originally, I felt that he was never an actual grocer; however, it was later noted that in an early Pigot’s London Directory for 1839, there was an entry for ‘Gilbert Slater & Co. - Grocers’ (!) Possibly Gilbert the Cabinetmaker had a namesake cousin or son who, through his father’s connections, decided to enter this activity? Or, did Gilbert Slater himself decide it was a preferable second occupation? It was certainly not that common a name.

      Gilbert was born to John Slater, Yeoman of Shadwell St Paul (which abuts Wapping) who would have arranged the apprenticeship with Cabinetmaker Nathaniel Dawson, ‘Citizen and Grocer’, at a fee of around £50 typically - quite a bit at the time. It is likely that Gilbert would have lived with this ‘Master’ for much of the 7 years of his training - possibly in or near the Barbican, Aldersgate or Clerkenwell, if not back in the East End itself - in all of which many fine craftsmen in wood and watchmaking, albeit Freemen of the City, were then situated. In any case, the future husbands of sisters Lucy and Eleanor Smith - ie Gilbert Slater and George Betjemann, respectively, would come to know one another about the time Gilbert completed his apprenticeship (ca 1795-96) and thus in a position to marry soon after. It was most probably because Lucy Smith, sister of George Jnr's mother Eleanor, was sensible enough to marry a trained Cabinetmaker - Gilbert Slater - that young George thereby acquired an uncle who would guide and train him into a useful skill and apprenticeship for which his descendents (and the rest of us) can be grateful and of which the future Sir John Betjeman and his progeny were likely never aware. Otherwise they may well have remained in the labouring class of east London's true Cockneys, with any poetry probably restricted to rhyming slang! Marrying out of that class then, as Sir John's grandfather and gt-grandfather were better able to do, would have been much less likely without that appreniceship.

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      We may next complete details of George and Eleanor’s remaining issue: The first Gilbert Betjamin (as he was registered) was born on 2 Jan 1807 and baptised at St Botolph’s on the 4th of the following month. He died before the age of two however and was buried there, as ‘Gilbert Betjemann’, on Sept 18 1808. Just three weeks later, ‘Gilbert Slater Braple Betjemann’ was born and so baptised - at St Botolph’s - on 6 Nov 1808. (It is not known from whom the name ‘Braple’ derives; it later appears as ‘Prapell’ and as ‘Brappe’ at the birth and death of a son, and as ‘Brapell at his own death). [Note: It was later noted by Alan Betjemann, a descendent of George, that this surname was quite common in Southwark and could well be a family with whom the Slaters were inter-married. Alan had also suggested that the connection between the Slaters and the Betjemanns may also have related to a family link - which proved to be correct.] A son Henry followed on 16 Aug 1810, although not baptised until 10 May 1812 - on the same occasion as his new sister Rebecca, born 7 Feb 1812; both registered as Betjemann. In all later entries, however, Henry is shown consistently as ‘Henry John Betjemann’. The name choices ‘Henry’, following that of ‘George’ (after himself) and ‘Gilbert’ (after his brother-in-law), may also prove significant - as discussed later in regard to several ‘Heinrich or Hinrich Betjemanns’ in London. [And we now know that 'Hinrich' was indeed the name of the elder George Betjemann's father back in Germany, with 'Henry' of course being the anglicized form typically adopted. (The name 'Heinrich', often shortened to 'Hinrich') was very common in Germany at that time.)]

      In all present cases, ‘St Botolph’s’ refers to Aldersgate, not to Bishopsgate or Aldgate (much further east), parishes which also had churches dedicated to this same Saint. Thus, Hillier refers to one of Sir John Betjeman’s grandfathers “..being a churchwarden at St Botolph’s, Bishopsgate, a church (as noted by Hillier) 'patronised by immigrants'…”. The latter qualification would seem to imply threrefore that it was a grandfather on the paternal (Betjemann) side being referred to - that is, to Sir John's namesake John Betjemann (1835-1893). But no Betjemann entries are found in the Bishopsgate registers - despite Sir John’s own reference to ‘sitting down there (at the Bisghopsgate churchyard) to await the spirit of his grandfather ‘toddling along from the Barbican’. A toddle in that easterly direction was indeed in keeping with the abode, churchwardenship and burial of his maternal grandfather - not in Bishopsgate itself however but in St Giles, Cripplegate (at the Barbican); but that man was a Dawson and not an immigrant. The other grandfather, John Betjemann (by then with no sense of immigrant status presumably), resided considerably further north at that time - in Clerkenwell - the family having previously used St Botolph’s Aldersgate (next to St Giles) - which had no particular immigrant connotations. The basis for Hillier’s and Sir John’s comments thus remains elusive. He may simply have had some interest in the Bishopsgate church and, in his poetic manner, felt his grandfather Dawson’s spirit may well have recognised him sitting there - not that far east of the latter's ‘spiritual abode’ - of St Giles in the Barbican. The alternative would be to assume that, for some reason, the elder John Betjemann became a churchwarden at Bishopsgate - which seems most improbable (and in any case is not confirmed by that church's archives).

      With 7 children aged between 1 and 15, George Betjemann Snr sadly died - on 18 June 1813 - being buried on the 20th of that month - at St Botolph’s, Aldersgate - shown as ‘George Betjemann, aged 49’. His brother-in-law Gilbert Slater probably still lived and worked on nearby Carthusian St and would likely have helped Eleanor continue in the family’s dairy business on Aldersgate Street. [Note: The German researcher Dr Horst Roessler later found (via shipping records) that a Hinrich Betjemann of Bramstedt, Germany had visited London earlier in the year 1813. This would no doubt have been George's father, the Hausmann, who may well have been informed by letter from Eleanor that his son George was quite ill in, say, April or May of that year.] Interestingly, at his 2nd marriage in 1848, George's son George Jnr remembered and described his father (then long deceased) as having been (latterly) not a ‘Sugar Baker/Refiner’, as might have been expected, but 'a Cow Keeper'. This was confirmed on his mother Eleanor's death certificate in 1856, where she is described as the 'widow of George Betjemann, Cow Keeper'.

     Gilbert Slater was to prove important in another sphere, as alluded to above. For on 3 Sept 1812, a few months before his father’s demise, young George Jnr, described in his apprenticeship contract as the son of ‘George Betjemann of Aldersgate Street’, began his period of ‘servitude’ under his 'uncle' Gilbert Slater, Citizen and Grocer, to become a Cabinetmaker - seemingly at the Carthusian St. premises. He signed his side of the bargain (aged just 14) thus:

     This young lad would later prove to be the making of the future Betjeman(n) family.

2.   The Second Generation: the Eldest Son and Daughters.

      Seven years later to the day (3 Sept 1819), the younger George Betjemann, now a trained Cabinetmaker, was admitted a Freeman of the City, as a member of the Grocer’s Company. George Snr was at least able to arrange this very important step towards his eldest son’s future (and that of his many descendants) before his own early death. George Jnr would eventually marry, a decade later, and during his and the century’s ‘20s, likely continued working with his mentor Gilbert Slater on Carthusian St, near the Barbican - as he consolidated his skills and business acumen. During that time, he would no doubt meet other Cabinetmakers in the area, including in particular one William Merrick, a contemporary of Gilbert Slater (they having apprenticed over a very similar period), whose daughter, Mary Ann Merrick, George Jnr would eventually marry - in 1830.

      In his poem ‘Summoned By Bells’, John Betjeman describes how (in about 1920) his father “..with joy... showed me old George Betjeman’s (sic) book..: ‘December eighteen seven: Twelve and six - for helping brother William with his desk’.” This proves awkward to interpret. Firstly, in 1807, the younger George was only 9 (albeit described in retrospect as 'old' in 1920) and, one would assume, not yet exposed to any skilled training in Cabinetmaking, and most unlikely yet to have a ‘jobs book’. Secondly, he had no brother ‘William’. By about 1837, however, after his first marriage, young George might more reasonably have made such an entry - and in such a book - but referring to his brother-in-law William (Merrick) by this shortened term ‘brother’, then more commonly accepted. (The elder George was of course never himself in this trade, being a Sugar Baker/Refiner and, latterly, 'a Keeper of Cows'.) His ancestors to this day should probably be grateful that his son was set to that apprenticeship - something the vast majority of those immigrants growing up in Wapping and Stepney at that time, typically with little education, hadn't the opportunity to follow. They mostly remained labourers, warehousemen, sugar bakers and carters.

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      Initially, I had no information on the viability or careers of the 4 daughters born to George Snr and Eleanor but it was later noted that Lucy Betjemann died unmarried, aged 67, in early 1868 in Clerkenwell (although buried in Kensal Green), while Sarah Eleanor either married ca 1820s or died young; which is yet to be confirmed. Eleanor Gilbert Betjemann remained single, becoming a Schoolmistress, and in her later years was being cared for in the home of her younger sister Rebecca on Long Acre, St Martin-in-the-Fields, when she died in 1854. Her place of burial, her abode in 1851 (a Census year) and any Will she may have left had (at this initial writing) yet to be discovered (but see now below). Catherine Alheit Betjemann, also unmarried, died at the goodly age of 82 in 1886, leaving a Will executed by her widowed niece Mary Ann Fitt (nee Betjemann) - both then residing at the family home and business at 36 Pentonville Road, Islington. She left a small personal estate of £370 which she directed be shared equally between her 3 nieces - Mary Ann Fitt, Harriett Lucy Betjemann and Rebecca Excelsior (Celsie) Merrick. They in turn were to give to her sister Rebecca (nee Betjemann - who married John Merrick, an Engraver) £10 and a Gold Chain. Her Watch and ?Seal were to go to her great-niece ‘Connie’ (Ernest Betjemann’s sister Constance, as described further below). [The 1851 census revealed her residing as a Housekeeper to the Hon C. Pakenham, then 29, an Army Captain living on Spring Hill, Braodway, Worcs; by 1881, she is listed as a retired Housekeeper living with her brother George in Islington. (These Census entries, and others inserted below in square, embolded brackets: [...] and/or marked (CC), are with thanks due to the interest and efforts of Mr Colin Cornes, members of whose family were well acquainted with Sir John Betjeman.)

      Through his acquaintance with William Merrick, the Cabinetmaker, young George Betjemann Jnr would seem to have met his future wife, Mary Ann Merrick (b 1803), William’s daughter, whom he married on 16 July 1830 - at George's church of St Giles, Cripplegate (now enclosed by the Barbican complex) when both signed and were described as then ‘of that parish’, aged 27 and 32, respectively. She was likely not (yet) of that parish in fact but it saved a fee to say both were of the same parish. George now signed his name thus:

      Witnesses were an H. Merrick (Mary Ann’s sister Harriett?) and, as at his father’s marriage, Gilbert Slater (effectively a substitute father, one may suggest). Just a year later, at the baptism of their first child, George’s abode, as a Cabinetmaker, was given as ‘Nichol’s Terrace’, St Giles. This was just within the City, a few yards east of Aldersgate Street, and around the corner from St Giles’ church. George would seem to have operated as a Cabinetmaker in this Barbican area - possibly with his mentor Gilbert Slater initially - before moving, around 1834 apparently, to Clerkenwell where his father-in-law William Merrick had already been in business since 1810. But first, back in St Giles, the baptism of their first son - as ‘George William Betjemann’ (despite the single ‘n’ spelling of George’s own signature a year previously) - took place on 4 Sept 1831, he having been born May 16th that year. These forenames reflected his own, his father’s and his father-in-law’s names. George William too was destined to become a Cabinetmaker, after apprenticing with his father later in Clerkenwell, between Oct 1848 and 1855, along with his younger brother John (the poet's grandfather), and their seemingly twin Betjemann cousins (to be described later).
      There were also two daughters born to George and Mary Ann in the 1830s - a Mary Ann (ca 1837) and Harriett Lucy Betjemann (ca 1839); their birth and baptism details were not immediately apparent (but see now note below). I later found a marriage for Mary Ann Henrietta Betjeman in Clerkenwell in late 1863; her husband was one John Fitt. She was then ‘about 30’. Her existence was, in any case, further established through the various Wills. Ditto re Harriett Lucy who is shown in later Census records. [A death was registered in Mile End in June 1861 of a Catherine Lucy Harriett Betjemann whose parentage is uncertain. The Mile End location at that date suggest it was unlikely to be George’s daughter, although the similarity of names is noteworthy.] Harriett Lucy Betjemann herself died unmarried on 23 Sept 1900 at 14 Thurlow Rd, Highbury - she then of 56 Highbury Park, Highbury. She was buried in the same grave as her father and aunt (Lucy) - at Kensal Green - on 29 Sept that year, aged ‘about 60’. Her executrix was her sister Mary Ann Henrietta Fitt, widow; the value of her estate was £1100. [Note: I am indebted to Bevis Hillier for passing on to me details concerning the baptisms of these two sisters as provided to him by a colleague - Sean Hawkins - in 1988. Both were in fact baptised at St James, Clerkenwell (as would be expected) although actual birth dates appear to have been a year or more prior in both cases. Thus, Mary Ann Henrietta was baptised May 26 1839, although born about 1837, while Harriet Lucy was baptised June 6 1841, but born on Christmas day 1839.]

      Also baptised that same day in Dec 1835 at St James, Clerkenwell were two children of Mary Ann (Snr)’s brother Richard Merrick, yet another Cabinetmaker of Clerkenwell - as was his father William Merrick. It would appear that it was the influence of the Merrick family that saw George Betjemann shift his premises northwards from the Barbican area around 1834, possibly firstly to the St John’s Square area in the south of Clerkenwell. In Pigot’s Directory for 1839, William Merrick is listed as a Cabinetmaker there but there is no entry as yet for George Betjemann - in his own right. But, by 1835, rates records already show George and family living at 6 Upper Ashby Street, Northampton Square, in north-east Clerkenwell - the Square to where William Merrick was himself soon to retire - around 1838 - when his son Richard took over his business - as a Tonbridge Ware Maker back on St John’s Square, and on nearby Red Cross Street. The 1841 Census entry for 6 Upper Ashby Street shows George Betjemann, age 42, a Cabinetmaker, born Middx, along with his sister Eleanor (Gilbert), age 34, born Middx (unmarried) and his three children George William, 10, John, 6 and Mary Ann, 4 - all born in Middx. In addition, four others shared the home: an Apprentice William Holmes, 18, Ken Grace, 25, a Clerk, Thos Reid, 21, born Scotland and John Molson, 63, retired. The latter three appear to have been tenants or lodgers. Ashby Street, Clerkenwell is today the site of 'The City University'.

