18th century churchwardens and their families

There are some intriguing stories to tell about those who served as churchwardens, and as other local officers. Several were involved in the slave trade. Some went through the experience of insolvency and bankruptcy [coyly described in the 18th century journals as 'B**KR**TS], and a good many were victims of robbery, with convictions - and in some cases harsh sentences - imposed at the Old Bailey. Many of them served as jurors there.

JOSEPH CROWCHER (first warden, 1729)
Crowcher, born c1680, was a wealthy Wapping merchant. Listed in a 1723 document as a ropemaker of Stepney, he was involved in various financial deals. For example, in 1728 he became joint owner with John Sell, another Wapping merchant (d.1754), of Brewhouse Farm in Henham Elsingham, in Essex, for the 'bargain' price of £1850 - sold by the trustees of the South Sea Comany which had gone bust. These documents describe him as a vintner. That same year, the ship Ann Galley was captured by the Spanish en route from Guinea to Jamaica, despite a settlement between Spain and England, and ten years later he and its other owners presented this petition to Parliament for redress. In 1752, the year of his death, he became Master of the Vintners' Company [left]. He was buried in the crypt of the church.

His daughter and heiress Elizabeth (b.1718) married Raphael (Ralph) Schomberg, black sheep member of a family of German Jewish physicians, who struggled to get membership of the Royal College of Physicians - see the Journal of Medical Biography 1994 2: 113-119. Ralph published widely, but not always to acclaim - he was described as long a scribbler, without genius or veracity. He was buried as a Christian at St George's in 1792, aged 77 (as was Elizabeth, who died in Reading in 1807, aged 87 - both in a vault in the crypt, togther with daughter Sarah, who died in 1763 aged 16, and three others without inscription). The National Gallery has a portrait of Ralph by Gainsborough, painted in Bath around 1770 perhaps in lieu of medical fees [right]. Two of Elizabeth and Ralph's ten children (most of whom died young) achieved distinction: the Revd Alexander Crowcher Schomberg, a classical scholar of Magdalen College Oxford (1756-92), and Captain Isaac Schomberg, who had a controversial naval career.

THOMAS TATLOCK (warden 1729-??)
R.H. Hadden's East End Chronicle describes the appointment of the second warden, muddling his forename with that of another candidate, Titus West, and spelling his surname there (but not later) as 'Tatlocks'. Thomas Tatlock was born in Stepney in 1664, son of John Tatlock, and was a grocer of Bread Street, in the City - serving as one of the wardens of the Worshipful Company of Grocers [coat of arms left] in 1710. He was a Citizen of London, and appears on this list [right showing cover page] of liverymen entitled to vote for Members of Parliament for the City of London in the 1714 election, which was the subject of challenge for irregularities.
In 1698 he, with Samuel Garrard, Francis Smith and Allen Hackshaw, who had taken on the debts of Gilbert Fisher (all of them grocers) sold Red Hall, Bourne in Lincolnshire (house and 66 acres of land) to Richard Dixon, an innkeeper, for £500 (the document has a large hole eaten by mice).

He married, first, Ellen Touse in 1694 and they had three sons, Henry, Thomas and Edward, and a daughter Ellen; and then Anne Darling in 1708. They were baptized at All Hallows, Bread Street. Son Thomas was for a time in partnership with Richard Blackburn as merchants of Wood Street.

(warden 17??)
Born in Great Yarmouth on 23 January 1689, he served an apprenticeship as a plane-maker, and settled in Wapping Lane as a ship-chandler and ironmonger, and encouraged by John Russel, Rector of St John Wapping, developed his enthusiasm for studying history and bibliography, always preferring primary to secondary sources (which made his work valuable for later generations: it was appropriate that one who studied churchwardens' records should himself hold this office for a time!) He became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1736, and its Secretary in 1741, and later, to his delight, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His main works were Typographical Antiquities: or, a History of Printing (1749), based on detailed surveys of over 200 firms [sample page right], much revised and extended by later authors; a catalogue of English engraved portraits; and Parentalia, or Memoirs of the family of Wren (1750, extensively edited, but perhaps largely his own work).

He married Mary Wrayford in 1714 (two years after the death of his mother, who was buried at Wapping); they had six children, only one of whom survived Mary's death in 1734.
Following his sudden death on 7 October 1759 after a violent fit of coughing, he was buried in the churchyard of St George-in-the-East. His tomb bore the inscription: Here lie interred the mortal remains of Mr. Joseph Ames, F.R.S., likewise fellow and secretary to the A.S. of London, author of the History of Printing in Great Britain, who died Oct. 7, 1759, aged 71. On the underside was a Latin inscription
Hic conditæ jacent reliquiæ mortales Josephi Ames, Regiæ Societatis Londinensis sodalis et Societatis ibidem antiquariorum secretarii qui antiquitatibus exquirendis studiosissime deditus, indefesso labore parique diligentiâ historiam apud Britannos typographicam per annos viginti quinque concinnavit, annoque Domini 1749, in vulgum edidit. Modestiâ, probitate et benevolentiâ per totum vitæ curriculum sese gessit. Tussi tandem violentâ correptus, quâ tamen paulo post sedatâ, subitó sed placidé mortem obiit Nonis Octobris, A. D. 1759, suæque ætatis 71.
His extensive library was sold the following year. Here is a fuller biography, and here a memoir.

An interesting footnote: according to Alfred F. Bobbins (in Notes & Queries 25 August 1906, referencing an article of 1858) Ames visited Margate in the 1730s and bought a copy of the History of the Isle of Tenet [Thanet] by Lewis, to which he added notes and drawings, one of them a sketch of Margate pier and harbour, including a drawing of a bathing machine - noting how at all times of the Tide the Machines or Bathing Waggons can drive a proper depth into the Sea for the accommodation of ye Bathers - claimed to be the earliest extant illustration of such a device. And see here for the family of a churchwarden which was involved in the Sea Bathing Infirmary at Margate over a century later.

HENRY RIPP (warden 1754)

He and James Manbey served in the year when a challenge was issued against the appointment of parish officers and the rates they had levied. He was described as a mariner, dealer and chapman [merchant], and latterly resided in West Ham. He - along with others associated with the parish, including Philip Splidt - was appointed one of the seventy Commissioners charged under an Act of 1771 with

paving and regulating Rosemary Lane from the Parish of Saint Botolph, Aldgate to Cable Street; also the said Cable Street, the Foot-path in Back Lane, Part of the Precinct of Well Close, the Street leading from Nightingale Lane to Ratcliff Cross, Butcher Row, and Brook Street, and the several Streets, Lanes, and Passages opening into the fame; and for removing all Obstructions and Annoyances therefrom, and preventing the like for the future.

