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Not Brentford

November News

The following items have been extracted from the British Newspaper Archive, also available at Findmypast. They are in publication date order.

Notes follow some items: further research, useful links etc.

Stamford Mercury 15 November 1716

A Woman near Brentford was last Week brought to Bed of two Sons and a Daughter, all likely to live; which causes a great Number of Persons of Fashion to go and see so unusual a Birth.

Stamford Mercury 3 November 1720

Last Sunday a Woman of Distinction, who kept a very great House in Brentford-Buts, hang'd herself; the Cause whereof is said to be the great Fall of South-Sea Stock.


Last Sunday would be October 30th 1720.

Derby Mercury 29 November 1751

Last week the Wife of a Scotch Pedlar, residing at Brentford, brought him three Sons, all of full Growth, and likely to live, at one Birth; and about two Years ago the same prolific Woman brought forth a Son and Daughter, who are now alive. Some Years before the Rebellion, he was Servant to the noted Laird of Glenbucket, and often waited at Table when that Gentleman dined with fourteen Sons and seven Daughters, all married except the youngest.

Morning Post Friday 13 November 1846


Yesterday notice was posted at the Royal Exchange from the Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury, that if the next of kin of Thomas Kane, late of Old Brentford, in the parish of Ealing, dead intestate, did not come forward, they would be condemned by contumacy, and administration granted to Thomas Maule, the Treasury solicitor, on the part of her Majesty Queen Victoria.

It seems that Kane, who was well known in Brentford for his penurious habits, and bore the name of a miser, died some few months since possessed of a considerable wealth.

No will could be found, and he was not known to have a single relative, and though every endeavour has been used, no one belonging to him can be discovered. The above notice was issued preparatory to possession being taken on behalf of the Crown.


Thomas Kane lived at or near 40 High Street at the time of the 1841 census, more details about him are on this page.

An item in the London Gazette from 1855 suggests his estate was still being looked into.


West Middlesex Advertiser and Family Journal Saturday 23 November 1861

DEATH FROM EXPOSURE - A poor labourer named William Jones, aged about 20, was refused admission into the Brentford Workhouse, and died shortly afterwards, his death being accelerated by exposure to the rain.


A check of the 1861 census, which took place a little over 6 months previously, showed 4 William Jones aged 18-22 recorded in Brentford Registration District; all were unmarried:
  • age 21 a lodger, labourer, born Isleworth, living at 3 Hope Cottages, Isleworth
  • age 22, a son living at home, brick maker labourer, born Hounslow, living at Kings Arms Lane, Heston
  • age 22, a lodger, market garden labourer, born Chiswick, living at 34 Bennett Street, Chiswick
  • age 21, a casual pauper, garden labourer, born Bilston (?), Staffordshire and living at the Brentford Union Workhouse
The last man may be the one who died in November.


The Era Saturday 23 November 1886

WANTED, to Sell, Novelty Show, including Novelty, in and outside; Stage, nearly new; Booth and Truck to carry same by Road or Rail. Can be seen Showing. Will sell the whole for 12, worth 30. The first that sees will buy. Grand thing for beginner. Also Splendid Living Waggon, must be Sold this Week. No reasonable offer refused. Apply, any day from Twelve until Two, SAM. JONES, Magpie and Stump, High-street, Brentford.


A search for the Novelty Show owner, Sam Jones, in the 1881 and 1891 censuses found two references, possibly the same person as he was living in the same area:
  • 1881: age 26, a traveller born Brentford, son of and living with Sarah Maddox, widow, 53 at Back Lane, Old Brentford; Samuel's brother William, 19, and sister Sarah, 16, completed the household
  • 1891: age 34, coal merchant, born Middlesex, with wife Sarah and three children aged 0 to 5; also cousin Ellen Frances (surname), 24, unmarried, laundress; at Albany Road, Old Brentford
Ten years previously the Maddox family appears in the 1871 census of Back Lane:
  • Joseph Maddox, 49, laborer, born Isleworth
  • Sarah Maddox, 43, Isleworth
  • John Maddox, 18, hawker, Brentford
  • Samuel Maddox, 15, pot boy, Brentford
  • William Maddox, 9, Brentford
  • Sarah Maddox, 6, Brentford
Joseph Maddox married Sarah Jones in the Kensington Registration District the previous year, April-June 1870. ancestry has scanned the original marriage register and this shows the marriage took place at St Peter's in Hammersmith and provided a little more information:
     Joseph Maddox, widower, of full age, 15 Britannia Square; father: George Maddox 'dead'
     Sarah Jones, single, of full age, 15 Britannia Square; father: Thomas Jones 'dead'.
The marriage was on May 15 1870 and was by banns; both parties made their marks and it was witnessed by Robert and Eliza Goodwin, who also made their marks.

Note how the children were recorded as Maddox in the 1871 census but as Jones in 1881.

