NEWSLETTER NO. 1
We are pleased to report that on-going research has now linked up one of these branches. We promised that any such result of research would be circulated in the form of a further chapter to the History and we have therefore prepared Additional Chapter XVII giving the descent of this important branch to the present day.
Its progenitor was John Robert Boultbee, now proved to be the grandson of Robert Boultbee the last family tenant of Stordon Grange. As well as establishing this, it has also now been possible to add to, or correct, several points and problems connected with Robert and his family. (We refer you to pages 94 and 95 of the History). Results of research, including a sequence of events, are as follows:-
We were mistaken in believing that Robert had a previously unknown daughter Elizabeth. She was not, in fact, his daughter, but the first wife of Thomas, Robert's son by Sarah Rawlings, though as yet her surname is unknown. (We know that Thomas was married twice since he was described as a widower at his second marriage). Elizabeth died February 21, 1816, as is proved by the relevant entry in the Osgathorpe Church register, and was born c1797, We now know that she and Thomas had a son, also Thomas, born at Stordon Grange in 1815. He died in 1860 and was recorded in the 1851 Census as being an agricultural labourer living at Hilton in the Parish of Marston-upon-Dove, Derbyshire, appearing then not to be married. Hilton is about 4 miles north-west of Repton. We have more to say about this Thomas below.
Thomas, his father, as stated in the History, married as his second wife Sophia Gamble on April 29, 1817, at Willoughby Waterless which is due south of Leicester.
In March of that year, at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Robert had married Jane Dunwoode, who was 16 years younger than him. She was born in 1779 and died in 1857. It is possible that she had property at Kegworth where both she and Robert were buried.
By 1818, we think at the latest, Thomas and Sophia had left Stordon and moved to Northamptonshire, and we think that by then Robert had also given up Stordon. We may speculate a little on what might have prompted these departures. The original 99-year lease from the Beaumont family would have expired at the end of the 18th century, and must then have been renewed for a period of about 20 years. TPB hints that there were financial problems, which would have prevented Robert or Thomas carrying on, or the expiry of the second lease gave Sir George Beaumont the opportunity to put in a new and more vigorous tenant.
As is seen in the History, TPB's recording of Robert and his family is somewhat patchy. Although he goes into rather surprising detail about Robert's daughter Sarah, her husband and their daughter and their burial in the Boultbee family vault at Osgathorpe, he states that Thomas had died unmarried in 1817. He apparently did not know of Robert's second marriage or his survival until 1835. As we suggested in the History, TPB's appointment as Principal of St. John's College, London, in 1863 meant that henceforth he had little, or no, spare time to continue his researches. He may have intended to, but perhaps thought he had gleaned what he could about Robert and his family from available records in the local area until he had more time.
We now return to Thomas and Sophia. Taking with them the infant younger Thomas, they moved to a farm in the vicinity of Glapthorn, Northamptonshire. Glapthorn, near Oundle, is not all that far from Willoughby Waterless, and it may be that Thomas had acquired a farm tenancy from Sophia's family or through them. It is unlikely he was able to buy a farm.
On December 13, 1819, Thomas and Sophia had a son, John Robert. For this discovery we are again indebted to the invaluable researches of Dennis Heathcote. We know from the record that Thomas was described as a farmer, and also that he must have died in 1820 or 1821, in his early thirties, since Sophia re-married to Daniel Hunt in 1822 at Gedling, Nottinghamshire. What that connection was we cannot say but the two little boys must have gone with her, and the family may not have lived at Gedling. (The early 19th century was a time of much social upheaval and thousands of people did move from an agricultural environment. The repercussions of the Napoleonic Wars, the early stages of the Industrial Revolution with its concomitants of the canal-building boom, and later, early railway development resulted in widespread demographic changes.)
The next event we have to record is the marriage of John Robert, which again shows a considerable move. On December 28, 1843, he married Mary Irving at Repton Parish Church, one of the witnesses being Caroline Gamble. The marriage was performed by the Reverend Dr Thomas Peile, D.D., Headmaster of Repton School. Although there is no record that John Robert attended the school, the marriage took place only a year after the death of Dr. William Boultbee Sleath (see page 25 of the History) who was Headmaster from 1800 to 1830, and this may be the reason for the association with Dr. Peile. Repton, although in Derbyshire, is actually only some 10 miles from Stordon, and family connection with the School went back a long way. One does wonder whether when John Robert had reached maturity he approached his family contacts to look out for a suitable farm for him as a tenant. There is no reason to suppose that relations between Robert and those of his brothers and sisters living reasonably near had not continued to be affectionate, and that after Robert's death they would do their best to help not only John Robert but his half-brother Thomas also, both of whom were of an age. Incidentally, a tradition of a connection somehow with Repton had been preserved by some much later descendants of John Robert.
He is described on the marriage certificate as a farmer, of Findern, which is 2 miles north of Repton, his father clearly stated as Thomas Boultbee, and Mary as a servant, of Repton, though she was born at Workington on the coast of Cumberland, and daughter of Joseph Irving, a mariner. Both are described as of "full" age - John Robert was 24 - so that Mary must have been at least 21 years old.
We move on to the 1851 Census where Thomas re-appears living not far from Repton. We feel pretty certain that John Robert and Thomas arrived in that area at the same time and that Thomas may well have worked on the Findern farm at least for a while. However, by 1855, a most surprising change has occurred. The 1855 Post Office Trades Directory for Repton gives John Robert's occupation not as a farmer but a "painter" which surely must mean of the building decorating kind. This may indicate that he had given up the farm some years before possibly in 1850 or 1851, and that Thomas consequently moved to work at another farm.
Like his father, John Robert was not long-lived. He died in 1856, aged only 36, leaving Mary with five young children, the youngest only 2 years old.
The above revised history of Robert and his immediate family and the story of John Robert and his newly discovered brother Thomas, does contain some assumptions and surmises on the Editorial part, but we think that these are not unreasonable given the family and social circumstances at that time.
Other research and news received during the past year have provided more information for the History. Details are given by History page number references on separate sheets also enclosed for your records. We thought that enough had accumulated to make a worthwhile addition to this Newsletter.
We much regret having had to report several deaths in the Family since the issue of the History but these are balanced by news of births and marriages. Details will be found in the additional information sheets.