Husband no. 2: William Blair Mary Cutton (née Still) was in Broseley in Shropshire in 1851, the year she was widowed; by 1855 she was in Manchester marrying her second husband, William Blair. Did she return to Kent for the funeral of John Barford Cutton, and to see her daughter Sophia? Her wedding took place on the 8th February 1855 in Manchester Cathedral; and she signs the register as Mary Cutting. William Blair says he is 38 years old, and as a Private in the 3rd Dragoons he gives his address as Hulme Barracks, while hers is Rusholme. He was somewhat older than 38; on his army discharge papers in 1856 he is 45, in the 1861 census he gives his age as 48, and when his death was registered in 1866 he was stated to be 54. These give a birth year of from 1810 to 1817, but he was probably born on the 17th April 1809 in Haughton-le- Skerne near Darlington and baptised three days later. The parish register of the church of St Andrew records a “William Blair of Barmpton, 1st son of Thomas Blair (labourer, native of Summer house in the parish of Gainford) by his wife Catharine late Kirton (native of Downholm, Yorkshire)”. Catherine and Thomas had married in Manfield in Yorkshire, just a few miles to the west of Darlington on the 14th May 1808, when she was 20 and he was 25; they had at least nine children, with the last, Alice, being born in 1834. Another possible William Blair was born on the 9th February 1811; the illegitimate son of Margaret Blair, he was baptised on the 24th December that year in Houghton-le Spring, near Durham, when his birthplace is stated to be North Shields: he would be unlikely to subsequently give his place of birth as Darlington at the other end of the county. Before his marriage to Mary, William had had a lengthy career in the army, with over twenty years total service of which he had spent more than fifteen abroad in India and Afghanistan fighting in the Afghan and Sikh wars. He first joined the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade on the 19th May 1831, but was discharged on the 29th October that same year; his service record says “Paid £20” so I’m assuming he bought himself out, as these months count nothing towards his pensionable service. He joined up again on the 19th April 1833, when he attested for the 16th Regiment of Lancers in Leeds, aged 22; he gave his birth place as Darlington, and his occupation as Labourer. This didn’t last very long, for he deserted on the 4th May 1834 and remained AWOL for three years; whether he was at home or in India with the Lancers at this time his record doesn’t say. On his return on the 14th April 1837 he was tried by a District Court Martial for desertion, convicted and sentenced to two months imprisonment. Part of his sentence was forfeiture of all claims to additional Pay and Pension on discharge. Released on the 4th July 1837 he remained with the 16th Lancers, and the 1841 Worldwide Army Index finds him in Meerut in India. His army discharge papers state: “He served throughout the Campaign in Afghanistan in 1838/39 and at the Assault & Capture of Ghuznee and at Aliwal & Sobraon in 1846.” On the 1st of March 1846, he was transferred to the 3rd Light Dragoons, and he was “at Ramnugger [Ramnagar] 22 Nov & the passage of the Chenab 2nd Decr. & the Actions at Sadoolapor 3 Dec 1848, Chilianwala 13 January and Goojerat 21 Feby 1849.” I’m no military historian, but these were major battles and campaigns , so William was fortunate to be in Wazirabad in 1851; he returned to England with his regiment in 1853. He got a medical discharge on the 16th December 1856; the Medical Officers’ reports are as follow: Hounslow, 27th November 1856. Pte. William Blair is completely worn out from long service at home and abroad. He is also a martyr to chronic rheumatic pains of limbs generally. His constitution is quite broken down, but his disabilities have not been aggravated by vice or mistreatment. Opinion of the Principal Medical Officer at Chatham 30th November 1856. After examination of Pte. William Blair, I am of opinion that he is unfit for further service on account of impaired general health and varicose veins both legs. He was of course, already married to Mary by this time, and they had a daughter Sarah Wilhemina born in 1855 in Beckenham in Kent. His army pension records mark his move from Deptford to East London in August 1858, and the 1861 census finds