Here you can find information on the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society, contact info, how to join, and a list of the books that we have published and you can buy. We will also be publishing reports on past events (for forthcoming events, you are encouraged to join and receive the Society’s regular newsletter). Whether you join or not please click the box at the top right to follow our posts.
The membership rate is £10 standard or £8 concessions or £15 for couples.
More from the ever resourceful Peter Trott in one article it encapsulates the speed of change in LBHFat the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.For context here is John Rocque’s map of 1771.
From a few big houses admist fields and orchards to city in 150 years!
Old Oak Lodge
At one time Rosebank Road led to Old Oak Lodge, but now any archaeological evidence of the Lodge lies beneath Galloway Road in Shepherd’s Bush.
There is no record of when Rosebank Road was named but it may have been built as a driveway to the Lodge. I have not discovered when the lodge was built. It is not shown on John Salter’s 1830 map but it is named on James Wyld’s map of 1848.
It may have been built before 1841 but unfortunately the census for that year mainly consists of names and only a few premises are actually listed. In the 1851 census Henry Cressweller and his family are listed as the residents and by 1861 market gardener George Cutts was living there. Shortly afterwards engraver William Henry McQueen moved in with his family. William died in the Lodge in 1867.
In 1881 Old Oak Lodge was listed as standing between the Vicarage of St. Luke’s Church and The British Queen public house. Shortly after that the Lodge was numbered as 390 Uxbridge Road. In 1886 William’s wife Jane also died in the Lodge. Her unmarried daughter Jane Harriot McQueen was the sole beneficiary and became the owner of the Lodge.
The 1891 census shows Jane living there with a cook and housemaid. There were adjoining stables with rooms occupied by a coachman and his family and a gardener and his family.
By 1901 Jane was living there with her niece Jane Braithwaite and her husband plus their three children, a servant, a coachman, his wife and two children, and a gardener and his daughter plus her family.
Jane was still on the electoral roll for 390 Uxbridge Road in 1906, which was around the time that there were plans to demolish the Lodge and build a new road. On 15th May 1907 there was an application for the proposed new road to be named Galloway Road. This coincided with the change of numbering on the Uxbridge Road and the 1907 electoral roll lists Jane at 444 Uxbridge Road. The Lodge was probably demolished before the electoral roll was published. Jane moved to Yiewsley, 1 Cumberland Road, Acton and first appears on the electoral roll in 1913. She died two years later and was buried in the large private family grave at Brompton Cemetery.
This article (with several errors) appeared in The West London Observer on 22 January 1915:
‘A very old inhabitant of Shepherds Bush has passed away in Miss Jean Harriet McQueen, who died at Yewsley, Cumberland Road, Acton on the 13th January in her 85th year. Miss McQueen was the surviving child of the late Mr W H McQueen of the Old Oak Lodge, Uxbridge Road where he brought up his family in the middle of the last century. Mr McQueen was one of the partners in the well-known firm of sporting print sellers whose series of racehorses, jockeys and race courses were so popular some years ago. The firm also engraved for a great many mid-Victorian artists. Miss McQueen was a loyal supporter of St Luke’s Church, Uxbridge Road from the time when the church was first built until she sold her own estate and went to live in Acton. The site of the Old Oak Lodge and its grounds is now occupied by Wormholt Road. The funeral took place at Acton Parish Church on Monday and she was interred at Brompton Cemetery.’
The above map from the Layers of London website shows the newly built Galloway Road superimposed on the 1893 – 96 OS map with the position of Old Oak Lodge clearly visible.
Those yearning for the days when we had regular visits and talks might want to have a look at Emery Walker’s House website for their Virtual Events. Not the same but interesting while we wait. I wasn’t aware of the T.E. Lawrence connection. Do have a look, their members get a discount.
Another article from the pen of Peter Trott showing just how development happened.
Thorpebank Road, Shepherd’s Bush was named after Thorpe Banks, also sometimes written as Thorpebanks or Thorpe-banks. The name originally referred to a large area of land where the northern end of Willow Vale now stands. A large house that was later built on the land was named Thorpebanks.
