John Street

Little John Street, near Grays Inn Lane  1796-1797

 

A beautiful block today, though the current homes post-date 1796-97, when Hays lived there in the home of Edward Palmer (c. 1771-1831), son of Christopher Palmer (d.1808) of Crosby Row, Southwark and the Dean Street Baptist Church; Edward's brothers were Nathaniel Palmer (he married Mary Hays’s niece, Joanna Dunkin, in 1798) and Samuel Palmer (1775-1848), whose son became the famous artist Samuel Palmer (1805-81). Edward married Marianna Hays (1773-97),  the youngest (though previously unknown) sister of Mary Hays, on 4 June 1796. She died (most likely due to complications from a pregnancy) in early December 1797, and was buried on 9 December.  By the fall of 1796 Mary Hays was living in the Palmer home in Little John Street; after Marianna’s death, Hays returned to her rooms with Ann Cole in nearby Kirby Street. The Palmers had been worshiping for some time among Southwark Baptists,  just as the Hays family had been doing, so Hays was remaining not only with her own family but also within the Dissenting “household of faith,” a practice common at that time both for single women and single men: as a rule, no one lived alone and no one lived with "strangers."