London Life/Lives





Susan Julia Morris


Susan Julia Morris  was born on 11th October 1840 at 3 Ewhurst Street, Newington, part of the London Borough of Southwark and christened on 1st November 1840 at the church of St Saviour, now Southwark Catherdral.


She became Susan Julia Hyde on her first marriage in 1857, dropped the Susan to become Julia Hyde in 1871 and, following subsequent marriages, became Julia Boak and then Julia Pearce.    To avoid, a change of names part way through this story, I'll call her Julia from the outset.


Julia's parents were Thomas Morris born 2 May 1810, a printer by trade, and Hannah Archer born in 1815 in Saffron Walden, Essex. Thomas's father, John was also a printer in Southwark. He married Sarah Ann Jenkins on 27 April 1800 at St Giles, Camberwell.


Thomas Morris had two sisters who died before he was born: Elizabeth born 4 Feb 1803, and Sarah born 17 June 1808. Both died in January 1809, presumeably victims of the same epidemic. 5 year old Elizabeth was buried at St Saviours on 22 January 1809. 7 month old Sarah followed on 1st February 1809.



Thomas Morris


Thomas went into his father's trade and married the 18 year old Hannah Archer on 7 July 1833 at St Mark's, Kennington.






Kennington Common, Kennington, 1830.   St. Mark's Church is in the distance.



Thomas and Hannah had six children:


  • Thomas Archer Morris, born 5 August 1834.   Thomas followed his father and grandfather into the printing trade and lived in Newington Street the rest of his life with his wife, Eizabeth and their children.


  • Hannah Jane Morris, born 29 June 1836.   I can find no later trace of Hannah and assume she died young.


  • Mary Ann Morris, born 8 June 1838.  Mary Ann married George Vincent, a civil servant, in 1857.  George clearly did well as, by 1891, he had retired aged 60 and moved with Mary Ann and family to live in York.


  • Susan Julia Morris, born 11th October 1840


  • William Francis Morris, born 21st March 1843.  William also went into the printing trade and lived with his wife (another Elizabeth) and family in Camberwell and Southwark.


In 1861, Thomas is described in the census as a Master Printer with two apprentices, one being his son William.  In 1881, at the age of 71, he was still working as a printer at 33 Newcomen St, Southwark.  By 1891, Thomas was dead and William had taken over the Newcomen Street premises.


The Mariner and the Minor


On 29th June 1857, Julia married William Hyde at St Mary's Lambeth.   She was 16 and still a minor.  William was 21 and described in the marriage record as a mariner.



St Mary's Lambeth


William Hyde has survived in family legend as a captain murdered by Chinese pirates on the high seas.  He is described on the marriage certificate of Jullia's daugher, Julia Hannah Hyde, as a captain in the Royal Navy.   So who was he and how did he meet Julia?


William Hyde


William's father, another William, was born about 1811 in Essex.  He married William's mother Martha Arnold (also from Essex) on 22 July 1832 at St Mary Newington.  William senior was a brushmaker and seems to have moved residence quite frequently between Witham in Essex and Southwark.  The link between these two places and lots more fascinating information on the life of brushmakers can be found at the website of The Society of Brushmakers' Descendents at  See in particular the section on the Brushmakers' Tramp.


In 1846, when William's youngest child was born, he was living in Ewhurst Street.   So, the Hyde's and the Morris's were neighbours and Julia and William met when she was 6 and he was 10.   We seem to be looking at a tale of childhood sweethearts.


William senior and Martha has 5 children in all:


  • Sarah Ann Hyde, born about 1833.  On 1st January 1856 she married John Matthew Youngman but died in November that same year, presumeably in childbirth. She was buried on 10 Nov 1856 at Nunhead Cemetery, Linden Grove.  The Youngman's were originally from Norfolk but ended up living close to the Hydes in both Essex and Southwark.


  • William Hyde, born 1836


  • Euphemia Hyde, born 1839.  She married Jarvis Hunt, a carpenter, at St Mary Newington on 3 October 1864 and was living in Lewisham in 1881.  I can't find any trace of her after that date.


  • Hannah Hyde, born 1844.  I have lost track of Hannah after 1861 when she and Euphemia were living with the Youngman family (see below).


  • Martha Hyde, born 1846.  In 1861, Martha was resident at the St Olaves girls school.  But I can't find her after that.


William senior died in 1850, age 39.  Matha died in 1852.  William was therefore left an orphan at 16.  Hannah and Martha were still only small children.


After the death of their parents, the children were looked after by John Neale Youngman, Sarah's future father in-law.


