John Anstee (BA 10)

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Barnet Anstees. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Barnet Anstees fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

BA 10. John Anstee: He was born on 11 November 1836 in Highwood Hill Barnet (or Hendon, sources differ), to parents John Anstee (BA 3) and Ann Seagrave; he was baptised at Mill Hill, St Paul on 4 December 1836. He was a builder when he married Georgina Matilda Ross in 1860 in St Pancras (the ‘Essex Standard‘ on 20 April 1860 reporting “April 16 at St Pancras Church Middlesex Mr John Anstee builder Mill Hill Hendon to Georgina Matilda, fourth daughter of Mr John Ross of Thorpe le Soken“) and they had children in Mill Hill, Hendon:

  • Amy Susan Anstee (b 1860, died an infant);
  • Ernest John Anstee (BA 15 – b 1861, served during World War One);
  • Annie Louisa Anstee (b 1863, boarding at Friern Park (Hope Villa), Friern Barnet with the ‘Horsey’ family in 1871 and a shop assistant in Hendon with her family in 1881. She married Harry Thompson in 1884 in Hendon);
  • James Alfred Anstee (b q3 1865 (or July 1864 depending on source). He was a shop assistant in Hendon with his family in 1881. He emigrated to Denver in Colorado, America in 1882, joining his uncle George Anstee (SL 1) there. He married Lillian M. McFareland in Denver on 12 February 1885 and they had two children, one of whom was Edward Anstee (b 1890 Colorado); the other child died before 1900. In the 1900 Census he was a butcher living in Arapahoe, ED 73 Precinct 11 Denver city Ward 9, Colorado with his family. By the 1910 American Census he was still in Denver but married to Belle [Isabel Turner nee Campbell?] living with her son Thomas A. Turner (b 1887) and ‘stepmother’ Mary Campbell. The family were still in Denver in 1920 – he was now a bricklayer. Belle (Isabelle) died on 3 May 1922 in Denver and by the 1930 Census he was a widower and bricklayer boarding in Denver); and
  • Edgar John Anstee (BA 14 – b 1874)

In the 1861 Census the family were living at Three Hammers Public House, Hendon with his widowed mother Ann Anstee (BA 3) and his brothers; he was also a bricklayer employing two men. In 1865 according to the ‘County Chronicle, Surrey Herald and Weekly Advertiser for Kent‘ “Thomas Taylor was charged with stealing from the Three Hammers, Mill Hill, a knife and fork, value Is., the property of John Anstee, on the 10th July“.

Then in December 1869 “Thomas Davies, aged 40, bricklayer, Barnet Common, was charged with being drunk, and wilfully damaging the front door of the “Three Hammers” public house, Mill Hill, the property of John Anstee, to the value of 55s on the 15th December 

In the 1871 Census they were living at Mill Hill, Hendon with their children; he was still a bricklayer and victualler of the ‘Three Hammers’ . The ‘Hendon & Finchley Times‘ 12 July 1879 reported “RELIEVING DISTRESS AT MILL HILL. The distress amongst the agricultural labourers and haymakers, who annually migrate to these districts, has now reached a most serious point. At the beginning of last week the number of men, women, and children who, with pinched faces and hungry looks, crowded about the roads, was something distressing, and at that time individual efforts to relieve the distress were made by several well known gentlemen at Mill Hill. Accordingly it was agreed by professor Harley of the College; Mr. G. Lockett, of Highwood House; Mr. J.Johnston, of Arrandean ; Mr. Smith, of the Friory; Mr. Field, of Myles Down;’ Mr. J McAndrew,Mr. Sergeant Cox, and others, that some organised and collective relief should be given. Accordingly Mr. Anstee, of the Hammers, was invited to cater for these poor unfortunate persons, and although it was only late on Friday night that he was called in no fewer than 350 poor souls were supplied with a dinner on Sunday, consisting of six ounces of corned beef and a pound of bread.