In 1789 he was declared insolvent, but was subsequently granted a certificate of release and continued trading.

JAMES MANBEY (warden 1754)

was involved in the shipping trade. In 1755 Parliament provided for him to receive a bounty:

...whereas Thomas Hood, James Manbey, and Leonard Bowles, London, merchants, did fit out in the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty four, three ships called the Elizabeth and Mary, the Mary and the Argus, for the whale fishery in the Greenland Seas, in the manner prescribed and appointed by the said acts, and which said ships were actually employed in the said fishery, but were unavoidably lost in the said seas; be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the commissioners of the treasury, or any three or more of them now being, or the high treasurer, or any three or more of the commissioners of the treasury for the time being, shall be, and he or they are hereby impowered to direct, if he or they think fit, the payment of the bounties which the said Thomas Hood, James Manbey, and Leonard Bowles, would have been intitled to, in case the said ships had returned to this kingdom: any thing in the said two several acts contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

He was also one of the owners of the privateer Saint George (previously Lively), along with Christopher Huddy and Griffiths Hore from Wapping, and others. It sailed in 1857 with a crew of about 240 who in advertisements were offered advance payment of 6 Guineas for 'Gentlemen sailors' and 3 guineas for 'able bodied landmen', explicitly excluding the recruitment of crew belonging to His Majesty's Service, under Captain Derbyshire, who was killed in an engagement a few months later - more details here.

He was appointed High Sherriff of Essex, and had a house at Stratford Langthorne in West Ham. He was one of many signatories of a 1775 petition protesting to the King about unjustifiable proceedings of some of your Majesty's colonies in America. He died in 1778. There were other local family members: William, of Limehouse, who died in 1759, and Edward, of St Botolph-without-Aldgate, who died in 1771.

Two of his daughters married into the St Barbe family (which had naval connections over several generations, and held property in Bitterne Tithing, near Southampton), both of them at one time hoytakers [inspectors of chartered ships] at the Victualling Office:

Ann Manbey married John St Barbe (1742-1816); she died in 1771, having borne him 2 children, John and Caroline. He remarried and had a further nine children between 1774-87.  He was a powerful figure, who had served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy (superannuated with the rank of Commander at 8s. 6d. a day), had commanded merchant ships, and (as he said in 1796 -
by which time he was described as shipbroker and shipowner - in his evidence to the committee appointed 'to enquire into the best mode of providing sufficient accommodation for the increased trade and shipping of the port of London &c', during the last War I was employ'd by the Victualling Office as Hoy Taker, and had the Management of the whole Marine Department of that Office. (In this role in 1767 he had a hand in arrangements for the expeditionary voyages of Lt (later Capt) James Cook: the Admiralty Secretary wrote to Victualling Board: With reference to letter of 1 June 1767 ... Ordered that Mr. Soley, Mr. St. Barbe and Mr. Dixon do purchase on the best terms they can to be paid for in ready money, one hundred pounds of the newest and best mustard seed, unground and that the same be packed in tight cask.)   In 1782 the Victualling Board had received petitions complaining about the 'exactions' - compulsory gratuities - which he demanded, alleging also that he gave preference to vessels in which he had a personal interest. He promised to stop this practice, and the Board issued a simple reprimand, defending his professionalism as a hoytaker and as a surveyor of provisions (one source suggesting that this was out of sympathy to his need to maintain a large family). See Roger Morriss Naval Power and British Culture 1766-1850: Public Trust and Government Ideology (Ashgate 2004) p107. His personal commercial interests, in the whaling, convict and slave trades, indeed came to dominate. He was a Lloyd's underwriter, and in 1790 (together with Samuel Enderby junior) proposed to the Home Office that transported convicts could be sent out in whaling vessels, as part of the protected 'Third Fleet'. (Cpatain William Irish was involved in such a project backed by St Barbe; and compare the activities of Robert Curling). In 1794 he was one of the syndicate of brokers consigning the vessel Sandown to transport slaves from Sierra Leone. He was involved in the setting up of Commercial Hall. Latterly he lived at Blackheath.

Ann's surviving sister Christian married Alexander St Barbe junior (1743-99). His father had been appointed hoytaker at the Victualling Office, Tower Hill, in 1756 (replacing Francis Ellis, sacked for 'misbehaviour') during the 'Seven Years War', and his son 'inherited' this position some years later, being paid £60 a year with £20 a year house rent. Christian bore him four daughters, of whom Eleanor (1773-96), having married a clergyman, predeceased both parents, and Elizabeth (1773-1808) and Christian (1784-1806) predeceased their mother, leaving only Catharine (born 1774 - who had married a relative of Thomas Jefferson from the United States). This was the background to a Chancery case over Alexander's will ((he died in Blandford, Dorset): in White v St Barbe (1813) 21 E.R.C. 499, 1 Ves & B [Vesey & Beames] 399, 12 Revised Rep. 246, it was agreed that the mother had the power to nominate grandchildren as heirs. The case became a precedent for the law against perpetuities.

JOHN HORSFORD (warden 1768-69)
was an apothecary and surgeon of Ratcliff Highway.  In 1757 he presented the following petition to the Justices of the Peace denying the allegation that he was the father of a child born to a woman from Newcastle illegally claiming poor relief from the parish:
To the Right Honourable Thomas Rawlinson Esquire Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Rest of his Majesties' Justices of the Peace for at the General Quarter Sessions at the Peace held at Guildhall in and for the City of London Assembled
The Humble petition of John Horsford of the Parish of Saint George in the County of Middlesex Surgeon and Apothecary  SHEWETH
That on the twenty second day of October 1753 one Ann Coulson Spinster was upon a proper and Legal Examination taken before Boulton Mainwaring Esquire one of his Majesties' Justices of the peace for the said County of Middlesex Passed as a Vagabond from the said Parish of Saint George to the Parish of Saint Nicholas in the Town of Newcastle upon Tyne in the County of Northumberland being her Legal Settlement
That in Pursuance of Such Pass she was Conveyed to the Parish of Saint Botolph Aldgate London in her way to her said Settlement and Delivered to one Constable of the said Parish of Aldgate who thereupon Gave a Receipt for her
That Notwithstanding she was so Delivered to him together with her Pass and Duplicate of Examination he has Totally Refused to Obey the Same and was Counter and as your Petitioner Beleives [sic] therein by the Churchwarden or some other officer of the said Parish and she Still Continues in the said Parish the he had Repealed Orders from Alderman Cockayne to Obey the said Pass
That about three Months after such Pass she was Delivered of a Male Bastard Child which is now as your Petitioner beleives [sic] Chargeable to the said Parish That Since her Delivery she has made Oath Before two of his Majesties' Justices of the peace for the said city that your Petitioner is the Father of the said Bastard who have thereupon Ordered your petitioner to pay three Pounds to the Churchwardens or Overseers of the Poor of the said Parish being so much Expended by them in Maintaining the said Bastard Child and also two shillings and Sixpence a Week Weekly for its Future Maintenance
That your Petitioner being Conscious of his not ever having any criminal Knowledge of the said Ann Coulson thinks himself Greatly Aggreived by the said Order
And your Petitioners is Informed that the said Constable by not Obeying the said Pass has Acted illegally and Contrary to the Acts of Parliament and that thereby your Petitioner is Discharged the Parish having by their own Act Drew the Charge upon themselves
Your Petitioner therefore Most Humbly Hopes and prays that you would please to Quash the said Order or Adjudication touching the Maintenance of the said Bastard Child and further Releive [sic] your petitioner as you shall think proper And He as in Duty Bound will ever Pray &c. John Horsford

