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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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A Fishy Tale

A letter was sent to me by Anni Berman who is carrying a one name study on the name Boustred and the following is taken from her great grandfather Henry Boustreds autobiography written in 1927. Henry was born in September 1853 and despite growing up in humble circumstances managed to become a solicitor.



“On Monday 18th March 1867 at the age of 13½ years I first entered a lawyer’s office. I walked from my then home 13 or 14 Victoria Cottages, Archway Road to my new berth No.4 South Square, Gray’s Inn. The office hours were 9am to 6pm and no meal hour. Everyone was supposed to take his lunch with him. The firm was Ranken Ford and Longbourne, the members being Mr William Ford (who lived in Hillfield Lane, Highgate Rise, near Baroness Burdett Coutts home), Mr John Vickerman Longbourne and Mr Charles Longbourne.


I had to walk to and from the office; consequently I left home about 7.30 and with luck reached home about 7.30 – a nice twelve hours.


My job was to run errands to other solicitors offices and to show clients (who called at the office) to my Principals. I had to learn this of course, as I was but a raw youth. One of my jobs was to take work to the Law Stationers for copying; their place was up a Court off Chancery Lane. I remember that once (only once mind) I was so long away from the office that a Clerk came after me and I must confess to having a game of marbles up the Court with other office boys. I should like to describe the clerks I was associated with in that office. It was on the ground floor, called the General Office. There were five Clerks and a messenger, the latter was an old sailor his name was Muckleston. He was I suppose, about fifty years of age. He was bandy and used to eat dried skate which he had sent up from Yarmouth, he having cultivated the habit of eating it when abroad ship I suppose. At any rate, it used to hum a good deal and made folk wonder whether they were in a fish shop, but he enjoyed it and that’s everything.”


The places named in this article can all be found in London (excluding Yarmouth which is in Norfolk). The Muckleston mentioned may well be Thomas Muckleston born 23 May 1826 in Holborn London on 11th June 1845 a seaman’s ticket was issued for this Thomas, hence the connection with the sea. After a short spell as a dock labourer he became a solicitor’s clerk and this was his occupation in 1850. By 1887 his occupation was given as retired messenger. Hence the facts tend to lead us to believe that the Muckleston mentioned is in fact this Muckleston an interesting description!  He would have been 41 years old when this diary entry was written. He could not have smelt that bad as he had 12 children by two women!