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Shakespeare - One Or Two?


wes williams
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Some recent research has thrown up the possibility that there were two 'Shakespeares' making concertinas. Thomas Shakespeare was active from about 1884 onwards at various addresses in Oakley Street, Lambeth; but from the mid 1900's to the mid 1920's there was a J.Shakespeare of Camberwell Road. Can anybody with a Shakespeare have a look at their labels and tell me anything to help?

 

Thanks ..wes

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  • 3 months later...

Whilst I was working on H. Dean tonight, I also took another look for Thomas Shakespeare (well there is a minimum charge of £5.00 to look at the 1901 Census returns online, so I might as well get value for my money !) This time I found him (it isn't easy) :

 

Thomas Shakespeare was born about 1846 or '47, in Westminster, London. On the 1881 Census he is listed as a "Concertina Maker", at 110, Winstanley Road, Battersea. In 1891 he is a "Musical Instrument Maker", at 78, Oakley Street, Lambeth and in 1901 his occupation is indecipherable ("C..... Maker"), but he is living at 49, Addington Square, Camberwell, and a middle initial, "H", is given.

 

So perhaps the "J" is an error for "T", and he could have still been making concertinas into the mid 1920's ? Otherwise, the first name of his (much younger) second wife was Julia.

 

Are you sure that some of these instruments were not made by a fellow called Bacon? :D

No, he made banjos! :P

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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I have done a bit more work on Shakespeare, which has turned up a big surprise. A Directory entry has revealed that the occupation I could not read, on the 1901 Census, is "Cycle Maker" !

 

Everything points to him being the same person, and it is not the first time that I have heard of someone working on both bicycles and concertinas.

 

The 1871 Census is now becoming available online, so I have also been able to trace him on that, living at A8, Winstanley Road, Battersea, and giving his occupation as "Musician".

 

This entry reveals that there may be an error in the Mormon transcription of his 1881 return, as it transpires that "110" is the enumerator's "No. of Schedule" for this address, so it may not be his house number ten years later, and he may still have been living in the same place.

 

Also, a Thomas Henry Shakespeare was born, in Westminster, December Quarter (October to December) 1846, who I believe to be him. He married a Julia Emily Rogers, London Surrey, December Quarter 1892, which is confirmed by the 1901 Census, which lists an "Elizabeth S. Rogers, Sister in Law" living with them, and gives his wife's name as "Julia E. Shakespeare".

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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  • 11 years later...

I got a chance to spend some time online tonight, so I went seeking the Shakespeares in 1911 and thereafter.

 

Julia Shakespeare was at 215, Camberwell Road, working there, on her own account, as a "Wardrobe Dealer" - which doesn't mean she sold large cupboards for hanging clothes in, rather it was the normal term for someone who dealt in secondhand clothes.

 

And they had two children by then, Thomas aged 8, and William aged 2.

 

Q: But where was Thomas?

A: Thomas Shakespeare "Cycle Maker" was a patient in Charing Cross Hospital, though hard to find because he was "out of place" and somehow (a bit like Mrs. Makepeace before him) he'd miraculously aged only one year in the decade since 1901...

 

Thomas H. Shakespeare died, in Camberwell, aged 67 (76 more like! :unsure: ) during the Second Quarter of 1922.

 

Julia E. Shakespeare remarried (to Albert J. Akers), in Camberwell during the Fourth Quarter of 1926, and died there in 1939.

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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Thomas Henry Shakespeare was born on 22nd October 1846 and named after his father, also Thomas Henry Shakespeare, an Engineer, then living with his wife Mary at 53, Holywell Street ("That dingy old Elizabethan thoroughfare with its overhanging fronts" and a colourful history: http://www.victorianlondon.org/districts/holywellstreet.htm), off the Strand.

 

Thos. Shakespeare (the father), aged 23, "Engineer" is already listed at Holywell Street on the 1841 Census, and married later that year. In 1851 the family was at 7, York Place, Lambeth, and in 1861 at 5, Latchmere Grove, Battersea, by which time his occupation has become that of "Enginesmith Employed By The W L E Railway Coy."

