Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Henry Stroud Hairdresser of Hanwell

Be Sure Your Hairdresser is Trustworthy!
When I think Victorian hairdressing, I recall the story of Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street! He dispatches his trusting clients, taking their possessions, while his mistress makes succulent meat pies to dispose of the remains. The terror of the story (and no such person as Sweeney Todd truly existed in Victorian London) lies in the commonplace situation of visiting the hairdresser and being completely at his mercy in the age of the shaving razor.

A previous post describes the war record of my great grandfather Henry Stroud, and documents his siblings and parents, Robert and Charlotte Stroud. In this post we follow Robert Stroud, the building contractor of Barley Hall, Ilford, back in time before his marriage, to document his siblings and parents.

The 1911 England census includes information on length of current marriage, which for Robert and Charlotte Stroud was 28 years, meaning they were married in about 1881. The parish register at Battersea St Peter for 24 December 1882 has:

       Robert Stroud    24  Bachelor  Labourer  173 Ingrave St  Henry Stroud  Hairdresser
       Charlotte Norris 24  Spinster                   173 Ingrave St  George Norris Labourer
       signed by Robert Stroud and Charlotte Norris
       witnessed by Ann Matton and Benjamin Stroud

Above the entry, and in reference to Robert's age, a later vicar had added an anotation:
In entry no. 269, col. 3 for "24" in upper line read "26" corrected on the 11th February 1884 by me Joseph Miles, Vicar in the presence of Robert Stroud and Charlotte Stroud the parties married.

I have not yet found Robert's 1881 census return, but I do have one for 1871, in which a 15-year-old Robert is living with parents Henry Stroud, Hairdresser, and Ann. The household is shown at 11 Gladman's Cottages as follows:
        Henry   Stroud  Head   Mar   48    Hairdresser   Middlesex, Marylebone
        Ann         Do      Wife    Mar  50    Laundress         Do           Hanwell
        Henry      Do      Son    Unm  18    Labourer           Do               Do
        Robert     Do      Son              15        Do                 Do               Do
        Elizabeth Do      Daur            13                              Do               Do

By 1891, Robert was an building contractor, employing workers. As we saw above, in 1882, he gives his occupation as labourer for the marriage certificate, and this occupation is also reported in the 1871 England census. He seems to have struck out on his own, certainly not following his father's occupation of hairdresser.

In 1881, Robert's parents are found at 2 Adelaide Cottages, Boston Road, Hanwell, giving ages 59 and 60, and occupations as Hairdresser and Laundress.

In 1891, they are at 2 Halfacre, Hanwell, just off the High Street. Henry, now reported aged 69, is still a hairdresser, although reported this time as Barber, and Ann, 71, no longer gives an occupation.

Henry's entry in the BMD Death Index must be:
       Henry Stroud Dec1893 Brentford 3a 90 Age:73

However, it is less clear which should be Ann's.
       Ann Stroud Dec1892 Henley 3a 432 Age:72
       Ann Stroud Sep1895 Romford 4a 231 Age:77

The former is consistent with the ages reported in censuses, while the latter is cited by unsourced trees in

Returning to Robert Stroud, in 1861 we find him with his father and siblings living opposite the Middlesex Lunatic Asylum in Norwell. However, Ann is not among them, presumably visiting somewhere. In addition to Henry, Robert and Elizabeth, two older children are still at home in 1861.
       Henry Stroud Head Mar   38 Hair Dresser Middx St Marylebone
       Sarah    do     Daughter   10                        do              do
       William  do     Son           13                        do              do        [new page]
       Henry Stroud   Son           8                       Middx Hanwell
       Robert   do      do             5                         do               do
       Elizabeth do Daur            3                         do               do

Before Robert was born, we can follow the young family back in time to 1851, in Hanwell:
       Henry Stroud   Head   Mar   28   Hair Dresser  Mddx Marylebone
       Ann Stroud      Wife   Mar    30    Do    Do   Wife   do     Hanwell
         do      do        Daur              4                               do         do
       William do       Son                3                               do         do
       Jane    do        Daur              1                                do         do
       Sarah   do         do                1 month                     do         do

