May 6, 1878 Courtroom Drama: My Family!

May 6,1878 Courtroom Drama: My Family!

Just recently, I’ve learned that my ancestor, John Moors and his wife, Grace Porter, lived at 42 Princes Street at Stamford Street in Blackfriars, London…this would also be known as Lambeth.

This link reports that this very location has been renamed Coin Street.  This first appearance of a change in name came in 1912.

By some miracle, my ancestors’ misfortunes became my good fortune, in that only minutes ago, I located, in full transcript, an incident that brought my family members into a court room in 1878.  How often does a descendent have opportunity to read their ancestors’ recorded testimony?  I am so excited and will, of course, learn so much about my family by looking carefully at this transcript.

Thanks to my father’s application for information, I recently read the following records regarding my British Home Child Great Grandfather, John Moors.  The shopkeeper mentioned here would be my Great Great Grandfather, John Moors.

The shopkeeper’s son, John, left Britain on the SS Parisian on 8th of August 1889 and arrived in Montreal/Quebec on 16th of August, 1889.  He was 13 years old.

“On admission: this boy has highly respectable parents, but the father is afflicted and unable to engage in active work.  He and his wife keep a little shop but their earnings are very small.  This case is recommended by one of the Mildmay Deaconesses who work in South London.  The family are very thankful for John to emigrate.  He has been well brought up.”

Here are the pages from the court case of so many years ago…(All material is made available free of charge for individual, non-commercial use only.)  Located at The Proceedings of the Old Bailey: London’s Central Criminal Court, 1674-1913.

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.0, 16 February 2014), May 1878 (t18780506).

Page One John Moors shopkeeperPage Two John Moors ShopkeeperPage Three John Moors ShopkeeperPage Four John Moors ShopkeeperAstley’s Royal Amphitheatre is mentioned on page 123 of the above record and is described in detail here.

Tree John MoorsWhen he also left Britain for Canada, my great great grandfather received this time piece from St. Andrew’s Parish prior to his journey.


A description of the parish is here…

“The Church of St. Andrew’s was designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon in a style described at the time as “Geometric Decorated.” It seated nearly 800 people and cost just over £ 10,000. One item in the bill was for extra digging and driving piles “consequent upon the tides.” The church was consecrated in June, 1856. In 1874 the vicar, the Rev. Frederick Tugwell, bought additional land and rebuilt one of the aisles, inserting five windows in what had previously been a blank wall. (ref. 54)

During the war of 1939–45 St. Andrew’s was so badly damaged as to be rendered unusable, though most of its fabric still remains (Plate 9).

List of Incumbents and Vicars. 1846, Agmond C. Carr; 1850, Alfred S. Canney; 1858, Lewen Tugwell; 1865, Frederic Tugwell; 1883, Trevor Fielder; 1892, George Edward Asker; 1900, George R. Lees; 1915, Thomas Walton; 1926, Wilfrid G. B. Middleton; 1938, Arthur W. Burfield; 1949, Eric W. A. Dean.

Architectural Description

St. Andrew’s Church, which is orientated approximately north and south, has at its north-east corner a bold tower and spire. The spire, which is octagonal, is slated and rises from the four gables over the belfry stage of the tower. The church is built in stock brick close banded with rough-dressed stone coursing. It has a clerestoried nave with aisles at each side. The light-coloured brickwork of the interior is relieved with red bricks in regular courses and in geometrical patterns. With the gabled end wall of the nave, the spire and tower close the vista at the southern end of Coin Street. The church shows strongly that Continental influence common in much of Teulon’s work.”

While I have not yet fit together all of the pieces, I have been researching and know that my Great Great Grandfather was likely raised up for several childhood years in the Lambeth Workhouse, as many orphaned children were.

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