Thursday, 21 June 2018

Hanging the linen out to dry: living in Rack Street Exeter

Hanging the linen out to dry: living in Rack Street Exeter

In the sixteenth century, Exeter was the fourth wealthiest town in England, its wool imported to France, Spain and above all as we know Holland (through the port of Topsham).

The heart of the medieval city was the West Quarter, a jumble of inns, workshops and dwellings: Goldsmith Street, Guinea Street, Milk Street, Rack Street and Smythen Street (blacksmiths and later butchers) tell their own tale. Rack Street was where serge linen was hung to dry on racks stretched across from one side of the alley to the other – later, when the trade was more extensive, there were ‘rack fields’ or ‘rack sheds’ to dry the cloth. But after the 1800s, the wealthier families moved from the West Quarter to Bedford Circus, Southernhay (where Charles James and Alice Edith Vlieland lived) and then to the new suburbs in St Leonard’s and Pennsylvania, and by the 1840s the area had become a slum of decaying timber-framed tenements carved out of the former merchants’ houses. The huge top-floor attics, where the linen had been stretched, dried and baled, then dropped through a ‘coffin door’ into the street below, became used for primitive accommodation. A medical officer who visited Preston Street in 1865 found a six-room house crammed with 11 adults and 20 children, and in a cholera epidemic the following year the residents of the street died ‘like sheep’. As late as 1850, there were still several respectable traders in Rack Street – four grocers and a house slater, for example, and Thomas Gordon, a cabinet maker and timber dealer, although he was declared bankrupt in 1844.

The index to the police Charge Book for Rack Street for January 1898 to December 1899 showed how little prosperity was left. It lists eleven residents taken in charge (arrested and put in a police cell for the night) for offences such as affray, burglary, child neglect and prostitution. The men are in bottom-of-the heap occupations, the women occasionally with a trade such as dressmakers, but mainly prostitutes or with no trade (possibly arrested for drunkenness); many have no numbered address in the street, so must have lived on the upper floors of a tenement. Apart from a boy of 14 and a labourer of 23, the men are for the time in middle age or older (Charles Gervis, labourer 35; Francis Holman, rag gatherer, 36; William Bees, fish hawker, 37; William Tucker, labourer, 45; William Vosper, painter, 57) so may have slipped down from more respected trades earlier in life. Two of the women are young (Winnifred Blatchely, 20, and Alice Grice, 26) but two are married and in late middle age (Eliza Ellis, 44, and Mary Ann Coombes, 45); unlike Alice Grice, they are not listed as prostitutes so may be escaping abusive relationships or unbearable living conditions in drink and causing a public nuisance on the street.

Alfred Joseph Guscott seems to be an exception, and it is not clear how he came to be in Rack Street. He could afford to get the doctor (unless Dr Vlieland waived his fee for the poorest of his patients) when his wife Ellen died in April 1898 (Dr Vlieland diagnosed syncope, a sudden collapse often related to long-term malnutrition) and (presumably) rented his own house, no. 27. He was a skilled craftsman, an iron moulder, almost certainly working at the Willey Foundry, with at least three children: he married Ellen in 1870, but the eldest child in the 1891 census, another Ellen, is not born until 1874, and then there are three years until Lucy (1877) and five until Sydney (1882), and the length of these gaps implies the infant decease of a child or children. Before they came to Rack Street, somewhere between 1981 and 1901, the family lived in Swan Yard, Okehampton Street in St Thomas’s, an area of poor dwellings crammed between the railway and the River Exe and frequently prone to winter flooding. From there, Alfred could have walked to the Willey Foundry in Water Lane about a mile away; Rack Street, however squalid, was presumably a step up to larger living quarters. Alfred married again in 1901, taking on several stepchildren of his new wife, and moved to Hawke Street, which cannot now be found and was probably swept away, as was Rack Street, in the slum clearance of 1925.

thanks Barbara

Saturday, 16 June 2018

The head of Saint Jeroen of Noordwijk found

illustration of Saint Jeroen of Noordwijk, artist unknown, c.1750; swiped from Wikimedia Commons
This week his head was discovered in the churchfloor next to the entrance

Also known as
Jeroen van Noordwijk
Jéron Noordwijk

Born to the Scottish nobility, the son of a large land-owner. Known as a pious child who preferred to spend his time in church. Against the wishes of his parents, who wanted him to take over his father‘s estates, he became a monk in his teens. Priest. Missionary to the area of the modern Netherlands. Founded the first church in Noordwijk in 851. Martyred by raiding Vikings for refusing to worship their pagan gods.

late 8th century Scotland

beheaded on 17 August 856 in Noordwijk, Netherlands
buried in the dunes of Noordwijk
c.980 he appeared in a series of dreams to a farmer named Nothbodo, showing the man where his relics could be found
relics enshrined in Egmond Abbey c.985
relics taken to Haarlem, Netherlands in June 1573
severalrelics redistributed to assorted churches, altar and monasteries over the centuries after
on 16 August 1892, following a lengthy study to authenticate the remaining relics, they were taken to the Saint Jeroen church in Noorwijk.
But the head never was found untill this week .

Patronageto find lost articles

priest with a falcon (his soul that soared to heaven) and sword (used in his murder)
Additional Information


Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
This week the head was discovered in the churchfloor next to the entrance

Many men in Noordwijk are named Jeroen even our Jeroen Vlieland after this Saint.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Cornelis de Hollander and Claartje Dirks van Duijn

Thanks to Marijn we go back in time to the Hollander Family which also has a connection with the Vlieland tree 

We start with Cornelis de Hollander.