      It thus seems quite possible that George left the Merrick business by about 1835-40 and started (or continued?) on his own. As mentioned above, George’s wife Mary Ann Merrick had recently died - in 1840 (possibly after giving birth to Harriett). George would eventually re-marry - in 1848. This was, surprisingly, not in the Clerkenwell area but back in rather distant Whitechapel - even though his new wife (Sarah) was the widow of a Merrick whose abode, like George’s, had always been within the more north-westerly Barbican-Clerkenwell areas. The Betjemanns has been in business near Whitechapel a few years earlier and, in any case, George's mother's family were of that area.

      [We may note here that George Betjemann Jnr knew his father-in-law William Merrick from about 1825 or so until the latter’s death in 1845 and as he was himself to live 40 years more (to the late 1880s), there was thus ample opportunity for any information George may well have learned about William’s alleged gentry background (see separate 'Merrick Pedigree: Details' - on Betjemann Homepage) to be passed down initially within the Betjemann family itself, rather than primarily through one or more of the Merrick grandchildren (as, say, Celsie Merrick), only many years later.]

      George’s two younger brothers Gilbert Slater Betjemann and Henry John Betjemann had also both married - around 1835 - as mentioned earlier. The latter’s sons were later shown as resident with their uncle George in the 1851 Census return for 6 Upper Ashby Street, Clerkenwell where they too were listed as ‘Apprentices’ (there), aged about 15, and born rather unexpectedly in New York, USA, but were now under the tutelage of ‘George Betjemann, Dressing Case Maker’ - along with the latter’s own two sons George William Betjemann and John Betjemann, aged 19 and 15, respectively. George’s wife (his 2nd) was now shown as SarahBetjemann, aged 54. Her former surname and date of marriage were initially unknown but these were later found - as described below. After he left Aldersgate, George’s early workshops may, as mentioned, have been in the south of Clerkenwell (to about 1840) and later briefly in Whitechapel (ca 1846-49) - when not also operating on Upper Ashby Street, Clerkenwell (1840-59) - reflecting some instability during the 1840s. [This was paralleled in the country as a whole, with much economic stress as the corn laws and mechanisation in the countryside forced thousands into industrial centres with much unemployment initially and general economic hardship.]

      George's younger brother Henry John Betjemann also gave the Upper Ashby St address as his abode when he applied for his 1st U.K. patent in 1851. (He had already been granted patents in America in 1849 and 1850 to where he and his family had emigrated temporarily.) But oddly the U.K. Census in March that year does not show his presence on Upper Ashby Street, nor that of his wife and daughter - only their two sons. The three other Eleanor Betjemanns, mother, daughter and grandaughter, appeared for some time also to be oddly ‘missing’ in that Census. One had thus wondered if they may have joined Henry John in America in the late 1840s/early '50s ? However, thanks to a more recent discovery by an interested family historian, Pamela Beckett, the elder Eleanor Betjemann (the family's mother, aged 80) was eventually located for that 1851 census - still residing where expected - on Aldersgate Street (although now at No. 121), but under the mis-spelt name 'Bateman'. With her was her daughter Lucy, 51, and grandaughters Mary (Ann) and Harriett (Lucy), aged 13 and 11. Also residing at the same address were what strongly appears to have been her younger son Henry John, his wife Jane and their daughter Eleanor; but with the surname now shown even more incorrectly as 'Betymore' ! In all these census entries, there was moreover a paucity of the usual detail (regarding places of birth, ages and occupations) but the information that was given (probably by neighbours) was enough to base confident conclusions about where the rest of the 'missing' family were in fact residing on that April 1851 census night.

      By about 1860, George Betjemann and family at least, had moved from Upper Ashby Street to the Pentonville area in Islington. There is reference in John Betjeman’s autobiographical work ‘Summoned By Bells’ to the family business being established ‘in 1820’ (this apparently appearing on some of the later business stationery). This seems rather early (George having finished his apprenticeship, aged 21, only the previous year) but, as mentioned, he may have worked in a kind of partnership, initially with Gilbert Slater near Aldersgate and then with William Merrick in Clerkenwell, from such a date and, in retrospect, could claim his part in any eventual Betjemann business had indeed begun that early. However, he is not himself shown in Directories as a Cabinetmaker or Dressing Case Maker on his own account until 1851 (in Islington) - even though Directories do show comprehensive entries in these very categories from at least the 1780s - including for example that for his brother Gilbert and cousin Richard Merrick.

      George’s new wife was later found to be Sarah (nee Simcoe) possibly ex-?Hyles, ex-Merrick, widow, a daughter of one William Simcoe. Sarah's baptism was located - born to William and Matilda Simcoe - in St Giles, Cripplegate in 1797. She had married Mary Ann Merrick’s eldest brother William Henry Merrick (bn 1798) on 25 Dec 1824 at St James, Clerkenwell (at age ca 27, possibly after being widowed from an earlier marriage ca ?1818 to a William Hyles (CC). But William Henry died in 1840, aged 42, when still residing at the family home on Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, being buried in that local churchyard. [This thanks to Mr Chris Broad, a descendent of said Sarah Simcoe, which corrected my earlier suggestion that this William had died in St Giles in 1847.] His widow Sarah re-married - to her equally widowed brother-in-law George Betjemann - on 5 Jan 1848 - oddly at St Mary’s, Whitechapel (after the posting of banns there over the previous 3 weeks). George (then 49) was shown as a Cabinetmaker - of 11 Osborne St (a continuation of Brick Lane, Whitechapel - see map below); his now long-deceased father was described on the marriage certificate as (having been) a ‘Cow Keeper’ (ie when he and wife Eleanor ran a Dairy business on Aldersgate St - many years earlier; this property seems later to have become a Cheesemonger's).      Sarah’s father was shown as a Lapidary; Could this relate to the family business later including fancy stone inlay work amongst their skills? Because her first husband William Henry Merrick died in 1840, 5 years before his father (the elder William Merrick), it would now seem unlikely that she would have benefited significantly from that family's estate subsequently - to be passed on to her new husband George Betjemann (as previously suggested).

      By the time of the 1851 Census, the Osborne St address was occupied by one Henry Chapman - an Undertaker (who had however been one of the witnesses at George’s marriage) and a Timber Merchant (both of some relevance to coffin-making?) by which date however George is shown again at his Ashby Street abode in north Clerkenwell (just below Islington) - with Sarah, his sons and nephews - as mentioned above. He had two other apprentices residing with him then as well, making 6 in all; quite a thriving business after a seemingly temporary hiatus in Whitechapel in the 1840s. His mother Eleanor, brother Henry John and unmarried sisters Lucy, Sarah, Catherine and Eleanor were initially thought 'missing' from that Census but, as mentioned above, were later found (except for Catherine Alheit) residing on Aldersgate Street.

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      At the time of the 1861 Census, most of the family had now moved to 36 Pentonville Road, Islington (see map), where the Betjemann business continued to prosper into the mid-20th century, first under George, then his elder son George William Betjemann (for a long period!) and finally under the latter’s nephew Ernest Betjemann. Ernest’s only son, the younger John Betjeman and future poet, apparently showed neither aptitude nor interest in the business (ca 1925-30) and, with admitted guilt, withstood his father’s entreaties to take over as its 4th generation Betjeman(n) head. It subsequently ceased trading by about 1950, I believe. [Further brief detail concerning the lives of Ernest and his son John will be found below but the vast majority of such interesting information will of course be found in the latter’s comprehensive biography by Hillier and in his interesting and fulsome Letters - excellently compiled and edited by his daughter Candida Lycett Green.] Two of the family continued residing on Upper Ashby Street into the mid-1860s (as noted in the 1861 Census). These were Lucy Betjemann, aged 60, born in Stepney and her niece Harriett, aged 21, born in Clerkenwell; both unmarried. Another family lived in the same house - possibly as tenants. By this date, the two elder Eleanor Betjemanns, daughter and mother, had both died (in 1854 and 1856, respectively).

      At the other home that year (1861) - 36 Pentonville Rd - now lived George Betjemann, aged 62, a ‘Dressing Case Maker’, born ‘Whitechapel’. His father’s abode at the time of his baptism was given as Pennington St, St George-in-the-East (a part of neighbouring Wapping); as mentioned earlier, his mother Eleanor may well have gone home to her mother’s in Whitechapel - for her confinements. Also at Pentonville Road that year was George’s 2nd wife Sarah, now 62 - born City Road , St Giles, and his sons (by Mary Ann) George William, 29, still unmarried, born St Giles, and John, 25, also unmarried, born Clerkenwell - both shown as ‘Dressing Case Makers’. His daughter Mary Ann was also there, aged 23, born Clerkenwell, not yet married (to a John Fitt). There were still two apprentices residing with the family - Matthew Murfitt, aged 17 (who would later be remembered by both George and his son George William in their Wills, as a long-serving Foremen) and an Oscar Rogers, 15, and one Servant girl. Several patents were granted to George Betjemann and Sons in the 1860s (as they had been to Henry John Betjemann in the ‘50s).

      By the 1871 Census, George, now 72, is described as a ‘Dressing Case Manufacturer’ employing an amazing 94 men, 20 youths and 5 girls. The 1860s were obviously a time of marked expansion - under father George - but seemingly with the growing influence of George William Betjemann (b 1831) - still ‘at home’, aged 39 and unmarried. He was probably in effect married ‘to the business’ - without the distractions and responsibilities of family life. The house next door - formerly No. 38 - seems to have been incorporated with 36 as part of the growing business. In 1876, George William (of that expanded addesss) appears as a Trustee in the liquidation of a rival firm of Dressing case manufacturers called Toulmin & Gale after which that firm continued for a time as Betjemann & Gale Ltd. It likely complemented the output of the main firm of George Betjemann & Sons, it being removed from the Companies Act Register only in 1962, although likely ceased active trading earlier. (These and similar details (below) regarding various legal involvements of the Betjemann business were gratefully provided by Alan Betjemenn who garnered same from such as the London Gazette.]

      The 1871 Census also reveals George Snr’s unmarried sister Catherine Alheit (to live until 1886, leaving a Will) residing in the house, aged 67, shown born ‘St Botolph’s, Aldersgate’, as were George’s daughters ‘Mary Ann Fitt’, 33, now a recent widow, and Harriett Lucy Betjemann, 30 - both born in Clerkenwell. But George’s sister Lucy and his wife Sarah were not now listed; the latter had died the year before and, like Lucy in 1867, was buried in Kensal Green cemetery. The future, if any, of Sarah Eleanor (b 1802) has remained unknown.

      In the 1881 national Census index, there was no reference to George Betjemann (born 1798); one thus assumed that he had died during the previous decade, aged a reasonable 75, or so. However, in an earlier Directory, I had noticed that the name was spelt for several years as ‘George Betzemann & Sons - Dressing Case Makers’. So the 1881 index was re-checked under this odd spelling and several such entries were indeed then found. These included those still residing on Pentonville Rd, where George was again shown, now aged a noteworthy 83, with sister Catherine Alheit, 77 - plus Mary Ann, Harriett, 41 and son George William, now 49 (and still a bachelor). The family of George Vincent ‘Betzemann’, he another ‘Professor of Music’ (like brother Gilbert), was shown similarly spelt - living elsewhere in Islington. At first, I had assumed that they had all adopted an even more Germanic form of the name - for the purpose of emphasising the quality and precision of their respective skills. But it was more likely a simple transcription error in which the hand-written letter ‘j’ was wrongly interpreted by transcribers as a ‘z’.

      In any case, George Betjemann Jnr must have been a most remarkable man - who set up a large and thriving family business from a modest base that surely benefitted from his father’s wise decision to have him apprenticed with Gilbert Slater in 1812. His 2nd marriage - to Sarah Merrick in 1848 - may also have helped the business - with new capital - near the end of the depression and turmoil of the 1840s. The business then continued and developed for about a 100 years. I know of no other immigrant Sugar Baker’s son whose family so prospered. However, there has been considerable interest by descendants of such early German immigrant sugar bakers/refiners recently and other success stories are not unlikely.

      One had initially wondered if George, who resided at the Pentonville establishment from about 1859, may have himself ‘retired’ to the more suburban climes of Highbury before his death in 1886 at the impressive age of 88. However, as explained above, the 1881 Census showed him still residing on Pentonville Rd that year. He appears not to have purchased a burial plot for his wife Sarah in 1870 - at the Islington, St Pancras, City of London or Highgate Cemeteries - that he would likely utilise himself later. Possibly he was in some nursing home near the end and was buried at a cemetery utilised by such? [No; see now below.] Sarah’s death was registered in Holborn since Pentonville Road, rather surprisingly, fell within that jurisdiction at that time. I intend to re-check Islington Cemetery once more - for the years 1870 and 1886 - for a possible shared burial plot there. [This now done - again negative.] It was eventually discovered (by means of an item in the Islington Gazette) that they were in fact both buried in the family's other burial plot - in Kensal Green cemetery, north-west London - she in 1870 and George on 30th Sept 1886.] He thus resided on Pentonville Road to the very end and never followed his sons and sisters as they settled progressively north from Islington - ‘upwards’ (in both the social and geographic sense) - towards Hampstead (and quietly forgetting Wapping, Stepney and Whitechapel).

      Hannah’s husband John Betjemann and his older brothers quite likely received some real property and a share in the family business from their father George after his death in 1886. This should be confirmed once his Will has been found. The entry in the Kensal Green burial register for the family includes a note: “Probate of George Betjemann granted 28 Nov 1887 to son and sole executor George Wm Betjemann - exhibited 26 Sept 1900.” A Will in the name of George Betjemann was indeed entered for probate on that date and is now described further below. He had moved to Pentonville Road (after 25 years in Clerkenwell) about 1859 and continued there until his death in 1886 - having built up the business impressively from the 1830s to employ over 100 craftsmen (and 5 girls).

