Roydhouse Hamlet


Images of Roydhouse area from Google

The hamlet of Roydhouse is in the Kirklees district, West Yorkshire. Nearby are Shelley, Huddersfield and Skelmanthorpe.
The 4 accessways in the hamlet are Drinker Lane, Titus Lane, Jagger Lane and Wool Row Lane.
The Three Acres is the public house on Drinker Lane.
I have not found any Roydhouse family who lived in the hamlet yet but would be very excited to find traces one day. The Roydhouse families in Hemsworth, 25 kms away possibly could have a connection however the limited records available and lack of proofs would make this theory difficult to document.
A family I did find mention of was the Robuck family.
We know the Robucke’s of Roydhouse were there from 1580 onwards through the wills they left.
John Robuck was born c 1580, and married Agnes Soyner about 1600.
Their children included:
Agnes, Margaret, Elizabeth, Thomas and John.
John died in October 1635, and Agnes before 1637.

Alfred Frederick George Roydhouse 1894-1956

Alfred Frederick George was born in October 1894.

In the census of 1901, and 1911, he is living with his grandparents Joseph and Charlotte.

He joined the 12th London Regiment In 1918 he is described as 5’ 4 3/4 “, 121 lbs, with a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He had a birthmark on his chest.

He had defective teeth and a history of rheumatism. He was supplied with glasses in December 1917.

Alfred was admitted to Connaught Hospital Aldershot Hampshire in a confused mental condition and described as dull, feeble minded, stupid and unfit for any ordinary military service.

This Military Hospital was able to accommodate 1100 patients and had a large specialist unit for mental cases.

He saw no overseas service.

Alfred never married.

He lived in Britannia Row until 1936, then briefly in Clifden Road through the late 1930’s, sharing with Louisa and Frederick Foulger.

From 1946 through to his death in 1956 he lived at 67 Beresford Road, about half an hours walk from Britannia Row.

Frederick William Roydhouse

Continuing the Britannia Row connection :::

Frederick was the third child of Joseph and Charlotte. He was born in Islington in 1875 and his baptism records the family were at number 45. He was about 5 or 6 when the family spent a brief time at number 26, perhaps for no more than 5 years.
In 1899 he married Ellen Curtiss, and their address was 60 Britannia Row at the time.

In 1901 Frederick and Ellen shared number 60 with his sister Sarah, her husband Charles Weyda, and their children Beatrice 12,, Evelyn 9, Joseph 3 and William a 9 month old baby all lived at number 60 Britannia Row.It is not clear how many rooms the two families rented at this time.
Sadly, Ellen died in 1902 aged 25 years.
He married Louisa Frances Parker in June of 1906, both recorded at number 60.
Their four children:

1. Alfred Frederick George
2. Louise Charlotte Lilian
3. Frederick John Richard Thomas
4. Edward W T 1910-1912

By 1911 the electoral rolls state Frederick was still at Number 60, and that Joseph was also.
The accommodation is listed as one room, unfurnished, and there were:
Joseph and Charlotte, in their late 60’s, Frederick their son, age 36 with wife Louise, and children Alfred, 18, unemployed, Charlotte, 5, Frederick junior 4, and Edward, a baby one year of age.
An interesting anomaly is the 1911 census only records Joseph, Charlotte and grandson Alfred.
In 1934 Frederick and Louisa shared number 60 Britannia Row with married daughter Louise and husband Arthur Foulger and son Frederick J.R.T
Frederick died in 1936, having lived with extended family in Britannia Row all his life, and at least 50 years at Number 60.

George Joseph Roydhouse

George Joseph Roydhouse was born to Joseph and Charlotte in Islington in March 1872. He was the grandson of Thomas Henry Roydhouse.

He was living with his parents and siblings as a scholar in the 1881 census at number 26 Britannia Row.

In 1891 the family was living at number 60, and George was employed as a cardboard box maker.

When he married Ada Louise Maycock in December 1893 they were living in Mayville Street, about a mile from Britannia Row. (Mayville Street was redeveloped into a housing estate area in the 1960’s).

By 1901 census he, Ada and two children were living with his in-laws and the family on Hawkesly Road, Stoke Newington. His occupation was a greasemaker.

George junior and sister Louisa attended Tottenham Road Junior School from 1894 through to 1904 when transferred to Matthias Road School.

In 1911, George was a foreman at Frank Howe’s Oil Merchant/Grease manufacturing plant.

