isaac mallindine + marie fage

Isaac was born in Mile End New Town on 1 January 1750 to Isaac Mallindine and his wife Susanna Dupre and he was baptised on 20 January at St Dunstan in Stepney. The spelling of his surname in public records appears most commonly as Mallindine but also varies between Mallandine, Malandain and Mallandain.

He married Marie Fage at St Matthew, Bethnal Green on 3 March 1783 with his father as one of the witnesses. Both Isaac and Marie were able to read and write and signed their full names in the marriage register. Marie Fage was born about 1760 but nothing else is known about her.

Like his father and grandfather, Isaac worked as a silk weaver in the East End of London and he and Marie settled in Bethnal Green after their marriage. They had eight children and all were baptised at St Matthew in Bethnal Green.

Their first son, John, was born on 24 December 1783 and baptised four days later. Twins Mary and Ann were born on 29 May 1785 and baptised at St Matthew on 5 June and Elizabeth was born on 23 June 1787 and baptised one month later.

By the 1790s, silk weavers in Spitalfields and Bethnal Green were suffering from falling wages as a result of competition from mechanised weaving and many families experienced severe distress as wages failed to keep up with the cost of living. One contemporary account noted that many weavers must ‘resort to the miserable alternative of pledging their household goods and even their children’s wearing apparel for the purpose of raising money to obtain the necessities of life.’

The pressure resulted in a radicalization of the community as weavers and their families fought against the poverty caused by falling wages by organizing strikes, protesting and even rioting. The government responded by imposing restrictions on public meetings and any other attempts to form a united group but they also attempted to aleviate the resulting poverty and social upheaval by setting reasonable rates for journeyman weavers but the weaving industry never recovered and slipped into further decline in the 19th century driving the East End into ever increasing poverty.

Isaac and Marie were raising their young family during a time of great social upheaval and financial insecurity and during these most difficult years for weavers, they had four more children. Susanna was born on 4 December 1791 and baptised on New Year’s Day followed by Isaac, born on 30 April 1794 and baptised on 25 May, and Sophia who was born on 18 June 1796 and baptised on 10 July; she died 16 months later and was buried at St Matthew on 15 October 1797. William was born on 12 April 1799 and baptised on 5 May at St Jean in Spitalfields — a French Huguenot chapel founded by a congregation comprised primarily of silk weavers from Normandy and Picardy.

There are no further records relating to the family until 1808 when their daughter, Ann, married William Middleton at St Mary, Whitechapel on 29 May and two members of the Fage family acted as witnesses. No children have been found of the marriage nor any subsequent records relating to Ann and William.

Georgian Map of Shoreditch
by Adam Dant

Five years later, Isaac died, aged 62 years, and was buried at St Matthew on 5 June 1813. The burial register notes that he was living on Montague Street in Spitalfields at the time of his death.

Daughter Susanna married Andrew Shotter at St Matthew on 26 July 1818 and her brother William and Susanna Fage acted as witnesses. As with their parents, Susanna and William were able to sign the register so they most likely attended school at a time when education was neither free nor compulsory. Four months after her daughter’s wedding, Marie Fage died and was buried at St Matthew on 18 November. She was living on Anchor Street, which lay off Shoreditch High Street between Holywell Lane and Sclater Street, when she died.

Three of their children — John, Mary and Elizabeth — have not been traced beyond their baptism records but sons Isaac and William both married and had children of their own.