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

Showing posts with label Quaker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quaker. Show all posts

Monday 25 March 2024

Richard Wilton and Catherine Byatt

Quaker Meeting House (1835), New Street, Great Dunmow

Richard Wilton (bap. 20 Mar 1811 in Royston, Hertfordshire), middle son of Stephen Wilton and Elizabeth Hankin, married Catherine Byatt (bap. 4 Apr 1824 in Little Canfield, Essex), daughter of John Byatt and Jane Stokes, at the Independent Meeting House (Quaker Meeting House), New Street, Great Dunmow, on 25 Mar 1843, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Protestant Dissenters. Richard Wilton, who had been listed on the 1841 census, living in the High Street, Great Dunmow, as a harness maker (as he is on the marriage certificate), was 32 at the time of the wedding and Catherine Byatt, then 19, was listed as a minor. Witnesses were Richard's younger brother Joseph Wilton and Maria Staines (then 17) sister of Richard's brother, Henry's wives (both), daughters of Thomas Staines and Sally Hockley

Richard and Catherine had seven children:
  1. Ann Wilton b. 1844 M Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 12 Page 76, mother's maiden name BYATE. (Died 27 Apr 1850 (1850 J Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 12 Page 56), aged 6, buried 2 May 1850)
  2. Elizabeth Wilton b. 6 Aug 1847 (1847 S Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 12 Page 69 1847 Q3 - the whole of volume 12 is missing except for the first page (about 3000 entries missing)
  3. Richard Wilton b. 1848 (No GRO birth registration) (Died, aged 41, in 1889 J Quarter in POPLAR Volume 01C Page 322)
  4. Walter Wilton b. 1850 D Quarter in DUNMOW Volume 12 Page 79 (Died, aged 1, in 1852 M Quarter in DUNMOW Vol 04A Page 219)
  5. Martha Wilton b. 1853 M Quarter in DUNMOW Vol 04A Page 317 (Died, aged 1, in 1854 J Quarter in DUNMOW Vol 04A Page 209)
  6. William Wilton b. 1855 J Quarter in DUNMOW Volume 04A Page 311 (Died, aged 3, in 1858 J Quarter in DUNMOW Vol 04A Page 223)
  7. Ellen Wilton b. 1857 J Quarter in DUNMOW Vol 04A Page 335 
On the birth registrations for Walter, Martha, William and Ellen, the mother's maiden name is correctly listed as BYATT.

Richard Wilton, Harness maker (journeyman), died on 3 Mar 1858, from Phthisis (pulmonary tuberculosis). He was 46.

George Wilton, born in the Dunmow Union (Workhouse) on 3 Feb 1860 (1860 M Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 04A Page 361), birth certificate says his mother's name was Caroline Wilton, no father listed, but I cannot find a Caroline Wilton in the area at any time. On later census returns George was listed as Catherine's new husband - John Eldred's - step-son, so George appears to have been Catherine's 'mystery' illegitimate son.

In 1861, the widowed Catherine (surname transcribed as Wilson), was living with her brother, William Byatt, in Little Canfield. George Wilton, aged 1, was listed there as nephew to the head of the household. There was a Stephen Wilton (13) Baker, lodging in the household of Elizabeth Edwards (73) at Dunmow Down, Great Dunmow, however, I believe this was a pseudonym used by their son Richard Wilton (see 1884 below). While, the 13 year old Elizabeth and her 4 year old sister, Ellen (listed as being 6), were that year, listed as inmates in the Great Dunmow Union Workhouse.

Catherine then remarried to John Eldred, widower, on 27 Sep 1862 in Great Dunmow. (Various records list her previous surname as Walton or Wilson.)

