George's Story 1790 to 1871

..Scottish Roots & move to London
George John Aitchison Musgrove's family roots begin with the Aitchison family from Kelso in Scotland. Thomas Aitchison married Agnes Crawford and during the period 1790 to 1802 raised six children in Kelso. The eldest of Thomas and Agnes's children was George, who by 1817 aged 27 married Margaret Campbell in London on the 30th June at Christ Church Greyfriars.

Before their marriage in June 1817, George & Margaret Aitchison already had two children. The first was Christiana Margaret Aitchison who was Baptised in August 1815. The family were living in Tottenham Court Road St Pancras but when their next child Elizabeth Aitchison was born in March 1817 just 3 months before they married, they were living at 114 Great Russell Street, off Tottenham Court Road.

George and Margaret's third child Margaret Ann Aitchison was born 2 years later. The family by this time had moved to the west side of Tottenham Court Road to 40 Tottenham Street. When their first son John Aitchison was born in 1821 they had moved back to the Great Russell Street address.

.. ....
The Aitchison's of St Pancras

George Aitchison had established a cabinet making business and in 1824 the Aitchison family moved into 5 Hertford Street, near Fitzroy Square St Pancras.
George and Margaret had seven children in total. Their next son, named George Aitchison was born in 1824.Their next daughter named Ann Aitchison was born in 1827, and finally Jessie Aitchison was born in 1830. Most of the family are listed on the 1841 census at 5 Hertford Street St Pancras. Its interesting to note that this address became 5 Princes Street about 1850 when the road was renamed. Princes Street was renamed again around 1868 and became Whitfield Street its current name. One of the daughters missing on the 1841 census is Christiana Aitchison who at the time was employed in domestic service in nearby Gordon Square. Her employer was the Lord of the Manor of Shillington in Bedfordshire, and this was his London house. His name was George Musgrave Esq and this family will later feature in this story.

Christiana Aitchison (eldest daughter of George and Margaret) had married on the first of February 1843 Thomas Musgrove (an artist colourman) in Chelsea.Thomas Musgrove was the son of a gentleman of means also named Thomas Musgrove. He was then living in Sidney Terrace Marlborough Road Chelsea (now named Draycott Avenue). Christiana was living nearby in Sloane Street and pregnant with Thomas's child. Their daughter Christiana was born the fifth of April 1843. The couple then moved back to the Aitchison family home and she was baptised in St Pancras on the fifth November 1843.

In reality Christiana was the daughter of Thomas Musgrave Musgrave of Gordon Square London who had married Christiana Aitchison
under the pseudonym of Thomas Musgrove. The full story is revealed in The Source of George Musgroves Wealth which details how Christiana became the sole beneficiary of Thomas Musgrave Musgrave's estate.

.......................1851 Elizabeth Musgrove nee Aitchison

Our research has shown George John Aitchison Musgrove was born in 1845 but not under this name. He was born George Musgrove and was the son of John and Elizabeth Musgrove. His mother was Elizabeth Aitchison who we believe married John Musgrove although we can find no trace of this event happening.
At some time after 1845 Elizabeth's husband John Musgrove died and she remarried in April 1851 Joseph Atkins in York.


Elizabeth Musgrove nee Aitchison married widower Joseph Atkins 19th April 1851 in York. They then moved to the Yorkshire village of Bishop Monkton where Elizabeth and Joseph settled to raise a family of three children. Elizabeth's first born son George John Aitchison Musgrove remained living in St Pancras London with his grandparents. He was not to become a part of his mothers new family.

......................................1850's George and John Aitchison

George Aitchison's sons George and John had worked together as pianoforte makers. By 1847 George was living at Harris Place Oxford Street when he married Ellen Denny in October. George and Ellen's first daughter Ann Margeret Aitchison was born in May 1848. They were now living at 6 Pitt Street St Pancras within a few hundred yards of the Aitchison home in Princes Street. George and Ellen's next child George Aitchison was born in October 1849. Their son George unfortunately died within three days of birth. The family were now living at 7 Charles Street St Pancras.The family appeared to now move to St Martins Street near Leicester Square. Their son George was buried at St Martins in the Field on November 3rd 1849. George and Ellen's next daughter Ellen Christiana Aitchison was born in January 1852.The family had now moved to 4 Gresse Street off Rathbone Place. Their last child Mary Ann Aitchison was born in 1854. The family were now living at Clarence Gardens St Pancras. George Aitchison died suddenly aged 31 in 1856 after contracting Typhoid. By 1861 his widow Ellen was living at 15 Warren Street St Pancras, which was on the corner of Princes Street and a short distance from the Aitchisons.

