top of page

Victorian Pursers 2

Charles & Mary's eldest son William followed his father into the bricklaying trade. During the mid-Victorian period Bricklaying must have been quite well paid with lots of available work. One has only to look at Britain's towns and cities to see the vast amount of building that was done at this time. In addition to housing , there were the huge mills and factories and large civil engineering projects as railways proliferated across the country. 

Presumably to make the best money the tradesmen such as William would have to move around the country to follow the work, becoming a "Journeyman" Bricklayer.  

In the census of 1861 William is living with his Brother in Law James Bamford in Turvey, and James' wife and two children are staying with her parents in Pavenham, see the census on the right. This must have been a bit of a squash considering the size of the houses in Long Row ! Presumably this is a temporary arrangement until in March the following year William Marries Elizabeth Covington of Turvey.


They must have been anxious to start their family as soon as possible and they clearly wasted no time, their first child, George Thomas Purser was born in September of the same year. Another of those mysteriously brief pregnancies, if George was born 3 months prematurely in 1862 then he did very well to survive.

George Thomas Purser did more than just survive, he thrived !!  More about him later, George Thomas Purser is a name you will soon be very familiar with.

Anchor 1
1861 census Turvey.png

1861 census of Pavenham ( above) showing Charles & Mary Purser , daughter Miriam, married daughter Maria Bamford and her two childrenWilliam & Elizabeth.  Whilst at her home in Turvey (below) we see her husband  James Bamford sharing with her brother William until his marriage to Elizabeth Covington.

Marriage of William Purser & Elizabeth Covington.

Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 12.02.25.png

So Back to William and his bricks. By 1870 when their daughter Annie was born they were living in lodgings in Warrington. The following year the 1871 census finds them with a house to themselves in Glazebrook, a village between Warrington and Urmston. Presumably a nicer place to live than a room in someone else's house in central Warrington.  


Whilst there may have been other temporary re-locations in between, the next positive sighting of William & Elizabeth is when their son James was baptised in St Pancras London. ( No  in St Pancras Church not in the !@£$$% railway station !!) The 1881 census finds them at 1 Leybourn St  Saint Pancras. By 1891 his son George is married and living nearby at Rhyl St.

In 1884 William's wife Elizabeth died, I have not been able to definitely establish what happened to William after this.  A William Purser of the right age died in 1887 in Kensington, however I can find no documents to link him to Turvey, St Pancras or our Purser family. Another William Purser died in 1911 in the Bedford Union Workhouse, this William Purser was born in Pavenham, there were no other William Pursers born in Pavenham around the time of our man. So it is highly likely that previously successful Bricky & builder William died in the workhouse.

How would this have come about?  Well,  William's Son George Thomas Purser followed him into the family business, this did not end well as we are about to see.  I would surmise that when the building firm collapsed (quite literally)  the ruin of George must have taken  his father with him. Whilst George escaped the consequences, William may have been left hung out to dry.

George Thomas Purser Birth Certificate.

1891 census St Pancras

1891 census St Pancras. George T with his family at Rhyl Street. Click Image

1881 Census St Pancras.

1881 census William and

family at  Leybourne St.

1881 England Census-3.jpg

Simplified Purser Family Tree Generations 0-6

George Purser


Ann Smith


Susannah Cockings 1794-1836


Charles Purser


Mary Risley


3 Brothers

3 Sisters

3 Half Brothers

3 Half Sisters


William Purser


Elizabeth Covington


3 Brothers

4 Sisters


2 Brothers

1 Sister

Jane Purser



George Thomas Purser


Elizabeth Pestell


Ellenor Sandey



George Purser


James Purser


Albert Purser


?Hilma Purser



Emily J  Purser


Stephen T Hall


Ellenor Eliza Purser


Joseph David Duffin



Stephen F Hall


Gwendoline Austin



Jane Purser


Known to us as Great Aunt Jane she was George T Purser's sister so my Gt Gt Aunt, our only living relative in Pavenham we actually visited.

Andrew Hall

Joseph Francis Duffin


Marguerite Cameron



Michael John Duffin


David Neil Duffin



bottom of page