It is Kate Middleton’s birthday today, and again the press are speculating that there will shortly be a royal engagement announcement. If so, we could have a future Queen with Islington roots.
A team of genealogists, (led by William Addams Reitwiesner and Michael J. Wood) has traced Kate’s family history, and it makes fascinating reading.
Kate’s mother was Carole Goldsmith before she married Michael Middleton. Carole’s great-grandfather was John Goldsmith, a labourer, born at 3 Popham Street, on 6 July 1851. John Goldsmith’s parents, John and Esther (nee Jones) were married at St. John the Baptist, Hoxton, on 23 Sept. 1850. John senior was a labourer, Esther was a laundress, and they were both living at 2 Triangle Place, Islington when they died in the 1880s.
Triangle Place has long gone, but Popham Street still exists, running between Essex Road and Prebend Street, but the 19th century houses have long gone. In 1928, the New Survey of London Life and Labour found this area had some of the worst overcrowding, with over 1.75 persons to a room. The houses were demolished and replaced by the Popham estate (designed by Harley Sherlock) in the 1960s, but not before Cathy Come Home was filmed there.
Whether Kate will come home to Islington remains to be seen.