In 1769 he and his fellow-warden Lancelot Bowler were cited in the petition below. In 1771 he was declared bankrupt (described as apothecary, dealer and chapman [trader]); the Commissioners met on 5 May at the Guildhall to declare a dividend of his estate and effects. But he resumed his profession: in 1778 he gave this evidence at the Middlesex Sessions in the case of Andrew Robison, prosecuted for a misdemeanour, stating that he was dangerously ill and unlikely to survive more than three days.

LANCELOT BOWLER (warden 1769-70)
Born 1720, his family was conected to St Paul Shadwell. A 1583 version of the New Testament and Psalms, with ownership inscriptions including 'Lancelot Bowler 1723', was sold for £2,800 at Bonhams in 2007.  During his time as warden [together with John Horsford, above], a challenge - by petition to the Justices of the Peace - was made by Diedrick Peckerson against the higher burden of an annual rather than a monthly assessment of poor-rate (the date in this link should read 1769, not 1796):

To the Worshipfull John Hawkins Esquire and to the rest of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex in their General Session Assembled.
The Humble Petition and Appeal of Diedrick Peckerson of the Parish of Saint George Middlesex, an Inhabitant paying to the Relief of the Poor within the said Parish, SHEWETH
That a Rate or Assessment was [...] on the nineteenth day of August last made for the relief of the Poor of the said Parish by John Horsford and Lancelot Bowler, Churchwardens, and William Ray, William Gunniss and John Hopkins, overseers of the Poor of the said Parish, and all owed by Roberts Pill and Christopher Scott Esquires, two of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace of the said County, which Rate was made for three Months Commenceing [sic] at Lady Day now last past. That your Petitioner conceives himself aggrieved by the said Rate because [...] heard the other Inhabitants of the said Parish are thereby Rated or Assessed by an Annual Assessment by the Pound, Whereas the Custom and Usage of the said Parish hath constantly for great numbers of Years last past been to make a Monthly Rate or Assessment, which being discretionary was much better Calculated to Answer immediate Occasions without bringing a perpetual burthen on the Inhabitants.
That the said Rate is in many Instances partial and unequal, and in particular that your said Petitioner is charged much higher in proportion to the Annual Value of the Premises Occupied by him than other Persons within the said Parish, and therefore and for other Defects in the said Rate your Petitioner Appeals therefrom.
Your Petitioner therefore humbly prays that your Worships would be pleased to order the benefit of the said Appeal to be saved to your Petitioner, and that your Worships would be pleased to appoint a Day in the next General Quarter Session of the Peace to hear and determine the said Appeal; And at the same time that the Church-wardens and Overseers of the said Parish may produce the Books of the Old Rates for the Relief of the Poor of the said Parish, as also the Books of the present Rate ...

ROBERT PELL (warden 1776-77), WILLIAM PELL (warden 1780-81)

Robert and William were sons of William Pell, born at Chatham in 1684, who had worked as a boat builder and repairer at Wapping, marrying Martha Pilgrim at St Botolph Aldgate in 1707. He became an officer in the Royal Navy and perished in 1745, together with 1,000 men, on board HMS Victory, apparently in a gale on the rocks off Alderney known as The Caskets [Casquets] - pictured right by Peter Monamy. Martha died in 1752.

Robert was born in 1722, and married a widow Esther Wilson (née Long) in 1747; they had between 15 and 21 children (accounts vary), few of whom reached adulthood. He practised as a physician in Wellclose Square. Where did he train, and how was he financed, for this? We do not know, but he certainly prospered: financially, for (described as a gentleman) he was party to legal actions in the 1750s and 60s over 12 messuages, 2 Dove houses, 12 gardens, 300 acres of land, 300 acres of meadow, 300 acres of pasture, 500 acres of wood & common of pasture in Harefield, Ickenham & Middlesex. In the medical world he was described (on his death) as eminent, and was a founding life governor and steward of the London Hospital. He served as magistrate for the Tower Hamlets Liberties, and was signatory to this 1775 loyal address:


Address of the Justices assigned to keep the peace, and of the Grand Jury, Gentlemen, Clergy, Freeholders, and principal Inhabitants of the Liberty of the Tower of London, and Precincts thereof, presented to His Majesty by Robert Pell, David Wilmot, John Spiller, Thomas Tryon Cotton, and Richard Rutson, Esquires, and the Reverend Doctor Mayo.

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty.

The humble Address of the Justices assigned to keep the peace, and of the Grand Jury, Gentlemen, Clergy, Freeholders, and principal Inhabitants of the Liberty of the Tower of LONDON, and Precincts thereof.
Deeply impressed with a due sense of the blessings we enjoy under your Majesty's mild and gracious Government, we, your Majesty's faithful and loyal subjects, think it our indispensable duty, at this alarming crisis, to declare our abhorrence of the unnatural rebellion in America, excited, encouraged, and supported by the advice and assistance of a few disappointed seditious persons at home.
We feel exceedingly for the distresses of our deluded brethren, and lament the situation into which their own obstinacy and unjust spirit of independency have brought them, under the false colour of opposing the right of British taxation; attempting, at the same time, to captivate your royal mind by setting up charters, granted by the Crown, as superior in operation and effect to those wise and wholesome laws enacted by the British Legislature, for the good of all your Majesty's subjects, abroad and at home.
It is with the greatest respect and gratitude we observe your Majesty, instead of countenancing arbitrary Government, resting the valuable privileges of Britons on their natural and proper basis, viz: King, Lords, and Commons.
May, therefore, that period soon arrive, when the leaders and abetters of this most unnatural rebellion shall be brought to shame and punishment, and due subordination and respect be paid to the British laws. To accomplish which desirable ends, to restore peace and happiness, and to promote every other constitutional purpose, we beg leave to assure your Majesty that we will, to the utmost of our power, support the honour and dignity of the Crown, and maintain, with our lives and properties, the authority of the British Legislature over the whole Empire, against all invaders of our glorious Constitution.

