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Not Brentford

Brentford Families - Pearce & Mitchell

The master spreadsheet used as the backbone for this site has 40 references to the name Pearce. Two descendants of one branch of the family are Joanne Tansley & Trevor Mitchell: both descended from Richard Pearce born around 1792. But are the other High Street Pearces related? Taking the information from Joanne & Trevor and adding details from censuses and other sources it is possible to build up Pearce family units which shared the same location and / or occupation.

In June 2011 Peter Swain, a Pearce descendant from the main line starting with Richard Pearce born c 1792, provided some further details from his research into the family.

In January 2015 Keith Brown, another descendant, provided the following details: Elizabeth Pearce's people were Quakers. There are graves in the meeting house of Quakers at Isleworth one surname is EARL the others are WRAN and DOWSON. They were market gardeners at Isleworth.

In October 2016 the family of Walter Pearce, printer, was researched: he published postcards from the early 1900s as 'Walter Pearce & Co., St George's Press, The Butts, Brentford' and also printed books, for example Fred Turner's History and Antiquities of Brentford published in 1922. The front plate of this volume notes
Printed by the successors of the Norbury Press Walter Pearce & Co St Georges Press The Butts. It seems he is not related to the local Pearce families so has been given a separate page.

In July 2018 Peter Stuart provided substantial additions to the "Royal Tar" Pearce lineage: 'they come from my wife's tribe'.

Below are some suggestions as to ways in which the units may be linked. To prove the links will require the purchase of certificates and, not surprisingly as it is a common surname, some of the Pearces appear to be unrelated.


Two Richard Pearces associated with the Royal Tar, no. 3

Richard PEARCE (1794 - 1874): Born 17 Oct 1794 and was baptised on 8 Nov 1784 at St Mary the Virgin, Norwood Green; married Elizabeth CLIFFORD at Hanwell on 10 Nov 1817; Elizabeth CLIFFORD was baptised on the 6 Apr 1796 at St Mary's, Ealing, and she died in Brentford aged 70; and is buried in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery on 6 May 1866. Richard PEARCE was a waterman at no. 3 High Street in 1841 (it is not clear whether no. 3 was a beer house at this stage); waterman and beer seller at no. 3 in 1851; beer shop keeper at no, 3 in 1861; still at the Royal Tar in 1871 'retired waterman'; a Richard PEARCE death was registered in Brentford, June 1874 aged 80; and was buried in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery on 17 May 1874 the same grave as his wife; children (thanks to Peter Swain for their names, birth and baptism dates/locations from