John Eldred (bap. 10 Mar 1822 in Great Dunmow) son of William Eldred and Eleanor Fewell, had married for the first time to Harriett Page, on 20 Aug 1848, in Great Dunmow. John and Harriett Eldred had three sons: 
  1. John Eldred b. 1849 D Quarter in DUNMOW Volume 12 Page 73, bap. 10 Jul 1853 in Great Dunmow. (Died aged 10, in 1860 J Quarter in DUNMOW Volume 04A Page 224)
  2. Walter Eldred b. 1852 D Quarter in WHITECHAPEL Volume 01C Page 355, bap. 10 Jul 1853 in Great Dunmow. On the baptism, his father's occupation is listed as Brewer's Servant and address given as No 12 Smith Place High Street Wapping London. (Died, aged 18, in 1871 J Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 04A Page 256)
  3. Alfred Eldred bap. 12 Aug 1855 in Great Dunmow
But Harriet Eldred died aged 28, in 1855 D Quarter in SAINT GEORGE IN THE EAST Volume 01C Page 312.

John Eldred remarried to Elizabeth Tennisse, Widow, daughter of John Pitts, Mariner, on 2 Nov 1856 at Christ Church, St George in the East. Elizabeth Pitts had previously married James Tennisse in 1854, in Bethnal Green. The pair had three children, all of whom died as infants: Maria Sophia Tennisse (1849-1853); James John Tennisse (1851-1856) and Sarah Tennisse (1853-1855). James Tennisse also died, at 32, in 1855, in Stepney.

John and Elizabeth Eldred had one daughter:
  1. Thomazine Maria Eldred b. 24 Jul 1857 S Quarter in SAINT GEORGE IN THE EAST Volume 01C Page 413, bap. 4 Apr 1858 in the parish of St George in the East, Stepney. Her father's occupation was listed as Drayman and their address again as 12 Smith's Place.
Then Elizabeth Pitts Eldred died, aged 30, in 1859 J Quarter in SAINT GEORGE IN THE EAST Volume 01C Page 271. 

So when Catherine Wilton married John Eldred, she became his third wife.

In 1871, living in Braintree Road, Great Dunmow, were John Eldred (44) Ag Lab, Catherine Eldred (42) both had lost 5 years; Walter Eldred (18) Son, Alfred Eldred (16) Son, Maria Eldred (13) Daughter, Ellen Wilton (14) Step-Daughter; George Wilton (11) Step-Son; and Alice Wilton (2) Granddaughter (Alice Catherine Wilton born 12 Feb 1869, to Elizabeth Wilton.)

Then John Eldred died, aged 49, in 1876 D Quarter in WEST HAM UNION Volume 04A Page 54. 

In 1881, Catherine Eldridge (sic) (56) Widow, Dressmaker from Cranfield (sic), Essex, was living at 23, Powis Road, Bromley, Poplar, with Richard Wilton (31) Labourer; George Wilton (21) Labourer; Ellen Wilton (24) Match Maker; Susan Robinson (21) Match Maker (Boarder) and four Lodgers: William Wardley (20) Labourer from Sudbury, Suffolk; Arthur Seatch (36) Labourer from Bromley; Frank Poulter (24) Carman from Cambridge and James Howard (18) Match Maker (Fusee) from Bromley.

Matchgirl strikers, several showing early symptoms of phosphorus necrosis. Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
White Slavery in London

Living little more than half a mile from the Bryant & May's factory in Bow, it's probably reasonable to assume this was where they were all employed, where conditions were especially bad

"The match girls worked from 6.30am (or 8am in winter) until 6pm, with just two breaks, standing all the time. “A typical case”, wrote Besant, “is that of a girl of 16, a piece worker; she earns 4s a week ..." (Worth around £26 in 2020).

"Conditions were appalling for the 1,400 women and girls who worked at Bryant and May's match factory in Bow, East London. Low pay for a 14-hour day was cut even more if you talked or went to the toilet, and 'phossy jaw' - a horrible bone cancer caused by the cheap type of phosphorus in the matches - was common." 

