David Griffiths contacted us via the website to say his grandmother Rhoda was born at 11 Cloudeslery Square and he had some old photos of her at Holy Trinity School.  Naturally we said we were interested and David responded with this fascinating email (click here to download), which he has kindly agreed to share.

Briefly, the story is as follows.  David's great grandparents, George Green and Rhoda (nee Ekins) were a local family, married in Holy Trinity Church in 1876, who moved into 11 Cloudesley Square in 1890.  There were three children: Rhoda Elizabeth Green, born at No 11 in 1890, and her two brothers George and Charles.  All three attended the Trinity Infants School, just round the corner on Cloudesley Street.  David's email includes some priceless group photos of the school showing all three siblings.  Here are my favourites:

Rhoda Elizabeth Green Class Picture 1Rhoda Elizabeth Green - Detail

















George Robert Green Class PictureGeorge Robert Green Detail














I like to think that the distinguished looking gentleman in the middle of George's class photo is the illustrious headmaster Lawrence Major - see here.  And the lady presiding over Rhoda's class may be Miss Ebbels.

We've trawled through the records on this website and sure enough, the Greens were one of three families living at 11 Cloudesley Square in the 1891 census (the others were the Donaldsons and the Watts, hence Lily Watts, Rhoda's lifelong friend).  And Rhoda Elizabeth was baptised in Holy Trinity Church on 25 March 1891 - here's her record:



 Rhoda Elizabeth  Green


 Jan 25   1891

 George Robert + Rhoda   Margaret


 Cloudesley   Sq

 11 Cloudesley   Sq

 Electro-plater and   Gilder



The family only stayed at No 11 for three years but they remained in the area, with Rhoda Elizabeth moving first to Cross St, then various other Islington addresses, ending up at Fieldway Crescent off Highbury Fields.  In 1916 Rhoda married Harold Griffiths but sadly, he subsequently decamped to Canada, never to be seen again! 

David was born in the Royal Free Hospital on Liverpool Rd and attended Barnsbury School for Boys on Eden Grove, off Holloway Rd.  Here he met Terry Medley and discovered that Terry was living in none other than 11 Cloudesley Square!  David and Terry are still friends today!

But there's more!  11 Cloudesley Square rang a bell with me so I searched the website (you can do this on the home page) and bingo! - it turned out that the property had also been occupied by Charles Holland-Goodwin.  Keen followers of this website will recognise Charles as having lived in my house, No 16, in the 1960s, having moved there from No 11 in 1945, despite highly inauspicious origins at the St Johns Road workhouse.  But here's the really extraordinary thing.  It turns out that Charles' daughter Rose Ellen married one Cyril Medley, then living at No 16.  In 1961 the two families appeared to swap houses with Charles moving to No 16 and Cyril moving to No 11 - where David's lifelong friend Terry Medley grew up!  Surely Terry's parents must be Cyril and Rose Medley?  David is going to try and find out [*see below for update]

What a wonderful story!  I've tried to make sense of this tangled web in the diagram which you can download here.  Some of the details may be inaccurate and there remain many unanswered questions - for example I feel sure the extensive Chesterman Family at no 16 must have been part of the network.  But once again I think it illustrates the tightly knit and mutually supportive nature of the community which existed in the Cloudesley Estate during the otherwise hard times of the early 20th century, a theme which we've noticed time and again.


*Update 6.4.22

David has sent another email (download by clicking here) and Yes! Cyril Medley was indeed Terry's father!  The email includes the agreement (handwritten and transcribed as type) between David's great grandfather George Green and his employer Ewbank Leefe, a respected firm of Electroplaters on Goswell Rd (you can see examples of their work here).  Accompanied by his father, also called George, the younger George signed up on January 5th 1876 as an apprentice under what appear by today's standards to be draconian conditions - 6 days a week 9.00am to 7.00pm for just 20 shillings a week!  Later that year on August 6th the great grandparents George and Rhoda got married at Holy Trinity Church and David has unearthed this marriage certificate.  Terrific stuff!

Great Grandparents Marriage Certificate


And more!  Kieran from Lofting Road has used his technical wizardry to effect this remarkable enhancement of the Trinity boys class (the girls didn't come out so well).  I've left the earlier one in above because I think it has a certain yellowy charm.  Enhanced Trinity School Boys with George Green Holding the Flag  1884

And somehow he's even managed to produce this "colourised" version:

Colourised Class Photo Kieran A570FF62 C0A0 4E0F 8F0E 978346B4B4F7

Note that another, younger schoolmaster has emerged from the shadows in the top left of the photo.  Referring to the website section on Schoolmasters, I'm going to take a wild guess that this is Arthur Gibbard of 1 Cloudesley Square.  While you're there, download the 1850 Annual report of the Holy Trinity Schools Committee where you'll find gloriously high-flown sentiments such as this below.  A great read!

"That an overflowing cup of blessing may descend into the bosom of each little immortal placed under their guardianship, is the heartfelt desire of each member of your Committee. To this affectionate desire each friend of these Schools will doubtless respond."


And yet more!  Jenny has reminded us that Lawrence Major and the other teachers at Trinity school are commemorated in these superb stained glass windows, below, in the church itself.  The inscriptions are:

On the Good Shepherd Window

"In loving memory of Lawrence Major erected by his old scholars 1904"

On the Saint James and Saint John Window

"To the glory of God and in loving memory of Lawrence Major for many years master of the Cloudesley school"


Major window 1 DSCN3304 final

Major window 2 DSCN3306 final


















For more examples of the magnificent stained glass windows in Holy Trinity see here       and here.

Cloudesley Association member Matilda has kindly sent us these photos of a memorial which she found at Highgate cemetery - the Western part, right at the top near the labyrinth.

Craghill Memorial 2

Craghill Inscription


















The memorial is interesting in several respects.  It is marked "Sacred to the Memory of William Crachill (sic), Esq, of Cloudesley Terrace" (which is what caught Matilda's attention).  A search on Ancestry, however, revealed no "Crachill"s.  Instead, it seems the William is actually William Cragshill, who, sure enough, lived at 8 Cloudesley Terrace (the original name of the line of houses on the west side of Liverpool Road, adjacent to Cloudesley Square).  The memorial also mentions William's wife Caroline, described as his "Relict", who died just 10 months later.  It also mentions two daughters, Dinah and Louisa.  But Ancestry reveals that they were daughters of William's first wife, Elizabeth, who died in 1835, and is not mentioned anywhere on the memorial (she was buried at St Luke, Finsbury).  