The earliest record I can find of the property named Thorpebanks is an electoral roll of 1859 listing the artist William Samuel Parkinson Henderson at the property. The 1861 census shows William living there with his wife Emma and two servants. I can find no reference to Thorpebanks in the 1851 census and it is not shown on an 1853 map. This would indicate that the house was built between 1853 and 1859.
On the 1865 OS map it appears as a large estate with ornamental gardens and orchards. The 1871 census lists William Biggar, his wife Jane and their six children living in Thorpe Banks, Willow Vale.
In November 1881 Thorpe Banks was officially numbered as 24 Willow Vale.
On 30th December 1898 Thorpe Banks, Willow Vale, was sold by William Biggar, journalist, of 91 Shepherds Bush Road, and his mortgagor, to John Williams and William Henry Wallington, contractors of 132 Shepherds Bush Road. The Kelly’s local directory of 1896-7 lists Williams and Wallington as sand merchants, living on the west side of Willow Vale. So presumably they were already in the road when the conveyance took place.
The sale documents stated:
‘….all the piece or parcel of freehold land, parts whereof are, or were, recently covered with water, situate at Willow Vale, Shepherds Bush, in the county of Middlesex, formerly known as The Fisheries, but now as Thorpe Banks …..’
The 1830 map clearly shows a very large brickfield lake that covered the area. The newly created fishery can be seen north of Willow Lodge on the 1848 map by James Wyld. It also appears on a later 1853 Parish map and can be seen as part of the gardens on the 1865 OS map (marked as 77).
On the 1901 census Thorpe Banks was occupied by crane driver John Starr with his wife Mary, daughter Elizabeth who worked as a laundress, and son William. They were probably the last tenants to live in the house before it was demolished and the land cleared.
The 1915 OS map clearly shows the vacant plot that was eventually developed as the northern end of Willow Vale.
Your scribe was honoured to witness this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show, a parade of livery companies, youth and military organisations, NHS and charities and some charitable companies working in and for London. Amongst the bands and floats are a couple of wicker giants representing Gog and Magog a tradition going back to medieval times and with mythical links even earlier you can read the history and fables here. This year made history too as due to COVID the previous Lord Mayor served 2 years and his succesor also served 2 years as Sheriff. The new Lord Mayor Alderman Vincent Keaveny a resident of Fulham is the 693rd to hold the post and unusually was born in the Republic of Ireland. In addition to the pageantry and ceremony the Lord Mayor’s main role is as an ambassador for the City of London’s business and financial activities across the world.
This post is an appeal by Peter Trott for help in finding the family the documents relate to or a relevant home for them. Surely a challenge for all you local history experts out there? Or maybe just local community knowledge? Over to Peter:
Help us find a relative and a home for these family documents and photos.
I help run a local Facebook Group and earlier this year one of our members told us how she had saved these documents and photos from being thrown away. They all centre on a Moynes family who lived in Willow Vale, Shepherd’s Bush. She kindly passed everything to me and since then I have researched the family.
Michael Moynes was born in 1901 and he married Jessie Rabjohn who was born in March 1902. In the 1939 census Michael and Jessie were living at 54 Willow Vale. At the address was also listed Margaret Moynes born 1875; possibly Michaels mother, and Patrick Moynes born 1913; possibly Michaels brother.
Michael and Jessie had a son Michael John Moynes who was born on 15 February 1930 and his birth was registered in Marylebone. Unfortunately I was unable to find him on the 1939 census. The family probably moved to 49 Willow Vale during WW2.
Michael senior joined the RAF around 1942. He was briefly overseas in 1944 and 1945 and after the war was awarded the 1939/45 Star and the France & Germany Star. His son Michael John was a butcher’s roundsman and in 1948 at the age 18 he enlisted in the army. He left the RAOC in 1950.
Michael John Moynes married Doreen Hatton in 1953 and the marriage was registered in Kensington. Doreen had been born in the same area on 10 February 1933 and the family lived at Portland Road, Holland Park.
