Snell of Warborough and London

Emily Maria Snell, wife of William Ponting (Chapter 10) was my great great grandmother. She was the daughter of James Snell and Mary Ann Wanstall (see below).

A little is known about the family and this is detailed below.

Samuel Snell and Maria West

Samuel Snell married Maria West on 8 June 1811 at St Laurence Parish Church, Warborough, Oxfordshire. The witnesses were Thomas Cook and Mary West. No ages are given. Both Samuel and Maria are shown as from the parish of Warborough.

I have been unable to trace with certainty either Samuel or Maria's baptisms, later censuses suggest both were born between 1786 and 1790

Some researchers have suggested that Samuel was baptised on 15 August 1794 in Wool, Dorset, the son of Samuel Snell and Elizabeth.  This would have meant he was only 17 when he married!! 

Other researchers suggest that Maria was born in 1791 in St Aldate's, Oxford, She was the daughter of Josiah West and Ann Armstrong who had married on 5 August 1787 at St Aldates, Oxford. 

  • Josiah West had been baptised on 19 June 1764, the son of Josiah West who had been born around 1730. He married Betty Bailys on 24 September 1755. Betty died in 1773. Her husband Josiah is believed to have died in 1794. 
  • Ann Armstrong is believed to be have been baptised on 16 September 1764 in Marston, Oxfordshire, the daughter of Thomas Armstrong and Ann.  Ann West was buried on 16 December 1826 at St Aldate, Oxford. 

The village of Warborough in Oxfordshire is about 10 miles south east of Oxford just north of Shillingford. Today it has a population of about 940.

The parish church of St Laurence, built in 1666, is pictured below:

Samuel and Maria had six children all baptised in Warborough

  • William Snell. Baptised 1812 
  • Anne Snell. Baptised 9 May 1813.
  • James Snell. Baptised 19 February 1815
  • Samuel Snell. Baptised 23 March 1817
  • Maria Snell. Baptised 9 April 1820. Buried 28 June 1820 at Warborough aged 4 months
  • Alfred Snell, Baptised 6 June 1824

Samuel is described as both a victualler and a labourer at the time his children were christened, sometimes both. A victualler is a supplier of provisions, in England most commonly used as a "licenced victualler" for an innkeeper. When son James marries in 1843, Samuel is described as a publican. 

I can find no later reference to the Snell's in Warborough and suspect the family moved to London shortly thereafter. In 1841 (ages were rounded down to 5 years) Samuel Snell (aged 55), Maria Snell (aged 55), Samuel Snell (aged 25) and Alfred Snell (aged 17) were living at St John's, Hampstead. All had been born outside the county. This would seem like our family, but Samuel is listed as a gardener!!

Certainly by 1851 all the children seem to have settled in London and the family may have been based around St Georges Hanover Square (see below). However I can find no more about "our" Samuel and Maria. There were other Snell families who I don't think are connected, including the following, which could relate to the one family:

  • In 1851, Samuel Snell, a 57 year old wine merchant (born 1794, Middlesex, London) was living with his wife Susan and children Jane (born 1837), Samuel (born 1839) and Madelaine, (born 1841). 
  • In 1871 Samuel Snell, born Blackheath, Kent, wine merchant, was living at 27 St George's Square with his 30 year old daughter Madeline, born Westminster (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1840 Lewisham 5 259) and his 52 year old nephew Edward Snell, born Essex.
  • Samuel Snell of St George's Road, Hanover Square died on 4 May 1872. He was a wine merchant and died of "retention of wine". Probate of his will was granted to Thomas Candy and Edward Samuel Snell, upholster, his nephew.

William Snell and Maria Southgate

William Snell was baptised in 1812 at Warborough, the son of Samuel and Maria Snell.

William Snell married Maria Southgate on 10 July 1836 at St Pancreas Parish Church. Both parties signed the marriage register. The witnesses were Samuel Snell and Mary Ann Rothensay.

