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A GAGGLE OF GANDERS

 
   
 

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The first set of banns are recorded just after those of his colleague William Wesson, by then a widower aged 42, who married Sarah Alexander in December 1832. Wesson's daughter Sarah had just died aged 17 at 171, Upper Thames Street.

It is likely they met their future wives when working together in the area but it is just possible Lucy Stratton knew the WESSONs previously, as Mickleham is only 2 and a half miles north of Dorking and William Wesson may have introduced her to James Gander.

St. Katherine Cree church was near the extensive warehouses of the East India Company which lay between Fenchurch Street and Jewry Street. James Gander and William Wesson may have been working there either for Eades and Young on a contract or independently. The work would involve repairing barrels damaged after a stormy voyage or when unshipped at the docks.

In the bonded warehouses, hoops also occasionally rotted and burst due to the acid in the wine. Henry Mayhew's article (see Part 1.3
) refers to this kind of work, which often meant refitting and renewing the hoops and staves and the object was to effect these repairs without loss of the contents of the barrels.

Eades and Young closed their Wandsworth premises around 1831 but continued operating at 82 Upper Thames Street. One of their employees, William Parr and his family, lived at this address for the next 7 years. Parr of course was the maiden name of James' mother and it is remarkable that someone of that name and also a hoop bender, should move into Eades and Young's property so soon after the death of William and Ann Susan. It can be no more than speculation but quite possibly William Parr was related to James, possibly his uncle. If so, perhaps James' father had met his wife through working with her brother? We would need to know more of the origin's of the Parr's to make anything more of this.

   
 

In about 1834 Eades and Young again opened up additional premises, this time at 25 Fore Street, Limehouse, near Ropemakers Fields brewery. Limehouse and Rotherhithe on the opposite side of the river, being near Stave Dock in the timber docks, were the principal centres for hoop benders.

On 6th February 1835 James and Lucy Gander's first child, Thomas William, was born. He was baptised on the 8th March in St. Botolph's, Aldgate, although their address in the register is given as 'All Hallows the Great, Upper Thames Street'.

St. Botolph's is only a few hundred yards from St. Katherine Cree Church, where James and Lucy were married only 15 months previously, so perhaps James was again in the area temporarily.

Their next recorded move was to 5 Duke Shore Alley, Limehouse, where their daughter Louisa Ann was born on 28th August 1837. James was probably working nearby at Eades and Young's Fore Street premises.



2.2 LIFE IN UPPER THAMES STREET

ames and Lucy Gander were back in Upper Thames Street by April 1838 possibly living at No. 171, nearly opposite No. 82. Their daughter Louisa Ann died this month and was buried on 27th, as were her grandparents and uncle in 1825, in All Hallows the Great churchyard.

About this time, William and Sarah Wesson and their daughter Frances Elizabeth moved into No. 171 with James and Lucy Gander and family. They had been living at No. 189 where their son Abi Alexander had just died and in June shortly after this move, their other child Frances Elizabeth died.

On 13th May 1839 James and Lucy Gander had another daughter, Lucy Jane. A week later

   
 

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