Benefactor of Catford.
Andrew Behan has provide his research findings: Michael Thomas Whitehall was born on 18 October 1816 in Southend, Lewisham, Kent, the elder son and the fourth of the seven children of Michael Whitehall (1772-1853) and Sarah Whitehall (1788-1840). His father was a baker. His siblings were Emma Whitehall (1812-1892), Sarah Caroline Whitehall (1813-1852), Jane Whitehall (1815-1860), Ann Whitehall (1818-1854), Susan Whitehall (1819-1824) and Samuel Whitehall (1821-1844). On 17 November 1816 he was baptised in Beckenham, Kent.
The 1851 census shows him as unmarried and living at 42 Dacre Street, Lee, (now Fludyer Road, SE13), claiming to be aged 32 years, and giving his occupation as a baker. Also living at the address was his sister, Ann Whitehall, who was listed as a housekeeper, and Emily Ann Luck (born 1839) who was one of his nieces and whose occupation, as a 12 years old girl, was show as a housekeeper's assistant. Electoral registers from 1852 confirm him still at this address, but by 1857 they show him at The Village, Lewisham. On the night of the 1861 census he is shown as an unmarried 44 years old, baker, visiting the home of his widowed sister, Emma Hockley née Whitehall, who was also a baker, employing two men, at 2 The Driftway, Lewisham. Electoral registers from 1865 show him at opposite The George, Lewisham.
The 1871 census states that he was an unmarried 52 years old retired baker living at Vectis Villa, Waterloo Place, Lewisham, (now Patrol Place, SE6), with his 52 years old widowed sister Emma Hockley and his 18 years old niece, Emma Hockley. Both the 1880 Post Office London Suburban Directory and the 1882 Kelly's Directory show him residing at 3 Navy Place, Rushey Green, Catford. The 1890 Electoral register shows him at 5 Rushey Green, Catford, but the 1891 census records him as a single man aged 72 years whose occupation was given as (None) Gentleman and living at 7 Rushey Green, Catford with his widowed sister, Emma Hockley. He died, aged 80 years on 3 February 1897 and was buried on 9 February 1897 in Lewisham. Probate was granted on 17 February 1897 and his effects originally totalled £2,805-2s-0d but were subsequently resworn in August 1897 when they totalled £3,485-2s-0d.
Andrew comments: "These 10 yearly census returns do not seem to reflect his true age, but then the enumerators only recorded what they were told and some people can be economical with the truth. "
Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of www.plaquesoflondon.co.uk