In 1851 William and Maria were living with their three children in St George's, Hanover Square and William was a carpenter by trade. The census confirms that William was born in Warborough indicating that I have the correct William. Their children were:

  • William Snell. Born 13 April 1838. Baptised 13 May 1838 at St Andrews, Holborn. The family were living at Robert Street and William was a carpenter.
  • Maria Snell . Born 12 February 1840.  Baptised 15 March 1840 at St James, Paddington.
  • Emma Snell. Born 27 May 1844. Emma had been born at 19 Queen Street, Pimlico, the family's address at the time. William registered the birth and gives his occupation as carpenter.

There is no trace of the family in the 1861 or 1871 census, but by 1881, 69 year old William and his wife Maria were living at 30 Woodfield Road, Paddington. Son William had left home by then, but daughters Maria and Emma were still at home. William gives his occupation as joiner. 38 year old Maria was employed as a housekeeper and 36 year old Emma was a milliner.

William Snell late of Woodfield Road, Paddington died on 12 February 1882 aged 69. Probate was granted to Maria Snell and Emma Snell, both of Woodfield Road, spinsters, daughters , the executrixes.

A Maria Snell died in 1883 aged 74 (Reg Gen Dec Qtr. 1883 Kensington 1a 30). 

There are a number of entries in later years census returns which could relate to William and Maria's son William Snell, but none of which I am certain is the correct entry.

In 1891 William and Maria's daughter's Maria Snell and Emma Snell were lodging with 77 year old Richard and Clara Humphrey at 30 Woodfield, Paddington. Maria was 49 years old. She does not give an occupation. Emma understates her age at 40 years old and gives her occupation as a milliner.

Maria Snell of Elm Villa, Elm Road, Leytonstone died on 19 February 1894 at the National Hospital, Queens Square, Middx. Probate was granted to her sister Emma. The estate was valued at £187.00.  She would have been around 54 years of age.

In 1901, Emma Snell, now aged 55 was employed as a companion by her cousin, Emily Maria Ponting and was living at 8 Blakesley Avenue, Ealing (Chapter 10 & below). When Emily Ponting died on 13 March 1902 she left £50.00 to her cousin Emma Snell as 'a token of gratitude for her great kindness during the last illness and after the death of my dear husband'. Emma Snell may have been the informant when her cousin Mary Ann Snell died on 4 October 1908 at 22 Calais Gate, Brixton (see below). In 1921 Emma Snell appears to have been a patient at St Johns Hill Infirmary, Battersea. Emma Snell of 53, Handsworth Road, Tottenham, a milliner, died on 23 August 1929 at  19, Chase Side Crescent, Enfield. The informant was E B Willett, occupier of 19, Chase Side Crescent, Enfield. 

Taken from "Lost Hospitals of London" entry about St Michael's Hospital at 19, Chase Side Crescent.

The buildings had a long history. The workhouse had been built in 1827, with the entrance of the 3-storey main building facing west. The site also contained a chapel and a mortuary. Control of the workhouse was taken over in 1836 by the Edmonton Board of Guardians. The building became a school for orphans. It was extended in 1839, when it could house 150 children. An infirmary block with 40 beds was added in 1844.

By 1881 the school had become overcrowded and the Board debated whether to enlarge the premises again, but decided instead to build a new school on a new site at Chase Farm (this later became Chase Farm Hospital). The new school opened in 1886 and the children were transferred there. The old school became the Edmonton Union Infirmary. When the new Edmonton Union Infirmary opened in Silver Street in 1910, the buildings were renamed Enfield House and were used to accommodate the elderly and infirm.

In 1930 the Boards of Guardians were abolished and control of the institution passed to the Middlesex County Council. The buildings then became Enfield House Public Assistance Institution. During WW2 it became part of the Emergency Medical Service (EMS). In 1948 the institution joined the NHS. It was renamed St Michael's Hospital and became a geriatric hospital. By 1971 it had 310 beds, mainly for elderly women. The Hospital closed in 1995". 

Anne Snell

Anne Snell was baptised 9 May 1813 at Warborough, the son of Samuel and Maria Snell. Samuel is described as a victualler.

Nothing further is known with any certainty. An Ann Snell died in 1850 in Stephney. 

