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Not Brentford

September News

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

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

Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London 1818

Thanks to Dr Beverley Ronalds for a link to this (view in full). I have extracted some local entries including several references to Hugh Ronalds of Brentford: read more about the Ronalds family.

'Some Account of the Collections of Apples, exhibited at the Meetings of the Horticultural Society, during the Season of 1818; with Observations on their Qualities and Names, and a List of the most approved Sorts for the Dessert and Kitchen. By Mr. JOHN TURNER, Assistant Secretary.':

August 4th.
Mr. HUGH RONALDS, of Brentford, exhibited sixteen varieties of Summer Apples, most of them correctly named, and all beautiful specimens.

Sept. 15th.
Mr. ISAAC OLDAKER sent eight sorts from Sir JOSEPH BANKS'S garden at Spring Grove. Amongst them the Spring Grove Crab, which appears to be the true Transparent Crab. This makes an excellent preserve.

Mr. JOHN WILMOT, of Isleworth, sent specimens of nine varieties; all very fine market fruit.

Mr. HUGH RONALDS exhibited a superby collection of fifty-eight sorts, grown in his own gardens. It was considered the finest exhibition of Apples ever made to the Society.

October 20th.
Mr. HUGH RONALDS of Brentford, exhibited fifty-three sorts, in addition to his former collection, and in no respect inferior.

MICHAEL MUCKLOW ZACHARY, Esq. exhibited seven fine specimens of excellent varieties, grown on dwarf trees, in his garden at Strand-on-the-Green.

The last entry was dated January 19th 1819 and was followed by a list of the best dessert apples.

Morning Post Tuesday 07 September 1824


This bridge is a very ancient structure, for the maintenance of which a pontage was granted by EDWARD the FIRST, in the year 1280, and afterwards continued by EDWARD the THIRD and RICHARD the SECOND, for limited periods. Though one of the greatest thoroughfares in the kingdom, its awkward situation and unskilful construction have long been the terror of the traveller and the reproach of the Magistracy of Middlesex. Serious accidents have frequently happened there, and his late MAJESTY had more than once been delayed for a consider able time in his progress from Windsor to Saint James's. At length these evils are likely to be remedied by the erection of a new bridge at the ex- pense of the county. The first stone was laid on Friday last, with the usual ceremony, by Colonel JAMES CLITHEROW, a very active and respectable Magistrate, whose ancestors for 150 years past have resided at Boston-house, in the vicinity of Brentford.

The band of music belonging to the 7th Hussars preceded the procession; the beadles and high con- stables led the way, followed by the Clergymen of the adjoining parishes. Colonel CLITHEROW fol- lowed, supported by the Magistrates of the County, the Churchwardens of Brentford, Ealing, and Isle- worth, and a large number of the respectable inhabitants of the severaI districts, with the petty constables to preserve order and regularity.

After deposting a few coins, the first stone was laid in usual manner, and a suitable address delivered to a numerous assemblage of both sexes, who attended to witness the ceremony, and formed a very interesting spectacle. The national anthem of God save the King having been played by the Band, the Procession returned in the same order to the Three Pigeons Inn, where a large party sat down to an elegant dinner; and, after many appro-, priate toasts and songs, the company separated at a late hour, highly gratified with the proceedings of the day.


Other Brentford Bridge items on this site include:

This site also includes a piece about the Clitherow family of Boston House by Janet McNamara.


Morning Post Monday 11 September 1843

FIRE AT BRENTFORD. - Yesterday morning (Sunday) a little before one o'clock, a destructive fire broke out on the premises belonging to Mr Cropper, an extensive hatter, carrying on business in High Street, New Brentford.

The premises were rather spacious, having a frontage of fifteen feet and a depth of near forty feet. The first intimation the inhabitants received of the fire raging was from the police constable doing duty in the vicinity, whose attention, it appears, had been attracted towards the premises by seeing a deal of smoke issuing out of the apertures of the window shutters.

The officer feeling confident that a fire was raging, he, without loss of time, aroused the inmates of the adjoining houses. By the time he had accomplished that object the whole of the front portion of the shop, with its contents, were completely enwrapped in flames, the fire at the same time was making rapid progress up the staircase to the various apartments.

