HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events.
The winter lecture series is held, as ever, at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, a fifteen-minute walk from Finchley Central tube station. Lectures start promptly at 8pm; non-members £1; coffee, tea and biscuits
can be bought.
Tuesday 14th April An album of treasures -Ann Saunders – (HADAS member and past President)
Our speaker Ann Saunders MBE needs no introduction to a lot of our members as she was president of HADAS from 1998 until 2001. Ann is a historian, and says the most useful thing she has done has been the
resuscitation of Lambeth Palace Library after the Second World War (Ann was Deputy Librarian 1952-55). Amongst her many achievements has been her prize for Best Specialist Guide Book of the Year in 1984 by the
British Tourist Board. Ann has been the Hon. Editor since 1975 of the journal of the London Topographical Society, a registered charity which concentrates exclusively on publishing books and sheet material illustrating the history, growth and topography of London. Ann edited the book which is her topic this month. “Historic Views of London” is a new book published by English Heritage presenting a selection of images by Bernard Howarth-Loomes, who was a life long collector of pre-photographic apparatus, early photographs and photographic equipment. He had particular enthusiasm for stereoscopic, or three-dimensional, photography
which became popular after the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was in Barnet that Howarth-Loomes lived, and first exhibited some of his photographs at Church Farmhouse Museum in 1971. The book focuses on over half of
the 350 photographic views of London from 1852 to 1915, and includes treasured images of iconic London landmarks and historical events. Publication coincided with an exhibition based on the book at Church Farmhouse Museum.
Tuesday 12th May The Guildhall Roman Amphitheatre -Francis Grew – Museum of London
Tuesday 9th June – Annual General Meeting
26th August to 30th August 2009 inclusive – HADAS Long weekend in Hereford
We have had a flood of bookings for the above trip and places are going quickly. Please send your deposits in as soon as possible so that final numbers can be advised to the hotel. There are a finite number of places and when this is reached a waiting list will be created.
‘Archaeology of the Bible’ course Peter Nicholson
The Mill Hill Archaeological Study Society is running a course of six meetings “Archaeology of the Bible: a short introduction” on recent discoveries in the Near East and how they have illuminated our understanding of the Bible as history. The course tutor is Scott McCracken. The course is on Friday mornings, beginning 1st
May, in the Lawrence Room, Hartley Hall, Flower Lane NW7. For further information contact Peter Nicholson
The following article appeared in the Society for Clay Pipe Research newsletter Autumn/Winter 2008. As Richard Field spent his early childhood in Barnet, It should appeal to Newsletter readers. The article is published here by kind permission of the author, Susie White.
The Case of Richard Field: Pipemaker and Murderer By Susie White
Back in 2005 Members may recall a paper on references to clay tobacco pipemakers in the records of the Old Bailey (White 2005). Since publishing that paper another fascinating case from the Old Bailey has come to the author’s attention, that of Richard Field, pipemaker and murderer (Ref.t17141209-28). Not only do the details of the case itself survive, but we also have a transcription of Field’s confession and final words uttered immediately prior to his execution at Tyburn, as recorded by Paul Lorrain (18th Century Collections online).Both records give an astonishing account of his life as a pipemaker prior to his conviction and execution.
In his own words Richard Field tells us that he was born in Conyhatch [sic] in Middlesex c1687. He first went to school in Coney Hatch and then went on to study in Finchley, Totteridge, and East-Barnet where it is noted that “a good and pious Gentlewoman” took care of his education.
When he was about 12 years old (c1699) he went to America where he was bound Apprentice to Michael Harding, a tobacco pipemaker in Boston. What is so interesting about this reference is that it is a nice early
seventeenth-century reference to a pipemaker in New England. The account goes on to say that after had had served his full seven years’ apprenticeship, he then worked for three more years as a journeyman. His Master,Harding, was by all accounts a good “Christian” man which gave Field the outward appearance of being “religious and careful to discharge [his] Christian Duties”,. However, things were clearly not what they seemed and Field said that “he had a wicked heart, and would often wrong even his good Master secretly; stealing money and other things from him”.
