BETJEMAN, John 1906-1984 ...
A German migrant, George Betjemann married at the parish church of St George-in-the-East in 1797. The register entry for his first child shows him to have been a sugar baker of Pennington St, Wapping - probably working at the sugarhouse of Jacob Goodhart in the same street. After three generations of cabinet makers, John, George's gt gt grandson was born in 1906.
Just a wonderful poet. Poet Laureate from 1972 to his death
... however, he only uses the word sugar in one poem ...
At the time of evening when cars run sweetly,
Syringas blossom by Oxford gates.
In her evening velvet with a rose pinned neatly
By the distant bus-stop a don's wife waits.
From that wide bedroom with its two branched lighting
Over her looking-glass, up or down,
When sugar was short and the world was fighting
She first appeared in that velvet gown.
... from - 'Oxford : Sudden Illness at the Bus-stop'
Sources: The Betjemann Centre, Wadebridge, Devon ; Wikipedia ; 'John Betjeman's Collected Poems'
HELMCKEN, John Sebastian 1824-1920 ...
Eldest son of German sugar refiner Claus Helmcken, and born and educated in St George's in the East, London, John was first an apprentice to a druggist and chemist, then a medical student at Guy's Hospital from where he qualified as a surgeon in 1848. By 1849 he had gained a position as a surgeon and clerk with the Hudson Bay Company on the Pacific coast of Canada. Marriage and various promotions to magistate, medical officer, and chief factor, saw him eventually elected to the first legislative assembly in 1856. As Speaker he took Victoria into union with British Columbia in 1866 and confederation with Canada in 1871. He declined further public office after this.
Source: JS Helmcken Biography
IMRIE, Celia 1952-...
When the BBC commissioned a 'Who Do You Think You Are' programme regarding the actress Celia Imrie in 2012 they concentrated heavily on her maternal line, going back to William, Lord Russell, a Whig parliamentarian executed for treason in 1683, however during that programme they presented the viewers with a hand-written family tree back to around 1600. In a parallel maternal line to that of Lord Russell was the marriage of William Blois & Cecily Wingfield 1626 ... this was the son of William Blois 1562-1621 of Ipswich and Grundisburgh, Suffolk, ship owner and sugar refiner. He ran a sugarhouse in Ipswich from 1617 to his death in 1621, and a ledger of his trade, the earliest that I've found to date, is held in the Record Office in Ipswich. I've transcribed much of that ledger on the Ipswich page of this website. But WDYTYA didn't go there !
Sources: Wikipedia ; WDYTYA ; Ancestry ; Ipswich page
KORFF, John 1799-1870 ...
Born in London in 1799 to German sugar broker William Conrad Korff, John became a shipbuilder having qualified at the Royal Dockyard in Deptford. After a failed business in England, he settled in Australia with his family. He completed the building of many schooners and coasters and was much-missed after his death in 1870.
On one of his coastal trips in 1847 John Korff had to seek refuge from a storm in a small port he named Korff's Harbour ... sadly, surveyors inadvertently changed the name to Coff's Harbour in 1861.
Sources: John Korff biography ; Ancestry ; his father's will ; Korff
LEAR, Edward 1812-1888 ...
English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, Edward was the 21st of the 22 children of Jeremiah Lear 1757-1833 and his wife Ann, though by the time he was 4 years old he was cared for away from the family solely by his sister Ann. Jeremiah was a stockbroker, but as a young man had worked for the family sugar refining business in Brewhouse Lane, Wapping - premises occupied by various partnerships involving Lear, Camden, Thelluson and Handasyde. Jeremiah was the son of Henry Lear 1709-1763 and Margaret Lister. Henry was a refiner in Paul's Wharf at the time of their marriage in 1744, however by 1763 he appears to have been in Wentworth St - a sugarhouse Margaret took over after his death.
Edward is well known for his nonsense poems and limericks. I can't find a concordance of his works in order to see if he used the word sugar, but we all know (from a very early age) that he used honey ...
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
... from - 'The Owl and the Pussy-cat'
Sources: Edward Lear Soc ; Ancestry ; his grandmother's will ; Lear
MARTINEAU, Harriet 1802-1876 ...
Journalist, novelist and writer - politics, religion, sociology, economics - often from a feminine perspective. Her work on social reform included the anti-slavery cause in America, and conditions in both Ireland and India. A vast body of work.
Born in Norwich, the daughter of Thomas Martineau textile manufacturer, with numerous connections to sugar refiner ... uncles David and Peter Finch, cousins Charles, George, John, Peter, Philip Meadows, and some of their sons. Her mother was the daughter of Robert Rankin sugar refiner of Newcastle upon Tyne and Bristol.
Sources: Martineau Soc ; Ancestry ; Martineau
MIDDLETON, Catherine Elizabeth (Duchess of Cambridge) 1982- ...
Catherine is a member of the English Royal Family and married to the second in line to the throne. Her father, Michael Middleton, is descended from Francis Martineau Lupton 1848-1921 who was the great grandson of Thomas Martineau and his wife Elizabeth Rankin. This, like Harriet Martineau (see above), gives her connections to both the Martineau and Rankin sugar refining families.
Sources: Wikipedia ; Ancestry ; Martineau Soc ; Martineau
NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANK ...
Refining in Warrington was limited to the 1770s and 1780s, with Joseph Parr being the most prominent. When Parr's sugarhouse became unprofitable, he was encouraged to open a much-needed bank in the town. With Kerfoot and Lyon, Parr's Bank was founded in 1788 in Winwick Street.
Towards the end of the 19th century the bank had made many aquisitions of smaller banks, and in 1918 amalgamated with the London County and Westminster Bank to become London County Westminster and Parr's Bank. In 1923 it was renamed Westminster Bank, and the National Westminster Bank in 1968.
Sources: Warrington page ; NATWEST History
SMITH, C Aubrey 1863-1948 ...
HOPKINS, Gerard Manley 1844-1889 ...
Both gentlemen were gt grandsons of John Smith sugar refiner and capillaire maker of Brooks Wharf and later 50 Upper Thames St, London. John had arrived from Cheshire prior to 1780, and after his death in 1832 the business was taken over by his youngest son Charles Smith from whom C Aubrey Smith (English Test cricketer, stage and screen actor) was descended. Gerard Manley Hopkins (poet and Jesuit priest, commemorated at Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey) descended from John's eldest son John Simm Smith.
Sources: Smith case study ; Christopher Cobb
VANBRUGH, John 1664-1726 ...
A playwright and theatre manager, but became best known for his architecture. Sometimes in collaboration with Nicholas Hawksmoor, he developed the English baroque style, with Castle Howard, Blenheim Palace and Seaton Delaval Hall amongst his finest buildings.
Born in London in 1664, the outbreak of the plague drove his family to live in Chester. His father, Giles Vanbrugh, became a sugar refiner in White Friars, Chester, around 1667, with a close connection to Anthony Henthorne. John received two fourteenths of his father's estate on his death in 1689, the rest equally to his twelve siblings.
Sources: National Trust - Vanbrugh ; DNB ; Vanbrugh
WILBERFORCE, William 1759-1833 ...
Politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. However, the slave trade was not his only connection to sugar ... his grandfather William Wilberforce 1690-1774 was one of the original partners in Hull's huge cane sugar refinery in Lime Street. His biographers appear unaware of this !!
Young William inherited his grandfather's house (via his father), £10,000 from his grandfather, along with much of his father's estate ... by his early twenties he was a very rich young gentleman.
Sources: Hull page ; Lambeth Archives - The Thornton Papers Ref IV/104; Wilberforce wills