Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 June 2012
Tuesday June 5th, 2012 | Geoff
You will know, from previous entries, that I am concentrating my family history research at present on my Rand forebears, as well as the ancestors of John Bankes (abt 1650-1719), Citizen & Haberdasher of London. I want to identify where these people came from before living in London in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and also who their forebears were.
Sometimes it pays to take a step back from one’s research, and approach the task in hand from a different angle. With this in mind, I’ve continued to gather information about the Atherton family (Bankes’ first wife – so far as we know – was Elizabeth Atherton), and also the family of Bankes’ second wife – Elizabeth Trevers (abt 1670-1733).
So far as the Athertons go, I’ve accumulated a fair number of parish register entries. My starting point has been the people I have identified in documents I’ve obtained over the years. There are a number of Athertons named in Bankes’ will, and also in items that were used as evidence in the Court of Chancery proceedings relating to the Bankes Trust. On top of that I have some Atherton sightings that I made in the Middlesex Deeds Register, during visits to London Metropolitan Archives, and some wills and parish registers. All this material adds up to a fairly considerable archive, albeit an archive that is a trifle fragmented. In the next few weeks I hope to sort out all this material and see what it all tells us. There may be a possibility that the Athertons and Rands came from the same place.
I know that in the 1720s the Athertons lived at Marsh Baldon in Oxfordshire, and some years ago I examined the parish registers for that place. I collected a fair number of Atherton entries, but there were no Rands. However, in another Oxfordshire parish I did find a number of Rand entries, It is certainly not impossible that Bankes, Rand and Atherton all came from that area, but in that case, where does Chichester fit in?
I have also collected some extra information about the Russell family. This is the family of Elizabeth Trevers mentioned above. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries, this lady was married at least twice before she married Bankes in 1715. Apparently she first married a certain Thomas Russell, Feltmaker, and had several children with him. One of these Russell children was a daughter named Elizabeth (c1693-1740) who married Robert Mitchell (abt 1692-abt 1742), Citizen & Skinner of London. Robert was a nephew of John Bankes, being a son of his sister – my ancestor – Mary Rand (abt 1668-1739).
Anyway, I have now traced the baptisms of a sister of Elizabeth – Hannah Russell (1685 – 1745) and also Hannah’s spouse – Edmond Jones (abt 1686-1746), another Haberdasher. Thomas Russell must have died sometime after 1692, I estimate, and the marriage of his widow to Mr Trevers would obviously have taken place sometime after his decease. I still have not found this marriage. We know that by the time she married John Bankes, Elizabeth had been widowed again.
Elizabeth Russell / Trevers / Bankes must have been quite a formidable woman, I think. We learned from one of the Court of Chancery causes that:
“… having been used in her husband’s lifetime to go amongst his tenants and receive their rents and gett in their debts and been been otherwise intrusted by him to manage his affairs she was desirous to be employed to receive and gett in his effects and being well known among the said tenants and debtors”.
Bankes’ executors, evidently agreed to her doing this:
“the said John Hales and John Cartlitch did employ her as receiver allowing her forty pounds per annum sallary and … she entered on such receipt on Lady Day (1720) and on the six and twentieth of September then cast the said John Hales and the said Defendant John Cartlitch and the said John Marsh mett at Nine Elmes about the said Testator’s affairs and the said complainant Mrs.Banks paid the Defendant John Cartlitch three hundred and sixty five pounds and seventeen shillings and the said Defendant John Cartlitch and the said John Hales allowed her (sever)all disbursements and that the said John Cartlitch believed that the said Mrs.Banks at first employed Nathan Crow the Testator’s servant to assist her in selling and disposing of the testator’s goods and stocks at his wharf and to receive and gett in some of his rents and debts and that she afterwards employed Thomas Russell … therein.”
Unfortunately, when I saw this document and annotated it in 1994 I did not have time to make a complete transcription. At the time I knew nothing about the Russell connection, and seeing no significance in the above reference to Thomas Russell, I edited out some of the statement at this point. Hopefully I can get back to Kew to correct this error someday soon, but my visits to The National Archives are rare these days, so I may not be able to do this for some time. The suspicion must be that this Thomas Russell may have been a relative of Elizabeth Bankes through her previous marriage.
Also in May, I took the opportunity to have a look at John Bankes’ apprentices. So far as I can see there were four of them:
- Zachariah Gadbury in 1679
- Maynard King in 1694
- Samuel Bridgeman in 1704
- Thomas Powell in 1712
It’s interesting to me that these apprenticeships were spaced out across Bankes’ career. The first agreement would have been signed when Bankes was a young man – about 28 years old, and the last when Bankes was around 60 years old. Indeed, Thomas Powell’s apprenticeship would probably just have been completed when Bankes died in 1719.
At the end of May we went to see Mozart’s comic opera Cosi Fan Tutti, at the Severn Theatre, Shrewsbury. This was a performance by Swansea City Opera, a touring opera company that comes our way once each year and is always worth seeing. They provided a sparkling night’s entertainment, which was enriched by a superb performance by the soprano Laure Meloy.
Do try to support this very good company the next time they come your way. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.