The Shoreditch Ansteys

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Many thanks to Julia for her help constructing this pedigree

Overview of the Shoreditch Ansteys

The Shoreditch Ansteys are a sub-branch of the Crediton Ansteys (evolved from ‘Anstis’), headed by Francis Anstey (b 1783 Crediton). As such, they are an ‘Anstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branch and thus do not connect to the wider Anstey pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anstey.

Francis Anstey (b 1783 Crediton)

Francis Anstey was born in 1783 in Crediton, baptised on 22 April 1783 as “Francis, son of John Anstey and Sarah” per the parish register.

[Note: “John Anstey and Sarah” are very probably John Anstis (Anstey) and Sarah Body who married 1 April 1766 in Crediton. It is very unlikely that it refers to John Anstey and Sarah Badcock who married 17 September 1783 in Crediton, five months AFTER Francis was baptised]

Francis Anstey married Sarah Baker in 1806 at St Ann Soho, Westminster and they had children in Spitalfields Christ Church near Stepney:

  • James Francis Anstey (b 1807 Stepney, baptised in March 1807);
  • John Anstey (b 1809, married Mary Elizabeth Langham (b 1810 Islington) in St Dionis Backchurch, London in 1837. In the 1851 Census they were living at High Street Hoxton, Shoreditch, where John was a grocer. The ‘Morning Advertiser‘ 01 June 1857 reported “POLICE COURTS. GUILDHALL CHARGE OF ROBBING EMPLOYERS,-Joseph Smith, a porter In the service of Messrs. Cooper and Co., wholesale grocers, of Monument-yard, was charged with robbing his employers to a considerable extent. He was remanded, Charles Harrion, a foreman in the employment of the same firm, was also charged with robbing his masters. Mr. Thomas Cooper explained that they sent large quantities of sugar to Messrs. Ellers and Morgan, sugar refiners, in Lambeth-street, Goodman’e-fields, and they refined it and kept it in stock for them, and delivered it to order. It was the prisoner’s duty to write the orders for the delivery of this sugar, and enter it in a book kept for the purpose. On the 19th of May the prisoner wrote an order for 20 tittlers or loaves of sugar to be delivered to Martin, a carman, and never made any entry in the book of order. Peter Mossop, warehouseman to Messrs. Ellers and Morgan, proved the delivery of the sugar, weighing 5 cwt. 27lbs., to the carman, on the 20th May, on the order signed by the prisoner. John Anstey, a grocer of 144, High Street Hoxton Old Town, said he had known the prisoner 16 or 17 years. He knew he was employed at Messrs. Cooper’s and considering him as their representative he had purchased of him 20 tittlers of sugar weighing 5cwt, 27lbs which were delivered on the 20th of May. In the evening the prisoner called with an invoice made out on one of Messrs. Cooper and Co’s billheads, and he paid him the amount of 17l, 15s, 10d. Alderman Hale asked if that were a fair price. Mr. Cooper said it stood his firm in 71l, 6s., or rather more. The witness, in answer to Mr. Martin the chief clerk, said he had about two cwt, of the sugar left. He had bought Goods from Cooper’s house, through the prisoner 18 or 20 times during the last four years. Mr. Cooper said they had not received the money alluded to, nor, had they had any transactions with the last witness. The prisoner had no authority to sell goods for them or to receive money for them. Mr. Anstey said he had the receipts of former transactions with him, but he had either left them at home, or been robbed of them. Mr. Martin told him he must produce the sugar he had in stock, that came from the prosecutors’. Mr. Anstey said he had purchased it, and had a receipt for it. Mr. Martin said that did not matter the police would take charge of it Mr. Anstey, In astonishment, said if they seized his sugar they would stop his business. Alderman Hale said he should remand the case for further investigation, Mr. Wontner, who appeared tor the prisoner, said he could not contend against a remand“. John, Mary Elizabeth and his niece Esther were living with John‘s parents in Shoreditch in the 1861 Census – John was still a grocer. John died on 18 February 1876 in Shoreditch “aged 67“, probate was to his widow Mary Elizabeth Anstey, then living at 217 Hoxton Street Shoreditch. Mary Elizabeth Anstey died in 1883 in Shoreditch, living at 100 Bridport Place, Hoxton; probate was to Ann Gillinghamwidow, sister and only next of kin“);
  • Ann Anstey (b 1813, baptised October 1813 Christchurch, Spitalfields); and
  • William Anstey (b 1816, married Sarah Ann Ray in Christ Church Greyfriars Newgate, London in 1835. They had children William James Anstey (b 1838 Bethnal Green, died 1839); James Anstey (b 1839 Whitechapel, baptised 10 May 1840 in Christ Church, Spitalfields. He married Charlotte Page in 1863 in Bethnal Green, having a daughter Esther Charlotte Anstey (b 1864 Bethnal Green, buried at Victoria Park Cemetery in Hackney in 1865 – they were living at 12 Crabtree Row, Bethnal Green at the time). His first wife must have died because in the 1871 Census James Anstey was a “wood sawyer” living at Sanders Court, St Philip & Jacob, Clifton, Bristol with Martha Roweas wife” and her two sons. By the 1881 Census James and Martha were living at 10, Narrow Plain, St Philip and Jacob, Bristol where he was a labourer); John Anstey (b 1842 Whitechapel – see below); Esther Anstey (b 1845 Bethnal Green – with her grandfather in the 1861 Census. She married Thomas Philip Brown in 1866 in Islington); Elizabeth Anstey (b 1849, died 1850?); and William Anstey (b 1851 Bethnal Green, probably died 1853 Bethnal Green). In 1840 William Anstey and his wife Sarah Ann were living at Red Lion Court, Christ Church, Spitalfields, where William was a “tailor“. Sarah Ann Anstey died in 1856 in Bethnal Green; it is likely her husband William Anstey also died there in 1856).