Name: Cornelis Hollander
Gender: Male
Christening Date: 04 May 1738
Christening Place: Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Father's Name: Jan Hollander
Mother's Name: Ariaantje Van Oostzaan

their son
 Marriage of Cornelis de Hollander and Claartje Dirks Duijn.

Doop/bap  2 april 1788  Amsterdam
Vader/father Cornelis de Hollander
Moeder .mother Klaartje Dirks van Duijn
child Trijntje Cornelis
Cornelis Arends Spitsberg
Veijtje Dirks van Duijn

Tijdens het voorlezen van de Huwelijks akte 4 april 1815  van dochter Trijntje den Hollander met Maarten van Beveren, wordt door Klaartje van Duijn verklaard onder ede dat hare man Cornelis den Hollander nu voor elf jaren op ene zeereis is overleden zonder dat daarvan eenige acte voorhanden of aanwezig is.
While reading the banns at the marriage 
4 april 1815 of Trijntje den Hollander and Maarten Van Beveren  The mother Klaartje van Duin declares under oath that her husband Cornelis den Hollander died on a seavoyage 11 years ago , without any written provenance.

Treijntje bapt 09-08-1789

Parents of Claartje Dirks van Duin are 

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Dirk van Duijn

Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN, ged. Zandvoort 09‑09‑1725, overl. Noordwijk 26‑10‑1801 op 76-jarige leeftijd, zn. van Pieter Rochusz van DUIJN en Aaltje Dirksdr MOLENAAR.
Tr. (1) op 21-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 05‑05‑1747 Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND, 23 jaar oud, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 17‑04‑1724, overl. Noordwijk 11‑09‑1780 op 56-jarige leeftijd, dr. van Arij Cornelisz VLIELANDER (den Hoorn) en Fijtje Jeroensdr WAASDORP.
Tr. (2) op 55-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 06‑07‑1781 Leuntje Klaasdr TAAL, 51 jaar oud, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 04‑06‑1730, overl. Noordwijk 29‑04‑1797 op 66-jarige leeftijd, dr. van Klaas Jansz TAAL en Ermpje Jeroensdr WAASDORP. {Zij tr. op 24-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 23‑06‑1754 Jan Klaasz LAKEMAN.}

Uit het eerste huwelijk:
Pieter Dirksz van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 05‑11‑1747, overl. ca. 1795, op zeereis, zn. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje ArisdrVLIELAND.
Tr. op 21-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 06‑08‑1769 Maartje Klaasdr PLUG, 23 jaar oud, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 04‑04‑1746, overl. Noordwijk 01‑01‑1803op 56-jarige leeftijd, dr. van Klaas Jansz PLUG en Jannetje Pietersdr BALKENENDE.

Fijtje Dirksdr van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 31‑08‑1749, dr. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.
Tr. op 21-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 04‑08‑1771 Cornelis Arisz SPITSBERGEN, 29 jaar oud, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 10‑06‑1742, zn. van Arie PieterszSPITSBERGEN en Adriana Jansdr van den EIJKEL.

Arie Dirksz van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 29‑09‑1751, overl. Noordwijk 12‑04‑1803 op 51-jarige leeftijd, zn. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.

Aaltje Dirksdr van DUIJN, visloopster, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 18‑11‑1753, overl. Noordwijk 11‑12‑1841 op 88-jarige leeftijd, dr. van Dirk Pieterszvan DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.
Tr. op 23-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 14‑05‑1777 Dirk Pietersz BALKENENDE, 27 jaar oud, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 14‑09‑1749, overl. ca. 1800, zn. van Pieter Dirksz BALKENENDE en Maartje Cornelisdr DOBBE.

Jan Dirksz van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 14‑11‑1756, zn. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.

Jeroen Dirksz van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 14‑11‑1756, zn. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.
Tr. op 26-jarige leeftijd Amsterdam 13‑12‑1782 Eitje TJERKSDR, 20 jaar oud, ged. Amsterdam 10‑07‑1762.

Jan Dirksz van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 06‑08‑1759, overl. Noordwijk 30‑08‑1759, 24 dagen oud, zn. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.

Klaartje Dirksdr van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 25‑12‑1760, overl. Noordwijk 06‑05‑1840 op 79-jarige leeftijd, dr. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.
Otr. Amsterdam 09‑12‑1785, tr. 1785 Cornelis den HOLLANDER.

Jacob Dirksz van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 05‑06‑1763, overl. Noordwijk 05‑07‑1810 op 47-jarige leeftijd, zn. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJNen Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.
Tr. op 26-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 12‑05‑1790 Aalbertje Cornelisdr KEMP, 22 jaar oud, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 19‑07‑1767, overl. Noordwijk07‑01‑1856 op 88-jarige leeftijd, dr. van Cornelis Jansz KEMP en Gerritje Arendsdr van der VALK.

Willempje Dirksdr van DUIJN, ged. (Ger.) Noordwijk 26‑01‑1766, overl. Noordwijk 28‑04‑1837 op 71-jarige leeftijd, dr. van Dirk Pietersz van DUIJN en Trijntje Arisdr VLIELAND.
Tr. op 28-jarige leeftijd Noordwijk 16‑02‑1794 Cornelis Arisz SPAANDERMAN, 24 jaar oud, schoenmaker, ged. (Ger.) Katwijk 29‑10‑1769, overl. Noordwijk 04‑11‑1841 op 72-jarige leeftijd, zn. van Arie Cornelisz SPAANDERMAN en Teunisje (Niesje) Jacobsdr VOOIJS.