Revisiting the Chelsea mob

Henry Roydhouse was the son of Thomas and Esther of Chelsea, born at 72 Alfred Street in 1855, and baptised at Chelsea Holy Trinity  on the 1st April.

Aged 7 in 1861 census, he has older siblings Esther, Ellen, Benjamin and Edward, as well as a younger sister Ann aged 4.

The census of 1871 should find Henry aged 17, however the only two Henry Roydhouses recorded between 1861 and 1881 ( Born in Chelsea recorded on that document) are the two intriguing ones listed below.

  • 31 March 1877 Kildare, Ireland. Dog licence white female fox terrier with him at 7 Dn Gds, and other registrations from this address include men with military titles.

In 1881 he is a 26 year old Groom of Chamber at the Junior Carlton Club, established in 1869 at 30 Pall Mall.

Gentlemen’s Clubs with a political bias were very popular in London, and the Junior Carlton Club was established in 1866. At the time of the 1881 census the Club employed over 53 staff including clerks, waiters under-butlers, plateman, porter and a predominately female kitchen.

Luxuriously appointed to suit the discerning gentleman…

Three years after the census, the second record that needs to be explored further:

  • 1884 birth of Maude Margaret, daughter of Clarissa Russell actress, and Henry Roydhouse, actor

43 year old Henry married 20 year old Grace Yates on the 1st November 1899, and although he states his occupation as Librarian, his address is 30 Pall Mall. I can not find a birth entry for Grace with a lawyer father named James, as stated on her marriage record.

Electoral rolls show Henry employed at 30-35 Pall Mall ( the Club) and living in Upper Marylebone Street, Westminster by 1903.

In the census in 1911 Henry and Grace have been married for 15 years, live at 57 Bernier Street and have Daisy Cadbury, a 15 year old niece living with them.


Henry is now recorded as a Steward at the Mercantile Marine Club.

The couples ages seem to disagree with other records.

In June 1918 Henry was admitted to the Northumberland Street Workhouse/Infirmary and seems to have recovered sufficiently to travel to Westgate-on-sea in Kent.

Probate records show his death aged 63 at the Kimberley Hotel in Westgate-on-Sea on the 5th September 1918.


Author: gorcat28

writing up my ancestors one week at a time

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