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William Carpenter (1809-1863)

Page history last edited by Jon 1 year, 4 months ago

Son of James Carpenter and Sarah Carpenter (née Neal)


Born on 27th September 1809 at 11.25pm[1].


Christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London - as detailed in a note in the Carpenter Family Record Book:


'According to the general opinion of my family, and the evidence of my uncle, William Neal, who states that he was present, and was Godfather, I was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, but no such entry can be found in the books of the said parish. - It appears my parents could not obtain my certificate, for, on my entrance into Shelton's School, a document was furnished, of which the following is a copy:-


This is to certify that Wm Carpenter, son of James and Sarah Carpenter, of Moor's Yard, was born September 27th, 1809, at half past 11 o'clock at night, as sworn before me this 28th day of August 1818. Signed R. Birnie.'


The document was signed by Ja[me]s Carpenter, 'Father of the said William', and Tho[ma]s Morris, Man Midwife at Chandos Street, C[ovent] Garden who states that 'the above is strictly true'.


William then adds that 'this document was, with the other papers connected with the school, in the possession of J. Endell Tyler, Rector of St. Giles, 2 Bedford Square. Returned to him, June 24; but, by permission of the Treasurer, I was allowed to keep possession of it.'


Attended Shelton School[2], which he joined in August 1818.


William's career in the printing industry began with his apprenticeship to Thomas Davison of White Friars, London, on 7th March 1826[3]. The £5 bond for the 7 year apprenticeship was paid  in Charity by the Churchwardens of St. Giles in the Fields out of Mr. Sheltons charity for binding apprentices[4].


William Carpenter married Emily Cox at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London on 21st July 1835[5].


21st July 1835: 66 John Street, Blackfriars Road, London - 2nd Floor apartments (4s 3d a week)[6].


William continued in his career as a printer after his apprenticeship and by 7th March 1836 he was paying subscriptions to the Printers Pension Society (see Carpenter Archive 1).


11th July 1836: William's first child was born (a daughter). She died on 15th July 1836 and was buried at Christchurch, Southwark.


15th May 1837: 15 Princes Street, Drury Lane, London - 1st Floor (6s a week)[7].


31st August 1837: 2 Henry Street, Gray's Inn Lane, London - 1st Floor (5s 9d a week)[8].


1841: 2 Henry Street, St Pancras, London - J[unior] Printer[9].

On the night of 6th June 1841 William Carpenter (30) was living with his wife Emily (25) and their daughter Emily (3).


22nd October 1842: 5 Cook's Row, Old St. Pancras Road, London - 2nd Floor (4s 9d a week)[10].


4th November 1843: 5 Cook's Row, Old St. Pancras Road, London - 1st Floor (5s 6d a week)[11]


6th May 1844: William Carpenter took out a life subscription to the Printers' Almshouse Fund (see Carpenter Archive 2).


20th January 1845: 8 Cook's Terrace House (£26 per year)[12]. A receipt for payment of the poor rate whilst at this address can be found in Carpenter Archive 4.


16th August 1845: It appears that William Carpenter hosted a dinner for nine people on this date, although we do not know the reason for the meal nor its location (see Carpenter Archive 3).


7th February 1846: William Carpenter paid for a life subscription to the Printers Pension Society (see Carpenter Archive 5).


17th April 1849: William's son Frederick Carpenter was 'accidentally killed, by being jammed between a cartwheel and gate post, at the bottom of College Street, Camden Town'.


20th April 1849: William attended an inquest into the death of his son Frederick Carpenter at the Elephant and Castle, King's Road, St Pancras (See Carpenter Archive 6). The coroner returned a verdict of "Death from Fracture of the Skull" and released his body for burial (see Carpenter Archive 7). Frederick was buried on 24th April 1849.


Christmas 1850: 8 Cook's Terrace House - 1st Floor (5s a week)[13].


1851: 8 Cook's Terrace, St Pancras - Printers Compositor[14].

On the night of 30th March 1851 William (41) was living with his wife Emily (35) and their children: Emily Eliza (12), scholar; Alfred William (8), scholar; Ernest Lionel (4), scholar; and Francis Colin (1). All the children were shown as being born born in St. Pancras.


20th March 1853: 5 Dear's Place, Somers Town - First Floor (5s 6d a week)[15].


27th June 1857: 12 Drummond Crescent, Euston Square - 2nd Floor (4s 6d a week)[16].


