Francis Cable


The Cable Family – 1860 to 1871

Around four years after the death of Henry Cable’s wife, the future husband of Polly Shellaker, FRANCIS CABLE, was born on Saturday 21st July 1860 at 7, Henry Place, Neate Street, Camberwell,‎ Surrey. Admittedly my knowledge of Victorian London is limited but at present I cannot determined the exact location of this address –  Henry Place, Neate Street, Camberwell,‎ Surrey. NB – on the Census ‘Henry Place’ returned nine occupied buildings.

According to various forum sites on the internet there was a Henry’s Place in Shoreditch which changed its name to  ‘McGrath Place, Stratford’. After reviewing maps of London Boroughs in the Victorian era it is possible Stratford was within the Borough of Shoreditch at that time. I cannot definitely locate the modern ‘McGrath Place’ but I do not believe this was the place where Henry lived in 1851

In regards to Neate Street – that names exists in the area of ‘St George, Camberwell’ and it is now south of Albany Road and the Old Kent Road. However in the Second World War the area was substantially damaged during the blitz and later hit on several occasions by V1 and V2 rockets. Apparently in pre-war times the area was ‘a densely packed part of London with streets of Victorian terraces’. The destruction contributed to a decision to clear the area totally – it is now a Business Park is in the location, currently named ‘Burgess Park’. Although I feel the current street name may not be located exactly on the site of the original site as written on Frank’s birth certificate.

There are other possible locations for ‘Neate Street’ in London although the above is the most probable; Camberwell is the adjoining borough to Southwark, the borough in which Rotherhithe is located. The current location of Neate Street in Camberwell is only two miles from Church Street, Rotherhithe – the last known location of Henry Cable. Subsequent Census returns confirmed this location as being in Camberwell.

[Camberwell is a district of south London, England, and forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. To the west it has a boundary with the London Borough of Lambeth. I believe the original location of Henry Place, Neate Street is now in Peckham]

Francis Cable’s Birth Certificate – 21st July 1860

Francis Cable’s Birth Certificate – 21st July 1860

St. Peter's Church WalworthFrancis’ father is recorded on his birth certificate as being HENRY ISAAC CABLE and his mother  SARAH CABLE (née HUSBAND).

[Hereafter I will refer to ‘Francis’ as ‘Frank’, the name by which he was known within the Shellaker family]

On the Sunday 2nd September 1860, when around six weeks old, Frank Cable was baptised at St Peters Church, Walworth, a church located around a mile and a half from the Cable home in Henry Place, off Neate Street, Camberwell, which is the address recorded in the certificate. St Peter’s Church is an parish church in Walworth, London, in the Diocese of Southwark. It was built between 1823–25 and a picture of the church in which Frank Cable was baptised is on the right.

On that same day his brother* EDGAR CABLE was also baptized, aged 4 years old. Edgar’s parents are recorded as Henry Isaac & Sarah Cable, of 7 Henry Place, Camberwell.

Our story has introduced a new character, Frank’s mother, Sarah but Frank’s parents may not have been legally married as not record of their wedding can be found and his mother already had a husband. SARAH COLLINSON married a JOHN COLLINSON on 11th September 1837 in St Pancras but apparently she left him in the early 1850’s but not before she had borne at least five children between 1838 and 1848.

It is not known why Sarah left her husband but it is believed, by a descendant of Sarah Collinson, that her husband, John Collinson (b 1811) was quite a violent man, which could explain why she left the family and set up with a house painter and decorator by the name of Henry Isaac Cable.**

* * This information came from an online thread I picked up a few years ago by an individual called Alex Collinson but which unfortunately now returns an 404 internet error. Alex was trying to discover information about Francis Cable. Intriguingly Alex was asking question about Francis Cable, as he had ‘disappeared’ around 1890. Alex was speculating if he had died or emigrated as “no trace of him can be found”!

Regrettably I’ve never been able to get in touch with Alex Collinson. It is ironic that the lineage of a man called Francis Cable can be traced UP TO c.1890 and until relatively recently; a man called Francis Brown did not have a lineage that could be traced BACK BEFORE c.1890. What became a dead-end in Alex’s story, became the start of Frank’s role in our ‘Shellaker Story’.