  • Richard PEARCE (1818 - 1895): Born 2 Mar 1818 and baptised 22 Mar 1818 at St Mary Ealing; indentured to his father, also Richard, as an apprentice Waterman & Lighterman on 10 July 1834, when he would have been 16 years old; married Elizabeth EARLE (Baptised 19 Nov 1820, St Mary's, West Twyford, Ealing) in St Mary the Virgin, Norwood Green on 12 Feb 1839: Elizabeth died in 1886 and was buried on the 5 Jan 1886 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery. The marriage certificate provided by Joanne Tansley names Richard's father as Richard PEARCE, waterman and it is assumed he is the son of the above RP; Richard PEARCE junior was a waterman at Burgess Wharf, Brentford in 1841; lighterman just off the High Street in 1851; lighterman at 13 Caroline Place Old Brentford in 1861; Trevor Mitchell writes 'Did you realise that Richard PEARCE pulled off a remarkable double. In the 1871 census he is off Tower Bridge onboard the 'Mary', and at the same time at home in Caroline Place with Elizabeth!'; in 1881 he was possibly the Master on the 'Mary Ann' at North Aylesford in Kent (his birth place was simply recorded as ' London Middlesex'; he was living with his daughter & son in law (BROOKS) at 4 Lateward Road in 1891; Richard was buried 28 Nov 1894 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery in the same grave as his wife children (all Born in Brentford) include:
    • George Clifford PEARCE (1839 - 1895): was Born on 23 Sep 1839 and was baptised on 20 Oct 1839 at St George's, Old Brentford; at home in 1851; married Ann Maria LITTLEBOY (Born 15 Mar 1842, baptised 10 Apr 1842, St George's, Old Brentford) on 25 Dec 1862, St Mary's, Ealing; Ann beerhouse keeper at no. 307 High Street in 1871, lighterman at 307 in 1881, beerhouse keeper at 307 in 1891; he died 1 December 1895 at 307 High Street, Brentford and probate was granted to Annie Maria PEARCE, widow, effects £1333 19s 6d; his wife was running the Alexandra Inn at this address in 1901; George was buried 5 Dec 1895 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery. Ann Maria died on 16 Dec 1907 and was buried in the same grave as her husband on 19 Dec 1907
      Children (all Born in Brentford) included:
      • George PEARCE (1863 - 1936) was Born 4 Oct 1863 and was baptised on the 1 Nov 1863, St George's, Old Brentford. He married Elizabeth TREADWAY on 21 Dec 1895 at St Paul's Brentford. Elizabeth was baptised 10 Jan 1864, St Lawrence's, New Brentford and died Mar 1939, Brentford. In 1884 at the age of 21; George was a lighterman of 307 High Street and his father was George Clifford PEARCE, also a lighterman; later in life he was elected as a BUDC councillor - see Janet McNamara's biography; George died 26 Jun 1936, in Hounslow Hospital.
      • Elizabeth PEARCE (1865 - 1954) Born 8 Jun 1865 and was baptised on 2 Jul 1865, St George's, Old Brentford married Henry HOGG (1863 - 1936), a lighterman of 18 Grosvenor Road, Brentford, on 25 Dec 1885 at St Paul's, Brentford; Elizabeth was 20, her address 307 High Street, father George Clifford PEARCE, lighterman; George PEARCE and Annie PEARCE witnessed the marriage. Elizabeth died in 1954 and was buried on 12 Oct 1954 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery. Elizabeth had ten children between 1886 and 1897
      • John PEARCE (1866 – 1912) Born 14 Feb 1867 and was baptised on 10 Mar 1867, St George's, Old Brentford: lighterman, married Jane MARTIN (1860 – 1931) at St Paul's Brentford on Christmas Day in 1887 his address 307 High Street, his father's home; in Netley Road in 1891 & 1901; six children, only two survived to 1901, John & Jane. John Died in 1912 and was buried on 30 May 1912 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery. His wife Jane died in Dec 1931 and was buried on the 29 Nov 1931, Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
      • Richard PEARCE (1869 -1947): Born 25 Jan 1869 and was baptised on 7 Mar 1869 at St Paul's, Brentford. In Jun 1890 he married Jessie HOUNSELL in Strood, Kent. She was Born Aylesford, Kent, 16 Feb 1867, Richard a master waterman and lighterman on the 'Alexandra' (NB the same name as his parents' beerhouse) in Kent in 1891, Richard died Dec 1947, Middlesex South
      • Annie PEARCE (1870 - 1937) Born 2 Nov 1870 and was baptised on the 27 Nov 1870 at St Paul's, Brentford. She never married and died in Sep 1937, Brentford.
