Thursday, 13 May 2010

Samuel Mathers, a schoolmaster in Bloomsbury

The Bloomsbury Project has discovered no fewer than 62 educational establishments in the area, between 1800 and 1904. So, when Pat Pond e.mailed asking if I could find information about her ancestor, Samuel Mathers, who was a schoolmaster during the 1840s, I had to reply that I hadn't a clue where to start. However, there might be a descendent with more information so here's as much as I know.

Samuel Mathers was baptised on 12 February 1786. He married Hannah Liddell at St Giles, Great Orton, Cumberland, on 12 July 1808. His marriage certificate states that he was a weaver from Cross Gates, County Durham. Samuel and Hannah's first daughter, Margaret, was born on 4 November 1811, by which time Samuel had become a schoolmaster and parish clerk. A son, John, was baptised on 19 November 1815, but Hannah died in the same year, possibly in childbirth. Samuel presumably remarried and by the 1840s the family had moved to Bloomsbury. Another son, Joseph, was married at St George, Bloomsbury (1847) and a daughter, Elizabeth, at St James (1850). This was probably the church of St James, Hampstead Road, adjacent to Bloomsbury, and now demolished. On his children's marriage certificates, Samuel's occupation is still a schoolmaster.
And this is where Pat loses Samuel's trail although she says, 'We are hoping he was with his children in London, although Samuel's son, Joseph, eventually goes to America.' Some of the family did remain in the area because Pat's grandfather was also a schoolmaster in Holborn. Samuel Mathers is not to be confused with Samuel Liddell Mathers.
The photograph above (courtesy Ipoh 7, Flickr) shows the Bloomsbury skyline with the spire of St George's church in the distances. The keen-eyed will observe three men sitting on the parapet of a roof (right) with their feet dangling over the edge.