Julia and William Hyde


In 1857 Thomas and Hannah Morris saw two of their daughters married,  both at St Mary's Lambeth - Mary Ann on 12th April and Susan Julia on 29th June.  


There is plenty of reason to think that Julia and William did not stay happy for long.  


Their first child, Julia Hannah Hyde (William Samuel Walker's future wife) was born 12 January 1859 at 86 Willow Walk, Bermondsey.  Julia Hannah was baptised on 27 February 1859 at St Mary Magdelen, Bermondsey.  William was at that stage working as a customs house officer, employed to prevent smuggling into the Port of London.



       St Mary Magdelen, Bermondsey.  © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


By the time of the 1861 census, William and Julia were back living in Southwark.   


By the following year, the couple's fortunes seem to have taken a big dip.  When their only other child, Alice Susan Hyde (born 11 February 1862) was baptised on 2 March 1862, they were living in King Street, Southwark (now Newcomen Street).   William is again described as a mariner.   


The record of Alice Hyde's baptism is the last record I can find of William Hyde.  One explanation is that William, the mariner, went to sea leaving Julia unprovided for.  It would expain both the slum and what happened next.


By the summer of 1863, Julia was pregnant with a child by someone other than William.   The child, Henry Chales Hyde, was born on 13th April 1864.  His birth certificate gives Julia's name as the mother but leaves the place for the father's name blank, the standard practice for illegitimate children.


Julia's address on the bith certificate is 20 Lambeth Terrace, now Lambeth Road.  The late Georgian Terrace is still standing.




Georgian terrace on Lambeth Road, London
  © Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence



The only clue to the identity of Henry's father comes from his baptismal record 5 years later, on 21 November 1869.  This gives the parents names as Susan Julia and Charles Hyde-Croft.  So, it's a resaonable guess that Julia's lover/Henry's father, was called Charles Croft, that they had lived together for some 6 years and that, to all intents and purposes, the marriage to William was long over.


None of this was acceptable behaviour for a respectable Victorian women.  It would not have been acceptable 100 years later!  But if Julia had indeed been abandoned by William with two small children and no income, she was left with little choice.   It is perhaps also significant that William did not divorce Julia.   The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 gave men the right to divorce their wives on grounds of adultery, but William did not use it.  He either didn't know or didn't care.


The relationship with Charles Croft appears to have ended by 1871.   At the time of the Census, Julia is living as a lodger with a family at 26 Clarendon Street, Pimlico and earning her living as a dressmaker.  Her name is given as Julia Hyde and she is described as married, telling us that William is still alive at that point.


The people she lodged with were George Allen, an unemployed printer, and his wife Selina who was working as a charwomen.  George was perhaps a friend or acquaitance of Thomas Morris.  George and Selina had a second lodger, Mary Ann Degg, a tailoress from Ireland.


The 1871 Census also shows that Julia's children - Julia, Alice and Henry - were living with Thomas Morris and his wife.  This may be because being a dressmaker was tough work and long hours, making it hard to look after children


We will never know what led to this change of circumstance for Julia, and I can no find no further record of her until 22 May 1875 when she married George Rennie Boak.


This tells us that William Hyde died sometime between 1871 and 1875, probably closer to 1875.   Assuming he died at sea, it would probably have taken some months for the news to reach Julia.  We will never know if he really was murdered by Chinese pirates.  There were still some operating in the China seas at this period, although most had been swept away by the British Navy. 


The only thing we can say for certain is that William was not a Captain in the Royal Navy as claimed by Julia Hannah on her marriage certificate in 1877.  Commissions in the Navy at this period were restricted to men from the highest ranks of society.  William could have become the master of a merchant vessel but we just don't know.



It would be fascinating to know whether Julia created a myth around William for the benefit of her children, who would barely have remembered their father if at all. 


George Rennie Boak 


George Boak was born in Edinburgh in about 1843 to William Boak and Margaret Affleck, the 6th of 11 children. George followed his father's profession as a currier. A currier is a specialist in the leather processing industry. After the tanning process, the currier applies techniques of dressing, finishing and colouring to the tanned hide to make it strong, flexible and waterproof.


The Boak family became major players in the leather industry.  David Bremner's The Industries of Scotland of 1869, describes the Boak family manufactory in Edinburgh then run by Allan Boak, George's older brother:


The leather manufactory of Mr Allan Boak, West Port, Edinburgh, is the largest establishment of the kind in Scotland, having a floor space of 5682 superficial yards. A portion of the buildings has been used as a tannery from time immemorial, and about a century ago was acquired by the great-grandfather of the present representative of the firm; and in his hands, and those of his successors, the place grew under the pressure of an expanding trade, until it became the largest tannery in the city. Two or three years ago the premises were almost totally destroyed by fire, a misfortune attended by one good result only—the opportunity it gave for reconstructing the tannery in a more modern and substantial style, which was done at a cost of £10,000. The kinds of leather made by Mr Boak form an extensive list, but his specialty is the preparation of pig-skins, in which department he is one of the most extensive manufacturers in Britain. 


