St. George's Place, Walworth

9 St. George's Place, Walworth, 1803-1806


Mary Hays is most likely the "Mrs. Hays" who appears at this address in Holden's 1805 London Directory, (the prefix was commonly applied at that time to older unmarried women). Several references in her letters to Crabb Robinson suggest that Mary Hays is living here by herself with one servant (her mother appears to leave the Gainsford Street home about this time, but most likely lives with the Dunkins in their large home in Champion Hill). Mary Hays moves from her rooms with Ann Cole in Hatton Garden to her new residence sometime in the early months of 1803, living now for the first time in her life as an independent woman through the proceeds she received from Richard Phillips, publisher of her six-volume Female Biography. St. George's Place was situated along Walworth Road, between Elephant and Castle and East Street, where the present day Amelia Street is currently located. Mary’s sister, Elizabeth, was living with her brother John in Essex at that time. Elizabeth returned to London not long after her sister's move and met Ambrose Lanfear; they married in 1804 and settled in Islington. Mary Hays remains at St. George's Place until her remove to Park Street (Park Lane) in Islington in early 1806. After the death of Thomas Hills in 1803, Sarah Hays Hills, Mary Hays's elder sister, continued to live in her home in the Minories with her daughter Mary. They moved to Islington c. 1812, taking a residence in Felix Terrace, just down the street from where Mary Hays had lived in Park Street and not far from her sister, Elizabeth, who moved to Church Street, Islington, after the death of her husband in 1809, and Sarah's son, William Hills, and his wife (her niece), Emma Dunkin Hills, then living in Canonbury Square. Shortly before her death in 1812, Mrs. Hays  removed to Islington as well, most likely living with Elizabeth Lanfear and assisting in the care of her two young boys. Mary Hays removed to Wandsworth in 1809, spending most of the next four years living with her brother, Thomas, at Wandsworth Common, not far from Camberwell.  By 1806 John Hays had returned from Essex (his name appears on the Park Place house that Mary Hays moves into that year), taking a residence for a time in 54 Great Coram Street, near Brunswick Square. Nothing remains in St. George's Place today from the period in which Mary Hays resided in the street.