Geoffs Genealogy Update 8 May 2016

Monday May 9th, 2016 | Geoff

One of the things I have been doing in the past month is updating the Links page on the Geoffs Genealogy website. In truth this is a job that I have neglected , and over time a number of the websites that I had listed had been changed, or did not exist any more. I therefore reviewed each of the links, changing them or deleting them, and rewriting text as necessary. As a result of this work, as at 8 April all the links were working.

Doing this work brought to mind that it is some time since I updated the content on my website, so this will be the next maintenance job I shall be working on to bring Geoffs Genealogy up to date, although I can’t say when I shall get around to doing this, especially with holidays approaching and a garden to work in. I’ll update you re this through this blog.

In my February blog entry I mentioned some work I had done, looking into the life of John Bankes, Citizen & Haberdasher of London (c1650-1719/20), and this month I have looked at a matter relating to our family’s benefactor that you may find interesting.

I mentioned previously that I had traced a list of apprentices to Bankes, and it occurred to me that it may be interesting to look at the lives of some of these people, to see what I can find out about them, in the hope that this may cast some light on Bankes’s life or family. I looked first at Nathan Crow, who, as I mentioned in February, was apprenticed to Bankes on 9 April 1714, and was still an apprentice at the time of his master’s death in 1719/20.  I knew, from the apprenticeship record, that Nathan was the son of David Crow, a Maltster of Cumberland, and that he received his freedom on 21 April 1721. It may be worth mentioning in passing that although I traced his freedom in the Haberdashers’ Company records, I could not find it in the City of London freedom records that can be viewed on the website, so it can pay to check more than one source.

A search of the indexes on the Family Search website suggests that Nathan Crow, son of David Crow, was baptised at Lanercost, Cumberland on 7 August 1695. His mother’s name is not stated.

Lanercost is a small village, located just south of Hadran’s Wall, near the River Irthing and about twelve miles to the east of Carlisle. It is about 325 miles north of London, and it seems reasonable to assume that it was as small a place in Nathan’s time as it is today.

When people tell you that our forebears didn’t travel far, just remember Nathan. Fancy travelling all the way from Cumberland to London in 1714! This was in the days before the great improvements in transport that were occurring in England by 1800. In Nathan’s time travel was notoriously slow and dangerous, although unfortunately I have been unable to ascertain how long his journey from Cumberland to London would have taken him.

One wonders whether Nathan Crow undertook his journey alone, or with a fellow traveller. He was about 19 years of age when his apprenticeship to Bankes was transacted,  so would most likely have been capable of travelling alone. Maybe he was with his father, and maybe the whole nuclear family moved to the capital together. That said, I haven’t managed to trace David Crow, Maltster in the London records. Maybe Nathan’s parents had died in Cumberland, and he had made his way to London alone or with siblings?

Another question. What was the process by which Nathan Crow became apprenticed to John Bankes? Would he or (more likely, perhaps) his father have become aware of Bankes whilst living in Cumberland? Or would he have treavelled to London in search of an apprenticeship, and become aware of Bankes whilst in the capital?

So many thought provoking questions, but at the moment I have no answers to any of them.

As Nathan was apprenticed to John Bankes I would expect that his trade once a freeman would have been that of a carpenter, or something else in the building trade.  However, to date I have been unable to trace him active in these trades in London at that time. Maybe he died young, or moved back to Cumberland once a freeman? That last option seems less than likely to me.

One thing I do know about him is that, in the aftermath of his Bankes’s death he worked for a time for his Master’s widow:

John Cartlitch told the Court of Chancery that the said Mrs Banks [Elizabeth Bankes, widow of John] 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 (sic) in some of his rents and debts. (Source: The National Archives, Kew, Source Ref C11/2792/9, Elizabeth Banks v Z Foxall).

Bankes died in March 1719/20, and Thomas Crow received his Freedom thirteen months later, so presumably this emloyment would have come to an end by then. The above source tells us that later Mrs Banks employed a certain Thomas Russell to do the work that Nathan had done for her. Presumably Thomas was a relative of Elizabeth Banks from a previous marriage to Thomas Russell of Bermondsey.

My searches of the online London records have not yet enabled me to find out what became of Nathan. I have traced one or two people bearing that name at the relevant time, but am not confident that I have found the right man, so I’ll try to keep all this in mind for future reference. Who knows, one day I may find out what became of Nathan Crow, Citizen & Haberdasher of London.





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