Felix Terrace, Islington

Mrs. Sarah Hays Hills, 5 Felix Terrace, Islington, 

c. 1812-20


This address first appears in the Hays Correspondence in a letter of 26 August 1814 and the last reference occurs in a letter dated 30 September 1814. When Hays returned from Bristol she lived for a time with her sister, Sarah Hills, who had been living at this house in Felix Terrace for several years.  Elizabeth Hays Lanfear lived nearby at 4 Upper Terrace, Islington, and Hays’s niece, Emma Hills, was living in Canonbury Square. May Hays returned to Felix Terrace for brief stints until her sister moved c. 1826 to a home in Maze Hill, Greenwich, near William and Emma Hills and several other nieces. Felix Terrace is still intact today (the name has changed) and the homes may well date from the early 1800s, when Mrs. Hills lived there.

Ambrose Lanfear and Elizabeth Hays lived at 4 Upper Terrace from the time of their marriage in 1804 until his death in 1809. He appears in the 1805-06 Poor Rate book at The Terrace.  By 1810, after his suicide, she had moved nearby to Church Street.  A Joseph Stanfield was living in Church Street in 1806, and he may have led Lanfear to that street in 1810 after her husband's death. He may have been related to Ambrose Lanfear's deceased second wife, the former Sarah Stanfield (1767-1802). At 1 Upper Terrace lived Alice Flowerdew, who also operated a school in her home. She published her Poems in 1803, and it is most likely that Elizabeth, who was probably attending at Worship Street where Flowerdew (now a widow) also attended. John Evans, the minster, had been a friend of Mary and Elizabeth Hays (he was a correspondent of Mary Hays in 1793) since the early 1790s. It appears, based upon a reference in a George Dyer letter c. 1805-06, that after her marriage she taught for a time in a school, most likely assisting Flowerdew in her school on the same street. It seems unlikely Lanfear would have formed her own school at that time without any previous experience. Working as an assistant to Flowerdew, however, would have been easily within her reach. Among Flowerdew’s subscribers to her Poems in 1803 was Samuel Brown of Love-lane, husband of Mary Brown, the daughter of Robert Robinson and friend of the Hayses. Also John Fenn and his wife, in whose home in Peckham Mary Hays will later live. Other subscribers include the Rev. Sampson Kingsford and his wife and daughters, all friends of the Hays sisters and the Dunkins, and Michael Kingsford.  Flowerdew is gone from the Rate Books by 1817, though Rev. Evans remains in Islington until his death in 1827.