The couple appear together on the 1954 electoral roll at 49 Willow Vale. Some of the Moynes family were still at the address in 1962. Around that time I found a Michael John Moynes listed in Scotland but there is no way to confirm it was the same person. Doreen died in 1989 and Michael John died in 1995; both deaths were registered in Slough. They do not appear to have had any children.
Patrick Moynes married Margaret Patience in 1940 (registered in Hammersmith). They lived at 50 Loftus Road and later moved to 72g Lime Grove. Patrick died in 1973 (registered Hammersmith) and Margaret died in 1986 (registered Ealing). They had three children Patrick (1939/40), John (1941) and Elizabeth (1950). At least one of the siblings appears to have been living at 27 Cathnor Road in 1965.
Elizabeth married Denis A Sheehan in 1969 (registered Hammersmith). Tragically the following year they appear to have had a daughter who died shortly after birth. Evidence suggest they had two other daughters Julie (1971) and Deborah (1973).
Can you help? Do you know any of the names listed?
On an evening in July about twenty FHHS members had a tour of Margravine cemetery, adjacent to Barons Court Tube station. This 16½ acre cemetery is not on a main road and is almost completely surrounded by tall brick walls with the gardens of Victorian housing beyond. Its potential to become a forgotten backwater is countered by the nearby Tube station from which issues a stream of patients bound for Charing Cross Hospital at the opposite end of the cemetery.
Despite being the final resting place of over 83,000 Hammersmith residents it is sparsely populated with headstones except along the central avenue where the larger monuments congregate. The explanation is that in 1951 it was designated a Garden of Rest and huge numbers of the older and more derelict monuments were removed. Since then it has been managed as a park, although in the last few years a small number of burials have been allowed in the space where two impressive lines of elm trees once stood either side of the central avenue. A favoured activity of the Friends group, since its formation a dozen years ago, has been to plant trees, each one with official permission, and some areas have more trees than headstones. In 1985 the cemetery became part of the local conservation area and being a well-kept open space it has been awarded the Green Flag for several years.
It was originally opened in 1869 as Hammersmith Cemetery but about seventy years ago it was renamed Margravine Cemetery to honour a remarkable local resident, the would-be actress, travel writer and firebrand, Lady Craven (1750-1828). After the death of Lord Craven, by whom she had had six children by the age of thirty, she married a former beau His Serene Highness the Margrave of Brandenburg, Anspach and Bayreuth. She thereby acquired the title of Margravine and the couple took up residence in Brandenburg House near the cemetery. Here they hosted magnificent soirees in their grounds beside the Thames where a theatre was built for her spirited dramatic performances.
All the disagreeably overcrowded churchyards in Hammersmith were rightly closed in 1854 in accordance with the Metropolitan Burials Act of 1852. However, the protracted gestation period that followed to open a compensatory cemetery is a story of farcical incompetence. The burial board took another fifteen years to open a cemetery, an abysmal effort considering contemporary maps show the surrounding area was mostly open countryside. In the intervening years residents were forced to pay elevated fees for burial outside the borough.
All the cemetery’s buildings, which included two chapels, three lodges and a Reception House, were the work of local architect George Saunders. His Anglican Chapel was demolished in 1953 but the smaller Non-conformist Chapel survives and its Gothic exterior was inspected by members.