By the 1851 census, Louisa has married William Johnson, a silversmith, and they are living at 17 Canonbury Villas, together with Dinah, who, remarkably, is listed as a "general servant"!  This must surely be a mistake - by the 1871 census they are all still living together, now at Hawthorne House, Green Lanes, and both William and Dinah are listed as "House Property".  By this time Louisa has given birth to a daughter Emily, who later goes on to marry Ormond Lewis Watkins, both also mentioned at the base of the memorial.

There is not much information about the patriarch William Crachill/Craghill on Ancestry.  Presumably the confusion over his surname arises from the curlicue on the letter G having dropped off the name on the memorial, although as Matilda points out, this must have happened three times!  In the 1851 census he is listed simply as a "House Proprietor" and his probate record of 1862 states that he died with "effects of less than £800".  However, we do have a fascinating mention of him in the proceedings of the Old Bailey for 1847:


1st March 1847

Reference Number



Guilty > lesser offence



709. FREDERICK OSBORNE was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of William Craghill, at St. Mary, Islington, on the 21st of Feb., and stealing therein 3 gowns, value 10l.; 1 apron, 6d. 3 shawls, 2l. 10s.; 7 handkerchiefs, 1l.; 1 pair of trowsers, 1l.; 2 waistcoats, 2l. 6s.; and 2 rows of beads, 4s.; the goods of the said William Craghill.

WILLIAM CRAGHILL . I live at Hemingford-terrace—I keep the house—it is in the parish of St. Mary, Islington. On Sunday evening, the 21st of Feb., I went out to church with my wife—I left nobody in the house—I left it quite secure, and double-locked the door—I am certain of that—I returned about half-past eight o'clock, and found the door on the single lock—on entering I found everything deranged, and the parlour and bed-room drawers all turned inside out—I missed the articles named in the indictment, and found them at the police-station—I have seen them since—they belong to me and my wife.

PAUL PRITCHARD (police-constable N 237.) On the 21st of Feb., about half-past seven o'clock in the evening, I saw the prisoner in the Caledonian-road, about three quarters of a mile from Mr. Craghill's, and going from there—he had this bundle on his head—I stopped him, and asked what he had got—he said, "A coat and waistcoat"—I asked how he came by them—he said he had them from his mother—I asked where she lived—he said he could not tell me the name of the street—I asked him to show me—he said he could not—I found all these things in the bundle, except three handkerchiefs and a watch, which were in his pocket, with a box of lucifer matches.

GUILTY of stealing only. Aged 14.— Transported for Seven Years.

Before Lord Chief Baron Pollock.


Although he is living at the time in Hemingford Terrace (presumably a part of today's Hemingford Road), this must surely be the same William Craghill - he also lived in Theberton Street for a time.  Most delightfully for the purposes of this website, the Old Bailey proceedings were recorded by none other than our old friend Henry Buckler, who must have been there at the time!  As to the somewhat draconian sentence of 7 years transportation to Australia meted out to the hapless 14 year old thief Frederick Osborne, we know that a similar fate befell the thief of a handerchief from Jevon Harper, also documented here in the website.  As Matilda points out, this was common practice at the time under the 1717 Transportation Act.

Finally, Jenny has tracked down William's father, also called William, as the owner of the Angel Inn in Lower Tooting - our William was most probably born there.  Here's a rather fine watercolour of the inn circa 1850, courtesy of Stephen Harris:

Angel Inn


Update 1.4.21.  Here's another of Matilda's Highgate Cemetery graves - the last resting place of Thomas Heath of 35 Thornhill Road.

Another grave

19 stonefield 3Charles James Fair was born in 1799 and lived at 19 Stonefield Street (see 2019 photo, right).  Four of his children were baptised at Holy Trinity Church.  One infant son, Thomas, and a brother, Thomas Morgan, were also buried in the church.  But in the 1940s the Fair family appear to have emigrated to the Western Cape, South Africa - we have images of their graves there - see here for Jenny's detailed family documentation.

Interestingly, Charles' sister Esther married into the Buckler family in 1828.  John Chessels Buckler was probably a brother of Henry Buckler whom we know was a prominent resident of the Cloudesley Estate at that time.  

The Fairs were a family of mariners and merchants.  The father of Charles and Esther, Captain Thomas Fair, ended up in Demerara, Guyana!


Jenny has carried out some forensic research into the ownership of houses in Stonefield Street which you find here under the title "From Stony Fields to Bricks and Mortar".  She did this using Poor Rate records held at the Islington Local History Centre in St Johns Street.  Poor Rates were a bit like Council Tax today - they were levied by the Vestry on all houses in a parish according to size, and the proceeds used for poor relief.  The great thing about them from our point of view is that, unlike Census records which only begin in 1841, they allow us to trace the occupancy and ownership of houses in the Cloudesley Estate right back to when they were first built around 1830.199 Liverpool Rd

As explained elsewhere, the freehold to the houses in the Cloudesley Estate was owned by the Parish of St Mary which appointed "Feoffees" to administer the estate.  The Feoffees let the land to leaseholders to build houses and these leaseholders let the houses to tenants (who might then sub-let to sub-tenants!).  From 1838 the records in Jenny's article show leaseholders (as "owners") in addition to tenants (as "occupiers") and what is immediately apparent is that a Mrs Freeman is by far the most important landlord as "owner" of no less than 12 houses in Stonefield Street.

Jenny has of course tracked down Mrs Freeman and she turns out to be Martha Freeman (1775-1849) who in 1795 married David Freeman.  David Freeman, like John Emmett, was one of the handful of builders responsible for building houses in the Cloudesley Estate.  By his death in 1838 he was the leaseholder for the 12 houses in Stonefield Street as well as a further 6 houses in Cloudesley Terrace (now Liverpool Road), all of which he presumably built.  David and Martha themselves lived in one of these - 59 Cloudesley Terrace - now 199 Liverpool Road, on the corner of Richmond Avenue - see photo.

