Monday 7 December 2015

Thomas Hobbs Paddington London 1st April 1875

One of the curiousities of Family History research is that you never know what you will discover. On many occasions it will be a pleasant surprise but there are times when it brings you up short.

This report is from The Morning Post dated 1st April 1875 and refers to a court case in Westminster (London) - it is not was the family's greatest moments

Thomas Hobbs is supposed to be my great great grandfather but research has shown that this may not be the case. What we can say is that Thomas Hobbs was the person who brought my great grandfather James Hobbs up and employed him as a foreman in the Hobbs family business. The business was based in North Wharf Road Paddington London and by the mid-1870's was a sizable enterprise.

As you may have gathered.dust was a euphemism for a product that certainly was not dust. The "dust" the company collected from the streets of London was put on barges in Paddington Basin where it was shipped down river to Middlesex and put on "the fields to enrich the soil"

Of course this state of affairs could not last forever. But Thomas failed to heed the march of the internal combustion engine and by the early years of the twentieth century the business ceased to exist as a going concern. The fewer horses on the street, the less was the need for a "dust" contractor, simple as that. Thomas died in 1907 but left nothing in his will to my great grandfather James. 

Our side of the family entered into a era of  "reduced circumstances" which now seems entrenched - I think we are always waiting for the much vaunted "jam tomorrow" so beloved by successive UK governments.      

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