Street View: 32
Address: 68 Lamb’s Conduit Street


We saw in a previous post that Isaac Salaman had his business at 69 Lamb’s Conduit Street, but next door Tallis found Phillips and Sampson, tailors and drapers. There is a link between the two neighbouring families as in 1854 Abraham Salaman, son of Isaac, the ostrich feather dealer, married Bloom Phillips, the daughter of Israel (Asher b David) Phillips, the tailor. They were married at St. James’s Westminster and from later census records, it appears that Abraham was – not surprisingly – also involved in the ostrich feather business. But let’s start with Israel Phillips who, in 1830 at the Western Synagogue, married Maria (Reina) Sampson, hence ‘Phillips and Sampson’ as her brother Simeon was also a tailor and lived with the Phillips family at 68 Lamb’s Conduit Street. Neither Phillips, nor Sampson, appear in the 1829 Post Office Directory, so it is unclear when exactly they started trading from Lamb’s Conduit Street, but presumably after Israel and Maria’s marriage. The 1841 census also shows another of Maria’s brother living with them, Joseph, who is described as a bootmaker. We will come across him again later on.

headstone on Israel’s grave (Source – with grateful thanks: Cemetery Scribes)

headstone on Israel’s grave (Source – with grateful thanks: Cemetery Scribes)

The Phillips and Sampson family were not as rooted to one address as the Salamans had been, as in, or just after, 1851, they moved to 40 High Holborn, possibly after the death of Israel in March 1851. The census, which was taken on 30 March, and the 1851 Post Office Directory still have the business at Lamb’s Conduit Street, but the 1856 Post Office Directory found them in High Holborn. The previous occupant of that shop, Joseph Robinson, a bookseller, had been declared a bankrupt in 1851 and apparently moved out shortly after that. A perfect opportunity for the tailors to move to busy Holborn.

Goad's insurance map of 1886 for 68 Lamb's Conduit Street, which has been renumbered to 21

Goad’s insurance map of 1886 for 68 Lamb’s Conduit Street, which was renumbered in the late 1860s to 21

The 1861 census saw Maria Phillips with four sons and four daughters at High Holborn.(1) Simeon and Joseph Sampson are not listed, but in 1871 Simeon is back and given as ‘retired tailor’. Maria was not at home at the time and the census taker duly noted in the margin “The head of the family, a widow, is absent”. We find her at 25 Clifton Gardens with her son Frederick Samuel David, a recent widower, and her grandson Raymond of just 3 months old. Frederick is described as ‘photographer’ in the 1871 census, and, although he lived away from the shop, still traded from 40 High Holborn. Somewhere in the 1870s, the tailoring family moved once again and in the probate record for Simeon, who died 19 December 1878, we find him described as “formerly of 40 High Holborn, but late of 46 Warwick Road Maida Hill.(2) In the later 19th century, many Jews moved from the centre of London to Maida Hill and Maida Vale and the area became known as a predominantly Jewish district with the Spanish/Portuguese Synagogue on Lauderdale Road.

Charles Booth's 1889 descriptive map of London poverty, showing Warwick Road and Clifton Gardens

Charles Booth’s 1889 descriptive map of London poverty, showing Warwick Road and Clifton Gardens

Frederick continued with his photographic company at High Holborn, but we will follow the rest of the family to 44 Warwick Road and will come back to Frederick when the post on 40 High Holborn gets written.

In the 1881 census, we see Samuel Ellis Phillips (usually called Ellis), unmarried tailor, as the head of the family at 44 Warwick Road. Also living there is his brother Louis, also an unmarried tailor, his sister Annie, a widow, and her son Eddie, a scholar. We could assume from all this that Joseph Sampson, Simeon’s brother, left the family after the 1841 census to lead his own life. That is true, he did and became a furrier, but at the end of his life, he returned and the head stone at Brompton Jewish Cemetery reads “Joseph SAMPSON of 44 Warwick Rd Maida Hill who departed this life Sept 4th 1885 – 5646 aged 71”.(3)

