Narrative by (DS):
Catherine Agnes MARTIN's father was James MARTIN, a 'Baker' from Shadwell. Nothing is known for certain about James other than the fact that he had two daughters and he seems to have been alive at each of their marriages in 1841 and 1853. Catherine's 1817 birth suggests that her father James would have been born between 1780 and 1800.
On the 25th June 1841 at St. Ann's Parish Church in Limehouse, Catherine Agnes MARTIN married William Thomas GUMMET and they came to live in Betts Street with his younger two sisters and his mariner brother-in-law.
Her younger sister, Ellen MARTIN (born in 1828), also joined the Betts Street household at the time of her own marriage in 1853 to William NEWTON.
In the years to come, some members of the GUMMET family would take on the surname of MARTIN, either alone or as a compound name with GUMMET. A reason sometimes stated for this is that so little was seen at home of the various GUMMET mariner fathers that their children had almost totally been brought up by the female 'team' at Betts Street, two of whom had prior to marriage been MARTINs.
Two children were soon born - Mary Frances GUMMET on the 10th July 1842 and Henrietta Agnes GUMMET on the 13th May 1844. However, this was the nineteenth century and things could not continue as well as this. Mary Frances died on the 19th January 1846 of 'brain fever' aged only three.
Catherine was soon pregnant with a third child and, on the 15th November 1846, a daughter Ellen GUMMET was born. Three daughters thus far and no doubt there was much joy at the addition of a son on the 31st May 1849. This was William Thomas GUMMET (just like his father).
Another son was to follow. On the 5th September 1851, James Selby MARTIN-GUMMETT was born. Four surviving children out of five was good by these early Victorian standards. How sad that it should all change!
Catherine died on the 19th January 1853 at the age of 36 of 'Phthisis' (pulmonary thrombosis) 'accelerated by cancer of breast'. Catherine was buried in St. George-in-the-East churchyard. The cost of her burial was eleven shillings and six pence.
On the 18th August that same year (1853), Catherine and Williamís youngest child, James Selby, died aged two.
In 1863, their daughter Ellen became ill with peritonitis and returned home, not to Betts Street or Fen Court but to the home of her aunt Ellen NEWTON at 12 Mercerís Street in Shadwell. On the 10th August 1863, Ellen died there, aged only 17, with Ellen NEWTON with her.
Only two of Catherine and Williamís five children had survived into adulthood.