Betjemann Patented Perfume Tantalus (showing locking mechanism) ca 1890

      George Betjemann wrote his Will on 24 March 1886, shortly after the death of his sister Catherine that month. Described as a ‘Dressing Case Manufacturer’ of 36 Pentonville Road, he left his children the following amounts: to Mary Ann Fitt, widow - £1000; to Harriett Lucy Betjemann - £1000; to his sister Rebecca Merrick, widow - £150; to his niece Excelsior (Celsie) Rebecca Merrick - £150; to his sister-in-law Eliza Betjemann (wife of Gilbert) - £100; to his sister-in-law Jane Betjemann (widow of Henry John) - £25; to his chief clerk William Candland - £50; to his Foreman Matthew Murfitt - £25; the residue of his estate, both real and personal, was to go to his two sons George William and John Betjemann - equally shared as ‘tenants in common’. He named elder son George William as his sole executor and trustee to whom probate was granted on Nov 28 1887. The Will was witnessed by the two clerks of his Solicitor - H.H. Poole of Bartholomew Close, EC1. I had (at this earlier writing) still hoped to establish George’s exact date of death and place of burial - seemingly in late 1886, aged 88, as well as his father’s parish of birth and parentage near Bremen. [Note - both of these have now been achieved]. As mentioned above, George was buried in the other family plot - in Kensal Green cemetery - on 30th Sept 1886. It is worth relating how this information was obtained and some of the additional detail associated with it:

      The newspaper archives at Colindale (north-west London) reveal that a number of daily and weekly newspapers had served the Clerkenwell-Islington area throughout the Victorian era. One of these - the Islington Gazette, dated the 27th Sept 1886 - included a short announcement in its Births, Death and Marriages column of George’s death on the 23rd of that month. The following day, it had a short piece about him: “Mr George Betjemann, senior partner of the firm of G. Betjemann & Sons of Pentonville Road, departed this life last week at the ripe old age of 88 years. He had been ill for several weeks and passed away in perfect peace on Thursday afternoon last. He had been a resident of Pentonville and neighbourhood for more than half a century and although not seen much about of late, many neighbours, acquaintances and employees will miss his well-known face and figure. His memory was remarkably well-stored with recollections of past days, and his fund of anecdote simply inexhaustible. He had a rare gift for story-telling, and those who knew him intimately will remember with what pleasure they listened to his bright conversation and personal memories of by-gone days, going back to the time of George IV, and the Regency.” [His great-grandson John, whose obituaries were of course even more fulsome, would seem to have inherited these, and other, verbal skills in great measure - although not the manual or commercial ones seemingly.]

      On Oct 1st, the same paper described George’s funeral also: “Yesterday afternoon (30 Sept 1886), amid much solemn ceremony, the final obsequies to the late Mr George Betjemann took place. The deceased was head of the firm of George Betjemann & Sons of Pentonville Road. He attained the good age of 88 years. For the past 50 years, he resided in Pentonville (and area) and as a consequence, there were a great many mourners. Nine Mourning Coaches, drawn by pairs of velvetted horses, and twelve Broughams, conveyed the chief mourners to Kensal Green Cemetery. At the graveside there were many other mourners, including all his employees, who had come by other means. There were 50 Floral wreaths and a great many flowers sent from all over London and the provinces. The coffin, of polished oak, bore the simple inscription: ‘George Betjemann - Died Sept 23rd 1886, aged 88 years.’ and was conveyed in a handsome open funeral carriage - drawn by 4 heavily-plumed horses. The mourners included - in the 1st carriage: Mr (George Wm) Betjemann, Mrs (Mary Ann) Fitt, Miss (Harriett) Betjemann and the Rev Dr Allon (of the Union Chapel, who officiated); in the 2nd carriage: Mr and Mrs John Betjemann, Mrs (?Rebecca) Merrick, Mr E.J. Thompson and Arthur Betjemann (then aged 10); in the 3rd carriage: Miss (?Celsie) Merrick, Mr George V(incent) Betjemann, Mr Gilbert Betjemann and Mrs Eliza Betjemann; in the 4th carriage: Mr Carisbrooke Merrick, Mr Alfred Merrick, James Fitt, Marshall and Mrs Clapton; in the remaining carriages were other friends and heads of the firm’s departments. Funeral arrangements were by Daniel Cooksey of Amwell Street”.

      I attempted to locate and examine the grave concerned (section 130, row 2) but such Victorian headstones were generally much too worn, weathered or toppled to reveal any inscriptions (dating back to 1856 in the case of George’s mother Eleanor, whose death was registered in ‘E. London’ (covering Aldersgate Street) that November). Her daughter Eleanor’s death was registered in early 1854 in St Martin’s, she residing there with younger sister Rebecca and family at the time. As mentioned, she had been a Schoolmistress.

      Initially, I had little information on George's eldest son George William Betjemann but his Will (1903) reveals something of his status and character. He appears not to have married and spent his entire career working within the family business until his death. In the 1881 Census entry for 36 Pentonville Road, George William was described as aged 49 and a ‘Partner in the Family Business'. The two other partners were presumably his father George and brother John. [By 1891, after his lengthy residence on Pentonville Road, George Wm was living at 'Holmbury', Station Lane, Hendon - along with his sisters Mary Ann Henrietta Fitt, widow, 52, and Harriett Lucy, 50, still unmarried, plus 2 servants. By 1901, he has moved again - to 15 Highbury Hill, Islington along wth his niece Edith Mary Betjemann, then 10 (staying over night?) and his cousin Rebecca Excelsior Merrick, 49, an unmarried music teacher, and the 2 servants (CC)].] By the following year, he resided at 56 Highbury Park but was shortly to die - on 2 Feb 1903 at 135 King’s Rd, Brighton (possibly convalescing or simply living there in retirement) when he would be aged 72. His Will, written 27 Nov 1902, was proved on 22 April 1903 by his cousin Gilbert Henry Betjemann, the Musician and one Frederick Davy, Gent - possibly a family Solicitor. His estate was a notable £15,000. - suggesting that, as his father’s eldest son, the business was (after George’s retirement and/or eventual death) largely under his control in the latter two decades of the 19th century. Ernest would have started under his supervision and guidance. George Wm too would be buried in the family plot in Kensal Green cemetery - on 7th Feb 1903.

      His Will begins by confirming his recent ‘Articles of Partnership’ (1 Oct 1902) between himself and his two nephews (sons of his deceased brother John) - namely John George and Ernest Edward Betjemann - and William Candland, his chief Clerk. (Why no reference to Arthur?) He appoints three Trustees, including his cousin Gilbert Henry, the Musician. He then leaves £500 each to his nieces Constance and Edith and £150 to his nephew Arthur, and to the 3 other children of his brother John - as each reaches 21; Arthur was to receive also a set of Diamond Studs set in Gold. He leaves £200 to John’s widow Hannah (nee Thompson) and then remembers eight 1st cousins as follows: Ellen Betjemann - £25; George Vincent Betjemann - £40 and Gold Watch & Chain, a Gilt Clock and his complete set of ‘Byron’s Works’; Sarah nee Betjemann, the wife of Thomas Boatwright - £25; Eliza nee Betjemann, widow of ….Laverington - £40; John Carisbrooke Merrick - £25 and a Diamond ring; Gilbert Henry Betjemann - £50 (as a Trustee), his Pearl Studs, his volumes of ‘Punch’, a Tulip Wood Desk (with many ‘Secrets’ (?drawers) and his two oil paintings ‘Pets at Home’ and ‘View of Antwerp’; Alfred Merrick - the Blue China Clock made by his uncle Alfred Merrick Snr and a pair of Pelican-ornamented Vases; and to Rebecca Excelsior Merrick (Celsie) - his Erard Piano and an annuity of £150 a year. The first seven of the above are to receive in addition £100 each from the estate after the death of his sister Mary Ann Fitt. He also left a set of volumes entitled ‘The Works of Hall of Leicester’ and ‘The Sermons of Robertson of Brighton’ and a Gold Scent Bottle to Gilbert Henry’s second wife (Matilda) Rose Betjemann.

      He also left between £10 and £25 each to 7 key employees before mentioning next the children of the foregoing cousins. Thus, to John George and Ernest Edward - pairs of single stone Diamond Studs; to Katie Laverington - a Doulton Lamp; to Rose Merrick (daughter of Alfred) - a pair of Vases; to Annie Boatwright - a set of ‘Lady’s Gold Jewellry’. To various friends, he leaves a number of framed Watercolour and Oil paintings, several by named artists. His sister Mary Ann is to get any residue of the estate - for her lifetime - before the £100 each to the 7 named cousins, and any remaining moneys to the 5 children of his brother John. There is one final gift which one found rather amusing if ironic in light of a certain notoriety gained by the only son of one of the latter children, some years later. It would appear that Rebecca Excelsior Merrick, known as ‘Celsie’ in the family, was well liked and a favourite cousin of George William (and of Gilbert the Musician). Her uncle, Alfred Merrick, Watch Maker of Eton, had by his Will (1886) left George Wm Betjemann his cottage - called ‘Rose Cottage’ - with the proviso that his niece (Celsie) would have the right to live there for her lifetime. In 1902, George William in his turn kindly left the freehold of this cottage to Celsie - with the right to sell or leave it to whomever she wished. The cottage was situated somewhere that was then, we may assume, a fit place for such a well-loved human being as Celsie to live. ‘Rose Cottage’, seemingly on Wellington Road, was however situated in...Slough ! - a place the world would later come to know as a desired objective for ‘friendly bombs’ - being in fact ‘..not fit for humans now…’ - at least as describe by Sir John Betjeman in his notorious poem 'Slough' (due largely, he said later, to the creation there of its new 'Trading Estate’, with all its modern 'executives', for whom he had little time).

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      We may now return to the other issue of George Betjemann and Mary Ann (Merrick). John Betjemann (the poet’s namesake grandfather) was baptised on the 27th Dec 1835 at St James church, Clerkenwell - about a mile to the north of the St Giles/Barbican area the family had not long left (see map below). Another brother, Henry, was also baptised there on that same day although born in Oct 1833, seemingly back in St Giles. This birth date was estimated on the basis of the age given at his early death - when buried at St John the Baptist, Clerkenwell (a sister church) the 14th Aug 1836, shown as 'aged 2 years and 10 months'. That makes the 3rd Henry thus far. It would thus appear that the family left St Giles and the Barbican area for Clerkenwell around 1834 (about when George's brother Henry John Betjemann left for New York). [The young Betjemann family were associated primarily with the Clerkenwell area for a significant 25 or more years, as their business slowly developed, and this seems not always to have been appreciated.] Later, John Betjemann the elder, who would have grown-up, attended school and apprenticed in Clerkenwell during the early Victorian era (ca 1840-55), married Hannah Thompson (daughter of Edward Thompson, a Watch Materials Maker of Finsbury) in Islington in 1870 - by whom he would have 6 children. [From CC we learn that in 1871, John is listed as a Dressing Case Maker living with Hannah at 297 Upper Holloway Road.] Their first son John George Betjemann was born later that year and their second, Ernest Edward, in 1873 - both in Islington. By 1879, they are listed at 4 Loraine Place, Holloway Road (when he wrote his Will) but just 2 years on (1881), they are shown at 13 Compton Terrace, Islington, with 3 servants and their children still there in 1891.

      John's next sister, Mary Ann Henrietta Betjemann, was born in 1838 (baptised 1839) and is noted living with her grandmother Eleanor on Aldersgate in 1851. She married in Clerkenwell in 1863 to a John Fitt who soon died (before 1871) at which time [she resided with her father George and later with her brother George William (in 1891 and 1901). She died without issue in Kensington in 1906. Her sister Harriett Lucy (1840-1900) also lived with her grandmother in 1851 and by 1861 with her unmarried aunt Lucy (to die in 1868), employed as a Dressmaker. By 1891, she is also with her brother George William in Hendon and when she died in 1900 (still unmarried), she was at 56 Highbury Park Road (CC)].

      The two sisters' brother John Betjemann, had already died - relatively young - on 21 Dec 1893, some 10 years before his elder brother George William (and not long after their father), and was thus unlikely to have run the family business on his own. However, he seems to have been the one who patented the successful Tantalus lockable drinks container, in 1881, as well as something called the 'En-garde' lock which was also very successful. John and George William in fact ran the company in partnership after their father's death in 1886 - presumably until John's death in 1893. But there had been some disagreements between them prior to this. A new partnership was soon established between George William and John's two sons John George and Ernest Edward by ca 1894 (they then barely into adulthood). There was however some differences of opinion within the new partnership (possibly reflecting the earlier problems) as revealed in a court case - Betjemann v Betjemann in 1895, to be described further below.]

The Betjemann Patented Lockable Drinks Cabinet - 'The Tantalus' - ca 1888.

     John's Will, much briefer than George William’s, was written 3 March 1879 (when only 44) when residing at 4 Loraine Place, Holloway Road (continuing the family’s gradual drift northwards (and upwards socially). His estate, both real and personal, was to go to his wife Hannah (his Executrix) for her maintenance and that of their children and after her death to be divided equally amongst the children as each turned 21. The Will was proved - in March 1894 - when the family also resided in Highbury - at 13 Compton Terrace - after a time on Holloway Road (as now noted above). His effects were valued at just £910. He was buried in Highgate Cemetery. A notice in the Gazette of 12 July 1895 (just a year later), suggests that the firm of G. Betjemann & Sons (with its properties on Pentonville Road plus its machinery and stock) was to be sold by court order as per the case Betjemann v. Betjemann (1895) referred to above. This did not transpire however but the details of this case, if located (in which two Betjemanns were involved), may be placed about here. It appears that an alleged but concealed fraud was somehow involved.

     [Alan Betjemann (on the trail again) has now checked the Law section of University Library and found the complete report of the 'Betjemann vs Betjemann' case of 1895 (2. Ch. 474) which we partially quote here from Alan's account: 'The 1895 case was an appeal heard on 13th and 14th June 1895 regarding an earlier action brought by Hannah (née Thompson), the widow of John Betjemann (1835-1893), against her brother-in-law George William Betjemann (1831-1903) for an account of the partnership dealings from 1886 to December 1893 (John had died 21st December 1893). John and George William had been in partnership with their father George (1798-1886) since 1856 (possibly the year of John's majority). When John married Hannah in 1870 a fresh arrangement was made but there were no written articles of partnership and no settlement of accounts. When George senior died in 1886 his estate was shared between his sons and the business continued, with the sons sharing the profits. George William had then discovered that John had fraudulently drawn out large sums of money prior to the death of their father George. [How much ?] I think there was an earlier hearing at which Hannah had claimed that the Statute of Limitations prevented any action regarding this fraud, as George (?Welliam) had not taken action soon enough after the fraud was committed. [Note: action can apparently be taken later - if it can be shown that the fraud had been concealed.] But Hannah seems to have won her argument - although George William then appealed (as here reported): It was therein stated that the books and accounts during George's lifetime had been "very irregularly kept". The question for the appeal was "the time from which a partnership account is to be taken". Was it from George's death in 1886 back to 1870 (John's marriage) or back to 1856 (foundation of the partnership)? Should George William have discovered the fraud earlier and taken action in time? What right has a partner to say to his co-partner: 'You ought not to have trusted me. You are bound to look at the books and see that I am not cheating you"? It was finally held that the accounts could be considered back to 1870 or to 1856, as the parties agreed. They settled on 1856. Possibly all this unpleasantness caused Hannah later to appoint the Public Trustee as her sole executor in her subsequent Will !]

