Annie & Nellie Lyons by Horace Warner
I am looking forward to welcoming readers to my SPITALFIELDS NIPPERS lecture in the Great Hall at the Bishopsgate Institute tonight at 7:30pm, with complimentary refreshment courtesy of Truman’s Beer. I shall be introducing the photographs and reading some biographies of the children portrayed by Horace Warner.
This event is sold out. If you have a ticket and are unable to come please call the Box Office 020 7392 9200 and let them know, so that it can be released for someone else. Due to popular demand, an additional date on Friday December 5th is now booking.
Is this Joseph or William at the window?
I am haunted by Horace Warner’s tender and intense portrait of Annie Lyons with her arm round her vulnerable little sister Nellie, unaware of the mysterious face at the window. Once we researched these children’s lives, we uncovered an interview with their mother, which gives an explicit account of the family circumstances that lie behind this photograph.
Annie and Nellie Lyons, born 1895 and 1901 respectively, were the sixth and ninth of ten children of Annie Daniels. Only half of Annie’s children survived to adulthood. Their mother’s words are recorded in the Bethnal Green Poor Law document of 1901.
“My name is Annie Daniels, I am thirty-five years old. My occupation is a street seller. I was born in Thrawl St to Samuel Daniels and Bridget Corfield. Around fifteen or sixteen years ago, I met William Lyons who is thirty-eight years old, at this time he was living at 4 Winfield St. He is a street hawker. The last known address for William is Margaret’s Place. I have had eight children: Margaret born 1888 in Beauvoir Sq. William born 1889 in Tyssen Place. Joseph born 1891 in Whiston St. William born in Tyssen Place died. James died in Haggerston Infirmary. Annie born in 1895 at Hoxton Infirmary. Lily born April, one year and four months ago at Baker’s Row. Ellen born April, one month ago at Baker’s Row. About ten or eleven years ago, I had a son called John. He was sent away around seven years ago to the Hackney Union House. My eldest daughter Margaret is living with my sister Sarah and her husband Cornelius Haggerty. My son Joseph is living with my other sister Caroline and her husband Charles Johnson. I have moved from various addresses over the last ten years and have been lodging with my sister Mary for three years in Dorset St previous to Lily’s birth.”
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