      • William PEARCE (c 1872): married Charlotte GREGG at St James, St Pancras on the 21 Sep 1890, giving his age as 20; he was a waterman, son of George Clifford PEARCE, waterman and he and his bride were living at 26 George Street St Pancras; he returned to Brentford and was a waterman and lighterman, Half Acre in 1901, with wife Charlotte and two children aged 9 and 3
      • Alfred PEARCE (1874 - 1953): Born 5 Mar 1874 and baptised on the 5 Apr 1875, St Paul's, Brentford. A mate on the 'Alexandra' in Kent, with his brother Richard, in 1891; he married Mary Ann LEE at St James, Fulham on 22 May 1893 at the age of 19, occupation waterman, address 307 High Street and father George Clifford PEARCE; the 1901 census shows Alfred PEARCE, 'waterman on river', aged 27, living at 10 Albany Road, Brentford with his wife Mary Ann & children; this could be the Alfred PEARCE who was 'a lighterman who worked as a foreman in the Brentford Dock and was a known entertainer' (Q60); see (Q61) for a photo of Alfred PEARCE the entertainer; his son Alfred George Clifford PEARCE (1896 - 1917) is commemorated on the WW1 Memorial which stood outside St Lawrence church. Mary Ann LEE was Born on the 16 Apr 1874, baptised on the 10 May 1874, St Paul's, Brentford and died Mar 1949, Ealing District. Alfred died Mar 1953, Ealing District
      • Charles Clifford PEARCE (1875 – 1877) Born 15 Mar 1875, baptised on 9 Apr 1876, St Paul's, Brentford and died Oct 1877, Brentford District and was buried on the 14 Dec 1877, Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
      • Ada PEARCE (1878 - 1957) Born 20 Mar 1878, baptised 14 Apr St Paul's, Brentford; at 19 married William Arthur BEACH at St Paul's Brentford on 1 Jun 1897; her address 307 High Street, her father George Clifford PEARCE lighterman deceased; William Arthur BEACH was a factory manager and his address of Strawberry Villa, Old Brentford confirms he is part of the Beach family famous for its jam; his father was Thomas William BEACH; William died 4 Feb 1964, Cheltenham. Ada died Mar 1957, Cheltenham.
      • Henry PEARCE (1880 – 1948) Born 20 Aug 1880, baptised 19 Sep 1880 St Paul's, Brentford; at 21 married Margaret Ann TAYLOR at St Paul's, Old Brentford on 24 Mar 1901; Henry was a lighterman of 307 High Street, son of George Clifford PEARCE lighterman deceased, his wife was of 46 Grosvenor Road; Henry HOGG, James Henry BROOKS and Florence HOGG were witnesses. Margaret Ann TAYLOR was Born 30 Mar 1880 and was baptised 2 May 1880, St George's, Old Brentford and she died Dec 1948, Kensington. Henry died Dec 1952 and his death was registered in Ealing
      • Thomas PEARCE (1882 - ):Born 22 Sep 1882, baptised 22 Oct 1882 St Paul's, Brentford waterman in 1901, living with his widowed mother at no. 307; married Ada Maria HAWKINS of 41 Grosvenor Road, on 19 Jun1910 at St Paul's, Brentford; Thomas was 27, a lighterman of 39 Grosvenor Road, son of George Clifford PEARCE lighterman, deceased and Albert Henry PEARCE and Alice SULLIVAN were witnesses
      • Albert PEARCE (1884 - 1967) Born 24 Nov 1884, Baptised 21 Dec 1884, St Paul's, Brentford; married Elizabeth Ann KERSLAKE on 20 Jun 1908 at St Paul's, Brentford; Albert was a lighterman of 307 High Street, son of George Clifford PEARCE, lighterman deceased; his wife was of 43 High Street, daughter of William James KERSLAKE, farrier, who witnessed the marriage with George PEARCE. Albert died Jun 1967 and his death was registered in Hounslow.
    • Richard PEARCE (1841 - 1868): Born 5 Sep 1841, baptised 26 Sep 1841, St George's, Old Brentford; at home in 1851; a Richard PEARCE, 26, lighterman (son of Richard PEARCE lighterman) married Ellen BARRETT at St George, Old Brentford on 25 Dec 1867, bride and groom both of Old Brentford; the witnesses were Elizabeth PEARCE and William BROOKS. Richard was buried on the 6 Sep 1868 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
    • John Thomas PEARCE (1844-1846) Born 21 Apr 1844, baptised 26 May 1844, St George's, Old Brentford; died Sep 1846, Brentford (added by Peter Swain)
    • Charles PEARCE (1846 - ): baptised at St George, 5 April 1846 (Born March 12), son of Richard (waterman) and Elizabeth of Old Brentford; married Priscilla SELLERS (c 1848/9, Brentford) at St Mary's, Spring Grove, 16 Feb 1868 (he a waterman, she a servant, both of Spring Grove); lived at Paradise Row in 1871 (waterman), 2 High Street near the Royal Tar, home of other PEARCEs, in 1881, 62 Distillery Road in 1891 and 37 Lateward Road in 1901 (lighterman); there are five deaths of Charles PEARCEs Born 1845/7 in Brentford in the 1890s / early 1900s; children included:
      • Priscilla PEARCE (1869 - 1949): Born 13 Dec 1869, baptised 9 Jan 1870, St Paul's, Brentford; married Thomas John GREENROD at St Clement's, Notting Hill on 2 Jun 1889; the GREENROD’s were potters in Brentford. Priscilla died in 1949 and was buried 10 Mar 1949 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
      • Charles Richard PEARCE (1872 – 1874) Born 30 Mar 1872, baptised 2 Nov 1872, St Paul's, Brentford. Charles died 1874 and his death was registered Apr 1874, Brentford.
      • Richard Samuel PEARCE (1874 – 1931): Born 7 Sep 1874 , baptised 27 Sep 1874, St Paul's, Brentford ; potter in 1891. He died 1931 and was buried on 27 Feb 1931 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
      • William George PEARCE (1877 - ): Born 17 Feb 1877, baptised at St Paul's Brentford on 11 Mar 1877, son of Charles & Priscilla PEARCE; Charles was a waterman of Paradise Place, Old Brentford; William was a potter in 1891 and 1901
      • John Clifford PEARCE (1880 - 1950): Born 22 Feb 1880, Baptised 21 Mar 1880, St Paul's, Brentford recorded as 'Clifford' in 1891 & 1901; labourer in barge yard in 1901; married Florence Ellen WARNES on the 25 Dec 1904, St Paul's, Brentford. From 10 Nov 1916 to 2 May 1919 John served as a Sapper, Royal Engineers. Florence was Born 31 Mar 1881, Beccles, Suffolk, her death being recorded in Dec 1957, Ealing District, John died at his home on the 18 Aug 1950, 16 Hamilton Road, Brentford and was buried on 25 Aug 1950, Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
      • Robert Edward PEARCE (1883 - 1962): Born 28 Nov 1883, baptised 1 Jun 1884, St Paul's, Brentford recorded as 'Albert' in 1891; labourer in barge yard in 1901. Married Elizabeth HARRIS Nov 1904, Fulham. Elizabeth HARRIS was Born 7 Apr 1884, Hammersmith and died in the West Middlesex Hospital on 12 Apr 1966. Robert died in 1962 and his death was registered Mar 1962, Ealing District,
      • Elizabeth PEARCE (1886 – 1962):Born 22 Oct 1886, baptised 17 Nov 1886, St Paul's, Brentford; at home in 1901. Her death was recorded Mar 1962, Ealing District.
    • Elizabeth PEARCE (1848 - 1896 ): Born 18 Aug 1848, Baptised 10 Sep 1848, St George's, Old Brentford ; married on the 22 Nov 1868, Hammersmith to William BROOKS, a lighterman; lived at 21 Catherine Street, Bromley in 1871, returned to Brentford by 1881; William Brooks was running the Royal Tar in 1881 (In 2015 Keith Brown added details of their family to the Brooks family page; see also his notes above about the Pearce family; William BROOKS was buried on 13 Sep 1923, Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery as was Elizabeth who was buried on 25 Apr 1896.
    • Sarah PEARCE (1850 - 1936): Born on 17th December 1850 and baptised at St. George’s, Old Brentford, on 17 January 1851; appears as 'Lucy' age 3 months in the 1851 census (name error by census enumerator?); married Samuel Jonathan WRIGHT on 3 Sep 1872 in All Saints, the Parish Church of Poplar (Peter Swain, who provided details about his great grandmother Sarah in June 2011 adds that the Poplar marriage location may be because her Father was a Waterman and Poplar was frequented by Dockers and Watermen, being near the East India Docks). Sarah was buried on the 3 Feb 1936 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
    • Priscilla PEARCE (1854 – 1892): Born 28 May 1854, baptised 18 Jun 1854, St George's, Old Brentford. married John MITCHELL on 1 Oct 1870, All Saints, Poplar; John was Born in Marlow, Bucks c 1845; the couple settled in Bromley and were living there with Priscilla's elder sister, Elizabeth BROOKS, in 1871; both husbands were lightermen; by 1881 the Mitchells had returned to Brentford and were living at 2 Eaton Place; in 1891 at Retort Alley; John Mitchell was a lighterman in 1881 & 1891; Priscilla's death was registered in Jul 1892, Brentford District. Children included:
      • Eleanor Mary MITCHELL(1873 ): Born 10 Sep 1872 in Bromley, baptised 2 Nov 1873, St Paul's, Brentford
      • George William MITCHELL (c 1875): Born in Bromley, married Sarah Jane SNELLING; six children; died in an accident at the Brentford Gas Works in 1912; George was buried on the 14 Sep 1912, Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
      • John Clifford MITCHELL (1877): Born on 5 May 1877 in Bromley; Trevor Mitchell notes that John named his son John Clifford MITCHELL, so the name Clifford, from JCM senior's maternal grandmother Elizabeth CLIFFORD, was handed down the family; JCM senior married Elizabeth SNELLING (so two Mitchell brothers married two Snelling sisters: see details of the Snelling family