     Notwithstanding all this, the parnership continued until 1st Oct 1902 when a new one was arranged - between George William, his two nephews John George and Ernest Edward and the firm's chief clerk William Candland. It may have included instructions as to the future partnership in the event of George William's death, which did in fact soon occur - in Feb 1903. The remaining 3 partners then continued in partnership until October 1909 when it was dissolved. Ernest and William Candland then continued at Pentonville Road (presumably under a new arrangement) while John George, who married Edith Florence Davison in 1910 (in Islington), moved to the Cross Glass Works in Dudley, Warks to run R. Wilkes Ltd. a firm which likely produced the cut glass decanters for the Tantalus. For some reason, the brother Arthur Betjemann, who resided in Paris, was listed as the Dudley company's Chairman.

      John's widow Hannah died on 3 Oct 1912 when residing further west - at 9 Holford Mansions, Golders Green (after living for a time in Hampstead). She was however buried in the family’s other grave (that purchased by her husband for their infant daughter Hannah in 1875) in Highgate Cemetery where he had also been buried. Four other Betjemanns in total would be buried there in turn: John (1893), herself (1912), Constance (1924) and finally Ernest (1934). By her Will, for whom the Executor was, rather surprisingly, the Public Trustee, Hannah left various works of art and jewellery to her 3 sons - John George, Ernest Edward and Arthur (and to their wives); to her grandson John (the future poet), she left an engraving entitled ‘Punch and Judy’. The Gazette of 21 Feb 1913 includes a notice about subsequent claims on her estate which may pertain to the use of the Public Trustee as the Executor. Her son Arthur, a Tea dealer, then resided at 22 rue de Tocqueville, Paris where he would later help establish a Tea importing and retailing business (Betjeman & Barton) in 1919. This continued for many years (with branches in Paris, Bordeaux, Connecticut (USA), and another in England) and still trades as such, I believe, although long sold out of the family. Arthur seems to have married a Maria Haussaire in Paris in 1909 and had a daughter Doris there in 1915 (an artist and first cousin of Sir John) still living in London in 2008). She in turn had a daughter Marion and son Antoine with her French husband - one M. Lurot. [Alan Betjemann has noted a reference on a website of the French National Rugby League to an 'A. Betjemann' who played for the Stade Francais team in the Championship finals in 1905; Arthur would be the right age that year to represent this man.]

      Hannah had apparently lent sons John George (referred to by her as ‘Jack’) and Ernest some money some years before - to help them continue in business - and whilst John George had re-paid his portion, Ernest had requested a further 5 years in which to do so, which she granted him. Any real property and the residue of her estate was to go equally to her daughters Constance and Edith. The former died a spinster on 3 Jan 1924, leaving her small estate to Constance's sister Edith Mary, also a spinster, whose date and place of burial are presently uncertain (apparently ca 1950s). Their brother John George Betjemann died on 8 Jan 1927 in a Nursing home in Warwickshire, having recently resided at 27 Cambell Street in Dudley, Worcs and in nearby Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire. He left a considerable £10,077. naming as his executors his brother Arthur Betjemann, now of 4 rue Rigaud Neuilly, Paris (Tea Dealer), and his sister Constance of Bryanston St, London who, with Edith, were again to share the bulk of the estate. However, there was one other bequest - of £500, plus £65 per annum for life (the interest on about £1500) - directed to one ‘Ethel Harriett Kearns Pulbrook’ - of Cremore, Sydney, Australia and, on her death, this to her children until the ages of 21. Who was she? [See a similar query in regard to the Will of Ernest Betjemann in 1934!] Arthur (as noted above) appears to have had some involvement with the Dudley business, described as Chairman of R. Wilkes Ltd of Campbell Street, Dudley, when it was announced in the Gazette of 8 March 1935 that it was to be wound up.

      Oddly, there was no reference in the Will to his only other sibling - Ernest. Possibly they had fallen out? It may be relevant that Ernest’s son John referred to John George (Jack) as ‘a wastrel’ - possibly an opinion passed down by his father? Also, Ernest once criticised John for ‘being lazy…’ ‘just like my brother Jack…’. In 1891, John George is listed as the usual 'Dressing case Maker' but in 1901, this alters to 'Silversmith , when living with his mother Hannah; (when and where might he have apprenticed in this specialised craft?). John George’s wife to be appears to have been born Edith Florence Hopton (born Herne Hill, Lambeth, Surrey in Mar 1870), who had married firstly a Herbert Thomas Davison in nearby Camberwell - in June 1895. This first husband soon died however, in Croydon June 1900, aged 30. At the 1901 Census, she was shown aged 31 residing in Lambeth (?Herne Hill), a widow "living on own means". She would marry similarly aged John George in Islington in 1910 (both then about 40) at which point in his life he left the family' firm to join R. Wilkes Ltd as mentioned above. Edith pre-deceased him - in 1919, aged 49 - when they resided in Dudley (but dying in King's Norton, Birmingham). Probate of her Will was granted to her husband ‘John George Betjemann, Manufacturer’; her effects worth an impressive £12,700 (which could account for the bulk of her husband’s subsequent estate). She quite liklely inherited it from first husband Herbert Davison; quite possibly his Will would confirm any funds (of ca £12,000, say) left to this widow?

      The younger brother Ernest Edward Betjemann was born in 1873, probably in the family home on Pentonville Road, Islington, as would have been his elder brother John George two years before. They may both have been the first in the family to be educated at a major fee-paying school - such as the City of London school - rather than at a local council school followed by an apprenticeship, as had their father and uncles (although this needs confirmation). In any case, he was no doubt effectively apprenticed as well in the family business which produced high quality items out of hardwoods, silver and glass, including travellers' dressing cases, with their various paraphenalia. However, Ernest's major role was likely in the management of the business and in maintaining and increasing the sales of such items (now produced by their several fully trained journeymen) through such as Aspley & Co or Garrard's in the West End.

     Ernest married in 1902 Mabel Bessie Dawson (b 1878) in Highbury, she the daughter of James Dawson, an Artificial Flower Maker of St Giles, Cripplegate. Both or them were thus children of the high Victorian age and, given the success of the family business, would have been imbued with middle calss values of same (at least on the surface) as they entered the Edwardian era. In 1906, they lived at 53 Parliament Hills Mansions at the foot of Highgate Hill before moving in 1909 'upwards' to 31 West Hill in Highgate itself - later remembered fondly by their son John who would grow up there. They then moved to Church St, Chelsea in 1917, possibly due to his mother's social interests. Summer holidays were spent on the north Cornish coast - at Trebetherick. During the 1920s, Ernest sought to encourage John to enter the family business as its 4th generation Betjemann head but John had no interest in same and this caused much friction between them. It wouldn't have been simply John's lack of aptitude in fashioning beautiful objects with tools (as this wasn't what was required of the principal by this date), but more likely his disdain for commerce in general and 'pushing sales', etc. He would of course later function instead in the world of 'as if' - with ideas and words describing and creating beauty - but in two dimensions only. Ernest died in 1934 in Finsbury and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. At his funeral, there was apparently, in addition to Bess, John and others of his legitimate close family, allegedly another 'Mrs Betjemann' in attendance, with children. (She was, according to Hillier, possibly pointed out by Alan Pryce-Jones, an early friend of John Betjeman, and may have been later identified as someone referred to by Ernest in his Will as a 'Noreen Kennedy', to whom he left a small bequest. Hillier received information from Co Clare, Ireland that she was a member of a family in the importing-exporting business there who had married in Dublin in 1928 (but as a Kennedy or to a Kennedy ?) Any subsequent children born ca 1929-33, say, would have been fathered by her new husband, one assumes, (unless....?) Or, were her children born if so, to whom ? Might one of them be a half-sibling to an otherwise 'only child' John Betjemann ? But why would she not have appeared in London (if she did) simply as Mrs Kennedy, or Mrs Anything else...but Betjemann ? It all seems a bit suspect. She may have simply placed some good business Ernest's way. And what would Bessie have made of it ?

      The firm of G. Betjemann & Sons was voluntarily wound up in Aug 1939 when one John Kynoch was Chairman (Ernest Betjemann, as mentioned, having died in 1934) - as reported in the London Gazette on 4 Aug that year (noted by Alan Betjemann), just a month before the start of the War. The accounts weren't presented until November 1944, however, possibly due to the War. I recall reading somewhere that the company (or some residue of it) was for a time associated with a hardwood importing company (of south London) just after the war, but have no details of same. The executors of Ernest's Will were shown in the Gazette of 7 Sept 1934 as his wife Mabel Bessie Betjemann, Philip Rolls Asprey and Horace Victor Andrew (the latter a co-inventor with Ernest concerning 'folding cabinets').

      Ernest's son John Betjemann (as he was baptised and registered) was born on the 28th August 1906 at 52 Parliament Hill Mansions, lower Highgate. He was just 3 when they move to West Hill, Highgate [does the 1911 Census corroborate this?], where his earliest memories would be centred. As with most middle class toddlers, he was brought up by a nanny - Hannah Wallis. In ‘Summoned By Bells’, John describes coming across his great-grandfather George’s dusty drawing-room (still completely furnished) over the Pentonville ‘works’, as a youngster - around 1912. One now better appreciates how relatively recently (towards the end of the century) George Bejemann had died in relation to his great-grandson John’s birth in Highgate, just a few years into the next. But their backgrounds, interests, aptitudes, cultures and goals in life were to be markedly different. The life and times of Sir John Betjeman are of course fully described in his biographies and Letters - in which his and his father’s contributions to the continuing genealogy of the family are well covered. One has however elaborated briefly here (and for a few paragraphs below) on the more basic genealogical, educational and occupational elements of this present generation (as shown similarly for all previous ones above).

      Thus John attended a local Montessori school - Bryon House - from 1911 and then Highgate Junior School from 1915 (where, to his chagrin, he was called a 'Gernan spy') and where he was taught by, amongst others, T.S. Eliot to whom he presented a home made 'book' of poetry he had compiled entitled 'The Best of Betjemann'! He transferred to the Dragon School, Oxford in 1917, and then to Marlborough College (1920-25) before going up to Magdalen College, Oxford in 1925 - where he was admitted a 'Commoner' to study English (having failed maths at his matriculation exams at Marlborough). He was not particularly successful academically despite (as I would conclude from reading his biographies and Letters) having an exceptionally acute intelligence - as witnessed by his acceptance as a peer in that regard by a great many brilliant men and women throughout his life. He seems to have been a classic example of one who excelled in those facets of life, knowledge and understanding in which he was particulary interested, and tended to ignore the rest. Thus, besides Poetry and English literature generally, he was much taken with Architecture - at least in the role of a critical observer and reporter of the aesthetics (and definitely not as a 'hands-on' designer and/or constructor) of same. Thus, after temporary posts in private Prep schools (obtained through employment agency Gavitas-Thring who specialised in placing those who had 'come down' from Oxbridge without a completed degree), he obtained his first serious employment with the periodical 'The Architectural Review' in 1930 (through 'contacts').

      After a number of potentially permanent liaisons with 'young ladies' in the social whirl of his middle- and (through Oxford contacts) upper-class contemporaries during the early 1930s, he sensibly married the daughter (and sole heir) of an Army Field Marshall - Penelope Chetwode - in 1933, at which time or earlier, John dropped the final 'n' in his surname. They would have just two children - a son Paul Sylvester in 1937 in Uffington, Berkshire (where they resided in a home kindly provided by his father-in-law) and a daughter Candida in 1942 in Dublin, Ireland where John was stationed (in an Information role) during the war. They all returned to Uffington and moved later to nearby Wantage. Both children married and had issue; Paul's in America to where he emigrated in the 1960s (as a High School music teacher much loved by his pupils, for his eccentric personality, as I understand) and which include sons who thus carry on the altered surname - as Betjeman - there. Candida became a 'Lycett Green' with several daughters and one son; she continues to publish commentaries on such as Country Cottages, her interesting upbringing in rural Berkshire, and provide interviews on TV and radio, often about her famous father. John Betjeman became, as is well known, a most successful Poet whose volumes eventually sold very well, as well as a radio and TV personality, a defender of Victorian architecture, a Knight and, ultimately, our Poet Laureate. He and his wife effectively separated in the 1950s when he established a close and permanent relationship with the unmarried sister of the Duke of Devonshire, although he never divorced his now Catholic wife Penelope. He died, cuddling his beloved bear Archie, following a period of Parkinsonism (aand seemuingly much claret), as Sir John Betjeman, CBE, CLit, Knt in his beloved Trebetherick holiday home in north Cornwall on 18 May 1984, aged 77, and was buried just across the neighbouring golf course in an ancient local Cornish churchyard. Any further detail and commentary on his much publicized life and times would be simply to regurgitate and plagiarize even more (than the few 'tasters' provided here) the effort and work put in by several well known authors to whom therefore the reader may be confidently referred - for a proper, well-rounded picture of that successful life. [The bulk otherwise, by far, of the material in the present overall Betjemann genealogy (in Padigrees I, II and III) has been garnered primarily by JM and AB (with some help latterly by CC) - by searching tediously countless public records over many years.] Thus, to continue:

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3.    The Second Son and Family.

      George Betjemann Snr's and Eleanor’s 2nd surviving son, Gilbert Slater Brapple Betjemann, also became a Cabinetmaker and would have trained (possibly with brother George Jnr) in the late Regency period - around 1822-29. The family's business in this sphere was getting underway about this time - possibly in conjunction with William Merrick, George Jnr's father-in-law. Gilbert married Eliza Matilda Beaman on 6 Nov 1834 in St Olave’s, Bermondsey (south of the river) - where several of their children were subsequently baptised. By 1839, he was listed as trading there - at 18 White Street, Long Lane, as a Cabinetmaker and Upholsterer. [That is, Long Lane, Bermondsey, not the one in/nr Aldersgate.] Interestingly, his elder brother George Jnr did not himself have an entry in any Directory (as a Cabinetmaker in his own right) until 1851 - a few years after William Merrick passed his St John’s Square business in Clerkenwell over to his own son Richard. [CC notes that he was still listed there, as a Cabinetmaker, on the 1841 Census, with an apprentice.] After having issue in Bermondsey (and in neighbouring St George, Southwark) into the early 1840s, including 1st son Gilbert George Beaman Betjemann, baptised in St Olaves in 1835 but dying the next year, Gilbert Betjemann moved back across the river to Mile End New Town (near Whitechapel) around 1845 - where first a daughter Agnes Rebecca was baptised, before also dying shortly after, and then a 2nd son George Vincent Betjemann in 1847 - who lived and would later marry in Islington in 1874. They then had another son registered there - in Sept 1851 - as ‘Henry Prappal Slater Betjamunn’(!) - recalling the father’s own unusual name. Whether ‘Braple or ‘Prapple’ is the more correct spelling was then uncertain. But this boy also soon died (Dec 1852), his 2nd name then shown as ‘Brappe’; ‘Brappell’ was yet another version noted!

