18th and 19th Century: Nicolas Steinberg and the Murder of a Georgian Family

Originally posted on 18th and 19th Century.

St. James’s Church in 1806

Forty-year-old John Nicolas (or Nicholas) Steinberg was an optician and also a man considered to possess “inventive genius.” This was demonstrated by the fact that he received a patent for inventing a peculiarly constructed whip. But Steinberg’s peculiar whip would not be what he would become known for, rather he became known as a murderer.

On September 9, 1834, Steinberg ordered his fifteen-year-old servant, a girl named Pearson, to “go and fetch a pint of beer and a quartern of gin.” After delivering it to him, Steinberg suggested she stay the night, but she wanted to go home to her mother’s house, so he instructed her to return at six o’clock in the morning. The following morning Pearson returned as she was told to 17 Southampton Street (now Calshot Street), Pentonville. However, after knocking on the door for some time, she received no answer and left.

Between eleven and twelve o’clock, Pearson and her mother returned. They knocked but again there was no answer. Eventually, Pearson and her mother talked to a neighbor, and the neighbor concluded Steinberg and his family had left clandestinely to avoid paying rent, as Steinberg was six months behind, and, then the neighbor sought out Lewis Cuthbert, the landlord.

Cuthbert considered Steinberg a quiet and respectable “tradesmanlike man,” but now he believed Cuthbert had absconded, and, he and the neighbor returned to Steinberg’s house to further…

via 18th and 19th Century: Nicolas Steinberg and the Murder of a Georgian Family.

The John Quincy Adams Walk

London Historians' Blog

an american president in ealing

Some years before John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848) became 6th President of the United States, he acted as its representative in London between 1815-1817. Instead of organising digs in town, he moved his family into a country house in “Little Ealing” an area in the south of the borough: a road in which I too have lived since 1987. I had no idea until a local history group published a book based on Adams’s diary entries of the period.

An American President in Ealing is an excellent work of local and social history. I was interested to discover that Adams enjoyed walking to and from his office in Craven Street near Charing Cross. Coincidentally, Benjamin Franklin had lived in the the same street over fifty years previously when he had represented the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Adams was quite specific about his walks. He claims that his best time was two hours and…

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