      • Bertie MITCHELL (1888 - 1951): Born Sep 188 in Brentford, He married Emily ARMITAGE Mar 1915 in Brentford. His death was registered Jun 1951, Middlesex South Registration District
    • Jane PEARCE (1859 - 1930): Born 30 Apr 1859 and was baptised 29 Jun 1859 in St George's, Old Brentford; was living at the Royal Tar in 1881. On 7 May 1882 at Hammersmith she married Richard TREADWAY. He was Born 1 Jan 1862 and was buried on the 7 Oct 1941 in Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery. Jane was buried in the same cemetery on 7 Apr 1930.
  • Elizabeth PEARCE (1819 - 1884): Born 13 Dec 1819 and baptised 21 Jan 1820 at St Mary Ealing; married William BATTY at St Leonard, Shoreditch, London on 2 Jul 1838. Elizabeth’s father Richard was described as a victualler. Elizabeth and William had at least 7 children, obviously none of them were Born in Brentford (thanks to Madeleine Cook for this information, November 2016) Elizabeth's death was registered Jan 1884, St Saviour's Southwark, Southwark.
  • Caroline PEARCE (1822-): Born 9 Apr 1822 and baptised 28 Apr 1822 at St Mary Ealing
  • George PEARCE (1824 - 1825): Born 2 Mar 1824 and baptised 28 Mar 1824 at St Mary Ealing. He was buried 30 Oct 1825, St Mary's, Ealing
  • Ann PEARCE (1826 - 1895): Born 20 Jan 1826 and baptised 12 Feb 1826 at St Mary Ealing. Ann Married John House TAINT on 14 Feb 1848 at St Paul's, Hammersmith. John was baptised 2 Dec 1827, St Lawrence, New Brentford and his death was registered in Dec 1870, Brentford. Ann's death was registered Sep 1895, Brentford
  • Eliza PEARCE (1828-): Born 11 Apr and baptised 4 May 1828 at St Mary Ealing; not at home in 1841: Peter Swain adds 'there is an Eliza PEARCE of approximately the right age as a resident pupil in Annandale House, Chiswick, in the 1841 Census'
  • Sophia PEARCE (c 1831-): Born ? (page damaged, date lost) 1831 and baptised 18 Dec 1831 at St George Old Brentford; not found in the 1851 census. She married William BOULTER on 14 Oct 1830, St Paul's, Brentford
  • Mary Ann PEARCE (1834 - 1866): Born 13 Jul and baptised 10 Aug 1834 at St George Old Brentford; married Edward MARRINER, a waterman, in Kensington in 1851; children include Elizabeth & Mary Ann MARRINER, who appear in the 1871 censuses as nieces of Isaac & Priscilla BEESE (nee PEARCE). Edward MARRINER was buried 12 Sep 1883 in Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery. Mary was also buried there on 25 Feb 1866.
  • Martha PEARCE (1836 - 1838): Born 20 Mar, baptised 28 Apr 1836 at St George Old Brentford. She was buried on 22 Mar 1838 in St George's, Old Brentford
  • James PEARCE (1838 - 1877): Born 7 Sep, baptised 30 Sep 1838 at St George Old Brentford; at home in 1851 and 1861 - a waterman James was buried on 23 Mar 1877 in the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.
  • Priscilla PEARCE (1840 - 1899): Born 13 Aug, baptised 6 Sep 1840 at St George Old Brentford; married Isaac BEESE on the 17 Oct 1864, Hammersmith; by 1871 they had moved into the Royal Tar and Isaac was a 'beer seller' and a small note 'boiler...'; two nieces of Isaac were living at the Royal Tar in 1871: Elizabeth & Mary Ann MARRINER, aged 14 & 11; Isaac BEESE was Born c1841 Bristol and his death was registered in the Staines District on Sep 1884. Priscilla's death was registered Dec 1899, Staines District; children of Isaac & Priscilla included:
    • Isaac BEESE (1868 – 1868) Baptised 28 Jun 1868, St George's, Old Brentford. His death was registered Jul 1868. Brentford Priscilla Beese (c 1869)
    • Priscilla BEESE (1869 - 1944) Baptised 27 Mar1870, St George's, Old Brentford. On the 9 Sep 1895 she married George Washington Campbell ARNOTT, Manhattan, New York, USA. George was Born 1853, Liverpool and died 11 Jan 1939, 90 Audley Road, Hendon. Priscilla also died at this address on the 29 Jul 1944.
    • Clifford John BEESE (1872 – 1970) Born 19 Jun 1872, baptised 14 Jul 1872, St George's, Old Brentford. Married Elizabeth MARCH 18 Aug 1900, St Peter's, Raunds, Wellingborough. She was Born 8 Aug 1867, Radstone, Northamptonshire and died 1 Sep 1944, Vicarage Road, Egham. Clifford's death was registered Dec 1970, Surrey Northern.
    • Ada Susannah BEESE (1874 – 1954) Born 20 Aug 1874, baptised 13 Sep 1874, St George's, Old Brentford. She died 20 Dec 1954, Hendon District Hospital


