GALLOWS AND GIBBETS

30 June, 2021

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’

Shepherd’s Bush Gibbets

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.

Starch Green Gibbet

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”


TWO TO CATCH ON THE BEEB

14 June, 2021

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.


SEE’s GET IN TOUCH THROUGH CONTACT US

27 May, 2021

We received this email from Patricia Acock earlier this month asking for help recognising a Hotel from a photo of Charles See a porter there. This links to Contact Us posts in April from Barbara, Geoffrey See and Heather Christine Potts all with See forebears but there may be several lines often with similar names.

Thu, 6 May, 19:40 Hello I am sorry to bother you but yours is the only e mail address I could find for fhhs. Perhaps you would be able to advise me or forward this to someone who can.During lockdown I have been researching my family historyThe ‘See’ family of Hammersmith.I have tried to attach a photo of my great uncle Charles See. In the 1911 census he was living in Standish Road and working as a porter. In the photo is a number 1 on the pillar and I wondered if anyone would know which hotel he worked for. Later he joined the Finsbury rifles and was sadly killed in 1917 aged just 24,In another branch of the family is a John See who won the Doggett Coat and Badge race in 1899, I wondered if your society holds newspapers where this event may be recorded?I live in Northampton so don’t know Hammersmith at all.Thank you for taking time to read this.Pat Acock

As you can see there is no badge or capband to identify the hotel but maybe the singular address may help. A long trawl through online directories may be rewarding. Can you solve this challenge? Whilst we are not a family history site or society we are happy if our Contact Us pages are of assistance.


MORE CONNECTIONS

10 September, 2020

We have another set of connections from two of our committee.

Vernon Burgess (who is also the Historian for All Saints Church Fulham) has found another connection between Zoffany and Fulham and Hammersmith with this painting………

Colonel Mordaunt’s Cock Match although a gruesome subject and possibly full of double entendres and other dubious images this was painted by Zoffany c.1784.  Do look at the picture here and the extensive discussion of the subject matter.  In brief it shows:

Asaf-ud-Daula, the Nawab Wazir (governor) of Awadh and Colonel John Mordaunt, an employee of Britain’s East India Company, on the left in white and also has Zoffany with his arm over the white armchair.

Wikipedia states that “Mordaunt was the illegitimate and nearly illiterate son of the 4th Earl of Peterborough by Robiniana Brown. (See “ Peterborough House” by Sue Pierson FHHS publications for more details).

The colonel had managed to be assigned to Warren Hastings and through him he was appointed head of security. His real role however included organising entertainments. Mordaunt and his employer were said to have shown the same low tastes in entertainment. Even at that time, cockfighting was not well regarded in British society. Mordaunt had arranged for British birds to be brought to India, where he used them to take on local cockerels.”

The Zoffany painting was commissioned for Warren Hastings by his private secretary a certain John Belli.

Now a certain Colonel John Cockerell who also had had a successful career with the East India company enters the story, he had a sister Elizabeth Cockerell who married for a second time the private secretary John Belli, and of course Colonel John’s brother was none other than Samuel Pepys Cockerell, who did some architectural work for Hastings.

Samuel himself would of course be working on restoring Fulham Palace for the Howleys many years later .

Samuel Pepys Cockerell was the great great nephew of Samual Pepys the diarist who himself in the past had visited Fulham Palace and commented on the fine botanical specimens there of Bishop  Compton. Samuel Pepys was a former pupil of St Paul’s school, when it was near the cathedral.

Why was he working for the Howleys?, well John and Elizabeth Belli’s 1st daughter was Mary Frances and she married on 29 Aug 1805, to certain a William Howley , a private tutor in Somerset who in 1809 was appointed regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and then he became Bishop of London in 1813. Mary was the “Howley heiress” refered to by Fulham Palace tour guides, inherited from her fathers successful East India company career that helped fund the alterations to Fulham Palace and the loss of the crenellations of Terricks improvements c. 1777.

Furthermore the builder employed by Cockerell was a certain Henry Holland . Henry Holland Snr, (20 July 1745– 17 June 1806) was an architect to the English nobility and was born in Fulham, where his son , also Henry, helped run the building firm constructing several garden designs for a well known gardener architect. Henry senior ,along with other members of the family are buried in All Saints Church yard and Henry’s son married Bridget, the daughter of Lancelot Brown known as “Capability Brown “ , who was of course the famous landscape architect we have just referred to. He lived sometime on Hammersmith Mall , and left in 1764 to live at Hampton Court. He was responsible for developing over 200 landscapes, many of them now National Trust, and has a recent statue up by Distillery Wharf near to Hammersmith bridge.