John Aitchison married Ellen Isaacs in 1850. She was recently widowed when her husband Isaac Isaacs died in 1849. He had established an Undertakers in nearby Henry Street St Pancras. John Aitchison took over the Isaac's business and move into 43 Henry Street with wife Ellen and her three children. John expanded the business with a second property at Cook's Terrace, Old St Pancras Road, which was in use by 1855. John died in 1863 and the business was ran by his wife Ellen until June 1867 when the business went bankrupt. Her Undertaker business had also operated from 5 Princes Street after moving from Henry Street.

By 1849 Thomas and Christiana Musgrove's second daughter Elizabeth was born in The Queen Charlotte Laying-in Hospital in Euston Road. She was baptised in 1850 at St Pancras but sadly died within seven months, and was buried at the Old St Pancras Church Cemetery. The family had moved to nearby Tonbridge Street but after Elizabeth's death Christiana and her daughter Christiana moved back to her parent's (George and Margaret Aitchison) home in Princes Street St Pancras.
........................1851 Christiana Musgrove dies

On the 1851 census for Princes Street which was taken on the night of Sunday 30th of March, we find George and Margaret Aitchison and their married daughter Christiana Musgrove with her daughter Christiana but no sign of her husband Thomas Musgrove. Also in the household is the six year old George Musgrove, son of Elizabeth Musgrove nee Aitchison who was now liviing with them.

Thomas Musgrove had reverted to his real name of Thomas Musgrave Musgrave on the 1851 census and was living back at his parentshome in Gordon Square. Interestingly has marital status is shown as un-married.

The six year old George Musgrove was baptised in September 1851 at St Pancras Old Church. The Baptism Certificate shows that George's parents were John and Elizabeth Musgrove, the father being shown as deceased, having had an occupation as a Broker.
His mother Elizabeth had married Joseph Atkins in April 1851 and was now living in Bishop Monkton near Ripon Yorkshire.

Unfortunately Christiana Musgrove died of consumption (TB) aged just 35 in June 1851. We have checked the cemetery burial registers for St Pancras but no trace can be found of Christiana's grave. This may suggest that her husband Thomas Musgrove decided to have her buried elsewhere. In reality the old cemeteery at St Pancras was now full and Burials were being made in adjacent parishes. Christiana Musgrove was Buried 8 days after her death at St Martins in the Fields Cemetery. We leave George Musgrove aged six living for the next few years with his grandparents George and Margaret Aitchison and his eight year old cousin Christiana Musgrove at Princes Street St Pancras.

Another family who would be very influencial in our George's early years were the Cole family who by 1841 were living in Loxton Place off Munster Square St Pancras. In 1856 another of Geoge Aitchison's children, Jessie married Henry Cole at the parish church at St Pancras they then also lived in 5 Princes Street with our George and his grandparents. 26 days earlier Jessie's mother
Margaret Aitchison had died of Bronchitis at 64. Georges uncle Henry Cole played an important part in Georges early life.

The various addresses of both the Aitchison and Cole families are shown on this St Pancras map of the period.

We now move on to the 1861 census. This shows our George livng at 36a Charlotte Street Marylebone with his uncle Henry Cole and aunt Jessie. They appeared to have lived here for only a short while. George Musgrove is now 18 years old and works as a railway porter. Note his uncle Henry is a railway clerk. Henry and Jessie's first child, Harry John George Cole was born on Friday 18th of September 1863 at 36a Charlotte Street. He was not Baptised until the first of January 1865 (15 months after his birth) the family were now living at 7 Southampton Street Fitzroy Square. In nearby Princes Street George Aitchison was the head of the family on the 1861 census also living there was his grandaughter Cristiana Musgrove who was now 18
..........1867 Birth Christiana Jessie Aitchison / Musgrove

An important event that was to effect George Musgrove's future was the death of his grandfather George Aitchison who died in 1864 aged 81 at Princes Street. After his death his daughter Margaret remained at Princes Street and was joined by the Cole family and George Musgrove ( who had been living with the Cole family from at least 1861) also in the household was the young Christiana. Once again he was sharing a house with his cousin now aged 21. In 1867 Christiana was born on the eleventh October. To cover the embarrassment of Christiana being illegitimate the parents names on the birth certificates were slightly disguised. George used the surname of Aitchison and Christiana showed her name as Aitchison formerly Musgrove.