James Snell and Mary Ann Wanstall

James Snell was baptised on 19 February 1815 at Warborough, son of Samuel and Maria Snell. Father Samuel is described as a labourer.

On 25 December 1843 James Snell, a draper of Park Street, London married Mary Ann Wanstall of North Audley Street at the Parish Church of St George, Hanover Square. Both state that they are of full age and would have been around 30 years old. James was the son of Samuel Snell, publican. Mary Ann was the daughter of William Wanstall, shipwright. The witnesses were Thomas Calvert and Charlotte Pelfrey.

Mary Ann Wanstall was the daughter of William Wanstall and Elizabeth Parker.  William had married Elizabeth on 17 May 1795 in Herne, Kent. William and Elizabeth are believed to have had at least three children, including, 

  • William Wanstall. Baptised 17 April 1796 at Herne, Kent. William married Margaret Relph on 18 October 1831 at St Peter, Kent. They had four children, including Mary Wanstall (see below). William Wanstall died in 1846. In 1851 his widow was living at 10, Harbour Street, Thanet St Peter and was a charwoman. In 1861 she was running a confectioners shop, but in 1871 she is once again shown as a charwoman. Margaret Wanstall died aged 88 years, and was buried on 19 October 1889,  
  • James Wanstall. Baptised 29 June 1806 at Herne, Kent. He died in 1876 in Eastry, Kent
  • Mary Ann Wanstall. Born 1813 in Broadstairs, Kent (see below)

Elizabeth Wanstall died on 12 December 1814 at Herne, Kent. William Wanstall died on 31 October 1817 in Herne, Kent.

William Wanstall had been born on 2 October 1763 in Herne, Kent, the son of Thomas Wanstall and Jane Hadaway . His parents had married on 5 February 1760 in Herne Kent. Thomas Wanstall was born on 1 September 1723 in Herne, Kent, the son of William Wanstall and Mary Staines who married in 1722 in Herne, Kent. William Wanstall had been born around 1697 in Herne, Kent. In 1734 he is listed in Poll Books as freeholder with land in Deal. He was buried on 9 October 1759 (Tyler index to parish records). 

Back to James and Mary Snell, they had four daughters:

  • Mary Ann Snell. Baptised on 19 July 1846 at St John the Evangelist, Lambeth. Her father is described as a linen draper.
  • Emily Maria Snell. Born 5 February 1849 at 130 Lower Marsh, Lambeth. Emily was baptised on 29 April 1849 at St John's, Waterloo. Her father James is described as a linen draper.
  • Lucy Snell. Baptised 17 June 1855 at St John the Evangelist, Lambeth
  • Alice Morris Snell. Baptised 17 June 1855 at the same time as her elder sister Lucy. Their father gives his occupation as a linen draper.

In 1851 James and Mary Ann were living at 130 Lower Marsh, Lambeth. 37 year old James is shown as a linen draper and later censuses confirm that he was operating his business from that address. The censuses show that James was born in Warborough and his wife Mary Ann had been born in Broadstairs, Kent. His daughter Mary Ann was 4 years old and Emily was 2 year old. Also at the address was Mary Ann's niece, Mary Wanstall, aged 16, house servant and William Bram, a 15 year old drapers assistant. On 3 July 1862 Mary Wanstall married Benjamin Lintott. Mary's father was William Wanstall, seaman. James Snell and Emily Maria Snell witnessed the marriage. 

In 1861 the Snell family are still at 130 Lower Marsh and James continues as a draper. Daughters Mary Ann, aged 14, Emily Maria, aged 12 and Lucy, 9 are all shown as scholars. 6 year old Alice Morris had not yet started school. Also at the address was Emily W Lee, a 16 year old described as a visitor. No occupation is given.

The business continues. In 1871 all four of James and Mary's daughters are still at home. Mary Ann, Emily and Lucy have all left school, but no occupation is recorded. Alice is a 15 year old scholar.

On 18 January 1874, James is gifted the book "Church Services" by his daughters. This remains in the family to this day. 