At some point George and his younger brother James became leather merchant and moved to London.  In 1870, their business was operating out of Browlow Street, Drury Lane, Covent Garden.  The evidence for this comes from The London Gazette which reported the voluntary liquidation of their business to allow payments to made to creditors.


In the London Court of Bankruptcy. In the Matter of Proceedings tor Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by George Boak and James Moore Boak of No. 23, Brownlow Street, Drury Lane, in tne county of Middlesex, Currier and Leather Merchants. Copartners in Trade, and both residing at No. 7, Southampton Row, Holborn.



NOTICE is hereby given, that a First General Meeting of the creditors of the above-named persons has been summoned to be held at No. 23, King Street, Guildhallyard in the Cityof London, on the 13th day of September, 1870, at twelve o'clock at noon' precisely.—Dated this 29th day of August. 1870



I have not been able to locate the whereabouts of George and James at the 1871 Census.  But, by 1874, George was living at 20 Clarendon Street, Pimlico, when he met Julia living at No 26.    George and Julia married on 22 May 1875. She was 5 months pregnant with their child, George Archibald Boak (known as Archie) born on 25 October 1875.   Thomas Morris and Julia's daughter Alice were witnesses to the wedding.


Unfortunately the marriage was very short lived, as George died on 9 March 1876 when he just 33 years old.  On his death, he and Julia were living at 20 Bessborough Street, Pimlico.


George's estate was worth very little - £195 - but Julia's right to it must have been contested by George's family as the administration of his estate was not granted to her until January 1883.


There is a monument to George's father and mother and to George himself in the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh, though not very readble, Margaret Affleck's name is visible towards the of the inscription.  George's name is on the right hand side about a third of the way down.





Photo courtesy of the Gravestone Photographic Resource (GPR). 

Copyright belongs to a GPR volunteer



Julia in 1876/1877


So in March 1876, the 35 year old Julia found herself widowed for a 2nd time, with four children - Julia Hannah aged 17, Alice aged 14, Henry aged 12 and 5 month old Archie.  She was also back living on her own resources, having no access to her late husband's money.


This was the point at which Julia took up the profession she was to follow for the next 25 years at least  - that of publican or licensed victualler.   


The first pub that I can trace her to was the Queen's Arms in Little College Street, Westminster, in 1877, where she was licensed as Mrs Julia Boak.   "Until the 1880s and 90s most publicans held their pubs on long leases from non-brewing landlords.  Many moved on from pub to pub every two or three years, often staying in the same area and were often the children or relatives of other publicans" [Jill Barber, "A Pub on Every Corner"]. Julia had no previous connection with running pubs, so the likeliest explanation is that she had already met the man who was to become her next husband, Thomas Pearce.  Whatever the reason, it was a decison that within a few months would bring the Hydes and Walkers together.


Thomas Pearce


Thomas Pearce was born in Pitt Street, off the Old Kent Road, about 1843.  His parents were Thomas Pearce, born in Clapham (then a village outside London) about 1818, and Isabella Trendall born about 1821.   The two were married at St Mary, Lambeth on 18 June 1843 by which time Thomas junior was probably already born.


Thomas and Isabella had a second child, Mary Ann, born on 2 May 1844.   Tragically, Isabella and Mary Ann both died in April 1845. 


Thomas senior remarried on 4 October 1846 to Louisa Marquet, born on the Isle of Dogs in London's docklands in about 1824. The marriage was again at St Mary, Lambeth.  They had no children that I can find.


Thomas senior was a cattle dealer, a master cattle drover (bringing cattle into London for slaughter) and a butcher. 


At the time of the 1851 census, Thomas, Louisa and Thomas junior were living at 43 Brandon St, Newington. By 1861, Thomas jnr was no longer living with his parents (who were now in Bird Street, Lambeth) but I haven't been able to identify his whereabouts. 


On 5th May 1869, the 26 year old Thomas married Sarah Ann Hollingsworth, the daughter of an Omnibus Proprietor from Chelsea.  In 1871, Thomas was working as a waiter and living with Sarah in Chelsea.  In June 1876 Sarah died.  By this time, Thomas was running the White Hart public house in Catherine Street, off The Strand.


