View Full Version : Where is Barbians? Who is Charlotte Watkins?

29-10-2004, 10:45 AM
Thanks to the internet, I found my gggrandfather, Charles Watkins, in the 1851 census living at Pound House, Bisley, Surrey. His wife and family are living in Ringmer at the time. The census reads:

Charles R W Watkins, head, married, male, 49, Pensioner EI Company, born East Indies
Charlote (sic) Watkins, visitor, unmarried, female, 27, farmers daughter, born Barbians (I've checked the original census, and Barbians is correct) Midlsex

I am therefore trying to find out more about Charlotte, assuming she might be a relation.

I've found a couple of possible Charlottes so far, of round about the right age, that I've followed through the census returns. Both are born in Marylebone.

Where is Barbians? Could there be a reason why Marylebone have been written down as Barbians? Or am I on the wrong track with my Charlottes?

Thank you.

29-10-2004, 1:56 PM
What about Barbican ?

31-10-2004, 8:25 PM
Thank you for your help - I think you may be right :)

Looking at the map, Barbican seems a little far from Marylebone (where some other members of the family were christened). So maybe I need to find another Charlotte.


Ken Boyce
20-11-2004, 4:06 AM
Not to put a damper on a good logical conclusion but was the Barbican ever in Middlesex altough there were some boundary changes around that area in c1851
I would have thought that someone born in the Barbican area would designate it as the City - maybe I've been over the pond to long

Zoe Archer
20-11-2004, 8:48 PM
Isn't Barbican part of Cripplegate which is 'without' the city walls. Technically that would be Middlesex. Although some people during the 1800s were as confused about the boundaries as we are today.

I have a few from south of the river that consider themselves born in Middlesex (Peckham, Southwark to name two) and a 'city' born gent that gives his birthplace of London, Mdx.

It is also possible to be born in London's east end and be baptized in the west end. Londoners moved around lots, sometimes I believe at almost the speed of light ;)

Sorry that is doesn't really help your quest for Charlotte!

Ken Boyce
21-11-2004, 8:19 AM
The problem as always is the differentiation between civil reg, local gov and ecclesiastical parishes and knowing where the boundaries were for each as they drifted apart over the years and what the informant considered to be the City. The Barbican area was (I think!) divided between St Botolth, Aldersgate Without and St Giles Cripplegate Without in the Ecclesiastical Parishes and I think both these parishes were part of the six parishes that made up the old East London Civil Registration District #17 which according to the census place index includes withins and withouts and which was absorbed into the City Reg Dist c1870. GENUK lists District 17 (and the City of London) as being in Middlesex I assume this means 1837-1870
My relatives who were all from various parishes in District 17 listed themselves as being from East London, Cripplegate or the City.

Ron Leech
21-11-2004, 11:30 AM
I have a few from south of the river that consider themselves born in Middlesex (Peckham, Southwark to name two) and a 'city' born gent that gives his birthplace of London, Mdx.


At one stage London was technically part of Middlesex I believe.

Ron Leech

Peter Goodey
21-11-2004, 1:17 PM
Where is Barbians? Could there be a reason why Marylebone have been written down as Barbians?
While everyone else is chasing Barbican (which I don't think was used as the name of a district in those days), I'll put my money on it simply being a mis-hearing of Marylebone by an unworldly enumerator possibly following a 'difficult' exchange of views.

I did think of St Barnabas, Marylebone but the dates don't fit so that possibility can be discounted.

21-11-2004, 2:08 PM
From the Encyclopaedia of London - "Barbican EC2, named after an outer fortification of the City, possibly a watch-tower. Stow said it was pulled down by Henry III in 1267 after the war with the Barons. During the 16th and 17th centuries several wealthy and important people lived here. Garter House near the eastern end of the street was built at the beginning of the 16th century for Thomas Wriothesley, Garter King of Arms. From the end of the 16th century until it was destroyed by fire in 1687, it was the townhouse of the Earls of Bridgewater. Next door was Willoughby House, used byt eh Conde de Gondomar, Spanish Ambassador during Elizabeth I's reign. John Milton lived in the Barbican between 1645 and 1649. Maitland, writing at this time, said the street was inhabited by tradesmen, 'especially salesmen for apparel both old and new.' In the 2nd World War, 35 acres to the south were completely laid waste. In 1956, Duncan Sandys, the Minister of Housing and Local Government proposed that a genuine residential neighbourhood, incorporating schools, shops, open spaces and amenities should be created in this devastated area.........in 1958 the site was compulsorily bought by the City of London and the London County Council....."

Looking at several old London maps, Barbican was always a street, rather than an area, presumably until it became the area which exists today.

Best wishes

Ken Boyce
21-11-2004, 3:17 PM
Well senators Susan has now been given a couple of possibilities both quite logical - neither assured.

On the subject of the Barbican I deliberately used the term area and not district because I also thought it was one until I checked and found there are several streets and a number of Courts which are all tied to the Barbican in references dating from late 18C on - such as Beech St, Beech Lane, Bridgewater etc and which mudded the waters a little

And that's our ghastly Canadian $s sitting over there!

21-11-2004, 5:58 PM
Thank you for all your interesting replies. They were very helpful.

I've had a look at the census index for 1871 on ancestry, and I notice that almost 200 people say they were born in Barbican.

In a highly unscientific study :) , around half say Barbican Middlesex, a quarter Barbican London, and around 10% Barbican City. So I guess Charlotte may have said Barbican or Marylebone.

We went to Barbican with the children the other day to visit the Museum of London – I'd highly recommend the museum. It's certainly very built up there now. Charlotte describes herself as a farmer's daughter, but there's not much farming done around there now.