Field finally returned to England in c1709 where he continued to make pipes. The account is interesting in that it tells us that from this work he was only able to earn “5s. or 6s. a Week, and no more”. This was clearly not enough for Field to live on and he was persuaded by his friends to try alternative employment, and he appears to have tried his hand at watch-making, learning the art of punching and gilding. Unfortunately for Field he was unable to achieve what he described as the “ability and perfection” in this new-found trade to make a living and
therefore fell back into his old means of earning money – “his old trade of pipe-making”, but chose to supplement his income and began once again to “pilfer and steal wherever he could”.
By 1714 Richard Field was living in the parish of Hillendon with his wife Mary, and was working as a journeyman for the pipemaker Gabriel Randal at Uxbridge in Middlesex. On the 20th October 1714 Field was
accused not only of stealing 25 guineas from Randal, but also of murdering Randal’s wife, Mary.
On the day in question Randal had left home to deliver some pipes,leaving Field in the house with Mrs Randal. When Randal returned, some two hours later, he went upstairs to find his wife “lying a-cross the bed, with her
hands and legs tied” and “a clout [sic] thrust down her Throat, and another tied round her Head before her Mouth”. He immediately called for help from his neighbours, and on looking round the house found that a chest had been broken open with a hammer, which was later found on the workshop floor, and money stolen. Randal also found Field’s bloodied work apron.
By this time Field had left the scene and had managed to get on board a ship bound for Virginia, but thankfully was captured before the ship could depart. Not only did the authorities recover the money, but they also found a purse in Field’s possession which had belonged to Mary Randal. When questioned, Field could not explain how the purse had come into his possession, but tried to claim that the robbery had been carried out by a man called John Gardner; he denied any knowledge of the murder.
The Jury found him guilty of murder and felony, but acquitted his wife, who had been accused of being an accessory. Field was sentenced to death and was to be hanged at Tyburn on Wednesday 22nd December, 1714.
Between the time of sentencing and the actual execution, Field and the other condemned prisoners in Newgate Prison were visited by Paul Lorrain who “pray’d with them, and expounded the word of God to them in the
Chapel of Newgate, to which they were brought up twice every day, to the end that being instructed in that Holy Word, they might (as in a glass) see the deformity and heinousness of their sins”. Field confessed to
Lorrain that “the Devil prompted him to, he did not know how”, but that he “now express’d great sorrow, and earnestly ask’d God’s pardon and his Master’s; wishing a thousand times that he had not brought this double
guilt of blood and robbery upon his soul”.
Lorrain’s account goes on to describe how two carts were used to carry the condemned men from Newgate Prison to Tyburn. He asked the bystanders to pray for the men, and asked that “all (particularly Young People)
to take warning by them”. As the cart drew away from the scaffold “they were turned off; every one of them with his last Breath mightily calling all the while upon God to have mercy on their departing Souls”.
Although this is quite a chilling and gruesome tale of a man sent to the gallows, what makes it interesting is the level of detail about his life prior to his conviction. If we are lucky, we can often trace the names of individual pipemakers through the parish records to discover who they married and how many children they had. But rarely do we get the opportunity to discover so much detail about an individual – when they were born; where they went to school and, perhaps most fascinating of all in this particular case, the fact that he was apprenticed
not to a pipemaker in England, but to one in America.
White, S.D., (2005) ‘References to Clay Tobacco Pipes in the Old Bailey Records’ in Society for Clay Pipe Research, 68, 16-23.
Digging up the relatives by Jim Nelhams
In the newsletter of January 2006, I documented our knowledge of Jo’s family from her Great Grandfather onwards, and how we had arrived at that point. Lots of questions were still unanswered particularly about Jo’s
Great Half Auntie Hephzibah. Well, we haven’t all got one of those!
To summarise, Hephzibah was the daughter of Great Grandfather, William Willows from his first marriage. She was born in 1842, and when her mother died the following year, she was brought up by her grandparents, who had themselves produced a daughter the previous year. We had been able to trace Hephzibah in the census returns for 1851, 1861, 1871 and after her marriage to William Williams in 1881. At that point, she was living near Wakefield with two young children (Ethel and Sidney), and William was working on the railways, possibly at a coalmine. We have seen the children’s baptism records in Wakefield. After that, we could not see any of the four, and I speculated that they might have emigrated. I was up against the proverbial brick wall.