The cemetery possesses a modest number of interesting graves. Top of the list would once have been Sir Emery Walker (1851-1933) who joined forces with William Morris on a number of printing enterprises and whose house by the river is still open to the public. His cremated remains were interred in his parents’ grave as still stated on their headstone. However, some years ago they were removed to Sapperton in the Cotswolds, a sad loss for a cemetery guide. Nevertheless, we still have Roy Byford (1873-1939), who was a large and very popular actor, who played the rumbustious roles in Shakespeare. His performances can be judged from a dozen films he made towards the end of his career. A humble family headstone tells the sad tale of a mother and her nine-year-old son who perished in the Princess Alice disaster on the Thames in 1878 when over 600 day trippers were drowned. Nearby is a much grander monument in bronze commemorating George Broad (1840-1895), a Hammersmith foundry owner who cast the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus, a very early use of aluminium for sculpture. His own self-cast monument is a splendid example of the artistry of the notable Italian sculptor Aristide Fabbrucci. Also on the central avenue is the grave of George Wimpey (1855-1913) who founded the building contractors responsible for the 1908 Olympic Games stadium and the famed White City. His monument is a broken column of finely polished granite, a debateable choice for a builder. A few yards further on is a large white marble cross to Abe Smith (1845-1923), who spent time in New South Wales prospecting for gold. On its base is a dear little carving of him sitting in his prospector’s hut dreaming of Hammersmith. Opposite is the cemetery’s only mausoleum, created by the Young family in 1883 following the devastating death of their son, Frederick, aged just eighteen. Next to this stands the War Memorial of J. Lyon’s & Co, which had its headquarters in Hammersmith. The monument was removed from the company’s former playing field at Greenford and re-erected here in 2002.
The most recent monumental restoration was funded by Historic England from a budget set aside for centenary commemorations of the First World War. A new sign tells how a few days before the Armistice in 1918 an explosion at W. E. Blake’s munitions factory in Wood Lane killed 13 people. This was unwanted news at a time of universal euphoria and received little press coverage. Local MP, mayor and later cemetery resident, Henry Foreman (1853-1924), felt that this was unfair on the victims and paid for a communal grave marked by a rugged granite cross. Because of its local historical significance it was listed Grade II in 2017, one of six listed monuments in the cemetery.
Margravine cemetery’s Reception House is an attractive octagonal building with a steeply pitched roof and its purpose was to store coffins prior to burial. It owes its existence to a survey of urban burial practices published in 1843 by Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890). This discovered that 20,000 families in London were living in single rooms and when a death occurred they had nowhere else to store a coffin. Chadwick was appalled and his proposals to alleviate such problems were incorporated into the Metropolitan Interments Act of 1850. The Reception House was listed Grade II in 2016 and is the only free-standing example of its type in a London cemetery and the reason for this is that shortly after its construction undertakers began providing chapels of rest. As the evening shadows lengthened FHHS members entered the dimly lit interior to see the stone slabs around the walls capable of accommodating five coffins. Finally attendees were invited to partake of drinks under a yew tree kindly provided by the Friends of the cemetery.
Another article from the prolific pen of Peter Trott
If you get a Peter Rabbit 50 pence commemorative coin in your change you will be holding a piece of Shepherd’s Bush history.
The story began on 28 July 1866 when Helen Potter was born at 2 Bolton Gardens, South Kensington. She was still living there with her elderly parents in 1911 and the census listed her as an authoress. Of course by then she was much better known as Beatrix Potter.
She loved pets and apparently had kept ferrets, frogs, hedgehogs, mice, newts and even her brother’s pair of long-eared bats. However rabbits were her favourite and at the age of ten she had one named Tommy. In her twenties she had another one named Benjamin H. Bouncer. But it was in 1892 that she bought Peter Piper, a Belgian Buck rabbit, for 4s 6d from a shop on the Uxbridge Road in Shepherd’s Bush. She actually recorded that it cost ‘an exorbitant amount’.
In 1893 she wrote to five year old Noel Moore, the son of her former governess, and in the eight page letter she drew pictures of rabbits named Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. But more importantly the letter also contained her first drawing of Peter Piper, who she later renamed Peter Rabbit. Her first book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ was published privately in 1900 and commercially in 1902. In the following year Beatrix made a Peter Rabbit doll and wisely registered the design at the Patent Office. In 1904 she wrote ‘The Tale of Benjamin Bunny’ which included the character of Peter Rabbit as Benjamin’s cousin.
Beatrix spent many holidays at Lingholm and credited The Lingholm Kitchen Garden as the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s Garden. It has been speculated that the colonnades at Brompton Cemetery inspired the wall of his garden. The Potter’s family home was very close to Brompton Cemetery and Beatrix would probably have been very familiar with the cemetery.