Martha inherited this substantial portfolio and no doubt led a very comfortable life on the rental income, as indeed did her 10 children, as Jenny explains!


12 stonefield 1 clone 3In 1841, Thomas Julians (1778-1851) was living at 12 Stonefield Street (see contemporary photo, right) and his first wife, Susannah, was buried at Holy Trinity in 1840.  As part of the "Tales from the Crypt" project, Jenny (AKA "the ferret") has left no stone unturned in her detailed research of the Julians family - see here!  She eventually tracked down his grave in Highgate cemetery - see photo below.  Thomas was interred here in 1851 and his second wife Sarah in 1893, but - and here's the mystery - in between, in 1879, Thomas was joined by an infant, Felix Whittington, who according to the records, only lived for one hour!  Who was Felix Whittington?  Jenny's best guess is that he was Thomas's great nephew, but perhaps we will never know for sure!

Jenny Grave 2

George Moss was Beadle and Sexton at Holy Trinity from 1850 to 1861 and he and his family were closely connected with the church throughout the latter half of the 19th century, as documented in some detail by Jenny, here.

His duties as Sexton involved bell-ringing which he evidently carried out with some vigour and enthusiasm - see here!

Perhaps the most intriguing detail to emerge of George's long and varied life is that in 1972 he committed his mother-in-law, Mary Chaundly, who was living with him at the time, to the Liverpool Road Workhouse!  Whilst some of us might secretly sympathise with this treatment of a mother-in-law it does seem somewhat extreme, by any standards, especially given that George was at that time a "Relieving Officer" responsible for "taking charge of poor or insane persons not otherwise cared for"!  A more charitable explanation may be that Victorian Workhouses were not exclusively places of Dickensian misery and hardship but may also have offered facilities much like the care homes of today.  There is indeed some evidence to suggest that the Islington Workhouse was better than most and the Workhouse Infirmary where Mary Chaundry eventually died in 1875 may have been not so bad after all.  Does anyone have any insights into this question?

We're grateful to Ken Stevens for kindly sharing with us details of his forebears, the Dixon family, who played an important role in the early history of the Cloudesley Estate as cattle traders.  The following account is a summary of Ken's much more detailed and entertaining account of the Dixons which you can access here.  Note that this is the first time we've been able to establish a direct link between early residents of the Cloudesley Estate and their present-day descendants.

The patriarch of the Cloudesley Dixons for our purposes was Basil Dixon (variously known as Joseph Basil, Joseph Bazel or Basil Joseph) who was born into a farming family in Molash, Kent, in 1799.  In about 1825, just as the speculative building around the Cloudesley Estate began, Basil moved with his family to Elizabeth Terrace (now Cloudesley Place) via Islington Green.  Here he set up a cattle trading business with his nephew, Thomas Dixon, also born in Molash, in 1811, who had moved at about the same time to 33 Cloudesley Street on the corner with Cloudesley Place (he is described in the 1841 census as a "Beast Salesman"!)  A commercial directory of 1841 lists their business as "Dixon Basil & Thos, Cattle Salesmen, 8 West Smithfield".  They also owned one or more cattle "lairs" in Islington, where cattle on the way south to London were fattened up before the last few miles into Smithfield.

By 1851 Basil had moved to Colney Hatch, Friern Barnet and purchased a substantial farm.  The Dixon business now included driving cattle south via Muswell Hill, Archway, Holloway and Liverpool Road to the lairs around Angel Islington.  After the Metropolitan Cattle Market opened in 1855 this no doubt became an increasingly important destination for the livestock and the firm of Dixon Basil & Thos opened another office there at 6 Bank Buildings.

Ken has plotted the route the cattle probably took to market, with various contemporary landmarks they would have passed on the way, and this is shown below.

Dixon Cattle Route Reconstituted PNG


Here's a larger image of the charming print of 1822 showing cattle and sheep been driven down Archway (the bridge shown was constructed in 1813 after a tunnel under Hornsey Road had collapsed; this first bridge proved too narrow for the volume of traffic and the present bridge was built to replace it in 1900).  We may reflect that in the decades after this pastoral scene of livestock moving downhill south into Islington there was a gradual migration in the opposite direction of their increasingly prosperous owners to the by now more desireable new suburbs of Highgate, Hampstead and Muswell Hill, driven in part, ironically, by the proximity in Islington of the unwholesome slaughtehouses of the Metropolitan Market and the truly noxious associated trades in Belle Isle.

03 archway 1822 2


Royalagricultural hall pre ww1

Both Basil and Thomas Dixon had large numbers of children and were also joined in Islington by a variety of relations.  Some of this Dixon clan moved with Basil to Friern Barnet but many remained in Islington and throughout the 19th century there are a bewildering variety of Dixon families living in and around the Cloudesley Estate.  Most had links directly or indirectly with the cattle business.  We have records of Dixon properties not just in Cloudesley Place and Cloudesley Street, as already mentioned, but also in Cloudesley Road, Theberton Street, and three properties on Liverpool Road: No. 79 (previously 12 Strahan Terrace) and Nos 91 and 143 (previously 5 and 31 Cloudesley Terrace respectively).  No 79 was occupied by the family of Thomas Dixon junior, AKA Thomas Gill Dixon, son of the earlier Thomas.  Dixon lairage was purchased for the building in 1862 of the Royal Agricultural Hall, directly opposite.


143 145 Liverpool Road Islington late 19th centuryNot surprisingly, we have various records linking Dixons to Holy Trinity Church.  At least three baptisms took place there of children of William Dixon, Basil's eldest son, who in both the 1851 and 1861 censuses was living at 5 Cloudesley Terrace, now 91 Liverpool Road.  He was also a cattleman and owned lairs nearby.

Line 246, no. 1706:       George Dixon b. 1852,  5 Cloudesley Terrace, of William & Mary

Line 268, no. 1983:       William Dixon b. 1855,     Cloudesley Terrace, of William & Mary

Line 278, no. 2084:       Walter Dixon b 1857,    4 Cloudesley Terrace, of William & Mary

Interestingly, from 1871, 143 Liverpool Road was occupied by the family of William's cousin,Thomas Gill Dixon, who appears to have moved in fairly quick succession from 33 Cloudesley Street, to 79 Liverpool Road (Strahan Terrace), to 143 Liverpool Road (31 Cloudesley Terrace, on the corner with Cloudesley Square).  In fact by the 1891 census the family had grown so much that they had also taken over 145 Liverpool Road next door - see contemporary photo above.