In 1778, as a freeholder, he was supposed qualified to serve on juries. He was a Major in the Middlesex Militia, and died in camp on Farley Common in November, 1779 (his will is at the National Archives at Kew). Yet in the 1783 Medical Register Robert Pell of Wellclose-square is still listed; is this a mistake, or a son?

William was presumably Robert's (younger?) brother. There are records of the baptism of his children between 1764-78 at St George-in-the-East, from various addresses in Cable Street, Betts Street, Wellclose Square and Back Lane. He was a sugar refiner, trading as William Pell & Co (listed in 1781 and 1784), but died in 1788 - his will of October that year is at the National Archives in Kew. However, curiously in 1799 the London Gazette enquired

Whereas by a Order of the High Court of Chancery made in a Cause wherein Charles Lawrance and Sarah his wife are plaintiffs, and Aaron Clinker and the Governor and Company of the Bank of England Defendants, it is referred to John Wilmot, Esq, one of the Masters of the said Court, and to inquire whether William Pell, late of Cable-Street in the parish of St George Middlesex, Sugar-Refiner, and Henry Schuchart, of Brick-Lane, in the parish of Christchurch, Spitalfields, in the County of Middlesex, Sugar-Refiner (in whose names certain stock, in the 3% Annuities consolidated, now stands in Trust under the Will of Martin Wackerbarth, late of Hoxton, in the County of Middlesex, Sugar-Refiner), are living or dead; and if they or either of them are or is dead, which of them was the Survivor, and where they, or the Survivor, now are or is? and whether they or either of them be now forthcoming, or live within the jurisdiction of the said Court? All persons claiming to be interested, or who know any Thing of the Matters abovementioned, are forthwith to come in before the said Master, at his Chambers in Southampton-buildings, Chancery Lane, London, and give such information as is in their Power relative thereto.

Sir Albert Pell DCL, born 1768, was Robert's 15th child, the youngest of his three surviving sons. He was educated at Merchant Taylor's School (where apparently he and a friend trained a dog to eat the inedibly fatty meat they were served). One obituarist commented patronisingly that Pell, in early life, was not in comfortable circumstances. It was hardly probable that a medical practitioner, however able (and no doubt Mr. Pell's talents were considerable) should be in a condition to rear his sons in opulence. At Cambridge Albert was keen on poetry (with some of his verse published) and the theatre, and also, for a time, on gaming. In 1786 he became a Fellow of St John's College, holding this post until his marriage; but meanwhile he had entered the Inner Temple, as pupil to Henry Blackstone the 'special pleader', and on qualifying worked in the Western Circuit and Hampshire Sessions. After some years as a junior counsel he was made a Serjeant at Law in 1808, and King’s Serjeant in 1820, working on the circuit and also in London. He is said to have had a practice worth £6,000 a year, often with two hundred ongoing retainers. (Here are comments on his skills as an examiner of witnesses.)

He retired from this work in 1825 because of ill-health, but on recovery became an active magistrate for the Middlesex Sessions, keen, it's said, to reduce financial abuse and waste. In 1831 he was made one of the judges of the new Court of Bankruptcy (which had yet to 'prove' itself), at which point he was knighted. In 1813 he had married the Honourable Margaret Letitia Matilda St John, a co-heiress of Lord St John. They had six children (one of whom, also Albert (1820-1907), became MP for South Leicestershire - and had introduced rugby football to Cambridge University). They moved to Pinner Hill House [right] in the early years of the century, though also took a house in Harley Street when he became a bankruptcy judge, where he died suddenly in 1832, at the age of 64.

A final family member is William Pell (was he Robert's or William's son?) who traded with John Edward Allen in the early 19th century from 125 Aldersgate Street as chemists, druggists and lozenge manufacturers. In an 1811 Old Bailey case two men were convicted of stealing 2lb 10oz nutmegs, value £2 10s, and transported for seven years.

WILLIAM HARDY (warden 1782-83)
was a master mariner, dealer and chapman of Virginia Street in Wapping; he was declared bankrupt in 1794.

WILLIAM CLAPPESON  (warden 1783-84)
was a merchant of Hermitage Street in Wapping, and a Justice of the Peace from 1783 or earlier (listed among those attending the General Quarter Session in 1795). In 1787 he was a party to the sale of the vessel the Eagle, formerly the Dove, built three years earlier in Whitby, and in the same year was commissioned as as a Captain in the 2nd Tower Hamlets Regiment. In the 1802 parliamentary election for Middlesex, his vote was rejected: he had described his freehold as houses and land [situated in] St George's in the East.  The committee determined this vote to be bad, as the description was defective for the houses, and as to the land it was proved to consist merely of two small gardens, appertaining to the houses. [See Joseph Jollands, whose vote was rejected on other grounds.]

JOHN BRISTOW (warden 1784)
John [or was it his father?] was an engineer who desgned and built fire engines, from premises on Ratcliff Highway close to the church 'opposite Cannon Street [Road]'; he also bought out the firm of Newsham and Rags at 18 New Street, Cloth Fair, West Smithfield - Richard Newsham had patented the first commercially-produced fire engine in 1725 - more detail here. Bristow's 'floating engine' was made in nine different sizes, and advertised both for firefighting and for watering gardens. A handbill of around 1850 shows
part of the Ruins of the late dreadful Fire which happened in Cornhill, on March 25, 1748 (near St Michael's Church), with ruins and burning houses in the background, and in the foreground fire engines, with various devices of cities, institutions and fire-insurance companies. Each of the firefighters has a speech bubble: Brave Engine, whose is it? with the answer Bristow's, Ratcliff Highway. He is described as engine-maker to all H.M. forts, garrisons, &c. (The back of one copy of this handbill has some detail, from 1787, of work done on the engines of the City parishes of St Michael Queenhithe and Holy Trinity.) His trade card of 1773, right, by Larkin, apparently to Bristow's own design, is decorated with pictures of axes, hoses and buckets; a vesel on fire at sea; the sun; and at the top, his fire engine.

Bicester Local History Society has unearthed a Bristow engine, probably from between 1730-60 [left], and is seeking to restore it.

By the turn of the century, the firm was run as a partnership between Margaret and John Bristow (Margaret insuring the premises at 47 Ratcliff Highway in 1801 in her own name - as fire engine-makers, dealers and chapmen, - and then as a partnership of engine makers until the mid-1820s, but by 1827 they had run into financial difficulties. William Stutfield, and Samuel Hart (a currier of Great Paternoster Row) acquired their effects, and they were declared bankrupt in 1831. However, they were given a certificate of release, and two years later 'Margaret Bristow and Son' continued to trade as fire engine-makers from 12 Commercial Road. It would be good to know more about her role in an unusual business for a woman.

