pierre mallandain + marie houtville

Pierre was born in Fecamp, Normandy about 1670, the only son of Pierre Mallandain and Anne Despommare. He escaped to England with his wife, Marie Houtville, his mother and three sisters and most likely arrived in 1699 as they first appear in the English public records on 23 February 1700 when they were admitted to the French Church on Threadneedle Street. There is no record of Pierre or Marie before this date so it is assumed that they married in France but unfortunately, their marriage record has not been found to confirm this.

After arriving in England, Pierre and Marie settled in Spitalfields and had six children — all of whom were baptised at the French Church on Threadneedle Street. When their first son was baptised in 1703, they were living on Phoenix Street where they remained for several years; Phoenix Street ran north of Spitalfields Market and lay between Sclater Street and Quaker Street. Since there were no house numbers at the time, it was common practice to refer to a residence by its proximity to the closest alehouse. The family lived ‘over against the Pey’ which may have referred to the nearby public house known as The Magpie. Phoenix Street was later demolished when the East London Railway, now the East London Line, was built in 1869.

Their first son, Pierre, was baptised at the French Church on Threadneedle Street on 14 November 1703 with his grandmother Anne and Etienne Periet acting as godparents. Marie was baptised at Threadneedle Street on 4 November 1705 and Jean Malandain and Ester Igou were recorded as the godparents. Ester was most likely related to Marie as there are several links between the Igou and Houterville/Houteville families but Jean’s relationship to the family is not known. The only ‘Jean’ known to be in London at this time was the head of the Mallandain/Baudoin branch of the family and this could be one of the first definitive links between the two branches in London.

Pierre’s occupation was consistently recorded as weaver and in 1705, as master weaver and later as a ‘foreign weaver’ which adds further confirmation that he was born in France. His status in the profession is further confirmed by his membership in the Weaver’s Company — a guild granted a Royal Charter over the administration of the weaving industry in London with ‘the monopoly of its craft, rights of supervision ensuring a high standard of workmanship, power to punish infractions of its privileges, and full control of its members.’

Their son Jean was born in 1708 and his baptism also appears in the registers of the French Church on Threadneedle Street on 1 February 1708. Jaques was baptised at the French Church on 23 April 1710 with Jaques le Mounie and his aunt Anne de Goulenne acting as godparents.

Esther was born on 11 April 1712 and baptised at Threadneedle Street on 4 May. Her parents were listed as Pierre Malandin and Marie Houtuille while Jaques Aliosme and Marie Malandin acted as godparents. Marie is belived to be Pierres sister but her relationship with the family has not been confirmed. Daniel was baptised at Threadneedle Street on 11 March 1716. He died six months later and was buried in the church yard at St Dunstan, Stepney on 12 September.

The Fellow ‘Prentices at their Looms by William Hogarth

As was the custom, Pierre and Marie’s children were admitted to the French Church when they turned sixteen. Four of their five surviving children — Marie, Jean, Jaques and Esther — were admitted on the testimony of their father and appear in the registers of Threadneedle Street. An entry in the Weaver’s Company records shows that their son Pierre was bound apprentice to James Monnier, foreign weaver, on 17 February 1718. However, no further records relating to Pierre have been found and there is no record of his admission to the French Church following his 16th birthday so it is possible he died between 1718 and 1719.

Pierre appears in the records of the Weaver’s Company as he took on various apprentices over the course of twelve years between 1716 and 1728. When his son Jean was sixteen, he was officially apprenticed as a weaver to his father on 18 June 1722. It was customary for young men to apprentice as weavers at the age of 14 but Jean likely began his training much earlier although he wasn’t registered as an apprentice until 1722.

A notice from 1716 also places the family in Vine Court which lay just north of Spitalfields Market and across Vine Street from the French Charity House known as the Soup. Pierre remained active in the Huguenot community and assisted with the charitable work of the French Hospital. He appears in the Registers of the French Hospital as co-signor for relief payments to French Refugees in the Brown’s Lane area of Spitalfields from February to November 1729.

The French Hospital, known as ‘La Providence’, was created in 1718 as a care institution for elderly and infirm French refugees. In 1708, Jacques de Gastigny, a French refugee, bequeathed £1000 towards the founding of a hospital in London for the relief of distressed French Protestants. A block of land just north of Old Street in the parish of St Luke’s was purchased and in November 1718, the building was formally opened and the chapel consecrated. The building was erected facing the lane leading from Old Street to Islington, later named Bath Street, City Road, and was originally surrounded by orchards and market gardens.

La Providence
© Look and Learn

Their eldest daughter Marie married Simon Pantin on 22 May 1727 at Beckenham, Kent and they had one son, Simon, baptised at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster in January 1732. Esther married William Seager on 25 November 1734 at St Benet Paul’s Wharf but it is not known if they had any children. Jaques married Susanna Rachel Motteux at St Benet Paul’s Wharf on 29 June 1736 and had two sons of his own.

On 13 November 1742, Pierre applied to the French Hospital for financial assistance. In his application, he listed his age as 71 years and his wife as 70 and requested assistance to help them in their old age. He obtained 12 shillings a month for six years before advising the hospital that he had received a small inheritance from his sister Anne that would provide for them for the rest of his life.

Marie Houtville died in June 1751 and was buried at St Leonard in Shoreditch on 17 June. At the time of her death, they were living in Hoxton Market in Shoreditch. Pierre died in early 1754 and was also buried at St Leonard, Shoreditch and his death record notes his last address as Kingsland Road. His will was signed on 14 January 1754 and proved in London 1 April 1754. His benefactors included his widowed daughter Mary Pantin, son-in-law William Seager and grandson James Mallandain. Marie was still alive in 1754 but no records beyond that have been found. Jaques died in 1739 and it would appear that Pierre's daughter Esther died before he made his will as her husband is mentioned but she is not.