We are also aware of at least one Holy Trinity marriage, between Thomas Gill Dixon and Elizabeth Coventry in 1872.  Here's a marvellous photo of the couple c1895 which was kindly supplied by Jen Dixon - who, like Ken, is another living descendant!

Thomas Gill Dixon c1895 3



William Warren Dove Scan CroppedFinally, an exciting connection between the Dixons and the building firm of Dove Brothers!  One of Basil's daughters, Frances, married William Warren Dove (born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, surprisingly - see extract, right) son of the founder and a director of the firm.  They lived at 5 Upper Theberton street.  In other words, what we have here is the linking of two great Cloudesley dynasties which in their different ways, via cattle and building, had a huge impact on the history of the Cloudesley Estate.



Now for some more recent history.  Recognise the chap on the left below?  Yes, it's Tony Blair!  The date is 1 May 1997 and he has just won the general election.  He was then living at 1 Richmond Crescent and his neighbour Annita was on hand to capture these priceless images of the massively labour-supporting locals enthusiastically cheering him on (this was Islington, after all :-)).

IMG 1786IMG 1784IMG 1783



In 2013, Annita, who lives at 85 Richmond Avenue overlooking Thornhill Gardens, received a surprise visit from Ken Bridgman, then aged 79, who remembered living in the house back in the 1940s.  Annita invited him in and had the presence of mind to take notes as he reminisced about his family and their experiences in the area during the war years.  The result is a fascinating account, packed with local detail, which you can download here:

Download Ken Bridgman Notes

This was in the days when the area was much more deprived and multi-occupancy was the norm.  Read about communal cookers on the landings; rabbits, chickens and ducks in the garden; late night drinking parties in the basement with the connivance of the Duke of Wellington across the road; the destruction through bombing of Barnard Park; and much more!

We've tracked down Ken and his brother Sidney on Ancestry.  Ken married Shirley Beamiss in 1956, moved to the South Coast, where he ran a stall outside Brighton's Grand Hotel, and died in 2015 in Littlehampton.  The Bridgman family seem to have been deep-rooted in the community - Ken's father had a wet fish shop next door to the old Eclipse pub. as well as a builder's business - but so far that's all we know.  Can anyone supply more details?


Yes they can!  Annita subsequently contacted Ken's daughter Jackie who has kindly shared with us the wonderful photo below of the wedding party of her uncle Sidney Bridgman to Josie Greer, which took place at 85 Richmond Avenue in October 1948.  Ken, who would have been 14 at the time, is the lad third from the left in the back row.  Sidney and Josie are in the middle row just to the right of the wedding cake.  And Ken and Sidney's Mum and Dad are on the extreme right on the back and middle rows respectively.  We also have an image of a wedding telegram sent from Suez!  What's the story there I wonder?  According to Jackie, Sidney is now a young 95 and eager to tell his story, so hopefully we'll find this out as well as more details of the life and times of the intriguing Bridgman family.


Wedding Sydney 1948 IMG 2176 ProcessedWedding Telegram

Update: Sidney's Memoirs!

Sure enough, Sidney has not just told his tale, he's published his memoirs in a slim volume entitled "Variety is the Spice of Life", which he's kindly lent to us.  Here's the front cover with Sidney engaged in his favourite pastime - having a pint in a friendly pub!

Sydney Bridgman Memoirs Front Cover Processed


It really is a remarkable document.  Sidney is a born storyteller and this is a wonderful tale of a life well lived and thoroughly enjoyed, with some great jokes and fascinating details of a way of life which is now gone forever. 

Page 1, reproduced below, gives a flavour of what's to come.  We start on September 3rd, 1939, at 11 o'clock with war declared.  Sidney is 12 years old and part of a close-knit community including a large extended family who all live in Gainsford Street, just off Richmond Avenue.  By today's standards life is hard - the men are in and out of work and mothers work tirelessly to keep things going - but Sidney's memories are all happy ones and he is never bored.  When the first air raid siren is sounded everyone is confused, but nothing happens and after a short while his gran and aunts get fed up of sitting in the Anderson shelter and by 12 o'clock the men realise the pubs are open so off they go and soon everything is back to normal!

Page 1


This "grin and bear it" outlook persisted throughout the war years.  Apart from a short period when he was evacuated with his mother and brother to Chesterfield, Sidney soon got used to living through the blitz in London.  Even when most of Gainsford Street was flattened by a bomb falling on the Duke of Brunswick pub in Barnsbury Road "the good news was that Joe's Fish and Chip shop was still standing"!  Luckily, by that time the whole extended family had all moved to neighbouring houses in Richmond Road - Sidney living first at No 73, with his Aunt Edie next door, then moving to No 85 (Annita's present day home).  And the family was always up for a good laugh, as when his father, having bought an electric shaver off an American serviceman, was lathering his face with hot soapy water and was just stopped in time by cousin Dick!

Sidney's father, also called Sidney, was a real character who seemed to be able to turn his hand to anything.  He was a builder before buying Joe's Fish and Chip shop, then opening a wet fish shop next to the old Eclipse pub on Barnsbury Road.  Sidney followed in his father's footsteps and much of the book describes the huge variety of jobs he took on, usually with his father, brother or other family members.  These included building, office work, selling seafood, cafes and shops, Post Office work, running a car hire firm, and many more. 

A constant theme running through the book is Sidney's enthusiasm for a drink in the pub and merrymaking in general, starting with the Duke of Wellington on the corner of Gainsford Street and Richmond Avenue and continuing through many foreign holidays to the present day.  

In 1949 Sidney's father suddenly announces to general astonishment that he's bought an oyster bar in Brighton.  By the mid-50s most of the Bridgman clan have left Islington but they stick together, first in Brighton then in Sutton and Crawley where Sydney lives today.  He signs off his memoirs with these words:  "As they say, 'Variety is the Spice of Life' so I think I have had my share and wouldn't change a thing".

And here's the back page of the book - a photo of Sydney and Josie, presumably on their wedding day in October 1948.