Other PEARCEs who ran pubs/beer houses

Sarah PEARCE (c 1790) was the publican at the Red Lion at no. 197 in 1839, 1841 and 1845: gone by 1851. She was 50 in 1841 (ie aged 50 to 54 as ages were rounded down). Isaac PEARCE was the publican of the Red Lion in 1826 and he left a PCC will in 1835, presumably Sarah was his widow. Sarah was not born in Middlesex.

Robert PEARCE (c 1803/4): born Brentford, married Mary (possibly Mary Ann Clark from the naming of first son; a marriage took place of RP to MAC at St George Hanover Square, 9 Aug 1832; no indication that the couple were from Brentford however); licenced victualler & waterman who ran the Half Moon and Seven Stars at no. 25 until 1861; a Robert PEARCE death was registered in Brentford in 1862; children included:

  • William Clark PEARCE (c 1833/4): pupil teacher in 1851
  • Robert PEARCE (c 1836/7)
  • Sarah PEARCE (c 1838/9): at home in 1861
  • Mary Ann Amelia PEARCE (c 1843/4): at home in 1861
  • Edwin John PEARCE (c 1846/7)


PEARCE who was a steam tug engine driver

The 1901 census entry for Albany Road shows a Joseph PEARCE (c 1855/6, Boxmoor, Herts), a steam tug engine driver at no. 6, two doors away from Alfred PEARCE, a waterman at no. 10. Joseph appears to be unrelated to Alfred. The 1901 census shows he had four children born in Brentford: Charles, Florence, Ada and Richard. His wife was Lucy (possibly Lucy Selina WOOD: there is a marriage reference shared by JP and LSW in Brentford in 1884).

