In 1871 Fanny Dinnis was working as a Milliner, we know this from looking at the England Census of that year. She was 25 years old, living in Islington, London with her parents John and Charlotte Dinnis, brother George and sister Charlotte Harriet. John and George were working as Cooks and Charlotte was a Telegraph Clerk.
On reading around the subject of ‘Millinery’ for a few weeks it appears that Fanny and her family were living in one of the centres of the Millinery trade in the mid-late 1800s. Take a look at this website called ‘The Millinery Works’.
Here there is a picture of a street in Islington from 1905, full of men and women in hats and bonnets. A postwar Ordnance Survey map notes the premises as
“a Millinery works alongside a cardboard factory, a cake decorating factory and a large printing works.”
The address for these establishments is Southgate Road, London, which is about a 25 minute walk from Parkfield Street, where Fanny was living in 1871.
It is also interesting to note that in the following England Census of 1881, George Dinnis was living nearby in Ossory Road and working as a Confectioner, so might have been working at the cake decorating factory beside the Millinery works. There is more information on the ‘Confectioner’ in this post.
By this time Fanny was married to John W. Forbes, and they were living in Lugard Road, London. John’s occupation is listed as a Printers Compositor, so perhaps he was working at the printing works alongside the Millinery works and the cake decorating factory in Islington. John and Fanny Forbes had two children at this time, and a boarder, Lucy Hamilton who was also a Milliner and also from Brighton. Lucy had previously been living with the family in 1871.
Next door were Fanny’s parents John and Charlotte Dinnis, along with their daughter, Charlotte Harriet and Jane Dinnis, their daughter-in-law. Her husband, John Henry had died in 1877.
Having hopefully put everyone in place the next post will be looking in some detail at the world of the Milliner in the 1860s – 1870s.
Class: RG10; Piece: 251; Folio: 23; Page: 40; GSU roll: 824911; Class: RG11; Piece: 683; Folio: 23; Page: 40; GSU roll: 1341159;