Sydney Bridgman Memoirs Back Cover



In Holy Trinity Church, the memorial stone pictured below commemorates the two wives of Jevon Harper, Henrietta and Theodisia, who died in 1838 and 1840 respectively and were interred in the church crypt.

Harper Memorial


Note that there are no maiden names.  This may be because, scandalously, they turn out to be sisters and marriage to one's deceased wife was actually illegal at the time!

Chris and Alison of Ripplevale Grove have researched the egregious life and times of Jevon Harper in meticulous detail and you can download their notes on the "Order of Events" here - it's a wonderful story!

Download Jevon Harper Notes

Briefly, Jevon Harper was born in 1838 in Tamworth, Staffs, and married into the wealthy Rice family, who owned Northleach Manor in Gloucestershire.  Just two years after their marriage in 1836, Jevon and Henrietta are living at 3 Malvern Cottages when Henrietta dies of an "epileptic attack".  With what appears to be indecent haste, Jevon then marries Henrietta's younger sister Theodisia in an illegal, probably secret ceremony in Scotland, following which they return as man and wife to Malvern Cottages.  By 1840 Theodisia is dead too!  Jevons now owns two thirds of the Rice estate.  A few years later he returns to Gloucestershire and marries a third wife, who may be his childhood sweetheart.  He then buys the remaining third of the Rice estate and dies in 1858 as Lord of NorthLeach Manor!  Nice one Jevon!

In a postscript to this murky tale, Chris and Alison also discovered that one William Kidman was sentenced to 7 years transportation to Australia for stealing a handkerchief!  The "victim"?  None other than Jevon Harper.  Read the full story here.


Local resident and amateur historian Kieran Garvey has completed a superb report on Henry Buckler and his family which you can download here.  

Henry Buckler (1797-1846) was a prominent member of the Cloudesley Estate community, who lived first on Cloudesley Terrace, now Liverpool Road, then in Thornhill Cottage which we believe is one of the houses close to the Albion pub.  He was a churchwarden alongside his friend the Reverend Fell and was buried in the Holy Trinity church crypt together with his wife Mary and daughter Catherine as recorded on a handsome memorial within the church itself.  Of particular interest, Henry was for 31 years the official shorthand writer to the Old Bailey criminal court where he reported on many of the most serious and scandalous crimes of the day.

Kieran's report - more like a short historical biography - is an unusually detailed and extensive account of Henry Buckler's life and times and paints a convincing picture of middle class family life in our corner of London in the first half of the 19th century.  It provides fascinating insights not just into Henry's working and private life but also on the whole Late Georgian / Early Victorian landscape: politics, trade, economics, crime and punishment, transport ....  Highly recommended!

Shown below is a photo of the Buckler memorial in the church and, intriguingly, what Kieran believes to be an 1843 sketch of Henry Buckler himself, at work in the Old Bailey.  The report describes the detective work behind this conclusion - it certainly convinced me!

Buckler At Work

Buckler Memorial


















"From Cradle to Grave - An Islington Life"


Burial RecordsCharles Masonthorpe

In 1813, Charles Mason Sharpe was born in Chapel Street, now Chapel Market.  He died in 1849 at the tender age of 36 in Dalston and his coffin was laid in the crypt of Holy Trinity Church in Cloudesley Square, next to that of his father Joseph, who had died four months earlier.  I published a photo of the plaque on the coffin on this website 168 years later (see here), where it was noticed by Cloudesley Road resident Jenny Tatton.  Intrigued, Jenny started researching Charles' life and ended up uncovering the story of an Islington family who were born, baptised, lived, worked and died locally.  You can read the whole fascinating story here.  


Does anyone else have similar stories of former local residents?  Let me know and I'll preserve them for posterity here on the website.


Francis Benedict KreisaJenny has taken three families buried in Holy Trinity Church, two Ward families (not related) and one Kreisa family (married into one of the Ward families), and researched their histories in extraordinary detail, here:

Download: "Tale of the two Ward Families of the Cloudesley Estate, a marriage with the Kreisa family, a pair of stolen trousers and a flight to India".

The Kreisa family is particularly interesting.  Benedict James Kreisa, a tailor, is convicted of stealing a pair of trousers, and later emigrates to Gwalior, India, presumably in disgrace.  His father Francis Benedict Kreisa, cuts him out of his will.  His son, another Francis Benedict, pictured, stays behind in London as a tailor's assistant.

The Regent’s Canal, eastern entrance to the Islington Tunnel Thomas H. Shepherd 1823. Later addition: Jenny has now researched another family appearing in the Holy Trinity burial records.  Edmund and Frederick Snee were father and son and both worked for many years for the Regent's Canal Company.  Edmund was Secretary for 52 years and Frederick was Clerk for 45 years.  It was while Frederick and his wife Elizabeth were living in the 1830s at 26 Cloudesley Square that two infant daughters, Eleanora, aged 2, and Caroline, aged 1, were buried in the crypt at Holy Trinity.  But other children survived and by 1901 we find three of them living "on private means" with two servants in Chiswick.  It seem that the loyal service of this Islington family to the Regent's Canal has enabled them all to live in some comfort!  Jenny's account of the family is valuable both as an insight into the family and also the Regent's Canal, which was a major commercial feature of the area at the time and is currently undergoing something of a renaissance.

Download: "The Motorway of the Past" - The Snee Family of Islington.


The Reverend Hunter Francis Fell was the first vicar of Holy Trinity Church from when it was first consecrated in 1829. 

He and his wife Rachel lived at "1 Albion Cottages", pictured, on the corner of Thornhill Road and Richmond Avenue.  Tragically, at least four and probably five of their children died and three were buried at Holy Trinity as our records show.  Jenny has researched Reverend Fell and his family in some detail here:

Download: "The Controversial Rev. Hunter Francis Fell M.A." 

As Jenny describes, he appears to be a somewhat controversial figure, known for his "Hellfire and Damnation" sermons!

Holy Holy Holy

1 Albion Cottages














16 Cloudesley Square 2019

John Emmett was a carpenter and builder and was responsible for building, or organising the building, of more houses in the Cloudesley Estate than any other individual, including No 16 Cloudesley Square (my house - Nick!). An excellent account of this process can be found in Cathy Ross's "Cloudesley: 500 Years in Islington". To summarise, in 1817/18 the Cloudesley Trust let a substantial proportion of what was then the Stonefield Estate to John Emmet and Richard Chapman (the second most prolific builder) to build 114 houses with another 136 planned. Building proceeded on a speculative basis throughout the 1820s and by 1835 the Cloudesley Estate as we know it today was largely complete. John Emmett was almost certainly responsible for other developments in Islington and indeed beyond.