      With John Jacob Betjemann living close by (see Betjemann pedigree II), one wonders if the two families were at all related ? Also, Gilbert’s older brother George seems to have had an unexpected if brief association with this same area - having re-married in Whitechapel in 1848, when both John Jacob and Gilbert lived (or had recently lived) ‘just around the corner’. See now the separate outline pedigree also for Gilbert Betjemann. His 1851 census entry shows he lived then at 19 Pelham St, Mile End New Town, Whitechapel - aged 41 (actually 43), a Cabinetmaker, born ‘City of London’ (ie St Giles Cripplegate), with wife Eliza (age 40, bn Kent) and children Eliza 12, Gilbert Henry 9, Sarah Eleanor 7 (all born in Surrey - ie Bermondsey) and George Vincent 3 (bn Middx); Henry Prapell was not born until later that year, while Agnes Rebecca is now known also to have died in infancy before 1851. The outline map below provides some perspective on the geography pertaining to the various families concerned in this account. For convenience, it will appear in other sections as well.

      One wonders if these Betjemanns were drawn to Whitechapel because relations of their mother Eleanor (nee Smith) still resided there? Note that Eleanor herself wasn’t living with her son Gilbert in 1851, nor was she living with any others of the family then residing in St Martin’s or Clerkenwell that census year. She died in 1856 at 34 Aldersgate Street at the home of one ‘Sarah E.S. White, widow’, a Cheesemonger (bn ca 1801) who lived there from at least 1841 (initially with husband James) to beyond 1861. I thought at first that she may have been Eleanor’s daughter therefore - eg ‘Sarah Eleanor ?Smith (nee Betjemann) who had married about 1825, say, but at the birth of her children in the 1830s, this Aldersgate Sarah was in fact described then as ‘Sarah Elizabeth Susanna White’. One originally considered that Eleanor may have left the Aldersgate area shortly after 1835 - when her son George and family moved to Clerkenwell (see below) - only returning to an old friend in Aldersgate when infirm - around 1855, say. We certainly believed that she hadn’t returned there by March 1851 (ie the time of the Census), as there was no evidence of her residence there then, but, as now described earlier, it was later discovered that she and some of her family were in fact still in that area - living now at 121 Aldersgate St - but under the mispelt surnames of 'Bateman' and 'Betymore'. Eleanor too was later buried in Kensal Green Cemetery - in 1856, aged a goodly 85.

      It is not clear when the family of the 1st Gilbert Betjemann made the considerable move north-west - from the St Olave/Whitechapel areas of Thameside to Islington, but it was seemingly about October 1863. [For, by 1871, they resided at 15 (or 16?) Charlotte Street, Islington, although their daughter Eliza Sarah (b 1838) had already married - on 27 June 1863 (as Betzemann) back still in her south London birth parish of St Olave - seemingly to one John Benjamin McCarthy (IGI). He must have died young for her married name later was noted to be 'Lavington'. [This aspect has now been followed up by Alan Betjemann in his usual thorough manner and we can now report (virtually verbatim) as follows:

      "The birth of Eliza Sarah Betjemann, (1838-1918), daughter of Gilbert Slater Brapple Betjemann, was registered as Eliza Sarah Gilbert Betjeman, (one "n"), at St. Georges Southwark, 4, 107, Dec. Q. 1838. As noted, she married John Benjamin McCarthy at St. Olave's, Bermondsey - on 27th January 1863 (St. Olave, 1d, 47, June Q. 1863). However, it looks as if poor Mr. McCarthy died soon after (Islington, 1b, 165, Sept. Q. 1864). His widow Eliza Sarah McCarthy re-married a William Richard Lavington in 1871 (Islington, 1b, 341, Dec. Q. 1871). Eliza and William (recorded as William P.) can be found happily living at 15, Charlotte Street, London, Middlesex, in the 1881 census when William Lavington was a 39 year old Basketmaker, born in [Highworth], Wiltshire (Swindon &c, 8, 337, Mar. Q. 1842). Eliza and William had two children at that date, Kate E. aged 5, and Gilbert W. aged 7 months. Kate was registered as Kate Eliza Lavington (Holborn, 1b, 701, Sept Q. 1875) and Gilbert as Gilbert William Rose Lavington (Islington 1b, 203 Dec. Q. 1880).

      "You noted, states Alan, that Gilbert Slater Betjemann died in 1875 in Charlotte Street, presumably at number 15, with his family. The address is now a posh hotel and restaurant. [Note: Charlotte Street, while ostensibly in Islington, is miles away from the heart of that latter district (and Pentonville Road) and is in fact nearer Soho, if just above Oxford Street.] Kate Eliza was subsequently married to either George David Baker or Frederick John Whitehead (usual FreeBMD ambiguity!) in 1902 (Islington, 1b, 872, Sept.Q. 1902). William Richard Lavington died in 1891 (Pancras, 1b, 46, Dec. Q.1891). Gilbert William R. Lavington was married in 1914 to Adelaide E. Gillett (Islington, 1b, 524, Sept. Q. 1914). Adelaide Elizabeth Gillett was born in 1885 (Kensington, 1a, 115, Sept.Q. 1885). She appears in the 1891 census as the daughter of James Gillett at 67, Elgin Crescent, Kensington. Gilbert Wiliam R. and Adelaide had a son, Gilbert H. Lavington, in 1920 (Lewisham, 1d, 2811, Mar. Q,1920). His mother is recorded in the GRO index as Gilbert, but I'm pretty sure this is a misprint for Gillett. There's also an Evelyn B. Lavington with a mother Gilbert born in Greenwich in 1921 (Greenwich, 1d, 1732, Dec. Q. 1921) who might be a sibling. As you noted from the family graves, Eliza Sarah Lavington died on 25th February 1918 and Gilbert William Rose Lavington died on 3rd January 1922 (Islington,1b,461, Mar. Q. 1922). It looks likely that widow Adelaide E. Lavington remarried in 1925, (Islington, 1b, 679, Sept. Q. 1925) to Dudley Torrie (born Westminster,1a, 494, Dec Q. 1888). Adelaide E. Torrie died in 1925, shortly after the remarriage (Islington, 1b, 254, Dec. Q 1925). This all seems to hang together, with a 'Gilbert' in every generation (as noted in several other branches of the family).

     "I haven't managed to find any records of the marriage or death of Gilbert H. Lavington (born 1920). Interestingly, there's a request for information about a Gilbert Lavington, born 1920, in Genes ReUnited. I sent an encouraging reply but there's been no response thus far. I'll try again soon - armed with the new information."]

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      By December of the same year (1863) Eliza Sarah had married firstly John MeCarthy while her brother Gilbert Henry Beaman Betjemann (b 1840/1 in Southwark), the future violinist and Conductor, married Jane Wells (1842-1894), aged 23, a spinster, at St. Luke's Church, West Holloway, Islington, - on 31st December 1863. He was 23, a bachelor and 'professor of music', then resident at 4, Castle Street, Barnsbury, the son of Gilbert Slater Betjemann, Cabinetmaker. [And hence our conclusion that they had moved to Islington shortly before that year.] Jane's father was John Wells, a cab proprietor. She was born in Camberwell. A year later (1864), they had their 1st son Gilbert Richard Betjemann in St Pancras. [Was a second born to them, around 1866, for a reference was noted by Alan Betjemann to a 'Mr C.J. Betjemann' playing the violin at a concert by the Abingdon Orchestral Society on 16 Feb 1887. We have no other information at present as to this man's actual name, origin, existence or future. There were however, a number of musicians in the wider family.]

     By 1866, Gilbert Henry had become established even further west - on Gt College St, Camden - still described as a Professor of Music. Ten years later,his father Gilbert Snr died - at Charlotte St, Islington in March 1875 - and was buried in that district’s rather distant cemetery (in East Finchley) in a family plot purchased earlier by his wife Eliza. Burials in local parish churches in London had ceased by 1854 (and often before this) for hygienic reasons associated with gross over-crowding. Possibly Gilbert Snr had come back for a time into the family business on Pentonville Road - around 1860 or so? [No; this now unlikely as Charlotte Street was, as noted, some distance away, nearer Soho.] His daughter Sarah Eleanor (1844-1923) was [ by 1871 still living with her parents, unmarried and listed as a Vocalist (CC)]. She married on July 16 1874, aged 30, at St Peter's, Hampstead to Thomas Boatwright, 29, also a Professor of Music, the son of John J Boatwright, an Overseer in the Post Office. Gilbert Betjemann, likely her brother, was a witness. Sarah's father was described then as Gilbert Brapple Betjemann, a Dressing Case Manufacturer. By the time of [the 1881 and 1891 Censuses, they lived at 144 Camden St, St Pancras (CC) and their 3 children would also become Musicians - as per the 1901 Census]. Sarah Eleanor's brother George Vincent Betjemann (1847-1933) also became a Musician although in the 1871 Census he is apparently shown as a Dressing Case Maker (probably helping his father for a time). He was married in 1874 in Islington to one Harriett Eliza Heath (1849-1927). [ By 1881, he is however listed as another Professor of Music, living at 181 Barnsbury Road, Islington and, by 1901, at 36 Pentonville Road (apparently living or just visting?) his uncle George's home (and premises) - albeit still a Professor of Music - while in 1905, he is listed as residing at Northampton Park (CC)].

      Gilbert Snr's wife Eliza died 28 Feb 1893, aged 78, and was also buried in the family plot in East Finchley, as would be their daughter Eliza Sarah and daughter-in-law Harriett Eliza Betjemann. The inscriptions on the grave read: ‘In Loving Memory of Gilbert Slater Brapple Betjemann - who died Feb 10 1875, aged 66; Also of Eliza Matilda, Widow of the above - who fell asleep Aug 21 1893; Also of Eliza Sarah Lavington, Daughter of the above - who died Feb 25 1918, aged 79; Also of Harriett Eliza Betjemann, wife of George Vincent Betjemann - who died Sept 24 1927, aged 78’. In one of the two neighbouring graves was buried ‘Gilbert William Rose Lavington (Eliza's son), who died Jan 3 1922’ and in the other was George Vincent Betjemann, her brother, who died Jan 30 1933, there being no stone on his grave (purchased by one George Gilbert Heath) - born Betjemann (1874). In the 1881 Census index, George Vincent, residing in Islington, was listed under Betzemann, as was his wife Harriett and sons George Gilbert born June 1874), Vincent John (1877) and Alfred Heath (or Henry?) (1879). George Vincent was himself shown that year as a ‘Professor of Music’ (the same as his brother Gilbert), aged 34, born in Stepney (ie Mile End Old Town); with his wife, 33 and sons, 6, 4, and 1, all born in Islington. [It was later confirmed that George Vincent did marry Harriet Eliza Heath in the June Q 1874, in Islington.]

      Their first son George Gilbert Betjemann (1874-1912+) married about 1905 to [Evelyn Jenny Lister Davies, as per CC] and had two children in Islington: Jack Gordon, born 1907 (Edmonton), and Joan, born 1912 - both apparently given the family surname Betjemann. However, a descendent in Canada (Moira Payette) has informed us that her grandfather George Gilbert Betjmann and his brother Alfred Henry Betjemann appear to have changed their family name (and that of their children) to Heath (their mother's maiden name) just after the First World War (due, seemingly, to its Germanic connotations). This identifies the person who purchased the grave for George Vincent in 1933 as his son George Gilbert (born Betjemann but by then having adopted the surname 'Heath' - from ca 1918/19). The names George and Gilbert had continued in the family from the days of Gilbert Slater and George Betjemann Snr (both born in the mid-1700s) and would seem to have finally come to an end, jointly, with the death of George Gilbert Heath (ex-Betjemann) after about 200 years in ca 1950 (date to be confirmed).

      George Gilbert's brother Vincent John Betjemann (1876-1915+) was employed by the Civil Service Commission as a Boy Copyist in April 1891 and by Aug 1895, was a Post Office Sorter. He married Edith Spencer in Sept 1903 and had a son Leslie Vincent Betjemann in Edmonton in Dec 1904. The youngest brother Alfred Henry (b 1880) appears to have married about the same time and had a son George Alfred Betjemann in Dec 1903 in Islington (where so many Betjemanns were born and/or registered around this same period). Alfred Henry became a Sergeant and later a Captain in WWI. His younger brother, Albert Gordon Betjemann (b 1883), was a Clerk living at 77 Petherton Road, Highbury, when he enlisted in the RE in 1916. All 4 of these latter men may well have changed their surnames to Heath as well - around 1918-28. [Yes; Alan now reports that the Gazette shows that Alfred Henry's deed poll was gazetted on 15 Oct 1918, his brother Vincent John's on 29 Nov 1918 and an Albert Gordon Betjemann's rather later - on 2nd Mar 1928, the year he married Louisa Utley in Islington. It is possible that Vincent John's son Leslie Vincent Betjemann (born prior to the surname change) may have retained the original family name and have married as such in the late '20s or '30s (tbc).

      Gilbert Henry Betjemann and wife resided for a time at 126 Bell Barn Road in Edgbaston (nr Birmingham) [as per 1881 Census (CC)], he a 'Professor of Music'. This is certainly far from the family's usual locale. By 1890, they are back near Islington - at Acacia Lodge on Junction Road, Upper Holloway, along with his aunt Rebecca Merrick, 79, a widow, as well as her daughter Rebecca Excelsior, 39, a piano teacher.[One may report here a small item noted in the recently released Old Bailey archives (online) in which this home of Gilbert Henry Betjemann (and wife) suffered a burglary by two young men, who stole an overcoat and other items on 8th Sept 1890, for which they received 9 months hard labour.] Gilbert's 1st wife Jane (nee Wells) died on 13 May 1894 when they still resided at this address - leaving effects valued at £130. In 1896, the elder Gilbert re-married - to one Matilda Rose Dafforne (1852-1918), a singer and fellow Musician. They had performed together in various musical events during the 1880/90s, while Gilbert's brother George Vincent Betjemann was reported to have played violin along side his nephew Gilbert Richard.