The parish engine was remarkably quick in reaching the spot, and which was set to work, whilst a mounted policeman was despatched to town with intelligence of the outbreak, and to request the assistance of the London engines. The King street brigade engine, with Mr Fogo, the foreman, was the first to arrive from town, which was followed by the County Fire Office engine, with Mr Carter and a strong muster of firemen. A great body of water was poured upon the fire from the river Brent, which happily soon extinguished the same.

The amount of damage done is heavy, and will fall principally on the Atlas Fire Office, The two adjoining houses, belonging to Mr Dowden, wheelwright, and Mr Best, grocer, were both damaged by fire, water, and hasty removal of furniture, The origin of the fire could not be ascertained.


Taking place just over two years after the 1841 census and with three surnames to work with - Dowden, Cropper and Best - in theory it should be possible to locate where the fire broke out by locating the individuals in 1841. The 1841 census index for High Street includes an Abraham Best, grocer of (around) 172 High Street, New Brentford. Further searches of the census found George Dowden, coachmaker, of Boar's Head Yard, New Brentford, but this was off the south side of High Street, the opposite side to no. 172. No sign was found of Cropper, the hatter, whose premises were gutted.

Googling on "Cropper hatter brentford" found a reference to a family of this name ( who were in Brentford during the early 1840s but had also lived in Bangor (either Ireland or Wales) prior to 1843 and were in Birmingham around 1845. The hatter was Stephen Cropper, son of Richard Cropper. The fire could well have prompted the family's move from Brentford.

Clerkenwell News 15 September 1869

30 - Boot Business (Sale and Bespoke) to be Disposed of; fixtures worth the money; no stock; low rent; main thoroughfare; cause of leaving, going abroad; established 1770. Apply T. Priestley, High Street, Old Brentford, opposite Police Station.

Evening Telegraph Wednesday 25 September 1901

At the Brentford Court, Ernest Shaler, who refused his address, was charged on remand with being found in a bedroom, supposed for the purpose of committing a felony. The evidence was to the effect that when the occupant of 389 High Street, Brentford, Mrs Goodman, a widow, was going to bed on the night of the 14th inst., at about 11.15, she heard a sound as of somebody moving about in the bedroom. On looking under the bed she saw prisoner there, lying on the floor with his boots off. He was sent to prison for two months.



Mrs Goodman was startled by her intruder just six months after the 1901 census, so the first place to seek her was the census entry for 389 High Street. And here she is, a boarder living with Edwin J Carter, a widower of 55, a confectioner. Annie Goodman was 36 and a laundress born Mortlake; the census entry does not give her marital status but she had a son 'Jessie' of 14 and a daughter Edie age 3.

Was Edie named after Edwin?. A check of the General Register Office website shows an Edith Goodman birth registered in the July-September quarter of 1897, Brentford, and that the mother was formerly named Jones. The birth of her brother, 'Jess', was registered in the July-September 1886 Brentford, mother's maiden name Jones: the records give no indication that Edwin Carter was anything other than Annie's landlord. Searches for the Goodman/Jones combination in Brentford found two further births: Annie Elizabeth in the last quarter of 1888 and Christina in the April-June quarter of 1890.

Neither of the last two girls appear in the 1901 census. The death of Annie Elizabeth was registered July-September 1889, age under 1, and Christina in April-June quarter 1891, age 1.

Turning to parish records, Jess was baptised at St Paul's Old Brentford on 17 April 1887, son of John and Annie; the family lived at King's Place and John was a marine store dealer. Jess's birthdate is also given: 30 June 1886. The following year Annie Elizabeth was baptised at the same church, the family address then being 3 Brickfield Yard Brentford End; she was born 3 September and baptised 19 September 1888. A third baptism took place at St Pauls: Edward William Goodman, born 1 August and baptised 6 September 1895; Annie Elizabeth, mother, was described as a widow of Albany House, Albany Road, Brentford.

FreeBMD includes reference to the marriage of Annie Jones to John Goodman at Uxbridge registration district in the last quarter of 1884 and Ancestry includes the certificate: Annie was 23 and of Brentford, daughter of Benjamin Jones, canvasser, deceased; and John Goodman was 28, a widower and a dealer of Southall Green, son of Robert Goodman, also a dealer. The ceremony took place at the parish church of Southall on Christmas Day and was by banns; both parties signed and a James and Jane Goodman were witnesses.