PEARCEs who were fruiterers

James PEARCE (c 1802, Chiswick - 1862?): married Caroline (bn c 1802, Wandsworth - 1872?); possible marriage at Ealing in 1820 - Caroline Taunton; orange seller at no. 200 in 1851; he had retired to Hawthorn Villa, Ealing by 1861 and died before the next census (there is a death registration of a James PEARCE in Brentford in Jan/March 1862); Caroline was recorded in 1871 as a widow at Havelock Villa Ealing (next door to Hawthorn Villa) and may have died in 1872 (death registration of a CP aged 71 in Brentford Reg Dist April/June); children included:
  • Caroline PEARCE (c 1817/20)
  • Robert (? not clear in 1841) PEARCE (c 1825/6)
  • Sarah PEARCE (c 1827 Chiswick): at home in 1851
  • Emma PEARCE (c 1829/30)
  • James Edward PEARCE (ca 1830/1): not at home in 1841; born Brentford, father's assistant in 1851; running the fruiterer's business in 1871; married Sarah Russell BERRIE in Brentford, 1859; reference on the A2A web site of the conveyance of a messuage and 2 cottages (built by Wm. Carter) at "Three Households" Chalfont St. Giles. and 10p of land in 1863 to James Edward PEARCE of New Brentford, Middx., orange merchant; had moved away by 1881; children born in New Brentford included:
    • Mary Mount PEARCE (c 1860/1): married in St Giles, London, 1882
    • James PEARCE (c 1862/3)
    • Florence Berrie PEARCE (c 1863/4): married in Fulham in 1887
  • William PEARCE (c 1837/8): born Brentford; brother to head in 1861
  • Louisa PEARCE (c 1839/40): born Brentford, at home aged 21 in 1861
  • Amelia PEARCE (1840/1): 6 months old in the 1841 census; aged '8' in 1851 so possibly not the Amelia whose birth was registered in 1841; a 'Mary Ann Amelia PEARCE' birth was registered in Brentford in Jan/March 1844
  • Selina PEARCE (c 1844/5): best match birth registration in Brentford was in Jan/March 1840; at home, aged 17, in 1861; at home aged 24 in 1871

PEARCEs born Chiswick

As well as the James PEARCE above, a Richard PEARCE born Chiswick also settled in Brentford.

Richard PEARCE (ca 1838/9 - 1901+): possibly a waterman aged 27 in Chiswick in 1861 (his wife is 'Ann' whereas it is 'Mary' in later censuses - however a child Richard age 2 and the occupation fit); waterman aged 34, New North Road, 1871; waterman aged 49 in 1881 at 44 Distillery Road; lighterman (1891 aged 52) and pensioner (1901 aged 65) at 43 Pottery Road Brentford, wife Mary Ann (or 'Maria' - 1871) (1841/2 - 1901+) born Brentford; children included:

  • Richard PEARCE (c 1860 - 1901+): waterman, at home in 1871 & 1901; may have been taken to court in 1883
  • John PEARCE (c 1862 - 1881+): waterman in 1881; at home in 1871 & 1881
  • Edward PEARCE (c 1867 - 1891+): labourer 1891; at home in 1871 & 1891 but not in 1881
  • Emily PEARCE (c 1874 - 1891+): at home in 1881 & 1891
  • Albert PEARCE (c 1878 - 1901+): general labourer 1901; at home 1881, 1891, 1901
  • Lillie (Lily 1881)PEARCE (1880 - 1891+): at home in 1891
  • Samuel PEARCE (c 1882 - 1901+): as Albert in 1901

Thomas PEARCE, watchmaker from Cornwall

Thomas PEARCE was born in Launceston, Cornwall around 1840 and settled in Brentford at no. 231 by the early 1870s. He worked with Thomas HONEYBONE, the watchmaker & jeweller who had lived at no. 231 since the late 1830s, and when Thomas Honeybone retired he took over the business.

Thomas PEARCE was married Mary Ann and had at least two sons born in Brentford:

  • Edward Nathaniel PEARCE (c 1872 - ): at home in 1881; he married Emma and in 1901 was a civil engineer living at 34 Boston Park Road, Brentford
  • Hugh George PEARCE (1878 - ); at home in 1881 and 1891; in 1901 he was an engineer, boarding in Dawley Shropshire


PEARCEs who were confectioners

John PEARCE born about 1814/5 in Ealing (as Old Brentford was part of Ealing parish he may have been born in Old Brentford) married Ann (from Gloucestershire) and was a confectioner at no. 237 in 1839, 1841 and 1851. He had moved away to Marylebone by 1861. Catherine PEARCE, sister of John, born about 1813/4 was living with the family in 1851. The name varied between Pearse and PEARCE. No children recorded in the censuses.