"If you handled white phosphorus or came into contact with it too much, then it caused serious damage to your health and you ended up with a terrible condition known as ‘Phossy Jaw’ – where you would get severe toothache followed by swelling of the gums. Abscesses would then form on the jaw-bone, and the facial bones would glow a greeny white in the dark. If untreated then ‘Phossy Jaw’ would develop into brain damage and ultimately multiple organ failure." As a result of these appalling conditions, the London Matchgirls Strike of 1888 started in the factory, which led to the establishment of the first British trade union for women. Match Girls Strike at Bryant and May Factory: The 1888 Uprising for Workers’ Rights in London

Having checked the records, I know my 2x great-grand aunt was not involved in the Matchgirls Strike in 1888, but it gives an insight into the conditions she must have endured. She could have been involved in an earlier, unsuccessful, strike in 1881. [As yet] I've found no verified record of Ellen Wilton after 1881, so she may have already become a victim of these circumstances.

The Essex Herald of 20 Oct 1884 reported on "WHOLESALE SHOP LIFTING. - Richard Wilton, a navvy, of Bromley-by-Bow, was brought up in custody charged with stealing a black rep cloth overcoat and 12 pairs of tanned leggings, value £1, from the shop of Edwin Joseph Wilton, in High Street, Dunmow on Saturday night last. Prisoner was further charged with stealing six twill jackets, value 24s, the property of Mr John Beard, of North Street, Great Dunmow, on Saturday night. Superintendent Ackers stated that the greater part of the property had been recovered and identified, and, it being believed that others were implicated in the robbery, he asked that the prisoner, who was only arrested on Sunday night, might be remanded. The prisoner was accordingly remanded for a week. Later reports, which (incorrectly named the perp as Stephen Wilton (36) Baker) noted that Mr Wilton stated the prisoner was his cousin. The prisoner was acquitted. (There were two cousins, to both Richard and Edwin, named Stephen Wilton [1] [2] - neither were angels - but I'm sure that this was not either of them.

Of Catherine's two surviving children and two step-children: her daughter Elizabeth Wilton; her son George WiltonAlfred Eldred and Thomazine Maria Eldred ... all four gave the name Catherine as the first or middle name to their first child. In the case of her step-son, Alfred's wife's mother was also named Catherine to account for this, but for all of them to use the name, I think tells us far more about Catherine as a person than records usually can.

So far, I've not found a death for Catherine, but with so many incorrect names given throughout her life, it's not easy to guess what it might be listed under. There's also the chance, of course, that she remarried once again and therefore this is under yet another totally new name.

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Richard Benbow and Grace Beer

Site of the former St James', Dukes Place
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Basher Eyre - geograph.org.uk/p/921191
A former church, demolished in 1874.

Richard Benbow (b. 1659) Bachelor, married Grace Beer (b. 1663) Spinster, at the church of St James, Duke's Place, City of London, on 15 Aug 1686. Nicholas Poor is listed, presumably as a witness to the marriage. Described variously as "Aldgate’s own version of Gretna Green" and the church that defied convention, St James's was "the place where people could get hitched while bypassing the irksome rules and regulations that would normally apply", with no need to wait for banns to be called; no need for a licence and, best of all, parental consent was not required to tie the knot there. Why this couple, a pair of my 8x great-grandparents, chose to marry there, isn't obvious.

They appear to have been the parents of at least four children:

  1. Richard Benbow b. around 1690
  2. Sarah Benbow b. around 1690
  3. James Benbow b. around 1699
  4. Samuel Benbow b. around 1699

Birth years are very approximate and mostly calculated from ages at death. There are no baptism records for any of their children, as they were Quakers and Quakers don't practice baptism. There could, therefore, have been other children, that we just don't encounter records for or cannot link to them.