Summing up, the family of John and Annie Goodman was:

  • Jess Goodman, born 30 June 1886
  • Annie Elizabeth Goodman, born 3 September 1888; died 1889
  • Christina Goodman, birth registered April-June 1890; died 1891
  • Edward William Goodman 1 August 1895 (mother a widow); died 1896
  • Edith (Edie) Goodman July-September 1897

The 1891 census finds John and Annie at 8 Church Alley, New Brentford, occupying three rooms; he was 35, a general dealer born in Brentford and Annie was 28; their children Jess, 5 and Christiana age 1 completed the household.

So when was Annie widowed? The death registration of John Goodman, Brentford in the third quarter of 1891, age 35 fits well with the census record, but does not explain the birth of Edward William in 1895 and Edith in 1897.

To sum up, a short article about a widow tackling an intruder reveals a more complex story of a young girl from Mortlake marrying a widower and bearing him three children, two of whom died in infancy; her husband died within weeks of the death of her youngest child and she subsequently went on to have two more children, one of whom also died in infancy. The family rented properties, moving every few years, and by 1901 Annie was in Old Brentford with her two surviving children.

Her eldest child Jesse married Hannah Kate Drage on November 18th 1906 at St Paul's Old Brentford: he was 21 and a horsekeeper of 45 Darwin Road; his spouse was also 21 and of 114 Darwin Road, an ironer. The certificate confirms his father was John Goodman, and that he was a marine dealer, deceased. Hannah's father was also deceased: Albert John Drage, formerly a carman. James and Ada May Harman witnessed the marriage. Why did Annie not witness the marriage?

Annie was struggling by the time of the 1911 census; she was an inmate of the Brentford Union Workhouse in Isleworth, age 47, doing laundry work. There are around 23 pages listing workhouse inmates, 30 per page, preceded by over a page of officers there too. These are followed by around 40 'casuals', those who were temporarily resident. Annie may have died in the workhouse, although none of the local deaths registered from 1911 onwards match her age well. It is also just possible she married again as there are some local marriages of Anne or Annie Goodman.

Annie's son Jess may appear in the 1939 Register living in Acton, although his birth date is given as the 3rd of June rather than the 30th June 1886; his wife was Hannah K which fits.


Daily Mirror 01 September 1920


Durston, playing for Middlesex against Surrey in the greatest cricket match of the season until teatime, became a footballer immediately after. The overlapping of the seasons comes a serious matter indeed when it compels a player thus to divide himself in two.

The article has two photographs of Durston, 'In goal for Brentford at six-thirty' and 'Leaving Lord's at a little after five' in his cricket whites.


This must be Frederick John Durston, known as Jack, who was born at Clophill, Bedfordshire in 1893.

Frederick J Durston married Lily Hill in Ampthill registration district, Bedfordshire, 1916.

The birth of their son was registered at Kensington in 1918: John James Durston. In the 1928 to 1931 electoral registers Frederick and Lily (Lily Catherine) were recorded at 3 Barlow Road, Acton.

Eight years on, the 1939 Register shows the family at 16 Stuart Avenue, Ealing with a daughter, Kathleen, whose later married names are recorded:
Name, date of birth, occupation, marital status
Frederick J Dunston, 11 Jul 1893, Professional cricketer, married
Lily C Dunston, 11 Apr 1888, Unpaid domestic duties, married
Kathleen J Dunston (Moorhouse, Mott), 1 Jan 1921, Shorthand Typist, single
Annie M (Nancy) Dadford, 23 Jun 1894, Tailoress, widowed
(The surname has been transcribed Dunston on Findmypast; a correction has been submitted)

Wikipedia has an entry for Jack Durston and the following details are from that: he played cricket for Middlesex and England and was a goalkeeper for Royal Engineers, Queens Park Rangers, Brentford, Northfleet United and Bedford Town. He ran an indoor cricket school at Acton from 1924 to 1958. He died at Norwood Green, Ealing, in 1965.


Published September 2012; updated September 2020