Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Sunday, 17 January 2021

The King's Head, Great Dunmow, Essex

The King's Head (closed), Great Dunmow. Photo © Robin Webster (cc-by-sa/2.0)
This pub and hotel on North Street has been closed and boarded up for some years, with signs of abandoned or postponed building work. It is grade II listed, the oldest parts from the 15th century. Conflicting reports suggest it has since been demolished or converted into flats.

Back on the family pub crawl ... Two things listed in Pigot's Directory of Essex 1823 relate to another Henry Wilton. One is a listing as a saddler, the other, under Taverns and Public Houses, is for 'Henry Wilton, King's Head'[1]. 

This Henry Wilton is clearly not Henry Wilton (1809-1890), saddler, the elder brother of my 3x great-grandfather, Richard Wilton, because that Henry Wilton would have been merely 14 years old in 1823. We have to go back another generation: this is their uncle Henry, brother of Stephen Wilton

Henry Wilton, son of Richard Wilton (b. 1737) and Mary Robinson, was baptised St Mary's Church, Sawston, Cambridgeshire on 30 Oct 1768. In 1783 he was apprenticed to Matthew Norris in Shelford, as a Collarmaker. On 20 Sep 1810, he married Mary Barton in Great Dunmow. Both are described as being "Of This Parish", so had been in the town since at least then. 

And as there is also the listing for Henry Wilton as a saddler in 1823, it may be safe to assume that his nephew served his apprenticeship under him here, which probably explains why the Wilton brothers came to Great Dunmow.

In 1841, Henry Wilton (73) and his wife Mary (61) are living alongside (maybe in the same premises?) his nephew, Henry Wilton, saddler, and his wife Sarah. They are one side - on the other side is Robert Hockley, tailor and draper[2] - of Geo. Saich, ostler, and his wife Charlotte (née Thorogood). Annoyingly, the census records don't provide any clues as to which hostelry is in the middle of this sandwich to locate where they're all located on the High Street.

"Uncle" Henry Wilton died in the 2nd quarter or 1846. He will have been 78.

[1] Also listed in Pigot's Directory of Essex 1823 at the King's Head is William Cock, who was listed as the Licensee or Tavernkeeper from 1815 until at least 1829. It isn't clear what role Henry Wilton played in this business. (Later William Henry Hockley (b. 1833), first cousin of Robert Hockley, tailor and draper, married Charlotte Cock, who I imagine may be related to him.)

[2] Robert Hockley, tailor and draper (bap. 1775) - my 1st cousin 6 times removed - was the son of Robert Hockley, seedsman (bap. 1755), who in turn was son of Robert Hockley, weaver (b. ~1723), the earliest of the Hockley's we have been able to trace, who was my 6th great-grandfather.

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