In 2001 the Friends of Brompton Cemetery were going through recently computerised burial records of the cemetery, which contained 250,000 names. It was then that they discovered that Beatrix may have got some of her character’s names from the memorials. The Friends discovered names including Mr. Nutkins, Mr. McGregor, Tommy Brock and Tod (with that unusual single‘d’ spelling).
James Mackay, a member of the Friends commented at the time:
‘But I became convinced that the story is genuine when I found an old edition of the Jeremy Fisher story which had the character down as Jeremiah Fisher. Then I found a gravestone in the cemetery for a Jeremiah Fisher and that’s when I thought the rumour was true’
Returning to the Shepherd’s Bush connection it is possible to speculate on the route that Beatrix took on that day in 1892. After leaving home she would have headed west and after a short distance passed the main gates of Brompton Cemetery. Immediately after the cemetery she would have turned left into West Brompton Station which was served by the West London Railway. After buying her ticket and boarding the train she would have passed the newly built Earls Court Exhibition Grounds. When the train stopped at Addison Road Station she would have been able to see the imposing new Grand Hall at Olympia.
She would have alighted at the next stop which was the Uxbridge Road Station (the original station stood very close to the current Shepherd’s Bush Overground Station). Turning right out of the station was the start of the Uxbridge Road which headed west towards Shepherd’s Bush Green. The road was lined with over fifty small shops and it was in one of those shops that she bought Peter Piper who became world famous as Peter Rabbit.
As luck would have it, a photo was taken in 1893 may have captured the very shop that Beatrix visited. On the right of the photo, taken from the Green, you can see 90 Uxbridge Road, which was an animal dealers bearing the name Mills and Lane. A Post Office Directory of 1900 lists Edward Albert Mills as a bird and live animal dealer at the address.
The row of shops in the photo are now from left to right KFC, Cashino, Superdrug and McDonalds.
This is another Shepherd’s Bush article by Peter Trott – the pub theme is getting quite strong – enjoy, there are more.
Charles Coningham Tubbs was born in Sussex in 1838, to wealthy parents Charles Tubbs Esquire and Lucy Coningham, the daughter of Daniel Coningham, Major General of the Bengal Army. Charles was only eight when his mother Lucy died in 1846 and twenty three when his father Charles died in 1861.
Between 1856 and 1860 Charles Coningham Tubbs was listed as living in Worthing but was shown as the owner of land occupied by a tenant named John Gorton on the Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush. The 1861 census lists John as a ‘cow keeper’ living at Oaklands Dairy. After his father died Charles was listed as living in the family home at 16 Pall Mall London and still shown as owning freehold land on the Uxbridge Road in Shepherd’s Bush.
Sometime between 1865 and 1870 Charles changed his surname to Coningham and was recorded on a polling list as Charles Coningham Coningham of Pall Mall. He was shown as the owner of freehold land and houses listed as 1 to 16 Coningham Road, Shepherd’s Bush. The road was officially named in 1865. In 1871 his tenant John Gorton was living on the Uxbridge Road at 1 Coningham Villa. The Coningham Arms was also listed on the 1871 census indicating it was probably built sometime between the 1861 and 1871 censuses, on land owned by Charles.
His mother’s Coningham ancestors can be traced back to 1750 when earlier records become less clear. However, the name Coningham dates back to at least the twelfth century and is derived from the Scottish Clan Cunningham.
The pub has been called The Coningham Arms since it was built but confusingly mid twentieth century photos of the pub show a hanging sign with three crouching rabbits. That was in fact the Coat of Arms of the Coningsby family which had no connection to the Coningham family. I can only assume that someone made a schoolboy error and used the wrong Coat of Arms.
The sign was later replaced with the Coningham Coat of Arms which pictured a shakefork in the shape of a stylised ‘Y’. The accompanying motto ‘over fork over’ refers to the time when Macbeth killed Duncan and sent his men to kill Duncan’s son Malcolm Canmore. Malcolm took refuge in the barn of farmer Malcolm the son of Friskin. The farmer called out to his companion “over, fork over,” as they used shakeforks to cover the Prince with hay. By doing so the farmer saved the Prince’s life and he was later rewarded with the Thanedom of Cunninghame.