There is no obvious explanation for how Julia and Thomas met.  As both their parents lived in Lambeth and are likely to have worshipped at St Mary that may be the connection.  Whatever the explanation, it is likely that Thomas set the widowed Julia Boak on the path of earning her living as a publican.


Marriage to Thomas Pearce


Julia and Thomas married at St Georges, Hanover Square on 22 November 1877.  This was a marriage that would last 21 years until Thomas' death in 1898 and was the start of the most settled period of Julia's life. 



St Georges Hanover Square, painted by Charles James Lauder 1841-1920



Julia Hannah Hyde and William Samuel Walker


Five months earlier, on 11 June 1877, Julia's daughter - Julia Hannah Hyde - had married William Samuel Walker (my great grandfather) in the same church.  William Samuel was at that stage a brewers traveller, so it seems likely that the couple met when William visited either Julia's or Thomas's pub.  


Julia and Thomas in Business Together


It should be noted that the licenses to run public houses during Thomas and Julia's marriage were all held by Thomas. As Thomas often held more than one licence, the only evidence for Julia's whereabouts during this period comes from Census data


The 1880s


By the time of the 1881 Census, Julia and Thomas had settled in Whitechapel in London's East End  They were running a pub called The Essex which stood at the junction of Aldgate High Street and Middlesex Street. The full name of this pub was The Essex Coffee House, although variations on the name seem to have been common over the years.  Middlesex Street is better known by its former name, Petticoat Lane, and for the clothing market still held there.  The pub would therefore have done a good trade with both market traders and customers.


The 1881 Census gives the residents of the Essex as:


  • Thomas Pearce, age 37
  • Julia Pearce, age 37 (Julia had taken 3 years off her age to make her appear the same age as her husband)
  • Archie Pearce, age 5 (taking his step father's name)
  • Charles Hyde, age 17
  • Ann Wise, servant, age 19, from Lambeth
  • Jane Blenchard, barmaid, age 19 from Lambeth
  • William Barber, potman, age 22.


The Business Directory of London for 1884 list Thomas Pearce as landlord of both The Essex Tavern & The Queens Head at 154 Whitechapel Road.  The two pubs were less than a mile apart.  At some point in 1884 the Essex was demolished to build a ventilation shaft for a new underground railway line.  It reopened later in the decade with a new landlord and closed finally in 1968.


The Queen's Head closed in 1983.  The premises are now used as a betting shop (see below).



Queen's Head, 317 Whitechapel Road, formerly 154 Whitechapel Road


This information and the image above are taken from an excellent Pub History website at


On 24th October 1887, Thomas Pearce gave evidence at the Old Bailey trail of one Percy Wood charged with embezelling his employer Emile Loibl, trading as Markovitz and Co, cigarette makers, of 11 Air Street, Regent Street, London. 


THOMAS PEARCE . I am connected with the Comedy and Princess's Theatres, and the King's Head, Margate, and other places of entertainment—I received this cheque for 20l. 5s. from the prisoner for advertisements of Markovitz cigarettes at the Comedy, and paid it to my bankers, the Imperial Bank—I think I gave a receipt for it—it is marked off in our books.

Cross-examined. I did not know that payment should have been made by a cheque of the firm, as I had dealt with the prisoner before and received cash from him.


Mr Wood was sentenced to nine months with hard labour.   The story of a trusted employee defrauding his employer was to come too close to home the following year, in 1888, when Thomas's step son-in-law, William Samuel Walker was convcited of a very similar crime and sentence to one year in prison with hard labour.


Thomas's descripition of himself gives a wider picture of his buisness dealings which we would otherwise know nothing about. He had evidently branched out into refershment concessions for London theatres and 'other places of entertainment'. However. we have no way of knowing the extent of this side of his business or when it started or finished. 


The Comedy Theatre on Panton Street, close to Leicester Square, opened in 1881 and is now the Harold Pinter Theatre.  The Princess Theatre, at 73 Oxford Street, was built in 1840/41 and demolished in 1931.


The King's Head in Margate is now called The Waverley.  It's the only pub/hotel run by Thomas Pearce that survives.  




The following website about current Margate pubs quotes Thomas Pearce in 1893 describing The King's Head as the 'oldest family hotel in Margate':


It's quite likely that Julia, Charles and Archie were living with Thomas in Margate c1886-1889, but there is no evidence for this.


The 1890s


In 1889, Thomas also became proprietor of the Albion Tavern at 26, Russell Street, Covent Garden.   The Albion was opposite Drury Lane Theatre on the site now occupied by The Fortune Theatre.  In it's heyday, it had been the place to spot famous Georgian and Victorian actors.  But when Thomas Pearce took it on it was a little past its heyday.