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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Thomas Henry Shakespear(e) senior was baptised at Lambeth, Surrey on 25th April 1819, and that record reveals that his parents were Nehemiah and Mary Shakespear. Nehemiah Shakespear and Mary Hobbs married at St George, Hanover Square, Middlesex on 9th March 1817. I haven't found them in 1841, but Nehemiah (68) and Mary (61) were living in Lambeth at the time of the 1851 Census, which describes him as an "Engineer Journeyman" from Kingswinford, Staffordshire.

 

So Tom Shakespeare, the concertina maker, had two generations of engineers behind him!

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  • 5 years later...

I have a fretless banjo with Ivory friction tuners clearly marked T Shakespeare 10 Oakley Street, twice.   William Temlett was also an important Banjo maker who is listed in the Census as a Concertina maker then later as a musical instrument maker. 

The perch pole is also marked CALDER twice.  Fretless with ivory dates it about 1880/5.  Well made instrument, boat shaped heel showing influence from Bostson, Mass. laminated walnut neck with ebony fretboard with star inlays and tuning pegs aka JE Dallas.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/5/2003 at 9:35 PM, wes williams said:

Some recent research has thrown up the possibility that there were two 'Shakespeares' making concertinas. Thomas Shakespeare was active from about 1884 onwards at various addresses in Oakley Street, Lambeth; but from the mid 1900's to the mid 1920's there was a J.Shakespeare of Camberwell Road.

 

Wes, I found some more sightings for the Shakespeares of Camberwell Road.

 

  1. At the time of (son) William Edward Shakespeare's baptism, on 15th November 1908. the family were living at 215, Camberwell Road. Thomas Shakespeare again gave his occupation as "cycle maker".
  2. From 1918 until 1922 both Julia and Thomas Shakespeare are listed on the Electoral Register at 211, Camberwell Road. So we know Thomas and Julia Shakespeare's address, from at least 1908 until his death in January 1922, was Camberwell Road.
  3. There's a 1934 Directory entry for "Shakespeare Julia (Mrs.), wardrobe dlr. 211 Camberwell rd SE5" - so she was still selling secondhand clothes, like she had been in 1911.
  4. On the 1939 List she is listed as Julia E. Akers, at the same address , only a few months before she died. But her occupation is then given as "Unpaid Domestic Duties" and that of her husband,  Albert J. Akers, as "Motor Cab Driver". 

 

We'll have to wait until 2022 before the 1921 Census becomes available, to see what that might reveal.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add 1908 sighting.
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  • 1 month later...
On 10/5/2020 at 3:20 PM, VBM said:

I have a fretless banjo with Ivory friction tuners clearly marked T Shakespeare 10 Oakley Street, twice.  William Temlett was also an important Banjo maker who is listed in the Census as a Concertina maker then later as a musical instrument maker. 

The perch pole is also marked CALDER twice.  Fretless with ivory dates it about 1880/5.  Well made instrument, boat shaped heel showing influence from Bostson, Mass. laminated walnut neck with ebony fretboard with star inlays and tuning pegs aka JE Dallas.

 

That's very interesting (and I'd love to see photos of the entire instrument - I've an interest in 19th-century banjos), but though he may have sold it (in the mid-1880s to early-1890s) from one of his Oakley Street shop addresses , I doubt that Thomas Shakespeare had any hand in the making of it, just as I doubt that William Temlett actually made concertinas, though he presumably sold ones bearing his own brand (but I've neither seen nor heard of a Temlett concertina).

 

Shakespeare had 3 known addresses in Oakley Street, numbers 116, 93, and 78, whilst I don't think there's actually a street number stamped into your banjo's perch pole - more likely the 1 is simply an indentation from the leading edge of the stamp, and you're confusing the O of Oakley for a zero?

 

Another (apparently) concertina-making banjo maker was Thomas Bostock, but the Crabb family of concertina makers (formerly in Liverpool Road, Islington) still have a stamp used for marking his name onto the concertinas they made for him...

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