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Not Brentford

Brentford Families - Pickering

Ken Pickering wrote in July 2011:

The 1791 Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce and Manufacture lists a John Pickering, grocer, of Brentford. Regrettably at this stage, his relationship to the William and John Pickering described below cannot be determined.

William Pickering and Charlotte GOODWIN (whom he married on 22 November 1781, at St James Westminster) were both born circa 1759. Their first son, John was baptised on 28 July 1782 at the Church of St Lawrence, New Brentford. Eight other children followed but only five survived to adulthood. includes a reference to William Pickering having had insurance cover of three hundred pounds in 1786 for his address given as 'opposite The Castle at New Brantford (sic)'.

William is next recorded in the 1792 Survey of New Brentford as a tenant-at-will of John HOWARD for a dwelling house and yard rated at 40, situated on the south side of High Street, 5 properties to the west of the entrance to Catherine Wheel Yard.

The 1805 London Post Office Directory describes William as a tea dealer and grocer at New Brentford. On 25 May 1808 he appears to have apprenticed his second son James (baptised 27 December 1793 at St Lawrence) to Richard STUBBS of the Woolmen's Company.

William is the only Pickering enumerated at the 1810/11 Census at New or Old Brentford or in Ealing Parish. He is still at High Street, and in the 1811 London and Country Directory he is described as a grocer and cheesemonger.

William died on 25 January 1824 at New Brentford and was buried at St Lawrence. His oldest son John seems to have carried on business as a grocer at New Brentford.

Less than eighteen months after his father died The London Gazette records that John Pickering, grocer and straw hat maker of New Brentford and Isleworth, was bankrupt. It was actually John's wife Susannah who was the straw hat maker. Two of John's younger brothers - Thomas (baptised 16 March 1799) and William (baptised 25 January 1801) became grocers elsewhere in London and appear to have been more successful than John.

One of John Pickering's sons, Henry (baptised 7 November 1819) became an apprentice watchmaker about 1833, an event which might possibly be linked to the proximity of the Pickerings and the watchmakers UPJOHN in High Street New Brentford. Four of Henry's younger cousins (the sons of Thomas) also became watchmakers and several of their sons also entered watchmaking and allied trades.


Location of Pickering home

Ken asked whether it was possible to confirm the location of '5 properties to the west of the entrance to Catherine Wheel Yard', and 'opposite The Castle at New Brantford (sic)'.

By the time the High Street was numbered in 1876, Catherine Wheel Yard entry was between numbers 97 and 98. Assuming number 98 is the first property to the west of the entrance to CWY then number 102 is the fifth property.

I used maps and other material to summarise the properties lying to the west of Catherine Wheel Yard, which were to become numbers 98 - 104, looking first at widths / descriptions and then occupancy/owners:
Source Plot 1 Plot 2 Plot 3 Entry Plot 4 Plot 5 Plot 6 Plot 7
1792 Survey - width (a) (b) 19' 6" (d) 11' 37' (c) 22' 6" 10' 9'
1838 Tithe (ref) and size (62) S (61) S (60) M   (59) L (58) M (57) S (56) S
1838 Tithe description         House, garden & yard Garden House, garden, outbuildings  
1865 OS   S M   L S S S
1894 OS   S M   L S M S
1909/10 Valuation - width 12' 12' 19' 6"   47' 6" (f) 11' (g) 20' 3" (h) 9'
1911 census - descrip, no. rooms lock-up shop, ? shop, 8 shop, 8   bank, 11 shop, 9 shop, 8 private house, 6
Numbering (1876) 98 99 100   101 102 103 104

Numbers 102 and 103 were owned by the same person in 1792 and I assume were a single building, but the split in frontage between the two homes within the building seems to have changed between 1792 and 1910. It MAY have been counted as one building when the description '5 properties to the west of the entrance to Catherine Wheel Yard' was used.

Source Plot 1 Plot 2 Plot 3 Entry Plot 4 Plot 5 Plot 6 Plot 7
1792 Survey - owner     n   m l2 l1 (e)
1810/11 occupier & (ref) Mary Hierons (140) Thos Tunstall (139) James Partridge (138)   Moses Banks (137) William Upjohn (136) (i) William Pickering (134, 135) (j) (-) Gaylor (133)
1838 Tithe - occupier         Moses Banks James Upjohn Samuel Wright Barringer (k)  
1841 census - head, occup ? James Sanders, cooper Joseph Tubb, druggist   Moses Banks, indep James Upjohn, watchmaker Alfred Burton, tea dealer Joseph Ellis, tailor
1881 census - head, occup John Plastine, beerhouse Susannah Reed, stationer John Morris, druggist   William Dean, London & County Bank Edwin Gaydon, watchmaker William Shute, shoeseller Joseph Ellis, tailor
1909/10 Valuation - owner Sich (brewery) Jones Vincent   London & Co. Westminster Bank Gaydon Mills Stidolph
Numbering (1876) 98 99 100   101 102 103 104

S,M,L shows relative property frontages to High Street from maps
(a), (b) shows a 24' plot but it is not clear if it contained one or more properties
(c) 'Rose and Crown' '37' as rebuilt'
(d) 'Alehouse'
(e) 'this now pays no Quit Rent'
(f) 'adjoining premises come over gateway'
(g) 4' 6" back from road
(h) over 400 years old
(i) James Upjohn also occupied a garden (58a) owned by Robert Paddon; this ran behind the gardens or yards of numbers 103 - 108
(j) William Pickering is recorded with two property references, 134 and 135: he may have occupied both 103 & 104?
(k) Samuel Wright Barringer married Sarah Impey in 1831 at St James, Paddington
Early 1900s photo shows 98 and 99 as a matching pair of houses

Without more detail from the 1792 survey to pin down other owners/occupants in the locality it is difficult to be certain, but I think the Pickering family lived at what was to become no. 103. The occupant of (what was to become) no. 103 in 1841 was a tea dealer, as was William Pickering, and the continued occupancy through into the late 1800s by the Upjohn then Gaydon families is a useful marker for occupancy of no. 102.

The 1792 survey of New Brentford shows the Castle (208 High Street) had a frontage of 62' and numbers 103-106 were directly opposite; numbers 102 and 107 could also have been termed as 'opposite'.


Page published September 2011; updated February 2013