Jubb – Henry (1815-1853)

Life Events :

  • Born : 12 March 1815 in Thorne, Yorkshire
  • Married : 22 December 1836 in Hull to Elizabeth Wood
  • Died : 26 September 1853 at sea – missing presumed drowned.

Parents : Thomas Jubb and Hannah Huddlestone

Children :
  • Mary Ann – 11 December 1837 – 17 February 1849
  • Charles – 12 March 1840 (my great-grandfather)
  • Henry – March 1845
  • Elizabeth – September 1847
  • Thomas Wood – 2 May 1849
  • Mary Ann – 29 February 1852

Henry lived through times of an urban population explosion, more people were moving to towns and cities for work in factories. It was also a time of social reform and the start of a fighting back by the working class people, demonstrated by the marches and riots for parliamentary reform. The establishment’s reactions including the Peterloo massacre and the Tolpuddle martyrs being sentenced to transportation for trade union activities could surely only have served as fuel to the fire of rebellion. As usual, read more about the events summarised below at BBC History Timelines.

British Historic Events :

  • 1815 – The year Henry was born saw the end of the Napoleonic Wars with victory at the battle of Waterloo
  • 1819 – A gathering at St Peter’s Field, Manchester to hear speakers on the subject of parliamentary reform ends with 11 people dead. The event becomes known as the Peterloo massacre. An ironic inference to military triumph at the battle of Waterloo
  • 1833 – Parliament passes the bill to abolish slavery, the result of the lobbying started by William Wilberforce in 1789. Wilberforce himself died in July 1833, just days before the bill became law
  • 1834 – The Poor Law Act reforms Britain’s social security system. Also, the Tolpuddle martyrs are sentenced to transportation for trade union activities
  • 1840 – Vaccination for the poor is introduced
  • 1840 – The opening of Hull’s first railway, the Hull and Selby Railway
  • 1851 – The year of The Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace, London

Born in Thorne and baptised 12th March 1815, the eldest son of Thomas, a shoemaker, I believe Henry must have had some education as he could write, as shown by his signing his name in the parish register entry for his marriage in 1836. Henry had moved from Thorne to Hull. His wife Elizabeth Wood, formerly of Patrington, made her mark on the register like most people of this class. Formal education was not made compulsory until 1880.

The couple lived in Dixon’s Entry, Lowgate, Hull and on the 1841 census, taken on the night of 6th June, Elizabeth is home alone with daughter Mary Ann aged 3 and son Charles aged 1, presumably Henry was away at sea. Lots of neighbouring households had mariners among their residents so it appears to have been a convenient area to live for that profession. It pretty much bordered the main town dock, Queen’s Dock, where I imagine Henry and his neighbours would have sailed from (and indeed the fictional Robinson Crusoe also set sail from in Daniel Defoe’s novel).

Dixon’s Entry was described in a report of 1884 as ‘a disgrace to civilisation’. Although the Jubbs had long since moved on, I don’t believe from the research I have conducted for it to have been any better 40 years earlier when they lived there. The housing they lived in was court style housing, back to back tiny houses with access via a narrow passage from the main street, opening out into a court. Hundreds of people would have been packed into homes in the most horrific conditions imaginable. Most would have been almost derelict with little or no sanitation. See photos below from the Facebook group Hull the good old days click to see full size.

A plan of Dixon’s Entry, undated but I imagine it would be around the same time as the 1884 report, shows 5 taps and 6 privies (non-flushing lavatories) shared between 175 people crammed into 33 houses. Thankfully this hellhole was demolished for the construction of Alfred Gelder Street in the 1890s. For those of you who know present day Hull, it was situated opposite the steps of the Town Hall, now the Guildhall. The City Hotel is located probably around where George Yard was on the below map.

We are incredibly lucky to have fantastic archives, some available online. One of which is the Goad’s fire insurance plans from 1885 onwards. Lots of these are freely available on Wikimedia if you are interested and on the British Library website, I found this list of abbreviations used.

