The London Family

The known record of this family begins with the marriage of JOHN TATTERSFIELD and Anne Ware, in St. Sepulchre, Holborn, on 29th April 1772. JOHN was described as a Grocer in 1777, and as a Labourer at his death in September 1790.

They had seven children, who were all baptised in Independent (Congregational) chapels in the East of London. One son was JOHN (1780-1831), who was later listed in Holden’s Triennial Directory of 1805 and 1808 as a sail maker of Cap Alley, Shadwell, presumably near the site of the present London Underground station of that name.

Another son was JAMES WARE Tattersfield (1787-1848), who was a fish dealer, said to be called “The King of Billingsgate” This same JAMES WARE, when young, was a matelot on the Brig Wizard, and was taken prisoner by the French on 9th August, 1808. Details of his capture and subsequent experience as a sailor embroiled with the Establishment in the Island of Tobago, are given in an article which follows in the section “Tattersfields in the Military”.

The earliest known London baptism of a TATTERSFIELD was in 1774.

No documentary connection has yet been found between this family and Yorkshire. The DNA testing, completed in April 2020, however, showed a clear relationship with the Tattersfields of York, Hull, Leeds and Lancashire.

JAMES and SAMUEL were popular christian names in this family and a large number of the males were fishmongers.

One of JOHN’s grandsons, JAMES or JAMES WARE TATTERSFIELD, moved with his family to Leamington in Warwickshire in about 1843-45, where he and his sons continued as fishmongers. One of his daughters, MARION, married locally and then went with her husband to live in Broken Hill in Australia.

A son of JAMES, called HENRY, went to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he married and became a cabinet maker and builder. Some of his descendants still live in South Island, New Zealand, and, until recent years, had no knowledge of the Heckmondwike branch of the family, some of whom had gone to the Auckland area as described above. See Section in “Tattersfields Who Emigrated” entitled “The Southern New Zealand Tattersfield Family” which follows.

Header Image: An 1876 print of the view from the Thames River of the Old Billingsgate Fish Market. Several members of the London Tattersfield family in the 19th century were fishmongers, including one individual who was nicknamed “King of Billingsgate”.  This picture memorializes that connection. Illustrated London News : Public domain