Nunn families in Abney Park Cemetery

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Burials at the non-denominational Abney Park in Stoke Newington, Hackney, began in 1840, and the free, online, Abney Park Cemetery Index 2005, groups people interred there by grave. This helps to identify families who were buried there. The year of birth in these records is estimated from their age at death. The grave number is six digits long and the location is a letter followed by two digits. Use the Index to find the spot on the plan of the cemetery.

I aim to check the burials of everyone called Nunn at Abney Park, in their respective groups. Where families were buried in more than one plot, I will try to group them together in the list below. I will also include people with the surname Nunn, buried in non-family plots known as public graves.

Family graves

E05, 002781: Elizabeth Nunn, 1801-1847, and family

This grave is the resting place of my ancestor, Elizabeth Nunn, and some of her family:

  • Elizabeth Nunn, 1801-1847
  • Sarah Nunn, 1819-1849
  • Charlotte Minchin, 1827-1862
  • Arthur Hewitt, 1857-1862
  • James Hewitt, 1821-1884
  • Elizabeth Hewitt, 1821-1889, of 25 Gladesmore Road, Stamford Hill

Elizabeth was the widow of David Nunn, who had died in 1841 and was buried at St Botolph’s Aldersgate, near St Paul’s Cathedral. After Elizabeth’s death from bronchitis in 1847, her eldest daughter Sarah was the next person to be buried in the plot. She died of cholera during the pandemic. Charlotte Minchin was Elizabeth and David’s third daughter, who had married John Minchin in 1847. Elizabeth, the couple’s second child, married James Hewitt (also buried in the grave) in 1848. Arthur was their fourth child.

C05, 004188: William Nunn, 1776-1849 and George Maurice Fox, 1841-1875

This grave contains only two internments: William Nunn, and George Maurice Fox. William may have been a brother or cousin of David Nunn. The relationship between the two men in this grave is quite distant and they may well never have met in life: George married William’s granddaughter, Rebecca Long (Rebecca’s mother was Elizabeth Martin Nunn, who had married her first cousin John Long from Manningtree). George had been born in Bradfield, Essex.

William Nunn married Sarah King in Stutton, Suffolk, in 1802. Several children were born in Ipswich, before the couple moved to London. All their children were baptised at Wesleyan chapels. It is slightly odd that William was buried with his granddaughter’s husband as when his wife died, she was buried in a different plot.

George’s widow, Rebecca, married Alfred Hayward in 1888. Alfred’s mother was Rebecca Nunn, one of William’s daughters. Some of the Haywards were also buried at Abney Park, in a family plot.

D06, 012901: Sarah Nunn, died 1855

No estimated year of birth is given for Sarah, only her year of death, but it seems that the only person this can be is the widow of William Nunn, mentioned above, buried in plot 004188. She was buried on 25 Feb 1855, and the two other internments in this plot happened the same month: Fanny? Rowe, aged 4, and May Ann Leach, aged 1.

Fanny Rowe’s death is registered in the East London reg. district, aged 4. The death of Mary Ann Leach (not May) was registered in the Strand reg. district, aged 1.

I haven’t been able to find out anything else about these two little girls, but I have a feeling that they’re not Sarah’s relatives and that this was a public plot. Why Sarah wasn’t buried with her husband when he seems to have been buried in a family plot, I don’t know.

C06, 038004: Robert Nunn 1792-1866, Mary Elizabeth 1794-1869, Robert Paget 1823-1882

Grave C06 is the resting place of three people: Robert and Mary Elizabeth Nunn and one of their sons, Robert Paget Nunn.

Robert Paget, the son of Robert and Mary Elizabeth Nunn of Grub St, a builder, was baptised at St Giles Cripplegate on 14 May 1823. On the 1851 census, we find Robert and Mary Elizabeth at 2 Hertford Road, Hackney:

  • Robert Nunn, 60, builder, b Eye, Suffolk
  • Mary Elizabeth, 56, fundholder, b Whitechapel
  • Frances, 20, daughter, bonnet maker, b Cripplegate
  • Edward, 23, son, carpenter, b Cripplegate
  • George Richard, 19, son, printer-reader, b Hackney
  • Mary Elizabeth, 17, daughter, b Hackney
  • Charles, 11, son, b Hackney

Robert and his wife were probably married in Kent in 1817, as there is a marriage for Robert Nunn and Mary Paget. There is no marriage that I can find for specifically a “Mary Elizabeth” to a Robert Nunn.

