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

Showing posts with label Cowtley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cowtley. Show all posts

Saturday 18 November 2023

John Cowtley and Mary Pateman

John Cowtley (b. 1670), bachelor, married Mary Pateman (bap. 20 Mar 1669 at St Dunstan's), spinster, daughter of Thomas and Mary Pateman, at the church of St James Duke's Place, Aldgate, City of London on 18 Nov 1691.

Apparently, this tiny little parish church was a very popular place to get wed during the 17th century. Some 40,000 marriages were recorded as having taken place here between 1644 and 1691. Described a "Aldgate’s own version of Gretna Green", it was famous for performing irregular marriages. It's clear that St Dunstan's, Stepney was their home parish, so it's perhaps reasonable to surmise that John and Mary's marriage in this parish was one of the irregular ones, for whatever intriguing reason (that the records don't explain). 

John and Mary had two daughters, both baptised at St Dunstan's:
  1. Susanna Cowtley b. 24 Aug 1692, Susanna daughter of John Cowtley of Ratcliffe, Brewer's Servant and Mary bap. 28 Aug 1692 at St Dunstan, Stepney (at 4 days old)
  2. Elizabeth Cowtley b. 3 Oct 1696, Elizabeth daughter of John Cowtly (sic) of White Horse Street, Labourer & Mary bap. 4 Oct 1696 at Saint Dunstan, Stepney (1 day old)
Found no further records of John or Mary Cowtley nor of their deaths.

Monday 18 September 2023

Richard Benbow and Elizabeth Cowtley

St Dunstan & All Saints, Stepney
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Salmon -
This beautiful church is often spoken of as the Mother Church of the East End. It is, of course, one of the 'Oranges and Lemons' churches, ("When will that be/ Said the bells of Stepney").

Richard Benbow, listed as 24, which would suggest birth year of 1690, of Ratt. (Ratcliff), Bricklayer, son of Richard Benbow and Grace Beer, married Elizabeth Cowtley (bap. 4 Oct 1696 at Saint Dunstan, Stepney), daughter of John Cowtley and Mary Pateman, on 18 Sep 1714 at St Dunstan's, Stepney. Elizabeth was said to be 21, but she was then a minor, at only 18.

Less than six months later, on 4 Mar 1715, under Burials in the Parish of Stepney, we find the burial of Richard Benbow, Ratc[liffe], Bricklayer.

Richard and Elizabeth's only child:
  1. Elizabeth Benbow, b. Sunday, 15 Jul 1716 - posthumously - bap. 5 Aug 1716 at St Dunstan's, Stepney (at 21 days old), listed as Elizabeth [daughter] of Richard and Elizabeth Benbow, Ratt, Bricklayer.
I cannot [yet] say what happened to Elizabeth Benbow (née Cowtley) or whether perhaps she remarried. There are sadly just too many records of Elizabeth Benbow to isolate the relevant ones without more clues.

A transcript of a London Apprenticeship Abstract lists that Richard - who would then have been the correct age of 15 - son of Richard Bendbow (sic), Stepney, Middlesex, bricklayer was apprenticed to William Mart, Grocers' Company (Worshipful Company of Grocers). Why he was apprenticed to a grocer when he clearly came back to bricklaying, we'll never know.

Richard's brother, James, also listed as son of Richard and a Bricklayer, later left three houses to Richard's daughter, Elizabeth Travally, his niece.

It has been claimed that Richard Benbow's father was John Benbow even attributing a baptism on 7 Nov 1693, at St Paul's, Deptford - which was the baptism of the son of then Captain John Benbow. One very good reason not to accept the 1693 baptism is because that child (already the 2nd child the Admiral had named Richard), was buried in Jan 1694. 

A third Richard was born to Captain John and Martha Benbow in 1696. Still not unreasonable at the same age as Elizabeth Cowtley. If that had been relevant, it would have made the infamous Admiral my 8x Great-Grandfather. But, of course, it's not true. Whoever originally attributed that baptism for 'our' Richard was - as is so often the case - grabbing the nearest available record, just because. 

The above marriage of Richard and Elizabeth is even considered as being that of the Admiral's son in this biography of Bravebenbow and I can see why. When the Admiral's son John Benbow died in 1709, he left a legacy, amongst others, to his brother Richard, however, when the Admiral's widow died, in 1722, Richard was not mentioned, from which it could be assumed he had died between those dates, which entirely fits with 'our' Richard above. 

Having had misgivings that a bricklayer could be a son of an Admiral the crucial proofs are Richard's apprenticeship, which names his father as Richard and the fact that 'our' Richard's father was a Quaker. None of the baptisms would be the right ones, is because Quakers don't practice baptism.

All that notwithstanding, clearly the Admiral was very keen to have a son named Richard, so we might assume this was a family name. The famous John Benbow was born in 1653; Richard Benbow Sr, Bricklayer, was born around 1659. At the very least they were contemporaries; they lived within the same parish; Benbow is hardly very common; there could still be a familial link.