him, Mary and their daughter living at 4 China Row in Stratford, Essex, where with echoes of Mary’s first husband, he is a Gentleman’s servant. A son William John was born to the couple on the 27th March 1863; he was baptised on the 10th June in Christ Church, West Ham (Stratford). William died on the 27th December 1866 and Mary married again less than six months later. Husband no. 3: Thomas William Smart Living not so far away from China Row, in Paul Street was the Smart family, headed by my great grandfather Thomas William Smart. Like his father, he was a blacksmith, and had been born in Wanstead in 1819; on the 26th April 1852 he had married Ann Skinner in Hackney, and they had four children, Annie Eliza, Sarah Ann, George William and Emily Jane. Ann Smart died from phthisis on 11 July 1865 in Leyton, probably in the infirmary attached to the West Ham Workhouse, though Thomas William “in attendance” gives his address as 5 Paul Street. She was buried as her father-in-law William Smart had been, in the graveyard of St Mary the Virgin in Leyton. Thomas William Smart waited two years before re-marrying, so his two oldest daughters, aged 12 and 9 respectively at the time of their mother’s death must have helped look after the young ones aged 4 and 1; though Ann had two married brothers living locally, with large families of their own it would have been difficult for them to assist. On the 9th June 1867 Thomas William Smart married Mary Blair in Hackney. Both bride and groom give South Hackney as their residence, though they were both established in West Ham. The witnesses are Theodore Audoire and Sarah Price; Sarah was Mary’s oldest sister, and Theodore Audoire had married Ellen Stone Still, Mary’s illegitimate niece, in Marylebone in 1864. The 1871 census shows the Smart/Blair combined household at 9 Paul Street, West Ham. Thomas William is still working as a blacksmith and Mary is a dressmaker. There are three Smart children, Sarah, George William and Emily Jane - Annie Eliza appears to be working as a servant in Mile End Old Town - and Sarah [Wilhemina] and William Thomas Blair, Mary's children from her previous marriage. Thomas William Smart died at 8 West Ham Lane on the 23rd March 1880 from phthisis. His death was not registered by his wife but by "A.E. Griesel, daughter, present at death, West Ham Lane, Stratford”. This is his oldest daughter Annie Eliza who had married Adam Griesel on the 14th January 1880 in Bethnal Green. Some members of the remaining family are proving difficult to find on the 1881 census. The three girls, Sarah Wilhemina Blair, Annie Eliza Smart and Sarah Ann Smart, are all married and in their respective households. I have yet to find George William Smart and his sister Emily Jane; similarly there is no sign of Mary Smart (née Still, formerly Blair), or her son William John Blair: they are probably all living at the same address somewhere in this East London/Essex area. Husband no. 4: John Hammond On the 30th June 1881 Mary married her fourth husband, John Hammond, in the Presbyterian Church at Maryland Point. His first wife, Harriet, had died just two years previously and he can be found on the 1881 census, a retired tailor and widower, aged 68, lodging at 96 Vicarage Lane, West Ham with Thomas and Sarah Price: that’s Mary’s older sister again. This is the address he gives on their marriage certificate; Mary’s address is 13 Biggerstaff Road, Stratford: unfortunately not where she and her family are living in the 1881 census, so that remains a mystery. John Hammond was born in about 1812 in Aldgate, and his father according to the marriage certificate was also John Hammond and a tailor. He married his first wife, Harriett Field on the 15th March 1834 at St Mary’s in Whitechapel; she was from the same part of Kent as the Still family, born in late 1810 and baptised in Tonbridge on the 9th June 1811 to parents Thomas and Harriett. John and Harriett’s first son, John, was born south of the river in Walworth in 1835, perhaps Harriett had crossed the Thames to be with a family member for the birth. Their next son William Henry was born in Holborn in 1836 (perhaps at the Lying-In Hospital? though he also gives his birth place as Walworth) and baptised at St Bride’s in Fleet Street on the 28th March 1841, when their address is given as 103 Dorset Court. By the time of the 1841 census they have moved to