      Gilbert Henry and Janes' son Gilbert Richard Betjemann, also ‘of Acacia Lodge, Junction Rd’, was another Musician (who had attended the University of London ca 1881 (CC). But he died quite young - on 9 Sept 1896 - in Grindewald, Switzerland (later learned from Alan Betjemann to have perished in an avalanche or snow-bridge collapse while descending the Wetterhorn - a peak which, coincidentally, his own son was also to conquer about a century later!). The administration of the younger Gilbert's effects (£1600) was granted to his father Gilbert Henry who established in his son’s name a Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music which, as also learned from Alan, continues to this day. In the 1880s, this younger Gilbert Betjemann had composed a ‘Ballad for Chorus and Orchestra’ called ‘The Song of the Western Men’ (of 23 pages!) - published by Novello, Ewer & Co - a copy of which is in the Boston (Mass.) Public Library. [Hillier shows the latter composition to have been composed by his father Gilbert Henry - an equal possibility.] Another musical - ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ - described as a Pantomime - was composed by a “Mr Betjemann” - with a libretto in English written by ‘Gilbert Arthur’ and a Frencnman: M. F.R. Harve - first performed at the Covent Garden Theatre in 1878. }

      Gilbert Henry and his second wife had resided latterly on Hillmarton Rd, Holloway - one of the streets young John Betjeman recalls in Summoned By Bells being taken to in his youth to visit various ‘great aunts’. He makes brief reference later in life to there having been a 'Betjeman' (sic) ‘who was a famous conductor’. [See also Hillier’s ‘Young Betjeman’.] However, Sir John seems to have known more about Gilbert Betjemann than this limited comment might imply. One wonders where Gilbert and his brother first studied the violin (the family lived in Whitechapel about that time) and whether there was any domestic conflict as to their non-involvement in Cabinetmaking and ‘business’; had they won scholarships? A biography was, according to references noted by Alan Betjemann, written about Gilbert Henry Betjemann and his musical abilities - around 1900.

      On Census night 1901, Gilbert Henry was noted at Clarendon Hotel, Milton, in Gravesend, Kent, no doubt performing nearby then, still listed as a Professor of Music. His wife was at home at Acacia Lodge. Gilbert himself died on 20 Nov 1921 and in his Will, directed that he be buried with his wife (Matilda Rose) who died in 1918 - also in Islington cemetery, his tombstone to have the inscription: ‘Gilbert Henry Betjemann, Hon R A M - Musician in Ordinary to their late Majesties Queen Victoria and Edward VII’. He left £200 to his musician brother George Vincent - (who lived to 1933), £300 to St Bart’s Hospital, a further £750 to the Royal Academy of Music and, somewhat surprisingly, £500 to ‘Miss R. E. Merrick’ - who I can only assume was ‘Rebecca Excelsior’ (Celsie) Merrick - a spinster lady (and Music Teacher) who seems to have been fondly remembered by many in the family (she and her mother Rebecca having lived for a time with Gilbert) and who later retired to 'Rose Cottage' in or near Slough (see further on this elsewhere).

4.    The Third Son and Family.

      George Betjemann Snr's and Eleanor’s 3rd and youngest son, christened 'Henry Betjemann' in 1810 (in Aldersgate or Clerkenwell) but consistently described later as Henry John Betjemann, appears also to have trained as a Cabinetmaker (and Upholsterer) around 1825-30 - before emigrating temporarily to America - in the early to mid-1830s, where his sons, George Stanley and Henry Stanley Betjemann (possibly twins), were born (in New York) in about 1835 - according to the 1851 Census. [However, the 1881 Census suggests that George may have been (barely) the elder - born ca 1834/5 - and Henry (later Harry) about 1835/6.] They too trained in this field (after returning to the UK), being shown in that latter Census (taken in March) both as 15 year old apprentices with their uncle George Betjemann Jnr - residing with him at 6 Upper Ashby Street, Clerkenwell. Neither their father Henry John (nor mother) were however listed in that household that Census year although, interestingly, he did give that address when he was granted an English patent just a few weeks later - in April 1851. There was also a daughter - Eleanor - born in New York (ca 1840), who never married and became a ‘Gold Embroideress’. She lived eventually in St Pancras, London with her mother Jane - as noted in the 1881 Census - and later in East Finchley. (On one occasion, her middle name was seemingly listed as ‘Hottman’ or ‘Hoffman’ - once thought possibly to be her mother’s maiden name; however, the surname ‘Stanley’ later appeared more likely in that regard. [Indeed, this now fully confirmed - see below - with Hottman possibly the name of a close friend of her father back in New York.]

      When and where Henry John and Jane married (about 1834) was initially also unknown but now appears to have been in America. But the family returned from the States by 1851. (One had originally wondered if the mother and sister Eleanor may have visited them there and hadn't returned until later in later in 1851 as they appeared to be missing from the English Census in March that year. But we now know that Henry John, his wife Jane and their daughter Eleanor were in fact all staying with his mother Eleanor Snr in England (on Aldersgate St) at the time of that Census; see earlier for details. Their surnames had been seriously mis-spelt and were thus missed.] See separate outline pedigree for Henry John Betjemann and family below.

      [In 2005, information was gratefully forwarded from a descendent of the Stanley family now living in California (Ann Duncan) which confirms the origin of Henry John's wife Jane as a daughter of George Stanley, Shoemaker, and Ann nee Somerton - both of Oxfordshire. They'd married in Oxford in May 1800 where Jane was born on 6th June 1808 (as recently discovered by her descendent Alan Betjemann). She appears to have emigrated with her family to New York in 1832 - as had Henry John Betjemann. They likely met on the ship - the Vibalia. Jane's sister Eliza (from whom Ann Duncan descends) married in New York in April 1835. A letter from her to her second husband records that she was visited by her sister Jane (Betjemann) and family from Philadelphia (where they appear to have resided during the late 1840s) prior to their permanent return to England - seemingly around 1850/51. There was a third sister - Ann Stanley - who also married in New York and provided yet more offspring (9) with the middle name Stanley!]

      More recently, Alan reports that Immigration Passenger Lists into New York show that the small ship 'Vibilia' landed there on 29th Oct 1832 with passengers George Stanley, 50, wife Ann, also 50, and daughters Jane, 23 and Eliza, 20. Listed immediately next was one Henry Betzeman, 27. The latter strongly appears to be Henry John Betjemann, although he would in fact have been only 22 that year; possibly the second '2' was mis-read as a '7'. He and Jane would not marry for a year or so seemingly (once 'on their feet') - probably in New York ca 1834. Some of the other ages, and occupations, were also approximate so that further confirmation may be needed. The eldest Stanley son, Robert, a Music Master (with wife Mary and two daughters), appears to have joined the others after they arrived in New York the following June - on the larger ship 'Hanibal'.

      It was later confirmed that Henry John obtained a number of patents - eg for furniture manufacture - between 1849 and 1855 (the first two taken out in America in 1849 and 1850). By 1855, he was trading at 449 New Oxford St, London as a Chair and Bedstead Manufacturer (also Dealer and Chapman) but on Feb 23 that year he was declared bankrupt (as discovered by Alan Betjemann). In November of the following year (1856), he purchased a burial plot (in conjunction with his elder brother George) at the Kensal Green Cemetery for their mother Eleanor, who died that year. In 1858, a Dentist's Chair invented by Henry John was advertised in the British Journal Of Dental Science about which he later gave a talk to the Odontological Sociey of London. He was later listed in Post Office Directories from about 1858 to 1865 variously as a Table Maker, Upholsterer, Patentee and Fine Art Gallery proprietor - all at 28 Oxford St. [Next door, at Number 29, was just established George Rowney & Co - supplying ‘Artists’ Colours’ - a business which exists to this day, although not on Oxford St.] The 1859 Directory also lists ‘Betjemann, Hy. Jno - Cabnt Mkr of 29A Riding Hse St, nr Portland St, W1’ - possibly a retail outlet for him. The 1861 Census thus shows him at 28 Oxford St - described as a Master Upholsterer employing 4 men, 1 apprentice and 2 porters and had obviously overcome his financial setback of 1855. He was shown (in 1861) as age 49, born London, and residing with his wife Jane, age 52, born Oxfordshire (ca 1808) and their unmarried son George Stanley Betjemann, 25, also an Upholsterer and daughter Eleanor H, 21, both born in New York. His mother and sister (both Eleanors) had died in the mid-1850s.

      But further problems for Henry John were just around the corner. In May, 1862, a case was heard in Chancery Court of Betjemann v. Dowling in which Henry John and his son George Stanley Betjemann were found guilty of selling a Picture by an artist (one Dowling) instead of producing an engraving of it (seemingly as agreed previously). And then, by 6 Oct 1864, the Bankruptcy records show that Henry and son George, trading as H.J. Betjemann and Son of 28 Oxford St, and late of 41 St George's Place, Kensington - as Picture Dealers, had again become Bankrupt. Henry John’s own death was registered a few years later - in distant Bradford, Yorkshire - in June 1867. Why he was there is uncertain; he may have been ‘on the road’ as he had become a ‘Picture Dealer’s Agent’ and was no longer in the London Directories by then. His wife Jane outlived him by several years, not dying until 1897. Their son George Stanley Betjemann later resided for a time in Edinburgh where he too suffered financial difficulties, his 'estate' being sequestrated by the Court there on 3 Sept 1873. He was described then as a 'Vocalist' and would have been about 38.

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      George Stanley Betjemann was born in New York in about 1834/35 and, after returning to England with his family around 1850 and apprenticing with his uncle George in Clerkenwell in the 1850s, married Sarah Jane Adams (b Brixton) - on 29 Apr 1872 in Stratford-upon-Avon. [At the then recent Census of April 1871, he was shown as an 'Artist' visiting 44 Queens Road, Marylebone (CC)]. (He was probably a 'Perfoming Artiste'.) His rather late marriage may have provided a few years when he was free of the usual family responsibilities and could pursue his theatrical/artistic proclivities (preceded or interspersed it seems in the 1860s with his short if troubled partnership in business with his father in London, and later).

[Hillier points out that Sir John Betjeman received a letter in 1957 from someone who worked for a local Worcestershire newspaper who had noticed in old files of the Stourbridge Observer a reference to one ‘Stanley Betjeman’ - as a performer in a touring Opera Company in April 1871. Sir John replied that he believed this man was a ‘brother of the musician Gilbert Betjeman’. This is incorrect. He was clearly ‘G. Stanley Betjemann’ - described thus in the 1st photo plate in Hillier’s book although, again, incorrectly shown there as Gilbert’s brother, and as having emigrated to America in the 1880s (which he hadn't). For besides the line derived from eldest son George (leading to Sir John) and that from 2nd son Gilbert Slater (leading to musicians Gilbert Henry, George Vincent and Gilbert Richard), there was of course 3rd son Henry John Betjemann (who, as explained, was the one who had emigrated, but temporarily, to America a significant 50 years earlier!) - leading to several Betjemanns with the middle given name Stanley (the maiden name of Henry John's wife Jane) as part of their identities - a name we may note that never appears in either Gilbert’s or George’s lines.]       George's and Jane's first child - Agnes Elsie - seems to have been born in Stratford shortly after the marriage there (ca 1872) but by 1873 George was in distant Edinburgh, working as a Vocalist when he appears to have declared himself bankrupt (to avoid bills?), a strategy possibly influenced by his father. Two years later, they are in London when his 2nd daughter Florence was born, about 1874. She may have married in St George Hanover Sq in Mar Q 1893 to Harold A Bankes (to be confirmed). The London Postal Directory for 1875 shows that he had returned briefly to the capitol - residing then at 7 Earls Court Gardens, SW but Jane at least is soon back in Stratford in 1877 - where and when their son Osbert Stanley Betjemann was born. However, the 1881 Census surname index for Warwickshire shows none of the family still there by that date, they having moved on again - to reside now much further south - in ‘Whippingham, Hampshire’ (by April) - where ‘George Stanley Betjemann, 45, born in ‘America’, is described now as a ’Hotel Keeper’ - of the Royal Medina hotel on the High St there. With him were wife Sarah Jane, 29, born London, and their three children Agnes, 8 (b 1872/3), Florence, 6 (b 1874/5) and Osbert, 4 (b 1877) - all born Stratford. They resided at his hotel - The Royal Medina - where Sarah Jane's mother Sarah Adams, 57, as Landlady, and brother Edward Adams, 26, a Musician (born Stratford,) also lived with them. But, by 30 June that same year, a Sarah Jane Betjemann at least was listed as having gone bankrupt; possibly the business was in her name.

      Whippingham is just behind Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Queen Victoria, who attended church at Whippingham, may have been in residence there in 1881. One wonders if her ‘close friend’ John Brown ever slipped out for the odd evening’s pint at the Royal Medina? Possibly the more so if the latter's owner entertained his clients with a song or two. [By 1891, George is living at 21 Agate St, Hammersmith, shown as a Musician (CC)]. Alan Betjemann reports an entry noted in a database of London Photographers which shows an Osbert S. Betjemann (1876-1957), as a photographic apprentice in 1891, also living at 21 Agate Road, nr Addie Road, Hammersmith. [Was his wife not with him then?] George Stanley died later that decade on 23 May 1899, age 62, in Fulham (possibly residing with or near his son Osbert). [ The 1901 Census revealed Jane 'Betzeman', 45, a 'married' Head of household, born Brixton, was living then at 136 The Grove, Hammersmith with daughter (Agnes) Elsie, 25, born Earls Court (ca 1875) - both shown as 'Musicians'; Jane's husband not there. As mentioned, George Stanley had died in 1899 - in Fulham (near Hammersmith) which would of course have made Jane a widow before 1901.

      Osbert appears to have given up on his Photographic future and instead followed his parents onto the stage. He was married firstly in Islington in 1905 to Helen (Nellie) nee Crawford (b 1881) who, with her sister Jean Oliver (nee Crawford) and brother William Crawford (a friend of Charlie Chaplin), were stage performers from Scotland. [This kindly from a descendent Alison Rigby of Tacoma, Washington.] Osbert and Nellie had no issue of their own but raised one of Jean's daughters - Violet Oliver - as their own from birth in 1908. Osbert had assumed the stage name O.B. Stanley, and Violet, who was generally called 'Poppy', thus referred to herself later as 'Poppy Stanley'. She married a Scottish comedian Jimmy Nicholson in 1929 and died in 1980. [A Violet Betjemann, thought previously to have been Jean's daughter, married a George Duckett in Fulham in 1922 but Poppy would have been rather young to represent this Violet. She was likely the Violet Betjemann born in Islington in 1901 to Charles William (see below).] Osbert died in 1957 described as a 'retired actor'. [Note: The pedigree below requires considerable amendment to incorporate various new additions.]