E07, 001478: Richard Nunn 1783-1852, and family

This grave is the resting place of Richard Nunn and six other members of his family:

  • Rebecca Nunn, 1842-1845 (“Rebeca” in the index)
  • Sarah Ann Nunn, 1836-1845
  • Clara Susannah Nunn, 1849-1850
  • Richard Nunn, 1783-1852
  • Thomas Nunn, 1850-1852
  • Rebecca Hicknell Nunn, 1854-1862
  • George William Nunn, 1845-1863

This appears to be a family grave which began with the burial of two little girls, Rebecca and Sarah Ann, who both died in October 1845, their siblings, and their grandfather Richard.

Rebecca Hocknell was baptised at St John, Hoxton, on 27 Sep 1854, the daughter of Richard and Mary Ann Nunn of Goswell Road, a jeweller. On the 1861 census, we find Richard (evidently Richard junior) and Mary Ann at 3 Goswell Road, Clerkenwell:

  • Richard Nunn, 49, jeweller, b St Lukes, Middlesex
  • Mary Ann, 42, wife, b Aldersgate Street, London
  • Mary Ann, 20, daughter, b St Lukes, Middlesex
  • Clara, 10, daughter, b Clerkenwell
  • Rebecca, 7, daughter, b Clerkenwell
  • Louisa, 5, daughter, b Clerkenwell

The same family are at 1 Goswell Road in 1851, with children: Richard 12, Mary 10, George 6, Sarah A 4, Thomas 10 months. George and Thomas were buried at Abney Park.

Richard junior, a bachelor, married Mary Ann Pickering, spinster, at St John, Hoxton, on 20 Sep 1834. The witnesses were Richard Nunn (presumably Richard senior) and Harriet Copley. Clara Susannah, born 1848, has Pickering as her mother’s maiden name, so is another child of the couple buried at Abney Park; the same is true of Rebecca Nunn, born 1842.

A possibility is that Richard jnr was baptised at St Andrew’s, Holborn, in 1812, as Richard James Reece, the son of Richard Skulthorp Nunn and his wife Rebecca (née Cooper), who married at the same church in 1811. Holborn and St Luke’s aren’t too far apart. Richard was baptised at St Mary’s, Tuddenham, Suffolk (in the north-west of the county, close to the Norfolk border), in 1782, the son of Abraham and Elizabeth Nunn. No middle name is given with his baptism, but his brother Thomas Sculthorp, baptised in the same parish in 1780, did have the Sculthorp middle name. Abraham Nunn, innholder, married Elizabeth Skulthorp at Tuddenham in 1778.

This would mean that Richard buried in Abney Park is on the 1851 census living on Gibson Street in Lambeth as a lodger, aged 68, a widower, a skin dealer, b Tuddenham, Suffolk. He was a lodger living on the same street in 1841 too.

M07, 082452: Richard James Reece Nunn, 1812-1888, and family

In this plot are:

  • Richard James Reece Nunn, 1812-1888, of 12 Highbury Grove, N
  • Mary Ann Nunn, 1816-1900, of same
  • Thomas Griffiths, 1843-1913, of 56 Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, N
  • Clara Griffiths, 1853-1927, of 6 Wilberforce Road, N16

Richard James Reece Nunn was the son of Richard Skulthorp Nunn and Rebecca Cooper, in the entry above. He married Mary Ann Pickering, who is also in this grave. Clara Griffiths is their second daughter by that name (Clara Susannah having died in infancy, and was buried with her grandfather). She married Thomas Griffiths, another resident, in 1878.