The houses in Cloudesley Square were built in a uniform "New River Style" which features "stuccoed ground floor and round headed windows with the upper floors having square headed windows, but set within an arched recess with a wrought iron balcony" according to a planning application for modifications to No 7 . Another planning application for No 20a adds the following nuggets of information: "yellow and brown stock bricks laid in Flemish bond with simple stucco dressings; roofs obscured by parapet, brick party-wall stacks". These extraordinarily detailed documents are packed with information and are well worth reading in their own right - especially for residents of the Square! The New River Style epithet applies to much of the housing in the Cloudesley Estate and indeed to much of Islington, especially the famous Squares of Islington. The estate agent Chesterton Humberts has a rather excellent description of these squares compiled by its own in-house historian Melanie Backe-Hansen which addresses the architecture of the area's housing in some detail - again, well worth reading.

Of course the question arises as to how an apparently fairly humble carpenter and builder, with, as far as we know, no formal architectural training, was able to create what are today, by common consent, regarded as exemplary, well-proportioned and sought after Georgian townhouses. Buildings which have, moreover stood the test of time and are still by and large a joy to live in today, 200 years later.

John Emmett was born in 1791 in Pentonville to William and Elizabeth Emmett. In 1805 he was apprenticed to William Hancock, a Painter-Stainer, and in 1817 he married Mary Sanders at St Mary’s Islington. From at least 1829 to 1831 he lived in one of his own houses at No 23 Cloudesley Square according to the Poor Rate Books. In the Cloudesley Square censuses for 1851 (see below) and 1861 we find his widow, daughter and son all living at No 1 Cloudesley Square, the father John Emmett himself having died in 1832 aged 41 and buried at St Mary’s. The family was clearly prosperous, given their employment details and given that they shared the house with two servants, one of whom, Eliza Ashdown, was with them for the whole period. It is rather reassuring that the builder's family should live in one of his own houses for such a long time!

Name Age Employment Relation to Head  Condition Where Born
Mary Emmett 55 Annuitant Head Widow Trinity Islington
John T(homas) Emmett 27 Architect + Proprietor Son Unmarried Trinity Pentonville
Mary A Emmett 24 Possessor of Houses Daughter Unmarried Trinity Pentonville


The son John Thomas Emmett was an architect and sufficiently illustrious to be listed in Wikipedia, with examples of his many Victorian Gothic buildings, in London and Scotland. He is described as having a "Puginian" style so perhaps he was inspired in his youth by Holy Trinity Church (built by Charles Barry, who also worked with Pugin on the Houses of Parliament)! Intriguingly, in the 1841 census we find a John Emmett living at No 1 "Emmett's Cottages" in Hornsey Road (was this built by the father or the son?) then in 1847 back at No 6 Cloudesley Square. In 1857 his architectural firm went bankrupt and in 1881 he is a boarder in a house in Hurley, Hampshire, with his occupation listed as "Income from land, 9 houses". But by 1865 he was director of the North London, Highgate and Alexandria Park Railways. In 1891 he has returned to London and is head of a house in Dartmouth Park Hill, "living on his own means", still unmarried but with two servants. He died in Islington in 1898.


Later Addition.  Paul Klein, who lives in a house in N19 built by John Thomas Emmett, has kindly sent us the following:

"We live at 10 Cathcart Hill N19. I am researching the history of our street and our house. Our street (before it existed) was part of  47 acres bequeathed in the late 1600s to a church charity that was later known as Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy. In the 1850s three different developers were commissioned to design and build houses and roads. On one side the estate is bounded by portions of Dartmouth Park Hill and Brecknock Road and on the other I think it stretches down to the Holloway Road. One of the developers was John Thomas Emmett, the son of John Emmett, as discussed in your article. John Thomas Emmett designed numbers 2 - 16 Cathcart Hill and numbers 20 - 48 Dartmouth Park Hill, plus others (Wyndham Crescent, I think, without checking). When these roads and houses were going up he was of course in Cloudsley Square.

Emmett's Cottages, Hornsey Road

John Thomas Emmett was born in 1823 and is only 18 years old when living at No.1 Emmett's Cottages, Hornsey Lane as per the 1841 census (shown on the 1864 Stanford map below). Too young, surely, to have built them. John Emmett died in 1833 and leaves property "situate on Hornsey Road". Additionally, there is a Googlebooks reference to "Emmett's-place, Hornsey-road". I think this one can be added to John Emmett's portfolio.  Emmett's Cottages are today the site of Montem Primary School (built 1897) located at the junction of Hornsey Road and Seven Sisters Road.

Paul Klein Emmett Map













1881 Census, Hampshire

You correctly locate John Thomas Emmett down in Hampshire and must have puzzled over his seemingly remote choice of relocation. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that he and his sister, Mary Ann, are boarding with a doctor. She would die eighteen days later."

Mary Ann Blizard Hoare was born and died an infant (probably stillborn) in 1834 at 21 Cloudesley Square in 1834.  She was buried in the Holy Trinity Church crypt (see Burials records).  The Hoare family tale is one of rags to riches with a dark twist!

Download Hoare Family History


George Snell appears briefly in the timeline of 16 Cloudesley Square as a 22 year old lodger with the surveyor Robert Reed and his wife Elizabeth at the time of the 1871 census.  As such we can take him as typical of the many relatively transient, relatively well-to-do young men who passed through the area at this time.  We are lucky in that the Snell family is extensively documented on Ancestry, with several excellent early photograhs.

George was born in Westminster in 1849 and while living at No 16 was employed as an Engineer's assistant.  He married Sarah Plumb in 1877 and they lived in various parts of London including Ealing, Barnes and Chelsea before moving to Yorkshire, where George rose to become Draftsman and Secretary to Wombwell Colliery.  George died in 1915 and his son, also called George, eventually became Director and General Manager of the colliery.


