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The Riley and Maurice families of London

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Sunday 15 May 2011 2.45am
I am in New Zealand and am seeking contact with anyone who is descended from Mortimer Maurice and Lavinia Riley who married in Bristol in 1855. Lavinia was of the Riley family of Bermondsey who were rope-makers to the Royal Navy. She was a daughter of James and Sarah Ann Riley who lived at "Oversland" in Dockhead Place, Bermondsey and the parents of James lived at Abbey House, 167 Bermondsey Street.
Any of these descendents may be able to help me with the history of Mortimer's mother Catherine Cromwell.
I look forward to any help I can get!
Sunday 15 May 2011 6.04pm
Can't help I'm afraid Robin,. oddly enough there is a Riley Road, just off Abbey street just across the road from Bermondsey Street, may possibly be names after such a prestigous family?
Monday 16 May 2011 4.35pm
Hi There is a local history society for Bermondsey and Rotherhite.
Also contact Southwark Local History Library, 211 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JA which is an excellent source of historical information about the area. Their email is
Good luck
Monday 16 May 2011 4.37pm
Hi There is a local history society for Bermondsey and Rotherhite.
Also contact Southwark Local History Library, 211 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JA which is an excellent source of historical information about the area. Their email is [email protected]
Good luck
Thursday 19 May 2011 12.17am
Thank you for your replies - I have emailed the library and await a reply with much hope.
It can be quite hard from this distance to track down history and this Cromwell one has been the hardest.
Many thanks -
Robin Bishop,
New Zealand
Thursday 19 May 2011 12.25am
Just a note to add to my last one a moment ago - the Riley Road is named after that James Riley. They were certainly a notable family. James went into business with the Brook brothers of Huddersfield who had an interest in cotton spinning - the business was known as Riley Brooks and Riley - it was absorbed by Coats Vyella and it then went international so every time I see a cotton reel made by Coats I think of the Riley's.
Lavinia Riley is the ancestor I am chasing and her mother Sarah Ann (nee Rich) married Thomas Brook after her father died, so I guess the money stayed in the family. What with ropes for the navy and cotton for the world they did very well!
Robin Bishop
Saturday 18 June 2011 11.22am
Hello Robin

I'm a local historian in Huddersfield working on the roles played by some of the town's leading families of the 19th century. I'm currently looking at Joseph Brook (1786/7-1858) and Jeremiah Riley (1803/4-1865). Riley's estate in 1865 included substantial property in Bermondsey; and Riley's wife was Martha Brook, Joseph's daughter. I've therefore been intrigued to come across your post on the Riley-Brook partnership. Do you know more about this? I would like to be able to place the Riley and Brook I've mentioned above in relation to those you mention, and to learn more about the business history. Equally I may have information that would be of interest to you. I'll hope to hear from you (and of course anybody else who can help.

Best regards,
David Griffiths.
Sunday 26 June 2011 2.20am
Nice to hear from you - I am in New Zealand and have just returned from a holiday in Cairns, Australia, the ash cloud from the Chile volcano travelled over here and nearly put paid to me flying back.
The line of my Riley's are Jeremiah, born 1723, married Mary Harford, they lived at "Snowfields" Bermondsey which suggests they were moneyed, he later married Christian Healey.
Jeremiah and Mary had a son James born in 1764 who married Christian King (she was a widow of Robert King)- they lived at "Abbey House" 167 Bermondsey Street.
My information gives that James went into partnership with the Brook Brothers of Huddersfield who also had an interest in banking and cotton spinning - the business was known as Riley, Brooks, and Riley - the business was later absorbed by by Coats Vyella and went international.
To add to this, James and Christian had a son James born in 1795 in Bermondsey, he married Sarah Ann Rich, they lived at "Oversland" in Dockhead Place, Bermondsey. James was a wool-stapler and was killed in a hunting accident in France and was buried in Montmarte, Paris. Sarah then married James' business partner, Thomas Brook in 1830 in Bushey, Herefordshire, they lived in Ross-on-Wye. She died in 1860.
I have primarily been chasing this family again to find more history of the daughter of James Riley and Sarah Ann Rich - Lavinia Riley - who married Mortimer Maurice and it is the line of his mother Catherine Cromwell I need more information about.
However to find out more about the Riley's while doing so is a huge bonus and to also be able to help someone else while doing so is wonderful. I hope there is somnething here of interest and look forward to hearing from you again,
Robin Bishop
New Zealand
Sunday 26 June 2011 2.25am
Oh dear,
I accidentally clicked on "delete this subject" and do not want to delete it at all, hope I have not fouled up my chances of receiving any more replies on the Riley and Maurice families of London as I am totally fascinated by them and by this site.
Robin Bishop
New Zealand
Tuesday 28 June 2011 7.38pm
Robin, just to reassure you that I have seen your post and will respond, but I'm away for a few days so not quite 'on the ball'.

Best wishes,
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