Ann Martin Before marriage
Ann Martin was born on January 21, 1815 in Farringdon Street - also known as The Fleet Market. She was the third child of Thomas and Charlotte Martin.
I think her father began his working life as a victualler at the Angel Inn in the Fleet Market, but by the time Ann was born he was a horse-keeper and later an ostler - which I think is pretty much the same thing and still at the Angel Inn. The address given most frequently on the baptism records of all the children is the Angel Inn and Fleet Market or Angel Yard, so it is safe to assume I think that this is where Ann grew up. The picture at left is not The Angel but another inn in the same area - The King's Arms. The Angel Inn was just a few doors down from Holborn Bridge (later to be reconstructed as the present Holborn Viaduct) as the map below left shows. This is the same area as the Mollett family inhabited at about the same time, which is just one of those coincidental things you find when you delve into family history.
Fleet Market and the City of London 1815-1833
The Fleet Market, it seems was built over the Fleet River:
“The Fleet River runs down from springs on Hampstead Heath to join the Thames at Blackfriars. As London grew, the river became increasingly a sewer. Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, Christopher Wren proposed widening the river; however, this was rejected. Rather, the Fleet was converted into the New Canal, completed in 1680. Newcastle Close and Old Seacoal Lane (now just short alleyways off Farringdon Street) recall the wharves that used to line this canal, especially used by the coastal coal trade from the North East of England. Unpopular and unused, the upper canal was culverted over from 1737, between Holborn to Ludgate Circus, to form the 'Fleet Market'. The lower part, the section from Ludgate Circus to the Thames covered by 1769 for the opening of the new Blackfriars Bridge and was therefore named 'New Bridge Street'. The development of the Regent's Canal and urban growth covered the river in King's Cross and Camden from 1812.
"Farringdon Street, which runs from Bridge Street northward to the line of Holborn, is constructed over the celebrated Fleet Ditch. In this street stood Fleet Market. The Mansion House ... was erected on the site of the old Stocks Market. When that happened, about 1737, and Fleet Ditch was arched over, the business of the Stocks Market was transferred to the ground above the ditch, now called, as we have mentioned, Farringdon Street. Such was the origin of Fleet Market. It was opened for the sale of meat, fish, and vegetables on the 30th of September, 1737; but it did not complete a century of existence here.
In 1829 it was found necessary to widen the thoroughfare from Holborn to Blackfriars Bridge; so Fleet Market was removed from Farringdon Street, and Farringdon Market, in the immediate vicinity, but off the line of the street, was opened in its stead. "
The family lived in the vicinity of the Fleet Market until at least 1825 - the last baptism for which I have a record. Maybe they finally moved in 1829 when Fleet Market was removed, for move they did - to Shooter’s Hill in the Kent part of London. It is impossible to know whether Ann went with them or whether she had already left home. In 1829 when the market was closed she would have been fourteen years old, so she probably did go with them initially. But somewhere she met her future husband, William Henry Warner, and her new life began.
The Market itself was a double line of open shops with a walkway in between. The Angel Inn stood at the side of the street, a few doors down on the right in the picture above and so was no doubt a recipient of the passing trade from the market. So whether Ann lived in the inn itself or in a house on Holborn Bridge at the top of the market (as one baptismal record shows) she would have grown up in a tumultuous, smelly and challenging environment that must have taught her resilience and street smarts. The painting by Arthur Boyd Houghton at the top of the page probably sums up the atmosphere really well - it is a painting of Holborn, a little later - 1861.
Moreover there would have been competition for attention from her mother, if indeed her mother had any to give - the children came every year initially and then every two years until there was a total of ten - and, moreover she probably had to work too to supplement the income - at the very least assist her husband in his work. The children too would have been sent out to work at an early age. Later in life we find Ann working as a seamstress, so maybe this was the skill that she learnt at home.
Dressmakers and Seamstresses