      Henry John Betjemann’s other son Henry Stanley Betjemann (George Stanley’s possible twin, born ca 1835) also apprenticed with his uncle in the early 1850s after the family's return from America - when his age was shown the same as his brother's. He married Mary Ann Kirby (1837-1912) on 17 Mar 1856 in Waterloo, Lambeth (her birthplace) and, now as Harry Stanley Betjemann, had with her a large family as detailed in Henry John’s pedigree. While most of his children were baptised in the St Pancras area, they were apparently born in a variety of other places, as shown in the pedigree (which may now require amendments). Their eldest child Jane Elizabeth Ann, born Jun Q 1858, married Arthur Edward Perkins on 2 Aug 2 1879 at St Marks, Regents Park (St Pancras RD). He was a bachelor and architect from the parish of St James, Hampstead Road; his father Arthur Edward Perkins Snr, was also an architect but then deceased. Jane's residence was 107 Regent's Park Road and her father, now 'Harry Smith Betjemann', was described that year (1879) as a 'Musical Manager" - possibly for his brother George Stanley. The witnesses were Jane's aunt Eleanor Hottman Betjemann and Eleanor's cousin John Carrisbrooke Merrick - indicating for the only rime some contact still with that side of the family. (The origin of the middle name Hottman remains uncertain. It may have reflected a friendship of her father's in New York when she was born there. Jane Elizabeth had no issue with Arthur, she sadly dying young in 1880, only 9 or 10 months after their marriage (possibly in childbirth). [ By the 1861 Census (3 years after this eldest daughter's birth, Harry was listed as a Hosier and Upholsterer living on Mornington St, St Pancras (CC)] but in 1864 he was trading as a Haberdasher in Camden Town when, on Oct 6th, he too became bankrupt as such. We would like to know his whereabouts between 1864 and 1879 when Elizabeth married. Thus, where was he at the time of the 1871 Census?

      Although described in 1879 as a 'Musical Manager', by the 1881 Census, Henry Stanley appears next as 'Harry Betjemann', Upholsterer, age 43, born in New York. He resided then in Henry Street Cottages, St Pancras - with wife Mary Ann and their 6 remaining children - Harry George, 20 (b 1859), Charles Wm., 17 (b 1863), Agnes Eleanor, 15 (born Croydon 1865), Frederick Sydney, 11 (born Mar Q 1870 Burton-on-Trent), Roland Stanley, 7 (b 13 May 1873 in St Pancras) and Arthur James, 5 (b June Q 1875 in Islington). Henry/Harry Stanley/Smith Betjemann, father of the above children, was also noted in the index for the next Census - of 1891, as 'Harry Betjemann, born New York 'abt 1833', but now residing rather unexpectedly in Devonshire. When followed up, this was confirmed as the present Harry 'Smith' Betjemann who had found himself in trouble with the law in the late 1880s, ending up in Dartmoor prison (in Devon) by 1891. The Old Bailey archives show that, after admitting a number of convictions at a Surrey Sessions in March 1887 (when in his early 50s), he was later convicted of the theft of tools from his employer, one Edward Simmons of Wandsworth Road, in March 1889, which he subsequently pawned for cash in Battersea. He received a 5 year sentence (ca 1889-1894).

      His eldest son, Harry George Betjemann, born ca 1859 and registered Dec Q 1860 in St Pancras, was shown in the above-mentioned 1881 Census as a 20 year old Confectioner (residing with his parents). He was not however located in the next Census, for 1891 (when his father Harry Smith Betjemann was in prison); Nor were his mother Mary Ann Betjemann and the younger children. However, shortly after this, Harry George at least does appear, now aged 31, as a bachelor and Cook - from Tottenham, to marry on 19 June 1892 in (relatively distant) Kingston RD, Surrey, one 'Elizabeth' Baker, 40 (b ca 1851), a widow shown as resident in that area. His father was shown as Harry Betjemann, Upholsterer (though not his then residence), and Elizabeth's as James Mann, a deceased labourer. The witnesses were a William and Alice Oxley. (The only Elizabeth Mann found who had married a Mr Baker within the appropriate period was one who had married in Norfolk in 1874 - to a Henry Baker, who had presumably died in the interim.)

      No issue is apparent for Harry and Elizabeth for some years although births were registered for a Henry Stanley Betjemann in St Pancras in June quarter 1897 and for a namesake Harry George Betjemann in Islington early the next year - Mar Q 1898. However, Elizabeth may well have been getting on by those dates and both could thus have been issue born to Harry's brothers. [The latter, younger Harry's parentage is now so confirmed - his father being Harry Snr's next younger brother Charles William Betjemann. He was thus born on Anneley Street, Islington to Charles and wife Sophia and was next noted with them (and their other children) at this same address, aged 3, at the 1901 Census, and again in 1911, but now in Fulham (see below). The death of this younger Harry George Betjemann was however later registered in Mar Q 1919 in Hendon RD, aged just 21. He may have succumbed in the 'flu epidemic that year and/or due to any WW I injuries if he had recently been in the services.

      We thus lack the whereabouts of the elder Harry George Betjemann through most of the 1880s and '90s (except at his marriage to Elizabeth Baker in Kingston RD in 1892, when he had most recently been 'of Tottenham'). How did they come to marry in Kingston or area and where did they reside subsequently ? He is not apparent in the 1901 Census and no issue appears from them. However, Harry, at least, does re-appear (as 'Betzemann') in the 1911 Census - for Horsham, Sussex (miles from his usual haunts) - as a Pastry Worker, aged 52; but with him now was not Elizabeth but a new wife apparently - 'Charlotte', 58, born Kirby-le-Soken, Essex (in Tendring RD - next to Walton on the Naze). They resided alone in 1911 - at 22 Clarence Road, Horsham. Later that same year, Charlotte died, being buried as 'Charlotte Betjeman' (sic) on 27 December, 1911, whose age was reported to be 62 (and so born about 1848/9), and apparently described as a widow - of 'Henry' Betjeman, Pastry Cook', who must therefore also have died, one would reasonably assume, earlier that same year (1911). However, the Clarence Road address was (I believe) also cited as Harry's address when he proved the Will of his aunt Eleanor Betjemann (coincidentally written in 1911) as late as 1926 !? In it, she referred to her 'nephew' Harry George Betjemann, a 'Confectioner - of Horsham', Surrey (ie at least as of 1911) - the son of her late brother Harry Smith Betjemann (d 1897).

      However, a 'Charlotte Betjeman' was later noted in the 1901 Census of 10 years earlier - living as a married woman, aged 55 (bn ca 1845/6), with her widowed brother Phillip Mann, an agricultural labourer, at 1 York Villas, in Weeley, Essex, near Kirby le Soken (where both were shown as born). Charlotte was listed as a married Head (of that Essex household), but with no husband (as Harry?) present. We may recall that when Harry married his seeming first wife Elizabeth Baker, her maiden name was also 'Mann' - as was Charlotte's. Did Elizabeth die in the 1890s, say, and Harry theb marry her sister Charlotte therefore ? This seemed a reasonable conclusion. But no death for an Elizabeth Betjemann around that time is apparent in the usual indexes. The 1861 Census for Kirby le Soken, Essex was then examined and showed the household of James Mann, 54, Agricultural Labourer, born just down the road in Thorpe le Soken, Essex, with his wife - an elder Charlotte, 53, born Kirby - and two younger sons still at home - Elijah, 14 (b 1846/7) and Thomas, 8 (b 1852/3), both also Ag Labs, born in Kirby. One might have expected daughters Charlotte and/or Elizabeth Mann there as well who, awkwardly, would then be about the same ages as their brothers but, in any case, still at home. They do not appear there that year however although the brother Philip Mann was later confirmed as an elder son of this same family and we recall that Elizabeth's father was described, fittingly, by her at her marriage in 1892, as 'James Mann'.

      As mentioned, Elizabeth Mann appeared to have married firstly a Henry Baker in Norfolk in 1874 (there being no other union of an Elizabeth Mann with a Mr Baker indexed at that time in England) and then married secondly, as Elizabeth Baker, widow, Harry Betjemann in 1892, in equally distant Kingston, Surrey. Where was she in 1861 when about 8 or 9 presumably ? Possibly working in the household of a nearby relative or Farmer, as young rural girls often did then, there being very little schooling at that time. We should also check the 1851 Kirby Census in case she and/or Charlotte had been born before April that year. But as the age of 'Charlotte' Betzemann of the 1911 Census in Horsham (shown born Kirby) was given as 58, she would not have been born until about 1852, the same year we've calculated for the birth of her apparent brother Thomas. Possibly they were twins ? But at her death later that same year (1911), her age was given as 62, indicating an earlier birth year - nearer 1848/9 (just after Elijah?), which should therefore have been covered by the 1851 Census. Again, that Census should clarify this - as should any entries for either or both Elizabeth and Charlotte in the BMD indexes. What do we find ?

      The 1851 Census for Kirby, Essex shows that James and Charlotte Mann had 6 children then at home there: John, 19 (b 1832), Philip, 17 (1834), Samuel, 11 (1840), CHARLOTTE, 7, (1843/4), Elijah, 4 (1847) and James, 1 (1850) - but no Thomas or Elizabeth, who may not have been born until after that Census. The only Charlotte Mann born 1842-1848 in Essex was indeed registered in Tendring RD (which includes Kirby) in June Q 1843, but, while a Thomas Mann was also shown as born there, in 1852, no Elizabeth Mann was so registered there or neasby between ca 1838-60. By 1881, the father James himself, 74, born Thorpe (next to Kirby) in 1807, and wife Charlotte Snr, 72 (born 1809), were still living in Kirby. His death, aged 80, was subsequently registered locally in June Q 1885.

      So Charlotte was rather older than she seems to have made out - something an older woman seeking a 2nd marriage, say, may be prone to do. If born in 1843, she would have been about 55 when marrying Harry - in the late 1890s as we have suggested, and thus may well have had an earlier marriage. Is there evidence of her marrying (as Charlotte Mann) ca 1861 to 1870, say) and secondly - about 1890+ ? Significantly, we find that a Charlotte Mann did indeed marry (firstly) in Sept Q 1863, in Tendring RD (Essex), to one William...BAKER ! It would seem most unlikely that her supposed sister Elizabeth would have married (firstly) in 1874 - in Norfolk - to another Mr Baker - and then subsequently marry Harry Betjemann (in Kingston) in 1892. Rather it appears reasonable to conclude that the widow Harry married in 1892 was not an Elizabeth but Charlotte Baker (nee Mann) who later lived with him in Horsham, although from what date is uncertain. She may have called herself Elizabeth on that one (1892) marriage occasion (but why?), unless her name was simply erroneously recorded as 'Elizabeth'). But first we may consider Charlotte's first marriage further.

      When we examine the household for William and Charlotte Baker after their marriage in 1863, we find by the 1871 Census that they are indeed living on The Green in Thorpe le Soken (next to Kirby). William is aged 40+ (b 1830/31) and Charlotte 27+ (1843/44) and they have 7 children ! However, the eldest 3 appear to have been born to William and an earlier, first wife (who likely died about 1861). They were Alfred, 17 (b 1854), George, 14, (1857) and Emily, 12 (1859). William thus likely married firstly in about 1853 when he would be 23. These elder children were followed by those 4 born to Charlotte: Alice, 7 (1864), William, 5 (1868), Annie, 3 (1868) and Edith 1+ (1869). As Charlotte was only 25 when she had that last girl, she may well have had others in the 1870s. But if she did, the 1881 Census does not confirm this (with certainty - but see now below) as it appears to show neither William nor Charlotte Baker, whether as a couple living together with family, or separately. What might we find for their younger children in the 1881 Census therefore ? Alice Baker was found, age 17, a Housemaid, still living in Thorpe - but with her grandmother Susannah Ross, 71 (possibly William's re-married mother), and a Mary Ann Ross, 44. Next child William Baker, now 16 and a Labourer, was also still in Thorpe, but living as a nephew in the home of Robert Ranson, 47, and wife Elizabeth, 45, along with a neice Jane Mann, 18 (born Lower Kirby).

      The youngest two girls, Annie and Edith Baker were also both found nearby - but living in the Tendring Union Workhouse, aged 14 and 12. Like her above two brothers, Annie was born in Thorpe but Edith is shown as born in Colchester, some miles away. (However, I could see no Charlotte (or William) Baker residing there subsequently (indeed, they seem to have soon returned to Thorpe, as shown below). The Workhouse had about 25 children below the age of 16 (some under a year) listed on two pages and both Male and Female Adults listed separately on different pages. The latter, mostly in their 70s, included no one with the surname Baker. [However two further Baker children at least were later spotted - Albert Baker, 9+ (b 1871) and Edgar Baker, 8 (1873), both born Thorpe and thus likely further issue of William and Charlotte (who would still be only 31 in 1875). Did William die about then and leave Charlotte with no means of supporting such a large family other than the Workhouse ? [A Death registration was in fact later found for William Baker, aged 51, in Tendring RD (includes Kirby) for June 1874. This date fits our analysis well although his age then, often an estimate, appeared a few years out. However, it was later discovered by means of both the 1851 and 1861 Censuses, when still with his first wife (Mary) that William Baker was, in fact, born in 1824 (and not 1831 as previously assumed) and thus was indeed about 50 at his death.]

      But where was Charlotte then, and just before, in 1881 ? The latter Census does not reveal her residing in Essex - whether sought in terms of her forename alone, her surname alone, or her full name - as either Elizabeth or Charlotte Baker. By 1891, all her older children were likely working and independent and the next year (1892), Charlotte Baker apparently married Harry Betjemann in Kingston RD (if, as 'Elizabeth'). But sometime before 1901, she would be back in eastern Essex, for a time, to live with her brother Philip in nearby Weeley (and possibly see her children) before returning subsequently to Horsham (and Harry) a year or two later. [At the 1901 Census, a Harry Betjemann was apparently shown as a Cook living at 44 Tower Road, Bournemouth, with his wife absent (CC)]. Conceivably, Harry had moved there temporarily while Charlotte returnd 'home' to Essex. But how would Charlotte be a widow as early as 1911, if her husband Henry/Harry truly proved his aunt's Will as late as 1926, and not dying himself for some years ? I checked free bmd to see if Harry may have lived - into the early 1930s, say. Indeed. He died in Mar Q 1948 - aged 88(!) - registered in Horsham RD as Harry G.F. Betjemann. The G. would be for 'George' but I was not aware he had another middle name.

