Narrative Pieces

GEORGE GREGORY (b 1794) LADIES MAN?

(George was the father of Elizabeth Gregory who married William Read b 1830)

George was born the son Thomas and Elizabeth Gregory in Leyton, Essex in 1794. His first marriage was to Elizabeth Ginn of Woodford Essex, in 1817 at St Dunstan, Stepney and they settled in Leyton having six children. George had various occupations, but records at Vestry House, Walthamstow show that he was an agricultural labourer and carter at this time.

In April 1832 Elizabeth died, leaving George to care for his four remaining children (two having died).

Three months after the death of his wife George remarried his wife’s sister Mary Ann Ginn. Mary Ann aged 41 was a spinster a year older than her sister Elizabeth and presumably the marriage was undertaken for practical reasons, so that the children were looked after, and it lasted until her death in 1851. At this time George was working as a cabman and still living in Leyton.

George struck up a liaison with Hannah Skinnerton. Hannah was born in 1819 in Wanstead, Essex and was the daughter of Isaac and Sarah Skinnerton who were beershop keepers in Wanstead. Exactly when it started is unknown but in 1855 George and Hannah had a daughter called Amelia Hannah Gregory. Her birth certificate shows George as her father and that the family were living in Stratford, Essex at a Beershop called “The Steam Engine Beershop”.  George’s occupation to be a beershop keeper. The relationship didn’t last as by 1859 George had married a third time (see below).  Hannah Skinnerton died in West Ham in 1863 and daughter Amelia was with her grandparents (the Skinnertons) in Stratford, West Ham in 1871

George married his third wife, the widow, Mary Ann Marriott in 1859 in Bethnal Green, he was 65 and she was 45. They had probably met through George’s daughter, Mary Ann Gregory who had married a George Marriott in 1845 in Bethnal Green. How George Marriott was related to Henry Marriott is not known. Mary Ann Marriott was born Mary Ann Smith and came from Stebbing in Essex. She was the widow of Henry Marriott who had died in 1854 and she had several children.

The 1861 Census shows George with his new wife and her four children from her first marriage living in All, Saints West Ham at 51 Channel Square. George’s occupation was a carman. Also present was George’s daughter Amelia Gregory aged 5, from his relationship with Hannah Skinnerton

The marriage seemed not to be a success for in 1865 George died at Brown’s Lane in Plaistow, West Ham and the indication was that he died alone, as the informant on his death certificate was the district nurse, Ann Stiff. His death was from paralysis and general decay and his occupation given as a road contractor.

So was this actually the death of George Gregory of Leyton? In the 1861 Census he was the only George Gregory living in West Ham within +or -10 years of his age, In the 1871 census there was nobody named George Gregory of that age in West Ham, and a George Gregory of Leyton b 1704 was not to be found anywhere. This suggests that the death in 1865 is indeed the death of George..

His last wife was to found in 1871 living in Bethnal Green with her daughter Ellen from her first marriage. She had reverted to the name of Marriott, which again indicates that her marriage to George Gregory was not a success.