[Unless otherwise stated family information comes from the IGI, VRI, and census data.]
Barbara Tearle (b.tearle @t britishlibrary.net) is the great great granddaughter of William and has provided key information relating to his pre-brick-making days.
William Howard seems to have come to brick making later in life - but as the occupation "labourer" is very general this may simply reflect the limitations of surviving records.
Barbara reports: William Howard was born in 1833 in St Albans into a large family who were members of the Dagnall Lane Baptist church. His parents were James and Elizabeth Howard (nee Parker) and the younger members of the family are recorded in the 1851 census.
|James Howard||Head||50||Sandridge||Brewers Man|
|Elizabeth Howard||Wife||45||Bennington||Does Wash|
|John Howard||Son||11||Scholar at Home||St Albans|
|Lydia Howard||Daur||9||Scholar at Home||St Albans|
|Jesse Howard||Son||7||Scholar at Home||St Albans|
|Esther Howard||Daur||5||Scholar at Home||St Albans|
The eldest sons, Thomas and James had already emigrated to Australia. I don't know where William was in 1851. [He may be the 17 year old labourer from Hertfordshire lodging with John Fain in Aylesford, Kent, in the 1851 census.] He enlisted in the Royal Marines on 18 March 1853 for 12 years and bought himself out for £20 on 6 April 1857. In the records of his services he is described on enlistment at age 18 years 9 months, 5ft 8in tall, dark complexion, hazel eyes, dark brown hair, marks on back of neck and had had smallpox, was single and a labourer. He served on HMS Cressy from 30 December 1853 to 24 December 1855 and then on shore in UK for the remainder of his service. HMS Cressy went to the Baltic in both the 1854 and 1855 campaigning seasons, so he never went to the Crimea itself.
While he was away, his parents and all his brothers and sisters emigrated to Australia and settled in Sydney. By the time William left the Royal Marines, he had married a St Albans girl, Hannah Constable. They lived in Bermondsey for a few years, where my great grandfather was born, [and where the 1861 census shows he was employed as a coachman] then returned to St Albans. William and Hannah had a large family. [The 1871 census shows him working as a carman.] He was a member of the Dagnall Lane Baptist church and his son Thomas was a member of the breakaway Victoria Street Baptist Tabernacle, [see WATTS, St Albans, 1865-1880s]. About 25 years ago the Dagnall Lane Baptists kindly let me look at their records which enabled me to trace his family's emigration to Australia and when I visited Australia several years ago, I visited the church that they helped found there.
In the 1881 census he was living in Victoria Road, St Peters Parish, St Albans
|William HOWARD||Head||45||S Albans||Labourer|
|Hannah HOWARD||Wife||42||S Albans|
|James HOWARD||Son||19||S Albans||Labourer|
|Alice HOWARD||Daur||16||S Albans||Hat Sewer|
|Ada HOWARD||Daur||13||S Albans||Scholar|
|Albert HOWARD||Son||12||S Albans||Scholar|
|Florance HOWARD||Daur||9||S Albans||Scholar|
|Walter HOWARD||Son||7||S Albans||Scholar|
|Alfred HOWARD||Son||7||S Albans||Scholar|
It is not known when William became involved in brick making but in the early 1880's James Dickson started on the development of lower cost housing between Sandridge Road and the Midland Railway line, north of Sandpit Lane, including Culver Road and a brickworks. The first reference to William Howard working for James Dickson is in the press report Stealing Lead Piping in 1889, where he clearly had a responsible position in the brick works. His address is given as St John's Road (later renames Walton Street). The following year he gave evidence relating to The Death of Leonard Margrave on Bernards Heath in 1890, when he is described as the foreman at the brick works.
In the 1891 census he was living at No 1, St Johns Road, in the Parish of Sandridge, (and also in the City of St Albans).
|William HOWARD||Head||56||St Albans||Carman|
|Hannah HOWARD||Wife||51||S Albans|
|Alice STEVENS||Dau, Widow||26||London||Straw Hat Machinist|
|Ada HOWARD||Dau||29||London||Domestic Servant|
|Florence HOWARD||Dau||17||St Albans||Laundress|
|Walter HOWARD||Son||17||St Albans||Labourer|
|Alfred HOWARD||Son||16||St Albans||Labourer|
|Alice STEVENS||Gd Dau||5||St Albans||Scholar|
In the mid-1890's James Dickson built two larger houses facing onto Sandpit Lane, with a back-entrance onto the brickworks, and Lyle Perrins (who has done much research on Hertfordshire brick works) has suggested that William Howard lived in one of them. These brickworks closed in 1899, but William Howard was described as a "Brick Makers Foreman" in the 1901 census. He was living then at 34 Culver Road, St Albans.
|William HOWARD||Head||64||St Albans||Brickmaker's Foreman||Eliza HOWARD||Wife||47||America|
|Gertrude LUCAS||Step Dau||26||Harpenden||Dress Maker|
|Eva WYKES||Boarder's Dau||4 mo||St Albans|
It is not clear whether he still worked for James Dickson, or if not which brick works was involved. (The nearest brickworks still operational in 1901 were those of Jacob Reynolds, near the school in Sandridge Road, and possibly the Sandpit Lane brickworks (Marshallswick) under W. A. Dixon.)
The 1901 census shows that William had remarried an American-born widow who, at the time of the 1891 census, had been the wife of John Chambers, an engineer fitter, living in Sandridge Road. It may be that he was responsible for equipment used for brickmaking.
Mary Byrnes (marynell.byrnes
@t ntlworld.com) of
Cambridge wanted to contact Barbara Tearle about the
Australian side of the Howard
family - but the email address appears to be invalid. In passing she she had
been told that John Howard, the former
Australian Prime Minister, was Jesse
Howard, born 4th September, 1843 in
Jesse Howard (aged 11, born St Albans) arrived in New South Wales, Australia, on the Blenheim, in July 1855, with his father and probably other members of the family. I have checked online using google and elsewhere and the general opinion would seem to be that Jesse is the great grandfather of the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, and died in 1910. (I leave others to check the Australian records.)
If you can add to the information given above tell me.
Page updated August 2008