Monday, April 2, 2012

John MIMMS and Lydia ENDERSBY of Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire

Hen Brook today
John MIMMS married Lydia ENDERSBY by licence on 24th Feb 1788 at St. Neot's Parish Church, Huntingdonshire..Their first child George was born just three months later. They lived their whole life in Eynesbury,  just across the small stream called Hen Brook which separated the village from the market town of St Neot's.

village sign
By 1805, their family complete,  they still had 10 out of 11 children, having lost just one the previous year(aged 15). Quite an achievement for the time!  They lived in very poor conditions in a small labourer's cottage. Peter MIMMS, my cousin who wrote "Only for Life" drew a comparison between their wattle and daub cottage, and those written about by Flora Thompson in 'Lark Rise to Candleford' 80 years later.  William Cobbett called them hovels, and the inhabitants, wretched. 

There was no piped water, even for the nearby town, until the end of the century. The sole village pump was next to the church. Clothes were washed in Hen Brook, and dried on the hedgerows.  John's wife Lydia died in 1821, and it was shortly after this, that son John set out for London (see next post).
St Neot's Workhouse, Eaton Socon

The area was famous for its lace-making, and their daughter Lydia earned her living as a lace-maker. When not in work she was found in the old parish Workhouse (in 1841). She never married and died at the age of 65 in St Neot's Workhouse, Eaton Socon. Her cause of death was 'exhaustion from chronic disease of brain and epilepsy'.

Eynesbury Church today

John lived until 1851, when he was in his 86th year. He joined his wife in the churchyard. A long and hard life, bringing up a young family during the French and Napoleonic Wars. 
Great Exhibition

His children had left home during the period of post-war depression, and the 'Swing Riots' of 1830. He survived the Hungry 40's, and died in the year of Prince Albert's Great Exhibition. 

1 comment:

SheilaMatilda said...

Another interesting post and even though there were no photos at that time you have still been able to illustrate it nicely. I have seen women washing in streams and hanging clothes on the hedges to dry in Kashmir where my husband comes from.