The Borretts

Working back in time on this: Henry Tentens 1895 marriage certificate shows 'Blanche Maria Borrett' aged 21, whose father was recorded as 'William Borrett, Engine Fitter'. The witnesses were both from Henry's side, so that doesn't help here. What does help are the addresses - Henry is at 24 Stephen Street, Blanche Maria is at 23 Stephen Street. They were in a rush to get married, of course - Blanche Rose ("Auntie Blanche") was on her way.

Sure enough, the 1891 census records 23 Stephen Street as being inhabited by 11 Barrells (according to the transcription - the original is very faint) - including Blanche Barrell. The family is:

(A post script - there was a death recorded of a William Borrett aged 45 in St Pancras, first qtr 1892 - Pancras Vol 1b page 46. That probably was Blanche Maria's dad)

So far, so good. The 1881 census for 2 Stephen Street seems to fit too:

Before this, it gets tricky. As the eldest child was 7 at the 1881 census, it's a fair guess that William and Rose were not married at the previous one, in 1871. On the other hand, William will be about 24, so he has probably left home. Rose would be 20, so she may still be with parents - or not.

The 1871 census has a William Barrete as a lodger ('engineer') at 2 Lascelles Place, St Giles. (The address no longer exists, but I know that area all too well - so many meetings in faceless MOD offices, just where Lascelles Place used to be.)

So there has to be a marriage and the birth of Blanche Maria between 1871 and 1881. I found a birth certificate dated 5 Oct 1873 at 13 Queen Street (no longer exists, was somewhere around the Holborn/Clerkenwell area) for Blanche Maria, father William Borritt (occupation engraver), mother Rose Borritt formerly Osborn. The latter census entries give Blanche's birth place as Clerkenwell, so I'd say that's conclusive.

So, the next problem is to find William's father. One possibility is that it's William Borrett the Wheelwright, born c1816 in Fressingfield, spouse Mary Ann - see 1861 census. If that's the right William, then William Jnr was christened on 19 October 1845.

Another possibility is that it's William Borrett the Ag. Lab., born c1797 in Laxfield Suffolk, spouse Sarah, living in Fressingfield at the 1851 census, (father Robert Borrett).

There are other possibilities - I also seem to have arrived at Williams father being Robert, not William - as an alternative.

Maybe I could pin it down by finding the marriage certificate for William and Rose - between 1871 and 1874. FreeBMD shows a Sept 1874 marriage of a Rose Osborne - Shoreditch 1c 232. Mmm - might be the one, might not. I can't find a matching William Borrett entry, but that could be the spelling problem. It feels like a long shot.