Thomas Smalbroke of Handsworth

Thomas Smalbroke of Handsworth died and left a will, probate 1649. He was the second son of Thomas Smalbroke (will PCC 1609) and his wife Elizabeth Colmore, born in about 1584. Both the Smalbrokes and Colmores owned substantial amounts of land around what is now the city centre of Birmingham Continue reading →
Last updated on 17 August 2022 by JJ Morgan

Henry Finch of Dudley, died 1573

Henry Finch was born in Dudley about 1525 and was probably a younger son of Hugh Finch. Henry is named as one of  a number of burghers of Dudley who by 1562 had leases of ‘Our Lady’s Lands’, which made him and his heirs one of the original feoffees of Dudley Grammar School. Continue reading →
Last updated on 14 February 2022 by JJ Morgan

Evans family and the Lion Crest

When Richard Evans took over the Red Lion Inn in Wolverhampton, after his mother‘s death in 1792, he continued to build the coaching business he inherited. We do not know anything about the signage of the Inn but many objects depicting Lions have survived. Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 April 2023 by JJ Morgan

Frances Stephanie Cora Ashlin

Frances Ashlin was a VAD nurse who worked alongside Clarice Molloy and Molly Evans at No 2 General Hospital, Le Havre and First Western Hospital Birkenhead. Like Clarice Molloy she was Catholic and Irish, but was born in Cork and did her first nursing service in Cork. She was born on 3 Jun 1880. Her uncle was the well known Irish architect, George Coppinger Ashlin, close associate and follower of Augustus Pugin. Continue reading →
Last updated on 10 November 2022 by JJ Morgan

Osnaburgh House Hotel, Regents Park

Osnaburgh House was a regency town house and, latterly, small town hotel just off Regents Park in Camden, north of the Euston Road. It was destroyed or knocked down, during or immediately after the war around 1941-45. It was immediately adjacent to Cumberland Market. Continue reading →
Last updated on 8 January 2022 by JJ Morgan

Hubert Bindon Marten

Hubert Bindon Marten was the son of Edward Bindon Marten born on 6 May 1864 in Pedmore. Both his father and his uncle, Henry John Marten were engineers and it is perhaps not surprising Hubert followed in this profession. Continue reading →
Last updated on 2 December 2021 by JJ Morgan

Walter Patrick Nicol

Pat Nicol was born on 15 Aug 1901, the oldest son of Arthur Patrick Nicol, MC and his wife Daisy. Daisy Nicol, nee Showell, was the youngest child of Walter Showell, born in 1876. The Nicol family originally came from Aberdeenshire in Scotland. Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 November 2021 by JJ Morgan

Dolly Crombie

Florence Showell, known as Dolly, was born in 1874 in Oldbury, Worcestershire. She was the ninth daughter of Walter Showell. She had one younger sister and three older brothers making her one of thirteen children all who survived and all but one got married. Continue reading →
Last updated on 26 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Fishing Party, Parkhill, Dyce, c 1898

A group of early photos in Mary Downing‘s collection depict a Fishing Party in Aberdeenshire. Mary spent time throughout the decade around 1900, with her Aunt Dolly Crombie (nee Florence Showell) at her Scottish Estate at Parkhill House, Dyce. These photos are the only few where she identifies her grandfather, Walter Showell, the Oldbury brewer who was to die in 1901. As such they are the only surviving likenesses of him. Continue reading →
Last updated on 26 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Bartolo Leopold D’Aubigné

Listed in the Downing Bible as a Godfather to William Noel Downing, is the name ‘B L D’Aubigné’. There are a few named photos of ‘D’Aubigné’, taken on shooting or fishing parties accompanying the Downings. He is also self-evidently present at the wedding of May Downing in 1906. Continue reading →
Last updated on 22 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Ratlinghope 1899

A small packet of loose photos, labelled ‘Ratlinghope 1899’ exists among the box of Downing archives. Continue reading →
Last updated on 23 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Eleanor Gill Welch

Eleanor Welch was born in Handsworth on 15 Dec 1884. She appears in three photos taken by Mary Downing in the late 1890’s. Up until about 1895 the Downings lived in Church Lane Handsworth around half a mile from the Welch household. Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 August 2021 by JJ Morgan

William Lyon Browne

William Lyon Browne was born in about 1845 and was a corn merchant from Shrewsbury. He had extensive business dealings with William Edmund Downing and the Downing’s malting business. This included social gatherings and shoots in Church Stretton and Ratlinghope from about 1880 to 1900. Continue reading →
Last updated on 9 October 2021 by JJ Morgan