London's East End to New Zealand, or What a Small World

By Carol (okus) on March 16, 2010

Two branches of my family had lived and worked in the same part of London for years, literally streets apart, but never met. They both emigrated in 1874, on separate ships, and set up homes in different parts of New Zealand before finally meeting and uniting on the opposite side of the world.

Two  branches of my family had lived and worked in the same part of London for years, literally streets apart, but never met. They both emigrated in 1874, on separate ships, and set up homes in different parts of New Zealand before finally meeting and uniting on the opposite side of the world.

Branch one: The Manning and Foothead branch

WILLIAM EDWARD MANNING was born in approximately 1787. He married ELIZABETH CLIFFORD AUSTIN at St Leonard’s, Shoreditch on 23 January 1811 and died(of Diarrhea)  on the 8th August 1842, aged 55, at 18 South Conduit Street (now Viaduct St) in Bethnal Green. As he was a cook, as stated on his death certificate and his daughter’s marriage certificate,  this does not sound too good for whoever he was feeding at the time!! As a male cook he is likely to have been working in an institution or Hotel.  I have found two daughters; ELIZABETH CLIFFORD MANNING born in Stepney 14 Dec 1814; MARY ANNE MANNING was born in Bethnal Green in approximately 1818. So far I have failed to find birth or baptism records for Mary Anne, I only know she existed because she is my great, great grandmother and I have her marriage certificate and she appears on census records.

Elizabeth married JOHN GYNNE, a policeman, on 19 Mar 1840 at Stepney, St Dunstan’s, and they had at least one son, JOHN GYNNE born in Feb 1841.

Mary Anne married JAMES FELIX FOOTHEAD at St George in the East on 18 April 1849. At the time of their marriage they were living at 5 and 6 Berner St respectively, next door neighbours.  James was ex East India Company Army and had returned to England with the son, William and daughter, Eliza from his deceased Indian wife Margaret. They lived for a short time in Richmond, where, according to the 1851 census, they were running a Drapers Shop in Hill St., before returning to the East End where James became Superintendent of “The Strangers Home”, a newly founded refuge for Lascar and Asian Seamen in Limehouse.

Mary Anne and James had 4 children of their own EDWARD JAMES FOOTHEAD, who was born while they were in Richmond on 6 March 1850; EMILY MARY ANNE, who was born in Waddington Place, Stratford, West Ham in April 1852 and died there in August 1852; a second EMILY MARY ANNE born Sep 1855 in Stepney, James never believed in wasting a good name! he had re-used names for his Indian born children too; and SARAH ELIZABETH born June 1859 in Dalston, Hackney.

James, who had been born in Bloomsbury in approx 1800, died on 26 June 1880 at 75, Boleyn Road, Islington aged 79. Mary Anne died 22 Nov 1884 at 19, De Beauvoir Crescent, Hackney. The two Indian born children didn’t stay at home once the family moved to the East End; Eliza set off on her own for Australia in 1857 where she eventually married. William died in the Lambeth Workhouse in 1868 having spent time serving in India like his father before him.

Edward, known as EJ, my great grandfather, remembered swimming in the Limehouse Cut as a boy and having his ears boxed for his pains. By the 1871 census he had qualified as a plumber, but was still living at home with his parents at 3, Osborne St, Hackney. He married THIRZA ANNE CROOK, a Gloucestershire girl working in London as a housemaid, on 28 July 1871. They had a large family of 8 sons and 1 daughter. ARTHUR EDWARD FOOTHEAD was born in Hackney in 1872 and JAMES FELIX FOOTHEAD in Edmonton in 1873. The other 6 boys and one daughter, JULIA ANNE FOOTHEAD, my grandmother, were born in New Zealand.


They emigrated, sailing on the’ Euterpe’ which departed London on 21 April 1874. The journey lasted for 124 days and must have been very uncomfortable with 400 passengers sharing such a small space and with two very young boys to care for. The ‘Euterpe’, renamed the ‘Star of India’, is the oldest working sailing boat still afloat and is currently in the San Diego Maritime Museum.

1 Euterpe in 1883                                                   2 EJ and Thirza in 1937                          2010-03-16/okus/9fa45a                                      

Branch two: The Bourne and Callingham Branch

WILLIAM FREDERICK BOURNE was a Journeyman Cooper. He was born in Faversham, Kent on 30 April 1800, but by the 1841 census he and his wife MARY ANN JUDGE were living in White Street, Southwark St George. Mary Ann was born in Harrow on the Hill, and they were married there in Aug 1825.  They had 3 children with them on the census; WILLIAM FREDERICK BOURNE, born 1830; AGNES HARRIET BOURNE, born 20 March 1834; and ELIZABETH BOURNE, born 1836. Another daughter MARY ANN BOURN, born 1827, had already married and left home by then.  All 4 children were born in Faversham, so it is safe to assume that he and Mary Ann lived there until at least 1837.  By 1851 the family had moved to 7 Acton Street, Haggerston West and just the two unmarried daughters were living at home. This was quite literally just round the corner from where James and Mary Ann Foothead lived in 1861!