1868 was to be the last year the remaining members of the family were to live at 5 Princes Street Fitzroy Square, which had now become 102 Whitfield street the previous year. The family had lived here for over 40 years when George Aitchison the Cabinet Maker had moved to the area in the 1820's. The household in 1868 consisted of Henry and Jessie Cole and their sons Harry and Walter Edmund Cole who was born in June. There was also Margaret Aitchison (Jessie's sister), George Musgrove with his cousin Christiana, and their daughter Christiana plus Ellen Aitchison the widow of John Aitchison who had moved her Undertakers business from Henry Street.

                                               1869.June - George and Christiana Marry

George and Christiana were to marry in June 1869. The marriage was witnessed by George's uncle Henry Cole and Elizabeth Atkins who was of course George's mother. Christiana's father is given as Thomas Musgrove colourman. George's father is shown as just "Dead". George is still employed as a railway porter. Note the cross described as his mark on the certificate where his signature would have normally been. He was obviously illiterate at this time. The marriage certificate shows no address other than St Pancras so we assume they were still living in Whitfield Street.

..............1869 November - Christiana Musgrove Baptised

By November 1869 the Musgrove's had moved from St Pancras with his uncle and aunt Henry and Jessie Cole and were now living between Vauxhall and Lambeth at 33 Glyn Street off Upper Kennington Lane. Their daughter Christiana Jessie Musgrove was Baptised at the Church of St Mary the Less in Princes Road Lambeth on the Wednesday 3rd of November 1869


1871 was very important year for George Musgrove. We first find him on the census taken on Sunday on the second of April 1871 living with his wife Christiana and their three year old daughter Christiana at 116 Upper Kennington Lane Lambeth. The property is shown in an October 1870 rate book as being occupied by an Augustus Hawkins. George is next mentioned on the rate book dated the eigth of April 1871 but it appears from the note in the margin that he has 'gone'. At the same time George's uncle Henry Cole and family had also moved into the Kennington Lane area and was living at 12 Shepherds Place off Upper Kennington Lane with a family named Conolly. The rate book for Oct 1870 shows the Harris family having just moved in to number 17 Shepherds Place and would have been close neighbours of the Cole family. From this time the fortunes of the Musgrove and Harris family closely entwined.

.....................The Harris's and Woodcock's of Lambeth

The Harris family comprised of James Banfield Moore Harris born 18th Dec 1820 in Bath Somerset.He was christened 14th Jan 1821 at St George the Martyr Southwark. He married Sophia Elizabeth Woodcock in 1846. She had been baptised in 1827 at St Mary's Lambeth with her brother Mark Henry Woodcock. They were two of five children known to have been born to Matthew Woodcock and his wife Sophia. Matthew had married Sophia Ann Whitehall in 1824 at St George the Martyr in Southwark. Their Known children John, Sophia, Mark, James and Charles were born over the next five years. Matthew Woodcock is believed to have died before 1835 as his wife Sophia remarried Benjamin Hill on 7th July 1835 at St Bride Fleet Street London. Benjamin and Sophia had three children before Benjamin died in 1849. Elizabeth Maria Hill born 1838, Alfred Frederick Hill born 1841 (died 1848), and Fraces Sarsh Hill born 1844.
In 1849 Sophia Hill nee Woodcock married Lambert Weston in West London. Lambert had previously been married but his wife Hannah had died in 1845. When Lambert Weston married Sophia Hill they lived with his children in Southwark. The 1851 census shows the Weston family living at 34 Wellington Place Southwark. The census shows Lambert Weston (a blacksmith), his wife Sophia, and some of the children from his previous marriage. Lastly is shown James Harris, grandson, aged four. James is the eldest child of James Banfield Moore Harris and his wife Sophia. Sophia Weston ( nee Woodcock) was her mother.

James Banfield Moore Harris's parents were William and Elizabeth (Betsy) Harris who were living in 1851 in Lambeth. William was a skilled stonemason and at the end of 1850 was seeking employment in central London. This resulted in him spending many weekends at St Martin in the Fields Workhouse for overnight accommadation. The workhouse records give an interesting account of the Harris family visits at this time. The full story of the Harris family in Lambeth can be accessed here.

