William Mackerell Burman was born 20 October 1834 to parents Richard Burman and Hannah Mackerell in London, England1. William was baptised at St. Andrew Holborn in London on 2 August 1835. His father was a carpenter when he was born and they were living at St. Lukes in London. He joined his older sister, Mary Eleanor (1829) and his older brother Richard Samuel (1832).
His younger brother Joseph (1836) was also born in London, as was his sister Elizabeth (1839). Joseph, unfortunately only lived just over six years as he was buried in December of 1839, just after his younger sister was born.
By 18412, the family had moved to Great Yarmouth where his father continued working as a carpenter. William’s sister Charlotte was born in Great Yarmouth in 1841 and the census indicates that his father was a house carpenter at that time.
By 18513, the family had expanded still further and William had another brother named Richard. They were living in Row 95 in what must have been quite a crowded situation. His oldest sister Mary had moved back home after becoming a widow after only four years of marriage. She brought with her William’s nephew and niece William and Clara Rose. At 16, William was already working as a carpenter.
On 14 June 18574, at the age of 23, William married Hannah Waller, who was 20, at the Unitarian Church of Goal Street in Great Yarmouth. At that time William was living in Row 25 with his parents and Hannah was living on S. George Street with her parents.
Their first child was named William Mackerell Burman after his father and was born in 1857. That followed a girl named Hannah after her mother in 1859. In 18615, the family of four was living at Isabella Square in Great Yarmouth and William was listed as a carpenter/joiner.
Another son, Joseph Waller Burman was born in 1869 and in 18716 the family was living in flat 27 of Row 09 in Great Yarmouth. William was listed as a house carpenter at that time.
Two more daughters were born to William and Hannah. Eleanor Maud was born in 1877 and Lillian Maud was born in 1880. Sadly, however, Lillian lived only 11 months and died in November 1880 and Eleanor lived only until age 4 dying in December 1881. The 1881 census7 indicates that William and Hannah were living in Row 109 on the south side of the row. Their oldest children had moved away and only Joseph and Eleanor were home at the time. William was again noted as a carpenter/joiner.
William continued to work as a house carpenter/joiner and was living with Hannah in Row 119 on the 1891 census8.
Sometime after this census, William became sick and moved into the Yarmouth workhouse. This was not a good place to be as building was ancient red brick, the beds were mainly flock or straw rather than feather and there was no day room, only beds and outside11. The attendants were not trained and often there was no one to see to the more than 200 patients needs for 8-10 hours every night. The water supply was considered inadequate and there was no water supply in the infirmary itself.
Perhaps not surprisingly, William did not live long in the workhouse and died on 14 January 1894 at the age of 60. His cause of death is listed as heart disease and exhaustion.
1Baptisms (PR) England. St. Andrew Holborn, City of London. 2 August 1835. (Birth: 20 October 1834). BURMAN, William Mackerell. London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1917. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed October 2019.
2Census. 1841. England. Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. HO 107/794/3. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
3Census. 1851. England. Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. HO 107/1806. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
4Marriages (CR) England, Great Yarmouth, Great Yarmouth. 14 June 1857. BURMAN, William Mackerell and WALLER, Hannah. No. 117.
5Census. 1861. England. St. Nicholas, Yarmouth, Norfolk. RG 3/1190. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
6Census. 1871. England. Yarmouth, Norfolk. RG 10/1784. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
7Census. 1881. England. Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. RG 11/1909. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
8Census. 1891. England. Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. RG 12/1499. http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed September 2019.
9Deaths (CR) England, Yarmouth Northern, Great Yarmouth. 14 January 1894. BURMAN, William M.
10Burials (PR) England. Norfolk. 24 March 1894. BURMAN, William. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D137-JPP?i=17&cc=1416598 : accessed October 2019.
11BMJ Reports on teh Nursing and Administration of Provincial Workhouses and Infirmaries 1894-5. http://www.workhouses.org.uk/BMJ/Yarmouth.shtml