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Street View: 27
Address: 22 High Street, Bloomsbury

elevation

The index page to Tallis’s booklet 27 lists George Cramp at 22 Broad Street, but that is a mistake. In every resource I found, and indeed on Tallis’s own street plan, Cramp is given the address of 22 High Street, Bloomsbury, also known as High Street, St. Giles. Mr. Cramp has not left many traces behind of his existence, so I am afraid his biography will be rather short.

The 1841 census for 22 High Street tells us that George Cramp, 45 years old, not born in Middlesex, with an occupation so faded that it could be anything, is living there with Liddey Cramp, 40 years old, also from outside Middlesex. A Charles Hunter, 5 years old, appears to be living with George and Liddey, but I have not found out what relation he was of them. As you can see from the elevation above, number 22 was a rather large house and more people are listed at that address in the census, but they do not seem to have anything to do with the Cramps, nor are they listed in Tallis. Ten years later, in the 1851 census, Cramp is living at number 24 (I’ll come back to the move later), he is now 56 years old and clearly listed as a coal dealer. His birthplace is given as Branstead (Brasted?), Kent. His wife, now called Lydia, is 50 years old and originally from Norwich, Norfolk. Living with them is Sarah Eley, an 80-year old widow, also from Norwich and described as ‘mother’. This gave me a clue to Liddy’s maiden name(1) and led to the marriage registration for George Cramp and Liddy Eley on 26 July 1845 at St. Martin’s in the Field, Westminster. Yes, indeed, long after the couple were listed together in the 1841 census and one can only speculate why they got married at St. Martin’s rather than at their local church, St. Giles’s.

Georgey in the Coal-Hole by James Gillray, 1800 (Source: British Museum)

Georgey in the Coal-Hole by James Gillray, 1800 (Source: British Museum)

George may have been listed at 24 High Street in the 1851 census, that is, he was recorded as sleeping on the premises the night of 30 March when the census was taken, but earlier that year he had been in the debtor’s prison “on his own petition”.(2) On 13 February, he was to appear before the Commissioner and in the notice about it he is described as “formerly of no. 22, High-street, Bloomsbury, and having a stable in Camden-street, Soho, both in Middlesex, coal dealer and carman, and late of no. 24, High-street aforesaid, out of business or employment”.(3) So, George diversified and in stead of just dealing in coal he used his cart or waggon to deliver other goods, most likely for other people, possibly one of the railyway companies. In the elevation above for number 22, a gaping hole on the ground floor suggests a throughfare to the backyard where Cramp may have stored his coals and his horse(s), but number 24 does not seem to have had such a passage and perhaps Cramp just rented a few rooms at number 24 while he kept his horse and cart in Camden Street.(4)

There is one other snippet of information to be found about George Cramp, and that is that he was summoned to serve on the Traverse Jury at the Middlesex Sessions of the Peace on 23 July 1850.(5) A traverse jury is one that is chosen for just the one case, but which case that was in Cramp’s case is unclear. No more is heard of George and his wife Lydia after the bankruptcy proceedings; I have not found anymore census records for them, nor any death registrations, so what happened to them is uncertain. Did they emigrate?

A trade card that has little to do with Cramp, but all with transporting coal, to end this rather short post:

Source: British Museum

Source: British Museum

(1) Lydia Ely was baptised 31 May 1799 at St. Margaret’s, Norwich, the daughter of Benjamin Ely and Sarah Rovell. I have not discovered any baptism records for George.
(2) London Gazette, 21 January 1851.
(3) London Gazette, 28 January 1851.
(4) Victorian London published W.J. Gordon’s The Horse World of London (1893) with chapter 10 on The Coal Horse (see online here).
(5) London Metropolitan Archives, MJ/SP/1850/08/005.

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