Sir THOMAS COXHEAD MP (warden 1785-6)
Thomas' origins are unknown. He married Deborah Healey at Ratcliff church in 1761. By 1770 he was listed as citizen and cooper (a
member of the Worshipful Company of Coopers - left) of Great Hermitage Street, and in 1774 as timber merchant, in partnership with Thomas Coxhead Stevens (as Coxhead, Stevens & Co., stave merchants), with premises at Union Wharf in Wapping. By the mid-1870s he was sufficiently prosperous to buy a share in the New River plantation in Nevis [as in St Kitts and Nevis] - right: the conveyance included a list of its slaves. In 1791/2 he purchased Gaynes Park, Epping, from the trustees of Viscount Valentia. By this time his entrepreneurial spirit had secured for him a seat in Parliament, as member for Bramber, in Sussex, which he held from 1790-96 - the story, and his parliamentary career (apparently he only made one speech) are noted here. He did not stand again - his health and his wife's desire to live the 'country life' limited his attendance - and on standing down he was knighted.

The partnership with Stevens [how were they related?] was dissolved in 1799, and the timber business henceforth was carried on by Stevens and Thomas Coxhead Marsh - one of his two illegitimate sons by Sarah Marsh (of Ashwell in Hertfordshire). This son, citizen and goldsmith, was Sheriff of London for 1813, but two years later was brought before the magistrates for an assault on a doorkeeper at Drury Lane Theatre which he had attempted to enter without payment -  details, from The Examiner of 16 October 1815, here. He died (described as former merchant) in Paris in 1847.

The other son, William Coxhead Marsh, inherited Gaynes Park [right], Deborah having died in 1810 and Thomas the following year, aged 77. Thomas Coxhead Marsh was among several, noted on these pages, whose right to vote in an election was refused: in 1841 he rented rooms in barristers' chambers, and lived there, but was not the freeholder. He later served as a JP. The house in Essex (much-altered over the years) remained with the family until the death of Hugo Chisenhale-Marsh in 1996; it is now owned by a property company, and the site used as a wedding venue and for other functions. (It is not to be confused with another Gaynes Park near Upminster, now demolished, nor Gaynes Hall near Huntingdon - once the home of Oliver Cromwell, a base for special operations in the Second World War and then a borstal.)

Ian Christie, in British 'Non-Élite' MPs 1715-1820 (Clarendon 1995), comments on the degree of social mobility between the aspiring and upper classes in this period which enabled some non-property owners from commercial backgrounds to enter Parliament, citing Thomas Coxhead as an example. The question for us is whether his term as churchwarden was inspired by Christian devotion, or was one of various moves in his advancement. It is unlikely that he and his Rector, Dr Mayo - who had a special care for former slaves from the colonies - would have seen eye to eye on slavery.

FRANCIS EWER (warden 1786-87)
Father and son were carpenters, who rented premises (at a yearly rent of £20) in Princes Square, formerly used as a sugarhouse and outhouses by Diederich Peterson and George Wackerbarth. At the Old Bailey in June 1788 Wiliam Dyer was acquitted of theft from their house there (Francis junior gave evidence) - he was drunk and looking for somewhere to urinate.  By 1802, the family had acquired the property - Francis Ewer was listed as a freeholder in the Middlesex parliamentary election, with 'Mr Wincott' as tenant; the following year he was described as a builder, and by 1820 a gent living in Watford, renting the premises to Mr Tyler, a sugar baker - with a 4hp steam engine (and also another property in Anchor and Hope Alley, Wapping).

LEONARD APPLEBY (warden 1787-??)

was a staymaker - fashioning whalebone strips for women's corsets - of 155 Ratcliff Highway (insuring this property, and also 72 and 73 Rosemary Lane, in the last decade of the century). In an Old Bailey case in 1769 he gave a character witness for a neighbour's apprentice, who was acquitted of stealing two copper boilers. He was a registered freeholder for the 1802 parliamentary election. He died in 1806, and was described in his will as a gentleman.

JOSEPH JOLLANDS (warden 1788)

Listed in 1783 as a grocer, he owned premises at 37 and 38 Ratcliff Highway. (John Jollands, of 159 Upper Shadwell, was also listed as a grocer and tea dealer.) In 1784 William Hay, Joseph's errand boy, gave evidence at the Old Bailey in a case of alleged burglary from the home of Lazarus Levy at no.41; the accused was defended by the famous William Garrow, and was acquitted. In 1771 he was one of the seventy Commissioners appointed for paving streets in the area (as were several others mentioned on these pages), and in 1800 one of the investors in the joint stock company that created London Docks. At the parliamentary election of 1802, many office holders had their votes cancelled, and Jollands was among them - despite the fact that, as a case a few days later established, land tax commissioners and their appointees were specifically excluded from this disenfranchisement - futher details here.
VI. Questions relating to the person of the voter:  in respect,  1. of office
Collector of duty on windows, &c.
2d June. Joseph Jollands.  He was objected to as being a collector of the duty on windows and houses, and as such disqualified by the st[atute]. 22 G. 3. c. 41 [Sect.1 forbids certain persons to vote at elections, among whom are "any surveyor, collector, comptroller, inspector, officer or other person employed in collecting, managing, or receiving duties on windows or houses".] Upon reading the statute, little resistance was made to the objection by the counsel on the other side, and the vote was admitted to be bad. But in the cafe of Edward Staples (5th June), against whom the same objection was made, and who appeared to have been appointed by the commissioners of the land-tax, at the same time with the preceding voter, the counsel in support of the vote having had a further opportunity to consider the statute, contended that he was protected by the second section of the statute [Sect.2 contains a proviso that the act shall not extend to commissioners of the land tax, or persons acting under the appointment of such commissioners "for the purpose of assessing, levying, collecting, receiving, or managing, the land-tax, or any other rates or duties already granted or imposed, or which shall hereafter be granted or imposed by authority of parliament." By st[atute]. 20 G.2. c 5, and 38 G. 3. c.40, the management of the duties of windows and houses is placed under the control of the commissioners of the land-tax, who are to appoint the collectors], and cited the case of Thomas Barringer, 2 Lud. 551, where it was held, that a collector of the duties on windows and houses, appointed by the commissioners of the land tax, was not disqualified. The arguments made use of on each side, were the same as those reported in Barringer's case, and therefore are not repeated here. The committee decided that the vote was good; but refused to restore the vote of Jollands to the poll.