In his book, Bohemian Days in Fleet Street, published in 1913, the journalist William Mackay recalled the Abion at a time just before Thomas Pearce became landlord:


That famous hostelry has gone by the board this many a day. When first I knew it the Albion was a London institution for which one might have prophesied a permanence as secure as that of St. Paul's.  It faced the north side wall of the Theatre Royal, Drury  Lane, some distance west of the stage-door. It was the favourite supper resort of theatrical people, and famous for its tripe and onions and for its marrow-bones. An excellent dinner of fish, joint, and cheese was served earlier in the evening at half a crown a head — the carver, in white smock and apron and white cook's cap, wheeling the joint round from table to table on an ambulatory dumb-waiter, and carving in front of the customer, and according to the customer's desire.


The last time I passed through Russell Street, Covent Garden, a merchant from the neighbouring market was running the premises as a store for fruit and vegetables. I wonder whether the ghosts of those departed who once made merry within ever appear to the eminent salesman, flitting behind his mountains of green-stuff, or playing phantom hide-and-seek among his boxes of oranges and bananas.


At the time of the 1891 Census, Julia was managing The Albion and Thomas was managing The King's Head.  


The residents for The Albion are given as:


  • Julia Susan Pearce, age 49, Pub House Keeper
  • Henry Charles Hyde, age 26, Refreshment Manager
  • Edward Stone, age 21, Hotel Porter from Southampton
  • Mary Anderson, age 20, Barmaid from Paddington, London
  • Annie Marshall, age 27, Barmaid from London
  • Minnie Bentley, age 28, Housekeeper from Kensington, London
  • Elizabeth Nicholson, age 24, Hotel Room Maid, from Peckham, London
  • Kathleen Wheelwright, age 26, Housemaid (Domestic) from Dublin
  • Jeannie Purves, age 28, Bookeeper, from Edinburgh
  • Richard Potter, age 20, Cook from London
  • Robert Howes, age 30, Kitchen Porter from London


The resident of The King's Head are:


  • Thomas Pearce, age 45, Hotel Keeper
  • Alice Walker, age 12, niece (William Samuel and Julia Hannah's eldest)
  • Frances Jeans, age 23, Manageress from Pimlico, London
  • Ellen Stone, age 23, Barmaid from Fleet Street, London
  • Ellinor Simmonds, age 31, Barmaid from Greenwich
  • Alice Cole, age 22, Bookeeper from Southampton
  • Mary Pick, age 28, General Servant from Cirencester
  • Sarah Collet, age 22, General Servant from Westminster, London
  • Amelia Roberts, age 28, General Servant from Norfolk
  • Louisa Pilcher, age 16, General Servant from Margate
  • William Nelson Cowley, age 20, Manager from Wandsworth, London
  • William James Young, age 24, Waiter from Coventry
  • Frederick Pugh, age 22, Cook from Clerkenwell. London
  • William White, age 30, Hotel Porter from London
  • Arthur Lawrence, age 18, Kitchen Porter from Margate.


The two hotel/pubs together add up to a sizeable establishment, placing Thomas and Jullia at the height of their success.


On 21st March 1891, Thomas placed an advert in The Era, a national newpaper noted for its theratrical and sporting coverage:



MARINE PARADE (facing the sea)

Recently Redecorated

and replete with every convenience

An Ordinary at Two o'clock and Table D'Hote at Six Daily

Arragements made for

Private Dinner Parties and Wedding Breakfasts

A good Billiard Room.  Charges Moderate


Also of the Albion Hotel, Russell Street, Covent Garden,

London, opposite Drury Lane Teatre. The olderst established

Theatrical House.


An Ordinary was a complete meal provided at a fixed price.  A Table D'Hote was essentially the same thing.


A Pantomime at Bow Street


On 1st April 1892. The London Standard reported the following at Bow Street Magistrates' Court.  An over zealous policeman had reported Thomas Pearce for allowing after hours drinking at the Albion.  The story is written very tongue-in-cheek and and gets better once you realise that the after hours drinkers all summonsed to Bow Street - Harry Payne, Herbert Campbell and Charles Lauri - were all music hall celebrities/comedians.


