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Home: Surnames: Gillow Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: London Gillows and Keenes
Posted by: henry sire (ID *****6435) Date: March 09, 2003 at 05:18:34
In Reply to: Re: English Gillow to the US and Furniture by Charles Gillow of 91

This is to give and request information about the London Gillows in the late 18th / early 19th century.

The London Gillows at this time were closely connected with my ancestors the Keenes, of whom I insert the following piece of genealogy for the people referred to below:

William Keene
' '
William Keene John Keene
c.1773-1815 c.1775-1842
' ' ' '
William John Frederick James m. Sarah Agnes

The Keenes were Catholics at least as far back as the marriage of the eldest William Keene in 1772 at the Spanish Embassy chapel to Mary Colclough, whose name suggests she came from Lancashire.

The second William Keene (d.1815) was the godfather of Rose Gillow (1813-93), daughter of George and Judith Gillow of Hammersmith, and George Gillow was a trustee of William Keene's estate on his death.

George Gillow's sister Alice married the engraver Niccolo Schiavonetti, and their daughter Sarah Agnes (1813-36) married James Keene. Through this marriage I am directly descended from Richard Gillow of Ellel, the daughter of James and Sarah Agnes Keene (Adelaide) later marrying my great-grandfather Alfred Sire.

Sarah Agnes Keene died in 1836 at Clifton Hill, while on a visit to her uncle Robert Gillow.

In the 1851 Census, Emma Keene (who I think is the daughter of Frederick Keene) is living in Crabstock Cottage, North End, Fulham, with Agnes and Rose Gillow, daughters of George Gillow of Hammersmith. She is described as their niece, but was in fact (unless there is a Gillow-Keene marriage I have not discovered) no closer relation than great-niece of Alice Keene, nee Gillow. However, Frederick Keene's wife was a Davenport: is there a Gillow connexion there?

The Keenes started in South Audley Street, Mayfair, where they attended the Portuguese Embassy chapel. This raises another question. The Catholic Directory for 1811 has the entry, Death, 27 April: "Mrs Mary Gillow of South Audley Street." Who was this lady? I do not find her in the Gillow family tree.

From 1794 the Keenes had a house in Hammersmith, where the eldest William Keene (d.1827), according to Faulkner's History of Hammersmith, "had a good collection of paintings
and books, some of them very choice." No doubt he compared notes with his fellow-collector, George Gillow.

The second William Keene (d.1815) appears to have had a
private chapel in his house in Hammersmith, for he bequeaths "all things belonging to the altar" to his eldest nephew William. In 1841 this nephew donated to Stonyhurst a fine early baroque altar crucifix, which I surmise was the one he had inherited in the house in Hammersmith. This is evidence of the same kind of artistic patronage and generosity to the Church which characterised the Gillows.

These facts provide glimpses of the life of a circle of the prosperous Catholic middle class in London, and especially Hammersmith, which I would be interested in filling out. Any further details will be much appreciated.

In particular: who were the Gillows of South Audley Street? When did the Gillows move to Hammersmith?

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