On 4 April 1878, their daughter Emily Maria Snell (pictured below) married William Ponting at St Mary's Church, Lambeth. William is s 34 year old bachelor, a linen draper living at High Street, Kensington. His father is shown as Henry Ponting, deceased, farmer. Emily was a 28 year old spinster living at Lower Marsh. No occupation is given. Both parties signed the marriage register. The witnesses were James Snell, Mary Ann Snell, Lucy Snell and M J Ponting (Chapter 7). William and Emily Maria Ponting's lives are detailed at Chapter 10.

In 1881, 66 year old James is still running the business at 130, Lower Marsh. All of his daughters except Emily were still at home. Also at the address is one servant, 20 year old Rosina Hares

James Snell died on 7 February 1889 aged 74 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1889 Lambeth 1d 230). Probate was granted to his two daughters Mary Ann and Lucy Snell. The estate was valued at £618 11s (about £46K in 2006) .

In 1891 his widow 78 year old Mary Ann was running the shop with her daughters Mary Ann, aged 46 and Lucy, aged 40. Both are now described as "drapers assistants". Alice Morris Snell is not listed. It appears that she may have been a patient at "Camberwell House Lunatic Asylum".

Mary Ann Snell senior of 130 Lower Marsh, Lambeth died on 24 February 1892 aged 79 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1882 Lambeth 1d 272). Administration of the estate was granted to Lucy Snell, spinster. Her effects were worth £223 5s 8d

The business continued and the 1901 census shows daughter Mary Ann Snell as shopkeeper (linen draper), aged 54, and sister Lucy, aged 49 as an assistant (linen draper) still at 130 Lower Marsh, Lambeth. There is no trace of Alice Morris Snell.

James and Mary Ann's daughter Lucy Snell of 22 Calais Gate died on 22 August 1906, aged 54 (Reg Gen Sept Qtr. 1906 Lambeth 1d 174). Probate was granted to her sister Mary Ann Snell. The estate was valued at £1,635.16s.3d. 

James and Mary Ann's daughter Mary Ann Snell died on 4 October 1908 at 22 Calais Gate, Brixton, aged 62 (Reg Gen Dec Qtr. 1908 Lambeth 1d 215). She is described as "spinster draper (retired)". The cause of death is given as sarcoma of stomach (6 months), exhaustion and synoptic. The informant was E Snell (cousin). Was this Emma Snell, William and Maria's daughter (see above)? Probate of Mary Ann Snell's estate was granted to Caroline Sarah Tidman, spinster and John Henry Aylott, paper merchant. The estate was valued at £4,049 14s 3d (about £290K in 2006).   

James and Mary Ann's daughter Alice Morris Snell of 130 Lower Marsh, Lambeth, Surrey died on 18 September 1927 at Peckham, Surrey. She was buried on 22 September 1927 at Southwark. Administration of her estate was granted to Dudley James Ponting, Commercial traveller (Chapter 13). Her effects were worth £843 10s 9d. In 1881 Alice, aged 25 had been living with her parents at  130 Lower  Marsh, Lambeth. In 1891 she may have been in Camberwell House, Lunatic Asylum, aged 35, she is of "no occupation". It is possible that she had previously been admitted to "Brooke" Metropolitan Licensed House between 12 May 1875 and 31 August 1875. For more information on the houses licenced under the 1832 Madness Act see There is no trace of her in the 1901 or 1911 censuses although by 1927 she seems to have been living back in the family home. Where was she in the interim? 

Samuel Snell and Caroline Day

Samuel Snell was baptised on 23 March 1817 at Warborough, the son of Samuel and Maria Snell. Samuel senior is described as a victualler and labourer.

On 24 August 1845 Samuel married Caroline Day at the Parish Church of Islington. Both are of full age. Samuel  Snell's occupation was a painter and he was living at Lower Road, Islington. Caroline Day was at the same address. This may just have been to avoid having banns read in two places. Samuel's father is no longer a publican, but a labourer!! Caroline's father is John Day, gardener. The witnesses were William Snell and Emma Gurney. 

In 1851 Samuel and Caroline were living at 53 Upper Brook Street in the parish of St George, Hanover Square where 34 year old Samuel was employed as a labourer. The census confirms that Samuel was born in Warborough. 40 year old Caroline is shown as having been born in Houlton, Worcestershire.