Prior to her marriage to John Collinson, Sarah’s maiden name was SARAH HUSBAND. She was born on Sunday 16th June 1818 in Soho, London. This date makes her 42 years old when she gave birth to Frank. Her parent were JOHN HUSBAND, born 1788 in Ripon, Yorkshire and MARY FARMERY who was born on the 29th January 1780 in Baldersby, Yorkshire, England.

*Frank’s brother Edgar, who was baptised on the same day as Frank may be a half brother of Frank and not his brother. This is dependent upon the timing of Charlotte’s death. Edgar’s mother may be been Charlotte rather than Sarah (as indicated on the record of his baptism but we are unsure if Edgar was born just before his Mother died, if his mother were Charlotte or just after Henry got together with Sarah.

Edgar’s birth date on the baptism record states he was born on 11th May 1855, when it was believed Henry’s first wife Charlotte was still alive. This date ties in with Edgar’s age on the 1861 census, on which he is recorded as being 5 years old (as at the evening of 8th April 1861). Based on the date on his record of baptism his 6th birthday would have occurred one month after the 1861 census.

The year following Frank’s birth the National Census is taken. In these records, taken on the night of 8th April 1861, FRANCIS CABLE, now aged 8 months, remain at the same address as at his birth, 7, Henry Place, Camberwell, ‎ Surrey, with his father Henry, now aged 46, his mother Sarah (née Collinson / Husband) aged 42 years and paternal half-brothers Samuel and Edgar, aged 10 and 5 years respectively, who are the children of Henry’s marriage to his deceased first wife Charlotte.

1861 Census - Henry,Sarah & Frank Cable

1861 Census – Henry, Sarah & Frank Cable

Location Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
7 Henry Place Henry Cable Head Marr. M 46 Plumber & Printer Southwalk
SarahCable Wife Marr. F 42 St James, Hanover Square
SamuelCable Son M 10 Rotherhithe
EdgarCable Son M 5 Rotherhithe
FrancisCable Son M 8 months Surrey, Camberwell

NB – Francis Cable’s name appears on the ‘next page’ of the Census so I have added the next page to the bottom of the above image

In the 1851 Census the birthplace of Frank’s mother was recorded as ‘Soho’, now in 1861 it states ‘St James, Hanover Square’. Although, as mentioned previously my knowledge of Victorian London is limited, there does not appear to be reason for us to believe this is a contradiction in Sarah’s birthplace Ten years prior, in 1851, Henry was listed as a ‘Plumber’, to which in the 1861 Census, the trade ‘Painter’ has been added.

NB. On this Census Record the street recorded prior to Henry Place is Albany Row. This confirms the location of Neate Street being near the Albany Road and the Old Kent Road.

I will include details of Frank’s siblings and half-siblings in this narrative in the hope and expectation of one of their descendants maybe be researching the family history of the cable family who can further expand on the information contained here.

One of Francis’ half brothers, Edwin Cable, who was born in 1839 and, who was recorded as living in a Workhouse in the 1841 Census and with Frank and his parents in the 1851 Census, can also be located in the Census of 1861.

He was recorded as living in Union Road, Prospect Place in the home of James Foxwell, a forty year old ‘Potato Dealer’ from Bermondsey. Also in the house are James Foxwell’s wife Mary Ann, aged 31 years and their three children, Robert, Mary Ann and Elizabeth who were seven , five and three years respectively. Edwin Cable is recorded as being a  ‘unmarried Boarder with an occupation as a ‘Painter’ and is recorded as being 25 years old. I have not included an image of this Census Record as Edwin Cable takes up only one line of it.

We move forward a decade to the night of the 2nd April 1871 and the Census Records for that year. The young Frank Cable, now 10 years old, is recorded as a ‘Scholar’ and is living with his father, Henry Isaac Cable, now 56 years who now has a recorded occupation of ‘Window Glass Cutter’ and a birthplace of Surrey. Henry continues to live with his wife Sarah (née Collinson / Husband) who is now 52 years old with a birthplace recorded as ‘Middlesex’. The family address on the Census is 52 Camden Street, St Mary Newington. I believe Camden Street was renamed Morecambe Street in November 1892. This street is near The Old Kent Road in Bermondsey, South East London.

