Henley Lodge, Acock’s Green – Figuring out where the Paulin Family lived in the 1880s

[Repost from Gilliandr blog from 2016]


I had been looking into where the Paulin family lived when they were in Birmingham and trying to ascertain how they lived.  My main focus was on their economic or social position.  After Frederick’s bankruptcy in Peckham and the Anchor Brewery, I wasn’t sure if they were doing well, especially with 13 children in the home.  I had seen the census – and they had two servants.  So I was confused a bit – good or bad?

I started an internet search to see if I could find “Henley Lodge” which was the name of the house they lived in, which was in Acock’s Green.  There was nothing extant that was called that, but I did find the website for the Acock’s Green Historical Society: http://aghs.jimdo.com/ .  I decided to write them and ask if anyone knows if this place still existed.  I got such wonderful assistance from Mike Byrne of the Society; it was as if my problem became his problem.  Such a great collaborative research process!  And as a result I have a pretty good idea of where they lived, and what kind of neighbourhood they lived in.

So here are my initial sources for the place:

1901 Census listing Ernest and Emma Paulin with their five children at “Henley Lodge” Yardley Road

1886 Birmingham City Directory listing Frederick Paulin, accountant, living at Henley Lodge, Yardley Road

And – 28 July 1888 Reading Mercury notice of the marriage of Louise Mary Paulin to Robert Rutherford, stating that she was the daughter of Frederick Paulin of Henley Lodge

Mr. Byrne first went into the sources for the 1881 Census, and looked at where the Paulins lived at that time – which was not Henley Lodge.  Here is what he found:

“The 1881 census has Frederick as an accountant on the Warwick Road with his family.  There are some records on the internet saying the family lived in a grocer’s shop, but whoever did this had read the previous entry and not noticed that the census was describing the property next door. Looking at the sequence of records, he would have been in quite a good house, which later became a shop, somewhere to the left of or maybe indeed the house with the tall chimney on the left in the 1936 picture and on the right in the 1953 image.  However these have been replaced by modern shops as shown in the Google streetview screen shot.”



Warwick Road today – Google – courtesy of Mike Byrne



Warwick Road 1936 – courtesy of Mike Byrne



Warwick Road 1953 – courtesy of Mike Byrne

As for Henley Lodge, he wasn’t sure given what he knew of Yardley Road, so he asked for a picture, so I sent him my lone outdoor shot which I thought had been taken when they lived in Birmingham because of the age of the children in the image.   Apparently this was the help he needed.

“I think I can be reasonably confident that the building Henley Lodge is now called 162 Yardley Road.  It was probably built in the early 1880s, which may be why it was not on the 1888 map, which itself was surveyed over a period of time.  As you can see from the 1904 map, it stands back from Yardley Road on the corner of Francis Road.  This is confirmed by a directory of 1905.  In 1900 it was occupied by George Perkins, a well-known local chemist from the Warwick Road near where your family lived in 1881. In 1905 it was occupied by George Hill. Today it is part of a garage business, and the front and back have been covered by extensions, but you can see that it was a large enough house to match the photograph.”


Paulin family in Birmingham, c 1890s – collection of K Paulin


Smith’s Garage courtesy of Mike Byrne, where you can see the likely location of Henley Lodge with a big garage butting onto it.


162 Yardley Road today from Google, courtesy of Mike Byrne. You can imagine that the house must have had a lovely yard at one point – now it is all garage really.


Map of Yardley in 1904.

Needless to say this picture of how they lived could not have happened without the knowledge and assistance of Mike Byrne.  Clearly they were living an upper middle class lifestyle.  Not sure how they financed this completely, but most likely from sources other than his salary as an accountant.  He just was not that good at money.  Some of the money might have come from his adult sons working, or his wife’s inheritance from her mother, or help from his Dad.  All possible!  He named his home after his birthplace, and frankly the name made his place sound a bit posh.


Thank you Acock’s Green Historical Society and Mike Byrne!  Thank you.

Mapping the Family – Windham-Guise-Cutler

In 2014, ahead of a trip to London, I decided to map out the family’s locations in London, to visit, and also to understand the geography of the family itself.

Where did they live, what kind of areas were they in, how close were they to each other and their work, places of worship, etc?

Click below to see the map.

Windham-Guise-Cutler Families in London – Map

I do intend to do maps for other branches of the family.  If you have any addresses you think I should add for any of the Paulins – Frederick – Mary, or their children, then please pass them along.  They will be added to the addresses I have already found.