Tracing family histories is now very popular and more and more records are being transcribed and made available on the internet throughout the world. Last Autumn, I received a circular e-mail telling me that some new
emigration information had just been released, so I checked. There they were – all four of them, arriving in New South Wales on 11th October 1883 aboard a ship named Ellora, under an assisted passage scheme. So back on
With help, I found that they had gone to a town called Gosford, about 50 miles north of Sydney. The town’s website lists “Pioneers” and William is listed. His occupation is given as “platelayer” and I read that the railway to Gosford was completed in 1887. As they travelled under an assisted passage scheme, more information may
be stored at Kew.
I also found records of the deaths of Hephzibah, Sidney and Ethel, and two records, – either of which could be William. William and Hephzibah had had a third child, Ernest William, after arriving, so I have another line to follow.
I am not sure yet if Sidney married, but I have found that Ethel married Jesse William Dyer in 1903 and they had five children, though the first two died young. The third child, John Willows Dyer, born in 1906 is clearly in the family, shown by the common Victorian practice of using the grandmother’s maiden name as a middle name.
Ethel lived to the grand age of 95 and her death is recorded in the Sydney Morning Herald. As she only died in 1972, I guessed there would be people today who would remember her, so I used Google on the internet to
search for the family name in Gosford – and found three names.
I selected one of the names and fired off a speculative e-mail. Within 48 hours, I had a response – from Ethel’s grandson, and Hephzibah’s great grandson. He was very surprised and pleased, and sent photos of himself and his wife. I responded by sending him the information about Hephzibah and her parents.
We had already hoped to visit Australia next year, so now we will follow in Hephzibah’s footprints – though we do not plan to go by boat.
The Building of the Underground – report of February’s lecture by Tony Earle
The Underground was the vision of city solicitor Charles Pearson who saw the need to relieve congestion in the city streets brought about by the growing financial wealth of the British Empire.
The Great Western Railway, whose terminus was way out at Paddington, backed a scheme to build a railway under the streets to Farringdon allowing it to run ‘Broad Gauge’ trains right to the city. It was built by ‘cut and cover’ technique along what is now the Marylebone Road. Opening in 1863 it was an instant success; the world’s first underground railway and the only one ever to be hauled by steam.
Passengers travelled in closed carriages lit by gas but were often brought out to the surface coughing and gasping owing to the smoke and fumes from the engine mixed with fellow travellers’ cigar, cigarette and pipe smoke. Experiments with coke-fired and smoke-free engines were a failure.
The District Railway was next off the mark and by 1870 the government had decided to complete an underground circle running along the new embankment by the Temple (the Circle Line). When built, the
Metropolitan operated it the clockwise direction and the District, in competition, anti-clockwise with each having their own station at the same destination.
The first deep tube railway dug through the clay using a tunnelling shield was the City and South London (1890). Using electric locomotion passengers rode in carriages without windows affectionately known as
‘Padded Cells’. During the rest of the century the system in the centre expanded and at 1900 the map looked very similar to that of today.
Financial problems enabled an American financier Charles Yerkes to take control. Under his direction eight new extensions were built with many new stations. His architect Leslie Green designed the distinctive red tile glazed buildings, which are so familiar and easily recognised as tube stations.
Frank Pick was the direct successor to these early builders between the wars and it is to him that we owe the uniformity and style of the modern underground. He oversaw the integration of the system, the adoption of the corporate roundel logo, and the famous stylised map of Harry Beck in 1931 (Harry lived in Courthouse Road West Finchley). His architect Charles Holden built modern glass and brick stations such as the one at East Finchley, many of which have been listed.
During the war Churchill and the Government frequently met at Down Street station with other stations sheltering thousands every night. (Down Street station had been closed in 1932 and does not appear on Harry
Beck’s maps – SB).
With neglect and lack of investment during and after the war the system fell into a poor state of repair until the early 1960s when following public outcry the Government started re-investing in London Transport, with planned modernisation, new rolling stock and the building of the Victoria line. With new lines for the Olympics and Cross Rail just starting the future for the Underground looks bright.