Mr Thomas Pearce of the Albion Tavern, Great Russell Street, was charged with keeping open the said licensed premises for ther sale of intoxicating liquor at 12.55 am.  Mr Patrick J Hoolahan of 58 Rupert Street, Mr Harry Payne of 322 Camden Road, Mr Herbert Campbell of 22 Quadrant Road, Cannonbury, Mr Charles Lauri of 168 Camden Road and Miss Beartrice Forster of 12 Mabledon Place, Euston Road, were summoned for being found on the said premises at the time specified.  Inspector Burnby, having given evidence in support of the charge, said in cross examination by Mr Beard that Messrs Campbell, Payne and Lauri were members of the Drury Lane Company.  The pantomine did not conclude till nearly twelve o'clock.  Police constable 413 said that the three men left the house at 1.30.  Mr Beard said that, technically, Mr Pearce must plead guilty, but he would ask the Magistrate to take into consideration the facts of the case. Mr Lauri came into supper, and Mr Campbell and Mr Payne stayed with him. He trusted the Magistrate would take into consideration the time Mr Pearce had held the house and the way in which it had been conducted. Mr Brinkworth said that this Messrs Lauri, Campbell and Payne did not get off the stage until a quarter to twelve o'clock, or out of their dressing rooms till a quarter past.  They were leaving the Albion at half past twelve when a Mr Dunn of Margate who was staying in the house asked them to remain as his guests.  No liqour was drawn after half past twelve. This was a well-known theatrical house, and the Defendent and others could not obtain supper until a late hour, and on leaving the dining room they had to pass through the bar, when they were likely to be asked to take something by friends staying in the house.  Sir John Bridge said that there seemed to be some excuse for the Defendents on the night in question.  There must be a conviction against the landlord, but he would be satisfied if he paid the cost of the summonses (laughter).


Pantomimes were incrediblly popular entertainments throughout the Victorian. By the 1890s they involved the big music hall stars, many of whom would have found thier way to the Albion Tavern at some point.  The 1892 Pantomime was Hop O My Thumb starring Dan Leno as Daddy Thumb, Herbert Campbell as Goody Thumb and Marie Lloyd as Red Riding Hood.


A history of the Drury Lane pantomime, including lots of photos of stars such as Herbert Campbell, can be found at


Herbert Campbell starred in 22 Drury Lane pantomimes and was an on-stage partner to Dan Leno for many years.  This postcard suggests that he may have been a bit of a drinker.





Charles Lauri was a famed pantomime animal impersonator  




Harry Payne was a famous clown.  According to Wikipedia he was responsible for the creation of one of the biggest Christmas crackers ever to be made in the Victorian era.  He was appearing as the Clown in a Drury Lane pantomime when the cracker was delivered.  It was over seven feet in length and contained a change of costume for the whole cast as well as hundered of small crackers that the cast threw to the children in the audience, to their great excitement.


During that same 1892 pantomime season at Drury Lane, the following incident also occured at the Albion as reported in The Daily Graphic on 19 January 1892:


Percy Courtney, of 196 Wickham Terrace, Lewisham High Road, was brought up on a warrant before Mr Lushington. at Bow Street, yesterday, charged with assulting his wife, Matilda Courtenay, know professionally as Marie LLoyd, residing at the same address. Courtney threw some champagne in her face at the Albion Tavern, Russell Street, Covent Garden, and followed this up by thowing water and a glass at her. Two days later, in a dressing roon at Drury Lane Theatre, he threatened to cut her throat, and took up a sword. The sister of the complainant deposed that Mrs Courtney knocked her husband's hat off his head.


Thomas reminded proprietor of the Albion until 1895.    


Back to Whitechapel


After several years running two hotel/pubs - The Albion Tavern and The King's Head - Thomas and Julia moved back to Whitechapel in 1895 to run the Market Tavern in Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, a pub which I am guessing catered mainly for the porters and traders at Spitalfields fruit and vegetable market.  The market had been undergoing a major rebuilding (starting in 1883 and finishing in 1900) and was given the iron and glass roof that can still be seen today.  Also work was beginning on clearing the surrounding slums (some of the worst in London) where Jack the Ripper had preyed on his victims in 1888.


This seems like a step backwards and it's hard to see why.   It's possible that Thomas, who had only three more years to live, was already suffering from ill health and that the strain of running two hotel/pubs 80 miles apart had begun to tell.   Whatever the reason, Thomas died in debt, and his creditors lost no time in taking legal action to recover what they were owed.  The London Gazette of 25th November 1898 reported:


