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Birth of Thomas Burgin1828

3rd November 1828: Paddington, London, England. Thomas was the 2nd youngest of 6 (known) children safely delivered to Sarah and Charles Burgin.

Paddington, LondonEarly 1800s

Local History: Description of London As late as 1790, Paddington could still be considered a fairly rural area. But this started to change around the turn of the century with the Grand Junction Canal carving out a branch in the area. Various acts were passed to allow the subletting of..Read more

Changing Occupations1840s

By the age of 12 Thomas Burgin’s family had moved out of Paddington to Little North Street (which used to run off Capland Street), in the St John’s area of Marylebone. Initially Thomas’ father, Charles worked as a labourer but by December 1845 he’d started to branch out to hawking..Read more

Hungry 40s1840s

Information on the “hungry 40s” – A VIDEO!

CostermongersHenry Mayhew

Image Source: THE LONDON COSTERMONGER. “Here Pertaters! Kearots and Turnups! Fine Brockello-o-o!” [From a Daguerreotype by Beard.] In 1851 Henry Mayhew’s famous account of the lives of London street workers, London Labour and the London Poor was published. It included interviews with real men and women working on the London..Read more

Kensington, London1850s

Info on Kensington – Notting Hill – maybe an audio clip of someone talking?

Another Move1851

Around the same time as Charles started as working as a costermonger, he moved his family once more. Leaving Marylebone for Latimer Road, Hammersmith (now part of Notting Hill, Kensington). Thus, in 1851, Thomas can be found living with his parents at 3 Hatfield Terrace. Aged 22, he had followed..Read more


On 21 September 1857, Thomas married Elizabeth Martin at St Stephen’s, Shepherd’s Bush. (Source: London Metropolitan Archives; Church of England Parish Registers; Hammersmith & Fulham; St Stephen, Shepherd’s Bush; Marriage of Thomas Burgin and Elizabeth Martin; 21 September 1857; Page 114; Entry No: 227; Retrieved from:; Ancestry Reference Number:..Read more


The marriage record states both Thomas and his father’s occupation as ‘Vegetable Dealers’. It’s most likely that they were pooling their resources and working as a team, each covering different streets, but combining their wages to buy stock. Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor once more proves invaluable in explaining..Read more


On 25th July 1866, Thomas was at the local pub – The Britannia, “in a half-drunken state, and boasting of his fighting powers” (“Fatal Fight”, West Middlesex Advertiser and Family Journal, 18 August 1866, page 3, column 6). After a brief scuffle with John Fisher, Thomas seems to have tried to..Read more

BoxingVictorian Sport

Boxing – history

The Police

History of Policing

The Trial

Thomas was the main focus of the subsequent trial and newspaper reports. This is probably because the victim’s family claimed that William offered Thomas a shilling to “leave off” poor John. This was contradicted by other witnesses, but the whole trial was riddled with inconsistencies. Some witnesses claimed that Thomas..Read more


6 months after Thomas was found “Not Guilty” the family were struck by tragedy – one all to common on the poor streets of Notting Hill. Thomas and Elizabeth’s daughter, Ann was just shy of 4 years old. Suddenly, at about 10pm one night, Ann started vomiting. By 6 am..Read more

Hair Is Everything2000s

Fleabag   Hair is everything!


Joanna Bourke, Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College in “A History of Hair” argues that: “Part of the reason that hair is so central to personhood is because it sends out signals to oneself and others about gender, class, status, age, generation, marital status, religion, group membership, familial ties, and..Read more