The couple had a total of 6 children:

1.George Thomas born 2.9.1896 married Alice M.G Bertrand 1920, died 1970 Hackney

2.Louisa Dorothy born 1894 Islington married Henry F Grew 1913 in Hackney – one son Leslie H born 1914.

3.Percy Frederick born 17.3.1902 Islington married Ivy P.G.Collard 1928 died 1978

4.Rose Charlotte born 1906 married Albert Edward Hayter 1929

5.Hilda Mabel born 1909 died 1911

6.Irene J born 1914 Islington married Milford Paul Spiegelhalter 1934-
one son Brian D born 1938

George was 75 when he died in Essex September 1947.

Sarah Ann Roydhouse

Sarah Ann Roydhouse was the first child of Joseph and Charlotte, born in 1869 and by 1871 the family was living at number 45.

By the 1881 census they were sharing number 26 and Sarah was recorded as a scholar, and number 60 in 1891, when Sarah was a French Polisher.

French polishing became prominent in the 18th century. In the Victorian era French polishing was commonly used on mahogany and other expensive timbers. It was considered the best finish for fine furniture and string instruments such as pianos and guitars. The technique results in a very high gloss surface, with a deep colour. French polishing consists of applying many thin coats of shellac dissolved in alcohol using a rubbing pad lubricated with one of a variety of oils.

Sarah married widower Charles Weyda in 1897 and became step-mother to Augustus (15),Margaret (12), Beatrice (8) and Evelyn(6).

Charles and Sarah had two sons:

1.Joseph Charles (1897-1939) married Elsie Collins;

           Kenneth C born 1928 Edmonton, died 1961

2.William Henry (1900- 1961 Edmonton) married 1922 Edith Witherstone

In 1901 Charles, Sarah, Beatrice, Evelyn, Joseph and William all lived at number 60 Britannia Row. Charles was a lithographic printer.

By 1911 they had moved to  Croydon Road,Edmonton, and 1915 the electoral records show them at 41 Oxford Street, Edmonton.

Sarah died three years after Charles, and was living at St. Albans, in Hertfordshire when her death was recorded in 1934.

Joseph Thomas Roydhouse

Thomas and Henry, sons of Sarah nee Anstiss and Thomas Henry Roydhouse, had one other surviving sibling, a brother Joseph Thomas born on the 21st March, 1844, and baptised at St Marys, Islington on the second February, 1851.
At this stage the family was still in Sidney Grove, but as Sarah was now a widow with three young sons, perhaps she needed to find cheaper rent.
Joseph was the “one who stayed home”, and he and his family spent their lives in London.
In 1861, he lived with his mother and brother, and was recorded as a labourer.
Joseph married in 1866 to Charlotte Pocock at St Phillips Church, Bethnal Green and they had three children:
1.Sarah Ann (1869-1934)

In 1871, Joseph and Charlotte lived at number 45, with mother Sarah and brother Thomas at number 40. Joseph was recorded as a painter.

2.George Joseph (1873-1947)
3.Frederick William (1875-1936)

The baptism of Joseph and Charlotte’s two sons was solemnised at St James Islington in 1875, with the family’s address recorded at 45 Britannia Row.

1881 saw the Joseph Roydhouse family at number 26, familiar to Joseph from 20 years before.His occupation was a house painter.

The electoral rolls of 1885 and 1888, however, indicates Joseph was now paying 4 shillings a week to landlord John Perrin (also at that address) for number 60 Britannia Row. It is listed as two rooms, unfurnished on the first floor.

In the transcribing of the 1891 census, Joseph and his family were recorded at number 60 as:
Joseph S. Roy Show, warehouseman oil and colour refinery,47
Charlotte, wife, 47
Sarah, daughter, French polisher,22
George, son, cardboard box maker, 19
Frederick, son, cardboard box maker, 45 ( sic)

In 1897, the electoral rolls recorded Joseph still at number 60, however from 1901 until sometime between 1907 and 1911 the family spent time at 33 Compton Street, close by where his grandparents Sarah and Thomas had lived in Rawstorne Street.

The 1911 census shows Joseph, Charlotte and their grandson Alfred Frederick George living at 60 Britannia Row again.

Joseph was still at number 60 when his death is recorded in 1918.

