Henry and Ann Banting, who had their children baptised at St George the Martyr Southwark and who I believe were buried Christ Church Spitalfields, have turned up in the records again.
- Henry and his wife ran a slaughter house in Mint Street in Borough, Southwark
They appeared at the Old Bailey on 17th February 1773, over a case of two stolen cows that they had slaughtered. The defendant, Henry West was found guilty and sentenced to death.
- Mint Street is just off the Marshalsea Road and a stone throw away from St George The Martyr Church
- The area of Mint St was a poor district.
- Charles Dickens placed many of the characters of his novels in the streets around St George the Martyr. ‘Oliver’ is generally believed to have ‘asked for more’ in St Georges workhouse in Mint St. The original workhouse built in Mint St in 1729, was replaced in 1782 by a brick built one.
- Read (a later) description of the area and see a photo of Mint St on Peter Higgenbotham’s brilliant website.
Private slaughter houses were typically small facilities, owned and operated by independent butchers and located behind or beneath a retail meat shop.
- It would have been a pretty unpleasant environment, with the waste material going into uncovered cess pits.
- There would be a general outcry about private slaughter houses in the years following Henry’s occupation of Mint St but the independent butcher held out for the right to slaughter animals on his own premises until the middle of the C19th.
- Meat consumption in London doubled between 1750 and 1850 and in 1842 Smithfield market had sales of 175,000 cattle and 1.4 million sheep, all for slaughter and consumption in London.
- All cattle were driven through the streets, the congestion and threat to public health and nuisance were intolerable.
Anyway to ‘hear’ the voices of Henry and Ann Banting, follow the Old Bailey transcript by clicking on the link here.
I wonder which child Ann sent to fetch the constable, James at 4 years old was probably too young, Henry had died so that leaves Mary who would have been 7 years old.