With grateful thanks to Tony Earle for providing the notes used in this report. Despite the cold weather, lots of people turned up to hear his talk. We even needed more chairs which does not happen very often! The “Name the Station” quiz was good fun too – Stephen Brunning.
As was briefly reported in the March newsletter Gillian Braithwaite died in November 2008. She joined HADAS in 1979 and dug enthusiastically at West Heath for three seasons before her husband was posted to the
British Embassy in Washington. During that time she was studying at the Institute of Archaeology, and wrote a dissertation on West Roman Face Pots, Face Beakers and Head Pots, which led to an important article in the journal ‘Britannia’ for 1984. After her return from the United States, she became active in HADAS once more,
and, prior to the laying of the water main from Arkley to Iver, led a month’s fieldwork and trial trenching in Brockley Hill in August-September 1987 looking for evidence of a Roman road east of the present A5 Watling Street.
She was a very nice person. Tessa Smith says that it was a pleasure to have been one of her team when she surveyed and excavated, and remembers her slim figure striding along in welly boots. Her easy welcoming and
friendly manner ensured that the excavating team worked well. She was insistent that the site would be left cleaned up and replanted – in her own words “like Mr. MacGregor’s cabbage patch.” She was hoping to go back
to Brockley Hill another year but then her husband became Ambassador in Moscow.
A reminiscence of Gillian Braithwaite by Robert Michel
I was very sorry to learn of Gillian Braithwaite’s passing late last year.
I was one of the gallant HADAS team that excavated and field-walked at Brockley Hill, Stanmore, in August/September 1987 under her direction. In my uninformed view, her project encapsulated all that is best
about non-professional archaeology.
* Her leadership was energetic in style and inclusive in nature. Even my opinion was sought occasionally!
* Gillian spent much of the dig phase in the trenches with the troops. Directing operations from a distant HQ
was clearly not her style.
* She had no qualms about calling in the professionals when necessary. Harvey Sheldon duly arrived and after
dubiously inspecting the fruits of our labours, opined that ‘Roman roads have made fools of us all’ (or some
* On completion of the dig, Gillian promptly produced an excavation report that was both concise (12 pages)
and accessible to the non-specialist.
* Finally – and arguably most importantly – she threw a ‘winding up party’, which sadly a prior engagement
meant I had to miss. I still have my yellowing hand written invitation which, with my personal copy of the
report, serves to prompt happy memories of a noteworthy HADAS dig and a very special person.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Mary O’Connell by Sheila Woodward
Mary O’Connell is well known to many of her fellow HADAS members. With her unsurpassed knowledge of London (she is a Freeman of the City and was one of its accredited guides) she has lad us on many fascinating
walks through its highways and byways, exploring both its great buildings and its hidden corners and quirky treasures. I remember particularly a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral when we saw its famous geometric staircase and its superb library which includes a Wyclif Bible, and another most interesting tour of Clerkenwell and the Museum and Priory Church of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem.
Mary ‘retired’ a couple of years ago to her bungalow in Taunton which had long been her holiday home. We heard recently that she has now moved to a care-home where her daughter assures us that she continues to enjoy
life and participates enthusiastically in all its activities. Her new address is Abbeyfield Extra Care Home, Heron House, Bishops Hull, Taunton TA1 5HA.
Dr Alan Vince BA PhD, FSA, MIfA (1952-2009)
Alan Vince died on 23rd February at the age of 56. He was one of the foremost authorities on mediaeval pottery in Britain, and in 2007 provided HADAS with invaluable advice on a sample of pottery from Church Terrace.
He had studied archaeology at Southampton University, and had a period working with the Department of Urban Archaeology at the Museum of London. In 1997 Alan started his company “The Alan Vince Archaeological Consultancy” while living in Lincoln. His research interests included Anglo-Saxon medieval towns, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Urban Archaeology, and Artefact Taphonomy. His death at such an early age is a serious loss to archaeology.
Members will also regret to learn that Robert Winton, Secretary of the Finchley Society for many years until last autumn, died peacefully on 25th February at the age of 94.