Purusant to an Order of the High Court of Justice Chancery Division in the matter of the estate of Thomas Pearce deceased and in a cause Thomas Benjamin against Julia Pearce (Widow) (1898 P. No 2209) the creditors of Thomas Pearce late of the Market Tavern Spitalfields in the county of London Licensed Victualler who died on the 13th day of August 1898, are on or before the 28th day of December 1898 to send by post prepaid to Thomas Hack of 8 Pancras Lane, Queen Street, in the City of London, Solicitor, a member of the firm of Hack and Morris of the same place, Solicitors for the defendent, the administratrix of the estate of the said Thomas Pearce deceased, their Christian and surnames, addresses and descriptiions of the full particulars of their claims, a state of their accounts and the nature of the securities (if any) held by them, or in default thereof they will be peremptorily excluded from the benefit of the said Order. Every such creditor as aforesaid hoilding any security is to produce the same befire Mr Justice Romer at his chambers, the Royal Courts of Justice, London on Tuesday the 10th of January 1899 at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, being the time appointed for adjudicating on the claims - Dated this 21st if November 1898. John T Lewis, 54 Chancery Lane, London WC, Plaintiff's Solicitor.


This suggests that Thomas's creditors were numerous and spread across his various business interests.  It would be interesting to discover more about the extent of these debts and how long it took Julia to settle the various claims.


Julia's Children


This feels like a good point to catch up with Julia's children.


Julia Hannah Hyde


After marrying, William Samuel Walker at age 18, Julia Hannah settled into the role of housewife and mother.  Around 1881, William, who had been a brewers traveller at the time of his marriage,  got himself a job as clerk to Henry Sweabe, a court dressmaker in New Burlington Street, in London's West End (court dressmakers made clothes for members of the public who attended functions at Court or other functions where members of the Royal Family would be present).  This would have allowed William to spend much more time with his growing family.  By 1888, William and Julia Hannah had four living chidren:  Alice, age 10, William, age 8, Arthur age 4 and Reginald age 2.  A fifth child, Claude, had died at just over a year old in 1884.  And Julia was again pregnant, with Sydney who would be born at the end of the year.  William was earning a decent wage - £2 5s a week - and the family were living a respectable suburban life at 17 Graylands Road, Peckham.


However, their world was blown apart in March 1888, when William was sentenced to 1 year's imprisionment with hard labour for defrauding his employer.  The newspaper reports of the case are at


Julia Hannah, with no income of her own, four young children and another on the way, must have turned to her mother and her step father for support.  There is evidence that this support was provided.   At the 1891 Census, Julia Hannah was working as manageress of the coffeee shop at Terry's Theatre on The Strand.   This sound like a job that Thomas, with his theatrical connections, would have found for her.  Terry's Theatre was also less than 5 minutes walk from The Albion Tavern, so there would have been plenty of help on hand in looking after the children.  As noted above, Julia Hannah's eldest, Alice then 12 years old, was staying with Thomas Pearce in Margate in 1891.


Thomas also found work for William on his release from prison.  In October 1890, Thomas took a publishing firm to court for failing to pay for champagne supplied by him.  The newspaper report of the case (reproduced below) mentions that the wine was delivered by Mr Walker who was called to give evidence.  It's fair to assume that this was William Samuel.   In the 1891 Census, William is described as Assistant Manager at the coffee shop at the Tivoli Theatre, which again was most likely fixed up by Thomas.  It's perhaps not surprising that this was a more junior role than his wife's.


By the time of Thomas' death, William and Hannah were back on their feet again.  William had resumed his old role as a  brewer's traveller and the familly - now 7 children - had moved to the leafy North Londoin suburb of Wood Green, at 7 Victoria Avenue, close to the Alexandra Palace.


Alice Susan Hyde


The last positive identification I have for Alice was in March 1875, when she was 13, and acted as a witness (with her granfather Thomas Morris) at her mother's marriage to George Boak.  I can't find anyone who could be her in the 1881 Census, although she could have got married by then.  In the 1891 Census, a Alice Hyde born the right year, is recorded as a patient in the Spelthorne Sanitorium.  Spelthorne opened in January 1878 "for the reformation of women who have fallen into habits of intemperance'. However, this may not be the same Alice.  Also, a Alice Susan Hyde died in 1894 in Fulham, but again I can't yet say if this is the same Alice.  


Henry Charles Hyde


On 31st March 1892, Henry married Kate Fuller, daughter of a "general contractor" from Brightlingsea in Essex.  It's possible that Kate's father had dealings with Thomas Pearce and that Kate and Henry met through that connection. At the time of his marriage Henry was living in the New Kent Road, Camberwell and the couple married at St Saviour's. Southwark.  Henry gave his profession as architect.  How he got from refreshment manager at The Albion in April 1891 to architect in  March 1892, and what this actually meant in practice, is unclear.  


The mystery deepens because in 1895, Henry was back working as a publican at the Opporto Wine Stores in Wardour Street, Soho.