Britannia Row
26 Joseph, Charlotte, Sarah, George, Frederick 1861, 1881
45 Joseph, Charlotte, Sarah, George, Frederick 1871
60 Joseph, Charlotte, Sarah, George, Frederick, Louisa 1891, 1911

(All records from

Thomas Roydhouse 1845-1903

Thomas Roydhouse seemingly disappeared off the census, marriage and death records of the United Kingdom after 1871 showed he was living at 60 Britannia Row with his mother Sarah. He was 24 years of age, single and employed as a messenger boy.

He had been baptised in 1851 at St. Marys, Islington, but was born on May 22nd, 1945.

His occupation in 1861 when he was 14 was recorded as errand boy living at number 60 Britannia Row.
He managed to elude my (idle) searches for many years, until this week while seriously researching the descendants of Thomas Henry and Sarah and their connection to Britannia Row.
Expanding my searches to world-wide, I noticed a death for a Thomas Roydhouse in Adelaide, South Australia on the 4th of February, 1903. I was positive that John C. Roydhouse and family had left Adelaide by then to go to Perth, and his children were too young to be left behind.

A search of Trove revealed several items:

1. In 1876 a Thomas Roydhouse, 29, painter, was aboard the “Golden Sea” which had sailed from Plymouth on December 17th, 1875 for Adelaide.

2. In 1890, under LONG LOST RELATIVES-
Thomas Roydhouse (now supposed to be blind) sailed for Australia in 1875, and in 1885 was in Millicent S.A. Brother Joseph seeks.

There had been much work for hundreds of men draining the lands around Mount Gambier and Millicent from 1864 to the 1880’s. Rainfall in the area is high, and the flat land often had almost 4 metres of water on it every winter. The town of Millicent and the farming lands were able to be established once this work was done.

3. In 1895 Trove recorded that the Agricultural Show had entries from the Industrial School for the Blind in Brougham Place, North Adelaide. First Prize for Mats was a Thomas Roydhouse.

4. Friday July 10th 1903 under DEATHS IN THE HOSPITAL:

The following are the names of persons who died in the Adelaide Hospital during the half year ended June 30, 1903, whose relatives are unknown- Thomas Roydhouse, 57.

Thomas Roydhouse was buried in West Terrace Cemetery, but his gravesite has since been reclaimed.

I wonder if he knew his cousin John Charles Roydhouse was in South Australia from 1889?

Britannia Row, Islington

Sometime between 1851 and 1861, Sarah, widow of Thomas Henry Roydhouse, moved to Britannia Row in Islington.
From that time until 1937, the family branches had links to that street.
Over the next few weeks I will write more about the families who stayed in London.
Britannia Row was constructed by 1773, and by 1820 there were many people involved in watch-making living in the immediate area. The street had factories with associated industries such as watch-springs and cut glass.
However, by 1868 a Ragged School had been opened at number 36, seen as an indication of the levels of poverty at the time. Ragged Schools offered free education, and often food and clothing for the children.
In 1898, Britannia Row was classified in The Poverty Maps as being a mix of very poor, chronic want and only casual employment opportunities to families earning up to 21 shillings a week.
Rent at this time was about 4 shillings a week for a shared space, often just two rooms.
The original Slum Clearances of Central London had pushed the very poor into outer suburbs, and Islington’s numbers swelled from about 10,000 in 1802 to over 315,00 by 1895.
(Even today Islington has the densest population in the whole of England: 138.7 people per hectare, compared to an average of 52.0 for London:2011 census)
The Maps Descriptive of London Poverty are perhaps the most distinctive product of Charles Booth’s Inquiry into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903). An early example of social cartography, each street is coloured to indicate the income and social class of its inhabitants.


Charles Booth was a wealthy business man who felt a profound sense of responsibility to the poor, and he spent many years collating information gathered by researchers walking with policemen on their beat. He was responsible for having a Bill put through Parliament to give government agencies the responsibility of paying aged pensions.
A description of a nearby street in the 1930’s:
The rooms were small, with low ceilings. Houses were subdivided, with two or more families in each, and all severely overcrowded. There were no bathrooms and probably an outside lavatory shared by several families. No refrigerators of course and no proper place to store food. At most there might have been a meat safe with perforated zinc sides to protect food from the flies. With luck it might have been nailed to an outside wall and reached through a window. If not it was inside the room. A family living in one or two rooms would have had to buy food every day, as nothing could be kept. ‘At one-and-a-half to a room Kitchens counting as rooms – there are six people in this house, divided for sleeping purposes thus: main bedroom, husband, wife and child; second bedroom, two girls; parlour, son.
Accommodation which necessitates five people sleeping in two small bedrooms, and one person in the parlour, is by every civilized standard odious. If one adds the presence of vermin, the bug, the flea, the beetle, the rat – the pervasive slum smell, and the absence – in thousands of cases of bathrooms and W.C.s and even of water taps, one arrives at some idea of the living conditions of a quarter of the population as dealt with here.