Princes Place off Commercial Road, and their next three children – Emily Mary, Thomas Charles and Alfred - were all baptised at St George in the East. In 1851 the family (sadly minus Emily Mary) is living further east along Commercial Road at 13 Limekiln Hill in Limehouse; by 1861 they are living in Brunswick Terrace in West Ham, with just Thomas and Alfred still living at home, and in 1871, John, Harriett and Alfred are living at 133 Leyton Road in Stratford, with John a Master Tailor, and Alfred a tailor. Of John Hammond’s children, William Henry married and stayed in the Stratford area of Essex, working as a master tailor, while Alfred moved down to Hastings to marry and raise a family, continuing to also work as a tailor. I have not so far positively traced Thomas who, aged 19, was working as a commercial traveller in 1861. John Hammond’s oldest son John, who also worked as a tailor, married Mercy Knight in Limehouse in 1856; this was obviously a troubled relationship as Mercy and their four children appear in the Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records for Bethnal Green in 1867. They separated between 1881 and 1891, as in that census he is living with a wife called Annie, with whom, by 1911, he has had four children, two of whom survive, and to whom he has apparently been married for twenty- three years. Mercy meanwhile continued to live in Stratford with her son John and his family, describing herself as married until her death in 1911. John Hammond senior died in 1893. Following up Mary’s children Sophia Cutton and her husband John Price stayed in Croydon, he worked as a gardener and they had at least ten children. Sarah Wilhemina Blair married William Hill in St Michael and All Angels, Bromley, Middlesex on the 25th December 1873. He was a railway boilermaker; they had four children and were at the time of the 1891 census living in Vicarage Lane, near her mother. Sarah appears to have died before the 1901 census was held, as William with their two surviving children, Rowland and Mina, is living in Plumstead with a new and much younger wife, Emily. William John Blair married Annie Nicholls in 1886 and they carried on living in West Ham, with his mother and her new husband, John Hammond; the 1891 census finds them all living at 120 Vicarage Lane, and William John is a railway hammerman. In 1901 Mary and her son and daughter-in-law and their family are living at 10 Frank Street, West Ham. William John Blair is a gas fitter and his son William Thomas (13) is a railway coach painter. By the time of the 1939 register William John and Annie, with the surname Blair, are living near Billericay in Essex. He’s a retired foreman gas fitter, and like so many Eastenders they’d moved out to the country. William John Blair died in 1947. The 1911 census throws up an interesting mystery: the Blairs are all living at 34 Hayday Road, Plaistow but William John who fills in the form gives and signs his surname as Smart! I know this is him as his mother Mary Hammond is living with them, and the ages and places of birth all match. Mary Hammond died on the 16th September 1911 in the Union Workhouse, Leytonstone. The informant, who was present at her death was her daughter, A. Smart, of 34 Hayday Road. So the 1911 census wasn’t a one- off mistake, six months after the census, her son William John Blair and his wife Annie are still going by the surname Smart. I wonder if something deeper is going on here, with a question of paternity? As a footnote to this name problem I found the baptism in Christ Church, Stratford of a William Henry Charles Smart, born on the 25th September 1874 and baptised on the 4th July 1875, with parents William and Sarah Wilhemina Smart, of 29 Carpenter Road; he’s a boilermaker. This must be William Hill and Sarah’s first son whose birth was registered as William Henry Hill in the 4th quarter of 1874 in Poplar. He’s with them aged six in the 1881 census in Stratford, when the surname is Hill, but seems to have been buried with his full baptismal name, surname Smart, in Leyton on the 2nd March 1882, aged 8, and this is confirmed by the entry in the death register. I’m not drawing any conclusions from this, and it may all be a great coincidence, but considering the Blair family’s liking for the Smart surname …
Bradley families: the Smarts Mary Still 2
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