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Some curiosities

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  • Some curiosities


    I am currently looking at a branch of my tree and I have some curiosities I have never picked up on before.

    James Danslow marries Sarah Scott in March 1817. On 18th April, the order from the administration of the Lying in Hospital in Holborn is given for Sarah. Her reckoning is listed as end of April, however she presents on 31st May and gives birth to a daughter on 1st June, so presumably they either miscalculated or mis-wrote her due date. James is listed as a gentleman's servant and the recommender is "Walls Mr by Dr Batty". Presumably this means the doctor asked Mr Walls to be the recommender, or vice versa?

    I also wonder why James and Sarah waited until she was, at best, 7 months pregnant to get married. Maybe she didn't know or accept her pregnancy, or James was a bit of a cad, or the romantic in me says he loved Sarah and when she got pregnant by someone else he offered to marry her!

    In 1818 she presents again at the Lying in Hospital, recommended this time by Holl and Bevan who appeared to be coal merchants. James is now listed as a Footman.

    I don't really understand the role of the recommender, if there is one.

    In 1820 however, in the next baptism James is listed as "trade" for his occupation and by 1826 he is a grocer, living in what appears to be an affluent area of London just off Portland Street (as per the Booth map made some years later). I presume he would have been literate? (In 1839 when he marries again it appears that he signs his own name, but I only base that over it not saying "mark of..")

    When James dies in 1852 he is a Parish Beadle.

    I guess I don't really understand how a servant ends up a business owner by the time he is around 25, and is respectable enough at his death in the community to be a parish Beadle. I have some sort of Downton Abbey type image of a lovely Gentleman giving his staff a leg up in life, but don't think that is realistic!

    Name interests: Alderton, Osborne, Danslow, Hanley, Bowkett, Lakin, Elliott, Banner, Walters, Reed, Deighton, Sleight, Dungar ;)

  • #2
    Fortnum and and Mason began working out of a one roomed shop, and Mason had been a footman so there's a precedent!

    He could well have amassed tips or had a small legacy from an employer. Sometime in the 1850s my ancestor was able to start a small grocers in south London though he was an orphan, an uncle left him some money. Another ancestor in a mill town in Lancashire ran a small grocers from the front room of her 4 roomed terraced house.


    • #3
      Maybe the couple had to wait to marry until one party (or both) was 21 as parental permission was refused?

      Not alone in only marrying when in an advances of pregnancy - some grooms were very reluctant and only married as a last resort, once they didn't think there might be a miscarriage to let them off the hook.
      Janet in Yorkshire

      Genealogists never die - they just swap places in the family tree


      • #4
        a bit like an gr gr aunt of mine that had a reasonable amount of money, but never had a 'big' job. Never got to the bottom how she got her little nest egg!

        did you have a wander around the newspapers to see if anything in there?

        Family Tree site

        Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
        Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff


        • #5
          From what i've read, you had to be referred to the hospital by a donor of the hospital. It was mainly for respectable married women whose husbands were in a trade.

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          • #6
            I didn't find anything in the Apprenticeship tax records, nor in the London Freedoms. There was a Grocer's Company, but the guilds were losing control by then.

            Also - he wouldn't have met the usual criteria for apprenticeship if he was married.

            Did you note/find that his will is on Ancestry? There are four pages, more or less saying the same things (executrix Sarah Danslow, widow & relict). She signs her name, and I think he did too. Gives the streets they were living on at the time of his death, as well as the one before.
            Last edited by PhotoFamily; 16-10-23, 01:10.


            • #7
              Interesting info about a parish beadle
              Beadle, sometimes spelled "bedel," is a term derived from the Latin word bedellus or the Saxon word bydel. Beadles in the Anglican Church were described as


              • #8
                Thank you all for your responses. I have seen the will, and funnily enough one of the witnesses, George Glazier was also a witness at his second wedding in 1839. He lives a few streets away and appears to be a builder, and I presume a good friend for over a decade.

                The newspaper just mentions his death and that he was a verger also at All Souls church, and the rector at the time later became the Bishop of Gloucester

                Name interests: Alderton, Osborne, Danslow, Hanley, Bowkett, Lakin, Elliott, Banner, Walters, Reed, Deighton, Sleight, Dungar ;)