Ruth Whiting 1878-1966

Parents: Edmund Whiting and Lucy Clover.(1)
Born: 1878 in Haverhill, Suffolk.(1)
Baptised: ?
Married: John Henry Fosh, 25, batchelor, cabinet maker, of 130 Dunlace Road, son of Henry Fosh, marble mason, on 3rd June 1900 at All Saints Church, Clapton. (2,3)
Children: Lilian Ruth Fosh b.1901, John Henry Fosh b.1902, William Edmund Fosh b.1903, Albert Joseph Fosh b.1909, Rose Annie Fosh b.1910, May C Fosh b.1915, Samuel Arthur Fosh b.1917 and Annie E S Fosh b.1921
Died: 4th quarter 1966 in the Hackney district.(7)

Bio: Ruth Whiting was born in Haverhill when her parents Edmund and Lucy had returned there from London in the 1870's, and she appears on the 1881 census living in Burton End. Later in the 1880's the family returned to London, and Ruth is seen on the 1891 census living with her father and siblings at 53 Austin Street, Bethnal Green.

At some point during the next decade we see Ruth at 35 Holmbrook Street, Homerton. We know she was here because she features on her mother's Hackney Union records as next of kin. This would have been around 1897.

In 1900 Ruth married John Fosh, a cabinet maker, and at the time they were living at 130 Dunlace Road in Clapton. Shortly afterwards on the 1901 census we see them as boarders at 13 Digby Road, Hackney, living in the household of Henry Farrington, a cattle drover, and his son Charles. They have a housekeeper, Ann Whately. Soon after this census Ruth gave birth to their first child, Lilian, on 12 June 1901.(4)

Next year, they had a son, John Henry, on 31st July 1902.(5) They had moved to 43 Clifden Road (which ran parallel to Dunlace Road) at this point.

Unfortunately, the family must have fallen on hard times, for in 1903 the birth of their third child William Edmund on 4th August 1903 is recorded at Hackney Union Workhouse.(6) John's occupation is still given as cabinet maker.

The Creed Register for Hackney Union Workhouse shows that Ruth was admitted along with her two children on 21st April 1903 and discharged to the infirmary on the day her child was born. (10) All children were subsequently readmitted for a period of time later that year.

Their second-born, John Henry, was entered in the register en-route to a children's home in August 1905. At this time his mother Ruth is recorded as living at 37 Gifford Street, Kingsland Road.(11)

In the intervening years up to the 1911 census fortunes must have improved somewhat, for by this time the Foshs are living at 15 Lockner Road in South West Hackney. John is now a carman and packer for a furniture firm, and there have been two new additions to the family, Albert and Rose. There was a gap of some six years between their third and fourth children which is perhaps an indication of the hard times they were experiencing during this period.

It seems from the GRO registers that Ruth and John had three more children in the period from 1915 to 1921.

The Electoral Registers(8) find Ruth and John living at 11b Elizabeth Buildings, West Hackney in 1918. Next year they moved to 12 Frederick Place, Hackney, and remained there until 1927, when we find their sons William and John Henry are living there too. Various combinations of the Fosh's stayed at 12 Frederick Place until 1938 when they moved to 8 Livermere Road, Shoreditch. The Following year Ruth, John, Samuel and Rose are at 54 Brownlow Road, Shoreditch.

It seems likely that John is the Henry J F Fosh who died in Shoreditch in 1943(9), because after the war Ruth is living on her own with her daughter Rose at 22 Pownall Road, Shoreditch. She stayed there until 1959, where we see her living with son Albert Joseph. In 1960 Ruth moved to 72 Geffrye Court, Shoreditch.

There is a Ruth Fosh of the correct (and very healthy) age of 88 who died in the Hackney district in 1966 who I feel must surely be this Ruth.


(1) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1878, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 507
(2) London Metropolitan Archives, All Saints, Clapton Park, Register of marriages, P79/ALL, Item 008
(3) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1900, Hackney District, Volume 1b Page 760
(4) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Barnabas, Homerton, Register of baptisms, P79/BAN1, Item 009
(5) London Metropolitan Archives, All Saints, Clapton Park, Register of baptisms, P79/ALL, Item 003
(6) London Metropolitan Archives, Saint John At Hackney, Hackney, Register of baptisms, P79/JN1, Item 043
(7) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1966, Hackney District, Volume 5b Page 547.
(8), London Electoral Registers, 1835-1965
(9) Death Register. 1st Quarter 1943, Shoreditch District, Volume 1c Page 38
(10) Religious Creed Register, Hackney Union Workhouse, HABG/209/010, 1903-04
(11) Religious Creed Register, Hackney Union Workhouse, HABG/209/011, 1904-05