G05, 038235: Susannah Nunn 1775-1866 and family

This grave is the resting place of:

  • Susannah Nunn, 1775-1866
  • Maria Simmonds, 1806-1867
  • Mary Nunn, 1801-1873
  • Henry Richard Simmonds, 1814-1887 of 47 Trinity Street, Borough, SE
  • Lucy Kite, 1822-1900 of 56 Coburg Road, Wood Green

This family originally came from Bradfield in Essex. Robert Nunn, a bachelor, married Susannah Blomfield in Dedham, Essex, in 1799. They had six children in Bradfield: Susannah, Robert, Mary, Maria, Elizabeth and Charlotte.

On the 1861 census, we find the following family on Navarina Terrace South in Hackney:

  • Henry Simmonds, 48, gent., b Shoreditch
  • Maria Simmonds, 53, wife, b Bradfield, Essex
  • Susannah Nunn, 87, widow, mother-in-law, b Aldham, Essex

It seems that when Susannah died, the family bought a plot at Abney Park, then her daughter Maria was buried there, and eventually her widower, Henry Simmonds. Mary Nunn, Susannah’s unmarried daughter, was also buried there.

Lucy Kite was born in Shoreditch. On the 1851 census, she’s living with her husband James Francis Kite. Lucy’s maiden name was Simmonds, so she is likely to be Henry’s sister.

I09, 072895: Elizabeth Mary Nunn, 1817-1883, and family

The members of this family died within a few years of each other and were all sisters:

  • Elizabeth Mary Nunn, 1817-1883
  • Mary Nunn, 1813-1886
  • Emma Nunn, 1820-1886
  • Susannah Nunn, 1817-1892, of East Heath, Hampstead
  • Martha Nunn, 1811-1892, of 12 Maitland Park Road, St Pancras

On the 1891 census, Martha is at 12 Maitland Park Road, a single woman, living on her means, with her birthplace in Bow, Middlesex. On the 1851 census, we find three of the sisters living together at 20 Bromley Street, Stepney:

  • Martha Nunn, 40 school mistress, b Bow
  • Elizabeth, 34, sister, dressmaker, b Bow
  • Isabella, 32, sister, dressmaker, b Bow
  • Emma, 30, sister, dressmaker, b Bow

Going back another decade, Martha, Isabella and Emma were living on Waterloo Terrace in Stepney.

The sisters’ births were registered at Dr Williams’ Library, where non-conformists could register the births of their children. They were the daughters of John Nunn of Bow, and his wife Martha, the daughter of Francis and Catherine Pelling. The sisters’ parents married at St Mary, Bromley St Leonard in Tower Hamlets in 1809. The capital letter “P” of her surname, as written by the vicar, looks a bit like a “K”, but her signature is clearly “Pelling”. Note that Elizabeth’s middle name was registered as “Andrews” rather than “Mary”. Her death was registered as “Elizabeth Nunn” only.

As well as the five sisters in the grave, plus Isabella, John and Martha had: Maria Tyler Nunn 1813, Joshua 1814, and John in 1824.

C03, 024246: Matilda Nunn, 1787-1859

Matilda was buried alone. She was born Matilda Stevens in Botesdale, Suffolk, and married Charles Nunn, a wheelwright in the same village in 1817. They had two children there: Alexander 1817, and Matilda Emma 1821. By 1841, the family had moved to London and were living in Shoreditch on Gifford Street, with Charles and Matilda, their daughter Matilda, and Mary Stevens, 45 “inmate.” This appears to be Charles’ “sister” (presumably sister-in-law, Matilda’s brother’s wife) who appears on the 1851 census with them. Mary 56 b Botesdale and her daughter Julia Stevens 12 b same. On the same night, they had another visitor, George W Wells, 42, auctioneer and surveyor, b Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Their son Alexander married Marie Ann Errington in Greenwich in 1845 and the couple lived in Shoreditch where he worked as an artificial flower maker and later a warehouseman. Their daughter Matilda Emma married Edward Harris in 1852. Charles died in 1853, aged 70, and was buried at St John’s, Hoxton (abt 1783-1853).