On 1 June 1871 Charles married Margaret Tremenheere, the daughter of Major General George Borlase Tremenheere of the Bengal Engineers. The marriage certificate showed his name as Charles Coningham Coningham a Gentleman living in Isleworth. In the autumn of 1873 they had a son named Charles Stuart Coningham. Tragically on 19 April 1874, within three years of his marriage, Charles Coningham Coningham died whilst staying at the Belle Vue Hotel in San Remo Italy. His body was brought home for burial at Heston. His Will gave his address as Ellingham Hall, Norfolk. By a cruel twist of fate their son Charles Stuart also died in Italy in March 1896 aged only 22.
In the same year that Charles married, the census listed Alfred Palmer as the Licensed Victualler of The Coningham Arms. James Watt was listed in 1874 followed by Samuel Riches the same year. Samuel actually died on the premises in 1881 and his widow Charlotte became the Publican. In 1891 George Towerzey and his wife Clara were in charge and by the end of WW2 the pub had changed hands at least another five times.
Originally the pub had one entrance door facing the Uxbridge Road, adjacent to an existing door that leads to the premises above. There was another entrance door facing Percy Road. These doors may have once been entrances to a Public Bar and a Saloon Bar. A smaller door further along Percy Road may have been an Off Licence. The current entrance on the corner of Uxbridge Road and Percy Road was once a display window.
The red brick extension on Percy Road appears to have been built sometime between 1896 and 1915. It was probably then that the outside men’s toilet in Coningham Mews was added. Post war there was also a wooden stall on the corner of the Mews that served hot meat pies and mugs of tea.
For many decades it has been known locally as an Irish pub and the pub is still a firm favourite with supporters of Celtic FC. The pub also has a strong following of Queen’s Park Ranger supporters. Occasionally Celtic travel to Shepherd’s Bush to play friendlies with Rangers and all the fans happily mingled together at the pub.
The pub survived the war unscathed and over the years the interior has changed very little. However, the exterior colour scheme has changed from brown and cream, to light green and cream and then dark green and cream. During the first lockdown in 2020, it was repainted ‘Rangers’ blue.
As with several of the local pubs the management has changed many times in recent years. The lease was put up for sale in 2008 and again in 2011 when Enterprise Inns put it up for auction with a rent of £85,000. Around 5 years ago a more generic Coat of Arms appeared and the ‘shakefork’ link to the Coningham family disappeared. In spite of all the changes The Coningham Arms has avoided gentrification and that is borne out by on line reviews such as ‘a proper pub’ and ‘this is one of the last old pubs in the area’.
There’s an interesting postscript to this story which relates to the naming of two further roads in Shepherd’s Bush. Ellingham Road joins Findon Road which in turn joins Coningham Road. Coningham Road was named in 1865 but Ellingham Road and Findon Road were both named in 1879 which was five years after Charles Coningham Coningham died. Records show that Charles was born and baptised in Findon, Sussex. And when he died his home address was Ellingham Hall, Norfolk. So very probably the two roads were named to commemorate Charles.
Another interesting, though grisly, article from Peter Trott – a wealth of inforamtion about Shepherd’s Bush. Enjoy.
For as long as I can remember an urban myth has linked public executions to Galloway Road and Gravesend Road in Shepherd’s Bush. However, in the booklet ‘Street Names of Fulham and Hammersmith’ it states that Galloway Road was possibly named after Mr Galloway, an engineer, mentioned by Faulkner in 1839, as having lived in the Goldhawk Road. And Gravesend Road was named after Richard de Gravesend and Stephen de Gravesend who were Bishops of London in the 13th and 14th centuries respectively. But having said that Shepherd’s Bush at one time was a location for public executions.
Up until the late 18th century a huge number of public executions took place at Tyburn which stood on the present junction of the Edgware Road and Bayswater Road. It was common practice for the dead bodies to be hung in metal cages or in chains from gibbets on roads leading to London as a warning to potential criminals.