Frederick Paulin to FA Pauline, 3 June 1888

Transcription of letter to Frederick A Pauline, 4 June 1888


Acock’s Green, June 4, 1888

Dear Fred,

I think we shall all be together again in the coming autumn.  Business is so trying things are so band this side. Our relations who can help without inconvenience won’t and the future is less aspiring than even the present, that I have almost decided to raise the wind and try my luck in BC.  I should come with sme agencies or props divd representatives of a firm or firms or I should phaps if there is a better thing to be done on reaching you adopt a local means of I trust doing well.  Anyway we have nothing to detain us we feel no ties to bind us to England in fact what connections there do not at least comprise the customary way natural instincts which we are accustomed to expect in the usual order of things.  My efforts are I feel pretty well brought to an end.  I am convinced a climax is reached in my residences in the old country and well it may be styled old for in forms its


Age assumes the features of upegences scene to be allrd in a degree similar to that which we have to witness in the case gage individual to a conspicuous failing or offences being I think the callous cruel indifference to the trials of their own offspring.  However there is work in me yet I only want the chance to do it.

I want you to unreservedly write me without loss of time what you think on the subject.  I can get the money necessary I believe here to pay us out comfortably and to sustain us for a short time while we book rooms and get settled.  I intend selling off letting Henley Lodge and placing it on the hands to let.  I expect Louise will be married next month about the 20 July and will reside in Birm for a while anyway.  She will be married by Dr Sambourne gratuitously.  Moreover it is essential that the coming young branches should have

[rest of letter missing]



Letter to Frederick Paulin from his sister, about 1887

Transcription – letter to Frederick Paulin, no date, no signature [Likely Sarah]


Henley Lodge

Acock’s Green


My dear Fred,

Very many thanks for your nice long letter received the 17th Sept.  We were all very pleased to hear you are all getting on so nicely – Sorry Herbert has had a bad hand, but that it is better than having more horrid abscesses he has had from time to time.  I have been having a bad time of it


I think I am most unfortunate, you will hear details again.  Mrs Natts has offered the money for Bessie & I to go to Victoria, I am afraid the offer has come too late for this year so you must look forward to seeing us come next spring.  I have decided to be an old maid, and keep your house, taking for granted that you intend on being a bachelor.  Emmie makes a great mistake in being


All agreeable with Herbert.  I am very sorry for Ernest.  She thinks her spurious perfect but she has much to learn poor girl – Papa’s business is very awkward I wish we could all start afresh in Victoria.  Amy is earning a little money and Bessie.  I shall start up and I hope shortly but my health is very bad.  I think it would save my life the journey across the sea.

I am glad your health is better – George seems


To occuoy himself pretty well – we have sent newspapers with account of H Lawley’s murder, it is such a shocking thing for the family. AF is very slow just now the church is closed to have light stained glass windows in will be opened on the 22nd Harvest Festival going to extra grand at least the choir is old Mr Watts has married his housekeeper just come back from his honeymoon in the Lakes people say never despair after that its been the latest talk.


Sarah Paulin to Frederick Paulin, 1888

Transcription Letter from Sarah Paulin to Frederick Paulin , 1888


[Sarah was 14 years old when she wrote this letter]


Henley Lodge

Acock’s Green

January 22nd 1888


My Dear Freddie

I am writing to you to tell you that I think its time I wrote but I have been so busy at school as we are getting up another cantata also called the Sherwoods Queen.  And it is a bother my word Dear Freddie I was quite disappointed because I did not have a letter.  To see limping Jack and Marion have a letter and not me but never mind I think mine will come later on….  I must have patience.  My word they were pleased with their letters I can tell you A did cheer us up how are all the rest getting on please give my love to Mr and Mrs Paulin [Ernest and Emma] and George and Herbert and tell them we enjoyed our spotted pudding very much and the fun was to see who got the ring and money but Violet had the ring and Mother nearly swallowed


A threepenny piece will we all enjoyed our Christmas very much and hope you did and please to tell Herbert to write tell him it would cheer me up and please Freddie you might write me a letter in spare hours but not unless Please Freddie you will have to expect us when the pigs begin to fly us (my word) the pork would be high and some come in a balloon and that would be the nearest way to come. But we must have patience.

Dear Freddie I think I must close now as I am getting tired of my s scribble – Good Bye

I Remain Your Affectionate Sister

Sarah Pauline

Auntie sends her love


For Yourself



Please give me love to all and give them all a honey