He died, much respected, in 1809. A John Jollands was a partner in Tregoning, Wilson & Co, trading in Watling Street as Manchester warehousemen (wholesalers of linen and cloth manufactured in the north west), which was dissolved in 1829. Was this Joseph's or John's son?

Is the name German or Dutch? He was a sugar refiner, of Breezers Hill from from 1758-63, and from 1766 with premises at 4 Ratcliff Cross [or Highway], trading as Christopher Ludeken & Son. In 1777 a friend and fellow sugar refiner, Carsten Dirs left him money in his will, for mourning. Christopher died in 1792. The following year his widow rented the premises to one Goodhart, and apparently moved to 17 New Square, Minories, which she jointly insured with Thomas Armitage, a future warden.

WILLIAM ARNOLD (warden 1791)

of the Commercial Road - what was his trade or profession? His widow Catherine died in 1810, and the obituaries recorded that she was remarkable for strength of mind, power of memory, and acuteness in discriminating characters (=?)

ROBERT CURLING (warden 1792)
Several generations of the family lived and worked north and south of the river, initially in maritime pursuits. A Jesse Curling was a Captain in 1775, and in 1800 (according to the Naval Chronicle) a Robert Curling, Commander of the merchant ship Castor, died of brain fever on his passage home from Jamaica in the bight of Léogâne off present-day Haiti (where the 'Quasi-War' between the United States and Haitian picaroons, or pirates, took place the same year). 'Our' Robert (1741-1809) was active in the Jamaica trade, in which according to one obituary he acquired an easy proficiency. He became a shipowner, bought, with family members and others, dockside property, traded in goods (including whalebone) and played a part in the 'marine politics' of the day. His home was in Torrington Street, Wapping, until he moved to Camberwell Grove (where he died aged 69, his widow Ann living on there to the age of 85; his unmarried daughter Catherine died there in 1848, and it was the home of his son Edward).

Shipowner: he was one of the four owners of the ship Elligood, registered in London in 1795. It made voyages to Martinique and to the East Indies; in 1800, along with the Kingston (owned by Daniel Bennett) it made a whaling trip to New Holland, and then a semi-secret voyage of discovery to King George Sound in Western Australia. (Because Britain and France were at war, vessels proceeding from the Thames to the West Indies or the South Seas had to sail to the Solent and form into convoys guarded by ships of the Royal Navy. See here for accidental damage just outside the English Channel to the Salamander, a merchant whaler/trading vessel which had been - and perhaps still was - captained by a future churchwarden of the parish.) Master of the Elligood Christopher Dixson and nine crew members died of scurvy; they were buried at sea, but a few years later the cartographer Captain Matthew Flinders discovered a garden plot at Oyster Harbour commemorating them, though by the time of a later expedition it had disappeared. There is more about this expedition in To King George the Third: Sound for Whales, a Western Australia local history monograph based on the logbook of the Kingston. The later history of the Elligood is uncertain. Curling also insured, from an address at Galley Quay, Lower Thames Street (as merchant and owner), the vessel Loyalist, off Deptford, whose master was Francis Watson.

Dockland owner: In 1793 the Vintner's Company granted Curling, and one Hammond, a 21-year lease on Hammond's Quay and warehouses, in the Pool of London, at £205 a year. The East India Company had shown no interest in this property at the time, but three years later bought them out for £2,500, also acquiring the adjacent Lyons Quay. (In 1799 they
sold an underlease of the quay to William Skrine for £2,000. In 1805, under the West India Dock Acts, the lease was surrendered to the Crown which had acquired the freehold.) He was also a partner in Cox, Curling and Company, shipbuilders in Limehouse; after Robert's death, William and Jesse Curling, together with William Young, took on the firm, as Curling, Young and Company, building large timber ships for the East and West Indies, and as merchant craft for elsewhere, until this trade declined. (See here for an 1819 Old Bailey case, where their foreman was transported for seven years for stealing 12 lbs. of metal bolts and nails, value 8s.)

'Marine politics': the family was active in supporting the
Corporation for Sick and Maimed Seamen in the Merchants Service (established in 1747 to enable merchant seamen as well as those who had served in the Royal Navy to benefit from the facilities of Greenwich Hospital): Robert, John and Jesse senior were committee members in 1797, and Jesse junior in 1832. Robert was voted a Director of the London Dock Company in 1800, chaired by Sir Richard Neave, and was a leading light in the body (also chaired by Neave) making subscriptions for the Capture of French Privateers, Armed Vessels, &c.  In 1802 he was a founder member of the Society of Ship Owners of Great Britain, and chaired this body in 1803 and 1804. Its main concerns were the crisis in the British shipping industry caused by French and other incursions, the impact of government legisltion, and the plans for the creation of London Docks. In 1806 An Examination of the alleged expediency of the American intercourse bill was respectfully inscribed to Robert Curling, Esq. and the other gentlemen who compose the committee of ship-owners (printed for J. Asperne - copy held at Goldsmith's Library, University of London).

In 1795 Mr Rose Beckford (one of the eight illegitimate children of the late 'Alderman' William Beckford, twice Lord Mayor of London, who had also made his fortune in Jamaica) mortgaged a farm at Offley Holes, in Hertfordshire, to Richard Curling for £4000. Rose died intestate and without a legal heir, and Curling became proprietor of the estate, worth £12,000, and quietly used the income to educate and support Rose's illegitimate daughter. Curling's executor and son Edward
Spencer Curling (later consul of the Netherlands at Deal and Ramsgate) took exception to the description of his father's possession as by force and operation of law - and his lawyers issed this riposte.

See here for further details of Robert Curling's doings, and of other family members.

JOSEPH DOWSON (warden 1793)
The family were ship builders, brokers, merchants and latterly men of property. In 1793 Joseph Dowson the elder, and William Dalrymple Dowson (formerly of St Helen's Place, Bishopsgate), had premises in Old Broad Street - both were subscribers that year to a Spitalfields-based document On the importance of educating the infant poor. In 1794 Joseph was listed as a broker of 2 Sampsons Gardens, Wapping. Their shipbuilding activities were at Limehouse Bridge Dock and Ratcliffe Cross Dock - in an 1819 Old Bailey trial William Burgess, who had been appointed their night watchman a few days earlier, was convicted of stealing nails, lead and copper (to the value of 9s. 11d.) His defence was I have a large family. He wa
s transported for seven years.

In 1804 William Dalrymple Dowson purchased Woodhatch, in Reigate, and moved there, acquiring other local farmland and interests over the years, with his wife Sophia and other family members as trustees. Joseph the younger was living at the Inner Temple in 1804, and in Henrietta Street, Brunswick Square by 1814.
He was in partnership with William Earl at Albion Wharf, Great Surrey Street, as a timber merchant in the 1820s, and in the following decade involved in Australian trade: in 1854 he retired as a governor of the Union Bank of Australia (whose offices were also in Old Broad Street).


