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

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Thomas Drake and Frances Poad

Ancient Dockyard
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © jeff collins - geograph.org.uk/p/1204244
This was the first Dockyard built at Devonport at a point just west of Mutton Cove.

Thomas Drake married Frances Poad (bap. 15 Jul 1764), daughter of John Poad and Honor Joll (m. 26 Nov 1760), at Stoke Damerel on 25 May 1784. There is a record which appears to be John Poad giving his permission for his daughter to marry, presumably as she was then 20 (i.e. under 21). 

Possibly the most likely candidate for this Thomas Drake is the one baptised on 24 Jul 1757 in Stoke Damerel, son of William and Patience Drake. What I can categorically say is that he isn't the Thomas Drake, born 1751, that had been attached to this family on one website, where it was quite clearly stated on the baptism record that the child had died within days. That appears to have been wishfully attempting to attach lineage to ancient history.

Thomas and Frances Drake appear to have had 11 children:

  1. Thomas Drake bap. 2 Jan 1785
  2. Frances Drake bap. 14 Oct 1797
  3. George Drake bap. 7 Apr 1790
  4. Elizabeth Drake bap. 29 Jan 1792
  5. John Drake bap. 20 Jul 1794
  6. Francis William Drake bap. 6 Mar 1796
  7. James Drake bap. 10 Dec 1797. (Buried at 2 y 8 m on 19 Jul 1800.)
  8. Hannah Drake b. 1799, bap. 3 Feb 1800 *
  9. James Drake bap. 28 Dec 1801 *
  10. Charles Drake b. 10 Oct 1802, bap. 15 Dec 1812
  11. Mary Drake b. 20 Apr 1810, bap. 15 Dec 1812
* All were all baptised in Stoke Damerel, but the venue for the baptisms of Hannah and James in 1800 and 1801 was listed as Princes Street Independent, presumably the Princes Street Congregational Chapel.

The last sighting there is of Frances Drake (75) was in 1841, residing in Hill Street, St Helier, Jersey, with her youngest daughter, Mary and two of Mary's illegitimate children. One assumes that Thomas Drake had died by then. 

Frances Drake does not appear to be alive by the next census in 1851, but I have [as yet] been unable to isolate death records for either of them.

On Mary's marriage certificate in 1852, she lists her father as a Shipwright.

The other question, of course, is what, if any, link is there between this Drake family and the famous Devon-born slaver, pirate/privateer, bowls player and trouncer of the Armada, Sir Francis Drake? Absolutely no idea whatsoever. Can't disprove one [yet] either. What I discovered during this research is that Drake is a surprisingly common name around Devon. Reckon he had a bike!

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