J05, 073236: Thomas Scotcher Nunn, 1816-1890 and family

This grave is the resting place of:

  • (Thomas S) Nunn, buried 27 Apr 1883
  • Thomas Scotcher Nunn, 1816-1890 of Sheerness, Kent
  • Hannah Nunn, 1816-1893, of 9 Alma Road, Marine Town, Sheerness

Thomas Scotcher Nunn was born on 17 March 1816 in Linton, Cambridgeshire, but wasn’t baptised until 11 June 1837, at St Pancras church in London. He was the son of William and Mary Nunn. The register gives occupation and abode as a tailor of 3 Suffolk Street, but it’s difficult with adult baptisms to know if this refers to the person being baptised or their father. In 1846, married Hannah Howell in the Linton RD of Cambridgeshire. He was in the Royal Navy.

Thomas travelled the world. On 11th December 1867, he was promoted to “Chief Engineer in Her Majesty’s Fleet, for his gallant and humane conduct in April 1864, during the war in New Zealand.”

In 1875, Thomas gave evidence at the trial of Alfred Dent, accused of forging coins. In his evidence, he says “I live at 11, Leigh Street, Red Lion square, and my niece lives nest door.” Leigh Street is slightly to the east of Red Lion Square in Bloomsbury, London. On the 1871 census, Hannah was at no. 11, in the household of James Walby (b Abergevenny, Monmouthshire, retired coal merchant) and his wife Ann E, b St Sepulchre, Middlesex. Hannah is described as his sister-in-law, with her birth place in St George the Martyr. Her niece Lydia and her husband Edward Wooltorton were at the same address. Thomas was presumably at sea. When he died in 1890, he doesn’t appear to have left a will.

Hannah Nunn is on the 1891 census at 9 Alma Road, with her place of birth given as Red Lion Square, London. Next door no. 11 was Henry J Rampling, a Portsmouth-born Chief Engineer in the Royal Navy, and his wife Annie (née Ancell). Hannah died in 1893, she left her will. Her executor was Edward Wooltorton, her niece’s husband. It doesn’t look as if Thomas and Hannah had any children.

The first burial in the grave is a connundrum, however. The only Thomas who died in June qtr 1883 was Thomas John Nunn, an infant, from north-west Suffolk. A Charlotte Nunn, aged 77, died in the Linton RD in that period though but why would she be buried in London? She was the wife of Josiah Nunn of Bartlow End, in a part of Linton that was in Essex.

Public graves

Without family buried with them, it’s more difficult to identify these people. Their death certificates would give more information, such as their husband’s name if they’d been married. Best endeavours are below.

E08, 016802: Martha Nunn, 1793-1856

Martha’s death was registered in the Islington RD in the Dec qtr of 1856. She rests in a plot with 17 other people, all of whom died in Oct 1856.

C04, 019640: Ann Nunn, 1775-1857

Ann’s death was registered in the Shoreditch RD in the Dec qtr of 1857. She was buried in a grave with 20 others, who died in Dec 1857 and January 1858.

On the 1851 census, she appears to be the Ann Nunn was living at no. 16 Orchard Cottages in Hackney, with her husband Thomas Nunn, aged 74. He was a carpenter, born in Great “Weltham” (Whelnetham), Suffolk, and she was a shopkeeper. Her place of birth is given as “High Shotsum”, Suffolk, but this appears to be a literal rendering of Shottisham near Woodbridge.

E08, 059966: Harriott Susannah Nunn, 1799-1876

Harriott Susannah was of 3 Ashwin Street, Dalston Lane. She is buried with 18 other people who all died in October and November 1876.

In 1871, she was living at 4 Richard Villas in Dalston. She was a widow aged 71,working as a monthly nurse, and had been born in Romford, Essex. Living with her was her daughter Matilda, 43, a dressmaker, and her husband Joseph Wiseman, 46, a shopman. They had both been born in London.

Harriot Susannah, daughter of John and Hannah Lord, was baptised in Romford in 1799. A Harriet Susannah Lord married George Nunn on 20 Oct 1819 at St Anne, Blackfriars, in the City of London. This is presumably her.

To be continued