Geoffs Genealogy Update 21 May 2007

Monday May 21st, 2007 | Geoff

On Tuesday last, 14 May, I attended a monthly meeting of the Shropshire Family History Society at Shrewsbury, as I usually do on the third Tuesday of the month. The speaker gave a most interesting talk about Rev Robert Foulkes, a Shropshire parish priest who was executed for murder at Tyburn in London in 1679, after a trial at the Old Bailey. This tale has everything – sex, violence and hypocrisy – all the ingredients for an attractive tale! Added to that, the speaker gave us an outline of the main source he had used – the records of the seventeenth century ecclesiastical courts. These records contain witness statements by people who took part in legal proceedings, and provide a rare opportunity to hear the account of the ordinary man in the street (albeit after some amendment by the lawyers). Fascinating.

As a matter of interest if you want to read a transcription of the trial of Foulkes you can do so at This is a site that I have used a number of times in researching my Jacobsons and Collyers, some of whom played a part in trials at the Old Bailey (as witnesses, you understand!).

As ever, I’ve been busily entering details of Bankes descendants into my database. I’ve just about completed work on the Guyatt and Smedley lines for now. Through the LDS I have ordered a microfilm of the parish register at Newington, Surrey, which will enable me to check out the entries I recently found on the IGI. These entries appear to record the early nineteenth century baptisms of the siblings of “my” Caroline Smedley.

On Thursday I am going on a coach trip organised by the Shropshire Family History Society to visit the National Archives at Kew, London. I have a great long list of items to search at Kew but, as ever, will not have time to acomplish more than a small proportion of them. Ce’st la vie!

I’ll let you know how I get on next week.

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