Divine Cat: Speaking to the gods in Ancient Egypt
A British Museum Tour Brent Museum, 12 March – 10 May 2009
Brent Museum is hosting an exciting exhibition focussing on one of the British Museum’s great treasures: the iconic Gayer-Anderson Cat.
The ancient Egyptian sculpture is on display at Brent Museum, in Willesden Green from 12 March – 10 May 2009. This will be the first time that the cat has been displayed at another museum venue.
Councillor Irwin Van Colle, Brent Council’s Lead Member for Environment, Planning and Culture: “We are really excited to be able to display the Divine Cat, which is an amazing ancient sculpture of international
importance. It is an incredible coup for our museum to be the first place outside the British Museum to exhibit
the cat in 60 years.”
Brent Museum is based in Willesden Green Library Centre, 95 High Road, London, NW10 2SF. It is free to visit. To find out more, call 020 8937 3600 or visit www.brent.gov.uk/museum
Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan
Sunday 5th April 2.30pm Hornsey Historical Society Tour and History walk round neglected bits of Hornsey village. Cost £2. Meet at corner of Hornsey High Road/Nightingale Lane to see old and new housing at
the beginning and end up at Hornsey’s oldest building – St. Mary’s Church tower. Lasts under 2 hours.
Monday 6th April 3pm Barnet and District Local History Society. Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite Museum) “Barnet in the Times.” Hugh Petrie.
Wednesday 8th April 7.45 pm Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall; Corner of Ferme Park Road and Weston Park N8 “The History of Coffee Houses (Coffee Shops, Coffee Stalls and Coffee Bars)” Marlene
McAndrew. Visitors £1. Refreshments.
Wednesday 15th April 7.30pm Willesden Local History Society. Scout House High Road NW10 (corner of Strode Road) “The Brent Cemeteries Service” Bob Langford. (Including restoration of the fine civilian war
memorial in Willesden New Cemetery and the redevelopment of the old cemetery.)
Thursdays 16th and 23rd April 2pm Amateur Geological Society. Walks visiting churches in the City of London. Start at Bank Tube Station. Each £7. Book by sending a cheque made out to M E Howgate (who leads
the walk) to Mike Howgate, 71 Hoppers Road, Winchmore Hill, N21 3LP, with contact details and list of walks you are paying for. (Tel 020 8882 2606) (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). Walks last 2 hours.
Thursday 16th April 6.30pm LAMAS Terrace Room, Museum of London 150 London Wall EC2 “Friends in the City: the Quakers in C17 and early C18 London”. Talk by Dr Simon Dixon. Refreshments 6pm.
Friday 17th April 7pm COLAS The City Temple, Holborn Viaduct WC1 “Child Health in London: 1000 years of Human Growth” Talk by Dr Daniel Antoine (Institute of Archaeology) Visitors £2. Light refreshments
Friday 17th April. 8pm Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane\Junction Chase Side Enfield. “The excavations and fieldwork of Enfield Archaeological Society 2008”. Preceded by AGM. Visitors £1. Refreshments, sales, information from 7.30pm.
Sunday 19th April. 11am The Battle of Barnet. Guided walk. Meet at the junction of Great North Road and Hadley Green Road. Led by Paul Baker. Costs £7.
Monday 22nd April. 7.45pm Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall (next to Whetstone Police Station) Friern Barnet Lane N20. “Hertfordshire and Local Convicts” Ken Griffin. Visitors
Tuesday 28th April 10.30am Enfield Society. Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane Enfield “Mr Bowles and Myddleton House.” Bryan Hewitt (HADAS did resistivity here).
Wednesday 29th April 6pm Gresham College. Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, EC1 “Merchants and heroes: London’s History in the time of John Stow.” Dr Matthew Davies.
Thursday 30th April 8pm Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road N3 “Finchley’s Pioneers of Film Exhibition 1909-18” Talk by Gerry Turvey. Non-members £2.
Thursday 30th April 8pm Camden History Society Burgh House, New End Square NW3 “Searching for Trevithick’s London Railway of 1808.” Talk by John Liffen.