I find Cornelius Clutterbuck fascinating. I know very little about him yet he has an intense appeal. Why? His name! Cornelius Clutterbuck. It’s fantastic.
Cornelius was born in c 1769 to Elizabeth Clutterbuck. According to parish registers of Stroud (cited at The Clutterbuck Blog) he was baptised 7 April 1769. It is to be assumed that his mother, Elizabeth, was unwed as his father’s name is not given and he shares the same surname as his mother.
He married Sarah Keen on 19 July 1791 in the parish church of Stroud. By the 1793, Cornelius and Sarah appear to have joined the Rodborough Tabernacle. The Rodborough Tabernacle was built around 1766 by Thomas Adams who had been influenced by the preaching of George Whitefield. The baptisms of their children (Mary, James, Elizabeth and Sarah) were noted in the Tabernacle records.
In the 1841 Census, Cornelius and Sarah were living in Denmark St in St Giles in the Fields parish. Cornelius was employed as a porter. Denmark St was situated in what was known as ‘The Rookery’. It was the most notorious slum in London. The people were living in poverty without sanitation and complained in 1849, “We live in muck and filth. We aint got no priviz, no dust bins, no drains, no water-splies, and no drain or suer in the hole place.” (‘London parish’s descent from glamour to grime charted in exhibition’, Maev Kennedy, The Guardian, 2011).
Cornelius died in Sept 1842 and was buried in the Non Conformist cemetery Bunhill Fields. His burial record states that he was living at 26 Coppice Row, Clerkenwell. He was 73 years old.