We know that Richard Benbow is their child from a London Apprenticeship Abstract record, which lists him as the "son of Richard Bendbow (sic), Stepney, Middlesex, bricklayer". To confirm that link, James, also listed as son of Richard and a Bricklayer, later left three houses to Richard's daughter, Elizabeth Travally. Sarah is identified as his sister in James' will, as were his nieces Ann and Mary, daughters of Samuel. In the absense of the usual records, these are all we have to be able to glue this family together.

Richard Benbow, of Ratcliff, in the Parish of Stepney, in the County of Middlesex, Bricklayer, aged about 64 years, died the 26th day of the month called April, 1723. Buried in Friends Burying Ground Ratcliff. [In The London Burial Grounds, by Isabella M. Holmes, is the information "There was a little meeting-house with a burial-ground attached in Wapping Street, which seems to have been used until about 1779, but was then demolished, the worshippers moving to the meeting in Brook Street, Ratcliff."]. Richard Benbow was reported to have died "of a Dropsy" (Edema, also spelled oedema, also known as fluid retention, dropsy, hydropsy and swelling).

A tax record places Grace Benbow in Brooke Street, Ratcliff, in 1730.

Grace Benbow died, aged about 83 years, of old age. The record says she died (well, one version said she 'dyed' and one wonders what colour) on the 4th day of the 10th month called December and was buried on the 7th day of said month, also at the Friends Burying Ground at Ratcliff. (December was the 10th month at that time. Until 1752, the new year in England still began on Lady Day, March 25th. In addition, Quakers sometimes used a Calendar that differed from both the English custom of beginning the year on March 25 and from the Scottish custom of beginning the year on January 1. Many Quakers, such as George Fox and William Penn, began the year on March 1.)

Sarah Benbow, Spinster, and John Warber, Bachelor, both from the Parish of St Dunstan, Stepney, married at St Clement Danes, Westminster (the first church in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons) on 22 Dec 1724. However, John Warber, Pensioner (at that date undoubtedly a military pension), was buried at St Dionis Backchurch, City of London (North Churchyard), on 23 Feb 1739. Sarah Warber (although the record transcription says Sarah Walker) married James Terney at Newington St Mary (Surrey) on 9 Sep 1740. This is the surname listed in James Benbow's will. There was a burial of a Sarah Turney (sic) at St James, Piccadilly on 30 Nov 1768 (unconfirmed).

James Bendbow (sic) of Ratcliff, Bricklayer, son of Richard Bendbow of the same place and trade deceased, married Frances Stalker, daughter of Thomas Stalker of Sotheringby, Cumberland, Carpenter, deceased at the Monthly Meeting of Peel's Court, John Street, Westminster on 27 Nov 1740. Relatives present: Samuel and Mary Bendbow, Sarah and James Terney, Hannah Preston [1]. (Many considered Quaker couples to be living in sin because they didn't have clergy to officiate.) James Benbow of Brook Street in the Parish of Stepney, aged about 62 years, died on 23 Apr 1761, of convulsions. He was buried on 26 Apr 1761 at the Friends Burying Ground at Ratcliff. The will of James Bendbow (sic) of St Dunstan's Stepney, Bricklayer, left everything (including 11 freehold houses) to his wife Frances to dispose of, as mentioned above, with bequeaths to his sister Sarah Terney, and nieces (he'd said cousins) Elizabeth Travally, Ann Benbow and Mary Haselden [2]. Frances Bendbow (sic) of Brook Street, Ratcliff in the Parish of Stepney, aged about 66 years, died on 17 May 1766, of a Dropsy, and was buried on 23 May 1766 at the Friends Burying Ground, near School House Lane, Ratcliff.

It appears that neither Sarah nor James produced any offspring.