The 1851 census also records William's son, James Banfield Moore Harris and wife at the Workhouse at St Martin in the Fields near Trafalgar Square London. James is shown as a stone mason, his wife Sophia as copper nail maker, and her two year old daughter Elizabeth (Betsy Sophia). The family were living in the Lower Marsh area of Lambeth in 1849 when Betsy was born. When their next child Emma Harris was born they were still living in the same area when she was baptised in September 1851. This would suggest that Emma was born around the time of the 1851 census in March. This could be the reason that James & Sophia at this time were at St Martins Workhouse. Sophia was awaiting the birth of her next child in the Infirmary whilst her husband worked nearby. Emma Harris was later known in the family as Emily Sophia and was eventually to marry George Musgrove in 1871.

1856 saw a brief return to the St Martins Workhouse at Trafalgar Square between July and September.

James Banfield Moore Harris and his wife Elizabeth had nine children, James born 1837, Betsy Sophia born 1849, Emily Sophia born 1851 (married Goerge Musgrove in 1871), Lambert William born 1853, Sophia born 1856, Charles born 1858, George born 1860, William born 1863 and Ada born 1866. We have marked all their known addresses on this really nice 1831 map.

The fortunes of the Harris family had improved during the late 1850's, as by the time the 1861 Census was taken, the family were now sharing a house at 40 King Street Lambeth. This is the first official record of the majority of the members. James is listed still as a Stone Mason, his wife Sophia a copper nail maker. All the children are shown as scholars.


The 1871 census in April shows the Harris's living at 17 Shepherds Place. Henry Cole and his family are shown at number 12 but shortly to move to number 14. One of the Harris children is missing on this census, this is Lambert William Harris who at the age of nineteen was working as an assisstant licensed victuller at The Globe Public House High Holborn possibly he was living in. Lambert William Harris was later to marry Alice Bristow in 1879 and live with George Musgrove and Emily (Lambert's sister) in Benwell Road in the early 1880''s.

Back in 1871 George and his first wife Christiana would probably have been regular visitors to the Cole family in Shepherds Place. The Cole family would have introduced the Musgroves to the Harris family as the wives had a common interest in dress making. George during this period would have got to know the Harris family, in particular the young 18 year old Emily.
............ . ...1871 Christiana Musgrove Dies

George and Christiana only lived in Kennington for a couple of months having left by April 1871 just after the census was taken. George's occupation is shown as 'retired railway servant' (aged just 26!!). This indicates that Both George and Christiana were now living off Christiana's inheritance. We are uncertain where they moved to at that time but a tragic event in September was to dramatically change everything.

George's wife Christiana died on Monday the eleventh of September 1871 at Lower Holloway after only 27 months of marriage aged just 28. The circumstances surrounding this event are suspicious. The Death Certificate shows that Christiana died at 85 George's Road a poor area of Holloway in North London. Whether the Musgrove family were living there at this time is uncertan. Remember the census five months earlier had the family living in a nice house with a servant in Kennington so it is strange that they moved to a poorer area. The Death Certificate shows George's occupation has reverted back to being a Railway Porter with no mention of him being retired. This information would have been given to the registrar when her death was registered on the following day Tuesday the twelfth of September. The certificate also shows that the informant of Christina's death was M Harris of 58 Carlisle Lane Lambeth. We know from family recollections that this person was actuallly Emily Harris, daughter of James Banfield Moore Harris, who had been living with her parents at 17 Shepherds Place Kennington. She is shown at this address on the April census.

We can find no other documents that mention the Musgroves living at Georges Road or any mention of Emily Harris at Carlisle Lane Lambeth. We know that George would have met Emily when he lived in Kennington and they obviously were having an affair while Christiana was still alive. George was to marry Emily Harris within a month of Christiana's death. This poses the obvious question of whether Christiana died in suspicious circumstances baring in mind that George, upon her death, became the sole beneficiary of Christiana's inheritance and trust fund. CLICK HERE For the full story of how this inheritance originated from her true father.Thomas Musgrave Musgrave.


......1870's George Musgrove's Mother and the Atkins Family

At this point we can update the fortunes of George Musgrove"s mother Elizabeth Atkins, and George's half brother and half sister
Charles Joseph Atkins and Mary Ann Margaret Atkins.

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