William Frederick senior died in Sept 1853 in Haggerston and by 1861 Mary Ann was living with her married daughter Mary Ann (now Mary Ann POST) and her family. Mary Ann senior died in 1866 in the Union Work House, Poplar.

Agnes Harriet married THOMAS CALLINGHAM who was born in Edburton, Sussex on 1 Nov 1829. He was a Railway labourer on the 1851 Census and still living in Sussex, but on 20 Oct 1855 when he married Agnes Harriett, he was living in Stepney, London. Their addresses are both given as 4 York Street, so living together is not just a 20th century phenomenon!! and his occupation was then Engineer.

By the 1861 census Thomas is a ‘Millwright’ and living in Tower Hamlets at 218 East Church Row. There had been three sons by this census; WILLIAM FREDERICK EDWARD CALLINGHAM (aka Edward) born on 29 Oct 1856 at Old Cottage, Plaistow Marsh, West Ham; THOMAS ROBERT CALLINGHAM (known as Robert) born in 1858 back in Brighton, Sussex; and JAMES WATKIN CALLINGHAM born in May 1860 in Limehouse. The Footheads were in Plaistow at the same time but they still didn't actually meet each other.

HENRY JUDGE CALLINGHAM, my great grandfather, was born at 9, Skin Market Place, Southwark St Savior, on 27 Feb 1863. They were obviously a fairly mobile family up to this point! A further two sons were born in Poplar, JOHN STREVENS CALLINGHAM, Dec 1866, and the very short lived WALTER JOSEPH CALLINGHAM, 4 Jan 1869 - 21 Oct 1869. Thomas had died not long before, on 14 Aug 1869, of Typhoid an illness which Agnes also caught and following which she was permanently bald. 

3 Agnes Harriett Bourne


The wig she covered her scalp with dominates the only surviving photograph of her.

After the death of Thomas and Walter and her illness Agnes tried to “disappear” – she always blamed herself for the death of Walter, feeling she neglected him during her own illness and delirium. By the 1871 census, calling herself Ann Callingham, a needlewoman, and giving her place of birth as Mile End, she is living at 35 Victoria Road, Stratford Le Bow, with four of her five sons, Robert, James, Henry and John. William (Edward) was not with them, he was working as a porter in the West End.

On June 23 1872 Agnes married again; JACOB BARKER was a widower, born in Bethnal Green, with one son GEORGE BARKER born 1861. This was probably a marriage of convenience to enable them to meet the criteria for assisted immigration to New Zealand. They sailed, with all 6 boys, on the ‘Golden Sea ‘ on 29 Jan 1874; the men and boys all travelling under the name Barker and listing their occupations as farm labourers from Essex. Jacob’s father was from Essex but this was stretching the imagination just a little, the callingham boys had never been out of London!

Agnes and Jacob must have separated shortly after arrival in New Zealand, where – apparently without benefit of divorce or death – she was married again on 14 Nov 1879, to WILLIAM HARVEY a 60 year old widower. She gave her name as Agnes Harriett Callingham, just as if the Barker marriage hadn’t happened. Perhaps it was never consumated so they considered it nul and void.  She died in New Zealand in 1899 in a house fire.

Henry Judge met and married his wife MARY ELLEN HOLMES BARLOW in New Zealand, and it was their son, THOMAS HENRY CALLINGHAM who joined the two East End families on the far side of the world when he married Julia Anne Foothead in July 1911, in Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.                                     

4 Thomas Henry Callingham                                                                              5 Julia Anne Foothead                                      




If anyone has connections with any of the above or can help with the background of the Manning family I would be most interested to hear from them. I am also keen to learn more about “The Strangers Home” if anyone can help?


Carol Gilbert

Related articles:
East End, England, London, New Zealand

About Carol
Carol is from the UK but has roots going back all over the globe. She has always loved history and has been researching her family tree for 30 plus years. There are still holes of course and she has found the odd skeleton, but it all helps to make the past come alive.
Other interests are dogs; she has bred, exhibited and judged Golden Retrievers for many years; building miniature homes otherwise known as Dolls Houses; Collecting antiques and last but not least Gardening.

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