Samuel Benbow married Mary Breeden at St Mary's Church, Bromley St Leonard's, on 10 Jan 1723. Samuel and Mary Benbow had eight children:

  1. Sarah Benbow b. 18 Jan 1724, daughter of Samuel Benbow, Bricklayer and Mary, bap. 7 Feb 1724 (at 20 days old), at St Dunstan's, Stepney
  2. Grace Benbow, daughter of Samuel Benbow, Bricklayer was buried on 1 Apr 1726, at St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney. Assuming she had been born that same year and died at birth, or shortly thereafter.
  3. Joseph Benbow, son of Samuel Benbow and Mary, bap. 21 May 1727 and buried on 28 May 1727, in Stepney, Middlesex
  4. John Benbow, son of Samuel Benbow and Mary, bap. 19 May 1728
  5. Elizabeth Benbow, daughter of Samuel Benbow and Mary, bap. 18 Jan 1729; died aged 13 and was buried on 20 Nov 1742 in Stepney
  6. Ann Benbow b. Friday, 12 May 1732, daughter of Samuel Benbow, Bricklayer of Rat (Ratcliff) and Mary, bap. 4 Jun 1732 (at 23 days)
  7. Joseph Benbow b. Monday, 14 October 1734, son of Samuel Benbow, Bricklayer of Rat (Ratcliff) and Mary, bap. 10 Nov 1734 (at 27 days)
  8. Mary Benbow b. Sunday, 5 October 1735, daughter of Samuel Benbow, Bricklayer of Rat (Ratcliff) and Mary, bap. 2 Nov 1735 (at 28 days old), at St Dunstan, Stepney. Mary, daughter of Samuel Benbow was buried at St Dunstan, on 30 Sep 1737, just short of her 2nd birthday.
Mary Benbow, wife of Samuel Benbow was said to have been buried at St Dunstan, Stepney on 26 Feb 1735. Unfortunately, relying on a transcription of this record only, I feel it's most likely that this was actually 1736.

Samuel Benbow, Widower, then married Mary Hudson, Widow, both of the Parish of St Dunstan, Stepney at St Botolph's Aldgate, on 24 Feb 1738. It hasn't been possible to narrow down a possible previous marriage to determine what this Mary's maiden name and parentage was.

In 1739, tax records place Samuel Benbow in Brooke Street, Ratcliff.

Samuel Benbow and his second wife had one daughter:
  1. Mary Benbow b. Friday, 13 June 1740, daughter of Samuel Benbow, Bricklayer of Ratcliff and Mary, bap. 29 Jun 1740 (at 16 days old).
In 1746, tax records place Samuel Benbow on Cock Hill (The Highway).

Samuel Benbow of Ratcliff, Bricklayer, aged about 51 years, died on the 14 Nov 1750. (Actually, the original record says 1751, however, the deaths either side of his were in 1750 and Probate was granted on 20 Dec 1750, so I believe the record keeper saw his age of 51 and made a slip up in the year.) Samuel reportedly died of convulsions and was buried on 18 Nov 1750, at the Friends Burying Ground near Schoolhouse Lane. He left everything to his 'affectionate wife Mary Benbow' and appointed her sole Executrix.

[1] Found no other records of Hannah Preston to know how she was related.

[2] Mary Bendbow (sic), daughter of Samuel Benbow and his second wife, married Herbert Haselden, in Stepney, on 10 May 1757. This couple had a daughter, Mary Magdalen Haselden b. 22 Feb 1758, daughter of Herbert Haselden, Grocer, and Mary, bap. 23 Feb 1758 (at 1 day old) at St Dunstan, Stepney. They also appear to have had a daughter, Frances, mentioned in this Lease and Release with counterpart of release, "William Wood of Little Russell Street, parish of Saint George, Bloomsbury, co. Middx., cider merchant and Frances his wife, only child and heir of Herbert Haselden late of Stepney in the fields, co. Middx., grocer and tobacconist, grand daughter and heir of Magdalen wife of Robert Haselden late of Over Hulton, co. Lancs." William Wood and Frances Haselden had married, by licence issued on 14 Apr 1787. In 1777, there had been a Frances Haselden apprenticed to a Susanna Pingo, as a Milliner, which would suggest a year of birth around 1762.