George Archibald (Archie) Boak


I have been unable to trace the whereabouts of Archie in 1891 when he was 16.  He may have been away at school.  However he was certainly at The Market Tavern at the beginnig of 1898, because on 2nd February that year he married Edith Sarah Farrow at Christ Church Spitalfields.  His address was given as The Market Tavern, Brushfield Street, and his profession as licensed victualler. Henry Charles Hyde was one of the witrnesses at the wedding.


Edith was the daughter of another licensed victualler, Edmund Farrow, who at the time was running a pub called The Weavers Arms at 17 Hanbury Street not far from The Market Tavern


Interestingly, at the time of her marriage, Edith's was living with Willam Samuel Walker and his family at 7 Victoria Avenue, Wood Green, showing that there were still strong relationships between Julia's various offspring.


It also seems that their first child, Arthur George Boak, was born well before the marriage, on 9th October 1896, and that Edith was four months pregnant with their second child, Rosie, when she walked down the ailse.


The photo below shows Brusfield Street from the Bishopgate Street end in around 1900.  The distintinctive tower of Christ Church, Spitalfields can be seen in the far distance.






The next photo shows Brushfield Street from the other end, with Christ Church behind the camera and the Spitalfields market buildings on the right.








At the 1901 Census, taken on 31st March that year:


  • Julia was visiting her daughter, Julia Hannah, and family at 7 Victoria Road, Wood Green.  She is described then as "living on her own account" so would seem to have kept some money of her own despite Thomas's debts.  Typically, she took two years off her age.


  • Archie and his family were living with Henry and Kate at the Fitzroy Arms, 163-165 Arlington Road, Camden.  Archie was the publican, and Henry again gave his profession as architect.   



After 1901 - Postscripts


Julia:  The London Commercial Directory for 1902 and 1903 lists Julia as licensee of the King's Head at Little Goodge Street off Tottenham Court Road.  My grandmother, Dorothy Walker,  told a story of visiting her grandmother Julia at what, I guess, must have been the King's Head.   Dorothy, who was a striking young redhead, was given an elaborate box of chocolates by a gentleman admirer only to have them confiscated by her grandmother.  Dorothy put this down to jealousy on the part of her grandmother , although it's possible that Julia was also protecting her naive 13 year old granddaughter.


I can find no record of Julia after 1903.  It's quite possible that she married again.  A Susan Julia Pearce married in Shoreditch in 1906, but this could be a completely different person.


Julia Hannah:  Further information on Julia Hannah and her children will be added to the page on William Samuel Walker.


Henry:  Henry's wife Kate died in 1905.  They had no children.   I can't find any trace of Henry after that.  He may have gone abroad.  A Henry C Hyde died in 1919 in West Ham, but this may not be the same person.


Archie:  Archie's wife, Edith, died in 1904, aged just 29.  They has three children:


  • Arthur George Boak, born on 9th October 1896, Arthur was a bank clerk at the start of WW1.  He joined the King's Royal Rifle in February 1915 and saw action in France in 1916 and in Macedonia in 1917.  After the war he was based in Turkey and was demobbed in January 1920 with the rank of acting sergeant.  In 1921 he married Adelaide Harriet Walker (no relation to the other Walkers).  He died on 21 November 1970 in Herfordshire.
  • Rose Julia Boak, born on 26th June 1898, she married Harold Louis Potter Smith in 1923 and died in Hastings in 1971.
  • Rennie Charles Edward Boak, born on 19th February 1900, he married Lilly Ann Clark in Poplar, East London, in 1931. They had thrree children that I am aware of: David born 1932, Delphine born 1936 and Edward born 1941.   Rennie died on 10th January 1943.  His widow died in 2000.


Archie married Maud Lillian Greaves in 1906.  They had four children:


  • Mabel Ethel Boak, born on 7 July 1907. She married William Henry Goss on 24 April 1937 in Stepney and died on 26 June 1884 in Canterbury.
  • Vera Maud Boak, born 17 November 1908.  She married Alfred Joseph Barnby in January 1930 and died in March 1992 in Truro, Cornwall.
  • Doris Lillian Boak, born June 1911. She didn't marry and died in Mile End in 2006.
  • Reginald Sidney Boak, born 6 September 1914. He married Miriam Searle in Ilford, Essex in September 1948 and died in Mendip, Somerset in December 1981.


In 1911, Archie was working as a traveller for a cleaning company. Maud was working as a cigar maker.  In 1916, aged 41, he was serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Salonika.  After the war, he went back to live in Stepney where he died, at 64 Portlland Street, in May 1934.   Maud continued to live in Stepney where she died, age 86, on 2 April 1967.