William Haskins (1776 - 1838)
William was a bead maker who had a shop in the newly built Regent Street in London.
My 3 x great grandfather, William Haskins, was born about 1776 in London. It is likely that he had a brother, Joseph Haskins, born in Shoreditch about 1779. They must have been partners in a 'Glass and Enamel Bead Makers' business in Old Street Square until 1812 when a notice was issued dissolving their partnership (see right). Old Street Square was on the present site of the Redbrick Estate to the west of Old Street station, near Moorfields Eye Hospital.
We know that William had moved to St Martin's Court, just south east of Leicester Square tube station, by 1817 because the first of three cases involving thefts from him was heard at The Old Bailey. William's shopkeeper, John Brown, gave evidence :
I am servant to Mr. William Haskins, who is a jeweller, and lives in St. Martin's-court . On the 19th of May, about eight o'clock in the evening, the prisoner came into the shop, and asked for a sixpenny row of beads. I took them from the door, and he picked out a row - I hung them up again. He walked about the door, backward and forward - I lost him all in a minute, and was told the beads were taken from the door.
The perpetrator was found guilt and sentenced to 6 months confinement.
William must have expanded his business as by 1826 he not only had the St Martin's Court shop but had opened one in the newly built Regent Street in London. Sixteen year old Betsy Cabe was found guilty of grand larceny at The Old Bailey after stealing a ring but the sentenced was respited (we don't know what happened to her). Her mother gave evidence : "she has been weak in her intellects ever since her childhood - she sometimes goes away without my knowledge, and sometimes takes a child to the Parks - she does not know right from wrong; I have applied to the workhouse but they would not take her."
The most interesting of the three Old Bailey cases took place earlier the same year when Edward Cockerell was found guilty of passing a forged note and sentenced to death. I have written about the period between his commitment right through to his execution.
Whether the business was going well or not is difficult to tell from the advert in the Morning Post in April 1827 (see left) as he is obviously trying to sell his stock at a cut down price. He now has "Fancy Jewellery, Bracelets and Trinkets of all description".
In 1830 he went bankrupt. In 1832 the assets of his bankrupt estate amounted to 1s 5d.
What sort of business he ran after his bankruptcy isn't clear but he is still at the Regent Street address in 1835. This time he seems to be an agent for the "Harvey's Vegetable Anti-Drastic Pill", which cures all known stomach complaints and can be purchased in liquid form or as an embrocation to rub on to the effected area's.
He died in 1838 of gallstones.
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