The latest online periodical from Discover Your Ancestors has been released and this month I have contributed an article about a terrible Victorian murder that took place in St Giles-in-the-Fields, London.
What had drawn me to this research was the scene of the crime – a big house in what was by this time a very poor area. Built for a Richard Dyott before 1665, the house had one been a large respectable dwelling of three stories. By the 1800s, however, it had descended the social scale and was now part of a private landlord’s portfolio of accommodation for the poor and where a bed could be rented for the night in exchange for 3d.
Image from The Illustrated London News October 16, 1858 retrieved from TheGenealogist Newspaper and Magazine records
I had not intended to write about the murder that took place there, and the records I found that could identify some of the characters in the trail of the accused. Initially I was fascinated by how an area where an ancestor lived can rise and fall in fortunes and was investigating this. Soon, though, the murder at Dyott’s House took over my attention!
The August edition of Discover Your Ancestors is available now and features the following:
Life and work at the beach: Jayne Shrimpton dips a toe into the history of bathing machines, changing tents and beach huts
Murder in the rookeries: Nick Thorne investigates a gruesome death in St Giles, London
Sniffing out the past: Ruth A Symes considers some olfactory routes into family history
Going for gold: The 19th century saw gold discovered in America and Canada – and people flocked from Britain to find their fortune in the goldfields. Nell Darby digs deeper
The two clairvoyants who failed to tell their own fortunes: An Edwardian trial used legislation from larceny to witchcraft to prosecute a husband and wife palm-reading team, writes Nell Darby
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on watches