The ‘Barnet Press‘ 23 August 1879 reported “CHARGE OF ASSAULT. James [John?] Anstey, carpenter, of Hendon, was charged with assaulting and beating Walter W. Valentine. There was a cross summons charging Walter Valentine with an assault upon John Anstey. Walter William Valentine said he was in the employ of Mr Anstey, the defendant, and at 5.30 p.m. on the 26th July he was at work in the workshop when defendant came in and asked him what he had been saying about his son. He replied nothing of any harm that he knew of. Defendant then left for a few minutes. When he returned, as he (complainant) was in a stooping position at the bench, defendant struck him and knocked him down, rendering him insensible. He did not know whether he struck him with his fist or kicked him. ‘The charge Mr Anstey made against Valentine was, that he raised a hatchet and threatened to cleave him down when he named the bad language he had used to his son and daughter, and he pushed him down for lifting the hatchet, and threatening to cut him down. Valentine was recalled and swore positively that he did not take up a hatchet, nor was there one in the shop. A witness named Charles Murrell was called for Anstey; but he said he did not see a hatchet at all he simply saw Anstey push Valentine down. For the assault on Valentine Anstey was fined 10s and 1 16s costs; and in the cross summons the Bench said there was no proof of any assault whatever, and dismissed the summons, calling upon Anstey to pay 11s costs.

The ‘Hendon & Finchley Times‘ 07 May 1881 reported “BARNET COUNTY COURT. The following cases were heard last week, at the Barnet County Court, before Mr. J. Whigham:- HENRY HILL, bricklayer, Burnt Oak, Edgware, V. JOHN ANSTEE. builder, Mill Hill Hendon.-Mr. Allingham for the plaintiff, and Mr. Wells for the defendant.-The plaintiff said that in August,1879, he was engaged by defendant to do certain work at some cottages in Deans Brook-lane. There was to have been a contract, but it was not settled. In consequence of his agreement he brought his scaffolding and worked for the defendant as an ordinary labourer, being paid as the other men. His scaffolding was used up to February, 1880, and plaintiff now sued for the use and carriage of the scaffolding, for which he had not been paid anything.-Plaintiff, in cross-examination, said he did not agree to contract to do all the work at £3 3s. per rod, scaffolding included. Mr. Wells said the agreement was for £3 3s. A rod, including scaffolding, and the plaintiff had already been overpaid to the extent of €40. Hill was a poor man,however, and Mr. Anstee knew it was no good to sue him for its recovery, but Hill now had the impudence to sue him for £27 more for scaffolding. Hill employed whoever he liked to do the work. Verdict for the plaintiff for £10 with costs on that amount, his Honour thinking that was quite as much as the scaffolding was worth.

In the 1881 Census they were still living at Hammers Tavern, Hendon – he was still also a builder. By the 1891 Census he was described as a victualler at the same address.

He died in 1894 in Hendon, his probate in July 1894 reads “Anstee John of the Three Hammers, Mill Hill, Hendon, Middlesex licensed victualler died 27 May 1894 probate to Georgina Matilda Anstee widow“.

The ‘Hendon & Finchley Times‘ on 1 June 1894 wrote “FUNERAL OF MR JOHN ANSTEE: By the death of Mr John Anstee of the Three Hammers which sad event took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, Mill Hill has lost one of its best known figures and one who was regarded with esteem by a large circle of friends. As is well known, Mr Anstee has been in failing health for some time while past, and although he had rallied upon two or three occasions, he was still very weak and the end was not altogether unexpected. Mr Anstee was a Mill-Hillian ‘born and bred’. He was born some 59 years ago upon Lincoln Farm, now in the occupation of Mr Anderson, and with the exception of the time passed in London during the serving of his apprenticeship to the building trade, his residence has been Mill Hill. For some time he followed the trade of a master builder, but upon the death of his father who had also been in the building line, he took up the position as landlord of the ‘Three Hammers’. In this latter capacity he has become very well known. His geniality and good humour ably fitted him for the post of host of a little country hostelry and his happy way of answering friends in rhyme has earned him the soubriquet of ‘The Mill Hill Poet’…

On his death the license to the Three Hammers Public House in Hendon was taken over by his widow Georgina, however she died later the same year. Her probate in October 1894 reads “Anstee Georgina Matilda of the Three Hammers, Mill Hill, Hendon, Middlesex widow died 14 August 1894 probate to Mary Elizabeth Day widow“. The ‘Hendon & Finchley Times‘ on 24 August 1894 wrote “The funeral of Mrs Anstee, the wife of the late Mr John Anstee of the ‘Three Hammers’ Mill Hill took place at the Mill Hill Churchyard on Friday last week. The deceased conducted the licensed victuallers business since the death of her husband but survived him only a few months. The deceased suffered from dropsy and had been confined to bed for many days. She was held in great respect by the inhabitants of Mill Hill…

In October 1894 “the transfer the licence of the Three Hammers lnn, Mill-Hill, from the executors of the late Mrs. Anstee to Mr. James, King was granted” and the pub was finally out of Anstee hands after around 45 years.

Anybody who can add anything to this account, or finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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