This Goad’s map of 1886 is fascinating and shows you exactly where Dixon’s Entry was, look above George Yard where it leads from the left on Lowgate and the next narrow white strip, above the yellow warehouse is Dixon’s Entry. Click the map for the original on Wikimedia should you wish to download and zoom to inspect better.

To give a sense of how densely populated this area was, the letter D on the buildings signifies a dwelling.

It was a filthy, crime-ridden place and would have been a dreadful place to live. Contemporary newspapers of the time tell stories of the violence and criminal activities, and some of the tragedies of the area. Such as Joseph Ward, the landlord of The Blue Ball public house on the corner of Dixon’s Entry, losing his license in 1840 for keeping a disorderly house and harboring therein thieves and prostitutes. I read of the assault in 1846 by John Kelly on Betsey Fallen and Mary Power, Fallen being so badly injured that a surgeon’s certificate told that she was unable to attend the hearing to give evidence. Then the tragic tale of Robert Smart, 16 months old who died after his nightgown caught fire from a candle spark whilst his mother was out trying to get her husband out of the pub. It was a place of its time though and I’ve found similar stories in many of the poor slums of the era.

Henry and Elizabeth had six children, eldest son Charles would become my great-grandfather. Sadly, their eldest daughter Mary Ann died of fever in 1849 aged just 11, little wonder considering the conditions they lived in. 1849 was the time of the great cholera epidemic of Hull during which almost 2000 people died of the disease. I don’t know if the fever referred to on Mary Ann’s death certificate was in fact cholera or if it would have been recorded as cholera had that been the cause of her death. Childhood mortality was very high for working class families in those times but I don’t imagine that made it any easier to bear for the parents of those children. Youngest son Thomas Wood Jubb was born later that year and in 1852 another daughter was born, Henry and Elizabeth choosing to name her Mary Ann, the same as her deceased sister. This practice seems very odd to us nowadays but was actually a fairly common thing to do back then.

By the time of the 1851 census, the family had moved to Gibson Street which must have been a step up from the horrors of Dixon’s Entry. Henry was home on census night of 30th March with his occupation given as that of mariner. A search through newspapers suggests Gibson Street was certainly not as crime ridden with the police reports such as the coalman being summoned for leaving his horse and cart standing in the street for longer than necessary and two young boys of Gibson Street being cautioned for stealing apples from someone’s garden. However a Sanitary Committee report of 1876 mentions the unsanitary conditions of Gibson Street being due to the ditch running along its east side as having been brought to the attention of the committee several times, so it certainly wasn’t paradise.

I have found mention of Henry in the catalogue of the records of Trinity House as serving aboard several ships between the years 1838 and 1840 but will need to go to the Hull History Centre to see original records to give more detail. I still need to discover more about his career. He may have had a spell working ashore at some point because on daughter Mary Ann’s death certificate in 1849 he is described as a gasman (I think this means working at the gasworks) but on the birth certificate of Thomas Wood, the same year, he is again a mariner.

Henry was lost at sea during the sinking of the cargo ship The Camerton on 26th September 1853 between Hull and Rotterdam. He is mentioned by name by the owners, W & CL Ringrose as having been in their employ for some time. The ship had just taken on board a cargo of cotton and woven goods, iron and steel. Several newspapers including those of London, Liverpool and local papers the Hull Packet and the Hull Advertiser reported the incident. All crew and passengers were saved except for the Captain, second mate and seaman Henry Jubb. According to one report in the London Evening Standard, neither ship nor cargo were insured. So I doubt poor Elizabeth, Henry’s widow would have had any financial help after the tragedy.

There is more to be told about the life and times of Henry but more research is needed. Until I can add more, I hope you have enjoyed his story.

Acknowledgements : Facebook groups Hull the Good Old Days and Old Hull for information on Dixon’s Entry and the British Genealogy Forum for pointing me in the direction of the Camerton loss. This page would be a lot less interesting without the generous help of these good people.