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St George the Martyr

St George the Martyr.jpg

St George the Martyr, in Borough High Street, is where 11 of the 14 marriages in the original Mitchenall family took place; George and Ann both married there twice. This page explores why?

Family marriages at St George the Martyr

1821 :Parents William Mitchenall and Mary Winter married on 2nd July 1821

1851 Ann Mitchenall married William Henry Austen on 6th October 1851

1852 Amos Mitchenall married Laura Martin on 27th April 1852

         George Mitchenall married Elizabeth Penfold 21st November 1852

1854 Kezia Mitchenall married Henry Jeffrey on 24th December 1854

1856 Joshua Mitchenall married Elizabeth Tidy on 23rd March 1856

1861 George Mitchenall married Mary Kidman on 7th July 1861 

1864 William Mitchenall married Ann Potter on 28th February 1864

1867 Rebecca Mitchenall married Robert Kempsall on 12th July 1867

         Simon /Samuel Mitchenall married Mary Kirby on 25th December 1867


1890 Ann Mitchenall (then Folwell) married Thomas Lawson on 11th November 1890

Family marriages not at St Georges

1852 John Mitchenall married Ann Bashford at St James, Clerkenwell, on 18th October 1852

1858 James Mitchenall married Catherine Harris at St Andrew, Islington on 13th November 1858

1883 Ann Mitchenall (Austin) married Herbert Folwell in Lewes during the third quarter.

Between 1821 and 1890 most family weddings were at St George the Martyr. In no case is there any evidence of living near to St George the Martyr other than for a short period either side of the weddings. The address 10 White Street appears as a residence on several occasions. Why?

The Church of St George the Martyr lies in Borough High Street, London SE1 and dates from the 12th Century. In the History of the Church, the antiquity of the church is explored but the reasons behind the churches apparent disproportionate popularity are not. The current building dates from 1735 and by 1806 it is stated that when “S. P. Cockerell made his survey of the church it was stated that the vaults under the church and churchyard were nearly full and quite disproportionate to a parish of 22,000 where the yearly death rate exceeded 1,100”. For some unstated reason, too many people were getting buried there – the yard was closed in 1832. It was the same with Mitchenall marriages.

So why did the Mitchenalls get married there? The record is quite conclusive; they all seemed to take up temporary residence to allow them to marry in St George’s but I have no evidence that any of them actually lived near the church at any other time.

Although not yet conclusively proved, it would appear Williams wife Mary Winter was christened at St George the Martyr - but have I no other historical evidence that the Mitchenall ancestors also used St George the Martyr.


William Mitchenalls(1793 – 1865) father John Mitchenall (1759-1820)married in Edenbridge, but where his father William(1691-1769) married I’m not sure. None of the siblings of either married in St George the Martyr, although some of Williams (1793-1865) Aunts and Uncles married in London. For example, Ann (1761) married in St Martins in the Field and Rebecca (1765) married in St Andrews Holborn.

Williams brother John (1783 -1869)lived in Horseleydown after his second marriage, to Susanna Green, the marriage being in Reigate in  April 1821. John's remarriage after the death of his first wife was just little more than 2 months before his brother's, and we know that when John and Susanna's first daughter Elizabeth was born in September 1822 he was living in Horseleydown. However, John attended nearby Horselydown St John, opposite the Tower of London. St John was later merged with St Olave's and later still sold to the London City Mission, which today occupies the site.  The two churches are under a mile apart, but I have found no connection between John and St George the Martyr.

 A further link between the two brothers is that both worked in the leather trade, and between St John Horseleydown and St George the Martyr  lie some significant buildings to the leather industry. The Leather Market was the centre of the industry, and John Mitchenall lived and worked in the leather trade in this area. Brother William was also a shoemaker, but his business was in Edenbridge - but is there a direct connection between St George and the leather industry?

There is certainly a link between St George the Martyr and St Peter and St Paul, the parish church in Edenbridge, for it has the clock from St George the Martyr. However. - that doesn't explain why William Mitchenall and his children virtually all returned to St George to marry.

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