George Snell




Charles Arthur Holland-Goodwin was born as an illegitimate child in 1902 to his mother Elizabeth Holland in St Johns Rd Workhouse, a huge building on St John's Road near Archway.  But this is a redemptive tale!  By the 1911 census he is living with William Goodwin, a greengrocer/hawker, his wife Sarah and Susan Elizabeth (presumably their daughter) on Bemerton Street, Caledonian Road.   We may speculate that his mother died and the benevolent Goodwins took him under their wing.

In 1929 he married Rose-Susannah Juliff (daughter of Frederick and Kathleen Juliff who in 1948 were living at 2 Cloudesley Square) and in the same year a daughter was born, Rose Ellen.  By 1935 they are living at Denmark Road, Haringey.  In 1939 they have moved to Calshot Road in Finsbury where Charles is a general labourer.  In 1945 Charles has moved to No 11 Cloudesley Square accompanied by Rose-Susannah and the confusingly named Charles W Holland-Goodwin, presumably their son, and they are still there in 1948, with the Juliffs as in-laws at No 2.  Then in 1951 the daughter, Rose Ellen, appears at No 16 Cloudesley Square married to Cyril Medley and living in the same household as our friends James and Jessie Chesterman!  Finally, in 1961, Charles Arthur Holland-Goodwin, now a "Stationery Checker" and still with Rose-Susannah, appear to swap places with their daughter (Cyril Medley was recorded as living at 11 Cloudesley Square in 1964) and move into 16 Cloudesley Square with the elderly and now widowed Jessie Chesterman, (she died 3 years later aged 83).  Rose-Susannah Holland-Goodwin died in 1966 leaving Charles £584.  Charles died four years later in 1970, aged 68.

This tangled web is difficult to follow and no doubt there are many other twists and turns to uncover.  But it illustrates how despite the most unpromising beginnings, the denizens of the Cloudesley Estate were able to forge remarkably strong community familial and neighbourly ties which served them well in the relatively downtrodden days of the mid 20th century.



Members of the Chesterman family were living in 16 Cloudesley Square from 1921 right through to 1961.  They appear to have been a large Islington clan with ties to many other Barnsbury residents who no doubt played a central role in the social life of the area from the late 1800s until well into the 20th century.  Fortunately, they are well documented on Ancestry, with several splendid photos, and also appear in several Holy Trinity Church records of the time.

The CrumblesJames Christopher Chesterman, the "patriarch" as far as 16 Cloudesley Square is concerned, was born to Cecil and Fanny Chesterman in 1877 in the infamous Beaconsfield Buildings. "The Crumbles", as this forbidding Victorian tenement building was affectionately and ironically known is now demolished.  It was built near Randalls Road off York Way as a model social housing development for workers and has its own website packed with colourful images and memories, here).  

By the 1891 census the Chesterman family is living in 82 Bemerton Street, which James Christopher shares with six siblings.  His father is an ironmonger's porter and the 14 year old James is already gainfully employed as an "Errand Boy, Post".

In 1902 James marries Jessie at Battle Bridge All Saints church and they stay together until James' death in Islington in 1951.  On September 18, 1907, there is a triple baptism of their three children, James Cecil, Arthur Albert and Ethel Jessie at Holy Trinity Church (see Ancestry family tree below).  They were then living at 84 Cloudesley Road and the father's occupation is recorded as Labourer. 

Then in the 1921 census James and Jessie move to 16 Cloudesley Square, where James, aged 44, is now a "Glazier (Pavement Lights)".  Pavement Lights are the flat-topped, walk-on skylights set into pavements to let light into the basement below.  There is a good example outside what used to be the bakery on the corner of Cloudesley Road and Cloudesley Square and it is tempting to speculate that James was responsible for this.  

From then through to the 1960s, the Chestermans remain at 16 Cloudesley Square together with a succession of colourful lodgers or co-tenants - see here to download details - many of whom appear to have become close friends.  The 1921 household included John and Alice Melvin (John was a wheelwright, and his father was a "Cat Meat Vendor"!) as well as Henry (Harry) Winter, a "Journeyman Tailor" and his wife Charlotte.  The Winters are still there in 1938 together with their son George "Barman.  Public House".  In 1928 we find James Chesterman as witness to the marriage of Walter Flowers, an upholsterer also living at No 16, to another upholsterer, Maria Griffith.  In 1931 he is again present at the marriage of his daughter Ethel Jessie, to Henry Hornsby, a newsvendor living at 34 Cloudesley Road (James is Henry's witness).  


Chesterman Family Tree


James died in 1951 but his widow Jessie was still at No 16 in 1961 which she now shared with Charles Arthur Holland-Goodwin, born in a Workhouse! - see here for this amazing tale.  Previously, Charles' daughter Rose was living at No 16 in 1951 with her husband Cyril.

No doubt we have only scratched the surface of the amazing Chesterman family and their influence on the Cloudesley Estate and beyond, but for the time being, here are a couple of great photos (hover the cursor over the photos for captions).


James Cecil Chesterman and wife Sarah Faulkner Marriage 1935 CroppedJames and Jessie Chesterman 1936
















Jenny has now followed up transcribing all the census data for residents of Stonefield Street by researching in some detail the histories of two families living there with family members buried in the Holy Trinity Church crypt.  You can download their stories below:

Download "Crossing Continents" - Thomas Fair of 19 Stonefield St died as an infant in 1836 and was buried in the crypt but his family have a rich history with links to South Africa.




In 1909 William ("Billy") Edwin Barnes married Elsie Smith in Holy Trinity Church.

Jul 24 1909 William Edwin Barnes 32 Bachelor Professional Footballer 86 Upperton Rd, Plaistow
Jul 24 1909 Elsie Annie Smith 22 Spinster - 18 Cloudesley Mansions

 According to Wikipedia:  

Son of a dockworker, William Edwin Barnes was born in West Ham on 20th May 1879.

His football career began at Thames Ironworks at the age of sixteen. He later played for the likes of Leyton, Sheffield United and West Ham United.

Rangers signed him in 1907 from Luton Town and he made his debut against Tottenham Hotspur at Park Royal on 2nd September.

After making 234 appearances, and scoring 37 goals, Billy was transferred to Southend United in 1913. He was to manage Athletic Bilbao in two spells, 1914-1916 and 1920-1921.

Billy passed away in 1962.