Father (born 1740 in Eastcheap) was a victualler, working from the corner of Church Street Wapping in 1791. Christopher Walter Marshall (1766-1828) was a sailmaker, with premises at 7 Little Hermitage Street, Wapping - a freeholder with a vote in the 1802 election, and owner of other premises at 114 Wapping (occupied by a fishmonger, then a tinman) - and declared bankrupt in 1810.

(warden 1795)

Court (= Kurt) Henry and his brother Carsten Dirs were German sugar refiners. Carsten lived in Wellclose Square, and died in 1777; Henry lived in Pennington Street and died in 1812. He had been naturalised by Act of Parliament in 1776 - a costly business. His son Carsten, formerly of Wellclose Square, and later of Breezers Hill (their works) and also of Woodford, died a widower in 1819. Their detailed wills can be viewed here. The fact that they were proved by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (the church court serving the whole of the southern province) rather than by the diocesan court indicates that they were men of substance.They left money to relatives in the Hanoverian Dominions, to family and friends - including Christopher Ludekins [aka Ludeken] - for mourning (i.e. for the purchase of a memorial ring), to fellow-sugar bakers and other colleagues, and to their servants and various employees. Henry also left a sum to the pastor of the German Lutheran church in Trinity Lane (the oldest German congregation in London) rather than to the more recent church in Little Alie Street, though he did leave money to the charity school there, as well as to the Middlesex Society.

JOHN MOXSY (warden 1795)
The family came from Devon or Dorset and were bakers, with premises in the City at at 10 Hart Street, Crutched Friars, and at 63 Ratcliff Highway. John senior (probably the one who served as warden) died in 1808. His son John, born c1771, was a member (contributing a guinea a year) of the Philanthropic Society, founded in 1788 and incorporated in 1806 to tackle the problems of homeless and delinquent children. He died in 1819, aged 48; two days later, his brother Francis, of Whitchapel Road, died aged 41. The next John (who traded with Daniel Callard at the Ratcliff Highway premises) was living in Wellclose Square in 1837 when, described as a gentleman, he invested £500 in the Great North of England Railway. In 1831 he took over the affairs of Edward Bowring, silk shag manufacturer, who had gone bankrupt. John was involved in cases involving family wills: Bate v Hooper in 1848 (with amendments in 1850, 1852 and 1876) and Sewell v Moxby & others in 1851-52, where he was said to be the only defendant who had followed the proper procedures in the ecclesiastical courts which dealt with probate at that time.

William Moxsy of Whitechapel Road (son of Francis?) was a flour factor in 1842, and became the joint assignee with John Bird, a timber merchant of Beaumont Road, Stepney, of the effects of Marmaduke Wooding. Some of the family emigrated to the USA.

ELIJAH GOFF (1797-98)

Elijah Goff was a coal merchant, living in Broad [now Reardon] Street, Wapping. He married Mary Mallard, and their five children were baptized at the Scotch Presbyterian Chapel in Broad Street - Peter in 1768, Elijah in 1769. Joseph in 1772, Lydia in 1774 and John in 1777. Nevertheless, he was eligible to serve as a Trustee of St George-in-the-East, and served as churchwarden from 1797-98 (having failed to be elected in 1970).

His house was rented, at £18 a year plus £1 13s. land tax, from his wife's family. So too, at the same rates, was the house next door, no.4, from 1785-89 by Captain William Bligh, who was absent on HMS Bounty for part of this time. Neighbours paid less - on average, £10 in rent and 18s. 4d. in land tax - suggesting that these were a pair of larger houses (see further the Society for Nautical Research The Mariner's Mirror of 1990, p373).

Goff's diaries for 1788 to 1799 (the year of his death, at his son's house in Epping - he was buried at St George-in-the-East) were acquired by Tower Hamlets' Bancroft Library from J.L.M. Gulley in 1990. Unfortunately, entries up to 8 December 1789 are missing, but those that survive give much interesting information, including his involvement with the London Hospital and other medical charities and his concerns over the rising tide of 'revolution', in addition to:
  • frequent references to the weather
  • sermons heard at Mr.Hill's meetings, Shakespeare's Walk [chapel], St George-in-the-East Church &c
  • dining at the Coal Exchange, Stock Exchange (which he visited regularly) or at various inns, including the Cock and Lion, and the Crown and Magpie in Whitechapel
  • rides on horseback to various places in Kent, Essex &c
  • visits to and from his children
  • attacks of gout
  • visits to Plaistow (where he sometimes assisted with haymaking), Ramsgate, and Epping
  • domestic occurrences such as having chimneys swept, laying down port, or hiring new servants
  • hearing news of his son Joseph Goff, at sea on voyages to Jamaica and India.
Volume 1 covers 15 Jan 1788 - 31 August 1796 (but entries up to 8 December 1879 are missing)
- the front cover states no. of my watch 7613, made by Ellicott and the back cover notes the purchase
of a chestnut mare for £34 18s in August 1796. Among the dated entries are
  • 10 January 1790  death of niece Maria Ainsley, buried at Wapping churchyard in Mr.Mallard's vault beside my dear wife
  • 24 February 1790 son John returns from boarding school for his birthday
  • 2 April 1790 a fire broke out at a cork cutter's at the Hermitage, burnt a hemp warehouse and several others
  • 20 April 1790 dined at the London Tavern with the Duke of Gloucester his son Prince William with several noblemen and a very numerous company on the anniversary of the London Hospital
  • 22 April 1790 went to the London Hospital to vote for Mrs.Guion to be matron, who got it by a large majority
  • 4 May 1790 rode down to Blackheath to see the King reviewing the Oxford Blues; dined at Eltham
  • 5 May 1790 last evening a press broke out for seamen
  • 20 November 1790 rode down to Blackwall to see Mr. Pary's new west dock entered for the first time - they took in 3 East Indiamen and 1 Greenlandman
  • 19-26 September 1792 visits Southampton, Winchester and the Isle of Wight
  • 1 August 1793 met the Assessors of the Land Tax after having gone about the parish
  • 12 May 1794 dined at the London Tavern with Earl Cornwallis and about 300 of the subscribers of the Eastern Dispensary, in the evening met at the Paul's Head the stewards of the Universal Medical Society to order the dinner of the charity
  • 12 April 1794 heard that Peter Goff [son] had changed his name for Mallard
  • 20 May 1794 met the Marquis of Cornwallis with the Deputy Lieutenants of the Tower at the Court House in Wellclose Square, made a subscription to raise a body of men for the service of the Crown to protect our properties
  • 15=22 July 1794 visits Portsmouth and Southampton
  • 26 March 1795 marriage of his son Elijah to Mary Robinson at Camberwell Church
  • 29 June 1795 a great mob gathered at St.George's Fields, but [I] did not hear of any damage, blessed be God for it
  • 13 February 1796 this morning Mr.Ainsley's stables were broke open and his mare stolen
  • 4 June 1796 dined with the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House, with about 200 of his friends
Volume 2 covers September1796 - 23 May 1799, and includes:
  • 17 November 1796 went to Deptford and saw the 'Hindoostan' launched from Mr.Bernard's dock
  • 21 November 1796 birth of his grandson (son of Lydia, his daughter, and John Blunt)
  • 13 October 1797 attended the anniversary of the London Hospital - being one of the Stewards - went to the Chapel at the Hospital, heard a sermon preached by the Bishop of St.David's
  • 13 October 1797 this day the Tower guns were fired on account of Admiral Duncan having taken the Dutch fleet, thank God for the news
  • 2 October 1796 good news from Admiral Wilson, having destroyed the French fleet at Alexandria, God be praised
  • 3 November 1796 arrived in London from Epping, dined at Mr.Blunt's, slept in Broad Street at my home