Bridget was also interred in the Holland tomb.  There is a separate memorial in All Saints church to her.

Incidentally Lancelot Brown was born only about five years after Henry Compton’s famous Gardener – George London died. London was responsible for many of the shortlived baroque Gardens in English country houses’, and hewas buried along with his wife in All Saints church, in 1712.

Jane Bowden-Dan also commented on the Zoffany of the Sharp family saying it would be good as part of a forthcoming Temporary Exhibition at Fulham Palace celebrating Bishop Beilby Porteus and his circle, which included the Sharps.

She found the mention of Kensington Gravel Pits timely having just returned from Caroline MacMillan’s guided ‘Notting Dale’ walk where the gravel pits, pigeries and brick kilns were mentioned.  Apparently one kiln remains standing.

Jane returned via the childhood home of Sir Paul Gordon Fildes OBE FRS at Woodland House, Melbury Road, Holland Park W14, now owned by Robbie Williams! It was built for his father Sir Luke Fildes, a portrait artist, by Richard Norman Shaw. Jane’s connection is that she has been investigating a photo album rescued from a skip at her block of flats on the Thames that she has discovered belonged to Sir Paul who was a Pathologist and Microbiologist at the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar during WWl and at Porton Down in WWll working on Anthrax.
Phew!! I hope you survived that monumental feat of name dropping, I have never added so many tags to a post.

THE END TO A BUSY AND INTERESTING YEAR

13 February, 2016

2015 gave us some interesting visits and good talks adding to our understanding of the vibrant history of this part of London. August saw a repeat visit to Hogarth’s House but as on previous occasions it proved impossible to access Chiswick Church. In September we had a brilliant talk by Anna Sparham about the Fulham photographer Christina Bloom one of the first professional female photographers choosing soldiers and royalty as her subjects and through force of personality gained amazing access. Anna the exhibition curator from Museum of London (Docklands) illustrated this pioneering lady’s career with pictures from the exhibition. October saw us visit the Albert Memorial. What’s to see you may say having passed by on the road. We joined the public guided tour and were treated to an insight into the creation of this memorial and the significance of each tier of decoration. The planned visit to St Paul’s was cancelled. In December a small group gathered at the Rocket in Putney for a Christmas Meal and fitting finale’ to this interesting year.


Discussion, Information, Genealogy

12 October, 2015

Have you seen the growing contributions on Contact Us about the Shepherd’s Bush Market. This has really started something with several families linking up through the discussion. There are also many enquiries about local shops and individuals and sometimes tragic searches for information on workhouses, schools and children’s homes. If you can help or remember details that complete a picture for someone then don’t be shy just click on Reply under the item and add your twopenneth


EUROVISION SONG CONTEST

23 May, 2015

As you sit down tonight to the Eurovision Song Contest you may not know that one of our rare successes at the competition came from this borough. In 1961 The Allisons came second with “Are You Sure?” and the record was so successful it sold over 1 million copies even keeping Elvis out of the charts. The Allisons were two Fulham choir boys from from St Dionis church Brian John Alford and Colin Bob Day. John wrote the song and is still keeping the memory alive but sadly Bob died in November 2013. Will this year’s entry be as successful?


Hospitals of London – Review by Jane Bowden-Dan

21 October, 2014

In July, on the FHHS’s guided walk around Smithfield with Sue Pierson, we saw the entrance to Barts; and plan to return this autumn for a conducted tour of the historic hospital, to include William Hogarth’s paintings on the Grand Staircase. In the opening paragraph of this fascinating book’s first chapter (entitled Healthcare in London before the NHS) we learn that St Bartholomew’s Hospital – the oldest operational hospital in England – is the only survivor of the monastic foundations which cared for London’s sick in the Middle Ages (p.6 & p.34).

Hospitals of London piqued my interest. It is a handbook which gives brief histories of the capital’s hospitals themselves, as well as describing the social and political aspects of medical history in the city.

Click to read Review


Introducing the FHHS

19 August, 2013

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.