As in 1861 Frank is living with his paternal half-brother Edgar who is now 15 years (Edgar’s mother being, we believe, Henry’s deceased first wife Charlotte) but his other half-brother Samuel, who was 10 years old a decade prior, is no longer living with the family.

However Frank now has a full brother HARRY, also attending school, aged 8 years, having been born around 1863 when Sarah was around 45 years old. Henry is recorded as being baptised on 2nd Aug 1863 at Christ Church Camberwell to parents Henry Isaac & Sarah Cable. The address on the baptism record is a little indistinct but is probably Caroline Street (now called Sandgate Street, off The Old Kent Road), less than a mile away from Henry Place.

 THE CABLE FAMILY – Henry Isaac Cable, his wives and children


1871 Census - Frank Cable

1871 Census – Henry, Sarah, Edgar, FRANK and Harry Cable

Location Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
52Caroline Street Henry Isaac Cable Head Marr. M 56 Window Glass Cutter Surrey
SarahCable Wife Marr. F 52 Middlesex
EdgarCable Son M 15 Surrey
FrancisCable Son M 10 Surrey
Harry Cable Son M 8 Surrey

Corporations Buildings-1On the same evening, Frank’s paternal half-brother, SAMUEL J CABLE, now aged 21, is recorded as being one of three lodgers in the house of Richard Roach at Neate Street, St Giles, Camberwell. (The house number is not recorded but very near the original family home of 7, Henry Place, Neate Street, Camberwell). There are eleven people in the house in total the other eight being family members of Richard Roach.

In this Census can also be found another of Frank’s paternal half-brother, EDWIN who was the oldest son of Henry Isaac Cable and Charlotte. Edwin, now 32 years old, is recorded as being a House Painter and is living in the St James area of Clerkenwell at 79 Corporation Buildings. He is with his 34 year old wife HARRIET and two sons, 5 year old EDWIN and WILLIAM who was 2 years old.

The Corporation Buildings, shown right, had been built just a few years before in 1865 and were, in effect, the first ‘council housing’ in England. These were huge blocks of flats with iron railinged balconies along  the front and had huge numbers of families living in them when they were first opened.

1871 Edwin Cable

1871 Census – Edwin Cable and wife Harriet and their sons Edwin and William

Location Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
79 Corporation Buildings EdwinCable Head Marr. M 32 House Painter Surrey, Bermondsey
HarrietCable Wife Marr. F 34 ""
EdwinCable Son M 5 Scholar Surrey, Newington
William JCable Son M 2 ""

Also recorded during this same 1871 Census is another of Frank’s paternal half-brothers, WALTER CABLE, now aged 27. He is living at Chiswell Street, St. Giles with wife ELIZABETH and their 3 young children. Two boys, JESSE and WALTER, aged 5 and 3 respectively and a daughter, ELIZABETH aged only one.

1871 Census - Walter Cable

 1871 Census – Walter and Elizabeth Cable and their three children, Jesse, Walter and Elizabeth

Location Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
3Chiswell Street Walter Cable Head Marr. M 27 Boot Maker Surrey, Rotherhithe
ElizabethCable Wife Marr. F 28 Surrey, Unknown
JesseCable Son M 5 Surrey, Camberwell
WalterCable Son M 3 Surrey, Camberwell
ElizabethCable Daug F 1 Surrey, Camberwell

NB – I have Photoshopped the above Census record as the details of the family were split over two pages and I have also added the address from another part of the page.

Frank has several other half-siblings from his father’s marriage to Charlotte whom we have not as yet located within the 1871 Census. Firstly two of the children first recorded as living in the Workhouse in 1841; CLARA, who would be around 36 years old and CHARLOTTE who would have reached her early thirties.

Additionally not located one of the three children recorded in 1851 at 21, Church Street, Rotherhithe, JULIA who would have been around 24 years old at the time of this Census in 1871. It is possible these three girls are all married and so no longer can be found through a search of the surname ‘Cable’.

Next Page: Francis Cable get married