The marriage of Henry Stroud and Ann Neill is recorded in the parish register at St Mary's Hanwell on 21 July 1845. Banns are recorded for St Mary's Paddington Green (Henry's home parish?) and St Mary's Hanwell.
       Henry Stroud Full Age Bachelor Hair Dresser  Hanwell  John Stroud    Hair Dresser
       Ann Neill        Full Age Spinster                        Hanwell  William Neill   Dairy Man
       signed by: Henry Stroud and Ann Neill
       witnessed by: Charles Battey Parish Clerk and Elizabeth Dawson

Henry Stroud, hairdresser, can also be found before his marriage in the 1841 England Census. No address is given, although the census book for Acton District 5 begins at "Gospel oak near the township of New Brentford and [terminates] at the High road through the town of Hanwell". There on page 4 (out of 17) we find:
       John Atwell      60   Hairdresser    No[t born in Middlesex]
       Ann      Do       50                          No
       Henery Stroud 18   Prentice Do    Yes

Henry's place of birth on his census returns is always St Marylebone, and his reported age gives a year of birth about 1823. The St Marylebone parish register has the following baptism for 24 March 1822:
       Henry S[on] of     John and Zipporah   Stroud    Servt   [born] 22 Dec 1821

This would mean that the census ages up to 1871 are consistently one less than his real age (and thereafter match it), which is quite possible. Also, the father's occupation is not consistent between Henry's baptism and marriage documents, but this is also also possible. Related to the above baptism is in the same parish for 9 April 1818:
       William S[on] of     James and Zipporah    Stroud   Servt [born]  2 Jany1818

It seems to me likely that the baptisms here are for two brothers, and that on one of them the father's name is not correct; I find it hard to believe that in the same parish there are two Zipporahs married to a Stroud. Leaving open some room for doubt, I tend to accept the first of these baptisms as being for our future hairdresser, and the second being for his brother.

The parish register at Hanwell St Mary, records the following baptisms of the children of Henry and Ann Stroud. Many of the entries had been mis-transcibed in ancestry as "Strond", and , to find them, I had to just read through the register page by page:
       Ann Sarah       
              Born 9 Jun 1846  bapt. 5 July 1846
                     At home for the 1851 Census, but I have no further record of her
       William Henry        
              Born 1 Nov 1847  bapt. 28 Nov 1847
                     At home 1851 and 1861
                     Marries Louisa Harriett Stebbing 25 Dec 1869 Battersea St George Martyr
                     Occupation: Hairdresser
                     Still alive in 1911
              Born 6 Jul 1849    bapt. 29 July 1849
                     At home 1851, with grandparents Neill 1861, but no further record
              Born 3 Mar 1851   bapt. 26 Mar 1851
                     At home 1851 and 1861
                     Servant 1871 to two unmarried Wilshire sisters in Hanwell
                     BMD Marriage Index Mar1874 Brentford 3a 100
                            Sarah Stroud and George Scott
                     Still alive in 1911: Nurse (Maternity)
              Born 27 Jan 1853   bapt. 6 Mar 1853
                     Marries Annie Maria Johnson
                     Marries Fanny Wheeler
                             (surname according to ancestry public member trees)
                     Occupation: Plasterer
                     Death 1905
              Born 15 Mar 1856  bapt. 6 Apr 1856
                     Details in this and the previous post.
              Born 16 Oct 1857   bapt. 6 Dec 1857
                     At home 1861 and 1871
                     Attendant at the Middlesex Lunatic Asylum 1881
                     Marries William Evans, Gentleman's Servant 18 May 1882 at Deptford St Paul
                     BMD Death Jun1890 Brentford 3a 59 Age:32
                     Burial 26 Jun 1890 St Mary's Ealing
              Born 10  Jan 1860  bapt. 4 Mar 1860
                     1871 Lodger with John and Charlotte Wells in Hammersmith
                     1881 Servant (Barman) to Richard Hill (Licensed Victualler) in Marylebone
                     Marries Lydia Bland 4 Jun 1884 at St Marylebone
                     1891 Lodger with Fred Wm Palmer in East Ham
                     Occupation: Driller
                     No further record
Benjamin, I would not have found, but for browsing the St Mary's Hanwell parish register. He may be the Benjamin Stroud who signed as a witness on Robert Stroud's marriage registration, presented at the top of this post.

So, three generations of hairdressers: first John Stroud, according to the marriage registration for Henry Stroud and Ann Neill, second Henry Stroud himself, and thirdly his son, William Henry Stroud. And none of them, a "demon barber" I'm sure! Next up the Neills, and then Foxes and Bunnets.


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