In 1861 the couple are living at Green Street in the parish of St Georges, Hanover Square . 44 year old Samuel is a house painter. Visiting the couple at the time was 34 year old widow, Sophia Collen, a servant and 23 year old Lucy Gooch, also a servant. Their connection, if any, with the family is unknown.

By 1871 Samuel and Caroline had moved to Leigh in Worcestershire. They are living alone and were seemingly childless. 53 year old Samuel is a painter.

Caroline Snell died of Spring Gardens, Worcester died on 22 March 1891 aged 84 (Reg Gen March Qtr. 1891 Martley (to 1913) 6c 175). Probate was granted to her husband Samuel Snell.

So by the time the 1891 census was taking Samuel was a 74 year old widower living alone at 10 Spring Gardens, Leigh. He gives his occupation as a coach painter.

Samuel Snell died in 1895 aged 77 (Reg Gen March Qtr 1895 Martley (to 1913) 6c 193).

Alfred Snell and Eleanor Dobinson 

Alfred Snell was baptised on 6 June 1824 at Warborough, the son of Samuel and Maria Snell, Samuel is described as a labourer.

On 29 July 1844, Alfred Snell married Eleanor Dobinson at the parish church of St Marylebone. Both state that they are of full age and both give their address as St Marylebone. Alfred is a plasterer. His father is Samuel Snell, gardener. Eleanor's father is Edward Dobinson, painter. The witnesses were Francis Smallbone and Sarah Maria Smith. 

In 1851 27 year old Alfred and his 33 year old wife Eleanor are living in Little Kepple Street, Chelsea. Alfred is employed as a "police constable" He is shown as having been born in Warborough. The couple have a 5 year old daughter Eleanor Snell (Reg Gen June Qtr 1845 Kensington 3a 331) . Also living with them is Eleanor's 71 year old mother Sarah Sarsise Dobinson who was a laundress.

By 1861 the family are living at 20 St James Street, Kensington and 37 year old Alfred is now a plasterer. The census confirms that he was born in Oxfordshire. Their 15 year old daughter Eleanor is a servant. I have found no trace of daughter Eleanor after 1861

Eleanor Snell died in 1861 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1861 Kensington 1a 63) a

Albert remarried on 25 December 1881 at St John, Notting Hill. His second wife was Harriett Lyall. They were both of full age. Albert was a widower, a plasterer, son of Samuel Snell (deceased), licensed victualler. Harriett was a spinster, daughter of William Lyall (deceased), servant.  

In 1871, 47 year old Alfred is living at 5 Model Cottages, Kensington with his 42 year old wife Harriet. Alfred is a plasterer, his wife Harriet is a laundress.

In 1881 Alfred and Harriett are living in a shared house at 27 Southam Street, Kensington. Alfred is still a plasterer, but Harriett is now described as a "late laundress". Both seem to overstate their age by 10 years but I suspect that this has been incorrectly transcribed.

In 1891 they were living at 232, Wormington Road, Kensington in a shared house. Alfred is plasterer and Harriett a wash launderess.  

On the night of Sunday 31 March 1901 when the census was taken, 77 year old Alfred Snell and 72 year old Harriett Snell were "inmates" in Kensington workhouse. Alfred gives his occupation as "plasterer" and his place of birth as Warborough, Oxfordshire. Harriett gives her occupation as "wash laundress" and her place of birth as St Georges, Hanover Square. But presumably both were without work and had fallen on hard times.

The workhouse Alfred and Harriett were staying at was in Marloes Road, Kensington. It was built in 1847 to contain upwards of 400 paupers with an infirmary and "airing grounds" detached from the main building. It was improved and expanded on over the years, but was still a workhouse.

Marloes Road is situated at the end of Wrights Lane and the workhouse is probably no more than 1/3 mile from the Ponting store in Kensington High Street. Alfred's niece, Emily Maria Snell had married one of its founders William Ponting. This all seems a very long way away from her life as Emily Maria Ponting was by then a wealthy widow living in Blakesley Avenue, Ealing.

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