Sarah Anstey died in 1819 in St Botolph, Bishopsgate so Francis Anstey (“widower“) remarried Esther Owen (b c1792) in 1822 in St John’s Church Hackney.

In the ‘Morning Herald (London)‘ 21 December 1850 edition appears “Charities to the Aged Blind, distributed by the Painters Company London the gift of John Stock Esq…the following petitioners were elected pensioners for life at 10l per annum to Mr Stock’s charity: viz…Francis Anstey, South Hackney…” – so from this it seems that Francis Anstey was by this time blind.

In the 1851 Census Francis Anstey and Esther were living at 9 Twemlow Terrace, Saint John, Hackney where Francis was an “annuitant from Crediton“. By the 1861 Census Francis was a “fundholder” living with his wife; his son John and his wife Mary Elizabeth; and his grandaughter Esther at 144, Hoxton Old Town, St Leonard Shoreditch.

Francis Anstey died in 1865 in Shoreditch; probate was to his widow Esther Anstey who herself died in Shoreditch on 6 November 1868. Her probate was in 1870 stating that she was living at 217 Hoxton Street, Hoxton at the time of her death (same address as her son John per above); effects to John Owen her “nephew and one of the next of kin of the deceased“.

John Anstey (b 1842 Whitechapel)

John Anstey was born in 1842 in Whitechapel to parents William Anstey and Sarah Ann Ray (per above). He married Martha Brinkley [Lawrence] (b c1831 Chatham, Kent) in 1864 in Bethnal Green.

[Note: Martha‘s maiden name was Lawrence; she married Thomas William Brinkley in 1847, having six ‘Brinkley‘ children with him. He died in 1855 so she married John Anstey in 1864]

John Anstey and Martha had children:

  • James George Anstey (b 1863 Whitechapel to mother ‘Brinkley’, died 1864?);
  • John William Anstey (b 1864 Shoreditch, married Annie Hiscock in 1885 in Shoreditch. They had children Annie Frances Anstey (b 1888, died 1890);​​ Martha Elizabeth Anstey (b 1891, a french polisher living with her parents in the 1911 Census);​​ Maud Mary Anstey (b 1893, a french polisher living with her parents in the 1911 Census​​); John Albert Anstey (b 1896 died 1909); William George Anstey (b 1898 died an infant);​​ Alfred Neal Anstey (b 1900 died an infant);​​ James Anstey (b 1901, died an infant);​ Lilian Anstey (b 1903, died an infant);​​ Henry William Anstey (b 1904, died 1905); Emily Anstey (b 1909, died 1910); and Henry George Anstey (b 1910, died 1977). In the 1911 Census John, Annie and their three surviving children were living at 87 Welbourne Road, Tottenham where John was a “fret cutter“);
  • Esther Anstey (b 1864 Whitechapel to mother ‘Lawrence’, died an infant);
  • Mary Anstey (b 1864 Whitechapel to mother ‘Lawrence’, died an infant);
  • Edith Esther Anstey (b 1866 Bethnal Green to mother ‘Lawrence’, married Robert Mann in 1883 in Bethnal Green);
  • James Anstey (b 1867 Shoreditch to mother ‘Brinkley’, died an infant);
  • George Anstey (b 1868 Hoxton, married Sarah Cartwright in Shoreditch in 1888 having children Sarah Frances Anstey (b 1891 St Lukes); John William Anstey (b 1892 Hoxton – an Anstey Hero); Lucy Edith Anstey (b 1898 Shoreditch); and George Frederick Anstey (b 1911 Shoreditch). In the 1911 Census the family were living at 44 Shap Street, Shoreditch, London where George was a fret cutter, also living with them was George‘s widower father (a few doors down at 64 Shap Street George‘s brother Frederick was living with his family)); and
  • Frederick William Anstey (b 1870 Bethnal Green – an Anstey Hero)

In the 1871 Census the family were living at John Street, St Leonard Shoreditch where John Anstey was a “fret cutter” and his wife Martha was a “boot binder” [Note there are also two children Maria Anstey (b 1851) and Sarah Anstey (b 1855) but these are actually two of Martha’s ‘Brinkley’ children]. By the 1881 Census the family were living at 35, Monteith Road, Bow Aka St Mary Stratford-Le-Bow, Poplar where John was a “piano fret cutter“.

In the 1891 Census, John and Martha were living at 34 The Oval, Bethnal Green together with a granddaughter Edith Anstey (b 1880 London – in the 1911 Census we believe that she was an unmarried laundry maid living at Haine Ramsgate, St Peter Extra, Thanet where her birth was given as “1880 in Enfield“. She married Harry D. Spratt in 1913 in Thanet) – John was still a fret cutter.

By the 1911 Census John was a “widower” and a “fret cutter” living at 44 Shap Street, Shoreditch with his son George Anstey and his family.

Further Details on the Shoreditch Ansteys

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Shoreditch Ansteys, and continue to upload more all the time (see Project Updates), however it is spread over various segments of the website. One way to find said information is to enter ‘Shoreditch’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

Anybody who finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at and we will correct it.

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