An unnamed inn once stood in the vicinity of what is now Shepherd’s Bush Green and it was recorded as the only house standing between Acton and The Kensington Gravel Pits. Rocque’s map c1745 does show a building on the north of the Green. The map also clearly shows one single and one double gallows or gibbet at the eastern end of the Green. Records state that they stood on a piece of waste ground known as Gallows Close. The Athenaeum magazine once reported:
‘at the east corner of Shepherd’s Bush Common two ghastly gibbets reared their disgusting height, and held, rocking in the wind, the rattling bones of murderers hung in chains’
In 1737 a black man named Jeffery Morat was arrested for burglary with violence at the house of the Marquis of Lindsay. He died in prison. A private soldier by the name of Maw was hanged at Tyburn for the murder of a watchman at Shepherds Bush. The bodies of both men were hung in chains at Shepherds Bush. A public journal dated March 12th, 1737 stated:
‘On Sunday last thousands of people went to Shepherd’s Bush to see Maw, the Soldier, and Morat, the Black, hung in chains. The roads were perfectly lined with People and several had their pockets picked under the gibbet. The Black hangs in a very indecent manner: he has nothing over his face, but quite exposed, with his mouth wide open, and his swelled tongue hanging out, and looks very frightful. He is hung in his green livery, but without shoes or stockings. The Soldier has a white cloth over his face, and hangs more decent. There were several gallons of gin sold on that road all Sunday, not only by Running Distillers with bottles, but almost every hundred yards was a stall with gingerbread and gin’
Ten years later Richard Ashcroft and John Cook were caught smuggling brandy and tea in Eastbourne. They were held at Newgate Prison and executed on 29 July 1747 at Tyburn. Their dead bodies were also hung in chains at Shepherd’s Bush.
The General Evening Post dated 29 July 1747 announced:
‘Yesterday morning about eight o’clock Richard Ashcraft and John Cook, the two smugglers, were carried under a strong detachment of the guards, from Newgate to Tyburn, and executed pursuant to their sentence; after which their bodies were hung on a gibbet at Shepherd’s Bush, in the Acton Road, near James Hall, who was executed some time since for the murder of his master, Counsellor Penny’
James Hall had been executed for the murder in 1741 and this account indicates that his body had been hanging on the gibbet for six years.
Two un-named highwaymen were executed at Shepherds Bush in 1748. Reports suggest four further bodies were hung in chains between 1747 and 1751. One of these was a smuggler named Samuel Austin – his body was gibbeted in December 1747 and the Morning Advertiser reported:
‘the body of Samuel Austin the smuggler, who was executed on Monday last at Tyburn, was afterwards hung in chains at Shepherd’s Bush, on the same gibbet with the two lately executed’
On 29 August 1751 Robert Steel murdered his wife at Brick Street Hanover Square and was subsequently sentenced to death at the Old Bailey. He appears to have been the last reported person to be hung on a gibbet at Shepherds Bush.
Rocque’s map also shows two further double gallows or gibbets standing at the junction of Starch Green (Becklow Road) and the North High Way (Uxbridge Road). The approximate position would be close to where the Princess Victoria pub now stands. I found no reference to these, but it could be the site where Ashcroft, Cook and Hall were gibbeted as the report states the site was in the Acton Road.
There are no records of the number of criminals executed in Shepherd’s Bush but the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1856 reported:
‘there were gallows and occasional executions at Shepherd’s Bush, when Tybourn succeeded St Giles’
Finally the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser of Tuesday, March 26, 1765 reported from the previous year:
“Saturday night last the only remaining gibbet at Shepherds Bush was blown down, so that place remains now without any marks of ignominy upon it; which has not before happened for a century past”
Did you hear Melvyn Bragg’s In our Time on Thursday? If not do catch it on the Podcast it was about Booth and his maps and more; well worth the time. Also Andrew Marr’s Start the Week on Monday a rather more haphazard programme around three books but it does shine a light on London and its cosmopolitan populace again available as a podcast. A health warning on both as they are short and necessarily cursorary but they all add to the rich picture that is the product of London’s history.