From a list of bankruptcy cases in The London Gazette of 4 October 1887, we learn that Samuel Ellis had continued the tailoring business at 40 High Holborn and 44 Warwick Road. He managed to come to an agreement with his creditors and the receiving order was rescinded, so we know that the Holborn address was still in use as a tailor’s in 1887. In the 1891 census, Ellis and Louis have changed places with Louis now the head of the family, but they are still at Warwick Road. Louis died in 1898, but was then no longer living in Maida Vale, but in St. Ann’s-heath Virginia Water, Surrey.(4) And the last of the tailors, Samuel Ellis died in 1917 at Cleveland Mansions, Willesden Lane. His sister Clara Alberts, widow, is named as the executor. In 1920, however, a new probate is granted to Clara’s daughter, Lilian Weil. Samuel’s estate had by then dwindled to a little over £500.(5)

, 8 January 1881

Leeds Mercury, 8 January 1881

This all sounds very boring and straightforward and I was wondering what I could write about the family to interest my readers when I came across a notice in a newspaper about one Clara Govier, 23 years old, of St. Mary’s Terrace, Paddington. Govier was charged at the Marylebone Police Court with “wilfully disturbing the inhabitants by ringing the bell at 44 Warwick Road, without lawful excuse; also with assaulting Ellis Phillips”. Ellis appeared in court to give evidence with his eye bandaged, and claimed that Govier had followed him all day and had been ringing the bell at night. He managed to send her away several times, but she kept coming back and finally struck him with a roll of paper and that was why he had given her into custody. It had not been the first time she had struck him as two weeks before she had hit him on the mouth, but he had not appeared against her, because she promised not to do it again. When asked why she behaved in such manner, Govier said that she “had great provocation” and had five children by Ellis. Phillips said in reply, “I am keeping one child and doing the best I can for her, but she won’t do any good”. The judge ruled that “because you have been profligate, and had a child by a man, is no reason why you should persecute him all the rest of his life”. Sentence: two months hard labour.(6) There does not seem to be any suggestion that Phillips’ behaviour was in any way reprehensible, but different times, different ideas and morals, I suppose. Having said that, Govier may not have been the easiest person to get along with and I could not find any evidence of the five children she claimed to have had. The only possibility is the baptism at All Saints, Harrow, of 15-year old Ethel Govier, daughter of Clara Govier. The 15 years would make 1884 her birth year, so definitely in the right time-frame. Another possibility (or maybe it is the same child?), is Ethel Philip Govier, daughter of Ellis and Clare Gouvier of 7 Lambs Conduit Passage, baptised on 25 February 1883 at St. John the Evangelist, Red Lion Square. Occupation father given as ‘tailor’. An Ellis Govier does not appear to have existed other than in this baptism record. If anyone can solve the Govier riddle, I’d love to know. [Update: Gaby Laws of Cemetery Scribes found an 1891 census for Ethel Govier as a foster child living with Edward Swain, a stonemason from Harrow, and his wife Sarah Ann, along with two other foster children (not named Govier)]

And to round off this post an advertisement for a tailor named Sampson, although this is John Sampson, and quite likely no relation of Joseph or Simeon at all, but as I have not found an advertisement for the ‘right’ Sampson, this will have to do.

1860 advertisement in E. Walford

1860 advertisement in E. Walford’s The County Families of the United Kingdom

(1) Frederick, Lawrence, Louis, Ellis, Jeanette, Annie, Rosetta and Clara.
(2) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1879. Estate valued at £600. Simeon’s brother Joseph and nephew Frederick are listed as the executors. Frederick is by then living in Bayswater, and Joseph in Hornsey Rise.
(3) http://www.cemeteryscribes.com/getperson.php?personID=I3536. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1885. Estate valued at £800. His adress is given as “late of Tilekile-lane [= Tile Kiln Lane], Southgate”. Samuel Ellis Phillips, his nephew, is named as the executor.
(4) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1898. Estate valued at just over £930. His brother Frederick is named as the executor.
(5) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1918. Estate valued at just over £920.
(6) Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, 7 September 1884.


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