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b.1840 – d.1908

Between Sep-Oct 1840 Samuel John MINCHER was born in Northamptonshire to Thomas MINCHER (1816-1864) and Mary (1817-1887). His father Thomas was born in Shoreditch, Middlesex, and his mother Mary in Northamptonshire.

England & Wales Civil Registration Birth Index, 1840 > Q4

In the 1841 census the family is living at Union Place in St Margaret, Westminster. Thomas aged 25, is a Glass Cutter, Mary 25, and Samuel 8m. All three were affirmed as being born in the county where they now live, i.e.. Middlesex, which is not true since both Mary and Samuel were born in the county of Northamptonshire. NB. IN the 1841 census the ages of adults were rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5, but it would appear that both Thomas’ and Mary’s were rounded up!

1841 Census (c) Crown

In 1846 Robert is born in the March Qtr. Bethnal Green.


In the 1851 census the family has moved to 6 Wellington Street in Shoreditch. The couple now have four children. Thomas Mincher aged 34, is a Flint Glass Cutter, Mary 33, Samuel 10, Emily 7, born in St James, Westminster, Robert 5, born in Bethnal Green, and Mary 1, born in Shoreditch.

…split across two pages.

On 29 September 1856, Mary gives birth to another boy, Thomas. He is baptised at the Parish Church of St Leonard on 26 October 1856, Thomas’ occupation ‘Cloth Dealer‘, living 19 Wellington Street, Shoreditch. Sadly, Thomas dies in the Apr-Jun Qtr 1858, Shoreditch. He would have been about 18m.


In the 1861 census the family has moved to 67 Nichols Square, off the Hackney Road, Thomas Mincher is aged 45, a Cloth Piece Dealer, Mary aged 44, Samuel 20, also a Cloth Piece Dealer, Emily 17, a Book Folder, Robert 15, a Compositor, Mary 10, at school.

1861 Census (c) Crown

Two definitions of Piece Broker.

  • A Piece Broker is a person who deals in remnants of cloth for repairing clothes.
  • A Piece Broker is one who buys shreds and remnants of cloth in order to resell them.

On 19 July 1864 Samuel’s father Thomas Mincher dies in his home at 67 Nichols Square. He dies intestate. He is recorded as a Gentleman rather than his trade being stated, as is more usual. His personal effects and estate are sufficient to warrant Letters of Administration to be sworn at the Principal Registry on 11 January 1865. Effects, which total under £200, pass to his wife Mary.  Thomas was aged 48.

Sadly, Samuel’s younger brother Robert also dies in 1864, in the same Registration District of Shoreditch, Jul-Sep Quarter of 1864, aged 18.

Father and Son recorded together in Death – Shoreditch, v1c, Pg 146/7


In the 1871 census the family is still living at 67 Nichols Square. Mary is now a widow, aged 54, Samuel is single, aged 30 and a Piece Broker. Both were recorded as being born in Northampton, Northamptonshire.

1871 Census (c) Crown


In the 1881 census the family is still living at 67 Nichols Square. Mary is now aged 64, Samuel is 40, a Piece Broker. Also living with them is Henry A Bradshaw, aged 9, relationship given as Guardian, also a Piece Broker, possibly Samuel’s apprentice? Upon further investigation Henry appears to be his nephew, his sister Mary’s son.

1881 Census (c) Crown

On 8 Apr 1887 Samuel’s mother Mary Mincher dies in her home at 67 Nichols Square. On 23 Apr 1887 her will is proved at the Principal Registry and her effects of £281 16s. pass to Samuel John Mincher, Dealer in Cloth Cuttings, the Son, the Sole Executor.

An entry in the Electoral Registers of both 1889 and 1890 shows Samuel John Mincher residing at 67 Nichols Square, Hackney Road in Kingsland Electoral Ward.


In the 1891 census Samuel J Mincher is still living at 67 Nichols Square. He is aged 50, single and still a Piece Broker.

1891 Census (c) Crown

On 26 March 1893 Samuel Mincher is admitted to the St Leonard, Shoreditch Workhouse in Kingsland Road. The entry record shows that Samuel is single, born in 1841, of the Church of England faith, and his occupation is a Dealer. He was admitted from Kensington TH.

26 March 1893 Date of Admission / Date of Discharge to Infirmary

After spending just under 6yrs in the workhouse Samuel becomes ill and is transferred on 23 January 1899 to the Workhouse Infirmary.


In the 1901 census Samuel is still residing in the Shoreditch Workhouse. He is classed as a Pauper, is single, aged 60, was born in Peterborough, Northants, and his occupation is a Pieces Broker.

Things take a grim turn….

On 10 September 1902 Samuel is reported as having tried to take his own life. Immediately events swing into action which will result in his committal to a Lunatic Asylum. The same day the Medical Officer of the Shoreditch Infirmary writes to the General Relieving Officer of the Parish of St Leonards informing him that Samuel ‘is a person requiring to be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Lunacy Acts’.

The next day, on 11 September 1902, a Medical Practitioner is called in to write the necessary certificate.

Facts indicating Insanity observed by myself at the time of examination
- Patient is depressed and lost in conversation
- Memory defective – looks strange

Facts communicated by others. The lunatic attendant states that
- The patient is depressed and rambles in conversation
- Memory defective
- Reports that the man attempted suicide on 10 September 1902

The next day, on 12 September 1902, the Lunacy Act of 1890 was signed by a Justice of the Peace and a Medical Practitioner, who state that:

Samuel MINCHER is a person of unsound mind, and a proper person to be taken charge of and detained under care and treatment.

Edwin ?Artridge?, Justice of the Peace and a Medical Practitioner

In a Statement of Particulars, it states that Samuel was a Widower, and that his mother was an Epileptic, yet she lived a ripe old age dying at 70. The name of a person to whom notice of death is to be sent is given as a niece Emily Symons of 134 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush. NB. In the 1901 census Samuel was still single as he had been throughout his life.

On 15 September 1902 Samuel is committed to Horton Asylum.

Initial examination by the Medical Officer at Horton Asylum.
- Bodily condition - Very feeble and tremulous
- Observations - Recent scars on neck, Abrasions on head, Varicose veins on legs

After 5½ years Samuel dies on 26 April 1908, and is buried four days later, on 30 April 1908, in Horton Cemetery. His burial record states his full name of Samuel John MINCHER and confirms that he was born in 1840 in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire which borders Northamptonshire.

Here is a link to an interesting article on the history of Nichols Square, which was wantonly destroyed in 1963. Number 67 was home to the MINCHER for over thirty years between 1861-1891.

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