Henry Backler the tailor of Bristol and London

Henry, born in 1797, is the father of Thomas Christian Backler (see the blog page on South Australian Backlers).  According to the Australian Pioneers website he was married on 2nd May 1826 in Brighton, East Sussex, UK to Elizabeth Meddings (born 1797) and all of their children were christened at St. Anne’s church, in Soho, Westminster, London.  Henry died in the 3rd quarter of 1855 according to the FreeBMD index in The Strand district of London.  Henry was the brother of Michael Christian Backler, Sarah Backler and Elizabeth Catherine Backler.  See the blog page on “The Will of Elizabeth Catherine Backler” for further details.  See also the blog page “Sugar Refining Backlers in Bristol and London” for further details on Michael Christian and their parents.

According to Probate records, Elizabeth died on 22nd October 1885 at 1 Bateman’s Buildings, Soho, London and her will was proved in the value of £234 on 14th November, by her joint executors, her son Henry Christopher, a tailor, and her son-in-law Francis Walter Horsman (husband of Sarah Ann below), a compositor, both of her address.

Their sons Charles Michael and Thomas Christian emigrated and are covered in the South Australian Backlers blog page.  Thomas had a twin sister, Elizabeth Harriet Backler born on 29th October 1831, who unfortunately died at the age of 18 months and was buried on 13th February 1833 in the parish of St. Anne.  The other siblings were the oldest child Henry Christopher Backler, born 1st February 1827, and the two youngest: Sarah Ann Backler, born 6th August 1833 and Harriet Malvina Backler, born 4th April 1836.

According to Probate records, Henry Christopher resided at the Tailor’s benevolent institution, Queen’s Crescent, Haverstock Hill, Middlesex at the time of his death on 31st December 1903.  Probate was granted in favour of Herbert Thomas Horsman, a railway clerk, in the sum of £38 15s. 1d, on 16th January 1904.  It seems probable that Herbert Thomas was the son of Francis Walter and Sarah Ann.

According to the 1851 census, the family lived in 13 Batemans Buildings in Soho.  Henry is described as a Bristol born tailor aged 54.  The children’s occupations were listed: Sarah an apprentice dressmaker, Henry Christopher a journeyman tailor and Thomas an apprentice shoemaker.  Charles Michael was resident at Batemans Buildings in the 1841 census, but had left home by 1851.  This raises the question as to whether Henry, Sarah Ann, Henry Christopher or Thomas Christian were recorded by any of the great London Worshipful Companies.  As a journeyman tailor, Henry Christopher would probably have served an apprenticeship and from his probate record I can see that he benefitted from the Tailor’s benevolent institution.  Further research is needed, particularly as Henry the tailor originated in Bristol, where my family also has connections.

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