James Honeysett (1817 - 1901), Blacksmith of Lambeth

From census records, James is believed to have been born in the Hailsham, Herstmonceux, Wartling area around April or May 1817. No baptism has been found although it is possible that the naming of a James Honeysett, son of James (sic) and Mary, at Hailsham Baptist Chapel on 20 May 1817 refers to him. Nevertheless when he married he said that his father was Thomas Honeysett, blacksmith. It is believed that his father was actually the Thomas Honeysett who was transported to Australia in 1817, leaving James to be brought up by his mother Mary. She married Thomas Humphrey, a blacksmith, in 1825.

James became a blacksmith, presumably apprenticed to his step-father, and on 17 March 1839 he married Ann Broad, at St Nicholas church in Deptford, Surrey, where they were living in 1841 in Greenfield Place with their daughter Martha. They are thought to have had the following children:

Martha Ann

Q1 1840


Henry James

Q4 1841


Ann Maria

bapt. 24 Mar 1844

Deptford, St Paul

Ann Elizabeth

bapt. 21 Jun 1846

Deptford, St Paul – died 1847

Mary Jane 

ca. 1848


Elizabeth Amelia

Q4 1850


Kate Alice

1 Mar 1855

bapt. 25 Mar 1855 Deptford, St Paul

James William W

25 Mar 1857

bapt. 19 Apr 1857 Deptford, St Paul

Alfred George

Q3 1859


Sarah Jane

Q2 1861


By 1851 they had moved to Lambeth where they were living at 11 Alfred Place and in 1861 and 1871 at 11 Portland Street. In 1861 the enumerator appears to have made a mistake as Elizabeth’s age is given as 5 and James and Alfred are not shown at all, but have not been found elsewhere. By 1871 only James, Alfred and Sarah were still living at home.

Ann’s death was registered in Lambeth in 1880 and in 1881 James was living at 60 Heman Street in Lambeth with his unmarried daughter, Sarah, and her son, Henry. Visiting were his married daughter, Mary Bray and his grand-daughter, Elizabeth Morbin, Elizabeth’s daughter.

In 1889 James married Ann Smith, nee Goodes, widow of Edward Smith and more than 30 years his junior, with whom he was living at 1 Glynn Street, Lambeth in 1891. Ann died in 1894, aged 44.

At the 1901 census James was a patient in the Wandsworth & Clapham Union Infirmary and was described as a retired blacksmith, born in Eastbourne. He died later that year, aged 83.

Of their children:

  • Martha married Jacob Sales, a blacksmith from Tunbridge Wells, in 1856. They were in Cheam in 1861.
  • Henry married Emma Stubbs in 1865 and was a blacksmith in Lambeth.
  • Ann married John Cunningham in 1861.
  • Mary married William Bray in 1867.
  • Elizabeth married George Morbin in 1870.
  • James married Ellen Izzard and was a blacksmith in Lambeth.
  • Alfred married Harriet Robey and was a blacksmith in Lambeth.
  • Sarah had an illegitimate son, Henry, in 1880. She married Henry Stevens in 1881 and young Henry was brought up as Henry Stevens.