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SHINE, John James

b.1855 – d.1909

John James Shine was born on 9th September 1855, to Denis age 31 and Martha age 26. They were living in Castle Street, Holborn. John was baptised at St. John the Evangelist in Lambeth on 30th September 1855. On the baptism record Denis was then working as an engine driver.

In the 1861 census, the family was living at 35 Brooke Street, Holborn. Denis, John’s father is listed as having been born in Ireland and is a printer machinist. Denis and Martha have three daughters and five sons, ranging in age from 13 years to 2 months. John James is the 5th child.

In 1871, the Shine family now have seven children and are living in 22 Balfour Street, Battersea. Denis is still listed as a printer machinist; it appears he had a reliable job to support his large family.

1881 finds John living at 6 Gifford Street, St Leonards, Shoreditch, with the family of Arthur and Maria Stearn and their daughter. John is listed as an unemployed bookbinder.

John marries Mary Lucas on 17th September 1882 at Christ Church, Hoxton, both being aged 27.

Their first child Ernest John was born in 1883. Edith Mary, their second child, was born in 1886 in Holborn. Their last child, Nellie Louisa, was born in 1888 in Clerkenwell.

The Census of 1891 finds Mary Shine living on her own with the three children, at 3 Alexis Street, Bermondsey. Mary is working as a fur sewer, as an income to keep her and the three children.

John James in living as a lodger in a large boarding house in Farringdon Street. John is employed as a printer.

Reading that the couple are living apart makes you wonder what has happened to cause this situation. Could it be John’s mental health?

John is admitted to the City of London Poor Law Hospital on the grounds of insanity/unsound mind on 10th November 1894. In early January (3rd), John discharges himself from the hospital.

Approximately one year later, John is admitted to Mile End Workhouse, listed as destitute.

Mary Shine dies in March 1901, leaving behind her three children.

In 1901, the three children are living with cousins, George and Walter Jenkins at 165 Guinness Trust Buildings, Pages Walk in Bermondsey. Ernest is aged 19 years, a leather trimmer; Edith aged 15 is a leather stitcher and 12-year-old Nellie. George is a gas stoker and Walter an optician. It is very fortunate for Mary’s children that they have cousins who can support them.

On September 16th 1907, John is admitted to Long Grove Hospital.

John dies on 2 March 1909 aged 54 years..

One wonders what happened to his children and how they fared without their parents to support them.


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