Portrait of George Borrow

Brompton area Events in the 1860’s

Showing what was happening around the Borrow’s in Brompton in the 1860’s.

George Borrow and his family (Mary and Henrietta) moved into 22 Hereford Square, Brompton, on the 25th September 1860, and George wasn’t to leave Hereford Square until the second half of 1874.  Below are stories from the local papers and other sources, showing the day to day events of the neighbourhood.  Not all events are included and there’s a bias towards anything that is Borrow-related.

Events in Chelsea (to the south of Brompton), Hammersmith/Fulham (to the west), Kensington / Notting Hill / Bayswater (to the north) and Knightsbridge / Belgravia are considered “local” as Brompton has never had a clearly defined “centre”.

The main local newspapers consulted are:

West London Observer
Abbreviation: WLO

The paper was published every Saturday morning and was distributed by local agents throughout Hammersmith, Kensington, Notting Hill, Brentford, Fulham, Brompton, Knightsbridge, Chiswick, Turnham Green, Acton and Shepherds Bush.  There are no pages numbers, and most pages were six columns of text — other cases are noted.  There were four pages in the 14th January 1860 edition as follows:

1.  The first page was five columns of advertisements, mainly of a local character.

2.  The second page was local news, starting with an editorial.  The editorial often covered British politics, rather than local issues.  Padding stories from other British newspapers etc. were often used here.

3.  The third page continued the local news, and typically contained reports of the various Board of Guardians.  Fulham and Kensington Boards often feature.  These were followed by the local court reports on a day by day basis.

4.  The fourth page continued the court reports and was followed by other reports (e.g. meteorological report, Odd Fellows annual meeting etc.)  A short correspondence section followed, although the letters seldom give full names of their authors.  More local news follows and then advertisements (mainly local) complete the page.

The Notting Hill and Bayswater Times.
Abbreviation: NHBT.

At Kensington Library the microfilm has lots of missing issues, with it really starting on 20th April 1861.  It appears to have been a weekly paper, published on Saturday; the pages are numbered and the issue of 20th April 1861 (headed Vol. 1 No. 17) has the following format (pages are 5 columns unless otherwise noted):

Page 1: Advertisements, mainly covering Notting Hill but some from more central London.

Page 2: Town Talk (London politics and news), Outlines for the Week (day by day principal events in the country), general (non-local) news including Telegrams of the Week, new books etc.

Page 3: Taken up almost entirely with news of the Budget, from other newspapers.  In the next issue it is UK news

Page 4: Editorial, Kensington Guardians, Kensington Vestry, Paddington Vestry, District Telepgraph Company  etc.

Page 5: Serialized story (by Augustus Mayhew); Correspondence; Local Societies (British Artists, West London Protestant Institute, Volunteer Rifle Corps) then local news by area (Hammersmith).

Page 6: General London news etc.: Workhouse Children; Street Railways for Islington, Births, marriages and deaths; late conspiracy at Naples; Iron-Cased Frigate; French Romance; Atrocities in West Africa; death of Lord Berwick; Street Railways; French Fisheries; small news items

Page 7—Epitome of News; Imperial Parliament; Agriculture; “Quirky news”, Bankrupts; Markets.

Page 8—Advertisements in 3 columns, with the first two the width of the remaining one.

The paper seems to have distinctly Established Church bias.

Morning Chronicle.
Abbreviation: MC.Daily News.
Abbreviation: DN.Morning Post.
Abbreviation MP.A Note on Sources

Unless otherwise stated the source will be one or more of the of the local newspapers reports around the date.  It was common at the time for the newspapers to speak of “Wednesday last” rather than give a date, and in such cases the actual date of “Wednesday last” (i.e. the Wednesday previous to the newspaper’s publication) has been substituted.  Where the text refers to a future event (“would be held” etc.) then it will usually be found in the previous week’s newspaper.  Otherwise the source is the next publication after the event.  Occasionally subsequent editions of the paper would add material, and in some cases such material is combined with the original note.  Hence it might be necessary to search a few weeks after the date to verify all details.

Where no newspaper code is given, assume it’s the West London Observer.