Thomas PEARCE, gas / baskets

Thomas Layton PEARCE (c 1805/6 born Brentford: gas porter in 1851, Eatons Buildings, Brentford; wife Eliza; in 1861 he was living in Running Horse Yard, widowed with three children at home, a labourer at the gas works; this census shows his middle name as Layton; children (all born Brentford) included:
  • Richard PEARCE (c 1834)
  • Henry PEARCE (c 1836): basket maker in 1851
  • Eliza PEARCE (c 1838): basket maker in 1851; marriage of an Eliza PEARCE age 29 (daughter of Thomas PEARCE, labourer) to Robert GOODWIN, labourer, both of Old Brentford at St George's in 1866 may be relevant
  • William PEARCE (c 1840): basket maker in 1851
  • Mary PEARCE (c 1844): basket maker in 1851 (at the age of 7); at home in 1861
  • Charles PEARCE (c 1846): at home in 1861
  • James PEARCE (c 1848)
  • George PEARCE (c 1850): at home in 1861

Richard PEARCE, on trial at the Old Bailey 1883

Trevor Mitchell sent details of the trial of yet another Richard PEARCE from Brentford, who was charged with 'Feloniously throwing (his wife) Kate PEARCE into a canal, with intent to murder her'.

The trial took place in 1883, when Richard PEARCE was 23. To see the trial transcipt access the Old Bailey Online web site (a link is included in Web Links) and search using surname 'PEARCE', Given Name 'Richard' and '1883' in the 'Time Period' From and To.

The full trial text shows the couple had three children and that Kate PEARCE had been adopted by Robert BEE as a child. The 1871 census shows a Kate WRIGHT living with Robert BEE and his family: Robert BEE was a newsagent who lived at Garden Cottages, near Albany Place in 1871. Kate was described as Robert's wife's sister and she was 8 at the time.

Robert Bee's wife was recorded as Elizabeth in 1871, she was 30. A Robert BEE and Elizabeth Susan DUDLEY share the same marriage reference in the West London Registration District in 1868 and this seems likely to be the record of their marriage.

Robert's wife Elizabeth and Kate were both of St Luke, London according to the 1871 census. Having a different surname leaves the relationship between Elizabeth DUDLEY and Kate WRIGHTunclear - a loose end.

Returning to the alleged offender, a search for the marriage between Richard PEARCE and Kate using FreeBMD showed several local marriages in the period 1878 - 1883 of Richard PEARCEs. The one that looks most likely to be that of the couple took place in the April/June quarter of 1881 in Brentford Registration District: Richard William PEARCE and Kate Elizabeth WRIGHT share the same marriage reference.


The 1881 census took place on the 3rd April 1881 so would Kate and Richard have already married by the census? Unlikely but not impossible, A married Kate PEARCE, aged 21 and born in London, was visiting Blane (or Blanche?) HARLEY in Mount Pleasant, Brentford at the time of the census, with her twin daughters aged 10 months, Blane (or Blanche?) and Sarah PEARCE. This could be a very recently married Kate, or Kate assuming her married name in anticipation perhaps.

I have not found the birth registrations of her twin daughters in Brentford - another loose end.

If Kate was not married by April 3rd, then the best match in Brentford for a Kate Wright in the 1881 census is a 15 year old servant who lived with the Smith family on Hamilton Road.

As to Richard PEARCE: a 19 year old Richard PEARCE born simply 'Middlesex' - as was the rest of the household - was a servant at the Marquis of Granby in 1881. However the alleged wife thrower could have been working on the canal or river by 1881 and may have been recorded inaccurately or missed. Searches for the tug 'Eleanor' (where he was working at the time of the alleged offence) did not find him (and did you stay overnight on a tug? I'm not sure).

What happened after the trial? Richard PEARCE was found 'not guilty' but the marriage may have broken down. I have not been able to trace either Richard or Kate PEARCE in the 1891 census.

Robert Bee, Kate's adoptive father, had two adopted daughters aged 9 living with him in 1891: Pauline and Nellie Bee, born Brentford. Were these daughters of Kate & Richard that he had taken in? I have not been able to trace the birth registrations of the two girls in Brentford - another loose end.

In 1901 a Richard PEARCE, waterman, aged 41 and married (but no sign of a wife) was living with his parents in Pottery Road, Brentford. This appears a good candidate for the Richard PEARCE taken to court: if so he was the son of Richard PEARCE above.


Published May 2009; last updated November 2018