Sometimes you have to admit you’ve got it wrong! When I first started researching my family I identified my Henry Grubb born around 1764 in Kent as the son of Thomas Grubb and Hannah Willmott. Although he was born in Southwark, as he was aged 75 and living in Lewisham at the time of the 1841 census, I thought he had maybe forgotten his Surrey origins. Thomas Grubb was a biscuit baker (presumably hard tack not custard creams) who lived in Battle Bridge in St Olave’s parish. He married Hannah Wilmott in 1745 and they had two sons. Hannah must have died for he married another Hannah (Beaumont) in 1749, and they had a further ten or more children over the next twelve years, all baptised at St Olave. Puzzling over this rapid birth rate I discovered that the family went to the neighbouring parish of St Mary Magdalen in Bermondsey for their burials, and almost all their children died within a few months of their birth. This included their son Henry who was baptised on the 10th of May 1761 in St Olave and buried eleven days later at St Mary Magdalen. So apologies to all those people on Ancestry who copied my details without double-checking them. I now had to find a new Henry to be my 5th great grandfather, and it turned out there was one a lot nearer to his Lewisham home - and I hope I’m right this time. This Henry Grubb was born on the 14th of February 1764 and baptised at St Alphege in Greenwich (so right year and right county) on the 4th March. His father William, a fellmonger, had married Ann Reynolds at St Mary’s in Lewisham at the beginning of 1763, and William and Ann returned to Lewisham for the baptisms (and sadly some burials) of their subsequent children. By 1771 William Grubb was established in Lewisham as a breeches maker when he took on John Maynard as an apprentice. Perhaps as a fellmonger he had been dealing in buckskin hides imported from America - though other skins were also used, with no shortage of local sheep - and had moved on to using them to supply the local gents with nether garments. Here are two interesting articles on buckskin breeches: On most of the baptisms of their children in Lewisham, Ann, born in Lewisham in 1739, is described as the daughter of Henry Renolls or Renolds. While the transcripts seem to have “corrected” his name to Reynolds, he was also a fellmonger and a native of Lewisham, born there in 1707, the son of Henry Renolls, a husbandman. William and Ann Grubb had at least nine children in total, with four not surviving their first year. Of the apparent survivors, Peter, born in 1777, attested to serve in the Royal Marines 113th Company at Portsmouth in 1800; William John Grubb, born in 1771, died in Lewisham in 1813; and of their two sisters, Mary Ann born in 1766 and Ann born in 1776 (who may have married Henry Wheatley in 1811) nothing more is so far recorded. It seems from the records of St Thomas’s Hospital (available to search on London Lives) that William Grubb was already occupying the Black Bull in Lewisham by 1787. He is named as a patient's financial guarantor on three occasions: was this on his own account, perhaps as employer, or was it on behalf of the parish - at least one of the entries has the letters PP attached which indicates that the patient was sponsored by their parish. To confuse matters, there is also listed a Henry Grubb of Lewisham, shoemaker, named as guarantor in 1800; this could be his son, but this is the only time he is mentioned with this occupation. William died in 1798 at the age of 67 and was buried in St Mary’s, Lewisham on the 13th of December. Ann died in 1800, aged 61, and was buried, with him hopefully, on the 30th October. That left their eldest son Henry as head of family; he had already appeared in the Kent newspapers as Henry Grubb, gent., Lewisham in the list of game certificate holders in the late 1780s and 1790s: was game on the menu in the Black Bull? He was married by 1790 when his son Henry was born in Lewisham; his wife is named as Fanny, and this must be the widowed Fanny Croucher whom he had married in St Mary Newington on the 23rd June 1789. She is somewhat mysterious and so far it has proved impossible to find her maiden name as no record of a Croucher marrying a Fanny or a Frances has so far surfaced. After Henry, Henry senior and Fanny had four more children: Mary Ann, born in 1791, who married John Divall; Fidelia born in 1794 who died in 1801; Frances born in 1797, and Mark-Anthony who was born and died in 1802. Fanny died that same year on the 7th August. Henry Grubb the elder, my great (x5) grandfather (1764-1845) and his son Henry (1790-1863) both lived out their lives in Lewisham, and until Henry senior’s death it is difficult to tell which is which in the various references. In 1814 and 1815 several adverts for auctions of land in Lewisham and Sydenham appeared in both the Times and the Morning Post. Henry Grubb of Lewisham appears to be acting as a local agent from whom details may be obtained; he was apparently well enough known to need no other address. In 1829 and 1835 Henry Grubb is listed as a Greengrocer in the records of the Sun Fire Office. His property “near the vicarage” in High Road, Lewisham - along with his neighbours’ properties - was leased from “The Churchwardens and Trustees for the time being of St Dunstans in the East”. A tax return for Lewisham for 1798 shows William Grubb, Henry’s father, at Bridge House, and Henry Grubb occupying a St Dunstan’s property in the Village. The records of Saint Dunstan's College in Catford contain details of these leases and the correspondence relating to them. Meanwhile Pigot's Kent directories for 1832-34 have a Henry Grubb as licensee at the Castle, Lewisham. But is this Henry Grubb senior or junior or another Henry Grubb altogether? Though John Divall, Henry senior’s son-in-law was listed as a Victualler at the Castle in 1815 at the baptism of his son John, and just as an innkeeper or victualler in other records till 1820.
Murray families: Henry Grubb of Lewisham - I
Plaque from 300 Lewisham High Street that reads “Property of St Dunstan’s in the East 1840”. Henry Grubb’s shop next to the Black Bull appears to be the present no. 314. .
BENNETT'S GIFT Mirabelle Bennett, of the parish of St. Dunstan in the East, by her will, bearing date 24th March, 1627, gave the residue of her goods and chattels to charitable uses, to be disposed of at the discretion of her executor. By an order of the vestry of this parish, dated 30th November, 1632, it was directed that 220l., given by Mrs. Bennett, deceased, should be laid out in the purchase of lands at Lewisham, in Kent, for which was demanded 270l. ; and it was agreed that 50l. offered by Mr. Ellis Southerton, in consideration of his having 50s. per annum secured to him out of the parish lands for ever, should be accepted, and added to Mrs. Bennett's gift for the purposes aforesaid. The lands thus purchased consist of, 1st, Two pieces of land, in the parish of Lewisham, on the west side of the road leading from Lewisham to Bromley, with nine messuages erected thereon, which were let by lease, bearing date 29th July, 1796, to John Corbett the elder, carpenter, and John Corbett the younger, for 60 years, from Lady-day, 1795, at the rent of 28l., with a covenant to complete the said buildings and to keep them in repair. 2dly, Several pieces of land, containing, in the whole, 15A. 2R. 30P., let by lease to John Corbett, for 21 years, from Michaelmas, 1799, at the rent of 40l. At the time of our inquiry, a negotiation was pending between the trustees of the parish lands and the tenant, as to re-letting the lastmentioned premises, at the expiration of the present lease, at Michaelmas, 1820. The lands at Lewisham are subject to two quit-rents of 2s. 10d. and 1s. 2d.; but no payment is made in respect of the 50s. per annum, agreed to be secured to Mr. Southerton. The Endowed Charities of the City of London: Reprinted at Large from Seventeen Reports of the Commissioners for Inquiring Concerning Charities : 1829 GoogleBooks