Slum clearances continued before and after World War 2, where land was needed for development of rail systems, or to create land for wealthier families ( known as gentrification of an area)
I believe the Roydhouse families finally disappeared from Britannia Row to become rehoused in Stoke Newington , and other areas that had “social housing” ( council flats).
Perhaps luckily, as World War 2 saw more than 3,000 buildings in the Islington area destroyed by the aerial bombing raids.

Blitz in London — firefighters in action at the premises of Hill & Co, Britannia Row, Islington, damaged by bombing on 22 March 1944. General view at…

As a footnote, in the mid 1970’s a band known as Pink Floyd had a studio there, recording “Animals” and parts of “The Wall”, using children from nearby to perform the “we don’t need no education” chant.

Rentals in the street now can cost upwards of 635 pounds per week for a small but modern flat. The equivalent of the 4 shillings a week from 1898 would now be 14 pounds.

1626 and all that..

Researching the Roydhouse families prior to their arrival in London in the early 1700’s has many challenges. Here is an average page from Wragby, West Yorkshire, 1626.

1.Limited access to the records which would help identify all life events for each person.
For example, the Thomas I see married in Hemsworth- did he stay in Yorkshire and have a large family, or perhaps his death is recorded OR is he the one who moved to London with his wife Elizabeth?

2. Many early records are recorded in Latin.

Some common words which help in identifying include:
filia= daughter
nupt = marriage
obitus= death
The christian names are also in Latin:
Elizabetha= Elizabeth
Guileimi= William
Johannis= John
Henricus= Henry
Richardi= Richard
Jenit= Janet

3. Very few records include the mother of a child being baptised, and while some records include a father of a child being buried, very often it is unclear if it is Thomas the father or Thomas the son who has died.

4. Levels of literacy within the church officials- some have beautiful handwriting and others a complete scrawl. Some are consistent with standard spelling, but there are many variations of names such as Guilemi (this is also dependent on the transcribers ability) Some records are organised into sections for each life event, others are recorded as they happened.

West Yorkshire Archive Service; Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; New Reference Number: WDP99/1/1/2

Susan Ann Jordan

Susan  was the last child born to Hugh and Ann Jordan in Hayle, Cornwall in the summer of 1843.

Her siblings included Mary Johns Jordan, who migrated to New Zealand as the wife of William Roydhouse. Her brother, Benjamin Johns Jordan migrated to Illinois, USA

She married Samuel Hichins(60),mariner at the age of 19 in Helston, Cornwall in 1862.

(A young Susan)

Samuel had been a bachelor living with his mother.

Their children:

Samuel Richard 1863-1940 married Rosina Stevens, 2 sons

Harriet Jane 1866-1911

Adelaide Susan 1867-1939 married Arthur Unwin,3 sons, 1 daughter

Charles Frederick 1868-1968

Annie Maria 1870, born Mullion-1897

John Henry Jordan Hichins 1872, born Mullion-1891

Samuel is recorded as a fisherman of Mullion Cove, living near other boatmen working for the Coast Guards in 1871.

Mullion Cove is 9.7 km south of Helston by land and 13 miles (21 km) southwest of Falmouth by land.

(Mullion Cove)

The coast in this part of Cornwall can be a wild and rugged place, and storms have long raced across the Atlantic with strong south west and westerly gales. The Cove is partly protected from the winds and ocean currents by Mullion Island . By the time of the census in 1841 the Cove had several working fish cellars, net lofts and two thatched cottages.  Until the early 20th century it had a thriving pilchard industry, and lobster and crawfish fishing using traditional Cornish methods with locally manufactured withy pots. Mullion Cove  was a favourite landing place for contraband until the Coast Guards made it difficult to continue operating illegally by 1840.

 (A fisherman’s cottage in Mullion Cove.)

Samuel died in 1876 in Helston, Cornwall, aged 76.

In 1881, Susan states she is a Coast Guards widow, age 34.

Susan’s son, Wilfred Victor Trezise Hichins was born in 1883 in Helston, married Lillie Newton, with 1 son and 2 daughters.

(Susan in later years)(photographer at that address from 1886)

( Helston to Bedford)

Susan died in Bedford in 1909, aged 66.