1837-1856

1837 – 1901 Queen Victoria

1838 The new Brentford Union Workhouse was built in Twickenham Road, Isleworth to serve the surrounding parishes. It cost £7,500 and housed 400 paupers and the staff. The poor were separated into poor/infirm, able bodied persons and children. Men and women were kept separate at all times. The amenities included a schoolroom and a chapel.

1839 The fourth James Clitherow retired from his public offices due to ill health. He had won general esteem and respect of all for his attention to the welfare of local institutions and support of charities. He was presented with an address by inhabitants of the town and a new flag was flown on the church tower.

As a testimonial magistrates, clergy and more well to do inhabitants presented him with a silver epergne. This held a cut crystal basin and was to show ‘the high sense they entertained of the ability, zeal and devotedness which he manifested in discharge of magisterial duties and readiness to promote the welfare of the neighbourhood’

1840 The first postage stamp, the Penny Black was issued in Britain.

1840 There were special events for Queen Victoria’s wedding day. Two evergreen triumphal arches were erected. The one outside the Castle Inn had two large stars and V and A and Welcome on it. The one outside St Lawrence’s Church had a large crown and said United and Happy. They were illuminated at night.

The children of New Brentford gathered in the schoolroom in the Ham and were presented with a white bow to wear and a copy of the National Anthem with two extra verses written by the Vicar. The second verse went:

Henceforth may faction cease, Love joy and wealth increase,
Guardian Supreme! May rich and poor rejoice,
Welcome with heart and voice, Albert! Victoria’s choice!
God Save the Queen.

Dinner was sent into the school for the children from the Three Pigeons. They had roast beef and plump(sic} pudding.

Seats were set out in front of the churchyard for the children and Victoria and Albert stopped on their journey to Windsor and the ‘welcome huzzas were graciously acknowledged by the Royal Party’ Faulkener reports that the road was thronged with people and ‘very many respectable persons were to be seen on the pavement or in carriages.’ The Three Pigeons and the Castle Inn were illuminated at night and several houses had flags and lovers knots in the windows.

1841 The fourth, and last, James Clitherow of Boston House died. He was highly regarded in the town and all shops and businesses closed during his funeral.

There was a flood down the canal and the Brent when a sluice gate controlling the water flow burst at the Brent Reservoir (Welsh Harp). Barges, boats and lighters were torn from their moorings and driven through Brentford bridge. Queen Victoria was the biggest contributor to the relief fund.

1844 The Factory Act restricted the working hours of children.

1845 By this date it is said that there were only 20 families supported by fishing. The number bad fallen from 100 during the previous 50 years. The blame was put on increasing sewage in the river, the gas works and disturbance by steam boats.

1846 The Corn Laws were repealed so that the duty was reduced and bread produced more cheaply.

1847 Lionel Rothschild of Gunnersbury stood as a Liberal candidate for Parliament for the City of London constituency. He was elected but as a Jew refused to take the Christian oath and was not able to take his seat.

1849 Brentford Central Station opened on the London and South Western’s Hounslow Loop Line. The coach traffic on the High Street was immediately reduced.

1850 The 17th century Market House was demolished and a speculative building was erected to be a Town Hall. It stood empty for 10 years and is now the centre section of the Magistrates Court.

1851 The Great Exhibition was held in Hyde Park.

1851 A new Methodist Church was built in St Paul’s Road. It was rebuilt in 1865.

1853 – 1856 The Crimean War when Britain, France and Turkey were at war with Russia.

1853 The town was considered to be a byword for immorality among both sexes.

1855 The Great Western Railway opened the Brentford Transhipment Dock.

Park Baptist Chapel was built in the fields north of Brentford Station. It has since been demolished and in 1998 the site is a car park on the corner of the Great West Road and Boston Road.

1856 A Roman Catholic Church and school was founded and based in the former Baptist Chapel in the Market Place.


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