Go north young woman: from Bodmin to Manchester

Bodmin is the first place in our list of parishes to have a substantial number of craftsmen or shopkeepers. We might expect their offspring to move further than did farm labourers or farmers. On the other hand, people from market towns would have been less likely to go overseas than those from the mining communities. Instead, their preferred option may have been to head for the towns and cities of England.

Bree Shute Court now: a collection of uninspiring modern buildings

Mary Hender was born into a large family who lived in Bree Shute Court in Bodmin in 1851. Her father Richard was a master blacksmith and three of her elder brothers had followed their father into that trade. Mary became a dressmaker and in the 1871 census was staying with her cousin, who was an innkeeper and coachsmith in St Nicholas Street in the town.

In 1875 she married Richard Goins, from nearby Warleggan. Richard was a commercial traveller in the drapery business and by 1878 had taken Mary with him to live in Manchester’s crowded Ardwick district. The couple, along with their two children, were still there in the same street – Exeter Street – in 1891.

The Exeter Street neighborhood in 1888-89
Part of the site of these streets is now a business park. The tower of the hospital (built in 1879 and marked on the map above) is visible in the distance. It’s now part of a college campus.