His son Elijah was a surveyor, of Wellclose Square, and was a freemason - like other local worthies, a member of the Quatuor Coronati lodge, whose members included those 'using the Sea'. He was a member of the Special Jury empanelled on 21 February 1803 to hear the case of Jean Peltier, Gentleman, for a Libel on Napoleon Buonaparté, First Consul of the French Republic, in the Court of King's Bench before Lord Ellenborough [the famous barrister William Garrow was involved]. He predeceased his wife; she survived to the age of 86 and died at Haslingdane-place, Sibertswould in Kent.

William Dawes of Lancashire (1762-1836) produced a series of humorous volumes, collectively published in 1872 and following years as The Works of Elijer Goff: including his Travels, Trubbles, and other Amoozements; his Kristmas book; and a Kronikle of a King, &c. &c. &c.  It's not clear why he lighted on this name.

DAVID RICHARDSON (warden 1798-9)

was a slopseller [dealer in cheap ready-made clothing] at 72 Hermitage Street, Wapping, from which address he was registered as a freeholder in the 1802 parliamentary election. In 1783 his house in Wapping Street burnt down in a fire, and he and others were the victims of looting; here is part of his deposition (full text and image here):
Who being on their Oaths say and First the said David Richardson for himself Saith That on the Evening of the twenty fourth day of September Inst. a Fire Happened in Wapping Street when the House of him this Informant together with many others was Burnt down That at the said Fire this Informant has lost a great Quantity of Goods Consisting of Jackets Trowsers Check Shirts and other Articles of Slop Work besides what were Burned in the said Fire That the Several Articles or Goods now produced by the other Informant the said John Hinde consisting of Seven Blue Common Jackets Two Large Blue Jackets [nine] seven White Flannel Jackets Six pair of Breeches Twelve Canvas Trowsers Twelve Checked Shirts one Marble Flannel Waistcoat and one piece of Brown Stuff are the Property of him this Informant and were taken away from his said House at the time of the said Fire That he [clear and positive] believes that he saw the person now present who says his Name is Walter Batley with others very Active about this Informants House at the same time

In 1811, from an address in Wapping High Street, he was co-executor (with Alexander Mitchell, a cabinet-maker of St Catherine's Street, the Tower) of a deceased neighbour, George Young, painter, glazier and ship-chandler of Great Hermitage Street. His partnership with James Richardson and William Francis (warden 1850), was dissolved by mutual consent in January 1822. He died in 1831; his will is at the National Archives in Kew.

Richardson's wife Janet was the sister of Major Robert Stobo, hailed as perhaps the least appreciated, most undervalued hero of our colonial period. When their parents in Glasgow died, he sold their property and set up in business in Virginia, but it failed; so he enlisted, and was appointed a captain in the Virginia militia shortly before the French and Indian War. In 1754, as part of the terms of surrender of Fort Necessity, he and Captain Jacob van Braam were taken to Fort Duquesne as hostages pending a prisoner exchange. At great risk, he was able to make detailed sketches of the fort and suggested plans for its destruction, which were smuggled to the British forces. His words included:

I send this by Monacatootha's brother-in-law, a worthy fellow and may be trusted. On the other side you have a draught [sic] of the Fort such as time and opportunity would admit of at this time ... When we engaged to serve the country it was expected we would do it with our lives;—let them not be disappointed, consider the good of the expedition without the least regard to us ... I wou'd Die ten thousand Deaths to have the pleasure of possessing this Fort but one Day, they are so vain of their success at the [Battle of the Great] Meadows it's worse than Death to hear them.

The French recovered these papers and he was convicted at Quebec as a spy and sentenced to death, but this was commuted to close confinement, and he managed to escape and rejoin the British forces.

Lloyds' Evening Post and The Westminster Journal of June 20-23 1770 reported:

We hear from Chatham that on Tuesday afternoon, about three o'clock, the following melancholy accident happened in the barracks there. Captain S, of the 15th [East Yorskshire, Duke of York's Own] Regiment (now lying in the barracks) shot himself. It seems he had been disordered in his mind for some time before, and for several days past drank extremely hard. The Coroners inquest sat on the body on Wednesday and brought in their verdict. Lunacy.

He was presumably given a suicide's burial, in a place unknown. However, his oldest sister Janet, next of kin and heir at law, was granted his goods, chattels and credits; she and her sister Margaret Lockhead contrived to keep the manner - and even the fact - of his death secret. A few months later Captain Lieutenant Isaac Augustus d'Aripé was promoted to the post of captain in the Fifteenth Regiment, vice Robert Stobo, deceased.

Stobo's memoirs, lodged at the the British Museum, were published in Pittsburgh in 1854; see also Robert C. Alberts The most extraordinary adventures of Major Robert Stobo (Houghton Mifflin 1965), which includes the epilogue He early professed the religion of Christ, and walked upright.

SAMUEL HUTCHINSON (warden 1799-1800)
He was a tailor, and lived in Wellclose Square. In 1794 at the Old Bailey William Milburn was convicted of grand larceny, for stealing two linen shifts, value 7s., and two linen shirts, value 7s., from their washing line. He insured premises at 5 Tower Dock, near Tower Hill, in 1803 - described as a gentleman. In 1823 he was listed as a subscriber to the Royal Humane Society,
founded in 1774 for the recovery of persons apparently drowned or dead, having contributed ten guineas as a life governor and five guineas as a steward. See here for an early handbook and here for the Society today.

for PHILIP SPLIDT (warden 1779-80), see next page

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