      The next son of Harry 'Smith' Betjemann - Charles William Betjemann, born 1863, was initially a Leather Gilder (1881) but was later a Mattress Maker, aged 23, son of Henry (Harry) Betjemann, Uphosterer, when he married at St Mary Magdalene, St Pancras on 25th April 1886 to Sophia Bate, aged 21 (b 1865), father Charles Bate, a painter. They then resided at 21 Stanhope Street, St Pancras. [This detail (and the next) from Alan Betjemann whose wife Jill 'once taught at St. Mary Magdalene church school in Stanhope Street' - about a century after said Charles Betjemann's birth!] By 1891, they resided on Burnard St, Islington. Charles William's' sister Agnes Eleanor, born 1867 in Croydon, was married on 1st April 1888, aged 21, to Alfred Berry, 24, a Packer(?), his father Thomas Berry (deceased), a Cook. The wedding was at St. Jude’s church, Grays Inn Road and the address of both parties yhen was 75 Swinton Street. By 1901, Alfred was a Bus Conductor and they eventually had 5 children in the St Pancras/Holborn area: Alfred Jnr b 1889; Jane b 1892; Florence b 1894, Frank b 1896 and Alice b 1897 - all in Holborn.

      By 1901, Charles William, 39, a Carman, and family resided at 4 Annesley Road, Islington. His wife Sophie was 36 and daughters Minnie Agnes, 13 (b Holloway June Q 1887), Lily, 12 (b Tottenham 1889) and Florrie Louisa, 6 (b Islington Mar Q 1894) while son Harry George was 3 (b Mar Q 1898) and Violet Maria just 1 (b Jun Q 1900) - both b Holloway, Islington). In the 1911 Census, Charles Wm Betjenann and wife Sophia, 'married 25 years', had shifted to the west and were now living at 74 Orbain Road, Fulham. Charles was 49 and a General Labourer (shown born Oxford St WC) while Spohie was 46, born Henry St, St Pancras. Their children Harry George, then 13 and Violet, 11 were born at Citizen Road, Holloway while George A. 7 and Gladys, 4 were born on Annesley Road, Highgate. Charles' daughter Minnie married Albert Battie in 1910 and had 2 sons while Lily married Benjamin Fenton and had 3 daughters and 5 sons - including Edward B.A. Fenton in 1914 in West Ham - where he later played for and managed West Ham Football team. He died in Peterborough in 1992. Florrie married George Blanchflower in Islington in 1915 and had two sons, settling later in Brentford. Violet married George Ducker in Fulham in 1922 and had one daughter and three sons born there. Her sister Gladys E. Betjemann married Victor Currell in Fulham in June 1926 where and with whom she had 3 daughters. Charles William Betjemann, the father, died in March Q 1924 in Fulham and his youngest son George also died there, unmarried, in Mar 1926, aged 22. Charles' wife Sophie died in......... .

     Harry Smith Betjemann's next son was Frederick Sydney Betjemann born 1870 in Burton on Trent (although registered Mar Q in St Pancras). [ By 1891, aged 21, he was listed as a Hawker residing with his sister (....) in (....)(CC)]. Four years later, he married Rose Marks, on 29th April 1895 in St Pancras when he was a bachelor, aged 25, a General Dealer, living at 36, Aldenham Street; his father shown as Harry Betjemann, Upholsterer. [Note: the year of his marriage in the pedigree below (1900) is thus in error.] Rose was then a 21 year-old spinster living at 18, Chalton Street, her father Robert Marks, a general labourer. Later that year they lived at 33 Wellesley St, also St Pancras when their first child, Frederick Sydney Jnr, arrived rather soon - on 16th July 1895. He would marry Daisy Sims (1889-1936) there in June 1922 (?issue). By 1901, Frederick Snr and fanmily were at 45 Little George St in that same borough with Frederick now a GreenGrocer/Fruit Dealer. Their second child was Harry Stanley Betjemann b Jun Q 1897 in St Pancras but he died in infancy there the following year. He was followed by Jenny Louisa in March Q 1899 who married Albert Crow in Pancras in Dec 1917; they had one daughter and 3 sons there in the 1920s.

      The third son of Frederick and Rose was Arthur Robert Betjemann, born Pancras 1st December 1900. Oddly, no Arthur Robert is apparent in either the 1901 or the 1911 Censuses (when he'd be aged 3 or 4 months and 10 or 11 years, respectively). He married Ivy Greenfield in Hampstead in Sept Q 1924 with whom he had one daughter and one son. The daughter, Ivy R.A. Betjemann was born in Pancras in Sept 1925 and married Arthur Buckle there in Dec 1947. They had 3 daughters and two sons - born in such as Islington, Marylebone and Westminster. Arthur and Ivy's only son was Arthur Leslie J. Betjemann born 1928 in Pancras. [He would marry Erika Konig there in 1954 by whom he had a son (and, by him, grandsons) and a daughter. Arthur Leslie was known later as 'Les' when, aged 80 in 2008, he was mentioned in the local paper at Milton Keynes, Bucks (as noted by AB). From the registers at the FRC it appears that there were at least three further children born to Frederick and Rose in Pancras: Florence Edith Betjemann b Mar 1902 in Pancras - who married Alfred G. Richardson there in Mar 1921 and had sons Leslie and Ronald Richardson; William Charles Betjemann b Oct 1906 in Islington (d 1987 in Camden) who married Ellen Westlake (b Willesden 1911; d 1992 in Camden)) in Pancras in June 1936 (?issue); Thomas Charles Betjemann, born 1st January 1911 in Islington who married Lilian Branagan in Westminster in 1939. At that time, his father Frederick (a kind of 'Del Boy' figure it seems) was again a General Dealer with the family then living at 139, Bemerton Street, Barnsbury, north-east of King's Cross station. He lived to a good age, not dying until 1953, in St Pancras. Thomas Charles became a Fruit Seller in Victoria, Westminster and had a son Peter William Betjemann born there in 1946. Peter, who married in 1974, had a taxi business at Burnham Thorpe, near King's Lynn in Norfolk but died in 2001 (aged just 55), leaving a son and daughter who would also reside in north Norfolk. Finally, Frederick and Rose had Violet Betjemann, born Pancras December 1912, who married George Gale there in 1935 and had a son in 1936; and Jane E Betjemann, born March 1915 (registered as Betgeman), who married Thomas Howlett there in 1936 and had a son and daughter.

      The next son of Frederick and Rose, Roland Stanley Betjemann, was born 13 May 1873 in St Pancras and married in Hackney on 26 Feb 1899 to Mary Ann Pratt (b 30 Nov 1873 Bethnal Green - d 3 Feb 1938 Hackney). They were likely influenced in the name-choice of their only son Gilbert Stanley Betjemann (b Bethnal Green 30 Jan 1901) by an awareness of the family’s relationship to Gilbert Henry Betjemann, the successful musician. This Gilbert became a spectacle lens maker. The family resided in 1901 at 92 St Peter Street, Bethnal Green when Roland, 27, was a Furniture Salesman shown born in Hackney. [Oddly, another Betjemann of the East End, George Christian, resided also on a St Peter Street at that Census, but in neighbouring Mile End, Stepney, with his seeming 3rd wife Eleanor. We may recall that our story began about a century earlier when George Betjemann Snr and his wife Eleanor also resided in Mile End for a time ca 1901-4.] On 24 Aug 1930, Gilbert Stanley was married in Richmond, Surrey to Rose Gluckstein (b St Pancras 5 Jan 1907 - d Lambeth 24 Dec 1977) and his line continues to the present with their son Alan Betjemann (a major contributor to the detail and accuracy of the later Betjamann family history shown here) as well as with Alan's brother and their his sons and grandsons in turn. Roland and Mary Ann would also have a daughter Helen Elsie in Mar 1904 who married Harry Lanham in West Ham in Sept Q 1933 with whom she had a son. (Interestingly, John Betjeman, the future poet, married that same quarter, but in Edmonton.)

      Harry's next and youngest son, Arthur James Betjemann, was born in June 1875 in Holloway, Islington and, after attending an LCC Industrial (Correctional?) School in Feltham, where he was a pupil at the time of the 1891 Census (CC), trained to became a Pastry Cook. He married Maria Carveley in Islington in 1900. At the 1901 Census next year, Arthur Snr was a journeyman Baker living at 81 Rendlesham Road, Hackney. They had a daughter Gladys Mary in Sept Q of the following year (and seemingly no son Arthur as was once assumed) and by 1911 (and possibly by ca 1905, say), the family had settled in Reigate, Surrey - living in the town itself, at 10 Cornfield Road. [One had wondered if this area fell within or near Kingston RD and whether Arthur James may have had any contact at this time with his much older brother Harry George Betjemann (both Pastry Cooks) which could somehow account for either man becoming associated with their respective locations (including Horsham, just south of Reigate) ? It turns out that Kingston (including Surbiton and Norbiton) and Reigate, while neighbouring RDs, are about 10 miles apart, probably a touch too far to provide much confidence as an explanation). However, Gladys married in Kingston RD - in Sept Q 1924 - to an Edgar Boult (d 1966) and secondly to Harold Andrews also in Kingston. And her father is shown (CC) to have resided there latterly (ca 1950-55) - in Norbiton, Surrey - not long before his death there or nearby in 1958. [cf our other Gladys Betjemnann who also married in the 1920s.]

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     Harry Stanley/Smith Betjemann had returned 'home' (from prison) in about 1894. He died 8 years later - on 30 Aug 1899, age 62+, in Islington (just before the marriages of his youngest sons) - as eventually did his wife Mary Ann - in 1912, age 75. Thus the two brothers, George and Harry Betjemann, died within weeks of each other near the turn of the century, both aged 62+; the possibility that they were indeed twins, born about 1835, appears further supported thereby.

      Their unmarried sister Eleanor Hottman Betjemann (b New York 1840), the Gold Embroideress, also resided in St Pancras in 1881 and, [in 1891, at 41 Shirlock Road, St Pancras, when she was shown as a 'Military Embroideress'. By 1901 she was employed in Fancy Embroidery when visiting a friend in Finchley (CC)]. By her Will, written in 1911, she left her estate to ‘my nephew Harry George Betjemann, of Horsham, Sussex, Confectioner, son of my late brother ‘Harry Smith Betjemann’. She died in 1926, aged 86, in Finchley (when Harry George apparently proved the Will; he would thus have died himself after this date (which was later confirmed; he died in Horsham, Sussex in 1948 - aged an impressive 88). [Where did his aunt Eleanor live ca 1855-80?] It was previously thought that her middle name (Hottman) was her mother Jane’s maiden name; If Harry’s middle name was ever truly ‘Stanley’ (as was his brother’s), it was later replaced as we've seen by ‘Smith’ (his grandmother Eleanor's maiden name) for reasons best known to himself. [It is now appreciated (some years after this was first compiled) that ‘Stanley’ was indeed their mother Jane’s maiden name as now described above and 'Hottman' likely the surname of a close friend of her father when she was christened in New York.

[Note: Also seen in the 1901 Census was an Eleanor Betjemann, 28, born Rhyl, Wales (ca 1873) living then at 41 St Peter's St (?Road), Mile End, Stepney with her apparent husband George, then 59 shown as born in Mile End, so he was likely married previously. The only known George Betjemanns born about 1840 were Gilbert's son George William Beaman Betjeman in Mar 1841 in Southwark (who seems an unlikely candidate even had he lived) and George Christian Betjeman in 1842 in Whitechapel who appears to have married firstly Elizabeth Woods in Dec Q 1862 (and not as shown in the bmd indexes), who died in Stepney June 1871, and secondly Mary Ann Pearce in St George in the East in Dec 1872, who died in Whitechapel in Jun 1890. This general area was clearly where George Christian typically lived and it would seem that he met and set up home on St Peter Street with an Eleanor shortly after his second wife died. While he and Mary Ann had several children, none appears to reside with him as per the 1891 Census (when he was possibly in prison, as I recall; see Betjemann pedigree II). But one should be able to locate one or more of them them at least in that Census - as Emma Maud or Lewe (Louis?), etc. (I also recall seeing an Eleanor Betjemann in an 1891 Census, also born ca 1873 - but in Cavan, Ireland (making her just 18 then). Were they the same person and if so, she must have married George Betjemann just before 1891, unless she was born a Betjemann. Oddly, there appeared to be no 1891 Census details for this couple (either indvidually or as a couple), nor any other BMD marriage data to help identify them or confirm their union. Any further detail on this matter may be placed here: ]

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      Finally, George Betjemann Snr's and Eleanor’s youngest child, Rebecca Betjemann, married her brother-in-law John Merrick in Westminster - at St Martin-in-the-Fields - on May 2nd 1846 (by licence applied for the previous day). John Merrick was an Engraver who traded at 125 Long Acre, St Martins during the 1840s and’50s - after which his name disappears from the Directories. His death around 1860 seemed possible (but see now below on this). They had 4 children given rather exotic names (for the times) - the youngest becoming known as ‘Celsie’ from her second name of ‘Excelsior’ (a name used in one of the family's patents). Further detail is given in the Merrick pedigree and Detail (see Betjemann Homepage). Rebecca’s elder sister Eleanor (a Schoolmistress) resided with them at her death in 1854 - registered in St Martin’s - although (as with her mother Eleanor) wasn’t with any of that part of the family in 1851 - the Census that year showing just John, Rebecca and their first two children, John and Alfred, residing then on Long Acre in St Martin's (today a booming commercial and tourist area). [Two of the younger Eleanors were however (with others), later located back at 121 Aldersgate St in that Census year (1851), as described earlier, living with Eleanor Betjemann Snr.]

     I have since heard from James McCarthy, a descendent of John and Rebecca Merrick's family, who informs me that this couple and their children had in fact simply moved 'round the corner' from Long Lane - where in the 1861 and '71 Censuses they are found at 84 St Martin's Lane, with John now listed as a 'Die Sinker', as would be his son Alfred. However, by 1881, Alfred, who married in 1874, is shown as a Dentist living eventually in Camberwell with wife Rosabella and a son Alfred John (b 1876). John seems to have died before 1881 (where uncertain) when his wife Rebecca is noted as residing in Haverstock Hill, North London (with her son John Carisbrooke Merrick who would soon marry and have a son Stewart Carisbrooke Merrick) and by 1891, on Junction Road, Islington living with her nephew Gilbert H.B.'Betzemann'. Her daughter Rebecca Excelsior (Celsie) Merrick was also with them then (she then a piano teacher) but would later retire to 'Rose Cottage', Slough, as noted earlier.

     This completes our coverage of the families of George Betjemann Snr and his three sons.

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