Taddy & Co. also featured him in their Prominent Footballer series in 1907.”

Here are two rather splendid images of Billy from around the time of his marriage:

William BarnesIMG 1319 William Barnes














The 1891 census shows Henry Hume, aged 62, a wholesale milliner, living at 34 Cloudesley Square with his wife Jane and no less than thirteen children!  The table reveals that from the ages of 21 to 44 Mrs Hume gave birth to a new child more or less continually every two years, with only one servant to help her!

Henry Hume 62 Wholesale Milliner
Jane Hume 48
Thomas G Hume 27 Draper’s Assistant
Robert James Hume 25 Commercial Traveller
Jane C Hume 23 Teacher of Music
Jessie M Hume 20 Milliner
Edith L E Hume 18 Milliner
Louisa M Hume 15 Scholar
Lilian H Hume 14 Scholar
Frank L Hume 13 Scholar
Edgar O Hume 11 Scholar
Arthur W Hume 10 Scholar
Catherine G Hume 8 Scholar
Fred K Hume 7 Scholar
Mable J Hume 4
Susannah Whitebread 53 General Servant Domestic

None of the children appear to have been baptised or married in Holy Trinity.  Ten years later in 1901, the eldest son, Thomas is still living at No 34, and still a Draper's Assistant, married to Ada from Essex, but the rest of the Humes have vanished.  Where did they go?


Glynn Boyd Harte (1948 – 2003) was a celebrated artist and contemporary of David Hockney – their styles are in some instances quite similar. In the early 1970s he moved with his wife Caroline, herself an artist, into a dilapidated house at 28 Cloudesley Square (on the West corner with Stonefield Street) which they then renovated in Regency style. The paintings below show a view of Holy Trinity Church through the first floor window of this house, and the house itself with the artists on the roof!

Harte Interior

Carrie Harte House 28CS



















Judging from the extracts below, "GBH" was a colourful character and the Boyd Hartes were entertaining if somewhat eccentric hosts during their time in Cloudesley Square.  The stories and images perhaps give a flavour of what life must have been like in this part of Islington as the process of "gentrification" was just starting.


Memories of Alf Hutt

Local resident Anne has kindly contributed this charming piece about her neighbour Alf Hutt, who had lived in Cloudesley Road since 1935.

Download: "Alf's Cloudesley Road War Memories"

Alf loved cars and motorbikes and he remembered the shops described in "Hunting Ghosts" .  His war memories include finding a German airman hanging alive from his parachute in a tree in the gardens on the corner!  Does anyone else remember this?



"Gold Dust - Born and Bred in Cloudesley Road"

Doreen Brooks, neé Lampshire, was born and bred in Cloudesley Road and married husband Charlie at Holy Trinity Church in March 1954.

Wedding Holy Trinity

Doreen has kindly shared her memories with Jenny, who has compiled a fascinating chronicle of Doreen's life and times which you can download here:

Download: "Gold Dust - Born and Bred in Cloudesley Road"

We learn about Doreen's marriage, the family's life as stallholders in Chapel Market, trips to Margate and more.  What emerges, just as with "Hunting Ghosts" above, is an enchanting insight into the vibrant community around Cloudesley Road in the mid to late 20th century.  We have also added Doreen's priceless photos to the Gallery, here

In the Holy Trinity Marriages database we also have a record of the marriage of Doreen's parents at Holy Trinity in 1928, below:

Married Name + Surname Age Condition Profession St No Street Name Residence at time of Marriage Father’s Names and Surname Profession of Father In the Presence of
05/08/1928 Robert Lampshire 23 Bachelor Greengrocer 1 Warren St 1 Warren St William Lampshire Greengrocer William Hollister
05/08/1928 Rosina Hollister 22 Spinster   32 Cloudesley Rd 32 Cloudesley Rd William Hollister Boot Repairer Henry Hollister

And to complete the story, the Hollister family of bootmakers at 31 and 32 Cloudesley Road feature in "Hunting Ghosts Part II" , as does Mrs Eliza Lampshire, draper, another relation, at 1 Cloudesley Road.


The Cloudesley area has been home to many famous or otherwise interesting residents over the years. The list here is a work in progress - please let us know if you are aware of anyone else you think should be added.  They may have lived in your house!  Further details are available for some of the residents which you can access by clicking on the entry.


Cloudesley People

George Linnaeus Banks, 1821-81, Writer etc, 33 Cloudesley Square

Isobella Banks, 1821-64, Poet and Novelist, 33 Cloudesley Square

Glynn Boyd Harte, 1948-2003, Artist, 28 Cloudesley Square

Caroline Boyd Harte, nee Bullock, 1947- , Artist, 28 Cloudesley Square

Tony Blair, 1953-, Politician, 1 Richmond Crescent

Henry Butter, 1794-1885, Etymologist, 54 Cloudesley Terrace

Henry Tracey Coxwell, 1819-1900, Balloonist, 16 Cloudesley Square

William Hayman Cummings, 1831-1915, Musician and author, son of Edward Manly Cummings, Virger at St Pauls, both at Cloudesley Cottage, Cloudesley Square

Thomas Edwards, 1779-1858, Welsh-English Dictionary, 10 Cloudesley Square

John Thomas Emmett, 1823-1898, Victorian Gothic architect and son of John Emmett (builder of most of Cloudesley Estate), 1 Cloudesley Square

Roland Gift, 1961 - , Musician and Actor; lead singer with Fine Young Cannibals, 20 Cloudesley Square

John Abraham Heraud, 1799-1887, Author, critic, playwright and poet, 2 Cloudesley Terrace

Anne Howeson, Artist, Cloudesley Road, (see article here)

Lady Olga Maitland, 1944-, Politician, Cloudesley Street

Colin Pearson, 1923-2007, Potter, Cloudesley Road (click here for photo of studio)

Clive Ponting, 1946-2020, Whistleblower, Richmond Avenue then Cloudesley Road

Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, 1792–1864, Watercolour Artist, 5 Cloudesley St & 26 Batchelor St (blue plaque)

Robert Kent Thomas, 1816-1884, painter, engraver, lithographer, 25 Cloudesley Square

Edward Watts, 1978-, award winning filmmaker, and guardian at Holy Trinity Church

Warwick Williams, 1846-?, Composer, 1 Cloudesley Square