5th November 1858: William's son Edwin Decimus Carpenter died from pneumonia. Edwin Decimus was buried at Finchley Cemetery on Wednesday 10th November 1858 (see Carpenter Archive 8).


1st May 1860: Home entirely destroyed. Lodging at 2 Queen Street, Camden Town[17]. The exact cause of the destruction of the family home is not explained in the family record book[18]


1861: 11 Grove Street, Camden Town, London - Printer][[19].

On the night of 7th April 1861 William Carpenter (51) was living at/visiting 11 Grove Street[20] with his sons Alfred Carpenter, Ernest Carpenter, Francis Colin Carpenter and Robert O. Carpenter; and his daughter Jess[i]e Sarah Carpenter. William's wife Emily was not recorded at this address. The neighbouring household was home to his brother James Carpenter and his family.


William Carpenter (52), a compositor, was found dead on 13th May 1863 at 2 Queen Street, Camden Town[21]. The cause of death was recorded as hypertrophy of the heart. An inquest was held into William's death on 15th May 1863.


William was buried on 17th May 1863 at St. Pancras Cemetery, London[22].


The division of William's estate after his death is illustrated in a letter to Robert Carpenter (see Carpenter Archive 9).






  1. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  2. Shelton School was established in 1661 as a school for the poorest children in the parishes of St Giles, St Martins and Covent Garden. It closed in 1763 but was re-opened in 1815. Premises were leased 'in Lloyds Court for 61 years for £40 a year, to build a school, on a piece of ground adjoining St Giles' Churchyard, at the cost of £1,163 10s 1d to be conducted under regulations 'agreeable to the tenets of the Church of England, and conformable to the wishes of the testator'. Instead of a coat scholars were to be provided with a suit of clothes, 'similar to those provided for scholars of Christ's Hospital', comprising coat, breeches, cap girdle, shoes, stockings and shirt.' URL: http://www.stgilescharities.org.uk/html/history.html
  3. The record can be clearly identified as our ancestor as it names his deceased father as James Carpenter, who was an Umbrella Maker - Moor's Yard St Martins Lane, Middlesex.
  4. Source: The apprenticeship records of The Stationers’ Company accessed from the online database at https://www.londonroll.org/search
  5. Carpenter Family Record Book. The entry in the parish registers shows that the witnesses to the marriage were James Cox and [Mary?] Ann [Bawlins?]
  6. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  7. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  8. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  9. 1841 Census - HO 107/682/6 Folio 14 Page 22.
  10. Carpenter Family Record Book. An illustration of Cook’s Row around the 1820s can be seen in panel 14 of the Kentish Town Panorama (Kentish Town Panorama: London Topographical Society, 1986.)
  11. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  12. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  13. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  14. 1851 Census. HO 107/1497 392.
  15. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  16. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  17. Carpenter Family Record Book.
  18. A little research has been conducted into this to see if any further details could be established. The possibility of a fire has been investigated but the registers of fires attended by the London Fire Engine Establishment do not include details of any fire attended by them at Drummond Crescent on 1st May 1860 (assuming that this was the address that they were living at) although there was a fire in Drummond Street on 2nd May 1860. However, this appears to be a coincidence as there is no evidence to connect these events. Indeed, the survival of the family record book and papers may suggest that the cause of the destruction was not a fire.
  19. 1861 Census - RG 9/94 33 07.
  20. The status of this address is not clear - it could be that William was visiting his brother James on the night of the census. The address is not mentioned in the list of homes given in the Carpenter Family Record Book - the last address given is 2 Queen Street. As this is where William was found dead in 1863 it is possible that this was the home address of the family in 1861, even though they were not enumerated there. The enumeration schedule for 2 Queen Street shows a blank line and an unused schedule number - it is possible that this could have arisen if the enumerator was told of a further household in the property (although they were not there on the night).
  21. Death Certificate. The death was registered on 22nd May 1863 with information received from Edwin Lankester, Coroner for Middlesex.
  22. An entry in the cemetery registers dated May 15th 1863 shows that William Carpenter (52) of 3 Queen Street, Camden Town was buried in unconsecrated grave no. 23,438 (third class) at 3.30pm on Sunday May 17th 1863. The ceremony was performed by J. Freeman. The size of the grave was 6 foot 6, depth 7 feet. A further note records 34 11 X but there is no indication in the notes taken at the time to tell us what this refers to. The undertaker was Mr Jacob, Moreton Place. There is no gravestone.

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