eliza mallindine + joseph arno

Eliza was born in Bethnal Green about 1837 to Christopher Mallindine and his wife Sophia Hall. Her father died when Eliza was just seven years old and without his wages, the family was forced to seek assistance from the parish. In 1851, Eliza was living with her mother and three of her sisters in Wood Yard, Spitalfields and they were all working on piece work at home making fancy boxes and buttons.

Her mother remarried later that year which brought some stability to their financial situation but four years later, Eliza’s mother died aged only 50 years. What this meant for Eliza and her sisters is not known — did they remain with their step-father or were they forced to leave and seek work as servants?

Sale Street

On 17 August 1858, Eliza married Joseph Arno at St Philip in Bethnal Green but no family members signed the register as witnesses and both bride and groom could only sign with their mark. Joseph was born in Bethnal Green in 1840 to Benjamin Arno, a Silk Weaver, and Elizabeth Morgan and he was still living in the family home on Winchester Street when he married. Eliza’s address was listed at 6 Hare Street in Bethnal Green and there may be a family link as the 1851 Census shows that Thomas Arno was also at that address.

They moved to 14 Hereford Street, behind St Matthew’s Church, after their wedding and Joseph continued to work as a Journeyman Silk Dyer. Their first son, Joseph George, was born there on 14 February 1859 but by 1861, they had moved around the corner to 3 Sale Street and were living in the same house as Joseph’s brother Charles and his family. Joseph was still working as a Silk Dyer and Eliza as a Skin Preparer.

Eliza Mary Ann was born on 26 March 1862 and when she was baptised at St Matthias on 26 March 1865, the family had moved down the street to 1 Sale Street. They had three sons in quick succession: Charles Christopher was born on 29 May 1866 and baptised at St Matthias on 24 June, Henry was born on 30 December 1867, and Benjamin was born on 10 December 1869 and baptised at St Matthias on 9 January 1870. Joseph’s occupation was consistently listed as a Silk Dyer until Benjamin’s baptism when the register listed his occupation as a Painter.

The family was still living at 1 Sale Street in 1871 and would remain there for the next 40 years. Joseph’s parents were also living in the house but they were listed as a separate household and probably occupied one or two of the rooms in the house. Joseph’s occupation was listed as a Furniture Japanner; japanning was a finishing technique used on furniture and other decorative items to mimic the Asian laquerwork that was popular in Europe at the time. The process involved painting layer upon layer of a thick black lacquer, similar to enamel paint, and then polishing it to produce a glossy finish. The furniture was often finished with a decorative gold design to contrast the dark colour of the lacquer.

Their daughter Emily was born on 19 November 1871 and baptised at St James the Great on 19 December and Joseph’s occupation was listed simply as Painter which was likely a reference to his part in the japanning process. Mary Ann was born on 16 July 1874 and baptised at St James the Great on 28 August 1881 along with her older brother Henry. Joseph and Eliza lost their first child when four year old Emily died in the spring of 1876; she was buried at Victoria Park Cemetery on 21 April. In September, Joseph enrolled three of his sons, Charles, Henry and Benjamin, in the Turin Street School and one month later, Eliza gave birth to William. He was baptised at St James the Great on 12 November but died in the spring of 1880.

Mid 18th Century Japanned Chest of Drawers

Their eldest son Joseph left home to marry Ellen Catherine Savage at St Jude Bethnal Green on 18 May 1880. Ellen was born in Bethnal Green on 25 November 1861 to Charles Savage and Grace Leckie and at the time of her marriage, she lived on Tredaway Street but had previously lived down the street from the Arno family at 8 Sale Street. After the wedding, they moved to rooms at 1 Berry Place in Pundersons Gardens and Joseph continued his work as a Japanner. Over the next ten years, they had five children but only three survived infancy.

Eliza and Joseph were still living at 1 Sale Street with their five remaining children when the 1881 census was taken. Their nineteen year old daughter Eliza was working as an Ostrich Feather Curler, likely doing piece work at home, 14 year old Charles was a Cabinet Maker, possibly serving an apprenticeship, and 13 year old Henry had just left school and was working in a printer’s shop as a Paper Ruler.

On 2 April 1887, their daughter Eliza Mary Ann married Thomas Ward at St Peter Bethnal Green. Thomas worked as a Carpenter, as did his father William, and lived on George Gardens when married Eliza. Their first son, Thomas William, was born on 24 July 1888 on Middleton Street and christened at St Peter on 12 August. They were still on Middleton Street in 1891 but three years later, Eliza died, aged 32 years and although the cause of death is not known, she may have died as a result of child birth as their son Joseph was born in the same registration quarter. Thomas would have had to hand the care of his new born son over to a wet nurse but sadly, the baby did not survive and died the following spring. Thomas remarried to Mary Ann Fillery on 12 December 1897 at All Saints in Hackney and in 1901 they were still in Hackney, on Blinco Road, with his son Thomas William. Thomas and Mary Ann Fillery had four children but only one, daughter Florence May born in 1904, survived and by 1911, the family had moved to Walthamstow and lived in a four room house on Longfellow Road. Thomas and Eliza’s son, Thomas William, married Beatrice Power in West Ham in 1915 and they went on to have five children; in 1939, Thomas, Beatrice and their youngest daughter were living at 31 Morley Road in Leyton and he was working as a Grocer’s Assistant. Thomas William died in Leyton four years later.

In 1891, Joseph and Eliza were still on Sale Street along with their three youngest children and this census shows that they occupied 3 rooms. Henry was working as a Packer, Benjamin was not employed and Mary Ann was a Fancy Box Maker while Joseph continued working as a Japanner. Their son Charles Christopher left home the year before when he married Sophia Pearce at St Peter, Bethnal Green on 11 October 1890 and they were living on Hague Street with their 6 month old son Charles.

Son Henry married Susannah Martha Walker on 25 December 1892 at St Jude in Bethnal Green and they had four children. The following year, fifty-six year old Eliza died at home on Sale Street on 5 March of chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Their daughter Mary Ann married William Abercrombie on 25 December 1895 at St Andrew Bethnal Green and they had six children in Bethnal Green before moving to Leyton in Essex.

caroline dukes

Joseph married a second time to widow Caroline Dukes, nee Hollbrook, on 2 February 1899 at St Andrew Bethnal Green. He was still working as a Furniture Japanner and she was a Nurse and both addresses were listed as 1 Sale Street.

With all but one of his children married, Joseph and Caroline appear alone in the 1901 cenus on Sale Street but now they occupied only two rooms in the house with widow Rebecca Minns in the third room. His son Benjamin had been admitted to the Claybury psychiatric institution in Woodford Bridge, Essex on 15 December 1898 although the nature of his illness and the reason for his admission is not known. He was transferred to the Manor Hospital in Epsom, Surrey on 20 March 1900 and died there on 21 January 1901 aged only 30 years.

Joseph and Caroline appear in the 1911 census at Sale Street but 71 year old Joseph had finally retired and was collecting an old age pension. Neither Joseph nor Caroline could read or write so their neighbour James Fielder completed the census form for them.

Joseph’s death record has not been located but he had died before his son Charles’ second marriage in 1924.