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Frederick Peters, "Blind Fred"

Frederick Peters, "Blind Fred"

Person  Male  Born /10/1870  Died 1933

Categories: Friend / family

Within a few days of publishing this memorial two colleagues responded with more information: 

Andrew Behan went into the archives and discovered the following:
Frederick Peters was born in 1870 in Hackney, the son of Frederick and Mary Peters. His father was a cabinet maker.

The 1871 census, which was taken on the 2nd April 1871 shows him as being six months old and his birth was registered in the 4th quarter of 1870. At the time of the census the family were living at 57 Palace Road, South Hackney. He was baptised on the 11th April 1872 at St John of Jerusalem Church, South Hackney and the family were living at 17 Havelock Road, South Hackney.

The 1881 census shows the family living at 33 Sheep Lane, South Hackney and by then he had a sister, Mary J Peters, aged 3, and a brother, John T Peters, aged 1.  Frederick Peters was shown as blind from birth.

The 1891 census shows the family at 9 Casterton Street, Hackney. His mother was not shown on the census and by now he also had another sister, Lilly Peters, aged 7. Both he and his brother, John T. Peters, were shown as blind, but this condition did not affect his sisters.

The 1901 census shows that he was boarding at 19 Marian Street, Homerton, with a James and Elizabeth Brown. His occupation is shown as 'Dependant on Charity' and he is shown as 'Blind from Birth'.

The 1911 census shows exactly the same information and confirms that he was single.

Electoral registers for 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1933 show that he was still living with James and Elizabeth Brown, but now at 6 Marian Street. His death was registered in Hackney in the 2nd quarter of 1933. He was aged 62 years.

Meanwhile Jamie Davis found Hackney Memories  by Alan Wilson where, as a child, the author remembers seeing Blind Fred: “He was shabbily but neatly dressed in an overcoat and bowler hat, and sat all day long, in all weathers, in the depths of that gloomy churchyard, reading a Braille bible and selling matches and bootlaces.  This he had done since his youth. … {he} was never seen as a beggar.  All treated him with respect, for he had become an institution, as much a part of Hackney as St John’s Church and the Hackney Empire.  He was always cheerful.  When we visited him my mother would say ‘Put a penny in his box,’ and this I always did.”

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Frederick Peters, "Blind Fred"

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