The Samuel Jones found in 1891 married in 1885, a year before the sale of the Novelty Show (perhaps there is a back story here). The marriage was by banns and took place at St Paul's, Old Brentford, on 11 April 1885:
     Samuel Jones, 29, a bachelor, a car man, of White Style Road, father Joseph Maddox, deceased, malster
     Josephine Sarah Simmonette, 23, spinster, of White Style Road, father Simeon Simmonette, a cook
Samuel made a mark but his wife signed the register, as did James Clements, the first witness. The second witness was Sarah Jones, who also made a mark - quite possibly this was the younger sister of Samuel.

The appearance of James Clements in conjunction with a Maddox rang a bell and further checks show the Clements family page has more details. James Clements was later charter mayor of Brentford and he married Sarah Jones in 1886.

The marriage certificate also suggests that Joseph Maddox was the natural father of Samuel Jones; a search for his birth found it was registered in the name Jones, but the mother's maiden name was left blank, usually an indication of illegitimacy. ancestry includes a family tree for the Jones family and provides a view of the baptism register of St George's Old Brentford. It includes Samuel Jones's baptism, to Joseph and Sarah, on 2 September 1855, Samuel being born on June 23rd. So this was a family unit, supported by Joseph although he was unable to marry Sarah until later: presumably his first wife was still alive.

So - what was the Novelty Show? Perhaps a Punch and Judy outfit? I assume the Splendid Living Waggon was a horsedrawn caravan.

More importantly, was the Samuel Jones the owner of these items the man detailed above?

I think so. Apart from Samuel Jones having the right name and living locally - the Magpie and Stump an easy walk from other parts of Brentford - there are a few other clues: his occupation as pot boy in 1871 meant he was working in a pub at the time and the 1886 advert also places him in one. In 1885 he was a car man, so he owned or had access to a horse needed to move the Novelty Show. The sale of the Novelty Show was around the time of the birth of his son David. Also - and this perhaps does not count as evidence - the man who prepared the advert sounds a bit of a showman and salesman; his brother in law, James Clements, had a similar positivity and 'get up and go'.
But I may be wrong... If you know about Novelty Shows or Living Waggons, or the families mentioned, please get in touch!, any information can be added here.


Middlesex Independent 05 November 1904

BRENTFORD FOOTBALL CLUB colours can be obtained at the Ealing Park Laundry, Darwin Road, Ealing, Oxford shape or bow shape in specially manufactured silk at one shilling each, by post one penny extra.

FOR WINTER UNDERWEAR, Wool Shirts and Cardigan Jackets, try W. Borer's, 291 High Street, Brentford. See our 2s. 6d. Working Men's Shirts.

FIRE! FIRE! - To celebrate 5th November, Mr. A. East is building a huge bonfire on the foreshore at the Ferry and would be glad of any inflammable goods Brentonians would like to dispose of at the Ferry on Friday or Saturday.

WANTED. - The name and address of the newsboy is wanted who supplied a gentleman in Whitestile Road with a first edition of the INDEPENDENT on Wednesday night last.


These four items (there are more - another time) come under the heading BRENTFORD and are an interesting mix. It seems odd to purchase BFC football shirts from a laundry, but the timing - a few weeks into the new season - makes sense. The two shapes - Oxford or bow - meant something at the time. Meanwhile - weather turning cold - William Borer advertises warm clothing. Read more about the shop at 291 High Street.

Mr. A. East must be Arthur Sydney East, who took over the Ferry Hotel in 1903 and operated the ferry between Brentford and Kew. He appears on the pub licence transfer list. A photo of the Ferry Hotel in 1974 includes a link to an older view which shows the area where the dangerous-sounding bonfire was planned.

I am not at all sure what the last item is about. One wonders.

Marylebone Mercury 27 November 1943

The Poppy Day effort in Brentford realized 510 10s 9d.

Three lists follow giving the amount collected at each public house, factory and by each street collector - see details.


The National Archives website has a currency converter which suggests 510 was the equivalent of 359 days wages of a skilled tradesman then, or would be worth over 18,000 in 2017.

The same newspaper included a rather directly-worded advertisement headed 'Bank Notes'
The Chancellor of the Exchequer says
"Too many notes are still being hoarded; it would be very much in the interests both of the hoarders and the State that these surplus notes should be deposited in a bank or invested in war loans."
If you have a bank account, use it, and combine caution with patriotism.
If you have no such account, go to a bank and ask the Manager to help you.
Renowned for Service

Other items from the same newspaper page sound upbeat and include:

  • Tom Hay plans your Victory Garden
  • Mr G.T. McEwan to speak on Post-War Exports (at the November meeting of Brentford Chamber of Commerce, Duke of York Hotel, Great West Road. 'Two more firms have joined the Chamber - Alltools Ltd, Harlequin Avenue, Great West Road; and Messrs Howard and Lenia (press tool makers), High Street, Brentford.')
  • Building the town of tomorrow. Refers to circulars fropm Mr W S Morrison, Minister of Town and Country Planning, to local authorities. No town names are mentioned but the piece mentions the need to reconstruct war-damaged areas, build houses and 'the readjustment of our industries to peace time needs'.

Published November 2012; updated November 2020